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Surf, Sand and the 4th

Surf, Sand & the Fourth is already our 12th Coordinated Collection!

Every quarter the entire Studio Design Team bands together and creates one, big, huge, stunning collection.  This time I think they’ve outdone themselves.  I’m in complete, total drool with the entire Coordinated Collection: Surf, Sand & the 4th! Patriotic, American, with a little beach & surf tossed in it is perfect for summer!

Each piece is on sale for only $1.00 each until July 15th.  You can build your collection as big, or as small as you’d like.  The choice is up to you!

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I need to think of just the right words, but my two favorite 4th of July’s ever were spent on the beach. On, at 18, fresh out of high school, jet lagged and in Italy on my own for the first time without parents. I was surrounded by Navy seals & their families, the smell of hot dogs & burgers, and delicious sangria. The water was sky blue, the sand almost white. It was a beautiful day.

The other was with my kids & Dave in Santa Cruz, on Blacks Beach, at night, filled with illegal fireworks, most set off by Jack O’Neill (of O’Neill surfing fame) and it too was filled with laughter, excitement, a little danger and a whole lot of fun.

So, yes, 4th of July! And the beach! I know you will make something beautiful out of this.

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And that’s just a few of the previews to give you a taste.  I’ve used Valentina’s Creations portion to make you a little cluster freebie today, enjoy!!!

***Download***

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Glendam with her fabulous page My Wonderful. I love the old photo’s and the newer ones. They tell a story! I also really like the composition and the elements added! This is a beautiful page, so congrats Glendam on winning this weeks LOTW!

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This wonderful page was created with the fantastic Just A Little Wonderful from The Urban Fairy.

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Sampling Colors Outside Photoshop via the Eye Dropper Tool

Have you ever wanted to sample, or capture, a color on your screen, a color that is outside Photoshop?  On Pinterest, perhaps, or on a website?   There’s an easy way to do that using the Eye Dropper Tool in Photoshop.  Here’s how:

1. Click on the “Restore” or “Restore Down” (depending upon your Photoshop version) at the upper right of your screen.  Drag the program boundaries to resize Photoshop to your liking.

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You may need to close or move any floating palettes.  All you will need to keep visible is your Toolbar.

2. Open the Internet page, or  location where the desired color is located. Resize that page and position it next to Photoshop.

In the image below I have resized and repositioned Photoshop on the right of my screen, and theStudio Designers Retiring Coordinated Collection, Shades of Summer, on the left.

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3. In order for this technique to work, a document must be open in Photoshop.  If you already have an open document, that’s fine. If not, just create a new blank document.

4. In Photoshop, select the Eye Dropper Tool from your Toolbar.

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5. Left click and hold anywhere in your Photoshop document. The Eye Dropper Tool will turn into a 2 ringed-circle. (The colors in the ring will be dependent upon the Foreground and Background colors that are currently active.  This is not important, but just a point of interest.)

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6. Now, while still holding down the left side of your mouse, navigate to the color, outside of Photoshop, that you would like to sample. As you move the Eye-Dropper Tool around, keep your eye on the Foreground Color in Photoshop.  You will be able to see it change colors, depending upon what color you are hovering over.  In the image below, I wanted to select that lovely green color in ADBDesigns Shades of Summer Journal Tags.  You can see that color reflected as the new Foreground color in Photoshop. When you have selected the color that you would like, release your mouse.

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And that’s all there is to it!

Now that you have your new color selected, you can click on the Foreground Color Picker to determine the Hex code for future reference, or you can add it to your Swatches Panel if you like.  Not sure how to do that?  Here’s some help:

1.  Determining a color’s Hex Code:  Bring up the Color Picker by clicking on the Foreground Color.  The Hex Code is located at the bottom of the Color Picker.

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2.  And here is a tutorial on”Adding Colors to the Swatches Panel in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.”

Why not visit theStudio Designers retiring Coordinated Collection Shades of Summer to practice capturing some beautiful colors as well as some snagging some fabulous products at amazing prices?

If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here.

See you next week!

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“Our days are a kaleidoscope. Every instant a change takes place in the contents; new harmonies, new contrasts, new combinations of every sort. Nothing ever happens twice alike.”   ~Henry Ward Beecher. That is why PattyB designed Kaleidoscope for you. This rich and bold kit is perfect to scrap all kind of changes in your life and it is sure to brighten up your scrapping! Kaleidoscope is currently on sale for 30% off!

“Onze dagen zijn als een kaleidoscoop. Elk moment verandert er wel iets; nieuwe verhoudingen, nieuwe contrasten, nieuwe combinaties waar dan ook van. Niets gebeurt ooit precies hetzelfd.” ~Henry Ward Beecher. Daarom heeft PattyB de  kit Kaleidoscope voor jullie gemaakt. Deze volle kit met felle en levendige kleuren is perfect om allerlei veranderingen in je leven te scrappen en maakt het scrappen daarbij een vrolijk gebeuren! Kaleidoscope is momenteel in de aanbieding met een korting van 30%!

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I’ve made this quickpage for you with this wonderful kit. I hope you like it!

Ik heb deze quickpage voor jullie gemaakt met deze geweldige kit. Veel plezier ermee!

***Download***

DbyR_kaleidoscope_quickpage_preview

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Feel Better Now by Fanette Designs

Life does not always make us gifts, we must take time, enjoy every moment and breathe the air around us! Here’s what Fanette Designs wanted to express in this collection and just “feel better now.”

With a realistic kit and a traditional kit you have the best of both worlds and if you want even more you can grab the entire collection.

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I’ve created this little cluster freebie for you today, enjoy!!!

***Download***preview

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Zumba in Brussels

This weekend I had to take my mom to Brussels so she could fly home, back to the states after a month long visit ( Lost in the Schwarzwald,Saint-Mère-Église,Omaha Beach,A Final Goodbye,Goodbye Oma). We have had an amazing month together.  Losing Oma has brought us closer.  I needed her, she needed me.  We knew saying goodbye would be extra hard this time, so when she suggest a whole weekend of just us girls… of course I said yes!

We got to Brussels late Friday night and she treated Tess & I to a fabulous, gourmet dinner.  I actually have NO idea what I ate, but it was beautiful & delicious.  A fabulous start to our weekend.  We spent Saturday in Bruges (and I will skip that amazing day till this Saturday). Sunday my mom’s sisters & little cousin Zoë took the train over from Holland to spend the day with us, making it a true girls day out.

Tess & Zoë are like sisters. Zoë is an only child, and Tess the only girl.  They squealed with delight to see each other and immediately gave us “old folks” glares that they were stuck with us.  With a rapidly beating heart I gave them my blessing to go explore the Big City on their own.

I lasted almost two hours before needing to call and get them reeled back in.  Brussels is a big, bustling, overwhelming city. I wanted to be sure the girls were okay, and I wanted to pop them in some of the photo’s.

“We’ll be right there.” said Zoë, “We’re at the train station again.”  Again?  Okay.  The train station is only a 5 minute walk from the Grand Place in Brussels.  I waited 10 minutes, then 15.  The Oma’s (my mom & her sister Kitty, Zoë’s Oma) were getting nervous.  I sent a quick text:

Zooooooooooooooooooë She quickly replied with one of her own:

We’re getting FREE shirts! She texted back. And, finally, another 15 minutes later the girls finally reappeared sporting matching pink shirts.  There was a big Zumba Party in the middle of the Grand Place.  It was loud & filled with people & surround by amazing architecture & statues.  Tess & Zoë had discovered that if you participated, you got a FREE shirt!  We all love free.

So of course they’d stopped on their way back to the anxious old folks, Zumba’d for a bit & gotten their FREE shirts.  What were we on about?

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Lost in the Schwarzwald

Something you  may not know about me, but I’m hopeless with navigation. Even with a GPS on board I get lost.  I mean not lost, but edge-of-the-earth lost.  This happened last Sunday when I went to pick up my mom from the airport in Strassbourg.  She’d been to visit my sister in the south of France and flying France-to-France is a lot more convenient (no layovers) and way less expensive.  Weird because the Strassbourg airport is only an hour further than the Stuttgart airport, but I digress.

I got there in record time, no traffic on a Sunday, straight autobahn to motorway.  Boom. There. On time.  I loaded up my mom & back home we went.   Everything was smooth sailing, till right around Baden-Baden my GPS told me to leave the autobahn.  Now, she usually does that when there’s traffic ahead, and I do love the backroads through the Schwarzwald (black forest) to my house. So I got off the autobahn.

Sadly my GPS did not know that there were six million and one umleitings (detours) in Bad Herrenalb.  Umleitings that had me driving in circles.  Thankfully we had tons of time, it was a beautiful day, Bad Herrenalb is totally gorgeous, and we had no kids.  However. After driving the same circle three times I did get a wee bit frustrated.  So I decided to ignore the nice GPS lady & head in the general direction of home.

In no time I’d left civilization behind us.  We were truly in the middle of the Schwarzwald, surround by trees, cool air, a fox, some flowers and little to no road.  Occasionally we lost GPS completely, sometimes we almost lost the road completely.  After about an hour we started running into tiny white signs.  Signs so tiny I had to drive right up (almost hit the pole drive-right-up) to read them.  Luckily they read “Bad Wildbad”.  I know where Bad Wildbad is! More importantly, I know how to get home from Bad Wildbad.

We continued on tiny, almost-not-roads for another 40 minutes and then, suddenly, the forest parted and civilization appeared.  As well as a sign that we were not supposed to drive those tiny roads I’d been driving for the last couple of hours.  Ooops.

I am truly not sorry we got so lost and broke the law in the process.  We had a gorgeous, perfect, wonderful afternoon.  Getting lost is pretty awesome.

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Blending a Photo into a Background

I love the look of photographs that have been blended into a background paper.   Today let’s take a look at a few examples of this technique and then review how easy it is to do.

This layout was created by Norma, a member of my Creative Team, using Firm Foundation. I really like how Norma blended this lovely photo of her and her Dad into the background, then included the color photo in her cluster.

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In this layout, Norma placed her photo into a photo frame, and blended just the edges of the photo into her background.

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Here’s another example from Cathy, also a Team Member.  I really like how Cathy has highlighted her husband by blending his image into the paper strip below her cluster.

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Here’s how to accomplish this look:

1. Place a photo above a background paper layer.  For this tutorial, I have used 2 papers, simply because I liked the look.  Vintage Overlays Set 1, paper 3 is set at 100% opacity, and Firm Foundation Paper 19 is set at 75% opacity. My photo is the top layer.

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2.  Change the Blend Mode of your photo, selecting the effect that you like best.  I chose Screen for this photo.

(Need a quick review of what Blend Modes are? See Blend Modes – Just what are they? and How to Quickly Change Blend Modes.)

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3. Experiment with the opacity of your photo. I set mine at 81%, using the Opacity Option at the top of the Layers Panel. There’s nothing magic about that number. I just moved the slider, keeping my eye on the photo, and stopped when I was happy with what I saw.

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4. If you are happy with the results, you are done. I didn’t like the harsh lines along the edge of my photo, and I wanted a little more of the background paper design to show thru on the top and left edges of the document.

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I placed a mask on my photo and brushed away the parts of the photo I didn’t want. (Using Layer Masks in Photoshop.) Here is the result:

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That’s all there is to it!

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This weekend is our Father’s Day Sale.  Save 30% Storewide and 50% on Father’s Day Kits.  Now is a great time to pick up something on your Wish List, and try out some blending techniques!

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If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here.

When you experiment with this technique, or any technique you learn through our tutorials, we encourage you to upload your results to our Tutorial Gallery! Show off your hard work!  Please include the name of the tutorial and provide a link to it, in case some of our readers missed it!

If you would like to practice blending your own photos right away, here is a Firm Foundation Stacked Paper for you to experiment with! Maybe a photo of your Dad, Grandfather, or another male figure in your life who has has helped develop your character and personality, someone who has given you a “firm foundation” in life!

Click on the image below to download!

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Thanks for coming by! See you next week!

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LOTW June 12 -18 And the winner is …

Dannie 18 with her amazing page Destination DC. I love the photo treatment, absolutely gorgeous. The elements are so well chosen and perfect for this page and the wordart gives it a wonderful touch. So congrats Dannie 18 on winning this weeks LOTW!

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This awesome page was created with the fantastic kit Destination Anywhere by The Urban Fairy and Manu Scraps.

theStudio Preview Template

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There is always a magic about the sea, about the ocean, it is a living thing, we are always happy and we feel born again when we go to the ocean. It is my favorite place to be, where I always find my inner balance and I enjoy the most of the divine sunlight! Always the Ocean by Feli Designs was created for all your holiday and ocean-dreaming photo projects. The colors work so beautiful for all your ocean and beach photo’s. Always the Ocean is a very special ocean kit, an ocean kit that can’t be missed in your stash!
De zee heeft altijd iets magisch, de grote oceaan, het is een levend iets. We zijn altijd blij en voelen ons nieuw en fris als we naar de zee zijn geweest. Het is een favoriete plek, waar ik me altijd fijn voel en geniet van het mooie zonlicht! Always the Ocean van Feli Desgisns is gemaakt voor al je vakantie en oceaan foto’s. De kleuren zijn zo mooi en passen zo goed bij de zee. Always the Ocean is een hele speciale oceaan kit, die niet in je verzameling mag ontbreken!
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Besides the kit there are some gorgeous extras. Please take a look below:
Naast de kit zijn er een paar hele mooie extra’s. Kijk maar eens hieronder:
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Now there is a beautiful deal for you if you want to have the whole collection. The Always the Ocean – Bundle is currently on sale for 60%!
Er is een geweldige aanbieding voor jullie als je de hele collectie wilt hebben. De  Always the Ocean – Bundle is momenteel in de aanbieding met een korting van 60%!
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Here is the quickpage I made for you. Please enjoy!
Hier is de quickpage die ik voor jullie gemaakt heb. Veel plezier ermee!

***Download***

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