Feature Friday | Sherry Ferguson

Can you believe that it’s already the last Friday of February? Our bi-annual Pennysaver event has just flown right by (and there are just 5 days left to score yourself a deal, so don’t miss it!)!

As always, Fridays at The Digital Press mean that it’s Feature Friday time — and today we are here to help you get to know TDP Designer Sherry Ferguson a little bit better. This is Sherry’s second feature here on the blog (you can find her first feature from July 2016 HERE)… and whereas last year we used our feature series to help you get to know some fun trivia about your favorite designers — this year, we’re using our designer feature series to give you a little peek into our designers’ creative spaces, and more insight into their creative processes.

With that in mind… let’s take a peek into Sherry’s creative space! This is where the magic happens…

What a pretty space she has! When describing it to us, she said because “my work space is in the bedroom, I have to keep things pretty plain and neutral.” I don’t think this is plain at all, however — it’s very elegant! As you can see… even though her desk/work space might be in her bedroom (1)… she still has the tools she needs, such as her tablet for drawing her adorable designs (2)… as well as some fun inspirational home decor (3)!

We also asked Sherry for a Top 5 list that was representative of herself at this point in life… and she chose to share a list of the Top 5 Songs She’s Listening To Lately. Music is such an interesting way to get to know someone… so we love this list!

Sherry’s “Top 5 Songs I’m Listening to Lately”…

  1. Back to God by Reba McEntire — it has such a great message, and it’s uplifting in a world that seems to have gone crazy sometimes
  2. Fast by Luke Bryan — about how fast life moves and how you’d just like to slow it down sometimes
  3. Love Triangle by RaeLynn — a sad song, but not what you would think from the title
  4. How I’ll Always Be by Tim McGraw — to me, it’s about staying true to your roots and enjoying the simple things in life
  5. Dirt on My Boots by Jon Pardi — because it’s fun and has a good beat… and every playlist needs a little fun

 

Speaking of fun… let’s look at Sherry’s products! I love her designs because her kits are always full of fun papers with bold patterns, and yet she makes sure to include some neutrals, as well, for balance! Her products are versatile too; she makes a bunch of kits with funky themes that are also perfect for scrapping everyday life.

Here’s a look at some of my favorite products by Sherry, which show you just how talented she is…

Here’s a sampling of some projects that have been made using Sherry’s products, so you can see what I mean, above, about her designs being versatile enough to be used by all types of scrappers for all different types of pages and projects…

Her kits definitely appeal to many different people, and they’re really fun to work with. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know her (and her fun, fresh designs) just a little better today. Don’t forget that this weeek, her shop at The Digital Press will be 30% OFF during her Featured Designer week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on 3/2). This makes now the perfect time to pick up some of your favorite products from her shop!

Additionally, Sherry has a special Free-with-Purchase offer for everyone this week! You can snag her Follow Your Arrow kit for FREE with any $10+ purchase in her shop — this week only!

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Robin

About the author  Robin is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. A wife of 25 years and a mom of 4 crazy children (2 in college and 2 still at home), she says that her life occurs mostly in the car as she transports said crazy kids to their many, many homeschool activities. When not driving, Robin loves to make her family cringe by pulling out her camera again (and again, and again…).

 

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Tutorial Tuesday | The Field Blur Technique

I have a hunch that I’m not the only member of Apple’s demographic who was excited to get the new iPhone 7 just for the upgraded camera! Yes, I confess, it’s true.

One of my favorite features of the new iPhone 7 camera is the Portrait Mode on the camera. In this mode, you set the focus to your subject and the background blurs out… as if you were taking the shot with a DSLR to control the depth of field. The resulting shot can be really dramatic and look quite professional — even for point-and-click phone camera photographers.

Here’s a look at the difference…

Because I loved this effect so much, I wondered (a) what could non-iPhone 7 users do to achieve the same result? …and (b) whether there was an easy method I could use in Photoshop to achieve this effect on older photos, for use on my scrapbook pages. Photoshop did not disappoint. I checked out the Field Blur filters and found that it is super easy (like, 2 minutes or less!) to create the same effect. Here’s how it’s done…

1. Open your photo in Photoshop (*NOTE* I’m using Photoshop CC 2017 for the following examples)

2. Choose Filter > Blur Gallery > Field Blur

3. You’ll wind up with a little pin graphic pointer which you can use to drop multiple pins in strategic places on your photo. Each pin drop tells Photoshop to blur that surround area to the level you specify using the adjustment ring (the circle around the center of the pin). To adjust any pin, click on the adjustment ring and drag your mouse around the wheel to the desired level. A setting of “0” means that no blurring will happen in that area.

*NOTE* To get the look you want, you’ll have to experiment and place multiple pins. What I found to work best for me was to place a “row” of pins within the boundaries of the subject… but toward the outer edge, and then also place another “row” of pins just outside the boundaries of the subject. On the inner row, I set all of the blurs to “0” and on the ring (just outside the subject), I set all of those higher (I used “25”).

4. I also dropped a couple of other pins around the rest of the image (outside the subject) to ensure that the entire background was blurred. The beauty of this technique is that you can adjust the blur intensity on each pin, in case there are areas where you need to ease into a more intense blur over a span of the image. You can always move any one pin (or delete it) by clicking and dragging on the center of the pin.

5. If you’re curious to see how the mask looks without the image, hold down “M” and you’ll be able to see the blur mask. Wherever you see white… that’s where blur is applied. Black areas are protected (no blur), and gray areas are areas of partial blur.

6. When you’re finished, click “OK” at the top of the filter window.

That’s all there is to it! It’s a technique that is super easy, once you get the hang of it!

Here’s a comparison of the photo straight from my iPhone 7 with Portrait Mode (left), and the one I doctored up in Photoshop (right)…

Pretty close, right?? The effect really makes your subject pop, and takes out any distracting background features.

Here’s a layout that I created using my image, along with KimB Designs’ Be Brave Kit and a template from Stripped Down (Vol 1) Templates by Laura Passage…

 


ShannonAbout the Author  Shannon has been completely addicted to digiscrapping since she began in early 2016 (though she’s been a scrapper since 2000). Her early morning ritual of a few quiet hours of scrapping while sipping a chai tea is her favorite part of each day. She is also the owner of a web design company, and when she’s not at the computer designing websites or digiscrap layouts, she’s probably hiking one of the local mountains in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. She is an avid reader and loves to travel to foreign countries.

Hybrid How-To | Bag Toppers

My daughter passed out donuts to her entire 5th grade class for Valentine’s Day. She wanted to add a little card or something she could sign her name to, so I whipped up these bag toppers we could staple to ziplock bags. It was such a quick project… and I was thinking it would be just perfect for any party favor. Throw the candy/treats/toys into any size bag and add the personalized topper. Fun and simple!

The first thing I did was measure the width of the bag. I used regular old sandwich bags for the donuts… each of which measured about 6.5″ wide. I wanted the front of the design to be 1.5″ x 6.5″ — making the total dimension for each topper (front and back) 3″ x 6.5″.

To do this, I clipped patterned paper to a simple rectangular template I made (see image, below), and then I designed the front of the topper using digital elements from the same kit. I kept my design flat — so it ended up being a simple flat digital design that I could easily print off (i.e. no extra cutting or assembling of extra embellishments/layers). I thought it would be easier that way since I was making like 30 of them. 😉

*PRO TIP* When creating your rectangular designs… make sure the “front” of the design stays on the bottom half of the template so it won’t be folded over to the back once you attach them to the bags.

After creating the design in Photoshop… the next step is to print, cut, and fold each topper in half. I filled all my bags with donuts, sealed the bags, and then stapled the toppers onto the zippered portion of the bags…

Here’s a look at the back (left) and front (right) of one of my topper designs…

This project literally took me about an hour from designing the toppers in Photoshop to completing the finished project — with no fancy cutting machine required. I hope you’ll give it a try!


Kate About the Author  Kate is on the hybrid team here at The Digital Press. She lives on the Utah/Colorado border with her husband, 5 kids, 10 chickens, and a dog named Gracie. She’s a city-born girl who found she’s really a country girl at heart. She can be found outside, barefoot, and probably in her garden.

Feature Friday | LJS Designs

 

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s time for another edition of our Feature Friday series… this time, starring the wonderful Lorie of LJS Designs. Lorie is a single mother (to a 25 year old son), and she has been designing for about 3-1/2 years now. By day, she works for an international fruit company as a production planning supervisor, and she loves coming to her home office where she can be artistic and creative in peace and quiet.

This is Lorie’s second feature here at TDP (you can find her first feature article from September 2016 HERE)… and whereas last year we used our feature series to help you get to know some fun trivia about your favorite designers — this year, we’re going to use our designer feature series to give you a little peek into our designers’ creative spaces, and more insight into their creative processes.

With that in mind, here’s a peek at Lorie’s creative space…

When talking about her work space, Lorie said, “my work space is located in my basement in my home office/laundry room.  I love the combination for three reasons: (1) my laundry is always caught up… (2) in the past, the noise from the washer and dryer would drown out any noise from my son or the TV or the dogs, or most anything else… and (3) it is always warm! For someone who is always cold, those warm comfy spots are really important.”

Additionally, we also asked Lorie to share with us a Top 5 list that is representative of herself at this point in her life… and as a huge Disney fan, she decided to share her Top 5 Favorite Disney Characters (she recently celebrated her 50th Birthday at Disney World, and as you can see she had a lot of fun)…

Lorie’s Top 5 Favorite Disney Characters…

  1. Belle from Beauty and The Beast. I love to read and am often lost in a book, so I totally relate to Belle. I appreciate her sense of self, that she is not afraid to be different, and that she is a dreamer. But what what makes her my favorite is her ability to see with her heart, and not just her eyes. In a world that too often judges a book by its cover, I appreciate that Belle reads each line of every page until she understands the whole story. It’s also really cool that it is Belle’s ability to see beyond the Beast’s exterior and love him for who he is, that saves him, which kinda makes her the hero in the end. I love tough chicks!
  2. Rolly from 101 Dalmatians. Rolly was the chubby puppy in 101 Dalmatians who was always hungry — which I can also relate to — but that is not the reason I love him. I love him because when my son was little he used to imitate Rolly’s big line in the movie when he was ready for supper… telling me, “but Mama, I’m hungry. I’m really hungry.” It always made me smile then, and the memory still makes me smile now.
  3. Captain America. Now, I know he is not the traditional Disney character… but he is part of Disney, and he is my superhero super crush (and thus, he made the list!). It helps that Chris Evans is a total hottie, but really I love Cap because of his old fashioned values, his sense of honor, and his unwavering loyalty to his country and friends. In Winter Soldier when he tells Bucky (who is beating the tar out of him at the time), “Then finish it. ‘Cause I’m with you ’til the end of the line…” I want to swoon. Seriously, I don’t care how old he is, I’d date him.
  4. Winnie the Pooh. I have to say that for a bear full of fluff and hunny, who is a terrible speller like I am, Pooh is really rather smart in all the ways that matter. He appreciates good food, good friends, and good times… and is not afraid to talk about the important stuff. One of my favorite quotes comes from Pooh: “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.” He’s got a place in my heart for sure.
  5.  Mickey Mouse. If you’re a Disney fan, then you gotta love the mouse that started it all, right? Everything about Mickey is great, but I think I like his giggle best. As a giggler myself, I can totally appreciate the joy behind it. Disney and Mickey are magic to me. They allow me to let go of the serious side that usually rules my personality and embrace my inner child. I did a lot of giggling on my recent birthday trip, and felt like I was turning five, not fifty. It was a wonderful gift. Did I mention that Mickey sang Happy Birthday to me? It was awesome!

 

Just like her personality — Lorie’s designs are always full of color! Also, they contain a wealth of elements — many of which are hand-drawn and distinctly her own! She is especially talented at putting together themed kits. She also makes some wonderful blocked template sets, as well, which are perfect for pocket scrapbookers (and also for those of us who simply have too many photos!). 😉

If you haven’t ever had a chance to do so… you will love looking through the LJS Designs at The Digital Press! Here’s a peek at just a fews of my favorite products…

Additionally, here are some layouts that were created using some of Lorie’s fun product offerings…

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little bit about Lorie! To celebrate her week as our Featured Designer at The Digital Press, the entire LJS Designs Store will be 30% OFF this week (the sale will end at 11:59 EST on Thursday 2/23).

Additionally, Lorie has a special Free-with-Purchase offer for everyone! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to stock up on your favorite products from LJS Designs… and you can snag her entire “Summer Fun: At Walt’s Place” Collection for FREE with any $10+ purchase in her shop — this week only!

 


AvatarAbout the author  Carolyn lives with her partner and 3 rescue dogs on 5 acres of paradise in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Her camera, along with an assortment of lenses, is never out of sight. When not taking photos, she loves cooking and gardening and, of course, scrapbooking.

 

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Tutorial Tuesday | Creative Journaling

I recently found out that breaking up is easy to do! Oh it’s okay, really… I’m only talking about breaking up the journaling on my digital scrapbook pages. 😉 I’m here today to share some tips for this process.

One of the reasons I am so passionate about digital scrapbooking is because the pages I am creating today will be a legacy for future generations to enjoy years from now! I am in the process of creating books for our two beautiful grandbabies, and I try to include as much information as possible on each page.

While I’m comfortable with journaling on the pages, I have recently felt that I am in a rut with regards to the actual placement of the journaling. Simply put, I realized that my process was only to “find a spot I like and start typing and stop when the story ends.” The journaling I do is usually along one edge or the other – or smack dab in the center of the page. I have been known to ramble… and ramble… so I started thinking more about the placement and how it affected the visual composition of the page.

When I created the page shown below, I concentrated on breaking up the journaling. I wanted the words to become part of the overall design of the page, and I wanted them to flow together with the photos and the other elements of the layout.

I realized that by breaking up the journaling on the page, it gave the reader a little visual break. Perhaps even a chance to contemplate what they just read before moving on… or a breaking point to examine the photos after reading part of the story… or simply to admire the other aspects of the page. It also allows the eye to flow around the page rather than concentrating on one big block of text.

Here are a few tips you can employ in order to break up your journaling while scrapping your memories…

  • Use your title work to break up the sentences/paragraphs (this technique is shown above)
  • Similarly, you can break up your story by placing word art and/or elements right in with the journaling itself
  • Align the text differently throughout your page (right / left / center… you’ll note, above, that I changed the alignment depending on which side of the page the journaling appeared)
  • Use “bullet” type journaling — placing the bullet points randomly around your page
  • Place the photos and elements on the page first, then fit the journaling to align with the photos (something I did when I created the page shown above)

There are many more ways to achieve this, but I hope the tips I’ve shared here have at least given you a bit of journaling inspiration today! Thanks for stopping by the blog for another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series… and until next time, “Happy Scrapping!”

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Jill WAbout the Author  Jill has been digiscrapping since 2006 when she came across it (quite by accident) while Googling “computer crafts.” Since that time, her love for the hobby has only increased! Her love of photography melds perfectly with digital scrapping, and she is thrilled that she has the opportunity to be part of The Digital Press creative team!

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Feature Friday | KimB Designs

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Feature Friday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today, I am super excited to be showcasing the talented Kim of KimB Designs! This is Kim’s second feature here at TDP (you can find her first feature article from June 2016 HERE)… and whereas last year we used our feature series to help you get to know some fun trivia about your favorite designers — this year, we’re going to use our designer feature series to give you a little peek into our designers’ creative spaces, and more insight into their creative processes.

So with that in mind, here is a look at Kim’s creative space… where you’ll often find her scanning real-life items, extracting them in Photoshop, and converting all of it into the finished digital products we have all come to know and love…

When speaking about her office space, above, Kim said… “Due to three house moves in the last 6 years, my office space has become a little boring and minus any interesting and creative decor. With another move coming up in 6 months, lets just say it’s going to stay like that LOL! I share my space with my hubby who uses his desk (now my adopted scanning and printing area) only on the odd occasion. I’m lucky enough to have big sliding doors which stay open to the pool and backyard right through the year. Nothing like fresh air to keep the old brain active.”

We also asked Kim to share with us a Top 5 list that is representative of herself at this point in her life… and she chose to share a list of Top 5 Things She Currently Needs to Keep Herself Sane (which makes sense, from someone who is smack in the middle of a long-distance move that involves building a new house, as well!)…

Kim’s Top 5 (okay, 6! haha) Things She Currently Needs to Keep Herself Sane…
“Due to seemingly living on an airplane right now (an ill father, a move, and our new house in progress)… these are my constant desk/sanity companions without which I cannot live…”

  1. House plan drawings, documentation, and home magazines for inspiration (when I get the time to browse them, that is). Having to constantly answer questions from the architects and builders while on the fly means these have to be at my fingertips for quick access.
  2. My bluetooth speaker, which is permanantly playing music (anything from the 70’s right through to new house music… an eclectic mix, just like my designing) — and a little furry fellow that was a gift from one of my fellow designers from overseas, which makes me smile every time I see him sitting on my external drives (keeping them safe LOL).
  3. Reading glasses (old age sucks!), my sketch book, pencil, fineliner (for the times I doodle and get inspired for a kit I want to design), and a diary which is my saving grace right now.
  4. COFFEE… and I wish it had an automatic refill button! LOL
  5. My constant companion, Pepsi, who will sit with me under my desk all day until I get off for the day…
  6. My phone… permanently on charge next to me as it rings all day recently thanks to the home building (and of course it’s the lifeline to my family).

As for Kim’s products and design style… she creates lovely digital scrapbooking kits, stamps, templates, and more. Her designs are perfect for the everyday scrapper, the pocket scrapper, the scrapper who likes a more minimalist style, and even those scrappers whose style falls in more of an art journaling realm. Kim’s designs have a whimsical and fun feeling to them. You can tell she takes time and puts heart into her art. There is no mistaking a kit/collection made by Kim, and you will be hard-pressed to find another one like it!

Don’t just take my word for it, though… have a peek! Here is just a sampling of what you will find in the KimB Designs shop here at The Digital Press…

See?! I told you she has some fantastic, fun, and original designs! 🙂

If you are anything like me, though, you also like to see products in action. Here are some layouts that were created using Kim’s designs…

And there you have it, everyone! I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about Kim, and I have no doubt you will adore to find out that Kim’s shop here at the Digital Press will be 30% OFF all week! (the sale will end at 11:59 EST on Thursday 2/16). Check your wishlist, and don’t miss out on this great chance to clear it at a discount!

Additionally, this week only — you can snag the following FREE KIT with any $10+ purchase in the KimB Designs shop at The Digital Press! Exciting stuff…


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About the Author  La’Shawn Castings is a creative team member here at The Digital Press. She is a 30-something, full-time working, nerdy, somewhat lazy, digi-scrapping, photo taking, college football loving, panda obsessed, yellow wearing, Harry Potter nerding, Doctor Who watching, historical fiction reading, southern wife & mom.

Tutorial Tuesday | Combining Templates

Do you ever struggle to find a template that’s just right for the photos you’re trying to scrap? If so, I have a quick tip for you today!

I love using templates to speed up my scrapping while also making layouts with a beautiful design. Sometimes, though, I can’t find the perfect template to match my photos/topic. What’s a scrapper to do, you ask? My solution: combine templates to create one that perfectly suits my images!

For the example I’m showing you today, I chose to work with a template set from our newest designer at The Digital Press — Jen C Designs’ You’ve Been Snapped Vol 1. Here is a look at the original template set (before I made any alterations to any of the templates)…

I love the layered paper background in the template shown at the top right… but I knew that I needed quite a few more photo spaces. I looked at the other templates in the set, and found the one at the bottom right, which featured three additional photo spots. I also liked the arrows on that second template!

To combine the two templates…

  • First, I opened one of the two templates (the one shown at top right, above) in Photoshop.
  • Next, I opened the second template (the one shown at bottom right, above)… and I selected all of the layers that I wanted to use and dragged them over into the first template.
  • After a few quick tweaks and a bit of re-sizing here and there… I had an all-new template that would work beautifully for my photos.

Here is a look at my resulting layout after combining the two templates…

Once you give the idea of combining templates a try, I think you will see that the possibilities are endless! You’ll never be stuck looking for the right template again… but you can still benefit from the ready-made aspects of using layered templates (paper layers, embellishment placement, page balance, etc.). It really stretches your template stash, too… as you can use each template as-is, and then combine them to create new options from the same set!

I hope you’ll give combining templates a try… and if you do, I’d love to see your finished page! Load it up in the gallery at TDP, and leave me a link to it in the comments, below. 🙂


About the Author  Katie is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and their four sweet but crazy boys. When she’s not dodging Nerf bullets or trying to dig out from under the never-ending pile of laundry, she enjoys photography, cooking, going to Disney World with her family, and, of course, digital scrapbooking.

Hybrid How-to | Creating a Hybrid Page Using a Digital Template

Hi everyone, It’s Saturday and time for another edition of our Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press blog!  Today, I’m here to help show you how easy it is to create a hybrid page using a digital template.

I love working with paper and physical elements/stamps, but sometimes I also miss being able to change things and make adjustments like I can with my digital layouts… so hybrid projects are my favorite way to make pages. The best of both worlds! I also think digital kits are a fantastic way to stretch our crafty budgets; we can print and cut as many times as we like.

When I make a hybrid page, I like to use the digital templates I have in my stash… and let me tell you, it’s really fun and easy!

For the layout I am making for today’s tutorial, I used two different digital products — a template from Sahin Designs — January 2017 Layered template 1

…as well as a digital kit by Little Lamm & Co. — Nonpareil Scrapbook Kit

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’d like to celebrate my loves, so I’ll be making a page about them.

I’ll start out by creating my page in Photoshop, using my digital template and the digital items that I plan to print out. Here’s a look at the template, before I begin working…

…and here’s a look at the template once I’ve added my photo, digital papers, and embellishments…

After I have all of my printable items sized the way I want, I separate each of the pieces (see image, below right) and save them all as a PNG file to print and fussy cut. Although I have a Silhouette Cameo, sometimes I simply fussy cut just because I love it!

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I also print out the papers for the larger circles… and these I actually cut with my Silhouette Cameo (see full printed papers in image, below right)…

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As you can see, I duplicated some elements. I do this often just because I want to have some cute stash ready to use.

Here are my pieces printed and cut…

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After I have all my pieces cut out, I just put them back together on a physical 12×12 page and then add my elements, stamps, hand-stitching, and some spray ink splatters, as shown here…

And there you have it! A beautiful hybrid page without all the guesswork or the need to re-print several times to get things right. 🙂

If you’d like to give this a try, too, don’t forget that you can earn challenge points at TDP! Come visit the CROSSWORD SECTION in The Digital Press forum, and you’ll find this month’s Hybrid Challenge thread (for each month’s Hybrid Challenge at TDP, you get to choose one of the month’s “Hybrid How-To” tutorial posts from here on the blog and make your own version). If you choose to give today’s project a try… all you have to do is make a hybrid page using some digital elements and papers, along with a digital template as your foundation for the composition of the page. You’ll see how fun it is! Give it a shot, and share your final results with us! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Have a great weekend you guys, and happy scrapping!


AndreaAbout the Author  Andrea Albuquerque is part of the Hybrid Creative Team here at Digital Press. Andrea has been a scrapper since 2010 and a photographer since 2012. Although she adores the flexibility and creativity of digital, she can’t resist playing with paper, paint, and embellishments… so hybrid scrapping is the perfect medium for her! She lives in Brazil with her hubby.

Feature Friday | Jen C Designs

Happy Friday to one and all, and welcome to another edition of our Feature Friday series! Today I’m here to help everyone get know Jen (of Jen C Designs) a little bit better! She is the newest designer at The Digital Press, and we are so delighted to have her fantastic selection of layered templates in the shop here on a permanent basis!

Jen is a template designer with a knack for unique, trendy, and creative page designs. Her templates are easy to use and easy to personalize to match your own style of scrapbooking. Her products save time, while also encouraging us to continue with our memory-keeping by making it such an effortless process! Her designs are definitely reflective of her motto — making your memories scraptacular!

Here are a few examples of the beautiful products you will find in her store here at The Digital Press

Jen’s templates always inspire creativity! Here are some layout examples that use her templates…

As we noted in last week’s Feature Friday post… in 2017, we’re using our designer feature series not only to introduce you to each designer and her products, but also to give you a little peek into each designer’s creative space (and a little more insight into each of their creative processes!). So with that in mind, here’s a peek at Jen’s workspace arrangement…

Jen-C-Designs_workspace

Additionally, we also asked Jen to share with us a Top 5 list that is representative of herself at this point in her life… and she chose to share her Top 5 Must-Have Apps, as shown here…

Jen’s Top 5 Must-Have Apps (in her words)…

  1. PINTEREST — It’s not often that a simple app can do so much! It’s the perfect place to be inspired, to relax, to be motivated, to be encouraged, to feel like maybe this time my chocolate chip cookies will turn out a wee bit better! Or maybe that my New Years resolutions (long since discarded) could still be shifted into a mid-year resolution. As a designer, I love the “secret board” function — I’ve used it for colour palette hoarding (though I have plans to organize them into a slightly more sensible fashion and start sharing them for others to see!). For scrapping there’s no shortage of inspiration to be found from around the papercrafting and digiscrap world!
  2. NETFLIX — Sure, it’s another relatively obvious choice… but there is a reason that millions of people love it! By way of recommendations, I love… Once Upon a Time, Designated Survivor, Suits, and Lewis (to mention my most current list of recently viewed box sets). As I watch while I design, I often have to skip back a bit (and quite frequently) to keep on top of what I’m watching! But as a parent, the most important feature is the fact that we can have separate profiles. It means I can monitor what my kids are watching while they don’t accidentally click on recently-watched episodes of Black Mirror!
  3. CANDY CRUSH SAGA — Everyone needs a game to play, and this one is definitely my favourite. I don’t have time to keep up with time-constraints and quests. But I do love some candy-crushing relaxation.
  4. KINDLE — I wish I could spend as many hours reading as I do watching TV, but designing plus life means that’s not possible (due to the functional limitation of being unable to read lines on a page, turning pages, all while using Illustrator or Photoshop)! Kindle has renewed my love for reading — I used to read a book a day as a child/teen! — but BookBub (a free daily newsletter) has introduced me to dozens of new authors I’d never have come across otherwise! While in some cases you get what you pay for, it’s easy to just delete the book when you lose nothing for doing so! Plus you can set your own preferences for the reading selection which is sent out to you.
  5. EVERNOTE — I simply cannot live without this app! I use it for organizing everything! Between setting reminders, brainstorming, tracking my progress, sharing documents/inspiration with my CT, and many other uses… I’ve found it to be an invaluable source of sanity over the last couple of years since it was first shared with me. It’s much easier than using just Pinterest — as I can collect images and write notes that correspond with them, as well as use the integration with my calendar.

So tell us… which, if any, of those apps are you already addicted to? And which are you now excited to check out now that they’ve got the official “Jen C Stamp Of Approval”? 😉

As you can clearly see, Jen is an awesome asset to our community here at The Digital Press, and we’re so happy that she has decided to stick around on a permanent basis after her guest spot in January! To celebrate her feature week, her entire shop will be on sale 30% OFF throughout the coming week (sale will end at 11:59pm ET on Thurs 2/9). We think you will definitely appreciate her creative page designs, as well as the time you’ll save using her products!

Additionally, this week only — you can snag the following FREE TEMPLATE SET with any $5+ purchase in the Jen C Designs shop at The Digital Press! Exciting stuff…


Heidi NicoleAbout the Author  Heidi Nicole is happily married to an amazing man, a step mama to 2 wonderful kiddos, and mama to 3 sweet and sassy furbabies.  She’s a radiation therapist by day and creator of pretty things by night (she’s pretty confident that she’s hit super hero status, but refuses to wear a cape.)  She loves cats and huskies, coffee, audio books, FRIENDS reruns, St. Louis Blues hockey, cooking, baking, and traveling.  Oh, and wine… she really likes wine.  She lives a normal and happy life, and enjoys all the absolutely extraordinary people she gets to share it with on a daily basis!

Tutorial Tuesday | Scrap Your Current Favorites

I often find myself struggling to ensure that I’m present in our family’s scrapbooks. Anyone else have this trouble?

Often, it’s just easier to focus on all of the photos and stories about my children, my husband, and our other friends and family. It’s easy to simply forget to ensure that I’m present, too! Today I’m here to share a few ways for you to easily document yourself and your life when you’re preserving your family’s memories.

One simply way to ensure that you are included in your memory-keeping is to create a monthly “Current Favorites” layout that captures the things you’re enjoying in any given month. It’s almost like adding a time capsule to your scrapbook… you will be amazed at how much these simple memories can transport you back into a time in the past when you are looking through an album!

For myself, I tend to try to capture 12 things that I enjoyed during the month. Things such as… a book I read, a food I loved, a favorite TV show, or even something I worked hard toward throughout that month.

Here are a few examples of the memories I was able to capture during 2015, using this memory-keeping technique…

The thing that I’ve come to love the most about these pages is how easy they are for me to create! I can make them simple… or add a ton of elements. I can create them with photos… or without. I can be super creative and think outside of the box with them… or I can make them very quickly and easily. No matter what, however, they afford me a great way to tell the story of MY life over 12 months. I have loved looking back at my pages over 2015, and it’s so fun to see a full year’s worth of the things that I loved. I know that it will be so fun to continue to revisit these in the years to come!

Other options to make this type of project work better for you…

  1. Change the time frame of the pages — you could create them monthly, weekly, or even just quarterly (whatever works better for you and your schedule)
  2. Finding and using a consistent template is another way to make page development quick and easy
  3. Use the same digital kit for each of your “Current Favorites” spreads, to keep things simple
  4. Switch it up and do a “Current Favorites” page for other members of your family, as well (possibly even including your pets!)
  5. Use the concept to document particular categories of favorites… such as your favorite foods, favorite TV shows, favorite books, etc.
  6. If “Current Favorites” doesn’t work for you, you can even try other titles such as “Random Highlights,” “Month in Review,” or simply “Favorites”
  7. Make an entire “Favorites” mini-album to catalog all of your favorites… documenting your thoughts, moods, trends, and treats in one album to enjoy later

I hope this overall idea might give you another way to include yourself into your scrapbooking! It really does add something special to your memory-keeping when you ensure that you and your life are represented! 🙂

Happy scrapping!


Amy

About the Author  Amy lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband of  15 years and their 11 year old boy/girl twins. Their 20-year-old daughter recently finished her final year at West Virginia University in December 2016, and will begin graduate school in the fall at Clemson! Amy has been scrapbooking since the early 1990s but discovered digital scrapbooking in 2005 when her twins were born and has primarily scrapped digitally since that time. She is passionate about telling her family’s stories and documenting their life together! Amy is a huge reader (mostly literary fiction), and is a pop culture junkie! She also LOVES all things beauty & makeup!

Feature Friday | Mari Koegelenberg

This week, I am excited to feature Mari Koegelenberg here on The Digital Press blog! This is Mari’s second feature here on the blog (you can find her first feature from October 2016 HERE)… and whereas last year we used our feature series to help you get to know some fun trivia about your favorite designers — this year, we’re going to use our designer feature series to give you a little peek into our designers’ creative spaces, and more insight into their creative processes.

Mari is a fellow South African (although she now lives in California) who loves to be creative and make pretty things, but “dislikes making mistakes and waiting for paint to dry.” She has worked in the scrapbooking industry since 2005 and sells her creations in digital format here at The Digital Press, but has also worked for the paper scrapbooking industry for many years (you can find her past work printed through companies such as My Mind’s Eye and Pink Paislee, among others). Her latest obsession is Memory Planning.

She loves color, and says that this is what drives the mood and themes of her collections. She loves to sketch and draw — and even if these doodles don’t end up in her products, they always serve to loosen up her muscles and get her creative blood flowing.

Here is a look at her creative space, where you’ll often find her drawing, painting, and converting all of the loveliness into the finished digital products we have all come to know and love…

mkc-office001-01

When speaking about her office space, above, Mari said this… “Last year was a crazy whirlwind of so many BIG changes. Our family moved twice — frantically searching for a home until we finally got the place of our dreams. We have always wanted an acreage… and living in the beautiful central coast area of California, the idea of being able to live off our own land and grow our own food was always something we were striving toward. We have been in our home only a few months now, and there is so much to do! But even though life is busy on our homestead… it is also so full and rich.”

She continued… “So having said that… just bear in mind that my office has not been on the top list of priorities. It might not be a dream space (yet!) but its my space and I can dream! The biggest and probably most immediate change I’d love to see would be to paint it a beautiful bright white and get rid of the dark furniture and install white countertops running on both sides of the room. Maybe also removing the dysfunctional closet and adding lots and lots of wall storage and peg boards. For now, though, I am just enjoying my lovely and inspirational wall art, and the fact that my carpet is vacuumed (!) and everything is in its proper place. Oh, and did I mention my glittery tabletop? Don’t worry, all you glitterphobes… haha! …it’s just beautiful gift wrap, covered with an acrylic sheet — and oh boy, do I love it! I also included a pic of my beautiful big baby (dog) who doesn’t understand why he is not allowed inside …boo!”

We also asked Mari to share with us a Top 5 list that is representative of herself at this point in her life… and she chose to share her Top 5 Organizational Hacks (makes sense, from someone who just moved and is getting a new home all organized, right?!)

mkc-office002-01

Mari’s Top 5 Organizational Hacks…

  1. My most-used supplies are easily accessible, and my planner supplies are mostly portable so I can just grab them and take them with me wherever I go.
  2. These Steri-lite CD containers are the perfect size for holding pocket cards, and they are stackable and clear!
  3. This next one is one of my favorite hacks 🙂 …and it’s very functional. Its the plastic stackable/hanging file boxes… I added some wheels to the bottoms, so now they just roll out from under my desk to where I can easily access them. One of them holds all my beautiful 12×12 papers and some scraps using hanging folders and labeled dividers… and the other holds my paper pads and cutting mats, etc.
  4. Painting and drawing is such a soothing and meditative task, and I love my little bin of artsy goodness! Everything I need is inside this one container, so I can grab it and go sit under the tree or on the porch or even in bed. Portability!
  5. I have started using these 6×8 binders with their corresponding clear pocket sleeves to hold all my acrylic stamps… and boy, it has made storing (and finding!) and using them so much easier!

Aren’t those some fun tips/tricks?

As for Mari’s products and design style… you will find lots of flat stickers in her digital products, which are perfect for the more traditional paper scrapbook style… as well as flowers and other dimensional goodies that are fabulous for those who mainly scrap digitally. Her kits are always bright and cheerful and fun to work with.

Here are a few samples of the designs you will find in her shop here at The Digital Press (you will find that there is something for everyone!)…

Here are some of the layouts I have created with Mari’s digital designs through the years…

 

I trust that you have enjoyed getting to know Mari a little better, and the chance to see a peek of her creative space and appreciate her creative process! Remember that her shop at The Digital Press Co will be on sale 30% OFF all week long (sale will end at 11:59pm ET on Thurs 2/2). Surely that’s all the excuse you need to visit her shop and clear your wish-list! 🙂

Additionally, this week only — you can snag the following FREE COLLECTION with any $10+ purchase in the Mari Koegelenberg shop at The Digital Press! Exciting stuff…


 

About the author  Stefanie is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She is a Mom of three older children, all living in Cape Town, South Africa, with her hubby of 29 years and their two cats. In her free time she loves digital scrapbooking, dabbling in photography, and reading.

Tutorial Tuesday | Crop Tool in Lightroom

Today we are going to talk about the crop tool in Lightroom. I absolutely love this tool, and I think you will, too!

Mainly, I love this tool when I am sorting through pictures that I would like to print and put into frames. How many times have you struggled to make the photo you want to print the right size to fit in a particular frame? If you are like me, this happens a lot! That’s where this crop tool comes in really handy.

If you are a Lightroom user, you can find the crop tool in the Develop module within the software program. First, select the picture you want to crop… and then click on “Develop” near the top right. The crop tool is a small rectangle box found just under the histogram. I have highlighted it in the picture below…

When you click on that crop button, you will see a few different options. Click on the one that says ”original” and then, in that drop-down menu, you will see various size options.

The size options are the typical photo sizes: 4×6, 5×7, etc. (basically, the most common frame sizes). There is also a custom option in case you have a frame that does not match the given sizes.

When you select a particular size, a hand icon will appear on your image. You will be able to move your image with this hand and decide what section of your image you want printed and what section you want outside the printed area.

In my image below, you can see that I have chosen the 5×7 size. Once I selected that size… I could then move the highlighted part of my image (shown below with the 9 rectangular boxes) to select the area of my image that I want included when I crop the original…

This next part is what I like the best, however… the option to easily switch between a vertical and a horizontal orientation (portrait or landscape) with a simple keystroke.

See, the thing I struggle with most when framing photos is trying to use a horizontal picture and make it fit in a vertical frame (or vice versa). It is almost like putting a square peg in a round hole, and I have wasted quite a few photo prints trying to do just that! Lightroom has a very easy fix for this, however.

Once you have selected the photo/frame size in your drop-down menu, you can simply press ”x” on your keyboard. The crop orientation will then change from horizontal to vertical and you can go about the business of moving the active area of the photo to crop it down to just the portion you would like to print. Yes, it’s that easy! I use this technique a lot! You can see the vertical crop in the picture below. You can toggle between vertical and horizontal by pressing “x” multiple times.

I hope these simple Lightroom tips and tricks will help you more quickly process and prepare your photos — whether for printing and framing, or for exporting to Photoshop in order to scrapbook them, etc.

If you have any questions… definitely feel free to reach out to me using the comments on this post, and ask away!


Pallavi

About the Author Pallavi resides in the United Kingdom with her husband and their son, Rajveer. She has previously lived in Calcutta, Pune, San Francisco, Chicago, London, and Mexico City. She reflects all these places in her pages as she captures her everyday stories. She is an alumnus of Northwestern University, and currently she is learning photography and working towards getting to a healthy weight. Her days are full and she loves it that way!

 

Hybrid How-To | Printing & Cutting Digital Elements

It’s Saturday… and time for another edition of our Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press’s blog! Today, I’m here to help you all see how easy (and fun!) it is to use digital embellishments in your physical projects (like mini albums, and more)!

For those of us who can’t resist pretty paper and embellishments — digital kits are a fantastic way to stretch your crafty budget. For me, patterned papers and adorable die-cuts are probably the best thing about crafting. I am always a little reluctant, however, to use pretty items from my stash because they’re just so cute. For me, the real beauty of digital products is that I can print and cut as many times as I like. Buy a digital kit once, and you can use the items contained within it again and again and again!

For the mini album project I am going to show you today, I chose two kits from The Digital Press — the Go.See.Do collection by Mari Koegelenberg, and also Laura Passage’s Project Twenty Fifteen | July kit, both shown here…


I like to choose kits that are versatile and can be used for lots of different topics or occasions. Although each of these two kits are travel-themed, there are also plenty of generic elements and papers that I know I can use for so many different purposes (and also, for other projects in the future, as well!). For instance, see those tags and labels above? Or the word art stamps, flowers, stars, etc. in this next kit…

For my project, I documented some of our family travels from 2016 in a handmade mini-album.

I used a variety of methods to create the pages. For instance, as shown in the photos below, I created pages by printing out some of the digital papers as foundations for each page; some I made rectangular, and others I notched so that they were flag/pennant-shaped.

Once I had the foundation pages, I came up with some interesting things to attach to each of them (in addition to the photos). For example, I upcycled some old clothing tags to add a bit of interest… creating a title tag with date (top photo, left). I also upcycled some old envelopes that I saved from Christmas, and turned them into pockets (middle row, left). I filled a plastic page protector with sequins and sewed it shut (middle row, right). I also used various fasteners (paper clips, mini clothespins, string, etc.) to add dimension and decoration to each page. So easy!


But the main embellishments on my pages came from the digital kits. Not only did I print out the papers to create pages, I also printed out some of the flat elements and added them to my pages after cutting them out.

I’m lucky enough to own a Silhouette, and the best feature of a cutting machine is the ability to quickly print and cut the adorable elements found in digital kits. The Silhouette makes it a cinch to create my own die-cuts. Today, I’ll take you through the basic steps to trace an element and ready it for cutting.

Step 1:
First, you will need to set up your page to the correct size and add registration marks. These are printed on your page and used to align the cut later (see the marks in the corner of the page in the image below). Then you will drag and drop your digital element onto the page (that car is cute right?!). Anything in the cross-hatched area shown in the picture below won’t be cut… so make sure you position your element in the main body area. In order to cut around the outside of the element, click the Trace button. Then click Select Trace Area.

Step 2:
Now you will drag the box around the shape. The software analyzes the shape (yellow means that it won’t cut in that area). Depending on the shape and color, you may need to drag the sliders for High Pass and Low Pass filters (the more contrast in the image, the better the results). Note that in my example image, below, the car windows are not highlighted in yellow — so the Silhouette can cut the window detail if I want. I just want to go around the outside of the car, however, so I chose Trace Outer Edge.

Step 3:
Voila! In the next image, I moved the car so that you can see the cutting outline that has been created. I group the object and the outline together so that they can be moved around the page easily.

Now that we’ve dealt with how to trace an element… give it a try! Go wild and look at all of those fabulous elements in your digital kits in a completely new light. Think of the things you can do!

As shown in the next image, I added a couple more elements to my project. The trace function did an amazing job on the bicycle shape…

Another way to make the most of those great digital elements is to combine them to create your own elements. Above, you’ll see the yellow tag with “Family Time” written on it. To create that, I dropped the “Family Time” word art from the Project Twenty Fifteen | July kit onto a block of yellow paper… and then I inserted a tag shape over the top. Now I have my own custom-made tag element!

Of course, if you don’t have a cutting machine, you can also do all of this by hand. Fussy cutting is very therapeutic! I often find myself cutting out shapes by hand just because it’s relaxing and a lot quieter! 🙂

Here are a few more photos of my finished project… so you can see a few more examples of the fun things you can create when you print and cut digital elements…

Are you up for a challenge? If you come to the CROSSWORD SECTION in The Digital Press forum, you’ll find this month’s Hybrid Challenge thread… and if you try one of the two hybrid projects we’ve featured on the blog this month, you can earn challenge points for January! For today’s project, all you have to do is print and cut some digital embellishments and include them on a hybrid project of some kind. It doesn’t have to be a travel album — it can be anything, really (a card, a physical scrapbook page, a mini-album like mine, etc.) — as long as you can decorate it with some cut-out digital elements, any project goes! Give it a shot, and share your final results with us! We can’t wait to see what you come up with…


About the Author  Morag Cutts is part of the Hybrid Creative Team here at Digital Press. Morag has been an avid scrapper and photographer for ten years.  Although she adores the flexibility and creativity of digital, Morag can’t resist playing with paper and embellishments – so hybrid scrapping is the perfect medium for her!  Morag lives in the UK with her hubby, two kids and recently adopted puppy.

 

Feature Friday | Meagan’s Creations

We’re back with another edition of Feature Friday… and this week, it’s all about Meagan of Meagan’s Creations.

Meagan’s style is bold, colorful, and versatile. She puts together awesome collections… jam-packed with embellishments, papers, alphas, clusters, word art, journaling cards, and more — all of which have a wonderful color scheme and can be used on multiple projects or even full albums! She also designs great templates with tons of layers that create wonderful movement.

Here is a sampling of the different types of things Meagan creates. You’ll see that she offers a wide range of wonderful products that contain all different types of embellishments and extra goodies…

And since Meagan is one of our newest designers, I was excited to ask her a few questions to get to know her better.

Where do you live?
I live in Houston, TX, USA.

When you’re not designing, what do you do with your time?
When I’m not designing, I’m playing board games with my family, cooking, baking, reading, watching a favorite show (not a whole lot and actually
usually while also designing!), or sleeping!

What are 5 tidbits of trivia we might not know about you?
—I was born in Berlin, Germany. Since the time that my family moved back to the States (when I was almost 2), I’ve never been back outside of the United
States again, ever.
—I have a Bachelor’s degree in Math Education with an Art Education minor.
—I also work part-time for an online tutoring company.
—I got married kinda young (19 years old!), but he’s still my best friend and favorite person in the world!
—I actually don’t like to drink milk with my cookies. I prefer water. Weird, I know!

Which of your products is your favorite?
Picking my favorite product is very tough! I’ll say Renaissance because this was a very personal choice for me. I have fond memories of my mother making us dresses to wear to a Renaissance festival and seeing everyone dressed up. I went again with my family a couple of years ago and it was a blast. I also made an add-on that is “Lord of The Rings”-inspired (it is one of my favorite movie series)…

And as an extra-special treat 😉 — here is an awesome layout from Meagan, herself, using her favorite kit…

Additionally, here is some other eye candy using Meagan’s awesome and colorful products…

Aren’t the designs of Meagan’s Creations so colorful and versatile? 🙂

Now that you have seen her products in action, you can get busy scrapping with them and you’ll be happy to know that the entire Meagan’s Creations shop at The Digital Press will be 30% OFF this week (sale will end at 11:59pm ET on Thurs 1/26). Yay! That is the perfect motivation is grab some beautiful and fun collections from her shop and start scrapping some memories!

Additionally, this week only — you can snag a FREE KIT from her shop with any $10+ purchase in the Meagan’s Creations storefront at The Digital Press! Exciting stuff!


Sabrina

About the Author  Sabrina is an avid documenter of life — herself, her children, her hubby, and her everyday life. There is beauty in the ordinary moments, and they are what she loves to scrap. She is also always on the hunt for a quiet, peaceful moment, and she usually spends it reading.

Tutorial Tuesday | Extracting Digital Elements

Today I am here on the blog to share with you how to use simple extraction techniques to create your own digital elements from journal cards (or similar). This is a fun little trick I find myself using over and over on my layouts… and it is a really easy way to create your own customized embellishments and extend your digital stash!

The journal card I will be using for this tutorial is from Anthology | Pocket Cards by Little Lamm & Co., shown here…

First, you will want to open the journal card you want to use in a photo editing program (I am using Photoshop Elements 10 (PSE10) for this tutorial). Select the Magic Wand Tool on your toolbar…

With the Magic Wand tool, hold down the Shift button and click your mouse on the element/shape you want to remove from the journal card (here, you will see that I selected the orange area). Once it is selected, you should see little “marching ants” around the element…

***TIP*** to select the insides of letters — like the portions of the letters O and E, shown here — hold the shift key and click the inside of the letters so those areas are surrounded by the ‘marching ants,’ too.

Now you will need to right click (with your mouse) on the selected element and it will pull up a menu that looks like the image below. Move you mouse down and highlight ‘Layer via Copy’…

Once you do that, you will see a copy of the selected element in your layers palette. In the layers palette, de-select the original layer of the journal card… and you should be left with the extracted element. Voila! Now you can drag and drop that element anywhere you want onto your layout!

You can see examples of how I used this technique on this layout…

On the layout shown above, I used this extraction technique to create the “stories” circle brush on the top left photo, and also to create the navy word strips (shown at lower left).

Once you know how to extract simple digital elements, the possibilities are endless! You will find that this trick opens up a whole new world… with not only journal cards, but many other items found in digital kits (i.e. you can create a flower sticker from a floral paper… or word art from papers/cards… and more!).

If you try this trick or your own, please share your finished project with us in TDP’s gallery! We’d love to see what you come up with. Happy Scrapping 🙂


JenniferHigniteJennifer Hignite is a mom of three boys and new homeowner with her fiance in the mitten state of Michigan. When she is not scrapbooking, she enjoys photography, decorating, and shopping at Target.

Tutorial Tuesday | Text Boxes


Hello everyone! Today I’m here with you on the blog to go over some of the basics of using text boxes, while also exploring some of the lesser-known functions. I will also share some thoughts on how journaling doesn’t always need to be about documentingsomething; it can very well be simply used as a design element.

I will be demonstrating the methods shown in today’s tutorial in Photoshop Elements 11 (PSE11); the information should translate very similarly to other versions of PSE and/or to Photoshop (PS) itself.

So… let’s get started!

1. Using a basic rectangular text box

Choose the text type tool on your tools panel and draw the boundary of the size of the text box that you would like. Once you have done that, you will see the flashing point of the cursor inside the box. Any text you add will be automatically wrapped to fit the boundaries of this box.

Re-sizing: Once you start your journaling, you may realize that you need more (or less) space that you initially thought when you created the text box. Fear not! Simply drag the diagonal corner of the box outward or inwards to the desired size. Note that the default settings in PSE will either make the text smaller or larger to fit proportionally into the newly-sized text box. You will simply need to change the font size back to what it was originally… and then carry on!

 

2. Adding a bit of flair to the text box

Imagine that you don’t want your text box to be nice and clean (straight lines, etc.). There are some very simple ways to add a bit of a ‘zing’! Consider the warp text tool; it changes the shape of the box (and in the process, the text within it) to create some very unique results. What better way to add some playfulness to your layouts!

 

3. Using other shapes as text boxes
Text does not have to be limited to the rectangular or square shapes; we can use other custom shapes too. There are many ways to do this… one of which is to actually create a path that follows your shape. Not all versions of PSE have this capability, however, so I came up with a “hack” that allows you to create a faux-text-path, of sorts. 🙂

To do this… choose the shape you want to use, put it onto your page (temporarily), and then with the text type tool selected… follow the same steps as described above. Because the text is on a separate layer from the text, you can approximate the shape you chose with the text itself. Then, once the underlying shape is hidden (something you can do by clicking the “eye” shape to the “off” position in the right-hand layers palette area)… you will have an interesting shape of journaled text…

 

4. Using Text as a design element

Another way in which text boxes can be used is as a design element. There are quite a few ways to do it. Repeating captions or phrases in an interesting shape, warping text to fit in with the design of the layout, blending it with the photo, etc.

I’ve created a few examples for you here. In the first layout shown below, I have used the text “on a shape” option to write a few phrases in a circular path. Copying this multiple times and nesting the circles within each gives a nice effect…

In this second layout, I have followed he same approach… but instead, I merged all the various text in the shape of the heart and blended it with the background…

As you can see, there are lots of uses for the text box… and fun little tricks you can use to open up its many possibilities and realize the many different ways it can be put to use. If you try some of these tricks or your own, please share your finished project with us in TDP’s gallery!

‘Till next time… keep scrapping and keep sharing. 🙂


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About the Author Shivani Sohal is a donner of many alter-egos. A finance professional by day in busy London, she morphs into a seemingly normal mum of two in the evenings and weekends. She is constantly found with her fingers in too many pies and juggling the metaphorical balls. That is living on the edge for her; aided by the two ankle biters and a darling hubby who define the warm and mushy for her. She is ferociously dedicated to memory keeping — almost immune to any nay-sayers (or equally-disruptive crying children or annoying house fires!); keeping her head down and forging ahead at all times.

Hybrid How-To | School Valentine Exchange

Okay, I don’t know about you… but I totally CANNOT believe Christmas has already come and gone so quickly! Where in the world did this past year go? It’s 2017! I think I would love for things to slow down a bit, but I know that isn’t possible. 🙂

I know that most of you likely aren’t thinking about Valentine’s Day already (heck, most people don’t even have their Christmas decorations put away yet!)… but ready or not, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Therefore, I thought I would get a head-start and today I will be showing you several fun hybrid Valentine’s ideas! Some of them are for Valentine’s that have candy, and some are for those that do not. Either of them can be tweaked to your liking.

For this project, you do not need to have a cutting machine. All projects can be achieved with the supplies listed below. I did, however, use my Silhouette Studio Design space to create my ideas… although similar things can truly be achieved in any photo editing program.

There are tons of digital kits that would be great for this project… and remember, just because it isn’t actually a Valentine-themed kit doesn’t mean it can’t be used for Valentines! For instance, the kit Kindess is Cool (by LJS Designs) has a lot of Christmas-themed elements in it, but I also thought the bear would be adorable for Valentine’s Day. You could even use robot or space-themed kits for Valentine’s Day. This holiday is fun because you can come up with so many Valentine puns… just let your imagination run wild!

In the end, for the projects I will show you today… I decided on these two kits — It’s You I Like by Dunia Designs… and Kindness Is Cool by LJS Designs (I also used the coordinating Kindness is Cool Journal Cards that match the main kit).

The first 2 projects are related, and they’re both perfect for non-candy items like pencils. To begin, I simply drew out a 8.5″ x 11″ square and added the heart paper shown here…

Next, here is the image that I created using the digital elements from the same kit…

If you are using your cutting machine, simply print the image above, place it on your mat and send through to the cutter.  If you will not be using a cutting machine, print your image and follow the steps found below.

Here is a close-up look at what I created…

Once you have your papers/elements printed out… you will punch the layered pieces…  assemble them with the double-sided tape or glue dots (whichever you prefer and/or have on hand)… and then you attach them to the pencils and add a bow. Ta-da! That’s it! Pretty easy, huh?

For this next version, you will trim your printed paper down to the size you want (I cut mine to 2″ x 4-1/2″ and then after trimming, I used a corner punch and rounded the corners). Use the same punched embellishments from the first project, shown up above, and tape them to the center of your trimmed digital paper, as shown below. All you have to do then is add your pencil and that’s it! SO EASY!

The next idea is perfect to use as a plain Valentine’s Day card (and/or when paired up with a candy treat)… it’s super cute and super easy! Again, it can be created in just about any photo editing software; I used my Silhouette program to do mine because it is just as easy and sometimes even simpler than using Photoshop, etc.).

First, I picked out a journaling card from the set I was using, I added some embellishments, and I personalized it…

Next, I sent it to my printer and cut with my paper trimmer. I also made cute little envelopes out of white printer paper to go with the cards. You can tape a piece of candy to the back or not, whichever you decide…

As you can see, there are several quick and easy ideas to create unique and personalized treats for your child’s Valentine’s Day party. They don’t have to be exactly like the ones I’ve done here; you have plenty of time (as of right now… LOL) to get started and come up with a cute idea that you love! So rummage through that craft closet, pick out your favorite digital kit, and get started!

I’m always here to answer any hybrid questions you may have, so leave me a note in the comments if you need to know anything. Also… if you want to earn challenge points at The Digital Press during the month of January by creating one of these items… head over to the forum and join into our monthly challenge system!


Tanya

 

About the Author  Tanya is a part of the hybrid team here at The Digital Press. She has been hybrid crafting for at least 14 years now, and loves creating and sharing those creations with others. Her all-time favorite tool is her Silhouette Cameo. She has been married for 28 years to her high school sweetheart, Richard and has two sons: Chris, 25 and Chance, 20. She also enjoys crocheting, photography and woodworking.

Feature Friday | Miss Tiina

Now that our special holiday lineup is over and we’ve kicked off 2017… our Feature Friday series returns to The Digital Press’ blog this week, and I’m excited to feature the designs of Tina Raparanta (known more commonly to many of us as Miss Tiina).

One fun bit of trivia (which you may have even found yourself wondering, on occasion)… why does her design name of Miss Tiina have 2 “i”s in it? You will be amused to know that it wasn’t a purposeful decision and there really isn’t any deep meaning behind it. Instead, it all dates back to a spelling error that her bank made when she set up her business banking account, years and years ago. So she just went with it!

As you click through Miss Tiina’s shop, I’m confident you’ll find yourself smiling. Really, you will! 🙂 Her designs are bright and cheerful, clean and simple. Her shop is the perfect place to stop to set up an amazing organization system for your busy life… and your memory-keeping as well (as she has a few different pocket card and paper sets available, as well). We’re just a couple of days into the new year; what better time to start, right? You can cross organization off your list of New Years’ resolutions!

Here is a look at just a few of my favorite products by Tina

 

I asked Tina a few questions so we could learn a little bit more about her, and here’s what she had to say…

Where do you live?
I live in the freezing cold north of Ontario, Canada, right on top of Lake Superior.

When you’re not designing, what do you do with your time?
When I’m not designing, I’m spending time with my man and our 3+1 crazy kiddos who I adore.

What are 5 tidbits of trivia we might not know about you?
—I’m addicted to eating freezies and frozen grapes.
—I hoard cute things, rainbow things, and stationery.
—Flannel is my favorite fabric.
—I have never traveled outside of Canada, except once as a kid.
—I have 2 middle names and so do all of my kids.

Which of your products is your favorite?
That’s always a tough one to answer, because I love so many! I think I take the most pride in my main planner series, though. It’s definitely been the most-loved item by my customers! Here’s a look at the 2017 version…

Tina’s products are so handy if you want to be well-organized!  Here a few examples of her products in action, as well as close-ups of what you’ll find in a few of her calendar and planner sets here at The Digital Press

 

I’m glad you spent some time with me today and got to know Tina better. My guess is that after reading this, you might be bitten by the organization bug, too! 😉 I know I have been! That’s why this last bit of info is great news… if you visit her shop this week you will enjoy 30% OFF her awesome products (sale runs through the end of 1/12)!


Barbara

About the Author  Barbara is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in Minnesota, is married and has two awesome kids (a 20 year old son and a 17 year old daughter) as well as an adorable 10 year old Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier. In her free time she loves to play around in Photoshop (you can learn a little something new every time you use PS right?!), take photos, and try out new recipes for healthy dishes. (Her 2017 resolution is to try new veggies every week!). Life is good!