Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Monday Lunchtime Sketch Challenge #2

One good thing I can say about my decion to blog, it motivates me to try the techniques and ideas that I usually never find the time for. Don’t we all just have so many other things to do? And, honestly, there are just too many fun things to try! :-)Today I’m playing along again with Technostamper, Mary Jo Price’s Monday lunchtime sketch of the week. Here’s my creation. I hope it inspires you. MJ’s sketches sure do get me going.

Credits: Stamps are from Above the Mark
Designer Paper is Blush from Basic Grey
Cardstock Bazzill
Corners of the square are punched with Ornamental Bracket by Anna Griffin

Monday, January 28, 2008

I Won! And More...

WooHoo! I was a winner at Leigh O’Brien’s blog, Sunflower Studio! I won a set of stamps from Whipper Snapper, called Posies for You by Anna Wight. Thanks Leigh and Anna! I look forward to their arrival. Leigh made such a beautiful card with those stamps I simply had to enter the give away. You can check it out here.

I’ve seen this week’s Monday Lunchtime sketch challenge from Mary Jo of Technostamper. You may recall last’s week sketch had me rushing to give it a try. Well, she’s done it again. There is just something about her sketches that I find inspiring. Thanks MJ. I hope to post my card tomorrow.

Now for todays art share. As I’m sorting through photos certain pictures just scream at me to scrap them digitally. This one taken at Disney MGM studios in 1995, when Catie was three years old, was one of those pictures. I knew I had a story to tell and the dark left side of the photo seemed a great place to put it. I also wanted to incorporate Catie’s drawing. I thought I would scan and resize the drawing and add it to the layout. I put the photo aside and scrapped the rest of our Disney trip with paper, scissors & glue. Then one day as I was visiting some of my fave places on the web I came across this kit by Rhonna Ferrer, called Honey Bee. It seemed perfect for this photo. So I downloaded it and immediately got to work. The journaling was cathartic, as this was not an episode I was proud of. Catie, who is 16 now and fully recovered from the “trauma”- lol- had a good laugh when she saw the title. “Oh Mom, you’re being so dramatic,” she said. I answered her with, “Not at all, that is exactly how I felt.” Then when she read the journaling she hugged me and told me I was forgiven. Now isn’t that a great reason to journal?

Here's the journaling:

I read up before the trip. I knew the ride would be too scary for you but I wanted to see it. I knew it would be cool. I’d figured Dad, Anthony and I would go on the ride and You, Nonna and Juliana would wait and meet us when we got off. What I didn’t know was that the ride would end at a completely different location than where it began and that Nonna didn’t want any part of trying to find where we would be let off. Split second decision time- do I sacrifice? No, I rationalized. I warned you that there would be a scary part and I told you not to be scared because it would be fake. You were a bright three year old but that was asking way too much of you. When the explosions and the shaking and the fire began you screamed in a way no mother ever wants to hear her child scream. In spite of my trying to comfort you, you seemed to be in fear for your life. If you weren’t traumatized, I was – a moment as your Mom that I am decidedly ashamed of. I’ll never forget the tears and screams that I could not abate with all the gentle reassurance I could muster. Nor will I forget that almost every picture you drew for months afterward were pictures of a Disney World Earthquake. I’m sorry.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Paper to Digital to Paper Again

I began scrapbooking in 2001. My first book was a simple compilation of family events from the spring and summer of that year. Whenever I pull that book off the shelf I have to fight the urge to redo all the pages – I’ve learned so much since then! But I’ve sworn an oath not to do that. To do so would be to erase my growth as a scrapbooker. That would be personal history lost and isn’t preserving history what scrapbooking is about anyway?

I am working on a collection of volumes devoted to my second child, Catie who is presently 16 years old. My goal is to chronicle each of my three children from birth through High School graduation and to have each one done shortly after they graduate. My eldest, Anthony was finishing up his freshman year of college when I finished his books. For me that was close enough to my target to be happy. But I digress. As I was compiling the books for the kids I realized that some of the events I wanted to include were already scrapped in older books. Rather than do the same photos all over again from scratch I thought I’d move things along by scanning the old pages and using those copies on a new page.

The glorious part of this for me was now I could eat my cake and have it. The original page stays untouched in its album but I get to “redo” it digitally for the new book!

Here is the scan of the original page from the summer of 2001. It’s hard for me NOT to cringe when I see it. The paper colors are dull, it lacks balance, the stamping isn’t done very well and where’s the title?

So into Photoshop I went; what a power rush it gave me. First I extracted the stamped images and pasted them onto new layers. Then "erased" the original stamped images by cloning the background over them. Cool, now I was able to move the stamps to my heart’s content! Oh, and darken them too.

Calling up the clone stamp tool I completely obliterated the unreadable lame attempt at journaling I’d made back in 2001. Call up the text tool and POW new Title, new journal block.

When I was done with the digital editing I printed the page onto 8.5 x 11 photo paper and took it to my work table to incorporate into my new 12 x 12 page. Some matting and embellishing and I soon had a page I could get excited about. I was especially pleased to finally use those slides I’d made at CKU back in 2004! Here's the final page for Catie's books. I love the transformation! What do you think?

Stamp credit: Stampin Up: On The Beach: 2002

Fonts used: Title: Dirtfont; journaling: Catchup thin

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Technostamper's Sketch Challenge

Yesterday as I was traversing the blogosphere I came across this sketch challenge put up by Technostamper aka Mary Jo. The sketch really sparked a creative urge in me and I rushed to my work table to give it a try. As a cardmaker/stamper I'm still a beginner. But I've recently resolved to give it more time and push myself this year. I have to do something to justify all the rubber I've collected! So the challenge was just the thing for me.

To challenge myself further I decided to limit myself to using paper scraps only (you should see the huge supply of scraps I've amassed, I throw nothing away!) and to use a technique from The Technique Junkie Newsletter. I chose Pastel Embossing from the October 07 issue. The stamps I used are Stampin Up. I struggled with the thought of adding more embellishment but ultimately decided to keep it simple because that's what I think I loved about the sketch in the first place. What do you think?

I plan to post some fun ways of mixing stamping with photoshop soon.

Monday, January 21, 2008

If You can't Find It, Make It!

Today, as promised, something simpler. However the basic idea is the same as yesterday. You can sum it up by saying, “If you can’t find the paper you want: MAKE IT!” Yesterday I showed how I made Les Miz paper; today Major League Baseball. In both instances I searched in vain for the paper I wanted to do the spread. I could not believe that the folks at Topps had not caught on to the scrapbook craze and licensed someone to do paper. Then, I think it was my dear husband who said to me, “Duh, they’d have to pay the players royalties.” That’s when I realized it was time to warm up the lamp on my scanner. I did this spread before I started my business and invested in my wide format printer. So I had to make the paper 8.5 x 11. But think about it, how many times have you cut down a 12 x 12 piece of paper to use it as an accent? So the lack of a wide format printer should not stop anyone from making their own background papers.

So here’s how I did it. I went into my son’s room and grabbed the first stack of cards that I saw. Luck would have it that they were all either Mets or Yankees (Grandpa is a Met fan, Anthony roots for the Yankees) I arranged the cards on the scanner bed in a way that visually pleased me, saved the scan as a Bitmap and printed the paper using Windows photo printing wizard. Simple, no special software required.

This idea will work for just about anything. Want sewing paper? Throw a bunch of notions and fabric on your scanner bed. Does your two year old love cheerios? Cover your scanner with clear plastic, nice & flat, and then lay on the cheerios. Instead of closing the lid throw a large piece of white paper or fabric over the top; scan, save and print.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Digital and Paper: Hybrid scrapbooking

Hi, this is my first ever blog post. I've been thinking about this ever since my good friend, Pat Huntoon, started her blog. Well here I finally am, wish me luck. I plan to share my artwork, and tips on how I've created my pieces. I have a love for finding new ways to use my computer as a scrapbooking tool. I am an advanced photoshop user but I will share simple techniques for beginner's as well as tricks that don't require any special software.
To begin with today I'll share one of my all time favorite hybrid scrapbook spreads. The term hybrid scrapbook refers to when you use the computer as well as traditional paper and glue materials to create your page.

For this page I scanned the cover of the novel "Les Miserables" into photoshop. I duplicated it many times, each one on a new layer. Then I played with placement, color, and blending modes and then grunged it up a bit. I was just thrilled with the result. I printed the resulting background paper onto 12 x 12 white cardstock then finished the page in traditional paper scrapbooking fashion. The bands of color across the bottom is a real ribbon, the photo and its mounts are glued on. The title was sooo much fun to do. I used photoshop to extract the scanned title from the book cover, imported that into the Silhouette software and then cut the letters out of Bazzill cardstock using the silhouette. Yes, I have some really cool toys. I promise my next post will be simpler but I really love this page. I hope you will too.
Let me know if you'd like me to post more detailed instructions.