Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Making Titles Stand Out

Hopefully, I have you convinced that journaling can add to a layout.

Now that you're keeping track of your memories, focus on the titles you use for each page.

Creative titles can evoke emotion and allow your creativity to shine.

Some examples of hand-made titles that I've done follow:

You can also purchase premade titles and page-toppers at scrapbooking or craft stores on a variety of themes or make your own using a design program on your computer.

The following titles were made on my home computer, using InDesign or Illustrator:

There are also programs that you can buy which have interesting fonts, banners, and clips allready designed, so you can just type your own title on a pre-made banner. This is a very handy option to save time.

One of the programs that I like is Becky Higgin's CD, Creative Clips and Fonts.

While hand-drawn titles are usually the most interesting, using computer programs or pre-made titles are speedier options for those of us with a daunting stack of photos.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Creative Cropping

Cropping a photo can completely change its appeal.

While the best way to properly frame your photos is with your camera, you still have a few chances to alter a photo before you use it in your layout.

Computer editing programs such as Photoshop or iPhoto are excellent resources for editing photos. If you don't have access to these programs or are working with photos which have all ready been printed, you can also crop them with scissors or a paper cutter.

The most interesting photos have a prominent subject. In most cases, a picture taken with the subject filling the entire lens is more captivating than one with a lot of background scenery.

In this case, the close-up of the puppy is more captivating than the second photo, which includes too much background.

As you can see, cropping your photos can make a big difference.

While basic cropping is important, you can take it to the next level and heighten the appeal of your photos by being more creative.

Some quick ideas:

Divide your photo into equal parts (usually about 1" sections look best) and place them on the page, with a small gap between each section.

This technique is great for scenery pictures.

In this layout, the main photo is cropped using a similar method, but the focus is placed on the people in the corner, by leaving that section intact.

These techniques can make pictures which would normally be overlooked, stand out.

Feel free to play with your photos to see what cropping can bring to your scrapbook. You'll be happy with the results.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Finding Free Fonts

Journaling can capture things that a photo can never portray. Smells, sounds, thoughts, textures, even sights outside the frame can end up forgottten without a few written reminders.

Being a creative person, when you picture your scrapbook layout, you don't imagine photos surrounded by fonts that you see every day.

Perhaps, you see snow-capped letters spelling out a title for a winter page or red and white candy cane letters for a Christmas layout.

The problem is, whenever you're looking for that perfect font, you can never find it at the scrapbooking store. On the off chance that you find exactly what you're looking for, it costs a fortune or you're stuck peeling off individual sticker letters.

To eliminate the hassle, start utilizing your computer. Journaling with your computer keeps your pages looking professional and still lets you capture the exact sentiments you envisioned.

Unique fonts found in even the most basic Word program can turn your ideas into tangible layouts that will be sure to impress.

You'd be surprised how many great fonts are already installed on your home computer. If you still can't find the perfect font, check out these websites to download new ones.



Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Best Scrapbooking Tool I Ever Found

The best scrapbooking tool I ever found has made my life so much easier. I don't know what I did before.

The funny thing is that I didn't find it in a scrapbooking store or a craft store or even a store at all. It was just sitting on someone's front lawn.

No, I wasn't going through someone's garbage....well, actually, I suppose in a way I was.

I found my amazing tool, a storage shelf, at a garage sale. Who knew that two dollars (the asking price was five) could be such a good investment??

Three pull out drawers, four fully functioning wheels, and an end to my cluttered, unorganized scrapbooking, all for a toonie. What a deal.

Of course, it was difficult to get home. Wedged in the backseat of a tiny Pontiac....with a carseat.....and an uncomfortable boyfriend. Priorities.

But, it made the trip, and it was worth it.

Organization is key to scrapbooking. If you spend twenty minutes gathering supplies and moving things around, you lose those precious minutes of crop time!

This garage-sale-find lets me keep my papers, stamps, adhesives, photos, everything right at my finger-tips; every spare minute can now be utilized. Perfect.

Hobbies are meant to be done in your spare time, which is when? Usually at night, when the kids are in bed, or you've finally finished your homework, or you're exhausted from whatever keeps you busy during the daytime. You don't have the time or the energy for anything that seems difficult.

For the sake of those photos you have crammed in envelopes or shoeboxes in closets all over the house, get organized! Enjoy your spare time! Put your memories in their best light!

All it takes is a toonie.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Simple Pleasure

The joy of scrapbooking is simple. It is an escape to easier times; scissors, glue, stickers, chalk, it's kindergarten all over again. Play time, with a small twist. You can do it as an adult, call it scrapbooking, and feel no shame.

It's an outlet for creativity, a chance to remember cherished moments, relive humorous events, and realize how special the people around you are.

It's cathartic.

So gather up some pictures, put on your favourite music, invite some good friends over or just enjoy the chance to spend some time with your own thoughts and let your mind escape the monotony of life's constricting boundaries.

Be creative.

You'll love it.

Tearing Paper, Even More Fun Than Scissors

One of the best ways to create dimension on a scrapbook layout is with torn paper.

This is such a simple method and can be used in a number of different ways to enhance your pages. Depending on what type of paper you use and the direction you tear, this look can provide you with a number of different styles in minutes.

Unless you're using cardstock, most papers have a coloured side and a white side. If you place the paper coloured side up and tear towards you, you will see a white edge appear, along the tear.

If you don't want that edge, simply flip the paper over, so the white side is facing up and again, tear towards you.

For a straight edge look, place a ruler over the paper and tear.

For a rougher look, tear the paper free-hand.

Now, apply this technique to as many different elements as you wish on each layout.

• photo mats
• embellishments
• journaling boxes
• borders
• photo corners
• titles

Once you get the basics down, you can use other methods such as chalking, stamping, or aging together with your torn paper to achieve an entirely new look.

Using words in layouts

Most people think of scrapbooking as a collection of pictures.

That's a good starting point.

While pictures are worth a thousand words, make sure that what you are trying to convey with pictures is captured using titles, quotes, journaling, or just random words on your layouts.

Whether it's just recording the date of a photo or an elaborate memory, words can help guide others through your scrapbook.

It's much easier to hand someone a scrapbook that explains everything for you. People can enjoy the layouts without asking, "what's happening here?" or, "where was this taken?"

Trust me, it's not only good for friends and family.

Titles and journaling are also an excellent way to refresh your own memory. It's so easy to say, "hmmm, I think John was about 2 in this photo" or, "I think that was Meyers Lake." Why not make sure that you remember everything about your special memories?

Feel free to experiment. Sometimes stories can even take the place of pictures.

You can still capture your son's first home run, when you left the camera at home or your best friend's surprise engagement, with no cameras nearby.

Simply write about it.

Words can be used to embellish and accentuate your most cherished pictures or can stand alone.

Try some of these web sites for more ideas on utilizing words, quotes, titles, and journaling into your scrapbooks.