Oct 17 2017

Tech Tuesday: Opening Closed Eyes In Photoshop Elements 2018


As promised, I’m back with some tips on using multiple images at the same time in Photoshop Elements. Let’s start by reviewing why you would want to work with more than one image at a time.

  • You took a group photo, but in each one someone’s eyes were closed.
  • You want to create calendars or books, but you don’t like the layout choices.
  • You want to print a strip of fabric on the bias (diagonal), but you don’t want a lot of fabric waste.
  • You want to print a test of several images on one piece of fabric.

Today, let’s look at the first option: Opening closed eyes. A brand new feature in Photoshop Elements 2018 automatically opens eyes. I guess I’m not the only one who takes family photos where one person has closed eyes. So here’s my family eating the cookies that brother-in-law Harry sent to my dear husband. (We are all so happy he shared them with us.) Everyone looks good except my step-daughter has her eyes closed.

closed eyes

Closed eyes

Fortunately, I take a few photos when I take a group shot … just in case. To open her eyes, the first thing you do is open the closed-eye photo in Photoshop Elements 2018. Then go to the menu and choose Enhance > Open Closed Eyes….

enhance screenshot

Choose Enhance

A new window will open with circles around faces (or what Photoshop thinks are faces). Click inside the circle of the one you want to fix. The circle will turn cyan (aqua).

choose a face

Choose a face

Then you will choose a source for the open eyes. If you use Photoshop Elements Organizer, you can simply click on the Organizer icon and find your photo that way. If you don’t use Organizer, you have to know where your photo is. Click on the Computer icon and select the photo.

choose photo with opened eyes

Choose photos with opened eyes

Photoshop will look for faces with open eyes for you to choose from. Click on the appropriate image.

choose a face

Choose a face

Like magic, the closed eyes of your subject will be replaced with the new opened eyes. You can click on the magnifying glass with a plus underneath the main photo to zoom in, and click the Before/After button to look at each version. If you like it, click OK. The Open Closed Eyes window will close and you’ll have a great new group photo! Click on the image below to see my step-daughter “finally” open her eyes.

Animated gif with eyes

Click to see before and after

It’s great when it works like it’s supposed to. But sometimes no matter how hard you try, the automated method just doesn’t work, and you have to go back to fixing it manually. Click on the image below to see how the automation does not quite work with my grandson.

animated opening eyes

Click to see before and after

To learn more about Photoshop Elements 2018, click here. Take one of our online Photoshop classes to learn the skills you’ll need to manually open eyes. Click here for more information.

Oct 10 2017

Tech Tuesday: Inspiration, Spoonflower and Photoshop


This started out to be a post on working with multiple images in Photoshop, but it has turned into a post about inspiration and why I allow my inbox to be filled with promotions for this product or that service. Most of you know that I’m a saver. Kris thinks I’m a boarderline hoarder, but I can still walk in all the rooms in my house. The barn is another story. Lucky for me, it doesn’t take up much space to save digital stuff. But I digress. A while back I received an email from Spoonflower, an online fabric printing company, announcing their new Fill-A-Yard™ feature.

Spoonflower's Fill-A-Yard

Spoonflower’s Fill-A-Yard

You can put multiple designs into a yard of fabric to be printed. “Well, that’s silly,” I thought to myself. Just use Photoshop, create a “canvas” that’s 42” wide (or whatever the width of the fabric is) and 36” (1 yard) high. Create whatever you want on that canvas, upload it and let Spoonflower (or any other company, for that matter) print it. It’s nothing new. Spoonflower just created an automated way for you to fill that yard with any of the designs in their marketplace. Brilliant marketing, I say!

Because it’s a template, making up your own yard of fabric is easy. But it’s still a template. If you use Photoshop to create your own canvas, you aren’t limited to a specific template. We’ve even created bias strips of fabric that won’t waste a lot of fabric.* For you non-fabric people, bias strips are strips of fabric cut on the diagonal. In a woven fabric that doesn’t stretch, the bias will stretch a bit. When you want woven fabric to curve around things, that bit of stretch can come in handy.

Fabric design

A square of fabric that includes bias strips.


CyberInsecurity Necklace

Bias strips used in “Cyber Insecurity”

Why don’t you check out Spoonflower Magazine for some inspiration**, put your name on our contact list for the next Pixeladies Photoshop class, and come back next week when I’ll talk about working with multiple images in Photoshop.

Photoshop Elements 2018

Photoshop Elements 2018

By the way, Photoshop Elements 2018 (what would have been version 16) is available and has some nifty features for combining more than one image.

* The thing about cutting strips of fabric on the bias is that to get a long strip, you have to “waste” a lot of fabric. To get a bias strip that’s 2” wide by 36” long from a 42” wide piece of fabric, you need to buy x inches of fabric. What’s x? Approximately 28¼”. Here is the formula I used: √(22+22) + 36sin⁡45° = 28.27. I know what you’re thinking. Either

      • that’s a lot of fabric, or
      • she must have a degree in math (no, but my math teachers would be proud).

** Check out pages 40-41 for a really cool idea for wallpaper and 56-57 for bedsheets. I can hardly wait! (Use the zoom tool to see the actual magazine page numbers.)

Oct 3 2017

And What did you do on your Summer Vacation? Part II


For the first time ever, the Pixeladies took the summer off. If you want to know what a productive summer was like, you’ll have to read Deb’s post. My main goal was to find a part-time job to help pay for our new 2017 fully ELECTRIC Chevy Bolt! I am totally in love with this car! Charging for pennies a day (or for free when Neil takes the car to work), driving in the HOV/carpool lanes when I’m by myself, and feeling like I’m cleaning the air as I drive are just some of the reasons for my exuberance, but I digress. 

Chevy Bolt

“Filling up” at home!

I thought it would be very easy to pick up an online editing job, but my job search has been one of the most demoralizing experiences I’ve ever had. There are a lot of jobs out there, but you would think you’d need a Ph.D. (oh, wait, I’ve got one) and family connections (not when they’re all government employees) to land a position. Sigh. The search continues.

When not looking for work, I spent lots of time with family and friends. I went to a small town near Reno, Nevada, to see where my sister is building her new home. In less than four months, she will be a short three-hour drive away instead of fourteen. I can’t wait to have her so close again. As many of you know, I have been tutoring my grand nephew in Spanish. When I found out that his summer reading list included All Quiet on the Western Front, I begged to read it with him. With its seemingly simple and straightforward narrative, it’s no wonder high schools often require their students read it. I think its masterful pointedness gives it a universality that is relevant even today.

I also took trips to the Bay Area and San Francisco, one of my favorite cities. Taking my Precious Pup to see the Summer of Love exhibit at the De Young Museum was simply joyous. On another occasion, Neil and I spent a great day with old friends, Andy and Amy. It’s fun to hang out in this city with people who love discovering the spot where Miles Archer was gunned down by Brigid O’Shaughnessy.

I wasn’t very creative in that artsy way, but I did pick up my knitting needles again to knit washcloths to give away as gifts. It’s a nice activity when I’m watching television. Here are a few I finished. (Shh, the green and blue ones are a surprise for Deb’s new kitchen, so don’t tell her!)

knitted washcloths

Knitted washcloths

Now that the Pixeladies are back to work, I’ll return to cutting words and phrases out of magazines and newspapers. I think we may need to do this vacation thing again next year. I still haven’t organized my photo collection!