Monday, February 15, 2010

My other blog...I'd love for you to check it out...  This is it!!  It's mainly about scrapbooking but if you want to see some of my family scrapbooks that would be a great place to go. 

Just thought I'd let you know!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Installing Love

Tech Support: Yes, Ma'am.... how can I help you?

Customer: Well, after much consideration, I've decided to install Love. Can you guide me though the process?

Tech Support: Yes. I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?

Customer: Well, I'm not very technical, but I think I'm ready. What do I do first?

Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart, ma'am?

Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is it okay to install Love while they are running?

Tech Support: What programs are running, ma'am?

Customer: Let's see, I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge and Resentment running right now.

Tech Support: No problem, Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory, but it will no longer disrupt other programs. Love will eventually override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called High Self-Esteem. However, you have to completely turn off Grudge and Resentment. Those programs prevent Love from being properly installed. Can you turn those off, ma'am?

Customer: I don't know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?

Tech Support : With pleasure. Go to your start menu and invoke Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and Resentment have been completely erased.

Customer: Okay, done! Love has started installing itself. Is that normal?
Tech Support: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to other Hearts in order to get the upgrades.

Customer: Oops! I have an error message already. It says, "Error -Program not run on external components ." What should I do?

Tech Support: Don't worry, ma'am. It means that the Love program is set up to run on Internal Hearts, but has not yet been run on your Heart.  In non-technical terms, it simply means you have to Love yourself before you can Love others.

Customer: So, what should I do?

Tech Support: Pull down Self-Acceptance; then click on the following files: Forgive-Self; Realize Your Worth; and Acknowledge your Limitations.

Customer: Okay, done.

Tech Support: Now, copy them to the "My Heart" directory.

The system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching faulty programming. Also, you need to delete Verbose Self-Criticism from all directories and empty your Recycle Bin to make sure it is completely gone and never comes back.

Customer: Got it. Hey! My heart is filling up with new files. Smile is playing on my monitor and Peace and Contentment are copying themselves all over My Heart.  Is this normal?

Tech Support: Sometimes. For others it takes awhile, but eventually everything gets it at the proper time.  So Love is installed and running.  One more thing before we hang up.  Love is Freeware.  Be sure to give it and its various modules to everyone you meet.  They will in turn share it with others and return some cool modules back to you.
Customer: Thank you, God.
Tech Support:  You're welcome, my child.

-- Author Unknown


Friday, February 12, 2010

Sorting Photos

Whether your photos are on your computer or printed it is helpful to sort them in some manner. Sorting not only helps you find a particular photo when you want it but if you want some kind of system for scrapping old photos it helps you do it in an organized format. MOST OF ALL HAVE FUN...So how to sort?

Unfortunately, the reason you’ve not done it already is that it feels like a chore or has negative feelings attached to it. So to start with try to think of sorting your photos as a memory journey and think of how you might want to scrap your photos as you go. It’s going to take time but that’s ok because it doesn’t have to be done today. You don’t want to get too caught up in the scrapping process as you’re sorting because it can prevent you from getting any sorting done but on the other hand you may want to write a few notes as you go along. If you already have a system but haven’t been keeping up work on sorting on a daily or weekly basis till they’re all up-to-date.

Here's a screen shot of part of my folder containing photos (I actually keep mine on my external hard drive because they take up so much space) you will notice two tiny little files at the beginning starting with "aa.." that they sort at the top. These are photos I've downloaded but haven't yet sorted into their appropriate folders or created new ones for them. This is just a convenient way for me to know which ones haven't been sorted through yet. But I never allow this to go on and on or build up.  (now back to the text)

Then give yourself a reward when you’ve completed the task you set yourself.

If you’re like most of us you have printed photos and digital photos. You may even want to sort them in the same way or same categories.

1. Either digital or printed the first task is get all the photos in one spot.

2. Weed out any photos you don’t want. They might be discarded for any number of reasons, they might be out of focus, have heads cut off or be unacceptable for some other reason. A few things to keep in mind – don’t throw away photos just because they have red eye or color tones that are bad. These kinds of things can be fixed in Photoshop. I even had an old photo that I almost threw out because my nephew had his eyes closed but it was the only photo I had of him in his football uniform. I was really bummed because I wanted to use it in a particular layout. I was able to take another photo with his eyes open and put them over his closed eyes in his uniform with Photoshop so if there’s some minor thing wrong don’t throw away an otherwise good photo. It’s not necessary to scrap every single photo. Go through them, pick the best and those are the ones you will scrap.

3. Sort your photos into whatever predetermined sections/groups you want. Here are some suggestions.

      a. Decades – 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, etc. and then into months or seasons

      b. Each family member and maybe one for extended family (cousins, great-grands, etc.)

      c. Places or events (vacation, homes, work or church)

      d. General or things you like (for example I like architecture)

4. Start with the most recent and work backward in time. Your most recent photos will be the ones you’ll have the most memories of and will be the easier to scrapbook or at least to journal about.

It really doesn’t matter whether you’re sorting digital or printed. You create a folder labeled by the year and season or the family member name or event. Then you drag photos from the current location to the new folder.

Something else to consider, you can scan your old printed photos to have them for digital layouts.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Scrapbooking in Photoshop

I thought I'd just post a couple of layouts I've done in the last few days of older photos.  This particular one was of my sister and I on a cruise we got to take to the Bahamas in 2008.  I liked the stamps just because the theme was travel and when you travel you usually send home a postcards.  Ok, maybe it's a bit loose but I liked it anyway.  I am in the purple swimsuit and I am red.  We walking down the hallway to our cabin and Brenda turned to take the photo but I have to admit I posed for it.  The little dog? was our room stewards effort at decorating our cabin and very appreciated.  The photo of Brenda is her actually posing for me in our cabin.  I could have done a better job of taking the flash out of the mirror behind her but I didn't.  That, is by the way, a great advantage of doing your own photo editing in Photoshop.  You can fix those kinds of things.  I just didn't do it for this one.
One thing that is really helpful and quite different about doing digital scrapbooking as opposed to paper scrapping I thought I'd point out here is that you can take photos like the one of the ship and fade it into the background.  Actually there's a lot of fading going on here from the compass and the map and the journaling mat.
This page is of my brother and his wife.  They are battling her cancer but keeping such good spirits while they do so.  I just really liked this layout.  I used two different pages and then the heart of jewels to frame their photo.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Plan your menu

How do you create your menus? You do have menus, yes?

You might ask why do I need a menu, I mean, you make a meat, add a vegetable, maybe a salad and a bread, done, right?!? Well, yes and no. That method will get you fed and who knows it might even be ok BUT do you want to serve your family a well balanced, beautiful and, oh yeah, good tasting meal? Yep, me too!!

And another reason to have menus - Do you ever find yourself wondering what to fix for dinner (or supper depending on where you’re from) when you get home at night and everyone is hungry NOW?
I used to make chicken and rice all the time but then I guess we had it too often and now I haven’t made it in months. Do you have any dishes like that? Been a long time since you’ve made it/them? If you make some menus and start rotating them you aren’t as likely to get bored by any one meal either making it or eating it.

Categories: To get my menu list going I first made a preliminary list of all the main dish meals I could think of that I normally make in the following categories.
Chicken        Ground beef            Fish
Beef              Soups                     One dish meals
Pork              Pasta meals             Kid foods
Breads           Veggies                   Salads

For example some of the chicken dishes I normally make are: fried chicken, chicken fingers, baked chicken, chicken & rice, homemade chicken noodle soup (ah ha – you just realized that this item could be under the soups category, too, but that’s ok either list in both or just one but at least list it somewhere), chicken spinach lasagna, chicken asparagus, and on and on with each category.

When I had all the dishes I could think of just off the top of my head I went through my cookbooks looking for dishes I make and just forgot.  We're not looking here for new things this is things your normally make and have just misfiled in your memory.  That's not to say you won't find something new but that's not really the purpose here.

Now my list was fairly complete for main dishes. Be sure you also list all the veggies you normally eat. For example I make potatoes in a dozen ways (list all of them), broccoli, corn, carrots, squash casserole, etc. Also flush out your list of salads like tossed salads, carrot & raisin salad, layered salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, marinated veggie salad, tomato cucumber salad, Cole slaw, Jell-O salad, strawberry blue cheese salad, etc. Then finally list all the breads you make like cornbread, biscuits, cheese biscuits, yeast rolls, loaf bread, lemon poppy seed bread, etc.

Now we're ready to put together well-rounded menus: Now you have the basics. You’re ready to start putting together menus. When creating a menu there are a few basic things to keep in mind. You want a variety of colors, textures and tastes or at least complementary. For example if you had a meal of chicken (white), mashed potatoes (white), white gravy, cauliflower (white) and biscuits (mostly white) it could be a very boring meal. It might taste good but truthfully it’s not all the appealing visually. If you changed the cauliflower for broccoli and added corn you would have white, yellow and green. And if you don’t overcook the broccoli so it’s nice and vibrantly green it pretty awesome. Add a tossed salad with nice red tomatoes and you have a perfect meal.

5x7 index cards: Once you have some menus started write each menu on a 5x7 index card and store them in a file card box just like conventional recipe cards you have a whole bunch of menus on hand and you can add to them as you find other menus that work for you. Ideas can come from restaurant meals, from photos in magazines or on-line, from when you’re a guest at other’s homes, and on and on. You could even take a photo of each meal as you make it and paste on the backside of the written menu.

Grocery List: With all these menus created you can select five or so each week and buy groceries accordingly. Remember to account for leftovers and eating out. I find it helpful to select a couple of meals each week that are super easy so that when I don’t really feel like cooking a full meal I have an easy one on hand.