Saturday, October 17, 2015

Halloween Blog Hop - Stop #2

You have reached the second stop on today's Halloween Blog Hop!  My fellow CM advisors and I are  handing out some sugar-free treats: ideas and inspiration for your Halloween pages.

When you have finished reading mine, be sure to click the link to Candace's blog to see what she has to show you!  I will also include the links to all the other contributors' posts, so you don't miss any.

Creative Memories latest Fast2Fab collection is called Fall In. The album, predesigned pages, coordinating slide-in cards, papers, stickers and die cut leaves are gorgeous!  The modern color palette provides a perfect backdrop for your fall, Thanksgiving, family, or even travel photos. 

If you normally take a few Halloween photos, but not enough to fill a whole album, I can show you how I transformed some of the Fall In pages into Halloween pages! They will blend right into your album, because there is enough of the original design and colors showing through.

So here is the first layout, as it looks in the Fast2Fab album:

And here it is, after being "Halloweened!"

To create this layout, you will need the Trick or Treat Paper pack and stickers, black cardstock, the Shape Maker with Circle Tag cartridge, the 12-inch Trimmer and Tape Runner. (You could substitute the Circle Tags with any cut-out circles).

  • Cut 12x2.5 inch strips from the spider-web print paper and adhere over the red-orange page border. 
  • Cut as many 4.5x6.5 inch photo mats as you need from the patterned papers and add to page. 
  • One of the Trick or Treat papers has nine squares, which you can cut apart and use for journaling or accents, as I did using the orange square with a spider.  
  • Cut two circle tags from black cardstock and adhere to page; use a ruler and pen to draw the strings and "hang" them from the top of the page.
  • Add arrow stickers or others, as you like, and also the little spider stickers on the circle tags. 
  • The grid design of the page makes it easy to line everything up just so!
  • Along the edge of each page are numbers, as if it's a record book; I circled the "31" on each side, for Halloween. 

My second layout originally looked like this:

And this is the Halloween-ready design:

To make this layout, you will need the Trick or Treat paper pack and stickers, black cardstock, the Border Maker with Picket Fence cartridge, the 12-inch Trimmer and Tape Runner. I started with the picket-fence border (which I give instructions for, below). In the upper right photo box, I used the "Trick or Treat" design cut from the 9-square printed paper. I added a few stickers, and that's it!  

I like how the fence and the stickers create a Halloween night "scene," with the owl, pumpkins, street sign, moon and stars. The page would be just as cute without the fence; just add your photos and stickers.

For the picket fence, start with the Border Maker and Picket Fence cartridge:

Cut a border from black cardstock, then measure 1 and a quarter inches from the bottom of the border. Make a mark here, and cut with 12 inch trimmer (see next photo).

Your border should now look like this:

Put the border back into the border maker like so (using the blue paper guide):

Cut the same border on the opposite side, then use the trimmer to cut off one of the "pointy" edges. 

Further proof that the Fast2Fab pages are super versatile!

Take a lot of pumpkin patch/carving/Halloween photos?  You need this fun new Pumpkin Patch album cover!  The bookcloth is black mica, which means it has a little sparkle to it. Check out the whole Halloween collection (click for larger view):

Thanks for reading!  The fun continues over at Candace's Scrappin' Jpegs blog - click here!

Here is the complete list of today's blog hop contributors:
Stop 1: Sarah Fitzgerald at Click Write Share
Stop 2: Julie Tambrini at Julie's Creative Memories Blog (You are HERE)
Stop 3: Candace Bouldin at Scrappin' Jpegs
Stop 4: Lisa Graham at Lisa's Workshop
Stop 5: Fran Smitherman at Celebrating Your Beautiful Life
Stop 6: Diana Brinsley at D. Brinsley's Memory Keeping Blog
Stop 7: Stefani Jones at Crop with Stef

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Organizing All Those Photos

Creative Memories offers the best albums ever made for preserving your stories and photos.
But, CM advisors understand that before you can even think about making a scrapbook or photo album, you have to find all your pictures. 

These days, that can be a real challenge.  Because of digital photography, we’re no longer limited to 24 exposures on a roll of film, and friends, we take a LOT of pictures.  Photos hang out on your phone, camera, PC, hard drive and laptop, plus online, on share sites and social media.  There’s a good chance that they’re disorganized, undated, and that no one has ever seen them (I’m sorry, are you depressed now?) They have to be rescued!

Once you find all your photos, you need to organize them in some way.  It’s a daunting task, especially if you’ve never done it before and have years or decades or a lifetime of photos to go through.

Obviously, I’m not the first person to realize this is an issue.  In recent years, many software companies, online retailers and app developers have taken on the photo-organizing dilemma, offering all kinds of solutions.  My purpose in today’s post is not to advertise or promote any of them, but to help you think about how to organize all those photos so you can get them into albums (whether it’s a photo book you make online, a scrapbook or other type of photo album).

I’m also not going to preach about actually printing your photos, although that’s what you SHOULD do. Hop on over to CM advisor Diana Brinsley's Memory Keeping Blog for her sage advice on that topic.  While you’re there, check out her other posts – she’s brilliant at creating clean, uncluttered and attractive page layouts!

 So, here we go:
1.      Decide how you’re going to this: on your computer, or online. You can organize on your computer using a software program, a built-in program or simply by using files.  Online, there are numerous websites that allow you to upload, organize and save your photos.  Almost all charge a fee based on how much storage you need.  One thing to note about these websites: begin with the end in mind – if you want to ultimately make a photo book or order prints, be sure the company offers that service, or you will end up doing double work by having to upload photos to another website!  (Been there/done that.)

**If you exclusively take photos with your phone, you may want to skip the PC/software route and just upload them to a website or app.  There are some great apps for iPhone and Android that allow you to upload right from your phone, and then go to a computer later to edit, organize and create your project or prints.  Others let you order directly from the app.

If you take more photos with a camera, if you like advanced editing tools, or if you just need a bigger screen to work with, using your laptop or PC is the way to go.

2.      Gather all your pictures in one place.  (If you only have photos on your phone, and are uploading to a website or app, skip to step 3!)

  -From a camera: transfer them from the camera or memory card onto your computer. Start editing using your program, OR upload to a website. (Example: Say you transfer some photos from your memory card to computer; you can put them in a file on your desktop and then upload them to your chosen photo website to do the editing.)

-From your phone or tablet: transfer photos to the computer using your charging cord (there is typically a USB plug on one end) or simply upload to your chosen website.

-From social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.): download onto your computer and add to your program or a file. If you are using an online service, you may be able to transfer photos right from social media.

-From older prints, which you may want to include in an album, or simply save a copy of: Scan onto your computer and upload to website if desired.  

3.      This next step is painful, but necessary:  Editing.  Look through all of your photos and delete any that are blurry, bad, or superfluous (do you really need 4 pictures of the Chicago skyline? Pick the best and delete the rest).  You can also crop photos during this step, or make use of enhancement features that are available on your program or website (filters, red-eye reduction, touchups).

4.      Make yourself another cup of coffee.

5.      Decide how to divvy up all the photos, again with end in mind.  Do you intend to make scrapbooks or digital albums?  If so, what kind?  A yearly album of all your photos?  One for baby’s first year?  Or maybe something less complicated, like a big vacation or special Christmas events. Sometimes it's helpful to make an old-fashioned list (with a pencil & paper) of all the projects you want to do. 

Photo software and online programs usually have organizational tools – now would be the time to use those!  These may include folders, tags, facial recognition, rating systems, and a place to add a caption.  You may even be able to change the date, if the setting on your camera was wrong. (IF THAT IS TRUE, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND GO FIX THE DATE AND TIME ON YOUR CAMERA. Ok. Good.)  

You should be able to add any photo to more than one folder or tag – in other words, you can put a group photo under “Family” but also under “Kids.”  Set up the folders or tags that you want and give them names that make sense, for example:
Family 2011
Disney Cruise 1998
Holidays 2015
Baby Alex 2006

            ….then “file” all the photos using these labels. This will make your life much easier when it’s time to make albums, do a school project, write your memoirs, etc. etc.

6.      Back up all your pictures onto an external hard drive and/or upload them to a storage website. I do both because….well, I’m nuts. 

7.      When it’s time to print photos or make an online album, your pictures will be organized and ready to go.  Once you have this system down, try doing the process once a month, or after a big event. 

8.      Print a manageable amount of photos; ideally, just those you need for a particular project. Remember, you don't have to print all of them! Then, contact your CM advisor for a beautiful album to put them in!

For more on WHY you should print your photos, check out Diana's post by clicking here.