Monday, March 9, 2009

:REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: When Life Give You Lemons by Sherry Stevenson [CONTEST CLOSED]

Does anyone else think that it's a little ironic that the next book I am reviewing is called When Life Gives You Lemons considering recent events in my life (event 1, event 2)? :-)

While this book is unlikely to help me recover from broken bones or a financial crunch, it IS likely to help me in my scrapbooking...which, actually, might help me stay sane while dealing with the above! :-)

There is a little more to this book as the subtitle reads, Turning Sour Photos Into Sweet Scrapbook Layouts, and it is a great resource to any scrapper. The author, Sherry Stevenson, clearly has a lot of greats tips and techniques to offer.

Although I can say that my own photography has improved greatly since I began scrapping, there are still certainly situations where it can be difficult, if not impossible, to get the great photos you wish for.

I think all scrappers have been faced with that dilemma at some point or another. Do you leave the photos in the computer since they are less than stellar or scrap them anyway?

This book offers a very resounding "SCRAP THEM ANYWAY!" and offers a wealth of options for creating memorable layouts with even the worst photos.

Blur, clashing colors, undesirable features of the subject, poor framing, poor lighting, and red-eye are just a few of the photo issues addressed in this book.

The book is divided into 4 chapters:

CHAPTER 1: Try Old-Fashioned Recipes
This chapter offers ideas for using traditional techniques for minimizing, disguising and working with your 'lemons' such as embracing the flaws, focusing on the story, highlighting the positive and masking imperfections.

CHAPTER 2: Design with a Twist
Good design is a huge element of modern-day scrapbooking and you can use it to your advantage to preserve the memories in less-than-perfect photos by calling on color theory, creating energy and movement, embracing the age of photos, designing around the flaws and more.

CHAPTER 3: Take a Byte
Photography has come a long way in recent years and in this chapter, Steveson shows us there are many ways to help improve poor photos in photo-editing software. Techniques such as going black and white, correcting lighting, color and contrast and more are discussed. In this edition, Steveson mainly references Photoshop Elements 3.

CHAPTER 4: Make Lemonade
Although there are examples throughout the book, this chapter is an additional gallery of layouts utilizing the tips and techniques covered in this book. Some layouts utilize two or more techniques to show how they can work together.

In addition to Steveson's designs, there are also layouts by 7 other very talented scrapbook artists including Kimber McGray, Janet Ohlson, Nic Howard, Suzy Plantamura, Hillary Heidelberg, Kelly Noel, and Linda Harrison.

Visit the When Life Gives You Lemons page at You can also read more of my reviews for other recommendations.

I have one copy of When Life Gives You Lemons to give away to one lucky reader!!

To enter, submit your vote in the poll below and then leave a comment sharing a little more about your relationship with your less-than-stellar photos along with the following information so that I can contact you if you win! (US residents only shipping is just a little too steep for my budget right now.)


Take the poll:

Leave your comment by Thursday, March 12th, 2009, 11:59 PM (CST) in order to be considered to win.

I will announce and contact the random winner via email on Friday.

Upcoming Review:
I have several great new scrapbooking idea books in my 'to-review' pile...not sure just which one will come next, so stay tuned!
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