Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jessica Sprague's Daily December Template

One of the templates I used in my Christmas Recipe Book (featured above and below) was Jessica Sprague's Daily December Template. If you have been looking for this template kit then you need look no further. The wonderful thing about layered templates is that you can clip your own papers and photos to every layer. Place your paper above the layer you want to group with and hold down the Alt key while you hover between the two layers. When you see two little circles, click the mouse button. The template layer will now be filled with your photo or paper. See how differently my page turned out using Jessica's template. I changed the orientation for a start. Go to Image, Rotate Canvas, choose 90 degrees clockwise to get my orientation. Did you also know that you can save individual template layers as a new file? This means that you can use elements in a template on another page without having to open the template again. For example, select Jessica's little tree stickers layer, right click and choose, duplicate layer. A new menu will appear. Under destination, click on the down facing arrow beside the box with the document name and select "new". Type a new name for the file and click okay. The tree stickers will now open in a new file the same size as the template. To reduce the size of this file, go to image, trim and click okay when the next dialogue box opens. Now the tree stickers will fill the frame. Save as a .png file so it will remain on a transparent background and use less file space.

All the credits for this book are available to view in the Shutterfly Featured Book post so I won't repeat them here. However, there is one more little trick I want to tell you about. See the "O Christmas Tree" sentence? That comes from a lovely overlay by Katie Pertiet, called "Worth Repeating Holiday Brushes-n-Stamps". When you open that overlay you have the same sentence repeated over and over in different fonts. If you only want to use one line, use your rectangular marquee tool to select it and copy and paste to your scrapbook page. Select the colour you want with the eyedropper, highlight the sentence layer and press Alt+Shift+Backspace to fill with the foreground colour.
So why did I do this instead of just typing the sentence myself? This particular font, called Olicana Smooth, is 45.00 English pounds. Yes, you heard me right! It's one of my all time favourites and Katie uses it a lot. Isn't it true that the more expensive something is, the more we covet it? The other fonts I've used here are, Carlotta and Santa's Sleigh and Susie's Hand.
Happy Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wedding Invitation.

My son is getting married in February and they asked me to design the wedding invitation. I am going to create the wedding album for them also as a gift so we decided to theme the whole thing. I took Fiona for a stroll through the DD store to choose a kit and she fell in love with Anna Aspnes "Fancy Love" kit. Hmmm! I wonder why? This is their finished invitation with the words of Shania Twain's "From this moment" which is the song Fiona's going to walk down the isle to. I know this is not a traditional invite but it's exactly what they wanted. So here it is.
Credits: Anna Aspnes - Fancy Love Kit Font: Jane Austin.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I thought you might like to see some of my jotters since I've attacked them with the "Zutter Bind It All". It works really well and I'm very happy with it. If you want to create a little inset heading like the "Shopping" jotter, this is how you go about it.

Create a new layer and click and drag out a rectangle with the rectangular marquee tool. Don't deselect. Use your eyedropper to pick up a colour from the background page to use as your foreground colour. Use the paint bucket tool to fill this selection with that colour. Don't deselect. Now go to Edit, Stroke, choose 5 pixels, inside for the location and choose a contrasting colour for the stroke. Click okay. Now you can deselect and type in your heading with the type tool, using the same stroke colour. Easypeasy!
Credits: Home Away From Home freebie kit from Jessica Sprague. Hullaballoo kit from Michelle Coleman at Little Dreamer Designs (used to be a freebie but I'm afraid I can't find it anymore, sorry).

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Scrapper's Guide Creative Team

I am very happy to announce that I have joined the Scrapper's Guide Creative Team. Each month I will be creating a double page spread from the Digital Scrapper Premier kit as part of a quick page album. The December kit has been designed by Kristin Cronin-Barrow and it's called "Silver Bells". I can highly recommend signing up for Scrapper's Guide Premier because, not only do you receive a beautiful kit each month with a fourteen page quick album but Linda Sattgast also provides several video tutorials. It's very good value. I have been a Scrapper's Guide fan and premier member for several years.
I had so much fun creating this double page spread for the December quick page albums. These two pages are a celebration of a wedding we had in October. My daughter, Katie was a bridesmaid.

My journaling reads:

"Cheryl and I met at pre-natal class when we were six months pregnant with our daughters, Corinne and Katie. They were born just six days apart. The girls were close friends as they grew up together, attending the same kindergarten and schools. Their friendship has never wavered. Corinne was the first to tie the knot and asked Katie to be her bridesmaid. The speech Katie gave at the reception, brought the house down as she recalled the escapades they got up to over the years. Wade is a very lucky man to have claimed this beautiful girl for his bride."

Credits: Papers and embellishments from the Silver Bells kit by Kristin Cronin-Barrow.
Old Script, Garamond Premier Pro and DB Fleuries.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

How to create contact sheets of your kits.

I have always been a bit lazy about backing up selectively. In other words, I just tend to back up everything regardless of whether I'm backing up the same kits over and over. I have found it easier than going through my folders and working out what's new. That can work in theory but what about when you decide you want to delete some stuff. How will you know where to find it again when you want it? I have decided that enough is enough and I'm not going to do this anymore. The first thing I realised I had to do was catalogue everything I have, by printing out contact sheets. Before you shudder at the thought of all that paper for the hundreds of items in your stash, why not try this?
Most kits you download have a preview photo. This shows you everything in the kit. You can make a contact sheet of all the preview photos of your kits by opening them all on your desktop first.
Secondly, if you have just downloaded a new kit, you can make a contact sheet of everything in the kit. You may want to start doing this from now on.
To make a contact sheet in Photoshop, go to File, Automate, Contact Sheet II. A new dialogue box will open, giving you some options. First, decide what you want to appear on the contact sheet. It will either be a folder on your hard drive that you will navigate to or the current, open documents on your desk top. Next you need to type in the size of the page you're printing and the resolution. Some people like to make CD/DVD case contact sheets, but since I keep my discs in a 3 pocket plastic sheet in a folder, I put in the A4 sizes at 300 dpi. You can also choose how many columns and rows, the font and font size. If you are choosing a folder from your hard drive you may want to click, "include sub folders" as well because some kits come with about two or three folders. On the right hand side of the dialogue box you will see how many images are going to be included and how many contact sheet pages will be generated. Click okay and watch your contact sheet come together in record time. You'll probably want to print out the kit contact sheets in colour but for files like overlays, brushes and templates, black and white will be fine.
I print it out and include it with my back up disc. From now on, keep a list of newly downloaded kits and make a contact sheet straight away. The only regular backups you'll have to make are your project files. The benefits are two-fold. Not only will you not keep backing up the same stuff over and over but you can see what's in your kits when you're planning your pages without having to open all the folders on your computer. I'll bet you find some things you never knew you had.
Credits: Katie Pertiet - Bontanist No 13 (our class kit) The kit needed two contact sheets but I've only put one of them here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Quick Christmas presents.

I've been trying to come up with some ideas for little Christmas gifts that I can make easily for my family. Jotters, notebooks, shopping lists, etc make great gifts that you can put together with a minimum of fuss and time. I began with an 8 inch x 8 inch page at 300 dpi and created two jotter covers side by side. It saves paper because you just cut them in half when they're printed. I used Jessica Sprague's mini brag book as my original template (great if you're short of time and ideas) because they are the right size. Once you have created your two covers, printed and trimmed them, you need to create a cardboard backing and some plain white paper inserts. I've made a template with cutting guides for you to download here. You can use it as the basis for your covers too if you like. Print the template out on plain paper for the inside pages and on cardstock for the backs. I know it's a bit tedious cutting all that paper but you can probably cut several sheets at once. I'm putting 20 pages in each notebook.

Next, you need to work out how you're going to bind them. There are lots of ways to do this with ribbons or rivets but I like the wire binding so I purchased a Zutter "Bind It All" machine from Lincraft. If you want to use the small 3/8" (10mm) Owires you need to make sure you get Version 2 which has a spacing bar attachment. The older version only uses the larger 5/8" (20mm) wires which can look cumbersome on small booklets. With the spacing bar, you can punch your holes closer to the edge.
Credits: Kits: Fly kit, Rag Doll paper pack and Tied Fasterners No 2 by Katie Pertiet. Fonts: Scriptina, Chocolate box and 1942 Report.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Using blend modes for backgrounds.

I often use blend modes with papers and photos to create an interesting background for a scrapbook page. To create this card for my brother's 50th birthday, I searched Google Images to find a suitable "horses and hounds" photo and some cute fox hunting illustrations that would work well with my design. I always do an "advanced search" for the highest resolution images. Choose extra large from the dropdown list. It looks complex but it's not really. I used the pink, textured background paper from Shabby Miss Jen's French Attic kit and then changed the Hue/Sat so that it was a slightly desaturated green color. Press Control+U to bring up the Hue/Sat dialogue box (or use an adjustment layer) and change the Hue to +42 and the Sat to -7. These settings suited my photos but you may need different settings for yours. I placed the photo on the layer above my textured paper, changed the blend mode of the photo to color burn and then erased the areas of the photo that I didn't want with a soft eraser brush at 50% opacity. The photo of my brother is on the next layer above with a blend mode of darken. Again, a different blend mode might suit your photo. Rather than extract his head from a photo, which can take a while, I just put the cropped photo on top and erased the sections I didn't want like before. When you use a blend mode, many areas of the photo disappear anyway so there is not much erasing to do. The last thing to add on that side of the card is the photo frame. It really is that easy.
Credits: Textured paper - Shabby Miss Jen, French Attic Photo Frame: Katie Pertiet - Deckled Edge Photo Frames
Fonts: Chopin Script, Hana and Kunstler Script.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Face Swap Tutorial

How many times have you taken a group photograph, only to find that someone blinked or looked away just as you pressed the shutter? When I take group photos I always use the sequential shooting mode which is available on most digital cameras today. This means that your camera will continue to fire off photos while you hold down the shutter button. If you want to take that a step further you can use the bracketing mode, which will take three photos at different exposures, so you have a choice. You'll see the problem that I had when you look at the photos above. My dear brother and his family were having lots of fun, horsing around while I was trying to get a good photo in fading light. Fading light means you need to use a slow shutter speed to get a decent exposure without the flash. Slow shutter speeds result in blurring if people are jumping around. I had two photos which both had problems. Linda Sattgast from Scrapper's Guide wrote a wonderful tutorial on how to do a face swap in July 2007 so I have put a link to this tutorial here. This is one of the benefits of signing up for the Scrapper's Guide free newsletters. I just knew this was going to come in handy one day. I took my sister in law's face from the first photo and placed it in the second photo via the face swap method and voila... I have a photo I can use.
Credits: Treasure template (part of your free kit when you sign up for my digital scrapbooking classes), and all other elements by Katie Pertiet of Designer Digitals. Font: Olicana Smooth. (not free but stunning) A similar one that is free, CAC Shishoni Brush.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Shutterfly Featured Book

A few weeks ago, Shutterfly interviewed me for a story on my Christmas Recipe Book (read the entire book at the bottom of this blog). The story is now "live" and can be viewed on their website here. They will be featuring it on their home page from mid December.
Credits: This kit, Botanist Notebook No 17, from Katie Pertiet of Designer Digitals is one of my favourites and compliments the Christmas embellishments beautifully. Check out the Holiday Trees and Star Gazer Flourishes Brushes and Stamps too, and see how I used them throughout the book. The recipe pages are from a beautiful template by Kellie Mize. Kellie has joined wearestorytellers and you will be able to purchase her templates from January 1st. In the mean time she has some freebies there for you. The little tree on those pages comes from a mega Christmas kit by Shabby Miss Jen, called Tree Trimmin Party. I did use Jessica Sprague's Daily December Album template for some of the pages. It's free.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Flora Festival

I went to the Mt Penang Flora Festival today and spent an hour photographing the beautiful wild flower arrangements. To create the background paper I ran my flower photo through the water colour filter and then used a gradient mask to blend it with the doily paper. This is my great grandmother, Florence Baynes.

Credits: Doily paper - Fran Seiford from the Scrapper's Guide Feb 07 premier kit.
Katie Pertiet - Photo wraps 4 and vintage post card. (I cut the hole in it).
Lyn Grieveson - Buttons recoloured from Love Letters Kit.
Font: Palace Script MT.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Father's Day

One just has to do a Father's Day layout considering it's almost upon us. Here I've used my favourite new kit from Katie Pertiet called, Fly. Another great idea for torn edges is to use them on journaling strips. Once you've put a torn edge on a piece of paper and merged the two layers, just use the marquee tool to select a rectangular shape and copy it across to your page.
Fonts: 1942 Report and Petra Script. Torn Edges by Anna Aspnes

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Making Cards

Jessie's still flavour of the month because it's her third birthday. She's obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine so I decided to give her a train ride. I selected her out of a photo and placed her on the train carriage with a drop shadow. For the back of the card I chose a matching blue as my foreground colour and white as the background colour. To get the same effect, go to Filter, Render, Clouds. Each time you do this the cloud formation will be different. Click on the image to get a closer look.
Credits: The fairy and tag are from Katie Pertiet's "Fairy Dreamer Kit". Get the Thomas the Tank Engine photo here for free. The fonts are: Two peas - Well Behaved and Susie's Hand.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pretty in pink.

Our advanced digital scrapbooking class starts soon so I thought I'd create a page using two of the papers you will learn to make. The pattern maker is a fabulous way to create digital paper and this gingham design is a good example. The background paper is so quick and easy using my grunge overlay and I've added a spring flower overlay created by Rene Bross. Adding a torn edge is another class project and it looks great on any paper. The course outline for the advanced course includes, Making digital papers like those you see above, collage papers using ephemera, photos and illustrations, bevelled and embossed papers and that's just in week 1.

In week 2 we will be creating a page curl from scratch, corner folds with custom shadows, digital tags and stickers. In Week 3 you will learn to create a postage stamp, postage cancellation stamp, a postcard journaling mat, create and install brushes and align gridlines.

Week 4 will be devoted to learning how to extract part of a photo to pop out of its frame and a beautiful brass brooch frame with a reflected glass overlay.

Credits for the above layout:- Alpha, recoloured from Botanist No 13 (your class kit), Buttons - Botanist No 7,
Pink Card - Blossom and Grow kit, String - Threaded Wraps 3, Stamp - Once upon a time kit - all by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals.
Spring flower overlay - Rene Bross Designs at Digital Scrapbook Place from the Dreamsicle kit.
Staples - Shabby Miss Jen, French Attic kit.
Fonts: Trajan Pro.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Homework project for my students.

This is just for my Community College students. On Friday I will give you full instructions for creating this page from your class kit. This is a "homework project" and by the end of the third week you should have all the skills you need to create it. It's not compulsory of course but may help you get a layout done from beginning to end. Just click on the image to get a close-up look.
Credits: Botanist No 13 Kit, Pressed Flower and Vintage Photo Frame - Katie Pertiet.
Fonts: Castellar, Carlotta and Chaparral Pro.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Jessie's nearly three.

The simplest scrapbook pages can be eye-catching if you draw attention to the photograph. Placing your subject near a window will give you natural light and catchlights in their eyes. I have creatively cropped this photo for maximum effect and used blending techniques to give it a luminous hue.
Credits: Background paper from Botanist No 13 (our class kit), Frames with flourishes - both from Designer Digitals.
Fonts: Chocolate Box Decorative and Century Gothic.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Peter Rabbit

Adding a children's storybook illustration to your scrapbook page is so easy. In my Advanced Digital Scrapbooking classes you will learn how to add an image like this, seamlessly. On the right hand side of this blog you will find a link to high resolution Peter Rabbit images available for download.

Credits: The background paper is Jen Reed's from the Scrapper's Guide April 2007 Premier kit but I've recoloured it to suit my layout. The ribbon is Photo Wraps No 4, frame from Vintage Frames No 5 and overlay flowers from Botanist No 9 all from Katie Pertiet. The flower sticker is Lynn Grieveson's from Amelie . Fonts: Chocolate Box Decorative and Bickham Script Pro.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Heritage Albums

Preserving your old photographs in a heritage album is so easy when you have digital scrapbooking skills. This is my grandmother when she was only twenty five and my mother at three. The blended background paper and metal brooch with reflected glass overlay are two of the projects we cover in the Advanced Class.

Credits: Pressed Flowers, vintage photo frames, and pin - Katie Pertiet. Pen - Mo Jackson, Background papers blended with ephemera from the web. Fonts: Jefferson and Jane Austin

Monday, June 23, 2008

Postcards from Patonga

This page is a celebration of the Australian bush. We live in such a beautiful part of the world and Spring is the time for taking photographs of the wildflowers. Waratahs grow profusely along the road to Patonga and the vibrant, crimson flowers create a stark contrast to the background of the gum trees. In my advanced digital scrapbooking classes, students will learn how to create some of these beautiful elements from scratch. Class projects in this layout include postage stamps, postage cancellation stamps, making brushes from illustrations, customised postcards, blended papers, perfectly aligned gridlines just to name a few. Click on the image to get a closer look. Credits: Background papers, blank post card and long tie fastner are from the class kit provided by Katie Pertiet of Designer Digitals. Botanical illustrations from the web, Fonts: Aquiline Two, 1942 Report, Pea Amy Rica, Birmingham Sans Serif, Imprint MT Shadow, Engravers MT and Copperplate Gothic Light.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Mum.

This page has been created using some of the items from the free class kit my students will receive when they start Digital Scrapbooking at the Central Coast Community College. Custom shadows and corner folds are just some of the techniques taught in the advanced course.

Credits: Papers, pin, ribbons and tags - Botanist No 13 Kit, Stitched Frame - Letterbox Naturalist Kit by Katie Pertiet, Journaling Mat - free ephemera from Flickr, Fonts: Pegasanna and Heritage.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Learn how to make a page curl.

When you join my digital scrapbook classes at the Central Coast Community College, you will learn how to make this beautiful page curl from scratch.

Credits: Papers from the Ad Challenge Freebie 11407 (but no longer available free). Pinned Frames No 2, Alpha and Flossy Stitches from Botanist No 13 (part of our class kit), recoloured - all by Katie Pertiet. Note and flower from Amelie by Lynn Grieveson, Ribbon from Skinny Minis by Christina Renee. Font: French Script.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

And another one coming up.

My sister-in-law, Libby also has a birthday in early June. Katie took this gorgeous photo of Libby's puppies just before she sold them. Learn the secrets of creating breakouts, torn edges and make patterned paper just like this, in my digital scrapbook classes.

Credits: Katie Pertiet - Letter Box Seamstress Alpha, Postcard Journalers, Messy Stamped Alpha, Totally tied up string, Vintage Story board frames, Pressed Flowers. Anna Aspnes - Simple Torn Edges. Lynne Grieveson - Background paper, Amelie, - Mo Jackson - Recipe page - Ashley. Linda Sattgast - Grunge Overlay from CS3 CD

Fonts: Pegasanna, CK Ali's Handwriting.

Birthdays Galore

Our darling daughter's birthday today. Happy Birthday Katie!

Credits: Background papers, frame and Hand Stamped Alpha, a freebie from Michelle Coleman from Little Dreamer Designs. Hipster Plumes - Anna Aspnes Fonts: ITC Avant Garde, Lainie Day and Susie's Hand

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mother's Day

I've just made this card for my mother from one of my scrapbook pages. I have a little trick. I change the image size to 5.5 x 5.5 inches and make a template 5.5 inches high by 11 inches long. This prints out perfectly onto an A4 page and looks beautiful on glossy paper. Christina Re's square envelopes from d-i-y stationery are the right size and come in many beautiful colours. If the back of the card is going to be white I add a layer to my original template and put a one pixel stroke of black around it so I have a cutting guide. Score the fold for a perfect edge. Credits: Background papers - Lynn Grieveson, Vintage paper - Shabby Miss Jen, Photo wraps, flourishes and pressed flower - Katie Pertiet.


Another of my favourite pastimes is cooking or baking to be more exact. I belong to a little tennis club called "The Pearls" named after the place where we play, Pearl Beach. When someone has a birthday we have a party after the game. The party girl brings Champagne and beautiful things to eat. Fiona, my daughter in law to be, is also a member and it was her birthday recently so I helped her cook a couple of beautiful recipes. The girls all wanted a copy of the recipes so here they are to share with you all.
Credits: Template - Kellie Mize, Grunge overlay - Linda Sattgast from her latest cd "Learn Digital Scrapbooking".

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Our favourite place in the world (at the moment)

This is our local beach at the best time of the day, as the sun is setting at low tide. We walk there nearly every day with Schnappy, our little miniature schnauzer. I created the stamp, get it here for free.
Credits: Background papers, alpha and string - Katie Pertiet from Designer Digitals