Thursday, August 12, 2010
Howdy Everyone! It’s Anna here with my very first Thursday Thievery post.
Kylie is one of my favorite scrappers on the TEAM!
I was blown away by this layout that she created with one of The Shabby Shoppe’s new kits – HopScotch
Isn’t it INCREDIBLE!!!
I thought so!
There are so many things that I love!
I love the colors – the blues and yellows and greens look so fabulous with her cute photo.
I love that she used her blending trick that she posted about on the blog HERE.
I love the words curving around the two focal pictures
And, of course, I love love love the photo. It’s adorable!
When I lift a layout, I usually start by making a quick template. It only takes me a few minutes and I love to create templates that I can use over and over again. Most people may not scraplift so literally but that is just kinda the way I roll.
I played with my template a bit and this is the layout I came up with:
here is a layout from SP:
and Kylie was kind enough to scraplift her own layout!
I’m off to my family reunion this weekend, but I would love to see your Thursday Thievery.
Link me up in the comments!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Hi everyone! It’s Karen and today I’m bringing you a tutorial for doing photo extractions for our scrap pages. In the past, if I wanted to remove the background from a photo, I would use the eraser tool…zoom in close and erase away the part of the image that I didn’t want. It was very time consuming and I made lots of mistakes. But, lately I’ve discovered two things that make it much easier.
1. Using a pen tablet instead of a mouse. It gives much more control and is easier on your hand.
This is like the one I have. The small Bamboo Fun Tablet.
2. Adding a Layer Mask to the image. Basically, instead of erasing, the unwanted part of the image is just painted away. It’s so much quicker. If you make a mistake, with just a click, you can fix it and be on your way.
If you are a Photoshop Elements user, never fear, you can use layer masks, too! Just install one of the free add-ons for Elements found here or here. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready for the simple steps below.
Now, let’s start an extraction! Open an image. Make a copy and close your original. I also always hit control J (or Command J for a mac) to duplicate my image onto a new layer. Basically, the extra copy is just there in reserve… just in case I want to trash the one I’m working on and start all over. From now on I’ll always be referring to the top image. To make things easier to see while we work, add a bright colored layer underneath the image. To do that click the new layer icon and then use the paint bucket tool to fill that new layer with bright red. Be sure and drag the new layer underneath the image if it’s not already there.
Next, click the layer mask icon to add a mask to the image. (Or run the mask action if you’re using Elements.) Look in your layers palette and make sure that your mask (the box that’s now linked to your photo) is white (check out the screen shot below). If it’s black instead of white, click on the mask in your layers palette with your pen or mouse and hit control I. That will inverse the color and change it from black to white. Next hit the “D” key to select the default colors, select a round, soft brush of about 10 pixels, make sure the brush is black (hit the “x” key if it isn’t, that will switch the colors,) and zoom in on your photo to around 250 – 300 %. Click on the white mask in your layers palette, move the brush over to the image and paint away. What ever is painted will be removed from the photo. Since the part of the image that you are painting is being removed, the red layer from below will begin to show through. Don’t worry, it looks strange now, but we will delete the red layer later, after we’re all done. As you can see below, I got a little sloppy and painted on the face by mistake.
Now here is what makes using layer masks so much fun! When I see that I’ve made a stray stoke, I just hit my “x” key to switch my brush color to white and paint over the mistake. I hit the “x” key again to switch back to black and resumed my painting. Fixed it in a flash!
The goal here is to outline around the whole image with the small brush. Use the bracket keys to make the brush smaller and larger as you work in tight areas. As I painted my image, I moved the image around by holding down the space bar to change my cursor into the hand tool. With the hand tool activated (keep holding down the space bar) you can easily grab the photo and move it to a fresh area. So basically, I just painted away, scooted my image, painted, scooted…over and over until I had outlined the whole thing.
I kept painting until I got a pretty wide border of red so I wouldn’t mess up my image once I moved to a bigger brush.
Next I used my bracket key to enlarge my brush to around 300 pixels and finished painting all the white area.
Once I had everything painted I turned off the layers below, including the red one, to see how it looked. I cleaned up a few things by clicking between the black and white brushes using the x key.
When I was happy with how everything looked, I dragged the extraction, mask and all, onto a new 12 x 12 document to start my scrap page. Once I got the extraction on the new white document I could see a few spots on the left side that I had missed painting. No problem! I just hit the “b” key to select my brush tool, made sure it was black, clicked with my pen (or mouse) on the mask in the layer palette, then on the scrap page, painted away the black, smudgy areas.
Next, I added a digital paper to my page. Once the blue paper was underneath the extraction, I could see that there was quite a bit of the white showing amongst the curls in her hair. To take care of that, I zoom way in, used a 3 pixel brush and painted away more of the white areas. I wasn’t too concerned about being exact and I didn’t remove every speck of white. I was pretty sure no one would be able to tell once I had zoomed back to normal. I zoomed in and out a few times checking as I worked.
And here it is! All finished and ready to continue scrapping. I did add a shadow to the extraction…larger and softer than the shadows I usually add to paper pieces.
Below you can see the layer mask in my almost finished page.
And here it is…my finished layout!
I hope so much this tutorial has been helpful to you and that soon we will be seeing your beautiful extraction work in the shabby shoppe gallery.
P.S. I used Hopscotch to make the page above.
P.S.S. If you need more information to help you understand masking you can check out this tutorial…or this one.
Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Hello everyone, it’s Lu here with this week’s Product Spotlight… Modish Girl (on sale for $5.21 this week only)! This is a kit that I know you’ll enjoy playing with… if you haven’t already!
Personally, I just love paisleys & this kit is loaded with them. But as always, what I really enjoy is the color palette. It’s so “girly” but with a fun twist… and all about shabby style. Let me show you what I mean:
Here’s my layout:
and some more from the girls (visit the Shabby Artist’s gallery for larger images and credits):
Now, after all those sweet layouts, you may be thinking, “Love the kit, but just a little too “girly” for all my “boy” pics. So I just wanted to show you a layout that I created using Modish Girl and Hopscotch.
I chose Hopscotch to pull elements from because the color scheme worked with the photos background. I also recolored the floral sticker from Modish Girl to coordinate with the flowers. Just to show you that even the most “girly” kits can be neutralized, lol! I could’ve made this layout even more “boyish” if I had wanted to… but it is going into my daughter’s album, so I kept it a bit feminine. She’s still a girly-girl, even if she’s a HUGE Star Wars fan, lol! In any event, if you’re looking for a kit to showcase your mod, chic, sweet, silly girl then take a look at Modish Girl. It’s on sale this week only for $5.21. Don’t miss the sale on this great kit!
Be sure to look for my hybrid project on Friday with more on Modish Girl. But first, you will not want to miss Karen’s FABULOUS tips & tricks post, coming up tomorrow! Until then, Happy Scrappin’!
Product Spotlight, Uncategorized
Monday, August 9, 2010
Hey y’all…it’s Kathy! I flew home yesterday from a grueling 2 weeks away with my 3 little ones…we had a wonderful visit with my family and friends, however, it was soooo stressful dealing with all of the issues they had being away from home, with limited toys and entertainment, in strange sleeping arrangements…you get the idea. So, I owe you all an appology for a “stress-related” mix up with our posting schedule. This post should have been last Friday and the “Beauty Bag” post should have been today…my error, but we will be back with our regularly scheduled programing on Friday…LOL!
Now, on with this post…it is no secret that I LOVE to create hybrid projects, some of them simple and some more elaborate. However simple or involved the project is, I always count on some basic products to make the creation process easier and more efficient. I’m going to share my tried and true favorites, some products that I would really be LOST without. Now, there are so many products that I use regularly, it would be a really, really looong post if I included them all here, so I’m going to break them up in to “beginner, intermediate and advanced” categories and share a few at a time.
PLEASE NOTE - I did NOT ‘link’ all of these, simply because you can find them at so many different sites and stores – just GOOGLE them, or look at your local scrapbook/hobby/craft store :o)
First up is my Purple Cows 2-in-1 trimmer…I seriously have no idea what I would do without it. It is model # 1040 and has a rotary blade with interchangable blades for perforating, straight cutting and wavy cuts. I don’t use that side often, but occasionally I will use it for specific projects that require a perforation (like my son’s airplane boarding pass invitation) or a wavy trim. Mostly, I use the guillotine side which cuts even the most hair-line thin cuts with a super crisp edge. The guillotine blade is not actually sharp at all, so it is safe for even kids to be around…I love it. But really, you’ll have to take it for a test run to believe how wonderful it is and see all of it’s potential. Ask your local scrapbook store for a demo…you’ll be converted, I’m sure!
The second most basic need you’ll have in any hybrid project are a variety of adhesives. They are not “one size fits all” in that each type of project will likely require a specific adhesive. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to break the bank to have every single one, there are several that will do more than one job, however, to get the optimal results, you’ll need to know which adhesives work best for your projects.
My “go-to” double sided tape is my handy ATG tape gun…I personally have the yellow 700 model as seen below, but I sell the slightly smaller red version that is also on the market. They use the same refills and once you get over the initial investment of the gun itself, the refills are far more cost effective than most any other tape runner on the market. I use my tape gun for making cards, mini albums, gift tags, etc…the list goes on and on.
Next up in the adhesive line up is my FAVORITE strong tape…the Scor-Tape. It is very similar in it’s adhesive qualities to the red-backed Terifically Tacky tape, which I also love, but is easier to use because you can tear the Scor-Tape, where the Terifically Tacky tape has to be cut. I use this tape on any project where I need a stronger more permanent bond, such as on paper boxes (like the Strawberry invitation boxes I made here
) or to attach covers to mini albums where it would get a lot of wear and tear. It is really pretty economical and comes in a variety of widths, including full sheets. I use the 1/4″ width most frequently.
For everyday use on a variety of surfaces, I turn to Tombow adhesives. I use the Tombow glue stick on lots of things. It is a really workable glue that gives a great bond on most things. As I mentioned in this post, I often use a glue stick to adhere paper to projects that I am going to Mod Podge. The glue stick offers a some wiggle room in paper placement, while not getting it wet, which will make the paper curl and makes it prone to bubbles underneath. It is still important to use something like a credit card or kitchen scraper/spatula to gently go over the surface to ensure an even adhesion and to smooth out any bubbles that may have formed under the surface.
My other favorite Tombow product is the Mono Aqua liquid glue. It is a clear glue that gives a great clean bond and it dries clear, so if you get a little too much in one spot, you can quickly wipe it off and it will not show up after the glue dries. I use this often when I need to glue down letters I’ve cut from the Cricut, or punched shapes, etc. A little goes a long way and it is very versitile.
Lastly, I also really like the Tombow Mono Multi adhesive, but it is a little more messy and requires a bit more care when applying. It is very versitile in that it will create a strong permanent bond when two objects are placed together while wet, such as applying paper to a chipboard shape. Alternately, if applied to a surface and left to dry, it becomes a repositionable glue and does not have as strong of a bond. The biggest draw-back is that when it gets on your fingers, they become very tacky and it can mess up your project with gooey glue residue if you aren’t careful. That being said, I ALWAYS use this glue to cover chipboard shapes…it works awesome.
Well, if you know me at all, you’ll know I loves me some Mod Podge. It gives a great protective finish to lots of different projects. There are so many different types of Mod Podge on the market, for any type of crafty project you can think of, but I tend to stick with the original MP, in a Matte finish. I also sometimes use the Paper Mod Podge, if it is something that I want to last for a very long time, such as the recipe box found here. The Paper Mod Podge is acid-free and archival safe, but really it’s up to you, I haven’t found any difference in how they go on.
And last stop on our adhesive tour, are Glue dots…a staple for me. I use all three of the Glue Dots seen below on a really regular basis. They are great for when you have a small item that you need a really permanent bond for, such as buttons, 3-D flowers, gems, rhinestones, charms, etc… I also use the Pop Up Glue Dots when I want to add some dimension to a card or hybrid project. The minis are great for really small items. I LOVE them, and they come in a resealable pouch on perforated squares, which makes them really convenient.
I couldn’t end this “Basics” post without including the Basic Grey Precision File Set. It is a real must have for hybrid projects. I use it every time I cover chipboard with paper or when I make a shaped mini album. It comes with a variety of shaped files that are great for getting into any little corner or ridge and smoothing out rough paper edges. Best of all, it is really reasonably priced for how easily it gets the job done.
I really hope you’ll try some of these wonderful products on your next hybrid project, I’m sure you’ll like them too. Be sure to join me next time when we take a look at some “intermediate” level products that make hybrids so much fun!
Join us back here tomorrow for the next product spotlight (brought to you by Lu)!
Hybrid Projects, Uncategorized
Saturday, August 7, 2010
HELLO everyone, it’s Anna here announcing another Layout of the Week!
What a great time I had looking over each and every layout posted these past seven days! And what an impossible job it was to decide which one should prevail! The winner actually had four gorgeous layouts that she posted this week!
But, after much deliberation, I finally decided it had to be …
acmckelvey’s - WALK WITH NATURE
This is what acmckelvey had to say about her layout:
“This one was born from a late night idea that wouldn’t go away. I thought of how some modern quilters now do impressionist quilts with mixtures of fabrics. I love how much texture, how the colors blend, etc. of those quilts. Such a treat for the eye! Well, I thought – why couldn’t I do that with scrapping and paper? I call it ‘paper quilting’ ! :o) *
*All of this is from scratch. I drew my scene that I had in my head inspired by my surroundings. I scanned it in and used Live Trace in Adobe Illustrator. Then I had to create shapes, manipulating the paths….very involved but I’m completely happy with the result. I was even smart (which doesn’t happen very often) and saved the shape template (black shapes for clipping masks).*
*I know a lot of the elements are very small, manipulated and probably not in the best perspective, but I wanted them to help create the scene.
*I pretty much used papers from the SP freebies and a lot of the purchased kits – Barefoot, Blossom, Bella, Gabby, a lot of stitching from Sprout. I actually erased down to a stitch or two and either duplicated layers (we’re talking LOTS) or created a brush with them. I later then merged my layers of the stitching so it was one element and helped clean up the document so it wasn’t so cumbersome.“
I was so impressed! Her layout is a WORK OF ART!
I had to giggle when acmckelvey also wrote this – “Okay, have to laugh. My husband pointed out it looks like the landscape is a hat on our heads.” She then reworked the layout and posted another HERE and asked us “What do you think?”
SP summed it up best with her comment, “k…so it is IMpossible for me to choose as they are both outta-this-world awesome! i KINDA see what he is saying, lol…but probably only because i was looking for it, kwim? i kinda prefer you girls on the right side as that balances nicely with the mountains and i like the way the flowers stand out above your daughter. but – this way is wonderful, too! so, see – i am no help, lol! i really just had to say that this is phenomenal – it is obvious how much time and talent went into it…the creativity is wow! and think of how much she is going to LOOOOVE having this later in life…something so personal that her mother crafted :o) GREAT GREAT JOB! thanks so much for sharing with us!“
Thank you again, acmckelvey for sharing this great layout with all ofus! You should have a $10 gift card to the Shabby Shoppe in your email box :o)
This is Anna signing off and hoping you’ll have a great weekend :o) We’ll see ya back here on Monday!
Layout of the Week, Uncategorized