Archives for March 2018

Fresh Baked: March 30, 2018

Today is National Doctor Day. Is it time for a check-up? Spring is upon us! The designers aren’t worrying about illness, and have created some gorgeous new kits and templates, just in time for Easter!

Remember when you spend $10 in the store, you get a great new collab! It’s time for Spring and all the Spring Things!

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https://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Spring-Things.html

boomers
https://store.gingerscraps.net/He-is-Risen-BGD.html

connie
Collection: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-April-Bundle-Collection-by-Connie-Prince.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-April-Kit-by-Connie-Prince.html
Mixed Media: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-April-Mixed-Media-by-Connie-Prince.html
Snippets: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-April-Snippets-by-Connie-Prince.html
Messy Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-April-Messy-Papers-by-Connie-Prince.html
Border Clusters: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-April-Border-Clusters-by-Connie-Prince.html
Templates: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-April-12×12-Template-Pack-CU-Ok-by-Connie-Prince.html
Extra Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-April-Extra-Papers-by-Connie-Prince.html
Alpha Pack: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-April-Alpha-Pack-AddOn-by-Connie-Prince.html
Word Art: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-April-Word-Art-Pack-by-Connie-Prince.html
Quick Pages: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-April-Quick-Pages-by-Connie-Prince.html

heartstrings
https://store.gingerscraps.net/My-Arty-Pocekts-11-Templates.html

kaklei
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Spring-in-Pink-Templates-by-Kakleidesigns.html

kristmess
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Single-Page-Layered-Templates-Set1.html

lauries
Bundle: https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Great-Frontier-Bundle.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Great-Frontier-PageKit.html
Flairs: https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Great-Frontier-Flairs.html
Grunge: https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Great-Frontier-Grunge.html
Ombre Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Great-Frontier-OmbrePapers.html
Titles: https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Great-Frontier-Titles.html
Journal Cards: https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Great-Frontier-JournalCards.html

missfish
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Everyday-Paper-Strips-Templates-by-Miss-Fish.html

paty
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Happy-Easter-Watercolor-Bundled-Collection-by-Paty-Greif.html

tinci
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Cluster-and-colors-Flower-power.html

aimee
Collection: https://store.gingerscraps.net/360-Life-All-About-April-Collection-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/360-Life-All-About-April-Page-Kit-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Alpha: https://store.gingerscraps.net/360-Life-All-About-April-Alpha-Sets-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Temp: https://store.gingerscraps.net/360-Life-All-About-April-Templates-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Borders: https://store.gingerscraps.net/360-Life-All-About-April-Borders-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Date Tabs: https://store.gingerscraps.net/360-Life-All-About-April-Date-Tabs-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Titles: https://store.gingerscraps.net/360-Life-All-About-April-Titles-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Quotes: https://store.gingerscraps.net/360-Life-All-About-April-Quotes-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Messy Edges: https://store.gingerscraps.net/360-Life-All-About-April-Messy-Edges-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Glitters: https://store.gingerscraps.net/360-Life-All-About-April-Glitters-by-Aimee-Harrison.html

001
http://goo.gl/UBQg62

002
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Kristmess/

003
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Neia-Scraps/

Remember, if you complete 10 challenges, just ten, you get a free kit as well!!

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Who else is ready for spring? This makes the wait a little better!

Sneak Peeks March 29th 2018

It’s the last Thursday in March! Since the Buffet starts on Sunday, I am giving you a double sneak peek today!! Sunday will be a busy day with it being Easter and a new Buffet, I have a sneaky suspicion Ginger has something else up her sleeves that day. Make sure to check back and see all the new releases coming tomorrow and the awesomeness of a Buffet on Sunday! Let’s check out a few peeks of tomorrow’s new releases first.

From Tinci

From Aimee Harrison

From Miss Fish

And now for a peek at the Buffet!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

DIAMONDS are a Girl’s Best Friend

My dear friend Glee has been very helpful in providing me with topics and this is another one that came from her. She pointed me to this GORGEOUS layout by Imperio and asked if I could tell her how the diamond-shaped frame was created. Wait until you see how easy it is… you’re going to be looking for shapes to do it with.

I started with a 12×12 canvas – everything is resizable, right? Then I opened the Pencil tool and selected a hard, round brush from the PSE-default Basic Brush menu and set the Opacity at 100%. I used black for demonstration purposes, but you can use any colour you want. Make sure you turn on the Grid (View>Grid or CTRL/CMD>’) so you have defined dimensions. You can set your parameters in the Edit>Preferences>Units & Rulers. I chose inches because although Canada has been on the metric system of more than 40 years, I still think in inches.

If you’ve read the tutorial about giving stickers some dimension, you might remember how to draw a straight line with Elements. It’s pretty easy. Click on the spot where you want your line to start, then hold down the Shift key and click on the spot where you want it to end. The grid will make these next steps a lot easier by giving you reference points.

There’s my first straight line. The intersections of the major lines are obvious choices for this task.

I kept moving around the outside.

Then I took it to a point in the centre of the canvas, 1 inch from the bottom.

And back up, using the same reference points on the other side.

Now the shape is enclosed and looks kind like the insignia on Superman’s cape. (Maybe somebody wants to try that?)

I kept adding lines as shown in the screenshots.

You’ll see that I didn’t quite WSNH here… see the next screenshot for proof.

This will save you a step – just take that diagonal line all the way to the top corner.

Now there are only two more lines to put in there and you have that great diamond shape.

And a one-a…

… and a two-a! (Any Lawrence Welk fans here?)

Now I’ll show you how to make the clipping masks for the different papers, as Imperio‘s layout has. Add a new layer on top of your shape layer. Then click on the Layer Thumbnail for the shape layer.

Your selection will have those marching ants.

To invert the selection, either click on the Select tab and choose Inverse, or CTRL/CMD>Shift>I which will now select everything BUT the shape outline.

Choose another colour and fill the selected areas with the Paint Bucket tool.

And now your canvas looks like the screenshot, but not for long.

Turn off the visibility on the shape outline layer.

Now to get rid of the parts we don’t need to keep. I started by using the Rectangular Marquee tool and Edit>Cut or CTRL/CMD>X to cut away some of it.

Then I went to the Erase tool and used it with abandon.

Just erase what you aren’t going to need.

You’ll be left with something that looks like this. If you’re only going to use one paper for all the sections, you can quit now.

But if you want to use different papers for each section, make 8 copies of the filled-in layer as shown. CTRL/CMD>J is quick and easy, but you can right-click and select Duplicate Layer, then click OK on the pop-up menu if you’re into taking extra steps.

Turn off the visibility of all the layers but the one you’re working on. Now, go one layer at a time and erase all but one segment.

Here’s an example of two layers with only a single segment on each.

Use a BIG brush so you can do this quickly.

When you have only one segment on each of your 8 layers, you have a template! Each segment is its own clipping mask.

The second-to-last last step is to make the outline layer a little beefier. The easiest way is to add a stroke to it. I used 10 pixels and Centered it on the shape layer.

Then just move the shape outline layer to the top of the Layers panel and your template is complete. If you like, you can save it as a .psd file and use it over and over and over!

There are all kinds of ways you can make this technique work for you. Easter eggs? Flower petals? Pie? Have some fun with it… I sure did! Make sure you leave Imperio some love in the gallery. (Click on her user name anywhere in this post to go right to her layout.)

Fresh Baked: March 23, 2018

Who else thinks that waffles are the best thing ever? Well, if you do, remember that Sunday is National Waffle Day! Have a waffle for every meal!

While you’re waiting for your waffle iron to heat up, check out the awesome new products in the store! Spring is in full force, and the designers are so ready for this new season!

Remember when you spend $10 in the store, you get a great new collab! It’s time for Spring and all the Spring Things!

fwp_thumb3_thumb_thumb_thumb
https://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Spring-Things.html

aimee
Collection: https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Egg-Hunt-Collection-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Egg-Hunt-Page-Kit-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Alphas: https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Egg-Hunt-Alpha-Sets-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Blooms: https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Egg-Hunt-Blooms-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Journal Cards: https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Egg-Hunt-Journal-Cards-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Word Art: https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Egg-Hunt-Word-Art-Titles-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Messy Edges: https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Egg-Hunt-Messy-Edges-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Glitter: https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Egg-Hunt-Glitters-by-Aimee-Harrison.html

aprilisa01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Picture-Perfect-161.html

aprilisa02
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Picture-Perfect-162.html

boomers
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Fiesta-Time-BGD.html

clever
https://store.gingerscraps.net/farmhouse-easter-by-Clever-Monkey-Graphics.html

connie
Bundle Pack: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Travelogue-Illinois-Bundle-Pack-by-Connie-Prince.html
Word Art and Flair Pack: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Travelogue-Illinois-Word-Art-and-Flair-Pack-by-Connie-Prince.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Travelogue-Illinois-Kit-by-Connie-Prince.html
Word Bits: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Travelogue-Illinois-Word-Bits-by-Connie-Prince.html
Templates: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Travelogue-Illinois-12×12-Temps-CU-Ok-by-Connie-Prince.html

heartstrings
https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Bigger-Picture-10-Templates-HSA-the-bigger-picture-10.html

jocee
Bundle: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Aries-Bundle.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Aries-Kit.html
Cards: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Aries-Cards.html
Alphas: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Aries-Alphas.html
Glitters: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Aries-Glitters.html
Basic Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Aries-basic-Papers.html

kaklei
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Color-Fest-kit-by-Kakleidesigns.html

kristmess
https://store.gingerscraps.net/CU-Zodiac-Constellations-Layered-Template.html

lauries01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/The-Great-Frontier-GrabBag.html

lauries02
Bundle: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Sports-Basketball-Bundle.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Sports-Basketball-PageKit.html
Flairs: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Sports-Basketball-Flairs.html
Grunge: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Sports-Basketball-Grunge.html
Ombre Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Sports-Basketball-OmbrePapers.html
Titles: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Sports-Basketball-Titles.html
Journaling Cards: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Sports-Basketball-JournalingCards.html

lindsay01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Page-Borders-31-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

lindsay02
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Page-Borders-32-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

magical
Bundle: https://store.gingerscraps.net/All-Tangled-Up-collection.html
Page kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/All-Tangled-Up.html
Journaling Cards: https://store.gingerscraps.net/All-Tangled-Up-cards.html
Graffiti Pack: https://store.gingerscraps.net/All-Tangled-Up-graffiti-pack.html
Glitter Pack: https://store.gingerscraps.net/All-Tangled-Up-glitter.html
Bonus Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/All-Tangled-Up-bonus-papers.html

memories01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Mouse-ical-Big-Pic-Templates-1.html

memories02
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Mouse-ical-Big-Pic-Templates-2.html

missfish
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Traveler-s-Notebook-Bundle-1-by-Miss-Fish-Templates.html

scraps
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Imagine-Kit-by-Scraps-N-Pieces.html

tinci
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Miracle-of-spring-2..html

004_thumb_thumb
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Neia-Scraps

001
http://goo.gl/UBQg62

Remember, if you complete 10 challenges, just ten, you get a free kit as well!!

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Who else is ready for spring? This makes the wait a little better!

Sneak Peeks March 22nd, 2018

 

Happy Thursday!!! It’s finally Spring! And of course the first day in Spring here in Florida was cold. Well cold to a Floridian. Hopefully warmer temps are coming for everyone! Our designers have some great Spring themed kits and templates this week!

From Ponytails

From Tinci

From Miss Fish

From JoCee

From Memories by Digital Design

From Aimee Harrison

From Aprilisa

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling

From Clever Monkey Graphics

From Luv Ewe Designs

From Heartstrings Scrap Art

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Uniquely YOURS

Life at my house has been a tad bit hectic lately so today’s tutorial will be a quick-and-easy one. I don’t know about you but I just love Connie Prince‘s collections. She often includes some absolutely fabulous clustered word art titles, and she ALWAYS includes at least one alpha set. Her new collection, My Lucky Stars, is no exception. There are six clustered titles in the bundle… but what if none of the included titles really works for your layout? Well, it’s not difficult to make your own. I don’t know how Connie does it, but I’ll show you how Jan does!

I start with a new project workspace of roughly the size of the area I want to cover with my title cluster.

I like to start by placing one of the larger elements I plan to use into my space and moving it around a smidge. That will form the base for placement of everything else.

Then I usually add in my alpha. I’ve already decided what my title will say, and copied the various letters into my layout folder. As you can see, my title for this layout is “Sisters”. Make sure your letters are in the correct order! Then resize them all as a group. Guestimate how much space they’re going to take on your canvas.

Getting the size right isn’t always immediate. I adjusted mine a couple of times before I used the Distribute tool. This is similar to the Align tool. It simply moves everything between two spaces as I’ve shown you below and distributes them based on what parameter you choose. I went with Distribute>Middle. You could choose the right edge or the left edge depending on the look you’re after.

As you can see below, I didn’t get the size right even after I resized a couple of times. So I resized, moved the last S over to the right edge again and Redistributed until I had enough space to read what my title says.

There were a couple of letters that I needed to nudge individually because the algorithm the software uses to determine the middle of a letter doesn’t account for skinny letters like I or wide letters like W.

Once I had the letters arranged the way I wanted them, I added more of my elements onto the workspace. Layer them in a way that makes sense to you and for your layout. I usually have some idea of how I plan to use the things I’ve chosen, but sometimes I get a happy little surprise.

I moved the letters and string up a bit so all five points of the star were visible. I tucked the bow in behind the I and a little on top of the first S.

I knew from the beginning that I’d be using one of the Celtic knots from the kit, but wasn’t sure where I was putting it. I decided it looked really nice behind everything else, so that’s where it went. And since I was creating this layout on March 17th, I had to include a shamrock.

Then came time to shadow everything. All the items in this type of cluster should be shadowed separately so they look right where they overlap once you move them onto your layout. I started with the first S in Sisters and used a shadow style for paper. Then I made some minor adjustments so it looked the way I wanted it. Can you see it in the screenshot? To use the same settings on all the letters I right-clicked on the first S layer in the Layers panel and selected Copy Layer Style.

Then I selected all of the other alpha layers. (If they’re on on top of the next, click on the first layer, hold down the shift key and then click on the last layer. If they’re staggered throughout the Layers panel, hold down the CTRL/CMD key and click on each one separately.) Right-click brings the layers menu back up and this time I chose Paste Layer Style.

Now all the letters are shadowed and have definition and dimension.

I made custom shadows for the string and the bow, bringing the shadow in close where the object touches what’s underneath it and pulling it away where things could be lifted off the paper.

The last step is to link all the layers together so when I move the title cluster onto my layout, everything goes, and it all stays where I’ve put it. To link the layers, select them all as you did for shadowing multiple layers in one click. Click on the little link icon to the left of any one of the selected layers in the Layers panel and the links will turn yellow. That’s how you know the layers are linked together and will move together when the time comes.

Once you’ve added your title cluster to your layout, look at it at several different magnifications to see if you need to add a drop shadow to the whole shebang. I found that mine looked better with an added shadow. The finished layout is built on a template called My Lucky Charm from Heartstrings Scrap Art.

That’s how Jan does it. Nothing to it!

Fresh Baked: March 16, 2017

“Dia dhuit ar maidin”. Hopefully I didn’t mess that up! It’s Good Morning in Gaelic. Well, a website said it was Irish Gaelic. But, why would I do that? Can you believe that tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day? Time to deck yourself out in the greens, and look for pots of gold and rainbows!

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https://forums.gingerscraps.net/showthread.php?42045-WIN-YOUR-WISHLIST-2018-Are-you-feeling-lucky-)&p=490399

Remember when you spend $10 in the store, you get a great new collab! It’s time for Spring and all the Spring Things!

fwp_thumb3_thumb_thumb
http://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Spring-Things.html

tinci
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Make-it-simple-album.html

aimee
Collection: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Manly-Man-Collection-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Kit: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Manly-Man-Page-Kit-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Alphas: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Manly-Man-Alpha-Sets-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Borders: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Manly-Man-Borders-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Word Art: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Manly-Man-Word-Art-Titles-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Plaids: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Manly-Man-Plaid-Papers-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Messy Edges: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Manly-Man-Messy-Edges-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Glitters: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Manly-Man-Glitters-by-Aimee-Harrison.html

boomers
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Viking-Warrior-BGD.html

clever
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Llama-Llove-Grabbag-by-Clever-Monkey-Graphics.html

connie
Bundle: https://store.gingerscraps.net/My-Lucky-Stars-Core-Bundle-by-Connie-Prince.html
Alpha Pack AddOn: https://store.gingerscraps.net/My-Lucky-Stars-Alpha-Pack-AddOn-by-Connie-Prince.html
Word Art: https://store.gingerscraps.net/My-Lucky-Stars-WordArt-Pack-by-Connie-Prince.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/My-Lucky-Stars-Kit-by-Connie-Prince.html
Border Clusters: https://store.gingerscraps.net/My-Lucky-Stars-Border-Clusters-by-Connie-Prince.html
Extra Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/My-Lucky-Stars-Extra-Papers-by-Connie-Prince.html
Templates: https://store.gingerscraps.net/My-Lucky-Stars-12×12-Temps-CU-Ok-by-Connie-Prince.html

dandelion
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Wildly-Blooming-Digital-Scrapbook-Kit-By-Dandelion-Dust-Designs.html

dear
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Little-Moments-Vol-2.html

heatherz
Bundle – http://store.gingerscraps.net/Celebrate-2018-March-BUNDLE-by-Heather-Z-Scraps.html
Kit – http://store.gingerscraps.net/Celebrate-2018-March-KIT-by-Heather-Z-Scraps.html
Journal Cards – http://store.gingerscraps.net/Celebrate-2018-March-JOURNAL-CARDS-by-Heather-Z-Scraps.html
Word Bits & Dates – http://store.gingerscraps.net/Celebrate-2018-March-WORD-BITS-and-DATES-by-Heather-Z-Scraps.html
Accents – http://store.gingerscraps.net/Celebrate-2018-March-ACCENTS-by-Heather-Z-Scraps.html
Extra Papers – http://store.gingerscraps.net/Celebrate-2018-March-EXTRA-PAPERS-by-Heather-Z-Scraps.html

jocee01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Fresh-Start.html

jocee02
Bundle: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Oh-Girl-Bundle.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Oh-Girl-Kit.html
Alphas: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Oh-Girl-Alphas.html
Cards: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Oh-Girl-Cards.html
Glitters: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Oh-Girl-Glitters.html
Basic Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Oh-Girl-Basic-Papers.html

jocee03
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Oh-Girl-Oh-Boy-Bundle.html

kaklei
Bundle: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Requiem-for-myself-Bundle.html
Kit: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Requiem-for-myself-kit.html
Alpha: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Requiem-for-myself-Alpha.html
Twinchies: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Requiem-for-myself-Twinchies.html
Art Cards: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Requiem-for-myself-Art-Cards.html
Characters: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Requiem-for-myself-characters.html

kristmess01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Polkadot-Bugs-Trio.html

kristmess02
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Kristmess/

lindsay01
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Pretty-Forest-Collection-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

lindsay02
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Pretty-Forest-Collection-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

memories
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Curvature-Templates-4.html

scraps
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Scraps-N-Pieces/

001
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Kristmess/

003
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Miss-Fish-Templates/

004_thumb
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Neia-Scraps

Remember, if you complete 10 challenges, just ten, you get a free kit as well!!

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Who else is ready for spring? This makes the wait a little better!

Sneak Peeks March 15th 2018

Happy Thursday! We only have 5 more days until Spring!!! Whether it is already spring in your area or you are until a few feet of the white stuff, hopefully some of the new goodies our designers are releasing, gives you some inspiration.

From Clever Monkey Graphics

From Laurie’s Scraps

From Tinci

From Memories by Digital Design

From Lindsay Jane

From Aimee Harrison

From Heather Z

 

From JoCee Designs

 

Have a great weekend!

~~Bake Sale – March~~

Wow. Can you believe it’s already time for the March Bake Sale? Where is the time going? I’m hoping that Spring makes an appearance to stay very soon for those of us in the northern hemisphere. Let’s see what the designers have for us this month. Remember, all of these kits are available from today (the 15th) until the 20th for just $1 each.

Time to do a little shopping!!

Have a great Thursday!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Tiny BUBBLES!

Have you ever seen a photo where it looks like there’s a soap bubble floating in front of the focal point? I’m so excited to show you how to get that effect (or maybe a crystal ball, magnifying glass or snow globe), and you’re going to love how easy it is! Don’t be intimidated by the number of images attached to this tutorial – half of them are just the “after” shot so you can see the change you just made. The first step is to choose your photo. It should have a strong focal point, like the butterfly in mine. This works with landscapes really well too.

The first step is to select a circular area of your photo around that focal point. I included the cluster of phlox the butterfly is perched on in mine. You can just draw a circle shape with the Elliptical Marquee tool, but it’ll make subsequent steps more difficult, so I recommend using the Fixed Size setting and a number you can remember easily. I chose 3.75 inches. I nudged it over so it included the parts I wanted in my bubble.

Leaving the marching ants active then CTRL/CMD>J will copy just what’s in the circle and put it on its own layer. (I learned several new things in the development of this tutorial!) Or, if you like the long way, right-click then choose Duplicate Layer, and add it to your current project.

This step should be familiar to long-time readers. Select the outside of your circle layer by CTRL/CMD>clicking on the layer thumbnail. Then go to Filter>Distort>Spherize.

You don’t have to change any of the defaults Elements has already put into the pop-up menu. Leave it at Normal and 100% then click OK.

Now you can see a bit of a bubble there. But it can be SO much better!

Create a new layer on top of your circle layer. Just click on the icon that looks like a piece of paper with a corner turned back.

Now you’re going to use the Rectangular Marquee tool, Fixed Size and the same dimensions you used for your circle.

Move the square selection over on top of your circle so the edges are touching the circle.

Now use the Paint Bucket tool to fill your square with black. Yes, black. Really.

Now it looks like this, and you’re sure you’ve made a mess of it. You haven’t. It’s all good!

Next you’re going to use another cool tool, Filter>Render>Lens Flare.

This is what happens when you click through. Change the Lens Type to 105mm Prime. Then click OK.

You can move that flare anywhere inside the square that you want. Take the direction of the light in your photo as your cue. Click on the + sign in the middle of the flare and holding down the left mouse button, move it to where you want it. Putting it in the corner like I’ve shown below works well.

We’re getting to the really good part soon.

You want that bright spot to be near the middle and the image itself more like a sphere. There’s another filter that does all that for you. Filter>Distort>Polar Coordinates.

The pop-up menu looks like this. Leave it set to Rectangular to Polar and click OK.

I promise you’re still on the right track. It looks quite ugly, but you’re going to do another couple of easy tweaks and it’s going to be perfect!

Remember when we were working with custom shadows on their own layers and I showed you the Smudge tool? Well, we’re going to use that to “fix” this flare.

Use a fairly big Smudge brush and gently push it left to right over the harsh line. See how it makes a nice curve?

Do you also remember playing with Blend Modes? I know it was a long time ago, but I hope you’ve been experimenting with them. Right now you’re going to change the Blend Mode on the black square to Linear Dodge.

The black square is still there, but it doesn’t look like a square any more. Can you see the depth it’s adding?

Again, Select the outside of your circle layer. CTRL/CMD>click on the layer thumbnail, but make sure you’re working on the black square layer.

You need to Invert your selection so the selected part is what’s outside the circle. You can either Select>Inverse or you can CTRL/CMD>SHIFT>I.

Now you’re going to cut away all the stuff outside the circle. Edit>Cut or CTRL/CMD>X will do that.

You’re almost there!

If you’re only wanting the image too look like it’s inside a **soap bubble you can skip the next few steps. But if you want a crystal ball look, or a snow globe or magnifying glass look, make a copy of the Lens Flare layer. CTRL/CMD>J or right-click>Duplicate>Layer then add it to your project.

This layer needs to be paler and softer, because it’s going to be your shadow. (Bubbles don’t really cast shadows, that’s why you can skip this part for bubbles.) Decrease the Opacity to somewhere between 40 and 50%.

Change the Blend Mode to Soft Light.

Almost there!

Now to make the second Lens Flare layer into a shadow. To do that Image>Transform>Skew.

Now you can grab one of the handles on the bounding box and shift it around. You can see the bounding box in the image below. You can move each one until the shape looks right to you. And you can rotate it too.

Hit that layer with a Gaussian Blur filter to make it soft and shadowy.

You want the edges to be soft, but not totally indistinct. A Radius of 7 or so is good. If your shadow isn’t visible in the preview box, click your cursor along the edge somewhere.

Once again, you need to Select the circle.

Then hit it again with the Filter>Distort>Spherize tool. That pushes the part inside the selection away and back so it looks like you’re seeing it through the crystal ball.

Same settings as before.

**Now, to get the look of a soap bubble, you’ve ignored the last eleven images. To get a bubble edge you need to create a new blank layer. Select the outside of your circle again by CTRL/CMD>clicking on the layer thumbnail. On that new layer, add a 1 pixel white stroke outside the circle. Then hit it with the Gaussian Blur  filter at a Radius of about 4.

And you’re done! There are lots of steps and the first time you do this you’ll feel like you’ll never get the hang of it, but I’ve written this tutorial from memory so it IS possible. Thanks to Chuckie Delano for the excellent video tutorial I used as a basis for this.