Thursday, May 29, 2008

Printing Photos

I've edited the photos for the pre-trip and the first two days. Some I sent off to be printed, as we've got a number of free prints due us because of our camera purchases. The rest, I am printing at home. Costco does sell the right ink for my printer and it's the best bargain I've found so far on the ink. Yay! This is us on the Magical express transport on the way to the Kingdom from the Airport. Go us! We'll do Epcot in the clothing we landed with, because our bags will be delivered to the cabin later. Everyone thinks I'm going to swelter in a long sleeved shirt and a pair of jeans, but I handle heat very well. I was fine.

I've set up a system for making sure I don't print photos twice. When I select files to be printed, I copy them to a directory called Disney to Print. I can upload from that directory to the printer . After I've got a print, I move those files to a directory called Disney Printed. Because I'm going through one day at a time, this is working very well. It may fail when the Photopass CD arrives, as those won't be in any kind of order.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Logical Start

Begin at the beginning and work your way through to the end. I'm going to scrap Disney chronologically. It made sense when I started working my way through the photos to print the ones that I want. I stored them on my hard drive and burned backup CDs in a day by day fashion. I'm working on pre trip and first day photos right now. Or I would be, if I'd only not run out of black ink. I have plenty of paper. I wonder if Costco sells the ink that I use? Hmmm...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

How to Begin Planning?

After a week at Disney, I've got well over 1200 photos to cull through. I have three Disney albums, plenty of Disney paper, enough photos to fill all three albums and then some, and I have NO PLAN as to how I am going to get all of this done.

Idea books are one thing, planning books are another. I have to decide how to divide up the photos. Do I group them by park? Group them by day? Group them by activity? By person photographed? I just don't know. Once I have divided up the photos, I can then think about putting them onto pages and into an album. But I also have to create the pages themselves. I deliberately did not do that in advance, because I didn't want to create pages for things that we didn't end up doing.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Off to Meet the Mouse

Tomorrow morning, Wonderful Hubby and I head off to meet the Mouse. We will be in Orlando for a week. I have been planning this for half my life I think. Right now, I'm making some backup copies of files for a just in case rescue of the laptop. Plan for the worst, and it won't happen.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

More DigiScrapping

At the crop last night, I did another laptop crop. I had a set of tutorials that I wanted to go through and try to learn more about managing effects. Unfortunately, the tutorials were on a more basic level than I expected, and I zipped through them without learning much except for where to find things in Photoshop Elements. I don't use Elements. I struck out on my own, with a goal of reproducing a layout based on a plan that I had gotten with a digital kit from Club Scrap.

Oh, dear. I know that everything should be 300 dpi, but other than that, I don't quite know if I should be irritated that elements were odd sizes or not. Most were large and I could squash or trim them down to the correct size, but I kept thinking that I shouldn't have to. If a digital kit is supposed to be a copy of a physical kit and there is a digital copy of a shaped eyelet that IRL is 5/8" tall, why would the digital copy be larger than 1"? I dunno. Paper elements varied in size by more than 1/8", when I expected them to be the same size. Some were smaller, some were larger. To make them match and be as close as possible to the size I wanted without distorting them, I had to cut the large one down to match the smaller one and have them both be too small.

I don't know if this is common, or uncommon. I don't know if it is an acceptable range of error. I haven't worked with a large number of digital kits. If it's just the way things are, I'll sigh, do my own corrections and keep working. If some kits are better than others, I'll seek out the better kits. I find it annoying to have to adjust the size of objects that I expect to match up with each other.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Whew! I had the idea to use the Cricut cartridges that I already own to decorate the memorabilia envelopes. That will go well. I can do different characters and use the Beast that I cut before. The character names cut much larger than you think they will and will fill in a lot of the area of the envelope. The characters themselves cut much smaller than I'd like, but they look so nice.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Memorabilia Envelope Book

I had the wild hair idea to decorate five 9x12 envelopes and create a book in which I could store Disney memorabilia during the trip. I am surprising myself. Things that would have been difficult for me to do before have gone well. I've learned enough technique to just put this book together and I'm not fighting with technique, just design.

So far, the basic layers of paper are in place and the flaps are decorated. The bodys of the envelopes are 'blank' right now. Being Disney, they need much more detail and embellishment. I'm going to have to put a lot more work into these things. I've got ideas for the first one, and I'm hoping that ideas come as I continue to work. I rarely have the entire thing planned out and work by steps until I decide I am finished.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Disgustingly Proud

I have finally gotten myself set up with my dream configuration. I've got a screamingly capable laptop, a printer/scanner and two monitors! The whole setup doesn't take up that much additional space, but it gives me a whole lot more screen to play with. The two screens together think they are one giant screen, so I can move the mouse from one screen onto the other, just by making it go sideways. I can put my Photoshop tools widget on a different screen than I put the working area, and have a much larger working area. I love it!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Digital Workings

This is my first digital layout that I like a reasonable amount. It is the Phrench Phoebe kit from Ztampf, so don't give me all that much credit. I don't think it's possible to create a loser layout with her stuff. While I didn't go into crazed programmer mode, clicking my mouse all night and not noticing time going by, it did take me a long time. I got slightly frustrated with having to try things and then delete them, make adjustments and then try again. I'm learning some shortcuts through sheer necessity.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Digital Scrapping

I spent time at tonight's crop loading applications and then I opened files. I did not bring a huge tote full of paper, inks and tools. I brought a backpack with my new laptop in it and I worked on learning techniques for digital scrapping. I would have loved it if there had been some Internet access, but I couldn't get on-line. I was more organized than I thought when I looked at my files. I need to track down a copy of Adobe Bridge, so I can sort out my photos.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Pause For Geekiness

I have a new laptop. It's a rocket of a Dell, with dual processors and lots of RAM. Go me! I'm currently configuring it and that's taking less time than you might think it would. Thanks to fast machines, current backups and things like that, I'm up and running pretty darned quickly.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Disney Silliness

I am in the process of creating a Mouse sized ring. One of the guys in our group is just silly enough to 'propose' to Minnie Mouse, because Mickey won't. I'm creating a ring for him to use that would fit on a Minne sized, gloved hand. This is requiring the use of Diamond Glaze glue, a bead container, gold ribbon, and lots and lots of glitter.

I've got the giggles just contemplating what might happen. I know this man, he'll get down on one knee and declare himself. The question is, how will Minnie handle it? I'm sure this has happened before, but it might not have happened to that particular Minnie-cast member. We'll remind him that he's already married, should she get stuck. But, we will let Minnie keep the ring anyway.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Save on Life to Spend on Art

I just switched us from one internet/cable TV service provider over to a different one. This will save us about $60 the first month and $30/month after that. The theory is that money not spent on cable TV will be spent on art supplies in one form or another. Saved 22 cents a pound on ground beef? Great! I can now spend an extra 66 cents on paper. This type of saving to spend makes sense. And since I used a coupon and saved 40% on a new trimmer, I can spend that $6 on a new stamp pad.

My goal is two fold. If we only earn so many dollars a month, and have to spend 95% of those dollars on things like a roof over our heads and food in our mouths, I have a limited number of dollars to spend on art supplies. I want to make that 93% on roof and food, and I want those art dollars to go as far as possible. I am an artist, therefore I clip coupons and shop for sales. I checked prices at no fewer than 5 places before getting a new memory card for my camera.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Camera Thoughts

We got Wonderful Hubby a new point and shoot camera yesterday. I need to get him a new memory card, but other than that, he should be good to go. He doesn't care about features, he just wants a point and shoot. I want the right range of features so that if I have to set something, I can. I got my old Pentax cleaned and checked and it is in remarkably good shape for a 30 year old camera. I don't use it any more, but I want to keep it.

Talking with other photographers always makes me think about photography technique more. I'm not going for the Art Print, but I do like to have control over what my photos look like and how I take them. I was lucky enough to be born with an eye. My eye will compose a photograph and then it is a matter of knowing how to set the camera and the lens to capture the photograph that I have envisioned. I had to take classes to learn that part, but I didn't have to take classes to learn how to compose a photograph. I don't think I've ever composed a shot using the rule of thirds. If you look at photos I've taken, they might fit the rule of thirds, but I never plan it. I just take the photo that my eye tells me will be right.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Stroking Paper

I went to a friend's house to crop yesterday and since we were both expecting an identical shipment from Club Scrap, I brought mine unopened, so we could open our kits together. The FedEx lady did a double take. I'd gone leaping and jumping out of my garage to meet her when she drove up at my house and she handed me a box 'o stuff, after verifying my name. Then, I went leaping and jumping out of my friend's front door and met the same FedEx lady an hour later! I verified my friend's name and happily took a second box 'o stuff into a different house. Having a scrapping buddy a ten minute drive away has advantages.

Wheee!!! We opened the boxes at the same time and dug in. It was much more fun than opening my box all alone. Each of us pointed out things to the other, commented on how we reacted to the textures and colors and the experience was much richer for being shared. I started prepping my kit for use immediately and she spent time reading through directions sheets and putting the papers together, studying the shapes and how they went together.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Challenged Out

I've been working through a set of challenges since early February. I'm toast. Toast, I tell you. Done to a tee. Crispy around the edges. Baked to a delicate crunch or quick fried to a crackly crunch, it makes no never mind. Put a rocker on that front porch, I'm through. I managed to turn out some lousy work that meets the -I will not say it- criteria of this challenge. I have also learned something. Do not participate in challenges that have not been completely defined before you agree to participate. 'We reserve the right to make up more rules as we go along' is not a definition.

On a completely different note, I was able to chat with an experienced digital scrapper this evening at the GNO (Girl's Night Out) crop. She turned me onto a digiscrapping seller that is just incredibly good.I added ZTAMPF to my links list, so go check her out! There is a whole pile of stuff in my wish list and I am not that kind of shopper as a rule.

I'd planned to purchase punches at today's crop and I started getting the Marvy Uchida basic shapes set. M-U makes square punches that nest and also squares with scalloped edges that nest and you can nest a plain square inside a scalloped square and vice versa. And then there are circles, ovals and hearts, too. It's quite the punch set and sold individually, not as an actual set. My goal is to have the squares, circles and ovals in three sizes for a total of 18 punches. I'm not that much into hearts. I got five punches today and that was all that I'd put into the budget. Later on, I'll create a little spreadsheet so I can fill in with punches gotten with coupons and save a few pennies. Today, I just got a class discount.

Happy National Scrapbook Day!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Truly a Challenge

I'm taking part in a scrapping challenge where I have been given a set of layouts, directions to cut paper to make those layouts and I may not substitute an embellishment for a piece of paper. For example one of the layouts has eight 1.5" squares of paper used in it. They are placed in two lines of three, and a set of two and sometimes they are placed on top of a strip of 2" wide paper. I'd like to replace some of the squares of paper with stamps of the same size.

Nope. I may not do this. I may stamp on top of those squares and put the paper in place, but I may not stamp instead of those squares of paper. I would be 'eliminating elements' and that's not allowed. If the plan calls for three squares in a row and I'm putting three visual squares of something in a row, aren't I including three design elements? I think I am, but the person judging the challenge says not.

All I can say is that I'm really glad that I own repositionable adhesive. After I have completed the layouts to meet the challenge specifications, I'm going to take them apart and re-do them so they have a bit more of my creative stamp to them. (Pun intended.)

And, since I need only use a majority of a specific brand of paper in my layouts (and it's great quality, but not cheap) I will use an inexpensive, off-brand of cardstock that I purchased in error in place of the expensive stuff so that when I remove it and throw it away, I won't be wasting the good stuff. If using eight 1.5" squares of off-brand paper constitutes a majority on a 12x12 two-page layout, I want to know who taught you math. Will the off-brand of paper match? Do I care? Will I stamp on the off-brand paper? Hah!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New Month, New Backup!

Each month, I try to do a backup around this time. I did mine last night. Did you do yours or are you going to be a horrible example/horror story? Don't tell yourself you'll do it later. Imagine losing all your addresses, photos, downloads, stored mail. Back up now or be sorry later.

I'm looking into on-line storage systems, where I can configure my machine(s) to save off-site on an automagic basis and I won't have to think about it, other than to do regular checks and tidy up files when I move them from place to place. I'm always trying to refine my file system and make things easy to find. I don't like digging through many layers of directories, but I also like the tree system, where sorting moves from general to specific in a logical pattern. I'm also old school, where you don't want a zillion directories all at the top level.

Never trust a person who can count to 255 on their fingers. Old networking joke.