You Asked…We Answered {part 1}

youasked

Thank you so much for all of your questions the other day! We are really glad that people felt open enough to ask what was on their mind. There were some GREAT questions! Some of them will be answered all in their own post, and some we will do throughout the next few weeks in a series of “You Asked…We Answered” posts. Today is part one.

YOU ASKED…

“I’m just wondering what’s the easiest way to keep track of credits (you know, all the wonderful designers) while doing a layout. I want to give credit where credit is due, but sometimes it feels like such a daunting task while I’m in the moment. Thanks for all you do! You’re all awesome!”

WE ANSWERED…

Keeping track of credits can be a tough activity. With tons of kits and element sets out there and the freedom to mix and match to our hearts content, how in the world do we remember who made what when it comes time to post in a gallery? One of the best tricks I learned was this: when you are creating a layout, create a layer WITHIN THE LAYOUT that contains a text box. As you add elements, papers, etc. write it on that layer (turning the visibility of the layer on and off while you work). Since you have all the papers and elements already open, the file names usually tell you who made it so it is easy to do. When you are done with your layout, turn off the visibility (click the little eye icon in your layers palette), and save your .psd file. When you go to post in galleries, if you can’t remember something, open your file and check your credits.
Another simple way that works for many people is just to keep a small notebook next to your computer while you work. You can add credits as you go. You could also keep a running list on a document on your computer.

The key to this is to write it down as you go. Don’t try to rely on your super-scrapper memory to get it right.

YOU ASKED…

I would love a tutorial about editing eyes in photoshop!!! Ever since you did a post on editing a photo you mentioned about a tutorial at a later date for eyes. Each time I see a Photography Class post I hope it is that one. Not that I don’t love the other ones, I just look forward to it!

WE ANSWERED…

Sorry you missed the follow-up post. The post from February 17th, called She’s Got Her Daddy’s Eyes, is a simple tutorial for making those eyes truly shine (without making your subjects look like aliens!)

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YOU ASKED…

I’d love to hear more about your personal scrapping style and how you’ve chosen to record your family’s memories. Do you keep chronological scrapbooks? Theme albums? Something else? I’ve thought a lot lately about changing my own style and it really helps to get inspiration from other great scrapbook artists. 🙂 Thanks for this opportunity!

WE ANSWERED…

I will answer this personally, but I am going to throw it out there to our team, too, to see the different ways we can do this.
When I was a “paper scrapper” (and I use this VERY loosely because I think I did about two pages a year) I fretted over how to organize my albums. When my first child was born, I fretted even more. Should I make a baby album? If I had a picture of us on vacation while she was a baby would it go into a vacation album, her baby album, a family album, or all three? I was seriously confused and it was the number one thing that kept me from actually scrapping the memories. And then I was at a friends house. At the time, she had six children (she has seven now). She had just gotten some photos back from the developer and in it were SIX copies of a particular photo. I asked her why there were so many. She told me it was so that picture could go in all six of their albums. At that point, knowing I wanted a big family some day, I KNEW I would have to find a way to not have separate albums. There was no way I was going to recreate a page three, four (or more) times. Even once I found digital, and “recreating” a page is as easy as printing multiple copies, do I really want every page I do to be printed four times?

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All that said, I decided on a family album. I don’t scrap chronologically (WAY too boring for me) but I do put them in the albums chronologically. Almost every page I do goes into that year’s album(s). I love the cohesiveness of the running tale of our family. There may be a page about just one child, but it goes into OUR albums. I have no baby books. I have no separate vacation albums. Right now, as a family of six, we have ONE story. Our lives all intertwine and we have one tale to tell. It works well for us. When they are older, I can let the kids pick and choose pages that they want for “their” album. I can reprint those pages, leaving our family story together. And I do say “pick and choose'” because there is no way they are going to want to lug EVERY page I have done about them to their freshman dorm room 😉

The only albums I keep separate are my All About Me album (which is dedicated to layouts that are JUST about me) and a Christmas album. I go back and forth about just adding these to the family story. I also frequently make mini albums for stories about a vacation, a special time in our lives, or about anything that makes me happy 🙂

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I also highly recommend Stacy Julian’s book, The Big Picture. In it she describes her method (including only doing five pages a year per kid!) and albums that carry titles such as, “People We Love” and “Places We Love.”

YOU ASKED…

I’m a fairly new digi-scrapper. Occasionally, when I download a kit, I see a file labeled _MACOSX. When I open it, I don’t see anything that I need to keep. What is this? Why is it there? Do I need it? Inquiring minds need to know please!

WE ANSWERED…

I will be honest to say I have never done a thing with that file. It has always appeared in files that were created/zipped on a Mac computer. When I click on “get info” for the file, it registers as 0kb so I have left it alone (since it doesn’t take up space). You can delete it if it bothers you.

A reader answered with this explanation, “These files come from people who design on a MAC computer. After downloading (make sure you have the little box clicked to open file after downloading)(DO NOT UNZIP!!!) & look at the contents of the download then grab(right click & hold) the file with the name of the kit (or whatever else) you were downloading then drag ONLY that file to whatever file on your computer that you are saving it in & drop it there. Don’t move the file with the _MACOSX on it or any other part of the download. Now go to the file where you moved the kit file to & open that file. You will find all of the contents in that file & there is no need to do anything further!! If you need more help with this, leave me a message & I can email you a tut with pics to help you out!! Hope this helps!! Hugs!!”
But again, I have never touched the files and never had an issue with them.

YOU ASKED…

One of the most important aspects of making a digital page look “real” is the shadowing and I find it so hard to get it right! What do you do? Do you have a set formula that you use? Do you use a separate layer for your shadows. I see some people use shadow actions. I want the most realistic shadows possible but don’t really know how to get them using PSE?? Would love you advice on this. Thanks.

WE ANSWERED…

Great question! Shadows are not my strong point and I have relied mostly on drop shadow actions with a little tweaking here and there. Steph has a GREAT acticle on shadows with tons of tips and links to tutorials. You can find it HERE.

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More questions and answers to come in future posts!

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