Monday, September 04, 2006

Embroidered Alphas

I think it's time to share a new tutorial. Whaddya say?

Here goes:

I found this one off of another site ( but didn't quite like the striations it created so I played around and found a twist to it. Plus they were making monograms and that wasn't my purpose either.

Let's start with a new document set for 4x4 inches (1200x1200pixels) at 300dpi. This will give us a good size if anyone should want to increase the letter later.

1. Pick the main color of your alpha for the foreground. Then pick a shade that is darker of lighter depending on your first color. Darker color should be set for background choice. I usually eyeball it and go directly below my color choice.

2. Click Ctrl + Backspace to flood fill with your darker color.

3. Click on your text tool (T) and select an alpha with large open areas so that you can see the effect more clearly. I am using Broadway at the moment. Type your letter and resize as necessary. I have this one at 180 pt.

4. Create a new layer above your text. Click on Alt + Backspace to flood fill with your foreground lighter color.


5. Go to Filter > Render > Fibers. Set it for Variance 14.0, Strength 50.0. But feel free to play around with these until you get a setting you like.
*Note: Don't worry about the pattern going vertical right now. We're going to alter that.

6. Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur. Set it for Angle 0, Distance 5.

7. Go to Edit > Transform > Rotate 90 CW. (For PSE users it would be Image > Rotate)

8. Ctrl Click on the alpha layer while keeping the top layer activated. This will highlight your letter shape onto your top layer.

9. Click Ctrl + Shift + I (letter i) to select the inverse and then hit the Backspace key to delete everything except inside the letter shape. I like to click on Ctrl + Shift + I again to reselect the letter shape.

10. Click Ctrl + Shift + E (letter e) to merge all layers. Your letter will still have the marching ants around it. Don't deselect.

11. Click Ctrl + C, then Ctrl + N (new document in the exact size of your letter), and Ctrl + V. Now you have your embroidered letter on a transparent background to save as an individual png file.

Now you are ready to add your favorite bevelling and drop shadows. Have fun!

Action, Action, Who's Got the Action

So I tried to 'save' my action that I used to create an embroidered alpha. Figured it would save me all of the clicking and typing stuff. Unfortunately I had NO idea what I was doing. I tried looking at the steps that Atomic Cupcake uses for their chipboard action. Might as well print it in Greek, I can't read that either!!

If there ever was a kind soul in this world, they would contact me and try patiently to explain how to create an action...

Anyone? Anyone???

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Simple Scrapbook Quiz #06

1. If you were lonely, whom would you call?
Lisa. She knows all the good gossip in the family.

2. Who in your family do you really admire?
It would be a tie between Lisa and Paul. Both took in children
that were not their own and did a durn fine job of it!

3. Who is your most interesting family member?
Aunt Kate wins hands down. As the matriarch of the Linton clan
she holds a lot of keys to our past. I would love to just sit down
and ask her a bunch of questions.

4. What's one of your mom’s greatest strengths?
Calmness. That woman had the ability to remain calm while
raising five headstrong children.

5. What one quality of your dad’s would you like to have?
Funny, but I would like to do a jack knife off the diving board
like he could. It was amazing to watch!

6. Who's the funniest person in your family?
Lisa, she’s the original Wild and Crazy Sister. I can’t tell you
how often I fell victim to her antics, but I love her dearly.

7. Who's the best cook in your family?
That would be me. I have learned some skills over the years
and can create a sumptuous meal for about twenty people.
Just ask my volleyball team!

8. Which family member would you turn to first if you were in
Lisa would get that late night phone call to come bail me out.
Not that I would ever need it....

9. Who wrote or phoned you last?
Jennifer, Darrin’s wife sent pictures of Lowell Fryns.

10. Who in your family are you most like?
I am most like my mother. Her and I are more kindred spirit
than even I probably know. We have the same taste in movies.
Both avid readers and total extroverts. We can cut loose if we
want. And we share a love for travel.

My newest Craze

I am in love with the Simple Scrapbooks Shortcuts -Quizzes book. So much in fact that I actually emailed them to see if they would grant me permission to use some of the quizzes in my digital challenges at []. So far no response yet. I did use one of the quizzes they had posted on their website. Hopefully they won't come hunting me down for that!

I plan on using these a lot this year. They are so fun and quick it would be great to hear some of the responses my students will come up with. Then I can use them in my digital year in review album I am creating (or thinking about creating). Wish me luck!

Where have you been?

I have only one excuse for not being around lately. And it's spelled S-C-H-O-O-L!! Mansakes alive! This year has been a trial already. Usually there is a honeymoon period for teachers. The students don't know you yet and you aren't bothered by their little quirks yet. So everything goes smoothly. Well not this year. A lot of the teachers are saying they started the year off with issues. Lovely!
It's doubly hard on me because I lost some of my best friends to graduate school this year. Christine is off at Duke having the time of her life becoming a little lush in the process! Christina is only around three days a week and then stuck in an office on the other side of the building so I rarely bump into her. No one to just hang with and vent this year. Although Alia is quickly becoming a sounding board for all my gripes. Jennifer is also a kindred spirit in that department too, so it may just work out after all. Gotta have faith!