Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's crop challenge #2

It is now time for your second challenge of the night, are you ready?

Create a year in review layout about 2012!  Don't forget we have a wonderful sketch by Megan that would work nicely for this if you need some design ideas.

1. Make sure you create a new layout for this challenge.
2. Make sure you upload your layout in the gallery and leave a link in the challenge completed post.
3. Deadline is Tuesday, January 1st (as late as you stay up) for a box of goodies or before Monday, January 7th for a GC. Those that finish by January 1st will be eligible for both prizes.

New Year's Crop Challenge #1

Are you ready to send 2012 packing and ring in the new year?  Be on the lookout for a few challenges issued throughout the night to help you do just that, plus the bonus of a box of goodies just waiting for one of you!

So, my challenge for you now is easy, Pull out your most hoarded supply, you know that item that you had to buy and you haven't touched and ... USE IT!  That's all you have to do to conquer this challenge. 

1.  Make sure you create a new layout or 2 cards for this challenge.
2.  Make sure you upload your layout or 2 cards in the gallery and leave a link in the challenge completed post.
3.  Deadline is Tuesday, January 1st (as late as you stay up) for a box of goodies or before Monday, January 7th for a GC.  Those that finish by January 1st will be eligible for both prizes.

Come ring in the new year

with us here at Memorable Seasons!  Yep, you heard me we are scrapping away 2012 and getting geared up for 2013 right here on the blog.  Make sure you stop by later this evening and you will find challenges popping up every few hours throughout the night.  One participant will win a box of goodies and I also have a GC for another lucky player.  Hope to see you here tonight! 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Focus On Two-Page Layouts!

Hello Memorable Seasons friends! Megan here with a special post for you!

I was beyond thrilled when Wendy asked me if I wouldn’t mind contributing a tutorial on creating 2-page layouts. “Mind?” I thought. I was honored!

So, here I am today to give you some insight on making cohesive, well-balanced two-page layouts based on sketches! Now for those of you who ran screaming from the computer when you read “two-page layouts,” I assure you that you too will be a believer in them once you read my tutorial and give it a try. 

(And please forgive my “old-fashioned” text and photo tutorial. I have not even begun to delve into the world of video tutorials and applaud Jean and Colette for their amazing videos.)

Okay, and now it’s time to take a walk through my brain as I develop a two-page layout. I always start with my photos and supplies and then I either sketch out a rough layout design on paper or seek out a sketch that I feel will work well with my photos and provide the right amount of space for my journaling (if I am including journaling).  For our purposes, we are going to focus on finding a sketch to use. I am a huge fan of sketches because they are such a time-saver and really help in creating eye-pleasing, well-balanced layouts. And, this is especially true with two-page layouts when the main struggle always seems to be balance and not over-crowding your layout. So, after you have your photos, supplies and sketch all chosen, it’s time to create!

When creating two-page layouts, I try to keep four main principles in the forefront of my mind…
(1) Achieve cohesiveness over the two pages.
(2) Don’t make your layout too crowded.
(3) Think about photo placement.
(4) Adapt a sketch to fit your layout.

So, how do you achieve cohesiveness over the two pages? My golden rule to abide by this principle is to use at least one patterned paper on both pages. A very close second is to create a visual triangle. You can also repeat elements across the two pages. Or, try crossing the gutter of the pages with paper, a border strip, ribbon or even a photo (if you have dead space in the photo that you don’t mind having a vertical cut through). You can also put a border around the edge of your layout to help tie the whole design together.

And how in the world do you not make a two-page layout look too crowded? Because you (usually) have a lot of photos, the key is to keep the embellishments minimal.  You can add interest with a creative title treatment, a variety of patterned papers and small details rather than a ton of embellishing. Also, you can help photos stand out from your page by inking the edges of them with StazOn ink or matting them.

What do you mean, “think about photo placement?” First, you want to have subjects face “into” page, toward the gutter of your spread (or in other words the middle of the layout). You don’t want Uncle Bob gazing off your page into outer space. Also, if you have multiple photos with the same person in them, space them apart. As adorable as your little girl is, spread her out over the two pages; don’t clump three photos of her in one corner (unless it adds to the story you are trying to tell, like if they are a bunch of photos in a series). Finally, try interspersing photos of people with detail photos for added interest.

I’ve got my sketch. So, how do I adapt it to fit my layout? Flip it. If it makes more sense to use the mirror image of the sketch for photo, title or embellishment placing reasons, then go ahead and flip it. When I do this, I actually save the sketch to my computer’s Desktop, open it with photo editing software and then flip it horizontally so I actually have the sketch’s mirror image in front of me. If you can’t find a two-page sketch you like, try expanding a one-page sketch. Not sure how to do this? Check out Susan Stringfellow’s two part series about this topic on her blog Sketch Savvy (Part I  and Part II). Try changing the size or orientation of your photos or the photos on the sketch. Add a visual triangle if there isn’t one already on the sketch to help with balance. Move the title and/or journaling placement. Alter elements of the sketch to fit your theme or topic; just because the sketch has flower embellishments on it doesn’t mean those couldn’t be stars or snowflakes.

Are you tired yet? I hope not, because now that we’ve reviewed these design principles for creating fabulous two-page layouts, I want to share with you two recent layouts I created using both a sketch and these principles. And, of course since we all have a whole new batch of Christmas photos to scrap, my pages will show you how to scrap lots of those photos in just a couple layouts!

So, first up is a sketch I created just for you. It’s my first attempt at a “professional looking” sketch, so be nice! This sketch allows for one extra large focal photo and then eight supporting photos.
And here is the layout I created using this sketch. The first thing you’ll note is that I flipped the sketch so that my brother Dan in the focal photo is facing into the center of the layout (so I adapted the sketch while thinking about my photo placement). Also in regards to photo placement, I intentionally separated the two photos of Dan, myself and Andrew. And, I made sure the detail photo of the stockings and gifts was somewhere in the center column of photos. I also changed out the scalloped edge for a torn edge to enhance my gift-opening theme. Then, I used a variety of different alphas and embellished each word for creative title treatment; when I say “embellished” I mean that used brown Thickers for the word “brown”, covered the word “paper” with mulberry paper, put a package sticker behind the word “package”, etc. And then of course are the various ways I achieved cohesiveness – I have a border surrounding my page, I used several patterned papers on both pages and crossed the gutter with almost all those papers, and finally, I created a visual triangle with my three embellishment clusters which are anchored by the same patterned paper circle.

And next up is a sketch from Susan Stringfellow’s Sketch Savvy Blog. I love her sketches and this one is definitely a favorite. It provides room for five good-sized photos.
And here’s my layout! You’ll first note that I adapted the layout for my photos by replacing the 4”x5” photo with two 4”x2.5” photos and also added the small 2”x2” photo of the poinsettias. I also switched the placement of the photos on the left side because I used the fussy-cut house to cover dead space in my table centerpiece photo. And I really wanted to include that cute house and didn’t want it to cover any of the ornaments dangling from the chandelier in the other photo. I also added an additional tag to the layout to create the essential (in my opinion at least) visual triangle. Then, I also moved the tag on the right-hand side of the sketch down for two reasons – (1) so I didn’t cover up any of the beautiful Webster’s Pages paper I fussy-cut and (2) to allow it to be the focus of my third embellishment cluster. You’ll also note that all the papers appear on both pages of my spread and I crossed the gutter with two of them. Finally, I added the stitched border to tie the two sides of the spread together even further. I chose a cream-colored floss because I wanted the border to be subtle since I already had a lot of visual interest on the page.

Well, that's it! I truly appreciate you taking the time out of your hectic schedule to read my 2-page sketch tutorial. Again, I am honored to have been given this opportunity! If you create a layout with either of sketches above (or one you find on your own), we'd love to see your page!

Happy scrapping!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Project Life is it for you?

So you have probably heard all of the commotion about Project Life going around.  It seems like every company is producing their own materials or joining with someone that is.  Here at Memorable Seasons we try to keep you all abreast of all of the trends that come and go, some good and some well, they should have been skipped.  So this year, we are going to offer a challenge each month to document your everyday life - this will also count towards the monthly prize drawing.

So how can you document your life; well you could try documenting your daily life, your weekly life, your monthly life, however you decide will work for you will earn you an entry in the monthly prize drawing, plus you will have documented those little things that really do mean so much.  Each month one of the DT members will offer you a 2 page sketch to help you document your life - we've each oohed, and ahhhed over Megan and Tami's progress this year in Project 12 - 12 spreads in a year.  You can choose to use the sketch we provide, or do your own thing, but we want to offer you the tools you will need to be successful in 2013 documenting your life.

If you have thought about doing the full Project Life I wanted to share some information that I have been gathering to again provide the tools you would need to follow this path of the journey

Project Life -
1.  First up the creator of Project Life, Becky Higgins, with some information she shared with CK, Project Life .

2.  Echo Park has created Photo Freedom based on Stacy Julian's approach - Photo Freedom

3.  But most of all, here is a dear friend of mine Patricia Roebuck's outlook on actually doing a year of Project Life and answering some basic questions that I asked her and others that she has come across over the year, Roebuck Adventures

So, I hope this gives you plenty of information to consider joining us here at Memorable Seasons as we take this journey into scrapbooking the daily moments of our lives!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sketch-a-thon is coming!

Has your mojo gone missing with all of the Holiday activities? Has it been awhile since you've had the chance to create? Well, we have a fix for that! Come join us at Memorable Seasons for the whole month of January in our annual Sketch-a-thon! Sketches everyday of the week from various places, prizes both weekly and a grand prize, what more could you want? Make sure you stop by the forum for more details and to sign up. Can't wait to see you there to jump start your creating for 2013!

Make sure you also stop by this week for some fun events that are planned, it's a surprise!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Detta's photography class

It is time for another addition of "How did you do that?" I hate to disappoint you but there are no videos in this post. The two ladies who went before me set the bar very high and I am just not spry enough to jump that high.

I'm going to talk about bokeh and Christmas tree lights. This is what we are going to try to achieve.



Those lovely circles of color in the background are made using the lights on my tree. I am going to tell you how to get them with both your DSLR and with your point and shoot. It can be done with both! First, a simple definition of bokeh is the quality of the blur or the way your lens renders the out of focus points of light. I know that all of you have seen portraits where the subject of the photo is sharp and clear but the background is all creamy and blurry causing the subject to really stand out. That out of focus part, my friends, is bokeh.

The picture above was done using my Nikon D90 and a 35 mm 1.8 lens. My settings were

ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/80
F-stop 1.8
and I used my flash

Here is an example of a non Christmas photo with a bokeh background. The sunlight spots coming through the tree leaves created the points of light.



Now, I told you you can do this with a point and shoot and here is my example. This one was done using my Sony point and shoot set to auto with the flash on.

and here is one with the flash turned off using the portrait setting on my point and shoot.
In this one with the flash turned off, I have the lights on in the dining room behind me but the lights in the living room are off in all three pictures. The secret to all three pictures is distance. There must be some distance between the subject (Santa) and the background (the tree) and also some distance between the camera and the subject. The distance between the camera and the subject is not as important with your DSLR if you have a fast lens but it is very important using your point and shoot or with a slower DSLR lens.

Here is a very bad picture of my set up where you can see the stuff piled up by the wall that I haven't dealt with, yet.


 However, you can sort of see that there is about 8 feet between Santa and the tree and about 6 feet between Santa and my tripod. The tripod is very important. With the lights off there is a very high probability of camera shake and out of focus shots. If you do not have a tripod, use a table or a chair or something hard to steady your camera on. Another trick is to use the self timer on your camera so it has time to stop shaking before the shot is taken after your press the shutter.

If you are using a DSLR, turn that dial to manual. I know it's scary but you can do it! If you are using a telephoto lens, zoom it out as far as you can and then back away from your subject until you have them framed like you want in the viewfinder and still in focus. Set your aperture as large as it will get. (the smallest number) If  you are not using a flash, set your ISO as high as you can and then adjust your shutter speed to get the proper exposure. Focus on your subject and take the picture. The background should have lovely circles of light. You can also try using aperture priority with the lens as wide open as you can get. In aperture priority, your camera will automatically set your shutter speed for you.

If you are using a point and shoot, the same instructions apply to your lens. Zoom it out as far as it will go and back up until you have your subject framed the way you want and in focus. Experiment with it. Try with and without your flash. Don't worry about your flash lighting up the tree. Most flashes only reach about 8-10 feet and whatever is beyond that will be black. Since your subject is 8 feet in front of your tree, only your subject will be lit. The further away the lights are, the bigger the circles will be. Try it on auto. Try it on the portrait setting.  (usually a girl with parentheses around her head on your dial) Try it on macro (usually a flower) Both of these settings are good for throwing your background out of focus.If you just want a picture of the tree with lots of bokeh circles, twist your lens until it is out of focus. That will create the circles for you, too.

I hope these instructions are simple enough for you to understand and I hope that you will try it. Remember that your subject needs to be very still in these pictures or you will get motion blur. Here are a couple more bokeh shots for you to see. I had very cooperative subjects.



I hope you will try this little trick and share your results with me.







Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Scraplift me, Wendy!

Today is my turn to challenge you to scraplift me!  I had the hardest time picking what layout to scraplift of myself because the lines I work with dictate what type of scrapping I do.  Some lines really pull out my fussy cutting, where other lines tend to inspire me to be artistic and get out paints and inks, OA's Be Merry line was more a streamlined approach for me and so I went looking for a layout in my gallery that had those qualities...

I chose a layout from my Jan 2012 kit when I was the GDT here at MS, how times change! 
Here is the one from Jan 2012, http://www.memorableseasons.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=11487&ppuser=2796 I also have another one with the exact same design here,
http://www.memorableseasons.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=12739&ppuser=2796

And this is what I created from my lift - using the same design as my previous layout...



So my challenge for you is to scraplift the layout I chose and see where it takes you!  Stop on by the forum and play along, you have until Dec 31st to complete this challenge.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Heavy hearted Day

Hi there this is Tami with you today. 

I am supposed to be posting about my reveal, my challenges and stuff.  But all of us over at the message boards are really feeling very heavy hearted still today.  I dont know if any of our readers are any way connected to the horrific shootings that took yesterday-but please know that if you are.  Us girls here at Memorable Seasons are ALL praying for you and your loved ones.

While I had a long prayer time this morning, it did make me feel somewhat better but still struggling a bit.  So I am plowing thru this day and when i am done with my chores, I plan to scrap something anything about my
children--scrapping is such good therapy.  I hope you will try the same.

I will be back with you soon for a more upbeat subject--just not today.  Thanks and hugs to all of you out there who are struggling with this devistation too.

toodles,
Tami

Friday, December 14, 2012

Colette's Mind in Motion

Hey!  This is Colette saying Happy December to everyone!

Your gift today is the next free class in this December series of fun and inspiring scrapbook classes hosted by some of the Memorable Seasons members!  Last week one of our newest design team members, the super talented Jean Marmo, shared with us her tips and tricks for creating one of her awesome Mixed Media Canvas projects.  And, if by chance you missed watching her video, just click here and enjoy!

I've been as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve just waiting for the day that I could share with you my own video! And, today is the day! Woot!   When Wendy asked me if I'd give you guys a peek into 'Colette's Mind As She Scraps' I laughed.  I just couldn't imagine how I was going to gift wrap wild splashes of color, fields of  Prima flowers, layers of patterned papers and elaborate stories all tied up with ribbons of puffy paint dotty circles in a way that made any sense of the chaos of ideas that swirl around my mind as I'm scrapping!


So I took a deep breath and decided I'd just create a fun layout like I normally would and just photograph the steps it took to get from printing photos to the finished layout.  That will be good, right? And then Jean comes along and posts a VIDEO!  Well, there are obviously some very high standards around here at Memorable Seasons.  So I set out to create a video tutorial worthy enough to post to the MS blog!  

Let me just say from the get-go ... creating videos .. even if it's only a slide show with narration and a bit of music ... is an art form all it's own.  I'm a scrapper.  Not a digital guru.  That's going to be obvious. But, it definitely is a whole lot more fun than scrolling through more than 2 dozen photos.  More than TWO DOZEN you say? 

sorry. 

I wanted to be thorough. 

And, I wanted you to be impressed. {{wink}} 




  Let me dangle a carrot and show you a sneak peek at the finished layout!


My challenge to you today is create a layout using at least one of the techniques I showed you today.  It might be creating a layered frame as the base for your page.  It might be adding some of those fun fabric leaves to a flower cluster. You could even be inspired by the sketch! Don't stop there ... how about getting some drywall tape and bubble wrap and create a fun textured background? And of course ... there's always those fun, puffy paint dotty circles that everyone loves. 

Be sure to get those projects uploaded to the MS gallery before the deadline on December 31st. And, visit us in the forum for more great challenges!

Like Jean said ... Play.  Have Fun.  Enjoy!!


 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Liz's City Sidewalk Inspiration

Hello Memorable Seasons fans! Liz here to share my projects using the beautiful City Sidewalks collection from Pink Paislee.
 
There's a whole lotta' lifting going on this month. The following layout was lifted from our Member Of The Month, Louise! I love Loiuse's work! This is Loiuse's layout I used for inspiration...
Here is my lift...
 
Finally, all month long the DT are issuing challenges to scraplift us. Here is my layout to scraplift. You can choose any aspect of the layout that inspired you. Entries are due by Dec. 31st.
 
 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Jean's Mixed Media Class


I was asked to present a class on "How do you do that?" for  Memorable Seasons.

How do you make those Mixed Media canvases. To be honest, I am no expert. I started playing last year and have practiced, and tried, and covered up and enjoyed learning the new craft of Mixed Media. Many of you know that I have a twin sister who is the artistic one. Growing up I ruled Math and Science while she took over Art and Music. For me to be doing these canvases is nothing short of amazing:) In an effort to show you what happens, I have two videos. I will warn you ---- it is very evident that I have never made a video before:) Please forgive my being upside down, changing outfits, head and hair, and all the starts and stops. I do hope it gives you an idea of the process but really there are no rules! You Tube is an amazing place to find instruction and inspiration. You just need to put in mixed media and there will he thousands of videos to watch! There are also online classes available for those who want to explore this even more. 


video

 

video

 
Here is the finished canvas




There is so much you can do with Mixed Media and it does not always have to be on a canvas. You can use these techniques on scrapbook pages, in art journals and for cards. Here are some other examples:






I bet you even have most of these supplies at home! I use the cheapest acrylic paints or watercolors there were Jen's when she was in the 6th grade!  You can use old books, phone books, magazines, scrapbook paper, tissue paper, pattern paper, etc.  Stencils can be made from almost anything - onion or orange bag mesh, the leftover piece from chipboard, etc. You know those rubons you  hate? well, pull them out and use them. I know everyone has a drawer full of stamps! Bubble wrap and cardboard, toothbrushes and combs can all be used for texture. I do use Modge Podge to glue items down and to coat the piece when i am done. 

So my challenge to you is this - create something using Mixed Media techniques. Make a canvas, create an art journal page, try a tag or card. The trick is not to over think it. Play, have fun and ENJOY!!
 
Thank you so much for visiting my blog and watching the videos! I appreciate the support!!
 
The deadline to upload a new project for this challenge is Dec 31st, stop by the forum for more details.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

So much going on at Memorable Seasons!


Hi Everyone!  Carol here, and I want to tell you how much I love, love, love my December DT kit that features Echo Park This & That Christmas!  ♥  The traditional colors are so me!  For my challenge this month, you are challenged to scraplift ME, and I chose a layout I did a while ago, and my NEW and I think improved version is above!  Festive for sure!  If you know me, you know that I'm a BIG fan of the self-portrait!  I've featured quite a few on my layouts!

Be sure to drop by the forum and check out all of the fun things that are ALWAYS going on!  A new fabulous DESIGN TEAM has been announced, there are challenges, the MOTM has been revealed, and we're all busy scraplifting Louise this month!  The LOTW has been posted, and the fabulous and always amazing Colette has her gorgeous layout featured!  What are you waiting for?  Drop on by the forum, get inspired, and join in the FUN!  See you there!