September 30, 2010

New Releases From Scrapping With Liz!

Liz has two new awesome products for you this week! Both are 20% off until October 7th (wow - where has September gone???) The CT had tons of fun with these as you'll see under the product images!


These scatters are super versatile. I used them on an everyday layout that you'll see below, but they also really speak Chrsitmas layouts to me also :) (Yep I'm thinking about Christmas already!!)
And here's all the fab pages from the CT - some just using the templates, others using the scatters as well. Where layouts are already in the galleries, I've linked them so you can see what other goodies they used on their page.

By Sarah (aka zachandavasmom)
By Heather (aka HeatherKate)

By Helen (aka sbg3396)
By Tiff

By Carrie (aka Carrie1977)
By Sarah (aka zachandavasmom)
By Carrie (aka carrie1977)
By Me - Ellie (aka Ellie80)
By Sarah (aka zachandavasmom)
By Tara (aka tkelley)
Remember we always love to see what you create with Liz's fantastic digital scrapbooking designs, so please feel free to upload your layout to her gallery at Scrap Orchard!
Thanks for stopping by,
Ellie

September 28, 2010

Life with Liz - Hybrid Project

It's Tuesday again! So what are you going to learn about me today? Well, every once in awhile I like to do a little hybrid project. My friend had given me a wonderful idea of something she made for her kids to help through different times and struggles. She made index cards with a word or subject on the front and then a correlating Bible verse on the back that they could look up in their Bible's whenever they had issues with a certain struggle or subject. So me, being the digi-scrapper that I am, knew that I could do this with photoshop and make something a little "fancier/prettier" for my oldest daughter. Plus I always like an excuse to use all those gorgeous digi supplies I have. I started by making an 8 1/2 by 11 template with little flashcard type squares on them and then I added my paper, words and verses...plus a few little pretty embellishments. I printed it out on my printer and then glued the correlating words/verses together, cut them out and laminated them. My daughter is already excited to use them....I literally just finished them up a few minutes ago.

You can see the finish project here. I used the Love Bug kit by Tracie Stroud for my papers and embellishments.

And I thought some of you might want to do the same thing. So here is the basic template I made when I began my project. You can use it for Bible Verses, letters, numbers....really any type of flashcard you might want to make. Just click the pic to download.


I have a few flashcard templates in my store too if you want some more options.




September 23, 2010

New Releases From Scrapping With Liz!

Liz has three new awesome digital scrapbooking releases for you this week! There's also a free with purchase offer that you'll love! These are all 20% off until September 30th (can you believe we're nearly at the end of September already??!!! Where is the time going??). Just click on the images to be taken to the product in store :)




And here's your free with purchase offer...
Just in case you can't see the ad it says, that if you buy the Lots of Pics Temps, you'll get the add-on of two templates, FREE between September 24th & September 30th!

We are also lucky enough this week to have three new CT members join our team! We'd love to welcome Carrie (aka carrie1977), Tara (aka tkelley) and Sarah (aka zachandavasmom)! Welcome to the team ladies! And I love how you've been rocking these new products!!
By Carrie


By Sarah
And here's what our exisitng CT members have done this week...

By Helen
By Heather
By Caits
By Tiff
You can find all these awesome pages in the Scrapping With Liz gallery at Scrap Orchard. Why don't you upload your page so we can see your awesome pages too?!

Thanks for stopping by, we hope to see you back here soon :)


Ellie

September 21, 2010

Photo Editing - Getting Started!

Hi, Tiffany (Tiff) here. Liz recently asked me if I edit my photos or if I use photo actions on them. I do both, depending on my mood. Lately, I probably edit (either by hand or with an action) just about every single photo that I put in a layout. I consider myself pretty new to photo editing, but I think I can share with you two basic things you can do to improve your photos.

I probably started using photo actions about a year ago. I use the free photo actions available from The CoffeeShop Blog (most will work in PSE, and to show your appreciation you can donate to the author to help finance her site) and from Pioneer Woman (it looks like she might have Elements version of her actions now!). After using actions for a while I started to notice a pattern: using a Screen blending mode will brighten a photo, and using a Soft Light blending mode will boost the colors a bit - two things most of my photos need.

I will step you through an example. I'm working in Photoshop CS4, but the same steps should work in Elements, too. I'm starting with a photo that I took outside in the afternoon shade.



It looks really dark. Two years ago, I wouldn't have thought there was anything wrong with this photo, but today I would not consider it acceptable to put in a layout. Six months ago, I would have thought there was nothing I could do for this horrible dark photo, but that was before I learned about Screen.

The general process to edit a photo is to duplicate the photo on several layers and then apply different blending modes to the new layers. The blending mode is accessed in the Layers Palette. At the top, there is a box, which in the default is set to "Normal." Click on that, and it will pop up a list of about 25 different blending modes you can choose from.


First, I will duplicate the image, and apply a Screen blending mode to the top layer. Here is the result:


I'd say that is 100% better already. But, it is maybe a little washed out, so now I will go back to my photo layer and duplicate it again, this time applying a Soft Light mode to the newest layer (which is just above the original photo layer):


That last step isn't a huge difference for this particular photo, to my eye anyway, but I think it makes him look more real. If any of the effects are too dramatic, you can bring down the opacity of the layer to tame it a bit. On that last Soft Light layer, I would probably take it down to about 60%. On the other hand, if the effect isn't enough, you can make extra copies of the layers. You can also change the layer order. I found that with the Screen layer on top, the combined effect was a bit lighter than having the Screen layer on the bottom.

Here is another example of just using the Soft Light layer - to help you get a feel for what it does. This original photo looks real flat and pale, maybe because it was taken through a window screen. It is a picture of my mom's back yard, specifically where her septic tank is. (I won't go into the details of why I took this photo; let's just say we had a stressful couple of days last Christmas.) Here is the photo with two Soft Light layers:



Soft Light works great on black and white photos too. If I were to describe the effect, I would say it darkens the darks and lightens the lights to give a more dramatic look:



I think the edited B&W above looks a bit more polished, although I suspect that being a newbie at it, I often overdo the editing. It's all a learning process!

That's about all I know about photo editing, and I hope it gives you a nice starting place to begin editing your own photos.

Life with Liz - Adventures

It's Tuesday again and I'm here today to share with you something new my family and I have discovered.....but before I begin with that, I just want to say THANK YOU to all my facebook 'likers'. We got to over 1000 fans this past weekend! Thank you to all my supporters and faithful followers. It has been a great couple of years and I'm so thankful for all of you and to say a special thanks I have a special, exclusive freebie for you below. You won't see it anywhere else so grab it now before it's gone!

Now on to something new that my family has discovered....geocaching. I'll admit, when I first heard that word I had no idea what it meant, but I just kind of pretended like I knew what it was....I didn't want to feel stupid after all. So then it was mentioned over in the hoppin' Scrap Orchard forum...so since I was at my computer I decided to google it to see what all the hype was about. This is what I came away with or at least the way I would describe it (remember, I'm no expert, I've only been doing it for a couple of weeks). It's a "treasure" hunt and you use a gps (in this case my phone) to find different caches hidden all over the place and when I say all over, I mean all over. There are probably 50 near and around my little town. Most of these caches have a logbook where you can sign your name and date. Some of them are visual caches, some of them have a box where you can trade 1 item for another item. The caches are usually hidden so that not just the casual passerby can find them. So after I read up on it I KNEW this was something my family would love. We love adventures, we love just hopping in the van and seeing the countryside, we love hiking and we love stuff that is free. Free + Adventures is always good. So we picked a cache to go find a couple weekends ago...a simple one, close to the house (it was only about a mile away). We had so much fun, our girls LOVED finding the treasure and trading an eraser for a silly band. It was a hit. The next weekend we went camping with my WHOLE family...when I say whole I mean nieces, nephews, brother, sisters, Grandma, Grandpa, etc....So this was the perfect time to try some more geocaching. We searched for 5 caches and ended up finding 3. 2 of them were pretty simple finds but the one was a pretty difficult hike (with 6 small children, most things can be difficult ;-) and we had to send the guys up the last 100 feet to find the cache. I think it was the most exciting one. A big army box with a log book and lots of different things in it. Here is a scrapbook page I made about it. You can see me signing the log book with all the curious children around me and then you can see the cache in the bottom photo. So if you ever want something fun and free to do with your kids or family I suggest giving this a try. It's a lot of fun!

You can click on the page to see full credits.

Now onto what you all have been really waiting for. An exclusive freebie. I decided to take my page and turn it into a template for you. Hope you enjoy and thanks again for your support!

*download expired


September 16, 2010

New Releases!

Liz has two new releases for you this week! Both are 20% off until September 23rd! Just click on the images to vist the product in store.


And here's what some of the CT did with them. You can check out a layout from Liz herself in Tuesday's blog post

Pas Tractor - By Helen (aka sbg3396)

Just You & Me - By Tiff
Now don't forget we love to see your pages in Liz's Scrap Orchard gallery so go ahead and post your pages there :)
Until next week, have a fab weekend,
Ellie

September 14, 2010

Life with Liz - Interruptions

It's Tuesday again and time for a little personal blog post from yours truly. Today's post is just sort of a follow up from last weeks post. If you didn't get to read it I posted a little story of my daily life and the interruptions that make it what it is. After I typed out the whole thing I realized it would make a really good scrapbook page. So I'm here to show you the page I made (it's also a little sneak peak as to what you'll see in my store on Thursday!). Anyway, I had a lot of fun making this page and it really did help me reflect on these "interruptions" and help me to see that they aren't really interruptions at all. You can read the journaling below. If you've made any pages about your "interruptions" please link me up so I can check them out.

Using a BRAND NEW template set from me that'll be in my store on Thursday.
Also used a wonderful collab from Ziska, Tracie & Ziggle called Color My World.

Here's the journaling:
I have a schedule that I try to keep to but occasionally there are interruptions to my daily schedule. It is in these interrupted moments that I find myself trusting in God more.....maybe they aren't interruptions but part of God's daily plan for my life. Proverbs 16:9
This particular day Kyla was sick and we did school in the bathroom.



September 9, 2010

New Releases From Liz!

Liz has some fantastic new digital scrapbooking releases for you this week! If you struggle with text paths then you'll love them! Even if you don't struggle with text paths, you'll save so much time using these than trying to do your own :) These new products are 20% off until September 16th and of course Liz has a fantastic offer for you, scroll down to under the product previews to see what it is!




And here is what the fabulous CT did with them...
Using the Wavy Strips & Paths:
By Helen

By Caits

Using the Journaling Strips & Paths:
By Tiff
By Ellie
By Heather

And don't forget we love you see your pages added to Scrapping With Liz's gallery at Scrap Orchard!
I hope you have a great day!
Ellie :)

September 7, 2010

Life with Liz - My Daily Schedule

I've seriously been trying to do this blog post (My Daily Schedule) for 2 weeks now! But my daily schedule keeps getting interrupted by things that aren't on my "schedule!" For the past 2 Tuesdays (which is the day I do a more personal blog, or at least try to) I've been trying to take my camera around the house with me and take pics of "my daily life" and then I was going to do this nice little blog post with pics of what my daily life is like. Well....since my "schedule" keeps getting interrupted by all these "non-scheduled" things I thought I would go ahead and tell you what my normal day is like.

First off I wake up at 7 and do Bible Study/Pray & Workout and then have breakfast with my  girls around 8:30. (This was a pic from the first Tues. that I tried to do this blog post.)
After bkfst. everyone has to make their beds, get dressed, brush their teeth and hair and then do a few chores. Usually laundry, dust, vacuum, etc. It depends on the day and today was laundry day so everyone gathers, sorts, and fold. (This picture also taken from the first day I tried to do this.)
Then after all that is done then they have free time until 9:30....if there is anytime left after all the morning stuff.

At 9:30 they start school while I hop in the shower (still stinky from my workout). They just do their seatwork until I'm done and then I help them with their other work until 12. My 3 year old is usually playing in her room or playing some computer games during this time. She's gotten quite good at entertaining herself.

Then my older daughter will usually get lunch started (usually it's something simple like leftovers or sandwiches) while I focus with my 5 year old on some phonics stuff. 
Then from 12-1 we eat lunch and have a little break. This is usually my facebook and e-mail time. I call it my "computer" break. Oh and I'm usually cramming another load of laundry in or cleaning something up.
Then it's off for more school work from 1-3. This is when we do the "fun" stuff....like history, geography, science, experiments, art...at least my kids think it's the fun stuff. All the boring stuff is done in the morning, like math, reading, writing, etc....
Here's a pic of what our schooling looks like sometimes.  We are usually on the floor, sometimes on the couch, and very rarely at the "school table." I know, I know.......but they are learning!

Then at 3 it's snack time and break time for them while I teach piano lessons. Yes, I also teach piano. :-)

Then it's time to prepare dinner around 5. The girls will usually help out with this. I like to get them in the kitchen helping as much as possible.

After dinner, during the weekdays, we usually have stuff going on, gymnastics, bible study, etc....

When we are done with those activities then it's bathtime and then Bible Stories and read aloud time with each of my girls.

Then finally, when everyone is sound asleep..........I get to scrap, design, blog, hop on the forums, etc....I will check my e-mail and facebook throughout the day but I don't do anything else until the kids are in bed. I get way too distracted and tend to ignore them. Occasionally I'll get a babysitter for an afternoon to get "caught up" or my husband will keep them busy on the weekends for me. Friday's are our library, errand and catch up day. Anything we didn't get done during the week has to get done on Friday....chores, school, etc....

Oh and you are probably wondering about my poor hubby, where does he fit into all of this. Thankfully, he works at home and we can have bkfst, lunch and dinner together most days and then at night while I'm doing my "scrapping" we sit together on our laptops....I create templates and he creates music and websites. Occasionally we'll take the night off and watch a movie or go on a date....but most of the time we just like to be sitting next to each other on our laptops....is that sad?
Oh and if you want to know what interrupted our schedule today, here's a pic for you. (The only one from today.) My youngest daughter woke up sick. So we all sat on the bathroom floor, Kyla throwing up, Emmie reading to me (she looks thrilled doesn't she) and Ashlyn making a pictograph. I had a can of lysol beside me and we all washed our hands a lot! Oh and don't I look lovely, I had just taken a shower after the first "sick" incident that didn't quite make it to the toilet. One day I know I will look back and laugh at the whole thing and that's why I had my daughter snap a pic for me. Actually I am laughing right now, especially since my 3 year old is sound asleep feeling much better.

So there you have it! My not so daily schedule. I know it's not really scrap related but now that I think about it I could totally make a scrapbook page about this and I think I will! Why don't you make one of the interruptions of your daily life that really make our lives what they are? If you make one I would love to see it!In fact, I challenge you to do this. I'm going to make a page too and I'll show it to you next week. Leave a link here to your page....and maybe you'll just win something!


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