Thursday, July 26, 2012

Concierge Framing at Its Finest

Today my lovely little assistant and I took a dozen frames up to the University of Florida. I am so grateful that I have the kind of job where I can spend tons of quality time with my kids.

Aside from delivering the frames for UF's football department, I love going to G-ville to see my sister Jack.

Doesn't my copilot look happy??

I really love this pic... such attitude!

She's so cute!!

A dozen awesome frames... 

Love this little girl!

She's ready for takeoff

Rea taxiing to takeoff
Is the copilot sleeping???
Yes. Yes, she is. 

YAY! Aunt Jack! 

One of the best eateries in the Ville

Digital Scrapbooks

I have been a fan of scrapbooking for a long time. This is not to say that I do it often. Actually scrapbooking takes a lot of real time. And I just don't always have that. Plus, I don't have a room solely dedicated for this purpose like some super crafty moms do. I use my frame shop assembly table as my work space. But this requires 2 things: [1] I have to pull all of my scrapbooking stuff out [2] I have to have nothing else going on in the frame shop. Both are much easier said than done.

In my handmade scrapbooks Rea just turned one and Ri has only just made it home from the hospital. I am a little behind.

About a year ago, I took the time to create "PhotoBooks" on my computer of our lives... this was the closest I came to digitally scrapbooking. I used the program Picaboo to create my books. The program is free to download, and I have a "professional account" so I get a discount on anything I order - although the company is almost always running really great specials for anyone to access. Picaboo is VERY easy to use. And the books are good quality. I ordered several.

There are an insane amount of backgrounds to choose from and the layouts are completely customizable. The only downside is how expensive it becomes to create a book over 20 pages. Each page is about a $1 more. And the program really slows down if you have 300+ photos in a single book.  So I ended up creating 4 books per year, like 2009: Vol 1, 2, 3 & 4. And then Christmas at Disney usually had to be its own book since I average about 400 pics there. All in all, it was a lot of books.

My photobooks sat patiently on my Picaboo bookshelf waiting for me to have $$ to order them. Then my computer hard drive died. A good friend and computer wizard was able to save the 40,000 pictures I had saved, but he was unable to pull off more. So, I lost every single photobook I had created to date. AAAHHHHH!

So I now I have to start all over.

One of Shane's people at work is a super crafty woman. She's awesome. And she digitally scrapbooks. Shane called me from work one day to tell me that I needed to come see this book that SJ had brought in. I did. It was an impressive 200+ pages! Size was about 13"x11", I think. And it cost somewhere in the range of $150 to print. Now she had my attention!

The company that I now use, thanks to SJ, is called Blurb. If you are at all interested in creating a self-published book, want to put your recipes in an album for Christmas gifts, or want to delve into the world of digital scrapbooking, then I suggest you check them out. The program is free to download, I use Blurb Booksmart.

I use Adobe Photoshop to create scrapbook pages and then import the pages in as images to my books. It is definitely more time consuming to do this, the basic layouts that Blurb has are fairly customizable, and I suggest them for beginners or people looking for a simple, classic look. Truthfully, I put about 2.5 books together before I figured the whole Adobe thing out.

I haven't printed any of my regular Blurb books yet, so I have no pictures. Sorry. I promise to update when I do (in the next month or so).

Now, back to scrapbooking with Adobe. If you search "digital scrapbooking" on Google, you will find a plethora of places to start. I have used the following sites to find/buy/download many scrapbook papers, alphabets, and embellishments:

I think you will find that these are a great place to start! Most of the websites mentioned above have classrooms or galleries for you to get ideas or helpful hints/advice. I am definitely only a novice, just barely scratching the surface of my digital scrapbooking abilities.

Happy scrapping!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

You Will Get Wet on This Ride!

We had a small pirate pool party the other day with some really great, fun friends. The water activities were a perfect way for our munchkins to cool off in the wicked FL sun. I would like to give a special shout-out of appreciation to Shane for playing ALL day with all of the kiddos. I know the kids loved getting his help to go down the slip-n-slide and I think the grown-ups appreciated that he was in the big pool in case anything went awry.

First, before our friends arrived, we had to test out all of the toys. =)

Ri is driving his little truck around... Rea is hunkered down in the pirate ship.

Ri tests the baby pool... Rea checks the swing set out.

It's slip-n-slide time!

Now that everything is in working order, let's party!

Yes, that's boyfriend. 

Well friends, we really had a great time. Thank you so much for coming over and playing!