Category Archives: scrapbooking

Do I have too many hobbies?

Hi and welcome back to my blog.  It has been a while since I have blogged. Today is my birthday so I thought this is as good a time as any to start again.  I retired (in September) this year and decided to keep my hand in so I have taken up working as a freelancer. Turns out I am pretty good at it and able to get plenty of work, so that is nice. All those years of experience are paying off, the problem is that I have limited time now.

I have a lot of hobbies and I think a lot of you may be in the same boat but the question is, do I have too many?

Coloring sheep is not one of them but I love this picture.sheep2


I love scrapbooking, stamping, sewing, quilting, water color painting, jewellery making, making things for the home, photography, genealogy, blog writing, novel writing, swimming, Red Hat Queen, learning Spanish, studying, trivia and travel. Whew!

I am just not sure how to fit it all in. So let’s look at why and what to do about that.  One thing I can do is to make a plan so that I have time for everything. I have decided to make one day a week all to myself. I will not done any work in this day, just whatever hobby takes my fancy.  I swim twice a day, usually when I get up and then again late afternoon. I need to work around 30 hours per week and study about 20 hours per month.  The other thing I need to do is get my supplies in some sort of order and cull those that I no longer have a need for. I shall be doing a post on that next. Meanwhile, if you have any thoughts on how to plan my and day fit in all my hobbies, feel free to leave me a comment.


digital layouts

I am currently doing an album for my son, actually I was doing it for his 30th birthday which was in January so I have missed my deadline somewhat, but I want to make sure all the photos are in and that means dragging out my scrap albums and trolling them for good pictures of him. I have also just moved house and been packed up since last August ready to move (it took a long time to get the other house sold) so I need now to get this album completed.

Here are some of the layouts I have done so far. I am a self-taught digital scrapper. I use Photoshop Elements (PSE) to make the layouts. I have purchased heaps of digital kits plus you can get loads for free on the internet.  One of my favourite designers currently is Kimeric Kreations.  She has a great blog that has freebies plus she sells on Digiscrap.



This would have to be one of my favourite photos of my kids.  I used Bathhouse kit by Studio et designs and “put” the children in the bath.  The photo was taken one day when my DD was having a bath and she put the shower cap on her brother. I cropped out the background using PSE.



I love all these sweet photos of my kids. Time has gone by too fast, they are now 30 and 35, I still remember when they were young, it seems like yesterday.




Off to get some more layouts done.

I attend link parties at:

sew many ways
scattered thoughts of a craft mum
a round tuit
a pinch of joy
sew can do
create with joy
keeping it simple
one mother hen
my home truths
wait til your father gets home
the craft blog stalker
sugar bee crafts
my girlish whims
crafty allie
fluster buster
the life of jennifer dawn
international bloggers association

More on organising your digital scrapbooking images

Today (finally!) I am continuing my information on how to organise your digital scrapbooking (DS) supplies. I have been moving house and have been without internet for some weeks, however, all settled again now.

Read the previous couple of posts on this first. Another tip I have for you is how to get the most out of iPhoto keywords. This will help you organise yourself and find it easier to access the image you are looking for. I am only tagging my DS images, not my photographs, more on that later. In iPhoto you can create smart albums, similar to how you can create smart lists for your playlists on other ‘i’ devices.  To organise your supplies, create smart albums in the way you look for your supplies. I tend to look for supplies a couple of ways. The first way is looking at a complete kit and picking out what I want from it. I already have that in my Events list in iPhoto. Because I separated them into directories in Finder and then imported them into iPhoto that created Events for each kit. See the previous post for more information. But what happens if I want to find all my ribbon images? I create keywords and smart albums.

Firstly, create your keywords.  I create them based on the image type, Ribbons, Papers, Clips, Stitches etc.  Bring up the keyword panel by clicking CMD-K.  To add a keyword select Edit Keywords.  You can see a list of some of my keywords in the next image.

To create a smart album, select File…New Smart Album…

This will open a popup window where you select what keyword you want for your smart album.

Next create a smart album called ‘Missing Keywords’.  Then select Keyword Is None, as per the image below.  This will give you a list of all images that do not have keywords.  Back to this later on.

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 5.30.32 pm

Next, select all your photos in this Event by Edit…Select All..  Mark them with a keyword such as Photos. Again, you can see I use the underscore here so that this keyword sorts to the top of the list.  Repeat for other photo events (not your DS images) .

Press CMD-K to bring up the keyword panel, then click on Photos.  CMD-K will also hide the keyword panel.

TIP1: If the keyword has a minus sign in the front of it, it means not all the images selected have this keyword.

TIP2: You can assign multiple keywords to an image.

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 5.40.34 pm



Next, create a smart album that you can use to group your DS images in one place. I called mine ‘Assigning Keywords’.  Select Filename Contains ribbons and Keyword is None. To add another keyword select the plus sign on the right hand side. Make sure you have Match set to all as per the screenshot below. This album will only be used to do you first bulk assignment of keywords. As you work through your DS images, change the keyword from ribbons to whatever other groupings you want, for example, papers.

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 5.50.43 pm


Once this smart album is created, open it, select all the images, bring up the keyword panel and assign a keyword to it, in this case I would assign ribbons. Then right click on the smart album name, select Edit Smart Album and change the keyword to the next one.

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 5.54.55 pm


Create smart albums for each keyword you create.  You can do this step before or after you assign your keywords, it doesn’t matter, it will be empty before you assign your keywords.

TIP3: look at your file names to work out what keywords you will need.

After you have done the majority of your keywords you will have some left. It may be that the filename does not have a keyword in it, or some other reason. This is when you use your ‘Missing Keywords’  smart album. Open it up to see what images have no keywords. It may help you work out other keywords you want to use.  You do not have to have one smart album per keyword or have one item per keyword. I have put my Clips, Pins, Staples into one album. I have a matching keyword called this, but I could just as easily have made three keywords and then put them all into one album using the method described earlier of selecting the plus sign and then ‘all’.

TIP4: Make sure your select Keyword Is (not contains) as this will give you a drop down list of all your keywords.





Progress on organising photos

As I wrote about last time, I have been trying to organise my photos with Photoshop Elements (PSE) Organizer. I did put all my photos in there and I followed instructions from a great blog about how to organise photos using it. Unfortunately I personally had trouble with this. I was trying to ‘stack’ my alphas but my computer kept hanging. I am not sure if that was due to the software or my computer. The blog I followed said it worked, and it did, but I think maybe I have too many images for it to cope. The only ones I was putting in there were my digital scrapbooking (DS) supplies. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the blog I was reading or I would put the url in here, sorry.

After my problems with PSE Organizer, I decided to try iPhoto again. As I said in my previous post, it has been about 5 years since I tried it. I have iPhoto09. I spent Xmas time cleaning up my images. I sorted all my digital scrap supplies and got rid of heaps of duplicate photos and digital scrapbooking (DS) images. I created a directory called _Digital Kits and under that I have directories for each kit I purchased. I do not separate them further than that. If the kit has sub-directories when I download them then I leave it that way.


I create the directory with an underscore as the first character because this forces MAC to sort that to the top of the pile. Unlike Windows, MAC does not automatically sort directories before files, it intersperses them. I personally do not like this, so all my directories where I am also going to store files have  an underscore first.   Here is a screenshot of my directory structure for my DS images.

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 4.17.36 pm


The next step was to import them all into iPhoto. Because I already have them in directories, simply select Import to Library and select the directories you want to import. iPhoto will automatically add them as Events in iPhoto with the name of the directory as the event name.  You can see this below. If the name is not what you want, just update it the same as any MAC filename, by hitting enter.

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 4.23.21 pm

After importing there are a couple of things that you can change to make your digital scrapbooking much easier.

Change the Event cover photo. That means you know more easily what is in each DS events easier to see. Go into the event so you can see all the images in there, select the one you want by right clicking on that image and selecting ‘make key photo’ as per below.  In this instance the kit I am looking at is Birdsong by Valentina’s Creations that you can get over at  A beautiful kit I would highly recommend.


Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 4.29.09 pm


To see a full images, double click on it.

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 4.34.40 pm


To see larger images of all the files, use the slide bar on the bottom right hand corner.

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 4.34.55 pm

To open the image in a particular program, change it under Preferences. I like mine to open in PSE as this is where I do my DS.

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 4.35.18 pm


Click on the photo you want to open and select the Edit button at the bottom of the window.

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 4.38.42 pm


I will share some of my layouts with you and some more tips on another day.






Photoshop Elements Organizer

It has been a while since I posted anything to this site. Life has been getting in they way. However, i am back. I have decided to organise my photos on my computer.

First question is “what should I use?”  I have decided to try Photoshop Organizer that comes free with Photoshop Elements (PSE). I have version 10 of PSE and have had it for a few years now. I used version 6 for a long time before finally upgrading. PSE is one of those programs that I don’t believe you have to constantly upgrade, and it is reasonably inexpensive. I am talking about PSE here, not the full Photoshop which is hugely expensive. PSE does everything I need, so that suits me.

So, to answer your question, why am I wanting to organise my photos?  The reason is that I am doing some digital scrapbooking. I have done it in the past, and it worked out fine, using an online system.

{BTW, I use Albumworks. I decided to use this several years ago after lots of research. I love the quality of the pages and albums you get through them.}

Anyway, back to my story. I want to do some digital scrapbooking and have found in the past that using images for the decorative bits of an album via Albumworks was a bit tedious, so I have decided to try and do the scrapping in PSE and then copy and paste that into a “full bleed” page on Albumworks.  This will give me a nice 12×12 (inches) page so I can make up an album and still have it printed via Albumworks.  That way I can hopefully be more creative with less frustration by scrapping via PSE. Today I decided to import my images from my computer into Organizer.  This will automatically gather your images into the tool. It says I have over 164,000 images. What a shock!

Of course, I am sure I have lots of duplicates. I also have lots of digital scrapbooking images. I purchase kits and they often come with 50+ files.  I also research my family tree (see my web site and I have plenty of screenshots from web searches that I have done. Hopefully when this process finishes importing I will be able to easily organise them.

Now, I am a MAC user. So, I hear you ask, why don’t you use iPhoto?  Well, there is a good reason that I don’t. I find that when you put your images into iPhoto and say you want to find one to email it to someone or to use it as an image in PSE, it is very hard to do so. I mean, really hard. When I first got my MAC back in 2009 I put all my images into iPhoto. Then I went to copy an image into a document I was writing. Where was it? I certainly couldn’t find it, but Google helped. You have to search for the iPhoto document library. Copy them out is very difficult if you try to do this via iPhoto. You are not meant to go into the library under Finder. As a Windows user (back in 2009, although I still use a PC for work) I found this impossible to comprehend. Maybe now, 5 years later, I might be OK with that, having waded through some of the MAC idiosyncrasies.  I just didn’t want to try it again.  Once bitten and all that. So I am trying Organzier.

I shall let you know how I go.  My import is now up to 17%. It may take a while. I am off to watch some TV while I wait.

{Note, I am not getting paid by anyone for this post, these are just my personal opinions.}

cheers Debra