Pursue Health And Fitness

Pursue Health and Fitness

 

Hi there!  Kacy here with a post about the pursuit of health and fitness (and documenting it, of course!).

I work out every day and try to watch my weight.  Some of that is definitely vanity, but I’m also approaching 40 years old, battling some chronic health problems (underactive thyroid, endometriosis), long days sitting at work, and an absolutely insatiable love of junk food.    I have included pictures from the gym and some of my hiking adventures in my project life album, but have never really documented a workout, a health problem, or even what I love to eat aside from an occasional layout about cupcakes.

MMMMMMM, cupcakes!

Um… where was I?  Oh – a layout with only photos of food or pictures of my feet on a treadmill doesn’t really appeal to me.  This got me thinking about other ways to scrapbook my workouts and the various health challenges I’m dealing with.

FITNESS

When I’m out hiking, I usually turn on the GPS on my phone and use the My Tracks Google app to track my workout.  I’m an engineer and I love numbers and graphs, so I like the visual representations of the data collected during my workout.  I also figure it might come in handy if I ever get lost.  How about using some screenshots from the app to go along with some photos of my hike?

Fitness

Supplies Used:  Days of the Week Saturday and Days of the Week Friday  by Mari Koegelenberg and Sugarplum Paperie

Phone or computer screenshots from Runkeeper, MyFitnessPal or even your Fitbit might help you tell a more complete story.  If you don’t use any of these apps or websites, try including a Google map of your latest adventure in one of your layouts.  What other ways can you think of to document your pursuit of fitness?

DIET

What do you eat?  What do you like to eat?  There could be two very different answers here!  😉  Since my diet is mostly devoid of any nutritional value, I borrowed this layout from fellow CT member Alina to talk about her Way of Eating (or WOE, which is how most of us feel when watching what we eat).  I thought it was great that there were no food photos in the layout – or am I the only person who can’t get the pretty food blogger-type photos to turn out?

Diet

Supplies Used:  A Fresh Start by Zoe Pearn and Digital Scrapbook Ingredients

Another great idea I’ve seen is a copy of the recipe in the layout, having someone take a few photos of you while you cook something special, or even getting the kids involved.  What other ways can you think of to document your “WOE”?

MOTIVATION

You can tell a lot about a person by what is on their IPod.  Mine has more Britney Spears than I like to admit and much more gangster rap from the 1990’s than you’d think! I think a good playlist is a fantastic way to keep yourself motivated at the gym and to distract you during a long and boring run on the treadmill.  What’s on yours?

Playlist

Supplies Used:  Spin the Record by Amanda Yi Designs and Two Tiny Turtles

If music doesn’t float your boat, maybe you are motivated to reduce your cholesterol, or by a pair of pants you want to wear, or an upcoming reunion/wedding/trip.  What is your motivation?

HEALTH

As scrapbookers, we sometimes gloss over the things that aren’t going particularly well or make us unhappy.  I am totally guilty of this – if you only knew my from my scrapbook layouts (especially the ones posted online), you would think I’m an active, happy, energetic, organized woman who lives with a cute cat.  If you actually know me, you are now rolling on the ground and laughing. 😀

I thought it might be interesting to look back in a few years and see the crazy that is my daily medication schedule.  Every day I take my thyroid meds, vitamin D, an antidepressant, probiotics, magnesium, more thyroid meds in the afternoon, birth control pills, multivitamin, L-tryptophan, melatonin, and a Benadryl allergy tablet.  These are all scheduled around what time I ate or the last pill I had to take.  It’s beyond irritating, but I have to keep on top of it to function “normally”, so I suck it up and get on with it.

Schedule

Supplies Used:  A Fresh Start by Zoe Pearn and Digital Scrapbook Ingredients

I think it might be interesting to include copies of blood work results or my doctor’s notes after an appointment.  What other ways can you think of to document some of the health issues you are dealing with?

I hope this post has given you some ideas to work with.  Wishing you good health and happy scrapping!

KacyAbout the Author:  Kacy is an Environmental Engineer living in Arizona with a elderly, cranky, pudgy, but insanely cute calico kitty.  She enjoys scrapbooking, crocheting, dancing awkwardly to electronic dance music, Grumpy Cat, Scottish accents, drag queens, cupcakes, bacon,  Stephen King books, smirking, very crude inside jokes, and men in kilts.

Pursue The Perfect Shadow – The Zen of Shadowing

Pursue The Perfect Shadow

I think that most of us seasoned scrappers went through phases with shadowing on a page. I remember my first pages, where I simply skipped the shadowing. I maybe just didn’t know that there was a shadowing feature and most probably I was ignorant that shadows would make a difference. After a while I found the shadows feature but just didn’t know how to use it properly and in review these pages don’t look much less awkward than my first attempts. After a while of shadow dabbling I found shadow styles and gosh, they made my scrapping life so much easier and rewarding. In this tutorial I will show you one technique to go even further and bring you closer to your Zen of Shadowing.

 

As much as anything in art, shadowing styles are a matter of taste. I personally like my shadows to be noticeable and giving depth to the page. I love it when I achieve a close-to-paper look. It’s still a hit and miss and I’m working, tweaking, changing my ways constantly to try something new and „better“ in this realm.

 

Pursue The Perfect Shadow or The Zen Of Shadowing - Smudging
Every item’s shadow on this layout has been smudged. Look at the paper’s edges, the photos and the tassels.

 

My latest obsession is „smudging“ the shadow. To do this, you have to be able to put your software-generated shadow on it’s own layer. I do this in photoshop cs6 by 1. right-clicking on the fx icon of the layer and 2. clicking „create layers“. If you can’t do that, you can always separate the shadow manually. Look up google for „Putting a Drop Shadow on Separate Layer„ for your graphic software.

 

Pursue The Perfect Shadow - The Zen Of Shadowing - Smudging
How to put your shadow on a separate layer in PS CS6

Before you can separate a shadow, you surely have to apply one. It’s up to you how you do that. I use shadow styles all the time and sometimes tweak them before separating, sometimes I do it afterwards.

So with your shadow separated, you 1. click on the new shadow layer 2. click on the smugde tool, which is housed with the blur and sharpen tool. 3. Select a big round brush with about 20% hardness. The size of the brush depends on the size of the item your shadow belongs to. I usually go with a 825 px brush for the most items and adjust for very big or small items. 4. Look closely which part of the shadow you want to smudge. Put the middle of your brush to that part and pull a tiny bit into the direction where the light falls (away from the virtual light source).

Pursue The Perfect Shadow - The Zen Of Shadowing - Smudging
How to smugde a shadow

All the settings are just a suggestion and you may want to play around with this feature to get acquainted and make it your friend. The tool is not always easy to handle and especially when your software is going slow anyway, you may have some terrible fun waiting for your machine to calculate your move.

On a more detailed note (I love details!) some things I consider when working with shadows:

1. What is your global light doing? When the virtual lightsource is on the upper right corner, it usually makes no sense to stretch the shadow into that direction. Follow the path away from the light to stretch your shadow and create depth by applying the shadow how it would fall in a natural setting. If in doubt, go to a window, place a paper somewhere, crunch the paper a little and see how the shadow is falling when you turn the paper. It’s a great exercise for any visual artist.

2. Are there elements grounding your item? I personally don’t like it (blame it on my mild scrap ocd) when my shadow is spread where it naturally wouldn’t be spread. I smudge the shadow more to the inside of the item in these cases. Also the parts that are close to the grounding elements can’t be as far away from the background in my imagination.

3. Is the shadow strong or weak enough? As stated above, I like my shadows stronger, so most of the time I adjust the fill up to achieve a deeper tone. For more distance between item and background I might lighten the fill a little.

4. Smudge several times on one item if you want. As you see in the layout, I smudged the shadow of the photo several times. It still goes with the direction of the light, though. This makes the photo pop out of the spread even more.

Pursue The Perfect Shadow - The Zen Of Shadowing - Smudging
Details for smudging.

Let’s try this! It’s easier than it looks and it can make a huge difference on your page!

Happy smudging!

PS: I use ctrl z all the time when smudging (or using any other feature…)

 

AlinaAbout the Author: Alina enjoys sitting in front of her large computer screens too much. Apart from that she loves walking her dog and watching sunsets while being amazed of life in general. She is married to her best friend. Tries to manage the needs of her two cats and her dog and badly fails when they all want their cuddle time at once. Everything else is scrapping, taking photos and currently crafting. Having said that, she needs a bigger craft room.

 

 

Pursue History

Pursue History

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be here with you today to talk about one of my favorite subjects – scrapbooking family history! A heritage/family history scrapbook album is wonderful way to document your family’s history and create a lasting gift for future generations. Some people find scrapbooking family history to be a challenge so I thought I’d help out a bit by offering a few different ways to document your family history in your scrapbook pages.

 

One of my biggest tips regarding family history scrapbooking is to just get started. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the photos and memorabilia from the past and wanting to be sure each and every page is perfect. I have found that just jumping in is one of the best strategies for getting the pages done – find a photo or a story that you really want to document and JUST DO IT! It’s often a good idea to start simple – using neutrals and muted tones which are more traditional colors for historical photos. Trying to focus on keeping it simple can help you get started. Neutrals and traditional motifs can help you create beautiful but fairly easy pages that don’t require a lot of fuss! Here are a few examples of pages using ‘traditional’ heritage supplies to create beautiful pages for your family history scrapbooks!

 

Layout by farrahjobling
Layout by Stacia

 

One of the things that I often hear people say about heritage scrapping is that they don’t scrapbook family history because they do not have photos about the events of their family’s past. Although I certainly understand the trepidation that comes from not having photos, I have a few suggestions about how to document those events and experiences from the past  despite not having photos with which to base a scrapbook page! My first suggestion is to think outside of the box and scrapbook a page that tells the story of the major historical events have impacted your family. One example of this technique, is a page I created about the fact that my maternal grandfather was stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed by the Japanese and how that experience affected him and his family. It was a difficult page to create because it outlines some very personal and difficult experiences but I love that it tells the story of our family within the larger context of the world around them. I didn’t have any photos of my grandfather at Pearl Harbor so I googled photos of the Pearl Harbor bombing and found this photo which was perfect for the theme of my page! Don’t be afraid to search for relevant photos online that might capture the themes of your page!

 

Pearl Harbor
Layout by Amy Melniczenko (anrobe)

Other ideas for scrapping family history pages when you don’t have photos include the following –

  1. Document pop culture of the past
  2. Tell stories from the past and use scrapbooking supplies on the page that will reinforce the theme of the story you are telling! One of the main things future generations will be interested in is the stories you have to tell so be sure to document them regardless of whether or not you have pictures that go with those stories.
  3. If you have memorabilia from the past, you can always use that in lieu of a photo to tell a story.
  4. Do you have any furniture, glassware or art that you’ve inherited from a family member? If so, take photos of all of those precious ‘things’ so that you can tell future generations about the things from the past.
  5. If your family has certain family recipes or foods that are significant, be sure to document those in your scrapbooks. You can make the dish and use a photo from today to document those recipes or you can do a photo-less page that outlines the recipe and why it’s significant to your family’s heritage.

Another thing that I have often heard people say they struggle with in scrapbooking the past is that they prefer using modern supplies (vibrant and bold, for example) which we don’t tend to see used with older photos. I love to use more current kits and supplies on my heritage layouts – so I definitey recommend you give it a try! No one said that older photos had to be neutral and muted! Add some color and use more modern motifs to add that extra something to your pages! Here are a few examples that might help inspire you to use more modern supplies and motifs on your family history photos!

 

Layout by AlinaLove
Scrapsandsass
Layout by Scrapsandsass
LegendaryLove_900
Layout by Amy Melniczenko (anrobe)

 

I really hope these suggestions and ideas are helpful to you and allow you to begin to document your family’s history! Don’t forget that  there are no rules for scrapping the past – it’s your scrapbook & you should create pages that resonate with you!

So, now it’s your turn! I would love to see what you can do to pursue history by using one of these suggestions to create a family history page.  I’m hosting a challenge over on the forums and I hope you will come play along!  Check it out at The Drawing Board: Challenges.

Amy
About the Author: Amy lives in Reston, VA with her husband of 13 years and their 9 year old boy/girl twins. Their 18 year old daughter is in the midst of  her second year at West Virginia University!  Amy has been scrapbooking since the early 1990s but discovered digital scrapbooking in 2005 when her twins were born and has primarily scrapped digitally since that time. She is passionate about telling her family’s stories and documenting their life together! Amy is a huge reader (mostly literary fiction) and is a pop culture junkie! She also LOVES all things beauty & makeup!

Hybrid gift tags

blogtemplate

Hi folks! Donna here from the hybrid team and I will be sharing with you some cute tags I’ve created for Valentine’s. I used “Love is in the air” by Mari Koegelenberg and Mommyish and gift card tags template by Kelleigh Ratzlaff.

When I didn’t have an electronic cutting machine yet, I used to cut Kelleigh’s templates manually. Yes, even those tiny rectangular slits you see in the image below. One great tip I can tell you is use sharp and fine-tip scissors as much as possible for great results. A craft knife is also a handy tool to have for cutting besides a ruler and cutting mat.

For this project, I used both my machine and my hands. I used my Cameo to cut these templates.

donnaespiritu-valentine-tags1

 

and manually cut these printed elements using my ever trusted fine-tip scissors by EK success. Clean up the edges first before using your cuts ups to your projects.

donnaespiritu-valentine-tags2

 

added some butterflies and twine to complete my gift tags. You can add dimension even without using foam tape. I folded the hearts in the middle and glued down just the middle part, same with the sentiments. So it looks like the edges of the sentiment floating. Instant dimension!

donnaespiritu-valentine-tags3

 

donnaespiritu-valentine-tags4

Happy heart’s day!

DonnaAbout the author: Donna Espiritu is a new mother to a little girl and wife to a very supportive husband. She is currently living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with her family. When she is not scrapbooking, she likes to read some sci-fi/romantic/time-travel themed books or watching old episodes of some of her favorite tv shows.

Pursue what you Love

Pursue what you love

Hello, hello! Cynthia here today bringing you this awesome lovey-dovey article. But—if you thought this would be yet another Valentine’s Day post, prepare to be surprised! How often do we forget to actually do what WE love? When was the last time you ate a whole bag of lemon drops while watching Dr. House? Uh, ok, that may be just me, but in all seriousness, how often do we put ourselves last and fulfill the needs of our significant others, kids, co-workers, friends, etc. first?

For example, I do love to watch Dr. House,  ER, Grey’s Anatomy and all those hospital shows while my hubby truly despises them. He says he can’t stand the idea of seeing someone in pain (when most likely he can’t stomach the idea of blood, even imaginary). So I don’t watch them, or else watch an episode here and there when he’s not home.

Pursue what you love

 

Another thing I love to do is cook elaborate dishes and desserts, but when you are constantly on the move with little ones (and one that is THE pickiest eater ever) I end up cooking the same things over and over again. Every once in a blue moon, I do indulge in my inner Marthe Stewart and whip up something super fancy or at least, something new to break the routine.

Pursue what you love

I also love gardening, but don’t seem to find the time to do it. I have a gazillion pots that are just begging to be filled and also a gazillion plants in those horrid plastic containers. *sigh*

Pursue what you love

So my challenge to you today (and every day if you can!) is to find those big and little things that you love but don’t often have the time to do, and recapture them. Pursue them even if it’s for an hour, or if you only get to reminisce about that city you loved when you first visited. Make the time to have at least a few minutes of “me” time every day, I promise everyone around you (even if they don’t know what you’re doing!) will appreciate it. But mostly, you will love to pursue your (mostly) forgotten loves every day.

Head on over to my Scrap your Love Challenge here in the Forum, where I’ll show you a couple of ways you can scrap those other loves in your life! Can’t wait to see what you love!

Cynthia About the Author: Cynthia is a CT Member here at The Digital Press. She lives in sunny (way too sunny!) Mazatlan, Mexico with her hubby and their 8-going-on-40 yo daughter, plus the 2 most spoiled Westies who ever lived. She loves reading, cooking, photography and of course, scrapping!

 

 

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible and Inspired

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a creative rut? You might take a look through your gallery and see that a lot of your pages look the same, or you don’t even feel inspired to create a new page because you feel like it has all been done before, or… you can’t even decide what to make for dinner anymore because you are sapped of any and all creativity. Well, maybe you don’t have these problems, but I certainly do. And when I’m lacking in creative mojo, there are a few things that will get me back into the creative zone:

  • I use Pinterest to search for art/design/color or really anything that jumps out at me and makes me feel like creating. Sometimes it is a quote, sometimes it is someone’s art, sometimes it is a list of ideas or creative kickstarters.
  • If Pinterest isn’t doing it for me, I will turn on some of my favorite music and do a little afternoon dancing. I think that if we get physical and ignore our mental blocks, they can dissolve themselves.
  • Magazines or scientific/technological websites will often give me a punch in the gut because of the interesting things that are happening on their websites or between their pages. An article about 3D printing, beautiful descriptive language in National Geographic, or reading about advances in medical technology can offer creative inspiration… especially if it isn’t something you would usually read. It gets you outside of the typical box and lets you take a peek into another world.
  • People-watching/eavesdropping. I admit to being an eavesdropper. Not always. But sometimes, you catch a nugget from a conversation that immediately draws your attention, and then your imagination. Follow that, and you reach creativity. Listen to those around you. Jot down key phrases or note something you liked about their personality or style.

It is always important to find what really works for you. You can read a lot of different opinions on creativity, but if one or the other doesn’t work for you, it is a problem. You have to find what keeps you inspired and creative. Here are some other thoughts/ideas about creativity:

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

 

 

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/185421709634232282/

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

Now that you’ve seen a variety of different ways to pursue creativity, it is your turn. Join us for the Pursue Creativity Challenge in The Drawing Board challenge forum.

KimberleeAbout the Author: Kimberlee is a lover not a fighter; a stay-at-home gran, a poet, and a lifelong learner. She grooves on saturated colors, Tuesday dance parties, optimism, glitter and sunshine. She colors outside the lines.  She is a dreamer. She is a collector of moments.  She is all about the story.  Kimberlee completed her MFA in Creative Writing and is currently working toward a M.Ed. in Instructional Design.