Have you ever tried scrapbooking and then just looked at all the work it takes to pull everything out and get it set up to find that it took so much work to get set-up and now your not interested in doing it anymore because your beat. Well I have a solution for you that will make you life so much easier and no more drawers and shelfs and boxes of scrapbook papers and all that other stuff you use. The solution is Digital Scrapbooking! Everything is downloaded to your computer and stored in a file and you just turn on the computer, go to your scrapbook file and take your downloaded scrapbook kits and photos into a photo program and start laying out your designs with the kits. You can mix and match any pages that you want and cut and crop and add fun embellishments, letters, numbers borders etc. at the push of a button. It is so simple that you will never ever go back to all the kayos of finding, cutting, pasting etc. ever again. Digital Scrapbooking is the way to go! Here are some very simple tutorials to get you started.

June Free Tutorial: How To Create Funky Photo Edges

(screenshots from Photoshop CS2)

In this tutorial we will show you how to create an interesting edge for your photos. In this example we will make a 4x6 inch edge, but you can follow this same tutorial to make any size edge (5x7, 8x10, etc.).

First open a picture that you want to work with. Crop the photo to the size you would like, in this case 4x6 inches.

Create a copy of your photo by pressing Ctrl-J.

Make sure your top layer is the active layer, if it isn't highlighted in blue then click on it. We will now change the Canvas Size - click on Image > Canvas Size. Add 1 inch to both the width and height, check the box next to Relative, and the Canvas extension color is White.

Load the duplicate layer as a selection by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking on the layer thumbnail - this will put marching ants around your selection. Now create a new layer by clicking on the create a new layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette. Press D on your keyboard to set your colors back to default (black and white).

Now add a stroke to this selection on your new layer by clicking Edit > Stroke. Use settings similar to these, making sure the stroke is on the Inside, which will give you a nice square edge. Click OK. Click Ctrl-D to deselect the marching ants.

Make your stroke layer into a selection by holding the Ctrl key and clicking on the layer thumbnail. Hide the stroke layer by clicking on the eye next to the thumbnail. Create a new layer by clicking on the create a new layer icon on the layers palette.

We are now going to create a Quick Mask. Press Q on your keyboard to enter Quick Mask mode, or you can click on the Edit in Quick Mask Mode icon on the tool bar.

The pink color shows the areas that are masked and will not be affected by anything we are about to do.

Click on Filter > Brush Strokes > Spatter. These are the settings we used, but if you play with the slider you can see the effect it will have on the stroke layer. Click OK when you are satisfied. Press Q on the keyboard to exit Quick Mask Mode.

Fill this layer with black by clicking on the Paint Bucket tool and clicking within the selection. Hide your other layers by clicking the eye next to the layers. Press Ctrl-D to deselect. You should have something like this...

Save this file as a .png to preserve its transparency. You could try experimenting with different filters, textures or colors to get a different look. Try using them as masks or with a layer blend mode. Here is our end result...now have fun!

March Free Photoshop Tutorial

Cut It Out! A Creative Title Trick (Photoshop)

Step One: Create a New Document

• Create a new document (File > New) for the start of your scrapbook page. My document is 12×12 inches at 300ppi.

• Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips to the default of black and white.

• Get the Move tool.

• In the Options Bar, uncheck Auto-Select and check Show Transform Controls.

Step Two: Add a Background Paper

• Open a background paper (File > Open).

• Holding down the Shift key, click on the paper and drag it onto your scrapbook page.

Step Three: Add a Photo

• Open a photo (File > Open). I choose a photo that would work well cropped as a circle.

• Click on the photo and drag it onto your scrapbook page.

Step Four: Add a Large Title

• Get the Horizontal Type tool.

• In the Options Bar, choose a print style font in a large size. I choose Gill Sans Regular at 375pts.

• Click on your scrapbook page, type out your title, and click the check mark in the Options Bar to commit the changes.

• If you need to change the size of the font, adjust it in the Options Bar.

• If you need to reposition the font, hold down the Ctrl key (Mac: Cmd key), click inside the Bounding Box, and move around.

• In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Rasterize > Type.

Step Five: Create a Selection Outline

• Get the Magic Wand tool.

• In the Options Bar, click on the Add to Selection icon, Tolerance should be 10, check Contiguous, and uncheck Sample All Layers.

• On the scrapbook page, click directly on the letter that will be replaced with your photo to get a selection outline around it.

• Then click inside the areas of the letter that were not selected.

• In the Menu Bar, choose Select > Modify > Expand.

• In the dialog box, enter 1px and click OK.

Step Six: Remove the Letter and Paper

• In the Layers panel, make sure the title layer is the active layer.

•Press the Backspace key (Mac: Delete key) to remove the letter.
   The letter you had selected should have disappeared.

• In the Layers panel, activate the background paper layer.

• Press the Backspace key (Mac: Delete key) to remove the selected portion of the paper.
  Note: You will not see anything happen if your photo is covering up the hole.

• Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to Deselect.

Step Seven: Move the Photo Behind and Resize

• In the Layers panel, click on the photo layer to activate it.

• In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Arrange > Send Backward.

• Get the Move tool.

• Click on a corner handle of the Bounding Box, hold down the Shift key, and resize your photo to fit nicely inside the hole you created.

• Click inside the Bounding Box and reposition the photo. Click on the check mark in the Options Bar to commit the changes.
Note: Make sure the Bounding Box stays outside the boundaries of the hole you created.

Step Eight: Add a Layer Style

• In the Layers panel, click on the background paper layer to activate it.

• In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow.

• In the dialog box, change the Size to 50px and click OK.

And here is my my scrapbook page after finishing up that last step and adding more type and embellishments.


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