Photo Storify

Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Variety of Greens

There is usually a story behind every photo made. In this case after walking in the warm sunshine my sister, Glenda, and I enjoyed a salmon salad at the Farmhouse, a lovely open air bistro on the grounds of Roger’s Gardens. I suppose a photo of the salad might have marked our day better than these fake succulents, but this trip was filled with work days helping my daughter move. Once we found a little shade, I helped my sister photograph these with her new camera. Sometimes, I simply take what I get and fill in the details of the story in order to document an event. Sometimes, I just want to remember a time together.

This was a very simple layout to put together using Anna’s new release. I actually chose this photo to document our lunch based on the color scheme of the new ArtPlay Palette Notabilia. I placed transfer 1 from the new artplay palette on a new blank document and blended my photo into the transfer using an inverted layer mask.

Note: I adjusted the color in my photo with a hue and saturation adjustment layer, but I learned a valuable lesson on color as I worked with this page.

Next, I placed the layers of psd file 2 from MultiMedia Documents No. 2 to create a frame effect around my photo. I switched out the flower with one from the artplay palette and added word art from Notabilia WordART Mix No. 1. I clipped an extracted copy of the same photo I had clipped to the transfer to the paper layer for the document multimedia file.

While I liked the photo on the multimedia document, I did not think there was enough interest on my page. I then opened Artsy Layered Template No. 255 and dragged the layers below my multimedia layers and turned them off. First, I moved the frames, text boxes, splatter and art stroke above the document layers but below the succulent element, thread and word art. I reduced the size of the frames slightly and recolored them an off white. The white frames appeared too stark with the color scheme. I wrote my journaling and added a subtitle from Notabilia WordART Mix No. 1. I could have left my page as below, but it appeared incomplete to me.

I began turning on the template layers that I had grouped below the multimedia layers. I recolored some stains, adjusted the blend mode and deleted some layers until I though I had created a soft background for the document file. I especially liked the look of the textured paper on the left with the paper in the document file.

I though I was finished with this page, until I looked again at the lack of variation in color on my page. So I reopened the file, adjusted my framed photos a little more, recolored some of the template stains and reduced the opacity.

I like the more natural variety in greens on this page much better now. Too much matching of color is not always a good thing.

Perspective

What I see as I look through my camera lens isn’t always what my artist side puts on a layout. Often, I don’t even know what a piece of art will look like until I begin experimenting. However, that’s the joy I find in creating, finding a different perspective than what I initially saw in my camera.

For this page, I began with a photo that I captured last week and file 4 of MultiLayered FotoBlendz No. 7. After working with my photo, I clipped copies to the different layers.

Next, I extracted the gates to the Victorian Garden from another photo and placed that over the first photo. While I liked the look, I didn’t think it looked as artsy as I wanted.

So I created a composite by pressing the keys command + option + shift + 6.

I turned off my composite temporarily and placed brush 1 from Cameras No. 4 on my page and changed the blend mode to linear burn.

I used the Elliptical Marquee tool to cut a copy of the center of the lens on the brush. I placed the copy just above the original and filled it in more with brushes.

I reduced the size of a copy of my composite and clipped it to the copy of the brush lens that I had created.

Next I clipped a larger copy of my composite to the original camera brush.

I placed brush 7 from Camera No. 4 below and clipped another linked copy of the photo to it. I placed one more copy of brush 1 on normal at 40% normal blend mode.

To emphasize the lens of the camera brush, I placed two threads from UrbanThreadz No. 14 and one from UrbanThreadz No. 3. I stamped some splatters from Splatters No. 1 on new blank layers and positioned them on a diagonal.

To finish my layout, I added a title and journaling explaining why I created this piece of art. I think it important for my family to know why I create from a different perspective at times.

Artsy Flowers

Although I am behind on the course content for one class, I couldn’t resist Anna’s newest class, ArtsyFlowers. I love photographing flowers and thought this course might be just the thing I needed to create my own multimedia artsy flowers for the fotoinspired pages I am creating for a book on flowers. I began viewing Anna’s video lessons with this specific photo open on a new blank document in Photoshop. As Anna demonstrated the process with her photo, I applied her techniques with brushes, transfers and textures using my photo. I learned that while my process involved more layers for my flower type, I could repeat with the same materials on the different petals. Basically, once I had a couple of petals done, I knew what to do to get the same look on the rest of them.

Below is what my finished multimedia flower looked like. It is a combination of materials provided by Anna for the course, as well as two other brushes, a transfer from ArtPlay Palette Vintage Summer, some artsy stains, threads from UrbanStitching Misc No. 1 and file 8 from UrbanStitchez No. 1. I also added a few splatters. Once I finished my artsy flower, I wanted to use it on a page.

I placed the layers of template 1 from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1. I placed my flower over the fotoblendz mask and deleted it from the layers panel. I duplicated the photo twice and clipped it to the small frames, extracting the petals from one frame edge. I tacked down one frame with file 4 from UrbanThreadz No. 7.

I then began turning back on some of the template layers that were above the fotoblendz mask that I had deleted. I clipped the same transfer from ArtPlay Palette Vintage Summer or recolored the stains. I added a few splatters.

Finally, I rearranged the position of the stains that were below the fotoblendz mask and again clipped a copy of the coneflower photo or the same transfer from ArtPlay Palette Vintage Summer, moving them around to ensure nothing looked the same.

Not only did I love the course content for creating my own artsy flower, but I used one idea from the course for reshaping stains on the template to better fit with my needs. I will be using the course content again. In fact, I think I’m going to rework what I did with some pansies first. ArtsyFlowers is definitely worth the time to explore if you are into photographing flowers.

Eight Years and Two Days

Born eight years and two days apart, it’s hard to imagine that Owen, my oldest grandson, and Kate, my youngest grandchild, will be close. Yet, every once in a while I capture a photo of the two of them together that tells me that with time they will have a closer relationship. Since they had a shared family birthday party this year, I decided to create one page for the event.

I began this 24×12 inch page by extracting Kate from the photo and giving her a custom shadow. I then clipped copies of photo to the psd layers of mask 1 from WaterColor FotoBlendz No. 7. I also extracted my grandson Owen so that I could replace the background in that photo with solid paper 4 from ArtPlay Palette Autumn Soul and overlay 1 from ArtPlay Palette Whizzo when I clipped it to png mask 3 from WaterColor FotoBlendz No. 7. I positioned the two photos so that they were facing in opposite directions to support my journaling. Once I had the two focal photos positioned, I went back to Lightroom to find that one photo I remembered of the two of them together.

Note: The dot overlay over the solid paper from ArtPlay Palette Autumn Soul was easier to manipulate so it matched the dot spacing on solid paper 6 from ArtPlay Palette Whizzo. Owen’s shirt was actually green, so I gave him a gray blue shirt instead with a hue and saturation adjustment layer.

I dragged the layers of template 16 in Travel Template Album No. 3 on to my document. I extracted my grandson and granddaughter, substituting another copy of the gray paper with overlay 1 for the background below the photo and clipped all three layers to the fotoblendz mask. I again added a hue and saturation adjustment layer to the photo to change the color of my grandson’s shirt.

Next, I deleted the frames from template 16 because there were too many of them in the arrangement for balance on my two page spread. I kept the template’s stains and text boxes. I replaced the frames with a frame set from template 7 in Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1. I dragged the frames over to my page and clipped my photos to the masks. Rather than change the color of my grandson’s shirt, I converted the photo to black and white with an adjustment layer. That also created a rest stop on the right side of the page.

Note: Once I knew the shape of the frame arrangement I needed, it was easy to look for a replacement that would work below the fotoblendz mask and have the correct photo orientation.

I moved one text box to the left and adjusted it’s size to fit the space for balance. I repeated the pink and gray in the stains before adding file 7 from UrbanStitchez No. 2 to ground my granddaughter.

For a little birthday fun, I stamped three line drawing brushes from eA Birthday No. 1. I added color to the brushes with some of the balloon stains from WaterColorBalloons No. 1 and ArtsyStains No. 2. I added my title and their ages. With a sticker, button and thread from ButtonThreadz No. 3, I finished my layout.

I, of course, captured a lot more photos of the party, but I don’t think I needed them all to tell this story. Despite the difference in age between my grandchildren, I hope that one day they will enjoy this memory of their shared birthday party.

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Adventure Trails

It’s hard to get back to scrapbooking after nearly three weeks of the non stop activity involved in moving. So I was glad to see a new template album set, Travel Template Album No. 3, this week. I simply chose photos from one of the collections that I had created in Lightroom to create another page for my book. That proved to be just enough of a project to rekindle my creativity this weekend.

On the left, I placed the layers of template 6 and the layers from template 7 on the right. I deleted the stains in the middle, the postage and some of the word art and script. Note: I made a few adjustments to the fotoblendz masks to accommodate my photos after I clipped them to the masks.

Next, I clipped my photos to the fotoblendz and framed masks. I added adjustment layers to improve the look of my photos. I considered color when I placed the photos, i.e. Owen’s red shirt, to help move the eye across the page.

To fill in the gutter of my page, I first, repositioned a copy of the large photo on the left and used an inverted mask to bring back in just my youngest grandson rolling on the grass by stamping with white on the black mask. He was actually on the left side of that photo, but didn’t show in the fotoblendz mask. Next, I duplicated the original photo clipped to the mask but did not change it’s position as I had with the part of my youngest grandson. Instead, I linked it to the original, attached an inverted layer mask and stamped brush 8 from ArtsyPaint No. 9 directly on the mask to extend the scene. Finally, I extracted my grandson’s leg by placing a copy of the photo above the frame and revealing just his leg with a round brush on an inverted mask. I gave the extraction a custom shadow and erased as needed.

I placed my title in basically the same position as the word art included with the template set. I also added file 5 from MultiMedia Suns No. 1. I placed the layers to emphasize the direction of the light in the photos on the left and on the right. It’s not perfect, but gives the feel of the sun’s direction in most of the photos. I also placed two word art labels from ArtPlay Palette Traveler for a little more interest.

This page came together so easily; it was a perfect project when you are pressed for time but still want to make progress on a book or to create something. To be honest, I was disappointed with these photos when I imported them from my camera to Lightroom. Yet, I think the template helped me crop and arrange them to tell the story of our visit to a new exhibit at the zoo on a very hot summer morning in July. So I’ve decided that the photos were better than I thought!

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News

Have you wondered why I haven’t posted any new photos and scrapbook pages? At the end of July, I flew back to California to help my daughter finish packing for her move to be near us in Nebraska. If you’ve ever moved a short or a long distance, then you know the challenges. Nothing ever goes quite like you plan. It’s a hectic and tiring process. I do have some stories to tell; unfortunately few photos to tell those stories. I’m going to give myself a little more time before trying to create a two page spread for my book. I should be able to laugh by then.

I also wanted to share that I’ve been asked to participate in Scrapaneer’s Style Symposium, representing the shape shifter style. I am scheduled for an online chat session on Saturday, August 26 at 8 pm EDT. I am honored and looking forward to sharing how I use Anna Aspnes’ Designs to create my pages as Tiffany Tillman and I chat during the video.

I’ll be back soon to share another new scrapbook page. There are more boxes to unpack and details to coordinate for setting up a new home. I am loving having my daughter close again.

Playing to My Strengths

I think this is the last water play page for my book. While there are common elements to all the pages that I am incorporating into my book this year, I am adding something unique to each page. On this page, there are actually four extractions: the large family photo, part of my granddaughter Kate in the foreground, my grandson Owen in the middle and Logan’s fun goggles in the title. As I work on this book project, I am playing to my scrapbooking strengths, blending and extractions. I try new things, but I also use skills I know well.

For this page, I went back to Anna’s Project Template Album No. 2. I began by clipping photos to the fotoblendz masks included in templates 22 and 23 before I rearranged the small photo masks by moving one and duplicating another. On the large fotoblendz on the left, I duplicated the photo, extracted the heads, gave them a custom shadow to create more depth in the photo and blended both layers back into the base photo.

Next, I placed an overlay and transfer 1 from ArtPlay Palette H2O. I struggled with a hue and saturation adjustment before finally deciding to simply clip a photo of the water to the overlay on the right. I followed the same process on the left but I reduced the opacity to 80% and kept the photo at 100%. That was enough to fix the color tone on the both sides. In the middle, I placed another photo and stamped brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 9 and ArtsyPaint No. 10 on an inverted mask to reveal enough on the mask to tie the two large photos together across the page gutter.

I then clipped additional photos to the small frames and added adjustment layers to correct exposure and contrast.

I placed two photos across the page gutter, extracted parts and blended them together. I gave the photo of my grandson a custom shadow and added a partial shadow to the photo of my granddaughter. Below the frames, I placed some of the same paper textures from PaperTextures No. 4 that I used on the previous water play page.

I had already adjusted the position of  threads included with the template to create a little dimension. I added brush 7 from Scribble Sun No. 1 and placed an extract of the rims of some goggles.

I may create one more page about our family trip, but not until after I return from a trip to California next week. I have at least twelve other collections of photos for which I would like to create additional pages for this book. Each time I work with Anna’s templates, my process is faster and easier. I am playing to my strengths by combining blending with a few extractions on my pages when I work on my artsy pages. That helps speed my process too!

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Mixing Masks and Templates

Photos often tell the stories on my pages, but journaling fills in details to help my family remember our time together. On this trip, the wave pool was a favorite place to play for everyone. Even Kate, wearing a life vest, walked out into the water to jump the waves. If the boys weren’t jumping the waves, they were wrestling with one another in the water. Yes, I put my camera down to get in the water to play with them.

I created a special collection in Lightroom to make it easier to find and organize my favorite photos from our recent trip to Wisconsin Dells before I started creating pages with them for my book this year.  This book isn’t just about this trip; I anticipate that I will create only seven or eight pages with photos from this collection. I created this page by mixing masks with frame arrangements from three different templates. I think mixing and matching this way actually makes it easier to ensure that the pages uniquely work with my photos whether portrait or landscape orientation.

After creating a new 24×12 inch document, I first imported a family photo that I wanted to highlight by masking. I clipped it to mask 4 from MultiLayered FotoBlendz No. 7. I chose it based on the shape created by my family photo. Once I had that blended, I went back to Lightroom to choose some small photos to tell the story.

I chose the small frame arrangement from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1 based on those photos. I clipped the photos to the small frames and added adjustment layers to adjust exposure and contrast. Note: I make adjustments in Lightroom before importing but often find that I need to adjust more when the photos are all together on a page.

I placed the frames and then extracted my son with the Quick Selection Tool from a second copy of the large masked family photo and placed that layer above the smaller frames. In other words, that family photo is clipped to a mask below the small frames and the extraction is above the frames.

After clipping the small photos to the frames, I imported another photo and blended it into mask 1 from MultiLayered FotoBlendz No 5 that I placed on the right side of my page. This mask allowed me to hide the young woman assisting everyone out of the boat. Then I added hue and saturation adjustment layers to ensure that the color tone was the same over the entire page.

I again selected a frame template arrangement based on my photos. In this case, I combined photo frames from Simple FotoBlendz Template Album No. 3 and Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1.

To fill in the background, I blended in another photo with a different perspective of the tubing slide by stamping with AnnaBlendz Artsy brushes on an inverted layer mask. I added two textures from Paper Textures No. 4 below two frame edges. I also placed an overlay and transfer from ArtPlay Palette H2O just above the paper and adjusted their color with hue and saturation adjustment layers.

To finish off my page, I added a title, some bubbles from Magic Bubble Overlays No. 1, a blue fish to help balance and create a visual triangle color, threads and a few splatters.

I finished my page journaling on the other side with another story that day about Kate sadly watched her brother and daddy ride down a tube slide. She wanted a turn. So I put my camera inside a helper’s jacket so it wouldn’t get wet and went down with her, Corbin and Daddy. She seemed to like it. However, by the look on her face after a second ride, I don’t think she really liked it all that much.

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Experimenting with Daylilies

I used to have a picture book about daylilies; I can’t find it now. But I remember that’s where I found a Hemerocallis variety that would grow in Southern California. After moving to Nebraska, I found another variety, Happy Day, this one with sunny yellow blooms. They only last a day, but they contrast beautifully with the blue Balloon Flowers and Rozanne Geraniums that I planted next to them in my garden.

I would like to add a second side to this page for my flower book. Unfortunately, July is past the peak bloom for my daylilies to look their best. So I am going to save this layout so that I can add to it later.

I often use templates to create my pages. This page is based on Artsy Layered Template No. 253. I may change or delete layers, even move parts, but for me they provide an good starting point for an artsy page. After dragging over all the layers of template 253, I turned off all but the small frames and text box. In place of the mask included in the template, I placed png mask 4 from Hipster Plume FotoBlendz No. 8. I chose this mask because the shape was similar to transfer 8 from ArtPlay Palette Abrazo that I wanted to use for this layout.

Next, I layered additional photo copies as well as copies transfer 8 from ArtPlay Palette Abrazo. First I blended in a layer with just one flower from my photo on darken blend mode at 70%. Second, a copy of transfer 8 on pin light blend mode at 100%. Third, I blended in part of the photo to show through part of the transfer.

Above that I placed another copy of the transfer on normal blend mode at 100% and added a layer mask to hide parts of the transfer so that the photo showed through. Finally, I added one more copy of the photo, attached an inverted mask and blended back enough to fill the suggested frame in the transfer.

At this point I turned back on several template layers, recolored some, adjusted positions in the layers panel and changed the blend mode of others. My goal was to ensure that the texture showed through the photo layers. I also placed solid paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Abrazo.

Once I finished working with the photo and template layers, I wrote my journaling, added a mini cluster with a button and thread from UrbanThreadz No. 14 to anchor the small frames, placed a title and two more buttons to create a visual triangle.

Yes, I think starting with a template makes creating an artsy page much easier. Once you place the layers of a template, then it’s a matter of playing with placement of layers, blending and blend modes to create the look you want. Try experimenting with multiple copies of a photo and transfer by changing blend modes and revealing parts with layer masks.

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Feed the Goats If You Dare

You wouldn’t think that goats would be more agressive than deer to feed. However, they were. It looked so easy when Corbin held the seeds in his hand for the goats. They tried to eat Logan’s cup and seeds. Both Logan and Corbin just laughed at their antics.

Unfortunately, when Kate held up her cup of seeds, the goats knocked it to the ground. Poor Kate cried while mommy picked up the cup and gathered a few seeds to put back in Kate’s cup. Then Owen lectured the goats on their behavior.

After Corbin showed Kate how to line up some seeds on the railing, she started placing some on the wooden railing while the rest of the family kept the goats busy. Once she had placed some seeds, she waited for the goats to come over to eat them. Kate laughed when three goats battled for the seeds she had left on the railing.

Below are some of the pages that I’ve already finished. The book I am working on this year may not have as many pages as previous years. I’m not worried about the number of pages that I complete; I just want to document some of our stories.

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I am using a similar format for each page: a template, a light background, blending in the background, hand written font for the title. Today’s page is no different.

I placed template 2 from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1 on the left with out making any changes other than stamping directly on the fotoblendz mask to darken areas to accommodate my photo. On the right, I placed template 8 but substituted the frames from template 4 to better fit my photos. On this side, I enlarged the fotoblendz mask and layers below about 15% so that it extended across the page gutter. I clipped my focal photos to the masks and stains below.

Next, I clipped additional photos to the small frames and attached a levels adjustment layer to each on soft light at 50%. I adjusted the exposure of some of the photos with the camera raw filter.

I created the sky by blending together two transfers from ArtPlay Palette Mountain High and pieces from Artsy Transfers Coastline. I used the same background paper, solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Paraiso that I used for the photos that I captured the same day at Deer Park.

I switched out two urban threads for two included with the template, wrote my journaling and added a title. Finally, I added an arrow from eA Arrows No. 1 to connect the the title with photos and the story.

Combining photos and stories with a template make my process for creating the pages for my book simple and fast, just the way I like it.

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