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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Photography Tips

I have been trying to improve my photography skills and I thought I would share what  little I have learned. I can't stress how important it is to use natural light. Natural light will greatly improve your photos. I took this photo of my vintage Easter card by a window on a rare sunny day. It turned out so much better then my first attempts when the light was not as strong.

Also use some imagination when it comes to props. The first time I had a white background, and some pink and white flowers sprinkled around. Although it sounded nice it just didn't do much for the card and was boring. The second time (photo above) I used a bible to set the card on and just used the curtain for the background and it turned out much more interesting.
When shooting closeups use your timer. While manually pushing the shutter button can some times cause the camera to shake. You will get a clearer picture using the timer. Or you can use a tripod. I just find that most of the time when I am shooting indoors I don't have room for the tripod. I have been known to use a stack of books to provide the right height and flat stable surface to get a shot without going to the trouble of setting up a tripod.

The paper doily on this Easter card was sprayed with glimmer mist which just gives a shimmer of sparkle and is very hard to catch with a camera or at least with mine. I just have a digital point and shoot. I had to place it in a spot that had sunlight but not too much and I just kept turning the card to different positions until I got it right. Also I used the macro setting on my camera to get in close.

I still have lots more to learn but feel I have already improved my photos greatly just from these few small things. Sometimes it's not the big things that make all the difference but the little things.

What are some tips that you have found that improved the quality of your photos?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Graduation 2005

I have a confession to make. I am just now getting around to scrapbooking my sons high school graduation. Now you may be wondering what is wrong with that? I know many times it is years before we scrapbook events or photos that are near and dear to our hearts and that is not the confession or why I feel bad. It's not that he graduated in 2005. Here  is my confession: it is that our daughter just graduated in 2010 and not only did I have her graduation photos documented and safely in a scrapbook but her entire high school years are done as well.

And here is what I believe to be why: (I have just learned something about myself.) I find that I quickly become bored doing masculine pages and can do all the frilly girly pages I want and never get tired of using flowers, ribbons, glitter and all other kinds of bling.

I had actually started an album for my sons graduation and had the photos printed, paper & stickers picked out but that was as far as it got and has been sitting forgotten all these years.

So now I am on a mission to at least finish his graduation and start his high school years. So far I have 2 pages done:

I still have two more pages to do before I will be finished but I want to edit some of the photos I had already printed a little differently and find some of the memorabilia I want to include in the layout.
This page is after he graduated and we took pictures with family and friends. I really liked the template I used to design the page. I used two of the photo spaces for journaling and one for embellishments. I found it hard to come up with embellishments. I used stamps and embossed them, cut them out and adhered some of them with foam adhesive to give some dimension. I used CM Vellum Expressions (the word Son) and a frame also using foam adhesive. I cut a 12" border sticker into four 3" sections and used them under some of the photos. I typed the names of family and friends on pattern paper and put them under the remaining photos.
This page was the party we had for our son and friend. Again I used a template to lay out the photos and just added a border punch that I repeated three times in different colors. Letter stickers were used for the title and a few other stickers were used to embellish a little more. It's not an elaborate page but its done and that is what it's all about.

So leave me a comment and tell me if you have a hard time doing masculine pages too. I would like to know that I am not alone.



Monday, March 21, 2011

First Scrapbook Page in Six Months

I finally sat down and did a couple of layouts last week. Yeah! It has been six months since I last scrapbooked. It felt so good to get some pages done.
This first 2 page layout are from 2007 and have been on my mind ever since we took the hike. I had the photos developed but just never got around to getting them scraped for one reason or another. I feel good knowing that they are safely in an album.
Here is the layout:

Click on photo to make it larger.

I didn't scrap all the photos and they aren't any stellar photos either. I just remember how it was a beautiful winter day and we decided to go on a hike. Just the three of us and Nanook. The scenery was so pretty and the river was running fast.


I don't remember how many miles we walked but it was quite a ways. I didn't spend a lot of time on these photos. I just used a template for the design layout, cut 12" border stickers to fit under four of the photos, stamped the title and date on strips of paper and added three punched snowflakes which I added some glitter glam for a little sparkle and was done.


Beautiful mountains, huge trees and ice cream. A perfect day. Although we almost didn't stop for the ice cream because Amber had a indoor soccer game that night and did not want to be late. But in the end she decided we had time for a quick stop but she kept an eye on the time. Soccer was the one thing that she was always on time for.

Again I used a template for the design. I added some cardstock and pattern paper for the title on the right side. The title was actually a photo of the sign that I just cut out. I made the circle embellishment by punching two circles, inking the lighter circle with vintage photo distress ink and layered the two circles together. I punched out the pine trees and adhered them onto the circle and added it to the page. I had a border of pine trees leftover from something that I had saved and thought it would work nicely on this page. I stamped the word Adventure on the page and cut the pine tree border to fit  and I was done.

I have another two page layout done but will save that for tomorrow.
So what have you been working on? Let me know in the comments.




Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tuesday Trigger: Button, Button


I almost didn't get my card done but here it is just under the wire. You can find this weeks Tuesday Trigger here:
http://www.moxiefabworld.com/2011/03/tuesday-trigger-button-button.html

Here is the inspiration for this week:
Here is what  I came up with for this weeks trigger:

The flower is made from  six 1 1/2" circles that have been folded into thirds. I punched another circle and covered it with double sided tape then layed the six  folded circles on top of the tape side by side. I also used Walnut Stain distress ink along the edges of the circles
Now here is where the Tuesday Trigger comes in. I used a button for the flower's center and used orange floss. I rarely use buttons. I don't know why because I have a jar full of buttons. I think I just am too lazy to get out the floss and needle. But I used a button today. Yeah me!


The library card holder die is from Papertrey Ink and so are the tickets and banner dies and stamps. I stamped the library card holder with Hero Arts Envelope stamp and Tim Holtz Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink. I also used Spiced Marmalade and Walnut Stain ink on the tickets. I felt the card was still missing  something so I added the butterfly with the Martha Stewart butterfly punch and used green/white baker's twine for the butterflies antenna's
I am really happy with the card because I used a new technique (the flower), used a button, which I rarely do and the Hero Art stamp, Papertrey ticket & banner stamps and dies have not been used yet. It always makes me happy when I use something new or something old that has been collecting dust for a while.

If you stop by please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Card Kits

Here are the cards I made for St. Patrick's Day:

Each card is a different shade of green and I had so much fun making them that I made up a few extras as card kits. Each kit makes six cards.
You can purchase a kit or card at my Etsy shop, Jenneresa:
Here  is what each kit looks like:
This is for the outside of the card

Everything is already pre-cut, hand stamped and punched. There are six different shades of green which you can mix or match however you would like. All you will need for supplies is an adhesive of your choice. I prefer to use double sided tape. 

This is for the inside of the card.
Again there are six different shades of green to mix or match as you would like.

The inside of the card will look like this.

Also included in the kit are six white card bases and six envelopes.

Here is a card with an envelope.
The envelope has a shamrock flourish hand stamped in the lower left corner.

This is how the kit is packaged

It comes in one large glassine bag tied shut with green and white baker's twine, hand stamped and a tag attached that includes my contact information on the back. Inside the large bag you will find the larger pieces of cardstock and the gold metallic thread and a smaller glassine bag (shown to the right of the larger glassine bag in photo above) that contains all the smaller pieces of the kit. It is also tied with the green and white baker's twine and hand stamped.

Directions to put the outside of the card together:
  • Take two of the gold metallic strands of thread and lay them along the bottom edge just above the white the scalloped border of the white cardstock piece wrapping the edges around to the backside of the cardstock and securing with double-sided tape.
  • Adhere the white cardstock mat with the scalloped edge to the larger green cardstock mat leaving more space at the bottom and the sides and top spaced evenly. 
  • Adhere the gold square to the small scalloped square.
  • Adhere the white plain square to the gold square and adhere a shamrock to the white square on the diagonal.
  • Take the layered square you just made and turn it on the diagonal and adhere it to the front of the white cardstock mat with the scalloped border, centering it between the top of the card and the sentiment.
  • Adhere the finished card top to the front of a card base making sure that the fold of the card base is on the left side.
Directions for the inside of the card:
  • Take the white square with the sentiment on it and adhere it to the center of a large scalloped green square.
  • Adhere the large scalloped green square to the inside of the card centering it from side to side and more towards the upper top half of the card or wherever you would like it to be. And you are done.
I hope you enjoy making these cards as much as I did. If you have any questions please use the contact information on the tag and I will be more then happy to help.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Flourishes Timeless Tuesday #107

I saw this Timeless Tuesday challenge at Flourishes. You can find it here: http://www.flourishes.org/category/timeless-tuesday/ The challenge is to make a green card and it doesn't have to be for St. Patricks day. It can be any kind of card but I thought my cards for St. Patricks day fit the bill.
These were fun to make. All the squares and shamrocks were made using scraps. I always feel good when I use up scraps or use a piece of paper that I have had around forever and never used.

Here is the inside sentiment:
I even stamped the envelope:

It's hard to see the envelope since the background is white too. Sorry.
I stamped the sentiment in gold ink and wrapped gold thread around the bottom of the card just above the border. The border punch was from Fiskar's.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Color Yellow

For this weeks Tuesday Trigger I challenged myself to combine 3 challenges into one card. Here is the Tuesday Trigger challenge:
An Idea in Yellow from Wide Open Spaces via Pinterest

This weeks Tuesday Trigger can be found here: http://www.moxiefabworld.com/2011/03/tuesday-trigger-idea-in-yellow.html

The second challenge is a sketch from Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge found here: http://kgiron.blogspot.com/2011/02/sweet-sunday-sketch-challenge-106.html and here is the sketch:

The third challenge was from Papertrey Ink which was to use fun foam and you can find the PTI Make it Monday #4 Challenge here:
Here is my card that came from the three challenges:

I followed the SSSC and was inspired by the Tuesday Trigger for the colors: pink, yellow and a little bit of green. For the PTI challenge I made the flower out of fun foam using two PTI dies from the Beautiful Blooms II collection and layered them together and with a small glittered flower in the middle with a gemstone.

 
I also used an embossing folder on both foam flowers. It didn't work as well as I had hoped but enough to add interest.

To finish off the flower I used a corsage pin and a leaf. Worn Lipstick distress ink was used to ink the edges of the card and both of the cardstock circles. I used two different stamp sets for the  sentiment: Mom came from Stephanie Bernard's Stamps of Life and the Thinking of You came from Inadinkado-Garden Flowers.

Choosing three different challenges for one card really made it fast and easy to make the card. I just might be doing this more often.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sweet Potato Minestrone Soup

Thought I would share a new recipe I tried from Demarle. In case you haven't heard of Demarle, it is a company in France that made it's start from producing and selling professional silicone bake ware to companies like Cheesecake Factory and Subway just to name a few. A few years ago they started selling through direct home sales for the everyday cook.
Anyways I was wanting to change from using white potatoes all the time and was looking for recipes that had sweet potatoes which are healthier for you when I came across this recipe. It calls for one of Demarle's herb seasonings but I didn't have any so I subsituted Mrs Dash herb blend and it was kind of bland. The next time I made it I used Italian Seasoning. It was much better and made the recipe a keeper.

Demarle Sweet Potato Minestrone Soup
Makes 7-1 1/2 cup servings
1/2 lb lean ground trukey
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
3/4 cup celery, thinly sliced
3 cups water
2 cups peeled sweet potato, diced
2 -14 oz cans No-Salt diced tomatoes (I only used 1 can) and their liquid
1-15 oz can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. Demarle Herb Blend, your choice (I used Italian Seasoning)
1/2 tsp coarsely ground white or black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
8 cups spinach, coarsley chopped
Grated Parmesan
 Combine meat, onion, carrots and celery in saucepan over medium heat. Saute' for 7 minutes, stirring until meat is browned. Add water and all remaining ingredients except for the spinach. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes or until vegtables are tender. Stir in spinach; cook for an additional 2 minutes. Pour into bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Sorry there are no photos of the soup. I didn't think to take any.