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!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements 2019)

FINALLY! Kerning is here!

Yes, I upgraded. I mentioned it last week, and that I’d only given it a cursory look-see. I accidentally created a layout using 2019, even though I’d intended to stick with the familiar for a while longer. There was one thing that caught my eye that I wanted to explore further, and this is the outcome.

One flaw I’ve always lamented (and did so in a couple of previous text-related tuts) is that Elements doesn’t allow kerning. What’s kerning? (I can see your quizzical looks!) Kerning is a printer’s term meaning the setting of two letters closer together than usual by decreasing the space between them. And with some fancy script fonts, kerning would be a really handy tool. Like Ballerina Script Regular… as I’m showing in my screenshot below. Those gaps!! Having to put each character on its own layer then nudging them together one at a time is such a time suck.

When I was journaling on the layout I accidentally used 2019 for, I noticed the addition of a new tool option in the Text tool called Tracking, and I suspected it had something to do with letter spacing. I was right!

With my text selected (and that’s really important for WSNH), I clicked on 25, as shown, and the tool shifted all the letters farther apart.

Obviously, to bring the letters closer together the negative numbers are the ones to use. Just a single click on -25 and it’s almost where I want it!

In an effort to make that “s” look better, I clicked on -50, but as you can see, the shift has now overshot and the “x” isn’t connected properly anymore. I know that other tools allow me to type in my desired number, so I tried that next.

I tried -35. SO close!

I changed it to -36 and decided I could live with it. What I DIDN’T think about was whether I could select just the “s” and move it by itself. That’s something I’ll try and I’ll let you know how it works out.

Here’s another script font that leaves huge gaps between letters. It’s called Peyton Script Regular. This might not be as quick to adjust.

First I wanted to see what spreading it out more would look like. Because sometimes that might look okay.

Then I went to the -25 setting and could see some improvement.

I figured it might be best to just jump right to -100. And it was better.

I only went up by 1 increment and ended up with sorta better. This is where isolating the “s” and adjusting only it might have been the answer. This font is fairly condensed to start with so I ended up with the crossbars on those two “t“s overlapping and looking wrong.

By adding a space with the spacebar between the words I was able to uncross the T bars, but was left with the “s“.

So now was the time to test my theory about isolating one or two characters only. Would it work?

I started with this “t“, which looked a bit funny, the way the stroke overlapped the “e“. I ended up at -15.

Then on to the “es“. It’s not perfect but it’s a lot better!

While I was at it, I decided I’d try to get rid of this little tail. Going to +25 was about the best I could do.

Then I Simplified the text and did some VERY minimal erasing. Looks pretty darned good now!

For me, this new tool option is a real game-changer. No longer do I have to choose between a font I love and the time it would take to make it look perfect. WINNER!!

Tutorial Tuesday (Potpourri)

Summertime Funtime Fonts

So… I finally got around to updating the master link list for all the Tutorial Tuesday posts yesterday. This is TT post #139!! Amazing… that I’ve found that much to yammer on about! While I was going over the list, I realized that I haven’t done a post with summertime fonts and such. Here in the northern hemisphere, we’ve just past the summer solstice and welcomed the formal season. We’re under a huge bank of rain clouds and parts of Alberta and BC got snow on the 21st, so we’re not feeling summer love right now, but I’ve got a baker’s dozen today, a mixture of fonts and ding bats, all found free at dafont.com.

First up is this font, ironically named Summertime. It’s pretty and would be an amazing title font for garden photos, weddings and other celebrations.

Next up is a fun font with some alternate characters from some of the letters, like that cure sun for the “O”.

If you live in the parts of the world where temperatures soar in the summer, (or you have annual forest fires 🙁 )this font might catch your eye.

This one made me almost spew my coffee. It looks just like I did at work last Tuesday! But I think it could be super for titles.

Think about doing this one in a dark red, and you’ve got a great picnic layout title. Or a cookout, if you go for gingham tablecloths.

This one I threw in because two big celebrations are coming up fast. Canada Day and Independence Day. So fireworks are a natural.

This one and the next are different takes on a similar theme. I can’t decide which one I like better.

Can you?

Now for some ding bats. Ding bats are little mini line drawings that can be used in the same way as a font, but with very interesting and fun results.

These are all very summery and could be used in so many ways.

This set could be used for more adult layouts. They’re solid, but by duplicating the layers, it would be easy to change colours and add glitter.

Same for these ones. I’m an avid gardener and have scads of garden photos. I’ll have to think about how I can use these.

This set has a mixture of images. The cactus could be incorporated into a desert layout title with that Summer Fire font. Amiright?

This set looks like so much fun! A day at the beach…

I have one last piece of news to add to this week’s post. Tomorrow is my last day of work in my real job. After 24 years of pediatric critical care nursing, I’m retiring. So I’ll have more time for hobbies… <does the happy dance> which is great timing, because I jumped on the Adobe sale for Elements 2019. Time to learn a few new tricks! (More to come on my retirement plans when I have them firmed up.) Have a great week, see you right here again next Tuesday!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Another Font-to-Alpha Option

The idea for this technique came to me while I was using Nyquil to fight off a cold and was probably not really coherent. But it seemed like a stroke of brilliance at the time so I decided to try it. It didn’t work the way I saw it in my mind’s eye, but I like how it came out in the end.

When turning a font into an alpha, bevels are very handy style tools but they don’t always give the look I want, being more sharply, blockily cut. I wanted to create a more curvy but smooth alpha with a paper clipped to it. So when it occurred to me that I could try using a rounded, beveled Style on my text then clipping the paper to that, I HAD to try it! Alas, it didn’t work the way I expected… I still ended up with a flat, 2-dimensional image. So I went back to the drawing board.

This font, called Lovelings (by a designer named Darrell Flood) was found at 1001 Free Fonts. It’s got that solid, curved look that makes great alphas.

I’ve started to automatically make a copy of my original text layer before I make and adjustments to it, just in case I need an untouched one later.

Then I started trying my idea out. And failing. Miserably. More than once! But then I tried this and it worked, so you get to see it. On my TOP layer, I added a Layer Style from Miss Mis DesignsHustle and Heart.

I used the cherry-red acrylic style and didn’t make any adjustments to it at all. It looks pretty great, but it isn’t the effect I was after.

So I turned the visibility for that layer off and went to the BOTTOM, original layer.

Then I dropped a patterned paper from I Believe in Love on top of the text. PSE in its later incarnations has an unfriendly habit of scaling objects to a single dimension (height) of the canvas, so it’s a pretty minuscule little swatch here.

To overcome that I resized the paper to 400%. It’s easy to do precisely by clicking on one of the corner handles of the Bounding Box, which opens up the Transform menu, then simply typing in the dimensions I want.

Once I had the paper big enough to work with, I Clipped the paper to the layer below it. CTRL/CMD>ALT>G is the WSNH shortcut, or Layer>Create Clipping Mask works too.

As you can see, the acrylic layer (visible again) is a little bit transparent and lets the paper show through. But not enough.

Easy enough to lighten the top layer some to let the paper show, but without losing the curvy, round effect of the acrylic altogether. I only decreased the layer’s Opacity to 80%.

All that was left was to select and Merge all the layers (CTRL/CMD>E or right-click>Merge) and I was ready to create the rest of my siggie.

I’m going to keep trying to get a rounded bevel on a font that stays put when I clip a paper to it, and if I succeed, I’ll show you how I did it.

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Fancifying Those Fonts

As promised, today’s tutorial is a demonstration of how to add some variety to your fonts. IceCold had the most options so I went with it for the layout I did up for the Mix It Up Challenge. I used a template from Jumpstart Designs that I’ve had forever and CathyK‘s Aviator kit.

If you’re a faithful reader, you’ll recall that I like to create my titles on their own work space so I can play around without distraction and without messing up anything on my layout accidentally.

Before I can do anything to the text I first have to Simplify the layer. Right-click on the layer on the Layers panel then select Simplify Layer.

Because I never know where I might go with my experimentation, I like to make several copies of my original layer so I won’t have to recreate it later. Then I play with the copies. CTRL/CMD>J will make one copy for each time you perform the keyboard shortcut. Or you can right-click on the layer in the Layers panel and select Duplicate Layer. (Can you see why I use the WSNH – Work Smart Not Hard – shortcut?)

The first thing that occurred to me was to make the snow caps look like snow caps. I was originally going to just Erase the letter parts but thought better of it.

I added a Layer Mask by clicking on the icon that looks like a square of paper with a circle in the centre, right there in the middle of the icons at the top of the Layers panel. Why? Because if I go too far with my Eraser, I can easily change the tool to a paint brush and paint back the part I should have left alone. It’s as simple as toggling between black and white in the Color Selector. To know which color is the one you want, remember the phrase “White conceals, Black reveals“. Keyboard shortcut? Just hit the X key!

Then I started Erasing away the letters from the snow caps.

This part of my technique is VERY time-consuming. And it causes eye-strain too… but that never stops me from trying new things or writing tutorials about my experiments!

Is it just me or do these look more like eyebrows than snow caps?

Once I had all the letter parts removed, I Simplified the layer. Same like with the font step. Otherwise, unless you’re paying particular attention (and I’m usually not… watching TV while I work is how I roll!) you won’t know what part of the layer you’re working on until you’ve committed some massive blunder and can’t reverse it. (Guilty as charged!)

Now I want to add some chill to my snow caps. In retrospect, I really didn’t need this step, but I have the screenshots so I’m going to show you because it does tie in with a later step.

To quickly and easily change to colour of fonts and text, just create a Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color. It will apply your new colour to everything selected.

When the New Layer menu box opens, make sure the Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask box is checked. If you don’t take that action, the whole canvas will be filled with that new colour.

I know the blue is impossible to see, and as I said, I really didn’t need to do this step. But can you see in the screenshot that I Copied the snow cap layer BEFORE I added the Fill layer to the original snow cap layer? That’s another WSNH tip. Only do things once!

Again, you want to Merge these two layers in the same way and for the same reason you Simplify text and other Layer Masks. It’s to preserve what you’ve already done.

This next screenshot is impossible for anyone to actually read, so I’ve included the pertinent information on it. I’m going to use a glitter Styles set from Just So Scrappy‘s Lucky Me bundle. The fastest way to get to your Styles folder is to just click on the Styles button at the bottom of the Layers panel.

Katie of JSS always includes both chunky and fine glitter in her Styles bundles. I chose the fine white glitter #2 option because my title isn’t going to be huge, and snowflakes aren’t either.

This is the effect it gave my snow caps. Now you can see why I said the colour change wasn’t necessary… you can’t see any of the blue anyway!

On we go to the copy of the snow caps.

The colours in JSS‘s Lucky Me bundle work for this next phase, so I’m using the Chrome set for this. The Style adds a very smooth shiny look to whatever you hit with it.

Again, Katie offers options! There are thick and thin Chrome coatings here. I knew I’d want the thin one so that’s what I used.

It didn’t look quite like I wanted it to, so I right-clicked on the fx icon on the layer in the Layers panel and opened up the Style menu. I adjusted the various sliders to give me more of a chilly, icy look.

Then I lowered the Opacity of the Chrome layer and the snow cap has dimension, some colour and some sparkle.

I could stop here. HA!

I went down to the very first layer where I’d typed out my title, hid all the other layers, and added a Layer Mask to that first layer.

Then I started Erasing the thin lines from the letter section of the title.

Once I got them all Erased, I Simplified the layer.

I also wanted to lose the snow caps, but because I’d already isolated the snow caps, it was a piece of cake to get rid of them. I clicked on one of the snow-cap only layer thumbnails to Select the outlines of the snowcaps – while still on my lowest layer – then Edit>Cut (CTRL/CMD>X) them away.

I knew I wanted to use the Paint Bucket to fill the wide spaces with colour and I knew (from prior experience) that if the areas I was filling were not COMPLETELY enclosed, the whole shebang would be filled, I decided to put a Edit>Stroke around the snow caps’ edges. Just a skinny one, 1 pixel wide. Then I erased the parts that weren’t required.

This is where I wound up.

Then I used the Paint Bucket tool to fill in all the spaces inside the letters using the same light blue as before. I decided the dark brown lines were just too harsh, so I wanted to change them to a darker blue/green. So I went to Enhance>Adjust Color>Replace Color.

Another thing I’ve learned form doing it wrong a thousand times is to make sure the colour I WANT is the BACKGROUND colour. Then I clicked on the colour swatch at the top of the menu – the colour I want to replace – and used the eyedropper that popped up to click on the dark brown.

Then I clicked on the lower colour swatch to make it active. If I had a colour on my canvas that I wanted to use, I could then click on it with the eyedropper, but I don’t so I clicked on the background colour swatch where I have my darker blue-green. And bingo! the dark brown is now dark blue-green.

I could stop here. But you know me… I didn’t. I felt like the letters needed some sheen to make them look icy. I opted to use the Wow Plastic Styles that were already in PSE when I bought it. There are 10 options in that set. If you hover your cursor over the little blocks it’ll tell you what each one is.

As you can see, it changed the colours quite a bit while adding that shine I was after. I played around with the fx menu a bit.

Then I checked to see if the title looked the way I wanted it to. And it didn’t.

I went back to the title canvas and Copied the white glitter layer, moving the copy layer to the very top, above the shiny blue Chrome layer. Then I Erased some of the top white glitter layer to make it look like freshly-fallen snow on top of some older, crusty stuff. (Those of you who live in the snowbelt know what I mean.) Then I opted to play with the letters layers again. I tried one of the Glass Buttons Styles, which also are integrated PSE styles.

Only snag? All that work I did with the stripes went bye-bye. Boo! But wait… There’s a tweak for that.

And back they come! Almost happy…

I still had some snow-cap-less layers there in the middle so I went to one of them and erased everything but the skinny lines.

Quick change to the colour – Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color in white.

It’s pretty subtle, but it’s there and I like it! So let’s see how it looks on the layout.

YES!! I think it’s a lot closer to the colours in the photo and I’m very happy with the outcome!

See you all next week!

Tutorial Tuesday (Fontography)

Fancy and Fun Fonts for Wintery Layouts

As much of the Northern Hemisphere is being walloped by heavy snow, high winds and frigid temperatures (which basically would be Wednesday here in northern Alberta 😉 ) I thought I’d compile a collection of free fonts y’all can use for your winter layouts. Sound good? Each of the fonts I show you will be linked to the source so you can find ’em quickly!

My favourite go-to website for free fonts is dafont.com. They have such a huge assortment of fabulous fonts and dingbats!

Like Snowtop Caps, which also includes numbers and punctuation.

Winter Fall is a rounded font that would be great for a wintery title, but it only includes a small number of special characters and no numerals.

Iceberg is chunky but still rounded. It also only has a few punctuations and no numerals.

Winter Flakes has it all! It includes some dingbats too, so it’s pretty much perfect.

Igloo Laser is a modern-looking all-caps font with numerals and a few punctuation characters.

Snowflake Letters would look smashing with a bevel and a clear, glossy style on it. It’s all-caps, with numerals and punctuation.

You could use Snowhouse for journaling; it’s a script font with numerals and some punctuation, and includes a large variety of special characters.

Snowinter is another super-title font, with all the goodies one would need.

I like Kingthings Christmas a lot. It’s a complete package with awesome potential.

I think I’m going to build a tutorial about how to use Ice Cold to its best advantage. It’s got some serious title charm!

CF Tuques is just a fun font for winter. (I’m super-happy the designer spells “tuque” correctly!) No numerals or punctuation though.

 

Now how about looking at some dingbats. Don’t know what a dingbat is? Basically, it’s a symbol, shape or drawing accessed through your alpha keyboard.

Winter has a collection of line drawings of winter things, like snowmen and snowed-in houses. It’s pretty cute!

DH Snowflakes could be used for borders, dividers or backgrounds. Lots of possibilities!

Faux Snow is another snowflake dingbat set with unique shapes.

And so is WW Flakes.

KR Snowpeople has an assortment of snowmen and snow-women.

I invite you to check out the vast collection of fonts and dingbats at Dafont. I know you’ll find lots of inspiration there!