Fresh Baked: January 21, 2022

Happy Friday! Hope you have a great week. We’re starting off with a bang this week. Make sure to head over to the store to check out the huge “Out with the Old” retiring products sale. Select items are 65% from January 21 to January 27. 

And remember, spend $10 in the store and get this full collab for free.

Let’s see what our designers have new in their stores this week.

Have you grabbed the January Monthly Mix? I really love the colors in this collab.

Don’t forget to participate in the challenges in the forum. Complete any 10 challenges and get this GingerBread Ladies collab as a reward.

DD: JAN 21

https://bit.ly/3EuGvXO

Remember, the download is kept up for 5 days, and then it is taken down. If you miss pieces, the kit will be available for purchase on the first day of the following month.

DON’T MISS OUT on future FREEBIES! Follow Studio Liv on her Facebook Fan Page.

v

Post expires at 10:00am on Thursday January 27th, 2022

DD: JAN 20

https://bit.ly/3plzQuq

Remember, the download is kept up for 5 days, and then it is taken down. If you miss pieces, the kit will be available for purchase on the first day of the following month.

DON’T MISS OUT on future FREEBIES! Follow Studio Liv on her Facebook Fan Page.

v

Post expires at 10:00am on Wednesday January 26th, 2022

DD: JAN 19

https://bit.ly/3yRDeAy

Remember, the download is kept up for 5 days, and then it is taken down. If you miss pieces, the kit will be available for purchase on the first day of the following month.

DON’T MISS OUT on future FREEBIES! Follow Studio Liv on her Facebook Fan Page.

v

Post expires at 10:00am on Tuesday January 25th, 2022

Tutorial Tuesday (Individual Style)

Photo Mask Challenge with PrelestnayaP

Omigosh, the 2022 Challenges are fabulous! There are some new ones that I’m still familiarizing myself with, but I wanted to highlight the new-for-2022 Photomask Challenge brought to us by the incredibly talented PrelestnayaP Design (Irina). I’m always intrigued by how each of us interprets a Challenge based on a single, specific element and how we arrive at such unique results. For this Challenge, Irina has provided this photo mask that must be part of the layout.

I visited the Challenge Gallery and randomly (well, not exactly) selected a dozen layouts to share with you. I’ll offer my critique and why it caught my eye. Each layout will be linked to the Gallery so you can take a closer look if you like, and maybe leave a little praise for the scrapper too. Just click on the scrapper’s name!

The first layout is from etycz. She’s blended the plaid paper with a snowflake paper quite seamlessly by placing the mask the full width of the page. I suspect there’s another mask at play here too, under the Challenge mask. Then she concealed the edges of the mask with clusters. Beautiful!

PixyGirl has used the mask to create a paint swatch, and then used it again for her photo. See how the photo follows the contours of the larger painted mask?

The way chris01 has used the mask is to focus the eye on the heron in her photo, an effect she amplified by framing it with foliage. It looks like it could just fly away!

I love this layout by HalinaMiga. She’s used the mask to make the skier look like he’s surrounded by blowing snow. The stone cottage, fir tree and leafless bush with birds in it create such a charming image.

What drew me to Pippin‘s layout is the overall vintage look she’s obtained by using the mask to blend her sepia-toned photo into a dark brown background. It’s hard to tell where the photo ends and the cup-and-saucer-pitcher cluster starts.

Jill‘s layout is another example of flawless blending. The grungy paper she chose for her background is an inspired choice. Her clusters enhance the overall look of the layout and the whole effect is amazing.

Here, gmae has created an echo of sorts with the build-up of colour variation. It reflects the principle behind the cairns in her photo, careful stacking to achieve a stable foundation. And what a whimsical touch, tucking the photographer behind her cluster.

Wait! What?!! How clever of fontaine to cut the mask and rearrange the pieces to create a mask map of California! (Please tell me I’m not the only one who sees it…) Her layout is super-simple, but eye-catching nonetheless.

Katherine Woodin documents all the little moments of each day through photos and layouts. Here, she’s used the mask to frame that beautiful snow-covered mountain. The kit she chose pulls colours from her photo so accurately!

I’m positive Karen Diamond has used multiple brushes and masks for her layout. I zoomed in on it and there are so many layers of paint and snippets of paper, then a stack of paper pieces, the Challenge mask and her photo. That cluster is exquisite – balancing out the photo stack without taking centre-stage.

For her layout, Lisa Campbell has used the mask to create a paint swatch that ties the the whole layout together. Her clusters are perfectly positioned to put the focus on her photo.

And finally, NHSoxGirl has evoked a sense of dreaminess and imagination with both the photo she’s masked and the elements she’s surrounded it with that wouldn’t be there if she’d simply framed her photo.

Examining all these layouts has given me some inspiration for my own Challenge layout. Off the dig through my supplies!

PDF Version : https://bit.ly/3GIbxx8

 

DD: JAN 18

https://bit.ly/32frBHR

Remember, the download is kept up for 5 days, and then it is taken down. If you miss pieces, the kit will be available for purchase on the first day of the following month.

DON’T MISS OUT on future FREEBIES! Follow Studio Liv on her Facebook Fan Page.

v

Post expires at 10:00am on Monday January 24th, 2022

DD: JAN 17

https://bit.ly/3z1Op9W

Remember, the download is kept up for 5 days, and then it is taken down. If you miss pieces, the kit will be available for purchase on the first day of the following month.

DON’T MISS OUT on future FREEBIES! Follow Studio Liv on her Facebook Fan Page.

v

Post expires at 10:00am on Sunday January 23rd, 2022

DD: JAN 16

https://bit.ly/32neq7F

Remember, the download is kept up for 5 days, and then it is taken down. If you miss pieces, the kit will be available for purchase on the first day of the following month.

DON’T MISS OUT on future FREEBIES! Follow Studio Liv on her Facebook Fan Page.

v

Post expires at 10:00am on Saturday January 22nd, 2022

Fresh Baked: January 14, 2022

Happy Friday!! I hope you have had an enjoyable week. I’ve been trudging through work and now preparing for a winter storm. We don’t do snow and ice well where  I am. 

Remember, any $10 spent in the store gets you this wonderful kit!

Let’s look at a sampling of the new items in the store this week.

How are your challenges going this month? Any 10 challenges completed gets you this kit as a reward!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Build-Your-Own-TEMPLATE!

A few weeks back I asked for some tutorial topic suggestions and there were some really good ones! Steph brought up the idea of building templates from your favourite (unique!) layouts, and it was something I’d given some thought to already so it was a slam-dunk that I’d take it to the next step. The layout I created and based the save-a-cluster tutorial on last week was purposefully 100% designed in my own head with both the cluster tut and this template-creation tut too. Working Smart, Not Hard, I am.

This is the layout I’m talking about. The kit I used is Aimee Harrison‘s Winter Blush. When I create a layout I always Save As a PSD file in case I need to make some adjustments. That’s also a necessary step for turning a layout into a template.

I build layouts from the bottom up, just as I would if I was using paper and glue rather than digital supplies. That’s how I’m going to build the template too. I turned the layers’ Visibility off for clarity but if you choose not to do that, no problem!

This background layer reads to Elements like it’s completely flat, so using the Paint Bucket to fill it with a solid gray worked out.

To make it easier on the eye to distinguish between paper layers, I chose a lighter gray for the second paper layer.

Wait. What?? Oh, the grungy paper doesn’t Fill completely and cleanly with the Paint Bucket. That could be a big issue later when I go to use the template. Clipping a paper to this could look really awful!

I’m going to take you on a little detour for a second. When I was experimenting with Filling layers and Merging them to simplify things, I discovered that once the layers are Merged, the Shadow Style on the base layer becomes embedded in the image but isn’t adjustable. Adding a Shadow Style to that makes for VERY dark and odd-looking shadows. So I experimented some more and came up with this. Before I Fill the layer to create a place-holder, I Right-click on the layer and choose Copy Layer Style. Then I Right-click on the layer again and choose Clear Layer Style. That removes the Style from the layer, but puts it in safe-keeping for later.

To achieve a solid Fill on this paper, I’m going to use the Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color command. Each of the place-holder layers will be created the same way. (You’ll get lots of practice, and it’ll be almost automatic by the time you’re done!)

This command prompt opens up; make sure Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask is ticked. That tells Elements to Fill ONLY what’s on the layer under it. You can Name the layer with the type of object you’re creating a place-holder for right here. Just delete that Color Fill 1 and type in your object. (Pardon the typo on the screenshot. Sleep is in short supply here at the moment.)

Here’s what happens when you’ve clicked OK. The Color Picker opens and the image on the workspace shows a preview of the end result. See how it’s now a Clipped layer above the patterned paper?

The utility of your template will be greatly enhanced by Selecting both the base layer and the Fill layer then Merging them. Click>SHIFT>Click on the layers then Right-click and choose Merge Layers. The keyboard shortcut is CTRL/CMD>E.

Time to add back the Shadow Style. Right-click on the layer and choose Paste Layer Style.

Now let’s do some BRADS. The process for each layer will be the same: Copy Layer Style, Clear Layer Style, Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color, Merge Layers, Paste Layer Style.

Merge the layers and now you’ve got a BRAD place-holder. CTRL/CMD>E

Don’t forget to Paste the Layer Style back onto the place-holder.

 

Here’s where we get into the real Work Smart Not Hard groove. When you have multiple identical elements on your layout, don’t make extra work for yourself. You’ve already done the work, now just make Copies! Either Right-click on the layer and choose Duplicate Layer or CTRL/CMD>J. When the Command prompt opens, remove the “copy” part of the name and click OK.

 

For each of the identical elements, make a Copy and move it into place. Once you’ve got them into position you can Delete the original layers. Your place-holders are on the job.

But wait! Don’t make more work for the second grouping of brads. Select all three BRAD layers and Duplicate them!!

Then move the place-holder versions into position.

You can also Delete multiple layers in a single step. Select them all, then Right-click>Delete Layers or simply click the Delete key.

Here’s my finished template, with a recap of all the steps to create the place-holder layers.

Now to Save it! You can Save As either a PSD or a TIFF, whichever is your preference. Your Layers and Layer Styles will be preserved with either format for use again whenever you want.

Figure out where you’re going to keep it, give it a unique name and choose your format. All done!

This is only one way of creating a template. To me it seems the easiest. Another way would be to use the Custom Shapes tool and replace each element on the layout with one that represents it. I may try that method and see if there are efficiencies. If I do, I’ll let you know!

Next week I’ll be doing a Challenge Spotlight. Did you see the new ones? How accommodating that we’ve been given so many more options!!

PDF Version: https://bit.ly/3txC2Bx