Monday, November 7, 2011

I Love Autumn!

I just walked outside and realized that this may be the perfect autumn day. There's a little nip in the air and a little breeze, but the sun is warm and everything is so full of color. We're expecting thunderstorms this week, so most of the color may be gone by the end of the week. That's why I love having my digital camera to record these moments without worrying about the number of photos I take or number of prints I need to store. Plus, there's that whole instant gratification thing.

I also love the new Fall Digital Scrapbook Kit from Duetica Lettering Arts Studio which is being unveiled this week. It has several papers and textures, plus ribbons, buttons and a really cute scarecrow. I used it to create this two-page layout documenting a recent trip we made to the wine country of Missouri.

Be sure click the Designer Crafts Connection button on the left to hop over the entire Designer Crafts Connection bloghop which features autumn-inspired projects, and be sure to go to Julie McGuffee's blog to get details on how you can win a Sizzix Sidekick with two sets of Sizzlets alphabet dies!

Here's how I made this two page layout:

Duetica Lettering Arts Studio Software and new Fall Kit.
Adobe Photoshop


1. Set “Missouri” in a combination of Tin Whistle and Floot fonts, using the Duetica Lettering Arts Studio.

2. Set “Weekend” the same way.

3. Open a new 24” x 12” file in Photoshop. Place the Dark Brown file from the Duetica Lettering Arts Studio Fall Kit on both halves of the page. Use black with the airbrush set at 60% to place a border around each edge.

4. Place the Black jpg on both halves, then select and delete ½” all around and 1” down the middle. Use dark brown with the airbrush set at 60% to place a border around each edge.

Note: I created each individual photo as a separate file, complete with journaling and then placed them on the 24” x 12” layout.

For each photo file: Place the Orange jpeg from the kit in a new file. Place each photo on top of the Orange jpeg., add journaling, then crop the layout leaving a ¼” border on the top and sides and ¼” below the journaling. Reduce image size if necessary to fit layout.

5. Place the Paper Edge jpg in a new 12” file and rotate the canvas to make it vertical. Use the airbrush tool to add brown, black and orange tints to the file. Save the file, then place it in the original 24” x 12” layout.

6. Place the Black Ribbon 2 on the right side of the layout flush with the right edge. Copy and paste the same ribbon 2 file and add it to run across the left side of the layout. Crop it where it covers the paper edge file. Move the paper edge layer above the ribbon layer. Add Buttons jpg to the ribbon.

7. Drop in photos. Create drop shadows by drawing a box slightly smaller than each photo. Fill with black, then set the opacity at 35%. Do this for each photo.

8. Open “Missouri” file. Select each letter and change the color to a bright yellow-orange, then use dark brown with the opacity set at 50% to add a shadow along the bottom. Rotate the file 90° counter-clockwise and place it in the layout.

9. Open the “weekend” file, change the color to blue, rotate the file 90° counter-clockwise and place it in the layout.

10. Set the dates in the same yellow-orange as the Missouri file, rotate and place in the layout.

11. Place the scarecrow image from the Fall Kit. Add a new layer and airbrush a shadow in black. Set the layer opacity at 50%. Move the scarecrow layer above the shadow.

Here's a tip for you in using digital scrapbook kits: I created a file in InDesign (any layout program will work) and placed each element of the kit with it's file name into a new layout. I kept it open on the side of my computer screen while I created the layout in Photoshop. It made selecting the elements very easy. I saved it to the same folder I keep my kits in for easy reference later.

Go out and enjoy this day then come back in and create something with your autumn photos.

But first, go hug someone you love.

Notes: I am a member of the Duetica Lettering Arts Design Studio and received software from them.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Being Thankful

One of the things we overlook in this country is just how awesome we have it. We don't have religious persecution (except by the nut cases who are against any sort of religion and don't shut up until someone notices them), most of us are well-fed and we set up food and shelter for those who aren't, we can pursue our own dreams without being told what to do with our lives and can come and go as we please. This is a far cry from the people in our world who are under a dictators' thumb and have to scramble to find the least morsel of food; those who are afraid to speak for fear of death; women oppressed by a society that doesn't even recognize that they are of more value than being baby machines; and societies where girl-children are unwanted.

Good grief! How did I open my post with such depressing thoughts? Those of you who know me also know that the topics of the first paragraph are not something you normally hear out of my mouth.

That being said, I want to introduce you to a blog I found this morning through the Craft Gossip site, Positively Present.

I was casually toodling along, looking at beautiful handmade items when I came on the topic Gratitude, 30-Day Photo Challenge. We are doing a Bible study at Trinity Baptist following the book one thousand gifts by Ann Voskamp, which is a study in finding happiness in small gifts.

This website looked like something that might have the same theme, so I went there and WOW! There are so many great articles, from finding beauty in small things to de-stressing your life to paying it forward. It's one of the best sites I've seen in a while and I immediately subscribed to it so I wouldn't miss a thing.

Check it out. I think you'll like it.