10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Two

Today is Day Two of our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series… and we have something really yummy (and easy!) to share with you today — Christmas Tree Cupcakes!

If you’re in need of something yummy and festive for a holiday goodie exchange, or a holiday party, or simply to give to friends/neighbors… these cupcakes are perfect! You can make a few dozen in no time at all & have plenty to share!

I made a layout about these cupcakes a few years back, and I have been asked to bring them to our annual goodie exchange every year since! Here’s a look…

To start — let’s gather our ingredients:

  • 24-36 cupcakes, cooled
    (go ahead & use a boxed mix! Just add an extra egg, use sour cream instead of oil, and milk instead of water… and no one will know you didn’t make them homemade!) 😉
  • 1-1/2 cups (3 cubes) of room-temperature butter
  • 3-to-4 cups of powdered sugar (exact amount to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1M frosting tip & frosting bag
    (I prefer the disposable Wilton bags because #easycleanup)
  • Green gel icing color
  • preferred decor
    (for the following photos I used rainbow nonpareils, but any sprinkle will do! In the previous photo/layout, I used holiday-colored nonpareils and gold stars)
  • Extracts, if desired
    (peppermint is a fun one to use with the green color!)

Start with the butter in the mixer & beat the heck out of it — seriously — approximately 10 minutes! Once it is white & super fluffy, you’re good to slowly add in the powdered sugar.

As you add the sugar, taste it occasionally as you go; typically, I use about 3-1/2 cups of sugar.

After the sugar is all incorporated, add the tablespoon of vanilla. Now it’s time to add coloring or extracts. Add a teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired color/flavor.

To decorate… trim the tip off of the frosting bag, drop in the 1M tip & then fill it up with your delicious buttercream. To make the tree shape — start on the outside of your cupcake & make 3 circles- going smaller as you get to the top. Finally, add your sprinkles… and voila! Christmas tree cupcakes!

*FOOTNOTE* my favorite thing to do with the left over buttercream (besides squirt it straight into my mouth!) is to put it between graham crackers & then into the freezer. My kids call them Freezer cookies! 🙂


AmieAbout the Author  Amie is a craft-loving dental hygienist who lives in Washington state. She loves her husband, her two kids (ages 8 & 5), and her English Bulldog… as well as coffee, baking cupcakes, daffodils, glitter & sprinkles, reading a good book, and lip gloss — not necessarily in that order.

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!

Tutorial Tuesday | Combining Fonts

Hello and welcome to another Tutorial Tuesday from The Digital Press! I don’t know about you, but I love, love, love all the pretty, swirly, quirky, office-y, bold, simple and all other kinds of fonts that are around (and often free!) in digiland. I have to admit I have bunches of them that I loved the look of, and downloaded, but have never used because I tend to stick with a few old favourites. Are you a bit like me? Well this tutorial is all about how to mix, or combine fonts – in the hope that perhaps you and I will go on to use a few more of the pretty fonts that we have stashed away, gathering digital dust in on their virtual shelves!

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to combining fonts, just like everything else, if it looks good to you, then it is good! But there are a few guidelines to help if you want to mix and match your fonts.

Before we get the those guidelines though, it is good to know what the different font types are:
Serif — these fonts have little lines at the end of each stroke (so at the beginning and end of the s, at the top and the bottom of i etc).
Sans serif — these fonts DON’T have those little lines at the end of each stroke! (The font you are reading right now, the main text of this tutorial, is written with in a sans serif font).
Script — these fonts are based on handwriting, and tend to look more casual than the serif and sans serif fonts.

Different fonts can help to create a different character for your pages, and when used well, they can give you a brilliant title, inviting journaling and clear notation of the facts (like when and where your event occurred).

Here are the 3 most helpful guidelines that I found…

1. 2 could be the magic number! Most pages can be improved by using more than one font, but few pages will be improved by using more than 3.

2. Contrast is key! When combining fonts, try looking for fonts that have plenty of contrast. For example, if you have used a tall and thin sans serif font, try pairing it with a shorter or rounder scripty font.

3. Size matters! Pay attention to the size of your fonts. If you are creating a title, you might want to have one focus word bigger than the rest. Titles are also usually larger than the main body of journaling. When thinking about your journaling font, remember that some fonts are easy to read even when they are quite small (serif, or sans serif fonts for example), while some fonts can be quite difficult to read if they are small (script fonts tend to be more difficult to read in small sizes). You can try adjusting the font size, or the spaces between the lines (called leading), or even the space between each letter (called kerning).

So, putting all these guidlelines to work, I made this page! You can see that I went for 3 fonts (2 in the title, and 1 for the journaling and date). I used a script font (“Sunshine in my soul” – seen in red) and a serif font (this is actually an alpha from Project Grateful – Crisp, which is the collection I used to make my layout) for the title, and then I stuck with a popular and easy to read sans serif  font (“Century Gothic”) for the journaling and date.

So there you have it! I hope you have found this helpful, and if you know you have some great fonts, but haven’t used them much yet because you need a little help organising your fonts, Carolyn (Amson) recently wrote a blog post all about a way to help organise your fonts so they are easily accessible next time you want to try using some of them! That tutorial can be found here: Easy Font Management.


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

Hybrid How-To | Credit Card Sleeves

For the first time in 16 years, my credit card information was stolen. It was actually stolen twice. Both cards use the new EMV chip technology. The Thieving Scum used the information to generate a new, physical card, and they were having all kinds of super duper fun times in New York City. Not cool, Thieving Scum.

I was told by one of the Fraud Departments that the best way to prevent Thieving Scum from taking what isn’t theirs is to buy a foil-lined sleeve for each EMV-chipped card.

Well, I thought I could cute-ify this project a bit with some pretty scrapbooking paper.

Supplies

  • Card Sleeve Template (download my template HERE)
  • Digital Scrapbook Paper of your choice (I used Gratitude by Anita Designs)
  • White Cardstock
  • Tinfoil
  • Double-sided tape
  • Boxing tape (The cheaper, the better! You want it to be thin.)
  • Scissors

To start, clip your paper of choice to the template. Print and cut. I used my Silhouette for this, but the design is also simple enough to cut by hand.

Smooth out the foil and cut it to 2” x 6”. Adhere to the back of the card sleeve with double-sided tape…

2016_11_2_cardsleeves

Next we need to reinforce the foil so it doesn’t rip every time you slide the card in. I used two pieces of boxing tape, overlapping each edge a little. I used my scissors to cut away the excess around the edges.

Using the double-sided tape, adhere the flaps to the inside of the sleeve. This actually works better if you lay your card in the sleeve before taping. You don’t want the folds to be too tight. I reinforced the outside edges with more boxing tape

And there you have it! Here’s a look at two different sleeves I created…

If you give this project a try… come show us your final product in the gallery here at TDP! We’d love to see what you come up with. You can also join the monthly challenges for November (as you can earn points by creating this hybrid project!). Come check it out HERE.


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

Feature Friday | Anita Designs

Happy Friday everybody! You know what happens on Friday at The Digital Press… time for a new Featured Designer! Today I am excited to feature a “fellow Dutchie” (we both live in The Netherlands) — the sweet Anita of Anita Designs — as our newest focus in the Feature Friday series. Personally, I love her designs and I am thrilled to help you get to know her better… while also showcasing my favorites from her store at The Digital Press with you.

Anita creates digital products that have a clean and simple style, and are very versatile and easy to work with when you’re scrapping your memories. She doesn’t only create kits; she is also an amazing template designer, and I love her extra add-on packs like masks, washi tape sets, & pocket cards. All of her designs are easy to mix & match, which I love.

Here are a few of my favorite designs from the Anita Designs shop at The Digital Press

To get to know Anita a little bit better, I asked her a few questions… and here’s what she had to say…

Where do you live?
The Netherlands

When you’re not designing, what do you do with your time?
I love spending time with my family, and I love to go out and just enjoy nature.

What are 5 tidbits of trivia we might not know about you?
— I am addicted to coffee.
— My favorite series on TV are Greys Anatomy, Little House On the Prairie, and Kitchen Nightmares.
— I don’t get enough sleep.
— I am a family person.
— My favorite scented candle is patchouli.

Which of your products is your favorite?
I actually have two. One is Wanderlust

…and the other is Snowkissed

While writing this blog post, I spent some time looking through the Anita Designs gallery here at The Digital Press… and here are some of my favorite layouts and projects that use products from her shop…

Thank you so much for joining me here today on the blog, and getting to know Anita a little bit better! Now that you’re surely coveting her gorgeous products, I have good news! This coming week, you can take advantage of a 30% OFF SALE in her store (the sale will end at 11:59 pm ET on Thurs 11/10).

Even better news… I have another fantastic surprise for you! Anita has created a full kit this week that is brand-new and will be FREE with any $10+ purchase in her shop (FWP). The kit is called Fallin’ For You (I think those little hedgehogs are just the cutest!). This fantastic deal will be available throughout her entire feature week (11/4 -thru- 11/10)… and again, you will get this awesome kit for FREE with a $10+ purchase in her shop.

 

Enjoy this week’s sale, and happy scrapping! 🙂

 


bianckaAbout the Author: Biancka loves scrapping and has been doing so since 2007 but also enjoys reading books (thrillers being her favorite genre), baking (cupcakes are the best!!), photography, looking for recipes on Pinterest and browsing the world wide web for gorgeous fonts (yes, she is a fontaholic!!). She lives in The Netherlands together with her husband and 12yr old son.

November 2016 at The Digital Press | Gratitude

 

Well, it’s happened… it’s November, and the beginning of the holiday season is officially upon us. Here in the United States, Thanksgiving is a mere 3 weeks away (this is true; don’t faint). Rather than fight it… I’ve determined that we need to embrace it. And thus, it’s time to really dive into the month of November and all that it will be bringing our way!

For the month of November 2016, we will be focusing on a new Word of the Month… GRATITUDE. It’s an obvious choice, given the holiday that dominates the landscape of November each year… but in truth, it’s more than just a “word that happens to match a holiday.” If embraced, this concept of gratitude can represent a shift in our approach to life… in our way of thinking… in our way of acting and reacting to the things that happen in our life… and more. Gratitude is about appreciation, and about recognizing and celebrating the blessings in our lives.

Here’s a look at just a few visual representations of our new Word of the Month — GRATITUDE

 

image credits [1] [2] [3] [4]

 

Looking for ways to incorporate this idea of GRATITUDE into your scrapping and crafting this month? Come join us at TDP! We’re jumping into another month of our popular Challenge System for November, and there are so many fun new things in store for you throughout the upcoming month — including a challenge that specifically calls upon our new word of the month — GRATITUDE. 🙂

We have 9 new challenges waiting for you in THE CROSSWORD SECTION — a.k.a. our forum’s challenge section — a fun play on words that we love because (a) #WeAreNerdyThatWay, (b) our challenges have always been loosely connected to our Word of the Month at TDP (get it? “crossword” haha)… and (c) it fits nicely into TDP’s news/press theme.

Here’s a peek at the challenges you’ll find throughout November 2016…

 

 

Get more information about our monthly challenge system HERE.

Meanwhile, make sure you check out our newest TDP collaborative collection, Blessed, which launched yesterday in the shop. It’s a gorgeous, luxurious collection filled with 42 papers, 89 elements, 16+ pocket cards, 1 full alpha set, layered templates, cutting files, and more! Come check out the inspiration that you’ll find in the shop listing for this beautiful collection… you won’t believe how versatile and gorgeous this kit is in action!

 

 

As always, you’ll be able to grab this monthly designer collaboration collection for just $4 for the first 4 days of the month (after which time it goes back to regular price… so grab it while the 4-for-$4 deal is on!).

Come check it all out! We look forward to spending November with you at The Digital Press.


Laura Passage

About the Author  Laura Passage is the owner of The Digital Press, and also the designer behind Wishing Well Creations by Laura Passage (WWC). She works now as a graphic designer in both the digital and paper scrapbooking industries, but previously spent over a decade working as a college soccer coach. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two young sons (affectionately referred to as The Tiny Terrorists), and will rationalize eating coffee ice cream for breakfast to anyone who questions it.

Tutorial Tuesday | Alternative Uses for Themed Products

 

Have you ever seen a themed kit that was just plain gorgeous — or hilariously awesome — and you just had to have it? The only problem being… you really didn’t have any photos to use with it? Or maybe the theme wasn’t one that was applicable to your life and/or the memories you were trying to document, etc.? This happens to me all. the. time.

If you’ve ever found yourself in this situation — I’m here to help. Today’s tutorial is designed to help you figure out some ways to use those must-have products you see in the shop and can’t stop yourself from buying (and/or how to use an old kit you’ve had on your hard drive forever, but haven’t ever been able to find a use for)!

I’m going to show you a few ways you can use a hilariously awesome kit (like Filibuster by Laura Passage, which released a couple of weeks ago)… even if you don’t have any election/voting photos. First, here’s a look at the kit…

 

One of the options you always have when trying to use a themed kit… is to simply match the color scheme. TDP creative team member Erin took this super cute photo of her son eating a snow cone (see below) and was able to build a fantastic layout around the colors of his outfit…

 

 

Another trick — she also used themed items in a way that our eye doesn’t notice. For example, you can see that she used the “VOTE” journal card as a mat for her photo. While this trick draws your eye to the photo — you don’t really even notice the election theme, and the fact that it doesn’t match the theme of her layout. Lastly — blue & red can be considered to be “boy” colors. The color scheme, used with a photo of her son, emphasizes her boy-centered layout.

A second option that I often like to use in order to use a themed-product for a non-themed project — is finding an alternative theme within the kit. For example, while Laura’s kit is obviously “election/voting” in its theme… the colors & the stars & stripes can easily lend themselves to a simple patriotic theme, as well. I used her kit to make this next layout, which documents a 4th of July day at the lake house…

 

 

Again, I hid the word “VOTE” on the journal card by using it as a mat (and all you can see is the stars). I also used the typewritten phrase paper, but left the portion that’s peeking out to read mostly “land of the free” — again, in support of my patriotic theme. You’ll find that in the majority of themed kits, there is usually an alternate theme you can work with!

Finally, TDP creative team member Kimberlee shows off a third option for using a themed-kit if you don’t have photos to go with it, but you really want to use the product… a photoless page! If you don’t have any photos to match, but you still love the theme — just do it!

 

 

As you can see, you can still use a themed-kit to document a moment in your life — even without photos — by capturing what you were feeling, thinking, etc. in the journaling you include. Kimberlee used this fun kit to document her feelings about this year’s election (which can often be a controversial topic!). It is a time in our history that memory-keepers like us may want to document/record for future generations, who may enjoy looking back and remembering this crazy election year in 2016!

In closing… I hope that I have inspired you to either use those themed kits you’ve already got on your hard drive but haven’t figured out a use for. Additionally, the next time you see a themed kit that you love — I hope these ideas will provide you with the inspiration you need to go ahead and look for alternative uses!


Amie

About the Author  Amie is a craft-loving dental hygienist who lives in Washington state. She loves her husband, her two kids (ages 8 & 5), and her English Bulldog… as well as coffee, baking cupcakes, daffodils, glitter & sprinkles, reading a good book, and lip gloss — not necessarily in that order.

Feature Friday | creashens

Happy Friday! I’m so excited to be here today to introduce you to our next Feature Friday designer… Shen of creashens! Her design style is so fun and whimsical!

If you haven’t used her products before, you will definitely want to check them out. She has a fabulous sense of color, and her kits really showcase some of the most beautiful papers and elements you’ll find in digiland! She offers a variety of items — coordinated kits, hand-drawn journaling cards, alphas, and a variety of unique element packs. The hand-drawn elements within her kits are fantastic, and will add the perfect whimsical touch to all of your pages and projects. There is truly something in her TDP shop for everyone. 🙂

Here is a look at just a few of my favorite of items from the creashens shop here at The Digital Press…

 

As you will see, Shen is also a hilarious, fun, loving, and goofy soul. 🙂 In order for us to get to know Shen a little bit better, we asked her a few questions — and here’s what she had to say…

Where do you live?
I live in sunny Orange County, in southern California.

When you’re not designing, what do you do with your time?
I’m a full-time corporate graphic designer… a full-time ninja… and also love to spend time with my daughter (pictured above). We love to do everything from going to Disneyland, to just chilling out at home with old classic movies because she loves them just as much as I do. And when I have extra time, I enjoy illustrating and painting… and teaching her along the way.

What are 5 tidbits of trivia we might not know about you?
— Fave Quote: “Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.” ~Pablo Picasso
— I love rain.
— Chick-Fil-A advertisements make me cringe because of the purposely misspelled words.
— My favorite dessert is flan.
— I love my daughter more than anything in the whole wide world.

Which of your products is your favorite?
Goodness

…and here are some beautiful pages created using Shen’s beautiful products…

Thank you so much for joining today and getting to know Shen a little bit better! Now that you’re coveting her gorgeous products, I have good news… if you check out her shop this coming week, you can take advantage of the 30% OFF SALE in her store (the sale will end at 11:59 pm ET on Thurs 11/3). Enjoy the sale, and happy scrapping!


Amy

About the Author  Amy lives in Richmond, VA with her husband of almost 15 years and their 11 year old boy/girl twins. Their 20 year old daughter will soon finish her final year at West Virginia University in December!  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!

Tutorial Tuesday | New Uses For Planner Kits

Hey everyone! I hope you are enjoying the various shades of Autumn wherever you are. I certainly am waiting for the leaves to turn a rich autumnal colour and take some leaf jumping pics of the kids. 🙂

Today I am here to share some ideas about ways to use all of the lovely planner kits you can find in The Digital Press’s shop — but for traditional digital layouts. Not everyone has jumped aboard the planner craze this past year, but there are so many cute products. Why not use them in other ways? Today I am here to show you how.

I have always wondered about all these gorgeous planner stuff in the shop. Because I don’t do hybrid or paper scrapping, I have always sort of believed that these items are just not for me. But then curiosity got the cat (or rather, me!), and I looked into the idea of using these items on my digital layouts. At first glance, you may think there is not much one can do with planners except, yes, make a planner/record-keeping kind of page. But the many possibilities may just surprise you, yet!

My first attempt involved using planners and printables in my usual way — I treated these as I would any other digital element. I clipped them to shapes and used them as paper pieces in their own right. I found that I really liked the end result; they add to the look of the layout, which is about a snapshot of a fun day…

[see link here for credits]

In my second attempt, however, I used multiple planner pages and layered them to create a focal point of paper mats. Not only do I think that it enhances the interest of the page… but it also adds a depth that looks almost real! This one’s definitely a keeper for me…

 

[see link here for credits]

But planner kits contain more than just papers. What about those cute little stickers, tags and other embellishments? You could use them individually, of course, but here I wanted to showcase how to use them purely as design elements. So I have used them to form leading lines on the page… arranging them in a flower or any other interesting shape. The possibilities, again, are endless…

 

[see link here for credits]

And how could I not also create a traditional planner page?! As you can see, this is messy, colourful, and random… but that’s the beauty of it. To mimic my own physical daily planner/journal, I tried couple of things here. I have focused on the shadowing a bit more, again to give that realistic look. For example, when I was placing those planner pages as though they were attached to the journal, I used clipping masks to reveal the binder holes beneath selectively and then added a large shadow. I won’t lie — that took some time, but I like the end result!

 

[see link here for credits]

So there it is… my little venture into the world of planners, and using these great digital planner products for other purposes! As you can see, there are no rules here or right/wrong ways of using them; you can experiment and find a style that works for you. Hope this post has given you some ideas and more importantly piqued your curiosity! If you do try some of the above styles or come up with your own, please share with us in the gallery. I would love to see them!


Profile pic avatar small

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.

Feature Friday | Jimbo Jambo Designs

Once again, it’s Feature Friday… and this week, we are super excited to introduce you to Jimbo Jambo Designs! The designer behind Jimbo Jambo Designs is my dear Aga, whom I’ve known for the past few years. When I first saw her designs, I was blown away! Her templates are so unique and they have always stood out; I can always recognize her work, no matter which gallery I am viewing. After falling in love with her work, I reached out to her to declare my digi crush on her designs(!)… and sweet as she is, she took pity on me 😉 and offered me a role on her creative team. We’ve been friends ever since, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that!

I’m proud to showcase just a few of my favorite products from the Jimbo Jambo Designs product catalog —

To get to know Aga a little better, I asked her a few questions. Here is what she had to say…

Where do you live?
I live in Spain but I’m leaving it next month to travel around. I will not be staying in one place for too long!

When you’re not designing, what do you do with your time?
Designing is not my full-time job, so actually I design in my free time. I’m also fond of photography, reading books, and sports.

What are 5 tidbits of trivia we might not know about you?
— I come from Poland.
— I love traveling and I’m always planning new trips.
— I haven’t studied anything connected with art but economy.
— I love action movies — the ones that usually men love.
— I can’t stand pastel colours (now you know why I normally use the strong colours in my templates)! 🙂

Which of your products is your favorite?
I think my favorite one at this point is Tickety Boo

And now, here are a selection of gorgeous pages made with Aga’s unique and versatile templates…

I am so glad to have had the opportunity to help you get to know Jimbo Jambo Designs a little better today! Now that I have you drooling over all of the digi loveliness she creates… your next step will be to go check out her shop here at The Digital Press and take advantage of the 30% OFF SALE IN HER STORE throughout this entire week (the sale will end at 11:59pm ET on Thurs 10/27). Enjoy, and happy scrapping!


Pallavi

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

Tutorial Tuesday | Easy Font Management

 

I have to admit it – I am a font addict!

Until just recently, my fonts were a mess on my computer… and believe it or not, all 1600 were installed in the Windows font folder. This slowed down my machine when using text in any program. Oops! In the past, I had used “The Font Thing” to organize my fonts — but when it stopped operating with this newer computer, I was lost. Good news — I have found a fantastic little freeware program called NexusFont, which has proved to be a perfect replacement for me.

This program catalogs all of the fonts on your computer and then allows you to sort fonts into categories that you, yourself, can set up. For me, the best thing is that I can access any of my fonts… no matter where they are stored on my computer (and from any program, even though they are not actually installed). Fantastic!

To start out, you can download the NexusFont program HERE*.

*NOTE: this is a program that is only available for those who are using Windows as their operating system

 

Once you install the program, you will see under Library (left panel) that there is a folder called Installed. This folder contains all the fonts currently installed on your computer and located in the windows/font folder. Under this there will be a heading Collection but until you set up collections (ie categories for your fonts) this will be empty.

After organizing all my fonts, this is what my main screen looks like when I have one of my Collections (Typewriter fonts) highlighted.

 

So what do you do after you have installed the program?

  1. First, add any font folders you have (of fonts not installed and located in your windows font folder) to the Library by right clicking on Library and selecting New Folder Group. I have created 2 folder groups – one for purchased fonts and one for free downloaded fonts. You can then right click on this new folder group and select Add Folder.  This will allow you to navigate to the relevant font storage folder on your computer so that you can add this to your Library.
  2. Set up your Collections by right clicking on Collection and selecting New Collection. My collections include Serif, Sans Serif, Hand Printing, Hand Script, Typewriter, Wingdings, Grunge, Stencil or Stamp etc.
  3. Type in a sentence into the display panel so that you can preview the fonts.
  4. You can add fonts to Collections either using drag and drop to drag fonts from any folder in your Library to one or more of the collections or right clicking on a font and selecting the category (see following screenshot). And one of the best things is that you can put a font into more than one Collection! Note that if you have a large number of fonts as I did, this will take you a few days to complete.

 

 

Once everything is set up, it is much easier to search for types of fonts just by clicking on one of your Collections. It certainly saves time. On a recent page I was looking for a particular chalk font, so clicked on the CrayonChalk collection above and only had to search through 23 fonts rather than 1600. And best of all it so easy to compare fonts.

One of the other features of this program which I love are that it is easy to find duplicate fonts even though they may be named differently. Just go to Tools and select Find Duplicate Fonts. Easy! The program found over 50 in my folders which I then just deleted.

 

And a handy fact — remember earlier that I said that you do not have to install the fonts to be able to use them. All you have to do is open NexusFont before using the text tool in Photoshop and all fonts within the NexusFont Library will be available to you. This is so handy! You can install and uninstall fonts straight from the NexusFont program itself.

NexusFont would have to be one of the best programs for those of us who love fonts and who use Windows as our operating system. Why not download it and start rediscovering some of your lost fonts? 🙂

Postscript: In the latest Windows update, there were changes to font management and this slowed down the loading of fonts in NexusFont. The workaround, if this occurs for you, is to disable Windows Font Cache Service. I did this and NexusFont is now running as quickly as it was before the update.


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

 

 

 

 

Hybrid How-To | Halloween Decor

 

I love decorating for different seasons and holidays and my absolute favourite is to decorate for halloween. I love everything about Halloween …and today I am going to show you how to make a few fun decor items — Halloween candles and 3D stars.

All digital items I used for these projects can be found in the Fright | Kit by Sahin Designs here at The Digital Press.

 

First, we’ll do the stars.

I found a PDF template online for the star shape, but the lines were dotted, so I used it to make a PSD template that I could clip each of the papers to. I printed out different sizes using different combinations of papers. You can cut out your stars by hand, or using a digital cutter. Here’s an example of one of my stars before printing…


Once all my stars were cut out, I scored the fold lines. This is done on the back of the star from each tip, through the center to the other side.

Turn your stars over and fold each tip, aligning the other tips with other to get a precise fold. You only crease from the center to the tip, not the other side. Then fold in between the tips with valley folds, as shown here…

Here’s a look at the finished products… stars of all sizes!

Now for the candles.

Print your desired images onto tissue paper [for more detailed instructions on printing on tissue paper, you can refer to one of my previous posts here or Arielle’s post here].

Cut your tissue to size, and use a hairdryer to heat the candle. You will see the tissue “disappear” into the wax. Be careful, your hands may get get hot… just give them a break every now and then and work your way around the candle…

Here’s a look at the candles once the tissue paper image has adhered on/into the wax of the candles…

I also printed the frame from the kit in a few different sizes… and cut them out with my paper cutter (I use a Silhouette) to add on my wall, along with the stars…

And that’s it! So simple! If you give it a try, definitely come post your final product in the gallery (and even join the monthly Hybrid Challenge and earn points toward discounts and free stuff at TDP!).

Happy Halloween!


About the Author  Amanda found digital scrapbooking in 2006, as a paper scrapper who was frustrated with the limitations of paper scrapping products. She now loves to combine paper and digital products and techniques for her pages and projects. She is the wife of a Naval Officer and has two teenage children. She lives in Australia, and has also lived in the U.S and Malaysia and loves that she has had the opportunity to travel the world with her family.

Feature Friday | Mari Koegelenberg

 

Hello and welcome to a new Feature Friday! Today we are getting to know designer Mari Koegelenberg a little better. Mari is the designer behind Mari Koegelenberg Creations (the name gave that one away, didn’t it?!), where you will find beautiful floral designs right next to cute and whimsical papers — some featuring dogs, cats, cacti, raccoons, donuts, and just about anything else you could wish for! Not only does Mari create digital scrapbooking kits and pocket style scrapping supplies, she also has amazing cutting files and planner kits in her collection of products, as well.

Here are just a few of the brilliant products you will find in her store at The Digital Press:

To get to know Mari a little better, we asked her a few questions…

Where do you live?
The Central Coast of California

When you’re not designing, what do you do with your time?
Planning and decorating… I just bought a house with a separate office! Pinterest is my bestest friend.

What are 5 tidbits of trivia we might not know about you?
LOL! I have been doing this for so long and this question always comes up, so at this point there probably aren’t 5 things people don’t know about me yet… but if this is your fist time learning about me, then let’s go with these…
—I am double-jointed and can do a weird pop thing with my thumb.
—My eyes are 2 different colors.
—I would never, ever wear yellow BUT I love using it in kits!
—When I grow up, I want to be a monster truck driver.
—When I laugh (which happens a lot) I do a pig snort which usually just leads to more uncontrollable laughter… which means I am NOT a good person to sneak around with being quiet, it just isn’t possible!

Which of your products is your favorite?
Smart Cat and Plan With Me

mari2

And now, here are a selection of pages and projects made with Mari’s gorgeous products:

mari3

So there you have it, a little insider information about Mari Koegelenberg, and a peek at some of her gorgeous digital goodies! If you still need any more of a nudge to go and check out her store, then you are in luck — because Mari’s store will be 30% OFF throughout all of this week, so this is the perfect moment to browse all her products, and grab yourself a bargain (the sale will end on Thursday 10/20 at 11:59pm ET). Happy Scrapping!


CorrinAbout the Author  Corrin is on the creative team here at The Digital Press. She is a fan of the Big Bang Theory and a lover of cozy pajamas. She lives in the currently-sunny but breezy South of England with her husband and 4 crazy kids, who regularly discover & plunder her secret chocolate stashes! She is still trying to get the house straight after moving 2 years ago. Who knows… maybe this will be the year she reaches the bottom of the laundry pile!