layers-palette-basics-fit

Layers Palette Basics in Photoshop Elements

The Layers Palette in Photoshop Elements may seem a bit overwhelming in the beginning.  In this tutorial, we’ll explore it and break down some basics.  First of all, there are several types of layers as demonstrated in the graphic below.  Each layer is like a slide that stacks on top of the next to create a scrapbook page. Image layers include such things as background papers, fill layers which may be a solid color, gradient, or a pattern, photos, and elements.  An Adjustment layer is a special type of layer used to make nondestructive modifications to a layer.  Shapes drawn using the shape tool are on Shape layers.  Type layers are for adding words to your layout.  That’s a lot of information already.  Next, we’ll look at each type of layer and how they’re used.

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Pocket Scrapping – Keeping it Simple

Hello again! Jen here to share one of my pocket scrapping layouts with you. As I stated last month, I fell off the pocket scrapping wagon a while ago and decided to publicly commit to hop back on by writing a monthly column for Scrapaneers about my journey. Since my last post, I did a little housekeeping and created my first layout in a long time and have learned a few more things along the way. The biggest lesson I learned? Keeping it simple.

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Storyboards-fit

Storyboards-How They Relate to Scrapping

Storyboards.  You’ve probably heard of them but may not know exactly what they are or how they relate to scrapbooking.  To put it simply, a storyboard illustrates changes of action visually through a series of sketches or illustrations.  Animators at Walt Disney Studios first used storyboarding in the 1930’s.  The animators drew scenes of a story and pinned them to a bulletin board sequentially.  These helped them as they organized and developed the product.  Gone with the Wind was the first film to be completely storyboarded.  Can you imagine!  They are still used by writers, illustrators, filmmakers, and advertisers to pitch a concept.  The storyboard helps the people that they are pitching to, their audience, visualize how a story, book, movie or commercial will go.  Okay, now that we know what a storyboard is let’s look at how they relate to scrapbooking.

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2017_08_Workspace-n-Preference_Settings

Workspace and Preferences Settings in Photoshop Elements

Workspace and Preference settings are easy to set-up and personalize in Photoshop Elements. Plus the process will help you get started using PSE which is a big hurdle for many scrappers.  I hear people say they’ve had Photoshop Elements for many months (sometimes years) but have yet to get it out of the box!  Here are a just a few of the reasons I’ve heard: it’s too hard, it’s too different from my current program, it’s too complicated, it’s too time-consuming, and I just don’t know where to start.  I feel your pain. I felt the same way in the beginning.

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Beating the Freebie “Gotta Have It All” Mentality

When we first start digital scrapbooking, many of us fall into the “Freebie Trap.”  You know the one I mean… right?  You get SO EXCITED that you finally actually figured out how to start using your software (let’s face it, this Photoshop business starts out looking like a menacing beast bearing its claws and fangs in all their glory if you don’t know what you’re doing) that you decide you need ALL THE THINGS to start playing with.  The only problem?  Well you can’t very well spend $100 a week of your carefully budgeted grocery money on scrapbooking supplies!  So you do what we all started out doing.  You open up google and type in those three tempting words: “Digital Scrapbook Freebies.”  And wowie wowza wow!  Look at all those tempting results!  Only 999,000 results to filter through!  Yep, totally have time for that! 😉

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Shaping it Up

Shaping it up … today we are going to explore using text for shapes in regards to our digital scrapping cards and pages.  Shapes can be anything you want them to be.  In addition to the “custom” shapes that come in Photoshop CC, you can also use a font to make your own shape for your project.  Using a few tools, we can make a shape, and then make a path to journal inside it.  Are you ready? Let’s begin!

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Outlined_Titles_in_PSE_FIT

Outlined Titles in Photoshop Elements

Creating outlined titles in Photoshop Elements is a little different from creating them in Photoshop/CC (PS/CC).  An outlined title will add impact and visual interest to the layout you’re creating without detracting from the design or story. In PS/CC, the stroke (outline) can be added on the same layer as the text then when the opacity is reduced to 0% the text disappears and the stroke remains. Note: Photoshop/CC users can find a comparable tutorial here.  In Photoshop Elements, if you apply the stroke on the same layer as the text both the text and stroke disappear when the opacity is lowered to 0%. That is definitely not what you want!  In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to create an outlined title in Photoshop Elements.

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2017_Apr_Journaling_Creatively

Journaling Creatively

Journaling is important and when adding it to a layout I like to think creatively and outside the “text” box.  Everyone has their own reasons for scrapbooking but I believe most of us would list memory keeping as the primary reason.  Sure we want to get all those great photos and sometimes photos go a long way toward telling the story but journaling answers the questions that will undoubtedly come up at some time in the future.  I keep the 5-W’s of writing in mind when I’m journaling.  I imagine you’re familiar with the 5-W’s of writing but if not they are Who, What, When, Where and Why.  It’s easy to answer those questions now but years from now, when you’re looking back, you’ll be glad if you’ve taken the time to record the pertinent information. When I’m journaling I don’t tend to put all the information in a tidy little box unless I’m using a block style or pocket style layout.  If that’s the case text boxes are perfect but if not I like to spread information around the page a little more creatively. As you’ll see, I prefer to tuck it in here and there. I want to encourage everyone to make journaling a priority and I want to share a few ideas I use to get the information on the page but not necessarily in a box.

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2017_March_How_to_Manage_Your_Fonts

How to Manage Your Fonts

How to manage your multitude of fonts is a question that all scrappers face sooner or later. I believe most, if not all, scrappers have an unparalleled love of fonts.  We are hoarders collectors of fonts! There are many font managers available and they range in price from free to very expensive.  Personally, I like free.  I’ve tried many of the free font managers, some apps and some online.  Most allow you to view your fonts and nothing more.  Plus the ones I’ve tried tend to crash or freeze up continuously.  That can be very frustrating, especially if you have limited time set aside for scrapping!   A couple of months ago I found FontBase.  Their website describes FontBase as a blazing fast, beautiful and free font manager for Windows 7 & up.  So far I have loved this app.  It hasn’t crashed or frozen up once since I’ve been using it and it really does have some cool features.  So without further ado, we’ll look at some of the features I’ve found very useful.

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