Nov 30, 2008
Graficalicus was gracious enough to RAK me with the program and I, of course, promised to do a review of the program in return (because that's what I do!).
You may purchase the add-o-matic here for $10.99.
This software takes the struggle out of installing actions, shapes, styles, plug-ins, brushes, etc. into Photoshop Elements.
I was amazed at how easily and quickly it installed files into PSE. You cannot get more simpler than dragging a file to a window and pressing "go."
However, for someone like me who is finicky about having everything organized just "so" into drop down menus and specialized icons, I still found the program to be of a great advantage. It does create the .xml files with the press of a "go" link. Therefore, it eliminates the need for manually copying .xml form files and renaming the files to match the .asl file. To tweak the installation to fit my picky need for organization is a snap. Just open the xml file to make a few corrections, rebuild the mediadatabase, and it's done. The program does half the hard work of manual installation of .xml files for you.
When installing actions, the .png files are not used in the installation as Add-o-matic does create a generic "add-o-matic" icon for all actions. Just hover the mouse over the icon to discover which icon is associated with each action. However, this is easily tweaked for personal use by overwriting these files with the .pngs normally provided with actions. In addition, as above, the .xml file is created for you and easily opened up and tweaked.
When I first clicked to run the Add-o-matic, nothing happened. So, I opened up the instructions that come with the program to read that this is a common problem. The instructions come with many options for correcting the problem, so Graficalicus is on top of the customer support issues.
I restarted my computer and the program opened up just fine.
Upon my first test, I found problems with the drop down menu not being associated with the correct styles. My "shadows" were found under another drop down menu. I restarted PSE and everything was back in place just fine.
Here is what Graficalicus said about my error:
What happened was you opened the layer styles section of the palette before the database had put everything away, so to speak. Instead of restarting Elements, you can just click into a different section and then click back (click into effects, for example, then back into layer styles). All of the pieces will be where they belong!
Here is a video so you can see for yourself how great this program works and how, even for us picky organized people, it takes half the work out of installation.
I would recommend the program to you, especially if you want to save yourself the headache of learning how to manually install all of the goodies.
However, I do want to mention once again that I do not recommend installing all of the things that this program is capable of installing. This program does install things permanently and the more things that are installed, the longer it will take PSE to open up. Brushes and shapes, for instance, can be installed temporarily by other means, rather than permanently through this program. However, styles and actions cannot be installed temporarily and those files are what make this program so useful.
I will be sharing a preview of the new Preset Viewer 2.0 next. It's perfect for installing those temporary files.
Here's the video below:
So, my two remaining indoor plants received some tender loving care.
The table they sit on has a new coat of polyurethane.
This plant is a gift from my good friend when my Dad passed away.
It has gotten so big that when on its table, it reaches the ceiling!
I am not sure what kind of plant it is and I am not sure how I can trim it down. It grows on three stalks out the top.
Here it is after getting a shower in the bathroom to take off all the dust and drench it with a good drink of water. Yes, it's as wide as my bathroom!
Here it is moved to my kitchen table (because what else do I do when I cannot sleep at 5 a.m. in the morning but take photos?) There is no room left on my poor table! I had to stick a stake in it to keep the one branch from falling over.
I hardly ever water these poor plants, so I really do not understand how they are thriving and growing.
I sprayed this Green Glo stuff all over the leaves to make the plant look pretty again.The leaves are all now oh, so shiny again! I wish I could do this to my hair to make it shiny, pretty, and perfect again!
Here is the other indoor plant. The scouts gave it to me with my grandparents died two weeks apart from each other, so it also has a special meaning for me. This plant also got a bath and shining up. It also got trimmed up and staked down as it was growing everywhere.
Seriously. How can I be so stupid?
For nights on end I wake up in the middle of the night with acid coming right up my throat. I cannot get any good rest.
However, it's my own fault. I went to the doctor last winter and he gave me this stack of pills to take to help me with my problem.
Do I take them?
No! I just keep suffering! Why do I do this to myself! Why!
The other night was so bad that I ended up giving up and sitting upright to watch infomercials, of all things. Guess what the infomercial was about?
The perfect pillow! Yep, the guy assured me that if I would just try his pillow it would solve ALL of my sleeping problems, guaranteed!
Yeah, right. Like his pillow would make my acid reflux go away. I wanted to scream at him through the screen.
So, I finally took a pill yesterday and had no problems all night. Imagine that!
Okay, so it didn't help. I went to bed at 1 a.m. and was wide awake at 5 a.m. Why! Sigh. I digress. I give up.
Oh, sure! I can make sure my dog, Abbie Rae, takes her expensive medicines three times a day! So, why can I not do the same for myself?
I just don't get me. Do you? Please tell me.
She became non-responsive and I really thought she was going to die.
At lunch time, she just laid on the floor and did not respond to me.
After work, I came home only to realize I could not find her anywhere. I began to get scared. One of the boys had let her outside and I found her in the far back of the back yard.
She was standing there in a frozen position. It was not one of those positions where they freeze before they pounce on something they are eyeing. Nope. It was like she was dead standing up.
She did not respond to my calling. I walked all the way up to her and she did not blink an eye or move. Ever so cautiously, I reach out and touched her. She jumped. She wobbled her way, following me to the house, and plopped on the kitchen floor.
She never sleeps on the kitchen floor, but that's where she stayed. She would not respond to anyone talking to her and would not respond if I laid down next to her. She only responded to touch.
That night, she peed and uh, yeah, all over the living room and kitchen. I was sure she was too bad for recovery.
I took her to the vet anyway.
Her eyes were jerking every which way. The vet said this was an indication of problems with the nervous system.
After blood work and examination, the determination was that she had EITHER double ear infections which had reached become an infection on the brain OR a tumor on the brain. If it is a tumor, she could have had a stroke.
So, $200 later, I brought home expensive meds (one pill twice a day, another pill once a day, and drops in the ears twice a day).
I am in a total disbelief that she is allowing me to stick my fingers in her mouth and shove the pills down her throat. I think she knows they are making her better.
It has now been 4 or 5 days later and she is at least semi-responsive to us. She is still sleeping most of the time in odd places, not eating a whole lot, but drinking okay, and acting as if she is not all there. At least she looks at us when we talk to her.
I do not think she will ever be the same.
So, the question is now whether or not we just fixed the ear infections and a tumor remains, or whether the brain infection caused damage, or whether she is better, but just exhausted from the illness.
So, we wait.
Here is my nativity set. I remember hand drawing all of the pieces for each figure in this set. However, the .psd file is now lost and that is so disappointing to me. I am thankful to still have the final files though to share with you.
With today being the start of advent, I felt this was appropriate to share. What better thing to think on today than the first coming of Christ.
Nov 29, 2008
I never could understand the use of ATC's (Artist Trading Cards). The images are always so weird. Now who would I trade them with? Weird to me.
I guess if we look at trading baseball cards as "Artist Trading Cards" the concept makes a little more sense.
However, I like this idea!
How about Photo Trading Cards!
There is a book to purchase at Amazon with ideas.
What I think this is like is similar to when we are seniors in high school and we trade our senior photos with others to collect the senior photos of all of our friends for our memories of them.
So, why not make other photos of ourselves and our family to trade in a similar manner?
I think this would be a fun idea.
The standard measurement for the cards are 2.5" x 3.5".
The cards can be created in 5" x 7" and scaled down to 1/4th of the size for printing and sharing.
Family members and friends may purchase the "baseball card collecting books" with sleeves to preserve their collection of Photo Trading Cards (PTC).
Of course, wallet size are available for printing online, but to print them at home, just use letter size paper, choose the wallet size settings in the printing software, and print nine to a page. Just as if you were receiving wallets from a professional photographer, you will need to cut them apart with a pair of scissors.
Nov 28, 2008
I must admit that they were pretty cool to see in action.
Just find any lid that has a larger circumference plastic edge than the bowl, place over the bowl, and push down.
The lid seals tight enough to pick it up from the edge of the lid. Cool, huh?
It just might be the perfect gift for that favorite woman who has everything. However, be warned, it did take a long time for them to ship and arrive at her home.
But the question is, do I really need them?.......hmmmmm.
Every year we laugh at all those people who camp out in front of Best Buy and all those other stores all night long just to get a good deal.
The boys agreed to take a set amount of money from us for Christmas and to pay the remainder of the cost of a laptop as their Christmas gift. One son decided to pay a larger cost and caught an online deal. He has to wait a week for his laptop to arrive in the mail. We actually bought it on Wednesday and I see this morning it is already sold out online.
Hubby and the other son set out at 10:30 p.m. to stand in line at Best Best Buy.
I woke up at 5 a.m. to find them at home and asked why they were home so early. "We got the Golden Ticket and could come home to wait until the store opened." For the doorbuster laptop, they received tickets #17 and #18. Many people who waited in line for hours did not even receive a ticket.
As they headed back to the store to pick up their deal, and no doubt wait in a long line to check out, I headed to blog about it.
Of course, I HAVE to have photos to scrap this monumental adventure, right? "Smile," I said. "Not at 5:00 a.m.," was the answer. Who is to argue with that?
Now, I wonder what we will do on Christmas morning. It just won't be the same without gifts to wrap all season long and gifts to unwrap Christmas morning. I'm going to have to get my thinking cap on and figure out something new -- we need a new tradition.
Nov 27, 2008
I soon will offer an e-mail guide whereby prompts to do a layout a day via templates will help you to get 45 layouts done in 45 days! Won't that be cool! Stay tuned!
I just want to see some scrapping going on!
Subscribers may download this template here.
As always, more templates to come before you know it!
For Subscribers only, you may now join the first Guided Class -- Getting Started Digital Scrapbooking in Photoshop Elements.
Subscriptions to the Subscriber Area in the forum are only $5.50 per month, but the guided e-mail subscriptions are free. However, the guided e-mails will direct you to the Subscriber Area to complete the lessons.
It has taken me a while to iron out the kinks, but I think we are ready to go!
I will be adding the other classes as noted on this page in the near future. I do plan to add a few non-Subscriber classes in the future also.
These classes are meant to be interactive. Upon receiving each e-mail, please be sure to stop by the forums and give me a report on your progress or share what you have learned.
The description begins, "Do you have trouble staring at a blank piece of paper and don’t know how to get started? You’re NOT alone. Countless others struggle with what to write. Enter the Memory Prompts offered in every chapter of the Book of Me! You don't have to think about what to write about! "
Angie is also sharing Memory Prompts on her new Twitter account. Check it out here.
Isn't Angie awesome? Keep up with her on her blog.
Nov 26, 2008
What are you thinking? Really?
I'm almost too embarrassed to let you see these,but we did have fun making them. Have you ever gotten to laughing so hard that any little thing seems super funny?
Too see the previous sets in this Scene and Scene 1, click here.
The official site of the magazine can be found here. However, I found the magazine available for purchase at other sites: Treasures to Scrap, Digital Freebies, Plain Digital Wrapper, Divine Digital, and ScrapMatters. There may be other stores I did not find. How nice to be able to pick up a copy at your favorite store.
A single issue is available for $4.95 a month or a yearly subscription may be purchased for $45 ($3.75 a month). A free sample of the January 2008 issue is available here.
The Founder is Holley VanDenBerg and the Editorial Assistant is Becky Cutshaw. The magazine has a BellaTeam which creates layouts for the magazine. You can meet them here and see their galleries.
The magazine takes calls and submissions and you may find information here. These call pages also give a tidbit of a "whats-to-come" to tease you.
I have written this article with honest thoughts and opinions as I read this magazine and do hope it is helpful to you and to the creators of the magazine.
With the closing of the hard copy of Digital Scrapbooking Magazine coming up soon, I have been looking into the various methods of reading e-books and am wondering how this magazine would work in an e-book reader.
Nonetheless, reading it right on a computer screen in .pdf is very feasible. I believe the e-book readers are only in black and white, so computer reading may be the best route to go. Utilizing a laptop makes this magazine portable for offline reading.
The magazine is full of beautiful graphics of good quality for a .pdf. The magazine is 11.3 MB and 97 pages long.
Reading in the Adobe .pdf reader allows for a change of page size, either to fit page width or by percentage. Be sure to take a moment to adjust it to a size that is best for your eyes and your size computer screen.
The Table of Contents is not clickable, but this does not matter because you can either click Control/Shift/N to bring up the "go to page" popup box and choose the page number from the Table of Contents or type the number directly in the field on the tool bar.
I was able to just remember that the Table of Contents was on Page 2 and jump back and fourth to it with ease.
The issue begins with a featured designer interview which includes a download to a wonderful mini-kit. This increases the value of the magazine. A few kit previews with links to the designers store are included.
The magazine continues with photos of 9 layouts created with the free mini-kit. Some of the layouts have special notes from the create on techniques used on the layout. I appreciated these notes as inspiration for my own layouts.
The next article is awesome as it suggests 10 ways to frame a photo with items other than a frame. The article continues with two sample layouts with explanations of the frame work within the layouts.
The magazine continues with a tutorial on extracting. The tutorials is written with plenty of helpful screenshots and includes three methods of extracting. However, it is written for the full version of Photoshop and not Photoshop Elements, as were several of the earlier tips in the magazine. For the most part, these are not helpful to me who only owns PSE. However, the tutorial is very detailed and very well written. It ends with a free download to the item extracted in the tutorial.
Ahhh...the next thing I see is an ad. I guess I should have expected to see ads.
The next article is another tutorial on blending photos. It's a nice article, but does not include screenshots. Once again, it is for the full version of Photoshop, but as an experienced user of PSE, I do know how to adapt this technique.
The next article is for creating a hybrid project of an Altered Desk Organizer. It is an adorable project. With a list of supplies and great graphics, the author continues with specific instructions. Having never done hybrid, I am still left wondering what type of paper she printed the digital kits onto, but overall, the rest of the article's instructions are well done.
The next page awards a Bella's Choice Award to a designer. Warm fuzzies abound! Three more samples to her kits with clickable links follow. We are then shown 5 previews of the designer's kits which were utilized in the layouts to follow. There are 10 layouts shared utilizing the kits, but only one of them offers the extra tips underneath. Although the layouts are beautiful, it is these little tips I most appreciate and did wish there were more of them.
The next article is a tutorial teaching how to apply digital scrapbooking to canvas. This hybrid tutorial was VERY inspiring to me and did not leave me wondering what supplies nor how to achieve the finished project. Big kudos on this article.
The magazine continues with another featured designer interview, including another free download. This time 11 layouts are shared utilizing the free kit. This time, three of the 11 layouts contained the extra tips. The tips are fabulous, but I am left wishing for tips on all of the layouts. However, the creators of the layouts do some fabulous work!
The next article shares another hybrid project which is the cover of the magazine. Um, I'm left wanting to do this project!
The next article is about the benefits of blogging and how the author utilized blogging for scrapbooking. Very well written and thought-provoking.
The next article is another hybrid project utilizing wooden letters. Once again, very well written and I am not left wondering how to complete any part of it. This project, as in the others, can spark creativity.
The next section is entitled "Element Call" and highlights the use of trees in layouts. Six layouts are shared. I you should see a layout you like, the credits are given to the kit designers utilized in the layouts.
Yet another hybrid project follows! This one is for creating a Post-it Note holder and included a free downloadable template. Oops, this article is printed with steps out of order and at first I was very confused. Thankfully,the steps are numbered and after a bit I was able to read the article in order to make sense of it. This project seems more advanced and would take more time for me to understand the directions, but with plenty of graphics, I am sure I could figure it out. The final product is adorable and this would make a cute little project for my desk at work or as a gift.
The next article is a "Technique Call" regarding Embellishments used as Elements. Three layouts are shared with no notes detailing how elements are used as embellishments. I am left wondering what was intended.
The next article is "Bella Shops" and shares preview of 9 recommended kits.
This next article is on using texture and provides a free download. This is a very simple, yet inspiration article.
The next page is another ad, but only the second ad in 74 pages, so I do not mind it so much.
The next three pages are three more hybrid projects as "Open Call, Hybrids." The first comes with detailed instructions for creating. The second two do not, but merely come with a list of supplies.
A 3rd ad follows.
The next article is on creating the illusion of depth of field in Paint Shop Pro. I was happy to see another software program being highlighted. For the most part, I can always translate PSP tutorials into PSE. (and I actually already have this tutorial at my site)
The next four pages are "Open Call, Layouts." Four layouts with credits are given. Um, is this a form of advertising? Not sure.
The next article is on Tracing Images with ArtRage. I have this program and do not utilize it enough. I find this tutorial very interesting.
The magazine continues with an interview of a featured scrapper. Warm fuzzies abound and more layouts to inspire.
The next section is Inspiration from readers which includes 5 layouts with the theme "changes."
A full page ad, the 4th one in the issue, follows.
The magazine ends with a Resources page with clickable links to stores. I am left wondering if these are the writers of articles, the people highlighted in layouts, or just people who have paid for advertising. Upon review of the site after reading the magazine, I see the answer.
The last page is a cute layout encouraging us to "Be Creative."
So, what is my bottom line thoughts on this magazine?
The ads are kept to a minimum and I do not feel as if I am bombarded with them. The magazine is full of hybrid inspiration, plenty of well written articles, and high quality downloads.
I can only imagine the time that has gone into creating this magazine. It is well worth the cost of $4.95.
I have been leery of this magazine due to its cost, but having been given the opportunity to review the magazine, I now see how reasonable the cost is for the content within. I am one who has to watch my budget carefully and even $5 a month can make a big difference to me.
However, I am now tempted to subscribe to this magazine and would recommend it to you.
What I would recommend for the creators of the magazine is to include those helpful tips under each layout shared. To me, this is the most valuable part of the magazine and provides the most inspiration. Of course, this is what I personally look for in what inspires me and each person would be inspired by different things. The magazine certainly covers a broad range of inspiration that is sure to reach everyone.
In addition, I often feel that designers who use the big program forget that the majority of scrappers cannot afford this program. I also recommend to the creator of the magazine to focus more on the smaller programs as the tutorials would still be applicable to the full programs.
It took me two hours to read this magazine and type up this article, most of which was spent just reading. I would suggest that this is an indication of how jam-packed this magazine is with good stuff.
In addition, this might make a great gift to a fellow digibuddy.
Nov 25, 2008
You may find it at the bottom of every website page except the gallery, forum, and blog.
When I am available by Yahoo IM, it will indicate as such and you may chat with me right in the box. It is a private chat.
Be sure to click the down arrow and type in your name so I do not have to ask who you are.
First, Candy is busy choosing some Gallery Greats each week. She's so sweet to volunteer to do such a small thing for the community here. She made this quick page with my Yeah kit to give as a prize to those Gallery Greats chosen. You can see who has been chosen in these threads and then go leave some warm fuzzies!
Look what Michelle made with her prize!!
Then Bill made this for me and shared it just out of the blue yesterday! Oh, I cannot tell you how wonderful it makes me feel when people do small things for me like this. Words cannot describe it. Psst...I think it's so cool that a guy is hanging out with us!Oh, the warm fuzzies in seeing others doing a tutorial of mine! I work so hard on them and often people just come to watch and never comment or do a layout. So, these contributions made my week! I truly appreciated them.
The following were made with the new Photo Pop #1 tutorial.
and Jenny made this amazing one!
A big thanks to you all! I appreciate you!
Nov 24, 2008
I have recruited a few testers and they are beginning to make the first run through the guided e-mails. In a few days, I will be opening it up to all Subscribers.
I have often wanted to create a testimonial page with comments from others, but it has just always felt wrong as if I'm bragging. I have struggled with this for years now and have not been able to come up with a good way to create such a page.
I have decided to put a section in the sidebar of the guided e-mails quoting comments I have received.
This is proving to be a big job! I have never actually collected all of the comments. Therefore, I am having to search for them. I did print out the guest book of my old site before I deleted it, so I do have those. However, each time I received a kind comment from someone, I often could not bring myself to delete them and, therefore, they are buried in old e-mail in my inbox! Very difficult to find! In addition, there are probably comments scattered in the forums I could utilize.
I am working my way through gathering them for the sidebar of the e-mails for Course 1.
However, I wanted to give everyone an opportunity to write a small note that could be included in the sidebar for Course 2.
I am not including names, but merely the dates which I received the warm fuzzies.
I do know that I have read many e-mails over the years of people thanking me for being the resource that has gotten them started in digital scrapbooking. Unfortunately, most of these are lost. Sometimes I wish I knew who these people were and had kept a list of them. Many of them have moved on and do not even visit here any more. It's like a mother who has taught her children and would love to enjoy watching them spread their wings, but she does not know where they are to watch them.
Okay, I feel really funny asking for these. Seems wrong still. But if you would like to type up a short note for me to include in the sidebar of Course 2, I would appreciate it very much. Just e-mail it to email@example.com.
To all of those who have taken a moment to send me a private note of thanks over the years, I want to say thanks right back to you. It has been these little notes of encouragement, just knowing I have helped someone, that has kept me going over the years. I owe much of the content of this site to your encouragement.
During this holiday season of Thanksgiving this week, I am thanking God for you.
Nov 23, 2008
I found these silly cards that I made a year ago.
Many scrappers scrap to preserve memories. Preserving memories of daily events is something many of us forget to do.
Why not remember to grab that cell phone and take a few photos while shopping to scrap? If you camera is small enough, slide it into your purse.
Make a layout of Christmas shopping and journal. Twenty years from now we may laugh at the way we "used" to shop!
Did you know that there is a Black Friday Online site? Yep! It's a great place to find online deals on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). Now you do not have to stand in those long lines!
Download for a limited time (may be found in Subscriber Area thereafter).
Since 4shared seems to be finicky lately, making you log in to leave a comment, I am trying a direct link this time. Please take a moment to leave your comments here on my blog. Thanks!
We continue to welcome more questions.
Also, whoever it was that asked if he is trying to act like Robin Williams, you gave us both a good laugh!
Old Guy Comedy (aka my dear hubby) is often told that he looks and sounds like Robin Williams. No, he is not impersonating him at all. It is natural style and look. He was "doing" Robin Williams long before Robin Williams was even known to the media world. Occasionally hubby does do other impersonations, but the Robin Williams one is not an impersonation, it is himself.
We would love for you to shout out when you recognize the other impersonations. He sort of blends them right into his impromptu carrying-on.
I haven't watched this one in a few days as I processed the videos quite a few days ago, but hand on to your seats and don't laugh too hard!
Nov 21, 2008
By transmitting content to our server you guarantee us that you have the right to make this content available for use. At the same time you grant us a right of use in such content. This right of use granted to us comprises the revocable right to publication, distribution, transmission, reproduction in public, publication or similar use of the transmitted content on a worldwide scale, exclusively within the Internet offer of vi.sualize.us without any claim for remuneration for yourself or any third parties. You may exercise your right of revocation at any time by deleting your images.
Is this true for the layouts that I find around the net? Do I have the right to "collect" them? Since you post your own layouts and seem very excited about this site, I thought I would ask you. At this point I think I am a bit paranoid about the copyright "thing"...it is so easy now to do the wrong thing and not even know it.
Thanks for your continuing inspiration and information.
First, I want to mention that I am not a lawyer and have no intentions on giving legal advice. I think it is against the law to give legal advice if you are not a lawyer! Uggg!
However, I do want to share Donna's concerns here because they are good ones and ones we should all be considering.
The TOU's she found are interesting to me. It is my understanding that vi.sualize.us is just a bookmarking service. In other words, we are not actually "transmitting content to their server" in the form of an upload. Rather, we are placing a bookmark on their server service.
If the original owner of the image removes the image from the original location, then it should be removed from vi.sualize.us also.
It seems to me that the TOU of vi.sualize.us is more of a CYA TOU.
Regarding the copyright violation of adding layouts to a mojo folder, that would take some serious reading to understand.
We all know it is common for people to grab images off of the internet, but that does not mean it is not in violation of copyright laws.
It is more commonly enforced if someone grabs and image and reproduces it as their own. Claiming an image as your own is CERTAINLY against copyright. For the most part, no one ever knows what is hiding on all of the hard drives all over the world and to enforce this kind of law would be difficult, but if it does violate copyright, certainly it could be enforced.
I believe this issue is covered under the "Fair Use" laws, but would encourage you to read up on it more yourself by doing Google searches. Here's another great site of links. As indicated on the linked page: "The distinction between “fair use” and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined."
The Fair Use law would be further defined by "case law." As indicated on the above link, it may be considered fair use to utilize images to teach in certain circumstances. However, is it fair use to utilize images just for the purpose of inspiration and without intent to directly copy (ie. scraplift)? Only a lawyer who knows how to look up and understand case law would be able to answer this question. Case law is always changing.
My non-legal advice to you is to trod at your own risk. First, be careful what you upload to the internet. Be aware that others might grab it for their own "mojo" type folders. Second, be aware that grabbing images from the internet may or may not be lawful.
Maybe someone who does have knowledge of this kind of law will come along and post a comment for the rest of us to read. If you find a useful link, please leave it in the comments.
Personally, I would feel that utilizing a bookmarking service would be more acceptable, as in vi.sualize.us, as the owner of the photo retains the right to remove it by removing the original photo from its original location. This cannot be regulated by those who are grabbing images onto their hard drive.
If you are leary of the above TOU for vi.sualize.su, then I would recommend only using the "i like" feature to build your collection and only making initial bookmarks of your own images.
Certainly, people taking photos from the internet is an issue. Many website owners apply codes for disabling the right clicking so that it is not so easy to copy images.
The photos were not my original photos, but rather ones I had quickly tweaked in Photoshop Elements to make them pop.
And we thought so many of the great photos out there were all good photography........
I did a video tutorial, but it is only available to Subscribers here.
Nov 20, 2008
How many of you have a “Mojo” folder?
I've had one for a very long time, although it has not been named as such. I forget to add to it, especially with the new vi.sualize.us that I love so much. However, I find myself turning to my MoJo folder from time to time.
What is a MoJo folder?
It is a folder to store copies of layouts which bounces you back from lack of inspiration. Each time you see a layout online or shared in an e-mail group, save it into the mojo folder. When you are beginning a new layout and are in need of some inspiration to get you going, visit the folder to get your mojo going!
Digital Scrapbookers are often heard saying:
"I got my mojo back!"
"I've lost my mojo."
"I need some mojo to get me going, any ideas?"
The word "MoJo" has its original meaning as a magic charm from Hoodoo folk magic, which is associated with witchcraft. I'm not too keen on that! I have begun to use this word myself after hearing so many others use it and found it interesting to read its original meaning.
It is also a drink. I can imagine drinking this and feeling a bit "mojo" after only a few sips! Uh, not for me!
A description I found is "a person's groove." lol Take me back to the 70's please! Get your groove on!
The Urban Dictionary has the best description of its new meaning:
Self-confidence, Self-assuredness. The ability to bounce back from a negative attitude
I have finally divided it up into small chunks and have it ready to upload and share. It is Scene 2, in subparts A through G (that would be six videos).
Did you see subpart A already? He was just getting rolling.
No one commented, so maybe everyone was just being kind -- it is a bit silly! Or maybe everyone laughed so hard they fell off their chair before they could comment?
In this video, he answers your questions.
Please leave comments and ask more questions for the next Scene!
Nov 19, 2008
Please join us for a chat tonight with Thena Smith. Come to the chat to get to know her better. Come prepared with your questions!
9 PM EST
The chatroom is here.
I have always tried to practice some degree of internet safely online. This is one reason why I utilize the nickname "Hummie" rather than my real name. I have also only shared that I live in Missouri, but not where in Missouri, although I will say that there have been those that have figured it out! Photos can be very telltaling.
As my readers know, I am currently working behind the scenes building an e-mail guide to the tutorials at my site. Henceforth why I am not getting anything new out in recent days.
I'm learning about the can-spam laws in the United States. It is a federal law you can read here.
2. (A) IN GENERAL- The term 'commercial electronic mail message' means any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service (including content on an Internet website operated for a commercial purpose).
Section 5.a.2.3 (iii) a valid physical postal address of the sender. (just do a control F for "Physical" and you'll find it).
You can read more here. The law was enacted in 2003.
This has made me take note of other digital scrapbooking e-mails which I am receiving. A very small percentage of them actually have a physical postal address of the sender on the. I am beginning to think that many in the digital scrapbooking world are not following this law.
I am also wondering if this law is applicable to all the advertising going on in Yahoo Groups by digital scrapbookers. I've always wondered how this community gets away with these ads anyway as Yahoo's rules indicate that their groups cannot be used for advertising. I'd love to create a group for selling things locally, but you do not see those on Yahoo, so it is obvious they enforce their rule to some extent.
So, I had to take some time and step backwards in order to go to the post office to create a safer physical address to include in my newsletters. There always seems to be something in my way of getting things done.
Therefore, I will soon be revealing what city I live in. I will not be announcing it on my blog, but you can be looking for it on my site and guided classes.
It was funny as the postal lady asked me how big of a box I needed. When I indicated that I anticipated getting no mail in it, she cracked a smile. Maybe somebody will send me a Christmas card? My poor box is going to be lonely.
I find myself singing to the tune of Jordan Sparks "No Air" song: "No mail! No mail! No maaiiiiil! Giggle.
Running a business sure is a lot of work! Oh, the things I do that you never see! Now this is just something else I have to add to my annual payments for the site and to take time to run down to the post office to check and pay on. Why does everything have to be so complicated?
Does anyone know already? Does anyone have any guesses? You can leave me a comment.
I must confess that I know nothing about applying for college and scholarships! I am afraid we are behind on this end!
I am spending a lot of time now pushing my son to get his applications in and to read, read, read!
I am going to a speaking tonight on financial helps and hope to learn something.
Both of my youngest sons just signed up to take the ACT. Ouch! That was $102 out of my pocket for both of them to take a test! Wow! Just last week I paid over $100 for cap, gown, invitations, etc. All of this falling right after expensive marching band season has my checkbook in STICKER SHOCK!
The oldest has already taken it last year, but he is taking it again to try to improve his score. His score was high enough to be accepted into college, but he to try to make it higher for possible scholarship applications.
Now, is there a way for them to study or not?
Sure, I'm a college graduate, but this was all so long ago for me and things have changed!
If you have some knowledge or personal experiences that would help us, please post a comment as I would love to hear from you.
Nov 18, 2008
I found this interesting site called usernamecheck.com.
The majority of the places where my name is "taken," it is taken by me.
I'm not sure what this serves a purpose for as I do not even know most of these sites. What am I to do? Run out and create an account at the rest of them to reserve my ID?
Of course, the site is useless if it doesn't include all of those wonderful digital scrapbooking sites in the list. Giggle.
Maybe I can browse the list and find a new site to register at. Some cool thing might be out there that I'm missing. Of course, this would require time and that I do not have.
Have a wonderful day in the internet world!
Nov 16, 2008
This was taped about a month ago, but I've been too busy to put it up.
This is a VERY long video. It is going to take me a while to get it all up in its small parts.
If you think he is funny in this video, just wait until the later sub-scenes! He's just getting on a roll here.
I did eventually ask him your questions which were left in blog comments and in the forum, so stay tuned as the answers are coming!
We welcome you to leave more questions for Old Guy Comedy for the next production. It is much more fun to interact with the readers here.
How about some holiday questions?
PS: I sound so wierd! It was that silly margarita.
Nov 14, 2008
What is a creative team in digital scrapbooking?
Many seasoned digital scrapbookers will often make comments about "CT's" forgetting that newbies to this great hobby are not familiar with acronyms. I often read the question, "what is a CT?" CT is an acronym for "creative team."
A creative team is a group of scrapbookers who have agreed to make layouts for a designer in exchange for free kits.
Each designer has rules for the creative team to follow. A common rule is to create a certain number of layouts with each kit received. The most common rule is for the CT to post the creative layout in a certain amount of galleries. Why? The root purpose of a CT is marketing. It is a way to advertise a kit. If someone sees a fantastic layout and thinks, " I wonder where I can get those things for my layout," it sells product.
In addition, seeing a designers name in credits gets that designers name out there. The more it is seen, the more the designer becomes known.
What is a creative team is to me personally?
For me personally, creative teams have the reverse effect on me most often. For instance, when I see the same layout in several Yahoo Groups and in several galleries, I feel as if advertising is being shoved at me.
I have often gone to several galleries in search of just that tad bit of inspiration to give me the mo jo to get a layout started. The most recent layouts in the galleries will be the same layouts. I begin to see the layouts as "advertising" and look right over them. Even back in 2005 when I first started scrapping and had not yet formed opinions of the creative team approach, this was my first reaction.
Over the years, because of the analyzer that I am, I have observed how creative teams change a scrapper's scrapping style. CT members begin to scrap for the kit and not for themselves.
The photos are no longer the main focus of the layouts. The layouts begin to fill up with as many items from the kit as possible just to show the kit off. The purpose of the layout becomes to show off the elements of the kit, rather than the photos for future generations.
Recording a memory and preserving a story for future generations is no longer the main reason for the layouts. Journaling begins to disappear. Even titles begin to disappear. The layouts become just a photo of a sweet face.
A requirement of too many layouts to be created with each kit causes scrappers to begin to just throw together layouts to fulfill the requirement. I have seen a movement over the years to impose less requirements on CT members and this is a good thing. If you are seeking to make application to become a creative team member, first consider the requirements that are made upon you.
Over the years, I have urged people before becoming a creative team member not to change their scrapping approach and focus. Everyone *thinks* that it won't happen to them. I encourage scrappers to “stay true to yourself.” Do not let the purpose of your scrapping change how you scrap. Do not allow the promoting of a designer to become the goal of your layouts.
I have cautioned scrappers only to see them change. Some have come back and told me "you were right." Some refuse to see as that would mean admitting they were wrong. Of course, there are scrappers who do remain true to themselves and maintain their focus as before becoming a CT member.
Take my challenge and go through DST's gallery. How many layouts are one photo layouts? How many layouts are recording an event or story? How many layouts have journaling? How many layouts have a title?
These are just the tell-tale signs of a CT layout. This does mean that it is wrong to scrap one photo layouts. This does not mean that all layouts must have journaling and titles as there are great exceptions. I have my own one photo layouts and layouts with no journaling.
There are two kinds of layouts.
First, there is the event or story layout. When I go through a traditional paper scrapbooker's albums, this is the majority of what I see. These are the layouts that are created to preserve memories for future generations. These layouts are generally created for others.
Second, there is the artistic layout. I have written about this type of layout before as a "natural high." There is just something about an artistic layout that feels good. These types of layouts have become more common with the capabilities allowed through computers over paper and scissors. These layouts are generally created for one's self.
Is one type of layout better than the other? Is one type of layout wrong and the other right? No. Of course not. I have done both types.
Each person should decide for themselves who they are scrapping for and what purpose they are scrapping for. For the most part, for me personally, I want to preserve memories. I want to share my faith in my layouts and leave a part of me in my layouts for my descendants not yet born. The answer to this question is different for each person.
Another downfall of creative teams is that of cliques. I have been in chats where the designer and creative team are now such good friends that they forget to include the others in their conversations. They only see the posts by their friends and unintentionally ignore the comments of others. The very reason they have come together backfires. It turns others off, rather than onto the designer and products. The same happens in the forums. The designers with more CT members appear to be popular while other threads go unnoticed. Do scrappers see through this or do they take on the well-liked image created by CT members?
However, on the flip side, I understand that creative teams are effective. Designers have testified as to how creative teams have helped sales. So, they cannot be all bad, right?
There must be some balance out there, but I have not figured it out yet and do not know as if I ever will.
TAKING THINGS PERSONALLY
“Don’t take that personally!” I bet most people have had that comment stated to them. I usually think to myself, “Now, how did I take that personally?”
So, back to my warning regarding my opinionated self. Yes, I have strong opinions about creative teams based on personal experiences. However, whenever I share my opinions, I find that others take them personally. They get defensive and then begin personally attacking me.
Why do people take things so personally as if the opinion is intended for or directed at them?
Let me share an example. Politics are a source of drama where people take things personally and for the most part I avoid politics for this reason. For instance, I have a strong opinion that abortion is murder. Many people carry the same opinion with me. However, if I state this opinion in front of someone who has had an abortion, that person immediately translates the comment as personally intended and directed towards them. The person feels as if I have called her a murder.
Most likely, I did not even know the person had an abortion before making the comment and yet the person takes the comment personally and begins to get defensive. A personal attack back ensues and drama escalates.
The reality is that God has told me not to judge. The abortion is between this person and God. For all I know, any and all sins have already been washed away. Love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5). I am only called by God to love all people. I would not treat someone who has had an abortion any differently than I would someone who had not.
I am sure you have seen this happen before or have been an unknowing victim of such yourself, no matter which end of the situation you may have been on.
Our minds immediately begin to interpret the comment. If we feel hurt or offended, then we surely have related with the opinion in some way. We superimpose our perceptions into that of others and this self-awareness causes us to overreact. We do not know ourselves well enough and when we hear an opinion we begin wondering if we are guilty of the same, reflecting on ourselves to validate what we perceive to be the truth about ourselves. We put high and unrealistic expectations on ourselves and are always internalizing the opinions of others to find ourselves, not wanting to admit the truth.
This is what has happened to me more than once when I share my opinion of creative team members. Just because I have a strong opinion about how creative teams change the way people scrap does not mean that I am judging anyone personally. I am not calling anyone a "scrapping murderer."
When I look at layouts, I do look for those that are preserving memories and telling stories, using lots of journaling as I want to praise and commend people for creating these types of layouts. This is what I "personally" want to encourage in others. This is what inspired me.
My remarks about creative teams are not intended to harm anyone or offend. My opinions are about me and what I believe about creative teams. They are not about you. I am critical of myself. If you feel a sense of conviction by my thoughts, that is something for you to deal with inside yourself.
Please do not perceive my opinions as a personal affront. I am not pointing fingers. You cannot read my mind. Do not take my opinions as a personal attack on your beliefs. Do not read further into my remarks more than what is intended. Do not overreact.
Decide for yourself what type of scrapping style and goals you want for yourself. Be grounded in your beliefs and do not translate my opinions to be against your beliefs. Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted as saying, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” As I often tell my boys, "Decide who you want to be, be that person, and be self-confident in who you are."
I know I sometimes fail and take things personally. I have a habit of reflecting to relate what others are saying to myself. I do it because I want the other person to know I understand, so I look at my own circumstances so that I can reply and share how I really do comprehend how they feel.
Of course, when I reflect in an attempt to relate and it is different than my own opinion, I am left wondering how to reply. However, there is nothing wrong with being independent of the opinions of others. It is hard to step out of the box and not assume that everything is about "me." It is so easy to feel self-victimized and start blaming others, jumping on the defensive mode.
Of course, I am always right, right? It is also hard to be stuck in what we see as our own version of the truth.
IT IS ALL ABOUT GOD
One of my previous Pastors was asked to preach on what he thought about the big controversy regarding Clinton’s affair. His reaction was one that I remember well. He indicated that above all, we are always to point people to Christ. Nothing else matters. It is all about God.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12
Jesus tells us to “turn the other cheek.” If we feel offended or insulted by another, we can take it personally, react, and escalate the drama or choose to not take it personally and turn the other cheek. Our choice will surely transform the outcome of the situation and the relationship.
We are all often stuck in our own little world, relating life and opinions to ourselves, but we are not the center of the world. God is. In the end, when we feel opposition from other’s opinions, we should take our eyes off what offends us and fix our eyes upon Jesus. He endured the ultimate opposition of other’s opinions on the cross. He will give us the strength we need to go past those things that insult and offend us, whether true or perceived, and grow. “That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Nov 13, 2008
I was in my local hobby store (it looks like these were taken back in July) when I spotted these CD's for digital scrapbooking! Of course, I was excited to see that this great hobby had made the mainstream market, just as I was excited with the Digital Scrapbooking magazine when it had hit the mainstream market (which is now sadly being discontinued).
The CD's were $19.99 which I found to be a bit expensive. There were a wide array of choices of themes. I read the fine print to see who was producing them. I found them available online also.
Nov 12, 2008
I am a hot tea drinker (see my tea) in the cool weather and use a lot of Splenda. We found a new Splenda which contains 1 gram of fiber per packet!
When the Special K Protein water drinks came out last summer, they were a big hit for the fiber contained therein. One bottle contains 5 grams of fiber! I was not keen on the flavor.
The recommended daily intake of fiber for woman is 25 grams. Now, I do not drink 25 cups of tea a day, but maybe utilizing these new packets will help me in some small way to keep me...umm...regular.
I am working behind the scenes to bring something new to my site for the Subscribers.
Each person learns in a different way. I personally prefer self-paced courses as I learn quickly and can move through tutorials rather quickly.
However, some people prefer to be guided through the lessons.
I am preparing e-mails lists that Subscribers may sign up for that will guide them through the courses.
The guided lessons will include:
~~Course 1 - Getting started with PSE & Digital Scrapbooking;
~~ Course 2 - Playing is Fun (advanced PSE);
~~A Layout a Day with Templates;
~~The Fun Extras;
~~and eventually when I get more tutorials written, designing.
I have other ideas for courses in my head too, but these will come much later.
I will have to purchase a pay monthly to set these services up and am currently investigating my options in order to choose the best service.
As always, you may Subscribe to E-mail for site announcements on this blog.
I started teaching a new night class last week for introduction to computers.
It is rather disheartening as the students are all employees of a local business which is going under. Many of the ladies have worked for this company for 30 years, give or take a few years.
They were happy with their employment and it provided the support to grow their families through the years, so most never thought of ever needing skills for different employment.
A special program is making it possible for them to learn new skills through the class I am teaching so that they may find other employment.
For them to utilize computer skills in a job is going to be a long haul for them as many of them have never even turned on a computer. It seems a tall mountain to leap over.
As I reflect on their predicament, I am thankful for my skills and employment. It really puts thinks in perspective.
All I can do is to assure them that when God closes one door, he always opens another. It may take a while before the next door opens as he knows which one is best for each person and we must trust in Him.
I am having to spend some time preparing lessons plans and it seems lately I am being pulled in many directions.
Marching band season official ends this Thursday night with the band banquet to honor the Seniors. Since I have a senior, this will be a special night for our family. However, I am glad for the time we will gain for other things now that the season is over.
Hubby and I spent a great lot of time over the weekend cleaning and organizing. That felt good. We wiped down every surface in the kitchen which took our whole Saturday! Wow--there were more surfaces than I realized! It does not look any cleaner, but I know it is. For instance, it was really ugly under my microwave.
We spent 5 hours going through paperwork on Sunday! Can you imagine! Yes, I have let it build up. Since I pay bills online, it seems that personal paperwork is low on the totem poll of priorities. I still have more to work on, but at least it is in a manageable mess inside a box with folders.
Then we went off to clean all surfaces in the living room, only to get a whim to change the white walls to a soft green! They have been white now for 22 years! It is a big change. The project is not done and so we are left with something to start with this Saturday. Next in line -- the bathroom.
Yesterday was Veteran's Day and I did take time to reflect on my loved one's who have served in the military. Most especially I remember and miss my Grandpa who died a little over a year ago and who was in the Battle of the Bulge. He told me some stories of his time there that really bring to life what it was like for him. The stories are enough to bring anyone into a deep moment of respect for those who have served our country.
The lyrics of Lee Greenwood's song God Bless the USA say "And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free and I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me"
Although the economy is horrible and America is on a roller coaster right now, I am still proud to be an American and have faith in my country -- the same faith that these men in uniform had when they sacrificed so much for our country.
These lyrics also make me reflect on my God. Jesus died on the cross for me and I am proud to be a Christian who is free from the punishment of my sins.
Nov 11, 2008
At first, it seemed such a silly thing. However, just like Facebook, as I continue to learn more about the interface and how things work, I am utilizing it more and more.
Many people abuse Twitter. They just want to get as many friends as possible. The thrill of having a lot of friends must make them feel important. I don't get it really. Of course, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzie when someone follows me. It shows they are interested in what I have to say! In addition, having no followers or following no one would make for a boring Twitter.
Anyway, sometimes I get a message notifying me that someone new is following me. Oh, who is it! Upon checking the profile, I see that this person is following a HUGE amount of people compared to the people that follow this person. That is an immediate red flag for me. This means that the person just chooses random people to follow trying to get people to follow that person's account. Many of these people are just marketers.
I have no desire to be on Twitter to market. Twitter is a place to create relationships.
So, I observed my own stats. Yep, I was following more people than were following me. Sure, I often take the iniative to follow someone first. For example, if I see someone is into digital scrapbooking, I will follow them as we have a common interest.
However, it does appear that some people have no desire to follow me back.
So, I began going through my Twitter account to clean it up. I found some big wig popular people that I was following, but they were not following me back. I noticed that they had selectively return followed certain people and I was not one of them. Their Twitters were all personal and never provided links to things found. It was time to remove these people my following list. If they have no desire to get to know me, I have no desire to build a relationship either.
To find people that are following you, but you have not followed back, Click on the link for "followers" to view the list of those following you. Anyone that you are not following back will have a button for "follow" or "block" underneath their name.
To find people that you are following, but have not followed you back, click on the "following" link to view the list of those you are following. Anyone that is not following you back will NOT have links to "direct message" or "nudge" underneath the name.
So, I quit following a lot of people and cleaned up my list. Many of them had not even accessed their account in a long time.
There are now a few people I have decided to follow anyway as I find they provide good information, even though they do not follow me back. There are a few following me that I have no desire to follow as we have no common interest. It all balanced out perfectly.
Nov 10, 2008
So, I'll share my chicken pot pie recipe with you.
If you have one, please leave it in the comments for others to find. Let's share!
Now, to make my steak pot pie so I can share that with you too!
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup chopped onion (I use frozen so I don't have to chop!)
1/2 teas salt
1/4 teas pepper
1 3/4 cups water & boullion cubes to taste (or use chicken broth)
2/3 cup milk
3 cups cut up cooked chicken (yeah, I just use any leftover chicken in the refrigerator or freezer, even if it is breaded)
1 chopped celery
1 chopped carrot
1/2 can green beans (left overs are always in my fridge!)
2 pie crusts (you could make your own, but why when the purchased ones work so well!)
Melt the butter and stir in the flour, onion, salt, and pepper. Cook until bubbly.
Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling and stir until thickened.
Stir in chicken, celery, carrot, and green beans.
Pour into pie shell. This is what it looks like before adding the top.
Add the top shell upside down and pinch the edges. It always breaks on me, but that's okay, just make sure it's spread about.
Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes.
Here's what it looks like fresh from the oven!
For a quick meal, add cheese to more celery and cut up more carrots as sides.
Save videos found in searches in a collection. These collections may be shared publically, as well as videos.
Here is a collection of videos from Hummie's World. You may put my collection on your blog or site too! I did find it difficult to find even my own videos, so the crawling needs to get a bit better, but it is in Beta, so I will watch to see how this site advances.
Here's a collection for digital scrapbooking.
There are other sites for video searches. There are several popular places and many less popular places to host videos. These search engines, like the Video Crawler, bring together videos.
I have not chosen a favorite yet, but I want to spend time using each of them to learn more about them.
Do you have a favorite video search site? Please leave a comment and share with others.
Here are just a few I found, but I noted many more are out there.
Search for Video
Nov 9, 2008
I am going to begin bringing back some old things I made and already gave away on my blog and put them in the Subscriber Area.
Subscribers may now find the shopping bags in this thread.
Subscribers may also find a new Technique Challenge and video in this thread for cutting out an area of a photo to create a place for title, text, elements, or whatever.
Join the newest font challenge by using the Desyrel font.
Remember, the gallery is open so you can use products from anywhere!The Font Challenge is in this thread.
Let's get out of the rut and start scrapping!