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Scrapbooking Software Review
The entire Scrap Girls team wants to say how grateful we are that you have chosen to participate with us. You'll never know just how much your support means to us and our families.
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IMPORTANT TO KNOW
Don't forget to check out the Retirement Sale section of the Boutique. Items in this section are always on sale for 30% off. The items you will find during any particular month will be discontinued permanently on the 5th of the following month. So if you see something you like, grab it while you can!
OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU
Customer Muses: Would you like to share your own Life Muse with our readers? To have your own essay considered for publication as a muse in the column for our special Saturday newsletter, send your essay to [email protected]. If your essay is selected, you will receive a $20 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique.
Way Cool Scrap Girl: We are so excited to have all of you meet some of the amazing people that have become Scrap Girls! If you would like to be spotlighted and win a $25 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique, send the following items to [email protected]:
Project SG Challenge: Stay motivated to scrap your current photos! Post your 2011 layouts in the Project SG Challenge Gallery to earn one point per layout each month. You can earn up to four points per month this way! Earn a bonus point each month by attending the monthly Project SG Chat! Each point gives you an entry into a quarterly drawing for a special prize! And at the end of the year, each month that you participated in will earn you an entry into the Grand Prize drawing for a 12 X 12, 52 page Keepsakes photobook from Color, Inc! Our second quarterly drawing winner will be announced in the Saturday, July 9th Newsletter.
Suggest a Challenge, Win a Prize! Have a great idea for a Gallery layout challenge? Submit it to [email protected]. If your challenge idea is chosen, you will win a prize! Friday will be Customer Challenge Day, so keep an eye out on the Message Board calendar. It will be fun to see what YOU come up with for us to do!
Scrap Girls is giving away birthday gifts to our Message Board members!
Of course, it is a surprise what you will get because birthday presents are always surprises! But you will like it for sure because most people like money.... Anyway, make sure your Message Board email address is current and that you have the correct date entered into your profile to participate.
Easy Ways to Do Hard Work
As a child, when I figured out shortcuts, my mother told me, "It takes a very lazy or very smart person to figure out an easy way to do hard work." She didn't mean to imply I was that smart; sometimes she thought I was being lazy!
I like to think of creative ways to overcome obstacles and limitations, as well as saving time and money. I have discovered that tools, skills, and facts, even old technologies or old ideas, continue to help me. Here's a tale of how the things I'd learned and my bent for saving effort converged nicely.
I'm old enough to remember "erasing shields," those thin, flat or curved metal plates with die-cut holes of various shapes. When you mistyped a character on a typewriter or made a mistake at a drafting board, you placed a shield over the error and erased inside the appropriate hole. The erasing shield protected the surrounding text or drawing from scuffing and smearing.
I wondered if the first digital software masks were conceived by thinking of this concept. Using this idea, I came up with a way to define "spaces" on my layout and make it easier for me to view my work-related icons in Photoshop.
I am the CEO and designer for a software company. Part of my work involves measuring and centering icons for our products precisely. When you're designing images at 256x256 pixels that are used in sizes from 48x48 pixels down to about 16x16 pixels, misalignment by even one pixel is not acceptable.
The screenshots below show the "shields" I created to help me see my icons. The great thing is that this concept will also help me (and you!) to create a "shield" on our layouts to remind us of what will be cut off during the printing process. Let me show you how I arrived at this helpful little trick.
To work on my icons, I created a Shield Layer - semi-transparent black "holes" were cut into it for the exact sizes of icons I required. I added lines after cutting the holes so that I could identify vertical and horizontal centers. The left screenshot shows how the icon shield template looks, while the right screenshot shows one of my icons in progress using the template.
Now, let's make this work for you and your layouts. To make a shield for your 12x12-inch layout, you need about a half-inch margin around your entire layout that contains nothing critical – no journaling, headline, etc. Photos or embellishments can bleed off the edge, but you don't want to lose essential text or image content.
In a new 12x12 document with transparent background, create a 12x12-inch black layer. Reduce its Opacity to somewhere around 85%. On a new layer, draw a square or rectangle in white or some other light color. The color doesn't matter as it's just temporary. The left screenshot shows the semi-transparent black layer; the right screenshot is the "casually drawn" white square.
Next, use your Selection Tool (V). Open Window> Info, then adjust the "Width" and "Height" parameters by dragging the corner or side handles of the light rectangle to 3300x3300 pixels (zooming-in will help; you can see my adjustments here aren't quite perfect).
In the Layers Palette, select both the black and white layers. Choose Align> Vertical Centers. Repeat, selecting Align> Horizontal Centers. Now the white square is perfectly centered on the semi-transparent black layer. Press the Ctrl key and click the thumbnail for the white layer in the Layers Palette. It should have "marching ants" around it, as shown in the screenshot below.
Now, select the black layer and press Delete. Delete the white square layer, and press Ctrl+D to deselect the center region. Next, save the black 150-pixel border "frame" as a PNG file. Name it something you'll remember, for example, My12x12ShieldLayer.png.
The next time you create a layout, add the My12x12ShieldLayer.png file directly above your paper layers. It won't prevent you from having elements extend into the perimeter, but it will remind you to be careful of that region when placing important content on your layout. When you're done, simply delete the shield layer or turn off its visibility.
You can create shields for any size and layout format needed by following the steps above and adjusting for the size of your layout. Plus, you can protect a narrower zone if your printer cuts off less than a half-inch margin. When scrapping on darker backgrounds, reduce the Opacity much further for contrast, or change it to a semi-opaque white. In the left screenshot below, the shield has the Opacity reduced to 25%. The edges of the swirls may be lost in printing, but at least I know that in advance, thanks to my shield!
The layout below shows my finished layout without the shield. This method might be a "lazy way to do a hard job," but I think it's a way to save time and money - and that's always smart!
I like helping others, and I am grateful for the environment here at Scrap Girls which encourages, welcomes, and even rewards creativity and generosity of members to members. Thank you to the Scrap Girls community for being a place I can improve my skills and also give back.
Layout by Barbara
Commercial license versions of Inspired Collection Biggie are also available.
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!
Digital Scrapbooking Software Review: GIMP
Would it surprise you to know that there's a free software program available that has several of the same capabilities that Photoshop and Photoshop Elements offers? A program that with a little time and patience can help you create some great digital scrapbooking layouts and can also help you enhance your photos?
Say hello to GIMP. I had heard of GIMP software years ago and even went as far as downloading it, but I never got the chance to play with it. Today I downloaded the Mac version and began to play.
GIMP is an acronym for "GNU Image Manipulation Program." It works on both PC and Mac computers, and it was easy to download and install. I was up and running in less than five minutes. I was surprised by all the features it has to offer. Here's a sampling:
You can even use Photoshop brushes.
According to the GIMP website, there are over 100 plug-ins available to add even more features and capabilities.
This is what the program looks like when you launch it:
Notice some of the tools in the Tool Box look similar to those available in Photoshop (PS) and Photoshop Elements (PSE):
Here's my first attempt at playing in GIMP:
Now before you start giving your Photoshop or Photoshop Elements the evil eye, I must tell you that GIMP is definitely different from PS or PSE. There are a lot of features that Photoshop has that GIMP does not, and it did seem harder to use, but in all fairness I have been using PS for six years.
With any unfamiliar program, there's bound to be a learning curve, but with a little practice, you are sure to be on your way! Make sure to check out the GIMP website for information and tutorials to get you started. If you do a Google search, you will be amazed at all the information and tutorials that pop up!
Technology Saturday is a weekly column focusing on all sorts of gear, gadgets, and software from the digital scrapbooking world. Stay tuned each week as a Scrap Girls' team member brings you software reviews, organizing tips, printing and scanning techniques, and much more!
Join the ScrapSimple Monthly Club and you can enjoy the newest ScrapSimple looks while saving! (A $13.95 value for $6.99 or less!)
The new ScrapSimple Club contents are released on the 15th day of the month (or the closest business day to the 15th).
With the ScrapSimple Club, you will receive:
A commercially licensed version of the ScrapSimple Club is also available here.
But that's not all! ScrapSimple Club members now receive these exclusive, club-only items!
and two Club Exclusive tutorials!
Layout by Kim Meeder using May's ScrapSimple Club
Layout by Ro using May's ScrapSimple Club
Layout by Kim Meeder using May's ScrapSimple Club
Weekly Layout Winners
Commercial license versions of ScrapSimple Type Shapes: Circles 8301 Biggie are also available.
Commercial license versions of ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Photo Clusters 3 are also available.
Want to see your layouts make an appearance in the Scrap Girls newsletter?
Simply post your digital or paper layouts that use Scrap Girls products in our online Gallery, and if we choose your layout to be featured in the Saturday Newsletter, you'll win a prize! To be considered, don't forget to list the Scrap Girls products that you used in your layout.
Congratulations to this week's selectees. Please email [email protected] to receive your gift!
Want to see past winners of the Weekly Layout Contest? Visit the Weekly Layout Winners Gallery on our Message Board!
May's Monthly Layout Contest Winners
Commercial license versions of Lettering Delights Painter's Hand Font are also available.
Commercial license versions of ScrapSimple Tools - Actions: Edge It 5001, Dynamic Brush Set: Inky 5001, ScrapSimple Tools - Styles: Noteworthy 6301 and ScrapSimple Tools - Styles: Basic Shadows 6501 are also available.
Congratulations to the winners of the May layout contest, Kim (podiumchick) and Jo (jhbren). The winning layouts each fit the theme of scrapping what is blooming in their area. Kim and Jo each receive a $10 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique for their efforts. Congratulations!
Congratulations to May's winners. Please email [email protected] to receive your gift!
Want to see past winners of the Monthly Layout Contest? Visit the Monthly Layout Winners Gallery on our Message Board!
May's ScrapSimple Club Layout Contest Winner
These first five products are included in this month's ScrapSimple Club offering. Members receive a substantial discount on these club supplies. They are also available elsewhere in the Boutique at regular prices for those individuals who would rather not join a club.
Commercial license versions of Brush Set: Our Life, ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Picture Book, ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Stamps and Stuff, ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Stamps and Stuff, ScrapSimple Alpha Templates: Tabbed Cards and ScrapSimple Tools - Styles: Photo Fix 2202 are also available.
Congratulations, Dot (PolkaDot)!! We loved your layout so much we had to share it with everybody! Dot receives a $5 Gift Certificate for her layout using May's ScrapSimple Club! Congratulations!
Congratulations to this Club's winner. Please email [email protected] to receive your gift!
Want to see past winners of the ScrapSimple Club Concepts Contest? Visit the ScrapSimple Club Concepts Winners Gallery on our Message Board!
Member of the Month: June 2011
Congratulations Michele (Reminiscing)! The Scrap Girls Team has chosen Michele as the Member of the Month for June!
Michele has been a faithful member of Scrap Girls since February 2007. She is very active in challenges and swaps. Michele is fun to chat with in the chat room and is very helpful in the Photography Forum. Michele is a huge asset to Scrap Girls, and Scrap Girls just wouldn't be the same without her!
Michele will receive a $10 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique and has the honor of wearing the Member of the Month blinkie!
When you have a few minutes, Michele, please tell us a little about yourself and share a link to your favorite layout! Thank you for making Scrap Girls a wonderful, friendly place! Congratulations!!
May's Message Board Game Winner
Congratulations to Joyce (princessrunningfingers) for winning May's Message Board Game - Spotlight on the Boutique. Joyce wins a $10 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
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!
Commercial license versions of Old Friends Collection Biggie are also available.
Today's freebie designed by Angie Briggs
* 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.
Monday, June 6th - 7:00PM MT
What is NSBR? It's a non-scrapbooking related chat! We talk about everything, including some scrapbooking and usually chocolate. It's a great chance to meet new friends, catch up on what everyone is up to, and just relax. If you have a problem, we'll lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on. Have some great news to share? We'd love to celebrate with you. So join us, Carla (CRS) and Lei (Bride) at 7pm MT!
Life Moments Crop & Chat
Tuesday, June 7th - 2:00PM MT
Join Pat (PBarnes) for another Life Moments Crop! This crop focuses on you, the scrapper, creating a scrapbook one layout at a time. The theme for this chat will be posted on the Message Board on the day of the chat. Hope to see you there at 2pm MT!
Creative Cards Chat
Tuesday, June 7th - 6:00PM MT
Do you use your digital supplies to make cards? Do you want to? Instead of going to the store every time you need a card, you can save money and have fun making cards with your digi stash! Make a note of any cards you might need for the upcoming month and join April (April Showers) and Theresa (tiza126) for the once-a-month Card Chat on the first Tuesday of each month at 6pm MT. Can't wait to see you there!
Project SG Chat
Tuesday, June 7th - 7:00PM MT
Join April (April Showers) and Shannon (tinkerbell11) to hear all the details about Project SG! You can win prizes for taking part in this Challenge. It is never too late to start. We'll see you in the chatroom at 7pm MT on Tuesday, June 7th!
East Coast High Noon Crop
Wednesday, June 8th - 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 June 8th, we'll do a font challenge! Create a layout on any theme, any topic, and any colors - using multiple fonts - at least 3 different fonts! Mix it up! 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!
June Message Board Game: Re-JUNE-venate!
We helped you jumpstart your January and now it's time to re-JUNE-venate your focus on scrapbooking! Join us on the Forum this month for "Re-JUNE-venate!" This is a Meassage Board game and challenge that focuses on taking time to scrapbook regularly despite the little speedbumps of life. When the month is over, you'll have several completed layouts and will have been challenged and treated to some fun along the way... with prize opportunities thrown in as well!
A member of the Welcoming Committee will post a mini-challenge or task each day Monday through Saturday from June 1st - 30th. The tasks will be formatted in LARGE PURPLE FONT for ease of locating them in the game thread as it grows. Some tasks will require Message Board participation, email responses or gallery posting. Read each daily task carefully to see what is required of you.
Those who complete all tasks and submit or post required participation will be entered in a drawing to win one of three $10 Gift Certificates to the Scrap Girls Boutique! Those who complete just the layouts will be entered in a drawing to win one of two $5 Gift Certificates. Those who complete just the speedbumps will be entered in a drawing for one of two $3 Gift Certificates. (Those who complete all tasks will have their name entered in all three drawings!)
Join us in June for some serious scrapbooking re-JUNE-venation!
For complete details, visit the Monthly Message Board Games folder on the Scrap Girls Forum.
June Monthly Layout Contest: Father's Day is celebrated in June in the United States, but a day set aside to honor our male parent is celebrated in many countries on different dates throughout the year. For June's layout contest, we want you to do a layout honoring your father, whether he is living or not. Post your layouts in the June Monthly Layout Gallery before Midnight MT on June 30th. Be sure to list your credits in the description or under the EXIF Properties. If your layout is one of the two chosen winners, you will receive 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!
Copyright Scrap Girls, LLC 2004-2011
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P.S. If you ever need any assistance, please email [email protected] or call 866-598-3444 and we'll help you as quickly as possible!