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Archive for the ‘Scrapbooking’ Category

2015-01-04 15.23.21 Back in June I learned about this fun app called “Collect” where you select a photo and write a few words and it creates a 3×4 card. I’ve been trying to do one everyday and have done reasonably well – missing maybe once a week on average. From time to time I had more than one photo so I made little collages using the Diptic app. So when I was ordering prints of my scrapbook pages I threw in copies of all the 3×4 cards. Those plus a 6×8 album with page protectors that fit 4 3×4 cards on each side and some Project Life cards = my inadvertent Project Life album. What I loved about my approach: 1) The simplicity of not having to decide what photo should be what size or orientation. They were all the same. 2) Not focusing on representing any given week or chronological period, other than to put the photos in chronologically. It was incredibly freeing. Every layout looked the same – three photos + one PL card – whether I missed none, or one or two photos in any given week. 3) That it gave me an outlet for those day-to-day photos that may not warrant a whole layout itself. 4) 6×8 is a very manageable size. The most difficult part was selecting what PL cards to go where and trying to place them somewhat at random. I could have left it at just the photos and cards, but I purchased this Project Life Value Pack designed by Heidi Swapp that came with some fun gold chipboard elements that I added to cards and photos throughout. Now that I’m 6 months in I figure I’ll finish out the year. I loved looking back at the glimpses of my day-to-day life and think this will become a treasured album in the future. After a year I’ll see if I’m still loving it and want to continue.

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This month the Get It Scrapped Creative Team is channeling Corrie Jones – a frequent contributor to Masterful Scrapbook Design. A few months ago I “channeled” Emily Pitts, but I was less familiar with Corrie’s work so this was a fun challenge. Here’s my page:

Right Now by Heather Awsumb | August Storyteller kit by Just Jaimee; Haunted Woods Solid Paper Pack, Artsy Layered Paints No 1, Away We Go Element Pack by Katie Pertiet; Forever Young, Day Tripper, Hopscotch by One Little Bird; Shadow Styles by Mommyish

Right Now by Heather Awsumb | August Storyteller kit by Just Jaimee; Haunted Woods Solid Paper Pack, Artsy Layered Paints No 1, Away We Go Element Pack by Katie Pertiet; Forever Young, Day Tripper, Hopscotch by One Little Bird; Shadow Styles by Mommyish

Some things that I noted from the inspiration about Corrie’s pages that I tried to replicate on my page:

1) the use of white/neutral background paper. This wasn’t difficult since kraft or white backgrounds are my go-to backgrounds.

2) using paint and layering to ground her pages. I used paint elements with layered patterned paper to replicate a similar look in digital.

3) white frames around her photos. I used the frame style by Mommyish, one of my favorites.

4) the use of scatters to add energy to the page. I can’t “scatter” for my life, but the August Storyteller kit by Just Jaimee had a really cute scatter element that I used instead.

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Another Get It Scrapped challenge – this time to us a 6×12 photo. Here’s my result:

Lagoon Memories by Heather Awsumb | Supplies: Washi Tapes White No 1, Little Layette Element Pack, Merry and Bright Element Pack, Sweet Rose Element Pack, Almost There Element Pack, Symbology Enamel Brads No 1, Hadleigh Element Pack by Katie Pertiet; Evergreen, Star Gazer by One Little Bird; Enamel Stars by Patti Knox; Worth a Thousand Words by Sahlin Studio; Embracing the Everyday Brushes by Ali Edwards

Lagoon Memories by Heather Awsumb | Supplies: Washi Tapes White No 1, Little Layette Element Pack, Merry and Bright Element Pack, Sweet Rose Element Pack, Almost There Element Pack, Symbology Enamel Brads No 1, Hadleigh Element Pack by Katie Pertiet; Evergreen, Star Gazer by One Little Bird; Enamel Stars by Patti Knox; Worth a Thousand Words by Sahlin Studio; Embracing the Everyday Brushes by Ali Edwards

I like my photos to be big enough for people to see the detail in them, but have can only think of one other time that I’ve taken this much real estate on a page with a photo. It’s also one of my most favorite pages ever. Part of why I rarely use photos this large is because I also really like to use more than one photo on a page. It’s interesting to me that in both examples I have of using large photos I also included smaller detail photos to add dimension. Finally, on this page to take up the left over vertical space I added my title and clustering of small elements.

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This month the Get It Scrapped creative team took on ways to capture stories before scrapbooking. Here’s my page:

Bon Appetite by Heather Awsumb | Supplies: Prix Fixe, Forever Young, Star Gazer, Day Trippers by One Little Bird; Cooked Element Pack, So Fine Element Pack, Gator Crossing Element Pack by Katie Pertiet; Sprinkles v 24 by Valerie Wibbens

Bon Appetite by Heather Awsumb | Supplies: Prix Fixe, Forever Young, Star Gazer, Day Trippers by One Little Bird; Cooked Element Pack, So Fine Element Pack, Gator Crossing Element Pack by Katie Pertiet; Sprinkles v 24 by Valerie Wibbens

For this page I told the story of an impromptu chili night that I hosted earlier this winter. I took a picture and shared it on Facebook with a comment about not knowing how to control the amount of chili I make. (Seriously, I always make a TON.) I didn’t take any pictures when people were at my house, so I then used the photo on my scrapbook page to document the event plus the little personality bit about always making too much chili. Other ways that I’ve captured stories that I’ve eventually used for scrapbooking include the blog, Story Swoop at Get It Scrapped (seriously, if you haven’t tried it you should!) and even putting the story into the caption field of the metadata when organizing my photos.

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julychallenges

Left to right from top left: 1) Template challenge, 2) Product challenge, 3) Scraplift challenge, 4) BYOC challenge, 5) One Word challenge (silly) and 6) Random challenge.

After completing 7 layouts for the April challenges at The Lilypad, I went into a huge creative slump. It wasn’t because of the challenges, I just wasn’t in the mood to create. So for the last few months I have basically only completed my monthly assignments for the Get It Scrapped Creative Team and that’s it. Generally I’m okay with having creative slumps. I scrapbook for quality not quantity so if I don’t feel like it for awhile I just take that as a hint I need to do something else.

In July I finally started to get some of my mojo back and completed 6 layouts for the July challenges – enough for the 30% off discount. Once again even after starting from different points in the process (starting with a template, starting with a story, starting with product, etc.) I still see my style come through in the pages. The August challenges look do-able, so I’m going to make my best attempt again.

 

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While I was in Copenhagen I finally bit the bullet and subscribed to Adobe’s Creative Cloud for Photographers so that I could start using Lightroom. The package also includes Photoshop CC, but I’m not planning to use it for now because I REALLY like Photoshop Elements for scrapbooking and see no reason to switch. I decided that $9,99 was worth it just for Lightroom.

I took the move to Lightroom as an opportunity to refine my photo organization process. Awhile back I wrote about how I organize my digital scrapbooking supplies but I haven’t had a similar system for my photos. With this new found interest in photo organization I thought that documenting my process here might be useful to someone plus explaining has helped me to cement my flow.

Overview: I have almost 10 years of digital photos. My goal with photo organization is to find my photos amongst the literally 1,000s on my external hard drive. Duh. Right now I keep my pictures in folders by year and month (yyyy-mm). So it’s easy enough to find something if I know when it was taken. For me, then, Lightroom adds a few things: a) the ability to weed out the pictures I really like from the pictures I’m ambivalent about b) the ability to find pictures by topic (keyword) and c) the ability toe find pictures by location in the Maps module. Also I should mention that a lot of my process is inspired by Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories system, so if you think something below is total genius it’s probably Stacy’s.

With that said here’s my current workflow:

1- Keep photos from the current month in a folder on my computer (Pictures > yyyy-mm). I keep the folder on my computer during the month so the photos get backed up using Time Machine (just one of many ways I back up my photos.) How the files get on to my computer is a long story that I am still working to improve. Let’s just say the only thing I miss from Aperture is how it worked with Photo Stream on my iPhone.

2- When the month is over, import that folder into Lightroom while moving it to my 1,5 TB external hard drive. My external hard drive is where I store my pictures long term and it gets backed up regularly to a separate external hard drive. I don’t make any changes to the file names, the metadata nor do I apply any developing presets.

3- After import I review the photos quickly and either “flag” the keepers (P) or “reject” duplicates, blurry ones or ones that I know I’ll never use/reference (X). Why don’t I reject the photos I don’t flag? Because I’m sentimental and there are some photos I don’t want to show up in my library but that I can’t bear to delete either. It also helps me to be selective in what I flag because I know something I was ambivalent about will still be there. During this process I also apply a color label to photos that need to be developed. At the end of this I delete all the rejects, because I have enough photos as it is 🙂

4- Flagged photos are automatically included in smart collections that group photos by quarter. I’ve taken this directl from Stacy Julian’s “Library of Memories” system. Basically the smart collection looks for photos that are flagged and were captured in the specified date range. This is what the organization looks like in Lightroom.

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 9.29.10 PM

5- The photos with a color label (red) also go into a smart collection called “Photos to Develop.” I use that folder when I want to fiddle around with my photos more. Let’s just say that I’ve been using the power of Lightroom’s “develop” module much more than I used Aperture. So powerful, so easy and so fun to fiddle with. It makes me want to take pictures with my big camera because it is so fun to develop photos from RAW.

6- My next step is to tag and geocode ONLY the photos that have been flagged as keepers – i.e. those in the quarterly smart collections. Again my tagging structure is based on Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories system: All About Me, People I Love, Places I Go and Things I Do with sub-tags under each. I will go into more detail about my tagging system in another (possibly series) post(s) – it’s too complex to include here – but that’s the general approach.

7- The final step in my process is what I like to call “quality assurance.” This is where it gets fun 😉 In quality assurance I use smart collections to look for flagged photos that fall into three things: a) photos without keywords, b) photos without GPS data and c) photos missing both keywords and GPS data.

I am okay if there are photos in the first two categories. For example, I might have a close up picture of my cat that doesn’t have GPS data but where the photo was taken isn’t important to the story. I know that I’ll tag it “Blossom” and find it so I’m okay if that picture is in category b. Landscape photos, on the other hand, I try to make sure all have a geotag at least by city/country. The same goes for keywords: I’m okay if photos don’t have a keyword as long as those are pictures I am most likely to look for by location. I know that I will never get to zero photos in category c, but I do try to minimize them as much as possible.

So why all the double checking? Because my phone automatically includes GPS data so long as it’s connected to wifi or my cellular network. When I’m traveling, though, it may not include because I’ve turned it to flight mode and photos from my big camera also doesn’t include GPS data. So there may be photos that have GPS data but that I would look for by topic and vice versa.

This is admittedly a lot of work up front, but easy to keep up with month to month. What do you do differently in your photo organization?

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For my second page at Get It Scrapped this month the Creative Team took on the challenge of making a page with 1 photo that is a staged still life – ie of a thing or things that I arranged and photographed for the purpose of making this page.

Mid-Week Sundowners by Heather Awsumb | Supplies: Plant Your Story {Journaled} v. 4 by Sara Gleason; This Magic Moment, Day Trippers by One Little Bird; Away We Go Stamps by Katie Pertiet; Worth a Thousand Words by Sahlin Studio.

Mid-Week Sundowners by Heather Awsumb | Supplies: Plant Your Story {Journaled} v. 4 by Sara Gleason; This Magic Moment, Day Trippers by One Little Bird; Away We Go Stamps by Katie Pertiet; Worth a Thousand Words by Sahlin Studio.

 
This page uses a photo I took of my gin and tonic documenting the story of mid-week happy hours with my friend Brian before he left Lesotho. I took the photo to share with him as proof that the tradition was continuing on after he left, but then I realized I never took a photo when he was here and decided to use this one to document the story. I like that it’s a “still life” but captures and everyday life story.

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