Tutorial Tuesday | Combining Patterned Papers

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

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

Tip #1: Keep It Simple

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

Tip #2: Focus on Neutrals

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

Tip #3: Choose a star!

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

Tip #4 – Just Go For It!

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

Tip #5 – Use Simple Shapes

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

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


About the Author  Amy lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband of  17 years and their 12 year old boy/girl twins. Their 21-year-old daughter has recently begun graduate school at Clemson! Amy has been scrapbooking since the early 1990s but discovered digital scrapbooking in 2005 when her twins were born and has primarily scrapped digitally since that time. She is passionate about telling her family’s stories and documenting their life together! Amy is a huge reader (mostly literary fiction), and is a pop culture junkie! She also LOVES all things beauty & makeup!

Foodie Friday | Mari Koegelenberg Creations

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


  • For the sauce, add 1 tbsp. each of canola oil and flour to a medium saucepan
  • Whisk these together over medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes
  • Add in the red sauce and chicken broth then stir to mix together
  • Add in ½ tsp each of ground black pepper and salt
  • Simmer the sauce on low heat while cooking the rest
  • Dice the onions and place into a large skillet with 1 tbsp. of canola oil. Sauté the onions for a few minutes
  • Add ground beef and brown
  • Add two cans of green chilies
  • In a small skillet over medium heat, fry individual corn tortillas just until soft (about 30 seconds each side)
  • Place tortillas on a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm
  • Add 2-3 tbsp. fresh cilantro to the sauce
  • Assemble the enchiladas by dipping the corn tortillas into the warm sauce, lay them flat, and spoon the meat mixture, chopped olives, green onion, and cheese on the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place seam side down in a baking dish.  Continue until all tortillas are used.
  • Pour remaining sauce over rolled up tortillas and top it off with freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes until cheese is melted and enchiladas are bubbly
  • Remove the pan and sprinkle chopped cilantro and green onions on top

Baked Parmesan Zucchini

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


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


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

Flax and Blueberry Vanilla Overnight Oats

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


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


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

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

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

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


About the author  Robin is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. A wife of 25 years and a mom of 4 crazy children (3 in college and 1 still at home), she says that her life occurs mostly in the car as she transports said crazy kids to their many, many homeschool activities. When not driving, Robin loves to make her family cringe by pulling out her camera again (and again, and again…).

Tutorial Tuesday | Titles Matter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hybrid How-To | Using Journal Cards to Design Hybrid Layouts

Hello everyone! It’s the third Saturday of the month, and therefore it’s time for another edition of our Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press blog!

Today, I’m going to show you how to use digital journal cards in a fun way — to help create non-pocket-style hybrid layouts!

Supplies Needed

  • 12×12 white cardstock (or any other color and size, as you prefer)
  • Any physical supplies/embellishments you might want to add (I used enamel stickers, gold foam stickers, and little gold stars)
  • Stamps and spray paints
  • Digital kit of your choice (I used Limited Edition By Sahin Designs)


First, I always start my project in Photoshop. I opened a new document in Photoshop and used a canvas that was the same size (12×12) as my eventual physical layout.

Next, I chose to work with a grid design for my page. By dragging different cards and elements from my digital kit onto my canvas in Photoshop, I made a digital version of the layout. I love to work this way; it’s easy and quick, and a great way to see the final result before I actually glue things together.

Here is a screenshot of my workspace in Photoshop…

I had so much fun arranging my cards, photos and elements until I became happy with the result. I really love this process. But when the digital version is done, the even more fun part starts. It’s time to cut and paste!

At this point, we will have to use different adhesives and try to give dimension to our project. It really brings interest to the page. For some elements I used regular double sided tape, and for others, I used foam tape (raised/dimensional). I also used foam tape for the journal cards. I think it helps them to pop up on the page and have more focus.

Here is a close-up look, showing these different dimensions in the layout as I worked…

Here’s another look…

Once all things are glued, it’s time to bring our page to life and give it texture with some physical elements, stamps and paint splatters.

I love to use small stamps and use the ghosting technique which consists in stamp more than one time without put more ink on the stamp. It brings a lovely texture to the project. I also like to add contrast to the page by adding some paint splatters in black.

All these add-ons and the physical embellishments give more interest to the page. I really love this part of the process.

In order to embellish my page, I used some gold foam tickers for my title, an epoxi speech bubble, and some little gold stars.

Here is another close-ups view (note the stamps and paint)…

And here’s a good look at the pretty gold star embellishments I added…


I chose to write my journalling along the cards to ensure that my page will be cohesive. Here is a look at the final result…

As you can see, using digital journal cards is a fun and easy way to make a beautiful, quick, and cohesive layout.

If you’d like to give this a try, too, don’t forget that you can earn challenge points at The Digital Press! Come visit the CROSSWORD SECTION in The Digital Press forum, and you’ll find this month’s Hybrid Challenge thread (*NOTE* for each month’s Hybrid Challenge at TDP, you get to choose one of the two (2) “Hybrid How-To” tutorial posts from here on the blog for that month, and then you get to make your own version of that chosen project). If you choose to give today’s project a try… all you have to do is make a hybrid layout using digital journal cards and elements that have been printed and cut into a physical format (similar to mine, but it doesn’t have to be identical in size or format — you can do what works for you!).

Give it a shot, and share your final results with us! We can’t wait to see what you come up with. 🙂 Have a great weekend… and happy scrapping!

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

Foodie Friday | Jen C Designs

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

Foodie Friday is our newest blog series… based on the amazing response we had to the “Mess Hall” activities during TDP’s Summer Camp back in July. As such, most every Friday throughout the rest of the year, we will be combining this fun feature with our weekly designer feature series — and having some fun in the kitchen with members of our team! Each week you will get to peek into the lives (and kitchens) of your favorite TDP designers and creative team members.

This week, you get to join Jen Cairns from Jen C Designs and TDP creative team member Astrid in the kitchen, where we’re cooking up a few delicious autumn-inspired recipes from Jen’s recipe books!

[ photo credits to Jen Cairns and tasteandtellblog.com (scones) ]

Here is the lineup of delicious recipes Jen put together this week (shown above):

  • Pancakes
  • Cheddar Biscuits
  • Yorkshire Puddings


About this recipe, Jen says… “they’re really simple and my kids love them! My 7 year old now makes her own pancakes!”

—1 cup self rising flour
—1 cup milk
—1/4 cup white sugar
—1 egg

—Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
—Heat a pan and melt some butter in the pan; pour desired amount of batter into the pan (depending on the size pancake you want to make).
—Wait until bubbles form across the top of the pancake, and then flip over. Let cook for another 2-3 minutes.
—Serve with topping of choice; we use syrup (and/or more sugar on top for extra sweetness!).

*makes 2 large or 4 small pancakes

Cheddar Scones

—200g self-raising flour (plus a little more for dusting)
—50g butter (chilled)
—75g grated cheese (plus extra for topping; optional)
—150ml milk

—Preheat oven to 220 C (about 425 F)
—Place the flour in a large bowl, and then grate in the butter.
—Stir in the cheese, then the milk. If it feels like it might be too dry, add a touch more milk… then bring together to make a soft dough.
—Lightly dust your work surface with a little flour. Roll out the dough no thinner than 2cm. Using a 4cm plain cutter, cut out the scones.
—Transfer to a non-stick baking sheet, dust with a little more flour (and/or grated cheese topping), and then bake for 12-15 mins until well-risen and golden.

Yorkshire Puddings

—140g plain flour (this is about 200ml/7 oz)
—4 eggs
—200ml milk
—sunflower oil

—Preheat oven to 230 C (about 450 F).
—Drizzle approx 1-2 TBSP sunflower oil evenly into 2 x 4-hole Yorkshire pudding tins or a 12-hole non-stick muffin tin and place in the oven to heat through.
—To make the batter, add 140g plain flour into a bowl and beat in four eggs until smooth.
—Gradually add 200ml milk and carry on beating until the mix is completely lump-free. Season with salt and pepper.
—Pour the batter into a jug, then remove the hot tins from the oven. Carefully and evenly pour the batter into the holes.
—Place the tins back in the oven and leave undisturbed for 20-25 mins until the puddings have puffed up and browned. Serve immediately with lots of gravy!

Here’s a fun photo Jen provided of her two kids eating the Yorkshire Puddings (left) and pancakes (right)… two of their favorites!

Doesn’t that all look delicious?!

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

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-with-Purchase offer… so you’ll be excited to see what Jen has in store for you! Not only is her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 10/26)… but she also has this awesome deal in her shop all week long, as well! Spend $5+ in the Jen C Designs, and get the following BRAND NEW template set that just launched in her shop today — completely FREE!

blogfotoAbout the author Astrid is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives with her husbandand her 2 teenage/adult kids in Germany. As a mini-jobber with only 10 hours/week, she has plenty of time for her digital scrapbooking hobby. She has Netflix and Amazon Prime, and is addicted to nearly all series. Vampires, zombies, vikings… it doesn’t matter; she likes everything. She loves the ocean and the summer heat, but lives in the opposite: mountains. Therefore, she loves visiting her family in Algeria or the south of France.

Tutorial Tuesday | Transforming Templates


Welcome to another edition of Tutorial Tuesday here on The Digital Press blog! Today, I thought it would be helpful if I shared a few ways that you can creatively transform templates to fit your scrapbooking needs! These tips and tricks will help you get the most bang for your buck when purchasing and using templates!

More often than not I find I have more photos that I want to scrapbook, than the template allows for. To remedy this I often add in more photos in places on the template that are suggested to be papers. For this layout I use Anita Designs Quick Scraps Vol. 17:


I altered the bottom left template by rotating & adding a photo to the spot that could have been background paper. I love the look of the larger unframed bottom photo behind the three framed photos. It gives the layout more dimension, helps tell the story & visually leads your eye across the page.


For this layout I used another template from the same pack (the top right template) and added a large photo underneath the layers of the template. Large photos help showcase the subject of a page and  are a a great way to catch the eye of the reader.


Another way to use templates is to break up your single photo to fit multiple spots. For this layout I used another template by Anita Designs A December Story Captured (template 21)


I placed a single photo in the three photo slots in the template. To get this look I merged the three photo layers (Command +E) in the template and then placed my photo on top of that layout and clipped it (Command +G) to the frames.  A super easy and unique look to make a template work to tell your story!


You can also rotate and delete parts of a template to make them work for your layout. I did exactly that with the bottom left template by Dunia Designs:_dunia_soco_springdays_templates

Again a large photo takes center stage of the layout. I rotated the entire template and moved everything to the bottom quarter to make more room to showcase the large photo. You can always move and tweak a template to make it work. Start with the end in mind and you can make your vision come to life with a few little changes!


Remember just because a template is set up one way by a designer, it doesn’t mean you have to keep it that way! Change those templates up and make them work for you and your personal style! Happy Scrapbooking!

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, watching her boys play sports, decorating, and shopping at Target.