Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Another Paper-Scrapping Digi-Hack!

Are y’all enjoying GingerScraps‘ Eleventh Birthday Bash?

So, I was wasting a rainy Sunday afternoon browsing Pinterest, trying to ignore the chill in the air and looking for distraction. And suddenly, there was some inspiration for a tutorial (as soon as I figured out how to do it!) for another digital version of a paper-scrapping technique. And it builds on the heat-embossing tutorial from last week, so it seemed like it was meant to be. Here’s the photo that caught my eye, from the Stampin’ Up design team. Do you see where I’m going?

If you’ve read any of my other tutorials, you’ll know that I like to do things like this on their own canvas, and I like to work large, then make small. To that end, I opened up a 12×12 canvas on my workspace. Then I browsed through my brush collection until I found a great set of snowflake brushes that came from a former GS designer, Pretty in Green.

I like the look of my inspirational image so I’m going to use black, but of course you do you!

I enlarged the brush to its maximum size. It can always be resized later (as long as it’s on its own layer).

Then I dropped a tonal paper from Connie Prince‘s pretty Snowflake Kisses kit UNDERNEATH the brush layer.

I’m not going to pretend that the next few steps didn’t take a lot of trial and error to get it right. The first step is to click on the Layer Thumbnail of the BRUSH layer to select the edges of the brush.

Then I clicked Select>Modify>Expand to make the selection bigger.

Here’s where the take-a-guess-and-hope-for-the-best comes in. I want all the various parts of the brush area to be contiguous with the others. I finally settled on 75 pixels.

Because the brush was designed by a human and not a machine, the hearts weren’t exactly and precisely spaced away from the solid line outline so the pixel width had to accommodate for that in order to eliminate the gaps. When you try this yourself you’ll soon see what I mean. But the gaps can’t stay, they mess up future steps so getting it right now is vital.

I played with this whole technique for several hours before I got it all settled in my head. I want the paper to be a solid background for the brush, and that meant I had to eliminate those “coffin” areas. I knew I’d have to ensure there are NO tiny little open areas in the paper when I “fussy cut” it, so to make sure I got the job done in the most efficient manner I put a blank layer in between my paper and my brush. (If you look closely you can see the marching ants around the edges of the selection.)

But first I had to fill the selection to be able to see where the little gaps might be. On the blank layer, I chose the Paint Bucket tool and my black foreground. Then I clicked on a random spot inside the snowflake shape.

Of course, the marching ants still outlined the “coffins” so they’ll have to be manually filled.

To turn off the marching ants, you can click Select>Deselect or you can use the keyboard shortcut D.

Then I went back with the Paint Bucket and filled in each “coffin”. After they were all filled in, I clicked in several more random spots inside the outlined area to fill in as many of the invisible gaps as I could.

Then, just because I had tried to make this technique work as simply as possible about a dozen times already, I zoomed in on my black snowflake and using a black round brush, I covered up any remaining gaps.

There are two ways to use this shape as a clipping mask. This is the labour-intensive way. With the PAPER layer active, click on the mask Layer Thumbnail to select the edge and get the marching ants. Then click Select>Inverse (CTRL/CMD>Shift>I) to have the PAPER selected, not the shape.

Now you can Edit>Cut (X) the paper surrounding the mask away.

Now the mask layer can be Deleted. (Obviously, to Work Smart Not Hard, I could have moved the mask layer below the paper layer then Clipped the paper to the mask… which is what I did with the second example below. Live and learn!)

To get the flocked look on my brush, first I applied a Bevel Layer Style. Just as I did last tutorial, I clicked on the Styles button at the bottom of the Layers panel, then chose Bevels>Soft Pillow Emboss.

The default settings are fine, so on to the next step.

It’s a really good idea to Simplify layers when you’re planning to layer Styles, like I’m going to do here. Otherwise that bevel could disappear.

Several GS designers create Style sets to go with their collections but Katie of Just So Scrappy/Ooh La La Scraps is the only one who has a FELT style. I used JSS Lucky Me‘s black felt.

Look at that! And I Simplify

Now to do the digital version of “fussy cutting”, which leaves a thin white edge around the image. Super simple with a Stroke! Edit>Stroke (Outline Selection)

I just pulled 30 pixels out of the air and applied it to the INSIDE of the edge.

For those of you who have paper-scrapped, you know how the Stampin’ Up designers got the elevated look with their ornament cutouts. They used double-faced foam tape. Digitally, it’s a simple shadow! If you need a refresher on creating custom shadows, you can find my quick-and-easy method here. It starts with a blank layer UNDERNEATH the cutout.

I clicked on the cutout Layer Thumbnail with the blank layer active.

Then I Filled the outline with black.

So there’s the basic shadow layer. Clicking D gets rid of the marching ants and clicking V activates the Move tool.

I decided that I wanted a right-sided 30° angle on my light source so I nudged the shadow layer over as shown. To turn a flat black blob into something that looks like a shadow, it’s necessary to Blur it. Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur it, to be more precise.

To see the effect the Blur filter has, you can click on an edge with the cursor and it’ll pop up in the box as shown. Slide the handle to the right until it looks good to your eye. I went to 11.1 pixels.

I always change the Blend Mode for my shadow layers, which will change the transparency and the overall effect, but it’s an optional step. With this one I used Color Burn. It’s important to do this step BEFORE you adjust the Opacity, because the Blend Mode tool will stay turned on if you do it later, and then when you use your arrows thinking you’re going to nudge something, it isn’t going to move, but it might change colour or disappear altogether…

And then adjust the Opacity to what looks right.

Then I went ahead and made a second snowflake cutout using (most of) the same steps.

When you have two objects overlapping, the shadow will look different where the items actually touch. So I used the Smudge tool (the one that looks like a fingertip) to push the shadow a little closer to the upper layer and to pull it away a little where there would be more space between the paper and the background. It’s subtle but it does make a difference. (Take another look at the inspiration photo if you’re still confused.)

How did I do?

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Numbers-Go-Round

I almost didn’t think there would be a tutorial this week. I spent a huge chunk of time going through the paper clutter in my dining room sorting what needs to be kept and what could go to the shredder and at the end of it I was mentally exhausted. So I figured I’d do something fun; we’re redecorating and I want one of those huge farmhouse style clocks to go in the dining room. Bargain shopper that I am and not thrilled with the retail prices on these clocks, I took my $50 Lowe’s gift card and bought an 18″ chunk of stain-ready pine then started looking at examples on Pinterest. I knew I wanted Roman numerals on my clock so those are the ones I concentrated on. But how to get those numerals onto my slice of pine… PSE to the rescue. I thought.

I wasn’t anticipating the number of times I’d have to undo it all and start over. So I thought, “Maybe someone else could learn from my mistakes!” I had already decided I would use the Warp text tool and had to figure out how to bend it to my will.

I tried a couple of options from the menu before settling on the Arc warp. It gives a beautiful curve but doesn’t distort the text too much.

To give myself something to gauge the curve against, I used the Custom Shape Tool to pull out a nice perfect circle. The sliders do some crazy things to text! I went all the way over to the right with the Bend slider, but felt it didn’t leave quite enough space between the 8 and 9 or the 2 and 3. So I adjusted back to 94%

Then I typed out the rest of the numerals and warped them. But something doesn’t look right. I went back to my example on Pinterest and yep… it’s not right. The numerals on the bottom half are backwards.

So I deleted that text layer but while I was trying to figure out how to turn the numerals on the bottom half around, I pulled in some Guide lines to make positioning the 12, 3, 6 and 9 easier.

And I tried it again.

And failed. Again. So I thought, what if I flip the numerals horizontally?

Think it worked? As you can see, the bottom arc is a LOT bigger than the top one, which I did nothing to other than warp it.

Even after I resized and rotated the two halves to a more correct position, it still was wrong. Even after several more tries to get it right, I still didn’t have it.

So I took a break. I went to work, spent the day recertifying my special competencies and writing two exams. I put it out of my mind altogether. Then after I got home and had a nice glass of pino grigio to forget the stress of my math exam, I had a EUREKA moment! Maybe I needed to put the characters in reverse order then spin them around 180°.

Did it work?

YES!! With some caveats.

I adjusted the space between some of the numerals and rotated everything a smidge.

WooHOO! Now I can print it out in the size I want – even if I have to put it on four sheets – and trace them with carbon paper onto my clock. I’m so excited to see it all finished!

So there’s another way to add some originality to your text!

Pinspiration | Big Titles

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Happy Saturday scrappers! I was perusing around Pinterest today looking for ideas. I stumbled upon a lovely layout (will show you below) with a big title. That got my scrappy gears moving in my brain. So, I thought I would share that inspiration with you.

So often we allow the photos or a great paper to be the focal point of our layout. We plop a title on at the very end of it all (if we do at all). Personally, I struggle with coming up with a great title. Really, as I scrap mostly my son, I feel like slapping “Isaiah” on every page. lol. I searched “scrapbook big title” on Pinterest & was inspired! Here are some great examples of making the title your focal point. Making a statement with a big title.

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The Pin | Original Source

I really like the idea of the large number that signifies something. It works at the title as well as a great backdrop. The choice of alpha allows for the large number to blend perfectly to the layout & not over power it. Who doesn’t have a number that is significant to them. A person’s age, an anniversary, or a reunion. The next time you are scrapping a memory that has a significant number marker, think about making that your focal point. Scrap it with a big title!

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The Pin | Original Source

This really is the focal point of the layout. I really like how the paper is cut around the title. I feel like when it is time for me to go to the beach, I want to yell it to everyone. Just go around yelling, “BEACH!” lol. This large titled layout really brings all the pretty and fun beach photos together. Your eyes are drawn to the large title to start with. At the same time, it is bringing your eyes to the photos around it. This would make a great title page to a vacation book too!

[Read more…]

Be Pinspired – Creative Photos

How insane is it that we are half the way through 2017. I swear it seems just a few weeks ago we were starting this year! That just blows my mind. Anyway, team member La’Shawn here to bring you some fun inspiration for your digital scrapbooking this Saturday.

I am not going to lie. Pinterest is one of my favorite go-to sources for inspiration. I thought it would be fun to take a look at some creative photo ideas for our layouts. I found ten out-of-the-box ideas when it comes to photos on pinterest. All images are linked as well!

You can take this idea and run with it in so many ways! Moons, stars, hearts, and so much more! I absolutely will be using this on a future layout.

 

I love stitches on a layout. To me they add depth to it. I like the almost quilt like look of this! Taking whatever stitches, ribbons, or paper strips and using them to outline paper and photos.

 

This one is adorable! We have a lot of great expecting items in the store as well. I know a few of them have the silhouette you can do this with.

 

I am not much of a traveler myself. This is super cool to me though. Taking photos and clipping them to a state shape for each one you have visited. So cool!

 

You cannot go wrong with some good ol blocking!

 

I just love the idea of taking photos and building them into a shape to go along with a theme. Miss Fish Templates actually has one in her store to get you going with this idea!

 

This one would be pretty easy to do. Some cleverly placed triangles. Really makes those b&w photos pop with all that pretty paper.

 

I absolutely love this idea and will be recreating it. It would be another one pretty simply created. You know what though? Check out this template from Craft-tastrophic!

 

Like I mentioned before, I am not much of a traveler. If I ever take an out of county trip though, this will be in my book! This collab has a template that would work for this perfectly!

 

I have done something like this with my son’s initial and age. I love this idea. Check out these number templates from Connie Prince!

Be Pinspired – Christmas Advent Calendar

For those who celebrate, Christmas is right around the corner. I know that for here in the states, we have already been Christmastized since November 1st. That doesn’t mean (for me at least) that we cannot enjoy counting down until Christmas!

That is what we are going to talk about today. Christmas Advent Calendar. What is that?

An Advent calendar is a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas.

I am going to show you some great examples from Pinterest on making your own Advent calendar. Then I will follow up with some great Christmas goodies from the store. Digital scrapbooking doesn’t have to stay digital, you know! Print those items out and get to gluing!

 

 

 

 

 


Here are a few Christmas items from the store. Images are linked!

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Days of Thankful

Good morning scrappers. November is just a few sleeps away. I don’t know about you, but I just cannot believe that! We are nearly done with 2016. Wow! Well, with November comes the thought of being Thankful. I cannot be alone in seeing my Facebook (and more) filled with 30-Days of Thankful. With Thanksgiving just passing in Canada; and Thanksgiving fast aproching in the States, who could blame them? Did you know you could scrap your 30-Days of Thankful? Well, of course you can. 🙂  I was looking around on Pinterest and the store and here are some fun ideas and digital scrapbooking supplies to get those projects rolling. (all images are linked.)

 

 

 

 


Here are some great items from the store. (images linked)

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapping with Pumpkins

Are you in full scrapping mode today?! Today is the official day of DSD. I have been scrapping like mad. Do you know what October also brings with it? All things pumpkins! That is what we are going to talk about today. Scrapping with Pumpkins.

I was looking around on Pinterest and found some really cool ideas on inputting pumpkins in your digital scrapbooking layouts. Here are just a few of them that I love. (Images are linked to source.)

Scrapping with Pumpkins

You will be hard pressed to find any digital scrapbooking kit without at least one button in it. Take a look through your stash. FInd all those orange, yellowish, brown, and green buttons. How cool would this be on a digital scrapbooking layout?

 

I am absolutely going to do this on one of my digital scrapbooking layouts for my sister's book. This is such a cute idea. You can find a lot of pumpkin templates out there (see below) to accomplish this. You can also cut your photos whatever shape you want and just place them on your pumpkin paper with the right shadow work to look like they are cut out.

I am absolutely going to do this on one of my digital scrapbooking layouts for my sister’s book. This is such a cute idea. You can find a lot of pumpkin templates out there (see below) to accomplish this. You can also cut your photos whatever shape you want and just place them on your pumpkin paper with the right shadow work to look like they are cut out.

 

Another great example of a pumpkin shaped scrapping. Just cut out your papers/ photos the size you want and arrange them to look like a pumpkin!

Another great example of a pumpkin shaped scrapping. Just cut out your papers/ photos the size you want and arrange them to look like a pumpkin!

 

There are so many great ideas you can do when it comes to scrapping with pumpkins. I found some great ideas right here at GingerScraps! Our gallery is filled with some of the best layouts around digital scrapbooking town. Here are some lovely ideas you can scrap lift!

 

 

 

 

 

Wonderful, right? You know what is next!! Here are some great items from here at GingerScraps to scrap all things pumpkin. Like the images above, they are linked to their counterpart in the store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Pinspired | Scrapping with Shapes

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Good morning scrappers! Today finds me doing all that. I got to thinking about scrapping with shapes. I am usually a square/rectangle photo kind of scrapper. Paper layering too. I tend to shy away from different shapes. I am not sure why. That is just how I scrap. So, I got to looking around on pinterest and found some fun layouts with different shapes. I am here right now to show you those & hope you find some inspiration as I did. (all images linked to their pin).

Great use of circles! So many photos & a great way to get them all on your page. Very little (to no) elements used. Really brings one’s focus to the fun photos.

 

I really wish I had taken more preggers photos to scrap. This would, hands down, be one of the pages I scrapped. I love the ultra sound photo in the tummy.

 

love love love this idea!! Very little elements and great focus on the photos. I really like the string/stitching to pull it all together. Great idea & fun shaped layout.

 

No elements and little to no paper! This layout doesn’t need it. These photos are all the focus and great layout to do that!

These are just a few of the ideas I found on pinterest. I absolutely am going to take that bottom and and scraplift it. Did any of them stick out to you? Got another fun shaped layout to share? Let us share ideas and inspiration! Link us up!

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Be Pinspired – Back to School

Earlier we talked about some great back to school items from the store along with some inspirational layouts from the gallery. Today we are going to take a look over at Pinterest to get some more inspirational ideas for back to school. (images are linked!)

Most all of these seem to be done the traditional way, glue and paper. You can take most any craft and put a digital scrapbooking twist on it. All you need is a bit of inspiration, your imagination, and a printer! I chose all these ideas with that in mind! They could all easily be turned to a digital scrapbooking craft.


 

Think about all those lovely papers you have in your digital scrapbooking stash! Think about how standout and amazing this hand-print flower would be with those papers!

 

This is more of just and idea for a photo. You know, so you can scrap it! I love love love this idea!!

 

This one is my favorite of today’s pins. You can do every single bit of the paperwork on this via digital scrapbooking. You just need to pick your size, decorate, print and laminate. My son loves to read and loves finding fun bookmarks. This is on my to-do list!

 

These are super cute and look like they would be pretty easy as well. Especially since you can do most of the paper-working via digital scrapbooking!

 

Here is another great idea for the 1st day of school photo. That sheet would be super easy to make in photoshop with your lovely digital scrapbooking goodies as well!

I know this isn’t the longest blog post ever. I hope you got some ideas from it and found some inspiration for your back to school projects!

Be Pinspired – Summer Crafts

Summer is in full swing here in the states. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for school to start back. With that in mind, we are going to get some inspiration from Pinterest today. Today’s post isn’t strictly about digital scrapbooking. However, I think you could use just about any of these ideas with your digital scrapbooking stash.

So let us get started! All images are linked. To start out with we are going to take a look at a fun list of scrapbook layout titles. I am awful at titling a page. Here are some great examples to help out!

 

To go right along with these titles, here are some fun fonts to use on your digital scrapbooking layouts about summer (or any layout really!) The “Sunshine” using the Janda Stylish font is awesome and totally going to be on one of my next layouts!

In my search for fun summer time craft and scrapbook ideas, I found this really cool traditional layout with movie ticket stubs! How cool is that? I got to thinking how that could be taken and turned into a digital scrapbooking layout. Here is the pin that got those ideas flowing.

To round things up, here are some fun paper, paint and glue crafts for the summer. Put your gray matter to work and see how you can flip these to digital scrapbooking crafts. I would love to see how you do it!!

 

 

Now, get to scrapping and crafting!