Friday, March 23, 2007

First Page on Paul

I've been a very busy girl--I just completed my first scrapbook page about Paul. I took these pictures yesterday, and they were too cute to just sit there in a folder. I was sitting at my desk (doing something productive, I'm sure), and I could hear Paul just cracking up on the floor next to me. When he saw me looking at him, he started laughing even harder and began wriggling like a puppy. Fortunately I had my camera next to me, so I was able to snap some pictures of him. Isn't my baby the cutest!

Papers by GABhappyscrap; alpha by Suzy Nunes; star by LaWanna Desjardin; fiber by Debra Tope; mesh by Welli Designs; arrows by Gina Cabrera; cardboard strip by Valeri Brumfield; numbers by Erica Hernandez; vellum and string by Lauren Bavin; Prince wordart by Christina Renee; Baby wordart is "wordwhite" (can't find creator); frames by Peppermint Creative

Praise for the GIMP

I've been recently introduced to digital scrapbooking, and I'm loving it! It's so much more conducive to using digital photos (and isn't that all most people have anymore?), it's lots cheaper, and I don't have to have a room dedicated to scrapbooking. The problem with paper scrapbooking is that you have to have someplace where you can leave everything out (virtually impossible with a toddler) or you have to have a huge chunk of time open for scrapbooking--at least 3 hours. With digital scrapbooking, all I need is my computer, a image manipulation program, and digital "papers" and "elements," which are readily available for free on the internet (and legally, too, I might add).

I had been using the Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Designer, but it was very slow and didn't allow for much customization. Now, for someone who doesn't want to do a lot of tweaking, this would have been a fine program. But I needed something a bit more high-powered than that. So with this most recent page, I created it entirely in the GIMP. The GIMP is a free image manipulation program, similar to Photoshop, but at a much, much more reasonable price (how can you beat free?). There's quite a steep learning curve when using the GIMP, and their help section definitely isn't the most user friendly or informative. But with some tinkering, I was able to figure out how to do everything that I wanted to. For those of you who are familiar with Photoshop, there's a version of the GIMP that's styled after Photoshop and which works similarly. However, since I've never used Photoshop, I decided to stick with the classic GIMP.

There's a "script-fu" for the drop shadows, which made creating those quite easy. The GIMP also works with Photoshop file formats, such as .psd, so you can use pretty much anything that was created for Photoshop in the GIMP. My big complaint about the GIMP is that it's text editor isn't very easy to use. Once you've rotated a text box, you are no longer able to edit the text inside. Apparently the current version's editor is much improved over past versions, but it still needs a bit of work.

I was quite pleased with how this page turned out. I think it's my favorite digi page that I've done. Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Scraplift of Kate Hadfield
Papers, alpha, and most elements from the Zippity Doo Da kit by Zoe Pearn
Photo frames with drop shadows by Nancy Comelab
Staples by Kirsty Wiseman
Font is from Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Designer

Monday, March 19, 2007

Homemade Art

After many weeks of searching for something to put on the large, empty wall behind our kitchen table, I found...nothing. Unless I was willing to fork over several hundred dollars, there was nothing that came close to the size and style that I was looking for. So what's a girl with more time than money to do? Armed with a staple gun, several decorating books, and a vague idea of what I wanted, I set out to create my own art.

The first logical option would be to draw or paint something. However, since I can't do either to save my life, this plan was immediately crossed off the drawing board (no pun intended). So my next option was to repurpose something as art.

As anyone who knows me can attest, I love a good bargain. So I set myself a budget of $20 to create a piece of art 3'x5'. After scouring the fabric stores in the area (some multiple times), I found a drapery remnant on sale at Hancock. Following a quick trip to Home Depot to purchase some 2x2's, I commissioned the resident carpenter (my sweetie, Aaron) to build a frame. Many staples and a few screws later, my "art" now takes center stage in our dining room.

Project breakdown and cost:

  • 2 yards of 56" wide decorators' fabric: $8.08 (on sale for $6 a yard, plus 30% off all decorators' fabric, and a coupon for an additional 10% off the total purchase)
  • 2 2x2s (8' each): $3.50
  • Staple gun (the only tool that I personally own): previously purchased
  • Staples: previously purchased
  • Total: $11.58--Way under budget!!