Saturday, June 30, 2012

Scrapbooking for Busy People

Life can get very busy along the way so I thought of sharing the simple ways I use to make a scrapbook full of memories in no time at all!

First things first, gather all the materials you need.  Get a good sized scrapbook.  I like the thick ring binders from Papemelroti (of course!) which you can refill and add pages to any time.

I use clearbook refills that protect my scrapbook pages and can easily be rearranged later on.

I like putting everything together in an organized fashion. Meaning to say 1 scrapbook will have only 1 theme and not a whole lot of things going on.

I put all the related items in a bag. It will look like this... chaos!  Then you can sort through and divide the stuff that will go into each clearbook page so it is in chronological order, by location or if you want, by theme (ex. all the beach pictures together even if they were taken on different days.)

If you're making a travel scrapbook, keep the maps and brochures you used on the trip and make these the back pages for photographs on the street or wandering about the city.

Like my brother, the Sketching Backpacker, I like drawing on location, but don't have as much time.  I find though that sketching really is therapeutic and adds a richness to travel that it is highly recommended, no matter what level your skill is.

Sketching a building on one side and taking a photograph of another side adds dimension to your scrapbook pages.  Add details of what's inside, like one of the paintings inside the church wall with some facts of its origin.

This is an example of a brochure merged with a photograph.  Somehow it looks like I took the picture on the brochure (no, we're not trying to deceive anyone) - it makes my picture all the more nicer with a professional's alongside it.

The handwriting on the page is mine.  I lifted a few phrases off my travel journal to help remind me of interesting anecdotes along the trip.

This is the best sketch I could do in a rush! 

One thing I love about traveling is meeting new people and exchanging tokens.  In the picture below, a Polish priest gave me a cross as a souvenir of that time.  I included the story and the cross in my scrapbook.  

Everywhere you go, there are things you can use in your scrapbook.  

I purchased a Belgian handkerchief and never got to use it 'cause I kept it in my scrapbook!

When you don't have a lot of time, what I do is get a whole bunch of magazines and leaf through them for about 5 minutes.  I look for pages or words on that articles that may complement my scrapbook.  

"Get a Taste of This" was the perfect cutout for the exotic Thai food stall I photographed.

Asian scenes made a fitting backdrop to our transport adventures in Cambodia.  I cut the picture like a cloud to make the Asian backdrop more visible.

The magazine page I used here was mostly black.  It was the perfect backdrop for the pictures among ancient ruins as it didn't clash with the textures in the photograph.

Sometimes I use a printer for the text in my pages.  I use different fonts with obviously, larger text for titles.  Cutting does take time as well, so what I do is tear the paper around the text.  I rather like the look of torn paper.

The larger the pictures you use, the more impact. In the page below, I found a large picture of a bird being freed by some hands and it complemented my photograph with a parrot I made friends with on a trip.

This is another example of using a magazine page as a background.  The page background has some advertisement text but they are covered by my photos.

I also use tracing paper with printed text to display text on pages (see below).  It's a cool way of titling things as you can still see the pictures underneath.

An eco-friendly way is using some newspapers from the area and preserving the local news yet putting your own pictures in the photo spots.

Don't forget to print out black and white photographs for extra drama!

One need not fill up the whole page with visuals and text.  Here's a page that is mostly blank.

And other one in black.  Put in a bit of humor.  Here I am pictured atop Mt. Kota Kinabalu and I found an ad with the caption "Somebody call the paramedics" which was just perfect for what I was feeling!

Once you find a magazine page that fits your photo or set of photos, put that in the clearbook page.  Soon you'll find you've put in all the pictures and maps and sketches and text in all the pages and you're ready for the layout.

Once you layout everything, it's just paste paste paste and you're done! :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Winter the Cat

Exactly 7 days ago, yes a week, someone moved in with me.  Her name is Winter, the cat, or should I say, kitten.  She is approximately a month and a half old, with gray markings and wide eyed wondering eyes.

Fitting comfortably in the palm of my hands, Winter was too small to join the other cats so she had to sleep in my room.

She is a well-behaved kitten.  She doesn't fuss or try to grab your attention. She just looks up at you 'til you feel her "staring".  She then knows you won't be able to resist her absolute "cutesomeness".

The first time she had to use the loo, she sniffed all around and finally found it. I should have known what she was up to but I was too late!  Fortunately the succeeding attempts were more successful!

At times I worry about her because she is always sleeping, day and night.  She does poke about the house, toy with the string and occasionally pounce on me, but it seems her energy level is more down than up.

I keep watch and wake up 2 or 3 times at night to check on her.  I make sure she has food and drink when she feels like it.  I brought her to the vet this morning to help ensure she survives.

Trying to worry, I asked God to please make her healthy.  Then I remembered how the Lord Himself cares for us.

"You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar." - Psalm 139:2

God watches over us and never slumbers.  Unlike my care of Winter, when I still manage to get some sleep.

"You take care of the earth and water it, making it rich and fertile. The river of God has plenty of water; it provides a bountiful harvest of grain, for you have ordered it so." - Psalm 65:9

God gives us everything we need to live.  He makes fruit to grow on the trees and crops to take root for the plucking.

" loving God. God will go before me..." - Psalm 59:10

Whenever Winter leaves my room, I go before her to check if there is any danger outside.  I snatch her quickly when the dogs are barking outside to prevent her from being afraid.  God protects us and goes before us to make sure not a hair on our head is harmed.

Today Winter had to go through some unpleasant tests in the Veterinarian's office just to check if she had a fever.  She got fearful, tired, uncomfortable.  I was so sorry for her.  I kept her close all the while.  The Vet said she was such a spoiled little kitty!

Our lives are truly in God's hands.  Sometimes He has to let us go through fearful, tiring and uncomfortable experiences to bring us to a better state.

Winter is now sleeping (on my bed) as she has had a rough day.  Could you please say a prayer that she grows up to be a big, strong, healthy cat!  Thank you so meowch!!! :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

How to Make an Animated GIF

Some of you might want to make your blogs a bit more interesting by placing animated GIFs in them.  Don't be intimidated by thinking it's a complex process.  It's really quite easy!

GIF stands for Graphical Interchange Format.  That's as far as I go in explaining these images.  All I know is that this is the format that moves haha.

All you need:

Images - these can be hand drawn or photographs.  To draw animation, you can use tracing paper so you can draw over the previous images and just changing parts to make the motion.  Ensure that the tracing paper is held securely (a big memo clip) so you have continuity.

Photographs - can either be digitally modified or you can take consecutive pictures defining the movement.

GIF Animation programs or an online Animator. - I use Microsoft GIF Animator .  This is an old Freeware program and there are a lot of other free ones you can use but I like this because it's really so simple to use.  It doesn't take up much space as well on my PC.

An online GIF maker I've tried is the  which operates similarly to Microsoft GIF Animator but you don't need to download anything.  The off-putting thing is that your image will have Gickr's watermark, albeit small, on the finished product.

Here's one I made today.  It's in commemoration of Friendship Day which will happen on July 30 (or on the first Sunday of August).  

When you have the different set of images, like this:

Once you have these same sized images, you can import them using the INSERT button on the Microsoft GIF Animator or if you're using a tool like Gickr, you can just upload the files onto the site.

Fix the sequence (if needed).  If using the MS Animator, you do this by dragging the images to the order they sequentially appear.  

Go to the "Animation" Tab to indicate if you want the animation to go on forever.  In that case, tick "Looping" and then "Repeat Forever".  You can choose to put 2, for example, to indicate you want it to stop after the 2nd time the animation ends.  It will freeze after that.

Next go to the "Image" Tab and put in the duration.  I used values ranging from 40 to 55 because I had words so the balloon GIF is quite slow.  You can make it as fast or as slow as you like by pressing the arrow button on the upper right hand corner where you can preview your work and make adjustments if need be.

It's really this simple.  Why not try making one?  Have fun!


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