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I'm getting better using Gimp, but these two things are really what I'd like to do next but I can't seem to figure it out. If you don't know how to do it specifically in gimp, you can tell me how you do it in your program, gimp seems to work pretty much like others from tutorials I've done.
hmm. i'll try to be of help but i make no guarantees.
circles: open your paper, use your elipse select tool marquee (second one on the top) hold shift, make your circle over the paper, go to edit copy and then paste, you'll then have a floating circle layer of the paper, on your layers pallate select the floating layer and then push the button at the bottom of the layers pallate that looks like a peice of paper (its new layer). that should give you a circle made out of your paper.
drop shadows: go to filters>lights and shadows>drop shadow. i use x offset 10 y offset y 15 blur radius 10 opacity 50. make sure allow resizing isn't checked or you'll end up with new blank areas around your paper.
hope that helps.
mom of: Zach (10), Ryan (8), Bella (5), Mason (2), and pollywog #5 due 12/04/14