Month: December 2016

Less Is Enough

With Christmas in the recent past, I am again focused on finishing a book for 2016. As you can see in this screen shot from the book module in Lightroom that I posted below, I have about sixty pages already completed. Having taken over 14,000 photos this year, there is no way that I’ll be able to include them all in a book. I’ve also accepted the fact that I will finish a smaller book this year rather than thinking that a book for 2016 isn’t worth the effort to finish if I don’t create as many pages as I did in 2015.

After looking at the collections of photos for possible 2016 layouts, I have decided to complete just five more double page spreads. I’ve placed the photos for each layout on new 24×12 inch blank documents. Next, I will begin selecting templates from either Travel Template Album No. 2 or Project Template Album No. 2 to finish the pages.

As I finish up these pages, I am thinking about what I want to do next year, what I want to create with the photos that I make. I am considering focusing more on making the photos and displaying them on simpler pages with journaling. I have some thoughts about my priorities and direction based on my experiences creating books over the last few years that I will share in January.

My Dog Penny

My friend, Adryane, and I collaborated on another two page spread with some photos that I sent her via dropbox. This time she told me that the idea for a page design came almost instantly when she saw the photographs of my grandson, Corbin, reading his book to his sister, Kate. Sometimes it’s like that; someone else sees a possibility that you don’t, especially when you are hurrying, just trying to get the photos scrapped by the end of the year. It’s also a reminder to worry less about finishing a project and more about enjoying the creative process. I must say that both Adryane and I enjoyed this one.

We thought that you might enjoy seeing the products used to recreate elements from Corbin’s book cover. The grass is pieced from an element in ArtPlay Palette Moments. The sun is part of the psd layers from file 5 of MultiMedia Suns No. 1. To that Adryane added the sun rays.

On the right are frames from file 5 of Travel Album Template No. 2. I would not have thought to crop the middle photo and extract my grandson from the photo of him holding up his book, but I loved Adryane’s graphic idea.

The left is an extraction of Corbin from a photo of him at his desk and an extraction of Corbin’s dog from the book cover. We gave the dog a sticker effect. The background text from Corbin’s book is a font called Primary. The title is Child’s Play.

I found a copy of last year’s book right next to Corbin’s bed on Thursday morning. His daddy told me that he likes to read the stories. I imagine that he’s going to love this page about his book reading party at school. I’m going to tell him about how my friend Adryane and I collaborated together to create this page for him.

Santa Photos

Photos with Santa are a traditional part of Christmas. I’ve taken Kate’s photo with Santa at least twice this year alone and I know she’s also seen him with her mom and dad.

I don’t actually remember visiting Santa, but this photo reminds me that I did indeed see Santa as a child. I don’t remember what I said to Santa, but I think I might have asked for a doll or a doll bed because I remember putting a doll to sleep on a little bed. I love that photos, like a classic photo with Santa, bring Christmas memories. I love the memories I associate with my photos.

ArtPlay Palette Auriferous is a perfect vintage palette for an old photo. I began by clipping two copies of transfer 1 which I merged together, one on linear burn at 50% and the other on normal at 100%. I used a small brush to fill in a couple of places on the mask so that the photo was clear. I could also have used one of the brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 8 as a mask.

Next I placed artsy paper 1 and lined up my photo and merged copies of transfer 1 with the shape on the paper.

I then placed the layers from file 1 from MultiMedia Holiday No. 3. I substituted the lace stocking from the artplay palette because it worked with the lace on the outfit my sister and I were wearing in our photo with Santa.

To pull the eye from left to right, I added a green button from the artplay palette and tacked it down with a thread, repeating the light green. I applied a wood style to the title to tie it with the little wooden stocking and the tones in the photo.


Whirligig and Practice

As a retired classroom teacher, I know how important it is to practice new learning. If you read my last post, you’ll remember my aha moment learning about combining an artsy paper with a solid to create a two page spread in Anna’s Project 2016 class. For this layout using photos taken with an Instamatic nearly 40 years ago along with more recent photos, I again combined an artsy paper with a solid from Anna’s new ArtPlay Palette Garland. However, I needed to adjust the position of the main transfer on artsy paper 2 because I needed a little more space to add two small frames.

Notice at the bottom of the layer’s panel, I placed two copies of solid paper 2. Above, I blended in the edge of artsy paper 2 using a layer mask and brush from AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 4. I moved another copy of the paper to the right and blended in the main transfer. Next, I placed a copy of transfer 5 and blended in my photo with a layer mask. Note: I created a filter using Topaz Simplify for this old photo. I hope to explain what I did in another post.

Next, I placed two small frames that I dragged over from a template in Project Album Templates No. 2 and clipped two other old photos. I applied a similar filter using Topaz Simplify.

I began building a foundation for an element cluster using two small branches from MultiMedia Branches No. 6, a button and stain from MultiMedia Holiday No. 2, dots from ArtPlay Palette Yule and two brushes from Evergreens No. 2.

I finished the left side by adding the other layers from file 2 of MultiMedia Holiday No. 2 on the right side of the focal photo and adding two button threadz.

For the right side of my two page spread, I dragged over the layers of MonthReview Template 30B. I switched out the fotoblendz mask, substituting one from template 3 of Project Template Album No. 2. I placed transfer 3 and the gold paint along with two brushes from ArtPlay Palette Garland and another brush from Evergreens No. 2 on the right in order to balance the texture and green on the left. I placed file 4 from MultiMedia Holiday No. 2 along with a button from file 2 to finish my visual triangle of greenery. The word joy is from Holiday WordART Mix No. 5.

It might have been “correct” to change one of the photos on the left to black and white, but I didn’t want to lose the joy in the color of these photos. The red and green are repeated across both pages in the elements as well as the photos.

For nearly 40 years, I’ve always called this little wooden toy a whirligig. The heat rising from the burning candles makes the blades turn the manger scene. Of all the things I have for Christmas, this has been the most precious to me over the years, bringing me great joy!

An Aha Moment


As I watched Anna explain her thinking as she demonstrated pages 2 and 3 for the album class I am taking, I had one of those aha moments. In the video, Anna shared her perspective on combining artsy papers with solids to create her two page spreads. When I initially created my first page, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to use it in my book considering how I built the background with an artsy paper and transfers. However, after watching the video, I realized that with a few simple changes, I could combine those old photos on the left with some I captured Friday night of Kate decorating our tree in order to create a two page spread for my book.

I created the page on the left initially as I explained in this post. To coordinate it with the page on the right, I switched out the background paper, moved the photo on the left of my husband decorating the tree down and to the left so that I would not lose any of that silly angel, deleted a couple of stains and resized the small frames. I kept part of artsy paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Yule by using a brush on a reverse layer mask. I also replaced a photo of my granddaughter with one of my son as a boy. I think the kids will enjoy seeing their father as a boy next to his little sister.

For the right side, I used template 1 from Travel Album Template No. 2. To tie the two pages together, I placed a stain from MultiMedia Holiday No. 1 below the photo, added part of overlay 2 from ArtPlay Palette Yule and repeated the dot brush from the artplay palette as well as two different brushes from Christmas Trees No. 2.


Once I had the two sides completed, I created a composite which I used for the two 12×12 pages in the screenshot of the Lightroom book module. I still haven’t decided if I’ll use Picaboo or Blurb, but the new pages will work for both publishers.


I actually watched Anna’s video for pages 4 and 5 this afternoon and applied another idea for balancing the color with stains and elements on the right side of my page. I may not be able to keep up with Anna’s pace for creating her book, but I looking forward to watching all the videos. There is so much to learn!!



Day 1 of aA Project 2016

I am taking Anna’s class, aA Project 2016. Connected to the class is a set of templates, Project Template Album No. 2. If you purchased that set by December 1, you have begun receiving daily prompts. Yesterday the first email with questions, thoughts, photo suggestions, definitions and recommendations for supplies that would work with the theme for the day arrived in my inbox. Two questions about what memories and stories came to mind when I look at my Christmas tree prompted this page. Two of the photos are very old Christmas snapshots taken with an Instamatic. Each photo tells a story about my Christmas trees over the years. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll simply print this as a page for my album or include it in the book I’m creating. However, one thing I can say for sure, I’d like to get an email like this every day of the year. What a resource for scrapbooking inspiration!


There are times when an artsy template is perfectly designed foraaspn_artsylayeredtemplate239 one of Anna’s artsy papers. That is the case this week with Artsy Layered Template No. 239 and artsy paper 3 from ArtPlay Palette Yule. After dragging the paper to a new blank 12×12 file, I reduced the opacity to 75% and placed solid paper 1 just below to lighten the color. I could already see the space where the fotoblendz mask from the template would fit. I am learning to take advantage of Anna’s templates to speed up my creative process.


I placed all the template layers just above the paper and turned them all off. As I went through, I decided which I wanted to keep, i.e. dots, textures and art strokes. To intensify the color in the paper, I added overlays 1 and 2 from the artplay palette as well as transfer 4, matched the position on the paper and changed the blend modes to soft light.


Next, I clipped my old 1969 photo to the mask. I applied a filter from Topaz’s simplify. I clipped copies to two additional stains from the template. To fade the draperies in the photo I blended out part with a layer mask attached to the fotoblendz mask from the template.


Next, I turned back on the small frames and clipped my photos to the masks after applying the same filter from Topaz Simplify to each photo.


I used the template’s placement for the title to position a wood word art file 2 from Holiday WordART Mix No. 4. To embellish the title, build a cluster around it and ground my blended photo, I added layers from file 5 of MultiMedia Holiday No. 1, using a layer mask to make it look like the string was winding around the wooden word art. I tucked in a piece of pine and a word strip from ArtPlay Palette Pinery. For just a bit more red, I placed the heart button from ArtPlay Palette Whimsy. Finally, below those layers, I stamped brush 4 from Christmas Tree Brushes No. 2.


Now that I’ve finished a page for Day 1, I’m off to see what the email for Day 2 says.


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