Hybrid How-To | Custom Desk Calendars

Hello everyone! It’s Tanya here, and I’m excited to share another Hybrid How-To post here on The Digital Press blog! Today I’m going to show you how to use digital scrapbooking supplies to create adorable desk calendars that are perfect for holiday gifting and more!

Every year since I’ve been hybrid crafting, I have wanted to create a cute desk calendar using digital kits. I’ve been at this for a while now, and so it’s been a long time coming… 😉

The minute I saw Dunia Designs’ new 2018 calendar cards in the shop, I told myself…“That’s it! The time is NOW!” It’s also the perfect time to get started on my Christmas gifts (can you guess what everyone is getting this year?!).

Supplies Needed:

  • Digital kit(s) of your choice (the kits I used are shown in the image, below)
  • Pre-designed calendar cards or pages (optional; you could also make your own while working… I used Dunia’s, linked above)
  • Printer
  • White cardstock (& solid coordinating colors for layering, if desired)
  • Paper trimmer
  • Corner punch
  • Display for your calendar

Here’s a quick peek at the six kits that I chose to use for the first half of the year (based on the fact that I decided to pick a different kit for each month; something that corresponds with that month’s season/theme/holiday/etc.)…

first 6 kits

Additionally, here are the 6 kits I chose to use for the final half of the year…

If you didn’t want to use a different product for each month (and/or you wanted to use fewer kits in total, etc.)… you could simply choose one overall theme and use that for your calendar (using just one kit… or one color scheme… etc.). That’s the fun thing — it’s all up to you, and there are no rules!

Next, after choosing the products to use, it was time for me to begin designing each of my cards. Here’s what the calendar cards looked like before I began embellishing them…

I used Silhouette Studio to create my cards, but you can you any photo editing software.  There is some editing that you can do in other programs that I have not learned to master in Silhouette Studio (for instance, one of those things is shadowing; I’m getting better, but not quite there yet!)…

So, the first step is to drag the calendar and the elements from where you saved them on your computer into the workspace of your software (as shown below). I usually fill my workspace with several elements that I think I might like, that way I don’t have to go back and forth so much later. For the ones you don’t end up using… you can either move them off to the side or delete them…

Once  the elements were available on my workspace, I started dragging them onto each card and positioning them as desired…

Next, I drew a rectangle around the calendar so as to create a border area. As I designed each card, I was able to add digital papers (as backgrounds/borders) to match each month…

This next step may vary from software program to software program… but once I had all of my elements in place, I chose a background paper from the ‘fill paper’ menu in Silhouette…

Here’s a look at all of my finished cards, after I was finished designing them in my software program…

Aren’t these so fun?! I can’t wait to make more! 🙂

After I had finished designing all of the months/cards in my software, I was ready to print. I found that I was able to fit 4 cards/months to a page when printing…

At that point, I used my paper trimmer and cut away the margins. I also used a corner rounder for the corners of the cards…


All cut out and ready to go…

Here are a couple of ways to display the calendar (both are frames; I took the glass out of the black frame)…

After framing the calendar cards, I decided that I might re-size some of my future batches to fit into a 4 x 6 frame (although, I should note that you should always be very careful about re-sizing things to make them bigger than intended.*

Another idea for displaying the calendar is to add a piece of coordinating cardstock paper as a backing to each card, as shown here…

Here’s a look at the same card… one (left) without a cardstock mat behind it, and the other one (right) with a coordinating mat added. It also shows another cute way to display the calendar… a little easel that I found at WalMart in the craft aisle…

Anyway, isn’t this a cute (and quick/easy) project? I can’t wait to make more of these calendars for Christmas gifts! We will be starting a new weekend schedule where I work, and I think I may make each of my co-workers calendars that have the weekends they will be working circled. Oh, the possibilities… can’t wait to get started!

Meanwhile, I cannot believe it’s almost time for Thanksgiving.   Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving to everyone. This is such a wonderful time of the year to reflect on how much we have to be grateful for.

I hope that you have enjoyed this edition of Hybrid How-To, and that you will give this a try and come up with one of your own calendars! Don’t forget to visit the CROSSWORD SECTION in The Digital Press forum, and jump into this month’s Hybrid Challenge if you are thinking of trying this project. You can earn points toward discounts & FREEBIES! I hope that you will join in!

 

*re-sizing digital images downward (to make smaller) is always AOK; re-sizing upward (to make bigger) should always be done carefully and is not usually advised, due to the effect on image quality; print quality can degrade; things can get blurry or pixelated; etc.


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 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.

Hybrid Saturday | Easy Hybrid Hacks For Digital Layouts

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

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

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

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

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

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

The pros for paper are:

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

The pros for photo are:

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

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

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

Now onto the fun stuff!

HACK ONE – POP IT UP!

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

HACK TWO – PRINT ON VELLUM

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

HACK THREE: PRINT ON TISSUE PAPER

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

HACK FOUR: ADD EASY LITTLE DETAILS

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

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

 


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

Accomplishments: In Review

In Review: Accomplishments

I confess, I hate making “In Review” pages!  While I like the idea of summing up my year in one layout, it is just not feasible for me.  So much happens in our family during the course of any given year, that remembering it all and then paring it down to a few events just completely overwhelms me. The few pages I have tried in the past were frankly pathetic.

So this year I decided to do some preemptive thinking. If I change the time table from a whole year in review to something smaller it might be more doable. For instance, a month in review, a week in review, or on a crazy week, simply a weekend in review is easier for me to sort through and summarize.  If you look at life on that scale it really is not all that different from a Project 52 or Project 12. That is much more manageable to my frazzled mommy brain. Then come the end of the year, I can just pull information from those layouts, or put all those pages into an “in review” mini book, or simply include them as is in my main yearly album. The possibilities are almost endless.

I decided to do an “In Review” page for each month this year.  Since our word for April is Accomplish, I decided to use that idea to further narrow down my  “in review” thoughts for March. After thinking those two thoughts through for a bit I found that the rest of this layout came together really easily for me.

In Review: Accomplishements

credits: Talkative Templates by Scotty Girl Designs, Hello March by Anita Designs

Some of these accomplishments for March are huge, and others are just little everyday things that would go missed in a yearly round up, but it really sums up our March and I like that.

But more importantly, I am happy to finally be able to utilize an idea that has always been hard for me.

If you are a pocket scrapper, “In Review” pages are even easier.  There are so many great kits and cards already available to create “In Review” layouts. Check out the Pocket Scrapping Section at the store HERE.

If you are interested making some of your own ” in review” page(s) head on over to the Challenge Forums and check out the Challenge I have for you.


Erin 1About the Author: Erin is a work from home mom of three living in Thailand. She loves playing with her kids and anything artsy. She can often be found knee deep in toys with paint on her face. She is slowly learning the meaning of living an authentic life, and enjoying every minute of the adventure.

Hybrid Saturday | Tissue Decoupaged Bunny

HYBRID: Tissue Decoupaged Bunny

I am a sucker for bright colors, and Easter is one of my favorite holidays of the year! Arielle here with today’s “fun, easy, inexpensive and perfect to work on with the kiddies” project, a Tissue Decoupaged Bunny. Wouldn’t it make an awesome centerpiece for your Easter table? This technique is perfect for other decor items, such as picture frames, miscellaneous objects, old wooden chairs… you name it!

First, pick your favorite papers! I used It’s a Spring Thing | Papers by Juno Designs and Wendy P Designs. All these beautifully bright papers were perfect for my little bunny!

HYBRID: Tissue Decoupaged Bunny

Then gather your crafty supplies —

  • Thin cardstock
  • Tissue paper
  • Adhesives (I used a Xyron machine & scotch tape)
  • Scissors or paper trimmer
  • Other embellishments such as ribbon and buttons.
  • Paper mache animal (or picture frame, etc…)
  • Mod Podge (optional)
  • Paint and brushes (optional)

HYBRID: Tissue Decoupaged Bunny

Start off by cutting some tissue paper to fit your cardstock.  (I picked up some cheap tissue at the dollar store.) I cut it approximately 7.5″x 11″, then using invisible tape, I adhered it to the cardstock at the top and bottom. Be sure to put the paper into your printer so that it will print onto the tissue.

ahg_easterhybrid2

Set up a document of “swatches” to print. My swatches measured 3.5″ x 2.5″, and I was able to fit eight, centered, onto each page.

HYBRID: Tissue Decoupaged Bunny

Remove the tissue, and trim off the excess, then run it through the Xyron. If you don’t have one, use Mod Podge, or some other glue. Be careful though and use it sparingly to prevent the ink on the tissue from bleeding.

HYBRID: Tissue Decoupaged Bunny

Tear your tissue into pieces and start applying. You’ll notice I also put a thin wash of white paint on my bunny before I started. Keep tearing and sticking the tissue to your project until it’s covered. It took a little over 2 sheets to cover everything.

HYBRID: Tissue Decoupaged Bunny

To finish, you can cover it in Mod Podge or spray a fixative on it to preserve it. I also added a pink button nose and an orange ribbon around his neck! Get creative ~ you could even add paper flowers, pearls or beads.

HYBRID: Tissue Decoupaged Bunny

Add some candy and Easter grass and you’ve got a great centerpiece!

HYBRID: Tissue Decoupaged Bunny

 

Want to try your hand at this easy decoupage? Please come join us in The Digital Press’s forum for a fun challenge related to this tutorial! You can create fantastic decor items AND earn points doing it! Points can later be cashed-in for discount coupons to the shop at the end of the month if you participate in the challenge system at The Digital Press!

 


Arielle H Gordon About the author  Arielle H Gordon is a wife and mom of two crazy kiddos, ages 6 & 7. She moved around (a lot!) before returning to settle down in her hometown of Enterprise, Alabama, to marry her sweetheart and start her family. She is an avid crafter — digital, hybrid and otherwise! She LOVES Jesus, family time, camping, gardening, reading cozy mysteries, hot tea, popcorn, and anything on the BBC! This time of year, you’ll find her hoarding Cadbury Mini Eggs and Peeps, dying Easter eggs and waiting for Lent to be over so she can resume one or two of her less obnoxious vices…

Renew Your Love (and Motivation) for Long-Term Projects

Renew Your Love (and Motivation) for Long-Term Projects

We scrappers usually love long term projects. They bring this comforting feeling that come with routine and habits, without mentioning the joy of recording those memories… but they can also be challenging at times!

These sorts of projects come in all shapes and forms:

  • Everyday/Photogaphy-Centered Projects: pocket-scrapping (Project Life); Project 365 (P365; one photo a day); Project 52 (P52; one photo a week); Project 12 (P12; one photo a month). For example, here’s a look at my last layout from my P365 project in 2015:

  • Themed Projects: All About Me (AAM; one page a week or month about yourself… with the mandatory selfie, of course!); “letter to my kid(s)” (or any other loved one); a year of _____ (fill in the blank; it could be about a hobby, about your pet, or about anything that you’re passionate about!); monthly resolutions-check up layouts; words of the month throughout the year, etc. This year, for instance, I plan to do such a page every month (in addition to my P365-ish) that contains a look at what happened, how I felt, how I progressed on my goals / resolutions, new things I learned, things that worked or didn’t work, etc. I think this will make for a great album! I haven’t started yet, but I found this gorgeous page by TDP creative team member Sabrina, which I found to be totally inspiring:

  • Technique-Centered Projects: these would be about one technique or scrapping style, like Art Journaling layouts, ATCs, journaling-focused layouts, trying a new technique every month or week, hybrid projects, etc.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably started and stopped those projects many times over the years. For instance, you might have started an annual album — but now you have an unfinished pocket-style scrapbook project that is making you feel guilty. Well, first of all, please stop feeling guilty… right now! Even if you only have one page done, it’s one more page than nothing. It is still a documented memory! Put it in your book. And rather than focusing on the memories you “missed,” focus instead on the ones you did record. That is already amazing — and there’s no such thing as “failing” in memory-keeping!

I’ve completed everyday-type projects every year since 2011, and here are some tips that have helped me get through each of them:

  1. Knowing WHY I am doing the projects. When I’m clear about my motivations, it’s easier to keep going even when I am busy, when I lose my scrapping mojo, when I feel like my life is boring and not scrap-worthy. I’ve often scrapped those motivations and/or thoughts about the project, and used those as the first page in my photo book. It’s a fun way to make an intro to the album!
  2. Keeping things simple. The first 2 years, I used a template I created with a spot for the daily photo and some journaling, plus a journaling spot for extra info. That way, the planning and design was all done and I simply had to switch my photos from horizontal to vertical when needed… clip my papers, add a few elements, add my journaling… and I was done. I’ve since switched to pocket scrapping, and I’ve used actions (more on that later) to create personalized templates for each page that fit my photos perfectly. I also simplify things by using one kit or collection for the entire month… and the same fonts throughout the whole project (one for journaling, and one for the dates on my photos, and that’s it!). This not only helps me scrap faster (as I don’t have as many creative decisions to make), but it also brings some unity throughout my whole album when I get it printed.
  3. Trying to scrap regularly. It’s much easier to go through one or two pages at a time, rather than catch up and finish 5 months in a row. If you want to use your “big girl camera,” keep it as easy to grab as you can (just make sure little hands can’t grab it too easily! Gaaaah!). You’re way more likely to use it if it’s right next to you, than if you have to search for it or go grab it from somewhere far from where the action is happening.
  4. Automating things as much as possible. Technology is fantastic… let it help you! I’ve created actions in Photoshop to help me scrap my pages as quickly as possible. I originally started with a commercial use pocket-templates maker, and eventually tweaked it so that it not only creates the photo spots but also the double page spread, the background just like I like it, etc. I have another action to save the JPG and the web versions of both the double-spread and each page individually. Same goes for journaling: I use an app to record my journaling, and I’ve set up reminders every evening. When I forget to do it at night, I go through my social media accounts and my calendar to help me remember what happened (I have the worst memory ever!). I call my smartphone my second brain for a good reason: it’s an amazing tool to help me remember to take a photo, write down a few sentences about what happened that day, even record video (as I explained in a previous post here on the blog). Set up processes to upload your photos regularly, edit and rename them as you upload them, back them up (it goes without saying, right?), etc. Anything that helps you go faster through repetitive tasks is a great help!
  5. Let go of perfection and the guilt that comes with it. There is no such thing as a scrapping police! I used to call my projects “P365-ish” …because I do miss days here and there! If I can, I quickly change the date on my camera (that way the metadata shows the previous date too!) and take a picture for the day(s) I missed. And if I can’t, then so be it! No big deal! I’ve started many P365 projects over the years, taking my daily picture religiously for… 2 months, and I finally switched to a pocket-style project because I stopped taking daily photos. Again, no big deal. I’m getting memories recorded either way, right? I’ve had 2-page spreads with tons of photos for one week (especially for Christmas when a lot is going on), and other times I just have one page with only 2 photos for a 2 week period. I’m fine with it. I usually take photos with my DSLR, but I’m definitely OK with phone photos, too! The most important thing is to enjoy the project, both while doing it and when it’s completed.
  6. Don’t forget to print your pages! This is incredibly rewarding and I love to go through my books from the previous years. I usually wait to create them until there’s a sale because I love a great deal (who doesn’t, right?). Sometimes I buy a credit and use the deadline as a motivation to finish my pages (That’s what I did with my 2014 PL: I finished it in May 2015 since I had a credit for a book that I refused to lose! I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be printed yet if it weren’t for the credit! LOL)

I hope those tips will help you enjoy one (or many!) long term project in 2016.

If you’re feeling inspired now… please head over to the forum where there’s a challenge to go along with today’s post!

 


Chloé

About the author  Chloé is in charge of PR and communication for her small town by day, and 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.

Renew an Old Passion

The start of a new year is traditionally a time to reflect back on the old year and make plans for the year to come. I have to confess, I have never been good at keeping New Year’s Resolutions.  Oh, I am good at making them, but then life happens and it all goes out the window.

As I grow older I have found that making time in my life for things that I am passionate about – whether a hobby I had to set down when the kids came or a relationship that has been on the back burner – really brings new meaning and color to my life.

For example:

I LOVE running.  I have been a runner since I was a child.  I love the exercise, but more than that I enjoy the release from stress, the exertion, the time to get out and be away, the way my brain (which always goes 90 to nothing) can settle down into the steady rhythm of running and not think about anything else.

When my number 3 was born I had some serious health problems and the doctors told me I should never run again – apparently it was destroying my spine.  I was devastated, but I listened and gave up my favorite form of exercise.

That was three years ago.

Three weeks ago, after what has been a very hard year, I went out for a run for the first time.  And I LOVED it.  My entire week was so much better, my spirit was happier and my body felt better and less stiff than I have felt in years.

I know what my doctor said back in the United States, and I understand the risks, but I also know that I am such a better mother, wife and all around person when I have this hobby to release the stress in my life. (And for those who might be concerned – I talked with a doctor here in Thailand who is willing to monitor my spine and provide health care so that I can continue my preferred form of exercise.)

When I thought about our word for the month – RENEW – I immediately thought of this resurgence of running in my life.  The past 5 years have seen me slowly renewing the various passions I have set aside for whatever reason and as I pick them up I feel that I am becoming more truly the person I was meant to be.  The return to running has made such a profound difference in my life this past month that I wanted to scrap this renewal so that I could remember it.



(credits: Scissor Cut Vol 1 Template by Laura Passage, A New Me by River-Rose, The Original Torn Bits No. 6 by creashens)

So for those of you who are not so good with making New Year’s Resolutions, perhaps instead you could look into renewing an old passion that you set aside – or maybe just never pursued.  Passions are much easier to maintain because we have such strong emotional connections and even needs for them, and often our passions lead us to be healthier overall because we are enjoying our life more. Plus, in most cases we are much more motivated to continue our passions than we are to follow through on a resolution.  Just think about it for a wee bit.

If you are feeling the desire to pursue a passion, head on over to Challenge Forums now and check out the challenge I have for you this month that goes along with this post.

And Happy New Year!

Erin 1About the Author: Erin is a work from home mom of three living in Thailand. She loves playing with her kids and anything artsy. She can often be found knee deep in toys with paint on her face. She is slowly learning the meaning of living an authentic life, and enjoying every minute of the adventure.