10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Ten

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

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

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

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

 

LAURA’S EASY-PEASY PEPPERMINT OREO ICE CREAM PIE

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

INGREDIENTS

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

INSTRUCTIONS

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

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

FUN VARIATIONS / CUSTOMIZATIONS

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

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

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

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

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

 


Laura Passage

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

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Nine

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

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

Gift Card Envelopes

Aren’t these so fun?! 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cash (or Whatever) Envelopes

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

That’s really all there is to it!

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

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

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

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

Happy holidays! 😉

 


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

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Eight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ChloéAbout the author  Chloé is in charge of PR and communication for her small town by day, is a digiscrapper “by night,” and a photographer whenever the light is beautiful. She lives with her man and fur-babies in a small town of Alsace (in the northeast of France), where she loves to read, watch good TV shows (TWD being her absolute favorite), and just hang out with her friends — no matter if they are close by, online, or away in her Swiss hometown. She recently became quite obsessed with Bullet Journaling, Miracle Morning and Zero Waste.

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Seven

 

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

First, here is my version of a holiday Martini…

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Six

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Five

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

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

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

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

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

These make great decorations…

…or you can even give them as gifts!

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


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

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10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Four

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

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

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

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


About the Author  Katie is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and their four sweet but crazy boys. When she’s not dodging Nerf bullets or trying to dig out from under the never-ending pile of laundry, she enjoys photography, cooking, going to Disney World with her family, and, of course, digital scrapbooking.

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Three

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

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

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

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

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

…and cut them into separate tags…

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

 


Krista

 

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

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Two

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

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

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

To start — let’s gather our ingredients:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day One

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

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

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

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

Here are a few details about my overall process…

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

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

 

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

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

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

 


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

Hybrid How-To | Decorate Your Home

 

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

SUPPLIES:

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

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

boards

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

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

draganddrop

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

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

cutfileattop

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

cutsetting

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

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

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

remove-transfer-paper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Tutorial Tuesday | Expanding Your Digital Toolkit

We’ve all had that moment when our creative mojo just escapes us. You’ve been there before, right? You’ve got the time to create… a brand new kit that you really want to work with… and nothing. So what do you do?

Most of us browse galleries for inspiration, of course. Then you find “it” — a layout that has you saying, “wow, I really love that!” Maybe it’s the pictures, the composition/proportions on the page, the kit selection. Oh, hang on a minute… that’s your layout! Wow, that’s a little embarrassing. Actually, it’s not. Most of us are the resident memory-keeper for our family. We should be proud of – and love – the layouts we create. So how about using your own layouts as the inspiration for something new? Yes, I’m talking about expanding your digital toolkit and scraplifting yourself!

I look at scraplifting as one of the sincerest forms of flattery in the digital world. When you scraplift a page, you’re saying to the creator that their page inspired you to create; it struck a chord with you. It’s okay to give yourself a pat on the back for a layout well done… and if you find a formula that you like, why not repeat it? Scraplifting could be duplicating a layout design, or using it as inspiration to build from. I love doing the latter and wanted to show you my process for “lifting” the page shown here…

 

[credits: Sweet Dreams — a collaboration by Sabrina’s Creations and Designed by Soco]

 

Where to begin? Open your original file in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements and save a copy to work from. This is so important! You don’t want to make changes to your original file and then accidentally save them and over-write your original! Take it from someone who has “been there, done that” — it’s not pretty. On your duplicate file, start removing any paper or photos layers that you might have clipped to shapes. You want to strip the layout down to the basic design elements, like this:

 

 

Now, I like to use my existing layouts as inspiration and not necessarily duplicate an existing design (although that’s a great option, too). With that in mind, now that I have the base design laid out in front of me, it’s time to play around by moving elements (or groups of elements) around to create something new.

I like the vertical paper strip on the left with the scalloped edge peeking out and the stitched top edge. This would really lend itself to being on the bottom of a page. Ah, rotate the layout counter-clockwise (all layers), and then lower that portion of the design just a little…

 

 

With that central cluster of elements on the bottom edge, I’m now starting to think a vertical design — right down the center of the layout — might be the way to go. Here’s what the design looks like after I’ve moved and re-sized some of the papers. You’ll see that the overall design of the original page is still there; it’s just been modified enough to make it a little different…

 

 

Some of the original element clusters on the sides are now looking… well, “off” for want of a better word. This doesn’t mean they should automatically be deleted, however; they can still be re-purposed in the new design layout. Sometimes simply rotating and moving the elements can breathe new light into them. The cluster on the right-hand side of the page, for example, is one I really like. However, the vertical placement just doesn’t work now. Making it horizontal again (as it was in the original layout) will work.  Rotated and moved around a bit, here’s how my page’s composition is shaping up…

 

 

You’ll see that I’ve also hidden a few layers, like the element cluster that was originally in the upper left-hand corner of the new design. It was just too much. Also, at this point I haven’t even thought about a kit design, new papers, or new elements. I’ve simply been setting up the foundation on which to build from — and that’s not always easy to do, as I want to jump right in!

Using this scraplifted version of my original layout, I can now start adding all of the new pieces to complete my layout. If I move things around again, that’s fine — it’s my page, my memory. I can do whatever I like with it. I’m a firm believer that there’s no right or wrong way to scraplift a page. Bottom line: have fun with it!

Here’s how my now newly-designed page came out:

 

[credits: Away by Creashens]

 

…and just for fun, I did a second variation of the original page, just to show you that you can expand your toolkit and scraplift one page several times with each layout being unique to the memory you wish to record:

 


[credits: Leelo and Kiwi by Wildheart Designs]

 

So, if you like what you create… go ahead and give yourself permission to create it again, with a twist! A few things to remember:

  • Create a copy of your original Photoshop file and work from that.  Don’t work on your original file.
  • If you rotate the design, watch for your shadow angles as they will rotate, too.
  • If your original layout was based on a template, which you would normally credit a designer for, think about whether you will still give credit when you share your new layout. My own personal rule of thumb: If the new layout still closely resembles the original template, give credit with something like, “Template (modified) by …”

Scraplifting from your own gallery can be a great way to get your mojo going — or even just a fun exercise to do when you’re in a creative rush. It’s an easy way to expand your digital toolkit since you have all the inspiration right there at your fingertips: it’s you! If you would like to give this a try, I’d love to see what you can do with your own layout, so link me up with a before and after!


KatAbout 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 day being creative. Vacation memories feature pretty heavily in Kat’s scrapbooking pages, as do her son and “daughter” (of the four-legged furry kind). Kat has quite the sense of humor (she “blames” her father for this), which she incorporates into her journaling and memory-keeping.

 

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.
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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.

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

Untitled-5

Voila!

IMG_4941


Amanda

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.

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!


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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.

Journaling Challenge | Vorfreude

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…

 

08.14.09-grow

 

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.

 

Anticipate a New Day

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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”…
Planner-Girl-SP-OL

 

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.

Me-Planner-SP-overlay
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!

Me-Best-Me-4-12-SP-overlay
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.

Me-Adulting-4-17-SP-overlay

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.