1. Start with choosing a focal point.
Every page needs a clear starting point. Our eyes are naturally drawn to pictures, so those are usually where we start. We spend time studying the pictures before we read the journaling. When you aren’t using pictures, pick something else for the eye to focus on first – a title, a piece of word art, etc.
In my example, I used a phrase from the story. This is something that my family says all the time, ever since my three-year-old mistakenly ate a spoonful of salt, thinking it was sugar. “Not ‘da suga’, Mama!” means “That was not what I expected!” in our household.
2. Make the focal point stand out.
Once you’ve picked your focus, the trick is making it the focus. Size, placement, and color are three great ways to pull the eye in. Again, we naturally look at the biggest element with the most differences first. Use that to your advantage:
- Make the quote the biggest part of the page.
- Use a fancy font or a different color.
- Use alphas for one wor
- Add a style to give it texture or depth. Anything to make it stand out!
3. Let everything else be in the background.
Let all of the other text elements take a step back. Pick a simple, easy-to-read font and a neutral color. Use a smaller point size. All of these things make it clear to someone looking at the page what you intended them to see first, second, third.
Challenge yourself today to create a layout without a photo. I would love to see how you make quotes the main feature of your page! And, of course, don’t forget to post your layout in the Scrap Girls Gallery!
When scrapping, I love to use keyboard shortcuts. They are exactly that – shortcuts – and they are great timesavers. It’s so simple to just press two or three keys to accomplish a task. Easy peasy! The alternative is to get my mouse, go to the menu bar, click on the menu I want, find the specific command I want to execute, then select it to get the results I want. Sometimes, that just takes too long for what I want to do!
You probably know some shortcuts already – like the ever-familiar Ctrl+Z = Undo, but there are many, many other shortcuts available to help you accomplish various tasks. Today, I’ll share a few of my favorites with you. I’ve provided a few screenshots highlighting some of these. Notice that the commands which have keyboard shortcuts will have the shortcut listed next to the command.
Ctrl+N = New Blank File
Ctrl+O = Open File (An alternative to this is to double-click on a blank area of the workspace, which I think works just as well as the keyboard shortcut.)
Alt+Ctrl+B = Convert to Black and White
Ctrl+L = Levels Adjustment
Ctrl+U = Adjust Hue/Saturation
Shift+Ctrl+U = Remove Color
Ctrl+G = Create Clipping Mask
Ctrl+E = Merge Down
A few extra commands that I like to use are the Fill Commands:
Alt+Delete or Alt+Backspace = Fill background with Foreground Color
Ctrl+Delete or Ctrl+Backspace = Fill background with Background Color
There are many more shortcuts and cheat sheets available, including those for brushes, panel bin, rulers, selections, and tools. To learn more about these, do a search for Keyboard Shortcuts or Photoshop Elements Keyboard Shortcuts. Don’t forget that you can always post any questions in the Scrap Girls Forum. Someone is always available and happy to help. Happy scrapping with PSE shortcuts!
- Slide Some Scribbles Behind Your Title
Titles and text can easily get lost when used with patterned papers. You can make the text stand out from the background by placing a highlighter-inspired scribble between the paper layer and your title.
The highlight embellishments are also a great way to emphasize specific words in your journaling. I used the yellow highlight twice, simply rotating it 180 degrees to make the second one look slightly different from the first. The highlight embellishments are somewhat transparent, so your text will show through, just like when using a real highlighter. To get a more realistic look, place the highlight layer below your text layer.
After I finished my layout, I played around with the embellishment set and created a fun greeting card using some of the scribbles as flowers. I simply added paper rosette centers and used stitches for the stems.
Start by clicking on the Gradient tool in the Tools palette. Then up at the top of the screen in the Options menu, you can change the basic shape of the gradient.
Next, click on the Edit button and the Gradient Editor window will open.
To take this to the next level, add a ScrapSimple paper template, and apply your gradient to it by using a clipping mask. I love this wavy paper template from June’s ScrapSimple Club: Beyond the Sea by Laura Louie. A gradient is perfect for this template because it accentuates the movement of the waves.
Grab this month’s ScrapSimple Club and create some waves of your own! I can’t wait to see how you combine gradients with ScrapSimple paper templates to make something totally new! Don’t forget to post your work in the Scrap Girls Gallery!
Paper strips are a fun way to use different patterned papers together. I created each paper strip by making a selection on the paper with either the Polygonal Lasso tool or the Rectangular Marquee tool and then adding a layer mask. Once the layer mask is applied, you can arrange the strips behind the photo to create a border with them. While this layout uses the strips horizontally, the look is just as effective with the strips placed vertically.
We’d love to see your pages in the Scrap Girls Gallery!
The first layout uses a photo of my grandfather holding my dad. Since it is a black-and-white photo, I chose a color palette with subdued neutrals and blues. The flowers have a bit of grunge, and I used them sparingly. The distressed frame and torn paper border add texture which can help create a more masculine feel.
- Choose a more subdued or gender-neutral color palette.
- Distressing and a little grunge can add a more masculine feel.
- Tie the color and style of florals to something in the photo.
- Add some masculine embellishments like metal, buttons, string, or wire in with the flower clusters.
- Try using distressed and frayed flowers or flowers with more texture like those made of burlap or canvas.
Go ahead and give it a try! We’d love to see how you repurpose your floral products for masculine layouts when you share them with us in the Scrap Girls Gallery.