I'm continuing to turn out a scrapbook page here and there, working to get my brother's share of the family photos into albums. It's a process, mostly a slow one but I figure every one I get done is a step in the right direction.
And, obviously, the design is a part of that process. The primary purpose, of course, is getting the photos preserved in a way that they can be seen and shared with at least some information about who is in them, where they were taken or what the story is behind them if it's known. I want the pages to look nice but I'm not inventing new scrapbooking trends here.
Enter the love of my life...well, other than Wayne, anyway. Perhaps I should have said my scrapbooking life. My Silhouette Cameo. It's the perfect tool for adding a little some'um some'um to a page to make it special without adding bulk. And since I control the color scheme, I can always make my design element match my layout.
I was looking for just such an element for a page with pictures of my mother as a child and young woman. Handwriting, especially a signature, is such a great connection for me, almost as personal as the photographic image of an individual so I decided to turn Mother's signature into a file I could cut on the Silhouette. Here's how to do it:
1. Scan the handwriting into a photo editing software. I use an older version of Photoshop but these instructions should work for Elements as well. I only wanted her first name so I cropped the image to remove the rest of her signature.
2. Select the eyedropper tool (it looks just like an eyedropper on the tool bar) and click on the actual writing in the image. Zoom in (CTRL + on a PC) for a better view so you can be sure you're on the line. Click Select at the top of the page and then Color Range from the drop down menu. A new dialogue box will appear. You want to move the Fuzziness slider to the right until the handwriting is nice and white against a black background. Click OK and you should see "marching ants" around the signature.
3. Great so far but what we really want is to get rid of everything but the signature. In other words, we want all the background gone. Simple enough. Click Select again and then Inverse from the drop down menu. Now the ants are marching around the outside too. Now go to Edit and click on Cut. Voila! your background should be gone.
4. You could save this now as a .png file but I found the size of the line in my image was awfully fine to take directly into Silhouette Studio. I used the brush tool and traced over the handwriting to make it bolder then clicked File then Save As and selected .png in the format box. Even then I still used the offset tool in Studio to fatten it up to cut.
5. Open your saved .png file in Studio, trace the image and cut it from the material of your choice. Here's a great video by Ali Edwards that explains that process if you haven't worked with this type of files before.
Your possibilities for designs are endless when you can save images as .pngs then cut them on the Cameo. I had a punch of a primitive heart (see, it pays never to toss scrapbook supplies!) that I punched, scanned, enlarged and cut from pattern paper for another design element on this page.
Here's the completed page:
There's no real theme to these photos except that they are of my mother so using her signature tied it all together. Throw in a couple of interesting shapes, some pretty paper and a few words and we're done. I say again, I love my Cameo!