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February 2007

Layout from this month's Scrapbooks, Etc. (BHG)

76wherehasthetimegoneHere is a layout I created for the new February Scrapbooks, Etc. magazine. It is about my mom and me when I was three years old.  :) I used Imaginisce papers and some of their embellishments released at Memory Trends last fall. The magazine has some tips about how to restore color to a faded photograph; I hope it is useful to you!  :)

I have received several new calls for upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul books, so I will post them here in case you see something that you would like to contribute a story or two for. Chicken Soup stories that are accepted pay $200 per story.

I am off to work on another BHG project!

Chicken Soup for the American Idol Lover's Soul

I received the following information yesterday for submitting to the newest book in the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series. Here are the submitting details, in case you would like to try your hand at getting published in an upcoming book. I must say that the publishing process with the Chicken Soup people was very simple. Good luck!

Chicken Soup for the American Idol Lover's Soul

Dear Fellow American Idol Fan-atics,

We know who we are - we're the ones who wouldn't miss an AI show even if the world were coming to an end.  We're the ones who think that the vote between Clay and Ruben was one of the most important elections of the past decade.  We're the ones who can't believe that there are people who have actually never heard of Bo Bice or Diana DeGarmo or even Taylor Hicks.

Now we have a chance to share how AI has impacted our lives.  We are in immediate need of funny, inspirational and heartfelt true stories for our newest upcoming Chicken Soup title Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul. 

The stories should be 1200 words or less, and should be positive and non-controversial.  No tributes, philosophical, self-promoting or biographical pieces will be accepted. 

The stories must be written in first person but you don't necessarily need to be the person that the story is about.  It can be about a friend who auditioned for AI, your grandma who re-ignited her singing career after watching the show or your sister who began working with special needs kids having been inspired by Clay.

Tentative chapter headings include:

· The Dream Begins (stories from the Idols of the childhood moment when they knew they were meant to sing)

· Waiting in the Rain (contestant hopefuls'' stories of waiting)

· America Got It Wrong (dealing with disappointment)

· Simon Says (turning criticism into inspiration)

· Success is a Journey (lessons/experiences along the road)

· That's my Baby (stories from the Idol's parents and families)

· The Idol's Idols (stories from the Idols about who was their mentor/inspiration)

· Touched By an Idol (viewer's stories)

· "And Tonight Our Next Idol Hopeful Will be Singing." (stories of the songs that moved you - stories can be from Idols or fans)

· Behind the Scenes (stories of things the viewers never see..hopefully we''ll include stories from make-up and hair people and/or the Idol's voice coaches, etc.)

· Life After American Idol (stories from the Idols of what their lives look like not and how the experience has changed them)

As you can see, many of the stories will be written by the contestants or their family members, but we also want to hear from you, the fans - especially for the chapters:

· Touched By an Idol (viewer's stories)

· Success is a Journey (lessons/experiences along the road - must relate to Idol)

· "And Tonight Our Next Idol Hopeful Will be Singing." (stories of the songs that moved you)

You may submit more than one story.  We accept previously published pieces, as long as you retained all rights to your story.  For each story published, a 50-word biography will be included about the author and a permission fee of $200 per story will be paid.  We also need AI cartoons and if accepted for publication, payment will be $100 each.  We accept poems, although very few are used.  Payment for poems is $50.  All payment s are paid within thirty days of publication.  The submission deadline is April 15th, but the sooner the better!

Please submit stories through the Chicken Soup for the Soul website at  Click on Submit a Story and be sure to select "American Idol Soul" as the book title.

I hope to see lots of you with selected entries for the final book!  :) Have a great morning!

Jump on this deal in a hurry!

Wink Flash is offering 100 FREE 4x6 prints! There is a 99 cent flat rate shipping charge. Use code: *CA59WT43 when checking out. Offer valid for new customers!

I just ordered my 100 prints! Go get yours!

Also - if you like free prints, you can get 30 FREE 4x6 prints from Photoworks, plus an additional 25 free prints if you sign up today! Just click here and get your free prints now!

Converting a color photo to black and white using the channel mixer method

Some people asked me to repost this to make it easier to find on my blog, so I am adding this post to the "Photography" and "Tutorials/projects" categories on the left so that you can refer to it as needed.

This is the "Channel Mixer" method of changing a photo from color to Black/White in Photoshop:

Open your picture in photoshop and then open a new Channel Mixer adjustment layer.

Next, check the box that says "Monochrome" (on the bottom left corner of the box) to make the picture black and white. Don't click on "ok" just yet - there are more adjustments to make!

3. Next, you are going to adjust the brightness percentages to alter the colors in the photograph. With the channel mixer controls you can accent the brightness of the different colors in the photo by adjusting their percentages. To adjust the balance of colors, click on the sliders for each color and drag them to the right or left.

For example, if you increase the blue percentage, anything in the picture that is blue  will get brighter. 

Experiment and play around with the color adjustments until you get a vivid image that you like. The big secret is to make sure that no matter what adjustments you make, all three channels should always numerically add up to 100%. This will create the best results for the photograph.

It is really easy and a fun way to convert the image! Try it and see how it goes!

Psychic Entertainer 'The Mindbender' Signs with Proformance

  • The following is a press release about my husband - thought I would share!

Well-known corporate entertainer, the Mindbender, has signed with Proformance Sports Marketing and Entertainment. The Mindbender, known for his art in mentalism and mind-reading, has put his highly acclaimed show back on the road after an 18-month absence following Hurricane Katrina.

read more

Continue reading "Psychic Entertainer 'The Mindbender' Signs with Proformance" »

A neat keepsake for your scrapbook!

Here is a cool thing to put in your scrapbook(s)! The White House will send out personal greetings signed by President Bush and Laura for the following events. Even if you are not a Bush fan, it is still a neat keepsake to receive. I did this a while back when Alex was born and the card came within a month or so.

A baby birth card will be sent within a year of the birth. Please make your request after the baby is born.

A birthday card will be sent to individuals celebrating their 80th (or greater) birthday. Please make your request at least 6 weeks in advance of the birthday.

A wedding card will be sent to couples after the event. Please make your request after the wedding.

An anniversary card will be sent to couples who are celebrating their 50th (or greater) wedding anniversary. Please make your request at least 6 weeks in advance of the anniversary.

Here are the restrictions:

U.S. CITIZENS. The White House will send greetings only to United States citizens for special occasions as outlined below.

NUMBER OF REQUESTS LIMITED. The number of requests you can submit per day is limited. Institutional requests for multiple greetings must be submitted by fax or mail on official letterhead with the required information listed above.

WHEN TO EXPECT YOUR GREETING. For birthdays and anniversaries, greetings will be mailed from the White House approximately 14 days prior to the event. Wedding and baby's birth greetings will be sent after the event.

So go get yours!  :)

I love Clark Color prints!

I guess I lied.

I really do have one resolution that I made, thanks to my dear friend Melody Ross at Chatterbox. Last February, when all the Chatterbox designers went to the Chatterbox retreat in Idaho, Melody really inspired me with her discussion about digital pictures. Many of us who are strictly digital (myself included) can probably identify with this, but she really hit home with me. She spoke about how it doesn't do us any good to have all these archives of photos sitting on our hard drive unless we get prints of them so that our kids can look through them. Now don't get me wrong, I realize that some of you may be superwomen and can scrap all of your photos, therefore eliminating the need to just have prints made, but I am not a fast scrapbooker, so I have literally thousands of digital images sitting on my hard drive, with no way for my family to really view them. So Melody inspired me to resolve to get prints of my images (even all the less than stellar ones!) and put them into simple acid-free photo albums so that I can leave them out for my kids to look through whenever they want to.

ClarkcolorThat being said, Clark Color online had a great sale last week on digital prints (and they send great sale offers periodically to their customers!) so I took advantage of the deal. I had several hundred photos printed (just of Christmas and New Year's alone!) and they came in yesterday. The quality of the prints is outstanding! I knew it was worth it when my kiddos came into my office and saw the stack of photos; immediately asking me if they could look at them! I saw smiles on their faces as they remembered the events from the photos. Priceless to me, to say the least!

So get some digital prints made and don't keep those pictures stashed away on your hard drive! To get you started, try Clark Color! Click here to register - New customers get 20 free prints! Shipping was fast and inexpensive, plus my photos came carefully enclosed in a sturdy box mailer to keep them safe during transit.

Thank you, Melody! You have changed my life in so many ways!

Need decorating help!!

Alright, why is it that I can create a piece of art on scrapbook paper (art - if you want to call it that! HAHA!) but when it comes to decorating my house, I am at a complete loss??

Here we are, a year and a half after Katrina, in our new house, and my walls are still white. Yes, boring, plain white. Even the kids' rooms are still white! So I need some serious suggestions on painting this house, and hope that you can give me some ideas.


Let's start with the main family room. Here is a photo of it in all its bareness, and you can suggest what color to paint the walls. Please keep in mind that my furniture is a soft camel color and I am thinking about accenting the room with cranberry and sage green. Does that sound ok? If so, what color should I paint these walls? The family room is open to the kitchen and I want an Italian theme in the kitchen (with grapes, wine motif, etc. so the cranberry will carry over nicely). The family room has a two story vaulted ceiling and tons of windows. I want the mantel to stay white.

Picture_198Help! Any ideas for me??

Scanning and stitching a 12 x 12" layout in ten easy steps using Photoshop Elements

I had written this tutorial a while back and several people have asked me for it, so here it is for you to use:

Scanning and Stitching a 12 x 12” Layout in Ten Easy Steps

Jlyne Hanback

Have you ever been so thrilled to complete a layout and share it with friends or family, only to discover that you have no way to scan the layout on your letter-size scanner? Would you like to submit your layouts to various magazines for publication, but can’t figure out how to get a “picture” of your layout on your hard drive because the layout is too big to be scanned? This article is for you!

This tutorial will teach you how to scan and stitch your 12 x 12” layouts using Adobe Photoshop Elements software. This software is very inexpensive, and does not require a big learning curve. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Step 1: Line up the left half of your layout; face down, on your scanner surface.
  • Step 2: Scan the left side of the layout page. Scanning at 300DPI (dots per inch) is a good bet, as you can always reduce the layout size later. Save this image so that you know it is the left side.
  • Step 3: Scan the right half of your layout page, following the same guidelines as shown above. Make sure that you have one to two inches of overlapping photo so that when these images are stitched together, they will be seamless. Save this image so that you know it is the right side.
  • Step 4: Open a new file (image) in Adobe Photoshop Elements that will encompass the size of layout you are scanning; i.e. 12 x 12”. Set the resolution at least 300 DPI. Name the file layoutnamehere_final.tif.
  • Step 5: Create two new layers in your file, by selecting Layer > New > Layer.
  • Step 6. Open the left side of your layout, select the entire image, copy the image, and then paste image into the first layer of the final file which you have created.
  • Step 7: Open the right side of your layout, then repeat step 6 using the right side.
  • Step 8: Change the opacity of layer 2 to approximately 70% so that you can see where to line up the two images. Proceed to line up the images until the two halves match seamlessly.
  • Step 9: Once the halves are matched perfectly and you are happy with the merge, change the opacity of layer 2 back to 100%.
  • Step 10: Flatten the image by choosing Layer > Flatten Image, then save the image. Voila! You have scanned and stitched the layout pieces together to form one final image!

Now, you are ready to share your layout with others!