Monday, September 23, 2013

Free Printable: Latter-Day Prophets!

Some of you may have seen this little print when I had it available in my Etsy shop last year. I no longer sell it so I decided to make it available for download! With General Conference right around the corner, I thought it might be fun to add to any activities you have your kids do for Conference. (Bingo, etc.) It's availble at Scribd for free as a PDF. Enjoy!

2013 October GC

I am so excited for General Conference. I just wanted to remind everyone that it's super soon and to get excited with me! Now, my little graphic isn't entirely accurate. The General Relief Society Broadcast (which only happens in October) is actually this weekend on Saturday at 6:00 pm. I haven't made it to one of these in a couple of years, so I'm excited to go.

Click here for the times for the general sessions!

Have a fantastic week everyone! I'm hoping to get a cute Halloween printable up this week, also, but until then...!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

After Midnight Again

I couldn't bring myself to write clock the way Parley really pronounces it.

The Hatch family is doing well. We're all feeling extremely blessed as of late. I'm particularly excited that the holidays are just around the corner. I've been too busy filling virtual shopping carts with faux cobwebs and creepy cloth to keep up with my blog. 

But in all seriousness, I have been busy. And busy is a blessing. (Especially right after beginning trimester three of pregnancy number two.) I wish I could show you some of the artwork I have been busy creating, but that will have to wait for now. I'll be sure to have some stuff up on the blog in the next week or so since the holidays really are so soon. I'm thinking more printables and such, but we'll see. I also have a few tutorials in mind for little sewing projects I have planned.

I've been reading Not My Will, but Thine by Neal A. Maxwell in my spare time and it has been really nice. The way the book is written is really so modern and quite refreshing. And of course, the content is a good, uplifting boost of "Fear not; God loves you a lot a lot a lot a lot". Which is something we all need to be reminded occasionally, right?

Until next time! (I'm going to sleep. Why do I do this to myself...)

SHAMELESS PLUG: There's still time to get the early bird special for my Custom Christmas Cards! They're super fun this year and I've already had several orders! Click here to find out more!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Craft Inpiration - Paper Source Glasses

I received the latest Paper Source catalogue this morning. I haven't ordered anything from them in a while, but this catalogue is such a great source of inspiration that I usually carry them around my house for a few weeks. As I was flipping through it today the owl glasses caught my eye.

Now, let me say that last night, I stayed up too late finishing another clipart set for my shop. This time featuring a parliament of particularly goofy looking owls. So, I already have owls on the brain.

Well, naturally, I thought to myself "How can I get MY owls on a glass like that!?" I would love to have my own set of quirky owl glasses, but I'd love to use my own artwork. So, I think one of these days I might have to give some glass paint a try and do some spiffing up of thrift or dollar store glasses. Martha Stewart has a fancy line of glass paints which come in a variety of colors an finishes, but like most of her craft stuff they are quite pricey. Does anyone have any experience with glass paints? I'd love to hear what you think.

I just might have to do a tutorial on this in the next couple of months if I ever get around to trying it myself.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tutorial: Customizing PNG Clipart - A Photoshop How-To

There is a lot of really great clipart out there for free or can be purchased! I even have some in my own Etsy Shop! My own clipart is designed to be easy to customize. I do provide several different color options for each element in my premade clipart packs, but I know that for me personally, I would like to have the freedom to make purchased clipart work for ANY project I might have in the future. This is why I decided to include the transparent .PNG lineart in my clipart packs. Check this out:

The thing that is really exciting about having the lineart files with no background is that it gives you a lot of freedom. You can easily fill the lines in with any color of your choice and even change the color of the lineart itself. This makes it easy to get a perfectly matching bow for your cute blog graphic, invitation, etc. 

I'm going to show you my favorite ways to do this in Photoshop and then I will make a separate post for using GIMP for anyone who doesn't own Photoshop. :)

I am using Photoshop CS3 for this tutorial, but this technique should work for any version of PS you may currently be using.

We'll start with the clipart element you'd like to customize.

(I added a white background layer to make the bow easier to see.) First I'll show you how I add color to my lineart.

I always keep my lineart and colors on separate layers. Create a layer below the layer your lineart is on and call it "color". (Or whatever you want. Some of my layer names get kind of crazy when I've got more than 20.)

Now, I actually fill color in like a coloring book with my tablet and neatly color inside the lines, but since I know most of you probably don't have tablets, I'll show you how I did in my pre-tablet days. Select the Polygonal Lasso Tool from the toolbar. The hotkey for this is "L". If your lasso button looks different, simply right click on the button and select the Polygonal one from the drop-down menu.

Trace the linart (around the outside edge) with the Polygonal Lasso Tool. I did mine in two sections, but you can trace the whole thing at once. 

Once you have made your selection, select the Paint Bucket Tool from the toolbar. I think the default for this button is the Gradient Tool, so you will have to right click on the button to have the option of using the Paint Bucket Tool. Click inside your selection with the Paint Bucket Tool and VIOLA! A newly colored clipart.

And if you can imagine in, coloring the lineart is even easier. Make sure your lineart layer is selected. 

Now, for one of my very favorite (and most used) tools in Photoshop.

You see that teeny tiny checkered box in the layers window? That is the "Lock Transparent Pixels" button and it's seriously one of the most important tools I use for creating digital art. What this will do is make it so that the only thing you can make changes to on this layer are pixels which are NOT transparent. So, since my lineart is the only thing drawn on this layer, the lineart is the only thing which can be altered. So, I dare you to click on it. 

Once you have clicked that button to activate the "Lock Transparent Pixels" all you have to do is fill your layer with your desired color. I use the hotkey "Shift + Backspace" (Foreground Color, Normal, 100%) to fill, but the clicking on the lineart with the Paint Bucket Tool works, too. 

If you look at the clipart pack that this bow comes in, you may notice that I combine both these techniques for a softer look. I love using colored lineart in my artwork and you'll see it in almost everything I do, even my big, complicated illustrations.

Now, go. Use your new Photoshop knowledge and make something fabulous.