This is it. Jordan has started her senior year. (it officially starts tomorrow, but she had to go for sophomore day today) She’s having a bit of anxiety over it. She’s a high school lover. I’m sure it’s gonna go by really fast for her too.
I’m sure I must have mentioned that we will be going to NYC so she can sing at Carnegie Hall for A Capella too, didn’t I? That should be fun–especially since Dan and I will be chaperoning. ;)
So, how many of your kids have started, or are starting this week? What are your ‘first of the school year’ traditions?
For us, there’s always the usual school shopping. And we also take our kids out to dinner at the start–and the end–of the school year.
Whether it’s your first going to kindergarten, a child starting junior high, or anywhere in between, there’s always many emotions for both parent and child. The dreaded homework, quiet time at home, school activities, routine again . . . there’s always something to be thankful for and some things you aren’t. ;)
That’s why I love this page that Laura did! I love that she wrote down her feelings about her daughter starting her junior year in high school.
Now that little Miss Laura has a great tip to share with us as well!
Here’s the layout (above) that came before the cards that I already shared (see the post before). I started this layout, wanting to use the Print files from the This & That: School Kit as my patterned paper. While all of the pieces making up the patterned paper border along the left side of the layout are cut straight from the Print file sheet, I also wanted to cut a few of my titles from those same patterns, so that they would match perfectly. This is where I had to get a little creative, since I needed pieces that were much larger to cut from.
I started by pulling up one of the Print files that I wanted to work with, and choose which paper shape I was going to use for my cutting.
Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, I select the paper that I want, by dragging a box around it and then selecting Copy from the dropdown menu (under edit).
I open up a new canvas to work on. I choose an 11” x 8.5”, since my printer only prints standard paper sizes.
From the dropdown menu (under Edit), choose Paste, which will paste the image you copied onto the blank canvas. You will go to your dropdown menu again (under edit), and choose Free Transform. Normally, I would hold down the Shift button while dragging one of the corners in or out to make the images smaller or larger in size, but still keeping the general shape intact.
However, I wanted to make this image larger, but also wider so that the ruled lines didn’t end up too far apart. So I didn’t worry about holding down the Shift button, while dragging out the edges of the shape to make it stretch across the page.
Since I was going to be cutting out a few different titles, I wanted to cover my entire paper with the black ruled patterned paper. Had I just made my original shape larger, to fill the page, the ruled lines would have been very far apart. So this is why I made the shape shorter and wider, and then simply copied and pasted it, so that were actually two on the sheet. When finished, just flatten the image, and send it through your printer (I used textured white cardstock).
Here’s a look at what I was cutting out on my Silhouette. The “And so it begins” and the “Junior Year” were for my layout, and the two “ABC” were for my cards.
And here’s a look at how it all cut out of my printed paper.
I also needed to cut the “And so it” and “Junior” to add to my layered titles, and I wanted to cut them from papers that matched the ones that were on my layout from the original Print file. So I pulled up the second Print file, and choose the two papers that I wanted to use to cut from.
I choose this lined yellow paper.
And this grid blue paper.
I used the same steps that I used before. Selecting the Free Transform from the dropdown menu (under Edit), and dragging out the edges of the paper until the size looked right for what I was going to cut.
You could easily enlarge several of the paper shapes from the Print files, and combine them onto a sheet or two to print out.
You can see here that I had plenty of room to work with once I cut out the titles I needed. I could have added more shapes to cut, use the extra on another card or layout, or even use it with punches for embellish my layout or cards.
While Kerri’s This & That kits are fabulous for their intended purpose, which is for creating the gorgeous altered trays, keep in mind they can be used for lots of other projects as well. Break them down, and think of other ways to get the most out of them. And if you’re looking for a fun alternative to your regular patterned paper stash, really take a good look at the Print files, as you have a good selection of patterned paper right there. And you only have to print what the amount of paper you need!
National Scrapbook Day is this coming Saturday and I want to help you get ready for it!
BIG things happening on the site this week!
Can you say sale?
How’s about giveaways?
Uh huh. Sure. I knew you could. :)
And what fun would a week be without fabulous inspiration from our amazing creative team? They’ll be sharing not only wonderful ideas, but fun tips+favorites. Also, they told me what they’d like as a freebie and voila! It’s available to you as a freebie for that day only. When the day is over, the shape goes into a vault and will be offered as a kit for sale when the week is over. So you better make sure you’re here every day to get it!
So how ’bout we start with this…
Every single day this week–leading up to the big NSD–there will be something different on sale. But to take advantage of the sale price, you need to get it that day, because when the day is over? So is the sale on those items.
So for Monday? Here’s what’s on sale!
Just look for the items with sale tags in the store!
To be entered to win, leave a comment with your name and where you’re from and I’ll draw a winner on Wednesday morning. (U.S. residents only please.)
And if you are new fan here visiting because you heard about this from Becky Higgins….welcome! I’d also like to point out if you’re a Project Life fan and maybe a digital craft cutter fan, that there are some really great kits on sale today that work with Project LIfe.
One question I get asked a-plenty is “How do you get such clean cuts?” Some of those smaller, more detailed cuts with This+That can be tricky.
Here are my answers to the questions in the order of which I deem important–for me anyway. :)
Double-cut the image.
Use a newer mat.
Use a newer blade.
The blade solution doesn’t seem to make as much of a difference as often for me. I find that the mat and the double-cut will always make the difference.
And of course, I love using American Crafts cardstock with Bazzill as my second choice. AC cardstock is the best with Silhouette
But what if you’re doing all those things and it’s still not giving you a clean cut?
This is a question that has plagued me because I haven’t had that problem. I just assumed it was always the product or cardstock being used on the user end.
Well, one of my readers–Miss Stephanie–saw something within a Silhouette user group and found another solution! (I believe that person got the answer from Silhouette.) She shared it with me because she was so gosh darned excited that it worked for her, so of course I HAD to share it with you all!
Go into File (or Silhouette Studio on Mac) and then into Preferences/Advanced. It’s the Packet Size you want to change.
It’s currently set to 3000 bytes, but try changing it to 500 bytes. This determines how much information is sent at a time from your computer to your Silhouette. Stephanie did this and it worked for her!
Oh happy day!
Of course, this may not be as big of an issue on the Cameo, because I hear that you don’t even need to double-cut anymore. But if you are using either of the other Silhouette models, this may be the ticket for you! And if it does work? I would love to hear about it!
Okay, so it’s not what you think, but it got your attention, yes? :)
I often get questions about how to cut the more delicate shapes.
What is the trick?
And just the other day, one of my readers asked if I had tried to cut the snowflake page from the December Additions: The Pages kit on a small scale.
Would it work?
I took the challenge.
I had to see what would happen, ya know?
This was the result:
I cut this at 3″ tall!
Not bad. Not bad at all!
How cute would that be on a tag?
Here’s some helpful tips that have worked great for me through the years:
Double cut your image by pressing Ctrl-C/Ctrl-F to copy and paste a second copy of the image directly on top. I’ve also seen some people say that the new Cameo cuts even better and that they no longer need to double cut their images. That sounds just lovely.
I love.love.love…American Crafts cardstock with my Silhouette. Cuts like butt-ah. But I will also use whatever is in my stash. I just like to use my AC cardstock when possible. It’s my fave.
Make sure you’re using a newer mat on intricate shapes. Sometimes the blade can make a difference (I use mine for a long time), but I find that having a good mat makes the biggest difference.
Pull the negative space from below so that you rip a layer of cardstock, it’ll be on the underside and not on top.
Use a paper piercer to poke through small holes and scissors to catch any connecting spots. It’s better than trying to pull the cardstock away from it.
My Silhouette settings are always at Heavy Cardstock with a speed of 10 and a thickness of 33 and I never have a problem with it cutting cardstock. I know some people will slow their speed down, but I’ve never had to do that.
Make sure there isn’t any ‘guck’ in your blade cap. Unscrew it and blow through the little hole to make sure nothing has gotten caught in there over time.
I think that’s about it on the tips! If I think of any more, I’ll be sure to add them. :)
Click HERE for another post on getting cleaner cuts too!
When the ever-so lovely Miss Nichol asked if I wanted to participate with herTwo Peas Scrapbook Stamping series, of course I had to say yes! I mean, how often do I get to do something for her?
October’s subject was all about making a scene. Now, when I think of a ‘scene’, my mind doesn’t necessarily go to the usual ‘scene’ kind of scene. What do you think I’d think of? If you guessed words, you’d be right on the nose!
Words are definitely my kind of scene.
(can we see how many times i can throw the word scene in this post? you ain’t seen nothing yet. ok, maybe that one doesn’t count.)
Since I finally have some fresh new photos to play with–my daughter’s homecoming–you’re getting to see them two days in a row. :) And if you’re not a fan of mine on Facebook, you may have missed me talking about the corsage he made out of pennies! It was such an amazing idea! Also, if you can’t tell by some of the photos, they are in drama together.
I used a vertical template from Storyboard #1 and turned it horizontally . . . so, just a note: you don’t have to use them in the orientation that they come. I changed the lower right square to a brown color and typed my journaling. Then I used some brushes to add some flavor and then clipped those brush layers to a copy of the brown square–like I would a photo–so that none of the excess brush image would go outside the square. Obviously I need to color inside the lines.
To create a scene similar to this, stamp the words or images that you’re thinking of using onto a transparency and play with their placement. Once you know where you want everything? Stamp away! Oh, and on my page I heat embossed my stamped images in black.
I have to tell ya, there was a time I did much more stamping. Now it’s just the occasional stamp here or there to help accent my project–I find that die cuts are much more forgiving when placing. So it was fun to break out the ol’ stamps! And I mean, I’ve had some of these babies for years! One of those things I just can’t get rid of. Guess it was a good thing–came in handy and all. Unfortunately, I don’t have Nichol’s stamping perfection skills–nor do I have a Stamp-A-Ma-Jig. I think I need one of those. :)
It’s that time of year. Baseball season is in full swing (no pun intended) as indicated by the baseball games I kept flipping through on Saturday.
I miss watching my husband play. Our first few years of marriage were spent at the ballpark as he played both fast- and slow-pitch softball and even played Roy Hobbs–baseball for men over 30. He would have gone to a Roy Hobbs World Series had I not been pregnant and due right about the same time. It was so fun to watch him pitch a game. He’s got quite an arm and is pretty amazing . . . if I do say so myself. ;)
So in honor of the ol’ ball game, I’m having a Grand Slam day . . . not to be confused with Denny’s Grand Slam Breakfast. There’s no bacon and pancakes here. (mmmmm….paaaancaaaakes….)
This Grand Slam is all about the storyboard templates though . . . so here we go!
On First Base We have “The Page”.
Okay, note to self, don’t wait so long between scrapping. Oy! It takes so much to get back in the groove to make something. And with this page? I tried stepping out of my “all cardstock” box that I loooove doing so much. I think that threw me for a loop too. I’m used to things having a cleaner look. ;)
I used two templates for the photo collages here. I looooove photo collages. I love telling a story with many pictures and keeping them the focus (which is why I love cardstock usually ;)).
And not only did I use the templates, believe it or not, I used shapes and images from SIX different kits!
You know, even if you aren’t into making the This & That trays, there are usually around 20 images in those kits that can be used for anything!
Look at the telegram image below here. I printed it onto some 7gypsies patterned paper so that it looks even more authentic, right down to the distressing and watermark!
Now, with this event I had a plethora of photos to use, but didn’t want to spend all my time making pages for them. So I trimmed an 8.5×11″ page protector to 4.5″ wide and used some Heidi Swapp tape to adhere the open edge closed. The tape went perfectly with the spread. With this little insert, I was able to add eight more photos (front+back).
So in the end, this is what the spread looks like.
One other tip I’d like to share here is the beauty that is Photoshop Actions! And they do make PSE versions as well. Basically, an ‘action’ is a recording of keystrokes or steps so that you can get the same result every time via a push of a button so that you don’t have to go through all the steps yourself each time.
I downloaded some free Actions from The Pioneer Woman some time ago and loooove what they can do! (I also use Totally Rad Actions as well.) On these vintage photos I used actions called Soft & Faded, Seventies, and Quick Edge Burn. I highly recommend downloading these actions to see what you can do with them! You can find them HERE. Although, for PSE, getting all the actions isn’t quite as easy, but you can read about how to get them from The Pioneer Woman HERE.
On Second Base We have “The Photo Template”.
Now, if you’re looking at that page on the right and thinkin’ to yourself, I don’t recognize that template . . . well, you’d be right! This is a brand new template that I am giving away as a free download until Wednesday only. It’s kind of like “bat day” at the ball park. ;) After Wednesday it will find its way into a template kit as a little bonus that you will have purchase.
Alas, Wednesday is now over. Sorry if you missed your chance to download this for free, but it will make an appearance in another kit down the road.
And you need to go check out what Nichol Magouirk did with one of the storyboard templates from the Storyboard #2 kit. FAAABuolous!!! Genius!
On Third Base We have “The Video”.
I’m still in the process of getting my real copy of Photoshop Elements (I had a trial version), but the steps behind this are all the same between PS and PSE and Mac vs. PC with one exception. PSE has a bin at the bottom that shows all your open windows (see images below). I can’t guarantee the differences between versions though–although again, I think they’d be basically the same process. I’m using CS5 and the screenshots below are PSE8.
Also, I set up my palettes on the left as opposed to on the right, like the default. I like not having to move across the screen to use the Toolbar and the Palettes. Everything is pretty much on the left and that makes more sense to me.
Okay, I’m not sure why this video stretched after uploading, but it is. I’ll figure it out and repost it, but for now, it will get the job done–just everyone will look a little wider. ;) I’m new to this whole thing, so please forgive my noviceness (yeah, it’s a word).
I have some screen shots that I took before my trial version of PSE ran out so you can see a little better visually about what’s going on.
Open a template and the photos you’ll need. Look at the bottom and you can see all the files I have opened.
With the template showing in your open window, click on the photo down in the bin and drag it up onto the template.
Look at the Layers Palette on the right in the example above and the example below. Notice how I moved the photo so that it sits just above the layer where I want to clip the image to. Hover your mouse between those two layers in the Layers palette, press Alt then click your mouse, and your image is now residing in that square. Resize as needed.
And the homerun hitter up to bat . . . We have “The Giveaway”.
I’m giving away one storyboard template of your choice to FIVE different people!
Just leave a comment about your favorite spring thing to do and I will draw a winner on Wednesday.
So tell all your friends to come get a free storyboard template, watch a little video on how to use them and enter to win a storyboard template of your choice! It all ends Wednesday though, so don’t miss out!
[this contest is now closed]
On another note, if you didn’t notice Wednesday through Friday last week, Blogger was having issues. No posting. No comments. They even lost 30 hours worth of posts and comments. So my Wednesday post disappeared for a bit and I think comments were lost–but they did get the post restored. So frustrating because you can’t even blog about Blogger being down. lol Hopefully all is well now.
Hey! I'm Kerri Bradford--wife and mother of three. Been in the business in some fashion since 1999--working with Lisa Bearnson doing QVC, designing kits for Creating Keepsakes' Kit of the Month program, creating Cricut Cartridges, and working for QK/Silhouette.
I love spending time with my family, traveling and photography. Life couldn't be any better when I can do all three at the same time!
I'm so happy doin' 'my thing' creating art for digital craft cutters and digital scrapbooking and getting to know all you fabulous people all over the world!