Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sketches for Smaller Layouts

Most of these sketches, I designed for the 5.5" x 7" portrait layouts that fit in the clear stamp page protectors that I'm using for the 7 Gypsies Photo Carousel. A few of them will work quite well for the 4" x 6" photo pages that 7 Gypsies suggests for the photo carousel.

I didn't design these pages to be shared, I just did them for myself. There are references to products that I own, but others might not have heard of. I work in pencil, in the truck, sitting at the doctor's office, wherever and whenever. I didn't clean them up and make them look pretty. They are just sketches! So far, there are 36 different ideas.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Shelf or Rack?

If you look at my studio space above, you will notice a Jetmax cube with shelves in it that's at my left hand. The contents of the shelves have been changed since I took that photo and the shelves held 'big, flat tools and work surfaces' like my glass mat, my stamping mat and my big Score-it board. Getting the big, flat tools and work surfaces out and putting them away was a PITA. No matter which one I wanted, it was on the bottom of the stack.

By turning the cube from noon to 3:00 and making it not a set of shelves with things stacked on them, but a rack where I can slide things out that are side by side, I made getting those things out and putting them away much easier.

I also did that with my paper, when I took my paper off those shelves and put it into storage bins from Cropper Hopper.

DOH! Isn't that what we do with books? Isn't how file cabinets work? We don't store things by stacking them up. Next, I want to tackle how I store my ribbons. There's got to be a better way than those loose spools...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sketches and Scraps

I haven't had a lot of time to crop, so I've been sneaking a few minutes here and there to do sketches for layouts that I can use later. It's working. When I've got time to sit down and crop, I'm working through the sketches and I'm getting a lot done more quickly.

I'm not keeping a lot of scraps these days. I have yet to think, "That scrap of yellow print that I threw away four months ago would have gone perfectly with this layout. Why didn't I keep it?" Nor do I dig through my scraps and find the perfect piece of anything to go with a layout that I'm needing 'just a little more' for. I don't miss the ones that I throw away and I don't use the ones that I keep. Ummm, why keep them?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Cropping

I realized that I could move the carousel downstairs and spend time with DH as we watched Christmas movies. I spent a good chunk of Christmas day cropping photos and putting the date the photo was taken on the back. We don't have many photos from February (DH had a Horrible Cold) and June. I don't know what happened then. Nothing camera worthy, that's for sure.

I have printed out almost one year's worth of photos and the carousel isn't half full. I didn't print out all the photos from any event, just one or two of my favorites from each. Those 4x6 pockets are going to be horribly difficult for me to fill. Mostly because the photographer in me doesn't want to crop a photo down small enough to fit on a layout that size.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Future is Now

I scrap so that some future generation can have some memories of things that happened years ago. I have just had it pointed out how things that you don't think are that important can become very important to someone years down the road. My BIL had made a video of my niece's elementary school graduation celebration. He was probably playing with one of his geek toys. It's in digital format. He found it recently and he's sending out copies.

This will be the only recording I've got of my parent's voices.

Monday, December 22, 2008

200+ Pages?!?!

The reason you are not seeing photos of completed carousels all over the place is quite simple. These are a BIG project. You aren't going to complete one in a short time. I have spent two pleasant evenings working on mine, and I have 0.5% of it complete. Perhaps. It is probably because I'm doing complete layouts for each page, with journaling and embellies. But I'm using my stash!

Come to think of it, I've seen only two photos of completed carousels; one was filled with a card collection and the other was a baby album made before the baby was born, with no photos. Hmmm..... But the baby album did give me a couple of ideas for pages that I'd like to include. I've got to track down chipboard, though.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Carousel Information

I went out on the web looking for information on the 7 Gypsies Photo Carousel and couldn't find much, other than ads. However, I have information now! Thanks to a teaching friend of mine and my own experimentation, I now know that:

The idea is to fill the carousel to the point that the center metal portion is not visible when you part the pages to look at a pair of them.

Filling the carousel will take anywhere from 75 to over 100 page protectors, depending on how thick your layouts are. That would be twice that number in finished pages or 150 to over 200 layouts. It can hold a lot of stuff!

A partly filled carousel is tippy and off balance. You can easily add pages, but moving them around isn't always easy. There are ridges to keep the pages from slipping on the clips as you spin. Squishing pages together to add a clump can be tricky.

The larger page protectors are designed to hold the 7 Gypsies clear stamp sheets, but they will work on the photo carousel and hold a 5.5" x 7" layout. That's portrait dimensions, not landscape.

Using layout ideas for 8.5 x 11 pages works well for these pages. The proportions aren't the same, so you can't simply scale down. Just use the general idea.

I have been printing my photos 2-up on a 5" x 7" piece of photo paper and they are a good size for a layout using the larger page protectors.

It is a very good and useful thing to have ribbons, tabs and other decorative pieces stick beyond the page protectors. It becomes very difficult to find anything if you don't. You get lost going around and around.

Since I'm using the clear stamp pages and not the 4 x 6 photo pages, most of the 7 Gypsies 97% finished items, like the calendar pages with tabs or their pre-cut chipboard, are too small. I need to cut my own out of manila folders or chipboard.

I need to allow at least 15" x 15" of flat area to display my finished carousel, and to look impressive it needs more like 20" x 20". It will occupy most of my square coffee table. It will not fit on the average bookshelf, not even with part of pages extending beyond the shelf. If I were using only the 4 x 6 pages, the finished carousel would be much smaller, needing only 12" x 12" of space at a minimum.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Latest Project

I got one of the 7 Gypsies Photo Carousels. I think it will be a great addition to our family room, and be something on the coffee table that is not clutter. But I'm struggling with designing layouts for the different sized pages and with figuring out how many pages it is going to take to fill it. I've got one of the special shaped hole punches for it, so I can create my own pages. There are pocket pages, there are calendar pages, there are all sorts of pages I could buy, but I'm trying not to shop like crazy for this thing. I want to create the pages for myself out of the paper that I already have.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Disney Video!

Everyone should know how much I love Disney. Well, Disney loves me back.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Taking Stock

I was thinking about how much I have done in the two years I've been doing scrapbooking. I started counting up finished albums. I've completed 18 albums and at least 6 mini books/albums. It could be more mini books. I don't remember them all.

But, if each album has 35-40 pages in it, I've completed at least 650 pages since I started scrapping. It doesn't feel like I've made that many, but I guess I have. And that isn't counting the digital layouts.

I had been feeling badly about the size of my stash. When I counted up inches of cardstock and patterned paper, I could complete an estimated 500 pages with the paper that I have in my studio right now. I had been thinking that I'd be scrapping for many years to come with the paper that I collected in a fairly short time.

I no longer feel nearly as bad about the size of my stash. I know that in one year, I could use up more than half of it. Let's see what happens in 2009.

Friday, December 12, 2008

It Is Later, Now

I have a few layouts that I always said I'd get back to later and then I never did. Everyone has some of these. Ones that need journaling, or additional embellishment. Just something that you weren't in the mood to deal with at that moment and you set them aside for later, when you felt like working on them.

I have decreed that it is 'later' right now.

Two down and a small stack left to go. When these are done, I have even used my 50% off coupons and gotten a new album to put layouts in. I'm tired of putting them into boxes to deal with later. I want them all done, now.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Not Shopping

I was at my LSS yesterday and I wandered around a lot, looking at things. She's a Mrs. Grossman's outlet, so she carries a lot of stickers. I don't scrap with stickers very often. Anyway, I was looking for a particular set of stickers, a set of dates for a calendar year, that you can use when you are making your own calendars. She didn't have any. I left without getting anything.

I didn't buy anything at all? Yep. It's happening more and more. I'm working on using up my paper stash. I haven't printed out many photos recently to put onto the paper that I have. I have plenty of supplies to create paper layouts and I don't feel like buying any more. Nothing really strikes me as being something that I must have.

I went on-line and found the stickers. I don't want to pay shipping for a single sheet of stickers. I've got a lot of number stamps. I guess I'll use those on the calendar, instead.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It Isn't A Sketch

Though I can almost understand why she might think so. A lady at last night's crop looked through my Page Maps deck of ideas, from Becky's book and was thrilled. Not so thrilled that she could put them back in order, but still, thrilled. She'll probably toddle out and get a set of her own. Then she looked at a completed digital layout and asked what would I do with it. I talked about printing them out and having books created. She still thought that the completed layout was a sketch for something that I would then re-create in paper. No. Why create in digital at a quality I can print out in and then do all the work a second time in paper?

Some folks simply do not understand that the digital world is a real world. While it is not objects you can touch, it is information. Information about products you can purchase, for example. You see information in to form of pictures and words about objects. You send information about your credit card. Based on the information you have sent, the company can then take action, get your money and send you the product you purchased.

Digital scrapping is the same. It is visual information in the form of layouts. You look at them. You enjoy what you look at. Even though you are not turning pages, you are still looking at an album.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Stamping on Watercolor Paper

I got a 10.5" x 14.5" sampler pad of Strathmore watercolor paper. It contains two different types of 140 lb. cold press paper, two different types of 140 lb. rough paper, one 140 lb. hot press paper, and one 80 lb. cold press paper. I got two sheets of each 140 lb. paper and three sheets of the 80 lb. paper. So far, I've tried the hot press paper and the 80 lb. paper.

The hot press paper is my favorite watercolor paper for stamping. The watercolor paper available at the average craft store is cold press. If you go to the artist supply shops, you can find hot press paper. I strongly suggest that you do so! It's wonderful stuff. It is smooth, so your stamps come out better. With 140 lb paper, I don't have a lot of trouble with bleeding, either. Whatever technique I use to add color seems to work better with the hot press and I've tried Copics, watercolor pencils and markers.

The 80 lb cold press paper has every problem I've ever heard about for stamping on watercolor paper. It was rougher, so some of the details of a delicate stamp didn't show well. It also bled very easily, so a bold stamp with a good amount of ink would have blurry edges. Adding color to this paper is harder. I had bleeding with watercolor pencils, Copics and with markers. I felt like I didn't know what I was doing anymore. Often, it looked like I'd tried too hard to erase and had worn out the paper, when I was just doing a light circular blending stroke with my brush that would be fine on a more robust paper. This paper was a fail. I've still got two sheets of this paper left and I'll cut one up for samples and probably throw the remaining sheet out. I hate it that much.

I don't hold out a lot of hopes for the rough paper, but I'll give it a shot. The cold press paper is the same as the other cold press paper I've used in the past. I don't expect it to be a learning experience.

Light weight paper in cold press is nasty. Do not bother trying to save money by getting lighter weight watercolor paper. You might save pennies, but it will cost you results.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why I'm not Posting Pics

I do most of my digital layouts with elements and paper from Ztampf! I have read her TOU (Terms of Use) and unless I reduce the ppi by a lot more than I am usually willing to, I may not post things using her paper and elements on the web. I'm debating this with myself. I've got my standards, but she has her TOU. It is me that has to do the adjustments.

I'm also not doing really nifty, interesting layouts. I'm kinda slapping photos onto a background, putting the minimum embellies on the page and doing a bit of journaling. The pages are done, but they aren't pretty. That's why I want to challenge myself to do a bit more than the basics on my pages and use those layout ideas that I have so many of.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Maps and Ideas

I regularly go to the Page Maps website that I've got a link to in the sidebar and grab the once a month selection of layout ideas. I don't use them nearly often enough, but I'm trying to make myself use them more. I can do a better job with my digital pages if I use layout ideas to get a jump start. The layout ideas are free and they really do help a lot when I'm stuck, or tired of the same old layouts. I need to use them more than I do. Perhaps I'll challenge myself...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Half Full, or Half Empty?

Last night, as I was chatting with a scrapping friend about going digital, she asked about how large the digital files were. The answer was "Huge, and that's why I have the external hard drive." She wanted to know how large the drive was. I opened MyComputer and realized that my Huge external hard drive is more than half full! I haven't even had it for a year. All I store on it is photos and digital scrapping files.

While I still have a large chunk of space available, I'm now thinking about what I want to do to when this drive is full. Yikes!

Option one- get a larger external hard drive.
Option two- off-load photos and/or finished pages by burning them to a DVD.
Option three- be more selective about which photos I save.

For now, I will delete photos (especially since I've gone to shooting in RAW as well as .jpg) and that will be enough. I'm saving the bad ones, and I shouldn't.

No matter what I do, it is time for me to run a backup, as one month has come to an end. I have stuff I don't want to lose. It's also time for me to make sure that I have labeled my backup DVDs so I could find the files that I need. Ugh, but necessary.