Friday, 31 July 2009

Split Bent Frame Tutorial



As promised I have knocked together a tutorial for the Split Bent's quite I have added a link for you to download it as a PDF file to use if you prefer.   I just hope you can understand it!! Lol! You'll find the link at the bottom of the post. update on the my mum. Unfortunately she developed a chest infection in the middle of the week and needed antibiotics and some steroids..but the good news is..she is starting to feel better today!!! Hurray!!!

The latest on the decorating is that I've finished the ceiling, gloss and put up a lining paper on our awful walls, so that I can paint them. Now, I just need to paint the paper and then I can get some new carpet down!!!!! All this in one week and with DH laid up with a bad back. I am really pleased that what looked like a disaster week has turned out so much more productive than I thought. It just goes to show, you never know what you can achieve...mind you it does help if you don't sleep, lol!!

Now for the tutorial!!

I use Photoshop CS2  but I am sure you can adapt it for your own software. It is quite a long tutorial and I hope that I explain it clearly, forgive me if I don’t!!

You can use it for personal or commercial use..just don't claim it as your own!!

So let’s get started!

1. Open the photograph that you want to use. Check the image size and do any cropping you want to make before we start. (I had mine at 300dpi, 9 inches x 5 inches. You can always scale it down after it’s framed, but it‘s easier to work on at this size).

2. Now open a new file 3600 x 3600, 300dpi, RGB color, Transparent and move your photograph into the new file.



3. To split the photo we need to make a template. We’re going to split the photo into 3 pieces, you could make this 2 or’s up to you, but for now we will do three bits.

Select the Rectangle Tool and make sure your colours are the default black and white. (If they’re not then press D to reset them.)


Before you draw out the rectangle, check in the top tool bar that you have selected the first icon in the group of three, the shape layer icon.


4. Check the width of your photograph, we need to draw out a rectangle over one third of the photograph. As my photo is 9 inches wide mine needs to be 3 inches wide and the height of the photo.

So starting at the left end of the photo drag out a black rectangle over a third of it. This is what it mine looks like.


And this is what your layers palette should like, showing your photo layer and a shape layer.


5. We have the first part of the template now we need to duplicate this layer twice to give us the three pieces of our template.

There are several ways you can do this, my favourite way is to make sure that the shape layer is the active layer and then right click on the layer and pick Duplicate layer from the fly out menu. 


At this point I always rename the layers for easy recognition.
So I would start at the bottom of the black shape layers that will form our template and rename  them as left, middle and right . That way I can find them quickly.

6. Now we need to position the rectangles over the photo. At the moment they are in a stack and we need them to cover the whole photo before we can use them to cut it up.

Select the right rectangle (Shape 1 copy)  and holding down the shift key move it over to the right into the middle of the photo. (Holding down the shift key whilst you drag will make sure that the layer stays inline with the other layers as you drag it).

Now select the middle rectangle (Shape 1 copy 2) and drag it to the right end of the photo. You should now have covered the whole photo with these three layer and it will no longer be visible.


7. With the left rectangle layer active right click, and pick Rasterize from the drop down menu.
(You’ll notice that this changes how the layer looks in the layer palette and you now only have one black rectangle showing.)

Repeat this for the other two rectangle layers.

8. Click on the left rectangle layer to make it active, and then hold down the CRTL key and click the layer icon this will give you marching ants around the shape.

With the marching ants still active click on the original photo layer to make that layer active.
Now press CTRL +J.
This will promote the left part of the photo only onto a new layer of it’s own without altering the original photo.
Repeat this for the other two rectangles (middle and right) so that you have three new layers each with a part of your photo.

You should now have 7 layers: 3 rectangle template layers, 3 photo layers and the original photo layer. 

Click the eye on the original photo layer to make it invisible.

This is how your layers palette should look. (Note I have renamed my layers for easy recognition)


You don’t need the black rectangles for the moment, so click the eye icon on each of their layers to make them invisible.

9. You now have your photo cut into three bits. Move the three pieces slightly apart as I have done so that you have a small gap between each piece. We need a little space for the white border we will add later.


10. Now we need to add a drop shadow to each of the photo pieces.

Double click on the left photo layer to open up the layers style palette.


Select Drop Shadow at the top of the list on the left hand side.

Above are the settings I used:
Multiply, black, opacity 75%, distance 27, spread 0, size 38.

Then click OK.

Use these settings and apply the drop shadow to the other two photo piece layers.

11. Now for the fun part!! To be able to distort and warp the photo corners and keep the shadows realistic we need to separate the shadow from the photo piece.

To do this click the left photo piece layer to make it active.

Now right click on the little down arrow head, on the far right of the layer.


This will give you a drop down menu, choose Create Layer.


You will get a message saying that some effects cannot be reproduced…just click OK.

This splits any layers styles that you have used for a layer and puts each one on it’s own individual layer.

The drop shadow will now be on it’s own layer so we can play and distort the photo piece and the shadow will stay unchanged.


You now have an extra layer with the drop shadow for the photo piece. You need to do this for the other two photo piece layers to separate their drop shadows too.
So repeat section 11 for each of the photo layers.

12. The next thing we need to do is warp the photo corners to make them look curled.

Click on the left photo layer and from the top tool bar select Edit>Transform>Warp.

This will give you a grid around the left photo piece. Drag the bottom left corner up and to the left slightly to make the corner appear curled.


Next move to the top left corner and drag it up and to the right slightly to curl it too. Have a play with this, you can bend them anyway you want, you don’t have to do exactly as I’s your choice.

When you have finished click the tick in the top tool bar to accept.

Repeat this with the other two photo pieces to curl and warp one or more of their corners.


13. Finally we need to add a white border to the photo pieces to finish them. It’s easier to merge the photo pieces and do this in one for all the photo pieces.

Hold down the CTRL key and click on each of the three photo layers to make them all active. Then press CTRL + E to merge them to form one layer.

Click on the icon in the merged layer and you will get the marching ants around the photo pieces.

14. Make a new layer just above the merged photo pieces layer and click on the new layer to make this the active layer.

Now in the top tool bar select Edit> Stroke and use the settings below, then click OK..


This will give you a new layer above the photo pieces with a white border. This is your photo edge.

You can now merge the three drop shadow layers, photo layers and white border and transfer to your layout.

Or you can save the template, shadows and white border as a psd file to use again!!!


The beauty of keeping the drop shadows separate is you can still change them to blend with any back ground you add by changing the Opacity of their layers.

So if you find the shadow too harsh for a light background then just lower the opacity or change the blend mode of this layer.

But don’t take my word for it…have a play!!

If you want to download the tutorial in PDF you'll find it here


Monday, 27 July 2009

It's Those Swine Again Causing Chaos!!!



 As promised The Split and Bent Frame...but first

 First the latest happenings in my world. Yesterday the decorating stopped....totally!! No, I didn't change my mind and decide that bare stripped walls were the "in vogue" look, but my mum has caught swine flu. Early this morning we got a call from her saying she was sick and as she has a chest problem and some heart valve problems it's quite worrying that she has got it. It meant that yesterday we had to arrange Tamiflu, antiviral medication for her and check that she had everything she needed. So, waiting in line for the medication (that took an hour!) then getting her water, juice, paracetamol, fruit, soup and making sure mum was comfortable...all took time.

I have to admit that I wasn't at all impressed with the system that has been set up to collect the takes for ever. My DH thought that I was going to get really cross with the lady who was dealing with us as she seemed really aggrieved that they had been set up as a collection point and kept complaining about how much extra work it was causing. I have to admit that I was a bit miffed with her, but I managed to stay cool.... if perhaps a little abrupt, which isn't like me at all. However, when I finally got the medication from her I made the right noises of sympathy and smoothed it over. There is no point in getting cross it just makes everyone feel bad. So, I made my peace with her.

My Mum didn't want me to go in.... just leave things on the if I would!!! If I'm going to get it then I can just as easily get it a crowded supermarket getting her shopping. I had to check she was OK and comfortable myself or I would only have worried and felt bad. It's frustrating that we can only wait now and hope she doesn't get any complications. I'm an organiser who likes to do things and I hate it when I have no control over a situation like this one!!!!! I organised her to the extreme...made sure she had inhalers, paracetamol, water..that she understood the tablets and that the phone was set up next to the bed..and so on!!! My DH thought I would never stop!! I have to admit that even I cringed when out of habit I leaned over to kiss her goodbye and only just stopped myself...that would have been silly!!

Having done all that it was late in the day before I got back and just way too late to start decorating. I will see what the morning brings and I will fit it in as I have time. Until then, my what a pretty mess I have made of the room, lol!! But needs must when the devil drives. It will be even more appreciated when it's eventually finished, lol!!

I said I had a gift for you today, and I have. It's the bent, clipped shadow frame I used in my layout of Lilly. The download is a psd file and png files plus some simple instructions on how to use it easily.

The psd is in three layers: the drop shadow layer, the template to cut the photo to shape and the white borders. the png files are the same as the above. It's easy to use, open the photo you want use and the frame files. Move them all into a new file 300dpi, 12x12.  The move the photo until you have it in the position you want and use a clipping mask to finish it and you got it!! Sound complicated? Not a bit just read the instructions that come with it and it's a breeze.

For those of you who requested a tutorial on how to make one from scratch....I will write one and post it at the end of the week for you to give it a go.

You can download the frame here

Well, I need to run now and check on my mum and my cat's not looking very well either today, need to have a closer look at him too.

Have a great day and have fun!!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

All Stuck Up

The past two days I have busy stripping. Yes, you heard me stripping!! I have been giving it all I've got and stripped to the bare sitting room that is. It's decorating for me I'm afraid and it's a LONG job!! The sitting room has wallpaper on as the walls are old and not in such great shape (a bit like me). It is a truly hideous job. The wallpaper needs to be wet before it will relinquish it's grip on the wall..but...when it's wet it's sticky and gunky and sticks to everything included!!

I worked really hard to get one clear, taking great care with the plastic sheeting to keep all the wet soggy paper bits together...but I hadn't banked on a visit from a whirlwind.. Charlie!! He got loose and shot into the sitting room and yes of course, he was so pleased to see me. I mean I had been missing for all of 2 hours. He flew over and spun around before retreating quickly at my yells. I could see that look that said "Okay...what did I do this time?" on his face. He looked indignantly at me and turned tail!

As he shot back out and into the dinning room he took wet bits of paper stuck to his paws, tail and anything else it could stick to. He really spread it around the room on his way out. Grrrr!!! He didn't stop there either, I could follow his trail down the hall and back to his bed.

But, I was soon back at work and collecting more of the yucky paper on my plastic sheet. Things were not going to badly...until the phone rang. I decided I would ignore it and call whoever it was back....but..yes, Charlie again!! He decided that he should bark and howl to let me know that I was needed on the phone. Not only that but the caller hung up and then redialed!!!! So, second time I thought it was just easier to answer it. I rushed out and into the next room and grabbed the phone only to turn around and see that someone had covered the hall again with lots of the wet nasty paper!!!

Who could have done that? "Hold on a moment can you?" I asked the caller and I filled my lungs and yelled "CHARLIE!". I was more than a little surprised when he jumped innocently out of his bed. It couldn't have been who was it? Being totally stupid it took me a minute to workout the Okay, I should have thought that my Crocs would have paper stuck to them and I really should have noticed that I was walking around with about 3 inches of it stuck to the bottoms.

So, after I had finished on the phone (and apologised to Charlie) I decided to call it a day and start again tomorrow. I think the paste fumes must have addled my brain and enough is enough for today!!

Before I started decorating I posted quite a lot of photographs of Lilly in an album on Facebook and I've started to make some layouts using them for an other album. Lilly is great to follow around and photograph...she doesn't mind a bit. In fact she has got so used to it she must think that all Grandma's come complete with cameras!! Nature, flowers and animals this little lady loves and she can never resist a pretty flower as her pictures show.

In the layout below I used a paper from a kit I've made called By the Pond and some flowers, butterflies and ivy from an other called In the Garden. I have to admit that I made them with Lilly in mind. I had great fun splitting up, bending and warping the frame too. I just love doing these.

Have a look and see if what you think. Yet an other new style I tried out!!


Spot the little frog at the bottom right of the paper...I love him!!


Lilly really does have a passion for her a bloom and the hand goes out and the nose goes down. She can't resist a sniff to see if they smell as good as they look. No flower is safe from little Miss Nosey!!



"mmm....quite nice"


"This one is looking at me"


"I know your there Grandma!"


These I took with one of her great Grandma's (my mum) hats on and plus lot of chocolate spread around her mouth!!! Charlotte loved these but would have preferred them without the chocolate, lol! But I say "au natural", so here she is "warts and all" to speak. Good enough for Ascot!!



"I can be shy"



"Well..who'd have thought my dear!!"


That's me for's so late now, but I'll be back on Monday with a little gift for you...that is if I don't get stuck to the floor!!

Have a great weekend and stay safe.

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Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Little Bits of Magic

In this world changes come at us fast and furious, sometimes they can be overwhelming. But despite the pace and uncertainty, there are so many small things in my live that ground me and make me feel that despite the is wonderful!!! They may be small and trivial but they really can change how I feel.

Small everyday miracles can lift me from the humdrum and exhaustion of the daily grind and make me think "Boy, life is good". I never cease to wonder at how the insignificant can make me feel so much look around..the world is full of ordinary, mundane daily delights!!

Have you ever watched the dawn come up, with it's gorgeous colours and fantastic light? The first pink glow that radiates slowly across the horizon as the light gradually blossoms into a cascade of colours. As the light gets stronger it floods the landscape making everything look new and bright...full of promise. It's a sight that fills me with calm and matter what the new day brings.

One of the simplest delights for me is climbing into a freshly changed bed and feeling the crisp, clean feel of the bed linen and the fresh, clean scent that lingers after's such bliss!! I snuggle down feeling pampered and spoilt...even though it was me that changed it's just that feeling of freshness and comfort that I love.

Candles always fill me with, I'm not simple minded...just in awe of the hypnotic feeling from staring into that soft flickering flame. It makes the shadows dance and the room looks so totally different, with deep dark pools hiding the corners. Now that is relaxing...the magic of the flame!

The smell of fresh coffee, baking bread, birdsong...they all are really trivial things that assault my senses and make me feel that life is good. They all work as wonderful pick-me-ups to my jaded senses, waking them up and sending glorious messages to my brain.

How many things can you think of that do the same for you? I'm sure that the list is endless, so think about what does it for you and indulge yourself just a little!! Let's face it they are not costly, you don't have to travel miles, they are there on our doorsteps....our own little bits of daily magic!!

Now, as I promised I have a little set of elements to add to the Everyone Kit. I hope you like them. Tale a look and see what you think.


Your can download them here

Have a wonderful evening and remember to watch out for your own little bits of magic!!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Inspiration and Fear

After the worries and laughter of an other busy week in life's calendar I often like to ground myself by taking a look at the garden. Life amongst the flowers goes on regardless of the ups and downs, nature rolls on uninterrupted. It's amazing how a garden can bring feelings of calm into the chaos. I love to check and see what changes have happened...which flowers are out...which have wilted away. It's full of inspiration and gives me back that sense of reality. The reassurance that life and nature go on, a never ending cycle, no matter what....good or bad.


The good news today is that our two swine flu ladies are much better. It's a nasty little virus but for most of us it's seems to be like a bad bout of seasonal flu.

I think the media hype has made us all fearful that something awful will happen if we catch it. It is horrible, but then again all flu types are something to avoid. Even so, I have to admit it made my poor heart jump when I knew it was in the family....that panic feeling was not far away. I had to change gear quickly back into sensible mode before I accelerated and changed up into panic!! I always was excitable!! It's amazing how deep breaths and sensible thinking work...if not give yourself a virtual slap on the wrist and a good talking too, lol! There's no need to panic...yet!

There is such a thing as knowing too much, or perhaps I mean knowing more than we need to know. We can end up feeling like we're watching water flood over a plain and seeing it slowly coming towards us with no way out.....I think the swine flu issue is one of these. Plus we always fear the unknown...well, I do. It's a bit like waiting to go into labour with your first know what will happen but not how it will feel. So we always imagine the worst.

So how do you get the balance right between information and planting the seeds of terror in peoples minds? That's the hard one, perhaps situations like this always cause panic? I have to admit that I don't know the answer...what I do know is it's not nice but most people have nothing to feel terrified about. It like everything else...will pass and life for most of us will continue on little changed.

Okay, enough of my homegrown philosophy, lol!! Below you'll find the download link for the rest of the Everyone Papers. I have left this one as one download and not split it, I hope that works for everyone...any problems let me know. If you missed Part 1, then scroll down to yesterdays post and collect them.


You can download the rest of the papers here

Have a wonderful weekend and check back for the Elements to complete the kit!!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Where Will I Start?

This is a long one...hopefully you'll indulge me!

This week has been a whirlpool of events, full of surprises and a few shocks thrown in for good measure. But all in's been manic busy!! A bit like living in a washing machine on the spin cycle.

Sunday was a family lunch as my Aunt is visiting from Scotland. She's my mum's youngest sister and is only three years older than me. It was lovely to have everyone around the table and the chatting went on for hours afterwards with all the catching up we had to do. I cooked like I was feeding the 5,000 and then some and then I chattered on like I was the 5,000. When I get in full swing I really am a motor mouth, lol.The bad part of the day was that DH's bad back started again and the poor man was so uncomfortable even with the pain tablets. He looked like he was 100, he was so bent up. Plus my youngest son was going on holiday early Monday morning so there was lots of packing to do on that front, I didn't want him forgetting his shorts and socks again!! All in all...a busy, busy day.

Monday was a shock day....Charlotte was diagnosed as having swine flu. She felt so rough and she had no energy at all...just pains and aches and a high temperature...all the non-fun things in life. Then the thoughts start running to "Will Ali and Lilly get it?" far they are both okay. Lilly did have a temperature on Tuesday but she seems fine at the moment, so fingers crossed they escape it. the evening my mum called to say my Aunt had been taken sick.....and yes it looked like swine flu...aah!! She had a high temperature, headache, vomiting...need I go on. She too had taken to her bed.

Tuesday dawned and there were two sick ladies in the family, both spent the day in bed feeling pretty rough and DH was still doubled up with the bad back. But life continues and things have to get waits for no man...or woman come to that.

Wednesday was much of the same, plus I had started re-grouting the bathroom. I always was a glutton for punishment with a whacky sense of timing! I spent most of the time scrapping out grout and sealant with a large hooked thing...don't know what it's called, but it hurts if you stab it in your fingers!! By evening I was a heap on the energy and just longing for my bed. I didn't even get my Entrecard drops done...not enough energy left. The good news was that my aunt was feeling better after a second day in bed. A really positive note to end the day on.

Today, Thursday, Charlotte saw the doctor as the swine flu has really irritated her neuroglical problems, plus she needed some more B12 shots and some iron. She is really in the wars!! But ...her swine flu does seem to be getting slowly there was some good news on that front.

The highlight of the day was Lunch with my mum and two of her sisters and their was hilarious!!! We went to the pub restaurant that my eldest son and DIL run in Milford. It was not their lucky day as our seriously strange but lovely family descended on the place, lol! The conversations ranged from debates over childhood days, to some rather riskque items!! But I can honestly say that I have not laughed so much for a long fact I almost choked several times listening to these ladies chatter. Crossed conversations and threads added to the Mad Hatters Tea Party was tremendous and had a wonderfully excentric feel to the whole event. We Brits do excentric so well lol!!

So...that's my week so far in brief!! We're not the healthiest family at the moment.....but we really are funny when we get's true!!

Now, on the design front I have been working on a kit that I thought I would share earlier in the week...before life carried me away!

I wanted a kit that could be used for males or no ribbons and bows or pretty flowers in this one! I really find layouts with men and boys are so challenge to find the right papers and elements. The tendancy is to design darker kits for men and often they don't fit with my taste. Plus I wanted it to be a kit that would work for everyone...hence the name.

I'm not sure if it worked but have a look at the papers and see what you think. There preview shows 10 of the 12 papers included. I have split the download over two days, today and tomorrow, as the files are so large.



If you like them you can download the first of the papers in two downloads

here and here 

(Sorry it's so large I had to break it up!)

See you tomorrow with the second part of the papers.

Now I'm off to get my feet up. I think I've earned a break for a few hours, lol!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Photos Everywhere

It's been too long since I last sat down for a serious scrapping session..the result is a huge stock pile of photographs waiting to be added to the albums. So, I gave myself a shake and got stuck in.

One of the age I made was inspired by Sammy D's July Element Challenge over at Scrappin Digi Kreations. She has a kite as the element and I just had to have it for one of Lilly's pages.

Here's the page I made.



I love it...but then I am so biased, lol!!! I made it into a quick page if anyone would like it. I couldn't include the kite though as that is Sammy D's...but if you would like it drop by SDK and check out the July Element Challenge you can download it there.



You can download the quick page here


On the subject of layouts...Linda sent me a copy of a gorgeous page she had made using My Little Garden. Linda's layout and quick pages are always beautiful and this one is no's so cute!! Thanks for sharing it Linda!! Drop by Linda's Lot and checkout some of the terrific freebies that she makes as well as her admire her awesome layouts!!


Credits: My Little Garden by Cens Stuff


And finally before I go...the June edition of the AFX Files is out...yes..I know it's July!! Lol! But seriously don't miss out on the wonderful tutorials and the beautiful gifts for your scrapbook pages. I've got a little tut in there myself, an other little tip really rather than a full blown tutorial...short and sweet!!

Click on the image to go to the AFX blog and download it.



Happy reading!! Have a great weekend and see you soon.


Wednesday, 8 July 2009


Have you every had one of those days/weeks. If so you'll understand where I'm coming from. I am surprised that I am not bald...I have been pulling my hair out today and the last few days, with my emails!!!! I send them and they show sent...but....they don't arrive at their destination. So my question is...which cookie monster is chomping my emails? I know it's out there just gobbling them up so show yourself and explain.

To make it worse, I tried to leave comments on several blogs today and now Blogger has joined the ban on me. It just comes up with an error code and won't post the comment. Of course it only does it after I have typed my comment...sometimes I just hate technology,lol!!

Tell me, am I suddenly persona non grata, or literally "an unwelcome person"? What did I do....or perhaps it's something I said? I have been wracking my brains for some recent misdemeanour, like shouting at my PC (yes, I have been know to do it), but I can't think of a thing.

Even Charlie is not having anything to do with me today. I committed the cardinal sin...I fed Tigger first!! Now, he'll not eat his dare I feed that pesky cat before him!! So for the rest of the day I am going to keep a low profile before I get anything else wrong. Perhaps if I grovel a bit to Charlie he'll relent and at least stop looking at me with such a reproachful glare.

The good news, well for me anyway, is that I bought some new pens and had a doodle. Pens are funny things..not all doodle well, these are really great to play with. So I decided to share some of them with you. They can be used as plain doodles or you can dress them up a bit. I've included a ladybug, an ant, a butterfly, a snail and a caterpillar. The drop shadows are just for the preview.There is a basic doodle and a dressed up one of each. Personal and Commercial Use are both OK.  Enjoy!


You can download the Doodle Bugs here

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Move it!!

What is it about breaks that makes you so tired afterwards? I think it must be all that makes it harder to shift back into top gear and start speeding up again. Anyway, to add to it, we have got some sun!! Really...sun, warm, hot, bright sun!!

It's not often that we get it hot here in UK, but it has been hot this week and I love it. But it is so tempting to just put off work and enjoy it. I know I shouldn't...but the little devil in me says "Oh go on, just for a while". I can almost feel the little horns poking out but still I sit a while or wander around the garden and check the flowers. I'm bad!! But....the solution is at is due to rain tomorrow and the temperature will it will be no more excuses and back to work. I mean who likes wandering around in the rain? Well, actually....I do!! But..I won't!!

I mentioned that I had visited Bruges again this trip and spent an other lovely day wandering around it's old streets and canals. It's not called the Venice of the North for nothing, it is full of bridges and calming water, with some superb buildings. Take a look.


The Rosary Dock (Rozenhoedkaal) and the Belfry.bruge_canels_02

The squares are full of cafes with menus in English, Flemish and French, really tourist friendly.


What more could you want than shops full of Belgian chocolates and lace?



For the romantic there is the opportunity to ride around the town in a horse drawn a price!!


Okay, you have suffered my holiday snaps and now I have something for you. Just a small gift to add to the My Little Garden Kit, an alpha. I don't do many alphas but I made this one to use myself and so I thought I would share it with the rest of the kit. It has upper and lower case letters, plus 3 letter frames that you can use with the capital letters if you want...I did..


You can download the Alpha here


Have a great day/evening and I hope that the sun is shining on you where ever you are.