Tutorial Tuesday | Creating Cut-Out Journal Cards


I love using journal cards on my digital scrapbooking layouts. I don’t pocket scrap very often, but I do love to tuck a journal card in behind my photo or behind clusters of elements. A few days ago, I was working on a layout when I thought, “I would love to be able to add a card with my name on this layout…” and there it was — my idea for this Tutorial Tuesday blog post! Today I’ll be teaching you how to create a cut-out card for an extra fun twist.

I created a card template for the purposes of this tutorial, and you can download yours HERE. The zip file contains PSD, TIFF & PNG versions of the template. I will be using the layered PSD file in the examples shown below.

We will also need a few fonts. I am going to use bold fonts for this tutorial, and I found a few freebie fonts which I thought you’d also like: Axis Extrabold, Bohemia Slab Serif, CastIron Condensed & Intro. Follow the links and you will be able to download the fonts (I think that you have to enter your email address with one of those; if you don’t want to do that… just skip it and use a bold font that you already have in your collection, instead).

And now that we have everything we need… let’s start!

First, open the card template.


Go to the type tool. I chose the horizontal but you can always chose the vertical option, if you prefer.


Type something. I am going to type my name. I chose the Intro font, size 60. As you can see… my name doesn’t fit on the card.


I don’t want to re-size it, so I decided to rotate the text (if your text does fit, you can skip the following steps for rotating the text). Select the move tool. I have auto select on, layer and also show transform controls.


Now, click on the text. When you click on the text… you can see the transform boxes around the text. Hold the shift-button and hover next to one of the transform boxes. You will see a bowed arrow (I cannot get a screenshot of this, so sorry). Continue holding down the shift-button and rotate the text. My text is now vertical… but I feel it’s a bit too big so I am going to change the font size from 60 to 56. After doing that, it looks perfect now!


I want my text to be centered. That’s easy to do. While you have the move tool selected, click CTRL-A. This will select the text (make sure you have your text layer selected). Click “align vertical centers” and your text is perfectly in the center.


Next, click CTRL-D to de-select the layer.

Now select the Magic Wand Tool. In the following screenshot (at the top) you can see my settings…

Select your text layer and while holding the shift-key, select all of the letters.

Select the card layer and hit the delete button. The CTRL-D to de-select. Now make your text layer invisible. Just click on the eye that’s in your text layer.

You can now see on the card layer (layer 1 in the template) that the text you typed is cut out… but this is still a little boring. So let’s add a paper to the card and make it a little bit more fun. I have used a paper from The Digital Press’s June shop collaboration collection, Family Man. I am addicted to stripes, so I chose a cute stripey paper.

Select the paper (CTRL-A), copy the paper (CTRL-C) and go back to your card template and paste (CTRL-P) the paper above your card layer.


The paper now sits above the card layer. If you click CTRL-ALT-G (I love my shortcuts!)… you are creating a clipping mask with this shortcut. You can also right-click on the paper layer and choose “Create Clipping Mask.” Either method works.

I’ve added a white background so you can see what happens when you play around with shadows on the card layer (layer 1).

It will make the cut-out text from your card stand out more. Also adding another background (as you will have on your layout) enhances the effect. I played around with the paper size that’s on top of the card and added a cute background and this is what you’ll see….


I thought I was done with my card (and this tutorial), but then I realized… I still have to save the card! When you’re happy with your card, first save it as a layered PSD. I always do that so I can customize the card again whenever I like. Don’t forget to use the “save as” option… otherwise you will over-write your original template file. So you want to “save as” and change the file name. After you’ve saved your card as a PSD… go again to the “file” menu, click “save as” once again, and save your card as either a JPG or a PNG (JPG if it’s a solid card, and PNG if it has any transparency). Give your card any name you’d like.

And here’s a look at the final result…


One last tip/trick… you can change the effect of the cut-out by adding a stroke instead of a shadow, in order to achieve a totally different look to the card (for myself, I actually like the stroke effect better on this card).

To do this, I opened my saved PSD (layered) file of my card. Then I clicked on the arrow next to the “fx” on layer 1…

Next, I double-clicked on “effects” and the effect panel will opened. I chose stroke, and used the following settings (to change the color of the stroke, I first had to click on the box next to color)…

This is what I ended up with after saving this new version of my card…


This effect makes the text pop even more, so I like this version better than the shadowed version, for my own purposes. For yourself, now you have two options to use with your custom-made cut-out journal cards!

I hope this tutorial was useful, and that you are excited to create your own cards from time to time! If you do… definitely link me up in the comments, below, to layouts in the gallery that use your new cards. 🙂

bianckaAbout the Author  Biancka is a creative team member here at The Digital Press. She is a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), a wife to Edwin, and mom to Jasper. She lives in the east of The Netherlands (about 30 minutes from the German border). She is addicted to scrapping, but also enjoys baking, reading books (mostly thrillers), watching her favorite TV shows, and photography.

Hybrid How-To | Straw Rockets

Are you ready for something fun and easy? I found this simple project on Pinterest, and knew it would be the perfect way for my littles to spend a summer afternoon.

Supplies Needed:

  • Digital image of your choice (I used the rocket from County Fair, seen below)
  • Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue
  • Curling ribbon (optional)
  • Straw


  1. Print out the image you want and cut it out. Before printing, make sure the image is the size you want. It shouldn’t be too small; I actually ended up making the rocket from the kit a little bit bigger.

  1. Next, cut a rectangle of out of plain paper (I just used some scratch paper). It needs to be a little longer than your image.
  1. Roll the rectangle paper around a pencil and glue the edge together to form a tube. Pinch one end of the tube and glue together so that the end is sealed. At this point, I decided to glue some curling ribbon to the bottom of my rocket. Next, glue the tube to the back of the image.


And that’s it!

Now you can slide the tube over the top of the straw… and blow to make it fly. 🙂



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

Feature Friday | France M. Designs


Happy Feature Friday! Today you get the opportunity to get to know France Meunier, also known as France M. Designs! I’ve had the chance to get to know France over the past few months, and not only is she an amazing, kind, and generous person… she is an incredibly talented designer. Her products are whimsical, unique, and charming… with a perfect mix of traditional paper-style designs and graphic elements. Her kits include amazing word art (because who doesn’t just LOVE word art?!), realistic flowers, traditional flat elements (perfect for those paper-style or pocket-style layouts), and versatile stamps that are perfectly-crafted.

This is just a small sampling of the inspiring product offerings you’ll find in her store here at The Digital Press…


We asked France some questions about her life outside of the crafting world so we can get to know her even better! Here’s what she had to say…

Where do you live?
I live near Lyon, in France. With my future husband and our 2 girls.

When you’re not designing, what do you do with your time?
First and foremost, I’m a mother… so I spend most of my time with them. The grandparents are near us, so we are often with them on the weekends. I bake, a lot… macaroons, meringues, rainbow cakes, and a lot of other cakes are my passion (I intend to create my own business to sell them). I love watching TV shows and movies, listening to music, and reading a good book. And of course, I love taking pictures and scrapping… but I don’t seem to have much time to scrap!

What are 5 tidbits of trivia we might not know about you?
— Often, I do not wear the same socks!
— When I was young, I didn’t like my name. France is the name of my country too… but now, I love it!
— I met my man at work. We worked in a sports shop, and you know what? I don’t like sports!! haha!
— I love red nails
— I’m still a little girl… I love watching cartoons with my girls… Especially Disney or Pixar cartoons.

Which of your products is your favorite?
I should say, “the one I am working on!” But — I really like Awakening


Now that you know more about Franny, check out her products in action (and see how versatile her products are)! You don’t have to scrap in a particular ‘style’ to love her products. They are perfect for paper-style layouts, graphic layouts, and pocket-style pages alike…


Now that I have you drooling over all of this loveliness, your next step is to go over and take advantage of the 30% OFF SALE IN HER STORE throughout this week. I mean, you just cannot lose here… beautiful, unique products to inspire your creativity — and at a great discount, this week only (sale will end at 11:59pm ET on Thurs 6/23). Happy Scrapping!

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


Tutorial Tuesday | Create a Color Palette From a Photo


Every now and then, I come across a photo that I want to scrap… but find that it is hard to work with because it has lots of colors in it. Or maybe it does not have many colors in it; or maybe even colors I don’t really want to focus on (I am not much of an orange and brown person!). In these tricky instances, I don’t always know what to do with it! There is nothing that kills my scrapping mojo faster. To solve this problem, I have found a way to create customizable color palettes from my photos — which helps me determine the color palette I should use — which, in turn, helps me find a kit to use!

I know there are a few programs/websites around that can do this (if you google “color palette generator” you will find lots of options), but the one I find easiest to use is Adobe Color. Thus, it’s the one I will focus on for the purposes of this tutorial. If you want to try using it too, here is my process…

Adobe Color’s homepage looks like this (see the image that follows), and you’ll begin by using the little camera icon that you’ll find in the upper-right-hand corner…

You will either (1) click on that camera icon, and then load your photo, or (2) drag your photo from your computer onto that icon.

Next, the program will give you a color palette using the colors from your photo, like this…

Now, if you aren’t 100% happy with the first palette it generates… you can choose from the options on the left — “Color Mood” — and play around until you like one of those options better. Alternatively, you can even customize any of the palettes yourself by moving the little targets around on your photo, until you get something you like, as I’ve done here…

Once you have a palette you are happy with, all you have to do is choose a digital kit that uses those colors… and off you go! I chose to use the Capture | Kit by Little Lamm & Co., found here at The Digital Press, for my page (as well as a template from MEG Designs’ H2O Templates set). Here’s a look at my finished page…

I find this process to be infinitely helpful when I am feeling “stuck” while scrapping. For instance, I wouldn’t have thought to bring out the pink in the photo, but once the palette generater showed me that it was there… I really liked the idea of using that color as an accent!

I hope this simply tip will help you next time you are stuck, or at least it might be something new and fun for you to try!

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

Feature Friday | Laura Banasiak


Once again, it’s Feature Friday… and this week, we are featuring the designs of the lovely Laura Banasiak!

Laura’s kits are full of colorful and funky elements, loads of doodles, and various hand-crafted artsy elements. In addition to digital kits, she also creates awesome fonts, alphas and word art setc… all of which have a very special style that is all her own, and you can recognize her products without even seeing her name on the packaging. I love working with her products, because Laura creates all kind of goodies for cool boys and sweet girls, alike!

I picked some of my favorite products to share with you from Laura’s store (which was not easy, as I love all of  her work!)…


And now, let’s get to know Laura a little better! We asked her to answer a few questions so we could learn more about her…

Where do you live?
About an hour from Chicago, Illinois.

When you’re not designing, what do you do with your time?
As of right now, I am keeping pretty busy nursing a newborn (come check out her baby announcement in The Digital Press forum! cute baby pics! yay!), changing diapers, and passing him from one excited sibling to the next. 😉

What are 5 tidbits of trivia we might not know about you?
— I have about 15 tattoos
— My boyfriend is a police officer
— My stepmom and I share the same first name
— I was once a librarian
— I’m a cat lady… but am allergic to cats

Which of your products is your favorite?
This always changes. I love all of my Scouting-themed products, but there’s also a special place for my Walking Dead inspired kit, Apocalypse


Laura Banasiak’s products are super versatile and easy to use for all kinds of projects. Here is a sampling of some of my favorite projects using Laura’s designs…


If you haven’t already browsed through Laura’s shop here at The Digital Press… definitely check it out HERE! You will definitely want to take a peek this week, because her entire shop will be 30% OFF through the end of next Thursday (sale will end at 11:59pm ET on Thurs 6/16)!




About the Author  Miranda is mom of two teenage boys, aged 13 and 15 years old, and is also a fur-mummy for her 3 Bernese Mountain Dogs. She lives in the South of the Netherlands, close to the beach where she loves to walk with her dogs. In real life she is HSE-responsible for few companies in the construction industry. She loves to read Danielle Steel novels, long walks at the beach and she loves Italy; and has been digiscrap-addicted since 2007.

Tutorial Tuesday | Save for Web


I often say that Photoshop is like our brain: we only use 10% of it. Well, “save for web” is probably one of those features that we don’t put to as good of a use as we should! It’s a simple tip… yet it can change the way you share your pages online!

As is often the case with Photoshop, there are several ways to get to the same end result… so I will simply share my own process (I use PS CS6), but keep in mind it’s definitely not the only process.

First, I always save 3 versions of the same file:

  1. My original layered file. I used to save it in .PSD format, but I’ve recently switched to .TIF format as they are non-proprietary (hence readable by software other than PS), smaller in file size, and can be previewed in my windows folders.
  2. The high definition .JPG file. This is the file that I use for printing (at 300dpi).
  3. The web version. This is a low-resolution .JPG file (72dpi), but it’s still nice and crisp.

When my layout is finished, I save the .TIF file first. Then I flatten it and save the high-resolution .JPG file. Then, I start my “save for web” process.


Here are my “save for web” steps

First, I go to  Image>Image size  or  Alt+Ctl+I  and change the resolution to 72 dpi (from the printing resolution of 300 dpi) for screen use, and I re-size the file. The file size/image size settings that I need are different from one gallery to another. The Digital Press gallery allows layouts from 600px to 900px in size (900px preferred), so when I re-size my layout I switch to 900px (because I scrap square layouts, I re-size my file to 900px x 900px). If your page isn’t square, just keep the proportions of your original but make sure the longest side is set to 900px.

Next, to ensure that my layout looks fantastic when displayed online, my file often needs to be sharpened. Now is the time! Again, there are various ways to do it. I simply use Filter>Sharpen>Accentuation (you could also use Smart Sharpen or a Highpass filter). Here are my settings when I sharpen — but pick whatever suits your own taste and your page, using the preview window to help you…

Here’s a small comparison of the before and after of my layout; it’s a subtle difference, but it gives my page a really nice oomph (you can really tell the difference if you look at the string frame… look how nice and sharp it is on the right side)!


Next, I will save this web version using… wait for it… “save for web” (in the File menu)! Ha! The shortcut in my version of Photoshop is Ctrl+Alt+Caps+S. Then I use the following settings…

I make sure to set a file size limit using the “optimize for image size” option. Here’s where the menu is located, in the top right corner (click the little 3-lines/arrow icon at top right, and you’ll get the following drop-down menu)…

A pop-up window allows me to pick the maximum file size I wish to allow, which I choose according to the online gallery’s requirements/guidelines. In The Digital Press’s case, the max size allowed is 400kb — so I could increase the 350 you see in the following image to 400…

The quality level of the layout will automatically adjust to fit within this size limit you just set. Use the preview window to make sure it still looks good, then click “save”.

This tip is super simple, but it will help your layouts take up less space online (including helping you adhere to different gallery limits/requirements), while still looking nice, beautiful and sharp! You can even create an action to record the steps you end up using to do this… and make it even quicker/easier! I hope this info will help you out; don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions!


In case you’re wondering the layout I used for the examples in this tutorial, above, was made using several items from the new June 2016 Special Edition that launched this past weekend!

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.

Hybrid How-To | Cushion Covers


I know most of the world is coming into summer now, but where I live we have the most beautiful autumns and I wanted to make some decor to celebrate that.

I make a lot of my cushion covers; they are so easy to do. Today, I will show you how!

First, I design the cushion cover in Photoshop. My printer prints up to A3, so that’s the size of the page I start with. For this project, I used Grateful Papers by Little Lamm & Co. and Wondrous Stamp Sheet by Karla Noél.

After creating the design, I cut fabric to A3 size. Make sure your fabric is ironed completely flat and stuck to the paper with double sided tape. The top edge should be stuck right to the edge of the paper. Print your design onto the fabric.

*NOTE* The ink will not be colorfast, so if it gets wet… it WILL run. You can use transfer paper if you want your design more colorfast, but I change mine around often, so its not a big deal for me. If mine gets wet, I just make a new one!

You will also need to cut a back for your cushion cover. I purchased a small cushion from IKEA that already had a pattern on it and wanted to make sure the pattern didn’t show through on the front, so I cut an extra piece of calico. Cut them slightly larger than your design to allow room for seams.

hybrid cushion covers

To make my cover look a bit more quilted I decided to sew where the different papers meet. Do this on the front so you can see where you need to sew.

When you are happy with your design, put the ‘right’ sides of your fabric together and sew around the edges, making sure you leave a large enough gap to put the cushion in.


Turn your cover inside out, paying attention to the corners, stuff your cushion inside and hand stitch up the gap.





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

Feature Friday | Little Lamm & Co.


Today, I am excited to kick off a brand new blog series here at TDP! Each Friday, we will be featuring one of our awesomely-talented designers… helping you get to know each of them a little bit better… and also giving you a chance to enjoy a 1-week-only sale in each of their shops!

This week, we’ll be featuring the designs of Amie of Little Lamm & Co.  Amie creates digital products that have a distinct pocket-scrapping style and feel. She creates custom designs that you can print yourself at home, if you’re interested in “going hybrid” and ending up with physical cards and other products. You’ll find lots of flat stickers and brushes/stamps in her kits, mixed with digital versions of the types of dimensional items you tend to find used on traditional paper scrapbook layouts. Additionally, she creates some great photo templates for not useful to pocket scrappers, but for the everyday “traditional” scrapbooker, as well.

It was tough to narrow down, but here are just a few of my favorite products by Amie…


Meanwhile, let’s get to know Amie a little better! We asked her to answer a few questions so we could learn more about her…

Where do you live?
Fargo, ND and Vergas, MN

When you’re not designing, what do you do with your time?
Trying to keep up with a 4 year old, reading, cooking, and cleaning up after my 2 cats and hubby.

What are 5 tidbits of trivia we might not know about you?
— no bag of dill pickle potato chips is safe around me
— I once won a log throwing competition
— I have psoriatic arthrits and in 2008, I was bedridden and couldn’t even go to the bathroom by myself most days
— Justin Timberlake once complimented me on my singing and I had no idea who he was
— I went to Woodstock ’99. The one with the riots. I did not participate. LOL

Which of your products is your favorite?
It’s a hard choice, but I love Blink



I love creating with Amie’s designs! Here’s a sampling of some of my favorite layouts that I’ve made with her lovely goodies…



If you haven’t already browsed the gorgeousness in Amie’s shop here at The Digital Press… definitely check it out HERE! It’s a great time to go take a look, because her entire shop will be 30% OFF throughout this entire week (sale will end at 11:59pm ET on Thurs 6/9)! Also — don’t forget to check out her lovely new releases this week, which coordinate perfectly with the June Special Edition.




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

June 2016 at The Digital Press | Adventure


It’s June… and here at The Digital Press, we’re getting ready to jump into summertime with both feet!

This is such a fun time of year. School is ending for the summer, people are planning their activities and creating their Summer Bucket Lists, and the possibilities seem endless. It’s truly a time of ADVENTURE — which, very fittingly, is our new Word of the Month for June 2016 here at TDP!


image credits [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Looking for ADVENTURE this month? Come join us at TDP! We’ve just revamped our Challenge System, and there are a lot of fun new things in store for you throughout the month of June.

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

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



Get more information about our monthly challenge system HERE.

Meanwhile, make sure you check out our newest TDP collaborative collection, Family Man, which launched today in the shop. The design team really knocked it out of the park with this collection (I think it might be my all-time favorite TDP collaboration!), and with 45+ papers, 110+ elements, 20+ journal cards, layered templates, cutting files, and more… it’s a must-have!



We look forward to spending June with you at The Digital Press!

Laura Passage

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

Tutorial Tuesday | Shadowing Transparent Items


Have you ever noticed that the preset shadows don’t work so well with vellum and other transparent elements? I struggled with it for a long time, and although I can’t profess I have mastered it all… I do have a trick or two to share with you today.

For this tutorial, I am working on a layout using River~Rose’s fabulous new collection Pursuit of Happiness

In the following image, my layout is almost complete… and as you can see there are a couple of transparent acrylic elements on the page — the heart and the ampersand. With preset shadows in Photoshop, my layout looks like this…

Now the biggest quibble I have is that dark shadow showing through the transparent acrylic element. See how “grey” it looks? Logically, any transparent/translucent object that lets light through shouldn’t throw such a defining shadow. And that’s what we need to modify.

Step 1

First, you will separate out the shadow from the element (i.e. put it in its own layer). I do this using Photoshop CS2 (old free version of Photoshop!), and then open up my layout again in Photoshop Elements (PSE), which is what I’m showing my steps in for the screenshots in this tutorial. Once you have your shadow on a separate layer, you will press CTRL and select the element thumbnail in the layers panel. This will make the “marching ants” appear around the element, like this…

Step 2

Now, with that selection still on, you will click on the shadow to “cut away” the selection. Now you have two layers of shadow: one that shows immediately beneath the element, and the peripheral shadow that sticks out around it. We want this peripheral shadow to be pronounced — while at the same time downplaying the central part (see layer 2 in the screen shot).

Step 3

We can do this next part more than way…
a) Hide the shadow that appears under the ampersand entirely (as shown in the screen shot below)
a) Decrease its opacity (see top right of the layers panel and play with the slider till you like the effect)
c) If your transparent element is on a solid paper or background, it helps to recolor this part of the shadow in darker hue of the same color.

Play around till you are happy with the result you achieve.
Screen shot 3


And voila! …here’s my final layout. Compare this layout with the copy at the beginning of this tutorial, and see if you can see the subtle yet noticeable difference this makes…
Happiness-is-final layout


I hope you found today’s tips to be useful! If you have your own tricks about shadowing transparent items, please do share them. I would love to try out something new.

Until next time, then… happy scrapping!

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.

The Anticipation of Summer!


I say it every year — but man, time sure flies by! There is no way June is just a few days away! Is it even possible? My kids have an official “countdown until school is out” going… so I had to get myself in gear and get our Summer Bucket List ready!

I love the easy schedules of summer break — the “we can do nothing if we want to” attitude! I love the slower pace of life, and enjoying our lovely weather & beautiful surroundings here in Eastern Washington.

Even though my children are out of school during summer break each year, I still have to work part-time. Therefore, when creating our Summer Bucket List, we try to add a bunch of easy tasks that can be done on my work days or on my days off, as well as some fun weekend activities! I’m pretty excited about our list this year — I think everything is totally attainable (my kids can get a little crazy sometimes!). 😉


For my layout, I used a few fun summer kits:

Summer Bucket List by Laura Passage & Amanda Yi: HERE

Hello Summer by Scotty Girl: HERE

Summer Set by Rachel Hodge: HERE


Are you excited for summertime?

Join me in our forum to join the challenge that is related to this idea, above… and create/share your own summer bucket list with us!


 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.

Tutorial Tuesday | Painting Paper

Tutorial Tuesday | Painting Paper


Have you ever created a layout and decided it just needed a little more “oomph”? Or have you designed a layout and the kit you’re using has so many amazing papers that you simply have to find a way to use more of them? If so, I’ve got a quick tutorial for you.


Following is my sample page:


Tutorial Tuesday | Painting Paper


I created my page using River-Rose Designs’ Pursuit of Happiness Full Kit and the Pursuit of Happiness Extras Pack 1.


Tutorial Tuesday | Painting Paper


Tutorial Tuesday | Painting Paper


I created my page with the solid colored yellow paper as the background. It was a nice solid color that allowed all of the artsy elements, cluster frame and page border from the kit to really shine. The look was a bit too stark for me and I wanted to tone it down a bit so I chose another paper from the kit and “painted” it onto the background paper. Let me tell you how you can quickly and easily accomplish this look.


1. Add the background paper to your layout.


To show you where I started from, here’s my layout without the painted paper layer.


Tutorial Tuesday | Painting Paper


2. Add the paper you want to “paint” onto your background paper to your layout.


I chose the paper with the circular design from the Pursuit of Happiness kit.


3. Add a black layer mask to the paper you just added.


Make sure your newly added paper is active in the layers panel. To add a black layer mask press the OPTION key (Alt on a PC) and click on the Add Layer Mask icon in the layers panel. Since you added a black layer mask, the paper will now disappear.


Tutorial Tuesday | Painting Paper


NOTE: If you added a white layer mask instead of a black layer mask, you can easily change it to black. Simply make sure the layer mask is active in the layers panel and press CMD+I (CTRL+I on a PC) to invert it.


4. Choose a brush to paint with.


You are now going to choose the brush you want to use to paint your paper. I suggest using a paint/watercolor style brush or a soft round brush. You can access the brush tool by using hotkey “B”.


5. Make sure that the black layer mask is active in the layers panel.


The layer mask will have a white bounding box around it when it is active in the layers panel. If the white bounding box is around the paper and not the mask, simply click on the layer mask.


6. Now it’s time to play! You can begin “painting” in parts of the paper.


Make sure that white is your foreground color in the color picker then simply “paint” on the layers mask. As you paint, if you want, you can play around with the opacity of the brush or change the shape dynamics in the brush properties. Once you’re happy with the painted layer, if you want to change it up a bit more, you can adjust the layer opacity or the blend modes for the newly painted paper layer. The sky’s the limit here!


Here’s my layout before and after painting the paper.


Tutorial Tuesday | Painting Paper


Fun right?! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments or, if you have any other related tips you want to share, I would love to hear them as well!


Until next time … happy scrapping!


BarbaraAbout the Author:  Barbara is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She is a wife, mom to two teenage kids (a 19 year old boy and a 16 year old girl) and a dog (an adorable 9 year old Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier). In her free time she loves to digi scrap, take photos and hang out with her family.

Hybrid Saturday | Making A Flipbook

I have seen a lot of rise in snail-mailing lately, and one of the ways to do it is by sending flipbooks. basically a flipbook is a folded book with bits and pieces from the sender to the recipient. Usually a flipbook also includes a mail tag or a series of questions or requests, which the recipient would forward with the answer to another recipient or sender. Making flipbooks is very fun and it uses your physical and digital stuff in a new way.

For the project I am showing to you today, I used Dark Before the Dawn Collection by Scotty Girl Design for the papers, elements, and cards…

Start by printing out 6×6 inch pieces of paper. Since I don’t have a double-sided paper, I  print out 6 pieces of 6×6 papers, 3 of each patterns.

Glue the papers so it becomes a double-sided paper. You can use liquid or dry glue, I tend to work with dry glue because sometimes liquid glue warps the paper.

Create hinges by taping one piece of paper to the other using a washi tape. You can also reinforce this by running a strip of adhesive before taping down the washi tape.

Next is up to you on how you would like to decorate your pages. I printed out journal pages and also embellishments from the kit, and then hand-cutting them to fit the pages.

That’s it! Pretty easy right?

IndahAbout the Author  Indah has been a hybrid crafter for almost 10 years. She also loves collecting stamps and stickers.

Journaling Challenge | Vorfreude



Hello friends! It’s Farrah here today, and I’m hosting a journaling challenge related to the anticipation of things to come.

Whether you are anticipating a baby, planning a big trip, or even just looking forward to the summer… it’s fun to document the anticipation. The German word vorfreude means “the intense, anticipative joy derived from imaging future pleasures.”

For me, the time I experienced the most profound vorfreude was when I was pregnant with my second child. It was a huge surprise after having gone through infertility and then BAM! What?? I found myself pregnant.  We decided to wait until the baby’s birth to learn the gender… but that didn’t stop me from wondering about it and thinking about it (as well as many, many others aspects of a new baby that create intense anticipative joy!). I have created many scrapbooking layouts about this, but here is one of my favorites…




I have a journaling challenge for you today… related to this idea of excitedly anticipating something. I invite you to come check out the challenge in the forum, and join in! You can earn TDP challenge points, while also completing a layout for your personal album. Win-win! 🙂


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 (6), Hope (2 yr old puppy) & Kringle (5 mo old bunny). She works from home as a photographer and enjoys scrapping her personal photos.


Tutorial Tuesday | Libraries


If you are like me and working on multiple albums at the same time, you will no doubt have experienced the following problem — in which you cannot remember the basic technical specifications for each of your albums. For example… you may be working daily on a pocket-scrapping project, and then also go back to do a page in your recipe book and find that you have forgotten what font you were using (or what shadow styles you were using, etc.). It’s frustrating to constantly need to go back to a previously-completed page to check out all this information before you can start a new page, right?

If the above description is you, then I have a great tip – Setup Photoshop CC Libraries.

I discovered this feature early in the year and now use it on a regular basis.

So what are libraries?

Libraries can be used in many ways, but for me they are basically collections of style presets for the photo books/albums that I am working on. They can be accessed in the top right-hand corner of the page, and are on a tab next to “Adjustments” and “Style” (*NOTE* to enable libraries you may first have to select Window/Libraries).

Here, you can see how I have setup my “Project Life 2016” library…


As you can see, I have added the “character” and “layer styles” that I regularly use to this library collection… but you can also add things such as “colors” and “smart objects,” as well.


1. Set up your Libraries

Click on the Libraries tab, and then click anywhere in the text box to bring up the dialogue with “Create New Library.” Select this option and name your new library. You can set up as many libraries as you like. For myself, I have created libraries for my “Project Life 2016,” “Penang Travel Book,” “Recipe Book,” and “One Little Word Book.”



2. Add items to your Library

There are 2 methods that I use to add items to my libraries.

The first is to add all styles from a document. I used this at the beginning of the year when I had started my “Project Life 2016” book, and already had some complete pages. To do this… open your completed layout and (after you have created your library) select the first icon with the upward arrow at the bottom of the libraries panel. All styles from your page will automatically be added to your library. You can then go in and modify them by right-clicking on each library style item.

The second method — which happens to be the one which I use more often — is to add items individually to the library. To do this, you select the layer in the layers panel of the style you wish to add to the library. Then just click on the relevant icon at the bottom of the libraries panel to add it to the library. If you mouse over the icons, you can see there is one for Graphics, Character Style, Layer Style and Color.


Now comes the fun part…

3. Use your library of styles

I find the easiest way is to apply the style after adding the photo or text to a page. For example, I add text to a page using any font. Once text input is complete and text layer is still selected in layer panel, all you need to do is click on the font style you want to use in the library and the font automatically changes. Simple!

You can also apply the effect across multiple layers. So, for example, I have created my own templates for “Project Life 2016” …but each photo layer has a shadow layer style. To use these templates for my flat graphic style this year, I open a template in Photoshop, select all photo layers and then click on the “Grey Stroke no shadow” layer style within my library. This year’s stroke style is now applied to all my photo layers, instead of last year’s shadow.

Isn’t this easy? It’s such a time saver, too.

I hope that you find using Libraries as helpful as I have. Enjoy!

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

Anticipate a New Day



Anticipate. To me, this word means being ready for what’s to come (whether that is good or bad). Having a plan is the most important thing — especially with your mental outlook on anticipating things to come. Life can throw plenty of curve balls, and being prepared for those really does help tremendously.

I prepare for each new day by using my planner. I jot down my to-do’s, I write down little notes, and I periodically check it throughout the day. This helps me anticipate what’s to come, and be prepared for what I have scheduled or just need to do. I have two young children who demand much of my time, so my lofty goals and daily to-do’s don’t always get accomplished. I am prepared for them, however… and I anticipate everything that could (and does) happen. My attitude is also changing to accommodate sudden change and “lack” of accomplishments.

The following layout dates back to when I first started using a planner last year. I was so excited to start my planner journey and was “anticipating” it helping me get organized and accomplish more. So of course I had to document “when I became a planner girl”…


Here is another layout I created using some snapshots of my planner and my actual workspace. Using a planning system is truly the most effective way for me to anticipate each new day. It’s about having a plan… and knowing what is expected. Plus, it is so much fun and therapeutic to have a planner and an outlet for all of my thoughts, ideas, etc.

I spoke before about changing my attitude about sudden changes and “lack” of accomplishments… and for me, this year has been about learning to be happier, “choosing happy,” and expecting rough days (but being OK with encountering a bump in the road). I’m learning that it’s all about choosing happy… and being happy. Sometimes the best way to keep the good attitude going is a spontaneous dance party with yourself! Here’s a layout I created to remind me to embrace the day — good and bad — and about rocking it. This layout proves that it’s possible!

Lastly, I wanted to share another layout I created about “adulting” — one that captures me taking a “time out” after a long day. I was letting the kids run wild in the backyard, and I was sitting and breathing. Taking these few moments to myself helps me to decompress and get ready (anticipate!) the next part of our schedule.


What I have found this past year is that planning ahead, changing your attitude, and taking just a few moments to breathe are the ways I anticipate life by planning for it. “Anticipate” …as in predict, look forward to, and be ready for what’s next.

I hope these tips help you anticipate and look forward to a new day. Come join me in the challenge forum here at The Digital Press and participate in the challenge I’ve cooked up for you that is related to this post! I can’t wait to see how you embrace each new day…

TDP_blog_sabrinaAbout 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.


Composition in Square Scrapbook Layouts


When I’m looking to make a successful composition in a photograph, one of my go-to tactics is to use the Rule of Thirds to find a place to put my focus of interest. But, with the rise of the square format in recent years, I’ve been looking for alternative ideas and it struck me that, with the dominance of the square format in scrapbooking, that these ideas can apply in my other hobby too.

Apparently, when we look at a image in landscape orientation, we scan from left-to-right. If the image is portrait, we scan from top-to-bottom. Because of this, it can be advantageous to put elements in the image (or layout) on the right for landscape and towards the bottom for portrait. This stops the gaze travelling out the other side of the image and on to something else! But in a square image, the eye is much more likely to move in a circle around the image, this means that we don’t have to worry so much about the viewer wandering off, but it means that we have to think about how we guide the viewer around the frame or page in a slightly different way. It can sometimes have the effect of making the image less dynamic. Depending on our intent, that can be useful – or it might be something we need to counteract.

So, what are we trying to achieve? We need to work out what the focus of our layout is. Often it’s the photograph itself, but it could be the journalling, the title-work or even a part of the photograph if we’re using a large image. Once we know that, we can use the papers and elements to guide our viewer around the layout to finally arrive at our focal point.

Let’s look at some examples from The Digital Press’ Creative Team:

In this layout, Arielle has used a frame within the layout to effectively turn a square layout into a more dynamic rectangle.


Next, Hillary’s use of strong rectangles results again, in a dynamic composition where we scan down the page and then back up to focus on the adorable photos. The brights reds of the repeated flowers contrast against the more subtle colours of the rest of the layout to ensure that we’re focussing on the most important part of the page.

This layout from Bao, shows clearly the calming effect of placing the focal point in the centre. Her subtle use of color and minimalist design reinforces that feeling.

Biancka has a rectangle within her square frame, but in this layout, her positioning of her papers and elements have, along with the white space around them, defined the area without need for an actual frame or mat.

When using a larger photo, it can be sometimes harder to define where the focal point of the layout should be. Rae has used the face of her lovely dog and the elements around the edge draw my eye in a circle in to connect with his gaze.

Of course, one of the best things about scrapbooking is that we can use all these rules to give us a starting point, we can adhere to them strictly or we can ignore them completely and do whatever makes us happy! It’s worth stepping away from your layout for a while though. You’ll come back with fresh eyes and when you open it up again, think about how your eye travels around the layout and see if you can move anything around to guide the viewer to exactly where you want them to look.

JudeAbout the Author  Jude is part of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in the UK with her husband and two fantastic girls. She loves traveling, and would be off in her campervan every weekend if she could get away with it. She loves time spent exploring new places, trying new experiences and photographing them! She also spends too much time on the computer, and still doesn’t go running as often as she says she’s going to.

Hybrid Saturday | Easy Hybrid Hacks For Digital Layouts

Hello and happy Saturday! Arielle here, getting all “hybrid~y” today, as I show some techniques for turning digital layouts into hybrid. Sometimes I think certain layouts are far too awesome to be stuck in an album – they should be featured on my walls or given as gifts. But I like to jazz them up a little before I stick them in a frame!

Today I will show you two hybrid layouts based on this all digital layout, and show you some of my fail-proof tips for adding just the perfect amount of pop!

It’s great if you already have a layout you’d like to use, but if not, you can certainly start from scratch! Alex loved this layout so much, that I decided to “hybrid~ize” it for his room. I used the kit Game On by Inside Pixels by Lisa BellWhat a great soccer kit for boys! (She needs to do one for gals, doesn’t she? wink, wink!)

When you know what you’re using, gather your crafty supplies! I used:

  • Thin cardstock
  • Tissue , vellum, and other assorted papers
  • Adhesives (I used a Xyron machine, ATG gun & dimensionals)
  • Scissors and paper trimmer
  • Other embellishments such as enamel dots or buttons.
  • photos
  • layout base

When I do a hybrid layout, I always start with creating the digital layout. That one’s for the albums. Then I decide what the base of my layout will be. Either printed on 8.5×11″ at home or on photo paper. I did one of each for this layout.

The pros for paper are:

  • You can write, stamp, paint without destroying it
  • You can print it at home
  • Much cheaper

The pros for photo are:

  • Colors are more vivid
  • Is nice and glossy
  • Lasts longer, perhaps?

First up is the paper based layout. I decide before I print, what layers/elements I will leave, and what I will print separately and add on. For this, all the elements, photos and the two paper layers under the photos were removed (the text remained, along with the stitching and the frame and background soccer paper) from the digital layout before printing. Then everything was printed and adhered back on.

This one is an 8×10″ photo base. I printed this exactly the same, except I also left the two papers that are layered under the photos. (That way, I know those paper will match up, and save me a little time.) They are all shadowed, too. You can’t tell too much of a difference between the two layouts in these photos, but I love the look of the one with the photo base, the shadows really pop!

Now onto the fun stuff!


Adding a little bit of height is a great way to jazz up your hybrid layout… it will also create more interesting shadows! You can use a thin dimensional – say 1/8″ or so, and it will still fit in a regular frame. But not much more than two additional layers above the base, otherwise it will get a squashed look. (Of course, if you’re putting it in a shadow box – go crazy with the layers!)


You can easily add some pop by printing on vellum! It’s so fun to get a little peek of what’s underneath the vellum, it’s a classy little hack! (After I printed the vellum stars, arrow and soccer ball, I put a few of them in my palm, one at a time with the image up, and pressed into the middle of it a little, so it wouldn’t sit so flat on my layout.)


Last month on the blog, I showed off a technique for making your own washi. (In this post) I made a couple small pieces and you can see one below. Yes, it may sound like a lot of trouble, but they do match the kit – LOL! I loved this soccer ball pattern! But you could always use any washi you have!


I love adding buttons or enamel dots to hybrid layouts. Or paint, glitter and stiching. It’s fun to shake up the whole paper thing with some actual hardware ~ to me it creates a Trompe-l’œil effect. It’s interesting to see people trying to figure out what is real and what’s printed. (Text or overlays on photos is another great detail, too.)

Now it’s your turn! Want to try your hand at a hybrid layout? It can be as easy and as simple as you want it to be! Please come join us in The Digital Press’s forum for a fun challenge related to this tutorial! You can create an amazing item for yourself or someone you love AND earn points doing it! Points can later be cashed-in for discount coupons to the shop at the end of the month if you participate in the challenge system at The Digital Press!


Arielle H GordonAbout the author  Arielle H Gordon is a wife and mom of two crazy kiddos, ages 6 & 7. She moved around (a lot!) before returning to settle down in her hometown of Enterprise, Alabama, to marry her sweetheart and start her family. She is an avid crafter — digital, hybrid and otherwise! She LOVES Jesus, family time, camping, gardening, reading cozy mysteries, hot tea, popcorn, and anything on the BBC! This time of year, you’ll find her gardening, gearing up for summer and reading like it’s going out of style (while sipping sweet tea!)…