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3 Steps to Eraser Stamping

Eraser stamping is a popular technique that is showing up in everything from scrapbooking to clothing to children’s crafts. Basically, you take some paint or ink and use the end of a pencil to stamp it onto paper. Using multiple colors of paint or ink, and several different pencils adds layers of interest. Eraser stamping is usually done using a stencil or a reverse stencil.

Although these techniques are usually done by hand, they can also be created in Photoshop Elements. Digital stamping is just as much fun and a lot less messy. November’s ScrapSimple Club from Elisha Barnett includes the perfect stamp set to get started! Let’s explore this together!

1. Use the Custom Shape tool.

After you create a new document in Photoshop Elements, draw a shape using the Custom Shape tool to be used as a stencil/mask. (A mask is basically a digital stencil.) Next, make a Direct Selection by holding the CTRL key down while clicking on the thumbnail picture of the shape in the Layers palette. This will put a selection around the shape – it looks like little “marching ants” outlining the shape. A Direct Selection selects all solid pixels in that layer. Make the shape invisible (by clicking on the little eye icon next to that layer in the Layers palette) or delete that layer altogether.

2. Create new layers as you stamp.

A new layer is where you will do your brush work. Load the ScrapSimple Brush Set: Dynamic Brush Eraser Stamps into Photoshop Elements and start stamping. Create new layers as you go along, using a new one for each different stamp and each different color. It takes an extra moment to create a new layer each time, but it will save you time and stress in the long run. You don’t need to be too careful around the edges of the shape because the stamp will only appear inside the selected portion.

3. Merge or link all of the stamp layers.

Believe it or not, you’re done! It really is that simple! Your unique art is ready to use it on your layout.

Once you have tried this technique, don’t hesitate to experiment with other items! A brush, stamped onto its own layer, an alpha, thick bold text, or other embelishments can be used instead of a custom shape.

Another variation is to stamp everywhere except inside the shape or mask. To get this look, make the Direct Selection and use the shortcut Shift+CTRL+I (that’s the capital letter I, not L). You’ll see the same “marching ants” outlining the shape, but you will also see them outlining the entire document. Any stamping will appear between the edge of the shape and the edge of the document.

I’m excited to see how you play with this technique and make it your own! Happy stamping and happy scrapping!

An Amazing Deal!
If you were to buy all of the items in the club individually from the Boutique they would cost $19.15 and we offer it to you for just $6.99 a month!
Tutorial written by Anna Mansfield
Using  Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 with Windows 8

Fast and Fun 2017 Calendar

If you’re wondering how you can easily design and print next year’s calendar in just a couple of weeks, wonder no more! Every year, I buy digital calendar templates and get quickly overwhelmed by the number of layouts needed to finish the project. Then it dawned on me – I can showcase already-completed layouts by simply placing them in my 2017 calendar! Plus, it was so much fun revisiting layouts and kits I haven’t worked with in a while.

I chose the ScrapSimple Calendar Templates: 11×17 Blenders 2017. To insert a completed layout into the template, I did one of two things:

  • I clipped a completed layout into the template’s photo mask (example below).
  • I dragged in portions of the layout and moved things around to fit the template.

Once my layout was in place, the creative process began! The blender backgrounds allowed me to beautify my layouts by blending patterns and textures that complemented the original design. Sometimes I swapped out backgrounds and embellishments and used new products to change things around. I modified the calendar template until I got the results I was happy with. Here are a few things I did:

  • I used the festive Birthday Cake brush (included with the templates) to remind my family of our special days.
  • I personalized the calendars by adding school calendar days.
  • To give a consistent look throughout the calendar, I added a glitter border on each month’s word art (January, February, March, etc.).

To print my calendar, I sent the JPG files to Office Depot to print on 11×17-inch, 110 lb. cardstock and added a clear coil binding. The colors were vivid, and there is a thin white border around my image so it appears that the images were not cropped at all. The cost of the completed calendar project was $22.

Don’t be this afraid to start your 2017 calendar project – just follow my tips and get more mileage out of your finished layouts by enjoying them in 2017, too!

(Click on the images below to be taken to their product page)
(Please see Pam’s Gallery for complete list of kits used on her calendar.)
Tutorial written by Pam Zeman

Holiday Gift Idea: All-Occasion Card Sets

With the holidays rapidly approaching, I find myself in a bit of a rush to get my Christmas gifts ready.  Over the years, we have limited our holiday spending and tried to share simple, personal gifts with our family and friends. The minute I saw the word art, bonus items, and papers in November’s Scrap Girls Club: Creative Spirit by Syndee Nuckles, I knew I was going to create all-occasion card sets for my gift closet!

Creating the cards was super-easy with the word art and frame clusters. I chose a finished card size of 5.5 inches wide by 4.25 inches tall so I could print two cards on a letter-sized piece of linen cardstock-weight paper.

To add a special touch, I also wanted to make matching stationary folders.  Let me show you how I did it:

Step 1:

Open a new 11×8.5-inch (width by height) layout in your digital software. Using Syndee’s ScrapSimple Craft Mini Album, drag the 6×6-inch page and a page pocket onto your layout. Duplicate, flip, and resize to fit within an 11×6-inch (width by height) area.

Step 2:

Attach coordinating digital papers to the template pockets and inside of your stationary folder.  Vary the pocket sizes and shapes with the included pocket options.

Step 3:

Create the front cover of your stationary folder using a Bonus Item layout. Add word art and resize.

Print the front of the stationary folder on one side and print the back of the stationary folder on the other side of a piece of linen cardstock. Print the folder pockets on the same cardstock. Cut, score, embellish, and assemble.

With these simple, pretty card sets, I’m quickly catching up on my holiday gift list. Live each day creatively! We’d love to see your creations in the Scrap Girls Club Gallery!

An Amazing Deal!
If you were to buy all of the items in the club individually from the Boutique they would cost $27.64 and we offer it to you for just $9.99 a month!
Sign up for the club before midnight ET tonight (Nov. 28th) and you will also receive this coordinating Holiday Value Pack FREE!
Hybrid Tutorial written by Karen Webb

Flowers: Thinking Outside the Cluster

I love using flower clusters on my digital scrapbook pages, and the flowers in this month’s Scrap Girls Club: Creative Spirit are perfectly suited for clusters. For this tutorial, we’re going to think “outside the cluster” and explore a few other ways you can use flowers to enhance your pages.

1. Create a unique title using flowers.

Start by choosing a word to use as your base. I used the “Love” word art from the collection super mini, but you can choose any word you’d like. Keep in mind that you’ll want the font to have wide-bodied characters so there is room to place the flowers.

To create the look in the greeting card below, simply add flowers and a few leaves above your word on your page. Then resize and arrange them to fit within the outline of the word. Just like when creating clusters, varying the size and type of flowers gives a more natural look. I also tried to use odd numbers of specific flowers and placed similarly colored flowers so they formed visual triangles. When I was finished arranging the flowers, I selected all the layers and added a small drop shadow.

2. Use flowers to enhance photos.

For the next two examples, I used flowers to enhance the photos. In the layout below, I simply added a flower to my daughter’s hair to add an extra little pop to the photo. I added a small drop shadow to the flower to give it a more realistic look.

I added a whole bouquet of flowers to the next image. My daughter was holding a few springs of wildflowers in the original photo, but I wanted to dress it up a bit, so I added a bunch of flowers from this month’s club to turn it into a pretty bouquet. I did leave a few of the original flowers showing a bit at the edges.

Try using some of the gorgeous flowers from Syndee’s Creative Spirit Scrap Girls Club to dress up one of your next layouts or greeting cards. We’d love to see your creations in the Scrap Girls Club Gallery!

An Amazing Deal!
If you were to buy all of the items in the club individually from the Boutique they would cost $27.64 and we offer it to you for just $9.99 a month!
Article written by April Martell
Tutorial written using Photoshop CS6 with Windows 7

Faux Golden Light Effect in PSE

There’s something special about the light in the autumn season. It’s a little more golden and rich, flattering and warm than the rest of the year. This month’s Scrap Girls Club: Autumn Symphony by Laura Louie is perfect for these fall photos. Full of gorgeous oranges, browns, and yellows. It is so beautiful!

But what if your pictures don’t naturally have that golden light? Sometimes, despite our best intentions, our photos don’t reflect what we see in nature. Or sometimes we may want to use photos from some other time of year.

Here’s a little secret: Getting that golden light is as easy as a few mouse clicks in Photoshop Elements. It is really easy to add to any of your pictures. Let me show you how!

First, open your picture. Crop, adjust the curves, and any other tweaking you need to do.

Second, apply a Solid Color adjustment layer.

Pick a golden orange, red, or yellow color.

Change the Blending mode to combine your picture with the color layer. The Blending mode you choose will vary, depending on the colors in your picture, but Multiply, Color Burn, Screen, Overlay, and Soft Light are good ones to start with. Adjust the opacity of the Solid Color adjustment layer if the effect is too much.

Merge (or use a clipping mask for) the Solid Color adjustment layer with the photo, and now you are ready to use it on your layout.
Here you can see the difference this one little adjustment layer can make.

Here’s the finished layout with my golden photo:

Laura has created a beautiful collection for us this month, and I’m excited to see how you use it in your layouts! Be sure to post your layouts in the Scrap Girls Gallery!

An Amazing Deal!
If you were to buy all of the items in the club individually from the Boutique they would cost $27.64 and we offer it to you for just $9.99 a month!
Tutorial written by Anna Mansfield
Using  Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 with Windows 8

Scrap Girls Project Life: Set Yourself Up for Success

There are many different ways to create Project Life-styled albums to document your year. You can take daily photos, scrap weekly layouts, monthly layouts, or do whatever works best for you! Whichever way you choose, it works for our year-long Project Life Challenge. You can find the details for our 2016 challenge and associated prizes here.

It’s never too late in the year to start your album!

Confession: While I have finished my albums every year since 2009, I am never up-to-date on the current year and do some major catch-up scrapping the week after Christmas every single year. 

In this tutorial, I’ll give you some tips on how to set yourself up for success in creating your album and show a few ways you can switch up templates to keep your pages fresh along the way.

1. Organize your photos.

I have photo folders for each week of the year because that is the way I scrap my pages. (I used to organize them differently, but adapted my folders to make it easier to get my layouts done.) You’ll want to organize your photos the way that works best for you. When I upload photos from my camera and phone, or when I grab my kids’ photos from Facebook, I drop the photos into the folder for whatever week it was taken. When I go to work on the page for that week, all the photos are in one place!

2. Keep up with the journaling, even if you don’t have time to scrap.

Writing my journaling while it’s still fresh is a must for me. I keep a Word document open on my computer and try to update the journaling at least once a month. If I go longer than that (and I sometimes do), I tend to forget things! I always open the photo folder for the week (see Step 1) to get myself started. Using my appointment calendar is another great way to jog my memory if I’ve forgotten to journal.

3. Use the same font for journaling throughout the entire album.

Choose a font that is easy to read and make sure the font has any special characters you regularly use. You will also want to keep the font size consistent from page to page. This year, I used Lettering Delights Scrap Casual Font for my journaling.

4. Keep the embellishments simple. 

This is especially important when using a lot of photos on your page. It not only keeps the focus of your page on the photos, it also takes less time! For my pages, I like to anchor the journaling paper with simple embellishments or a small cluster.

5. Use templates and don’t be afraid to alter them to fit your photos. 

There are a lot of templates in the Boutique that are designed for weekly or monthly pages. Choose the ones that work best for you. To get extra mileage out of your templates, you can rotate or flip the entire template, or you can remove a horizontal photo and replace it with two verticals. You can replace vertical photos with multiple horizontals as well. This simple method keeps your pages looking fresh. The examples below use templates from ScrapSimple Digital Layout Album Templates: Album Series 5 by Angie Briggs.

6. Format your pages for the printing method you plan to use.

Most printing sites have a template you can use to see the trim lines and make sure nothing important is cut off your pages. The first year I created an album of weekly pages, I chose the printing site at the end of the year when I was ready to print. Unfortunately, I hadn’t factored in the trim lines and had to open and edit each page before I could upload it for printing. You might have noticed that my layouts have wider margins than their corresponding templates in the screenshots. That is because, when I create my pages, I use a template showing the trim lines from the site I plan to use for printing so I won’t have to fix each page later.

7. Have fun and ask for help if you need it!

Enjoy the process of creating your pages. If you have questions or need help with anything scrapping-related, just ask on the Scrap Girls Forum. We love to answer your questions and we’d love to see your completed pages in the Scrap Girls Project Life 2016 Gallery.

We have a special Project Life Blinkie that you can put in your Signature on the SG message board.

Grab it here:

Article written by April Martell
Tutorial written using Photoshop CS6 with Windows 7

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