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Giving Thanks Digi Mini-Album Tutorial

Today at Ella we are THRILLED (beyond thrilled, actually, but we couldn't think of a word for that -- uber-thrilled?) to have talented digital scrapbook designer Liz Tamanaha of Paislee Press as a guest blogger! Liz has created a super-quick, super-easy, super-cute project that's suitable for any level of digital skill, from non-existent to extra-sassy! Read on for more fun...

Are your favorite moments and memories scattered all over the place?

Why not gather them up and put them in a mini-album?

I know what you're thinking: Who has the time, especially around the holidays? This album is such a breeze to put together, you can complete it in a matter of hours, even in the midst of the busy holiday season. That's right! If I (a.k.a. The Slowest Scrapbooker Ever) can pull this off, YOU most definitely can, too! It's a simple mini-album with a whole lot of heart: A collection of your favorite photos of the year and why you are thankful for these moments, in three easy steps:

1. Pick 10-12 of your favorite photos from this year.

2. Jot down why you are thankful for the moment or memory that the photo depicts.

3. Put the photo and the corresponding journaling side-by-side in the album.

Your top ten moments of the year are now all gathered in one place. Mission accomplished! (For more photos of the album I created, go here.)

This is as close to an "All About Me" book as I'm ever going to get! I'm thinking of doing one of these every year around Thanksgiving time. It'll be neat a few years from now to look through this collection of thankful moments and see how things have changed (or remained the same).

To make this project even easier for you, here is the journaling template I created to make the album. (Note: The template is available as both a .png and a layered .psd file so you can customize it to your heart's content!)

If you're new to digital scrapbooking and Photoshop, never fear! Check out the tutorial below. Go grab the free journaling template and come back here to follow along as I walk you through the basics of how to create your first journaling page in Photoshop. You'll be pleasantly surprised to discover how easy and fun it is! (Note: This tutorial will work with Photoshop and most recent versions of Photoshop Elements. Don't have PSE? You can download a free trial version here!)


1. Open the Quick Page.
Open the quick page in Photoshop (File > open > navigate to where you saved paislee-iamthankful-white.png, select it, and click OPEN. Mac users: simply drag the paislee-iamthankful-white.png icon and drop it onto the Photoshop icon found on your navigation bar).

Your screen should look something like this now:

2. Add Your Text
Select your text tool.

Click on the file and drag your mouse to create your text box. Once you get the shape/size you want, release your mouse button.

Once you release your mouse, you will see a blinking line (that is your text cursor). Begin typing. Use the text tools at the top of the navigation bar to change text properties (font, size, color, etc.).

3. Customizing Text Color with the Eyedropper Function.
Here's what the page looks like so far with my journaling. It looks fine, but I think it would look better with a bit of color. I'm going to make the date and the first sentence red to match the heart. You can get exact color matches very easily in Photoshop using the eyedropper tool (this is one of my very favorite functions in Photoshop!).

HIGHLIGHT the text you want to color, then click on the Color Swatch Box at the top of the navigation bar. A color pop-up window will appear, and your mouse icon should now look like an eyedropper. Click on the heart and the color will change to red, as easy as that!

Click OK to confirm the color change. Your journal box should look something like this now. And your page is done! If this is your very first Photoshop creation, CONGRATULATIONS! There's just one last step...

4. Last Step: Saving the Layout
To save the layout, I recommend saving several versions: One as a .psd file (with the layers) so that you can go back and modify the layout, and a flattened .jpg version (a high-res file for printing, and a low-res file for posting online).

Saving the file as an editable .psd file:
FILE > SAVE AS > name of file.psd (make sure the file extension is .psd!)

Saving the layout for print:
1. Flatten your layout file: LAYERS > FLATTEN
2. Save the file as a high-resolution .jpg file: FILE > SAVE AS > name of file.jpg (quality = 10)
3. Save the file as a low-resolution .jpg file: FILE > SAVE AS > name of file.jpg (quality = 3)

For more information on saving files and file formats, check out this article in the October issue of Scrapbook Ellaments.

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