Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Hello blog readers! It’s Kim here today with a tips and tricks post inspired by a couple of questions from…YOU! I’ve noticed some comments left on the blog and in the gallery with questions about how a certain custom shape was made. And that has led me to write this post today about a couple of the ways I use the magic wand and magic eraser. I won’t cover even close to all that these tools can do, but I hope that these little tricks will help you as you work with shapes in your layouts.
First of all, let’s look at two of the questions that inspired this post. The first was a question about this lovely beach layout by Jenelle:
I see banners being used a lot in layouts right now. And here Jenelle has taken a banner from SP’s Goosebumps kit and modified it with papers from the Summer Cottage kit. It looks great, right? So… how could you do that?
The second layout that inspired this post is from Rosy. She made this beautiful ad-inspired page:
One of things Rosy mentioned about her layout was that she got the inspiration for the notched corners from an ad. I love those corners. They turn an average square photo into something special. So… how could you do that?
Let’s see if we can get answers to those questions now! Let’s start with the banner in Jenelle’s layout. Here’s what I would do to recreate it:
- Open up the banner from Goosebumps and copy it into another file. (I prefer not to alter elements in the original file. If I were to accidentally save it, it would overwrite the original element.)
- Select the magic wand tool.
- Click on the grey portion of the banner that you would like to cover with a patterned paper. The magic wand will select the area that is grey. The portion that the magic wand has selected will have a blinking line around it now. Holding the mouse over the selected area, right click and you will see the options of “Layer via Copy” and “Layer via Cut”. Select the one you would like. (I used “Layer via Copy” for mine, and I’ll explain it more below.) You will now see a new layer that includes only the area that you selected with the magic wand.
- Open the patterned paper that you would like to insert into the banner, and clip it to the new layer you created (ctrl-alt-g in my version of Photoshop).
- You can add blending options to the original banner layer (Jenelle added a color overlay to make her outline blue and a drop shadow).
- Once you have the banner the way you would like, merge all the layers (you can find that option under the layers menu at the top). Now you are ready to copy your new banner into a layout!
:::there are a couple of other things you should know about the *magic wand*:::
- What’s the difference between “Layer via Copy” and “Layer via Cut”? The first will copy the selected area as a new layer, but the original layer still keeps the selected area – you’re only making a “copy” of it. Layer via Cut will make the selected area a new layer, and the original layer will not have the selected area any more – creating a “cut out” effect in the original layer. For this banner, I chose Layer via Copy because I did not want the banner to have a cut out effect. I wanted to be able to apply blending options to the original layer without worrying about the drop shadows looking funny.
- Another important thing to know about the magic wand is the option of selecting contiguous pixels or not. When you have the magic wand selected, there is an option on the top bar for this. In this case, if contiguous is selected, you will only be selecting one of the grey triangles (because you’re only selecting the grey area that is touching). If you unclick the contiguous option, you will be selecting all of the grey triangles (because it selects all of the grey color in the layer). In my example, I unclicked contiguous and have one layer with all the grey triangles to clip the patterned paper to. If you wanted to do like Jenelle did and use different papers in the triangles, just make sure contiguous is selected. You’ll repeat the steps for each triangle and have separate layers for each triangle that you can clip different papers to.
Now onto Rosy‘s layout! When I look at the notched corners in this layout, I think of it as a square with the corners “cut out”. So how can I make a square and then cut out the corners? I’m sure there are other ways, but here’s what I did:
- Draw a square using the shapes tool.
- Draw a circle using the shapes tool that is the size you want to cut out of the corner of the square. Make this circle a different color than the square.
- Duplicate this circle three times so you have four of them to cover each corner of the square you want to notch.
- Line up the circles and the square where they intersect in the places you want to cut out of the square. This is hard to explain, so please see below in my example!
- Select all the layers and merge them (this option is found in the layers menu).
- Now it’s time to select the magic eraser. Again, this tool has a lot of options I’m not discussing here, but for our example you don’t need to know those options. The simple version of how the magic eraser works is that it will erase the color you select by clicking on it. Like the magic wand, you can erase only the contiguous area of color, OR you can unclick the option to erase all of the selected color in the layer.
- Click in one of the circles, and the circles will disappear. (If you have contiguous selected, you will have to click in each circle)
- What you have left should be a square with notched corners! You are ready to copy this layer into a layout and use it however you would like!
Although these are two very specific examples, you can use these tricks to create and modify many shapes. Of course, there are a lot of custom shapes that you can find and purchase to use. SP has a set of custom shapes that I use often in the Shoppe. But using the magic wand and magic eraser gives you the ability to create some of your own! I hope this has helped some of you and I would love to hear your comments and see your layouts using these tips and tricks. And a big thanks to Jenelle and Rosy, who let me share their layouts again as examples!
That’s it for today, but be sure and stop by the blog tomorrow as Kylie announces the winner of the latest template challenge. Another challenge is about to start…. number 22, can you believe it?? Have a great day!
Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Hi everyone! Casharina here! I have only recently learned how to use brushes to help embellish my layouts and I absolutely love them. They can give a greater dimension to any layout as well as give another opportunity to add color to a layout.
Some of my favorite brushes come from the Shabby Shoppe in various kits. I especially love the Carousel Monograms brush set. As well as the .abr brush file set, the monograms also come in .png format and can be used as standard elements. A couple of other products that feature bonus .abr brush file sets are: Bountiful ~ which includes a gorgeous floral “stamp-like” alpha & Autumn Chic ~ which includes decorative stamps and frame.
Not all software is able to make use of the super-convenient .abr brush file sets. But there is a way around this by using your .png files as brushes. Yes, it’s possible! – and once you learn how you’ll never look back! We have some awesome tutorials right here that can show you how…for both Photoshop CS and Photoshop Elements. One tutorial shows you how to load and use a brush…the other shows you how to turn your .png files into brushes. There is a choice of video or standard step-by-step tutorials…so take your pick!
And don’t forget you can make your very own custom brushes…see Beckie’s fabulous how-to post HERE!
Once you have all your custom brushes set up you can begin playing. Here are some suggestions:
- You can adjust the opacity, color, and size of these brushes just like you would your default round brushes.
- I think it’s fun to play with layering of the brushes. One way is making brushes look just like real stamps - just as Rachel showed us in her “stamping over layers” post.
- Another thing you can do with your brushes is create a layer with each brush and then clip a patterned paper to it.
- I also like to layer some of my stamps under photos to give them more depth.
- Experiment with all your brush palette options (or in Photoshop Elements your brush tool bar, and inparticular the “more options” on the far right of the bar). For example, creating your own scatters is something you might like to try.
After following the “turn your .png files into a brush” tutorial using the sweet little heart doodle .png in the Shabby Squiggles font I created these heart scatters in Photoshop.
(index card from HopScotch, word art from Clementine)
How to create a scatter:
Click on Shape Dynamics and play with the sliders until you are happy with the preview at the bottom. Any of these are optional. (Also, in my screenshot the preview is after I’d finished selecting all the brush dynamics I wanted, not just the shape dynamics…so yours will look different at this stage)
You can have lots of fun with scatters! Here’s two more examples just by experimenting with different brush shapes and some of the different options in the brush palette. Other software and/or software versions may not have as many options but don’t let that stop you from experimenting with what is available to you.
How about some stars…
(index card from HopScotch, word art from An affair to remember)
…or a little confetti!
(index card from HopScotch, word art from Clementine)
For some more brush fun, check out two more of Beckie’s awesome tips & tricks:
Using each of the tutorials/Tips & Tricks posts, as well as playing with brushes myself, has allowed me to utilize brushes on numerous pages I’ve done. I’ve also had some luck finding free brushes by doing a google search…just be sure to check the artists’ user terms before using them. There are so many ways to use brushes, I hope this post along with the others, will encourage you to try them as well!
Thanks for stopping by today! Tomorrow, Kim will be bringing back some fun Thursday scrap inspiration!
Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Hello everyone! It’s Jenelle here today, bringing you some tips and tricks on browsing the Shabby Shoppe’s inspiration gallery. Now, I have been visiting this site for many years now and would you believe I have only recently worked out an easier way to view everyone’s layouts and leave comments?!? LOL!!! So hopefully this post helps some of you out there who may have been like me – forever clicking the ‘back’ button, trying to navigate my way through all these wonderful layouts but ending up lost!
I love seeing all the latest posts to our inspiration gallery and it is one of the first things I do when I visit the Shabby Shoppe site. I usually open up the INSPIRATION page (I have it bookmarked for quick access), log in and then I click on 7 days , so I can easily view all the pages that have been posted in the past 7 days (you can also click on 1 day or 14 days).
I am then taken to a new page with all the layouts from the past 7 days – all lined up and very easy to view. Sometimes there may be more than one webpage if there has been a lot of layouts uploaded that week. I simply click ‘next page’ to continue viewing them all. As I am doing this, I can quickly open up the layouts I’d like to view closer by holding the ctrl button on my keyboard (or command button on a Mac I believe) and left clicking my mouse. The layouts I’ve selected are then opened up and start loading in a new tab in my browser while I continue to look through the gallery.
It is so much faster and I really like the fact that I can keep browsing while the detailed layout page loads. I can then come back to each layout at my leisure and know it will have loaded and be ready for me! Plus, it ensures I do not forget about a layout I may have wanted to look at (this used to happen to me a lot!).
Another trick that I have found works for me when I want to leave a comment on a layout, is to click on Post a Comment under the Photo Options tab. I used to just scroll down under a layout and leave my comments there. Often that meant I couldn’t actually see the layout as I typed my comment and I had to keep scrolling back up to take another look. If I do it this way, however, I can see the layout image next to me as I type (plus I can add in all those cute little smiley faces and icons as well!)
So I hope that has helped some of you out there when it comes to browsing the gallery – I certainly find it easier and faster (but then maybe some of you already know how to do this anyway and I am just showing how ‘un-technologically advanced’ I really am!!! LOL!!). It really is much quicker clicking on all those tabs separately because I don’t have to wait for pages or comments to load – I simply do what I want to do then click on the next tab. No waiting time! At the end of my browsing session I simply close the tabs I’ve viewed and click back on my main tab. Easy! I used to get lost when ‘straight’ clicking on layouts and sometimes I’d end up at a member’s gallery and have to search through to find the layout I was originally looking for, constantly clicking the back arrow! Now I am a much more efficient gallery browser… how about you? Do you have any tips on browsing our gallery or site? You can let us know in the comments section below.
Anyway, thanks for joining me today. Please stop by again tomorrow because SP has a terrific Project Scrap check-in post to share and I am soooo excited about Project Scrap 2012 because I am right up to date !!! (Ok, ok, it’s only been one month!! LOL!!) See you then and happy scrapping everyone.
Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Hello fellow scrappers! Rosy here with one of my favorite little digital scrapping tricks. A few of you have been asking about how I turn stripes to plaids in my layouts.
I have no idea if this is the “proper” way of doing this, but I’m going to show you my method. It’s super simple.
First I open my striped paper. (this one is from the Tropical Winter kit)
Then duplicate it.
Rotate the top layer 90 degrees.
Turn down the opacity of the top layer to 50%.
Merge the two layers together.
Right click on this layer and select “layer from background” and then rotate it 45 degrees and you have a plaid paper!
Just remember not to permanently save your paper this way or you will lose your original striped paper!
I often use this when I want the linear look of a stripe, but don’t want it to be directional (like when I use it to mat a photo). A lot of SP’s kits have a beautiful plaid in them already, but I’ve found this a handy trick when the papers I’m using don’t have a coordinating plaid in the kit.
Here are a few of my pages where I’ve done this. (linked to the gallery for credits)
I hope that answers the questions that anyone had about it! If not, just let me know in the comments and I’ll try to clarify.
Thanks for checking out the blog today! Casharina will be with you tomorrow to share some of her scrapping inspiration with you.
Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Hello everyone! This is Kim here today with a bit of scrapbooking inspiration. It’s that time again… the beginning of another year. I know the beginning of a year makes us think of all sorts of things, but for us as scrap bookers, it often means the beginning of scrap projects! I don’t know if that makes you excited or intimidated or both!! I do know that sometimes the thought of starting a big scrap project can be overwhelming and I get asked a lot by friends how I get “organized” to start a scrapbook. Since these people know me and my obsession with taking pictures, I think what they mean is “How do you take the mountain of photos you have and make that into a scrapbook?” I’m not sure I have a simple answer to that question, and really there are lots of ways people organize their photos and scrapbooks. But I am going to share a few of my thoughts on scrapbooking with you and hopefully you can take some inspiration from these thoughts to help you get started in scrapping 2012 (or whatever project you are working on). So here it is… my “top ten” list of scrapbook advice!
Now for a little more about each of my top ten items.
Consider what the purpose of the scrapbook is: What is it you are trying to capture and want to remember when you look back at your book? For example, the baby books I have done for my children were meant to capture their first year in detail. I wanted to include lots of little stats like what they weighed and when they first rolled over and what their first food was. These books will be given to them when they are older so that hopefully when they have children and enjoy all those milestones, they can look back and see their own. However, when I create my family yearbooks, I don’t include quite as many of those details. Point is, think about what YOU want to show in your book, and let that help you decide what is important to be included.
Set certain times to sort through pictures and pick what will go in your scrapbook: This is one of the most important things I do myself to stay organized through a year of taking pictures. Why? Because our lives are busy and if you don’t set a goal for yourself and be intentional about it, it probably won’t happen. (This is my experience at least!!) For me, I stop at the end of each month and look at all the pictures I’ve taken. I copy all the pictures I want to include in my scrapbook to a certain folder in my computer I’ve set up for this. The folder can be deleted later when the scrapbook is done so you don’t have two copies of the same pictures. But I find it helps me to have the pictures I want to scrap set aside in a certain place.
Keep a running list of layouts/pages you want in your book: Once I have my folder of pictures for the month, I go ahead and organize them so I know what pages they will go on in my scrapbook. Because I am a list person, I keep a list of the pages I still need to work on. One good thing about this is that it helps me make sure there is not a single page layout that will not have another single page layout to print next to it. In grouping my pictures, some things are easy. If there’s a big event like a birthday, I know those all go together in a birthday layout. Some things are harder and take a little more creativity to decide how to group them. This is one of the things I have come to love about Project Scrap 2011. I can take several of the “random” pictures from my month that I love and intentionally include them in my book with a journaling overview of our month. I intend to keep doing this as we start up Project Scrap 2012… coming this Thursday!
Be realistic about how much time you have to scrap: Let’s face it. We love to scrap, but it’s not the most important thing in our lives. So I think it’s important to be real about the amount of time we have. Two things can help you be real about the time you have to scrap. Number one, pick a reasonable number of pictures to scrap. For me, I may take 200 photos each month, but I only have 50-75 that make the cut for my scrapbook! There’s no way I can scrap every photo I take! I say that just as an example. Your number may be different than mine, but make a realistic decision about what you will have time to scrap. Number two, remember that it’s OK to simplify the design of some of your pages. You may not be able to create a masterpiece layout for all your pages in the time you have. I very often do some “collage” style pages with simple design when I am getting behind on my scrapbook. Although I love to spend a lot of time on a layout and think over every detail, I can’t do that in every page of every project. It’s OK to simplify! And I might add that there are great products in the Shoppe that can help you too. Take a look at the piece-a-cake pages and easy-as-pie templates for some great ways to get layouts done more quickly.
Write down things you want to remember as they happen: If you like to include journaling in your scrapbooks, it is helpful to record things as they happen. There are a ton of ways to do this and different ways work for different people. I would just encourage you to be intentional about doing it!
Try not to get behind: Let’s face it. It can be hard not to get behind! When I mentioned that I look at my pictures at the end of each month and figure out which I’m going to scrap and group them by pages, I would love to add, “Then I go ahead and scrap all of the layouts from that month.” Sometimes that may happen. Other times, it just can’t happen! That’s why I like to do what I can to stay organized and keep a list of what I want to work on. But I will say that I do attempt not to get too far behind. It’s always my goal!!
Research book printers and pick one before you start: SP talked about this in her post to close Project Scrap 2011. She had a lot of great advice, so I won’t repeat what she said here. I do agree with her that it is best if possible to know what printer you will use before you begin a project and to follow their bleed and trim guidelines. It will save you time and headache later. One other comment I would add about book printers is that I find it helpful to know what their page limit is. One popular book printer I have used works great when I am doing a shorter book, but will not work for my family yearbooks, which go over their 100-page limit. You may not know how many pages your book will be at the start, but you don’t want to be surprised when you go to print and find there is a page limit.
Don’t forget the simple moments: It’s sometimes the everyday pictures and moments that will mean the most, so make a point to capture those too!
Stick to your style: I admit that I forget this sometimes myself. There is a lot of GREAT inspiration shared on blogs and galleries, especially our Shabby Shoppe gallery. And you should use that to inspire you. But you should not feel that your layouts need to look like everyone else’s. Make them your own! Create layouts that will make you proud because they come from your creativity. And related to this, I would encourage you if you are new to scrapbooking not to become discouraged if you can’t do everything you’d like to from the very beginning. Trust me, if you could see my first digital scrapbook, you would see how simple I started out! But you know what? It still records that year of my family’s life and I am glad I have it. So feel good about what you create!!
And last but not least… Have FUN!! That’s what it’s about, right??
I hope there’s something I’ve shared today that helps as you get started with your next scrap project. I know many of you are getting ready for Project Scrap 2012, which SP will kick off here on the blog this Thursday! It really is a great way to know that you are not alone in scrapping your year. There will be beautiful (FREE!) templates given away each month and lots of inspiration along the way. I can’t wait!!
But before then, stop by tomorrow for another fantastic post by the very talented Beckie. I always look forward to those! Have a great day!!
Inspiration, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized