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 24 2011

Easy Squeeze Spoon

I saw this product in Target yesterday while shopping and thought, “That is a really great idea. I need to try that!” Feeding an infant baby food is a messy prospect and anything that can make the food from spilling out of the bowl during feedings is a great thing.

The Easy Squeezy Spoon by Munchkin

Food is placed into the bulb, then squeezed onto the spoon. You can then feed the food to your child.

Unfortunately, I’m disappointed with how this spoon actually works. In order to squeeze food out, the silicone bulb must be completely filled with food. And then when you get near the bottom, you need to get very creative with how to squeeze the food onto the spoon.


Even if rolled up like a tube of toothpaste, there is a lot of food left in the spoon that is either wasted, or needs to be spooned out the conventional way. For me, I would rather just save myself the hassle of funneling food into the silicone part and trying to get the right squeeze and just use a regular old bowl and spoon.

Ways to Improve this Spoon

  1. Make the entire device out of a more slippery plastic. This kind of silicone feels slightly sticky and picks up lint and other gunk after a while. Use the silicone as a gripper spaced out along the bulb.
  2. Make the entire device out of a squeeze plastic except the spoon so that less food is wasted.
  3. Make the bulb more like a pastry bag so that it is easy to squeeze and control flow of the food.
  4. Put an opening at the base instead of in the middle between the bulb and spoon.

All in all, a good idea. It just needs better design.

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 2 2011

Beer Bread Experimenting

I’ve been trying to develop a beer bread recipe that is similar to The Great Dane’s. It has a light, yet hearty texture and is dark in color, like a pumpernickel.

The recipe I found online gave me a pretty heavy loaf with hardly any flavor.

I tried some New Glarus Brewery ales, and also a mix of brown sugar and molasses. I could taste molasses more than any other flavor.

The other day I bought some stout beer to try in the recipe. I also mixed some whole wheat flour in with the white. My thinking is that in the mixing process too much gluten was forming and if I added a less processed flour, the density of the loaf would be reduced.

The recipe I ended up making turned out to be pretty good. I think it still may need some more tweaks, but I’m happy with how it is now.

>1 cup whole wheat flour
>2 cups all purpose flour
>1.5 tsp baking powder
>1.5 tsp instant yeast
>2 Tbsp brown sugar
>1 Tbsp molasses
>1 bottle (12 oz) stout beer (I used Zonkers)

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F
  • Mix the dry ingredients, then pour in beer. Mix until dry ingredients are wet. It is important to not mix too much or you will get a lot of gluten formation.
  • Place dough into loaf pan
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes (Bread will crack on top. This is normal)

You can add other spices and herbs to suit your taste. Experiment with rosemary, thyme, garlic, whatever flavor profile you are trying to achieve. My may also want to change the beer if you’d like a lighter beer flavor.

Happy Baking!

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