Tutorial Tuesday | The Dodge and Burn Tools

Hello, and welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today, I am here to share information about how to use your Dodge and Burn Tools to make your layouts pop a bit more! I normally like to use it on flowers and leaves (in my photos and in the elements on my layout), but you can really use them on anything.

Your Burn Tool will make things darker and your Dodge Tool will make things lighter. You can find each of these tools in the following places…

When using either of these tools, you will want to adjust your settings (see next screenshot). Personally, I like to work with an ‘Exposure’ of 50%… Range: Midtone… and honestly any soft brush, with a size that works for the particular element or item I’m editing. It’s possible to change the exposure to make the dodging/burning less noticeable or more noticeable.

To show you the effect you can get with each of these tools… I’ve placed two flowers side by side (see next image), and I’ve burned the shadows more (making them deeper/darker), and dodged the highlights (i.e. accentuated the brighter areas) to pop the texture of this flower and to make the leaves feel fuller. I also wanted the flower to look as if it was sitting higher on the leaves, so I burned close to the edge of the flower (but on the leaves) to add extra shading, conveying more depth.

Take a look…

See the differences?

The left flower has my regular shadowing… and the right flower has been tweaked using the Dodge and Burn Tools.

I realize the changes are subtle, but they definitely add some realism… and on a full layout, they look AMAZING if you take the time to add this pop to a few elements. You can do as little or as much as you’d like to add depth… and as I said earlier, you can even do the same thing to your photos.

I’m now addicted to these two little tools… and I hope today’s tutorial will inspire you to give them a try!


About the Author  Anita is a creative team member at The Digital Press.

Friday Favorites | Rachel Hodge

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our designer feature series on The Digital Press blog in 2019 — Friday Favorites! This year, as you know, we’ve been learning a bit more about each of our amazingly-talented designers by having them share some of their favorite things with us each week.

This week, the spotlight is on the creative designer Rachel Hodge. This is actually Rachel’s fifth feature here on the blog (you can find her first feature from August 2016 HERE, another from March 2017 HERE (including a peek at her creative work space!), her Foodie Friday post from January 2018 HERE (with a few of her favorite yummy recipes!), and her most recent feature from June 2018 HERE).

This time around, in order to learn even more about Rachel, we asked her to share some of her favorite things with us, and here’s what she had to say…


OK, this was actually generally hard for me to decide. You see on one hand there’s coffee… coffee and myself have this unspeakable, unbreakable bond which I will always be grateful for. But then there’s also Netflix… Netflix has become a very important member of the family. It’s just come along and fit right in with our way of life, it doesn’t need to be put in a naughty corner, doesn’t leave washing lying around, and is there anytime we need it. So it’s fair to say that yep, it’s a total favorite at the moment.

Here’s a peek into my nightly routine…

Yup, for me Netflix is my time to unwind from the business of the day. When tea is done, the kids are in bed, and all is quiet… I sit on the couch, put my feet up, grab the ipad and enter into my little undisturbed world of Netflix. I’m telling you, the hubby knows it’s my downtime! If I get the sense he’s about to start a conversation mid-show, he get’s that look… that fierce, “think long and hard before you open your mouth and consider… is it worth it?” look.

But OK, down to the important stuff…THE SHOWS! At the moment, I’m totally loving the following…

  1. Real Detective
  2. Bodyguard
  3. it’s a tie between Broadchurch and Obessesion – Dark Desires.

Not your light hearted, romantic, comedy type shows! Just give me ALL the crime ones!

So that pretty much rounds up my favorite thing at the moment. The only way it gets any better is if it’s accompanied by a sweet little drink called Midori (or coffee)… 🙂


Doesn’t she have a great sense of humor?!  Well, her fun personality shines through in her designs, as well. Have you seen her cut files and cards in the shop at TDP? If you’re not yet familiar with her work… they are gorgeous and so easy to use! Due to their versatility, you can easily use her designs on both digital or hybrid projects… as titles, word art, stamps, or stickers. So many options!

Here’s a peek at some of the fabulous products you’ll find in her shop at TDP

And here are some of my favorite layouts that show off Rachel’s products. I hope you love these pages as much as I do (what gorgeous eye candy, eh?!)…

Hopefully, today’s Friday Favorites article has given you even more insight into who Rachel is and more about her day-to-day life (and again, if you want to know even more about her — scroll up and use the links to her previous features here on TDP’s blog, where’s there’s lots more good stuff!).

And the best news of all?! …during Rachel’s upcoming feature week here at The Digital Press, you can enjoy the chance to score an amazing deal in her shop if you use the following coupon code when purchasing her digital goodies (this code/sale will be valid through 11:59pm EST on Thurs 4/25). Don’t miss it!

[ if you have trouble seeing the coupon image, above, the codes are as follows: “save $2 off any purchase of $5+” by using code = S4V3-2-RH . . . or “save $5 off any purchase of $10+” by using code = F1V3-OFF-RH ]


Robin

About the author  Robin is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. A wife of 26 years and a mom of 4 crazy children (3 in college and 1 still at home), she says that her life occurs mostly in the car as she transports said crazy kids to their many, many homeschool activities. When not driving, Robin loves to make her family cringe by pulling out her camera again (and again, and again…).

Tutorial Tuesday | Using Text Effects

Hello, and welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today I thought it would be fun to talk about how to use elements from a kit and text effects in our photo editing software to create unique and fun page titles and/or word art pieces.

For this example, I’m using Photoshop as my photo editing software. I’ve already created my page, and now want to combine a digital embellishment and a text effect to add a fun page title. Doing this is super easy!

First, I want to curve the word “Rainbow” around a rainbow element, as shown here…

Step 1 — Place the element that the text will wrap around onto the page canvas.

Step 2 — Use the ‘type’ tool to type the desired word or phrase (in this case, I used “Rainbow”).

Step 3 — With the text layer selected and the type tool active, look toward the top right of the type tool’s toolbar. There is an icon of a “T” with a curved line underneath. Click that icon.

Step 4 — At this point, we can choose different styles. As you can see in the image above, I choose the ‘arc’ style with a bend of +80.

 

While the arc font over the rainbow was cute… it wasn’t what I mad in mind. I wanted something a little more subtle. Therefore, using the ‘curvature pen’ tool I curved my text directly over my element, as shown here…

Step 1 — Create a new layer and select the right pen tool for the job (in this case, I used the ‘curvature pen’ tool). Create a path using the pen tool. In my example, I created a path over the yellow part of the rainbow (see image above).

Step 2 — Select the ‘type’ tool and click towards the beginning of the curve path. The line will change from blue to black (see next image), and you will notice the cursor appear…

Step 3 — Type out your word or phrase. The text will follow the curve of the path you created, as opposed to going in a straight line…

That’s it! So easy, right?

Here’s a look at my completed layout with the text layered on top of the element to create a custom page title. I think the title looks much cuter this way!

Hopefully this quick and simple technique will help you try some new things to create your own custom titles (or even your own word art pieces) on your next project!


About the Author  Jennifer is a creative team member at The Digital Press and lives in New York City. In addition to digital scrapping, she enjoys watching rugby and hockey and reading romance novels.

Hybrid How To | Make a Pretty Paper Wreath

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press blog! Today I’m going to teach you how to make some pretty paper wreaths using products from your digital scrapbooking stash.

It looks like Spring has finally arrived for many of us, and it is a welcome sight for sure! This season brings us back outside, perhaps doing some gardening or work in the yard. It’s the season that feels fresh and new, so for me I thought about bringing some spring color into my house by using my pretty digital papers and word art from The Digital Press to make some paper wreaths for decoration.

I ended up making three easy decorative wreaths — each of which can hang or be propped up on my mantle or a table, etc. They add the perfect touch of seasonal decor to my home. The hardest part was selecting which gorgeous patterned papers to use… but I finally decided on the Frivolity Papers by Anita Designs, shown here…

I also picked out a word art/stamp set to use to decorate my wreaths; I love the spring designs on the Spring Is Here set by Rachel Hodge…

Finally, here is a quick look at some of the tools I grabbed out of my scrap stash to use for this project (you can easily adapt your own project to whatever tools/punches/shapes/etc. you happen to have on hand!)…


To begin, I bought a foam floral wreath from my local craft store. This one measured about 11 inches wide; they come in different sizes and are not too expensive. For the other two wreaths I just made myself a template using chipboard I had on hand. I drew a circle onto the chipboard using a cup, and then another circle around it using a bowl to outline the first circle. I cut everything out using scissors and a craft knife.

I decided to work on the large foam wreath first.

First, I selected my papers and printed them on my printer. My printer’s largest print size is 8.5″ x 11″, which worked fine for this project. I simply filled each 8.5″ x 11″ space with one of my 12″ x 12″ digital paper patterns from my stash, and then printed it out in full-sheet format, as shown here…

I loved having these gorgeous papers in my hands! After printing, I cut my papers into the strips that would later become the banner shapes that cover the wreath. I cut the strips 1 ½ inch wide and 10 ½ inches long, and I ended up with 5 strips out of each of the 4 patterns I printed. The number of strips you end up with will vary depending on how big of a ring you choose and how much you overlap your banners… but expect to use about 25 strips for a wreath this size.

Next, start attaching the strips around the foam wreath. I attached the papers together at the ends, so the paper is not actually attached to the foam and therefore is fairly loose around the wreath. You can make the strips overlap slightly, but don’t worry if a bit of the foam wreath shows thru (you can fix this later on).

I started attaching my paper strips using a tape runner, but found it wasn’t holding them together well enough, so I switched to double-sided tape instead. It seemed to work much better. I think a strong glue adhesive would work well, also.

I worked in a somewhat random pattern, using a bit more of the solid cardstock. Here is what my wreath looked like after all the strips are on it…

Pretty already, right?!

Next, I punched the paper into “banners”. This can be done a variety of different ways; I have a banner punch, so I used that… but it could be just as easy simply to cut the ends with scissors, too. You could also cut the strips into banners before attaching them to the foam… either way will work.

Once the strips were attached and cut into banner shapes, I could have stopped right there — I already thought this wreath would look great with a vase and flowers in the center sitting on a table.

But…instead, I decided to add a banner and some gorgeous digital word art by Rachel Hodge by printing it out on my printer and then attaching it with double sided tape. I then added a tissue paper flower I made by folding tissue paper, securing the middle with a string, and then fanning out all the layers.


The next wreath I set out to make was the one using the chipboard backing that I had cut out by hand (see above). For this one, I decided to get out a few of my circle punches in various sizes — from 1 inch to 3 inches, in both regular and scallop edges.

I punched circle shapes into the paper I’d printed out… and then put these circles down on top of the chipboard piece. I put the larger circles down first, and then just built on top of them with the smaller circles — all before actually gluing anything (just to get an ideas of the pattern placements, balance, etc.).

Then, I printed some more word art onto cardstock and punched it into a 2-1/2″ circle. I attached the various circles to the cardstock base, this time using my glue gun. I made sure all the chipboard was covered, and then I cut some flower shapes using my CuddleBug and Sizzix dies and added the flowers to some of the circles to add some dimension and variety. I love the way this one turned out, and it was so quick and easy!

Here’s another look…


Lastly, I got to work on the small chipboard wreath (this one was the smallest, at approximately 5 inches in diameter).

For this one, I used strips varying from about 4 to 6 inches long… punched them with my banner punch… and then just adhered them with a glue gun (this time, I did not wrap them around the chipboard base; you’ll see why, below).

After adhering them, I punched a 3 inch scallop circle and a 2 inch image of a bird from the word art collection, and used those pieces to cover the center of the wreath, as shown below. I raised the circle of bird using pop up dots to add dimension. I added the center scallop circle to the middle making sure to cover over all the banner edges.

Here’s a look at the final product…

Isn’t it cute?

Here is a look at all three wreaths hanging on my closet in my office! They make me smile every time I walk in the room!

And that’s it! Each one was so simple… and fun to make. I hope I’ve inspired you to use your own digital products to make a paper wreath — whether for spring, or at any time of the year! We would love to see pictures of your completed projects in the Hybrid Gallery at The Digital Press!

Happy Spring, everyone!


About the Author  KerriAnne is a homebody who resides in the desert SW. She started scrapbooking when her kids were little and hasn’t stopped despite the teenagers rolling their eyes and sticking out their tongues!  When not scrapping or being a chauffeur, she can be found consuming large amounts of iced coffee.

Friday Favorites | KimB Designs

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our designer feature series on The Digital Press blog in 2019 — Friday Favorites! This year, as you know, we’ve been learning a bit more about each of our amazingly-talented designers by having them share some of their favorite things with us each week.

This week, the spotlight is on the creative designer behind KimB Designs., Kim Broedelet. This is actually Kim’s fifth feature here on the blog (you can find her first feature from June 2016 HERE, another from February 2017 HERE (including a peek at her creative work space), her Foodie Friday post from January 2018 HERE (including some yummy recipes!), and her most recent feature from June 2018 HERE).

This time around, in order to learn even more about Kim, we asked her to share some of her favorite things with us, and here’s what she had to say…


“My favorite thing at this moment? I found this question difficult to answer to be honest… as yes, I do have a ton of favorite ‘things’ (like Alien perfume, GHD hairstraightener, Urban Decay lipgloss)… but all of those things, if gone tomorrow, would not really worry me. The following would, however…

My FAVORITE thing right now is more a collective group of ‘feelings’ under one word — HOME.

I know that sounds a little weird, but after living away from all that I love for over 10 years, HOME is my most favorite thing in the world right now.

I am incredibly lucky to live on a Golf and Wild Life Estate. Not only do I get to experience my own private ‘game drive’ on my front lawn each day, but I get to play golf again with my hubby, my son, and my friends right on my doorstep. For the first time in my life I actually know all my neighbours — socially and by name.

I’m enjoying quality time with my folks, laughing my sides sore with my friends, loving that I can be a part of my kids lives each and everyday, being back at the ocean. I’m the happiest and most content I’ve been in years. Even though this is the shorthand version, it all adds up to that ONE thing…

Love : Laughter : Living : Family : Friends = HOME


As for Kim’s designs… if you aren’t yet familiar with the KimB Designs shop at TDP, you’ll find that she creates a fantastic collection of kits, pocket cards, word art stamps and bits, printable elements and more! Her color choices are always gorgeous, and her products appeal to everyone from the strictly-digital scrapper to the traditional paper-style hybrid scrapper. Here’s a look at a few of my favorite items from her storefront at TDP…

Additionally, here are a few of our favorite layouts from Kim’s gallery to showcase the versatility of her products and to inspire you by showing you the myriad of ways her digital goodies can be used…

Hopefully, today’s Friday Favorites article has given you even more insight into Kim and her day to day life (and again, if you want to know even more about her — scroll up and use the links to her previous features here on TDP’s blog, where’s there’s lots more good stuff!).

And the best news of all?! …during Kim’s upcoming feature week here at The Digital Press, you can enjoy the chance to score an amazing deal in her shop if you use the following coupon code when purchasing her digital goodies (this code/sale will be valid through 11:59pm EST on Thurs 4/18). Don’t miss it!

[ if you have trouble seeing the coupon image, above, the codes are as follows: “save $2 off any purchase of $5+” by using code = 2OFF5-KIMB . . . or “save $5 off any purchase of $10+” by using code = 5OFF10-KIMB ]

Tutorial Tuesday | Make Your Layout Pop

Hello, and welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! It’s Kelley here, and I’m here today to offer up some tips and tricks for transforming underwhelming layouts by using one of 4 different techniques that can make your layout pop! This is my first ever tutorial post here on The Digital Press blog, and I’m super excited to share these tips with you today!

You know how sometimes when you are scrapping, a page is just not looking right? Something might just seem a bit ‘off,’ and you find yourself tempted to throw the whole page out and start again? While I’ve certainly thrown pages out, it’s really pretty rare for me. I tend to try a whole slew of things to make my page more appealing, and normally can find something that works better. So today, I want to show you a few things that you can do to “save” your page (or, if your page is already feeling pretty darn awesome, you can just use these ideas to add a little extra wow factor!).

Four Ways to Make Your Layout Pop

For today’s tutorial, this is the layout I’ll be working with…

In my opinion, this layout could definitely use a little more ‘oomph.’ It looks kind of drab… the background paper I originally chose just isn’t working with the painty design I used… and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of dimension to the page.

How to tweak this around to fix it? Here are a few options…

1.  Change Out The Background

The first thing I always do if my page is looking off is to try changing out the background. I’m sure this one is a pretty obvious tip, but that’s because it really does have the power to change a page from ‘meh’ to ‘wow!’ pretty easily. Here’s a look at the same layout with a different background…

It’s really interesting to change it up completely to see what happens! Go from a pattern to a solid… from a dark color to a lighter one… etc.  In this case, because I ended up using a lot of paint on my page, I felt like the darker blue patterned background I originally went with was not working out as well. I thought it looked too dark and muddy (hard to see the paint layers), so I decided to go with a much lighter paper, instead. I think it looks much better!

2. Add Custom Shadowing

Adding custom shadows is something that I do to almost all of my layouts. It just adds more realism and oomph to the page. Unless I’m feeling particularly motivated, I’ll just custom shadow 2 or 3 items… but really, you can go all out with this if you are feeling it!

Here, I custom-edited the shadows on the photo, the string, and the ric rac…

There are a lot of ways to do this, but what I normally do is start out by adding a custom shadow to a photo or paper piece; this will allow it to look like a corner is slightly lifted, and just make it all look more realistic, overall. First, select the photo (or the clipping mask, if you’ve used a photo spot on a template). Then, in the layers panel, right-click on the drop shadow for that layer and click ‘create layer.’ This puts the shadow on its own layer. Next, select that shadow layer, and select the smudge tool in the tools palette. You can experiment with what size brush works for you, but I tend to use a medium size brush. Next, just hover over a corner of your photo that you’d like to adjust.  In order to make the corner look a little bit lifted, just click and drag a little bit in the direction of your shadowing. For added variation on the page, I also usually pick a different spot to reduce the shadow size to make it look like that part of the photo is glued down really well.

3. Color Balance Adjustment

This is quick and easy, and it is something that helps out a lot if you think that your page just isn’t looking pretty, or if you think the photos aren’t looking quite right with the page.

If you look at the photo up above, and then compare it with this next one… you’ll see that the first one has a grayer, bluer tone. I edited it with deeper reds in the shadows and yellows in the highlights, which gives it a much warmer look…

There are 2 ways I add these color adjustments.

The first is something I do simply to help the photos “go” better with the page. To do this, just click on a photo in the layers panel, then click on the color balance adjustment layer. What you’ll do next is going to depend on the look of your page. I select shadows from the color balance drop-down, and hen slide the sliders until I like how it looks with my page. A lot of times for me, this means adding blue to the shadow layer, but it really just depends. You have to experiment! Next, I’ll select highlights and then midtones, doing the same thing (but not adjusting the bars all the same).

The other way I add a color adjustment is just a means of altering the color on the overall page (i.e. not to make a photo “match” the page better… but just to give the entire page a slightly different look). I do this when I just think my page looks kind of ugly. This is something I do at the end after I’ve flattened my page; I duplicate the flattened layer, and then apply a color balance layer to the whole page to change up the look.

4. Soft Light Layer

Honestly, I use this last little trick on almost every single layout I create. Occasionally, I don’t like the look and will delete it after trying it out… but the majority of the time, a little soft light boost really takes a page to the next level.

Here’s a look at my page, from above, with a soft light layer added…

How to do this?

Once you are finished with your page and have flattened it down, just hit CTRL+J to duplicate the page. Then, with your duplicated layer selected, change the blend mode to ‘soft light.’ You’ll often get a pretty crazy looking effect at first… but the key here is to reduce the opacity pretty far down, until you get a look you like. It really varies, layout by layout, how much opacity I use… but usually it’s somewhere between 10% to 50%. In the layout above, I landed at about 25% opacity on the soft light layer.

Well, there you go! These are four of my favorite tricks to change a page from ‘meh’ to ‘wow!’ with just a few little steps. I hope you find them useful in your scrapping!

 


About the Author  Kelley is a member of The Digital Press creative team. She lives in Iowa with her 5 children, 3 cats, and 4 hamsters. She works full-time as a medical transcriptionist from home. She discovered digital scrapbooking as a member of Clickin Moms about 9 years ago and was immediately hooked.  Kelley also enjoys cooking, spending time with family, all things art, crafts, sewing, and soapmaking.