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What To Do
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.
Where Do I Go from Here?
What do I want to do, I muse?
Marriage is a whirl of things that need to be done, so many deadlines you can count them. You get the kids registered for school, scouts, music, Sunday school, and daycare. If they miss anything, you need to call and explain, send in checks on time, and help with homework.
That isn't the half of it, there is the driving. Drive to church, to the soccer field, to camp, to daycare, or share rides with other parents. Eliminate other parents who aren't responsible or sober. Kids have to be dressed right for the right occasion or change in the weather, or the nursery teacher will ask, "Did she dress herself today?"
All the above is complicated by the plans and needs of the Army. They tell us when and where to move. They let us know if they have a house or apartment and when it will be available. So you pack up four kids and a dog and head west.
Getting married as a teenager has its pros and cons. We didn't have time to get used to an uncluttered house and a simple schedule. We grew and changed our ways together. After the kids came, we started college together. I know, it was a backwards way of doing things. Our schedule had to be coordinated with who was going to be home for the kids. That left us few choices. Since we moved at the whim of the Army, we took courses where and when we could fit them in. We rushed through assignments and took required courses first, in case the next location didn't offer those necessary classes.
After the Army, we had to slow down. With kids in high school, we needed to become permanent, to find a home. But where would home be? A job might dictate this.
Fast forward to our final home, our last move - or so we thought. The kids are grown and on their own. College is complete. Evenings are free. What do I want to do with my time? I'm not sure. Do I want to read a book? Do I want to go for a walk? Do I want to take an art class or a computer class?
What do I want? I'm not sure.
Do I want to eat out or do I want to eat a sandwich in front of TV? Do I want to read a mystery or do I want to read nonfiction? Do I want to work in the garden first, or do I want to scrapbook all day and garden in the cool evening?
When so many decisions are made for you for so long, you tend to wonder what you really want.
Do I want the grandkids over for the weekend or just for a few hours? Do I want them to come over and enjoy each other's company or just come a few at a time so I can quietly enjoy their company?
Do I want to stay in this home near my daughter or move closer to my son and his family? What do I really want? I'm not sure what I really want.
We are raising two grandchildren. The other choices were not even an option. Do I want them in private school or public school? Right now, I think I will just scrapbook another page about the grandkids - and decide not to decide - at least for now.
- Dee Ryan
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!
Tips for Photographing or Scanning Memorabilia for Use on Your Layouts
Do you have an old love letter from your great-grandparents or perhaps a pocket watch that you would love to include on a layout? How about boxes of your kid's artwork, including some that are too big to scan? Let's talk about ways we can get items like these into digital format so you can include them on your digital scrapbook layouts.
For items like a pocket watch or trinket that obviously cannot be scanned, taking a photo is your best option.
Tips for photographing memorabilia:
If you use a DSLR, set it to the Macro Mode.
If you are using a SLR, use a Macro lens if you have one.
Use natural lighting, place items close to a window or light source. Even a lamp with the newer energy-efficient bulbs can give much needed light.
Use a tabletop tripod to reduce movement.
Take several shots and experiment; your camera will not explode - and you might surprise yourself!
Use a white or black backdrop for high contrast. This will make it easier to extract after bringing your photo into your software.
You can create your own backdrop using a large piece of white or black posterboard folded in half with one half propped up from behind.
The photo below is just an example of how to set up the posterboard. I wouldn't want to even attempt to extract the fine white strands of faux water coming from the fish's mouth on this decorative item!
This is a close-up photo I took using the backdrop. This was actually taken at night (though daylight is still your best option). Do any of you recognize this Avon decanter? I found it at a thrift store for ninety-nine cents, and it reminded me of the Avon lady who regularly came to see my mom when I was a little girl. Now that I have a photo of this decanter, I can scrap my memories easily and efficiently.
Let's move on to some tips for photographing your kid's artwork:
Tape the artwork to the wall or use magnets and attach it to the fridge. Better yet, take a photo of your child holding their artwork! Wouldn't it be cool to do this on their birthday each year to watch how they grow and change?
Use the Automatic Mode setting on your camera and take several shots. That's the brilliance of digital cameras. You can instantly view your photos and delete the ones that don't turn out!
Use natural lighting whenever possible, and if it's a nice day, shoot the photos outside.
Now, here are some tips for scanning memorabilia:
Set your resolution to 300 dpi (dots per inch). Believe me, 300 dpi is plenty!
Depending on your scanner and what you are scanning, set it to one of the following: Color, black and white, or text.
Each scanner has its own features and capabilities, so get to know your model. Many manufacturers have information and tutorials on their websites.
If you are scanning old newsprint or magazine articles, check to see if your scanner has a descreening feature. This will take away a lot of the dotted pattern that shows up in scans of this kind.
When scanning something white or light-colored, place a piece of dark-colored cardstock over the top to increase the contrast.
Below, I have scanned a vintage postcard. Notice the contrast between the postcard and the white scanner lid. This will make it easy to extract.
When scanning thick items, you may end up with something like this:
Light creeps into the scanner on the right edge because the lid won't lie flat against this notebook. Work around this by not using the scanner lid at all! Leave the lid completely upright, but use a black cloth to cover the item entirely, making sure the whole scanner area is covered. The result should be something close to what's shown below, which will make it much easier to extract from the background.
One thing I can say with certainty is the more you play, the better the results will be, and you will find what works best for you. I hope to see some of your layouts popping up in the Scrap Girls Gallery - with memorabilia plastered all over!
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
Best of the Message Board
Question: I used to have Vista. I keep all my fonts in a folder on my EHD (external hard drive). I used to go to Control Panel> Install Fonts and right-clicked and got the option to install a font. But I don't see that now that I have my new Windows 7. Can anyone clearly explain how to install fonts, or do you still have to?
Answer: After the font is unzipped and is in a folder, if you open the folder and right-click on the font name, a dialog box will open in which you will see "Install." Left-click to install. You will probably get a box asking if you want to make the change to your computer. Say yes, and the font shows up right away in your Adobe Font drop-down menu.
I do the entire procedure from within Photoshop, but you can do it from Explorer as well. No need to go into the Control Panel.
Original Poster Response: Thanks for your help! Now I am wondering how you do it from within Photoshop.
Answer: Here's what I do:
In PSCS5, go to File> Open.
Navigate to wherever you have saved the font. (I keep mine in a Font Folder within a Scrap Girls Folder on an EHD.) Unzip if necessary.
Open the unzipped folder until you reach the File/font name. At this point, the folder may show, but the font file name may not be showing, so look down at the bottom of the page and if necessary, use the drop-down menu to be sure to show FILES OF TYPE- ALL FORMATS. (It likely opened with JPG showing as files of type.)
Once the Font File Name is showing, right-click on it and choose "Install" from within the dialog box.
Go to the Text Tool and look in the drop-down menu of all your installed fonts, and the newly installed font should be there.
Original Poster Response: Thanks! You are great help, and I love learning, learning, learning. Once I know how to do something, like on Vista, I am an "old dog" and need to learn new tricks. Now that I have Windows 7, I have new tricks to learn!
Question: I'm frustrated with my latest printer, and I've been reading reviews for a new one. I just don't know which way to turn. I want to get back to printing my layouts again and printing 4x6s that I'm happy with. Any thoughts? I can't give an arm and leg for one... maybe just half an arm?
Answer: I have an HP Photosmart that I've had a couple of years. I had some problems once after an update (one of those automatic ones) and ended up having to reinstall the drivers. The only other problem I've had is with my prints coming out too dark. I finally realized that putting the color on Auto gave me much more realistic color. I hope you get your problems solved, but I really don't have any insight to offer.
Answer: I have an HP Officejet Pro. It printed 8x8 layouts just fine, but now there's a very obvious line on the layouts. I'm tempted to go back to my very cheap and very basic Canon. If you find out a solution, let us know! Good luck. (Sometimes I wish we could go printer shopping and take a layout with us and do a test sheet on the printers, just to see which works best before we buy it!)
Answer: I have an HP 6180 that I love. One quirk, it liked to complain "out of paper" for 4x6s. The slide that keeps the paper firmly in place moved too easily as it printed one print, and then complained on the next. I measured the space to the inside of the tray handle when it's in the right place and cut a manila folder into strips. I stacked these to build up a "stop" (about 1/8" high) and taped them down. End of problem. I didn't force it to max "snugness" as I still move the slide a little bit to insert more paper. I had bought the $300 printer used for $120 on eBay, so I didn't know the cause. The printer is otherwise so good that I have not been tempted to look elsewhere. It has six cartridges, including solid black, and sips ink slowly.
Answer: Great idea about taking a layout when you go shopping for a printer! Why not?! I've seen demonstration models where you can do a test print of their photo. Maybe you could take a flash drive or a CF/SD card/memory stick and your own paper and use the demo models. Most printers (the ones I'd buy anyway) have a card reader and/or USB port in the front to print photos directly. I'm currently using a Photosmart Premium C309a, and I'm happy.
Answer: I used to use HP printers exclusively until I started digital scrapping - then they suddenly weren't adequate. I switched to Canon photo printers and am extremely pleased. They have individual color cartridges plus a photo black. I've had this one for 4-5 years, and it still works like a charm (believe me, it has had a good workout). I have a Pixma model, and when this printer dies, I will definitely replace it with another Canon.
Answer: I'm an Epson girl; just love them even with their weird inks. They are work horses, the colors are rich and long lasting, and I like that I can print oversized. I have an old Photo 1280 and a newer R2880, and I just junked an ancient 1520 which was just a dreamboat of a printer.
Original Poster Response: Well, I've got a Canon - PIXMA MG8120B coming. It has two different black cartridges and a gray one (and the three color cartridges)! I've been trying to print some black-and-white photos. Right now, it seems like almost anything would be an improvement. I hope so, anyway. I'll let you know how it goes!
Weekly Layout Winners
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!
Today's freebie designed by Julie White
* 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.
Recipe Swap Chat
Saturday, June 11th - 7:00PM MT
Join Carla (CRS) 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!
Use Your Stash Chat
Monday, June 13th - 5:00PM MT
Join Theresa (tiza126) and Shannon (tinkerbell11) on Monday, June 13th at 5pm MT for this month's edition of the "Use Your Stash" chat. Meet in the chat room to talk about all the things we haven't used or maybe even unzipped yet! We will post a challenge earlier in the day to get you motivated to use something in your digital arsenal.
Journaling Challenge Chat
Monday, June 13th - 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 Crop & Chat
Monday, June 13th - 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. Early on Monday, Pat will 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 she 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!
New Member Chat
Tuesday, June 14th - 6:00PM MT
Join Pat (PBarnes) and Theresa (tiza126) for the New Member Chat at 6pm 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.
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!