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Saturday, October 25, 2008

first Collage-o-holic meeting

left: my mom; bottom: my brothers John and Bennett at the Acropolis; right: my grandma's illustration in World Book encyclopedia; middle: old books of my dad's and a French clock I bought Don in Paris

My name is Ruth, and I'm a collage-o-holic.

I'm a normal person, really. I never realized this could happen to me. I am learning not to be in denial about it. Please help me. That's why I'm here.

I was looking for a little fun. I had seen a nice collage at someone else's blog as a header, so I Googled collage software, and found Picasa's site. I've downloaded Picasa before, and got rid of it without realizing its seductive pleasures. I should have left well enough alone.

After downloading the free software, I made my first collage, the one on my header. I was pleased. And then my friends started telling me they liked it, and that made it even more fun.

I decided I could have a different collage header for each season. So I pulled in my favorite winter photos to start creating the next one. Five sample winter collages later, I began to think what other collages I could make. That's when I made this one, of old photos and things.

My arm and wrist are killing me from so much mouse clicking. My arm is about to fall off actually. Yet I go on. My husband doesn't recognize me without the glow of the laptop on my face. We eat American cheese sandwiches, un-grilled. My mind is ever filled with new combinations. I don't read, I don't care about who wins the election. I cancelled dinner with friends this evening to make collages.

Don and the roosters finally had an intervention with me. Bob the Crèvecœur rooster attacked me, and I kicked back, my clog flying and missing him completely. They made me come to this meeting.

(By the way, if anyone is interested, here is the 12 Step Program for making a collage:

  1. Download Picasa
  2. Let it load all the photos from your computer
  3. Organize photos into an album you want to draw from for the collage. Add more photos than you'll need since you have to play with them to see which look best together. I found it easier to organize an album into a file first in My Documents.
  4. Find that album in Picasa, which will show you thumbnails of all the photos on the right.
  5. Click on the little collage icon at the top to start a collage (next to Play - oh so exciting!). It will select all the photos in the album.
  6. Now, Select All at the top, highlighting all the photos.
  7. Click on Remove, sending the photos to the left side in a tab called "Clips."
  8. Now click on the "Settings" tab and see the various patterns, grid spacing, layouts, etc., choose what you wish. You can change this any time, so don't worry.
  9. Go back to "Clips" and start choosing photos and adding them to the work area on the right by clicking "Add." You can select and remove them any time.
  10. You can go back and adjust your settings any time, and shuffle the photos until the arrangement pleases you. You'll notice that it tends to crop the photos in unpleasing ways at times, so just re-shuffle.
  11. In "Settings" you can choose grid spacing, which creates borders around each photo, at whatever width you want, and you can choose any color you want! Wow!
  12. Play with it until you love it, then click on "Create Collage" in the lower left, and voila! You have a collage of your favorite photos.)

55 comments:

Don said...

I'm so glad you are finally coming to your senses. I remembere how life used to be... remember Paris? Istanbul? The Wooden Nickel? our walks in the rain... maybe we can find each other again.

Damn this technology!

I'm so proud of you...

Anet said...

Okay Ruth, I have Picasa2 it came with my new camera. I haven't had time to play with it, so when I saw your beautiful collages I finally uploaded it and started to play.
Nice, now I'm hooked. When's the first meeting?

Loring Wirbel said...

The problem with Picasa is it doesn't fit my chaotic collage ("chaocollage"?) style. I started doing news and pop-culture collages in fifth grade, where you would paste cut-out images on top of each other in radom orientations - one for hippies, one for the war, one for Andy Warhol, etc. Collage images at right angles seem too restrictive.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ruth you are Hilarious!!!!

and I LOVE Picasa too.. it is the only software i ever used for my camera.. so easy... but I never did collages before... now I tried some.. and then more .. and more ... and I called to John to come and check it out.. as I showed him more that could be done with the collaging .. his eyes lit up....

Ah-oh!!!!

Ruth said...

Hello, Don. Who are you again?

Ruth said...

Anet! Uh oh! Hey I saw your collage, it looks great! I'll be over again in a while to leave a comment.

I'll let you know when the local chapter meets . . .

Ruth said...

Loring, there's one little template that lets you make a scattered effect, but I know what you mean, it is rather orderly. I haven't seen your collages, but I've seen Sharon's, and they're so deliciously chaotic/random in a perfect sort of way, she might not like using Picasa either. I can't remember if you showed us your collages on your walls?

Ruth said...

Gwen! I haven't used Picasa for processing photos, and if I hadn't received PhotoShop CS2 for a gift, I'm sure I would. Oh dear, sorry to you and John! Hope you have fun though. It reminds me of that Flickr meme that was going around, and everyone will make their own unique collages. So fun.

Loring Wirbel said...

I don't have any collages! That was something I stopped doing in my 20s. Maybe it's time for a revisit.

Ruth said...

Oh, I think so.

Susan said...

Ruth, thank you for that info! I looked at your blog this morning (early, early) and was admiring your new header. I also love Amy's at Twelve Acres. I used to have Picasa on my old computer, but not on this one. I've been using Adobe Photoshop (free download), but I'm going to check out the Picasa.

Amy - "Twelve Acres" said...

Love the collage in your header! Your photos are always so pleasing to me. I bet Bob would make a nice soup! You reminded me of when I was a kid. We had a flock of Rhode Island Reds and the rooster was a mean SOB. I used to throw my Dr. Scholl's wooden clogs at him (remember those?) God he made me mad! We finally butchered them all and that was the end of my childhood chicken experience. To this day I am VERY wary of roosters of any kind. I'm so relieved that my Hamburg is a gentleman (so far).

Sharon said...

Gosh Ruth I think your support group is an unabashed failure! You seem to be doing more inspiring that deterring! I do love collage/assemblage of any kind but like Loring I'm all over the place with it.........no order at all!

Ginnie said...

I had no clue, Ruth, and I have used Picasa a lot! WOW! I am totally impressed. Good for you!

Loring Wirbel said...

Sharon, I'm glad you said something about the reverse-12-step-program going on here. Ruth seems to be the Picasa crystal meth temptation fairy here, luring others to follow her unearthly collaging obsession....

shicat said...

HILARIOUS......lol omg.. (I've really just wanted to use that,omg lol stuff,what is it called text slang,should it be in capital letters oh dear... I'm such a fool. )Enough about me, what a wonderful confession. I hope you plan on attending meetings about your "virtual" problem. This is so much more fun than say, books or even dinner,hey I can see Canada from my window. Enjoy your new find, it looks wonderful, and I for one can't wait to see your new collage.

Drowsey Monkey said...

LOL!

Not sure which is funnier, your post or Don's comment, LOL.

Donica said...

WOW Ruth! I hope you and Don find each other again....in the near future.....without a laptop between you! :)

Ruth said...

Hi Susan! Thank you. Yes, I've always admired Amy's too, and all her photos are excellent. Free Photoshop?? Wow. Maybe the 30 day free trial?

Ruth said...

Amy, yes I remember those treacherous Dr. Scholl's. I always tripped over them and killed my feet. They would have been lethal weapons. I've had a worse experience than Bob's attack. At our last farm, after I'd gathered eggs in the coop and I turned to leave, the rooster attacked and scratched down the back of my knees. Ouch!

I don't think I could eat Bob, but that unnamed roo did get eaten.

Ruth said...

Sharon, you've seen through me. I really only wanted not to be alone and anonymous.

As I told Loring, your collages are gorgeous, and the effect is utter harmony.

Ruth said...

Boots, the thing is, no doubt there are dozens of other tricks in Picasa I know nothing of, that you know. But yeah, I think you'd like making these too, given your graphic eye and enjoyment of photo processing.

Ruth said...

Loring, leading y'all to your doom and misery. I'm ashamed.

Ruth said...

Oohh, Cathy, was that a little (not so ) subliminial warning that I'd better vote! Hahaha. No worries, I've been redeemed for at least 9 more days. I'll sober up for the election (and some rest for my arm), but like Otis in Mayberry, I'll go back to my wayward ways.

Ruth said...

Hi Drowsey! That Don is a funny guy, he makes me laugh every day.

Does your sis know about Picasa collages? (Oh dear.)

Ruth said...

Thanks, Donica, I need your support! :)

Leena said...

Now I suggest to you also www.picnik.com and it`s collage possibilities , they are a little different than in Picasa !
I have done collages to my family blog about children`s holidays here.

Do you have Picasa3 :)

I certainly will come and see you collages!

Good Sunday to you and Don!

carl h. sr. said...

HELLO RUTH! Whew,gave me a bit of a scare there with your giving your site a rest. This is really neat.I enjoy your sharing some of your family history. And Bishop looks so friendly. I have a tail-less ex-wild kitty friend,that I love dearly. I never realized that could happen.

carl h. sr. said...

P.S. I like this talking back and forth format you have going on here!

Ruth said...

Hi Leena, yes, I have Picasa3. That's the one that opened when I Googled it.

Oh dear, another photo processing link! Let me see what features Picnik has!

Ruth said...

Hi Carl! Welcome to synchronizing! I'm glad you came over from flying. I found my energy going into this blog more, so I'm pulling back over there.

Your feral cats are so cute, and it's nice that they keep you company so well.

Sandy said...

What a great collage, perfect colors, choice of photos!

I'm glad you are hooked and hope you do lots more and hope your wrist recovers. I was at Anet's blog when she talked about your recovery and zipped right over here because I needed to see what you were recovering from. I thought maybe you tipped the light fantastic last night with a little too much wine or something, ha!

Rauf said...

oh i have been missing a lot Ruth,
i am traveling again, will be back in a couple of days
lots of love to you Don, Children and to all your readers

Marcie said...

I'll miss you on your previous photoblog..but I've gotta say - you speak to my own heart with collage. Thanks for the little 'how to'. Am going to enjoy coming here to visit!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ruth we just watched an excellent interview with James Galbraith... on his new book "The Predator State"... on economics and rebuilding of the economy... (brother of Peter Galbraith)

He made so much sense...

Ruth said...

Ha, thanks Sandy! I might be recovering (wrist, letting it rest) but I don't think I'll give up collages just yet.

Ruth said...

Hi rauf! Missed you, see you when you get back. Travel well.

Ruth said...

Welcome, Marcie! It's nice of you to come over here. I'll miss being in photoblog world. For one thing, I'll miss the larger photo format. But I just felt the air going out of the tires over there. And oh! I didn't know you liked collages. Have fun!

Ruth said...

Oh thanks for bringing that to my attention, Gwen! I just looked at his article about it at Mother Jones. If he and other economists will keep calling for a new system, maybe there's hope.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Gee that article was may/june 2006.. still pertinent and even more so.. he is a forward thinker... at least in the interview on Bill Moyer's Journal, he was so sensible about the needed steps and in what sequence...

Susan said...

Ruth, just letting you know I tried out the Picasa 3 and I love it! I removed the software for the Adobe Photoshop. The Picasa is so much easier to use, plus the collage feature which Adobe doesn't have. I even made my first collage, but I haven't posted it yet. Thanks for turning me on to it!

Ruth said...

I found the video here, Gwen. I listened, yes, very sensible. Thank you for telling me about it.

Ruth said...

Susan, yay!

Babs (Beetle) said...

Hi Ruth. You might want to check my Beetle blog out :O)

Ruth said...

How sweet, thank you, Babs! :)

Peter said...

I also tried Picasa a few times, but obvioulsy never learnt to use it correctly - difficulties to size my photos. (I use PowerPoint.) I will try to follow your instructions and see if I have more success.

Your mum is really cute!

Deslilas said...

Your rest period seems to be very busy and productive.
Fine "collage".

Sandy said...

Ruth, I'm confused. Is Rauf your brother?? I noticed that in the sidebar links.

If so, I had no idea.

Bob Johnson said...

Wow and Wow!! love it Ruth, thanks for the info, I love collages too, don't know if I will change mine but wow for any other purpose it would be great, lol about Bob, you guys need a camcorder.

Ruth said...

Hi Peter! It's fun to see you here. Hey, I hadn't thought of you and all those collages you do! I think you'd find it very easy compared to PP, which I've used too. Please let me know if it works better.

Thanks, I agree with you about me mum!

Ruth said...

Ha, yeah, Daniel. Well you see why I needed to let flying rest now, I'm busy making collages. :|

Ruth said...

Hi Auntie Sandy! rauf and I have adopted each other as brother and sister, although we have never met face to face.

Ruth said...

Bob, it seems there are quite a few free downloadables out there that do some cool things. Maybe browse Picasa and see if there is anything helpful. Leena told me about Picnik, and I learned how to frame photos, which I'll post tomorrow. Yay!

Yeah, too bad Don didn't film me with ole Bob the roo. I'm sure he would have done so if he'd known it was coming when I carried the load of laundry to the laundry line.

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