My New Blog is Ready! Come See!

Hi, all!  My new blog, my very own, is ready!  I have posted an awesome article there for you, so, go to:

suruha.com

Thank you for your patience!

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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

Posted in DigiScraps, Freebies | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Introducing New FreeSpirit Blog Features

With everything that has been going on, it has been a while since I wrote on the Photoshop aspect of design and creativity.  As my new domain comes into fruition, I will introduce more Photoshop-related content, especially as it applies to digi-scrapping and other digi-art.  As it is, now, I spend about half of my time with digital scrapbooking and the rest on digital art.  I like to try photo-manipulation tutorials, with an emphasis on learning techniques.  In this manner, I feel, I have learned more about this program than any other means.  At Digital Whisper I focused the challenges on a tutorial that showed how to use some PS feature or technique that, once learned, can be used for any application – not just the final image of the tutorial.  Jumping in, following the instructions(tuts), getting a first-hand knowledge of the technique, is the best way to learn anything.  With Photoshop, it is almost a requirement.

There are several key elements I want to focus on with the PS-related content.  One is just to get across to the readers more PS content for other design purposes, other than digital scrapbooking, like digi-art, web/blog design, etc.  The other thing I want is to share tips that can make any design work/play run smoother.  One can easily create an action, for instance, that automates any repetitive task we use frequently, such as image resizing or preparing a preview for the web.  You know.  Those mundane, yet, necessary tasks we spend a great deal of time doing.  There are key shortcuts one can pick up to cut down on steps to accomplish most anything!  There are issues that come up that, with awareness, can be diverted or downplayed.  For example, how many times have you tried to click on a certain menu item, only to discover it ‘greyed-out’, with no idea why.  This one is common when learning PS!

I want to introduce a feature, here, that I hope to make a regular thing – “Did you know…?”  Sometimes, I run across some neat little tid-bit of info that has the potential to help with design.  There are some I want to share and, hopefully, readers will share some of the jewels they find.  Eventually, there may be a wealth of valuable tips and ideas that will inspire anyone.  So, here is the first in what will hopefully become many.

Did You Know…?

You can open and use ‘vectors’ in Photoshop.  The ‘.ai’ and ‘.eps’ file extensions are vector images, as opposed to ‘pixel’ images.  Any time you zoom in real close to an image in PS, you can clearly see the image is made up of tine little squares – pixels.  The process is called ‘rasterization’, thus, pixel-based images are referred to as ‘rasters’.  Vectors are points, lines, curves and polygons on an algebraic grid.  Vectors exist in a mathematical space, as opposed to the more literal space that pixels exist in.  As a result, there aren’t any pixel edges or other quirks to restrict in the size of the image.  You can enlarge a pixel image and it will look horrendous.  With vectors, size is not an issue.

Having bored you with all that, when you open a vector image in PS, you will see something like this:

As the box is titled, PS has to ‘rasterize’ the vector in order for the program to be able to use it.  All you have to do is hit ‘OK’ and the image will open in raster form that you can work with.  I use this opportunity to open the image as more of what I want.  I usually work in RGB color mode, so, I go ahead and change that in the little box.

I also prefer 300ppi resolution, so, I change that here, too.

This will obviously change the image size, so, pay heed to the new size.  If it is a single image, realize how it will appear at the new size.  Is it entirely too large?  Reduce the numbers until you end up with a size that you can work with.

If, on the other hand, the image is compiled of smaller images, you may want to keep the large size.  When you have the size at an acceptable level, click ‘OK’.  Here is the outcome, the rasterized version of the vector I used.

And, here is the image all prettied up for you.  Feel free to use for PU.  Click on the image, then, right-click to save.  Thank you to CraftsmanSpace.com for this image!  If you’ve never visited them, you really should.  Check out their resources, like this free pattern I used for this post.

So, whatcha think?  Adding the ability to incorporate vectors into one’s design opens all kinds of possibilities, eh?

I’m not through with you, yet!  LOL  There’s more!  In addition to adding this new feature to my blog, I also want to implement another little pet project in here – ‘key-stroke shortcuts’.  Wait!  Before you decide they are just not for you and that you just don’t have the time, etc., read on, please.  I have a lousy memory!  My short-term memory is useless!  LOL  And, if you folks are like me, you tend to go with what you know, rather than trying to learn a whole new way of doing things.  You don’t have to!  By learning ‘key-stroke shortcuts’ my way, it is a breeze!  All I do is learn one at a time!  That’s it!

Key-Stroke Shortcut - Copy Layer

As I learn PS, there are certain things I find that I do all the time!  Ever copy a layer?  You know, create an exact duplicate of a layer just above the existing layer for whatever reason.  I do it every day.  As with many other things in PS, there are several ways of accomplishing this.  I used to go to the top menu bar, click on ‘Layer’, go to ‘Duplicate Layer’, then, when the box pops up, click ‘OK’.  Bah!  ‘Ctrl/Cmd(Mac)’+’J’.  Done!  Two keys!  In the new CS6, you can duplicate entire groups with one click of these two keys!  If you only want to copy one part of another layer, select that part with any of he ‘selection’ tools in the ‘Tools Palette’.  Then, when you hit ‘Ctrl/Cmd(Mac)’+’J’, only that part of the layer will copy.   It is so easy!

If you are a regular reader of my blog, I intend to post one ‘key-stroke shortcut’ a week or so.  By adding a new one every so often, getting accustomed to using each, soon, you’ll see a marked increase in productivity.  Try out each new key-stroke.  See how easy it is.  Open an image and play.  Familiarize yourself with typing the required keys so that it becomes automatic for you.  You know.  Take it for a spin.  Kick the tires!   By performing some action whilst learning something new, it stays in your memory far better!  Your time spent on a project will lessen with each new stroke you add to your arsenal of knowledge.  C’mon!  Give it a whirl with me!  I already have a nice little list of strokes I have learned and use all the time.  I can’t imagine going back to my old ways!  LOL  I will give you those, then, we’ll go on to learn others.

So, there it is.  This is where I plan on taking things with the new blog.  I still plan on offering the monthly freebie kit that Miss Edna and I do together each month.  Scrapbooking is a big part of my digital design life.  However, by learning to use Photoshop in new and better ways, it is adding to my experience, thus, my expertise, when it comes to creating any kind of new designs – hopefully.  I hope you like and can benefit from the new added features.  If you ever have any questions or something to add, just leave me a comment.  I will act on it asap!

An article I found online gives some of the best-known shortcuts, with images!  We’ll learn them all!

http://webdesignerwall.com/tutorials/photoshop-secret-shortcuts

Sign up for my RSS Feed, in the right side bar.  Every time I post, you’ll get an e-mail of that post!  Easy-peasy and you don’t miss a word!  LOL

Until next time…

Smile Graphics Keep Smiling Clipart

Hugs,

Su

Some content absorbed and interpretted from: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/32597/whats-the-difference-between-pixels-and-vectors/

Posted in Did You Know...?, Key-Stroke Shortcut, Photoshop | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in DigiScraps, Freebies | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Slight Delay in New Freebie Parts

Hello, all!  Just a quick post to let you know that I am running a little behind with getting this kit out to you.  Last Wednesday, lightening hit really close to my house, right here in north central Florida – the Number Two Lightening Capital of the World.  LOL  We’re second to a place in Africa!  It blew out my motherboard, the modem and the router.  Whee!  I have been getting it all taken care of and should have my pc back this evening.  I’m thinking Wednesday might be a good day to shoot for.  I want it to be nice!

So, please, do return on Wednesday for the next parts.  I so hate this!  I apologize, but, this ‘fiacso’ was a doosie!  Cha-ching!  If you know what I mean.

Thank you!

Su

PS – Over on the right in the side bar is a place you can subscribe to my feed with RSS.  If you have never used this feature, click on it and enter your e-mail info.  Then, every time I post, you’ll get that post in your inbox.  This might be better than remembering to check back.  Isn’t technology grand!?  LOL

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New Freebie: “Summer Fun”

Ah, a glorious morning here in sunny Florida!  There is something about mornings.  The birds are singing a chorus to welcome in the new day.  Dew is slowly dissipating from the grass, as the sun slowly rises.  In a few hours, old ‘Sol’ will be glaring down upon us as it bakes the earth beneath our feet.  But, up til then, everything feels so fresh and new.  Yeah!  Right!  About the only thing new about the day is getting to sleep in.  LOL  On weekends, the children are early risers, so, there is no lazing around beneath the sheets.  But, come Monday, when everyone returns to school or work, it’s quiet and peaceful.  I love this time!  I stayed in bed a mite too long this morning.  ‘Cause, now it is after noon. Sorry about that.

Things are still in the works for my website.  I know.  I know.  Anyone else would have theirs up and running by now.  The dude who handles all my PC stuff is working on it.  Some years back he was certified in Microsoft.  Obviously, things have changed.  So, he is in school now.   He and a classmate are getting this web-business up and running.  They only really lack experience.  So, I am not in any hurry just so it gives my friend time to go through and figure things out, set them up, whatever.  I figure my site is as good a place as any for him to play around with.  I know he will do me right.  He is good about that.  So, all I can tell you is that later this week he is coming over to get me tuned in and all that jazz.  Perhaps, by weeks end, the new site will be up.

As it’s late, I will go ahead and give you the new freebie and save my gab for another day. This month’s theme is “Summer Fun”.  I think the soft, pastel colors will appeal to many.  Today, Miss Edna and I give you the QP’s.  Then, for the next two Mondays, we will give you the kit parts for you to create your own layouts.  You end up with a total of twelve(12) parts between Miss Edna’s parts and mine.  So, without further adieu, here are Parts 1 and 2, together.  Click on the preview to go to Minus to download.  Then, if you haven’t been to Miss Edna’s Place yet, click on her preview to go to her blog for her two parts.

Parts 1 and 2

Miss Edna’s Place

And, that will do it!  I hope you enjoy!

Until next time,

Smile Graphic #13

Smile | Forward this Picture

Hugs!

Su

Posted in DigiScraps, Freebies | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Final Parts Freebie and Links

Greetings, All!  I hope my post today finds you in good health and good spirits.  Busy, busy, busy!  LOL  There is so much going on right now.  Changes!  I don’t handle changes very well.  I like to be in my own comfort zone and change intimidates me.  But, I manage, as does everyone.

The first big change is my new blog/site.  It’s coming along and  I could have probably posted this there.  I still am unsure of too many thing, though, to feel comfortable doing that yet.  My friend is helping me as well as a couple of dear friends online.  Every bit of help they have given has been so wonderful!  I’m one of those people who has to understand the concept of something before I get it ‘down’.  LOL  In my mind, it has to make sense.  Of course, this isn’t always possible.  There are lots of things we do that don’t make sense!  LOL  Anyway, I am working on the new site and will definitely have a notice prepared when I do get moved.

The next big change is my group, Digital Whisper.  Well, it isn’t my group, but, it is my ‘home’.  There have been some changes there, but, now, it has been decided that DW will merge with her ‘sister’ site, Creative Souls.  Creative Souls is a wonderful place!  The talent there is awesome!  DW was actually a group that was derived from CS.  Where CS is all about any kind of art, DW was more about Digital art.  By merging in together, we hope to corner the market.  LOL  Nah!  Just kidding.  But, we should have a little bit of something for all artists!

On the personal front, more changes.  I started back on treatments, ditched some excess ‘baggage’ and there have been some changes with the grandchildren.  It’s all good.  Just tedious!  When things get like this, I have to stop and tell myself, “One foot in front of the other…”  Life goes on.  It would be nice if I could just find a nice, quiet place to hide, but, it isn’t going to happen!  LOL

It has been such a long time since I posted any links for you all.  I have a list going so I thought I would share a couple here, then, I can do another post with the rest.  The first one is for one download.  The site, Vectorian, offers a mega set of vectors for a small fee.  There is also a ‘sampler’ pack and it is free.  For you Photoshop users, vectors can be used!  They will open in PS, then, as you will see when you open one, you’ll be given a chance to ‘rasterize’ it so PS can work with it.   Vectors really open up a ton of possibilities for design!  Check out the freebie here, then, if so decided, you can pick up the entire set.

Next is Brenda’s Scrap Designs.  Brenda is so talented!  Have a look at her blog and all the pretties!  What I enjoy most, though, is her ‘Styles’.  Though there isn’t a ‘search’ box, her blog only goes back to January of this year, so, it isn’t too difficult to go back through the posts to find them all.  On your way, you can see all the pretty kits and other items she makes.  I think you will be impressed!  I sure am!

One more, Background Labs.  Obviously, this site is devoted to backgrounds one can use for their sites, blogs and designs.  What I found unique about this site is their way of organizing the designs.  You can visit each page by colour or theme.  There are both the image and the ‘Pattern’ file.  The ‘.pat’ files can be used directly by loading them into the ‘Patterns’ File Manager in Photoshop.  The selection of patterns is phenomenal!  Check it out!

Finally, what you’ve patiently awaited.  I have the last two ‘parts’ of “Monkey See, Monkey Do” for you, plus, some extras that I made and didn’t put in with the other files.  In other words, I made too much – again!  LOL   If you missed previous links, they are all still available.

Click on the first preview, the ‘elements’, for Part 5, and, then, the second preview, the ‘papers’ for Part 6.  Then, if you haven’t visited Miss Edna’s Place, click on her preview to go to her blog for her two parts.

Part 5

Part 6

Miss Edna’s Place

I have put these into Minus.com so you can download them.  Each image is linked.

Circus Banners

Circus Parade

Circus Tickets

That’s a gonna do it for this month’s freebie!  I hope to be sending you an anouncement soon for my new site!  Until then,

Hugs,

Su

Posted in DigiScraps, Freebies, Links | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments