Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Finally did a digi page!

My wonderful husband got me Photoshop Elements for Christmas. After getting it all set up on my computer...I was essentially clueless as to how I was supposed to use it! The program comes with virtually no user guide, and I was told by friends that I should "youtube" it to find some videos on how to use it. I love that "youtube" has become a verb, by the way. :)

In any case, I found Jessica Sprague's blog through another blog that I follow, and she has some great classes I intend on taking to help get me into the digi-world. She offered a free class to introduce some concepts, then encourages people to take her "Up and Running" class which offers a variety of lessons and goes into in-depth discussions/lessons on how to use Photoshop. Apparently there is also "homework". That is a 4-letter word, in my opinion. :)
So here is my finished page. Her free class essentially teaches you how to get your picture on the page, get it layered under other materials, and how to add text. Everything else was already on there, included (and unmoveable, so I couldn't "steal" some embellishment to use on another page...boohoo). But considering I have NO experience in Photoshop, this was still fun and educational for me.
I will say her video must have been done with Windows XP, because my setup is completely different from hers! It took me awhile to figure out how to save the files because her examples were different from mine. I'm almost scared what is going to happen when I upgrade to Windows 7...her classes probably aren't setup for that yet, so I might be way off with what I'm doing. :)
Please excuse the SIZE of me. Frustrating! To get the picture to "fit" in there, I had to stretch it...which meant stretching me. And it had to be stretched to ensure my son's face wasn't covered by the red bars with text on the right. So I look enormous. Yep, that is a real confidence booster right there. :)

This photo was taken the day before my husband left for deployment last August. My son wasn't quite yet 11 months old...and he turns 18 months on Friday. EEEK! How did he get that old?!?! Wasn't I just finding out I was pregnant???? Anyway, my husband returned last week, after exactly 7 months in the desert. We're hopeful he will be home for at least a year before going again, but anything can happen with the military. :(

I hope to take Jessica's "Up and Running" class soon, so hopefully I'll have more to post. Plus I've actually started REAL scrapbooking again, and am currently working on two layouts. Its amazing what you can do with another adult in the house!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Project Life

I love blogs. I love roaming around the various blogs I either have bookmarked in my "favorites" or ones that I follow through Blogger. I love how all these wonderful crafty people enable me to buy things. I love that I went to someone's blog, that linked to Ali Edwards' blog, which linked to Becky Higgins' blog...which lead me to the wonder that is Project Life.

Project Life is a wonderful way to organize the multiple photos you have, or a way to chronicle a daily picture. I knew that I would seriously NEVER remember to take a daily photo, and that I love how I can show multiple photos of the same day. Sometimes your kid does random things in the same day...why not be able to show them? So my Project Life is basically whatever I want to showcase. :) Pictures may have been taken throughout the week, or it may be a day's worth of pictures used that week. It is what I make it, which is what I like. No Project Life will be exactly the same!

The kit comes with wonderful cards to make things easy. The first page could have been different, I could have included photos. I might down the road, but for now I just love how it looks.

I decided to start my book at Christmas. Even though I didn't receive it until the beginning of February (courtesy of my husband for Valentine's Day...he took the very subtle email from me that said, "here, get this for me!". I'm all about making holidays easy for him. hee hee), I had so many photos that I wanted to have in a book. The kit also includes journaling cards, so it was very easy to write down everything that happened.

One slight pet peeve I have with the kit is that there are no ways to house 4x6 pictures that are vertical and horizontal on the same page. So instead of cutting these photos down to try and fit in the middle slots (which are only 2.75 x 3.75), I just decided to let them go sideways.

A huge winter storm hit the third week of January, at the same time that I had a horrible stomach bug. It was seriously the worst week ever (I should also mention my husband is deployed, so I had to tackle everything by myself!).

I do love that you can add things in the slots that aren't journaling or pictures. Here I have the Valentines Cameron received at a party. I've also seen some people who have added 8.5 x 11 page protectors in the weeks to house things that might be work that comes home from school, or other important things. I think you could also add extra photo holders if you have lots of photos you want to add.

Another thing that is great about this kit is the double jouraling cards (see the far right one with the tab) that you can write more info on and it pulls out to be read. Again, one issue with those is that you really can only do it on the right side of these pages. The left page only has the opening on the back...so a card with a tab wouldn't be accessible. Not sure if that makes sense or not. :)

As another illness hit this week, I added the various cold medications I took. Seriously, I have been sick five times since New Years. I recently came down with tonsillitis. I will be soooo glad when winter is completely over!

This type of scrapbook/photobook has allowed me to keep track of pictures/experiences and activities. I have finished up through March 6th...which is pretty good! My plan is to print off pictures once per month. Depending on what online sales I can find, I will most likely just upload them to CVS and pick them up. Sometimes I can find Shutterfly or Snapfish deals, and at that point I will use those.

On another note, my husband has been deployed for almost 7 months. He actually left July 11th for almost five weeks, then was home for about 10 days before leaving for his "real" deployment. He **should** be home this week, so I'm very excited! Its been a long road. No clue when he'll deploy again (my guess is sometime in the first half of 2011), but we'll enjoy having him home. In fact, he hasn't even lived in our new home, which we built in 2009 and I closed on it 3 days after he left for his deployment. So YAY! :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Ahhh, its been a long time, creativity. You went away. You circled the block, then teased me by reappearing for short waves of time. You would wink, giggle, then go away again. But you've come back, and I've USED you!!!! Ahhhh. I feel so much better now. :)

At Christmas, I promised I would make a calendar for my mom. I made one last year, after making one for myself the year before that when I had an opportunity to take the Calendar workshop class at Archiver's. So I actually called an Archiver's in Kansas City (they don't have one in the entire STATE of Oklahoma...ugh!!!) and ordered the materials over the phone. Sure would be nice if they entered the 21st Century and allowed online ordering!!

So....at Christmas, I made this promise. Upon returning from a 2-week holiday vacation visiting family, I came down with a wicked stomach virus. A week later, my son got a cold. The following week, I came down with my son's cold. Needless to say, I finally finished the calendar in the first week of Feburary. I didn't even bother to put pictures on the January or February pages!

The heart was cut out, and then I put all sorts of different Valentine-themed ribbon on the heart. I love how it turned out!
These are pictures of Garden of the Gods, in Colorado Springs.

My nephew and niece.

My mom with my son when he was only a few weeks old. Awww!
My husband, son and I before my husband deployed to Iraq.
Another picture of Colorado. I created the faux firework with sticker gems and just made it look like a purty firework.
At the airport before my husband deployed, my son stole his hat. :)
My son, niece and nephew. They are certainly teaching him educational things!
I had intentions of doing something completely different for this page; hence the Halloween theme. But then I just decided to throw on the pictures of my son right after he was born and a week or so later. He was born in October, so its slightly correct. :)
My sister and her family.
My son on Christmas morning, opening his first Christmas present. :)

All month names were used with either chipboard pieces (May, August) or the Cricut cartidge George. Most of the paper is what was included in the Archiver's 8x8 calendar packet from last year. Any other paper I used would have been a montage of whatever I had on hand, plus mostly Stampin' Up cardstock.
I've also done some cards I need to post, as well as getting into the Project Life project from Becky Higgins, which is freakin' awesome! I can't wait to get more weeks completed and start putting my own little spin on it. :)
So! Finally, some creativity! Yay! Now if only I can continue.....