Pixels & Company

10 Photoshop Tips I Wish I’d Have Known When I Started Using Photoshop

Hi! Barbara Unzen here. I’ve been digi scrapping for many years and I have learned a lot about Photoshop and the art of digi scrapping in that time. That being said, I’ve still got a LOT left to learn! One thing that never changes is that I’m always super excited when I learn something new in Photoshop. If you asked my family they might just tell you I’m kinda geeky excited when I learn new Photoshop tricks! Despite feeling fairly competent with my Photoshop skills, I learn something new all the time. With that thought in mind, and the hope that I might be able to share a new Photoshop tip/trick with you that might help you when you’re “playing” in Photoshop, I decided to compile a list of 10 tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years. These are things that help me in Photoshop every single time I use it (which is pretty much every day) and that I wish I’d have known right from the start. So … without further chatting, here’s the list I compiled for you:

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Using Photoshop - a hack list at www.pixelsandcompany.com

1.  How to easily get to a particular layer in the layers pallet

With the MOVE tool activated (Hotkey V) simply RIGHT CLICK on your scrapbook page in the Photoshop window over the item you want to locate in the layers pallet. A list of all the layers that are located directly under your pointer will pop up.  All you need to do is highlight the layer you want to go to and voila you will be brought to that layer in the layers pallet! I love that!

 Knew When I Started Using Photoshop - a hack list at www.pixelsandcompany.com

2.  How to scroll through your fonts and see them real time on your page

  • Highlight text on your page (using the Text tool)
  • Highlight the fonts in the font menu in the top menu bar
  • You can now arrow up and down through the fonts and see them real time on your page
  • NOTE, you can also do this through the Character panel

3.  How to toggle through blend modes and see their effect in real time

Within the layers pallet, with the layer you want to apply a blend mode active, activate the MOVE tool (Hotkey V). Now, hold down the SHIFT key and hit the + or – buttons. You can now scroll through the blend modes and be able to see their effect in real time.

4.  How to  access the Hand Tool from anywhere

Did you know that you can access the Hand Tool (which allows you to easily move around in your document) when you are using ANY tool? You don’t need to switch to the Hand tool. Simply press the SPACE BAR and whatever tool you are currently using will temporarily switch to the Hand tool until you release the space bar. Love that!

5.  How to create a default Style/Effect

Do you have style/effect settings that you like to start with all the time that are different than the default style/effect that Photoshop provides? You can make your style/effect settings the default by simply clicking on the MAKE DEFAULT button in the Layer Styles Menu. (It was a long time before I ever noticed that button!) NOTE, you need to have one of the style options selected before the MAKE DEFAULT button will be available to you (i.e., stroke, drop shadow, etc.).

NOTE: You can choose a MAKE DEFAULT setting for each of the different style options (i.e., bevel/emboss, inner glow, stroke, drop shadow, etc.).

 Knew When I Started Using Photoshop - a hack list at www.pixelsandcompany.com

6.  How to create a New Style

Do you have a combination of styles that you like to use over and over again? I do. One example, I like to create a photo mask with a drop shadow and a white inner stroke so that when I clip a photo to that shape it already has a basic white frame around it. I don’t want to keep creating that style setting and I don’t want to copy the setting from another item and I also don’t want to write an action for the style either. There’s a much easier way to create a new style.

All you need to do is set the style settings as desired (i.e., the white frame and drop shadow example I described above) then click on the NEW STYLE  button, assign your new style a name and you can now access it at any time from the Styles panel!

7.  How to change the foreground and background colors with one click

Many people know that if you press the Hotkey I (the Eyedropper tool) you can click anywhere in your document to select the foreground color. Did you know that if you hold down the OPTION key on a Mac (ALT key on a PC) when pressing the Hotkey I you can set the background color? In addition, once you start choosing a color you can sample colors from ANYWHERE ON YOUR SCREEN – not just within the Photoshop window! Just don’t let up on the mouse. How cool is that?

8.  How to zoom in and out in your document

My preferred method of zooming in and out of my documents is to use my mouse’s scroll wheel. I can do that because I set up that option in my Photoshop Preferences. NOTE, if you are not able to zoom in and out with your scroll wheel, go to your Photoshop Preferences. In the General settings make sure the option “Zoom with Scroll Wheel” option is checked.

 Knew When I Started Using Photoshop - a hack list at www.pixelsandcompany.com

Did you know that you can also zoom in and out in your document with a scrubby zoom? Press Hotkey Z (Zoom Tool) then, while holding the Z button, simply move your mouse left/right or up/down. You can do this if you have the Scrubby Zoom option clicked in the Zoom options bar.

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Using Photoshop - a hack list at www.pixelsandcompany.com

9.  How to create black and white layer masks

When you click on the Create Layer Mask button (the little button that looks like a little white square with a black circle in it) in your layers panel, your layer mask is automatically created with a default color of white (which means everything is revealed). If you want to create a black layer mask, simply OPTION-Click on the Create Layer Mask Button (ALT-Click on a PC). Your mask will be set to black which mean everything is concealed.

As in all things in Photoshop, you can also achieve this same thing with the Layer pull down menu. Layer >  Layer Mask > Reveal All (white mask) or Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All (black mask). I just prefer to create my masks within the layers panel.

10.  How to view your page/photo without distractions

If you want to see the page you’re creating or the photo you’re editing without the distractions of the Photoshop windows/panels, etc., simply press Hotkey F. Press Hotkey F two times and you can view your page/photo at full screen with only the left and right rulers showing. (I zoom in and out with my scroll wheel in this view.) Press the Hotkey F a third time and you’ll be back to the normal view.

Note: I use Photoshop CS6 and have described these steps as they as I do them in CS6. I’m pretty certain all of these tips are universal and can be done in Elements and other versions of Photoshop as well.

Well, that’s it; at least for now. I hope that at least a couple of these tips/tricks were new for you and can help you when you are scrapping or editing your photos. There are so many things you can do in Photoshop that this list can really be endless. I think I might just start another list of tips to share with you in another blog post! Have a great day!

Barbara

3-Way Challenge April 12th-18th

3way

For this week’s 3 Way Challenge, we are highlighting the impeccable design sense of Ms. Tiffany Tillman. She has chosen her Avant Garde Templates: Pack 2 for us to work with:

And here they are in action.

First up, a layout by Janell Nugent:
“One thing I can always count on when using Tiffany’s templates are the unique designs and cutting edge trends–the Avant Garde templates are exactly that. I love how Tiff takes different shapes and turns them or groups her photos in arrangements I would have never thought of. I really appreciate how her style pushes me to create layouts that are different from my own style, but something I still really love in the end.”


Credits: Tiffany Tillman | Avant Garde Templates: Pack Two; Gennifer Bursett | Indian Summer Full Kit

Next, a layout by Laura O’Donnell
“I love the angles and arrangements of the papers in the Avant Garde template set. They’re just so eye catching while still keeping the focus on the photos and leaving room for some white space. The rounded photo corners made me think of journaling cards so I thought it would be fun to swap in a few on my layout. Now I can’t wait to play with the rest of the templates in the set!”

Credits: Tiffany Tillman Avant Garde Templates Pack 2; Deena Rutter Every Little Bit Blue Skies – April and Every Little Bit Blue Skies Paper Pack; Karla Dudley Kraft Essentials

And finally, a layout by me:
“I found myself not only inspired by the bold, graphic design, but by the colors of the template as well. I loved the way the bright colors popped off the white background and decided to use a kit with a similar color palette. Ironically, the title of the templates inspired my subject matter as well. “Avant Garde” made me think of Paris and fashion which made me think of these photos. I really love how it turned out!”


Credits: Tiffany Tillman | Avant Garde Templates: Pack Two; Mommyish | Hip Mama Collection

If you want to participate in the challenge here is what you need to do:

  • Create a layout using the Avant Garde Templates or choose any one of Tiffany’s templates and incorporate one of the techniques she has featured in her Q&A Wednesdays.
  • Post your layout in the challenge gallery before 11.59pm MST on April 17th.
  • You must also post a link in this thread and in the April tracking thread if you want to earn points towards a discount.

Important:

  • Each page counts for one challenge, and you cannot use one layout for multiple challenges.
  • Challenge layouts must contain at least 25% P&Co products to be eligible for prizes.

Participants will earn the following rewards for completing challenges:
2 challenges = 10% off
4 challenges = 20% off
6 challenges = 30% off
8 challenges = 40% off and a chance for a guest spot!

Are you unsure how challenges work here at P6Co? Check out this thread!

Happy scrapping, and good luck!

Filed under Challenges by Jennifer Flaherty @ 6:00 am

Recolor Alphas – The Easy Way!

From Drab to Fab: Easily recolor using the gradient map tutorial at www.pixelsandcompany.com

Gen here, and today I’m going to share with you one of my favorite ways to quickly and easily recolor elements… using the Gradient Map. I use this often, particularly when I’m recoloring elements that are black and white. Let’s dive right in, okay?

To demonstrate today, I’m going to use an alpha I created for an upcoming release. It’s a super fun watercolor-styled alpha, and since I wanted it to stay extremely versatile, I left it grey and white. Straight out of the kit, you’re looking at something like this:

From Drab to Fab: Easily recolor using the gradient map tutorial at www.pixelsandcompany.com

So, here’s the quick and easy way to recolor: First, you’re going to choose the color you want the watercolor to be as your foreground color, and leave the background color white.

From Drab to Fab: Easily recolor using the gradient map tutorial at www.pixelsandcompany.com

For this example, I’m using a rosy-pink. The next step is different depending on whether you’re using the full version of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, but we’ll go ahead and show both. For Photoshop Elements: Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map. (PS users, hang tight for a minute!)

From Drab to Fab: Easily recolor using the gradient map tutorial at www.pixelsandcompany.com

Check the box that says “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” and then click “OK.” (PSE users, pause here while I catch up the PS peeps!)

From Drab to Fab: Easily recolor using the gradient map tutorial at www.pixelsandcompany.com

In Photoshop, go to Image > Adjustments > Gradient Map.

From Drab to Fab: Easily recolor using the gradient map tutorial at www.pixelsandcompany.com

Now, everyone’s ready to proceed. You’ll be looking at something like this:

From Drab to Fab: Easily recolor using the gradient map tutorial at www.pixelsandcompany.com

You can leave it like it is by clicking on “OK,” or we can make a few adjustments. To do that, click on the gradient bar… The one that goes from the rosy-pink color to white.

From Drab to Fab: Easily recolor using the gradient map tutorial at www.pixelsandcompany.com

This brings up an expanded window. You can drag the two bottom boxes in toward the center to get different looks. Pulling them together gives less “wiggle room” so to speak, so your extremes (in this case the darkest pink and brightest white) will be stronger. Here’s an example of the default (left) and the tweaked (right) side-by-side:

From Drab to Fab: Easily recolor using the gradient map tutorial at www.pixelsandcompany.com

As you can see, the one I adjusted has a bit more contrast. This is completely a personal preference, but for the watercolor look, I’m going to go ahead and leave the tweaked ones. Continue on with each letter, using the same color or choosing a new one each time:

From Drab to Fab: Easily recolor using the gradient map tutorial at www.pixelsandcompany.com

So, there you have it! Ready to try it on your own? I’ve uploaded the coordinating number set (to the alpha I used in the tutorial) as a freebie for you, so go grab it. This process will work with many elements (black and white or colored), so definitely experiment. Change the foreground color, background color, reverse them… You’ll love the way you can expand your supplies!

From Drab to Fab: Easily recolor using the gradient map tutorial at www.pixelsandcompany.com

 

 

Filed under Tutorials by Gennifer Bursett @ 1:00 am

Inside the Studio with Tiffany Tillman

Tiffany TillmanHow did you start designing?

Way back when in a galaxy far far away, 2008, I entered a Design Apprentice challenge hosted by Little Dreamer Designs. Three winners were chosen out of the hundreds that applied; I was one of the winners. And I’ve been designing ever since!

I started out designing kits but switched to templates after learning I loved designing pages more.

What equipment do you use to design?

My iMac, Photoshop CC, Illustrator, InDesign, an Epson Workforce, and a Wacom Bamboo tablet.

What is your vocation?

Graphic designer and instructor. I studied graphic design specifically in college and have been teaching digital scrapbookers how to scrapbook and use photo-editors since … oh about 2007. If I were a millionaire, I’d still do the exact same kinds of things. Loves it!

But perhaps I’d do it from Costa Rica or some where else.

What do you do when you’re not designing?

Hanging out with my family! Lately, we’ve been enjoying the warm weather and getting involved with activities like swimming, rock climbing, visiting the beach, etc. I try to hit the gym a few times a week. And I uberlove reading sci-fi novels and completing logic puzzles.

What is the most unusual kit you’ve designed?

The Avant Garde. I was really thinking out of the box when I designed them. But they are so totally me.

Do you listen to music while you design? What do you listen to?

Why yes. Yes I do. Usually it’s stuff like this.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?

Colonial Virginia and Jamestown. I love how they’ve tried to capture the history of the location. The shops have a traders/colonial feel; the spices and teas are amazing! There’s a quiet resort, spa, hot tub, and amazing seafood and culture. We’re thinking about moving there so the vacation would never end.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?

I already have super powers. But Professor X told me not to tell anyone what they are. He doesn’t want to see me hurt.

Gosling or Reynolds?

Idris Elba

3-way Challenge April 5-11th

3way

Hi there, and welcome to this week’s 3-way challenge!

This week we are spotlighting Karla Dudley and her drop dead gorgeous designs. Karla has chosen the Sup? kit for us to work with this week.

Our Creative Team members have created three sample layouts to give you some inspiration:

By  Mandi Buchanan:
”This is my fourth layout using this amazing kit. To say the least, I love it! The unique color combo works with a multitude of styles and themes and as usual, Karla includes all the elements you need to complete a great project without having to search your stash for that missing something

By Sarah Hemmert:
”I love the graphic papers in Karla’s kits, I really wanted to use the diagonal stripe as my background paper, but it didn’t look right until I cut it out and put it on the black background. The pieces of word art are perfect for this sweet picture of my new niece. And the small frame worked great for a picture that might not be the highest quality. I also used Karla’s font, did you know she has one? I think you can still find it on her blog.”

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By Linda Roos:
”Karla’s kits always have the perfect mix of clean and crisp with a twist of fun and edge. I love that! It is always easy to work with her kits. The ”Sup? Collection” has gorgeous colours in tans, pinks, and aquas and I was drawn by the patterns of the papers and journaling cards (in the add-on pack). That frame had me from the start as well!”

If you want to participate in the challenge here is what you need to do: 1. Create a layout using the Sup? kit or lift one of the sample layouts above. If you choose to lift you must use at least two different kits by Karla. 2. Post your layout in the challenge gallery before 11.59pm MST on April 11th. 3. You must also post a link in this thread and in the April tracking thread if you want to earn points towards a discount.

Important: Each page counts for one challenge, and you cannot use one layout for multiple challenges. Challenge layouts must contain at least 25% P&Co products to be eligible for prizes.

Participants will earn the following rewards for completing challenges 2 challenges = 10% off 4 challenges = 20% off 6 challenges = 30% off 8 challenges = 40% off and a chance for a guest spot

Are you unsure how challenges work here at P&Co? Check out this thread!

Happy scrapping, and good luck! :)

Inside the Studio with Karla Dudley

studio


karladudley_blog_profilepicHow did you start your designing journey?

I’ve always been a doodler. Drawing little images and handwritten text on my blog pictures was an everyday thing for me to do. Ever since I started blogging in 2006, Photoshop and I were best buds and as time went on my personal doodles and designs got noticed. In 2008 I was asked if I wanted to try my hand at digital scrapbook design and I totally said yes! The rest is pretty much history…

What equipment do you use to design?
My iMac, Photoshop, Illustrator and Wacom Tablet (all of which are called Bessy ^_^) 

What is your vocation?
Digital art and design. I have a huge passion for them. I see with a designers eye and although I’m self taught I hope that my fellow crafters will continue to embrace my design and learn from my teachings. Yeah…that would be rad

Do you prefer peace or background noise when you design?
Oh here comes the catch 22. I prefer silence. That would be my wish. My ideal creative paradise. Silence and the only real sound would be me talking to myself. (because I do that chronically) However, I live in a house with 6 others. There is NO such thing as peaceful designing. Instead I have cartoons ringing in my ear, clicking of controllers, the word “Mom?” said over and over again…. To even think I can sit down to create a kit from start to finish is laughable? Not happening. On a regular day I can’t sit for more that 30 minuets at a time so yeah, silence is but a dream. To drown out the noise sometimes I’ll put on Jem or old school Britney tunes. That always seems to keep me focused.

What design trends are you currently digging?
Is life scrapbooking even a trend? It should be written in stone somewhere lol! I will always love life scrapbooking. I think now one of the new terms is Pocket Scrapping. I love it because I think my design lends well to it. That and because I think it’s super rad with blueberries on top. What a great way for people to get their stories told with multiple photos and have a blast doing it. I don’t know, something about life/pocket scrapbooking is just magical to me. Simple in concept but is so much more. So if it’s a trend; I like it. If it’s not; I still dig it ^_^

What color(s) are you crushing on lately? What inspired it, and how has it inspired you?

I totally didn’t think about that until now. I’m actually loving dark grays, black and pinks. I was inspired by one of the kits in my shop: Peachy

kd_peachy_elementbundle_preview

 

I was looking through my shop and saw this kit. Took me back a bit. I really liked creating this collection. I liked how the colors clicked for me. Anyway, I tend to always have some kid of dark gray or pink in my kits now. They make me a happy girl.

What is the most unusual theme(s) you’ve designed?
Three stick out to me for different reasons. The first is a kit about being a housewife and all that goes with it called: Damselle. I took my own life experiences as a SAHM with 5 kids and through them all out there. I adore this kit because it came from my heart and its so darn funny!!!

Next is a kit that represents what the Dudley’s do and do well. Game. I wanted to do a kit about video games and technology love. I came up with Geeked. As far kits go, this one took the most effort. I adore it to the core. I enlisted the help of my husband for a part two to this kit that never came to be. I still have the notes though so you never know ^_^

Lastly is a requested kit by a fellow crafter called: Butterfly. She told me her, truthfully, horrifying experience that she went through and ask me personally if I could take on the project. I was so honored and yet so nervous I would’t do it justice. So, I came at it from two ways: her perspective and mine. I took her story as a catalyst and my life as a driving force. Anyway, the result was kit that has the most meaning yet — to us and hopefully to many others as well.

How would you describe your style?
Clean but imperfect. Everyday kind-of-stuff. Custom. Timeless. I think that about sums it up!

What style do you admire but can’t quite pull off?
Grunge. I mean how in the world do they DO that? Love it!

What is your favorite vacation spot? 
For someone who didn’t even have a honeymoon I wouldn’t really know. One day I hope to answer that question…one day…

Gosling or Reynolds?
Do you have to ask? ^_^

 

Thanks guys!

kd-Post_Sig3

 

So, are you a fan of Karla Dudley? Comment here, tell us your favorite product by Karla, and you could win a $5 Gift Certificate to her shop. (One winner will be chosen randomly. Contest ends at 11:59 PM MT Thursday, April 10.)

3-Way Challenge I March 29th through April 4th

Hi everyone. Janelle Miller here. And I’m ready with another installment in the 3-Way Challenge series. This week we are showcasing this gorgeous kit by featured designer Celeste Knight (Sweet Caroline Studio), titled Honeysuckle.

As usual, we are showing three different pages by our creative team. And we challenge you to …

1. Use this kit yourself, or

2. Scraplift one of the three example pages here, using any two of Celeste’s other kits.

From Jennifer Hignite: “I instantly fell in love with the colors of this kit! The gold journaling cards had me at hello! With 3 boys, I don’t use pastel colors or gold on many of my layouts, but those were my very favorite parts of this kit! It worked perfectly to document this day I shared with my little guy!”

From Erin Taylor: “The soft colors and beautiful journaling cards were my inspiration for my layout. I love the pale pink paper and enamel heart, too. They are the perfect accents for my layout!”

    

From Janelle Miller: ” ‘Wow, this is gorgeous!’ That was my first thought when opening this kit for the first time. It has two of my favorite things right now – watercolors and gold foil. And so many pretty paper choices that it was hard to pick which ones to use. I’m super happy with how all the elements came together on this layout.”

Don’t forget the new challenge “rules”– Each page counts for one challenge, and you cannot use one layout for multiple challenges.

Challenge layouts must contain at least 25% P&Co products to be eligible for prizes.

Participants will earn the following rewards for completing challenges
2 challenges = 10% off
4 challenges = 20% off
6 challenges = 30% off
8 challenges = 40% off and a chance for a guest spot

This challenge must be completed by 11:59pm MST on the April 4th.

Are you ready to do this?!? Once you have created your layout, make sure you upload it to the challenge gallery. Then post it in the challenge thread, as well as the March Tracking Thread in order to make sure you receive your points. We can’t wait to see what you create!

I have an added bonus for you too – mostly because I am endlessly fascinated by how one kit can make so many drastically different pages – so here are some other pages created by CT members with Honeysuckle.

By our March guest CT, Karen C  and then Raquel Sabido

By Arielle Gordon and then Carol House

And lastly, by Kelly Mobley

That’s all I’ve got – now have fun and go get scrappy.

Inside the Studio with Celeste Knight of sweet caroline studio

studio

Celeste Knight_photo_REVISED
How did you start designing?

I am a graphic designer by trade, I started designing paper designs for Basic Grey about 7 years ago.

What equipment do you use to design?
I design on a Mac with Illustrator and Photoshop and of course my Wacom tablet.

Do you design full time?
I work 30-40 hours a week designing for traditional scrapbook companies and my own digital products.

What is/was your vocation?
Graphic Designer

What do you do when you’re not designing?
Mom stuff! Oh and garden, hike, watch movies and craft projects.

How long does it take you to design, and where do you do it?
Like forever! I design at home in my office/loft or in my kitchen while my kids play outside.

Which kit are you most proud of, and why?
This changes…. looking back one of my favorite’s has been White Christmas.

What current design trends are you digging?
Love the watercolor look and all the fun use of hand-drawn script fonts/type.

What color(s) are you crushing on lately? What inspired it, and how has it inspired you?
I have been loving all the fun pops of neon that I’ve been seeing out there (see pics)

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Where do you get most of your inspiration?
Pinterest pattern boards. I love to get inspiration from fabric, home decor and typography.

I’d also like to announce that we are having a Creative Team Call, for details and how to apply, check out my blog.

So, are you a fan of sweet caroline designs? Comment here, tell us your favorite product by Celeste, and you could win a $5 Gift Certificate to her shop. (One winner will be chosen randomly. Contest ends at 11:59 PM MT Thursday, April 3rd.)

March Gallery Highlights

Hello! Janell here and I am honored to pick the gallery highlights for the month of March. It’s not hard to find gorgeous inspiration in the gallery, but I did find it difficult to narrow it down to my top picks.

Sweet Green Garden | Natashya

Natashya created this layout for March’s Title Maker Challenge. I just love the way the bright colors pop with that lovely deep distressed background paper. Yum! Such an amazing layout, love the way she rocked the challenge.

Love This Life | alinalove

Divine clusters + fantastic grid layout of the photos =  an amazing standout. I love the action photos that tell a story all by themselves. This kit by Mye De Leon is incredible, right! (So sad she’s retiring). There is a lot going on in this layout, but alinalove knows how to draw your eyes in with the photos and then keep your interest with the journaling and embellishments without going overboard. Hard to do, but she did it very well.

How Did I Get So Lucky | lorryfach

It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t include a St. Patrick’s Day themed layout this month! The delicate color combinations of blue and green are perfect for this sweet photo. I love all of the beautiful details added to the page with the fun stitches, ribbons, and charms. This layout makes me happy!

Oh So Happy | JennMcCabe
I found this beautiful layout in the challenge gallery as well. I love watching how our members interpret challenges–especially the template challenge. Jenn’s take is beautiful. The second square cropped photo is so clever and I love the layering on the right side with the lace and measuring tape…it’s all so stunning.

This-Is-Me | ceefl0wer

I really love “all about me” pages, because I tend to not take pictures of myself, let alone scrap them, but I feel that they are VERY important to document. The message in this layout is so inspiring and uplifting. I love all the flairs and word art.

I just had to add in a hybrid project for this month too. When I print something whether it be a layout or something designed for hybrid I immediately appreciate it more…the textures and subtle designs that aren’t always picked up on the computer screen. It’s added proof (as if we needed it) that our designers at Pixels and Company are AMAZING!

So Lucky Box | wildblueeyez

Isn’t this just beautiful! The phrase “magically delicious” just seems to fit this precious little gift box. Kelleigh’s cutting files are a great way to make hybrid gifts is a snap and her digital kits are just as fun! I think that any person who recieves this box would consider themselves very lucky!

3 Simple Ways to Use 12 x 12 Templates in 8.5 x 11 Scrapbooking

Hi there!  My name is Amy Kingsford and I’ve been scrapbooking in 8.5 x 11 for the past year.  Changing to an 8.5 x 11 format has saved me a great deal of time and money over the past year but more importantly it has motivated me to start printing my pages again and putting them into albums.

You see my deep dark scrapbooking secret is that I have over (200) 12 x 12 pages sitting on my hard drive that have yet to be printed. When I first started digital scrapbooking over 5 years ago, I was excited to see my digital pages printed and hold them in my hands,  but after a while I started to have trouble finding the right combination of time, money and patience to sit down and put together a digital photo book or even upload my pages for printing. And as you can imagine the pages started to pile up. However, now that I can print my pages right from my home printer I’m scrapbooking guilt-free, knowing that each page is finally making it into an album that can be cherished.

Templates were what first inspired me to give “letter-sized scrapbooking” a try, but once I made the move, I realized that 8.5 x 11 templates (though available) weren’t really offered in abundance.  A small drawback, yes, but I was determined to press on.  And that’s when it donned on me that many of my 12 x 12 templates were still suited for 8.5 x 11 pages with a few small adjustments.

Here are three approaches I use to alter 12 x 12 templates for use in my 8.5 x 11 designs:

 

No 1 – Select templates with lots of built-in white space.

Templates that utilize ample white space are well suited to use on your 8.5 x 11 pages, often without even having to worry about scaling things down. Take Robyn Meierotto’s In Stitches Template No. 7 for example.  This template’s clustered foundation surrounded by white space, made it’s layers easy to select and simply move over to a blank 8.5 x 11 document.

moveit

I did just that when I started my page “My Dream For You”…

 

No. 2 – Determine the orientation of the template’s design and re-size it accordingly.

Re-sizing a 12 x 12 template is another simple way to convert it for use on an 8.5 x 11 canvas.  However to keep the ratio of all of the layers intact you’ll first want to determine whether the design is primarily vertical or horizontal. Note: With this option you may find you need to adjust your text size after re-sizing. I personally like 10pt text for my 8.5 x 11 pages, but set your text to a size that suits you.

resizeit

If the design spans vertically on the page then re-size your template to accommodate your new height, making it 11 inches square.  Then you can select its layers and move them over to your 8.5 x 11 canvas.  Just like I’ve done with my page “Til The End,” using a template in the A Mother Heart’s Template Pack by Anita Designs.

And  if the template you are working with has more of a horizontal orientation then you’ll want to re-size your template to correspond with your page’s width, making it 8.5 inches square. I used this approach in my page “Hindsight 2013″ using one of Anita Design’s This Week Templates.

 

No. 3 – Simply let the larger template design fall off of the edges of your smaller canvas.

Letting your photos and embellishments bleed off the edge of your page can offer a great way to add visual punch to your layouts.  And using a template that is a bit too large for your canvas  is a simple way to achieve this fun look.

bleedit

In my page “My Thanksgiving” I used Karla Dudley’s Autumn Bliss Template in this manner, allowing some of my elements along with the clipping masks designated for photos and patterned blocks to just bleed off of the edge.

 

Now it’s your turn…

If you are an 8.5 x 11 scrapbooker or have been thinking of making the switch, why not give one or all of these approaches a try!  You can start today by downloading one of the free templates available in the Pixels and Company Freebie Section of the shop.

Happy Scrapping!

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