Welcome. This blog is my little home on the web. It's mostly about my favorite hobby, digital scrapbooking. You might also find some recipes, home decor projects, or parenting woes. But mostly digital scrapbooking.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Recent Scrapbook Layouts

I have just a couple of new layouts to share with you. I've been preoccupied with household duties lately, and haven't scrapped much. But I'm looking forward to the first Saturday in November .... are you?

These were just some silly pictures taken one day. But I noticed the book on the table, The Witches by Roald Dahl, which was quite a joy to read, so I scrapped about that. I think Miller likes The Witches and Matilda more, but I love The BFG the most. Have you heard of the term scrumdiddlyumptious? I think it was a word invented by The BFG.
Just Believe Elements and Papers by creashens; Big Photo Templates 3 by Scrapping with Liz

And this one I just finished tonight. These were pictures from open house last school year. I have several school field trips and events from last year that I would like to get scrapped. I would feel really caught up if I did. The poor little guy had such a horrible runny nose that day, and that is what I remember most.
Pajama Party Templates by Scrapping with Liz; sCOOL Days and other kits by Julia Makotinsky

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

2016 Calendar Toppers

In Kindergarten my son learned to mark off the days on a calendar. Last year I threw together a Shutterfly calendar for him, and he seems to really enjoy having family pictures on his wall. This year I've been using the Scrapping with Liz Calendar Templates each month. I'm a little behind since I haven't done August yet. For September, I'll wait until the month is over, so I can pick from all the September photos. Here is what  have so far.

Anywhere Elements and Papers; Wired No. 2 Alphabet by creashens
2016 Calendar Template 7 by Scrapping with Liz

Strawberry Bliss by creashens; 2016 Calendar Template 6 by Scrapping with Liz

Live Free and Dapper Kits, and Silver Wire Alpha by Digital Design Essentials;
2016 Calendar Template 5 by Scrapping with Liz

Colors of Spring by Anita Designs; Wired Alpha No. 2 by creashens;
2016 Calendar Template 4 by Scrapping with Liz

Sprung Papers by Karla Dudley; Let's Go Outside Elements by Sugarplum Paperie;
Wired Alpha No. 1 by creashens; 2016 Calendar Template 3 by Scrapping with Liz

This Weekend by Anita Designs; My Story Papers by Mari Koegelenberg;
Glow Papers and Wire Alpha 1 by creashens; 2016 Calendar Template 2 by Scrapping with Liz

Clueless Collection by Anita Designs; Wire Alpha 2 by creashens;
2016 Calendar Template 1 by Scrapping with Liz

Now that I see them all together, I'm starting to worry they are too girly for a 3rd grade boy. Oh well. They are what they are.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Some Recent Scrapbook Layouts

I've got a bit of a creative block right now. I have a scrapbooking project I'm trying to put together for a Christmas gift, but it hasn't been coming together. I'm having trouble putting it aside to focus on other pages. But here are a few that I've done.

This page has pictures the scientist took at a garden in China during one of his work trips.
Every Family has a Story Templates by Sabrina's Creations and Soco

This page is about a game we got last Christmas, and it has become a family favorite. Qwirkle is deceptively simple looking. An eight year old can play against an adult easily, and it is fun for all. The kit and template I used here were neither game-themed, but I thought the funky shapes played off the tiles from the game.
Triangles, Triangles, Triangles Templates by Scrapping with Liz; Daddio by Allison Pennington
These were pictures from a local favorite nature area ... how to scrap the same ol' place yet another time? I ended up going with a change of season theme.
Watercolor Whimsy Collection by Dawn Inskip; 2 in 1 Triangle Templates by Scrapping with Liz

Some fun summer pictures.
Recyclables 40 by Scrapping with Liz; Cardstock Essentials 3 by Karla Dudley; Summer's End Titles by Just
Jaimee; One for the Album by One Little Bird; Sprinkles 26 by Valorie Wibbens
various Straight Line White stitches by Anna Aspnes

Back to school day pictures with some thoughts about the new year.
Tell Me About it Template 1 by Scrapping with Liz; Bright by Allison Pennington
Heimili by Pink Reptile Designs; Documentary by Sahlin Designs

Pictures from a trip to the zoo. I was inspired by several photographs with animal backdrops. I wanted to do something very graphic with them, and ended up with the large extracted photo. There was one more with a tarantula backdrop, but the expression on his face and the harsh shadows weren't very flattering, so I left it out.
25 Days of Templates by Tiffany Tillman; Cardstock Essentials 3 by Karla Dudley

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Bird Report

I got a new hummingbird feeder last Christmas. It is really cool - it has suction cups and adheres to windows.

This is cool because the birds look right at you through the window. This is also a very easy-to-clean feeder. It is basically just a bowl with a hinged lid.

You can set up a tripod right inside the window in hopes of getting a really nice close up of a bird. However, if your window happens to be shaded by a balcony, as mine is, you might not get that great play of colors that is so desired.

But I happened to get this one pretty good shot (out of about 30 - I was using a remote so that I could stand far away, and I didn't realize that the focus point was set too low). I am now feeling inspired to attempt more hummingbird photography.

This is the same picture, just cropped in and saturation bumped - I couldn't help myself.

I was wondering if the hummingbirds would stay resident all winter, or if they would migrate. They stayed, but they did not seem as interested in my feeder. I think they kept to more natural food sources. Maybe their diet varies over the year.

So, stay tuned for future bird photography, and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Displaying My Own Photography

Every once in a while I take a photograph that I really love. Eventually I had enough of these "great" photos that I thought I should display them on my walls. I had a couple of large frames that were not being used, so I threw out the old prints in them, and designed some displays of my photos.

I used Photoshop to set up simple templates with several photo spots on large canvases (I believe they are 16x20 and 16x16 inches). I had them printed and slipped them into my frames. And here they are on my entry wall.

The frame on the left has several different nature photographs: mushrooms, a western fence lizard, a cuttle fish, and a hummingbird.

And here is a funny, or maybe not so funny, story about that. I was so pleased with my photo gallery and was anxious to show it off to the scientist. I think he was out of town when they arrived. Anyway, I cornered him in front of the pictures and said, "I love how my pictures turned out." He said he loved them too, and it was ironic that most of the pictures were actually taken by him. Oh, really?! Exactly one of the four pictures was taken by him - the mushrooms. The other three were all mine! Now, I guess I can kind of understand how he might think the cuttle fish picture was his because he took similar pictures of cuttle fish when we were at the aquarium. I could even understand how he might think the lizard picture was his because he often caught lizards with our son and he sometimes took pictures of them, although they were all out of focus. The scientist specifically said the hummingbird picture was his, which I cannot understand at all because I have never known him to take a single picture of a hummingbird. So that's the story: how a scientist who took 25% of the pictures quickly came to the conclusion that "most" of the pictures were his. Is that funny or disturbing?

The other collection of three photos was a series that I had been wanting to do for quite a while. It is three pictures of a weed that I remember fondly from my childhood. They start as little pink flowers. Each flower grows into a long, multi-segmented spear.

Then as the spears dry out, the segments separate into several seeds with long tails. The tails twist into a really tight spiral with very fine hairs sticking out. They stick to you when you walk through them. These were the least painful of stickers you could get stuck to your shoe laces when I was a kid (the painful part is removing them). I guess that is why I remember them so fondly: stickers that were easy to remove. Or maybe it is because that spiral is so cool.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Shutterfly iPhone 5c Case

Here I am with another review of a Shutterfly iPhone case. This case was for me, and I have a iPhone 5c.  I started at the Custom iPhone Cases page.

From there, I selected my 5c phone model and Slim Case with Liner. For the scientist I went with the Slim Case only option, but I wanted more protection for my phone, and I also wanted to see for myself how it was different. With those choices, only a Glossy finish is available.

I chose the Gallery of Four iPhone Case.

You actually have several customization options for this case. It wasn't until I was customizing my 3rd phone case that I truly understood all the options available.

In the Options Tab you can change your Phone model and whether you want a liner or just the slim case. I believe that if you purchase the Case with Liner, you must use the liner. The case will not fit without the liner. Note: there is a text box available in addition to the photos. You can leave this blank if you don't want text. You will get a warning that you can ignore when the case is added to your cart.

In the Backgrounds Tab you can change the background color of the design. In this case, that means you can change the color of the lines between the photos. In the screen shot I changed the background to red.

In the Layouts Tab you can actually choose different numbers and orientations of photos.

I stayed with the 4 photo option and a white background color. Here are front and back views.

Here is a picture of the liner. It reminded me of silicone bake ware, but not as soft to the touch. As far as I can tell, Shutterfly only offers a dark liner. I would actually call it a very dark gray, not true black. I had to slip the liner on my phone first, and then add the slim case as a second step.

Here are the slim case, the liner, and the phone all side by side.

The side with the volume buttons and the opening for the camera. The volume buttons are covered by the liner, but there are little bumps for your fingers to feel.

The bottom with the power connector.

The top with the power button. Like the volume buttons, it is covered by the liner and has a raised edge for your finger to feel.

I was quite happy with my phone case. I have dropped it at least once on my kitchen tile floor, and there was no damage. I couldn't even see any mark.

When my son saw my phone case, he wanted one too. He selected the same design as me. When his arrived, I was a little disappointed that the picture of me at the top was kind of cut off - my face fell too high on contoured edge of the case. I thought I had place the photo carefully, so I investigated further.

With our two phones placed side by side, I saw that the design is shifted upwards on his phone, no doubt contributing to that top photo moving up into the bend of the case.

So then I went back into my Shutterfly Projects to compare to the preview images in their online ordering system.

It actually looks like the white lines in my phone were shifted DOWN compared to the preview image. Miller's white lines are closer to the preview, but the image seems enlarged or something, causing my face to be higher.

But overall the Preview image matches the end product fairly well. It is that top photo that seems most sensitive to the alignment issues, so I suggest using a photo there that has a bit more of a wide angle view and won't be hurt by vertical shift.

There was one more thing I wanted to say. I pre-read some of the reviews before I ordered the 5c case. One of the reviews complained that, although the phone case was beautiful, the Glossy finish was very slippery, causing the customer to drop her phone more often. I was intrigued by that review as it suggested the case was causing more harm than good. Here is my take on it: Yes, the Glossy case is somewhat slippery, but I don't think it is any more slippery than the plastic case of the 5c itself. For me it was a non issue because I was used to holding the phone, with its slippery surface, already. But for someone who is used to a phone or a case that has a more grippy surface, the Glossy might indeed feel very slippery.

Well, those are all the phone cases I plan to purchase for a while. I think they are really fun. Even sorting through your photos to pick your favorites is fun, although it can be hard to narrow it down.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Shutterfly iPhone 6 Case

For Father's Day, I got the scientist a case for his iPhone 6. For a long time he has insisted he didn't want a case for it. And at his work, I've seen lots of people using their iPhones without cases. But the case I saw on Shutterfly looked pretty slim, so I took a chance and customized one for him.

I chose for him the Collage Squares case. Here is the screen shot.

The options I chose were the Slim Case (no liner) and Matte finish.

Here are pictures of the scientist's phone. He had been using it for about 2 months when I took these pictures. The surface is smooth but not shiny at all.

The side with the volume buttons:

The other side with the power button:

The bottom with the power connection:

The top with no buttons:

If you want to order an iPhone case from Shutterfly, I suggest taking your time and clicking all the buttons. Different phone cases are available for some phone models but not others. If an option is not available it is grayed out on the screen. But that might lead you to believe the options are more limited than they really are.

For example, here is the same screen shot as above. It is the Collage Squares case, for iPhone 6, Slim Case, Matte. Notice that the iPhone 5c option is grayed out. That lead me to believe that this case design was not available for the 5c when I later ordered the case for my phone.

However, if I had just selected Glossy instead of Matte, look what happens. This design is available for the 5c, it just has to be Glossy. If I had known that, I probably would have picked this design instead of the one that I ultimately chose.

If you are customizing your own phone case, I suggest starting from the main Custom iPhone Cases page, and selecting your phone model. It will narrow down the choices for what covers are available for your phone.

So, how does the scientist like his phone case? He misses the slimmer feeling of the phone by itself, but he likes looking at the little pictures. He thinks the case does protect a little against bumps and scrapes, and the little lip on the edge probably protects the glass just a little. He was extremely happy I ordered him the Matte finish and not the Glossy.

I'll write again soon and share the case I got for my 5c. I chose a different case design WITH the liner, and the Glossy finish, so there is lots to compare. I will also speak to some of the customization options (like background color and different photo layouts) that some cases have. This Collage Squares case just did not have those customization options.

Thanks for stopping by.