Saturday, November 08, 2008

My attempt at a regular blog

I'm going to attempt some regularity to my blogging over at It's going to be theme-oriented as so many blogs seem to be now. You know...Monday Menus, Tuesday Trouble, Wednesday Walk-in-the-Park, that kinda thing. I hope you drop by.

Since I've left this blog dormant since May now (!) I will just leave it this way, and if people have questions or what have you, just drop me a comment in one of my posts and I'll be happy to help if I can. I haven't been digi-scrapping in quite a while. Kind of got out of the habit. Maybe I'll do a Scrapping-Sunday, or something like that.

Hope you all are well and enjoying your various pursuits! TTFN ~Jen

Monday, May 26, 2008

My favorite tutorial ever!

I was browsing through the tutorials I have given you all and I realized one very important one is MISSING! I think this is my favorite because of a particular photo I used that I actually framed and gave to my husband.

Here is the photo I will use for the tutorial:

What I am going to do is highlight the colorful tulips in the photo and make the rest of the photo black and white. It really makes for a stunning effect when done with the right photo.

Step 1: Open the photo you want to work with.
Step 2: Make a copy of the photo. You should now have two images.
Step 3: Convert the copy to black and white. (Image-->Mode-->Grayscale)
Step 4: Convert the copy to RGB. (Image-->Mode-->RGB) This gives a richer depth of field for the grayscale.
Step 5: Copy the grayscale image to the original image. This will give your original image a floating selection. Choose "add layer" in your layers dialog box and it will anchor your layer in place. Now your original should look black and white, but that's only because the b/w layer is on top! You can now minimize your b/w image, or close it without saving.
Step 6: Now the FUN part begins! Reduce the opacity of your b/w layer to about 1/2 (this is optional). You image should look a little bit muted, but the colors will show enough.
Step 7: Zoom in to the part of your photo you want to have colored.
Step 8: Choose the eraser tool in the toolbox and decide the size you want to work with (In 4.4 you can adjust the size of your brush/eraser.)
Step 9: Start gently erasing the b/w layer where you want the color to show through. You might have to adjust the size of your brush a few times in order to fine tune your erasing. + will make a straight line from your last erase mark, too, which helps in this tutorial.
Step 10: Now, if you haven't saved your file already, choose "save as" and save it as a GIMP file. Then choose "save as" and save it as a .jpg file so you can print it, or whatever you want to do!

You're done, now here's my results:

Have fun with this, and please post a link to your results in the comments!

Happy Scrapping! ~Jen

PS. Can you tell the boys were THRILLED to have their picture taken? ;)
PPS. I almost forgot! Before you save your file as a .jpg, increase the opacity on your b/w layer to 100% (to regain the b/w once you're done erasing) then save your GIMP file again.

PPPS. I just noticed I missed something in step 10. By pressing the shift key then clicking the eraser, you can make a straight line of erase mark. Sorry that didn't come out right when I posted it. Blogger read it as html by accident.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More GIMP stuff for your surfing pleasure!

Have you ever heard of It is a search engine just for digital scrapbooking sites! And you can add your own site to the list, too, if you want. Go check it out!

I've also run across some new tutorial sites for the GIMP. This page, in particular, looked interesting, but I have yet to peruse the whole website.

This page
and this page are translations which don't come across very well, but I'm going to play with them anyway, and see if I can re-translate it better.

Anyway, things have been busy here and I haven't had much time to scrap, but I'm getting ready to do a photo challenge over at so I'm excited to look at these photo editing tutorials.

I hope you all are doing well and have some soothing scrap-time. ~Jen

Thursday, May 08, 2008

the GIMP for Macs

Here's a website I just found which has the GIMP for Mac. I know there are some Mac users out there who would like some free software for digital scrapbooking... :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"Just Give Me Somethin' to Scrap About"

Are you tired of the same old scrapping ideas that keep floating through your head? Well, here's a "top 10" list for my next scrapbooking slumps. I hope you enjoy them!

10. Laundry (aka. Mt. Washmore)
9. Dishes (Breakfast, Lunch AND dinner--does that count as 3?)
8. Getting the mail (and hoping that our box hasn't been vandalized, again)
7. Morning coffee (and praying that I will get some before the kids wake up)
6. Grocery shopping (on a budget of course!)
5. Garage Sales (wanting to sell all my kids' stuff at one, and wishing I didn't have to do my shopping AT them to GET my kids' stuff)
4. The clock on my living room wall (and it's constant NAGGING! LOL!!)
3. Library books (the one I've lost, and the ones on hold because so many people already want to read them)
2. Google recipes (my favorite "cookbook" in the world!)
1. Toys (stepping on them, tripping over them, skating on them (!), putting them in "time out", throwing the broken ones away, etc, etc, etc....)

Now, if you dare, post your "top 10" in the comments. I'd love to see what is going to motivate you to scrap your next page!

Happy Scrapping!!! ~Jen

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Have you ever looked at GIMPshop? It's a flavor, or variety of the GIMP. Someone decided to doctor up the GIMP to make it look and feel more like Photoshop, especially for digital scrapbooking. It's also free, just like the regular GIMP. I haven't looked at it myself but I'm curious to hear more about it, especially from someone who has used the GIMP as well, to hear a comparison.

Here is a link for more info if you are interested:

Happy Scrapping! ~Jen

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I've been sprucing a little bit around here...

Just thought you might want to know I've been sprucing up a bit, making this easier for you (hopefully!) to find what you're looking for.

I've added tags to most of my posts, so you can search for tutorials now--and find them! There are many other tag words that will help you find exactly what you're looking for. I hope they are useful! I try to distinguish between beginner, intermediate and advanced tutorials also--I want to make it EASY for you to scrap with the GIMP! :D I've also added an RSS feed. You'll find it in your address window as a little orange square. Just click on it and then follow the directions. Let me know if you find it useful.

I also added a feature so that I can post here from an alternative id, when I'm logged with my other email address. I hope it's not confusing. I have a team now--but it's "me," and my other "me"! :D I'm posting this entry with my new id.

Well, that's about all for now. I've been starting to download some more kits and scrap a little bit more. Remember--YOU learn when I learn!

Happy Scrapping! ~Jen

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Quickmask tutorial

In so many ways I am only a beginner when it comes to what the GIMP can do. I really want to learn more to make my scrapbook projects really look special. So, in my searchings, I have found a tutorial that is really simple and will give your photo a really cool look! The tutorial was written for an older version of the GIMP, so if you have any problems with it, let me know and I'll be happy to help.

Happy Scrapping! ~Jen

Friday, March 28, 2008

Try THIS on for size!

Did you know that you can adjust the size of your draw/erase tool? No, you don't have to CHOOSE a different size. You can actually ADJUST the size of the one you are currently using!

(I was just reading a review of the GIMP vs. Adobe Photoshop and the reviewer was not impressed with the GIMP's capabilities. The reviewer admittedly said that s/he had not tried the newest version (2.4) yet, so s/he will certainly be in for a surprise when they see this! )

It is so freeing! It's the "scale" slider in the toolbox and it is especially nice when you are trying to fade photos into the background for a hazy, misty effect. Check it out! It's in the toolbox when you choose one of the drawing tools or the erase tool. Oh, and try the opacity tool there, too, while you're at it.

Happy scrapping! ~Jen

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Did you know that GIMP is FREE?!?

I was talking to my cousin yesterday about this blog and the fact that I have this blog to brag about the great things that the GIMP can do. And the fact that it's free means you don't have to spend a lot of money to start digital scrapbooking. The GIMP is FREE! Yes, you read that right. And you can download it to your computer right now if you want to.

The GIMP is available for Windows, Macintosh and Linux.

I hope this is not new information for any of you, but in case it is, let me know in the comments! I'm always happy to help people who are just starting out with the GIMP.

Happy Scrapping! ~Jen

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Do you hybrid scrap?

My cousin and I have a hybrid relationship when it comes to scrapbooking. She scraps paper; I scrap digi. And the crazy thing is we each LOVE our respective method and respect the other's preference. It's fun to see what she comes up with that I could NEVER do with digital--like little flaps that open! So amazing.

I turned my back on paper scrapping a long time ago and have never looked back. All the paper and scraps everywhere just was too overwhelming and I had no place to stash it all that was anything CLOSE to organized. (Keep an eye open here for a post on organizing your digi-stash.) Do any of YOU paper scrap? Or hybrid scrap? I would love to hear about your experiences!

Happy scrapping! ~Jen

Monday, March 24, 2008

Let's get CREATIVE!

Do you ever wonder where the designers come up with their fabulous color schemes? Some of them are just beautiful, aren't they? I love what they come up with! Well, in your moment of inspiration, try out this little trick:

Open a random photo in the GIMP. Click on Colors-->Info-->Smooth Palette. Choose the default size for now and click "Ok". Now you have a color palette based on the colors in the photo. There's lots of colors to choose from, of course, but you could simplify your selection by choosing the ones you like best. Pick at least 4-6 to get a good variety. Now go create some new papers or elements with those colors--the possibilities are endless! You can also recolor ones that you already have, but be sure to follow the terms of use and give proper credit to the original artist

Happy Scrapping! ~Jen

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A discussion about sketches

First I'll start with some questions: What do you like about sketches? Do you use them? Do you stick to them closely or do you tend to get creative and veer off a little? HOW do you use sketches? Do you just use them for ideas and then create your own LO? Or do you blow them up to full size and use them as a sort-of "template"?

There are a couple of websites I have rediscovered that made me wonder about this tool. You can see them here and here. In these websites they use the term "maps" instead of "sketches". Do you consider these the same? From what I can tell, they are. There are also sketches you can purchase--seemingly everywhere! As a GIMP user you are probably trying to be thrifty like me. Is buying something like a sketch a necessary part of your digi-scrapping routine?

Sketches, or maps, are basically LO ideas in shades of grey with journaling and title positioning ideas that are created to help you get started on your own LO. They are 1(one) layer only. These can be very simple to use in the GIMP because there is no need for converting anything. Just open up the sketch in an image window to have it as a reference, then start building your LO in a separate image window.

More in my next post. Now find a sketch and get scrapping! I would love to see what you all are doing, too! Happy Scrapping! ~Jen

Sunday, March 16, 2008

For posterity...

I decided to sign up for the Scrapbooking Top 50 group today and my rank doesn't even fit on the little image they gave me! So sad... I'm #4506. Give me some love and tell others out there about me so I can improve my ranking--I KNOW I can get in under 1000 if we all spread the word. Pretty please?

Happy Scrapping!

Monday, March 10, 2008

GIMP tour Part 2

Okay, let's pick up where we left off. Open the GIMP and then close any extra windows that might pop up, leaving only the toolbox open. Click on "File", then "Preferences." Now, I have GIMP 2.4 for Linux so yours may be different, but some defaults did not translate to the new version for me. First is the Toolbox appearance. Go down to the Toolbox option in your preferences window. Here you can select or unselect information you want displayed in your toolbox, such as foreground/background colors, active brush, pattern, gradient, etc. Not a HUGE deal, but one that I am going to change so it suits me better.

Next is Default Image. If you create a lot of elements or papers, you may want to adjust the default image size. Keep in mind that the bigger you make it, the more memory the GIMP will use--in fact, the GIMP has actually told me I am using too much memory in the past and I have learned this the hard way. :-)

Default grid is something that is very important to me and I was happy when I discovered how to change it. When you are trying to align photos or squares of any kind, using the grid can be an amazingly big help! My preference for grid default is a solid line style with 100 pixel spacing. Set what you think you want here, and then try it out. You can always change it from your image window, or come back here and change the default.

Appearance, under Image Windows, may or may not be important to you. The defaults that I have seem to be enough. I might change them on a case by case basis in the image window but you can decide what is best for you. I would suggest changing the settings in the image window to see what you like, before changing them in the defaults.

In the Display settings, you can change what the canvas looks like when your image is transparent. You can change the size and style of the checkerboard you see. You can also select your monitor resolution here, but I just let the GIMP do that for me.

That's all we're going to get to today. Hope that tides you over 'til next time!

Happy Scrapping! ~Jen

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Get Your Party On!

I just heard from a friend that there's a blog PARTY goin' on! Come join the party! We're going to party about the GIMP and all it means to us girlies when it comes to our digi-scrapping passion!

Here's a great link to some lovin' about the GIMP. What have YOU got to say about the GIMP? Tell me the good and the bad, because we can make it better if we let the programmers know. Leave a note in the comments--please! I need some comments!

Happy Scrapping!

Monday, March 03, 2008

What annoys you about the GIMP?

I decided I'm going to spend a few posts talking about preferences set-up. I want my GIMP personalized--don't you?? Well, you can do it--to an extent--and I want you to learn how to do it, too.
First of all, open the GIMP. (If your layers dialogue opens, go ahead and close it because we aren't going to do a LO right now.) Now toodle around the menus in the toolbox. There's a LOT of stuff in there that I never used to use--in fact, I didn't even know it was there! But now that you've glanced around, let me give you a tour!
First, left-click on the little GIMP guy in the top left corner. He's above the "File" drop down button. The first option is "Advanced." Choose "Advanced" and then choose the first option "Keep above others". When I do this it will allow me to look at the tool box while I am typing this blog, AND always have the toolbox visible while I am working on a LO. This is nice for me because I always seem to need it when it is buried! Ugh. Now it won't be buried anymore! To turn it off, go back to the same button and click it again. It appears that I will have to reset this feature every time I open GIMP. However, as we explore more menus and more options, this might change.

You could also select "Keep below others" if you prefer using the "tools" dropdown menu on the image (or LO) window.

NOTE: DO NOT click on "no border" or "full screen". They are annoying, at least to me, and seem to have no useful purpose in the realm of digi-scrapping.

I think that's all I'm going to cover in the "Advanced" section.

Now click on the GIMP guy again. Go down to "shade". If you REALLY don't like looking at the toolbox, and selecting "Keep below others" is not enough for you, you could use the "shade" feature. This treats the toolbox window like a window shade. You reverse the feature by de-selecting it.

ANOTHER NOTE: Closing the toolbox will shut down GIMP.

Okay, that is all we will be doing with the GIMP guy. And if all of that was confusing to you or did not make sense or you could not find any of it, do not dispair. GIMP runs on different operating systems, and yours just might be different than mine.
Now to the "File" drop down menu. There are several options here, as I'm sure you have noticed before. Here's the list I see: New, Open, Open location, Open recent, Acquire, Preferences, Keyboard shortcuts, Units, Dialogs, Close all, Quit.

"New" gives you a window to create a new, blank image. You can decide the size manually, or use a template. In digital scrapbooking, I find that I never use this feature. It may be useful if you find yourself creating your own blinkie, digi-elements or digi-paper, however.

Next is Open. Open takes you to a window where you can open any file on your hard drive, disc or memory card. Choosing this option limits you to opening the file in the size that it already is. For instance, I scrap in 12" x 12" or 3600 x 3600 pixels, with 300 dpi. If I open a file with these dimentions, my resulting image (or LO) will be those dimentions. So, I always open my background paper first when I do a LO. More on this later.

Next we will skip to "Open recent." When you click on this it will give you a list and tiny thumbnails of your recent files, whether they be photos, LO's or anything else you might have opened. If you want to dock this list for frequent reference, you can click on the very bottom item which is a folder of your recently opened history.

I think I'm gonna stop there now. I know we haven't gotten to many "preferences" yet, but we will so hang in there. I have to get some laundry started and go pick up my son at preschool. A mother's work is never done ya know! :D

Happy Scrapping! ~Jen

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Just found a new tutorial site!

I just found out about a website dedicated to software tutorials and they have GIMP! I glanced at one tut about editing a photo and it looked really good! Can't wait to try it out.

Here's the website: You'll also find it in my sidebar very soon! ~Jen

Friday, February 29, 2008

Tutorial: Making one photo look like a pile of photos

Since this is a pretty low-tech blog, there will be no pictures to follow, so I hope that my explanation and the sample above will be enough. It's a pretty cool technique so I want you all to learn it!

In choosing a photo for your LO, you want to choose one that has multiple subjects, like a family photo, a landscape photo with lots of different objects, or a "still life" kind of photo with many objects. You want to be able to create separate "snapshots" that will lay together to form one "subject" in your LO.

Decide on at least two areas of your photo you want to make into new "photos". Here are the instructions to create a new photo for your "pile". After you finish these directions, you can repeat as many times as you want within your LO. One step that is helpful to make your finished product look realistic is to make sure your stack of "photos" are each the same ratio as a 4" x 6" or a 5" x 7" would be. This will mean more as you go through the instructions.

Here we go:
Add a new transparent layer to match the dimensions of the area you selected (Layers-->New Layer). Move the layer to where you want it. Fill the area with white, or whatever color you want the border of your photos to be (Edit-->Fill with BG color). In the layers dialogue, lower the opacity of this white layer so you can see through it. Rotate until it is at the angle you want (Tools-->Transform tools-->Rotate) . Select by color the white area of your layer (Select-->Select by color, then click on the white area). In the layers dialogue, switch to your photo layer. Select "float" (Select-->Float). Then in the layers dialogue choose new layer (or Layers-->New). Now select your white layer in the layers dialogue and scale it bigger so that it shows from beneath the photo layer you just created. Change the aspect so that the white shows up exactly how you want it. At this point you may want to change the opacity back to 100% so you can see the layer better as well.

Now, take two of these and call me in the morning! LOL! Actually, repeat instructions above as necessary until you have as many photos in your pile as you want. Then, click on the eye next to your original photo in the layers dialogue, and your LO should now look like the one above, with a blank or transparent background. I actually did all of my work on top of a pretty background paper so I didn't have the GIMP grid to look at, but blacked it out for this tutorial.

Once you have created your photo stack, you can merge all of the different layers together so you can save it as it's own file, cut and paste it into a LO, or whatever suits your fancy! I hope you have as much fun with this technique as I have!

Happy Scrapping! ~Jen