Monday, May 10, 2010

Week in the Life How To

Now that Week in the Life is all written, saved, printed and uploaded here for you to see, I thought I would share some of the ways that make it easier for me to do a project like this. Most of this method I solidified with Anna Aspnes Album Magic Class .

First of all, I decide HOW I'm going to do it. I tend to prefer the Ali Edwards/ Cathy Zielske school of simple scrap booking. I think of it as photo journalism with few embellishments. Sometimes I can be heavy on the journaling and other times, heavier on just the photos. I am also not one who works really hard at getting the best shot and then spending a lot of time tweaking that photo. I don't have or aspire to a DSLR. I have a Nikon point and shoot that I have just about abandoned and use my iPhone most of the time. "The best camera is the one you have with you."

WITL2010. Ok, I decided to go with Ali's new templates, which were a bit of a splurge since I do have supplies I could have used, mainly because they were 8.5x11. Thank you Cathy Z. for asking Ali to do these! I saw that the tags were gray on the main page but didn't glam onto the idea that the gray could be changed so I went with that. Ok, so template chosen, gray as the basic color, which only left me a background paper(s) to pick. Since I decided to do the digital version of the baseball card sheet, I picked some spring colors, because it was…well, spring! And we did have great flowers blooming that week. I knew that would only show on the background of the baseball card pages so I kept that one simple since the page would already be busy with that many photos. I decided to also stick with Ali's Avenir font and just do a curvy handwriting on the photos since I didn't want to do a lot of journaling this year.

With supplies at the ready, I created a desktop folder called…wait for this…WITL. I usually do a PSE page with a graphic so I don't have a desktop full of those boring blue folders. Often, I'll use an avatar sized photo of the designer as the folder cover.

Then, in that folder I made sub-folders for each day of the week. Here I also started out making a cover folder .jpg to distinguish one from the other but my enthusiasm petered out. (I will go back and complete this because I can use the days of the week .jpgs for other projects.) I kept Ali's digital files in that folder also. This way all my 'supplies' would be in a desktop folder just as if it were a paper one. Keep it organized and tidy, and it makes the creative part a lot easier.

Each day I tried to get a clock or specific morning shot, as well as a final bedtime shot to help delineate a.m. and p.m . As I said, I took the pictures with my iPhone and each day uploaded them into iPhoto. I saved each day as an event with my usual system of year, month, day as the event title, e.g. 10 04 25. Some days I immediately uploaded the pics to Flickr to share with the WITL group. Other days, well… I knew I needed 9 photos for each half of the day but of course usually took more in the a.m. when more seems to happen.

When I was ready to start the pages for each day, I looked at my pics and decided which one I wanted to use as the large photo for 1st of my 3 daily pages. When using a template, I, first of all, did a Save As, saving it with my initials in front of the designer's name. Oh yeah, I have overwritten a file in the past. Ugh. Here is a web-sized final showing how I renamed the template at the start. I also added a.m or p.m. to make it easier to upload in the order I wanted.
Then is when I picked a patterned paper to go with the photo and the brushes that I wanted to use also. I had picked out some general word art brushes in advance and most of those fit. btw, I use Brush Pilot to view my multitude of brushes. (Seriously, pay the $15. It is so worth it.) When it was time to select photos, I went to the iPhoto folder of the day that I was working on and just dragged the photos I wanted down into PSE. I only worked on the am or pm so I didn't have a lot of photos down in the project bin. If I had had many more photos I would have made my selections IN iPhoto rather than down in PSE. After I used each photo, I closed it. I have also learned to SAVE after each step. That CMD-S is almost always a habit.

Once I made my first baseball sheet page, adding Katie Pertiet's drop shadows to each card, I saved the am and pm pages without the photos. I then used these as my half done templates each day, adding background paper, photos, and changing the day-title, and the wording over the photos. Having the fonts in place speeded it up a good bit. Once in a while of course I forgot to change the day-title, and would be down to the final stage before uploading when I would see that I had to go back to the .psd file and fix it. As much as I gripe about Adobe, what would life be without CMD-Z?

A couple other bits that I really find useful are actions I bought from ScrapGirls. Sadly I no longer see them for sale, but I have an action that changes the name of the layer to the product name, one that makes a list of the supplies you have used, and one that saves the .psd to .jpegs of sizes you determine. I usually have a high resolution .jpeg to print and one that is sized for the web. That save soooo many mouse strokes and old fingers!

Finally, once I had the large .jpeg and the smaller web-sized ones of each day's 3 pages, I uploaded them to the various sites where I post. This is when you want to do them in reverse order, e.g. p.m, then a.m. then main. Then they will show up in the correct order! Because all the large .jpegs were marked with a 2550 (pixel) size by the Scrap Girls action, I was able to pull those files easily and put them in the final upload folder. That went to ScrapbookPictures. com . The results?
They're here!

1 comment:

Pat said...

Thanks for all this info. One of these days I am going to do this project. I am anxious to read your post throughly and check out some of the sites you suggest.

I found Ali Edwards through your blog and I really enjoy reading what she does.

Thanks again!

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