Overcoming Obstacles to Project Life: Taking Photos and Journaling



“I want to do (or continue with) Project Life®  but…”


If you’ve ever said either of these phrases to yourself, then this series is for you. (And don’t tell anyone, but this series is for me too!)


Project Life® or the more generic, Pocket Scrapping, is a way of scrapbooking that is supposed to simplify the process of documenting the everyday moments that make up your beautifully imperfect, perfect life. However, so many people feel it is too difficult to start or maintain. Huh?! That is the antithesis of why it was created! So, when I was thinking of what to write about, I asked myself how I can help others overcome their hurdles to starting or sticking with Pocket Scrapping. And this series was born. So let’s start from the beginning.


In order to document the everyday, one of two things must happen first: you must take photos of your everyday life and/or, you must journal about your everyday life. Ideally, you would do both. To some that is a lot of work. And to most there doesn’t seem to be enough excitement to warrant documentation. And that’s ok! It’s not about documenting an exciting life. It’s about documenting YOUR life. And believe me, to your family, that is exciting enough!


So, I’d like to offer a few of the more popular methods for taking photos and journaling everyday.


The No Frills Way

The best camera is the one you have with you. You’ve heard it said over and over again. And it really is true. And let’s face it, today’s phone cameras really are pretty good. So if your phone is the only camera you have, go ahead and snap some photos with it. Then do yourself a favor and delete some of them. My iPhone 6+ has an incredible burst feature, but do I really need 20 identical pictures of my daughter picking a flower? Take the photos, view them and then delete them. Right away. And if you can’t get to it right away, do it while you are waiting to pick your child up from school, while in the checkout lane at the supermarket or while at the doctor. Find your down time and use it.


Of course, you can also use your big girl (boy) camera — your dSLR. Same rules apply. Take at least one photo every day and delete your duplicates. If you don’t do this in camera, I will be talking about doing this using your computer next month when we talk about getting your photos off your phone and camera and onto the computer.


Once you take a photo, you may want to jot a note about it. Unfortunately, the iPhone does not allow for this without the use of a third party app. After much research, I finally found one called Photogene 4 which allows you to very easily modify the IPTC data on your iPhone’s photo. The IPTC data is where you can add a caption to your photo. So even if you never scrap the photo, the story is always attached to it. (Bonus: Photogene 4 is also a pretty good photo editor as well.)


Once you open a photo to use in Photogene 4, in order to edit the IPTC metadata, you need to click on the second icon to the right of the wrench.


2015-05-11_11_10_14 copy

Then you can click on the tab that says, IPTC.




And then you can type in your photo’s story.




Now, onto journaling. A really basic way to journal using your phone is to use the native calendar that comes with it. On my phone, I can just add a calendar entry titled, “Today,” set the time to “All Day,” and under the Notes section, type in any interesting thoughts about the day. I don’t have to type in what I did, because it’s all in the calendar already. You can also do the same on your desktop calendar if you prefer. While this method does not tell the story of individual photos, it does allow you paint an overall picture of the day or tell the stories that don’t have photos to go with them.


The App Way

Yes. There is an app for that. There is an app for everything. Two of the best apps (imho) for combining photos and stories on an iPhone are Day One and Collect.


Day One is an iPhone and desktop app that will prompt you on both of your devices to journal about your day at a time specified by you. I have mine set to the end of the day so that if when it alerts me, I haven’t yet taken a photo, I can quickly take one to represent the day. When you open the app, you are met with two large icons: a camera and a plus sign.


2015-05-11 10.35.29


Clicking the camera gives you the option to use the last photo taken, take a photo or choose from your photo library.


OOPL: Taking Photos


Once you choose or take a photo, you will be prompted to journal about it. And that photo and journal entry will be added to that day.


Collect is also an iPhone app. Again, it is super easy to use. Once you open it, the home screen looks like a calendar. When you select the date, a menu pops up asking you whether you want to access your photo library, dropbox, or take a photo.


2015-05-11 10.46.16


Once you add a photo to the date, you are given the option to add notes to it.


2015-05-11 10.46.32


And finally, for iPhone and Android users, another app that works similarly is Diario, which is also available on your PC and Mac Desktop. (Although I have never tried it personally.)


Photo A Day

Perhaps the hardest hurdle to overcome is figuring out what to take photos of. Some days are easy and others are more difficult and this is where the beauty of documenting your everyday life comes in. It’s finding interest in the mundane. I get my inspiration from other Pocket Scrapbookers. I find looking at their pages and following their blogs very helpful. In addition, there are a lot of Photo A Day prompts out there. Some of my favorites are:



And that leads me to my purpose for this blog series. I’d like all of us at The Digital Press who are working on  documenting our everyday lives to support each other. Let’s share with each other what and how we are documenting our every day, every day. We have started a thread in our forum, which you can find here, to do just that. Let’s help each other tell our stories. Let’s give each other the push we need to take a photo every day (or almost every day) and let’s tell a story every day. Each day, check into the forum and tell us what you took a photo of and what story you told. If you want to share the actual photo, that’s even better, but you don’t have to. But please do stop in and support your fellow scrappers by sharing your strategies for success.


And be sure to stop by next month when I share how to get your photos off your camera and onto your computer.


Jen FlahertyJen is a member of the Pocket Team at The Digital Press. Having scrapped digitally for many years, she has come to embrace the simplicity of Pocket Scrapping since it fits more easily into her busy lifestyle of shuttling her three children from field to field. When she is not on the computer, you will find her working out or really doing anything else she can besides cooking, cleaning and doing laundry.

More Easy Ways to Upload to Instagram

Hey digi- and hybrid scrappers! I hope you are ready for a tutorial about how to get your layouts on instagram easily and in the blink of an eye. Because if you’re like me, you want your layouts to be seen. The more, the better.

When I began uploading my layouts to Instagram, I thought it’s complicated and extra work. Now that I played a little and found ways, it’s actually not that much more work and it’s even saving me some time on other tasks. What I love most though is the fact that I can be anywhere and use my phone to upload to Instagram and in the same step to facebook. I can be on the couch while watching tv, while I’m waiting in line at a store, while I’m having a little downtime… you get the picture.


More Easy Ways to Upload to Instagram


Why would you want to upload your layouts to Instagram anyway? For me in the beginning it was just another way of giving my designers additional airtime. I uploaded my layouts to spread the love a little more. Over the months it has become an inspiration board, informational tool, documentary of my own life and much more. The community at Instagram is a little different from facebook. It’s closer and more „intimate“. I get a lot more views and likes. I happily like the posts of the people that I’m following, too. It’s really a loving place.

How do you get your layouts up to Instagram in a whim? I know of three different app uploads. It depends on your choice of online tool. Do you use flickr, photobucket or dropbox to upload your layouts to show them to your creative teams, family or friends? Do you use facebook for doing that? Then it’s even easier to get your sweet stuff on Instagram and at the same time on facebook. Once you did it a few times, it’s a breeze.

All the phone screenshots you see here are taken from my S4. Although I’m not 100% sure if this works on apple devices as well, it might just be the same process. As far as I know, the windows machines have instagram beta running currently. I tested it and I couldn’t upload from other apps than the standard windows photo gallery. Sorry!

To use this tutorial easily, you have to have Instagram installed on your phone and know how to upload pictures from your phone’s gallery to Instagram. You have to be logged in to the app.

First and foremost, you use your own picture cloud service. I use flickr and dropbox and have used photobucket in the past. All three are available as an app for android and apple devices.

When you want to upload to Instagram, you have to get the coordinating app for your service first. Install the app, log in to your account.

Because I know lots of you use photobucket, I will get you through the uploading process from there first. The photobucket app is called Photobucket Share Print Photos.

  1. On your computer: upload your layout to photobucket like you usually do.
  2. On your phone: open photobucket, access your uploaded layout (via „your library“)
  3. Tap on the „share“ button, that looks like three connected dots in a half triangle.
  4. Search for Instagram, tap on the icon
  5. The usual Instagram dialogue runs now (crop, edit) and you can insert your text before you post it.


More Ways to Upload to Instagram

Upload via Photobucket

There is no need to download your layout to your phone first. You can directly upload from your cloud service to Instagram.

  1. The upload process from flickr is the same, only that you use the flickr app.
  2. To access your earlier uploads, tap on the portrait icon in the top line, then access your layout (left screenshot).
  3. Then tap on the share icon/the connected dots (middle screenshot)
  4. and if Instagram doesn’t show up, tap on “more” (right screenshot).


More Ways to Upload to Instagram

Upload via Flickr

From dropbox I can’t use the share button.

  1. I have to tap on the three dots in a row “More” on the right (left screenshot)
  2. and tap on „Export“ (middle screenshot)
  3. and on the Instagram icon (right screenshot) to start the upload to Instagram.


More Ways to Upload to Instagram

Upload via Dropbox

So far, so good. If you want to make your upload even more efficient, you might want to share your layout on various other social media. On my phone I can share to facebook, twitter, tumblr and flickr. You can do that on the same page in Instagram, that you type your text in before you post. Your device might ask you to log in to the service if you didn’t do it before.


More Easy Ways to Upload to Instagram

Sharing to other social media from Instagram

When you share to facebook, your layout appears with your full text from Instagram on your timeline and you can share it to any facebook group or friends. I show you how.

  • Search for the posting you made via Instagram on your timeline (left screenshot)
  • Be sure first, that the setting for the posting is public, otherwise your picture might not be visible.  To check the privacy settings tap on the tiny light gray downward arrow on the upper right of the post (left screenshot), tap on “Edit Privacy” (middle screenshot) and set it to “Public” (right screenshot). If it has been on public the first time, it will most probably always be.
  • Tap on “Share” (left picture, low right)


More Ways to Upload to Instagram

Check the privacy setting of your post in facebook.

  • Left screenshot: In the low line on the right you see the earth icon on the right. This shows, that it’s a public post. Tap on “on your own timeline” (down left)
  • Set it to “In a group” (middle screenshot)
  • Choose your group or type in the group you want to share your layout to (right screenshot).
  • In the next dialog you can share it directly as it is or you can also add more text if you want to (not shown here).


More Ways to Upload to Instagram

Share your facebook post on facebook groups.

In case you want to add more info like product links on facebook along with your layout, I’d recommend doing this step (the sharing in groups) on your computer as it’s not that easy to get your links into your post on the phone.

Some more info on hashtags.

  1. Use hashtags. If you want your layout or picture to be seen, use them. For instance every time I upload a layout with my dog in it, I use #dogs and #dogsofinstagram and #dogsofig. I get a lot of likes from people who would usually not see my layout. People who don’t even know scrapbooking! The more views you get, the more people will follow you. Don’t be shy on hashtags. Think of words that fit your layout in any way and type them in. My phone shows me how often the hashtag has been used on Instagram in the past when I have typed it in. This helps you in deciding if you want to use it or not.
  2. Once you typed a hashtag in, your phone remembers it. You won’t have to type it in again and again. My phone even remembers series of hashtags I used and I just have to tap on them, to make them appear in my text.
  3. Recommended general hashtags for your layouts: #digiscrap #digitalscrapbooking #digiscrapbooking #scrapbook #scrapbooking #pocketscrapbooking #hybridscrap #hybridscrapbook
    Of course you don’t have to use all of them, but if you want to, you can! There are many more. I learned a lot by looking at other Instagram peeps and watching what hashtags they use.
  4. Recommended hashtags for your The Digital Press layouts: #thedigitalpressco #TDPinspire and the hashtags of the designer, whose product you used, if you want to.
  5. Please mention us with @thedigitalpressco when you upload your The Digital Press layouts, so that we can like your layout and time and time again we might regram (repost/share) your layouts on our own instagram account. Wouldn’t that be great? When you set your Instagram account to private, we usually can’t regram your posts. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

I hope this has been helpful and you are full of motivation to try new things out! We hope to see you on Instagram! Follow us @thedigitalpressco . Please remember …co at the end! This is the real one.



AlinaAbout the Author: Alina enjoys sitting in front of her large computer screens too much. Apart from that she loves walking her dog and watching sunsets while being amazed of life in general. She is married to her best friend. Tries to manage the needs of her two cats and her dog and badly fails when they all want their cuddle time at once. Everything else is scrapping, taking photos and currently crafting. Having said that, she needs a bigger craft room.



How to make a hybrid box card


Hi all! Donna here to share with you some tips and tricks that I do when I create hybrid projects.

1. Re-sizing patterns

In traditional or paper crafting, they have sizes like 12×12, 8×8 and 6×6 paper pads. The last two are perfect for card-making. They’re basically shrank 12×12 patterns. Digitally, it’s super easy to replicate.

Here are image comparison when you re-size a paper to 6×6 and 8×8, respectively.



For this particular pattern, I like the 6×6 version better for the card I have in mind. Below is a sample of how I collage my elements. I re-size them first before printing, of course.


Here is the card after the print/cut/paste/assembly process (closed)


And you can watch this video for a short tutorial on how I created this super fun card:

Thanks and hope you liked what I shared today.

Have a great day!


About the Author: Donna Espiritu is a new mother to a little girl and wife to a very supportive husband. She is currently living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with her family. When she is not scrapbooking, she likes to read some sci-fi/romantic/time-travel themed books or watching old episodes of some of her favorite tv shows.

Tutorial Tuesday: Blending Your Digital Paints!

Tutorial Tuesday: Blending Your Digital Paints! | The Digital Press

Tutorial Tuesday: Blending Your Digital Paints! | The Digital Press

Hey guys! Stephanie (aka: PuSticks) here today to show you a simple trick for blending digital paints on my scrappy pages! First, lets have a quick chat about real paint. When you use real paint on paper, your colors blend together right? When you layer wet paint over dry paint layers, typically some of the dry paint will show through your wet paint. When we have digital paint, we don’t always get that type of effect without a little tweaking! Take a peek at one of my recent pages:

Hope by PuSticks - Tutorial Tuesday: Blending Your Digital Paints! | The Digital Press

*click here to see page credits*

As you can see, I like my paint! Now, I used a few different techniques on this page to create realistic looking paint but today we’re going to focus on the technique that provides the biggest effect: Blending Sliders.

NOTE: I’m working in Photoshop CS6 but this also works in CC. If you’re using Photoshop Elements or another program, I’m sure there are ways of achieving the same type of look, perhaps if anyone has any tips for those programs, they can leave a comment below with some ideas!

Step 1: Place Your Paint!

The first thing you need to do is put the digital paint on your page. As you can see below, I’m using the same page as above but we’re going to focus on the green paint area in the lower right corner:

Step 1: Place Your Paint - Tutorial Tuesday: Blending Your Digital Paints! | The Digital Press


To pull up the “Layer Style” window, you can double click on the layer you want to edit or on the menu bar, select “Layer -> Layer Styles -> Blending Options”. At the bottom of this pop up window, you’ll see two sliders, these are what we will be playing with!

Step 2: Blending Digital Paint!

Okay, now that we have our Layer Style pop up open, we need to play with those sliders! We’re working only with the bottom most slider in this example. If you drag them back and forth, you will see your paint slowly disappear! Well that’s not what we want at all! We need to split the slider triangles. To do this, we need to hold down the “alt/option” key and then click on the little line in the middle of the triangles. Now we can slide the halves independently! Move the dark slider on the left towards the middle to show more of the dark colors from the layer below, move the right light triangle towards the center to show more of the underlying light colors. Play around with these until you like how your paint looks!

Step 2: Blending Digital Paint - Tutorial Tuesday: Blending Your Digital Paints! | The Digital Press

Sometimes I also play with the top slider too if I don’t like how using only the bottom one makes my paint look. If you’re feeling adventurous, play around with this slider too to see what type of painty looks you can come up with! If you’re curious, here’s a closer look at what my Layer Style pop up window looks like from the above photo:

Layer Style Pop Up Close Up - Tutorial Tuesday: Blending Your Digital Paints! | The Digital Press

Bonus Idea!

You know what else this technique is fun to use on? Pattern papers! Blend some grungy papers together, or use a layer mask to block out areas of the paper and then blend them together, or clip papers to shapes and then blend the shapes into the background paper… the potential uses of this little trick are amazing! So go grab some digital paint, papers and all that fun stuff, make a neat page, then upload your new masterpiece in the gallery! I look forward to seeing your painty goodness popping up around here soon!



About the Author: Hey guys! I’m Stephanie and I’m a scrapbook addict… and a Disney nut… and a Netflix junkie! I seem to do everything “all-in” when it comes to things that I’m passionate about. I don’t have a “style” per say, some days I’m feeling clean and simple, other days I’m art journaling with abandon! Outside of my creative outlets, I enjoy spending time with my family, especially when it’s at Disney World with my two sons! Also, I thoroughly enjoy stepping on small Lego pieces at 1am…wait…

Create Hybrid Journal Cards with Digital Kits

Create Your Own Journal Cards with Digital Kits


Sometimes I fall in love with a digital kit and all the fabulous patterned papers and embellishments only to find out the kit doesn’t have any pre-made journal cards for Pocket Scrappers like me. But since becoming friendly with the shape tool and clipping masks in Photoshop, I make my own cards in just a few minutes and can customize to my needs.

Create Your Own Journal Cards with Digital Kits


I used Mari Koegelenberg and Scotty Girl Design’s new collection called Party Animals to make this hybrid page about my daughter’s 5th birthday party this past week. It was the perfect collection and perfect timing.

Create Your Own Journal Cards with Digital Kits

I made a video showing my process in creating these hybrid cards. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I’d love to hear them.



About the Author: Brenda Smith is a mother of two littles and wife located in Southern California. When she is not scrapbooking, you can find her working full-time, trying to finish up her college degree with online classes, or sleeping because there are never enough hours in the day. Hybrid scrapping satisfies her addiction to technology and her addiction to paper and glue.


Flourish | Your Recoloring Skills


Once upon a time I used to recolor by using the Colorize option.  The results were not always optimal.  One day while playing with the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer I learned that I could pinpoint specific hues and change them!  This changed my recoloring-life.  Seriously.  It was a moment where the heavens opened and angels started singing!   If you aren’t afraid of watching a very silly/giggly tutorial hit play.  If you want a step-by-step text/image tutorial just keep on scrolling!

If video tutorials aren’t you thing here is a step-by-step of how I created the above effects!  The kit used for this tutorial is called Lemonade Stand by Mommyish. It is 50% off Tuesday-Thursday! *inserts shameless plug*

Lemonade Stand by Mommyish

Open the element or paper you would like to change.  For this I have selected a little word art piece that I want to remove the coral in exchange for a gender neutral orange.


Above this layer you add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.  If you do not have this on your tool palette you can get to it by going to Window > Adjustments then click  the Hue/Saturation icon. hue-sat


After I have added the adjustment layer I create a new layer above both the element/paper and adjustment layer.  I take my paintbrush and just scribble over the element with the color I want to achieve.  For this tutorial I want to change the coral to orange.


After I have my color sampled I then play around with my adjustment layer.  This is where the magic happens!  You will need to determine the main colors of your element and then adjust accordingly.  Coral uses a red hue so from the drop down I choose red as the color I would like to adjust.  If I was going to change the teal color I would choose cyan.  If I was going to change the yellow I would choose yellow.


There are three sliders you can move.  The first is the most important: Hue.  By sliding this we can change the coral to orange.. or any other color!  Saturation effects how much OOMPH the color has while lightness can either deepen or lighten it up.  By using all three you could create completely different effects.  Play around and have fun!


When you have accomplished the look you want you can delete the sample color layer and merge the adjustment layer with your element.  I save the file as something new and call it done!  You can also pull your edited hue/saturation layer into other element documents with the same color you want to change to gain the same color effect on multiple items (as you can see in the first image of the post)


As you can see to the left here are a few samples of the elements in the kit and then a quick recolor to remove the “pink coral” with a more gender neutral orange that also matches the kit!  Many times we may like a kit but one color might be off-putting to our personal tastes.  It is easier than you think to recolor one specific hue in a palette!  While this may be a bit more of an advanced tutorial – once you get the hang of it you will find yourself going back to this technique over and over again!

Recoloring like a boss


In the past I might have used recoloring skills to pull pranks on long-distance family members.  (or maybe I just wanted to see if I could pull off pink hair)  My hair pulls from a yellow hue.  All I did was add the hue/saturation layer and adjust the yellow slider while erasing some extra color areas to maintain realism. (the lamp shade behind my shoulder, for example) You can use your eraser brush on the hue/saturation layer!


I hope you enjoyed this somewhat silly tutorial.  Don’t be afraid to play around.  You never know what fun effects you might accomplish just by experimenting!



 About the Author: Leah is the designer behind Mommyish and owner of The Digital Press. She lives in the beautiful lower Hudson Valley of NY with her husband, two girls, and in-laws! She has a love for all things geeky and quirky. In addition to being a graphic designer, she is an avid pianist.