August 2010

16 posts.

Behind the Scenes: October 2010

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By now I hope you’ve all had a chance to read the October issue! Here are a few fun facts about the making of the magazine.

  • Picking which answers are included on the Masthead is always difficult, but, as bookworms, we hated having to choose which books got a mention and which didn’t. (Green Eggs and Ham, Stuart Little, Anne of Green Gables, and the Trixie Belden series were the other responses.)
  • The inspiration for the opener on page 17 came from Lisa Storms’ layout on pages 20-21. We loved that little journaling block so much, we asked her to recreate it for the opener!
  • We often get asked about the fonts we use in the magazine, such as the cursive school-theme font used in “Making the Grade.” We used School Script Dashed for all of the project headers.
  • We fell in love with the paper flowers on page 55. Senior Associate Art Director Deb Berger has now made dozens of them!
  • The photo insert on the red MyStik on page 72 features Deb’s daughter Anna and one of her friends.
  • Every time we discussed “Hot Pockets” on page 74, Michelle would sing the title just like they do in the commercials. It made us wish we could put a sound chip in the magazine!

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Quick Collage Basics: Week Six

Welcome to Quick Collage Basics, a six week blog series sharing basic techniques for our free photo templates. Each week I’ll post a new tutorial featuring a technique readers frequently ask about. All of the tutorials will be in Adobe Photoshop, but leave a comment if you have questions about adapting the instructions to the software you use.

Week Six: Adding Digital Elements

Replacing template blocks with digital elements may seem intimidating, but it’s as simple as adding photos to the collage!

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1. Open the collage template you’d like to use in your image-editing software.

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2. Place your digital element—in this case, digital paper from the free Citrus Blitz kit featured in the October issue “Digi Fusion” column—in a new layer above the collage template. Choose Layer>Create Clipping Mask (or Layer>Group With Previous) to drop the paper into the collage block.

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3. (This is the new step I mentioned in week 4 for the Adobe Photoshop CS4 users.) Use the Rectangular Marquee tool to draw a box around the template block, then go to Select>Inverse. In some version of Photoshop, you may need to then go to Layer>Rasterize>Smart Object.

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4. Go to Edit>Clear to delete the digital paper from the other template blocks.

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5. If you want to add text over the template block, all you have to do is select your Text tool, draw a text box over the template block, and start typing.

I hope you enjoyed the Quick Collage Basics blog series! If there are any other techniques you would like info about, or other topics you think would make a good blog series, let me know!

Missed a week?

See Week Five: Recoloring the Background

See Week Four: Deleting Excess from Shape Collages.

See Week Three: Combining and Deleting.

See Week Two: Stretching and Resizing.

See Week One: Flipping and Rotating.

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Quick Collage Basics: Week Five

Welcome to Quick Collage Basics, a six week blog series sharing basic techniques for our free photo templates. Each week I’ll post a new tutorial featuring a technique readers frequently ask about. All of the tutorials will be in Adobe Photoshop, but leave a comment if you have questions about adapting the instructions to the software you use.

Week Five: Recoloring the Background

Another way you can customize a photo collage is by recoloring the background to match your photos.

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1. Open the photo collage you’d like to use and duplicate the background layer (Layer>Duplicate Layer). Begin building the collage as normal, making sure all of the photos are placed above both background layers.

WEBrecoloring22. Use your Eye-Dropper tool to pull a color from the photos. (I chose the gray that is on the monument in the middle of the horizontal photo.) Make sure your original background layer is selected, then choose your Paint Bucket tool and click on the transparent background.

Here are some examples of collages with color backgrounds.

Michelle Rubin chose a blue color to complement the red of her dad’s car.

Kim Crothers filled her collage background with patterned paper.

Melissa Inman changed the collage background black for contrast.

Have you tried changing the background of your collage? Do you have any tips or tricks for your fellow scrappers? Check back next week for step-by-step info on how to replace a photo block wtih digital elements. And if there are any Quick Collage techniques you have questions about that I haven’t covered, let me know!

Missed a week?

See Week Four: Deleting Excess

See Week Three: Combining and Deleting.

See Week Two: Stretching and Resizing.

See Week One: Flipping and Rotating.

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In Disguise

Oct USsmHappy Halloween! I know it’s a little early, but today is the official street date for the October issue (yea!), and I’m celebrating with some Halloween masks!

masks

Click on the links below to get the patterns  for these adorable masks shown on page 64!

Cat mask

Witch mask

Adult mask

Enjoy! And make sure you post your creations in our gallery!

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Show and Tell

Our October issue hits newsstands today! If you already have your copy, you might have noticed a couple fun projects in “Show & Tell” (page 68).  Dina Wakley designed the album showing the Maya Road Square Canvas Pocket Binder Album, and Laura Craigie designed several projects featuring the Cosmo Cricket Material Girl line.

We didn’t have enough room in the magazine to show all of the projects. So, for your further inspiration, we’re including them here!

Cosmo Cricket Material Girl projects by Laura Craigie

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The layering on this page looks effortless and keeps the focus on the photo.

SOURCES Cardstock, paper trim: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper, stickers, chipboard accents: Cosmo Cricket. Font: Bookman Old Style. Ink, blending tool: Ranger Industries. Pen: GelWriter.

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Small strips of patterned paper create multicolor background on this tag.

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The chipboard button adorning the tops is such a creative twist on the typical tag.

SOURCES Patterned paper, chipboard accents: Cosmo Cricket. Stickers: Cosmo Cricket (“thank you,” “sweet”), Pink Paislee (“Sara”). Stamps: Hero Arts. Ink: Ranger Industries (antique linen), Staz-On by Tsukineko (black). Pen: American Crafts. Ink blending tool: Ranger Industries. Hemp cord: Darice.

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A little bit of patterned paper and a flower accent go a long way toward dressing up a box of candy.

SOURCES Patterned paper, stickers, chipboard accents, buttons: Cosmo Cricket. Pen: Unibal Signo. Punches: Fiskars. Baker’s twine: Divine Twine. Plastic box: Melissa Frances.

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Want to learn how to make this dimensional flower? Laura has a great tutorial on her blog!

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Most people probably don’t think of anniversaries when they see the Material Girl collection, but this card proves that it can be used for nearly anything.

SOURCES Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper, stickers, chipboard accents: Cosmo Cricket. Pearls: KaiserCraft. Stamps: Hero Arts. Ink: VersaFine by Tsukineko. Punch: Fiskars.

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The embossed cardstock on this card is from one of the two collections Core’dinations and Cosmo Cricket have worked together on. Core’dinations has also partnered with Graphic 45, Jillibean Soup, Stacy Julian, and Jenni Bowlin Studios to create embossed cardstock.

SOURCES Cardstock: Core’dinations. Patterned paper, stickers, chipboard accents: Cosmo Cricket. Stamps: Hero Arts. Ink: Staz-On, VersaFine by Tsukineko. Punch: EK Success.

Maya Road Square Canvas Pocket Binder Album by Dina Wakley

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Splattered paint and chipboard accents add artistic decoration to a canvas pocket perfect for holding memorabilia.

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Vibrant photos pop off the black-and-white patterned paper. Coordinating paper, accents, and journaling blocks are used throughout the entire album to give it a cohesive look.

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To play up the Parisian feel to the album, Dina inked the edges of each page and photo.

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Balance out smaller photos with a large print almost the same size as the album page.

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Finish the album with another pocket for holding memorabilia.

What new products are you most excited about? Have you made projects using them? Post them in the gallery—we’d love to see them!

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Pretty Paper Accents

Earlier this week Brittany mentioned our “Simply Paper” story in the October issue. I have to say it’s one of my favorite recent stories. I’m so inspired by how these scrapbookers made plain-old paper look so awesome!

It’s so inspiring that I wanted to share with you a little information on some of the paper tricks used on the cool title page made by Lisa Storms. This is how it looked before we added the text:

SOURCES Cardstock: WorldWin. Stylus, craft knife, punches: Fiskars.

SOURCES Cardstock: WorldWin. Stylus, craft knife, punches: Fiskars.

My favorite part is how she did the letters. All you have to do is reverse-print the letters on the back of white cardstock, then use a craft knife to cut all but one side of each letter. Then layer it over another piece of white cardstock and use adhesive foam to make the letters stand up. My hand-cutting skills are a little rusty, but I think I might give it a try for the title a layout I have in mind.

To create leaves, punch a circle and slide the circle partially back into punch and punch again.  Place on a piece of craft foam (or a mouse pad) and draw veins with a stylus.

I love how she added texture without making the page busy by adhering white punched circles with adhesive foam and coiled strips of paper. For the coils, just cut thin strips of white cardstock and twist them around a toothpick (or quilling tool, if you have one).  Remove them from the toothpick, allow them to relax, and adhere end of strip with liquid glue to help keep the coil keep its form.  Then attach it to the page with a thin layer of liquid glue.

So cool! I don’t know about you, but I’m inspired to go grab my scrap stash and see what kind of cool accents I can make. Happy scrapping!

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Making the Grade

Hey, gang! One of my favorite story openers (the title pages that start each feature story) in the October issue (which is just hitting newsstands now) is the clipboard Lisa Storms made for the “Making the Grade” story. Here’s what it looked like when we shot it (before we added the text for the story):

Making the grade

SOURCES Patterned paper: Autumn Leaves (green attendance), Die Cuts with a View (scantron), Jenni Bowlin Designs (red ledger), My Mind's Eye (argyle). Paint: Design Master (spray paint), Making Memories (acrylic). Chipboard accents: American Crafts (letters), Fancy Pants (notebook piece). Punches: Fiskars. Design: Lisa Storms.

It’s pretty simple to make. To distress the clipboard (Lisa’s was vintage, but you could get similar results with a new one) spray-paint the metal clip turquoise and once it’s dry, add a layer of watered-down brown acrylic paint.  Adhere patterned paper to the board, sand and ink the edges.

For the fun apple, fold a piece of patterned paper or a page torn from an old book in half and draw half an apple shape on the paper, then cut it out. Place the folded apple shape onto another piece of vintage book paper, trace it and trim slightly outside the edge of the paper.  Repeat the process, cutting a slightly larger apple each time and switching to red paper halfway through. Sew or glue all pages together down the center and add thin foam adhesive dots along the edge of each layer for added dimention.  Punch two seeds from brown cardstock, free-hand cut a stem and leaf; assemble all onto the clipboard. Add sticker letters if you want it to look like ours!

I think this would make a great teacher’s gift. In fact, I know a couple of teachers who are gearing up for a new school year. Looks like I’d better find some clipboards!

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10% Off Blurb Books

The next time you read a blurb on the back of a book, it could be one you wrote! Check out Blurb — a company enabling authors, artists, crafters, and photographers to easily showcase their talents. You can create photo books galore,  journals, cookbooks, wedding guest books, and more!

And it’s super easy. Create a free account on Blurb.com, then download the free Blurb Booksmart program software. When you open the software you’ll be prompted to upload photos and choose a project type. The program will guide you through choosing a theme, or you can ditch the program wizard and create from scratch.

Once you’ve chosen your base, you simply drag and drop photos into place and choose font sizes and styles. You can change the style of each page using the toolbar at the top of the software window. Take a tour of the program.

Book costs start at $12.95 for 20-40 pages.

Okay, the best part of this blog post? As Scrapbooks etc. readers, you can get 10% off your Blurb creation. Use coupon code SCRAPBOOKSETCBLURB at check out. The offer is good until September 10, 2010.

For inspiration, here are two spreads from a wedding photo book titled “Carrie & Josh.”

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Happy blurbing! :)

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Quick Collage Basics: Week Four

Welcome to Quick Collage Basics, a six week blog series sharing basic techniques for our free photo templates. Each week I’ll post a new tutorial featuring a technique readers frequently ask about. All of the tutorials will be in Adobe Photoshop, but leave a comment if you have questions about adapting the instructions to the software you use.

Week Four: Deleting Excess from Shape Collages

When you delete excess photo from square or rectangle templates, it’s easy to use the Rectangular Marquee tool to select all of the area that needs to be removed. Some of the shape templates are a little trickier.

1. Open the collage template in your image-editing software.

2. Place your photo over the template block you would like to fill.

3. Go to Layer>Create Clipping Mask (or Layer>Group With Previous, depending on the version of your software) to drop the photo into the template.

4. Use the Rectangular Marquee tool to carefully select a large amount of the extra photo. Press the Delete key or go to Edit>Clear.

5. Zoom in on the area you’d like to delete. Switch to your Eraser tool, adjust the brush size as needed, and carefully erase the excess.

6. Zoom back out, admire your work, and then repeat the process to fill the rest of the template blocks.

Edited to add: I just discovered that when using the collages in Adobe Photoshop CS4, you need to rasterize smart objects before you can erase the excess. To do this, go to Layer>Rasterize>Smart Objects. If any other versions of Photoshop have slight variations, please let me know!

Do you have another method for deleting the extra? Have you discovered any awesome tricks for using the collages? Leave a comment and share your experiences with other scrappers. Then check back here next Tuesday for Week Five: Recoloring the Background.

Missed a week?

See Week Three: Combining and Deleting.

See Week Two: Stretching and Resizing.

See Week One: Flipping and Rotating.

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All About Paper

In our “Simply Paper” story in the October issue (which hits newsstands next week!), we feature fun ways to use patterned paper. From crimped borders to banners to exquisite paper flowers, there are a variety of embellishments you can make using paper. (My current favorite technique is on page 50.)

What’s your favorite paper trick? Or what technique would you like to learn? Leave a comment and let me know. That technique just might end up in future blog posts or issues of the magazine!

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