Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Here’s a Little Clip!

Today’s tutorial is brought to you by a comment made by Glee on one of my layouts. She asked me what to do with paper clips. So I used the same clip, from Blue Heart ScrapsBe Mindful February Buffet kit. This layout also uses a terrific template from Heartstrings Scrap Art‘s Winter Freeze 3 collection.

When you want to use a paper clip on a layout, you need to first think what it’s going to clip together. I like to clip several items together with mine, as you can see in the images above and below. I also like to leave a little bit of a gap at the bottom of the paperclip so it looks like it really is holding those things together. Once I’ve positioned my clip where and how I want it, I copy (CTRL/CMD>J) the clip layer so I have two of them. The “why” will become clear as we go along.

And…………..then I turn the visibility of the layer off.

I add a Layer Mask to the BOTTOM clip layer. (I forgot to select the correct layer for the screenshot below, so don’t do that!) If you’ve never used a layer mask I strongly recommend you start! They’re fantastic tools because if you remove something you didn’t want to remove, you can just paint it back. So make sure your bottom clip layer is selected, then click on the icon shown below.

This is what you’ll see in the Layers panel. Make sure you’re working on the MASK part of the layer – the blue outline has to be around the blank page. If you accidentally work on the thumbnail part of the layer, you won’t be able to paint back what you remove.

Then select the Eraser tool, and ensure white is the foreground colour. (White conceals, black reveals.) Carefully erase the part of the paperclip that will be behind/under your paper or photo.

If you’re having a hard time figuring out what to remove from your image, get a paper clip and a piece of paper, then put the paperclip on the paper somewhere. Put the paper flat on your desk and you can see what is hidden and what is not.

When you’ve removed the parts of your clip that will be hidden by your paper/photo, Simplify the layer. To do that you can right-click on the layer then select Simplify Layer. (No WSNH tip for that.) I know you’re wondering why all these steps are necessary, and it’s all about control. The Layer Mask is very forgiving, the Eraser tool isn’t. Simplifying the layer afterwards makes those changes permanent once you’re committed to them.

I like these shaped paper clips, both digital and real. There are lots of ways you can use them! Here I’ve tucked one of the free wire ends under the photo and the other under both the paper and the photo.

Now we can add a shadow to the BOTTOM clip layer that we’ve been working with. If you just go with a drop shadow style, you’ll have a shadow that runs over onto the paper and it’ll look odd. I don’t know who else has my problem, but those sorts of inconsistencies just jump out at me! So let’s avoid it. Create a new layer UNDER the visible clip. CTRL/CMD>click on the piece of paper icon to do that quickly. Then Select the outline of the clip by CTRL/CMD>clicking on the clip’s layer thumbnail. Then you’ll have those little marching ants. Using the Fill tool (paint bucket) fill the selected area ON THAT NEW LAYER with your shadow colour. I used black.

Once you have that shadow layer filled, you can shift the shadow to the angle where your layout’s light source is coming from. But then you’ll notice that shadow doesn’t actually touch the paper where it should. Use the Smudge tool to bring the shadow up to the paper. Just drop the cursor onto the black area near the edge, click-and-drag the tool to the edge of the paper.

Don’t worry if it’s overlapping the paper. It MUST touch the paper with no gap. Light can’t leak under wire , right?

Once you’ve got a good connection between your shadow and your paper edge (don’t neglect the other parts of the clip where some of it is hidden), you can carefully Erase the overlap. (Use a Layer mask if you’re unsteady.)

To soften the edges of your shadow layer, use Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Look at the other shadows on your layout so you can make the clip’s shadow look natural. Remember that paper clips sit tight to the paper/photo, so the edges will be sharper than for other less-weighty items.

You want your shadow to look as real as possible. When you’ve got the Blur right, decrease the Opacity of the layer until it looks right.

Now, we could just call that good, but I think you know me better than that! I could get really technical here and start talking about Dodging and Burning, but I have a workaround that’s super-simple and that’s what you’re getting instead.

Now it’s time to turn on the second paperclip layer, the one we didn’t remove parts from. Then we’re going to add a Bevel style to it. Click on the Styles button down at the bottom right then select Bevel.

From the Bevel styles menu, I chose Simple Inner. The default settings will work very well, so no tweaking required. Can you see the way it makes the wire look round instead of flat?

The next thing is to add a shadow layer to this clip too. Make all the same lighting angle and Blur adjustment to it as you did for the first one. Here’s a WSNH tip: you can duplicate the degree of blur from your last action by simply clicking CTRL/CMD>F. After you’ve gotten those steps done, decrease the Opacity of BOTH the paperclip layer AND the shadow layer so that they’re barely visible.

Don’t be concerned that it seems really obvious when you’re zoomed right in tight. Nobody will see it that up-close but you.

See, here I’ve pulled out the zoom and there’s really just a hint of the wire showing through the papers.

Here’s my finished layout. I’m very pleased with it!

I hope you’ll give this one a try, unless you like your paperclips resting on top of your papers. There’s nothing wrong with that – paperclips and other things (dust!) can be scattered over other things. But now you can USE that paperclip to hold your goodies together!

Fresh Baked: February 16, 2018

Tomorrow is Random Act of Kindness Day and Sunday is National Drink Wine Day. That means, be nice and share a glass of wine with a friend! Be legal, obviously!

OR!! You could join us on a ROAD TRIP! This year’s theme for Gingerscraps Survivor is “ROAD TRIP”!!

001
http://forums.gingerscraps.net/showthread.php?41674-Scrapping-Survivor-8-*Road-Trip*-SIGN-UP-HERE

Remember when you spend $10 in the store, you get a great new collab! It’s time to get out and do some winter sports!

fwp
http://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Winter-Wonderland-of-Sports.html

magical
Bundle: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Hunny-Bunny-collection.html
Page Kit: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Hunny-Bunny.html
Journaling Cards: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Hunny-Bunny-journaling-cards.html
Graffiti Pack: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Hunny-Bunny-graffiti.html
Glitter Pack: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Hunny-Bunny-glitter-pack.html
Woodgrain Papers: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Hunny-Bunny-woodgrain-papers.html

mags
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Date-Night-KIT-by-MagsGraphics.html

neia01
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Neia-Scraps/

neia02
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Neia-Scraps/

scraps
http://store.gingerscraps.net/You-Make-Me-Happy-by-Scraps-N-Pieces.html

tinci
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Miracle-of-winter-3..html

aimee
Collection: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Pretty-in-Pink-Collection-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Kit: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Pretty-in-Pink-Page-Kit-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Alphas: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Pretty-in-Pink-Alpha-Sets-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Blooms: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Pretty-in-Pink-Blooms-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Titles: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Pretty-in-Pink-Titles-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Journal Cards: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Pretty-in-Pink-Journal-Cards-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Messy Edges: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Pretty-in-Pink-Messy-Edges-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Glitters: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Pretty-in-Pink-Glitters-by-Aimee-Harrison.html

aprilisa
Kit http://store.gingerscraps.net/XOXO-Kit.html
Cards http://store.gingerscraps.net/XOXO-Cards.html
Painted Papers http://store.gingerscraps.net/XOXO-Painted-Papers.html
Bundle http://store.gingerscraps.net/XOXO-Bundle.html

boomers
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Mardi-Gras-Magic-BGD.html

connie
Word Art and Flair Pack: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Travelogue-Idaho-Word-Art-and-Flair-Pack-by-Connie-Prince.html
Bundle Pack: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Travelogue-Idaho-Bundle-Pack-by-Connie-Prince.html

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

daydreams
Bundle: http://bit.ly/TimeLBundGS
Kit: http://bit.ly/TimeLKitGS
Glitters: http://bit.ly/TimeGlittGS

heartstring
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Some-Bunny-to-Love-Mini-Kit.html

jocee
Bundle: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Be-My-Love-Bundle.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Be-My-Love-Kit.html
Alphas: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Be-My-Love-Alphas.html
Cards: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Be-My-Love-Cards.html
Glitter Pack: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Be-My-Love-Glitter-Pack.html
Basic Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Be-My-Love-Basic-Papers.html

kristmes01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/CU-LPT_Honeycomb.html

kristmes02
https://store.gingerscraps.net/CU-Torn-Paper-Templates.html

lauries01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Boardwalk-Fun-GrabBag.html

lauries02
Bundle: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Rock-On-Bundle.html
PageKit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Rock-On-PageKit.html
Flairs: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Rock-On-Flairs.html
Grunge: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Rock-On-Grunge.html
OmbrePapers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Rock-On-OmbrePapers.html
Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Rock-On-Titles.html
Cards: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Rock-On-Cards.html

lindsay01
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Page-Borders-29-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

lindsay02
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Page-Borders-30-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

002
http://bit.ly/mags_GS

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

cr
Get some pics of your love, because this kit is perfect for it!

Sneak Peeks February 15th, 2018

Happy Thursday! I hope everyone enjoyed Valentine’s Day or will be celebrating this weekend! Tomorrow my husband and I will be renewing our vows with Elvis for our 10 year anniversary! Should be fun and I can’t wait to scrap the pictures already! Maybe some of our new releases will help you scrap some of yesterday’s memories! Let’s take a peek!

From Keley Designs

From Heather Z

 

From Day Dreams n’ Designs

From Heartstrings Scrap Art

From Tinci

From Neia Scraps

From Aimee Harrison

~~FEBRUARY BAKE SALE~~

Wow – it’s already the middle of February. You all know what that means. It’s time for the Bake Sale. As always, the Bake Sale includes goodies that our designers want to share with you for just $1. This sale runs from today through the 20th.

Let’s see what they have for us this month.

There are some great kits and template packs included this month. Time to head over to the Bake Sale section of the GingerScraps store and full up your cart!!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements 15)

SKETCHIER!

If you’ve been reading these tutorials from the beginning you might remember one on turning a photo into a sketch. It had a lot of steps and might have been a little daunting for the novice Elements user. So I think you’re going to love this one for its total simplicity. It’s one of the black-and-white Guided Edits in PSE 15 called Line Drawing. (It might also be there in 14, but when I tried to find out which version it debuted in, I wasn’t successful.) And the possibilities with it are endless!

The best photos for this technique are ones with sharp focus and lots of detail. I played with it using a close-up photo of my dog and loved it. For this example though, I used a stock photo from Pixabay. Then select Guided>Black & White>Line Drawing.

Take a look at the different items I’ve highlighted in the image below. They’re the controls for this Guided Edit and they’re all really useful.

In the upper left corner of the workspace, you can choose the way you view the changes. Your choices are After Only, Before Only, Before & After – Horizontal and Before & After Vertical. Below I’m showing you Before & After Horizontal, where you can watch the transformation as it happens. You also have the option of zooming in on specific areas of the photo.

The Pencil Sketch Effect button takes all the work out of the process. One click is all it takes. If you click more than once, the sketch effect becomes more minimalist; give it a try and see if you like it. You can always CTRL/CMD>Z back to the initial step if you don’t.

Here’s what my example looks like after 2 clicks.

The next step is optional. Clicking on the Adjust Layer Opacity button adds back a hint of colour without losing the sketchy effect. Multiple clicks on this button however don’t produce additional effects. As you’ll see below, you can still make adjustments to this step later.

Adjusting Levels is where the REAL magic happens. My copy of Elements has a glitch in it such that the Levels button in this Edit doesn’t work. But I know that CTRL/CMD>L will bring up the Levels interface. If you’ve never used the Levels adjustment menu you’re in for a treat.

Levels adjustments can be made on all the different channels (RGB, Red Green and Blue) but for this purpose RGB – the default – is the only one we need worry about. I played with the sliders so you could see the way each adjustment changes the image. Looking at the histogram – that black bit in the Input Levels box – you can see the way the curve bends as you move the sliders. For this adjustment, moving the right little wedge to the left lightens the image.

On the other hand, moving the left wedge to the right darkens the lines on the image and seems to sharpen it too.

The trick is to adjust them so that the image pleases you. Watch what’s happening as you move the sliders and you’ll know when you see what you like.

My final settings for this image are shown below. I moved the left Input Levels slider to the right and the right Output Levels to the left.

So, once you’ve got that image looking the way you want it to, maybe like a lithograph from an old book… click on that Next arrow at the lower right of the workspace.

Now you have a choice. Remember from our other Guided Edits? You can save it or you can work on it some more. I picked In Expert so I could play with it just a bit more.

As you can see, there are two layers there when you move to Expert. There’s no limit to the things you can do once you get to this point. The Opacity of the sketch layer is 82% when you first open up your project in Expert.

Just as an example, I put the Opacity of the sketch layer to 100% and that hint of colour (really obvious when you look at the sky) is GONE. I don’t think it looks as interesting, do you? But you could use this to make personalized colouring books… think of the options1

So then I lowered the Opacity to 60%, which keeps the sketchy detail but lets more of the colour come through. You could also lighten up the coloured layer underneath in spots so only the sketchy bits are visible in that area. If you plan to do that, right-click on the photo layer and select Layer from Background, so you can add a transparent layer underneath it.

When you’re totally happy with how it looks, you can merge the layers together and save it with a funky name. Of course, that step is optional, but if you use it for something you’ll have to be sure to link the layers so they move together.

Whaddya think? Are you going to give it a try?

Sneak Peeks February 8th, 2018

 

Happy Thursday! Are you ready to see all the awesome new goodies releasing tomorrow???

From Heather Z

From Tinci

 

From Neia Scraps

From Lindsay Jane

From Aimee Harrison

From Miss Fish

From CathyK

From JoCee

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

First Past the Post(mark)

I unpacked the January Challenge Reward collab Snail Mail earlier today and was thrilled to see some postmarks included in the elements. They’re from this month’s featured designer, Neverland Scraps. A few years ago I made my own postmark that had my hometown and birth date on it for a layout I was doing. Postmarks can be nice additions to a variety of different layouts, but what if the ones in this kit don’t exactly work for you? Let me show you how to make your own.

I started by choosing a dark gray colour to work with. The ink used for postmarks in the old days when letters were hand-canceled (I worked for the post office back then) was more of a blue-black than a true black, and it often looked more gray than anything else, as the ink pad aged.

I opened a 12×12 canvas on my workspace so I could have lots of room to manoeuver. Then I pulled out a large circle using the Elliptical Marquee tool with the Tool Option on Fixed Ratio 1:1.

Then I applied a 20 pixel stroke to the inside of my circle.

 

So here’s where I confess that I changed my technique part way through the screenshots. When getting ready to put your text onto your postmark, choose Text on Selection, the one with the marching ants around the T, and as you can see, I used Orator Std Medium for my sans-serif text. For a refresher on text manipulation see Playing with Text.

The key here is to make sure you get the little tilde shape with your I-beam text cursor ~ when you click on your selected path. To create text that curves up, the cursor line should be mostly on the outside of your circle. Then type out the name of the city/town/village you want your postmark to come from. Don’t worry about where it’s placed on your circle because you’re going to move it and manipulate it anyway,

To move it into place and to make it fit into the circle, you’ll need to resize and rotate. I used the grid to help me position it in the right spot and line it up right.

To get the province/state/country curving downward along the bottom of your postmark, click your tilde/I-beam so that the cursor shows longer on the inside of the circle. Then type out your text.

Then resize, rotate and position it so it’s following the curve at the bottom of the circle.

Here’s a closer look at the grid so you can see how the tops, bottoms or sides of the first and last letters line up.

Then it’s simple to put the date in the centre, just using the regular text tool.

I used the Move Tool Options to align the date both top-to-bottom and side-to-side.

Let’s play with the postmark a bit more. I added a stroke to the circle layer because it looks a little flimsy. I chose another 20 pixel stroke, but I put it Outside.

There, it has a lot more presence! It’s on the same layer as the text in my example.

If I turn the circle layer off, now the postmark has a double outline!

As I mentioned above, I worked for Canada Post for a number of years before I went into nursing. The ink we used to hand-cancel letters and parcels often left a bit of a raised edge, so I’m going to show you how to add a Bevel Style to your postmark to add to the realism.

My example uses a Simple Inner bevel. The image below is before it’s applied.

And after… It looks slightly embossed and gently curved. Now you can shrink your postmark down to something approaching a real one and all that detail will be intact.

To save your postmark to use on your layouts, select Save As (CTRL/CMD>Shift>S), give it a name you’ll remember, then save it as a .png file to preserve the transparency of the background.

But wait!! Let’s say you wanted to have your postmark represent a historic date, like maybe July 4, 1776… then you’d want to use a more vintage font, such as Veteran Typewriter Regular. If you haven’t simplified your text layers, you can easily change your font by selecting the Type tool, double-clicking on the text on your postmark and selecting the new font. Remember, in version 15, you can let the software find the font you want by clicking on the selection bar then typing in a few letters from the font’s name, as I show below.

After I changed all three text layers, I have a nice vintage postmark too!

Now to build me a layout using Snail Mail!

Let’s Celebrate! | Valentine’s Day

GS_blog_LetsCelebrate_Header

It is that time of the year. You know what this blog post is going to be all about, don’t you? 🙂 February brings Valentine’s Day for us in the states. All things love, hearts, pink and red. So with that in mind, we are going to take the hard part of your digital scrapbooking shopping and bring you a ton of Valentine’s Day stuff all in one post. All images are linked to the store. Don’t forget, there is a section just for Valentine’s Day in the store. You can these items and more there.

Cannot mention Valentine’s Day digital scrapbooking supplies without mentioning this month’s Monthly Mix! This might be one of my most favorite Monthly Mixes to date; and I generally don’t lean towards all things lovely dovey when it comes to my digital scrapbooking supplies. I just love this one though!

GingerBread Ladies Monthly Mix: Date Night : A collaboration from our GingerScraps designers.

Date Night: This purple and pink filled kit will be perfect for any date night or special romantic occasion. It is full to the brim with hearts, champagne glasses, flowers and much much more. You’ll, no doubt, have an amazing time using this lovely kit to remember your romantic adventures for years to come.

This collab includes:

  • 1 Full Alpha
  • 44 Papers
  • 93 Elements

Here are some more great supplies from our GingerScraps’ designs to get your lovey dovey Valentine’s Day scrap on!


This wonderful Alphabet was made as part of my To Have & To Hold Collection. This collection is perfect for all your formal celebrations, like engagements, weddings and wedding anniversaries and much more!

 

Remember that fluttery feeling in your stomach when you had a CRUSH on that special person? This “Crush On You” Collection is perfect for scrapping those LOVE-ly memories!
This is the MAIN KIT. It contains 20 Papers and 58 Elements.

 

Beyond by Craft-tastrophic
Includes 12 textured papers and 40 elements
Personal use Only

[Read more…]

Sneak Peeks February 1st 2018

Happy Thursday! This week’s new releases are a bonus to the awesome Buffet collections that debuted today. Remember the Buffet products are 50% off until the 5th! Several designers have goodies releasing tomorrow as well! Let’s take a look!

From Craft-tastrophic

From Aimee Harrison

From Heartstrings Scrap Art

Have an awesome weekend!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements 15)

Fun with FONTS & FOTOS 

I don’t know about where YOU are, but where I am, winter is in full fury. We got nearly a foot of snow in the last few days, most of it falling at the same time I was on a 52-passenger bus on my way home from a meeting 200 miles from home. So I’ve been living vicariously through my daughter, who just returned from a week in Hawaii. She took some amazing photos!

Let’s play with another Guided Edit, from the Fun Edits tab. This one is called Photo Text.

The interface for this edit is quite simple and easy to follow. Click on the Text Tool button and choose a font. Pick something with some presence – a chunky one that will let all the awesomeness of your photo shine. I started with Konga Pro Regular. Don’t worry about the font colour, it’s not going to matter. You can play with the size to maximize the area of the photo your text covers.

And you can use more than one font, as the software shows in the sample on the menu screen. Don’t click to accept the changes until you’ve got all of your text done though. Move your cursor to where you want the new font to take over, use the font selection menu to choose the new one and type out your text. And don’t worry if your text doesn’t fit onto your photo perfectly either, because you can resize it later. The second font I chose for this example is called LD Zoot Suit, from Lettering Delights.

If your text lines overlap, once you’ve got the words you want, you can double-click on the text and adjust the leading – the gap between the lines – so that they’re just touching. Or, because it’s YOUR project, they don’t have to touch… it’s all up to you!

Once you’ve committed your text, the software automatically clips your photo to it. You can move the text around and resize it to reveal the areas of your photo that you want visible.

The image above has the “Fit” option selected, since it’s the default. Depending on your font and the width of the words you used, you might find the “Fill” option works well for you. I didn’t like it, so I undid it.

Then there’s the Background Color option. You can choose Black…

white…

or Clear (transparent). Which one works will depend on what you plan to do with your text later.

I shifted my text around to show more of the sand and the sea, less of the sky. The clouds on the horizon weren’t defined enough for my taste.

Now for the fun part! There are some more options that change the appearance of your text in some very interesting ways. With one click you can add both a stroke and a bevel! There are three preset adjustments; this one is the Small version.

And the Medium. Looks a little like a marshmallow.

Large is even more puffy and defined. While I was playing around with this technique it occurred to me that this would be a way to make a super-simple alpha set to match a favourite kit, simply by typing out the alphabet to fill up a paper from that kit, then fiddling with the adjustments.

But wait!! There’s more tweaking we can do! By clicking on that Advanced button at the bottom of the interface, this menu opens up. Each aspect can be adjusted to suit the look you’re going for. You can change the angle of the light source, make the Bevel higher or flatter (and sharper), you can adjust the Drop Shadow, the width of the Stroke and even add an Inner or Outer Glow. It’s so much fun to experiment!

I decided a white Stroke would look better. Right?!

All that’s left is to decide what to do with your finished text. You can save it, share it or move it to the Expert editor to drop onto your layout. The power is in your hands!

With this Guided Edit you can do as much or as little as you like with your text. Of course, you COULD do it all the old-fashioned, multi-step way, but why?