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Pick a color scheme and I'll give you a daily prompt to create something. By the end of the month you'll have a finished kit! Feel free to do which ever prompts you'd like, completing a mini kit is great too!

In this thread you may post:

  1. Questions and comments on completing each asset.
  2. Finished assets and/or templates. You may of course post small thumbnail images if you are saving the finished product for something.
  3. I'll post a new thread each week so that things don't get too out of hand.
  4. Don't worry if you're behind or starting in the middle, feel free to share whatever you make.

August 2013 Designer Challenge Prompts

After the solid papers, it's time to get started with some elements!

Thurs, Aug 15 - extra small
Fri, Aug 16 - random/irregular
Sat, Aug 17 - free
Sun, Aug 18 - free
Mon, Aug 19 - solid papers
Tues, Aug 20 - alphas
Wed, Aug 21 - fun shapes

Okay. Now I'm a bit freaked out. I'm not exactly sure where to even start on this. I've tried looking through a couple of the past designer challenges to get a feel for what people create. I don't really have any experience creating elements so I'll definitely have to rely on templates.

How many elements are we supposed to create in each category?

The one that is really freaking me out is the Alphas. How does one go about creating a whole alphabet??!! I've looked into the tutorial on the site, Intro to Alphas and downloaded the letters folder. Problem is my version of PE is 5 and I can't find anything to do with 'actions' and there is certainly no way to 'automate' a 'batch'. I also checked out another tutorial on line for stylizing text and they talked about 'layer styles' which I also don't seem to have. Do you work with existing CU fonts? Can anyone point me in the direction of where to start? I have this awful feeling I am going to have to create each letter, one at a time but have no idea what to do with them or where to start. HELP PLEASE!

Hi, Lisa. Once again, you are free to make as few or as many of each element as you like . . . including skipping something if it doesn't appeal, or you don't have time. These challenges are very flexible.

I found a site with some PSE5 tutorials in the form of downloadable PDFs that I think might be helpful with your questions about layer styles and actions. I wasn't sure, but it appears you do have both of those in version 5--YAY!

Here is the site--Photoshop Elements User. Here is the layer styles tutorial. Here is the actions tutorial. It looks like this site has a nice search engine and good tags. I tried clicking on an "elements 5" tag and got a whole page of info and tutorials.

Do you know how to get to the User Guide for your Elements 5? I just read instructions for accessing it. I'm quoting: "Go to 'My Computer,' right click on whichever drive you have the disc in,'Open' and the 'User Help' PDF is what you're looking for. 480 pages. Have a barrel of ink if you plan to print it out!" Is that helpful at all? Hope so.

Like Holly said, feel free to skip something if your just not ready for it. I have a tutorial here on getting started with alphas. Also, if you're just getting started you could make a "sheet" alpha (all the letters in one file), which is easier since then you don't have to worry about actions, and can just do everything once.

Extra small.

Random/irregular. Not understanding this exactly. Am I way off base?

Here's my grunge, ornamental and extra small. The stripes are extra small, does that count??

I'm not sure what random/irregular means. Are you asking for a pattern that's not a pattern?

Holly and Marissa, thanks for the feedback.

Holly I really appreciate you pointing me to those tutorials. I hadn't come across those particular tutorials yet. The problem I think is in the language and location. I was aware that in my artwork and effects bin there was different layer styles. The tutorials I was referring to have them opening up and accessed as different names and in different areas.

I'm a bit frustrated at the moment. I spent over two hours finding and downloading some new styles file and can't access them. I thought putting them in the styles folder like I did with new brushes and patterns would work but it didn't. It doesn't help that every single set of instructions out there states that I need to go here: Documents & Settings > All users > Application Data > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > 5.0 > Photo Creations > Special Effects > layer styles.
When I don't even have a Photo Creations folder nor a special effects folder anywhere. That is why I thought I'd be safe just adding them to the presets, styles folder. Apparently not. I've just wasted an entire afternoon on this to get absolutely nowhere. So, I'm leaving it for now and will have to figure something else out.

Thanks for all the help you tried to give me.

Thanks Marisa for letting me know that it is okay to skip some things too. I may have to at this rate.

I at least managed to get some staples created but will have to upload later.

Frustrating, isn't it? Kinda like black magic to me. This is the route/place that I put my PSE styles in PSE6.

C:\ProgramData\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\6.0\Locale\en_US\Photo Creations\layer styles

Hope this works for you.

PS I always copy rather than move, just to make sure it works first. And it always does but, you know, it's like buying insurance and hoping you'll never need it. And....once I found my way to this folder, I sent a short cut to the desk top so I could drag and drop without hunting again. Good luck!

Lisa, I am so sorry styles are giving you fits. I wish I could be of more help, other than to say 'Styles are AWESOME. And worth fighting for!' Love, love, love layer styles and use them on almost everything I create.

I started with Photoshop CS2 eight years ago, and just recently purchased CS6, so only have those two versions I can physically poke around in and see how things work. (One of the reasons I wanted CS6 was because I can double-click on an ASL or ABR file and they are instantly loaded! So much easier than what I used to go through to load stuff like that. Have you thought about upgrading? smiley )

PS is a picky beast. If the instructions say "turn it off" and "restart it," it isn't optional. And if it gives a certain file path, that is the file path that works. Trying to use a different file path probably isn't going to work. PS only knows how to find the styles if they are in the spot they are supposed to be in, right? If the specified file path and folders don't exist, then I would suggest creating them. Folders are easy to make and easy to delete if they don't solve the problem. I can't imagine why the file path and folders they mention in the article wouldn't exist in your copy of the software. Perhaps they got deleted/changed at some point over the years? I am just grasping at straws.

I hope you get it going. You will LOVE styles and they really make creating scrapbook goodies so much easier.

Here is my week 3.

Here's my solids

I worked on alphas and glitter all weekend. Thank you Marisa for the tutorials.

Lisa - Do you have PSE11 (I'm a bit behind in your post)? I usually add my styles to the C:/Program Files/Adobe/Photoshop Elements/Presets/Styles. I have had no problem access them when I get into PSE. You can also access styles in PSE under Preset Manager .
Hope this helps some.

My frees

Thanks ladies for all your guidance and suggestions. Turns out I am just a twit and can't READ. I was doing all the things you all suggested like making sure it was turned off, etc. But for some reason my brain wasn't seeing this: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\5.0\Photo Creations\special effects\layer styles\

It kept thinking I was supposed to be approaching it the same way as brushes and patterns. AND IT ISN'T. So I was going here: Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop Elements 5.0\Presets\Styles. No wonder the file folders didn't exist. It wasn't the right path I was following! I'm usually much more diligent than this. I'm going to blame it on the fact that I'm sick fighting a nasty virus at the moment and my brain isn't functioning like it should. Oh and Andene, in the preset manager it only allows me to access: brushes, swatches, gradients and patterns. It doesn't allow me the option of choosing styles. I can only view them through the Artworks and Effects Window.

I even just finished uninstalling and reinstalling to see if that might have been an issue because it has been crashing a lot as of late. I don't know what finally clicked but it did and YAY, thank goodness it did. I wasted so much time on Saturday between finding free styles I can use for CU and trying to figure it out that I almost gave up. So glad I didn't because you are right Holly, styles make all the difference in the world. Last week I hadn't a clue how you would even go about making grunge and now I know that I can use a layer style to achieve that effect. It is amazing what I've learned just since becoming part of this designer challenge. It is definitely stretching me and helping me grow and you guys have been so supportive with trying to help me out. I truly appreciate all the tips and suggestions everyone has given me.

Looks like I'll still be doing one letter at a time for the alphabet so that portion definitely won't be completed this week or even this month probably. But hey, I've come along way from filling every single element in by hand to now knowing how to lock a layer and know what contiguous and non-contiguous means. So definitely making strides in the right direction.

Here are some staples (for extra small) I created using a template from Marisa available HERE

Everyone's work is so wonderful. I'm still trying to figure out what elements to include. Hopefully it will come to me very soon!

solids and alpha

Lisa, I didn't even think of staples!! You're a step ahead of me for sure!! Does your pse do actions??

Andene, your alpha is so elegant, its gorgeous!!

Thanks Susan!

Andene: Once again your creations are just so pretty.

Susan: Holly sent me on a quest as to how to install actions in PSE5 and I know that within this path 'C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\5.0\Photo Creations\Special Effects\Photo Effects there are two folders, one that says frames and one that says image effects. These contain 'ATN' extensions. So, I know they exist now within my version and that I can access them under 'photo effects' in the artwork palette. HOWEVER, I don't believe this is the same as what Marisa is referring to in her alpha's tutorial where she states:
"In the Action palette click “Create New Action.” Give the action a name and hit record. From this point on, everything you do will be recorded. " As far as I can tell this is something different as I don't have an 'actions' palette. I believe that Effects Palette vs. Action Player are two different things. From my research it looks like the Action Player comes in PSE 7 and I'm in no position to upgrade. So while I can apply certain actions through the effects palette, I can't actually create actions. Or at least this is what my research so far has shown. Of course that isn't saying much. I could spend a month just looking up certain aspects up and still not learn what I need to know.

Today I spent my time looking for shapes that I can use in CU creations. I'm terrified that by accident I'm going to have 'misinterpreted' someone's terms. That is the last thing I'd ever want to do. So here are some of my 'free elements'. I decided to do six different frames applying layer styles (hee, hee, hee--since I didn't know what that was last week that is a huge accomplishment) offering each in grey and blue. I even learned how to change the colour of a layer style. Woo hoo!

These frames were created using shapes and layer styles courtesy of Shelby Kate Schmitz and About Graphics Software, ©Shelby Kate Schmitz.

Okay, one more thing before I sign off tonight. I'm needing some feedback. Since I want to keep some nature elements in this kit I thought it might be neat to create an edger out of feathers. I'm just not sure if it is okay enough, if that makes sense. All feedback would be appreciated.

The final size would be 3600 tall to allow a paper to be completely edged.

Here is my final kit:

(Image is linked to blog post)

Lisa: Photoshop Elements does not have the ability to record actions. But I do know later versions can play actions. I wasn't sure if yours was one of them. I like that feather edger!! I saw it and immediately flashed to a picture I have it would be perfect for!!

I love the feather edge!

I'm so glad I was able to get this done! It's been a crazy week here!
I really like this kit so far! I made too much stuff to put in the preview!
It's great for all kinds of child's play.

Judy: That is just TOO cute!!!!!

Thanks Lisa and I like the feathers!

Glad that my feather border looks okay.

Judy: More wonderfully fun shapes.
Andene: Your elements are just so creative.
Cintia: Your kit looks incredible.

I know I am behind but here are my other free elements. I have chosen to create brads with pictures of nature type elements.

I am going to go and finish up my solid papers and get them uploaded as well.

I used a template from Marissa for the brad which you can find HERE.

The bird image and dragonfly images are also from Marissa. The other images come from Antique Images and Digital Stamp Design.

Okay, here are my solids. I noticed that others used textures so I figured it was okay.

I have used a layer style courtesy of Shelby Kate Schmitz and About Graphics Software, ©Shelby Kate Schmitz.

I'm not sure I'm going to be able to come up with an idea for fun shapes for this week and I'm still working on what to do for the alpha.

Did I miss Week 4?

Here are Some of my Week 2 and 3.