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Snap & Scrap Your Summer with Jen

Hello and welcome back!  We're loving all the challenge entries we're seeing - thanks so much for reading and playing along, giving us a glimpse into your summers!  Today Jen Martakis shares her favorites and tips:


Here are a few of my favorite summer photos. It's not necessarily because they are the best in quality but because they each tell a story of some of my favorite memories.


I have to admit, when asked if I could write a little on the subject of summer photography I was pretty nervous. I don't consider myself a great photographer. In fact, I'm one that just takes a ton of photos and crosses my fingers that I get a few good shots. ;)

My summer photography advice? Don't stress about every shot being flawless. Take your camera with you. It doesn't have to be your dSLR. Tuck your point and shoot in your purse or even use your cell phone. Take photos of everything. The background and lighting conditions won't always be optimal but that's okay. Every photo won't be perfect. But they will all have memories. Have fun!

Don't always worry about the perfect backdrop for you photos. Have you ever looked through old photos and discovered the old family car in the background? or your first pet peeking around the corner? Sometimes, the surroundings are just as memorable as the people in our photos. I have caught myself trying to crop out everything in the background so that my photos are only centered around my subject. I think that I have missed out on a lot of story telling that way.

I love the Sweet Summertime Collection by Little Yellow Bicycle. I am drawn to the bright colors and adore the 10 Things I Love About Summer Pocket.




And you just have to love the Margarita Collection by American Crafts...


I love this layout. It is one of my all time favorites. Not really for it's design or the product that I used, but for it's meaning. The photos is far from perfect but the moment was.

This one is very special to me also. The journaling is a reminder of how much my youngest son went through in his first 3 years of life.

This one makes me smile. I will never forget how much fun we had on this vacation.

I love this layout by LynnGrieves0n. I think the idea of using a collage of photos for the entire background would be fun.

I adore these cards from Veridiana. I just love the theme, colors and dimension.

Okay, how cute are these?! They are bright, fun and scream summer...

My challenge for you is to tell the story. This is why we scrapbook. Try to re-create the moment through your journaling. Use descriptive words. Tell us what the weather was like, what kind of mood everyone was in, the events of the day, etc.

You have one week to upload to the gallery for your challenge (through July 6th).  Don't forget to check the challenge checkbox and visit the Education message board for the announcement of the winner.  Thanks for playing along!

Thanks so much to Jen for sharing with us today.  Swing by tomorrow as we hear from Jamie Waters!

6/30/2011 10:32:03 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Challenge

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Snap & Scrap Your Summer with Shannon

Snap & Scrap Your Summer with Shannon

With her love for all things colorful, Shannon Tidwell inspires us yet again with her tips and insight into how she scraps her (colorful) summer.  Scroll down to the bottom of this post for her challenge, and if you're looking for the previous days in our series,  just click here. :)


So far this summer, this is my favorite photo.  You moms with more than one child will understand how hard it is to get all of your kids in the photo, smiling, and looking at the camera at the same time.   I love all the bright colors of course, too.

I am trying to remind myself to take pictures of the 'in between'.  Like the photo above, we were at a swim meet.  I have hundreds of pictures of the boys swimming, but none come close to this photo.  So I'm trying to take more photos in between the action.  The quiet times, the giggles, the waiting, the time we are together.  I don't need 100 pictures of Maddox swimming freestyle.:)

Love the color mix of Echo Park's Country Drive:


With the word Watermelon in the name, this has to be perfect for summer.  

Jillibean Soup

I'm really excited about working in my Smash Book.  Perfect solution for those times you are too busy to 'scrapbook'.  What a great road trip journal this would be, too. 

My favorite summer-y layout is this one...I think it's the mix of bright colors and sweet photos I love.  It just screams summer to me.  I always love layouts that come together quickly too.  I usually don't use yellow, but after looking at this I'm going to reach for it more often.

I LOVE these circles.  I wouldn't have thought to put the white behind them, but it totally makes the difference.  Going to try this for sure.

Here we are with circles again.  LOVE.  But I really love the small photos too.  I want to print my iphone photos like this.

This isn't a summer layout, but all the colors remind me of summer.  I love how Lisa was able to use so many photos....and paper & embellishments.  

My biggest tip for taking/scrapping summer pics is to first hand the camera to someone else.  Often that means handing the camera to someone who isn't as comfortable behind the lense.  But that doesn't matter!  As you go through your pictures on the computer don't be too quick to delete the 'outtakes'.  There are gems to be found.  Sometimes they tell more of the story and are the ones you should scrap!  

 My challenge to you is to scrap one of those outtakes.  You have one week to upload your project.  Submit it to the gallery by July 5th.  Don't forget to check the challenge checkbox and to check the Education board for the announcement of the challenge winner.

Thanks so much, Shannon!  Join us tomorrow as we hear from Jen Martakis.  Until then, happy Summer scrapping!

6/29/2011 10:49:47 AM | Comments (2) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Challenge

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Snap & Scrap Your Summer with Stacey



Hello and welcome to another day in our series!  Today art teacher, scrapbooker and lover-of-summer Stacey Sattler shares with us her favorites and tips.  If you're like us, her photos had us going "Awww.." and giggling - and the pages left us inspired!

This is a photo I took just last week when we were picking strawberries. This is our second year in a row doing this...we have lots of fun. I make jam and berry parfaits with homemade whipping cream-YUM.

This year, the picking was especially sweet, because my brother, who lives out of town, was able to join us!

I snapped this photo of our flowers on the deck. I love the vibrant green and the different textures. I like comparing {from year to year} the different flowers we've planted.

This is my all-time-most-favorite-in-the-whole-wide-world photo. My husband and I argue over who took it :) This is a picture from last year, when we went to Chicago. It was 100 degrees out. We walked with the kids from Field Museum to Millenium Park, thinking it was only a couple blocks. It was more. We were all overheated by the time we got to the fountains in the park.

This was an unposed, just happened and I cried photograph.

I am in awe of photographers who get pictures like this on a regular basis.

Same family trip to Chicago. I thought you might get a laugh out of this one. My sweet, darling daughter can be a demon. ;)

SO glad we snapped this one, it's one of my favorites because it captures a moment of 'not so perfect {but still ours}' family life.

I have been using my iPhone more and more for capturing our daily life in the summer. I always have my phone with me and find I take many more photos of our 'everyday life' and I LOVE the apps that quickly give my photos a vintage feel.

That being said, after a few weeks of not picking up my Nikon, I get the itch and get it out...

I love the State Fair Studio Calico Collection:

The color pallette is beautiful and the collection goes together so beautifully.  I don't think this line is limited to summer photos, I can see using it year round too!

Doodlebug is another line I adore. The colors are so bright, summery and happy!

I can see using it for birthdays, pool parties and lake photos.

The Little Things collection by Fancy Pants is not new or particularly summery, but it's one of my favorites! The embellishments are especially wonderful.

I love this page of my two youngest at the lake. I love that the photo captured a sweet moment between them. This page has so much going on...can you tell I had just gotten my Silhouette?!

On this one page, I have die cuts, stamping, misting, masking, washi tape, crumpled walnut ink paper...whew!

I also love this page, which was created for a weekly challenge. I have a thing for polka dots and this page satisfied that craving ;)

Masked painted circles, punched circles, stamped circles, die cut circles...and that bright happy photo still has center stage on the page, even though it's small because of the green and aqua color contrast.

I have no idea where this page came's much messier than my usual style, a liitle sloppier, a little off-kilter...but I LOVE it! I especially love the wacky stacked patterned papers along the left side.

I really love the vibrant colors and layering of embellishments on this page. Also, impressive that there are 4 photos and 3 journaling spots!

An amazing enlarged photo really makes a statement...I NEED to do this!!!  Adorable page!

I love this summery card. I would frame that beauty in a shadowbox! This project inspires me to try my hand at a smaller format...maybe I'll surprise someone and mail them a handmade card this summer!

I take tons of summer photos for lots of reasons. More daylight, home more, together with the family more, fun-out-of-the-ordinary routines...

Sometimes I get bored with my regular scrapping routine and I try to mix up the way I create my pages.

I seem to be drawn to pages in the gallery that have loads of embellishments.

I think this is one way I can alter my scrapbooking routine and add a dash of 'fun' to my pages this summer.

My Challenge: add TONS of summery embellishments to your page. Push yourself further than usual...have fun with your drawers, jars and baskets of embellishments!

You have one week to upload to the challenge (through the 4th).  The winner of a prize pack from Two Peas will be announced on the Education board.

Thanks so much Stacey!  We'll see you all tomorrow with another post - this one from Shannon! :)

6/28/2011 9:43:19 AM | Comments (6) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Challenge

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Snap & Scrap Your Summer with Nancy

Welcome to the second week in our series!  We hope you had a great weekend and are geared up for more scrappin your summer this week!  Today Nancy shares her tips and favorites with us.  Looking for more from the series?  See the previous days here.  Don't forget to scroll down for Nancy's challenge at the end of this post.


1. I try to take a lot of my tight portrait shots one hour before sunset during the summer. There is just something beautiful about soft summer light and that makes people look their best in photographs.

2. I invested in a digital underwater camera last year and it was worth every penny. It's small, compact and takes great shots. I carry it around in my beach bag all summer. I especially love taking photographs from inside the pool and the different perspective it gives me.



I love this picture of my nephew because I captured his smile and personality playing in the pool. I love the fact that he has his goggles on and that I was able to cut out all of the distracting pool toys/people from the background by zooming in tight.


This is my favorite vacation landscape shot. It was taken in Sanibel, Florida and I think that it captures the "feel" of that vacation perfectly. It was laid back, beautiful and we saw some of the most amazing sunsets I've ever seen.


I take this exact same photo every year on Father's Day. I line up my son and his cousins in the same order with their bathing suits on and shoot away. It's no small feat getting them all to look (and smile naturally) at me all at once. I like to pull out the photos from the last couple of years and really see the age progression too.


I love the bold colors and swoosh design in this chipboard sheet by Bo Bunny Press. I think it's perfect for pool slide and waterpark pictures.


I think every single one of the icons on this sticker sheet by Simple Stories is perfect for the everyday pictures of summer.



I love these die cuts from Pink Paislee's Hometown Summer line. They mix and match really well with many other paper lines and cover themes from baseball to BBQ.


This is a page I created from a recent vacation. It's one of my current favorites because I love the photos and the Echo Park Splash line. It came together pretty quickly once I decided to cut down the yellow sunburst paper and make it the focal point of my spread. 


This one is a favorite because I love the Seaside line by October Afternoon and our vacation to an eastern seaboard town was perfect for it! 


This beach layout by Michelle Lanning is one of my all-time favorites. I love the bold colors, the paper + twine bow at the top and how she added a matching stamped embellishment. Michelle's style is always layered, with loads of texture and pops of color - I love that!


I love how clean and graphic this layout by Waleska Neris turned out. The bold colors and graph paper really let the photos shine and I love how she used curves of patterned paper to add movement.


I love all of the little details in this layout by Suzanne Sergi. The die cut is placed almost in the center of the page and become the title and focal point. All of the texture and layers makes this one of my favorites in the gallery.


I didn't scrap for almost the first two years of my son's life. I had mountains of photos from his first summer, but I knew it would be forever before I got a chance to scrap all of the stories from that summer. So I decided to make a "Nico's First Summer" round-up page with the highlights.  It was a quick way to cover a lot of ground. I do these pages at the end of each of our vacations and use some of my favorite photos from a day/vacation/season. I think it's a great way to remember little tidbits and use lots of summer photos without doing individual layouts. 

Thanks so much, Nancy!

Your challenge:  Create an in-review, or "round up," layout and share it with us in the gallery.  You have one week to upload your layout (through July 3rd).  Don't forget to check the challenge checkbox!  Keep an eye on the Education message board for announcements of challenge winners -  a prize pack will be sent their way!

6/27/2011 10:04:12 AM | Comments (3) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Challenge

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Snap & Scrap Your Summer with Kristina

Today we are wrapping up our first week in the Snap & Scrap Your Summer Series.  Sharing with us her favorites and tips is Founder & Buyer, Kristina.  To see the previous weeks in our series, click here, and don't forget to check out the challenge at the end of this post!

I could download my whole photo library here. My favorite summer photos as of late.... they are varied and tell different stories.  Some are of the pool memories, and the crazy antics of my children and family, parties or other lively events. Some are of the calm peaceful saturdays spent together quietly just 'being'.   Some of them tell a tale of a yearly tradition spent with friends (4th of July) and others are just because. A few of my favorites:

I am certainly no professional.... I am a photographer, but not a Photographer. I don't feel like I am fully aware of all that my camera has to offer, so I am not really good at imparting any tips about taking photos... 

I can tell you that I love to just grab my camera and capture random moments. This is just something that almost all scrapbookers do, what every major designer, magazine, expert recommends. Taking photos of the everyday moments. 

Since I started to do the Project Life project this year, I have been more careful to really capture the every day things... going so far as to take photos of the cover of the video game case for the game that my kid are currently playing constantly. Last summer I took a lot of photos with just my DSLR. This year, while I have a new camera and love it more than any other camera, I have been taking so many more photos with my iphone. With the regular camera and then also with the Hipstamatic app. I print them out regardless of their quality. I text them, I email them, I share them, I just love the snap and go feeling of them. And I always have it with me, no matter where I go, so I tend to use it more than anything else.

so my big advice: take a camera with you everywhere! And take photographs of everything that catches your eye and makes the moment "the moment. The flowers, the decorations, the book, the food, the whatever you had in your hands, or otherwise. 

I have a couple of different stories that I like to tell in the summer.... we spend a lot of time in our backyard. In 3 different areas of our yard.... on our plush couches and cozy seating on the deck, around the pool and then sitting down in the yard around a fire in cooler summer nights. Each of these memories and moments require very different products as they each tell a different story. Some of it is loud, crazy, fun and bright. And the collections and products I use should and will reflect that. The others require a more serene composition, or less bright and busy. I have 2 different colors schemes in our backyard spaces.... blues around the pool and pool deck area, and all warm reds, salmon, pinks and other warm colors on our deck. so I usually head towards collections that reflect those colors schemes when scrapbooking photos and memories from those areas.

I really love the bright colors and patterns of this American Crafts collection:  I love the layered yellow sun in this set Margarita Gateway Details.   My favorite papers from this collection are:



There are so many great patterns though. I would probably cut them all up and create all kinds of great little layouts and mini books with our bright pool photos. I like the hot summer sun feel to this collection. The houses/building paper makes me think of hot summer nights in Rio or something. I like the feeling of the hot sun baking into my skin while laying next to the crisp cool waters of the pool, and this is what I think of when I look at this collection. The fun bright colors are like the bright colorful times we have in our backyard. Our lively moments filled with laughter and fun. 

Last summer I used a lot of My Minds Eye to scrapbook my favorite serene summer moments, of our outdoor living spaces. And again this summer I would do the same with the Lime Twist Collection

I love the texture of their papers. They are thicker and a lot of the collections have a nice muted tone to them while still providing great color.  I have a tendency to use the B side of papers, especially theirs. They have great Bsides.

Here are my favorites (all but the cloud pattern are the B sides here):




In addition to that collection, here are a few others that I found around that I will end up using... mixing and matching all of these collections as I go along.






There are so many projects in the gallery that I am inspired by. These are just a few that caught my eye this morning as I looked through items that had been tagged with the key word Summer.  I don't look with the intention of " I want to try this too" but I like to look and bookmark things that catch my eye based on color, combinations of products, compositions, etc. I just really liked the way that these projected looked at first site: 





I am also really inspired right now by Lisa Truesdell.  So much great stuff to look at......



Try to capture those lovely moments with as many atmospheric photos that you can.... Your challenge: just create a page about the surroundings of an event, memory or whole season. I love to take photos of my flowers, the flowers on my deck that surround my cushy couches. We sit out there for hours and having all of those lovely blooms around us adds to the feeling. Create pages that reflect the feelings, not just the people and the event. 

You have through next Thursday to upload your layout.  Be sure to check the challenge checkbox to have your layout attach to this post.  The winner of a prize pack from us here at Two Peas will be announced on the Education board then.  

Have a great weekend, Peas!  We'll see you next week with another post for our series.

6/24/2011 1:59:37 PM | Comments (2) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Challenge

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Snap & Scrap Your Summer with Caroline

Snap & Scrap Your Summer with Caroline


In Day 4 Caroline brings her love for sunflare and teeny-tiny photos on scrap pages.  Don't miss her challenge at the end of this post!  Enjoy. :)

This is a photo of me and my friend Amy at the beach a few years ago...we were having fun with jumping and silhouettes. the lighting ended up being perfect, and the jumping was super fun!

Well, summer here in San Francisco means lots of fog, which usually ends up being pretty good, even lighting - like a giant softbox (unless it's super dense and there's like zero visibility). I don't think that's the answer y'all are looking for though, haha!!! I love waiting until an hour or two before sunset to take advantage of gorgeous lighting and playing with sun flare! I like to experiment with different angles to play with how the sunlight is hitting the subject - you can get different looks based on where you are positioned. Backlighting is one of my favorite techniques too - you can't go wrong with the glow behind the subject that results!!


I love the Echo Park Summer Days collection  - it's soooooooo fun and colorful! The motifs in the collection, especially the embellishments, make me smile and definitely remind me of summer. 


I love the Hometown Summer line from PinkPaislee/Collage Press too - it's got a mix of vintage and modern, and the cute little kids that are on some of the embellishments are SUPER cute!


This is technically not a summer-themed page, but I love the beachy photos that I built the page around. I used a lot of product that made me happy,  these pictures make me happy, and the people in them make me happy and make me smile!

So many little bits and pieces and so many little details to take in!!! I love how she mixed and matched a bunch of elements.

 That shaved ice makes me hungry, and I love the stamping and the cute little flags. And I want to create a summer to-do list like she did!!

This is sooooo colorful and so much fun!!! I love all the clusters of embellishments!

It's sometimes difficult for me to use enough photos to tell my story, yet leave enough room for other page elements and to leave the white space that I love! To solve this, I like to shrink down the size of my photos and use TONS of tiny photos on a page!  Your challenge?  Try it on a page!  You have one week to upload (through the 29th) - don't forget to check the challenge checkbox when you do.  The winner of a prize pack from Two Peas will be announced on the Education forum.

Thanks so much Caroline!  Need a little jumpstart to the challenge?  We found this layout as an example from her gallery:

Interested in other interviews from the Snap & Scrap series?  Click here for more!

6/23/2011 9:23:05 AM | Comments (5) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Challenge

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Snap & Scrap You Summer with Jen Gallacher

Snap & Scrap Your Summer with Jen Gallacher

A favorite shooting spot in the shade, plans for picnics with an eye on the perfect stickers to match, and a solution for ideas for kids' activities.... all in Day 3 of Snap & Scrap Your Summer!  Here with us is Jen Gallacher...

I have a few. I love this one of James who thinks that the right gear makes a dip in our backyard pool all the better.

And I love this one of James enjoying his first sparkler (although he promptly burned himself right after this photo was taken and is why we've banned sparklers at our house).

 I recently found a prime photography spot while visiting the zoo. The kids stepped under a big pavillion and all of a sudden I realized that the light was golden. The sun bounced off the cement and into their faces, while the overhanging structure served to shade them from harsh shadows. So now when I plan our summer portraits, I find some kind of shade that has reflective light. The photos turn out dreamy!

Little Yellow Bicycle's "Sweet Summertime" has the perfect lemon embellishments and paper for my son who thinks he's going to rich with a candy and lemonade stand this summer.


And Echo Park Paper's "Country Drive" is perfect for those leisurely drives and outdoor picnics we plan to take this season. I can hardly wait to use the lines!


A summer boredom jar that is filled with a bunch of paper strips with activities for the kids when they're bored. If I have to hear "I'm bored" one more time, I'm going to scream.

I am so inspired by the Peas. I love, love, love this shell collecting jar by JillianCassity: 

And I totally have to make cute summer cards like this one by dahlhousedesigns: 

Make a non-portrait photo your focus. Maybe a child's hand dripping with popsicle stickiness, or a sunset on a beach, or the wheels of a bike turning round and round. Your challenge: Enlarge this photo and make this your focal point photo for a page about summer.  You have one week to upload to the challenge (through the 28th).  The winner of a prize pack from Two Peas will be announced on the Education board!

Here are a few examples:



Thanks so much, Jen!  

Want to see more?  Click here for Day 1 with Shimelle and Day 2 with Lisa.

p.s.  Like the thought of a Summer Boredom Jar and need ideas?  Martha Stewart has a list on her website here. Enjoy!

6/22/2011 10:00:15 AM | Comments (6) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Challenge

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Snap & Scrap Your Summer with Lisa

Snap & Scrap Your Summer with Lisa


Welcome to the second day in our series!  We hope you enjoyed hearing from Shimelle in Day 1 and will play along in her challenge.  Now let's hear from Lisa as she shares how she captures dirty knees and baseball games.  Scroll down for her challenge for your chance to win!

We're a baseball family - and summer means a LOT of ball! There is something special that strikes me about this photo of Alex. I shot it through the fence as he took a moment to gather his thoughts before warming up as he waited his turn to bat, and I love how that frames him.

There's something irresistible about digging in the sand. For this shot, I cropped in close - but not too close. I wanted to catch the sandy toes and swimsuit, but I also got the farmer's tan and the waterway that was being constructed.

Plaid shorts, skinned knees, and little flip flops. This photo makes me catch my breath - it IS summertime Sam, 100%.

 It seems we come across so many of the same scenes each summer - so I try to shoot from a different angle than I usually would. Try to look at those moments in a new light. You can see this in the three photos above - each is an event that happens over and over, each summer, but I think those shots capture something new. So get down low. Tilt your camera. Crop in close. 

I don't use a lot of themed products in my scrapping - I more look for colors that fit the stories I want to tell. For summer i reach for sunny bright colors - but like to make sure I've got some good neutrals to mix them with! Here's a collection of items that I have in my stash (or en route to me from 2peas!) that I think will work well for  my summer pages : 

Simple Stories

Simple Stories - 100 Days of Summer Collection kit (the Hello Sunshine Paper is my favorite!) - nice clean colors - bright without being overwhelming.

Out of Print Collection Kit

Basic Grey - Out of Print Collection Pack - love the softer colors and the newsprint feel.

Toy Box Chipboard

Crate Toy Box 12x12 Chipboard - perfect for everything boy, in any season!

Collage Press Hometown Summer Punchouts

Collage Press Hometown Summer Punchouts - love the mix of accents + journaling cards


Crate Toy Box Buttons - I use buttons on almost every project - love the variety in this pack!


Mr. Huey Mist

Studio Calico Pickle Mister Huey - this is the most perfect green mist, ever.

American Crafts Doll thickers, in black and pool - the font and scale on this alphabet is perfect!

The circles of mist on this page make me think of popsicles - perfect with the photo! 

These photos make me smile - my oldest got SOOOOOOOOOOO dirty at this day camp last summer that we started calling it dirt camp. The little chipboard clothes made a perfect embellishment for this page.

Every summer once August rolls around, we make sure the kids get their "last requests" in. School start mid August for us, so we try and fit in a little extra fun before we go back! I made this page to highlight some of what we did during those last couple weeks of summer.

This page documents one of my very very favorite days of last summer. I packed up the boys and we headed to a nearby lake, and had an absolutely perfect day. Looking at this page makes me anxious to get back out there!!

I love Kim recorded her vacation to do list - I need to ask my boys what they want to do this summer to make sure we get it all in, and this would be a great way to record it!

This page by Marcy  has a great composition, and I love the stitched sand dollars - what a perfect accent for a beach page.

The color combo on this page by Kelly just screams summer, and I love her paper pieced sun and misted background.

Try looking at your product in a new way.  Look for patterns and colors that fell Summer-y to you.  My challenge is to use non-themed product in a Summer page!  You have one week (through the 27th) to upload your layout.  Don't forget to check the challenge checkbox!  The winner will be announced on the Education board.  Have fun!

Thanks Lisa!  Join us tomorrow in Day 3 as we hear from Jen Gallacher!

6/21/2011 9:23:34 AM | Comments (8) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Challenge

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Snap & Scrap Your Summer with Shimelle

Snap & Scrap Your Summer with Shimelle

Welcome to the first day in our series!  Over the course of the next two weeks, the Garden Girls will be sharing their experience and tips in documenting the months filled with barbecues, vacations, weddings, and backyard fun in a question and answer format.  First, we'll hear from Shimelle!  Grab a cup of coffee - or perhaps and icy lemonade? - and enjoy!  She also has a fun challenge for you at the end of this blog post.  Play along for your chance to win a prize pack of goodies!


Summer means the seaside (even if it's not all that warm here) and I love to take pictures with a very shallow depth of field at the beach.  I'm not really a water girl, but I love how the beach and the sea can be so very different on any given day - one day blue, another brown or aqua.  And how different beaches have different sand - we have pebbles on the Sussex coast, white sand is so very tropical and black sand is pretty magical too!  I always try to take a shot like this whenever we visit a new beach and we have one favourite beach photo framed in our house, even in the winter.


I love that the days are so long in summer, meaning there's good light and the softness of morning and evening light seems to last longer.  But midday light can be very harsh and the sky can go white rather than blue.  So for outdoor photos, I try to avoid the middle of the day when possible and stick to mornings and evenings when the sky has more colour.  Humid days can also bring really blue skies!  To make the most of a blue sky, I will shoot at the widest aperture for a given lens and make sure the camera setting for correcting vignetting is turned off - I definitely want the vignette as it will deepen the blue around the frame of the shot.

In the summer, my camera bag usually holds my dSLR and 50mm f1.4 lens plus one other lens chosen for the day - something wide for scenery, something zoom if we'll be in a crowd or something macro for nature or food.  If it's a very special day like a wedding, I take more lenses, but I try to limit to two on regular days.  I also pack a Gorillapod (small, flexible tripod), a remote control (for group shots, action shots and including myself in the picture) and a Neutral Density (ND) filter.  ND filters take the brightness away without distorting colour, so you can continue to shoot at a wide aperture even when it's very bright.  They're essential for long exposures (like waterfalls) and also great for shooting in the middle of the day if the lighting is harsh and too bright.  For fun days, I'll pack a Polaroid or a Fuji Instax or an old vintage film camera.  I love shooting film now and then and I don't tend to shoot the whole roll in one day, so when I have a roll developed it's a real surprise to see what's there!  I rarely shoot with a flash in the summer and would only pack my reflectors if I knew I was off to something formal - otherwise I just make do with what's available.  

I've just added a bunch of the Sweet Summertime collection from Little Yellow Bicycle to my bucket - I'm loving the colours and the lemon motif!  But I'm also very fond of chevron patterns this summer, and those have come up on papers from American Crafts, My Mind's Eye and Studio Calico.  And American Crafts' Campy Trails collection - although it was a spring release - is perfect for outdoor adventures, even if you're not camping.  I've been using it with lots of pictures from our hiking adventures in Australia and New Zealand and it's a great balance for nature shots.  Plus I really love the last two releases from Sassafras - both Sweetly Smitten and Sunshine Broadcast just say 'happy, sunny days' to me!  (Wait - can't I just have everything in the store? Oh, sigh.)



This layout was a weekly challenge here at Two Peas and it really made me want to scrap beach photos for days and days!  I think it changed my mind about how beach layouts are supposed to look - I found the soft colours and florals may have been unexpected but they were just right for my style.

This page is very simple but one of my favourites.  I have it hanging on the wall because it makes me smile and think of spending summer days in the park!

And the minibook in this post was a fun twist for documenting pictures from a summer spent back in the states.  All the images were shot in the TTV style - through the viewfinder of an old camera.  So much fun!

Super cute minibook.  I love the pages with Instax photos, especially!

Very striking page.  So not my style (because I like so much *stuff*) but this just catches my eye and reminds me maybe less is more sometimes!!

Different style, but still so eye-catching.  Love the bold element that holds everything together.

Awesome carnival page.  I love the patterned paper frame around the white cardstock - genius.

Soft and beautiful.  Just so very, very pretty, like a glass of lemonade at sunset!

An older project, but it encourages me to think of creative ways to print my photos and use the digi techniques that are right there with my printer!

Don't forget the details!  Aside from sunshine and smiling faces, what do you see through the summer?  Flip-flops stacked up by the door? Sunscreen bottles on the counter?  The cooler, ice blocks, picnic baskets?  Swimming costumes and beach towels hanging out to dry?  

Your challenge: Create a layout with photos of the little things - not the people - and journal about this evidence of how life changes in the summertime.  You have one week to upload your layout.  Don't forget to check the challenge checkbox!  The winner will be announced on the Education board.  Have fun!

6/20/2011 10:34:43 AM | Comments (9) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Challenge

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