Tuesday, June 28, 2011

All About Me Printable

Hey, here's a gift alternative for Emma's 3rd birthday party for anyone who would rather.  Just print it out, fill it in, color/whatever...and we'll make a book for her of all the pages she gets.  :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

CCLI - What is it?

CCLI stands for "Christian Copyright Licensing International".  It was started in 1988 to help churches with copyright issues.  They provide churches with legal coverage for song copies (both in print as well as live sound in video).  As they say, "now we offer resources for all your worship and creative arts ministries."  They also state that, "CCLI helps churches maintain their integrity and avoid costly lawsuits, while also giving churches the freedom to worship expressively and spontaneously."  (Whether it's right or wrong that churches face copyright issues in the first place is another blog), but as today's society would have it, songs used in congregational singing and videos shown in a church setting need to be paid for.

The way it works is each song (that people officially copyright) is given a CCLI number.  (They deal strictly with Christian music).  Then churches pay a licensing fee to use the CCLI database.  This means churches can sing and put slides up of words for any song in the CCLI database.  Churches are then required to give credit to each song writer as well as have the CCLI number present on the slides during worship.  An extra license is purchased (only $100 a year) if churches want to put a video of their service online with the music.

Sidenote, they aren't kidding with the "International" in their name.  They are worldwide.  Oh yes, you can find a CCLI number on a Christian song written in Iceland or Namibia if you want. 
They also offer a service called "Song Select" where churches can pay between $46 and $182 a year to have access to chord charts, lead sheets, samples, lyrics, & hymn sheets.  However I was quite disappointed when realizing that their database, while including an almost 100% inclusive diversity of songs, did not offer chord charts for almost all of the non "Lord I Lift Your Name on High" songs.  But, it's a great idea, and one day maybe they'll require artists to provide this information, thus making their service quite helpful.  The best part of how they have it set up is that you can transpose any song they provide into any key.  That's a great idea!  However, if you are wanting to have a song fit onto one page (as it seems necessary for productive usage) you will have to either retype it, or print to PDF and have Adobe Acrobat ($300) to be able to manipulate the text.  They could stand to rework this area as well...but you know, in a perfect world.  :)

How to Get Fabric Glue and/or Sap off Your Hands

Okay, so apparently lately I've been getting a lot of things on my hands.  So, to keep it simple.  Here's what worked.
To get sap off, use rubbing alcohol.

To get fabric glue (the spray upholstery kind), use WD40, then dish soap.

Now hopefully you won't have to do as many searches and try as many different remedies as I did.  :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Not getting sharp pictures with your DSLR?

So I was getting a bit frustrated that all my pictures looked less crisp/clear/focused than my stupid little point and shoot digital.  I finally looked it up, because I thought something might be wrong with my camera (I have the Canon Rebel XTi with the EFS 17-55mm lens).  SO GLAD I WAS WRONG.  Anyway, here's what I found out.  This text is quoted from: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon400D/

"A digital SLR is different from a compact digital camera. It was designed for a different kind of user. Although they have become more user-friendly, they're still a more high-end camera for a more demanding user. Compact digital cameras have a lot of in-camera processing to sharpen the images and enhance the color. Basically, the camera companies want compact digital cameras to deliver very pleasing, easy-to-digest images, right out of the camera. But digital SLRs are different. The goal with a digital SLR is to produce the absolute best quality image - and that's not necessarily going to look great right out of the camera. In-camera processing degrades the ultimate image quality. So digital SLRs back off on the in-camera sharpening, contrast, color saturation, etc., so that the original information is preserved and the photographer can make the decision about how the final image looks. The truth is, your digital XTi images are likely no softer than photos from other cameras you've used. But the point-and-shoot camera processing has made them appear to be softer. Most of us that have been using digital SLRs for a while, do our sharpening after the fact, in Photoshop or some other software. It's the same thing that your old camera did, but we get to decide exactly how it's done and fine-tune it for each image, if we want. In the end it delivers a better quality image.

I would recommend leaving your camera at the default settings and try using Photoshop's Unsharp Mask filter. That will give you the best results."