Friday, September 19, 2014

Designer Contest Freebies, Sneak Peek/Giveaway & 40% OFF Sale!

Even tho' I've been designing for the past 5 years or so, I love a good Designer Contest and theStudio's annual Next Designer Contest
is one of the best!
(so how could I resist?)
Here is what I created for Round 1:
Grab this Sampler HERE
(make sure to grab the coordinating Freebie right below too!)
Both parts will be available until I submit my Round 2 Entry some time next week so grab it as soon as you can!

Now I'd love for you to do 2 things...ok maybe 3!
1. When you download my kit, scroll all the way down to the bottom and leave a comment
(you know how I LOOOOOOVE comments!)
2. Vote for my kit in the Round 1 Poll HERE
3.  If you create a layout with this it in the Contest Gallery HERE

I hope you enjoy the Sampler (a full kit is in the works)!

Now for more news!!!
Save 40% OFF all Kits & Extra Packs in all of my store through September 25th!

Last but DEFINITELY not's Sneak Peek/Giveaway time again!!!
The GDS September Mixology is a few days away and one lucky winner will receive my entire collection!
Here's the peek (think Boys!):
Just click HERE to leave a comment in the GDS Forum for your chance to win!

That's all the news for this Friday!!
Have a wonderful weekend!!!

GingerScraps 6th Birthday Bash + 40% OFF Sale!

GingerScraps is celebrating their 6th birthday this week and we're celebrating with a ton of birthday fun!!
Get all the details in the Forum HERE
Just a few things in store for you:
I even have a special Birthday Game just for the occasion!
Come join in the fun HERE

To go along with all this Birthday fun....we are having a Facebook Hop!
Grab your favorite beverage and visit the Designers pages to collect all the pieces of a wonderful kit!
Here's my portion:
(just click on the image to get to my Facebook Page)
Also going on...the GingerScraps Bake Sale!
I've selected 3 products for you for just $1 each through September 25th!
You can find them here:
Blendits Layered Template 1
Sweet Celebration - Fusion Kit

Don't forget to visit my GingerScraps Store and save 40% OFF all Kits and Extra Packs through September 25th!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

New Tutorial: How to use my Blendits Layered Templates in Photoshop!

Hi everyone!

My CTM Robin did such a great job with her PSE tutorial using my Blendits Layered Template 1, I thought I'd add one for Photoshop users to show you that even beginners (and those of you wanting to try to create artsy, mixed media/art journaling papers and pages) can do it in a snap!

I'm using Photoshop CS5 for this tutorial.

We'll be using Blendits Layered Template 4 and my Whatever, Mom! - Fusion Collection for this tutorial.
(you can choose any kit you'd like to compliment the photo or photos you are using!)

All Blendits Templates, Bundles and my Whatever, Mom - Fusion Collection are on sale in all of my stores so grab a copy and follow along!

Let's go!

When you open up your template and you'll see this first:
It's just the top layer with some handy points.  You can delete it or click on the "eye" to hide it.
Beneath is your template:
Now you have 2 choices can hide all the layers and work up from the bottom one by one
(that's what I do so I can see what I'm clipping to easily)
or leave them all visible.
For this particular tutorial I'll be going layer by layer from the bottom up...unhiding as I go!

Step 1:
Activate your bottom layer
Drag the first paper onto your template
(I chose cbj_whatevermom1_paper10)
Step 2:
Unhide your next layer and activate it (click on it)
Step 3 (clipping):
Drag your next paper onto your template
(I chose cbj_whatevermom1_paper11)
CTRL (CMD) + ALT + G to clip the paper to the layer below
Unhide the next layer above
Repeat Step 3 with your choice of paper
(I used cbj_whatevermom2_paper07 and flipped it horizontally)
Continue to unhide the layers one by one (make sure they're activated before dragging your papers on) and clipping your papers to them.
You can also create a new layer above one of the Blendits layers and fill with a complimentary color as well...the choice is yours!

So now I've chosen papers and clipped them to my template layers.  I'm now at the Script layer.
If you are following along with the same Collection I've used:
(blue newsprint)
(for the border-like layer)
(for the diagonal stripe mask layer)
(for the horizontal wife lines mask)
(for the scratchy horizontal mask)
(for the swooshie looking mask)
I wanted a little more white so I used the same cbj_whatevermom2_paper10 for the layer above.

Now we're at the Script layer...looks kind of cool so far right?
You can keep or hide this layer...the choice is yours!  It all depends on the look you are trying to achieve at the end.  You can always come back and hide or unhide later.

Here are a few handy tips to use for templates that have a script or text layer....these can also be applied to any layer in the template as well!
-Clip a solid paper to the layer
-Create a new layer above and fill with a complimentary color then clip
-Leave as is
-Change the Layers Blend Mode to Divide, Soft Light, or Overlay
(these are the main ones I use but feel free to experiment with the others!)
-Reduce the Opacity
 On with the show...

For my page I decided to hide the Script layer.

Your next layers are the splatter and paint spray layers.
I chose cbj_whatevermom1_paper08 for the splatter and
cbj_whatevermom1_paper11 for the spray
( Step 3...drag and clip)

Other options for paint and splatters...add a glitter or gesso style!
(you can even add styles to other layers as well!)
You can also create a layer above and flood fill with a color of your choice.

Now we're at the photo part which begins with Mask 2.
I chose cbj_whatevermom2_paper02 for Mask 2 and cbj_whatevermom2_paper10 for Mask 1.
Here comes the fun!

Keeping that last clipped layer active, grab your photo and drag it onto your template.  CTRL (CMD) ALT + G to clip it to the layer you just created for Mask 1
Now I wanted my photo to show up a little better so first I unclipped my photo.
(right click on the active photo layer > Release Clipping Mask)
*Click on the "eye to hide the photo for now*

Next I duplicated my mask and paper layer.
Here's how:
Click on your Mask 1 layer, hold down your Shift key and click on your paper layer to make both layers active
Now hold down your ALT (OPTION) key, left click on your mouse and drag the 2 layer right above
It added just the right amount of depth I was looking for with a little less of the mask below showing through!
(you can do this trick to add depth to any layer!)
Now unhide your photo and clip it to the top layer you just created!
You can see the difference between duplicated and non-duplicated mask layers:
If you really want your photo to look less blended and pop's what you can do:
Unclip and hide your photo again
(right click on the photo layer and choose Release Clipping Mask)
Click on the first (bottom) mask 1 layer.
Hold your Shift key and click the top paper layer so all 4 layers are active.
CTRL (CMD) + J to merge.
Now unclip that layer you just created.
Unhide your photo and reclip to the new mask you just created.
Note the difference in the photo between your two options:
The choice here is yours.

Your next layer is the Scribble...I chose not to use it so I hid can always add it back in the end by unhiding it...and you can always move it to a different spot on your page or even move it up in the layers palette. 
Next I unhid the frame drop shadow and frame layers.
I like the look so I'm going to keep the frame and shadow!
(again...the choice is yours....frame it or not!)

Now you've come to the last layer (top).
I chose cbj_whatevermom1_paper02 to clip to it.
Feel free to use a style, leave it as is or don't use it at all!

At this point you are pretty much done!  Everything is nicely blended!  You can leave it as with the different template layer fills or add embellishments.
There are no rules when creating a page like this!

Of course...I had a little more to do! 
I added my 2nd picture (which I extracted) on the right and lowered the Fill to 76%:
(I had to show off my kid's results!)
I then added some Whatever, Mom! Word Bits that I thought were pretty darn perfect for this particular page and one of my CTM Saskia's coordinating Baby Clusters to tie it all together!
Guess can snag those clusters on my blog HERE!
(just scroll down the post!)

And here is my finished page of my daughter last summer firing a rifle for the very first time!
(and the can she bulls-eyed!)
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and picked up a tip or two!
Once you start playing with these, you'll find out how quick and easy they are!

Just remember the best tool in your Photoshop arsenal is the undo command!
Don't like a paper, fill, photo or style you added?
CTRL (CMD) + Z to get rid of it!
(or drag it to your trash bin icon at the bottom of your layers palette)
Feel free to email me HERE with any questions you may have! can use ANY kit to make these pages!
Give it a try!

I'd love to see what you create, so please come back and post a link in the comment section or post to any of my galleries
You can even post them on my Facebook Page!

Now go have some fun!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

New Tutorial: How to Use Blendits Layered Templates in PSE 9 by CTM Robin

Hi all!  CTM Robin here bringing you a tutorial on how to use Jill's Blendits Layered Templates in PSE 9.

For this tutorial I'm using Blendits Layered Template 1 and Jill's new Taste The Rainbow - Fusion Collection which just released today for Gotta Pixel's September Gotta Grab It Event!
(all packs are just $1 through September 18th!)

Here we go.....
I like to start by adding my photo first so that I can get an idea of what colors I want to emphasize in my background paper blends. I first added my photo to the template and clipped it to the mask.
I didn't like how dark my photo appeared so I duplicated the photo mask 2 more times to get the look that I wanted.  You can also play around with the opacity of the mask, but I wasn't able to achieve the look I was going for by doing that.

Next, I add a background paper as the base for my layout.
I begin building on the background paper by moving up through the layer masks one at a time. I've clipped the purple paper to the first mask. Let's see how it looks if I play with the opacity of the mask.

I've reduced the opacity of the mask to 75% which still allows the purple to be the main color, but it also allows the brushwork on the bottom paper to show through.
I continue clipping papers to the rest of the layers in the template. You could also clip a photo or a color layer to the masks.

I opened up one of the kit papers and used the color picker to pick a foreground color, then I followed the layer > new fill layer > solid color path to create a solid color layer to clip to the next mask.

This is what my layout looks like before I clip the color layer to the mask.
This is what it looks like after I clip the solid layer to the mask
Feel free to play around with the layers - move them, or delete them if they're not working with your vision for your finished layout.

I'm going to delete the layer that's highlighted in my layers palette in the above screenshot because it does not fit with my vision of the finished page.
This is what my page looks like now that I've deleted the layer.
Now I have two brush layers that I can clip a color or a paper to or, even replace with paint from the kit.
I have clipped a paper to the brush layer at the bottom and I deleted the brush layer at the top and replaced it with some paint from the kit.
Now I am going to replace the doodle layer at the top with a few elements and add a title.
And, here is my finished layout.
I went back and added some paint under the brush stroke at the bottom.
Tah dah!  A gorgeous mixed media page in no time at all!
That's the great thing about these templates. You can delete layers, duplicate layers or move them around. The possibilities are limitless!

Stay tuned for a tutorial from Jill using CS5!