Sunday, March 30, 2008

I belong in the ZOO!

The Atlanta Zoo offered a Free Educator Day. I haven't been to the zoo in so long that I thought it would be a perfect way to spend a lazy Saturday.

And it WAS! The weather channel promised rain, but in the early morning it was bright and warm.

We had to stand in a long line to prove that we were actually teachers and then we could go inside. It was very busy today. Seemingly everyone getting the same idea at the same time.

Even though there were tons of people with their children, I was much more impressed with the manners shown here. Nothing like the Aquarium where people just knock your camera out of your hands and don't even stop. I actually experienced one woman moving her child so I could get a shot. Wow!
I was playing with my aperature mode and thought there would be plenty of light since we were outside so I left the iso on 200. Every picture I was snapping was horribly blurred. Remember my complaints about Gordon's picture taking skill? Well, it seems it may NOT have been his fault after all.
I switched to auto and got the shots. Once I checked the Metadata I noticed that the iso was all over 500. Hmm? Thank goodness. I thought I would have to send in my camera to be fixed. It would take six weeks to get it back. Umm, that's not good since I am flying to San Francisco on Friday.
Overall, we had an awesome day at the zoo. These free educator days at Atlanta attractions are indeed a benefit of teaching!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Should I be mad?

I planned an outing with Gordon and told him I wanted to use this time to get some shots for my Jessica Sprague class and maybe some candid and portrait shots.
I took some shots of him, here's one I thought turned out pretty well:

Then I gave him the camera and told him I wanted some portrait shots. Now, I've seen him take some amazing shots of landscapes and other things so thought this would be a no brainer.

Here are the results:

I'm not sure if I'm being nitpickey here, but my feet are cut off. The focus is too far away, the background is entirely cluttered and they are BLURRY! Plus, I don't even know what is going on with my face...

Should I be mad?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Got the Shot!

I saw this really cool idea in a UK magazine and have been wanting to try it since I bought my Jeep back in May.

I finally convinced Gordon to come out with me and set up the tripod. Eventhough the weather was not as warm as once promised he braved the elements to humor me. He reluctantly stood around while I repositioned myself through six shots. He grumbled and groaned about the remote shutter release doo-hickey.

But, I got the shot! Here's how:
I brought a tripod and a remote control shutter release. Set the camera up on the tripod and angled it where I had the car in full 3/4 profile. I took a test shot and made sure everything was fine. I planned out the five different spots so they don't overlap each other.
At home I opened all six shots in Photoshop CS3. I dragged them all onto one document. Gave each a layer mask and filled it with black at the beginning. Then at the top of all this, I added a levels layer that brought the light up and added a little punch to the darks. Next was a hue/ saturation adjustment layer that brought out the greens more.
Then I clicked on the brush palette, made sure the first layer mask was clicked and NOT the picture box. I knew I had the right one because the brush colors changed to black and white. I changed the white to the foreground and with a feathered brush I started painting in my first 'self' onto the original Jeep shot.
I continued to brush on a new 'self' until each one was uncovered and made to look like it was all one shot.
Fun, eh?

Friday, March 21, 2008


OMIGOSH! So Freakin' Awesome! Tim Holtz got the go ahead from CKU to offer a FREE TUITION to someone who posts on his blog ( about why the want to go to CKU. The only catch? It has to be in 25 words or less. Ugh

Here's my entry:

Sadness = digital scrapper assisting Ali Edwards at CKU07 just to meet his heroes. Happiness = CKU08 including entire digital album track. I wanna go!

Think it will fly?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Am I CKU Obsessed?

I am not saying this is a bad condition to have in any shape or form, but I am starting to worry myself.

If you don't know yet, my bestest friend, Meg and I are going to our first Creating Keepsakes University event. I have booked the flight to Houston, Texas on June 4th. I have started my homework for all of the classes. And I've even created a packing list. Also, I am posting like crazy on the yahoo group (love you guys!).

But the issue is I don't know when to stop.

Not only am I heading up one Christmas Card Swap. I have opened up a second one because of all the great response. I agreed to join in the ATC swap and think I just signed up for the 'Anything Goes' card swap. Now I've decided the yahoo group should have customized name badge holders!

They will look like this (we haven't voted on the color choice yet. I wanted Orange and Blue, but Meg balked at that choice):

I got the idea for this from a terrific blogger ( ScrappyNan ) who headed this up in Chicago. She even gave some of these as prizes to the instructors. Cool idea. I needed to get at least 100 orders to get a good price. After two days I have 32 orders. Isn't that awesome!

Spurned on by that many requests, I came up with a little logo for the top flap.

Whaddya think?

My whole problem with this is that I have to make myself available to over 100 people now. I have to be in one place to give out, receive and redistribute TONS of materials that first night. When am I going to have time to enjoy myself?

Don't even get me started on whether or not I'm joining the M.A.N. frat at CKU. That is a whole other story!

I can't imagine anything else that I can volunteer for, but ya never know!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Green Gables Update

I couldn't spend $14 on a book I wasn't even sure I was going to like. So I ordered it from the public library. It came so quickly...not a good omen. I started reading it with trepidition and by page 2 I was already offended. I don't want to ruin it, but Bertha Shirley should NOT be discussing personal information like that with her neighbor!!!
I've read up to the part where Bertha and Walter die and Anne is taken in by a woman with good intentions. I am going to continue because I haven't decided conclusively how I feel about it yet.
Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Chalky Numbers

I saw this concept on a flyer this morning. It looked perfect for a school kit.

Let me know if there are any issues with it.

here's how I did it:
I clicked on my text tool and chose an Eras Bold ITC font set at 282%.

Next came the Control Click trick on the text layer. This created a marching ant border. Create a new layer on top of the text.

I went to Edit > Stroke and set it to 20 pts and chose a simple white color.
Click on the eye icon next to your text to hide it.

A new layer was needed underneath the outlined number. Here's where the brush comes in. I chose the Chalk 44 pixels brush in the default brush palette, and opened up the brush manipulator. I moved the spacing on the brush to 60% to spread it out for a nicer chalkier look.

Then I did nice even strokes back and forth underneath the letter outline trying to get it to look as if a student held the chalk sideways and ran it across the board.

You can see the final results.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Before Anne of Green Gables

Has anyone else seen this?
Umm, say what? I saw this at Costco and almost fell over. My first thought was why are they messing with such a classic? Haven't they learned anything from the GWTW remakes?
Apparently Budge Wilson was asked to help honor the 100th anniversary of Lucy Maud Montgomery's favorite heroine. Budge is going to tell "in my own voice" the prequel of Anne's life before she arrives in Avonlea.
I think it's positively 'providential' that I just finished the entire Anne series for the first time in February. I tried before long time ago after first seeing the PBS show. I never got past book five because it got too lovely dovey for me. After going through the books again, I found that book five was actually my favorite. Who knew?
Okay, I digress. I'm still really upset that they are trying to mess with a perfectly good original.
If anyone reads this, PLEASE comment and let me know if I should attempt it.

Just cuz I love the ladies

over at the SPRAGROUND!!!

Here's a freebie just for y'all.

It's the grungy and glittery picture overlay featured in my "Ouchies" layout. Thanks for asking. Makes me want to start designing again!]