Hybrid How-To | DIY Hybrid Kids’ Games

Hello, and welcome to another edition of our always-popular Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press blog!

I’m here today to show you how to use your favorite digital supplies to create kids’ games…such as the fun BINGO game you see pictured below.

This project is soooo simple, and really just requires a BINGO template and your favorite digital kits to create.

Let’s get started!

The first thing you’ll want to do is decide on a theme for your game cards, if desired, and choose a digital kit (or a selection of kits) that contain images that you’d like to use. For my Halloween-themed BINGO cards, I chose an awesome new collection called Spellbound that was designed by Little Lamm Paper Co., shown here…

I used the images contained within this collection to get started on filling up my BINGO card. I chose to make 6 different cards, and in doing so I placed the different images/stickers (like the tickets, candy, bat, ghost, potion and jack-o-lantern) into different spots on each card, filling all of the squares of a simple BINGO template I’d created (one of which I’ve shown here)…

When I found that I needed more images than the stickers I found in the kit, I decided to look at using the word strips and stamps, as well. I liked the tickets, the two flairs, and a circle with “Happy Halloween” printed on it… so I used those, as well. I also decided to use two ‘swatches’ of paper to represent a spider web and the color orange.

I also used a dingbat font (you can find some really great dingbat fonts for FREE on the internet) for shapes such as the cute black cat you see in the 3rd row of the card shown above. It started out as a plain black font, however… and I wanted to jazz it up a bit. In this next screenshot, you can see I found dingbat font shape I wanted — a cat — and then I simplified the layer and clipped a paper to it (the black/grey chevron pattern) from the Spellbound kit I was using…

I also added in an orange paper behind the cat shape for the eyes and just erased the parts I didn’t need… so the orange would show through the “holes” where the eyes were in the dingbat font. Cute, right? Such a simple way to add a cat into my BINGO card even though the actual digital collection I was using didn’t have one. 🙂 (I repeated this same process to create a witch’s hat and a flying witch).

As I worked, I found that this project was a wonderful way to re-think my digital products, and was a great way to re-purpose a bunch of things! For instance, I used two chipboard numbers (“31”) from a girl-themed kit to stand for the day of the month/Halloween. I also was able to use shapes like the circle moon and star from other kits, re-purposing them for this project.

Here’s a look at a bunch of my cards after I was finished creating them in Photoshop, and printing them out…

Aren’t these cards fun?

I hope today’s tutorial inspires you to re-think your own digital supply stash, and have fun playing with your digital products to make something completely new, fun, and festive — something as simple as an everyday BINGO-themed game!

Don’t forget to visit the CROSSWORD SECTION in The Digital Press forum, and jump into this month’s Hybrid Challenge if you are thinking of trying out this project. You can earn points toward discounts & FREEBIES! I hope that you will join in!


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

Tutorial Tuesday | The Lasso Tool

Happy Tutorial Tuesday!  Heidi Nicole here for a quick tip on a simple way we can make the most of our digital products.  If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for ways to use your products in multiple projects.  I’m going to introduce you to my little friend, the lasso tool.  How will that help me ‘stretch my digital stash’, you ask?  Well, have you ever wanted to use an awesome set of sequins, but they don’t quite fit where you want them to?  Or, have you ever found amazing word art, yet you want to separate the words to fit the space where your title should be?  Well, using the lasso tool can help you use those elements, yet change them to meet your needs.

I use this tool regularly on scatters, sequins, word art, and alphas (see tutorial on Alpha Sheets here).  Basically, you can use it on anything that is packaged together, that you want to separate.  I’m going to show you a quick way to do this.

First of all, there’s a couple different options when it comes to this particular tool.

  • Lasso Tool:  This is useful for drawing free form around the object that you would like selected and/or moved.
  • Polygonal Lasso:  This one is useful for drawing straight lines around the object or selection.
  • Magnetic Lasso:  This tool is useful for objects with a defined border.  The border ‘snaps to’ the edges of the defined object.

(My personal favorite is the polygonal lasso, but I urge you to experiment with all of them.  They are each very useful in their own right.)

I’m going to use the lasso tool to separate this scatter from Audacity by Anita Designs and Karla Noel.

Step 1:  Choose which lasso tool you would like to work with.  To see what is available, click the little arrow in the lower right corner with the right mouse, which will open up the lasso options.

Step 2:  Draw around the section you would like to move.  You will see the marching ants as you draw.

Step 3:  Choose the move tool, grab the selection, and simply move it to where you want it.  Deselect (Ctrl-D), add shadows, and move on!  Simple, right?

 

This is a useful tool to make the most of your digital stash.  There are limitless possibilities, and once you start using it, I know you will find it to be useful in many ways… from stretching your digital stash to saving you time.  Just another tool in your digital toolkit!  Happy scrapping!

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Heidi Nicole

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

Tutorial Tuesday | Using the Trim Command in Photoshop

Welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today, I’m going to share some information about using the “Trim” command to easily remove transparent pixels in Photoshop. It’s one of those handy tools that I was thrilled to find, a while back… as it’s a super easy Photoshop command that packs a big punch!

Before we get started, I wanted to share a couple of examples of occasions when I like to use the “Trim” command:

  1. I’ve created an element cluster or title on a large 12×12 canvas. I’ve used it on my page and I want to save it for possible use on a future page.
  2. I’ve got a single element that resides on a much larger canvas than the element requires. When I look through my digi stash I’ve got some folders of elements that came saved on 12×12 canvases. I like to quickly Trim those elements so that I have a better view of it in my Mac’s “Finder” window.

Here’s how to use the Trim command…

1. As shown here, use the “Image” drop down menu, and choose > Trim…

2. In the Trim dialog box, select the option “Transparent Pixels” as shown here…

This will help you achieve your goal of “shrinking” the image canvas by leaving behind an image containing all of the nontransparent pixels.

3. Select one or more areas of the image to trim away. Because I wanted to end up with the smallest canvas possible, you’ll see (in the screenshot ahove) that I selected them all  — Top, Bottom, Left, and Right.

4.  Click OK and you’re done! Yup. That’s it! This is what you’ll be left with…

Once you’ve finished trimming your image, don’t forget to save it. If you want to maintain the layers, save it as a PSD file — or if you want a flattened (one layer) copy, you can save it as a PNG file.

*NOTE* I created the element cluster I used for this tutorial’s example, shown above, using the September 2018 Make It Count element set by Anita Designs.

Another thing… as I mentioned above, I’ve found over the years that I’ve acquired a good number of different elements that are saved on large 12 x 12 canvases, but I prefer to store them on my hard drive without all of the unnecessary empty pixels (in large part because the thumbnail image my computer displays for me is much easier to see if the image is cropped nice and tight!). Therefore… I wrote myself a Photoshop action using the “Trim” command, with the addition of “save” and “close” commands. It saves me tons of time when cleaning up those folders & cropping down my image files.

If you are interested in learning how to write a Photoshop action for yourself… click HERE to read a tutorial I wrote here on The Digital Press blog about a year ago that explains the process of writing an action.

So that’s it! Such a simple, and yet useful, command to use when you’re working in Photoshop! If you have any questions, please feel free to post them here in the comments.

Until next time… happy scrapping!


BarbaraAbout the Author  Barbara is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She’s married, has two awesome kids (a 21 year old son and an 19 year old daughter) as well as an 11 year old adorable Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier pup. You’d think with all these ages posted here about her family she’d tell you her age but NOPE … not gonna happen! 😆 

Feature Friday | creashens

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Feature Friday series here on The Digital Press blog! This week, I’m thrilled to put the spotlight on the amazingly talented Shen Guthrie of creashens. Shen has been featured here on the blog a few times already in the past (you can learn more about her by reading her first feature article from 2016 HERE, and her 2017 feature HERE ).

In order to learn more about Shen, personally, this time around… I asked her to share 5 Things We Might Not Already Know About Her

  1. She has a secret crush on Paul Rudd.
  2. She has misophonia (people who are sensitive to selective sounds; a.k.a. “sound rage”).
  3. She would choose rain over sunshine any day.
  4. She loves plants but always kills them.
  5. She always think of things that she needs to remember, and then forgets to write them down… and doesn’t remember, in the end.

Fun trivia! Ha ha …who would’ve thought?! 🙂

For those who have not yet had a chance to take a look at the creashen’s shop here at The Digital Press… it’s full of beautiful color palettes and a fantastic mix of whimsical and realistic elements (not to mention the incredible patterned papers). In addition to her stunning kits, she also offers a lot of other stand-alone embellishment packs, unique alphas, and other essential bits and bobs.

I had a really hard time picking out my favorite products, but here’s a peek at just a few of them…

To give you a look at some of her products in action, I’ve also compiled this fun sampling of digital layouts that were created with her designs…

It was so fun to get a little peek into Shen’s world today! And now that you’re excited about her gorgeous designs… I’ve got some great news! Her entire shop HERE at The Digital Press will be marked down 30% OFF during her feature week (the sale will end at 11:59pm ET on Thursday 10/25).

Additionally, Shen 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 creashens … and you can also snag this brand-new (just released today!) digital kit from her shop — Smile — for FREE with any $10+ purchase in her shop! (again, the offer is valid through 11:59pm ET on Thursday 10/25).


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR  Christelle is a creative team member at The Digital Press, happily creating for all the talented designers. She’s a pharmacist from South Africa, who recently relocated to the UK with her husband.  Christelle loves scrapping her 3 lovely step-children and 4 beautiful nieces and all of their (mis)adventures. If she could, she’d travel all the time, but for now she makes do with traveling as often as possible. Her other hobbies include machine embroidery and sewing, as well as reading soppy romance!

Tutorial Tuesday | Large Photos for Emphasis

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today, I’ll be sharing ideas for using large photos creatively to emphasize them on your scrapbook layouts!

Have you ever heard the phrase “go big, or go home”? I love it, and I say it to myself quite frequently when creating scrapbook pages that feature my favorite photos. The photos that tug at your heart strings, tell a story or just deserve a large spot in your scrapbooks, those are the photos I am talking about!

A big photo makes a statement, and is the perfect way to showcase a photo that tells a story. Use one large photo to fill the entire background of your layout!  Photos that work perfect for this are ones that show the entire landscape or are a wide angle shot with lots of white space. You can add more photos in the white space of your photo as I did on the layout below. Frames help to ground the photos you place over top of the background photo and help tie multiple photos together cohesively on a layout.

Tip: Use the opacity slider to make your background photo look more transparent. This can give the photo a look of a faded memory! If you layer your photo on top of a textured cardstock, it will take on the textured look of the paper below it!

Trick: Frame your large photo to give it more definition on the page. Use stitching or other attachments to anchor your photos and elements to the large photo. That way they don’t look like they are just floating on top of your background photo!

Trick: use a template as the guiding point for your design. Fill the background layer of that template with a large photo and work from there. On the layout below I started with this photo of the skyline and added other favorite photos from our vacation on top of it.

A large horizontal or vertical photo can be used in its natural shape on a scrapbook page by layering patterned papers and embellishments below it. You still get the emphasis of a large photo layout, without filling the entire page with the photo.

Large photo layouts are the perfect way to document a conversation or quote you want to remember from the moment the photo was taken. Keep your design simple and let the photo shine! Not only does the large photo speak volumes, the words you document right on top of it will help to recreate the story from that single moment!

Tip: Use the white space on your photo to write your journaling.

So there you have it… a few simple tips and tricks to use large photos for emphasis on your scrapbook pages.  I hope this has inspired you to use a large photo on your next layout!


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

Feature Friday | Juno Designs

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Feature Friday series here on The Digital Press blog! I really look forward to doing these posts because I always enjoy getting a glimpse at some lesser-known facts about our multi-faceted and amazingly-talented designers!

This week we are focusing the spotlight on Jill of Juno Designs. This is actually Jill’s third feature article here on The Digital Press blog. If you want to learn even more about her… you can get a peek at her creative workspace HERE (from March 2017), and learn more about her background HERE (from September 2016).

In order to learn more about her this time around, we asked her to share 5 Things We Might Not Already Know About Her

  1. I’m a total book nerd. I love collecting books and try to read at least one book a week.
  2. I’ve moved house 13 times. I like the feeling of starting over, but I don’t like how stressful the actual process of moving and renovating is. So I hope to stay put for a little while this time around.
  3. I love anything to do with True Crime: books, podcasts, documentaries, etc. It just fascinates me to learn more about what makes people do the unthinkable.
  4. I studied History and Psychology at university.
  5. I love yoga. I had surgery on my hip a few months ago, so I haven’t been able to do as much of it as I’d like lately. But I hope to get back to my regular practice soon.

 

As for her designs… Jill has unique, realistic, and paper-like design style, making her designs equally suitable for both digital and paper scrapbooking. Her kits use bright and bold color palettes, and often come with an abundant sprinkling of gold, glitter, and other sparkly items, which sets her style apart. You can find lots of themed kits in Jill’s collection; however, they are always super versatile and can be used for any type of page.

After having a look through her beautiful shop, here are just a few of my favorite products from her catalog of fun products…

Additionally, to give you an idea of how versatile her products are, I’ve included a sampling of the projects I found in TDP’s gallery that use her designs…

Aren’t those layouts and projects so fun and inspiring? 🙂

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about Juno Designs today! To celebrate her week as our Featured Designer at The Digital Press, Jill’s entire shop will be 30% OFF all week long (the sale will end at 11:59pm ET on Thursday 10/18).


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