Archives for April 2016

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Best Day Ever?

People scrapbook because they want to remember the good times. I get that. It’s one of the reasons I scrapbook. But sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the happy-happy, fun-fun, this-is-perfect products out there. How many best days ever can we have? By definition: one. Yet there are dozens of best-day-ever embellishments that just sit in my pile of products, going unused.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not calling for a ban on the happy stuff. But there’s an awful lot of life that happens in between the fun, and I want to document that too. Here’s a page I did last year. You can check it out in my Scrapping the Spectrum series.

Depression Lies

There are some products out there for this–and I buy them pretty much every chance I get–but it would be nice if there were even more. Not just for bad days, but for average days. Boring days. Angry days. They are all part of life.

So here’s my small plea to manufacturers: let’s have more variety in phrasing and tone. If you want to keep it happy, at least come up with some new phrases.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

You Are My Wingman

I tend to force selfies on my friends in any circumstances, but when they are going to move, I take them in bulk. Here is one of my photos of me with my friend Joel, who has since moved out of state in hopes of escaping my camera.

You Are My Wingman

Now, to talk about that layout.

  • I am quite pleased by the way I am remembering to incorporate washi tape on my layouts. Not that I’m making much of a dent, since I only used about six inches on this page, but every little bit helps.
  • My goodness, I love the gray and white patterned paper. I only had one sheet of it and now I have less.
  • Many stickers are included on this page. I especially like the cluster of stickers above the photo.
  • These Thickers were a bit annoying. I usually have no problem with foam Thickers, but some of the foam tore away from these. It was weird. Has anyone else had this trouble?

Feel free to check out the process video below. Thanks for visiting!

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Summer Sunbabies

We all have those little rituals that we don’t think too much about because they are such a regular part of our lives. I can always tell when things are warming up outside because my boys go out onto the deck to enjoy the sun.

Sunbabies

I’m just going to admit it–I love some of my layouts more than others. This is one I especially like.

  • The papers are from my Felicity Jane kits. Love the colors! And I love the coordinating floral diecut from my stash. I only had one, so I cut it in half and used it in two places on the layout.
  • The sketch I used is from Jen Schow’s Ready Sketch Go class.
  • The pink circle on the top left of the photo is a doily. I just cut out the outside, which made it the perfect size for this page. I also misted it to make it the color I wanted.
  • I tried to foil the wood veneer hearts. They look OK, but I need to work on my foiling techniques. LOL

Of course there is a process video. Hope you like it!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Just Kitting By

I subscribe to the Felicity Jane monthly kit. And I love it.

Felicity Jane papers

The papers and embellishments are just my style, and each kit includes a super versatile stamp set as well. And the products coordinate quite well from month to month as well. In short, there are many great things about subscribing to a kit, and I have no plans to stop soon.

But.

Let’s face it: kit products build up. I try to use them up, and every few months I make a focused effort to make a dent in my supplies, and I do just that. But then I remember that I have loads of other worthy products that also need to be used. Plus I love variety, so I can only scrapbook  using a smaller pool of items for so long before I start feeling twitchy. And they pile up again . . .

I put all of my FJ kit products in a 12 x 12 Iris container. I’ve been a subscriber for a year; my container is getting quite, quite full.

Felicity Jane Embellishments

Here’s my question to other kit subscribers: how do you store your kits? And what do you do to use up your kit supplies?

I’m secretly hoping to get someone to give me a scrapbooking stipend I can live on so I don’t have to work. I know I could do so much more scrapbooking this way. :)

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Let Us Eat Cupcakes

Last year I decided to embrace the whole birthday thing, maybe because I had these great cupcakes to enjoy. :)

Let Us Eat Cupdates

Let’s talk about the layout.

  • The papers are all from a birthday-themed kit I received from my cousin for Christmas. Love it!
  • This sketch was the inspiration for this layout.
  • I mixed white gesso with some cream-colored paint and tried to use it to mute the background a little. It didn’t work as well as I hoped. Next time I think I will just try the paint and see how that works.

There is a process video for your enjoyment.

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Adorbs

I’ve been blogging about process videos all week. Time to post another one! But first, a pic of the layout that goes with it.

Adorbs (700x666)

Now, a few things to note about this page.

  • I used this sketch as inspiration.
  • The color of my friend’s sweater helped me choose the background paper. The horizontal lines at the bottom were distracting when they were behind the photo, so I ended up turning the paper upside down.
  • Doilies, doilies everywhere! I added the doily below the photo because there was an awkward gap between the diecut and the flower paper. I really liked the way the doily filled it.

Hope you enjoy the process video. I’d love to know what you think.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Process Videos: Part 3, Concluding

This is my last blog entry about creating process videos for YouTube (here are part 1 and part 2 of the series if you missed them). The process itself is pretty much covered in the first two parts. This post covers my concluding thoughts about why I started making process videos and what I love about doing videos and sharing them with others.

I knew that process videos were a thing but didn’t really start watching them until I was diagnosed with pneumonia in January 2015. I was home for a few weeks and needed something to watch that didn’t require a long attention span. I had been watching some TV, but even an hour-long show was too long. So I tried YouTube, found some process videos, and kept on clicking. I wasn’t thinking about having a scrappy channel of my own–I was just finding pleasure in watching videos while I was so sick.

I started thinking about creating my own videos in mid 2015. I don’t feel like I’m a trendsetting scrapper. More often than not I use a sketch or another layout to inspire the design of my page. But I felt like I had a few things I could offer:

  • I make a conscious effort to include the negative things about my life into my scrapbooks as well as the positive things. This thought was the basis for my Scrapping the Spectrum series.
  • I believe we can get inspiration from any scrapbook page whatever photo(s) are used, but I thought there might be other single folks out there who might appreciate my perspective.

So that’s why I got started. I can honestly say that I still get a thrill with every new subscriber, and I read every comment people leave for me. It’s so nice to hear from people about the things I create. It gives me motivation to continue.

But outside of this feedback, I still get tremendous pleasure from the process itself (despite the Movie Maker woes). The truth is I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it. It’s too much work. I have a very informal goal to post at least twice a week, but I am aiming to post 10 videos a month. Life happens, but this is what I’m going to try and do when I can.

Thanks for reading another long post. :) If you have any questions, please post them in a comment.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Process Videos: Part 2, Editing

Once I finish filming a process video (and I talk about how I do that in part 1), I move on to the editing process. I’ve gotta say I have a love/hate relationship with editing, but before I get to that, let’s outline the process itself.

  • I remove the memory card from the camera and transfer the video files to my external hard drive. I used to just transfer them to my computer, but I learned that this will crash my computer at some point(s) throughout the process.
  • I edit the files in Windows Movie Maker. My tripod setup requires that I film upside down, so I always turn things right-side up when editing. I also cut out the “dead” spots, like those times when I’m away from my desk finding products to try. Or when I stop working because I’m talking to my dogs or getting them treats. As I do this, I am always asking myself what people will want to see. I go back and forth between whether I should show more of the process and just speed up the video more? Or should I cut out bits like adhering so I don’t have to speed things up so much? Sometimes I think I should leave more in because that would take less time to edit. But I don’t feel like viewers need to watch me ink all the edges of my patterned papers, so I will typically cut a bunch of this repetitive stuff out. You might have noticed that I will typically show me adhering the first couple letters in a title, for instance, and then I skip forward to the end.
  • Once I have finished this editing stage, I look at how long the video is and decide how much to speed it up. Real-time is too long for me. My preferred speed is 2x; this feels like a nice balance between watching me push products around and speeding it up so much that it’s difficult to catch what I’m doing. I will occasionally increase the speed to 3x or 4x, but most of my videos are at 2x.
  • Next comes making voiceovers. This usually happens at least a week after I have made the layout. Sometimes longer. I use this microphone (shown below) and really like it. Microphones are a must in my opinion; it’s difficult to get good sound without them. I never do voiceovers in one take. Most of this is because I have chronic asthma, and I am always very aware of my wheezing. I also like to get rid of any “uhs” if I can manage it. And then there are the times when I trip over my words. Or when my dogs interrupt by barking. No one needs to hear that. LOL. I typically splice 10 or more voiceover segments together to make the voiceover for each video.
  • I add music to the beginning and end of the video. I also add still photos along with a scan of the entire layout. Then I save the file as a MP4 and upload it to YouTube.

Blue Snowball

I don’t delete any of the files from my memory cards until I have uploaded the final video to YouTube. This is why I have a bunch of cards. When I’m too sick to do voiceovers, the videos pile up waiting for me to get back to it. I typically have at least eight videos at some stage of the process, which is why a layout doesn’t get posted on YouTube until a month after I create it. There are exceptions to this, like when I am working on a specific, timely challenge. I will rush a video through the process, but I prefer not to.

My biggest frustration with editing is the Movie Maker program. It’s free and pretty easy to use–though there is a learning curve. But it glitches. A lot. Sometimes it will shut down while I am trying to upload. Then I have to start over. I’ve noticed it will crash when I have uploaded a bunch of photos to my computer. I’m still nowhere near capacity, so I don’t really understand why. I have cleared out a bunch of photos from my laptop. Things have also been a little better lately since I did a disk cleanup, but the program is still very touchy. That’s another reason I have so many videos still in process. Sometimes I just don’t feel like struggling with the editor. I tried another program but it was not easy to use at all. So for now I just keep on keeping on.

And . . . wow. That turned out to be longer than I expected. Have any questions about editing or voiceovers? Ask them in the comments.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Process Videos: Part 1, Filming

I thought it might be fun (and hopefully useful) to write about my process of making process videos. I started my channel ages ago but began posting process and scrappy related photos in August 2015. I’m going to break this up into at least two (and maybe three) posts. This blog entry focuses on the filming portion of my process.

I’m pretty old school when it comes to filming. I see lots of people talking about how they film on their phones or tablets. I use my camera. Here’s my setup–and a look at what I’m working on next. You probably won’t see a process video for this layout for at least a month, but I’ll talk more about this in my blog about editing.

Filming Setup

I use this tripod. I needed it (or one like it) because I need to be able to film straight down. My previous tripod had legs that would not maneuver to allow this. As you can see, the tripod takes a fair amount of space. At first this felt awkward while filming, but I’m quite used to it now. If I could change one thing about this tripod, it’s the feet. They move around a bit–I’m not sure if there is a way to lock things in when I’m in the straight down position. If so, I haven’t figured it out. I always check when I first start filming to make sure everything is in frame, but it doesn’t always stay that way. :( I’m getting more fanatical about checking the legs and looking through the lens more often.

I have two batteries for my camera. One is always in the camera and the other one is being charged. The camera typically beeps when the battery dies, so I usually (not always) notice and can easily pop in the fresh one. I also have a bunch of memory cards so I can hopefully have one available when I fill up one. This is a little complicated, though, and I’ll talk about it more when I post about the editing process.

I used to film about 80% of the layouts I created, but I’ve been filming 100% since late last year. Filming takes so little effort, I figure why not?

How I film process videos has changed over time. I used to film more of the process of paper and embellishment choosing. I would start with a clean table and go through the whole paper selection process. Same with embellishments. Now I typically go through my supplies and pick several papers to choose from, then start filming. Once I’ve got the papers arranged to my liking, I move on to embellishments and do the same: go through my options to find what might work, then start filming again once I have a bunch out on my desk. This seems more efficient to me; viewers can still see what I decide to go with and where I decide to place things, but they don’t have to suffer through watching me go through five paper pads.

I hope that gives you a small glimpse into my behind-the-scenes. Have any questions about filming? Leave them in the comments below.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Just Dream

Cupid definitely loves the puffy pillow I got him for Christmas. He looks so cute curled up on it, and I wanted to capture a little of that cuteness in a layout.

Just Dream

Let’s get started.

  • This layout is a combination of new products and products from my stash, which means it’s part of my Something Old, Something New series. The new is the pocket page card (from a Messy Box), the heart stamp, and the dog-themed word stickers. Old is much of the patterned paper and the flair buttons. I wasn’t sure I’d ever use the latter because of the color, but the purple suits this layout perfectly.
  • Remember when Big Lots used to sell scrapbooking supplies? Me too, but it was years ago. The grid paper and multicolored paper are from a paper pad I got there a while ago.
  • I used this sketch as inspiration for the layout.

There is a process video you can also watch. Hope you enjoy it!

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