Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A "Boo"-tiful Gift

I just LOVE Fall – Don’t you?

I love everything about it.  The change in weather, the food, the festivities – everything! One activity that we do every fall is a Halloween “Boo”.  Have you ever done one?  It where you make up an inexpensive little gift and leave it secretly for a friend or neighbor.  The Mom’s Club that I have been part of for 11 years does one each year.  It is always a fun surprise to find one on your door step. When you open it, there is a little “Boo” poem usually and sign for your door letting others know that you have been Boo’ed already, plus the list of friends participating so that you know who hasn't received one yet.  The gifties are usually candies mixed with some inexpensive treats.

This year, I thought that it would be fun to make a door hanger – so, let’s keep it between you and me  since I haven't delivered mine yet!  ;)

I love Celeste’s kit – Spirited.  It is full of such great elements and papers for this project.  The first thing that I did was to make a back template for the door hanger itself.  I created 2 rectangles.  1 that is 4 x 10 and one that is slightly smaller 3.75 x 9.75 so that the edges of the bigger one just show a little.  I filled the larger rectangle with the bright orange stripe and the smaller rectangle with the spider paper.  *Note – most of this will not show as the gifts and hole for door knob will cover it.  You can print these on cardstock with or without the circles cut out.  

Next, I made myself a template for the front box.  I wanted the box to be the same size as the front rectangle and 1” wide, so I created two 3.75” squares for front and back, and 2 sides that are 1” x 3.75”.  Then, I made the tabs that will glue together using trapezoids that are 1” tall by the width of the piece that they are attached to.  
Just fill the backgrounds with whatever paper you like and add elements to your liking.  The back of your square will not show and most of the tabs, so you can leave them a generic color.  I colored mine with the white paper from the paper pack, but did darken it just a shade so that I could see it enough to cut out later.

Once you are happy with your project, you can save it and print.  I like to print an extra copy of the pieces that I will duplicate and “bump up” to give dimension.  In this case, I copied, the Happy Halloween Tag, the whole front piece and the "BOO".  
Gather all of your supplies.  I have my project printed on cardstock, my cutter, scissors, adhesive (both tape and glue and bump dots), ribbon, buttons and glitter (that I ended up not using)
 Next, cut everything out.  I try to use the straight edge cutter for as much as possible and then hand cut with scissors.  You will also want to cut out the circles for the door knob.  I used my medium Creative Memories circle with green blade that creates a 2 1/8" circle.
Note of caution - I cut the rectangles out separately and hence, when I lined them up the edges showing on either side do not match.  I guess for those that that bother, may want to measure ;)  Either way, use the double sided tape and attached the two rectangles together.
You will want to score the edges of your box so that it folds evenly.
 And add foam or bump dots to your extra pieces to give dimension.  For the Scrabble Tiles, I cut them separately to make them look more more Tiles, you could also use real Tiles or leave them in one strip.
 Attach all your pieces!
 Glue buttons and ribbon to add interest
 Add adhesive to all the tabs, but the front one (that I kept black) and put together box.
 Make sure to use lots of adhesive and press down well to make sure the weight of the treats does not make it come undone.
 Fill with candies, small toys, glow sticks, lollipops, etc and sneak to a friends out to surprise them!

I hope you enjoyed this little treat!
Have a great Fall Season and a Happy Halloween.

*CT Member Meagan

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Featured Favorites are back!

It's Tuesday, so Featured Favorites are back at P&Co. Check out these beauties, because they're  50% off right now... Don't wait, though; it's only through Thursday!

This sale means you can snag both of these basics for a grand total of $3.00 Remeber, these prices only last until Thursday.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Creating a Custom Clipping Mask (Using Shapes and Text)

One way I like making my scrapbook pages unique is to create a custom clipping mask.  A clipping mask is basically a shape created in Photoshop programs that you can force or "clip" a picture into, and it will take on the shape of the mask. The one I used here for the focal picture is a combination of two geometric shapes, and includes a title phrase as part of the mask as well.  It's nice to be able to create a mask like this if you have a cute kit, but still need something special to fit the theme of your page. 

Here's the process I used to make my clipping mask; if you need a larger view of the photos here, click on each picture to enlarge it.  You can easily adapt what I've done here to fit in with your own project ideas.

Step One:
Start by creating the basic shape you want to use for your clipping mask.  In this case,  I chose the custom shape tool from the tool bar, and created a half circle shape from the menu shown below in the option bar.  I rotated it so that the curve of the circle was facing up and resized to the dimensions I wanted it. 

Step Two:
Create a text path on a circle shape (or any shape of your choosing).  In PSE 10 and up, you can do this by clicking on the text tool in the tool bar, then choosing the "text path on a shape" icon in the options bar.  The icon is basically is a letter T with a wavy box around it.  If you have an earlier version of PSE (which won't have text path functionality), you can buy shaped text paths to use from various sources online.  Here is a text path kit you can buy at Pixels and Company.  

Otherwise, choose the ellipse shape from the options bar, hold down the shift key, and draw a circular text path.  After the path is created, you can see a blinking cursor on it.  Start typing in your text along the path.  You can choose your font either before or after your type in your words.  I used the Cerebral font here.  You may need to resize and reposition your text to look good next to the shape you created.

Step Three: 
Place the text on the top of the half circle, so that the bottom edges of the letters are not visible and seem to blend into the circle.  Again, you may need to rotate the text a bit and adjust the positioning to make it fit correctly onto the circle shape.

Next, create a new layer, then go back and click the shape tool again.  Choose the rectangle shape from the options bar, and carefully create a rectangle that's the same width as your half circle.  Once all three pieces of your custom mask are positioned correctly, hold down the shift key and select all three of those layers in the layers palette (your circular shape, the text, and the rectangle).  Right click on those layers, and from the fly out menu that appears, choose "merge layers."  At this point, the three separate pieces are now all one unit, and your custom mask is ready for you to clip in a photo. 

Step Four:
This step is optional, but if you'd like, add a stroked outline to the top of your mask.  It's adds a nice touch and helps the text to pop out a bit more.  If you'd like to do this, then create a new layer just above your layer with your clipping mask in the layers palette.  Hold down the control key (command key on a Mac), and click down on the clipping mask layer.   This will make the "marching ants" show around the outside edge of your mask.

Then, go to the Menu Bar, and go to Edit > Stroke Outline Selection.  A menu box will pop up and will prompt you to put in the width (or thickness of) your outline, and will allow you to choose the color of the stroke.  You can make the adjustments that you want, and then click OK.  In the picture below, I chose a width of six pixels and changed the color from white to gray (click on the color in the rectangle next to the word "color" to choose a different shade than the one that's showing).

You should now see a colored outline around the outer edges of your mask by those marching ants. Click control (or command) D to deselect the mask.  I wanted to add some visual interest, so instead of leaving the stroke lined up exactly with the outside of the shape, I grabbed the move tool.   Then I clicked on the outline, and then used the arrow keys on my keyboard to offset the stroke slightly to the right.

 Step Five:
Once you are finished with your cool custom mask, drag the mask and stroke layers onto your layout.  To clip a photo into it with the stroked outline on top, place the photo in between the stroke and clipping mask layers. Make sure the photo layer is selected in the layers palette.  Go to the menu bar and choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask, and your photo will conform to the shape of your mask.  Adjust the color of the stroked outline if needed.  I changed the color to the lighter aqua found in some of the triangles on the patterned paper by using the eye dropper tool, then going to Edit > Fill Layer > Use: Background Color.

 I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and if you want to pick up the gorgeous kit I used here, it's the FocusClickRepeat Collab kit by Celeste and Amanda Yi.  Have fun with this technique have a beautiful day!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Featured Designer Sale and a new Collab

It's that time of year again.... Time for a featured designer sale! You can save 25% on everything in the sweet caroline store. Pick up an older favorite like the Honeysuckle Kit or one of the newer releases; School is Cool

You can also pick up the newest release: Focus Click Repeat | a sweet caroline and Amanda Yi Collaboration. 

This collar is the perfect blend of vintage cameras, wood elements and word bits. perfect for everyday photos and events. 

And, if you snag the full kit, you'll get the journal cards for free! 10 journal cards, each available in horizontal and vertical formats. 

It's hard to see the stamps mixed in with all the other elements and papers, so a separate preview was in order.

A little (who am I kidding, a lot) of fabulous inspiration from the Sweet Studio Team and The P&Co girls.

by Jen E. 

by Jen E.

by Janell

by Mandi

by Lorrell

by Meagan

by Liz

by Maribel

by Sabrina

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hybrid Milk Carton Gift Box

This month for our Hybrid tutorial, I thought that I would share with you a fun and beautiful way to give someone a small gift. 
I ran across this template called Boxed In Vol 10: Mini Milk Carton by Wendy Bird Designs and fell in love with it.  There are so many ways that you can embellish this little carton.  You can make them for teacher gifts with the School is Cool kit, as a wedding favors with Linens and Lace, Christmas gifts, Halloween treats,  or just a fun treat like I did with Sweet Sundae.

Sweet Sundae was so perfect for this hybrid item.  First, I opened the template file in my program.  The download comes with the cutting files for those that are lucky enough to have something like a Silhouette and pngs for those of us that do not.  I hope that you can see that it is really easy to make these by hand.  It also includes instructions, a psd file and the outline if you need it. 

In the program that I use, if I am using pngs as layers, then I need to flatten them first before I fill them.  Either way, you can fill each of the layers with your choice of papers and elements. I filled the main background piece with a solid pink from the Sweet Sundae kit.  In a few instances, I added extra papers onto some of the sides.  Some of the layers are there as guides and you do not want to print them.  Here is a picture of the folding guides overlaid on my pink background.  I usually hide this layer.  The top pieces that have the dotted triangle will be folded to the inside of the carton.  The bottom polygons will the bottom of the carton, most of it covered by the other pieces. 

As I play around with the box, I can add, move around and place elements and papers and even text boxes until I am happy with it.  Here is my finished box, ready for printing.

I added shadows to the doily, cake and angled paper. Since the word art is on a busy background.  I copied it, recolored it and placed it underneath to make it stand out more.  Once you are done, save your work and print it out on card stock.  I like to gather all of my tools together before I start.


(I printed a duplicate of my layout, also on cardstock and a full green doily so that I could cut out the individual pieces to add to my project later.)  

Now, if you had a silhouette cutting machine, it could cut out and put fold lines in it for you.  If you do not have a cutting machine, you must cut it out by hand. 
a cutter for the main straight cuts sped things along
Scissors did most of my cutting though, but only really took a few minutes.
After it was all cut out, I used a scorer to make the lines for folding.  If you do not have a scorer or bone folder, you can use a ruler and a dull pointed object (like the end of a pen).
A scorer will press a straight line to make folding easier and straighter.  
Using a tool that I have on hand and a ruler, I drew in the lines to fold in the upper triangles for the inner part of the milk carton.
I go ahead and fold my box in at this point to check that I have everything right.  This was how I discovered that I had printed my project upside down the first time!  Oops!  Easily fixed, I went back to my program, flipped everything and re-printed!  

Now onto the fun part - adding the embellishments!!  Of course, this box is super cute just as it is, but it adds depth and interest by adding to your hybrid project.  One thing that I did to add interest was to actual sew with white thread over the sewn element from the kit.  To hit the right spots, I would hold the box up to the light and then push the needle through.

A quick way to do that is to put bump dots or foam double sided tape to a duplicate piece.
They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  I popped up the cake, the word art, the journal card and then the doily.

Next, I added extra embellishments that I had - flowers, pearls and jeweled brads.

 The last embellishment is a flower on top of the doily and I wanted it to wrap around the box, so I went ahead and added adhesive to the bottom and sides of the box and put it together.
Then, I made the flower, by sewing 3 different sized flowers together and then sewed onto the green doily (adding a little glue to each layer).  I glued a pink pearl to the center of the whole thing.
 Then, I folded it in half (making sure to line up those striped patterns and sewed it into the corner.  Afterwards, I attached the sticky bump dots to the corners to hold it down better.

 And that's it!!  You can now fill it with any small treat or gift card even.  Cute right!  I can't wait to give this to my friend as a thank you for helping me out.

I hope you enjoy this! 
Thanks for stopping by Celeste's Blog