Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tutorial Using Jodiann Cate's Styles -- Making Plaids

Ok, one of these days I really need to move my blog over to my design name -- Nana Pixels is me, JanetB Designs!

Jodiann is a total delight!!  Wonderfully creative and just plain fun to talk to!  As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been able to play with her latest 3 sets of styles, Jodiann's CU Christmas Stars, CU Christmas Shine and CU Christmas Stripes.  I've linked to the front page of her store at DigiScrapWarehouse so you can see all three products at once.

Now on to the fun!  If you look in my previous post, you 'll see the words Merry Christmas.  That's actually done in a combination of her Christmas Stars and Christmas Shine.  I use Photoshop CS5, and will show you some screenshots as we go along.  Ready?


Merry Christmas -- using Christmas Stars and Christmas Shine -- is actually 5 layers:

Start with a transparent layer 12x12 inches at 300 dpi.  Select your font (I'm using Tabitha) and type your words -- be sure to choose a font that has a bit of chunkiness to it.  If it's not quite thick enough, try making it bold using the type palette on the character tab.  I didn't use the same color in both sets of styles.  Starting at the bottom and working up to the top layer:

1.  Bottom layer is Shine "like a bow" at 20%
2.  Layer 2 is Stars "like a bow," pattern scale is 25% and 100% opacity
3.  Layer 3 is  Stars "like a bow" at 67% opacity
4.  Layer 4 is  Stars "portly" at 67% opacity (yes, I used the slightly darker red color)
5.  Top layer is Shine "like a bow" at 50% opacity (if this layer is more opaque there is more of a wet look but you lose the stars underneath.  If you lower the opacity more you lose the look of the shine but you can see the stars better)

Here's the screenshot of the words at 100%.  You can also see the type palette, circled in yellow, and my layers are labeled for you.
And here are the finished words you can see in the screenshot above.  In the sample in my previous post, I used the color "portly" in both sets of styles.


Next we're going to use her delicious Christmas Stripes and make plaids!

In very basic terms, you start with a striped paper, duplicate it, turn it 90 degrees, and then reduce the opacity of the top layer -- it's magic!

1. Start with a 12x12 white layer on the bottom, click on whatever color stripe you would like.

2.  Add  another white layer and place your second stripe color.  Place a transparent layer on top of this stripe layer, select both and merge, control-E.

Below, you can see my layers, bottom and top ones have the stripes applied but their effects are dangling, so you can't see them yet.  (There's a reason for adding and merging the transparent layer -- you can't manipulate the stripe layer unless you do this.  For instance, if as you're working you decide the color has faded and you need to adjust the saturation, it can't be done on the layer with it's effects hanging out -- it has to be a rasterized layer to do that.  And you certainly can't do the step below if it's not merged!  Go ahead and try to rotate the top layer without merging, you know you want to) 
Did you see what happened when you tried to rotate the layer when it wasn't merged with the stripe layer?  The layer rotated all right, but the stripes didn't!
Now you can see what happens with the two layers merged -- the stripes appear in the layers palette.
Now I'll add the transparent layer above my top layer and merge and we'll go on to the next step.

3.  Go to edit > transform > rotate 90 degrees, then reduce the opacity on this layer to between 42-50%  -- your plaid magically appears!   So here it is, the gorgeous plaid, and you can see the the stripes and rotation in the layers palette.  This has made a wonderful, very even regular plaid.

But what if I like an irregular plaid?

If you're still in the same file, you have two choices right now to do it.
1.  The easiest way to do it from the point above is to click on the color layer you want to "stretch out,"  hold down the shift key to keep it in proportion, and drag the corner out till you're happy with the scale.  -or-
2.  Undo till you get to the point where you have one stripe layer and the transparent layer unmerged.  Double click on the words pattern overlay in the list of effects for that layer, and when the box comes up change the scale to whatever looks good to you (I used 400%).  Then merge the stripe and its transparent layer.

Can you see the difference in the scale now between the purple and the turquoise layers?

Now what if you want a different background color instead of the white in the pattern overlay?  Ready to have a little more fun?

1.  Turn off the visibility of one layer and then zoom way in. Make sure each layer is back to 100% opacity.
2.  Take your magic wand tool and click on the white background.  Marching ants will appear around those white stripes.  Click backspace and they disappear.  Zoom way in to have a look -- you might have to do it again with a tiny stripe next to a color stripe if the magic wand didn't get it. The blue arrow is pointing to what was missed.  Turn the other layer back on, and repeat this process.

Add a layer at the very bottom, I selected a fill of a light yellow in this sample. Add a yummy texture of some sort and you have an awesome plaid!

Wasn't that fun??   By using the different colors and scaling each layer, you can have an endless variety of plaids -- with white backgrounds, and now with colored backgrounds!

Thank you again, Jodiann, for letting me play!


  1. Hello Darlin!

    Wonderful Tutorials! SO quick and simplified!
    Thanks for using my goodies in the making of them too! I am honored and tickled pink!!

    Merry Christmas Darlin!


  2. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [06 Dec 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria