Archive for the ‘Photoshop Elements’ Category

A little gift for Mother’s Day…

May 12, 2008

Okay…so I’m a day late, but I had good intentions (that counts for something, right?)! It’s been over a month since I’ve updated the blog and thought it was about time to get started again. I’ve been busy with the wonderful DID class over at Jessica Sprague…and baseball games, lacrosse games, 3 May birthdays (and Mother’s Day), fundraising functions, bridal showers, and so on! It’s all fun stuff and I love every bit of it, but it just takes time. And what better way to get back into the swing of things then with a little freebie gift for you.

Jessica had provided templates and a gorgeous mini-kit to use in the quote challenge for the DID class and this is what I created using the papers and embellishments from her kit. I only added the photos (thanks to Mother Nature for providing the flowers and critters) and found the quotes to use. If you’d like, you can download the 12×12 LO’s (just click on the 4shared link under the LO’s) and then use your paper cutter to divided each page into 4 6×6 squares. The title page (not shown) has 4 seperate covers, in case you’d like to give these as a gift to any Gardener/Nature lovers you may know. I made this for my Mom for Mother’s Day using my awesome new Bind-it-all machine…since she is the ultimate nature lover/gardener!

Enjoy! (and Liv, I know I owe you a posting for my “tag”)!!!

Picture hosted by Pixentral

Picture hosted by Pixentral







Picture hosted by Pixentral

Picture hosted by Pixentral


Aruba, palm trees & a cool PS effect…

April 4, 2008

We just got back from our annual Spring Break trip to Aruba (this was our 6th year) and once again we had a wonderful time. The weather was beautiful…we relaxed, read books, met up with some friends from Canada, and soaked up the sun (wearing our 50 SPF sunscreen, of course)!

This was the first year that I’ve had a digital camera to take on the trip, and I had a blast taking lots of photos. Took pictures of the kids, of the gorgeous sunsets, of the cool iguanas, and of the palm trees swaying in the breeze. When we got home,  and put them on the computer, Taylor got a really neat effect on the palm tree photos by trying different filters on Photoshop.  We thought we’d share the finished product with you, and give you the instructions…they are listed under our examples. 



This effect works best on photos that aren’t too “busy” and have a distinct object in them.  I’m sure there are other ways to achieve this look, but this is how we did it: 

1) Ctrl – L (levels)

2) Make the dark areas of the photo darker and light areas  lighter by moving the slide

3) Ctrl Alt B (convert to black and white)

4) Filter > Adjustments > Threshold (ok)

5) Choose 1 color for the background area and 1 color for the main object of the photo.  Use the paint bucket(K)  to fill the black area with one of the colors and the white area  with another color.

…And that’s it!  Hopefully you’ll have fun playing with your photos…and let us know how they turned out!

Some freebies and some tips…

January 22, 2008

Just in case you were wondering…only 3 weeks until Valentine’s Day (so start dropping those hints now to your sweetie)!   To me, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for sweethearts…it’s also a time to tell our friends and family how much they mean to us.  There is a quote that I love that goes “Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget” and another quote that really defines a good friend… “It’s the friends you can call up at 4am that matter”.   I hope that I’m that kind of friend!

In honor of Valentine’s Day (and my friends) Taylor & I have created a new mini-kit for you!  It’s called “Hugs and Kisses” and we hope you like it.  There will be more to follow, but this first set includes 4 papers, 5 buttons & 1 clip.  Coming soon are more papers, some ribbon & wire word art.  Thanks to Stephanie at for the heart brushes!  Just click on the 4shared link below to start your downloading fun!

 Now for the Photoshop tips…did you know that to zoom in you can use Ctrl+ and to zoom out you can use the Ctrl-(minus) keys?!!  If you zoom out too much, you can press Ctrl zero(0)  to fit the image back into the screen.  Also, a cool trick to try when you are using the Type Tool and you want to  reposition your text… simply move your cursor away from your words and the cursor will switch to the Move Tool.  After you’ve placed the words in their new position just click back in the text to continue writing.  Give it a try…it’s really pretty neat! 


Shortcuts, brushes & procrastination…

December 30, 2007

I had some “down” time today (actually I was procrastinating…I wasn’t quite ready to start taking down the Christmas decorations yet) and I was organizing some of my Photoshop & Digital Scrapbooking information. I came across some notes about Photoshop shortcuts to use with the brush tool and I thought I’d share them with you.

I think most users of Photoshop know to type “B” to bring up the brush tool, and also about using the bracket keys to decrease or increase the size of the brush: the left bracket key “[” decreases the brush size and the right bracket key “]” increases it.  However, there were a couple of neat shortcuts that I had forgot about and I’ve listed them below.

Another cool feature when using the brush tool  (when the brush is on it’s own layer) is to hold the “Ctrl” key and it will activate the “move” tool.  You can then move the brush around the layout…try it out & play with it a little, it’s fun!  Hope you find these tips helpful and who knows…maybe I’ll come across some more shortcuts while I’m procrastinating, hmm I mean organizing.


Here is a reason to use your scrap tools again…

December 21, 2007

Since I started “digi-scrapping” this past June, I haven’t used any of my old scrap supplies at all. I am totally in love with digi and have crossed over to the “dark side” forever (thanks to the divine Miss Jessica Sprague). However, I dug out my corner rounder, some ribbon, a few eyelets, an under-used paper trimmer, and my new favorite tool the Crop-A-dile (which is now available at Costco, btw) and made some Christmas tags.


I actually saw something similar at my local card store with a price tag of $4.50 and I said to myself “I think I can make these!”  So, my daughter Taylor & I created some cute tags using Photoshop Elements and we have posted a freebie on 4shared as our Christmas gift to you!  There are 6 tags (each one is 5″ x 2 1/2″) and are done on an 8 1/2″ x 11″ LO…all you need to do is print them out, laminate the page (gotta love your laminator!), and trim using your paper cutter.  You can leave either a small white border or clear laminated border around them if you want.  Then just punch a hole,  use an eyelet (if you have any), and thread some ribbon through the hole…and voila! you’re done. 

Hope you enjoy the tags!


This is blooming cool…

December 5, 2007

…as my JS friend Veevs would say! I just discovered this really neat feature on Photoshop Elements 5, and thought I’d share it with you all. Now maybe it’s not new to you and I’ve had my head underneath a rock somewhere (which is possible), but I thought it was way cool!    I knew about the “cookie cutter” tool, but what was new to me was the “crop shapes”.

What you do is:

 (1) open the cookie cutter tool, which looks like a star (or press “Q”)  

 (2) in the options bar, click on the first down arrow to open “custom shape picker”

 (3) then click on the right arrow (in the circle) and it will bring up a menu

 (4) choose “crop shapes” & then just click & drag over your photo.

There are 40 different custom crop shapes, including a lot of grungy type shapes.  I just sampled 4 different kinds as an example.  I just kept playing with them and would say “cool”, or “wow”, or “no way”!!!  Please let me know if you can’t follow my instructions, or if you have any questions…and have fun experimenting!


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Snippets from a Boring Life…

November 20, 2007

So…if you had told me 6 months ago that I would have a blog, I would have said you were hallucinating.  If you had said I would be creating digi-scrapbook pages and designing digi kits with my 14 yr old daughter, I would have thought you were dreaming.  If you had said I would have friends from the Philipines, Great Britain, Sweden (not to mention many states here in the US)  that I had never actually met before, I would have sent you to the doctors for a check-up! 

But, thanks to Jessica Sprague and her amazing “Up & Running” and “Now We’re Rockin” with Photoshop classes all of the above is not a dream…it’s a reality.  I started taking her first class in June and prior to that I had never tried digi-scrapping or PSE.  I had only just started using a digital camera a month before that!!! 

 Which brings us to my very first blog posting.  I don’t really think I’ll be writing about my daily activities…although you may get a snippet or two from my very boring life!  Suffice it to say I am a SAHM to 2 great (really) kids doing the usual SAHM things, and am loving every minute of it!   I’m sure this will evolve as it goes along, but I’m thinking I’d like to use this blog to pass along great tips/ideas/techniques that I find along the way. 

Thanks for visiting and please stop by the comments to say “hi”!