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Thursday, April 27, 2006

May Guest Creative Team Member 7 comments  

Meet BigBottom100

ACOT is proud to announce that the Guest Creative Team Member for May is.....BIGBOTTOM100.....We find Robbin's work very inspiring and are excited for her to join our team!  Please welcome Robbin for the month of May!

Thank you ACOT Design Team, for selecting me as your Guest Designer for May. I have been a regular customer of this site for a a couple of years, purchasing all the lastest and greatest supplies to work with. I started entering contests, this past December and was lucky enough to win several of them. It is a delightful way to earned gift certificates to buy more new products.

Let me introduce myself, my name is Robbin Wood and I live in Pacific Northwest. I am a retired, 52 year old, grandmother, who is raising my 5 year old granddaughter, Alexis. I also have 5 other grandchildren ranging in age from 2 months to 18 years. I retired from the corporate world seven years ago due to liver failure and a severe back injury. I thought my life was over, but my Higher Power had something different in mind for me. Though a series of life changing events, which at the time, I thought were devastating, I was put me in a position, where I could raise Alexis. It was divine intervention at work. I am passionate about scrapbooking for many reasons. Life has dealt my granddaughter a very difficult hand. I want her to be able to see in a visual form, that she is very loved and valued. It is something money can not buy, a permanent gift from the heart. I have personally witnessed how scrapbooks can change how a child feels about themselves.

I was a crafter with my own small business for the past thirty years before I developed a passion for scrapbooking. I love how all the other crafts that I have done in the past, can be incorporated into my scrapbooking today. It never bores me. There is something always new and fresh to try.I have been scrapbooking for the past 5 years. I make custom made scrapbooks for clients as a small business, and I started submitting work for publication this past year. I have been on a design team for another on line store until this past November, when I decided to devote more time to competition and being published. I have several layouts being featured in a book called "Splendid Snapshots," to be released in late May by Carson-Dellosa, and a reality layout featured in a book called "Imperfect Lives" published by Memory Makers, and two layouts in "Kodak's Simple 1 2 3 pages," coming out this fall.

What people would be surprised to know about me:

I don't enjoy doing altered art, even though I had my own hand-made craft business for 30 years. I think it is a little of "Crafter's Burn-Out" and I now perfer to do layouts and cards.

I am a better photo editor than I am a photographer and probably spend more hours editing photos than scrapping them.

My favorite type of layouts to do are reality pages and they are what I do best.

I have only been using a digital camera for 14 months and I regret that dearly. My digital camera, sat in the box for 3 years because I was afraid to take it out and try it. (oh shameful, embarassed red face.) Now, I can't wait to purchase an upgrade!

I adore the look of digital layouts but fear trying digi's because I am afraid I would be as complusive about that, as I am paper layouts. I have way too much invested now in products to switch over.

Posted by Lillpop

Thursday, April 27, 2006

An easy beginner digital scrapbook page. 4 comments  

A walk-through using Andrea Burns' freebie from ACOT.

First, download the "Andrea Burns Sample" free kit. To do this: Make sure you're signed in to ACOT, then click on the link that says "Free Download." This will take you to a page where you can click "Download Now." Choose to save the file to your desktop. When it's done downloading, you will need to unzip the file. [This can be done either with the WinZip program, or with a utility built-in to Windows: right click on the file, choose "Open With," and then "Compressed (zipped) folders." From the new window that opens, drag the "aburns-sample" folder to your desktop.]

Open your graphics program (I'm using Photoshop.) The first thing we need to do is create a new workspace. The page I'm going to walk you through is a square -- 8 x 8 inches. Select "File > New" (or keyboard shortcut "ctrl" + "N") to create a new document. From the "Preset Sizes" drop down options, choose "8x10," then in the field next to "Height," change the 10 to an 8. Make sure the Resolution is at 300, and that the “Mode” is RGB. At the bottom under "Contents," the button next to "white" should be selected. Hit the "ok" button, and you now have the equivalent of a white piece of paper to start with! (This is how I begin all my paper layouts, too -- with a plain piece of base paper.) 

The shortcut for opening a file is "Ctrl" + "O." Memorize that. Got it? Ok good, because we're going to be opening a file several times. When you open a file, you get a browser window to choose the location of the file to open. The "aburns-sample" folder should be on your desktop -- double click to open that folder from the browser window, then select the first file, "aburns-sample-argyle," and click the "Open" button.

In the toolbox (the tall skinny menu-like strip, usually at left), make sure the Move Tool is selected -- that's the one with the cross of arrows. Whenever you are moving elements within a layout or from one document to another, you will use the Move Tool. (The keyboard shortcut to select the Move Tool is "V.") Click on the argyle paper you just opened, hold, and drag the cursor to be over your white base paper, then let go. This should have copied the argyle paper on top of the white paper. If it's not completely covering the white, click the argyle with your mouse and drag it until it fills the screen. Don't worry about the parts of the paper that overhang the page -- not an issue. You can close your original argyle paper now.

Well, we've got a paper on our layout. That's progress. Kind of boring, though. Let's add something else.

Open another file, this time choose the "aburns-sample-blue" page. We're only going to use a little of this paper, so let's practice selecting just a part of a page. In the toolbar, choose the Rectangular Marquee tool -- this should look like a dotted rectangle, at the top of the toolbar. (The keyboard shortcut to select the Rectangular Marquee Tool is "M.")
Starting at almost the top of the blue paper, click and drag down -- make a rectangle that goes all the way down, and is about 1/3 of the width across the paper. Let go -- do you see a rectangle with "dancing ants"? If so, you've made a selection! Just to prove a point, click within your selection and drag to the side a bit. Do you see how just the selection box was moved, and not the actual paper? To drag the paper, you need to choose the Move Tool again. Once the Move Tool is selected, click and hold within your selection rectangle, then drag it over to the layout, and let go. Now you should have a blue rectangle over your argyle paper. Drag it over to the left of the layout until it covers just about two inches width-wise. This is starting to look like a scrapbook page, isn't it!

You can close out of the blue paper now. Next we're going to open up the "aburns-sample-floral" paper. Drag/drop it to your layout, then drag the paper down until the paper covers just the bottom 1/3 of the layout. Now for a better transition between the papers, we'll add a ribbon. Open up "aburns-sample-twill," drag/drop it to the layout. Then drag the ribbon down to cover the transition between the floral paper and the rest of the layout. Now we're ready for a picture! !

Select a picture that is vertical orientation, and open it into your program. Now we can practice resizing an image. With your newly opened image selected, choose "Image > Image Size." (In Elements, it's "Image > Resize > Image Size.") First make sure the "Constrain Proportions" box is checked -- this means that when you change one dimension, the other will change automatically. This is VERY necessary for resizing images. Change the width of your image to 5.5 inches, then hit "ok." This should make your image roughly the right size for the layout. Drag the image to your layout, and center on the left side (see example.) The space remaining on the right size is for text.

Since we're going for a simple first layout, I'm just going to include her name. Select the Text Tool -- a "T" in the toolbar (the keyboard shortcut is also "T.") There's a Horizontal Text Tool (which is the default), and a Vertical Text Tool. Let's choose the Vertical one for this -- hold down on the text button in the toolbox, and then there will be a pop-up showing you the other types. Choose "Vertical Type Tool." If you look at the Tool Options Bar at the top (underneath the file menu), you'll see that when you select the Text Tool, you have options for font, font size, and color -- much like you do in a Word document. Before I type anything, I'm going to choose "Century Gothic" for my font, size 100, and leave the default at black. Then click once inside the layout to open up a text layer, and type the name. Since I'm in the Vertical Type Tool, each letter will be on its own line. With the Text Tool active, clicking anywhere in the layout and dragging will drag around the text layer. To change the text, highlight it and change the Tool Options Bar settings. Position your text to be centered in the open space.

Now to save: you'll want to save a layered copy (this is your original that can be changed later), a full-size flattened JPEG copy for printing, and a sized-down copy for internet sharing. I've found that for the sized down copy, it's best to save your original, save as a JPEG, then close the original and open up the JPEG copy. Change the dimensions on THIS file and save a copy -- it's faster, and it doesn't mess up the look of any layers.

Good luck!

Posted by strangejen

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Crop Around the Clock 23 comments  

Ma's Madness May 2007

May is here. Time for those April showers to kick down some of those May flowers. Plus it’s National Scrapbook Day on May 5th. Who doesn’t love an entire day devoted to scrapbooking? Of course, I’m none too pleased with the planning committee on this. I must have been retrieving the next pitcher of margaritas when they called me for the meeting on which day we should assign. I’m not the greatest scrapper out there, but I do know that tequila and Exacto knives shouldn’t mix.

I’m so excited for this Crop. So much fun to be had! So many projects to get done! So many carpal tunnel appointments to be made! If you haven’t been to one of these 24-hour type cyber crops, there are a few things you should do to prepare yourself.

You’ll want to make sure people know the address for ACOT. This is the weekend where it’s best your family to try and reach you by PM’s or leave messages directly on the board. You’re more likely to notice a “hey honey, we’re hungry” post on the Board than you will 5 hungry souls sitting at the dining room table.

You’re going to want to stock up on supplies. There is nothing more irritating than running out of adhesive and trying to explain to your 4-year-old why you need to borrow her Elmer’s glue for a Fast Scrap. If you think you’ll need a tape runner and a bottle of liquid adhesive, buy two of each. Personally I can only field so many “but why’s?” in an
hour’s time.

Get your pictures ready. If you need to print them as you go, get them loaded onto your computer and filed well. And I do mean ALL of them. You never know when someone will ask you to create a layout about your favorite piece of furniture.

This is a great time to call in all of those special favors from friends and relatives who “owe” you. They’ll need to take your kids and animals. If the ingrates can’t help you out this weekend, do well to advise them that you shan’t be taking any of their phone calls during those precious 56 hours, nor shall you be doing them any favors in the near future.

Time to get that grocery shopping done. Because 56 hours is pretty hardcore, make sure you stock up on your favorite caffienated drinks. Don’t forget that you’ll need snacks that are fast and not messy. And be sure to prepare some meals ahead of time too. I’m pretty sure there are rules about feeding kids on a daily basis, but I think the guidelines fail to mention if they have to be heated. Make sure they are accessible enough for even the youngest distraction, I mean, child.

Make sure you make yourself visible on the Board. If you like to lie in wait and pounce on threads undetected during the rest of the year, that’s great, but at Crop time you need to be visible to get those coveted points. Which leads me to this:
This is not the time to complain about not getting points. There are plenty of points to go around. If not this time, then the next time. The CT does a fantastic job of trying to spread the wealth of the points as best they can. If you aren’t participating you won’t catch their attention, if you aren’t visible they can’t find you, and if you complain about points you’ll need to get a life. And remember, Refresh is your friend. You’ll get carpal tunnel using it and you’ll have withdrawal for a minimum of 36 hours after the Crop, but trust me, Refresh is your friend.

Posted by MaBuglet

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Scrapping the Scrapper 9 comments

How to include yourself in your scrapbooks

I am a Mom. Like most Moms who scrap, I make albums for my kids and my family. I create pages about milestones, birthdays, school, family outings, and vacations. Within these albums, I include pages about our extended family, mostly through special events with Grandparents a...
[Read More]  9 comments

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Adobe Photoshop and Elements: Negative Punch Tutorial 4 comments

Sometimes taking away is the perfect addition...

Here’s a fun technique that is sure to give some “punch” to your pages! This tutorial will show you how to make your layout look like the title has been cut out of your paper, showing the layers below … but it could be done with shapes, single let...

[Read More]  4 comments

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Arctic Frog Contest Winners! 8 comments

Congratulations to Wendy, FurBaby_Mom, and michsmith1973!

We are pleased to announce that the GRAND PRIZE WINNER selected by Kathy Moore to receive a prize package from Arctic Frog is (drum roll please!)


Here is her prize winning entry:

The winners sel...

[Read More]  8 comments

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Michelle Underwood Reveal Layouts 1 comments

...see what our fabulous Digi CT did with her new kit!

Be sure to check out Michelle Underwood's section in our Gallery. Our Creative Team featured Michelle's new Kit "Sun on My Face" available in our Digital Shoppe. If you missed the article about Michelle, click here. For more details on Michelle's contest this ...

[Read More]  1 comments

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

CCC Tonight!

Meet Shannon Tidwell at 9:30pm EST in the chat room ...

Come to the Chat Room Tonight to meet Shannon Tidwell - Design Team member for KI Memories.  This is the perfect opportunity to ask her tons of questions about KI Memories and her scrapping style!


Chat will start at 9:30 pm Eastern time in the

[Read More]  0 comments

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Join us this weekend for Crop Around the Clock! 35 comments

Over $2000 in prizes ... Join us for National Scrapbooking Weekend, May 5, 6, and 7!

Trying to find our Online Crop?  Our Online Crop is headquartered in our Natl. Scrapbooking Weekend Crop Forum in the Message Board.  Classes and Chats are held in our chat room (see the schedule, below). For additional information about how our Online ...

[Read More]  35 comments

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

KI Memories Featured Reveal 2 comments

Spring layouts that will make you smile ... from our very own Creative Team

This month the ACOT Creative Team is featuring products from KI Memories.  Have you seen the new products KI Memories released at the latest CHA show?  The new lines (all featured by the CT below) are Hopeful, Extreme, and Organized.  Be ins...

[Read More]  2 comments

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Meet Michelle Underwood 2 comments

Exclusive Kit Available Now!....ACOT Featured Digital Designer

ACOT is honored to work with Michelle Underwood this month. She's had several exclusive kits to ACOT and is offering up "Sun on my Face". Make sure you check out the gallery to see what our Digital Creative Team does with this wonderful kit!

Upcoming ...

[Read More]  2 comments

Saturday, April 15, 2006

KI Memories Contest 1 comments

Mid-month Contest

The Creative Team is still celebrating the freshness of spring!!  We thought the new lines from KI Memories were fresh and HOPEFUL!  So, we hope you will CHILL OUT for a while, get ORGANIZED, and create an EXTREMELY wonderful layout!  Any KI Memories produc...

[Read More]  1 comments

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter Weekend! 3 comments

Free gift with every order* over $20 ... find out how!

Happy Easter Weekend!
Everyone at ACOT wishes you a very Happy Easter weekend! We hope that you are taking some time to celebrate and create memories with your family and friends.

This weekend only: we will be including a free gift (...
[Read More]  3 comments

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Digi Chick Winners! 12 comments


A special thank you to all that participated, the layouts were beautiful! The team over at The Digi Chick has picked the Grand Prize Winner to receive a $25 Gift Certificate to The Digi Chick and a feature in an upcoming De-Zine. Congrats to....


[Read More]  12 comments

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Exclusive Chat with Barbara Swanson of American Traditional Designs

Don't miss it: April 12th at 5:30pm EST in our chat room!

[Read More]  0 comments

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