Saturday, November 18, 2017

Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving





Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a federal holiday in the United States every year since 1863, when, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens," to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.

Psalm 9:1 says, “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”
No matter what challenges we face, there’s so much to be thankful for. This is the season that we usually take time to reflect on our many blessings.
How has the Lord blessed you?

What mighty things has the Lord done for you?

How will you celebrate this holiday season? What traditions have you and your family established so that you will always remember God’s goodness?

Praise Him and commit to Him that you will never forget the amazing things He has done for you.


Be blessed because the Lord has blessed you to be a blessing to others!


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Into the Word




The Spirit Guides Us

Time after time the Scriptures help us make sense out of life’s puzzles; it confirms its divine origin again and again as it makes sense out of our experience in the real world and points the way to harmony.



The Holy Spirit is the divine author of all Scripture. The eternal Holy Spirit, the Spirit of love and delight between the Father and the Son, is the author of Scripture. Here are a few scriptures that speak about the Word of God…

Therefore, it is true (Psalm 119:142) and altogether reliable (Hebrews 6:18).

It is powerful, working its purpose in our hearts (1 Thessalonians 2:13) and not returning empty to the One who sent it (Isaiah 55:10–11).

It is pure, like silver refined in a furnace seven times (Psalm 12:6).

It is sanctifying (John 17:17).

It gives life (Psalm 119:37, 50, 93, 107; John 6:63; Matthew 4:4).

It makes wise (Psalm 19:7; 119:99–100).

It gives joy (Psalm 19:8; 119:16, 92, 111, 143, 174) and promises great reward (Psalm 19:11).

It gives strength to the weak (Psalm 119:28) and comfort to the distraught (Psalm 119:76) and guidance to the perplexed (Psalm 119:105) and salvation to the lost (Psalm 119:155; 2 Timothy 3:15).



The wisdom of God in Scripture is inexhaustible. If this doctrine is true, then the implications are so profound and far-reaching that every part of our lives should be affected.

I pray you spend some quite time reflecting on the truth of God's Word and seal it in you heart.


Be Blessed and be a blessing!


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Created to Work


Created 2 Create

We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. Ephesians 2:10 NIV



We have been created to work. God has called us to be co-laborers with Him in this world. He has given us varying gifts, talents, and abilities to graciously ensure that we are up to the task He has called us to. I also talked about this in my last blog post.


We work with diligence and depth, trusting that God has a grand purpose for our work.   Our creative endeavors and entrepreneurial efforts serve as conduits for God’s activity here on earth. Our work is His work. God is using our work to demonstrate His truth, beauty, creativity, goodness, and justice in the places He has called us to. It is all to His glory, for our good, and to be a blessing to the world.


May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17 NIV



With the recent update to Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) you can now access your Adobe Lightroom CC and Adobe Lightroom Classic CC synced photos (albums and folders) from Adobe Photoshop CC 2018. Also, from the search icon you can search for Lightroom Photos.






Lately, you can now share photos from Photoshop to Lightroom. In this Share Panel, you see icons for some of your favorite Social Media site. You can now share from here as well.





Be Blessed and be a blessing!

All Photographs in this post/blog © Cheryl Howard





Tuesday, October 31, 2017

This Is It!



Created 2 Create

Working in Lightroom with Adobe Portfolio and the Print Module 

I Did It – This Is It!!! I started on this journey to write for 31 days in October in 2013 and each year since I have joined a community of bloggers at #Write31Days. Each year I’ve chosen different theme, usually inspirational or motivational. I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and do something a little different. This year’s theme incorporates my hobby - Photography and God’s Word; it’s based on the scripture from Exodus 35:35 (NIV), “He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.”



My gifts might look different from yours but you have one too – it might be artsy or craftsy, communicating with others, serving others, teaching, even preaching. Whatever your gift God wants you to use it. So, don’t be shy or selfish – share it.

Each day I featured one of the tools I use in the Adobe Creative Cloud Programs Lightroom and Photoshop, plus a few of my favorite apps and online design/editing programs.

We are all Create 2 Create, we each have different gifts and we are to use those gifts to glorify God and bring joy to others. God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29 NIV)

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.  (Romans 12:6-8 NIV)

So, Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV)

God’s Word is clear you are gifted and Created to Create. So, let’s get started…

…Today’s features are Adobe Portfolio and the Print Module in Lightroom.

AdobePortfolio allows you to create your own website to showcase your creative works and best of all its FREE Adobe Creative Cloud!!! It’s customizable, you can choose one of the many templates, add your bio in the “About Me” section, add albums and content. And you’re given a website address – all FREE!





It is very simple & easy. Choose a layout and a few of your favorite images and add them to a “collection” or create a new collection in Lightroom. Then…




Click the + sign on the left side of the screen to add content, this allows us to upload photos directly from one of your Lightroom Catalog. Select the folder you want to add to the gallery and Portfolio does the rest – it’s just that easy!



The Print Module in Lightroom

Truthfully, this is one feature of Lightroom that I hadn’t used until recently. The Print Module is not just for printing, it offers a way to upload images to social media and the layouts are like collages. You can use any of the many Lightroom Templates or create your own; you can print them, don’t have a printer – no worries. Export your images as JPEG files that you can share on social media! Yes, this is the feature I discovered and now use. Here’s how…
Open Lightroom and across the top tool bar, to the far right, between Slideshow and Web is “Print.” Click on Print to open the module.

Along the left toolbar is the list of all the Lightroom Templates and next to “Template Browser” is a + sign where you can add your own templates; they will appear at the bottom. You can add as many templates as you’d like or just use or modify the ones provided. In Page Setup you’ll find all your printers listed.

Along the right toolbar this is where you can decide the layout for your images. Picture package is similar to the school picture packages. Custom package is where you can customize and existing template or create your own in “Add to a Package”. Identity Plate allows you to upload a logo and if you desire, you can add your Watermark to each image.




In Print Hub, this is where you decide if you want to print to a printer or save to a file or desktop to share on social media. I chose print to “JPEG File.” You can adjust File Resolution, Print Sharpening, JPEG Quality (you can reduce this to 80-90% for sharing), Custom File Dimensions (you can leave this one unchecked), Color Management in most instances should be sRGB and Print Adjustment – you can make some final tweaks to brightness and contrast. Once you’re satisfied with all your adjusts you’re ready to Print or Print to file. If you selected print to “JPEG File” the print button will be grayed out. Click Print to File and choose a location to save your image. You’re all set and its ready share!



This is what the final saved image looks like...ready to print or share.



Well this is it for this series! I hope you’ve enjoyed it and I want to personally thank you for stopping by my blog. Here's the list of all the topics I covered in this series.

Click here for the blog link to the series. Enjoy!


Be Blessed and be a blessing!

All Photographs in this post/blog © Cheryl Howard


Monday, October 30, 2017

Adding Text to Images


Created 2 Create

Adding Text to Images



Photoshop provides capabilities to add text to images with control of the font, style, color, size and much more.



Select Text from along the left-side tool bar and enter your text by typing on the keyboard or touch-screen.

To change the font, style, color, size, etc., select all (cmd/ctrl + A) and the make the desired changes.


When the text is selected, use the Option or ALT key plus and arrow key to change the character or line spacing.

Click on the text layer to reveal the Layer Styles window. Add your choice of styles like Drop shadow to enhance your text.



Because our work is a calling from God – because we are called to create – our work is not our own. We create for the glory of God and for the good of others. The Lord has equipped us with the passions and giftings to create new things. Embrace those good gifts and lay them down at the feet of our Creator God as an offering of worship and service. Then and only then will our work feel like a calling. Because…

…We are Created 2 Create



Be Blessed and be a blessing!


All Photographs in this post/blog © Cheryl Howard




Sunday, October 29, 2017

Content-Aware



 Created 2 Create


Content-Aware Fill in Photoshop

Have you ever straightened or rotated an image only to be left with blank areas? Here’s where Content-Aware comes to the rescues to fill in those areas. You can call it smart technology!



Use the Magic Wand tool and select the blank areas. Next go to the select Menu and click Modify > Expand. Increase the selection area up to 10 pixels depending on the size of your picture and the amount of empty space. Then go to Fill in the edit menu. Click on it and you’ll see the Fill options window appear. Content-Aware should be selected by default, but if not choose it from the drop-down menu.

There will be a short pause while Photoshop goes to work filling in the blank areas with textures derived from the content of the immediately surrounding area. And like magic - no need to crop those areas unless you want to!!!



Lastly, to add a creative effect I applied an Oil Paint Filter (Filter > Stylize > Oil Paint). I used the Find Edges filter (Filter > Stylize > Find Edges) to desaturate the image and changed the blend mode to Multiply. This is one of the castles we visited while in Copenhagen.





Renewing our Minds




If we are to effectively create for the glory of God and the good of others, rather than primarily for our own fame and fortune, we must, in the words of the Apostle Paul, “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of [our minds]." In order to effectively do this, a community of fellow Christian creators is an essential ingredient.

The simple act of being faithful to God’s call to create has eternal significance. As we create in this world, it takes regular communion with our brothers and sisters in Christ to renew our minds and continually “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen” (2 Corinthians 4:18).


Be Blessed and be a blessing!


Photo in this post/blog © Cheryl Howard


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Adobe Sparke



Created 2 Create

Another One of My Favorite Apps… Adobe Spark



Adobe Spark is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud family and also is available as an iOS app.

Adobe Spark works very much like Canva for creating your very own graphic designs. Additionally, it allows you to create video stories. There are many templates you can edit or you can create your own. What I like about using this app, is that it syncs your work and updates across all your devices.

This is a sample of designs you can create with Adobe Spark!




Be Blessed and be a blessing!



All Photographs in this post/blog © Cheryl Howard





Friday, October 27, 2017

PicMonkey



Created 2 Create

One More of My Favorite Apps



PicMonkey Photo Editor

PicMonkey is a Fun, Easy to Use and Powerful Tool. Your All-In-One Editor. You can use the free version or sign up for the free 30-day Trial to gain access to many of the locked features.

Make Your Images Pop · Adjustable Drop Shadow · Give Your Pics Some Love · Awesome Clip Art

Give your photography a perfect finish with cool graphics, photo editing features, layers, effects, design features, add a logo or watermark.

This is one of photos I downloaded from Pexels and edited using PicMonkey…




“We live in such a way that on one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault in our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles, hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.” 2 Cor 6:3-6 (NLT)

Our identity, value and worth are defined by the Gospel – the Good News of Jesus Christ and in Him, we are more than conquerors.



Be Blessed and be a blessing!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Canva



Created 2 Create

Twitter Cover Image Design

Canva - One of My Favorite Design Programs and Apps


With Canva, you don’t have to be a design pro, it makes designing easy. You can use your own photos or you can you upload images from sites like Unsplash or Pexels  and download them on your computer totally FREE. Canva also offers an app for you phone.



Canva lets you Create designs for Web or print: blog graphics, presentations, Facebook & social media covers, flyers, posters, invitations and many more. The design options are endless, and the site is very user-friendly – you can modify one the their designs or create your own using one of the templates.

Unsplash offers professional images that you can modify, edit and use as you desire. Again, totally free!

Pexels’ site is just like Upsplash, these are royalty-free photographs for you to use as you wish.


These are some of the designs I created using Canva



Click on links below to view other favorites






Attitude is the mind's paintbrush; it can color any situation. ~ Barbara Johnson


Be Blessed and be a blessing!

Photographs in this post/blog © Cheryl Howard





Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Exporting from Lightroom



Created 2 Create

Size and Export Images for Lightroom for Facebook


Lightroom offers a huge amount of options for saving and exporting images.  For Facebook, you’ll want to export images at the highest resolution it will accept; 2048 pixels is what Facebook recommends.



So first, you’ll have to tell Lightroom where you want to save your image. Lightroom offers a lot of choices, one of the being to save the new resulting image into the same folder as the original. It can be a good idea to keep the original and your final copies in the same space or you can create a subfolder to the original and label it “For Facebook.” Another option is to define a “specific folder” for your outputs. This allow you to send all exported images for Facebook to the same location on your hard drive. This also works well to automatically save files into an online storage cloud storage such as into a Dropbox, iCloud, or OneDrive folder on your disk.


File format

Further down on the Export screen, you get to choose the file format you want to make the exported image. For internet purposes, you would mostly choose JPEG as the desired file format. JPEG is a compressed format which allows faster transmission of images, so most internet based platforms used this format to store photos.

With the JPEG format, you also have to choose the Quality level. The lower the quality, the more compression artifacts you might see in the final image, in exchange for a lower file size. In most cases, values around 80-90% will not show critical changes over the full 100%, and only in rare occasions you should go below 60%.


Color profile

The color profile defines how many (and which) colors can be accurately store. The smaller a color profile is, the less color information it contains, but also the smaller the file sizes will also be. sRGB is the best choice for all images that are meant to be displayed on electronic screens, from large computer monitors, to smart phones, on your website, or on Social Media.


Sizing your images

The final section you need to address before exporting your images is the resizing options. For images you plan to upload to the internet – be it your blog, to Facebook or to Instagram – you probably don’t want to upload the full resolution of 16 or 24 megapixels. As previously mentioned, Facebook only accepts up to 2048 pixels on the wide side, and if you upload larger images they will automatically be downscaled. So it is preferable to save the file in the recommended size, to save upload time.

With these settings, you could now export you image for sharing on Facebook. There are a few other sections like Output Sharpening (you can choose “Screen” and “Standard”, and compare the results to a version without output sharpening to see the difference) or adding a Watermark to your images automatically.



“This is why we work hard and continue to struggle for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.” 1 Timothy 4:10 (NLT)

Creativity isn’t option, not if we’re serious, as Christ Followers, about conforming to the image of Christ. Creativity is the natural, supernatural by-product of a Spirit-filled life. Let’s embrace creativity and entrepreneurship as a means of glorifying God and loving others.
  

Be Blessed and be a blessing!



All Photographs in this post/blog © Cheryl Howard



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Create a Signature


Created 2 Create

Write a Signature – yours!


This is so quick and easy; it literally takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish!

In Photoshop, create a new document (File > New) using a size of 500 pixels wide and 200 pixels high with a white background.



Then use the Type tool and type out your name in black; select your favorite font style. I chose Edwardian Script.



Flatten the image and select all; then go to Edit > Define Brush Preset > Name your Brush Preset and click save. It resides in your Brush Palette; you can increase/decrease the brush size and/or increase/decrease the opacity.



Now you can add this signature brush to any image. Have fun creating your signature.









As entrepreneurs and creatives, we face a lot of life’s obstacles. Therefore, we need lots of boldness. Perhaps you are considering launching a new venture or beginning work on a new piece of art; you need boldness.

As Christians, we find all the boldness we need in the person and work of Jesus Christ. He loves us because He is love.

Pray that you would go forth with boldness that comes from your relationship with Christ. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Joshua 1:9 





Be Blessed and be a blessing!



All Photographs in this post/blog © Cheryl Howard, unless otherwise indicated.


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