Archive for May, 2012

Give your Word Art Subtle Pop {how-to}

michelle shefveland. spring green pak, click.masks 27

In this layout of my aunt Jackie’s pretty little potted garden, the word art was positioned over the photo and needed some pop so it could be more readable without being distracting. An easy technique to achieve this was adding a subtle Outer Glow Layer Style to the word art.

Here’s how it looked before the Outer Glow was applied…a bit hard to read.

To add an Outer Glow Layer Style in Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements:

  1. Select Word Art layer in Layer Palette
  2. In Photoshop Elements 10, select Layer>Layer Style>Style Settings
  3. In Style Settings Dialog click on Glow box
  4. In expanded dialog check Outer and adjust Glow settings
  5. In our sample we set it to Size 15 at 75% Opacity
  6. To adjust the color of the Outer Glow effect (we left it in the default yellow), click on the color box to the right of the Outer Glow adjustment settings. Choose color and Select OK.

Note: in Photoshop select Layer>Layer Style>Outer Glow>Adjust Settings>OK

That’s all there is to this quick how-to! Experiment with varying colors, opacities, and size for different effects.

See our Word Art Sticker how-to for a more pronounced, whimsical effect.

Keep learning!


Using New Click.Stamps {how-to}

beth ervin

We just released eight new products (three shown below), one of which is the first in our Click.Stamp series. These pretties serve double duty as both artful accents (as Beth shows above) and Click.Masks for papers and photos (how-to below).

Rachel demonstrates below how she used one of them in this collage as a Click.Mask for the smaller image (using Photoshop Elements – Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro follow similar steps).

rachel shefveland. pieces of me 12 papers, click.stamps 1, whispers of time elements, click.masks 26

To build the layout from the bottom up, she added a base of two different linen papers from Pieces of Me 12 Papers, resizing the top cream linen slightly smaller than the bottom paper using the Move Tool. To the top linen paper she blended the large photo using Overlay blend mode, while also clipping the image to the paper.

FYI…she clipped the photo to the linen paper using Layer>Group with Previous (or shortcut Ctrl-G; Cmd-G on a Mac). See our basic Click.Mask tutorial for how to clip papers and images to masks or shapes.

Lots of blending on this layout. After adding a lace click.mask from Click.Masks 26, she clipped one of my apple blossom images to it at 60% opacity, adding color and depth.

After opening, dragging, and positioning the art deco Click.Stamp, she opened the smaller photo of me, dragged it onto the layout, sized it, and positioned it over the Click.Stamp.

She then clipped the photo to the Click.Stamp as directed above.

The word art is rotated 90 degrees left and set to Color Burn at 70% opacity, adding a rich tone and texture.

Here are some more collages using the Click.Stamps just as they are…with their distressing and added brushwork they blend beautifully into papers by just dragging and dropping.

rachel shefveland

michelle shefveland

FYI…our newsletter went out Sunday am. Check your e-mail for this weekend’s sale, coupon code, 8 new product releases, and team inspiration!

Free sign-up here.

Happy creating! Michelle and team

DIY Photo Transfer Tile & Memory Box {get it printed no.18}

michelle shefveland. simply love papers, elements & sentiments

Let’s make some photo transfer art.

With scanners and digital cameras now commonplace, producing eye-catching personalized art with inkjet printers and specialty papers is just a click away. Making jewelry with photos from your personal library or ready-made vintage collage images is both beautiful and satisfying. The list is endless on what you can create with these powerful tools as your aid: scrapbook pages, memory art tiles (as shown above and below), jewelry, wall art, decorative ornaments, and so much more.

It used to be that to get a great photo transfer you had to go to your local copy center to get a toner color copy made of your photo, buy special chemicals, and use trial and error burnishing techniques. However, quality inkjet transfer papers of many variations are becoming prevalent and easy to find at craft retailers, producing quality results. Experimentation may still be necessary to get the preferred result, but with easy access to your home printer, it is convenient and forgiving.

Common types of specialty inkjet papers for crafting are iron-on transfers, decal paper, vellum sheets with adhesive, inkjet transparencies, photo transfer papers, plastic inkjet film, just to name a few. Each product has its own idiosyncrasies, qualities, and instructions, however, most function in the same way: prepare images for printing in image editing software, arrange in a print layout, print onto the specialty papers, and adhere to the intended surface. In general they produce the same end result: a semi-transparent image adhered to a specific media.

Below I’ll take you step-by-step in creating a photo transfer memory box with Adobe Photoshop Elements and Lazertran Decal Inkjet Paper, using photos and memorabilia of my grandparents. The art tile above follows similar steps.

michelle shefveland

Lazertran does not need to be sprayed with a cover coat like other inkjet waterslide decals; the ink become waterproof after 30 minutes allowing the decal to be put in water without the colors washing away. It is an eggshell white decal that can be made clear by the application of any oil-based varnish, such as polyurethane.

Supplies/Tools for Photo Memory Box:


Open Adobe Photoshop Elements

Open the images by choosing File, Open and browse your system for the photos and/or memorabilia you want to open. Select each file and click Open. We opened six different images including a scanned war ration certificate.

Choose File, Print Multiple Photos and, from the Select Type of Print list, choose Picture Package.

Choose a layout like Letter (8) 2×2.5. Drag and drop the images into the boxes on the page. Duplicate some, if desired, to fill the page and reduce waste.

Set Print Settings using Plain Paper type and Draft quality, so as not to apply too much ink.

Print the image onto the creamy side of the decal paper. Leave to dry for the recommended time.

Prepare gift box or paper mache box by painting one or two coats of antique white craft paint.

Let dry. With a cotton rag, wipe antiquing medium across the box and quickly wipe off with a damp clean rag, giving an aged patina. Allow to dry.

Using scissors or paper trimmer, carefully cut around the edge of the images on the decal paper.

Prepare a shallow warm water bath. Immerse the decal in water for approximately 15 seconds until the backing paper lifts away from the decal.

Lift the decal and place it carefully on the box taking care to remove any air bubbles. Flatten the image so it adheres well to the box, wrapping around corners if desired.

Smooth the image gently with a damp rag or sponge. Repeat for all the decals and set aside to dry.

Where the decals overlap, you may need to adhere with a small amount of craft glue.

For a finishing gloss and more durability, you can apply a clear varnish (or Mod Podge, Perfect Paper Adhesive, Diamond Glaze).

Adhere lace and buttons with a hot glue gun.

For the art tile at top, we created a digital collage with Photoshop Elements (or any image editor that supports layers).

michelle shefveland. simply love papers, elements & sentiments

Print it on Lazertran as above, setting the print size equal to the size of your tile (we bought a box of 9 – 4″ unsealed natural stone tiles at Home Depot). Trim and adhere to tile as directed for memory box.

Voila! Instant photo transfer art tile.

Note…these are very delicate, so are for display purposes only.

FYI…Diamond glaze, Perfect Paper Adhesive, and Glue Dots (for dimensional embellishments) are durable adhesives to consider using in these projects. In my own experience, finding the right bonding agent for a particular medium is crucial to a successful finished piece. And, as always, taking time to play and experiment without expecting perfection will enhance the creative process.

Happy creating! Michelle

Coasters & All Things Round {get it printed no.17}

There are oodles of great gift ideas using photos and circular templates, my favorites being coasters and mouse pads.

This coaster set was featured in Simple Scrapbooks’ Digital Scrapbooking Magazine a while back and I wanted to share it here on the blog.

Using Quick Page ScrapOver templates in CD case size, add your photos and journaling. Save as high quality jpgs and you’re ready to order gifts.

Our Life Lessons Coaster / Circle Album Pak was used to create them…super simple and quick! Remember to keep important text 1/2″ from all edges, allowing for trimming by the vendor.

See our Quick Page ScrapOver tutorial for step by steps on how to use them with Adobe Photoshop Elements (Photoshop follows similar steps). See our Corel Paint Shop Pro tutorial here.

Here are some close-ups:

This particular print vendor even sent them in their own metal box, allowing you to design a cover.

No longer available by this print lab, you can create a set of 4 same-design rubber backed coasters at Artscow. Simply choose to create your own design and upload a finished round template in jpg format.

An idea to end up with sets of varying designs is to order 4 sets of 4 designs, splitting them up into 4 gift sets.

At least three members of our team have printed with Artscow and were very pleased with the end product. I have not yet tried them.

Artscow also offers round mouse pads5″ round magnets (great for the frig), key chains and various sized round buttons. Fun!

Watch for our next post on making your own decorative art coasters.

Happy printing! Michelle

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