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 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.