Yeah, yeah, I know - it's about time! Wish I could churn out kits faster, but it's just not gonna happen when I value quality and cohesiveness so much, lol!
So, here it is! Finally, a big fat thank you to all of my Facebook Page fans (we're almost at 500!!) who encourage me to continue this designing journey and are also good for a laugh too!
This is Boardwalk, a mini kit built from scratch that incorporates a plethora of new techniques for me. I hope you like it, it's meant to inspire you to scrap those beach photos and holiday snaps that you always seem to have a bundle of.
Katharyn here! The only drawback to digital scrapbooking is that it can make your page seem less personnal because it’s all typewritten, rather than handwritten. I remember finding a stash of my mum’s school books when I was little and I sat there marvelling at how neat she had been as a student, and how creatively she signed her maiden name. I loved too, the awareness that she had been there, done this, put pen to paper and expressed herself on this very page - long before I was a twinkle in her eye. Well, now there is a way to get this onto your digital layout. There is a way to preserve old handwritten documents. A way to hand-write your own journalling from your computer keyboard (and delete away any mistakes!) And a way to create your own unique decorative fonts to use over and over.
I love my son's gawky handwriting atm. His teacher wants him to neaten up, but I secretly hope it stays like this a little while longer!
Credits: Designs by Anita and Siamese Studio Collaboration: Love Notes
Method 1: Scanning and blending. This option is good for preserving children’s handwriting, digitising your late Grandma’s handwritten recipe books, or your old school love notes. It’s the option to use when you can’t get them to fill in a font template. Scan the note in at high resolution (300dpi). Save the file as a jpeg, PNG, or GIF. Open it in Photoshop Elements and place it on your page. You will have a lot of scope to resize, so play around. Add some digital cardstock below your note layer. Then, with the note layer active, adjust the opacity so the background cardstock texture starts to show through. You could even play with blending modes here, such as overlay or soft light. My layout uses normal blend at 35% opacity (with a shadow layer behind it too, which makes it slightly darker.) This gives the effect that I let my child write on a good piece of bazzill cardstock, when actually, it’s just a cheap white printer sheet of paper. Creased and all!
Method 2: Scanning and extracting each letter manually, or using a pen tablet. This method is good for handwritten titles, or short blocks of text. Write your alphabet onto a white piece of paper, using a black pen. Fine-point permanent markers work best, but again, you can play around for different effects. Leave enough space around each letter to enable you to “cut” around it digitally, later on. Scan in at high resolution 300dpi and save as a jpeg. Open the image in Photoshop Elements. Also open a new document (file>new>blank file> with these specs: 12inch, 12inch, RGB colour, 300dpi, with a transparent background). Now you need to extract the letters from the background white paper you wrote them on. With your note layer highlighted in the layers palette, select the magic wand tool and press anywhere on the white of the paper. Marching ants should surround all your letters and the border of your page. Now press select>inverse and then copy it (ctrl>C). Bring your transparent canvas back up into your workspace and paste (ctrl>V) your selection on a new layer. All your letters should appear, but some might have white stuck inside the letters. To tidy this up, click with your magic wand tool on the remaining white pieces and hit your delete button. Of course, if you are lucky enough to have a pen tablet, you can skip the whole scanning and extraction process and write directly onto a transparent canvas. Now save your new canvas full of letters as a PNG file to preserve the transparent background. To use them, you will need to select each letter with your marquee tool, and copy and paste them individually onto your layout page.
Method 3: Making your handwriting into a True Type Font. Now we are getting more serious, and a little bit professional J. There are programs out there in cyberspace that actually do all of this fiddly stuff for you. And some of them are free! They involve printing out a grid for you to write your letters onto, and scanning them into their software program. Take care to follow their instructions carefully, such as not crossing any lines, keeping your letters within the guidelines. I actually drew some line guides on another sheet of paper and sat it behind my template paper (to see faintly through it) so I could comply with this, because my handwriting is usually all over the place. If there is even a speck of dust somewhere within your template, it will turn out as a letter in your font! So clean off your scanner! The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow. The hardest part is writing out your alphabet in the boxes and trying not to make it too neat and unbelieveable!! But that wasn’t a problem for me, as you can see J. Some of the websites that do this include: fontifier.com (costs $US9 to download your font), yourfonts.com (costs $US9 too), and fontstruct.com (for making decorative fonts). These programs will copyright your font and turn your file into TTF format, which means you can install it onto your computer and use it the same as you would other type functions, from your keyboard. To install: these next instructions apply to my PC, but I’m confident font installation for Mac, which also uses TTF, will be quite similar. Copy (right click mouse>copy) your font file that you downloaded. Go to your control panel (Start>Control Panel) find the “fonts” folder. Paste your font inside this folder. Restart your computer and you will have your own font installed!
Method 4: Buy a font-creation software program. Now you’re getting professional! These programs allow you to tweak your handwriting, adjust your leading (type thickness) and kerning (spaces between characters), capital letter heights, or manipulate it into something completely stylised, unique and different. You’d follow this method if you are a serious font fanatic! Programs such as FontLab, FontCreator, TypeTool, Fontographer and Adobe Illustrator vary vastly in price, so it may be a good idea to trial them online before you commit to buying.
Know what the gorgeous name Penelope means? It is Greek for "Dream Weaver". Don't you just love it! If you are one of the lucky ladies to own that name, you can pick up a further discount coupon to buy this kit today. Just leave me a message on my blog here (this post please) with a link back to your profile, so that I can verify your name, Penelope.
Not sure if you know about this or not, but in case you don't, one of my stores, Two Little Pixels, has a gorgeous selection of goodies marked down to just $US2 every Tuesday! These are genuine bargains, and some weeks it can include full kits, Commerical Use items, and new releases.
Here's what I am offering up today (and there is still a little time to get yourself a bargain today!)
Hello Peeps! Katharyn here, from Brine Design. Today I'm going to tell you a bit about organising your digital stash, and I bet I get tons of feedback from people who do it differently!! LOL! There are thousands of different methods and I've only got limited space to present them to you, so I've chosen just a few that might help you out. You'd better go grab your coffee now, because this is a bit lengthy!
Time to Get This Stuff SortedBy Katharyn BrineCredits: Papers – Brine Design; Elements - Katie Pertiet (file system & library cards, safety pin tag, chrome button alpha, stacked frames), Brine Design (notecard, ribbon, paisley chipboard heart), Connie Prince (concertina floret, string, pointer sticker), Vinnie Pearce (silk flower recoloured), Cinzia Loosemore (paper clipper), Mindy Terasawa (paint splat), Michelle Underwood (ticket), Carrie Stevens (glass dots), Shabby Princess (string flower), Pattie Knox (staple). Font – Teacher’s Pet. Software – Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 and ACDSee Photo Manager 2009. Just like traditional paper scrapping, it’s important to organise your digital scrapbook supplies so you know: 1. what you’ve got; and 2. where to find them. You can feel pretty silly going about your downloads only to find you’ve re-purchased something you’ve already got! It’s worse still to be deep within your creative zone busily making a page, when you discover you can’t find that awesome element you wanted to use, because it’s lost amongst copious amounts of digital folders somewhere on your computer drive. It can turn a 30-minute layout into a 3-hour layout that never gets finished. To speed up your productivity during your valuable, precious scrapping time, there are benefits to keeping everything consistently organised.
There are a few different ways to go about this, depending on your scrapping method, time and budget. There is no right or wrong way to do this – and you will probably try a few systems before you find one that works for you. But the first thing I’d do is sort out where you are going to save your scrap supplies, ie. a specific external hard drive, separate/with your photos, and what program you are going to use to “sort” them, if any.
Method One: Manually finding the files exactly where you saved them in the folder you downloaded them in. If you are a visual person and inspired by more than just the name of the kit, you will need to view them as thumbnails (View > Thumbnail). Not all files will be visible (they will just show a “PSD” icon, for example) from outside Photoshop. Not all designers place their kits into folders before zipping, so you may need to create folders yourself, if you don’t want loose files all over the place. I do not recommend this method because you will be a lot slower at finding stuff than your computer is. Especially when your stash reaches a healthy 500GB! Yes, errr... it happens.
Method Two: Building an ongoing catalogue of the items you’ve downloaded, sorting and “tagging” into categories that are appropriate for your style of scrapping. To do this, you will need to become really familiar with your particular photo browser, or go out and purchase yourself a software program specifically designed with digital scrapbookers in mind. I’m talking about ACDSee, iPhoto, Adobe Bridge, Picasa, or Shoebox. I currently use ACDSee. This type of program allows you to search by keywords, file size, file type, designer, last time used, chronological order, and more. Sorting by file size means it automatically puts previews up the top, papers in the middle and elements at the bottom. Very convenient. You can adjust the size of your preview thumbnail. You can change the background colour of your thumbnails so white items show up better on screen when you’re browsing through your stash. These programs can also extract a multitude of zip files at once.
If you decide to use Photoshop Elements, be aware that you’ll be tagging both your photos and kits, and both will be mixed in together in your organiser/browser. Most scrappers tend to use different programs for photoand digital supplies.
If you simply scrap with one kit at a time, the only thing you are going to need to tag is the preview image. You might also want to keep a few odds and ends that you use every time you scrap, for instance, stitching, in a favourites folder too. You might also like to organise the kits into themes or colour combinations.
If you like to use bits and pieces of everything you’ve got, you are going to need to tag each item in your kit. Sounds time consuming at first, but when you get into the habit of tagging a kit straight after downloading it, then it just becomes part of your system. If you already have a huge stash that needs taming, consider a tutorial on “batch-processing” – where you can sort and tag a multitude of files simultaneously.
Good categories to start with are:
Alphas (if no preview is provided, just tag letters A,B,C)
Subjects: Christmas, Birthdays, Easter, Holidays, etc.
Templates: 1 photo, 2 photo, 3 photo, multi-photo, etc.
Of course these categories will vary depending on your scrapping style. No point tagging alphas if you only ever use text fonts. Another pointer here: don’t bother tagging something you hate – you are never going to use it, you cringe each time you see it – just delete it!
This method is great for those who download about five kits per week. It may be too time-consuming for more extravagant shoppers. It requires discipline.
Yet another tip – don’t make a miscellaneous folder – you’ll end up dumping everything in there. Pick a category, or tag it into two or three categories, based on what you’d be likely using it with.
Remember that tagging an item is not copying it, it’s just providing a handy shortcut, so your computer goes looking for the file instead of you having to do it manually. So don’t go deleting your file folders from your hard drive just because you’ve “tagged” them in your catalogue!
Method Three: Sorting and/or tagging by designer or shop. This is especially handy if you like to participate in online challenges which require their own store product. Also handy if you submit your layout to Scrapbooking Memories and need to provide a list of suppliers! This method is for scrappers who download about 10-20+ kits per week.
Whichever method you choose, please remember to back up your catalogue as well as your file folders. You do not want to be left re-tagging everything all over again if something goes wrong!
If you've found this at all helpful, please leave me a comment and say so! Or if you've found a better method, post us a link and share :)
Well, you may have just seen this one before, if you're a fan of Brine Design on Facebook (and if you're not, why the hell not? You get to see all the fabulous layouts my CT does for me, you get the occassional discount coupon and there are free kits on there too, you know!)
This album was given away to my Facebook fans a couple of months ago and is now available to purchase, for anyone who missed out. You can pick it up at Funky Playground Designs now, and Two Little Pixels (after 6pm tonight Aussie time).
Some samples of what you can do with it ...
So you think you can do something with it? I'd love to see what you create - leave me a link in the comments and I'll check it out :)
Welcome to the team ladies! I can't wait to get you started, we have a few new hybrid artists with us too, so that is a terrifc bonus - especially for all you traditional paper scrappers out there! You'll be able to see how digi can work for you too!
Click on their names to be taken to their blog (if they have one) to learn more about them and become inspired!
A note for those who applied and didn't get in - please don't be discouraged. It's all about numbers and who fits best into the various tasks I have set out. It has nothing to do with the quality of your work!
Thank you again to all who applied, I was bowled over with the talent and passion out there for digi scrapping! I look forward to showing off their beautiful creations ...
Hey ladies! Thanks for sneaking a bit of time to wander into my little creative outlet. Please take a minute to make a comment, provide a tip, or just say hello - just so I know you're out there! If you do, I'll send good vibes your way. Promise. Happy crafting!