Tutorial Tuesday | Selecting a Background

Hello there, and welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today, we’ll be talking about the process of selecting the “perfect background” when creating a digital layout.

When I started paper scrapbooking, I always needed help in choosing papers to match my photos or make them really pop. Our goal as scrapbookers and memory-keepers is to make the photos the center of attention and to have the background bring out the best of them, without competing with them. Doing this when you have a mix of strong colors within your photos, however, is not always easy. Sure… you can change the photos to black and white — but if you don’t want to do that, then this tutorial is for you!

I start out my layouts with the photos sized and shadowed as I want them, and the journaling written… and that way, I know the most important items are already taken care of…

I don’t always add a title. This layout is one of a series that details our travels to Asia last December. Next, I choose a kit or collection that I want to use (I find that TDP’s store collabs are often my go-to for a fabulous mix of goodies in my desired colour palette). As I began this layout, I found that I loved Fresh Air by The Digital Press Designers.

When thinking about a background, I started with the dark grey — thinking that it would draw attention to the elephants…

And while I thought that this color did work, I also thought that the bright yellow of the cloth on the elephants became a bit of an eye sore (contrasting too much for my liking).

Therefore, next I tried the light blue of my hubby’s shirt, but still was not completely thrilled with the result…

Next, I tried the bright orange background — which was bold and not really my style. It did draw attention to the “24” stickers we were each wearing, and to some of the balloons, but still not quite right…

Next, I tried to create my own custom background color — by adding a hue and saturation layer and playing around with that a little bit, while trying to re-create the bright yellow of the elephant’s cloth…

The yellow still didn’t feel right… so I tried out the light grey solid paper as a background. I found that it was easier on the eyes and drew attention to the light grey of my son’s and my daughter’s clothing (and to the stands in the background of the photos).

I decided that it worked, and so I added a paper strip from the kit that contained all of the colours that were present in the photos, serving to tie everything together and give a cohesive feel to the layout. I also added some coordinating embellishments…

To be honest, at this stage I was happy with it and saved it, walked away, and made tea. But when I came back I was inspired to try one last background paper colour — one that felt warmer, as it was hot and humid in Asia.

My new choice was a warm yellow/orange color that resembled the sand found in the photos…

As soon as I saw it, I knew that this last option was the correct one for me!

As you can see, choosing a background colour is a personal choice… and is one that often requires/involves some trial-and-error to achieve a result. I find that it’s helpful to see all of the different options in order to choose the one that works best for your page. And that’s the beauty of digital scrapbooking — you can try out any number of different background color choices without any hassle!

In general, though, my rule of thumb is to choose a background paper that coordinates with one of the background colours from my photos, and/or a color found in the focal photo. I definitely encourage you to play around with different color options — especially if you’re working with a kit that contains solid papers in all of the colors of the collection (in which case, the designer has done all of the hard work for you!). Once you choose your favorite main/background color… you can add a small-scale patterned paper or a striped paper or a plaid paper strip, etc. — something to tie the colors together and lend cohesion to the layout.

Have fun and fill your albums or photobooks with layouts that make your heart sing when you leaf through them!


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About the author Stefanie is a member of The Digital Press creative team and a stay at home mother of three older children living in Cape Town, South Africa with her hubby of 30 years, two of their three children and 4 Siamese cats. She loves photography, traveling and digital scrapbooking, documenting the good and the ordinary everyday.

Tutorial Tuesday | Scrapbooking Inspiration

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Hi gang! Happy to be here with another Tutorial Tuesday. For this week’s focus, I wanted to create a little inspiration for alternative things to include in your scrapbooks – and it’s all about screenshots!

It’s certainly easy to pick the major moments of life – weddings, birthdays, trips, etc. – for the subject of a page or an album, but I think often that some of my favorite things about my life are not those major occasions, but rather the millions of tiny, every day, regular moments that fill in the rest of the space. It’s usually these random moments that make the sweetest memories for me, and the ones I really want to remember. Luckily, since we’ve all got our smart phones around us pretty much all the time, it’s easy to capture screens and remember moments like these. I wanted to share a couple of ideas that I’ve used to preserve some of these moments.

Text Message Threads

I’ve got a running text message thread with my two sisters. We don’t live near each other, but we sure do text a lot! And 9 times out of 10 the conversations turn really silly, really quickly. They are the conversations that keep me giggling days, weeks, and even years in the future, so it’s important for me to remember them! I’m an iPhone user so I can give a bit of guidance there – but you can apply the same concepts to whatever device you use.

  1. Depending on which phone you have, there’s a certain set of buttons to press to capture any given screen. On the iPhone 7, for example, you click the circle button and the screen button at the same time to take a capture. The image gets saved in your Camera Roll.
  2. Sync your phone with your computer to be able to access the images and use them in a scrapbook spread.
  3. If the conversation is long, you can take multiple screenshots and stitch them together on the computer to have the entire conversation be visible.

As an alternative – at least for iPhone and iMessage users – you can take a screenshot from your computer to get a larger area all with one screen capture. On Mac, you can hit Shift-Cmd-4 and you’ll get a little crosshairs icon. Click and drag around the area of the screen you want to capture – the screen capture gets saved as a PNG to your desktop.

Here’s my layout of a text message thread of mine:

 

FaceTime

Another thing that I do a lot of – thanks to technology! – is Facetime with my niece and nephew. They recently moved to the other side of the country, so we don’t get to see each other nearly as often. But we hop on Facetime frequently and I discovered that you can take snapshots during the Facetime to keep as still images.

  1. During the FaceTime, there is a little white circle button that appears on the screen (not the iPhone button). If you tap that, it takes a still of theFaceTime session from that point and saves it to your Camera Roll.
  2. Sync your phone with your computer to be able to access thoseFaceTime stills and use them in a scrapbook spread

Here’s a layout of a FaceTime capture I took:

 

Other Screenshot Ideas

There are plenty of other screenshots you can take that are worthy of documenting the everyday moments of your life. Here’s a couple of additional suggestions to get the creative juices flowing…

  • Screenshot of the current weather – if you’re like me and live in a place where it gets REALLY hot, you probably check the weather app on your phone and marvel at temps shooting PAST 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine that with a couple of fun shots of the family enjoying the pool and you’ve got a fun summer spread!
  • Screenshot of Instagram favorites – I follow a couple of really inspiring Instagram accounts. One example is a feed of all of the beautiful natural places of the world – I look at those pictures and am always inspired to travel. Scrapbooking a page with those screenshots serves as a sort of Dream Board for my future self! Another account I follow is a guy who writes really amazing poetry… some of the poems really strike a chord with me and a page showcasing that poem with some journaling about how it made me feel seems really special.
  • Screenshots of Game apps – I know I’m not the only one addicted to a particular game on my phone… I just know it! I have a friend who lives across country and one of the ways we “keep in touch” is through friendly competition at Bejeweled. I have a handful of screenshots of high scores that I’ve taken, accompanied by a text message thread conversation full of friendly competitive banter. It’s little moments like this that keep me feeling close to my friends, ridiculous as they are.
  • Screenshots of Exercise Tracking – There are all kinds of apps that will map and track your hike, bike, run or walk. I’ve been on my fair share of exercise kicks and have gone through phases and recording EVERYTHING! A screenshot of a particular tough hike log along with a picture of triumphant smiles at the top of a mountain makes for a great memory.
  • Screenshot of Pinterest saves – I’m sure a fair amount of you have been entertained by “Pinterest Fail” videos… or have been wowed by “Pinterest Win” pictures and videos. I’ve been known to take screen captures of a Pinterest pin and compare it side by side to my attempt at recreating it. It’s either amazing or hilariously awful – but it’s a fun memory to preserve!

Here’s a layout I did with a screenshot of an Instagram favorite:

You can see that there a ton of ideas out there for alternative things to scrapbook – and so many just in the realm of screenshots. I’d love to see what other ideas you all have come up with – or challenge yourself to think outside the box and do something you haven’t before.


About the Author  Shannon has been completely addicted to digiscrapping since she began in early 2016 (though she’s been a scrapper since 2000). Her early morning ritual of a few quiet hours of scrapping while sipping a chai tea is her favorite part of each day. She is also the owner of a web design company, and when she’s not at the computer designing websites or digiscrap layouts, she’s probably hiking one of the local mountains in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. She is an avid reader and loves to travel to foreign countries.

Hybrid How-To | Making Flair Buttons

Hi, everyone! It’s Kate here, and I’m so stoked to present another edition of our Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press blog! Today, I’ll be sharing my process for making hybrid flair — a quick and easy trick I’ve been using for a long time now.

I love digital flair so much, but it doesn’t always transfer very well to the hybrid world. A couple of years ago, I started using googly eyes to give the printed digital flair some dimension and I LOVED the result. The best part of hybrid flair? You can make it any size you want (because googly eyes come in every size imaginable!)… and additionally, they’re flatter than real flair buttons, which makes it much easier to store your pages.

Supplies Needed:

  • Digital flair images of your choice (I used Get Lucky by creashens)
  • Photo editing software, like Photoshop (PS) or Photoshop Elements (PSE). Cutting machine software also works for this project; you just need to be able to re-size.
  • Photo paper or cardstock; photo paper makes it more vibrant.
  • Googly eyes
  • Straight blade or X-ACTO knife.
  • Scissors or cutting machine

Instructions:

1. The first step is to cut a slit along the edge of the googly eyes. I used the corner of a straight blade to punch through where the clear plastic meets the backing. Then I held the blade still while moving the eye around it in a circle, until I had cut about half-way around the plastic. Basically, you just need a slit big enough to pop the black part out and pop the printed flair in…

2. Next, measure the googly eyes and size your flair in your photo-editing software program accordingly. Then, print and cut your flair.

3. Now, just pop the flair into the plastic. You can secure the slit with a little bit of hot glue if you want to. I used to do this, but I’ve found over the years that it’s not really necessary because there’s always a little lip all the way around that holds the paper in place.

Here’s a close-up look at my finished “googly-eye” flair buttons…

Easy-peasy hybrid flair with dimension!

And to think that my kids think I keep googly eyes around for their projects. Psh. No. I keep them around for my projects. 🙂

I hope you’ll give this project a try! And please share your projects with me — I’d love to see what you make with your new flair. If you’re participating in The Digital Press’s challenge system for March 2018, don’t forget to visit the CROSSWORD SECTION in TDP’s forum to get the details about this month’s Hybrid Challenge — because you can earn challenge points if you give this project a try (you can earn points toward discounts & FREEBIES)!


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.

Tutorial Tuesday | Digital Mini Albums (Part 1)

 

If you have ever looked at the beautiful mini-albums that our hybrid creative team members make for gifts or holidays, and thought, “I want to do that!” …but then your brain kicks in and reminds you that you live in a teeny, tiny apartment with 5 other people and not enough room for a dining room table (No? That’s just me then? OK, well)…

…I would like to propose a solution: a fully digital mini album! It’s perfect for those of us who love the idea of creating a cute little mini-album, but who are lacking in space, tools, supplies, or even simply the “courage to tackle hybrid or paper scrapping”!

If you search for “mini album” here on The Digital Press blog, you will be rewarded with a bunch of articles that are all full of fantastic ideas and inspiration. Here are just a few examples of the gorgeous mini-albums I found…

Mini-albums are handy for all sorts of things:

  • Creating a separate album for a family vacation
  • Creating a special gift for someone
  • Documenting a special holiday
  • Documenting a specific family tradition
  • Capturing a sports season or extra-curricular event
  • Documenting major life events such as adoption, graduation, birthday, wedding, birth, or death

You could create a mini album for just about anything you want to… but they are especially helpful when you want to highlight a certain event, or create a gift using your crazy awesome scrapbooking skills. 🙂

Technically, you could simply throw together a bunch of pages and call it a mini-album… but if you look at most of the examples in the link I posted, above, you’ll likely notice that mini-albums usually have a consistent flow. That sort of cohesion does not just come together on its own… but instead, it takes a little bit of thought and planning.

After thinking about my own album creation process, I broke it down into the following steps:

  1. Planning
  2. Organizing
  3. Filling & Finishing
  4. Printing

These are not hard and fast rules, mind you… but I have found that they help me to get through the process quicker and end up with a final product that I love!

Over the course of several tutorial posts here on the blog throughout the coming weeks, I will walk you through each of the above steps for creating a digital mini-album. Today, we are looking specifically at the first step — planning.


Step 1: Planning

I have found planning to be the most important step in the process of creating a mini-album. It sets the stage for everything that comes later, gives you a definite direction, and makes the actual production of the album go like clockwork. For me, this is key to actually completing the project — something which, I admit, I often struggle with otherwise.

Planning allows you to decide ahead of time what you want the finished album to look like, and ensure that there is consistency and cohesion throughout the pages.  I encourage you to pull out some paper, or make a document on your phone or computer, to jot down your planning notes.  That way you can look back at it later, or make adjustments if needed.

CHOOSE YOUR SUBJECT

Decide what your album is going to feature before you even start.

Back in the days when I paper scrapped on a regular basis, I always made mini-albums of our vacations. This was mostly because the kids (including the kid in me) loved to look back on those short moments in time that seemed so perfect. Other times I have made special “I LOVE YOU” books for a relative, or special teacher. And when we adopted our middle child I made a special album just for her that walked through the entire process.  She loves it and thumbs through it regularly.

Your subject matter can be anything you like. For myself, and for the purposes of this blog series, though… I am going to be making a very specific kind of mini-album. Last fall, my youngest sister lost her baby girl in a still birth. It was heart-wrenching and difficult, but she very much wanted to take pictures and remember everything she could about her little angel. So one sister took pictures, and over the last few months my youngest sister has curated the ones she wants and asked me to make them into a book: a mini-album that celebrates the short life of her youngest daughter. How could I say no?

CHOOSE A SIZE/ORIENTATION FOR YOUR ALBUM

Depending on your chosen topic, decide which type of album would be best.

You can print your pages at home, at a local print shop, or have them printed as a complete book using an online print service. There really are a multitude of choices here. One thing to note, though… a mini-album is just that — mini (in size) — so it should be smaller in size than a “Year in the Life”-type book, etc. (both in dimension, and in number of pages).

Things to consider when choosing your album size and style:

  1. How do you plan on printing it? If using a print shop, or online book print service, what are the requirements?
  2. What size restrictions do you have? For instance, do you have the ability to print “9 inches wide” (etc.)?
  3. What is the orientation of most of your photos? Are they mixed, or are they primarily landscape/portrait?
  4. Do you have a lot of journaling to include? The smaller the page size, the more difficult it may be to read lengthy journaling.
  5. Will you use digital templates to help you achieve a layout style you like?
  6. If this is a gift album, what are the storage capabilities of the recipient? (i.e. do they have room to store your gift?)
  7. What do you LIKE?

In my mind, templates are one of the biggest benefits to doing a digital album, and The Digital Press offers a wide variety of templates from which to choose. Templates that are geared specifically to album-making can be found HERE.

Here are just a few examples of album-based template packs that I have enjoyed working with in the past…

Working with an album template pack is especially helpful in constructing a mini-album because these template bundles usually contain a variety of templates in a similar style… and thus, they already work well together.

The use of templates does not have to completely dictate your page size, however. If you look on the blog HERE you can read a number of articles containing tips for transforming your templates to fit into different-sized pages.

For myself… I plan to print my pages separately at a local print shop and then put them in a SNAP album using plastic pocket pages. This will allow my sister to add additional items to the album as she sees fit. To do this, my pages will need to be sized at 6″ x 8″. I decided to use The Great Escape by Anita Designs to give my album pages some consistency — and also to allow me to quickly pull the pages together…

This set offers a lot of variety… from full photo pages, to full-page journaling spots. I will, however, need to re-format them a bit to work in the binder I chose for the printed album. I will show you how I did that in PART 2 of this tutorial series (the ORGANIZE portion of the series)!

DEFINE YOUR COLOR SCHEME

Color plays a huge role in our lives. It is a well-documented fact that certain colors are linked to specific emotions. While this is somewhat cultural, there are several universal connections as well. For instance, bright colorful patterns are usually connected to playfulness and energy, while blues and greys tend to have a more calming effect.

If you are unsure what color scheme works for you, you can always browse Pinterest or do a Google search to get ideas (for instance, you could search “Winter Colors” or “Ski Vacation Colors” to get ideas for a ski trip mini-album). The Digital Press blog also has some fun information about color, if you want to learn more.

Things to consider when choosing colors:

  1. What is my subject matter? An album about a trip to the beach will look nice with tropical colors (whereas an album about a funeral… not so much).
  2. Do my photos “need” a certain color? For instance, a mini-album documenting a sports team will need to use that team’s colors.
  3. What colors are in my photos? Or will I potentially use black and white photos?
  4. What emotion/feeling am I trying to convey?
  5. Do these colors look nice together? We don’t want clashing pages in an album.
  6. Is there a certain digital kit you really want to use? What color scheme does it employ?

For my album, I need a little bit of flexibility. My sister requested some girly colors, and the first part of the album will have some happy pregnancy photos… so a more upbeat feel to those pages will be great. But I also want to be able to create a more subdued & calm feel to the end of the book (not dark and brooding, even though the subject matter is sad… but rather, somber and thoughtful).

I realized that Anita’s template pack (the one I linked, above) came with some great colored solid papers, and I thought those colors would work pretty well for what I wanted to do. They play nicely together, but also offer the flexibility I need. Using those colors, I searched through the store and found this additional kit, Mood, also by Anita… which uses similar colors and some word art that will work well for this subject. I can use my color scheme to recolor items that need it, and I can always add more paper/elements from other kits if I decide there is something missing.

DETERMINE SPECIFIC ELEMENTS NEEDED

Thinking about the theme of your album… try to decide if there are specific elements you NEED or WANT to use. This does not mean that you have to plan out every embellishment you will use, but just that you decide on some thematic elements that you can use to connect your pages to the event you are documenting.

For example, if you are documenting a Disney Trip — you would want to include some Disney-inspired elements. Or perhaps you’d use some flip flop stickers and a birthday cake for a pool party-themed mini-album. Planning these things out, ahead of the actual construction of the book, will allow you to be proactive and have all your supplies handy when it is time to create.

You can also go ahead and decide which generic element types you might use. For instance, because my book centers around a baby girl — I will be including lots of flowers, ribbons, and buttons. All generic, but easily associated with baby girls. Notice that the kit I chose to work with, above, already has a lot of these types of elements. I can find additional elements, as well, if needed — but these will be my base for my album.

ASSESS ADDITIONAL PLANNING NEEDS

Feel free to brainstorm other areas that might need fleshing out a bit as well. I realized that my sister might want to add things… like cards she received, or her own handwritten thoughts, or even drawings from her older children. I decided to include a few “blank” pages for these types of additions.


As you can see, it really does not hurt to spend some time planning out your project — as it will actually save you time, later, when you begin working.

The areas listed above are the things I like to plan-out prior to building my mini-albums. Having concrete plans on these topics help me to have a strong idea of where I am going with my project… and those plans also allow me to concentrate more on the creation of the album when that time comes.

Now that we have begin to get everything all planned out… we are well on our way to creating our digital mini-album this spring! Keep a look out for PART 2 of this series — coming here to the blog really soon!


 

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

 

 

Tutorial Tuesday | Get Yourself Into Your Photos

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog. Today we are going to talk about getting in our own photos!!  I know I know, most of us say there are a plethora of reasons NOT to get into the photo…. we haven’t fixed our hair, we don’t have on makeup, we think we have cellulite, we don’t like that outfit, etc., etc., etc., But I’m here to implore you to GET IN YOUR PHOTOS!  One day, when we aren’t around anymore, our families will beg for pictures of us.  They won’t care what we looked like I promise.  Those vacations that we take??  Is there much proof that we  went??  I swear my kids wouldn’t even know I existed when they look at some of my earlier photos.  I was too worried about my appearance after having 3 kids within 5 years, so I never allowed my family to take my photo.  Now I would love to have one of me holding a baby or being a part of the fun!  So, I’m hoping to not only encourage you to get in your pictures but tell you how to do it as well!!  Maybe if you find it easy to TAKE the photo, you will have the courage to be IN the photo 😊

So how do you take that photo?  Well, let’s start with the basics – how the actual procedure works!

Stabilize the Camera

First, you’ll need your camera or phone to stay still while you are taking the photo – no jiggling allowed!  You can use a tripod or a solid, steady surface to prop them on. I’ve been known to place my camera or phone on tables, on books, between jars, and even wedged between rocks.  If you are using a tripod though, make sure it’s sturdy enough to support your camera.  Often, they will have a hook in the center, so you can hang something heavy on it.  I use my purse since it’s heavy enough it helps stabilize the camera.  I don’t want the dog to accidentally knock it over!  Below are some examples of how I have set up my camera and phone. In the first picture, notice my purse.  In the second one I’m using my phone which has a dedicated tripod.  It’s magnetic and flexible and is so easy to use it stays with me at all times!  Now if you don’t have a phone tripod, it’s easy to make one from a sturdy cup.  Google “DIY Phone Tripods” for even more options.

Focus

Next, you’ll need to set the focus.  If you are taking a photo of just yourself, you can use a child / toy / large inanimate object and place them where you want the focus to be.  Or, if you are taking photos with other people also in the frame, you can use them to set the focus.  With DSLRs and point-and-shoots, you need to press your camera’s shutter button half way for autofocus.  If you would rather use manual focus, feel free to do that instead. If you are using your phone, press and hold the screen where you want the focus to be until it locks in.  The main point is that you set your focus before taking the photo. If you’ll look in photo #3 above, you can see that I locked the focus on my daughter’s face.

And a quick tip, if you are using a DSLR and are viewing the scene with your viewfinder (not in Live View), after you set your focus don’t forget to put your eyecover over the viewfinder so that light isn’t leaked in when you take your eye away.  This will help you to avoid unwanted darkening of the photo.  And if you can’t find your eyecover, you can use gaffers tape – just make sure you take it off as long term use can leave a sticky residue.

Taking the Photo

Now decide HOW you are going to take the photo.  You have several options and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to use them.  There are numerous choices such as self-timers, remotes, interval timers, and timer remotes!  For instance, most cameras and cell phones have self-timers. You just decide how many seconds of delay you want to give yourself, press the button, and move quickly into the photo.  I choose the greatest amount of time available (10 seconds on my phone) so I have time to settle before the shutter releases. Below you can see some examples of what the self-timer looks like on a phone and some different Canon cameras.  Check your manuals to see where your self-timer is!

If you don’t like the “run quickly without tripping” scenario, you can use a remote.  Remotes are quite inexpensive and can be purchased for most DSLRs.  Just Google “(insert your camera here) Remote”, and you can find them at most camera shops and Amazon!  They are easy to use since you can position yourself accordingly and then surreptitiously press the remote to activate your camera.  No frantically getting into place 😊  If you use this method, try to set your camera on the 2 second delay so you have a chance to hide that remote.  If you don’t have that option, position your hand so it’s not in the photo.  Don’t forget, many DSLRs have the capability of using a phone app as a remote tool!  I use my Cannon Connect App with mine.  I set my camera to take the photo after a 2 second delay, then I get into position and use my phone to trigger the camera just as I use my hand held remote.  The disadvantage to this is much like the remote, you have to hide it, but since my app lets me set the focus remotely, it’s worth it!  Also, if you happen to have an Apple Watch, it too acts as a remote for your iPhone camera. There are so many ways to remotely trigger your camera and below are some few examples.  You can see a basic remote from Amazon, my Canon Connect app, and my Apple Watch.

You don’t have to use a remote though.  Another way to take the photo is to use your camera’s interval timer mode.  You’ll need to check your manual on how to set it up, but if you have this option, USE IT!  It’s by far the easiest way to take multiple pictures at a set interval so you have plenty of opportunity to get the photo you are looking for.  It’s not just for DSLRs either.  If you are using your phone, there are a multitude of apps that do this as well! For my iPhone, I use Photo Timer+.  It’s free and easy to use.  I usually select 5 or 10 photos with a 3 second delay between them, and I turn the countdown sound on if we are posing.  This is one of many, so just do a search for interval timer apps for the phone. And for you Android users? Check your phones since many have interval timers built right in.  Additionally, you can purchase an interval timer remote if your camera doesn’t already have one.  Amazon has them relatively inexpensively and they are easy to set up and use.  In general, I have to say this is my preferred method.  I love interval timers because I can set the camera to do its thing and then just be in the moment with my family. On Christmas mornings, birthday parties, reunions, etc., I turn my interval timer on to take unlimited photos every few minutes.  Then I place my camera into a corner on a tripod and walk away.  Not every photo turns out wonderful as you can imagine, but I get enough good ones that I’m happy.  Below is the app on my phone, my DSLR camera set up, and a interval timer remote too.

We’ve talked a lot about different ways to have your phone or camera do the work, but don’t forget the simplest method of all, allowing someone else to take your photo.  This can include your kids too.  It’s quite fun handing your phone or camera to them and seeing their joy when they are photographing you!

And just to show you that it can be done, here are two photos that I set up with the intention of being in them myself.  It’s hard but my kids will thank me some day!

See how easy this is?  Yes, not every photo will be to your liking, but the point is YOU ARE IN THEM!  Truly, that’s what matters most.  I promise you that YOU are the most critical person, not your friends and family.  So, do yourself and your family a favor, and jump in those photos – messy hair and all. 😊


Robin

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…).

Hybrid How-To | Easter Treats

Hello everyone! It’s Tanya here, and I’m excited to share another edition of Hybrid How-To with you here on The Digital Press blog! With Easter just around the corner, I thought I’d show you how to use your digital papers and or elements to create some really fun Easter treats.

This is a great project because you can truly use just about any of your favorite digital products to create these treats. I used soft papers for the girls’ Easter bunny and brighter colors for the boys’ Easter egg.

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  1. Your favorite digital scrapbooking products
  2. White photo paper
  3. Printer (or, you can also have it printed at any copy shop)
  4. Jelly beans, M&M’s, or any other small candies
  5. Scissors
  6. Stapler or sewing machine

Here is a quick look at the kits I used for my treats…

[ (1) Spring Days (2) One Kit Two Ways | Boys Rule (3) This Life | April (4) Flowers After The Rain (5) My Day In White | Boy (6) This Life|March ]

For this project, I used my Silhouette Studio Business Edition software. You can use any photo editing software, however. The first step is to draw out your Easter bunny head and your Easter Egg. To do this I used the draw tools to the right of the work space. You can also find similar patterns by googling “outline Easter egg shape” or “outline Easter bunny head”…

Open the paint palette on the right side of the page, and then choose the little box with the polka dots to open your patterned papers. To fill the pattern, click on the bunny or egg image and then click on the paper you want…

Page Setup  —  I usually do this step first thing; it’s just habit now. But if you haven’t already turned on your registration marks (if you are choosing to cut with your Silhouette machine), you will need to do that now. Open the Page Setup menu and choose the third icon (see screenshot, below). Next, choose the machine you are using and then slide the Inset all the way to the left. This gives you the most work space for cutting as possible…

If you choose to send the pages through your printer, you will want to make sure that your cut lines are turned on. To do this go into the SEND menu, and if it doesn’t show up with red cut lines on, you will need to highlight everything and choose the cut edge option (this will turn on the cut lines)….

You are now ready to move on to the next step, which is to print it out. Once you print it, you can either use a pair of scissors and hand cut it… or… use your cutting machine to cut them out. Honestly, it is probably just as fast for a simple project like this to just cut them out by hand… 😉

Next, you will take two of the same-shaped pieces and put them back to back. Make sure that the printed sides are facing outward. You can either staple them all the way around… or… sew them together. Either way, make sure to leave a small space to fill the pouches with your candy of choice.

For myself, I love the stitched look and have a sewing machine just for hybrid projects. This was my first time using it… and about halfway through closing the little opening for the candy, it stopped working. UGH! …it’s always something, isn’t it?! 😉 I guess this means I will have to watch the “How-To” disk the sewing maching came with.

Here’s a look at one finished egg and one finished bunny. Aren’t these just the cutest things? You can make them for your co-workers, your child’s Easter parties, etc.

You could even make a bunch and display them together (as shown here) and use them as party favors, etc…

I hope that you have enjoyed this edition of Hybrid How-To, and that you will give this easy project a try (and/or come up with a shape of your own for these Easter treats!).

If you’re participating in The Digital Press’s challenge system for March 2018, don’t forget to visit the CROSSWORD SECTION in TDP’s forum to get the details about this month’s Hybrid Challenge — because you can earn challenge points if you give this project a try (you can earn points toward discounts & FREEBIES)! I hope that you will join in!


Tanya

About the Author  Tanya is a part of the hybrid team here at The Digital Press. She has been hybrid crafting for at least 15 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 29 years to her high school sweetheart, Richard and has two sons: Chris, 26 and Chance, 22. She also enjoys crocheting, photography and woodworking.