“Some people enlighten our vision and move our souls to dance. –Flavia”
It’s the inspiration behind my upcoming kit – those people who bring us happiness, a sense of calm purpose. The sort of people you need only think of and a smile appears on your face. If you’re lucky, as I am, you have many of them in your life. They come in all shapes and sizes, of many different ages, but they make the day-to-day a little more bearable.
Layout by KellyS:
To enter for your chance to win this digital kit, simply leave a comment below by Sunday, August 22nd at 11:59 PM (EST). You can improve your odds of winning by posting about this giveaway on Twitter, Facebook or your blog – or all three. Just make sure you come back here and post links in the comments section (please post as a new comment each time) so every entry counts towards your chances to win.
I will announce the winner when I announce the release of Enlightened on my blog on August 23rd.
Subscribe & Save
Remember that subscribers to my newsletter, The Cage Liner, receive an exclusive discount on new releases. So make sure you subscribe and save!
Good luck everyone!
We have, from time to time over the past 3 years, tried to carve out some office space for me in our house – but it turns out I’m very particular. I don’t like to be too far away from what I like to call “the action” (sounds exciting, huh?), I like to have a lot of light, a bit of space to stretch out – also my cats need to be able to come and go freely. They’re banished from Tom’s office downstairs because one of them (THE WHITE ONE) likes to chew on cords, so the other one (the good one) is locked out by association. But I’m just someone who feels like every space benefits from having an animal in it, it makes me feel better for some reason that I won’t even try to explain. The cord chewer has all but annihilated the charger for my Blackberry but I still let him hang around – and miraculously, the charger still works. It must be operating on sheer willpower at this point.
We do have a sunroom in this house, though. It’s sort of an ugly little thing, formerly a 3 season porch that the previous owner had enclosed. It has giant windows on three walls, its own heat and ceiling fan – up until now we’ve been using it as a “mudroom” I guess you could call it. It’s off our kitchen so it’s the dumping grounds for coats, shoes, backpacks and other assorted nonsense. It dawned on me last week that the sunroom could be the answer to my office problems. It’s just a short trip through the kitchen to get to me. The reason I’d never considered it was because we never put blinds up on the windows. We weren’t really using the room for much, it’s off the back of our house, so we never felt the need. We do have neighbors on two sides, though – so on Friday I hung more linear feet of wood blinds than I care to think about.
I also have a 180 degree view of the backyard, separate heat for the winter – and also, the most important thing, a TON of outlets. I don’t know what she had planned for this room when she had it all enclosed, but there are outlets everywhere. The room itself is only about 6′ x 10′ but it has 6 outlets in it and it’s on a separate breaker from the rest of the house.
I set up an old desk out here over the weekend and took the set-up for a test drive – and wouldn’t you know that I managed to get a ton of work done? I haven’t known productivity like this for quite some time. Tom has been telling me for years that if I just sat at a desk I’d be far more focused. I don’t have attention deficit disorder or anything, I’m just really easily amused by ridiculous things. There’s no doctor that can cure that disease, folks.
Oh, another fun perk of the sunroom office? Setting up a sprinkler on a hot Saturday afternoon and being able to watch my crazy 9 year old run through it like he was a toddler again. All while getting a few papers made for an upcoming kit.
So now that I’ve decided that I adore this space, we’re going to take a trip up to ye ol’ IKEA to pick up a larger desk for the long haul. (And if we’re FORCED to have lunch at Chipotle, then so be it.) After many years of happy laptopping, I’ll be gradually making the shift over to a desktop computer again. My laptop has been giving me subtle hints that its “get up and go” has “got up and went”, so I’ll be relieving it of a lot of its duties so it can just be a carefree laptop once again – unencumbered by the monstrosities that are Photoshop and Illustrator.
I’ll still need to paint this ugly little room – but thankfully it’s mostly windows and not a lot of wall space. Hopefully I’ll be able to share a little before and after shot sometime next month – as long as I don’t get distracted by something shiny.
You know who loves this room just the way it is, though?
This little guy right here.
Confession: I am a complete sucker for what I like to call “scattery bits”. I have a hard time passing them up if they’re included in a kit. Sort of like “glittery bits”. So you can imagine the froth I work myself into when I have “scattery glittery bits”.
In my soul I’m a very carefree spirit and adore when pages have a windswept, unstructured look. It seems as though it would be effortless enough to achieve, and perhaps it is for some people, but when I sit down to create it the obsessive compulsive inside me screams “nooooo, things must be lined up!! LINE IT UP!!” If I’m being completely honest, I consider it “wild and crazy” when I take a composition and rotate it about 5 degrees. Hold me back! What’s next? Dancing on bars?!
In paper scrapping if I wanted to create a random scatter of items I’d probably just take a handful of stuff and throw it at my page, then glue things down wherever they landed. Photoshop could seriously benefit from a “Throw Crap At The Page” Tool. Can you imagine? In my mind’s eye I can picture it. I’d be able to select a couple of items via a file browser, set up a few parameters, and then click a “Throw This Crap At The Page!” button.
Maybe in CS6?
For now, in order to create seemingly effortless scatters I was left with no other option but to devise a completely regimented way to achieve a totally non-regimented look. It forces my inner obsessive compulsive to swallow a few mood tranquilizers and allows my free-spirited hippie soul to dance around with glee.
Note: You can click on any of the screenshots below to open up a larger version.
Step 1: Select a basic round brush and increase the size to about the dimensions of the items you’ll be scattering on your page. I’m going to be scattering little paper flowers, so I chose 250px.
Step 2: Create a new layer on your document for your brushwork, and now we’ll tweak the brush settings in the Brush Palette. You can access your Brush Palette by clicking on the bucket full of brushes over by your layer palette (if enabled), via the toolbar at Window < Brushes or by pressing F5. Copy the following settings as your brush specs:
Step 3: Now you can sample a brush stroke on your page. Try clicking and dragging your mouse across the page in a straight line from left to right and see where your dots fall. No two scatters are ever alike, so sometimes I will Undo (CTRL+Z) a few times and try again until I get a scatter that I like.
Step 4: Now I’m ready to drag my elements onto the spaces I’ve mapped out with my scatter brush. Just open and drag them on like you normally would, resizing them to the approximate dimensions of the circles in your Scatter Brush (and rotating them slightly as you go, if you’d like).
Step 5: All that’s left to do is delete (or hide) the layer that has your brush stroke on it, and shadow your elements. (For tips on creating realistic drop shadows, you can visit my Drop Shadows: The Basics post.)
So there you have it! A way to overcome your obsessive compulsive tendencies and create a windswept look on your page. You could adjust the sliders in your brush palette to create an infinite number of scatter variables. I didn’t touch on it here, but if you use a square brush (instead of a round one) you can also mess with the Angle Jitter in the Shape Dynamics tab to distribute your elements at pre-defined angles. You can also create multi layered scatters by distributing one element, using your scatter brush again, then scattering a different element.
It’s no “Throw Crap At A Page” but it’s pretty close!
Now here’s the part where I shamelessly promote myself:
Paper and flowers are from Abide by One Little Bird (that’s me!)
You can visit my Mind-Blowing Drop Shadow Tutorial for my tips and tricks on shadowing in Photoshop.
Subscribe to my newsletter, The Cage Liner, for exclusive savings on One Little Bird products and the latest news from The Cage.
Abide has arrived in my OScraps Store!
Subscribers to my newsletter, The Cage Liner, receive an exclusive discount on all new releases.
Current subscribers, make sure you check your email to retrieve your coupon code.
Not a subscriber? Subscribe now and save!
Congratulations Nicole! I’ll be emailing you with details on how to claim your prize!
by Kelly S:
A few weeks ago I was approached by Sara Gleason, a member of The Flock and the creative mind behind Zinnias & Swallowtails, about contributing to a charity collaboration she was putting together for the oil spill in the Gulf Coast. Sara has been living on the Gulf Coast for many years and was affected dramatically by the disaster.
She assembled 45 designers from the community and coordinated Hands Across The Gulf, a charity collaboration to raise money that will support the recovery efforts in the Gulf region.
Participating designers include: Aja Abney, Amy Martin, Biograffiti, Boutique Cute Dolls, Createwings Designs, Deena Rutter, Designs by Cindy Schneider, Designs by Crystal Livesay, Dido Designs, Dunia Designs, Emily Merritt Designs, Fiddle Dee Dee Designs, Fizzy Pop Designs, FruitLoOp Sally Designs, Laurie Ann (Heaven’s Gate Designs), Holliewood Studios, Holly Designs, Holly Spring Designs, Jazzmin Designs, Jennifer Barrette Designs, Jacque Larsen, Juliana Kneipp Designs, Kay Miller Designs, Kaye Winiecki, Kitty Designs, Kristin Aagard Designs, Lauren Grier, Leora Sanford, Loreta Labarca, Micheline Martin, Nikki Beaudreau, Paislee Press, One Little Bird Designs, Sabrina Dupre, Sahlin Studio, Sarah Cornish of My 4 Hens Photography, Shabby Miss Jenn, Studio Basic Designs, Sugarplum Paperie, Tickled Pink Studios, Tiny Toes Designs, Tracie Stroud, Vera Lim, Vinnie Pearce, and zinnias and swallowtails.
page by Kelly:
page by Sarah:
For more than 90 days, oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico before the leak was finally “capped” in late July. It is estimated that approximately 4.9 million barrels (or 205.8 million gallons) of oil spilled into the waters. It has been one of the biggest environmental disasters in decades. Hundreds of miles of beaches, wetlands, and estuaries along the northern Gulf Coast have been impacted. The spill continues to cause extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats as well as the Gulf’s fishing and tourism industries. Families are without work and marine and land animals continue to suffer. There are still many unknowns about the long term effects of the oil and of chemical disbursements used in attempts to curtail the flow and impact upon the regional coastline and waters.
Thank you for your support!