Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: book


I am on a three month sabbatical at the moment, focusing on my 50th Anniversary Project. I have finally finished the last story page for the book. I still need to edit the text on each page, add my wedding photos and create a cover. Below are some details about the editing process I use for publishing a book. Once all the pages are edited and exported from Lightroom, I will upload them to Picaboo for publishing.

  • Highlight the text, one text box at a time in Photoshop.
  • Copy text.
  • Open Pages (or another word processing program)
  • Paste into a blank document.
  • Edit content.
  • Correct spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Copy and paste back into the document inside Photoshop.
  • Save document back to Lightroom.
  • Return to folder with book pages inside Lightroom.
  • Export full size. 300 dpi, 24×12 inch print to a folder.

I will follow the same process with each page, editing and saving the pages to the folder labeled Picaboo. Once I have all the pages ready, I will upload them to Picaboo web site for printing.


Anna always packs a lot of information into her classes; last Friday was no exception. Although I want to view the recorded version of Heritage Live, I now have the format, based on a template provided in the class materials, for my anniversary project. I have already changed the first two pages that I had already completed to fit my new format.

I love the white border because it will unify my book no matter what color I use on the pages. This format will also provide more flexibility when it is time for me to publish the book. It took time to rework my original pages, adjusting the text especially, so I am going to begin each page with the template. It will be easier for me.

Bill taught biology and math; sometimes his students brought him critters that he would bring home as pets. While it was nice that our first pet was a good size for our small apartment, I really didn’t want a pet rat. The left side tells two stories: one about Alexander, our pet rat, and the second story about a rosy boa for which I don’t have a photo. However, as you read, you’ll see that the two stories are connected.

I began my page by clipping solid paper 3 from ArtPlay Palette Elysium to each large mask on the template.

Next I placed overlay 4 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 12 on the left mask and clipped the photo of my husband, Bill, feeding our pet rat with an eye dropper. I masked out the background on the photo and clipped artsy paper 4, placed below the photo, to the overlay. I adjusted parts of the overlay with AnnaBlendz Artsy brushes.

Below the masked photo, I placed transfer 3 from ArtPlay Palette Elysium and the layers of transfer 3 from Artsy Transfers Elysium. I added a layer mask to hide a part of one layer that interfered with the text.

I clipped two photos to the frames from WaterColor Template Album No. 4. The thread was part of the template.

Finally, I added a button, title and wrote my journaling.

While I’ve added a bordered template, I am still using fotoblendz overlays and masks, small frames from template and artsy transfers. My project is not complicated; I like that when I’m attempting to create a book.


Finding the words to express what I feel now and then about my mother is difficult. I don’t think I ever really knew her. I remember the pain in the few stories she shared from her childhood with me. I know I didn’t understand her un-diagnosed Bipolar. She was complicated, always demanding my best, our relationship never intimate. I know that she gave the best she could. I will always be grateful she did. I imagine that everyone has a few difficult stories to tell about family. It’s not that I wanted this to be one of my first pages for my anniversary book, but the color in Anna’s ArtPlay Palette Rougir was perfect for an early color photo of my mother from 1947.

As I did on my first page, I used primarily fotoblendz masks, artsy transfers, brushes and small frames from templates.

I worked with the photo of my mother in Lightroom first to improve the color. After importing it into Photoshop CC, I used the Camera Raw filter to improve it further. The background was dark so I extracted my mother and added a custom shadow. I clipped transfer 2 and solid paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Rougir to overlay 1 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 12. Below that I placed the layers of psd file 5 from Artsy Transfers Rougir.

To build depth and interest, I added the notebook from ArtPlay Palette Rougir and pasted photos on it to create the look of a photo album. I added addition transfers, leaves and lace from ArtPlay Palette Rougir as well as the layers of file 1 from MultiMedia Roses No. 1.

On the right side, I began by clipping the original photo to mask 5 from Hipster Plume FotoBlendz No. 7. To the left of the masked photo, I placed transfers 1 and 2 from ArtPlay Palette Rougir and masked out parts as needed with blending brushes.

Note: I used the basic design of template 15 from WaterColor Template Album No. 5 for this page.

I continued to build the background by placing the layers of transfers 1 and 4 from Artsy Transfers Rougir, masking as needed.

Note: My jumpsuit was actually yellow. I recolored it by masking out just my clothing and adding a color overlay to that layer.

Finally, I clipped photos to the small frame masks of template 15 of WaterColor Template Album No. 5 before adding elements from ArtPlay Palette Rougir.

I’m looking forward to hearing how Anna handled her difficult stories in her upcoming class, Heritage Live. Maybe its a good thing that I’ve finished one of the difficult stories early in my project.

Simple Techniques and Basic Skills

When the kids spent the night recently, we walked up to our newly renovated neighborhood park. Kate’s been anxious to play there again now that the fencing has been taken down. It was a riot watching Corbin convince his sister that sand on a saucer swing made swinging even better. All I had with me was my iPhone, but I took some shots as they played, never thinking that I would use them to create a page. Yes, there are only photos about just a few moments at the park on this page, but for me they tell an important story about play between a big brother and a little sister.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with these photos. Initially, I dragged three of them on to my page. I knew I wanted one spanning the gutter of the page, so I would need to make some adjustments to a template. I added a layer mask to the photo and used brushes at various opacities to bring back the part of the photo I wanted to reveal. I changed the blend mode to multiply. I used another copy to extract my two grandchildren and the swing on normal blend mode and 100% opacity in order to make them stand out more from the background.

I followed the same process with the other two photos, using the lines of the sidewalk in the background and the mat in the front to line up the photos. It seemed more important that the scene flowed across the page rather than that the figures were exactly the same size. Remember, I was just playing around with my iPhone when I captured these photos. The color in my photos in the late evening light appeared too strong for me, so I attached a hue and saturation layer to each photo and reduced the saturation to blend them together better.

Next, I placed frames from two templates from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 2. I made some adjustments in placement and size to fit my page design. I clipped my photos to the small frames and again added hue and saturation adjustment layers to reduce the saturation of each. I added the buttons for interest and depth.

I didn’t want more frames in the empty space below the center blended photo. So I imported another photo that showed more of the mat under the equipment. I used a paint brush on an inverted layer mask I attached to the photo to reveal enough to fill the space.

To recreate the sky in the photos, I added transfers from ArtPlay Palette Mountain High and ArtPlay Palette Summer Days. I attached inverted masks and blended away parts that interfered with the photos. I reduced the opacity, used hue and saturation adjustment layers to adjust the saturation and changed the blend modes to multiply.

I sampled the color of the mat under the equipment and stamped paint brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 7 and ArtsyPaint No. 10 on new blank layers to extend the look of the playground mat. I used an opacity of 60% as I stamped on new blank layers under the framed photos. I stamped two splatters to finish my page.

A reader recently wrote a comment thanking me for sharing easy to use ideas. I am very grateful that she took the time to let me know that the ideas were helpful. I really don’t use complex techniques for my book pages. I blend and extract with my photos. I use templates (or parts of templates) and transfers. I stamp with brushes using the brush panel on new blank layers. I experiment with blend modes and adjustment layers on my photos. Having developed some basic skills with Photoshop makes my creative process much easier. I can’t say that I’m fast at creating my pages. I enjoy experimenting as part of my creative process so I’m not in a hurry. However, simple techniques and basic skills are the key to creating my pages.












Less Is Enough

With Christmas in the recent past, I am again focused on finishing a book for 2016. As you can see in this screen shot from the book module in Lightroom that I posted below, I have about sixty pages already completed. Having taken over 14,000 photos this year, there is no way that I’ll be able to include them all in a book. I’ve also accepted the fact that I will finish a smaller book this year rather than thinking that a book for 2016 isn’t worth the effort to finish if I don’t create as many pages as I did in 2015.

After looking at the collections of photos for possible 2016 layouts, I have decided to complete just five more double page spreads. I’ve placed the photos for each layout on new 24×12 inch blank documents. Next, I will begin selecting templates from either Travel Template Album No. 2 or Project Template Album No. 2 to finish the pages.

As I finish up these pages, I am thinking about what I want to do next year, what I want to create with the photos that I make. I am considering focusing more on making the photos and displaying them on simpler pages with journaling. I have some thoughts about my priorities and direction based on my experiences creating books over the last few years that I will share in January.

My Dog Penny

My friend, Adryane, and I collaborated on another two page spread with some photos that I sent her via dropbox. This time she told me that the idea for a page design came almost instantly when she saw the photographs of my grandson, Corbin, reading his book to his sister, Kate. Sometimes it’s like that; someone else sees a possibility that you don’t, especially when you are hurrying, just trying to get the photos scrapped by the end of the year. It’s also a reminder to worry less about finishing a project and more about enjoying the creative process. I must say that both Adryane and I enjoyed this one.

We thought that you might enjoy seeing the products used to recreate elements from Corbin’s book cover. The grass is pieced from an element in ArtPlay Palette Moments. The sun is part of the psd layers from file 5 of MultiMedia Suns No. 1. To that Adryane added the sun rays.

On the right are frames from file 5 of Travel Album Template No. 2. I would not have thought to crop the middle photo and extract my grandson from the photo of him holding up his book, but I loved Adryane’s graphic idea.

The left is an extraction of Corbin from a photo of him at his desk and an extraction of Corbin’s dog from the book cover. We gave the dog a sticker effect. The background text from Corbin’s book is a font called Primary. The title is Child’s Play.

I found a copy of last year’s book right next to Corbin’s bed on Thursday morning. His daddy told me that he likes to read the stories. I imagine that he’s going to love this page about his book reading party at school. I’m going to tell him about how my friend Adryane and I collaborated together to create this page for him.

Combining Templates

One of the nice things about working with a 24×12 inch document for a two page spread rather than trying to piece together two 12×12 pages, is the possibility for easily placing a photo across the two pages. That is what I wanted to do with this photo of Kate 2016-10-07-114112that I captured just before we left the pumpkin patch last Friday. Another useful technique, especially when I have a lot of journaling, is to place  journaling over the background of a photo. After adjusting the light in this photo with adjustment layers and glows, I was able to place my journaling over the background of my photo and to ensure my granddaughter stood out on my layout. I think the title and text box on the left page balances the extraction on the right side.


To mask the background for my extraction, I placed the mask layers from template 4 of Autumn Album Template No. 2. I clipped copies of my photo to the layers. Then I added leaves and stains from other templates from the same album. To each leaf or stain, I clipped a copy of my photo.


I then extracted Kate from the photo and gave her a custom shadow. You may not have noticed that in the original photo, her toes were cut off by the mat. So I extracted her right foot from another photo and rotated it into position. To simulate the sunlight behind Kate, I placed several glows, reduced their opacity and changed the blend modes.


To accommodate all the photos I wanted to include on these pages, I simply dragged over the frames and masks from templates 15 and 19 in Travel Template Album No. 2. It was quicker for me to drag over a set of frames rather than recreating/duplicating/positioning frames so that I would have enough spaces for photos.

After clipping my photos to the masks, I added the layers of file 3 from MultiMedia Pumpkins No. 1 on the left. Then to mimic the look of the multimedia pumpkin, I created masks for the sections of the stitching file 4 from UrbanStitchez Pumpkin No. 1. To each of those masks, I clipped the transfers from the multimedia pumpkin file.


After clipping all of the photos to the frames, I added more leaves from the Autumn Template Album No. 2 below the frames and clipped additional copies of my background photo. I added a black and white adjustment layer to two photos to create a visual triangle with my title. Finally I added a few more elements and finishing my journaling. I created a composite of my two page spread which I then placed on two 12×12 pages. I imported those pages into Lightroom and added them to the book section.


Combining frames and masks from Anna’s templates is an easy way to pull together a two page spread.

A Simple Process

My photography defines my current approach to scrapbooking. At the moment my grandchildren are young and I want them to have access to the photos that I make with my Fuji X-T and then store in Lightroom on my computer. This year, I am again focusing less on artsy pages for the sake of art and more on creating pages for another book using Anna’s templates.

I’m actually mixing templates from several albums for this year’s book, templates with informally arranged simple white frames, fotoblendz masks, stains, textures and white space. Sometimes I rearrange or switch out frames or masks. The similarity in template basics, i.e. frames, masks and elements, gives me lots of flexibility and makes my process for creating a two page spread much easier. However, every once in a while, I capture a photo I love so much that I want to include it in my book as a full page photo on one side of a two page spread with a template on the other side.


2016-09-30_photoThat is the case for this photo. When I made this photo, I placed my granddaughter in the center of my camera frame anticipating that I would want space to crop the photo for 8×10 and 5×7 framed prints. However, photographers generally place a subject in the frame using the rule of thirds. After making an adjustment in exposure, I cropped and printed from Lightroom.

In order to add this photo to my book, I dragged the photo to a new 24×12 inch document. I enlarged the photo just a little to fit the 12 inch height of my page and adjusted it’s position using Photoshop’s guide lines. That meant part of the photo extended onto the right page. To cover the part that extended onto the right side, I placed solid paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Take Flight above the photo.


Next, I dragged the layers of page 12 from Travel Template Album No. 2 to the right side of my page. I added my title in the same position as the original title included with the template. Otherwise, I made no changes to this template.


I clipped my photos to the frames, masks and stains. I clipped adjustment layers to the photos as needed to lighten and/or increase the contrast.


Below all the template layers, I placed the pink stain and splatter from ArtPlay Mini Breeze (free with $5 purchase during the sale). I recolored the stain and adjusted the splatter’s color to blend with Kate’s tutu.


I then placed additional stitching from ButtonThreadz No. 1, two buttons and a butterfly from ArtPlay Palette Studious. To mimic Kate’s butterfly wings, I clipped a hue and saturation layer and fotoglow from ArtPlay Mini Breeze (recolored) to the butterfly. I dragged another copy of the pink glow above those layers, reduced it’s size and clipped it to the butterfly. I attached a layer mask to retain the black body of the butterfly. Note: I also clipped that pink glow on linear light at 35% above the top two framed photos to intensify the pink.


Once I finished both sides of my two page spread, I created a composite by pressing the keys command + option + shift + E. I then created two new 12×12 documents and dragged that composite on to those pages for my book and adjusted its position. I saved them by page number, pages 50 and 51, for this two page spread.


I then imported those pages into Lightroom and placed them in a collection folder that I use for the book module. Note: the faint lines mark boundaries in Lightroom as a reminder to not place anything important on your page beyond those lines for printing purposes.


I am planning on using this two page design with photos I captured of my grandsons in mid September as well. At the end of the year, when I have all my book pages ready, I will send the pages to Blurb through Lightroom. I could also use these 12×12 pages to publish a book through a different service.

The photographs and stories are all different, but I think these templates, light backgrounds, stitching, buttons, a consistent journaling font and informal titles on each two page spread will unify the final outcome. This is a project I am creating over a year so I don’t expect every page to look exactly the same. However, I think the style of templates, the white space and the informality will unify my book at the end of the year. Key to this photo book project is my emphasis on photography, wanting to share these photos is the reason I am creating these pages.


On a Winter Morning

OnaWinterMorning_kdavis_1000Thirty-five years ago I had a Kodak Instamatic camera. To make photographs, I inserted a cartridge into the camera, pressed the shutter button to expose the film and rotated the dial to the next exposure on the strip of negative. Once all the exposures on the roll were taken, a mechanical rolling sound let me know know that I could remove the cartridge and take it to a camera store to get the film developed into three and a half inch prints. After a few days I returned to the store to pick up my prints and negatives. Then I would place the prints chronologically in albums. I have just over 2,475 prints from all the years with that little camera. They fill five albums. Yet in 2015 alone, I have more than 20,000 photographs residing on my hard drive in Lightroom. I cannot even imagine how many albums I would need for 20,000 photos if I printed even half of them.

Nowadays, I photograph with a mirrorless Fuji X-T1. Instead of placing photo prints in albums, I create artsy digital scrapbook pages in Photoshop. I choose the photos that speak to me and write the stories of those photos, the stories that I want my family to remember. Sometimes, I include one of those old photos taken with that old Kodak Instamatic on a digital scrapbook page. I publish these artsy pages in a book, like my book from last year, 2015 Photo Stories. I like to think I’m an artist with both my camera and the scrapbook pages that I create, at least I feel that way when I am making photographs or playing in Photoshop.

For this page, On a Winter Morning, I applied a watercolor filter to the large background photo to give it a watercolor look. Then I adapted a template by merging masks and stains to create a custom mask for the photo. The other photos in the small frames are as they came out of the camera. Thinking back, I know I would have loved all this technology thirty-five years ago.

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