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Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

A Template and an Old Photo

Relationships with older fathers are not always easy to describe, especially by their sons. My husband remembers his father telling stories about hopping trains around the country as a young man. The photos tell another story, but there aren’t many words on this page. From my husband’s perspective it’s enough; I’m smiling as I call the page done.

I am still working on the other side of this double page spread, using photos about my husband’s mother. As I near the end of my anniversary project, I am relying on templates to get me started.

Place Layers of Template
  • Drag layers of template 5 from Travel Album Template No. 5 on to a new blank 24×12 in Photoshop document.
  • Turn off the postage stamp layer and small frames.
Use a Heritage Photo
  • Drag an old photo below the template’s small frames but above the the fotoblendz mask.
  • Resize as needed.
Extract Around the Frame
  • Use the Quick Selection tool to extract the framed portion of the photo.
  • Clean up edges with the Magic Wand tool.
  • Add a shadow to the framed photo.
Artsy Transfer and Small Frames
  • Below the extracted frame but above the fotoblendz layer place the layers psd file 1 from Artsy Transfers Airy.
  • Clip photos to the small frames and add adjustment layers as needed.
  • To each small photo mask add a 20px white stroke.
Add Texture and an Element
  • Below the photo on the top right, place Overlay 2 and the Gold Paint from ArtPlay Palette Airy.
  • Place the Tape from ArtPlay Palette Airy just below the Gold Paint.
  • Below the bottom photo, place another copy of the Tape.
  • Add the Daisy, warp the stem a little and tuck below the top frame.

One wouldn’t expect that a travel template would work for an old photo, but in this case placing the layers from an artsy transfer file below the old photo creates a soft and modern background. I encourage you to try using your old photos with modern templates.

Engagement

This two page spread tells the story of our engagement, another page for my anniversary project. I shared details about how I constructed the left side as part of a video event with Anna Aspnes, ARTPLAY LIVE 2019, available in Anna’s Store. Today I want to share a brief overview of the right side which uses some of the same techniques for using transfers and adapting templates that I shared at the event.

Place and Adjust FotoBlendz Mask
  • Place file 4 from Autumn Romance FotoBlendz Mask No. 1.
  • Clip a photo to the mask.
  • Add a layer mask to the fotoblendz layer and adjust to with a brush from AnnaBlendz Artsy to accommodate the photo shape and edges.
Add Transfers to Text
  • Copy text from newspaper announcement and add a title.
  • Place Transfer 6 from ArtPlay Palette Sashay above the text.
  • Align along the left edge Overlay 1 and Transfer 3.

Note: Just below the text box I stamped on a new blank layer with a soft round brush in white. Then I reduced the opacity just enough to make the text more visible against the photo.

Use Transfers to Soften the Edge of the Masked Photo
  • Open and place the layers from file 4 of Artsy Transfers Sashay just below the masked photo.
  • Adjust position of each layer to soften the abrupt line of the photo.

Note: I deleted three layers that didn’t fit with my photo.

Place Small Frames and Clip Photos
  • Place the threads, frames, masks and shadows from file 13 in WaterColor Template Album No. 7.
  • Turn off the frames and add a 20px white stroke to each mask.
  • Clip photos to masks.
  • Add adjustment layers as needed.
  • Clip a 4×6 file from ArtsyKardz Sashay MultiPack No. 1 to one of the small frames, reducing the size of the file to fit the mask on the top right.

Note: I added a Black and White Adjustment Layer to one photo. The other adjustment layers were all on Soft Light, the opacity varied depending on the photo.

I am almost finished with this project and looking forward to publishing soon. It’s taken time to sort the photos, decide which stories I wanted to write and create the layouts. If you want to create your own book, there are lots of tips and more information available on Anna’s Blog and in her classes. I encourage you to explore the opportunities.

Roses

Artsy Paper #1 from ArtPlay Palette Narcissus by Anna Aspnes is a stunning piece of art without any photos. I can only hope that the roses I bought yesterday specifically for this paper do it justice.

I created this page with an Artsy Paper, photos of three different roses and a tag. Below are the steps.

Place Artsy Paper
Extract Roses
  • Place photos of three different roses above Artsy Paper #1
  • Using the Quick Selection Tool, find the edges of each rose.
  • Click the Select and Mask tab at the top of the screen.
  • Adjust the Smooth, Feather and Shift Edge levers.
  • Select Output to Layer Mask.
  • Repeat process for each rose.
  • Resize and arrange as desired.
Custom Drop Shadows
  • From the Styles Panel select a shadow for each rose. 
  • Click the FX symbol on the right of the photo layer and choose Create Layer option to place the drop shadow on a separate layer.
  • Press Command+V to access the Warp Tool. Drag the shadow a little to create more variability on your shadow layer.
  • Repeat for each photo layer.
  • To each photo layer clip a Hue and Saturation Layer. Select the Sepia Preset from the drop down menu. Change the opacity to 30% on Normal blend mode.
Add Tag and Quote
  • Place the .psd file of the tag included in ArtPlay Palette Narcissus.
  • Drag another copy of Artsy Paper #1 and reduce the size so that it just covers the tag. Clip it to the tag.
  • Add a Layer Mask to the paper layer. With a small hard round brush reveal the threads and staples.
  • Duplicate the layer. Change the blend mode to Linear Burn and invert the Layer Mask by pressing Command+I to darken the staples.
  • Add a quote if desired.

Extractions add dimension to layouts.  I encourage you to practice with the Quick Selection Tool as an alternative to using the Pen Tool for extractions.

Ferns

While I am preparing for an upcoming event in May, I found time to create this page with Anna’s new release, ArtPlay Palette Moira, using photos of ferns taken in the conservatory at Lauritzen Gardens. I do wish I could grow these outside the way I did in California.

I often use an artsy paper and/or a template as a basis for creating unique looking pages for my photographs. For this page, I used artsy paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Moira as a starting point for the page design with my fern photo. I simply added the brushes, overlays and transfers I wanted to use to a solid paper. Artsy papers are excellent patterns for good design. 

Mask Photo
  • Place photo on Solid Paper #5 from ArtPlay Palette Moira.
  • Add inverted layer mask to original copy by pressing option and clicking on the mask icon at the bottom of the layers panel
  • Select an AnnaBlendz Artsy brush and stamp with white as the foreground color on the black mask to reveal the photo.
  • Duplicate the photo and mask layers twice and adjust the blend mode of each photo layer.

Note: On my page the bottom photo layer is on Normal blend mode at 40% opacity. The second layer is on Color Burn at 100% opacity. The top layer is on Linear Light at 40% opacity.

Build Background 

Below the masked photo layers, add two copies of a brush, a transfer and an overlay.

  • Just above Solid Paper #5, stamp Brush #1 on a new blank layer on the left side.
  • On the right side, add another new blank layer and stamp Brush #1 angling it differently.
  • Place Transfer #1 above the brush layers and align it with the top edge of the paper.
  • Above the transfer, place Splatter Overlay #1 along the bottom right edge of the fern photo.

Note: Brushes, overlays and transfers are included in ArtPlay Palette Moira.

Add Small Frames

Initially I dragged the group of small frames from Artsy Layered Template No. 289 above the blended photo layers. I then used that arrangement as a guide for placing the frames from Postage Frames No. 2.

  • Open the .psd file of Postage Frame #6 from Postage Frames No. 2 and drag on to layout.
  • Duplicate the .psd file four times.
  • Reduce the file size so that it just large enough to cover the template frames. There will be a difference in the width.
  • Slant and adjust positioning of the frames, masks and drop shadows to follow the positioning of the template frames.
  • Clip detail fern photos to the masks masks.

Note: My photos were all adjusted in Lightroom before exporting to Photoshop.

Define Edges and Add Depth

In the screenshot above, there is an unfinished gap at the bottom of the ferns on the right. It needs a more defined edge. Brushes and overlays help close gaps and finish photo edges. Glows add depth and light to a page.

  • Stamp Brush #6 from ArtPlay Palette Moira on a new blank layer in black above the blended photo layers.
  • Above that layer, stamp Different Stroke #17 from Different Strokes No. 12 on a new blank layer. Duplicate the stroke to darken appearance. Blend mode is Normal at 100%.
  • On the right edge, place Stain Overlay #1. On the left just below the frames, place Overlay #1. Both pieces are part of ArtPlay Palette Moira.
  • Add FotoGlow #5 from WarmGlows No. 8 and change the blend mode to Linear Burn at 100%. Duplicate the glow and place to balance the light.
Finish

Adding details creates interest and a finished look to a page.

Next time that you sit down to create a page, spend a little time analyzing the way Anna Aspnes designs her artsy papers and then experiment by manipulating the brushes, transfers and overlays from an artplay palette in order to create something unique. Let me know how it goes.

Parties

Creating a book based on events fifty years ago has its challenges. For example, I don’t have photos from the first two showers given in my honor. I have the dates and names, but I can’t remember many of the details. Maybe that’s why I treasure the photos that I do have because they help me remember. There is no way I will forget the crepe paper dress that my mother and mother-in-law created for me. For one thing, I can’t believe that two mothers would shorten the hemline that much in 1968.

I am getting close to finishing my anniversary project, so I am looking for ways to simplify my process to keep the momentum going. For this two page spread, I combined two templates from WaterColor Template Album No. 8, substituting the small frames from another album on the right side.

Components From Template

Place the layers of template template 13 from WaterColor Template Album No. 8 on the left and template 5 on the right. Change the alignment of the second text box of template 13 to match the top text box. Rearrange the frames, deleting one to accommodate photos. On the right, delete the small frames.

Note: I included the stitching from the templates, moving it as needed. I added a 20px white stroke to each frame for consistency throughout my book project. I also reduced the size of all template layers to 85%% instead of 100%.

Clip Photos to Masks and Stains

Duplicate the focal photo on the left and clip it to the fotoblendz mask and one of the stains. Adjust exposure using Camera Raw Filter within Photoshop and add a Soft Light adjustment layer at 100% opacity. Repeat with the photo on the right, duplicating and clipping the copies to six stains included in the template.

Clip Photos to Small Frames

On the left, resize and clip three photos to the small frames. Add adjustment layers as needed. On the right, place the small frames from template 6 of Travel Album No. 2, reducing the size to 85%. Adjust the positioning of the thread. Clip small photos to the frames and add adjustment layers as needed.

Add Artsy Transfers and Stains

Below the fotoblendz mask and small frames on the right, place overlay 1, transfer 2 and transfer 6 from ArtPlay Palette Glance, reducing the size to 85%. On the left, place stain overlay from ArtPlay MiniPalette Opacus, transfer 3 from ArtPlay MiniPalette Honor, 7 layers from Artsy Transfers Summery and two copies of overlay 1 (Linear Burn blend mode) from ArtPlay MiniPalette Honor.

Two Buttons

Place a yellow gold button from ArtPlay Palette Glance on the right and tack down with thread 2 from ButtonThreadz No. 2. Place a pink button from ArtPlay Palette Infatuated on the left along with thread 6 from ButtonThreadz No. 1.

I am within three pages of finishing this project. Using templates to create the basic design and switching out small frames or fotoblendz masks will help me maintain my momentum. Although Anna Aspnes provides information about this technique in her earlier project classes, I recommend two of her most recent classes, Artsy Doubles and AA Project 2018, for detailed instructions on what I have shared in this post.

Poetry

There is still snow here, piles of snow, so much that I haven’t seen the lawn in weeks. Thus I found the color in Anna’s new ArtPlay Palette Melic very appealing as I long for spring and the tulips that will bloom in April. Below I explain my process for creating this page.

First, place solid paper 3 on a new blank 12×12 inch document.

Extract three tulip blooms with the Quick Selection Tool, arrange and give each a shadow.

Note: I adjusted the color a little by applying a Hue and Saturation Adjustment to each bloom.

Place transfer 3 and transfer 1 from ArtPlay Palette Melic above the paper. Change the blend mode of both transfers to Linear Burn. Attach a layer mask to transfer 1 to hide parts of the transfer.

Stamp brush 7 and 4 from ArtPlay Palette Melic in a red orange on Normal blend mode on new blank layers just above the transfers. Tilt as needed to create the effect of stems extending from blooms.

Arrange three of the stitching .png files from MultiMedia Melic No. 1 below the blooms as well as a splatter and piece of lace. Roughly align the stitching with the brush lines

Drag one .psd leaf file from ArtPlay Palette Melic and place above the stitching. Adjust the position of the shadow included with the leaves. Place a second leaf file, rotate and reduce its size.

Finish the page with beaded word art from Melic WordART Mix No. 1 and a thread from ArtPlay Mini Palette Breeze. On the left, place a button and splatter from MultiMedia Melic No. 1.

That’s it, so simple!

A Quiet Place

The Pope-Baldwin Estates at the Tallac Historic Site in South Lake Tahoe offer a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of wealthy society people who summered at Lake Tahoe at the turn of the 20th Century. After years of neglect, the estate buildings were beginning to deteriorate and restoration work was started in the early 1980s when the government purchased the property. The dock in this photo replaced the original boat dock and pier.

I began this layout working with just the photo. I duplicated the original three times. I gave the second copy a watercolor effect in Topaz Studio. Above that I placed a copy of the original photo on Soft Light blend mode at 100%.

To each copy I attached an inverted layer mask. I brought back the photo with an AnnaBlendz Artsy Brush as well as brush 11 and 13 from ArtPlay Palette Milieu.

Next, I placed artsy paper 5 from ArtPlay Palette Milieu below the photo layers. Above the photo layers, I placed another copy of paper 5 and changed the blend mode to Linear Burn at 75% opacity. Above the boats on the right, I placed transfer 2 from ArtPlay Palette Milieu. Finally, I created a composite of the original photo layers.

I then grouped my original photo layers and turned off that group. Using just my composite, I reduced it’s size to about 90% and clipped it to mask 3 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 14.

I duplicated my composite and clipped it to mask 2 from Coastline FotoBlendz No. 1. I reduced the size of mask 1 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 14 vertically to 60% and increased the horizontal size to 115%. I duplicated my composite one more time and clipped it to mask 1.

Note: Above the composite copies clipped to masks, I added two adjustment layers: one on Screen blend mode at 30% and another on Soft Light at 100%.

Just above solid paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Milieu, I placed transfer 5. Above the transfer I added an adjustment layer on Soft Light at 100%. I also adjusted the color of the rounded area on the left with a Hue and Saturation layer and an inverted mask so that the changes would only affect that part.

To embellish my page, I placed all the layers of file 2 from MultiMedia Milieu No. 1. I turned off the grass frame and its shadow. Instead, I placed the branch from MultiMedia Branches No. 10 and its shadow as well as the thread. I adjusted the color of the branch with a color overlay.

With word art from WordART Mix Milieu No. 1 and brush 6 and some splatter brushes stamped on new blank layers, my page was finished.

Blooming Marvelous

I am finally experiencing some California sunshine. It’s mostly been a cold and rainy week so I haven’t been out with my camera as much as I would have liked. My sister and I did stop at Roger’s Gardens yesterday; I’m helping her learn how to use her camera, especially how to blur the background in her photos. I captured some beautiful blue hydrangeas, a favorite flower of mine.

I began this page by placing a photo on a new blank 12×12 document in Photoshop. I duplicated the photo twice. The bottom layer is the original on Normal blend mode at 100%. The second layer I took into Topaz Studio and gave it a sketchy look. I changed the blend mode to Hard Light at 100%. The top photo layer I also took into Topaz Studio and gave it a graphic look and changed the blend mode to Normal at 40%. I linked all the layers.

Next, I placed fotoblendz 1 from Sirenic FotoBlendz No. 1 on my page. I clipped the three photo layers to the fotoblendz mask.

I turned on solid paper 3 from ArtPlay Palette Sirenic.

Note: I had already decided that I was going to use this paper from the ArtPlay Palette.

Just above the paper but below the photo layers, I placed transfer 2 from ArtPlay Palette Sirenic on Normal blend mode at 100% opacity. Above the photo layers, I placed the same transfer, rotated it and changed the blend mode to Multiply at 100%. I added a layer mask to hide part of the transfer. I also placed the gold paint from ArtPlay Palette Sirenic.

Finally, I stamped a brush from ArtPlay Palette Sirenic on the left, placed the layers of file 2 from MultiMedia Sirenic No. 1 on the right and added the word art file from Love WordART Mix No. 2.

It’s a simple page, but a good reminder of some of the beauty I saw during my week in California. Now I’ve got to get back to helping my sister organize her photos.

Fifty Years Later

It seems like yesterday, not fifty years ago, that we honeymooned in San Francisco. We didn’t stay at the same hotel, the American Motor Lodge, but instead chose Hotel Zoe Fisherman’s Wharf this time, with its ultra modern decor. I hoped we would be able to replicate some of the photos from 1968 on this trip as we remembered our honeymoon.

We searched for the Fisherman’s Wharf sign and finally found a man who recognized it in copy of the photo where I sat. He told us it had been removed a long time ago. Even though we couldn’t access the balcony at the top of Ghiradelli Square, we found the sign at the top of the building. We posed on Pier 39, a tourist trap or a Pokemon player’s dream, depending on your perspective.

For the focal photo, I used frame set 3 from UrbanThreadz FotoBlendz Frames No. 2 in order to tie the two pages together. The photo I clipped to the mask is actually a blended composite so that I could have the entire heart behind us.

I chose the frames, threads and text box from template 10 in Travel Album No. 2 to accommodate the photos I wanted to include on my page. I reduced the size to 85%, before clipping my photos to the masks and adding adjustment layers.

Note: Because I am reducing the size of frames, masks and shadows from different templates, I am deleting the frames and giving each mask a stroke style of 20px so that all frames are consistent throughout my book.

I placed transfer 3 from ArtPlay Palete Riant just above the paper as well as layers from files 3 and 4 of Artsy Transfers Riant.

Note: I added a Hue and Saturation Layer to adjust the color of two layers.

Finally, I tucked a button from ArtPlay MiniPalette Blithe under the threads above the frames.

I want to thank my friend Adryane and her husband for helping us replicate some old photos for this page. It was Adryane’s idea to capture some shots holding our wedding photo. What a wonderful day searching for landmarks and remembering!

After a Snowstorm

After a snowstorm earlier this month, a couple out walking their dogs graciously gave me permission to capture them from behind as they walked down a path near my home. I got three shots with my iPhone before they disappeared from view.

There are two steps to creating this page. First, I worked with just the photo in Photoshop following the steps outlined in a post on Anna’s blog, Create an Artsy Sketch Effect, by team member Ulna-May. While I didn’t change the image size as stated in the post, I followed the other instructions, changing opacity and blend modes on two layers. For example, my color layer is on blend mode Pin Light at 100%. I created a composite of all the photo layers.

Next, I moved the sketch composite and original photo on to solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Inkling. I linked the two layers and resized them to fit the 12×12 layout. I duplicated the original photo and gave it a watercolor effect in Topaz Studio. I then used brush 2 from AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 3 on an inverted mask attached to sketch composite to bring back in the photo. I changed the blend mode to Linear Burn. I duplicated the mask and attached it to the watercolor copy, changing the blend mode to Overlay at 100%. Finally, I roughly extracted the couple and used the same brush on the mask to lighten them just a little.

With the photo layers finished, I placed transfer 4 from the artplay palette, reduced the size to 85% and adjusted the exposure with a levels adjustment layer on Overlay at 40%. Just below the man and woman I placed copies of the silver paint included in ArtPlay Palette Inkling. I also placed art stroke 3, erasing the right side.

To finish my page, I placed the psd layers of file 2 from MultiMedia Winter No. 3. I substituted a button from the artplay palette for the blue one included in the file. I added a title from Inkling WordArt Mix No. 1.

Capturing this photo took only a minute, but provided a wonderful afternoon for playing with Anna’s new release.

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