Sunday, 17 June 2012

Mini Pics!

Since converting to scrapping in A4, I am totally loving the freedom this gives me to easily store my pages and the impact that a smaller size has had on my productivity. One thing I often hear people say about feeling unsure about switching to the small size though is the difficulty of fitting photos into small pages, particularly where multiple photos are to be used.

Lots of printing companies offer lots of size solutions for your photos,  Laura has blogged about how she creates collages in Picassa here before sending them to Photobox to be printed, however I prefer to print my photos myself at home. This means I can print what I want, when I want - and avoids the scrapping guilt I'd otherwise get related to growing piles of un-scrapped prints that I'd shelled out for! So today I'm going to show you how I print my photos in a more manageable size for A4 scrapping, simply using the standard printing programme that comes with Windows operating can follow this technique on any PC running Windows, no matter what printer you have and with no need for fancy photo editing software. Whoop to that!

For my first page this month, I had three pictures that I wanted to document on one page. There was no way a I'd be able to fit three standard 6x4 prints, plus the whole host of patterned papers and embellies I always like to include, on one A4 page. So here are the quick steps I take to resize and print my snaps in Windows:

1. Right click the chosen photo, and select "print". This will open the following window. Click  "options"  in the bottom right corner:

2.The following menu pop-up will appear. Click on "printer properties":

3. This will open a new box, where you need to click into the Effects tab. In here you will see a slider bar enabling you to resize your photos. For one shot, I usually like to set this at around 80-90%. For multiple pics, I usually select somewhere between 75-85%. This is down to personal preference and exactly how small you want your pictures - as you use this more often you will get an instinctive feel for where to set the slider according to the size/effect you want, however - see the little picture box (within the large white space) on the right side? As you move the slider back and forth the image in the little box grows and shrinks - giving you a visual comparison for your print size on a piece of 6x4 paper.

4. When you are happy, press ok. This will take you to the original pop up box, where you can now press print. Et voila!

Here's my completed page, using the gorgeous new What's Up papers from Basic Grey. As soon as I saw them I knew they'd be perfect for scrapping pictures of a recent spot of kite-flying on a grey and windy afternoon!
As always, click on any picture for a closer look!
Let's Go Fly A Kite
At the centre of the page are two misted cardstock tags held together by gorgeous wooden buttons from the BG Konnichiwa range. To create the "Kite" lettering I cut away the bold letter shapes with a craft knife, and laid a piece of Cloud-printed overlay from Hambly and the pink reverse of the Constellation paper behind it.
More of the overlay was used to back a What's Up tin pin, and was hand-cut to add interest behind the photo at the bottom of the page:

Decorative tapes created a visual divide for my page and acted as an anchor for part of my title:

Another addiction of mine which goes hand in hand with A4 scrapping is Instagram.

If you're not already a fan, it's a free mobile-phone app which not only acts as a live photostream/sharing platform (think Facebook, but photos only), but has lots of pretty built-in filters to add vintage effects and frames to your pictures with just a click. My mobile phone is often my go-to device for capturing those spontaneous photo opportunities as my clunky DSLR is not always to hand, and let's face it - it's more often than not those otherwise fleeting moments that we all love to scrapbook most!

So Instagram pics are quickly becoming the centre of my pages for three reasons:
1. Capturing spontaneous photo-ops
2. One click photo-effects and editing
3. Their quirky, retro square shape is perfect for my compact A4 pages.

Here are the steps I take for printing Instagram pics at home:

1. Upload my pics to my computer (check your phones manual for how to do this!)
2. Right click on my chosen photo, and click print.
3. In the pop-up box that appears, check that your desired paper size is selected, i.e. 6x4:

4. You'll notice that the top and bottom of your square print appear to be chopped off in the preview at the centre of the screen. To solve this, uncheck the box that says "fit picture to frame":

5. You should see that your shot is now fully visible and fits neatly inside the image box on the screen:

5. And print! Your printed images should appear nicely centred and perfectly sized on your 6x4 photo paper; just trim the excess away and they are ready for scrapping!:
Here are a couple of pages utilising my Instagram home-prints, and more of the BG What's Up paper:

Shooting Hoops
I cut lots of circles from the patterned papers for this page and combined them with the round tin pin and wooden buttons to emphasise the hoops/basketball theme.
 Strips of various decorative tapes and word stickers also added interest:
I splattered my plain chipboard Thickers with lots of different mists before adding them to my page:

Chewie The Beardie
We've got a new addition to the family - much to my mixed surprise and dismay one night when I got home! "Chewie" and I are learning to live harmoniously together - I even bathed him (when this shot was taken!) - however I maintain that "Eddie Lizard" would have been a much better name!
I made use of lots of my My Minds Eye stamps to embellish the page; the black ink complimenting the black frame of the Instagram print.
Keen to add elements that drew out the pretty orangey colourings that Chewie has around his eyes and under his throat, I created some tags embellishments form the pink side of the Constellation paper, and used some pink Studio Calico alpha stickers for my title:

If you are keen to try small photos on a smaller layout and are looking for more home-printing options, you may also be interested in having a look at Helen's post about creating photostrips in Picassa here.

Thanks as always for popping over. We'd love to see your A4 pages or use of Instagram pics - feel free to share your links in the comments section or at our page on Facebook :)

My supplies included:


Tracie said...

absolutely stunning pages, as always Nat, I really love how you've done your 'kite' title, must give that a whirl!

Ifa said...

Gorgeous pages Nat. I am sitting here with a pile of chevron papers and you've inspired me.

Helen said...

Really good ideas and informative post. There is loads of inspiration to take away whether you use Instagram or a Windows computer or not. I like how you linked up to previous blog posts too.

Nice effect with the hambly overlay too. x

Jenga said...

Lovely pages Nat. I have ordered some of this range too and imagine pages revolving more around the red in them - always great to see how we use papers and stash so differently.

love your pages :)