Project Life, Week Sixteen + a video tutorial

Cathy ZielskeProject Life, Tutorials47 Comments

OBSERVATIONS: Last week seemed like a week where not very much happened until I went back through my notes and photos. I love when I realize that hey, stuff really did happen and if I hadn’t thought to jot it down in the moment, or snap a quick photo, well, it would have been lost to time and memory.

I also decided to get really Photohop-y with my pictures this week, adding overlays, wrapping text and creating bleeding headlines to top some of my shots. What can I say? Some days just need more Photoshop. This week, I’m including a short video tutorial to show you how to do one little technique. More on that below. First, let’s look at the pages.


Of course I had to include a brief summary of the Cole-Kony story, saved via Tiny Template. And I layered in some text onto a shot of some blooming lilacs, as well as dropped an overlay onto a self portait of me working.


More text on photos, and the tip I’m going to share is how to do this:


I loved this shot of Aidan’s backpack, as she headed off to school, and just wanted to drop some journaling onto the photo before printing. Creating a ghosted background for journaling is simple. Want proof? Here’s a quick video that shows you how I did it.

How to create a ghosted journal block overlay from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

Here are a few more images from the week.



On this photo, I simply created a text box that extended into the salad image, and hit return every time I got close to the image to create this custom wrap effect.

I just released a new Check Card set called “The Kid Life Edition.” The cards in this set could be really fun for covering all aspects of kid life in a check box format. Included in the set are sheets of printable PDFs in black ink for those of you who do not have Photoshop at your disposal.


I recorded a video about working with this style of card. You can find that by clicking here.

And that, friends, is all she wrote on Project Life for Week Sixteen.




Project Life, created by Becky Higgins, is a flexible, easy-to-use, highly customizable way to save your memories in a fun, stress-free way. Learn more about getting started with Project Life by clicking here.





Cathy ZielskeProject Life, Week Sixteen + a video tutorial

47 Comments on “Project Life, Week Sixteen + a video tutorial”

  1. #1

    Some great ideas. Sometimes I just feel like I did nothing of my time and I love how project life gives meaning to the everyday.

  2. #3

    Eeek! Just popped over and saw your new post AND a Video! Eeek!!
    …. getting my cup of tea ready now before I sit back, relax and read all the details. Even at a quick glance (and I don’t want to get too much into it before my cuppa because that would take away the fun) I can tell you it looks fantastic once again. Your tips always give me something new to try….. ok better get that tea now.. Thanks Cathy.

  3. #5
    Missy K

    Thanks Cathy– great video! I think I knew how to do all those functions independently but you put it all together into a process I know I’ll be using.

  4. #6
    Julie Kelley

    Bye Bye Birdie now? Aiden’s taste in musicals seems to be strikingly similar to my own. Bye Bye Birdie was one of my first and (therefore) favorite shows.

  5. #7

    thanks for that video – I have been wanting to try the journaling cards and now I feel like I can do it – with you holding my hand all the way πŸ™‚

  6. #9

    You are a mind reader! I tried to make one of those box thingies by myself this week, and let’s just say I was defeated. Thanks for the tutorial! I will be a text box making fool.

  7. #10

    I love this text idea, looks great. Thanks for the video, so nice that you always help us. Love her cute bag and that you told the story for it. How awesome those new cards are, you always have great ideas. Another week to love in your house!!

  8. #11

    Thanks for the tutorial and the new Kids LIfe Check Cards! Bought the new set. Great addition to Project Life!

  9. #12

    Just know that CS3 doesn’t have the feature “simplify layer” – not sure where it’s hidden but I worked around it in this video on creating a text box.

  10. #13

    Wow. I think it is so awesome that you take the time to post these videos! I wouldn’t even touch my PS elements if I hadn’t learned half the stuff I have learned from you!
    Big thanks!

  11. #14

    Oh, in CS its called Rasterize (still under the Layer menu) then you pick what you want to change. Rasterize just means change to pixels. : )

  12. #18

    I LOVE the fact that I’m not the only one that would find happiness in a new dishwasher basket, LOL. Cathy, you are so fun.

  13. #19
    Cynthia B.

    Thanks for the video, Cathy! I got PSE last fall for my birthday, and these little tricks/techniques are the things I love to learn. Now i’ve got to find a photo to play with so I can use this tip. I appreciate you!

  14. #21
    Anne Marie

    I love your Project Life ideas – thanks for sharing them! I am fairly new to using Photoshop Elements and absolutely LOVE your video tutorials. I’ve purchased some of your templates to use in my album and your videos have given me confidence in learning and using Photoshop! Thank you!!

  15. #23
    Katherine Ware

    Cathy, I have a PSE question, and I don’t know if you can help or not. I’ve gotten frustrated with it, hence part of the reason I got behind in PL, which frustrated me more . . . long story short, I should probably just start new at this point! Anyways, I digress. My problem is, I use the templates, I upload my photos into PSE (I have 7) apply things, follow tutorials, etc. Everything looks great on the screen. My problem is when it comes to printing. Every stinkin’ time, it enlarges my images just a bit — so if I’ve typed text on the side, it cuts it off. Any ideas how to fix this? Is it something I’m doing in PSE, or could it be my printer? Any feedback would be great. Thanks!

  16. #25

    Thank you for the tutorials — I really want to try that ghosted text block especially. I’m intrigued by those kid life cards — maybe once there’s a spare bit of cash in my wallet, I’ll pick them up. πŸ™‚ Can you change the colors to whatever fits your color scheme?


  17. #26

    Katherine, youre not crazy. My printer does this as well. Every stinkin time. Everything comes out just a tiny bit bigger. One of the workarounds I have done is to create my card art, whether they are 3 x 4 or 4 x 6 and then I drag the layered files onto a new 8.5 x 11 piece of paper and print regular 8.5 x 11 settings, no bleeds. Ill do this for multiple cards (or as many as I can get onto a page) then print onto photo paper and trim.

    I think what messes up the prints is that we print our cards to bleed, right? And so because there is actually no overhang image on the 4 x 6 card, for example, the printer has to compensate, enlarging it just a bit to get it right to the edge of the photo.

    Does this help?

  18. #28

    OH. MY. GAWD. How many times have I looked at that key?? This is proof positive. I am headed for crazyville. Bullet train.
    Thank you. πŸ™‚

  19. #29
    amy t schubert

    omg I am so excited for you to be meeting w/ a NW&W nutritionist! Thanks to your recommendation I have been listening to all their podcast archives (years worth), and I have so much enthusiasm for GOOD FOOD again….

    good luck!

  20. #30
    Katherine Ware

    Yes, it does, Cathy! Phew! Good to know I’m not losing my mind (or at least I’m in good company if I am! LOL!) Thanks for your help and input. MUCH appreciated! πŸ™‚

  21. #31

    Love your videos, they are so darn helpful! I also like the ‘ease’ of your speaking in them, it calms me and it’s like you’re sitting right here with me.

    Off topic….sort of. Do you have any tips on taking self portraits?…like the picture of you at your desk. i just don’t have a good way of making sure the picture is in focus.

    BTW , your son has the right tshirt on. Go Fly boys!!!! πŸ˜‰


  22. #33

    You know, I set my camera on a tripod and used the self timer. : ) Not sure if that helps but i find my tripod helps a lot!

  23. #34
    Michelle P

    Cathy –
    I am really interested in hearing more about your appt with the nutritionist @ NW&W. You have inspired me to begin my jouney to shed my excess poundage and return to running in a different way. I was up about 50 lbs. I’ve lost about 12 since the beginning of Feb. It was then that I began training for a 1/2 marathon. My 1/2 is this Sunday & I am beginning to search for a new “goal”. I have found that if I don’t train for something I typically fall off exercising. There’s another 1/2 in Sept., so we’ll see how this one goes & maybe.
    Anyway, I’m interested in learning more about what/how you incorporate the advice of the nutrtionist.
    Thanks for listening.
    Michelle P

  24. #35

    Hey Michelle, I will likely to a blog post about it eventually! : ) Good for you for training for the 1/2. There is a 1/2 here in late August and part of me thinks its time I try to tackle that distance! Who knows!

  25. #37

    oh, its just spinach, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, bell pepper and cilantro, tossed with Bragg Ginger and Sesame vinaigrette. Yum!

  26. #38

    Thanks for the video instruction! I love that you do this and I always learn so much from your videos! I can’t wait to try it this week!

  27. #39

    This was great. I will do more text boxes like this. I usually add a digital sticker, but this is so classic a look that I will do this as well. Thanks.

  28. #40
    Debbie S

    I LOVE your videos Cathy. Thanks so much for creating them and posting them. I have learned A TON from you. Really helped me quickly move up the learning curve with PSE. Can’t wait to try out the ghosted overlay. You make everything look so easy!
    My question for you is regarding the font type that you use… Archer. Is there somewhere that I can get that font? I love it and it doesn’t appear on my default drop down in PSE.

  29. #43
    Karen Freeman

    Hi Cathy
    Thanks for the tutorial and video, on my list to try. I’m doing (well trying) week in a life with Ali this year – today last day (actually watching your video will probably one of my last pics!) So I ‘ll be on the look out for a picture to do this with. Anyway just wondering if you can tell me if I can subscribe to your blog so the posts aome into my email? I had a look around but couldn’t see anywhere to do that option like I have on others. No worries if not I just need to make sure I go straight over and check for updates. Cheers Karen.

  30. #44

    There is a small link on the sidebar, under the sponsors that says subscribe to this blogs feed. That might be able to help!

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