Handouts and Help

Are you going to be teaching an upcoming digital scrapbooking class and would like to use some of our information found on The Daily Digi? We have a PDF file that we have put together and are willing to share with you at no cost. Please email steph: steph@thedailydigi.com Let me know where you will be teaching, when you will be teaching, if you will be charging for the class or if it will be free, and about how many people will be in your class. THANKS!

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Brushes-Beyond the Basics

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Since I (Steph) did the post about brushes a while back, I received many comments, emails, and even a phonecall (haha) from people wanting to know MORE about using brushes. So today I have some links to really GREAT tutorials all about brushes. From these tutorials you can learn AS MUCH or AS LITTLE as you want and have time for. I learned quite a bit from these, for instance, did you know in PSCS you can use the dynamics settings to brush with TWO brushes AT THE SAME TIME!? Remember that even though these tutorials may have not been written for your EXACT program or version, they will often work in many programs. Please, don’t let the fact that they were not written for digital scrapbookers scare you, these principles can easily be applied in digi scrapping! 🙂

Photoshop

35 Tutorials for Mastering Brushes (scroll down until you see ROTATING BRUSHES, this is the first tutorial in the list. Each tutorial is listed with a screenshot and link in the title). I learned several new things from the tutorial on Brush Dynamics.

Paint Shop Pro

There are many tutorials for PSP on this site, scroll down until you see the three sections for PAINT BRUSHES.

PhotoImpact

I have had a hard time finding PI brush tutorials, but did find one here that might be helpful.

I hope this will help those of you that are still struggling with brushes!

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THE DAILY DIGI wants YOU!

THE DAILY DIGI is excited to say that we are looking for an artist team!  While originally we hadn’t planned on having a team, the vision and dreams of the site have evolved and we are ready for others to be involved.  So…

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We are getting really excited for this!  This won’t be your average creative team.  We are looking for people who really love to grow as scrappers, who want to encourage and teach others, and those who want to give back to the scrapping community.  I can’t wait to see who wants to join us.  HERE is a list of some Q&A you might have about the team.  If you have questions that aren’t listed there, please feel free to email me at janet AT thedailydigi DOT com.

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We are also pleased to announce that we are now accepting designer submissions.  If you are interested in being a spotlighted designer here at THE DAILY DIGI then please send an email to submissions AT thedailydigi DOT com (with DESIGNER SUBMISSION in the subject line) with your name, name of your designs/store, and a link to your current store.  If we feel that you would be a good fit with the site, we will email you with more information.

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In the next few weeks we will be updating some pages, getting our team sorted, and just doing some general maintenance on the site.  Please pardon our virtual “dust.”

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ARTIST TEAM Q&A

Q: Is this team for TDD site or for the store?

A: This team is for THE DAILY DIGI site — NOT the store. While you will have access to the designs in the store (free of charge) you will not be asked specifically to scrap with those items. Primarily you will be asked to scrap with items from THE DIGI FILES and with products from the sponsoring designers stores.

Q. How many people do you plan to have on the team?

A: Right now we are looking for a small team of 4-8. More important than the size, we are looking for people who fit with the vision and dreams of the site

Q: How many layouts would I be required to do each month?

A: It may vary from month to month but we will ask that you average four layouts a month. Some of these will be specific assignments (a topic, a certain designers kit, etc.) and some will be your choice.

Q: Other than layouts, what would I be asked to do?

A: We really want the team to have some influence on the site! You would be asked for ideas, opinions, and suggestions for making it a great site. There will also be opportunities for those who want to do write posts, do product reviews, be part of special projects, and help others get involved.

Q: Do I have to post my layouts in a specific number of galleries?

A: Nope, not at all. You are more than welcome to post in as many galleries as you like (after they post at TDD), but the purpose behind the layouts you create is to share in the daily posts at TDD.

Q: What happens if things come up and I can’t get enough layouts scrapped?

A: While we understand that things come up and people get busy, we are looking for people who are really ready to commit themselves to the site and the vision it has. If selected, more information will be given on what is expected and what to do if you can’t meet those expectations.

Q: I don’t think I can or want to scrap for THE DAILY DIGI but I have some other ideas of things I think I could do for the site. Is there some other way for me to get involved?

A: If you have a service/idea/plan for a way that you want to give back to the scrapping community through THE DAILY DIGI, please let us know! We are interested in hearing what you have to offer!

Muffin Tin Monday

the-undigi1One of the cool things about reading lots of blogs is that I come across so many cool ideas.  To be honest, I come across far more than I will ever have time to try, but still, I like to look and see what other people are doing. There are so many really creative people out there and I love to be inspired in my art, my home, and my parenting.

One of really great ideas I have seen a lot of, and one I plan to do over the summer while we are all home together, is MUFFIN TIN MONDAY.  Here is the desciption:

Muffin Tin Monday is a weekly blog gathering (here at Her Cup Overfloweth and previously at Sycamore Stirrings) of mommies (are there any daddy MTM’s out there?) who serve one meal a week (or more:) ) in a muffin tin! We post submissions every Monday and enjoy sharing and encouraging each other as parents. You can be as basic or as detailed as you want!

Each week there is a theme (they are posted ahead of time) and people create and serve meals in a muffin tin.  I LOVE the idea for so many reasons — fun for the kids, something new to do for lunch, great way to introduce new foods, getting the kids involved, and more.  I also love that the people who participate share what they have made. They can link at the main post at HCO and there is even a Flickr group.  Here are some of the themes they have done (all images are linked):

greenCOLORS

shape-challengeSHAPES

basedonabookBASED ON A BOOK

familyheritageFAMILY HERITAGE

holidaysHOLIDAYS

And some other really cool ones…

other

dinner

flowercups

girlsday

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So, tomorrow is Monday. What’s stopping you? If you want to keep with the groups theme, it is

“MTM goes AWOL! (Take your tin to another location-park, bedroom, friend’s house,etc.)”

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Sketch This

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As much as I would love to avoid the time waster of Facebook, I can’t seem to stay away. I have managed to avoid silly quizzes and endless game playing, but I am a sucker for status updates and seeing what my friends are up to. One of the things I have noticed in the last few days is an application that turns your profile picture into a sketch. People seem to be excited about it so I thought I would show you how you can do it yourself. It’s easy!

1. Choose a photo you would like to turn into a sketch and open in PS/PSE. I chose this photo of my daughter from last weekend.

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2. Remove color from the photo (Ctrl Shift U)
3. Duplicate layer (Command J).
4. With Background Copy active, invert the photo (Command I). This will switch your black and white colors, making it look like a photo negative

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5. In the layers palette, change the layer blend mode to Color Dodge. Don’t worry — this step will turn your photo white. It won’t stay that way, though!

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6. Now go to Filter >Blur> Gaussian Blur. When the dialogue screen comes up, drag the slider until the photo looks like you want your sketch. Click OK.

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7. You can stop here, or, you can add some texture. I don’t like the Photoshop built-in textures, so I opened up a piece of digi paper that I love the texture of. I used a canvas overlay by Nancie Rowe Janitz, but you can use any paper you like and just remove the color (Ctrl Shift J).

8. Add your paper (with color removed) on the layer above your sketch. Try different blending modes to see which one works best with your photo. I used multiply mode with an opacity of about 33%. Once you are happy with the texture and look of your sketch, merge your layers. Here is a 100% crop of my image so you can see the texture:

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9. You can continue to play with it like you would any other photo. For mine, I adjusted the brightness and contrast a bit and then added a vignette. This was the final result….perfect for putting on a layout, printing out and framing, or giving as a gift.

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Our photo editing programs are capable of so much…why not give something new a try!

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P.S. As part of the process of listening to what our readers want/need, you will notice that there is now a CONTACT US button at the top of the sidebar section and there is also an archive list. Thanks for your suggestions…keep ’em coming!

Right Round Baby, Right Round

project365week1-b-copy450Supplies are from Life 365 at Weeds and Wildflowers

On Wednesday this week I(Steph) took my crop-a-dile to a friend so she could use it for some cards she was making. While I was there, I saw some cute little squares and rectangles with rounded corners. I had told her last week how much I like rounded corners because they make things look so GREAT with such little effort. I was reminded how difficult it was for me to figure out how to round corners digitally when I first started. It’s almost laughable how long it took me to figure it out…haha!

I was able to find some GREAT tutorials to share with you on how to round corners but to my surprise, none of them showed the way I do it. Most of the tutorials showed one or more different ways to round corners, so I learned A LOT of different ways to accomplish this technique.

First, I thought I wanted to share how I do it…

1) I select my rounded rectangle tool (under the rectangle tool in PS and PSE) and I use these settings:

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2) Create a new layer

3) Click and drag to draw the rectangle or square (to get a perfect square, hold the shift key while dragging).

4) Now, I just use the shape layer like it is a template or clipping mask. I put the paper or photo layer ABOVE the shape layer and then in PS, CTRL+ALT+G and in PSE CTRL+G.

As always, even if these tutorials are not written specifically for your program, the version of your program, or even scrapbooking, the principles will apply across platforms.

Rounded Corners in PSE by Misty Cato

Rounded Corners in PSE by Pain in the Tech (isn’t that a fun name?)

Rounded Corners in PS by Website Magazine

Four Different Methods to Create Rounded Corners by Tutorio

Rounded Corners In Gimp

Have fun going round! 🙂

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You Inspire Me

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It’s  been a while since I spent some time cruising through the galleries. I really need to do it more often!  I see so much talent, so many amazing layouts, so many memories preserved.  It gets me so excited to do some of my own scrapping.  The digi community truly inspires me!  And isn’t that the point of sharing our layouts?  To inspire others? Sure, I know for some it about advertising or meeting creative team requirements.  But for me, I love to be inspired!  And as I spent some time looking at the latest layouts, my mission did not fail!  Here are some of the amazing layouts I came across (all images are clickable for full gallery credits).

silly-boy9SILLY BOY by Crystalbella77

I love the use of neutral colors and the fun alpha that emphasize the theme of her “silly boy.”

choco_caramel_crack_ers_CRACKERS by geek_girl

The title work of this layout is fabulous and I LOVE layouts with recipes.  What a great thing to preserve for future generations!

egg_decorating_041009EGGS by kayleigh

What’s not to love?  The colors, the design, the fabulous stitching…it is all so amazing!  I could spend a LONG time in Kayleigh’s gallery!

roadtrip-webROAD TRIP by Eve

This layout is just too cute!  I love the great use of elements, the adorable photo, and the fun journaling!

sweet_sticky_riceSWEET STICKY RICE by Lizzyfizzy

Other than the fact that I ADORE Thai sticky rice, I also love this layout because of the fun bright colors against a neutral background. So sweet!

04-03-holding-youHOLDING YOU by Shaui

Isn’t this layout incredible? I love the bold simplicity of it.  The splash of red paint perfectly pulls in the red of the photo and the tied twine over the photo is the perfect accent for a photo about “holding.”

eat_play_kitchen_EAT by Star74

What a bright and happy layout!  I love how her title work, too!

febfavesFEBRUARY FAVES by Lynette

The black and white photo is just perfect with this colorful page all about her favorite things in February!  I love how the title extends beyond the borders of her photo/patterned paper box and also the multi-colored journaling.

2009-dd-happyeggsHAPPY EGGS by anke

Are those not the cutest eggs you have ever seen? I love their funny faces and the bright colors of this multi-photo layout are just perfect to show them off!

luckyLUCKY by PhoebeJo

This layout by PhoebeJo is perfect!  I love the closeup shot of the game pieces being moved. I also love the pencil border and the desk of cards underneath. The right-justified journaling is also very striking!

My day lightMY DAY LIGHT by lialotito

I can just FEEL the warmth of the sun and the cool of a dip in the pool when I look at this layout! It is a perfect example of using color and designs to help tell the story.  I may not have been there that day at the pool, but I can image what it felt like!

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Thank you, everyone, for inspiring me.  For making me want to keep scrapping.  For making me love what I do and for making me want to share it with others.  Your talent and your inspiration keeps me going!

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P.S.  THE DAILY DIGI STORE is now open…it’s really just a small little thing…a place for Steph, the “other” Steph,  and me to put our things.  We will be adding products over the coming days and weeks.  Take a peek!

What’s Your Angle?

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Do you ever wonder why two people can take a picture of the same thing and they can look totally different?  Two people see a gorgeous monument and both take pictures…one is just a picture of a monument and one is a work of art in and of itself.   Or, two people take pictures of their kids playing in the yard and one looks like a bunch of weeds with a kid in it and the other looks like it belongs on the living room wall.  Why is this?

Well, much of photography is not about what we take pictures of (subject) or what we take pictures with (our camera). In addition to those things, the WAY we take pictures drastically changes the final outcome. The way we approach our subjects can take a photo from snapshot to art.  Let me show you…

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A few weeks ago we had an Easter Egg hunt at our friends house.  They have some beautiful new flowers popping up in their yard and I loved them. They were just a beautiful bright spot in my day — making be catch my breath in wonder of the beauty of nature.  It also made me feel like it was spring after all (in a place where really it is an eternal summer).  I wanted to capture it.  But to do that, I had to think, to explore different angles, to try different ways to capture in my camera what I felt in my heart.

The above photo is what most people do…they see something pretty and they take a picture.  Yes, it captured the image in the literal sense but in the artistic and emotional sense, the photo did nothing. It is a few flowers in a patch of dirt.  Nothing more.

But then I took my camera and explored some different angles. I tried to see the flowers in all their beauty.  Here are the results…

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First I got down to ground level and took a photo with my eye at the level of the top of the flowers. I set my camera to a large aperature (2.8) and got in close which allowed me to focus on specific flowers.  This creates a blurry foreground and background and adds more visual interest to the flowers.  My eye knows where to look.  If you don’t have a camera with manual controls, look for the macro setting (usually a flower symbol) or the portrait setting (usually a profile image) on your point and shoot.

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Next I turned my camera from a horizontal angle to a vertical angle.  Still at ground level, I took the photo framing the flowers in top third of the frame.  By having the stems take up the bottom two thirds, I was able to emphasize the ideas of growth and newness.

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Finally, I stood above the flowers, focusing on the beautiful inner workings of the flower.  In post processing, in order to keep the emphasis totally on the flowers, I duplicated the layer and changed the top layer to multiply mode.  This darkened the dark pixels but left the gorgeous colors of the flower. I also cloned out the distracting “extra” flower. The above photo is the original photo and the bottom one is the final result.

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Angle means so much.  I encourage you to try this process.

1. Choose a subject

2. Take photos of the subject from different angles — in front, behind, above, below, up close, pulled back. Try both horizontal and vertical images.

3. Think about why you are taking the photo — is there something about the scene in front of you that you are trying to capture?  Think about how you can best do that.

4. Experiment in post processing (editing) of your photos. How can you make a good photo great? Can you get rid of something that is distracting?  Can you crop the photo in a way that places emphasis on something specific?

Here is another scene that I experimented with…my daughter on the beach.

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1.  A “typical” snapshot photo.  Parent standing above the kid, looking down. Subject centered

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2.  I got down to ground level. This helped show more of what she was doing and allowed me to get the water in the photo, further enhancing the story of her being at the beach.

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3. I zoomed in close so I could actually see what she was doing with her shells. I love that being in close shows details I otherwise might not have noticed — like how hard she is pushing those shells into the sand!

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4.  A quick picture of her looking up at me…making her “oh no, not another photo” face.

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So, what’s your angle?

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CH-CH-CHanges…

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I just wanted to say thank you to the almost 600 people who have already answered our survey.  I can’t tell you how much it helps us…to know where we are on the right track, to know where we need to improve, and to know what it is YOU want to see.  As I have read through some of them there were a lot of moments of, “Yes, I totally agree.  Glad we are working on that,” as well as, “Oh wow, I never would have noticed that.  Glad you said something!”  It is so good to hear what people really think and I am thankful that everything I have read so far has been praise and constructive criticism. We really appreciate it.

There is no real closing date on the survey but we will be pouring over the results in the next few weeks so we can dream big and start implementing some changes.  We really want the site to be the best it can be.

Even before we put the survey out, we noticed some changes that needed to take place.  I wanted to share a few of those with you. I am sure there will be more in the coming weeks.  However, even with the changes and the tweaking of some things, the vision is the same.  Here is what we are starting to implement:

  • THE DIGI FILES will now be sold on a monthly basis, starting from the first of the month and continuing until the last day of the month.  This change is for various reasons and we believe that it is the best choice overall.  That said, THE DIGI FILES 4 will be available starting May 1.  TDF3 will still come down on April 15th as advertised. But don’t worry, if you need to fill the two week void…
  • THE DAILY DIGI is thrilled to announce the opening of a store that, in addition to THE DIGI FILES, will sell a small selection of other products.  I have missed making templates so much that I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to start selling again.  There will also be a few other designers and products, so keep your eyes open.  Things are in process and should open in the next few days.
  • The opening of the store will in no way change the vision and purpose of THE DAILY DIGI site.  The daily site won’t be showing all the new products in the store, announcing sales, etc.  The store is just a small part of what the site wants to do and will function somewhat independently of the site. The store will be looking to bring you products that will help you in your scrapping process…not just encourage you to buy more “stuff.”
  • We will be announcing some new team positions opening up for THE DAILY DIGI.  We will be adding an artistic and creative team, some staff writers, and possibly a few others.  Keep your eyes peeled for more info in the coming weeks.
  • We will be adding a designer information and application process.  If designers are interesting in being spotlighted at THE DAILY DIGI, we will be taking interested applicants and offering invitations to those we feel are a good fit for the site.
  • Because we want to be a great source of information about life in the digi world, we are exploring ways of getting more information about sales, cool stuff other sites are doing, etc. in a way that will not interfere with the main site.
  • One of my original visions of the site was to have a place that brought the best of what was already “out there” and bring it to you so you didn’t have to go looking for it.  This is one area that I feel like we have not measured up and I am excited to start focusing more on showing you the amazing stuff that is being written, explained, designed, and demonstrated on other sites.  The digi world is a wealth of information and inspiration. I want to tap into it more.

So there you have it…the beginning of change and growth.  We hope to continue to bring you the best information and inspiration…each and every day!

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