The dancer spun around the room, her soft pink tutu wafting about her like a billowy cloud. She saw her partner reach out his arms towards her. She ran toward him and jumped, throwing her arms out wide. He spun her around, and she noticed the Baroque gold decorations on the wall begin to blur.
Suddenly, the dancer heard a gruff voice yell, "Come to dinner!"
The dancer closed her ears and continued to float in her partner's arms.
"Come to dinner – now!" the voice insisted.
The dancer closed her eyes and willed herself not to hear the voice.
"Did you hear me?" the voice said, now right next to her ear. "I told you to come to dinner. The food's getting cold."
The dancer let out a long, annoyed sigh as her partner placed her on the floor. Couldn't the owner of the voice see how much she was enjoying herself? Didn't the owner of the voice understand how important her dancing was to her? Didn't the owner of the voice see that the dancer would rather spin around a room in her soft pink tutu than eat?
The dancer, depressed and discouraged by the state of affairs, followed the gruff voice to the dinner table. As she sat down, she said, "What are we having for dinner?"
Even though the long table was surrounded by diners, no one answered her question.
Trying again, she said, "Could someone pass me the potatoes?"
Again, no one replied. "Why am I here?" she thought. "I could be dancing."
Suddenly, the dancer noticed a bright light shining in her eyes. The light grew brighter and brighter, and she held her arms over her face in an effort to block it. When that didn't work, she gathered her tutu and tried to pull it over her head. Unfortunately, the tutu ripped and she found herself choking on it. But then she realized that she wasn't choking on her tutu at all. She was smothering herself with a white flannel pillow case.
And then... she sat up... ummm... I sat up and said to nobody at all, "I wish I was a dancer wearing a pink tutu."
Years ago, I heard a woman on a television show teach that when you have a memorable dream, it is useful to try to figure out what it means by assuming that you play all of the parts. So in this dream, I was the dancer, the partner, the gruff voice, and the diners who were ignoring me.
Once I looked at it this way, I realized that my dream did have meaning.
I feel free when I am creating, working, and learning. I get in the "zone" and begin to enjoy myself so that I lose track of time. Having to take care of basic things – like eating – becomes annoying. I feel supported and happy when I am creating.
When my internal critic starts yelling at me, suggesting that I am wasting my time, I begin to feel anxious. I feel judged and dismissed even though there are parts of me that believe I am adding beauty and value to the world when I do what I do best.
If I stop doing what I enjoy the most because it is hard to resist my inner critic, her voice just gets louder. She says that she was right all the time and laughs at me for resisting her wisdom. The more I listen to my inner critic, the harder it becomes to resist her. Eventually, I want to escape by hiding out.
I have a feeling that I am not alone in my struggle to overcome my inner critic. I suspect that many of you also find yourself engaging far too often in a war to silence your inner critic, and often, the effort feels like the greatest challenge of your life.
One solution? Stand up to it to your inner critic. Stare it in the face – literally. Go to a mirror, look into your eyes, and say things like, "It's time for you to knock it off. It's time for you to go away and quit bugging me. I'm not going to listen to you anymore so you might as well give up."
And then get out your iPod and dance around the room - with your arms spread wide!
Muse: To be absorbed in one's thoughts; engage in meditation. Not intended to solve the world's problems, another person's problems, or to cover topics completely. One does not have to agree with musings to enjoy them, just as one does not have to be the same as someone else to appreciate who they are.
Would you like to earn a $20 Gift Certificate? Send your own muse to [email protected]. If it is selected for publication in the Scrap Girls newsletter, you'll get to have fun shopping!
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Blog-only muses and humor pieces, inside scoop of Ro's life, photo journals, and more
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Food recipes, homemaking tips, gardening, quilting, and other neat stuff her mom and grandma taught her
Rule of Thirds
Have you ever heard of the design principle called the Rule of Thirds? It's a principle which states that most designs can be made more interesting by visually dividing the page into thirds - vertically and horizontally - and placing your most important elements within the points where those dividing lines intersect. Of course, this principle can be used on your digital scrapbooking layouts, but did you know that using the principle of the Rule of Thirds can help you take better photos of your friends and family? It's true! Let me show you how.
In the example below, you'll see the first image is a typical, centered photograph with the subject in the middle of the image.
If we apply the Rule of Thirds principle, you'll see that there is nothing of interest in photo that falls on any of the dynamic points.
Now, in order to fix something like this, I could have moved my camera just slightly so that the subject's eyes were in one of the focal points and then taken the photo. Some cameras even come equipped with these Rule of Thirds gridlines that show up when you look through the viewfinder at your subject. If you're not sure whether your camera has this technique, check your manual.
However, on this day, I had to snap this photo fast and didn't have time to move my camera to frame it better. So instead, I used the Crop Tool in my photo editing software to "fix" the photo. Let me show you how!
First, I selected the Crop Tool (or you can use the keyboard shortcut C).
Then, I clicked and dragged the mouse from the bottom right corner to the top left corner. While holding down the Shift key so that the proportions of the crop stay the same, I clicked and dragged the top right corner down towards the middle of the photo. That allowed me to move the subject's eyes into one of the four focal points that I've previously mentioned. Then I pushed the Enter key, and the photo was cropped to a more dynamic look.
You can see that this photo is more engaging and has a more pleasing overall look. And you'll notice that I only used one point of interest on the Rule of Thirds, but you could use more than one if your photo has more than one point of interest.
And there you have it! Now I've got one of my favorite types of photos - a photo of my child – and it's ready to scrap!
Layout by Laurel Lakey
Article by Laurel Lakey
Join the Scrap Girls Monthly Club and you can have fun with the newest traditional digital and printable scrapbooking looks while saving! (A $40.87 value for $9.99 or less!)
The Scrap Girls Club contents are released on the 1st day of the month (or the closest business day to the 1st).
With the Scrap Girls Club, you will receive:
- 1 Collection Biggie
- 1 Paper Super Mini
- 1 Word Art Mini
- 1 Embellishment Mini
- 1 Assemble Your Own Zoom Page Set
- 1 Designer's Choice Item
April's Scrap Girls Club designed for you by Angie Briggs
But that's not all! Club members now receive these three exclusive, club-only items!
Club Exclusive! JIFFY Easy Page Album
Club Exclusive! Designer's Gift
and a Club Exclusive! Color Palette
Fastest Way to Make a Digital Collage
Note: Tutorial created using Photoshop CS3 with Windows XP
Ever wondered how to use those big sheets of PNG files that come in Scrap Girls alphabets, word art, and embellishment files? You know the ones, right?
They look like this.
Because they are full sheets, they are easy to flatten and print when you make craft projects, paper layouts, gift albums, etc. You can also use them to create quick and easy digital scrapbooking layouts. Drag-and-drop them into your layout to get an instant collage.
Searching through Bella Marie Collection Biggie, I found SBA_BellaMarie_WA_Sheet2.png and SBA_BellaMarie_Alpha_Sheet.png.
Drag-and-drop the PNG files into your digital scrapbooking layout, and arrange them part of the way off the page. SBA_BellaMarie_WA_Sheet2 even comes with a handy photo strip frame and stitched journal lines. You can duplicate the PNG sheet and use it twice on one layout. When you turn SBA_BellaMarie_Alpha_Sheet on its side, it gives the layout a bit of an industrial edge. Add your photos, write your journaling, and you will have a layout done in 10 minutes.
Layout by Sarah Batdorf
Layout by Sarah Batdorf
Article by Sarah Batdorf
Learn to make digital scrapbooking layouts and more! – Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed
Find out how easy it can be to learn how to create digital scrapbook layouts, edit photos, use and make brushes, recolor papers and embellishments, make your own simple backgrounds and embellishments, save and share your layouts and much more!
Ready to learn advanced techniques? – MORE Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed
Learn to use paper templates, embellishment templates, custom shapes, styles, and brushes to make your own supplies. Learn advanced clipping mask and lighting blend techniques. Learn to make and use patterns. Learn to make brushes from your own doodles. Learn to extract images from photos. Learn work flow techniques that will speed up the layout creation process and advanced photo editing skills and much, much more!
Layout by Ang Campbell
Designer Freebie by Ang Campbell coordinates with her Girly Girl Collection Biggie
Today's freebie designed by Ang Campbell
* There is a "free download" button on the details page for each gift. You don't need to put them in your shopping cart unless you are shopping for other items. Also note that if you are slow reading your newsletter, you may find this freebie has already been retired, as the freebies are only available as gifts for about two newsletter cycles.
What's New in the Scrap Girls Boutique Chat
Friday, April 8th - 9:00AM MT
Join April (April Showers) at 9am MT on Friday morning to chat about all the wonderful new products in the Scrap Girls Boutique! What are your favorite new items? Is your shopping basket full? What did you kaboodle? Have you already done layouts or other projects with your new goodies? Come tell the designers how much you love their work. You never know who will show up. There's a thread every Thursday and now there's a chat too!
Recipe Swap Chat
Saturday, April 9th - 7:00PM MT
Join April (April Showers) and Lei (Bride) at 7pm MT in the chat room for our Monthly Recipe Swap Chat. Please check the message board the Thursday before the chat for this month's theme and the swap details!
Monday, April 11th - 6:00PM MT
Join Carla (CRS) and Lei (Bride) for a Journaling Chat at 6pm MT on the second Monday of each month. Struggle to find the right words for your layouts? Are your layouts more decorative than descriptive of the moments you're trying to capture? Then you won't want to miss this chat - we'll have a special challenge to encourage you to journal on your pages more! See you there!
Quote Challenge and Chat
Monday, April 11th - 7:00PM MT
Come join Pat (PBarnes) for the Quote Challenge Crop at 7pm MT. Including a quote on your layout can be a touching and meaningful addition, especially if you use the quote to create your own word art. Here's how it will work: Early on Monday, I'll post a thread on the Chat section of the board giving you the quote that you will use to make your own word art. It's not hard, and I will have a layout with a Word Art example in the gallery. Then we'll meet in the chat room to have fun, chat, and create our Word Art layout! Everyone can participate and create a layout, even if you can't make the chat. Hope to see you there!
Sketch Challenge and Crop
Tuesday, April 12th - 6:00PM MT
It's time for the Sketch Challenge and Crop! Join Cheri (Cheri T) on Tuesday, April 12th at 6pm MT in the Scrap Girls Chat Room! Enjoy getting a little creative boost for your pages? Are you needing help getting started? Then this is the challenge for you! A few hours before the chat begins, I'll post a link for you to download the sketch. Use it as the starting point for your page; be inspired by the basic arrangement; flip things around or scraplift the whole thing hook, line, and sinker. All interpretations of the design are welcome and encouraged. Don't worry about any deadlines... post your layout when it works with your schedule.
April Message Board Game: BINGO!
Join us for an exciting game of Springtime BINGO on the Message Board Forum in April! Pick 25 words from the list provided and send them in an email to [email protected] with a subject line that says "BINGO CARD - your Scrap Girls Message Board username" by Saturday, April 2nd at Midnight MST in order to play in the first round. The first round will begin on Monday, April 4th. If you miss the first round deadline, you can still play! Just send in your BINGO card at any time during the month, and you'll be eligible to begin playing when the next new round starts.
Each day, a member of the Welcoming Committee will call five random words from the BINGO list. Match just 15 of those words to win a BINGO. You must be first to call "BINGO!" in the game thread to win that round. After a winner is called, the boards will be cleared and a new round will begin the following day.
Each winner will receive a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique! We like to see lots of winners, so please remember that each person can only win one round during the month. Have fun!
For complete details, visit the Monthly Message Board Games folder on the Scrap Girls Message Board.
April Monthly Layout Contest: Earth Day was started in the United States in 1970 and it went global in 1990. For April's Monthly Layout Contest, we want you to show us what Earth Day means to you or what you are doing to make our precious world a little greener. Post your layouts in the April Monthly Layout Gallery before Midnight MT on April 30th. Be sure to list your credits in the description or under the EXIF Properties. If your layout is one of the two chosen, you will win a $10 gift certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
Club Concepts Layout Contest: Post your new layout using the current club selection (either the Scrap Girls Club or the ScrapSimple Club) in our Scrap Girls Club Members Gallery or the ScrapSimple Club Members' Gallery. Be sure to list all of the Scrap Girls products you used. If your layout is chosen, it will be showcased as a Club Concepts layout winner, and you will win a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
Check our message board calendar if you have any questions about what is happening at Scrap Girls. All event times are given in Mountain Time Zone unless otherwise noted. Need help converting time zones? Check out the World Clock - Time Zone Converter. (Use 'USA-Utah-Salt Lake City' as the location for the Mountain time zone.)
Haven't received your prize as a contest winner? Please send an email to [email protected] and we'll get it out to you right away!