Friday, December 27, 2013

Club Scrap Aspen Blog Hop - In camera Bokeh

Hello everyone

I do hope that you all had an absolutely wonderful Christmas and that Santa Clause brought you all lots of wonderful things.

It was awesome to follow the countdown to Christmas via the Club Scrap daily blog and even to win one of the amazing prizes that were given away on a daily basis.

Anyway, just before Christmas Kay posted about Bokeh in the blog so I thought I would give you all a very quick overview of bokeh in camera and in photoshop.  So here goes:

Bokeh is an adaptation from a Japanese word meaning blur.  In photography it is used to describe the quality of the photos which are not in focus.

In order to create in camera bokeh you will need a wide aperture lens for your dslr - 50mm F 1.8 is typically what I would use on my Canon camera and I am sure that there is an equivalent for those of you who shoot Nikon. You also need a sheet of black card stock.

In effect what you are going to do is create a lens hood.  Cut a circle out from the black card stock and use a small punch to make a shape in the middle of the cut out disc.  The disc must cover the end of the lens completely.

You need to make sure that the entire end of the lens is covered as shown above.

Then set the camera to its lowest aperture value (wide open) and make your shots.

Here is an example:

And that is it!  Easy as pie.

Here is a small tutorial on how to make a bokeh background paper:

First create a new transparent file.  The use a brush at 100 % opacity to stamp randomly over the background.  Do this a couple more times and you will end up with several layers with the stamp applied in random places and also you can randomise the opacities of each layer you work with.

You can see here that I have applied a 20 gaussian blue to the yellow layer.

Here the blue layer also has a gaussian blur of 20 pixels.

Here is a layout completed!

Enjoy and have a wonderful and prosperous new year.

Your next stop is:

Friday, December 13, 2013

Gnomes and such!

Hello everyone

It was suggested that we do a blog hop with the wonderful Gnomes kit that we got last week.  So I just thought that I would put together a quick page for your all to download and use for some of your Christmassy photos.

Here it is looking unused and unloved!

So of course I cannot get my link to my dropbox working so if you would like to own this quick page you will need to send me a note with your direct email address and I will send you the quick page back.

My email address is or you can pm me in the cs forum or message me via facebook.  

I do hope you enjoy this page and the rest of the blog hop.  Your next stop is:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fire and Ice - Club Scrap Blog Hop

For the blog hop this month I thought I would show you all how to make composite brushes from several elements.

Step 1:  Move all the elements you are going to be using onto a single transparent .png.

Step 2: Move all the elements close to or overlapping one another - you can rotate, resize etc at this point until you have something that pleases you.  Here is mine:

Step 3:  At this point you will apply a mask to every layer in your composition.  The default mask will be white and a little rule you may like to commit to memory is black conceals, white reveals.  So working on each mask with a black brush you can "hide" parts of each image that you do not wish to see in your finished stamp.

Here is a photo of my slightly changed composite.

I am sure you cannot see too much difference here.  If you want a more distressed look you can of course change the size and type of brush you use and change the opacity as well.

Step 4:  You are now ready to make all your layers into a single layer.  The best way to do that is highlight the topmost layer and hit shift+control+alt+e which will create a new layer with the merged image.  (you also need to turn off your base layer if it is not transparent).

Step 5:  Working on the merged image layer place your cursor in the layer in your layers palette and do control+left click and that should give you marching ants around your merged image.

Step 6:  To make the brush - with the marching ants visible go to edit>define brush preset and a new dialog box appears.    Give the new brush a name and hit OK or save and you are done.

Below is a layout I made with the brush I created.


Your next stop will be:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Turning a black and white stamp into a color masterpiece

Hello everyone.

Yesterday Norma asked a question in the forum so I thought I would answer it here in the form of a quick tutorial.

First get your base image.

Then find the paper you would like to use as an overlay.  In this case one of the wonderful colored papers from the fire and ice kit.

In order to make the final graphic you will need to resize the paper you use as an overlay.  I resized it to 4" x 4".  To resize go to Image>Image size and new dialog box appears.  You can then specify the size and hit OK or enter.  

At this point you should have two windows open in your workspace.  The stamp graphic and resized paper.  Simply drag the resized paper onto the stamp graphic.  You will be able to move it around until you have it in your desired position.  Once you have it located where you want it go to the layers palette to make sure you have the stamp graphic and the resized paper stacked with the paper on top.

Then to make your colorful graphic go to the layers menu>create clipping mask and magically your colored graphic appears.  You are still on a transparent background here so the preserve the transparency go to the layer menu and select merge down or merge visible and then save as a png.

Now you can go ahead and use your multicolored graphic on a layout or card as I have done below.

I hope you find this useful.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Club Scrap Lock and Key Blog Hop

Welcome to the Club Scrap Blog Hop for Lock and Key.

I have decided to make this month more of a little tutorial on resizing photos and using the wonderful qddl pages which come with every Club Scrap digital kit.

First you have to open your photoshop or elements software (or other software that you use).  Grab a qddl and a photo.  My qddl this month is one from Lock and Key and the photo was one taken at Miller field on the way from Milwaukee airport to Kimberly for Retreat.

Once you have both open simply drag the photo onto the layout.

To resize the photo make sure you are in the layer that has the photo selected and click.  You should see the photo highlighted and some "handles" in the corners.  Hit the shift key and left click holding the left click down and just drag until the photo becomes the desired size.  Alternatively, go to the edit menu > transform > scale and you can do the same thing. 

You will see that the photo overlaps the frame.  To correct this simply place the photo layer below the qddl layer in the layers palette.

Now you are done.  Of course you can add more to the qddl but in this case I think it is done!

Your next stop is 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What an absolutely fabulous trip to Wisconsin - I had a blast at retreat and also spent some quality time with my best friend.  A good time was had by everyone but now I am home and am preparing to post a blog entry for the Lock and Key blog hop next Wednesday.

My entry to the blog hop will be more of a tutorial based entry but it will show off the Lock and Key kit.

Stay tuned!  photo LockKey_BlogHop_badge_rsz_zps419e832f.jpg

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

So this morning I am spending a bit of time trying to get organized to pack to leave for Wisconsin very early tomorrow.  Also I am thinking about my part of the October CS blog hop and wondering what I can do to prepare that so it is ready for posting when I get back from Wisconsin in a week.  Right now my inclination is to do another quick page for the digital page swap but that may change.

Anyway right now I have two empty suitcases and a gazillion things to put in them.  Hopefully I will not forget anything but you never know.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Just a little teaser

I hope you will all take a trip around the Club Scrap blog hop at the end of this month.  I am currently working on my part of it.

 photo LockKey_BlogHop_badge_rsz_zps419e832f.jpg

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Yesterday I decided to add the following to facebook.  So today I thought I would add it here as well.  Enjoy.

If the link does not work copy and paste into a new browser window.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Music to play by

I really do seem to have caught the blogging bug.  This is my 4th Post.

Anyway I was reading the other day about what types of music everyone does art with.  My choices are Spotify, Pandora or my own playlist.  In terms of the type of music, most of the time I listen to classical music but sometimes the walls and windows vibrate with the volume turned up to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and other classic rock performers and bands.  Also I listen a lot to the big band sound that my parents absolutely loved and sometimes blues.  Funny how my mood tends to dictate what I am going to listen to on any day.  

The only downside of listening to music all the time is that whatever I am listening to stays in my mind for several hours after I have stopped listening.  On the odd occasion I do find myself turning on my music to the same song or piece that I turned off earlier.  I am hoping that you will all add comments here to let me know what you are listening to and also make recommendations so that I can enjoy your music as well.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

So I wanted to make a quick photo manipulation tutorial about vignettes.  Open up the base image and make a duplicate layer.

Grab the elliptical marquee tool and make a selection of the part of the photo you want to use.  Right click within the selection and select feather from the menu.  A new dialog box opens and you need to set the feather radius to around 20 and hit OK.

Next you are going to choose select>inverse and what you will see is marching ants around your marquee selection AND around the edge of the entire image.  Hit the delete key and everything except your marquee selection will vanish like magic.

Make a new layer and move it to below your feathered selection (the pic above).  Using the eyedropper tool pick up a color from within the photo and left click once.  That will make your color selection active in the foreground chip. Fill the selected blank layer with your selected color.

At this point I thought it would be really cool to vignette my lovely couple with some flowers so I found a photo of some daisies and opened it up!

At this point all you have to do is drag the flowers onto the color filled vignette layer and you are done!!

Here is the final image.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

OK so yesterday was my first time blogging in public!  I do hope that everyone liked what I did and am looking forward to doing some more now.

Also I wanted to thank everyone for their comments and love on the blog today when the blog hop went live.

Today I thought I would add a photo to the layout I made yesterday to show how the layout can be used.

Here it is:


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Club Scrap Monthly Digital Page Swap

For years now I have been participating in the monthly digital page swap and as a result have built up a wonderful library of ready made digital swap pages.

This month I thought that I would write a blog about how to make a digital swap page or plopper.

What you do is start with a blank layer (transparent).  I make mine 12" x 12" at 300ppi.  Then drag a background paper onto this layer.  At this point I usually create the "hole" for a photo.  In this case a rectangle.  To do this use the rectangle selection tool and make the rectangle which shows up as a shape outlined by marching ants.  Then go to edit>cut and enter and voila - you have your place for your photo.

Then you can add to your hearts content.  My layout with Club Scrap's beautiful Take Wing Collection has a horizontal gradient tint layer added and a couple of embellishments and a word stamp.


Thanks for visiting my blog today! Your next stop on the Blog Hop