Curiosity question on your papers, do you flatten the layers before you save as a .jpg? That has seemed to help me when I add different layers. Know textures can play havoc on sizes of files and I try not to use that part of PSE. Find that if I take the texture and bring it in to use as an overlay and then flatten the image, it helps reduce the size. Also have played around and not saved as maximum of 12 and go down to 8 or 10. Sometime the visual is so slight, it doesn't change the quality and can be still saved as 12 x 12. Could be wrong, don't think using styles instead of textures is better for size too.
I use PSP not PSE (although I’m very tempted to change), but the little I know about PSE (I have an old version) leads me to believe that for most things they are “much of a muchness.” (1) … flattening layers before saving as jpg … yes, I do and even if I don’t, PSP does the flattening for me … but whether I do it or PSP does, it makes no difference in the size of the resulting jpg image. (2) … using texture images as a manually applied overlay rather than through program effects … I’m sure I’ve done this many times but made no connection re the size of the final jpg image so I tried it and found that using the texture image as an overlay does seem to create a jpg file that is a bit smaller. However, the small gain in size doesn’t compensate for the inability to easily control the size of the texture but it’s something to keep in mind. (3) ... save jpg image with smaller dimensions … This is the only thing, as I mentioned before, that understandably makes a real difference in the jpg file size. The one reservation that I have about this method may only apply to PSP. If I resize an image which was created with several effects and blends using either “Smart Size” or “Bicubic” resize, there is a very noticeable loss of detail and clarity. The only method that works well in PSPX2 is the “Weighted Average” method for such images. Because of this I hesitate to use any method of final resizing which might result in a problem for those of you who are downloading my papers. (4) … layer styles … Yes, styles can cause lots of problems and I always breathe a sigh of relief when they do work well. Oddly enough, the styles I create myself seem to work the best.
Thank you very much for taking the time to offer these suggestions. Even the small size difference between using texture images as overlays rather than applying them through program effects, is a good thing to know and I’m glad you brought it to my attention.