Saturday, December 12, 2020

Designer Tip with A Giving Heart Studio


Designer Tip with A Giving Heart Studio: Using Clusters Creatively

A warm holiday hello to the MyMemories community! To celebrate this designer tip I am having a wonderful sale at my store HERE, so visit and save 50% off my entire store (perfect way to grab the products that I use in this post)!  I'm Tricia of A Giving Heart Studio, and I'd like to show you some creative ways to use clusters. We all like to try new things and get the most from our purchases, so this is one way to do both at the same time. When I buy something, I like to have some ideas in mind as to how I'm going to put it to use - and the more ways, the better! How about you? Well, let's look at some of the possibilities, shall we? Full disclosure: I had a LOT of fun preparing this tutorial, so you might want to grab a cup of coffee or tea before we get started. ;)

For this first example, I'll be using the cluster pack from my Worship the King collection.

To duplicate the cluster after I had reduced the size to what I wanted, I right-clicked on the cluster and chose copy, then I right-clicked and clicked paste. (Or you can click on the cluster, then press Ctrl C and then Ctrl V on your keyboard.) Then I rotated and moved the top cluster to the bottom corner of my page. I'm not concerned that part of it is not showing - that is intentional (but do check that what you want to show will be visible before ordering any prints, by clicking view, trim area. I have gone all the way up to the edges just for the purposes of this tutorial.) 

Then I clicked mirror on the cluster I had placed in the middle of the page to flip it horizontally. I repeated these steps for the smaller cluster. For the frame, I rotated it sideways and then I added my photo. I'm not sure how everyone else does it, but to get it to fit in the oval opening, I first added an oval shape under the frame. I then resized it and clicked on photo while in the shape section of the right control panel so that it would clip my photo to the oval. However, another way to make the photo fit is to use crop and then choose "crop shape" - very handy! I finished off my page by typing a title in the upper left corner where I had left space for it when composing the page, using a color to match the wildflowers in the clusters.

But what about clusters that are not specifically in packs labeled as clusters? Those can be very handy, too! Let's look at different ways to use clustered borders, for example. These are from my Abundant Blessings collection. 

In this layout, I have rotated the border to make it vertical, then duplicated it and then mirrored one of them. I deliberately placed the left border most of the way off of the page, and then I added my photos. I used the tear effect in various ways on each one. 

In this next example, I'll use one of my cluster frame packs that includes separate clusters and frames in addition to the combined versions of each. (Please look at the product description and look at the total number of embellishments in the pack before purchasing - many but not all of my cluster frames come with separate and combined clusters/frames.) This pack is from my
Abundant Blessings collection again. 

For this page, I added four clusters and one frame to my page. (These are fun to mix and match!) Then I reduced the size, duplicated and rotated (twice left) one of the clusters and placed the two clusters in opposite corners, partially off the page. My next two corner clusters were already designed for corners and so I just reduced the size and placed one in each of the two remaining corners. Then I reduced the size of the last cluster and placed it over the frame. Finally, I added my photo. You might add your photo(s) earlier in the process. It's a very individual thing.

Another product that contains clusters is my stacked paper packs. Let's take a look at some out-of-the-box ways to use those, using the pack from my Abundant Blessings collection once again.

Of course you already know how to open the background you want and then open the stacked cluster that you want, and so on. However, you might not have realized that you can mix and match the backgrounds because of how the separate clusters and backgrounds are included. In the example below, it's not noticeable that I have swapped out the cluster layer that was originally matched with that background for a different one in the pack. It goes just as well together as the original set, don't you think? I also duplicated the cluster layer and then cropped it so that only the upper corner was left. Then I mirrored it, reduced the size a bit, and put it in the opposite corner. Fun! I finished my page by adding frames and photos.

Just because it's so enjoyable and quick, I made a similar layout with the same kit. I mixed and matched again, but this time I used parts of two different cluster layers from the set. I also duplicated and cropped the butterfly cluster layer so that I could resize the top and bottom section of it separately so that I could position them independently. Once more, you can't even tell that it wasn't the original matching set, can you? (But I'm not saying that all of my sets are this easily swapped around - experiment and see what works for you.) I like how you can get additional unique pages out of the same pack this way.

Before you go, I'd like to invite you to join in my forum challenge this month. It's easy and fun, I promise! This month's participation prize is a mini pack that coordinates with my December blog train contribution as well as a free mini pack available on my Facebook page. See the MyMemories forum thread HERE for more details. 

I'm praying that everyone will have a blessed Christmas, and that deep down in our hearts we'll be able to appreciate that even though things are different this year, the meaning of the season is still the same. God loves His creation so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to save us. What a miracle! Hallelujah!!





1 comment:

Small Joys said...

Great information, Tricia! My imagination is really spinning. I'm looking forward to trying some of your tips. Merry Christmas, and God bless, Joy