October 23rd, 2011 | 1 Comment »

About a couple of weeks ago, while watching a DVD on my 5 year-old MacBook Pro, my husband spilled his red wine on it. Pretty badly too. Fortunately the hard drive is not affected. However, the incident rendered the keyboard useless: only about 5% of the keys worked! The battery has stopped charging too – but this doesn’t worry me much since the battery has been quite bad for the past couple of years anyway. Now, a laptop without a working keyboard is useless! We tried to clean and dry my MBP as best we could, but the damage was done. So, what to do?

It would be a shameful waste to throw the MBP away just because of the defunct keyboard. Besides, I don’t have any fund to get a new one. So I decided to try and fix it! And I am so glad to find ifixit.com! There they have a selection of very comprehensive step-by-step how to for electronics DIY. They also sell the spare parts and the tools necessary to perform the DIY electronic repair! Their website is very easy to use too. I quickly found out which model my MBP is (it’s the A1211) and which keyboard replacement I needed, along with the tools required. I made the purchase and my order arrived in just 4 days! What an excellent service!

However, because I got sick the next day, I couldn’t do the operation until yesterday Sat, 22 October. Below is the complete run down:


So there! If you have problems with your gadget’s hardware and it’s out of warranty, do visit ifixit.com first before throwing your gadget away just because the cost to fix it is too costly. Their instructions are so clear it is easier to repair things yourself than you might have thought it would be! Seriously! Repairing is good for the environment too :).




May 7th, 2010 | 3 Comments »

Blowin’ Baubbles has just arrived at Studio Ztampf! in SBG:

I’ve made a layout with it! The AlphaSet used in the layout comes from the GelloGlass AlphaSet, which has also just been made available at Studio Ztampf!!

Now the layout:

There are two things to point out in the layout:
1. How to make the bubbles look more realistic on the photo itself
2. How to make the bubble spray appear so seamlessly floating out from the photo

Now, the keyword to question No.1 is ‘blending mode’. I use Photoshop, but I am sure that many other software have similar feature. For the bubbles that I placed on the photo, I just set the blending mode of the bubble spray layer to ‘Pin Light’: voila! The bubbles now look like an original part of the photo!

Next, but then the part of the bubbles spray outside the photo now looks funny! There is a very easy trick to fix this:
– Copy the bubbles spray layer
– Change the blending mode to ‘Normal’
– Crop the part that is overlaid on the photo (use your Lasso Tool)
Now the bubbles spray pop up even more!
Easy peasy :)

Actually, I have another version of this layout done with a different background paper! Which one you like best? The peach one above or the aqua one below?

For complete credit list of other products used in the layouts above, just click on each of the layouts above.

Well, I hope you will find this little trick useful!

March 31st, 2010 | 2 Comments »

With the arrival of ROBOKIT @ Scrapbookgraphics, it is only fitting to base my blog post around it.   Hello, I am Tracy one of Fhungs Z!Girls.

ROBOKIT is the perfect kit for those boys in your lives, I should know I have four of them!   I played with the kit when Fhung first released it at Ztampf and created these layouts…

but today I found I wanted more,  I wanted to show you the versatility of this kit and that it isn’t all masculine..

so I created this art with a couple of pictures of my daughter.

Then I got to thinking,  one of my favourite things about Ztampf products is how perfect the papers are for blending photos onto them.   I love to be able to utilise those not so fantastic photos and the best way I have found to do this is through blending.   Here is how I created the above art using the Hard Light Blending mode which was perfect for this picture.

In Photoshop CS4,  After opening a new 12 x 12 document,   I selected my paper, then dragged my photo onto it.

With My Photo Layer highlighted in the layers palette, I then went into Image – Adjustments  and clicked on Black & White.  ( I find it easier to blend when my photo is Black and White).  A pop up will appear Click OK.

Go to your Layers Palette and highlight the photo layer,  I selected Hard Light as I am blending into a dark background.

Using a large soft eraser – erase the areas not required from the photo

then continue and finish your art.  Once you have erased the unnecessary bits,  Try duplicating the photo layer and using different blending modes on each layer, try using dark and light background or even blending in a couple of photos,   you can get some amazing effects and have lots of fun.

Have A Great Day!

((HUGS)) Tracy

April 22nd, 2009 | 1 Comment »

Did you know that you could subscribe to any album or even to the Ztampfest Gallery as a whole with the RSS Feed or the ‘Watch’ features? You’ll be effortlessly keep updated whenever a new layout is uploaded to the gallery! A very convenient way to see any new ztampfilicious layouts. You can choose to subscribe just to the Creative Team Gallery, for example. Now, how to do this?

Easy! Just take a look at << Album Actions >> or << Item Actions >> on the left navigation menu on any given page in the gallery and you’ll see in the drop down menu there an option for RSS Feed:

Click on the ‘RSS Feed for… ‘; a new page will show up and you can choose your preferred method from the drop down menu there:

With RSS Feed, you have the options to keep updated through browser or email.

Don’t like RSS? There is another method to keep updated with Ztampfest Gallery by using the ‘Watch’ feature. When you use this method, you will be notified by email.

Under each Album or Item/Photo, you’ll see ‘Watch’ – just click it to choose what you want to be notified about: whenever there is a new layout uploaded to that particular album (say, the Creative Team Album) or whenever there is a new comment added to a particular layout (say, your layout!). You can choose both if you want.

You can also access the ‘Watch’ feature from the left navigation menu on any given page under the << Album Actions >> or << Item Actions >> dropdown menu:

That’s it! Easy peasy :). Enjoy browsing the Ztampfest Gallery! Lots of new layouts added recently!

Edited to add: with RSS Feed, you don’t have to logged in nor registered to receive updates while with ‘Watch’ you have to be a registered user and logged in.

February 5th, 2009 | No Comments »

Natural, Realistic Looking Use of Digital PaperClips

Ever wonder how to apply the paperclips so they look realistic? Especially pretty tough when using on say, a short piece of tag, or a ribbon – anywhere when the lower bit would show. And how about on a sheer ribbon or a piece of vellum paper?

Well, Ztampf! makes it easy for you. In most cases, I would provide the paper clips in 2 versions:
• Full Version, showing the entire clip.
• Clipped Version, showing how it would appear when ‘clipped’ to a paper/tag/picture with the ‘back’ section partially erased.

Now, to use a paper clip in the most common way, you would just drop the Clipped Version where you want it, align it well with the edge of the paper and you’re done! It even has the natural looking shadow where it should have! Convenient!

For other type of usage as described at the top, you would need to use both versions:
– Place both version on your file, each on its own layer.
– Align them well, so they would look like there is just 1 paper clip. Use the top as the base to align them precisely.
– Next, adjust the layers order: place the Full Version layer to be BEHIND/underneath the layer of paper/tag/picture to be clipped.
– Now, while making sure that they are still linked together, drag them to where you want the paper clip to be.
– Voila! See the result for yourself!

On the left is the common way of using just the ‘Clipped Version’. On the right made use of both versions to create a complete paper clip being clipped through a short material, with the bottom part of the paper clip peeks out.

The samples above were taken from these layouts below. Click the thumbnails to see them larger:

Posted in Tips'n Tricks, Z!matter
February 5th, 2009 | No Comments »

I’ve decided to move the Tips’n Tricks Section on Ztampf.com here over the next few days.
Below is a tutorial I did upon customer requests to use with my The Ultimate Torn Pack, can also be used for similar products.

For using the Cropping Templates with Torn Overlays
based on Photoshop CS

• Choose the paper you want to ‘tear’, open it in your graphic software.
• Choose the style of ‘tear’ you want, noting the name i.e. Circle.
• Open the CroppingTemplates folder and find the cropping template for Circle.
• Open it and copy the layer on top of the paper layer.

• Open the the Circle torn overlay file and copy it on top of the cropping template layer.

• Link or group the Cropping Template layer with the torn overlay layer, they should be automatically aligned when you copy them. Otherwise make sure they are perfectly aligned before you link/group them together.

• Position them where you want the ‘tear’ to be done.

Placing the Cropping Template Onto the Paper

• Use your Select Tool with Color Range or Magic Wand Tool (set the tolerance level to Zero) to select the area, a marquee should appear.

Placing the Cropping Template Onto the Paper

• Now hide the Cropping Template layer and Un-hide the paper layer.

• If your paper layer is a background layer, turn it into a layer (Layer 0 in PSCS).

• Hide all layers except the Cropping Template layer.

Placing the Cropping Template Onto the Paper

• Select the paper layer, then cut/crop (Command X or Control X). Another way to do this is using the Create Clipping Mask under the Layer Menu (Opt+Cmd+G in Mac). This way your paper is not actually being cropped/cut.

Placing the Cropping Template Onto the Paper

• Un-hide the torn overlay layer.
• Remove the remaining unwanted portion of the paper using cropping tool.
• Delete the Cropping Template layer.
• Merge the torn overlay layer with the paper.
• If you want to add drop shadow to the paper, do this before merging it with the torn overlay layer.

Placing the Cropping Template Onto the Paper

Placing the Cropping Template Onto the Paper

• See the samples given to see how they look like.

• Compare the ZtampfTornThings_FloralDelight07.png with the ZtampfTornThings_FloralDelight08.png. The first one used the Framed Circle, while the latter one used the Circle.

• You can combine the tear overlays on 1 paper as shown in the ZtampfTornThings_ChatreuseBloom.png in The Ultimate Torn Pack.

Hope you will find this useful!

Posted in Tips'n Tricks, Z!matter
October 11th, 2008 | No Comments »

A customer emailed me this:

I have purchased a number of your beautiful packages and would like to use the Album and Ensembles pages on 8.5×11 pages. That means I am trying to re-size them and when I do that I loose the benefit of using the Group with Previous function that makes these pages so desirable. I am working and printing from home and so would very much like to keep this standard size.
Can you help?

I absolutely love your work and will be very disappointed if I cannot use your wonderful packages to the fullest. I know of a couple of other scrappers that would like to hear this answer so may be it would be a good subject for your newsletter. I am somewhat new to scrapbooking and so hope that I am not bring up questions that you have answered long ago!

Looking forward to your reply.

Are you a 8.5×11 scrapper? Do you face similar problems with her? Don’t worry, I’ve written a couple of small tutorials here to help you out :). I hope they are clear enough. Do not hesitate to ask if you need further clarifications, OK!

The instructions here are for Photoshop/Photoshop Elements. The main thing before you begin is to make sure to have the ‘Constraint Proportions‘ option in the Image Size dialog box selected. If you are using other program, I’m sure there is a similar option available, so be sure to look for it. The bottom line is to make sure that when you resize, you do so proportionately so the result will look right.

1. Using 12×12 QuickPages on 8.5×11 pages
To keep the right proportion of the QuickPages, first resize them proportionately to 8.5 x 8.5 in (if you use Photoshop/Photoshop Elements: in the Image Size option, set to 70.83% or 2550 x 2550 px). Then choose a complimentary background paper. You can use a matching main paper used in the QuickPage, or you can choose a contrasting paper instead. Resize this paper to 11 x 11 in (91.67% or 3300 x 3300 px).

Now open a new file of 8.5 x 11 in page. Copy or drag the resized background paper layer to it. Align it so it’s centered. Then copy or drag the resized QuickPage and center it as well. For a softer blending between them, use your Lasso Tool, set the feather to around 55, then ‘draw’ it around the edges of the QuickPage. Then cut that portion by pressing Control+X for PC or Command+X for Mac. Finally insert your photo behind the QuickPage layer and if you wish, you can add further text or embellishment on top of the QuickPage layer. See the samples here:

Sample 1. Using a matching background paper: ‘lasso’ the edges of the QuickPage and remove the area to achieve a somewhat seamless look. I’m using Bohemian Rhapsody Package Saving here.

Sample 1b. Here’s how it looks like without utilizing the ‘lasso technique’ – note the straight, more obvious edges of the QuickPage against the background paper behind it:

Sample 2. Using a contrasting background paper:  elements are added between the QuickPage and the Background Paper (the lace), also on top of them for a more unified look (the beaded stapler and stitches). I’m using Phrench Phoebe Package Saving here.

Sample 3. A few QuickPages can be simply cropped to fit 8.5×11 pages like this one from the Birthday Bliss Album Set. It is dragged and centered on a 8.5×11 page then proportionately resized to 90.75%.

2. Using Ensembles on 8.5×11 pages
For the Ensembles, it is easy too. A few of them might be small enough to just be dropped on a 8.5×11 pages.The key is to get the background paper you want to use with it resized correctly. There are 2 ways to do this:

1. By resizing the background paper to 11×11 then center it on a 8.5×11 page like described above for using 12×12 QuickPages on 8.5×11 pages. This work best for papers with evenly spread out patterns.

Sample 4. a 12×12 page proportionately resized to 11×11 and then cropped to fit a 8.5 x 11 page. Paper is from Syrin Seamstress Kit.

2a. By cropping the 12×12 paper on the most interesting part to fit a 8.5×11 page. Open a new 8.5×11 page. Then open the 12×12 paper you want to use. Drag it to the 8.5×11 page and move them around until you found the most interesting part you like the best.

Sample 5. a 12×12 paper cropped on the most interesting part to fit a 8.5×11 page. Paper used here is from the Bohemian Rhapsody Kit.

2b. By resizing the 12×12 background paper to 11×11 first, then drag it to a 8.5×11 page and move the up and down until you find the look you like the best.

Sample 6. a 12×12 paper proportionately resized to 11×11 and then cropped on the most interesting part to fit a 8.5×11 page. Paper used is from Year In Revue Kit.

For the Ensembles themselves, just resize them proportionately. If you’re on Mac, just press the ‘Shift’ key while you are dragging the corner of the Ensemble with your mouse to resize it. In PC, I think it’s it’s the ‘Control’ key that you have to press – I’m not sure though but you can try. Another way is to use the Image Size feature: select the Ensemble then set the scale percentage accordingly.

Sample 7. An Ensemble proportionately resized to fit into a 8.5×11 page. The paper is proportionately resized down to 92% and placed on a 8.5×11 page while the Ensemble is proportionately resized down to 85%. Both are from the Birthday Bliss Package Saving.

Tips: It is usually easier to work by dragging whatever you want to use on a 8.5×11 page. This way you can see how exactly things look would look like when you resize and move them around on the 8.5×11 page.

That’s it! I hope you will find these tutorials useful. Questions? Just ask me here on the Comment section or email me. Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Scrapping :).

Posted in Tips'n Tricks, Z!matter
October 26th, 2007 | 5 Comments »

It’s been a week since the last entry! What’s up? Well, something weird is happening with my body. Somehow I have developed an allergy to something that has yet to be found. It all started at the beginning of this month… just a harmless little itchiness above my left wrist. But then I noticed a splatter of tiny reddish bumps there. Hmmm. Insect bites? I didn’t give it much thought until a few days later when I noticed similar itch and bumps on my right arm, above the wrist – almost symmetrical to the left one! Within a week, it got so much worse – all the way up my arms…

So I’ve been to a doctor twice and to a dermatologist once. So far none of the medication seems to really work. The new medication did ease off the bumps but new ones still appearing here and there… Spreading to my legs and parts of my body. Never mind how my skin looks now… I know one day it will smooth itself out. But maaan… it’s so itchy all over! Although I know that everything must come to an end which means this itchiness will come to an end one day, it is still a royal PITA indeed! What’s worse, it disturb my sleep too so I’m not getting enough sleep although I go to bed early (an achievement for me, the chronic night owl!).

The thing with allergy is that there are thousands of possible allergen. To pin point exactly what it is could take a lot of time, time and resources. So for cases like me – which considered to be not so bad, most doctors would just choose the take the short cut. That is, easing off the allergic reaction without really knowing the cause of it.

Now, allergy could happen suddenly. Things or food that you have been having all your life could out of the blue become allergen. Your body simply decided to react badly to them. I’m worried that this is the case with my allergy because I can’t recall having anything new/unusual around the time I first got the itchiness. Then the possibilities are wide open… it could be anything! Although… according to the dermatologist, judging from my itchiness it doesn’t seem to be from food. Food allergy usually give wider reaction, i.e. retching, dizziness, swelling and such. So I guess my condition is not so bad indeed.

But still… what could it be the cause? A mystery to solve! If I don’t know what it is, then I can’t do anything to prevent it from happening again! And trust me, it’s a royal PITA to have this itch all over your body!

Ohkay. Enough about that unpleasant subject. Let’s move on to something more useful and fun! Have you heard about TrailFire? I found out about it from Heidi of DigiscrapInfo.com. You can read about it here. It looks like a useful thing to implement so I gave it a try!

I’ve always wanted to see how my kits are being used by my customers (you!) and from time to time I’m lucky enough to see them on public galleries such as DST or SBB. Some of you would give me links or even uploaded your layouts to Ztampfest Gallery. But what if we could build a list of layouts done using certain kits that everyone can add to and view! This will create a good inspiration source too!

For example, here I made a trail for Phrench Phoebe Layouts:

If you’re registered at TrailFire, you can add to the list! See how easy it is done. I like the nifty buttons – very clever! In the future, I might add more trails for each kit so if you need more inspirations for using certain kits, just visit the trail and you can see various layouts from various sites, not limited to Ztampfest or DST or SBB or wherever:).

I’ve also created this trail: Mac Tips’n Tricks – for Mac users like me. I hope they will find it useful!

To see all the Trails that I’ve created so far, you can visit: http://trailfire.com/fhung/. I’m still building them. I think that over time it could be a handy valuable cross-reference vault that is accessible from anywhere on the net :).

And speaking of Mac… Leopard is unleashed today! I’ve been waiting for it for so long! You know what my plan is? I’m going to get myself a top of the line iMac. 24″. 2.8 GHz. 4 GB RAM. 1 TB HD space. Yes, I need a really powerful machine for my kind of work. Large display will help too! I’ve been doubting over whether to get a desktop or not since the last time I was using desktop was in 1998, on a PC. After much reconsideration… I decided that yes, a desktop will work best for me. So as soon as the iMac is shipped with Leopard inside, I’ll place an order at Fortress. What is Fortress? It is an electronic shop chain in Hong Kong that offers 2-year interest free installment plans when you spend over HKD 2,000 (USD 255). Isn’t it just great? That’s my secret why it seems so easy for me to just decide: “I want the top of of the line iMac available out there!” :D.

Now… the Ztampfans Challenges. I’ve made a boo boo which you can read about in Ztampfans Group @ FaceBook. But more importantly, the voting is now begun! Go there and vote for your favorite layout! The lucky winner will get a $20 Gift Certificate to be used at http://ScrapSupply.com!

And I made a new layout today using my new halloween stuff:

Halloween at DB, 2006

Well, that’s it for now! TEO is just back with chocolates and DVDs for the weekend! He’s cooking dinner now – I’d better go to the kitchen and harass him a bit ;).

Have a wonderful weekend, Everyone! Wish me luck so the allergy will go away soon!

September 21st, 2007 | 1 Comment »

As you might have noticed, Ztampfest Gallery is using a different script than those of Photopost generally used in most forums. As a lot of people are not familiar with this type of gallery, I decided to share some tips and tricks on using the gallery here.

First of all, did you know that you can easily and quickly navigate the Ztampfest Gallery through the navigation panel on the left? Well, on the left panel right under the Ztampfest Gallery title, you’d see ‘Expand’ and ‘Collapse’. Just click on the ‘Expand’ and a navigation ‘tree’ will appear, which makes it very easy for you to jump from one gallery to another!

Click on either the + or sign on the left side of each Album to expand or collapse the navigation tree. Try it out! I think it’s a pretty cool and useful feature!

Next, with the new updated script recently, for the first time now certain Albums in the Ztampfest Gallery are open to the registered users. This means they are given access to upload, edit and delete their own layouts.

Which Albums are open? They are: the Ztampfellas Album & Weekly Challenges Albums!

So how to upload your layouts there? Here’s how:

First of all, you have to be a registered user at Ztampfest and the size of your file should not exceed 125KB, nor larger than 600×600 dpi. Ready? Then make sure you are logged in and follow these steps:

  1. 1. Locate the Album where you wish to upload your layouts to (i.e. Ztampfellas Album
    or Weekly Challenges’ Albums).
    2. On the Album page, under ‘album actions’ on the left bar click ‘Add Items’.
    3. In the page that appears, under the tab ‘From Web Browser’ click ‘Choose File’ and locate the file you wish to upload from your hard-drive.
    4. Type in the title of your layout in the ‘Caption’ field.
    5. Add more files as you wish.
    6. Scroll down until you find:
    Set item titles from:___ please choose ‘Caption’
    Assign caption to:___ please UN-check BOTH options
    7. Leave the ‘Create Thumbnails Now’ Checked as it is.
    8. Click the ‘Add Items’ button.
    9. On the following page that appears, click on the title of the layout you want to add detailed information to.
    10 Click ‘Edit Photo’ under the ‘Item Actions’ drop-down menu.
    11. You should be on the ‘General’ tab now, if you are not, then click on the ‘General’ tab (on the far left).
    12. Type Your User Name in the ‘Summary’ field.
    13. Type related search words in the ‘Keywords’ field if you wish.
    14. Type in whatever you want to share about your creation in the ‘Description’ field but first, type in your User Name here as well.
    15. Type the Credits of product(s) used, including the Fonts name here as well, below your description.
    16. To Edit your description later or re-upload your layout, just click on the ‘Edit Photo’ under ‘item actions’ in the menu on the left or below your image.

You’re done! I know this seems to be lengthy and it’s not very commonly used in the digiscrapping sites/forums but once you got the hang of it, you’ll love it! Remember that you have to be logged in in order to do any of the above steps.

Thanks in advance and I’ll look forward to receiving your ztampfilicious creations there!

Now that you know how, don’t forget to upload your entries for the Week 1 of the Ztampf! 2nd Birthday Weekly Challenges! The deadline is Saturday, 22 Sep. 2007 at midnight of New York time zone. The prize?

3 lucky scrappers will win the following:
• a Ztampf! $135 Gift Certificate
• a KOLO Cortina CD Album shipped to your address – cool and perfect to keep your backup cds!

• a KOLO 10% Off Discount Coupon to be used at http://mykoloalbum.com – a gorgeous and flexible alternative for printing your digital layouts. Read more…

So get your creative sparks blazing… I look forward to seeing your entries there soon :).