Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Spring Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to Creative Life Scrapbooking's Spring Blog Hop! I'm following Julie Tambrini from  Julie's Creative Memories Blog today and Fran Smitherman from CelebratingYourBeautifulLife will be your last stop. If you missed any of the stops, you'll find a list of each of the stops at the end of today's post. Be sure to visit all of the stops on the list for some great ideas from the scrapbookers and crafters at Creative Life Scrapbookers. You might also want to follow our Facebook page at Creative Life Scrapbooking for even more inspiration and ideas for your scrapbook layouts! Today I'm going to share another layout using CM's Blend & Bloom Pink Decorative Paper Pack. If you haven't guessed it by now, I'm obviously way into pink.

Here's what you'll need to complete this layout:

Blend & Bloom Pink Designer Paper Pack 
Blend & Bloom Embellishments
Light Grey or Silver Cardstock
Tape Runner & Foam Squares
12-Inch Trimmer & Wave Blade
Black & Silver Pens

Instructions:
  1. Trim three vertical & three horizontal 4x6 photos to 4x5 and three 4x6 photos to 4x4. 
  2. From cardstock cut two 5 1/4" by 12" pieces and one  3" x 4" rectangle to use as your journal box.
  3. Using the wave blade, cut four 3/4" x 12" strips from light pink patterned paper and four 3/4" x 12" strips from dark pink pattern paper.  Using your tape runner, adhere strips to the underside of cardstock so that the first layer shows about a quarter of an inch from the edge and the second layer shows another quarter of an inch from the edge of the first as shown. Adhere cardstock to pink gingham pages as shown. Adhere your 4 x 5 photos to cardstock as shown. 
  4. Using the wave blade, cut three 4 1/2" square photo mats from dark pink pattern paper and three 4 1/4" square photo mats from light pink pattern paper. Layer and adhere with 4" square photos as shown. Adhere photos to layout as shown. 
  5. To create a title box, use the wave blade to cut one 2" x 4 1/2" rectangle from dark pink pattern paper and one 1 3/8" x 3 5/8" rectangle from light pink pattern paper. Layer and adhere to page as shown and use a silver pen to create faux stitching as shown. Use foam squares to adhere embellishments shown. 
  6.  To create a journal box, use the wave blade to cut one 3 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle from dark pink pattern paper and one 3 1/4" x 4 1/4" rectangle from light pink pattern paper. Layer and adhere to page as shown. 
  7. To finish, use the wave blade to cut small squares from scrapes to anchor your butterfly embellishments. Adhere to page and use foam squares to adhere butterflies as shown. Adhere bling and an epoxy dragon fly as shown and you're done. 

There you go! I'd love to see what you've done with your own photos. Just visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cmcdbrinsley to leave a photo of your layout. 

For more information about the products used in today's blog post, please visit your advisor's website. Of course, if you don't already have an advisor, I'd be more than happy to be your personal Creative Memories advisor. Just visit my website at http://www.creativememories.com/user/dbrinsley to create an account. 

Here is a list of today's participants:
Stop 1: Noreen Smith at Organized and Creative Mom

Stop 2: Karyn McDermaid-Rolfe at Karyn Crops
Stop 3: Julie Tambrini Julie's Creative Memories Blog
Stop 4: Me …. you are here
Stop 5: Stefani Jones at Crop With Stef
Stop 6: Lisa Graham at Lisa's Workshop
Stop 7: Fran Smitherman at CelebratingYourBeautifulLife

Your next stop is Stefani Jones at Crop With Stef

Don't forget to visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CreativeLifeScrapbooking/

Have a good day and thanks so much for visiting my blog! 
Diana 
 

Monday, May 27, 2019

How to Get The Best Print Possible From Your Online Photo Printing Service



Hello and welcome to my blog. Today I’m going to share some tips for preparing your digital images for print that I recently posted to Creative Life Scrapbooking Facebook Page. But first I’m going to explain why your printed images may not look like what you see on your computer screen.

How many of you remember taking your rolls of film to the photo developers to be printed? It really wasn’t that long ago when film was the only option available, was it? When we got our printed photos back most likely not all of the prints were worthy of keeping. Some may have been blurry or under or over exposed and in most cases we would simply throw them out if they were really bad or keep them anyway if they were only a little blurry or underexposed. But the point I want to make is that we didn’t question the developer when our photos came back blurry or grainy or whatever. We might have complained about our lousy camera but I don’t remember complaining about the developer or hearing those kind of complaints. In the days of film, we didn’t have an LCD and a computer screen to look at before we sent our film off to be printed. So we really didn’t know for sure if it actually wasn’t the developers fault when our photos came back blurry and not our camera’s fault (or maybe our own fault), did we? Fast forward a few years and we now have that ability to actually look at and even edit our digital images before we upload them to an online printer service. And we end up disappointed and/or complain loudly when the printed images that come back from the printer doesn’t look like what we see on our devices. In most cases the culprit ends up being the printer service, right? Wrong answer! Truth be told, the real culprit is probably our monitor or laptop screen or the screen on our cell phone. There have been many times in the past (even recent past) when my printed images came back from whatever printing service I used looking very different than what I see on my screen. They’re either much darker or over-saturated or pixelated or grainier than what I originally intended. But in every single case, without fail, the problem ended up being on my end. Once I made the necessary adjustments on my end either to post processing and/or to my monitor the problem would be solved.

To make a very long and confusing story short, it all has to do with color space and brightness levels and variances or the color shifts that are common to the computer screens we use. Color space is a way to describe the range of colors that a camera can see, a printer can print, or a monitor can display. Color space and color management would be just way too much information to share here and you would probably get bored before I even got to the point of today’s post. You can  find more information on the Forever blog or FAQs, the Persnickety or Shutterfly websites as well as many other online printing service websites.

What’s most important to know is that most printer services, including professional services, photo editing programs and web browsers use sRGB (or standard RGB) color space. Some high-end cameras also have the option to choose either sRGB or Adobe RGB as the color space the camera uses. In other words, with very few exceptions (and those exceptions would be high-end photo services) sRGB is the standard color space and every photo service out there uses that same color space. So what happens if the device you are using to view and edit your photos is not calibrated to sRGB color space? Simply put, you will not see what your printer service computers see and they are going to print what their computer sees not what you see. The chances are that unless you have recently color calibrated your device, your device is not calibrated to sRGB color space. And the older your device is the less likely that it is calibrated to sRGB color space. Computer screens or monitors shift color regularly but more as they age. To complicate matters even more, your device is probably much brighter than the brightness level your printer service uses. I just calibrated my monitor this week and my calibrator recommended lowering my brightness level to 22. On my monitor, I can choose a brightness level between 1 and 100 and 22 is less than a quarter of that.

So, what’s the answer? First and foremost, whether you own a laptop or a desktop, you need to calibrate your monitor to sRGB color space. Then you will need to maintain that calibration by continuing to calibrate regularly (either monthly or weekly). If you’re serious about getting your printed images as close as possible to what you see on your screen, I highly recommend purchasing a color calibrator made for those of us who love taking pictures. The X-Rite ColorMunki Smile Calibration System sells for around $100 at B&H. Or, you can check out the other calibrators at B&H or Amazon. At the very least, even if you don’t calibrate your monitor and your computer allows it, you will need to lower the brightness of your screen …..a lot! If your computer or whatever device you’re using doesn’t give you the option to decrease the brightness level (my Android cell, for instance, has 2 brightness levels - bright and brighter) you will need to compensate by increasing the exposure of your images before exporting them for print. I do need to add that decreasing brightness or increasing exposure may or may not resolve the issue. Saturation of one or more of the colors your monitor shows may be an issue and fixing brightness will not resolve the saturation issue. Calibrating your monitor will resolve any saturation issues it has.

Here are a few more tips for preparing your digital images for print:
  • If your online printer service gives you the option to upload images from Facebook or another social media website, ignore that option. I usually export images for the web at 72 dpi and that’s just too small for printing even a 4x6 photo. Shutterfly, for instance, recommends uploading images from your computer rather than a social media website because the resolution of those images is too small for print.
  • Make sure the resolution of your images is high enough to get a good print. Although some recommend at least 150 to 200 dpi, I export images for print at 300 dpi. I also choose full resolution rather than standard resolution in the options box when I upload to a printer service. I simply don’t want “stuff” (as some printer services call it) compressed in my images. I want the printer to print what I’ve uploaded. Otherwise, I don’t want the printer service to mess with my images.
  • Turn off all the options available - color correction, sharpening, red-eye removal, VividPics, etc - when uploading to a printer service. All of that is done automatically by computer, not someone who is looking at your image. As for VividPics, according to Shutterfly, VividPics is applied by default but recommends disabling VividPics if you upload sRGB images. My own recommendation is that you upload sRGB images to whatever printer service you use and disable whatever default is applied to your images.
  • Be careful not to over-sharpen your images when editing and don't let your printer service sharpen your images. Over-sharpened photos really don’t look all that good. If you are trying to fix a low-resolution photo by sharpening it, all you are doing is sharpening the pixels not the overall image.
  • One photo printing service (I believe Persnickety but don’t quote me that) recommends uploading un-cropped images and using their editing tools to crop the image for the specific size (4x6, 5x7, 8x10 etc) you want before sending it to your cart. The reason is that those sizes all have different aspect ratios. It just doesn’t work to change a 4x6 aspect ratio, for instance, to an 8x10. You could end up with chopped off heads in your 8x10 print.
  • Read the fine print! In other words, look for and read the information provided by your online printer service. Then follow their recommendations before sending your images off to be printed. 
Finally, keep in mind that: 1) printed photos will always be darker than what you see on your screen, and 2) the odds are that your printed photo is not going to look exactly like the image you see on your computer. Digital photo technology is still pretty new and hasn’t arrived there yet, but you can get pretty close. The collage above is an example of how close you can get to what you see on your screen. The photos on the right are the digital images I sent to my online photo printing service. The photo on the left is a photo of the scrapbook layout I created with my printed photos. Although it's hard to take a picture of a picture and get it right (different lighting conditions and temperature etc) you can still see that my printed photos are pretty darn close to the original digital images.

Okay, there you go! I think I’m going to go have a cup of tea and finish editing the photos I recently took of my newest great grandson so I can upload them to the my printer service. They’re going to be so much fun to scrapbook!

I hope this information is helpful and that you have a great weekend!

Thanks for visiting my blog!
Diana

Friday, April 26, 2019

Creative Life Scrapbooking Explorer PJ Party

Hello and welcome to my blog. Today I'm sharing the layout I created for Creative Life Scrapbooking Explorer PJ Party. This is my take on the Explorer Collection.



I've been waiting for an opportunity to create a layout using the Majestic Mountains Decorative Border Punch. The punch and the retired zig-zag border maker cartridge was just what I needed to enhance tonight's layout. Add stickers from the Explorer Sticker Pack and that's all that was needed to finish this quick and easy layout. By the way, I overlapped the cut wood sticker at the bottom of the page then used sharp scissors to trim it flush with the bottom of the page.

Don't forget to visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CreativeLifeScrapbooking/

Hope you have a good time scrapbooking this weekend and thanks for visiting my blog!

Diana 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Border Maker Monday

Hello and welcome to my blog! Today I'm sharing my newest post from our Creative Life Scrapbooking Facebook Page. 

The past 4 to 5 weeks have been super busy for me. With birthdays to celebrate and photograph, two baby showers, two weekends away with family, two maternity photo shoots, and great-grandchildren to photograph I've had a massive amount of digital images to process, edit, and prepare for printing. When I'm not out taking pictures, I'm at my computer editing pictures (my house is a mess & my poor husband has been eating fast food for weeks). Add Easter to all of this and I really needed to create something super quick and easy for today's post. The new CM 12-inch Rotary Trimmer to the rescue!! 



I used CM's HAPPY BIRTHYAY collection for my layout and used the rotary trimmer and the wave blade to create one 1 1/2 x 12 inch border strip, two 1 x 12 inch border strips and one 3/4" border strip. To create the borders, simply layer the border strips as shown, adhere the stickers and embellishments shown and walla! Two easy, peasy scrapbook borders for your page. I also used the wave blade to create the second layer for my journaling box. I started late in the afternoon and finished my layout in time to catch enough late afternoon light on my kitchen table to photograph my layout.

Don't forget to visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CreativeLifeScrapbooking/

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter Sunday and that you took lots of pictures to scrapbook!

Diana

Friday, March 22, 2019

Featured Project Friday


Hello and welcome to my blog! Today I'm sharing a new Featured Project Friday Post from Creative Life Scrapbooking Facebook Page. I created today's scrapbook layout with the Creative Memories new Simply Sunshine Collection. I love the way the yellow printed paper enhances the photos I took of my great-granddaughter and her dad at Disneyland. So who says we need Disney inspired papers and embellishments to enhance photos taken at Disney theme parks? Here's at least one example to prove that we don't!






Here's what you'll need to create today's scrapbook layout:

Simply Sunshine Designer Paper Pack
Simply Sunshine Variety Mat Pack
Simply Sunshine Embellishments
Simply Sunshine Designer Stickers
Sticker Letters of your choice
12-Inch Trimmer
Tape Runner
Precision Point Adhesive Pen
Foam Squares
Brown Dual Point Pen

Instructions:
  • Use your 12-Trimmer to cut one sheet of yellow printed paper into one 3 1/4" x 12" piece and one 8 3/4" x 12" piece and one sheet of floral printed paper into one 8 3/4" x 12" piece and two 1 5/8" x 12" strips. From a second sheet of the same yellow printed paper cut one 1 1/2" x 8 1/4" title box, one 1 1/2" square and two 1/4" x 12" strips.
  • Using white 12 x 12 pages as your base, adhere the pieces cut from the first two sheets of decorative paper to your base as shown (the 8 3/4" x 12" yellow plaid and two 1 5/8" x 12" floral strips on the right page and the remaining 8 3/4" x 12" floral piece and 3 1/4" x 12" yellow plaid piece on the left page).
  • Using a Precision Point Adhesive Pen, adhere the 1/4" x 12" strips to the right page as shown with the reverse yellow floral side up. Adhere one 4" square photo and two 4" x 6" photos to the right page as shown. Trim a journal mat from the variety mat pack to 4" square and adhere to the right page as shown. Adhere four 4" square photos to the left page as shown. 
  • Use a Brown Dual Point Pen to create faux stitching on the reverse yellow floral side of the title box and 1 1/2" square. Adhere the 1 1/2" square to the left page and the title box to the right page as shown. Add a title, use your 4" square mat to journal and add stickers and embellishments using your Adhesive Pen where needed and foam squares for dimension. 

By the way, I used the little heart stickers to cover the little bird on this particular mat. I had originally journaled on the reverse side of this mat and later noticed that I had failed to complete an entire sentence. Bleh!! My mind works faster than my writing hand does!!!

Don't forget to visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CreativeLifeScrapbooking/

Hope you have a great weekend and thanks for visiting my blog!

Diana

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

CLS Winter Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to Creative Life Scrapbooking's Winter Blog Hop! I'm following Julie Tambrini from  Julie's Creative Memories Blog today and Candace Bouldin from Scrappin' Jpegs will be your last stop. If you missed any of the stops, you'll find a list of each of the stops at the end of today's post. Be sure to visit all of the stops on the list for some great ideas from the scrapbookers and crafters at Creative Life Scrapbookers. You might also want to follow our Facebook page at Creative Life Scrapbooking for even more inspiration and ideas for your scrapbook layouts!

Just in case you've had enough of winter, I've created a more spring-like scrapbook layout for today's blog hop. The pictures I used were actually taken in early fall but CM's Blend & Bloom Pink Decorative Paper Pack is a perfect backdrop for my photos.


Here's what you'll need to complete this layout:
Blend & Bloom Pink Designer Paper Pack 
Blend & Bloom Designer Stickers
Blend & Bloom Greenery Laser Cut Embellishments
Blend & Bloom Foiled Flower Embellishments
Tape Runner & Foam Squares
Precision Point Adhesive Pen
12-Inch Straight Trimmer
Silver Pen
Optional: Retired Postage Stamp Punch if you have it

Instructions:
  1. Using the pink & white plaid decorative paper shown as your base and the 12-Inch Straight Trimmer cut one 4 1/2" x 12" and one 2 1/2" x 12" strips from the pink & green pattern paper shown. Adhere the 4 1/2" x 12" strip about 6/8" from the left edge of the left page. Adhere the 2 1/2" x 12" strip about 1 1/2" from the right edge of the right page. 
  2. Adhere pink border sticker to each page as shown. 
  3. Using the 12-Inch Straight Trimmer cut two 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" photo mats, one 3/8" x 12" strip, one 3/4" x 3" strip, one 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangle, and one 1 3/4" square from pink polka dot paper. 
  4. Using the 12-Inch Straight Trimmer or Personal Trimmer cut one 3' x 4" rectangle & one 3 1/2" x 1" strip from the pink pattern paper on the reverse side of the pink polka dot paper.  Use the Postage Stamp Punch or Personal Trimmer to create two 1 1/4 x1 3/8" rectangles. 
  5. Adhere photo mats and 3/8" x 12" strip to right page as shown. 
  6. Adhere squares and rectangles to layout, layering pieces as shown. Use a silver pen to create faux stitching on pink polka dot pieces. Adhere 4 x 6 photos as shown.
  7.  Use foam squares to adhere a title from Blend & Bloom Embellishments. Use Precision Point Adhesive to adhere leaf and flowers as shown. Journal your page and you're done! 
There you go! I'd love to see what you've done with your own photos. Just visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cmcdbrinsley to leave a photo of your layout. 

For more information about the products used in today's blog post, please visit your advisor's website. Of course, if you don't already have an advisor, I'd be more than happy to be your personal Creative Memories advisor. Just visit my website at http://www.creativememories.com/user/dbrinsley to create an account. 

Here is a list of today's participants:
Stop 1: Lisa Graham at Lisa's Workshop 
Stop 2: Noreen Smith at Organized and Creative Mom
Stop 3: Karyn McDermaid-Rolfe at Karyn Crops
Stop 4: Julie Tambrini at Julie's Creative Memories Blog
Stop 5: Me …. you are here
Stop 6: Candace Bouldin at Scrappin' Jpegs
Stop 7: Stefani Jones at Crop With Stef 

Your next stop is Candace Bouldin at Scrappin' Jpegs

Don't forget to visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CreativeLifeScrapbooking/
Have a good day and thanks so much for visiting my blog! 



Monday, February 18, 2019

Border Maker Monday

Hello and welcome to my blog. Today is #BorderMakerMonday on the Creative Life Facebook Page and I have a new scrapbook layout to share. If you're not following us on Facebook yet be sure to check us out. You'll find lots of ideas for your album pages.  
Today I'm sharing a border maker project created with CM's new Blend & Bloom collection. For today's layout idea I choose papers from the Blend & Bloom Blue and Blend & Bloom Green Designer Paper Packs and used the Blend & Boom Designer Stickers, Embellishments, and Greenery Laser Cut Embellishments. I also used the retired Grass Border Maker Cartridge to create the border on the bottom of the page.
To create today's layout, use the Grass Border Maker Cartridge to punch a grass border from green patterned paper, then the 12-Inch Trimmer to trim the border to 2 x 12 inches. Using blue checked designer paper as your base, adhere the grass border to the bottom the page as shown and add a yellow checked sticker border. Use scissors to cut the Laser Cut Embellishment shown into two embellishments as shown below and adhere to the page with Precision Point Adhesive Pen. Use foam squares to adhere a title, butterflies and flowers from the Blend & Bloom Embellishments.
To create the upper border simply cut a 5/8th x 12 inch strip from the blue pattern paper shown. Adhere to the page and add another yellow checked sticker border as shown. Use a tape runner to adhere a sun embellishment and foam squares to adhere a cloud. I also added a 4 1/4" x 6 1/4" photo mat, a
4 1/4" square photo mat and a 1 3/4" x 4 1/4" journal box to my layout.
There you have it. An easy peasy spring layout for those of you who can't wait for spring to arrive and for those of you who are already experiencing spring!







Have a great day! :)
Diana