Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Two Page Tuesday: Nine Photos

The assignment from Get It Scrapped!: Make a 2-page layout with 9 photos. This page is about our visit to Pond Hill Farm in northern Michigan. Phil took some really nice pictures and I didn't want to do any cropping, so here's how I got around that.

The left hand side is a traditional 12x12 page. Knowing I was going for a 2-page spread, I placed the two vertical photos in the lower right hand corner to help promote flow across the layout.

The right hand side is a divided page protector filled with seven horizontal pictures. This allowed me to keep all my photos in their original 4x6 or 4x3 sizes. Ta-dah! No cropping necessary.

Collection Featured: Simple Stories Harvest Lane
Adding patterned paper strips and embellishments to a few pictures in the divided protectors provides common design elements to tie the layout together. The only downside to this approach? Trying to get a decent picture for the blog! Those plastic sleeves are pesky things.

There more ideas for getting nine photos on a two-page layout in the article here. How do you like scrapping that many photos at once?

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Google Reader Drama

Google Reader is retiring as of July 1st, 2013.

When I read that little notice, I had a mild panic attack and possibly uttered a few inappropriate words. But I soon recovered and decided to take action. I started this thread over at Two Peas. Out of that conversation, it seems the two front runners to replace Google Reader are Bloglovin and Feedly. So I decided to give both a trial run.

I found them easy to set up and transition into from Google Reader. Rather than go into a long explanation of their pros and cons, I recommend this article.

After a week of using both, my personal preference is for... (drum roll)... Feedly. On my iPad. I'm using the Cards View option for a Pinterest-style experience. Love that. There's less scrolling than Bloglovin, and I can easily get to the actual web page if I want to pin something or add a comment. Of course, Feedly works just fine on my desktop and laptop. But that iPad app is awesome. When I started looking for more blogs to add to this reader, I knew I was hooked.

No matter how you choose to do it, I hope you will keep following my little blog.  I've installed a Bloglovin button in my sidebar to make the transition easy. If you're using Feedly, go to your Feedly home page, select Add Website and type or paste www.suealthouse.com. You can always sign up to follow by email, which I understand is still a popular preference. I also post on Facebook and Twitter every time I update. Goodness. So many choices.

So how are you handling the Google Reader Drama?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Journaling As A Design Element

If you journal on your scrapbook page, it becomes a design element, like it or not. The shape and space it fills are important and can be interesting parts of the design. That was my challenge for a recent Get It Scrapped! assignment.

This page is about the Sunday evening summer concerts on Holden Beach, where we vacation. The journaling is coming right out of the photos in the form of speech bubbles, allowing the people in the pictures to tell the story. The speech bubbles guide your eye through the photos and form a visual triangle. (side note: it was kinda fun putting words in the mouths of complete strangers) 

Design Tip: A layer of washi tape on top of busy patterned paper helps your title stand out.

The Get It Scrapped! Design Team has ideas from making sure blocky journaling is spot-on, to framing and working in circles in the rest of the article here. Do you normally pay attention to your journaling and consider it an integral part of your design? I admit, I could be better at that!

Friday, March 15, 2013

On the Home Front: Remodeling

Here's my idea: a short post every now and then, with a few photos, of what's going on in my life. I think I'll always call these On the Home Front, so you'll know what's coming. Seems a better title than "upcoming attractions of possible future scrapbook pages".

I'll open with Operation Make the Basement Less Embarrassing and Skanky. I looked up "skanky", just to make sure it's the word I want. The definition I found says:

  • very unpleasant; revolting
  • the act of looking cheap, dirty and nasty

Exactly the word I'm looking for. We have serious work to do here.
After years of indecision about what to do with our unfinished basement ceiling, we finally found a solution we both like. I'll admit I was the holdout, because of a personal aversion to typical drop ceilings. But last week, workers came to hang this grid. It does not come down very far at all.
Phil dropped wood panels in place. That was the easy part. Then he placed clips on all those white lines to snap in wood pieces to cover the grid and -  voila!
This is what it's shaping up to look like. Phil's working on half the basement. The workers come back next weekend to hang more grid on the other half. We still have a ways to go, but it will be well worth it. 

I've been taking photos throughout the process. Not the most thrilling subject for pictures, unless you've been living with a half-finished basement for years, like we have.

Then it's quite exciting.

p.s. If you don't think the basement looks that skanky, wait until I show you the carpet.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Go To Designs: Snuggle & Separate

Welcome to another edition of Go To Designs! In this post, I'll cover a design term I learned in my Guided Study Critique ClassSnuggle & Separate. It refers to groupings that vary in density and proximity, creating an emphasis and flow to the page. Here's a few examples from past layouts.

As you can see, some groupings are more tightly packed than others. These examples show the photo, title and journaling all in one area, and a small embellishment group at the top of the page. I would call this Snuggle & Separate in its most basic form.

Collection featured: Jenni Bowlin Modern Mercantile
On this recent layout, all the groupings are placed at the edges of the page. The photo is in one group, the title and journaling are separated into another group, and yes, there is a small embellishment grouping at the top of the page. I guess I just can't help myself.

Collection featured: Studio Calico Snippets
Here's my final example of a recently completed layout. To be honest, I like this page more than the previous one. My personal preference is for the photo grouping to be somewhat centered on the page. I think all the groupings running off the edge of the page to be a less successful design, but that is completely my opinion. Feel free to disagree.

If you've missed any of the previous Go To Designs posts, you can find them under Regular Blog Features in my sidebar.  I've created separate Pinterest boards for each design that I hope will provide you with further inspiration.
Grid Pinterest Board
Shelf Pinterest Board
Snuggle & Separate Pinterest Board

So are you ready to give Snuggle & Separate a try? Do you already use this design? Now you have a name for it!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Inspired By... Retro Branding

The assignment from Get it Scrapped!: Make a page that includes elements of nostalgic branding with the goal of achieving a look inspired by retro branding.

This page is about childhood memories of my dad and his love of bowling. (he's the first one in line) The photo from 1960 set the tone for my retro layout. Looking for further inspiration, I searched Pinterest for retro bowling signs and the Silhouette Online Store for retro bowling shapes. I'm sure you're not surprised I found plenty of ideas in both places!

So what exactly are some elements of retro branding? I'm glad you asked! The most basic elements include: 

  • circles, scalloped edges and other simple shapes
  • two-toned & limited color schemes 
  • retro typography (classic script, hand lettered) 

I worked hard to get all of these on my page. Can you spot them? The finished layout is not my usual style, but I love the way it works with my photo. In the article for Get it Scrapped!, Debbie writes:
Take a look at branding these days and you’ll see plenty of vintage or retro images, typefaces, and layouts. Retro is trendy and retro branding is aimed at offering comfort, of reminding us of a time when things were better.
Since working on this assignment, I've been spotting this retro trend all over the place. You can find more inspiration and examples right here. Do you like the look? Could you find a photo or photos that would benefit from being scrapped with retro branding?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Blog Break

I'm taking a little time off from the blog while I work to complete more projects for future posts. I'm also working on a syllabus for my Silhouette 101 Class that I'll be teaching at the end of the month at my LSS, Scrappy Chic! Pretty excited about that. I'll be back soon!