Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Custom Word Art using Only Fonts!

Greetings and salutations! Yesterday was Thanksgiving in Canada, which isn’t quite the event our neighbours to the south have grown into, but I still spent part of the day in a food coma. Let me offer you a little tip – don’t wait too long to buy your turkeys. Demand here was significantly greater than supply; even Costco didn’t have any turkeys this weekend. If you see turkeys in your supermarket, grab one! But I digress…

As you may recall, at the end of my last tutorial (with the childish fonts and dingbats) I said I’d show you how to use fonts and dingbats to create your own word art. You might also recall my inspiration was my grand-daughter. The little girl who eats like a lumberjack… I’m using Cookie Dough, Amateur Comic Regular and MTF Sweet Dings Regular today. For more guidance on how to choose fonts that will look good together, I have a tutorial for you here.

When I’m creating things like this I always use a 12×12 canvas with a transparent background. I like the larger image so I can see better how it all works together and the extra room for tweaking. The end result can easily be resized later.

I’m going to start with Amateur Comic Regular. It doesn’t matter what colour I use, because I’m going to change it later. But I do want it centered and I want both Asian Text and Anti-aliasing on. The Asian Text control helps with kerning – spacing between individual characters. In later versions there is a kerning control, labeled Spacing but it doesn’t work quite as well as actual kerning. The Anti-aliasing control gives your fonts smooth, clean edges; it just diminishes the jaggedy pixels you’d see with larger text.

When using fonts the resulting layers need to be Simplified before you can manipulate them, so that any changes to that layer only affect that layer. If I typed out this text but didn’t Simplify the layer, then changed the font (as I’ll be doing in a minute) this layer would change to that font too. So always remember to spell-check. grammar-check then Simplify by right-clicking on the layer in the Layers Panel and choosing Simplify Layer from the dropdown menu.

I may need to make some further placement adjustments to this text, so I opted to break up the layer into two chunks of text. With the Rectangular Marquee tool, I outlined the second line.

Next, I Cut that line away from the first line: Edit>Cut [keyboard shortcut: CTRL/CMD>X]

And then without any further ado, I Pasted it back onto the canvas: Edit>Paste [CTRL/CMD>V]

Now I can move each line around, resize and reposition as needed.

I changed my font to Cookie Dough. For this word, I’m going to put each letter on its own layer for now. (If you don’t intend to make many changes to the text, you won’t need to do these steps.) So I typed a D, Committed the Operation and then carried on. You can toggle between the Move Tool and the Text Tool by clicking [V] for Move, [T] for Text.

I wanted the letters to be a little off-kilter and shifted them around until I was happy with their positions.

At this point, I’m planning to turn the letters into donuts so I’ll need to Simplify each layer. Because I was only rotating the letters before, I could wait until everybody was where I wanted them then I could Simplify in one step instead of 6. I Activated all 6 layers by clicking on the top letter layer, holding down the SHIFT key and clicking on the bottom letter layer. Then I right-clicked and chose Simplify Layer. Boom!

The layers can now be Merged into a single layer.

I added a MTF Sweet Dings Regular donut. Dingbats are drawings that correspond to the alphabet. The donut’s the letter W.

And of course, I Simplified the layer…

… made a Copy layer: right-click>Duplicate Layer>OK [CTRL/CMD>J] and used the Paint Bucket tool [K] to Fill the bare donut part with a golden brown colour. More about that step in a bit. I made some Copies of the DONUTS layer [CTRL/CMD>J] so I can separate out certain elements of the text for enhancement. I added a Layer Mask – click on the icon at the top of the Layers panel that looks like a blue square with a white circle in the centre – to the bottom DONUTS layer so I can remove parts of the image without actually deleting the pixels. This is the best way to remove parts of an image because if there’s an OOPS!, the accidentally-erased part can be painted back in. Remember, black conceals, white reveals – THE BACKGROUND. Using the Eraser tool and with white in the foreground I removed all the sprinkles. To paint back an OOPS, toggle to black in the foreground [X] and fix it.

To make the Layer Mask part of the layer just Simplify Layer. Right-click in between the mask and the image thumbnail.

Next, I just want an outline of the frosted area of each letter. With a Layer Mask, I removed the sprinkles and the cakey parts. It doesn’t have to be perfect because the other layers will conceal any wobbles.

I like to make more Copy layers than I think I’m going to need, which usually is a good idea. Here I’m going to just leave the sprinkles, but I’ve already done the hard work.

 

I CTRL/CMD>clicked on the layer thumbnail (the tiny image of what’s on each layer at the far left of the layer in the Layers panel) for the first DONUTS layer with no sprinkles. That Selected the edges of that layer. See the marching ants?

Then with the topmost Copy layer active, I just Deleted what I Selected. [CTRL/CMD>D or just hit Delete] and voilà! All that’s left are the sprinkles.

Now to get some colour into the picture. With the first of our DONUTS layer active, I’m going to add a Fill Layer. The reason for this is that the results are much cleaner than if I used the Paint Bucket. Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color.

Tick that Use Previous Layer to Create a Clipping Mask box and let Elements do the work.

The Color Picker opens and I chose a nice golden brown.

 

The Fill Layer and the layer it’s clipped to need to be Merged, so click>SHIFT>click on the two layers, right-click and choose Merge Layers [CTRL/CMD>E]

The frosting layer will be Filled with white using the Paint Bucket tool [K].

Make sure you’re not going to leak!

I also used a Fill Layer to make the sprinkles layer pink. I won’t show screenshots of those steps because that’s unnecessarily repetitive! But I will show you screenshots of the Fill Layer for the Amateur Comic text. I want it to be pink too.

I decided the pink text lacked a bit of presence so I’ve chosen to add a white Stroke to the outside. Edit>Stroke (Outline) Selection.

8 pixels makes a nice stroke for titles. I’ll position it to the Outside so it doesn’t hide any of the pink.

I think it looks good now.

I went on to use the Paint Bucket to frost the dingbat donuts, change some of the sprinkles to purple and position the layers so they look right. Then I Merged all the layers. To have my word art (and work!) saved for later, I’m going to Save As> [CTRL/CMD>SHIFT>S].

I have a Jan’s Elements folder on my laptop, so that’s where I’ll put it. I named the file Donuts Word Art and will save it as a PNG so the background stays transparent.

Smallest/Slow Compression and No Interlace will preserve the word art for me in the cleanest and neatest format so I can use it as the title for my layout.

I’ve been told there are a LOT of new members of the GingerScraps family, so I’m going to do a few basic tutorials in the coming weeks to help them feel more comfortable here. Stay tuned!

PDF Version: https://bit.ly/3FNtvOy

Tutorial Tuesday (Fonts)

Fun Fonts for Layouts about Kids

It’s been a while since I did a post about fonts. I didn’t really think there were that many more “types” of fonts to explore but Ellen (gmae) pointed out to me that there are categories I’ve overlooked. I have to tell you about this because it blew my mind totally. Ellen has created a spreadsheet of ALL the tutorials I’ve posted here – all 240-some – and made it sortable by a bunch of different terms. The amount of work she put in just boggles my mind! An unintended result of all her work is that she’s made some very important suggestions about where I could take you all next. One of those suggestions was to explore some fonts specifically suited to layouts about children. So I spent some time at dafont.com, looking at hundreds of fonts and selected this baker’s dozen along with five sets of dingbats I think you’ll like. (And while I was there, I came up with some new categories to share later!) Okay so let’s get a look at what I like. PS… each font name is linked to the website for one-click access. And they’re all FREE!

First up is Cookie Dough. What kid doesn’t love cookies (other than my second daughter)? This would be a great choice for a title or for some custom word art.

Eye Monsta made me think of my two grandsons right away, especially A-boy. J-man is more cerebral and a bit less inclined toward monster-like behaviour. It’s another title-suitable font but is legible enough that it could be used for both subtitles and journaling too.

I like how solid Childhood is. It looks like it’s been filled in by a child and has a bit of grubby awesomeness too. Multi-use fonts are worth the download.

Space Out comes in two different styles. It’s another good title/word art font, don’t you think?

This font, Crayon Kids, looks like an older child was the writer. It can be fun for journaling and subtitles. It would also be a good choice for word art, when combined by a more fancy font.

I LOVE Calvin and Hobbes!! Did you see the cross-over to Bloom County? An adult Calvin (click to view) is tracked down by Opus and it’s perfect!

This cute font would make a good title, but is also legible enough for journaling. Helloo Kidos will be joining my collection.

Tiny Friends is like Eye Monsta… very child-oriented and fun. And it has so much potential for creative alterations!

I think Childhood Memories looks like it was hand=printed by an older child/teen. Great choice for journaling.

I like Amateur Comic for journaling too. It’s a bit less organized than Childhood Memories, but still easily read.

Another good font for journaling and subtitles is Gilles’ Comic Handwriting. It’s a nice blend of careful and a bit rushed.

Who doesn’t adore Lego? Toys comes with four different versions and has a lot of potential.

I think the name of this last font is totally appropriate. It’s Kindergarten!

Now I’ve got some dingbat collections for you. What are dingbats? They’re accessed as fonts, but instead of letters, each character is a drawing. They’re really a lot of fun and have a multitude of possibilities. The first set is called Seaside Things. The drawings are child-like, but not necessarily childish.

When my own kids were small, they all loved the Mr Men books. We had a box full of them and when I saw this set of dingbats, I was transported back to bedtime stories.

We can’t leave the girls out. Little Miss is a companion set to the Mr Men books and the dingbats too!

DT Rachel’s Toys is a bit more of a detailed set. I think there are a lot of ways these can be used.

And our last dingbat collection is MTF Sweet Dings. They’re all so cute!!

I’ve barely scratched the surface of the incredible choices you can find at dafont.com. There are other sources for free fonts too, if you’re interested. Next week I’m going to use two of the fonts and one of the dingbats to show you how to create your own word art. See if you can guess which ones. [Hint: I’m going to use it as a title for a layout featuring my granddaughter.] See you soon!

PDF Tutorial: https://bit.ly/3iBte7w

Tutorial Tuesday (Fabulous Fonts)

A Baker’s Dozen of Father’s Day Fonts

It’s been a while since I showed you some new fonts, and with Father’s Day coming up I thought I’d look at the selection at dafont.com to see if I could find some more great masculine fonts to share. I have so many frilly, scripty, swashy fonts, but not so many that are more suited to the men in my life. I found a dozen that fit the bill very well and have a bonus set of dingbats at the end. (I also downloaded <coughcough> fourteen others…) Each font name is linked to the dafont.com website so you can quickly and easily grab the ones you want. Let’s have a look at what I’m liking.

First up is this one that made me laugh out loud. Daddy Cartoon is cute, but still would work for those layouts where Dad’s being silly.

Next is this Indiana Jones-inspired font Adventure. Great for titles and easy to read, this could be your go-to for your manly layouts.

Pac-Font took me right back to the early days of my marriage, when we had one little person in our house. My husband has always had a deep and abiding love for video games, and this one would be right up his alley.

I like the grunginess of Campus. It makes me think of workshops, garages, paint shops and that sort of stereotypically male environment.

This serif-style font is pretty grungy too, but in a less formal way. It’s called Sketchzone and I could see it working well for both titles and subtitles.

For some reason, this one made me think of tree houses and forts with “No Gurlz Allowed” signs. Don’t you think Drift Type would fit right in?

Woodcut immediately made me think of chisels and carving tools. A bevel added to this would turn it into a stunning alpha and it’s already shadowed!

I could see Sherlock Press as a stand-out title font for heritage layouts, with photos of men with handlebar moustaches and neatly parted hair.

Sketchup is another font that looks hand-drawn and would look wonderful on any layout about creativity.

I think Rumble Brave has a steampunk look to it. I’d probably use it for layouts filled with gears, nail heads, staples, maybe a pocket watch… Yes?

To me, 1-2-3 Go! suggests car racing, with the checkered-flag bits embedded in the characters. With a little manipulation it could be a smashing alpha.

The last font on the list is one I HAD to include after my tutorial last week. Decaying Felt Pen just made me laugh.

Now for the one dingbat that has the incongruent name Tool Font. It’s not really a font… but the silhouettes are pretty sharp!

I’ll be making a Father’s Day card and some birthday cards soon for my grand-daughter, whose birthday is June 29th, and her big brother, birthday July 1st, Maybe I’ll make one for my son-in-law whose birthday is July 3rd……. we’re THAT family. You may see one of these turn up in a tut in the coming weeks, if inspiration strikes and it’s worth sharing.
Link to PDF version of this tutorial: https://bit.ly/2SCNmfD

Tutorial Tuesday (Fonts)

Hearts and Flowers

Did the groundhog see his shadow in your part of the world? Ours did… of course today would be the first sunny day in weeks! But I’m not a big believer in the legend so I’m not worried. Spring will arrive when it’s ready and not before, as usual. Meanwhile, Valentine’s Day is looming large on the horizon and even the least romantic of us is thinking about love. I honestly thought I’d already put together a hearts-and-flowers Valentine’s Day font collection but I was wrong. We’re going to remedy that right now! I have nine romantic fonts, ten heart-y dingbat sets and a bonus set of cherubs to share with you, all FREE from Dafont. I’ll link each font to the download for you so you can grab the ones that light you up. (I’m making a practice of using coloured text for anything I’m going to link for you, so look for the colours!)

First up we’re looking at Pinky Cupid. It’s a bold, script font with some fancy twists and would be great for both titles and subtitles, dates and even journaling.

Lovely Couple is a condensed script font with a few embellishments. It’s a good choice for any text application you might have.

I can’t get enough of this one! Lovea Hegena has such a gorgeous loopy flow to it.

Look at those tiny sweet hearts on the ends of the strokes in Lovely Valentine! Don’t you love them? ** There are TWO fonts with this name, so make sure you use the link I’ve provided to take you to this one.

The art deco look to Valtin has me squealing! I can think of so many ways to make this really spectacular. I might have to turn it into an alpha to have in my stash.

I can see True Stories as a title font for layouts with children in them. It’s playful but still lovey. ** Again, there are TWO fonts with the same name.

When I look at Lovely Kei, I see bubbles, heart-shaped bubbles. Titles, anyone?!

I almost didn’t include School Girl Crush, but I took another look at it and decided it deserved to be here. Those heart medallions take a very ordinary block font to a whole other level.

Lamor is a mash-up of Valentine’s Day, the 70s and doodles. It’s perfect!

Now on to the dingbats! Bonus Hearts reminds me of confetti. It would make a fabulous scatter, with some layer styles added randomly. (You might see what I mean in the Gallery. Just sayin’!)

There are a lot of “love” images here in Love Romance. Of course, the screenshot is only showing a handful of them, but I’m loving those paired swirly hearts.

Have you looked at the Challenges for February? So many of them are about hearts. Or Heartz, if you will!

How about doodly Loveya Doodle hearts? These could be turned into brushes or popped into thought bubbles.

These are doodly too, but in a different way; I love the scribbled ones. This is called My Valentines Love.

I don’t like the lipstick kiss image in Valentine as much as I do the one in Love Romance, but OMG, there are some kissing giraffes and some teddy bears you can’t see. But don’t take my word for it… check them out yourself!

If you like Victorian romance images, then Valentine C is the set for you! There’s a LOCKET in there!

Sexy Love Hearts has a huge selection of very versatile images. I think I like the one with the random dots in it best, but it’s hard to choose.

The images in Sexy Rexy Smitten make me think of tattoos. There are a few winged hearts in this set, along with some very sweet curlicues and a heart banner I’m totally enamoured with.

Heart Shapes TFB is just that – a passel of heart shapes.

This set is so whimsical, with smiley faces inside solid hearts. It’s called Font Hearts Love.

And now, the bonus set… look at all those naked babies! Rubens would be so proud… and is that a heart-shaped cello? The collection is called Gabriel’s Angels.

What do you think? See something you like? I hope so! Next week we’ll be playing with text again, so stay tuned.
Here is a PDF of this tutorial: https://bit.ly/39HXo59

 

 

Tutorial Tuesday (Fonts)

Christmas is Coming… Get Your Fancy Fonts HERE!

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one whose having a hectic time right now. Even though Christmas will be a little different this year, it’s still coming and there are still lots of jobs to take care of. I haven’t had much free time this week to do something wildly creative to share with you, so I went for the low-hanging fruit – free Christmasy fonts! (It’s been a while since I shared some wintertime fonts with you, after all.) I have a baker’s dozen for you, and four sets of dingbats that I think you’ll love. They’re all from dafont.com and are 100% free for personal use. The bold blue test links you right to the download area, so have fun! (I won’t tell you how many I downloaded while I was doing my “research”.)

We’ll start with this brand new font called Christmas Bell. It has a bunch of glyphs (swirlicues, doodles and tiny ornaments) that turn the letters into something really special. If you’re unsure how to find those fancy add-ons, I have a tutorial for you called Unlocking the Secret Extras in Your Font Files and one for Mac users here.

Next up is Snowy Christmas. It’s a cute one, with lots of potential. It too has some little add-ons like that adorable snowman.

The third one has the very imaginative title of Merry Christmas. But those snowflakes! And the reindeer!!

Holly and Berries looks similar to Snowy Christmas, but it’s got lots of its own charm.

The Perfect Christmas is also similar, but is a cursive font that looks almost hand-drawn. And it has snowflakes.

Sorry, I got sidetracked there for a second. I was watching a red-tailed hawk looking for lunch! PW Joyeux Noel is font #6 on my list today. It’s more wintery than Christmasy, but it’s fun. (Joyeux Noël is Merry Christmas in French.)

This one has a delicious distressed, grunge look. Miraculous Christmas would be ideal for layouts with a farmhouse or rustic theme.

Christmas Lights is like a font/dingbat hybrid. It has two different looks: the “outside” version reminds me of all the times hubby and I were outside in the freezing cold, putting lights on the gutters without enough clips and freezing our fingers off. Yep, it’s good enough, now let’s get inside! Then the “inside” version looks like the lights have been carefully strung on a mantel or around a door, with plenty of attention to detail.

This one, Christmas Time, comes with two versions, one with stars and one without.

I think I might have shown you Candy Cane before. But it’s cute enough and has so many possibilities, so here it is (maybe) again.

Next Tuesday, December 21, is the first time in nearly 800 years that the “Bethlehem star” (a conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn that will look like a huge star) will be visible to the whole world. (Astronomers say those living near the Equator will have the best view.) If you’d like to know more about why I’m calling it the “Bethlehem star”, drop me a comment and I’ll expound. What made me think of it is the way the stars in Christmas Sparkle look a lot like artistic portrayals of the original New Testament star.

I like this next one for its title-potential. Hello Christmas has a calligraphic style with a scatter of glitz.

What can I say about Christmas/Flakes? It’s a very formal, very upright, very elegant all-caps font with snowflakes!

Now on to the dingbats. There are so many things that can be done with these!! You could create a customized coloring book for a special little person, create a brush you can use over and over, turn them into Christmas cards or gift tags, really the only limit is your imagination.

Xmas TBF Christmas is filled with festive images. That reindeer cracks me up!

I think this one is really creative. The outlines can be done in one color, the fillers in another. Hello Christmas Icons is simple but interesting.

I think Merry Christmas Go would be perfect for the littlest kiddos as coloring pages. The outlines are thick and dark, the shapes aren’t overly fussy and they could be used to teach new words to little readers.

I saved the BEST dingbat set for last. It’s crammed with images both spiritual and fun. There are 3 dingbat sets in one collection called WM Christmas. Pro tip: This one takes a lot of time to queue up to install, so make sure you verify a successful install before you want to use it.

Hopefully next week I’ll have something new and creative for you, but I’m not making any promises. I’m going to make a drive-by visit at my parents’ house on Sunday, just to see them with my own eyes. It’s a 2 1/2 hour drive each way, but the weather should be good. Maybe inspiration will strike while I’m driving… To my Jewish friends out there, may the last days of Hanukkah be blessed.

Tutorial Tuesday (Fontography)

Recorded History

When I woke up this morning I was shocked to realize that it’s Tuesday already! There has been some momentous happenings in our house since I last blogged here. We found out on Thursday that my husband has a half-sister! He was raised as an only – his father left them when he was a toddler. So when this very sweet lady contacted our daughter via 23andMe to find out how they were related, it was the LAST thing that occurred to any of us. He’s very excited, which surprised me a little. We’re still trying to track down confirmation, but the odds are very high that she IS his half-sister. And that’s what has consumed me for the last few days. So today’s tutorial is a bit of a lazy one – I’m going to show you some great (FREE) fonts for heritage layouts, since genealogy is at the forefront of my mind right now. I found all of these at my favourite source for free fonts, dafont.com.

I looked for title fonts, monogram fonts and journaling fonts. We’ll start with titles, but they’re not really in any kind of order.

Black Chancery is a Gothic font that is easy to read and not overly fancy.

Blacklet is another Gothic font, a bit more like those old stencils we used in school.

I like Darks Skyrim Font for its drama! It has a vintage look to it, but also suggests intrigue and strength.

Beyond Wonderland has a whimsical but old-tyme-y look.

Then there’s Valdemar. This one is a bit Teutonic, so if you have Germanic ancestry it would fit very well.

1742 Frenchcivilite makes me think of pirates and swashbuckling. It looks like it was written with a quill pen.

Linthicum reminds me of early America. I don’t have any ancestors who arrived in North America before about 1830, but my husband has them dating back to 1608!

Hentimps Circlet is another crisp Gothic font with just the right amount of curlicue.

Arquitec is another very antique-looking one. I can’t remember if I downloaded it, but I want it in my collection! [There! Fixed it!]

Any J. R. R.Tolkien or George R. R. Martin descendants out there? EG Dragon Caps was made for you!

I saw Silvus and swooned! The fairytale quality is so attractive! I think it could be great for either titles or monograms and I’m already planning to dissect it so I can turn it into illuminated initials.

Christensen Caps is another one that could be amazingly illuminated. It looks like something you’d find on a medieval manuscript.

I like American Dreamer for its simplicity.

Riesling is one of my favourites. It’s got a real Art-Deco vibe to it and makes me think of the Great Gatsby.

I like Royal Queen, a curvy Gothic font. It could be a title font, or used for journaling because it’s readily legible.

Royal Initialen is one I’ve had in my collection for years. It’s purely a monogram font and it has so many possibilities for someone who likes to experiment. <raises hand>

 

What a great serif style title font! Cash Currency is bold, solid and elegant.

When I first saw Victorian Parlor, the first thing that popped into my head was the Addams Family! I like the curly-swirly caps paired with the more simple lower case letters.

The Parthenon isn’t just a Greek monument! I feel like this could work for both titles and monograms.

Here’s another versatile one, Queensby. I’d probably use it for subtitles and journaling.

Journaling fonts should be ones that don’t eat space and are easy to read. I like to use typewriter-style fonts for documenting family history, and the more rustic the font, the better I like it. Old Newspaper Types is one I’ve used a few times, and when I finally get around to scrapping the story of my Luddite ancestor, who I learned about via a newspaper story, this is what I’m going to use.

Rough Typewriter is another of my go-to typewritten fonts. It’s just messy enough to look old, but not too messy to read.

Lucky Typewriter is just a bit more detailed.

CF Remington Typewriter has that antique look to it that I like so much.

Tippa reminds me of mimeographed tests I had back in elementary school. It has that distressed look.

Kimberly Geswein has a ton of fabulous handwritten fonts that are perfect for journaling and I think KG Makes You Stronger is about perfect.

Handwriting CR is clean, clear and great for those back-to-school layouts too.

I like Lie to Me a lot. It’s legible but a little more adult than some of the handwritten fonts.

If you want a little more oomph in your handwritten font, A Casual Handwritten Pen brings it. It’s a bit bolder, but still clean and clear.

And last, Better Together Condensed is a clean, clear and slightly different handwritten font. It’ll allow you to cram a lot of text into a small space.

I know that as scrapbookers our main goal is to preserve our stories. Sure, creating a beautiful layout is a wonderful pursuit, but it’s the story behind the creation that really matters. I hope you’ve seen some new fonts that might work for your historical records!

Tutorial Tuesday (Fabulous Fonts)

Ten Fonts for DAD!

It’s almost Father’s Day already, and that means the year is nearly half over. I know staying home and feeling hemmed in has made it seem like time has really been dragging, but it really hasn’t. I know many of you have been scrapping your little hearts out to keep busy, and that Father’s Day this year (like Mother’s Day and so many other special occasions) will be a little different than we’d like. Personally, I haven’t had time for much, but that’s gradually sorting itself out. For this week’s tutorial, I have a question for you… “Do you have some great fonts for your masculine layouts?” I did a little looking around for some manly (and FREE!) fonts that will add the finishing touches to your layouts about Dads. These are the Top Ten on my list.

First I looked at dafont.com, which is my go-to for free fonts.

Chunk Five is a basic poster-type font, but a sturdy one.

Reisenberg comes in a variety of styles. It’s an all-caps font with limited punctuation. It’s clean and bold, so it will make awesome titles.

Galactic Vanguardian has a slightly futuristic look to it.

Black Hawk is a marquee-style font that would be perfect for layouts showcasing vintage photos.

Here’s another spacy font, Galaxy 1. I think it’s ideal for dads (or sons, or brothers) who love the Star Wars franchise, Space Balls, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica… You know who they are!

This grungy font Capture It still has a lot of presence, even though it looks pretty rough.

Then I moved on to fontspace.com, another source for fabulous free fonts. Permanent Marker is a handwritten font you could use for both titles and journalling.

I like this one, Trajanus Roman, for its formal and spare look.

The next site I checked out was 1001fonts.com, where I found a couple of keepers.

Marlboro is reminiscent of the old cigarette ads that used to fill up magazines. But it’s also a strong, rugged font.

I saved the best for last… I LOVE Saucer!! I can think of so many ways I can use this one.

What are YOUR favourite fonts for layouts about the men in your lives?

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Jazzing Up a Font

Wow, how much the world has changed in one short week! Our provincial government has declared a state of emergency, although the total number of cases of COVID-19 in our province is still under 100. We’ve been sticking close to home since last Thursday night, which is giving me time to do all the things on my task list. This post is late because I got sidetracked painting the family room… hope the buyer – whoever that ends up being -approves! But let’s get into distraction mode for a bit.

Maybe you’ve seen my layout in the Gallery, the one where my granddaughter is eating her peas with her tongue. This is how I created my title. I started with one of the fonts I linked you up with last week Floral Capitals. Everything I’ve done in this tutorial has been shown to you at least a couple of times before, so if you’re a faithful reader, you might even predict what’s coming next as we work through. There are a lot of steps but I’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you. Whenever I do something that I’m making up as I go along, I like to make some copies of the original layer so I’ll still have one untouched one should I need it. Here I made 2 copies and turned their visibility off.

I analyzed the font’s appearance and had an idea of what I wanted to do. I knew the border would be different so I started off on the bottom layer by Erasing the middle parts of each letter, leaving just the border. Then I made a copy so I could quickly reset if I did something I didn’t like.

Next, I Selected the edges of the floral design by Clicking on the Layer Thumbnail of the lower copy of the original.

Now the Marching Ants come into play.

Now that Elements knew I wanted to work with just the Selected areas of my title, I added a new blank layer between the copy of the border layer and the lower copy of the entire title.

With the new blank layer active, I hit Select>Modify>Expand. I want to adjust the areas selected just a tiny bit.

But I only needed to adjust it a smidge, 1 pixel wide.

Still on that blank layer, I added a Stroke to the Selection. Edit>Stroke (Outline Selected Area).

Again, I went with a skinny stroke, only 2 pixels wide, and I chose this carnation pink, pulled from one of the papers I planned to use for my layout. (Diva-tude from Jumpstart Designs.)

Here you can see the pink a little if you squint.

When I turned off the rest of the layers, now I could see clearly where the Stroke went.

Using the Paint Bucket, I filled in all the letters with the same pink.

Yep, then I Erased the fancy parts, leaving just the pink letters.

I zoomed in quite a lot so I could clean it up to the best of my ability.

To give the letters some more presence I went to the Styles menu and chose Bevels.

I like to use Simple Pillow Emboss, because it’s pretty predictable.

See how it adds weight to the letters, and puts a bit of shading around them too?

The Bevel default is 21 pixels, which is a bit too much for the look I’m after, so I decreased the size down to 7 pixels. Now the letters look like die cuts.

One way to check for stray pixels after you’ve extracted something, as I’ve done with the letters, is to apply a Style or a Shadow. Those stray pixels pop out like zits before a big date. That makes them easier to remove. (If you’re only looking for stray pixels, you can clear the Layer Style when you’re done by right-clicking on the layer in the Layers panel and selecting Clear Layer Style from the menu.)

Okay, mission accomplished. Onward and upward! I turned off all but one of the layers, the lower copy of the original title. I Erased the borders on this layer, since I have plans for the ones I’ve saved down at the bottom of the pile.

As I was getting the screenshots edited I discovered I’d missed one… an important one. I added a black chipboard Layer Style from Ooh La La Scraps’ All Hallows Eve to this layer. It adds just a bit of a flocked look to the outline. I played with the Layer Style settings.

But all I did was increase the Bevel a bit, from 10 pixels to 15. That sharpened the edges just a bit.

Next, using the Rectangular Marquee tool I dragged out a box just inside the outline of the first letter and used the Paint Bucket to Fill it with this dark olive green, also from Diva-tude.

And I did the same with all the rest of the letters.

It’s looking pretty good but it still wasn’t where I wanted it so I added a few more little tweaks.

I turned the border boxes layer back on and took a good look at them.

They needed to be punched up just a tad, so I added a Stroke.

It had to be a narrow one so the border didn’t run into the fancy part. 3 pixels worked. I could have put the Stroke outside the boxes, but then the boxes might have coalesced. Instead I centered the Stroke on the lines.

I found this perfect pink Glitter style in ADB Designs’ Holiday Joy styles kit. So it went on the borders.

OOH! So close!

Last thing I did was to add an epoxy Style (from Mommyish at another store) to just the pink letters.

And then I was happy!

You can use these tips on other detailed fonts, and experimenting is fun! I hope you give it a try!

Tutorial Tuesday (Potpourri)

Spring-y Fonts (Part 2)

Are you ready for some fresh new spring-y fonts? I last did a spring font post a year ago and figured it was time. (Plus I’ve been so busy trying pretty much single-handedly to get our current house ready moving out of. I’m getting tired of the smell of paint!)

All the fonts below are free for personal use at Dafont. They’re ones I haven’t shown you before, and there are a couple that would be perfect for titles. See what you think!

CF Springtime is one that I might use for a title or two. It’s got good weight and with the leaves, it’s just a bit different.

This isn’t a font but it’s so pretty! These wreaths, or whatever we want to call them, can be used as photo overlays, to frame photos, to frame other fonts and so many other possibilities. You’re looking for Spring Romance.

Here’s another font just screaming to be used in titles. It lends itself well to multiple modifications, and if I can find some time, I’ll play with it so you can see what I mean. Floral Dawn sounds so poetic!

 

Can you see this one as a title font? How much fun it would be to deconstruct it and use multiple colours to make it really pop. Floral Capitals might be my favourite of the bunch.

This is just a cute little romantic script with curlicues and everything! Flower Shop could be a journal font, don’t you think?

I like the graphic effect this one has. Imagine it clipped to a pretty green paper, maybe with a glitter style added on top. I’m not really loving the name the designer gave it though… Forced Flowers.

Sweet Duck has three different options and all of them are pretty awesome.

I threw this one in just for fun, for all of us arctic blonde hippie chicks. The 70s were the BEST decade ever… LMS Hippy Chick says so!

How do they come up with these names? LRT Chickenhawk… it’s cuter than its name, for sure.

And last but not least, I’ve got a dingbat for you. KR Spring Me has an assortment of spring-y images you could use as stamps.

I’ve linked up each font for you so if you see one you love, go and grab it! I have a couple of ideas for tuts for next week but haven’t decided which one I’ll go with. Stay tuned!

 

Tutorial Tuesday (PSE and TypeFace 2)

For all the Mac Users – Unlocking Secrets in Your Fonts

I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d get a tutorial out this week. I made a flying visit to BC to check in on my parents (they’re both fine, thank Heaven) over the weekend and didn’t get home until early this morning. But looking through my mailbox led to this!

I was really pleased that last week’s tutorial on using the hidden extras in our font files was so well-received. I had fun putting it together and hoped it would be a good choice. A comment from Carina got me thinking about what might be a suitable, similar font manager for Mac users that could work for the tut the way MainType does. And darned if I didn’t find one! It’s called TypeFace 2, and like MainType they have a free version and a paid version. (If you click on the software name above, it’s linked to the app store.) Of course, the user interface is different, but it has the same options. You can customize your tags so they make sense for you, you can move similar fonts into folders so you can quicken your search for the right one, and you can preview the fonts using the text you’re planning to put into your layout.

Here’s an example of a customized preview.

To be useful for finding, selecting and using the special characters that come with the fancy fonts, there needs to be a way to access them. I will admit that I didn’t test it, but reading the description of the app and some reviews, I’m pretty sure it’s going to work in a very similar way. One other benefit to this one is that it’s available for both Mac AND PC!

Now, for your viewing pleasure, some awesome (totally free) Hallowe’en fonts and dingbats!

This one I found at FontSpace.

The rest are from my second-favourite site, Dafont. You can grab this one here.

This is a bit of a variation on a theme, perfect for bold titles. Get it here.

This font isn’t quite a Hallowe’en one, but it’s very pretty, and the curlicues are reminiscent of the tendrils on pumpkin vines. It’s here.

I like this one for its simplicity, and its slight grunge. Find it here.

What do you think of the Gothic look of this one? Look for it here.

I think this would make the most interesting border on a Hallowe’en layout. You can find it here.

Happy haunting!