Archives for July 2018

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Vacation Memories Sanitized!

I’m back!! My vacation to Ireland surpassed all my expectations and I’ve got about 400 new photos to turn into lasting memories. I’m still looking through them to see which ones are amazing and which are only so-so. If you remember the tutorial from this time last year where I talked about taking better photos you might already know that I’m a fan of cropping in the viewfinder. That means looking at a scene through the lens and moving around so that I can eliminate a lot of things I can’t (or don’t want to) fix later… like posts growing out of the top of people’s heads. One aspect we have no real control over is that people will unknowingly walk into our carefully-composed shot and get in the way of that perfect image. There are times when it’s possible to just wait for them to wander on, and others when it’s not. So I’ve started taking two or three shots from the same spot a few second apart, allowing the people in my way to move along a bit. Why? Because I know I can Clean the Scene with a Guided Elements Edit!

Elements has had a Scene Cleaner Photomerge edit since Version 7. It works in basically the same way, but it’s accessed a little differently. For versions 7-13, you need to go to the Edit tab then select Photomerge Scene Cleaner from the dropdown. For versions 14 and later, click on Guided>Photomerge>Scene Cleaner.

My example will only use two photos but you can merge as many as you need to in order to eliminate strangers from your memories. I’ve found that with my particular laptop (which gives me enormous grief sometimes) and my particular installation of PSE 15, it’s best not to have the target photo – the one with all the best angles and aspects – in the first position in the Photo Bin. You can reorder your photos and elements in the Bin simply by dragging them into the spot where you want them then dropping them there.

When you click on the Guided>Photomerge>Scene Cleaner button, that first photo in the Bin will populate the left side of your screen. Then drag and drop the TARGET photo into the right hand side. If you look closely you’ll see that the “Source” image is outlined in the Bin with blue, while the “Target” or “Final” image is in yellow.

You’re going to be shocked when you see how easy this is to accomplish. I clicked on the Pencil Tool in the Edit menu, then looking at the Final image, I scribbled on the Source image over the general areas where the two women (Gail on the left, Eleanor on the right) are using a moderate-sized brush tip. Usually that’s enough to totally solve the intrusion. If necessary, you could enlarge the area you’ve covered, or b some of it on that Source image. PSE will show you what your final image will look like so you’ll see where tweaking is needed.

As with all the other Guided Edits, once you’ve done what you set out to do, you click on the Next button at the lower right corner of your workspace and then either save your work or open it in Expert to continue working on it. As you can see, this Edit has made all the changes on a new layer. The easiest way to make the changes permanent is to Merge the two layers together.

I’m sure you knew I wasn’t finished with this photo. I want the clouds and sky to look better, and the stones to be a bit sharper. So first I chose Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Levels (CTRL/CMD>L) to make some exposure adjustments.

Don’t overdo this adjustment.

Then I moved on to Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Brightness/Contrast. Again, this photo didn’t need a lot of adjusting. But this slight tweak has added more detail to the clouds.

But I feel like the shadows are still too dark, so I went to Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Shadows/Highlights.

The shadows just needed a bit of illumination and there’s great detail visible there now.

And of course, once the rest of the image looked good, I hit it with my new favourite enhancement, Haze Removal.

I love that this tool adds drama to the sky, sharpens and deepens the stones and just brings the Oomph with it.

This tutorial marks the end of my second year as your faithful tutor. I can’t believe I’ve found enough new things to show you to build about 100 tutorials around them, but here we are!

This is the final image of St. Finian’s Roman Catholic Church, Aghowle, Shillelagh, Wicklow. It dates from the 12th century and is in ruins. It will be the star of a double spread at a later date.

One scene cleaned, a dozen or more to go…

Fresh Baked: July 27, 2018

Hopefully you didn’t drink too much tequila on Tuesday! It’s okay, you can soak it up on Sunday with National Chicken Wing Day. The best day, though, is this coming Tuesday! Why? It’s National Mutt Day. Love on those mix-breed puppies!

While you’re getting smothered in puppy kisses, check out the new stuff in the store this week! All of them are amazing!

Remember when you spend $10 in the store, you get a great new collab! There’s no excuse for boredom with this kit!

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https://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Entertain-Me.html

boomers01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Shark-Zone-BGD.html

boomers02
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Adoption-is-Love-BGD.html

dandelion
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Birthday-Boy-Digital-Scrapbook-Kit-By-Dandelion-Dust-Designs.html

joce
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Faded-Photo-Masks2.html

kristmess
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Small-World-France-QuickPages-2.html

linds
25: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Page-Borders-Rec-25-by-Lindsay-Jane.html
26: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Page-Borders-Rec-26-by-Lindsay-Jane.html
27: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Page-Borders-Rec-27-by-Lindsay-Jane.html
28: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Page-Borders-Rec-28-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

miss01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Photo-Frenzy-Amazing-Life-Templates.html

miss02
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Miss-Fish-Summer-Bundle-4.html

pony
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Week-by-Week-August.html

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

01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread_Ladies/

02
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Magical-Scraps-Galore/

03
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Neia-Scraps/

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

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Ice cream. Cupcakes. Watermelon. Oh. My. Yum!

Sneak Peeks July 26th 2018

It’s that time again! New releases debut tomorrow but we get a peek tonight! Thanks to our awesome CT, lets see what our amazing designers have in store for us!

From Tinci

From JoCee

From Aimee Harrison

From Miss Fish

From Neia Scraps

From Ponytails

From Luv Ewe and La Belle Vie

Have a wonderful weekend!

Fresh Baked: July 20, 2018

So, this past week, we had World Emoji Day and Hot Dog Day. Well, Tuesday is Tequila Day, and I think it’s time to break out the Margarita machines and have a little fun! Or at least break out the cameras and get some fun pictures!

Remember when you spend $10 in the store, you get a great new collab! There’s no excuse for boredom with this kit!

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https://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Entertain-Me.html

blue
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Full-Circle-Template-Pack.html

boomers
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Just-Slow-Down-BGD.html

connie
Bundle: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Growing-Up-80-s-Bundle-by-Connie-Prince.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Growing-Up-80-s-Kit-by-Connie-Prince.html
Templates: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Growing-Up-80-s-12×12-Templates-CU-Ok-by-Connie-Prince.html
Border Clusters: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Growing-Up-80-s-Border-Clusters-by-Connie-Prince.html
Alpha Pack: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Growing-Up-80-s-Alpha-Pack-AddOn-by-Connie-Prince.html
Word Art Pack: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Growing-Up-80-s-Word-Art-Pack-by-Connie-Prince.html
Extra Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Growing-Up-80-s-Extra-Papers-by-Connie-Prince.html

dandelion
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Living-Life-Digital-Scrapbook-Kit-By-Dandelion-Dust-Designs.html

jocee
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Be-Kind.html

krist
https://store.gingerscraps.net/CU-Layered-Templates-France.html

lind01
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Happy-Life-Collection-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

lind02
Kit: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Happy-Life-by-Lindsay-Jane.html
Quick Pages: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Happy-Life-Quick-Pages-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

miss01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Miss-Fish-Summer-Bundle-3.html

miss02
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Stacks-On-Stacks-3-Templates-by-Miss-Fish.html

miss03
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Triple-the-Fun-Templates-by-Miss-Fish.html

neia01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Life-is-Sweet-15-Templates-By-Neia-Scraps.html

neia02
Bundle: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Tropical-Bundle-By-Neia-Scraps.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Tropical-kit-By-Neia-Scraps.html
Cards: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Tropical-cards-By-Neia-Scraps.html
Goodies: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Tropical-goodies-By-Neia-Scraps.html
Flowers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Tropical-flowers-By-Neia-Scraps.html

pony
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Boxed-In.html

scraps
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Everyday-Heroes-by-Scraps-N-Pieces.html

tinci
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Simple-beauty-1..html

aimee
Collection: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Bring-Your-Gear-Collection-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Bring-Your-Gear-Page-Kit-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Alphas: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Bring-Your-Gear-Alpha-Sets-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Blooms: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Bring-Your-Gear-Blooms-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Titles: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Bring-Your-Gear-Titles-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Extra Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Bring-Your-Gear-Extra-Papers-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Messy Edges: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Bring-Your-Gear-Messy-Edges-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Glitters: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Bring-Your-Gear-Glitters-by-Aimee-Harrison.html

neia03
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Neia-Scraps/

mags
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Magical-Scraps-Galore/

blue02
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Blue-Heart-Scraps/

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

cr_thumb3_thumb_thumb
Ice cream. Cupcakes. Watermelon. Oh. My. Yum!

~~July Bake Sale!!~~

I can’t believe it’s already Bake Sale time. Goodness 2018 is flying by. Let’s see what our designers are offering up this month. Remember these kits or template packs are $1 each through July 20.

Head over to the store and grab these goodies.

Fresh Baked: July 13, 2018

They say Friday the 13th is bad luck. The number 13 is considered bad luck.

Today, you’re going to have good luck with the new designs. So many cute and wonderful designs. Kits and templates. Quick pages and bundles!

Remember when you spend $10 in the store, you get a great new collab! There’s no excuse for boredom with this kit!

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https://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Entertain-Me.html

aimee01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Simply-3-Templates-by-Aimee-Harrison.html

aimee02
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Word-Up-3-Templates-by-Aimee-Harrison.html

blue
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Heat-Wave-5-Collab-Grab-Bag.html

boomers
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Date-Night-BGD.html

clever
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/rawr-by-Clever-Monkey-Graphics.html
Journal Cards: https://store.gingerscraps.net/rawrjc-by-Clever-Monkey-Graphics.html

dandelion
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Birthday-Girl-Digital-Scrapbook-Kit-By-Dandelion-Dust-Designs.html

dear
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Dear-to-Me-Templates-by-Dear-Friends-Designs.html

jocee
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Tropical-Sunshine-Kit.html

krist
https://store.gingerscraps.net/CU-Layered-Paper-Templates-Mozaic-Bundle.html

linds01
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Stacked-Pieces-21-Templates-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

linds02
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Stacked-Pieces-22-Templates-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

linds03
21: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Page-Borders-Rec-21-by-Lindsay-Jane.html
22: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Page-Borders-Rec-22-by-Lindsay-Jane.html
23: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Page-Borders-Rec-23-by-Lindsay-Jane.html
24: http://store.gingerscraps.net/Page-Borders-Rec-24-by-Lindsay-Jane.html

loucee
Collection: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Mermaid-Kisses-Collection.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Mermaid-Kisses-Page-Kit.html
Scene: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Mermaid-Kisses-Scene.html
Word Art: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Mermaid-Kisses-Word-Art.html
Worded Labels: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Mermaid-Kisses-Worded-Labels.html

luv
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Heat-Wave-5-Grab-Bag-by-Luv-Ewe-Designs-and-Blue-Heart-Scraps.html

miss01
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Miss-Fish-TemplatesSummer-Bundle-2.html

miss02
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Lotsa-Photos-8-Templates-by-Miss-Fish.html

pony
Bundle: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Silly-Old-Bear-Bundle.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Silly-Old-Bear.html
Elements: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Silly-Old-Bear-Elements.html
Journal Cards: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Silly-Old-Bear-Journal-Cards.html
Wordys: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Silly-Old-Bear-Wordys.html
Alphas: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Silly-Old-Bear-Alphas.html
Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Silly-Old-Bear-Papers.html
Gingham Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Silly-Old-Bear-Gingham-Papers.html
Cardstocks: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Silly-Old-Bear-Cardstocks.html

scraps
New York New York QPs – https://store.gingerscraps.net/New-York-New-York-Quick-Pages-by-Scraps-N-Pieces-SNP_NYNYqpS.html
Rocky Mountain High QPs – https://store.gingerscraps.net/Rocky-Mountain-High-Quick-Pages-by-Scraps-N-Pieces-SNP_RMHk1.html

tinci
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Cluster-and-colors-Summer-meadow.html

ad
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Magical-Scraps-Galore/

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

cr_thumb3_thumb
Ice cream. Cupcakes. Watermelon. Oh. My. Yum!

Sneak Peeks July 12th, 2018

Happy Thursday! I hope you have some time to scrap this weekend because you are going to love everything coming out tomorrow!! There’s so much awesomeness! Let’s take a peek!

From Heather Z

From Miss Fish

From Tinci

From Clever Monkey Graphics

From JoCee

From Ponytails

From Aimee Harrison

Come back tomorrow to see all the awesome releases!

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!!

Fresh Baked: July 06, 2018

Tell me the truth! The whole truth! Nothing but the truth! Okay, okay, that’s enough truth-telling. Save it for tomorrow for all your friends and family! Be blunt! Be honest. Have cameras ready for those reactions! July 7th is Tell the Truth Day!

Truth be told, the new stuff from the designers this week is pretty dang awesome. At least I think so.

And that’s no lie.

Remember when you spend $10 in the store, you get a great new collab! There’s no excuse for boredom with this kit!

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https://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Entertain-Me.html

[Read more…]

Sneak Peeks July 5th 2018

Happy Thursday!!! I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July and the fireworks didn’t keep you up too late! Our designers have lots of goodies ready for tomorrow! Let’s check them out!

From Ponytails

From Lindsay Jane

From Tinci

From JoCee

From CathyK

From Miss Fish

From Luv Ewe

From Aimee Harrison

Have a great weekend!