10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day One

Exciting news today! We’re deviating from our normal monthly blog schedule for the month of December… in order to bring you a fun series of 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks! This series will run every Mon/Wed/Fri throughout the month of December, leading up to (and ending just before) Christmas weekend. That means you can expect ten (10) different posts this month full of fun and inspirational ideas that are sure to make your holiday season simpler… craftier… cuter… and/or yummier!

Today is Day One of our series… and we have a really fun (and easy!) project to share with you — hybrid gift tags!

How to make these beauties? It’s so easy!

First, I always create the entire tag in Photoshop (PS) or Photoshop Elements (PSE) before printing and assembling. For the tags you see here, I used Dunia Designs’ December Documented product line (papers | elements | journal cards).

Here are a few details about my overall process…

  • First, I find a digital tag that I like and use it as the foundation for everything else. In other words — I just find any tag shape in any kit, and use it as a clipping mask for the rest of the items found in the main kit I choose for my project.
  • Next, I add the elements and papers I want to use from the kit I’ve chosen… and I clip them to the tag shape (CTRL-G in PSE; CTRL-ALT-G in PS).
  • This next part is a personal preference thing… but I like to build out all my tags together on one 8.5 x 11 canvas. This means that I layer them and make them look the way they’ll look once they’re assembled later… but in digital format, on my computer screen, so I can see a preview. Sometimes I even add digital stitching as a place holder for the real deal later on (again, to see what it will look like). This is a look at the digital version of my tags, which I created fully in PSE…

Once I have the tags the way I like them, that is when I pull the layers apart and create a print sheet, as shown in the next image (notice the the digital stitching isn’t included as a part of the print sheet)…

 

Once I have my print sheet ready… I save it, print it, cut each embellishment out, and assemble (using my original digital/layered mock-up as a guide).

Also, once they’re assembled… I always real-stitch all of my hybrid Christmas tags. I just think they’re cuter that way! 🙂

And that’s it! That’s all there is to it. The fun thing about this is that you can create a file to use over and over again, and simply swap in new names/etc. in the text areas (to use the same tag for different people/gifts). It can be different every time you print it!

 


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.

Tutorial Tuesday | How to Create a Gratitude Album

 

Hello TDP Fans! I am Krista and I am back on the blog to show you how I quickly made a Gratitude Album for me to record daily a sentence or two and a photo of what I am thankful for.

Step 1: Go shopping or pull from your stash. I raided the Autumn and Thanksgiving categories in the TDP store. I found tons of great product. I ended up choosing 3 collections and some embellishment packs that coordinated well together.

Materials- Gratitude by Anita Designs | November Documented by Dunia Designs | Happy Together by Juno Designs | Highclere by Little Lamm and Co

Step 2: Pre-plan and create your pages. I knew I wanted each day to fit on a 6″x4″ layout. This would allow for me to use a 2″x3″ Journal card on one half and a photo on the other. Earlier in October to get ahead of the game I created all 30 days of my layouts so that each day in November I could plug in my photo and journaling and be done! We all know how busy November can get so why not help yourself out and get your pages done early?!

Here are a few of the pages I pre-created:

Step 3: Each day take some time to complete your pages by adding a photo and 1-2 sentences about what you are Thankful For that day.

Step 4: Print out your layouts and slide them into a photo album. Voila! Complete Gratitude album!

 


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.

Tutorial Tuesday | Photography Tips for Shooting in the Dark

As the Northern Hemisphere eases its way into winter and the days get shorter and shorter, the amount of light available for our photography decreases significantly. Don’t put your camera away for the season and let your scrapbook go empty, however. Grab it back out of the closet and take great photos with these shooting tips!

Low Light Photography Tips

EXPOSURE TRIANGLE — We already know that light is the most important consideration for taking great photos. You’ve heard about the “exposure triangle” with regards to photography — which refers to ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. To make the most out of our settings in low-light conditions, we’ll need to increase our ISO, open our aperture as wide as we can, and lower our shutter speed to as slow as we can get it without incurring camera shake. A tripod can be useful if you need a very slow your shutter speed. Make sure you double-check your white balance, too (one of the disadvantages to using ambient light is that indoor light has more of an orange-ish tone to it).

FLASH — Use a flash. I’m not a huge fan of the onboard flash, and my camera body doesn’t even have one… but sometimes, we have to do what we have to do so we don’t miss capturing something. If you have an onboard flash, explore some options for diffusion or direction. If, however, you have an external flash, try pointing it up and behind you to avoid direct flash and red-eye.

ALTERNATIVE LIGHT SOURCES — Get creative with other light sources! Ipads, flashlights, or even the moon can give you enough light for a great shot. Here are a couple of examples…

Turn your photo black-&-white and increase the contrast! It can be tricky to get the coloring just right without a great light source (and/or your photos might have more graininess with a high ISO)… but you’d never know that in black-&-white! Black-&-white images also look GREAT on scrapbook layouts…

 

I hope these tips will help you create photos — and scrapbook layouts — that you love (easier and faster)!


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 (9), Claire (7), Hope (2 yr old puppy) & Kringle (9 mo old bunny). She works from home as a photographer and enjoys scrapping her personal photos.

 

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Hybrid How-To | Decorate Your Home

 

Hello everyone!!  Today I’m here to show you how to create this cute sign with your digital word art stash.  I love crafting and especially hybrid crafting.   I made this one for my craft room.  I’ve also decided it’s the perfect time to get started on those Christmas gifts.  I don’t know about you, but I love getting and giving homemade gifts.  This year I’ve decide I’m going to make everyone a sign for their home.   The Digital Press has tons of word art kits.  There is something for everyone!!!

SUPPLIES:

  • Cutting Machine
  • Digital word art (From The Digital Press…of course)
  • Wood (I used scrap pieces I had laying around in the garage)
  • Paint – make sure to get matte
  • Paint Brushes (The cheap sponge ones are fine)
  • Vinyl
  • Transfer Tape

I used the new release, GRATEFUL, and ANOTHER 25 DAYS by Sabrina’s Creations.  GRATEFUL word art is perfect for home décor.

boards

There are different ways to achieve the same look.  Today we are going to do the PVPP method….Paint Vinyl Paint Peel

Prepare the wood.    To start off you will base coat the wood with the color that you want your word art to show.  On this project I base coated my board white because I wanted the writing to show up white.  While the wood is drying you will start getting your vinyl ready.

draganddrop

Open your cutting software.  Shown here is Silhouette Studio Designer Edition.  Simply open the file you have your word art saved it and drag the one you want to work with first to the mat.

You are going to have to give the image cut lines.  If you were to go to cut now, it would cut a square box around the image, because it’s not a svg file.  I will show  you how to TRACE the image so that you will have those cut lines.  Highlight the entire image and uncheck the High Pass Filer and move the Threshold over until the image is completely yellow.

cutfileattop

Now select Trace. Move the image over and you can see the red lines.  These are the cut lines.  You can delete the black image now.

cutsetting

Cut your vinyl to size, apply to your mat, load and cut.  Make sure that you have chose the right material type and have changed your blade settings.  I don’t think you have to change your blade on the newer machines.

Now it’s time to weed your image.  To start off you will remove the bigger pieces around your image (1).  Next, you will use a weeding tool or a safety pin to remove all the smaller pieces (2).

The next step is to apply your transfer tape over the entire image (3).  Now apply it to the prepared wood.  Use a flat card to burnish it to the wood (4).  This keeps the paint from going under the vinyl.

remove-transfer-paper

Carefully remove the transfer tape.  Use your finger and go over the vinyl to make sure that it is adhered to the wood good.

Using the color you want on top, paint over the entire image….vinyl and all.    Make sure there is not a lot of paint on your brush.  A couple of lighter coats is better than one thick coat.  If you do it too thick, the paint will get under the vinyl.

This is the step that you will hear different opinions on.  Some say to wait to remove the vinyl until it’s completely dry and others say to remove the vinyl while it is still a little wet.  I prefer doing it while it is still a little wet.  You can work on a scrap piece of wood and see what works best for you.

Here are the final results.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out.  Below are photos of some more signs I am still working on.

This one I’m going to sand the edges to give it a more rustic look.

For this one I’m going to add a frame to the bottom left.  I thought it needed a little something more.  It’s a little wood frame that I purchased at Hobby Lobby,  I’m going to paint it black.  That way you can add a photo of something or someone that you are Thankful for.

Another suggestion to try if you don’t want to paint is to simply add vinyl to an already painted plaque or piece of wood.  The possibilities are endless.  I hope that this tutorial was helpful and that you will give it a try….. ENJOY!!


TanyaAbout 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.

Tutorial Tuesday | Journaling Techniques

Hey ladies! I know that journaling is something that many scrappers struggle with. And yet to me it’s the main reason for scrapping: to tell a story, to remember the moment and the feelings. My job is to write 95% of the time, so my “writing muscle” is strong and always ready to get to work, but I can understand how difficult and overwhelming the idea of journaling can be when your muscle isn’t as strong as mine. So let’s flex and stretch and build up your writing muscle together, shall we? Here are some journaling techniques you can use to help you tell your story even when you feel uncomfortable writing.

  • Answer to the “Five Ws and One H” that journalists use. Those questions are interesting because you have to elaborate somehow, you can’t just answer them with yes or no! You can talk about facts (what happened?) or about feelings (what emotions did you feel?), and of course you can pick and choose which questions to answer!
    • What?
    • Who?
    • When?
    • Where?
    • Why?
    • How?

On this LO, Corrin added the When (date on upper corner), the Who (kids’ names) and the What with lots of details!

  • “Talk” to someone. It’s hard to express ourselves “on our own”, but if we write to someone like we would talk to them during a conversation, it becomes much easier. Try talking to the person your page is about, telling them why you decided to scrap this story, why you love this or that in them, why they make you go nuts with this habit of theirs. Try writing to someone that is gone, or that isn’t here yet. Write to someone you admire, a fictional character, an historical figure. You could even write to your pet or to a thing! “Dear Netflix,…”

What a touching “letter” Heidi wrote to her dad! Sweet!!

  • Use someone else’s words. If you’re not confident enough to journal from scratch, why not “borrow” someone else’s words: a song, a poem, lines from your favorite book or movie, a quote.
  • Use wordbits or wordart. Our beloved designers work hard to provide us with beautiful kits, but often those products are also terrific tools to help us tell our story. Let those elements be your journaling or inspire words of your own!

Here the wordart is used by Shivani both as a title and a starting point for the journaling!

  • If you feel comfortable writing but not sharing your journaling, you can easily hide it when you create the web version of your LO: delete it, blur it, add paint on top of it, blend it into the paper until it’s unreadable… There are lots of ways to keep it secret!

On this LO I could easy have blended the journaling even more to make it unreadable if I wanted to keep it a secret!

I hope those few tips will help you overcome your fears or awkwardness towards journaling! If you need an extra push to try it, why not join this month’s journaling challenge hosted by Amy?


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 her BuJo (bullet journal) and can’t wait to discover how much it’ll help her improve her (so far non-existent!) organisational skills!

Feature Friday | MEG Designs

It’s Friday!  That means it’s time for another edition of Feature Friday… and we get to learn a little bit about one of our beloved TDP designers. This week, we’re featuring Marie Eve of MEG Designs!

Anyone who has shopped at The Digital Press already knows her beautiful designs: her store is filled with digital kits, calendar templates, word art, journal cards, and amazing layout templates.  She has a knack for putting vibrant colors and patterns together with unique elements that work seamlessly with traditional ‘paper-style’ scrapbooking, pocket scrapbooking, and graphic style pages. You will find something that works for any photo and memory that you want to document and treasure! Personally, I love some of the names of her kits!  They are unique and fun… such as my personal favorite… Mellifluous. I mean, seriously. How awesome is that?! 🙂

Before we get to some of my favorite products of hers, however, let’s learn one little tidbit of info about her, shall we? As you can see above, her name is Marie Eve. For the longest time, I thought it was Meg, but alas, I was wrong! MEG is actually her initials (last name starts with a G). Huh! Creative, right?

Okay, now I’ll share a few of my favorite items from the MEG Designs store here at The Digital Press…

I asked Marie Eve some questions so we could learn a little bit more about her, and here’s what she had to say…
Where do you live?
I live in a house in the countryside in Belgium. We see lots of of sights. There are fields and meadows with horses near the house. I don’t know if everybody knows where Belgium is located in Europe; the capital is Brussels, and it’s a country between France, The Netherlands, Germany, and it’s in front of the United Kingdom.

When you’re not designing, what do you do with your time?
First of all, I work another full-time job throughout the week. After work, I like to go 2 times a week doing some sport like Zumba or Turbo Kick Power. This allows me to decompress and think about nothing. I also love spending time cooking, especially making desserts. I never have to go to the bakery, because I make my bread myself. I also try to spend time with my 2 children, and enjoy them while they are still young. They really like to play board games.

What are 5 tidbits of trivia we might not know about you?
—I never wear dresses or skirts, I’ve never liked that. I prefer to wear trousers; it is much more comfortable.
—When I play board games with my family and I lose, I’m never rattled, and I am not at all a bad loser. It’s all part of the game.
—I am a shy and quiet person. I do not talk much about my private life, but I am a very cheerful person. One day someone told me that when she heard me on the phone she knew I “spoke with a smile.” This is absolutely me, it’s my personality.
—I am a chocolate addict, and it’s really difficult to do without. When I make desserts, they are often based on chocolate. When I have coffee, I like to eat a dark chocolate tip, my favorite.  Belgians say the best chocolate comes from Belgium. Swiss say it’s at home, but who tells the truth? LOL
—I wish I had more time (like most people). I have started lots of scrapbooking albums that are still not finished. It’s hard to balance between creating products and progress in my albums, and I can not choose. My children are growing up and their albums are not moving much. The only albums I’ve finished are my December Daily since 2010. Last year, I decided to make it in hybrid,  which takes a little more time than digital, but I like this style too.

Which of your products is your favorite?
That’s a really difficult answer because I like everything I design. If I don’t like something, I don’t release it. If I had to choose, I think my favorite product is Mellifluous

About her designs, she also had this to say: “All of my products are inspired by my private life, whether it’s my children, holidays, things we do, or even something that one of my children said. Usually, I have a theme in mind and then I observe what is around me and I find a color palette that fits my theme.”

MEG Designs’ products are so versatile, they can be used for all of your memories and in whatever style suits you.  Here are some examples of her products in action…

As you can see, her products are perfect for simple “white-space” layouts, for full-page pocket-style layouts, and everything in between!

I don’t know about you, but I loved getting to know Marie Eve, and I can totally relate to loving coffee and dark chocolate. I’d love to taste some of her yummy desserts! She’s down-to-earth, sweet, cheery, totally creative, and we love her here at The Digital Press!

Good news… if you visit her shop this week you will enjoy 30% OFF her gorgeous products (sale runs through the end of 11/17)!  Thanks for joining us this week and getting to know Marie Eve. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!


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