Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Our street was packed this year, thanks to the good weather and the neighbours down the street who, every year, set up an amazingly elaborate and spooky haunted house for all the kids to enjoy. Not having prepared adequately, I had to shamefacedly close our doors at 7:30pm, as we'd run out of candy after receiving over 150 trick-or-treaters. I really enjoyed seeing all the children's costumes. Kudos to the kid who dressed as a very realistic box of popcorn!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
If you've been following my posts, you'll know that I spent most of the week learning new digital scrapbooking techniques. Here are two more layouts I'd created. I also went to a Creative Memories event and finished 4 more layouts for the "Oliver's First Year" scrapbook I hope to give to Joe and Jill before Oliver goes off to university. I did continue with my knitting projects this week as well, but there's no progress on any one project significant enough to mention.
The first layout, featuring Julia and my brother Joe at the Ardastra Gardens in Nassau, uses the "Carnival Collaboration Kit" from www.sweetshoppedesigns.com. The second layout was done for a 30-minute challenge given by Jessica Sprague: take a photo and create a layout on the theme "Today". Materials are from Kelly Mize's "One Eighty" kit from www.designerdigitals.com.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
In this layout, I used the recolouring technique I learned in Jessica Sprague's Now We're Rocking with Photoshop course. So I managed to "paint", use a digital brush (for the hearts embellishment), and use pink for both the papers and the title! Here are the credits. Paper: "Beautiful You" kit by Jessica Sprague. Journaling tag: "Echoes of Asia" kit by Jessica Sprague. Title: "Snap Frame Alphabet" by Katie Pertiet (www.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
In Assignment 1, we learned how to use an adjustment layer to create a sepia-toned image over the original one and to use the eraser tool to remove parts of the overlay, thus "recolouring" the image. The layout design is by Jessica Sprague and uses lots of elements, including a distressed-edge overlay. I just can't do "grungy" without copying someone else's layout. Fortunately, Jessica does grungy so well.
Here are the other credits. Background and journalling papers and grungy-edged frame: Trish Jones. Torn paper template: Katie Pertiet. Alphabet: Meredith Fenwick. Heart embellishment: Jessica Sprague. Valentine brushes: Jason Gaylor.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
- What I worked on: code and documentation (ick)
- What I listened to on my iPod: Vivaldi, Maroon 5
- What I listened to in my car: High School Musical 2 soundtrack (not by choice)
- What I ate: leftovers from the terrific dinner that Todd, Kate and Julia made on Sunday
- What I saw while surfing the Web: a Globe and Mail article on how business execs meditate
- What I did, very reluctantly: laundry and dishes
- What I read: a chapter from Stefan Fatsis's Word Freaks
- What I played with: Photoshop, for Jessica Sprague's new digi-scrapping course
Sunday, October 21, 2007
In other news, I put a few stitches into my Christmas exchange ornament for Jill and continued working on socks for Kate.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
There were actually two dares posted at the Circle of Scrapping Friends blog this week, one for paper scrappers and one for digi-scrappers. Never shying from a challenge (not from a scrapbooking one, anyhow), I decided to do both and here is the result. Most years, we try to make it to the Festival International de Jazz in Montreal. Todd took these photos at the stupendous kids' show we attended in 2003. Yes, the pianist really did play "Take Five" with his hands crossed behind his head.
The challenge from Kim was, "I dare you not to use your faves": don't use your favourite paper product, embellishment or tool. My digital take on this was to forbid the following: any Designer Digitals product, any brushes (equivalent to stamps for paper scrappers), and the eyedropper tool (used for picking out colours from existing elements) in Photoshop. This was a good challenge as it made me search out some new digital supplies. The paper and embellishments for this layout came from the "Sun Porch" kit by Amy Teets, available at Shabby Princess.
Now Kelly also proposed a dare, which was to try a new digital technique. I used one that I learned from the October/November 2007 issue of Digital Scrapbooking magazine. The technique is how to make a title out of patterned paper, and I made the word "Jazz" from a paper in the "Sun Porch" kit. There's more detail given in the magazine (which I highly recommend) but here's my quick summary:
- Open your paper in a layer, and then create a title in black in another layer.
- Select your title layer while pressing on the control key.
- With the title outline still selected, click on your paper layer. Then go to Select->Inverse and then Edit->Cut to cut away the paper around the title.
- Finally, delete the original title in black and you'll be left with the one in the patterned paper.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Julia is well beyond me. She is working on her fourth dance pattern and will likely attempt the test before the year's out. However, it was a bit of a shock to realize that even little Kate can do some things better than I can. I can do a not-so-pretty (half-revolution) waltz jump and I can almost make a full revolution on a clumsily-executed toe loop, but frankly, jumps are hard. Not technically hard, just psychologically hard. Kate still has much to learn in terms of technique, but hopping around the ice on one foot seems to be no big deal to her.
So I have a few modest goals for this season: don't get any major injuries, don't be an embarrassment to my kids on the ice, and oh yeah ... do a one-fit spin with at least three revolutions. I should be able to accomplish two of the three.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
My big achievement with respect to this layout was learning how to create "torn paper" digitally. I used the instructions in this tutorial. Do you think it looks realistic enough?
In other craft news, I finished knitting my sweater but haven't had a chance to take a photo yet. That will be in next week's update.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Here are the credits. Software: Photoshop Elements 5.0. Paper from 06/24/07 Web Challenge by Kellie Mize, brush from "Circle of Life" set by Mary Ann Wise, title tag from 08/26/07 Ad Challenge by Dana Zarling, all from www.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Sunday, October 7, 2007
What makes digital scrapbooking different is that it is done mainly by regular people, not professional photographers or graphic designers. The digital scrapbooker's goals are the same as those of traditional scrapbookers: to preserve memories and do it in a fun and creative way. Digital scrapbookers use the same language too, so we have digital "papers", "ribbons", "stamps", "brads", and so on, even though they're really just JPG and PNG files. (One can similarly make the argument that the "real" scrapbooking materials are just a bunch of molecules moving around together.)
It will be interesting to see how the digital and traditional scrapbooking industries develop. The traditional scrapbooking industry has really boomed over the past decade. There are now three scrapbooking stores within a 15-minute drive of my house, compared to one lonely specialty yarn store (which I greatly prize). However, digital scrapbooking is growing rapidly, to the extent that there seems to be a bit of a backlash. Clearly, its rise is hurting the traditional industry. I doubt paper scrapbooking will ever die out, but many people are "hybrid" scrapbookers these days, using a combination of paper and digital elements. I confess I'm quite drawn to digital scrapbooking ... but I really don't need another reason to spend more hours on my computer.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Using lots of whitespace has never been a problem for me. Indeed, I tend to leave too much, which makes some of my layouts look half finished. When I was in high-school, I went to a workshop on how to create yearbook layouts. Three rules were repeated over and over: line up photos and text blocks, keep internal margins consistent and leave plenty of whitespace around the edges.
This training in my formative years has made it impossible for me to do anything else. I greatly admire those scrappers who can use tons of colours, add all sorts of wacky embellishments, put photos down in random positions, doodle, paint, and somehow make it all work. I really wish I could create like that, but I can't. I wouldn't even know how to start. So there it is ... but I guess it's these differences in style that make the hobby so interesting!
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Manhattan stars Diane Keaton and Mariel Hemingway (there's that Hemingway connection again) as Allen's character's love interests. I don't understand why Allen's films aren't more popular with men. In them, the whiny, neurotic, scrawny middle-aged man always gets involved with the most beautiful women. Interestingly, the film deals with the complexities of the relationship between 42-year-old Isaac (Allen) and 17-year-old Tracy (Hemingway), foreshadowing Allen's own relationship with Soon-Yi Previn some years later.Apart from Allen's insightful and hilarious view into relationships, I loved this movie because it was just plain gorgeous. Shot in black-and-white and set to Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, it showed the beauty of a vibrant city full of diversity. Of course, it didn't match much my own recollections of Manhattan, which I saw as a child while visiting my aunt. This tells me it's high time for another trip to New York City so that I can discover Woody Allen's Manhattan.