May 7 2012

Adobe Configurator

Have you heard of Adobe Configurator? It’s a nifty feature that I learned about while watching Photoshop User TV hosted by Scott Kelby.

You can create your own custom tool panel to use within Photoshop CS5 or Illustrator. I created a panel of the tools that I use most while creating a scrapbook page. In addition to creating your own panel, you can also save it to share with others (or yourself on different computers).

Here is a screenshot of my panel:

Configurator Panel

I also made a custom workspace:

Set up your photoshop windows the way you want them to be every time you open the program, then go to Window-> New Workspace. Save the workspace with an appropriate name. Now while creating, I have the things I use most often at my fingertips. And, the nice part is I can edit these things as my skills develop to suit my needs.

Photoshop Workspace

Jan 28 2012

Speed Scrap Fun

For those unfamiliar with digital scrapbooking, there are fun challenges to complete online to help you get pages finished. One is called a speed scrap. You are given directions and a certain amount of time to complete the assignment. It’s neat to see how many different pages are created when everyone is using the same directions.

Here are the directions from Stuff to Scrap Speed Scrap 322:

  1. Pick out 4 Papers, 2 Patterned, 2 plain and 2 Photos.

  2. Layer the 4 papers as your background Patterned Plain Patterned Plain. Adjust them however you like as long as you can see some of all 4.

  3. Crop your 2 photos into Squares or at least the same shape as each other. One Big & 1 Small and place them overlapping on a lower corner.

  4. Layer 3 Ribbons / RicRac / Stitches / Strings under the photos along the bottom of the layout.

  5. Add as many elements to the photo ribbon cluster as you would like. I only used 2 but if you want more to cluster by all means.

  6. Add Journalling above the ribbons, beside the photos.

  7. Add any drop shadows and last minute touches & a title if you wish. Upload to the gallery & post it in the forum. You have 1 hour from now.

And my page…


Forever in Blue Jeans by Scraps of Ellay
Page inspired by “Do Everything” by Steven Curtis Chapman

Now for the kicker, I created this cute page, but in the process of saving it for the web, I lost the original file. Boo. At least I have a pattern to copy though.

Oct 24 2011

Final Canvas Art Design

In case you are wondering, here is the final draft of my canvas art piece.

Immortal Invisible Final Upload

I really like how the font turned out. The color of the font is a sample of the fall leaf color. I changed the effects on the layers to emboss and satin to give it the shiny gold look.

The bottom layer is a brown-black sampled from the tree bark in the spring photo, then I used a photo of a forest and played with the blending modes and opacity to find the effect that looked best.

Using drop shadows, I was able to make the photos look matted.

Oct 20 2011

Canvas Art

While singing at church one Sunday I was inspired to make a piece of wall art based on the hymn Immortal Invisible, God Only Wise by Walter C. Smith.

This summer Groupon had a Canvas on Demand coupon. Now the coupon is expiring on October 22, and I still am not quite happy with how my art is looking.

Here is my original concept:

Need some constructive criticism

It really wasn’t working for me, so I got some feedback, scrapped the original idea and came up with these:


Immortal Invisible Horizontal


Immortal Invisible Vertical

Now, which do you like better, horizontal or vertical? Should I keep all the text in golden yellow? Should I change the capitalization in the verses? Leave some comments and help me out! (Thanks to everyone who has commented so far in this process. Hope you aren’t getting tired of it)

Sep 1 2011

Icing on the Cake

Welcome to those of you visiting from Digiscrap101! I don’t post regularly (you can see the reasons why in previous posts :) ), but if you like what you see, you may put my blog in your feedreader and get updates from time to time.

Today I am sharing a page that I did based on a speed scrap challenge over at Stuff to Scrap’s forum.

For those not familiar with Speed Scraps, you are given a certain number of directions to complete in a set time frame. Once you are done, you have a finished page. It’s a great way to get some guidance and still design a page on your own.

Here are the instructions (Speed Scrap 278):

  1. Select 1-3 photos.

  2. Pick 8 papers – You can pick 4-6 and duplicate some if you would rather but you need at least 4 different ones.

  3. Set one paper as your background. Cut 5 large strips from at least 3 other papers (2 can be duplicated…at least 3 need to be different) and place across the background paper.

  4. Place photos across the center of your layout or across one edge. They don’t have to be straight or aligned.

  5. Mat photos with 2 papers, one on top of the other.

  6. Place 2 elements wherever you wish. They can be duplicated up to 3 times each.

  7. Add a title or journaling if you want. Add shadows and other finishing touches.

And here is my page:

20110726 Beautiful Summer Day

Since I had so many pictures from that day that I liked, I used the page I made, turned it counter clockwise, and rearranged the pictures a bit. New page in less than 30 minutes! Easy!

201107262 Beautiful Summer Day

Forest Friends Alpha by Erica Zane
Fairy Take by Stuff to Scrap

Aug 23 2011

Lightroom Metadata Bug?

I am having problems with metadata that I enter into Adobe Lightroom’s catalog not consistently saving to JPEG files that were downloaded from my camera. My goal is to have the metadata saved directly to the JPEGs without extra steps such as exporting files from the catalog or resaving images as JPEGs in Photoshop.

I am experiencing the same issues with Mac OS v 10.6.8 and 10.7.1. My photos are captured with a Nikon D50 as JPEG (setting: FINE). I am running Lightroom 3.4.1.

I set catalog settings to automatically write changes into XMP, set Lightroom to back up each time I exit, and set camera RAW cache to 50 GB. All other settings I left as default. Pictures were copied into the catalog as JPEG from my camera card. I tagged and added captions or titles to numerous pictures.

Today when I opened Lightroom, some pictures had the exclamation point badge (sidecar file has conflict) and some didn’t. When I tried to resolve the mismatching sidecars by clicking “retry metadata export” or “save metadata to files” manually within Lightroom, the program would go through the motions of exporting the metadata (progress bar, etc), yet when I checked the actual file that the catalog is linked to, the metadata was not included in the information for the actual image. The exclamation badge still showed in the catalog also.

All the metadata I entered into the catalog remains there and is correct.

Photos captured on the same day, downloaded from the same camera on the same day they were taken can behave differently. Some photos will have the metadata saved properly, others will not.

LR and Info Highlighted

In comparing the info for files where the metadata wrote and those which didn’t, I noticed that the permissions are different. I changed the permissions of the non-written files to match the written files and tried to resynchronize with no luck. I can export a photo from Lightroom and the metadata will be included in the newly created file. I can also download the files from my camera, open and resave them as JPEGs in Photoshop, import them into Lightroom, and the metadata writes to the files with no problem.

Is anyone else having this problem? I can’t find anything in the forums or searching the web.

UPDATE: Adobe has released version 3.5 for testing. The problem I was experiencing seems to have been fixed.

Aug 1 2011

Fonts Don’t Float, and Neither Do Pictures

These pages were created using a technique I learned at the Daily Digi. Suzy talked about how when text is printed on a page, it should follow the texture of the page to look real.

I decided to test this out on photos too. It made the photo really blend into the page and look like it was crumpled up, just as the page appears.

2010010300 Hallie's MiniMe

2009081600 Mary Poppins copy

Jul 31 2011

Thirty Minute Page

Although this page may look complicated, it was very simple to create.

I came up with the idea for this page when I had 7 pictures, but I didn’t think individual pictures would look good all together. The pictures I used for the background seemed to tell a back story, give the page movement and immerse the reader in the feeling of going from a snowy place to a sunny place. I could then very easily make a cohesive design using the 4 pictures snapped inside the airport to tell the story about our excitement of going on the trip.

I used a large soft brush (150-350 pixels, 0% hardness) varying the opacity and size to blend the pictures and make one melt into the other.

2009122900 On to Virginia

May 2 2011

Week 3 Photo Assignment

This week’s assignment was to learn about the auto settings on the camera. Each setting optimizes the camera settings for various situations. I was a bit lazy (mostly because I’m so pregnant I can’t move very well) so I didn’t get all the settings.


Macro Mode




Portrait Mode


Sports Mode:

Action Mode


We also learned how to take a self-portrait. Make sure you hold the camera off to the side to get the best angle (and some other creative shots).

Belly Self Portrait

Apr 21 2011

Week 2 Photo Assignment

Week two focused on composition. Look for lines and architectural props that frame your subject. Zoom in, then zoom in some more. Create visual triangles by how you pose your subject. Employ the rule of thirds in your work. Use props- anything can be a prop, even buttons on a shirt. Take photos from different angles: above, below, behind.

Zoom in

Visual Triangle

Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds

Vary the Angle

Varied Angle

Props/ Vary the Angle


Use Props

Props/ Rule of Thirds

Props/ Vary the Angle