Friday, February 9, 2018

CS Blog Hop February 2018 Steamworks

Hello all

By now you all know that I became a granny on 28th January to a very cute little girl called Elliot Alicia.  You have also probably seen a whole bunch of pages appear in our facebook arena.  Needless to say she is cute as a button but I am not sure that baby photos will work with the brand new Steamworks kit.

You have also problably seen that I have made some layouts and cards already with this awesome kit but right now I am drawing a blank as to what I should show you all how to do here.  So I will come back when I have an idea.

Well here we are a week later and I still do not have a clear idea of what I want to do so I went ahead and opened up all the kit elements from Steamworks hoping that inspiration will strike!

Above you can see all the Steamworks goodies together with some other backgrounds which I thought may work well with the kit.

Now on to find some inspiration.

As you know, we recently went to Universal Orlando to hang out with Ariauna and her boyfriend who were visiting from Australia.  While at Universal, we went to Hogwarts and of course, this kit is absolutely perfect for Hogwarts photos.  Here are two of the fire breathing dragon on top of Gringotts Bank. 

These photos are both rather blue so I think they will contrast well with the muted tones of the kit.  Here you can see I have brought in a background and created photo mats from the quadprint.

Hopefully embellishing this base will not be too hard.  One of the things I have noticed and would love if Club Scrap brought back to the digital kits is fibers and dimensional elements.  Of course, since I own EVERYTHING that Club Scrap has released in digital form, I do have lots of these elements and recoloring is pretty straight forward.

Anyway, now to go look at what I can do with the rest of the pieces of the kit.  You can see that I am now beginning to build the page.  I have added a resized journalling box and 3 strips from the cutapart sheets.

Text is now added in a Harry Potter style free font.

Notice here that there are no layer styles, shadows or anything else on this page.  A lot of the time when I am making digital pages, I do not know how I want the page to look when it is finished so I usually add all those additional details when I have finished constructing the entire page or spread.

As mentioned above, I really feel that fibers would be a welcome addition to the digi hybrid kit so I have decided to stray a bit from Steamworks and see if I can find some fibers that I can add to this layout.  Back in a sec.

OK.  Here you can see a trial of 3 different bows.  These are from Connections, Lock and Key and Serenity.  Of course I can still recolor everything.

All three of these bows work from a color standpoint, but I think that the one I like best is the one from Serenity so I am going with that one.  All I did was the make sure that I resized the bow and do two duplicate layers.

You can see the page is shaping up quite nicely now.  On to doing something with styles and shadows.  Shadows add dimension to the page.  Most of the time, I use drop shadows which are extremely versatile and have limitless possibilities.  I think that this layout does need some drop shadows so I will add some now.

In this screen, you can see the drop shadow I have selected.  this one is rather small with a low opacity.  I really do not want to overpower any of the elements or photos in this layout.

Continuing to add drop shadows to all the other elements I arrive at this.

Note that I have not yet done anything with the title inside the box at the top left or the blank space at the lower right.

I have to say thank you to Lisa Dolezal who used some of the elements from Full Circle for one of the challenges this month.  I copied her idea and made the little cluster on the bottom right.

Now all that remains in the text in the top left.  Both words are on separate layers but the font size is the same.  I think a bevel and emboss should work here.  I have also decided to add a small lens flare to the word Gringotts.

And now the layout is complete.  Thank you for reading my blog this month.  I hope you have enjoyed it.

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.