IN THE DESIGNER’S STUDIO WITH RACHEL JEFFERIES OF CAPTIVATED VISIONS

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I am excited to welcome Rachel of Captivated Visions to THE DIGI FILES this month! I love her contribution especially the sentiments and the cute little camera! I think the colors add a unique twist as well! Our team really had fun creating with it as well! Here is a closer look at her contribution:

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Here’s what our team created with this kit:

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Layout by Katie, additional supplies: Template No. 37 by Ali Edwards. Font is CK Easy Goin
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Layout by Karen, additional supplies: Font is Fontologie Printing Primer. Shadows by Jenn Barrette
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Layout by Jenn, additional supplies: Digs My Hart font
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Hybrid Fan Out Mini Album by Sunghee (directions for this album will be included in the Playbook to be released in just over a week).
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Layout by Tara, additional supplies: Font – Sissy Lynn (funky fonts) by NeeNee designs

You can see even more awesome layouts on our Team Inspiration Page.

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Hi Readers! My name is Rachel Jefferies and I live in Birmingham, UK. I’m married to Simon, we’ve been together for nearly ten years and we will soon be celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary.

I work at home full time, when I’m not busy working I enjoy digital scrapbooking and hanging out in forums and doing challenges etc. Hubby and I also love to watch movies and we are huge CSI Fans and watch that most nights! I also love my camera and of course my music collection which is very varied, what I listen too depends on my mood at the time, I have lots of favourites!

For ten years I worked in the Banking Industry but desperately craved a career change, a few years ago I made the big decision to leave my day job and ventured out on a journey of well, i guess you could call it self discovery! And here I am, and I couldn’t be happier as a Digital Scrapbook Designer!

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Here are some tips for Photoshop which I do often that I thought you might find of interest!

First one is how to texture white elements or papers:

If you try putting a greyscale overlay ontop of white and changing the blend mode to the common overlay setting or soft light setting you will find it extremely hard to texture your paper or element.

It’s best to start with a colour that is ‘off white’, this works well for creating your own papers, or elements such as sticker borders or tags and word strips. First Fill your canvas or shape with colour #fefefe, this looks greyish in colour but once we add our texture and blend modes it will appear to be a textured white finished product.

Using a greyscale overlay, place this on a layer above your element or paper and clip it to the element if needed. Change the blend mode on the overlay layer to linear burn. You will notice no difference in the texture of your paper or element layer at this point, what we need to do now is reduce the opacity of the overlay layer. The amount by which to reduce the opacity too will depend on the type of texture your overlay has, and how much texture you want to add to your white paper or element. Normally an opacity of around 20 – 35% works well. Your Paper or element will now be textured and fairly white in colour. To brighten this up a little you may want to adjust the brightness of the overlay layer a little. To do this choose Image > Adjustments > Brightness & Contrast from your menu, and increase the brightness a little until you get the desired effect. You can also continue to work on your paper or element by adding a further texture overlay above the original one, and change the blending modes, don’t be afraid to play around with all of the blending modes and the opacity options, there are no rules, sometimes a paper I make may contain ten or more overlays all blended togther!

Saving your Dropshadow settings as a Photoshop Style Set:

This is a great time saver for me, if you have a common or regular drop shadow that you use a lot, for e.g on flat papers, or strings or ribbons wouldn’t it be great to save them and not have to create them from scratch each time? I have done this and use a regular group of shadow settings when creating my product previews and also use them on my layouts.

Firstly I always save my shadow styles, or any other custom styles for that matter on my computer and not in the main Photoshop styles folder, having lots of styles and brushes saved in the main programme folder can slow down the initial start up of Photoshop and that drives me bonkers!

Once you have a shadowed element or paper and are ready to save your style settings double click on the fx symbol on the right hand side of the layer that the style is applied too or right click on the layer and choose blending options. Click New Style and ensure both check boxes are ticked, give your style a name and click ok. Continue this process for any other styles you want to save in the same set. You might want a set of varied shadow styles, or maybe you just want to create a set for deep shadows, and another for flatter shadows etc.

Once you have all of your desired shadow styles saved you need to save them as a set. To do this in your Styles window on the right hand side, just underneath where you can minimise or close the Styles Window there is a tiny little arrow pointing downwards, click on this and a menu will appear. We are going to work in the Preset Manager. This will preview all of the styles you currently have loaded into Photoshop. We need to select which styles we want to save in our set.

To do this find the first style that you saved and click on it, to select all of the others you can either hold down shift and then click on the very last style, this will select everything in the row/s between your first and second left click, or after clicking on the first style, hold down control and click on each of the others individually. Once you have them all selected choose Save Set from the right hand side. Now you simply need to choose a location on your folder where you want to save your styles set too. I have set up a Presets folder on my C drive and save them all in there so I know where they are. Give your set a file name, such as deep shadows or scrapbooking shadows and hit Save. Ensure you leave the file extension as the default .asl

You now have a set of custom styles saved! To Open them use the same tiny little arrow in the Styles Window in Photoshop to bring up the pop up menu again and this time choose Load styles. You can now browse for the location where you saved the set on your computer and choose open, and they will all load into Photoshop at once! I hope this saves you some time, have fun with your styles!

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I started dabbling in design work a few years ago, it started from an obsession about signature tags! I was browsing a forum one day and a lot of the members had these cool graphical signatures against their posts. I asked them how they were made and which programme or software was needed for me to have a try. I soon purchased Paint Shop Pro and started to create graphical signatures of my own. Soon after I found another similar hobbyist forum which introduced me to digital scrapbooking kits. It wasn’t long before I was tempted to try and create a kit of my own and I started to create freebies for my blog, that then developed into selling kits on my blog and then shortly afterwards I became addicted to Photoshop and moved into my first store!!

So I was actually a designer before I was a ‘scrapper’ and when I get the time inbetween work projects I love to take part in challenges and create layouts. I’ve never dabbled in paper scrapping but I am getting very tempted to try a Hybrid project or two! We are currently in the process of decorating our home and we are going to create a studio for me so I have a bigger workspace, nothing will stop me then!

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Oooh so many things! I’m a real visual girl, so seeing things that I love gets my brain ticking for a kit idea! Fabrics, patterns, colour, magazines, stationery, the list is endless! I have a notebook with me where I jot down ideas for kits as soon as I have them so these special little thoughts are never lost! Simon jokes with me that I should keep a notebook in the bedroom I’m often babbling about kit ideas before I go to sleep ha!

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PC:
The majority of my design work was completed on my Toshiba laptop but I’ve recently moved onto a Desktop PC which is faster! The only thing I hate about it is that I don’t have a widescreen monitor so that will soon change! This PC was built by Simon and includes an Intel Quad Core processor, 8GB of RAM (Hawt!!) We have three Terrabyte Hard Drives, plenty of space to back up my files for a little while longer! The Pc runs Windows 7 64-BIT

Programmes:
I design with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CS3, I’m currently using a Bamboo Tablet but when i move into my new studio I have a brand spanking new Intuos 4 Tablet which I’m itching to use! I occassionally use Artrage but I haven’t played in their for a while, it’s so fun to make glitter and use paint!

Tablet:
I’ve been using a little Bamboo tablet for some time now and could never switch back to a mouse, I use it all the time and the feel of the pen is so natural! I’ll soon be using a Medium size Intuos 4 which Simon bought me for my birthday, as soon as we get the studio ready with bigger work space i’m ready to dive in!

Camera:
DSLR, Canon EOS 350D with 18-55mm Lens, this baby I love but haven’t been able to devote enough time to learn all of the manual settings, I will be using it more this year for sure!

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Well I totally love my new Happy Snapper Kit! I’ve been designing a lot with doodles lately and it’s so very hard to pick my favourite kit ever from my store but I will go with a recent doodly release, In His Teens, I love to make grungy kits now and then and I just adore how this one came out!

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Your best selling product – I’ve just retired it lol, as although it was a good seller it didn’t represent my current style at all so I’ve had a big clean up in my store, this collection was part of a grab bag during June and was a huge seller.

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Here are some of my favorite products by Rachel

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Here’s some inspirational layouts using Rachel’s products. All of the layouts are linked to the originals with credits.

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Go have a look in Rachel’s Store here and here and come back and tell her what you like, we will randomly select a winner from those comments to win $10 in product from her store! (Comments must be posted before midnight EST to qualify)!

As a thank you to our readers, Rachel has created this coupon to share with all of us!

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Rachel has one last surprise for all of us…a free gift that coordinates with her contribution to THE DIGI FILES!

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