Tuesday, January 3, 2012

our 2011 picture montage

I spend way more time reading blogs than I should; I won't lie. One of the favorites out of the many blogs I read is Meet the Dubiens. It's the blog of a craft-loving Canadian mom who cooks & takes even more pictures of her food & kids than I do, of mine! (I didn't think such a thing was possible ..)

When I stalked read her end-of-year blog the other day, her 'farewell 2011' picture forced me to drop everything I was doing to make one of my our own.

As per my usual, when wanting to get creative; instead of a bang, I started out with a putter. The first step was to download the template ... but, that didn't work. I downloaded it, but when I tried to open it - got an error box that said something about my computer not being able to open the document with the assigned program.
So, I chose to open it using my paint shop .. it barely showed me the document before the computer shut down paint & changed all the icons on my desktop.

went haywIre :/

I tried restarting .. nothing !
The desktop still had weird icons and wouldn't open any programs EXCEPT for paint shop. :/

I was desperate ... it was time for a system restore - ew!

fast forward to everything being fine .. :)

I wanted the same layout as the original, so I need to fill 81 blocks (9x9).
4 blocks for 2011 and half a dozen blocks .. so 71 pictures.

This was the MOST fun of the entire project.

Rummaging through file after file of pictures from the year gone by.

Every journey, field trip, gathering, school function, etc. and randomly picking the 70 pictures I thought could represent 2011.

One really great part was picking some of those fun random photos that never 'get seen.' (cue the onion ring "heart" picture)

I made a file with a copy of each of 'the chosen' - so I could have a version to crop into a square.

I wasn't about to retry downloading/opening the template that almost killed my computer. With no better idea in mind for obtaining the layout - I borrowed Mrs. Dubien's original image for a layout. I then used my brilliant powers of deduction (cropping/sizing tool ..) and figured out that each picture needed to be 600 x 600 pixels. I cropped/resized each picture accordingly.

Enter a tiny panic phase "what if my layout of the pictures isn't really random?"
despite my wanting to claim that I am random; I'm pretty lined up, OCD, and predictable.

so - I organized my pictures ...
  • 11 of the teenager
  • 11 of the 3rd grader
  • 4 of the hubby
  • 3 of sir Nugget
  • 4 of just the hubby and I
  • 5 of the kids together
  • 2 of yours truly
  • 6 of the family
  • 25 random photos

then, I scribbled a 9 square x 9 square graph to represent the montage layout.

I then blindly pointed and filled in squares randomly with all the labels (teen1,fam1,etc).
Saving the random filler photos for last, I was done - I had a layout.

Then came the tedious task; perfectly lining up all 81 of the 600x600 squares over the pictures onto the stolen borrowed layout.

fast forward 2 hours later - I had this .. I love it & we're going to have it printed into a giant picture for the wall.

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