Our Princesses - Ari and Casi

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10 Ways to Scrap Outside the Book...

1.     Wall Scrap Collages - Otherwise known as scraping on your walls, it lets you tell your story without saying a word.  So what do we mean?  Simply put, itís creating a scrapbook page, complete with journaling and accents that you intend to place in a picture frame and hang on your wall.  Of course you donít have to stop there, but weíll get into other takes on this later.  Right now, letís discuss some of the things you need to consider that might be just a little different from a formal scrap page.

a.     Frame border Ė size.  Unlike most of your formal scrapbook pages, in wall scrapping, you need to take into account the border that the frame itself will take up.  In other words, donít forget that a small portion of your finished print will be hidden behind the frame you place it inÖ unless youíre using borderless frames.  If you want to see what they look like, you can see some examples at:  http://www.princesscrafts.com/wallscraps/walscraps.htm

                                                             i.      Set up your graphics program to the size of the frame you plan on using, including the border.  Even though itís hidden, the border is still part of the final print.  Unless of course you plan on using a matt with a smaller opening in it.  Now all you need to do is to create a background (the part you will fill with the page) by drawing a box, the size of your frame opening. 

                                                          ii.      Fill this box with your background fill color, texture or picture just as if you were making any other computer scrapbook page.  The PrincessCrafts.com full pages or multiple opening pages work well for this.  Pages with a single frame around them would be redundant as you will be placing the whole page in a real frame.

b.     Add your pictures Ė and their frames if needed

                                                             i.      Insert the frames for your pictures first, if you need them.  These need to be in proportion to your pictures, so they donít look skewed.  What we mean is that if your pictures are in portrait style, then the frame shouldnít be in landscape.  Obvious, I know, but we donít want to forget anything.

                                                          ii.      Now, insert your pictures behind your frame boxes using whatever level options your program uses.  Most of them these days allow you to right click on the image and just select from the mini menu that shows up.  Pretty simple stuff.

c.     Accessorize your page.

                                                             i.      Add clipart and journaling to finish telling your story.  Remember, thereís not a bunch of other pages to tell the tale.  There needs to be enough words and dates to let the viewer in on just what was going on in the pictures.  Of course, if you want to leave it to their imagination, thatís strictly up to you.  Some images tell long tales all on their own.

                                                          ii.      Thatís all there is to it, now all you have left is to print the picture and place it in your frame.  This is by far, my favorite use for my scrapbooking skills outside of doing the books.

2.     Desktop Flip Set or Mini Albums (Mini Scrapbooking) - Mini Scrapbook Pages: Custom computer mini scrapbook pages that are fun and easy to use!  Just the right size for desk sets and flip books.  Mini Desk Frame Sets make wonderful gifts.  You can see some examples at:  http://www.princesscrafts.com/minipages/minipages.htm .  These are wonderful for miniature family trees or for photos of your kids at work.  Whoever said that downsizing at work had to be a bad thing?  This idea is one that can put your scrapbooks in places that you needed a heavy-duty suspension truck to go to before.  Some of my scrapbooks are so heavy, that I can barely lift them.  Okay, enough joking aroundÖ hereís how itís done.

a.     A little planning here goes a long way.  Whether youíre using a flip set or a mini-album, they are viewed in series just like your formal scrapbooks and work best when they tell a story.  So, take a few minutes and plan your photoís layouts.  The key here is to lay them out and coordinate the frames to match the selected pictures.  If youíre doing it all on computer with digital imagesÖ then just lay out your pictures that go together on the same page or in the same order that they will be used in your mini-scrap set.

b.     Step 1 - Draw a box, the size of your frame (normally 4Ē X 6Ē).  Fill the box with your background color or texture.  Of course our PrincessCrafts.com members can use any of our mini-sets and the frames and openings are all ready to go for them in the correct size for printing on a standard 8.5 X 11 sheet of paper.

c.     Step 2 - Just like in the wall scrap instructions, the next step is to insert any frames for your pictures that need them and then the pictures themselves.  Keep in mind everything you learned above, just think smaller.

d.     Step 3 - is of course, your page accessories.  Add your clipart to match the theme and a little journaling to explain the finer details and dates.  Thatís it!  Your album is now ready for the printer.  Just print, cut them out and place them into your flip set or mini-album.  Fun, wasnít it?

3.     E-mail Cards Ė Announcement Cards Ė Graduation, Wedding, School, Postcards, etc.

Iím sure youíve received an e-mail card from someone at least once by now.  Iíll even bet youíve sent a few of your own from one of the online venues.  The question is, did you know that you can very easily create your own?  They donít even need to be for electronic (e-mail) use.  They could be actual postcards, graduation, wedding, school or any special event greeting card.  All you need to remember is that itís nothing more than an individual mini-scrapbook page that you will be sending with a special greeting or note attached. 

a.     Simply choose your picture or pictures, if theyíre small.  If youíre sending a holiday or special occasion card, then choose a picture that fits that theme.  Be creative, the image should get the recipients attention right off the bat.  If you would like more information on choosing the right picture, what you can do with the pictures to add excitement or some tips on taking pictures for this purposeÖ hereís some extra links that can help: 

                      *http://www.princesscrafts.com - Our Dec. newsletter covered this in detail and has been added to our Tutorials listing. 

                      *Photo tips that work - http://www.shutterfly.com/foley_tips/index.jsp 

                      *Photographing kids and pets - http://www.shutterfly.com/foley_tips/kids.jsp

                      *Secrets to enduring travel photos - http://www.shutterfly.com/foley_tips/travel.jsp 

These last three are on Shutterfly.comís site and are written by a professional photographer.  Weíll talk more on Shutterfly and some of the other photo printing sites at the end.  Now back to your card.

b.     Itís time to set up your publishing or photo program to your desired card size.  Most of your Desk Top Publishing (DTP) programs have some card and possibly postcard templates built in.  If not, itís really simple to set up a custom page size in 4 X 6 inches for a postcard, 4 X 8Ē for a single sided greeting card or 5.5 X 8.5Ē for a half sheet folding greeting card (just remember that this last one will have two pages, one for each side of the card).  Just fit the size to the purpose.

                                                             i.      There are just a couple more steps to complete the template for your card.  First, draw and fill a background border or texture on the card similar to what you did for any of the ideas above.  If youíre doing a folding card, donít forget that each of the two sides will have two halves with room to fold the card in the middle.  Page one will have the front and back while page two will cover the inside of you card, so plan accordingly.  And donít forget to leave room for a border on your folding cards.  If your printer doesnít print edge to edge, you will also need to plan for a little extra size on 3 sides of your folded card, at least to account for that.

                                                          ii.      Now just draw your picture boxes and insert your chosen pictures into them.  Of course if youíre using one of our mini-page frames, thatís already done for you.  Just slip your pictures in behind the opening and size to taste.

c.     Last, but never leastÖ choose some clipart to accessorize and decorate around your picture.  Again, if youíre using one of the mini-frames from our sets for this, some of that is already done for you as well.  Now itís just a matter of some journaling, which of course will include your greeting, and your masterpiece is ready for the printer.  If you plan on e-mailing the card you have two choices.  One, save the file as Html (if your program allows) and you can just add that to an html message and hit send.  If thatís not an option, then you may have to just save it asÖ or export depending on your program, a picture and send it out as an attachment.  If you save it as a .jpg file, many e-mail programs will also allow you to create an HTML message and add it right into the mail.  Any way you do it, it makes a great personal greeting thatís sure to get a thank you.

d.     Special notes for printing postcards and single sided greetings.  Your major printing sites, (weíve tried Webshots.com, Shutterfly.com and Ofoto.com), all of which offer online programs for making these cards on their sites.  Of course they charge extra for their services.  Doing it yourself saves at least 50% if youíre doing 4 X 6Ē postcards.  You can just order them as normal prints at quite a savings (in some cases cheaper than I can print it myself).  The other types, should you wish to have them printed by someone else is going to cost a bit more.  The major advantage here is that the printing process is equivalent, if not better than that for prints that come from a 35mm negative.  Archival qualities are superior in every way to inkjet prints and will last many years longer.  Just something to consider.

4.     Photo Calendars Ė Everyone keeps a calendar or two around the house.  I know we have at least 4 in different locations throughout our house.  We even have a calendar creation program for printing our own that automatically adds the holidays and list of special dates on there for us.  All we have to do is add our pictures before printing.  What we discovered was that by creating a scrapbook page on the computer and saving it as an image file, it then allowed us to insert the image into the calendaring program.  WOW!  What a difference.  No more boring calendars in our house.  And the great-grandparents just love getting them as gifts.

a.     What to do:  Iím not going to go into a lot of detail here on how to set it up.  Weíve created templates for you for free that will let you add your own pics and just print or you can use them to see how we set up the files.  Check them out at: http://home.earthlink.net/~princesscrafts/ .  Weíll be adding more as time goes by.

b.     Alternatives to doing it all yourself.  I know that not everyone has a calendar printing program or the time to put them together when theyíre finished.  You may not even have a printer that prints well enough to make high quality photos.  No problems hereÖ  just have them done by one of the photo sites we talked about earlier.

                                                             i.      Size your pages (landscape of course) to produce an image that will fit a 5 X 7Ē or 8 X 10Ē calendar.  Whichever you plan on ordering. That means for a 5 X 7Ē you need an image that is at least 1530 X 2130 or higher in pixels.  For an 8 X 10Ē you would want one that is at least 2430 x 3030 (reversed for landscape).  Dot Photo gave me this formula to figure it out:  Add .1 inch to all dimensions of your print, then multiply by 300. For example, an 8 x 10 = (8.1 x 300) x (10.1 x 300) = 2430 x 3030.  I know that these are a little non standard, but this will allow the sites to print the images with no cropping (full frame).  If your image is plus or minus a few pixels it should be alright.  Itís the ratio of width to height that matters.  I found on my program that a page size of 10Ē X 6.7Ē gives me the correct ratio for a 7 X 5Ē print.  You may have to experiment a bit to get it close.

                                                          ii.      Now just create your scrap page as you would normally on your computer.  Once you have it just right, save or export it as a photo to a directory where you can place all the images for each month.  Once you have all the images created, just use the site you chose to upload the images to their server.  Now all you have to do is order how many copies you want.  Most sites will even ship them direct to your gift recipient for you, if you wish.  Pretty easy once youíve got your template set up.

c.     Final comments on calendars.  Whether you print and bind them yourself or have them done by someone else, creating the images as scrap pages makes them stand out from everyone who just adds photoís.  This makes them unique and allows them to tell a story that only a picture canít tell.

5.     Posters Ė I know what youíre thinking, I canít make a poster, I donít have the printer that can print it.  Well, what if I told you that you donít even need a printer to get a poster size print out of your scrapbook page.  How then you ask? You havenít been to any of the photo print sites we talked about earlier yet have you?  All your major photo sites as well as many of your local print shops can now handle prints as large as 20 X 30Ē.  You just need to provide them with a file that has enough pixels to make it a clean, clear process.  How big?  Letís see.

a.     Hereís what we have discovered.

                                                             i.      Poster size prints come in two sizes.  16 X 20Ē and 20 X 30Ē.  Other than size, the price of the final print is one of the first things you need to think about.  The larger print will cost you approximately 25% more than the smaller one.  So how much wall space do you want to pay for?

                                                          ii.      Final resolution.  So, just what does image resolution mean?  Resolution refers to the number of pixels in an image.  Resolution is sometimes referred to by the width and height of the image as well as the total number of pixels in the image.  For example, an image that is 1600 pixels wide and 1200 pixels high (1600◊1200) contains 1,920,000 pixels (or almost 2 Megapixels).  For your larger prints, (thatís anything over 8 X 10Ē), youíre looking for more than 3 Megapixels.  Thatís a big file!

                                                        iii.      So just how big do I need?  Well, for the 16 X 20Ē youíre looking at the same ratio as you would for an 8 X 10Ē, just bigger.  More precise, you need something in the range of 2020 X 1620 (3.27MP).  For the 20 X 30Ē, you will want a file about 2207 X 1476 (3.26MP) or higher.  Remember, the more pixels available, the clearer the print will be.

b.     What if your camera or scanner canít handle that large of a file?  Not a problem, remember, weíre making a scrap page.  So, the final picture is made up of multiple images and accessories.  OK, thatís a lot of numbers, but hereís what you need to get out of all that.  Posters like high resolution images for clarity.  You just need to set up your DTP or photo editing program to create a page size that when saved as an image file gives you more than 3 Megapixels of resolution.  Itís not as hard as it seems, or as big.

                                                             i.      I use Serifís DrawPlus program, itís similar to PhotoShop or most other high end photo editing programs.  If I set my page to 9.3 X 14Ē and export the image at 158 dots per inch (dpi), I get the perfect file for a 16 X 20Ē print.  If I set the page to 11.1 X 14Ē and export at 144dpi, I get the 20 X 30Ē file.  Bottom line, just a little experimentation on your part, and you can have a template for either or both of the large size prints.  Just think of how many pixels I could get at 300dpi.  Now itís just a matter of creating your standard computer scrapbook page and exporting it as a .jpg file for uploading to the print site.  Donít worry about the large file size, it may take a while to upload it, but the site will be more than happy to store it and turn it into your large masterpiece.

                                                          ii.      Donít just think that these large prints are just for your walls either.  How about a sales event ad or Garage Sales, Fair Display, etc.  My mother wants one made for her llamaís so she can put it up at shows.  My husbandís a pilot and is creating one of his flying photos to hang in the spare room.  Whatís yours going to be of?

6.     T-Shirts Ė Gifts or Advertising  (Heritage Quilt) Ė The iron-on-transfer isnít just for kid stuff.  Iím making some special quilt squares to place inside a heritage quilt pattern.  I also thought it might be nice to put some of my better scrap pages onto the front or back of sweatshirts.  I love showing off my grandkids.  How about a mini-page on a shirt pocket?  Kind of like a postcard that you wear.  I even thought it might be cool to make a cloth book cover of my page for the outside of my scrapbook or the kids school books. 

a.     What to plan for.

                                                             i.      You will need to take into account, the size of your frame for the picture area of your shirt, quilt or book.  Set up your graphics program to this size.  What I do is set it up for the whole size of the transfer page and then set aside the area for the project.  I use the rest of the space for extra words, graphics or those little items that Iíll put somewhere else.  This way I donít waste any of the transfer, theyíre not free after all.

                                                          ii.      Now just fill the pattern area with your page just like you would any other computer scrapbook project.  Thatís the fun part.  Fill up the rest of the transfer with your other accessories or graphics for another project.  If your project is small, such as a pocket, then you may be able to get two or more projects on each transfer.

b.     What doesnít work.

                                                             i.      Dark images on dark material.  Thatís a definite no-no.  White clothing or really light pastels always work best, but if you need to use a dark material, just make sure your photos, LARGE lettering and accents are all light colors.  However, using white lettering would not work, as white doesnít print.  It would just leave a blank spot, and your letters would be the material underneath.  You will need to use a pale yellow or other pastel color.

                                                          ii.      Any photoís that you place in this type of media need to have plenty of light coloring around the subject so that the subject will stand out better.  Sky, open fields and well-lit backgrounds work best.  Dark skinned subjects should always be well lit.  If your subject is dark and so is your background, it will be easy to lose both when you iron it on. 

c.     The final steps.

                                                             i.      Unlike a regular page, you canít just hit the print button for your transfers.  After all, they get put on backwards.  Youíll need to reverse or mirror your whole page before printing.  If your program doesnít allow for this, save it as an image and use a different program to reverse the image.  Now, you can just insert the finished product back into your program, make it the right size and youíre ready to go.

                                                          ii.      Just follow the steps outlined with your transfer instructions to place the finished product onto your material.  If your project is made up of several parts, itís usually a good idea to put them all together first and check for fit.  You wouldnít want to put the transfer on something that youíre going to have to throw away, now would you?

7.     Screen Savers Ė Wallpapers Ė Digital Slide Shows Ė So far, weíve talked a lot about using the computer to create and in some cases, print our scrap pages.  But, what about using the computer (or a TV) to display the finished pages?  You have a screen saver donít you?  You might even have one that displays your family snapshots.  So why not create some scrap pages to add to it?  If your computer has a CD burner or DVD burner, then you probably have (or can get) the tools to display your creations on the TV through Video CDs or DVDs.  Are you interested?  Donít worry if you donít have a screen saver that displays photoís, weíll let you know where you can get some for free later.

a.     TVs and computer monitors are all in a landscape mode of display that is unless you turned yours on end ;-).  So, we need to set our DTP or photo publishing program up in landscape mode as well.

b.     Now that thatís done, lets talk resolution again.  People have their monitors set up in many different resolutions.  600 X 400, 800 X 600, 1024 X 768 or 2048 X 1024 are the most common sizes. If youíre not sure what you have, donít be too concerned.  Why?  Because Iíve found a screen saver that will adjust the picture for what ever resolution you have.  Weíll just make all our images pretty large (better to shrink than stretch) and let the program take care of the display.  Sound good?  Great, then letís keep going.

c.     Set up your program for a 1024 X 768 image (unless you know for sure your resolution is higher).  This is the max that the majority of users set and even if you use a higher one, the stretched image will still look good while keeping the file sizes reasonable.

d.     Now just scrap the page as you would a standard computer scrapbook page.  When youíre done, save it as a JPG image to a separate directory so you can easily find the image files when youíre all done with as many as you want to use.  A couple of things to keep in mind that are a little different than standard are:

                                                             i.      First, small text sizes do not fair well in this environment.  They blur easily and cannot be read at all on a TV video image.  So, our recommendation is to keep them as large as possible, size 14 or bigger works best.  Also, as these images will not be displayed for long periods of time, short phrases and titles will be much appreciated by the audience, even if thatís you.

                                                          ii.      The same goes for small accessories and clipart.  Bigger is always better as small images can sometimes get blurred or washed out on the screen (especially Video CDs).

e.     What screen saver to use?  If you have one that allows you to add photos, great!  Youíre ready to go.  But, if you donít, hereís the one we use and highly recommend.  www.webshots.com.  The screen saver is free to download, is full of custom options and gives you access to some of the most beautiful pictures on the Internet.  The new version even has the tools to import your pictures into the program or you can just drag and drop them in.  Your choice!  What we like best is that it has a built in calendar function that displays small, medium or large calendar images over top the wallpaper or screen saver image.  You have got to check this one out if you havenít already.  Itís great and they allow you to create photo libraries on their site to share with others (or keep private).  I just really like what they have.

f.      Video CDs or DVDs are great, if you have the software for creating them.  We wonít go into much detail here, thereís lots of info on the net that discusses this much better than I could.  What I will say though is that you really get what you pay for with this kind of software.  If you can afford it, Iíd buy at least a medium priced product.  If you donít, I can just about guarantee that youíll be buying another one in a short amount of time.

8.     Web Pages Ė Thatís right, how about sticking your pages on the Internet.  With todayís web publishing software and most Desk Top Publishing programs now supporting exporting your creations to HTML, itís never been easier to put your pages out there for the whole world to see.   Well, at least the people you let know itís there.  At any rate, hereís what you need to know.

a.     If you donít have a DTP or Web Publishing program, donít fearÖ we have a short online tutorial that will show you how you can do simple pages with nothing more than a text editor.  Weíll even give you a template to help you out.  That link is:  http://www.princesscrafts.com/tutorials/webpages/princesscrafts-scrapweb.htm .

b.     If you do have the software to help you out, great!  Just remember that not everyone has a high-resolution monitor, so keep your pages narrow enough that someone with a small monitor or laptop can still view your pages without scrolling left and right to see it all.  We are all use to scrolling up and down, we just donít like to do all four directions at the same time.

c.     If you would like some examples of what they might look like on the web, check out our Animal Antics pages from our layout ideas at: http://www.princesscrafts.com/layoutideas/antics/animalantics1.htm .  We created these pages with our DTP software and just hit the publish button to create the files.  It even uploaded the pages to the site for me.  Of course you can check out almost every page on our site for examples of scrap pages on the web.  All of our backgrounds were created using the same technique that is described in the tutorial above.  Just a little practice and the blank pages can be created in less than 10 minutes.  Then you just fill in the journaling and artwork. 

d.     Just one last comment.  If you like any of the background pages we have already created on our site, we will be adding the templates for most of them into our memberís area in late Feb 2004. 

9.     DVD and VCR Case Covers Ė Home videoís, video CDs and DVDs are still hot items around the house.  Especially in todayís high tech homes.  We even talked about putting your scrap pages onto video CD or DVD earlier in this article.  Well, donít stop with the CD or tape, create a unique cover that tells the story of whatís inside the case.  All the office and DTP programs have ready-made templates for all your different types of media out there.  All you have to do is to apply your scrapbooking knowledge to the artwork and poof!   Another wonderful and creative family treasure.

a.     Donít try and fit the index of whatís inside on the coverÖ thatís what the inside is for.

b.     Donít be afraid to use smaller than normal text sizes.  Unlike the video inside, the cover will be printed by your high-resolution printer.  We found that we have no problem reading even a size 6 font if itís bold.

c.     Do remember that on VCR tape covers that the page will wrap all the way around so donít forget the spine and backside.

d.     One little trick we found for dealing with VCR tape boxes instead of casesÖ use the full page sticker sheets.  Once you print the new label, just cut it into itís 3 pieces (Front, Spine and Back) and just peel and stick it to the box.  Much better than hand writing all over it.

10.      Holiday Gift Tags or Ornaments Ė Last, but certainly not least, we can make gift tags or ornaments out of our pictures.  Want to see what they look like?  View ours at: http://www.princesscrafts.com/giftideas/gifttags.htm.  Theyíre pretty easy to do yourself, the only tough part is getting the template set up.  Rather than take two pages or more to describe how itís done, buy one either from us or from a local craft store and use it to measure and create your template.  Once you have the template ready to go, hereís what you need to consider.

a.     Choosing your pictures Ė The pictures are going to be pretty small.  We recommend using head and shoulder shots for these.  Wallet pictures are ideal.  That way you maximize the size of the subject within itís small area.

b.     If youíre going to do the whole thing on the computer and then just print it, be sure and set up your publishing program to leave enough room around the picture for a border fill or texture to frame the picture with.

c.     Again, remember that this will be a very small project in most cases.  Be sure you use a large enough font that it can be clearly read when itís done.  This is particularly important as you get older like I am and have trouble reading small print.

d.     Good quality smooth card stock works best to print it on.  Anything less and you risk it tearing before you get the package to its destination.  Also use a good heavy colored cord for hanging as an ornament or attaching to the gift.  Cats and kids love to play with them and we donít want them all coming off before the packages get opened.

Thatís the end of our Top 10 Ways to Scrap Outside the Book.  We hope you found a couple of new ideas to use for your scrapbooking fun.  Drop by http://www.PrincessCrafts.com and check out all our tutorials and ideas.  If you have any questions or maybe more ideas that we could add to our list, feel free to send them to .  We love hearing from you.  Until next timeÖ 

 

Wes Waddell

PrincessCrafts.com

5505 Whipshaw Rd.

Peyton, CO  80831

(719) 683-5780

 

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