Monday, November 11, 2013

Using Blend Modes and Filters

Just before I left Florida for California I took a class on blending with Linda Sattgast at Digital Scrapper.  It was a great class, focusing on blending textures into photos to create artistic looks.  Her class has now been broken into two parts and is offered as self-paced.  If you are a fairly experienced digital scrapbooker or a photographer interested in using blending on some of your photos, this is a very worthwhile class.

Here are some layouts I created (hastily, due to the upcoming move):

 This used a heritage photo from my collection and some kit materials.  I just realized I need to hunt down the credits and add them to the post.  Will do it later - got to run to an exercise class...

Another designer-teacher who is offering a class on blending with a 20% discount that ends  today is Tiffany Tillman at Scrapaneers.  I signed up even though I learned quite a bit in Linda's class.  It looks like Tiffany will be doing more with blending in layouts and less with photos.  Both Linda and Tiffany include videos and pdfs and both give you lifelong access to the class and materials.

Linda and Tiffany each offer a free class.  This is a wonderful way to see if one of their more costly classes is for you.  I recommend both.  Linda is probably best for beginners with her very comprehensive self-paced beginner class.  Tiffany is younger and a less experienced teacher but lots of fun.  Tiffany is the more artistic of the two.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Free Digital Scrapbooking Software

My Memories Suite is one of the best software programs for digital scrapbooking on the market, and you can get version 4 FREE this week by visiting and using the code FreeTreatHA127 in the promo box during checkout.  Be sure to copy the code exactly as I have it.  

My Memories works on both Mac and PC platforms, and you can also snag a lot of free software at the website.  Another feature I really like is that this website remembers everything you have bought or gotten free.   These items are ALWAYS available to you for download, so if your computer goes berserk, you can get all your software easily from the site for your new computer.  There are two versions of the kits: one for the My Memories software and a "General" version for use in other programs such as Photoshop.  When you buy a kit, you can download either or both versions.

As you can see, this blog is primarily for scrapbooking in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, but this is such a great deal, I could not resist offering it to you here.  You can't do the photo editing in My Memories that you can in the Adobe products, and, of course, it is much more limited in what it can do than Photoshop, but it is relatively easy to use.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Traveling by Sampan

We lucked out on the weather the day of this excursion - clear and warm, but not hot. 

I used one of my photos as the background, employing the Dodge tool around the photos at the bottom and the Burn tool on the greenery.  The Yangtze Explorer, our cruise ship on the Yangtze River, had a professional photographer who took lots of pictures of the passengers on the trip.  We could then each purchase a dvd containing all the photos of ourselves for about $30 US.  The photo on the right is one of hers.  I'm the one in the light hat and dark jacket.  I used the Custom Shape tool to create the arrow pointing to me.

We had to take a ferry from the Yangtze Explorer to the Shennong Stream (shown in the photo on the left).

The fonts I used are Shanghai, Myriad Pro, and my own font which I had created at Jessica Sprague.

Friday, May 17, 2013

the Great Wall of China

We really lucked out on the weather the day we visited the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass, one of the best according to several travel guides I consulted.

The background was created from one of my photos using the art history brush which is available only in the full version of Photoshop.  The technique I used came from one of the lessons in Digital Scrapper's new self-paced course, Little Known Secrets of Photoshop Tools.  There is also a Photoshop Elements version and a free mini-course.

The fonts I used are Myriad Pro and, available free at Dafont, Shanghai.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tiananmen Square

I recently returned from a trip to China.  It was a marvelous trip, and we generally experienced great weather.  The days it did rain were not days when it mattered very much.  On our first full day there we began our tour in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.  So far, I have barely had time to edit even a few of my photos, but did manage to create this page:

I used one of the Scrap It Now templates available at  Digital Scrapper and modified it to suit my photos.  I also found some great Asian themed kits at
My Memories and used Dream of the Orient by Butterfly Dsign and A Touch of Asia by Valkyrie Designs.  The fonts were Myriad Pro and, free from Dafont, Shanghai and HFF Chinese Dragon.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Under Construction

I am still constructing the basic elements of this blog.  I will be posting on scrapbooking with both Photoshop (I use CS6) and Photoshop Elements (I use version 11).  I'll discuss techniques I use, where to get both freebies and other materials, where to find courses, videos, and other training materials, and lots more.  I have another, also very new, blog on Creating Heritage Pages that focuses on just that - heritage pages of all types, not just scrapbook pages.  This blog will be far more eclectic but will just be about digital scrapbooking.  I have very diverse tastes ranging from classic vintage to modern arty.  And I'm beginning to do some of my own design.  I am not a traditional paper scrapbooker, so I use far fewer of the digital versions of paper supplies than some layout designers.

For starters, ScrapGirls has just introduced a new free kit called Exuberance which you can find here.

Here is a layout I made using this kit:

No fancy techniques here.  The frame came with the washi tape, the curl, and the shadows.  I added drop shadows to the middle paper and tag and a bevel to the title.  A very simple job!