Wednesday, April 26, 2017

CS Blog Hop April 2017 - Cherry Blossoms

So when this pretty pink kit arrived I immediately started thinking photos of Japan, all kinds of pink flowers, red peonies and new born girl babies!  The question is do I have any photos that fit the bill?

Looking now.

Meantime, I am also coming up with a sketch for the May Card Sketch Challenge so doing two things at once.  You will probably see during the photos for this blog post that my screen is absolutely chock full of all kinds of different goodies.  Actually I have made all kinds of progress already but if I add the screen shot of the card sketch challenge it would make you all rush out to play!!!

Cherry Blossoms - evoke all shades of pink!  Normally I am not a pink person so to speak unless it is the really vibrant neon pink like the one from Fizz!!  Anyway here goes with my creation for this month.

Open up ALL the kit components and a blank 12" x 12" canvas with a transparent background at 300 ppi.

I must explain that I actually have a minor technical issue here in that everything is opening as a smart object.  Smart objects in photoshop are really cool.  What they do is allow you to do everything in a non-destructive manner within the program.  That means that anything you do will preserve the original as made/shot/created etc.

Anyway above you can see everything in the kit.

Now to the fun part.  (Still looking for appropriate photo(s) on my external drives.

Well I found a photo!  Not quite what I was expecting to work with but I think you will see why.

Now that I have my picture, I decided that I wanted to make it blend with whatever my background is going to be so I found a mask in my stash and played around with it until it worked with my photo and here is the clipping mask used with the photo.

I think that I have too much blue-ish sky to the right of the mountain which is the Matterhorn in Switzerland so i will erase some of it.  To do this, use a fuzzy brush at a lowish flow and opacity. Since I am working with smart objects, I have to rasterize before making any modifications to any of the layers.

Here is the finished making process.

You will see that I have taken out some of the color on either side of the mountain.

Now I want to make my background.

Well that did not happen.  This happened instead.

Back to my background.  I selected the one I wanted and placed it beneath my masked photo.

I think that it is a bit too purple for this photo so I am going to do some tinting.  You will see that I have made the top and the bottom a bit better blended by brushing with an art brush in colors selected from the photo.  Pinkish at the top and blue at the bottom.  I also  kept the opacity and flow fairly low so that the original background would be visible through my brushwork.

Now I am starting to play with embellishments.  I have added a stamped word and one of the beautiful cherry blossom flower branches.

Still doing trial and error with embellishments - here is the next part.

I now think that I have done what I want with this layout.  There are added drop shadows on the cherry blossoms and also the word.  The word also has a stroke and outer glow and the cut out has an applied drop shadow.

Above is the completed layout.  I do hope you have enjoyed my creative process for this.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

CS Blog Hop March 2017 - Delft

Oh my goodness!!  I looked at the spoiler for this kit and liked the idea of another blue kit but ... when I opened my digital files today I was blown away but that pop of bright yellow!!!  Love this combination of colors.

Anyway, I immediately started creating.

Opened up a 24' x 12" blank canvas with a transparent background and all the goodies that some in the digital kit.  Also opened up a bunch of photos of Ariauna and Mimi which were shot at Disney and Epcot  a couple of weeks ago.

I selected part of one of the background and brought that in then duplicated the layer and flipped the duplicate horizontally so that the join in the centre was not quite so visible.

At this point I decided to create the illusion of photo mats and added a white stroke to all the photos. Also I have changed the size and position of a couple of the photos.

This has actually turned into a very simple layout.  A couple of cutouts have been added.

Since we do not get fibers with the Delft kit, I made one out of grosgrain and use it three times as an accent to this layout.  This one is for the Monthly layout challenge so I had posted it in the forum already.

I hope you all enjoy this special kit and thank you to Hetty for suggesting it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

CS Blog Hop February 2017- Succulents

I could not wait to see what this kit had in store for us but I kinda knew that the greens would be exactly like those funny little plants that you see at the check out in the garden department at Lowe's or Home Depot.

In any case, I have decided to create a layout with the most unlikely photograph!

Some of you may have seen on my facebook that my husband and I went to the Kennedy Space Centre for a long weekend and of course we had to see the Atlantis Exhibit.  A plug here for this.  It is the most spectacular exhibit I have ever seen.  What you are looking at is the REAL Atlantis that flew several times to the International Space Center and back safely.  You really do not get the whole idea of size with this single photo but I can truly state that it is HUGE!!!

Anyway I have also opened up a blank 12" x 12" document on a transparent background as I always do.  Now to open up all the components of this wonderful Succulents kit and see what I can do with the colors and goodies in the kit.

Be right back.

I opened up all the stuff that came with the kit and chose the background which seemed to have a toning color to the photo in it and made a new layer beneath the photo and brought in the background.

As you can see it seems to be a lot wishy washy so I am going to darken it and give it some texture as well.

To do that, on the layer go to image>adjustments>hue and saturation>  There you can play around with the sliders and adjust to where you would like it to be.  You can see that I upped the hue and saturation and made it much darker.

Once you are happy hit enter or OK.  I have also given the photo layer a fairly severe drop shadow and a black stroke.

Now on to the goodies.

One of the stamp sheets has the perfect phrase for this photo so I selected it and made it a brush using the edit>define brush set tool.

Also, I added a premade paper strip which I colored to match the background and have stamped with the wording in a toning color.

Now I wanted a small bow so chose one from another kit and recolored it to work.

As I said, this is the most unlikely photo to use with the succulents kit but I think it works.

I do hope you enjoy your visit to my blog today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

CS Blog Hop Jan 2017 - Color Me Happy

Happy New Year everyone.  I do hope you all had a wonderful holiday period no matter how and where and when you celebrate.

Come New Year's Day and I could not wait to get on my computer and see what came with this spectacular kit to start 2017 off with.  I did notice that there is a great brown in the color palette of this kit together with a great yellow.  Combined those two colors would probably make a good sepia!

That being said, I opened up a brand new blank canvas 12" x 12" at 300 ppi and brought in a photo of a friend of mine when he was a baby.  This friend has given permission for me to use this photo.

Then I opened up all the goodies and papers that come with Color Me Happy.

Since we do not get plain papers in the digital kit, I went ahead and created some blank layers which I filled with the paint bucket tool with colors selected from various components of the kit.  You can see the several layers of different colors behind the photo below.

Now is the time to get creative and blend the colors to match the sepia of the photo.

To do this, you can play around with the opacity and order of the layers until you find some kind of happy medium.  I am off to do that now.  The top orange layer I took down to 15% opacity and the next layer down (the dark yellow) I took down to 20% opacity.

Here you can see that the tone seems to be a really good match to the sepia in the original photo.

The next thing I decided to do was to try and create something that looked a bit like tea stain digitally so that I could add a link to Lisa's technique blog challenge this month.  That actually proved a whole lot easier than I though it would be.  I just went to my trusty Club Scrap overlays.  I could not find a really good overlay from my CS stash, so I found another and clipped the dark brown to the overlay so as to maintain the transparency of it.  Then merged those two layers and brought in the new overlay below the photo layer.

While looking for a good overlay I also came across CS Inked edges Vol 1 which were released ages ago, and I have brought one of those in as well and used it on the edge of the background and on the edge of the photo.

Now I am going to make a separate layer with the text that I want to use which is actually a poem written by the owner of the photo.  He has also given permission for me to use his poem.  Here is the wording:

As I laid my tied body down in bed to fall asleep, scattered images started to unfold
as special thoughts of you started to creep.

Oh, how I wished I were back in your Life once again, sharing those special moments
we had when you were my closest friend.

A smile came across my face just thinking of those special times, my thoughts were deep until
the phone range its forgotten chime.

It was you that called and when you spoke my pulse started to race, you said our absence has
been too long meet me at our special place.

As I waited for you to walk through the door, I made a vow never to let you go and always love
you even more.

The door started to open as your glistening smile entered through, my hear skipped it's beat as
you looked at me and said "I Love You".

We raced with open arms to each other as our love burst at the seams, but before we could
touch the alarm rang, it was all a dream.

All alone I felt as a pillow in my arms just laid, disappointment entered the blood
as the vision of you started to fade.

For now, that is all I have to hold, but at least I have my thoughts and they will never grow old.

As I laid my body down again a smile entered my face, wide awake I shall begin my day and
your memories will never be erased.

OK, the text layer is now in place and I decided to increase the size of the photo and move it to the bottom right of the layout.

It is now time to create the embellishment that I would like to use.  I opened up the sheet of stamp images.  Back shortly when I have made what I think will work.

OK Back again.  Here is what I came up with.  I used that cluster stamp in the middle of the bottom row of images and one of the border strips to make what you can now see.

Just went off in search of a bow and found one that works with the tone of this layout.  It came from May 2008 so I think it is Body and Soul.

Anyway this is what it looks like now.

I do hope you like what I have done so far.  Now the only thing to do is to add tea stains!  For that I went off to find the wonderful cup stain that came with memoirs!  I loved that kit which came in July 2009.

This is the stamp.

To make it into a stamp, go to edit>define brush preset> enter.  At this point I added several layers and lightly stamped in a matching color and in various places and orientations.

Here is the completed layout.

I hope you like this layout.

Also, a heartfelt thank you to Robert Vanelli who kindly gave permission for me to use his photo and poem in order to create this.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

CS Blog Hop Dec 2016 - Shades of Winter

I am in stressed out mode about my blog entry for this month.  It started as wanting to do an animated gif but that did not go so well - obviously I need a whole lot more practice playing with this concept - not something I have time for right now.  So this month I am doing a basic layout using the components from this totally delightful kit.

First off I opened all the components from Shades of Winter and created a blank 12" x 12" canvas at 300ppi as I always do.

Also opened up a wonderful photo of my friend Jayne with her fur baby - Archie!

I have brought into the layout part of one of the quad backgrounds and enlarged it to fit.  Now I want to make a gradient overlay using some of the colors from within the photo and once done, I will edit it to allow for opacity of not more than 40% so the original pattern of the background shows through.

Now I am adding a few of the really lovely elements from this kit.  Be right back.

Here is the finished product.


I would also like to take this opportunity of wishing you all a wonderful, happy and healthy 2017.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

CS Blog Hop November 2016 - Paradise

OK so it is 1st November and the new kit is here, downloaded, unzipped and installed and Photoshop CC and my Adobe Bridge are now open and I am looking at a blank canvas!

It took a while, but I have now opened up ALL the lusciousness from this wonderful Paradise kit.  I think CS has outdone itself with the vibrant color palette this month.  Just gorgeous.

All these super colors make me want to go off and do all the challenges for November in the forum.

What I have now done is build a template to use with a single photo.  I decided to use a single photo as my background here and this one seems to have a really nice tropical feel to it, which I think will work with the colors and elements in the kit and the photo that I have in mind.

Those of you who know me well are probably wondering what I am doing now.  Well after several minutes of playing, I have brought in my photo and played around with the shadows and added a few layers and this has now happened.

These water color style leaves and hibiscus flowers are amazingly awesome - Jac you have outdone yourself with these!!  Anyway,  I am now playing around with embellishing this photo and you will have to wait and see what I have come up with momentarily.

Here you are - the finished layout.

I hope you like this layout.  The colors are just drop dead gorgeous and the digital kit really does speak to me so you have all probably seen all kinds of stuff in the galleria from me.

Please enjoy the holiday season and stay safe.

Friday, November 25, 2016

CSBlog Hop - 2016 Garden Holiday or Christmas Thyme

No sooner than Karen puts out a call for interest in a blog hop for this cute Christmassy kit than I have to open everything in the kit up and see what I can do!!

Now open up a blank canvas on a transparent background.  In this case I am making a card so chose 7" wide x 4.5" high at 300ppi.

Looking at the printables, I really like the one on the bottom left and I think I will use a selection from that one as my background.  Of course, I will rotate what I choose by 90 degrees.

Once the selection is made, and pasted into the new file, duplicate the layer and rotate it by 180 degrees and then you can go ahead and play with the opacity.  In this case, I reduced the opacity by 50% of the second background layer.  Then I used an eraser brush to erase some of the center part of the merged background.  You can play around with flow and opacity at this stage also.

Here is what the top layer looks like after being erased.

You could save this as an overlay/semi vignette for use with later projects as well.  If you do that, make sure you label it with something that you can remember!!!

Above you can see that I am beginning to build a card with various of the components from within the kit.

Add a stamp greeting in a toning color.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas.

OK it is now Election Day - 8th November and the invitation states that we need to make 3 cards or one layout or one project so what I will do is make a layout a bit later in the week when things have calmed down a bit here.

Today is 19th November and things have not calmed down since election day but I thought I better get the rest of my blog entry done prior to the lunacy of next week and 4000 calorie meals!!!

This one is a layout utilising some of the beautiful elements of this delightful kit.  I have a stock photo of the Petronas Towers in my stash that I have never used.  This is the layout that I created with the photo.  It seemed like a good way to use some of this kit.

Your next stop is