Can you believe it's already November? I always feel a little ambivalent about November...on the one hand, getting past Halloween means Christmas is coming and that's really exciting. On the other hand, I always feel stressed just thinking about to-do list which grows exponentially at this time of year. While I try to remain upbeat by reminding myself that most of the items on my list are actually fun to do, stress still keeps me up at night at the most inopportune times.
In a concerted effort to enjoy this year's holiday season with a minimum amount of stress, I have created five holiday layouts ahead of time. Yes sirree...I, the queen of procrastination, have actually (almost) scrapped my holidays already. The mere thought of this makes me feel all tingly inside :) To increase my chances of success, I am keeping things simple: one (albeit huge) digital kit and five events/things which never fail to be photographed year after year (so I'm guaranteed to have pictures).
Each day this week I'll be sharing one of these layouts (I like to think of them as templates) with you and along the way I'll also share a few Photoshop tips. I won't claim that any of these tips are earth shatteringly clever or new but they are things that I do on a regular basis so I hope that someone else will find them useful too.
My first layout is about our Christmas tree. Trimming the tree is always a huge event at our house, especially since my kids can now "help". For this layout (and all my other holiday layouts), I am using Crystal Wilkerson's December 2009 papers and elements along with Ali Edward's Holiday word art.
Notice that I've left four grey rounded rectangles/squares for my pictures. I will be using clipping masks to insert my pictures into this layout later, which leads me to my first Photoshop tip...clipping masks. I always had a hard time understanding clipping masks until I came up with this paper scrapping analogy:
- The base layer is like a die cut.
- The paper/picture which you want to cut, must be on top of the base layer (die cut)
- Once the paper/picture covers the base layer completely, you can "cut" it by applying a clipping mask.
The equivalent steps in Photoshop (this should work with both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements):
- Import or create your shape into your document
- Import your paper/picture and position it directly above the shape layer
- With the paper/picture layer selected, select "Layer --> Create Clipping Mask" from the menu. Your image will now be "cut" int the shape which you selected
- Move/resize the paper/picture layer until you are satisfied with what you see (this step is optional)
- Once you are satisfied with the results, select both the shape and the paper/picture layers and merge them by selecting "Layer --> Merge Layers" from the menu. You can skip this step it really helps to keep the number of layers to a minimum. Keep clutter to a minimum, that's my motto!
Ann Costen signing off until tomorrow! Please feel free to leave any questions about digital scrapbooking in the comments and I'll do my best to address them before the end of the week!