Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Quilted Designer Page Video Tutorial

Just two days to go before Santa calls. This is my last video for 2009 for Scrapper's Guide Premier Members. When you become a Premier Member you receive a discount of 70% but it will still be available to purchase separately in the store in January at the normal price. As designers we often have favorite pages that we have created during the year. I have to say that this is one of my favorites. The design is very versatile. If you turn it around it suits a portrait style photo as well. In this lesson you learn how to make those cute little gifts and a shredded gold bow. This kit by Diane Rigdon is very pretty and I loved working with it. I added some gold stitching and a seamless gold foil pattern to the downloads so you have everything you need to re-create this page.

We have some wonderful new videos and kits coming up in 2010. Premier Membership only costs $8.99 per month. So if you're looking to take your scrapbooking to the next level, don't delay. Click on the Scrapper's Guide blinkie at the top of this blog to learn more. A very merry Christmas and a happy new year to all.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Layered Quick Pages At Scrapper's Guide

I'm late posting my Christmas pages because I've been in Portland, Oregon enjoying the wonderful hospitality of my mentor and friend, Linda Sattgast, the owner of Scrapper's Guide. When I first discovered digital scrapbooking, I purchased Linda's original tutorial CD and taught myself from the easy to follow, bite size lessons which made learning this wonderful art form so easy. Let me tell you, there is no better way to learn than with your own personal, tutorial instructor right there on your computer screen, leading you step by step through the lessons. Linda's latest DVD for Photoshop Elements 8 is out now. There is six hours of tuition and a beautiful kit with a Layered Quick Page Album to make your next photo book simple and easy. Click on the blinkie at the top of this blog to discover the world that I found just four short years ago. Hey, it's Christmas! When a loved one asks you for your gift suggestions, why not start right here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Strokes On Steroids Video Tutorial

Have you ever had trouble with stroke outlines? Sometimes those unusual shapes can be a bit challenging. In this video I'll teach you how to keep the corners sharp and retain the integrity of the shapes. For Photoshop users I also cover how to create a dotted stroke outline on a path. Just click on the blinkie at the top of this blog to join Scrapper's Guide Digital Scrapper Premier to download this and 3 other videos. You'll also receive a full 14 page album with front and back covers and a beautiful kit by Jill Means.  See you there.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wedding Album

I finally finished Jaime and Fiona's wedding album. We decided to let the photos shine so it has minimal scrapbooking elements. Most of the photos in this book are by "Precious Memories" who did a superb job and worked very hard on the day. The rest were taken by yours truly and other family and friends. Just scroll down to the bottom of this blog to see a link to the book where you can view it online at Shutterfly. I can't wait to see it in the flesh!
Credits: Clean and Serene papers by Jessie Edwards, Brushes by Katie Pertiet, Anna Aspnes of Designer Digitals and Ancient by Green Eyed Butterfly.
Diamonds and Glint Brushes from December issue of Scrapper's Guide Premier for 2008.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November Templates At Scrapper's Guide

It's that time of year again. Getting together with friends and family for the festive season means you'll have dozens of precious photos to scrap. It's photo overload at my place especially when my siblings and I decide to have Christmas together. This month's kit is described as a graphic design style kit. Graphic Design generally means limited or no drop shadows and few, if any, 3D embellishments. That's great news for scrapping large numbers of photos quickly. At Scrapper's Guide we've come up with a fabulous 14 page album for you to scrap all those celebratory photos quickly. This month's kit, by Jill Means, will compliment any photo. Drop by Scrapper's Guide and check out the other Creative Team Album Pages by clicking on the blinkie at the top of this blog. Better still, join Scrapper's Guide and download all the goodies in this month's Premier download. There's so much more to come.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Creative Shape Design Video Tutorial

This is my last video for October and you only have a few days left to download it as part of Digital Scrapper Premier before the November issue is released. After that it will only be available in the store at the normal price. I love playing with vector shapes. In this video you'll learn how to cut a rectangle in half to make way for a circular frame, thread string through a hole and wrap text around a shape. There are two videos, one for Photoshop and one for Photoshop Elements. I've also created a couple of text paths for you to copy and paste to your finished page.
Click on the blinkie at the top of this blog to join Scrapper's Guide Digital Scrapper Premier to get this and three other tutorials along with the kit and album templates.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Corner Page Curl Video Tutorial

Page curls are wonderful for revealing hidden treasures. In my latest video tutorial you can learn the secrets of using the Dodge and Burn Tools to create a 3D effect. Once you have created the perfect shaped curl, you can use it as a clipping mask for other papers. So you only have to create the shape once. Click on the Scrapper' Guide link at the top of my blog to join Premier so you can download this and three other video tutorials.

Friday, October 2, 2009

October Templates At Scrapper's Guide

Although it's now Fall in the USA, in Australia we are celebrating the return of Spring. This is my favourite time of year because I take the opportunity to go out and photograph our beautiful native flowers. On the Central Coast, where I live, we have an abundance of exquisite wildflowers all through the bush, even Waratahs. These photos were taken in a hall at the Mt. Penang Spring Garden show where the light was quite poor. I avoid using the flash because it ruins the natural colours. I use spot metering, an ISO of 1600 and sometimes even increase the exposure to +0.3 or +0.7. You would be amazed at how this lightens a dark photo before you even start working on it in Photoshop. The quick fix in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements is to press Control/Command L to bring up the Levels Dialogue Box and move the right hand slider towards the centre and then the middle slider to the left slightly as well. Instantly your photo will lighten as much as you want.

One of the problems with using an ISO as high as 1600 is that it creates "NOISE". The noise will also be more noticeable when you lighten a dark photo. Noise looks like black specks. To clean up noise, download the free filtering program called "Noiseware". The download is on the right hand side of this blog under the heading "Freeware Programs I Use". You can use it independently of Photoshop or pay $50 and buy it as a plug in that will end up in the Filters menu after it's installed. I used the free version for quite a while but when I upgraded to CS4 I purchased the plugin so I can do everything without leaving Photoshop. It is without doubt the best free program on the web. I use it constantly, even for cleaning up old photos that look grainy. It makes all your old photos look like they were taken with a digital camera.

This month's kit by Susan Bartolini of Sweet Shoppe Designs is gorgeous to work with. I just loved it. We have four exciting new videos for our Digital Scrapper Premier Members to download and the full Quick Page Album for you to get a head start on your October pages.
Just click on the blinkie at the top of this blog to join Scrapper's Guide.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Graphic Design Video Tutorial - Offset Squares

This is the last week of our Scrapper's Guide September Premier issue before it's replaced by October. My last video for this month is a lesson on creating a simple, graphic art style page using the grid.
In this lesson you will learn how to crop and align photos accurately for a storyboard and use patterned paper as a background for an accent. In a few short days you will only be able to purchase this video through the store at the normal price. Premier members save 70%. Click on the blinkie at the top of this blog to join. See you there!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pen And Wash Video Tutorial

Would you like to learn how to create the look of Pen and Wash in Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements? Sign up for Scrapper's Guide Digital Scrapper Premier by clicking on the blinkie at the top of this blog to download this and three other wonderful tutorials. These cute alphabet cards are just the beginning. Don't miss out on all the fun!

Friday, September 4, 2009

September Templates At Scrapper's Guide.

This month's kit from Gina Miller is so versatile that you'll have trouble deciding what to do with it. No you won't really! Because we do all the hard work for you. So many Quick Page Templates to choose from, not to mention four lovely new video tutorials to get you started on new techniques. If you have ever wondered how to use the Gradient Tool then wonder no more. Linda and I have created two tutorials specializing in creative ways to use Gradient techniques to make accents for your pages. There's also a great tutorial on how to make coloring book drawings from your photos and another on designing a graphic art style page. If you click on the Blinkie at the top of this blog you'll be able to sign up for Premier and get everything right now!

My title, "All Boy" was created using a simple technique I call "Offset Alignment". I've used the free font, Mom's Typewriter. Type the words with a point size of 150 and choose a color that matches your papers. The Hex code for my green is #5c4d00 and I've lowered the opacity of my layer to 55%. Control/Cmd Click on the type layer thumbnail to get a selection outline, create a new layer, then choose Edit, Stroke, choose 5 pixels and black for the color. With the Move Tool selected, nudge the stroke layer down and to the side a few pixels with your arrow keys to that it's offset against the words.
The other Fonts: Karabine and Century Gothic.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

White Space Design Video Tutorial.

If you would like to learn how to create this White Space Page Design, you can watch my Video Tutorial on the technique. All you need to do is click on the blinkie at the top of this blog to register for Scrapper's Guide Digital Scrapper Premier. Then you'll be able to download this and three other videos on creating Vintage Photo Frames, A Grid of Nine Template and Do It Yourself School Portraits. Not to mention the fabulous kit and an entire Quick Page Template Album. It's never been easier to get started on scrapping all those photos.

Monday, August 3, 2009

August Templates At Scrapper's Guide

This month's beautiful kit is called Bloomin Beauty by designer, Anja Schernau (Sunflowers).
You can see more of her beautiful work at Pickleberry Pop. It made me feel all summery creating the templates with a garden theme. This month I made my album cover look like a real book with stitched corners. To make my papers look worn and creased, I copied and pasted some creases and marks and blended with the background. So here's how you do it.

Open an old, creased postcard with imperfections. Use the Lasso tool to draw a selection outline around a crease and feather the selection by 5 pixels. Copy the selection to a layer above your paper and change the blend mode to color burn, multiply, linear burn or soft light. The blend mode you need to use will depend on the color and texture of the papers. You can also lower the opacity of the blend mode layer if it's a little too strong. Now the crease or mark will look like it belongs on your background paper. I used Linda's folded paper from the January 2009 Premier Video kit for the large creases.

I am very happy to announce that I have become a video instructor for Scrapper's Guide. My first Design Video is called, "White Space Design". You'll need to join Premier this month to see it though. So click on the blinkie at the top right hand corner of this blog and become a Premier Member.

Friday, July 3, 2009

July Templates At Scrapper's Guide

This beautiful kit by Michelle Coleman of Little Dreamer Designs for the Premier members at Scrapper's Guide was perfect for my summer photos taken last December. I love the graphic art look at it is so easy to create if you turn on the grid in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Choose View from the Menu Bar > View > Show Grid. If you also turn on the snap feature you'll find that your selections are drawn to the lines like a magnet. Choose View > Snap To > Grid. I turn my grid on and off constantly so (for Photoshop users) I use the shortcut, Press Ctrl/Cmd and the Apostrophe key. It is a little hard to see your layout if you leave the grid showing all the time so I just turn it on when I want to position photos and papers accurately and have them line up.  To sign up for Premier just click on the blinkie on the top right hand side of this blog.  
Fonts:  fff Tusj, Susie's Hand, Didot and Zapfino. 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June Templates At Scrapper's Guide

Double Page Spread
Album Cover

Another beautiful kit for the Premier members at Scrapper's guide.  This masculine kit was designed by Veronica Spriggs and is perfect for scrapping pages about the man in your life.

I've given my photos a distressed look by adding a grunge overlay by Linda Sattgast of Scrapper's Guide. It was a bonus download with her wonderful Tutorial CD for Photoshop CS3. Rather than create the perfect rounded rectangle with the shapes tool, I've used an old rounded postcard as my clipping mask for the photos.  It makes them look a bit more realistic if they're a little rough around the edges.  In keeping with the distressed feel of the page I've used a great font called Downcome.  Again I used a clipping mask to merge the font with two of the beautiful papers from Veronica's kit.  
Other fonts:  Petra Script, LD Telegram, Mom's Typewriter, CK Frankfurt, Palatino Linotype and Old Script.    

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Katie

It's our dear daughter's birthday today. She's such a treasure.

Credits: Katie Pertiet - My Memories Quick Page, Alpha -Botanist No 16, Stitching - Botanist No 13, Extra Frame - Vintage Photo Frames Curled and Flat, Digitally Pressed Petals No 3.
Font: Olicana Smooth.

Monday, May 4, 2009

May Templates at Scrapper's Guide.

There are so many extras for all those lucky Premier members at Scrapper's Guide this month. Because our templates are layered, you can mix and match the elements to your heart's content. Each month I try to come up with something a little bit different so that our members have more things to play with than what is provided in the kit and the video tutorials. I've made a thought bubble with a scene inside, a negative sleeve pocket with some little journaling tags and a big text path that can be used in either PS or PSE. This month's kit, called "Recess" is by Heather Roselli of Sweet Shoppe Designs. She is such a talented designer and I really enjoyed working with these beautiful papers and elements.

You might like to know how I created my thought bubble. Have you ever had a good look through all of the custom shapes available in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements? The thought bubble is one of them. So, here I've used it as a frame. You can put anything inside it such as journaling, a photo or do as I have done and create a little scene. Heather provided so many beautiful elements that it wasn't hard for me to put this scene together but... how did I get it all into the bubble?

First of all you need to click on the shapes tool in the tool box and click the custom shape. When you go to the options bar and click on the down facing arrow, you'll find all the shapes available there. Scroll down to find the bubble and click on it. Make white your foreground colour and click and drag out the shape on your page, holding down the shift key to constrain proportions. Right click on this layer in the layer's palette and choose, rasterize shape. Now it will be a regular pixel based layer. The next step is to begin creating your scene. As you add the elements they will each be on a separate layer. This is a good time to resize them to the proportions you want. Don't worry if they don't seem to fit the bubble yet, that comes later.
When you have everything resized and repositioned, select all the element layers and merge them together so they are all on one layer. There are two ways you can place them in the bubble.
The first way is to create a clipping mask. With the elements layer above the bubble, position your mouse between the two layers and press Alt/or Option on a Mac. When you see the two circles that appear, click. Now your scene falls inside the perimeter of the bubble. You can still resize and move it around to get it just right because it is on its own layer. You can resize both layers together with the transform tool or independently of each other. Once you're happy with everything, merge the two layers together to make it permanent.

Now for the second way you can put your scene into the bubble. Prepare your scene like before and then merge together so it is all on one layer. Position it so that it fits your bubble roughly but there will still be overhanging elements. Control/Command and click on the layer thumbnail of the bubble to get a selection outline. Now target the scene layer. Go to Select in the menu bar, choose Inverse to select everything except the bubble shape and press the Backspace/Delete key. This deletes all parts of the scene that are outside the bubble. Now merge the two layers.
The last thing I needed was an extra little cloud leading down from the bubble. The shape only provides two. With the rectangular marquee tool, click and drag a selection outline around the little cloud and press Control/Command J to duplicate the layer. Drag the new cloud into position and resize to make it smaller than the one above it. Now merge the two layers together.

Last but not least, don't forget you can flip your bubble as well to suit your photo. Press Control/Command T to bring up the transform outline. Right click inside to bring up the sub-menu and choose "flip horizontal". Now the bubble is facing the other way. Have fun!

Credits: Fonts - Pencil Pete, Tall Drink, Ma Sexy, ck_Ali's Hand, Century Gothic and Century School Book. Photos for Beach and Bubbles, Nicole Young.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Vintage Journaler for Easter.

April must be my vintage month. Everything I'm working on seems to have the vintage feel. My sister has been patiently waiting for me to get started on Emily's baby album so here is the title page. As a special Easter treat I'm giving away the "Once upon a time" journaler as a freebie for you to download. Katie Pertiet is the master of the vintage look so I made these little additions to go with her "Once upon a time" kit which, along with a few others, will be the basis for my pages. I've always been a huge Beatrix Potter fan so I've used images from Jemima Puddle Duck. They are so soft and feminine. Don't forget, every highlighted word is a link.
Credits: Lynn Grieveson: Papers from Love Letters Kit and Worn Page Edges No 2. Katie Pertiet: Overlays - Letter Box Clusters, Hooks - Letter Box Seamstress kit, Stamp & stitching - Once upon a time kit, Buttons - Botanist No 7 kit, Deckled Edge Photo Frames Vintage, Photo Wraps No 4. Shabby Miss Jen: Ribbon bow - French Attic kit.
Fonts: Chocolate Box Decorative and CK_Becky

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April Templates at Scrapper's Guide

Double page spread.

Album Cover

I have a real soft spot for heritage layouts so this month's kit called "Memories" by Vera Lim was the perfect inspiration I needed to start scrapping these old photos of my mother's family. As a special bonus for Premier Members I've created two page curls that can be used on any layout. That's the beauty of layered templates.
It was my turn this month to create the album cover so in keeping with my heritage look I decided to use the brown paper background. My grandmother is the little one in the front so this photo would have been taken in 1900. The photo on the back is her grandmother at seventeen who was born in 1842. She had thirteen children, twelve of whom survived. They were hardy souls back then. No fuss, no nonsense. They just got on with it. I asked my grandmother once how she coped with being widowed in her forties, never to remarry and she said, "It's a good idea not to think too much." I have to keep reminding myself of those words of wisdom.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Thomas the Tank Engine - Creating a fun layout.

Back in August I wrote a post on a card I made using a Thomas the Tank Engine background. One of my readers asked me if I would write a detailed tutorial on this layout and I was only too happy to oblige. But, I've gone one step further. I've written two tutorials, one on this layout and one on how to make a card from it. To see the card, click here. To download the Thomas the Tank Engine background, click here.

This month at Scrapper's Guide, the Premier members have been treated to a wonderful tutorial by Linda Sattgast on how to extract hair. If you become a Premier member before the end of March you can download this tutorial and learn how to magically select hair from a background. Have a great weekend.
Credits: The fairy and tag are from Katie Pertiet's "Fairy Dreamer Kit". The fonts are: Two peas - Well Behaved and Susie's Hand.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How to create a Shabby Chic background.

One of my favourite scrapbooking techniques is blending photos and papers with textures to create an interesting and unique background. I took this photo in my sister-in-law's garden at Christmas when all her roses were blooming. Paul Grand is a master at blending photos, so you should check out his blog and have a look at some of his creations.

Paul provides free textures for you to download at Flickr. You'll need to click on "more sets" to find them all. To create this look I used a gradient mask to blend my roses photograph with Katie Pertiet’s pink background paper and then blended two of his textures, cracked paint on stone and cracked door paint with my gradient layer. Here are the instructions for my technique and my roses photo if you would like to use that. You will need to download the textures directly from Flickr but if you’re not a member you may have to sign up first. Just click on the links that I have provided above, right click and choose, "Save As". Choose a location on your hard drive and click okay.

I would love to see what you create. If you would like to show me your work, email me with a link to your page. Don't forget, a little love goes a long way. If you like my tutorials, leave me a smile or two.

Credits: All Designer Digital products - Hipster Plumes No 11, Gumdrop Baby Kit, Amelie Kit, Photo Wraps No 4, Stacked frame from HDTDT No 17. Font: Scriptina

Thursday, March 5, 2009

March Templates at Scrapper's Guide.

I have had such a busy month with wedding preparations I have not had time to post. But now that it's all over I can get back to my usual routine! This month's kit by Eva Kipler is very sunny and bright. I know that it's cruel for those of you in the Northern hemisphere to have to read about swimming and Christmas in the same sentence but for us down under, it's a tradition. Our Christmases are hot, hot, hot! If you haven't already explored the possibilities of becoming a Scrapper's Guide Premier Member, then do drop by and have a look. The value has to be seen to be believed! Here is my double page spread for this month with the added benefit of being able to place all the elements on your page individually. They are layered templates. See February's post to get the low down and watch the videos on how to use them. They are much more flexible than the flattened quick pages. I have some new and exciting techniques to tell you about soon but in the mean time I hope you enjoy these pages. Just click on the images to get a closer look.
Fonts: CK Becky, Adobe Garamond and CK Journaling Condensed.

Friday, February 6, 2009

February Templates at Scrapper's Guide.

To celebrate the month of “LOVE” I have created two new templates for the Scrapper’s Guide Premier Members as part of this month’s quick page album. The kit for February is called “Rule my world” by Irene Alexeeva. Just click on the images above to get a closer look.

It’s a beautiful kit with deep drop shadows already built into the elements so I found it a lot of fun to work with. If you don’t already know, we are now producing layered templates instead of quick pages so that you will have total flexibility with the pages you create. Watch Linda’s latest videos for Photoshop Elements and Adobe Photoshop to see how easy these new templates are to use. It is pure magic! She also shows you how to adjust your templates for pages that are not the traditional 12 x 12 inches. For the Elements video, click here. For the Photoshop video, click here.

The burned effect that I have created with my type on the Hessian background is very easy to do. Use black as your foreground colour when you type your words and then change the blend mode of the type layer to “overlay”. The blend mode you use may vary depending on the background paper of course so you can experiment. Do you know that you can toggle through blend modes easily? Click on the blend mode “Normal” at the top of the layers palette so it is highlighted in blue. Now press the down arrow key on your keyboard and watch how your type changes with each blend mode. It’s just more Photoshop magic!
Credits: Scrapper’s Guide Premier kit “Rule your world” by Irene Alexeeva
Fonts: Stencil, Lainie Day, Travelling Typewriter and L D Telegram.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Wedding reception place cards.

Jaime and Fiona's wedding is only a few short weeks away so I thought it was time to make the place cards now that we have a definitive list of guests. The easiest way to do this in Photoshop is to make the individual place cards first and save each one as a jpeg after changing and re-centering the name. Then place them on an A4 size page. Here are a few tips if you are going to attempt a project like this.

Work out what size you want the place cards to be and how many you can fit on the page size you're using. I made mine 9cm wide x 8cm high at 300 dpi. They fold in half to make 9 x 4 cm. You can fit six on an A4 page so I'm only using about 9 pages. The guest's name should be dominant for obvious reasons. After all, it is a place card and after a few toasts their eyesight could be a bit hazy! I played around with different designs but felt that this one complimented the invitation. I also put a 1 pixel, pink stroke outline on a new layer over the top to make the edges more defined.

To do this, create a new layer, Control+ Click on the paper background layer thumbnail to get a selection outline and move back to your new layer. Make sure the colour you want to use is the foreground colour chip. Go to Edit, Stroke, choose 1 pixel and inside for the location. Click okay.

To center each name after you have retyped it, use the rectangular marquee tool to click and drag out the defined area for centering. Click on the Move Tool and choose the 2nd option "align vertical centers and then the 5th option, "align horizontal centers". If you don't define the area first, it won't work.

After making 50 or so individual cards, create your new A4 size file at 300 dpi and open six of the cards. Drag each one onto the new page, closing them as you go. If you have the "snap" feature checked (see the View menu), they will be drawn to each other like a magnet so it takes only a few seconds to position them. Just leave enough of a border around the edge so no clipping occurs. Use a guillotine to cut them out. The whole project, including the design, only took about four hours with minimal cost. In the current climate, we're all after that!
Credits: Anna Aspnes "Fancy Love Kit", Fonts: Arno Pro, Beautiful ES, Perpetua Titling, and Elegant.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Flash makes me squint.

I know that sometimes it's absolutely impossible to get a decent photo without using the flash. Houses can be notoriously dark inside, especially older ones with smaller windows. However there are some things you can do to avoid having to use the fill flash, as I have done here to this poor child. First of all, remember that photography is all about light. A camera needs light, like we need food! So rule number one is to take command and position your subjects as close to a window as possible. Rule number two is to change your camera settings if you can, to accommodate a low light setting. Change the ISO to 800 or higher, use spot metering and if possible, increase the exposure compensation to +3 or +7. Read your camera manual if you don't know how to do this. Obviously a slow shutter speed will let in more light too but that can result in blurring if your subjects are moving around. When all else fails, the only thing to do is turn on the flash. If your subject is outside and half of their face is shaded, turn the camera so that the flash is facing the shaded side. This will help to even out the light.
Circles make great journaling spots. Just use your elliptical marquee tool to click and drag out a circle from your chosen paper, holding the shift key to constrain proportions, and copy to your page.
Fonts: Tall Drink and CK Becky.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Make your own calendar.

Making a calendar is not as time consuming as you might imagine. I made the size eight inches square instead of twelve so that I could print it out on A4 paper. I used a box calendar template for each month and just added my own special occasions. I printed an 8 x 8 inch layout on the back of each one so I have a lovely scrapbook page for each month. You could showcase all the pages you have created during the year or create a special page for whoever has a birthday that month. May is Katie's month (mine too but she's more important). For the cover, I have made a year in review page with a photo from every month from the previous year. Just remember that when you print out your box calendar, you need to flip it over so that the scrapbook page is facing the right way. I used Epson's double sided matt heavy weight paper and my "Zutter Bind It All" to hold it together. If I were you I would also put a little dot on the top of the pages where you want to punch a hole. I forgot and had to measure and do it later. It would have been much easier if I had centered a circle in Photoshop first on each page.

Credits: Background paper - Scrapper's Guide January Premier kit by Amanda Heimann. Year in review template No 3, My Memories Quick Page ,(from our class kit) Digitally pressed petals No 3, May Alpha from Botanist No 16 - Katie Pertiet. Days and Months Hand Drawn Brushes - Ali Edwards. Box Calendar template by Kellie Mize of We are storytellers. Fonts: CK_Ali's Hand (see right hand side link under free fonts, Olicana Smooth and Susie's Hand.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Stretching photos to fit.

I keep forgetting to mention to my students about the Designer Digitals chats. So I thought I'd do a post on it and include a little tutorial for you to download on "Stretching Photos". The chats at Designer Digitals are very good value because, not only do you get to meet some of your fellow scrapbookers, you also receive a freebie from the store in the form of a download link while the chat is in progress. I took part in Cassie Jones "How do they do that" tutorial yesterday which was on the topic of using layer masks in Photoshop Elements. Although I already know how to do that I still like to take part and pick up a freebie. For any of you who don't know how to fake a layer mask in PSE, just scroll down the right hand side of this blog to find two tutorials on it by other people. The layout here is the one I created after the chat using the free mini kit that was included in the download. Cassie is a great teacher. You will be able to purchase this lesson in the DD store for future reference. It is called "How do they do that No 17 PSE Layer Masks".

Here are a few helpful hints when taking part in the chats, especially for those who are in different time zones. When you register with the DD website your personal time zone should be displayed. If you click on "Chat" follow the link to the Chat Schedule and this will bring up the calendar of the current month. If you live in Australia, for example a chat scheduled for Monday 10 pm will show up as Tuesday with the time changed at the top to 1pm which is our time here in Sydney. This works sometimes but not always during daylight saving. If you log in at 1pm as I did you'll find that it wasn't due to start till 2pm. Lots of other people signed in early too. Here's how to overcome the problem...

Firstly, click on the chat on the calendar you want to take part in and request a reminder for this event. I always choose 4 hours ahead of time. You'll receive an email reminding you that it's imminent.

The next step is to go to the Time Converter for New York (which is Eastern standard time in America), put in the details of the chat - ie Monday 5th January 10 pm - and do a conversion to your own city. You need to check this every time because daylight saving can be very confusing to work out.

When you go to the Chat page you need to login with your user name before you can enter the chat room. There are options there for changing fonts, colours, your avatar, etc. It is best to stay with black, standard fonts so that people do not get confused with the designer's instructions which will be in colour and bold type. Cassie always provides a PDF tutorial as part of the download so you don't have to try and remember all the instructions.

Obviously the time is not always going to be particularly convenient wherever you live especially if it takes place at 3am but there's no reason you can't login ahead of time, with a connection that doesn't drop out, and check the chat history when you wake up. It will all still be there.
Have fun chatting!

Credits: HDTDT No 17 (yet to appear in the DD store) Cassie Jones. Papers and frames by Katie Pertiet from the tutorial and Photo wraps No 9. Fonts: Kayleigh, New Pooh, Forelle and Carlotta.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rounded rectangles and using the stroke command.

Happy New Year everyone! To kick off January 2009 I’ve created two more quick pages for the Scrapper’s Guide Premier Members from the kit by Amanda Heimann called “Come Out and Play” made exclusively for Scrapper's Guide. I just love working with bright colours and my reading theme was perfect for this month. Some of you may know that I support the “Read Every Day” program at my local primary school. I love reading so much that I couldn’t bear the thought of a child not having the same opportunity to develop a love of books. To some children it comes naturally but others need help. If you have the time, the inclination and the opportunity to assist at your local school by listening to children read, I can assure you that you that the rewards are far greater than the effort required.

This is my niece, Emily on her first birthday. Notice how engaged she is! My sister reads to her children every day and has done so since birth. It’s never too early to introduce a child to books. Mem Fox is one of my favourite children’s authors. The words around the photo on the left are some of her “Ten read-aloud commandments”. Do visit her website for she is a very inspiring writer. Now I'll get off my soap box and give you a few scrapbooking ideas. Click on the image to get a closer look.

These layouts are very simple to create and here are a few tips.

To put a stroke outline around your alpha:-

Make sure that black is your foreground colour. Select your alpha by Control+clicking on the layer thumbnail to get a selection outline. Go to Edit, Stroke, choose 5 pixels and inside for the location. Click okay.

To create the rounded rectangle, stroke outline journaling frame:-

Click and drag out a rounded rectangle shape with a radius of 100 pixels and rasterize the layer. Create a new, blank layer above it. Control+click on the rounded rectangle layer thumbnail to get a selection outline and then click back on the new blank layer. Go to Edit, Stroke, choose 5 pixels, black for the colour and outside for the location. Click okay. Now delete the original rectangle layer because you were only using it as a guide. Now you have a stroked rectangle to use as a frame for anything you like.

The fonts I have used for this layout are: CK Ali’s Hand, Weirdo, Arno Pro and Century Gothic
These last two fonts came with Windows XP.