Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Project: Memory Book

I can now tell you why posts have been far and few between for the first few months of this year. A whole lot of my spare time was spent doing layouts for the memory book of J’s class.

I actually have quite a lot of time to spare, just not in one long stretch, but rather snippets of them scattered throughout the day. An hour or two mid-morning. A few more after lunch. But my early afternoon nap is an indulgent I do not wish to give up so that is an exception. Early evenings are hectic since this is the time when food is being prepared, kids need to be tutored, and dinner is to be served. By eight thirty in the evening when the kids are tucked in to bed, it is our couple time. So even if it does indeed fall under the category of spare time, it does not belong to MY spare time since technically speaking I share it with C. And if you have read this, you know how sacred we treat it. And so my photoshop projects are done intermittently throughout the day, which is not how I prefer to work. Being the photoshop amateur that I am, creative work is usually mixed up with tutorials as I try to teach myself new tricks. Work that could have been done in an hour easily extends to two – or more, as I try to do each step again and again.

Be that as it may, I am thankful that I volunteered just the same because the circumstance made me force myself to upgrade my skills - with emphasis on the word force. Photoshop has always been an interest but I am self-taught, and I am always either too busy or too lazy to be bothered with reading any tutorials. Surviving this, I am now armed with a semi-equipped arsenal of photoshop tricks I can whip out in a minute.

In one of my attempts to do a quotation word art, which you can see below, I found myself working on this dang file for over thirty minutes or maybe it's a little closer to an hour. I wanted to do the word art on a transparent background, but my saved jpeg file kept on reverting to the white background, no matter how many times I worked on it using a transparent one. After several failed efforts and a keyboard that's close to getting broken, a quick call to my brother solved my problem. I now know that jpeg doesn't save in transparent. Hence, I saved it in png format. What? You don't know that? Sorry, now we cannot be friends anymore. Lol.


Here are the three layouts that I made for the girls, the tiny one on the left shows you my first attempt, while the larger image on the right is the final output for printing:

Richie and I collaborated on the layouts for the group photos. But before I show you our work let me first tell you that Richie is one of the parents in our class, and the only dad, who volunteered his time and creative talent for this project. He joined us towards the tail end of the project so you can just imagine the cramming he had to do to finish all the layouts in two weeks, more or less. He was certainly a welcome addition to the group. He came on board just as I was beginning to feel slightly overwhelmed, (ok maybe slightly overwhelmed is not the correct term to use - it's more like I was in over my head) with all the templates that needed to be done vis a vis my limited photoshop knowledge, then put that against our self-imposed deadline to make sure the memory books get to the girls in time for the last day of classes. Ok. Now that I am writing down my thoughts like this, I now have a word for what I felt that time. Panic!

Here are our work: (You may click on the images to enlarge.)

My layout for Kinder Dahlia (while Richie helped with the photo clipping):


My Layout for Prep Lily:

Richie's spread for 1-Martha:

Richie's layout for 2-Scholastica:

Richie made a few more layouts for the book, and I am sure all the parents are with me in saying that he deserves a big thank you for his hard work, time, and for sharing his artistic talent. So here's a shout out of thanks to you, buddy! Here are the rest of Richie's work:



The other parents who helped behind the scenes and whose contibutions are as significant to the success of the project are:

  • Arlyn, who generously offered her efficient office staff to do the tedious chore of clipping all the photos for the girls' pages.
  • Doris, for collating all the photos and all the other text files, and for generously offering her house as our official headquarter during the initial stages of brainstorming (complete with merienda).
  • Jenny, for patiently proofreading all the pages and for taking care of the logistics regarding the printer.
  • Tes, in whose shoulders fell the tiresome task of collecting photos from busy parents.
  • Mercy is of course the force who started it all, this is really her much loved project. We all know how much of a computer genius she is ( not! :) ), but her hand was on this project every step of the way. Thanks for your big-hearted and open-handed concern for our girls. We couldn't have gotten a better class rep!



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