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April 2007
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June 2007

Photoshop Tutorial: Give your photos a Hollywood effect

Via the ever-fabulous Lifehacker, a link to a tutorial on how to give your photo a movie-like effect with Photoshop.

A little time-consuming, yes, but pretty cool effect.  What would be even cooler is if someone went through all the steps and created a Photoshop Action for it.  Anyone at Atomic Cupcake listening?  ;)

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Catalog mementos with a camera - and your scrapbook

Via Lifehacker, a link to a post on Photographing Your Mementos on Unclutterer.

This is basically what Nancy Walker did in her theme album, "The Story of Grandma & Me" on pages 36-37 of The Book of Us.  I remember getting that album in the mail when I was collecting projects for the book.  I was instantly overwhelmed by the history and nostalgia wrapped up in the gorgeous green album.  It invoked an immediate reverence - it was obvious how much Nancy cared for her grandmother, and how much the keepsakes documented in the album meant to her.  Even to me, an outsider of the relationship.  She included images and STORIES related to specific memories of her grandmother.  The journaling is so poignant and meaningful.  And something only Nancy could do, as they were HER memories of her relationship with her grandmother - how Nancy called her Maw-maw, and how her grandmas always took her side, how they picked vegetables and canned together, and how they always cried together watching Little House on the Prairie.  (Are you tearing up yet??)

Nancy's grandmother passed away from Alzheimer's in 1990.  How much do you suppose this album means to her now?

Back in the day, I wrote an article called, "Hide & Seek", about seeking out "memory triggers" in your own home.  Maybe it will help you create a meaningful album like Nancy's.

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15 Super-Cool Firefox Tricks

Another cool link via Lifehacker: 15 Coolest Firefox Tricks Ever.

I've been using Firefox as my Internet browser for several years now - at first mostly because I prefer tabbed browsing.  Now I can't tell that much difference between Firefox and Internet Explorer 7 (which now offers tabbed browsing), but I still use Firefox for 98% of my Internet use.  I have several add-ons installed that I use almost every day (perhaps that's another post).

From the "Coolest Firefox Tricks" post, I think this one is my favorite:

Add a keyword for a bookmark. Go to your bookmarks much faster by giving them keywords. Right-click the bookmark and then select Properties. Put a short keyword in the keyword field, save it, and now you can type that keyword in the address bar and it will go to that bookmark.

I just set up keywords for bookmarks to check local school closings ("snow day"), add money to my kids' lunch accounts ("lunch money"), and my local library's homepage ("library").  Some of these bookmarks were organized under sub-folders, so this will save me some time.  Not hours, mind you, but still nice.

This hack is also way cool:

Smart keywords. If there’s a search you use a lot (let’s say IMDB.com’s people search), this is an awesome tool that not many people use. Right-click on the search box, select “Add a Keyword for this search”, give the keyword a name and an easy-to-type and easy-to-remember shortcut name (let’s say “actor”) and save it. Now, when you want to do an actor search, go to Firefox’s address bar, type “actor” and the name of the actor and press return. Instant search! You can do this with any search box.

Just like the example, I set this one up for IMDB.com with the keyword "movies", so now I can just type something like "movies shrek", and my browser automatically search for "Shrek" at IMDB.  Sweet.

These "tricks"/hacks are probably not new to many geeks, but they were new to me.  So I'm sharing the goodness with you.


Book of Me Idea: Putting Yourself in Your Scrapbooks

Tasra Dawson, Author of Real Women Scrap, has posted a great little video reminding us that If You Don't Keep Yourself in the Picture, You'll Regret It Later.  It's a quick 8 minute video with powerful commentary about including photos of yourself in your scrapbook.

We were talking about just this topic in a Book of Me chat at ScrapGirls the other night.  Someone asked how to include photos of yourself if you're the one taking the pictures.  My suggestions were to have other people take pictures of you, and to scrap pages ABOUT yourself (your history, your memories, your interests, etc) that don't include actual pictures of you. 

Then someone asked how you get past hating the pics of yourself.  I appreciated her candor - so many people feel that way.  I said that sometimes you can't get "past" the feeling, at least not at first, so you scrap THROUGH it.  Even though you feel selfish, scrap ANYWAY.  And to remember, you're not just scrapping about yourself (which makes you feel conceited)...you're scrapping about someone's mom, someone's wife, someone's daughter...those people will enjoy reading about the memories they share with you.

THEN someone said she doesn't like photos of herself because of her weight, so she'd rather wait until she lost some weight (just like Tasra mentions in her video).  But the thing with that "argument" is that even if you don't let people take pictures of you...they still know what you look like.  You're not keeping your weight or your bad haircut or your whatever a "secret".  The only thing you accomplish by not allowing photos of yourself is insuring that there is no record of your time with your family - what kind of accomplishment is that?

Think about it this way... As morbid of a thought as it is - what would your kids will feel like if something happened to you, and they had no pictures of you to comfort themselves? 

If something happened to your husband or your kids, you'd probably spend hours looking at pictures of them, trying to hold on to that piece of them.  What will your kids have to comfort them?  It just breaks my heart to think of not being around for my kids, and imagining them crying themselves to sleep with not one photo of me to help them through their grief. 

But I've made sure that scenario won't come to pass by creating a Book of Me scrapbook.  And that's why I wrote The Book of Me - so other women's children wouldn't have to face that.  And so women would come to realize that it's ok to scrapbook about themselves.

Scrapbooking about yourself isn't selfISH -- it's selfLESS.  It's offering the gift of yourself to those who need and want it most.  Who else can offer that gift?

(me...stepping off the Book of Me soapbox now... ;)  )


Embed slideshows on your website or blog with flickrSLiDR

Via Lifehacker: Embed Flickr slideshows with flickrSLiDR.

If you've been looking for a ridiculously easy way to embed your Flickr pics on your website or blog, look no further than flickrSLiDR.

All you need to do is enter the URL of the Flickr photo set, user name, or group that you'd like to showcase, set some basic slideshow parameters, and whammo! You get a snippet of HTML code you can slide into your site code to show off your photos of whatever.

Slideshows are an easy way to show off a set of regular photos, but can also display scans of layouts, pictures of altered projects, or even a step-by-step of a technique.  This tool screams scrapbooking to me! :)  Plus, when you have an animated slideshow appearing automatically on your blog or website, how cool will YOU look??


Hooray for TypePad Pages!

Rock completely on!  Announced this past Wednesday: Go beyond blogging with TypePad Pages.

With the new TypePad Pages, you can use all the power of TypePad's posting tools to create as many individual web pages as you want. And those pages have all the power of TypePad's widgets and rich media features, automatically inheriting the look and feel you've chosen for your blog.

The TypePad interface you use every day to update your blog now lets you create a web page as easily as you’d write a post. (That means you don't have to learn any complicated new tools.) And you can even set a Page to be the home page for your blog, so it’s the first thing readers see when they go to your URL.

...This feature is available at all account levels, to all TypePad members.

This is EXCELLENT news for those of you who want to update your website more frequently but have to go through a "web guy" (or girl) to do it.  The "Pages" feature essentially allows you to create a multi-page website with the same tools you already know how to use from blog posting (also known as a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get, or WYSIWYG, editor). 

You can create (and update) stand-alone pages for information that doesn't really change much -- your contact information (including business hours, where applicable), your bio, your portfolio/resume, an online press room, tutorial archive, and whatever else you can think of.  WordPress users have had this Page feature available to them for a while now (maybe always, I'm not sure), but now it's available to Typepad subscribers, which is so sweet.  Typepad is the hosting service I recommend to my blog marketing clients because it's so easy to use; it's a no-brainer.  (WordPress requires quite a bit more tech know-how and had a significant learning curve.  I should know - I've "broken" my own WP blog a couple of times!)

So if you're using a Typepad blog, be sure to check out the new Page feature.

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All About Me Chat Transcript Available

The transcript from the All About Me/Book of Me chat I did last week is available on the ScrapGirls Message Board now.

Because I'm the teeniest bit anal, though, I downloaded it and "sanitized" it, linking together comments so it would flow together better as a discussion.  Here's my version, in .txt format: Download scrapgirlschat-may07.txt  You'll probably need to right-click and Save As, or it will just open up in your browser.

Enjoy!

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Lee Jeans Seeking Donations for Greensburg Victims

Via KCTV5 News:

MERRIAM, Kan. - Lee Jeans was asking people to donate new or gently used jeans and t-shirts, which will be taken to tornado victims in Greensburg later this month.

The Merriam-based company will be donating one pair of new jeans and a t-shirt to each of the 1,500 residents of the town.

Company employees will be collecting donations on Saturday, May 12th from 8:00 a.m. to Noon and again Monday through Friday, the 14th to the 18th from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

They will also accept personal care items such as soap, shampoo, hairbrushes and other similar essentials.

Donations will be taken at the company headquarters at I-35 and 67th Street [9001 W 67th St, Mission, KS 66202].


Decorated Bra Contest

Decorate Your Bra

For those of you who will alter just about anything: Paper and cloth: Decorated Bra Contest.

Take a bra, any bra, everyone’s got one lurking in the back of their underwear drawer that they never wear any more. Then decorate it any which way you wish- dye it, cover it in flowers, ribbons, sequins or whatever you can think of. Be inventive & imaginative.

Then upload a picture to the Flickr group set up for the contest. The deadline for entries is May 31st. The entry with the most votes will win a special big box of handmade goodies talented crafters and artists.

The contest hostess provided some links for "inspiration":

RAGS & Friends Ultimate Support Art Bra

Way to Women's Wellness Art Bra Calendar

Laura Jacobs: WallFlowers

Anyone up for altering a bra with Prima flowers?  Or maybe some Queen & Co bling?  Or maybe decoupaged with your favorite pattern paper?  I'd love to hear about (and see) any scrapbook-product related entries!