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)

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 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)

Creating ‘Mazing Monograms

Lately I’ve been really interested in designing labels for decorative items I’m planning for my home. It’s a challenge, but it’s also a lot of fun and lets me use my creative eye, PSE skills and a little ingenuity. When my grand-daughter was born late last month, I thought I should design a monogram to use as the title of a layout introducing her to the world. I think we all know what a monogram is. But did you know there are some conventions around them?

Monograms have been used for about 2 millenia. Yep, they’ve been around since about 350BC when they began to appear on coins issued by Greek cities, identifying the coins as having come from there. They’ve also been used as signatures by artists and craftsmen, especially when trade guilds began enforcing their rules about membership and took measures against those engaging in those activities without authorization. They later were used as signatures of monarchs and noblemen to identify their holdings, their armies and their money.

Individual monograms came into use as a natural continuation of their use by Important People. They can be part of the letterhead on personal stationery, to identify one’s luggage, to fancify their handkerchiefs, shirts and ties and oh, yeah… wedding invitations! If the monogram is that of a woman, her surname initial is the central, larger one, with her first initial on the left and her middle initial on the right. For men, that convention is often ignored, and their initial are put in order of appearance in their name. Engaged couples may choose to have their two first initials entwined and newlyweds might have one member’s first initial on the left, their joint surname initial in the middle and the other member’s first initial on the left.

The example below has my grand-daughter’s initials following the first individual convention. I used MainType 7.0 (as described in the tutorial on organizing your fonts) to find the perfect font for the job. The font I ended up using is one I picked up at the FontBundles July $1 event. It’s called Quiska Regular and it’s gorgeous!

Once I’d settled on my font, I opened a new 12×12 document in PSE. I like to work large and then resize because detail is so much more visible. Then I found the font in my Type tool menu. (Keyboard shortcut is just the letter T.) I increased the size of the font to 100 pixels. And last, I changed the colour to that luscious fuchsia.

I put each of my 3 letters on their own layers. I know I’m going to want to make adjustments to one or more letters, but not necessarily all of them at once.

I’m not lecturing you, really… but remember to Simplify those letters as you go along. Elements has a bad habit of messing with your existing text should you decide to change fonts or colours if you don’t take that step. Once the layer is simplified you can’t change the font, but you CAN resize, recolour and play with it.

For that middle initial I changed the size of the font (just by typing in the number I want into the box I’ve circled below) to 150 pixels.

Then I went back to 100 pixels for my last letter. You’ll notice they’re randomly placed, and that doesn’t matter, because Elements has tools to fix that.

While I was playing with the letters, I didn’t like the size differential so I decided to increase the size of the smaller letters by 20%, to 120 pixels. Then it looked right!

By selecting all three layers, I could then use the Align tool to line up the horizontal centres of the letters.

I wanted a little bit of an overlap on the letters to tie the monogram together. So I used the Distribute tool too to shift the letters based on their vertical centres.

All that’s left is to Merge the layers together to make a single object. They’re already all selected; right-click on them and select Merge, or just hit CTRL/CMD>E and they’ll unite.

Those of you who read my tripe weekly will know that I wasn’t serious when I said I was done. I decided to add some flourishes to my monogram. I love brushes and have quite a collection of them that I’ve often downloaded free from Brusheezy.com. The one I opted to use here is part of a collection called 20 Dividers V2. Did you know that if you hover the cursor over your workspace you’ll get a preview of the brush just like I’ve shown you below? You’ll know what it looks like and can then adjust your size and angle before you even use your brush.

I know I sound like a broken record. Good habits are important to streamline your workflow and prevent oopses. If you put your brushes on their own layers, you have total control over them. If you put them right on your paper, you can’t do anything with them – can’t change their colour (easily) or opacity, increase or decrease the size, apply a style, copy them or any other tweak you might decide is needed. So just put them on their own layers!

For balance I want a second flourish; duplicating the layer is the easiest way to ensure they’re identical. Either right-click on the layer and select Duplicate, then click OK in the pop-up menu or simply CTRL/CMD>J to copy it.

Then I flipped the second brush vertically so the two brush layers are mirror images. The easiest way to do that is to grab one of the middle handles on the bounding box then drag the handle in the direction you want the flip to go. (Either horizontally or vertically.) Don’t obsess over dragging it to exactly the same size, because you can simply type -100 into the corresponding box in the tool options below. Then the software does all the work. WSNH!!

Again, let the software do the work to Align all the layers again. I opted to then select the two brush layers and shrink them somewhat so they were closer to the same scale as the monogram. Then I Merged the brush layers into one.

I might be done… but then again, I might not be done! Let’s see what we can do to really make this monogram pop. I’m going to use a Bevel Style.

I have the letters layer selected and used the Inner Ridge Bevel. It looks like enamel and I love it!

Then I selected my brush layer and hit it with the Scalloped Edge Bevel just to give it a bit more weight and dimension.

Isn’t that amazing?! And so simple!! I saved it as a png file so I can use it as the title for my layout when the time comes. Keep your eye out for it in the Gallery!

I’m departing tomorrow (July 11/18) for a two-week genealogical expedition to Ireland. So there won’t be a tutorial next Tuesday or the Tuesday after. If I’m not totally whipped when I get home again, there MAY be one ready for the 31st. Think about what I can teach you next. Sláinte!!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Like a Broken Record

I was fooling around with a thought I had to see how it would look and a tutorial was born! I love papers with a small pattern repeat and I adore embossed cardstock. But I can’t always find what I want when I want it, so I decided to give creating my own a try. It’s so simple!! (But let’s not put our awesome designers out of work, ‘k?)

I started out with a plain Kraft-coloured cardstock from Scraps N PiecesOh Canada… Eh! collection. Then I opened a new document (CTRL/CMD>N). I knew I was going to use something that would resemble a tile effect and chose to work on a 300 x 300 pixel square canvas. Our 12 x 12 inch layouts are 3600 x 3600 pixels, so this size will be 1/12th of the length/width of the overall cardstock.

I opened up the Custom Shape Tool menu then chose All Elements to see every shape available.

I played with more than one of these shapes before I settled on this one.

I put my cursor at the upper left corner and pulled the shape diagonally across my square canvas to completely fill it. The colour I used isn’t important because I’m going to change it later. I wanted something I could see easily.

Then I clicked Edit>Define Pattern. This is going to allow me to use this little doodad as a repeating pattern on my paper.

The Pattern Name menu opens up. I gave it a name that meant something to me and would be easy to find later. There’s a clue in there as to where we’re going to end up.

If you’re familiar with my tutorials you’ll know I always tell you to work on a separate layer when using brushes. It goes double for patterns!

You may have noticed that many of the Tools in Photoshop Elements have multiple options. The Paint Bucket has one I’d never used before but now that I know what it does, I’m SOLD! With this versatile tool you can fill an area with colour or……. a pattern!

Make very sure you’re working on the new, blank layer. Click on the Pattern Fill button, the one that looks like a square with a bunch of diagonal lines through it.

When the Pattern Menu opens up look for your new pattern.

Elements will open up your pattern in the active box as shown.

Now just click anywhere within the borders of your canvas. It’s like magic!! I have 144 little repeats of my pattern creating an Argyle effect. I could stop here and have a cute custom patterned paper. I’d love to do something like this with a tone-on-tone, or with either white or black. Then I’d Merge the layers and save it somewhere I’ll be able to find it again.

But you know me… we’re going to keep going. I want to show you how to turn it into embossed cardstock, so turn off the visibility to your cardstock layer and have your pattern layer selected. Then Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color.

In this menu, click the Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask then click OK.

Use the same colour as your cardstock by clicking on it with the Eyedropper.

Merge the Color Fill layer with your pattern layer. Then you’re going to hit it with a Bevel Layer Style. Bevels are included with the software and can be found in the Styles menu. Below I’ve used the Simple Inner bevel. It’s a nice, rounded bevel that raises the pattern off the surface beautifully.

If you feel that the bevel is TOO obvious, you can click on the fx icon on the layer and adjust it to suit. (This is the only Bevel I adjusted while putting together this tutorial.)

Turn on the cardstock layer and voilà… Merge the layers and now you’ve got a custom embossed cardstock.

Some of the other Bevel styles work for this technique too. Let’s look at the Simple Pillow Emboss.

Is this the effect you were expecting? It looks a lot like those sheets of die-cut chipboard!

Simple Sharp Inner looks like this on just the pattern layer.

I really like the look of this one.

One last one… Simple Sharp Pillow Emboss.

This effect is really interesting. If I went into the fx controls and reversed the direction of the bevel it would raise it off the paper. Might be worth trying!

I can think of a long list of ways these simple techniques can be used to elevate my scrapping. Can you?

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Alphas Revisited

Are you ready for a really easy tutorial that looks a lot more involved than it is?

When I was looking at the June challenges at GingerScraps, I knew I wanted to do the Scraplift challenge – I already had the same template from Heartstrings Scrap Art in my stash, so it was a no-brainer! My dilemma came in the form of wanting to use a specific kit from Aimee Harrison called Tidepooling, that came with a selection of wickedly awesome alphas. And you know how I love those alphas! Now you get to see how I put that alpha to use.

I wanted my title to follow the same curve as the title that came with the template and to sit in roughly the same place. But creating my title right there on the template would have been very difficult, due to all the distracting layers. I could have just turned them all off, but I prefer to compose my titles on their own workspace then move them onto my layout so I duplicated the two layers of the circular photo spot.

Then I sent the Duplicate Layers to a New document.

I could have left it untitled, but chose to give it a name, just in case I was interrupted and had to find my title in the Photo Bin again later.

Now I had a new 12×12 document open, with the two layers of the circular photo spot in the exact same place as they are on the template.

Next I went to my layout folder and opened all the alpha elements I chose for my title.

I spelled out my title in the centre of my canvas. I made sure they were in the correct order so when I started moving them, they’d be where I wanted them. (Notice I’ve turned off the visibility of those photo spot layers. They aren’t needed at this step.)

I knew just from lots of practice, that these letters were much too big for their purpose on this layout. So I selected ALL the alpha layers and resized them together at one time.

I estimate how much I need to shrink letters when I’m doing this, and I randomly chose 65% as my target. I like to use round numbers, especially if I’m going to resize other objects later and want them to be to scale. A round number is easier to remember! I also checked the box that says Constrain Proportions. That makes sure that I only have to adjust in one plane and the other will follow suit.

Because I’m going to work with just one letter at a time, I turned the visibility for all the other letters off. They’ll be turned back on as I go along. And I turned the photo spot layers back on; they’re going to be needed now.

This alpha was super-easy to use. It has strong verticals, so I was easily able to position each letter perpendicular to the edge of the photo spot. Then I shifted the L into its place just sitting on the edge of the gray circle – my baseline – which will become my focal photo later.

I love that this L has a bit of a swoopy flourish to it.

The letter I will be a bit more of a challenge. It needs to sit close enough to the L so that it’s visually connected. It too is perpendicular to the baseline.

By turning off the visibility of the L for a second, I could be sure I had the bottom of the I touching the baseline. Then I turned the L back on and nudged the I into it’s spot.

The F also needs to be perpendicular. It’s got a strong vertical dimension and would look off if it isn’t perpendicular. But notice how the vertical aspects of the letters aren’t parallel. That’s how I want them.

Now, as you already know, I’m a bit… particular (or anal, you chose – most of us ICU nurses are) about some things. And this is one of them. The tops of the tall elements HAVE to be roughly lined up to look right to my eyes. But… some would argue the F could have a longer bottom end, and that would be right too.

If you scroll back up to one of the screenshots showing all the letters in the Layers panel you’ll see that the lower case letters are very slightly slanted. So I want to make sure they’re slightly slanted in my title too. As for spacing, I’ve tried using the Distribute Tool Option and usually I end up really unhappy, so I eyeball the spacing between letters (also known as kerning). I only care about it looking good, not having everything perfectly spaced.

Where I AM a perfectionist is when it comes to apostrophes. (Don’t get me started about the proper USE of apostrophes…) So depending on the look you’re after, the top of the apostrophe can be aligned with the tops of the tallest letters, slightly above for a casual look, or slightly below. It’s all about what you like.

The letter S in this alpha presented a few options. I decided the right-most edge should be my focus and so I made it perpendicular to my baseline.

This lower case A is an article, so it’s a word, not just a letter. It needed to be spaced accordingly.

The upper case B is another letter in this set that is easy to position, with appropriate spacing, of course.

This E, unlike the one in Life, looked funny when I tipped it to the same degree, so I stood it up a little straighter.

Below you can see the A as it looked when I moved it onto the canvas. It’ll need tipping for sure.

Perfect with both lower edges on the baseline.

When I played with positioning the C, my brain wanted the curved edges to be parallel, which actually made it easy to get it just right.

Last letter! This H was not upright when I moved it onto the canvas and so the upright section isn’t perpendicular to the baseline. The final position has the bottom of the upright and the curve of the serif resting on the baseline.

Zooming out, I was pleased with the spacing and the angles on each letter, but I wasn’t totally happy about where it starts and stops. So I selected all the letters so I could move them all together and rotated the title into a more pleasing position. With a little nudging of the entire title, it was successfully lined up with the baseline without having to adjust any letter individually.

Then I could go ahead and merge all those letter layers. For the remaining steps I don’t need to see my baseline so I turned visibility to the photo spot layers off.

The title would be just fine the way it is, but the original layout we’re scraplifting has a border around its title. So mine will too. I Selected my title’s edges by clicking on the title layer thumbnail in the Layers panel.

Next I clicked on the Select tab, then Modify>Expand.

I want my paper border visible but not overpowering. So I chose a single digit number at random. 8 pixels should be right.

I pulled a colour from one of my papers to fill the area I just created. It’s a gray with a faint touch of green as shown.

If I just fill that space on the same layer as the title, there’s a faint void around the letters where it doesn’t fill completely. That might be okay, depending on how big your title is, how detailed your background will be and so on. But I’ll show you another way to eliminate the voids.

I created a new layer and filled the selection on it. Because it’s currently on top of the wooden letter layer, it shows you how the entire area is filled in. Alternatively, I could clip a paper here instead of filling the area.

Then I moved it down under the wooden letters. If I wasn’t doing it for a tutorial I would have just put the new layer under the title from the beginning and skipped that step now.

The title on the original layout also had a narrow white stroke around it, and that’s what I did next.

I could have used black for definition but I wanted visibility, so I used white.

This stroke can be pretty narrow. I went with 4 pixels and set it to be centred on the edge of the gray layer. That’s the best way to minimize squared-off corners.

If you strain your eyes you can see it.

The last thing I needed to do was put a drop shadow on the wooden layer. It has dimension and needed a shadow to emphasize that. I used the drop shadow styles included with the software for my example; I don’t want anyone to feel like they can’t achieve any of my techniques without spending more money. The Low shadow looks like this, which is TOO much.

So I double-clicked on the fx icon to the right side of the layer in the Layers panel. Then I adjusted the lighting angle to match the rest of the layout, made it smaller, brought the shadow in closer to the letters and lightened it up.

Then I zoomed out to make sure it looked like it should.

Once I was positive, I merged all the title layers together so I could move it onto my layout. It seems like a very time-consuming technique but it really isn’t. Putting together a tutorial detailed enough to make sense to beginners takes me a full day… this title took only about 15 minutes.

Wanna see the finished layout? [whispers to Glee – the focal photo is of my daughter’s hands. She was in Nicaragua for turtle-hatching season.]

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements 15)

Transforming the Ordinary to the Extraordinary!

Here’s a look at the little monster who’s been robbing me of sleep and keeping me from being productive. She’s lucky she’s cute! But we’re now halfway through Day 4 with no puddles in the house, and she actually slept all night last night. So there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

When I took a good look at this snapshot I caught with my phone, I thought it was pretty special. But it could be even better, so I thought, “Why not play around with some more of those Guided Edits in PSE and see what happens.” The results are below. I could have stopped after any of the steps I took, so don’t think you’d ever have to do all of these adjustments to make your photos more amazing. You don’t!

The first one I used was the Brightness and Contrast Edit. Guided>Basic>Brightness and Contrast.

The menu looks really simple, and it is! Clicking once on the Auto Fix button is perhaps all your photo might need. The sliders are automatically set as shown.

This is how it changed with just one click. It’s not all that obvious, but I think her eye pops a bit more.

I moved the sliders just a tiny bit, decided I was happy then I went down to the lower right corner of the screen and clicked on Next.

The menu shown below opens up, offering the options of Saving the image, Editing some more or Sharing it with your friends on social media.

Of course, I wasn’t done experimenting. So I clicked on Expert under Continue Editing, and then selected the Guided tab again. Next I chose Sharpen from the menu.

The menu for this edit is simple too. I clicked on Auto Fix.

And there’s a visible change. You can click the Auto Fix button multiple times, or manually adjust the sharpening by using the slider. When you’re ready, click on Next.

After I clicked on Auto Fix a second time, there was an increase in texture in the hair on her nose.

So I hit it again. I think it’s just a little too much though, looks artificial. So I clicked on the button beside the Next button, Cancel.

Yeah, that’s the best look. So Next

Now I decided to try one of the Guided Color Edits. Let’s see what Saturated Film Effects looks like.

I wanted to show you the menu for this edit before I made any changes. The Add Saturation Film Effect button is another one you can click on multiple times to intensify the effect.

I think this image looks a little brighter and a little softer but keeps the eye in focus.

So on to the next Edit! Anyone know what the Orton Effect is? According to Wikipedia, “Orton imagery, also called an Orton slide sandwich or the Orton Effect, is a photography technique which blends two completely different photos of the same scene, resulting in a distinctive mix of high and low detail areas within the same photo. It was originated by photographer Michael Orton in the mid 1980s.” Some purists feel that the effect has been overused, especially in portrait photography. But we’ll look at it any way. (I’m not much of a conformist!)

The Add Orton Effect button has 3 sliders for further adjustment. I pushed the sliders all the way to the left to see the effect at its most basic.

It’s another Edit that can be duplicated multiple times. Here’s what it looks like after two clicks. It’s very dark. But I haven’t given up on it!

I played with the sliders. I pushed the Brightness slider all the way to the right.

Then I added some Noise. It adds quite a grainy look to the image, and that might work really well for some purposes.

Now a little Blur… just a bit, to add that dreaminess the Orton Effect is known for.

And I could stop here. But you know me by now… I’m not done yet!

I’d like to go back to the Basic menu and hit it again with Brightness and Contrast.

Now I think it looks a lot like a painting by one of the Dutch Masters of the 17th century. It’s the light…

It’s only looking more and more beautiful!

I’m sure you know I chose to continue editing. When I went to the Expert workspace, I discovered that each edit had created a new layer. So I merged them all together.

I wanted it just a little brighter still, so I chose to go the Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Brightness and Contrast route.

All I did was shift the Brightness slider a little to the right.

Okay. At this point, I absolutely LOVE what I’ve done with this photo. I saved it as it looks right now so I don’t have to recreate it later, because now we’re going to play with some filters. The image below shows Filter>Artistic>Poster Edges. It’s pretty cool! Think about how you could use this filter to create a caricature effect on your portraits.

I didn’t layer the filters, trying them individually to see how they each look by themselves. This is Rough Pastels.

Crosshatch adds to the Old Masters effect!

Let me zoom in on that one.

I’m so thrilled with how it looks that I’m almost done. I want to just add a little texture to it to push the oil-painting look a little more.

Who knew I was channeling Rembrandt?

My challenge to you is to use any or all of these edits to create your own masterpiece!

Creative Style | Pocket Scrapbooking

Here we are already. The last week in January. Didn’t it just turn 2018? Before we know it we will be looking at the end of this year! It flies by faster and faster with each passing year. That being said, I am not here to complain about time flying. 🙂 I am here to talk about scrapbooking styles. You know: fantasy, pocket, traditional, and everything in between. Some people scrap only one style. Some people (like myself) will scrap one style one day and another a next. I like to mix things up.

One thing I’ve really not scrapped is those great pocket pages. I love to cluster a bit too much. Those pages are lovely though! So neat, clean, and brought together. The perfect touch of elements and patterned paper. So what is “pocket scrapbooking” actually?

When scrapping with paper, pocket scrapbooking usually used page protectors that can be divided into smaller pockets. These pockets are arraigned in many different ways on the page. In each pocket usually the things that are included are photos, cards, and journaling. Of course it isn’t limited to that either. Ticket stubs, hospital bracelets, receipts, and so are are great additions to the pockets. In digital scrapbooking we take basically the same approach. Some of the digital scrapbooking versions of pocket scrapbook layouts have photos and such tucked in actual (digital) pockets. Those are my favorite. Others are just wonderfully blocked layouts. Some with stitches around the blocks, and of course some without. Usually there is more focus on the memories, photos, and papers than lots of elements filling the pages.

These layouts jump out of the galleries! So, that is what I did. I stalked the gallery and am here to show of some of those great pocket scrapbook pages that are filling the GingerScraps gallery. We will round up today’s Creative Style post with some great items from GingerScrap’s store to create your own pocket layouts.

Here are those layouts I mentioned. All are linked to their counterparts in the gallery. If you are so inclined, run over there and give these guys some gallery love!

New Years 2018 by
honeybee

 

Week 3 2018 by Firstoscartgrouch

 

New Wine Glasses by msbrad

 

Magic_March_2011 by ScrappyPenguin

 

Accident by gnana96

 

by minicooper452

 

PS_-_GS_1_18_Mix by jang

 

Punktering by hannaahl

Pocket scrapbooking is one of the most popular styles of scrapping digital out there! GingerScraps has an entire section dedicated just to all supplies for your digital pocket scrapbooking. I took a look-see at that section. Nearly 70 pages of goodies!! I picked out a few of my favorite to showcase here. Of course, this is just a small sample of what is in the store. If you already have these, or are looking for something else, make sure to check out that section!

My Scary Friends Doodle Stripes contains unique images to turn your projects even more wonderful.
Hand-drawn and colored at the highest quality by Paty Greif Design Studio. The files have a resolution of 300dpi for an optimum printing quality.

[Read more…]

Tutorial Tuesday (Creativity)

Playing on Emotion

December. The “most wonderful time of the year”, right? But not for everyone. Many people struggle with depression, anxiety and physical illness that make “the holidays” a very difficult time for them. Because of how I earn my living, I see the melancholy side of things all too often… when children in my care die in December I know their families will struggle with so many conflicting emotions for the rest of their lives, and I’ll struggle right along with them. So this week my tutorial will take a lightly different approach than usual and focus on emotion. I’ve found that scrapping the emotions I feel helps me process them better and by processing them better, I live with them better. It’s called catharsis.

Art journaling is a perfect method of scrapping emotion. But before you start thinking that only negative emotions qualify for an art journaling layout, let me assure you that ALL emotions are perfect topics for art journaling. Later I’ll show you what I mean. And I don’t want you to panic thinking art journaling is hard, or that it’s so out of your comfort zone that you could never do it. Because I can promise you, it’s there, it’s in you. You might just need a little nudge to find your inner artist.

The basics of art journaling layouts are pretty straight-forward. They can include photos, but don’t have to. They generally need some grunge, either from the kit you’re using or via the use of brushes. Actually, brushes are perfect for this type of layout (just remember to put them on their own layer!!) and the possibilities with them are endless. Doodles or scribbles look great in the background, or even over your journaling or photo. Word art makes short work of the “journaling” part of it. Hardware such as staples, clips, wire, screws and other hard objects help make your statement. Masks are another great AJ tool. You can clip photos to them to reflect a mood, or clip papers to them to make your background more umm… artsy. Which brings me to an opportunity to belabour the obvious: Bryony van Wyk, the creative genius behind Heartstrings Scrap Art, makes it so easy to create a moody, emotionally-expressive layout with her templates. The layout I’m going to share with you in a bit was created using her December Buffet Thoughts in My Head collection, although I didn’t use a template. It’s filled with paint, grunge, doodles, stamps and other artsy items perfect for this technique. Oh, and glitter is also an amazing addition and can totally reflect a mood depending on its colour.

 

My layout is sad and somber, despite the colour palette. Contrast it to this one by catgoddess that has a very hopeful tone to it. Same kit, very different feel.

Then there’s this one by cinderella that is so encouraging! She used Connie Princes All About Fall Daily Download kit for this beautiful example.

 

There are some great options in the GingerScraps store for art journal layouts, reflecting all sorts of mood. Here are a few I found in just a few minutes.

Aimee Harrison

Aimee has a LOT of artsy word art options.

Pretty as a Peacock Quotes can work for inspirational or self-affirming layouts.

Same for Celebration of You Quotes.

And the Celebration of You Word Bits are terrific additions to any layout. Have a look at her other word art packs… there’s something for everything!

 

Aprilisa Designs

Lisa usually creates some paint-splattered, smeared, grungy papers for each of her collections, and has some torn papers too. Whatever colour palette you might choose, you’ll probably find something in her shop to help you out.

Nature’s Beauty is an example.

Free Spirit Torn Papers. Depending on your mood, these could be super!

She also has some fabulous scatters like these Winter Joy ones.

 

Laurie’s Scraps and Designs

Many of Laurie‘s collections include fantastic grungy elements.

Space Wars Grunge could work for a lot of moods.

Ditto for Girl Power Grunge. Ooh, with Aimee’s Peacock word art… YEAH!

I Am Strong Grunge is feminine but powerful. Laurie is your go-to for grunge!

 

Little Rad Trio

Jennifer has some terrific goodies too!

Every Storm could be used for traditional scrapping, but also has a lot of art journal potential too. That alpha, right?? But then you can also include things like flowers and leaves, or flairs, or string, or any of the more traditional scrapbooking elements, as long as they reflect the emotion you’re trying to convey.

 

Ponytails Designs

Natasha too has some inspiring stuff in her shop.

Like Making Your Way word art.

 

Word Art World

Jennifer is the queen of saying what’s one her mind. And grunge is something else she’s got down pat.

The Journey of a Lifetime might be a travel kit, but this grunge is awesome for emotional expression.

Live Out Loud has some possibilities.

And Dare to Dream has a bit of introspection to it.

 

Now that you’ve got some idea of what to look for, you’re more than halfway there. When you’re creating your layout, play with those blend modes on your brushes and word art to see how they enhance or distract from your mood. When I was working on the layout above, I moved things around a lot before I settled on their final location. I moved layers up and down, tried out blend modes and colour overlays, tweaked shadows and just went with what pleased my eye. I changed my journaling more than once to say what I needed to let out. Now my goal is to find something joyous to build an art journal layout around to balance the sadness this one released. I know it’s there, I just have to find it. What emotion do you need to express?

 

Creative Style : Scrapping with Orange

Hello scrappers. Today we are going to take a look at a creative style. Well, let me honest. It isn’t really a style so much as getting some inspiration from color.

There are many things that can make a layout stand out in the gallery. What grabs one person’s attention might not grab another’s. I could write multiple blog posts about what grabs mine. That being said, seeing a layout that has predominantly one color always grabs my attention. I originally picked this color because I felt like it was the most neglected of colors in the digital scrapbooking world. Except for one time of the year. Plus I am not overly a fan of it. Boy was I wrong! I think as far as Creative Style Color blog post, this was the most difficult. Not for what I thought…because it was so difficult to narrow down the huge selection GingerScraps’ store has to offer. Here we go…Let us get some inspiration from the color orange.

We are going to take a look at some pretty orange images, and the latest orange filled goodies from the store. If those do not do it for you, make sure you check out past Buffets!  A lot of those have orange all through them! As you can see from the list below… We like orange around here!

Buffet’s with Orange

Photo Inspiration

Now, here are some lovely images to get those creative juices flowing. Did you know there was a place you could get pretty nice stock photos for free? These images are from Pexels(All photos on Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose.) I use them on my personal blog. I thought I would share with you guys while we get some inspiration for scrapping with orange.

From the Store

Are these not some great photos! I especially like the last one. I will leave you with some great designs to get those orange filled layouts scrapped. As usual, all images are linked to their counterpart. We actually have an entire location in the store just for orange items.

As you can see, I had a difficult time narrowing down the items to show you all. Normally I go with a nice round number of 10. I couldn’t stop! There are SO many goodies in the store brimming with the color orange. You might have also noticed there are not any Halloween items in today’s post. Check back next week for those!