Friday, 30 May 2014

hybrid hotness | recipe cards

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A while back I stumbled across a 6x8 Snap album by Simple Stories, and even though I am strictly a digi girl when it comes to my Project Life, I felt like I had to have it. So I got it, and then it sat empty on a shelf for a couple of months. I had no idea what to do with it.

But then I happened to see the super cute and very practical Recipe Maven recipe cards templates by Scotty Girl Design. The album would be ideal to keep all the recipes that we have come to love but that I only have pinned on Pinterest, and with that are becoming increasingly difficult to find as I grow my pinboards (and that seems to happen quickly).

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The templates come in several shapes, that fit perfectly with the page protectors. Since I got the Snap album in teal, I felt that I wanted a neutral compliment in the recipe cards, so I modified the templates to fit my vision.

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I am very happy with the look, and the fact that the plastic page protectors are perfect in the kitchen when messy fingers want to get hands on.

Now I just need to remember to actually take photos of the food when we cook it!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

digi how to | drop shadow

When I posted last week on how to create the white photo frame, I got a few follow up questions. I will adress them in the coming posts, and I thought I'd start with drop shadow basics today.

Please note: what I write here is accurate for the full version of Photoshop. I haven't worked with PS Elements for seven years, so I dare not say how it works there. There are plenty of tutorials to be found just a Google search away, though, so I hope that is ok.

So doing a basic drop shadow is very easy, but the effect is very powerful. If you have ever looked at a digital page that does not have any drop shadows applied, it will look very flat and off. Even if you don't want to spend lots of time playing and messing with your shadows, just adding a basic shadow will do lots to your page.

So, here we are with the layered Photoshop file of a Project Life page:
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You can see on the photo frames and paper layers that there is a shadow applied. On the bottom right you see the layer's palette and you can see on the highlighted top layer that there is a small eye with the words "Drop Shadow" under it.

Here's how to add a drop shadow:
1. Double click on the layer you want to add the shadow to (not on the text, that will only highlight the text).

2. A new little window opens up with the layer styles. Tick the very bottom box on the left where it says Drop Shadow.

3. Choose your variables.
For basic paper shadows, these are my choices:
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Blend mode: Linear burn (colour is a very dark brown)
Opacity: 75%
Angle: 120 degrees
Distance: 8
Spread: 0
Size: 18
Noise: 0%
Tick the box "Layer knocks out Drop Shadow"

4. Click ok. That is it!

So that is what I have found works well for me for paper shadows. Sometimes I have to lower the opacity, or change the colour. This is especially true if the paper under my shadow is very dark.

For other items, such as 3D elements the settings need to be different. A big fabric flower will have a much larger shadow than a vellum paper. But, and here's a life changer, I don't fiddle with that. Why? Other people have done it before me! And they have created short cut solutions for it.

I have purchased drop shadow actions from two designers:
One Little Bird - she also has a really good tutorial (much better than my hack job) on it here.
Gennifer Bursett

I use these action sets all the time. All the time. On all my elements. Sometimes I mess with them after application, sometimes I don't. To be honest, I spend more time on shadows on my "regular" scrap pages than on my Project Life pages.

I also really like the effect that the wave distortion, as is explained in this tutorial on the Lilypad, has on drop shadows. I use that one often, though not on my PL pages.

As always, just give me a shout if you need further explanation or suggestions!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

photography | gothenburg

We took a little 30 hour mini getaway to Gothenburg a couple of weeks ago. To put a long story short, we needed some time together in a positive setting. As it turned out, I needed more rest than anticpated and I had an allergic reaction so we had to go home earlier than planned, but there were still some really great moments.

We walked around the city centre and enjoyed the sun peeking out from time to time, and explored the streets, shops, and architecture.

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We stumbled across a market hall full of delicious things; from cakes to bread to meat to cheese to you name it. We also had a lovely lunch in a super cute restaurant called Hanna Boman.

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There is a really lovely little passage way called Victoria Passagen where there are some gorgeous little shops and a popular cafè called Da Matteo, where we had coffee (chai for me) and cake.

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There are plenty of photo ops around town. There are lots of older buildings that have been used to their fullest potential. This little flower shop, Krukamor & Floratös, in a courtyard was a lovely surprise.

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One of the famous landmarks in Gothenburg is Feskekörka, which is a fish and seafood market by the canal. Fishmongers sell fresh fish and seafood, and there is a prestigious restaurant that only serves just that. We didn't eat or buy, just looked and salivated.

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We stayed at a hotel called Scandic Rubinen and it was newly renovated. Our room was perfect, the bed was comfortable and the bathroom was clean - just what I needed. Yes, I'm a princess when it comes to accomodation. I'm not ashamed to admit that! After a few hours of walking, with a bit too many impressions for my brain to deal with, I needed a few hours of rest on the bed.

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After a few hours of sleep we ventured out for some quality food. We started with drinks in the hotel bar, which looked super cool, and I was lucky to get a really nice alcohol free drink. It's not all that often that they can whip up something really delicious. Ok, so I'm picky when it comes to food and drinks too. LOL!

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We went to a restaurant called Mr P for dinner and it was amazing. The place was buzzing but we were able to get a table right away. The food was very, very good. I had one of the best plates of food in a very long time; halibut with red pepper mayo, watermelon and mint.

We had a good view of the open kitchen, and I at least thought it was interesting to watch the action and communication between the waiters and the cooks. The husband, being a cook himself, probably wasn't as impressed.

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I made the poor decision to have a scoop of ice cream for dessert. I have recently become lactose intolerant and despite taking some preventative medecine, I quickly felt really bad and we had to end the night and go back to the hotel. It was unfortunate, and it cut our trip short the next day as I didn't recover.

Despite this we had a good time, and I am glad we went.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

laying it out | on happiness

I took the photo in this layout with a timer app on the phone the other week when we were in Gothenburg (I am totally planning on doing a seperate post on that, hopefully next week). The husband was laughing at me when I was trying to position the phone just right against a glass and then run across the room to sit down. But hey, there was nobody there to take the shot for me. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

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(Supplies: Layered Layouts v.11, Every Little Bit: Bloom - May Kit, Ever Little Bit: Bloom Paper Pack by Deena Rutter, Simply Adore You by Gennifer Bursett, Life 365 - The Buttons, Stamp Press | Life by Karla Dudley)

The photos in this layout are old, from 2011 or 2012 I think, but I was reflecting on being carefree when I saw Anita Design's kit with the same name and I remembered the feeling I had on the day these were taken. I know I am on my way back to that place. I can't wait!

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(Supplies: Carefree by Anita Designs, Stitched Down volume 4 Templates by Laura Passage)

I have had a couple of follow up questions on the digi how to post that I made the other day. I will come back to them next week! For now, I need to gear up for the Champions League final tonight!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

digi how to | simple white photo frame

I have had a few questions lately on how I create the white frames in my Project Life layouts, and I thought I would try to explain how easy it is to make these simple white frames. Really, don't ever buy a simple white frame! You can do it yourself in two minutes or less!

OK, so here is a Project Life layout just to remind us what the white frames look like.
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Here's a screenshot of the layout zoomed in on my workspace in Photoshop. You can see the actual layout on the left and the layers palette on the right.
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In the layers palette, you can see that I have created one layer that is the white frame. The white frame is created by drawing a rectangle with the rectangle tool, making sure that my chosen colour is white.

On top of the white frame layer there is another layer that is the mat for the photo itself. The mat is created in the same way as the frame, but slightly smaller than the frame rectangle.

On top of that is the actual photo that I have dragged into my file. The photo is "clipped" to the photo mat. You clip by hovering the mouse between the two layers so that you see a white square with a black arrow beside it and then holding down the Alt key while left clicking. Doing it this way instead of cutting the photo to size means I can play with cropping, size, and placement of the photo in a non destructive way. The size of the mat stays the same.
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Here I have hidden the photo mat and photo to show what the white frame looks like.
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And here I have hidden the frame to show what it would look like to just have the photo mat and the photo.
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As you can see the drop shadow is applied to the frame layer since that is the one that is on the bottom of the three layers.

I have been digi scrapping since 2007, so these things are like second nature to me. If you have other questions I would be more than happy to answer them as best I can. Just give me a shout here or on Facebook.

However, if you want to become proficient in digi scrapping I highly reccomend taking a class or two. I have been a very happy customer of Jessica Sprague's most excellent classes. She has state of the art videos, she explains everything very well (and she is funny too), and the kits that come with the classes are lovely. Her classes will give you a good foundation to build on.

Be well everyone, and just give me a shout if you need further clarification!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

laying it out | london album - the final installment

So when I posted about my London album last I was hoping to be able to finish before June. Well, it's now May 20th and I finished yesterday! LOL!

I had to compromise and not create new page layouts, but simply using already creating ones and swapping out photos and journaling. I knew this was the only way I was going to finish. And really, I am ok with that. I think the foundations are really pretty so it works well.

So here are the last six spreads of my London album:

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And here are the single pages of the ones that are not full bleed photos:

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If you want to see the other layouts I have created for this album you can do so here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4