Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Should You Create a One Page or Two Page Layout?

When looking at your photos, the first thing you must decide is whether you want to create a one-page or two-page layout. A layout is simply another name for a page or set of pages.  
Some scrapbookers only create one-page layouts, and some scrapbookers only create two-page layouts. Some scrapbookers mix and match, depending on the occasion and number of photos. What's the difference? It's really up to you.  

Create One-Page Layouts if you...
  • don't take, or have, too many photos
  • like to use very few embellishments
  • want to get your pages done faster
  • like the look of having 2 pages that are completely different

Create Two-Page Layouts if you...
  • take LOTS of pictures (like me)
  • like to do a lot of journaling
  • want more space to do some creative embellishing
  • like to have two side-by-side pages that match 

I'm sure there are many more reasons why you would choose one style over another. You should experiment and see what you like better. If you know that you're a snap-happy photographer like me, you should definitely consider the two-page layouts.

So the choice is really up to you. You can mix and match one-page and two-page layouts, and once you feel comfortable, you can even do 4-page layouts, which are called Panoramic layouts. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Photo Tips

I will confess that I am not a great photographer, so I try to read about it to learn more, and I thought I would share what I learn.

I found a really cool article in an old edition of Memory Makers Magazine (remember that one?  I still have copies in my house!) Many of you, like me, don't have kids but we have the either the  feathered friend or fin kind.  So, how do you take pictures of your favorite fish or fine feathered friend?

Take advantage of these pointers when photographing pet birds or fish:

  • Take your pet out of his cage or tank.  Photograph him in your (or someone else's) hand to capture a sense of size & texture.  Consider setting the pet loose in the room.  
  • When photographing fish, turn off your flash and rely on the aquarium lights. If you must use your flash, angle your camera 60 degrees to avoid glare. Pan your fish’s motion or wait for the fish to swim by and then snap the shot.
  • Place brightly colored birds against neutral settings so that they won’t blend into the background.
And for photographing your furry, four-legged pal, offers these suggestions:
  • Photographing a dog or cat adds a whole new set of variables to the equation.  Unlike human subjects, most animals are not as easily posed or patient so it might be a little trickier to get the purrfect shot.  Keep your camera near because you never know when the ideal opportunity will present itself.  There are also a few things you as a photographer can do to increase your odds for success.  If at all possible, photograph your pet in familiar surroundings.  This will help put the animal at ease and you will have a much better chance at obtaining a natural pose.
Also, minimize the distractions - Feed your pet ahead of time.  If your dog is really hungry or there are strangers and/or animals around, it might become preoccupied.   As always, lighting & proximity are very important.  If yours is an indoor pet, try to take advantage of adequate window lighting.  Flashbulbs are not recommended!   

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

16 Tips to Photograph Christmas Morning

It's here!!!!!  The day after next you will wake up to Christmas morning!  The paper will get torn off the presents and sit in heaps around your living room while your family oohhs and aahhs over their gifts.  You quickly move onto breakfast and next thing you know, lunch and/or dinner were served and the day is over.

Suddenly you realize that you haven't taken not one photo!  Eek!  How are you going to document it when it's all over?

I found some great tips from Click it up a Notch ( that I thought I would share with you:
how to photograph Christmas morning
*This post contains affiliate links. Thanks in advance for supporting Click it Up a Notch.

  • No. 01 Set your white balance.
    Don’t waste your time fixing it in PP when you can set it on your camera. Use a gray card, ExpoDisc, or Kelvins.
  • No. 02 Keep your shutter speed at least at 1/125.
    Unless you are going for a shot with motion blur in it, you want to make sure your photo isn’t blurry.
  • The odds are your room may not have enough light that early in the morning (depending on what time your kids wake up). Don’t be afraid to raise it!
    • If you are photographing more than one person, check your aperture.
      Remember lower number less in focus and higher number more is in focus.
    • No. 05 Charge your battery the night before!
      Or go ahead and treat yourself to an extra battery or even better a battery grip as an early Christmas present.
    • No. 06 Be sure to stand by the tree when the kiddos come around the corner.
      You want to make sure you capture their faces when they see everything and not be walking behind them.
    • No. 07 Don't forget to re-read Creating a Photo Essay so your pictures can tell a story.
      It’s important to use your images to tell a story. Isn’t that why we take these images? To tell the story of Christmas morning.
    • No. 08 After you have captured all the photos you want, put your camera away and enjoy your family!
      Studies show that you remember more of an event when not viewed through a viewfinder. Take the pictures you need to remember the moment. Then put your camera down, sit back and soak in all the joy around you.

      For 8 more, visit:  8-tips-for-taking-great-pictures-on-christmas-morning-childrens-portrait-photographer-scottsdale/

      Lastly, in case I don't revisit this blog before 12/25, I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Just Catching Up!

It's been almost a month since my last post, and I am sorry about that!  This time of year gets hectic for everyone - me included!  Every year, I always say to myself, "I'm not going to get caught up in the Christmas rush!" But somehow it always happens.  I was able to get some Christmas lights up  outside the house on Thanksgiving weekend but then we took a quick trip to visit my husband's family, and I have instantly fell behind.  In fact, the tree just went into the stand yesterday!

Despite all the craziness of the year, we all need to follow some tips.  Here are mine:

1.  Have a budget and a list and stick to it.  Santa has a list, and you should too.
2.  Try to buy as much as possible on-line and shop early.  Save yourself the time, headaches and feelings of stress by utilizing the Internet!
3.  Write a list of other 'stuff' you need to do and cross things off as you complete them.
4.  Break your tasks into small projects.  Instead of tackling the entire tree at once, maybe just hang the lights one night and decorate it the next.
5.  Take a break and give yourself permission to breathe.  And have a glass of wine - or your favorite beverage - and enjoy the moment.

So there you have it - a few little tips to help you relax in the 'less than 1 week' before Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I think most people think of the Mayflower and Pilgrims.  But did you know who set the fourth Thursday in the month of November as a national holiday?  President Abraham Lincoln.  This occurred during the height of the Civil War.  I felt it was important to share his Proclamation with everyone:

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Get Your Photos Off Your Computer & Into A Scrapbook

Picture taking has never been easier!  We have our digital cameras, I-phones, and I-pads!  The ability to digitally capture a moment or memory is available at our fingertips 24/7.  I looked in my iPhoto program and I have over 6,000 photos!  Wow - I really had no idea that I've had that many.  Can you imagine what 6,000 printed photos would look like??

It would truly be overwhelming.  Decluttering our photo program is another topic for another time, and I want to focus today on preserving the memories from your best photos.  So, where do you start?  Here are 3 tips from Rebecca Ludens, Scrapbook Expert:

1.  Choose Only the Best

Choose only the best. You do not need every photo on your scrapbook pages. Think about looking at this album 10 years from now. Which photos will remind you of the moment or event. Select only clear photos that tell the story or show the emotion. Look for photos that include close-ups, that do not have distracting background images, and that tell the story from a unique angle.  You may find that you have just one special photo that you want to highlight on a scrapbook page.

My First Half-Marathon

2.  Pick a Focal Point Photo

Pick a focal point. Once you have selected the group of photos that you will be using for your scrapbook page layout, select one photo that will be the focal point of the scrapbook page.  If you have a clear focal point photo, your scrapbook page will feel anchored. It will have a place for the reader’s eye to rest as she takes in the full story of the layout.

Notice the top photo is off center to draw attention

3.  Print Your Selections

Print your selections.  Now it is time to print your photos. Consider these two ideas:
1) If the paper that you have selected to go with your theme is overpowering or busy, you may want to print your photos in black and white.

2) You may want to print your focal point photo larger than the rest of the photographs to make sure that it is clear where the focal point is on the page. I frequently print my focal point photo as a 4x6 inch print and then print the rest of the photos a 2x3 inch prints (two per 4x6 inch page). You may also consider cropping some of the photos to be smaller in size.

If your photos are only on your phone or on your computer, when will your family and friends get to see and enjoy them? Also, when will you add that all important journaling to go with the photos. Print out some of your favorite pictures and scrapbook them today.

Happy Scrapping!

And if you need some supplies, visit my newly established E-bay store:  Create and Scrap.  New supplies added daily!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Beating Holiday Stress

It's November and before you know it, Thanksgiving is here, quickly followed by Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the crazy holiday season!  How can you best prepare for this time of year?

Stress is a HUGE factor between November and December.  We tend to place unrealistic high expectations on ourselves and as a result, we feel pressure, a sense of feeling out of control and sometimes unhappiness.  Fortunately, there are many little steps you can take to gain control, reduce the pressure and have a more enjoyable holiday season.  According to Connie Bennett, certified health counselor, you can:

  • Take calm-down breaks. Soon after you awake, close your eyes, take several deep breaths and meditate or just relax. Imagine yourself in a beautiful place, think of a happy memory or visualize yourself succeeding at a cherished goal. “Quieting down your mind before you begin your day can help it get off to a great start and things will flow for you,” says Debra Berndt, an expert in creative visualization and hypnosis and author of the upcoming book, Let Love In: Open Your Heart and Mind to Attract Your Ideal Partner. In addition, whenever you get stressed out, anxious or feel overwhelmed during the day, take quick relaxation breaks of 1 to 5 minutes to calm yourself down. Conscious, slow breathing can help you when you’re feeling frustrated waiting in line at the supermarket, post office or drug store.
  • Put on rose-colored glasses. When people try to push their bad habits on you during this holiday season, tune into their motivations. For instance, before you get annoyed at Aunt Jane, who keeps urging you to try a piece of her apple pie, or your co-worker Frank, who keeps trying to fill your glass with booze, first take a deep breath. Then, step into their shoes and realize that Jane is just showing that she loves you, and Frank is merely trying to be convivial. Then graciously thank them for their misguided attention. Rather than view your situation with annoyance, be grateful instead.
  • Get moving. Perhaps one of the best ways to overcome stress during the holidays or any other time is to exercise regularly. Research shows that physical activity not boosts your fitness and energy levels but can also elevate your moods. In addition, exercise has been found to reduce anger, tension, fatigue and confusion. Despite the many demands on your time, this is not the season to stop exercising. Indeed, when regular exercisers are inactive, they begin to feel depressed and fatigued after just one week, according to a study from scientists at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. Exercise also can give you that much-acclaimed “runner’s high.” Indeed, research shows that rigorous physical activity of any kind pumps up production of endorphins, your body’s feel-good neurotransmitters.
  • Go for real foods mostly. Inevitably, at this time of year, you’ll be tempted with sugary, empty-calorie “treats” just about wherever you go. But to be your most energetic, focused and happy self, it’s best to eat foods that grow on trees or on the ground (vegetables and fruits) and to choose healthy fats (such as olive oil and flax seeds), lean protein (such as fish and organic chicken) and legumes, nuts and seeds.Take polite portions of “comfort” foods and drinks. During the holidays, it’s easy to “fall off the wagon” and use—or over-use—alcohol, sugar and caffeine. It’s best to think before yu treat your body like a trash can instead of a temple. The best way to stay true to the best you is to limit your consumption of such comfort or pleasure foods and drinks as apple pie, cookies, pasta and eggnog. When offered these and other “goodies,” try to take three to five “polite” bites and sips—and only after having a well-balanced meal with smart carbs (vegetables, fruits or whole grains), fats and protein. (See Tip #4.) Be aware that if you’re a sugar addict, you must be especially vigilant when it comes to desserts and quickie carbs.
  •  Prepare “Nice To Do For Me" and “Need to Do For You” lists.  Writing down all that you have to do during the holidays will help you realize how do-able your tasks are. Be realistic as to what you put on your lists. Then start tackling one item from each list in turn. For example, after buying gifts for your mom or significant other, take time to work out, too. By alternating between lists, you won’t feel deprived, because you’re being good to yourself. Better yet, as Cheryl Richardson suggests in her fabulous book, Take Time for Your Life: A 7-Step Program for Creating the Life you Want, prepare an “Absolute Yes” list, which will reflect priorities that inspire you to use your gift of time well. “When you practice extreme self-care and put yourself first, you are then fully available to others without resentment or anger,” she aptly points out.
  • 7.  Be generous. One of the best ways to stay calm, content and cheerful this time of year is to act generously with your loved ones, co-workers and friends. This doesn’t have to mean you’re spending a lot of money. You can be generous with your compliments. You can generously offer to do a loved one’s dreaded errand. You can generously write a fun, short poem. When you are creative with your gifts and thank you’s, people will appreciate your real, heartfelt sentiments.

    With just a few simple tips and smart choices you can relax and enjoy your holiday season.  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

95 More Days to Christmas!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Great title for my post, huh?  We are within the 100 Days of Holidays, if you follow the Better Homes and Gardens newsletters and it's time to start seriously thinking about the holidays.  Halloween is always the 31st of October, Thanksgiving is always the 4th Thursday of November and Christmas is always the 25th of December.

It's not too early to start making your homemade Christmas cards, if you like to do that sort of thing.  A handmade greeting card show the recipient that you care.  You took the time to create something (if even if you copy it from Pinterest), it shows you care and you will bring a smile to the face of the recipient.

Making handmade greeting cards does not have to be fancy.  A simple sticker with a hand stamped 'Merry Christmas' is all you really need.  Speaking of stickers, check out some of the Christmas stickers I have available at Christmas Stickers.

I'll post a simple card I made later this week - it literally took me a few minutes to create.  In the meantime, it's Sunday - enjoy your day and happy scrapping!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Scrapbooking Supplies Availalble....Slowly but Surely!

It's been way too long since I posted, and I have lost my way and floated around for awhile, but I always seem to come back to scrapbooking.  I love it and feel it's an important part of our lives.  Maybe you don't like to scrapbook - that's fine.  Recording memories are so important for future generations.  And that is what I am passionate about - recording your memories.

Before I get into a rant about that topic, and it is definitely a topic for another post, I want to let everyone know that I am building both my Etsy store and Ebay auction list with scrapbooking supplies.  I'm not sure which one I will keep - maybe both - but for now, you can score some Christmas stickers and stamps by visiting one of 2 sites:

My Etsy shop:
Scrapsupplies Shop

My Ebay auctions:
My E-Bay sales

I appreciate your support and stay tuned for more posts, new supplies, new scrapbooking pre-made items and general stuff about my scrappy life!


Helping You Create Meaningful Memories