Thursday, March 29, 2012

How To: Printing Square Photos and Collages

I LOVE the layered look in my PL album, and with that, I also love having different and 'odd' shaped photos/inserts. I have been a long-time fan of square photos, but they can sometimes be difficult to print, especially because I don't print at home that much, and when I do, I only have 4x6 photo paper.

As I mentioned in my last Project Life post, I worked out a way to print square photos (and more importantly!) square collages with the rest of my photos at the store.

Square Photos - that's the easy one, usually I just crop the photo I want to the closest size that I can print at the store, and then trim it at home with my paper trimmer. For example, if I want an 8x8 photo, I crop it to an 8x10 and keep in mind where I am going to cut it once I get it home.

Square Collages - this one I am so happy I worked out how to do!

I use Picasa for my photo editing, but any photo editing program would be able to do the same thing.

Step One: Open up one of the photos you want to use in the collage, and select CREATE > PICTURE COLLAGE...

Step Two: Set your collage to SQUARE (using the drop-down box), and select the type of collage you want (I have used mosiac, so that the photos will be randomly positioned on the collages in various sizes).

Step Three: Select the photos you want to use on the collage, any photos that are stored within the same folder on the computer as the photo you initially selected will appear under 'clips'
Use the green '+' button to add whichever photos you want to the collage.

Step Four: Once you're happy with the placement of the photos, you can then add a border between the photos and around the edges, you can change the colour by picking another one from the swatch next to the eye dropper.

After you're happy with how it looks, press CREATE COLLAGE

Step Five: This step isn't necessary, but it's something that I like to do.
Crop the image to remove the outside borders, so that the only coloured borders that you see are the ones in-between the photos. If you re-crop it at the same size as you made the collage in, then you will keep the same shape/size and just lose the outside border.

Step Six: With the square collage on screen, go and select CREATE > PICTURE COLLAGE again. 

Step Seven: This time though, when picking your collage type from the drop down menu, select PICTURE PILE. And set the size to 8x10 (20x25cm), so that we can get an 8x8 collage printed.

Step Eight: Drag the photo outwards to increase the size, and line up in one corner. Keep making it bigger until three sides meet the edges (left, top and bottom) of the canvas in Picasa. There should be a section down one side of the canvas - that's exactly what you want. CREATE COLLAGE

Step Nine: You're now ready to save the collage to wherever you want on your desktop/computer (I added text to mine after this step - for no reason, other than I was playing around with what it would look like, if I decided not to do the last step).

Step Ten: Obviously you need to print your photos - so at the photo booth select to print your collage as an 8x10.

Step Eleven: Once you have your photo at home, it's as simple as trimming off the excess 2" with your paper trimmer.

And, there you have it - 2 square photos, that you were able to print with the rest of your photos at the store!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Project Life 2012 - Week Twelve

I can't believe that it's time for another Project Life Tuesday post! It seems like this year is flying by - term one of school is almost over, and school holidays are almost here!

Considering this was a pretty full on week for us, I managed to keep it fairly simple, and had only a couple of extra inserts with photos from Lily's birthday.

Main Spread, without extra inserts
Some of the photos printed so dark! Especially that one of Ian, so that will have to be re-printed with my next lot of photos.

LOVE the QR Code of Lily's birthday at school - so excited that I now get to include videos in my album!

The really dark photo of Ian that you can't see in the page protectors:
I did lighten it slightly once I got the photo back, just in case it prints darker again!

This week included; Lily's 5th birthday (I can't believe my baby is 5 already! Seems like just yesterday I was going to the hospital to have her!), Uncle Jamie came home from his Bali holiday, Lily joined a new dance school (still have to tell the old one we're leaving!), general silliness around the house (and at the shops!)

I also put in an article out of the local paper - not impressed that the local council voted and has decided against putting in any traffic calming devices (round-about, islands, chicane etc) in an attempt to try and slow traffic. We live on (the main) residential street in our suburb, and it also happens to be the main way in which kids walk home from the local school. So many times cars come speeding through, sometimes on the wrong side of the street, but yet the council has decided to do nothing, even on the recommendation of Main Roads, that something be done!

Main Spread, with extra inserts:
The extra inserts include; a 6x6 photo of Lily (and collage on the back), and an 8.5x11 traditional layout with another collage on the back.

There is also a small letter in an envelope, that I wrote to Lily on the day of her birthday, but I'm not sure how I am going to display it in the album, so I didn't photograph it.

Back of insert 1 & insert 2

I made a 6x6 collage with some of the highlights from Lily's birthday ( I will be posting a tutorial in the next couple of days, showing how I did the collage, and printed it at the store with the rest of my photos). I'm so excited I worked out a way to incorporate square photos into my album, it may not seem like a massive achievement, but because I don't print at home, it can be hard to get the 'different' sized photos in my album.

I even managed to sneak in the simplest traditional layout that I have ever done! It took me ages too - I guess that's to be expected given that it's pretty much the first layout I have scrapped all year!

Back of insert 2

Every time I finish a book, I have been slipping in a photo of the cover or the book (or a photo of the cover of the book on my Kindle, if I read it on the Kindle), kind of a way to keep a journal of all the books I've read this year. Since I had the space for an extra insert, I made a collage of al the covers, and then wrote a teeny-tiny little bit about each of the books down the side.

I printed it as an 8x10, and backed it on my Amy Tangerine paper, that I got in a kit at the beginning of the year.

This week I had A LOT of photos, and not many words, but in the grand scheme of things it's only one week out of 52, and I'm ok with that.
Journalling directly onto the photo also helped tell the who/what/when and why's and free up more space for photos.

As always, I am linking up with Jessica Turner @ The Mom Creative

Sunday, March 25, 2012

For the Love of a Good Book

Most of my New Year's Resolutions at the beginning of this year, centred around finding more time for myself, and expanding my mind. I wanted to read more books, and finally get around to taking that short course at Tafe, that I have been promising to do for the last 9 years!

This year, I promised myself that I would *try* and read more books. I love reading, and always have, but since the kids (and then, scrapbooking) came along I found that I was lucky to read 5 books a year...pathetic!

At Christmas time, I was given an Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G (Ian received it from his work, as a gift, and he was nice and gave it to me). I kinda had the idea in the back of my mind that I would try and read one book a month...that's only 12 books a year, and quite achievable, I think.

I even joined a book club last month, as a way to broaden my mind and read some books that I wouldn't normally even pick up. I can confirm that within the first month (and the first book) that, this was the case! The book I was given was The Lady and the Unicorn, and I can admit that had I not been *required* to read it, I probably never would have. But, that's the awesome thing about book clubs, not only did I enjoy the story, but I also now want to read other novels buy the same author (Tracy Chavalier is also the woman behind the story, which went on to become a film "Girl with a Pearl Earring").

So far, this year I have read 6 books (plus a couple of Kindle Singles - sort of like short stories for the Kindle), which is not too bad considering it is only March, and I am already half-way to my yearly target.

Chasing Rainbows - a book I picked up for $0.99 on the Kindle, I had no idea what it was about, but I finished it in about 3 days, not a bad read.
The Lady and the Unicorn - mentioned above.
Moloka'i - both beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time! I cried many times while reading this book!
Water for Elephants - I decided to read the book after having watched the movie - I enjoyed the movie, and I'm not ashamed to say that, Rosie (the Polish elephant) really made me want to read the book!
The Hunger Games - I'm ashamed to say that my sister lent me The Hunger Games (and Catching Fire) probably about 2 years ago,and in the end the only thing that made me read the book was because of the upcoming release of the film. Once I actually made the decision to sit down and read the book, I couldn't put it down! So annoyed that I didn't read it years ago!
The Help - I just finished this book today, and having not seen the movie I only had the vaguest idea of what to expect. I still can't get my head around the fact that the black maids were entrusted to raise the children of the white society ladies, but not trusted enough to not be accused of stealing the silver. I know it was a work of fiction, but it was based on actual  events, and I'm more that a little sad that all this was happening a little over 50 years ago!

Next on my list:
The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots by Loretta Hill (I'm actually hoping to go to a meet-the-author night at which Loretta will be at next month).
Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea (next book club book)
Catching Fire & Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Honolulu by Alan Brennert
The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes (another $0.99 special on the Kindle)
Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Project Life 2012 - Week Eleven

My layouts for week ten haven't been posted on the blog yet, and that's simply because I am waiting on some photos that were taken at Lily's Acro class on the Saturday morning.
Here's a quick look at the almost completed week ten:

Now, onto Week Eleven.
This was an unusually busy week in our household; March Take Twelve fell in this week, I got a new phone, Benji was sick (again!), Lily's school had it's annual fair, Lily had her birthday party on Saturday, and she was also invited to another party on Sunday!

Main Spread, without extra inserts:

Main Spread, with extra inserts:
This week I included 3 extra inserts, one of which is possibly my favourite insert ever!!

Insert 1 Take Twelve: March

Back of insert 1 & insert 2:

As always, I printed off the blog post that belonged to my Take Twelve post and put it in behind the photo collage.
The next insert I LOVE, at Lily's party on Saturday, I got all the kids up on the play equipment and got a group photo - now it's not perfect, it's really hard to get all the kids looking at the camera at the same time, but I think it's awesome!
On the back I printed another one of the groups shots and stuck that in too - that way I could give the kids a second chance to look at the camera!

Back of insert 2 & insert 3:

Insert 3, is the insert I mentioned before (about possibly being my favourite!), it's a 2x2" coin collector page protector, and in it I kept a bit of the wrapping paper from each gift that Lily was given, and the other spaces were taken up with little photos (and a couple bits of the Hungry Jack's birthday party invitation that we gave out).
Prior to the party, I had set myself the task of trying to get a photo of Lily with each of her friends that attended that party - I'm happy to say that I was successful! I think that using my phone really helped in this task!

Group Shots:

Birthday Party Insert:

I have whited out a few of the kids faces, as I don't have the parents permission to put their photos up on the net.
Sorry about all the glare - it's really hard to take photos of these little page protectors!

I also got to try something that I first saw last week, and thought was pretty cool - QR Codes. You should be  able to scan  the code straight off the computer screen and see the video.

As always, I am linking up with Jessica at The Mom Creative:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Take Twelve: March 2012

March 12 started as just a normal day, with school drop off for Lily, and then I had a meeting at the school (Benji went to creche, and was looked after by someone he didn't know for the first time, and he did awesome! No tears when I walked away - perhaps my running away, when he wasn't watching was a good idea, after all!)
But it turned into so much more, and of all the days in the month, I'm so excited that it happened on a day when I was documenting all the little things in great detail!

Like the two months preceding this month, I have decided to make an 8x10 collage which I will slip into my Project Life album for week 11.

March 12, 2012

1) Lily after school, with her favourite turtle toys, that she took in for her morning news
2) My new phone - Samsung Galaxy SII (the first exciting thing that happened yesterday)
3) Printing week ten Project Life photos
4) Benji at the pet shop with Vanessa, and I
5) Surprise visit from Poppy (the second exciting event from yesterday)
6) The first photo ever taken with my new phone
7) Triple P workbook from the group session I went to at the school
8) Vanessa and I at Gateways
9) Vanessa walking out of Gateways pushing my pram with a carton of Pepsi Max in it
10) Benji, fast asleep in the pram at the shops (he was tired from a busy day!)
11) Me, brushing Lily's hair in the morning before school
12) Benji pretending to still be asleep in the morning, the smile on his face gave him away!

Again, the photos in the collage aren't in time order, but I like it this way, and will continue this method throughout the year.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Family x12 - March 2012, Take Two

We spent a lovely afternoon down by the beach today, and while there I managed to take another family photo - one that I have always wanted to get....a shadow family photo. It's not as easy as it seems, the sun has to be in the right spot, and it's also difficult to try and hold the camera without looking weird!

This photo along with the graffiti wall, will be added into our Project Life album for this week (week 10). Unfortunately with the with the dimensions of this photo, I won't be able to put it back to back with the other family photo (the graffiti photo will be cropped to 8x8), so instead I have made a quick collage to go on the back of this photo;

Some of the photos in the collage are a little dark, but that's due to the sunlight today, it was 41.1C (that's about 106F), and not a cloud in the sky, so it was very bright out today. Still it was nice to go down to the beach, and let the kids run around for a little while.

You might also notice that there is no date on the collage, but I'm ok with that, because one of the other photos from today (which will be going back-to-back with the graffiti family photo), and the shadow shot both have the date on them, and more than likely there will be a journalling card with some more information on it.

There probably won't be a Project Life post this week on Tuesday, as I am waiting on a couple of things to finish off the week. One of which I will get in the next couple of days, but I am also waiting on some photos that Lily had taken at her acro class on Saturday morning (both a class shot, and an individual shot), and they will more than likely be a couple of weeks away (insert sad face!)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Family x12 - March 2012

Only 10 days into this month, and I have already managed to get a family photo taken - I know that most people wait until the end of the month to post up their photos, but if I did that, I would more than likely forget to post the photos!
It's not perfect, the sun was pretty bright (it was only 8:30am), and some of us have funny looks on our faces, but you know what, I LOVE it anyway! It was taken by a very special friend, so that makes it even more special!

For the past month or so, I have been researching graffiti walls near our house, so that I could get someone to come with us and take a family shot. In the end we went with the wall on the community centre where Lily does dancing (that's why she's got a leotard on), there are some other nice ones around, but it came down to the fact that Emma was at dancing, and we were all there today too.

It's hard to tell in the photo, but Lily is actually off the ground (she was doing a star-jump), and  look at Benji's happy little face - he loves when we swing him up in the air, and go "wheeeeeee" (that's what I was saying when the photo was taken, hence the funny look on my face).

Even if we manage to get another family photo for this month, I'm still glad that we got this one.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Project Life 2012 - Week Nine

If you're looking for the Project Life Blog Hop, scroll down, or click HERE.

I was in a bit of a rush to get this weeks pages finished and photographed in time (for my self-imposed Tuesday night deadline). Yesterday (Monday) was a public holiday in Western Australia, so I wasn't able to print my photos until this afternoon (this morning I was busy helping my friend start making her wedding invites).

Another busy-ish week in our house, between all the kids activities, it feels like I hardly have any time to even just sit still and watch a bit of tv.

Main Spread, without extra inserts:
Sorry about the glare from the monthly divider.

Highlights from the week:
The Australian Labor Party held a secret ballot to determine who would be leader
I joined a book club
I finished reading Moloka'i
I went in and helped during cooking with Lily's class
Benji went to Kindygym and Koorliny Bookworms
Lily went to a fairy birthday party
Dad and Owen came over and laid some more slabs in the backyard
Leap Day was documented
My best friend asked me to be a bridesmaid at her wedding!!!

Main Spread with extra inserts:
I only had two inserts this week - my February calendar (with nothing on the back right now), and my documentation of Leap Day.

Close up of right side:

Close up of left side:

Leap Day insert, side 1:

Leap Day insert, side 2:

Once again, I am linking up with Jessica at The Mom Creative