Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Scrapbooking Pairs: One Sketch, Two Ways.

Some of my favorite photos from 2011 are the ones I took on a trip out to the hidden daffodil fields on Montara Mountain. The light was so gorgeous, and the day was full of joyful friendship. I looked through my bin of premade layouts and found the layout up top. The photos worked well with the layout, but I had enough photos for two layouts. So, I found some other paper that worked well with the photos and decided to replicate the sketch using them.
I'm really pleased with how both layouts turned out, and I thought they made an interesting photo pair for Helena's weekly pairs photo meme. You can see other pairs by clicking on her blog here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More Thoughts on Scrapbooking and Product Reviews

Feathering My Nest
It's three-fourths of the way through February, a month in which I have been focusing on scrapbooking. So far, I have organized my already-printed photographs and layouts; completed Henry's birthday album; completed Clara's middle school album; scrapped 6 pages to complete my 2010 chronological album; scrapped 18 pages to complete my 2011 chronological album; updated my Christmas card photo albums and made Clara two photo books with her cross country and track photos from sophomore year.  
These last few days have been spent "feathering my nest" by going through all the photographs on my computer and iphone and trying to get them organized (at least in my head). I ordered all the photographs from my computer that I plan to scrap with paper, as well as photos to complete Clara's birthday album. 
I continue to find the 2,500 photos on my camera roll on my iphone a challenge to organize and order. But I did make some headway by following everyone's advice about getting Dropbox as an easy way to get the photos off my phone and on to my computer. I have been finding the dropbox-shutterfly interface to work pretty easily, so I will keep using that to order photos off my phone for 2013, 2014 and 2015. Then I resolve to reclaim the storage space on my phone by deleting the old photos from my camera roll! And to use my big camera more. 
One of the biggest epiphanies I had while looking through all these photos was that the best way to deal with a big bunch of them is to create a photo book for Clara's work at the Humane Society and Guide Dogs for the Blind. I have never taken my big camera along to these places, but I have hundreds of photos on my iphone from our time volunteering. 
So, at the end of week 3 of February, here are my remaining projects:
1. Photo book with Clara's volunteer work at Humane Society and Guide Dogs (probably 8x8 from shutterfly).
2. Photo book with Barcelona pictures (probably 12x12 mixbook).
3. Order photos from iphone (through Dropbox and Shuttefly).
4. Organize 2012, 2013 and 2014/2015 to paper scrap.
5. Scrap 2012, 2013 and 2014/2015.
6. Update Henry's sports album
7. My heritage/genealogy album - a project I haven't mentioned before because it's always on the very bottom of my to-do list. But it is something I would like to do . . . someday!
8. And, finally, I do occasionally think about taking our wedding photos out of the album we received 30 years ago and scrapping them (mainly so I can add journaling). Not sure I will ever do this. Thoughts appreciated on this one!
I know I won't get through these all before the end of February, but I will probably go ahead and move on to my March intention, while continuing to work on these projects for the rest of the year (or the rest of my life - LOL!).
And now for some quick product reviews:
Shutterfly 12x12 Hardcover Photo Books
Love these! I made one for Clara's sophomore XC season and one for Clara's sophomore track season. More importantly, she loved them and asked immediately if I would make her one for this year! Since all my photos were already up on the shutterfly site, the photo book part went together really quickly. It took a bit longer to go back and add the journaling. The quality is good, and they came really quickly in the mail. They can be a bit pricey, but they are very affordable if you wait until there's an appropriate sale (because there's always a sale at shutterfly, and retailmenot often has discount codes as well). I got mine during a 50% off hard cover book sale, plus found a free shipping code and another code for some additional percentage off my entire order. I'll definitely use shutterfly to make her photo books for the rest of her running seasons and will use them for a book on her volunteer work.
Shutterfly Prints
Eh, all of okay. Quality is basically fine, especially if I'm printing iphone photos. Price is very reasonable. Order takes a loooong time to arrive in the mail. I'll use them to order the rest of the photos I want from my iphone, since their interface with drop box works pretty well.
Persnickety Prints
I really liked the quality of these! The photographs arrived super fast. More costly than Shutterfly, but the couple of cents difference is such a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of all my other scrapbooking supplies. Since I truly believe that the photos should be the star of the layout, I don't mind paying more. I'll continue to use this service to print photographs taken with my DSLR. Thanks to Melissa and Karen for suggesting this service in response to this post. Blog friends really do offer the best advice!
Drop Box
Thanks to Missus Wookie and Helena for suggesting this service in response to this recent post.  I had to upgrade to accommodate all the photos on my iphone and camera, but I'm happy to have a safe backup for my photos. And I'm very happy to find a low-frustration way to get photos off my iphone and into print! I'm also hoping I can use it as an easy way to upload photos from my iphone onto my blog. Still experimenting with it, since I thought I had cropped my toes out of the photobook photo, but they showed up in the drop box photo! LOL! I'm thinking that it preserves the original photo, not the unedited one, which is a bit of a bummer. Any advice from you drop box gurus?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Luna's Latest Portraits

Our little pup is growing up!
Luna at 3.5 months (about fourteen weeks).
Goofy girl
Playing with side lighting.
Even models get dog tired.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Scrapbooking with Page Elements from Swaps

My last big group of photographs to scrap from 2011 were from my niece's quincenera (a Mexican religious birthday party/celebration for a girl's fifteenth birthday). The photographs were all very feminine, with lots of purples. In order to scrap them quickly, I turned to my large bin of page elements that I have received from swaps over the years. This page used a kit, which had a title, border and journaling block. Simple, but effective.
For this page, I found the border on the top of the left hand page in my bin. I created a complimentary border for the right hand page. Again, very simple, but pretty. And done!
Finally, this page elements kit had a title border, a tag, a hanging journaling box, several photo mats (including one nicely embellished) and a pretty hand-made dress element. I thought it was perfect for this group of photographs!
I haven't been involved in a page elements swap in years, but I'm glad I still have a few of these kicking around in my stash, as they make my scrapping go really quickly! Do you have any similar hand made elements hanging out in your stash?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Props! Be Still #6

my cup runneth over
This week's topic in the Still Life class I'm taking is props. I have LOTS of props. I collect all kinds of things. I especially like glass ware and linens. And old thing. Vintage things. I love the things I inherited from my mom, from my Grandma, from my Aunt Vera. And I love the things I have bought at antique stores and junque shops.
Slightly unbalanced
I have always been partial to these egg shell tea cups, even though they don't match anything else I own and don't really serve any purpose other than looking cool. So I pulled them out to play with this week.
cup of pearls
I took lots and lots of photographs using the cups, my pearls and a vintage apron. I was proud of myself for being able to pare them down to these three, all of which I really love.
Do you have a favorite among them?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Amanda's Scraplift Challenge

I'm having a great time catching up on scrapbooking this month, and today I finished all the layouts from 2011! I'm going to take a break from paper scrapping for a few days to catch up on photography, to order more photos and to do some photo books I think. But I still have a few layouts to share. This one I did based on a scrapliftchallenge at Amanda's Scrapbook Pages. Here's her layout:
I used 8 photos, instead of 12 (something she suggested as a possibility). And I actually made a companion page to include even more photos. Here's my two page spread:
It was really nice to have this challenge because I really didn't know what I was going to do with these photos. Thanks Amanda! And if anyone else knows of any other good scrapbooking challenges going on this month, please let me know. I have lots more photos to scrap.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

2010 Chronological Album - Scrapbooking with Premade Pages

This month I'm focusing on getting some scrapbooking done. Over the weekend, I completed the last few layouts that were missing from my 2010 chronological album. The layout on the left was the one I put together as the first page for my album and the one on the right is Clara's 7th grade school picture (which will be the last page in the album). I also made these pages:
The bottom layout is Clara's last season on the swim team. The top layout is one that features views up and down my street and photos from our back yard. I wasn't planning to scrap these photos, but I had an extra page and thought it would be good to be able to look back on these years from now.
It was very easy to scrap these pages because I have a big bin of pre-made base pages and bags of home-made embellishments in my stash. All the pages (except the swim pages) were in my premade bin. All I added were the photos, journaling and titles. It makes scrapping go much faster, and I'm happy with the final pages.