Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ode to a Cup of Joe: Digital Chipboard

This digital scrapbook page is my week four layout for my "Day in the Life" one layout a week 2009 project. [Gosh this project needs a shorter name....ideas anyone?]The page was supposed to be simple and fast, well... The initial idea was: just one photo of my coffee maker on my kitchen counter, some journaling about how much my morning coffee means to me, some quick digital elements and I'd be done. Somewhere along the way I got inspired or carried away, I'll let you decide, and spent way more time on this than I'd planned. But it was a creative and fun journey and I do like the way it turned out. For me, the best part was when I found the little notepaper with the "I LOVE YOU BECAUSE" prompt sitting in my digital stash. Perfect for this project because I do love coffee, maybe even too much, LOL.

I used so many different pieces from different digital kits that the list of credits is going to take me an hour to put together, LOL.

There are also enough how to's in this layout for four different blog posts! So for brevity that is what I will do. They will be, starting today and in order:

* How I made the title look like chipboard covered with the designer paper.

* How I got the text to follow the lines on the notebook paper.

* How I added the Tim Holtz stamped image.

* What I did to the photo, to give it the artsy stamped and painted look.

So on to the first how-to...

1.Copy the designer paper to a new layer and place this on the top. Click on the eyeball to turn off the DP so you will be able see where your title is placed.

2.Open the Text Tool and choose your font. This will work best with a bold thick font.

3.Type your title; Use the move tool to position the title to your satisfaction.

4.CTRL click the thumbnail of the type layer; this is a vary useful keyboard short cut, it creates a selection of whatever is in the active layer. So you should now see the marching ants encircling your type. Okay, I know I am addicted to photoshop because this always thrills me, lol! But I just love how easily you can make some very intricate selections with just a quick click of the mouse!

5.This step can be done two different ways. If you have layer masking available I recommend using step 5A because it will make it easier to edit if you are unhappy with your results. But if you have a version of Photoshop that does not allow you to add a layer mask then step 5B will work just as well.
5A. Keeping the selection active, turn the DP back on by clicking it's eyeball and make it the active layer. Then go to the bottom of the layer's palette and click the layer mask icon [if you don't know it, it is the one that looks like a rectangle with a circle in it]. Voila! Your DP layer is masked so that only your letters remain visible - cool eh? And here is the real power of using the masking tool...if you unlock the mask from the paper by clicking on the little chain thingy that appears between the layer thumbnail and the mask, you can use the move tool to move the paper around to see which part of it looks best on your title. When you are happy with the paper placement on the letters, right click the mask thumbnail and choose "apply layer mask". The mask will disappear and the paper will be cut to the shape of your text.
5B. Keeping the selection active, turn the DP back on by clicking it's eyeball and select this layer to make it the active layer. Now click >Select>Inverse (or Shift+CTRL+I) So that the paper you want to remove is selected instead of the title. You will still see the ants marching around the title but you should also see them marching around the edge of your page as well. Click >Edit>Cut (or CTRL+X) and your paper will be cut to the shape of your Title.

Remember that your title is not a Type Layer so if you want to change the font you will need to start over. Just in case I have second thoughts and want to redo the title I don't delete my type layer [which you really no longer need if you are 100% satisfied with your title] Usually, I just turn it off.

6. Finally I applied a bevel and a drop shadow. The full version of photoshop gives you greater ability to play around with the characteristics of the bevel and shadow, which I did a little but the default settings will still give you a pleasing result.

That's it for today's tutorial. Email me if yu have any questions, I'd be happy to answer if I can! Tune in next time [Okay that phrase dates me] for Using the pen tool to create a text path, or how I got my journaling to look like it was written on the notebook paper lines.

Now for the credits:
Digital Paper:The beige background was created using an Overlay by BannerWoman Designs; the darker brown paper is from J Hansen: In the Groove as is the plaid matt behind the photo. To the brown dotted paper I added a pattern overlay to give it the woven look.
The Notebook paper and the staples are from Jenn Reid: Cinnamon
The photo prong is by Coreen Silke We Escape. The coffee cup was found at a free image site I can't remember now. I used a google image search, copied to my hard drive and then deleted it's white background. The grungy border around the whole page is another Bannerwoman Overlay, the one around the brown paper I created using a brush I customized.
Links for Digital papers and Elements for Coreen Silke and Jenn Reid for J Hansen for Bannerwoman designs
And finally as I said earlier the splatter and coffee rings are a Tim Holtz rubber stamp from a set called Spills and Splatters.

So did I get carried away or what? LOL!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Another Restoration Before & After Story

The photo above was the only picture of my mom with her parents that she had. It was tiny and in sad condition. All she asked me to do was make a 5x7 copy of it. I decided to restore the picture as well and gave it to her as a present this past Christmas. I also gave her a pancake griddle (which she asked for) but which gift do you think was enjoyed more by both of us?

This was an extensive restoration and I lost track of how many hours I spent on it, but every minute I felt close to Mom and happy to be doing something uniquely special just for her.

The missing areas of the photo presented some fun challenges. The part of my Grandmother's elbow that is missing was replaced with my own elbow lifted from a recent photo. To replace the other areas of the photo took extensive and creative cloning and in some cases drawing in of details. To make the final picture fit a 5x7 frame without cropping out any of the details (that is my mother's chilhood home in the background, a detail I didn't think she'd want to lose) I added the textured gray border.

This is the picture of me from which I took the elbow:

Here is the final result:

Here's a Before & After look:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stealing time for a Technostamper Challenge

I didn't find the time to make this card, I stole it. I am being so irresponsible today...teehee. I will be a good girl again once Obama's speech is over. But for now I have the TV on and I am taking a break from the dreaded to-do list. This is an historic day, so perhaps I felt I needed to mark it by taking a step away from my usual. In any case I was reading my blogs while listening to all the TV talking heads, which reminded me that I've been wanting for a long time to do another Technostamper challenge. The beauty of sketch challenges is they do the hard part for me. Layout is always where I spend a lot of time struggling. The rest comes easier for me.

So I share with you the results of my misbehavior ;-) and my prayers that President Obama will be inspired by God as he has inspired the nation and that the Hope he has aroused will not be left unfulfilled.

BTW I hear his speech will be about personal responsibilty, ironic eh? Perhaps I really will behave myself when it's over,lol.

Stamps used: SU French Script; CTMH Post Marked
DP: Basic Grey Scarlet's Letter
Ink: Color Box Ruby and Black

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Photoshop, stamping, photos and scrapbooking: Woohoo!

This scrapbook layout has it all. My own photo "art", if you'll allow me to call it that, stamping, photoshop effects & editing, oh and even some Close to My Heart product as well. And to think I didn't set out to make it this way. All I wanted to do was create a layout about the ice storm we had on January 7th for my 2009 project that I have started in response to a challenge.

It is a cool challenge. Maybe you've seen people doing 2009 one photo a day challenges. Well I could never commit to a challenge like that! But my dear friend Pat challenged her Yahoo group, Stamping Scrapbookers with a modified version. Just one layout a week. Now I think I can keep up with that, I hope. Yeah I know my New Year's resolution about shedding and here I am taking on a new project, am I off the wagon already? I have taken lots of "day in the life" style photos and have never done anything with them. So I love this idea because it gives me incentive to do those pages that have been rattling around in my head for so long.

So about this day in my life: we had this ice storm and school opened late that morning. The hubby and girls had just left the house, so with three breakfasts and lunches all done I went to get dressed. I looked out my bedroom window and saw this view. Inspired, I ran downstairs and grabbed my camera and began to play. As I shot I imagined a layout contrasting how much I hate icy winter days - they scare the heck out of me...all that slipping and sliding around- with just how darn beautiful they can be.

The background papers I used in this layout are photos I took of my deck. I cropped them to 12 x 12 in photoshop and then printed them onto cardstock. The main photo on the first page was begging for a special effect so I applied the cyanotype preset in PS Lightroom. I think it is cool. It fits with the chilly feel I was looking to convey. What do you think?

The title was stamped with the Williamsburg set from Technique Tuesday in pearlescent sky blue Brilliance ink. Then I heat embossed with translucent Kaleidascope embossing powder and finally added the white outline with a gel pen. I think the lettering looks as icy as the day was. And to think I stumbled upon this accidentally because the blue ink did not show up against the background as much as I had hoped it would! Someone does have to teach me what ink to use to stamp on dark backgrounds. The stickers are from the Close to My Heart Aspen kit.

The journaling reads:
We had a delayed opening of school. An inconvenience for sure but I always appreciate the precaution. I took these pictures just after Joe left the house with the girls. Still icy but much better than it was 90 minutes earlier. Paradox: I think these sights are indeed beautiful and yet they depict what it is that I most hate about Winter .... ICE.... slipping, falling, losing control of the car...worrying. I so appreciate being able to just stay home, inside safe and warm.