I really loved my layout for the first day of our LAD: Pumpkin Palooza. But. I had thoughts. Don’t we all? It’s so hard to just leave a page and call it done.

My beautiful son Cole is on deployment. In a scary place. Nights are the worst. My brain goes rampant thinking of all the things that could go wrong. I worry. I miss him. I pray he is safe. I wanted to add a little bit of a poem to the layout to reflect who Cole is a little bit more.

I picked the wonderful poem “If I ever go to war..” (included below) as my poem. I decided to do a circular text-on-a-path to match the wonderful, free, summer birthday template by Just Because Studio. I also took a hint from some of you. I love that you include a full-size photo on your layout (LAD: Pumpkin Palooza, October 13) & I copied that idea!

To create the circular text-on-a-path start by drawing a circle. I’m using Photoshop, this may be a different process in other softwares.

  • Click on the Ellipse Tool in the left menu
  • You may need to right click & change to the Ellipse Tool if any of the other shape drawing tools are pictured:
    • Rectangle Tool
    • Triangle Tool
    • Polygon Tool
    • Line Tool
    • Custom Shape Tool
  • Hold down the Shift Key to draw a perfect circle
  • Hold, Click, Drag until your circle is the right size

To create the Text Path:

  • Duplicate your circle, or Ellipse path
  • Open your Paths layer palette
    • Go to your top Menu; click on Window
    • Scroll down; click on Paths

Next, find your Paths layer palette on your layer palette menu (mine is usually on the right side in my workspace). You should have one Shape Path: Ellipse 1 Shape Path

  • Click on the Ellipse 1 Shape Path
  • Hold & Drag it to the bottom menu +

This duplicates the Path layer (or right-click & duplicate).

  • Click on the Ellipse 1 Shape Path Copy to select this path
  • Switch Layer Panels to the Layers panel
  • Click on + Create a new layer

Make sure you are on the newly created layer, an:

  • Click back to the Paths layer palette
  • Double check you are on the new path layer Ellipse 1 Shape Path Copy
  • Click on the Horizontal Type Tool
  • Your Ellipse 1 Shape Path Copy magically convert to a Type Path

Click back onto your Layers Palette, and your new layer, Layer 1, is now a text layer complete with placeholder text.

That’s it! You can change your font, size & color in the Character palette. For mine, in the layout above, I used:

For those of you who just need the text-on-a-path, you can download the simple Text-on-a-Path Freebie:

If I ever go to war…
If I ever go to war Mom, Please don’t be afraid.
There are some things I must do, To keep the promise that I made.
I’m sure there will be some heartache, And I know that you’ll cry tears,
But your son is a Soldier now, Mom, There is nothing you should fear.
If I ever go to war Dad, I know that you’ll be strong.
But you won’t have to worry, Cause you taught me right from wrong.
You kept me firmly on the ground, yet still taught me how to fly.
Your son is a Soldier now Dad, I love you Hooah, Even if I die.
If I ever go to war Bro, There are some things I want to say.
You’ve always had my back, and I know it’s my time to repay.
You’ll always be my daybreak, through all of life’s dark clouds,
Your brother is a Soldier now, Bro, I promise I’ll make you proud.
If I ever go to war Sis, don’t you worry bout me,
I always looked out for you, but I can’t do that anymore,
Cause I’m a big bro to all in America.
I love you so much and you know that, Your brothers a soldier now Sis,
So wipe your eyes, I’ll be fine even if I die.
If I ever go to war my Friends, We’ll never be apart,
Though we may not meet again, I’ll hold you in my heart.
Remember all the times we had, Don’t let your memories cease,
Your friend is a Soldier now, Dear Friend, And I’ll die to bring you peace.
And when I go to heaven, And see that pearly gate,
I’ll gladly decline entrance, Then stand my post and wait.
I’m sorry Sir I can’t come in, I’m sort of in a bind,
You see I’m still a Soldier Sir, So I can’t leave them behind.

By PFC Jonathan W. Guffey – Alpha Company
101st Airborne 2/506th Infantry Air Assault – Iraq 2006
10 July 2006