Monday, February 25, 2008

Technostamper Challenge #6

It's Monday, that means it's time for another Technostamper Sketch Challenge. I hope you are having as much fun with these as I am. Be sure to check Mary Jo's blog for a link to all the other players.

I really enjoyed making today's card. In part because I got to use my just arrived Cuttlebug! Thanks Mom & Dad for the birthday present :-) Yes, I had a birthday last week but we need not discuss that further ;-} I used an adaptation of a technique called Aged Metal featured in the February '08 issue of The Technique Junkie Newsletter for the background. The sentiment is stamped with Versamark and then colored with Perfect Pearls.

But another thing that made working on this card so much fun was the lucky accidental discovery I made when I decided to dye a white flower black. At first I smooshed my Stazon pad onto it but there was lots of white on the flower and black on the paper under the flower. So the frugal me started thinking, "I'm going to waste a lot of ink this way; there must be a better way to do this." So I put the flower on top of the pad, then not wanting really black fingers, I grabbed my embossing stylus and rubbed the flower into the pad with it. Voila! The flower is perfectly dyed. I can't wait til I need to dye another flower, this was so much fun. I just may go buy a whole bunch of white flowers lol.
Stamp: Anna Griffin
Ribbon: that big box from Costco again
White metallic flower: Home Grown Bloomers by Crafta Frame

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Shaped Text Blocks and Blog Freebie!

The original photo in this layout was a 5x7. It lives in a frame in my living room because I love it so. The photographer who gave me this picture captured my daughter just as she was going over one of her very first little jumps. It was a beautiful Fall day, the colors on the trees behind her made a lovely backdrop. It wasn't until I scanned it and zoomed in that I realized how the photo captured the look of concentration on her face. So instead of scrapbooking the whole 5x7 I decided to enlarge and crop.

The area to Catie's right just begged to become the journaling block. What I did next can only be done in later versions of Photoshop and can not be done in Elements. But don't worry there is a workaround so skip ahead if you have a version of photoshop without the pen tool.

I selected the freeform pen tool, set it to "paths" and drew the shape by tracing just along the outside of Catie. Then I switched to the regular pen tool, still set to "paths" to close the shape with nice straight lines on the other three sides.

To set the pen tool to paths click on the icon at the top left as shown in the illustration here:

Once the work path was completed, I selected the type tool and clicked inside the shape. When you do this you will see parentheses appear next to the type tool icon, indicating that your type will be enclosed in the path you created. Then it was just a question of typing my story and the text automatically took the shape I had drawn. How cool is that?

Now I realize most digiscrappers have Elements or an older version of PS, but here comes the good stuff. You can still get this effect because although you can't create these text blocks you can insert them and edit them. There are numerous digital stores that will sell you all kinds of shaped templates, but I'm going to give you two for FREE! Follow this link to my website and you can download as my gift to you two text templates. One is a full circle, the other is a heart

Jessica Sprague created a great video tutorial showing how to insert Text templates into Photoshop Elements. Click here to view this video.

BTW the girl in this photo is the same child featured in the previous post "Out of Control." Just thought I'd share that for all of you who fret about not being caught up! In my opinion the pictures aren't going anywhere, so relax and scrap 'em when you can :-)

Click here to download FREE Text Templates

Monday, February 18, 2008

Technostamper Sketch Challenge #5

Once again I am playing along with the Monday Lunchtime Sketch Challenge from Technostamper. Today's card will go to a neighbor who is expecting twins. I hope she likes it and I hope you do too!

DP: Doodlebug Designs

Stamps: Image: Marcella K; alphas: CTMH

Ribbon is from a big box I bought at Costco a year ago

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

HP offers Free Online Scrapbooking Class

Enrollment is open now through March 1st for a FREE online class in hybrid scrapbooking offered by Hewlett Packard. Here's the link to the course description page. I've taken an online course with them, they are very well done and totally geared to the beginner. They go over all the basics, plus there is a class forum for further discussion of class topics and questions to the instructor. If you've been wanting to learn more about using your computer as a scrapbooking tool I recommend checking this out!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Out of Control?

I've always really loved this photograph of Catie when she was sooo little (she's 16 now). As scrapbookers you know how it is, you have favorite pictures and they intimidate you. You wait forever to scrap them because you want so badly for the page to be as wonderful as the photo. For me this is one of those photos. I scanned it just to enlarge it. The plan was to make it a 5 x 7 and do one of those one photo traditional 12 x 12 layouts, gushing with praise of just how precious this baby is and embellished with adorable things.

But once I had photoshop open a voice in my head said, "hmm, what could you do with this digitally?" When it comes to digital pages I love the kits as much as anyone and have folders full of them to prove it. But I also love that I can create a page that is ALL my own. No purchased papers, or embellishments. And that was the direction I decided I wanted to go in with this photo.

What happened next I can only describe as a total loss of control. An urge I decided to go with and explore. Since I loved the picture so much, why not just feature it? I could have made it 12 x 12, but I felt there was more impact in repeating it, and layering it so that in places only the eyes or some other small parts were featured.

So here's my final result and I'm just not sure if I love it or I've lost my mind. So I turn to you for your opinions. Here's what Ive heard from my daughters. The child featured in the lo thinks its "creepy." Her sister is just jealous that it's not a lo of her. LOL

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday Lunchtime Sketch Challenge

I never got a chance to do last week's challenge but this week I'm in again! Here's my interpretation of Technostamper, Mary Jo Price's sketch.

The sketch reminded me of quilting, so I decided to use the faux stitching technique from the 4/06 issue of the Technique Junkie Newsletter.

Thanks again MJ for another inspirational sketch!

The Stamps are Stampin Up, A Beautiful Thing

Designer Paper is from the Magnolia Collection by My Mind's Eye

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Do You Like My New Look?

Today's art to share is my new header! I just created it today using photoshop. What do you think? I also changed the blog template to match the new header. I think the overall look is easier on the eyes.

For the photoshop curious, the header features two images I downloaded from istockphoto :the watch and the grunge film frame. The flourishes are from brushes I downloaded (for free!) from Obsidian Dawn. If you make sure to "stamp" each brush mark on a new layer, you can resize, erase, skew, rotate, etc. to your hearts content to get it just the way you want it.

The background is a fill layer to which I added a linen pattern overlay and lowered the opacity of the pattern overlay to 38%. I played around alot with opacity and blending modes in this design. I love to experiment that way. I'm very happy with the new look. I hope you like it too.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Posies For You

It's a simple card because I had to make 17 of them. I just wanted to share my first project using the Posies For You stamps I won at Leigh O'Brien's blog. The set came just in time for the Valentines that I was planning to send to GIs in Iraq & Afghanistan. They just seemed perfect for this project. Thanks again to Leigh and Anna Wight of Whipper Snapper Designs. Also thanks to the Stamping Scrapbookers Yahoo group colour challenge for inspiring the color palette. I chalked the bucket but did the rest of the coloring with Sakura Glaze markers. I like the contrast betweeen the soft and bold effects.

Find It With An Image Search

The idea for this page lived for months in my mind. My son who has major issues with foods related to his OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) has nearly lived off of French Fries for most of his life. So you see I just had to have this page in his book. Every time I shopped for scrapping supplies I would look for anything, paper, stickers whatever of French Fries. No Luck. The closest I ever got was a picnic set that was mostly Burgers and Hot Dogs, two things Anthony NEVER eats. Alas I eventually realized I was on my own. Well actually I take back the “Alas” because I do so enjoy having to wing it from time to time. One of my Fave resources for finding what I need is the Google image search. You are probably familiar with Google searches but I’m surprised by how many people I talk to who have never explored some of Google’s more targeted search options. If you are at Google’s web site you’ll find them at the top left hand side of the starting page. If you have the Google tool bar installed on your browser click on the little black arrow next to the “G”. There is an assortment of cool options. My two favorites: “images” and “shopping” :-} The image search further allows you to filter for the size of image you are looking for, saving you time. I searched for French Fries and followed the links to the images I liked. I saved the image to my computer by right clicking on it and choosing “Save picture as…” from the pop up menu. In the LO I printed the fries twice, cut some out from one image and popped them on top of the other. (In good conscience I can’t take credit for this idea-Thanks Pat!)