Category Archives: Scrapbooks and Pages

Anne’s Baby Bird Mini Scrapbook

Bird's Scrapbook Cover

I changed the banner today in honor of all the snow we’ve gotten here in Indiana.  Brrr… I love snow if I can enjoy it from inside my house. 🙂  But if I have to get out in it, like today, it makes me long for spring.  So… I thought I would showcase this scrapbook I made for my daughter.  She loves nature.  Birds, critters, bugs, reptiles, etc.  She’s been that way from the beginning.  When she was 16 months old we had a robin’s nest full of babies in our dinning room window and she absolutely fell in love with them.  She would beg to go out and see them.  I took pictures every couple of days as they grew all the while trying not to disturb the mother too much.  Anne loves to take the pictures out to look at them after the birds had long flown away.  So I finally sat down and put them in this little scrapbook for her.

Bird Scrapbook p.1

I used the Pemberley Bay Matchbook Kit from The Angel Company.  It is super easy to put together.  It is 100 pound premium, double-sided cardstock.   It is very sturdy for all the handling that mini scrapbooks get.  And, all the pieces are perforated so it is a snap to put together.  It includes all the tags, journaling labels and cardstock accents that you see here plus plenty more that I didn’t use and can save for another project.  It has a total of 7 insert pages.  I only used 4.  The only thing I added was the scrapper’s floss, ribbon, brads and buttons.

It has a very versatile color palette.  It can be used for masculine or feminine themed projects.  But it was perfect for this robin’s nest and beautiful eggs.

And as I said, it was a snap to put together.  I got the full project done in under 2 hours.  Most of that time was spent on picture placement.  If you would like one to put together just email me ( and I can get one {or two, or three 🙂 } out to you.  If you don’t have the time to get it done, check out My Etsy Store.  I have some all ready assembled for you.  All you have to do is add your own pictures.

The Best Way to Photograph Fireworks

July 4th is just 2 days away.  I’ve been searching the internet to find some information about photographing fireworks for my family scrapbook.  I found this great article by David Johnson (PC World).  He has some great tips and I thought I would just share them with all of you.

Thank you, David Johnson, for all the information!!


For the photographer, winter certainly has its share of iconic subjects, such as Christmas trees, snowmen, and icicles hanging from a roof. But there’s nothing quite like the excitement of shooting summertime fireworks. Done right, fireworks photos are dynamic and colorful, and they convey a sense of action better than almost any other kind of still image. Read on to learn how to capture some exciting fireworks photos of your own this summer.

(Photo by foxypar4.)

(Almost) Any Camera Will Do…

Though photos of fireworks look impressive, you don’t need specialized gear to get good results. You can use almost any digital camera to capture fireworks, as long as it offers either some degree of manual exposure control (so that you can dial in the right ISO, aperture, and shutter speed settings) or a fireworks scene mode designed to do the work for you.

Even compact digital cameras can meet the challenge. The Fujifilm Finepix F200 EXR shown here, for example, hits the sweet spot for portability and simplicity–it’s a superb compact point-and-shoot that, when set to fireworks mode and stabilized to minimize image shake, can take some excellent fireworks shots.

…But a Digital SLR Is Best

Compact cameras eschew features for portability, however. If you like to tinker with your exposure settings, consider an advanced point-and-shoot like the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS. It has a convenient swiveling LCD for shooting unusual angles, such as over the top of a crowd or low down on the ground. A wealth of exposure options let you dial in the one-touch fireworks mode or take more control with shutter priority, aperture priority, and manual exposure settings.

If you have a choice, though, I recommend enlisting a true digital SLR. Digital SLRs tend to generate less noise in the lengthy exposures you’ll need to capture fireworks, and they have advanced features such as manual exposure control and external shutter release to minimize shake when you’re taking the photo. The Nikon D90 (pictured here), for example, is a favorite not just because it was the first digital SLR to incorporate high-definition video recording, but also because it provides excellent image quality, Live View mode, and face detection for those times when you’re not shooting fireworks.

Stabilize Your Camera

The most important rule for shooting fireworks: Use a slow shutter speed so that you can record those dramatic, colorful light trails as they explode through the sky. But no matter whether you’re using a point-and-shoot or a high-end digital SLR, you’ll need some sort of support to capture a sharp image, free from the blur that results when you hold a camera in your hands.

A simple, inexpensive, and lightweight tripod is all you need. Keep the tripod head loose so that you can quickly move it around to frame the exploding fireworks, while the tripod legs prevent jiggling.

If you don’t want to haul even a compact tripod around, consider using a monopod–since it has just one leg instead of three, it won’t be as steady as a tripod, but it can be a reasonable compromise. You could also prop your camera on a solid surface. Some photographers like gadgets such as The Pod (essentially a bean bag with a tripod mount in the top) for steadying the camera on rocks, fences, and other platforms.

Hands Off

You should also avoid touching the camera when the exposure starts, so you don’t jiggle it and blur the photo. You could try to use the camera’s self-timer to trigger the exposure, but you would have to trigger your exposure in advance to anticipate the best fireworks moment. A better solution is to invest in a wireless remote or a shutter release cable, both of which let you take the photo without touching the camera.

Go Automatic

If your compact camera or advanced point-and-shoot has a fireworks mode, enable it. This mode automatically adjusts the camera’s settings for a nighttime exposure. Want to know what’s going on behind the scenes? On most cameras, the fireworks mode will turn the flash off, set focus to infinity, disable exposure compensation, and lower the ISO. For the most part, I find that a preset fireworks mode achieves good results for simple shots.

No Fireworks Mode? No Problem

Some point-and-shoots that lack a fireworks mode may still permit you to adjust the settings. Here are some good settings to try, if your camera allows.

Low ISO: Set the camera to its lowest ISO setting to minimize digital noise.

Focus on infinity: Turn off automatic focus and set the camera’s focus to infinity so that it doesn’t search helplessly for a subject in the dark. Don’t have a manual focus control? Use the camera’s landscape mode, which also sets the focus to infinity; the low light will encourage the camera to shoot at a slow shutter speed and capture the light trails.

Set the aperture: Dial in an f/stop somewhere between f/8 and f/16. That will help prevent overexposing the scene and avoid light “blooms” coming from the explosions in the sky.

Slow down the shutter: Pick a value between 1 second and 16 seconds for your shutter speed. The longer the exposure, the more fireworks you’ll capture in the same frame, and the longer your light trails will be. For really long exposures try covering the lens with your hand or the lens cap between bursts to avoid overexposing the picture.

(Photo by Howard Meyer.)

Shooting With a Digital SLR

If you have a digital SLR, you’ll have an easier time–and more options–when setting up your camera for fireworks.

In a nutshell, you’ll want to dial in the lowest ISO, throw the camera into full manual mode, choose a small aperture opening (try starting at f/8), and pick a slow shutter speed with an exposure time of between 1 and 4 seconds. After you take your first few pictures, review them to see if you’re getting realistic color. If the bright blue, orange, and red fireworks all look kind of white, you should use the same exposure time but close the aperture a bit and try again. That means changing your f/8 setting to f/11 or perhaps f/16. If the fireworks are too dim, open the aperture to f/5.6 or f/4.

Most SLRs have a bulb mode that leaves the shutter open for as long as you hold down the shutter release, giving you total control over the exposure. When the fireworks launch, press the shutter release to start the exposure. Hold the button down until after the fireworks have bloomed, several seconds later. If you go for superlong exposures, you should cover the lens between fireworks.

Get a Wide Angle on the Scene

While you might be tempted to zoom in to get close-ups of the action, I recommend that you use the wider end of your lens’s range–or, if you’re using a digital SLR, switch to your wide-angle lens. You’ll be able to capture more fireworks in a shot and even frame the action against a skyline or other recognizable objects in the foreground.

Of course, you can experiment by changing your zoom range throughout the evening. Just remember that if you zoom in too tightly, you’ll have trouble knowing exactly when and where the fireworks are going to do their thing, and you’ll end up missing the action.

(Photo by stage88.)

Experimentation Is Key

As you prepare for summer fireworks, remember that capturing the action is often more art than science. Experiment with a range of shutter speeds and aperture settings over the course of the event. If the weather is uncooperative, take advantage by incorporating umbrella-covered spectators into the scene. And don’t forget that your photo editing program’s cropping tool can sometimes bring a distant fireworks blast front and center, turning a mediocre shot into a keeper.

Pink Roses Scrapbook Page

"Pink Roses" By Kandy Fetzer
“Pink Roses” By Kandy Fetzer

Here is another sweet picture of my daughter at one week old.  I took a diagonally cut piece of pink striped scrapbook paper and pink rose printed vellum and adhered them to a white  6″ x 6″ page of scrapbook paper.  I placed the cropped picture (4-3/4″ x 4″) in the middle.  The 2 journal-ed corner tags are stamped in pink with a rose background stamp (retired, from Stampin’ Up!).  I attached them with gold mini brads.

Another super simple page!

Anne’s Quilt Scrapbook Page

"Anne's Quilt" by Kandy Fetzer

"Anne's Quilt" by Kandy Fetzer

I am trying to put together a 6″ x 6″ scrapbook of my daughter’s first year.  One page for each month to show the progression of change.  This is a picture of her at 2 months of age on the quilt that I made for her.  It is a pretty simple  and quick layout.  I cropped the picture slightly to 4″ x 5-1/2″.  Each “patch” measures 1″ x 1″.  I used left over scraps from the bottom of my paper drawer.  The title and journaling block is vellum attached with silver mini brads.

The Best in Me Scrapbook Page


This great little page was made using the current TAC Stamp Set of the Month, “The Best in Me”.  It is show cased on The Angel Company’s website. 

It is made by fellow Angel, Riley Forner

I had the pleasure of meeting her this last January at The Angel Company’s Leadership Conference.  She is a really sweet gal and it is fabulous to see The Angel Company feature her work.  I just love how she stamped the different bugs’ wings, cut them out and made flower petals out of them.  Very creative!!!  Thanks, Riley, for the inspiration and the sharing!

Photography Quick Tips

I found this great article today on photography tips.  I thought it would be perfect to share with my fellow scrapbookers.  Enjoy…


People & Portrait Photography Quick Tips

If you use objects other than your main subject in the foreground, be careful of placement. You don’t want to obscure or detract from your subject.
Every time you hold your camera to your eye, look for leading lines, foreground elements, frames—anything you can use to lend dynamism to your image. Photographs are two dimensional but it helps if they look and feel three dimensional.
Don’t just stand there—sit, squat, lie down. The angle from which you make a photograph can make a dramatic difference.
When using an electronic flash indoors, move your subject away from walls to prevent harsh shadows.
A piece of very light orange gel over the face of your electronic flash can warm up the light and give it a more pleasing cast.
When you first arrive at a new location, make note of any features that strike you. Try to find ways to incorporate them into your composition.
Be careful if you are using a wide-angle lens to photograph a group. The people at the edges may get distorted.
If kids want to look through the camera, let them. They will be more relaxed and cooperative. Just watch out for dirty fingers on the lens.
Anticipate kids’ behavior. If they are playing tag, set up near the base, compose your image, and wait for them to come running in.