Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Club Scrap - December 2014 Blog Hop - Reunion

I do hope you all had an extremely Merry Christmas and that Santa brought you all some goodies.

This month I am going to attempt to do something totally different.  This is called Paint Splatter Portrait and I thought that the Reunion kit would be awesome to use for this.

First up, open a photo, duplicate the image and convert it to black and white and then close the original photo.  I am using a photo of my estranged daughter and grandson for this.

Next open up a new image 12" x 12" with a white background.

Now move your photo onto the new canvas you have created and close out the photo.

Next you are going to use a levels adjustment layer to blow out most of the whites and darken the blacks.  Go to Layer>new adjustment layer>levels.

Click the toggle lever on the right and slide it towards the middle to increase the white; click to toggle lever on the left and slide it to the middle to increase the black.  At this point be careful not to go too far with either of these adjustments so that you maintain features on the faces.  Once you have done this hide the background layer and then go to layers>merge visible.

Now you need to add a layer mask.

At this point DON'T PANIC!!

Hopefully your photo will have disappeared.

Choose a brush and set your foreground color to white.

Click on the black mask in the layers panel and begin brushing and/or stamping.  You can adjust the flow and opacity of your brush at any time.  What you are seeing here is a fuzzy round brush "revealing" some of the photo below it.

Here is what I ended up with for this photo and now comes the fun stuff.

I wanted to make a new gradient fill layer so I created a new fill layer above the layers I have worked with so far and made a gradient using the colors from the Reunion kit.  Once you have the gradient set the property of it to overlay or soft light.

Make a new layer and do your gradient.  I have further adjusted mine using the blend options and lowered the opacity of the gradient a bit.

Now you can complete your layout as normal.  I have actually made brushes out of some of the stamps from the reunion kit and will be applying those on their own layers at their own opacities shortly but right now I am looking to see what extras I can use to make this layout work.

Here is what I ended up with:

I hope you have enjoyed this creative process and something totally different.  As always your response means a lot to me so please ask questions if you want to.

The next stop is:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Blog Hop - Just in time for Christmas 2014

Needless to say, as soon as Karen posted about the holiday blog hop I knew that I had to be part of it, I guess I have to be part of everything but with the new kits that came out the week before Thanksgiving, it really was a no brainer for me to let Karen know that I was in!

Anyway - here is my offering.

Over the years of digital scrapbooking and card making and other digital activities, I have come across many many templates and projects which I have collected.  Here is just one of them.

This is a template for making a small box.  The base is 2.25" square and the height is 1.5" for each side.  The template makes the most adorable pyramid box which can hold some candy goodies or other goodies if you like.  

With the advent of our new Christmas kits I thought it would be very cool to make a little box up with a gift tag with the name of each of the people who are going to be celebrating Christmas with us this year.

So here you can see I have pulled in a background paper and added Mr. Gnome from the original Gnomes collection.  

At the same time I am creating tags with the names of all who will be at our Christmas dinner.

Now for the tag.  Opened up a new blank piece of paper and pulled in Mr. and Mrs. Gnome.

There are many different ways to make a tag now.  What I have done is found a good tag shape and used it as a mask to make the tag.

At this point I extended the length of the tag so that I had room to put names at the bottom.

Here you can see the tag in place with the box ready to print, cut, score, fold, fill and finish ready to enjoy.

Printed 6 copies.

Cut and scored each one and inked the edges of each tag and stamped each person's name using tiny alphabet stamps.

Filled each box with Hershey's Christmas kisses and added black waxed linen thread into the holes at the top of each peak.  Here is the first finished box, tag and all.

And all 6 finished boxes which will be used as place holders for our special Christmas dinner.

I do hope you have all enjoyed my entry into the Holiday blog hop.

Time to wish you all an extremely Merry Christmas and point you in the direction of the next stop.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Club Scrap Blog Hop - Lakes - November 2014

Well this month I figured I would do a tutorial about how to make a special background using punched out circles but our very own Ron beat me off the mark with a great tutorial about turning Julie's punched circle backgrounds into a digital treat.  So the thinking cap went back on and it has been really hard to come up with something that works well with such a tremendous kit.

Here goes.

Have you always looked at layered sketches and wondered how they work?  Well I am going to help you along with your first try at them.  With a little information about the sketches and how to work with them, and some step by step instructions on how to complete a layout using a sketch - you will soon be playing with every sketch that Club Scrap provides to us.

Here are some examples of sketches which I have randomly chosen from previous kits.

Since you do not have to worry about design, you can really focus on kit selection, and making your pages come to life with color, patterns, journalling and of course most importantly your photos.

An important thing to remember is that the sketches are not concrete.  You don't have to use everything in a sketch and if you want to delete a row of brads or a piece of paper you can.  The sketch is to help you get started along the creative process and you can make it your own any way you want.  You can replace or trade any element or paper any way you want to.  You can resize anything or change anything to make the layout truly your own.  Most layered templates do not include layer styles.  Personally I add those once I have my photographs in place.

For the Lakes kit I have chosen to use a sketch that came with a kit in the past.  Some of you may remember October 2008 - Private Eye.  I felt that the sketch I have chosen works well with the photo and Lakes kit so please forgive my creative license of using this sketch instead of one from Lakes. 

Since the photo I want to use is portrait orientation I will rotate the sketch 90degrees clockwise.  Go to Image, Image rotation, 90 degrees clockwise and hit enter.

What you get looks like this.

Open up the paper you would like to use as your background and move it over to the layered sketch (either drag and drop or copy and paste).

Once you have your background in place you can add your mat and the photo you are using.

You can see here that the sketch has a suggested placement for a fiber.  I am not going to use a fiber like this so I just hide that particular layer.  Meantime, I have opened up the digital extras that came with the Lakes kit.  I pretty much know what I want to use for the layout but here is the selection of what we got.

The left facing fish are going to be on the layout but reversed and resized.

At this point I want to add layer styles.

Now all I need is some journalling and I have chosen a stamp from those that came with the kit.  I also added a fiber and here is the finished layout.

I do hope you have enjoyed this tutorial on how to use the wonderful sketches that are provided to us by Club Scrap.  Your next stop is

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Club Scrap Blog Hop October 2014 - Homestead

Today I thought I would show you how to create a digital quick page that you can save to use time and again.  So with no further ado open up a new blank canvas with a transparent background.

Once that is done the world is your oyster so to speak.

Now select some of the papers and elements you would like to use.  At this point you can start building your quick page.

Here you can see that I have two different papers stacked and have used the rectangular marquee tool to select (rectangle surrounded with marching ants).

Go to edit and you will then be able to "cut" the selected rectangle out of the paper that his highlighted in the layers panel.  Duplicate this set of actions and you will create a "hole" in which to put a photo.

Wouldn't you know it, but CS has come up with a perfect cluster to go along with our newly created hole.

I have decided that the background paper (patterned) is too loud so went back and changed the opacity a bit.

Add your photo.

Select your stamp and in this case I thought that picking a color from the cluster was cool so used that.

Apply your layer styles at this point if you wish and you now have a finished layout.

Here is the finished layout with the photo and layer styles applied.

Now that you have a really pretty layout you need to remove the photo that you have tested your layout with.  What I typically do is turn off the photo using the eyeball in the layers panel.

To make this layout usable as a quick page, you will need to save it as a merged file.  A word of caution here - if you go ahead and flatten your layers at this point, your hole will not remain transparent.  So you need to go to Layers>merge visible.

The file type that is best is a .png which will give you the most color information at 300ppi.

This is the dialog box which appears when you go to save.

Once you hit the save button you have a quick page that you can use again and again.

Here are some examples.

As you can see - quick pages can be used for many different types of photos.

I hope you all enjoy my little tut on how to make a quick page.  Of course you can make these as simple or as complicated as you like.

Your next stop on the blog train is

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Club Scrap Blog Hop - September 2014 - Blueprints

It's that time of the month again, and we have a wonderful September kit to play with.  What I thought I would do is throw it out to you and ask what would you like to see in the way of tutorials?  Everyone has different styles and different ideas about what they want to do and of course everyone is at different levels in their digital scrapbooking.  So please give me feedback as to what you would like and I will see what I can do.

Meantime, let's get cracking with this months project. First I made a new document and I always make mine 12" x 12" at 300 ppi on transparent backgound.  Then I opened a photo - this one of the Lilypads by Frank Lloyd Wright at the Johnson labs in Racine, WI.  I thought that this photo would be wonderful layered with some of the Blueprints papers and elements.

I then went into Bridge and opened up the file with all the papers and overlays.

If you look at the photo and the bridge folder you can see that there are loads of papers and overlays which are going to work well with this photo.  Here you can see that I have opened several papers and overlays. Now we can begin to build the layout.

I have added a background and double mat so far but not made any layer styles to this yet.

Now I have added the overlay and this is where the fun begins.

With the overlay layer selected open up the filter gallery.

You will see all kinds of filters that you can play around with.  For my layout I have selected the color pencil filter and brought up the submenu behind it.

Change the filter to notepaper, with Image balance of 25, graininess at 10 and relief at 11 and hit OK.  This will add a very soft texture to the overlay.  I also changed this layer to hard mix and you can see a bit more texture in the overlay.

Now for embellishments.  Back to the bridge and find the folder with the embellishments.  I knew that I wanted to use this cluster for this layout so went ahead and opened it up.

Position the cluster over the photo and at this point I erased a small amount of the paint spatter where it was on the photo.

At this point I decided to take a look at the stamps that come with this kit.

I selected a stamp and made it into a brush.  Added a new layer on top of all the others and brushed the stamp on.  I added a white stroke, bevel and emboss and default drop shadow to the layer and voila!

I hope you have enjoyed the process today and will try doing this for yourself.  Your next stop is