Monday, October 14, 2013

Another Digi Scrapbook Page

Well, I have been  having some fun... and been busy playing with the pictures I took on vacation.  I worked on another digi scrapbook page, and this is what I came up with. 

I won't bore you with the details of how I did everything... unless you really want to know.  
Next I want to take some of the pictures I took of flowers, and turn them into something I can use as a template, to color them what ever color I want, and use my own flowers in my projects.  The more I learn in Photoshop, the more I keep wanting to do.  I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to figure it all out... LOL.

Thanks for looking, and I would love to hear what you think of my scrapbook pages.

Enjoy the journey.

Diane

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fun with Photoshop

I have been having so much fun lately playing with Photoshop.  It seems as though everything is finally starting to click into place for me now.  Besides the papers I created awhile back,  I have been playing around with some other ideas and learning new things.  Most of the tutorials I have been following have been from PixelScrapper.com but I have also found links to other tutorials in the forum over there.
I have learned it is easy to create a brush, or a pattern, and how to use them on my papers. Plus, I learned how to create my own set of brushes or patterns, so I can open them any time I want to go back to them.  I finally figured out how to take a vector image from Inkscape or Illustrator, and use it as a brush, so I can add my creations from Inkscape to my papers easily.  I also learned how to use masks, and have been having a great time playing with those.

I also understand just how important it is to work with layers.  I always thought it was a waste of time to keep adding new layers, but now I know it actually saves time, when you want to change how something looks or remove it altogether from your design.  And it really doesn't take much time to add a new layer for each element you add to your creation.  I think the hardest part for me is remembering to name them, so if I get a lot of layers, I can easily see which layer I want to get to by name, instead of  "Layer 10" or "Layer 35" or what ever the case my be.  It also makes it a lot easier to remove something from your creation, by just closing the eye, or deleting the layer altogether if you don't like it.  And moving the things that are on the layer, if you don't like where it is, is so much easier if it is on it's own layer.  I also try to name my layers by the element I used, so when I'm ready to save, I can use my keywords in Bridge to tag it so  I can remember what elements I used.

Since I decided to start using Bridge again,  I'm using it to tag my files, so it will be easier to find things when I want to use them. It does take some time to get everything tagged and keyworded, but I think it will help save time in the long run, as long as I remember to keep doing it.
Okay enough talking.... now I will show you a few things I have been creating over the last few weeks. 
First up is a scrapbook paper.  I actually took an image of some fabric, and used it for the texture of  the main background, then added some elements from the GraphicsFairy.  I used some brushes to create the paint splatters and came up with this:


Next up is something I may use for a Christmas card this year.  Even if I don't use it, I had a lot of fun creating this next project.  I started with a picture I took on my recent vacation of some pine cones.




Then I turned it Black and White, and added a layer mask and brought out the colors of just the pinecones.  This took a bit of time, but I realized that I love doing some of that detail work, and getting in close to get just the pixels I want.  That Wacom tablet I bought ages ago, is starting to come in handy.  I find the detail work is much easier with the pen than with the mouse.
After that, I used a new plug in have that works with Photoshop called AKVIS, that turns your photo into a pencil sketch. It is a bit pricey, but it does an amazing job.

After all that work, I decided that I preferred the look of the sketch with all the colors, instead of just Black and White.  And this is what I got when I put it through the filter.

After I saved my image, I  added some text and then used Craft Artist Pro 2 to see what it would look like as a card.  I have to admit that I don't use CAP2 to actually print things out, I use it more to give me an idea of what something will look like as a finished project, and help in selecting colors I want to use.  And this is what I came up with.  

One of the things I love about doing things digitally, I can create something, "live with it" for awhile, and if I don't like it, I can go back and change things around some.  If I decide I don't like the font I used, I can change the font easily, but still keep the formatting as I have it.  So I don't have to redo everything.  If I don't like where my text is, I can move it, make it larger or smaller, but keep the font and formatting... digital is so forgiving... you can change your mind to your hearts content (like I usually do.. I have to see what EVERYTHING would look like before I make a decision, hummmm  maybe that is why I can never seem to get anything finished).

Anyway, that is enough chatter for now... I hope you enjoyed seeing what I have been creating.  Until next time.... enjoy the journey.




Saturday, October 12, 2013

My First Digital Scrapbook page

Wow, where has the time gone???  I can't believe that it is Oct already and fall is in the air.  I recently took a trip to Vermont and got some great pictures of the fall foliage.  I decided to try my hand at making a digital scrapbook page.  First I  made the background paper by using a picture I took of tree bark, and turned it black and white to use as a texture in my papers.  I also used some brushes that I got at PixelScrapper.com to create the different colors on my background page.  Here is a look at just the background paper.




I added some elements from PixelScrapper.com Fall is in the Air kit.  And here is my final page.



I'm not sure if I'm  happy with this, it seems to need something more, but I'm not sure exactly what.  So I saved the file as a PSD in Photoshop, so I can continue working on the different layers and adding something more if I can figure out what it is I want to add.
I really had fun playing around and creating the background paper, and want to use the tree bark for other projects soon.

I hope to be back soon with some other projects.... until then... enjoy the journey.

Diane

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fun with Colors

Hey Everyone!!  I hope you are all having a great day today.  I have been having a blast learning how to do things in Photoshop.   I'm probably like a lot of  people, if I don't keep doing something I have learned, I will forget and have to learn it all over again.   I have been trying (trying being the operative word here) to learn Photoshop for years.  I would pick up little bits and pieces here and there, but if I don't open the program for  few days, I forget everything I have learned.  I decided that since I'm not working so much overtime now, it's time to get serious about learning Photoshop.  Ever since I found Pixel Scrapper I have been devouring the tutorials that she posts. When I searched for PS tutorials before a lot of them I had found were either dealing with how to adjust pictures, how to use the tools in a general way or using the tools for something that was way more than I wanted or needed to do.  Nothing was specific to what I wanted to do.. and that is learn how to create things for my crafting. The other day I was going through my paper stash and I have accumulated so many papers that I love I don't want to use them.  If I only have one sheet, I will either, a) mess up my project and need to start over with a different paper because I don't have enough left or b) I will find another project that would have been perfect for that paper, but now I can't get any  more because they don't sell it any longer.  So it just sits there.  I decided that if I start using digital paper, either ones I have purchased or created myself, then I may actually start using it, because if I mess up, I can always print another sheet or two.  If I find the "perfect" project for a paper, I can use it again, since I can just print out what I need.  

Another thing that is great about using digital papers, I can print on any weight or type of paper that will fit through my printer.  If I want a watercolor paper for one project, I can print on that.  If I need card stock I can print on that.  If I only need a thin paper like patterned paper, I can print on regular printer paper.  You can't do that with most papers you purchase, they usually only manufacture it on one weight of paper (unless I'm just not seeing designer papers on different weights).  And if I only need a 6 x 6 inch piece of paper, I can print out just that much. If I need something bigger, I can print it to that size as well... again as long as my printer will print the size I want.  We have a old office Xerox laser printer that will print up to Tabloid size, and while I haven't had to use that size yet, it's nice to know I will be able to print out at least a 12 x 12 paper if necessary.  For now I mostly use my little laser printer and just print out 8.5 x 11.

One of my stumbling blocks for designing my own papers, is coming up with colors to use that look good together.  But if you have noticed lately there are a lot of color palettes on Pinterest.  I just learned how to create my own using Photoshop, so now I can take a favorite picture and create a color palette from it, then use that to create a digital paper.  Here is a photo I took a couple of years ago out in the desert in Nevada at sunset.  I picked 5 colors from the image and created my palette.

I added the colors to my Swatches Panel, so I could easily pick what color I wanted to use and then just started playing.  I added some texture images, and played with just the five colors in my palette. I came up with something I liked as far as the design went, then just started changing a color here and there to see what I came up with.  Here are some of the digital papers I came up with using just this palette.










                                             

I know some of them don't look like I used the same 5 colors, but I did. By changing of the properties of the layers it changed how everything looked.  I was having a great time just working with the 5 colors to see what I could come up with.  I saved my work as a .PSD to keep the layers, so I can go back and change my colors easily if I want that same look but with different colors.
I think the next time I have some time to play, I will use some of the StampinUp colors.  I spent one night creating a new Swatches group with just the current StampinUp colors.  Since I have so much of their solid card stock, I thought this would be a great way to create some textured or patterned paper to co-ordinate with it and use it for making cards.

Well thank you for sticking with me through this adventure.  I hope it may have inspired you to start playing around with creating your own digital papers and finding inspiration for color palettes for your projects.

P.S If any one is interested is downloading my papers, let me know, and I will work on finding out how to add files so that they can be downloaded. The previews here are small and while you could use them, they aren't the best quality.  I'm still trying to figure all this blogging stuff out. (I'm sure you noticed that I changed my look... thought I would try something different for awhile... it's going to be a work in progress while I tweak things around here).
P.S.S.  I would love to hear any constructive criticism about my new look, do you love it?  Hate it?  Hard to read?? What would make it better for you.  Any ideas on how to improve the way things work here??  

Enjoy your journey, I know I'm enjoying mine!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A great site to help you make your own digital papers

Hello Everyone!!  Today I want to tell you about a cool site I found a few days ago.  It's called Pixel Scrapper Digital Scrapbooking  If you aren't a scrapbooker, don't be put off by the name, you don't have to scrapbook.  I happened to be blog hopping the other day, and someones blog had a link to this site.  I went to check it out and I was totally blown away by how much information and files are on the site.  If you are at all interested in creating your own digital papers, to make them what ever color you want, using what ever textures or overlays you can find, then I think this site is something you should check out.
  
Marisa Lerin is the owner of the site, and she has written some tutorials, and even has some videos on how to use Photoshop (PS). The ones I have checked out so far have been short, precise and shows you simply how to do things in PS for creating digital papers or elements.  You don't have to sift through a bunch of stuff about PS that may or may not pertain to what you are wanting to learn, like some other tutorials I have found out there.  There are even some tutorials on how to use PaintShop Pro (PSP), if you prefer that software.  I haven't looked at the tutorials for PSP much, since I'm trying to concentrate on learning PS.
  
In order to download the papers and templates, you need to join the site. It costs NOTHING to join, and you get to select a kit for FREE just for joining.  She uses what she calls "download credits" (DC) which allows you to download paper, template, overlays, textures, etc.  There are also Community Points (CP).  You get 5 free DC every day, they don't accumulate, so you need to use them daily. This is so people don't just show up, download everything then never go back to the site.  Most single papers are 1 credit, the templates and overlays are 2 credits.  If you want to download an entire kit, they are "cheaper" than downloading individual items, but she does ask that you support the site in order to be able to download entire kits.
You can earn more DC by being active on the site. Being active means commenting in the forum, or commenting on items in the gallery, or her blog, and even filling out your profile, these all let you earn CP, and the more CP you get the more DC you get daily, up to a maximum of 10 DC a day. I know the way I'm explaining it may seem complicated, but it really isn't, and you can find all the information on how it works on her Help page. 
You can also get more download credits by supporting the site. You can support the site with as little as a $5 donation and get 50 DC added to your "account". The DC you get for supporting the site do NOT disappear like your daily DC do, they are there until you use them.  The more you donate, the more DC and other benefits you receive.  PLUS, you still receive your daily DC, those don't go away just because you made a donation.  
From the first day I found this site, I have been going back daily, not only to get my free downloads, but to read the forum, and the tutorials.  I haven't had time to really get to know any one else on the forum, but they all seem to be very nice and helpful, and I am looking forward to getting to know some of them better.
So if you want to learn how to use PS to create your own digital papers, or download some great looking paper, or just a fun place to "hang out", head over to  Pixel Scrapper Digital Scrapbooking  

As I get more experience with PS and creating my own digital papers, I hope to start sharing them, so stay tuned, you never know when one may show up here.
Oh and in case you didn't see it, I put a button on the sidebar for them, so you can click on that button and be taken to the site if you forgot to bookmark it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

SVGCuts 3D High Heel Shoe

SVGCuts.com has a new promotion out.  They are giving away a free file for a High Heel Shoe, and if you make it and post your picture, they will give you a gift card for $6.99!!!  You can select any of their kits and get it for free, just by participating in this.  You can find more details at their blog... SVGCuts 
I downloaded the file earlier today, and had a chance to make it and here is what I came up with.




I cut everything on my Silver Bullet electronic cutting machine. I decided to go simple yet elegant, and used some Coordinations card stock with black on one side, and the light blue on the other.  For the panels I used some Charcoal  POW Glitter Paper from American Crafts.  You can't really see the sparkle in the photos, but it looks amazing in person.  The flowers I put on the toe were from my stash, and they have been there for so long I don't know where I got them, but decided it was time to start using some of them in my projects.
I love using SVGCuts files, they look complicated, but they always go together so easily and fit so well.  I just may have to make another one of these... it was so much fun.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

August Card Club

I finished work on my card for Club for August.  I decided to use a Mojo Monday sketch as a starting point.  If you haven't heard about Mojo Monday, it is a site that puts out a new sketch every Monday for cards.  Then people that have used that sketch link to the post showing how they created a card from the sketch.  The sketch I used is an old one, from July of 2012. They have archived all the old sketches so you can go back and see them all.  
Also my friend Michelle at Michellemybellecreations creates a cut file for the sketches that you can get from her blog.  So if you have a digital cutting machine, you can have the machine cut out all the parts to the card for you.  She hasn't made a file for all the old sketches, but I believe she is working on them.  But she does put the file on  her site for the new sketch every Monday.

I used all Stampin Up products on these cards except for the ribbon and the banner. The banner is a Spellbinders Ribbon Banner die.  I don't remember where I got the ribbon, it has been in my stash for awhile.








Thanks for stopping by, and as always, enjoy the journey!!!