Scrapbook Ideas

Tips & Tricks. Ideas & Inspiration. Resources for Scrapbookers.

Tag Archives: Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop Express (BETA) is FREE!!!!!!!!!

This is NOT an April fools joke people, I signed up for my own Adobe Photoshop Express account to make sure :)! If you are looking for a fast, easy, awesome and especially FREE way to edit, organize and share your digital photos, you MUST check this out!!

I have literally only played around with this tool for less than 10 minutes, and I think it’s great! It is NOT a program you can do digi scrapping or in depth editing with – it’s mostly just for quick photo fixes. In a couple of minutes you can transform your photo from drab to dramatic, here’s one I played with really quick:

Photoshop Express Example

Like I said, I’ve only played with it for a few minutes, but so far here’s what I love about Adobe Photoshop Express (BETA):

  • It’s free, and it is online, so I didn’t need to download a program or anything.
  • It works with other free online photo management programs I use (photobucket and Picasa), so I could access those photos without having to upload them again.
  • It is SUPER user friendly and automated – you select an editing mode, and Photoshop Express instantly gives you several versions of your photo to choose from, side-by-side so you can see what looks best.

Photoshop Express Example 2

Of course the full version of photoshop will still be my main editing program, but I think this will be my program of choice for quick photo edits for blogging, emailing and sharing online :).

If you want to learn more, check out this post by John Nack (Adobe Photoshop Senior Product Manager ).

Important: before you share any photos publicly through this site, make sure you read the terms of use (especially section 8)! Apparently Adobe IS working on revising the terms so they don’t sound so scary LOL, but I would still think twice before making a public gallery there :).

Quick Page and Text Adjustment Tip

Memory Verse Card #2

*Click Here for Credits*

Just thought I’d share another Bible verse quick page I made using the brag book by SMJ and Dani. I also used a notebook element from their collab kit to fill in the empty space behind the text. And here’s a little Photoshop tip for you:

Adjusting Text for Notepaper in Photoshop

Before I learned this tip I used to resize my text by trial and error, I even made separate layers for each line of text sometimes so that I could line it up on the notepaper. This way is much easier and faster. After typing your text in the selected font and size, open the “Character” window (Window>Character) to make your adjustments.   With your text selected, hover your mouse over the “Set the Leading” icon (circled in red below). The cursor will turn into a hand with arrows pointing outward from the index finger. Click and drag to the left or right to change the distance between the lines until they line up perfectly!

Set the Text Leading in Photoshop

New SMJ Release and a Blending Technique

I’m SUPER excited to announce that Shabby Miss Jenn has invited me to be on her creative team FULL TIME!! Wow, I thought I was lucky to be just a guest team member!!! WOOHOO!

She has just released all kinds of adorable springtime products in her shoppe – here’s what I made with the HUGE new kit (Click Here for Full Credits):

Almost Spring

Technique: Blended Photo Background 

Here’s how I made the flowery background on this page (using Photoshop CS):

Step 1: I opened a blank 12×12 300 dpi document in Photoshop, then copied and pasted a the 12×12 “Sunshine” paper onto the background.

Step 2: Next I opened the photo for the background, did my basic edits to the color, levels etc., and resized to fit the width of the page.

Step 3: Finally, I copied and pasted the photo to the top of the page (over the Sunshine paper), then I changed the blend mode to “Pin Light” and lowered the opacity a little (to about 89%).

That’s it!! If you experiment with different combinations of photos, papers, blend modes and opacities you can come up with limitless unique looking backgrounds!! Have fun :)

I Love Fall!

Just wanted to share a few fall pages with you and a couple of quick tips :). I don’t know what the weather is like in your area, but it has really just begun to feel like autumn where I am. I just love this time of year, the fall foliage, pumpkins, apples, it’s a time to admire God’s beautiful creation, which leads nicely into Thanksgiving celebrations! Anyway, I hope you’re enjoying the season as much as I am if you have made some fall pages, please share your links in the comments section :).

I made this page using the FREE Harvest Spice kit by Shabby Princess!!

Super Sweet Fall

Tips and Tricks:

  • Using a font like “Acorn Initials” allows you to add some extra color to your title. In your layers palette in Photoshop, just right click on the text layer and choose “rasterize” (or simplify). Then you can use the magic wand tool to select areas of the title to fill with color with the paint bucket tool.
  • Try using elements in new ways; I used a ribbon “tie” one of my words together. 
  • I used my “Leafy Heart” shape template to help showcase some of SP’s gorgeous papers. Then I added a bold photo border by using the eye dropper tool to grab a coordinating color from one of the flowers to fill a couple of the template layers with.  

I used an awesome Weeds and Wildflowers collab kit to make the page below :)

Sweet Little Pumpkins

Technique: Here’s an easy way to get your B&W photo to perfectly match your page: once you convert your photo to B&W, go into your Photoshop layers palette and right click the thumbnail of the photo layer, then choose “select layer transparency”. Next, create a new layer, and fill the selected area with a color that matches your page (in this case, I picked up some of the brown from the background paper). Going back into the layers palette, change the new layer’s blend mode to either “hue” or “color”. 

The following page uses the super fun Smell My Feet kit, by Shabby Princess!

Lovable Lion

Photo “pop” technique: Recently, I accidentally discovered this simple technique that really brings some life to my photos. I have used it on almost every photo since then! Here’s what I do: I use image>adjustments>levels to open the levels window. I move the middle input slider (tiny triangle at the center) all the way over to the left until it overlaps the left input slider (the image looks really white at this point), I click “OK”. Next I use image>adjustments/brightness/contrast to open the brightness/contrast window. I move the contrast slider way over to the right, then adjust the brightness accordingly (usually a little to the left). For the example below, I set the brightness to -20 and the contrast to +87. I have no idea why this trick works, but I love the result :)!

Photo Technique

For this last page, I used my “Mosaic Leaf” shape template to frame my photo, and to show off several papers from Jeannie Papai’s Blissful Fall kit at the same time!

Little Man

Tips and Tricks:

  • This is how I added the monogram “A” to my page; I used the type tool to type a very large letter “A” in a dark brown color I picked up from one of the papers, using the eyedropper tool. I then opened my Photoshop layers palette, and used the drop down menu from the top left corner to select the blend mode called “Soft Light”. Voila!
  • To distinguish the photo layer from the rest of the layers in the “Mosaic Leaf” template, I merged the photo border and photo layers together, then added a drop shadow to the newly created layer. I also rotated the layer and sandwiched another leaf element between it and the lower portion of the leaf template.

Well, that’s all I have for you today. If you have a fall page (or two or three!) to share, please leave a comment and link us up!! 

Technique: Add a Mini Book to a Digi Page

Want to see my first page as part of Jeannie Papai’s Creative Team?

Cutest Pumpkin 

Credits Everything is from the Boo 4 You kit (plus Extra Solids) by Jeannie Papai – available only at her newest store, Elemental Scraps! Font: MA Fishy

Photoshop Tips and Tricks

  • I recolored some of the glitter letters, and I used sharpen (filter>sharpen>unsharp mask) afterward to get the sparkle back.
  • You can make word stickers like I did by adding an extra thick white “stroke” to the outside of your letters.
  • Here’s how I added a bit of extra texture to the black paper: I opened the teal and orange paper, and used the magic wand tool (with select>similar) to select the orange design. I used crtl+c to copy it. I dropped the black paper onto a new document, and used ctrl+v to paste the orange design over the black paper. In the layers palette, I changed the blend mode of the orange design to “soft light”.

Technique: (Digital) Mini Book

Digi FrameHere’s a fun way to add a bunch of extra photos to your page. I’ve noticed that lots of digi kits come with sweet little frames like this one from Jeannie’s new kit. They are so cute, and I love using them! But sometimes I like to find new, unexpected ways to use digital elements :). Try this:

  1. Add several frames to your page, and decide if you want your mini book to be vertical or horizontal. Now “stack” the frames in a pile on top of one another. Use the options under edit>transform (in Photoshop CS) to fan the “pages” out, and flip the orientation of some of them so that the ribbons aren’t all facing the same way. The key is to keep one corner of each page in place on the stack, so that it looks like it is still attached to the other pages. Then add a fastener to hold all the pages together, like a brad, clip, whatever you like :)!  Now add your photos, by dragging each one,  one at a time, to the layer below the frame you want it to be in. Position it the way you like, then switch to the frame layer, and select the (empty) inside of the frame with the magic wand tool (I also do select>modify>expand for a few pixels) – go back to your photo layer, select>inverse and delete to remove the parts of the photo that extend beyond the frame.  Repeat for each frame. Lastly, add and extra embellishments, and you’re done :)!

OK – for those of you who are looking for the RAK I mentioned- Jeannie is still working on it, so it will make an appearance in a future post :).  BUT, the good news is that she is having a HUGE 50% off sale on everything at her new Elemental Scraps Store!!! NOTE: the sale price doesn’t show up on your items until they are in the cart. Happy shopping :)!

Technique: Digital Curled Edges How-to (AND Freebie!)

Ever since I did this post about curled edges in paper scrapbooking there have been many many scrappers who have come to my site accidentally, because they did an online search for digital curled edges. Well, if that was you, now you’re in luck! I have a tutorial and freebies for all you digi scrappers too :)! First, here is another page I made using my new digital curled edges (you can see the first one here):

Overalls

Credits Hand Stamped Alpha: Michelle Coleman; Curled Edges: Jess Gordon (freebie below); Font: Jane Austen; Everything else is from the Cherrywood Farm kit, by Shabby Miss Jenn!

Photoshop Tips and Tricks

  • I created a “visual triangle” using the the subject of my photo plus the screws and buttons on the photo’s edge. This idea is thanks to ksharonkdesigns!
  • I love using Michelle’s stamped alpha (“SEPT07″) as a brush set, so I can easily change the size, color and opacity to suit my needs! If you don’t know how to make a stamp (.png file) into a brush, check this post I wrote about making your own digital brushes (you will only need to do the last part). 
  • The Virtual Photographer “Fall Colors” filter as well as some grungy brushwork on my photo edges really help the photo stand out.

Technique: Curled Edges for Digital Scrapbooking 

This is a look I love to create on my paper scrapbook pages, so it was only natural that I’d want to incorporate it into my digi pages as well. It didn’t take any fancy digital designing knowledge to make these edges, and now I can use them again and again. Here I’ll show you what I did, plus how to make them look great on your page!

How to Make Your Own Digital Curled Edge:

  1. First I made curled edges with real paper following the steps seen here.
  2. I then scanned them, making sure my scanner was set to make a high resolution (300 dpi) image.
  3. Then I extracted just the curled part of the image and saved it as a .png file on a transparent background. My scanner bed is only 11 inches long, but I wanted my edges to be 12 inches , so I simply re-sized the edges. Because I wasn’t stretching them too much, they still look fine.
  4. I adjusted the levels, contrast and color a little and that was it!

How to Add the Curled Edge to a Digital Scrapbook Page:

  1. Open a 12×12, 300 dpi blank document. Place two digital papers on your page, one on top of the other.
  2. Drag the curled edge onto a new layer above the top paper. Position as desired, making sure that the curled edge touches or slightly overlaps each edge of the page.
  3. Still on the curled edge layer, using the magic wand tool, select the area above the curled edge, that you would like to erase. I also use select>modify>expand by a few pixels to make sure I get all the paper. Tip: if your selection encompasses the whole page, your edge is most likely not touching both sides of the page.
  4. Switch back to the (top) paper layer. Delete the selection.
  5. Next, add a realistic drop shadow to just the curled edge layer first, making sure that the lighting direction comes from behind the section that is curled over the paper  (check here and here for drop shadow tips).
  6. Merge the curled edge, its shadow and the top paper layer together.
  7. Add another drop shadow to the whole thing, this time adjust the light source so that the shadow is thrown to the other side of the curled edge.    

I hope these directions are clear – if you have any questions please ask, I’d be happy to help :). The comments button is at the end of this post.

*Update: For those visual learners out there, you can now find a video tutorial provided by Scraps of Mind. She uses Photoshop Elements and has slightly different techniques, but gets the same great results. Check it out here!*

OK, here’s your freebie :)! Enjoy!!

Curled Edges Preview

*Click Here to Download the Curled Edges Freebie*

Technique: Digital Brushes

Memories of Aruba

Credits Everything I used is from my Seaside Cottage kit except the brush work, which is from a little brush I also made. Fonts: Aquiline Two and Century Schoolbook.

I just had to play around with my Seaside Cottage papers! If you missed yesterday’s post, look here to find out more info about this kit and how you can get it for free (if you’re a blogger). I didn’t include an alpha in the original kit, so I’m thinking of making one as a freebie, I just have to decide the font, colors, etc. I might just do a simple one like the one I made for this page. What do you think?

Technique: Digital Brushes

Digital Brush

It is so easy to make your own digital brushes to use on your pages if you have Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements! Here’s what I did to make the borders on the page above. 1) I opened a new transparent layer. 2) I selected the brush tool and choose a round brush with a 60 point diameter. 3) I used the brush to make a circle on the page using black as my foreground color. 4) I then selected the eraser tool and choose a round brush with a 24 point diameter. 5) Next, I used the brush to erase a hole in the bottom left part of the bigger circle and to take a “bite” out of the lower right side. 6) I switched back to the brush tool, picked the round 19 point circle and, using black as my foreground color, I placed a circle just outside the “bite” in the big circle. 7) To make my own brush out of this little image, I just selected around it with the rectangular marquee tool. Then, while it was still selected, I went to the “edit” pull-down menu and selected “Define Brush Preset” and clicked “OK” in the message box. 

You can make a brush out of anything you want, it’s a fun and easy way to get your own custom look. To make my border using this brush, I just choose the newly created brush from the brush pallet, used the color picker to select a color I liked from the page, and played around with the “size”, “spacing” and “angle” options in the brushes palette to achieve a random look.  There are endless possibilities with this technique, the best way to learn is by experimenting, so give it a try :)

Tip: Holding down the shift key while using your brush will help you create a straight line!

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