Feature Friday | Meagan’s Creations

We’re back with another edition of Feature Friday… and this week, it’s all about Meagan of Meagan’s Creations.

Meagan’s style is bold, colorful, and versatile. She puts together awesome collections… jam-packed with embellishments, papers, alphas, clusters, word art, journaling cards, and more — all of which have a wonderful color scheme and can be used on multiple projects or even full albums! She also designs great templates with tons of layers that create wonderful movement.

Here is a sampling of the different types of things Meagan creates. You’ll see that she offers a wide range of wonderful products that contain all different types of embellishments and extra goodies…

And since Meagan is one of our newest designers, I was excited to ask her a few questions to get to know her better.

Where do you live?
I live in Houston, TX, USA.

When you’re not designing, what do you do with your time?
When I’m not designing, I’m playing board games with my family, cooking, baking, reading, watching a favorite show (not a whole lot and actually
usually while also designing!), or sleeping!

What are 5 tidbits of trivia we might not know about you?
—I was born in Berlin, Germany. Since the time that my family moved back to the States (when I was almost 2), I’ve never been back outside of the United
States again, ever.
—I have a Bachelor’s degree in Math Education with an Art Education minor.
—I also work part-time for an online tutoring company.
—I got married kinda young (19 years old!), but he’s still my best friend and favorite person in the world!
—I actually don’t like to drink milk with my cookies. I prefer water. Weird, I know!

Which of your products is your favorite?
Picking my favorite product is very tough! I’ll say Renaissance because this was a very personal choice for me. I have fond memories of my mother making us dresses to wear to a Renaissance festival and seeing everyone dressed up. I went again with my family a couple of years ago and it was a blast. I also made an add-on that is “Lord of The Rings”-inspired (it is one of my favorite movie series)…

And as an extra-special treat 😉 — here is an awesome layout from Meagan, herself, using her favorite kit…

Additionally, here is some other eye candy using Meagan’s awesome and colorful products…

Aren’t the designs of Meagan’s Creations so colorful and versatile? 🙂

Now that you have seen her products in action, you can get busy scrapping with them and you’ll be happy to know that the entire Meagan’s Creations shop at The Digital Press will be 30% OFF this week (sale will end at 11:59pm ET on Thurs 1/26). Yay! That is the perfect motivation is grab some beautiful and fun collections from her shop and start scrapping some memories!

Additionally, this week only — you can snag a FREE KIT from her shop with any $10+ purchase in the Meagan’s Creations storefront at The Digital Press! Exciting stuff!


Sabrina

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

Tutorial Tuesday | Extracting Digital Elements

Today I am here on the blog to share with you how to use simple extraction techniques to create your own digital elements from journal cards (or similar). This is a fun little trick I find myself using over and over on my layouts… and it is a really easy way to create your own customized embellishments and extend your digital stash!

The journal card I will be using for this tutorial is from Anthology | Pocket Cards by Little Lamm & Co., shown here…

First, you will want to open the journal card you want to use in a photo editing program (I am using Photoshop Elements 10 (PSE10) for this tutorial). Select the Magic Wand Tool on your toolbar…

With the Magic Wand tool, hold down the Shift button and click your mouse on the element/shape you want to remove from the journal card (here, you will see that I selected the orange area). Once it is selected, you should see little “marching ants” around the element…

***TIP*** to select the insides of letters — like the portions of the letters O and E, shown here — hold the shift key and click the inside of the letters so those areas are surrounded by the ‘marching ants,’ too.

Now you will need to right click (with your mouse) on the selected element and it will pull up a menu that looks like the image below. Move you mouse down and highlight ‘Layer via Copy’…

Once you do that, you will see a copy of the selected element in your layers palette. In the layers palette, de-select the original layer of the journal card… and you should be left with the extracted element. Voila! Now you can drag and drop that element anywhere you want onto your layout!

You can see examples of how I used this technique on this layout…

On the layout shown above, I used this extraction technique to create the “stories” circle brush on the top left photo, and also to create the navy word strips (shown at lower left).

Once you know how to extract simple digital elements, the possibilities are endless! You will find that this trick opens up a whole new world… with not only journal cards, but many other items found in digital kits (i.e. you can create a flower sticker from a floral paper… or word art from papers/cards… and more!).

If you try this trick or your own, please share your finished project with us in TDP’s gallery! We’d love to see what you come up with. Happy Scrapping 🙂


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

Tutorial Tuesday | Text Boxes


Hello everyone! Today I’m here with you on the blog to go over some of the basics of using text boxes, while also exploring some of the lesser-known functions. I will also share some thoughts on how journaling doesn’t always need to be about documentingsomething; it can very well be simply used as a design element.

I will be demonstrating the methods shown in today’s tutorial in Photoshop Elements 11 (PSE11); the information should translate very similarly to other versions of PSE and/or to Photoshop (PS) itself.

So… let’s get started!

1. Using a basic rectangular text box

Choose the text type tool on your tools panel and draw the boundary of the size of the text box that you would like. Once you have done that, you will see the flashing point of the cursor inside the box. Any text you add will be automatically wrapped to fit the boundaries of this box.

Re-sizing: Once you start your journaling, you may realize that you need more (or less) space that you initially thought when you created the text box. Fear not! Simply drag the diagonal corner of the box outward or inwards to the desired size. Note that the default settings in PSE will either make the text smaller or larger to fit proportionally into the newly-sized text box. You will simply need to change the font size back to what it was originally… and then carry on!

 

2. Adding a bit of flair to the text box

Imagine that you don’t want your text box to be nice and clean (straight lines, etc.). There are some very simple ways to add a bit of a ‘zing’! Consider the warp text tool; it changes the shape of the box (and in the process, the text within it) to create some very unique results. What better way to add some playfulness to your layouts!

 

3. Using other shapes as text boxes
Text does not have to be limited to the rectangular or square shapes; we can use other custom shapes too. There are many ways to do this… one of which is to actually create a path that follows your shape. Not all versions of PSE have this capability, however, so I came up with a “hack” that allows you to create a faux-text-path, of sorts. 🙂

To do this… choose the shape you want to use, put it onto your page (temporarily), and then with the text type tool selected… follow the same steps as described above. Because the text is on a separate layer from the text, you can approximate the shape you chose with the text itself. Then, once the underlying shape is hidden (something you can do by clicking the “eye” shape to the “off” position in the right-hand layers palette area)… you will have an interesting shape of journaled text…

 

4. Using Text as a design element

Another way in which text boxes can be used is as a design element. There are quite a few ways to do it. Repeating captions or phrases in an interesting shape, warping text to fit in with the design of the layout, blending it with the photo, etc.

I’ve created a few examples for you here. In the first layout shown below, I have used the text “on a shape” option to write a few phrases in a circular path. Copying this multiple times and nesting the circles within each gives a nice effect…

In this second layout, I have followed he same approach… but instead, I merged all the various text in the shape of the heart and blended it with the background…

As you can see, there are lots of uses for the text box… and fun little tricks you can use to open up its many possibilities and realize the many different ways it can be put to use. If you try some of these tricks or your own, please share your finished project with us in TDP’s gallery!

‘Till next time… keep scrapping and keep sharing. 🙂


Profile pic avatar small

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

Hybrid How-To | School Valentine Exchange

Okay, I don’t know about you… but I totally CANNOT believe Christmas has already come and gone so quickly! Where in the world did this past year go? It’s 2017! I think I would love for things to slow down a bit, but I know that isn’t possible. 🙂

I know that most of you likely aren’t thinking about Valentine’s Day already (heck, most people don’t even have their Christmas decorations put away yet!)… but ready or not, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Therefore, I thought I would get a head-start and today I will be showing you several fun hybrid Valentine’s ideas! Some of them are for Valentine’s that have candy, and some are for those that do not. Either of them can be tweaked to your liking.

For this project, you do not need to have a cutting machine. All projects can be achieved with the supplies listed below. I did, however, use my Silhouette Studio Design space to create my ideas… although similar things can truly be achieved in any photo editing program.

There are tons of digital kits that would be great for this project… and remember, just because it isn’t actually a Valentine-themed kit doesn’t mean it can’t be used for Valentines! For instance, the kit Kindess is Cool (by LJS Designs) has a lot of Christmas-themed elements in it, but I also thought the bear would be adorable for Valentine’s Day. You could even use robot or space-themed kits for Valentine’s Day. This holiday is fun because you can come up with so many Valentine puns… just let your imagination run wild!

In the end, for the projects I will show you today… I decided on these two kits — It’s You I Like by Dunia Designs… and Kindness Is Cool by LJS Designs (I also used the coordinating Kindness is Cool Journal Cards that match the main kit).

The first 2 projects are related, and they’re both perfect for non-candy items like pencils. To begin, I simply drew out a 8.5″ x 11″ square and added the heart paper shown here…

Next, here is the image that I created using the digital elements from the same kit…

If you are using your cutting machine, simply print the image above, place it on your mat and send through to the cutter.  If you will not be using a cutting machine, print your image and follow the steps found below.

Here is a close-up look at what I created…

Once you have your papers/elements printed out… you will punch the layered pieces…  assemble them with the double-sided tape or glue dots (whichever you prefer and/or have on hand)… and then you attach them to the pencils and add a bow. Ta-da! That’s it! Pretty easy, huh?

For this next version, you will trim your printed paper down to the size you want (I cut mine to 2″ x 4-1/2″ and then after trimming, I used a corner punch and rounded the corners). Use the same punched embellishments from the first project, shown up above, and tape them to the center of your trimmed digital paper, as shown below. All you have to do then is add your pencil and that’s it! SO EASY!

The next idea is perfect to use as a plain Valentine’s Day card (and/or when paired up with a candy treat)… it’s super cute and super easy! Again, it can be created in just about any photo editing software; I used my Silhouette program to do mine because it is just as easy and sometimes even simpler than using Photoshop, etc.).

First, I picked out a journaling card from the set I was using, I added some embellishments, and I personalized it…

Next, I sent it to my printer and cut with my paper trimmer. I also made cute little envelopes out of white printer paper to go with the cards. You can tape a piece of candy to the back or not, whichever you decide…

As you can see, there are several quick and easy ideas to create unique and personalized treats for your child’s Valentine’s Day party. They don’t have to be exactly like the ones I’ve done here; you have plenty of time (as of right now… LOL) to get started and come up with a cute idea that you love! So rummage through that craft closet, pick out your favorite digital kit, and get started!

I’m always here to answer any hybrid questions you may have, so leave me a note in the comments if you need to know anything. Also… if you want to earn challenge points at The Digital Press during the month of January by creating one of these items… head over to the forum and join into our monthly challenge system!


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 | Miss Tiina

Now that our special holiday lineup is over and we’ve kicked off 2017… our Feature Friday series returns to The Digital Press’ blog this week, and I’m excited to feature the designs of Tina Raparanta (known more commonly to many of us as Miss Tiina).

One fun bit of trivia (which you may have even found yourself wondering, on occasion)… why does her design name of Miss Tiina have 2 “i”s in it? You will be amused to know that it wasn’t a purposeful decision and there really isn’t any deep meaning behind it. Instead, it all dates back to a spelling error that her bank made when she set up her business banking account, years and years ago. So she just went with it!

As you click through Miss Tiina’s shop, I’m confident you’ll find yourself smiling. Really, you will! 🙂 Her designs are bright and cheerful, clean and simple. Her shop is the perfect place to stop to set up an amazing organization system for your busy life… and your memory-keeping as well (as she has a few different pocket card and paper sets available, as well). We’re just a couple of days into the new year; what better time to start, right? You can cross organization off your list of New Years’ resolutions!

Here is a look at just a few of my favorite products by Tina

 

I asked Tina a few questions so we could learn a little bit more about her, and here’s what she had to say…

Where do you live?
I live in the freezing cold north of Ontario, Canada, right on top of Lake Superior.

When you’re not designing, what do you do with your time?
When I’m not designing, I’m spending time with my man and our 3+1 crazy kiddos who I adore.

What are 5 tidbits of trivia we might not know about you?
—I’m addicted to eating freezies and frozen grapes.
—I hoard cute things, rainbow things, and stationery.
—Flannel is my favorite fabric.
—I have never traveled outside of Canada, except once as a kid.
—I have 2 middle names and so do all of my kids.

Which of your products is your favorite?
That’s always a tough one to answer, because I love so many! I think I take the most pride in my main planner series, though. It’s definitely been the most-loved item by my customers! Here’s a look at the 2017 version…

Tina’s products are so handy if you want to be well-organized!  Here a few examples of her products in action, as well as close-ups of what you’ll find in a few of her calendar and planner sets here at The Digital Press

 

I’m glad you spent some time with me today and got to know Tina better. My guess is that after reading this, you might be bitten by the organization bug, too! 😉 I know I have been! That’s why this last bit of info is great news… if you visit her shop this week you will enjoy 30% OFF her awesome products (sale runs through the end of 1/12)!


Barbara

About the Author  Barbara is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in Minnesota, is married and has two awesome kids (a 20 year old son and a 17 year old daughter) as well as an adorable 10 year old Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier. In her free time she loves to play around in Photoshop (you can learn a little something new every time you use PS right?!), take photos, and try out new recipes for healthy dishes. (Her 2017 resolution is to try new veggies every week!). Life is good!

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Ten

Hello, and welcome to the very last day of our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series here on The Digital Press blog!

Today I am here to share with you an amazing last-minute tip for those of us who need to whip up a quick dessert for the upcoming holiday weekend.

Whether you suddenly find that you need to take a dessert to share at a friend or family member’s house… or you find that you will be having unexpected guests over to your house at the last minute… or you simply love holiday desserts and want to give this a try… this recipe is a total win!

And by “total win” I mean that it takes only about 15 minutes to make it, it’s delicious, and it’s even customizable! 😉

 

LAURA’S EASY-PEASY PEPPERMINT OREO ICE CREAM PIE

It cannot be stressed enough how quick and easy it is to make this pie. Seriously. It literally involves only 4 ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 container of peppermint ice cream (about 1 quart?)
  • 25-30 Oreo cookies (if you buy one package, you can eat 5-10 of the cookies inside and use the rest to make the pie #winning )
  • 1/2 cup butter (or similar; I use “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Lite” because it tastes just as good and has less fat/calories)
  • 1-2 candy canes (or equivalent amount of peppermint candies)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Let the ice cream sit out on the counter while you work on the next few steps, to ensure that it will be softened enough to spread around by the time you need get to that step.
  • Put your cookies into a large (gallon-sized) zippered plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin (or a bottle of wine, if you don’t own a rolling pin. We are crafters, people! We do what we have to do to get by with the supplies we have on hand!).
  • Melt the butter (microwave in 20-second intervals until it’s fully melted), and then add it and the crushed cookies in a large bowl. Combine until the cookies are just coated in the butter; stop stirring before everything gets too sticky/wet (or else it will be too hard to press into the pan without it sticking to your spoon).
  • Press the cookie mixture into the bottom of a pie plate. I find that it helps to use a light coating of cooking spray inside the pie plate, first, to keep the crust from sticking to the pan later.
  • Add the ice cream on top of the cookie crust layer. Place large spoonfuls near the center, and press down so that it pushes outward toward the edges of the pie crust as you work. Use the back of the spoon to even out this layer once it’s added, and also to swirl the melty ice cream on the top until it looks like you “did it all on purpose” (technical term).
  • Put your peppermint candy into a small (quart-sized) zippered plastic bag and crush it with your rolling pin / wine bottle. Then sprinkle the crushed candy on top of your pie.
  • Put the pie into the freezer for an hour or two until it hardens enough to be easy to cut/serve.

Once it’s been in the freezer for a while… all you have to do is cut, serve, and eat! It’s seriously that easy.

FUN VARIATIONS / CUSTOMIZATIONS

Let it be known that I have also made this pie using coffee ice cream (get the good stuff, people — Haagen Dazs — don’t mess around with imposters!), and I used chocolate shavings on top of the pie in place of the peppermint candy. To. Die. For.

I also have a friend who made this pie with a couple of pints of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream (cherry & chocolate chunks). She swears by it.

Myself, I have always wanted to try it with some Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey (banana ice cream with chocolate chunks & walnuts)… but I’ve never gotten around to it. “Someday…”  *daydreams about dessert*

In truth, it really doesn’t matter what ice cream you use — it’s the Oreo crust that makes this ice cream pie so perfect. You can pair it with whatever floats your boat!

For now, though… I hope you have a very happy holidays and a fantastic weekend with your family and friends! 😉

 


Laura Passage

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

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Nine

Hey there everyone! Kate here today, and it’s Day Nine of our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series here on The Digital Press blog.

Today I have a super simple hybrid project to share with you (along w/ a couple of free templates to download, below). It’s a great way to use digital supplies to dress up your gift card-sized packages!

Gift Card Envelopes

Aren’t these so fun?! 🙂

To create these gift card envelopes… simply open the envelope template (see the end of this blog post for the free download)… clip a digital paper (or papers) to the template… print… and cut.

There are options in the template file for adding a digital paper pattern to the inside of the envelope… as well as for adding coordinating paper(s) to the front flap, bottom flap, and also to the back — if you want to do so. I added some digital art to the front flap, a woodgrain paper to the other outer surfaces, and the cute coffee mug/cup pattern to the inside.

Tip: before printing the envelope, I printed a full 8.5 x 11 page of the coordinating cardstock (the coffee cups) that I wanted to use on the inside. Then, I printed the finished envelopes on the other side of the full sheet of patterned paper. This made it easier to line everything up for perfect cutting.

It’s possible to fit two per sheet. I cut mine by hand, and then cut the slit with a craft knife.

To finish it off, you just fold in the flaps, add your gift card, and slip the front flap into the slit. You can adhere the bottom flap to the side flaps if you want, but it isn’t necessary (OMG is anyone else tired of reading the word flap?! haha).

 

Cash (or Whatever) Envelopes

If you’ve just tried the first envelope project, above, then the process for this one will be pretty self-explanatory. It’s almost the same! Simply clip a paper or two… print… cut… decorate… ta-da! You have an envelope. Fold in the flaps (*cringe* LOL) and adhere, leaving the top flap open.

That’s really all there is to it!

Tip: I know they make special glue for DIY envelopes; when you’re ready to send it, you just have to wet it and fold it down to make it stick. For myself, however, I just used washi tape. It’s cute, and easy!

You can use these for cash or checks… or even tickets (as you can see I did, above).

I am not going to lie — something about this second envelope template was a giant pain to fix up nice (and I’m still not 100% totally happy with it, but shhh! don’t tell anyone)… so someone had better download it and use it and post pretty pictures of it! (*crying*) …it would make me so happy!

If you’d like to give either of these projects a try… you can download the templates I created to make these envelopes HERE.

Happy holidays! 😉

 


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.

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Eight

Hey everyone! It’s Day Eight of our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series, and I’m here to share my latest project / passion… Zero Waste or ZW (although “zero” seems very extreme, any action in the right direction is a good thing!).

I’ve always been green, but I recently read Béa Johnson‘s book and started to implement some tips to reduce the amount of garbage we create. Minimalism, simplicity and Zero Waste go hand in hand, and I’m happy to share some ways you can help save the planet while still enjoying Christmas and giving gifts to your loved ones!

The best way to have a ZW Christmas is by picking immaterial or consumable gifts. Here are a few examples for kids (or grown ups, too!) :

  • Lessons (music, dance, sport)
  • Passes (zoo, natural park, amusement park)
  • Subscriptions (to a magazine, for example, or to a software *ahem… Photoshop!*)
  • Events (concert, sport competition)
  • Activities (even better to do as a family or as a one-on-one activity with a parent or special adult: mini-golf, bowling, skating, cinema, game night)
  • Crafting (and the material you need to create the art piece)
  • Coupons (for a movie night at home with popcorn and they pick the movie, a pass on one of their chores, permission to stay later than usual, etc.)
  • Gift card to their favorite store, so the recipient gets the pleasure to choose in addition to the pleasure of the gift itself
  • “recipe in a jar” for cookies, muffins, hot chocolate, sauces and more
  • Money (the ultimate consumable gift). You could try to fold the bills origami-style to make it more fun!

If you want to give a material gift, here are a few ideas:

  • choose second-hand gifts
  • pick environmental-friendly and long-lasting materials: wood, metal, sturdy plastic (Legos are virtually immortal!), fabric, glass (not for kids, obviously)
  • create DIY gifts like homemade soap, candy, jam, caramel or chocolate sauce, beauty products or home decor

The wrapping can be the perfect ZW final touch to your eco-friendly gifts. Avoid metallic paper which can’t be recycled. Why not use newspapers or plain kraft paper on which you (or your kids) can draw or stamp? Use cute jars, wooden boxes or baskets to store your gifts. Last but not least, fabric is a great way to wrap and can be re-used over and over again by the recipient. Simple bags (DIY or bought) can be re-used for grocery shopping, for example. A nice piece of fabric (or even a scarf, so that the wrapping is a gift too!) can make stunning gifts using the japanese furoshiki technique.

Here are two examples of my ZW gift giving this year.

For my brother and SIL, I offered them a photo session of their newborn baby girl when she was born in October and created the birth announcements. They think they’ll pay me back for the printing of the announcement but I’ve decided will be their Christmas gift. As I still want to physically give them something, I’ve created a cute card that matches the CD cover for their newborn pictures. This card can be recycled once it has fulfilled its purpose.

For my parents in law, I’ve bought wine and cooked homemade jam. They have everything they need and DEMANDED that we don’t give them any gift. Well, I’m a rebel and I know they will enjoy the fact that I made the effort to create something for them. To wrap this up I decided to try furoshiki with a scarf I don’t use very often and that I think my mother in law would like. Maybe she’ll re-use it, maybe not (in that case I’d take it back), we’ll see!

Here’s how I wrapped the jars and bottle: I started with the jars and the bottle on the scarf, pointing to opposite corners.

I covered the gifts with the scarf (the part that was closer to me) and folded the pointy end back in.

Then I rolled the gifts away from me and then folded the “roll” in the middle to put the jars and the bottle back up. Finally, I just had to tie a knot with the ends of the scarf and my wrapping was done!

It was very easy, even for Mrs-Two-Left-Hands here, and I just love how original it looks! Plus I don’t have to deal with tape, too short paper roll and ribbons… That’s a big win in my book!!

Here are the two cards I’ve created so far, one for my brother and SIL (on the left), the other one for my inlaws (on the right). I used the stunning Holiday Sparkle collab for those creations because I love its timeless elegant look. I simply added one of the already made journaling cards, created another one with a paper I liked, added a few elements, printed them, cut them out and adhered the elements on the cards, wrote my message and I was done. It took me no longer than 5 minutes. I used natural twine so that it can still be recycled.

I hope you enjoyed those tips to have a greener (and simpler) Christmas. Have fun celebrating with your loved ones!


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.

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Seven

 

Hello everyone! It’s Day Seven of our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series this month… and I am here today to share a few delicious cocktails I created to help you celebrate the holidays with a little extra holiday spirit!

First, here is my version of a holiday Martini…

Tips: rim your glass with a thick layer of sugar to sweeten up your holiday. Want a kid-friendly alternative? Try a cherry limeade: add a splash of lime to a cherry 7-up. 🙂

Next… shake up your part with this festive peppermint candy cane-rimmed version of a White Russian…

Tip: kids will love this one if you adapt the most fun part of it by serving their milk in a candy cane rimmed glass this Christmas. Just skip the Baileys and Vodka!

And finally, I’m calling this holiday twist on a traditional grasshopper “The Grinch!” If you drink enough of this one, it will steal your Christmas… memories! Only kidding, of course! Please drink responsibly!

Tip: add green food coloring to egg nog for a non-alcoholic version.

I hope these tips will help you create some fun holiday beverages! Come join us in the forum and post your own images if you give any of these a try… 🙂


FarrahAbout the Author  Farrah Jobling is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in Denver with her amazing family — Mike, Nicholas (9), Claire (7), Hope (2 yr old puppy) & Kringle (9 mo old bunny). She works from home as a photographer and enjoys scrapping her personal photos.

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Six

Today is Day Six of our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series… and I am here with some Elf-help, for anyone who has an Elf on their shelf this year!

Elf on the Shelf is fairly new to England, where I’m located, and so this is only our second year of having Max (our Elf). I have been so glad for the help and ideas that are available — different stunts for Max to try out (especially the less inventive and less time consuming ones!). There have, of course, been a few times when I have climbed into bed, and then remembered that Max hadn’t moved yet! Ugh! Therefore, this year I decided to have a few corny festive jokes on hand, ready to go, so I can just sit Max down with a joke and call it done. And then I went a step further, and prepared for the possibility (*ahem* reality!) that there might be an occasion when I totally forget to move him at all.

To create my printable cards, shown down below, I used one of River Rose Designs’ new kits — Deck the Halls — to make some blank journal cards (I started off using 3×4 size cards, but then shrank them a bit so I could easily fit 8 on a page). After that, I found 8 fantastic jokes, as well as 8 excellent excuses… and added them to my cards, as shown here…

Once I had everything the way I wanted it to look, I printed out all of my cards and cut them to size.

Now I feel like I am ready for anything! 🙂 Here is Max sitting on a window sill with his friend Frosty (can you guess what Max did yesterday?!), laughing at the joke of the day! This window sill is right where my children put their school lunch boxes when they come home from school each day, so this is a great place for those jokes to be noticed…

I hope these ideas help you out, as well, if you have an Elf in your home this holiday season! And if you have no elf, well… festive jokes are great to pop into lunch boxes or in gift bags just for fun! Merry Christmas!


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

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Five

Hello everyone! It’s Day Five of our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series this month… and I am here today to share a fun & inexpensive craft project/home decor idea.

December is usually a crazy month for me. It’s often hard to find a balance between work and family; as a photographer, I have a lot of photos to edit… but I want to make time to do fun things with my kids. This string art project was a fun and inexpensive craft that my kids just loved!

We’ve been crazy about string art lately, and I happened to find some inexpensive wood boards in the dollar section at Target. They are called “menu boards,” and even have their own stand built in. Once you have a board, all you need is some small flat-head nails, a hammer, and some string.

I used cut-out patterns I found on Pinterest to trace the shapes. I used a simple tree pattern for my 7 year old, and a more intricate deer pattern for my 10 year old, and they both did great! I helped some with the nailing, and I highly recommend using a small craft hammer instead of a big one from the tool box!

After the nails were in place, I tied the string around one of the nails and let them go to town winding the string all around. There’s really no wrong way to do it! I finished it off with a secure knot and voila! Here’s a look…

These make great decorations…

…or you can even give them as gifts!

I hope these tips will help you create some fun string art!


FarrahAbout the Author  Farrah Jobling is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in Denver with her amazing family — Mike, Nicholas (9), Claire (7), Hope (2 yr old puppy) & Kringle (9 mo old bunny). She works from home as a photographer and enjoys scrapping her personal photos.

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10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Four

Hello everyone! It’s Day Four of our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series this month… and I am here today to share a fun & easy gift wrap idea.

One of the ways that I make the holidays easier is by simplifying my Christmas gift wrapping. Instead of having many rolls of different Christmas wrapping paper, each year I buy a huge roll of kraft paper. Then, I buy a different roll of pretty Christmas ribbon for each family member and use the ribbon to “color code” the gifts.

This process cuts down on clutter, in that I no longer need to have so many different rolls of wrapping paper… and it also simplifies things when I am doing my last minute wrapping on Christmas eve (even makes it possible to skip tags!). I adore the look of kraft paper, whether digital or in real life… so the style works for me. If you want to get even fancier, you could add stamps or custom tags to dress up your packages further.

Hopefully this tip of mine will help simplify your holiday season. However you choose to wrap up your gifts this year, though, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season with all the special people in your life!


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.

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Three

Hello everyone! It’s Day Three of our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series this month… and I am here today to share a super simple photo gift tag idea.

While creating a scrapbooking layout using the new December 2016 TDP Designer Collaboration Holiday Sparkle, I simultaneously created a photo gift tag to adorn our packages this Christmas (two birds! one stone!). Here’s a look at the layout that inspired it…

After creating the layout, I opened the “Cheer” journaling card separately… and then I dragged a few of the clusters from my layout onto the card. I also added a family photo, and resized as needed…

Once I had the finished card/tag, shown above, I opened a new 8.5 x 11 document and dragged in my flattened image. I duplicated it 2 more times to create a row of 3, and then I copied this row of 3 two more times so that I had a grid of 9 tags. Then I re-sized all 9 layers to fit the page, as shown here…

After I had a printable page full of tags, I printed them out on white card stock…

…and cut them into separate tags…

Now, I have an adorable stack of ready-made custom tags that I will add to gifts that we give out during this holiday season…

 


Krista

 

About the Author  Krista Lund is a mom of 3, married to her high school sweetheart and living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of her favorite things are brownies, chips ‘n’ dip, taking pictures, and documenting her family’s story.

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Two

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

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

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

To start — let’s gather our ingredients:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day One

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

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

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

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

Here are a few details about my overall process…

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

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

 

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

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

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

 


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

Tutorial Tuesday | How to Create a Gratitude Album

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


Krista

 

About the Author  Krista Lund is a mom of 3, married to her high school sweetheart and living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of her favorite things are brownies, chips ‘n’ dip, taking pictures, and documenting her family’s story.

Tutorial Tuesday | Photography Tips for Shooting in the Dark

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

Low Light Photography Tips

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

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

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

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

 

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


FarrahAbout the Author  Farrah Jobling is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in Denver with her amazing family — Mike, Nicholas (9), Claire (7), Hope (2 yr old puppy) & Kringle (9 mo old bunny). She works from home as a photographer and enjoys scrapping her personal photos.

 

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Hybrid How-To | Decorate Your Home

 

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

SUPPLIES:

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

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

boards

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

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

draganddrop

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

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

cutfileattop

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

cutsetting

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

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

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

remove-transfer-paper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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