Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lots and lots of QuicKutz

QuicKutz dies are quickly becoming a favorite of mine to use in the classes that I teach. They are easier for everyone to use than stamps and create less mess. Right now at Porter's, they are having a huge promotion to launch the new Epic Six Tool. I have been able to purchase dies for killer prices!!

So on this latest layout I created for class, I might have gotten a little carried away! I used two fonts (Chocolate and Moonlight), the picket fence, vine, and cherry dies. Thank goodness for the Xyron sticker maker to attach all those little letters. It sure makes life easier!

So here's the story behind this layout...

I ran across an old 1936 cookbook of my Grandma's and got laughing about some of the recipes. We just eat so differently now than they did then. For starters, apparently molded salads of all kinds were the popular thing to serve. And don't get me started on the Boiled Tongue and Parsnip Fritters. Here's an interesting menu idea:
  • Spaghetti Ring
  • Creamed Crab
  • Browned Parsnips
  • Lettuce with French Dressing
  • Baked Prune Whip
  • Coffee and Milk
or how about:
  • Curried Oysters and Hard Cooked Eggs
  • Buttered Rice
  • Stewed Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • French Dressing
  • Chocolate Fudge Cake
  • Coffee and Milk
( that one's not too bad except maybe for the Curried Oysters...Eek!)

  • Boiled Tongue
  • Parsley Potatoes
  • Buttered Beets
  • Stuffed Prune Salad
  • Browned Honey Rice Pudding
  • Coffee and Milk
And then since you will have leftovers the next day:

  • Onion Soup
  • Toasted Tongue and Relish Sandwiches
  • Banana Fluff
  • Coffee, Tea, Milk
I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.

So I decided to make a layout comparing recipes then and now. It took me awhile to figure out how to approach this idea, but I finally decided to create a restaurant-style menu featuring recipes from 1936 and 2009. After I got the kids in bed, I stayed up really late writing all the descriptions and finding pictures to match. I also wrote journaling explaining everything I have told you here that pulls out from behind the upper left corner. I really, really wish the photo was scanner was giving me fits and kept cutting off all the wrong edges so I tried taking a picture at work but their camera isn't that great. You might be able to read the items better in this scan...

My kids really laughed at the "Daily Special" although I'm really not that mean. They are pretty spoiled. At least you won't have to think too hard about what to fix for dinner tonight since I've provided you with some wonderful, delicious ideas! Happy cooking!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Check out this fun WordArt website I discovered for adding cute accents to layouts, photos, or documents. In the Photoshop class I took from, we added WordArt of our own to photos. Here are a few examples:

It adds a unique touch to a special photo. I especially love the ampersand which came from the Porcelain font you can find here. Here's some more font favorites which I used in these photos...Karabine and Adler.

I think these photos would be fun to frame and give as gifts.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Etsy Listings!

I've listed some new items on Etsy. One of them is the Blessings mini album kit I created a couple of months ago for a client. I also relisted the popular Cogsmo kit and a Vintage Photo ink pad. In my opinion, no one should scrapbook without a Vintage Photo ink pad!

Stay tuned for more new items in the next few days!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Photoshop Textures

Holy cow! I am having so much fun! Taylor has been learning these photoshop classes right along side me. He learns faster than me, I think, but together we get it all figured out. I've been a little behind on the classes, so today I caught up on Days 5, 6, and 7.

Day 5 was learning how to use Textures. Seriously, how can I ever print a normal picture again? There are the coolest textures and brushes...well basically EVERYTHING you could imagine out there is cyberspace for free or for sale. And I am IN LOVE with textures!

Here's what Taylor and I came up with together on this photo of him and his little brother...

Is that cool or what??? I started out by changing the photo to black and white (yes, black an white!) and then adding 3 textures over the top of each other. Lost and Taken is a great website to download free textures.

Here's another with the addition of a frame designed by Jessica Sprague...



Then I just started playing around and having fun with brushes AND textures (I know, wild, isn't it!) :)

This was kind of a funky photo to start with. My brother took a picture of his son looking at his reflection in the faucet of the bathtub. All the better to grunge it up, right? I downloaded a whole bunch of cool brushes from here. That's where the butterflies and corner came from.

Text brushes are one of my new favorites...

Oh! I nearly forgot...Have you ever heard of TTV or Through the Viewfinder? I hadn't until taking this class. Photographers take a photo with their camera pointed through the viewfinder of a 2nd old camera to get the cool "distorted, square with black edges and rounded corners look." Check out this Flickr group to see what I mean. For those of us who would like to take the easy way out, there's a texture for that. Oh yeah! The two photos above use some TTV textures that Jessica found on Flickr for us.

I saved the best picture for last. (At least in my opinion). I snapped this photo at my Grandparent's place at the lake. I desaturated the color, then added 3 texture layers. I hand-tinted the part of the lake back in that was peeking out of the trees. Next I added some text brushes in the bottom corners. It sounds like a lot of work, but it only took me about 5 minutes.

So am I a geek or what? I feel like I'm the last person to learn Photoshop, so I'm probably telling you all something you already know. I'm just exited that I'm finally learning something! Thanks for letting me share!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Adding Clipping Masks and a Fishing Layout

If you've been reading my previous posts, you will know about the Photoshop class I'm taking at Day 4 was how to use Clipping Masks. It was a fairly simple lesson. I only did one photo because I had to go teach my class...notice the grungy border?

And here it is on a layout.

I used the "Breaking Free" paper from My Mind's Eye for this layout and self-adhesive cork from QuicKutz. I finally got to use my new Binding Edge punch by EK Success. (We've been waiting for them to come in at Porter's for months!). The punch looks like the edge of a notebook paper. Love, love, love it!
The cool thing about these border punches is they have a little lock so they will store flat. It saves so much room! You should check them out!

Anyway, I'm a day behind in my photoshop lessons, so I better get busy!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Creating a Vintage, Hand-Tinted Look

Day 3 of Jessica Sprague's class was awesome! I am amazed how easy it is to learn from her. I would really encourage anyone who is interested to take a class from her. She offers a wide variety of them from photo editing to digital scrapbooking. Just click here to see what's available.

Now here's my show and tell for Lesson 3--Creating a Vintage, Hand Tinted Look.

This baseball picture of Cam was the first one I tried. Here's before...

and here's after...

Isn't that so cool! The only hand-tinting on this photo was adding some color to his cheeks. The other changes were all done by adjusting the Hue/Saturation. I also learned how to work with Adjustment Layers.

Here's a black and white photo before...

and after...

I did way more hand-tinting on this photo. I tried to keep it subtle, so hopefully you can tell that I tinted her dress green, and added some color to her eyes, lips, and cheeks. Jessica is also great about giving us free downloads such as the black frame. Then she challenged us to add some tiny stars in the background. I'm not sure the stars go with the heritage look, but they are there anyway! :)

Here's the last one I did... before...

and after...

This one turned out pretty dark. I maybe should have worked a little more on the shadow on her face. I had to add some of the white back in her eyes because they turned completely dark. I also added blue water where there really is just sand and again tinted her cheeks. Next I stamped with a brush in the lower left corner. Then I added Jessica's black frame and some tiny stars.

This class is so much fun! It's so nice to learn what all these functions in Photoshop do. I don't think I'll ever be able to scrap a plain old picture again!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Scrapping Summer Photos

I seem to take so many photos in the summertime. Maybe it's because we aren't cooped up in the house and spend more time doing fun things. Whatever the reason, more picture taking = more photos to scrap. That's why I love using wallet sized photos on a layout. I can fit a lot into a tiny space and they can tell a fun story.

The boys have taken swimming lessons for the past couple of years. I was especially proud of Taylor, since he had to fight his fear of water the entire way through. I made this layout for him to say how proud I am that he worked so hard despite how unsafe he felt.

I thought this was a great life lesson for him to learn as well as a good reminder for me. Life isn't easy. Many times we want to take the easy way out or ignore a problem. As a mom, I often find myself doing things for the kids and trying to make life easier for them instead of allowing them to experience it for themselves. But we become so much stronger if we do our best and fight our way through the battle. I couldn't jump in that pool and swim for Taylor. He had to do that himself. It was so hard to watch, but he came out of it with more self-confidence and a feeling of accomplishment. Some days I think it's good to have a reminder to "Just Keep Swimming!"

On a lighter note, here is my homework for Day 2 of Jessica Sprague's photo class. We learned how to use digital brushes. She gave us a link to For those of you who are interested, it's a great website where you can download free brushes for personal use.

Now I'm off to practice some more!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Photo Editing Class

Wow! Jessica Sprague is an amazing teacher! I took the first session of her photo editing special effects class today and I learned a lot. I am fairly new to Photoshop and, up to this point, have been VERY overwhelmed. Jessica explains things very clearly and makes this process easy. One thing I loved about the class today was that she only covered a couple of steps. My brain doesn't feel so overloaded that I won't remember what I learned in two days. Today she showed us how to add a frame and word art to a photo. The digital class materials we are using for this class were designed by House of 3. Since I already love the work of the designers there, I've decided the kit is going to be right up my alley!

So here's one of the photos I played around with today. LOVE this yummy frame!

Is anyone else taking this class? If so, let me know. I would love to keep my eye out for your work in the Jessica Sprague gallery.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Sometimes I see a layout that I absolutely fall in love with and want one for myself.

I was browsing through the gallery at A Million Memories and saw the most luscious layouts with the new Cosmo Cricket "Early Bird" collection. I came across this one by briarrose86304 that I was in awe of! Since I just happened to have that exact paper sitting on my desk, I decided to re-create one for myself. I really liked how she added all the buttons inside her brackets, but decided not to put them on mine.

Another layout I really liked by Lucy Edson had a painted border around it. I found a die cut paper by Making Memories and traced around the outside edge with a pencil. Then I used a flat brush and some bright red acrylic paint to paint inside the line. I went over it a couple of times but didn't try to make it perfect. The rest of the design is my own:

Once again, the kids were laughing at me as I set up an inanimate object for a photo shoot. But hey, I just HAD to use the funny toaster strip and this idea popped in my head. Why not tell about how much I despise getting up early? Click here to read the journaling.

This layout isn't a scraplift, but I was able to use up some scraps. I was about one year old in this photo and already talking on the phone. I printed the "blah blah blah" text over and over again onto a piece of transparency. Then I cut around it in the same shape as the word bubble and placed it on top. It was a fast and simple layout!

As usual, I am in love with this Early Bird collection. The colors are so bright and old-fashioned. I feel a layout for a class coming on...