July 28, 2012

How to use a .png in Photoshop

 PNG stands for Portable Network Graphic. You don't really need to know this, but non-the-less, you will sound really intelligent when you tell people.

 Here's what you want to know about the .png format:
  1. The transparent background has no limits!
  2. PNG images have a loss-less compression. 
  3. The PNG format also supports 24-bit color like the JPEG format. A PNG image may include over 16 million colors. Keep in mind a GIF is also transparent, however, mostly used for animated graphics. GIF images only include a maximum of 256 colors. 
Very basic steps to using .png files in Photoshop:
Open Photoshop.
Open the image, or layout you would like to use.
Photoshop is all about layers, make sure your layers panel is open.
 Layer > New > Layer

 Here we are adding a #thisweek hashtag/wordart to the top of Tyler's photo. Grab a free downloadable hashtag set here.
 This photo card is a.png too! Add your image, adjust, and walla! Done!

As always, let us know if you have any questions!


July 25, 2012

[Weekly Mojo Series] Project Life: a Themed Approach

Project Life is 2012's project du jour, and there are a million different ways to complete it. I love how friends Vee and Jamaica teamed up recently to create a couple of challenges for their Project Life albums. 

First up, the all white challenge: all white, or as close as they could get to it, according to Jamaica.

Jamaica incorporated white tone-on-tone patterns and vellum to add texture, along with actions from Rad Lab for her photos.

Vee's layouts are usually a riot of color; with the all-white challenge, she limited her use of color to carefully chosen small accents like washi tape, misted wooden accents, and stamps.

The second challenge was a product challenge -- use as many styles of Thickers as possible on your layout.

Jamaica used a variety of textures and even modified some of her thickers with spray paint to make them work with the colors in her photos.

Vee used so many different fonts and styles -- I love how she even worked in some shapes and was creative with her placement.

I can't wait to see their next Project Life challenge. If you feel like your own PL spreads seem to be looking the same recently, then I challenge you to create your own challenges. Here are some options to get you started:

  • color challenges: go monochromatic with shades of blue, stick with a black and white color palette, or brighten things up with a neon and woodgrain combination!
  • product challenges: use up your stash of washi tapes, dig through that pile of rub-ons, or see how many circle patterns you can fit on a page!
  • technique challenges: use stamps to make your own Project Life cards, create peek-a-book text effects with a Silhouette or Cameo, or use vellum and transparencies to layer multiple images!
  • photo challenges: use the same Instagram filter and frames for all your photos, split a large photo among multiple pockets, or add digital overlays to your photos!
Do you have ideas for other challenges? Post them in the comments -- we'd love to hear them!

Until next week, keep the mojo flowin'!

July 22, 2012


Have you noticed this little # sign on social platforms?

Hashtags are used in social media sites such as Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and our favorite- Instagram. Hashtags are searchable within the platform that it's used.

With Instagram, when you click on a #hastag created to describe the image, you will be redirected to a page where you can view all public images tagged with the same hashtag.

Example: #persnicketyprints is a hashtag. Any photo used with this hashtag will appear in the #persnicketyprints feed.

We describe so many photos & memories by one little word.  Why not add a quick hashtag to your printed photo?

Hashtag Photo Ideas:
1. Mini books with the same hashtag/word. A mini flip book all about #summer or #camp?
2. A project life "section" organized by hashtags. (#happydays, #saddays, #work, etc)
3. 2013 Calendar with each month described by a hashtag
20 Hashtags in .png format to help get you started!

Download Hashtag Set No. 01 Here

Give us your favorite hashtags in the comments below- and you may see it in Set No. 02.

July 18, 2012

[Weekly Mojo Series] Trendspotting: Triangles

(photo sources: 1, 2, 3)

This week, we're setting our sights on a trend that is popping up everywhere: from home decor to jewelry, and even on fingertips! Triangles are hot, and lucky for us, there are lots of amazing ways to use this geometric shape in our crafty photo projects.

(photo sources: 1, 2, 3)

Transform your photographs into beautiful works of art with just a few scissor snips.

IDEA #1: The first example uses one enlarged photograph cut into triangle shapes. All the triangles pointing to the left are raised on pop dots for additional dimension; this would make a GORGEOUS piece to frame and hang in your home. 

IDEA #2: If you're like me, you come home from vacation with tons of scenery photos -- more than you could ever scrapbook or frame (possibly even more than you want to fill an album with). Enlarge several of your best photos, or just print them at standard size -- it really depends on how many triangles you want to get from the original picture. Combine the triangles on one page (or use Photoshop to digitally manipulate your photos and then have a large print made). Look for interesting textural contrasts, as well as color variations; you could achieve a great ombre look with water and sky photos, for example.

IDEA #3: This third example works on the same principle as the second example: portions of the large background image have been replaced with solid color triangles. You could use colored paper or scrapbooking paper, paint, or any other interesting options that you can find.

Elsie Larson posted this simple tutorial to show you how to create a geometric photo art project. Use detailed shots along with alternating text pages (ripped from an old book found at a thrift store) and colored triangles to create one-of-a-kind wall art for your home. You could also digitally create the image in Photoshop and have Persnickety Prints create a Gallery Stand Out print for you.

(photo sources: 1, 2)
Finally, triangles can come in handy while you're composing your shots, too. These two sources offer suggestions on using triangle shapes to create pleasing photo compositions during group and individual photo shoots.

Hope this inspires you to incorporate triangles into your next photo project -- make sure you share your results with us! We'd love to see them!

Until next week, keep the mojo flowin'!

July 16, 2012

How to use a brush in Photoshop

Photoshop Brushes are fun, and easy to use. Don't be afraid!
No Photoshop? 
No Problem.
We always include .png files in our free brush sets.


Depending on your version of photoshop (CS series or elements), and if you are working on a mac or a pc; there are a few ways to install brushes.
To keep it simple- if you can find your brush presets> choose Load, then import the brush set!

For me, I am on a mac and working on Photoshop CS5. I simply drag and drop my .abr brush set into photoshop, or just double click and they are installed.
 Need more help? Rather than try to cover all versions, here are some simple online sites that should help-


For the free brushes that we are giving you today, it is best to use them with 4x6 images.
I shot these photos in RAW format, so they are much larger than they need to be. I cropped them to 4x6 at 300dpi.

Once your image is ready, add and select a NEW layer. With the new layer active; choose your brush.
 Play with your brush settings, you can always command z to go back- or even delete the layer the brush is on.
You can change the direction of the brush (great for arrows!). Experiment with the opacity, the texture and the size.

Remember to create a NEW Layer for each new brush.

Flatten. Save. Done!


 .png stands for "portable network graphics" and was developed mainly to deal with shortcomings of the .gif
.png files have a transparent background which allows you to change the color, opacity &  texture without influencing other elements.
MOST photo editing programs will support .png formats. (my memories suite is one)

This free brush download also includes a folder of .png files and is available at persnicketyprints.com/digifreebies.
Please do not share the download link with others. You are however, welcome to point them here.


 *Persnickety Prints, inc. is not affiliated with Adobe. Please visit the adobe support page for software help.

July 14, 2012

Creative Digital Software- MMS

Are you ever asked this question?

Do you have friends and family that want to be digitally creative; yet, Photoshop is just too much?

This post is for you!

Last year, we listed the TOP 10 Reasons why you need My Memories Suite. (version 2)

The list just got longer folks! Version 3 is here.
Not only is this program so affordable ($29.97 with our special coupon) you can create almost anything!

We loved the simplicity of creating 12x12 and 8x8 layouts but wanted to see more custom options.... and guess what? They did it! MMS version 3 is bigger and better than ever before!

The most exciting new feature is the "custom canvas". 
You can now create cards, bookmarks, bottle labels, tags, and even project life cards!



5 Ways to get Creative with My Memories Suite:

  • Create from scratch (see Christmas Card)
  • Import your stash
  • Purchase Designer Kits
  • MMS Freebies
  • Join the MMS Designs Club

  • Thanks to LeeLou Designs quickpage templates, I made both of these layouts in under 5 minutes! Super Easy.

    July 3, 2012

    [Weekly Mojo Series] Amy Tangerine

    Do you ever have those days that are just blah?
    You have an itch to create something, anything, but not sure what? Your creative brain cells have just stopped flowing?

    The Weekly Persnickety Prints Blog Juice can help!
    We scour the web to find inspiring and new creative ideas that will supplement & feed your inner mojo.

     Amy Tan >> founder of Amy Tangerine


    Amy might be the cutest little thing living on Venice Beach!  From clothing to paper lines; she has been designing her entire life.

    Amy has the eye. You know that person who can just SEE differently? 
    Who can make something out of nothing, the person that can whip out a layout like this one here in no time at all!?

    On Amy's blog, she will show you how she went from this:

    to this:
    and everything she used to get there!

    >> Project Life <<
    Amy is devouring Project Life this year, and posts a photo of each week to inspire the rest of us who haven't even started. (cough-cough)

    >> Amy Tangerine for American Crafts <<

    Did I mention that Amy is a designer? You may have seen this here logo around town -->

    These are some of my Favorite Things from Amy Tangerine:
     12 in. 3-ring album with a 3.5 x 3.5 in. photo window on the front cover and ten top-loading page protectors. Albums are available in a variety of designs and feature such accents as top-stitching, flocking, printed fabric and more (accents vary by album.) Albums measure 12.5 x 15.25 x 2-5/8 in. Imported. $24.99

    Love this bike on the cover of this 24 page Daybook! Would be fun to fill with Instagram Biking Pics!  Stickers Included.  $6.99

    Love these! The perfect gift- I can think of 10 friends who could use at least 2!

    Happy Juicing-