Archive for the ‘Recommendations’ Category


Great New Actions for Elements!

November 14, 2008

Panos over at PanoxFX has done it again!  He has created a great new action for Elements called The OOB+ (Out of Bounds plus) it “is an advanced tool which simplifies the steps needed to create the impressive and popular OOB effects.

The action is very flexible; at the beginning it lets you define the area of the photo and its shape; it then lets you define the size of the white border; in the next step you define the out-of-bounds areas. The action makes use of layer masks and this allows you to edit the final effect at the end.

It is available FREE for PSE 5.0-7.0 and a tutorial on how to use it is also included.

And while you are over there be sure and check out all of this other actions which are now available for PSE 7.0.   Including several new items like “Anaylsis” which has a lot of great scraping applications, and “Comics” which turns your images into comics.

And of course he continues to offer fabulous Photoshop actions as well.


Reasons to create Photo Books

July 28, 2008

Every photographer and scrapper is looking for a way of doing more with their photos and layouts.  But they may not be sure what that “more” might be.   Here are some ideas on how you can use photo books to extend your creativity:

  1. Tell a story. If, for example, you’ve taken a series of photos – from your summer vacation, from protest rallies or a series about conservation – a printed photo book can put those shots into a collection that captures the emotion or helps to move the viewer in some way.
  2. Capture an event. Concert photographers and wedding photographers don’t just snap a single picture – they take a number of photos that really show the completeness of an event. Photo books display the whole experience, not just a single moment in time.
  3. Preserve memories. An amazing vacation. Your child’s first year of school.  Your family tree.  With a printed photo book, you can keep your memories fresh.
  4. Create unique gifts. A collection of your layouts is a gift that a digiscrapper can give that no one else can.
  5. Share a part of yourself. When you capture moments or things that you are passionate about, gathering them in a printed photo book gives you the opportunity to share the world as you see it.

There are a lot of photo book companies out there, and I’ve tired many of them.  To date my personal favorite is Viovio.  They offer a quality product at a very affordable price, plus great customer service!


Digital Craft Cottage – Revisited

June 6, 2008

I first reviewed Digital Craft Cottage shortly after it opened in December of 2007. Since then it has grown up a lot. If you’ve never visited “The Cottage” before it is a hybrid scrapping site that goes beyond just scrap booking to embrace all hybrid crafts such as cards, tags, boxes, albums, brag books etc.

They have games, challenges and contests with prizes and monthly exchanges. Those that participate in the exchanges, will receive the huge mega monthly kit FREE. Make Quick pages, Brag Book pages and exchange them with the members. They also have a recipe exchange monthly, where you can get a lot of great recipes ready to print and use as gifts for yourself, family and friends.

The “Gift a Day” program allows you to log in each day and download a part of the kit, by the end of each month, you will have a whole and very unique scrapbooking kit.

And if you’ve ever thought of designing scrapbook kits yourself, The Cottage has a wonderful Designer Program that will let you create and sell your items in their Shoppe.

The forum members are friendly and willing to help or offer suggestions and there are a great variety of free tutorials for Photshop and Elements including tutorials on how to create your own papers and embellishments.


Create-your-own tumblers

May 13, 2008

Yesterday Designer Heather Manning showed a create-your-own tumbler project she had created on her blog. She used a Starbucks mug, but I don’t have one of those near-by so went searching on the web and found that Aladdin makes several different styles and sizes.

I have a couple of 16 oz and two 8oz tumblers on order now and turned the Aladdin PDF templates into png files so they would be easier to work with in Photoshop, Elements or PSP. If you’d like to snag them you can find them here. They are set up to be printed out on an letter size sheet of paper and then you simply cut them out along the dotted lines and slide them into the tumbler.

I’m sure there are probably other places you can find these types of tumblers. Thanks to Heather for sharing I know have Father’s Day gifts wrapped up! 🙂

5/15/08 ETA – shipping was very quick! My order arrived today and for those inquiring minds that asked – the scrapbook tumblers do have screw on lids. I


It’s all about the texture…

May 5, 2008

I’ve posted about texture sites before, but I just have to give you a link to this great tutorial on how to use them. Looking through the examples that folks have posted will truly inspire you to give it a try.

As mentioned in the tutorial, textures for this were freebies courtesy of “Ghostbones” at Flickriver where he has 80 awesome free hand made textures and grungy frames posted.

Here are my first attempts at using two of the textures from Ghostbones.


Create a personalized school memory book

April 25, 2008

Spring is in the air, school is coming to a close, and we look back remembering the year. It doesn’t matter if you home school, attend private school or even pre-school, through Viovio’s custom book creation process you can quickly and easily create a school year book and preserve those memories. Viovio’s flexible application allows the creator ultimate control over the layout of the book. The two creation methods are flexible and easy; offering unique benefits to you, the creator.

Image Upload

Upload your images from your computer or camera, and follow the steps in the bookmaker process to layout your book. Creators who use this method love the ease quickly uploading images and building the book. There is the ability to lay out one image on a page, and then three images on the next, and 12 on the next. There is no constraint on page layout. It is up to you.

This is also the method to use if you use your own software, like Adobe Photoshop/Elements, ACDSee or Paintshop Pro to create pages that can be saved as a jpeg files. Simply create them in the desired size (12×12 if you want a square book) and then select the one image per page, full bleed and auto crop options in the bookmaker.

PDF Upload

Create the page layout on your computer using a desktop publishing application and upload your PDF to Viovio. This method is perfect for creators who love the control of designing the entire book using a desktop application with which they are familiar. It’s simple: just create the full book, save it to a PDF and upload your PDF to Viovio.

Creating Your Cover

Both options allow for flexibility with creating covers. When you create your book by uploading images to Viovio, you can set one of the images to your “gallery image,” which will print as your front cover. You can also upload a separate cover image (.jpg) during the cover creation process. This is true for the front and back cover.

When you create your book by uploading a PDF to Viovio you can identify the 1st page of your PDF as the front cover image or upload a separate image. You also can identify the 2nd page of your PDF as the back cover image.

Design tips for creating your own pages

  • Do not put anything that you don’t want to possibly be cropped off the page within a 1/2″ of the edge of your page.
  • If you know ahead of time which will be a right facing and which a left facing page plan an extra 1/4″ for the binding this will make your page look slightly off center before printing, but it will look better in the bound book.
  • Name your pages in the order you wish for them to appear and it will be much easier to ascertain that they are in the correct order once you have uploaded them to your gallery.
  • Review the PDF preview carefully, this is your last chance to catch any typos or to make any other necessary corrections before printing!

Gunhild Storeide

April 23, 2008

I wish I could tell you about this designer and her blog, but I can’t read most of it. Fortunately the freebie section is in English because there are some very creative and beautiful things to be found here! Both the scrapbook section AND the friday freebie section are just jammed packed with one of a kind items – enough to keep you busy downloading for hours. And the terms of use state that they are available for both personal and professional use if you give the designer proper credit.

Enjoy all the freebies and don’t forget to thank her for sharing her talents!