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Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks (9)

%PM, %11 %878 %2016 %20:%Oct

Bokeh Technique

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Good afternoon!   Today's bokeh technique is brought to you by the one and only, wonderful Stacy Buller.  She made this card and I basically begged and pleaded with her to teach us all!  



So here we go... enjoy, and Thank you Stacy! <3


For this technique you will need:


Watercolor paper

3-4 colors of Distress inks, including Picket Fence (although in the video that inspired this she used a Mixed Media white ink by Colorbox)


1- Cut your watercolor paper to the desired size.

2- Spritz paper with water making sure it is nice and wet.


3. Rub your distress ink pads onto your craft mat


4. Using a wet paintbrush, apply colors to the wet watercolor paper. If you need to add more water to move the ink around, you can.


5.  Dry paper thoroughly before moving on to the next step.


6.  Next you are going to start layering circles of distress ink. I begin with the darkest color and work to the lightest. Take a circle stencil (if you don’t have a circle stencil you can make one by punching various size circles into scrap paper) and begin applying circles randomly around the page. I used 3 different size circles on my stencil.



7. In the final step, apply Picket Fence or any other white ink through the stencil to create that soft bokeh glow.





Here are a few examples of the finished card front and even a scrapbook page! 





A direct quote "I even bokehed my journaling!" 


%PM, %25 %913 %2015 %20:%Oct

On the 10th Day of Christmas

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... We bring a new gift to thee.....


Come on sing it with me now??   Who has carols pumping through the house and their tree up?  Now that we are in the spirit let's round the bend and get our cards done and out the door! 



I'm BACCCCKKKK!!! And today I bring a quick tutorial on how to add and change out drop shadows!  In this tutorial I am using CS6 version, in PSE you can follow along in most versions until I separate the shadow onto a new layer.  In older versions of PSE you cannot put the shadow on it's own layer but you can still change the color... and of course I will show you how! 



To get started open up the template for the card #10 given to you in the email. 


1) Choose a chunky or bold font to type out your title.  Here I used Cooper STD, which is free.


2) I typed each letter of "merry" on it's own layer, so that I could change the colors or add pattern as I desired without changing the whole word.


3) Use the tutorial on alignment and distribution from Dec 2nd (here if you missed it).


4) Now I used papers from the kit this card was made from because I like the texture added in.  But you can easily just change the color of the letters to suit your needs. 


5) Now that each letter is complete with pattern paper, you can merge it and make it into one word.


6) First you need to rasterize the type and then make them all one layer.  Select ALL the layers of the word you are working with.



7) Add a stroke to the word.  I used size of about 20 here. 

Layer --&gt; Layer Style --&gt; Stroke





8) Put the stroke on it's own layer by clicking the word "Stroke" on the layers panel and using the drop down menu that says "Create layer"


9) Once it is on its own layer you can manipulate the color and or add another pattern to it as well.


10) Finally I decided I needed a little more oomph to the word so I added a SECOND stroke to both the "merry" and the stroke outline... only at 7 this time and a green to make them pop.


11) Add in a small drop shadow and you have a beautiful title on your card. 


Note:  You can do this for more than just words.  I repeated this WHOLE process to add an exact matting around the rectangle in the template so I wouldn't have to guess size or alignment!  Give it a try!  Here is my finished card... Be sure to share yours with us!  ENJOY! 


It's not to late to share the fun with friends.. get them in on the 12 Days of Christmas cards and envelopes by signing up here


For this card I used the "Christmas Wishes" Digital kit that can be found in my shop at the "store" tab!  




%PM, %25 %910 %2015 %20:%Oct

Day 2: 12 Days of Christmas 2014

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Hello!   Today I am here with my Christmas card for sketch and template #2 on the route for the 12 days of Christmas Cards and Tutorials!   Here is the card I made using CS6 digitally with the template and then I printed it out both the card and envelope so they are ready to send off! 




In this tutorial I will show you how to use one of my favorite techniques to align your elements and perhaps photos and mats perfectly and quickly every time!   I will show you screen shots from PSE 10 since that seems to be the most common program ... enjoy!  


We are going to add stars to the circles in the template.  


1) So once you open the template and clip your pattern paper to the circles merge the layers for easier movement on the card. (Shortcut CMD + G for Mac  Alt + G for PC)



2) Now add the star and drag it over near the circle.  As you can probably tell it is pretty difficult to get it to line up perfectly and evenly inside that circle.  So here is the secret...


3) Select BOTH layers, the star and the circle embellishment.  Now for PSE go to the top where it says "Align" and select the option to "Align vertical centers" from the drop down menu.  Repeat and select the "Align horizontal centers" option to make sure it is centered completely inside the circle.





4) Add a little drop shadow to each of the two layers and it is perfect! 


*Quick tip:  You can do this as well if you have embellishments that need equal spacing.  By using the option right next to "Align" the "Distribute" function.  This is perfect if you are adding in buttons or something.  You can Align them so they are all even along the bottom or top, and then distribute them evenly along a certain space!   Great tools for making things even and spaced! 


For this I just duplicated one of the circles and made it three.


1) Choose the "Align" menu and align the bottoms of the circles because as you can see they are not even after I copied and moved it.


2) Select the distribute menu now and distribute centers:



EASY right?   I love this little trick for adding in buttons or sequins and having things spaced for me so I don't have to do all the zooming and guess work! 


For this card I used my brand new "Christmas Wishes" kit available in my store, head on over to the shop tab! 



Thanks for stopping by... if you have friends that want to join in on the fun be sure to have them sign up for the 12 Days here


So you have a Silhouette machine...WOOHOO!  Let me guess, unless you buy the item from the Silhouette store to cut out it doesn't get used much right? 


WRONG...!  I am going to help fix the fear factor in using your Silhouette!  I know I was there too...


"Wow there's a lot of buttons.. what do they do?"


 "How do I make these things that people are posting on their blog / pinterest?" 


"Change the settings... yeah, um, no thank you!" 


"Well I tried that and it didn't work... I'm just going to stick to quick simple cuts."


Sound familiar?  I have been there.. the trials and errors, the fails, the frustrations. It is all very daunting and makes you sometimes just not want to do it.  But think about when you first started scrapping.. "ooh what is a cropadile?  An eyelet... say what!?"  "line the punches up how to make a border?"  And yet we kept at it until we mastered it!  Now we are pros!  I am going to unlock the fun of the Silhouette and you will love it!  Ready?  Here we go!


Today we are going to tackle the elusive "Print and Cut" - primarily with sticker paper as now SIU 365 offers monthly planner stickers all set up for you to use with your Silhouette! 


1-First you are going to take the PNG file of your stickers and open them in your Silhouette software.


2-Open the registration marks menu and turn them to "ON" once you see the hatch marks and registration marks, align your file to fit within this and the red cut line boundaries.




3- Print page on sticker paper WITH registration marks.


4-Open the Trace menu, click "Select trace area" and draw a box around all of the images on your screen.  *BE SURE NOT to move the elements on the page at this point.  They are already calibrated and printed, you will have to reprint the sheet!**



5- UNCHECK the "High pass filter" box, and then change the threshold (I go all the way to 100) and scale upwards (around 30-50) until all of the items are "yellow" in color. Once it is all SOLID as shown below, click "Trace outer edge"

This process is a little bit tedious because you have to toggle the bars until it has a "smoothish" edge. don't worry it looks awful in yellow, it will be a smooth line when you hit "trace"




Once you hit "trace outer edge" you will see red lines around your images.  These are the cut lines! 


6- Change the settings under the cut menu as follows:

-White sticker paper (at the bottom of materials)

-Blade 3

-speed 4

-Thickness 18

**Be sure to change the blade depth on the blade itself!**




7- I would suggest doing a "test" cut to see if it cuts through the paper only, if not, decrease your blade depth and thickness setting.


8- Send to your Silhouette.  If it says "registration mark detection failed.  You simply have your printed material too low on the mat.  Remove it and place it a little higher and try again.


Once you are done... score and fold in half, punch your holes and add to your binder! 


For questions or help.. please let me know!  Enjoy!  <3 data-blogger-escaped-p="">

%PM, %06 %696 %2015 %15:%Jun

Week 1: Make Your Own Embellishments

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Each week we are going to use bits and pieces to include scraps to make our own embellishments.  No need to spend upwards of $3.99 for all those cutesie embellies on the shelves!  We are perfectly capable of making just as unique items that actually fit the pages we are making rather than buying and hoarding the bits and baubles that are all the rage.  Follow along with me during the month where we will cover using your punches, stamps, and random letters to make 30 different beautiful embellishments!   

All of these embellishments are super fun and easy.  I wanted to keep the embellishment making simple so I limited myself to things that were close by.  Meaning I utilized scraps and the little pile of "things"  I have pulled out for pages and didn't use so I toss into a cup... random buttons or bakers twine. For all of the examples below I used some stamps, word bits, enamel dots, rhinestones, buttons, washi tape.... the possibilities are endless if you just look around and grab bits and pieces to assemble.

1- Paper Clip Banners: ANY paperclips that you have laying around are quickly transformed into these clipable banners for pictures, tags, or any part of your pages.



1) Stamp (flag 1), punch (flag 3), or die cut (flag 2) some shapes.  

2) Scor a small edge about 1/8-1/4" from the top to fold over the paper clip.  Adhere together to keep in place.  

*As you can see on the ticket shape I tiny stapled instead of adding adhesive!* 

3) Grab random pieces from your stash and embellish:  buttons, enamel dots...

 Here are some items I used:  



2- Tassels 

Steps:  Paper clip ribbons

1) Cut 3 pieces of ribbon about 3 inches each.  

2) Make a loop from the ribbon center and feed through paperclip so the loop sticks out one side.  

3) Pull ends through to knot themselves on paperclip. 

Steps for the Tassel: 

1) Cut about 3 feet of bakers twine or embroider floss. 

2) Wrap in loops around fingers about 2" apart. 

3) Using the loose end, wrap between fingers and around the main loops several times.  

4) Tie both loose ends together AFTER feeding through top of loop.

5) Use scissors to cut the loop ends and create the final tassel look. 


3- Buttons and Paper Clips

These are super quick and fun.  Simply find some large rhinestones or buttons and adhere with hot glue or glue dots.  Here I tied some ribbon and bakers twine to the clips just under the buttons.  You can even tie through the button holes as I did for the green clip!  

4- Layered Punches and Paper clips


For these layered clips use your punches and cut out shapes from scraps laying around.  I added things like ribbon, twine, rhinestones, and words previously used and handy to bling them up some!  Give it a whirl!  


5- Cork Sheets


I found these adhesive cork sheets for $1 at JoAnn's on an end cap.  I used my punches to create shapes and then added on some embellishments from the April 2015 embellishment kit... veneers, enamel dots, flowers, and twine.  

6- Tags / Word Strips


 Finally for this week some hand made word strips and tags.  I simply found a roller stamp and grabbed some colored inks.  After I stamped a few phrases on some white cardstock I trimmed them down, dug through my scraps, and added them onto some random papers.  For the blue one I left the word strip free to dangle and show dimension on the page.   For the "I Love you lots" I dig out my eyelets and used a heart one to secure the strip to the pattern paper.  Then I hand cut the flag shape on both.  Lastly for the "Hello Sunshine"  I adhered the phrase with a paper clip, added some ribbon and hand trimmed the ends.  then I added some gold rhinestones and Voila... DONE!  

It took me about 2 hours from start to finish to hand make all 18 of these embellishments and that was with no design in mind.  I used up almost all of my "loose scraps" from pages where I meant to use a button but it didn't work so I tossed it into the cup and now I have a cup of beautiful embellishments that I can add to pages or cards!   

Which is your favorite?  Please share what you make using these ideas!  I can't wait to see what you come up with!  Stay tuned because we have 7 more ideas next week 

~Happy Scrappin'~

So you have all of these amazing journal cards, now what?  We have been working hard on challenges and ways to use your journal cards other than the pocket style scrapping.  Check out our list and examples below: 


1) Print on them... skies the limit here.  Print journaling, pictures, doodles, clip art.  Use this handy tutorial and PSE template on how to orient your cards and make for super quick printing!  

2) Use them as mats for photos or backgrounds for embellishing. 

In this example I have added some embellishments to some mini 2x2 journal cards as the page decoration. 

3) Use the journal card as the title of your page.

Here you can see that I used a digitally designed card and made it the title of my page: 

4) Cut pieces of the journal cards and use them as embellishments for your layout.  

Here you can see that Stacy used these adorable kitty journal cards and cut different parts of them for the embellishments on her page: 


5) Add a personal touch by doodling around the journal cards.  Expand horizons by painting the edges or stamping on them as well! 

You can see from above Stacy added her own touch to these cards and embellishments by doodling around them as well!  

6) Get creative and turn a journal card it's opposite orientation.  If it is a vertical 3x4 card, use it as a horizontal one!  

This is a fantastic example by Amy where she turned the orientation of the card, used them inside a pocket, layered them, and printed on them to track daily information! 

7) Use a larger journal card as a pocket.  

This lovely page by Emma illustrates how to use both the card as a pocket and add some stamping to make it the perfect title for your layout. 

8) Use a journal card as a tag!  You can even trim the edges and add a ribbon to it! 

Dee not only made her 3x4 journal card a tag but cut around the edges of a 4x6 card and added some decorative washi to make a pocket!  

9) Use a card as a filler or decoration on a page. 

Use several journal cards like Emma did across the bottom to layer and stager rather than cutting new pattern papers. 


10) Track daily goals and life events.  

Dee used her cards to make lists and draw charts about the things she has set goals for!  Excellent example resource for looking back on and a beautiful display! 


11) Die cut and use the negative from the card as an embellishment or tittle. 

12) Layer them for fun added effects. 

13) Use the cards to make individual embellishments or tags.  

14) Make cards for special occasions. Trimming down a 4x6 card or just using it as a card front to send a message is a great way to use those sayings or fillers we don't typically know what to do with. 


Now that you have a few ideas let's stop hoarding our cards and make some room for new ones... you know you want to!  

Be sure to share your creations with us, can't wait to see what you create!  

~Happy Scrappin~ 


%PM, %07 %656 %2015 %14:%Apr

How to Print on Journal Cards

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Hello all!   I get this question so many times:  "I have all these journal cards... Now what?"   or  "I hate my handwriting, how can I print my journaling onto my cards?" 


Well I am here to solve all of your problems.  In this tutorial we will be using Photoshop to make a template and then easily print out our stories onto our plethora of hoarded cards!  


Step 1: Create your template (You can use this over and over again!) I have included my template for your use below! 

-Open a "New document"  as a standard 8.5x11 paper. 

Step 2: If you are creating your own you can use the shape tool to draw in the size of the card(s) you are going to use.  Here I created a template that houses BOTH horizontal and vertical 3x4 and 4x6 cards.  **Note** the reason the vertical card is 2 different colors is so that I can see the 3x4 horizontal card if I choose to use that size and orientation of the card.**

If you want this template as is, you can download it HERE.  

Step 3: Choose the journal card you are going to print on and note whether there is any design or words you want to avoid printing on.  Hide the layer that states what the journal card size is by clicking the eyeball next to the layer.  Select the text tool and draw a box where you want the journaling to go on the card, over the template image that you will be using. 

Step 4: Hide all the layers except your journaling.



Step 5: Adhere your journal card to your PRINTED template with washi tape. Place in your printer the correct way (usually face down and top first)


Step 6: Remove card from template and use on your layout or in your pocket page!  


Easy right?  

This tutorial works the same in Word and other programs.  Just simply draw a text box the right size and print out as a template.  Follow all other instructions the same!   





%AM, %11 %213 %2015 %04:%Mar

How to Recolor Digital Elements in your Kits

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One of the most common questions I get asked in the digital world is "How can I recolor a button or flower from my kit to match my page?"  

You may be asking "Why would anyone do this?"  Well sometimes there is a button from a particular kit you loved the design to but sadly that button is from a different kit.  Or maybe the designer has four different flowers in your kit but for this page you wanted a pink flower because you used the blue background paper and they only made yellow, blue, green, and black flowers for the kit.   

Well I made a quick 2 minute video to show you two completely different techniques to change the color of elements to match your pages.  

**Please note that recoloring items from a digital kit to match for personal use is ok, however recoloring and redistributing elements from a designers kit is breaking copyright rules and can / will get you in a lot of trouble. So please use this information properly!**



I hope these two quick tricks helps you out!  Please let me know if you have any questions or comments!  

Happy Scrappin' 

%PM, %08 %747 %2015 %16:%Feb

Using Brushes in PS to Create Backgrounds

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We have a great one today!  Ever wonder what else you could do with brushes and digital stamps other than the usual click and stamp?  Well today we are going to create a border and a cluster using stamps as a mask for pattern paper!  Once you figure this out the possibilities will be endless!  Enjoy!! 


Here is a view of the digital layout with and without the border so you can see the fun it adds to the page.  




You see how that border just adds that little bit of oomph to the page?  Well so it's so easy just follow along with the few steps below. 


1. Select a modest background for the base. 

2. Choose what style of brush you want to use for the first layer of the border here I chose a grunge brush first and a scripted font brush second.     Make sure you have the brush panel options open on the right so you can easily adjust the settings. (To do this go to "Window---> Brush presets" and this will open the brush group tab on the right of your page. 

3.  Make sure you select NEW layer before you start stamping away or the stamps will be ON the background paper and you won’t be able to mask the pattern paper later on with the stamps.  The color of stamped image doesn't matter because we are going to merge the layers so don't worry about picking something that "matches" your layout, make it bright and bold so you can see what you are doing. 

4.  Size and rotate your brush to your liking.  I used about 700 px size for the brush and then click on the arrow part of the target looking icon to rotate the angle of the brush as you go around the page.  Can you see from above how the brush changes direction as it moves around the page? 



5. Go around your page using clicks to apply the brush.  As I went to a corner I change the angle of the brush to add the fluency you see.  

6. Keep in mind one click or two will be good.  You don’t want it 100% solid so that paper looks aged and worn a little bit.  Check to make sure you didn't miss any spots and that you can see some stamping is thicker in some spots than in other other spots. 



7. Once you are happy with how it looks, now comes the fun.  Choose a pattern paper and place it right on top of the stamped layer and then group it. (CMD+OPT+G for PS or CMD+G for PSE)



8. I changed the opacity on mine to about 50% so it was subtle and didn’t take away from the page. 

9. Add other layers of different shapes and different papers. Until you get the result you want.  This is where I used a script brush with a blue pattern paper over the pink.  Here is an up close view for you to see the details: 


 Fun right? 


You can also do this to create paint clusters and embellishments with your kits!  This below was just a combination of many brushes and layers all masked with three different pattern papers.  I then added some of the kit’s scatter embellishments to add some bling and embellish it just a little! 





Share with me what you create using this technique!  Can't wait to see!  


Footnote:  The kit used for this page and tutorial is "All that Glitters" by Zoe Pern and Studio Flergs at Sweet Shoppe Designs.