Feature Friday | Karla Noél

Hi everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Feature Friday series here on The Digital Press blog! These posts are so much fun for me! Why? Well, I get to share a little “behind the scenes” info about who our designers are… and I learn a few new things, too.

This week, our featured designer is Karla Noél (formerly Karla Dudley). I’ve been a fan of Karla’s for some time, and we’ve been in the same digi circles for several years. And you know what? I thought I knew her pretty well, but when I asked Karla to share 5 Things We Might Not Already Know About Her… well, I had no clue about #2 on her list!

Here’s what she said:

  1. I’m engaged to my high school sweetheart ^_^ We are also expecting a baby, due next Spring! (yes, I would be the chick with the two sets of back-to-back twins already AND after I thought I couldn’t have anymore, I guess God had other plans lol! As far as all that goes, we’re both SUPER excited about it. Total parent mode already. We hardly wait to meet him or her and welcome them into this world 🙂 )
  2. I was a competitive All-Star cheerleader for most of my school days. I was asked to be in the movie “Bring it On” …but had to decline as I was heading off to college. My cheer coach at the time, Ray Jasper, was the choreographer for the movie and I could shout out the names of many cheer ‘extras’ in the film. I did end up going to college for cheer at the University of Louisville (KY). I was on the All-Girl squad and won two NCAA championships! Kachow!
  3. I have a knack for crochet. Okay, I actually love it! I go on binges and have discovered the fabulousness of making my own garments. My favorite items to crochet are cardigans and sweaters. Not only is crochet super useful during the cold months, but it’s inexpensive and it helps me de-stress and take my mind to other places while making something practical, cute, and amazing at the same time. Win-win yo!
  4. I JUST started learning my DSLR camera outside of the no-flash option. That’s right, since 2007 I have used only that single option in manual mode for all my pictures taking until recently. I’m now getting pretty proficient with the other modes, specifically AV, and loving it! I’m more in control, I’m really “understanding” my camera and a new-found love of photography has hit me. Coolness.
  5. My dream is to have my own brand of tangible and digital memory keeping products. Specifically, acrylic/rubber stamps, designer papers, lace papers and designs, mural art, decor, art items and more. Oh…and for Oprah to FINALLY interview me. I have a story to tell… if y’all are ready ^_^

As for Karla’s designs, if you love graphic-style papers and hand-written titles and wordart, then Karla just might be the designer for you! Here is just a small sampling of the amazing products you’ll find in Karla’s shop, so you can see what I mean…

And here are some fun examples of projects that were made with Karla’s products, to give you an idea of what’s possible when using her fun creations

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about Karla Noél today! To celebrate her week as our Featured Designer at The Digital Press, Karla’s entire shop will be 30% OFF all week long (the sale will end at 11:59pm ET on Thursday 9/27).

Additionally, Karla 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 Karla Noél … and you can also snag this brand-new (just released today!) item from her shop — Framed Template — for FREE with any $10+ purchase in her shop! (again, the offer is valid through 11:59pm ET on Thursday 9/27).


About 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 well as her health and fitness journey. Kat has quite the sense of humor (she “blames” her father for this), which she incorporates into her journaling and memory-keeping.

Tutorial Tuesday | Gradient Paper Blending

Hi everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today we are talking paper blending!

Have you ever wanted to use more than one of those gorgeous background papers you have in a kit but don’t want the harsh line of stacking them? Do you have two or more papers that you think would work beautifully together? Blending papers for a background is something I do fairly often and there are actually several ways you can go about it.

One way is to use the gradient tool, which is what this tutorial is all about. It’s a fairly quick and simple way to achieve and beautiful new look.

Start by layering the the two papers you want to blend:

With the top paper layer selected, click the layer mask icon:

Making sure the mask is selected, choose the gradient tool. Drag your gradient line from the top edge of the image to the bottom, or bottom to top, or side to side, or even diagonally, depending on the way you want the gradient to go. You can play around with different directions to see which effect you like best. You can also start in the anywhere on the paper to move the gradient closer to one edge or corner.

For this one, I first went from bottom to top and then moved to the center of the paper and pulled up again. And just like that, your papers are beautifully blended!

You can also play around with different gradients to get different blending effects.

If you wish, you can add more paper layers and blend them as well.

Typically, I will then take it a step further in PS and adjust the blending options (click the fx button at the bottom and choose blending options), especially on a woodgrain to bring out the texture a bit more. Adjusting the underlying layer just adds a little more blending. You can hold the alt key while sliding to separate the pieces of the triangle for different blending effects.

There is a more detailed Tutorial Tuesday all about that method of blending here – Blending Papers in Photoshop and one on using gradients to blend photo masks here – Masking with Gradient Tool.

Here’s a page I did where I blended two background papers. I used You Are Here Elements and Papers by Dawn by Design.

I hope this will help you to create beautifully blended and unique background papers! Have fun and be sure to link us up to your creations if you try it out!


JanAbout the Author  Jan is a high school teacher, wife, mom, and grandma who spends most every little bit of free time she gets documenting her family’s memories through digital scrapbooking. She is a summertime sunshine and beach lover who gets her energy from being outdoors. She is currently looking forward to retirement and a beach chair with her name on it and someone bringing her fruity drinks on command!

Feature Friday | Rachel Etrog Designs

Hiya friends, and welcome to another edition of our Feature Friday series here on The Digital Press blog! I really enjoy doing these posts because I get a chance to get to know our designers outside of the digital design world, and it is always so fun to learn about the person behind the gorgeous designs that we sell at TDP!

This week, our featured designer is Rachel of Rachel Etrog Designs. Rachel lives in Israel, and this is her first feature here on the blog (she joined The Digital Press earlier this year as a one of our resident designers). We’re so excited to get to know her better this week!

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

  1. I have a degree in architecture and interior design, and I worked for about 10 years in the profession until I changed to graphic design, which is my greatest love.
  2. I served in the army for two years after I finished high school. Here in Israel, boys and girls are obligated to serve in the army after high school.
  3. I’ve been vegan for almost 3 years.
  4. I’m a spiritual therapist. I help and guide people to understand who they really are by meditating and emotional processes.
  5. I’m a huge Depeche Mode fan, I even have the signature of singer Dave Gahan, who signed on my hand as a tattoo!

Um, I think we might be related somehow… because I am totally listening to Depeche Mode while writing this!

If you have not had a chance yet to look through the Rachel Etrog Designs shop at TDP… you really should!  There are so many gorgeous kits to choose from!  I really love the bold beautiful colors she uses and the fun elements!  I just want it all!

Here are a few of my favorite products from Rachel’s shop (and let me tell you, it was really hard to choose!)…

Additionally, I also want to share with you some gorgeous sample project pages using Rachel’s fun products, which I found in the gallery at TDP…

Those projects are so much fun — and her products work so nicely for just about any type of memory keeper, don’t you agree?!

I am so glad you joined me in learning about Rachel for her very first Feature Friday here at TDP, and I hope that you are just as excited about her gorgeous designs as I am! If so, I have good news… because during her upcoming Feature Week here at The Digital Press, Rachel’s entire shop will be marked down 30% OFF all week long (the sale will end at 11:59pm ET on Thurs 9/20). Don’t miss it!

And that’s not all! Rachel also has a special Free-with-Purchase offer for you this week, as well! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to stock up on your favorite products from Rachel’s shop at TDP, and you can also get this fantastic (and brand-new! just released today!) full kit — Storyteller — for FREE with any $10+ purchase in her shop (this week only, though… because again, this offer ends at 11:59pm ET on 9/20).


ErinErin is an artsy crafty kind of girl who is currently dabbling in far too many things, but is working hard to enjoy every moment of it, while avoiding the rain, which is difficult due to living in the land of many rains. She is slowly learning to use her smart phone to capture all the fun little bits of life that would otherwise go unremembered in the busy craziness that is raising a family!

Tutorial Tuesday | Using Brushes

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I’m sure that you’ve noticed that some of the kits available in the store at The Digital Press include a file with a .abr extension. There’s even a whole section of the store, Brushes & Stamps, where you can find our designers’ stamp element packs that include these .abr files. Have you ever wondered what those are, .abr files, and what to do with them? (I hope you haven’t just deleted them!) I wondered the same thing myself, and I’m going to share what I’ve learned with you and what I think is the quickest way to load and use those dynamic brush files.

Let’s start with a kit that includes one (actually two) of these digital brush files, Audacity | Collection by Anita Designs & Karla Noél. If you open the folder with Karla’s stamps, you can see there are are 30 png files, each with a wonderful stamp that Karla has created. Each of these png files can be individually opened in Photoshop, and placed as a new layer in a digital layout. Once you get those pngs into your layout, you can adjust the size, the color, clip a paper to it, change the blending mode…..really whatever your heart desires. Easy enough, right?

However, if you want more than one or two of those pngs in your layout, there’s a faster way to get ALL the pngs from that StampSheet folder into your layout (and you can have them there in Photoshop forever, if you want): that .abr file. Now, I use a Mac, so the instructions might be a little different on a PC, but here’s what I do: in Preview, click once on that .abr file to select it; drag it over the Photoshop icon in the tray, and release the mouse button. The brushes automatically load into Photoshop. Seriously. That’s it.

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Now, in Photoshop, click SHIFT + COMMAND + N to make a new layer, then click B to select the Brush tool (or click on the paint brush icon circled in the image below). This will open up the Brush menu (did you notice that this bar at the top of the screen changes depending on which tool you have selected?). Click the second downward pointing arrow from the left to open the Brush menu (left red arrow in the image below). All the brushes from that .abr file should be loaded into your workspace. In my Brush menu below, Karla’s brushes start on the eighth line from the top. I also have loaded Anita’s .abr file from Audacity, and some excellent journaling doodles from Laura Passage (I used them to make the arrows on the image below). Select whatever brush you want, then click anywhere in that new blank layer to add the brush. The brush will show up in whatever color you have selected for your foreground (use the Color Picker to change that color if you want, it’s the blue square in the image below), so you can quickly get it to perfectly match the colors you’ve already got in your layout. The number underneath the little image of the brush in the menu gives you an idea of how big it’s going to be. You can change the size of the brush by typing a new number in that Size box (near the top of the Brush popup, where it says 378 px in the image below). You can add multiple brushes to a single layer, or make a new layer for each brush. Much like modifying the pngs, the options for customization are just about endless.

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I used this technique, loading the .abr files from the Audacity | Collection, to make the page below. I started with three brush layers (each is a slightly different shade of gray) with 8-10 individual brushes in each layer to make about 90% of the background for my page below. Only the bright black pieces (one phrase and two sets of stars), the “everything you are” stamp, and the paint splatters are pngs that I dragged over individually. My brush layers also have a blend mode applied – Dissolve at 85-95% opacity, depending on the layer.

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So next time you find yourself with an .abr file, try loading it into Photoshop and using the Brush tool to add one or more of those brushes to your digital project. You may just find that you prefer this technique to opening individual pngs. Happy scrapping!


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.

Hybrid How-To | Starting a Traveler’s Notebook

Hi everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press blog! I’m here today to show you how you can start a Traveler’s Notebook and use it for your memory keeping.

Everywhere I look, I am seeing people using Traveler’s Notebooks (also called TN’s) to document all kinds of things… not just trips and vacations! If you look on Pinterest, ETSY, Amazon, or even if you just google “traveler’s notebooks” …you will get a wide display of manufacturers, sizes, and different ways people are using them. Today I would like to show you a bit about the traveler’s notebooks I am using, and how/why I decided to start using them for all sorts of scrapbooking and memory keeping projects!

Here’s just one example of the types of things you can do with a TN, with regard to memory-keeping…

Here are a few of the reasons I decided to give traveler’s notebooks a try:

  • quick, flexible memory keeping
  • no pressure to do a weekly or monthly layout
  • easy way to break into doing a hybrid project
  • no plastic pockets (unless you want them as accessories)
  • simplicity — photos, journaling, and maybe some stickers & washi tape
  • great for quick topics (vacations, food, recipes) or to record ongoing progress (weight loss, pregnancy, etc.)
  • I, personally, am drawn to the vertical orientation
  • easy to use to document things while on-the-go
  • great way to use digital templates, patterned papers, & supplies

Here’s a look at the Traveler’s Notebooks I am currently using…

I picked a few of them up at my local scrapbook store, and one is from a scrapbooking subscription club. As you can see, two of them are the “standard or regular” size (on the right), and one is a smaller size that is often referred to as the “passport” size (on the left). I didn’t spend too much money on any of them, because I wasn’t sure how often I was going to use them. It turns out, though, that I am documenting in them quite often and may eventually splurge for one of the real leather notebooks. For now, however, I am happy with these less expensive TN’s! They are made of a soft “plether” (plastic/leather) type of material, and come with the elastic bands inside that hold the inserts, and also a band that goes around the book to hold it closed.

Most TN’s come with at least one paper insert. The inserts can be made out of different colors, weights and styles of paper. Here’s a closer look at the inserts from the three TN’s I showed you, above…

The type of paper insert is important depending on how you are going to use them. For instance, f you do a lot of painting or stamping, then a thicker paper maybe needed. If you are mostly journaling in them, maybe you will want plain or lined paper instead of a dot or grid pattern. The color of the paper is important, too, if you want to work directly on that paper; for instance, up above you can see that one of these paper inserts is very cream in color, as opposed to a more pure white — but since I usually cover the insert with patterned paper, that worked for me.

One of mine came with a craft folder that has a place to put supplies and/or keepsakes, as shown here…

Some inserts are stitched together, and some are stapled… and this is also something to consider. The first TN I used had an insert that was stapled together… which enabled me to take the staples out and have flexibility moving the papers and getting them to lay perfectly flat while stamping or gluing things in place, which was nice! Since that first book, I have just left the inserts intact. Both ways work really well, and I think it is just a matter of personal preference.

There are many types of accessories and extra options you can purchase to use with your TN. Extra elastics, charms to put on the outside bands, tags, plastic pockets, zipper cases, and pen loops are all very popular and help you customize your TN…

I love the zipper pocket! Although I don’t scrapbook on-the-go very much, I often will stick in supplies that I want to use just to keep track of everything!

To give you a little more inspiration and let you see the kinds of things you can do with your TN… here are a couple of pages from my Summer 2018 Traveler’s Notebook…

And trust me, it’s all so easy! I simply printed some photos and products I liked, and then played around with putting them together on the pages. As you can see, this format works well for multi-photo pages and also for large photos. I use Epson Premium Presentation Matte paper and a Canon Pixma printer.

For the projects I’ve shown you, above, I printed digital products from these beautiful kits that you can find at The Digital Press…

The great thing about a TN is that you can use your favorite digital products and edit/alter the contents, re-size things, and even change a few colors here and there, before printing… in order to have your own personalized scrapbooking supplies ready to add to the TN. And as we discussed above, there are a lot of options to choose from when selecting and beginning a Traveler’s Notebook. Here are a few final thoughts you might consider, as you get ready to give this a try…

  • the cost — you can spend a lot or a little
  • the size — standard or regular is used by most scrapbookers (it is approximately 8.5″ tall by 4.25″ wide)
  • the paper inserts/refills — the color, weight and the style; grid, dot and lined patterns are popular
  • the topic — decide whether you want your book to be about a specific topic or just a bunch of random photos & stories you love
  • the record-keeping — TN’s are a great way to journal your thoughts, and many people use their own handwriting rather than typing
  • the supplies — use your digital supplies in a whole new way; journal cards, labels & pattern papers work well
  • the contents — large, full-size photos are dramatic and pair well with papers, journaling and embellishments
  • the rules — there are really NO rules! Just play around and find out what works for you!
  • the starting point — really, just get started! it’s so much fun to print, touch, and play around with the items you add to your TN

The important thing is to have fun with it and make it work for you. We would love to see what you create using products from The Digital Press, so please feel free to leave us comments and link us up to any projects you load into the hybrid gallery here at TDP!

 


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About the Author  KerriAnne is a homebody who resides in the desert SW. She started scrapbooking when her kids were little and hasn’t stopped despite the teenagers rolling their eyes and sticking out their tongues!  When not scrapping or being a chauffeur, she can be found consuming large amounts of iced coffee.

 

Feature Friday | Cornelia Designs

Hey there! After our annual “blog break” this past month, we’re back! Welcome to another edition of our always-popular Feature Friday series here on The Digital Press blog.

love getting to know our designers better thanks to these posts… getting a peek into their creative minds, into their lives, and into their passions outside of digital design. This week, I have the honor of introducing you to one of the newest members of our design team — Cornelia Pramendorfer of Cornelia Designs. She joined the The Digital Press family in May, and we’re so thrilled she’s here!

In order to learn more about her, we asked her to share with us “5 Things We Might Not Already Know About Herself“…

  1. Beside designing digital products, she also creates book covers and she’s an author. She already has five (5!) books published in the romance genre!
  2. She’s a new mom to a little baby boy, who is right now 4 month old and she’s newly engaged to a wonderful man and father and can’t wait to marry him. (Awwww!)
  3. She’s a gamer… and loves to play role play games like World of Warcraft, Rift, and Final Fantasy.
  4. In her free time (if there is any, LOL ), she loves to read. She loves fantasy books, and about 3/4 of her books are actually in English, even if its not her native language (she’s from Austria).
  5. She really can’t cook, so its not her who does the cooking most of the time… but she can (and loves to) bake.

A geek girl and romance author that loves to bake?! …can I move in with you, Cornelia? LOL

If you take a peek through the Cornelia Designs store at TDP, you’ll see that she designs both templates and kits/collections — all equally fabulous! She has an elegant and realistic design style. Her templates are super fun and creative, and can work for scrappers who are very clustery and love lots of layers — or — easily toned down for a more minimalistic look. Furthermore, if you like themed kits that are full of amazing details and gorgeous color combinations, and which can be used for both themed and/or generic pages… you’ll love Cornelia Designs!

Here are a few of my favorite products from Cornelia’s shop at TDP, in order to give you just a small sample of the fabulousness of her products…

Furthermore, in order to show you how much fun her products are to work with, here are a fantastic layout examples I found that use products from the Cornelia Designs shop at TDP…

Whether clustery or clean… hybrid or digital… pocket-style or artsy… as you can see, Cornelia’s products are super versatile!

I hope you had fun “meeting” Cornelia today for her very first Feature Friday here at TDP, and that you are just as excited about her gorgeous designs as I am! If so, I have good news… because during her upcoming Feature Week here at The Digital Press, Cornelia’s entire shop will be marked down 30% OFF all week long (the sale will end at 11:59pm ET on Thurs 9/13). Don’t miss it!

And that’s not all! Cornelia also has a special Free-with-Purchase offer for you this week, as well! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to stock up on your favorite products from Cornelia’s shop, and you can also get this fantastic (and brand-new! just released today!) layered template set — Half Split — for FREE with any $10+ purchase in her shop (this week only, though… because again, this offer ends at 11:59pm ET on 9/13).


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, FlyLady and Zero Waste.