Thursday, August 2, 2012

Gratitude and Tutorials that changed my life

Today is a day for gratitude. 

I have been sent many cards of condolence and am grateful for all the thoughts and prayers of my friends and acquaintances. I was told you don't send a thank you card to thank someone for a sympathy card but I feel like I need to say thank you. My mojo is broken or at least a bit rusty but I made a card for everyone anyway and here it is.

Tutorials that Changed My Life

I work with Photoshop every day for my job so any new tricks I learn go into my work flow almost immediately. I knew how to make digital curled edges (like those on the photo above) using the warp tool and a new layer, but I never knew you could make a layer of an effect (like a drop shadow) until I saw Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's video Tutorial on Digital Curled Edges.  This was such a game changer for me.  Now I can layer things and have them look more natural.

When things are layered the upper most item will cast shadows differently across items below it and on the ground or table or whatever. I have always been bothered by uniform drop shadows. Well Julie's tutorial showed me how to fix this problem. I create cast shadows so much better now. 
I make a drop shadow layers for both the close items and those further away.
I eliminate the parts of the close shadow that are not needed.

I move the further distance shadow below the other items in the layers palette.

I link all the layers associated with the item (item and both layers) so they can be move around together.
It looks so much more natural. I can do this with irregular shapes, like products and people, but I made a simple example for this post.

The next life changer is Kelly Purkey's How to Make Hexagon Photos tutorial. I have been creating rules and putting photos in squares, rounded corner squares, circles, and bursts.  But Kelly introduced me to the custom shape tool which is found in the same spot on the tool bar. (In Photoshop Elements this is called the cookie cutter tool and can according to a friend who did a bit of testing can only be used on top of an image to cut it out.)


It's like a box of chocolates. Look at all the possibilities. The first thing I made using these shapes was a blue ribbon using the blue ribbon, burst and a circle. It was quick and easy but more importantly cheaper than buying clip art.

Many of these shapes will never find their way into my work but some will. And when you add the Silhouette to the mix I see a lot of interesting cards/scrapbook pages in my future.

I have a few tutorials and projects in the planning stages but it will be a while. I have a few family things I need to deal with first. Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Crafting,


alexa said...

That's a lovely card, and so very thoughtful ... And your links will be really useful to me - so thank-you too! Looking forward to your posting again just whenever you feel you can.

Lynn Stevens said...

Such a lovely card Katie. Someday I hope to have photo shop although I may be to old and rusty to learn by then. LOL

Thank you for your kind words on my blog. you made my day!
Hugs Lynn

Fly Girl said...

Your cards are always great, I just used the last of the thank you's that you made. This photo shop technique looks too techy for me but I'm sure I could just order your version!