Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summertime Scrapping

Well, our summer here in Manitoba has certainly been lacklustre to say the least! We had about a week of hot temperatures (25 to 30 degrees Celsius) and since then, daily predicted highs have gotten lower and lower and it has been rainy and overcast. It was so cold last night, that I slept with an extra comforter! However, this is one plus – I have been doing a LOT of scrapping!

In search of new photos to scrap, I found a bunch of photos from our trip to Alberta in 2003. These included a trip to the Calgary zoo where I got shot after shot of exotic animals not common to our own zoo. I went in search of a zoo kit to use with these photos. I had seen several kits being advertised lately, including this one from Nitwit Collections:


HullabaZoo Collection


I love Mary Fran’s stuff and think this collection is great but it just didn’t seem to suit my zoo pictures . . . it was just TOO cute!

Then I found this one by Phuong Studios . . .


Day at the Zoo


This preview really doesn’t do the kit justice. You need to see the further previews and even the Creative Team layouts to truly appreciate the scope and beauty of this kit.


Day at the Zoo - Papers


Dat at the Zoo - Frames and stuff


This kit has THREE alphas, 19 papers and 85 elements! Unbelievable for the price of only $5.50!

Here are the first three layouts I have scrapped with it – I have about nine layouts left to scrap for just the zoo part of our trip!


Click photo for larger size and full details


Hip Hippo-ray!
Click photo for larger size and full details


P is for Primate
Click photo for larger size and full details


I am having so much fun with this kit! If that wasn’t enough, I saw that Phuong had advertised her new kit that was coming out and giving it away to three people. I posted in the forum thread and last night, Phuong notified me that I had won! I will also use this kit for my Alberta Trip 2003 album because it will work nicely with our dinosaur photos from Brooks and Drumheller!




Again, the preview does not do justice to this kit! Be sure to click on the preview above to go and view the CT layouts but here is a preview of the papers to whet your appetite!


Prehistoric - Papers


This kit is similar to the zoo one in that it contains 18 papers as well as plants and various dinosaurs as well as other elements. I am really looking forward to using it!


Well, I guess that’s it for now . . . got to get back to scrapping my trip album!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shadow Work

In my last post, I mentioned that I had been participating in the Scrapbooking Boot Camp over at Ginger Scraps. This last week, we had a lesson on shadows. One of the first things you should learn when beginning to scrap digitally is that your layout NEEDS drop shadows to look realistic! It is not hard to learn to apply simple drop shadows so that the papers and elements on your layout look as they should.

You can even purchase pre-made layer styles or actions for shadowing different items on your layouts and I would encourage you to do so. My favorites are by Traci Murphy. You can purchase styles individually or you can buy whole collections. Be sure that you purchase the styles that will work with your particular program because she offers them for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Paint Shop Pro.

Another way that you can dimension to your layouts is to do even more work with your shadows after applying them! In Photoshop CS4, I can separate my applied shadows from the actual layers they have been applied to and then use the Warp Tool to manipulate the shadows further. By doing this, I can create shadow effects to make elements and photos look like they are lifting off of the page!

Here are two layouts where I have manipulated the shadows in such a way:


One Hail of a Storm Click image for larger view and full credits


Sunsational Click image for larger view and full credits


For those of you who are using Photoshop Elements, there are two really good shadow tutorials by Megan Turnridge that you can use.


PSE Drop Shadows

Custom Shadows in PSE


Try these tutorials and see what shadow effects you can create in your own layouts!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Scrapping Boot Camp

I have been participating in the Scrapping Boot Camp hosted by Ginger Scraps. Each Sunday, a new tutorial is posted for us and then we have until the following Saturday to complete our assignment for that week. So far, we have been exposed to tutorials on post processing our photos, clustering, and creating a white space layout. These last two tutorials were my favorites!

Clustering is one of my favorite things to do and the tutorial really helped with regard to placement of my clusters, making the whole layout design much better than it would have been before the tutorial! I find it is so much fun searching through my stash in ACDSee, looking for the right elements to work with for my layout! Here is my layout for clustering:


Pond Patrol
Click photo for larger size and full credits.


We had to create two layouts for white space layouts, one of our own design and one which we scraplifted from someone else. I actually created the one of my own design first and then scraplifted the other one!


Simple Beauty
Click photo for larger size and full credits.


Perky Pelican
Click photo for larger size and full credits.


I had a lot of fun doing these ones and look forward to the week on shadowing because shadowing is so important to digital layouts.


I hope you enjoy these!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

National Scrapbook Day

So, did you make the rounds of all the stores and forums this weekend? I did well with what I was able to find and purchase but the one regret I had was that I missed the Scrap Girls sale which ended on Thursday at midnight! :( Scrap Girls always has Mischief Week which is their NSD celebration but it always occurs BEFORE NSD! Oh well, I guess I will just have to hang onto my Scrap Girls Kaboodle list until their next sale!

Anyway, these are the items that I snagged (for your convenience, items are linked in case you want some of these items):

folderfolder   FirstKissPreviewgradexpectations_prev   foldera_shelleyrae_OntheEdgePhotoMasksV2_PVW     a_shelleyrae_OTEPhotoMasksVol7_PVW shelleyrae_OntheEdgePhotoMasksVol5_PVW   folderfolder   folder   SBS_styles-acrylic_preview   SBS_WAO_preview_CUsbs_music_preview


Also, Danielle of Something Blue Studios put out a call for people to test a photo action. I was able to test it and not only did I get the action for free but Danielle also gave me a $10 gift certificate to her store! Talk about generous!




Can’t wait to get back to scrapping and use some of these goodies! How about you?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

In a Purple Mood

Do you like quilting or have you ever wanted to quilt? I haven’t quilted but I love the fabrics for quilting and I love exploring quilting magazines. Because of this love, I am drawn to kit designs by Mary Fran. You can find her designs at her store, Nitwit Collections. She has just put up some wonderful Easter products. (You can click on the images to be taken directly to her store.)


 Just Hatched Collection


Bunny Hops Collection


If you like these collections (or others from her store) it would be good for you to know the way she packages things at her store. Most of the time I end up buying a collection but also the extra papers she creates that coordinate with the kit . . . both patterned and solids. I find that I always like to get the solids because each kit seems to have a distinctive texture and the solids then match up with the other papers in a layout. She also creates extra elements for some collections and these are also well worth a look! I have bought only a few of her alphas, mainly because she only includes A to Z and sometimes numerals 0 to 9 but no punctuation at all which I find totally frustrating! She only has ONE sale per year, so it is a good time to stock up if you can wait for it! Another special thing I like about Mary Fran’s products is the unique way she displays her kits – doesn’t it just look like visiting the fabric department?!

While viewing her latest kits, I stumbled on one that I had missed:


Oh The Possibilities Collection


I knew that this kit would be perfect for a remake of a paper layout I had created in the past. I had to scan the pictures because they were taken with my old SLR camera. I liked the way it turned out. What do you think? (Layout is clickable to view a detailed view with complete credits.)




Before I go, here’s a heads up on the latest FREEBIE by The Scrappin Cop. This girl creates high quality, commercial use products and then gives them away! Don’t let the commercial use label confuse you . . . you can certainly use them for personal use but if you ever decide to design your own products, these can be used. Just be sure to follow her terms. Anyway, she has some neat Grungy Edge Overlays that are fabulous for changing the look of papers you already own. Just place them in a layer above your paper and then play with blend modes or change their color.


The Scrappin Cop


If you have never been to her blog before, be sure to check out her past downloads because they are still available. She has some really cute Easter layered templates as well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Back in the Scrapping Groove

Had a great time this weekend . . . I attended a crop in Steinbach. From 4:00 to 11:00 pm on Friday and from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm on Saturday I got to scrap to my heart’s content! My friend, Charlene, accompanied me. Of course, I lugged along my laptop, EHD, and flat panel monitor. That was nothing compared with the pounds of paper and embellishments and stamps, etc. that Charlene brought!

This time round, I set a personal record of scrapping 5 pages! Though I still consider myself a “journey” scrapbooker i.e.. I take my time and design my pages just the way I want them with no actual time limit or deadline in place, I was still quite pleased with how much I accomplished. What do you think? (All images are clickable to a larger, more detailed version.)




Bubble Girl


On The Right Note


Great To Be Eight!