Roundup Your Month

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Janet asked me (Katie) to share my monthly roundup idea with the readers here at The Daily Digi. I came up with the concept of recapping the events of each month back in January of 2006 and I haven’t missed a month since. It is by far my most useful memory keeping tool! The basic idea is to take some time to close out the ending month before you forget the details. If you take time to jot down your memories, you are more likely to remember them and you will have an organized system to refer back to for your scrapbook journaling. I find myself looking back through my past roundups for other reasons also – like to find out when I last went to the doctor, or when did so-and-so get married? I have tweaked this tool a little bit since I started and I have found that by answering these simple questions each month, I’m able to accurately record the daily events of my life.

Here are the roundup questions:

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?

What movies, television shows, plays, etc. did I watch this month?

What fun things did I do with my family and/or friends?

What gifts did I give and/or receive?

What special or unusual purchases did I make?

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?

What were my accomplishments this month?

What were my disappointments this month?

Anything else noteworthy to include?

You can add more questions if you want or you can choose to answer only a few, feel free to customize this tool to best meet your needs. After I answer the questions I just post them to my blog and my roundup is done. If you don’t have a blog, just save them on your hard drive or print them out, just be sure to save them! If you want to see how I do my own roundups you can view all of them by exploring the roundup category on my blog. I post a lot of pictures with mine, but you don’t have to do that. The important thing is to take a few minutes and answer the question prompts to help you record the important everyday details of the past month.

How do I remember everything I’ve done during the month when it comes time to do the roundup? Well, I look back through my personal calendar, my blog posts, and even my email archives. If you post on social sites like facebook or twitter, reviewing your posts can also be a great memory jogging activity. You will be surprised at how much information you can find when you simply review jotted down notes on a calendar. The best part is that you will always have material for journaling! I often refer back to my roundups for scrapbooking ideas and sometimes I create a page based on the actual roundup for a specific month.

Free template by Janet Phillips, Months and Months by Steph2, Journaling font is CK footnote. Journaling details taken directly from my September roundup.

I also post a PART 2 for the roundup each month to help with organizational tasks. I admit that I don’t always do all the things on this list, but I still love having the reminders each month so I don’t get too behind on any of these things. I ALWAYS answer the questions, for me that is not optional. The tasks in part 2 are important as well and I always feel so much more organized when I get them done, but I don’t worry too much if I miss a month now and then.

Here are the tasks that I suggest you do at the end of each month to prepare you for an organized and creative month ahead:

  • All digital pictures uploaded to my hard drive, uploaded to flickr (or any offsite photo storage site), and backed up to DVD. Ideally, these activities should be done every time you process any pictures through your computer so you don’t lose any precious files.
  • Choose photos or digital layouts to be printed out and get it done while you are thinking about it.
  • Backup any other documents or files as needed. I use an external hard drive. I use backblaze as an offsite backup, and I also upload many documents to Google docs. I don’t like to lose stuff!
  • Backup your blog if you have one. (Typepad backup or blogger backup)
  • Clean off work area and empty inbox or clear up papers that have been piling up. I always end up with a messy desk by the end of the month and it feels good to get it under control again, even if it doesn’t last long.
  • Clean off your computer desktop as well. Unzip files and put them away. Here’s my digi organization system if you are interested.
  • Change desktop background to something new for a fresh start to the month! Free desktop resources right here.

I post the roundup questions and tasks on my blog on the last day of each month so if you want a gentle reminder, I will be glad to help you there. I personally set a goal to have my own roundup by the 4th day of the new month. I have found that the longer I wait, the harder it is to get it done. I share all my roundups on my blog, but don’t feel like you have to do that. It is ok to just keep the records for your own use. If you do have a blog though, it is fun for your readers to see a snapshot of your life and I bet they will soon want to start their own roundup tradition!

When you combine the roundup prompts with a few month end tasks, you will find that you feel ready to begin a new month. Tomorrow is the last day of October so why not end the month in scrapbooking style and get your own roundup done? You will be so glad you did!

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Tutorials My Oh My!

If you follow us on Twitter at all, then you have seen some tweets with links to tutorials. I (Steph) have been saving a few of my favorites the last little while to share with you. Some of these are very basic for beginners and others are more advanced, but at least one of them will have something for everyone (I admit that I learned something new from each of them)!! Here they are:

For beginners: Photoshop Crash Course

Misty has this awesome tutorial about loading files into layers (written for PSCS3).

Dawghouse Design Studio has a tutorial for creating an aged photo.

PSD Vault has 5 Highly Applicable, Yes Easily Overlooked Features in Photoshop.

Deke McClelland has this tutorial for layers, but I learned a lot about the Color Range Command from it.

Photoshop Essentials has this great tutorial on Saving, Loading, and Using Layer Styles

Finally, Smashing Magazine has an article on finding offline inspiration (written for web designers, but applicable to us too).

I absolutely love learning new techniques for my programs! Hopefully, you will be inspired to try something new-to-you from one of these articles!

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Food Photography

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I love taking pictures of food. With as much time as I sometimes put into cooking/baking and the fact that the end result only lasts a few minutes, I like to preserve my work in photos. I love looking at pictures of our favorite foods, new attempts at recipes, and fun perspectives of a huge part of our life! Since a lot has already been written on the topic of food photography, I will just offer a few tips and then point you in the direction of some great sites to visit.

My Top Five TIps

1. Turn off the flash! I can’t tell you the number of food photos I have seen that people have posted with bright light spots on them and dark shadows behind. Food photos are best taken during the day with natural light coming in. Food and flash don’t mix!

2. Angle is everything: Food is most interesting/tempting to look at from specific perspectives. Look at the food you are trying to photograph and figure out what you want to capture. Take photos from different angles to see what looks best.

3. Use a macro setting or a low aperture. By focusing on something specific in the photo, it makes the image more appealing. Find a spot you want to focus on, lock focus, and then reposition your camera using the rule of thirds.

4. Take pictures of your favorite foods. Food plays a very significant role in our lives. So much of our time is spent shopping, cooking, and eating. We also spend time and money going out to eat. Why not take pictures of it to share that oh-so-important part of your story?

5. Use pretty backgrounds. No one is going to want to look at your beautiful food if they are distracted by something behind the food. A messy kitchen, toys, a glaring TV, and messy-faced kids can take the oomph out of your photo. Find a plain background with colors that will look good with your food (ie if you are photographing spaghetti, don’t use an orange background!)

Here are some other great sites you can look at:

Ten Tastiest Food Photography Tips (photojojo)

Food Photography — An Introduction (Digital Photography School)

Michael Ray Photography

The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Bakerella

And here are few of my recent food photos

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SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT — The Digichick

Spot Lit Wall

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I am so excited to share with you our monthly store sponsor.  This month we have had the privilege of having THE DIGICHICK with us. Nicole Seitler has done an amazing job recently with redesigning the site and making it one amazing place to shop and hang out!  The shop is filled with beautiful kits, unique elements, and awesome hybrid goodness!  They have so many gorgeous things in store…I can’t wait to show you.  But first, I want to show you the kit they created for THE DIGI FILES 8.  This kit (as well as everything else in the grab bag) is only available for a few more days!  Don’t miss out on your chance to get it.

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Isn’t it GORGEOUS??  I just love all the deep, rich colors.  So warm and cozy!  Here are some layouts by our team.

karen-rob-the-day-you-were-born-071Layout by Karen: ELHAS from TDF8, Darcy Baldwin and Lauren Reid Gimme Space font; Traveling Typewriter font

katieremember-1Layout by Katie: The Digi Chick kit from The Digi Files 8 (every life has a story), flowers from Weeds n Wildflowers, journaling font is Darcy Baldwin Tracy Script, Template by Natasha Nast

take-my-breath_web1Layout by Janet: ELHAS from TDF8, staples by Shabby Princess, alpha by CD Muckosky

tdd_ana_tdcLayout by Ana: Every Life has a Story, TDC Collab (TDF8) / Question mark (alpha) Softly Falling, Dani Mogstad (TDF8) / Template Pack 7, Kaye Winiecki / Font DJB Sweet Robin, Darcy Baldwin

remembersmallProject by Kelly: ELHAS from TDF8 (she is turning this into a 12×48 canvas!)

homecoming2009Layout by Rachael: ELHAS from TDF8, Template #40 by Yin Designs

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The Digichick was established in 2005. Many talented designers in the digi world have called it their home at one time or another. With its open gallery and forums, the Digichick strives to be a place for the community to come and play. We currently have 32 (soon to be 33!) talented designers in the Boutique. We have a wonderful group of creative team members, our Digital and our Hybrid Chicks, and staff who keep our site hopping with lots fun stuff to do (like our Chickie Challenges) and cool things to learn about (like on our Hybrid Chick blog).

STORE: The Digichick

BLOG: The Hybrid Chick

SOME OF OUR BEST SELLING PRODUCTS

Cupcake Box Template Set by Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs
Luvbug by Mari Koegelenburg
Click. by Kelley Mickus
TKFlourish font pack by TK Whimsy
Blissful Morning by Gypsy Couture
Doctor’s Orders by Pamela Donnis
My 365 Days element pack by JM Designs
Flight of Fancy mini kit by Elise’s Pieces
Confessions of a Digi-Scrapper by Dawn Inskip
Vibrant Memories by Pri Rocha

1. Kim says: “My mom’s cooking. Anything she makes tastes better to me, even if I can make it better, just because she is my mom!”
2. Mel says: “Cheesecake!”
3. Donna says: “Doo Wop music from the 50’s.”
4. Elise says: “Candy Corn, a little too much lately, dangit.”
5. Kelley says: “All things coconut.”
6. Jane says: “My never ending cup o’ coffee.”
7. Lisa-Marie says: “OPI’s Lincoln Park After Midnight polish.”
8. Kelleigh says: “The smell of the tops of my boys’ heads when they just get out of the bath.”
9. Pam says: “Baking on Sunday afternoons with my kids.”
10. Angela says: “A clean house.”

1. Nett says: “That the microwave kills the internet connection on my computer.”
2. Danielle says: “When someone touches my nose in any way, shape, or form.”
3. Courtney says: “When people interrupt me when I’m reading or on the phone.”
4. Mari says: “Sweaty, warm weather.”
5. Vanessa says: “When someone says that sleeping is for the dead. I bet that when I’m dead I won’t feel myself sleeping… so what’s the point?”
6. Jana says: “Cold feet!!!!!!!!!!”
7. Nicole says: “Bugs in the house!”
8. Ale says: “Spiders.”
9. Vivienne says: “Mint flavored toothpaste (love cinnamon flavored) or mint gum or anything.”
10. Kim says: “The sound of someone brushing their teeth without the water running (like nails on a chalk board).”

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And here are some of MY favorite TDC products!

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And here are some more TDC layouts by TDD team!

karensam-mrs-lee-beginning-2005Layout by Karen: Kelley Mickus Beginnings; Lauren Grier Layered Up in You Edge; Font is 1942 Report

katiehappy-1Layout by Katie: Cafe Latte by Nicole and Tracie at The Digi Chick, Jumper template by Crystal Livesay at The Digi Chick), fonts Arial Narrow and CK footnote

rachaelfreshmanreception2009Layout by Rachael: Back To School Collab by Melissa Wilson and Mari Koegelenberg Creations, Template from Collection #1 by Janet Phillips at The Daily Digi

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Layout by Steph: Hot Hot Hot by The Digi Chick designers (collab), fonts Howie’s Stamps and Traveling Typewriter

rachaelplutohascharacterLayout Rachael: Wooden Alpha by Sugarplum Paperie, Summer Celebration Collab by The Digi Chick, Template by Janet Phillips (Grab Bag #5)

stephaddictedtodigiLayout by Steph: Confessions of a Digi-scrapper by Dawn Inskip and font is Traveling Typewriter

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A BIG thanks to The Digichick for being with us here at THE DAILY DIGI this month.  We just love what your site has done and are excited to see it continue to grow and evolve!

As a thank you to our readers, TDC wants to give you a coupon!

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A Trip Through Our Town

As scrapbookers, we take lots of pictures. Lots and lots and lots of pictures. However, it is so easy to miss the every day things and places…the stores where we shop, the sites we see everyday, our favorite little spots hidden away. Because we see these things on a regular basis, we often forget to record them as an important part of our lives. What we need to do is take a trip through town! Then, scrap the photos and forever preserve your every day sights.

Check out a few of the pages by our team!

around_penang_450CLICK TO MAKE LARGER

Layout by Jacki:A couple of my girlfriends and I have been taking an afternoon a week to shoot photos in and around the island where we live. We have two goals – to learn to take better photos and to create a photo book of where we live. We’re only on our third week and it’s been so much fun!

Supplies: Modern Damask paper by Amy Wolff, Serendipity Alpha by CD Muckosky

thisisourtownCLICK TO MAKE LARGER

Layout by Steph: “I had always had a love affair with Seattle. As a teenager, I dreamed of living there. We were able to work and live in Seattle for two years while Matt went to graduate school (1998-2000). Even after moving 45 minutes away, we loved visiting Seattle to attend museums, events, go to dinner or go shopping. Each time we would round the bend on the freeway and I could see the skyline on the horizon, my heart would beat fast. I love that place!!

This past May, when we knew we would be moving out of state soon, we went to Seattle one last time and visited all of our favorite places and took photos. We walked through Pike’s Market, drove past the Space Needle, watched the ferries from the waterfront, played at Sand Point Park, showed Jacob our apartment, and ate dinner at Anthony’s (fish tacos of course)! Sometimes, my heart aches for this city, we have so many good memories there! For 12 years we lived in or near the “Emerald City”. I am so thankful that we took the time to visit it one last time and take some photos because I don’t want to ever forget how much I loved it there!

SUPPLIES: Papers, label strip, stickers, and Memory wordart from Click by Kelly Mickus, circle stitching by Zoe Pearn, alpha and stitching by TDC (TDF8), template by Yin (TDF8), raindrops by Kelly Mickus, “sunny with chance of rain” wordart by me, labels Weeds and Wildflowers, fonts: traveling typewriter and susies hand.

auburn2009-1Layout by Rachael: Softly Falling by Dani Mogstad from TDF8, Yin Templates

So, what are you waiting for?

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Happy Saturday

Due to some computer/internet issues on my end (like I can’t keep a connection for more than a few minutes) I won’t be sharing our regular post. However, I did want to make sure that none of you miss a FABULOUS Halloween post by Katie the Scrapbook Lady on her blog.  She has tons of links for crafts, Halloween treats, and more.  You can see it HERE.

Friday Flyer – October 23, 2009

Make sure you scroll on down to see the great, fun, FREE cupcake wrapper template!

Here’s what’s up in digi this weekend!

Designs by Lili is having a Moving Sale:

Misty has this coming out Saturday morning: Snakes, Lizards and Crocodiles, oh my! Misty Cato and SuzyQ Designs have teamed up to bring you Slink, Slither and Plod, perfect for young adventurers and reptile-lovers everywhere.

And make sure you follow us on Twitter @dailydigi for tips like these:

We Love Typography – An excellent showcase site of beautiful typography

Ten Most Popular Firefox Plugins of Web Designers

Digi Inspiration from Misty

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