Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sisters Road Trip

For Christmas, Mark got me a Bamboo Wacom Tablet.  It is a graphic design pad and essentially is a ginormous touch pad.  You use a pen with it and can program the pen and the 4 buttons on the pad to do certain things.  (I even programmed it to open ACDSee my digital scrapbook organizing program at the touch of a cool is that?!)  It looks really cool and I had asked for it because a lot of the women on my photography forum were raving about how wonderful it was for editing.  But, I got it and had no idea how to use it.  So I looked and found a great class through Jessica Sprague to learn the basics and with that I created this layout of a road trip my sister and I took last summer down to Anchorage. If you look closely you will see that I digitally WROTE on this layout.  The date and the "Here to Here" labels are my (blechy) handwriting.  But, I know that my family will look back on it and have warm fuzzies, just like I do when I see my Grandma's handwritting.

Even though this class was all about learning how to use the pen tablet, Jessica is such an amazing teacher I learned a ton of info about Photoshop Elements.  WOW!  I highly recommend her for PSE and PS classes.  I will definately be taking more of her classes.

Journaling reads:  1 Kia Rondo, 1 Canon Xsi, 2 crazy girls.  350 miles, 7.5 hours, snacks, craughs, laughter, understanding...acceptance.  I love the moments I spend with my sister.  This was one of my best road trips ever!

All products used were included in the download for the Jessica Sprague pen tablet class.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Project Life

I decided to commit to taking a picture a day this summer.  This will help me focus on my photography skills as well as my storytelling/scrapbooking skills.  I have been fascinated with Becky Higgins Project Life concept.  She has a great idea of taking a picture a day to document our daily life and then she sells a great product to help with that documentation.  It is easy for me to document the big moments.  The holidays, the vacations, the birthdays.  It's the everyday moments, when my house is not at it's best, or my kids are not perfectly groomed and combed.  But those are the moments that are REAL, that we will look back on and go "oh yeah, remember how {insert name so as not to embarass anyone} always had sweat on his/her face because they were playing so hard". 

I am intrigued, but before making the committment of purchasing the product to sit unused, I wanted to see if I could even manage the photo a day.  So I decided I would try that for the summer and then if I did and liked it, I would purchase a kit this fall and put it together.  I decided to document the photo journey on my photography blog.  If you are interested in following, here is the link:  Becky Dustin Photography. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

C'Mon Summer...please?

I am chomping at the bit to go spend time at the botanical gardens again.  I am so tired of dreary winter whites and drab spring muddy browns.  Bring on the color and my favorites.  Sunflowers, paperthin poppies...Please?

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's love

So, I finally got a chance to play with my camera...and it is love.  The difference between my old camera and the new one is like a Kia and a Cadillac.  No offense to Kia drivers, I drive one too.  I took a picture of Seth inside at night (low light conditions).  I was able to go higher ISO with less noise.  The picture is a little yellow because of the light in my living room.  This weekend I took a picture of Leah in natural light.  I was super happy.

So now all that leaves is to come up with a name, as I think me and my new friend are going to be going lots of places together.  Oh say, St. Louis in 3 months.  And calling it my new friend is going to get  old after awhile.  Suggestions?

Monday, February 21, 2011

MCP Lens Giveaway

MCP actions is giving away a yummy new lens by Tamron...I have been drooling over this one since I discovered it in my local camera shop last month.  Its a redesign that makes it smaller and more lightweight.  I think this would be right at home on my camera a majority of the time.  It's focal length goes from 18-270.  WHOA, get out!  It's pricey, but I think for the ease and convenience of not missing pictures of my kids while changing lenses it will be worth it.  BUT hold on, MCP and Tamron have teamed up and are giving one away.  Um hello, raising my hand here...I would love one.  After saving up for my Canon 7D, I'm a little camera poor...AND even more lens poor.  I could really use this.  And if I post information about the contest on my blog, I get an extra entry.  So, thank you to my loyal followers, I know this post is not at all in keeping with my papercrafts.  BUT think of the killer scrapbook pages I can create with the pictures I take with this lens.  :)

You can click the title for the link, or here is another one:  MCP/Tamron Lens Giveaway.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Are you shocked and amazed?  Me too.  I actually made 5 handstamped cards last weekend, all for birthdays this week and was unable to take pictures before I needed to hand them out.  :( 

I gave myself permission not to make Christmas cards this year.  I wanted to enjoy every moment of having Ashlyn home.  And I did.  But, Valentines is around the corner, so I got out my crafty cap this morning.  See, Mark gets home on Saturday mornings and creeps into bed between 5 and 7 a.m.  And, bless his heart, he tries so hard to be in stealth mode, but it wakes me up.every.single.time.  My body just knows that there is someone in my bedroom.  And yeah, it probably knows that it's my husband, but my protective radar kicks in because I am used to sleeping with one eye open and being the protector of my kids.  You can ask my husband, I have scared him to death on more than one occassion when I was sleeping particularly deep.

After Mark quietly made his way to bed this morning, I couldn't fall back to sleep and after laying there for an hour trying, I thought why waste the golden silence.  So, I went into stealth mode and quietly snuck down the stairs, put the dogs out, warmed up a pot of hot water for tea and powered up my computer.  Just as I was chortling to myself with glee and putting my feet up to enjoy it, I heard a set of feet hit the floor upstairs and my son came down to see what I was doing.  Really?  Followed 5 minutes later by his sister.  So much for that.

So, I proceeded to blog surf and break up fights every so often when I came across a post that linked to this:  Ga Ga for Little Monsters.  I thought it was so cute when I saw it, valentines immediately came to mind and I thought it might fit the bill for BOTH Seth and Leah...a win win in my book.  They both liked it for entirely different reasons and the kit was bought and downloaded.

I started with Leah and we sat down and picked the elements that she wanted on her valentine.  I created it to be a wallet size and then was able to center 2 of them on a 4x6 print that I can cut at the 3" mark with a 1/4" border all the way around.   Leah loved everything about sitting down with me and designing from start to finish.

Seth wasn't sure if he wanted to even do a valentine this year, since he is in 5th grade.  I convinced him it would be okay.  This was actually the main reason I did this project this way with both of my kids is because I do not purchase school pictures for my children any longer...way too expensive and the last time I purchased them they did not use the background I asked for.  I asked for a nice neutral grey, they sent orange (blech), not happy.  This way they can give a picture of themselves to their school friends and we will also be sending them to family so everyone has a recent picture of my children.  Are you seeing the genius behind this?  I should get up early more often!

This is a digital project created in PSE7, using the Ga Ga for Little Monsters Kit.  I will have these printed at Sam's club on a 4x6 print so they will cost 7cents each.  We will tape a sucker to each one and call it good.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I've been playing

Remember that nifty picture I posted in December when I bought my cool new camera?  Well...I have been taking a couple of online courses and learning how to use functions (not even close to all of them yet) on my camera and thought I would share the results of what I have been up to...wanna see?

I am happy with the results of this impromptu photo session.  It gives me such hope and I LOVE capturing quality photos to use in my scrapbooks.  I find happiness in doing something creative again.  I am dusting the cobwebs off and seeing the world from a different view.  I look for textures and aesthetics everywhere I go.  I look at color and placement.  I love throwing my camera in the car and driving till I see something I need to capture.  I find peace and contentment in translating what I want to see (in my head) into reality.  I guess what I'm trying to say is...I'm really digging this photography thing...alot. ALOT.