Feature Friday | Juno Designs

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

This week, I’m very happy to be highlighting the amazingly talented Jill of Juno Designs. This is Jill’s second feature here on the blog (you can find her first feature from September 2016 HERE)… and whereas last year we used our feature series to help you get to know some fun trivia about your favorite designers — this year, we’re going to use our designer feature series to give you a little peek into our designers’ creative spaces and more insight into their creative processes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Tutorial Tuesday | Creating Your Own Shadow Styles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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


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

Hybrid How-To | Create A Robot Party Favor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tanya

About the Author  Tanya is a part of the hybrid team here at The Digital Press. She has been hybrid crafting for at least 14 years now, and loves creating and sharing those creations with others. Her all-time favorite tool is her Silhouette Cameo. She has been married for 28 years to her high school sweetheart, Richard and has two sons: Chris, 25 and Chance, 20. She also enjoys crocheting, photography and woodworking

Feature Friday | Sahin Designs

It’s Friday, and time for another Feature Friday post. I am so excited to bring you more about Elif of Sahin Designs! Elif is a 25-year old graphic designer from Turkey, and this is her second feature at TDP (you can find her first feature from July 2016 HERE)… and whereas last year we used our feature series to help you get to know some fun trivia about your favorite designers — this year, we’re using our designer feature series to give you a little peek into our designers’ creative spaces, and more insight into their creative processes.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

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Tutorial Tuesday | Documenting Kids’ Artwork

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

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

STEP 1: RECORD IT

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

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

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

STEP 2: DOCUMENT IT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


caliten

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

Feature Friday | Sherry Ferguson

Can you believe that it’s already the last Friday of February? Our bi-annual Pennysaver event has just flown right by (and there are just 5 days left to score yourself a deal, so don’t miss it!)!

As always, Fridays at The Digital Press mean that it’s Feature Friday time — and today we are here to help you get to know TDP Designer Sherry Ferguson a little bit better. This is Sherry’s second feature here on the blog (you can find her first feature from July 2016 HERE)… and whereas last year we used our feature series to help you get to know some fun trivia about your favorite designers — this year, we’re using our designer feature series to give you a little peek into our designers’ creative spaces, and more insight into their creative processes.

With that in mind… let’s take a peek into Sherry’s creative space! This is where the magic happens…

What a pretty space she has! When describing it to us, she said because “my work space is in the bedroom, I have to keep things pretty plain and neutral.” I don’t think this is plain at all, however — it’s very elegant! As you can see… even though her desk/work space might be in her bedroom (1)… she still has the tools she needs, such as her tablet for drawing her adorable designs (2)… as well as some fun inspirational home decor (3)!

We also asked Sherry for a Top 5 list that was representative of herself at this point in life… and she chose to share a list of the Top 5 Songs She’s Listening To Lately. Music is such an interesting way to get to know someone… so we love this list!

Sherry’s “Top 5 Songs I’m Listening to Lately”…

  1. Back to God by Reba McEntire — it has such a great message, and it’s uplifting in a world that seems to have gone crazy sometimes
  2. Fast by Luke Bryan — about how fast life moves and how you’d just like to slow it down sometimes
  3. Love Triangle by RaeLynn — a sad song, but not what you would think from the title
  4. How I’ll Always Be by Tim McGraw — to me, it’s about staying true to your roots and enjoying the simple things in life
  5. Dirt on My Boots by Jon Pardi — because it’s fun and has a good beat… and every playlist needs a little fun

 

Speaking of fun… let’s look at Sherry’s products! I love her designs because her kits are always full of fun papers with bold patterns, and yet she makes sure to include some neutrals, as well, for balance! Her products are versatile too; she makes a bunch of kits with funky themes that are also perfect for scrapping everyday life.

Here’s a look at some of my favorite products by Sherry, which show you just how talented she is…

Here’s a sampling of some projects that have been made using Sherry’s products, so you can see what I mean, above, about her designs being versatile enough to be used by all types of scrappers for all different types of pages and projects…

Her kits definitely appeal to many different people, and they’re really fun to work with. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know her (and her fun, fresh designs) just a little better today. Don’t forget that this weeek, her shop at The Digital Press will be 30% OFF during her Featured Designer week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on 3/2). This makes now the perfect time to pick up some of your favorite products from her shop!

Additionally, Sherry has a special Free-with-Purchase offer for everyone this week! You can snag her Follow Your Arrow kit for FREE with any $10+ purchase in her shop — this week only!

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Robin

About the author  Robin is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. A wife of 25 years and a mom of 4 crazy children (2 in college and 2 still at home), she says that her life occurs mostly in the car as she transports said crazy kids to their many, many homeschool activities. When not driving, Robin loves to make her family cringe by pulling out her camera again (and again, and again…).

 

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Tutorial Tuesday | The Field Blur Technique

I have a hunch that I’m not the only member of Apple’s demographic who was excited to get the new iPhone 7 just for the upgraded camera! Yes, I confess, it’s true.

One of my favorite features of the new iPhone 7 camera is the Portrait Mode on the camera. In this mode, you set the focus to your subject and the background blurs out… as if you were taking the shot with a DSLR to control the depth of field. The resulting shot can be really dramatic and look quite professional — even for point-and-click phone camera photographers.

Here’s a look at the difference…

Because I loved this effect so much, I wondered (a) what could non-iPhone 7 users do to achieve the same result? …and (b) whether there was an easy method I could use in Photoshop to achieve this effect on older photos, for use on my scrapbook pages. Photoshop did not disappoint. I checked out the Field Blur filters and found that it is super easy (like, 2 minutes or less!) to create the same effect. Here’s how it’s done…

1. Open your photo in Photoshop (*NOTE* I’m using Photoshop CC 2017 for the following examples)

2. Choose Filter > Blur Gallery > Field Blur

3. You’ll wind up with a little pin graphic pointer which you can use to drop multiple pins in strategic places on your photo. Each pin drop tells Photoshop to blur that surround area to the level you specify using the adjustment ring (the circle around the center of the pin). To adjust any pin, click on the adjustment ring and drag your mouse around the wheel to the desired level. A setting of “0” means that no blurring will happen in that area.

*NOTE* To get the look you want, you’ll have to experiment and place multiple pins. What I found to work best for me was to place a “row” of pins within the boundaries of the subject… but toward the outer edge, and then also place another “row” of pins just outside the boundaries of the subject. On the inner row, I set all of the blurs to “0” and on the ring (just outside the subject), I set all of those higher (I used “25”).

4. I also dropped a couple of other pins around the rest of the image (outside the subject) to ensure that the entire background was blurred. The beauty of this technique is that you can adjust the blur intensity on each pin, in case there are areas where you need to ease into a more intense blur over a span of the image. You can always move any one pin (or delete it) by clicking and dragging on the center of the pin.

5. If you’re curious to see how the mask looks without the image, hold down “M” and you’ll be able to see the blur mask. Wherever you see white… that’s where blur is applied. Black areas are protected (no blur), and gray areas are areas of partial blur.

6. When you’re finished, click “OK” at the top of the filter window.

That’s all there is to it! It’s a technique that is super easy, once you get the hang of it!

Here’s a comparison of the photo straight from my iPhone 7 with Portrait Mode (left), and the one I doctored up in Photoshop (right)…

Pretty close, right?? The effect really makes your subject pop, and takes out any distracting background features.

Here’s a layout that I created using my image, along with KimB Designs’ Be Brave Kit and a template from Stripped Down (Vol 1) Templates by Laura Passage…

 


ShannonAbout the Author  Shannon has been completely addicted to digiscrapping since she began in early 2016 (though she’s been a scrapper since 2000). Her early morning ritual of a few quiet hours of scrapping while sipping a chai tea is her favorite part of each day. She is also the owner of a web design company, and when she’s not at the computer designing websites or digiscrap layouts, she’s probably hiking one of the local mountains in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. She is an avid reader and loves to travel to foreign countries.

Hybrid How-To | Bag Toppers

My daughter passed out donuts to her entire 5th grade class for Valentine’s Day. She wanted to add a little card or something she could sign her name to, so I whipped up these bag toppers we could staple to ziplock bags. It was such a quick project… and I was thinking it would be just perfect for any party favor. Throw the candy/treats/toys into any size bag and add the personalized topper. Fun and simple!

The first thing I did was measure the width of the bag. I used regular old sandwich bags for the donuts… each of which measured about 6.5″ wide. I wanted the front of the design to be 1.5″ x 6.5″ — making the total dimension for each topper (front and back) 3″ x 6.5″.

To do this, I clipped patterned paper to a simple rectangular template I made (see image, below), and then I designed the front of the topper using digital elements from the same kit. I kept my design flat — so it ended up being a simple flat digital design that I could easily print off (i.e. no extra cutting or assembling of extra embellishments/layers). I thought it would be easier that way since I was making like 30 of them. 😉

*PRO TIP* When creating your rectangular designs… make sure the “front” of the design stays on the bottom half of the template so it won’t be folded over to the back once you attach them to the bags.

After creating the design in Photoshop… the next step is to print, cut, and fold each topper in half. I filled all my bags with donuts, sealed the bags, and then stapled the toppers onto the zippered portion of the bags…

Here’s a look at the back (left) and front (right) of one of my topper designs…

This project literally took me about an hour from designing the toppers in Photoshop to completing the finished project — with no fancy cutting machine required. I hope you’ll give it a try!


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

Feature Friday | LJS Designs

 

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s time for another edition of our Feature Friday series… this time, starring the wonderful Lorie of LJS Designs. Lorie is a single mother (to a 25 year old son), and she has been designing for about 3-1/2 years now. By day, she works for an international fruit company as a production planning supervisor, and she loves coming to her home office where she can be artistic and creative in peace and quiet.

This is Lorie’s second feature here at TDP (you can find her first feature article from September 2016 HERE)… and whereas last year we used our feature series to help you get to know some fun trivia about your favorite designers — this year, we’re going to use our designer feature series to give you a little peek into our designers’ creative spaces, and more insight into their creative processes.

With that in mind, here’s a peek at Lorie’s creative space…

When talking about her work space, Lorie said, “my work space is located in my basement in my home office/laundry room.  I love the combination for three reasons: (1) my laundry is always caught up… (2) in the past, the noise from the washer and dryer would drown out any noise from my son or the TV or the dogs, or most anything else… and (3) it is always warm! For someone who is always cold, those warm comfy spots are really important.”

Additionally, we also asked Lorie to share with us a Top 5 list that is representative of herself at this point in her life… and as a huge Disney fan, she decided to share her Top 5 Favorite Disney Characters (she recently celebrated her 50th Birthday at Disney World, and as you can see she had a lot of fun)…

Lorie’s Top 5 Favorite Disney Characters…

  1. Belle from Beauty and The Beast. I love to read and am often lost in a book, so I totally relate to Belle. I appreciate her sense of self, that she is not afraid to be different, and that she is a dreamer. But what what makes her my favorite is her ability to see with her heart, and not just her eyes. In a world that too often judges a book by its cover, I appreciate that Belle reads each line of every page until she understands the whole story. It’s also really cool that it is Belle’s ability to see beyond the Beast’s exterior and love him for who he is, that saves him, which kinda makes her the hero in the end. I love tough chicks!
  2. Rolly from 101 Dalmatians. Rolly was the chubby puppy in 101 Dalmatians who was always hungry — which I can also relate to — but that is not the reason I love him. I love him because when my son was little he used to imitate Rolly’s big line in the movie when he was ready for supper… telling me, “but Mama, I’m hungry. I’m really hungry.” It always made me smile then, and the memory still makes me smile now.
  3. Captain America. Now, I know he is not the traditional Disney character… but he is part of Disney, and he is my superhero super crush (and thus, he made the list!). It helps that Chris Evans is a total hottie, but really I love Cap because of his old fashioned values, his sense of honor, and his unwavering loyalty to his country and friends. In Winter Soldier when he tells Bucky (who is beating the tar out of him at the time), “Then finish it. ‘Cause I’m with you ’til the end of the line…” I want to swoon. Seriously, I don’t care how old he is, I’d date him.
  4. Winnie the Pooh. I have to say that for a bear full of fluff and hunny, who is a terrible speller like I am, Pooh is really rather smart in all the ways that matter. He appreciates good food, good friends, and good times… and is not afraid to talk about the important stuff. One of my favorite quotes comes from Pooh: “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.” He’s got a place in my heart for sure.
  5.  Mickey Mouse. If you’re a Disney fan, then you gotta love the mouse that started it all, right? Everything about Mickey is great, but I think I like his giggle best. As a giggler myself, I can totally appreciate the joy behind it. Disney and Mickey are magic to me. They allow me to let go of the serious side that usually rules my personality and embrace my inner child. I did a lot of giggling on my recent birthday trip, and felt like I was turning five, not fifty. It was a wonderful gift. Did I mention that Mickey sang Happy Birthday to me? It was awesome!

 

Just like her personality — Lorie’s designs are always full of color! Also, they contain a wealth of elements — many of which are hand-drawn and distinctly her own! She is especially talented at putting together themed kits. She also makes some wonderful blocked template sets, as well, which are perfect for pocket scrapbookers (and also for those of us who simply have too many photos!). 😉

If you haven’t ever had a chance to do so… you will love looking through the LJS Designs at The Digital Press! Here’s a peek at just a fews of my favorite products…

Additionally, here are some layouts that were created using some of Lorie’s fun product offerings…

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little bit about Lorie! To celebrate her week as our Featured Designer at The Digital Press, the entire LJS Designs Store will be 30% OFF this week (the sale will end at 11:59 EST on Thursday 2/23).

Additionally, Lorie has a special Free-with-Purchase offer for everyone! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to stock up on your favorite products from LJS Designs… and you can snag her entire “Summer Fun: At Walt’s Place” Collection for FREE with any $10+ purchase in her shop — this week only!

 


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

 

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Tutorial Tuesday | Creative Journaling

I recently found out that breaking up is easy to do! Oh it’s okay, really… I’m only talking about breaking up the journaling on my digital scrapbook pages. 😉 I’m here today to share some tips for this process.

One of the reasons I am so passionate about digital scrapbooking is because the pages I am creating today will be a legacy for future generations to enjoy years from now! I am in the process of creating books for our two beautiful grandbabies, and I try to include as much information as possible on each page.

While I’m comfortable with journaling on the pages, I have recently felt that I am in a rut with regards to the actual placement of the journaling. Simply put, I realized that my process was only to “find a spot I like and start typing and stop when the story ends.” The journaling I do is usually along one edge or the other – or smack dab in the center of the page. I have been known to ramble… and ramble… so I started thinking more about the placement and how it affected the visual composition of the page.

When I created the page shown below, I concentrated on breaking up the journaling. I wanted the words to become part of the overall design of the page, and I wanted them to flow together with the photos and the other elements of the layout.

I realized that by breaking up the journaling on the page, it gave the reader a little visual break. Perhaps even a chance to contemplate what they just read before moving on… or a breaking point to examine the photos after reading part of the story… or simply to admire the other aspects of the page. It also allows the eye to flow around the page rather than concentrating on one big block of text.

Here are a few tips you can employ in order to break up your journaling while scrapping your memories…

  • Use your title work to break up the sentences/paragraphs (this technique is shown above)
  • Similarly, you can break up your story by placing word art and/or elements right in with the journaling itself
  • Align the text differently throughout your page (right / left / center… you’ll note, above, that I changed the alignment depending on which side of the page the journaling appeared)
  • Use “bullet” type journaling — placing the bullet points randomly around your page
  • Place the photos and elements on the page first, then fit the journaling to align with the photos (something I did when I created the page shown above)

There are many more ways to achieve this, but I hope the tips I’ve shared here have at least given you a bit of journaling inspiration today! Thanks for stopping by the blog for another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series… and until next time, “Happy Scrapping!”

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Jill WAbout the Author  Jill has been digiscrapping since 2006 when she came across it (quite by accident) while Googling “computer crafts.” Since that time, her love for the hobby has only increased! Her love of photography melds perfectly with digital scrapping, and she is thrilled that she has the opportunity to be part of The Digital Press creative team!

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Feature Friday | KimB Designs

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Feature Friday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today, I am super excited to be showcasing the talented Kim of KimB Designs! This is Kim’s second feature here at TDP (you can find her first feature article from June 2016 HERE)… and whereas last year we used our feature series to help you get to know some fun trivia about your favorite designers — this year, we’re going to use our designer feature series to give you a little peek into our designers’ creative spaces, and more insight into their creative processes.

So with that in mind, here is a look at Kim’s creative space… where you’ll often find her scanning real-life items, extracting them in Photoshop, and converting all of it into the finished digital products we have all come to know and love…

When speaking about her office space, above, Kim said… “Due to three house moves in the last 6 years, my office space has become a little boring and minus any interesting and creative decor. With another move coming up in 6 months, lets just say it’s going to stay like that LOL! I share my space with my hubby who uses his desk (now my adopted scanning and printing area) only on the odd occasion. I’m lucky enough to have big sliding doors which stay open to the pool and backyard right through the year. Nothing like fresh air to keep the old brain active.”

We also asked Kim to share with us a Top 5 list that is representative of herself at this point in her life… and she chose to share a list of Top 5 Things She Currently Needs to Keep Herself Sane (which makes sense, from someone who is smack in the middle of a long-distance move that involves building a new house, as well!)…

Kim’s Top 5 (okay, 6! haha) Things She Currently Needs to Keep Herself Sane…
“Due to seemingly living on an airplane right now (an ill father, a move, and our new house in progress)… these are my constant desk/sanity companions without which I cannot live…”

  1. House plan drawings, documentation, and home magazines for inspiration (when I get the time to browse them, that is). Having to constantly answer questions from the architects and builders while on the fly means these have to be at my fingertips for quick access.
  2. My bluetooth speaker, which is permanantly playing music (anything from the 70’s right through to new house music… an eclectic mix, just like my designing) — and a little furry fellow that was a gift from one of my fellow designers from overseas, which makes me smile every time I see him sitting on my external drives (keeping them safe LOL).
  3. Reading glasses (old age sucks!), my sketch book, pencil, fineliner (for the times I doodle and get inspired for a kit I want to design), and a diary which is my saving grace right now.
  4. COFFEE… and I wish it had an automatic refill button! LOL
  5. My constant companion, Pepsi, who will sit with me under my desk all day until I get off for the day…
  6. My phone… permanently on charge next to me as it rings all day recently thanks to the home building (and of course it’s the lifeline to my family).

As for Kim’s products and design style… she creates lovely digital scrapbooking kits, stamps, templates, and more. Her designs are perfect for the everyday scrapper, the pocket scrapper, the scrapper who likes a more minimalist style, and even those scrappers whose style falls in more of an art journaling realm. Kim’s designs have a whimsical and fun feeling to them. You can tell she takes time and puts heart into her art. There is no mistaking a kit/collection made by Kim, and you will be hard-pressed to find another one like it!

Don’t just take my word for it, though… have a peek! Here is just a sampling of what you will find in the KimB Designs shop here at The Digital Press…

See?! I told you she has some fantastic, fun, and original designs! 🙂

If you are anything like me, though, you also like to see products in action. Here are some layouts that were created using Kim’s designs…

And there you have it, everyone! I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about Kim, and I have no doubt you will adore to find out that Kim’s shop here at the Digital Press will be 30% OFF all week! (the sale will end at 11:59 EST on Thursday 2/16). Check your wishlist, and don’t miss out on this great chance to clear it at a discount!

Additionally, this week only — you can snag the following FREE KIT with any $10+ purchase in the KimB Designs shop at The Digital Press! Exciting stuff…


IMG_20160814_144851_e

About the Author  La’Shawn Castings is a creative team member here at The Digital Press. She is a 30-something, full-time working, nerdy, somewhat lazy, digi-scrapping, photo taking, college football loving, panda obsessed, yellow wearing, Harry Potter nerding, Doctor Who watching, historical fiction reading, southern wife & mom.

Tutorial Tuesday | Combining Templates

Do you ever struggle to find a template that’s just right for the photos you’re trying to scrap? If so, I have a quick tip for you today!

I love using templates to speed up my scrapping while also making layouts with a beautiful design. Sometimes, though, I can’t find the perfect template to match my photos/topic. What’s a scrapper to do, you ask? My solution: combine templates to create one that perfectly suits my images!

For the example I’m showing you today, I chose to work with a template set from our newest designer at The Digital Press — Jen C Designs’ You’ve Been Snapped Vol 1. Here is a look at the original template set (before I made any alterations to any of the templates)…

I love the layered paper background in the template shown at the top right… but I knew that I needed quite a few more photo spaces. I looked at the other templates in the set, and found the one at the bottom right, which featured three additional photo spots. I also liked the arrows on that second template!

To combine the two templates…

  • First, I opened one of the two templates (the one shown at top right, above) in Photoshop.
  • Next, I opened the second template (the one shown at bottom right, above)… and I selected all of the layers that I wanted to use and dragged them over into the first template.
  • After a few quick tweaks and a bit of re-sizing here and there… I had an all-new template that would work beautifully for my photos.

Here is a look at my resulting layout after combining the two templates…

Once you give the idea of combining templates a try, I think you will see that the possibilities are endless! You’ll never be stuck looking for the right template again… but you can still benefit from the ready-made aspects of using layered templates (paper layers, embellishment placement, page balance, etc.). It really stretches your template stash, too… as you can use each template as-is, and then combine them to create new options from the same set!

I hope you’ll give combining templates a try… and if you do, I’d love to see your finished page! Load it up in the gallery at TDP, and leave me a link to it in the comments, below. 🙂


About the Author  Katie is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and their four sweet but crazy boys. When she’s not dodging Nerf bullets or trying to dig out from under the never-ending pile of laundry, she enjoys photography, cooking, going to Disney World with her family, and, of course, digital scrapbooking.

Hybrid How-to | Creating a Hybrid Page Using a Digital Template

Hi everyone, It’s Saturday and time for another edition of our Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press blog!  Today, I’m here to help show you how easy it is to create a hybrid page using a digital template.

I love working with paper and physical elements/stamps, but sometimes I also miss being able to change things and make adjustments like I can with my digital layouts… so hybrid projects are my favorite way to make pages. The best of both worlds! I also think digital kits are a fantastic way to stretch our crafty budgets; we can print and cut as many times as we like.

When I make a hybrid page, I like to use the digital templates I have in my stash… and let me tell you, it’s really fun and easy!

For the layout I am making for today’s tutorial, I used two different digital products — a template from Sahin Designs — January 2017 Layered template 1

…as well as a digital kit by Little Lamm & Co. — Nonpareil Scrapbook Kit

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’d like to celebrate my loves, so I’ll be making a page about them.

I’ll start out by creating my page in Photoshop, using my digital template and the digital items that I plan to print out. Here’s a look at the template, before I begin working…

…and here’s a look at the template once I’ve added my photo, digital papers, and embellishments…

After I have all of my printable items sized the way I want, I separate each of the pieces (see image, below right) and save them all as a PNG file to print and fussy cut. Although I have a Silhouette Cameo, sometimes I simply fussy cut just because I love it!

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I also print out the papers for the larger circles… and these I actually cut with my Silhouette Cameo (see full printed papers in image, below right)…

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As you can see, I duplicated some elements. I do this often just because I want to have some cute stash ready to use.

Here are my pieces printed and cut…

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After I have all my pieces cut out, I just put them back together on a physical 12×12 page and then add my elements, stamps, hand-stitching, and some spray ink splatters, as shown here…

And there you have it! A beautiful hybrid page without all the guesswork or the need to re-print several times to get things right. 🙂

If you’d like to give this a try, too, don’t forget that you can earn challenge points at TDP! Come visit the CROSSWORD SECTION in The Digital Press forum, and you’ll find this month’s Hybrid Challenge thread (for each month’s Hybrid Challenge at TDP, you get to choose one of the month’s “Hybrid How-To” tutorial posts from here on the blog and make your own version). If you choose to give today’s project a try… all you have to do is make a hybrid page using some digital elements and papers, along with a digital template as your foundation for the composition of the page. You’ll see how fun it is! Give it a shot, and share your final results with us! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Have a great weekend you guys, and happy scrapping!


AndreaAbout the Author  Andrea Albuquerque is part of the Hybrid Creative Team here at Digital Press. Andrea has been a scrapper since 2010 and a photographer since 2012. Although she adores the flexibility and creativity of digital, she can’t resist playing with paper, paint, and embellishments… so hybrid scrapping is the perfect medium for her! She lives in Brazil with her hubby.

Feature Friday | Jen C Designs

Happy Friday to one and all, and welcome to another edition of our Feature Friday series! Today I’m here to help everyone get know Jen (of Jen C Designs) a little bit better! She is the newest designer at The Digital Press, and we are so delighted to have her fantastic selection of layered templates in the shop here on a permanent basis!

Jen is a template designer with a knack for unique, trendy, and creative page designs. Her templates are easy to use and easy to personalize to match your own style of scrapbooking. Her products save time, while also encouraging us to continue with our memory-keeping by making it such an effortless process! Her designs are definitely reflective of her motto — making your memories scraptacular!

Here are a few examples of the beautiful products you will find in her store here at The Digital Press

Jen’s templates always inspire creativity! Here are some layout examples that use her templates…

As we noted in last week’s Feature Friday post… in 2017, we’re using our designer feature series not only to introduce you to each designer and her products, but also to give you a little peek into each designer’s creative space (and a little more insight into each of their creative processes!). So with that in mind, here’s a peek at Jen’s workspace arrangement…

Jen-C-Designs_workspace

Additionally, we also asked Jen to share with us a Top 5 list that is representative of herself at this point in her life… and she chose to share her Top 5 Must-Have Apps, as shown here…

Jen’s Top 5 Must-Have Apps (in her words)…

  1. PINTEREST — It’s not often that a simple app can do so much! It’s the perfect place to be inspired, to relax, to be motivated, to be encouraged, to feel like maybe this time my chocolate chip cookies will turn out a wee bit better! Or maybe that my New Years resolutions (long since discarded) could still be shifted into a mid-year resolution. As a designer, I love the “secret board” function — I’ve used it for colour palette hoarding (though I have plans to organize them into a slightly more sensible fashion and start sharing them for others to see!). For scrapping there’s no shortage of inspiration to be found from around the papercrafting and digiscrap world!
  2. NETFLIX — Sure, it’s another relatively obvious choice… but there is a reason that millions of people love it! By way of recommendations, I love… Once Upon a Time, Designated Survivor, Suits, and Lewis (to mention my most current list of recently viewed box sets). As I watch while I design, I often have to skip back a bit (and quite frequently) to keep on top of what I’m watching! But as a parent, the most important feature is the fact that we can have separate profiles. It means I can monitor what my kids are watching while they don’t accidentally click on recently-watched episodes of Black Mirror!
  3. CANDY CRUSH SAGA — Everyone needs a game to play, and this one is definitely my favourite. I don’t have time to keep up with time-constraints and quests. But I do love some candy-crushing relaxation.
  4. KINDLE — I wish I could spend as many hours reading as I do watching TV, but designing plus life means that’s not possible (due to the functional limitation of being unable to read lines on a page, turning pages, all while using Illustrator or Photoshop)! Kindle has renewed my love for reading — I used to read a book a day as a child/teen! — but BookBub (a free daily newsletter) has introduced me to dozens of new authors I’d never have come across otherwise! While in some cases you get what you pay for, it’s easy to just delete the book when you lose nothing for doing so! Plus you can set your own preferences for the reading selection which is sent out to you.
  5. EVERNOTE — I simply cannot live without this app! I use it for organizing everything! Between setting reminders, brainstorming, tracking my progress, sharing documents/inspiration with my CT, and many other uses… I’ve found it to be an invaluable source of sanity over the last couple of years since it was first shared with me. It’s much easier than using just Pinterest — as I can collect images and write notes that correspond with them, as well as use the integration with my calendar.

So tell us… which, if any, of those apps are you already addicted to? And which are you now excited to check out now that they’ve got the official “Jen C Stamp Of Approval”? 😉

As you can clearly see, Jen is an awesome asset to our community here at The Digital Press, and we’re so happy that she has decided to stick around on a permanent basis after her guest spot in January! To celebrate her feature week, her entire shop will be on sale 30% OFF throughout the coming week (sale will end at 11:59pm ET on Thurs 2/9). We think you will definitely appreciate her creative page designs, as well as the time you’ll save using her products!

Additionally, this week only — you can snag the following FREE TEMPLATE SET with any $5+ purchase in the Jen C Designs shop at The Digital Press! Exciting stuff…


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 | Scrap Your Current Favorites

I often find myself struggling to ensure that I’m present in our family’s scrapbooks. Anyone else have this trouble?

Often, it’s just easier to focus on all of the photos and stories about my children, my husband, and our other friends and family. It’s easy to simply forget to ensure that I’m present, too! Today I’m here to share a few ways for you to easily document yourself and your life when you’re preserving your family’s memories.

One simply way to ensure that you are included in your memory-keeping is to create a monthly “Current Favorites” layout that captures the things you’re enjoying in any given month. It’s almost like adding a time capsule to your scrapbook… you will be amazed at how much these simple memories can transport you back into a time in the past when you are looking through an album!

For myself, I tend to try to capture 12 things that I enjoyed during the month. Things such as… a book I read, a food I loved, a favorite TV show, or even something I worked hard toward throughout that month.

Here are a few examples of the memories I was able to capture during 2015, using this memory-keeping technique…

The thing that I’ve come to love the most about these pages is how easy they are for me to create! I can make them simple… or add a ton of elements. I can create them with photos… or without. I can be super creative and think outside of the box with them… or I can make them very quickly and easily. No matter what, however, they afford me a great way to tell the story of MY life over 12 months. I have loved looking back at my pages over 2015, and it’s so fun to see a full year’s worth of the things that I loved. I know that it will be so fun to continue to revisit these in the years to come!

Other options to make this type of project work better for you…

  1. Change the time frame of the pages — you could create them monthly, weekly, or even just quarterly (whatever works better for you and your schedule)
  2. Finding and using a consistent template is another way to make page development quick and easy
  3. Use the same digital kit for each of your “Current Favorites” spreads, to keep things simple
  4. Switch it up and do a “Current Favorites” page for other members of your family, as well (possibly even including your pets!)
  5. Use the concept to document particular categories of favorites… such as your favorite foods, favorite TV shows, favorite books, etc.
  6. If “Current Favorites” doesn’t work for you, you can even try other titles such as “Random Highlights,” “Month in Review,” or simply “Favorites”
  7. Make an entire “Favorites” mini-album to catalog all of your favorites… documenting your thoughts, moods, trends, and treats in one album to enjoy later

I hope this overall idea might give you another way to include yourself into your scrapbooking! It really does add something special to your memory-keeping when you ensure that you and your life are represented! 🙂

Happy scrapping!


Amy

About the Author  Amy lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband of  15 years and their 11 year old boy/girl twins. Their 20-year-old daughter recently finished her final year at West Virginia University in December 2016, and will begin graduate school in the fall at Clemson! 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!

Feature Friday | Mari Koegelenberg

This week, I am excited to feature Mari Koegelenberg here on The Digital Press blog! This is Mari’s second feature here on the blog (you can find her first feature from October 2016 HERE)… and whereas last year we used our feature series to help you get to know some fun trivia about your favorite designers — this year, we’re going to use our designer feature series to give you a little peek into our designers’ creative spaces, and more insight into their creative processes.

Mari is a fellow South African (although she now lives in California) who loves to be creative and make pretty things, but “dislikes making mistakes and waiting for paint to dry.” She has worked in the scrapbooking industry since 2005 and sells her creations in digital format here at The Digital Press, but has also worked for the paper scrapbooking industry for many years (you can find her past work printed through companies such as My Mind’s Eye and Pink Paislee, among others). Her latest obsession is Memory Planning.

She loves color, and says that this is what drives the mood and themes of her collections. She loves to sketch and draw — and even if these doodles don’t end up in her products, they always serve to loosen up her muscles and get her creative blood flowing.

Here is a look at her creative space, where you’ll often find her drawing, painting, and converting all of the loveliness into the finished digital products we have all come to know and love…

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When speaking about her office space, above, Mari said this… “Last year was a crazy whirlwind of so many BIG changes. Our family moved twice — frantically searching for a home until we finally got the place of our dreams. We have always wanted an acreage… and living in the beautiful central coast area of California, the idea of being able to live off our own land and grow our own food was always something we were striving toward. We have been in our home only a few months now, and there is so much to do! But even though life is busy on our homestead… it is also so full and rich.”

She continued… “So having said that… just bear in mind that my office has not been on the top list of priorities. It might not be a dream space (yet!) but its my space and I can dream! The biggest and probably most immediate change I’d love to see would be to paint it a beautiful bright white and get rid of the dark furniture and install white countertops running on both sides of the room. Maybe also removing the dysfunctional closet and adding lots and lots of wall storage and peg boards. For now, though, I am just enjoying my lovely and inspirational wall art, and the fact that my carpet is vacuumed (!) and everything is in its proper place. Oh, and did I mention my glittery tabletop? Don’t worry, all you glitterphobes… haha! …it’s just beautiful gift wrap, covered with an acrylic sheet — and oh boy, do I love it! I also included a pic of my beautiful big baby (dog) who doesn’t understand why he is not allowed inside …boo!”

We also asked Mari to share with us a Top 5 list that is representative of herself at this point in her life… and she chose to share her Top 5 Organizational Hacks (makes sense, from someone who just moved and is getting a new home all organized, right?!)

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Mari’s Top 5 Organizational Hacks…

  1. My most-used supplies are easily accessible, and my planner supplies are mostly portable so I can just grab them and take them with me wherever I go.
  2. These Steri-lite CD containers are the perfect size for holding pocket cards, and they are stackable and clear!
  3. This next one is one of my favorite hacks 🙂 …and it’s very functional. Its the plastic stackable/hanging file boxes… I added some wheels to the bottoms, so now they just roll out from under my desk to where I can easily access them. One of them holds all my beautiful 12×12 papers and some scraps using hanging folders and labeled dividers… and the other holds my paper pads and cutting mats, etc.
  4. Painting and drawing is such a soothing and meditative task, and I love my little bin of artsy goodness! Everything I need is inside this one container, so I can grab it and go sit under the tree or on the porch or even in bed. Portability!
  5. I have started using these 6×8 binders with their corresponding clear pocket sleeves to hold all my acrylic stamps… and boy, it has made storing (and finding!) and using them so much easier!

Aren’t those some fun tips/tricks?

As for Mari’s products and design style… you will find lots of flat stickers in her digital products, which are perfect for the more traditional paper scrapbook style… as well as flowers and other dimensional goodies that are fabulous for those who mainly scrap digitally. Her kits are always bright and cheerful and fun to work with.

Here are a few samples of the designs you will find in her shop here at The Digital Press (you will find that there is something for everyone!)…

Here are some of the layouts I have created with Mari’s digital designs through the years…

 

I trust that you have enjoyed getting to know Mari a little better, and the chance to see a peek of her creative space and appreciate her creative process! Remember that her shop at The Digital Press Co will be on sale 30% OFF all week long (sale will end at 11:59pm ET on Thurs 2/2). Surely that’s all the excuse you need to visit her shop and clear your wish-list! 🙂

Additionally, this week only — you can snag the following FREE COLLECTION with any $10+ purchase in the Mari Koegelenberg shop at The Digital Press! Exciting stuff…


 

About the author  Stefanie is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She is a Mom of three older children, all living in Cape Town, South Africa, with her hubby of 29 years and their two cats. In her free time she loves digital scrapbooking, dabbling in photography, and reading.

Tutorial Tuesday | Crop Tool in Lightroom

Today we are going to talk about the crop tool in Lightroom. I absolutely love this tool, and I think you will, too!

Mainly, I love this tool when I am sorting through pictures that I would like to print and put into frames. How many times have you struggled to make the photo you want to print the right size to fit in a particular frame? If you are like me, this happens a lot! That’s where this crop tool comes in really handy.

If you are a Lightroom user, you can find the crop tool in the Develop module within the software program. First, select the picture you want to crop… and then click on “Develop” near the top right. The crop tool is a small rectangle box found just under the histogram. I have highlighted it in the picture below…

When you click on that crop button, you will see a few different options. Click on the one that says ”original” and then, in that drop-down menu, you will see various size options.

The size options are the typical photo sizes: 4×6, 5×7, etc. (basically, the most common frame sizes). There is also a custom option in case you have a frame that does not match the given sizes.

When you select a particular size, a hand icon will appear on your image. You will be able to move your image with this hand and decide what section of your image you want printed and what section you want outside the printed area.

In my image below, you can see that I have chosen the 5×7 size. Once I selected that size… I could then move the highlighted part of my image (shown below with the 9 rectangular boxes) to select the area of my image that I want included when I crop the original…

This next part is what I like the best, however… the option to easily switch between a vertical and a horizontal orientation (portrait or landscape) with a simple keystroke.

See, the thing I struggle with most when framing photos is trying to use a horizontal picture and make it fit in a vertical frame (or vice versa). It is almost like putting a square peg in a round hole, and I have wasted quite a few photo prints trying to do just that! Lightroom has a very easy fix for this, however.

Once you have selected the photo/frame size in your drop-down menu, you can simply press ”x” on your keyboard. The crop orientation will then change from horizontal to vertical and you can go about the business of moving the active area of the photo to crop it down to just the portion you would like to print. Yes, it’s that easy! I use this technique a lot! You can see the vertical crop in the picture below. You can toggle between vertical and horizontal by pressing “x” multiple times.

I hope these simple Lightroom tips and tricks will help you more quickly process and prepare your photos — whether for printing and framing, or for exporting to Photoshop in order to scrapbook them, etc.

If you have any questions… definitely feel free to reach out to me using the comments on this post, and ask away!


Pallavi

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

 

Hybrid How-To | Printing & Cutting Digital Elements

It’s Saturday… and time for another edition of our Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press’s blog! Today, I’m here to help you all see how easy (and fun!) it is to use digital embellishments in your physical projects (like mini albums, and more)!

For those of us who can’t resist pretty paper and embellishments — digital kits are a fantastic way to stretch your crafty budget. For me, patterned papers and adorable die-cuts are probably the best thing about crafting. I am always a little reluctant, however, to use pretty items from my stash because they’re just so cute. For me, the real beauty of digital products is that I can print and cut as many times as I like. Buy a digital kit once, and you can use the items contained within it again and again and again!

For the mini album project I am going to show you today, I chose two kits from The Digital Press — the Go.See.Do collection by Mari Koegelenberg, and also Laura Passage’s Project Twenty Fifteen | July kit, both shown here…


I like to choose kits that are versatile and can be used for lots of different topics or occasions. Although each of these two kits are travel-themed, there are also plenty of generic elements and papers that I know I can use for so many different purposes (and also, for other projects in the future, as well!). For instance, see those tags and labels above? Or the word art stamps, flowers, stars, etc. in this next kit…

For my project, I documented some of our family travels from 2016 in a handmade mini-album.

I used a variety of methods to create the pages. For instance, as shown in the photos below, I created pages by printing out some of the digital papers as foundations for each page; some I made rectangular, and others I notched so that they were flag/pennant-shaped.

Once I had the foundation pages, I came up with some interesting things to attach to each of them (in addition to the photos). For example, I upcycled some old clothing tags to add a bit of interest… creating a title tag with date (top photo, left). I also upcycled some old envelopes that I saved from Christmas, and turned them into pockets (middle row, left). I filled a plastic page protector with sequins and sewed it shut (middle row, right). I also used various fasteners (paper clips, mini clothespins, string, etc.) to add dimension and decoration to each page. So easy!


But the main embellishments on my pages came from the digital kits. Not only did I print out the papers to create pages, I also printed out some of the flat elements and added them to my pages after cutting them out.

I’m lucky enough to own a Silhouette, and the best feature of a cutting machine is the ability to quickly print and cut the adorable elements found in digital kits. The Silhouette makes it a cinch to create my own die-cuts. Today, I’ll take you through the basic steps to trace an element and ready it for cutting.

Step 1:
First, you will need to set up your page to the correct size and add registration marks. These are printed on your page and used to align the cut later (see the marks in the corner of the page in the image below). Then you will drag and drop your digital element onto the page (that car is cute right?!). Anything in the cross-hatched area shown in the picture below won’t be cut… so make sure you position your element in the main body area. In order to cut around the outside of the element, click the Trace button. Then click Select Trace Area.

Step 2:
Now you will drag the box around the shape. The software analyzes the shape (yellow means that it won’t cut in that area). Depending on the shape and color, you may need to drag the sliders for High Pass and Low Pass filters (the more contrast in the image, the better the results). Note that in my example image, below, the car windows are not highlighted in yellow — so the Silhouette can cut the window detail if I want. I just want to go around the outside of the car, however, so I chose Trace Outer Edge.

Step 3:
Voila! In the next image, I moved the car so that you can see the cutting outline that has been created. I group the object and the outline together so that they can be moved around the page easily.

Now that we’ve dealt with how to trace an element… give it a try! Go wild and look at all of those fabulous elements in your digital kits in a completely new light. Think of the things you can do!

As shown in the next image, I added a couple more elements to my project. The trace function did an amazing job on the bicycle shape…

Another way to make the most of those great digital elements is to combine them to create your own elements. Above, you’ll see the yellow tag with “Family Time” written on it. To create that, I dropped the “Family Time” word art from the Project Twenty Fifteen | July kit onto a block of yellow paper… and then I inserted a tag shape over the top. Now I have my own custom-made tag element!

Of course, if you don’t have a cutting machine, you can also do all of this by hand. Fussy cutting is very therapeutic! I often find myself cutting out shapes by hand just because it’s relaxing and a lot quieter! 🙂

Here are a few more photos of my finished project… so you can see a few more examples of the fun things you can create when you print and cut digital elements…

Are you up for a challenge? If you come to the CROSSWORD SECTION in The Digital Press forum, you’ll find this month’s Hybrid Challenge thread… and if you try one of the two hybrid projects we’ve featured on the blog this month, you can earn challenge points for January! For today’s project, all you have to do is print and cut some digital embellishments and include them on a hybrid project of some kind. It doesn’t have to be a travel album — it can be anything, really (a card, a physical scrapbook page, a mini-album like mine, etc.) — as long as you can decorate it with some cut-out digital elements, any project goes! Give it a shot, and share your final results with us! We can’t wait to see what you come up with…


About the Author  Morag Cutts is part of the Hybrid Creative Team here at Digital Press. Morag has been an avid scrapper and photographer for ten years.  Although she adores the flexibility and creativity of digital, Morag can’t resist playing with paper and embellishments – so hybrid scrapping is the perfect medium for her!  Morag lives in the UK with her hubby, two kids and recently adopted puppy.