Free Envelope Printing Software

Email_clipart_envelopeA while back, I found this link to a great little software program that is free to download. It allows you to print your own envelopes onto regular paper or cardstock and fold, then seal accordingly. You can enter in precise measurements so that you have the perfect-sized envelope for homemade cards, letters, bills (gasp!) or whatever else you need an envelope for! Uses a simple 8.5" x 11" piece of paper/cardstock.

Download the software here!


Converting a color photo to black and white using the channel mixer method

Some people asked me to repost this to make it easier to find on my blog, so I am adding this post to the "Photography" and "Tutorials/projects" categories on the left so that you can refer to it as needed.

This is the "Channel Mixer" method of changing a photo from color to Black/White in Photoshop:

Open your picture in photoshop and then open a new Channel Mixer adjustment layer.

Next, check the box that says "Monochrome" (on the bottom left corner of the box) to make the picture black and white. Don't click on "ok" just yet - there are more adjustments to make!

3. Next, you are going to adjust the brightness percentages to alter the colors in the photograph. With the channel mixer controls you can accent the brightness of the different colors in the photo by adjusting their percentages. To adjust the balance of colors, click on the sliders for each color and drag them to the right or left.

For example, if you increase the blue percentage, anything in the picture that is blue  will get brighter. 

Experiment and play around with the color adjustments until you get a vivid image that you like. The big secret is to make sure that no matter what adjustments you make, all three channels should always numerically add up to 100%. This will create the best results for the photograph.

It is really easy and a fun way to convert the image! Try it and see how it goes!


Scanning and stitching a 12 x 12" layout in ten easy steps using Photoshop Elements

I had written this tutorial a while back and several people have asked me for it, so here it is for you to use:


Scanning and Stitching a 12 x 12” Layout in Ten Easy Steps

Jlyne Hanback


Have you ever been so thrilled to complete a layout and share it with friends or family, only to discover that you have no way to scan the layout on your letter-size scanner? Would you like to submit your layouts to various magazines for publication, but can’t figure out how to get a “picture” of your layout on your hard drive because the layout is too big to be scanned? This article is for you!

This tutorial will teach you how to scan and stitch your 12 x 12” layouts using Adobe Photoshop Elements software. This software is very inexpensive, and does not require a big learning curve. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Step 1: Line up the left half of your layout; face down, on your scanner surface.
  • Step 2: Scan the left side of the layout page. Scanning at 300DPI (dots per inch) is a good bet, as you can always reduce the layout size later. Save this image so that you know it is the left side.
  • Step 3: Scan the right half of your layout page, following the same guidelines as shown above. Make sure that you have one to two inches of overlapping photo so that when these images are stitched together, they will be seamless. Save this image so that you know it is the right side.
  • Step 4: Open a new file (image) in Adobe Photoshop Elements that will encompass the size of layout you are scanning; i.e. 12 x 12”. Set the resolution at least 300 DPI. Name the file layoutnamehere_final.tif.
  • Step 5: Create two new layers in your file, by selecting Layer > New > Layer.
  • Step 6. Open the left side of your layout, select the entire image, copy the image, and then paste image into the first layer of the final file which you have created.
  • Step 7: Open the right side of your layout, then repeat step 6 using the right side.
  • Step 8: Change the opacity of layer 2 to approximately 70% so that you can see where to line up the two images. Proceed to line up the images until the two halves match seamlessly.
  • Step 9: Once the halves are matched perfectly and you are happy with the merge, change the opacity of layer 2 back to 100%.
  • Step 10: Flatten the image by choosing Layer > Flatten Image, then save the image. Voila! You have scanned and stitched the layout pieces together to form one final image!

Now, you are ready to share your layout with others!

Digg!


Happy New Year and some ornaments for you!

Happy New Year to all of you! I hope that this is your best year ever! Here at the Hanback house, we celebrated at home by making tons of snacks, toasting with juice at Midnight, and throwing lots of confetti while we watched Dick Clark on TV! It is what we do every year and I wouldn't have it any other way! I have to admit, though, that when Dick Clark started speaking, my heart fell and I almost cried. It is just so strange hearing his voice the way it is, after his stroke, especially since we have all grown up watching this guy do the New Year's thing every year. I guess it is almost like a realization to me that an era is coming to an end. When he is gone, our kids will hear someone else do the Rockin' Eve. I don't know, I am strange. It just brought tears to my eyes.

I haven't really made any New Year's resolutions; I try not to do that because I feel like every day is a reason to try to be the best that I can be - I shouldn't have a specific "day" to try to decide to make positive changes, if that makes sense. I am always trying to find ways to improve myself, my relationships, my life.

Here are a couple of Christmas ornaments that I created for the December issue of BHG. I hope you like them!

Red_rubons_1

(above) This one is my favorite! I used Chatterbox grafik rub-ons and adhered a round one to the top of the glass ball, then another round rub-on from the bottom of the ball.

Pearlex

(above) For this one I used Pearl-ex inside the ball and then swirled it around, turning it upside down in an empty egg crate to let the excess drain out and to dry. Once the inside was dry, I embellished the ball with Chatterbox grafik rub-ons and a jewel.

Decoupage

(above) This one was made by punching out lots of 1/2" circles then adhering them to a glass ball ornament using Mod-Podge. Once the ball was completely covered, I gave the entire ball a good final coat of the Mod-Podge to seal. These can take some time to dry thoroughly, so let them sit (or hang) for a few days to eliminate any tackiness from the Mod-Podge. Then, I embellished the top with a ribbon, a brad, and some colored wire spirals.

Paper_strips

(above) This ornament was so simple - I just cut 1/4 inch x 6" strips of patterned Christmas paper and inserted the strips one by one into the glass ball. Once it is filled to your liking, just put the metal collar back on the top then add some ribbons. I also adhered a "Merry Christmas" button with a glue dot. See? Easy peasy!

Rolled_strips_rejoice

(above) This one would look better if I had taken the time to iron the wrinkles out of the ribbons. *ahem* Anyhow, simply cut strips of cardstock into 1" x 6" strips and roll them up tightly, then insert the rolls into the glass ball. Embellish with a rub-on and some ribbons and Voila! An ornament in maybe 2 minutes tops! The cool thing about making these is that you can color-coordinate them to match any theme, etc.

I am working on several different projects for BHG right now, but will continue to post here! I hope to share some more stuff with you soon!

And would somebody please take away this bag of pretzels I keep eating?!? Good grief, I am gonna gain a ton because I keep snacking on them!!


How to create a tiny accordion album

I had written this little how-to a while back, but thought I would repost it here since someone e-mailed me a few days ago and asked me exactly how to make one of these little accordion albums.

Creating a tiny, handmade scrap album is very simple, using materials you already have. You can decorate them in an endless amount of ways, creating a super gift idea for friends, family, and loved ones. They make wonderful gifts for any occasion, including holidays. These albums are also extremely inexpensive to make.

Start with a piece of 12 x 12” cardstock. A sturdy, kraft-colored cardstock will give excellent results. You will need to cut a strip of the cardstock into a piece that is 12” wide and 3” tall. One sheet of 12 x 12” cardstock will make four tiny albums!

Once you have cut the strip of cardstock, you will then measure 2 “ increments, and fold the cardstock every 2 inches, back and forth, accordion-style. This will give you your “pages”, as you will be decorating the front and back of this “accordion”. Using a bone folder to create the folds is strongly recommended, as you want them to be very crisp, so the album will not only look better, but also the pages will lay nicely when it is folded.

Cut a piece of chipboard into two 2” x 3” pieces. The chipboard will reinforce the front and back cover of your miniature album. Next, glue one piece onto the front of the accordion, and the other piece onto the back. You should have something that looks like this:

Minialbum1sml

Minialbum2

Inside2sml

Inside1sml

Again, this is an older album that I created a while back, but the design steps are the same for the actual album itself.  :)

Have a great Wednesday!

When the finished album is folded up, you will see the “Love” cover, and the journaling will be the back cover. Finish your album by tying a pretty ribbon or piece of twine around the whole album. This keeps it flat, and also keeps it closed. You may even want to give the album in a gift box, and it will also fit into an altered Altoids tin. You can experiment with different colors and textures of cardstocks to get the results you want.

This album will fold up flat when completed.

Now you are ready to begin decorating the pages! Keep in mind that you will want to keep lumpy embellishments to a minimum, as the album will not lay flat if the pages contain many three dimensional items.

In my example album below, I used a red, white, and black theme. (***DISCLAIMER*** I told you I wrote this a while back, so no making fun of the "old" supplies! LOL!) I adhered red cardstock and 7 Gypsies papers to the front cover, and then applied Mod Podge with a paintbrush to seal it. This adds even more strength to the front cover, and helps protect it from fingerprints. I carried the color scheme throughout the album by using more 7 Gypsies papers, KI Memories Time paper, and red cardstock. I used Adler font, and also the Making Memories date stamp. On the back cover, I printed my journaling onto white cardstock, then adhered it to a piece of red cardstock that completely covers the back, and I Mod Podged over the entire back cover to strengthen and seal.

Here is my finished album!

Cover1sml Digg!

Resizing layouts for publication - my steps!

Ok, I always get a zillion e-mails asking me how I resize my layouts for posting online or for submission purposes, so here are my steps:

To resize your images to fit most publications’ submission guidelines, please follow these instructions:

Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements

To resize your images in Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, simply follow these instructions:

Step 1: Save your original file and make a copy (File > Save As > “Filename-copy.jpg”). You will be prompted to choose image quality on a scale of 1–12, or low, medium, high, or maximum. Save your file at the highest image-quality setting, and work from this copy. If you mess up, you’ll still have your high-resolution original.

Step 2: Lower the resolution to 72 dpi. Go to Image > Image Size and change the resolution to 72 pixels.

Step 3: Reduce the image dimensions. While still in the Image Size menu, check the width and height of the image. Make sure it’s no higher or wider than six inches. Click “OK.”

Step 4: Sharpen the image. When you shrink an image, it automatically seems to become less sharp, but this can be fixed. Choose Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. Use the sliders and check the preview box to see when your image is as sharp as the full-sized version. When you’re satisfied that you’ve sharpened your image enough, hit “OK.” (Others may find that simply selecting the Sharpen filter does the trick).

Step 5: Compress the file. If done right, this will bring your image down to under 100K without changing how it looks on screen. Do another Save As, but select a lower-quality image setting. We found a middle setting of 5–6, or medium, to be sufficient, while also cutting file size by a factor of 10–20X.

Step 6: Check file size. Your file should be under 100K! If not, it’s probably very close; go back to the original, and try compressing further. Still too big? Resize the image a bit smaller.

Hope this helps!! If you have any more questions, please send them my way!  :) Have a great Friday!