Musings, a Link and a New Freebie Parts

Good Monday, folks!  How’s the weather where you are?  Here, in sunny Florida, we have been having RAIN!  Lots of dark, heavy clouds, the low rumbling of far off, then, nearby thunder, with intermittent thundershowers – the kind of day where you still need the lights on.  Great napping weather!  I know!  I have been test-driving it!  LOL

Today is the first day of school for the children.  I surprised myself with tears as I watched our youngest, my granddaughter, go out the door for her very first day of ‘big’ school.  With her big brother, a fifth-grader, encouraging her, her steps to the truck to go became less and less sure as she started out.  For days now she has been so excited!  Her new outfit sat on the ready for a week now.  Her cousins even did her hair yesterday in preparation for her big debut.  This morning, with her over-sized backpack and her new look, all the excitement culminated into a definate hesitation about mid-driveway.  Suddenly, she wasn’t as sure.  Big brother urged her on enough to get her in the truck and off they went.  Mom reported to me after dropping them off that she didn’t quite want Mommy to leave her.  She has been used to a day care, where both children have gone since birth.  In that closed, little world, she fit right in.  Now, she has a bigger world to fit into.  She has her brother to guide her, though, he has just this year to guard over her, as he goes on to a Middle School next year.  I’m not really worried about her.  This was just first-day nerves.  She is a pistol!  So, I wiped my tear and went and crawled back between the sheets and listened to the rain fall until I napped.

Key-Stroke Shortcut

I’d say, let’s learn another keystroke shortcut.  This one is uber-easy!  When you want to reset the foreground colours to black and white, which are default, click on “D”.  This will put black as foreground and white as background.  Need those colours reversed?  Click “X”.  That’s all there is to it!  There are no modifier keys for these.

Did You Know…? 

Now, you might wonder when you will ever need to use just black and white.  Masks require black and white.  When you place a mask on a layer, it does nothing since it is white.  All of the image it is attached to will be visible.  Once you apply a brushstroke of black to any spot on the mask, that part of the image will become transparent.  Poof!  Invisible!  It’s hidden!  If you erroneously ‘hide’ any part, all you have to do is hit “X”, to switch white back to foreground, and brush over the spot.  Your image will become visible again!  This is where black and white, and the “X” key, come in.  I do most of my ‘erasing’ with a mask in this manner.  I do this when ‘isolating’ an element from an image.  Once I have everything ‘erased’ that I want, then, I can apply the mask.

Here is an image I whipped up that shows the layer with the mask and a brushed circle on the mask.  Note how the space under the black is invisible?  That is what masks do!

I’ve been putting together a list of places you might find enjoyable, but, will post that later this week.  I do want to tell you about one, though.  A Vegas Girl at Heart is a blog where the author relates stories of her family and her life with pictures and amusing anecdotes.  Melissa puts her spin on nice, little goodies, as well.  I like her style!  I found some cute ‘Washi Tape’ pieces recently.  She had been hinting of something really big.  BIG, BIG!   In her most recent ‘Friday Freebie’ she revealed the big surprise – an entire collection of retro elements for Project Life.  While Project Life is not her baby, so to speak, she answered the need for a set of usable elements for keeping up your own project.  Melissa has put together cards of several types, an alpha and even brushes for anyone to document their lives.  Seeing all of her goodies makes me want to participate in PL!  Maybe, one day.  Her offerings are labeled ‘Retro Project Life Kit’ and can find it here.  She has arranged everything by category for downloading – NINE, in all, I believe.  Then, she has other fine components you may purchase from her Etsy shop.  Go check it out.  What I like about this kit is the ‘retro’ look.  The style reminds me of my youth when ‘modern’ was creepy-looking.  LOL  I didn’t ever care much for those clean lines and minimal styles.  To me, it looked cold and un-home-y.  In retro-spect, I love it.  I just didn’t like it when it was new!  So, go!  See what I write about!

Finally, today Miss Edna and I have two more parts for you from our August freebie, “Vintage Garden”.  Last week we gave out the QP’s.  This week and next we give you the papers and elements for you to design your own layouts.  I gots to tell ya, this was fun!  I went way above and beyond our usual target size.  Though the downloads are around 40-50mbs each, they unpack to right at 100mbs each!  I don’t think you will mind.  But, if anyone has any problems with downloading these sizes, let me know and I will accommodate you.

Below are my previews.  The first one, the ‘elements’, will link you to Part 3 and the ‘papers’ preview will link you to Part 4.  I still separate everything by papers and elements in the preview, but, each part has an assortment of each.  Then, below that, you’ll see Miss Edna’s preview.  Click on it, if you haven’t been to her blog yet, and go collect her parts.

Part 3

Part 4

Miss Edna

There ya go!  Until next week,

Smile!

Hugs,

Su

New Blog – Finally! Freebies and Links

Hiya!  I made it!  Welcome to my new blog!  This one is mine!  LOL  I am using the WP plug-in, but, the hosting is done right here.  No more going to Minus or Box!  I am new to this concept, so, be patient with me, as you have already done.  I appreciate it!  Be sure to check out Hosting Bonanza if you would like to have your own site!  My friend, J, did all the set up for me and I couldn’t be more pleased!  I still need to transfer over my ‘resource’ pages, but, I will.  Every one of my posts from both, Blogger and WordPress, have been added to this blog, so, this one is complete!

I have lots for you today.  First off, I have been promising you some new links for good things.  I have some for you!  If you love pretty and colourful patterns, check out InkBite.  Here is quite the selection!  Here is just one of these gorgeous designs:

See what I mean?  It’s a nice site, so, do give it a click!

Next up is Animus.  There, you will find some of everything – design-wise, anyway.  At first look, it seemed that there was not that much content.  Then, when I clicked on the menu items, patterns, then, floral, in particular, it took me to a page like this:

Each of the circle previews can be clicked to see a larger preview and to download.  You can see the list of patterns offered.  It is about the same for brushes, fonts, even clip-art.  Go give it a whirl!  I think you’ll like!

This next site is one on DeviantArt, The Strawberry Tree.  This site is aimed at providing stock images for manipulations.  It has some great images!  If you do any kind of art or image-manipulating, this one is a jewel!  I’ll let you check it out.  Do follow any TOU’s, of course.

This one, e-Scape and Scrap, is for scrapping.  I had never seen it before!  There is a great selection of designers here!  I don’t know what it is about this site, but, I loved everything!  LOL  That doesn’t happen often, either.  I picked just one of the offered freebies to show you, but, there is a lot more!

See?  Check it out!

The last link today is SDWHaven.  This site is a design-oriented website which leans towards illustration.  It has been around a while.  There are some wonderful brushes, patterns, styles, etc, here.  Here is just one brush preview:

The offerings are good quality!  Give it a try, too!

Alrighty, then!  Those should keep ya busy for a little while.  Onward!

Did You Know…?

that in some versions of Photoshop, you can change the brush size and the opacity by holding down the ‘Alt’ key, then, clicking and dragging the mouse?  Click and drag right and left to change the size, up and down to change the opacity.  I know this feature is available in CS5 and CS6. I am not sure about PS Elements.  It won’t hurt to try if you have another version!  I like it as it keep my hands on the keyboard around the area where I do the most key-strokes – the lower left-hand corner of the keyboard.  To me, that is nice!  LOL   I hope someone can find this useful!

Keystroke Shortcut

For our keystroke shortcut of the week, let’s use all of our fingers!  LOL  By depressing all three modifier keys, ‘Alt’, ‘Shift’ and ‘Ctrl’, then, ‘E’, while on the top-most layer of your layers panel, it will create and place a composite image of every layer on top of them all.  This is best explained with an image.  Say you have several layers created.  You don’t want to merge them or flatten them as you may have to make some changes.  However, you really want to add an effect to the finished design.  This is where this shortcut comes in handy.  I threw together an image to illustrate this:

Looking at the Layers Palette, we see the layers we have:

Now, I want to clip a texture to the entire image, but, I don’t want to merge.  So, I hold down all three modifiers and click ‘E’.  You must be on the top-most layer to do this and get the entire image.  If you only have one layer, for some reason, you can just add a new layer, select it, then apply this feature.  There just has to be more than one layer and you have to be on the the top layer.  If there is a layer you don’t want included, just turn it off!  Easy-peasy!  Here is the Layers Palette after applying this step:

Now, I can go ahead and do whatever I want to the image and the layers aren’t affected.  It is a bit of a trick clicking on all three keys plus the ‘E’, but, it is worth it.  I use this almost every time I am on Photoshop.  I find lots of reasons I want various layers combined, yet still separate.

So, that is a gonna do it for this post!  I have a surprise for you!  Call it a ‘Welcome Gift’ if you like, but, I have some element sheets I forgot to give you from ‘Summer Fun’.  Oops! Click on each image for larger sizes, then, right-click and save!

Citrus Slices

Summer Signs

Tropical Fruits

Whew!  LOL  I hope you have found something useful here today!  I am so excited to have all of my blog together in one place!  Woo-hoo!  LOL

I am out of here!  There is another afternoon thunderstorm brewing.  I have to turn off everything.  I’m not replacing all that stuff again!  Cha-ching!(Sound of cash register)  So, until next time,

Smile Pretty!

Hugs,

Su

Final Parts “Summer Fun” Freebie

  I’m having one of those days, ya’ll, so, I am just going to post the freebie for you.

Here are the last parts for the monthly freebie, “Summer Fun”.  Click on the first preview, the elements, for Part 5 and the second preview, the papers, for Part 6.  Then, if you haven’t been to Miss Edna’s Place for her parts, click on her preview to go to her blog.

Part 5

Part 6

Miss Edna’s Place

I promise I will return real soon!  Until then,

myspace comments
Hugs,

Su

Two New Parts Posted Now for “Summer Fun” Freebie!

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Your patience will, hopefully, be rewarded!  I got my motherboard replaced by this wonderful friend, my PC guy, DirtyBegger.  He practically dropped what he was doing AND even allowed me to partial-pay for the repairs until ‘pay day’.  LOL  He is so good to me.  DB, I sure appreciate it!

DirtyBegger, for your information, has just started his own web-hosting service, well, with a fellow web dude.  They offer some extremely reasonable packages and are uber-dedicated to their work.  Their site is where I am moving to, as soon as all the mini-crisis’ lighten up!  LOL   If you are in the market for a plan, take a look at what they offer. I believe you will see they are quite comparable.  With two dudes’ heads, full of knowledge, I think they are going to be an asset to the web-design community!  The website is

HostingBonanza.com

After you click the above link to go there, at the bottom of the page, on the right side, there is a box that tells you whether they are online or not.  One of them usually is!  That is wonderful, I think!  You don’t have to jump through hoops to ask questions or comment, no waiting for someone to get back with you in most instances.  Someone is ready and available if you present them with any issues, should they arise.  It’s like walking up to a ‘window’ and having someone there to help you!  I like that!

(Disclaimer:  I received no compensation for this comment.  I have that much faith in these guys.)

I’m not going to bother ya’ll with any drivel today.  I have found some really great links for ya’ll!  But, I kinda pulled an all-nighter to get this kit out, so, they can wait.  Once I get some snooze-time, I will return and I’ll be more  sociable.  LOL

You all know the routine.  Miss Edna, she is such a doll.  She and I have been creating these kits since, at least, January 2011.  I know it is longer – the Fall of 2010(?), perhaps – I  just didn’t want to spend a bunch of time looking for dates.  LOL  We’ve been delayed before due to me and she is always so sweet about it, waiting patiently to post her parts with mine so that we continue in the same fashion, or, as close to a routine as possible.  I know she understands, as do you folks.  Some situations are just not within our control!  It is a really super feeling to know that she is so understanding!  Bless you, Edna!  I luvs ya!

Here are my two previews.  Click on the ‘elements’ for Part 3 and the ‘papers’ for part 4.  Each of the two files will contain an assortment of the elements and papers, though.  I know you folks have already been to Miss Edna’s.  But, just in case, her preview(s) are just beneath mine.  Click on them and it will take you to her blog for her two parts.

Part 3

Part 4

Miss Edna’s Previews/Blog Link

What follows is a little rant about the pc fiasco.  LOL  You don’t have to read on unless you just want to.

That little fiasco last week, with the lightening striking so close to my house, was just an inconvenient pile of crap!  LOL  It just took time.  Waiting for the Provider’s service call took a day, ordering the part, then, three or four days for shipping, and, finally, the actual repairs, another day.  Also, it takes time to set back up, getting everything up and running again.  It wasn’t a rebuild, so, the programs didn’t have to be re-installed.  However, the majority of them required a renewal of the ‘authorization’, so, that took time.  Photoshop, naturally, had to be re-authorized.   They are suspicious, little boogars!  I was only using a copy before.  Now, I own CS6 outright – thanks to my pc guy, DirtyBegger.  Still, even with everything back up and running, there are ‘things’ happening that are weird.  LOL  I’ve had some strange messages/alerts pop up.  (Things have been rather sluggish, too.  Shhhhh!  It might hear!)  I had some programs show up that I had forgotten completely.  In a way, it’s kind of like a surprise!  You never know what to expect!  LOL  It’s all good, though.  Crap happened, everything was fried, it got fixed or replaced and, wallah, I am back in ‘business’, a little worse for wear.  We always manage, eh?  Think about it.  We always have what we need, when we need it.  It may not be just what we wanted or even when we wanted it.  But, I can guarantee you, we have always gotten what we ‘need’.  That thought really comforts me.  To say I am ‘blessed’ after the past few months’ events, would seem foolish, if not for the fact that, hey, I survived!  I am alive, relatively healthy and in good spirits.  Who could ask for anything more?  LOL

Real quick, if any of you are members at PSD Tuts website, http://psd.tutsplus.com/, make sure you get over there and download as much of their Premium content as you can stuff on your hard drive.  They were hacked about a month ago, with members’ log-in/ password info being the target.  Members’ personal info was breached, so, it really angered and shook the community.  This site practically preaches internet safety.  A lot of long-time members left and/or, at least, gave them hell!  Though they took immediate steps to stop the breach and safeguard further invasion, the damage was done.  Anyone whose log-in info was in any way similar to that of their PayPal’s info, were especially urged to take preventative measures.  The admin involved claimed their responsibility and, as a consolation, ALL existing members, whether active or not, will be allowed free access until early September.  It is for approximately two months.  If you have ever registered at PSD Tuts, get on over there and start downloading!  You don’t have to do anything except log in.  Be warned, too, that, when you go to log in, you will automatically have to reset your password.  They ‘cancelled’ all previous log-in info for obvious reasons.  Your account is still there, it just needs to be updated.  When you try to log-in, you’ll see what to do.  It took all of 2 minutes – if that!

Folks, I am getting ga-ga from lack of sleep.  I so wanted to get this kit ready!  And, now, it is.  I am happy.  I sure hope you all are happy, too!

Until the next time….

So, put on your best smiles, ya’ll!

Hugs,

Su