michelle shefveland. details here
Rachel here with some creative journal ideas. When I was younger, probably middle-school age, I wrote daily in a little diary every night before I went to sleep. I’m sure the majority of what I wrote was pointless little kid silliness and such, but when I look back on it, I recall so many small moments of what life was like for the small-version of myself. Sketching ideas in my journal was another frequent activity. It is a fascinating experience and I wish I did it more often as I got older.
rachel shefveland. details here
I’m sure many of you had (or still have) similar journals or notebooks, but I find today there is so much technology available to keep track of those same simple memories, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and especially digital scrapbooking that it almost makes diaries obsolete. So that is what our Nature’s Sketchbook Art Journals are for. With them you can “write in your diary” in a unique, realistic, and may I add beautiful digital journal. No more trying to remember to record the events of a birthday party or date as you are getting ready for bed, exhausted, and then continually putting it off (I am guilty as charged!). Above is a journal piece Mom has shared before, recalling memories of her photography trip to Molokai…and one of my earlier sketches.
Just releasing our 16th set, each set comes with five different digital collage journals. See all of our Nature’s Sketchbook Journals here.
There are so many more uses for these journals, too. Use them as backgrounds on their own, mats, art accents, layering pieces on your digital layout, or as part of an art journal or faithbook.
Here Beth expertly layers a journal from our newest set with other organic elements as she loves to do.
beth ervin. details here
Journaling can help ease grief, pain, and sadness. Here Mom uses it to journal feelings and photos about Grandma’s difficult breast cancer battle. In creating something pretty, Mom was able to feel gratitude, even while hurting.
michelle shefveland. details here
Below are additional ideas by our team in adding these great elements into your everyday layouts. Hope they spur your imagination as well!
Note: click on any image below to enlarge and open lightbox viewer.
Oh, and see a really awesome hybrid project how-to by Beth for printing your digital journal and making a book on our blog here.
beth ervin. how-to here
FYI…our newsletter went out this morning with new products, weekend sale info, subscriber offer, and more. Free sign-up here.
Happy creating! Rachel
rachel shefveland. details here
My sister Alyssa is a dancer. Now I don’t mean that her profession is dancing, or that she teaches dance, or that she even takes dance lessons (well she used to). But Alyssa just dances. Constantly. Around the house, in the grocery store, when she’s driving (you thought texting while driving was bad!), and probably even in her sleep. People are always telling me, “Did you know your sister bounces when she walks?” She really does; it’s like her feet just can’t not dance! Before she was walking, she would move her little baby body to the music (which my parents constantly had on when we were growing up — whether it was Kenny Loggins, Journey, or Alabama, it was always a jam session). She went to three different dance studios from the age of 5 to 16, took ballroom and African jazz dance classes in college, and continues to find outlets for her dancing needs (even when it’s doing pirouettes through the aisles of Target and I’m pretending like there is absolutely no relation…). But to be honest, it’s what makes Alyssa, Alyssa, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
So, I made this layout to capture one moment of her dancing journey. Here’s a little how-to on creating with Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements and our new products this week (on sale through Sunday, December 23).
- Open Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements
- Open a 12×12 paper (we used 01 from Nutcracker Christmas)
- Open a second 12×12 paper (we used 05 from Nutcracker Christmas). Drag and drop it onto the 1st paper. Position and resize as desired with the Move Tool.
- Experiment with layer blend modes to see which looks best with the papers you have chosen. A quick reminder as to how to do this, select the dropdown that says Normal located in the Layers Panel and scroll through the options (to give this dancer a subtle look, we set the blend mode to Screen)
- To soften the harsh edges seen here, select the Eraser Tool and choose a soft round brush with a large diameter (1000px) and an opacity of about 60-80%. Stroke the brush in a straight line against the edges of the paper, erasing as much or as little as desired.
- Here we decreased the opacity of the paper to 75% to really blend it in nicely, experiment with the opacity to see what you like.
- Open elements, frames, photos, etc. that you wish to place on your page. Arrange as desired.
- This photo of Alyssa is too harsh against the rest of the page. To give it a softer blended look, we set the blend mode to Overlay. Then duplicated it, set the blend mode of the copy to normal and the opacity to 80%.
- And there you have it, multiple blend modes to make one beautiful piece of art!
- Here are all of the layers that make up this layout:
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you from our family to yours!
P.S. I used to dance a bit, too, in my younger years…
michelle shefveland. layout details here
I so love how deep red pops in a snowy photo! This coat was Alyssa’s Christmas gift last year, and for how much I love photographing it, it seems it was my gift to myself!
Our newest Click.Masks 36 make for fun wintry blending. Having white in the background paper behind them really makes the the snowflakes in them pop.
The layout above really is a snap to create, as the click.mask does all of the work.
Here’s how using Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements:
- Open a 12×12 paper (we used 01 from Evergreen Dreams)
- Open your desired elements and word art, like our Evergreen Dream Danglies. Drag and drop them onto the paper. Position and resize as desired with the Move Tool.
- Open click.mask (we used 01 from set 36). Drag and drop onto your layout. Position it as desired.
- Open photo. Drag and drop onto your layout. Position over the click.mask.
- Clip photo to click.mask (select>Layer>Create Clipping Mask)
- Enjoy the painted texture and wintry accents of the click.mask!
That’s all there is to it!
Here are all of the layers that make up this digital layout:
Happy creating! Michelle and team
Yes, it’s that time of year again! We are so very thankful for our blessings, and are about to begin receiving guests for our Thanksgiving weekend here in the United States. Alyssa is boarding the red-eye flight from Phoenix and touching ground in Minnesota at 5:00 am tomorrow.
Our 10th Annual Before, During, & After Thankgiving Sales Event has begun, with our newsletter just being sent out to our subscribers. Free sign-up here, in order to receive our next one on Friday with more details.
Thanks so very much from all of us.
Michelle Shefveland and Team
Three weeks ago today I set out on my first international adventure. I was traveling to Guatemala for a week-long mission trip, with a group of women that I had never met (save my great aunt JoAnn, AKA my travel buddy). Nervous? Check. Excited? Definitely. After two very early flights, a race through a very big airport, a wait in a very long customs line, and a forty-five minute drive in a very bouncy van, I had 5 new friends and found myself in a very different world. During the next seven days, we were exposed to the realities of poverty; but within the cornstalk walls and dirt floors, we found an unbelievably strong and hopeful people. I walked away from this experience with a completely different outlook on life: no matter what pain, inequality, despair, or fear that might face you, there is always hope for a better and brighter future.
And with that, I will share with you some snapshots I turned into Photo Art Blends using sets 1 and 4. When traveling somewhere you know you may never have the opportunity to go again, it is so important to capture images of important places, people, and moments. Even though we were constantly on the move and busy soaking in the entire experience, I made sure that I always had my camera with me (Canon SD790 point and shoot). Always. Simply because I knew that when I returned home, having these photographs to look back on would be a wonderful reminder of my time spent in Guatemala. AND so I could make pretty things, of course.
Hope you’re feeling inspired to do the same with your travel photos! Now go on, enjoy this beautiful Sunday.
Rachel here with a quick how-to on using your journaling as an artistic accent for your scrapbook pages. I recently returned from an exciting and wonderful mission trip in Guatemala. Throughout the experience, I wrote down everything that happened, because I have a pretty weak memory and I definitely didn’t want to forget anything! Although my journal entries are personal, and I’m not to keen on sharing them with the world, I still wanted to incorporate them into my layouts. Follow along to see how I did it:
Open Photoshop Elements (Photoshop follows similar steps)
Open a background paper. This example uses 02 Thankful Paper12 from Thankful Page Pak.
Open a photo that you want to blend into the paper. Drag the photo onto the paper.
Resize and position where desired using the Move Tool. To create a more cohesive look, make sure it extends from top to bottom, or side to side.
Experiment with blend modes until the photo is blended nicely into the paper. Blend mode used: to Hard Light at 45% opacity.
Using the Type Tool, click and drag a text box over the entire photo and fill it with journaling (Font used: Lisa Script). Blend mode used: Overlay at 70% opacity.
To make a textured paint brush effect:
Clip paper to photo mask (Layer>Create Clipping Mask or shortcut Ctrl+G; Mac: Cmd+G).
Experiment with blend modes on the photo mask (not the paper). Blend mode used: Linear Burn at 70% opacity.
I finished this layout with elements from Thankful Page Pak.
Save as layered .psd file to be able to edit in future
And, here are two more pages documenting more images from my adventure (both using our new Thankful Pak, on sale for Digital Scrapbooking Day through Sunday, Nov. 4).
I’ll be back Sunday with more details (and more photos!) from my trip. See you soon!
We just released a pretty set of autumn Click.Masks (35) so wanted to share some ideas on how we used them. Each of them is a mix of script, paint strokes, and autumn collage elements, some in portrait and some in landscape. Rotate for more possibilities. Introductory pricing for a limited time.
Because of the painted characteristics of this set, simply clipping a photo to one is all that is needed to achieve the look in each of these layouts. Links to 5 how-tos are included with this set of Click.Masks.
See layout details and more digital art celebrating autumn in our team gallery here.
See more photos from this senior shoot here.
Happy creating! Michelle
Our brilliant maples are a wonderful subject for playing with abstract motion blur photography techniques. This year I captured the shot below as we were being hit with 40 mph gusts one chilly day last week. The stunning red leaves did not have a chance of staying long this year!
See our abstract blur photography tips and ideas on our blog here.
To add texture, color, and the photo transfer edge, I added two layers of #01 from Photo Art Blends 1 (darken and soft light blend modes were applied), adjusting the aspect ratio from 8×10 to 8×12, keeping the 4×6 composition intact. These blends have no designs in which transforming proportions in this manner would be problematic.
Here’s how the layer palette looked after adding a Simply Faith Scrap.Word to finish the piece.
Note…Full step-by-step PDF instructions are included with each set of our Photo Art Blends, to help you with more advanced techniques of adjusting texture with masking or erasing, etc.
Here’s another abstract blend using similar techniques (used #17 from set 1 on overlay blend mode 75% opacity)
See more Before & Afters on our blog here.
Happy creating! Michelle
Recent photo shoots have once again confirmed why I so love autumn…it’s all in the light. At this time of year the sun rests lower on the horizon for more of the day, offering many opportunities to capture gorgeous images. Light is key.
Here are a few of my favorites from my latest, showcasing different angles of filtered light. When I used backlight, an assistant often held a reflector, bouncing that beautiful illumination back into the subject’s eyes.
FYI…all images shot with a Canon 7D and Canon 35mm/1.4 lens. But, with lovely light you can capture great images with any camera.
See a fun golden light photo boost how-to on the blog here.
And, of course I had to scrap some of these! The portrait style frames in Scrap.Frames 12 made for a quick layout.
Michelle and team