Wednesday, January 31, 2018

CS Blog Hop January 2018 - Surprise

And surprise it was when I got my download email on January 1st!!!

Happy New Year everyone.

I got up on New Years Day hoping that my download email would be in my inbox and there it was.  Of course, I downloaded, unzipped and installed and when I opened everything up, I was blown away by the vibrancy of this wonderful new kit.  Of course, it was even more vibrant than Kay's "surprise" spoiler and even more so since I have spent a lot of time playing with A Night at the Met!  More on that kit later on.

Anyway, after playing around with Surprise and doing all of the current challenges except the project use it one for January, I decided to write my blog post.  So here we are on 4th January and it is freezing in south Florida so I am bundled up in my art cave writing my post.

First of all I was looking at the stamp images that come in the digital kit and decided to open up this sheet and take a close look.

There on the right center there is a stamp with 3 parcels.  That is the stamp I am going to play around with.

Here it is on its own transparent background.

You may be wondering what I am going to do with it - let me show you.  Many of you know that Taryn Cornelius has given permission for me to use some of the wedding photos from her daughter Shay's wedding last October in the New York Botanical Gardens.  In fact, you have probably seen a bunch of layouts appearing in the forum and on Facebook.  This is going to be another.

I have selected a photo and layered it above the stamp.

What happens now is a bit of magic within photoshop.  Go to Layers>createclippingmask>enter.  This is what you see!

Now for some tidying up before creating a full layout.  You can see that the photo has partially obliterated the left and right parcels of the stamp and also the bow at the top of the center parcel.  I am going to remove the parts of the photo that are superfluous by using the edit>cut function after selecting those parts to be removed.  The hardest part of the photo to remove is the bow so I used the lasso tool to select that part of the photo.

Now the stamp is beginning to evolve into a usable component for a layout.  Here you can see that I have created a balloon on a string and added a copied ribbon bow to the top of the center gift!  Not sure if I am happy with that but ... we shall see.

Ok - this has now evolved.  I did not like the bow on top of the center gift so created some balloons on strings instead.

Now I think I can proceed.  I opened up the quad print and selected colors for the balloons from within the quad print.  To make the balloons those colors I created 3 further layers and used the paint bucket tool to flood each of those layers and made clipping masks as shown above.  This is where we are at.  At this point, I think it is necessary to add some layer styles to give this some dimension.  Also it is time to create a new 12" x 12" on transparent background at 300ppi document and start building the final layout.

So I spent a quite a while playing around with building this layout.  I got rid of the left and right side gifts completely.  Added a bunch of additional different sized balloons and added a recolored background and word stamp and ended up with this as the final layout.

I do hope you like what I have done here.  Please enjoy the entire blog hop and again Happy New Year.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Making Quad Prints

Hello all

Adeline Brill has requested a quick tutorial on how to make quadprints from your digi stash.

Here you are.

First off open up a new blank document 8.5" x 11" at 300 ppi on a transparent background.

Then open up the backgrounds that you want to use.

In this case I have chosen backgrounds from Artifacts and Celebrate.

Here I am starting with a background for Celebrate. 

All you need to do now is select a piece of it 4.5" x 5.5" go to the edit menu and select copy, then go to your  blank document, use the edit menu and select paste and voila!

Do this for the remaining backgrounds and you will have a quad print.  Of course you will need to move the backgrounds into their respective places.  Note that I have put each selection on its own layer just in case I want to change something later on.  You can save this if you wish and print directly on 8.5" x 11" stock.

If you have a large format printer you can do the same by selecting pieces of backgrounds that are 6" square and arranging them in a similar fashion.

I hope this tutorial helps.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

CS Blog Hop October 2017 - Scandinavia

Hello everyone

You have probably all noticed that I did not manage to complete a blog post for September.  This is the first time since CS has been running a blog hop that I have not participated.  I just ran out of time so this month I am yet again starting early.

Hopefully by starting early, I will actually have something done in time to add to the linky party in the blog hop.

Anyway, here we are a few days later and I noticed Wendy Bellino has a new challenge up for the technique this month. so I have decided to try to make something for this challenge.

Here goes.

Open up everything Scandinavia!  I also opened a blank 12" x 12" background and pulled in one of the overlays which I also resized.

Looking at what I have started, it seems that I am going to remove some of the elements from this overlay and go from there.  This is what I came up with.

I have added a bird and resized it and at this point decided that this should not be a 12" x 12" layout but a card.  So I will be resizing it a bit later bu first I need to add a saying.

Perfect, there is a saying on a tag that works really well with this so I added it beneath the bird and made it look as if the bird was carrying it.

Added some layer styles to give some dimension and selected a background color from the quad print.

Now to resize for a card.

Flatten the layers.  Make a new black document and pull in the flatted card front.  Resize to fit and I actually added a couple of colored layers behind the card front and a paper tape to finish off the card.

And there it is.  I hope you all like it.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

CS Blog Hop August 2017 - Lagoon

OK it is 4.06 pm on 27th July and I am looking at Kay's wonderful spoiler for this kit.  I have to say I am a sucker for these type of colors.  They always speak to me and this kit looks like it is no exception.  And look - there is a seahorse!!!  These are just such magical creatures.  So far I have only seen them in zoos and special aquariums.

So I stole the mashup photo from Kay's blog post.

I know that as soon as this kit lands in my inbox next Tuesday that I am going to want to play,  so this blog post could well end up as a mammoth one.

Recently, I acquired a beta test package of a software called Luminar.  I started playing around with it in the last couple of days and came up with this photo earlier on today.

Above you can see the original photo and the split screen showing the photo with some of the additional filters in Luminar.  As an aside, I think I am going to like this software a lot!!!

Here is the full photo that I am going to use for the blog post.

OK now that I have edited and played around, I have a blank 12" x 12"  canvas with the photo on it and all the kit elements opened in photoshop as well.

This kit is just gorgeous.  There are so many options here but first I need to get a background sorted out.

Here I have added a background and a cut apart.

Since I have used a cut apart with some wording I have decided not to use one of the word art stamps so I have closed that stamp sheet.

Now I am building the page.  I added a frame around the photo, changed the layer order and added the 3 starfish cutouts.

I think that I now need to start adding styles to this and see where it ends up.  Just added a 5pt stroke in black to all the elements and am happy with that.

Now for some drop shadows and to add a final detail.

Here is my final piece for the blog hop.  I do hope that you all like it and will come back and visit my blog often.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

CS Blog Hop July 2017 - Vintage Botany

Today is my estranged daughter's 36th birthday actually 13 July, so I am feeling a little sad and blue.

I decided to open up all the components of Vintage Botany and see what I could come up with in the way of a tutorial/project.  So far, I have been recoloring all the components except for doing the idea deck challenge this month.

So here goes.

In my vast stash of photos, I found this one.

So this blog entry is going to be a layout.

As always open a new 12" x 12" blank canvas at 300ppi with a transparent background.

Now drag the photo onto the blank canvas.

I have removed some of the left side and sky of the original photo.

Here you can see that I am beginning to build my layout.  Instead of using one of the backgrounds, I made a new one using the purple color from the backgrounds provided.  I then made 3 layers and "stamped" on each one using the dandelion stamp and a selected color from within the photo.

At this point, I felt that the photo was too angular so I applied a mask from my stash.

Now to add some embellishments.  Also, I played around with opacities for each of the layers as well.

Finally, I used the same stamp to add some further interest on the print layer.  I do hope you like my layout and will continue to visit my blog each month.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

CS Blog Hop June 2017 - Pattern Play

Oh Joy of Joys!  I have been drooling every since I saw this kit.  It is drop dead gorgeous and I feel like I need to play every day but alas, I do not have the luxury of time.

Anyway, I went ahead and opened the entire contents of this luscious kit.

Now off the find a photo and also decide what I would like to share with you all today.  Ok found a photo.  I took this while traipsing around in the back of beyond a while back.  I really have no idea why I shot this photo but I believe it to be a cottage that was once home to someone.

I can quite imagine living in a cottage like this but in this day and age it would be essential to have at least an internet connection!

Now for what this blog post is going to be about.

You probably have all noticed that I do very little journalling.  I like to try and make my layouts use the wonderful stamps which we get in our kits; occasionally use the alphas (of which I have thousands), and use word art from other sources.  One of the things that I really need to get better at is journalling using the many fonts which I have installed on my computer and using the fonts which Tricia suggests in the blog which will work with the kit contents.  For this beautiful kit, she suggests using Cinzel which is a free download but I already have it in my font repertoire.

Now to get cracking.

Open up a new 12" x 12" blank canvas on a trasparent background at 300ppi.  This is very easy for me in Photoshop CC as I have a premade one click version.  I also always use the option to make my canvas fit on my screen.  That gives me plenty of real estate to play with.

Here - because of the shape of the photo above, I have decided to use two of the printed papers to create my background.

Now I am going to bring in my photo.  I really like the grey and white border strip in the kit so I have brought that into my layout as well.

Here you can see that I have rotated and duplicated and merged the strip to make it go all the way across my canvas and given it a drop shadow for dimension.

Now for some text.  Make a text box and choose the Cinzel font at a size that will be big enough to read once the layout is complete and you print it out.  In this case, I am starting at 24 pts to see if it can be read.  Also I have chosen to place my text on the photo and reverse the color so it appears white.  At the same time, I have opened the dialog box for characters and I actually chose the Cinzel Decorative font.  Now to start journalling.

You can see that my journalling is overlapping on each line so I am going to have to play around quite a lot to make it fit into the journalling box.  This means that the leading (or vertical spacing) is going to be tweaked quite a lot.  To do that look at the character dialog box.

There is a box on the right of that dialog box that has a double headed arrow pointing up and down.  At the moment it is set at 14pts.

To change the line spacing for this journalling, I have to increase the points between each line.  The next screen will show you the leading at 24 pts and you can see the third paragraph dropping off the photo.  Don't worry - we will fix that too.

I do hope you can see the three lines of text of the third paragraph below the photo.

OK, to fix that there are a number of different things you can do.  The easiest and fastest way to do this is the select your text box, then go to the edit menu>transform>scale and using the shift key to keep aspect ratio - just resize.

At this point, I also moved the entire paragraph a scosh to the left before committing to the change.

I don't know if you can see this, but the in the third line of the first paragraph, the word "wooded" has both the 'o's crossing over each other.  To fix this, we need to kern the text a bit.  To do this makes use of the same character and dialog box.  Just above where you see the color of the text there is a VA with a double headed arrow beneath it.  Currently it is set to 0 but if you left click it, you will see a number of options available.  With this font at this size, I have set this at 100.

Immediately to the left of the VA adjustment control, there is a control which says V/A with a left facing arrow beneath it.  Click that and turn that control to optical. Since the text seems to get a little lost in the photo, I changed it to a bold version of Cinzel Decorative using the top right control in the same dialog box.

At this point, you can play around with layer styles and drop shadows and other filters.

Now for embellishments and finishing off the layout.  You will see that I have played quite a lot with rectangular elements in this layout.

Here it is finished off.

I do hope you have all enjoyed the creative process again and have learned a little about leading and kerning.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

CS Blog Hop May 2017 - Adirondacks

Hello Everyone

Time is flying by this year.  Not only am I now on restricted activity as a result of some additional dental surgery, but all my house and landscaping activities are at a stop.  That means I have some extra time to write my blog post this month.

Today is Mother's Day so even though you are all reading this later in the month, I wanted to wish you all a happy day.

Anyway, I am not too sure what I want to show you with this kit so I just went ahead and opened a new 12" x 12" blank canvas at 300ppi and then all the elements and papers etc. from the new Adirondacks kit.

I also opened this photo which I shot at our local Cracker Barrel a few weeks ago.  I am guessing that all these soft drinks come from different parts of the United States.  Anyway, I thought that this may make a good starting point with the new kit.

Now you can see that I have decided to make this photo shape a rounded rectangle using the tool for that and adjusting the radius of each corner to 50 pixels.

I think that we as digital scrapbookers do not use rounded corners often enough and that is why I decided to use them for my layout today.

Now I am going to choose my background and bring it in behind the photo. I have also added a cut out and put a stroke and drop shadow on both of these elements of my layout.

I really want to play some more with the background now.  So I have added another layer and used the blue wood grain background and blended it using a hard light blend mode at 59%.

And now I am off the look at the stamps to see what else I can do here.  The map stamp seemed to make sense so I made a brush preset with it and added another layer, increased the size of the brush so that the entire screen could be stamped.  Applied the stamp and used a gradient overlay preset to come up with this.

To me this layout seems a little naked so I am going to make some kind of embellishment cluster up. In order to do that I am going to make a template which I can re-use with different kits if I want to. It is very straight-forward to do.  Open up a new blank canvas at 12"x 12" with transparent background at 300 ppi.

I actually keep a file of ALL template components separated just in case I need to make up a cluster embellishment.  this is what I have come up with.

You can see from the above that I have made a layered template (no layer styles) which I am going to use.  When I started working on this I simplified the cluster and this is what I came up with.  I used colors that either came from within the kit or within the photo.  Merge the visible layers in order to preserve the transparent background and make a new layer in the layout and drag in the cluster.

And here is the end product.  I do hope you have enjoyed the creative process.