Sunday, July 26, 2009

The last week....

...of July is here already! I can't believe it! Summer has just been flying by. I think we have done something almost everyday of our summer, swimming, play dates, adventures around the town, appointments, etc. I have loved spending time with my 2 kiddos this summer. I will admit that it will be nice when school starts again so I can get to craftier things. I think I have only made a dozen or so cards this summer, a few layouts, and some boxes and other altered items. But it's been nice to just take a break from it all.

Basic Grey Challenges has taken a sort hiatus this summer too but it is almost ready to kick back off again. I have my sketches and inspirations for the next four challenges coming up and I am starting to work in them. The BGC blog looks a little different but it is going to be just as fun as it was before. The challenges will be good and the prizes when we have them will be awesome too. Hope on over and have a look at the new layout. It's so cute and fun and stay tuned!

I just finished making a card this morning. It is for the latest challenge at Caardvarks, which is to make a baby or wedding themed card. I went to Michael's yesterday and stumbled upon these little kit packages called "Vintage Findings" by Making Memories. I saw the baby kit and thought a cute care could be made with it. I think these kits are geared more toward scrapbook layouts but you could probably make 2 or 3 cards out of one too. The baby kit came with 21 pieces. I think I used most of it on the card I made. The little crocheted duck is just the cutest.

Items used: Making Memories Vintage findings Baby kit, Stampin' Up Cardstock, Daisy D's patterned paper & flower diecuts from the Chasing Butterflies Collection, Papertrey Bitty Blessings and Mixed Messages stamp sets, We R Memory Keepers Crystal eyelet (came with the crop-a-dile)

Well that's all for now. I hear the kiddos and so I am off to see what adventures we will be doing today. I hope everyone has a great week ahead!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A few things I have been working on...

I just wanted to share a few things I have been working on the past few days. I though I would get a head start on some teacher gifts this year. The kids don't start back until the end of August so I think I have made a good start. I used the square box with dividers template from The Cutting Cafe. This box is just so versatile. I have used it for putting candies inside, ice cream toppings, and now for some teacher (desk) supplies. If you have a favorite school nurse you could even put some little band-aids and little packets of antiseptic wipes. I have even see someone use it to put some the hooks (I think they're called flies) for a fly fisherwoman in the family. I am even thinking some kind of small ornaments could go in these for Christmas. The possibilities are endless!

So here is my first teacher gift box for this up and coming school year.

They are just so fun and cute! I can't wait to make some more! The half apple is a free svg file I found at: You can find lots of cute SVGs here.

Here are a couple of layouts I have made. I have scrapbooked in quite a while so it was nice to get back into the swing of things. I used SCAL software with my Cricut for both of these layouts.

The first is sort of a Halloween layout that was taken at my daughter's preschool for their Character Parade. Of course she went as a dinosaur .

The cute little dinosaur SVG was made by Lisa Schmidt and it can be found at her blog, Lisa's Precious Piecings.

My next layout is also Halloween themed and shows my son dressed as one of his favorite Ben 10 characters, Heat Blast.

The flames for this layout were made by Benji Park and the SVG file was downloaded at The Craft Edge Forum. I only used 2 things to make this layout, colored cardstock and some mosaic tiles. A first for me not to embellish with a lot more things!

And one more thing to share is my first vinyl wall decal I made using my Cricut and SCAL software. I created the whole thing in Inkscape an then opened it up through SCAL a cut it out. It took a few tries before I found the right blade depth. Thank goodness it lined up right every time I tried to cut it out with just a kiss cut. But everything but the butterflies were fonts (dingbats). I only had white vinyl too but I really liked how it turned out. I can't wait to get my hands on some more vinyl.

That's all for now. I hope everyone has a great rest of the week!! My mom, sister, and niece Brantley are coming in town for a visit this week. So it will be a busy and fun week with them and the kids. I can't wait until they get here!!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Changing/Enhancing Eye color in PSE 6

I was so excited that I learned how to do this a couple days ago that I wanted to share with anyone that uses Photo Shop Elements 6. Take note that I have a Mac so menu items and such may differ slightly. Hopefully you will be able to figure it out.

How to enhance and/or change eye color in Photo Shop Elements 6

First find the photo that you want to change. Select open in the file menu.

Here was my photo of the lovely Sierra. She is my 14 year old baby.

Now this is an extra step, but I want to change my picture to black and white first before I worked on the eyes. So I went to Enhance in the top menu and went down and selected Convert to Black & White.

Make whatever changes you feel that you need to make with you picture.

Then click on the OK button.

So now that your photo is in back and white go to the Quick Selection tool which is on the left side of the screen. See photo below for what the icon looks like. (8th icon down-above the large "T" icon)

Then look at the brush diameter It is in toward the top left side of the screen. In the picture below it says the word brush and has a number 5 next to it. This is the diameter of the brush and you want it to be small enough that it will trace around the eyes properly. So if you are having a difficult time tracing just the eye and getting other areas around the eye in the selection then make the brush diameter smaller (like 5).

Click and drag over each eye. You may have to do this several times until you get the exact area of the eye you want to color. Sometimes a little section of fur would be in the selection. You can go up to the Edit menu and click on Undo Quick Selection and try again.

Now go up to the to to the Enhance menu and go down to Adjust Color and in that you will select Color Variations.

You will get a screen that looks like this.

Then just play around with the color that you want to enhance. I used blue so I increased and decreased the blue in all the areas (midtones, shadows, highlights, and saturation). You can even adjust the color intensity amount with a slider bar (in the left corner). And you can light and darken the eyes to however you see fit. Once you like what you see then click on the OK button.

Then I hit the escape button on my keyboard to get out of the quick selection mode.

You can play around with other features of PSE 6 or you can save right now. One area that I played with was in the filter gallery. You can find this under the Filter menu at the top of your screen.

Once you are there you can reduce the zoom to where you can see the whole photo. The zoom + and - buttons are in the lower left corner of the screen. I clicked on the (-) button until I could see all of my photo. On the right side you will see some folders that say artistic, brush strokes, distort... etc. You can pick and choose different features to try out. The nice thing is that you can do all sorts of stuff to your photo but nothing will permanently change it unless you click on the OK button at the top right. I believe I used the grain feature that is found in the Texture folder.

Here is the final result. My intensely blue-eyed kitty! Isn't she gorgeous!!

Well that's it. Let me know if something isn't clear so I can try and rewrite it.
Hope my little tutorial helps!

Have a great rest of the week!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A fun weekend ahead!

I just wanted to wish everyone a happy 4th of July! I wanted to share a few cards before the celebration begins. The first card is one that I made using Cricut's Wild Card cartridge. I also made the envelope too. Sam is one of Caden's school friends and his birthday party was this past weekend. So I thought is was close enough to Independence Day to make him a fun red, white, and blue birthday card.

My next card was for my last DT assignment at My Sketch World. It was so much fun being on the DT there. But I intend to hang out in the forum whenever I get a chance. It also has an Independence Day theme to it.

My last card is one that I made for the latest Caardvarks challenge which was to make a window card. I used my SCAL and Cricut to design sort of a funky window card. I didn't really know what this card was going to be but when I started using my Scarlet's Letter Basic Grey paper it just reminds me of weddings and lovey dovey stuff so that is what it became.

I also wanted to share a little toot that I had 4 layouts selected to be in the latest Scrap-N-Art eZine issue, which is out right now. All of them are related to SCAL and Cricut and Inkscape is mentioned and I even have a tutorial there to in the special members only area. It costs $9.99 a year to subscribe and I highly recommend that you do. You won't be sorry.

That's all for now. I hope everyone has a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!

***Just wanted to sneak this one last card in I made last night for Caardvarks latest challenge. My fist attempt at Iris Folds.