Tutorial Tuesday | Adding Texture

 

Is your life lacking texture? ūüėČ

Or more specifically… are your digital layouts flat and boring? Or are you finding yourself, on occasion, using digital products that are texture-free (to enable home printing), but you want to use them digitally and you wish they had just a touch of texture?

Well, today I am here on the blog to show you an easy way to add texture to non-textured items (journal cards, papers, elements, etc… any texture-free digital image, really!).

For the purposes of this tutorial, I will be using journal cards to show you the technique… but remember, you can also use this method for texturing items such as digital papers, some flat elements (think: stickers), and even your own photos, if desired!

Here’s the process…

  1. Begin by opening your un-textured journal card in Photoshop (PS)… or similar photo-editing software program.
  2. Select a textured digital paper from your stash that has the texture you would like to replicate on your journal card.
  3. Place the textured paper on the layer above the journal card. Re-position it and re-size it desired.
  4. Next, de-saturate your textured paper (i.e. remove the color / convert it to black and white).
  5. Change the blending mode of the de-saturated textured paper to Soft Light (or Overlay).
  6. Duplicate the textured paper layer (if needed) for more texture… or… you can also decrease the opacity to lessen the texture that’s added.

Want to see this technique in action? Here are just a few examples of the variation you can achieve by using different textured papers…

For the examples you see, above, I used cards from Documenting Everyday Filler Cards and Hello June (both designed by Dunia Designs). Additionally, the textured papers I used are (from top to bottom): Happy Tales Papers by Anita Designs and ninigoesdigi (top row), from BeachyKeen Cardstock Sand by Karla Noel (2nd row), and from Standing Tall by Kim B Designs (3rd and 4th rows).

Here are some extra hints to help you with this technique:

  1. If your journal card becomes too pale after adding the texture… you can either (a) make the texture/overlay layer darker… or (b) try increasing saturation of the base card to restore some of the original color (be careful w/ this 2nd solution, however, to make sure you don’t substantially change the color of the card in a way that no longer matches the rest of the kit you’re using).
  2. Adding texture to a white card can be difficult. Try changing the white slightly to an off-white (or slightly grey) color to enable you to see your desired texture effect.
  3. Similarly, the same difficulties can apply to completely black cards (but less commonly). In these cases, you can slightly lighten the black color of the base card.

I hope this very simple texture technique is helpful for you! Don’t be afraid to try different blending modes to achieve other effects, as well. I can’t wait to see what you can create as you give this new process a try!


AvatarAbout the author  Carolyn lives with her partner and 2 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 | Custom Desk Calendars

Hello everyone! It’s Tanya here, and I‚Äôm excited to share another Hybrid How-To post here on The Digital Press blog! Today¬†I’m going to show you how to use digital scrapbooking supplies to create adorable desk calendars that¬†are perfect for holiday gifting and more!

Every year since I’ve been hybrid crafting, I have wanted to create a cute desk calendar using digital kits. I’ve been at this for a while now, and so it’s been a long time coming… ūüėČ

The minute I saw Dunia Designs’ new¬†2018 calendar¬†cards in the shop, I told myself…“That’s it!¬†The time is NOW!” It’s also the perfect time to get started on my Christmas gifts (can you guess what everyone is getting this year?!).

Supplies Needed:

  • Digital kit(s) of your choice (the kits I used are shown in the image, below)
  • Pre-designed calendar cards or pages (optional; you could also make your own while working… I used Dunia’s, linked above)
  • Printer
  • White cardstock (& solid coordinating colors for layering, if desired)
  • Paper trimmer
  • Corner punch
  • Display for your calendar

Here’s a quick peek at¬†the¬†six kits that I chose to use for the first half of the year (based on the fact that I¬†decided to pick a different kit for each month; something that corresponds with that month’s season/theme/holiday/etc.)…

first 6 kits

Additionally, here are the 6 kits I chose to use for the final half of the year…

If you didn’t want to¬†use a different product for each month¬†(and/or you wanted to use fewer kits in total, etc.)… you could simply¬†choose one overall theme and use that for your calendar (using just one kit… or one color scheme… etc.). That’s the fun thing — it’s all up to you, and there are no rules!

Next, after choosing the products to use, it was time for me to begin designing each of my cards. Here’s what the calendar cards looked like before I began embellishing them…

I used Silhouette Studio to create my cards, but you can you any photo editing software.¬† There¬†is some editing that you can do in other programs that I have not learned to master in Silhouette Studio (for instance, one of those things is shadowing; I’m getting better, but not quite there yet!)…

So, the first step is to drag the calendar and the¬†elements from where you saved them on your computer into¬†the workspace of your software (as shown below). I usually fill my workspace with several elements that I think I might like, that way I don’t have to go back and forth so much later. For the ones you don’t end up using… you can either move them off to the side or delete them…

Once¬†¬†the elements were available on my workspace, I started dragging them onto each card and positioning them as desired…

Next, I drew a rectangle around the calendar so as to create a border area. As I designed each card, I was able to add digital papers (as backgrounds/borders) to match each month…

This next step may vary from software program to software program… but once I had all of my elements in place, I chose a background paper from the ‘fill paper’ menu in Silhouette…

Here’s a look at all of my finished cards, after I was finished designing them in my software program…

Aren’t these so fun?! I can’t wait to make more! ūüôā

After I¬†had finished designing all of the months/cards in my software, I was ready to print. I found that I was able to fit 4 cards/months to a page when printing…

At that point, I used my¬†paper trimmer and cut away the margins. I also used a corner rounder for the corners of the cards…


All cut out and ready to go…

Here are a couple of ways to display the calendar (both are frames; I took the glass out of the black frame)…

After framing the calendar cards, I decided that I might re-size some of my future batches to fit into a 4 x 6 frame (although, I should note that you should always be very careful about re-sizing things to make them bigger than intended.*

Another idea for displaying the calendar is to add a piece of coordinating cardstock paper as a backing to each card, as shown here…

Here’s a look at the same card… one (left) without a cardstock mat behind it, and the other one (right) with a coordinating mat added.¬†It also shows¬†another cute way to display the calendar… a little easel that I found at WalMart in the craft aisle…

Anyway, isn’t this a cute (and quick/easy) project? I can’t wait to make more of these calendars for Christmas gifts! We will be starting a new weekend schedule where I work, and I think I may make each of my co-workers calendars that have the weekends they will be working circled. Oh, the possibilities… can’t wait to get started!

Meanwhile, I cannot believe¬†it’s¬†almost time for Thanksgiving.¬† ¬†Happy¬†& Blessed¬†Thanksgiving to everyone. This is such a wonderful time of the year to reflect on how much we have to be grateful for.

I hope that you have enjoyed this edition of Hybrid How-To, and that you will give this a try and come up with one of your own calendars! Don’t forget to¬†visit the CROSSWORD SECTION in The Digital Press forum, and jump into this month’s Hybrid Challenge if you are thinking of trying this project. You can earn points toward discounts & FREEBIES! I hope that you will join in!

 

*re-sizing digital images downward (to make smaller) is always AOK; re-sizing upward (to make bigger) should always be done carefully and is not usually advised, due to the effect on image quality; print quality can degrade; things can get blurry or pixelated; etc.


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.

Foodie Friday | MEG Designs

Hello! Stefanie here, to bring you another fun edition of our Foodie Friday series here on The Digital Press blog!

As you’ve seen this fall, Foodie Friday¬†is¬†our newest blog series‚Ķ based on the amazing positive response we had to the “Mess Hall” feature during TDP’s Summer Camp back in July. People just loved our food features‚Ķ and as such, most every¬†Friday throughout the rest of the year we will be combining the Foodie Friday thing¬†with our¬†weekly designer feature series¬†— and having some fun in the kitchen! Every week you will get the chance to peek into the lives (and kitchens) of your favorite TDP designers and creative team members.

It’s been really fun so far… and this week, Marie Eve of¬†MEG designs¬†is here with me to share a few delicious recipes from each of our kitchens!¬†Take a quick look‚Ķ

It all looks delicious, right?¬†Here’s what we have put together for you…

  • One-Pan Pasta
  • King Cake
  • Fruit Kebabs

One-Pan Pasta

This a quick dish that Marie Eve says her family loves… and it is something she turns to when time is short.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • ¬†350 g spaghetti (or any¬† other pasta)
  • ¬†5 sausages (chorizo or similar)
  • ¬†1/2 red pepper
  • ¬†1/2 onion
  • ¬†2 cloves garlic
  • ¬†1 small zucchini (baby marrows)
  • ¬†20 cherry tomatoes
  • ¬†fresh basil (or parsley if you don‚Äôt have basil)
  • ¬†herbs of Provence
  • ¬†750 ml of cold water
  • ¬†1 chicken bouillon cube (chicken stock cube)
  • ¬†black pepper pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Wash the zucchini and the pepper and cube into small pieces (so that it cooks quickly).
  • Finely chop the onion and the crush the garlic.
  • Wash the cherry tomatoes and halve them.
  • Dilute the bouillon cube in cold water.
  • ¬†In a large pan, place spaghetti in the bottom.
  • ¬†Cut the sausages into small pieces layer them next to the spaghetti.
  • ¬†Add the cherry tomatoes, the onion, the cloves of garlic, the red pepper and the zucchini.
  • ¬†Add the diluted bouillon cube.
  • ¬†Sprinkle with some fresh chopped basil and add some herbs from Provence (not too much!) and freshly ground black pepper (no salt).
  • ¬†Cook on high heat and when the pasta begins to soften, stir gently to mix, but take care to ensure that the pasta is immersed in the water.
  • ¬†Cook until there is no more water, watch and stir regularly so that it doesn‚Äôt attach to the bottom of the pan. It takes about 15-20 min.

King Cake

About this recipe, Marie Eve says, “this is a recipe that I have made many times and we still like it. On the 6th of January, we celebrate the Epiphany (a Christian tradition). On this day, we eat the King’s cake, in which we hide a bean (a porcelain object).. and whoever finds it is the “queen” or “king” for the day.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • 2 puff pastries
  • 200g almond powder
  • 150g sugar
  • ¬†100g butter (room temperature)
  • ¬†2 eggs
  • ¬†1 tbsp bitter almond extract
  • ¬†70g of raisins
  • ¬†1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ¬†150ml orange juice
  • ¬†1 bean
  • ¬†1 egg yolk diluted ¬†with a water to create an egg wash to crisp and brown the dough.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • ¬†Place the raisins in a bowl, sprinkle with cinnamon and cover with orange juice. Let swell 30 min.
  • ¬†Preheat the oven to 180 ¬įC (6).
  • ¬†Arrange the first puff pastry in a pie dish and prick it with a fork. Do not cook it.
  • ¬†Mix all the ingredients: almond powder, sugar, eggs, butter and almond extract. Spread it on the puff pastry base.
  • ¬†Cover with drained raisins. Push them lightly into the mixed ingredients. Slip the bean into the filling.
  • ¬†Cover the pie with the second puff pastry. Weld the edges lightly with your fingers.
  • ¬†Mark the top of the cake with the tip of a knife before brushing with the diluted egg yolk.
  • ¬†Bake for 35 min.
  • ¬†Take the cake out, sprinkle it with sugar (through a sieve). Increase the oven to 250 ¬įC¬† (8-9) and bake the cake for 5 minutes more.

Fruit Kebabs

This is a recipe from my own kitchen, and it’s one that my daughter requested when she wanted a picnic party for her 18th birthday with her closest girlfriends. Girls are always so health-conscious, and so I made this fresh fruit selection on a skewer. They loved it!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • pineapple, peeled and cubed
  • bananas, peeled and sliced
  • blueberries, washed
  • strawberries, washed and halved
  • mandarins, peeled and separated into segments
  • seedless green grapes (but any seedless ones will do)
  • basically you want a mix of different colours that look pretty together

INSTRUCTIONS

  • I started with pineapple and then layered them on to the stick one by one, ending with a blueberry
  • Serve cold, one per person

There you have it! …something for everyone, no matter where people are located in the world. These recipes are easy to make, and sure to be crowd pleasers.

After checking out these fun recipes… if you’re up for a challenge,¬†come to the forum and check out our Recipe Book challenge, which is designed to help you create a quick-&-simple book of your favorite recipes —¬†get this —¬†in time to print it up and give it to friends and family members as a holiday gift later this year(!). Sound like fun? Come check it out¬†HERE.

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-With-Purchase offer‚Ķ so you’ll be excited to see what Marie Eve has in store for you! Not only is¬†her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week¬†(sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 11/9)‚Ķ¬†but she also has the following awesome deal available in her shop all week long, as well! Spend $10+ in the MEG Designs¬†shop and get the following¬†product absolutely FREE‚Ķ


small avi

About the author Stefanie is a member of The Digital Press creative team and a stay at home mother of three older children living in Cape Town, South Africa with her hubby of 29 years, two of their three children and 2 cats. She loves photography, travel and digital scrapbooking, documenting the good and the ordinary everyday.

Tutorial Tuesday | Combining Patterned Papers

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of Tutorial Tuesday! I’m here today to share some tips on combining patterned papers on your layouts in visually pleasing ways.

Patterned paper is one of my all-time favorite things… but I avoided using much of it for a long time because I was intimidated¬†by¬†the idea of “how to use it correctly.” I tended to use just one pattern per layout in order to not have to worry about the patterns clashing, or about matching more than one pattern, etc. The fact is that combining patterned paper on one layout can be a challenge! Over the years, though, I’ve become more and more comfortable combining patterned papers… so I want to share a few tips that have helped me to be more comfortable using patterned papers together. Before we get to the tips, I want to remind you to have¬†FUN with patterned paper… it is all about experimenting and trying different things!

Tip #1: Keep It Simple

Try to remember that a designer¬†designs the patterned papers together for a given kit because they go well together. Use that to your advantage and use the papers from one kit together since they are likely to go together easily. Using patterns from different kits can be difficult since lining up color schemes and patterns can be challenging. This layout is one that I created using Dawn by Designs’ Globe¬†Trotter kit. The patterned papers in this kit go so well together – each one complements the others. The papers that Dawn by Designs created were perfectly suited to one another and made this page all the more special!

Tip #2: Focus on Neutrals

I have found that using one pattern as a neutral to ground the other patterned papers is a great way to balance the patterns on your page. Your neutral pattern can be any pattern that you feel like will help the other patterns come together cohesively. I’d recommend using a large pattern that incorporates most of the colors you plan to use so it can act as an anchor for the rest of the patterns. Another option is to choose a pattern that contains the more neutral colors of the overall color palette which allows you to add other more colorful patterns without your page looking busy. For this layout, I chose a large map pattern that uses the neutral colors of the overall palette in order to add the more colorful patterns throughout the page. That map pattern really anchored the page and kept¬†the page cohesive.

Tip #3: Choose a star!

Choose one bold pattern to be the star of your page and then add a couple of medium patterns to support the main bold pattern. You can then add subtle patterns or solids to round off your page and bring it all together. For this page, I chose the very bold yellow stripe to be the focus of the page but added the medium patterns (grey stripe, flower pattern) which came together nicely with the bold yellow stripe. Lastly, I added a few smaller bits of solid colors to bring the various patterns together.

Tip #4 – Just Go For It!

I suggest you also give yourself the freedom to just go for it! Use a solid for the base of your page but layer a variety of patterns in different sizes across the page. In my opinion, contrast is key with this method. If the patterns or colors are too similar or of the same intensity, the page won’t look as cohesive as it could. While creating this page, I decided to use a blue solid as my base but then layer a variety of patterns over top of the solid. I made sure to put the patterns down in a way that really added as much contrast as possible which made the patterns work better together than if I’d layered them differently.

Tip #5 –¬†Use Simple Shapes

Using simple shapes with patterned papers will help frame your page and keep it from looking busy. The simple shape such as a square, circle or a rectangle will help balance the boldness of the patterns and make your page look a lot more cohesive. With this page, I decided to frame my photo with squares of patterned papers in order to keep the page from looking off balance. The simple shapes of bold patterns can really ground  your page and make it visually pleasing to the eye.

I really hope that these five tips will help you to increase your comfort with using patterned papers together on your scrapbook projects. Don’t shy away from the bold patterns … in fact, embrace the¬†boldness and showcase them by using these tips! I think part of the joy of creating scrapbook projects is getting to use all of the patterned papers that I love, regardless of how bold they are! Trying some of these approaches to combining patterned papers will give you more options for using lots of different patterned papers on one project without feeling like it looks like a crazy mess! The most important thing to remember is that¬†using patterns is supposed to be fun. Give it a try and see what you can come up with! I bet that you’ll find it to be much easier than you expected! Good luck!


Amy

About the Author  Amy lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband of  17 years and their 12 year old boy/girl twins. Their 21-year-old daughter has recently begun graduate school 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!

Foodie Friday | Mari Koegelenberg Creations

Hello! I’m Robin and am here on The Digital Press blog today to¬†bring you another fun edition of our Foodie Friday series!

As you’ve seen this fall, Foodie Friday¬†is¬†our newest blog series… based on the amazing response we had to the “Mess Hall”¬†feature during TDP’s Summer Camp back in July. People just loved our food features… and as such, most every¬†Friday throughout the rest of the year we will be combining the Foodie Friday thing¬†with our¬†weekly designer feature series¬†‚ÄĒ and having some fun in the kitchen! Every week you will get the chance to peek into the lives (and kitchens) of your favorite TDP designers and creative team members. It’s been very fun so far!

This week Mari from Mari Koegelenberg Creations¬†is here to share a few delicious recipes with us from her kitchen!¬†Take a peek…

[ photo credits to [1] The Pioneer Woman [2] Damn Delicious and [3] Pinch of Yum ]

What is all of that yumminess you see, above? Here is the lineup of delicious recipes Mari put together this week:

  • Enchiladas
  • Baked Parmesan Zucchini
  • Flax and Blueberry Vanilla Overnight Oats¬†¬†

Enchiladas

Mari says,¬†“We call it Mexican lasagna.¬†ūüėČ It’s so good! Not having grown up with this delicacy, I scoured Pioneer Woman’s vast and amazing recipe collection years ago and made this recipe one night while we had family visiting. Let’s just say its a real winner! I have also substituted chicken (and even stewing beef), which I put into the crock pot and then shred it — and its just utter comfort food deluxe. Do not skimp on the sour cream!”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • Mexican red sauce
  • Low sodium chicken broth
  • Canola oil
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Ground beef
  • Onion
  • Canned diced green chilies
  • Corn tortillas
  • Chopped black olives
  • Sliced green onions
  • Freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  • For the sauce, add 1 tbsp. each of canola oil and flour to a medium saucepan
  • Whisk these together over medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes
  • Add in the red sauce and chicken broth then stir to mix together
  • Add in ¬Ĺ tsp each of ground black pepper and salt
  • Simmer the sauce on low heat while cooking the rest
  • Dice the onions and place into a large skillet with 1 tbsp. of canola oil. Saut√© the onions for a few minutes
  • Add ground beef and brown
  • Add two cans of green chilies
  • In a small skillet over medium heat, fry individual corn tortillas just until soft (about 30 seconds each side)
  • Place tortillas on a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm
  • Add 2-3 tbsp. fresh cilantro to the sauce
  • Assemble the enchiladas by dipping the corn tortillas into the warm sauce, lay them flat, and spoon the meat mixture, chopped olives, green onion, and cheese on the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place seam side down in a baking dish.¬† Continue until all tortillas are used.
  • Pour remaining sauce over rolled up tortillas and top it off with freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes until cheese is melted and enchiladas are bubbly
  • Remove the pan and sprinkle chopped cilantro and green onions on top

Baked Parmesan Zucchini

When asked about this recipe, Mari wrote, “Just over a year ago, we moved onto our little farm… and we started a veggie garden. We planted 6 zucchini plants (in case they did not all ‘take’)… UMM OKAY… so, yep, we had an over-abundance of zucchini this summer! It’s¬†such a versatile veggie, though, so I didn’t complain (you can use it in salads, cakes/bread, grilled on the BBQ, and more). This is one of my favorite ways to prepare and it looks so presentable and is absolutely delicious!”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • 4 zucchinis, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a cooling rack with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Place zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan mixture. Place into oven and bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Then broil for 2-3 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired

Flax and Blueberry Vanilla Overnight Oats

Mari was quite enthusiastic about this fabulous recipe! She told me,¬†“OMG to die for! It’s like pudding… so good, and so so healthy. It’s also great for busy moms/dads because you can prep this ahead and let it work its magic in a mason jar.”¬†I think you will agree with Mari after trying this!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats OR quick oats
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon flaxmeal
  • 1 baby pinch of salt
  • blueberries, pecans, brown sugar, and other goodies for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In an individual food storage container, add the ingredients in the order listed (except for toppings). Do not stir. Refrigerate overnight.
  • In the morning, stir up the mixture; it should be thick and the oats should be completely soft. Add the toppings of your choice. Repeat forever.

Don’t these recipes look easy and fun to make? My kids were quite excited to try them all, after looking at the pictures!

Now, if you’re up for a challenge‚Ķ¬†come to the forum and check out our Recipe Book challenge, which is designed to help you create a quick-&-simple book of your favorite recipes ‚ÄĒ¬†get this ‚ÄĒ¬†in time to print it up and give it to friends and family members as a holiday gift later this year(!). Sound like fun? Come check it out¬†HERE.

Meanwhile, it wouldn‚Äôt be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-with-Purchase offer‚Ķ so you’ll be excited to see what Marie has in store for you! Not only is her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 11/2)‚Ķ but she also has the following awesome deal available in her shop all week long, as well! Spend $10+ in the Mari Koegelenberg Creations shop and get the following FULL COLLECTION(!) completely FREE…


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 (3 in college and 1 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…).

Tutorial Tuesday | Titles Matter

Welcome to another edition of¬†Tutorial Tuesday¬†here on The Digital Press blog! Today I’m going to talk about using titles in your digital or hybrid scrapbook pages. Titles actually do matter. Why, you ask? The title gives your page a clear and concise connection between your photos and your journaling. Basically, it ties together the ingredients in your memory-keeping. It can often create balance in your layout, and it can even be the focal point of your project.

Titling my projects is something that I sometimes struggle with, but as I learn more about the elements of a balanced scrapbook page, I realize it’s an important piece of the whole and not to be ignored. In that spirit, I have for you a few tips and techniques that can assist you in creating a unique and clever title.

  1. Keep it short.¬†A long, wordy title can easily dominate a page or project without intention. Remember, you want to create balance… so the title should be just a few words to let the viewer know at a glance what to expect from the project. Your journaling will then explain in more detail what the story is and how it connects to the photos.
  2. Keep it simple.¬†This goes hand in hand with number 1. You want to keep it simple so the title doesn’t monopolize the entire page. One way to do this is to use the technique of ‘word mining’. This is basically making a list of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs describing your photo. You can be as specific or generic as you want, or you could start more general and get more specific. Here’s a simple example so you can see what I mean. After jotting down your words, you can come up with a title using any combination, like “Hairy Hubby” or “Kooky Duo”…¬†
  3. Use the tools available.¬†Pinterest has countless pins that can be used for title inspiration. When I mean countless, I mean it. There are so many ideas and themes and quotes, the mind boggles. The other valuable tool that I absolutely treasure and use all¬†the time is an online¬†thesaurus. It’s literally as simple as typing in a word and hitting enter. You will get loads of synonyms for that particular word. Word of advice, though… maybe don’t use it on every word (like Joey… high five to those that got that without watching the video!).

Once you have figured out¬†what your title is going to be, you just need to figure out how you are going to incorporate it into your project. Speaking for myself, as I start to plan my layout I often use a ‘place holder’ for my title. In other words, I typically just type ‘title here’ on my draft page, and as my layout evolves I can move it and size it to create balance. You can use alpha sets¬†or fonts to create titles (for more on mixing fonts for titles, check out Tutorial Tuesday | Combining Fonts).¬†Titles can even be shadowed or distressed to look like stamps. They can be very large or small depending on how many photos you have on your project. You can even use word art or pre-designed titles. The possibilities are truly endless.

I’m going to show you two examples today. The first uses a large stamped title…

[ credits: Purfect Tales by Anita Designs and ninigoesdigi Kit and Cards and Alpha Stash No. 5 by Tracie Stroud ]

The second example uses a¬†cutout technique inside my title (if you want to learn more about creating a cutout, please check out TDP CT member Corrin’s Tutorial Tuesday | Creating a Cut-Out)…

[ credits: Tender Little Moments | Digital Kit by Dawn by Design ]

As you can see, the title in each layout becomes part of the layout… which creates a complete, balanced, design that is easy on the eye.

My hope is that using these tips and examples¬†will inspire you to create a catchy title for your next digital project! Maybe you are a rock star and you always title your layouts, but if you are anything like me… it will take a little bit of effort (and trial and error) to create a beautifully-titled page. Either way, we can learn from one another and inspire each other… and with that, I hope to “see you” in the gallery at TDP!


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