Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Hello to all you wonderful digi-scrappers! It’s Anna here welcoming you to another product spotlight at the Shabby Shoppe blog! We had so much fun working with Silly Boy ::: Play all Day (on SALE for only $4.50 for a limited time)!
Just wait until you see what our talented team has created with this playful kit!!!
I loved making this layout about my boys chasing geese. I am afraid of geese – having been chased and pecked by a goose before (they can be vicious) so I would never go after these birds! The boys at our birthday party, on the other hand, have never had this experience. They had no fear!
Look at Kylie‘s gorgeous creations…
…and another from Kylie that I just LOVE!
Beckie‘s son is such a little cutie…
and finally SP‘s sweetest of sweet layouts!
After seeing all this lovely inspiration, I know you will click right over to the kit HERE and snatch it up!!! Thanks for stopping by the blog today!
Make sure you’re here on Thursday for Kylie’s NEW Project SCRAP post! Until then, have a lovely day!!!
Product Spotlight, Uncategorized
Monday, August 22, 2011
Hello! Happy MONDAY – hope everyone had a very enjoyable weekend and are all ready for the week ahead…breathe in…exhale…ok, let’s GO!! :o) It’s Kylie here…and I’m only too happy to share this week’s Layout of the Week with you! This blog post is always a wonderful way to start each week…a little breath of fresh air, every single Monday! :o) And, this week’s gold star goes to the very talented corrin and her A-Z layout.
There are soooo many reasons why I LOOOVE this page…love all the cute photos showcasing each little letter of this gorgeous ABC project and how corrin managed to fit sooo many photos on the one page and still have oodles of room for her all-important journaling explaining the project…awesome block design! And isn’t the journaling wonderful – perfect font choice too!! Love the title alpha and the fun school details! And LOVE the fact corrin gave herself a time limit – ‘speed scrap style’ – to craft this little beauty!! Congrats and hugs goes to adorable Eden too, for her amazing work on those pictures…my favourite is N for Nemo…too CUTE, and of course Y for You & Me is beyond sweet!!!! :o)
CONGRATULATIONS, corrin! Enjoy your Shabby Shoppe $10 gift card …sent via email. And a very big THANKS for sharing your fun Alphabet Project with us! :o) And, of course, thanks to each and every one of the fabulously talented ladies who post their layouts/creations in the gallery week in and week out! SO MUCH INSPIRATION!!
Be sure to join us again tomorrow as Anna spotlights one of SP’s earlier kits…so much FUN!!! :o) Bye for now!
Layout of the Week, Uncategorized
Friday, August 19, 2011
He everyone! It’s Beckie here again, this time bringing you my first ever Shoppe hybrid project! Ever since I gave up paper scrapping for digi three years ago, I sincerely avoid hybrid projects, LOL! I dread the mess, the cleaning up, the digging for the right stuff (and not having the right letter stickers!), LOL :) But my sweet baby girl is starting first grade next week, and I wanted to create something she could carry with her in her backpack to keep her family close during her days at school. And now that she’s older, she LOVES to do crafty projects with me, and she was eager to help. When I came across this nearly empty cotton swab box in the bathroom, I knew I had the solution! :)
I kept this project really simple…because, well, that’s me. We were able to whip this together in just one afternoon and had a good time working on it together!
First I assembled our materials. I love the cute and super inexpensive little cotton swab box we used, because it’s durable plastic and has a hinged lid (purchased at Target). But you can use any kind of box – a candy tin, a jewelry gift box, etc! Then, my daughter and I sat together and flipped through my scrapbook pages and I had her pick out her favorite photos. We included one from everyone in the family, and even a few of just her (they love photos of themselves at this age, LOL!) And as a special touch, I took a picture of her teddy and blankie – her special “friends” that she’s slept with her whole life.
I measured the interior dimensions of my box and determined that a 2inx3in page would fit inside nicely. So I printed about 10 different papers out in 2×3 blocks and filled in all the extra space with lots of scrapbooking embellishments to coordinate with the papers I selected. I printed our selected photos at 1.5inx2in size. All together, these items took up only two 8.5inx11in pages when printed :)
:::Cut and Assemble:::
The rest was simple! ~ we just started cutting :) My daughter cut out all of the big items (photos and papers), and I helped her with the smaller items that were more intricate. When we were finished, I simply gave her a glue stick and she put all the “pages” together herself! We decorated the top of the box together and it was ready in no time! The label on the top of the box was adhered really well, so I just glued my decorative paper on top. I used a special glue for acrylic embellishments called “Gloo” by KI Memories, just to make sure it would adhere to the plastic around the edges (my paper was larger than the label).
Here’s our finished project :) There’s still plenty of room to add pages throughout the year, which I know she’ll want to do after her birthday party in October. But I love knowing she can see us and enjoy the comfort of “home” while she’s at school!
Well, that wraps up another week here at the Shoppe! If your kiddos are getting ready to head off to school (or have already started), good luck and best wishes for a wonderful school year! We’ll see you back next week – we have a ton of things lined up for you – including new project SCRAP templates and a few new surprises :)
Hybrid Projects, Uncategorized
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Hello everyone!! Beckie here, bringing you the latest installment of Tips and Tricks!
Have you ever wondered how brushes are made? Ever thought of making your own brushes? Well, you certainly CAN!
As for the uses of brushes, well, there are MANY. At the most basic level, a brush in digital scrapbooking takes the place of a rubber stamp, a marker, and a paint brush in “real life”. Brushes in PS and PSE are extremely versatile! Previously I showed you how to create a watercolor effect with brushes (and there are a few tips and shortcut keys in there, too!). Today, we’re going to take the real thing, that is – a paint splat on a paper plate – and turn it into a brush that you can use over and over, in any size or color!
:::Take a Photo:::
We’re starting with a plain old purple paint splat I created on a paper plate, which I then photographed. When you’re taking a photograph like this, be sure to get good focus. In this case, I put the focal point in a point of contrast between the purple paint and the white plate. This gives your auto-focus something to really “grab onto” and produce a crisp image.
:::Extract and Trim:::
Open your image in Photoshop (or PSE) and use the magic wand tool to remove most of the background. The magic wand tool looks like, well, a magic wand :) (shortcut key =W). I set the tolerance to 50 and used it to select the paper plate, then deleted it. Then I used the eraser tool (shortcut key = E), made it huge (increase size using ] ), and erased all of the remaining stray background (like the wicker table). Then, just to “clean up” our workspace, I used Image –> Trim. I used my default settings of “top left pixel color”, and then made sure all the check boxes at the bottom were selected (top, left, bottom, right). This is what I ended up with:
PSE users: I have PSE8 and I can’t find an easy way to “trim”, even after searching on-line. I did, however, find references to actions that mimic the PS Trim function. The other workaround I can think of is to use the marquis tool, draw a rectangle or circle that closely follows the dimensions of your image, and CTRL+C to copy the selection. Then, do File –> New–>Image from Clipboard. You shouldn’t skip this step because you don’t want to have stray pixels away from your image inadvertently included in your brush.
:::Work in Grayscale:::
It’s important to understand that brushes work from grayscale. So when you create a brush, it will retain the variation of values between white and black. One important step when creating a brush is to use the Levels tool to create as much distinction throughout the range of black and white as possible. First, convert your image to black and white. Go to Layer –> New Adjustment Layer –> Black and White. (And for PSE users: Shift+Ctrl+U) The method of converting to black and white here isn’t important at all, so feel free to use any method you prefer – even a photo action works fine!
:::Improve the Contrast of your Image:::
Now, we will significantly improve the “range” of black and white values in the image by using the Levels tool.
- Click on the half-moon icon to create a new adjustment layer. Select “Levels” from the list.
- The histogram that opens is the distribution of color in the image, with black on the left and white on the right. In my histogram (see below), you can tell there is no true black in the image because the graph doesn’t hit the left wall. There is true white in the image, however, because the histogram does trail off to the right and eventually meet the right wall. However, because so little of the image hits the right wall, there’s not much true white in the image, therefore not giving much contrast between black and white for our brush. So we’re going to fix this!
- Move the sliders around as necessary until you like the contrast between black and white in your image. I slid the black triangle all the way up to the edge of the graph, creating a “true black” in my image. Then, I slid the white slider (on the right) in closer to the middle so that I brightened the image up enough to create more true white than what originally existed. You might not want to do that to a photo because it will cause clipping (loss of detail), but for our purposes, it just puts more contrast in the brush strokes. Here’s what the image looks like in black and white, before and after the levels adjustment:
- The last step in preparing our “splat” is to adjust the size of the image. The largest a brush can be is 2500 px, so go to Image –> Image Size and set the largest dimension to 2500. Then click “OK”. (PSE users, it’s Image –> Resize–> Image Size)
Ok - flatten all of your layers (if you have multiples) and then ensure your layer is selected in the layers palette. Press CTRL+A to select all, then go to Edit –> Define Brush Preset (PSE Users: Edit –> Define Bush from Selection). Give your new brush a name, then click OK! that’s it!
The next time you use your brush tool (shortcut = B), your new brush will be at the end of the list of brushes!
Here’s a sampler I created with my new brush, showing different colors and opacities. You can also rotate brushes and play with the other settings “wet edges”, etc, just like I referenced in the watercolor tutorial.
:::So, what else can you do using this same technique?:::
- Make your own signature! Write your name on paper, and then follow the same steps to turn it into a brush! You can even skip the “levels/contrast” step for a simple signature! Or, how about getting your kids to give you a signature sample so you can put it into your scrapbook pages, like when you scrap their artwork?
- Use digi watercolor/paint to create “bigger” brushes. Instead of creating a splat from real paint, create one in PS/PSE. Again, those same techniques from the watercolor tutorial are perfect to create brush strokes and splats. Create your work of art, then convert it to grayscale and save as a new brush.
:::A few other tips & ideas:::
- To get the most from your brushes, you really should play around with everything brushes can do. Go to Window –> Brush to display the full brush toolbar. Here, you can play with all the settings and rotate your brushes before you stamp them (rather than stamping them, then rotating the layer).
- A pen tablet is a wonderful accessory for playing with brushes :) Put one on your birthday/Christmas list now!
- Create your own custom patterned paper with brushes
- Watermark your photos before you post them online (create your own watermark brush)
- Draw borders to accent journaling, photo placement, etc
- Use a brush (like the large one created today) as a clipping mask for photos and paper.
Well, that’s it for today! I hope you have fun trying to create your OWN custom brushes! I’ll see you back here on Friday with a cute little hybrid project :)
Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized
Monday, August 15, 2011
happy Monday (or whatever day it is for you, lol)! SP here this morning with our new LAYOUT OF THE WEEK! Well, I should correct myself and ‘say’ layoutS of the week :o) You guys know me…I never seem to be able to stick with just one (so not fair to the other girls on the team…I know, I know LOL)…but I have a GOOD reason (or two) this week! First, I’m not around much on the BLOG anymore (more on that another day!)…so I have to really enjoy it when I am, lol…and, second…all THREE of these pages are REALLY, REALLY fabulous, lol (as always)! Actually – ALL of the pages from the gallery this week are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G…truly, I just spent the past hour looking through the gallery (it’s Saturday afternoon as I’m typing this, lol), and was BLOWN AWAY by the skill, creativity and talent of ALL of YOU! But, as per usual…we have to limit LOTW to one (or three, lol)…and here is my ‘official’ selection for the week, LOL!
Just LOOK at this handsome little man, CONNOR! These photos ‘steal the show’ for sure – but the layout is totally ‘worthy’ as well! There is a simplicity to it, but at the same time, it is perfectly embellished and titled! The vertical lines really draw your eye in…and gives us something a little different from the norm (horizontal page)! Clever, cute and unique – LOVE it :o) Congrats mrskatylady, and thank you for sharing this little ‘gem’ with us this week! Girls – be sure to check out her gallery…it is FABULOUS and inspiring!
Now, how about a little more ‘eye candy’?! These are my other two ‘picks’ from the week…ENJOY :o)
So you see…I could not resist the gorgeous layout and heartfelt words that crysowens shared with us in her MOM’S HISTORY layout! It is gorgeous and perfect in every way! From the super feminine look and style of the page…to the LOVE that you can feel…and that beautiful photo…it was a ‘shoe-in’ :o) Here’s a closer look…
And then…we have this amazing page by past GALLERY GIRL, Five17Creations (Kim)! Seriously…look at her brand new baby boy, Samuel :o) Not only is he beyond precious and totally adorable…but WOW on the photo and layout (not to mention the perfect scripture)! I could not let this page pass without a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Kim and her beautiful family! Little Samuel looks absolutely angelic and soooooo peaceful (just nothing as cute as a sleeping baby, huh?) - I LOVE it (melt)! I keep repeating to myself…YOU ARE NOT HAVING ANOTHER CHILD…YOU ARE NOT HAVING ANOTHER CHILD…YOU ARE NOT HAVING ANOTHER CHILD, lolol…but OH MY does this amazing page make me think about it (well, the PRECIOUS baby boy does…and the AMAZING page only adds to it, lol)! Fabulous job, Kim…and HUGE congrats to you! Can’t wait to see lots of little Samuel layouts :o)
So, there you have it! CONGRATS to all three of this week’s ‘winners’ – enjoy your $10 gift cards to the Shabby Shoppe…emailed this morning – be sure to check SPAM folders if you don’t see it :o) As I always say, I could have EASILY chosen 40 or so pages to feature as LOTW, lol :o) But, there is always next week, right?! It’s just that you guys seem to get even better and better, week after week (how is that possible?!)! So, our job only gets tougher, lol :o) But we are up for the challenge…and look forward to all of your amazing pages…so keep ‘em coming…and THANK YOU for being part of the Shoppe family!
That’s all for me today…I hope the week is off to a great start for everyone! Beckie will be back here on Wednesday to inspire you…until then…XOXO — SP :o)
Layout of the Week, Uncategorized