Digital Scrap-booking: Quality Tips – Checking Gamut in Adobe Photoshop

It is very important to identify when images are out of gamut before completing digital scrapbook projects. Why? The answer is simple. But first you must understand what a gamut is.

 A gamut is the color range or scope of colors that monitor systems display and printer structures print. If an image is out of gamut, it may not print in the colors shown on your system’s screen.  In Adobe Photoshop, there are various color modes to create your project in, but for digital scrapbooking prints, the two most used modes are RGB and CMYK.   RGB color mode is the more practical choice, since you can check to see if images are in or out of gamut.

Checking for Gamut Issues

The way to check for gamut issues is to do the following:

 On the menu bar click “View” > “Gamut Warning” or use your keyboard shortcuts [Shift + Ctrl (Command on a Mac) + Y].  If the image has grayed out areas, then it is out of gamut.  If the color values did not change, then they are within the color scope and your image should print fine. 

Correcting Out of Gamut Images

Out of gamut images can be fixed by converting it from RGB color mode to CMYK, then back to RGB.  On the menu bar, click “Image” > “Mode”> “CMYK color mode”. 

When you do this, a dialogue box opens with a message that states, “You are about to convert to CMYK using the “U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2” profile.  This may not be what you intended.  To use a different profile choose edit > Convert to Profile.”  

Click “ok” and your image will convert, ridding all the graphic of gray areas that were not in gamut. Then revert to RGB color, using the same methods of conversion applied from the “Image” menu (“Image” > “Mode”> RGB color mode).

Fixed image in gamut and RGB color mode

Be aware that some details of the image may be lost during conversion.  CMYK colors are typically the brighter, more neon colors.  If your image is out of gamut and is converted to within the RGB color range, the final edit may not appear as bright.  This should fix your gamut issues.

I hope this tip was helpful.  Happy crafting!

Memories and Treasures Freebie Kit

Enjoy this vintage style paper kit. Create your scrapbook pages, envelopes, tags, bags, junk journal pages and more. This 6 piece, 8.5″ x 11″ kit is 300 dpi, and is in printable jpg format.

Click here to download your copy of Memories and Treasures.

See terms of use for licensing agreement.

Digital Scrapbook Layouts

Do you enjoy making digital layouts to house your photos and elements from special memories?   I do. I get the same satisfaction of developing something unique and personal to have for future viewing with digital scrapbooking as I do with hybrid creations.  Also, with digital scrapbooking, you can print out your designs without the mess to clean up. The only clutter you may encounter are the multiple photos and graphics you want to add to your page.

That can all depend on how you are going to set up your layout.  Are you going to use a template, or will you start with a brand-new document to make your scrapbook layout?

If you create your layout with a template, it is easy to simply change the colors to match a theme you are using.  Add a few photos, a title and some graphics and your layout is ready in minutes. 

To make one from scratch, simply set your background, add some shapes, photos, sentiments, and graphics and you are on your way to a beautiful piece of work.

Digital Scrapbook Background Paper Image

You can add graphics from various sites.  Some offer freebies. I accessed some of the images in the photos from Pixel Scrapper where I am a Level 3 Commons Designer.  There are ways of to get free images, quality control advice, ideas and more from that site. 

You can also go on Etsy to find many beautiful images, papers, templates and more for your digital scrapbook layouts. You can use what you already have.

Simply access your tools from your software, including brushes, shapes, patterns, styles, and more, and you can develop a wonderful scrap-booking masterpiece! 

I hope this post helps!  Happy crafting!

Decorative Die Cut Junk Journal Elements

When creating a craft project such as a card, tag, scrapbook, junk journal, or some other type of mixed media art, where do you all gather your decorative elements?  Do you fussy cut out your shapes and sentiments or do you die cut them out using special machines such as the Sizzix BigShot, Cricut Maker, Brother Scan and Cut, or other fancy machinery?

I tend to do both hand cutting out my elements for placement in my journals and cards as well as use my Sizzix Vintaj BigKick and Cricut Explore Air 2 die cutting machines.  Sometimes finding just the right shapes for a project can become a challenge if you do not own certain die cutting equipment or have a subscription to access certain types of images to print and cut.  However, there is a solution. 

Let’s say you wanted to make an aged themed photography junk journal and wanted to incorporate vintage shaped hardware made of card stock and chipboard, such as gears, vintage cameras, filmstrips, and photos of people.  If you didn’t own those dies or machines that sectioned out those shapes, you could purchase them already cut.  There are many shops that offer a variety of themed die cuts for sale.

 You can also find photos of vintage people on Etsy, like I did.

If you do own an electric die cutting machine, such as the Cricut Explore Air 2 then you could always access their free images on Cricut Design Space.  That can be very useful.  You can take it a step farther by uploading an image to it too.  To see this process, check out my YouTube video on it.

Uploading png files into Cricut Design Space to cut out images

In that video I use gears from my latest freebie kit “Rustic Beauty”. They are uploaded, cut out, painted, and added to my junk journal. Click here to download the free kit.

These cut shapes bring fun personality to many works, as do fussy cut images.  Although it is less time consuming to use your die cutting machines, you can still get satisfying results from cutting out your own flowers, tags, people, borders, and more from designer papers.  There are so many printed collections available, as well as from digital versions for consumption.  Even old books and magazines offer and array of images that can add beauty to your art when fussy cut out. 

Just have fun piecing together your resources.  I’m sure your art endeavors will be a success!

I hope this post helps.  Happy Crafting!

To see the completed journal flip through please watch this YouTube video:

Vintage African American Journal Folio Flip Through.

If you are interested in purchasing this folio insert it is available in my hybrid etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/listing/753692096/vintage-african-american-journal-folio?ref=shop_home_feat_2&pro=1&frs=1 .

New Years Crafty-lutions 2020

Do you crafty-holics make New Year’s Resolutions for resolving your project woes?  Are there any skills that you have just not mastered yet?  Since there are so many exciting ideas out there to try, it is good to add more techniques or styles to your existing mastery.  I like to challenge myself to create something out of my comfort zone.

Last year, (A few days ago) I channeled my energy into sewing. I have always loved how sewn papers and fabrics add such splendor to junk journals, scrapbooks, tags, and more.  However, I seem to continuously mess up the process.  Typically, either the upper thread or the bobbin runs out of thread, or the needle breaks and I replace it incorrectly (or all the above). When woes such as that happen, it ruins the material, or jumbles up the stitch. I keep the messed-up papers and fabric by covering it up with some other type of medium, like torn book pages on the back of a sewn tag.

Those mishaps do not stop me from repeatedly trying to understand where I am going wrong.  I’m embarrassed to say that I have had my sewing machine since 2003 and I basically still have no clue how to correctly use it.  Years ago, I had pushed it to the back of my closet with my clay, jewelry, wood burning tools and other stuff I picked up at the beginning of my serious crafting journey.  I just couldn’t leave it in there. I realized that I had been missing out on so many opportunities to jazz up my artistry.

I therefore have decided that by the end of 2020 I will run my papers and things through that machine like it were second nature, without destroying the materials.  By practicing and putting it to good use the dust will finally not be the only thing touching my Singer sewing machine. 

So, set some artistic goals for the year coming.  Decoupage that napkin to your canvas.  Open your new digital software and design your first graphic. Use your charcoal pencils you just received for Christmas and start sketching.  Whatever you do, whether things work out smoothly or not, don’t give up.  Tell yourself that you will become a prodigy of that trade.   You will resolve what has been hindering your progress.  That’s what making resolutions are about. 

I hope this post is helpful!  Thanks for reading it!  Happy Crafting!

Creating Your Own Patterns in Photoshop CC: Using an Open PNG File

Adobe Photoshop Applications come with multiple preset patterns that are fun to use but only cater to a select number of themes.  They are great to have when designing scrapbook pages, layouts, templates, and many other projects.  It may seem as though the pre-installed patterns only give you few options to build with.  However, the Adobe Photoshop software allows you to increase your patterns inventory by designing your own. There are multiple ways of doing this, but in this post, I will show you one of the ways that I create mine.

The Process

The first thing I do is open the application. I’m using a Windows PC. The software version I’m using is Photoshop CC 2019. I click “File”>”New”. The “New Document” box opens.

There you can choose which type of document you want to create. I choose “Print” on the Document menu bar at the top. Under “Preset Details” I leave the default “untitled-1” name. I also keep the default settings of 8.5” width x 11””height”.  I changed the resolution from 72 pixels/Inch to 300 pixels. I also make sure that the color mode is set to “RGB Color” and the background is “white”. Then I click “Create”.

Open a new document

When the document opens, the background layer is automatically white, and it is locked.   I’m then going to add a new layer in the “Layers” Panel to the right. You can do this by either clicking on the “new layer” icon at the bottom right of the Layers Panel, or by clicking “Layer”>”New”>”Layer” on the menu bar at the top, or by using your keyboard shortcuts “Shift+Ctrl+N” on a PC or “Shift+Command+N” on a MAC.  I will label this background because the original white background layer will get deleted at the end of the design.

Once the new layer has been created, we will begin to design the pattern.  There are a few ways of accessing your patterns library.  A very common method is by going to the menu bar and clicking “Edit”> “Presets”> “Preset Manager”.  The Preset Manager panel opens.  Using the drop-down options, you can choose the “Type” of preset you want.  In this case we want “Patterns”.  The files in the “Patterns” library appear.   You can see what is already loaded.  You can also access your Patterns another way.

It is helpful to have the “Tool Presets” window open.  Some may find this method of finding your tools as a good option.  To add icon to the panel then follow these steps.  If it is already available, or you don’t want it open, then skip to the section “Designing The Pattern”.

Opening the Tool Presets Icon

Step 1

On the menu bar go to “Window”> “Tool Presets”.  Ensure that “Tool Presets” is checked. 

Step2

Once it is, you will be able to easily access it using the Tool Presets icon, as shown below.

Step3

Simply click on the options menu (three stacked lines) to view the preset manager.

Step4

Once in the Preset Manager Panel, choose the “Patterns” option from the “Preset Type” drop down list.

Here you will see your installed patterns.  There are just a few available.  We can now design our own.

Designing The Pattern

Open a PNG file.  For this illustration, I will use the blue present from the freebie graphics kit (Presents Mini Kit), from this site for the pattern design. 

Click “File”>” Open”> choose the file to use.  With your file open, use the keyboard short cut keys to copy [(Ctrl + C) on a PC or (Command +C) on a Mac] and paste it [(Ctrl +V) PC or (Command +V) Mac] into the “untitled-1” file. 

With the graphics layer selected, make another copy of it using the keyboard short cut Ctrl + J or Command + J on a Mac.  Click and drag the copied image above the original one.

Make about seven more copies. Click and drag them on various parts of the page. 

Now click on Layer 0 or the bottom white layer and delete it. Then highlight all the remaining layers.  To highlight all the layers, simply click on the bottom layer, scroll to the top layer, and hold the “Shift” key and left click at the same time.

We will now finish up the pattern.  With all the layers selected go to “Edit”> “Define Pattern”.

Give your pattern a name when the Pattern Name dialogue box opens.  I will name mine presents. Then click “ok”.

Now you can test your pattern.  Open a new document. In the layers panel click on the white background layer.  On the Menu bar go to “Layer”> “New Fill Layer”>” Pattern.

The “New Layer” dialogue box opens.  Click “ok”.  You will then see the “Pattern Fill” dialogue box.  You can scale the percentage of your pattern up or down using the drop-down menu beside “Scale” (arrow).  At 100 percent it looks identical to the size of the pattern you just created.  By scaling it larger (moving the handle to the right) it makes the images bigger, and less filled on the screen.  By dragging your handle to the left, the images are scaled smaller, and fill the page more, as shown in the photo below. I typically make mine smaller for my digital scrapbook papers. In this illustration I scaled mine down to 23 percent. When you are satisfied with the size you want click “ok”.

You can view your pattern by following the same steps from above by accessing the Preset Manager.  Your pattern will be the very last one in the file.

This technique can be used from various files, brushes, shapes, and more. I will cover those in other tutorials. I hope you found this post helpful. And as always, happy crafting!

Sewn Up Clip Art Freebie Kit

Do you like to add elements to your digital designs?  It’s fun to give your pictures a little boost.  Here is a small clip art kit that you can practice with.  It has a fun sewing theme.   All images are in PNG (transparent) format, making it easy to blend over top of other graphics.  You can add these images to individual papers, photos, or even add them together and print them out any way you like.  You can upload them into your cutting software, like Cricut Design Space and cut them out.  Take your project to the next level.  Give the gift of decorative photos! 

I hope this adds to your crafty idea list.  Enjoy this weekly freebie!

Click to Download

Lilac Envelope Template

I want to show you one of my latest templates I created in Photoshop. This is the 6.25” x 6” Lilac Envelope made from the digital template that I have in my Esty shop.  I use templates to make elements that work well with scrapbooks, junk journals, and various other mixed media projects.  This piece does just that.

It has two pockets to store tags, cards, flat pens, photos and more.  It has the space for you to house memorabilia along with giving your projects some spunk.

When you purchase the Lilac Envelope file you will receive the following:

– Cover Pages files (Has the names of each template)

– lilac 6.25 x 6” envelope template files (back sheets, ephemera, examples, templates)

– Assembly instructions file (pdf)

– Read Me files

All are printable on to 8.5″ x 11″ Standard paper sizes.

There are different variations of how to decorate your envelope using the provided ephemera files that come with the kit.  See my YouTube assembly video for instructions on how to piece the envelope together.

Lilac Envelope Template Assembly Instructions

I hope this message will inspire you to create something fun! Happy Crafting!

Freebies

Get more freebies weekly! Please enjoy this latest six piece 8.5″ x 11″ paper kit. The papers have a “nostalgic era” feel to them. Bring the past back to life. Use this paper pack with journals, scrapbooks, collages, tags, mats, and multiple types of mixed media projects. Click to download.

Junk Journal Paper

journals and folios with various types of media used

For all the do-it-yourself (diy) paper crafters out there, which type of papers do you use when making your junk journals?  Do you use mainstream brands such as Graphic 45, Bo Bunny, My Mind’s Eye, and Tim Holtz Paperstash, or do you purchase digital designs from online vendors, such as multimediacraftsdigi.etsy.com?

 I like to use a combination of them, along with junk mail, envelopes, paper bags, tea and coffee stained papers, doilies, tickets, vellum, old sheet music pages, glassine bags, old book pages, fabric, lace, and much more.  I also accent them with tags, folios, tuck spots, jewelry and other elements.

I tend to always include certain journal resources in my books and folios.  The following are a must have for my detailed journals:

  • Vintage style paper
  • Ledger or ruled paper
  • Doilies
  • Old book pages
  • Envelopes
  • Tags

Those are pertinent in my journals, for I feel those contents add great character to the journal, giving the owner of it room to write, a sense of nostalgia, and an over all shabby chic feel (Which is my favorite theme).

You, of course, could omit some of those and add other ephemera to your books.  I just like to have various elements in each one of my designs.  I get them by collecting advertisements from the postal “junk” mail, online blogs, eBay (bulk supplies for auction) Amazon, Etsy, and other websites that offer free digital downloads. (Disclaimer: If you click on the eBay link and make a purchase, I will receive a percentage from your order).

The good thing about postal junk mail is that they provide great and sturdy supplies.  You can use the credit card templates that comes with the marketing material as a tag.  Simply add some designer paper on both sides of the card, punch a hole at the top, add a ribbon and you have yourself a nice element for your scrapbook or folio. 

You can also take an envelope from the junk stash.  Paint it with some gesso, decoupage it with a pretty napkin, and add it to your journal.

I love to use Guest Check receipts, scraps of paper, die cut shapes, and tabs to add more appeal to the books.  I usually print on them with vintage writing stamps along with other designer graphics.  I ink all the edges of the papers with various distress inks.  I cut out some envelopes, fold them over and make pockets out of them.  I then garnish the folio or journal with mixed media elements such as paper clips, brads, and other hardware.

Glassine bags are fun to use as well.  They add beauty to any junk journal and provide a storage compartment for a lot of your ephemera, so you can showcase your collected memorabilia or just simply hold your photos.

Which ever types of media you use, have fun with it.  Even if you make a mistake cutting, sewing, gluing, or whatever to your project, keep that scrap.  A crafting error can turn into a sparkling idea!

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