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January 31st Challenge Winners & Challenge Chase

WEEKLY LAYOUT WINNER
 
Home by LauraYB
Congratulations Laura! You may claim your gift certificate by emailing prizes@scrapgirls.com.
Want a chance to win Scrap Girls’ Weekly Layout Contest?
Simply post your digital or paper layouts that use Scrap Girls products in our online Gallery; if we choose yours, you’ll win a prize! To be considered, don’t forget to list the Scrap Girls products that you used in your layout.
Want to see past winners of the Weekly Layout Contest? Visit the Weekly Layout Winners Gallery on our Forum!
WEEKLY CHALLENGE WINNER
 
Rahnii by nanna jo
THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE
Join in our weekly challenge where we focus on blending our photos into the background.
UPCOMING CHATS & CHALLENGES
Tuesday, February 2nd– Blending Challenge by Theresa
Blending photos.
Weekend Challenge - Wildcard Challenge by Carla
Team colors.
HASHTAG CHALLENGE
The hashtag for February is #sgdigilove to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Post any layout you think shows love and tag it with #sgdigilove to qualify. 
For more details click here.
FEBRUARY GAME CHALLENGE
Join us on the Forum in February for a slow scrap using photos you love.
INTRODUCING:
Complete a Challenge a week to earn a special discount in our store!

Do you love a Challenge? Or should we say lots of Challenges? Then you should join our monthly Challenge Chase. To participate, just complete a Challenge a week for one month, and submit a layout for our Monthly #Hashtag challenge. Every month you complete The Chase, you will be rewarded with a one-time coupon for 25% off that you can use in our store the next month.

Click HERE for all the info you need to know to join our Challenge Chase!

 

Scrap Girls #Hashtag Challenge

All about our #Hashtag Challenge

We love it when we see you share your lovely layouts with your family and friends. Now we want to reward you for it too! At the beginning of each month we will issue a #Hashtag challenge to all our readers. Post your layout on any social media channel (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc) or our Forum marked with the special #hashtag of the month to be entered to win our monthly prize!

We don’t have a lot of fussy rules or requirements for this challenge. You may tag any layout you think fits our monthly theme and upload it to any social media channel. And you may enter our challenge each month with as many layouts as you’d like. All we ask is that you use at least one Scrap Girls product in your layout.

What’s a heck’s a #Hashtag?

 #Hashtags are used on most social media channels to sort or organize content. The idea was started with Twitter and has been expanded to most other social media platforms. If a post, picture or video is marked with a specific hashtag that denotes what it is about it makes it searchable. So for example, if I mark a picture of my dog playing fetch on the beach and tag it with the hashtag #tennisballobsession, I can search on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest for all photos posted by anyone else who thinks their dog is equally tennis ball obsessed.

Scrap Girls wants to include more of our customers in our challenges and we know that we have lots of folks who like to post their layouts on social media. By using hashtags we can find these readers layouts quickly and easily at the end of the month.

How to participate?

We want to keep these challenges really open ended to inspire your creativity. Each month our hashtag will be a short word or phrase and it will be up to you to decide where you want to go with it. We will announce our #Hashtag challenge (and the specific phrase you should use on your layouts) at the beginning of the month in our Newsletter and in our weekly winners blog post. Each month we will pick one winner of the #Hashtag challenge to nab a great monthly prize package.

To make sure your layout gets included in the monthly drawing be sure to use the hashtag phrase exactly as it’s written (with no capital letters or spaces) and be sure to include the # symbol at the front of the phrase.

If you’re using a layout you posted on the Forum to qualify for our #Hashtag Challenge be sure to put your hashtag in the layout description (not in the tag or comments). You can post your layout to any gallery on our Forum and as long as your hashtag is written correctly and in the right place we will find it.

January 24th Challenge Winners & New Feature

WEEKLY LAYOUT WINNER
 
All About Me by Debbie (Boatlady)
Congratulations Debbie! You may claim your gift certificate by emailing prizes@scrapgirls.com.
Want a chance to win Scrap Girls’ Weekly Layout Contest?
Simply post your digital or paper layouts that use Scrap Girls products in our online Gallery; if we choose yours, you’ll win a prize! To be considered, don’t forget to list the Scrap Girls products that you used in your layout.
Want to see past winners of the Weekly Layout Contest? Visit the Weekly Layout Winners Gallery on our Forum!
WEEKLY CHALLENGE WINNER
 
Jump by scrapperbess
THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE
Introducing our NEW “Focus on Design” feature. We will be focusing on one designer each month, and a unique or awesome aspect of their design skills and products. This month we have chosen Amanda Fraijo-Tobin.
UPCOMING CHATS & CHALLENGES
Tuesday, January 26th – Styles Challenge by Andrea-Rose
Use custom styles on your layout.
Weekend Challenge - Wildcard Challenge by Marilyn
First photo of 2016.
JANUARY GAME CHALLENGE
There’s still a few days left to join us on the forum in January where we will go back to the basics and help you create four beautiful layouts.
PROJECT LIFE 2015 WRAP UP
Thank you to everyone who participated in Project Life 2015!  It was so much fun reading about everyone’s goings-on throughout the year.

The winner of the final quarterly drawing for a Digital Layout Template from the boutique was scrapgran!  Please email Angie at prizes@scrapgirls.com and let her know your choice.

The Grand Prize winner of a $20 gift certificate to the boutique is Becster!  Congratulations Becky, email Angie at prizes@scrapgirls.com and let her know you were the winner.

Congratulations to all those who finished at least one layout a month for the entire year.

Please email Angie at prizes@scrapgirls.com to claim your participation prize:

  • Xana
  • scrapgran
  • Becster
  • Jane in N.Z.
  • Ande43
  • Scrapin Pat
  • Carla Shute

Project Life 2016 is happening now!  Come on over and join us!

 

 

 
 

Dodge & Burn Your Way to Perfect Pics!

Have you ever said, “That photo would be perfect if only this part was lighter – or that part was darker”? More times than not, just about any photo can be improved by a little lightening or darkening of an area or element in the photo.

Good news! Photoshop tools come to our rescue! Today, I’ll show you a way to easily improve your almost-perfect photos using the Dodge and Burn tools to “paint” that lighter or darker area into your photos.

You’ll find these tools in the Enhance section of the Tools panel. The Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools are nested together in the Tools panel. In this tutorial, we will be working with Dodge and Burn tools; we’ll save the Sponge tool for another day.

Keep in mind the Dodge tool lightens pixels and the Burn tool darkens pixels. The more you paint over an area with the Dodge tool, the lighter the area will become. Accordingly, the more you paint over an area with the Burn tool, the darker the area will become.

After selecting which tool you need to use, select a brush from the drop-down menu in the Tool Options bar and adjust the size according to the size of the area you are going to “paint.” I find that a soft round brush usually works best.

Next, select the appropriate range from the drop-down menu:

Shadows – if you want to lighten or darken a dark area in your photo

Midtones – if you want to lighten or darken an average-toned area in your photo

Highlights – if you want to lighten or darken a light area in your photo

Finally, use the slider to adjust the exposure percentage. The exposure is the strength of the brush stroke – you could also think of it as opacity.

Now you are ready to paint the area you want to lighten (Dodge) or darken (Burn).
In my first example, the original photo of the bird looks okay, but I think she is just a little too dark. I want to emphasize her and bring her out of the background a little. Because I want to lighten her, I’m choosing the Dodge tool and a large soft round brush. Since the bird is primarily gray, I select Midtones from the Range drop-down, setting the exposure to 35%. Keep in mind you may need to experiment with exposure percentages until you get the right amount of exposure for the photo you are working on.

Next, I duplicate the photo and close the original. Because this is essentially brushwork and we always want to put brushwork on its own layer, I duplicate the background layer. As I work, I can easily turn off the visibility of my duplicate layer to check my progress and compare the background with what I have already done.

Next, I click and brush on the bird a few times and here are my results:

In my next example, I want to darken the background. I like the original photo of the flower, but the few stray areas of light in the background are too distracting. With a few simple strokes of the Burn tool, I am able to eliminate them.
This time, I am using a large soft round brush, and because I want to darken a dark area of the photo, I select Shadows from the Range drop-down with the exposure at 50%.

While brushing the background, as I get closer to the edges of the petals, I switch to a hard round brush and use the left and right bracket keys to resize the brush as needed.
Here are the results:

I hope this inspires you to use the Dodge and Burn tools on your photos. I would love to see some of your Dodge and Burn work in the Scrap Girls Gallery soon!

Tutorial written by Theresa Guyer
Created using Photoshop Elements 11 with Windows 7
 
 

Journaling Inside a Shape

Take your journaling outside the box by typing your text inside a Custom Shape or in the negative space of your layout. This tutorial will show how to create text within a shape using the Polygonal Lasso tool. Notes on how to create a shape within a Custom Shape are included.

First, select the Polygonal Lasso tool in the Tools panel and use it to draw out the shape you want for your text.

Each click of the tool will create a line. To align a line either vertically or horizontally, hold down the Shift key before you click. Your shape will be complete when you click on your starting point. When you are finished, you will have a selection of the shape you drew.

My shape is angled along the side of a photo. Another option is to create a shape to avoid journaling over a cluster or another embellishment.

With the Magic Wand tool selected, right-click inside your selection and choose “Make Work Path” from the pop-up menu.

The path will look like a solid black line around your shape.

Note: If you wish to journal inside a Custom Shape, create your shape with “Path” selected in the top menu bar and follow the tutorial from here.

Select the Horizontal Type tool and hold the pointer inside the path. When the Type tool is surrounded by dashed parentheses click to insert text.

The text box will show as a rectangle, but as you type, your journaling will stay within the shape you created.

If your journaling doesn’t conform well to the shape, try justifying the text. You can also change the font size, the tracking (spacing between the letters), the leading (spacing between the lines), or even the font until you get a look you like. I used all of the above techniques on my page.

Note: While this tutorial will not work in Photoshop Elements (PSE), you can add text inside a Custom Shape in later versions of PSE by clicking on the shape with the Text tool. PSE does not have the same tools for justifying the text, you can use the PS shortcuts in PSE! Ctrl+A will select all of your text and Ctrl+Shift+J will justify the selected text.

An even easier option is to simply use one of the ScrapSimple Text Path products in the Scrap Girls Boutique!

Try mixing up the journaling on your next layout by typing it within a shape. We’d love to see your completed pages in the Scrap Girls Gallery!

Bright Idea Collection Biggie
Value Pack: Derby
Tough Enough Collection
ScrapSimple Tools – Styles: Grungalicious Distress Biggie 8501
PRODUCT SUGGESTIONS:
(Click on the product images below to be taken to their product page)
 

 

January 17th Challenge Winners & Text in a Shape

WEEKLY LAYOUT WINNER
 
Tell Your Story by Marie-Christine
Congratulations Marie! You may claim your gift certificate by emailing prizes@scrapgirls.com.
Want a chance to win Scrap Girls’ Weekly Layout Contest?
Simply post your digital or paper layouts that use Scrap Girls products in our online Gallery; if we choose yours, you’ll win a prize! To be considered, don’t forget to list the Scrap Girls products that you used in your layout.
Want to see past winners of the Weekly Layout Contest? Visit the Weekly Layout Winners Gallery on our Forum!
WEEKLY CHALLENGE WINNER
 
Bateman’s Bay by nanna jo
THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE
We are rolling out a NEW once a month feature we’re calling Technique Tuesday. This week, we are filling shapes with text. Make sure to join in the fun!
UPCOMING CHATS & CHALLENGES
Tuesday, January 19th – Text Boxes Challenge by Valerie
Journaling in an irregular shape.
Weekend Challenge - Wildcard Challenge by Conda
The importance of journaling.
JANUARY GAME CHALLENGE
Join us on the forum in January where we will go back to the basics and help you create four beautiful layouts.

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