Monday, 9 May 2011

Photograph woes

Hey, who stole the weekend?  It went by so fast!  The only good thing about that is that it means we are just a few days away from Scrap-a-Mia (I may have mentioned it...)

I managed to finish this layout this morning from Shimelle's challenges for National Scrapbooking Day.  This one was to use the visual triangle, so three clusters of similar embellishments.   

As I mentioned yesterday, I was trying to mix things up a bit this weekend and I have that lovely, but empty, 8.5x11 American Crafts album.  This is my first layout of that size and it felt like I was starting again!  I am so used to working on squares of whatever size that this felt very narrow and I felt I had to have stripes going across to make it look fatter!  It has, in theory, the things that our minds like to see on layouts - texture, repetition, that triangle, alignment, focus on the picture, first cluster leading the eye to the story, etc etc.  But I don't like it.  I used a pack of papers from a magazine, you know those A4 booklets that you get as "free papers" and they are actually American Crafts.  I thought they felt a bit grown up and heritage-y so matched the tone of the photo and they all coo-ordinate but it just never felt right.

Anyway.... the reason I had this photo available (another rare photo of Management but same pose!) was that I had a few incidents with trying to get the right photos for the projects at Scrap-a-Mia.  Let me tell you a little story..... (i.e. get a cuppa, it's a long one!)

I have a photo printer at home, a Kodak something or other.  I have, rarely, got good quality photos from it but my issues with Kodak are another teeth-grinding story, suffice to say home printing was not an option to me.  I wanted super quality images for my super quality projects but the required pictures were VERY non standard.  Firstly I had to select suitable images.  Celine Navarro's class requires 5 mosaics of 6 photos at 6x4 so I had to get to grips with Picasa. Firstly I couldn't find the collage section, then I discovered there are 2 collage sections and I was using the wrong button, then it all looked better but seemed to be using random images instead of the ones I needed.  Eventually, after a few hours of playing, I got it right but the photos looked odd.  Then I realised that having spent hours searching for portrait photos to use, they actually had to be squares rather than rectangles.  Cue much swearing and cropping.  Mosaics completed, we also had to have 6 individual images at 4x4.  I created another mosaic of squares on a standard 10x15 size so that I could chop them up at home.  By now I was feeling quite confident about it all.  And it had only taken me 3 days.

Next I needed at least 5 2"x3" images for Dina Wakley's class.  I wanted to do these in sepia as they came from a variety of sources and so would clash.  Cue much colour changing and more swearing.  And lots and lots of cups of tea.  Eventually I managed to make 2 mosaics to cut up, 1 had portrait shots and the other had landscape shots.  Oooh get me!

Emma Trout's class calls for one 6x9 for one layout, and two 5x5 shots for another.  I made these sepia because I wasn't sure of what colours we would have available and I think this will work having seen her style.  I made another collage for the square ones and added some other pictures in that I thought would look nice in this small square format so as not to waste the space.  Thinking ahead now see.

Lastly, Michelle-Jackon Mogford's class requires very specifically (to fit an aperture) two shots 14x9.5cm.  This was fine as it was almost standard and I could trim a little bit off.  Simples.

So I try upload to photobox (after waiting ages for an invitation from a friend so that she could get a freebie, still no invitation to this day) and I waited patiently.  At the last minute each time, it would say the page was inaccessible and I wondered if my dodgy connection might be to blame.  By this time I was twitching slightly as time was cracking on, the kids hadn't been fed for days and I was getting worried they wouldn't arrive in time (the photos, not the kids).  I decide to pop to Asda and get them printed there.  I couldn't, and still can't, find my pen drive so I managed to find a CD rom eventually.  It was getting like Carry On Techno-phobe.  Asda were very helpful and I waited patiently for 2 days till I could see if everything had worked out as I had hoped.

Saturday morning came and needless to say, it hadn't.

I suddenly realised that I wasn't 100% sure of where I had used inches and where I had used centimetres and sure enough, the squares for Celine's class were wrong.  I had formatted it to a standard 6x4" print but it needed to be double that.  Asda don't do this size as it's non standard.  Also, for some reason, I had it in my head that the single shot for Emma's class was a standard size or thereabouts and it wasn't.  At all.  The chap advised me to go to Jessops a few miles away where they had more sizes available.  There was no way I was going to attempt to take the Smalls to a photography shop while I discussed measurements and prices so I had to wait till Sunday when Management was home from work.  This left me under a week to get this sorted and no chance of relying on a postal service if I still couldn't get it to work.

Sunday morning I was at Jessops with my CD Rom when they opened.  I triple checked my bag as I am well known for leaving things behind.  Luckily I did remember it.  The chap I saw was very camp with floppy bleached blond hair which he kept flicking up with his hand like a shampoo advert.  We ummed and ahhed a bit and finally settled on putting the squares up to 8x12 (which is what I said when I first went in...).  £2.50 if I came back the next day or £5 within the hour.  Yikes!  But wait!  What was the other one I wanted?  I knew which picture it was but couldn't for the life of me remember what size it was except that it was smaller than standard.  I had 2 versions printed at the 2 available sizes.  When I told Mr Campy why I needed these obscure sizes he ended up not charging me for the hour service and giving me 2 sets!

Of course when I got home, neither of the guestimated sizes for the single shot was right so I had to trim a little but off Management's left ear.  I'm sure he won't mind.

So after a week of trying, the house is a mess, the cupboards are empty, the laundry pile is bigger than my mother but I am now in possession of a full set of photos, at the correct sizes, ready for next week.  I wish I had gone with straight black and white rather than sepia but I'm certainly not changing them now!

Phew!  And no I still haven't started my badge... ;-)

Bye for now xx


  1. Printing photos is the most frustrating part of being creative I think! It's my complete bugbear too.

    Mind you, sounds as if it will be worth the pain once you get there!

  2. Goodness that all sounded very complicated! Well done for persevering with it all!

  3. I have to say your scrap book pages are beautiful, I've never done anything like that, but you are very inspiring!


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