Friday, May 30, 2014

Creative Team at GIS

It's official. I'm part of the new Creative Team at Get It Scrapped. http://debbiehodge.com/2014/05/meet-2014-2015-get-scrapped-creative-team/
Scrapbooking is a hobby that I love and is one that I am still able to do. It isn't very physically demanding and doesn't require a lot of time at once (you'll note how I said "at once" because we all know I can take hours on a page. I just do it over time).
Since GIS is one of my favorite hangouts, I've found that being part of the team does not require more of my time or effort. My hobby is just a bit more directed.
It is also a great learning opportunity. Yes! There is a theme in my life. Learning things! I do pay more attention to design. Not that my pages are so much better (and definitely I have much to still learn) as a result, though I'd like to think they are better than they have been. I like to talk design and GIS is a great place to do that.
If you make scrapbook pages and love to learn like I do, I hope you'll join us at Get It Scrapped/Masterful Scrapbook Design http://debbiehodge.com.
It's not so much about being perfect at the craft but learning to tell ones stories more effectively, to help one enjoy the process, and to help us to welcome others into our world by engaging them with our pages.
The women on the team have amazing talent and such sweet and delightful personalities. I'm loving being part of that family.


Hope to see you there.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Learning Digi Scrapbooking

Learning digi scrapbooking, I have decided, is an important goal for me. I have purchased a minimum of a dozen classes in the past to try to do that. I did make some attempts at pages as I started to learn the Photoshop interface. At first, I tried Photoshop Elements. Quickly, I discovered that interface to be clunky and awkward for me. Though, it seemed easy enough when I took one or two introductory classes and the interface had a pleasant non intimidating appearance. However, there was always an instruction in those first few classes I took where I was told this step was not possible in the program, with PSE a work around was needed. Now, I understand that PSE has greatly improved and I did try PSE10 when it first came out. About that time, I realized I needed to know a lot more about art and design more than I needed a new tool and began classes in art fundamentals. Then I went on to learn a bit about color theory, photography, and design.
This year, though, I committed to learn the Photoshop program and am happy to report that I had that "Aha!" moment where it all jelled for me.
All those classes I signed up for that have been sitting on my computer just waiting for me are now being opened. I no longer turn them off in frustration after getting lost on the computer. I'm working with Photoshop Creative Cloud, and still have much to learn; but, it is now a tool I am comfortable using. It's not that difficult once one learns the basics of the application.
Will I give up paper? I'm tempted because of all the space it would save. Still, I'm a tactile girl and love playing with paper and punches, ribbons and glue, pain, etc. So, probably I will not.
I never was much one for sketches in paper scrapping but I love, love, love templates in Digi scrapping. It's so fun to play with digi products both to make the template me and to see how much like paper I can make the pages. I really like how easy it is to create and modify product in digi vs paper scrapbooking. Not that I'm so great at making stuff; but, it sure is fun!
I've posted my latest layouts in a few spots hoping for constructive feedback. I've gotten some positive feedback, which is good. I like clustering and layering as much in digi as in paper, I think. It's so nice how one can have just the right "punch" or "rubber stamp" in digi because of brushes.
Charr Crail has been a real inspiration for me and has made me love brushes. I am not sure how well I can hone my photography skills, I doubt I have the talent she does in that area; but, I think I can make the most of the photos I do have and I think I can do a lot with brushes. I'm also exploring not just brushes but blending and shadowing, too.
Some of you are rolling your eyes as I go on and on, but I think you know that when I get passionate about learning something, well, I get passionate!
Here are a few of the layouts I've made recently. Donna Jannuzzi's Stretch Your Sketch class at Big Picture Classes has been very motivating.






I have been doing a number of paper and other digital pages; but, those are for something special. You can look for them here later this year.
Meantime, I hope you are all enjoying your families and finding time to be creative, too.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May means Spring is settled in

 Spring in California usually hints at its arrival in February. April and May see Spring in its glory. Cal's garden is getting underway and I think we'll get the young son, Joe, to plant one, too. With soaker hoses, even a drought should not be too adverse to growing our own fruits and veggies. Mulch is another word to which we have made a commitment. Not that I do much, but admire and make suggestions. I think the front yard looks pretty sad and may investigate some xeriscaping options since now is not a great time to put in a new lawn!
School is out. I have no idea, except for my intense curiosity, why I try to take classes. I'm glad they are over, though I really enjoyed them this time. Sometimes, by the end of the course, it just feels like the teacher, the class and the subject are done. Nice teachers, learned a lot. Art history was particularly interesting. So many contemporary artists that I need to learn about!
The warm weather is helping my joints and I'm learning to adjust to my new limitations. It's a balance between the desire to move and the realities of the consequences of moving too much. My body is far from spring though I think the mind is there.
Speaking of age, I've got to visit my elderly Mom. Always difficult to find the right time to travel. She's been feeling poorly and fell and broke some ribs just this past week. I hope she doesn't get pneumonia as I'm sure the injury impacts her breathing. I just adjusted my posture thinking about her and her health. If I'm still here in 20+ years I hope I'm in better shape than she is. Her health is of the reasons I'm working on my diet and exercise.

Spring means Mother's Day and I've had a lovely one that turned into more of a week than a day. I spent the actual day with my son and stepson Joe at Joe B's house. It was the grandson's birthday also so we had our party on!
Joe and Cathy gave me some lovely flowers and a journal.

I got to visit with my older son Chris and his family and Joe h again. Grandma Karen enjoyed that little grandson a lot.
I also got a darling Timmy bracelet with a Tardis and camera charm. So cute! I think I want that computer charm and am anxious to see what new charms they develop. http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/f24c/


This past weekend Miss Madison and her Mom, Angie, had birthdays and we took the train to visit. The Capitol Corridor train is usually clean and efficient and quite relaxing. Always love the coast, too. So, a mini vacation and more wonderful Grandma time.

I hate teasers; yet, I'm going to leave you with one. I've been having some fun and should be able to let you know what's up in a few days. I don't feel too bad about the teaser since I should be able to announce the news soon.
Enjoy your spring.



Sunday, May 4, 2014

What's going on with me, right now

I'm listening to CreativeLive about blogging because, quite frankly, it fell to the bottom of my priority list. Still a priority; (obviously, or I wouldn't be listening to the seminar, LOL!), though lower on my list than a few other things. My health is a challenge, though it's day-by-day. The warm weather helps the arthritis quite a bit, making pain less of a factor to deal with now that we are well into spring. Too bad winter was not very wet.
Yes, here we are well into a Sacramento spring with a hint that pool weather is on its way. I think moving in a warm pool is a good idea for exercise. In a related topic - I'm maintaining my weight loss. Still want to lose another 20 pounds. Not sure how well I'll do at managing that goal. Still,  I'm happy maintaining the current weight loss.
So, what are some current interests?
Anthropology. Yes, anthropology! I love how it brings together my interests in art and science. Genetics, fossils, artifacts all intrigue me though the idea of digging in the dirt does not. So glad others like to do that!
I'm feeling good about my basic photoshop skills. I've a long way to go to really be able to create the scrapbook pages and layout designs I aspire to make. Yet, I have a very comfortable feeling about doing things in the program and plan to look at some classes to see how others put together scrapbook pages and do some class practice. I think that getting in there and trying things will really help me with my own page design.
I'm still a big fan of Coursera.org and I do like CreativeLive, though it is hard to match my schedule and their programming. I'm so glad these are available at the best cost - meaning free, of course. It's such a thrill for me to learn new facts or even better to get a new perspective on information.
Feeling good about getting back to blogging. It's a lot more fun than writing papers for classes. Learning the info is good; actual term papers, a little less so.
Here's a recent scrapbook page I've worked on as I try to master my Photoshop skills.

Template from Get It Scrapped, template archives for members http://masterfulscrapbookdesign.com, made by Anna Aspnes and products from Dream Kit at Pixels and Co http://pixelsandcompany.com/blog/.