Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rescuing my honeymoon photos

Do you want to hear something funny?  I bought a brand new Olympus camera a month or so before my wedding, because I wanted a nicer camera for the wedding day and our honeymoon. Three days into the honeymoon the XD card I had purchased for my new camera was full. My darling husband suggested he dump the photos onto his laptop when I said I needed to buy a new memory card. He did so that evening, but instead of copying the one thousand and eight photos to his hard drive; he loaded the actual photos onto a thumb drive.  When we got back from the honeymoon; we believe he took that thumb drive and deleted all the photos because he needed to put some stuff on that drive. For years, I've referred to these as the "lost photos".  The 1008 photos cover a few test shots, all the set up/decorating photos for the wedding, Thanksgiving dinner (which was also our rehearsal dinner), the photos I took on our wedding day (don't fret too much we had an excellent professional photographer) and the first three days of our honeymoon. No biggie. 

When I asked for my photos all he could come up with were the iPhoto thumbnails from his Macbook hard drive. As an aside, this story gets funnier. At this point he decided to transfer all the other photos from my camera as well as his camera to my iMac. He plugged a camera in and walked away.  My iMac apparently went into a kernel panic and when he came back hours later–the drive was gone. (Don't fret too much, we were able to rescue everything but my email with some amazing software.)

Thumbnails, in case you are curious, are 72 dpi, 5" x 3 1/4" photos. I spent a  lot of time figuring out if I could somehow magically enlarge those thumbnails; spent some time playing around with 12" x 12" layouts full of postage stamp photos and I spent some time reminding my husband that he owed me a second honeymoon so I could re-take some of the lost photos.

Recently, I was preparing to save a file for the web in PS CS5 and as I scrolled through the Resample Image select box on my way to "Bicubic Sharper (best for reduction)" for the first time I really noticed that right above that was "Bicubic Smoother (best for enlargements)" and I thought "Hmm; can I enlarge my lost photos?"

I've made a few layouts with my lost photos, but I haven't printed any yet.  I think the photos will have to be kept at about 3" x 5"and they may be a little fuzzy; but now making scrapbook pages with the "lost photos" is a real possibility.  But I will never be able to print out the Disney Castle at 16" X 20" and hang it on my wall.

I made this layout for a reflection challenge at Oscraps.  I had to use software to reflect the photo for the challenge. In this layout the photo is blended, which certainly helps with the fuzziness. 

Wishes and Dreams
At Last by Vicki Stegall
Fonts: Porcelein and Century Gothic

This was actually my second attempt layout for that challenge.  My first was a two-pager with a lot of lost photos. All the photos on the left hand side have been rescued with Photoshop. The center photo on the left has also been rescued with photoshop, but the remaining photos on the left are Disney Photopass photos. (If you ever go to Disney World, take a lot of Photopass photos and just buy the CD before you leave.)  This will be printed and placed in my album and then I really know how well the enlargement worked.

(click on image for larger version)
Wishes and Dreams

At Last by Vicki Stegall

Crossed staples from It's only Natural by Vicki Stegall
Fonts: Porcelein and Century Gothic

By this point I was on a Disney Castle roll.  Using Photoshop to make false reflections was sad because I had worked really hard on getting a good photo of that castle reflected in the water below.  After all, I was planning on printing a super large copy on canvas and hanging it on my wall.  This is a layout I made for a color challenge at GingerScrips with my favorite reflected photo of the castle:
Anything Your Heart Desires
Papers and elements from New Beginnings by Harmony Star
Elements from Neutralized by Craft-tastrophic
Fonts: Century Gothic and Garamond
And by this point, you readers can fully appreciate the humor in the last line of that journaling. I am sure that we will someday go back to the Magic Kingdom to celebrate an anniversary, because he owes me! I need that castle photo on my wall!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Unforgettable Moments-Midsummer Sunset

Unforgettable Moments is releasing this stunning mini-kit today at GingerScraps. I really love that distressed and textured white paper and the orange lily. I hate lilies in real life because I think they smell really bad, but this one doesn't smell at all!
Midsummer Sunset
I used this kit to make a layout about our Angel Fire Fun Day that we had in February. My husband and I like to go up to Angel Fire Ski Resort every winter and go inner-tubing, and this winter my brother and his family came with us.  The Polar Coaster layout in my last post was also all about Angel Fire Fun Day.  My niece had no interest in inner-tubing as she is a snowboarding manic. I was able to get a couple of nice action shots of her snowboarding, but the best photo in that series is this one, when she screeched to a halt in front of us and then sat down laughing at our feet.  As a matter of fact I replaced an actual action shot of her in this layout with a close up of her laughing face, because I thought it was better.
Template: Spending Time with you by Unforgettable Moments
Kit: Midsummer Sunset by Unforgettable Moments
Do you remember when I blogged about the cliche challenge at GingerScraps?  Well, Unforgettable Moments is hosting the challenge and the Midsummer Sunset Mini kit is the participation prize! Hurry over there; you have till the end of this weekend to complete the challenge and win this kit.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Iron Scrapper-Week Three

It is week three of the Iron Scrapper challenge at ScrapOrchard. The week three challenge required the use of 15 snowflakes. Snowflakes don't cluster well so I found this challenge particularly challenging.  The bonus challenge was to make a 2-page layout, which worked in my favor since I prefer to print two page layouts. Here is my layout:
Polar Coaster
Iron Scrapper Week 3 grab bag.
And here are close-ups of the left and right sides:
The fresh fruit challenge required the use of at least one black & white photo and one color photo.  This is the layout I made. It's another Fourth of July vacation layout.  I'm sure I'll replace the b&w with a color version before printing this layout.
Fireworks by Chelle's Creations
Fireworks Extras by Chelle's Creations 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Welcome Wagon at GingerScraps & the Inspiration Challenge

Are you familiar with the Welcome Wagon at GingerScraps?  It's a part of the forum, opened to registered users only, where the GingerScraps Designers give away free mini-kits.  I picked up this kit from Unforgettable Moments this weekend:
Available in the GingerScraps forum!
I used it to make this layout for the Inspiration challenge at GingerScraps this month, which is being hosted by Unforgettable Moments. The challenge was to be inspired by a cliche.  I chose "the Bee's Knees", which means the absolute best, the height of excellence, the cat's pajamas.  I focused it on my adorable husband, of course:
Remember the Moment by Unforgettable Moments (the Welcome Wagon freebie)
Individual elements:
Flat ribbons from Thoughts of You by Unforgettable Moments
String from Coffee shop with Friends by Unforgettable Moments (the newsletter freebie)

I had to throw in some string and ribbons from other kits, well... because, I needed strings and ribbons. The string came from a newsletter freebie that Unforgettable Moments sent out last week.  Isn't she awesome?

While we are talking about how awesome Unforgettable Moments is, I should mention that the participation prize for the Inspiration Challenge this month is a free mini-kit that hasn't even been released yet!  How awesome it that? Here's a sneak peek:
The challenge ends on the last day of this month; you have a little over a week to complete it.  So, run on over to GingerScraps, register in the forum and participate in the challenge.  There are a million good cliches, I'm sure you can think of something! As a matter of fact, I had an entire series of cliches that I was considering using with pictures of their literal meaning such as:
  • Airing dirty laundry–I'm sure I have or could get a picture of dirty laundry
  • All that glitters is not gold–I love platinum and silver jewelry and just took photos of the Hope Diamond in it's temporary platinum setting
  • The whole enchilada–my favorite food
  • As easy as falling off a log–recently got great photos of my dogs crossing a log on a hike
  • It's not the size of the dog in the fight. It's the size of the fight in the dog–We have a 4.5 pound chihuahua, need I say more?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

2LP is closing down–all Brine Design 40% off

Two Little Pixels is closing down!  Brine Design has marked her entire store 40% off.
This is your chance to pick up some of her lovely stuff at bargain prices. Here are some kit previews:
Interior Chic for 2.99
Home Office Love the bundle for 5.96
(Also available separately)
Just Me for 3.58
Blake (bad boys bite) the bundle for 3.84

And, of course, her shop has many many more items. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Iron Scrapper-Week Two

It's week two of Iron Scrapper and once again there were two scrappin' challenges. The week two challenge required the use of 11 leaves and the use of cut-outs.  This is the layout I made with photos that range from just after my husband and I met to just before we got married.:
Fall into Love
Iron Scrapper Wk 2 Grab Bag
Font: CK Becky
The Fresh Fruit challenge, which requires you to use newly released products, required a theme of what you do to relax.  My first thought was a layout on scrappin', but I've done one of those recently, so I decided to go with reading. My favorite types of books are British historical novels, both romance and naval. I began with the Horatio Hornblower series back when I was a pre-teen and then moved onto Alexander Kent's work.  I began reading romance when I was older.  I love this stuff, especially the series.
Angela's Library
Le Ciel de Paris Kit & Quick Pages by Irene V. Alexeeva
Pink stick pin from Vintage Florals by Shabby Princess
Font: CK Pirate Hand
(The challenges require 100% ScrapOrchard products, so I had to remove the pink stick pin from the layout I submitted from the challenge.)

If you are interested my list of books is as follows:
Julia Quinn–All of the Bridgerton series
Carla Kelly–Marrying the Captain
Mary Jo Putney–The Lost Lords Series
Patrick O'Brien–The Aubery-Maturin Chronicles
Bernard Cornwell–The Sharpe Series
C. S. Forester–The Horatio Hornblower Series
Alexander Kent–The Richard Bolitho Series
Susan Higginbotham–The Traitor's Wife
Jane Austen–Pride and Prejudice
Olivia Parker–To Wed a Wicked Earl
Loretta Chase–Don't Tempt Me
Julia Quinn–The Splendid Trilogy
Julia Quinn–Just like Heaven
Julia Quinn–The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever 
Julia Quinn–The Two Dukes of Wyndham
Mary Jo Putney–The Bartered Bride
Olivia Parker–At the Bride Hunt Ball
Loretta Chase–Mr. Impossible
Loretta Chase–Lord of Scoundrels
Loretta Chase–Carsington Family Series
Carla Kelly–Marrying the Royal Marine
Carla Kelly–The Admiral's Penniless Bride 
Carla Kelly–The Surgeon's Lady 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fourth of July Vacation Layouts

Well we had been in Washington D.C. for the Fourth of July and I will have lots of vacation photos to scrap.  We got in late on the third and the first thing we did after on the morning of the 4th of July was head for the parade. However, we ended up being in parade as ad hoc volunteers! The journaling reads:

Richard and I were so excited to be in DC on the Fourth of July. We had found a wonderful spot from which to watch the parade. We walked down 7th street where all the parade participants where staging for the parade and found a spot on 7th just before Constitution; we'd be able to watch the parade as it began. Then a woman came over asking for volunteers to be in the parade.  We jumped at the chance.  We were given a red shirt and a bottle of water and assigned to help carry the 60 foot flag. It was hot work and we were done we were sweaty and exhausted. Other volunteers gave us ice-cool water and I went through the "misting" tent which totally drenched me. We watched more of the parade and then went looking for lunch.  We ended up at Quiznos, as most of the local places were closed.  Being in the parade basically shot the entire day as after lunch we went back to the hotel to rest before the fireworks. We had set out planning on watching the parade and then hitting a couple of museums, but being in the parade was much better!

Kit used: Independence Day by Snackpackgu
Individual Elements:
2 papers (cream and blue) from Old Tyme Junque by Cari Cruise
Alphas from: Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend by Farynar's Wings
and Sanctuary by Ramona Johnson aka Ramona Memories
(As an aside everything but the cream paper for the journal spot and the blue paper to mat the photos is from a Design Factor Challenge kit hosted by Digi Scrap Connect. A slew of designers are creating mini-kits that are available for free for a limited time.  The challenge is currently on week 4 and there are two challenges left. There is also an associated scrapping challenge, called Body of Art challenge. The challenges focus on a particular scrapping technique each week and if you complete all 8 scapping challenges you get a free one year Sponsor Membership where you get one free kit a month! Imagine, 12 free kits just for doing some scrappin'. How awesome it that? Check it out.)

Back to our regularly scheduled post:
Since I was carrying the flag, I was able to get some awesome photos of the flag with the Washington Monument as a backdrop. A layout featuring one of those photos made an earlier appearance in this blog and here it is again:

July 4th
Kit used July Grab Bag by Pixels by Jen
Brads from:
Fiesta by Julie C Designs (jasjul) (yellow brad)
Year in Progress by Denise Zavagno/ScrapDZines 
(red/silver star and metal brad)
Later that night we headed over the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to take more photos, I mean watch the fireworks. The journaling reads:

We watched the fireworks from the Jefferson Memorial. We showed up a few hours early and luckily there were still some good seats left. We were right behind some fellow New Mexicans, what a coincidence. Richard got us some over-priced hot dogs at the vendors in the National Park and we ate dinner while waiting for the sun to go down. The fireworks were amazing, but the show only lasted 15 mintues. Seeing the fireworks and the Washington Memorial reflected in the Tidal basin was absolutely awesome, though.                                                                                   –July 4, 2011
the Fourth in DC
July Grab Bag by Pixels by Jen
Font: Handwriting-Dakota and Serrif Grunge
The next morning we went straight to the National Zoo to see the Giant Pandas.  I will definitely have to make more zoo layouts, including some with the panda, but so far all I've done is one on cheetahs, because my husband loves them:
National Zoo
Kit used Mumba Thumba by Irene V. Alexeeva
with element from Chocolate by AnnaBV Designs
I will definitely have more vacation layouts coming.  I must have taken almost 100 photos of gems and minerals at the Natural History Museum alone (and that doesn't include the ones my husband took!)

Friday, July 15, 2011

I love Captivated Visions

I was going to start a general post about layouts I've done recently when I realized that they all had two things in common, each was done for a challenge at ScrapOrchard (a place I love) and each was done with a kit by Captivated Visions. I love Captivated Visions, she is one of my favorite designers.  It may be because she appears to love purple and green as much as I do.  And glitter and paint splats.  She often makes coordinated "overlays" to go with her kits.  The most recent kit that I have purchased from her is called "Ianthine". Here is what the "overlays" look like, I used two in the Air Conditioning layout and one in the City Different layout. The overlays are always gorgeous and save time.
Ianthine Overlays by Captivated Visions

This first layout was made for a June challenge at ScrapOrchard. It's my wonderful rat terrier, Oliver Louis.  This is one of my favorite recent pages.  I used a collab between Captivated Visions and Tracie Stroud Designs. I love this page.
Here and Now full kit by Captivated Visions and Tracie Stroud Designs
and Here and Now Finishing Touches by 
Captivated Visions and Tracie Stroud Designs
The next two layouts were made for the Iron Scrapper challenge currently going on at ScrapOrchard. The Iron Scrapper winner is going to win an iPad, how awesome is that?  This layout was made for a challenge about summer plans.  We are getting a new furnace and air conditioner this summer. I am so excited, I scrapped about it.
Air Conditioning
Ianthine bundle by Captivated Visions
This is kind of grungy, and outside of my usual style, but I loved that torn, spray-painted cardboard background. I couldn't wait to use it. And this is the advantage of digital, I can have this printed on archival paper!

This next layout I made today for an Iron Scrapper speed scrap.  We were limited to an odd number of leaves and one focus element and some ribbon.  But that's why I love speed scraps, I'm forced to do things that I normally wouldn't.  This is a picture of a 1941 Dodge pickup that is on display in downtown Santa Fe, the City Different.
City Different
Ianthine bundle by Captivated Visions
Journaling reads:  One the things that I love about Sante Fe is that art is everywhere. We found this truck with flowers in its bed at the Sanbusco today. I’d nvever seen it before. It is a 1941 Dodge half-ton pickup of the type that was used for lumber deliveries by Sanbusco in the 40’s. It also the type of truck that was used to deliver supplies to the then secret city of Los Alamos. Oohh. –July 1, 2011

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in any way with either Captivated Visions or ScrapOrchard other than as a customer. I just really love them both.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July Grab Bag at GingerScraps

Pixels by Jen is the Feature Designer at GingerScraps this month.  What does this mean, you ask? It means that you can get an awesome grab bag free with any purchase over $10.00.  Here is a preview of the grab bag:
July Grab Bag by Pixels by Jen

Here is a layout that I made with this grab bag and a few brads:
July 4th
Kit used July Grab Bag by Pixels by Jen
Brads from:
Fiesta by Julie C Designs (jasjul) (yellow brad)
Year in Progress by Denise Zavagno/ScrapDZines 
(red/silver star and metal brad)
My husband and I are in Washington D.C. for the week.  We went down to the National Mall on Independence Day and found a nice spot to watch the parade.  Then a woman came over asking for volunteers to be in the parade. We jumped at the chance.  We were assigned to carry the 60 foot flag (along with others). It was hot and humid, but it was so worth it.  I was able to snap this photo when we paused for a bit.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Speed Scrap

Despite the evacuation, I did manage to participate in the weekly speed scrap at Scrap Orchard on Wednesday.  I figured that speed scrapping therapy is good for the soul.  We had gone out on Tuesday to buy the dogs some dog food and there was an Edible Arrangements almost next door.  I've always wanted an edible centerpiece and I figured I might as well go in and see if they could sell me anything.  The nice owner there sold me some luscious strawberries dipped in chocolate.  They don't normally keep food stocked but she had some strawberries made up for a customer to pick up late enough in the afternoon that she had time to make more. They were delicious.  Here are 2/3 of the strawberries in all their glory:
We each had one before I took the photo.  They were that good.
And here is my layout, celebrating chocolate in the midst of a wildfire and evacuation:
Bad Situatition
Chocolate by AnnaBV Designs
Tag, flower and alpha from This is Me by Captivated Visions

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Another Boardwalk layout

I just made a second layout using the Facebook fan freebie from Brine Design for the June template challenge at Two Little Pixels.  (Yes, today I know that is July, but I didn't realize that when I started this layout yesterday.)
Fort Jefferson
Template from 2LP June Template challenge by Rainy Dayz Designs
Boardwalk by Brine Design

Brine Design has a Facebook Fan Freebie!

Hey all!  Once again, I'm sorry for my lack of posting.  We've been evacuated from our home for the last week because of a wildfire so it has been hard to concentrate on scrapping.  I did want to let you know that Brine Design has a Freebie for her Facebook friends.  Go to her page here, and if you aren't already a fan, click on Like to get access to the freebie.

Here is a preview of the mini-kit:
Brine Design Facebook Fan Freebie
And here is a layout that I made with this mini-kit.  I love that orange paper!
Boardwalk by Brine Design