Layout Process : Bringing It All Together

Youlove

I finally got a chance to put a little something together.

The image and the words came directly from this recent post.

Youlove2

The supplies for this layout are simple. My favorite Bazzill cardstock. A chipboard butterfly from K&Company adhered with a couple foam dots. An acrylic heart from Heidi Swapp paired with some pink trim and a trinket pin from Tim Holtz. A pink felt flower from American Crafts' My House collection holding a great little Cut 'N Paste bauble from K&Company (I have a feeling these could be appearing on a bunch of things in the near future). A scalloped edged patterned paper from American Crafts (Amplified New Wave). A new digital word-art accent from a new collection that will be in the Designer Digitals shop on Saturday night ("You" Word Art).

The journaling began with one little thing I wanted to document: the way in which she holds her thumb in her fist between her pointer and middle finger. I opened a word document, jotted that thought down, and over the course of the next couple of days I added a few other things about her as they came to mind.

Those words were then organized in a document (you can do it in Word, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc) - set down near the bottom of the page - and then printed on to cardstock which become the foundation for my layout.

Next came the photo.

Most of the time when I am dealing with my photos I like to leave them as-is which most often is pretty imperfect. The photo I used in the layout above was manipulated in Photoshop. Here's the original, un-edited version that was taken by me in our bathroom:

Youloveoriginalphoto

From there I did a few things in Photoshop and ended up with this:

Alianna

First I cropped the image (I actually did that in iPhoto because it is really simple to constrain the proportions) to remove the bath mat that is hanging over the shower curtain and the bit of my camera strap in the bottom right corner and the stripes on the burp cloth. I wanted to get to the essence & the heart of this photo which for me is the connection between mother and child.

After cropping in iPhoto I brought the image into Photoshop. I am by no means a Photoshop expert. There are a few things I know how to do and I try to use those to my advantage. The "help" menu and google searches are my friends when I need to learn something new.

There are tons of different things to do with your photos in Photoshop and many photographers offer "actions" that you can purchase that will manipulate your photo in one click (check out Maggie Holmes or the famous Itty Bitty actions to see what those are all about).

For this photo really all I did was remove the color (Image/Adjustments/Black & White or Image/Mode/Grayscale) and then adjust the contrast and the curves and the levels (under Image/Adjustment). For me "adjusting" really means "messing around" with the controls until I like the look of the image. I wanted to see some very white "whites" and some very black "blacks." I also didn't care if I washed out some of the shower curtain in the process. 

I definitely don't adjust or manipulate all my photos. I like to see the real life things in the background and the colors of stuff in our home. A bit of blur has never bothered me or colors that aren't "just right." But in this case, changing up the photo helped me tell the story I was wanting to communicate.

I loved putting this one in her album. Feels like the beginning of something really nice.

Dottedline

You may have noticed a couple new things I am trying out around here. First is the Link Within images that are appearing at the bottom of my posts. I first saw this on Benita's blog and thought it was a great idea to give new life to older posts. This blog has been around since November 2004 - that's a lot of posts about our lives and scrapbooking (1,338 to be exact).

The other new feature is a change to the comment section. I am jumping in to the Typepad Connect system to see how that works for comments. One of the things you should know is that you now have the option to reply to other commenters (see the "reply" option at the bottom of each comment) and have a bit more of a conversation within the comments if you would like. This will also enable me to answer questions within the comments in a way that will be more relevant and easier to read. As a commenter you don't have to do anything different but you do have the option to add a photo/avatar if you would like through Typepad Connect.

Have a great weekend!

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