Thursday, February 9, 2012

Using Springpad for CT Management

I'm the type of scrapper that love creative teams and have joined the CT of quite a few fantastic designer. I've been looking for a convenient task/to-do program to be able to organize and manage my CT duties easily and effectively. After trying out a few programs, I found that I like Springpad the best.

Here is my workflow/organization:

When I request and download a new kit I will create a new task with the following information.

For the title of the task I will usually put the Designer's Name - Title of Kit - Release Date.
The due date I usually put 1 week after I download and not the release date. There are several reasons for this. First of all, most designers usually request the layout to be completed at least 1 week after the download date. They prefer the layout to be completed before the release date of course, but sometimes they will also finish the kit late so the typically rule is 1 week after the download date. Second of all, there are other duties to be completed after the layout's been completed such as uploading to galleries and enabling which occur after the release date. I don't really want to create separate task for those two different duties with separate due dates. It's just too much work so I basically just create 1 task for each kit. I use the tag system to determine which tasks I've completed and which tasks I still have to complete.

So when I create the new task I will also tag it with the following tags: create layout, upload to galleries, enable, and the name of the designer. Once I've completed a task I will delete the tag.

Here are examples of my tags. When I click on create layout, it will show the 5 layouts that I still have to complete layout for.

After I finish the layout, I will delete the "create layout" tag so when I click on create layout, it won't show up again.

Similarly, after I upload the layout to galleries, I will delete the "upload to galleries" tag; and after I've enabled, I will delete the "Enable" tag.

So the completed duty's task will only have the designer's name left. I will the check the task and mark it as completed. When I click on the designer's tag I will know how many layouts I've created for the designer.

Another feature I like about Springpad is its "attachment" feature. You can attach photo, link, note, video, and even file in the task. I normally attach the link to the new kit's thread in the designer's forum and also attach the photo of the completed layout.

There are tons of other features that I've not really used yet such as its webclipper, which is similar to Pinterest, and also notes for taking notes.

Also, I use android phone and springpad is also available for android phone so it's really convenient for me.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Facebook Page for Scrapbooking Stuff

As my scrapbooking friends and activities increase, I found that posting layouts and promoting kits on my personal page could be a bit not really useful. First of all, to my knowledge, zero of my friends and families scrap. It's really not that popular yet in Indonesia. So even though they think the layouts are beautiful and stuff, they're really not that interested in reading posts about scrapbooking. Secondly it gets a bit confusing mixing up the personal/friend posts with the scrapbooking posts.

Luckily, facebook has improved its group and page and now there are a lot of cool features for my scrapbooking purposes.

How to create a page?

You can create a page by going to the link:
Simply choose the category that fits your page the best. I chose "Artist, Band or Public Figure" and "Artist". Click next and just follow the step by step guide and fill in some basic information for the page.

Some things especially to take note of is that you can assign your own username to get a shorter facebook page URL: username)/. The username doesn't have to be the same as your facebook fan page title. To set it up go to "edit page" and choose the left "basic information" tab. If you haven't assigned a username yet you should be able to do so on the third line "username" part.

Here are some features that I love.

Use Facebook As

I love this feature where I can choose to use facebook as my personal page or the fan page. If I choose to use as "Angelclaud's ArtRoom" then my posts will post under that username and will be visible to only fans who "like" my page.

However, keep in mind that when using the fan page, there are some features that are not available such as sharing in groups, messaging friends, etc.

Separate "Likes" Pages

The "like" pages for the personal page and fan page are different. So I can "like" all my favorite scrapbooking and designers pages under "Angelclaud's ArtRoom" and when I click on the facebook home button it will display the news feeds from those pages.

This is the news feed of my fan page which shows only the news of the pages that I've "like" and doesn't show my personal friends and families' news.

How I use the Fan Page for CT Duties

I create a photo album for each of the designers or stores I CT for.

I will then upload the layouts I created to each designer's album. I normally include the following information: title of layout, name of kit and designer, link to the kit. In the album info I also includes the link to the designers' stores.

Share Posts

I will also share the post to related Scrapbooking groups. This could be done only in the personal page mode, so remember to change back to your personal page and not the fan page.

Exclusive Freebies

A great way to invite more people to join the page is of course by hosting challenges and giving out freebies. Depending on your designers, I ask permission from my designers to make freebies (quickpage, wordart, cluster frames, etc.) and using this free facebook applications: create an exclusive for fans page.

I find that with the fan page it's much easier to connect with fellow scrapbookers, enjoy their layouts, comments on layouts, or chat regarding scrapbook related matters this way. It's always a great way to promote the designers I CT for. Anyway, hope you find the post useful.

My facebook page:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Purchasing Tamron 28-75MM F2.8

Now that I've learned a bit more about DSLR and lenses, I simply can't resist shopping for a better lens for my T3i. As I shoot mostly indoor and I love those beautiful portrait photos, I wanted a lens with longer zoom and faster aperture. I don't really like to use flash because even if I bounce it and I actually use a bounce card backward (I used the black part) to keep the flash from flashing directly or near the eyes, it's still pretty uncomfortable and I honestly do not want to subject my daughter to the discomfort. And so began my search for the near perfect camera. I actually went through a couple of lens before decided on it but I'll talk about that in another blog.

To make it short, I settled on Tamron 28-75mm f2.8. It has a constant f2.8, which is fantastic and one of the reason I didn't choose Sigma's 17-70mm. Plus, I like the extra 5mm and don't really need the wider range. The problem is that it seems that it's quite common to get a "bad" copy of the lens. I really dreaded that because Indonesia's return policy is non-existent. But the photos I saw in the Tamron 28-75mm's flickr group is gorgeous and the review of the lens is generally good. So I decided to give it a try.

The main complaint about the lens from what I've read is that front and back focus problem so I went to the camera store prepared with a focus test chart I downloaded from here:

I conducted the test without a tripod and without the perfect lighting, but I wasn't too concern about it. I'm not looking for a tack sharp enough but just tested to see that it can focus where it's supposed to focus.

The results seemed to be quite good:

I also took a couple of random test at different zoom range:

So all seemed satisfactory and I bought the lens and brought it home. I'm really loving it. I think I've found my near perfect lens.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

*New Release* Just Another Romance

 It's Grab-a-Byte time again! The second week of every month is always really the busiest with GAB at Scrapbook Byte and Gotta Grab It at Gotta Pixel. The color palette for November's GAB is beautiful with darker colors  of red and blue

Just Another Romance is currently on sale for $1.00 each pack so it's $3.00 only for the whole bundle.

Worn Papers
Artistic Smears

Here's my layout with the kit.

Kelly Moore's Hobo Bag

This is very scrapbook related as one of the most important aspects of scrapbooking is photos. To take photos we need cameras and to carry camera around we need.....CAMERA BAG.

I just received Kelly Moore's Hobo Bag today and I'm so excited. Honestly it's so hard to bring a DSLR around. Most of the camera bags at camera stores here are quite manly and ugly. They are generally black and hard-case. I guessed for guys they would be ok as typically guys don't carry a bag so it won't be weird for them to wear a camera bag on their shoulder or carry a camera bag.

However, for us girls, we're already carrying bag for mobile phone, wallets, hairbrush, lipstick, tissues, and those are just the basic stuff. Imagine carrying a bag + a camera bag. I did try it and it did look quite silly. I felt that I'm being weighed down with so many gigantic bags. Plus I need to carry my daughter. So my daughter in the middle, a sling camera bag on the right and a sling bag on the left.

Getting a camera bag that doesn't look like a camera bag AND can hold all my bag's basic stuff is THE DREAM. So I did some googling and found a couple of designers/stores that sell camera bags that are more stylish and girly.

In the end I decided on Kelly Moore's Hobo other than I like the color and style, it's one of the smallest size bag I could find. I was actually very interested in Epiphanie's Lola bag too but in the end decided that it's too big. I'm happy that I chose the smaller size camera bag because it's easier to carry and fits me quite well. For everyday use I plan on just using it to carry my 600D with 18-55mm lens, 320EX flash unit, and the rest will be my basic bag stuff. So I don't need a too big bag for couple of lenses. I'm not very tall so I'm also concern that I'll look quite ridiculous with an oversize bag. I'll post a photo of me wearing it when I got the chance to use it.

From a quick first look the camera bag looks quite sturdy. It's quite soft (synthetic leathery soft) and not stiff like some Canon, etc. camera bag. The zipper is just a tad difficult to open at the "slope" part when I wearing the bag but it's not such a big deal.

Here are the photos of my Hobo bag.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Free Template

As I mentioned before, I planned to be more active in blogging and livened up my blog. One thing I plan on doing is giving out a free template every week. Currently, there will be no "fixed" day on when the template will be available as it depends on when I have time to make and upload them but there will definitely be 1 every week. The download link will only be available for 1 week (7 days) so please download them asap.

This is not a "fixed" rule of course. I welcome comments and suggestions and will probably revise according to situation.

So here's the first template freebie of the week. I hope you like it.

Click on the image preview to download.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Grab Bag by Connie Prince

I'm so lucky to be guesting for Connie Prince in the month of October - November. She's really a talented designer and her kits are just so popular. I've had created several layouts that I simply love during my guest time with her.

Today she has released her 2nd Grab Bag for the month of November: Give Thanks. 5 full products for $5 only for 1 week. It's filled with tons of goodies. You can grab the kit at either of these stores of hers:

Here is my layout, which I'm so happy with. I am kind of experimenting with photo blending,which I'm not exactly very good at yet. But I've watched a very helpful tutorial from the 5 Star Digital Scrapbooking website. They do have a lot of good video tutorials.