Shades Of The Departed

May 24

A Monthly - Weekend With Shades - Column

In keeping with May being the month of Mother's Day, I'm going to show you how I created a scrapbook page in honor of my own dear mother. To begin with, I made a list of ideas/items I wanted to incorporate in my page. This page honors my mom so of course I wanted to feature a photo of her. I also wanted to use a yellow-based color scheme since yellow was her favorite color. It always reminds me of her. My mom was very proud of her Polish heritage and Catholic faith so I wanted to find way to incorporate symbols of these in the page. She was an excellent cook and baker and no scrapbook page would properly honor her without some reference to these as well. And then there was her green thumb... she grew wonderful fruits and vegetables in her backyard and boy could she coax roses to bloom! Last but not least, she loved to dance the Polka!

Whew! That's quite a list of items to incorporate in one page! The key will be to keep them small but significant. Think of one or two items that convey a image of each thing. Here we go, in Photoshop Elements (PSE)...

I started with two papers, one with flowers (roses) that remind me of her gardening, and one that is predominantly yellow (her favorite color). I scaled the yellow paper slightly and rotated it so that you can see bits of the rose patterned paper behind it.

Then I chose a photo of my mom to use on the page. I wanted to use a portrait of her and I only had a couple to choose from. This particular photo is close in tonal range to the yellow-orange roses in the background paper but the color is off just a touch. So using PSE "Color Curves", I made a slight color correction to warm the portrait up a bit.

Here you can see the original portrait and the color enhanced picture against the background papers. The color enhanced picture is just warm enough to coordinate well with the background colors.

Next, I chose a frame for my mom's portrait. I wanted a frame that would pop off the page without looking too obvious. I chose a green scallop frame but the color needed to be brought up a bit. I wanted it to be close in color to the stems of the roses on the background paper. Using "Color Variations", I made the frame a couple shades darker than the original.

Once I had the portrait and the main color scheme in place I began sorting through my photos and digi scrap kits looking for symbols of my other ideas. There was no method to my madness here. I just pulled a bunch of elements together with an eye to my color scheme. I couldn't find a religious symbol that I liked so I took a picture of the gold pendant of Mary that my mom always wore.

I selected the pendant (separate from the background) and copied it to scrapbook page. Then I decided to do the same thing with the amber necklace sent to my mom from her cousins in Poland. The amber color works perfectly and is a wonderful symbol of her Polish heritage. I also pulled in a handwritten copy of her pumpkin pie recipe that I'd previously scanned.

At this point I had a whole bunch of elements scattered around the page. Some were more significant than others, so at this point I dropped those elements that weren't serving a purpose or were redundant.

Then I moved the elements around, resizing when necessary, until I had a design I liked. The next step was to add drop shadows to give the items on the page some depth.

I added my shadows working from the lowest shadowed layer (the yellow angled background paper) to the topmost layer. When working primarily with pastels, I like to use a colored shadow rather than the more common black/gray shadow. You can see the color I chose (brown/tan) in the little square on the right side of the "Style Settings" box.

Once I added the drop shadows, all that was left was to decide if I wanted to include some sort of text on the page. I had a cute idea using a recipe card and went with it. This is the finished digi scrapbook page of my mom. It sums her up to a T!

Yellow was Mom's favorite color and the primary color on the page. The roses symbolize her gardening, the pendant of Mary symbolizes her Catholic faith, and the amber necklace symbolizes her Polish heritage. I used the rolling pin and pumpkin pie recipe to stand for her baking and the dish towel and recipe card to stand for her cooking. I tucked a treble clef sign in to symbolized her Polka dancing.

There is no more personal work of art than this to honor my mom. It has visual appeal, the elements used are symbols with real meaning, totally captures the woman she was. It took me about 3 hours to put it together including taking a couple pictures, cutting out the backgrounds, and making the screen shots for this article. All that's left to do is to print it (, frame it, and hang it in my home!

You can create a digi scrapbook page of someone you love too. May isn't over yet... you still have time to honor your mom.If you don't know where to start, follow my basic steps. With a little time and planning you'll come up with a page you'll be proud to display!


Blogger Greta Koehl said...

Oh, Jasia, if I only had your talent .... Your mother's personality really does jump off of the page. What a wonderful tribute.

May 24, 2009 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

What a wonderful tribute. And thanks for the step by step.

May 25, 2009 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Jasia said...

Thank you for your very kind remarks! You've made my day :-)

May 25, 2009 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I really appreciate someone that can take you step by step thru a program like that to come up with such a beautiful tribute that means so much to people!!

June 2, 2009 at 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! I'm completely jealous of your creativity. Thank you for the step by step. I'm inspired!

March 5, 2010 at 6:15 PM  

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