Friday, October 26, 2012

Want to Feel Really Old?

This would make a great first page of a Book of Me album. It's easy, fun, and can give you a sense of nostalgia (or horror at the fashions of the time). I've seen this idea done before, and I thought I'd make my own.

There are sites all over the Internet that list facts and events from any given year. I found these facts at I'm sure there are similar sites for the 60's, 70's, and (gasp!) 90's. I had to narrow it down to what I thought were the most interesting stories to make them fit on one page.

I would strongly suggest including prices to make you feel REALLY old. I could have filled my car for $15 and bought a nice new home for $85,000! Then again, we'd only have an annual income of $21,000.

This is also a rare page that doesn't include any photos taken by me. I gave myself a pass because I was an infant and could not possibly hold a camera in 1982. I had no problem grabbing small, low-res images from the Internet to give the viewer a taste of this bygone era (I hope I'm not violating any copyright laws).

By the time the kids are old enough to read and understand this page, they will think that I am ancient history. We all thought that way about our parents and soon they will think that way about us. Here's how to encapsulate it on a page.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Word Collage

Here's another Book of Me layout. I like to incorporate words as part of the art whenever I can, and here is one simple way to do it.  There's a million word collages out there, and I obviously didn't invent that concept.  I just made my own with a picture of myself.

This was fun for me to make because I like puzzles and lists. I simply jotted down some of the things that I enjoy doing, then spent some time fitting them together.

My initial idea was to do just “Things I Love,” but this would have confined me to a list of nouns. Being an action-oriented person, I found that I much prefer verbs.

I don't really like photographs of myself, but I thought it needed some visual image of the author. A silhouette was the solution. This is a self-portrait that I took in my basement studio. All I did to the picture was to add some contrast and lighten a red background into a more subdued pink. This effect can also be accomplished by photographing yourself in front of a white wall and cutting around it in GIMP.

I always say that it's important to put ourselves in our albums, too. A simple layout like this is one way to do it without worrying about fancy prose or imperfect skin.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Terrific Two's

I've finally gotten around to making a page about my little boy. My daughter has been involved in so many activities lately, I had to make a point to sit down and write an update just about him. I think that these “just because” pages are just as important, if not more so, than ones that depict events. It forces me to get past a simple recording of a story, and helps me think about what makes a person so special.

I have built a small studio in my basement, which I've been slowly but surely tweaking to my liking. One advantage of having a studio for my digital scrapbooking is that I can get a pure white background. This becomes a blank slate for text, pictures, or anything else.

 I had him do the painting based on the color scheme of the page. I put the colors that I wanted on his plate and let him go to town.  As soon as it was dry, I scanned it into the computer and put it on the page.  I find that this is a nice way to preserve their “artwork” before it takes a form of its own.

The journaling reads:

Some dread what has been called the “terrible two's.” This has certainly not been my experience with you. Granted, you have dumped about $22 worth of liquid soap and beauty products onto the floor, to which your frugal mom tried to scoop as much of it back into the container with a spoon as she could. But this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the joy you've brought us over the last 2 1/2 years. In fact, I'd like to rename this age the “terrific two's.” You are a loving, generous, and cooperative little boy. Your generous nature comes as a surprise to your big sister, as she has finally come to realize that she can usually get what she wants from you by simply asking politely. You adore your sister, though you are only able to pronounce the last syllable, so it comes out “ehh.” Your not quite ready for the little bible class, which is fine with me because I love having you cuddle in my lap upstairs. But at home you cherish your “me time.” You turn your light on and play with your cars when you wake up. If I go in there to greet you before your ready for me, you say “no, bed,” and I obediently close the door until you call for me. I guess I'm greedy to say I want 8 more little kids like you, but having just one makes me cherish you all the more. Thank you for being such a joy to us.