Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What version do you use?

It has come to my attention that I am not using the most current version of GIMP thanks to Silvia, one of my readers. Although 2.2.13 is fairly recent(this is the version I use), there is now 2.2.14 which corrects several bugs in the program. And, although I read through the list of "bugs," I didn't see anything that was affecting my scrapping so I decided to stay with 2.2.13 for now.

GIMP, however, has CONSTANT development going on and occasionally a "development" version is released for download. Right now is a current example of this. 2.3.15 and 2.3.16 are both development releases and apparently present a fairly different kind of GIMP to its users.

But for those of you who are new to GIMP, or if you are considering upgrading to the development version 2.3.16, heed this warning from gimp.org:

"GIMP 2.3 Release Notes

This is an unstable development version of the GNU Image Manipulation Program. Please realize that this is just a snapshot of the development tree. We are about halfway up the hill to GIMP 2.4, the next stable release. GIMP 2.3 is in no way a final product. A lot of new features are incomplete and some things may even be completely broken. If you need to get work done, please use the stable version, GIMP 2.2."

You can find more at http://gimp.org/release-notes/gimp-2.3.html but with that kind of warning, I don't want to upgrade yet. I haven't learned to hit the save button often enough in my digi-scrapping yet!

So, now that you know what version I use, what version do you use?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Reading not writing?

Sorry I've been a little quiet. I'm on chapter 3 of Grokking the GIMP. It is pretty heavy stuff, and after over a year of using GIMP, in it's various versions, I finally have enough GIMP experience to read it without getting completely overwhelmed. Sorry you had to read that--yes, I get overwhelmed! :D LOL! And I've been so busy hangin' out here on the blog, and reading "Grokking..." (on the web) that I haven't had much time to do any scrapping. I guess it's about time I do some, isn't it. If you want to see my meager attempts at scrapping--you all are so far beyond me!--check out my gallery here. At least this is my biggest public gallery where I have given all the credits I'm supposed to. And some of them are older pages I did, before I knew how to do drop-shadows and stuff like that. Can you tell I've learned a lot since then?

TTFN! ~Jen

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A new discovery!

Okay, I'm still working on trying to find out how to un-skew a picture, which someone asked about in the comments. BUT I have been reading "Grokking the GIMP" and found something VERY COOL that you scrappers are going to LOVE!

I don't know about you, but I just love to fine tune things when I am erasing some b/w to make a photo colorized, or erasing some of a paperclip to make it look realistic. I always want to see what it will look like when I view the whole image, so I go back and forth a lot, zooming in and out until I'm happy. Well, I found a way to not have to do that anymore!

While you have your layout open, do this: In the "View" drop down menu, click on "New View." This will open up a new window with a duplicate view of your current image (layout). Now you can zoom in on one, and not the other and do all the editing you please, close up, while watching the full sized view in the other window! Isn't that cool? I am way excited! Have fun playin' around with the new toy! :D ~Jen

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More updates?!?!?

Yeah. I just added a counter at the bottom. I really hope it works. The last one I had didn't do squat and I was really bummed, 'cause it had worked on another blog I had. So...visit a LOT and send your friends over! :D I want to feel the heat from that counter spinning! teehee!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Update to blog links

Just wanted to let you all know there are some more tutorials in the links on the right side of my blog. I updated laurarid's link so it should be good now. :D ~Jen

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A shift from Photoshop to GIMP

[Commentary]: It seems like whenever I read conversations about Photoshop I discover something that bugs me. You see, I'm a part of a great group of gals on a private, online, moms group that is all about digi-scrapping. But it seems like about 95% of them use Photoshop and they always start their digi-scrapping projects with a BLANK DOCUMENT. I'd like to take a peek at Photoshop sometime, to see if they could start a page the way I do in GIMP, but I just haven't been curious enough. [End Commentary]

If you are shifting from another software program to using GIMP, OR if you're just starting out in the digi-scrapping world and decided to use GIMP from the get-go, here's how to get a project started.

1. From your tools window, choose "File" and then "Open" from the drop-down menu.
2. Find the background paper you want to use for the major portion of your layout, select it, and then click "Open". You will now have a page that consists of one layer, your background paper, that is the same size as your background paper.

Note: most people I've run across scrap square pages and will either buy 3600 x 3600 pixel digi-papers (a 12" x 12" book), or sometimes 1800 (6") or 2400 (8") pixel square papers. If you like to scrap for an 8.5" x 11" notebook-style scrapbook, I am not familiar with the pixel dimensions for that size paper, but it would be easy to figure out. If you need more help with this please ask.

3. In your image window, from the drop-down menu, click on "File" and "Save As". Rename the file to something relevant to you, such as the topic for your scrapbook page.
4. Make sure it is going in the appropriate folder. If not, find the right folder by either clicking on the drop-down window, or click on "Browse for other Folders".
5. Now click on "Browse for File Type". Here you will change the file type (likely from a .jpg extention) TO a .xcf extention. This will allow you to save your file in the middle of working on it, close it, and come back to it another time, with all of your layers still in place. This is VERY important!
6. Now click "Save".

FYI, when you layout is complete and you have no more changes to make, save your file one more time as a .xcf. Then go back and choose "Save As" and save it as a .jpg. This will give you a file format that can be printed out for later display in your book. Then, if you want to show your page off in an online gallery, choose "Image" in the drop-down menu, then "scale image" and shrink it down to about 800 x 800 pixels. Then choose "Save As" one more time from the "File" drop-down menu, and save it with "small" added to your file name so you know it is the small version of your layout. Now you will have 3 files all virtually the same. One GIMP file, and two JPG files, one smaller than the other. :D

I hope this helps some. I really gotta go feed the kids! ~Jen

Friday, May 11, 2007

Working with templates (and a "freebie!')

I just LOVE specific requests! Especially when I know how to fill them! :D I'm going to try more of a bullet point type of instructions this time and see how that goes.

About Templates
With templates, the layout of your page is done for you. All you do is fill it in with the photos, papers and (sometimes) extra embellishments to make it uniquely yours. That being said, it may seem harder than it really is, once you try to do it. For some reason, in GIMP, the "select" feature can combine specifics of different layers to accomplish one goal. And that is necessary when using templates (apparently) in GIMP. It's the only way I've figured out how to get the job done. So... here goes:

1. In your layers dialogue, position your paper underneath the template layer you want to use.
2. Select the template layer.
3. From the drop-down menu, choose "Select" then "by color"
4. Click on the layer, in your layout. It will now have a dotted line around it that looks like it's floating a bit, or, as someone else said once, like ants marching around your selection. :D
5. Go back to your layers dialogue and choose your paper.
6. From the drop-down menu, choose "Select" then "Invert".
7. From the drop-down menu again, choose "Edit" then "cut"
8. In your layers dialogue, raise your paper layer so that it is ABOVE your template layer.
9. DONE!

Okay, now here's the freebie! It's not really a freebie, but it's something I feel worth mentioning here. When you've cropped a layer, like you just did, the "outline" of the layer remains the same size, even though the content of the layer is drastically smaller. What I do, for visual clarity, is shrink the size of the "outline" or "layer boundary" as GIMP calls it. Here's how: From the drop-down menu, click on "Layer" then "Auto-crop". Unless there is some of your layer outside of the image boundary (which I can address later if you like), your layer boundary should shrink to the new size of your layer. Also, try playing around with "Layer Boundary Size" in the "Layer"drop-down menu. It's pretty fun!

Well, that's all I have for today. I'm thrilled with the feedback I've been getting so please keep the questions and comments coming. They make my day! :~) ~Jen

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Ooooo, Drop Shadows!

When I was learning how to create drop shadows, a friend of mine said to me, "once you figure them out, you'll be addicted!" Well, she was right! And drop shadows are SO EASY!

GIMP has two ways to create drop shadows that I like. You'll find them both in the same drop-down menu: "Script-fu". I have no idea what script-fu means, but there is a lot of cool stuff in there, drop shadows being one. (Now, if you don't see the script-fu drop down menu, you've got a little bit more learning to do. I'll get to you in a later post, since I'm on a roll right here with the shadows. ;) For now, try looking at a different GIMP window to see if that helps.)

Now I'm not going to get fancy and try to include screen shots so bear with me in the descriptions and please let me know if you need more help! Click on "Script-Fu" and then go down and click on "Shadow", then click on "Drop Shadow". GIMP has already entered some numbers for you which will be the degree of shadow and darkness of shadow that will appear on your layer. Did I forget to mention you need to choose a layer you want a shadow on? Well, click cancel on the drop-shadow window and go back and do that. We'll wait for you!

So you've got your layer highlighted in the layers dialogue, and you're back on the drop-shadow option. No click..... "OK"! Wasn't that easy? Really--it's THAT easy! What you just did was create a new layer (take a peek in your layers dialogue!) that is JUST shadow. If you don't believe me, try this: see the little eye next to each layer? Click on the eye next to the layer that the shadow is behind. Now look at your layout. You should just see that shadow! Now click on the eye again and your layer will be back. Now try drop shadows on text, photos, ribbons, etc--your layouts are going to POP!

I'll go into more detail with drop-shadows in another post. I'll also show you another way to create drop shadows. For now, have fun scrapping! ~Jen

Monday, May 07, 2007

A goal for myself...

I want to set a goal for myself. Do you have any scrapping goals? I think mine is going to be to start participating in some challenges. I'm going to start with the freebie challenge over here and hopefully get over this block I have of not posting LO's on public galleries. What is YOUR current digi-scrapping goal?

Did you hear that?

There was some serious partying going on this past weekend! It was National Scrapbook Day on Saturday and some of the digi-scrapping sites were hoppin'! I hope you got in on some of the goodies they all were giving away. :D

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Did I speak too soon?

My poor baby is suffering miserably from GI problems, and I have not had ANY time whatsoever to devote to digi-scrapping for what seems like forever. So I'll just throw a few of my favorite sites out there, in case you all need a creative pick-me-up. Here's a partial list of my favorite places for FREE digi-supplies:





Most sites have newsletters to sign-up for where you can get lots of freebies, or blogs where they often will post links to freebies as well.

So, there, I wrote something. Not a tutorial, which I would like to write more of, but at least it's something to whet your appetite. :D

More later! ~Jen