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What is a Chat?

At first, digital chats and crops may seem a bit confusing, especially if you are familiar with traditional crops. The online crop format is really quite simple and is much easier than toting crates of paper supplies around!

Chats and crops are held in the Scrap Girls Chat Room. The upcoming chats are posted each Sunday on the Scrap Girls Blog. You can also find them on the right side of the main Forum page under “Upcoming Calendar Events” as well as on the Calendar tab of the Scrap Girls Forum. All chat times are listed in Eastern Time.

If you have your forum time zone set correctly, the forum calendar should be able to do the time-zone conversion for you. When you click on a specific chat in the calendar, it will show the date and time for you on the top purple bar. You can see that the Art Journaling Chat time is listed as 9 p.m. (ET), but shows 6 p.m. on the purple bar because my forum time is set to Pacific. We’ve had a few issues with inconsistencies in Daylight Savings Time for different countries, but overall, it works pretty well.


So, you’ve chosen a chat you would like to attend; now how do you get into the chat room?
All you need to do is click on the “Chat” tab at the top of the forum. If you’re signed in, you will go right into the chat; if you aren’t, you will need to sign-in.

You can join the chat room conversation by simply typing in the box at the bottom of the window. The screenshot below shows what the chat looks like and explains some of the basic controls.

Most chats on the Scrap Girls forum have a theme and a challenge.  The challenges are posted well in advance on the forum calendar. You may work on your layout before, during, or after the chat. You can post a layout for a challenge whether or not you attend the chat. Unless it is specified for a contest or prize, there are no deadlines for posting layouts for chats and challenges.

In traditional crops, some people socialize more than they scrap, while others have everything ready to go before they come while some focus on their work and participate less in the conversation. Digital crops are similar in that way. Your chat host(s) will be available the entire time to answer any scrapping or forum questions you may have while you participate at your own comfort level. Chats are an easy way to make friends on the Scrap Girls forum. If you haven’t been to a Scrap Girls chat yet, come visit us in the chat room—we’d love to meet you!

Article Written by April Martell

February 22nd Challenge Winners & Challenge Schedule

WEEKLY LAYOUT WINNER
For the love of Art by VictoriaLamar1
Congratulations Victoria! You may claim your gift certificate by emailing [email protected]
Want a chance to win Scrap Girls’ Weekly Layout Contest?
 Simply post your digital or paper layouts that use Scrap Girls products in our online Gallery; if we choose yours, you’ll win a prize! To be considered, don’t forget to list the Scrap Girls products that you used in your layout.

Want to see past winners of the Weekly Layout Contest? Visit the Weekly Layout Winners Gallery on our Forum!

NEWSLETTER CHALLENGE WINNER
Steve McQueen by Marie-Christine
Congratulations Marie! You may claim your gift certificate by emailing [email protected]
THIS WEEK’S NEWSLETTER CHALLENGE
We have a whole week of layouts themed around the idea of metamorphosis. We’d love to see your layouts celebrating the changes going on around you.
UPCOMING CHATS AND CHALLENGES

Monday, February 23rd - Random Challenge by Monica 

Try your hand at a multi-photo layout that document the phases of a metamorphosis.

Tuesday, February 24th – Technology by Shannon

Create a layout around an app or other form of technology you use to inspire or track change in your life.

Wednesday, February 25th – Speed Challenge Chat at 9:00pm (ET) Shannon & Carla

Who’s ready for some speed??? Join Shannon (tinkerbell11) and Carla (crs) for a Speed Scrap at 9:00 p,m (ET). There will be twists and turns, but no Speed Scrap Police! We’ll give you 6 tasks, spread out over the hour, and then you’ll have 1 hour to complete those tasks and upload your finished layouts to the Speed Scrap Gallery. So get your driving gloves on, your engines revved, and let’s Speed Scrap!

Thursday, February 26th - Change in Nature by Theresa Guyer

A themed layout showing change in the natural world

Weekend Challenge Morph a Photo by Theresa Reck

Altered a Photo in some way.

FEBRUARY FORUM GAME: Lovely Slow Scrap
This month’s Scrap Girls Forum game, Lovely Slow Scrap, is designed to help you get more scrapbook pages done with a series of simple steps that add up to a finished page at the end of each week.  When the month is over you’ll have completed several layouts and been treated to some fun along the way.

Throughout February, Monday through Saturday, a Welcoming Committee member will post a daily layout step in the game thread; each week will have 6 steps. The tasks will be formatted in a LARGE PURPLE FONT for ease of locating them in the game thread as it grows

Members who complete and post all 4 layouts in the Lovely Slow Scrap Gallery will be entered in a drawing for one of two $10.00 Scrap Girls Boutique Gift Certificates.

Each completed layout posted in the Slow Scrap February Gallery, up to 4 per member, will be entered in a drawing for one of three $5.00 Scrap Girls Boutique Gift Certificates.

You have until 11:59pm ET on February 28th to complete the steps and post your layouts to the Lovely Slow Scrap Gallery.  There are no daily time limits.

Taking the Mystery out of Art Journaling

Audience: Everyone
Category: Art Journaling
Operating System: Windows 7
Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 12

In our monthly Art Journaling Chat, Marilyn and I have spent many hours stressing that “there are no rules in art journaling.” Art journaling is all about the freedom to express yourself, so anything goes.

That said, I do follow a few simple “checks” when I create an art journal page.

I like to use art journaling when I have a feeling I want to scrap. It’s for those times when I don’t need to record when an event happened, who was there, and when I don’t need to incorporate a series of photos. If my page is about a feeling, I make an art journal page. An art journaling layout can convey very personal feelings or perhaps a light-hearted look at life.

We try not to use photos in art journaling, and I find that if I follow the thought process of “Could I create this page using paper and art supplies?” then I have better results. I tend to use lots of blending and brushwork when I art journal, and this can be intimidating, but knowing that there are no rules in art journaling makes it easy!

I tend to use things like paint, glitter, paper pieces, and occasionally more dimensional pieces like ribbons and flowers. I use a lot of word art and a lot of different fonts to achieve that eclectic look we all admire in art journaling. My preference is for artsy-type alphas such as brushwork or stamped alphas and for handwritten or typewritten fonts. These are things that ring true to me if I were to be sitting in a studio somewhere making a real paper page. Of course, I must always remember, anything goes!

Let me walk you through my process as I created a page about my feelings as my eldest son starts high school:

1. Look for pieces to match your mood.
Knowing I don’t need any photos on this layout removed the search for items that matched my picture; instead, I started by searching for suitable art papers to match my mood. Color is not as important because paper colors can be altered later. My goal was to look for patterns and focal points that fit in with my idea. In this instance, I selected three papers even though I didn’t know how they would work in.


I decided to use the Altered Life paper (far left) as my base because I liked the paint over the newsprint, but I altered the color to reflect my optimism and hopefulness.

2. Select some pieces that support your mood and capture your feeling.
Next, I selected word art and paper pieces, though I may add brush work later.

3. Choose a focal area.
After arranging my big pieces (in this instance, the word art), I could see the main area where my eye landed. The large quote and the paper piece would be focal points so I needed to balance this out a little. I added more substance to the left-hand side by using my papers. By blending the green paper, I added weight to the bottom right corner with the quote. By using the Magic Wand tool, I extracted the darker fold from the yellow paper and used it to highlight the flow of the words through my page.

4. Use smaller paper pieces and word tags to balance and support the feeling you are trying to convey.
I have several word tags for this layout, so I grouped some and rotated others because it’s more reflective of the way I feel – and it’s also more artsy. Adding shadows and correcting the effect of the layers upon each other gives the page more realism.

5. Choose details that symbolize your theme.
Symbols are very important in art journaling; they are a visual way to get your message across. Symbols can be something as simple as a heart to show love, clouds to indicate depression, or red paint strokes to indicate anger. Symbols are personal and the way you choose to use them is entirely up to you. I added some extra details, such as the confetti to represent joyfulness, the fastener to “hold” the paper and add realism, and the paper leaves to symbolize calmness.

6. Add journaling.
I’m nearly done! Now I’ll add some journaling of my own. A pretty page is meaningless if it doesn’t tell a story, either through imagery or words. My whole page is about how I feel, so by adding some journaling, I can complete that process.

7. Evaluate your page.
The very last thing to do is look at your page and see how it makes you feel. Does it evoke the feeling you had in mind? I am pleased with my layout, but I think it needs a little more texture, so I’m going to add some paint. My page was already rather busy, so I decided to add depth, not just more “stuff.” I chose to add a splash of spray paint splatters. It adds texture and also helps hide my journaling, a useful trick on pages with more personal stories.

So as you can see, art journaling is not that difficult – it just requires a slight shift in your thinking. Besides the seven steps above, remember these key points:

  1. There are no rules.
  2. Use symbolism to get our message across.
  3. Make it look like it fits together. Focus on layers and what would actually work on a real page, as well as using items you might find in a real art studio.
  4. Make sure it tells a story. Make sure your page evokes the feeling you are portraying. Use of color and symbols are key.
  5. Enjoy the process. After all, anything goes!

Scrap Girls has an entire gallery devoted to art journaling. There are plenty of examples and loads of inspiration there. Please be sure to post your art journal pages. If you want to delve further or have a question, Scrap Girls hosts an Art Journaling Chat approximately every 4-6 weeks. We would love to see you there!

PRODUCTS USED
Dynamic Brush Set: Sprayed Paint
JIF Plus: One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
Altered Life Paper Biggie
ScrapSimple Tools – Styles: Shadow Me
Tutorial written by Jody West

February 2015 Sketch Challenge

Once a month on the Blog we create a sketch either from an existing Design Team or CT member’s layout or a new original sketch. Using sketches for inspiration is a great way to put together a layout quickly and still be able to add your own unique touches!

SKETCH
ORIGINAL
Post your sketch layout in our Blog Challenge gallery!
Layout by Joyce Schardt
Value Pack: Suddenly Summer
Afresh Collection Biggie
Love Is Collection Biggie 
Layout by Melanie Cockshott
Value Pack: Manmade
Outdoor Dad Collection Biggie
Menagerie Collection Biggie
Afresh Embellishment Biggie
ScrapSimple Tools – Styles: Shadow Me 6301
Layout by Pam Zeman
Amour Collection Biggie
Memorabilia Collection Biggie
Layout by Monica Lebsack
Falling For You Collection Biggie 
JIF Plus: Falling For Him 
Falling For You Word Art Mini 
Falling For You Embellishment Mini 
ScrapSimple Tools – Styles: Shadow Me 6301 
Layout by Anna Burrows
Monstrously Cute Collection Biggie
Count The Ways Collection Biggie
Flea Market Collection Biggie
Action Pack: Mega Lift PS
 
Layout by Valerie Tuffrey
Plumeria Collection Biggie
ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Circlets 1 Biggie 
ScrapSimple Tools – Styles: Plumeria 
Layout by Andrea-Rose Hutton
Visionary Collection Biggie
Just the Beginning Collection Biggie
SSStyles Chalk Effects
SSStyles Butterfly Shadows 
Layout by Jody West
Bold and Beautiful Collection Biggie
Memorabilia Collection Biggie
ScrapSimple Tools – Styles: Shadow Me 6301 
Layout by Shannon Trombley
Layout by Sue Maravelas
Value Pack: A Joyful Day
ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Circlets Biggie
Botanical Collection Biggie

February 15th Challenge Winners & Challenge Schedule

WEEKLY LAYOUT WINNER
Pumpkin Farm by Sondra (Rosemarythyme)
Congratulations Sondra! You may claim your gift certificate by emailing [email protected]
Want a chance to win Scrap Girls’ Weekly Layout Contest?
Simply post your digital or paper layouts that use Scrap Girls products in our online Gallery; if we choose yours, you’ll win a prize! To be considered, don’t forget to list the Scrap Girls products that you used in your layout.

Want to see past winners of the Weekly Layout Contest? Visit the Weekly Layout Winners Gallery on our Forum!

NEWSLETTER CHALLENGE WINNER
Last week’s challenge was Love Is…
You Have My Heart by BetC
Congratulations Bet! You may claim your gift certificate by emailing [email protected]
We will be celebrating movie madness all this week with cinematically-inspired challenges. Join us as we bring the “big screen” to your screen.
UPCOMING CHATS & CHALLENGES
Monday, February 16thMovie Poster by Andrea

Everyone loves movies! Today we will take inspiration from a movie poster from 2014.

Tuesday, February 17th - Celebrity Crush by Carla

Movies wouldn’t be anything without stars. Today we will dedicate a layout to our current celebrity crush.

Thursday, February 19th - Movie Quote by Conda

Do you have a movie you love to quote. We’ll be making layouts using those quotes.

Weekend Challenge – by Marilyn

Create a layout using shades of blue and white.

FEBRUARY FORUM GAME: Lovely Slow Scrap

This month’s Scrap Girls Forum game, Lovely Slow Scrap, is designed to help you get more scrapbook pages done with a series of simple steps that add up to a finished page at the end of each week.  When the month is over you’ll have completed several layouts and been treated to some fun along the way.

Throughout February, Monday through Saturday, a Welcoming Committee member will post a daily layout step in the game thread; each week will have 6 steps. The tasks will be formatted in a LARGE PURPLE FONT for ease of locating them in the game thread as it grows

Members who complete and post all 4 layouts in the Lovely Slow Scrap Gallery will be entered in a drawing for one of two $10.00 Scrap Girls Boutique Gift Certificates.

Each completed layout posted in the Slow Scrap February Gallery, up to 4 per member, will be entered in a drawing for one of three $5.00 Scrap Girls Boutique Gift Certificates.

You have until 11:59pm ET on February 28th to complete the steps and post your layouts to the Lovely Slow Scrap Gallery.  There are no daily time limits.

Common Font Questions

What’s a font?

A font is a collection of numbers, symbols, and characters. A font describes a certain typeface, along with other qualities, such as size, spacing, and pitch.

What font types are included in Windows?

TrueType fonts and OpenType fonts come with Windows. They work with a variety of computers, printers, and programs. TrueType fonts can be scaled to any size and are clear and readable in all sizes. They can be sent to any printer or other output device supported by Windows. OpenType fonts are related to TrueType fonts, but typically incorporate a greater extension of the basic character set, such as small capitalization, old-style numerals, and more detailed shapes, such as glyph and ligatures. OpenType fonts are also clear and readable in all sizes and can be sent to any printer or other output device supported by Windows.

Which font format will work best for me?

It depends. If you want a font that prints well and is easy to read on the screen, then consider using a TrueType font. If you need a large character set for language coverage and fine typography, then you might want to use an OpenType font.

How to install a font under Windows?

Extract the files you have downloaded.

Details: Click on the “Download” button, save the zip somewhere on your hard disk, go to the place where it is saved, double-click on the zip to open it, then either click on “Extract all files” or drag and drop the files elsewhere from the zip window (hold down the Ctrl key to select several files at once).
For the 20th century versions of Windows, you must install an
unzip tool first.

Under Windows 8/7/Vista

Select the font files (.ttf, .otf or .fon) then Right-click > Install

Under any version of Windows

Place the font files (.ttf, .otf or .fon) into the Fonts folder, usually C:\Windows\Fonts or C:\WINNT\Fonts (can be reached as well by the Start Menu > Control Panel > Appearance and Themes > Fonts).

Note that with the internal unzip tool of Windows (unlike Winzip), you cannot install a font by a simple drag–and-drop of the .ttf from the zip window to the Fonts window. You must first drag-and-drop it anywhere (for example, on the desktop) then into the Fonts folder. You can also go through: File > Install a new font… in the Fonts folder menu, then browse the fonts, instead of drag-and-drop the fonts into the window. Although this method is laborious, it would seem that it functions better in some cases. There are some videos on YouTube, if that helps.

Tip (for Windows XP/Vista, not Windows 7/8):

If you occasionally need a font, you don’t need to install it. Just double-click on the .ttf file, and while the preview window is opened, you can use it in most of the programs you’ll launch (apart from a few exceptions like OpenOffice).

I get an error when I try to install the font. Is it safe to use?

Both Windows and Mac have tightened up their standards for fonts, and many older fonts are being flagged for various reasons.

Your operating system may give you dire warnings, so how do you know which fonts are safe to install? The truth is, no one can guarantee that every font out there is safe, because fonts come from so many sources. There are known instances of viruses being embedded in fonts downloaded free from the web, infecting personal computers or even entire companies.

Many people ignore the warnings and don’t have consequences. On the other hand, your computer could get infected and you wouldn’t know it, as your computer might be used as an “Internet bot,” sending out thousands of spam messages, while you’re only aware that your computer is running a little slower than before. Be sure to scan for viruses when you open up a font file by following your antivirus software’s instructions. (Utilize the Help instructions from your antivirus provider.)

How to use a new font with a different software?

It is sometimes necessary to relaunch the current application to be able to use the new font. Then you may proceed as usual, and the font will appear in your software’s font combo-box (word processing, drawing, etc.).

Even though I have installed a font or a dingbat, it shows up with empty boxes when I try to select it from a software program, such as Microsoft Word. What am I doing wrong?

Nothing at all! Many fonts and dingbats, particularly free ones, contain less than full sets of characters. Try typing in all of the letters, numbers, and keys on your keyboard until you start finding what you are looking for. You can use the Windows Character Map Tool to view them, as well.

If you still have problems, your computer may have had trouble during the downloading process. Try downloading and installing the font or dingbat again.

What is the Character Map Tool and how do I locate it?

The Character Map Tool lets you see all of the characters in a font. You can also easily select characters from the font to copy to the Windows clipboard. This is the pathway to find the Windows’ Character Map Tool: Start> Programs> Accessories> System Tools> Character Map.

How many fonts can be installed?

Windows is supposed to be able to manage about 1,000 fonts. But avoid installing too many fonts at one time because that slows down your system. A lot of programs have to load to memory all installed fonts to be able to run, so it’s better to put fonts you use regularly in the Fonts folder. Keep the rest in any other folder or storage device, so you can install/uninstall them as needed.

Is there a good way to see all of my fonts at once? 

There are a variety of Font Managers available. You can search for “Free Font Manager Reviews” to see a several articles debating the merits of various programs.  Here are two that I like:

Font Frenzy (http://download.cnet.com/FontFrenzy/3000-2316_4-10302029.html

  • It has a feature that will uninstall all non-standard windows fonts (XP or Vista).  Running Windows 7, I haven’t noticed any problems.
  • As long as Font Frenzy is open and you are viewing the folder where all of your uninstalled fonts are stored, you can use them as if they were installed.
  • Restoring the fonts from a snapshot is confusing, but you can always follow the directions above for installing fonts instead.
  • The sample text is only “Font Frenzy.”
  • It was last updated in 2009.

Nexus Font (http://www.xiles.net/nexusfont/

  • The help files can be difficult to find, but are pretty extensive. (http://www.xiles.net/help/nexusfont/index_en.html)
  • It locates duplicate fonts even if they have a different file name. I was able to delete most of the duplicates.
  • You can change the sample text as well as the size, bold, italics, underline, and color.
  • As long as Nexus Font is open and you are viewing the folder where all of your uninstalled fonts are stored, you can use them as if they were installed.
  • You can sort your fonts within the program or in your Fonts folder via subfolders (i.e., script vs. chunky vs. Lettering Delights).
  • It has a user-friendly interface.
  • It was last updated in 2012.

I saw a font that I really like, is there a way to figure out what it is?

There are a couple of websites that will help you figure out a font. Identifont allows you to search by appearance (you answer a series of questions), by name, by similarity to a font you already know, by picture or symbol, or by designer or publisher. MyFonts WhatTheFont tool will search based on an image that you upload.

When I create a document or write an email with a neat font and send it to my friend, they tell me that it doesn’t look the same. Why? 

This is because your friend has to have the same font installed on their computer to allow them to see it. If the font you have used isn’t on their computer, then their computer will pick out something else. Sometimes the results are okay, sometimes not. That’s why you see web sites and documents created with common fonts that most computers have.

How can I tell if it’s okay to use or sell a free font? 

Most fonts come with a Read Me document. In this document, the author usually provides copyright information. If the font is available to give away or use for commercial purposes, they will tell you there.

I have a great font that I’ve created. I’d love to share or sell it to other Scrap Girls. Is this possible? 

It sure is! Go to our About Us page and look at the bottom for “Join Us!” which gives details for starting the process of becoming part of the Scrap Girls Team.

I often see font copyright terms such as “freeware” or “shareware” when I visit font sites. What is meant by these terms? 

While the definitions for these terms can vary, here are some commonly accepted definitions for various types of fonts:

  • Freeware is usually given away and is meant for free, personal use. It may also be free for charities and non-profit groups to use. If you want to use freeware for commercial purposes, most designers ask for a small fee or a copy of the final products that you create with their font.
  • Shareware fonts are usually meant to be tried for a period of about 30 days. If you want to keep it, the designer asks you to register it with them. They may ask you for a small fee to register it. If you don’t want to keep it, they ask that you delete it from your computer.
  • Guiltware fonts often have Read Me document statements indicating that if you feel guilty using it for non-commercial uses, they would appreciate you sending them a small donation for the use of the font.
  • Charityware is designed to help raise money for charitable causes. The designers ask that you donate something to a charity for its use.
  • Postcardware is fun because the font designer just asks for a favor, such as, “Please send a postcard to my daughter if you like this font.” The Read Me file will have the address you should use.

Sources

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/fonts-faq#1TC=windows-7

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/difference-truetype-postscript-opentype-fonts#1TC=windows-7

http://www.fontspace.com/help/

http://www.fontsquirrel.com/faq

http://www.dafont.com/faq.php

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-font-manager.htm

http://blog.templatemonster.com/2012/12/19/popular-font-managers/

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