In every situation, you have two choices: You can act or you can do nothing. As we decide what to do, we often focus on the action part of our choice.
"Do I choose A or B?" we wonder. "Or, perhaps, C or D would be better."
We run through our options repeatedly, weighing each one. In the process, we often become confused, and so we do nothing.
"Should I do it?" we worry. "I'm scared to do something. It will be hard to do something. What if I make things worse? What if I change?"
Sometimes, we become so paralyzed by the fear of a potential mistaken act that we do nothing and by doing nothing, we act.
Yes, doing nothing is an action, and consequences will follow our choice.
So choose. Choose to move or choose to be still. Choose to leave or choose to stay. Choose to remove or choose to keep. But live with awareness that even burying your head in your pillow because you are afraid is still... a... choice.
Dr. Phillip McGraw wrote, "Remember that choosing not to act is, in itself, a choice. That means that in taking stock of your critical life choices, you must keep a lookout for moments when a choice was called for and you chose not to act. A talented entrepreneur might need to acknowledge that he allowed himself to spend years working as a faceless cog in a company that he hated, rather than step up and challenge himself to do something different. Deciding not to end a harmful relationship, or try for a scholarship, or ask for a raise, are the kinds of choices to bring out into the open. Not acting is a choice you need to own." (Self Matters by Phillip C. McGraw, Ph.D.)
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
The term bokeh comes from the Japanese word boke, which means blur or haze, or boke-aji - the blur quality. In photography, bokeh (pronounced bo-keh) is the blur or the aesthetic quality of the blur in out-of-focus areas of an image, or "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light" - or so says Wikipedia!
You could spend countless hours reading tons and tons of technical information on bokeh - or you could spend time playing with light and creating it yourself. Me? I'd much rather get my camera out and play.
The easiest way to describe bokeh is the out-of-focus light that creates a circular blur in the background or foreground of a photo. Examples of light that creates bokeh in a photograph are a reflection of the sun off the water, small bits of sun peeking through foliage, or the lights on your Christmas tree. How do you capture these magical circles of light? The key is to use minimal depth of field by using a wide aperture (small f-stop) on your DSLR camera.
The reason a wide aperture setting works is because, while letting in the most light, it provides the smallest focal area (depth of field). This means that everything in front of and behind your focal point will be blurred. If there is light in either of those points, it will create bokeh.
I captured the image below with a 75-300mm zoom lens, set at an aperture of f/4.5, zoomed in and focused just on the duck. This blurred the rocks in the foreground and the sun-kissed water in the background. Et voila, bokeh!
The spider web photo below was taken with the lens that came with my old camera (an 18-55mm lens) set at f/5.6, zoomed in and focused on just the spider. I wanted bokeh on the web but it hadn't rained, so I sprayed the web and greenery in the foreground with the hose! The background bokeh is a result of light peeking through the hedge.
Layout by Janine Buckles
For the image below, taken with a 24-70mm lens set at an aperture of f/2.8, I created a simple setup that you can easily duplicate. Take a table (I used our coffee table) and place it lengthwise in front of a door or wall on which you can hang a dark piece of fabric (I used a black sheet). Find a couple of knickknacks and pull a small strand of Christmas lights out of storage. Place the objects on the table, near the front, then gently pile the lights on the far end of the table, plug them in, and start to play!
Layout by Janine Buckles
Article by Janine Buckles
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
Adjusting Embellishments Drop Shadows with Photoshop Blending Modes
Note: Tutorial created using Photoshop CS5 with Windows 7
It's easy to add a realistic dimension and depth to pre-made shadows by using the Blending Modes in Photoshop. In this tutorial, I used the pre-made shadows and embellishments from the My Doll Collection.
Begin by creating your layout and placing your papers, photos, and desired elements as you desire.
Next, select the layer on the top in the Layers Palette. Then use File> Place to put the file AMC_MyDoll_Emb_Bow-Shadow.png above that layer, then click Enter or "OK."
Next, place the bow on top of that layer. Don't move it to your desired position yet.
Now, link those two layers so that when they are positioned on the layout, the shadow remains with the bow. To link those two layers together, click the link icon in the Layers Palette.
Move the bow and shadow layers to the desired position on the layout. At this point, it looks fine. However, I find that the shadows are a bit flat, so I opt for a bit more realism.
Try using the Blending Mode set to "Linear Burn" with Opacity of 80%. Notice that the shadow layer has more depth to it and has become more dimensional in comparison to the ribbon behind it with no Blending Mode.
Try using the Blending Mode set to "Multiply" with 100% Opacity for a more subtle dimension.
Below is the completed layout with all the embellishment shadow layers having a Blending Mode set to "Linear Burn" and Opacity set at 80%. It's a subtle difference, most noticeable in the transparency of the shadow from the flower on top of the last photograph. The "Linear Burn" Blending Mode allows for some color of the other layers to show through the shadow layer.
Have fun exploring the different effects that can be achieved by simply changing the Blending Modes!
Layout by Amanda McGee
Article written by Amanda McGee
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 Shalae Tippetts
Designer Freebie by Shalae Tippetts coordinates with her Eggciting Collection Mini
Today's freebie designed by Shalae Tippetts
* 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 Chat
Friday, April 22nd - 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!
New Member Chat
Tuesday, April 26th - 7:00PM MT
Join Pat (PBarnes) and Theresa (tiza126) for the New Member Chat at 7pm MT in the Live Chat room lobby. This is a great place to ask questions about getting around the Scrap Girls site or about digital scrapbooking in general - and a great place to make some new friends. All are welcome, new and long time members included. You do need to have Java installed on your computer to access the Live Chat.
East Coast High Noon Crop
Wednesday, April 27th - 10:00AM MT
Join April (April Showers) each Wednesday at 10am MT for the East Coast High Noon Crop. All coasts and time zones are welcome! These crops are designed to allow you to work on your own photos and themes simply giving participants a one hour goal and a fun, new challenge each week. On April 27th, we'll do a patterned paper challenge! Create a layout using at least two patterned papers. Create your layout and upload it to the special High Noon Crop Gallery. You'll be amazed what you can get done in just one hour, but there is no High Noon Sheriff timing you! Hope to see you in the chat room!
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!