Friday, July 29, 2011

Tips from Britt: Template Tutorial

I'm totally addicted to templates. I use them ALLLLLL the time. Plus, I really like to MAKE templates, so I figured it was time to write a tutorial about how I use a template.

Now, this is how I use a template. I don't claim to know the perfect way, or the best way. I just figured I'd share how I do it.

I scrap in Photoshop CS3, so this tutorial will be shown using that program. But using a template in other versions, as well as Photoshop Elements, is a very similar process. I also use a Mac. So when I say "Command", you Windows users replace it with Control. Ok?

First thing first. I open a template that I like!

Once I have my template open, I go to Image > Duplicate and then click OK. Then close the original template. If I don't do this right away, I'll forget and end up saving over my template on accident with my own page. But if I remember to duplicate it, then the original template is safe and I can use it again some day if I want.


**Download this freebie template I used as at the end of this post!!**

(Bonus Tip: It's fun to flip a template, rotate it, shrink everything or enlarge everything and make the template a whole new page. You can get multiple uses out of the same template! To rotate or flip a template I just go to Image > Rotate Canvas. To shrink or enlarge everything, I highlight all the layers - except the background - Command + Alt (or Option) +A and then transform until I like it.)

Next I like to add my photos. I can't really make a final choice for papers or elements, until I see how my photos are going to look on the page so I can coordinate it all.

I open my photos in Photoshop and do whatever actions, editing, etc. that I want to do with them. Once I have them edited to my liking, I simply copy the photo, and paste it into my template.

To copy the photo I hit Command + A, which is Select All. And then Command + C, which is Copy. (To turn off the marching ants, or deselect just hit Command + D.)

You can also drag and drop into your template if that's easier for you. Again, this is just how I do it, and I like to copy and paste.

Then I go to my template and click on the photo layer in the Layers Palette that I want my photo to go on. This way, when I paste it, it will paste on top of that layer.



I use Command + V to paste. When you paste, you'll notice everything you paste goes to the dead center of the page. So you'll have to move your photo around and place it where you like it. You'll also notice my photo is bigger than the photo spot in the template. This is where Clipping Masks come in! Clipping Masks are a template's best friend.

I position my photo above the general area of the photo spot in the template, making sure that in the Layers Palette the photo is directly above the photo spot you want to clip to.



Then click Command + Shift + G (Elements users, you can just do Command + G) or right click the layer in the Layers Palette and select Create Clipping Mask. This will clip the layer that's highlighted to whatever layer is directly below it in the Layers Palette. So this should clip my photo to the photo spot.

Then I move my photo around, shrink it down, whatever I need to do to make the photo look good in the photo spot. (When you shrink or size your photos, make sure to hold the Shift key to keep the proportions and not skew the photo.) If you need to slightly change the shape of the photo spot to accommodate your photo, you can do that too.



Now, see how you can still see the "1" from the template on top of the photo? Those are just markers and are all on the "Delete This Layer" layer at the top of the Layers Palette. You can either delete this whole layer right away, or you can erase parts that start to bug you as you work. I normally just erase the parts that are in my way, or bugging me as I work, but I don't delete the whole layer because I like it to keep my place for the title, journaling etc. until I put those in.

SAVE YOUR PAGE!! Click File > Save As and save that layout. You don't want to lose your work!

I know some people merge their photos with the photo spot layers in the template, but I don't. Because sometimes I like to tweak the photo's position within the photo spot as I work. For example, if an embellishment starts to cover a face, I can move the photo over a little inside the photo spot to make it look better. So I just leave them as clipping masks.

Ok, so then I put the other photos in using the same process.

Next I'll put in my papers. I'll start with the background. I click on the bottom layer, named "Background". I'll open whatever paper I want for my background and do the same Copy & Paste process as I did for my photos. Command + A then Command + C and then paste (Command + V) it onto my template, directly above the background layer.



Then I put papers in all those paper spots. I do this pretty much exactly like I do the photos. I copy my paper, paste it on top of the paper spot, and create a Clipping Mask. Then I move the paper around until I like the part that's showing. I can shrink the papers down if I want a smaller pattern, rotate the paper. Whatever I want!

(Bonus Tip: Try putting extra photos into paper spots instead of papers!!)



(Save!! Save!! Save!!)

Now - a quick mention about shadows. Some templates include shadows, some don't. MANY of my templates do. I like to adjust shadows and make them look good as I go. Some people like to do all their shadow work at the end. If you like the shadows that come with your template, then GREAT! But if you want to tweak 'em, feel free! Change the angle, blending mode, opacity, whatever you want. If you'd rather clear all the layer styles and start fresh doing your own shadows, you can select all the layers (Command + Alt (or Option) + A) the right-click and select "Clear Layer Style".

Ok - all my papers and photos are in place. Time for the best part. Embellishing!! I love to decorate my page. There are place markers for embellishments, but, of course, you don't have to use them if you like embellishments in different places. Make sure you delete the embellishment place marker layer that comes with the template at some point.

I put in my title and journaling now too.

Keep hitting SAVE as you work! It's the WORST to lose your work.

Here's my page, once it's all embellished, titled, and journaled. And that's it! My template page is complete!!



Using templates is so easy! They make scrapping a snap. I hope this tutorial helped!!

Try it out for yourself!! This template is my gift to you!



{{ DOWNLOAD HERE }}

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Magic on Dumbo . . .













(photos taken on our Feb. '10 trip to Disneyland)

If you'd like to see other blogger's Wordless Wednesday posts, you can click the graphic below to do a little blog hoppin:



Friday, July 22, 2011

gather round, it's story time

Happy Friday everyone! I'm here to show you my brand new kit and template pack I have coming out today. First - the kit:


"Story Time"



Isn't this fun? I LOVE to read to Scarlett. We read stories at least once a day, if not more!! Plus, you all know I'm in a book club and love to get my book on. It's time that Britt-ish Designs had a book kit!! And I have an add-on freebie for you all at the bottom of the post.

Here are the two pages I scrapped with it:





And here are the creations from the Britt Girls!



Also new this week:


"Pocket Full of Templates"



I created these templates from two of my own pages . . .




Here are some more Britt Girls layouts using "Pocket Full of Templates 7"




Alrighty - let's watch this week's fabulous Show Offs!!





Thank you so much to everyone who sent in their Show Offs. You'll all be getting my new "Pocket Full of Templates 7" as your gift this week.

If you want to be a Show Off, read this post for all the details.

Ok - I think that leaves just one thing. Here's that add-on for ya:



{DOWNLOAD HERE}


Have a great weekend. Avoid the heat, stay inside in the ice cool AC and curl up with a good book. Then scrap it with "Story Time"! haha

Thursday, July 21, 2011

little sneak peek

Hey everyone!! I have a new kit out tomorrow! I'm very excited to show it to you. But until then, here's a little sneak peek!






Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Miss American Baby

I know, I know. The 4th of July was over 2 weeks ago!!! But even though its late, I still wanted to share these pictures I took of my little American Baby. (click any image to enlarge)



Isn't her outfit cute? My new favorite thing about the 4th of July is dressing Scarlett up. I've already found myself keeping an eye out for next year's outfit! haha!!

Do you like her bow? I made it!!! I just did a search on YouTube and learned how to do it. Now I'm hooked and I want to make her lots more bows! I made her bracelet too, but you can't really see it very well in any of those photos. Here's a better view of it. It's nothing fancy, but it looked cute on her.



Well - even though its late, hope everyone had a VERY happy Fourth! We sure did. How could you not with a baby that gorgeous?!

Peace & Love.

Monday, July 18, 2011

my poor neglected blog

Once again, I've neglected the blog. But the battle against the 45-minute intruder is raging in the Leavitt household. Scarlett is a great sleeper, but her naps are always always always interrupted at 45 minutes. She struggles and finally gets back to sleep to finish her nap, but she can't sleep to nap through that 45 minute sleep cycle mark. Thankfully, she's a wonderful night sleeper.

Anyway - right now my days are focused on Scarlett and trying to get her schedule right so she'll sleep through the intruder. I feel like I pray for guidance non-stop, and I feel like we're starting to finally make progress. Hopefully!!

ANYWAY, enough of my excuses for being a bad blogger. Here are a few pages I've scrapped lately! This one is of pictures I just took on Saturday night! After the baby went down, I went right to scrapping them. I don't think I've ever scrapped photos taken in the same day, let alone just a couple hours later.

Scarlett and I were outside on a blanket reading stories, playing with toys. All of these photos were taken on either my phone or Josh's phone. With a little photoshop magic, you'd never know! I LOVE the iPhone 4, simply because it takes GREAT scrappable photos!!

(click all layouts to enlarge)


{credits}


This was a page using one of Cindy's awesome templates!! I love her 2-pager templates.


{credits}


Here's one of my Little Miss Sunshine:


{credits}


These are photos of my nieces I took at Bear Lake last summer! We're going back there for our yearly trip in a couple weeks!! I can't WAIT!


{credits}


This is a page I created for the Speed Scrap I hosted last week! It was a VERY fun night. Thanks to all who came and chatted with me and participated in the scrap!


{credits}


A fun Disney LO! This is from Fantasmic. My FAVORITE show at Disneyland.


{credits}


Another Disney page. I'm still trying to finish this Nov. '07 trip!!


{credits}


And that's it for this round of "recent scrappings". Hope you enjoyed. I'm putting together another post of Scarlett in her cute 4th of July outfit from our fun-filled Fourth. (has it taken me long enough?! sheesh)

Friday, July 8, 2011

happy birthday, baby!

My man is turning 31 today.



Josh - here are 31 memories I treasure from the time I met you to the present.

1) Waiting for you to kiss me for the first time. I knew you'd do it that night. But the kiss couldn't come fast enough! But when it did, it was fireworks.

2) Introducing you to my family. We had chinese food and your fortune was "You are pretty". I'll never forget that. My family all loved you right away. What's not to love?

3) Seattle. We are crazy. Enough said.

4) The first time you told me you loved me. I was so glad you said it, because I was TOTALLY in love with you too.

5) Remember going to watch that taping of "Joey"? It was so much fun and we laughed so hard. Remember how FREEZING cold it was in that studio??

6) Getting our matching cop costumes for Halloween from the Sony Pictures stock. We looked so good!

7) Chicago. Top of the Sears Tower. You asked. I said yes. My life would never be the same.

8) Our wedding day. Best. Day. Ever. I'd love to relive that day over and over again.

9) Lying on rattan sofas in our air conditioned Villa in St. Lucia watching Seinfeld while it was raining outside. I loved that random moment of our honeymoon!

10) Our first New Year's Eve as a married couple. Josh & Morgan invited us to their hotel and we played Cranium and watched fireworks out the window. I remember I was spazzy and nerdy and I wasn't even self conscious, I'm my REAL self with you!

11) Coming home to you after a long grueling day working on the film set. There was nothing I wanted more than to just come home and hug & kiss you.

12) Our first trip to Disneyland together. MAGIC. I am so incredibly happy (and lucky) you loved Disneyland as much as I do! Remember sitting front and center for the fireworks? We got an amazing spot! Probably the best we've ever had since.

13) At the premiere of Church Ball I have this distinct memory of you looking at me and seeing how proud you were of me. It caught me off guard. You were so sweet and brimming with pride. I felt like a million bucks.

14) Remember the heart shaped hot tub in our room in Niagara Falls?! HAHA!!! SO cliche and funny! I loved that trip SO MUCH! We gotta do that again VERY soon.

15) Playing Pictionary with my family and kicking their BUTTS!! To the point where they don't really want to play with us anymore. We are just too good!

16) Going to Disneyland with Christian, Marci & Eden. I know you agree, that was one of the best days at Disneyland ever. We were there from open to close and loved every minute. Remember sitting on that bench for a LONG time playing the game we made up?!

17) Playing Rock Band for hours. I loved that. We were sort of addicted for a short time. We should get it back out some time and get the band back together. :)

18) Watching fireworks on our balcony from the Owls games!

19) Driving up to the house we live in now on the first day we were looking for a rental house and just KNOWING this was our home. It was love at first sight.

20) Teaching in the nursery with you. We fell in love with those little ones. I loved seeing you on the floor playing imaginative games with them. Remember the imagination CD?

21) Seeing the Red Sox in person in Phoenix. It wasn't the most exciting game, but seeing them with our own eyes was pretty rad.

22) Going to the temple every week. I don't think we have ever been closer.

23) Waking up on the morning of your 30th birthday and finding out that after a very hard 14 months of trying we were Finally pregnant!! Running into the room and waking you up with the news was such an amazing feeling.

24) Remember when we saw "Walk The Line" at the movie theater? You came out so in love with me. I guess the story struck a chord. You hugged me so tight. I felt so incredibly special.

25) Seeing Death Cab for Cutie in concert. Were they the opening act? Anyway, they sang that song I'll Follow You Into The Dark. I held onto you and tears streamed down my face. I was so thankful to be your wife. I'll follow you anywhere baby.

26) Breakfast in the castle at Magic Kingdom. You took charge and got us a better table when you saw I was disappointed in where they originally sat us. It meant a lot that you did that. I know you hate to make a fuss!

27) The birth of our beautiful daughter. You were totally there for me. You were supportive and helpful. It was the hardest thing I've ever done and I could never have gotten through it without you.

28) Bringing Scarlett home. You are the sweetest most loving daddy ever. I love how good you are with her. So natural. The image of you rocking our tiny newborn will be an image I'll cherish forever.

29) Our first family road trip to Zions. I've always loved being in the road with you, but having Scarlett in the backseat was even more fun! That was such a fun trip, and I needed it so bad!

30) Watching our "dance show" together. I don't know if you realize how much I love hearing your critique and opinions. We talk like we are dance experts and I love it.

31) Finding that card on my keyboard the other day. After a seriously hard week, reading your sweet, appreciative, supportive, encouraging words gave me the boost i needed.

I could write a million more. I love you so much!!! We are MFEO. Let's have an amazing day today.

it's time to show off

Nothing new this week!! But it is time for the Show Off slideshow!! So sit back, relax and enjoy . . .



Watch your email inboxes, Show Offs. This week you'll get your choice of 2nd Chance gifts!!



Thanks so much to everyone who showed off!! If you'd like to start Showing Off, but don't know the how - just check out this post for all the details.

Hope everyone has a WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!!!

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