Listen to your Inner Artist

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It is good to occasionally step out of your comfort zone and do something different on your layouts, right? Today, I’m going to show you how you can easily turn a photo into a pencil sketch in Photoshop and an idea on how to use the finished sketch on a layout.

First, open the photo you want to work with – mine is my favorite selfie (it was a fantastic hair day!). Then, duplicate the photo into a new layer. I like to use Ctrl-J (cmd-J on a Mac).

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Change the blending mode for the duplicated layer to Color Dodge.

Blending Mode

Your photo will look a bit washed out, like this:

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With the duplicated layer still selected in the Layers panel, we want to invert the image (Ctrl/cmd-I). Your photo will now look really strange.

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We are now going to blur the layer, which produces the pencil lines. Using Gaussian Blur (from the top menu choose Filter, Blur, then Gaussian Blur). Play with the blur settings a bit until the fake pencil lines on your photo look the way you want. I used a setting of 37.4, but your results may vary widely.

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Now, we need to convert the layer to black and white. In the layers panel, choose the half-filled/half empty circle icon at the bottom (Create new fill or adjustment layer) and choose Hue/Saturation. In the panel, turn the saturation down to -100.

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Your photo will now look similar to this:

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I think this might look good as a drawn-in background on a layout. I flattened the image and copied it over to my background paper (lighter-colored and plain backgrounds seem to work best).  I used a gradient fill as a clipping mask behind my photo, and then the eraser tool (brush mode, 5% flow) to blend the edges on the clipped layer to get the photo to blend into the background seamlessly. I use a low flow on the eraser brush because it’s harder to mess it up when you are only erasing 5% for each brush pass.  😉

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My photo, blended into the background, looks like this:

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I added some journaling and embellishments, and I’m done!

Almost 39

Credits:
A Day in the Life:  Solids
by Sugarplum Paperie
A Day in the Life:  Essentials by Sugarplum Paperie
Hello, I Love You by The Digital Press Designers

Kacy About the Author:  Kacy is an Environmental Engineer living in Arizona with a elderly, cranky, pudgy, but insanely cute calico kitty.  She enjoys scrapbooking, crocheting, dancing awkwardly to electronic dance music, Grumpy Cat, Scottish accents, drag queens, cupcakes, bacon,  Stephen King books, smirking, very crude inside jokes, and men in kilts.

Listen to someone’s story and get connected

I recently completed a family history project and had so many letters that ancestors had written and family members have kept. I started to think about how many letters I’ve actually written in the last year and the answer is ZERO!  The days of writing long letters to send to loved ones on the other side of the world are long gone and have been replaced with emails, texts and quick chats.  It’s important to stay connected, to listen to the stories of those we care about, no matter how we do it.  I may not write pages of handwritten text, but I’m great at sending off quick emails, texts and Facebook messages.

My husband’s family is spread all over the world and it’s the best feeling to be able to Skype with them. We also have friends from coast to coast on every continent.  Skype offers so much more than just a telephone call or a written piece. To actually be able to see our friends and family in real time gives us the feeling that they aren’t so far away after all.

This month’s Shop Collaboration is themed towards listening to our loved ones and staying connected. The challenge is to make a new layout using the March Shop Collab- Get Connected. The full kit is on sale until March 4 for $4, and don’t forget to hop on over to our Facebook page for a sample.

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facebook-sampler-ad

Now, for the rules…

  1. Pages must be created using 100% TDP Products and loaded in the gallery no later than midnight EST on March 31st, 2015.
  2. Please link your gallery listing in this challenge’s thread
  3. Link your comment in this thread in the monthly challenge tracker thread. You can find it here: March Tracking Thread
  4. Have fun!!!

Here is my LO of Mike and Claire on Skype with Mike’s family in England.

03.01.15-connected

FarrahAbout the Author:  Farrah Jobling is a member of the Creative Team here at The Digital Press.  She lives in Denver with her amazing family, Mike, Nicholas (8), Claire (5) and Hope (7 mo puppy).  She works from home as a photographer and enjoys scrapping her personal photos.

Listen to Your Creative Voice this March

Welcome to March. Spring is on the horizon now! The thought of spring always makes me feel more alive…

Our word for this month is “listen,” one little word that can mean so many things…

listen to your creative voice :: the digital press

via Pinterest: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

We have gathered even more inspiration for you here on Pinterest: Listen to Your Creative Voice

Here at The Digital Press, we are going to be talking about listening to your own creative voice and listening to the stories of those around you. We are story-tellers and memory-keepers… as scrapbookers, we are listeners. But don’t be afraid to shake off your fears as you create the types of pages that make YOU happy. Make sure that you are always following your own creative voice and staying true to your heart as well.

We have some amazing and inspirational posts coming your way right here on the blog. You will also find new challenges on the forums to spark your creativity and help you to make pages you really love!

You’ll find all the details of our challenge system laid out for you here: Everything You Need to Know about Challenges

Our new month of challenges starts tomorrow. We hope you’ll join us then!


Nicole About the Author: Nicole Seitler is a designer here at The Digital Press, creating kits under the name Sugarplum Paperie. In her free time, she loves to to work on her Project Life album, knit or craft with her kids. But she doesn’t have much free time, since she’s also a stay-at-home homeschoolin’ momma of four. Her life may be a little crazy, but she wouldn’t want it any other way!

Pursue your subject: 10 photography composition rules

Pursue your subject: 10 photography composition rules

 

Have you been drawn to a piece of art and wondered what is it about that particular piece that you love over any other? There are lots of reasons why you might be attracted, but the most likely reason is in the subconscious. Sometimes you’re drawn in by things you can’t quite put your finger on. It’s all about composition!

In photography, it’s not just what you shoot that counts – the way that you shoot it is also important. Poor photo composition can make a beautiful subject look boring, but with a little thought, you can create a wonderful image from the most ordinary of situations. Don’t feel that you’ve got to remember every rule and apply them to every photo you take. Instead, spend a little time getting familiar with each one one of them individually and they’ll become second nature. You’ll soon learn to spot situations where the different rules can be applied to the best effect.

Here are the top rules of composition to think about:

  1. Rule of Thirds – probably the most common rule you’ll hear about from photographers. Imagine that your image is divided into nine equal segments by two vertical and two horizontal lines. Try to position the most important elements in your scene along these lines, at the points where the imaginary lines intersect. This will add balance and interest.
  1. Balance – Placing your main subject off-center, as with the Rule of Thirds, creates a more interesting composition, but it can leave a void in the scene, which can make it feel empty. Try to balance the weight of your subject by including another object of lesser importance in the empty space.
  1. Leading Lines – When we look at a photo, our eye is naturally drawn along lines. By thinking about how you place lines in your composition, you can affect the way the viewer sees the image, pulling them into the scene and towards the subject. This gives the viewer a virtual journey through the scene.
  1. Viewpoint – The viewpoint has a tremendous impact on the composition of a photo. As a result it can greatly affect the message that the photo conveys. Rather than just shooting from eye level, consider shooting from high above, down low, from one side or the other, from afar, or close up.
  1. Background – The eye is great at distinguishing between different elements in a scene, but a camera will naturally flatten the image into a two-dimensional image. Pay attention to what is in the background, and try shooting at a wider aperture to add dimension to the scene.
  1. Symmetry and Pattern – We are surrounded by symmetry and patterns, both in nature and man-made. They can make for very eye-catching compositions, particularly in situations where they are not expected. Another great idea is to break up the symmetry or pattern with your subject to create tension or a focal point in the scene.
  1. Depth – Depth can be created in a photo by including objects in the foreground, middle ground, and background. Another way to create depth is by overlapping or deliberately obscure part of an object, in focus, or out of focus. Either way, the viewer will naturally recognize an overlap and mentally separate the layers, creating more depth.
  1. Framing – Sometimes, we all need a boundary. By using natural frames, such as trees, archways, or holes, you can isolate your subject and focus the main point of interest.
  1. Cropping – The crop of your photo can greatly change the mood of your overall image. An image at full crop can give the viewer a sense of the whole scene, while cropping in tight will result in the undivided attention on the subject. Don’t be afraid to fill the frame with your subject.
  1. Breaking the rules through experimentation – now that you know the rules, you can practice each of them and find situations in which each will work the best. You can also experiment and try new things. Try combining them, making your own, or throwing them all out of the window! It’s really about personal preference and having fun!

Here are a few examples of the rules above:

Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds

framing

framing

balance

balance

 

 

The challenge is to make a new layout using a photo that follows one of the first NINE composition rules above

Now, for the rules…

  1. Pages must be created using 100% TDP Products and loaded in the gallery no later than midnight EST on February 28, 2015.
  2. Please link your gallery listing in this thread: CHALLENGE
  3. Link your comment in this thread in the monthly challenge tracker thread. You can find it here: February’s Tracking Thread.
  4. Have fun!!!

For my LO, I’ve decided to go with “fill the frame” I LOVE close-ups of my kids’ eyes and this one is no exception.  I used Scotty Girl’s All Geared Up kit.

Nick

FarrahAbout the Author:  Farrah Jobling is a member of the Creative Team here at The Digital Press.  She lives in Denver with her amazing family, Mike, Nicholas (8), Claire (5) and Hope (7 mo puppy).  She works from home as a photographer and enjoys scrapping her personal photos.

Pursue Custom Shapes

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I love to use brushes/stamps on my photos, just to give them that little bit of extra. I love it when these are included in kits, but even when they’re not, it’s super easy to create your own using fun fonts and the custom shapes tool.

Take a look at the two pages below. They are the same page, but the first one doesn’t have the little extras I created using shapes and fonts. On the second page, I added a little, chevron arrow pattern (repeated a few times) and some custom text.

Cards from Project Weekly and The Simple Life by Amanda Yi Designs

Cards from Project Weekly and The Simple Life by Amanda Yi Designs

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use custom shapes to make your own stamps to use on your own photos.

  1. Create a blank document. I usually use a 4×6 or 3×4 document, since those are typically the size of the “pockets” I use for my scrapbooking.
  2. Over on the tool bar, click on the corner of the shapes tool to bring out the flyout menu, and click on the one that says “custom shapes tool.”

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  1. The shape options will show up on your top toolbar. If all the shapes aren’t showing up, you can click on the little tool icon to bring up this menu. I like all of my shapes to be showing, so I select “ALL”.

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  1. For the page above, I chose to use this cute, little chevron-shaped arrow. Click and drag on your page to draw the shape. If you hold down shift at the same time, it will keep the same proportions (which matters for some shapes and doesn’t for others).

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  1. For this one, I duplicated the arrow so I had five copies of it. Here’s one of my favorite tricks. Select all 5 arrows, and make sure your move tool is selected. Then, push the icon at the top that says “distribute horizontal centers” when you hover over it. It makes your arrows evenly spaced!

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  1. At this point, I like to merge the shapes together. To do this, select all the arrows, right-click, and select “Merge Layers”. I also like to rasterize the shape (right-click and select “Rasterize Layer”). Now, you can drag the arrows over to your layout and use them however you want.

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  1. For the top right pocket on this page, I rotated the arrows, made them smaller, and changed them to a blue color that matched my layout. I felt like I needed something next to the picture on the card, so I put the arrows there. I duplicated the arrows for the moccasin pic, but I decided that five arrows was too many, so I used the lasso tool to select two of the arrows, and deleted them. I also changed them to white for that pic and lowered the opacity to about 75%.

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  1. The final step I took for this page was to add text to the bottom left pic. I had converted that photo to black and white, and I felt like it needed a little more. I just added some text boxes directly on top of the picture. Sometimes I will lower the opacity, or change the blending mode, but for this one I just changed the text to the same color as the top arrows. I liked it, so I left it that way.

Here is the final layout:

Cards from Project Weekly and The Simply Life by Amanda Yi Designs

Cards from Project Weekly and The Simple Life by Amanda Yi Design

There are so many fun shapes to play around with, so the next time you think your photo or page needs a little something extra, check them out! Here are a few more of my favorites:

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JaimeAbout the Author: Jaime is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She is a stay-at-home mom to 4 boys and 1 girl. When she’s not chauffeuring, volunteering at school, or helping with play costumes, she likes to digitally record her family’s memories, improve her photography skills, and read (there’s always a stack of books on her nightstand).

Pursue Your Happiness Color

PursueYourHappinessColor

When I look out my window right now all I see is White. I have to say I love winter, but there are some days I would love to see some more bright blue skies. I should take a walk through a stand of pine trees and pursue the color green from the needles.

Do you have a favorite color? Does it change depending on what time of year it is? I know mine sure does. My Happiness color right now is Blue. In the spring I love all those pretty pastel colors. Summer, hot pink calls to me. And in the Fall all those beautiful earthy oranges. Christmas season is all on its own and I’m the traditional girl of the bright red.

PursueYourHappinessColor

This room is a great example of using a monotone color scheme to any layout or card you create.  See how dark blue the chairs and cabinets are, and how they pop against the white of the lower part of the wall! Then they placed a wallpaper on top that uses a pattern of many different shades of blue.  Use this concept for the project.

PursueYourHappinessColor

The hues used in this photograph are a great example for you to go by. See how the top color is white. Then they have added different colors of green going from the softest to the very darkest of the hunter green on the bottom of the scale.

Maybe you are using your photograph as your jumping off point for your color. In my layout I have these photos of my grand niece (isn’t she adorable!) she is wearing blue and the background is also blue.

So for my layout I picked a white background but also used white pattern for my squares of paper too, then used elements ranging from white to a royal blue,  baby blue and decided to add a blue/green tint to make it have more depth.

PursueYourHappinessColor

But sometimes the easiest way to add the color you want to a layout is to just convert your photograph to black and white. Or maybe you want to add color to your layout by using your color with papers, and all white elements. It is all up to you. Just remember for this challenge you need to use a white background and then a monotone color scheme. As long as your colors used on your layout are all within one color family your are good to go, and have fun playing with this design feature. This is a great way to compliment your photographs. And most of the time that is what we should remember. Showcasing our photographs!

a couple of quotes to ponder:

Expand your vision. Often we have blinders on. We’re concerned with just getting uptown or downtown. If I expand my vision by even 10 degrees, I notice new details, new color harmonies.  by Cindy Coleman

I wonder if any element of interior design is more personal than color? Nothing can more quicly reveal aspect of personality and character than the choice – or absence – of color.

by Van Day Truex
People have often said to me, “But you don’t use much color.” This is not so at all. I build a simple background – usually of white or of a very light shade – for the use of color.

by Michael Taylor

So come and play! You can find the Pursue Your Happiness Color challenge  HERE

 

Barbara About the Author: I started paper scrapbooking in 2001, then in 2009ish I had an online friend who dared me to give digital a try. Wow! life changing in my busy day of being a stay at home mom to six children. In my free time I also love to visit antique malls for treasures, reading, meeting friends for tea and then my woman’s bible study group is a highlight of my week.

 

Hybrid Pockets Made Easy

Hybrid Pockets Made Easy

I never loved traditional paper scrapbooking. Mostly for all the same reasons you usually hear about why someone fell in love with digital; no mess, not spending an arm & a leg on supplies or tools, and the speed at which you can finish layouts! After several years of creating strictly digital pages I realized I had nothing to show for it. I had only printed a handful of layouts. I also found that I was only recording the big moments such as birthdays, holidays, and happy events. The snapshots, out-takes, and less than happy moments weren’t included and that was a big problem for me because I wasn’t being authentic in my memory keeping. I knew I had to make a change.

After taking a moment to assess where I was and where I wanted to be I decided that the best thing for me was to start printing at home. I also decided to jump on the pocket scrapbooking bandwagon because it felt like a great fit that would allow me to include pictures that I might not want to devote a whole 12×12 layout to, but were still important parts of my family’s daily real life.

When I set out to create my first hybrid pocket page I spent way too much time trying to get going. I really wasn’t sure where to start, but after a bit of trial & error over the course of several attempts I finally found a workflow that made hybrid easy for me. Today I’m sharing my process for making quick, but beautiful, hybrid pocket pages.

Step 1: Start With Your Layout

I find it’s easiest to create a template which matches the pocket page layout you’ll be using. For my example layout I’m creating for my 6×8” album and the pages are two 4×6” spots on the left and four 3×4” spots on the right. Create the appropriately sized boxes and arrange them in the correct places. These will be your clipping masks for creating your cards.

Hybrid Pockets Made Easy

Step 2: Add pre-made cards or papers & embellish

I like to treat each card as a mini layout. I look through the cards that come with the digital kit I’m using and drag them onto my layout. Sometimes I’ll also fill a space with a patterned paper. Then I look for frames in the kit that will work with the pictures I’m using. Once I’ve laid out where I’ll be putting my pictures I work on embellishing each card with some of the kit’s elements.

Hybrid Pockets Made Easy

Step 3: Add Photos and Text

Now I edit & add my pictures to the cards. Finish things off with some text and I’m almost ready to print.

Hybrid Pockets Made Easy

Step 4: Merge & Print

Once all the individual cards are ready it’s time to merge the layers. I hold down CTRL while clicking on each layer that I used for one of my cards. When they are all selected I hit CTRL+E to merge the selected layers. After I’ve merged all the cards I then create a new document sized to the print dimensions. I almost always print on 4×6” photo paper because it let’s me get away with the least amount of cutting. At this point I select & drag each card into my new document. The 3×4” cards fit 2 to a page nicely. Set your printer settings and print. I go down the layers list hiding the cards as I print them.

Tip: You only need to do the printer settings on the first print job. After that you can choose File>Print One Copy to bypass the print dialogue box!

Hybrid Pockets Made Easy

Step 5: Cut & Put Cards in Pockets

Cut your 2-Up 3×4” cards in half and pop it all into your pockets. All done!

Hybrid Pockets Made Easy

Real Life in Pockets | I Love You Harder by Mommyish and Just Jaimee

 

Hybrid style scrapbooking can be overwhelming at the start, but the instant gratification of having something tangible in your hands right away makes it well worth the effort in my book! I hope I’ve inspired you to give hybrid and/or pocket scrapbooking a try. I’d love to help you overcome any hurdles to hybrid that you’re facing. Leave a comment if you have a question or comment!

 

Amber About the Author: Amber Funk enjoys a vast assortment of interests such as scrapbooking, photography, getting crafty with her Silhouette Cameo, reading, and playing video games. She is a Wife and Mother of 2 living in Northern California and blogs her crafty adventures at http://perfectly-fabulous.com/

Pursue a Balance

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Hi, I’m JennV and I’m excited to be here to talk about what many argue is the first principle of design….balance.  I’ve been scrapping for 10 years and I never tire of designing a page.  I’m one that will turn my layers on and off in photoshop a hundred times with my finished file using only half of the layers that are buried in there.  I will play with this design, then that design, add this flower, balance it out with a word strip on the other side.  When I design a page, there is nothing more important to me than the balance of it or in some cases, the lack of balance!!  This quote from Matisse sums up my thoughts perfectly….

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Technically speaking, balance is the equal distribution of visual weight around a midline axis/point.  As humans, we like to see what is called bilateral symmetry.  This is essentially the repeating of the reverse of a design on the opposite side of the axis/point, in essence, each side becomes a mirror image of the other.  This balance is considered formal, ordered, stable and quiet…but can also be boring.

To show this design principal in action, I designed a layout for each balance type using the same kit with the exact same elements for each layout.  Here is my layout showing symmetry.  I used At The Farmer’s Market by Mari Koegelenberg and Sugarplum Paperie.  All the elements and papers are distributed down the vertical axis so that each side is a relative mirror image of the other side.

Print

While symmetry achieves balance through repetition, asymmetry achieves balance through contrast. Asymmetrical, or informal balance, involves different elements that have equal visual weight. Many things can influence visual weight, such as position.  The further an element is from the center, the “heavier” it feels.  So you can balance a large center object with a smaller object on the edge.  Some other factors that will influence visual weight we intuitively know…a larger element and/or element with an intense color feels “heavier” in a design.  The more complex a shape, the heavier it will feel.  A diagonal orientation carries more visual weight than a horizontal or vertical one.  Finally, multiple smaller objects can balance a larger one.  Asymmetrical balance is considered more casual, interesting and dynamic than symmetrical balance, but it can also be harder to pull off.

Here you can see an example of asymmetrical balance.  I balanced the heavy photo with a bold colored paper strip at the top of the layout.  I framed the word strips with the painted dots and added in the lighter colored background behind the photo to draw your eye to the photo.

Print

Finally, we have the last balance design …and it is breakdown of balance…the end of all things sweet and good….it’s called Discordant balance!!

Discordant is defined as disagreeable, at variance, conflicting, clashing, jarring, grating….essentially it doesn’t sound good!!!

However in terms of design, a discordant balanced design can suggest movement or flow.  It can be used to make a statement or just catch someone’s eye.

Here is an example of a a discordant layout.  Again, I used the same elements as in the previous two layouts.

Print

Whether we like it or not, there is a balance in everything we do.  We hear about work/life balance ad nauseum. We eat good foods and exercise, but might balance that out with an occasional trip to Krispy Kreme!!! Study, study, study for that Algebra test and then watch Amazing Race the next night. We scrap all day and night and feed our kids cereal for dinner as we try and finish the “last” layout…..wait, that would be an example of no balance….LOL!!!

Too much of one thing never works. Whatever your design preference for balance, it is important to try new things and switch it up every now and then.   I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes on the matter of life and balance…….

life-is-a-balance-of-holding-on-and-letting-go-3

 

JennV About the Author:  JennV is a lover of history and art (luckily she lives 5 miles outside of Washington, DC) and an accountant by training.  She currently stays home with her two boys and is pursuing a career in photography, when she is not busy volunteering for every school and county initiative!!

Pursue Health And Fitness

Pursue Health and Fitness

 

Hi there!  Kacy here with a post about the pursuit of health and fitness (and documenting it, of course!).

I work out every day and try to watch my weight.  Some of that is definitely vanity, but I’m also approaching 40 years old, battling some chronic health problems (underactive thyroid, endometriosis), long days sitting at work, and an absolutely insatiable love of junk food.    I have included pictures from the gym and some of my hiking adventures in my project life album, but have never really documented a workout, a health problem, or even what I love to eat aside from an occasional layout about cupcakes.

MMMMMMM, cupcakes!

Um… where was I?  Oh – a layout with only photos of food or pictures of my feet on a treadmill doesn’t really appeal to me.  This got me thinking about other ways to scrapbook my workouts and the various health challenges I’m dealing with.

FITNESS

When I’m out hiking, I usually turn on the GPS on my phone and use the My Tracks Google app to track my workout.  I’m an engineer and I love numbers and graphs, so I like the visual representations of the data collected during my workout.  I also figure it might come in handy if I ever get lost.  How about using some screenshots from the app to go along with some photos of my hike?

Fitness

Supplies Used:  Days of the Week Saturday and Days of the Week Friday  by Mari Koegelenberg and Sugarplum Paperie

Phone or computer screenshots from Runkeeper, MyFitnessPal or even your Fitbit might help you tell a more complete story.  If you don’t use any of these apps or websites, try including a Google map of your latest adventure in one of your layouts.  What other ways can you think of to document your pursuit of fitness?

DIET

What do you eat?  What do you like to eat?  There could be two very different answers here!  😉  Since my diet is mostly devoid of any nutritional value, I borrowed this layout from fellow CT member Alina to talk about her Way of Eating (or WOE, which is how most of us feel when watching what we eat).  I thought it was great that there were no food photos in the layout – or am I the only person who can’t get the pretty food blogger-type photos to turn out?

Diet

Supplies Used:  A Fresh Start by Zoe Pearn and Digital Scrapbook Ingredients

Another great idea I’ve seen is a copy of the recipe in the layout, having someone take a few photos of you while you cook something special, or even getting the kids involved.  What other ways can you think of to document your “WOE”?

MOTIVATION

You can tell a lot about a person by what is on their IPod.  Mine has more Britney Spears than I like to admit and much more gangster rap from the 1990’s than you’d think! I think a good playlist is a fantastic way to keep yourself motivated at the gym and to distract you during a long and boring run on the treadmill.  What’s on yours?

Playlist

Supplies Used:  Spin the Record by Amanda Yi Designs and Two Tiny Turtles

If music doesn’t float your boat, maybe you are motivated to reduce your cholesterol, or by a pair of pants you want to wear, or an upcoming reunion/wedding/trip.  What is your motivation?

HEALTH

As scrapbookers, we sometimes gloss over the things that aren’t going particularly well or make us unhappy.  I am totally guilty of this – if you only knew my from my scrapbook layouts (especially the ones posted online), you would think I’m an active, happy, energetic, organized woman who lives with a cute cat.  If you actually know me, you are now rolling on the ground and laughing. 😀

I thought it might be interesting to look back in a few years and see the crazy that is my daily medication schedule.  Every day I take my thyroid meds, vitamin D, an antidepressant, probiotics, magnesium, more thyroid meds in the afternoon, birth control pills, multivitamin, L-tryptophan, melatonin, and a Benadryl allergy tablet.  These are all scheduled around what time I ate or the last pill I had to take.  It’s beyond irritating, but I have to keep on top of it to function “normally”, so I suck it up and get on with it.

Schedule

Supplies Used:  A Fresh Start by Zoe Pearn and Digital Scrapbook Ingredients

I think it might be interesting to include copies of blood work results or my doctor’s notes after an appointment.  What other ways can you think of to document some of the health issues you are dealing with?

I hope this post has given you some ideas to work with.  Wishing you good health and happy scrapping!

KacyAbout the Author:  Kacy is an Environmental Engineer living in Arizona with a elderly, cranky, pudgy, but insanely cute calico kitty.  She enjoys scrapbooking, crocheting, dancing awkwardly to electronic dance music, Grumpy Cat, Scottish accents, drag queens, cupcakes, bacon,  Stephen King books, smirking, very crude inside jokes, and men in kilts.

Pursue The Perfect Shadow – The Zen of Shadowing

Pursue The Perfect Shadow

I think that most of us seasoned scrappers went through phases with shadowing on a page. I remember my first pages, where I simply skipped the shadowing. I maybe just didn’t know that there was a shadowing feature and most probably I was ignorant that shadows would make a difference. After a while I found the shadows feature but just didn’t know how to use it properly and in review these pages don’t look much less awkward than my first attempts. After a while of shadow dabbling I found shadow styles and gosh, they made my scrapping life so much easier and rewarding. In this tutorial I will show you one technique to go even further and bring you closer to your Zen of Shadowing.

 

As much as anything in art, shadowing styles are a matter of taste. I personally like my shadows to be noticeable and giving depth to the page. I love it when I achieve a close-to-paper look. It’s still a hit and miss and I’m working, tweaking, changing my ways constantly to try something new and „better“ in this realm.

 

Pursue The Perfect Shadow or The Zen Of Shadowing - Smudging

Every item’s shadow on this layout has been smudged. Look at the paper’s edges, the photos and the tassels.

 

My latest obsession is „smudging“ the shadow. To do this, you have to be able to put your software-generated shadow on it’s own layer. I do this in photoshop cs6 by 1. right-clicking on the fx icon of the layer and 2. clicking „create layers“. If you can’t do that, you can always separate the shadow manually. Look up google for „Putting a Drop Shadow on Separate Layer„ for your graphic software.

 

Pursue The Perfect Shadow - The Zen Of Shadowing - Smudging

How to put your shadow on a separate layer in PS CS6

Before you can separate a shadow, you surely have to apply one. It’s up to you how you do that. I use shadow styles all the time and sometimes tweak them before separating, sometimes I do it afterwards.

So with your shadow separated, you 1. click on the new shadow layer 2. click on the smugde tool, which is housed with the blur and sharpen tool. 3. Select a big round brush with about 20% hardness. The size of the brush depends on the size of the item your shadow belongs to. I usually go with a 825 px brush for the most items and adjust for very big or small items. 4. Look closely which part of the shadow you want to smudge. Put the middle of your brush to that part and pull a tiny bit into the direction where the light falls (away from the virtual light source).

Pursue The Perfect Shadow - The Zen Of Shadowing - Smudging

How to smugde a shadow

All the settings are just a suggestion and you may want to play around with this feature to get acquainted and make it your friend. The tool is not always easy to handle and especially when your software is going slow anyway, you may have some terrible fun waiting for your machine to calculate your move.

On a more detailed note (I love details!) some things I consider when working with shadows:

1. What is your global light doing? When the virtual lightsource is on the upper right corner, it usually makes no sense to stretch the shadow into that direction. Follow the path away from the light to stretch your shadow and create depth by applying the shadow how it would fall in a natural setting. If in doubt, go to a window, place a paper somewhere, crunch the paper a little and see how the shadow is falling when you turn the paper. It’s a great exercise for any visual artist.

2. Are there elements grounding your item? I personally don’t like it (blame it on my mild scrap ocd) when my shadow is spread where it naturally wouldn’t be spread. I smudge the shadow more to the inside of the item in these cases. Also the parts that are close to the grounding elements can’t be as far away from the background in my imagination.

3. Is the shadow strong or weak enough? As stated above, I like my shadows stronger, so most of the time I adjust the fill up to achieve a deeper tone. For more distance between item and background I might lighten the fill a little.

4. Smudge several times on one item if you want. As you see in the layout, I smudged the shadow of the photo several times. It still goes with the direction of the light, though. This makes the photo pop out of the spread even more.

Pursue The Perfect Shadow - The Zen Of Shadowing - Smudging

Details for smudging.

Let’s try this! It’s easier than it looks and it can make a huge difference on your page!

Happy smudging!

PS: I use ctrl z all the time when smudging (or using any other feature…)

 

AlinaAbout the Author: Alina enjoys sitting in front of her large computer screens too much. Apart from that she loves walking her dog and watching sunsets while being amazed of life in general. She is married to her best friend. Tries to manage the needs of her two cats and her dog and badly fails when they all want their cuddle time at once. Everything else is scrapping, taking photos and currently crafting. Having said that, she needs a bigger craft room.

 

 

Pursue History

Pursue History

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be here with you today to talk about one of my favorite subjects – scrapbooking family history! A heritage/family history scrapbook album is wonderful way to document your family’s history and create a lasting gift for future generations. Some people find scrapbooking family history to be a challenge so I thought I’d help out a bit by offering a few different ways to document your family history in your scrapbook pages.

 

One of my biggest tips regarding family history scrapbooking is to just get started. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the photos and memorabilia from the past and wanting to be sure each and every page is perfect. I have found that just jumping in is one of the best strategies for getting the pages done – find a photo or a story that you really want to document and JUST DO IT! It’s often a good idea to start simple – using neutrals and muted tones which are more traditional colors for historical photos. Trying to focus on keeping it simple can help you get started. Neutrals and traditional motifs can help you create beautiful but fairly easy pages that don’t require a lot of fuss! Here are a few examples of pages using ‘traditional’ heritage supplies to create beautiful pages for your family history scrapbooks!

 

Layout by farrahjobling

Layout by Stacia

 

One of the things that I often hear people say about heritage scrapping is that they don’t scrapbook family history because they do not have photos about the events of their family’s past. Although I certainly understand the trepidation that comes from not having photos, I have a few suggestions about how to document those events and experiences from the past  despite not having photos with which to base a scrapbook page! My first suggestion is to think outside of the box and scrapbook a page that tells the story of the major historical events have impacted your family. One example of this technique, is a page I created about the fact that my maternal grandfather was stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed by the Japanese and how that experience affected him and his family. It was a difficult page to create because it outlines some very personal and difficult experiences but I love that it tells the story of our family within the larger context of the world around them. I didn’t have any photos of my grandfather at Pearl Harbor so I googled photos of the Pearl Harbor bombing and found this photo which was perfect for the theme of my page! Don’t be afraid to search for relevant photos online that might capture the themes of your page!

 

Pearl Harbor

Layout by Amy Melniczenko (anrobe)

Other ideas for scrapping family history pages when you don’t have photos include the following –

  1. Document pop culture of the past
  2. Tell stories from the past and use scrapbooking supplies on the page that will reinforce the theme of the story you are telling! One of the main things future generations will be interested in is the stories you have to tell so be sure to document them regardless of whether or not you have pictures that go with those stories.
  3. If you have memorabilia from the past, you can always use that in lieu of a photo to tell a story.
  4. Do you have any furniture, glassware or art that you’ve inherited from a family member? If so, take photos of all of those precious ‘things’ so that you can tell future generations about the things from the past.
  5. If your family has certain family recipes or foods that are significant, be sure to document those in your scrapbooks. You can make the dish and use a photo from today to document those recipes or you can do a photo-less page that outlines the recipe and why it’s significant to your family’s heritage.

Another thing that I have often heard people say they struggle with in scrapbooking the past is that they prefer using modern supplies (vibrant and bold, for example) which we don’t tend to see used with older photos. I love to use more current kits and supplies on my heritage layouts – so I definitey recommend you give it a try! No one said that older photos had to be neutral and muted! Add some color and use more modern motifs to add that extra something to your pages! Here are a few examples that might help inspire you to use more modern supplies and motifs on your family history photos!

 

Layout by AlinaLove

Scrapsandsass

Layout by Scrapsandsass

LegendaryLove_900

Layout by Amy Melniczenko (anrobe)

 

I really hope these suggestions and ideas are helpful to you and allow you to begin to document your family’s history! Don’t forget that  there are no rules for scrapping the past – it’s your scrapbook & you should create pages that resonate with you!

So, now it’s your turn! I would love to see what you can do to pursue history by using one of these suggestions to create a family history page.  I’m hosting a challenge over on the forums and I hope you will come play along!  Check it out at The Drawing Board: Challenges.

Amy
About the Author: Amy lives in Reston, VA with her husband of 13 years and their 9 year old boy/girl twins. Their 18 year old daughter is in the midst of  her second year at West Virginia University!  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!

Hybrid gift tags

blogtemplate

Hi folks! Donna here from the hybrid team and I will be sharing with you some cute tags I’ve created for Valentine’s. I used “Love is in the air” by Mari Koegelenberg and Mommyish and gift card tags template by Kelleigh Ratzlaff.

When I didn’t have an electronic cutting machine yet, I used to cut Kelleigh’s templates manually. Yes, even those tiny rectangular slits you see in the image below. One great tip I can tell you is use sharp and fine-tip scissors as much as possible for great results. A craft knife is also a handy tool to have for cutting besides a ruler and cutting mat.

For this project, I used both my machine and my hands. I used my Cameo to cut these templates.

donnaespiritu-valentine-tags1

 

and manually cut these printed elements using my ever trusted fine-tip scissors by EK success. Clean up the edges first before using your cuts ups to your projects.

donnaespiritu-valentine-tags2

 

added some butterflies and twine to complete my gift tags. You can add dimension even without using foam tape. I folded the hearts in the middle and glued down just the middle part, same with the sentiments. So it looks like the edges of the sentiment floating. Instant dimension!

donnaespiritu-valentine-tags3

 

donnaespiritu-valentine-tags4

Happy heart’s day!

DonnaAbout the author: Donna Espiritu is a new mother to a little girl and wife to a very supportive husband. She is currently living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with her family. When she is not scrapbooking, she likes to read some sci-fi/romantic/time-travel themed books or watching old episodes of some of her favorite tv shows.

Pursue what you Love

Pursue what you love

Hello, hello! Cynthia here today bringing you this awesome lovey-dovey article. But—if you thought this would be yet another Valentine’s Day post, prepare to be surprised! How often do we forget to actually do what WE love? When was the last time you ate a whole bag of lemon drops while watching Dr. House? Uh, ok, that may be just me, but in all seriousness, how often do we put ourselves last and fulfill the needs of our significant others, kids, co-workers, friends, etc. first?

For example, I do love to watch Dr. House,  ER, Grey’s Anatomy and all those hospital shows while my hubby truly despises them. He says he can’t stand the idea of seeing someone in pain (when most likely he can’t stomach the idea of blood, even imaginary). So I don’t watch them, or else watch an episode here and there when he’s not home.

Pursue what you love

 

Another thing I love to do is cook elaborate dishes and desserts, but when you are constantly on the move with little ones (and one that is THE pickiest eater ever) I end up cooking the same things over and over again. Every once in a blue moon, I do indulge in my inner Marthe Stewart and whip up something super fancy or at least, something new to break the routine.

Pursue what you love

I also love gardening, but don’t seem to find the time to do it. I have a gazillion pots that are just begging to be filled and also a gazillion plants in those horrid plastic containers. *sigh*

Pursue what you love

So my challenge to you today (and every day if you can!) is to find those big and little things that you love but don’t often have the time to do, and recapture them. Pursue them even if it’s for an hour, or if you only get to reminisce about that city you loved when you first visited. Make the time to have at least a few minutes of “me” time every day, I promise everyone around you (even if they don’t know what you’re doing!) will appreciate it. But mostly, you will love to pursue your (mostly) forgotten loves every day.

Head on over to my Scrap your Love Challenge here in the Forum, where I’ll show you a couple of ways you can scrap those other loves in your life! Can’t wait to see what you love!

Cynthia About the Author: Cynthia is a CT Member here at The Digital Press. She lives in sunny (way too sunny!) Mazatlan, Mexico with her hubby and their 8-going-on-40 yo daughter, plus the 2 most spoiled Westies who ever lived. She loves reading, cooking, photography and of course, scrapping!

 

 

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible and Inspired

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a creative rut? You might take a look through your gallery and see that a lot of your pages look the same, or you don’t even feel inspired to create a new page because you feel like it has all been done before, or… you can’t even decide what to make for dinner anymore because you are sapped of any and all creativity. Well, maybe you don’t have these problems, but I certainly do. And when I’m lacking in creative mojo, there are a few things that will get me back into the creative zone:

  • I use Pinterest to search for art/design/color or really anything that jumps out at me and makes me feel like creating. Sometimes it is a quote, sometimes it is someone’s art, sometimes it is a list of ideas or creative kickstarters.
  • If Pinterest isn’t doing it for me, I will turn on some of my favorite music and do a little afternoon dancing. I think that if we get physical and ignore our mental blocks, they can dissolve themselves.
  • Magazines or scientific/technological websites will often give me a punch in the gut because of the interesting things that are happening on their websites or between their pages. An article about 3D printing, beautiful descriptive language in National Geographic, or reading about advances in medical technology can offer creative inspiration… especially if it isn’t something you would usually read. It gets you outside of the typical box and lets you take a peek into another world.
  • People-watching/eavesdropping. I admit to being an eavesdropper. Not always. But sometimes, you catch a nugget from a conversation that immediately draws your attention, and then your imagination. Follow that, and you reach creativity. Listen to those around you. Jot down key phrases or note something you liked about their personality or style.

It is always important to find what really works for you. You can read a lot of different opinions on creativity, but if one or the other doesn’t work for you, it is a problem. You have to find what keeps you inspired and creative. Here are some other thoughts/ideas about creativity:

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

 

 

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/185421709634232282/

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

Now that you’ve seen a variety of different ways to pursue creativity, it is your turn. Join us for the Pursue Creativity Challenge in The Drawing Board challenge forum.

KimberleeAbout the Author: Kimberlee is a lover not a fighter; a stay-at-home gran, a poet, and a lifelong learner. She grooves on saturated colors, Tuesday dance parties, optimism, glitter and sunshine. She colors outside the lines.  She is a dreamer. She is a collector of moments.  She is all about the story.  Kimberlee completed her MFA in Creative Writing and is currently working toward a M.Ed. in Instructional Design.

Are You Ready to Scrap? Using Lightroom Collections to Plan Your Layouts

Are Your Ready to Scrap? Using Lightroom Collections to Play Your Layouts

How many times have you sat down to get some scrapping done and spent the whole time hunting for the photos that you want to use? It’s so frustrating to have to look through folders to find the photos from a certain event or that match a particular kit. I decided that I wanted to spend more time scrapping and less time hunting for photos, so I found a way to use Lightroom to organize my photos waiting to be scrapped.

Collections is a feature in Lightroom that allows you to put photos together without actually moving where they are on your hard drive. I love using Collections to plan for my scrapbook layouts. I’m going to share my photo import workflow today to show you how I stay organized. By keeping up with these steps each time I import photos, I have photos ready to go whenever I’m ready to scrap.

Are You Ready to Scrap? Using Lightroom Collections to plan your layouts

The first thing you need to do is think about how you scrapbook. If you do separate albums for each of your kids, then you may want to make Collection Sets for each child. I do yearly albums, so it made the most sense for me to have my Collection Sets by years. Your Collection Sets are going to be the main sections, and you are going to create collections within the Collection Sets for each layout you want to make. Here is a screen shot of my Collections panel so you can see how I have things set up:

Are You Ready to Scrap? Using Lightroom Collections to Plan Your Layouts

Next comes importing your photos. Import your photos into Lightroom using whatever file organizing system you use. I organize my photos by year and then month, but you can do whatever makes sense for how you scrapbook. Once you have imported your photos, take a look at what is there that you might want to scrapbook. I grab any photos that might go into a layout and create a collection for them. So, if it was my son’s birthday, I would grab all the photos from that day, go under the collection year, and then create a new collection titled “Birthday Max.” I do this for all of the photos that I have imported at that time, so I may have several different layouts that might come from the photos. There might be a t-ball layout, a school project, and a portrait shot of the baby all from the same import, so I would be creating as many collections as layouts that I want to create from these photos. It only takes me a minute or two because I am not culling or editing the photos, just grabbing all of them and throwing them into a collection.

If you do a weekly or monthly pocket-style album, Collections is also helpful for that. I grab all of the photos for that period of time and put them into a collection. You can use a Smart Collection to do this by specifying the date range that you would like to be included in the Smart Collection. Then, I am able to go through and review and rate the photos, deciding what I want to include in my weekly spread.

Now, when you are ready to scrap, you can just go to your Collections panel and grab a collection to get scrapping! You will know exactly what layouts you need to create without hunting through folder after folder. Once you have chosen a collection to work with, you can then decide which photos to include in your layout. Because all the photos are there, you can easily see which are the best to include on your layout.

Are You Ready to Scrap? Using Lightroom Collections to plan your layouts

My favorite thing about Collections is that once you are done with the layout, you can just delete the collection. It doesn’t delete the photos from your computer! It only deletes the collection of photos you have created. It couldn’t be any easier to stay organized and ready to scrap! I went back through all my older photos and created collections for each year, so I know that once I have deleted all the collections from the year collection set, I am ready to print my completed album!

I love being able to use Collections to keep my “To Be Scrapped” photos organized. I hope this tutorial helps you to get organized, too!

KatieAbout 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.

Best Moments of 2014 Documented Hybrid ABC-Style

 

 

Best Moments of 2014 Documented Hybrid ABC-Style

 

Good morning! Brenda Smith here, sharing with you how I documented the best moments of 2014 in We R Memory Keepers 4×4 album. I documented our entire year with 12×12 pocket pages already, but wanted something more accessible that could be kept out as a coffee table-type album.

The first thing I did was create an A-Z list of moments corresponding with each letter. Some were more of a stretch than others (like Xmas for X), but I eventually filled out my list. Next, I went very basic with the title page. I knew I wanted to use the January Special Edition products for the entire album because the colors were vibrant and happy, so I picked this beautiful floral paper from Sugarplum Paperie.

 

Best Moments of 2014 Documented Hybrid ABC-Style

 

 

 

Next, since this album would obviously require several pages for the entire alphabet, I decided to create a simple yet visually appealing template for each page. I kept one page as a 4×4 protector with layered papers and one big photo and a few different elements and the other side as four 2×2 protectors with two smaller photos and two smaller pieces of paper with labels.

Best Moments of 2014 Documented Hybrid ABC-Style

 

Obviously to work with the opposite sides of the page protectors used, I have to alternate the sides the 4×4 and 2x2s are on. I used some wooden veneer alphabet to denote the letter. I really enjoyed using papers from several different designers, including Crafty Mess papers from Mommyish.

Best Moments of 2014 Documented Hybrid ABC-Style

I kept a 4×8 template in Photoshop for both layouts and simply clipped different papers, pictures, and word art to each new letter. This really sped up the process for me and I was able to finish this entire album in only two nights’ worth of work (which is really fast for me since I can be a slow scrapper). Also, isn’t that camera paper by Laura Passage so fun??

Best Moments of 2014 Documented Hybrid ABC-Style

One of the things I’ve learned with all the mini albums I’ve made is to vary the placement of dimensional embellishments to make the pages lay evenly. In this album, I altered the placement of the wood veneer letters in order to have the pages stack on top of each other evenly.

Best Moments of 2014 Documented Hybrid ABC-Style

I printed out each separate page as one layer on a 4×6 sheet of Canon Matte Photo Paper. I know there are some who prefer to print up each individual element and then layer on top of each other with glue, but I like to save time by shadowing in Photoshop and printing as a single layer.

Best Moments of 2014 Documented Hybrid ABC-Style

 

The January Special Edition products were perfect for an album of this type because I had several papers and embellishments to choose from that already coordinated perfectly. Yet another time-saving element for me because it took the guesswork out of making sure everything matched perfectly.

Best Moments of 2014 Documented Hybrid ABC-Style

One of the best things about this album (besides the small amount of time it took me to make) has been that it’s small enough for my kids to look through. They have both picked it up several times and reminisced over all the fun things we did last year. It makes my heart happy to see them remembering things so fondly.

I won’t bombard you with more pictures of this album as I’m sure you get the idea but will be posting them all in the gallery at some point. I hope I’ve encouraged you to try a similar style album and have given you a few ideas of how it can be done quickly.

 

brenda

About the Author: Brenda Smith is a mother of two littles and wife located in Southern California. When she is not scrapbooking, you can find her working full-time, trying to finish up her college degree with online classes, or sleeping because there are never enough hours in the day. Hybrid scrapping satisfies her addiction to technology and her addiction to paper and glue.

 

Pursue inspiration: meaningful words and meaningful photos

Pursue inspiration: meaningful words and meaningful photos

I for one am a word person. I love writing, and reading, and find myself so inspired by a good quote, poem, or some words of wisdom. Often the words we find ourselves drawn to or inspired by are also words that reveal a lot about who we are and what we’re going through at this particular moment in our lives. As memory keepers, that idea resonates so perfectly with the desire to capture photos that have particular meaning for a point time and seem to capture our lives at that time so well. With that in mind, today’s post is intended to encourage you to seek out some wordy inspiration, and even better, to use that inspiration in your scrapbooking to add meaning and remind you of a feeling or idea that went right along with that photo.

This year, as part of the note-taking in my diary that I intend to use to keep track of everything for my Project Life hybrid album, I’ve started noting down some inspirational words when I find them. There are any number of great places to find them, but some of my favorites are Pinterest and GoodReads.

Here’s a recent example I pinned to use later:

Pursue inspiration: meaningful words and meaningful photos

 

The next step though, is what to do with them. When you have that moment where you think “…so true!” – that’s worth preserving one way or another. Of course, there’s always just sharing it on FB, Instagram and Pinterest, but honestly I think it’s never been easier to add this kind of inspiration into your scrapbook pages, too. Here are a few ideas on how:

  1. Pick a kit with a great message. I think you’re often drawn to a new kit or collection because of the words as much as the design and color scheme. A kit like this from the TDP store is packed full of ready-to-go inspiration, and includes word art that I can easily imagine would fit with the inspiration you could draw from an image. Imagine a gorgeous image of your little one wandering down a quiet road or path – add some superb word art from this kit and you’re adding a double layer of meaning.Pursue inspiration: meaningful words and meaningful photos
  2. Take a quote you like, and use it as the journalling on the page. Personally I love labels and little journal tags as design elements in kits, so this is a great way for me to use them, especially as I am not a big journaller otherwise. Here’s an example I’ve created using Love Is In The Air (new in the TDP store from Mommyish and Mari Koegelenberg on Feb 6). The quote is from Alan Moore, author of The Watchmen: “there’s a notion I’d like to see buried: the ordinary person. Ridiculous. There is no ordinary person.”Pursue inspiration: meaningful words and meaningful photos
  3. My third suggestion is great for pocket scrapbookers, but could be applied for traditional pages too. Journal cards are a great easy way to add some meaningful words. I’ve often seen card sets that have some really inspirational wording as well as great design, but even better, almost every set comes complete with several cards with space to add your own words. Take one of the quotes you sourced elsewhere, play with a font or two, and voila – a personalised, meaningful message. Here’s a quick example I put together using a journal card from the amazing TDP collab Winter Berries:Pursue inspiration: meaningful words and meaningful photos

Make sure you check out our February challenge series in the forum that’s full of ideas for things you can pursue this month. If this has motivated you to scrap some inspiring words, our Pursue Inspiration challenge starts Feb 6.

KathrynAbout the author: Kathryn Wilson shares her 1920s New Zealand home with her husband, a wauzer, and a cavoodle. She is a photographer, and both a digital and hybrid pocket scrapbooker, who has lots of DIY projects she should probably be working on right now.

Pursue Your Creativity With One Product

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There are so many ways to alter a digital product that can really extend the usefulness of your digi stash. There is usually more than one way to alter a product and, depending on your editing software and preferences, you can determine what alterations best suit your project. I’ve created two layouts, both using the same kit, “It Must Be Love”, and on each page I have used a paint element in three different ways. Let me share with you how I’ve altered the paint to use in different ways.

Here is a link to the kit I used. Amanda Yi Designs – It Must Be Love

bunchesoflove-copy

On my first page, I placed the paint under my photo, resizing it to just peek out from under my photo. The doily was just too cute to not want to use again so I decided to extract it from the paint layer. There are different ways to do this. Sometimes I will use the magic wand or lasso tool to extract from a layer but this time I found it faster to duplicate the paint layer, select the doily using the quick mask and then extract it from the layer. I resized it and placed it under the white flower. Thirdly, I used the quick edit again but this time I selected pink and red splats from the paint layer, duplicated them a few times and placed them scattered around the page.

Use whatever extraction method you prefer but if you want to try my method of extracting with quick mask in photoshop, duplicate the layer, select the quick mask icon, select a brush and paint over the area you wish to extract and then click the icon to turn off masking. You will now see marching ants. Hit “delete” and Ctrl + D to turn off the marching ants. Now you can move your selection as desired (shortcut key “V”).

Now I’m going to use the same paint layer three different ways on my next layout.
love_copy
I placed the paint just to the right of where I knew my photo would go. I wanted to use the large yellow circle as a frame for my photo so I duplicated the layer, chose the elliptical marquee tool and selected the outer edge of the yellow circle within the paint element. I used the shortcut keys Ctrl + Shift + I to select the area outside of the yellow circle which I didn’t need and hit the delete key. Now, using the same method, I created another circle with the marquee tool which I deleted to create a circle frame with an inner hollow area where my photo would show. I placed my photo behind the cutout frame and chose a shadow to add some depth to it. Thirdly, I used the paint to stamp along the edges, resizing and turning as I positioned the paint along the outer edge. To do this, on the paint layer, I used the shortcut key “V” (move), held down the ALT key and dragged and dropped the duplicated paint over the edge of the layout. I continued these steps, positioning the paint off the edge of the page, turning and resizing, and also recolored a few layers with a hue/sat adjustment layer.

So now you have learned six ways to use one product. I hope this inspires you to experiment and look at your digi products in a new light, thinking of different ways to use them.

I hope this inspires you to create! Head on over to the Challenge Board and join in! Pursue Your Creativeness With One Product Challenge

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

RaeRae Clevett is part of the Creative Team at The Digital Press. She lives on the west coast of BC with her hubby and Taz, their labradoodle. As a photographer and avid digital scrapbooker, most days she is either behind the camera or scrapping some of her personal photos. There is  usually a cup of coffee on her desk and some chocolate treats, as she is a chocolate addict. Her laptop sits next to her computer so she can watch tv or movies.  Taz usually lies on the floor beside her, playing with his toys. It’s a pretty sweet set-up, comfy and casual.