Tutorial Tuesday | Blend Modes

Welcome to another installment of our Tutorial Tuesday series! Today, I want to share a few ways I use blend modes in Photoshop in order to blend my own custom background papers for my layouts!

Layer blend modes can be quite confusing, and honestly I think that simply playing around with them & trying out different opacities is the best way to learn what fits your style. In general, though, layer blend modes change the way layers (or their colors) react with each other.

The modes that I use the most are:

  • Linear Burn & Multiply (the 2nd group of blend modes make things darker; eliminates whites)
  • Screen (3rd group of blend modes make things lighter; eliminates blacks)
  • Overlay & Soft Light (4th group of blend modes generally make things lighter; they work with the gray tones, and results depend on the colors of your base layer)

The Blend mode panel is found just above the layers in the Layer panel. The default is always ‘normal’ and clicking on the small ‘v’  will bring down the rest of the blending options, as shown here…

Here are a few examples of how I used the blend modes mentioned above to combine two papers together in order to make my own unique background papers. I’ve shown my final layout (top left), the original paper files from the kit I used (bottom left and right), and also the blended version (top right) along with information about the modes/opacities I used…

In the next example, the text paper (lower left) was super fun & I really wanted to use it… but as a background on its own, it was a tiny bit too distracting. Blending it into the starburst paper (lower right) & then lowering the opacity almost all the way down solved that problem. You can still see & read the words on the new version (top right)… but it doesn’t overpower the layout (top left) any longer…

In the next example, I loved the swirly paper (lower right) and wanted to use it for my background, but it was a bit too bright. When I lowered the opacity, however, it seemed to wash out the pretty greens in the paper. My solution was to use a solid green background paper (lower left) because it helped to keep that color nice & sharp, while still decreasing how bold the pattern looks on my layout (top left)…

The next example highlights a useful tip I want to share — which is that if you can’t get it just right with one blend mode, you can always combine it with another mode and/or duplicate the layer that you’re blending. In the following example, I wanted that hexagon paper (lower right) to pop, even despite the darker paper I combined it with. Duplicating the paper and lowering its opacity gave me the defined hexagons I was going for…

Moral to the story: if you love a certain pattern, but you need a darker/different color for your layout… or if you want to tone down the brightness… or if you simply need a certain color to tie your photos together with a kit… blend modes can be your new B.F.F.! Through the use of blend modes, the possibilities are endless!

It’s also a great technique that can help you stretch your scrapping stash! The sky is the limit when it comes to making something unique and creating your own style with just a few clicks of the mouse! 🙂


AmieAbout the Author  Amie is a craft-loving dental hygienist who lives in Washington state. She loves her husband, her two kids (ages 9 & 5), and her English Bulldog… as well as coffee, baking cupcakes, daffodils, glitter & sprinkles, reading a good book, and lip gloss — not necessarily in that order.

Feature Friday | Wildheart Designs

It’s time for another edition of Feature Friday here at The Digital Press… and this week, I am excited to feature Lisa Sisneros of Wildheart Designs here on the blog! This is Lisa’s second feature here on the blog (you can find her first feature from August 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 also some more insight into their creative processes.

With that in mind, check out Lisa’s creative space… isn’t it great?! I can definitely see how this space would be conducive to the creative flow…

 

We also asked Lisa for a “Top 5” list related to things that define her at this point in her life, and this was what she came up with — the “Top 5 List of Things She Loves(I’m sure we can all relate to most all of these! Her love of “hot pink anything” certainly speaks for itself in her creative space)…

  1. Hot Pink anything
  2. The Red Queen book series
  3. Naps
  4. This Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Muffin Recipe
  5. Unicorns (still!)

 

As for Lisa’s design style… she creates digital products that are “paper-realistic” in style, with lots of fun themed items and textured elements that are perfect for layering. Here is just a small sampling of what you will find in the Wildheart Designs shop at The Digital Press…

 

And here are just a handful of sample layouts using Lisa’s designs, so you can get a peek at her fantastic designs in action…

 

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about Lisa (and looking into her fabulous creative space!), and I am sure that you will have no problem finding some new favorites in her shop at The Digital Press which will be 30% OFF all week long during her Feature week (the sale will end at 11:59 EST on Thursday 3/30)! Check your wishlist, and don’t miss out on this great chance to clear it out at a discounted rate!

Additionally, this week only — you can snag Lisa’s “Oh, Joy!” Kit for FREE with any $10+ purchase in the Wildheart Designs shop at The Digital Press (this offer also ends at 11:59pm ET on Thurs 3/30)…


About the author   Rae is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She is a Mom of three daughters, grandmother to 2. She lives in west central Indiana with her hubby of almost 24 years and their youngest daughter. She is a digi-scrap addict and a bit of a computer software geek, having worked for several years as a software/IT administrator/architect. She loves any opportunity to travel with her hubby who travels most every week for work. Her family are definitely the loves of her life and she is loving life as a “MomMom” as her grandchildren lovingly refer to her.

Tutorial Tuesday | Brightening Dark or Dull Photos

Have you ever just been browsing through the gallery and seen a page that really just POPPED right out at you? More often than not, that page popped like that because of a gorgeous photograph that the scrapper used. Photographs, and I mean really good photographs, can really make even the most simple page shine!

I hear scrappers comment “Well, I am not a professional photographer, and I don’t have time to learn, so I just use whatever photos I have!” Believe me when I say, “I GET THAT!”  Life is crazy!  At least I know mine is, and I don’t want to spend hours tweaking every single photo I put into our memory books either.

But what if I told you that you could tweak most photos, even the photos you take on your phone, just a little, and improve their appeal incredibly?  Would you be interested to learn how?

Here at The Digital Press we are starting a simple Tutorial Tuesday Series entitled Quick Photo Fixes.  Little tips and tricks to help you step up your everyday photos quickly and easily, so they shine on your layouts and even make those layouts pop right out of the galleries.

Today I want to start with something simple – brightening dark/dull photos.  We all have photos that we took (often with our phone) that are just too dark and drab feeling.  Sometimes they are WAY too dark and you can barely make out the subject matter, but a lot of the time photos are just dark enough to look muddy and dull. They are still usable, but they don’t say WOW! Today I want to show you three simple ways you can brighten those photos and make them stand out just a bit more.

Now, before we start, I want to say that in the world of photography, how under or over exposed a photo is has really become a very personal and artistic thing.  Some photographers swear by certain levels and others just go with what makes them happy.

Here are two different portraits taken from a popular photography site – both are beautiful, and tell their story well, but have different levels of brightness/exposure and so create a different feel.

Since we are working on photos to use in our family memory keeping, I want you to feel free to go with whatever level of brightness makes you happy or fits the mood of your layout.  I personally tend to lean towards brighter, lighter photos with lots of contrast, and sometimes get told mine are “overexposed.” But that is OK with me, because I like the way they feel.  Unless you are a professional photographer and make a living on other people’s desires and opinions, don’t let other people’s aesthetics make you doubt yourself. These are your memories, you make them as bright and happy as you want!

Now, for the fun stuff.

These days I find I am taking a lot of photos with my phone, mostly because my favorite DSLR is starting to die on me and I can’t face the pain of admitting that. But also because I almost always have my phone with me, but my big bulky camera, not so much.  Camera phones really have come a long way, but I find mine still tends to struggle with getting the brightness levels right – especially when we are indoors, and I currently live in the Pacific Northwest where rainy season has taken on a new meaning – even for this Southeast Asian Tropical family – so most days we are inside.

However, I have found that most of the time I can correct the dark drab look of my photos, through one of these three different methods.

1. BRIGHTNESS and CONTRAST

The quickest and easiest method is to play with the Brightness and Contrast.  Granted, this won’t always do the trick, but it is a good place to start if you are new to photo editing or get overwhelmed in PS or PSE when playing around with photos.  It is pretty quick and simple, but it will still make a lovely difference in your photo.

Take this photo for example.

I took this photo of my daughter in a little shop outside a Thai village up in the mountains somewhere.  It was the middle of the day, very hot, very bright outside, but there was no lighting inside the shop except what came through the windows. That made the shop nice and cool, but it also meant that my photos ended up pretty dark.

To correct this, I opened up the brightness/contrast control panel.  You can find it under Image>Ajustments>Brightness/Contrast.

That will open up this little box with sliders for both brightness and contrast.

I brightened my image just enough to bring her face to the right skin tone and leave behind that grey tinge.

Then I added some contrast to bump the shadows back up and bring some pop to the photo.

You will notice that this washed out the background a bit – after all there is a LOT of bright sunshine poring in from those windows.  In this case, I don’t really care, because the background was not so important to this photo, but there are techniques that allow you to adjust for that.  We will cover those at a later date.

Here is a side by side of the original and final photo.

The whole process took less than a minute, and now I can plop this photo into a page.  The photo is not that great to begin with, a bit grainy because my phone was an older model, but the final product has much more appeal to me than the original photo.

2. ADJUSTING LEVELS

A second way to brighten up dark dull photos is by playing with the Levels.  This method is my personal favorite, and although it can seem a bit scary if it is unfamiliar to you, it is really not that difficult to get the hang of.  I like adjusting the levels because it gives you more control over all sections of your image, from shadows to highlights, while allowing you to make more subtle adjustments, and yet it stays pretty simple if you want it to.

I took this photo of my youngest on our front porch during a rain storm.  While there is obviously some light, the photo still ended up dark and dull feeling.  We can easily fix that with levels.

To adjust your levels go to Image>Adjustments>Levels and you will get a little box like this.

The graph that comes up that looks like a mountain range is called a histogram.  A histogram is nothing more than a graphical representation of the tonal values of your image – so basically it shows the amount of tones of a particular brightness found in your image.  Simply speaking, the blacker, or darker tones, are to your left while the whiter, or lighter tones, are to your right.  A good image will have a “mountain range” that spreads pretty evenly through all the values, stretching from left to right.  You can see from my histogram above, that this photograph is missing most of the lighter values to the farthest right.  We correct that by adjusting the sliders that you see at the bottom of the histogram.

For my photo I started with the right most slider, and pulled it towards the left, until it was right at the edge of my “mountain range”  That brightened up the lighter areas of my photo.

I then pulled the leftmost slider over to the right a little, to deepen the darker areas back up a touch.

You can also adjust the middle slider to correct the mid-tones if you feel the need.  I adjusted mine just a bit to bring back the facial features and little details of the photo I wanted to capture.

And again, in just a minute or so we have taken a dull photo up a notch to a fun, colorful capture of a playful moment. There is a lot more you can do with levels if you really want to learn, but this simple step will give you a bit more control over your photos.

3. CURVES

Finally, the third way to quickly brighten dark/dull photos is to use Curves.  You find curves in the same place, go to Image>Adjustments>Curves.

Now, there is a whole lot that you can do with curves, and it can get complicated.  However, for the sake of today’s tutorial we are going to keep it simple.

This time I am using an image that my oldest took in the car.  The selfie camera on his phone is not good at all, and it came out really dark!

So I open my image and go to adjust the curves. Again, a little graph will pop up, this time showing both your histogram, and a line running diagonally through it.

To adjust your curves for brightness, you want to make sure that the RGB path is selected in the channel drop down menu and then you are going to place your cursor on the mid-point of the line and drag it slightly higher.  You generally don’t need to move the line too far in order to change up the image, but you can move it around a bit, both up and down from the starting line, to get an idea of what happens when you do.

Here they are side by side, still not the best image in the world (what kind of face is that anyway ) but much better than the original don’t you think?

So, I hope that gave you a few new ideas on how to quickly brighten up dark or dull photos and really help them pop.  If you find one method does not give you the results you want on a particular photo, then try one of the other two and see if that works better.  Or, if you really want to have some fun tweaking your images, you can combine two or even all three of these techniques to really add contrast and color to your dull photos. If all of that still seems like too much work, you might want to look into some Photoshop Actions.  There are some really fun ones out there for the daring, and just plain simple ones as well for everyday fixes like this one. Some are free, and others cost a bit of money, but actions really do make photo edits quick and easy.  I use actions for a lot of my photo helps, so feel free to ask for recommendations if you don’t know where to look.

Thanks so much for following along with me, and have fun making those everyday photos just a bit more appealing!


ErinErin is an artsy crafty kind of girl who is currently dabbling in far too many things, but is working hard to enjoy every moment of it, while avoiding the rain, which is difficult due to living in the land of many rains.  She is slowly learning to use her smart phone to capture all the fun little bits of life that would otherwise go unremembered in the busy,craziness that is raising a family!

Hybrid How-To | Paper Pouches

Hello, everyone! Kate here to show you how to create these fun paper pouches — just in time for Easter!

Supplies

  • Digital kit of your choice (I used It’s a Spring Thing, found in the Juno Designs shop here at TDP)
  • Scissors or a straight cutter
  • Adhesive (for this project, I prefer glue dot strips OR hot glue)
  • Sewing Machine

Instructions

1. Print your chosen digital papers and cut into rectangles. Mine are 4″x5″ and 3″x5″…

2. Add the adhesive of your choice to the short edge of the rectangle and roll the paper up, adhering to the other short edge. You’re basically making a bunch of paper tubes.

3. Pinch one open end of the tube together and sew along the edge. Fill with candy, but don’t overfill or you will have trouble getting the other side to close. Once it’s filled, pinch the other end together — in the opposite direction (see below) — and sew along the edge…

And that’s all there is to it! I like to display these in a glass bowl on the coffee table, but they would also make an awesome edition to an Easter basket.

Want to give this a try (and earn challenge points toward the March 2017 challenges here at The Digital Press)? Come check out our monthly hybrid challenge information in the forum HERE.


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 | Rachel Hodge

Yay! Once again, it is Friday! That means it is time for a new Feature Friday post here on the TDP blog, and today we are featuring Rachel Hodge!

Rachel lives in Australia with her husband and 4 kids, and aside from family, her loves are… photographing the everyday, scrapbooking, finding hints and ideas that make her say “that’s clever!”, home decor, and holiday planning! It sounds like a busy life, and yet Rachel still finds some time to design the gorgeous assortment of digital stamps and cut files that we all adore!

This is Rachel’s second designer feature here on TDP’s blog (you can find her first feature article from August 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.

We asked Rachel to show us a peek of her creative space, and maybe tell us a little about her creative process. As such, here’s a quick look at the space in which Rachel gets creative…

Of her workspace, Rachel says, “OK, my desk space is pretty much (well, actually it’s not “pretty much” — it IS!) my dining table! I like to plonk myself at one end and sit down with my diary & my coffee and just design away!”

It definitely sounds like a practical place to work, for a stay-at-home mum with small children. And just look at that “HAPPY SNAPS” wall art, too! Love it! 🙂

We also asked Rachel to give us a Top 5 list that is representative of her at this point in her life, and she chose to share these 5 Things That Are “Me” Right Now

  1. My Lightbox — which displays the current events in our household. Right now, it’s set to “the everyday chaos” …because a house of 6 is pretty much that! Between school, kinder, playgroup, groceries, cleaning, trainings, sports on the weekend, drum lessons, cooking dinner, and scrolling on Instagram — chaos sums it all up perfectly!
  2. Chocolate — I think I may have said this before, but I seriously CANNOT STRESS IT ENOUGH… chocolate for me is not a “need” but a “NECESSITY,” people! A NECESSITY!
  3. Instagram — I’m loving Instagram at the moment! It’s where I seem to be getting a lot of inspiration… for not only craft related things, but also for everything from home decor, to food, to holiday destinations (oh yeah!).
  4. Coffee — If the family is to function, and survive, and make it to the next day… then I need my coffee!
  5. My iPad — I love getting to the end of the day, when the kids are in bed (I don’t care if they aren’t asleep as long as they are QUIET AND IN THEIR BED)… I fluff up the pillows and sit on the couch with my iPad, watching my shows/movies/anything with Chris Hemsworth in it… 🙂

Oh, I think many of us can relate to the chaos and the chocolate! And maybe one day Rachel will make a cutting file of Chris Hemsworth… but until then, here’s a peek at some of the other fun and fabulous creations that you will find in her store at The Digital Press

Aren’t her products fun?! I love Rachel’s designs! They are so versatile, and she has something for just about every occasion.

Here are some crafty projects that were made using Rachel’s creations (you can see her designs on the following layouts as stamps, stickers, word art, titles, journal/filler cards, illustration elements, and more… even repeated to make wordy papers, at lower-left… so many fun options!)…

I hope you have enjoyed seeing her workspace, as well as finding out a little more about her creative process. To celebrate her feature week, her entire shop at The Digital Press will be 30% OFF all week long (sale ends at 11:59pm ET on Thursday 3/23)… so if you’ve got any of her products on your TDP wish-list, now’s a great time to clear them off!

Additionally, Rachel has a special Free-With-Purchase offer for everyone this week! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to stock up on your favorite products from Rachel Hodge , and you can snag her brand-new “Month by Month” Set for FREE with any $10+ purchase in her shop — this week only!


CorrinAbout the Author  Corrin is on the creative team here at The Digital Press. She is a fan of the Big Bang Theory and a lover of cozy pajamas. She lives in the breezy South of England with her husband and 4 crazy kids, who regularly discover & plunder her secret chocolate stashes! She is still trying to get the house straight after moving 3 years ago. Who knows… maybe this will be the year she reaches the bottom of the laundry pile!

Tutorial Tuesday | Quick & Easy Photo Collage in Lightroom

I love creating pocket pages, and I just recently discovered that I could quickly and easily create photo collages in Lightroom to use on my layouts. It’s a fantastic time-saver, and I’m here today to show you how to do it, too!

First, I collect all the papers and photos that I want to use in my collage, and place them in a single folder on my computer’s desktop.

Next, I import all these files into Lightroom. For my example, I chose to only use patterned paper… but you could use journal cards, too!

Next, I went to the Print Panel. You can see that I have a bunch of pre-made templates (the best thing is that I found them free on the web, but you can also create your own)! These templates can be edited to fit your needs or you can create your own!

In the Print Job drop-down area, input the dimensions you like. In this example, I chose 9″ x 8″ for my size. In the Print To field, make sure it says JPEG file and that the file resolution is set to 300ppi.

In the Cells drop-down area, I edited one of the sizes in the Add to Package area to 4″ x 3″ (the size of most journaling cards).

Then I added six 4″ x 3″ boxes to my photo collage by continually clicking on the 4″ x 3″…

Next, I added the photos and paper I wanted to use simply by clicking and dragging the photos and paper onto the collage…

And finally, here is a look at my finished photo collage.

I clicked on Print to File in the lower right hand corner and saved my collage…

Then, I opened up my collage image in Photoshop to complete my Pocket Page with some embellishments/etc…

[ products used –My Garden elements, papers, and extra papers by Meagan’s Creations ]

And that’s it! It’s so simple… and such a great time-saver. 🙂


Krista

 

About the Author  Krista Lund is a mom of 3, married to her high school sweetheart and living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of her favorite things are brownies, chips ‘n’ dip, taking pictures, and documenting her family’s story.

Feature Friday | Juno Designs

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Feature Friday series here on The Digital Press blog!

This week, I’m very happy to be highlighting the amazingly talented Jill of Juno Designs. This is Jill’s second feature here on the blog (you can find her first feature 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.

Jill lives in the Netherlands with her boyfriend and their 2 pet rabbits. About her job as a designer, she says, “I feel very lucky to spend my time doing what I love
most. If I’m not designing, I like to work on my Project Life album or the occasional 12×12 layout. I also enjoy being outside, going for walks, or geocaching if the weather allows it. But since it rains more often than not here in Holland, I love watching Netflix and reading, as well.”

Here’s a look at Jill’s creative space, where she works her design magic:…

Here’s what she says about her workspace: “At the moment, my workspace isn’t anything special. I recently moved in with my boyfriend and we don’t have a spare room for my office yet, so I have a desk in the corner of the living room. We are planning to move house in the near future, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for extra space. But I like my little corner of the room. I love my cute little pen holder and I always have a few bowls filled with labels, die cuts and wood veneers on my desk. I feel like it helps keep me inspired and reminds me to keep up with my Project Life album as well (which can be a problem sometimes LOL).”

What a beautiful space! And did you see that adorable owl pen holder? Could it be any cuter?

We asked Jill to provide us with a Top 5 List that is representative of her at this point in her life… and she chose to share 5 things she currently loves.

Jill’s Top 5 “Things I Currently Love”…

  1. Project Life. I fell off the wagon last year, but I’m determined to finish an album for this year.
  2. Binge-watching Netflix. My boyfriend and I are currently watching Breaking Bad.
  3. Anything Copper and/or Rose Gold. Jewelry or homeware… I want it all! LOL
  4. Tea. I drink a lot of tea, and mint tea is my favorite.
  5. Books. I’ve always loved books. Buying, collecting, and reading them.

I don’t know about you, but I can sooooo relate to her choices (especially #2 and #5)!

Jill has an amazing, realistic, and paper-like design style. She uses bright colors, gold, and glitter like nobody else… and even though her kits are often themed, they are super versatile and can be used for any type of page!

Here are just a few of my favorite products from the Juno Designs shop at The Digital Press…

As mentioned above, Juno Designs’ kits are super versatile and allow users to create anything they can imagine — from minimalistic layouts to pages that are full of clustery awesomeness; from traditional 12×12 pages to pocket pages; and more!

Here, you can see just a teeny tiny sampling of layouts (in many styles!) that have been created with Jill’s products…

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about Jill’s workspace, her creative process, and also discovering her amazing products! And as if all of this fun info wasn’t enough… the entire Juno Designs shop will be 30% OFF throughout her feature week (the sale ends at 11:59pm ET on Thursday 3/16), including her newest releases!

Additionally, Jill has a special Free-With-Purchase offer for everyone this week! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to stock up on your favorite wish-listed products from Jill… and you can also snag her “Lucky In Love” Kit for FREE with any $10+ purchase in her shop — this week only!


ChloéAbout the author  Chloé is in charge of PR and communication for her small town by day, is a digiscrapper “by night,” and a photographer whenever the light is beautiful. She lives with her man and fur-babies in a small town of Alsace (in the northeast of France), where she loves to read, watch good TV shows (TWD being her absolute favorite), and just hang out with her friends — no matter if they are close by, online, or away in her Swiss hometown. She recently became quite obsessed with Bullet Journaling, Miracle Morning and Zero Waste.

Tutorial Tuesday | Creating Your Own Shadow Styles

Today I’m here to help teach you how to create your own shadow styles, save them to your computer, and use them again in the future. Such a time saver!

As we develop our scrapbooking craft, the tips and techniques we learn along the way help us to work faster — and processes get easier. That’s the goal, right?  When we’re itching to create, we don’t want anything standing in our way — not laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, work, or a commute. Nothing. We want to scrap. Period. 🙂 Anything we can do to speed up the process of creating, especially when the mojo is flowing, is welcomed!

With that in mind, I wanted to show you a quick and easy way to add shadows to your layouts — and also save those shadow styles for repeated use in the future. It’s easier than you might think!

When I was first exploring digital scrapbooking, shadows (and the process of shadowing things in Photoshop/etc.) used to scare me. Let’s be honest… it’s a little intimidating for a beginner! Some designers here at The Digital Press offer shadow styles for sale in the shop… with the idea being that you can install the styles on your computer, and then with a few simple clicks of the mouse, voila! Instant shadows! Super time-saver.

For myself, now that I am almost 15 years down the digital road… I find that I’ve developed my own “shadowing style” over time — it is personal to me, based on my own preferences about how things should look. The trouble is… it often takes a lot of time to customize shadows over and over. For instance — I might find myself applying a particular shadow depth for some items, a specific shade of brown (instead of the default black), a certain blending mode, and even specific changes to the opacity of the shadows. On a good week, I can scrap five pages or more… but that’s a lot of added shadow work! So the idea of being able to quickly click-and-apply my own shadow styles was very appealing.

To take a look at how this works… let’s start with an unshadowed version of a page I created for this month’s scraplift challenge (I’ve deliberately left my shadowing off this copy of the page so I can walk you through the quick steps for creating — and using — your own, personalized shadow styles)…

As you can see, with regard to what needs to be shadowed — I’ve got some large flowers and some small flowers, a piece of flair, some papers, some thick and thin string elements, and even a small crotchet piece. Each item needs its own shadow, and based on my preferences… each of these items would be treated a little differently.

Let’s take a look at the large yellow flower and start there.

Click on the “fx” button at the bottom of your Layers Palette and select Drop Shadow …or use the menus and go to Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow. Either one will give you a pop-up menu in which to create your shadow. As you can see, I like a large, feathered shadow for my  larger flowers (or similarly-sized elements). Oh, and in case you’d like to know, my “brown” color is #30200E.

See the difference on the yellow flower (lower-right corner) now?

Once you have the foundation of your shadow set, instead of hitting that “OK” button… click “New Style” instead. Give the style a name you’ll easily remember, and now click “OK.” How easy was that?! You’ve just created your own, personalized shadow style! Repeat this step for each of the different design elements.

But how do you actually use these styles once you’ve created them?

If you don’t see the Styles palette in your workspace, go to Windows > Styles. When this panel first opens, you might see something like this – but don’t panic! (and please don’t judge, haha! …I have a lot of styles in Photoshop!)…

You’re probably wondering how on earth are you supposed to find the styles that you just created for yourself? I’ll give you two tips that will help:

  1. You can change the “view” for the palette to something that’s much more manageable. In the upper right-hand corner of the Style box, there’s a drop-down menu button — click on that. I like “Small List” or “Large List” as my preferred viewing format as it gives me both the display icon and the text label, like Large Flower.
  2. As you create or add styles, they will be at the bottom of your list; they append each time. Scroll down.

To apply your new styles, click on the element layer to make it active, and then click on the appropriate style. See? Two clicks of the mouse and you are done! You can even select multiple layers by holding down the Shift key and then apply a single style to them all at once (which is very handy when you’ve got a lot of paper layers, or if your scrapbooking style includes a lot of clustering).

Remember the non-shadowed page that I started with (see above)? By using my own custom styles, I was able to shadow the entire layout in a matter of just minutes — seriously, minutes! (even with further customizing a shadow or two)…

[ Credits: I Can Do This | March 2017 Collaboration kit from the designers at The Digital Press ]

 

If you’re in a time-crunch, or you just find yourself repeating the same steps over and over again while shadowing your scrapbook pages… creating your own personalize styles might just be the short-cut you are looking for! Easy to create. Easy to use. What more could you ask for? 🙂


KatAbout the Author  Kat Hansen is a creative team member here at The Digital Press. A Director of Human Resources by day, she loves the opportunity to spend a few hours each evening being creative. Vacation memories feature pretty heavily in Kat’s scrapbooking pages, as do her son and “daughter” (of the four-legged furry kind). Kat has quite the sense of humor (she “blames” her father for this), which she incorporates into her journaling and memory-keeping.

Hybrid How-To | Create A Robot Party Favor

Hello everyone! It’s Tanya here for this week’s Hybrid How-To… to show you how to make a fun and easy robot party favor! 🙂

The minute I saw this adorable new Automated | Kit by Laura Passage, I knew I had to do something with it. My friends ask me all the time, “why do you make all these wonderful things and you don’t even have small children?” Want to know why?! It’s because I looooove hybrid crafting and sharing those craft ideas with you. I always hope that it will inspire you to take a shot at hybrid crafting and create something fun.

I don’t think Robot party favors were Laura’s original idea for the kit, but that is one on the reasons I love hybrid crafting… there can be soooo many uses for a single kit!

I used my Silhouette Cameo for this project… mainly because I’m spoiled by it! There are other ways to achieve the same results, however, and you don’t need a cutting machine in order to do this project.

To begin, you will need to separate the pieces of each robot so that you will be able to cut each different piece of the “puzzle.” To do this, open the element you want to use and copy it a couple of times (I do this just in case I need to go back to the original for any reason). Next go to trace, uncheck the high pass filter and then select trace and detach. As you move the threshold slider to the right, you can see the parts that will detach (highlighted yellow in the image, below). I will do this a couple of times, each time moving the slider to highlight more of the image to detach.

In this next image, you can see the other part of the image that will detach…

To get the rectangle (shown below, circled), I simply picked the rectangle tool and drew it out to the size I needed…

Next, you can see how I organized all my pieces on the mat (this is also how I will set up my scrap pieces of card stock when I actually cut with my machine)

Don’t forget to turn on the cut lines, as shown here…

For the base piece, I opened the trace image box and chose the trace outline box

The neat thing about using card stock (as opposed to printing and cutting using digital papers/patterns) is that you can use up all your old paper scraps. As you can see, below, I actually chose the colors that were in the kit… but you can use any color scraps you have on hand. You can see here that I was able to put five different colors on the mat at the same time… and boy, is this a time saver! (also, if you scroll up, 2 images above, you can see how the paper scraps in this next image match the layout of images I created in the software).

Here’s a look at all of the pieces, once I removed the excess cardstock…

As you can see in the next image, I actually had to re-cut a few pieces because my calculations were off. Oops! (not that I really calculated anything; I eyeballed it!)…

And finally, once you have all of the separate parts cut out… you will simply group them together to put into a cellophane bag (for the end-users to be able to assemble and create their own robots!)…

Here are the tags I created to tie to the gift bags…

And that’s it! A ready-made party favor to send with your guests, so they can go home and assemble their own robots. So much fun!

I hope that you have enjoyed today’s Hybrid How-To here on The Digital Press’s blog. Now it’s your turn to create something fun (with or without a cutting machine)! If you would like to earn points toward TDP’s monthly challenge system, visit the corresponding monthly Hybrid Challenge in the forum’s CROSSWORD SECTION (you’ll find it stickied up near the top during March 2017). We’d love to see your creations!


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 | Sahin Designs

It’s Friday, and time for another Feature Friday post. I am so excited to bring you more about Elif of Sahin Designs! Elif is a 25-year old graphic designer from Turkey, and this is her second feature at TDP (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.

Here is a peek at Elif’s super clean, simple, and modern creative space…

About her space, Elif says, “I love having small dishes on my desk to put my wood chips and excess label prints in. They remind me that I should take a break from the work and do some crafting! And let’s be honest, they are also very cute to look at (can’t resist wood)! I also love that I turned my desk to a white space. It really keeps me focused on what I am working on, and white brightens my soul. And I can’t do without my little “office-assistant”…the blue chimp (which was a gift from Mailchimp) adds that childish joy to my working space and indeed helps me out with a very important job: holding the charger cable. You can’t imagine how important that job is!”

We also asked Elif to share a Top 5 list with us that is representative of herself and her life right now… and she gave us a list of her Top 5 Current Favorite Things

  1. Organization“I can’t stress enough the importance of organization in my life. I am a multi-focused person that I love to work on handful of things. The negative side of having different interests all at the same time is not having the time to fully complete one of these works. And it’s a real challenge for me to keep focused and get the job done! On top of my design life I have an MS degree to complete, which makes everything complicated. So organization is the key to do all these things together and trying to improve my organization skills is my number one priority at this time.”
  2. Breaking the habits — “When you love your job, there is no force on earth that can keep you from doing it! I love my job and I’m a workaholic. Can you blame me? Designing was my dream job, but I know it has to have limits. So breaking the bad habits — like over-working myself — is one of the things I am working on. In this breaking-the-bad-habits list there is also drinking water, exercising regularly, and giving myself some “me” time.”
  3. White-Gold“My latest and greatest favorite color combination of all time!”
  4. Illustration & Calligraphy“These are the things I try to develop my skills about at the moment, and I am crazy about both.”
  5. Family“This year was a tough one for my family; health problems, unexpected events, promises and future plans… all made us closer and united more than ever before and I am grateful for the improved relations & connections in the family.”

 

Overall, Elif defines herself as a graphic designer because has interests in every aspect of design, not solely scrapbooking. Her design style is minimal and modern with a tiny touch of eclecticism. She believes that quality of a finished product is more important than the quantity, and when she designs scrapbook goodies she sticks to the basics and focuses on how each collection could be used to make an outstanding scrapbook layout. Her products are versatile and easily lend themselves to digital layouts or hybrid projects, and she is especially adept at putting together interesting color palettes.

Here are some of my favorite products by Sahin Designs (it was hard to choose just a few!)…

And here is a look at just a few stunning pages that use Elif’s gorgeous products…

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Elif Sahin. To celebrate her week as our Featured Designer at the digital press, the entire Sahin Designs store will be 30% OFF all week long (the sale will end at 11:59 ET on Thursday 3/9).

Additionally, Elif has a special Free-with-Purchase offer for everyone this week! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to stock up on your favorite products from Sahin Designs… and you can snag her gorgeous “Sunday Morning” Kit for FREE with any $10+ purchase — this week only!

 


Headshots Hartford0828-Edit

About the Author  Celeste has been married to her college sweetheart, Terry, for 20 years. They have  two teenage boys, Adam and Sam. They keep her busy chauffeuring them to and from clubs, scouts, band practices, and other activities. Celeste works full-time in the Insurance industry, and her days are filled with numbers… so she fills her evenings with patterned paper and design! Celeste is a self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady.” She lives with two male brown tabbys, Milo & Gibby, and a gorgeous, long-haired calico named Girlie. In her spare time, she reads on average 50 novels a year and watches far too much junk on television.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Tutorial Tuesday | Documenting Kids’ Artwork

If you’ve got children, you’ve probably also got an ever-growing assortment of art projects slowly accumulating dust and fading in the sunlight somewhere in your house.

You’ve probably also decided — maybe more than once — that it’s time to organize said pieces, and/or *gasp!* archive them into the recycling bin. Today, I am here to share a couple of ideas about preserving these amazing masterpieces (a.k.a. glimpses into our children’s lives at a certain age), while simultaneously reducing the clutter associated with this endless stream of kids’ artwork.

STEP 1: RECORD IT

How? When new artwork comes into the house, I photograph it. I do this for all things I think I might want to keep — drawings, handwritten stories, paintings, decorated bags… all of it. I try to do this immediately (or at least within a day or two), because then the art hasn’t had time to get damaged by sunlight, dirty fingers, angry siblings, the robot vacuum, being stuffed between sofa cushions, left in the bathroom, misplaced or (let’s admit it) recycled in a fit of clutter-induced pique.

I usually try to photograph artwork mid-day, and I do it indoors in indirect natural light so there are no harsh shadows. I lay flat pieces on the floor, and photograph from directly above, usually against a background that’s a different color than the artwork so that it is easier to extract in Photoshop (if desired). For dimensional pieces, I try a variety of different angles to capture the depth and/or texture of the piece. Once I have my photos, I can take my time deciding how to archive them without having to worry about the artwork degrading or disappearing. This also allows our family the ability to enjoy the originals for as long (or short) a time as desired.

While I prefer to photograph my kids’ artwork… there are also other methods that can be employed. If you own a scanner, you can always scan the flat pieces. There are also plenty of apps out there that you can use to “archive” artwork, but I’ll admit that that particular avenue hasn’t ever held as much appeal to me. Occasionally we’ve had cute little pictures turned into tangible items such as note cards, magnets, or pillows… and/or we’ve framed our favorite finger-paintings… but in general, I much prefer photographing everything and using those photos in my memory-keeping. Shoving the old artwork deep into the recycling bin before the kids wake up seems a bit heartless, and so the photography-to-scrapbook method as worked out to be a fantastic compromise.

STEP 2: DOCUMENT IT

Once you have your artwork recorded, there are a handful of different things to do with the photos to get them off the computer and into your scrapbooks. Here are just a few ideas…

  • Scrapbook an entire page to showcase a specific piece of art
  • Use a single piece or artwork to support a page about some aspect of your child’s personality (or even about an event)
  • Turn a single piece into a pocket card and include it in a weekly or monthly summary page (or an “All About Me” page)
  • Accumulate pictures of artwork over time, and then have them all printed and bound into a single photo book that’s all about the art

My kids (and others) enjoy seeing their creations incorporated right into our family albums. Recently, for instance, I made this page about a little book my son recently made at school…

To create the above page, I individually photographed each two-page spread of his book, and then I extracted the photos in Photoshop (I also extracted the “written by” line and name from a photo by removing the white background). If you look closely, I also included a “translation” of the text in the border; be sure to include a translation or explanation if the subject matter isn’t immediately apparent, and/or if your audience isn’t fluent in “emergent speller.” 🙂

This next page highlights a single drawing, as well as the original photo that inspired it. I used a similar extraction technique on this picture…

Finally, this next one highlights the mailbox my daughter dreamed up and constructed (with recyclables! and a little adult help) for Valentine’s Day. I love the detail images, such as the eyeball and the painted heart (“it’s a v-neck sweater,” I was later informed).

The artwork photography technique also works well for a host of other types of kids’ art, including…

  • Dimensional ephemera (like egg-carton caterpillars, foam-ball-and-pipe-cleaner ants, decorated rocks, and Valentine mailboxes, as shown above)
  • Artwork items that you want to record in multiple spaces (say, in both a family album and in a child’s album… or even one you send out to the grandparents)
  • Anything made out of colored construction paper

As you can see, though… it doesn’t really matter which method you use, as long as you record and document it. Whether you photograph and scrap your child’s artwork to preserve color, prevent damage, reduce clutter, record a memory, or capture a moment in time… the general idea is to get it photographed and get those pictures scrapped before the memories are faded just like the construction paper they were created on.

Including your kids’ masterpieces is simply another great way to document your child’s (or entire family’s) story, while also reducing some of the household clutter at the same time. Win-win! 🙂


caliten

About the Author  Carrie is a creative team member here at The Digital Press. She and her family enjoy spending time outdoors, year-round, near their home in Colorado. In addition to scrapbooking and the occasional hybrid home decor project, Carrie also reads voraciously, accumulates fabric, makes soap, brews beer, grows hops, and tries to keep indoor plants alive.

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!

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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…).

 

Save

Save

Save

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.

 

Discount

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

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!”

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

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…


IMG_20160814_144851_e

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.