Thursday, June 28, 2012

Photoshop Elements: Collages&Clipping Masks

Hey everyone! As you all know, I've teamed up with Adobe Photoshop Elements and this is one of the first tutorials I'll be posting. I'm really looking forward to sharing what I've learned in this program and how I apply it to my own blogging routine. I'm constantly striving to tell a good story on Selective Potential between outfit posts, the adventures I go on, the trips I take and other random tidbits about my life. I found creating collages really helps to tell a story. Readers get a sneak peek into what I'm seeing without having to stroll through an entire album of photos. So today, I'm going to show you how to create a photo collage in Photoshop Elements! 

In order to create a good collage that tells a story, you need to have an interesting variety of photos. Think small... and think variety. Scenic views, signs, details of your outfit, unique things you saw, textures and things you want to show, but may not want to post a full size image of. Try some far away and some closeup shots and combining the two. A good mix of photos will give you a leg up on creating a great collage.

After you've snapped some photos and you're ready to make your collage, go ahead and open up your Adobe Photoshop Elements program. Create a new blank file at any size you'd like. Start by creating shapes. This is where you can get really creative. Typically I stick to the clean, grid lines but you can do anything you want here. Draw your shapes out and they will automatically be on separate layers like you're seeing in my right sidebar here.

Once you have a good, working grid... go ahead and place your photo, using File > Place. Make sure your photo layer is above the shape you're looking to fill. Once your photo is placed, go to Layer > Create Clipping Mask. It will automatically transform to the shape you created. Then you can move your photo layer to position it perfectly within your grid. Once you're happy with that result, repeat that step however many times to fill your grid. Just make sure your photo layer is above the shape layer, and create your clipping mask. SO easy!

And the finished result? An amazing, interesting collage that not only tells a great story... but adds life to your photos on your blog! Plus, you can showcase so many more photos than you would if you didn't create a collage. It's really inspired me to take more photos and try to tell better stories!

And while I'm on the topic of clipping masks and you guys are so great at using them and creating collages... I thought I'd sneak in one more tiny trick. You don't have to stick to square shapes! You can create circle collages, heart collages or just use one giant heart to create a fun and interesting photo! Photoshop Elements has several shapes for you to choose from... just choose custom shape from your toolbar and select from the several they have available!
The steps are basically the same as creating your collage. Draw out your shape using the shape tool.

Then place your photo above your shape layer! And position/size it to make sure it covers the entire shape.

Then go to Layer > Create Clipping Mask! And you have a super fun heart-shaped photo. Typically with these types of photos, I don't like to have the white background. So just click on your background layer and hit the delete bottom at the bottom of your layers. Then you'll have a transparent background. When saving your image out, just be sure to select ".png" as your file type! This way you can add it to a fun texture on a website or whatever. Have fun!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Closed: Flapper Girl Giveaway!

Closed Tuesday, July 10!

This week's giveaway is from Flapper Girl!
She is offering one of my lucky readers a $35 store credit.

To enter, you must:
1) Name your favorite item from her Etsy shop

Bonus entries!
1) Like her on Facebook
2) Follow her on Pinterest
(Please leave additional comments for each)

This giveaway is open to U.S. and international readers.

Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, July 3rd at 9 PM EST.

The winner of the Velanch giveaway is...
#75 // Gothicrise

Sunlit fields

Gosh, it really is summer! I love that I can wear a different dress everyday and not have to do anything else to look put together. I never realized how many dresses I have that work best without tights, cardigans or anything else. They just work on their own. Summer is a busy enough time as it is, let alone to rack your brain styling up outfits! I read an interview I did after last summer about how I felt guilty running a style blog and just posting pictures of me in a dress and that's it, but that's life! I've decided to not feel guilty about it this summer. Plus, we've had scorching temperatures already and it's only June.

I didn't have the best day today. I shattered my iPhone screen, felt super unmotivated and cried a bunch. So... in response to my bad day, I went shopping, ate fried foods and took pictures in a pretty dress in a pretty field. Such a girl. I did realize today though that I need to stop searching for greener grass and learn to love and appreciate what I do have. I have a bad case of idealism. I need to learn to accept that not everyday will be perfect. While being an idealist or perfectionist does motivate me to work harder, it also brings me down when things don't go exactly as I want or planned.

Life is definitely a learning process... and this summer is a huge season of change for me. I'm turning 26 in a month and I really want to focus on changing my mindset a bit. Learn to love what I have, appreciate the people in my life, the things I have, the memories I've made and be excited at the thought of the future... even if I don't know if it'll be exactly perfect. The good times wouldn't be as good if you didn't have to get through bad times too, right?

Outfit details:
Modcloth Sibling flats in Big sis

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dairy Queen

Another summer weekend has passed... they go too soon, right? I feel like I need to plan what I'm doing to the exact second so I squeeze everything in, but at the same time I want to live in the moment. Eh, you just can't win! But this weekend was really fun. Got some time at the beach for a work outing, saw a few great bands play, saw a movie, explored Ann Arbor and went shopping, ate lots of noms and spent time with some amazing people.

Today was a scoot-trip to Dairy Queen. DQ is a summer favorite of mine in the city. I personally think they have the best vanilla ice-cream ever. Maybe it's because it looks like clouds when it's on the cone... but either way. Plus, I like to get mine dipped in cherry. It melted like crazy but I enjoyed every second. Plus, typical me with my matching outfits was spot on with my cone! Matching outfits to food... hm, maybe that's next? ;)

I absolutely love the color, structure and simplicity of this dress. It's super easy to throw on with a few accessories. I'll probably end up wearing this dress again for 4th of July that's coming up. There was a blue wall I spotted that I thought would be super cute for a post, but maybe I'll rack my closet for other red items + try something else. I can't believe the 4th is coming up so quickly already. Eeep!

Well, enjoy your last week of June before July hits! It's supposed to be 80s and 90s here all week in Michigan. I plan on riding my scooter a lot, spending lots of time with friends, blogging more (yay!) and practicing in Circle Maybe. We just got new t-shirts that I'll be posting on soon. Plus, we're recording three new songs next month. So fun right? I'll keep you guys updated for sure! Have a great Monday!

Outfit details:
Ruche belt
Rulla wedges c/o Blowfish Shoes

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer solstice

Here we are... on the first day of summer! It's definitely been showing its face in Michigan lately. We've been experiencing some crazy hot and humid days. Today was in the nineties and I could barely get dressed. I've been living in sheer tops, high waisted shorts/skirts and top knots. Living in the city is a totally different experience than a beach town too. I can't just drive my scooter five minutes to Lake Michigan and dive right in anymore! I can't complain though. I remember this time last year, it was 57 degrees! I'll take ninety over that any day.

Life has been a little odd lately, but I've been having fun. I'm living in an awesome city with an amazing career and wonderful friends... I can't complain. I miss a bit of normalcy in my life though. As much as I love being all over the place lately, I'm kind of an old granny at heart who loves touring lighthouses, falling asleep at 9:30 PM once in a while and blogging her heart out. I definitely plan to start posting more outfits in July. It's a huge goal of mine and I have some fun ideas.

So now that summer is upon us, I really need to make a list before it's all of a sudden gone. I really want to... go camping, ride a roller coaster, swim in Lake Michigan, explore a new lighthouse, take a weekend trip to the sunrise coast, see an outdoor concert, watch fireworks, eat a pronto pup, sit by a bonfire, ride my scooter along the Grand River, be happy about turning 26, swing from a rope into a river at my family reunion, play some amazing Circle Maybe shows (yes, we're still going to continue playing!) and just live and be happy.

Outfit details:
Forever 21 top
Urban Outfitters shorts
Thrifted belt

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Velanch Giveaway!

Closed Tuesday, June 26!

This week's giveaway is from Velanch.
She is offering one of my readers a $30 store credit!

To enter, you must:
1) Follow her blog via GFC
2) Leave a comment saying so

Bonus entries!
1) Follow her on Twitter
2) Like her on Facebook
(Please leave additional comments for each)

This giveaway is open to U.S. and international readers.

Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, June 26 at 9 PM EST.

The winner of the Ruche giveaway is...
#182 // Kate
Please email me to claim your prize!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Guest post from Color Issue


Hi there! I am Aarean (air-ee-un)...the author of Color Issue.

I guess you can call me a color enthusiast...if there is such a thing *wink?! I simply love color, it is something that everyone can relate to. It is something that is completely universal and has such a huge spectrum of possibilities!

From DIY projects, to art and design (and everything in between) I love sharing my passion for Color, it really does make life so beautiful! Come on over and follow along Color Issue~I think you just might find some colorful eye candy along the way... and not to mention some great giveaways!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Photoshop Elements weekend

Yay! We got some photos back from the Adobe team from our trip to San Francisco last weekend that I thought I'd share. I'm so terrible at snapping photos when I'm in the moment. Of course, that's a good thing... you're having too much fun, but I always regret not having a bunch of photos to remember the good times. Thankfully, the Adobe team was super awesome about that! I'll hopefully be back to regular outfit posting next week. I've been living more life lately than I have in a while, so I can't complain, but I definitely miss blogging more. So hopefully I'll be able to balance the two more evenly soon! I just need another weekend to get caught up from last weekend. Ha!

I'm so excited to get the photos from Kelly Castro back!

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