Monday, 11 July 2011

A Day At The Seaside

I renewed my Smilebox subscription today, although I was not amused that a) their payment process did not tell me anywhere what the amount would be (they charge us in £s so that THEY save currency charges and WE pay VAT. Brilliant), it just charged my card with a random amount of money, and b) they started my year's subscription LAST month even though I hadn't used the service which was a bit cheeky. Presumably then you have to have it for life or cancel and never subscribe again.

Oh well, they get this year's money and we'll see if it's worth renewing next year. This album is of our day in Bournemouth last week - probably our entire summer. I like the subtle colours. The design is by Anna Aspnes.

Click to play this Smilebox photo album
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This photo album personalized with Smilebox

I also discovered this one languishing on my hard drive - John's 40th Birthday Cruise in 2001. It was pre-digital so not many photos! I was VERY thin, partly because I'd had a bad kidney infection for the first part of the cruise. One way to lose weight ... I was weeing for England.

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This digital scrapbooking design customized with Smilebox

Friday, 17 June 2011

Who wants a piece of pie?

On the My Memories Suite Facebook page yesterday we were trying to work out how make a pie arrangement of 4 separate photos. The way to do that was to think of the four photo as ONE photo which we could then make into a circle. You can do all this in MMS. Rather than try to explain this in words I've put it all in pictures. Not in a slideshow because how annoying is that when it goes too fast or too slow?

Click on the image below. This will take you to the instruction "gallery". The first page should already fill your screen but if it doesn't just double click on the main picture in the gallery. Then you can use the arrows at the top of the screen to move through the instructions at your own pace or you can go to whichever page you need.

Have fun ...remember not to cut people's heads off!

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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The Fun - and The Agony - of ABC Albums

During April the My Memories Suite Facebook page organised an ABC project. You got to choose your subject and - silly me - I decided to make double pages all about cruises. Cruises over the last 15 years, I might add. It might be exhausting and expensive to go to all these destinations in one cruise.

It was great fun to do but the double layouts might have been a tad ambitious at a time when I'm supposed to be sorting out work for the new tax year. And what do you do with letters like X and Z? Well, for X I chose X-ray machine and Xenophiles (which means people who like foreign travel/foreigners) and for Z there was Zeebrugge and ZZZZ. You have to have ZZZ in an ABC album!

This is the first album I've had printed as a photobook by Photobox, who conveniently have a 20% off deal going on. It should arrive this weekend. I wonder if I've lost my edges....I like the added 3D effect you get by printing 8 x 8 and putting them in page protectors but printing is tedious and/or expensive. I haven't tried Persnickety Prints' 12 x 12 service yet. Sounds good though...

We worked out how to hook the laptop to our TV and see giant slideshows on there. Maybe that's the future!

Slideshow of the ABC of European Cruising album is below. You can click on any image or click HERE to see the gallery. Gotta love Smugmug!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Yes, you CAN use old photos!

It's a cause of HUGE regret that I was born too soon to have my entire life documented in thousands of digital photos. During my childhood photography was so expensive that we had a 24 print film which lasted two summers. Our childhood in twelve photos a year! Compare that to our Royal Wedding street party which amassed nearly 2000 photos in one day ... that scrapbook is, needless to say, a work in progress. You can see a few draft layouts HERE.

So ... it's important to me to use the old photos even if they're in poor condition. One tip I can offer is to stretch the colour balance and saturation so that they match the intense colours you want to use in your layout. It doesn't matter if it looks too stretched. You want to capture the atmosphere of the pics. You remember it was a bright sunny day on the beach and any (intelligent) person you show your album to can read the date!

I had a fabulous vacation with friends in 1978. There are very few decent photos but I was determined to make an album. You can see it below ( click on any image to go to the SmugMug gallery then click again to make it fill the screen). I'll put a list of album credits up later but you will see The Ettes' kits in evidence again - this time Some Beach Somewhere and Under The Stars. As always I've used several quickpages and added bits to them.

No Flash? You can see the gallery HERE.

Just Had To Add To It!

Scroll down a few posts and you'll see a back view of me in a swimsuit. Eeek.... it's the layout called Fish Gotta Swim. It's still called that but I couldn't resist tweaking it a little and basically throwing more stuff at it. Here's the revised version:

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I love the whale and the fish from The Ettes' Some Beach Somewhere. They have featured in a few layouts lately. Most elements are from Bella Gypsy's Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Great news for UK Digi Scrapbookers!

At last! My Memories is now licensed for the UK market. This is by far the easiest digital scrapbooking program around. You can start making pages in seconds.

It comes with photo layouts already created for you or you make your own. If you have a whole lot of photos and want a quick album you can use the Fast Fill feature and watch the album being created before your very eyes. My favourite feature is the photo mat. Add a mat as wide as you like (very narrow one is great for creating an inked look) and match the colour to anything on the page. You can add mats to all your photos as once if you like.

You can even download their kits as normal papers and elements to use in your PhotoShop/Corel layouts. There are lots of freebies and full tutorials on their forum plus a very friendly Facebook page HERE with lovely people who will help beginners with anything they need.

Give My Memories a try HERE!

The page below took me only ten minutes to do. Background is from Lindsay Jane's Pool Party kit. String is from Cathy Krenek's Splash, alpha from Melissa Bennett's Just Chillin' and water splash is from Traci Reed's Belly Flop. Tip: Make an extra page in the MM album for notes/artist credits etc ;-)

Photo by Facebook friend ;-) Layout design by Sharon Horswill made in My Memories Suite. Artist credits: Background Lindsay Jane Pool Party String - Cathy Krenek Splash Letters - Melissa Bennet Just Chillin' Water Splash - Traci Reed Belly Flop

Edited May 2011 - well, maybe it isn't licensed for the UK after all since my UK friends have been unable to buy it! They had better get their act together soon or it will be the competitor who gets the sales from my on board classes!

Our first cruise

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Our very first cruise on the Odysseus (a small ship I'd probably refuse to go on now) in 1994. Very few photos since it was pre-digital and not very good photos at that but I think this Smilebox works well. I've saved the pages as jpegs and will add some journalling boxes. I really don't like the strange Smilebox font.

Aha ... so you can put html code into Blogger in the old editing system but not the new! I wasted half the afternoon trying to put a slideshow onto the Family History Scrapbooks blog!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Family History Scrapbooking on Facebook

As I idly waste most of my day on Facebook I've come across quite a few people working on their family tree who love old photos and scrapbooks - plus scrapbookers who seem to be working on their family tree as well. So it's time the two came together.

I've set up a basic website for articles and links (the problem with Facebook pages being the useful information disappears down the page). I'll work on that over the next few weeks, preparation for the next tax year permitting. In the meantime the Facebook page is up and running HERE. Please "like" us and add your comments and photos. Everyone is welcome, whatever their main interest. Companies and designers are welcome to promote their products and services but I hope they will also stick around to give some tips.

You can get help restoring your old photos and we'll help beginners get started - whether it's starting their family tree or their scrapbooks.

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