Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Deer coming to breakfast

Hey check out this really cool movie.  I tried to download it so I could send it here but couldn't seem to get it to work.  Go to this web page, scroll down a bit and look for the video of the deer coming to breakfast.  So neat.  I don't know how long it will be posted so look quickly.  Just FYI...this is from the radio station I listen to most mornings and Woody is the announcer.

Have a GREAT day,

Friday, October 23, 2009

Get back to the basics

If you're new to this...and I am, too...some things you can do here: read my blog (no duh), sign up as a follower (way cool), and check out older postings!! ALSO, I would love to have feedback, comments, etc. on what you read, if you're doing any of the things I've posted about or just whatever comes to mind. I've had comments from people who know me but they're not posted so others can read them which is a great thing so add your comments and have fun checking things out.

Physical care ROOM OK, I'm back on track I hope...I am drinking more water, walking during lunch and trying to watch calaries.  How are you doing?  We're getting into that food, food, food time of year...need to get the good habits established so that when the food is there we're not as likely to over do it.

Social growth ROOM I've been going and doing and working at being more social with those I don't know.  It has been my habit that if I go to a conference or event where I don't know many people to just sit and do my own thing (read a book, work on the computer, do nothing) but I have really made a concerted effort to be more outgoing.  The people who sit near me now I engage in conversation.

I went to a "Get Motivated" seminar - it was AWESOME...I got to hear Gen. Colin Powell, Zig Ziglar, Phil Town and Suze Orman plus many others.  I took this picture as he was telling stories about his time as Secretary of State.  Wow, did I ever learn a lot.

Financial ROOM I am going to take the plunge...I've been listening to Dave Ramsey's CDs but now I am going to take an investing class.  There is no reason why I cannot invest a little on my own and hopefully become financially independent.  With good money management and good investing I should be better able to do the things that are important to me.  Has anyone heard of FOREX? 

Dreams or crafts or “me” time ROOM Anybody scrapping?  What about photos?  Are you taking photos of the normal, regular, usual events of your life?  Do you have photos of everyone sitting down to dinner? Playing in the back yard?  Going on a picnic?  Hiking in the woods?  Whatever those events are you may want to have photos of those times, too, not just the big events like the birth of a baby, birthdays, Halloween parties and costumes, weddings, etc.  Then once you have the photos be sure you write a bit about them even if you're not ready to put them in a scrapbook quite yet.  It's amazing how quickly we forget the moments that made a story so...whatever. 

Spiritual thought/concept or Scripture ROOM On Facebook the other day some of my cousins mentioned reading Isaiah 58.  What a great chapter.  It's about fasting partially but there's a lot about making your fasting mean something and not for show, to loose the chains of injustice, to set the oppressed free, share your food with the hungry, to clothe the naked.  That's just a start but I found it a really encouraging chapter.  Read it and tell me what you think!!

Saving money in a Tight Economy ROOM The best way I find not to spend is not to go in the store AT ALL...and if I have to go, make my list, go when I don't have time to browse and get what I need and GET OUT!!  Of course, all the stuff you know: eat before you go grocery shopping, take cash for what you've budgeted and no more, make a list and stick to it, etc.  Get rid of credit cards and only use a debit card.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A couple of sites to download kits and Creating your first digital scrapbook page

If you're new to this...and I am, too...some things you can do here: read my blog (no duh), sign up as a follower (way cool).  ALSO, I would love to have feedback, comments, etc. on what you read, if you're doing any of the things I've posted about or just whatever comes to mind. I've had comments from people who know me but they're not posted so others can read them which is a great thing so add your comments and have fun checking things out.

This is a great site with some good information about doing stress-free scrapping.  I have some great templates if anybody wants some.  Templates help to make your scrapping about as easy as it can get.  You choose photos, a template and use a kit.    FIRST download a scrapbook kit like the ones available from from the 15th to the end of each month for FREE.   or go here to download some sweet little kits anytime for FREE.

Step-by-step instructions

Creating your First Scrapbook Page

Open Photoshop - Double click on PS (Photoshop) icon on desktop.

Create a new blank document: File, New

     Select or enter size of page (12x12, 8x8, 11.5x8, 8x11.5 or 8x10)
     300 pixels
     Color – RGB

Open 2 coordinating Background papers in PS. Click on the background paper to activate that document in PS. With the Move tool (V) selected drag the background paper to your new blank document. If you hold the Shift key while dragging (let go of the shift key after letting go of your mouse button) the paper will drop exactly in the middle of your page.

We’re going to use a 2nd background paper, select the rectangular marquee tool and drag a rectangle about 1/4 to 1/3 the size of your page on the second background. Drag to your scrapbook page and move to the desired location.

Now you will need to pull in or open your photos.

You may either drag them from wherever you store your files – or select the file name from File, Open and open the file or if you’ve used Bridge you can open them there, too. (If this is your first digital scrapbook page in Photoshop I would go with the first option for now.)

Once your photo is open go to Image, Image Size to verify that it is 300 pixels. If it is not 300 pixels - unselect the last option (Resample Image) and change to pixels to 300. DO NOT do it all at once. Change the resolution 10% at a time and click OK, redo until you reach 300.

Close the window.

Now drag the photo to the page with the background you have chosen for your page.

Adding pictures and elements to your scrapbook page:

Re-select the move tool (V). Drag your photos to your scrapbook page.

Move to desired location.

If you choose you may re-size the photos. This is resize on the page not the resizing of pixels that we’ve already looked at on a previous page. Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T) will give you selection handles around the edge of the photo. Move your mouse over a corner handle and when the double headed arrow appears, hold the Shift key and drag either in (smaller) or out (larger). The Shift key maintains the integrity or ratio of your photo while resizing.

Working with Layers: Add a mat to your photo

Select the background layer in the layers palette. Select the Rectangle tool (M). Drag a rectangle slightly larger than your photo. While drawing the rectangle (mat in this case) and before letting go of your mouse use the Space Bar to move your rectangle into place. This action will add a new layer below your photo but above the background layer.  NOTE: the layout I've included for you but ignore the color, really bad.  I think Blogger is having a bad day for uploading files...eeks!!

When using layers (especially when you are going back and forth quite a bit) it may be helpful to put a check mark in the Auto Select Layer in the top menu (note: you’ll only be able to see this when the Move tool (V) is active).

Decorate your page: Adding elements, and shadows

First let’s add shadows to your photos and possibly even the mat. Select the photo layer. Now select Layer, Layer Style, Drop Shadow. You can play around with the settings. Note that you will see a preview of your drop shadow if you move the window out of the way of your photo.

Now, let’s add an alpha. In this case let’s choose a 4 letter word (or thereabouts) that describes your layout. I have used HOME.  Select each letter and open or drag to your PS window. Note that it doesn’t matter how you open a document (drag over to PS window; click File, Open; Select from within the Bridge). They all accomplish the same thing.

Drag each letter onto your document and close each letter. Now place the letters in the location you wish. First we will line up our letters to make sure they’re even. With the Move tool (V) selected note the align tools highlighted below. Select all the letters of your alpha in the layers palette. Click on the first one and hold the shift key while you click on the last one. This will highlight or select all the layers of your word. Click on either the top align or bottom align button whichever works better for your word.

In our example we’re going to move the whole alpha to the left side of our page. So keep all layers selected (from the above step) and click Ctrl + T so that you have selection handles around your whole word. Move your mouse outside the selection handles and it will change to a tiny curved double ended arrow. Drag around until your word is the direction you want. In this case it will be perpendicular to our page and we will place it on our left side paper (see finished page below). Note that in the information bar at the top of your window there is an angle ticker. We want a perfect -90° angle. You can play around with it and try to get a perfect square or work with the angles. When you have the alpha where you want it - click the check mark (Commit transform) in the upper right hand area of the tool bar to accept.

To add shadows to your photos select the photo layer in the layers palette. Click on the fx button at the bottom of the layers palette. Select the Drop Shadow… option.

Play with the options until you’re satisfied with the look.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Way cool stuff you can do & scanning your photos

If you're new to this...and I am, too...some things you can do here: read my blog (no duh), sign up as a follower (way cool), checkout cool stuff on the Google search, checkout the ads in the side panel and at the bottom of each day to see what's cool and coming out especially in digital scrapbooking!! ALSO, I would love to have feedback, comments, etc. on what you read, if you're doing any of the things I've posted about or just whatever comes to mind. I've had comments from people who know me but they're not posted so others can read them which is a great thing so add your comments and have fun checking things out.

OK, now on to scrapbooking. 

Do you have a bunch of photos either scanned or taken digitally and on your computer?  That is your task for this week should you choose to accept it.  I've scanned some of my old photos and plan to use them on scrapbook pages.  Back before we could take photos digitally the only way you could see them was to print them.  So you may have photos sitting around that you'd like to put on scrapbook pages.  Scanning is really easy to do on the all-in-one type printers (scan, fax, print) you can get these days or you can do it at most of the do-it-yourself printshops these days.  

Most scanning printers will give you the option to scan in .jpg and that's probably the best option.  You have to have the printer connected to your computer in order to access the completed scan.  Most printers I've seen the process is as easy as placing the photo on the screen, pressing scan and you may have select options like telling it to scan a photo and you want it in .jpg (pronounced Jaypeg).  Then you simply wait for the scanning process to be completed and usually the scanned object will appear on your computer screen.  Be sure to save the photo wherever you save all your photos. 

I find it best at this point to name my photos rather than allowing the computer to assign a photo1.jpg name to it.  You might consider naming the photo something to do with the event, person, or location, and adding a date which may only be the year.  For example I have a photo I've scanned of my parents wedding 50 years ago.  The name for it might be something like this:  "M&Dwedding1959.jpg"  I did not use spaces in the name here but I usually do use spaces.  It is strictly a personal preference thing these days.  I know that anywhere I have M&D that it means Mom and Dad so that may or may not work for you.  Whatever conventions of this type that you use just be consistent.

You will notice on the two photos I've shown here that one is crooked, don't worry about that just try to get it as straight as you can but in Photoshop we can fix that.  The other one of my parents wedding was a rather dull photo and in Photoshop I was able to bring back a bit of the color using curves and levels.  Ignore the terms just know that you can fix old photos and it will be just awesome once we get going on it.

HAVE FUN WITH THIS...if you don't want to start with older photos and want to use your newer ones (which are already digital) don't worry we're about to get started.  I will be posting the first scrapbook page tutorial in one week so if you are planning to do a 30-day trial on Photoshop or Photoshop Elements you will want to wait until that day to actually download your trial copy.  If you have already downloaded a trial copy and want to get started please let me know and I'll get the first lesson to you.