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Request for Memory Keeping Q & A

It's been awhile since I did a big round of memory keeping Q & A here - August 2008 to be exact (you can check out that series here) - and I'd like to take some time over the next week to do that again.

Feel free to ask anything related to scrapbooking, supplies, creative process, words + photos, organization, techniques, minibooks, paper, digital, classes, etc.

I'll leave the comment section open until Friday at noon Pacific with the first-round of answers posted Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

PLEASE NOTE | Some basic FAQ questions (such as what equipment I use) are covered on my FAQ page.

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177 thoughts

  1. Kris says…
    04/27/2011

    Have you used your Espon photo printer lately and like it any better?

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. heidi says…
    04/27/2011

    How do you organize your digital photos?

    Reply 4 Replies
    1. Taraleigh Gray says…
      04/28/2011

      This is definitely what I would ask too! Do you do it by calendar day or do you organize by event? What photo organizing software do you use, if any? How often do you back-up your photos and what methods do you use?

    2. Tiffany Welk says…
      04/28/2011

      Ditto!

    3. Sarah says…
      04/28/2011

      Yes, I struggle with this as well... feeling as if I am fumbling blindly through iPhoto on my mac.

    4. Henriettae says…
      04/29/2011

      I want to know this to! I just downloaded Lightroom 3 to try it out, but it seems like there is so much to learn on it! Don't want to use iPhoto though, I'd like more controls over my photos than that. :)

  3. Michelle says…
    04/27/2011

    I'd love to see some kind of video tutorial as to how you create collages in Photoshop (or whatever program you use) to allow multiple photos to be resized and printed in standard photo sizes such as 8x10, 5x7, or 4x6 for use in scrapbooking. I don't have my own photo printer and have to rely on having photos printed from an outside source. Thank you for any help you might be able to provide, Ali!

    Reply 9 Replies
    1. Pam S. says…
      04/27/2011

      Ditto, would love to find a simple way to do that. Thanks in advance!

    2. Michelle F says…
      04/27/2011

      Oh me too me too!!! I recently purchased photoshop elements and am struggling. Would love to see a video tutorial on collages.

    3. Meshell H. says…
      04/27/2011

      I'm joining this crowd.....I get so frustrated trying to resize pics. for strip type pics. Please help!

    4. Mandi says…
      04/27/2011

      Jessica Sprague has a relly great + easy to follow Photoshop Friday Tutorial available in her shop. I did it a few months ago and it opened all kinds of doors for me. It's episode 23 if you're interested. I just checked to be sure. On her website it's under the classes menu and photoshop friday from there.

    5. Jessica B says…
      04/27/2011

      Ditto! Would love to know this.

    6. Maria says…
      04/27/2011

      Ladies, check out Google Picasa. It's a free download, and is a pretty good photo editing/organization program. One of my favourite features is the collage feature, in which you can combine two or more photos into all different sizes (e.g. 2 2x3 photos onto 4x6 size) standard and non-standard. I don't print my own photos, so am also limited to standard sizes, and I've found it works great.

    7. Michelle Elaine says…
      04/28/2011

      Me too!

    8. Camille says…
      04/28/2011

      I am Photshop challenged and have found that I can drag photos into a blank Word Document. I can resize them there very easily and print them all on photo paper without much waste. It is not always perfect but I am not to persnickety about it.

    9. Pam says…
      04/28/2011

      Count me in, too.

  4. Christine says…
    04/27/2011

    I am looking for a digital photo backup service. Any recomendations? I current have my photos on a second computer and a portable hard drive but I am looking into an outside service. Thanks.

    Reply 6 Replies
    1. Kim brown says…
      04/27/2011

      Backblze. $5 mo unlimited. Can backup externals too

    2. Mary says…
      04/27/2011

      Check out www.thememoryboutique.net. They offer FREE unlimited storage, plus you can easily share pictures/albums with family/friends AND great prices for digital scrapbook prints!

    3. Sarah B R says…
      04/28/2011

      All for backblaze too as opposed to carbonite bcz it will back up EHD.

    4. Lisel Hilson says…
      04/28/2011

      Hi Ali. I would also like to know if you have an update/any recommendations regarding an off-site backup solution (I read your blog post on Mozy from a while back). I looked into Carbonite, but they restrict bandwidth speeds after 35GB. I decided to try CrashPlan, but after I downloaded the free trial and they analyzed my data, they said it would take more than 1 year to backup my files (sheesh!). I have an EHD, but would like my files to be backed up somewhere other than home... just in case. Thanks! :)

    5. Sarah says…
      04/28/2011

      I use Phanfare- I paid a one time lifetime subscription and can load photo and videos to store as backup plus share with others. I also use Shutterfly to print pictures, and my pics are stored and organized on their site. Shutterfly has NEVER deleted any nor charged me for the service (maybe they don't know :)

    6. Jennifer says…
      04/29/2011

      Shutterfly is excellent and free

  5. Jennifer says…
    04/27/2011

    I see your photo of Anna(?) playing in the stamps. What crafting activities/techniques have you found that she can do as a toddler? (Stamping, lacing, painting, stickering, crayons, pencils, chalk, embellishments etc.) What was she most interested in? I'm, of course, thinking of this with the idea of keeping the final work in a scrapbook or frame.

    Reply 4 Replies
    1. Laura Gedeon says…
      04/27/2011

      I would also love some toddler craft tips!

    2. Fun Mama - Deanna says…
      04/28/2011

      I do a lot of crafts with my daughter and write about them frequently. I have had her "help" scrapbook by drawing pictures of her grandparents while I'm scrapping photos of them. Then I add those drawings to the layout. A favorite of ours is making a collage with paper and fabric scraps and acrylic paint on cardstock. The finished product is frameable. Sorry to hijack - I just thought I'd throw out a couple of ideas.

    3. Carmen Pauls Orthner says…
      04/28/2011

      I'm very interested in this too. Is a 14-month-old too young to get into crafts?? If not, where can I start with her?

      Deanna, I'm going to be checking out your site -- thanks. :)

    4. Jenny S says…
      04/28/2011

      Ditto on the toddler crafts. Also, what crafty projects do you recommend for boys? I have a little boy and am nervous he won't be interested in crafty stuff like Mom. :)

  6. dawn says…
    04/27/2011

    Ali, thanks for giving us this chance to ask questions. I'm going to think on it and make a list if needed so I will only have to post one time. I have to say though you are pretty good at answering our daily questions and explaining all your techniques to us already.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Christine says…
    04/27/2011

    Where do you buy your different sized page protectors? Thanks so much and I am loving your project life album this year, you do a beautiful job.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Gypsy Chaos says…
      04/28/2011

      here's some brands - most available at scrapbook.com
      We R Memory Keepers
      Pink Paisley
      American Craft [I think]

    2. Christine says…
      04/28/2011

      Thanks so much!

  8. slmnontec says…
    04/27/2011

    I take so many photos each week/month/year. I am having a bit of a hard time deciding which stories to tell. They all seem important because they are happening in my life! Any suggestions?

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Brooke says…
      04/27/2011

      This is what I'm using Project Life for. I already take heaps of photos each year and found myself a little sad that I was losing the stories.

      Each day (or every couple of days) I journal the story behind the photos I've taken (just the ones that document a story I want to tell) and slip the journal cards into my Project Life album. I get the photos printed later and then add them to the album too.

    2. Gypsy Chaos says…
      04/28/2011

      Project Life info is on www.beckyhiggins.com The kits are sold out until the fall but the components are still available - and many people have created their own kits. Becky has a section on her site for all things Project Life and there is a community at Big Picture Classes, as well as numerous blogs with info.

  9. Alicia says…
    04/27/2011

    How often do you print your pictures? Do you print them all or just the ones you're about to scrap? Do you have a system to stay on top of it?

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Ali says…
    04/27/2011

    You seem very in charge of your life and purposeful and on the ball!

    What do you do when you feel overwhelmed with mothering, responsibilities, behind on house, organization, behind on memory keeping, etc?

    Do you ever feel that way? How do you get back to feeling in charge?

    I'm great at taking lots of pics of my kids but, I'm not good at Memory Making. My kids are now 7, 4, 2 and I want to start but, don't know where to start. I have tons and tons of digital pics on 2 external hard drives ( one is a back up drive) but, don't know where to start! What would you suggest?

    ~ Ali

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Pauline says…
      04/28/2011

      This is very familiar!

    2. An says…
      04/29/2011

      same for me, photos enough and stuff too (in boxes), but I can't seem to get the journaling started...

  11. Noelle says…
    04/27/2011

    Where do you get your inspiration for all the different projects you come up with?

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. audra says…
    04/27/2011

    I have a question I that I ALWAYS have wanted to ask. I do NOT scrapbook layouts in chronological order. I always do a layout or project when I'm inspired or perhaps have a new batch of photos to work with. Which leads me to my question - I'm always SO inspired by your journaling,"your story" or your details in your layouts. When I look back at photos that are from say 5 plus yrs. ago I'd like to create a layout however, find myself totally STUCK because, I may not have a particular story or memory to go with it. What is the best way to create a GREAT looking layout if I feel something like this is missing? I'd LOVE any advice or examples. I have some great photos of when my kids were SO much younger that I'd love to make into layouts. Thanks for you time & doing this Ali!

    Reply 4 Replies
    1. Beth Ann says…
      04/27/2011

      This is a great question and one that I have as well - and I couldn't have worded it better!

    2. Kim brown says…
      04/27/2011

      Start with the story, then find pictures to support that story. I'm not chronological either.

    3. Gypsy Chaos says…
      04/28/2011

      Sometimes I've just imagined dialog - whatever the photos bring to mind. It's often silly and fun, especially when I'm 'talking' for an infant!

      Other times, I go with whatever the photo(s) bring to mind. A photo. A story. There's no rule that the story must absolutely represent what was happening when the photos were taken!

      I want to gather similar events*** and scrap them - I'm thinking the stories will be more about the growth and changes than the particular day.
      *** all Christmas, all Easter, all Kid #1's birthdays

    4. Tiffany Welk says…
      04/28/2011

      Great questions, would like to know this too! Also, if you have pictures of your childhood, siblings, etc, how to scrap them when you don't know the stories? And make it look good :)

  13. Suz says…
    04/27/2011

    I would love to know your work flow for resizing pics to post on your blog or on various galleries online. Some have size requirements and it's frustrating at times to have to keep resizing them just to post them. I have quit shooting in RAW so that the pic size isn't so large AND tried to save at medium rather than high quality setting. It would just be so nice to simply upload a pic without having to resize. SO inefficient with time usage, KWIM? TIA.
    Suz

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Kim brown says…
      04/27/2011

      Adobe elements and photoshop have a save for web feature. You can save to a specific file size.

  14. Davean says…
    04/27/2011

    Hi Ali! How do you stay so inspired to create such awesome layouts? Do you ever "scraplift" from other scrapbook blogs, magazines, etc? I feel like I always have to scraplift and sometimes by the time I have looked through magazines and blogs to find a page, I am too tired to actually scrapbook!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Laraine says…
      04/27/2011

      Oh, can totally relate to that, suppose we are concerned our layouts won't look good?

  15. wendy says…
    04/27/2011

    I'd love to see more detailed pictures of what's on your desk at the moment (ex. products you reach for most often and or your most recent go to favourites). thanks

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Pauline says…
    04/27/2011

    I'd really like to know if you have any tips on the best way to take photos of your layouts/projects in order to put them on your blog. Yours are always so clear whereas mine are generally fuzzy and slightly squint!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Lindsay says…
      04/28/2011

      Oh - I'd love to hear tips on this too!

  17. Maureen says…
    04/27/2011

    How is your office/studio coming along?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Martha Thomas says…
      04/29/2011

      I'd LOVE to see photos, etc. of your office as you go about organizing it. I'm just about to move all my craft stuff into another room and would love to know more about the thought process that goes into putting what where. Thanks Ali!!

  18. betsy says…
    04/27/2011

    Who is inspiring you right now? Are these the same people/blogs/publications that have inspired you through the years? (I don't mean to sound like you are old so please don't take it that way).

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Lee says…
      04/27/2011

      Hey Ali, I'm curious about what inspires you, too :) Are there any non-traditional publications (non-scrappy, non-photo based) or unexpected artists or writers who bring out different perspectives?

  19. Kate says…
    04/27/2011

    Do you use a tablet or digital pen? I'm looking at the Bamboo Craft tablet and was wondering what you use to create your digital products. LOVE your blog and all your work. You are such an inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. annette says…
    04/27/2011

    Hi Ali,

    I dabble a bit in digi and wondered when you print your digi pages where do you print them (12x12) and what type of paper you have them printed on??? I have printed a few with my Epson printer, but the colors seem to muted... Thanks

    Annette

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Lee says…
    04/27/2011

    I have all of my digital elements in my iPhoto program and it works pretty well but I'm sure I can make it better. I was wondering how you store your elements - by date? by kit? by element? by artist? How do you store them in order to find them again? I've only just started digi and I'm already overwhelmed with the options!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Christine says…
      04/27/2011

      Oh, I really need help with this. Great question.

    2. Gypsy Chaos says…
      04/28/2011

      Tags are my bestest friend.
      I've pulled my digi stash into PSE. I'm tagging away - color, season, hearts/stars/etc. Any way that pops to mind is becoming a tag. Then I can choose to see only the bits with blue and heart tags, for example.

      Doing this was really really difficult when I started with my photos. I wanted to name folders for events, to change every file name.... Tags. Love my tags. I can actually tolerate leaving my image files with the image number file name in folders by date!

      With PSE I can create a folder/file type structure with tags - so at the highest level I have people, places, events, house and more. Within people, one 'folder' is immediate family, and within that are tags for each of the five of us.

  22. Janne says…
    04/27/2011

    Once I read you had a list of layouts to do in the future. Is it a mental list or a actual list on paper? And how do you handle this list? How often do you go through it and add topics?

    Thanks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Samantha says…
    04/27/2011

    Hi Ali:
    I love when you use your typewriter for layouts and am interested in getting one. Does yours work well, does it ever need repairs, and do you have to replace your ribbon often?

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. sheila says…
      04/27/2011

      Yes, I've been meaning to ask about the typwriter too. My mom has a suitcase style 1960s typewriter that she has kept for sentimental reasons and is just sitting in her basement. You've inspired me to see if I can store/use it but am wondering where you get ribbon these days. Do you have a source you'd recommend?

    2. Jo E says…
      04/28/2011

      I have a typewriter I was bought as a child and I was wondering the same thing about ribbons. I'd love to use it for journalling and let my daughter play with it too but need a ribbon to do that.

  24. Samantha says…
    04/27/2011

    Hi Again:
    I have another burning question! How do you store page protectors before you use them? I just bought a bunch, and they are so big and floppy. I don't have a good place to keep them.
    Thanks!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Elizabeth H. says…
      04/28/2011

      I open mine from the package and store them in a binder. Then when I need one, I can just flip through it and find the size I'm looking for.

    2. Maureen says…
      04/29/2011

      Hi - I do the exact same thing... currently I store all of my different layout configured 12x12 page protectors (like the ones used for project life) in a we r memory keepers album. Having them easily accessible is great because I can easily flip through and see the different page configurations and decide quickly and easily which one will work best with the photos I intend to print. This system also eliminates printing too many photos that wont get used.

  25. Melissa says…
    04/27/2011

    Will you be sharing any layouts from your Yesterday + Today class on your blog? Love the snippets you've already shared...would love to see more. Also, any plans for another book? Hope so! Thanks for the daily inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies

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