Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Digital Ink

I'm trying out a different nib for my Intuos 4 tablet. I'd been using the standard nib and now I'm using the flex nib. It's supposed to have a 'stickier' feel to it. I haven't noticed that it is higher friction, but I have noticed that the tap of a click action feels more like tapping a tennis ball, compared to the tap of a ball point on paper of the standard nib. No nib is going to feel like one of my fountain pens, though. Drat.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Digital Journaling

I don't do much. I want to do more, but I don't like the fonts that I've got. I knew I didn't do a lot of digital journaling, but it was brought home to me when I looked at sample pages for a weight loss kit. I didn't buy the kit, but it struck me clearly that I wasn't writing anything much on my digital pages.

I have been working in paper a bit recently and I realized that I journal a lot more on paper than I do in pixels. I need to find a 'favorite font' for digiscrapping and then I'll probably do more.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Photo Carousel Order!

I just realized why I keep getting lost as I try to flip through my photo carousel. The layouts are in backwards order. Open the carousel to any two face-to-face layouts. Turn the page to look at the one you think will be next. Instead of turning the page that is on the right, I have my carousel set up so you turn the page on the left.

Well! That won't work.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pen Angle

Since I use a tablet instead of a mouse, I come across tablet issues every now and then that surprise me. I was using the Cricut Design Studio software, which is a simple shape manipulation application.

I had to click on the outline to select a shape that I wanted to move. I could not do it. I felt foolish. I had precision, I had control, why couldn't I click on that darned outline?

It turns out that the Wacom pen angle confuses the Cricut Design Software a bit. In order to select the outline of a shape, I must hold the pen so it is at right angles to the tablet, I can't tilt it in my hand. The slightest tilt causes the problem, the pen has to be perfectly upright.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Same Song, Again

People are always asking, "Which digital camera should I get?" on the forums that I read. I never offer suggestions about camera model, I simply offer advice on making choices and where to go looking. My advice is the same for anyone making the switch from point & shoot to DSLR.

If you don't ever plan on taking your camera off Program mode, you might not want a fancy DSLR. You'll be hauling around an elephant gun and you aren't going to need it. Many P&S cameras have lots of settings that you can change. If you never changed the settings on your P&S, what makes you think you will change the settings on your DSLR?

Don't get a camera that you haven't held in your hands. If it doesn't fit in your hands, you are going to hate using it. You can buy on-line if you have tested it in a store somewhere.

You can buy used cameras from reliable sources like B&H and Adorama.

And that's my advice.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Patch Tool

Back to photos again, as I'm tired of sewing things that are bigger than I am.

I had a photo of a friend, who was smiling and looking pretty neat. But she didn't like it, because it showed her laugh lines. And a few other lines. I said that I'd 'Photoshop' it for her to get rid of the lines.

In order to do this quickly and easily, I used the patch tool. It's hiding under the Healing Brush Tool.

To use it, you draw around an area you want to copy. 'Marching ants' appear. You move that selected area over the area you wish to hide and hit 'Enter.' You can use the same selection several times, or you can select a new area. If you are using a mouse, you will have trouble selecting the exact area you want to use. And you'll find that many times, you are suddenly making a new selection, when what you wanted to do was move the selection you had. I blew the photo up to about 200% for some of the fine lines, but 100% or so was OK for a lot of other areas.

Anti-alias is a term that describes how Photoshop draws an image. At an edge, there will be not a black pixel, not a white pixel, but a gray pixel. Or there will be a blending of pink, yellow, brown and purple pixels to create a skin tone. If you zoom in enough, You can see that Photoshop does not do a perfect cut and paste of your selected area, but uses anti-alias to blend the edges a teensy bit. This is one of the few times that I like anti-alias. Usually, I'm fighting it.

To protect her identity, I'm just going to show a small area of her jawline before I patched it.

And this is after I patched it. I didn't want to be too aggressive. I could have smoothed out everything, but then I don't think she'd look human.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bed Evening Gowns

I bought several different, coordinating fabrics to make a bed skirt and hangings years ago, when I got a canopy bed. The bed skirt was to be a celery green moire cotton and have an over layer of a green-purple flip flop sheer. I got enough to do box pleats, for triple fullness, and even debated having the skirt puddle on the floor slightly. The hangings were to be in royal purple cotton velvet with matching bobble trim. I showed Bud the velvet for the hangings and he touched it and sort of smiled. He's a guy. Anything purple, even royal purple, is not macho. It can only be excused as making the wife happy.

I'm finally using the fabric. I'm working on the bed skirt first. I've only finished the part that goes at the foot so far, but I like it. Bud was strongly anti-puddle, so it just touches the floor. When I tucked the partly finished bed skirt at the foot of the bed, Bud declared that we were not going to have a bed skirt. We were going to have a bed formal gown. It is a very lush look and exactly what I wanted.

Last night, I teased Bud by draping the bobble trim all around the canopy of the bed. Then we watched "Revenge of the Nerds" on cable, and climbed into a bed draped with purple bobbles. Rather nerd-like. Bobble trim makes me smile each time I look at it. I couldn't help it, I found it to be so funny it was difficult for me to stop laughing.

Bud then mentioned that with the hangings and the formal gown, we were going to need a bedspread next. And that it would be almost impossible to purchase one that matched. I'd probably have buy fabric and make it. Killjoy.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Why do I take pictures?
It is my interface to the world, how I interact with it. My husband pointed out that if I'm not taking pictures of it, I am usually distant from it. If my life is going well, I take pictures of it. When I'm unhappy/uncomfortable, the camera stays in the case.

What are my goals in photography?
I'd like to get better at managing my camera and light. I'd like to have the ability to respond better to the light that's available and use it successfully, both by setting up the camera correctly and by adjusting the light.

What do I take pictures of?
Things and people around me. Things I interact with.

Can I achieve my goals taking pictures of things like that?

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Case of Aha!

One of the reasons I'm not doing a lot of digital scrapping is that I'm not very happy with what my finished layouts look like. They don't feel interesting, they just feel 'slapped together' and I think they all look alike. I was looking through older layouts and I realized that I'm falling into a rut. If the embellishments that I choose are made by the same person and I'm not thinking creatively, I'm not going to get anything that I like out of the time I put in.

I'm going to stop using that designer's kits and go back to using the designer that got me really interested in digital scrapping. Sorry Flergs, I'm heading back to Ztampf! Instead of providing me with complete kits, down to elements with shadows already applied, Fhung gave me a starting point and I created from there.