Monday, March 31, 2008

Review: Photoshop Express

Last week I wrote up a review of the new online photo editing and storage offering from, Photoshop Express. You can read my review here. Be sure to read the comments section for information you need to know. Apparently Adobe is claiming the right to use any images you upload to their site. The information from their "terms of use" page is included in the comment section.

Cars As Stars!

It just so happens that I came across some digi-scrapping kits that fit perfectly with the theme for the April 4, 2008 edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: Cars as stars of our family history! If you have some family photos with your favorite cars you will appreciate these kits for scrapping your memories of them. Check these out...

Here are some great papers and car stickers to get you started. Aren't they cute? You can download the mini-kit from the Attic Treasures blog here.

If you're after some retro cars, I have a couple more elements packages to share with you. Look at these babies, also from Attic Treasures...

Don't you just love antique cars and old Caddies? These elements will be great additions to your digital scrapbook pages. You can download the antique cars here and the vintage Cadillacs here.

If you haven't thought about including cars in your family history you might want to give the idea some consideration. If you'd like to read about my thoughts on the subject you can do so in my article, Cars, Cars, and More Cars!

Now go get creative with your genealogy!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Another Time and Place: Russian Easter

I hope you had a joyous and peaceful Easter and that you took lots of family photos! I know a lot of people are on "spring break" this week and will have some time for digi-scrapping. I have just the kit for those Easter photos... one of my favorite designers, Kyra, has created a Russian Easter kit that is just beautiful. Check this out...
Isn't it great?! Even if you're not Russian you can appreciate the beautiful hand painted eggs used in this kit. They will add elegance to your scrapbook page for the more mature, religious and quietly joyous photos in your collection. I love this kit!

You can get this kit from Kyra's blog, With a Russian/Dutch Heart. Here is the link to the Russian Easter kit. Do be sure and read the traditional Easter greetings Kyra writes about... wasn't it nice of her to share that?! Thank you Kyra!

Now go get creative with your genealogy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another Time and Place: The 1950s

In a previous post I shared with you some state-themed templates and introduced you to the idea of using templates in your digital scrapbooking. Today I'd like to share another template with you. This one was also created by Deltapdawn at the Scrapping 'Til Dawn blog. This template is for all lovers of Elvis and the 1950s juke box era. It's called, "All Shook Up".

This is a great template! Who's got pictures from the 1950s?

You could use the Retro Papers in pastel colors from the Nicoal Goes Digiscrapping blog for the malt-shoppe look. This is a template and colors you can really have fun with!

Fire up your iPod with some of those old '50s tunes and go get creative with your genealogy!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ooodles O'Irish!

It's just about time for the wearing o' the green as St. Patty's Day is just around the corner. Who's got Irish ancestors? Irish friends? Irish neighbors? Who's taken a trip to Ireland? Who's gone out drinking green beer on the day we honor Ireland's beloved patron saint? I know you answered "ME!" to one or more of those questions... I know you have pictures... which means you need some St. Patty's Day scrapbooking kits! Lucky for you, I have some wonderful (free for a limited time, as usual) kits that you're gonna love!

First off from Nore's Nice-ities blog we have a wonderful St. Patrick's freebie kit. Check out these previews...

Aren't they great?!!! To download your free kit go to Nore's blog for the Feb. 29th thru March 13th posts and you will find the links to download this kit. Don't forget to leave a comment of appreciation for today's designers. Your compliments are their paycheck!

Next from the Angel Wings and Things blog we have this lovely kit called Luck of the Irish!
I just love that pot of gold with the rainbow! The swirly is a pretty cool element too! You can get this fun and festive kit here.

Here's another terrific kit with rich and textured dark green tones. There's more to this kit than is shown in this preview. Stop by and check out Claddagh Love, from Belanna's At Odds blog.. It's beautiful...

You can download Claddagh Love here.

So there you have three wonderful and varied kits to use for scrapbooking your St. Patty's Day family photos. One more little treat for you and you should be all set. Last but not least, here's some Irish word art from Kathy's Coffee Stop blog. Add some of Kathy's word art and your photos to any of the scrapbook kits above and you're all but done creating some great art work!

Now go get creative with your genealogy!

This article will be featured in the March 17th edition of Lisa's Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Another Time and Place: States

Sometimes it's nice to place our ancestors in the areas where they lived. Often times we have a photo that was taken in the town where they grew up but no good "setting" for it. That's when city or state themes come in handy for creating digital scrapbook pages. Unless your ancestors came from big cities that have a theme (like "the big apple" or "the windy city") you may be hard pressed to come up with a city theme. But state themes are a lot easier to create. Each of our great United States is known for something and that "something" can become the theme for your scrapbook page.

If this sounds like just the thing to you, you'll be excited about what I have to show you today. Deltapdawn of the Scrapping 'Til Dawn blog has a series of state templates going that will give you a great place to start in creating a state theme page for your photos. She started the series back in January and is still going strong. I don't know if she's planning to do all 50 states or not but I know she's taking requests. I requested a page for Michigan and she posted it on February 23rd.
You can do a search for your state of interest by entering it in the search box in the upper left corner of the page. If you don't find what you're looking for, leave her a request as a comment.

If you don't know how to make use of a template for digital scrapbooking check out this easy tutorial done by Misty on the Misty Cato blog. You can create a great looking page in minutes using a template... most of the work is done for you!

Here's an example of what I created using the Michigan template:

It took me about 40 minutes to throw this page together using Deltapdawn's template. I could have done it more quickly but it took me a while to decide on a photo and a kit to use ;-) The papers and elements are from a kit called "Bluestorm" from the Scrappy Blue Stones blog (this kit is no longer available for free but it is available for purchase here).

So, there you go. Templates can save you a lot of design time and these in particular can help set the scene of your ancestor's pictures. They would also work great for scrapping family vacation pictures!

Now go get creative with your genealogy!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Charting Your Family's History

I've certainly been remiss about posting to this blog, haven't I? I do apologize. I got distracted with other things, namely my mtDNA test. I got my results back a couple weeks ago and I'm a member of haplogroup H. Ever since then I've been spending a lot of time creating a new blog and reading up on what's known about haplogroup H. I'll make up for my lapse by posting 3 times this week, how's that?

It's been a while since I've written about anything other than digital scrapbooking. But there are other ways to get creative with your genealogy. A new piece of software is available for creating wall charts from your genealogy data. The software is called Legacy Charting and it's available for free from the folks at Legacy Family Tree software until June 15, 2008.

This is one fun and easy to use piece of software. You do need a data file of your genealogy but just about any will do. It doesn't have to be a Legacy file (although the standard edition of Legacy is a free download if you don't already have genealogy software ;-) . Legacy Charting will accept files from most of the major database players including Family Tree Maker as well as the industry standard GEDCOM file format.

Once you download and install the program it will go out and find your genealogy database files and compile a list for you to choose from. Then you select a file and a chart type and you're on your way! There are lots of options to play with from changing chart types to changing fonts, colors, and which information to show. My favorite feature is the mtDNA chart which will display your maternal line (your mother's mother's mother's line) showing just who is carrying the same mtDNA. Something to reflect on during March, National Women's History Month. Just who are those women whose DNA we carry inside us and pass on to our children?

Legacy charts can be saved in a number of file formats including PSD, JPG, and TIFF. The charts can be printed in one piece or separate pages that can be tiled together. Just think of what a great conversation piece this would be to display at your next family reunion!

So what are you waiting for? Go get creative with your genealogy!