Saturday, 20 April 2013

Easy Peasy Photo Outlines

If you like the clean lines of simple layouts with outlines around the photos it's very easy to do using an optical illusion. What do you see on this page? Lines drawn around the photos?

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Actually the photos are sitting on a white shape with a thin black mat. The tutorial is HERE. It's written for Memory Mixer but the technique is the same for any program. (Background and flower embellishment from Lindsay Jane's Spring garden)

Here's another example with a black background and the outline all around the outside of the tiled photo. I struggled for ages trying to use a pastel background for this one. Sometimes you have to be bold and choose another colour! Add another black shape to cover part of the outline so you can create a gap for the title. My "mat" started out white but then I colour matched it to the cream of the embellishments which are by Dee Bee designs and were free with the Artisan Guild magazine. The page was inspired by this free template. You can use any plain background colour for these pages.

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Yes, I use those programs you love to hate ...

Today's challenge word on the Divas Facebook group was "Five reasons". Here's the page I made with Raspberry Road's Domestic Goddess:

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Apparently you can only do digital scrapbooking with Photoshop Elements, or preferably that CS-whatever version that costs the same as a small car in the UK due to us being charged pound for dollar (on a download, for heaven's sake) and THEN having VAT added. It is entirely illegal, immoral and IMPOSSIBLE to make a scrapbook page any other way. Strange then that I've been digi scrapping for nearly 9 years and made over 3000 pages and NEVER used any variety of Photoshop until three days ago.

I started with Memory Mixer and still use that as my main program today. I'll continue to do so regardless of what else I learn in other programs as it's so quick, especially now that you can grab and embellishment you want and move it without having to worry which layer it is. I use My Memories too but I don't find it very stable. Smilebox? Brilliant and great fun! Easy albums with music that you can easily share with people, what more could you want? Oh, you want difficult stuff to impress your friends with? Then you won't want to see  my Smilebox albums HERE.

I bought PSE 11 very cheaply last November. Amazon UK were joining in all the Black Friday malarkey. It's stayed pristine in its cellophane wrapper for almost six months. Although I wanted it for templates and easy use of masks I couldn't face it as the last time I looked it was so un-user-friendly and I couldn't find a thing. Plus I can't even see anything when it's all gothic black. So I grudgingly installed it and WOW it's a nice colour and everything is easy to find. Reading a few reviews rather late in the day I discovered that die-hard PSE fans HATE the new version. They want black and hard-to-find. I find that hilarious. God forbid that ordinary mortals whose money Adobe would like to attract get to use the Sacred Photoshop. It reminds me of an episode of the Big Bang Theory where Sheldon says. "Windows 7 is much more user friendly than Vista. I don't like that."

What's made it even easier for me to learn is signing up to an Infinite Solutions Learning Photoshop Elements 11 class on Udemy. It's excellent material presented in a very professional way by a company that specialises in this kind of training. Now I could give you an affiliate link which would get you right there and earn me a few dollars but Udemy's idea of running an affiliate program is to have the system make it difficult to find the course you want, generate a link to the wrong course and ignore all emails. Don't get me started .... so I'll tell you how to save lots of money. Sign up to their email list or a free course and wait. Every now and then they will send you offers of 50% - 75% off. I only paid about $12 for my fantastic course. I've also signed up to a course on another site  on digi scrapping with PSE 11 so I don't get into bad habits. I'll be writing about my progress every week on the Coastal Scrapbooks blog.

So you're thinking I'm spending lots of money? Yes, but I'm not spending money on kits at the moment since I have enough for the next 500 years.

There's one I haven't mentioned from the list on that page - Studio-Scrap. This is from a French company and although almost everything is translated for you it does help to have a knowledge of French for little bits of the program they forgot to translate. Ask in our Facebook group if you get stuck. Also their Paypal link doesn't work even though it appears to so you need to pay by credit card. You can change the currency on the site so you know how much it will be and you can download a free trial too.

I bought it for the hundreds of cool template designs that are include and the photobook templates included with some of the kits. They work a bit like MM/MMS templates in that you can add/move/remove. Oh no, one of those illegal/immoral things the PSE wallahs hate! The kits appear expensive but they're absolutely HUGE. There's a learning curve on this one and I wouldn't recommend it for newbies but I'm going to have some fun with it. here's my first page using the Seaside Cottage photobook template.

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Sharon Horswill

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Tiling in MyMemories V4 and those swimsuit pics...

Several new tutorials and articles have been added to Coastal Scrapbooks this week so, as you can imagine, my house is a tip and I didn't get those New Tax Year letters done. Our tax year starts on 6 April for my friends outside the UK. Actually it's also for those friends INSIDE the UK who forget ...

MyMemories V4 has a cool photo tiling feature. It's about the only useful new feature in version 4. Basically you add a group of photos to a page - your own or one of the photo templates - group them and drag a photo across to the page. The problem is that not all photos are suitable for tiling and there are lots of Eeek moments when limbs are cut off. Not good. So the tutorial tells you how to avoid that and also gives a few tips about grouping and ungrouping. Go to the Tiling in MyMemories 4 tutorial for more info. Here's the page I made with Carolyn Kite's Another Day in Paradise stacked papers and extras.

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To see me in swimsuit in many different pages go to our Same Photo Different Effects article in the Design Ideas section.

I didn't use that photo for years as I thought I looked fat. Then I got fatter and realised I looked raltively thin... I'm sure a lot of women can relate to that!

Here's a slideshow for you. Can't see it? Stupid new fangled i-junk? You can go to the gallery HERE instead.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Sun Ray Tutorial

by Yobeth Puckett

Here's a layout I made using shapes in MyMemories Suite. I used J W Designs kit Spring Has Sprung and the font is Freehand 591 BT.

I used a sunrise picture that I had taken for this layout.  The sun rays work perfect here but you can use it in so many ways.  Sunrise, sunset, landscapes, a sunny day at the park or pool, someone you love with a sunny personality, the possibilities go on and on.

I bet you are already thinking of a shot you've gotten that would be perfect!  If you'd like to give it a go you'll find tutorials here and here that show you everything you need to know.  Have fun!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

We're on Bloglovin !

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Tiling with Memory Mixer and ... more snow

I made this Spring (allegedly) page for a tiling challenge on Touched By A Butterfly's Facebook group. The kit is her Spring is Here. It was meant to be done in MyMemories 4 but I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than tangle with that, it's an unstable mess and needs rewriting from scratch IMHO. It languishes on my old computer while I use MMSv3 and Memory Mixer on the main one.

The tiling effect in Memory Mixer is actually a font. It sounds weird but this picture is the letter b at size 410 in a special font. The fonts are only $4 each and you can find them here. I was going to write a long tutorial for my website but it's all explained brilliantly in a pdf that you download with the font.

These photos were taken in my Mum's garden in Birmingham on Easter Sunday, 31 March.

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We brought Mum's camera card back with us and she had lots more snow pics on it so I made another page with a photo from almost the same angle. Mum was standing on the doorstep not in the snow so it's a bit different! I used Trixie Scraps' Frosted Windowpanes including a clustered border and frame.

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Far too much snow!

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Monday, 8 April 2013

Breathtaking Arrogance

I had my time wasted today.

I sent a support ticket to one of the big "We're God's gift to scrapbooking" stores. More like one of the many "Oh dear, we don't seem to have exclusive designers so the customers can walk and buy elsewhere" stores. So they rely on customer loyalty. So they probably shouldn't waste people's time.

My query, which involved a copyright issue, was resolved but only after they wasted our time for hours with snitty ill-thought responses including the classic "I can give you my attorney's number". Ooooh, I'm really scared. An attorney??? Wow. Does it not occur to someone running a business that the person they're dealing with might have a legal background? Might have worked for many years in an intellectual property company??

It is foolish indeed to assume your correspondent is a scaredy cat who might run away. I've had dealings with this arrogant pair before. Snitty is basically default mode. Ever heard of the Chinese proverb "A shopkeeper should keep a smiling face" ? And a bit of respect for someone who has spent thousands (really) of dollars over the years would not go amiss.

So ... I did run away. And I took my Paypal account with me. "Profile deleted". No-one gets to waste my valuable time.

Sharon Horswill

Friday, 5 April 2013

A White Easter!

White Easter ??? Ridiculous... and it's still freezing and snowing in April :( We went to Mum's on Easter Sunday. We hadn't seen her for a while since my very slow recovery from knee surgery wouldn't allow me to sit in a car for several hours. So we celebrated Christmas, Mother's Day, Easter, my birthday and our wedding anniversary all on the same day. Confusing layouts with Christmas crackers and Easter eggs to follow!

Here's a page showing snow still lying in Mum's garden. I used Hunt and Gather by Raspberry Road Designs. The alpha is one of Traci Reed's Thickabets.

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Here Comes The Sun.... Not Just For PS Peeps!

I love sun ray shapes, it reminds me that there might be some summer - or even Spring - out there somewhere. If you've looked with longing at the many PS/PSE templates with sun ray shapes but you use MyMemories this is for you. It's an easy tutorial on how to make and save a sunray wedge shape and then fill it with paper/photos. Be warned though this kind of page could take you a while. You're adding a shape then filling it with a photo (papers are jpegs just like photos are) rather than the other way around. Unfortunately MMS takes you to your pictures folder each time rather than to where you were when you filled the last shape. This meant about 12 clicks for each wedge for me since I have everything in multiple nested folders. This is why I save sun ray papers in a special folder, it's much easier that way!

Here's the page I made with Connie Prince's Swim On kit:

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The tutorial is on Coastal Scrapbooks HERE.

Sharon Horswill

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Proven Principles

There are many design principles that apply to artwork across the board.  Whether you're interest is sketching, painting, photography, interior design, scrapbooking or some other artistic pursuit there are techniques to use that have been tried and proven.  One of these "rules of thumb" is the rule of thirds.   Have you ever wondered why one layout works while another seems kind of boring or uninteresting?  It could be all about technique.  I've got a post that goes into a little more detail that you might find interesting.  You can find it here.

Monday, 1 April 2013

April Daily Word Challenge

Here are the April words. They were chosen at random - apart from today's word - from our huge list using the old fashioned method of random number cells in Excel. Yes, I had to Google how to do that! It's a very long time since I learned Excel ...

Anyone can play and there are basically no rules. You can show us a page with the word in it as a Title, photo or text, something inspired by the word, or something completely off the wall but the word made you think of it. You don't have to make a new page. You can show us something you made ages ago.

This month's word page was made with CatDesignz' Celeste kit. Feel free to right click the image and share it or share this post.