Posts tagged scrapbooking
Make Some Memories for Valentine's Day

Memories should be kept, especially ones full of love. Whether it's a special someone, a family, a friend, or your kids, show them and the world that you are full of love with these wonderful Valentines kits from Snap Click Supply Co!


If You Only Take ONE Online Class In Your Life, This Is It.

Register for my Photo Editing Class!

I didn't know it then, but when I got my first digital camera, my life would change forever. In the (roughly 12) years since, I've taken tens of thousands of photographs on various cameras and devices, trying to capture the breathtaking beauty of the simple life that surrounds me. In the end, our photographs are the primary way we capture our memories and stories, and this makes them infinitely precious. I know you're the same way - you there, with at least three ways of taking photographs within arm's reach of you at all times? Yeah, I can see you. And I can tell you that when you combine your photographs with some edits in Adobe Lightroom & Adobe Photoshopthey will truly make your heart sing. I'll show you how!

Learn My Brilliantly Simple Editing Process

This course focuses on global editing - things you can apply to an entire photo. You'll learn the basic photo editing process I use for all of my own photos, plus extra techniques to take them to the next level! You'll take photos straight from your camera (or device), through simple transformations that will have you (and your loved ones) saying WOW! You'll love what an incredible difference you can make to your own precious photos. There's nothing like the rush! I swear!

After you've got the basic process down, then the fun begins! In the remaining lessons in our course, we'll start with the basic editing process, and then I'll show you how to use Lightroom or Photoshop to:

- Adjust settings such as white balance, exposure, vibrance and color to create GORGEOUS color-drenched or crisp black-and-white photographs every time

- Crop perfectly

- Create great black-and-white and tinted photos

- Create a braggable "before & after" image to show the difference your edits make

- Add a vignette

- Sharpen for screen or print

- Straighten

- Save for both print and the web

and more!

Want a peak at what we're making in both Photo Editing courses? Well, check out this really cool black and white transformation!

Right now, all courses, including the Photo Editing courses, are 20% off! That's a great deal! 
Hurry because the sale ends December 31!

Need a gift for the GEEK in your life? I've got gifting options for each class, so you can make their holiday EXTRA bright, without even using adjustment layers! HA! Click here to find out how to gift!

Are you still paying attention? I hope so, because I'm about to spill some insider information. There are 2 new fun courses going to be available for preorder very very soon.. like within the next couple of days, possibly hours. One is a really neat album that I know you'll love and enjoy. The other is Digi 5, the next in the Digi series! I cannot wait for you to see what cool things I've got in store for both of these. You're going to love them both!

Where Have All the Scrappers Gone? Part 3

NOTE: This is part of a blog series exploring the past, present and future of memory keeping from the perspective of my ten-year involvement. You can read part 1 starting here

When we last saw our heroes... 

  • We were living in Minnesota
  • Rowen was just over a year old
  • Elliott was due in early summer
  • I had quit my job in a cube to become a full-time mama

By the middle of 2005 I had started to dabble in digital scrapbooking. To be honest, I resisted at first, since I spent so much time at work in Photoshop and Illustrator and I dearly loved the feel of putting glue to paper and the "engineering" aspect of piecing together a layout from various printed parts. And of course, the Bazzill textured cardstock. Noms.

But I was invited to be part of a digital creative team and began collecting digital supplies as well as paper ones. And we ALL know what a slippery slope a new source of supplies is. I was doomed. But I still created almost all of my pages in "hybrid" - designing the layout, editing the photos, and printing out bits and pieces using the computer, and only gluing together at the end.

Elliott was born in June of 2005, and suddenly I had yet another seemingly endless resource for photos and stories to tell (and he couldn't run from me like Rowen could!). And again as I made the transition from the mama of one kid (16 months old) to the mama of two kids, scrapbooking was therapy in the evenings. I could sit back and look at my photos and remember the moments without the accompanying distractions of 'real life' - this is the part that I really began to appreciate. The chance to savor as well as save.

I decided at that point to enter two scrapbooking contests:

  • The Memory Makers Masters contest, which was essentially the Memory Makers magazine's Creative Team. We'd have monthly assignments and our own idea book. 
  • The Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame, which was more of a traditional competition, with the winners being selected and featured in an article, and then asked to do a project or two through the next year.

I decided for the Creating Keepsakes contest to do half of my ten-page entry as digital pages, and half as paper. I figured that entering a combination of page types would help my chances. Apparently, it did.

This page is my first "official" digital layout, and one of the pages I submitted to Creating Keepsakes for the 2006 contest:

You Are the Mark. June 2005

The text reads:

I have never felt more surely than now my purpose and place in the world. Each of us arrives here with the opportunity to shape ourselves, to grow and learn, to overcome opposition, and hopefully to leave some evidence of a well-lived life. I once thought my contribution to the world - my mark - would be within the walls of a cubicle or a corner office. But I know now that you, my sweet son, you are my gift of purpose and place. You are my corner office. You are the mark I will make on the world.  -JS

I do think one of the attractions to scrapbooking in general was the opportunity to combine several things I really loved and was pretty good at: writing, photography, design, Photoshop, collecting cute supplies and cardstock (ahem). It fused these diverse abilities into one craft centered on storytelling, but not only storytelling - telling and remembering and savoring and recording my own stories. Mine. Saying by these actions and this time spent that these things - my life and what I think and do and feel - matter, because they do. And they do for all of us who spend our time in this way.

As the end of 2005 approached, I began to learn for myself that this level of focus on detail and simple beauty and celebration and personal storytelling changes us as people. It changes the filters through which we see the world and makes happier, more grateful, more humble. We are more sure and alive and present in our everyday moments, for we are not just inhabiting these day-to-day things but savoring the moments now, and capturing the memories for later. 

I stumbled on a quote by the memoirist Anais Nin, who was talking about herself as a writer of personal stories:

We write to taste life twice. Once in the moment and once in retrospection. 

I've never read a better description of what personal storytelling and memory keeping and scrapbooking really is. The chance to taste life again as we relive it creating our projects with heart and mind and hands. Awesome.

I won both the Memory Makers Masters contest and the Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame contest for 2006, and that pretty much sealed it for me: I was in this in a big way. Heart and soul.

It would be several more months before I would begin to catch the vision that part of my role in this industry would include actually teaching these concepts to others, but I was getting there. Getting to my place.

-JS

Where Have All the Scrappers Gone? Part 2

This post is a continuation from Part 1 of Where Have All the Scrappers Gone? I have decided to do an in-depth exploration of scrapbooking from the perspective of my ten-year involvement. :)

During the fall of 2004 I started looking at scrapbooking magazines, in my typical response to anything I want to learn more about in-depth: go to the bookstore. I found PaperKutz, Scrapbook Trends, Scrapbooks Etc., Memory Makers, and Creating Keepsakes. Remember those? Remember walking in to your Michael's or Jo-Anne's or the bookstore or your local scrapbook store and finding not one but SEVERAL scrapbooking magazines for sale? 

Transient
Transient
Transient
Transient

The year 2004 ended as we found out we were expecting Elliott the next summer, and I met my first scrapbook friend from 2 peas in real life: Michele Skinner. We would go on to add to our group, including Susan Weinroth and Nisa Fiin. (who I met at my first scrapbooking road trip to the 2 Peas crop in Wisconsin - I thought she was absolutely crazy - she is - and I knew we'd be friends for a long time). I also got to meet my first scrapbooking girl-crush, Ali Edwards. (ahem: it's 10 years later and she is still my scrapbooking girl-crush)

From then on, the Twin Cities girls got together pretty much once a month at different stores to work on projects and chat. I started to discover that scrapbooking is as much a lifestyle, a way of looking at the world, an outlet and a conduit for creativity, and a way to connect with other women as much as it is - or maybe more than it is, about recording memories. And let's be honest: it's also about collecting the grownup-girl school supplies of cuteness. ;) I started learning how naturally scrapbookers became friends, and within those first few months I knew I'd started to make friends (online and in person) that I would have for life. 

Every night after work Jared and I would sit in the office after Rowen was asleep, and I'd work on scrapbook projects and he'd play computer games. I remember telling him over and over again, "There's something in this for me." I didn't know yet what it was, but I could feel the ground under me shifting, even then. I also found Cathy Zielske's book called Clean & Simple Scrapbooking, and read it over and over - I still have my original copy of it, spine broken and pages warped from taking it into the tub to read while I soaked. (Ahem: Cathy Zielske is also one of my scrapbooking girl-crushes) That book, and Cathy's unabashed mixture of gorgeous design with an obvious love of paper really helped define my style.

As I perused the magazines each month (I subscribed to Memory Makers and Creating Keepsakes), I started to wonder where they got their pages from. I discovered the submission instructions and also "The Pub" at twopeasinabucket, which was a message board for those who were interested in submitting projects for publication. I began sending a few pages in response to some of the calls for projects from the magazine.

I received my first email back from Jana Lillie at Creating Keepsakes for August 2005 issue, and I was stunned. And elated. I jumped around and did laps around my office singing the Rocky theme for like, 3 days. And I packed my layout carefully and sent it off to Utah.

My first published layout. Creating Keepsakes, August 2005

In the spring of 2005 I quit my job as a user interface designer for a software company in St. Paul. I wanted to stay home with the kids after Elliott was born anyway, and I had been put on "low activity rest" until he was born because of heart problems I'd developed being pregnant. 

Of course the "low activity" was spending lots and lots of time making pages - I feel like this was the beginning of really developing a style, starting to learn about design. It became pretty much the replacement for my old job, in some ways. And always, therapy. Through my photos and the sifting through memory that I was doing, I began to see the beauty in my life. Began to really throw myself into this craft heart and soul, and relished possibilities I couldn't imagine at the time. The next year would change everything. 

Part 3 coming soon! 

Where Have All the Scrappers Gone? Part 1

NOTE: This year is my 10th "Scrap-a-versary", and I have decided to create a multi-part series on how scrapbooking has evolved, and what I see as my place in it over the years. I hope the backstory provides some insight, and that we can have a discussion about where scrapbooking was, what it's like today, and what the future might be for memory keeping in general. Here we go!

Beginnings

I remember the first day I discovered scrapbooking. I had heard about it, of course - my mother-in-law gave me a subscription to Paper Crafts magazine because I was a card maker, and I really liked stamping. 

As I looked over my Paper Crafts issues, I noticed that many of the fonts were credited to Two Peas in a Bucket. Weird! So of course I had to go check that out. That was 2003. I noticed while I was there how HUGE the scrapbooking side of the site was - tons of product and tons of galleries and message boards. I bought fonts and ignored the rest. Heh. Little did I know.

In February of 2004, my little daughter was born almost 6 weeks early. I've mentioned a bit about that struggle in this post. I was, frankly, traumatized. Everything was new, I was lonely, and I had some pretty desperate post-partum depression. I shouted. I ran away a couple of times. Drove around for half an hour and came home with tail between legs. 

One of the things that I started doing that helped was taking photos of her. For the first time, really EVER, I had something to photograph, and so the pictures began to accumulate on my computer. 

She was about 5 months old when I decided that I really needed somewhere to put all these photos. A photo album, right?

So one Saturday I drove over to the Archiver's in Apple Valley Minnesota, less than a mile from my house. I knew they sold photo albums - so I went in for a photo album. Heh. Man, was I about to get my eyes opened!

 

Archiver's. Apple Valley, MN

Archiver's. Apple Valley, MN

The Mothership

This whole backstory, I hope, will help to illustrate what happened when I walked in the door. I was flooded by color and light and cute things and cardstock and patterned paper, and I do think angels sang. I would swear it. The Mothership had called me home.

I left Archiver's that day a different person. Preparation had met need, and my dormant creativity met my desire to capture the memories I had recorded of my daughter. I wouldn't realize until later just HOW different I would be. In fact, almost everything about my life - certainly my creative and working life, and my relationship to my family and my life in general would change forever. In a very real sense, I was rescued by scrapbooking. I will always have a special place in my heart for Archiver's because of that. 

Since I had an account at TwoPeasinaBucket.com already, I started looking through the galleries at the scrapbook pages there. And I began collecting supplies.

My first pages? Oh yeah. I've never shared them publicly. In a way, I like looking back at these pages as I made my first foray into a new craft. A new way of looking at my life, too. 

My very first scrapbook page. My very first time really trying to process my story, to come to terms, and even to celebrate the experience. Summer 2004.

Here's page two. The poem is one I read first in college, and I knew then that I wanted to tell this poem to my daughter one day, if I ever had one. 

Born Yesterday

by Phillip Larkin

Tightly-folded bud,
I have wished you something
None of the others would:
Not the usual stuff
About being beautiful,
Or running off a spring
Of innocence and love -
They will all wish you that,
And should it prove possible,
Well, you're a lucky girl.

But if it shouldn't, then
May you be ordinary;
Have, like other women,
An average of talents:
Not ugly, not good-looking,
Nothing uncustomary
To pull you off your balance,
That, unworkable itself,
Stops all the rest from working.
In fact, may you be dull -
If that is what a skilled,
Vigilant, flexible,
Unemphasised, enthralled
Catching of happiness is called.

As the year of 2004 progressed, more pages came. More memories were savored and saved, and I was sucked deeper and deeper in to this craft. 

I fell in love with Bazzill cardstock, (in fact, I still have quite a handsome collection of it), and started getting to know names, like Rhonna Farrer, KI Memories, Chatterbox, Autumn Leaves. And it never really became about "getting it done" as much as it was about the absolutely theraputic process of putting glue to paper. The hobby (ahem: obsession) had begun. Heaven help my husband. He had no idea what was coming. ;)

Part 2 is here!