Friday, March 4, 2011

Freebie, Tips & Tutorials

Hi and Happy Friday!

I am really excited to share my new grab bag available exclusively at ScrapMatters this week! This one was by request. One of my fabulous CT members (Betty) had asked me to create some "solid-ish" black and white papers for her stash after being inspired by Gennifer's gallery here. Basically, we all need some go-to essentials in our digi arsenal right? Especially for those layouts that we want to keep on the simple side so the photo and/or journaling demand our full attention...

After Betty gave me the inspiration, I designed 8 new CU/PU "papers" (part of my new Essentials line) and 8  CU/PU edges (to continue with my Grunge It - Edges series) and came up with a grab bag at 70% off regular price! I know you are going to use these papers and edges over and over so this price is really amazing!!! But you really HAVE to hurry because I am only going to keep it at 70% off for this week. Then the grab bag will be gone and the pieces will be available separately at full price.

Wanna see what is included? Keep scrolling!

image from

image from

To get you started with my new essentials line, I did up a freebie for you (yay)!

But first, a tip!

To get more bang for your buck, you can easily change the black papers in my grab bag to white and the white to black by simply inversing the colors (ctrl+i in photoshop for windows). I talk about that technique a lot because I use it all the time, especially when I am using textures. Try it with the freebie below - open up the white paper and click ctrl+i. Cool huh?

Here is a tutorial for you to get even more value!

***Follow along by downloading the freebie here*** (preview below)

You can use these black and white papers as textures also. The simplest way to do that is open up a 12x12 document and fill it with color (freebie file "step1").

Now place one of the black or white papers onto the document as another layer. In my example, I am using the white paper (freebie file "white").


NOTE: As you know, in photoshop there are a variety of ways to get to the same end result. I am just going to share what I feel is the easiest way to do this. :-)

Now we experiment. I'll start with the blending modes, and my first choice is usually "soft light". So select the layer with the white paper and change the blending mode from "normal" to "soft light".


Now your document simply looks lighter and very little texture shows through (freebie file "step2"). Boring!


So let's jazz it up. Keeping your white paper layer selected (still on "soft light"), go to Image->Adjustments->Levels, or ctrl+l. A funky box pops up with a lopsided mountain right? Now again, I am not going to get all technical. I am all for keeping things simple!!!

My rule of thumb when playing with textures is I want balance. Right now we have too much "white". I start by sliding the left slider to the right - nearly to the end. I slide the right slider a bit to the left. 

I now have this (freebie file "step3"):


Now we are talking! There might be too much texture now, so I am going to lower the opacity of that white paper layer a bit.


And here is my finished paper (freebie file "step4")!


And there you have it! A quick and easy way to use my black and white papers to create all different colored / textured designs!

The freebie file includes the sample files above and one white and one black "paper". If you liked this tutorial and freebie, please check out my grab bag! Thank you! :-)


Here is the freebie link again in case you missed it above - DOWNLOAD HERE.

Make sure to also see my tutorial on using edges here  - you will be designing your own papers in no time!

Whew! That is all for now. Have a happy weekend and have fun!


WAIT! I almost forgot! Go sign up for the ScrapMatters monthly newsletter for a very special "sunny" treat coming soon!