Friday, 2 November 2007

I've been scraplifted!

A couple of weeks ago I received a pm from Crafty Kacy (UKS) asking if she could scraplift me. Of course, I said yes pleeease.

I don't know how she spotted my gallery, I only have a dozen of pics in it...

Here's her beautiful LO, the gorgeous choice of colours and her interpretation made it unique and special. Thanks, Karen!

Take a look at Karen's gallery, well worth a visit!

This is my LO:

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Scrapwest Cybercrop

The very talented girls in Scrapwest hosted a cybercrop last Sunday to celebrate its first birthday.

I loved Annamarie's class, it is kinda hybrid as I printed the photos with the aged frames for PSE and the crochet flower is a digital element:

Lucy was sick and off school. When I suggested that she did some "arts&crafts" while I tried to finish my layout she replied that she want to do "adult's arts & crafts", like what I was doing. So I gave her a photo of Annemarie's layout and off she went. Here's my daughter's take:

Dialog after we finished:

Lucy: I like yours better.
Me: How come? I really like both.
Lucy: Yours is all together and mine is all over the place...

I think she's got an amazing way to put words together for a five-year-old!

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Photo Editing I

I am by no means an expert, but there are always beginners around, so I decided to post some easy tips on how to improve your photos. Nothing complicated, only one-or-two step mini-tutorials.

There are often several ways on how to correct a certain problem, I'll show you my favourite way in Photoshop Elements 5 (aka PSE5) and/or PaintShopProXI (aka PSP XI).

Tutorial 1: How to correct colour cast in PSE5

I am not sure what is the correct definition of colour cast, but you know when the photo has a yellowish or bluish look, that's colour cast. I often get the yellowish tinge when I take a photo at night. This is technique that works if the photo has shows something that should be white.

Here's the before & after.

In PSE, go to Enhance -> Adjust Lighting -> Levels...

Click on the white dropper - the one in the right hand side - and then go to your picture and click on a point which should be white. I choose the sunlight bit on the door. That is it!

If you click on the wrong spot, you might end up with really weird colours, just click on "Reset" and try again.

PSP: Levels in PSP XI works the same way, with a slight better user interface. Go to Adjust -> Brightness and Contrast -> Levels... Another option is to try Adjust->Colour Balance.

Levels is a great tool, I will go back to it sometime.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Using a sketch

I had the photos and the theme, but wasn't happy with my own ideas for the layout until I saw this sketch by Ali Edwards in Pencillines. It is a fab sketch and I think I will use it again.

I like the final result but I am not sure about the word in acetate. It was the last thing I put, as I thought something was missing, but should have used the word "ciumes" in Portuguese as opposed to "Jealousy". Jealousy could mean "envy", which has nothing to do with what I wanted to portray about my daughter. I meant to say that she doesn't like when she feels that we are giving too much attention to somebody else instead of her.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

I've finally finished the birthday candle pic frame for my daughter. I only could squeeze some of the candles, there were originally 4 smileys for the 4th birthday and Minnie Mouse (2nd birthday) was a bit to deep for the frame. The most precious one is Emilia, the rag doll candle for her first birthday. It was brought specially from Brazil by our friend Solange. Emilia is a character in a popular Brazilian childrens' book.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

New Camera!

Comprei uma camera nova ha' dois meses atras. Ainda estou aprendendo a usa-la e os resultados nao sao grande coisa. Mas as cores saem muito mais vivas que a minha anterior. Roger e Luke, foto tirada no parquinho.

I bought my SLR a couple of months ago, and still haven't got the hang of it. But the colours are really vivid, specially like the outdoors photos. Roger and Luke, photo taken in the playground.

Sunday, 30 September 2007

For a friend

One of the girls of the CS forum, Isobel, asked for a 6x6 layout for her daughter's birthday. The idea was to tell her something that we wish we had known at her age.

I knew what I wanted to say, but couldn't put it into words, so I went looking for a suitable quote. I quickly found one that summed what I wanted to say, and it was by Lindsay Lohan. Couldn't be someone more different than me, but we surely think the same, at least in one subject.

"Beauty is grace and confidence.
I've learned to accept and appreciate what nature gave me."

Sunday, 23 September 2007

I have kept my children's first birthday candles in a high shelf in their bedroom. I wasn't sure about what I wanted to do with them until I saw some deep frames in Dunnes Stores. I decided then to decorate the frame and put the candles inside with. My son's candles were a bit boring and only a few (he's 2) so I added a photo of him to make it more interesting. There was this rather cute of photo of him and he was so angelic looking that it was begging for a couple of wings.

The wings are "With Wings Alpha" by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals and includes an alphabet and 2 sets of wings.

I showed the frame to my daughter and she wants wings too. She wants to be a fairy, of course!

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Calibrating your monitor

One of the things that bugs me is that sometimes my photo looks perfect in the computer but when I print it it looks much darker that I expected.

Brendan, from work, seemed to know a lot about printers so I asked him about it. He very kindly showed me some of his photos and explained what I could do to get better photos prints. I should have taken a notebook with me, as I forgot lots of what he said but two things stuck in my mind. Calibrate your monitor and calibrate your printer.

The second one I am still getting around to do it, but the first step was surprisingly easy and if you have Adobe Photoshop, or Elements like I do, it should be easy for you too. With PS/PSE, comes a software called Adobe Gamma, which helps your to calibrate your monitor manualy. Auccording to the Adobe website, it doesn't work with LCD screens, like mine's, but I was happy with what I got. Try and you will see it.

You should be able to find Adobe Gamma in your Control Panel, but somehow it wasn't installed in my laptop so I got the PSE installation CD, browsed it and found it in the goodies directory.

Went googling for it, and found another scrap blog that talks about Adobe Gamma.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

My name

Hybrid Alien might sound like a sci-fi kind of name, but I choose it because I am sort of a hybrid scrapbooker (who mix digi and paper techniques) and alien because I am a foreigner.

When I tried to register, I found another hybrid alien, also from Dublin. Since this other alien is a student, has not been posting for over a year and has a "target audience" completely different from mine, I didn't think he would mind.

Today I made 2 ATCs, both for my friend Sabrina, I don't think she would mind posting them here, since I found her pic in the net anyway. The first one is a "hybrid" and the second one is a digi.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Post number one

I have started this blog to help me in my creative process.
I am a scrapbooker and decided to have my own place to show some of the stuff I make and maybe some photographs.

I have made two resolutions lately. First, it is to do at least one creative activity every day and the other is to improve my photographics skills.

I won't be telling anyone about my blog until I have customised it a little bit and posted some of my work, but if you get to come across my blog, hello and welcome!