Wednesday, 28 August 2013

A bold experiment ...

I've taken this blog off Amazon Kindle. You didn't know it had been on there? Great marketing then ... Kindle readers are available on all kinds of devices and you can read books in colour, right? Not so with blogs, apparently. Blogs are only available on your main Kindle device and it has to be one of the old fashioned ones.

Hubby took out a trial subscription to the blog. There is no way for the author to see what their own blog looks like. Stupid ... He then wrote and asked why he couldn't see it in colour on his Kindlefire and Amazon wrote back and told him it must be something I'd done wrong as the author. WHAT ??? There are actually no options for this kind of thing when you publish your blog. Not only that but Amazon don't respond to emails from blog publishers so you can't even ask them about it (or complain that they're telling porkies to your customers). There is a forum but when I tried to post on it it told me I had to format my query in Javascript. Yea, right. Geeks only!

So that was a lot of time wasted. Now y'all will have to wait for me to get my books on Kindle. It was amusing though that John said "Some of your blog posts are quite interesting." Ha!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Let's lose some of those boxes!

Or, for some Facebook friends, "loose" some of those boxes. Ouch. I've been playing with some Becky Higgins' Project Life templates. No, I don't do Project Life as in document every boring thing that happens every week. I'd rather stick pins in my eyes. I bet Becky's accountant wishes she'd never called it that as it must put some people off buying these rather fab templates. You can get them in every combination of 3 x 4 and 4 x 6 you could possibly think of and they have darling little rounded corners and just the right amount of shadow so that it really does look like a paper on paper when printed.

Excellent. So now I'm going to change them!

In these two pages I removed some of the blocks so that the background shows through. Here's an IMPORTANT TIP: When you want to remove blocks/layers from a psd template DON'T delete them. Just click on the little eye icon next to the layer name in the layers template and they will disappear. This avoid the "D'oh" moment when you decide you want one of the layers back again. Do as I say, not as I do!

I loved the camera paper and the colours in Becky's Honey kit so I removed some blocks to let it show. It was then a bit busy looking behind the photos so I added a layer and some yellow paper behind the photos. We took a lot of photos of each other taking photos on that trip! (Shadow added so you can see the edges)

This page uses the Project Life Cherry kit and, again, I liked the design on the paper and removed some of the blocks, this time on the side of the page. I then used more papers instead of photos in a couple of blocks, resizing them until I got a section I liked.

 Try it - remove stuff from your page and see what happens!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Cloudy Weather Photos

We were lucky to have glorious weather on our recent trip to Bournemouth. The books and games didn't even make it out of the box. There was just one day when it clouded over in the afternoon - fortunately for mother in law who was visiting that day and doesn't like the sun. I still wanted to include the photos and a picture of hubby walking barefoot on the sand is rare indeed and not to be missed.

I ran this photo through Picmonkey, first using the auto enhance then increasing the saturation slightly. I also made a Holga version. This is one of my favourite effects. If the picture is dark anyway why not make it atmospheric too!  All these effects are free.

I used Mandy King's A Shore Thing, including pre-made borders, and made two versions of this page. First, using the photo for the background:

Then I used a sandy paper background and added the photo and another border at the bottom of it.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

How to Catch A Rhino

Well, OK, extract a rhino! We have a herd of rhinos on display around Southampton and took lots of photos at the weekend. Here's the first page of my album with one I extracted:

The background is a stacked background from Trixie Scraps' Sunshine Day. I thought the extraction in PSE would be easy since I'd already done a few. Just use the magic wand and refine it with the add/subtract function... Unfortunately this doesn't work with painted rhinos! The program kept trying to choose different coloured sections of the rhino and actually left out all the white bits, as I found out when I cut him out and those were still there on the page. So I did it the old fashioned way - the way I extract objects in PSP (8 and X4).

Choose the lasso and draw a rough shape around the object.

This was like using one of those contraptions where you move a ring along a bent wire without setting off the buzzer. It only has to be a very rough shape. Go to edit - cut, then File - new and open a new canvas with a transparent background. Click Edit - paste and your roughly shaped object will appear. Now use the eraser and start removing the bits you don't want. You can see here that I started under his chin...

Start with a large size brush and go all round then zoom in and use a smaller brush so you can work in fine detail. It really didn't take very long!

There's a website which tells you all about the Rhino project HERE. To see more photos, go to my album HERE. I've started the scrapbook HERE. We only got about half of them so more to come!

K for Kaleidoscope

Today's word challenge on Digi Scrapping Divas was kaleidoscope. These are very easy to make in PSP, PSE and no doubt several other programs. Crop your photos square first or it can look weird. I made these kaleidoscope images from photos of my Dad's funeral flowers. He would have found it amusing - even more so that I used mostly Connie Prince's fresh Start to make the page.

Next I'm going to try it with my latest photos from the garden.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Yay! Some Beach Somewhere is Back!!

I bought this kit a while ago and have used it to death. If I had £1 for every time anyone asked me where to get it I'd be very rich! I love this kit so much I've used it - with Fayette's kind permission - for the new blog header. I hope you like it!

Thank goodness Fayette has re-released it at Pickleberry Pop along with some more goodies like the hot mess papers. You can see one in the page below but I made several version of this page as I couldn't choose which background I wanted. Good luck doing that with paper scrapbooking ...

Here's the page I made originally with this extraction (tutorial to follow soon). As you can see it also had part of the Some Beach Somewhere kit on it!  I used a free QP from Cajoline Scrap's Mer De Corail for the background. Water element was from Jasmin Olya's Dreaming Of The Sea.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

It's a miracle....

No, not that I can use a mask. Masks are easy, as I'll show you in a minute. The miracle is hubby John actually being in the water. Wet. Well, we did have a heatwave in the UK recently!

I love being able to do easy and phenomenally fast scrapbook pages in Memory Mixer and My Memories but you can't use masks in those. Not with every trick in the book.

If you see PSE 11 or PSP X4 upwards on sale then grab it and start using masks. Here are the tutorials:

PSE 11

PSP X4 and up (tested by Yobeth in PSP 15)

The background mask and bokeh bits are from Black Lady Designs' Fun In The Sun. Yes, I know bokeh is usually used where there is artifical light but the word means blur in Japanese, not artificial light (Where is my "No Rules" T-shirt?) and I wanted to disguise a boat in the background. The Ocean cluster and wooden jetty are from Et Designs' Paradise Cove. Bottom right cluster is from Jasmin Olya's Dreaming Of The Sea.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Got Journal Cards? Use them!

I'm a great collector of "stuff" (especially free) in the belief that I'll make wonderful pages with it all. Journal cards - I'd say journalling but that would embarrass the bad spellers across the pond who carelessly lose an l - are my latest craze. I must have hundreds of them. The Grand Plan is to use them to fill in those pocket thingies.

Now pocket thingies don't really work for me. No,  that won't stop me writing a tutorial on using them. I tend to go off piste and unless I'm going to create digital holes in said pockets the page would look a bit silly.

In the meantime here are two quite different sans pocket layouts. As you can see, both are designed to mock DH's choice of T- shirt. Both use Little Butterfly Wings' Just Add Water. I tried to add them to her Facebook page but that feature is disabled. Customers' pages not good enough - big marketing FAIL.

First page uses two journalling cards as ordinary elements:

In this one I tried really hard to put stuff in pockets (I used Chelle's Creations' In Pocket template No 7) but ended up deleting that layer. Then I added a ton of extra stuff and a border which is probably against all the rules .If you work in Memory Mixer or My Memories you can use any free block templates like this as a temporary background for photo placements. You might also find that there is stitching and/or pockets in PNG form that you can use .

Just play! Get to love your journal cards - and I'll have some tips on how to make your own in a future article.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Promo Weekend for Newly Released eBook

I'm having a promo weekend for my newly released eBook "Scrapbook Layout Sketches Volume 2".  It's packed full of sketches and color examples for novices and experienced scrappers alike.  If you're in the US just click on the book image below.

If you are in the UK, you can get your free copy here.

If you didn't get Volume 1 yet, you can get it for $2.99 US. Now that's an incredible deal! Two books for under $3.00. Can't beat that. Just click on the Volume 1 image below.

If you are in the UK, you can get Volume 1 here.

Friday, 2 August 2013

How To Buy Underwear

Here's how to buy underwear:

1) Go to online or real life store
2) Choose what's best for you in the right size
3) Remove all packaging and throw it away/recycle
4) Put underwear in drawer
5) It if turns out you don't like it make a mental note not to buy that brand/style again
6) If it is faulty return it to the store.

Here's how to buy digital scrapbooking kits:

1) Go to online store to find a kit you like and buy it.

2) Unpack it. Or, in some cases spend ten minutes rounding it up  from your downloads because designer has not worked out how to put it in a folder.

3) Make sure you have enough capacity on your computer to store all the advertising previews and links that come with the kit, even though the designer has not taken the trouble to name one of the images "folder" so it might be useful to you.

4) Talk about how wonderful the designer is all over the internet even if disappointed with the kit because they work hard, you know, and don't do it for the money, they do it for the love of designing. And have a family to support. Oh wait, that doesn't sound right, they might need to pick one - do it for the love of it or have a family to support ...

5) Never, ever, criticise anything a designer does. Ever. They  work hard, you know, yadda yadda yadda, whereas apparently you don't work hard to earn the money you're spending in their store. If you find someone who dares to criticise something that designer has made, get one of your buddies to let you into their Facebook group so you can jump on that person (without finding out anything about that person or indeed reading the rest of the thread).

6) Make sure you prostitute your hobby by sharing a link to the designer's store everywhere. Don't worry if it bores your friends to death or gets you banned from ad-free groups. Don't worry that it makes you look like a sycophantic moron. The designer works very hard ...

7) Never ever make a mental list of designers who annoy you and/or waste your time. That would be really mean because they're clever and wonderful and are therefore entitled to waste your valuable time. They work hard you know ...

8) Make sure you add the designers' pages to your Facebook newsfeed so they can advertise to you (rather than unchecking the newsfeed option and adding them to a group so you can choose when to see their ads). They work hard, you know, so they're entitled to be in your face all day long.

For comparison. How my husband buys model railway kits:

1) See kits advertised and purchase
2) Check contents and start to build kit.  If kit is not as described send it back and demand refund
3) If refund refused make complaint widely known. If kit is great deliver grudging "all right" on forums
4) If kit has poor instructions and/or wastes time never buy for that manufacturer again and make complaints widely known.
5) On no account write sycophantic drivel about designer of kit for fear of mocking and derision from  fellow model railway enthusiasts.

Coming next: A short essay on Being The Paying Customer.

Get a grip, silly digi scrapping peeps. Stop fawning over designers. No-one is allowed to waste your valuable time.