Monday, June 23, 2014

All is Not Lost - Backing Up and Starting Again

After spending about twelve hours organizing my scrapbooking supplies and photos for May and April, my ehd died. Of course, I hadn't backed anything up. So all those changes, poof! I tried to get them back, but I wasn't willing to pay $100 to recover the file structure. I really didn't lose anything, just the organization. Now I have a better system anyway.

I am enrolled in Focus, over at Simple Scrapper. It is helping me prioritize my activities. Especially as I move forward to what I think is going to be a hectic year. I want to continue to make room for scrapping and have a system that is up and running by August.

How I get my pics to LR and beyond:

Phone pics:

  • Dropbox to LR - auto upload
  • Photostream
Camera Pics
  • Upload as needed to daily/monthly folders
Backup Plan
3+ copies:
    1. EHD-My Photo Library
    2. EHD- My Backup - Using SyncBack SE - runs weekly or as needed when I make big changes
    3. Offsite: Backblaze - continuous
    4. Other: Flickr, GooglePlus, Photostream - working on setting these up to have access to photos from other places
Digi Supplies will be in another post.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Progress towards Getting Back to It: Scrapbooking, that is

My focus word is: LIMITS.

When I establish limits on the number of steps, photos, keywords, kits, etc. I am more motivated to get started.

I figured something out about my work habits. Recently I was listening to somebody talk about how overwhelming stuff can be and how it will totally block creative flow if allowed. I have come to realize that my habit of consumption has been a major block in my scrapbooking life. I want to scrapbook again. I want to share my pictures, fill my Project Life album, and document this wonderful life. I realize that I have allowed the bazillion choices that I have to take over and inhibit my creativity. Today I took a step forward.

I have been working on getting my photo system - computer, external hard drives, iphones, ipads - all feeding their pictures into Lightroom. I think I have that figured out by using Dropbox. I have not figured out the dSLR. That is a separate endeavor trying to figure out my EyeFi card. Hmmm . . . can I move my EyeFi directly into Lightroom's Watched Folder? I think Lightroom can only watch one folder though, so I have to think about this for now. I am fine just sticking my card in my computer once a month and uploading that way. That was a great relief to get that going. I still have to figure out the backup of my hard drives. I have all photos and digistuff on one ehd now, but I have to set up my second local copy back up using SyncBack. That's another story altogether.

Another thing that I have set up is my digi-download flow. I have been a member of the DigiFiles for years. Each month I receive at least 7 kits. Some I like, some I don't. I have developed a workflow for those using ExtractNow, a free unzipper that puts the unzipped files where I need them and the zip files where I need them and all out of my Downloads folder. Pretty nifty.

Today I fixed Keywords in Lightroom. I have been really bugged by the disarray of keywords that appear in LR after an import. I have also been dissatisfied that LR doesn't have facial recognition. I figured out that I can set up Picasa to scan only the folder of the month I am working on and as long as I use the exact same keyword tag, the tag will be read by LR. In my current system, I am always working on last month's photos. If I have all the photos in LR then I can view them in Picasa, face tag them, then synchronize the files in LR. It's working pretty good so far!

What I haven't figured out is where to start telling my stories. I have to get rating my photos now.

Off to listen to Kayla Lamoreaux in the "Finding Photo Flow" class at Jessica Sprague. I find that when I hear it again, it reminds me of how I used to love this hobby.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Responses to Sustainable Scrapbooking Webinar

From Sustainable Scrapbooking Webinar found at SimpleScrapper.


  1. What do I feel guilty about? Buying and buying and not using. I have so much and I get excited but then I do nothing. I feel guilty that I take pictures then do nothing with them. My family and friends want to see their photos. Why do I do this?
  2. Where do you get stuck? I get overwhelmed with too many photos and too many steps to get from photo to layout. I want it easy and not so mind-numbingly boring to get from after the picture to making the layout.
  3. What are your hang ups? I can't work in clutter. I get hung up coming down to the basement. I get caught up in downloading and sorting and labeling into Lightroom. Now I want to take everything out of Lightroom and start fresh with only my pictures and my newer kits. I also have a fear of committing, although I don't understand why.


Obstacle: I feel guilty that I take pictures then do nothing with them. My family and friends want to see their photos. 

Real objective: To share my best pictures with friends to feel that accomplished feeling - "You are so good at this." Can I just start with right now? Can I just start with one month's worth of photos? Do I have to have 9 million keywords.

"The first rule of sustainability is to align with natural forces, or at least not to try to defy them." Paul Hawken

"When you find your best compromise it takes the stress away but allows you to feel good about your photos and stories, you've found sustainable scrapbooking. The actual solution here considers your natural strengths and preferences and ignores the rest. This is what I call your sustainability fingerprint: The unique set of solutions that fill you up and fit your lifestyle." Jennifer Wilson

"You have to be realistic." Jennifer Wilson


You must get started. Implement, tweak, and perfect.

Focus (the key to implementation)

  • centered
  • intentional
  • get up when you fall down
  • simplicity goals at the forefront
Schedule routine checkins (monthly assessments). See where simplifying can help and keep moving forward.

Find a friend.

Make small, incremental changes.

GETTING STARTED - put all your obstacles through this process
Understand your challenges and chances to simplify.
Brainstorm good enough options for getting there.
Focus and implement the change.

Sustainable Approaches

  • Photo books - no frills scrapbooking
  • Reducing your decisions
    • automate import of photos
    • automate delivery of supplies
  • Pocket Pages by Category: LOM-People, places, things
  • Digital & Paper Baby Book - use simple approaches
  • Re-assess and re-dedicate
  • Recognize your workflow and motivation will wax and wane
  • Support and accountability


  1. Upload from DSLR - each month, or after a large event
  2. Upload from phone - automatically through Dropbox
  3. Star rate photos for the previous month (1's are Keepers; 2's are StoryTellers; 3's are Irreplaceables)
  4. Identify Stories I want to tell (photos with 2's and 3's)
  5. Create Smart Collection
  6. Identify Project Life pics (when I don't have a long story, or I want to document that there's more to this story to come)
The rest is about Scrapbooking and that's for another post.

Can't Even . . .

get started. I am here on iNSD and I am downloading like crazy. I am refraining from buying as I spent any money (probably more than I should) on 8x8 prints from Persnickety. I thought that might be motivation to get going!!

I recently quit the Yearbook. I felt that I was spending hours and hours putting together memories for other people's kids who didn't even really appreciate all that went into it. It was a thankless job and I realized I want to spend my wintery weekend afternoons scrapping my own yearbooks.

That brings me to my issues. I am so sick of stuff!! Yet . . .I keep buying and downloading and blah, blah, blah. My digifiles membership is more than enough to keep my mojo going so I really don't have to be enticed by any more stuff. I have a few standout artists that I adore-Anna Aspnes, Amber Shaw, Sabrina's Creations, and Designs by Anita. Why can't I just use their stuff and create beautiful layouts!

Besides stuff, I am frustrated with my camera and, although I have taken courses and downloaded books on the subject, I still struggle to get sharp photos. Everyday photos with eyes in focus - is that too much to ask! I shoot more with my iphone5s and, somehow, I can forgive it when it blurs because it doesn't have enough light. Some of my favorite photos are those kind.

Lightroom overwhelms me. My camera overwhelms me. My stuff overwhelms me. Then I do nothing but read about how other people are scrapping their lives. Ugh!

I want to paint and draw and I want to scrapbook. I don't want to have to choose. I want it to be effortless to a point, uncomplicated. Can I just get to it? What is it going to take?

I need an action plan. Yep, that's what I need. I will start with recapping my recent efforts, then move into actionable steps with tangible outcomes to get my mojo moving. That's it. Stay tuned, me!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

600 Seconds in Lightroom

Okay, since it has taken me fifteen minutes to take a screen shot of what I did in Lightroom in 10 minutes, I guess you'll just have to take my word for it until I figure it out.

I opened Lightroom and set the time to 10 minutes. I started with 869 images in my 12-12 folder (December 2012). I had several files that were miss filed there and I realized that they were pictures from school (I do the yearbook there) and they needed to be processed and put in the HESCurrent folder. So in ten minutes I process 40 pictures, that includes keywords and put them in the proper folder. I did nothing else but keyword and move. I didn't cull or rate or edit. That's another 600 seconds.

But . . . if I continued to make this same kind of progress and worked on just this thing for five days, I would move 200 pictures and they would be ready for the next step. I cleaned out 5 folders and can now remove them before I shut down LR and go to bed.  I might have even been able to move more if the folders had a lot of pics in them, like the ones from the K-4 concert with 143 or the one from the Activity day before Christmas break on the 19th with 219. Now that's cool, huh?

600 Seconds to what?

If all I had each day was six hundred seconds, or ten minutes, to dedicate to my craft what could I accomplish? This is a list I have brainstormed, but not tested. I will revise the list as I work through it.

  • upload photos
  • cull and basic keyword photos (how many?)
  • rate and caption photos (how many? )
  • edit photos
  • organize folders of photos
  • check on my back up systems to make sure they are running properly
  • download a digi kit
  • sort and organize digital files in download folder
  • convert pngs to tiff files to upload to Lightroom
  • upload digifiles to Lightroom
  • basic keyword and sort digifiles
  • create a lightroom layout template
  • choose files, photos, and stories for a layout
  • organize a photo collection for an album
  • burn a dvd
  • create a blog post
  • upload photos to flickr
  • watch a video
  • upload to Persnickety Prints
  • place an order with Persnickety Prints
  • brainstorm a list of projects/layout ideas
  • start a digital layout in PSE
  • work on a digital layout in PSE
  • finish, save, and upload a digital layout to a share site
  • read a blog post
  • comment on blog posts
Has anyone else done a list like this? I am not sure that ten minutes is the right amount of time, but twenty minutes seems to be too long sometimes. Sometimes just getting started is the key and you can do anything for ten minutes.

What if you don't even have ten minutes? What if all you have is five minutes? How do you organize and track your activities so that you make the best use of your time? The goal is to keep moving forward, to get your photos out there to share with the people you care about, to tell your story, no matter how mundane. If you could do that in 600 seconds a day, would you? Wouldn't you?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Journal Your Christmas 2012: Prompt 2 Christmas Countdown from Childhood

Today’s prompt asked me to think about the Christmas countdown in my childhood. I remember putting up the Christmas tree with my dad and my brother. At this point my elder sisters must have been too cool to participate, but John and I had fun. I remember that we would love sorting out the parts of the artificial tree, much like I have done with my own children in the past. We would match the colors at the ends of the branches together and assemble the tree from the bottom up.
When it was time to decorate, late November, Dad would take us up to the attic and pass down the boxes of ornaments, garlands, and the tree. The attic was always a bit of a spooky place with a scary element because if you stepped in the wrong place you would come right down through the ceiling as there was no floor for the attic space but pieces of wide boards scattered about as makeshift walkways.  When we got older, John and I would retrieve the boxes on our own. Dad trusted us to pull them down.

My favorite decorations were the glow-in-the-dark icicles. John and I would hold them up to the nearest lamp then scoot into my parents' bedroom without the light on and watch them glow. We were fascinated by the process. I remember doing this over and over again. I remember the electric candles that went in the bedroom windows and the windows in the living and dining rooms. I remember being excited to plug them in at night, like a night light especially made for Christmas-time.

I also remember the big plastic candle decoration that Dad would set up in the front lawn. This was given up early on in my childhood. I don't even really remember seeing it on the lawn, but in the attic where we stored all the Christmas supplies. I remember setting out the strings of lights and inspecting them to find the bad bulbs. This could be a frustrating and arduous process that didn't always result in the strand lighting in the end. We were patient as we knew that this was one more step getting us closer to Christmas Day.

I don't remember Mom getting into the decorating very much. Maybe, like me, she was more a part of it when we were younger, and let Dad do it as the children got older and more independent. Nowadays, I really don't care about the tree much. I don't want to spend my precious vacation time taking the tree down and spending the hours it takes putting each ornament back in its box. For many years, I did this. I remember that when the girls were small there was so much to do and the tree was one more thing that I didn't necessarily enjoy a great deal. I tolerated the routine for them. I wanted them to remember the fun of putting up the tree.

The past three or so years have been different. Brett has wanted to do away with the artificial tree and appreciates a real one. I don't appreciate the cost or the mess, but I have to say it is growing on me. It is the only thing that he takes any interest in. He doesn't buy presents. He doesn't wrap. He doesn't really care about the holiday. But since he's taken over the tree thing the past few years, I am finding that I have a renewed interest in it. I still don't want to decorate it, but I like taking pictures of Brett and the girls putting up the lights and the garland. Last year we didn't put any ornaments on. The year before that, Brett bought cheap red balls to put up and we tossed them in the trash when the tree came down. I think we put up the artificial tree in the basement too, but we only put up lights. I have to admit the tree helps create the anticipation of Christmas Day and it's pretty to sit by the lights in the evening.

This year the girls selected a few choice ornaments to put on the tree. I didn't see what they had chosen until they started putting them on and had questions about which ornament belonged to who and when we had gotten it or who gave it to us.  I wonder if I am losing something as I pick up ornament after ornament and don't know their stories.  I used to. I have a list of all the special ornaments, who gave them to us, and the occasion. As a teacher I would get a lot of ornaments, some nice, some cheesy, from students. I started to lose track of the ones that we accumulated that way. This year the tree is staying up. It's beautiful and I realize that I don't have to take the ornaments down right away. Maybe I can re-acquaint myself with the stories or make up new ones with the girls as we put them back in their boxes and tins.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Word for 2013: Share

Last year I realized that I was spending way too much time and money downloading digital product from lots of places, so I chose 2012 to be a year of streamlining. I cancelled subscriptions, unsubscribed to newsletters, and focused on one website: MScraps. This was a fabulous change for me and it went very well until September. In the nine months of actively scrapping with MScraps, I have 212 layouts posted there! That is a fantastic feat! I was able to become a guest creative team member, earned and won over $100 in free product, and got to know some of the members there. When school started back up in August, I was overwhelmed. I had been scrapping regularly all summer and somehow felt it was time to move my computer down to the basement. I wanted to remove some of the clutter I was feeling. What it really meant was that I would barely touch my laptop for four months.

In retrospect, I have been challenged with keeping any routines going for the past four months. My energy has been sucked into the negative events at my school and in just trying to be a good teacher and an adequate parent. I continued to take pictures and uploaded them to my computer, but I stopped telling my story. I stopped working through my pictures. I have done very little with my photos. But now here I am, with a catalog of over 45,000 digital photos - some keyworded, some captioned, some scrapped. I have over 40,000 digital scrapbooking files - with a good portion that I haven't even looked at since I downloaded them. I haven't even processed the Digi files in the past four months, they are still sitting in the downloads folder.

Let's talk about what I have bought for my photoscrapography habit. Last year I bought Photography Concentrate's Super Photo Editing Skills, Erin Cobb's Clean Scrapbooking for PSE, ebooks from Digital Photography School, The Shutter Sister's book Elevate the Everyday and Chris Orwig's People Pictures. These go unread, un-referenced. I bought PSE11. I bought supplies for my Cinch machine thinking I would make calendars.  I have two scrapbooking memberships: Paperclipping and The Daily Digi (a third if I count Masterful Scrapbook Design, I download and browse). I bought Lifebook 2012 and did one lesson. I bought Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas and did three entries. I want this madness to stop. I want to stop downloading and buying and thinking that I am going to do things. I want to DO things

I am having an epiphany.  I seem to remember a similar pattern last year that led to my declaration of simplifying all the scrapbook information that I consume. I was buying but not learning. I was lured in by the thrill of a shiny new kit or ebook or workshop or class. I would purchase, download, and just let the content sit. I vowed to simplify and I did. In the absence of a creative outlet in the past four months, some of that need I have to be creatively challenged has manifested in purchasing again. I have been buying in the hopes of doing. That is just crazy. Crazy wasteful. Crazy arrogant. Crazy period.

As I have relaxed and been super lazy the past two weeks, I now have some renewed energy to reflect on what went well in my creative life in 2012 and what I want to improve. I know that the thing that I have continued to do all year is to take pictures and upload them to my computer. I am really good about that. I have done a little culling and keywording, mostly to separate school pics from personal pics, but it is a step in the right direction. I have been thinking about ways to simplify my keywords to make the process faster and I have some ideas. I want to keep telling my story because that's the most important reason why I take pictures anyway. I want to scrapbook because that's just fun. I seem to have a need to share my work for positive feedback. In 2012, I shared my work with strangers. I uploaded to my MScraps gallery, getting a little thrill when I read the positive comments (Does anyone write a negative comment?). But I realize that while this kind of feedback does motivate me to improve my digiscrapping skills, I am avoiding sharing my work with the subjects of my photography-my family, my friends. There are ways to do that, Facebook or Flickr for example, but I have not done that.

There it is - my goal for my creative life in 2013 is: Share. (Now I am fighting everything inside me not to go sign up for Ali Edwards One Little Word class, because I did that two years ago. Yeah, no project completed from it.) I have signed up for Lain Ehmann's Crafting Your Business class and I can't wait to start putting some of my ideas to the test of possible business ideas. I believe that I am not the only scrapper who is just wanting something more out of their craft and doesn't quite know how to get it. It's all the trend to Project Life and Week in the Life and Project 365, but I just don't want to set myself up for failure. I have so much already, how can I use what I have to SHARE my message of beauty and simplicity and relationships that is life? I am giving up the MScraps challenges. I am going to see what happens when I start posting and printing and putting myself out there. What will it mean for me in 2013 to share???

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Journal Your Christmas 2012: Prompt 1 Manifesto

Prompt 1: Manifesto for Journal Your Christmas

I thought this class would be a good place to try to find my Christmas spirit. Years of disappointment and unrealistic expectations have left me empty for a season I loved as a child. Even with two young children (ages 8 and 10), I still feel that it is an effort to complete the rituals and traditions that make the season special and memorable. I feel tremendous guilt for that. I have tried different things over the years, but I feel like my spirit is still unchanged - flatlined and unresponsive. Here's what I hope for 2012:

- I will focus on the memories. This project will be a collection of memories, thoughts, feelings, impressions in an effort to ferret out the feelings of warmth and excitement that were so much a part of my childhood Christmases. I want to make the memories for my children and me.

- I will focus on the feelings. I am not going to worry about presents. I am going to give a feeling. I want my children to feel excited and happy when they get their presences. I want them to experience the joy of picking out or making a special gift and giving it. I want them to feel the joy of the season in the lights, the music, the food! I want them to be slightly sad that it's over when we take the tree down and looking forward to next year.

- I will focus on me and balancing my need for creatively expressing myself through writing and photography. I will use pictures I have taken from various days, some current, some old, but I am not going to get hung up on it. I am going to find the photo that best expresses the feeling I want to convey. When I finish with this journal I want a story to be told or a collection of stories that represent my efforts to Finding My Christmas Spirit.


Crafting Q-T's Glass Ball Ornaments 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Little Challenge from MScraps

With the store still not up and running, this challenge was posted to entice members to create a layout using our stash. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work with some beloved, but retired, kits from This kit was a bloghop freebie I think. I love it, but missed the opportunity to use for challenges because you can't really use a free product to try to earn points toward other products. That makes sense right. This went together in a couple hours because the template made it easy. The template was just named "Template-bloghop" so I can't even credit the designer directly. I am so glad that some consistency in file naming of digisupplies is being promoted by sites like The Digi Files. I would love to check out this designer's other things, but I can't. Oh well. I can still enjoy it!

This also brought back some memories and I can't wait to find pics of when Jacob got this stuffie - a summer project to scan my old photos.