First Step – pick your photos

Back in July my family and I travelled to Florida for vacation. We visited Walt Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, and then we travelled to Fort Myers to complete our vacation. While on vacation, we took about 1400 pictures. Wow, right?! Anyway, I really like creating scrapbooks about our vacations. This gives me an opportunity to tell stories about what we did during that week that over time we may forget. When creating a scrapbook, not all of those photos should be used or would be used.

Many of my prior scrapbooks I would create pages around the photos I selected. As a result, I would see three or four photos that went together and create a scrapbook page. This time, I decided that I would be more organized; therefore, I needed to pick my photos first. Also, this is a good opportunity to make sure the best photos are used.

As I was reviewing my photos, I noticed that there were duplicate photos or photos that were not of good quality. In order to help me organize my pictures, I would create a new folder titled “Not Used” and move the ones I did not intended to use into that folder. Likewise, if there was a photo that was very poor quality, blurry, or random and I did not want it, I did not move it to the “Not Used” folder, I would delete it. Why keep something that will not be used and is not worth looking at. It just takes up hard drive space.

In addition to creating folders, this time I created an Excel spreadsheet to document the photo numbers (last four digits) and a very brief caption. This would help me organize my pages prior to actually creating them. Again, this is all new to me. I never took this approach before, but I figured it would be worth doing all of the leg work in advance. However, the photos that are not moved, I will rename so that all the photos that go together will be next to each other in the folder. I really don’t like hunting for photos by number.

Lastly, I realized that there were a few photos that needed to be edited. I felt that it would be easier to edit the photos now prior to actually starting the pages. Some of the edits are very basic. For instance, I would adjust the exposure, crop unwanted backgrounds to focus more on the subject of the picture, and remove read eye. I even tried my hand at removing an object from one of my photos because the background had two unwanted figures in it; by using the “cloning” tool in Photoshop I was able to remove them. Hoorah!

You know what this reminds me of, a recipe. In a recipe, it shows ingredients, prep time, cook time, and instructions how to prepare the recipe. I feel that creating scrapbooks are the same. We need to prep before we can create. As in many recipes, the prep time exceeds the cook time as it may in creating this scrapbook.


Tonight the firm I work for, Nathan Wechsler & Company, P.A., hosted an event at Spare Time Bowling for their employees. When we arrived, I flagged down an employee of the alley to take a group photo of us. Dan was his name. He was very willing to take a photo, and he was quite funny. Anyway, its these types of settings that we get a glimpse of what our co-workers are really like outside the office. I have to say that we have a great group of employees.

Not only are our employees great at doing their jobs, but they are fun to be around and some are even great bowlers. At these events I always like to see if anyone can get a turkey. In case you don’t know what a turkey in bowling is; it is when a bowler throws three strikes in a row. All of the teams had played two strings, and some came close, but no one actually did it until the third string. Matt was bowling ok, but something happened to him during the third string. I don’t know if he finally warmed up or relaxed. I was getting excited he had two strikes and I was eager to see him finally throw the third strike, but he was telling me not to get too excited. As he approached the lane and threw the ball, it was plainly obvious that this was going to be a strike. However, we actually had to wait and follow the ball down the alley to see if he had the right speed and aim to attack the head pin and knock all the pins down. As soon as I saw all of his pins fall down, I looked to the computer screen to see if the system would show a turkey. Unfortunately, it did not show a cartoon turkey, but it did at least display the word “Turkey” on the screen. I had to take a photo of this moment. If I could only predict the future, I should have been videotaping Matt’s next throw. Why? Because Matt threw another strike, and we cheered for such a stunning throw. Believe it or not, there is an actual name for four strikes in a row; it is called four-bagger. I was stunned; it was unbelievable.

Now, the team that I was on had a team high total score of 515. That was the score to beat. Again with Matt’s impressive four strikes in a row he definitely helped his team score a 518. While this was going on, there was another team of four, where two of the four players needed to leave. As a result, the two players, Bill and Maria, left decided to continue to play without them. They would just bowl their own boxes and the boxes of the other two players who left. Amazingly, Bill was able to not only score a 146 for his own box, but he was able to score a high of 199 for his other teammate’s box. That is an all-time high for our group. With these two impressive totals, Bill was able to lead his team to a high score of 528. Bill and Maria were able to beat the other teams with four players with this high score. Extraordinary!

This evening will definitely go down in the Nathan Wechsler & Company history as one to remember. Even though there was competition, we were happiest seeing each other succeed when a strike or spares were thrown, and that was evident as our employees cheered each other on. Again, we a great group of employees.


Can I eat that cake?

Food Network is one of my favorite channels to watch. I love watching cake and cupcake shows. Tonight, I am watching Cake Wars, and the theme is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Watching these cake professionals put together their cakes is awesome. The decorator really needs to know how to build, to sculpt, and to paint.

First let me say that when I watch these bakers come up with a recipe for their cakes they want to use to decorate they sound so delicious that I want to try some.

When these bakers are challenged to create a dramatic cake to capture the essence of the theme, they tend to go tall. When that happens, the baker needs to factor in how to secure the cake to the base, but if the cakes are not straight up, the baker needs to figure out the counterbalance of the cake. There have been occasions when a baker has dropped parts of their cakes when moving them to the display table for judging because the structure was not correct.

Next, the decorators need to add embellishments to the cake so it tells a story. The skills that these bakers use make them an artist to me. There is real talent when the decorator uses sugar, fondant, and molding chocolate. The characters need to look real, and when they do, I am so impressed with the decorators sculpting skills.

Finally, the decorator needs to add dimension to their cakes by using paintbrushes and airbrushes to add more detail to the cakes. I have seen enough of these shows to realize it really is all about the details. Does the character look like it supposed to? Did the baker represent the theme well or was it off the mark? The judges do not like sloppy work, and unfortunately, when there is a time limit to complete a massive cake, the bakers tend to rush and that is when mistakes happen. However, to see these cakes complete is nothing show than amazing.

Cake decorating has come a long way over the years. Many of these bakers showcase their many artistic talents that truly impress me. But most of all, I would love to try pieces of those cakes that look so delicious.

If you ever get a chance, check out one of these shows.



You can’t fix it.

Did I tell you I love music? I can’t play an instrument or sing, but I love to listen to it. Tonight I was listening to Delilah (in case you don’t know who she is, she hosts her own radio show where she dedicates songs to people because of a letter she received or a listener calling in.). In any case, Delilah read a letter about a woman trapped in a relationship with a person who created a child with her and he has a gambling problem and is unwilling to commit. She has met someone who is willing to sweep her off her feet, but the woman is unsure about what to do. Delilah suggested that she make a decision and let one of them go. However, Delilah basically said that you can’t change people who are unwilling to change. And don’t choose someone else if you are not over the other person. Close a door before opening another. The song that was chosen for this listener was by CAM titled Burning House.

Songs make me relate to situations that have happened in my life. Listening to this wonderfully, sad song I realized that I had my “Burning House”. Actually, I married him and had two wonderful children with him. I was devastated when I found out that he was not in love with me anymore. I secretly kept hoping that he would want me back. You know it’s funny I say that because my mother knew. When my husband and I divorced, my mother would occasionally ask me if he came crawling back to me would I take him back. I lied to her and said no, but secretly, the answer was yes. After seven years, I finally decided to let go. I think the biggest part of letting go was not feeling like a failure.

In case you have not heard the song, here is the video for your pleasure.  Burning House by CAM

Does size really matter?

Oh how that question conjures up many responses, and in the world of digital scrapbooking the answer is YES.  Why does size matter? Well, when I first started learning how to digital scrapbook, which is obviously done on a computer, I was designing pages without thinking about the size of the pages that I was creating. For instance, the first book I created was an 8” x 8” album. I was adding several photos to each page and scaling the photos to get as many picture in the book as possible. Once the book was completed, I had it printed. The final product made me realize that size really does matter.

When working with traditional scrapbook design, pages and embellishments can be held and pictures are printed to be used. The sizes of the photos are easy to determine how many can fit per page. Unfortunately, when dealing with the digital medium, it is a bit harder because as a designer we will adjust the objects on the screen to make it easier for the image to be seen (we will not view the page at actual size). So, in the 8” x 8” album example, because I was not thinking about the size of the pages the photos on some of the pages were about an inch. The photos can still be seen, but they would have looked better if they were bigger.

Therefore, when creating digital scrapbook pages, make sure to always pay attention to the size of the page. If you are a visual person, place a piece of paper beside the computer as a reminder of the size page. Also, it would not be a bad idea to figure out what is the smallest sized picture that you want on any given page to make sure that you do not go below that size.

Hope this was helpful.



Welcome to my One Sweet Story blog

Initially, I was creating this blog to focus solely on scrapbooking, but I want it to be about more. There are many aspects of the art world that I love. One being animation. When I was younger, I had a dream to become a Walt Disney World animator. As a matter of fact, when I was about 16 years old, I purchased a book titled Disney Animation The illusion of Life for $200. That was a lot of money for me. Unfortunately, I never went to school to even learn how to. Over the years, I took art classes to practice painting and drawing, but life’s journey took me down a totally different path.

Over the years I still had a strong desire to stay involved in art, but I was not sure what I could do. Then I was introduced to scrapbooking. I figured why not, I had a “ton” of photos from various vacations, events, and of my family especially my two daughters. The first item I designed was a card with photos of my girls. For my first try it was simple, but I did enjoy the process. And I knew at that moment I was hooked. Like anything, the more one does anything the better and more creative they become. Also, when I was on vacations, I would always keep in the back of my mind things that I might want to keep for the scrapbook. For instance, if we were visiting Walt Disney World, I would keep the park maps. It is amazing how the graphics from those brochures can come in handy to add embellishments to a scrapbook page. Scrapbook artwork has become so sophisticated and individuals can create pages that are very simple to a page with details to design a piece of art. Yet, again I was introduced to another form of scrapbooking which was digital, and that was it. I completely feel in love with this art form.

However, this is not the only topic that I would like to write about. I like photography, animation, puzzles, and anything else that catches my eye. Seeing that this is the first time that I am blogging, it will take me some time to get good at it, but eventually, I hope you can find something of interest to you.

Thank you for reading this blog.