Saturday 27 February 2010

Photography related links

I might have said that before, but one of the blessings and curses of scrapbooking is that it gets you into many other things, like photography, photoediting, cardmaking, painting, colouring, stamping, drawing, writing, stitching, sewing, crocheting and mixed media.

Like today, I should have been working on a new digistamp for my little shop, as I didn't release anything new this week. Or get to work on next week's PaperPlay Challenge. Or else, scrapbook the month of January for Project 12.  Or I could work on Shimelle's new release due next week in her digishop. Instead I spent my time in photo post processing related tasks. Didn't take a single photo though. Sigh...

As I have a stack of photo-less photo frames, I decide to select three photos for something I bought in IKEA. I thought it was a photo frame, but it turned out to be a ready made photo display with 3 photos (there's a name for it I just can't remember what it is).

I only have some fairly average recent photos with my two children in it. I got the white balance totally wrong. I fixed it in PSE (Enhance->Adjust Colors->Adjust Colors for Skin Tone..), but still I wasn't happy with it, so I converted to b&w, using an action from the Falling for Black and White by Sarah Cornish. I had previously converted to b&w manually in PSE and PSP but this is so much easier and the results are great. And you can tweak it afterwards.

(No, I don't have a single decent photo of my children together. 99% are like this one, daughter looking cute, son not so much. 1% has the perfect photo of son, but then my daughter is looking somewhere else.)
Then I had to email some photos to friends, they were taken in a restaurant in the evening. No other alternative than using the built-in flash. I covered it with a napkin - my theory is that it avoids the washed-out look. When I downloaded the phtoos, one thing that I noticed was that the girls with a darker skin (dark Irish, that is) looked ok, but the birthday girl, who is very fair & looked lovely on the night, appeared in the photo with the skin all red and blotchy. After a lenghty investigation in Google, I discovered that flash, fair skin and make up are not the best friends. And best still, I found the cure for it, thank you, Lee Varis. I'll print this article and keep it for future flash disasters.

After that, I went to a portrait photography forum I joined recently - It looks like most of people there are way above my level, it will take a while until I get enough courage to post anything, but it is interesting to look at the posts. 

I love looking at the portfolio of the real pros. You know that they are in a completely different level and whatever they charge is worth it because they know what they are doing, they have the eye, the understanding and talent.

Barb Ui runs jinkyart photography. There's a little video at the beginning, well worth watching. And her photos are delicious, part photography part documentary of a life.

Andrea Joki owns Ajaton Joki, her "children and family" portfolio is beautiful, I wish I could take photos like she does.

Thursday 25 February 2010

November 2009

My November summary layout.

*Patterned Paper: Piggy Tales
*Label: Write It Down::Pretty Labels by Shimelle Laine @ Twopeas(digital)
*Font: Jellyka, Saint-Andrew's Queen, VT Portable Remington
*also: India ink

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Frames in a digital LO

I hardly ever do digital layouts, but here's one, for a change:

* Frames: Write It Down ::Ornate Frames by Shimelle Laine
* Fonts: Marketing Script and VT Portable Remington

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Still stuck in 2009 and Martha Stewart

With so many ideas and so little time, often my scrapbooking plans don't last long. One rare exception is Project 12. Conceived by Davinie Fiero, the idea is to make, for every month, a scrapbook page which is a summary of that month.

She started it last year and is continuining this year, together with Scrapbook and Cards Today. I'll definitely keep this project, as it is a great way follow the changes and main events of the family without having to scour pages and pages of photo albums or scrapbook pages.

The only problem is, I am still stuck in 2009. I started with Dec/2008 and have all the subsequent months till Dec/2009 with one exception - Nov/2009 is still not finished. Gotta finish it this week  and then try to get Jan/2010 done. It is the kind of thing that works better when the memories are still fresh.

Since I am going to have a special album for Project 12, I created an opening page.

*Patterned Paper: Fortitude by Create Paper, scraps
*Number Stamps: Storytime by Studio Calico
*Rafia: Woodies DIY

That takes the first part of the title.

The following bit is about Martha Stewart, or rather, stuff that I saw in her magazine.

My daughter wanted to make a cake for the cake sale in school. Last year I made a simple cake but after seeing the amazing stuff that the more talented moms made she wanted something more showy. Problem is, I can craft, I can't bake. Then I remembered about some sort-of gingerbread house ( using biscuits instead) in a MS Living magazine. I retrieved the magazine, went to the local supermarker I bought some crispbread, ready-to-mix royal icing, chocolate buttons and other sweets and with her help we made this:

The thingie in front is supposed to be a tree :-) It is a fun project for a kid, I put the structure together and she decorated it herself. The thing is edible in theory, if you like crispbread with icing. I made another one for my son to bring to his Montessori school, the teacher said they eat all the sweets, and then licked the icing off the crispbread, he he he!
I didn't show my daughter the original houses in the magazine to avoid high expectations, but you can see it here and here.

Just by chance we ended up in Eason's last weekend and I grabbed the latest MS Living mag, and I am so glad that I did, there's an article about Darcy Miller who works for the magazine and had her first gallery exhibition. She is a scrapbooker with a twist, you gotta see them to understand.

I'm definitely going to copy this idea:

I love when she matches a photo with the real life item, like here:
 I love making scrapboxes, she is a really talented and inspiring artist.

Friday 5 February 2010

Making Justice to my blog name

I've wondered if I did a mistake when choosing my blog's name. Alien I am, not an extra terrestrial you understand, but a person living in a foreign land. Hybrid, in scrapbooking terms, means someone that mixes digital and paper techniques, and for a while, all what I did in digital terms was behind the scenes, like the working out my designs in the computer and then translating into paper.

But lately I have been putting the digital more to the foreground of my pages. Though I only get a feeling of being finished when I see a paper version of my layouts.

For this I used two of my favourite digi designers, Shimelle Laine and Karla Dudley.

* Template: One Week Page Template by Shimelle Laine @ Two Peas
* Digi Label: Write it Down Aged Labels by Shimelle Laine @ Two Peas
* Digital Paper: Sobe by Karla Dudley Designs @ Digichick
* Rub-on: My Mind's Eye
* Letter Stickers: Jenni Bowlin Studio
* Font: VT Portable Remington

What is it about? The journaling says it all:

"One day, when you’re older, you might
look at your albums. Maybe you’ll
compare your albums with your sister’s.
Maybe there will be a little bit more
pages in her albums
than in yours. Maybe
you will wonder why.
So, for the record,