As I watched this, my first thought was that this would be a great way to share the fun at a genealogy conference with those who can’t come. It would also be a great way to add a little extra spice to a public holiday function – like the local Christmas parade or caroling night . . . What do you think?
There’s a new breed of greeting cards offering both digital and print options for sharing. I have reached a point where most of my Christmas cards are now electronic, but there are still a number of people on my list who don’t use computers. So, I’m delighted to see companies like Sincerely and Paperless Post offering beautiful print cards which are selected, customized and addressed digitally to be sent as postal mail. Sincerely’s Ink holiday postcards let you choose from a number of designs that incorporate your own photograph and even have room to add your own note. You can create a custom card/greeting for each recipient or use one for all – pulling your addresses right from your digital address book. Sincerely will print and mail them for you for approximately $1.00 per card.
Ink cards are created using the free Ink app on your mobile device [iOS and Android]. Learn more at the Ink site.
Paperless Post creates e-cards as well as print ones and they also offer an impressive digital invitation/RSVP system. These cards offer both standard greetings and those designed to incorporate your photograph. The e-cards include envelopes and give you the opportunity to choose their design as well as the card’s. Prices are based on type and design.
Experience an online card at Paperless Post. Paperless Post cards can be designed and tracked online or in the free iPad app.
You may have heard of the recent security breach at Adobe. Evernote used the online list of compromised accounts to see if any Evernote users were using the same email address for their Evernote accounts. If so, they received an email message from Evernote recommending they change password right away.
Evernote is one of the platforms offering two-step verification for user logins. If you’re keeping sensitive personal information in your Evernote collection, this is worth the little bit of extra effort it involves. The Evernote Support Center has more information on two-step verification and how to use it.
Meet OpenStreetMap. This is a free map site built as a wiki where anyone can get involved in creating, editing and using a world of maps. If you need a map to include in a family history project, these maps are freely available for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 licence (CC-BY-SA).
This is a screen shot of an area of northwest Georgia where my Barker family lived. It’s a nice clean map and I have plenty of room to modify it for use in family history projects. What a great find!
Take a good look at the styles feature in your word processing application. It’s your new best friend when it comes to managing a writing project. This short booklet shows you how styles work and what they can do to make your writing life so much easier.
Kate at The Paycheck Chronicles has discovered a fabulous guide from USAA on protecting yourself and your data when using mobile phones and tablets.
By the way . . . although Paycheck Chronicles is focused on the military community, Kate’s blog is full of great financial management information.
Lettering can be an amazing design tool – and very affordable too. Take something as simple as a curly brace, blow it up to 144 pts or more, add some color and effects and you now have a rather impressive graphic element that could quickly draw a reader’s eye to a quote from a journal or letter.
Have you ever heard of an ornaments font? It’s a font where instead of characters, each “letter” is a graphic. You may already be familiar with the dingbats, but you’ll be surprised at the growing number of ornaments fonts available today. And you’ll be surprised to find what you can do with them.
This example uses the Liebe Ornaments font from MyFonts.com combined with a companion “normal” font to create an elegantly simple design. Creating a composition like this one would normally be created using an image editing app such as Pixelmator or Photoshop, but I’ve found Keynote or PowerPoint work just as well. And, since Keynote is where I’m building most of my family history projects . . .
Check your favorite font sites for ornament or doodle fonts. In addition to MyFonts.com, Lettering Delights and some of the scrapbooking sites also have them. You’ll enjoy finding ways to incorporate text and ornaments into your storytelling projects.
One tip . . . I’ve built a Keynote presentation file containing text and graphic elements I use frequently. This includes individual text boxes formatted with font, size, spacing and color I use frequently as well as custom frames and doodles. It’s easier to copy/paste a pre-formatted text box than to make all those settings each time I create one. When I start a new storytelling project, I’ll just copy the slides containing the elements I need from the examples file so they’re handy while I’m working. When the project is finished, those slides are quickly deleted.
Two interesting articles from makeuseof offer some insight in how to prepare for or recover from the digital aftermath when someone dies.
- The Digital Afterlife – Managing Your Final Affairs.
- How to Access A Deceased Relative’s Digital Accounts.
When working with most image-editing applications like Photoshop Elements, brushes are the digital equivalent of the rubber stamp. Like their physical counterparts, brushes can be “loaded” with different colors and “stamped” at different angles. The digital version carries it a bit farther because they can be re-sized and have any number of effects added to them.
In addition to finding brushes in all kinds of shapes and effects, you can easily create your own. I found this ornament in a 19th century tourist guide to St. Augustine. It can easily become a brush for use in Photoshop Elements and used to create cards or collages or become part of a background.
Like rubber stamps, brushes can be simple or complex designs. They can be images or patterns. Brushes are a great way to turn a flat-colored background layer into palm trees silhouetted against the moon. With brushes you can create crumpled or distressed paper or a worn piece of leather. In addition to making your own, you can find a lot of free brushes online. I’ll warn you right now, using custom brushes is quite addictive.
To learn more about custom brushes, check out these resources:
- About.com has a series of great tutorials on creating and using brushes in Photoshop Elements. They also have download sources for free brushes.
- The Scrapping Guy has a very nice video tutorial on using brushes and offers some good sources to find additional brushes.
- Renee Pearson has written a series of Digital Designs for Scrapbooking books which are full of great ideas and howto information. Digital Designs 2 has a whole section on using and creating brushes. Renee also offers a series of classes. Visit her site for details.