Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Fun Laptop Crop, and some Personal Layouts

Last Saturday a friend and I attended DigitalScrapbookingPlace.com's very first laptop crop at Adobe Headquarters in San Jose, CA. It was a blast! The ladies did a GREAT job. They had a big room set up with tables for our laptops, external hard drives, etc. There were about 100 of us attending; you should have seen the tangle of power cords under the tables, ha ha!

Anyway, we all had a great time, got fed lunch and dinner and snacks, watched some demos, learned some new techniques, won lots of prizes (well, everyone else did, all I got was a mousepad!), and Best of All, for me anyway, was getting LOTS of my own, personal layouts done.

Here are some of them:My nephew, Blake. Christmas family portrait. Digi-paper and elements by Claudi Designs. In my backyard.At the Dixon May Fair in 2007. Yes, that's me eating, eating, eating, junk food! (For more on my junk food habits check out this post on my personal blog.) Paper and elements from Club Scrap's Farmer's Market kit.

My cat, Jack, who loves water and bubbles, and likes to sit on the edge of the tub while I take a bath. Paper is Club Scrap; I can't remember off-hand where the rick-rack came from, darn it.
This year's Torchlight Parade.
Sis-in-law Maureen with her first grandbaby; three of my nieces and the same baby (yep, it's Blake again)! More Club Scrap - I love that club!
Michael, visiting from China in January.

These layouts were all over the board with regard to subjects and dates. Some of them were half-done so it was great to get them finished. I just worked on whatever photos grabbed my attention that day, and it was very freeing and relaxing and fun.

I even sent off an order for a dozen 12x12 prints of MY layouts to go in MY albums!

Tomorrow I'll be back to work on client layouts which are also fun, rewarding, and satisfying, just in a different way. I'm so thankful to my customers for their loyalty and their on-going business. Except for taking the month of June off, I have had steady work all year and my business is growing, and for that I am very grateful.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Digital Scrapbooking for You - But first you have to be able to find me!

I've been doing some research on optimizing my website, www.webajeb.com. How was I to know there's so much to learn?? I have had to learn terms like "keywords," "XML site map," "title tags," and "H1 headers," not to mention that I'm going to have to start tweaking the HTML code of my site. Yeah, the HTML code. We won't even go into that!

But, at the end of it all, I should have a website that is more frequently returned in the results list when people are searching for a service such as mine. That's been a big mystery. How to get noticed on the internet.

It's important because, so far, 90% of my clients have found me on the internet. So I have been studying up on what search terms people are using, how often, and how much competition there is for each term. Whew!

Not an exact science, by any means and, like the internet itself, it changes frequently. Someday I hope to have someone else do this stuff for me, like when my business has grown to the point where I have enough work to keep me busy 40 hrs/week. Until then, the extra hours I have available will be spent tweaking the html code of my website pages and believe me, I'd much rather be designing scrapbook layouts! Nothing's drier and more tedious than the html code behind a web page! If you are curious about what it looks like, go to my website, www.webajeb.com, do a right-click on the home page and then choose "View Source."

You'll be sorry you did. Welcome to my world!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Digital Scrapbook Layout - 'Lil Buckaroo

It's been awhile since I did any 8.5" x 11" layouts so it was fun to work within a different shaped space. Here is a layout I did for a new client. Her little daughter was helping out at "Branding Day" at a neighbor's ranch. Isn't that the sweetest little buckaroo??? I'm having so much fun with the photos. Next I'll add the kids' (and Dad's) names in the lower left-hand corner and it will be done.

The background paper and metal cowboy star are Club Scrap (Wild Wild West kit), and the ribbons are from "Real Ribbons for Digital Scrapbookers" by Heirloom Scrapbooks. Font is Captain Howdy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Photos - Pairing up the Old & New

It's always fun to come across photos, like the two above, that so well illustrate family traits. The boys in these two pictures are cousins, but these pictures were taken 20 years apart. Yet, look how similar they are! Their knees and legs are the same, the way they stand when they first get out of a swimming pool, even the way their hair sticks up in the back.

They are obviously related!

Do you have photos like these, that were taken years apart, or of remote family members, that illustrate a family trait or similarity? I'd love to see them!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

ShaZAM'n my Photos

Here's why I love blogs...people share so much COOL STUFF!

The English Geek wrote today about a new, quick & easy Photoshop technique that she'd found at Jessica Sprague's blog. Jessica calls it "ShaZAM" and it really makes the colors POP!

I decided to try it right away, on the above photo of my cousin, Stacy's, youngest son, Nick, during a swimming lesson. This next photo shows the result:
Wow!! The funny thing is that I thought that the original was a perfectly fine photo, but the enhanced version has much better color and contrast. I love this technique and am going to make a Photoshop Action for it becauseI'm going to be using it a LOT. My custom-designed digital scrapbook clients are going to love it, too.

Thx, Jessica!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Clean & Classic Digital Scrapbook Layout

One of my favorite layout styles, as I've mentioned before in this blog, is the clean & classic look with minimum embellishments, awesome background paper, a simple but appropriate title. This style allows the photos to speak for themselves.

This is a layout I did a couple of days ago for one of my clients. These photos are from Martha's Vineyard. When I put them on a blank layout, I immediately knew I wanted a simple, but kind of elegant, background paper that would bring out the blues in the photos.

The background paper in this layout was created using an overlay & tutorial by MCA Designs at My Scrap Shop. The metal embellishments (photo corners, brads, and title frame) are from Club Scrap.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Looking Back at June - and Graduates

June is a fun month for so many reasons. Weddings. Father's Day. Lots of June Birthdays in my family. And Graduations. I love getting graduation announcements in the mail, especially when they contain a photo of the graduate. It amazes me how fast time goes, and how quickly kids grow up.

Erika is the daughter of one of my oldest friends, Teri (names and places on this layout have been changed). Teri and I met in the 5th grade, she and her family moved out-of-state about a year later, but we managed to stay in touch for the next (gasp!) forty years.

I made this layout as a surprise for Teri, and put it in the mail to her today. I printed it at 8" x 10" so that she can frame it, if she likes. I don't know whether Teri reads this blog or not; if she does, then, "Hey Teri! Surprise!!!"

(The awesome digital paper used as a background is by Club Scrap's Academic kit.)

Friday, July 4, 2008

God Bless America . . .

. . . and Parades!
As promised in yesterday's post, here is the Webajeb July freebie page with a photo in it from last night's Torchlight Parade here in Benicia, CA. My cousin's friend brought her little girl and she was dressed SO cute, in a little stars-and-stripes dress and these adorable bangles in her ponytails.

On a 12" x 12" layout the photo on this page ends up being about 6" x 8", which is pretty big. After I finished this layout I got to thinking that it might be cool to place a group of 4 smaller photos in that same space. So here is another version of the layout, this time with 4 photos:
I like it this way also! This has turned out to be a very versatile layout. I guess I'll revise my free page offer -- you may send one photo or four! Do keep in mind that your photo will be cropped to a square format, so be sure to take a good look at your picture(s) to be sure that nothing important will get cropped out.

Send your photo(s) attached to an email to me at deborah@webajeb.com, and put "Proud to be an American" in the subject line.

Have a great 4th of July! God Bless America.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

I love the 4th of July. I love flags, red-white-and-blue, stars & stripes, parades, barbecues, watermelon, apple pie, bicycles decorated with streamers, picnics, plaid blankets, ice cream, fireworks, sandals, the beach, old buttons, taffy and popcorn. Yeah, the 4th reminds me of all these things.

In the little town I live in we're having what is called the Torchlight Parade tonight. I love that parade. All the groups in town participate; the politicians, the local stores, dance troupes, theatre groups, musicians, even the library and animal rescue groups. Absolutely everyone in town is there, plus people from neighboring towns, and it's just a rousing good time! Tomorrow there will be a town picnic from 10 a.m. to early evening, including arts & crafts booths, food booths, and tons of entertainment; then a street dance, and finally, a great fireworks show. There is definitely something for everyone.

I'll come home with lots of photos; my favorite photo of the day is going to be slipped right into the layout above. This layout is a premade page, custom-designed by me, and it is a freebie this month for my newsletter subscribers and now, for my blog readers as well. All you have to do is send me an email with one photo attached and with "Proud to be an American" in the subject line. In return you will receive a digital copy (not a printout) of the above layout with your photo in it, and whatever other journaling or photo caption you like. Absolutely free. The layout will be yours to print, share with others via email, or upload to the web.

But hurry, this is ONLY for July! (please allow up to 4 weeks to receive your free layout.)

Meanwhile, have a wonderful, and thankful, Fourth of July! God Bless America.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It's Sweet to be Green

The big "thing" these days is living "green." We're all all concerned about the Earth, and the impact that human beings, and they way we live, has on the health of our planet. Recycle, reuse, conserve, carpool, buy organic, and bring-your-own cloth sacks to the grocery store. Every positive action we take, no matter how small, adds up to help protect and improve our environment.

At Webajeb Digital Photo Albums & Portfolios we have always been green. All digital elements -- paper, stickers, die cuts, fabric, ribbons, buttons and bows -- are electronic files. No natural resources are used in their creation. No "physical" adhesives, paper (trees), inks, metals, plastics, rubber or fibers. Nor are there any scraps to dispose of. And every digital element is re-usable as many times as desired with no new use of physical materials.

You won't find digital scrapbook supplies cluttering up the landfills.

In fact, the only time paper and ink is used is in the final printing of a scrapbook page layout, and many people choose not to print at all. Instead they have on-line photo albums, slideshows, and screensavers.

Next time your camera's memory card is full of photos, skip the expensive and resource-draining process of printing them. Instead, send them to us and we will place them directly onto digital page layouts.

You'll have a gorgeous archival-quality photo album and the personal satisfaction of having avoided unnecessary use of papers, chemicals, and other resources.

Yeah. It's sweet to be green.