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How To-sday | How to Photograph and Edit Layouts

Today’s How To-sday comes to you from former Design Team member Katrina Hunt! No matter how hard I try, I always struggle to photograph my layouts – either the lighting is wrong, I can get it all in focus, I can’t get it straight, the list goes on! Katrina shows us an easy way to put all that right and get the perfect end result every time.

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It is so nice to be back on the ScrapbookSteals blog today! Katrina here and I hope I am going to help you “de-mystify” how to photograph your projects to display in galleries, on your blog, Facebook, etc. Warning, this post is picture heavy but I wanted to try to show each step. There are many ways to photograph projects and many ways to edit. This is what works for me. I am focusing on a layout today, but this will work for cards also.
I have two supplies that are staples for me taking project photos: a white foam core board and also a small easel. The board is big enough for a two page layout and the easel is great for propping projects up on.
Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layoutsI always take my photos outside in natural light. Also, I never use a flash. If you use a flash, it bounces off your pictures and anything that is shiny. Those things are too hard to fix! Natural lighting requires me planning ahead and possibly taking them before work or taking pictures of several projects on the weekend. But the lighting in the house isn’t good for this, so I plan accordingly!
I use Photoshop Elements 9.0 as an editing tool. If you have a different version the steps will be similar to what I am showing.

Step 1. Lay your white board down and place your layout on top of it, as straight and square as you can. Then you want to stand directly over your layout. My front step is the perfect height for me to do this. Snap several pictures making sure to leave white space around your layout. I take several shots and pick out the best one to actually edit. Then you will want to open in Photoshop Elements (PSE).

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

Step 2. Start to edit your project photo. All of the editing I do is under the enhance tab and 99% of the time I do the auto enhancements that you are going to see here. First is Auto Levels.

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

Step 3. Then Auto Contrast.

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

Step 4.Then Auto Sharpen-I didn’t include a picture for this, but it is under the Enhance menu also.

Step 5. This is where the good stuff starts coming into play. You are going to do Adjust Lighting-Shadows/Highlights. A box will pop up on your screen and give you the option to adjust the sliders. This will lighten up your picture and make it brighter. I always just leave it at 25% and don’t really ever move the sliders.

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

Step 6. Now you are going to go to Adjust Color-Remove Color Cast. Your white board comes into play here. There will be a box that pops up and it will tell you to click on an area that you know is a true white, grey or black. Click on your white board and watch the color change!

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

Step 7. Double click on your “background” layer over to the side to create a “layer” to work with. To straighten your project you will need to go to the View menu and then select Grid Lines. This gives you something to gauge how much you need to turn your layout to make it straight. Make sure you have the “arrow” tool selected and then click on your project. This will create a dotted line around the layer and you will be able to turn it until you get it straight. Hit the green arrow to save your work.

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

You can tell where I have slightly turned my project to make it a little straighter and the green arrow is at the bottom to check ok.

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

Step 8. Last step is to crop down the white space, so that basically all you have showing is your layout.

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

And my finished project that I will post in galleries and on my blog!

K_HuntRoadTrip1000Signed

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Katrina, thank you so much for sharing with us today – it’s good to see you back! I am definitely going to be trying this one out! Thanks for the tips :-)

If you have an idea that you would like to share as a How To-sday tutorial, please send your photos and directions to ksharrock@steals.com.

Have a great day and be sure to stop by tomorrow for Mid Week Mojo sketch Jade #7!

Hampton Art Design Adhesives and Foil | Monday Craft Madness #10

The Hampton Art Design Adhesives and Foil are so easy and great fun to use  even the kids can join in! We also have a guest designer for this week’s Monday Craft Madness, so please welcome Andrea Eason! Andrea got a chance to play with the foil and adhesives, and chose this week’s Monday Craft Madness theme:

Sparkle & Shine!

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Two of the things I love about January are the fresh start of a new year and the crisp winter month where everything sparkles and shines! What better way to celebrate that with layouts that do the same! Working with Clearsnaps Designer Foils and Designer Adhesives was a perfect way to add sparkle and shine to my layouts.

The Designer Adhesives are double sided adhesive images that are so easy to apply using just your finger. Once you’ve applied them to your project, you can add the Designer Foils by simple placing the foil over the adhesive and rubbing down. It was so fun and felt magical watching the images appear in the bright shiny colors!

For my first project, I used Spots and Dots Designer Adhesives to create a fun pattern on my background paper.

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The Irish Eyes and Pink Punch added a bright cheery pop to my layout.
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For my next project, I used the Designer Adhesives in Daisy Daze to add the fun and groovy flowers to this girly layout.

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I added a brad to the center of each flower to add a bit of dimension to the page.
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The Designer Foils are so versatile since they can be adhered to any sticky surface. I punched adhesive backed paper and applied the Cherry Pie Designer Foil to the sticky side to create the snowflakes on this layout.
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The foil picked up the texture of the paper giving it a nice distressed look.
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The Designer Adhesives have the same versatility in that you can also adhere flocking, glitter, and other mediums to the shapes. I added a blue hue of Perfect Pearls to the Daisy Daze flowers on this summery layout.
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Again, no extra tools where needed. I just applied the adhesive to the paper by rubbing it on, and rubbed the Perfect Pearls over it.
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This was such a fun way to add sparkle and shine to my layouts! With a variety of shape option and a rainbow of colors, these are a great way to embellish!
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Thank you so much Andrea for being our Monday Craft Madness Guest Designer! I love the variety of themes you used for your projects – and as you can see – the Hampton Art adhesives and foil are not just for girly layouts! They can be used for SO much more!

I’m sure Andrea has inspired you to ‘sparkle & shine’ this week! Just remember to have fun! :)

If you’d like to enter to win the January Monday Craft Madness prize:

Create a project (a card, layout, altered project, or any other craft your heart desires) using any of our weekly themes! You have until the last Thursday of the month to create your project and upload a photo of it somewhere online. Just include a link to this post in your photo’s caption. :) To enter to win, simply leave a comment on our blog with the link to your project ! We’ll choose a random winner and they’ll be the lucky recipient of a $20 ScrapbookSteals.com gift code at the end of the month!

Just note that this is separate from Mid Week Mojo, so you’ll have at least two fun projects a week you can dive into. :)

Don’t forget to check back in with us tomorrow for a fun How To’sday post by Guest Designer Katrina Hunt!

American Crafts Amy Tangerine Ready Set Go Collection | Mid Week Mojo

Jade – Week 6 of 10
New to Mid Week Mojo? Get started here!

The American Crafts Amy Tangerine Ready Set Go Collection has so many bright, fun papers and embellishments, picking a theme truly is difficult. From patterned papers, bright colors and tags, to die cut shapes, stickers and even a date stamp – you really are spoilt for choice! This collection just shouts out Amy Tangerine!

Here is this week’s sketch. Hope you like it!

Scrapbooking inspiration sketch using American Crafts Amy Tangerine Ready Set Go Collection

And here is my layout:

MWMJade#6a

I loved this background paper . It is very plain and simple, with a few printed on elements in the top left hand corner. I wanted to add a little more dimension and texture to this, so added some extra papers, stickers and hand stitching – the design is the same, it just has a little more interest now.

Adding dimension and texture to scrapbooking layouts

I also loved all the different elements in this collection so much, I wanted to try and use them all! I love the look of clustered embellishments on layouts and this seems to be a big trend on Amy Tangerine layouts. So I thought I would give it a try! I used some of the die cuts in the collection, along with punched circles and stickers to create this layered, clustered embellishment.

Adding dimension and texture to scrapbooking layouts

Adding dimension and texture to scrapbooking layouts

I then felt that I needed to balance out the layout with a few more embellishments in the bottom right corner. I added some stitching for texture, along with a layered sticker and more of the die cut embellishments. Unfortunately the date stamp didn’t go back to 2002 which is when the photograph was taken, but it does have some great sentiments so I used the ‘snapshot’ wording to add another few details.

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Lastly, I added some ‘hidden journaling’. I really don’t like to see my handwriting on a scrapbook layout, so I much prefer hidden journaling. The small journaling cards that come in the collection were perfect for this. I highlighted it with the small arrow stickers, just so people know it is there!

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I hope I have inspired you to create your own layout from this sketch!

You girls totally rocked the sketch last week – I love how you all had positive comments about the double page layout! You may see a few more of those in the future. Our lucky random winner for the week is Carla I! Carla – I love the color combination and papers you have used, and those photos are cute! Please let our customer service know you are this week’s winner in an email with your address to service@steals.com and we will be happy to send some sweet swag your way!

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If you’re new, we’d love to see you join in! Each Wednesday we provide a sketch and you have until the following Monday at 11:59 MT to leave a comment on this post with a link to your creation. You can find all of the fantastic details here. Also, as we continue week to week, bookmark this page for your quick reference to Mid Week Mojo links.

Can’t wait to see the interpretations of this week’s sketch start popping up on our Facebook fan page! If you haven’t already liked us, stop by.

Don’t forget to come back on Friday for some great inspiration from our new Design Team member Bev Code! I’ve already had the pleasure of looking through these projects – all I can say is –  you’re not going to want to miss this one!

Scrapp’n Supplies Rhinestone Bundle | Monday Craft Madness #9

The Scrapp’n Supplies Rhinestone Bundle are so much to use and add just the right ammount of BLING to your projects. Whether you want a lot or just a little, the rhinestones are all individual so you can add as many as your heart desires! Which means this week’s Monday Craft Madness theme is:

Bring on the bling!

I created a number of themed projects to show you just how versatile they can be. They are not just for the girls – you can even add them to a masculine project as I did in my first card.

The next card I made using the heart shaped rhinestones – again  -another quick and easy card!

 

And just to show you how easy they are to use on a layout too – here is a layout I made using the rhinestones to create a butterfly swirl.

As the rhinestones are all individual, you really can create any pattern you want – from flourishes and flowers, to stars and stripes – the possibilites are endless!

I hope I have inspired you to ‘bring on the bling’ this week! Just remember to have fun! :)

If you’d like to enter to win the January Monday Craft Madness prize:

Create a project (a card, layout, altered project, or any other craft your heart desires) using any of our weekly themes! You have until the last Thursday of the month to create your project and upload a photo of it somewhere online. Just include a link to this post in your photo’s caption. :) To enter to win, simply leave a comment on our blog with the link to your project ! We’ll choose a random winner and they’ll be the lucky recipient of a $20 ScrapbookSteals.com gift code at the end of the month!

Just note that this is separate from Mid Week Mojo, so you’ll have at least two fun projects a week you can dive into. :)

Don’t forget to check back in with us tomorrow for a fun How To’sday post by Design Team member Lisa Spiegel!

Simple Stories Happy Day Collection

It’s the start of a new Design Team, and first up is Cristine Redmond! I love what she has done with today’s steal, the Simple Stories Happy Day Collection! I love the patterned papers and colors in this collection – perfect for boys and girls. Cristine really shows us how to use it with great effect!

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I really enjoy working with Simple Stories’ Collections, so I was excited when I found out I would be working with the Happy Days Collection for my first project.  Today’s steal is a very nice sized kit.  I ended up creating two layouts and two cards from the scraps and I still had a lot left.
Simple Stories Collections work great in Project Life-type photo sleeves, but for this layout, I did a lot of fussy cutting, using elements from different parts of the patterned papers.
I loved the fun banner that was printed on one of the half sheets, but just wanted that element alone, so I fussy cut it to use as a border across the page.  I also cut the two banners and the photo tab out of more solid-printed sections.  The journaling piece worked so well for everything I wanted to say.

I had fun pulling different embellishments from my stash that went well with the muted color scheme of this collection.

I used some of the fun stickers which are included on the alpha sheet on the pennants.  I thought they added a bit more without being too overwhelming.

For my first card, I did more fussy cutting, using the “happy day” phrase from one of the cards and cutting the pennants from solid pieces in different cards.

I don’t have any of the Project Life-type photo sleeves, but I decided to make a layout using the same theory to show how easy a layout can come together using this collection.

I used one of the border sections on the bottom of the page, then put another border on top of it, then I cut out two of the 4×6 cards, which happened to look very similar, and placed them in the upper and lower corners.  I cut one of the more solid-colored sheets to fit the other two 4×6 sections, added some embellishments and voila!  I was done!  This layout seriously took me about 20 minutes to throw together.  And it would have gone even faster if I had the photo sleeves to just throw the pieces into.  So easy!

For my second card, I just cut out one of the 3×4 cards, used the tiny alphas for a greeting, cut a border, and added some washi tape.  Again, super easy!

This collection is so versatile for people who love using the photo sleeve system or people who want to just throw their own layout together.  I’m glad I could help showcase both ways for you all!

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Thanks Cristine! A great start to the new Design Team! I can’t wait to see what the next three months bring!

Thanks for stopping by everyone and be sure to tune in again on Monday for a new Monday Craft Madness!