Posts Tagged ‘michelle shefveland’

Digital Silhouettes in Somerset Memories

Wow! It’s Thursday already and in a few minutes we leave for Philip’s first middle-school soccer game. Go Philip!

Popped in quick to let you know the newest issue of Somerset Memories (Autumn 2009) just arrived in the mail today with my Digital Workshop column on creating digital silhouettes. All Boy by Michelle Shefveland. Supplies here.

It is such a fun and easy technique, so hope you all give it a try. The article gives step-by-steps using Adobe Photoshop Elements, but easily works for Adobe Photoshop or Corel Paint Shop Pro. There are also photo tips for taking the initial silhouette photos. Two of the three layouts featured in the article are shown here.

Somerset Memories is now available twice/year (rather than 6x) and is even more jam-packed with eye candy and hands-on tutorials than ever! Subscribers should be receiving this issue shortly and you can order it on their site here.

Have a great day! Michelle

Dance by Rachel Shefveland. Supplies here.

Quick Image Pop Tutorial

Time for a quick tutorial to add a bit of zing to your images…totally suited for beginners, and best with photos having good focus, correct color balance, and exposure.

The following are steps for either Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements:

  1. Open image.
  2. Make 2 duplicate layers of original background image (Layer>Duplicate)
  3. In Layer Palette, set top layer to Soft Light Blend Mode…adjust to about 60% Opacity
  4. In Layer Palette, set middle layer to Screen Blend Mode…adjust to about 10% Opacity
  5. Adjust Levels of original image layer (Background layer). I recommend using an Adjustment Layer so it is non-destructive and can be adjusted later.
    1. Click Background layer in Layer Palette.
    2. Click the Black/White circle icon in Layer Palette (top of Layer Palette for PSE, bottom for Photoshop), then select Levels.
    3. Set the shadow and highlight values by dragging the black and white Input Levels sliders (the left and right sliders directly under the histogram) to the edge of the first group of pixels on either end of the histogram. You can also enter values directly into the first and third Input Levels text boxes.
    4. In my image, I moved the shadow input slider to the right to meet up with the left edge of the histogram as shown.
  6. Adjust any of the three topmost layer’s opacity until pleased with the result.
  7. Add a bit more pop by increasing the saturation a touch (about 10). Press Ctrl-U (Cmd-U for Mac) to open Hue/Saturation Dialog. Move Saturation slider to the right a small amount. Here’s how my layer palette looks when I’m done.
  8. You may also add a bit of sharpening with the Unsharp Mask. There are many different options for this function, and it is recommended to do as a final step. I didn’t add any sharpening to the image shown. For those who prefer using Photoshop Actions, my $1 Digital Darkroom Action applies a variation of these techniques, plus sharpening/level adjustments, and works with Adobe Photoshop CS and above. All layers are kept intact, as well, so you can make adjustments to each.
  9. Save final image to new name at highest quality JPG or other preferred format.

Keep learning! Michelle

a few of our favorite things (plus a sale!)…

Happiest of Fridays, everyone…and Happy Labor Day Weekend to all of our US readers!

supplies: Everyday Papers 3, Focal Point Frames, Everyday Elements 1 (buttons), Winged Hope Pak (flowers, butterfly, quote)

School always starts the Tuesday after Labor Day in Minnesota, so lots of activity going on this weekend getting ready. Alyssa is a CA (community/dorm advisor) this year at the U of M, having training for the past two weeks. It’s been an amazing experience for her thus far, equipping her with valuable life skills (plus she’s getting paid!).

This week’s team challenge was to share our favorite elements we seem to reach for over and over.  As seen above, Rachel’s lovin’ the glitter lately and I seem to use a Photo Art Blend on most layouts.

supplies: As Time Goes by Pak, Nature’s Sketchbook Photo Art Blends 2, font: Jefferson

And…since we’re focusing on elements, let’s have a sale on them!

All Element Paks 25% off through Monday, September 7th (sale prices begin in effect around 6:00 pm CT Friday).

Below are the team’s creations…see layout details and the team’s favorite elements in our challenge gallery here. You can see enlarged versions in a lightbox viewer below by clicking on any thumbnail.

Have a spectacular weekend! Michelle

New Stuff, Free Stuff, & a Sale

Happy Wednesday! Lots to share today…

For our family, summer is whizzing by and Alyssa is two-thirds done with her summer vacation before returning to the U of M…August always seems to be a blur of activities, but maybe this year will be different.:)

supplies: Scrap.Frames 5, Everyday Elements 1, Puppy Love Pak, Naturals 3 Papers

We have 7 new products in the store, including the vintage button pak and storyboard frames used above…plus more scrap.templates and Julie’s Spa Refresher Series. You can see all them here in the store and the previews below.

Our creative team has been busy with all of the new art…check out their beautiful work in the gallery.

Through Friday, July 24th, we’re running a Silver & Gold coupon code sale…plus offering FREE shipping on CDs (including custom-burned CDs).

NLGOLD – Save $25 off your purchase of $75 or more
NLSILVER – Save $15 off your purchase of $50 or more
NLBRONZE – Save $5 off your purchase of $20 or more

Enter coupon code during checkout in Promo Code field. Coupon Codes expire July 24, 2009. Coupon codes not valid on purchase of Gift Certificates.

And, below is a little freebie I created for a recent page of my mom and her siblings. Enjoy the 12×12 family scrap.edge in PNG format. You can see more Scrap.Edges in our shop. Enjoy! Michelle

free download


Layout supplies: Winged Hope Pak (paper), free scrap.edge, It’s My History Kit, Scrap.Frames 1

Get Creative with your Blog/Facebook Photos

michelle shefveland. supplies: Nature’s Sketchbook Photo Art Blends 3 (used #30 on soft light blend mode – tutorial included with product)

Hello friends and welcome Crescendoh readers! So excited to have the opportunity to be Crescendoh’s blog curator this week.

Just stopping in for a quick tutorial to share ideas and techniques to embellish your photos/photo collages and re-size/save for blog/facebook/flickr/etc. posting.

michelle shefveland. supplies: Nature’s Sketchbook Photo Art Blends 2, Gentle Love Pak

On occasion you may have a desire to accentuate a favorite image with a touch of artistic flair or creative enhancements. Maybe you want to showcase a collage of photos in a non-traditional way, yet keep the focus on the images and not the scrapbook art.

Some creative ideas on embellishing your blog photos/photo collages:

  1. Use tape, stitching, or staples to attach your photo(s) on the blog or other sharing site michelle shefveland. supplies: Scrap.Frames 3
  2. Use our Scrap.Frame clusters, which are already embellished and include lifted drop shadows michelle shefveland. supplies: Scrap.Frames1, Miracle of Birth Pak
  3. Transform a special image using our Nature’s Sketchbook Photo Art Blends or Naturals Paper Textures, giving a textured, painterly effect (also used in the first two images of this post). Play with layer blend modes for varied effects. michelle shefveland. supplies: Naturals 7 Papers
  4. Add a flower, photo corner, or other accent michelle shefveland. supplies: Winged Hope Pak
  5. Add a Scrap.Edge (tutorial here)
  6. Add a quote or bit of journaling michelle shefveland. supplies: Butterfly Wings 2 Pak

Here’s how to create your enhanced photos and get them optimized for web posting (in Photoshop Elements):

  1. Open photo(s)
  2. If using one photo, choose how you’d like to embellish it. Open embellishments. Drag and drop embellishments on image; position. Add shadows, if desired.
  3. Create textured Photo Art Blend, if desired. Tutorials are included with our Photo Art Blends.
  4. If using more than one photo, a fun option is to use a Scrap.Frame Photo Cluster. Drag photos onto Scrap.Frame, re-size and position as needed. Make Scrap.Frame top layer in layer palette.
  5. Save as layered PSD file to enable editing in future.
  6. Merge all layers (Layer>Merge Visible)
  7. Select collage by pressing Ctrl key while clicking on merged layer’s thumbnail in layer palette. Dancing ants should appear around collage.
  8. Crop image to size of selection (Image>Crop)
  9. Resize for web display (Image>Resize) and in dialog box choose 500 or 600 pixels as widest dimension.
  10. Save for web display (File>Save for Web) and in dialog choose about 60-70 JPG quality.
  11. Insert this optimized image into your blog on upload to Facebook/Flickr/etc.

These are just a few of the endless opportunities to enhance your photos with a creative twist for blogs, Facebook, Flickr, and other sharing communities.

Happy Creating! Michelle

Using Gradient Maps & Freebie

Happy Friday, everyone! Time for a freebie and team challenge…this time using Gradient Maps. You may recall our tutorial on how to use Gradient Maps to creatively color our Naturals Paper line. Using this method is simple and allows for many hues to be added to our grayscale papers. Our team took to the challenge and had some fun. You can see all the layouts and details in our gallery.


Out on the River by Michelle Shefveland. Layout Details here.

For my page above I used Paper 03 from Naturals 13, added the Yellow, Violet, Yellow, Teal stock gradient and set the layer blend mode to Hard Light at 52% There really is no limit to the possibilites with this technique, as you can make your own custom gradients, too.

Our free ScrapOver Template below uses one of my Naturals 11 papers colorized with a Yellow, Green, Blue Pastel Stock Gradient Map in Photoshop/Photoshop Elements (Reversed and set to Lighten Blend Mode).To use the free template, simply download, unzip, open in your image editor, and add three photos/journaling about your day. For assistance using our ScrapOver Templates, see our tutorial.

Keep Learning! Michelle

Free Download


To be notified of new blog tutorials, team inspiration, and freebies, you can sign up for our blog feed at right.

Telling Photo Stories

Happy Thursday, everyone. Last day of school here for the kids…summer begins tomorrow!

Making Sausage by Michelle Shefveland. Supplies: Garage Grunge Pak, Simply Done 2.5, Nature’s Sketchbook Papers 4 (cardboard alpha), Nature’s Sketchbook Elements 2 (vintage alpha), Magical Moments Pak (arrow), Nature’s Sketchbook Journals 5, Garden Dahlia (tape) Fonts: typical writer, jane austen

Yesterday Alyssa and I had the opportunity to be a part of a big work day at Mom and Dad’s…one in which we had never participated in before: the making of sausage. Not the cooking and eating of it, but the making of it from raw meat! And, not just a little…90 pounds of it! My brothers and dad are avid hunters, and now have added Mom to the mix….I’m the only one never to have touched a gun before. So, the least we could do was help with the end process! Since it is not something we will probably be able to assist in a great deal, it was important for our family memories to document the whole process. So, why not in a photo story?

What’s a Photo Story?

Taking photos of the process of a family tradition or event or something with a beginning and end, and then getting it into one piece of work is what I would call a photo story.


Templates are great tools to help share lots of photos on one page. I actually took one of our Simply Done Template sets (2 or 2.5) and modified the shape and number of frames, but you could make your own with our Scrap.Frames, as well.


  • Work on it as soon as possible, while the story is still fresh and you are inspired from the activity.
  • Don’t worry about the photos being perfect technically. I had my hands dirty much of the time, so had to work quickly to grab shots of the process after multiple clean-ups. Depending on the time I had available, I used my Canon 40D, my cell phone camera, or my point-and-shoot.
  • Since there will likely be a lot of images, keep the frames simple and uniform in design styles.
  • E-mail a printable copy to members of your family, so they can all enjoy the story.
  • For added detail, take a bit of video. I captured Dad sharing the process and some stories about the tools we used (with my Lumix point-and-shoot) and we have it saved in our video folder on my system for safe keeping.

Enjoy telling your stories…they are important to you and your family! Michelle

Photo Art Blends & Masks

Poppies by Michelle Shefveland. Supplies: Nature’s Sketchbook Photo Art Blends 1 and 2 (right and left, respectively), Nature’s Sketchbook Papers 3 (Paper13 set at soft light), Grunge Paints 2 Brushes

Hi, everyone! Hope you’re having a fabulous spring or fall wherever you are! It’s spring here, and we’re loving it….the poppies should blossom next week and then our yards will be ablaze with color and their delicate texture.

This week our team played with using texture and masks. Our Naturals Paper Textures, Photo Art Blends, and Photo Masks are some products in our inventory that can help yield painterly results with your images.

Yesterday’s clipping mask tutorial will assist in how to use masks to blend with papers and photos, and my tutorial included with our Photo Art Blends will offer steps and insights into how to give images a digital photo transfer effect, as shown in my poppies above. Perfect for using as wall art, greeting cards, or desktop wallpapers, photo art blends are pretty addicting! Many of the team went a step further and incorporated their blends into layouts.

See our team’s creations below, and our Photo Blends gallery here for each layout’s details.

Oh, and we just added a subscribe option on the right side of the blog for anyone who wants to be informed of new posts, tutorials, sales, and freebies hosted on our blog.

Keep Learning! Michelle

Day 5 Birthday Celebration – Winged Hope

Happy Mother’s Day! Just a quick post today to share today’s special coupon, freebie, and some springtime inspiration from Beth with our new kit by Michelle, Winged Hope (on sale for $2.55 through tomorrow)

Click on images below to enlarge in a lightbox viewer. You can see full details of layouts in Beth’s gallery here.

Today we have an additional coupon that can be used in conjunction with our 36% off Downloads Sale and any other sale in our shop. For purchases of $20 or more, save $5 using coupon code 6CAT5 during checkout. Expires Midnight CT, Monday, May 11th.


Enjoy this Free Winged Hope Sampler Pak Download (download expired Sunday, Midnight CT) by Michelle Shefveland .


Day 4 Birthday Celebration – Focus on Photos

Joy by Michelle Shefveland. Supplies: Naturals Papers 7 (texture overlay), Color Me Happy Pak (word art); font: Enchanted Prairie Dog

Full page photo layouts were the focus of today’s team challenge and free download. We each chose a favorite image and filled the entire background or blended it into the background, using minimal elements to keep the focus on the image. These types of pages are perfect for printing and framing, and make wonderful gifts.

In my Joy collage above, a favorite tulip photo was converted into a digital painting using Corel Painter Photo Essentials 4, which comes free with Paint Shop Pro X2 Ultimate (PSP X2). If you have yet to try playing with Corel Painter or Painter Essentials, I encourage you to download their free trials. It is totally addicting, simple, and adds amazing possibilities to your digital art creations. Below are some screen shots of how easy their interface is to use. There is even an auto-painting function that applies texture, random paint strokes in different paint styles, different edge treatments, and more. Too fun! I also have Painter X, which is a full blown professional digital painting system. Very powerful software, but it also comes with auto-painting functionality.

Below is how easily I was able to build the final collage using Overlay Blend Mode for the word art layer, Soft Light on the extracted image of Alyssa, and Overlay on the Naturals 7 texture overlay paper at 70%.

Below are more layouts from the team focusing on full page photos. Love the variety! Layout details can be seen in our challenge gallery here. And, today’s freebie below is a 12×12 painted Scrap.Edge, in both cream and black. Use it to make a great painted edge on your full page photo layouts! See all of our Scrap.Edges here. See my Scrap.Edge tutorial here. Have a great Mother’s Day, everyone. Michelle

We’re celebrating our 6th Birthday with 36% off ALL DOWNLOADS for 6 days. Sale ends Monday, May 11th.

12×12 ScrapEdge Sampler Pak Free Download by Michelle Shefveland (download expired)

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