It’s Month End and Seven Will Win!

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It’s hard to believe December has come and gone so quickly! In just a few more hours, we will be saying farewell to 2010 (some of you already have). Here at The Daily Digi, we are winding down with issue #24 of The Digi Files!  We want to say a BIG THANKS to this month’s contributors!  We really enjoyed having them and getting to know them through their features and designs!

Kristin CB
Crystal Livesay (templates)
Kaye Winiecki
miss kim designs
Juliana (Ju) Kneipp
EH Studios
Laura Banasiak

You can see a close ups of all of the designers contributions as well as find links to their features (and some coupon codes that are still active) on the designers’ page.

You can get ALL of the goodies pictured here for just $5.00 or add the Playbook for only $7.50.  You can grab them in the store or through subscription.  Subscribers of all levels also get exclusive free goodies added to their accounts each month. Subscribers to The Digi Game receive access to huge exclusive collabs every four months that they are subscribed!  It really is the best deal in digi!!

We would love to hear about the things you enjoyed at The Daily Digi during December!  Post a comment and you could be one of seven to win $10 in product from one of December’s contributors!

We will be launching a very special issue of The Digi Files tomorrow, New Year’s Day, and our 2nd birthday!

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Katie’s Roundup Album

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It’s that time when we love to look back through the past year and reflect on the events and happenings that occurred. This is something that is particularly fun for digital scrapbookers as we discussed in the Paperclipping Digi Show podcast #29 The Year in Review. During that show I (Katie) talked about how easy it is for me to do my year-end recaps because of my monthly roundup tool. I’ve talked about roundups here on The Daily Digi before, but I thought it would be fun to show you how I simply took the information from this monthly exercise and turned it into a scrapbook album. It was SO EASY!

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ROUNDUP ALBUM INGREDIENTS:

Monthly roundup prompts as found on my blog. I fill these out at the end of each month and when it came time to make this album, I pretty much just copied and pasted the journaling right onto the pages.

Monthly templates. You can design your own or use some from one of your favorite digital designers. I chose Cathy Zielske’s The Monthly album set.

Papers and embellishments. I decided to use only papers in my album so it was more like a photobook. All the papers in my project are by Kaye Winiecki. I kept my format very basic by using the same background paper for every page and then adding a different accent color for each month. Of course you can add as many goodies as you want to, there is no right or wrong way!

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ROUNDUP ALBUM RESULTS:

I compiled at least one page of photographs for every month of the year and then included my roundup on the opposing layout. Each month has a minimum of a 2 page spread that both shows and tells what we did that month. There were several times that I ended up with 4 pages (or more) so I used some of the generic collages and/or altered some of the existing templates to stretch the layouts to include all the important memories from that time period.

Here are the main photo pages for each month of this year and the roundup journaling pages that accompany each of them:

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CZ_5_May12 copy

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CZ_FullPageJournal August

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I still have to do my December roundup. I never roundup the month until it is officially over.

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If you’ve been doing your roundups, you have an album just waiting to be put together! Or you can also use the information on a variety of other scrapbook pages. If you’ve never tried a roundup, it’s a great time to start! You can begin with January and if you keep going, you will have the easiest end-of-year review ever for 2011 and plenty of inspiration for scrapping all year long!

Find the roundup details here. You can also subscribe to my blog, or check back on the last day of each month for a regular reminder.

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Involving the Reader in Your Journaling with Chelle

We are so excited to have Chelle of Chelle’s Creations here with a guest post today! She is a master of word art titles and lots of journaling! Here’s a little more about Chelle:

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chelle_photo Chelle lives in a small rural community in northern Utah with her husband and four of their kids still living at home…two are away at college. She’s been scrapbooking for many years, but LOVES digi! Chelle can be found at ScrapMatters where she is a designer. Chelle’s journaling class: Tell Me More is starting again January 10th. You can register HERE. Chelle is offering a discount for TDD readers: 5offTMM4TDD

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Do you put off journaling on your layouts?  Do you skip it because you don’t know what to say?  Or you are afraid it will sound boring?  Good journaling can really involve the reader in the memory that you are sharing. I’d like to share a few tips for writing journaling that involves the reader.

#1: Actions speak louder than words.

Show with your words rather than telling. Too many stories seem flat and monotonous because their authors do too much telling.  What does that mean? It means show us that your son was devastated that as a three year old, he didn’t get to accompany his brother on the school bus. Talk about his actions. What did he DO that made you know what he felt. Clung to the bus stair railing? Slumped shoulders? Crying? Collapsed into a heap of tears?

The game was exciting? Earlofoxford shows us how exciting the Florida State vs. Clemson was:

(All images are linked)

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#2: Don’t argue your point, just present the evidence.

Besides making your story more interesting, Showing makes it more believable. By showing you support your case that your brother was a brat. Readers like to form their own opinions based on the evidence you present.

You had a bad morning? Show it:

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#3 If you want to catch a fish, you need a hook.

You will attract readers if the first thing they read is a hook: an interesting opening sentence or paragraph. Like this one from Amber565: “To protect my baby I had to kill hers…”

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The next time you are working on a layout, take a moment to think about these tips and how you can involve the reader in your journaling. The extra effort is worth it! I promise it gets easier with practice. Soon you’ll be loving your “new” journaling style!

chelle

Scrapbooking Challenges with Nicole Seitler

We are so happy to have Nicole Seitler here with a guest post today! If you’ve heard Nicole on the Digi Show podcast, you will know that she has a bubbly and super sweet personality. She also has a passion for scrapbooking! Here’s a little more about Nicole:

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profile_BW Nicole Seitler is a 34 year-old stay-at-home wife and mother to three (soon to be four!) beautiful children. She’s a Florida native and currently resides in sunny Sarasota, Florida. Nicole has been creating digital designs under the name Sugarplum Paperie since July of 2007. In February 2009, she embarked on a new adventure and became the owner of The Digichick (a digital scrapbooking shop and community).

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One of my favorite ways to get my photos off my desktop and on to a page is by playing along with a scrapping challenge! There’s something unique about having someone issue you a challenge… it’s hard to say no to a great one! Today we’re going to look at some of the advantages to regularly playing along with scrapping challenges at your favorite site.

If you’re like me, you might find that you let yourself off the hook too easily. I’m often telling myself that “I can always scrap later.” Well, if you do that enough, you might just find yourself at the end of the year with two completed layouts and a ton of guilt. (I’ve been there!) Or maybe you find that when the time comes and you’re feeling ready to scrap, you find that you don’t know what you’d like to write about or where to start as you arrange your layout. A case of Scrapper’s Block really stinks, especially when you’re in the mood to make something!

When someone issues you a great challenge, it can get you thinking–and fast! Playing along with your favorite challenges is like having a helpful girlfriend who reminds you of all the cool things you could try with your next page… all those little things you’ve been meaning to try, but just forgot about. It often gives me the itch to run to Photoshop right away and get to scrappin’. And I also find that it’s a great time saver for me! Someone has already done a lot of the thinking and planning. All I need to do is take up the challenge and scrap a page! I often find myself saying “You know, I’ve always wanted to make a layout like this but I haven’t done it yet. Well, why not now?!” I’ve found playing along with challenges to be the kick in the pants I need to get my pages done! The rush of finishing a challenge before the deadline is a great motivator as well.

I was really excited to get a chance to spend all day on Digital Scrapbooking Day scrapping. My husband was busy, my kids were entertained. It promised to be a great day! But sadly I found that when the time came, I wasn’t really in the mood! So, I took up a challenge at the Digichick to get myself back in the groove and I’m so glad that I did because I like this layout (even though I can’t wait to switch out this picture of me for a more flattering one–LOL!):

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Just knowing that other people where playing along too and that I had a deadline to meet kept me going. It’s fun to get to do things together like this! Being a part of a community is a wonderful thing. Sure, I love scrapping just for the love of scrapping! But scrapping with friends, even if you’re all in different parts of the world, is just a blast.

Another great thing that I love about a good challenge is when the hostess really gets you thinking about your journaling. It’s so tempting to just smack a date and a label on a page and call it done. But what does that say about the person in the picture or the place where it was taken? Our photos have stories hiding in them. It’s our job to coax them out. But that can be a rather intimating job, too! Challenges can be a big help when it comes to getting you to pull the meaningful stories out of your photos–or to even tell your stories without photos! Here’s a layout I love that I wouldn’t have even made on my own, without the help of a challenge:

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I’ve been a paper scrapbooker for years and I still love it! But I’ve found over the last two years–I simply don’t have the time for it! I’m here, in front of my beloved computer all day… so why was I not digi scrapping “full time?” So, I resolved: this year I’m committed to making my 2010 album be 100% digital! And I’ve found that the best way for me to reach this goal was to not only play along with challenges, but to host them as well. I like scraplifting and I love being on creative teams. But those things alone don’t get me thinking in quite the same way that a good challenge does. So, this year I applied and I was accepted as a member of the Digi Dares creative team (I’m still on Cloud 9 about that, by the way)! Here’s one of my layouts for a challenge I recently issued on the Digi Dares

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And I also hosted a scrapbooking challenge during a weekend event at a popular rubber stamping site that I used to be a part of years ago (called Splitcoaststampers – it’s the DST of rubber stamping). I created this layout for that challenge:

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I don’t think that I would have even made these layouts if it wasn’t for hosting these challenges. I was grateful for the opportunity to not only scrap something meaningful to me, but to get to encourage others to do so as well!

So, how do you get yourself immersed in the world of challenges? Where do you start?

First, the good news is that there are some great challenges going on all around you all the time in the digi world! Start by asking yourself “What’s my favorite site?” and then look at what they’ve got going on. Most every digital scrapbooking shop will run some sort of weekly or monthly challenge that you can jump right in to. And playing along at your favorite scrap shop is also a great way for you to win yourself some prizes in the process! So, be sure to start by checking out what’s going on at the places you already frequent.

Here are some other recommendations:

  • The Daily Digi has a great list of places to start looking for challenges here: Digital Scrapbooking Challenges
  • The Daily Digi also hosts it’s own fun monthly challenge, From the Files.
  • One of my own favorite places to find a good challenge (for years now!) has been The Digi Dares. The Digi Dares will actually soon be celebrating it’s 4th anniversary!
  • Another really great place I like to find challenges is the Creative Inspiration Blog.

I hope you’ll try out some new challenges for yourself as a way to wrap up your pages for the year! And I hope you enjoy playing along with them as much as I do. Happy scrapping!

nicole

Using Patterned Paper In Your Scrapbook Layouts

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Digital designers create some very bold and beautiful patterned papers, but sometimes they can be intimidating. The last several months in the Playbook, our team has been overflowing with design tips for using patterned paper in scrapbooking. I thought it would be fun to ask them for even MORE tips and include them in a post here as well as grab some resources from around digiland.

Jenn says:

“I love using patterned papers for page borders, as well as mats behind photos:

supplies: TempBlends 3 Plus 1 by Jenn Lindsey, Trick or Treat by Kristin Aagard, Greenhouse Bits #1 by Jenn Lindsey, Chiller font

“If I’m doing a layout with a ton of journaling or photo blending, then I will use a solid color for the main part of the layout, to keep it from looking too busy, and then layer in different patterns on the rest of the layout.image

supplies: TempBlends Vol. 6 by Jenn Lindsey, Mischief Maker by Micheline Martin, It’s Bath Time by Jofia Devoe, Small Typewriter Medium font

I particularly love when kits come with a nice variety of patterns in varying sizes and colors because I love layering patterned bits and strips. If there isn’t a wide variety of papers in a particular kit that I’m working with, it sometimes becomes difficult to achieve the look I’m going for without searching for coordinating papers from the rest of my stash.”

Trina says:
“My biggest tip would be to not let the patterns overtake the photos – you can do that by cutting up smaller parts of papers so they’re not overwhelming. If you’re using a pattern as the background, use a solid color as a matte to help draw the eye to the photo. Also, try to coordinate the colors in the patterns with your photos (or turn the photo B&W) so they don’t conflict with each other. Stacking them underneath photos is another way to get a lot of patterns on one page.”

Princess by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr
Inkle Star by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr
Why by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr
All Girl – TDF 24 by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr

My Love by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr
Happy by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr

2010 Smiles by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr

Beauty of Dreams by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr

Belly Time by slurpeegirl13, on Flickr
I like how Heddy uses small bits of patterned papers under the photos in this layout. Just a little bit is all it needs, but it really adds a lot to the layout:
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In this layout, Heddy uses a patterned paper as her background paper and then uses solid strips to frame the journaling. She put the journaling on a softly lined paper:
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When adding journaling to a layout, it is easier on our eyes if the journaling is on a lightly patterned or solid paper. If the journaling is on a patterned paper, it will compete with the pattern for our eyes attention and isn’t very visually pleasing. Liz’s template helped me place the three background papers, then I added a journaling matte, a photo matte, and photo spot. I knew with this many patterns, I would need a solid paper for the journaling.CallMeSweetie

Supplies: Scrapping With Liz Background Templates II, Call Me Sweetie by Sir Scrapalot

Here are some other great resources for tips on using patterned papers in your layouts:

Episode 43 of The Paperclipping Digi Show:

[audio: http://traffic.libsyn.com/digishow/pds043-xxu.mp3…

Get It Scrapped: Ideas for Scrapbooking with Patterned Papers Dots and Stripes
Get It Scrapped: 6 Tips for Using Patterned Paper Backgrounds on Your Scrapbook Pages

suzyQ Scrap-along – Patterned Paper

If patterned paper is something that intimidates you, take some time to check out these resources. Along with our tips, it won’t be long before you are ready to try going BOLD with some patterns!

Boxing Day

In many countries around the world, today is Boxing Day. We don’t celebrate Boxing Day here in the United States, but it does sound like we have some similarities as the day after Christmas is a big day for returns here. We have several Daily Digi team members who live in Canada and Australia so I asked them to tell us a little bit more about this holiday.

Trina

Traditionally, it was the day you ‘Boxed up’ everything you didn’t like and took it back to the stores to exchange it for stuff you wanted instead.  Then because of the sales it became so that pretty much nowhere will take an exchange or return on Dec. 26 (or 27) because they are just too busy.  There are huge blowouts on all the leftover Christmas stuff – we got our tree one year insanely cheap (like 80% off), we just had to wait a year to use it.  People start lining up Christmas Eve after supper at some stores (mainly electronics ones) because they have the door-crasher specials and limited time offers.  I can’t stand it and never, ever go – we did once, 2 years ago, because my in-laws really wanted to go and ended up spending 3 hours in line in one store with a cranky 10 month old.  Not fun lol.  But if you’re into deals, it’s a great time to shop and stock up.

Melissa S.

Aahh, boxing day… Sitting in front of the tele watching the Boxing Day Test (cricket). My family celebrates it with our cousins – a laid back barbeque with ice cream sandwiches and Christmas treats for dessert. It’s a relaxed and casual day for us, before everyone goes back to work for those couple of days before New Years Day.

Heddy

In Canada, Boxing Day is our big sale day, much like America’s Black Friday. People line up at 5am, there are doorbusters, etc. However, just like Black Friday, it goes on longer than just the one designated day. You can find Boxing “Week” sales that are quite good.

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Here are a few more fun links to explore for Boxing Day:

Happy Boxing Day!

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Funtastic Friday – Christmas Eve Edition

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It is most definitely a busy time of year! Here at The Daily Digi, we are getting ready to close up another month and issue of The Digi Files, forever!  We’ve revealed all of the contents and really enjoyed learning more about the designers.  Here’s a look at what you will find inside The Digi Files this month:

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Be sure to check out the designers page (for links to their features and some coupons that are still active) and a closeup preview.  Grab your copy of The Digi Files in the store or through subscription (subscribers get extra exclusive products all month long, it’s our way of saying THANKS!)

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The Digi Show will be taking next week off, but we recorded a very fun and inspiring episode this past week.  We had Christine Newman (Listgirl Designs), Debbie Hodge, Katie Nelson, Izzy Hyman and myself on the show to talk about “Year In Review” albums and layouts!!  We love them as digital scrappers!  We came up with some great ways to complete these projects and were all ready and inspired to SCRAP when the show was done!

You can listen below or in iTunes; Izzy has a video on his site explaining how to do that OR you can see our tutorial with screenshots: Tutorial for Listening in iTunes.  You can join in the discussion about the show after listening if you want.  You can listen below, subscribe in iTunes, or subscribe through our RSS feed.

[audio: http://traffic.libsyn.com/digishow/pds029_bbm.mp3]

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I can’t believe it’s been one year since Janet started selling her templates at The Sweet Shoppe (I miss working with her everyday):

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Peppermint has this gift for our readers (and hers 😉 ):image

Allison Pennington has this grab bag right now:
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Chelle’s Creations has a great sale going on right now:
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Connie has a coupon for you:
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Today is the last day for the 12 days of Christmas at A5D and they are concluding with a storewide sale of 25% off:
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Today is the last day of freebies from Jenn:
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Wendyzine has a free gift as well:
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Here’s a great deal from Jennifer Labre:
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kstudio has a sale going on in her personal store:
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Catscrap has Designer’s Choice Friday where select products are 50% off for 24 hours only, and it will be a Christmas Eve edition:
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Kami (Ziggle Designs) and suzyQ have this new collab out:
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Listgirl has this well-loved template out AND readers of The Daily Digi can use the coupon code PDS029LG (0 is a zero)  to get 25% off anything in her store through 1/1/11:
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Kate Hadfield has this new collection out today and it is 20% off today through Sunday:
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We hope you have a great holiday this weekend and are able to make some memories with the ones you love!

P.S. Sharon was the random winner selected from the comments in yesterday’s post on bokah!  Congratulations!  (People are going to start calling fowl I’m affraid, if you keep winning 😉 ).

How To Photograph The Lights of Christmas

I’m super excited to learn these bokah tips from Katrina (and practice them over the next week before the holidays are over)!  Be sure to read to the end! 😉

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image “I eat, breathe, write and teach Photography! My camera is my most often worn accessory. I am a mom with a camera who feels compelled to capture my son’s life. I was frustrated by my search to learn how to use my camera and knew I had to pass on the knowledge I gathered to help other moms capture their favorite subjects. I started out with a film SLR years ago,on auto. Moved to a dSLR in 2002 on auto and in 2005 finally decided I needed to know what TV actually stood for!”

Katrina teaches photography classes at Get It Scrapped. Writes photography tutorials for DesignerDigitals and blogs about her life through the lens at About A Boy.

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I love lights at Christmas! They add a special bit of magic to the holidays.

The blurred lights in the background of photos are called bokeh. Christmas lights give bokeh a unique, artistic look.

The aperture of your camera determines the size and shape of the circular light effect. The wider your aperture (the smaller the f/ number), the larger and more circular the light will be.

Let’s have some holiday fun! Grab your fastest lens, the one with the smallest f/ number. I’ll explain three ways for achieving bokeh:

  • Manual Focus Bokeh (the easiest and most artistic method)
  • Aperture Priority Mode Bokeh
  • Manual Mode Bokeh
  • Point & Shoot Bokeh

Each method will work with any lens, but the lens with the widest aperture (smallest f/ number) will give you the best results.

Please turn your flash off for these methods. You can take bokeh photos in daylight or at night! Try both to see what you can produce.

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Manual Focus Bokeh

For this method, your distances to the subject and your lens choice aren’t as important as the next two methods. The key is to have lots of lights you are pointing your lens at. Even a small portion of your Christmas tree or a string of lights will work for this. Multi-colored lights work especially well.

1. Select Program (P), Aperture (AV or A).

2. Select Spot Metering.

3. Turn your lens to Manual Focus.

4. Turn your lens focus ring until the lights form large circles.

5. Press the shutter button.

5. Check your results.

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ROUND BOKEH In Aperture Priority Mode (AV or A)

Leave distance between your subject and the lights to create bokeh in this method. The more lights, the more glowing circles you will have.

1. Select Aperture Priority Mode. (AV or A on the top dial)

2. Select Spot Metering.

3. Move your Aperture to f/1.4, or your widest aperture (smallest f/ number). Your camera will select the shutter speed when you point your lens toward your subject.

4. Double-check your shutter speed.

-If it is faster than 1/50th move to the next step.

-If is it is slower than 1/50th, and you are hand holding, move your ISO up until your shutter speed equals or is faster than 1/50th

5. Press the shutter button.

6. Check your results.

Round Bokeh In Manual Mode (M)

If you want something to be in focus in front of lights, this is the method to choose!

1. Select your widest aperture (the smallest f/number).

2. Select Spot Metering

3. Meter on your subject for a correct exposure.

4. Looking through your viewfinder, adjust your shutter speed until it indicates a correct exposure (the middle line on your light meter). Adjust your ISO and shutter speed, leaving your aperture at its widest number.

5.Shoot.

6. Review your results.

Round Bokeh with a point and shoot

Point and shoot bokeh is a bit trickier, but not impossible!

1. Choose the Macro mode (flower mode).

2. Turn off the flash.

3. Focus.

4. Shoot.

5. Check your results.

6.Play with changing your distance to change the light effect.

Have fun! If you want even more tricks for playing with light I have a fun tutorial, Give Me Your Best Shot: Capturing Lights in the store at DesignerDigitals! One lucky commenter will win this tutorial!  Comments must be posted by midnight ET tonight and the winner will be posted tomorrow.

P.S. Nettie was the random winner of Ali’s class Yesterday, Today; Nettie check your email.  Thanks to everyone who entered! Come back tomorrow for another winner.

Free Spot details

Code for free spot in class ytDIJMPSUX3469

To redeem your free seat in Yesterday + Today, please follow these steps:
1) Visit bigpictureclasses.com/login.php to create a new account, or login to an existing account.
2) Once logged in, visit http://www.bigpictureclasses.com/yesterdaytoday.php and click the orange “Purchase” button at the bottom of the page to add the class to your shopping cart.
3) In your shopping cart, enter your unique code in the “Promo Code” box and press the “Apply” button. You should now see the total price as $0.00.
4) Click the “Checkout Now” button.
5) Please enter your billing information (note: you will not be charged for the class) and agree to the Cancelation Policy and Terms of Use.
6) Click the “Checkout” button.
7) You should now see an “Order Accepted” screen. Click the “Complete Transaction” button to add the class to your account.
8) To access the Yesterday + Today classroom, click on “My Classes” and click the “Enter Classroom” button! Enjoy!

Stop Shoulding On Your Scrapbooking (+ giveaway)

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alpha by CD Muckosky, papers clipped to alpha by Sir Scrapalot

When I was in school (back in the day), I remember talking to one of my teachers and saying, “I should…” His response to me was, “The world would be a better place if people would stop shoulding on themselves.”  That phrase has always stuck with me and I actually use it a lot.  I have taken it to mean that we either need to decide to do something  or not do something, but not look back with guilt or regrets.  The word “should” often comes from a place of guilt…especially in scrapbooking.  If we change that SHOULD to WANT, it creates a whole new feeling.  Let’s take a look:

I should scrapbook more.
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I want to scrapbook more.

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I should use more embellishments on my layouts.
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I want to use more embellishments on my layouts.

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I should try using less stuff on my layouts.
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I want to try using less stuff on my layouts.

Dictionary.com defines the word should as:
must; ought (used to indicate duty, propriety, or expediency)

The great thing about scrapbooking is that there aren’t any rules and there aren’t any SHOULDS!  As you move into the New Year, resolve to do what you WANT in your scrapbooking…what makes you happy…what is fulfilling to you! If you want to try something different or new….GREAT!! If you are happy where you are….AWESOME!!

Remember; there are no requirements, no rules, so stop shoulding on your scrapbooking!!

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Today, we are offering a spot in Ali Edward’s popular class, “Yesterday, Today”. Here’s a little about it:

Join popular blogger and scrapbooker Ali Edwards,  along with a diverse group of memory keepers, as they learn to make meaningful connections to their past in order to live their life in a more thoughtful way. Projects are limited to one layout a week that address the questions listed below:

  • Where do you begin creating with photos from generations past?
  • What do you wish you knew about your parents when they were growing up? What life lessons do you want to pass on to your children?
  • How do you document the challenging times in your life?
  • How do you create layouts that tell special stories when you don’t have any photos?

Please leave a comment by midnight ET, Wednesday, telling us why you want to take this class.  A random winner will be chosen.

If you aren’t the person selected to receive this class for free, you can use this coupon code to get 10% off the cost of “Yesterday, Today”:
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P.S. Tamara was the random winner chosen from yesterday’s comments on Laura’s post!  She won $10 in product from Laura! Congratulations Tamara!