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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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96 thoughts

  1. wendy G says…
    03/27/2009

    Thank you for the photo tips and for breaking it down so that everyone (I) can understand. I love the end result.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. julie says…
    03/27/2009

    You do such beautiful work.......

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. cindy mandernach says…
    03/27/2009

    love the embellies...and i love the clean lines of your work. sweet photo.
    cindy

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Anilu Magloire says…
    03/27/2009

    Oh, Ali, please share where you found the K & Co baubles. They have been hiding from me!!
    The LO is perfection.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Vicki says…
    03/27/2009

    Super sweet!!! Beautiful photo!!! Love how clean and delicate this LO is!!!! :):):)

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Peggy says…
    03/27/2009

    Thanks for sharing the photoshop advice - I want to try that. It is so sweet and elegant and simple. I like it so much.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Meredith says…
    03/27/2009

    A simply elegant layout

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Anna-Marie Still says…
    03/27/2009

    I did this same type of shot about a year ago when Ronan was 2 weeks old! So glad I did, the picture hangs in my studio - I love seeing it everyday.
    Here's a link to it on my blog
    http://annamariestill.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/05/happy-mothers-d.html

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Deeleea says…
    03/27/2009

    Hi Ali, love your site and just had to chime in this time around becuase I just learned how to constrain proportions in PS, thought I'd share, it's so easy and will save the jumping back and forth between applications!
    When you have an image open and the Rectangular Marquee tool selected (the dotted line one, just under the arrow tool.
    Check across the top of your window for the Style: and click on the drop down list. One of the options is Fixed Ratio.
    Choose your ratio, I usually put in 6x4 or 4x6 depending on the aspect of the image. Then make your selection on the canvas and the marquee will keep that ratio! Then you can crop as you please!!
    Hope this helps!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. mary rogers says…
    03/27/2009

    gorgeous layout ali! love the simplicity of the pink!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Nikki Love says…
    03/27/2009

    great tips!!! love the layout! Kisses to Simon and Anna :D

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Jane Schneider says…
    03/27/2009

    I love this layout! And are you saying you actually took the picture yourself? Wow! Whenever I try to do that I'm lucky if I get an ear in the pic!
    I'm trying to learn Photoshop this year. I'm still lost most of the time, but have really made headway with the free actions from Pioneer Woman. I also use Jessica Sprague's Photoshop Friday.
    And apparently I'm an idiot and can't figure out how to put a hyperlink in a comment. So here they are in full URL glory.
    Pioneer Woman's main page: http://thepioneerwoman.com/
    Pioneer Woman'a Photograpy page: http://thepioneerwoman.com/photography/
    PW's Free Actions 1: http://thepioneerwoman.com/photography/2008/12/pioneer-woman-action-set-2-yahoo-yippety/
    PW's Free Actions 2: http://thepioneerwoman.com/photography/2008/12/pioneer-woman-action-set-2-yahoo-yippety/
    Jessica Sprague's Index: http://spraguelab.squarespace.com/photoshop-friday-index/
    Your site and P-Dub's are the two I visit EVERY day. And I'm inspired EVERY day. So thank you so, so much!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Jane Schneider says…
    03/27/2009

    I love your layout! Are you saying you took the picture yourself! Wow! Whenever I try to do that, I'm lucky if I can see an ear in the photo! You got skills!
    I'm trying to learn Photoshop this year and so far, understand tidbits. I'm learning alot between Jessica Sprague's site and the Pioneer Woman - and she has some amazing FREE actions! Love FREE!
    I'm apparently an idiot and can't figure out how to add a hyperlink to a comment, so you'll have to see the URLS in their full glory!
    The Pioneer Woman main site:
    PW's Photography page: http://thepioneerwoman.com/photography/
    PW's free Actions 1: http://thepioneerwoman.com/photography/2008/04/actions/
    PW's free Actions 2: http://thepioneerwoman.com/photography/2008/12/pioneer-woman-action-set-2-yahoo-yippety/
    Jessica Sprague's Index:http://spraguelab.squarespace.com/photoshop-friday-index/
    Hope you find these useful. I visit your page and P-Dub's every day and have to say that EVERY DAY I am INSPIRED. Thank you so much for that!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Jane Schneider says…
    03/27/2009

    Ooops - missed the PW main site paste: www.thepioneerwoman.com

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Benita ~ Chez Larsson says…
    03/27/2009

    Ali, Link Within is so cool isn't it?! I love it, I even see posts I forgot I wrote :)
    Also, thanks for pointing me in the direction of Typepad Connect. I added it to my blog too. I really like the idea that one can now reply directly to a comment.
    Oh, did I mention Anna is sweet? No? She is :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. nicsewell says…
    03/27/2009

    beautiful layout!

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Ali Edwards says…
    03/27/2009

    Hey Anilu - they were sent to my by K&Company. I looked for them a bit online last night with a google search and saw a few places: http://www.google.com/search?q=K%26Company+Cut+N+Past+Baubles&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Ali Edwards says…
    03/27/2009

    Thanks Deeleea!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Naomi says…
    03/27/2009

    Hi Ali!! This layouts conveys a lot of emotion!! How do you take pictures of yourself with Ana or Simon like that? Did your husband or friend take this picture? Please do share!!!
    Thank you

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Tracee says…
    03/27/2009

    love the layout Ali, and love the little additions to your blog - in fact - I went looking for that yellow post again just yesterday!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Ali Edwards says…
    03/27/2009

    Hi Naomi - I took that photo in the mirror in my bathroom. The camera is in my other hand and I just took a bunch of shots until there was one I liked and could work with (I think I took 8 shots in this case).
    Just make sure to turn off your flash (if you can on your camera) when shooting into the mirror.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. jacquie says…
    03/27/2009

    Beautiful Ali! I love the simplicity and the warm memory this will undoubtedly recall when you browse through her album years from now :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Tiffany says…
    03/27/2009

    Love the simplicity of your LO!!! I especially love the added touch the pink trim gives the clear heart. AMAZING!!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. [email protected] says…
    03/27/2009

    simple...clean & beautiful. It keeps me in check with what scrapbooking is really about. Sometimes I try to embellish too much and then the story is lost. Thanks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Mefi says…
    03/27/2009

    thanks for the tips ali

    Reply 0 Replies

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