Using Card Templates on Non-Pocket Pages

Made using In My Life by Studio Basic

I’m always wondering if I’m using my products to their full potential. I like to stretch my digital supplies by re-colouring, re-sizing and re-imagining their purpose. Part of the reason why I like pocket scrapbooking so much is because I can use my kits on a “regular” page and then turn around and use them on a pocket scrapbook page and have it look completely different.

Similarly, I can take a pocket-page geared product and use it on a regular page. I love photo collage templates for pocket pages. Here is a set by Lili Niclass at The Lilypad:

I thought it would be easy to use the template on a traditional page. I opened a template in Photoshop and selected all the layers:

Then I used the Move tool to drag it on a blank 12×12 canvas.

The template was only 4×4, so I englarged it to suite the larger page. (Katie talks about how to enlarge a template, including step-by-step instructions, in this post called My Favourite Template Trick.) Lastly I rotated the template because my photos were landscape orientation.

I used the lovely Studio Basic kit included in this month’s The Digi Files called In My Life to scrap the page:

And here’s the finished page:

Supplies: 4×4 Photo Templates No.1 by Lili Niclass, In My Life by Studio Basic Designs; Font is Papercute

I hope this helps you think of new ways to use your digital supplies!

DIY Photo Booth for a Wedding or Special Occasion

A post about weddings in November??  Yes! Even though November is not the top wedding month, it is a perfect time to PLAN for those summer weddings!

I recently had the honor of helping out a dear friend of our family with a few things at her wedding. One of the things I did was create a DIY photo booth for the guests to be silly, have fun, get their photos taken, and leave a note for the bride and groom.

Here’s how I did it…

The Details

I knew that this photo booth would center around taking the photos on smart phones and printing them using my hAppy printers. The printers do such a great job and are acid free and lignen free. The prints are stickers instantly when they are printed, which I knew would make things super easy!

I wanted photo cards to put the hAppy prints on, so each guest could have one to take home. I designed photo cards in Photoshop and had them printed on regular card stock at PersnicketyPrints.com. These were very affordable at Persnickety and the quality is fabulous!

I bought the Project Life Heritage Edition, because it matched the couples wedding colors.  As guests waited to have their photos printed out, I had them take a Project Life card and write the couple a note:

Then, we printed one extra copy of each photo to put on a card in the Project Life binder, next to the note from the guest:

I was traveling from out of state for this wedding, so I needed a back drop that was portable, which limited my options quite a bit.  I created a back drop in Photoshop using some fonts, dings, and the fill bucket at 300 dpi, in the dimensions I was going to have the canvas printed.  I ordered it as a vinyl back drop from a company online and unfortunately, the experience of placing the order, and then getting a size smaller than what I ordered makes it so I can’t recommend that company. 🙁

The print turned out great, but I had designed it so the word art was 1 foot below the top, where the seem would be. As you can see, it didn’t turn out that way. It was difficult to get the word art in the photo and not wall or ceiling too.

I had grand ideas of using my Silhouette to print and cut cute photo booth props, but my Mac and my Silhouette were not playing nicely that weekend. So, the day of the wedding, my husband and I stopped at Wal-Mart, and a regional party store, and grabbed a bunch of props. Thankfully, having a wedding close to Halloween helped:

Here’s a wide view of the photo booth area, the props were behind me:

My oldest two kids helped out quite a bit and I was so thankful to have them there (I’m not sure I could have done it on my own):

The guests really, really enjoyed the photo booth. Many of them commented on how happy they were to be able to hide behind props and that made it more fun. I was asked several times if I had a business doing this and I always thought to myself, “No, I already have enough of those…lol.” But, I usually told other people that I am only doing this for my friend because I love her.

If I were to do it again:

  • I would take a photo with the guests cell phone as well as mine, so they would have a digital copy as well.
  • I would tell my kids ahead of time to not delete the photos of their devices. My plan was to add all of the photo to DropBox so the couple would have digital copies, but my kids deleted all of the photos before we even left the venue. 🙁
  • Having another person or two to help make sure the right photos were put next to the right notes, would have been really great.
  • Using the multiple hAppy printers worked out really well and, as always, people were excited about the ability to print from a cell phone.

We had so much fun, and even though it was exhausting, it was well worth all of the effort!

iOS 7 How To

Our stats indicate that we have a lot of readers on iOS7. I’m sure part of that is because we have The Daily Digi iPhone apps.  I upgraded my phone this last week to iOS7, the day it was available. I have to say that I am in LOVE!

As I started figuring out some of the hidden goodies inside, I wondered what iOS7 might have that I wasn’t aware of. I did some Googling and found some really helpful resources to help me find my way around.

I am excited to try Airdrop and several other things I haven’t gotten to yet. I really LOVE the updates to the Photos app!  Being able to sort my photos by moments, location, or years is pretty cool. Here’s a look at my screen in the Photos app in the Years view with tiny thumbnails of all 3,229 photos on my phone:

I can scrub through those photos and larger views pop up, when I stop on a photo, it opens when I let go.

Here are some of the posts I found that have been helpful to me:

Have you upgraded? What are your thoughts?

Fixing a Slow Computer

SlowComp

Supplies: LIP kit: Funktography Edition by Peppermint Creative

It’s happened most of us at one time or another – one day, you are just sitting down to scrapbook and Photoshop takes forever to load. Then, as you are trying to open your scrapbook supplies folder, your computer thinks and thinks and thinks before opening your supplies. It’s clear you’re dealing with a slow computer. Obviously something has to be fixed and quick!

These are the things that I try when my computer is acting slow – but I am not a computer expert and anything you try is, of course, at your own risk. When in doubt – take it to an expert!

Rebooting

Sometimes a reboot is enough to solve the problem – this is especially true if, like me, you rarely reboot or power off.

Clear the recycle bin

When the recycle bin is very full and you’re low on disk space, it slows down the overall computer speed, so emptying it regularly is a good practice.

Check for viruses

First check that your virus definitions are up to date in your protection software. Once they’re up to date, run a full scan. This can take a while, but it’s worth the piece of mind.

Pro Tips

Read tips for improving your computer’s performance from Macworld and Microsoft:

And a word on backing up

Sometimes a slow computer is the sign of a more serious problem on your computer. Having a back up and recovery plan in place is important. You can back up online, onto an EHD, copy files onto memory sticks or even DVDs. My current back up strategy is to back up to an EHD and an online back up service provider.

If your slow computer takes a turn for the worse and “dies”, your back up and recovery preparations will save you a lot of money (because data recovery is very expensive) and heartache over lost photos, videos and scrapbooking supplies.

As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and Katie shared some excellent tips on keeping your computer running in tip top condition. So, once your slow computer is cured, read her tips for how to keep it that way and you’ll be scrapping happily. Smile

If This Then That

A long time ago on The Digi Show, Peppermint’s pick was If This Then That, IFTTT.com. I loved the idea of the site, but didn’t get around to using it until a couple of weeks ago. But once I got in there, I thought, “Once again, Peppermint’s pick has changed my life.”

With this site, I can set up just about any action to occur when triggered by an event. So far, I’ve set up:

  • having an email sent to me when someone posts on their blog, (that doesn’t have an email subscription available)
  • having a text sent to me when I get an email from a specific email address
  • having a post made to my Capturing Magic Facebook page WITH a picture in it when a new post is made on the site

Some cool things that can be done with IFTTT:

  • if I post a new photo to Instagram, have it sent to DropBox too
  • text me the weather every morning
  • save any Instagram photo I like to Evernote
  • back up text messages to Evernote

You can find recipes people have created by browsing here. What about you? Are you using IFTTT? What are you doing with it?

 

Bits and Bytes: April

BB-april

Supplies: Kraft Edition Becky Higgins’ Project Life

Hello! I’m here with another month’s edition of Bits and Bytes. Some amazing resources relevant to digi scrapbookers are linked-up so that you can enjoy some of the best of the web in one convenient spot.

Let’s get started!

Photoshop Essentials File Format Guide

Have you ever noticed how many file type options there are when you hit “save as” in Photoshop? This handy guide explains the handful that the average user is likely to need.

Basic Recolouring Video Tutorial

image

Chelle’s Creations put together a clear and easy video tutorial about how to recolour elements. You should definitely check out her entire YouTube channel! Such a great wealth of information to be found on techniques like embossing, internal shadows, and so much more!

Project Life Planning in Lightroom

image

Christine Newman (aka Listgirl) put together an amazing video tutorial about how she uses Lightroom for planning her Project Life pages. (Bonus – she provides her PL Lightroom template!) For anyone doing Project Life in physical format, this is a great way to “check” if a design works before taking the time to edit, print and crop your photos.

Adjustment Brush in Lightroom

Evidently this is a month for videos for me! One of the best but least understood Lightroom tools is the adjustment brush. This detailed video will take you through many of the great ways that you can work on specific portions of an image without having to go into Photoshop.

Advanced Drop Shadows Tutorial

image

Suzie is an amazing scrapbooker – and part of her secret is amazing shadows. Check out her gallery here to see what I mean. She put together this great tutorial about how to take drop shadows to the next level.

Google Afterlife

Do you have a Google account? If you’re a planner, you might consider visiting your account page to set up what happens to your account if it’s been inactive for a specified amount of time. Here’s what Google says:

…you can choose to have your data deleted — after three, six, nine or 12 months of inactivity. Or you can select trusted contacts to receive data from some or all of the following services: +1s; Blogger; Contacts and Circles; Drive; Gmail; Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams; Picasa Web Albums; Google Voice and YouTube. Before our systems take any action, we’ll first warn you by sending a text message to your cellphone and email to the secondary address you’ve provided.

So, whether you want your stuff to disappear or be sent to your spouse, you get to decide.

I hope you found something interesting today!

Writing on a Photo with the Online Photo Editor PicMonkey

image

It’s always interesting to me to look at our Google Analytics and other site analytics and figure out what people are looking for when they come to our site. From piecing things together, it seems a lot of people are interested in learning about how to write on their photos or add text to a photo, without using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.

Katie did a post a while ago on online photo editors that included a few options.  Today, I’m going to show you how to write on your photos (and even add word art to them) quick and easily using PicMonkey.

PicMonkey is free for basic (and even not-so-basic) editing including text, sharpening, adjusting colors, adding effects, collages, and adding word art. They recently launched a paid version as well that has additional features.  The paid version is $4.99 a month or $2.75 a month when you sign up for a year. Not bad at all, if you want some of those additional features and effects.

For those of you that would like to know how to get text or writing on your photos without the expense of a photo editing program, here we go…

PicMonkey

To get started, just head to PicMonkey.com and click on the handy “Edit a photo” button in the top left:

ScreenClip(158)

A window will open where you can navigate to the folder your photo is stored in on your computer. Click on the photo to select it and then click OPEN.  Here’s what my window looked like once I had opened my photo (one of my all-time favorites of my kids):

ScreenClip(159)

I want to add some type, so I click on the letter P on the left:

Adding_Text_to_a_Photo

This pulls up all of the font choices, they are grouped by style (which is a fun thing). Any of the fonts (or other items, for that matter) with a crown next to them are only included in an Upgraded account:

Upgraded_fonts

I’m going to use the Serif font Special Elite for the first part of my writing on the photo. I’ll click on the font name and then click on the Add Text button:

PicMonkey_font_choice

 

Now, here is what my screen looked like:

ScreenClip(160)

Next, click where it says, “Type your text here” to get a cursor and then start typing. The only setting I changed bellow was to center justify the text:

ScreenClip(161)

Next, I’m going to hit enter for a new line and then I selected the Marcelle Script font and changed the color to a nice yellow:

ScreenClip(162)

Now, I’m going to highlight the word sunshine and drag the size slider to make it larger:

ScreenClip(163)

I want all of the words to be a bit larger to fill that space. So, I will highlight all of the words and use the slider to make them all bigger (but it will keep the word Sunshine a larger size than the rest of the text):

ScreenClip(164)

I moved the text slightly and then, once I was happy, I clicked save. Here’s the window I got next (it made me laugh):

ScreenClip(165)

Here’s a look at my finished photo:

You Are My Sunshine

Now, what if you have some really cool word art from a digital scrapbooking kit that you want to add to the photo? Just click on Overlays in the menu on the left:

Adding_Word_Art_in_PicMonkey_001

Then click on the “Your Own” button and then find the file you want to use, click on it, then click OPEN (I’m using word art by CD Muckosky):

ScreenClip(166)

When I imported the word art, PicMonkey sized it down a bit. I was able to size it back up with the corner handles without a problem. I also clicked and dragged the image to the upper left corner:

I saved this using the same steps as above. Here’s what the finish product looked like:

CaptureLoveThreeKids

I loved that photo before, but now it SAYS something too…literally!

I had a lot of fun playing in PicMonkey, have you used it for any quick effects? I would love to hear what you’ve done in the comments!

Scrapbooking High Resolution Layouts On a Tablet

Scrapbooking On a Tablet

I will happily admit that nerdiness is in my genes. A couple of weeks ago, while out to breakfast with my dad, he was showing me a new app he was using on his iPad to remote into his computer back at home (an doing some programming). I was blown away that it had all of the functionality of using a mouse and keyboard while remoting into your own computer. I was thinking about how great it would be to go on a trip and only haul my iPad to accomplish work things that needed to be done on the road. Then, suddenly my mind started swirling with all of the OTHER things I could do like scrapbook in Photoshop, tag photos in Lightroom, and so much more!

TeamViewer allows you to access your desktop (even if it is asleep or locked) from your tablet or smartphone (I don’t want to try and scrap on my iPhone though). With it, you have access to everything that is on your computer: programs, files, external harddrives, etc.

TeamViewer is Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android compatible. It was really easy to set up, I just downloaded and installed the software from their site, and it walked me through everything. I downloaded the app and entered the code TeamViewer on my desktop gave me along with my login information that I had previously set up.

When I came home from visiting my parents, I downloaded TeamViewer to my laptop as well as my iPad. I scrapped one whole layout via TeamViewer (see my video below of me scrapping my very first layout on my iPad using TeamViewer), here it is:

image

Supplies used: Template from Star on Top by Amy Martin (collab with One Little Bird), kit is Little Miss Sunshine by Erica Zane, fonts are Lobster Pro and Fontologie Printing Primer

 

Some Tips For Scrapping On Your Tablet Using TeamViewer

  • I had a folder of layouts with photos already placed in them that I had put together for the Album Builder post that still needed scrapping. This turned out to be very handy for scrapping using TeamViewer.  (Anna is no longer selling her scripts in a store, but has said she will sell them if you contact her.  Also see Katie’s post on Power Scrapping).
  • At first, I tried to scrap with all of my usual programs running, I found it much better to close everything except PhotoShop (having Photoshop open on my computer before remoting in via TeamViewer worked best).
  • If I was going to scrap more than one layout, I might have Lightroom open as well, so I can look for supplies. I got lucky on the layout in the video, I honestly had NO idea what I was going to use and the first kit I went to worked perfectly, as if it was planned.
  • At first (in the video below) I had my iPad connected to an external keyboard via bluetooth. It actually caused greater problems with TeamViewer. Once I disconnected it (at the end of the video), I was able to easily use keyboard shortcuts via the TeamViewer interface.  So I don’t recommend using an external keyboard.
  • I remembered the tip of using File> Place to open a product and have it placed directly on the layout at the very end of the video. That would have saved TONS of time if I would have used it the whole way through.
  • I wasn’t able to enter values in any of the boxes that allow it, I had to use the sliders. I’m not sure if it was because of the external keyboard or not, but I kind of think it wasn’t.

Here are some screenshots:

Photo Mar 08, 12 18 52 PM

This is what the screen looked like on my iPad. Notice the keyboard button on the bottom right and the TeamViewer tab on the right side in the middle.

Here are the gestures you can use for various tasks (it shows this everytime you start the app):

Photo Feb 23, 12 07 29 PM

To drag the plaid paper onto the template, I just tapped and dragged it over:

Photo Mar 08, 12 22 40 PM

When I tap the keyboard button the above is what comes up. Each icon has a different menu it will bring up. The keyboard button gives us this:

Photo Mar 08, 12 23 45 PM

To clip the paper layer to the shape layer below it, I can now tap on ctrl+alt and then tap G and voila! It’s clipped!  (If you were using Photoshop Elements, you would only need to tap the ctrl button).  Here’s what it looks like when ctrl and alt are selected:

Photo Mar 08, 12 27 34 PM

You can see in the image above there is another keyboard button at the top of the menu. If you tap on that keyboard, this is the keyboard you will see:

Photo Mar 08, 12 23 25 PM

Now, you can arrow to move stuff around, which is super helpful when scrapping on a tablet. I didn’t figure this out until I was almost done creating the layout in the video below.

To create the video below, I recorded my computer screen as I was scrapping on the iPad (if you are in email or a reader, you will need to come to the site to view the video). I don’t know of a way to record the screen on the iPad (outside of screenshots). But I think this does a great job as well. There is no audio because…well…it’s just not necessary. The layout took me just over an hour to create from start to finish. I sped the video up just a little, so it’s about 40 minutes long.

The video is me creating my first layout on the iPad using TeamViewer, so I do make some mistakes as I go. Hopefully, they will help you do a better job. It’s also my first time creating a layout from start to finish in CS6 and as I go through Character settings in the Character menu toward the end of the video, I was super excited with what I saw!! I can’t wait to start using it more!

I am really excited to think I can sit and tag photos while waiting for my kids to finish school or lessons.  I also have the very perfect vision of sitting on vacation, by the pool, and scrapbooking on my iPad using TeamViewer to access my laptop back home. The other day, I was getting my hair done and got an email from Wendy about some files on the server that needed to be moved for my team. So, I hopped on TeamViewer and was able to move the files (mostly successfully) on my laptop that was back home. Now that I am getting used to the gestures and remembering to move the mouse to select and then tapping, instead of just tapping before moving the mouse; I’m really enjoying using the apps.

It is slightly slower than using the computer directly, but the portability is a really great tradeoff!

What do you think you might use TeamViewer for? Are you going to give it a try?

Dropbox 101

Dropbox 101 tutorial how to

Ever since Peppermint shared on The Digi Show some of the ways she uses Dropbox, I have been hooked and use it for so much. It’s one of those things that I’m really not sure how I ever got along without it.

What is Dropbox?

Dropbox is added to your computer (Mac and PC) and looks just like a folder on your harddrive. You can access the contents of this folder from your computer it’s on, any internet browser, as well as any smartphone or tablet you install it on.

You can share folders or give access to any of your folders to anyone with a Dropbox account. You can also send links to contents in folders to other people, so they can download.

The Dropbox site also keeps version histories of files and folders, so if you accidentally delete or save over a file, you can restore it from the site.

How Much Does It Cost?

You can get up to 2GB of space for free. If you invite someone to share a folder or sign up for Dropbox and they sign up, you earn more space, up to 18GB.

Paid plans start at $9.99 per month or $99 a year for 100GB of space.

How Do I Start Using Dropbox?

Starting is really easy! Just go to the Dropbox site and download the application, run it, and you are ready to go. You will want to download the iPhone or Android apps if you have those devices. If you have a tablet, you will want to download apps for those as well (from your app store).

Setting up a FREE account is as easy as entering your email address and verifying your password. \

What Do I Need To Know?

If you share a folder with someone or invite someone to your folder, everything you do in that folder is live and will happen for them as well, until you unjoin or disconnect others. If you delete a file, add a file, unzip a file, etc. it is live for everyone that has access to that folder.

In order to share a folder, you need to log into your account online, it can’t be done from your desktop.

There is a GREAT help guide on the Dropbox site.

Some Good Uses For Dropbox

  • Camera Upload – I have camera upload set up so anytime I’m connected to wi-fi and open Dropbox on my phone, it automatically starts uploading photos to my Dropbox photo folder.
  • I save documents, logos, and contracts to my Dropbox folder so I can access them easily when I’m not at home. There have been many times a team member or programmer will email me while they are in the middle of a project and need just one thing. I’m always happy when I have it in Dropbox and can save it for them OR move it to our shared folder.
    • This came in really handy when we’ve moved and I’ve had to work on getting kids registered for schools. I was able to have our proof of residency and everything else I needed in Dropbox, just in case. There was more than one time that I was able to email a document to a school secretary while we were filling out paperwork.
  • I have a shared folder set up with just about everyone that does any work for me so I can easily get files to them and from them without having to worry about file sizes.
  • I have folders that I’ve shared with people that were at CHA and Disneyland this past January. Everyone added their photos and were able to grab everyone else’s pictures as well.
  • I have folders shared with my family members so we can exchange photos.
  • I used it to transfer files from one computer to another.
  • I use it to store itineraries and information for vacations and business trips, so it can be pulled up on my phone or iPad easily as needed.
  • Here’s a look at my folders:

DBFiles.

Google Drive

Google Drive is very similar and offers many of the same options. It also seems to be less expensive for more storage. Although I’ve been using Google Drive for a very long time, I just recently downloaded the desktop application and am not as familiar with it.

What do you use Dropbox for?

Steph: Where Do You Print Your Photobooks?

Probably the biggest question I see in my inbox from readers is, “Steph, where do you print your Photobooks now?”  It’s usually written after someone reads the Photobook Printing Review post I did a while back.

My answer has always been the same: I still print my photo books with Adoramapix. I did print one book with another company since I wrote that review, but I was so disappointed, I’ve since stuck with Adoramapix.

Here’s the list of why I still choose Adoramapix for printing my photobooks:

Print Quality

It always matches what I see on my monitor. There aren’t any surprises (note: I calibrate my monitor). The prints are photo quality and don’t have the graininess or noise that so many other photo books have.

A Custom Cover That Is Easy To Design

I love that I can design the cover to wrap all the way around the spine of the book and what I see in the Adoramapix software, is how it will print. I don’t need to use any templates or anything special to have the cover look exactly the way I want.

Custom Inside Covers

It’s so fun to be able to design the inside of the covers to coordinate with the opposite pages and/or the cover.

Thick Pages

I love how thick the pages of the book are!  There will be no bent pages in this book!

 

Lay Flat Binding

After having photo books with lay flat binding, I don’t think I can ever go back!  Sometimes, I have to look hard to see the seems.

Double Page Spreads

I can upload a 24×12 double page layout and drag and drop the whole thing onto a page and just click on “fit to page” and that’s it! I don’t have to divide the layout into two 12×12 layouts in Photoshop first.  No worrying about lining up the center seems on two 12×12 layouts.

Value

One of the only concerns I hear from readers (before they try Adorampix) is the price. I promise you, considering the quality of their books, it is a VALUE! But, they do quite often run HUGE sales, so sign up for their newsletter (I think you have to register to get on the list). I have found that when they show the sale price for a 14 page 8×8, the same discount usually applies to the same size with more pages.

There is a sale going on now (ends 2/14) and you can get a 14 page 8×8 book for $9.99 (WOW!) (regular price is $25.95) using the coupon code: PXLOVE8x8

You might want to check out their blog, where you will find links to all of the different places you can connect with them to find out about sales.

From the readers that have tried Adoramapix photo books for their printing, I usually hear that they are converts too.