Monthly Archives

June 2016

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How to Create a Circle Photo Using Photoshop Clipping Masks

How to Create a Circle Photo Using Photoshop Clipping Masks • Little Gold Pixel

If you’ve ever worked with Photoshop before, you’ve probably heard the expression, “There are millions of ways to do one thing in Photoshop.”

It’s true. Especially when it comes to creating a circle photo with a transparent background (perfect for use in sidebars on sites, perhaps you’ve seen one?). The easiest way is to use the marquee selection tool to crop an existing photo, and be done with it.

I dislike this method for one big reason: It’s destructive. You lose the flexibility to move the image around. Once you crop, you’re done. You better like what you’ve done, or you’re doomed to go back and try, try again.

Using clipping masks solves this problem because you create the shape first, and place your image on top of it. You can make your image smaller, bigger, adjust the zoom, etc.

Plus, using clipping masks is a good skill to have for more complicated projects in Photoshop.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

How to Create a Circle Photo Using Photoshop Clipping Masks • Little Gold Pixel

How to Create a Circle Photo Using Photoshop Clipping Masks – Video Tutorial

I made a video tutorial with step-by-step instructions:

How to Create a Circle Photo Using Photoshop Clipping Masks – Breakdown

And here’s a visual-text breakdown, in case you are a written-word learner.

1. Start by creating a transparent file. Go to Window to open your “Layers” palette if it’s not open.

How to Create a Circle Photo Using Photoshop Clipping Masks • Little Gold Pixel

2. Create a shape with the marquee selection tool (there are other tools you can use, but we’re starting simple here). Add a fill color to the shape.

How to Create a Circle Photo Using Photoshop Clipping Masks • Little Gold Pixel

3. Deselect. To do this, click on the marquee tool again, then click on the shape to make your selection, aka “marching ants,” go away.

How to Create a Circle Photo Using Photoshop Clipping Masks • Little Gold Pixel

4. Open your photo and drag straight into your file. This will automatically create a new layer.

How to Create a Circle Photo Using Photoshop Clipping Masks • Little Gold Pixel

5. Right click on the layer, select “Create Clipping Mask.”

How to Create a Circle Photo Using Photoshop Clipping Masks • Little Gold Pixel

6. Move image around until you are happy with it. To resize, hit command + T. Then, hold down command + shift as you drag the corners in or out to contract or expand proportionally.

7. Save this as a PSD in case you need to make changes later. Then, right click on the photo layer, “Merge Visible.” (shortcut: command+E)

How to Create a Circle Photo Using Photoshop Clipping Masks • Little Gold Pixel

8. Save as a PNG file to keep the transparency.

How to Create a Circle Photo Using Photoshop Clipping Masks • Little Gold Pixel

Yay! Now that you’ve mastered this technique, you’re ready to work with multiple layers to create more complex Photoshop designs. Stay tuned (subscribe to my YouTube channel) to receive an update when I make a new tutorial.

What have you always wanted to learn in Photoshop? Tell me in the comments, and there’s a chance your query could be answered in a future quick & easy tutorial!

25+ July 4th Free Printables

25+ July 4th Free Printables • Little Gold Pixel

Every year we say we’re not going to bother with the mess that is public fireworks displays in Los Angeles. But then, inevitably, we scramble last minute to see if we can find a spot somewhere close to the beach.

This is my pledge right here, right now that I will not do this again this year.

First of all, because I’m older and wiser (ha).

Second of all, because there’s a great view from the overlook near our house that gives us a bird’s-eye view of the entire harbor area. We can see fireworks both legal and illegal going off simultaneously. It’s truly theatrical to observe.

All this time we had been going out for soft serve when we had hand-churned ice cream at home.

Same with trying to decorate for this holiday. It’s so rough. It’s all either incredibly country or the primary colors are too bright. Target has some interesting ideas in the dollar bin this year, but it’s still very hit or miss.

Enter the Internets! I’ve found the best free printables for the Fourth of July, presented to you in themed gallery walls.

Note: Not sure it’s really necessary to create a July Fourth gallery wall if you are a sane person. One or two printables on your mantel or entryway would do nicely.

Find the link for the corresponding printable directly under the photo. It’ll take you to the original download page.

July 4th Free Printables: Graphic

25+ July 4th Free Printables • Little Gold Pixel

Statue of LibertyPursuit of HappinessRed GinghamFourth of JulyPursuit of PopsiclesAmerica est. 1776

July 4th Free Printables: Maps

25+ July 4th Free Printables • Little Gold Pixel

Let Freedom Ring1776Geometric USALand That I LoveFloral USAAnchors AwayVintage Red

July 4th Free Printables: Vintage

25+ July 4th Free Printables • Little Gold Pixel

Sweet Land of LibertyLand That I LoveCelebrate FreedomFun on the FourthBlue StarCursive Star Spangled Banner

July 4th Free Printables: Typography

25+ July 4th Free Printables • Little Gold Pixel

FireworksLand that I LoveLet Freedom RingHome of the BraveHandlettered Star Spangled BannerPreamble to the ConstitutionOmbre Star Spangled Banner

P.S. My Nautical Americana collection is available in the shop.
P.P.S. Past Fourth of July posts.

4th of July Anchors Away Map Printable

4th of July Anchors Away Map Printable • Little Gold Pixel

I was taught to avoid mixed conversations about two topics: politics and religion.

There is no quicker way to turn friends into enemies, I was told.

Obviously not someone to follow the rules, I have talked about both of these things in mixed company. I have dared to study political science in college, and I have dared to have an open mind when it comes to religion.

In most cases these conversations end with “agree to disagree.” And we go on with our friendships (if there was one in the first case), rarely mentioning our differing viewpoints.

As I get older, though, I have grown more wary of speaking about either. Not because I don’t enjoy a good fight! Oh, I love a good verbal spar.

It’s just that these topics are highly volatile, highly personal, and little can be gained by trying to convince someone that your views are “better” or their views are “bad.”

And yet — even though I don’t exactly relish the opportunity to talk politics or religion with people of an opposite view, I love that as an American this is even a possibility.

This election year is super polarized. I’m not going to tell you which “side” I’m on. I’m not going to try to convince you who to vote for. But I COULD talk until I’m blue in the face. And isn’t that great?

I hope that the collective “we” can agree on the things that make America wonderful. As in, the right to have opposing viewpoints. The right to practice any religion we choose. The right to be who we are. And, most importantly, to allow people we disagree with to have the same rights.

Like my printable from last July Fourth: the right to pursue happiness.

Here’s my patriotic offering for this year.

4th of July Anchor Map Printable

4th of July Anchors Away Map Printable • Little Gold Pixel

Art is 8.5×11 high-res PDF. Personal use only. Do not sell or claim as your own. Play nice!

Download

But wait, there’s more

The rest of my nautical americana collection is available in the shop right now:

Rad Dad Father’s Day Card

Rad Dad Father's Day Card • Little Gold Pixel

Does anyone else feel like the past month didn’t even happen? I just looked at the calendar, and I almost had a panic attack. It’s as if I am Rip Van Winkle … only I don’t remember getting a lot of sleep, sadly.

Anyway, it’s June 15, just in case you weren’t aware. Actually, in most parts of the world it’s already June 16. Time flies and all that jazz.

What’s my point? Just this: Do you know what you’re getting your dad for Father’s Day? The day is coming up super fast.

Rad Dad Father's Day Card • Little Gold Pixel

Luckily, you don’t need to buy a card because you can print this one out!

Rad Dad Father’s Day Card

Free download below is an 8.5×11 high-res PDF. Follow the instructions to create a 5×7 folded card. Cardstock paper recommended. Fine print: Personal use only. Play nice, yadda yadda yadda, do not attempt to sell or pass off as your own. © Little Gold Pixel LLC

Tools: Illustrator

Font: Canyons

Rad Dad Father's Day Card • Little Gold Pixel

Download

 


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Flower Power Mod Art Printable

Hi there! Thank goodness it’s Freebie Friday! (It’s been a few weeks, eh?)

Scroll down to see what I’m sharing today, and a little behind-the-scenes video of how I made it.

Flower Power Mod Art Printable • Little Gold Pixel

Are you a fan of challenges? As in read 80 books in a year. As in watch 100 classic movies. As in document your life with one photo every single day for a year.

As you might have guessed, I’ve attempted all of the above and succeeded.

Then there are the challenges that got away …

The most recent one was The 100 Day Project on Instagram, where you were supposed to pick some artistic endeavor and do it for 100 days. I picked “making patterns.” I’ve been stocking up my patterns to add to the shop — which, by the way, is in soft launch mode if you’d like to take a peek and download something — so I thought this challenge should be a slam dunk!

Something I need to do + public motivation to do this something = no brainer, right?

I crashed and burned so hard.

I think I have about 10 patterns up right now, and it’s probably already 100 days or more since the challenge began.

Why am I admitting this public failure to you in public? Why not just pretend it didn’t happen?

Because I want to finish those 100 patterns. I will finish those 100 patterns.

It might take a year or more, but I’ll keep whittling away at them the same way I whittled away at the 100 Movies. Holy cow, I thought I’d never finish the 100 Movies.

The takeaway here is to not give up on your challenges. You’ve set goals for yourself. You can do them, too!

The key is to adjust your timeline.

And, if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.

Can you tell I’ve been listening to my hip hop mix CD circa 2003?

Flower Power Mod Art Printable

Free download below is an 8.5×11 high-res watermarked PDF. Click here to get the unwatermarked version. Fine print: Personal use only. Play nice, yadda yadda yadda, do not attempt to sell or pass off as your own. © Little Gold Pixel LLC

Tools used: Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere Pro

This design is something I eventually will turn into one of those 100 patterns. I have high hopes for its future as an iPhone case and beach towel.

Flower Power Mod Art Printable • Little Gold Pixel

Download

But wait, there’s more!

You can watch me flounder about as I move back and forth from Illustrator to Photoshop to create the printable. I make these videos so you can see a bit behind my process, and also to show that I don’t always have a plan. I just start working on something and see where my creativity leads me.

Sometimes I take crazy steps and reverse them. What am I talking about, sometimes? ALWAYS.

Hope you enjoy this, and if you do, I’d love it if you subscribe to my YouTube channel so you can keep up with all my forthcoming design and decor videos and tutorials.

5 Newsletters Worthy of Your Inbox

Top 5 Newsletters Worthy of Your Inbox • Little Gold Pixel

The amount of newsletters that find their way into my email inbox every day is … obscene.

I lost count around 40.

Most people would go running the other direction. (Heck, sometimes I think about running the other direction.)

This experiment started several months ago when I was looking to refine my own newsletter to be something people would enjoy opening and reading. I happen to think the Little Gold Pixel newsletter is on top of its game, offering a unique commentary, fun links to click on and an exclusive freebie in each issue.

I’ve slogged through a lot of ho-hum sales pitches and regurgitated strategies to find the cream of the crop. Here are my top 5 newsletters — ones you’ll actually look forward to opening (six if you count mine).

Top 5 Newsletters Worthy of Your Inbox

In no particular order …

Top 5 Newsletters Worthy of Your Inbox • Little Gold Pixel

1. Mrs. Darcy’s Daily Kindle Deals

If there’s anyone I trust with book recommendations and keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s new and notable in literature, it’s Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy. Not only is her blog a treat to read, with loads of thought-provoking personality-type posts amid excellent book roundups, she also curates a list of daily digital book deals. Usually these book are available for only a short time at $1.99 or similar, so this is a great resource for those of you who are bookworms.

Top 5 Newsletters Worthy of Your Inbox • Little Gold Pixel

2. Lenny

The brainchild of Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, this newsletter makes the rounds every so often when an essay goes viral (read: Jennifer Lawrence on pay inequality). Say what you will about the highly polarizing Lena Dunham — most people either love her or hate her — but you can’t deny the gems in this newsletter. Equal parts literary, feminist, social commentary, this is the zine I always dreamed of making when I was a teenager. It’s like Sassy magazine for grown-ups. And I really enjoy the illustrations, which is icing on the cake.

Top 5 Newsletters Worthy of Your Inbox • Little Gold Pixel

3. We Are Scout

If you haven’t already heard of this Aussie blog, you should get over there ASAP. It’s a joint collaboration between Lisa Tilse and Rebecca Lowrey Boyd, and it’s pure eye candy. I look forward to their weekly newsletter for the lovely pictures, the great ideas and the general vibe they do so well. Every now and then they have some free printables, and an 84-page ebook on how to decorate with plants.

Top 5 Newsletters Worthy of Your Inbox • Little Gold Pixel

4. By Regina

Entrepreneurs and bloggers, take note: Regina is the best. Her newsletters consistently drop large amounts of business knowledge in a fun and no-nonsense way, unlike her peers in this industry (trust me, I subscribe to them all). My favorite thing about her newsletters isn’t even the information inside, though — it’s her writing style and irreverent graphics. I love how she turns a phrase and in general I just want to be her BFF.

Top 5 Newsletters Worthy of Your Inbox • Little Gold Pixel

5. LZ Sunday Paper

Lauren Zalaznick is a heavyweight in the entertainment industry whose resume is an inspiration (seriously, check her LinkedIn). I look forward to receiving her Sunday morning roundup of links that points to the best (sometimes funny sometimes infuriating but always relevant) news about women.


Last but not least, make sure you sign up for mine! I focus on design and home decor news/links, behind the scenes tips and inspiration from my everyday life, and (of course) that exclusive free printable.

LET'S BE PEN PALS!

Join the Little Gold Pixel community and receive your first exclusive free printable today. 
Then keep an eye out for periodic freebies, design tips and tutorials in your inbox.

Behind the Scenes: Cactus Art Printable Video

Welcome to my first “backstage” post. The is the first video I’ve ever made (surprise! welcome to 2007!). And I’ve finally created a YouTube channel.

If all goes well, and assuming I don’t fall down a rabbit hole of editing videos, I’ll try to share process videos — and eventually tutorials — often.

For this cactus art printable video, I just hit “record” and started creating something from scratch. I sped up the video substantially so you wouldn’t die of boredom or roll your eyes while I change fonts 60 times.

If you’re really paying attention, you’ll notice that I switched fonts one more time after ending my video. Chronically indecisive, that’s me.

The printable is available for download in the stop. Oh, and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel to stay up to date on future videos.

Cactus Art Printable Video • Little Gold Pixel

Download Here

And one more thing …

Get Your Questions Answered

Now that I’m creating videos, I thought this would be a good time to open up the floor for questions. Do you have any design problems you’d like to solve? Anything you’d like to see explained in a tutorial?

Feel free to ask questions in the comments below or fill out the contact form here.