Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Guest blogger: My husband!

Sorry for yet another delay, but it's been very busy around here! Steve's parents are coming in a few days, and we've been doing all kinds of things to prepare - painting the kitchen, scrapping, cleaning, etc... Steve offered to write a blog post about a few pages he's recently done. Thanks, honey!

Since my parents are coming from Florida to visit this week, and Traci and I are coming up on our second year of marriage, we figured it was about time we finished the scrapbook for our first year. And by "we" I mean "I", since the only two pages left to be done in that book were pages I told Traci I'd do.

One of those pages is our annual movie page. Every time we go to the theater, we save our ticket stubs and later use them to scrap the movies we've seen that year. I scrapped our first movie page, using pictures I cut out of a couple movie preview magazines I'd saved. I used some popcorn paper Traci had, and used a star-shaped paper punch to make "star" ratings for each of the movies (completely subjective, and Traci disagreed on some of the ratings, but hey, it was my page). It came out pretty good. See for yourself:

This year, I put off doing the 2009 movie page because I didn't have any convenient source of pictures. Actually, part of it was because I didn't know how I'd top last year's page -- I mean, come on, Wall-E pulling his ticket out of the row on the bottom of the page was a stroke of genius! Anyway, when I couldn't put it off any longer, Traci reminded me I could always get the pictures I needed off the Internet. So a-downloading I went, grabbing screen shots and promotional stills from fan pages and movie-review sites. We'd seen 10 movies last year, so I'd need to fit 10 pictures on a two-page spread.

I decided to use a filmstrip motif. I went into Adobe Photoshop Elements and used the marquee (rectangular selection) tool to select two long, skinny rectangles the full length of an 8.5 x 11-inch page. I then held down the "alt" key to un-select smaller rectangles inside them, the approximate proportions of the photos I'd downloaded (4" wide by 2.5" deep). I then used the paint bucket to fill in the remaining film "frame" black. Next, I used the marquee tool again to select a row of small squares along the border and delete them, making the "sprocket holes." Turning on the page grid and selecting Snap To Grid was a big help in getting all these holes the same size and lined up nicely. Even so, I accidentally spaced one set too close together, as Traci saw immediately -- after we printed. Oops.

I then made the black film frames into their own layer so I could paste the pictures behind them, visible through the openings. I opened each of the pictures and used the Crop tool to make them the right size and shape, in some cases trimming off the edges a bit, depending on the proportions of the original. I then copied and pasted them behind the frames. To fill the partial frames on the ends of the filmstrips, I used the same pictures; as long as they weren't next to the same picture, the small sliver that would be left wouldn't be identifiable, I decided. Traci then printed them out for me on glossy photo paper. I cut them out, then tore the ends to make them look more interesting.

The paper we chose for the page was a jumble of scattered tickets. To go along with this graphical motif, I used mono adhesive to stick the filmstrips to the pages at random angles -- two strips on the first page, three on the second. I then labeled the pictures by sticking the ticket stubs next to the appropriate pictures, again at angles as if they'd been scattered randomly. I used the blank back of a duplicate ticket for a small amount of hand-written journaling, and Traci cut out my headline in black using her Gypsy and Expression. She stuck it to the back of another duplicate ticket, I added a cardboard popcorn-box cutout she gave me, and the page was done. Here's the result:

I wanted to headline this one "Movie Date 2: Return of the Sequels," but only half the movies we saw were actually sequels or remakes, so the joke didn't really work. Traci said it was too long for a headline anyway. Just wait till next year's page, "Movie Date 3: Revenge of the 3-D Movies!"

Sorry for the quality of the pictures - I didn't have time to scan and stitch all the pages together, so I just took pictures of them.  Doesn't he do good work?  Puts me to shame, he does.

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