Tag Archives: holidays

Boarders (PHSH Effect #9)

*IMPORTANT*

Aside from my final Product Review (Dec. 13th), this is the last post of 2019!

I will be taking the final 3 weeks of the year and half of January off from posting. I should be back at it Jan. 17th with the first Throw Away Fic of the year. (The next PHSH tutorial will come either come Jan. 20th, or sometime in Feb. Keep an eye out on my Twitter account, as that’s where I announce new posts)

Whether you wanted to up your book cover game, or start your own merch shop, or just wanted to have some fun, I hope you’ve found these tutorials useful.


This is the very last PHSH Effect of 2019!

In honour of this time of the year, I thought I’d show you something that could help you spruce up the annual x-mas card. I’m talking about boarders, of course! You can make a boarder look like pretty much anything you want to, but in keeping with the holiday spirit, I’ll be showing you how to make a ‘snow-y’ boarder like the one below.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Boarder Done - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

It’s a lot simpler than it may look, I promise! And, once you get the hang of it, you’ll probably want to do them all the time for whatever you’re creating.

Step 1. Create a Solid Colour layer from the bottom of the Layers panel. It can be any colour you want. For simplicity, I’m making mine blue.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Solid Colour Layer - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Solid Colour Selected - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

 

Step 2. Click on the Layer Mask (the square of colour that’s closest to the Layer name) This is the part we’re working with, not the actual layer.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Layers Mask Selected - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

Double click the Layer Mask square to bring up the Properties panel, then click on Invert. This will make the square go white (or black) – don’t worry! This is just to show it’s inverted. The Layer Mask square may be black now instead of white, too.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Properties Panel w/ Red Square - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

 

Step 4. Next, go to your Brush tool (left-side tool bar) and select one of the Creative Brushes from the bottom of the list. Because I want this boarder to look snow-y, I’m selecting a brush that looks somewhat like snow-flakes. (They’re just little dots, but still)

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Brush Tool Selector Top - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation




Step 5. Once you find a brush you like, you can draw a square/boarder around the edges of the document. This is how you make the ‘boarder’ for the document. The colour you picked in Step 1 may appear through the lines you drew, that’s supposed to happen.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Blue Boarder - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

Aaand it’s at this stage I realize I did the steps backward. (I’m human, okay? Sorry to shatter the illusion) So I changed the background colour to blue, and made my boarder off-white, so it looked more like snow. I also changed the size of my brush so you could see the ‘dots’ more clearly, instead of having it look like a solid line, so it more closely resembles snow.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Fixed Boarder - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

Now, if you’re not doing snow, this is pretty much it, you can add whatever picture or text you want, or even go back and change the colour of the boarder or background.

If you want to stick with me and make this look like snow, it’s gonna take a while. This boarder looks fine, but doesn’t really look too snow-like. Since I’m using a dotted brush, now I’m going to add a bunch of dots (or ‘snow’) over more of the background, to make it look more like it’s snowing.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Beginning to Make Snow - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

After this is done, as I said above, then you can add any other pictures or text you like, and then that’s it! (Don’t forget to save your work.)

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Finished Boarder - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation


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Gardein Stuffed Turk’y w/ Gravy Review




I know, I know, I missed Canadian Thanksgiving. But, I figured most of the people reading this are in the US, so I’m not late. (Technically)

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Product Reviews - Gardein Stuffed Turk'y - vegan thanksgiving, vegan food, food review

I want to start off by saying I haven’t tried the other ‘holiday loafs’ that are out, so I can’t really do a comparison.

That said though, this one is good. The ‘stuffed turkeys’ were a lot smaller than I thought they’d be (they were only about the size of my palm), and for only having 2 per package, if you were planning on sharing, that kinda goes out the window.

Honestly, why do vegan companies insist on doing this? You want more people to go vegan? Make some family sized products! Then at least you have enough for people to try without them eating 50% of the only food you can eat at the get-together. Seriously, it’s getting ridiculous.

Okay, sorry about that, getting back on track, you probably won’t want to share these, because they’re so good. I mean, it could be better (without the breading, it just tastes like tofu) but it’s pretty good for what it is. I wouldn’t say ‘this will fool a meat eater’ or anything because it won’t. You 1,000,000% can tell it’s tofu with breadcrumbs and stuffing. But that’s okay! Not every vegan substitute needs to taste exactly like meat! I personally am fine with eating a mushroom burger that tastes like mushrooms. I’m one of those people who actually likes the taste of veggies, so for me, this tastes good.

If you’re someone who was hoping to find a holiday roast or something to fool a meat-eater, or like the closer-to-meat tasting substitutes, then this product isn’t for you. For that, I’d recommend Beyond Meat. Their beef burger tastes so much like beef I actually don’t like it as much. (Too weird for me)

I do wish that the stuffing didn’t come inside the turk’y as well. I don’t know if it’s how I grew up or whatever, but we never left the stuffing inside the meat. It would get cooked in there, and then served separate in it’s own bowl as a side dish. Also, I feel like by adding the stuffing it’s a biiit of a rip off, because you’re getting less ‘meat’. And again, for how tiny they are to begin with, you’d think they wouldn’t be that stingy. I’m also not too much a fan of the cranberries, but that’s just personal taste.

The breading holds up pretty well (as long as you oil the pan/use non-stick) and it isn’t too soft to cut through, either. I think they should’ve seasoned the ‘meat’/tofu itself though, just to give it a better flavour. If the breading comes off and you eat the stuffing separate, the ‘meat’ is pretty bland.

Also, for the gravy: You should give two packs of gravy, or make the pack of gravy resealable. That way, if you only want to make one of the little stuffed turk’y things, you can save some of the gravy for the second. As it is, you either have to eat both at the same time, or, eat one dry and one with gravy. And, while I’m complaining, put more gravy! The one pack is barely enough to cover one of the stuffed turk’ies. Remember, after you pour gravy over something with breading, the breading will soak up the gravy, thus making it ‘dry’ again. Hence, you need more!

All in all, for being a frozen meal, it’s pretty good. If you wanted to bring it for Thanksgiving dinner though, I’d recommend buying two packs. That way you’ll have enough should people get curious enough to try it, and you’ll have leftovers. (And, let’s face it, isn’t that the best part of Thanksgiving anyway?)


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Countdown




Happy New Year!

This is the last fic of the year! Next fic will be posted Jan. 11th

NFF

Words: 826


Okay, tonight’s the night, we’ve been dancing around each other all year, he felt his palms get sweaty as he tried to psyche himself up, starring at the girl from across the room. It’s New Years Eve for Christs’ sake, people always kiss on New Years… don’t they? He took a deep breath, wiping his hands on his pants, okay, here we go.

He took a step forward, before being stopped by his – extremely drunk – friend, Pete.

“Hey, Dave!” even over the blaring music he could tell his friend was yelling, “You kiss ‘er yet?”

The brunette promptly smacked his hand across Petes’ mouth and dragged him a few feet away, shaking his head, “Can you keep your voice down?”

Pete nodded, eyes wide with surprise. He removed his hand, before immediately looking back at the girl. Pete turned to look before letting out a huff, “You ain’t just gonna stare at ‘er all night, are ya?”

“No,” Dave shifted his weight, “I’m gonna kiss her. At midnight.”

“At midnight?” Pete let out a bark of a laugh, “That’s some rom-com shit, ya know that?”

“No it’s not,” He crossed his arms over his chest, feeling his cheeks heat up, “People kiss at midnight all the time.”

“Yeah,” Pete swayed slightly on his feet, wrapping an arm over his shoulders’, “If they’re goin’ out, maybe. Not out of the blue. That’s just weird,” he took another swig from his cup, looking at the girl with a sigh, “Kissin’ a stranger at midnight… pfft…”

Dave chewed his lip, maybe he’s right, maybe… wait, why am I taking his advice? He flicked his eyes back to his friend, “How would you know?”

Pete blinked in confusion, “Huh?”

“How would you know what’s weird? You’ve never kissed a girl before.”

“Dave, my man,” Pete turned so he was standing directly in front of him, “Ya don’t gotta kiss ‘em to do other stuff,” he wiggled his eyebrows, shit-eating grin splitting his face, “know what I’m saying?”

“Ugh,” Dave pushed his arm off him, “You’re disgusting.”

Pete shrugged, stumbling away, “But I’m right!”

“Here we go everybody!” The whole place went silent and everyone turned their gazes’ to the clock, “10!”

Dave shook his head, it’s almost midnight already? Shit. He took a deep breath before starting toward her, here goes nothing.




 

She spotted him halfway across the room, starring at her. She quickly looked away, unable to help but smile, please come over, please come over, please come over…

“Hello? Emily?”

She turned back to her friend, hiding the blush by taking a drink, “Sorry, what?”

Lola rolled her eyes, “Of course you weren’t listening,” she flicked her eyes over to the boy before sighing, “This is getting ridiculous. Just go talk to him!”

“I can’t!” She crossed her arms over her chest defensively, “We haven’t really talked all year and then suddenly I want to kiss him at midnight? It’d be too weird.”

“You what?” Lolas’ face lit up, “You want him to kiss you at midnight?”

“What? No, I didn’t-”

“Shay! Katy, get over here!” Lola all but pulled their two friends to the ground with her force, “She wants him to kiss her at midnight!”

“Aaawww!”

Emily sighed, oh great… all three girls starred at her expectantly, “… Must we?”

“Yes.”

Emily shifted her weight from one foot to another, “It’s not a big deal.”

“Of course it’s a big deal!” Katy shrieked, “Your first kiss ever is on New Year’s Eve at midnight?” she touched her heart, “It’d be so cute!”

Emily pretended to vomit, before giving her a pointed look.

“Oh, come on, Em,” Shay gave her a pointed look, “You can’t act like you aren’t excited.”

“Yes, I can.”

“Here we go everybody! 10!”

“You’re allowed to get butterflies when you like a boy, y’know,” Lola placed her hands on her shoulders, dropping her voice, “You are a girl.”

“9!”

“Get off of me,” she slipped out from under her hands before shrugging, “I don’t know why you guys are making such a big deal about this-”

“8!”

“We haven’t even talked the whole party, and it’s practically midnight. It’s not gonna happen, so just forget it.”

“7!”

The girls’ faces fell but they all nodded. They all wrapped her up in a hug, and she fought the sudden wave of sadness that washed over her.

“6!”

Emily shook her head, trying to shake the sadness away as she turned her attention to the clock, “5!”

Guess there’s always next year.

“4!”

She felt a tap on her shoulder, heart stopping as she saw Dave, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. “Uhm… hi.”

“3!”

“A-are you okay? Do you need something?” She swore she could hear her heart hammering against her chest.

“2!”

He took a deep breath, before nodding to himself. He grabbed the sides of her face, sending a shiver down her spine, oh my God…

“1!”


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