Saturday, March 29, 2008

Quickmask tutorial

In so many ways I am only a beginner when it comes to what the GIMP can do. I really want to learn more to make my scrapbook projects really look special. So, in my searchings, I have found a tutorial that is really simple and will give your photo a really cool look! The tutorial was written for an older version of the GIMP, so if you have any problems with it, let me know and I'll be happy to help.

Happy Scrapping! ~Jen

Friday, March 28, 2008

Try THIS on for size!

Did you know that you can adjust the size of your draw/erase tool? No, you don't have to CHOOSE a different size. You can actually ADJUST the size of the one you are currently using!

(I was just reading a review of the GIMP vs. Adobe Photoshop and the reviewer was not impressed with the GIMP's capabilities. The reviewer admittedly said that s/he had not tried the newest version (2.4) yet, so s/he will certainly be in for a surprise when they see this! )

It is so freeing! It's the "scale" slider in the toolbox and it is especially nice when you are trying to fade photos into the background for a hazy, misty effect. Check it out! It's in the toolbox when you choose one of the drawing tools or the erase tool. Oh, and try the opacity tool there, too, while you're at it.

Happy scrapping! ~Jen

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Did you know that GIMP is FREE?!?

I was talking to my cousin yesterday about this blog and the fact that I have this blog to brag about the great things that the GIMP can do. And the fact that it's free means you don't have to spend a lot of money to start digital scrapbooking. The GIMP is FREE! Yes, you read that right. And you can download it to your computer right now if you want to.

The GIMP is available for Windows, Macintosh and Linux.

I hope this is not new information for any of you, but in case it is, let me know in the comments! I'm always happy to help people who are just starting out with the GIMP.

Happy Scrapping! ~Jen

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Do you hybrid scrap?

My cousin and I have a hybrid relationship when it comes to scrapbooking. She scraps paper; I scrap digi. And the crazy thing is we each LOVE our respective method and respect the other's preference. It's fun to see what she comes up with that I could NEVER do with digital--like little flaps that open! So amazing.

I turned my back on paper scrapping a long time ago and have never looked back. All the paper and scraps everywhere just was too overwhelming and I had no place to stash it all that was anything CLOSE to organized. (Keep an eye open here for a post on organizing your digi-stash.) Do any of YOU paper scrap? Or hybrid scrap? I would love to hear about your experiences!

Happy scrapping! ~Jen

Monday, March 24, 2008

Let's get CREATIVE!

Do you ever wonder where the designers come up with their fabulous color schemes? Some of them are just beautiful, aren't they? I love what they come up with! Well, in your moment of inspiration, try out this little trick:

Open a random photo in the GIMP. Click on Colors-->Info-->Smooth Palette. Choose the default size for now and click "Ok". Now you have a color palette based on the colors in the photo. There's lots of colors to choose from, of course, but you could simplify your selection by choosing the ones you like best. Pick at least 4-6 to get a good variety. Now go create some new papers or elements with those colors--the possibilities are endless! You can also recolor ones that you already have, but be sure to follow the terms of use and give proper credit to the original artist

Happy Scrapping! ~Jen

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A discussion about sketches

First I'll start with some questions: What do you like about sketches? Do you use them? Do you stick to them closely or do you tend to get creative and veer off a little? HOW do you use sketches? Do you just use them for ideas and then create your own LO? Or do you blow them up to full size and use them as a sort-of "template"?

There are a couple of websites I have rediscovered that made me wonder about this tool. You can see them here and here. In these websites they use the term "maps" instead of "sketches". Do you consider these the same? From what I can tell, they are. There are also sketches you can purchase--seemingly everywhere! As a GIMP user you are probably trying to be thrifty like me. Is buying something like a sketch a necessary part of your digi-scrapping routine?

Sketches, or maps, are basically LO ideas in shades of grey with journaling and title positioning ideas that are created to help you get started on your own LO. They are 1(one) layer only. These can be very simple to use in the GIMP because there is no need for converting anything. Just open up the sketch in an image window to have it as a reference, then start building your LO in a separate image window.

More in my next post. Now find a sketch and get scrapping! I would love to see what you all are doing, too! Happy Scrapping! ~Jen

Sunday, March 16, 2008

For posterity...

I decided to sign up for the Scrapbooking Top 50 group today and my rank doesn't even fit on the little image they gave me! So sad... I'm #4506. Give me some love and tell others out there about me so I can improve my ranking--I KNOW I can get in under 1000 if we all spread the word. Pretty please?

Happy Scrapping!

Monday, March 10, 2008

GIMP tour Part 2

Okay, let's pick up where we left off. Open the GIMP and then close any extra windows that might pop up, leaving only the toolbox open. Click on "File", then "Preferences." Now, I have GIMP 2.4 for Linux so yours may be different, but some defaults did not translate to the new version for me. First is the Toolbox appearance. Go down to the Toolbox option in your preferences window. Here you can select or unselect information you want displayed in your toolbox, such as foreground/background colors, active brush, pattern, gradient, etc. Not a HUGE deal, but one that I am going to change so it suits me better.

Next is Default Image. If you create a lot of elements or papers, you may want to adjust the default image size. Keep in mind that the bigger you make it, the more memory the GIMP will use--in fact, the GIMP has actually told me I am using too much memory in the past and I have learned this the hard way. :-)

Default grid is something that is very important to me and I was happy when I discovered how to change it. When you are trying to align photos or squares of any kind, using the grid can be an amazingly big help! My preference for grid default is a solid line style with 100 pixel spacing. Set what you think you want here, and then try it out. You can always change it from your image window, or come back here and change the default.

Appearance, under Image Windows, may or may not be important to you. The defaults that I have seem to be enough. I might change them on a case by case basis in the image window but you can decide what is best for you. I would suggest changing the settings in the image window to see what you like, before changing them in the defaults.

In the Display settings, you can change what the canvas looks like when your image is transparent. You can change the size and style of the checkerboard you see. You can also select your monitor resolution here, but I just let the GIMP do that for me.

That's all we're going to get to today. Hope that tides you over 'til next time!

Happy Scrapping! ~Jen

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Get Your Party On!

I just heard from a friend that there's a blog PARTY goin' on! Come join the party! We're going to party about the GIMP and all it means to us girlies when it comes to our digi-scrapping passion!

Here's a great link to some lovin' about the GIMP. What have YOU got to say about the GIMP? Tell me the good and the bad, because we can make it better if we let the programmers know. Leave a note in the comments--please! I need some comments!

Happy Scrapping!

Monday, March 03, 2008

What annoys you about the GIMP?

I decided I'm going to spend a few posts talking about preferences set-up. I want my GIMP personalized--don't you?? Well, you can do it--to an extent--and I want you to learn how to do it, too.
First of all, open the GIMP. (If your layers dialogue opens, go ahead and close it because we aren't going to do a LO right now.) Now toodle around the menus in the toolbox. There's a LOT of stuff in there that I never used to use--in fact, I didn't even know it was there! But now that you've glanced around, let me give you a tour!
First, left-click on the little GIMP guy in the top left corner. He's above the "File" drop down button. The first option is "Advanced." Choose "Advanced" and then choose the first option "Keep above others". When I do this it will allow me to look at the tool box while I am typing this blog, AND always have the toolbox visible while I am working on a LO. This is nice for me because I always seem to need it when it is buried! Ugh. Now it won't be buried anymore! To turn it off, go back to the same button and click it again. It appears that I will have to reset this feature every time I open GIMP. However, as we explore more menus and more options, this might change.

You could also select "Keep below others" if you prefer using the "tools" dropdown menu on the image (or LO) window.

NOTE: DO NOT click on "no border" or "full screen". They are annoying, at least to me, and seem to have no useful purpose in the realm of digi-scrapping.

I think that's all I'm going to cover in the "Advanced" section.

Now click on the GIMP guy again. Go down to "shade". If you REALLY don't like looking at the toolbox, and selecting "Keep below others" is not enough for you, you could use the "shade" feature. This treats the toolbox window like a window shade. You reverse the feature by de-selecting it.

ANOTHER NOTE: Closing the toolbox will shut down GIMP.

Okay, that is all we will be doing with the GIMP guy. And if all of that was confusing to you or did not make sense or you could not find any of it, do not dispair. GIMP runs on different operating systems, and yours just might be different than mine.
Now to the "File" drop down menu. There are several options here, as I'm sure you have noticed before. Here's the list I see: New, Open, Open location, Open recent, Acquire, Preferences, Keyboard shortcuts, Units, Dialogs, Close all, Quit.

"New" gives you a window to create a new, blank image. You can decide the size manually, or use a template. In digital scrapbooking, I find that I never use this feature. It may be useful if you find yourself creating your own blinkie, digi-elements or digi-paper, however.

Next is Open. Open takes you to a window where you can open any file on your hard drive, disc or memory card. Choosing this option limits you to opening the file in the size that it already is. For instance, I scrap in 12" x 12" or 3600 x 3600 pixels, with 300 dpi. If I open a file with these dimentions, my resulting image (or LO) will be those dimentions. So, I always open my background paper first when I do a LO. More on this later.

Next we will skip to "Open recent." When you click on this it will give you a list and tiny thumbnails of your recent files, whether they be photos, LO's or anything else you might have opened. If you want to dock this list for frequent reference, you can click on the very bottom item which is a folder of your recently opened history.

I think I'm gonna stop there now. I know we haven't gotten to many "preferences" yet, but we will so hang in there. I have to get some laundry started and go pick up my son at preschool. A mother's work is never done ya know! :D

Happy Scrapping! ~Jen

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Just found a new tutorial site!

I just found out about a website dedicated to software tutorials and they have GIMP! I glanced at one tut about editing a photo and it looked really good! Can't wait to try it out.

Here's the website: You'll also find it in my sidebar very soon! ~Jen