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Have you ever tried Smilebox? If you do, I promise you'll be hooked immediately!

You open a design — scrapbook, slideshow, etc. and it automatically brings in your photos from iPhoto, adds music and animation and bam! you have a cool scrapbook to send to keep, send to a loved one or print.

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I am really excited to have two new designs debuting today…The Good Life scrapbook and Welcome Spring slideshow! You can check them out here.

Have a great weekend!
Nan

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Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!! I am not Irish but I AM a Celt! (My grandfather came from Cornwall, England). I feel a love for all things Irish — corned beef, beautiful bluffs overlooking the ocean and especially beer! 🙂 Ahem…

To celebrate I've put up this Ol' Irish mini-kit for only a dollar today.  It's perfect for capturing any of your St. Paddy's celebrations!

And I will leave you with this BEAUTIFUL Irish Proverb….

May those who love us love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping.

;-}

Nan

 

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I had a request to bring back some older Shmootzy alphas, so here you go! This is Shmootzy 4 (Stamped) and Shmootzy 5 (Sponged).

Have a great week!

Nan

Got some new things in my shoppe for you today, at 20% off!

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I am really excited about my new commercial use overlays — Grunge Factory Volume 2. I think when you combine these transparent overlays and/or use them in Layer masks, you can get some really cool and neat effects.

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I also have another set of Dreamy Photo Overlays for you!

I love how the very talented ladies at CatScrap have used them here….

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Have a great day!
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This week I put up two older brush sets of mine, Shmootzy Acrylic Frames and Get Creative with Paint. I have to say that the Get Creative set is a favorite of mine because I love the effect of watercolor and with 74 brush pieces the possibilities are endless. If you add Illustrator into the mix, it gets even better!

Lately, I have been enjoying creating my own illustrator brushes for doodling on my wacom tablet so I got to thinking about pulling in some of the brush strokes in my Get Creative set, into Illustrator to make watercolor brushes. I think they turned out pretty good, although dark in a few places.

Want to learn how to create your own watercolor brushes in Illustrator? Let's go! If you want to play along with this tutorial, you can grab the finished illustrator brushset here.

First, open up a Photoshop file (I did 12x12x300 dpi). Load the Get Creative Brushset by choosing Load Brushes from the brush palette.

Once you have the brushes loaded, choose some of the brush strokes from the set and on a New Layer, arrange them vertically, spacing them out from one another….

Brushes-shown

Strokesinpshop
Then save this file off as a jpg…

Save-as-jpg

Now open up Illustrator and place that jpg file into your document using File > Place

Now that the file is place into Illustrator, let's Trace & Expand our artwork. Because the watercolor strokes have such detail to them, we can't just use the default tracing options… Instead (making sure you have selected the jpg image), let's choose Object > Live Trace > Tracing Options

Tracing

This will bring up our Tracing Options dialog box. Check the box that says Preview so we can see how our options will affect the finished trace. Choose Color 16 from the drop down menu for our Preset and click Trace. This is what it will look like. It doesn't look as smooth as in Photoshop but the watercolor detail will be there. If I did it again, I may play around and try and lighten up the dark spots because when we draw with these in Illustrator some of the spots are too dark.

Afteroutline

These are traced but not expanded… click on the Expand button in the palette at the top of Illustrator.

Expand

Then UnGroup

Ungroup
Wait, we are not quite done… don't forget to select a white area on your brush (any white area), and choose >Select > Same Fill & Stroke and hit Delete. This will clear away any unwanted white areas.

Samefill

Okay, now let's create our brushes!

Select the first stroke and then from the brushes palette in Illustrator click on that little down arrow and choose New Brush

Createbrush

Choose New Art Brush and click OK

Newbrush

In the Art Brush window, make sure to name your brushes and check the following…

Setupbrushes

Proportional, flip along the vertical and horizontal axis and make sure to choose Tints and Shades from the Colorization drop down menu. This is so that when you start doodling, your strokes will be in color.

Click OK. Do this for all the brush strokes that you want.

Once you have the finished brushes, hold down your Shift key and select them all, then from the Brush palette, choose >Save Brush Library. Give your brushes a name you'll remember and put them into the Brushes folder in Illustrator. Next time you want them, they will show up in your Brush Library for easy access.

It seems a bit tedious and alot of little steps, but the in end it is worth it because you can create your own brushes that don't look like anyone elses! Get out your favorite pens, markers and brushes and get scanning! It's so much fun.

Here is a few swirls and strokes that I made with my new watercolor brushes. These are also included in the download file that accompanies this tutorial..

Finishedswirlies

ETA: Okay! So the dark parts were really bugging me! LOL! I went in and edited the brushes and instead of choosing Tints & Shades from the Colorization drop down menu, I chose just Tints and it really lightened up the overall affect. I like this softer look better, but you may like it the other way. Here is what it looks like lightened up…

 

Screen shot 2011-03-05 at 12.46.17 PM

Have a great weekend!
Nrj-blog-siggy

 

 

I'm excited to share with you some new products that I have put up today at CatScrap!

I've created some new Love Art that's perfect for home decor, creating your own canvas wall art or perhaps using for tags or cards. They'd be great for creating your own Valentine's Day greetings.

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 My Dreamy Photo Textures are one-of-a-kind 4×6 textures perfect for adding some oomph to your photos (as overlays), accents for your pages, or even areas to journal in.

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Both of these items are 20% off today at CatScrap!

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Shmootzy (another word for messy!) frames are so much fun. You can use them as frames or tuck them behind photos, use as a space for journaling or even as masks. You can combine them with other frames, artwork or masks to make some really unique frames of your own!

I'll show you how I created the frame below, by combining all 8 of my new Shmootzy Romance Frames

Nrj-shmootzyframes-600 First, open up a small workspace in Photoshop and you can either open up all the .png files that came with the Shmootzies and then drag them over onto your workspace (remember to hold down the shift key to center), OR you can load the brushset (.abr) and individually stamp them, either on their own layers or one on top of the other, rotating and resizing, until you get the effect you want.

For my combo frame, I just dragged all the .png files and then centered them, or rotated them until I had this organic and interesting looking thing below!

Screen shot 2011-01-25 at 4.42.47 PM

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Put all your layers into a group. We are going to make a cutout in the center of this graphic so you can actually use it as a frame (but if you want it as a mask you could always leave it alone or further embellish the center).

Next, make a Layer Mask for the Group. Load up some solid square brushes, grungy brushes, or paint strokes. For this example, I loaded my Polaroid Transfer Mask brushes. I picked a square brush and a solid black paint color and "stamped" in the center of my Layer Mask, where I wanted the cutout to appear.

Screen shot 2011-01-25 at 4.57.37 PM

Screen shot 2011-01-25 at 4.58.05 PM

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And that's it! Save your frame as a brush, or .png file or make more! It's fun to play around and come up with unique creations of your own!

Don't forget you can download my finished frame here.

Have a great night!

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