My Old Creative Outlet…

Every time I rummage through my digital folders of photos and run into old scrapbooking layouts, I start getting a little nostalgic. It might be because it was such an obsession for such a long time, it’s hard to ignore. I created this one during my really artsy fartsy phase of scrapbooking. Distressed papers with brown archival inks, 3-D frames for depth to protect real shells mounted on the page, printing on transparencies, and the like – I could start my own art class where I was teacher and student whenever I wanted. It was fun experimenting with various art techniques and creating these little art pieces. I still miss those days. Especially the times when I enticed my friends to come over and work on their scrapbooks with me until very late in the evening.   <heavy sigh>

The photos on this layout are some of my favorites – love the stark contrast in size between my husband and our [then] toddler girls barely taller than his knees. They make me smile.

The poem reads:

Pappa, would you hold my hand and walk me to the shore?

I see the waves are crashing; I hear the ocean’s roar.

The water is washing up on the sand.

I want to go explore.

And if you’ll stay right by my side; I’ll feel so safe and free.

To scream and run along the beach, if you’ll watch over me.”

Original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.

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Been Collaging A Lot Lately – A Project Life Update

Guess what! I’m only 2 weeks behind! And that’s saying something for a former scrapbooker like me. Many times I have lamented the fact that now that we have children, now that our collection of family (or I should say, children’s) photographs has increased exponentially, my scrapbooking obsession has waned to nothing. But lucky for me, before the years of guilt could overwhelm me, I discovered Project Life.

Yes, at the beginning of this year, I returned to scrapbooking, in a Project Life sort of way, that is. It’s easy and do-able. It’s fun and I don’t spend hours on it. I don’t clear a large space on my desk or table for supplies and patterned papers with the intention of sitting down for hours to design layouts for the album. The minimal supplies are out, the album is always there next to the printer, and everything is ready to go when I have the time.

We just returned from a wonderful 2-week long vacation to St. Martin in the Caribbean, a wedding, and stops at Disneyland and Legoland. For anyone, that could mean a lot of photos to be printed and put somewhere. For us, that means a TON of photos to be printed and added to our Project Life album. But of course, as many of my friends ask, how many photos did we take and how many will I actually include in our album and how do I decide?

Storytelling. That’s how I’ve decided which photos to print. If a photo isn’t part of the story, I won’t print it. Unless it’s a great or unique photo, I won’t include it. Since I started my portrait photography business, I’ve become far more critical about which photos I’ll spend any time on for printing. But you know, for the average person, that number of photos is still probably rather large.

Collages. I’ve solved this problem by making collages of photos. I have several Photoshop actions that make this easy and quick to do. They’re all from MCP Actions – check ’em out. She offers several formats for different sizes of collages. From my old scrapbooking days, I have many photo pocket pages that will hold (12) 4×6 photos and (4) 6×12 panoramic photos. I also have several 8.5×11 document holders. So, after I run those actions, I size them down as needed (typically to 8.5×11 to make it easy and quick) and I print them on my home printer. I have an HP photo printer and LOVE it. The colors match my screen and I’m pretty happy with my printouts.

Because Project Life’s standard photo pocket pages are based on 4×6 or 3×4 spaces, I will also manually create 2- or 4-photo collages in a 4×6 space. Then, I have the flexibility to either pop each collage into a 4×6 space or cut it in half to fit the 3×4 spaces. You’ll see that in the following layouts below.

Anyway, I’m still keeping up and that’s only because of the way Project Life works. I encourage anyone who no longer scrapbooks or is just looking for some quick and easy ways to get your photos off your hard drive and printed so they can be enjoyed, take a look at Project Life. I know I sound like a salesperson but I just can’t say enough about something that has proved to help me document my family’s lives and relieve all most of my guilt.

Original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.