{ Mojo – less }

by Lee on July 20, 2008

Well it’s been one of those days,

no weeks,

actually months,

well, really, several months…

I’ve lost my mojo!

I can’t remember the last time I did a layout. I usually struggle getting layouts done while I am teaching, but I’m not at the moment, so that can’t be the reason… I usually figure that these things can’t be forced, if I patiently wait, my mojo usually returns, but it hasn’t so far. I am thinking I may need to try a few things to get it back.

I don’t usually look at digiscrapping galleries, so I may have to trawl around and check some out.

I don’t usually use kits either, I make almost everything myself, with the exception of most brushes, so maybe I need to do some shopping (good excuse! LOL).

Maybe I need to get some new photos to scrap… it’s winter here and I don’t seem to get the camera out as much as I’d like.

Maybe I need to leave Photoshop alone. I use it every day, making stuff (to give away here, usually), experimenting with photos and trying out new techniques that will be useful to my students. Maybe I should have a complete break and see if that helps, I am easily distracted at the moment. I open a picture to use in a layout and then get sidetracked, making a brush, or choosing the ‘perfect’ font, thinking of a catchy title, deciding on colours, then nothing gets done because I sweat the small stuff….

Any suggestions? What do you do when you lose your mojo?

Also wanted to thank everyone that took the time to leave a comment and thank me for the freebie last week. It’s nice to finally get to know a little about the lovely people that drop by here. Everyone should have a link to the comment freebie by now, but if you have missed out, just let me know. The comments will keep me motivated to continue doing my Photoshop Tips and of course more freebies. I will also be giving away random comment prizes… you just never know if your comment will be the one that wins!

Faux Photoshop Tip

For my Photoshop tip today, I am going to post some links to articles I have written for AussieScrapbooking.com. Several people that commented on the last post are new to Digital Scrapbooking, so hopefully these article will help some of the newbies out there.

What is Digital Scrapbooking? The Basics

What is Digital Scrapbooking? The Basics (Part 2)

What is Digital Scrapbooking? The Basics (Part 3)

Adjusting Photos/Layouts For The Web/Email

Crazy For Clipping

I also have a freebie to upload, but my trial version of Smart FTP ran out so I don’t have any way of uploading. Can anyone out there recommend an FTP client that is easy to use and cheap, or better yet free? Let me know :-)

Lastly, I received my copy of Digital Scrapbooking Magazine. In it appears the layout below. I love this photo of Bronte, I never thought they would use it the magazine as it is so plain and simple, but really who could resist those big beautiful brown eyes. I know I can’t! Word Art is by Anna Aspnes. No-one does word art better…. The photo was taken by me in her bedroom, against her freshly painted pink wall (colour chosen by Bronte). It made a lovely back drop.

Below is a set of three pictures that I framed and gave to my boss for his birthday of his three children. They did look great printed and I think he was pretty happy with them, all 3 of them have the most beautiful blue eyes. They are all gorgeous.


{ Freebie No 3 }

by Lee on July 11, 2008

As I said in my previous post, I am really interested to know who is visiting my blog, just wanting to know a little bit about you, how you found me, your blog or gallery address and whatever else you think is relevant. And as an incentive for ANOTHER FREEBIE, all those that leave comments will receive a mini kit called Afternoon Delight. My last freebie had over 200 downloads, so hopefully I will be giving away lots of this extra kit and finding more about you guys.

Now for the freebie, this is a kit called Come On Get Happy, bright colours are not what I usually use, so it was nice to make this kit and see where it took me… I hope you like it :-)

Click here to Download ~ [download#3#size]

See above for how to get ANOTHER freebie by leaving a comment


PHOTOSHOP TIP #4 (and #5)

OK this is a nice easy one, I’m sure most people know that hitting the letter “D” on the keyboard will get your foreground/background colours back to default. Very useful, particularly when using layer masks. The second tip is that by hitting the letter “X” on the keyboard, will switch between the foreground and background colours, again this can be very useful when using layer masks, easily switching between colours to mask areas out or back in, as the case may be. It’s also useful when try to add texture to backgrounds, switching between two colours and painting will add depth, particularly if you are using a textured, or grunge brush.


{ A Funny Thing Happened }

by Lee on July 10, 2008

A friend, workmate and student, Ruth, has just been to America for a 4 week holiday, upon her return she brought me a lovely little bracelet. It was a wonderful little surprise and I really love the bracelet. It was a very thoughtful thing to do. Thanks Ruthy.

Now, here is the reason for the title of this post. For about 5 days I was having problems with my computer, it would randomly go into hibernation / sleep mode. It usually happened when I was typing a lot, but it would seem to happen for no particular reason. Thankfully, I wasn’t losing any information or I would have been beside myself as I was busy writing another article for Aussie Scrapbooking. I thought I may have been hitting some shortcut key, afterall I am NOT the most graceful typist out there, in fact it’s fair to say I’m not EVEN a typist and anyway it didn’t make sense as it had never happened before. I did the usual Google searches trying to find out what would cause this, as usual, there was a plethora of information, but nothing that helped my situation. So, I started downloading and updating drivers, yes it was party time at my place… still to no avail… even tried emailing Microsoft, but Bill has just retired, so no luck there either…. It just wasn’t making any sense; it wouldn’t happen when I wasn’t using the computer only when I picked it up. If I was Photoshopping it didn’t seem to happen, it was definitely the typing (or whatever you could call it)…. Hmmm… then on Tuesday morning in the shower (no mental pictures please, it’s for your own safety), I had a brain wave, this is where all good brain waves happen, and for a great explanation of why great ideas occur in the shower you should go to Judy’s blog here. When I got home Tuesday night, I began my little experiment…. After a few hours of no random hibernation or sleep mode, my confidence was building, I was sure I had prevailed and solved the great hibernation puzzle. Late Tuesday night, I finally got the courage up to voice my suspicions to B (prior to this, my superstitious side was preventing me from mentioning it in case saying it somehow made it happen again, now I know I can’t be the only person that thinks this way…am I?).

The above two paragraphs are the beginning and end of this little ditty.


IMPOSSIBLE! I hear you say!

TRUE! I tell you!

HOW? I hear you say!

MAGNETS! I shout!

The lovely bracelet that Ruth gave me is one of the magnetic kinds. You don’t ‘do it up’, it just sticks to itself. So, once again, I Googled the effects that magnets have on computers, but everything I read said that magnets this weak wouldn’t affect your computer. WELL I BEG TO DIFFER. It’s been a week now, and I haven’t worn the bracelet whilst on the computer and it hasn’t happened again. And no it wasn’t the drivers etc that I downloaded, I did that all on the Friday night, including the appropriate restarting etc, it still happened for 3 days after I tried these fixes. It was the bracelet I say!!! Anyway, this may be a boring read, but maybe it will help someone out there when they encounter the random hibernation phenomenon!

OK… I know I’ve been promising another freebie, it is uploading as I type, and I will post the link when it’s done…. AND in an effort to get to know the people that are visiting my blog, there will be a BONUS FREEBIE… if you leave a comment on the Freebie post I will email another link to another FREEBIE mini kit… I just want to know a little about you, where you’re from, maybe a link to your blog or on-line gallery, how you found my blog, anything you might like to tell me, come on, be a sport, there were over 200 downloads of the previous freebie…. There are lots of visitors, I can see you all in my stats, but I don’t know anything about you, it’s a bit creepy knowing you are visiting me and I know nothing about you! LOL

OK it’s taking forever, could be tomorrow! I will also have Photoshop Tip #4 too….

Oh and lastly, thanks again to Kristarella, who, once again, solved a blog problem that I have had for a while now… Kristarella, you’re a legend (oh and this ISN’T a ‘creepy stalker’ thank you, just an everyday ‘I Love You in a web kind of way’ thank you LOL ;-P). Seriously, Kristarella is the ‘go to girl’ for code, and she is Australian too! She must be cool :-)

Stay tuned :-)


{ Thematic Photography }

by Lee on July 7, 2008

Here is my latest photo for the Thematic Photography challenge, which this week, is Sky. I braved the cold after work last Thursday and took my girls across the road so they could have a quick play with their netball and so I could get some stormy sky pics, it was FREEZING, I could barely feel my fingers when we got back and spent most of the time with my camera under my coat so it wouldn’t get wet, it started raining just as we got there….

Special thanks to Carmi for running the Thematic Photography challenge. I am really enjoying it.

Here are a few more sky pictures taken over the last 12 months…. this was taken at one of our favourite camping spots at Seaspray.

Again at Seaspray. I really like this one, it looks like a UFO is going to appear through that bright spot LOL.

This was taken at a place called the Railway Reserve, not far from us.

The next two were edited in Photoshop where I obviously bumped up the saturation quite a bit. Again this is Seaspray.

This one makes me sad, this is directly across the road from us, a beautiful view from our bedroom window. Despite the fact we are very close to the CBD in our town we had this wonderful rural outlook, and now all these trees are gone now, it is a disgrace that it was deemed necessary that they be removed. Now we can see the traffic on the other side, not a very nice view considering what we had before… disgusting really. Traralgon City should be ashamed that this was allowed to happen.

Rant over.

Well, I haven’t been updating as much as I wanted to this last few weeks, I have lots of excuses, but none that would stand up in a court of law so I won’t bother. There will be no free download until Tuesday or Wednesday this week as I am back on dial-up speed at the moment as I went over my 10GB limit. I just don’t have the patience to wait 5 hours to upload something! So it will have to wait a few days, sorry!

Just a quick note to say that there has been another Thesis update, which is the design I use on my blog. And WOW, WOW, WOW, is all I can say is, it just gets better and better with more features added each time, but more importantly, an easy to use and customisable theme is made even EASIER to use! I just can’t recommend it enough and the quality of service, when there are questions, is also exceptional. You can read more about the new Thesis update here and all about my experience with it and more about my blog here. Thanks Chris, you are a legend!

Oh we had a HUGE Puerto Rico day on Saturday… 11 decadent hours of playing, eating, champagning and chatting. The children were wonderful, considering they got here at 12.30pm and we finished at 11.30pm… believe it or not we only played 4 games in the 11 hours, Suzy won 2, Clinton won 1 and Jen won 1. I thought we may have put Jen and Clinton off by having such a big day, but nooooo, Clinton called on Sunday morning to say they’d had a great time, but they had both slept badly as they were strategising all night LOL.

Check back soon, I will have another post later today :-)


{ Photoshop Tip and Photography }

by Lee on June 30, 2008

I am following the Thematic Photography over at Written Inc. This weeks Theme was wood and here is my take on it. Just a fence using shallow DOF.

Fence copy

I just love these two videos, they both use stop motion digital camera images to achieve the effect. I found them on Photojojo.

et cetera from jacattack on Vimeo.

This one I like, especially if you are travelling, I think it’s a great idea, I am also intrigued as to why most of the feet are to the right of the shot? Why do you think that is? Maybe it’s because most people look through the viewfinder with their right eye, which means the camera is moved to the left….?

looking down. from hrrrthrrr on Vimeo.


Wow this is hard, always wondering which tip is most useful!The truth is they all are!

OK, lets talk Blendmodes and another handy shortcut. I use Blendmodes ALL the time, on Photos, Digital Scrapbooking Pages, Papers, lots of different ways. The thing with Blendmodes is that the results can be unexpected and it’s not always easy to predict which blendmode will give you the effect you are after. So the easiest thing to do is to look at each blendmode. This is the easiest way to scroll through and find the blendmode that gives you the effect you are after.

* Click on the word Normal in the Blendmode box (found at the top of the Layers palette next to the Opacity Slider). This will open the dropdown menu. Now just click again. The dropdown menu will close but the word ‘Normal’ will now be highlighted (in Windows it will turn blue, I’m not sure what it does with a Mac).

* Now all you have to do is use the arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll through each blendmode and see the the results live on your image.

I hope you find this helpful. If you do, leave a comment and let me know how you have used it.

If you want specific help, post a comment and I will endeavour to help you out :-)


{ Bad Blogger and a PS tip }

by Lee on June 28, 2008

Forgive me blog, for I have sinned, it has been too long since my last post…. I did want to try and blog 3-4 times a week, but I have been unwell with a few other things happening. I think I am on top of everything now, so I should be back on track…

Hmmm, lots to report, speaking of reports (nice segue, hey), my girls got their school reports this week, and man I could not be more proud of them both. They are bright girls so I expect that their reports are good, but all I really want to know is that they try their hardest, and it appears they both do. I could go on and on, but I won’t bore you, you get the picture…

I have also joined Through The Lens – Digital Photography 101, over at From The Rubber Room. They are a great (big) bunch of ladies and I have had a ball dropping by some of the blogs, some great talent out there too. Here is my first Assignment, which was to take a picture of something you love. Obviously my family is up there at number one, but since Bronte was in the shower and Brian was cooking a lovely Penang Gai (Dry Chicken Curry), Quinn was the guinea pig for the first assignment. I have screen calibration problems, it looked very oversaturated on my screen, so I dropped the saturation slightly and now it looks under-saturated on the web… calibration does my head in!

Quinn web

Wow, what a great response to my Subscription Offer (see sidebar announcement), if you have subscribed to the blog but haven’t received your download link for the CD calendar template, check that your subscription has been verified properly, there are a couple waiting on verification, other than that you should all have your links. I’d love to see some pics of your CD calendar made up and in use, post a link in the comments so I can see.

I have another blog freebie to post, but I am on my way out now so will do it soon, so watch out for that in the next day or two.

I got to see my blog on another computer recently and it was a little skewif (technical term) because of the “highlighted notes”, I am working on the problem and hope to have it fixed soon, sorry if it throws things out a little.

PHOTOSHOP TIP #1 (and #2)

I am sure you all know this one, but I’ll start at the basics… I didn’t know which shortcut to post first, as there are just sooo many that I use every time I open PS, I have never much used shortcuts in programs, but PS has converted me and their usefulness is never ending and makes for a much faster workflow.


To change brush size on the fly you can use the Left (to make the brush smaller) and Right (to make the bush larger) bracket keys. They sit next to the letter “P” on your keyboard, they are second nature to me now, so make a concerted effort to use them he next time you are using brushes in PS, this will also work, for the healing, clone, history, dodge, burn and other brush tools as well.


And because I can’t resist throwing this one in, you can also change the hardness and softness of your brush as well (this means that your brush can have a blurred or hard edge to it) to use this shortcut just add the Shift key in as well, Shift>[ makes the brush softer and Shift>] makes the brush harder, this is very useful when you are masking or erasing close to edges, to get a cleaner more realistic edge.

I hope you found this useful… leave a comment if you have.

Edited to add: We introduced Clinton and Jennifer to the joys of Puerto Rico tonight. They seemed to pick it up very well and are keen for another game, I had to report that Jen won her first ever game! Go Jen! Also, I have been accused of only reporting my wins, so just for the record, Suzy has won and so has Lincoln and I think Brian is the next highest winner, and I am fairly sure (I will be corrected if I am wrong) I am currently the overall champ. And this is my blog, so I guess I can say what I like! LOL


{ Aussie Scrapbooking }

by Lee on June 14, 2008

My first article has been posted at Aussie Scrapbooking! You can check it out here. If you have any ideas for articles or posts that you would like to see let me know here and I’ll do my very best to accommodate.

Also congratulations to Kate for her new Digiscrapping Design Blog at LazyCow Designs (great name!), head over and check it out, she even has a great freebie there too!

Speaking of Kate, she has some beautiful pictures of one of her daughters dancing on her blog this week, they reminded me of some I took of Quinn earlier in the year, I haven’t posted the layout I did with one of the pictures because I was never sure whether you could tell what it was, (it’s hard to be objective when I took the picture!). Anyway, you be the judge and see for yourself, is it just a blur, or can you see a little girl dancing away?

Twirl Girl

Lastly, I stumbled across these You Suck At Photoshop Video Tutorials on YouTube, at the risk of offending someone, I found these very amusing, and there were a few good tips in there too, if you don’t like, how shall we say, aggressive language, perhaps it’s best not to watch, they are very tongue in cheek, I hope you are not offended. Oh I am worried for you Angela! LOL

I am going to start adding some of my favourite Photoshop/Digiscrapping Tips/Shortcuts to most of my posts (I was going to say all, but don’t want box myself into a corner!), so watch out for more entries. Or better yet, if you have a question let me know :-)

I was supposed to go away with a couple of good friends this weekend for three nights of sloth and relaxation, unfortunately I managed to contract my second case of gastro in the last three weeks, along with Quinn. I still feel miserable and I’m still not over it, so if it doesn’t get better overnight I think I will be off to the doctors in the morning, I am a bit over feeling so queezy and off colour :-(

Also a big hi *waving madly* to some of my past students who I see have joined my mailing list, great to see you guys dropping in, don’t be shy! :-)

Oh and lastly, we spent a night in Melbourne last weekend with some dear friends, we took them to their first Aussie Rules Football match along with some other friends that hadn’t been in years, 6 adults + 6 kids = a great night had by all. And to end a lovely evening we finished it off with another big game of Puerto Rico AND we managed to purchase our own copy! Taught the girls how to play last Monday (Public Holiday), had two games, both of which Bronte won. Thanks to Mandy, Dave, Mallory and Odette for a wonderful weekend.


{ Freebie No 2 }

by Lee on June 7, 2008

A quick welcome to my new subscribers, introduce yourselves in the comments section, so I can get to know you, visit your blogs, find out where you are from, you know, all that stuff…

Guess what! My baby is on the front web page of the Digital Scrapbooking Magazine site! Check her out (Proud Mum gone mad!) LOL. Isn’t she just beautiful?

OK without further ado (who really says that?), the link for the freebie is below in the alert window, beware, it is close to 80mb. Why? I hear you ask, well it is a layered file, saved as a TIF, so it is usable in various programs, not just Photoshop, you can move the Ribbon and Buckle (or hide it), and also move the frame, or just use the background on it’s own, the choice is entirely yours.

Please leave a comment if you download it, it may lead to a Freebie Frenzy, dancing in the street, and ticker tape parade, world peace….OK, I’m getting carried away! LOL (Download Link below)


By the way, if you read this post , you may be interested to know that Quinn is STILL wearing my old slippers, melts my heart really. *sigh*

A quick thank you to Nick Ohrn who just rewrote some code for a Wordpress plug-in that I was having problems with and it’s now working. Thanks again Nick, I really appreciate that you made the effort to do this. You can check out this handy Pre-Publish Reminders plug-in here.

If you’re in Australia, have a great long weekend, if you’re not, well, have a great weekend!


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