Using Cell Phone Photos in Your Layouts
My husband's phone died a few weeks ago. It was time for the thing to finally keel over; it was one of the original iPhone models. It had been losing pixels from its screen, turning itself off at random times, and just generally acting like a grumpy old man. Because he had bought this phone to do work with (his company dabbled in creating iPhone apps for a while), we held off on upgrading my phone since we wouldn't get reimbursed for the cost. So I've been making-do with my Razr, which is completely practical, yet technology-impaired.
But since then, smart phone usage has exploded! They're everywhere, and it seems like everywhere you look, everybody's using one. Even my parents each have one and have been known to send me texts on special occasions, like baseball season's Opening Day.
I'll admit it - I cheered when his phone died, because it meant I could finally get a smart phone for myself! I would have access to all the cool things like everybody else. I would be able to check email when I was away from my computer, find local restaurants on the Internet, and text without using a number keypad and pressing each button over and over, missing my letter, and having to go 'round the bend again to get to it.
But honestly, one of the best things about these phones is that they come with cameras! For us scrapbookers, this is an awesome thing! We will always have access to a memory-saving device (as long as we don't forget our phones in the couch seat cushions at home) to record each precious moment of our lives! The only downside, and I really do mean the only downside, is that some of these cell phone photos are not as good to use on layouts as photos taken with a regular camera.
Basically, they're kind of small. If you try to make them bigger (stretch the pixels), the photo doesn't look as good because, well, it's been stretched. Sometimes you have to make do with smaller-than-average photos. It's all good, though. Seriously, I would rather have the photos, even a bit smaller, than not!
My solution? Templates. Yeah, honestly. Scrap Girls designers have come up with tons of templates to help you scrapbook just about anything you can think of, and that includes small photos. Here's a list of a few of my go-to templates for my cell phone photos:
And keep those cameras, errr, cell phones rolling!
Layout by Heidi Dillon
Scrap Girls, Etc. is a weekly column pulling bits and pieces from all over Scrap Girls. Stay tuned each week as Scrap Girls' Jane-of-All-Trades Heidi Dillon brings you tutorials, musings, recipes, interviews, design/software tips and tricks, layout walk-throughs, and who knows what else!
Digital Scrapbooking Photo Titles
Note: Tutorial created using Photoshop CS5 with Windows 7.
Have you ever wanted to showcase more than one or two photos on a layout but had a hard time figuring out where to put them so that they don't clutter up the page?
Well, I certainly have - and I'm going to show you a creative way to display several photos by combining photos with text to create a cool title treatment on your digital scrapbooking page.
First, create a new 12x12-inch document at 300-dots-per-inch (dpi). Next, create a text box by clicking on the T icon in the Tools Palette (usually on the left side of your screen), and then click-and-drag your mouse across the page, creating a text box.
To make a good photo title, choose a font that is broad and wide and make it big – use a large point size! I wanted to create a layout about my oldest son's love of LEGO® blocks, so I chose LEGO as my title.
Once you decide on a title and get it typed into the font size you want to work with, you'll need to rasterize (in Photoshop) or simplify (in Photoshop Elements) the type layer. To do this in Photoshop, go over to the Layers Palette on the right side and right-click on the text (title) layer, and then choose "Rasterize Layer." To do this in Photoshop Elements, select the title layer, then right-click and from the drop-down menu, choose "Simplify Layer;" or go to the Layer menu (at the top of your PSE window) and select "Simplify Layer."
Then, bring your first photo onto your layout, and place it directly on top of the letter that you want to cover it with. Resize your photo (click on the "handles" on the photo corners and drag them in or out to make your photo smaller or larger).
Now, let's make your photo take on the shape of the letter. First, make sure your photo layer is above the text layer, then create a clipping mask. To make a clipping mask in Photoshop, hit Ctrl+Alt+G; in Photoshop Elements, hit Ctrl+G. Another option in CS software for creating a clipping mask is to right-click on your photo layer in the Layers Palette and choose "Create Clipping Mask," as shown below:
Even with cropping and resizing your photos before you clip each to the text layer, you may have some parts of a photo overlap the other letters and "peek through" the wrong letter. If you can't fix it with cropping or resizing the photo, then use your Eraser Tool from your Tool Bar to erase the overlapping edges.
Here's how you do that: First, make sure your highlighted layer is the photo layer that needs to tweaked and erased. Next, click on the Eraser Tool, then look to the brush menu bar near the top left of your window (the brush menu bar is underneath the menu bar area that lists File, Edit, Image, Enhance, etc.). Select a Basic Brush, set the brush size to about 50 pixels (or larger if you want to erase bigger chunks of your picture), and set Opacity to 100%. Go to the area of the photo you want to erase and simply click on an area where the photo shows through the wrong letter. Keep clicking until the overlapping photo areas are gone. If you accidently click and erase the wrong area, just click the Undo (Edit> Undo) button!
Repeat these steps for each photo you want to showcase, making sure you clip each photo to the text layer underneath. Once all of your photos are clipped to their respective letters, you can merge the title together to make it easier to work with. Of course, keep in mind that before you merge layers together, you'll want to make sure that they are just how you want them to be because you can't separate them once they are merged.
To merge the title letters and photos into one layer, simply click on the title layer, then while holding down the Ctrl key, click on each of the photo layers. This will select all of the photo and text layers at once, instead of one at a time. Once they're all selected, hit Ctrl+E to merge those layers together.
Now, your photo title is ready to go and you're off to embellish and finish your layout!
I challenge you to go out and try this creative and cool technique that will give your digital scrapbooking layouts a title that is interesting and fun!
Layout by Laurel Lakey
Article written by Laurel Lakey
Join the ScrapSimple Monthly Club and you can enjoy the newest ScrapSimple looks while saving! (A $13.95 value for $6.99 or less!)
The new ScrapSimple Club contents are released on the 15th day of the month (or the closest business day to the 15th).
With the ScrapSimple Club, you will receive:
- 1 ScrapSimple Paper Template Set
- 1 ScrapSimple Embellishment Template
- 1 Brush Set
- 2 Designer's Choice Item
A commercially licensed version of the ScrapSimple Club is also available here.
March's ScrapSimple Club has been created for you by Julie White and Amanda Fraijo-Tobin
But that's not all! ScrapSimple Club members now receive these exclusive, club-only items!
Club Exclusive! Nano Collection
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and two Club Exclusive tutorials!
Five Tips for Scanning Photos onto Your Computer
Before the dawn of the digital era, photographs came in prints, slides, and negatives. If you are anything like me, you have a plethora of photos that need to be converted to digital format. Scanning photos may seem intimidating at first, so I compiled five tips to help you produce high-quality images with less stress!
Tip #1: Keep your photos clean. Gently remove dust, lint, and smudges with a soft brush or lint-free photo wipe. Wearing white cotton gloves when handling photos (available at hardware or photography stores) will help keep skin oils from damaging your keepsakes.
Tip #2: Remove lint, dust, and smudges from the scanner glass and lid before you scan. Use any cleaner safe for a camera lens by spraying it into a cloth and then wiping the surfaces clean.
Tip #3: Select the correct resolution for a clear digital image. Scanner resolution is measured in dots per inch (DPI). More dots mean a sharper image. If you want to make prints or scrapbook pages with your photos, scan them at 300-dpi resolution. Many scanners will prompt you to choose the DPI prior to scanning, as shown below:
Tip #4: Choose a method for saving and naming the scanned photos that works for you. In my Pictures folder, I have a "Scanned Items" folder with subfolders for heritage photos from generations ago, photos from my childhood, and pre-digital photos of my children and family. I name each photo by date (known or estimated), main subjects in the photo, and event. This system keeps me organized so I can access my scanned photos for digital scrapbooking fun!
Tip #5: Edit and enhance your photos with your digital scrapbooking program. You will have much more control and achieve better results when you scan, save, then play! Below, you can see a comparison of the original scanned photo (left) and the copy of the photo edited in Photoshop Elements 8.0 (right).
When scanning, use all five tips collectively to yield the best results. Not only will you have those precious memories preserved, you'll be ready to scrapbook them, too!
Layout by Julie Moberly
Article written by Julie Moberly
Learn to make digital scrapbooking layouts and more! – Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed
Find out how easy it can be to learn how to create digital scrapbook layouts, edit photos, use and make brushes, recolor papers and embellishments, make your own simple backgrounds and embellishments, save and share your layouts and much more!
Ready to learn advanced techniques? – MORE Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed
Learn to use paper templates, embellishment templates, custom shapes, styles, and brushes to make your own supplies. Learn advanced clipping mask and lighting blend techniques. Learn to make and use patterns. Learn to make brushes from your own doodles. Learn to extract images from photos. Learn work flow techniques that will speed up the layout creation process and advanced photo editing skills and much, much more!
Layout by Brandy Murry
Photo By: Shauna Du Bois of Two Chics Photography
Designer Freebie by Brandy Murry coordinates with her Remembrance Collection Biggie
Today's freebie designed by Brandy Murry
* There is a "free download" button on the details page for each gift. You don't need to put them in your shopping cart unless you are shopping for other items. Also note that if you are slow reading your newsletter, you may find this freebie has already been retired, as the freebies are only available as gifts for about two newsletter cycles.
Use Your Stash Chat
Thursday, April 14th - 6:00PM MT
Join Shannon (tinkerbell11) and Theresa (tiza126) in the chat room at 6pm MT for this month's edition of the Use your Stash Chat. WE will post a challenge earlier in the day to inspire you to use some of your unused digital supplies!
What's New in the Scrap Girls Boutique Chat
Friday, April 15th - 9:00AM MT
Join April (April Showers) at 9am MT on Friday morning to chat about all the wonderful new products in the Scrap Girls Boutique! What are your favorite new items? Is your shopping basket full? What did you kaboodle? Have you already done layouts or other projects with your new goodies? Come tell the designers how much you love their work. You never know who will show up. There's a thread every Thursday and now there's a chat too!
Back-Up Party and Chat
Friday, April 15th - 8:00PM MT
Need a little extra motivation to back-up your layouts and stash? Join April (April Showers) in the chat room at 8pm MT for the Back-up Party and Chat. The goal of these chats is to make sure our back-ups are current. Come chat while you back up your files. We'll also go over several different ways to safeguard your files and even give you some tips on organizing your supplies. Grab some chocolate and we'll see you in the chat room!
Emphasis on Embellishments Chat
Monday, April 18th - 5:00PM MT
Join Angela (angelaNussbaum) and Janine (J9Buckles) on Monday at 5pm MT for the Emphasis on Embellishments Chat. This monthly chat is geared towards challenging you to use more elements/embellishments on your layout. Each month, you will be given a specific number challenge to inspire you to use more on your layouts or even to create clusters! You will be amazed at what YOU can do at this chat!
New Member Chat - Early Edition
Tuesday, April 19th - 1:00PM MT
Faith Journey Chat
Tuesday, April 19th - 6:00PM MT
Join Elisha (elibar) and Lei (Bride) for a Faith Journey Chat on the third Tuesday of each month at 6pm MT. All faiths are welcome! We'll be chatting and scrapping about our individual faith walk and how we also walk together. Watch the Forum for this month's topic of discussion, and if you like, create a layout based on the topic!
April Message Board Game: BINGO!
Join us for an exciting game of Springtime BINGO on the Message Board Forum in April! Pick 25 words from the list provided and send them in an email to [email protected] with a subject line that says "BINGO CARD - your Scrap Girls Message Board username" by Saturday, April 2nd at Midnight MST in order to play in the first round. The first round will begin on Monday, April 4th. If you miss the first round deadline, you can still play! Just send in your BINGO card at any time during the month, and you'll be eligible to begin playing when the next new round starts.
Each day, a member of the Welcoming Committee will call five random words from the BINGO list. Match just 15 of those words to win a BINGO. You must be first to call "BINGO!" in the game thread to win that round. After a winner is called, the boards will be cleared and a new round will begin the following day.
Each winner will receive a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique! We like to see lots of winners, so please remember that each person can only win one round during the month. Have fun!
For complete details, visit the Monthly Message Board Games folder on the Scrap Girls Message Board.
April Monthly Layout Contest: Earth Day was started in the United States in 1970 and it went global in 1990. For April's Monthly Layout Contest, we want you to show us what Earth Day means to you or what you are doing to make our precious world a little greener. Post your layouts in the April Monthly Layout Gallery before Midnight MT on April 30th. Be sure to list your credits in the description or under the EXIF Properties. If your layout is one of the two chosen, you will win a $10 gift certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
Club Concepts Layout Contest: Post your new layout using the current club selection (either the Scrap Girls Club or the ScrapSimple Club) in our Scrap Girls Club Members Gallery or the ScrapSimple Club Members' Gallery. Be sure to list all of the Scrap Girls products you used. If your layout is chosen, it will be showcased as a Club Concepts layout winner, and you will win a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
Check our message board calendar if you have any questions about what is happening at Scrap Girls. All event times are given in Mountain Time Zone unless otherwise noted. Need help converting time zones? Check out the World Clock - Time Zone Converter. (Use 'USA-Utah-Salt Lake City' as the location for the Mountain time zone.)
Haven't received your prize as a contest winner? Please send an email to [email protected] and we'll get it out to you right away!