Thursday, October 25, 2012

Croptober Lesson #6: Poloroid Perfection

In the age of Instagram, Poloroid's, those dark-ish instant photos from the 70s that streamed from the front of the camera instantly and offered a white outer frame with a large bottom edge are back in, 2012-style!

Poloroids have made it BACK - they are definately cool again.

At Croptoberfest 2012, I challenged my traditional customers to create poloroid-type frames to add a vintage look to the photos on their album pages.  I showed them some easy ways to create the frames, and then showed them how to use the chalking inks and a few other techniques to make them look aged, as polorids often do...

Here are the basics for creating a poloroid traditionally:

1.  Cut your photo into a square shape.  Any size square will do.  With a 4X6 photo, a 4X4 inch square is your biggest size.  Then, cut a photo mat that's 1/4" bigger than your photo square on the left, top and right sides.  The photo mat should be between 1-1.25" on the bottom side.  The photo mat should be white.

I created samples for 3 standard photo shapes.  The colored paper represents the size of a square-cropped photo.  The size is written on the colored paper.  The size of the white poloroid frame is written in the lower right corner of the frame. 

However, you can cut your photo to any square size and simply add the measurements as stated above.

Now, to make your photo look a bit aged.  Here are a few ideas.

1.  Wrinkle and straighten.  This method works best with our thinner/printed paper.  If you have any old scraps, when printed paper was white on the back, this is a great use for them.  Just wrinkle the paper by balling it up loosely, then straighten it back out.  Old poloroids often seemed to have wrinkles and folds.

2.  Rough up.  To rough up, you can rip or tear the edges OR if you have this little tool (sorry can't remember the name) - it was a gift from a previous specailty event,

you can run it along the sides of your paper making it rough.  This tool works better on the cardstock than the printed/thinner paper.

3.  Dis-color.  Here's where the chalking inks come into play.  Anything you've wrinkled or torn or roughed-up will be the most affected.  Blot and rub the red and the olive chalking inks on the outer edges of your distressed poloroid frame to age and discolor them and to highlight their wrinkles and rough spots.

Voila - perfect retro poloroid.

I also challenged my digital customers to add poloroid frames to their photos.  Creative Memories offers poloroid type frames in some of their digital artwork packages.  Look for one in the Rugged Outdoors Digital Art Kit

I also taught digital clients how to easily make their own poloroid frame. 

AND I provided them with a digital png of a frame that I created.  I save my digital poloroid png in a Personal Ark Kit I called frames.

I am offering the png file of the poloroid frame here for FREE.

The page I made using my poloroid frame is at the top of this post - another future pet calendar page! 

This is the last of the six lessons I taught at Croptoberfest.  Of course, all these lessons went with a game as well.  Stay tuned for another post where I describe the game we played.   I hope you enjoyed the lessons and were able to use them at your Croptoberfest for at any upcoming workshop.

Happy Croptober Scrapping!  Sher

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Croptober Lesson #5: Magazine Inspiration

I loved this lesson.  It was so much fun.  AND... I got a big compliment from one attendee, Laura.  She said this was the most inspirational lesson I've ever taught.  Now, that's a big deal because Laura has been to just about every workshop and specialty event I've ever had for TEN YEARS!  She is one of my most consistent and long-term customers...  so I can only hope everyone else likes the lesson even half as well!

This lesson is called magazine inspiration.  Often times I read through a magazine and I don't necessarily notice the content of a certain page, but rather the layout.  With SBC 4.0, I realize that there is just about no layout I cannot duplicate.  But, I was worried that traditionally, it would be harder to create a magazine inspired page.

Well, not so much.  I found that with the traditional magazine inspiration, I was more or less inspired by something on the arrangement of elements, a color scheme, etc... as opposed to the digital magazine inspiration where I wanted more to duplicate the page.  So, I did just that.  I perused a few magazines that I had around to see what caught my eye from a design perspective.  The idea to teach this as a lesson came from the cM virtual croptoberfest where they suggested using an advertisement to inspire page design.

They used this ad as inspiration:


And from this, they created this traditional page as an example:

Greg and Corinne Skoog Creative Memories

Below are the samples I used to demonstrate to my Croptober attendees how I was inspired by layouts in magazines to create both traditional and digital pages.  First, digital:

Here is the magazine inspiration page:

And here is the digital page I created.
Again, here is the magazine inspiration (which obviously had no inspiration from the actual content):
And here is the digital page I came up with emphasizing the layout:
This last magazine page was my favorite! Some of my favorite digital embellishments are from our office supply kits and this page was perfect for incorporating those embellishements:

See how great it worked out?  I love this page!

You may notice the pet theme of all my digital sample pages?  Well, I will be making a calendar for the couple who provided foster care for our dog before we adopted her from the rescue association.  SO, I was able to complete some of the pages to use in my calendar and that also led me into talking about the fact that our calendars are on sale this month (for NINE more days) and to re-iterate the process of buying digital product credits for digital sale items.  By the way, I sold about $400 worth of calendar product credits at my Croptober event, so at least a few people were listening!
Next, I made a couple of traditional page designs to show my attendees how a magazine page can inspire page design without having to match that design specifically.  I created two traditional examples.
Here is the first magazine inspiration for my traditinonal page demo:
And here is the layout I came up with (each of the circles will be photo mats for a corresponding circle cut photo) although the colors in the magazine were also inspiring:
And here is the second traditional magazine inspiration:
Here is the traditional layout (sans photos) but I would want to add a photo that I had hand cut a bit of so that it would overlap the yellow paper, the way the photo above has the top of the woman's head cut out.  I'd overlap my journaling with the photo and add titles and subtitles to the other color block squares  on the page.  As you can see, I also copied the color inspiration from the magazine page.
So there you have it - Magazine Inspiration!  I hope you enjoy this lesson and that when you are reading a magazine, fold down a few pages that could become part of your next digital or traditional album.  Stay tuned for Croptober Lesson #6 - the last lesson I taught at my event.
Happy Croptober Scrapping- Sher

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Croptober Lesson #4: Starburst

Lesson #4 at my croptoberfest was inspired by a photo I saw on cM's Virtual Croptoberfest.  The photo was actually from a lesson about journling, but the "Starburst" decoration on the page background caught my attention big time!

Croptoberfest Virtual Crop 2012 Challenge 6

The starburst pattern reminded me of what I love about modern quilting, the ability to use lots of bright mixed patterned fabrics all in the same quilt.  So I decided to focus this lesson of croptoberfest on HOW to create both a traditional and a digital "starburst."  And, I challenged my attendees to do the same.

It's great how I teach something and then some folks just SERIOUSLY jump on the band wagon.  How much fun.

Here are a few photos of my participants, Laura and Sally working on a traditional starburst to use on their pages.  Each of them got a ticket for completing the task.

This technique is a tiny bit time consuming, but what I like about it is that you do NOT have to be exact with any measurements AND you can use up lots of scraps of paper or printed papers left over from lots of different random kits.
First.  Grab a lot of scraps.  How to decide? Well, what colors are in your photos that will go on the page?  Select coordinating scraps OR... like me, I wanted a bit of a rainbow of scraps, so I concentrated on grabbing a few papers in ROYGBIV order.
Next, grab a trimmer that has a diagonal cutting line.  It doesn't have to have a diagonal line, but it adds to the facility of triangle cutting.  Then, select a background square or rectangle.  The size of the background depends on how big of a starburst you want on your page.  Obviously, if you want it to be the size of the entire page itself, you need to select a 12X12 background paper, and somewhat larger scraps.  For the purpose of the photos in my step by step process for this blog post, I am using very small scraps and a very small background paper and making a little starburst embellishment.  I've already created two bigger starbursts to use on my pages, so now I just want to make something small.
7-Inch Trimmer
Because I'm using small scraps, I'm also using the new 7" trimmer to make my triangle cuts.  One new feature about the 7" trimmer is the diagonal cutting lines.
Here are my scraps:
Here are the triangles I've cut from them.  Just cut random lengths and widths but make sure the triangles can overlap your background:
Make an off-center dot on your background paper and line up the points of all the triangles on this dot making sure they are butted up right next to one another with no gaps.
Use the tape runner to attach each triangle to the background (I just put one splotch of tape a bit near the pointy end of the triangle).  I went back later and taped the other end down more securely.
Turn your background paper over so you can see the backs of all your taped triangles.  Using scissors, roughly trim away the excess using the background as a guide.
Now, more securely tape the outside edge of each triangle to the background.
Then, use a trimmer to slice off the rough triangle edges in a perfectly straight line along each side of the background paper.
Voila! Starburst.  To hide the place where the points meet, use a photo, journaling box or embellishment in your design right at that place so that you don't see any gaps or overlaps where the triangles all meet up.
For those of you who are making a digital starburst, the method is practically the same, maybe even easier.  Here are the steps to make a digital starburst.
Create a triangle shape.  Stretch and alter the size of the triangle.  Copy and paste the triangle several times until you have many and change all of their shapes and sizes so there are a random selection of triangles.  I used the Color My World Digital kit to fill the triangle shapes with paper.  Then, create a dot on your page.  Rotate all of your triangle shapes until the points line up on your dot.
Group and flatten the triangles together.  Use the square shape cutter from the cut & fill ribbon to cut the triangles into a rectangle - essentially trimming their uneven edges.  In the example above, i added a gold paper background behind my starburst.
Other options are to add lines between each triangle for added emphasis.  I created a line, copied and pasted it several times and then rotated it to sit between two of my triangle shapes.  I added a photo to my page and a title.  Once you create your starburst, consider saving it as an embellishment or paper for additional uses in the future.
Happy Croptober Scrapping - and stay tuned for Lesson #5 and #6 - coming soon! Sher

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Croptober: Lesson # 3 - Letter Inks

Lesson #3 was directly inspired by the Croptoberfest Virtual event on Facebook.  I loved the idea of colorizing our monogram letters with the Croptoberfest exclusive chalking inks.  I hopped on this idea RIGHT AWAY - how cool.

With the inks, color can be "wiped" on or "blotted" on.  Try out the inks a few ways to see which look you like the best.  For colorizing the entire monogram, I found the wiping method did the trick.

This photo is from the Creative Memories blog that inspired the lesson.

I created pink-ish letters by using the BARN RED chalking ink on white monograms.  I then arranged the letters LOVE in the pattern of the LOVE park sign in Philly - iconic to my neck of the woods.  I mounted my LOVE design on fall themed paper and will use it on a page about loving the fall weather in Philly.

I figured if it was possible to ink the monogram letters, why not the regular sized ABCs.  Well, it worked, but it was very hard not to get ink on letters I didn't intend to ink.

So, I tried another tactic. In my sample above, I used an older set of ivory colored ABCs with the Olive Green chalking ink.  I liked the patina it gave.

Here's my solution - tried it and it worked.  Remove the ABC letters that you wish to use in your word or title.  Stick them to a sheet of wax paper.  Ink them, remove them and use them on your page.  Now you can ink any size or color of ABC and give it a new look.

Continuing on, I experimented with making some stripey letters using all three chalking inks and that effect was pretty cool too.

Of course, my digital customers wanted to earn a prize ticket for completing lesson #3 as well, so I took advantage of this time to teach them about the paint and darken tools in Storybook Creator.

Here are some screen shots of painting and darkening letters in SBC 4.0 (font is AR DARLING):

I showed my customers how to paint on the edge of a flattened text word.  I taught them the difference between paint, darken and lighten.  I also showed them how to change their brush size and what the scroll bar for brush pressure could do.  I then challenged them to "ink" their own digital letters using one of these techniques on a page.

If you want a more in-depth lesson on using this feature, watch the P2P video by Tameka.  If you aren't a P2P (Pixels2Pages) member and you like cM's digital products, you are seriously missing out - I'd suggest that you join.  The video was taught back in April I believe.  You cannot share videos with any customer who is not a member, and you cannot earn profit when you customer becomes a member, but having customers who love and use cM's software and giving them a source to learn new things about it is ALWAYS a good thing!

Stay tuned, in Lesson #6, I show how to use these SAME chalking inks to distress embellishments.

Happy Croptober Scrapping - Sher

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Dip: Croptober Friday Night Food Winner

Head on over to my other blog to see the recipe for Vicky's Croptober Pumpkin Dip - an award winner at my Croptoberfest event~

Croptober Design Board: DREAM

This post covers the second half of Lesson #2 that I taught at my Croptoberfest this year.  If you've missed the previous posts about my event, scroll back.  There are about 5 or 6 posts thus far and plenty more to come.

For Lesson #2, I challenged my customers to create something on a traditional or digital page that was inspired by any of the design boards I made.  This set of designs features the Dream Paper Pack which supports the Make a Wish foundation (thank you to the attendees at my event who donated!).  Also, the Dream Dual Layer Stickers - awesome, supports MaW, and the sparkle pocket punch (again, supports MaW).

Product ImageProduct Image

Product Image

First I had to answer the question posed by my customers - what do you use these products for?  Well - any DREAM will do!  Is it a dream you have for your kids, a dream THEY have? A dream you have for yourself, your business, your future, the planet, a cause?

The dream colors are cool and bright. . . like a bright idea.  What bright ideas do you have?

To start my designs, I first created some 12X12 album page layouts.  Here they are.

On this page, I added a circle of dream paper to the hot air balloon to include another photo on the page rather than the journaling box it was originally.  I also removed the outer frame from the diecut journaling box at the top and cut out an oval from the lined portion.  Then I re-mounted it on a paper I liked better.  This page is all shades of blue and could suit many page themes.  There is plenty of room to add additional photos to this page.
This paper was like a big sheet of notebook paper, I didn't like the ripped look of the perforated holed on the left hand side, so I added another strip of paper over top of it leaving only the lined paper.  I added a bright yellow photo mat to add a photo of a future dream.  I left the journaling lines from the notebook paper to tell the story of the photo and the dream!  My personal dream would be going to Croatia for my 25th anniversary so that's what I'd use this page to depict.

I love how the brown paper blends well with the super bright yellow paper to kind of ground it.

I liked the giant die cut balloon but thought it didn't leave enough room on the paper for photos, so I cut a circle into the balloon die cut.  I'd put a photo behind the circle.

It's hard to see in this photo (bad lighting day - ugh), but the white paper actually contains some really cool, shiny clouds.  It reminded me of looking out a window to the clouds.  I'd use this page to show a window to my dreams.  There are four spaces in the window panes that could contain either photos or journaling or both!
I couldn't bring myself to cut this piece of paper.  It was my favorite in the pack and I decided to save it for a special page.  Or at least allow someone else to do their own thing with it.  My dream designs were one of my prize drawings at my event!
Next it was on to the borders.  Still love to make borders.  Love to make 'em and tuck them away for just the perfect page occasion.

I incorporated at few pinwheels into these borders.  Pinwheels were lesson 1 that I taught at my event.  Scroll back a bit to see how easy it is to make pinwheels to add a bit of fun dimension to your page.  I also added some punched sparkles to my bottom border.  I love to showcase the papers in a pack by doing these borders of lined up squares.  These are 2" squares, 6 of them make a 12" border.
These last borders are great for using 1" strips.  2-1" strips of double sided paper can be cut in half and then each side of the paper lined up patchwork style.  Add a few diecuts or layered stickers and you have an easy border.
Also on the the bottom border, don't forget about the TWINKLE chain cartridge for the border maker.  I cut one 12" twinkle and then cut it up and bit and flipped the middle piece to the other side of the paper to get a multi color twinkle.

The dream designs really stood out when they were mounted on black foam.  That black square in the middle of the display was where I titled the board and added the products and tools used to make them!
So go DREAM up what you can do with our newest Make a Wish designs.
Happy Croptober Scrapping - Sher

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