Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Cuttin’ It Out – Old-School

Since I’m essentially house-bound while my husband recovers from his knee injury, I’ve started a decluttering project – something my daughter would say is LONG past due. (She calls me Queen of the Hoarders, which may be a slight exaggeration. Slight…) I’ll never be a minimalist, but a girl’s gotta start somewhere right? So as I was flipping through some back issues of Canadian Scrapbooker (to see why they hadn’t already been recycled), I found some paper layouts that I thought could make interesting digital techniques. The paper scrapper (Erin Morehouse of Beaconsfield, Québec) who created the layout shown below used a Silhouette Cameo to die-cut the letters from her background paper. I’m going to show you how I scraplifted her layout digitally; it’s my Designer Spotlight challenge layout for November, using pieces-parts of several kits from JoCee Designs.

First I had to find a photo and a quote that would work together. Then I collected up my supplies.

Once I had the bare bones in place, I added in the alphas I wanted to use. They form a message all by themselves, don’t they?

Then I went on to choose a serif font with enough presence to work for the die-cut technique. It was a lovely surprise to see I could use a system font, one that’s accessible to everybody. Courier New Bold is perfect for this.

I had an idea how the text should look, so I typed it out as you see it below. I went BIG.

But it was a little too sprawly for me, took up too much space on my layout. So I adjusted it by squishing it a bit – still the same height, but not as wide.

That was much better. Before I went on to the next step, I Simplified the text. Otherwise I ran the risk of messing it up when I used the Type tool again. And I needed to be able to beef the letters up a bit.

The easiest way to make these letters more stocky is to apply a Stroke to them.

Colour isn’t a factor for this part, because the text is only temporary. So use whatever colour you want. The stroke needed to be big enough to give me the effect I was looking for, but not so big it blunted the text. And it had to be centered on the edges of the letters so it would follow the letters’ contours exactly AND be connected to the text.

My text now has good bulk, without obliterating the open areas in each letter.

I went on to add in the rest of the quote. I used the same tweaks on these text layers for conformity. See the difference between the free-standing letter ‘a’ and the ‘a’s in “balancing”?

After I had my text positioned where I wanted it, I Merged the  text layers so I could continue to play with the text as a single object.

Next I moved the text layer underneath the background paper layer. (This step isn’t necessary, I did it to show you how the process will work from this point.) I Selected the text by CTRL/CMD>clicking on the layer thumbnail in the Layers panel. See the marching ants? Then I Edit>Cut (CTRL/CMD>X) the paper away where it overlies the text.

The text layer is visible again.

If I turn off the layer’s visibility, the gingham paper behind it shows through. (Unreadable as it is…)

So I no longer needed the text layer, and could just Delete it.

I had a number of patterned papers in my layout folder so I started adding pieces of them behind my words. Some needed to be resized to work correctly.

But to see the full effect, I opted to add a Drop Shadow to the woodgrain paper layer. No fancy footwork here, just a simple, Hard default shadow. I made some little adjustments to the shadow by double-clicking on the fx icon to the right of the layer in the Layers panel.

Now, when I added in my patterned papers, I could see the shadow and gauge the way it all looked together.

I only want this blue paper behind “Step”, so I used the Rectangular Marquee tool to select an area of the paper that would completely fill the word. Then I Inverted the selection to cut away the excess paper. Select>Inverse or CTRL/CMD>Shift>I

then Edit>Cut or CTRL/CMD>X.

There we go!

I did the same steps for each word, although I worked randomly, until I had all the words backed with patterned paper.

Then I took another look at the original layout and realized I hadn’t removed the little bits from the open letters that would be impossible to work with using paper and a die-cutter.

So I erased all those little areas.

Then all that was left was to adjust the drop shadow again. Pretty cool!

Now, if you were expecting to see my finished layout here, I’m sorry to disappoint you… My laptop froze just as I finished up my screenshots and I had to do a hard reboot. (There seems to be some sort of instability with PSE 15 and Windows 10 because this freeze happens unpredictably, but frequently, when I have PSE open.) I have to start my layout over from scratch, but I have these screenshots to help me out. Then I can get back to purging…………

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Shaving Shadows

As you’ve already figured out if you read my tutorials regularly, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I like things to look a certain way, and will try whatever it takes to get the effect I want. Shadows are something I don’t like to compromise on, and I often create custom shadow layers for my layouts. But I’m also a bit of a procrastinator and leave things until the 11th hour… and then I run with drop shadow styles, either ones I’ve loaded into my Styles menu or the ones the designer has added to the template I’m using. These Styles are limited in what can be tweaked, and when I’m building a cluster, sometimes the shadows just look wrong because the style isn’t more adjustable. In that case, if I’m in a real hurry, I look the other way, but I’m not happy about it. So when I discovered a Work Smart Not Hard method of customizing drop shadow styles,  I was all over it! I was absolutely giddy!! It IS possible to erase JUST THE SHADOWS quickly and easily, to give that realism to my clusters!

There are a number of designers who have collections of drop shadow styles for sale. They make short work of shadowing a variety of elements with a single click. But they have limitations in the adjustments you can make to them. At least that’s what I always thought…

The image below shows the software’s adjustment menu for Styles. You can open this menu by double-clicking on the Style icon (the little fx icon on the right hand side of the layer in the Layers Panel). Whatever settings you choose, Elements applies across the board.

Now, if I try to erase any part of the shadow on this layer, I run the risk of erasing the flower too. But with the shadow style left intact as a style, when I erase part of the shadow, I also erase the part of the flower that casts the shadow. And it looks very odd.

If I Simplify the layer (as I remind you constantly to do with your special effects), Erasing will erase everything equally; who has time for zooming in, using a tiny Erase brush and going pixel by pixel to erase just the shadow? I don’t.

See what I mean?

Here’s where the fun starts. If I Select the flower by CTRL/CMD>clicking on the image thumbnail in the Layers Panel

and THEN Simplify…

I can Invert the selection at any point either before or after Simplifying and it works just the same. To Invert, click on Select>Inverse or CTRL/CMD>Shift>I which moves the marching ants from the edges of the image to the edge of the document and Selects everrything in between – the shadow.

Now I can Erase just the shadow!! At this step I can use the Eraser brush at 100% opacity to completely remove the shadow, or I can decrease the brush Opacity to whatever I want to just to lighten the shadow in that area. Or I can partially erase, partially lighten. It’s a bonanza of options!

You may never have a reason to use this trick, but I’m glad I shared it with you.

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

One Hand in my Pocket… and the other one’s holding a Journal Card!

(with apologies to Alanis Morrisette)

After my last tutorial on pocket scrapping, I thought about what my next topic should be, but I didn’t think about it too hard, since my mind was pretty busy scheming and dreaming on other things, being on ‘vacation’ and all. So it wasn’t until yesterday that this notion popped into my brain. What a segué! Have you ever REALLY wanted to use a template that includes a journal card, but the kit you’re also dying to use doesn’t have them? I have lots of kits I truly love, and quite a few templates with spaces for journal cards, but the two don’t always work together. BUT! I can make my own journal cards… and so can you!

I’ve made this little clipping mask for you to make it super-simple. Click *here” for the download. It’s got nice rounded corners and you can resize it to whatever will work best for your layout.

I selected a few papers and elements from the GingerBread LadiesAll Things Hallowe’en (it has a couple of journal cards, but I wanted to make my own.) Then I started layering on my choices.

I’m not going to show you all the options for borders; I’ve discussed them all in other tutorials, and they’re pretty basic.

The WSNH (Work Smart, Not Hard) shortcut for turning on and off the Grid: CTRL/CMD>’

So now I have 3 papers clipped to my card shape.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different Blending Modes and Filters. It’s your card and you can do whatever you like.

I added in a moon using a brush from Brusheezy. If you’re interested, the set of 20 is found *here*.

The witch is seriously spooky! Because journal cards are only 2-dimensional, shadows aren’t necessary, but feel free to add them if you want. Just take care not to make them too obvious.

Bevels are great tools for adding dimension. I used a small one on the spiderweb just to make it a bit more visible.

My finished card looks pretty neat, don’t you think? Now to save it so I can use it again later.

I saved my card into the folder where the kit lives so it would be easy to find again. I gave it a simple name and saved it as a .png file so the rounded corners would stay rounded when I want to use the card.

Saving it as a .png using the Smallest/Slowest Compression preserves detail the most, but it also results in a larger file. It’s not necessary to Interlace your image.

What do you think? Will you make your own journal cards? It’s a lot of fun…

Tutorial Tuesday (Digital Scrapbooking)

8 ball, Corner Pocket!

Last week when I was struggling to find a topic to write about, I asked the GingerScraps Ad Team members for some ideas. Teresa suggested I do something about pocket scrapping. I have to tell you, I was floored. Pocket scrapping isn’t my thing and it’s really not my comfort zone either. I know it was a big part of the digi world several years ago, and I flirted with Project 52 (there’s NO WAY I could commit to Project 365 and I admit it!) but I wasn’t all that successful. So I had some learning to do before I could present myself as an expert. Ha! The EXPERT is Becky Higgins, the developer of Project Life. She has an app for that in addition to a whole paper line for pocket scrapping.

What IS pocket scrapping? Basically, it’s a clean-and-simple style of layout based mainly on a grid. It’s ideal for documenting the memorable (and the ordinary) events of our lives. Each section of the grid or block can hold a photo, a pocket/journal card, art work or a cluster of embellishments.

Why is it called pocket scrapping? It has its roots in paper scrapping, and it makes use of vinyl pockets of mainly two standard sizes, 2″x3″ and 4″x6″. Digital pocket scrapping follows the same format, and it lends itself very well to hybrid scrapping. You can create your page, print it and then attach buttons, ribbons, lace and pockets holding ephemera to the page.

Most of the designers on the GingerBread Ladies team here create kits and templates that work beautifully for pocket scrapping. In fact there are pages and pages of kits tagged for this style of memory keeping. And it’s easy to find them, too! I thought about giving you a list of designers whose products are amazing for pocket pages, but it would be a lot faster just to show you how to see them for yourself.

I’d love to show you some examples I found in the Gallery. This one is from trina513. I like that she’s used her Instagram photos.

minicooper452 created this one. The photos tell a story, and the journaling preserves the excitement of the day.

This one by emscraps is obviously a Project 52 layout. Em has managed to maintain her P52 for years now!

Belis2mi has documented a special day for her children with this layout.

I really like the feel this layout from amyjcaz has, with the photos of how she spent her day at the beach.

Because I live in cowboy country, this one by psychozoe caught my eye right away.

And then there’s this one from firstoscartgrouch that’s so whimsical and fun.

After looking at all these examples of pocket scrapping and seeing the individual stamps of each scrapper on her layout, I decided to give it a shot! It’s pretty amateurish, but maybe if I do a few more…

Next week there will not be a tutorial. We’re going to visit my parents and then our daughter in her new home in the mountains for a few days and I just won’t be able to squeeze in a blog post. I’ll be doing all the driving so I’ll be seeking a horizontal surface!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Driven to Distraction

Depth of field. It’s that fabulous effect of a soft, slightly blurry background (and sometimes foreground too) that brings the subject of our shot into sharp focus and minimizes distractions. It’s easily achievable with manual settings on our DSLRs and with some settings on our phones. We all know how it makes our photos look better, but we don’t always have control over it. I snapped this photo of the CN Tower in Toronto with my cellphone. Because of the distance involved even with “portrait” settings, which should have given me a preferential focal point, the whole shot is in the same focal plane. I’m going to show you haw to fake depth of field quickly and easily using another Guided Edit.

You guessed it! Select the Guided tab, then Special Edits>Depth of Field.

There are two options for this Edit, a Simple one and a Custom one. Today we’re only going to look at the Simple method.

So just click on that Simple bar.

The menu looks like this and your next step is to add a blur to the whole photo.

You can increase the amount of blur by using the slider at the bottom of the panel, both before and at any point during the process.

Then you’re going to select the areas you want to have back in focus. I experimented quite a bit so that I could give you the best information and save you some time and frustration.

The secret to the Simple version, especially if you’re working on a photo with a lot of detail, is to make small changes. Click your mouse inside the area you’re focused on, hold down the left mouse button then drag the mouse a short distance and release. (Please ignore the typo on this screenshot. I’ve tried to fix it and WordPress won’t let me!)

If you make your drags too long, the “spillover” focus will bring areas of the photo you want blurry into focus. You can take the drags in any direction that will work for your image.

If you’re not sure how much of the image has been altered by your last drag, you can zoom in on the image. But you can’t go back in and make more drags on the zoomed in image; the software will revert back to the full image when you click on the Add Focus Area bar again.

So with my photo of the CN Tower, I worked my way down the centre of the tower in short drags until I hit a point where the edges were still being left blurry. Always watch what’s happening as you work. Then if you notice areas you don’t want in focus are suddenly popping, you can quickly and easily Undo (CTRL/CMD>Z) those last couple of changes.

Once I got to the point where the edges were still visibly blurry, I adjusted the angle of my drags, but still keeping the start and end points inside the edges of the tower.

As I got closer to the bottom of the tower, I started seeing the buildings to the sides were starting to pop. Oh no you don’t! I changed my strategy again and used some horizontal drags again.

This is particularly important in images with more detail, both in the focal area and the background. Go slowly.

It was at this point that I started to notice that the software created more focus at the beginning of a drag than at the end. So again, I shifted my strategy from going left-right to going right-left. Problem solved!

But before I shut Elements down, I wanted to try it again to see if I could reduce the number of drags needed to get the focus where I wanted it without messing with the blur too much. So I started again, this time taking longer vertical and slightly angled drags.

Here’s a zoom view of the observation deck.

The angled drags were longer than in my first effort, but not running top to bottom as I had done when I was first figuring out how to make this Edit really work.

I cut the number of clicks down by at least 50% and still had a result I was pleased with. So give it a try, Undo as needed and see how you like it!

I have some more photos I want to play with, and you just might see some of them in the Gallery one of these days!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Clusters… Have Them Your Way, the Easy Way!

I’m a big fan of templates. They’re an amazing time-saving tool for getting layouts done, while still allowing for individual style. But once in a while I go rogue and design a layout without using any time-saving devices. And sometimes I shock myself by creating a perfect cluster that looks fantastic… only to find that when I try to recreate it later, I can’t get it quite right. Of course there has to be a WSNH hack for that! And I’m going to show it to you. I’m using a cluster I created for Katie, Ooh La La Scraps‘ genius designer, with her Freezing collection.

If you save your layouts as a PSD file, this part will be super-easy. If not, you’ll be starting from scratch and might want to wait until you have that AHA! cluster creation at a later date.

Let’s assume you’ve got the layout in PSD form. Open up the file in PSE. Then select all the layers of that perfect cluster. To select multiple layers, hold down the CTRL/CMD key as you click on them. Once you have all the layers selected, right-click in the Layers panel and click on Duplicate Layers. (We’ve done this part before.) In the submenu that opens up, select New Document and click OK. A completely new work space will now be there for you to work on separate from your original layout.

Once you’ve got all those layers on your new work space. turn the visibility to all the layers off, except for the one on the very bottom. (Or you can work from the top down, your choice. I work from the background out.)

Now you’ll select a colour to make the place marker for that first layer. Whatever floats your boat… gray, pastel, dark, light, whatever makes sense to you. You’re going to make a New Fill Layer on top of that first layer to create your place marker.

If you’ve never used the Fill Layer function, you’ll be in for a treat. It makes a lot of things much easier! Click on Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color.

Make sure you click the box to the left of Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask.

See what happened? All those little beads are blaaaah yellow, but they’re now a place marker for a scatter. You’ll notice that the shadow style is preserved, which is another time saver. But… that shadow style will disappear with the step after this one, unless you copy it. Right-click on the original layer and choose Copy Layer Style.

Then select both the original layer and the clipping mask layer to Merge them. Right-click on the layers, then choose Merge Layers, or CTRL/CMD>E. Once the layers are merged, right click on the new merged layer and Paste Layer Style to it. Voilà… the layer has a shadow again.

Continue on with all the layers in your cluster, using the same process. Change up either the colour or the intensity of each different layer so you can easily see the different components of your template later. When I was putting together the screenshots for this tutorial the whole thing took me about 11 minutes, bottom to top.

This is what my finished cluster template looks like.

When I had all the layers converted to place markers, I renamed each layer. You can right-click and select Rename Layer, or simply double-click on the label within the layer’s box in the Layers panel then just type in whatever works for you.

Now you want to save the fruits of your labour! File>Save As (Shift>CTRL/CMD>S), tell the software where you want to save it, then give your cluster a name.

Tell the software you’re saving the file as a PSD and you’ll have your very own, personally-designed cluster template to use again and again!

I think next week we’ll do another Guided Edit. See you then!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Making a Stylish Sandwich

A few days ago I got a private message from Heidi1472 wanting to know more about using styles. I linked her up to some of the tutorials wherein I’ve used styles, but then I thought, “Maybe I should do a quick tut about putting multiple styles on a single layer, because maybe people don’t know that’s a thing.” So here it is!

First, does everybody know how to load styles into the Photoshop Elements? In Versions 12 and up, it’s super-easy. All you have to do is open the Styles menu on your workspace then click on the icon that looks like a stack of paper in the upper right corner. This sub-menu opens up. Click on Load Styles then find the folder holding the styles you want to use and it’ll do the rest.

I wanted to load the styles that Natasha of Ponytails Designs had created for the GingerScraps 10th Birthday MEGA collab Indian Summer.

So I found them in my stash and loaded them up. They’re BIG files, so they do take a few minutes. Don’t panic!

I had this great photo I found on Pixabay of some Amur maple leaves with some gorgeous bokeh in the background. So I decided to punch it up with a brush and a combo of styles.

I never did get to use the lovely brush Wendy of Neverland Scraps  created for us for the July 2018 Brush Challenge. It seemed perfect for this technique.

I created a new layer above my photo, shrunk the brush down a little to fit into the left-side area of bokeh and dropped it down. Then I added another layer, adjusted the angle of the brush and did it again. I ended up doing this process a total of 4 times. Putting each brush on its own layer lets me have a lot more creative control over what happens next.

Here’s what I mean about putting the brushes on their own layers.

Now it just looks like a bunch of fruit flies on a chunk of mango, but it’s not going to stay like that. See how most of the brush bits are inside the bokeh area?

Because I want the technique to highlight the bokeh and not the leaves, I went back and erased the bits of the brush that sit on top of the leaves, one layer at a time.

Then I made a copy of EVERY brush layer. You can do it the hard way, selecting the layer, right-clicking on it, selecting Duplicate Layer, waiting for the pop-up then clicking on OK, or you can WSNH and just hit CTRL/CMD>J.

In some spots, the brush still peeks out from behind the leaf, and that’s what I wanted. Then I hid all the COPY layers for later.

Now for the fun part! I clicked on the Styles button and found my GingerScraps Indian Summer glitter styles.

I started with my first brush layer and used the medium orange glitter style on the sparkles.

I let the colour and intensity of the bokeh guide my colour choices. The second brush set was over a lighter golden area so I went with the gold glitter.

The third (original) brush layer is in a darker area, so it got the darker orange glitter.

The brush at the top was over a darker area so it seemed the red glitter was right for it.

It looks really good, but where’s the layering part? I started unhiding the COPY layers one at a time and applied a glitter style to each of them too.

For the most part, I put a lighter colour of glitter on top of each original layer. I also decreased the Opacity of the COPY layers to 40%. That gives the brush layers a soft glow and a slightly different colour.

When I got to the red glitter layer, nothing looked right until I tried the GRAY glitter on the COPY layer.

You can see the red around the edges but it’s mostly covered up. But wait. I’m still going to decrease the layer’s Opacity to 40%.

Voilà! A sort of ruby look to it now.

Oh but wait, we’re not done yet! I selected all the layers and Merged them together. (CTRL/CMD>E)

If you’re a faithful reader of this tripe, then you know I still had another idea. So I made a copy of the merged brush layer.

I chose to use a soft yellow gloss style from Misty’s Miss Mis Designs‘s Hustle and Heart styles set (not shown). Then I again lowered the Opacity to 40%. It looked “okay”…

But when I moved that layer to underneath the glitter layer, it really gave a lovely glow to the brushes. I LOVE how it looks!!

Sadly, just as I was getting to the very tail end of my layout, my laptop crashed. So if you were hoping to see the final result, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait… I have to do it all over again, from the beginning…… and that’s gotta wait until after I play with y grandchildren for a few days. See ya next week!

Tutorial Wednesday (Fonts!)

It’s Fall, Y’All!

First of all, let me apologize for missing my deadline. Time kinda got away from me between necessary home maintenance and my real job, so I’m playing catch-up now.

Here in the northern hemisphere, we’ve headed into fall (at least where I live, we’ve had frost advisories two nights in a row already), the kids are back in school and the Shop is packed with amazing autumnal kits. So I thought it might be a good time to look at some free fonts and dingbats from dafont.com that might be just what you’re looking for to make your fall layouts even more perfect. Let’s start with some back-to-school-themed fonts.

These would be so awesome for elementary school layouts, although I’ve heard lots of schools are no longer teaching cursive writing. What a loss that is!

 

 

 

 

For the slightly older kiddos, fractions!

 

 

Then there are some great fonts for the varsity crowd.

 

 

 

If you don’t have any dingbats in your stash, you’re missing out! Dingbats are scaleable images that can be used for a variety of purposes. Check these doodly ones out.

 

 

 

 

We can’t forget fall sports. Some of these balls are probably rolling around at your house these days.

 

For kids in the drama club…

 

… or the band…

 

We can’t leave out the young adults in our lives who are now in college/university.

 

I don’t know about you, but stars still mean a job well done to me.

 

 

If you don’t have anybody going back to school, you might have a use for some cool autumn-y dingbats like these.

 

 

 

Yeah… we have some nasty (and enormous!) mushrooms growing along the fence in our back yard. Can’t seem to eradicate them, and the dogs found them the other day. I’m glad they didn’t eat them.

 

There are so many ways these can be used. They can be turned into brushes, used as clipping masks, filled with colour, turned into a border or a scatter… the limit is your imagination. As I mentioned above, these are all FREE. DaFont has a lot more, too. This is just a little teaser!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Sketchy Simplified

Today’s tutorial doesn’t need a lot of explantation. It’s a little goodie I stumbled on when I was playing with this photo. I took it with my cell phone camera and was pleasantly shocked at how it came out, even when blown up in PSE. The sky is very flat, but that’s how the sky looked for much of my time in Ireland, so I’m not obsessing over it.

I’ve been playing with these Guided Edits just to see what they do, and the Orton Effect is amazing!

With this one, you can click the Edit button several times to create an additive change to your photo. But I only clicked it once.

The difference isn’t obvious, but it’ll be quite apparent once I change the settings.

See the change now? I barely moved the Blur slider to the right, I think the numeric amount was 4. But the whole image is softer and dreamier.

I played with all the sliders; the Noise one was the one I really wasn’t sure of. But in the end, I moved it to the right about 12 and the stone is starting to look sketchier.

By pushing the Brightness slider over about 1/3 of the way between the default and the max, I got this nice look.

As you can see, there are now 3 layers there when I clicked through to the Expert editor. Each layer can be further adjusted, Blend Modes changed to suit your mood and Opacity lowered. But I was happy with it so I just Merged them all.

But I tried a few more things on this image. I Duplicated the image layer so it would remain unchanged before I went on the add a Filter.

Filter>Stylize>Find Edges is the filter I used.

Don’t be alarmed! A simple tweak will make this work.

All I did was pull the Opacity of the top layer down to 32%.

And all that was left was to Merge the layers again. Then I saved the resulting image for use in a layout later. I plan to use it with a mask (or two) to blend it into the background a bit and that’ll add some life to the sky.

This should work with just about any photo with strong detail. Give it a whirl!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Expanding Your Repertoire

If you’re a Gallery regular, then you’ve probably seen this layout I created in May with Ooh La La ScrapsBuffet collection Mom and a template from Trixie ScrapsIf the Slipper Fits. I turned this layout into a Mother’s Day card for my mom and was so pleased with how it turned out. But I went beyond just printing it and calling it good… I went hybrid!

This is my own method, so if you’re doing something different and you’re happy with that, you don’t need to read on. Or if you’re not into making cards, I’ll see ya next week. But if you’re like me and started out as a paper scrapper, have a huge hoard of paper and embellishments you can’t bear to give away and like to make occasions more special with handmade cards (a win-win-win for me!) then let’s get to it. I start by Resizing my layout so that it’s slightly smaller than the card I’m planning to make. I have a stash of variously-sized cards and matching envelopes, and the 5 1/2″ square ones are perfect for this job.

See, I’ve resized to 5×5″ square and kept the resolution at 300 pixels per inch.

Next, while the PSD file for the now-shrunken layout is still open on the work space, I create a New File in the same size as the cardstock I plan to print my card parts on. If I was a thinking person, I could name this file something like “Card Parts”, but alas, I didn’t do that.

Once I’ve got that blank document with a transparent background ready, I start looking at the layout to see what parts I can print then glue to the original to make it more 3D. So any element that is sitting on top of the stack will work. Like this cluster of three little flowers…

So I selected three layers from the Layers Panel that have those elements on them. (They’re not the exact 3 I’m showing in the image, but they’re all the same so it doesn’t matter. Then I right-clicked and chose Duplicate Layers from the drop-down menu.

Then I copied them to the No-Name file in the Duplicate menu.

When I opened up that No-Name file, Elements had put the flowers in the exact same spots they occupy on the original. I moved them closer together so I could save some paper.

This butterfly is PERFECT as a 3D addition to my card, so over it goes.

Same exact steps as for the flower.

Voilà!

There’s still lots of white space there, which is a good thing, because I still have some things to add to this file.

Like some more of these flowers. I can just duplicate the two that are already on my No-Name card parts file.

The journal card and this dark brown mat will work too, so they’re coming over.

Last but not least, I flattened the original layout at its smaller size and added it to the card parts file. Once everything was on the page, I printed it out on my trusty Canon printer.

I used my guillotine paper cutter to separate out the larger pieces and then trimmed them right at their edges. Next I glued the mat and journal card to my layout copy right on top of their flat counterparts. Then I used my tiny sharp scissors to cut out the flowers and butterfly. To give some dimension to the flowers, I used the blunt end of a crochet hook to make a dimple in the middle where the centres are. That just curves the paper a bit. A dab of glue or a little piece of foam goes on the back at the centre of each flower then the flowers are applied to the same spots on the original. The blue flowers on the layout from Katie’s digital kit have pink pearl centres, but didn’t have any in my card-making stash, so I added some white pearls over top of them. You can see them if you look really closely at the image below… it’s a photo of the finished card. I creased the butterfly cut-out down the body and used a piece of foam to stick it on top of the layout. Again, if you look closely you can see the shadow it casts. And last, but not least, I add.d a 3D heart-shaped flair that just happened to match the pink from the kit pretty nicely.

And, without the arrows and circles… My mother loved her card.

I did a similar project with the layout I made with Katie’s June Buffet collection Dad for my Father’s Day card but didn’t get a photo of the finished project. You’ll just have to trust me…