Tutorial Tuesday (kind of) – Blog Award

Just a quick one today, folks, and yes, I realize it’s Monday 🙂 We just bought a new laptop (this computer is getting ooooold) and we’re in the process of switching everything over to the new one. WHAT A PAIN! They can make computers the size and thickness of a peice of paper, but they can’t figure out a simple way of converting files and software from one computer to another. Go figure. I’m not even going to get into the annoying new operating system that isn’t compatible with some of my software. (insert low growl here)

I had a good friend suggest teaching how to create one of those fun blog awards you see here and there. So, today I’m going to *kind of* show you how to create one! This one is UBER simple, and I’m definitely trying to create a nicer looking one to actually AWARD people, but for an example we’ll do a simple one. Here we go!

1. Open Photoshop and create a new file by clicking on File>New. Enter these dimensions (or choose your own size) Width: 1.5 inches, Height: 2 inches, Resolution: 72 pixels/inch (remember, we are making this solely for use on the Internet – no need to use a higher resolution here). Click OK

2. I changed the color of the canvas to black by making black the foreground color in the little boxes in the lower left hand corner, then choosing the paint bucket tool and clicking on the white canvas. That’s how I got to this point:
3. I wanted to create a smaller rectangle in the center of the large black one, so I first created a new layer (Layer>New) so I could move the rectangle around, then I selected the shape tool (from the tools pallete on the left) and dragged out a rectangle. I filled it the same way as above, choosing a “light tan” (think Nacho Libre – WHAT?? You’ve never seen Nacho Libre? For shame!) color, choosing the paint bucket tool and clicking on the rectangle, filling it with the light tan color.
4. I want to add a fun shape to the award, so I FIRST created a new layer (remember how? If not look at the step above) then selected the shape tool. I didn’t want another rectangle, so I looked at the top of the screen and looked for a little blob kind of shape. I clicked on it and another little window opened next to it (see where the little heart shape is on the example below?) I clicked on the little black arrow to the right of the shape (yours may be a different shape than a heart) and a drop down menu appears showing all sorts of fun shapes. I picked a crazy star burst kind of thing from the menu by clicking on it.
5. I dragged the mouse over the canvas (holding down the “shift” key to keep the shape dimensions from warping), lifting up the mouse key to finish the shape. The shape will appear on the canvas. Since you created it on a new layer, you can click on it and move it around, or click Ctrl+T to transform the shape of it to your liking. I wanted to add a little interest to it, so I added an inner shadow by clicking on Layer>Layer Style>Inner Shadow>OK. It gives the shape a fun inner shadow effect. You can play around with all of the different Layer Styles in Photoshop – you can come up with some fun stuff!
6. After that I just added some text (keep the text size small because you’re working with a low resolution) and some fun borders from a free digital scrapbooking kit.

A hint: When adding something from a digital kit, remember first to resize it to 72 pixels/inch before dragging it onto your canvas, otherwise it will be HUGE! You resize the digital scrapbooking elements by clicking on “Image>Image Size” and changing the Resolution to 72 pixels/inch. Do this BEFORE you drag it onto your canvas. When you close the element, remember NOT to save the changes (you don’t want your digital scrapbooking elements to be saved at 72 pixels/inch forever – not good for printing!) Anyway – be creative, and soon you’ll have something like this:

Remember – this is kind of plain, but I wanted to keep things simple for this tutorial. Keep an eye out for my award that will be coming soon. I want to award one or two a month to outstanding blogs.

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