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October 2012

Don’t scroll down if you are easily frightened or not a Halloween fan.  We have only one picture from our big Halloween party last Saturday, taken by little Dane, and it’s a doozy! We love Halloween.  We love dressing up, trick-or-treating, scary movie marathons,  and just being goofy one night a year.

This year friends of ours hosted a Halloween party in downtown Stuttgart on Saturday night.  It was also the night of the Navy Ball, so we had a couple extra kiddo’s. Luckily it was a kid-friendly (um, not so much if you count us LOL), event and we brought them all along.  Saturday was also our big snowstorm.  In October.  We weren’t about to pack a car full of zombies, monster high ghouls and Captain America and drive all the way to Stuttgart in a full-fledged snowstorm.

Luckily the train is right next door & super convenient.  We were even super lucky & made it onto the Regional.  The regional has very few stops, so it’s very fast, but it’s also a double-decker.  Becca crossed another “must-do” off her bucket list, she rode a double-decker train on the top deck. We did get an awful lot of stares, quite normal in Germany of course, this time I stared back.  Maybe I even drooled a little.  I got smiles from 99% of the people!  That’s never happened before!  I’m going with I’m finally considered native.  Dave says they smiled so I wouldn’t eat them.

We transfered at the Hauptbannhof (main station)  in downtown Stuttgart to the ubahn (underground).  Again tons of stares as our little troop of zombies, monster high ghouls and Captain America trampd through the station.  And smiles for me.  I’m native!  We got to our final stop with no problems.  Disembarked.  The ubahn left.  And there we were.  All dressed up, in the outskirts of Stuttgart in a snowstorm.  A freezing snowstorm, with lots of snow!  And I had no idea where to go next.  I did have the address but there were about 6-7 different streets going in all directions and the snow was blinding our eyes.  I huddled with the little ones next to a building while Dave & Cole tried to find the right street.  Of course they did, and of course we made our party but the getting there was the best part of the night.

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Today, I want to show you all the things your text tool can do. Wait…it does more then just write? Oh yes, my friends. SO MUCH MORE!  Unfortunately, you can only edit text preferences in Photoshop CS. This tutorial isn’t applicable to PSE. Sorry guys. Ok here we go-

I am going to go over pretty much everything in the Text Tool’s character panel. Some things I’m sure you already know about, so I won’t be spending much time on things like font size and color. But I am sure you will learn something! Your Text character panel should look something like this- I have numbered the things I am going to go over.

1.  font you are currently using- you can change the font from here too.

2.  font size

3. Kerning- the space between 2 letters. Will expand on in number 8

4. Vertical and Horizontal Scaling. As the name implies, you can change the width and height of your text. Essentially making it really tall or really fat.

5. Baseline Shift. You can move selected letters above or below the base line. Positive is above the baseline and negative is the baseline. You can do something like this-{this is a really dramatic example. LOL}



6. Faux styles. You can make your font bold, italic, all caps, underlined or with a line through it. These are kinda fun.

7. Leading. The space Between Lines of text. Sometimes you may be using say a cursive font with lots of loops. If you lines are too close together, it can make your text hard to read. I customize this all the time. It’s also useful if you have a small space to journal and want to fit in more lines. The smaller the number the closer the lines.

8. Tracking. The space between all the letters in your text. I use this often. I, however never use Kerning. Kerning and tracking are very similar, it can be hard to keep track. I like to think of Kerning being local- only 2 letters at a time- and Tracking being global – all the letters- One of my pet peeves is when I use a cursive font and the letters don’t run together like actual cursive. I can “squish” the letters closer until I get the desired effect. To me, a cursive font looks much better when there are no breaks between the letters.  A negative number will move the letters closer together and a positive number will spread them further apart.

9. This is the color of your font.

Of all those options above, the ones I most use are Leading and Tracking.  Here is an example of how you can get different text effects by playing with leading and tracking-

I hope you learned a few new tricks to put in your Photoshop tool box! Play around in the Text Character Panel. It’s fun to kind of customize fonts. Have a scrappy good day!

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With the holidays just around the corner, I’ve got plenty on my mind, from gifts to decorations to menus. Planning holiday get-together menus is one of my all-time favorite things to do. Not only do I love the opportunity to prepare long-time family favorites like my mother’s cheese potatoes,  holidays are for me an opportunity to try out new recipes as well. From Betty Crocker to Martha Stewart, I enjoy browsing magazines, online sites, and recipe books to find unique and interesting recipes that I can try.

For the past couple of years, I’ve been intending to do 2 things come Christmas-season: 1) make a digital scrapbook style calendar to give away to family and friends as a Christmas gift and 2) make a recipe book of ‘the years favorite recipes’ to give to them as well. Sadly I must report, life being what it is, I have yet to do either.

The other day, I was in Lowes and stopped to browse the magazine section while my husband paid for our two bundles of dried cornstalks (for our fall yard display). Now bear with me, I know this is really starting to sound like I am telling snippets of several completely unrelated stories that stop short before I get to the ending; but alas, I am not. This is going somewhere, I promise. While browsing the magazine section, a Farmers Almanac calendar on an adjacent display caught my eye. It wasn’t your typical Almanac calendar, after all.

For each month of the year, this calendar included not only a photo, but a corresponding recipe as a suggestion to try (aha, now it’s starting to come together, right?). What a fantastic idea I thought! I can combine my two gift ideas and go from ‘I’ve done neither’ to ‘I’ve managed to do both in one!’ All I’ll have to do is take a recipe layout appropriate for each month (and I’ve done plenty of these already) and plop it on top of a center-fold calendar. Below is an example of what I mean, using my mother’s cheese potato recipe. For this layout, I used the Snow In Love collection from Snickerdoodle Designs:

Perfect for a December calendar month topper, don’t you think?

If you love this layout idea (and Snow In Love), then you’re sure to adore the other kits and collections Karen has in store for making simple recipe/calendar layouts with too (check out Hay Day, Balancing Act, and Cheez The One for November, April, and February for example). Ah, but there’s a catch. Two of these loveable collections, Snow In Love and Ginger Magic, are soon retiring. For a limited time, you can grab each kit and collection at 70% off in Snickerdoodle Designs‘ shop here at theStudio. 

For even more gift ideas, browse the full collections (Snow In Love, Ginger Magic) – you’ll find printable gift tags, word art, and more that would be perfect for crafting your other holiday gifts too!

If you do make a calendar topper, recipe layout, holiday card, or….we’d love to see it. Leave a comment here with a link to your gallery posting and share your ideas with us too!

As always, I’ve got a freebie for you made using Ginger Magic. Just click on the preview below to download. Happy Monday to you!

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LOTW Oct. 21 – 27 And the winner is ….

by renee 28 October 2012
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Miss Pepper with her fabulous layout Chess. I can’t help myself, but the moment I saw this page I fell in love with it. The photo is so beautiful and the way it makes such a big part of the background of the page is just wonderful. It almost looks like a painting. I also […]

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Blending Modes – Just what are they?

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 27 October 2012

Last week ScrappyMama asked a good question.  Just what ARE blending modes and how do you use them? I’ve sure you’ve probably all seen the Blending Mode Option at the top of your Layers Palette.  Perhaps you haven’t touched it because you didn’t know what would happen? Or played with it a little and didn’t […]

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My Trees are Confused

by Toiny Westberry 27 October 2012
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Unless I’m gravely mistaken, it’s still officially fall. Even my trees are confused. They still think it’s fall too. Apparently old man winter is not to be stopped! We’ve got our first snow storm of the season and it’s just started. My little ones are downstairs tearing apart the boxes I’ve already packed. I braved […]

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Ablaze by Lara´s Digi World and a free quickpage for you

by renee 26 October 2012
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Ablaze by Lara’s Digiworld is a fabulous coloured kit filled with beautiful elements and gorgeous textured and patterned papers. The vibrant colours in this kit really speak to me, they make me happy and cheerful. The beautiful elements are made for scrapping all kinds of photo’s, photo’s from your children, your loved ones and yourself. […]

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How to: Pinterest & Pin It to Win It!

by Nibbles Skribbles 26 October 2012
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From now until Halloween, we are holding an awesome contest, Pin It to Win It! and there will be TONS of winners! Simply head to our store, Pin the products on your wish list to your Pinterest account and then wait. On Halloween, we’ll be looking through all the pins and be awarding some TREATS […]

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Jeepers Creepers by Just So Scrappy

by tammy 25 October 2012
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Are you ready for Halloween yet?  Around here we are, costume all put together and a schedule of activities to go to: community party and parade on Saturday, Trunk or Treat on Sunday, School parade and party on Wednesday afternoon, and then Wednesday  night a fall festival at your church.  What a fun time we […]

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Losing your Legs to Italians

by Toiny Westberry 24 October 2012
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Saturday was an incredible day. After my morning NL, we went out for a drive to the new house and wound up making an offer! It’s been accepted and now we are wading through the next steps. It is an incredibly confusing journey, but I’ve got some wonderful people holding my hand, and I’m 100% […]

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