Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Hello, fellow scrapbooking friends! Lego here, with a blog post for the DIY fans. You might have noticed that I’m rather keen on adjusting material according to my layout needs. And today I’m gonna share another one of my all-time faves with you: paper strips.
Of course, we are lucky to be able to lay our hands on the ones already made. Let’s be honest, these are unbeatable for they are an artist’s job: SP at her best!
But you might want something personalized from time to time. You can then create your own individual word strips. They are oh-so versatile. Especially if you just want to add a few keywords in place of extensive journaling or you need cool captions for your photos.
Today I’m going to show you two possibilities: the BASIC ones and the FANCY ones aka PIMPED BASIC ONES.
Here is my version of making basic word strips.
1. Mark, copy and insert a rectangle (“cmd+j” or “ctrl + j”) from any paper layer you have on your layout, approximately the size you want your word strip to be like. No need for accuracy here.
2. Activate it, by holding “cmd” and clicking the icon in the layer panel. Then press “cmd” + “u” and make it white.
3. Then put a text layer on top and start typing. Adjust font and font size according to your liking.
4. If your strip is too short or too long, too narrow or too wide: no problem! Just pull the strip layer into the shape you want it (“cmd” + “t” is the shortest way for me ;-). Leave the text layer as it is.
5. Add a shadow. You are almost finished!
6. Now save it as a PSD-file. You’ve just created your strip template that is to be used again and again! Open it whenever you want to add one or more strips to your layout.
The fancy ones (= altering the basic strip files):
- Colour it if you don’t want a white strip: in your layer styles, choose “colour overlay” and the colour you want it to be.
- Take a paper instead of the colour overlay: open a paper file and place this layer between the strip and the text layers. Next move your little arrow exactly between these two layers, press the “alt”-key and click. You’ve just married them off – how sweet is that =) – and you got yourself a nice little papered word strip.
- Frame it! Want a white frame around your strip? That’s easy! Look:
1. First duplicate your white strip layer:
2. Change the colour of the upper layer. (e.g. colour overlay or paper overlay)
3. Make the lower layer a little bit bigger. (use transformation tool or “cmd”+ “t”)
4. Add a shadow to the lower strip layer.
5. And you’re done!
And to finish it off, a few more tips:
- Combine all layers involved, or group them. Then drag them on the layout you are working on. (By combining the layers you can move them around, resize them etc. and the proportions will not go woozy.) You may also merge them on one layer, but then you cannot change anything any longer! So for that, you gotta be sure, sure, sure ;-)
- You can duplicate/triplicate… your strip layer groups/combinations, adding more strips to your page. And of course they can then easily being altered: change font, change colour, change text, change shadow, change background… as you wish!
When you have done this a couple of times, you might just get your rectangle from the layout you’re presently working on. No need to open an extra file. But then again, if you want to do more than one, the strip template does come in handy.
- And you can combine your strips with SP’s gorgeous word art, of course!
I’ve just completed my december daily book where I used them on every single page ;-)) You might have noticed … I’ve uploaded quite a few lately. Here is the last one: the cover of the book.
The next layout makes use of the word strips with a brainstorming kind of journalling. I just typed all the words that came to my mind when thinking of this fun weekend with friends and used the photo colours for the strip colours and text colors. The little ones had hummus for the first time in their lives and just loved it!
I hope you liked this little post of mine. It is my last one. I really enjoyed working on SP’s blog. It has been a thoroughly pleasant and wonderful experience being in this with these super-special teammates. Now I can’t wait to see what the others will come up with! Don’t forget to come round here again tomorrow for Shabby Princess herself will be back with the Project Scrap December edition. Don’t miss it!
Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized
Friday, December 21, 2012
I know, I know tomatoes, mozzarella, basil … all things that make me think of summer. But then again, aren’t these the holiday colours, too? Anyway, we eat this Italian treat all year round because it’s so yummy. And probably like anyone else with kids I can never ever have enough good pasta recipes. Lego here to share a super-easy and really yummy family favourite:
This is what you need … and what you get :-)
- 500 g (16 oz box) whole-wheat spaghetti
- 1 fistful of pine nuts
- appr. 30 small cherry tomatoes
- 1 package (250 g) of Halloumi cheese (Greek cheese for grilling)
- 20 dried tomatoes (when in olive oil: rinse a bit)
- 1 mozzarella cheese ball (rinse and try to get it at room temperature)
- fresh basil
- olive oil
- 12 slices of prosciutto crudo (or any kind of dry cured ham)
- First you’ve got to cut, cut, cut!
- Fry pine nuts without oil in a non-stick pan for about a minute. They should not get dark! Set aside.
- While the spaghetti is being cooked al dente in salted water (see package) fry Halloumi in a non-stick pan until it turns brown. (You wanna get that yummy crust ;-) Set aside.
- Put tomatoes in the very same pan and melt a bit. Add dried tomatoes. Heat and stir for a minute or two.
- When pasta has finished cooking and you have rinsed it, put it back in the pot. Add tomatoes and Halloumi. Cover the pot, set aside and let rest for about 5 minutes. (Believe me, it’s worth it. We found out because the second helping always tasted better ;-)… I guess because the pasta can absorb all the yummy tomato flavor!
- In the meantime place ham slices on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Grill in the oven for about a minute or so. (Depends on your grill actually!) They should get a bit brown and crispy. The crispier, the better!
- Put on a plate and drizzle with some good olive oil.
- Sprinkle with pine nuts, mozzarella and basil. Place ham chips on top. Serve and enjoy! For a heartier version: drizzle with more olive oil ;-) or add more ham strips.
- Buon appetito!
Here comes the recipe card to download…CLICK HERE to download or click on the image below. I used one of the very handy Muffin Man recipe card templates!
Thanks for checking in with the blog today! Don’t miss tomorrow‘s entry when Emily shares her creativity with us in her inspiration post! Since I won’t have the opportunity to “blog” to you in the very soon future, let me wish you wonderful Christmas celebrations with your beloved ones and the bestest for the New Year!
Food Stuff, Free (not desktops), Uncategorized
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Got a rectangle frame, but want a square one? Or the other way around? Or you have smaller pictures and bigger pictures and want them in the same kind of frame, without the shrinking proportions when downsizing? Lego here, with a blog post on individualization!
I asked myself: why not customize frames according to my needs? And so I did. And I did it again and again. After saving newly-created frame variations (as png-files), I can now reuse them over and over again. :-)
Here’s what I’m talking about:
Making things SMALLER:
- Mark a part of the frame and with “cmd/ctrl + j” it’s moved to a new layer in the very same position.
- After selecting the new layer use the arrow keys to move it until it looks like a square. (Using the arrow keys helps be more precise than by just dragging it.)
- Activate the eraser (often with a soft or fuzzy edge) and reduce its opacity to about 15 %. Then erase on the upper layer partially, just to avoid any straight/clear cutting edges.
Finally, merge the two layers and voilà here’s your new frame in the desired dimensions:
P.S. At times, the eraser step can be left out. Just check, if there are any cutting lines that would be visible. If not, just merge, no erasing necessary. Like I did here:
Making things BIGGER is also possible, it’s a bit more tricky. Technically only a bit, for it’s basically the same thing as making things smaller but you have to insert one step (between step 2 and 3):
- Activate the lower layer and erase the corner.
I use this technique with lots of frames and other items as you see below. And believe me, there are way more possibilities!
And here’s the whole process in pictures, meaning step-by-step PS screenshots.
1. Open your file. I chose the 4 hearts with the intention to crop them to 3.
2. Select the part you want to cut.
3. Move the selected part to a new layer, where it’s placed in its original position. The shortest way for this is for a MAC “cmd+ j” and for a PC “ctrl+j”.
5. Since I want to make three out of four heart, I move my new layer (the upper one!) to the right.
6. Here it might help to use another colour for the layer beneath, so you see the edges clearly. (You can do this easily in the layer styles: colour overlay. This way you can get rid of it quickly as well.) Quite often, this step is not necessary though.
7. Once you’ve arrived at the “ desired destination” with your upper layer, erase the parts of the lower layer (in flashing red) that you won’t need any longer.
8. Now throw away the colour overlay: just drag the layer style into the little bin.
9. For the fine-tuning, use a soft-edged eraser brush on the top layer. Use a big one with an opacity of about 15 % and get rid of the sharp edge between the two layers.
10. Once you are happy with the result, merge the two layers.
11. You’re done!
Believe me, you do this three or four times and you get the hang of it. It doesn’t take me longer then a few minutes now. So the effort is really worth it.
Imagine, the banner could be as long as your kids’ names … and their proportions would be exactly the same whether you had 4 or 8 letters. Oh… I love this!
I’d like to conclude this post with a layout I did recently. It contains a frame that I divided. You can find the original in the lovely Giggle Box Kit. (One of my all time faves!)
Be sure to check back tomorrow for Kylie will bring us the newest template challenge. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful opportunity to use one tiny individualized item on it? Oh, I just can’t wait to see what you make of this and hopefully you share your creations with us soon.
If you wonder about the excited tone in my voice it’s because of St. Nicolas, who Paulina will meet for the first time this evening. It is different than the American Santa Claus – not only because of the date. In Austria he would often visit a family home and talks to the kids in person – one after the other – about their behaviour by describing specific events in their lives (like that they should not spit out their granny’s spinach like he/she did last Sunday or they should not hide their daddy’s car keys beneath the cat’s box etc.) After enduring the wait and slight fear of what Mr. Nikolo might tell you, the kids then get a small present, oranges, nuts, some chocolate…. The magic about this is that a “real” man in red and white is actually standing in front of you speaking of things he could not possibly know! I guess I was way in my teens when I found out that he had this knowledge because of prior parents’ briefings. LOL. Can’t wait to scrap this event tomorrow … man, it’s so exciting!
Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Hello everybody, lego here with a post for the upcoming holidays. Fall has turned really frosty over here now, I heard the first carol in a movie recently (btw it was a 1963-John-Wayne-south-seas-flick shown at the Vienna film festival. Oh, I loved it)… and shops are stocking up on all the red-green-gold-snowy white stuff. So I thought about the jolly season and… Christmas cards, of course! Especially with the beautiful new kit in store ;-) I was keen to start. After a bit of pondering I ended up looking at my old ones. Maybe you’ll get inspired by looking at your creations, as well. I did actually <LOL> by the one I came up with in 2010.
I more or less just redid it. Firstly, because I really liked the layout and secondly, and more importantly, because I so loved making it. I took a basic Christmas shape – a star – as my starting point and ended up in an element frenzy.
Whoohoo! What fun I had! So I just stole my idea and had my way with SP’s darling new nutcracker kit among many others. No kidding! I’m convinced I opened every single SP kit folder on my computer and took at least one element. See what I mean?
And then I found the ready-to-use-tree element in the nutcracker folder (what a beauty!) and thought why not use this as well. It’s a super-quick page also following the shape principle. In a very reduced yet effective manner, so to speak.
This idea is actually not restricted to Christmas. You can take letters or any other symbol as well. SP has a lovely kit called “Scallops, Shapes and More” in the Shoppe. You’ll find borders, frames but also stars and hearts there. So you can play and play, LOL!! Can’t wait to see what you will come up with!
Don’t miss tomorrow‘s post by Amber sharing a few tips and tricks with us!
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Hello, lego here with my little introductory post. As you can imagine, I’m a bit nervous but even more excited and thrilled to be part of what I have always called “My First Scrapbooking Love”: Shabby Princess’ site. Two and a half years ago, when I first discovered this wonderful website, I would not even have dreamt of being a member of this creative “family”, so you might guess how happy I am now ;-)
Well, let’s get started … shall we? Today I’m going to show you one of my favourite Photoshop tricks, which I call “The Stamp Effect”. It’s really easy but very effective. Actually, I think I use it on almost all my pages ;-)
First, let me show you what I’m talking about, and then I’ll tell you the tiny bit of tech stuff you need to know in order to apply this yourself:
See the difference? The surface under the text on the right is somewhat absorbed and it gets a more realistic and less digital feel. And to be honest, that’s one of my major goals: to preserve the idea that a page could really have been made with paper, glue, stamps and all the rest.
So here are the instructions:
- Mark/highlight the text layer in your layer panel.
- Click on the layer and the layer style menu will pop open – with the Blending Options shown as the default. (If you have a PC you can double click on the layer OR right-click and choose Blending Options)
- Now choose the “gradient bar” at the very bottom and holding the “alt”-key at the same time click on the white triangle. (That’s really important otherwise you cannot select one half of the triangle only, and your element/text will disappear. By holding the “alt-key“, the triangle will split as you move).
- Move the split triangle to the left. The further left, the more absorption you’ll get.
Here is what you’ll see in photoshop. (Please note: the second screenshot is from my German version – but everything is exactly the same except for the words)
That’s it really ;-)
As you see in the examples below the effect depends largely on the surface below the text, on its structure, texture and colour mostly. (By the way, white paper is a killer in this case, it’s not working). The more texture the paper, the more dramatic the effect. You may want to play around with opacity as well.
This little trick here is also applicable to stickers, word art … any kind of element that you would put directly on your page. When you apply “the stamp effect”, your element does not seem to hover over the paper but rather merges with it. As mentioned before: it’s a must-have on most of my pages ;-) as is the soft light, which Rosy has brought to us just recently – right here on the blog. Here’s an overview to show you the differences:
Additionally, I’m gonna show you two layouts that feature this little trick here. I used it in the title work as well as in the journalling, the tabs, the banner…I have to mention though, that I think the stamp effect is more visible on printed pages than in digital versions. You’ll definitely notice a difference on cards and in books.
I hope you liked my first post and in case you have any additions or questions, please: go ahead and add a comment! Hope to see you back here tomorrow when Rosy’s Inspiration comes along!
Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized