Monday, January 25, 2010


For a digital scrapper, those letters are meaningless. That huge craft show that's happening this weekend in California? We couldn't care less. As a person who still plays with paper now and then, I'm still not interested in following the happenings. I'm much more interested in (Inter)National Scrapbook Day, when there are sales at most of the digi-stores.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Keyboard Shortcuts

I have a lot of keyboard shortcuts that I use when I'm digi-scrapping. Here are a few of my favorites. Remember, I'm using PSCS3.

I always press Ctrl + 0 (zero) after opening a file, so I can see it as large as it will show on screen with no scroll bars. I think of it as the same as a 'maximize' button. If I want it even bigger, I zoom in by hitting Ctrl and the +/= key. I don't have to shift to get the plus sign, but I think of it as the +. To zoom out, I hit Ctrl and the _/- key. It's the 'minus' key. Again, don't hit the shift key.

I press Ctrl + T to start to transform an object I have put on a layout. The object will have a box with handles around it and I can rotate it or scale it to size. When I like what I see, I press the enter key.

Ctrl + Shift + S will let me save a file as.

If I've got marching ants and I want them to go away, without doing anything, or if they are still hanging around after I've used them, I press Ctrl +D and the ants go away. It's a controlled delete, you are only deleting the ants.

If I want to select an object that is in my layout and get marching ants around that object, I just Ctrl + click on the icon of the object in the layers panel. I'll get marching ants around the object that is on that layer.

If I have several files open in Photoshop (or in any application that lets you open several files, like Word) I can switch the active file by pressing Ctrl + Tab to go to the next open file inside the application. I can hold down Ctrl and press the tab key repeatedly, if there are lots of files open.

Does anyone else see the critical key that lets me control my keyboard shortcuts?

This one would be the exception that proves the rule. When dragging things onto a new file that I want centered (that first piece of paper, for example) I press the shift key at the end of my drag, so the file lands in the middle. It goes like this. I start to drag. I press and hold the shift key. I end my drag. I release the shift key.

What is that advantage of using the keyboard shortcuts? If I have moved my cursor to a specific location, I don't have to move it away from there, set up an action by clicking on choices, and then move my cursor back to just that spot all over again.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Not Art Journaling

There are several very nice projects available for 2010 that are for Art Journals. They last all year, with regular releases of different kits, journal prompts and so on. These Art Journals are getting a lot of chatter. One of them has even got a blog, so folks can see what the project pages other folks are turning out look like.

I'm left brained. I can usually translate back and forth from left brained geek speak to right brained art talk, but when it gets right down to it, I'm left brained. Art Journals are projects for right brained folks. I'm a lefty that can't understand the Art in these Journals. The pages I have seen that are being praised are completely beyond my ability to comprehend. Don't ask me to translate, I can't.

I'm betting that right brained folks can't explain Art Journals to lefties. Logic does not respond to emotion and emotion cannot be swayed through logic.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tennessee Birdwalk

For some reason, we were discussing migration, and the onset of Spring and this song popped into my head. It's called the Tennessee Birdwalk. These are the lyrics. Occasionally, a background or harmony singer would interject "Chirp, chirp!"

Take away the trees and the birds
All have to sit upon the ground, uum
Take away their wings and
The birds will have to walk to get around
And take away the bird baths
And dirty birds will soon be ev'rywhere
Take away their feathers and
The birds will walk around in underwear
Take away their chirp and the
Birds will have to whisper when they sing
And take away their common sense and
They'll be headed southward in the spring

Oh remember my darling
When spring is in the air
And the bald headed birds
Are whisp'ring ev'rywhere
You can see them walking
Southward in their dirty underwear
That's Tennessee Bird walk

How about some trees so the birds
Won't have to sit upon the ground, uum
How about some wings so the
Birds won't have to walk to get around
And how about a bird bath or two
so the birds will all be clean
How about some feathers so their
Underwear no longer can be seen
How about a chirp so the birds
Won't have to whisper when they sing
And how about some common sense so they
Won't be blocking traffic in the spring

Oh remember my darling
When spring is in the air
And the bald headed birds
Are whisp'ring ev'rywhere
You can see them walking
Southward in their dirty underwear
That's Tennessee Bird walk

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The New System

I'm working with a different system of creating layouts. I'm using my previews to find the papers and elements that I want in Bridge. I'm not just working with one kit.

I'm liking this a lot. I have all sorts of lovely elements that aren't connected to a kit. I've got things like overlays and frames and masks. I knew that I hadn't been using them, but couldn't figure out a way that I could start using them. If the old system is limiting, then try a different system.

Wonderful Hubby and I have a similar opinion of scrapping. If you don't build the page to focus on the photo, you are doing something wrong. the page is just a backdrop to make you look at the photo. If the first thing you look at is the frame, or that really nifty embellishment, it isn't a success. He really likes what I do and it doesn't really matter what it is, if it is a difficult technique or if it is something quick and easy. The goal is to showcase the photos.

Back and Forth with the Kit-Kat Woman

So, Jaguarwoman is asking not only that I read and agree to her TOU, but that I fill out a second set of forms, giving my personal data. It is clear that she is defending her rights to the Nth degree.

It is not as clear what she is doing to protect MY privacy. I don't trust her. An entry on her basic form to submit was NOT marked as required data, but when I left it blank, I got an error message saying that I hadn't filled out all the required parts and that entry was required.

That's a significant oversight in terms of web design. When I add that to the mish mash of navigation on her website, (A link from the home page went to a 404 error?) I don't care if she's designing the absolute ultimate in digital scrapping and giving it all away for free. I don't want her stuff.

Very Different

For a change, I've got photos of an evening out where I didn't spend all of my time behind the camera. There are lots of photos of me. We went out to a type of karaoke bar, and I like to sing, so I sang. And played and danced and my husband took pictures of me.

It is an odd feeling to be scrapping myself.

I'm also realizing that the way I'm currently scrapping, I couldn't give credit should I post a layout. I'm jumping through my kits and picking out the ones that I want for each photo or element. I'm not saving information about the kit or the designer.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

No Cutting Corners!

New Year's Eve, I decided that I didn't want to put the Big Honkin' Flash unit on my camera for the evening. I wanted to stay lower profile and just use the pop up flash.

Bad decision.

I knew what I needed to get good photos and I chose not to use it. I have some nice photos, and I've got some duds. Mostly, I have duds because I didn't have the right flash.

If I know what I need and I have it, it makes no sense not to use it. Otherwise, why did I get it? So I could talk about it, or so I could capture the images that I wanted?

For my next trick, I'm going to work with my flash set to bounce more, and put a deflector on the flash to pop some light into folks eyes to grab a catch light, without red eye.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Layout Finished and Jaguarwoman

If I don't ever sit down at the computer to scrap, I'll never get digital scrapping done.

I finished a layout this morning and I'm pretty happy with it. Mostly because it is finished, but also because it has those silly birds in it. Whenever we play golf at Mill Cove in Jax, we see these birds wandering about. So I took pictures of them. The paper and embellies are all from Flergs latest kit, Tinker Toy.

I took a look at Jaguarwoman's store. She's got some different graphics, for sure, but the site is a tangled navigation mess. She needs consistent headers on her pages. I'm going to try to download her freebie to see what kind of quality she has going on. So far, what I like is her innovation. What I don't like is how STRONG her colors and designs are. I don't want to create something that's going to overpower my photo. I don't like her need to manually manage her clients. Isn't that what computers are for? To manage routine tasks? And last but not least, she needs to realize that even in fantasy worlds, people come in different races and colors. There are way too many pale people in her collection, and not enough of other skin tones.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Threaded Needle Works

I used to do a lot of embroidery. I gave it a rest when my eyes went wonky, but they've calmed down quite a lot and I have pulled out a piece of canvaswork that I'd started a few years back. As I was working on it, I decided that I hadn't chosen the correct red for a ribbon that twines through the pattern and I have been frogging it out.

The frogging is going well. There are five separate areas I must frog, and I have completed three and am over half done with the fourth.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Digital Housekeeping

That's what I call it when I sort through my files, put them in order and make sure that I've got them backed up to the right locations. It can take more time than most people are willing to give to housekeeping of any type, but I find it useful and relaxing. The OCD in me is soothed.

It is also a way to remind me of what I own and what I want to use next. If you are constantly digging through your stash, you have very little that you forget you own.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Large Hands, Small Flash

My wonderful Hubby has large hands. He wears a size 13 wedding ring. I was using my on-camera, pop-up flash for New Year's photos. Not my fave, but I wanted to keep the camera profile small, and the SB-600 flash is not at all small.

The pop-up flash and my hubby's hands are not a good match. He can't hold the camera without blocking the flash. His hands get in the way. It looks like there is a finger over the lens, but you can see a barely exposed part of the scene, where the flash didn't reach.

I don't blame my wonderful hubby. One of the things I tell people, again and again is to go to the store and hold that camera they are looking at on-line. It might not fit well into their hands. It could be too big, too small, or the wrong shape for their hands to get to all of the buttons and dials and still stay out of the way of the flash and the lens. Different cameras fit different people.

My hubby can use the camera with the SB 600 flash, no problem. I'm going to have to remember that for the future and stop trying to be low profile and go for the photos.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I recently got an e-mail asking permission to use some reference material I have had up on the web for years and years, on my 'real' webpage, which is at Honest, it really has been up there for years. The Ontario Country Register, available across the US and Canada is for needleworkers of all types and contains ads and articles on sewing, quilting, embroidery and so on.

It seems that I have written a three part article for them and the first part is taking 1/2 of a page. Since it's one of those 'mini newspapers' 1/2 page is a lot of real estate.

Can I complain? Nope. They asked permission, I gave it and asked for a copy of the magazine in question. They sent a copy of the first issue. I expect to see copies of the second and third issues, too.

This is what I get when I post information on an obscure topic and then it stays on-line for years. I have turned into a resource.

Monday, January 4, 2010

End of the Year Total

I wish I could say that I was uber-productive in 2009 and finished off several hundred pages, but I can't count pages because they are in storage somewhere. Sigh. I finished about 150 digital layouts, but I am counting layouts that I did several versions of. If you drop the multiple versions, it's about 130. I finished some 12x12 paper layouts, a few mini-books, and I got a lot done on the photo carousel.

Am I unhappy because I can't come up with an accurate page count? Not really. The amount I have gotten done will not change. Pages won't vanish because I haven't counted them.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

No Mojo?

I just haven't had much mojo lately. My life is in turmoil, in transit, in flux. I've been spending my energy hiding from this and not looking at my life to scrap it. But as I was going through my finished layouts, I realized that I also simply haven't been sitting down to get any scrapping done. Oh well.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I'm thinking about creating a slide show of a selection of the digital layouts that I've done. I was looking through my directories of finished layouts and I realized that I've been a busy woman. In 2009, I completed about 150 layouts. I don't even look through my own layouts that often. All that work, safely backed up, but more or less ignored.

Another option would be to print out the layouts and display them with my paper scrapping work. Yes, everyone in the family owns a computer. Everyone. But would they care about looking at a slideshow? Would they sit through it? I think it would get looked at once and then put somewhere 'safe' and never looked at again.

I know I look through my own computer every so often, but more often, I show people the paper scrapbooks. Would I be happier getting books printed, or would I prefer to print my layouts at 12" x 12" and put them into the stash of paper scrapping albums that I already own? I could then tell myself that I'm being frugal.

I also don't want to have to decide on some kind of order for a book. If I put pages into albums, I can adjust the order.

Well, no matter what, nothing will get printed unless I convert the files to .jpgs, instead of layered .psds. That's going to be the thing that keeps me busy for a while.