Archive for the ‘GIMP’ Category

Capital L crocheted

Letter of the Week

Last week was a very busy one for me, both in preschool and in “real” life.  At home I had three different people have a stomach virus at different times (including me) and my oldest broken her arm roller skating.  Because of the craziness at home I did not get to post my favorite activities of the week in preschool.  So now I have a little time to breathe and am ready to share, including my first preschool printable.

Lion shapes craft for preschool

Lion craft using BW version and printing on construction paper

During chapel last week the story was Daniel in the Lion’s Den, so I wanted to make some type of lion craft to go with it.  Since I only have my students three mornings a week I try to combine skills whenever possible, so I combined the Bible story with the shapes theme for this craft.  I made two printables for this activity.  One is made in color so you can just print it out and then cut.  The other is in black and white so that you can print it on color paper.  I printed mine on construction paper.  The black and white version has several triangles to choose from for the nose; I am still perfecting my triangle drawing capabilities in GIMP and was not quite satisfied with several of them.  My students liked being able to choose a triangle for themselves.

Color Lion Printable  part one   part two

Black and White Lion Printable  part one   part two

During centers time we used some roads in shape form from Making Learning Fun.  I printed out the four main shapes we were learning and laminated them.

Source: makinglearningfun.com via Laura on Pinterest

Through Pinterest I also discovered a printable story retelling set for Mouse Shapes, which I somehow ended up with two copies of from the local library after searching fruitlessly through two book stores. We also sang several shapes songs, including ones that were posted on my walls.



For our letter of the week, I brought in the crocheted letters that I made, taught them the ASL sign for the letters, and wrote the letter on our white boards. We have a few worksheets that our school gives us to use and then I discovered a few things to use on my own. I read aloud (with a refrain for the students) a poem, “Little Lovely Lambs” which I found through Scholastic. We also used a couple of activities from Raising Rock Stars Preschool, including the minibook and words that begin with L sheet.



I know there is plenty more that I jammed into the week, including sponge painting with our four main shapes, a sensory bin of pasta and the shape blocks I found on clearance at the Target Dollar Spot, and our alphabet exercise cards. For more ideas for shapes, please check out my Colors and Shapes board on Pinterest. Many alphabet ideas can be found on my Alphabet Pinterest board as well.


If you download my lion craft, please let me know.  I would also love to see your creations with it.  Also, if you are interested in the crocheted letters, let me know or check out my crochet patterns page for more information.  I sell both the patterns and the finished product.

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My husband just updated my computer system, so everything looks just a tad different, including GIMP. When I first opened it there was a new nifty graphic while it loaded. Then, once it loaded, I had to figure out all the icons in the tool box because they all looked just enough different that I could not just automatically click what I wanted without thinking like I usually do when I am doing photo edits.

Since I have a new version of GIMP, I decided to play around with it a bit tonight. Here is what I came up with (Be sure to click on it to get a good look; it loses some quality to get it to fit on my blog):

GIMP banner

After spending some time looking at banners and wanting to add a bit more to the one I did the other night, I just started over and ended up with this. I won’t be using this “as is”; I still want to play around a bit. However, I thought I would share what I have done so far.

1. I opened a new file with the dimensions required. In this case, 760 x 100.

2. I opened three separate photographs.

3. I chose the crop tool and cropped the photos to the dimensions needed. For the background, 760 x 100. For the small thumbnail photos, I chose a square, not worrying about the pixels for the moment.

4. I then scaled the thumbnails down to 75 x 75.

5. I copied one photo at a time into the new, still empty file. I copied using the menu for each photo, then pasted using the menu for the main file. For the first photo (I pasted in the background first), I anchored the layer since there was not anything else there. For the thumbnails, after pasting, I then clicked on the floating layer in the layers dialog box and named the layer, which makes it no longer floating.

6. After getting all three photos on the banner, I had to move the thumbnails around a bit. Making sure I was in the correct layer, I chose the Move tool to move the thumbnail where I wanted it.

7. Adding text makes a new layer. When doing this I discovered that I was stuck in pick layer mode and was having trouble moving my text after I put it in. There is a spot to choose whether you are picking a layer or moving it at the bottom of the Tool menu when the move tool is chosen. Check this if you cannot move your text and keep moving your background like I did several times before figuring out what I was doing wrong.

GIMP TIP OF THE DAY: Look at the bottom of your Tool Menu if you cannot move something with the move tool. You might be in Pick Layer mode.

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Playing around with GIMP

I just borrowed Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional from the local library to pick up some tips on using GIMP. I had a specific idea in my head that I wanted to use GIMP to produce. As I looked through the book, I found a multi-step process that might be modified to make what I wanted to do happen. I tried it, with my modifications and discovered I could not get it to work. I made so many layers and merged down so many times I had no idea what I had done even if I managed to end up with what I wanted.

Tonight I decided to give up on my idea for the time being and just play around. I am starting to get used to using layers now, which is helpful. Now I just have to make my brain understand in advance what will happen if I change the order of the layers. More practice, I am sure, will help. In the meantime, I have an updated banner (the one at the top of my blog.)

Steps I used for my banner:

1. Created a layer in the appropriately sized file.

2. Opened a photograph to cut.

3. Used the Select Rectangular Regions tool to select the part of the photo I needed. This took a few tries to get what I wanted.

4. Copied the rectangular region and pasted it into the layer of my banner file.

5. Chose text tool. Clicked on banner to create layer. Added text, choosing font and color. I eventually settled on white after playing around with lots of choices picked from the photo.

6. I added a drop shadow, which is found under Script-fu and Shadow.

7. Finally, in the layers window I chose the white font layer and chose the Grain Merge mode.

GIMP Tip for the day: In your layers window, the icon that looks like an eye can be clicked. When you click it, that layer disappears from view (and whatever effect it was having on your project will disappear from view as well.)

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Gimp practice

I figured out how to play with layers in GIMP this evening and made a new sign for my ASL playgroup to post at church. Isn’t it funny how once you figure out one tiny piece of information about a program, suddenly you can do a million more things with it? For some reason, I had not figured out how to know which layer I was working with until I read through a GIMP tutorial. As soon as I saw how to show which layer I was working with, I did not need to look at the tutorial anymore to make my sign.

Now if only I can make my printer work with GIMP….it seems the printer we bought is not on its list of printers. I have informed my husband of this several times, but he keeps forgetting about it. I was hoping he would find a solution for me, but I may have to find one for myself.

We do have an older printer that I can use, but my sign just does not look that great after seeing it displayed on the screen and then seeing the print out….

I know my sign is pretty simple, but just the fact that I could start using GIMP for desktop publishing like I used to use several Windows based programs years ago makes me pretty happy tonight.

By the way, the girls in the sign are signing horse and cow.

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I have been starting to use GIMP a bit more and am trying to learn the whole layers concept. I used it to create my shop banner and to make a little ad for my ASL playgroup, but I know there is much, much more it can do. I have been perusing sites and found a couple good ones that simplify things a bit since they are tutorials written specifically for those planning to use GIMP for digital scrapbooking. As I learn more, hopefully I can post some ideas here.

One tutorial I want to go through is at this site: Scrapbooks Gone Digital

I will try to work on a simple explanation for red eye removal this week for a tutorial since I know it was difficult for me to find one when I was searching.

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