Saturday, December 31, 2011

Letting Go in 2012

Without actually doing the math, I realize that I have spent way too much money, time, and energy on scrapbooking supplies, classes, and software. I am coming to realize that I am spending more time organizing and searching through my stash than actually using it. This has become abundantly clear to me since the passing of National Digital Scrapbooking Day and Black Friday sales that enticed me to spend and download WAY TOO MUCH STUFF that I haven't sorted out or hardly looked at since. I have a calendar project I want to do for Christmas and all I want to do is purge all my scrapbooking supplies. Once again spending time playing with the things, not using them.

I have been thinking a lot about how the blogs I read and the podcasts I listen to are enticing me to buy things and not inspiring me to scrapbook. I think that I want to spend more time and money on buying classes that help me take better pictures and scrapbook in more meaningful ways. I want to spend my money on inspiration and I have realized that inspiration is not in the form of products, but what you do with the products you have. I love looking through my supplies. I love buying supplies, but I want to use them up. Watching them turn old and dated is only ridden with guilt and buyers remorse.

Reflecting on some good things that have happened in 2011 I see that I have made a giant leap in my photo flow with Kayla Lamoureaux's Lightroom class and Finding Photo Flow. I have developed a system that I am working again that feels manageable and fun, not work so much. The digital scrapbooking supplies in Lightroom has bogged me down. I subscribe to two monthly digital kit programs and I have to stop. I am spending time converting and downloading and blah, blah, blah. Not playing with my stuff, but organizing, tagging, converting. I am going to stop that.

So for 2012 this is what I am going to do:

Cancel monthly subscriptions:

  • Masterful Scrapbook Design (Cancelled 11/27/2011. I have several months worth of old content to keep me busy for all of 2012.)
  • The Daily Digi (How can I support the show in a different way? Take their classes. Use the affiliate link. Email Katie about this. $82.50 per year)
  • Little Dreamer Designs (I have this paid until 4/11/12. I am going to try to use these supplies and assess in April whether or not I renew. $50 per year.)
  • Paperclipping??? (I have not been watching the videos. I don't participate online, but I do find Noell to be very inspiring and she has a similar philosophy about scrapping without a bunch of stuff. Only $28 a year, so I'll keep it.)
Unsubscribe to emails that are only for promoting product. Subscribe only to emails that promote inspiration, reflection, story telling. Report back here what I have unsubscribed from.

Unfollow blogs that are only for promoting product. Follow only blogs that inspire me to write, to take pictures, to document my life, to reflect, to be creative.

Revisit old class content at:
Archive kits I don't want.
  • Scrappers Guide
  • Stuff to Scrap
  • Delete all alphas?
Stop buying Scrapbooks, etc. and Creating Keepsakes Magazine. They make me want to consume. They do their job. All these things are just vehicles for consumerism. I have to stop spending and start doing.

Finally, can I commit to round ups? (Katie's class at Big Picture.)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

From Sketch or Template to Layout

I am inspired to scrapbook with some new tools that I got from Wendyzine. It is an action based on Katie the Scrapbook Lady's Power Scrap method. I highly recommend Katie's class at Big Picture. I want to streamline a process working from a sketch to a finished layout. This process will take me through several steps.

Start in PSE8 to create template or find a template in Lightroom. I created a template based on Shimelle's Sketch.

Step 1: In PSE8, create template and save as a TIF file (with LZW compression) in my 2011 Digi Layouts folder (D drive) with a name descriptive of the template.

Go to Lightroom:
Step 1: Synch 2011 Digi Layout folder to I can see the template.
Step 2: Tag Template.
Step 3: Create Quick Collection using the template and then add photos, papers, and embellishments.
Step 4: Create Collection with Layout Name (Select All in Quick Collection and create with selected items.)
Step 5: Export Jpgs to the Digi Layouts folder using a subfolder that has the same name as the layout. (Can rename later if needed.)
Step 6: The tif files have to be dealt with separately. There is no easy way to do this. I have discovered that LR does not preserve transparency on export. The work around is time consuming if you are using elements from a variety of sources. You have to Go To File in Library, then you have to Open File Location. Copy the file and paste it into the layout folder. This is not so bad if you are working with elements from the same kit. Otherwise you can just select the tif files and choose "Edit In Photoshop Elements." You can't use Wendyzine's cool action if you do this, but it works. The action renames the layers with the file names which is helpful if you are posting with credits. Posting with credits makes digi scrapping a total pain in the rear end. I am not doing it anymore. I came up with a quick way to do it. Simply take a screen shot of the elements and papers in your Collection folder in LR. If the files have been named with designer and kit then tracking them should be no problem. Here are the credits.

Go to PSE
Step 1: Using Power Scrap It, create layout.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Handling Metadata Conflicts in Lightroom

There is a strange glitch between the Nikon D60 and Lightroom. Apparently Lightroom does not like the way the D60 writes metadata to the jpeg files and once the files are imported into Lightroom the !Metadata Conflict symbol appears. From researching some of the LR boards I have found a fix that works pretty well and only takes a few minutes. I tried other methods that were more cumbersome and time-consuming.

Here's what I do:

  • Upload pictures from card reader as normal using my Steps for Importing into LR for New Photos. If I have uploaded jpegs from the D60, I will wait to see which pics have the conflict. The conflict is random and does not always affect every picture. If the set has conflicts it's easier to do the following to all of them before doing anything else-even purging. 
  • Working in my daily folders, I will select all the photos and export them to a folder inside the yearly folder called "Metadata Conflicts." 
  • After that it is safe to remove the conflicted pictures from LR. I simply delete them from disk. 
  • Then I go to the yearly folder and, right clicking the folder icon, synchronize the folder to "import" the pics back to LR. 
What is weird is that the metadata from the original import is intact-my copyright info shows. This is very weird to me, but it is fixed nonetheless!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lightroom 3 Photo Workflow: New Photos

I am so excited to have finally received my Lightroom 3 software in the mail. I was using a trial version on this laptop until it expired and then I used a trial version on the old desktop until my software arrived in the mail today!! Yay! Now I am back upstairs with my laptop and my external hard drives in tow to work on getting my photos and scrapbooking supplies in order!!

I finally think I have nailed a good workflow for purging, rating, and keywording my photos. Here are the steps as I have them worked out today!!


Step 1: Import from camera card to Lightroom to the annual folder.

  • Use "Everyday Photos (jpegs)" or "Everyday Photos (NEF)" import preset which will add my copyright info to the metadata as well as create a separate subfolder by date for each set of photos in the current year folder.
Step 2: By date, work through each set of photos, rejecting, rating, keywording, and captioning the entire contents of the daily folder. Delete from disk any rejected photos.
  • Rating System: 0-Stars: Nothing Special, but don't want it gone. 1-Star: Scrapworthy, supporting photos to the story; 2-Star: Focal-Point photos, Personality, or Relationship photos; 3-Star: Stunning, breathtaking, won't every get tired of looking at this one, SPECIAL
Step 3: When I have completed Step 2 for a daily folder (or if I am out of time do this with only the ones I have finished with), I will move them to the Monthly folder.

As I started to complete this process, I realized that not all my photos in my June folder were properly keyworded. I searched for empty keywords using the Text search tool and created daily subfolders inside my annual folder to remind me to process those photos. As of today, July 15th, I have 247 photos in June that need keyword checks. I guess I have should get started.

(PS I am going to track my progress on my iTouch with the "My Stats" app.)

UPDATE: Remember to keyword for "Relationships" when the photo shows that. For example, I have pics of us at the dinner table that should be keyworded with "Family Dinners" from "Everyday Life" and "My Family" from "Relationships."

Questions still lingering:
What's the best way to deal with photos already in the system?
What's the best way to check that my photos have the correct keywords?
What are the criteria I use to determine what photos to keep and what to purge? I have too many photos and want to pare down my collection.
What's the best sharing workflow?
When should I edit my pics? What pics should get edited?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Story Time Photo: "I used to be cool! See!"

SneakUpPhotos.jpg by croppersister
SneakUpPhotos.jpg, a photo by croppersister on Flickr.
 Entering this photo story for the "Story Time" Photo Challenge at . . .

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Workshops on Organizing Photos and Scrapbooking Supplies

I have been reading a lot about organizing my photo collection and working on improving my photo processing workflow. I have read through materials from two courses: Finally Get Organized and Organizing Your Photographs, along with the materials from Library of Memories. Library of Memories has been revamped and starts again as Finding Photo Freedom June 1st. I have a system in place for uploading and star-rating my photos, but the keywording and editing process is very haphazard. Since an organizational system is very personal, these resources are helping me articulate and streamline my workflow. My goals are to get scrapping again. I want to share my photos in a systematic way and protect them. What I don't have to think about will make me happy. I have also discovered that I really enjoy the editing process.

A little about the two online workshops:

Finally Get Organized
This workshop will get you started thinking about why you keep what you keep. I found the content applies to both paper and digital, including organizing your supplies. Everything is organized around how you use the product and there are a series of questions and prompts to get you thinking about that process. This is very similar to Wendy Smedley and Aby Garvey's method found in The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker. Having to think again about my stuff, I have come to the conclusion that I have too much. In my scrapbook room I have started moving things from shelves into bins and giveaway boxes to make room for the things I truly love. I don't think of myself as being emotionally attached to my stuff, but I am beginning to realize I am wrong. I am stuck on: "Oh this is a really cool project I wanted to try. I have great ideas." "I will use this or give this away some day." "I have spent so much money, time, energy, on this, I have to keep it." The last one is the biggest impediment to purging anything. The workshop is very basic, but it might be just the thing to get you started.

Organizing Your Photographs
Liz is presenting this as a comprehensive year-long project to honor the process involved in organizing 30+ years of photographs. This is a very realistic approach to this project. I did a bunch of print organizing many years ago when I started scrapping. I have most of my prints organized chronologically in acid-free cardboard storage bins. I kept albums together that were archival-quality. There are two areas of my print organization system that don't work-how to handle incoming prints (photos I am given, inherited, or the few I choose to print) and how to handle the non-4X6 photos (I don't have storage in other sizes for those photos.). I am concentrating on my digital collection, implementing LOM-style organization, but I want to start digitizing my paper photos and that will require a system in place before I start scanning. (I have blogged about LOM here.

The first lesson of Organizing Your Photographs is called "Grouping and Gathering." Liz provides worksheets that will get you thinking about how you use your photos and why you have them in the first place. This is a different way of approaching this task to me and I like it. She has put a lot of time and thought into the content and I am really liking it. She presents the content in video and in PDF form so you hear and read it. The hugest thing is that this is FREE! Liz is giving away this content. You have to sign up for her newsletter to get the series. That's it.

Next, my system.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

LOM Progress 4/2/2011

I purged 458 photos, freeing up 1.36 G of disk space. I have now rated from present to Q2 2010.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Blogging Goals from Blogging for Scrapbookers(

I have so many gadgets to distract me from my real love: taking pictures and telling stories. I swear I would probably be better off with none of these things except my Nikon, of course!! (I am loving Windows Live Writer for helping me write my posts!)

Journaling on Page 2: When I decided to take this course I knew that I would be challenged to develop goals for my blogging and scrapbooking life. I have been trying to systematize my digital workflow for over a year now. I just seem to be missing the mark in terms of feeling content in my crafting life. I have taken courses at Big Picture and I am a Paperclipping Member. I have taken drawing and painting lessons at Willowing, but I just feel like I haven’t found a flow. I take so many pictures that I can’t keep up with creating anything half the time. I spend my time organizing, purging and organizing my pictures. Since getting my iPad last fall I have been trying out apps that will help me get more of my story told and more of my photos out there to share. After all that’s why I take them. They are for me, but also for the people I love to enjoy. My new blog will be another way to share the pictures and the stories that they help to tell in a way that is both meaningful and easy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Breath of New Life and Perhaps a Goal or Two

I am taking a class over at called Blogging for Scrapbookers. I am so excited about it. I have already downloaded the materials from when she ran the course in 2009 and I have updated my blog and made a post. I look forward to meeting other bloggers who love photos and stories and scrapbooking. We'll see what new life this will breathe into my blog.