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January 2007
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March 2007

Visual Journaling by the Seat of Your Pants!

Found a cool article while surfing around today: Visual Journaling by the Seat of Your Pants!

I always appreciate visual journaling resources that really spell out how it's done.  It seems so freeform that I have trouble wrapping my brain around it.  Each example I see helps fine-tune the idea in my head.

Another resource I turn to for art/visual journaling: Be Alive, Believe, Be You.  Especially this post.  Because that's where she answers a question I emailed her: I wondered if she wrote first, then embellished with watercolors/crayons/markers/etc or if she painted first, then wrote on top of that "canvas".  I just couldn't figure it out!  I was pleased she answered in her blog - with examples!

Another super resource is the art journaler extraordinaire - Shimelle.

So - any art journalers/journalists out there?  How do you do what you do?

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Defining Web 2.0: The Web is Us

Digital text is no longer just linking information…
Hypertext is no longer just linking information…
The Web is no longer just linking information…
The Web is linking people…
Web 2.0 is linking people…
…people sharing, tracing, and collaborating…

Via a link on the Blog Squad's How to Build A Better Blog, I was led to a YouTube video explaining a bit of Internet history, and the creation of Web 2.0 - in under five minutes: The Web is Us/ing Us.  The video is informative and really well done.

The piece is produced by Michael Wesch, an Assistant Professor in cultural anthropology from Kansas State University.  A transcript for the video has kindly been provided at the blog for KSU's Digital Ethnography project.

It's thought-provoking.  It ends with these thoughts:

We’ll need to rethink a few things…
We’ll need to rethink copyright
We’ll need to rethink authorship
We’ll need to rethink identity
We’ll need to rethink ethics
We’ll need to rethink aesthetics
We’ll need to rethink rhetorics
We’ll need to rethink governance
We’ll need to rethink privacy
We’ll need to rethink commerce
We’ll need to rethink love
We’ll need to rethink family
We’ll need to rethink ourselves.

To a large extent, I believe those points are true.  Assuming the essence of Web 2.0 to be the world population of people/Internet users searching for, collaborating on, and sharing information -- Web 2.0 has already changed how people approach the tasks of their daily lives.  It's made many things easier (finding directions to a destination), while others are more complicated and challenging (protecting copyright of digital projects, whether words or images).  Identity, for many, is morphed and defined by blogging, and the interaction with others virtually.  I know the Web has allowed me to promote my professional projects in ways and to audiences I would not have been able to, even five years ago.  And part of the success of my projects contributes to how I see myself - my identity.

Interesting and fascinating.  Any thoughts?

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DiSC Talk Radio Interview Now Available

Guest_blinkie Just a heads up that I was recently interviewed by Terra Atkinson for DiSC Talk Radio's Site Sensational.

Here's how DiSC Talk Radio described the interview:

If you are a designer, site owner, or anyone interested in the business side of scrapbooking, you must listen in to Terra Atkinson's informative and fun interview with Angie Pedersen. Boy, listening to Angie is like hearing an audio encyclopedia edition all about this hobby and business we love so much.

...Angie talks to Terra about her entry into the world of scrapbooking years ago, how she went about getting her first book published, the success of her many sites, and tips on how designers can be successful in the scrapbooking business.

The interview is about 56 minutes long, if I remember correctly, so lots of good stuff in there.  It was one of my better interviews -- Terra asked great questions!

BTW - to download the mp3, you'll need to login to the site.  You can register for free, and get access to all their podcasts.

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Create your own comic strip

Another link via Lifehacker -- Create your own comic strip with Comeeko.

Make your own personalized comic strip with Comeeko, a fun (free!) site that lets you take your personal photos and transform them into Dilbertesque creations.

Comeeko is simple to use; just follow the wizard. You can choose your unique layout, color schemes, photos, and then you can apply various comedic elements (whap! Bam! snappo!) to your strip. What a fun way to share those pics of your kids, especially.

After you create your strip, it gives you HTML and img codes, so you can post the strip to your blog or elsewhere online.  You can also email it, or just plain download it (and print for your scrapbook, of course!)

Another option for comic strips of your own photos -- Katie the Scrapbook Lady's Visual Stories Template Set - Comic Book.  Eight templates for $5 bucks - you can't hardly beat that!

 

Inspired2Write Closing

I'm very sad to share news from the latest Inspired2Write Newsletter:

After seven wonderful years of Inspired2Write, plus the Wordweave years that went before, and, of course, the very popular Inspirare project, I've decided it's time to take the next step and develop my work in a new direction.

- Inspired2Write is going offline

As the saying goes: you can't pour new wine into old wineskins (Matthew 9:17). So... I shall be taking the Inspired2Write website offline for good, as of 28 February.

I've received the Inspired2Write newsletter for years now, since before my first book was published in 2002.  I have shared prompts and writing activities from the Inspired2Write newsletter and website several times on this blog.  Truly great writing inspiration, very introspective, with an emphasis on actually improving your writing skills.  I will miss the resources Susan generously (and consistently) provided.

She says that the website will be up until February 28th, which is a week from this Wednesday.  I encourage you to take some time to poke around the many writing resources archived there, especially the Life Lore self-study writing course - before they're gone.


Book of Me idea: Make a motivational collage

Another great link via Lifehacker -- Making a Motivation Collage at D*I*Y Planner.

So, what does one do when one is feeling unmotivated? Well, if you're like me and a few of my other artsy friends... you turn to making a collage. That's right. Collages. They can be fast and fun and a great way to use up images out of your favorite magazines. They're also a very powerful tool to help you get motivated.

...So what's a collage got to do with getting motivated? Actually a lot.

...A friend of mine, while she was working hard at loosing weight, decided that she would make a collage of clothing she wanted to buy the moment she hit her targeted goal. Every day she logged onto the computer, there was the image of all those clothes she wanted. And when she DID reach her goal, she went back to her collage and purchased herself some of the things that were on the collage. She spent maybe 15 minutes max pulling images together of clothes she liked that helped carry her through the process of loosing weight. Not bad for a quick and fun way to inspire and reward hard work. Collage design is fast and furious and when used as a motivational tool, it can help inspire you to achieve anything.

The post includes several guidelines for making your own motivational collage, like keeping the project simple, and staying positive.

All in all, sounds pretty scrapbook-y to me.  ;)

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DIY cheap ribbon dispenser and cropping on-the-go

Stringdispenser Via Lifehacker, a link to a cool idea for organizing/storing ribbon: the 50 cent cord dispenser.

I mentioned this idea to my scrapping girlfriends last weekend, while cropping at a weekend scrapbooking retreat.  They all loved the idea, and thought it would look cool to have several glass/plastic containers lined up on a shelf in a scraproom.  But since we were cropping "off-site" at the time, our discussion morphed into how practical scraproom organization like that really was.  I mean, we see these photos in the scrapbook magazines of these gorgeous full-color scraprooms, all decorated and lined up just so, but then...how do you prepare for a crop or retreat?  You can't take all those pretty containers with you.  Do you have to pre-plan layouts/projects within an inch of your life, knowing exactly how much ribbon to cut off from the dispenser, and how many brads to pour out from your cute salt shaker/brad dispenser? 

My suggestion/compromise was that if you had your scraproom all organized in containers like that, you might just want to keep a crop bag packed with the essentials, and plan to work on a single project, like Christmas cards, or a theme album, so all the embellishments would be the same and you could toss just those things in your "to-go bag".

Comments?  Solutions?  Compromises?


Review: An Amazing Month of Memories series

I recently had the opportunity to take a sneak peek at one of Katie the Scrapbook Lady's recent projects - An Amazing Month of Memories, a series of downloadable classes available at A Cherry on Top.  I've followed Katie's work for several years now, enjoying and learning from her many ideas on journaling and organization, and this offering did not disappoint.

The Amazing Month of Memories (AMM) series, offers monthly journaling and scrapbooking ideas by unique holidays, such as Nothing Day, Black History Month, Shakespeare's Birthday, and Humor Month.  You can get the material in single-month segments, or buy all 12 months together at a discounted rate.  The segments are available as downloadable PDF ebooks, about 30 pages each.

Each ebook starts with some information about the class series, and some insight into why Katie started compiling the information.  She explains that "scrapbookers everywhere have plenty of beautiful designs to work with, but are looking for the ideas and prompts to make their creations truly meaningful."  I couldn't agree more.  So often I look at layouts and projects I see online, and can't help but feel a little sad at the lack of content, the lack of meaning and personal significance.  So often the stories are missing.  The prompts and ideas in Katie's AMM series help steer scrapbookers to include meaningful thoughts and journaling in their projects.

She emphasizes that the material is intended to help scrapbookers "find new ways to celebrate and record every day."  I like that every day is some sort of holiday, some reason to be celebrated.  It would be easy to look through the ideas in these ebooks, and plan ahead for fun activities and outings, enjoyed alone, with friends, or with family.  Kids will particularly appreciate any reason to celebrate!

After the introduction, each month's ebook continues with the monthly themes -- whatever special occasion is celebrated the entire month.  For example, January is Get Organized Month.  Each special occasion is defined, and paired with a weblink for extra background info.

After naming each holiday/occasion, Katie breaks each one down into several easily digestible ideas.  These "journal-able" topics could be questions or journaling prompts, design tips, font suggestions, historical background, or web resources.  No real thinking required here -- read the questions or ideas, respond, and you've got your journaling.  Katie also provides suggestions for suitable photos, to help build your layout.  I've always preferred this process for building a layout -- choose a topic first, draft the journaling, THEN choose the photos.  Katie's material walks you through exactly that process.  I also liked "experiencing" Katie's thought process in breaking down each holiday into digestible journaling topics -- seeing how she came to each topic or prompt makes it easy to look at other holidays or themes, and come up with your own prompts.  And of course, I loved that many of the prompts are very well suited for Book of Me projects.

She closes each class/monthly segment with a one-page printable calendar that you can keep by your scrapping area to remind you of potential journaling and layout topics.

Katie has marketed the series as a class -- and essentially it is.  There's certainly enough content -- with prompts, activities, tips, and web resources, she has gone above and beyond as far as information is concerned.  Plenty, but not too much - it's not overwhelming.

Unlike other online classes, this material is presented in full -- a work-at-your-own-pace workshop, without a facilitator, nor a forum or online gallery for student interaction.  The material is entirely self-paced and guided.   The reader picks and chooses what prompts and activities to do, when, and in what order.  For some, the amount of choices for topics might be overwhelming, without a "do this, then do this" sort of structure, but I think it works.  The lack of deadlines, coupled with the freeform choices allows the content to be worked in as needed and as inspired.  I didn't find it overwhelming, but rather quite do-able.    Scrappers interested in a more structured class might want to set up a timeline for themselves, using the content provided, or to seek out others who have purchased the same month's content, so they can follow it together and draw inspiration from each other's related projects.

Definitely two thumbs up for this series - you'll have more journaling and layout ideas than you'll ever be able to get to, and each can inspire more ideas for future projects.  Katie has done her homework with all the research and resource material - all that's left is for you to pick it up, be inspired, and go scrap something!  With Katie's Amazing Month of Memories, there's definitely cause to celebrate!


The Trick to Blink-Free Group Photos: Take More Photos

Via Photojojo, a link to an article about the "discovery" of how to get blink-free group photos.

Using the statistics of probability, Dr Piers Barnes and Nic Svenson of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO) figured out "how many photographs to take of a group of people to be confident of getting at least one where no-one’s blinking."

For the record: for groups of less than 20, you divide the number of people by three if there’s good light or a decent flash, and two if the light’s bad.

The pair actually won the 2006 Ig Nobel Prize in mathematics for their research.  The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative -- and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology.

“We are proud to have made a gross simplification of complex physiological and psychological factors backed up with no empirical data,” physicist Dr Barnes said.