Category Archives: Digi Scapping

Digi Scrapping with photos and elements, a lovely hobby

The long and the short of it all

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“Dachshunds are ideal dogs for small children that they are already stretched and pulled to such a length that a child cannot do much harm one way or other” – Robert Benchly

I had to pick a dog that was small enough it could remain a secret in a small house that was refusing to welcome a dog. It was Ruveen my younger son’s birthday who was quickly growing up and turning nine that year. A tiny puppy just 6 weeks old, turned out to be a wonderful gift for the boy. It arrived one Sunday afternoon wrapped in a cardboard box – still a secret. My two sons were overjoyed.

Based on a Just So Story by Rudyard Kipling we name the female pup Taffiana (Taffy for short). The name somehow in a childish way was meaning- a malleable doggy in spite of it unusual length. The puppy was a glossy black, short-haired miniature Dachshund with telltale markings in Tan. As it grew from been a tiny pup that fitted a 2-kilo Marie Biscuit box, to its full height and length it earned its stay in our house as a damsel would with her charming ways. The smallest dog in the neighborhood Taffy was also bossy and loud when allowed to have her say.

Those days my sons were engaged in a myriad of sports. Taffy would wait impatiently on days that they arrived after evening practices. Playfully she would claim him her own (playmate) by grabbing his Hockey stockings and making a quick dash. My son whined and moaned asking the dog not to rip his socks. Many a times using the Hockey stick he wrench it off the mischievous dog, that was hiding beneath his bed. That was Taffy playing under-cover.

Another tactic she reveled in was to jump into the bed with my children. Taffy would urge and implore the boys to get her up there. Since this was breaking the rules of the house she allowed the boys to hide her deep down under the covers until the lights went out. That way she was able to get cozy and catch up on the warmth she missed during the day.

The long and the short of it all is that a dog will teach us many things – its need of our attention, friendship, warmth and tenderness and above all loyalty.

Dachsie, meine dachsie the best canine under the sun; Call you “wiener” or “sausage” or “hotdog”; We know that you are number one!

 

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My Ice Breaker speach this March

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Life is no candle for me.

It’s the sort of a splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment

and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible

before handing it on to future generations

 — George Bernard Shaw —

My name is Nadeeja and it means born in the river. It wasn’t the case though – I was born during the height of insurgencies in 1971 – it was a good thing they managed to get my mother  back to Colombo.

I had a fortunate childhood but not a cushy or comfortable life. My father worked for the Irrigation Dept and my mother tagged along as he moved post from Kurunegala to Tissamaharama and then to Madawachchiya. At the time I was born we were in Tissa. A child remembers many things from her early days – and I remember great Magohosa trees, thorny shrubs and beautiful weeds,  tanks, bunds, pagodas  and most of all black monkeys!

Unknowingly my parents left in me an incredible thirst for travel and exploration – exploration of nature and people. Can you guess where I like to end up in any of these explorations? In the water ways, be it a stream, river, pond, lake, water fall, natural pool, hot water spring, the sea – you name it – water mesmerizes me. So it’s true in a way that I was born in the river. I can tell you dozens of places with well known names, it would only sound as if I am bragging. But this much I tell you, the best places are the quiet locations only known to the villagers.

This brings me to the other interest of my life – people. I am a ‘people person’,  I can relate to different types of people. I think it’s a great privilege – I meet them without any prejudice. I can listen to any number of view- points without getting them entangled with those of my own. I actually discovered this only recently – and I want to make use of this trait in me. I may have developed this while I was a teacher. This was my first job. I taught Information and Communication Technology for ten years.  Something that  I learnt in teaching was that every kida is talented and had something special about him/her. It need not be excellence in academics.

Through the years I learnt to empathize with the rest of my gender – and one wish I have for Sri Lanka is a society where women are recognized more for their contribution. Recently I got involved in a blog called ‘Beyond16Days’. It is an open forum for abused women. What I read on this blog is no different from the reality. Though Sri Lanka has a proud history, culture and lovely  traditions our society  has completely lost its bearing on values.  We need to change our attitude toward women so that we give them their due respect, empower them and not allow any discrimination. I know this is very, very hard. If I can make a change even in a small way then, I will be happy.

So, Life is no candle for me

I’ve been the good daughter, wife and mother; progressed to being  a teacher shedding light for  some smart, bright ‘knobs’, got myself educated too a BSc, and an MBA and I feel I got to carry the torch further

Life is sort of a splendid torch

Books are the joy of my -I truly believe – Reading maketh a full man. This is why I would like to study further. I have a strong urge to enhance my knowledge. I like to be equipped with adequate know-how to face the many challenges of life.

I am a programmer by profession, a designer by choice and an IT manager by chance. I don’t want to delve into much of the details. In a nutshell, I love to design web sites, I have to code to make it work and apart from web sites and databases, it has turned out  to be part of my duty to manage people and processes. The latter takes most of my time these days – and I am not very happy about it. But the good thing is I am three persons rolled up in one – I am an artist, a thinker and a manager – its the culmination of all my skills. And I think it’s really great. I didn’t enjoy this level of accomplishment when I was a teacher.

During my leisure I try to spend time with the artist inside me. I love photography  however  it’s a hobby that is still in it’s infancy. I use photos to do ‘digi scrapping’ – a form of scrapbooking with digital images. When these collages are absolutely perfect I get them printed in 10×10 inches and surprise my family. I’ve done nearly one every month for the past two years.  They are such lovely memoires.

I love Maths – I know half the world hates maths and I surprise people by saying this. I find Maths very sensible – equations are thrilling to solve and geometry is just amazing. My attitude to this subject helped me think analytically – it’s not the As and Bs you get for your exams – if you like something and you labour over it – you get benefits – not merely entrance to University. You get the thinking power for solving problems.

People think being good in maths is a sign of intelligence. This is rubbish! I feel sorry for those who have difficulties with numbers – because they may be considered not so smart. Here’s the second thing I learnt through my teaching career. There are seven forms of intelligence, not just one but seven ways! Linguist skills, Logical and Mathematical skills, Bodily-Kinesthetic skills, Musical, Spatial ( images and pictures), Interpersonal (good at communicating), Intrapersonal (good at identifying ones own feelings)

So when I’m asked for good advice on rearing children – I say let them be what they want to be – to do something all your life you need to love it – right? Our job is to help our kids become who they are supposed to be and not what we think they should be.

So what is Digi Scrapping?

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Recently I had an embarrassing moment trying to explain what Digi Scrapping was to a non- techie pal. If you are Internet savvy then chances are that you have already come across this hobby. Digi Scrapping is all the joy of  scrap-booking and journal writing but without a pen, the  scissors or glue. It’s done using a computer. Just as we would shop and buy paper, ribbons, flowers, borders, glitter and all that jazz,  scrappers go online to Digi Scrap stores to purchase their digital equivalents. Most designers have freebies for novices in their stores. They are good enough for a start. You may purchase kits as you get more confident.

A hobby a day keep the doldrums away

And so who designs these? I’ve never fail to be impressed by the talents of the designers. Meet some Digi Scrappers that I follow  Shabby Princess, Katie Hadfield and Scrap Orchard.

At the time I discovered Digi Scrapping I was moving from been a web developer to an all-rounder:  developer cum designer. I needed to hone my design skills and saw this as a wonderful opportunity. Most Digi Scrappers are stay-at-home moms who are extremely creative, soft and loving. And this enticed me further into the world of  Digi Scrapping.  It’s so easy I think even kids will do it.

The skills required are: Basics of Adobe Photoshop, be able to take good photos (a simple digital camera is sufficient) and above all the enthusiasm in the subject.

If you plan to scrap about a family trip, birthday party or a picnic to the beach you must plan ahead. Make sure you grab the wonderful moments. Be bold and walk around and take as many shots as you like. Think of the subjects and spend sometime capturing their details. Think of what you may journal. You get better as you go along, so don’t stress yourself on what you cover. Once you are back transfer the pix to your computer and label the folder indicating your plans: with a tentative title, the month and year, theme.

Okay so to get you started, here’s what we are going to use:

  1. A free template from ScrapMatter.com
    Download here
  2. Embellishments from Kate Hadfield Design
    Download here
  3. Some cool paper from Shabby Princess
    Download here
  4. A photo

You need to have Internet access and Adobe Photoshop software on your computer. Download all files to one folder and include your photo as well. The rest is easy as ABC…

  1. Open the PSD template in Photoshop. A template sets guidelines, you don’t have to stick with any of it.
  2. Open Layers by selecting Windows->Layers. Go to the bottom most layer calledBackground while it’s selected, open Blended Cream paper from Shabby Pricess’s Plentiful collection and using the pointer tool  drag this paper into the template page.
  3. Save your PSD (no sooner you start)
  1. Select the Photo layer. Open your photo and drag it on to the template. To frame the photo lets use frame shape from Kate’s kit. Hide the photo, photo frame and bracket layers.
  2. We will use other embellishments from Kate’s kit to decorate the photo. Select Label layer (a blue rectangle) and drag the branch from Kate’s kit on to a layer over it. Hide the label layer. Select the branch and use Edit -> Free Transform (short cut: Ctrl+T) to adjust the size and rotate the shape. Move the shape using the arrow keys.
  3. Similarly identify the star shapes and bring the flower and leaf shapes fromKate’s kit to replace those.
  4. Locate the Title layer, use the Text tool to give a suitable title. Change the font, font color and size (I used Rockwell, 24pt).
  5. To end the artwork we will replace the shapes on the left side of the photo with (round) buttons. To make a copy of the button, select the layer and drag onto the Create New tool. Make five copies and merge all into one layer. (select all six layers, right click and select Merge Layers option)
  6. Save as a PSD file. You can resize the artwork and save as a JPG file to obtain a lighter version.

Digi scrapping sample

For tutorials and inspiration visit: www.scrapbook-bytes.com

We used the Move and Text tools from the Photoshop toolbox. See what other tools exist and read How to Use Adobe Photoshop Tools for more details.

Adobe Photoshop toolbox