Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hello!!!! Short post today...

I have been MIA because of personal stuff, surgery, etc and have been working on various projects. Thanks to all you sweet gals who have emailed to check up on me!

So what's new? I have been on a really big "save money" kick lately.  Coupons, sales, deals you name it! As you all know, every bit counts. :-)

If you are in my area (central Jersey) there is a new Bottom Dollar Food grocery store. They have awesome prices on produce, milk, etc and this week coke is on sale (you know about my addiction to love for diet coke!)!

I stopped in there today, and guess what was sitting next to my diet coke??? FRESCA. I was so excited.

I haven't had FRESCA in forever! When my brothers and I were young, we would get it for special occasions ONLY. Yup.

Off to crack one open! Have a good day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tutorial: Altering Papers with Gradient Tool

Here's a fun technique you can use to create new digital papers.

Open two papers and layer one on top of the other. It would be a good idea to rename your document using File>Save As at this point to make sure you don't copy over your original paper.

Click on the bottom layer in the Layers Palette to make it active, then click on the New Layer icon at the bottom of that palette, circled in red in the image below.

Now you will have an empty layer between your two papers.

Click on the Gradient Tool, fourth one up from the color chips, circled in the image below.

In the Gradient Tool Options Bar at the top of the workspace, click on the first down arrow to access the gradient choices. Choose the second one, titled "Foreground to Transparent." The square images indicate various types of gradients you can choose. I'm using the first, Linear Gradient. You can adjust the Opacity and experiment with a few other options too.

Making sure your blank layer is still the active (highlighted layer), click anywhere on your document, hold, and drag straight or at an angle. The length and angle you drag determine the appearance of your gradient. You can also drag multiple times.

Here is how my Layers Palette looks after I've drawn several gradients from points around the edge toward the focal point where I plan to place my photo. My gradient is red because that happened to be my current foreground color, but the color isn't important because of the next step.

Now clip the top paper to the gradient layer. I use the keyboard shortcut: making sure the top paper is active, type Control/Command-G. A small arrow appears to the left of the top paper indicating it is clipped to the gradient layer below, and the effect is visible in my document.

Here is my finished layout using my new paper that blends two papers from Jeanine's new kit Hearts and Flowers.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ways to Use Textures

Jeanine has several sets of textured paper templates in her store.  Texture adds realism to our digital scrapbook pages and there are a variety of ways to use them.  For today's tutorial I'm using Texture 2 from Volume 7.

1.  One way to use these textures is to adjust color and lightness with the Hue/Saturation commands.  You can find the Hue/Saturation dialogue box in the menus.  Go to Enhance>Adjust Color> Adjust Hue/Saturation.  This will open the Hue/Saturation dialogue box.

Or just hit Control/Command-U to bring up the Hue/Saturation dialogue box.  Simply click on the pointer and slide it left or right for each of the sliders to chance the hue, saturation, and lightness. 

If you selected a color with the Color Picker before you opened the Hue/Saturation dialogue, then you can check the Colorize box in the lower right corner first.  That will apply your chosen color to the texture and you can further adjust it by moving the sliders.  Here is a dark paper I made, and you can see how I've adjusted the sliders after checking the colorize box.  (Make sure the Preview box underneath is also checked so you can see your adjustments as you make them.)

Experiment with all the choices and you will be amazed by what you can do!  Here is another paper I made in just 2 more seconds by adjusting all three sliders again.

After making these adjustments, drag the paper onto your layout.  You can also make adjustments on your layout.  Just make sure you have the correct layer selected in your Layers Palette.

If you want to save your new paper to use another time, remember to choose "Save As" in the File Menu and give it a new name so you don't save over the original texture template.

2.  Another fun way to use the textures is to enhance pre-made papers.  Open up any paper.  I used a solid paper from Hearts and Flowers.  Drag the premade paper onto the  texture template. 

One thing you can do is adjust the opacity.  That is located in the upper right corner of the Layers Palette.  Here you can see I lower the opacity of the paper to 85% to let some of the texture show through.

Or, you can use Blend Modes.  They are in the upper left corner of the Layers Palette and there are many of them!  Experiment with them and you will find some that work well and others less so. 

Here is the texture atop the paper blended with the Overlay Blend Mode.

Also, I find it does make a difference whether the texture or the paper is on top, so you can experiment with that too.  While the above example has the texture on top, below the paper is on top and blended with the Color Blend Mode.

3.  These texture templates can be used for other parts of your layout too.  How about using them for a tag or a frame?  They can also add interest to some photos.  I layered my photo atop the texture and tried a few blend modes.  I finally chose the Overlay blend mode but it was a bit too much, so I duplicated the photo layer (Control/Command-J).

Here's my textured photo in a layout in which I also used the texture for the background paper.  The the other paper, which I also used to make the title, is from Jeanine's paper kit, Cirque Dimanche.  The ribbon and button are from her kit, Twiight Snowfall and the stitching is from Hearts and Flowers.

I hope that gets your creative juices flowing.  Have fun with the textures!

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Releases - Textures

If you did not get a chance to pick these up over the iDSD weekend, now is your chance. Jeanine has un-wrapped them & put them in the store.
I have to say these are some of my favorite products because they go with EVERYTHING!

Click on the images above or check out her store HERE.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday Tutorial: Edge Overlays

Are you unsure how to use Jeanine's Edge Overlays?  Here are some ideas.

1.  Drag the overlay over a photo.  You may want to resize your photo to 12x12 to begin with, or you will have to resize the edge overlay to fit onto the photo and then crop.  You can use blend modes, change the hue or saturation, or apply layer styles to the edge overlay.  

I like how this photo looks with one of the  Grunge-It Edges from Volume 1 turned white by moving the Lightness slider all the way to the right in the Hue/Saturation dialogue box (hit Command/Control - U).

Or how about with "Painted Wallboard," one of the default Layer Styles in PSE? It is accessible by clicking on the Layer Styles icon, circled in red beside the number 1 below, and clicking open the drop down box (2) to select Patterns. Scroll to find the pattern you want and either double click on it or hit the Apply button(4).

2. The edge overly is perfect for 12x12 papers, of course, because it is 12x12. You might also apply it to smaller pieces of paper for journaling or matting.  In my layout below, I used the overlay on the background paper, applied a Hard Light Blend Mode, and reduced the opacity to 30% to make it more subtle.  Blend Modes are found in the drop-down box at the top of the Layers Palette.

Layout uses Jeanine's new kit, Hearts and Flowers.  Don't miss Jeanine's four Edge Overlays sets available at her store.