Category Archives: photography

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.


how to display photos

Having recently moved house I am looking for ideas on how to display my photos. I have several walls I can use and thought it may be nice to use various methods. Here are a few ideas to ponder.

A big photo frame with lots and lots of photos displayed on it.  Maybe a bit too modern for my taste.


I trace my family tree and have lots of old photos so this would be a great idea. I think they have used a tree decal on the wall and then added the photo frames on top of it.  It looks really pretty.


These are old windows that have been converted into photo frames. It is from cottage instincts.  This would definitely suit my vintage feel in the house. The sepia tone look fabulous.



The clock idea below is another great one.  The quote is great too.


This one is a very clean look.


What about putting them on the corner of a wall. Really cool!



A whole wall of photos? All in different frames. A bit messy and not balanced enough in my opinion.


I have stairs. Putting photos on the stairs is a really nice idea.



This is a nice idea especially above the bed.



Here is something I like. Very vintage. Plus you could change the photos out over time.


Cool and clean.



These lovely wreath picture frames from infarrantly creative.

Hutch_with_memory_picture_frame Picture_Frame_Memory_Wreath


For the bicycle enthusiast this wheel is a great idea from be yourself online.



I hope you enjoyed these pics.

Mac Photos and Yosemite

After finally getting my photos sorted and into iPhoto, I upgraded my Mac to Yosemite only to find that iPhoto no longer exists and has been replaced by something called Photos.  Additionally, as my version of iPhoto was from 2009 when I first purchased my Mac, and I didn’t know of the change until I had upgraded to Yosemite, I have lost all the work I did to sort out my photos. That is a bit sad, but the new version, simply called Photos seems to be quite good and is another chance for me to import and simplify my photo library. At least that is how I am looking at it. Luckily, some of the instructions for doing this have remained the same and some have changes, for better or worse.   If you are upgrading to Yosemite I suggest that you firstly upgrade your iPhoto to a version that will let you do a direct import into Photos.  For those that have not done this, here is how to setup Photos.

Firstly, click on iPhoto and the system should tell you it is no longer valid (it will have a mark across the icon) and then automatically upgrade you to Photos. There is no cost, it comes free with Yosemite.

Once that is done, setup your keywords. As per previous posts, this is done by selecting COMMAND-K and a pop up will show. Add keywords using the + or – sign.

Select FILE > IMPORT and select the photos or libraries you want to import. Unlike iPhoto this new version does not automatically create EVENTS, now called ALBUMS using the directory name the photo is stored in. I have selected not to worry about doing this but only sort by keywords.

Another missing feature is the keyword NONE.  This makes it hard to find out which images have had keywords assigned to them.

  • To overcome this, create a new keyword *none, select all images and bring up the keyword popup and set them all with the *none keyword.
  • Next, create the various keywords you need. You do not have to create them all at once, just remember when you do create a new keyword to follow the steps below.  See below my list of keywords.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 5.08.31 pm

  • Create a Smart Album for each keyword by selecting FILE > NEW SMART ALBUM…
  • Select KEYWORD IS and then the keyword you want in this library. In the image below this is Papers.
  • Give the album a name, for example, Papers.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 5.12.19 pm


  • Select all images that are papers and open the keyword pop up.
  • The papers will already have a keyword of *none that was set on import.
  • Select a keyword of Papers and then unselect *none.
  • This will add all the papers to the smart album Papers and remove them from the *none smart album.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 5.15.27 pm

  • Repeat this process for everyone keyword you have. Each keyword will have a matching smart album. Eventually you should have an empty smart album *none.
  • Every time you import new files you need to set the keyword to *none. This is easily done by selecting the LAST IMPORTED folder and setting them all there.

In my previous posts on this I also set up smart folders for each kit. I am not doing this in Photos. I have many kits and have decided that if I want to see what is in a kit I will look in Finder as I have them all sorted there. A reminder of my set up is below.


Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 4.17.36 pm


Another tip I found on Google was to not import the images into my Photos library. I have always left a copy on my hard drive under my own directories anyway, so it seemed sensible not to import the actual file to Photo but to access it directly from my folder structure. Photos lets you do this.  Go to PHOTOS > PREFERENCES > GENERAL and make sure COPY ITEMS TO PHOTOS LIBRARY is unticked.  I have read that this will make Photos run quicker and with the number of images I have I felt this was the best course of action for me.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 5.23.37 pm


Until next time.


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