Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Autumn Wedding

Hello everyone. If you read my last post then you know that my grand-daughter was recently married. Of course I took my camera to the wedding! I have to admit, though, that I took very few photos at the wedding. Instead, I handed my camera to my daughter & son-in-law's foster daughter, Laura, and let her take pictures. I didn't want to spend the evening with a camera in front of my face and Laura not only took a lot of beautiful photos, she had fun doing it. I loved having my very own "assistant" taking pictures for me.

I went to work editing pictures from the wedding shortly after the wedding. Then started creating digital pages with my wedding pictures as soon as I finished editing them. Here are some of my favorites:

 Family Digital Layout

 Special Moments Digital Layout

 The Reception

While I'm on the subject of wedding photos, I think this would be a good time to share a few tips that might be helpful if you are planning to attend a wedding sometime soon.

The pictures that were used for my Special Moments layout were taken in the church after the wedding. I usually don't take pictures when the professional photographer is taking formal pictures directly after the ceremony. It's not only distracting but it takes up the photographer and the bridal party's time. I let Laura take those pictures because our photographer, Ursala Houser, was busy setting up her equipment. I put my camera away as soon as she was ready to shoot. The professional photographer and the wedding party have a limited time to get those formal photos in before their arrival at the reception. If you want to get fed on time, it's best to put your camera away or take pictures elsewhere during this time.

Laura and I took the pictures that were used in the Family layout while we (Ashley & Dale's parents and grandparents) were greeting wedding guests before the ceremony. Ursala and her assistant were busy elsewhere then so I felt free to take pictures without being in their way. This might also be a good time for you to take pictures.

The reception is fair game. Everyone has their cameras out then and it's a good time for candid photos. I do try to keep out of the professional photographer's way when I'm taking pictures at a reception. For instance, when I took pictures of the garder toss (which my youngest grandson caught!) I checked to see where Ursala's assistant was standing before shooting my own pictures.  By-the-way, Ursala wanted to attend the reception as a guest so she hired an assistant to take photos during the reception. Which brings me to my final tip.

If you're planning your own wedding and thinking of inviting a photographer friend or family member in hopes that he or she will take pictures for you, think again!! Ursala is a family member and she doesn't take her expensive camera anywhere unless it's going to make money for her. Not even family events! Sometimes I'll hand my camera to her at an event. Other times she'll hint that "someone" needs to take pictures of so-and-so and usually that someone turns out to be me. So even though we have a professional photographer in the family, I'm the official photographer at family events (other than weddings) and I'm by no means a professional photographer.  If Ursala is the official photographer at a family wedding she gets paid for it. And that's the way it should be.

Have a good day and thanks for visiting my blog!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Journey of a Lifetime Digital Scrapbooking Layout Idea

My grand-daughter, Ashley, got the chance of a lifetime a few years ago when close family friends asked her to spend the summer with them in Belgium. Ben and Jenny needed a babysitter for the summer and Ashley relished the chance to visit Europe. Ashley spent her weekdays babysitting and her week-ends sight-seeing with Jenny. I’ve been thinking about creating a StoryBook photo book with the pictures she took for awhile but haven’t had the time to get to it. When the Traveler Digital Kit was released I had to do something with it and started with Ashley’s pictures. Here is the first page I created:

Hopefully, I'll be able to find some time to finish this book .... in the near future!

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summer Adventures Digital Scrapbooking Layout Idea

Hello everyone! I hope that all of you are keeping cool on this hot afternoon! I dread August every year. I’d really rather be at the other end of August instead of at the beginning. Right now our outdoor thermometer reads 107 degrees! And it’s not going to get much better tonight …. our low is suppose to be 81 degrees. Yikes! I need to go to the beach! At least I can scrapbook beach layouts .

I took the pictures featured in today’s layout while camping with our family a few years ago.  It was so nice to be able to escape the August heat for a few days!

Have fun scrapping your summer adventures and thanks for visiting my blog.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Journaling In Your Travel and Vacation Albums

Hello everyone! For the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some tips and ideas to help you create a travel and vacation album. Today I’m going to share some journaling ideas.

The day my husband and I married in 1980, he became “dad” to my three daughters from a previous marriage. Our first trip together as a family was a road trip from our home in California to my husband’s home state of Connecticut to visit his family and friends. We bought a Datsun popup camper shortly after we married and as soon as school was out for the summer we were on our way. I finally got around to creating an album that included that first family vacation 25 years later. Fortunately, I kept a journal then and it really came in handy when journaling about our travel experiences.

We’ve traveled quite a bit since that first vacation and I’ve kept journals during all of our travels. I use a simple spiral bound notebook or a small loose leaf day planner when we’re traveling and keep notes that include my thoughts and feelings and whatever else I want to include in my albums. Later, when I’m ready to create an album, I use my notes to journal about our travel experiences. Here are some tips and ideas for journaling in your travel and vacation albums:

1. When writing in your travel journal, include details – things you may not remember when creating your album. If it’s something you know you’ll want to include in your album, write it down in your notebook or journal while it’s still fresh in your mind.
These are two of the pages I created with the pictures we took during our first vacation in 1980. Considering that these pages were created 25 years later, there is just no way I would have remembered the details included here had I not written them down when they happened.

2. If you are traveling with children, write down all those cute and funny things the kids say and do. Then make sure that you include them when you are journaling in your album.
sheepeater cliff These pages are from our 2004 Vacation Album. My husband and I spent part of this vacation with two of our daughters and their families in Yellowstone National Park. I had already journaled about the events that took place on this day on another page so I didn’t have a lot to say. Instead, I used the space here to write down what my grand-daughter, Amanda, had to say about the buffalo we saw on the road, “He’s probably waiting to get his picture taken.” :)

Again, I rather doubt that I would have remembered that Amanda even had anything to say about any buffalo we saw had I not written it down in my journal.

3. To save space in your albums, use your computer to type long narratives and print them on cardstock or other photo-safe paper. Typing my journaling on my computer not only saves space in my albums, I have the added advantage of being able to edit what I’ve written. I never fail to make mistakes when I’m journaling and it’s really frustrating to have to write what I’ve already written a second time. Typing my journaling on my computer and editing what I’ve written saves me that frustration (not to mention the time it takes to write it out a second, or third time!).

Here are two examples of computer generated journaling:priceless 

While you’re at it, you can also type a title for your page like I’ve done in the above example. I use my StoryBook Creator Software to create typed journaling and title boxes for my traditional albums. It gives me the added benefit of being able to add digital enhancements to my journal boxes and title boxes. Here is an example from my 2005 Vacation album.

traditional page 2

4. Finally, use photo-safe, fade-resistant pens when you hand write in your albums. Creative Memories pens are both photo-safe and fade-resistant.

So that’s about it for today. Thank-you for visiting my blog and have a good time scrapbooking your travels.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

New blog design

I spend almost the entire day re-designing my blog today. I woke up early with an idea on my mind and thought it would only take me a few hours. But, as usual, I ended up taking much longer than I expected. I tried several times to upload my own background paper and finally gave up - no matter how many times I changed the size, the file was just too big. After trying at least 20 different background designs, I finally decided to go with the black polka dots. Now I wonder what it would look like in white with black dots ..... I just might go back and see what that looks like!

Update July 8th:
I finally figured out what size I needed to make my background to get it to upload! Then spent another day playing with the design and ended up making even more changes. I had way too much fun! I think I'll keep it this way for awhile.

Anyway, happy July everyone! Hope you had a great 4th of July ..... and that you took lots of pictures!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Photo Tips for Moms and Grandmothers

I'm a grandmother so I know from experience that taking pictures of kids at any age can be a challenge. Young children are especially challenging when you want to take their picture. Here are a few tips that will help you take better pictures of your children (or your grandchildren if you're a grandma like me).

1. Get up close and personal.

Professional photographers will tell you to fill the frame with your subject .... in other words, get close to your subject. You don't have to get right in their face - you can use the zoom on your camera lens or even crop it when editing your photos - but do get close. Getting close eliminates distracting backgrounds and puts the focus on your little one's beautiful face.

Accept for the background clutter, I really liked this picture of my grand-daughter just the way it was. I actually thought that it was close enough. But, when I cropped it just to see what it would look like I was wowed by the results.

See the difference? By cropping in close I was able to remove the background clutter and focus on my grand-daughter's cute little face.

2. Never try to force an unwilling child to pose or smile for a picture. 

The only thing you're going to get by trying to force a child to pose for a picture is a picture of an unhappy child.
Case in point - Several years ago my son-in-law and I wanted to get a pictures of my two youngest grandchildren with their older brother and his fiance. It was Easter Sunday and the kids were dressed in their new Easter outfits .... perfect time to get pictures, right? It might have been if my youngest grandson had of been willing to have his picture taken. He wasn't! And the more we tried to get him to smile, the more he resisted. He would either cover his face with his hands or make faces - whatever he could think of to keep from having his picture taken. Fortunately this situation turned out okay. But, it could have been avoided altogether had we simply waited until my grandson was willing to have his picture taken.

I took this picture of my grandson and his cousin after he had calmed down  and was willing to let me take his picture. We eventually got him to laugh and that changed his mood quite a bit. This time I  let him do what he wanted and got a much happier picture of him.

3. Instead of trying to get a young child to pose or smile for a picture, get him to talk about his favorite subject.  

Young children tend to be a bit awkward when posing or even smiling for a picture and my young grandchildren are no exception. After a few awkward pictures of my grandson I started asking him questions about some of his favorite subjects and he ran with it. We must have talked about everything and anything that was on his mind for at least a half an hour or more. All the while I had my camera in front of my face and he hardly noticed that I was taking pictures of him the entire time. The above picture was one of the pictures that I took and it's one of my favorite pictures ..... one that will be cherished for a lifetime. Talking to children about their favorite subjects while taking pictures of them takes a bit more time and patience but the results are well worth it.

Okay, there you have it. I could go on but it's late and I finally got my cat in so I can go to bed (without her getting me up during the night to be let in) so I think I'll put this away to post in the morning (or later). If you have any tips for taking pictures of young children, I'd love to hear from you. Just post your tip in the comments section below.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Recent Work

Happy June everyone! The last two months have been a bit wild around here. My loving husband retired from the US Postal Service March 30th and I've been trying to adjust to having him around 24/7. I've also been catching up on my personal digital and traditional albums and actually finished an album I started two or three years ago (woohoo!). I'm planning to share a few pages from that album in another post but for now here are two of my favorite pages from my digital 2011 Family Album.

Happy Scrapbooking!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Backyard Wildlife

Other than birds, we don't get a lot of wildlife in our backyard. Maybe an occasional squirrel and our cat, Willow (who only thinks she's wild), but that's just about it. We do get a wide variety of birds so I take a lot of pictures of the birds who show up in our yard. I especially love it when there are baby birds to take pictures of (I don't love having to protect the birds from Willow but that's one of the  prices you pay for having a cat).

I took these pictures of the flycatchers in our yard about 5 years ago (when we didn't have a cat!). I was thinking about using them on a spring page (I had spring fever and wanted to create something springy) when I came across a Pixels2Pages challenge while visiting their fan page on facebook. I just had to try the Title Frame for my page. Anyway, here is the page I created:
Backyard Wildlife
StoryBook Creator 4.0 Software
Spring Digital Additions

If you haven't yet heard about Pixels2Pages it's a comprehensive web-based digital training  subscription run by an international collaboration of women providing education, inspiration, and training for digital scrapbooking using Creative Memories branded products. If you use Creative Memories StoryBook Creator Software is a must. You can check out the website here and purchase a 90-day subscription here.  P2P Challenges are posted on Mondays and are available to non-subscribers for a week before they are moved to the subscribers-only archive. You can learn more about P2P Challenges on their Facebook Fan Page.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Welcome to my new blog!

 I've been thinking about doing this for awhile and finally decided to take the plunge and do it. I've spent way too much time designing my blog and adding stuff to the side bars .... it's not quite what I envisioned yet but it will do for now. I really didn't realized how much time it would take me to put this thing together - my Christmas trees and Christmas decorations are still up and desperately need to be taken down and put away - but I've finally finished enough to at least add a post. Do check back later ... I am planning to add some helpful posts to my blog in the near future....after I take down my Christmas decorations!

In the mean time, check out my boards on Pinterest where you'll find plenty of ideas for your traditional and digital scrapbook albums here: