Hybrid How-To | Halloween Countdown Decor

ahgordon_octhybrid_tdphead

Hello and HaPpY OcToBeR!!! And Happy Digital Scrapbook Day! Arielle here and I’m so glad you stopped by today! I have a great project that will get you all scrappy this weekend – snipping and gluing and layering – oh my! I’m going to show you how I designed this little Halloween Countdown decor, and give you some tips on creating your own Halloween decor!

Here are the supplies I used:

  • Digital Kit – Magic Hour by Mari Koegelenberg
  • Thin cardstock
  • Adhesives (I used an ATG gun & dimensionals)
  • Scissors and paper trimmer
  • Other embellishments such as buttons and twine.
  • Base material – you can adhere your decor to an adhesive magnet sheet to use on your fridge or a filing cabinet or you could mount it to black foam core.

mkc-magichour-kit

Step One – Design your project! I like to pick my kit and completely design my project In Photoshop before I print out the elements. That way I know everything will work together and I will only print what I need for the project.

I found this antique~y frame in another kit and blew it up, adjusted the threshhold settings and superimposed it over the star paper. I used some free spooky fonts, as well.

ahgordon_octhybrid_tdp

(Once my design is complete, I divide all the elements onto separate sheets for printing. I usually throw in some extra elements in case I mis-cut something or I decide it needs a little something extra!)

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Step Two – Print your elements and gather your supplies! It’s always a great idea to add some buttons, gems, ribbon, twine… you get the idea – mix in some real stuff. It will be fun & you can’t get it wrong. I promise.

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Step Three – Trim out your elements. Yes, you could think of this as tedious… or you can realize it’s really therapeutic! I just love cutting out cute little things!

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Step Four – My frame paper printed really dark, so I went back in with a white pencil to add a little definition. Don’t be afraid to grab paint, glitter or other media to layer onto your project! It adds another dimension to your hybrid work!

ahgordon_octhybrid_tdp3

Step Five – Start layering! Pop up different layers with dimensional adhesives. It’s great when you can find them at different heights. Add some different textures, I used buttons and twine. (I added a couple enamel dots to the cat’s eyes, too!)

ahgordon_octhybrid_tdp4

(I made my own Halloween “sticker” by just leaving a white border as I trimmed around the word. I used a craft knife to cut out the space in the “H”. I added some depth to my paper flowers by pressing them into my palm to push the petals up!)

ahgordon_octhybrid_tdp5

Here’s the finished project! I still can’t decide if I want mine on my fridge or my wall, but I have both magnetic sheets and black foam core when I do! I’ll just trace around my frame, and trim the backing to size.

ahgordon_octhybrid_tdp6

Craft stores also sell all kinds of blank signs you could use as a base – canvas, chalkboard, wood, burlap. You could also make a hybrid Halloween banner or bunting, on paper or fabric. hey, you could even print out a bunch of these and let your kids decorate a tin can pencil holder or a cute garland!

Now it’s your turn! Want to try your hand at some hybrid Halloween decor? 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!

Tutorial Tuesday | Capture the Everyday

I’ve been following a few photography challenges this year, and even if I don’t do them every week (or at all, let’s be honest!), they are slowly influencing me and helping me see my daily world with new, creative eyes. A few days ago I was doing our laundry and decided to capture this everyday, mundane task as artistically as possible, and in as many different ways as I could think of. And it was so, SO fun!
Capture the Everyday

Of course, some of my images didn’t turn out… but that’s OK because experimenting was part of the fun. I decided to implement various photography techniques — like macro, changing angles and perspectives, long exposures, purposeful blurs, compositional “rules” like leading lines, centered compositions, repetition/pattern, texture, rule of thirds, etc.

Capture the Everyday

This was truly an eye-opening experience and I never thought photographing something as mundane as the laundry would be so fun and could bring so much variety in the images.

Capture the Everyday

To add some cohesiveness to the photos I took, I edited them all with The Basics Lightroom Presets (#1) by Dunia Designs.

If you, too, want to see — and document — your everyday life with new eyes, why not try something similar?

  • Grab your camera and focus (pun intended!) on some daily aspect of your life — a task (like my laundry), an object, a place, etc. You don’t need much time to do this; 5-10 minutes is plenty to do this sort of creative exercise
  • Try to look at your everyday event like an explorer would when discovering a new civilization. Forget everything you know about this thing and try to see it with fresh eyes, as if it were the first time you laid your eyes on it
  • Then… simply grab your camera and start playing! Change your angles, take a wide shot to capture the whole environment (or the opposite — come closer and do a close-up shot), play with light and shadows, experiment with the composition rules and have fun. Maybe you won’t produce a masterpiece but you will definitely start seeing your world with new eyes!

I hope you’ll have fun experimenting and being creative, and I’d LOVE to see the result if you try your hand (and eye) at it! You can leave links to photos in the comments, below… or if your photos actually result in the creation of a scrapbook layout, you can post it in TDP’s gallery and then link me up here!

 


ChloéAbout the author  Chloé is in charge of PR and communication for her small town by day, is a digiscrapper “by night,” and a photographer whenever the light is beautiful. She lives with her man and fur-babies in a small town of Alsace (in the northeast of France), where she loves to read, watch good TV shows (TWD being her absolute favorite), and just hang out with her friends — no matter if they are close by, online, or away in her Swiss hometown. She recently became quite obsessed with her BuJo (bullet journal) and can’t wait to discover how much it’ll help her improve her (so far non-existent!) organisational skills!

Hybrid How-To | Straw Rockets

Are you ready for something fun and easy? I found this simple project on Pinterest, and knew it would be the perfect way for my littles to spend a summer afternoon.

Supplies Needed:

  • Digital image of your choice (I used the rocket from County Fair, seen below)
  • Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue
  • Curling ribbon (optional)
  • Straw

Directions:

  1. Print out the image you want and cut it out. Before printing, make sure the image is the size you want. It shouldn’t be too small; I actually ended up making the rocket from the kit a little bit bigger.

  1. Next, cut a rectangle of out of plain paper (I just used some scratch paper). It needs to be a little longer than your image.
  1. Roll the rectangle paper around a pencil and glue the edge together to form a tube. Pinch one end of the tube and glue together so that the end is sealed. At this point, I decided to glue some curling ribbon to the bottom of my rocket. Next, glue the tube to the back of the image.

 

And that’s it!

Now you can slide the tube over the top of the straw… and blow to make it fly. 🙂


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.

Composition in Square Scrapbook Layouts

 

When I’m looking to make a successful composition in a photograph, one of my go-to tactics is to use the Rule of Thirds to find a place to put my focus of interest. But, with the rise of the square format in recent years, I’ve been looking for alternative ideas and it struck me that, with the dominance of the square format in scrapbooking, that these ideas can apply in my other hobby too.

Apparently, when we look at a image in landscape orientation, we scan from left-to-right. If the image is portrait, we scan from top-to-bottom. Because of this, it can be advantageous to put elements in the image (or layout) on the right for landscape and towards the bottom for portrait. This stops the gaze travelling out the other side of the image and on to something else! But in a square image, the eye is much more likely to move in a circle around the image, this means that we don’t have to worry so much about the viewer wandering off, but it means that we have to think about how we guide the viewer around the frame or page in a slightly different way. It can sometimes have the effect of making the image less dynamic. Depending on our intent, that can be useful – or it might be something we need to counteract.

So, what are we trying to achieve? We need to work out what the focus of our layout is. Often it’s the photograph itself, but it could be the journalling, the title-work or even a part of the photograph if we’re using a large image. Once we know that, we can use the papers and elements to guide our viewer around the layout to finally arrive at our focal point.

Let’s look at some examples from The Digital Press’ Creative Team:

In this layout, Arielle has used a frame within the layout to effectively turn a square layout into a more dynamic rectangle.

 

Next, Hillary’s use of strong rectangles results again, in a dynamic composition where we scan down the page and then back up to focus on the adorable photos. The brights reds of the repeated flowers contrast against the more subtle colours of the rest of the layout to ensure that we’re focussing on the most important part of the page.

This layout from Bao, shows clearly the calming effect of placing the focal point in the centre. Her subtle use of color and minimalist design reinforces that feeling.

Biancka has a rectangle within her square frame, but in this layout, her positioning of her papers and elements have, along with the white space around them, defined the area without need for an actual frame or mat.

When using a larger photo, it can be sometimes harder to define where the focal point of the layout should be. Rae has used the face of her lovely dog and the elements around the edge draw my eye in a circle in to connect with his gaze.

Of course, one of the best things about scrapbooking is that we can use all these rules to give us a starting point, we can adhere to them strictly or we can ignore them completely and do whatever makes us happy! It’s worth stepping away from your layout for a while though. You’ll come back with fresh eyes and when you open it up again, think about how your eye travels around the layout and see if you can move anything around to guide the viewer to exactly where you want them to look.


JudeAbout the Author  Jude is part of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in the UK with her husband and two fantastic girls. She loves traveling, and would be off in her campervan every weekend if she could get away with it. She loves time spent exploring new places, trying new experiences and photographing them! She also spends too much time on the computer, and still doesn’t go running as often as she says she’s going to.

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.

Tutorial Tuesday | Mini Easter Baskets

EASTER BASKETS: A HYBRID RECYCLE PROJECT

Since we just celebrated the first day of Spring, I thought it fun to start it off with bright Spring colors!   One of my favorite things to do is take recycled containers and turn them into treasures.  One of my co-workers has McDonald’s oatmeal every morning.  Every time she threw the container away, I couldn’t help to think what cute little Easter baskets they would make, so I started collecting them.  I used them to make mini Easter baskets for my kiddos.

Since it’s an Easter project, I wanted to used an Easter themed kit.  When I saw this new kit, It’s a Spring Thing by Juno Designs and Wendy P Designs, I knew it would be perfect to use.

EASTER BASKETS: A HYBRID RECYCLE PROJECT

I also used the Deco Trims: Simple by Scotty Girl Designs.    I loved using the scallop for a fun edge around the top of my baskets.

EASTER BASKETS | A HYBRID RECYCLE PROJECT

I used my Silhouette Cameo to do this project, but you can easily use your favorite photo editing program and a pair of scissors.

Let’s get started!!

SUPPLY LIST

  • Recycled oatmeal containers from McDonald’s
  • White cardstock
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Glitter – optional
  • Double sided tape
  • Glue pen
  • Pop dots
  • Green Easter Grass
  • Assortment of candy

EASTER BASKETS: A HYBRID RECYCLE PROJECT

Step 1:  If using a Silhouette, open the scallop from deco trims and do a trace.  I had to trace so that I could fill the image with the papers from the kit. To do this,  open Select Trace Area, uncheck High Pass Filter and move the Threshold bar to the right until the image is completely yellow.  Next select the Trace Outer Edge option.

EASTER BASKETS: A HYBRID RECYCLE PROJECT

After the image is traced, move  it off to the side.

EASTER BASKETS: A HYBRID TUTORIAL

Now pick the paper that you want to use from the kit and fill the image.  The Fill Pattern section is where you would enlarge the print and move it around as well.

EASTER BASKETS: A HYBRID RECYCLE PROJECT

To make the band around the container, you will draw out a rectangle at least 10.5 in long x 3 in wide.  Fill that shape with the paper of your choice.  After printing, I simply used my paper trimmer to cut the band.

EASTER BASKETS: A HYBRID RECYLE PROJECTNow choose the elements that you want to embellish  your basket with. I made a name tag to put in the middle of the basket and tied off with a cute tag.  Make sure that you have the registration marks on and double check to make sure that cut lines are on in the right places.  Send through printer and then through your Silhouette machine to cut.

EASTER BASKETS: A HYBRID RECYCLE PROJECT

Step 2:  Gather pieces and start assembling.  I first wrapped the band and the scalloped trim around the container with double sided tape.  I gave dimension to my tags by cutting additional pieces with a pair of scissors and assembled with pop dots.

EASTER BASKETS: A HYBRID TUTORIAL

EASTER BASKETS: A HYBRID RECYCLE PROJECT

Final Step:  Fill with Easter grass and fill with candy…..you can eat the ones that fall out…hehehe!  (I later added a gift card to the baskets)  After filling, I wrapped with a cellophane bag and tied it off with ribbon and added the tags.

EASTER BASKETS: A HYBRID RECYCLE PROJECT

I also made some treats for my co-workers.  I made this simple tag and tied it to the little tubes that I filled with M&M’s.

EASTER BASKETS: A HYBRID RECYCLE PROJECT

I hope that everyone has enjoyed this tutorial and has a Happy Easter!!

Hugs, Tanya

 


About the Author  TanyaTanya is a part of the hybrid team here at The Digital Press. She has been hybrid crafting for at least 10 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 26 years and has two sons: Chris, 23 and Chance, 19. She also enjoys crocheting, photography and woodworking.

 

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…

Tutorial Tuesday | Intentional Blur in photography

Tutorial Tuesday | Intentional Blur in Photography

In many cases, blurry photos are a bad thing: photos are supposed to be in focus and sharp to be considered good. I usually follow this “rule” but I’ve been trying to be more creative recently and I’ve decided to create intentional blur in my photos. And I found out that the result could be awesome, fun, and creative (as is often the case when you break an artistic “rule” on purpose!).

Let’s discover the 3 types of blur you can have in photography (all images are retouched with Dunia Designs‘s The Basics Lightroom Presets):

Camera shake: when your shutter speed is too slow to handheld your camera, you get camera shake. It can be “bad” when it’s distracting from the subject of your picture, but it can also be a fun technique when done on purpose. I took this very abstract image, for example, with a 3 seconds exposure and while spinning my camera in front of Christmas lights.

Tutorial Tuesday | Intentional Blur in Photography

Cynthia Haynes is a photographer I discovered recently who is known for her long exposure / intentionally blurry pictures, and she has some pretty inspiring shots!

Bokeh: this type of blur is created by using a very big aperture (very small f/number, like f/1.8 for example) and it’s usually in the backgound of something sharp, but you can also create bokeh “by itself”, on purpose. Last week we had some spectacular sunsets, and I obviously had to snap some pix after work. I started with the classic, in focus, shot.

Tutorial Tuesday | Intentional Blur in Photography

Not bad, but not very original either, right? Then I decided to manually un-focus and create bokeh with the sun reflection on the river. You can’t see the landscape any more, but you get an abstract picture where light and colors are the most important things.

Tutorial Tuesday | Intentional Blur in Photography

Here’s a more classic example of bokeh, that I created by focusing on the puddle right in front of me with a very big aperture, so that the background (and a bit of the foreground too, since the depth of field is very small) is out of focus.

Tutorial Tuesday | Intentional Blur in Photography

Movement blur: this happens when your camera is steady (because your shutter speed is fast enough for you to handheld it or because it’s on a strong support like a tripod, a table, etc.) but that your subject moves faster than your shutter speed. This is the technique you use to photograph fireworks, for example, that’s how you create those gorgeous “flowers”.

Tutorial Tuesday | Intentional Blur in Photography

You can also use this technique to show movement and gives a sense of speed. That’s what I did (without even knowing, I was just starting to take pictures and had absolutely no idea what I was doing! LOL) while photographing the Tour de France in our little town in 2005. I got on the first floor of a building, right above the road, and since the day was cloudy and dark, my camera (in auto mode) selected a shutter speed too slow for those speedy athletes.

Tutorial Tuesday | Intentional Blur in Photography

If I had do take that picture again, knowing what I know now, I’d definitely try to use a technique called panning where you follow your moving subject with the camera. That way, your subject will look sharp and the environment around it will become blurry, kinda the opposite of the image above.  It’s a perfect technique for races of all sorts because of how much it materializes speed.

I hope you’ll enjoy playing with intentional blur and find these tips helpful! Don’t hesitate to comment with your questions or post in the forums!


Chloé

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

Create a Valentine’s Day Printable

Valentine’s Day Printable

 

I am a hopeless romantic, and just love Valentine’s Day. Today, I am here to show you how to create a simple Valentine’s Day printable using word art and digital elements from The Digital Press. You can print and frame for a piece of artwork… or make a card to send to a loved one.

 

Valentine's Day Printable

Step 1. Gather a collection of Digital Supplies that includes any word art and elements you would like to use. For my printable, I used l’Amore by Little Lamm & Co., Be Mine by Mari Koegelenberg & Danielle Engebretson, and the TDP mini kit Cherished.

Step 2. Create a new 8×10 canvas in your photo-editing program (it should be 300dpi for print-resolution). Place your words on your layout until you have them arranged in the desired position.

Step 3. You can add color to some of the words, or clip digital papers to items you’ve chosen. You can even add drop shadows to a few of your words to add dimension.

Step 4. If desired, add a few digital elements to embellish your word art (you can see that mine uses hearts, arrows, etc.).

Step 5. Print it out onto paper and frame at 8×10 to show off your new lovely artwork.

Valentine’s Day Printable

Step 6. If you would also like to create a greeting card using your printable, simply re-size it to 5×7 and then print, seal with a kiss, and send to your loved one.

Valentine’s Day Printable

 

Cute, isn’t it? And so easy!

Hopefully this tutorial helps you think of ideas for repurposing your digital products and creating your own home printables and cards.

 


LindyKrickbaum

About the Author  Lindy Krickbaum is a member of the creative team at the Digital Press. She is a happily-married wife, and best friend to her twin sister. She currently lives in Johnson City, Tennessee in the United States. Lindy is a self-admitted scrap-a-holic, rarely missing a day to scrap. She also enjoys designing jewelry, reading, and traveling every chance she gets.

 

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.

Tutorial Tuesday | Simple way to add video to your memory keeping

I love photography as much as the next person (or even more, as much as the next scrapbooker! LOL) but even I have to admit that sometimes, still pictures don’t do life justice. Life is in constant motion (and sound) and there are situations where a video is the best way to record those memories.

And here comes the scrapper’s nightmare: how to use those videos in our memory keeping? Even as digital scrappers, videos can’t (yet) be integrated into scrapbook pages.

Well, QR codes to the rescue! You’ve most definitely seen those graphics around. QR codes work like barcodes and you can create your own to link to any internet page that you want… a video for example. Tadaaaaa, problem solved! To use a QR code you have to scan it with your smartphone and there are tons of free apps to do so.

Now what video to add? I’ve been using an app called “1 second everyday” along with my photographic P365(-ish). This app, which is free and exists for various platforms, helps you record (as its name implies) 1 second of video every day. Sometimes it’s a bit too short so you can extend it to 1.5 seconds, but usually it’s enough to capture the essence of a moment. Then the app mashes all those seconds either by year or month. You can also choose a custom timeframe and create your own mini-movie (of 30 seconds max for the free version).

I create my movies to match my PL/P365 pages, which are two-pages spreads for 2 weeks, and I use QR codes to link to my videos. I’ve uploaded those on youtube (through the 1SE app) and set the viewing rights to private, so only me or someone logged in my youtube account can see them. Since I really really like you, though, this time I’ve left it public so that you can scan the QR code and see the video. 😉

Here’s my most recent page, covering the first half of December, using the fabulous collab Dear Santa by Anita Designs and Sahin Designs:

And here are the two pages separately:

You’ve probably noticed my very own QR code on my left page and here it is again (in bigger size) so that you can scan it and see my 1SE video for December 1st to 15th:

How to create a QR code? Well, that’s pretty easy. There are lots of sites that do that, just look for “QR code generator”. I personally use unitag.io which allows me to personalize the colors (background and code itself), but there are tons of other options. Just make sure you can download the QR code once it’s created, and that it’s a high enough quality/resolution if you intend to print your LOs.

Finally, even if 1SE is a fun app to record everyday moments in video, you can use QR codes in many other ways. Here are a few ideas of links to add to your LOs:

  • the video of a moment or event, for example the birthday kid blowing his/her candles or the midnight kissing during your NYE party. Just edit in your program of choice (or in Youtube) and upload it to your favorite platform.
  • the trailer of the movie or TV show you talk about in your LO
  • the video of your favorite Christmas song or the latest track of this artist you love
  • the playlist that you keep listening to over and over again (for a “currently” LO, for example), etc.

I hope those tips will help you add video to your memory keeping. Don’t hesitate to comment or post in the forum if you have any question and feel free to add your ideas if you think of other ways to use QR codes!


Chloé

About the author: Chloé is in charge of PR and communication for her small town by day, “by night” is a digiscrapper 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.

Tutorial Tuesday | Five Inexpensive Hybrid Gifts

AHG_giftyhybrid1

It never fails — someone unexpectedly gives you a gift. You heart rate jumps, and your mind races, and you think, “oh no, I need to reciprocate — and FAST!”

Well, today’s Tutorial Tuesday post will show you some really great, fast, and inexpensive gifts that you can make using items you might already have on hand. Albums, notebooks, frames, and jars are all the perfect mediums for hybrid crafting! Today, I will show you how I transformed these items into terrific customized gifts… and quickly, to help you deal with surprise gifting emergencies!

AHG_giftyhybrid1

The first item you can use — JARS! Jars are so easy and fun, you can fill them with anything… candy (my favorite), sewing kits, a candle… you name it, and it will probably fit in a jar! The only thing you have to worry about is a nice little band to go around it, and a focal point. For the example shown below, I used Dunia Design’s 25 Days Kit to create this adorable little candy jar. I made a 2″ band in Photoshop using 2 complementary papers, and printed the band… along with that cute snowman and a sentiment. The top of the jar is covered in a cupcake liner, but could have easily been another paper from the kit. All I had to do at the end was add a button and twine, and that was it! Easy-peasy!

AHG_giftyhybrid2

The second item we’ll use today — FRAMES! Craft stores have all kinds of DIY frames, and the one I used (shown below) cost me just one dollar. I loved the elements in Mari Koegelenberg’s 12 Days | Full Kit, as well as the bright colors. Using white acrylic paint, I whitewashed the frame, and then let it dry. While it was drying, I measured my frame, and set it up in Photoshop exactly how I wanted it to look (what can be easier than that?! …and the benefit is, you can save your project to print & use again & again). After I set it up, I separated all of the elements for printing. Setting it up this way allowed me to print only what was needed, which cuts down on ink! I popped a couple of the trees up with dimensional adhesive, then outlined some of the elements with glitter glue.

AHG_giftyhybrid3

Item number three to share with you today — HOME DECOR! This is probably one of my favorite types of projects. For an easy and yet elegant project, search online for quilt patterns! I found this awesome tree and converted it into a template. All the gorgeous papers in Scotty Girl Design’s Season of Joy Collection popped in my mind, and I knew it would be the perfect digital collection for this project! Again, I set up my design in Photoshop first, and then I printed, trimmed, & adhered it all to a cardstock base. I also added a few elements from the collection, and adhered them with dimensionals. Finally, I added a nice frame, and it was all finished!

AHG_giftyhybrid4

My fourth project use another great/inexpensive item — NOTEBOOKS! Shown below is a little notebook I snagged in a dollar bin somewhere (and I won’t pretend that I bought just one!). To use it for this hybrid project, I first measured the notebook and then made (in Photoshop) a little panel to adhere to the front, using Project Twenty-Fifteen | December Kit by Laura Passage and a few physical supplies like buttons. If you have a note-taker in your life, this would be a fine gift!

AHG_giftyhybrid5

Finally, the last item we’ll look at today — ALBUMS! This cute 4″ x 6″ album was also a dollar store find. I loved all the journal cards in Twenty Five | The Collection by Mari Koegelenberg, so I decided to use them to make this ready-made album. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love this for Christmas (or any other day of the year!); all they have to do is add their own photos. 😉

AHG_giftyhybrid6

Here’s a look at the inside; journal cards and patterned papers combine to make a fun little album. Just set up a Photoshop template for the size of your pages, and mix & match to your heart’s content. If the recipient is a little bit crafty, you could even print out & trim some elements for them to add for themselves!

AHG_giftyhybrid7

 

All in all, these five projects cost me less than a total of $20 (not including the price of the digital products used), and now they are ready and waiting in case I forget to shop for someone and/or get an unexpected gift!

Want to give this a try? We would LOVE to see your hybrid holiday decor – please share it with us over in the hybrid gallery and/or our The TDP Facebook page.


Arielle H GordonAbout the author  Arielle H Gordon is a wife and mom of two crazy kiddos, ages 5-1/2 & 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 glued to the Hallmark channel watching every single Christmas movie — even if she’s seen them 5 times each!

Hybrid: Reindeer Food Keepsake Ornament

Reindeer Food Keepsake Ornament

 

I can’t believe Christmas is just around the corner. It’s all happening way too fast this year; even my boys mentioned that it doesn’t quite feel like Christmastime yet. I mean, I just put up my tree and haven’t even gone shopping yet… and before you know it, we will be cheering “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” I’m going to do my best in the next two weeks to slow down and enjoy the holidays. I’ll let you know how that works. 😉

Meanwhile, today I am here to show you how to make an adorable “Reindeer Food” keepsake ornament!

I have seen the idea behind today’s tutorial before (the concept of making “Reindeer Food,” that is)… and I thought it would be cute to put my own little twist on it. Instead of simply putting the reindeer food in baggies to put out on Christmas Eve, I decided to also make an ornament so that when the kiddos are done putting out their reindeer food the can have a cute ornament to keep.

SUPPLY LIST

  • 4 in plastic fillable ornament (I purchased mine at the Dollar tree)
  • projector sheets (acetate sheets; found at any office supply store)
  • vinyl (I got mine from Hobby Lobby)
  • white cardstock
  • ribbon
  • printer and cutting machine (I use a Silhouette Cameo)
  • the special reindoor food (see below for recipe)
  • digital scrapbooking kit of your choice (I used 25 Days by Dunia Designs; I am absolutely in love with this kit!)

kit

Here is my secret Reindeer Food recipe: oats and glitter (I use both red and green). That’s it! …top secret, right!? I have also seen cheerios and little Christmas candy beads use before, too. I’m sure you can just add whatever you think Santa’s reindeer will eat. If they were my reindeer, they would be filling up on sweets… lots of sweets… 😉

food1

 

Next, we’ll create the ornament. First on that task list is creating the clear acetate insert for the ornament.

If you don’t have cutting machine available to cut the vinyl shapes that make up the reindeer, you can also print the reindeer directly onto the acetate sheets (just make sure that you get the right sheets for your printer). I like the look of the vinyl on the acetate, so the next few steps will detail that method.

First, you need to draw out the ornament template… and then use that shape to cut out the insert from the acetate so that it will fit inside the ornament. I cut my inserts at about 3.75 inches.

templates

 

I chose a reindeer image from the digital kit, and then before I “pulled it apart” (see below for explanation), I first laid it on top of my ornament template to test it and make sure it would fit.

sizehead

 

Next, I traced the pieces of the reindeer and separated them in my software (I use Silhouette Studio Designer Edition v3). I laid it out as shown below (separated by color) so that I could put my different pieces of vinyl on my mat in the same places cut one time instead of five.

vinylcut

Here’s a look at how I arranged my vinyl pieces on the mat; notice how the arrangement corresponds with the layout of the reindeer pieces in the image above. This is a good way to use up those vinyl scraps (I don’t do a lot of vinyl projects with my Cameo, so most of my pieces are scraps). My favorite thing to do with my machine is print and cut.

vinylpieces

 

After I had my vinyl reindeer pieces, it was time to fill the clear glass ornament. First, I removed the top of the ornament and filled it with the reindeer food…
fill

 

…and then it was time to assemble the rest. I inserted the clear acetate sheet with the reindeer vinyl adhered to it as shown here:

roll

 

To get the projector sheet in the ornament, simply roll it up and stick it in the ornament.  It will unroll when it is all the way in, and will look like this:

ornie

*NOTE* If you don’t have all of the necessary supplies to make the ornament, you can also simply design a header and fill little treat bags with the food — no cutting machine required! With that in mind, a tag comes in handy (you can also use a tag like this on the ornament itself). Here’s how to make the tag…

tagreindeerfood

 

I created the tag in the Silhouette software… but you can also do this with any photo editing program and a pair of scissors.

tags

I created two tag images (one reindeer image, and one with a written sentiment), and then tied them together. Aren’t these so cute?

tag

Here’s a look at the final version of this ornament with the tags. I love this little reindeer! I made a couple of these ornaments for some friends’ little guys… and they loved them!

 

tagblub

 

I also put the same sentiment onto a wider piece of cardstock in order to make a “treat bag topper”…tagreindeerfood_21

 

Here’s a look at the treat bag (just the reindeer food, without the ornament). This is a fun little gift, as well!

 

lightned

 

And there you have it!

I hope this tutorial has inspired you! If you’d like to give it a try, please join me in the forum and have fun creating something awesome for Christmas. You can earn points toward this month’s hybrid challenges! I can’t wait to see your creations.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Take time to slow down and spend time with the ones you love the most!

 


About the Author  TanyaTanya is a part of the hybrid team here at The Digital Press. She has been hybrid crafting for at least 10 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 26 years and has two sons: Chris, 23 and Chance, 19. She also enjoys crocheting, photography and woodworking.

12 Days of December – Day 3 – Reminiscing Past Holidays

12 Days of December - 12/3 - Reminiscing past Holidays

 

When you are a kidless family like my man and I, Christmas doesn’t hold exactly the same magic as it does when you have kids around (or as it did when you were a kid, yourself). Looking back at my childhood, I still remember with vivid emotions my huge family gathered together to celebrate Christmas in my grandparents’ “chalet” in the Alps. My cousins and I often got the same present (to avoid jealousy)… we tried to figure out which of my uncles was playing Santa that year… and we laughed at our younger cousins when they were afraid of said Santa (forgetting that a few years before that, we were the ones who were scared!). We used to read fairy-tales, watch Disney programs, and have a “Christmas show” in which all the kids would perform for the adults. Big tables (and I mean BIG… we often were 30 or 40 people) and noisy rooms were the norm. The next day, we would get up a bit later than usual and go skiing together, even when we would have preferred to play with our brand new toys. In my dad’s family, things were much quieter with only 4 grand kids, and my cousins were much older than my brother and I. We ate the same Christmas dinner almost every year: ham with dried green beans and mashed potatoes. My grandparents lived in a small town in the mountains, so every Christmas was a white Christmas… and it was beautiful.

If you want to remind yourself of past Christmases (or memories in general!), try to use all your senses. We all have various ways to remember things, and even though visual memory is usually the strongest one — don’t forget to also use the smells, the tastes, the sounds, the feelings to bring back memories. Think of that itchy (and ugly!) wool sweater; those shiny shoes and velvet dress you wore on Christmas eve; your favorite dish from the Christmas feast; the first time you stole a sip of hot cider; the smell of fire in the chimney, or the smell of tangerines; the sound of Christmas carols; the sound of church bells ringing for midnight mass. Use all those bits and pieces as tools to jog your memory, then save those precious moments in a layout. That’s what I did here, using the fabulously-vintage kit Twenty-Five by Mari Koegelenberg.

 

 

Here are two other examples by talented TDP creative team members that show you how using all of your senses is a good way to jog your memory, even for more recent events. First, this gorgeous page by Erin (miimsgirl) using Season of Joy by Scotty Girl Designs…

 

12 Days of December - 12/3 - Reminiscing past Holidays

 

Here, Erin doesn’t write about a specific past Christmas — just the Holidays in general — but she uses the same tip of putting her senses into action: the sound of Christmas music, the taste of festive snacks, the view of decorations. It’s a great way to put yourself in a Christmas-y mood!

Another example is this beauty by Heidi, using Tidings of Joy by River~Rose…

 

12 Days of December - 12/3 - Reminiscing past Holidays

 

Here, again, the journaling isn’t about a specific year — but about the holiday season in general. She describes all of the pleasures of Christmas using various senses. She even added an additional dimension to her journaling by adding feelings and love, which is really the icing on the cake… or the star on top of the tree! LOL

I hope these tips will help yout dive into your memories and, using your five senses, help you document all of those precious little details which aren’t really all that little after all. 🙂

Merry Christmas in advance, everyone!


Chloé

About the author: Chloé is in charge of PR and communication for her small town by day, and “by night” is a digiscrapper and photographer whenever the light is beautiful. She lives with her man and fur-babies in the 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.

12 Days of December – Day 2 – Simplify Your Holiday Songs

 

holiday songs

Miranda here today… and I would love to talk with you about something that really puts me in the holiday spirit and gives me the “Holiday Shivers.”

I love Christmas songs. For me… when I hear the first Christmas songs on the radio, the Holiday season starts. I love the sound of the bells that are in most songs. I especially love the older Christmas songs… like those from Dean Martin and Bing Crosby.

 

Homemade with Love-tdp
These holiday songs remind me of the Christmases we had when I was just a kid, when my Grandparents were still with us and Christmas was white. It reminds me of the nuts we ate in the afternoon… Christmas dinner and the candles my mom only used for those meals… etc. I think sometimes I can even smell those early Christmas days when I hear some particular songs.

Rockin Retro Kit-tdp
My all-time favorites are Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ and  Happy X-mas by John Lennon’. Both songs bring back memories from when I was around 18-20 years old… the Christmas parties always started with one of these songs. I still have the same old feelings when I hear the first tones of these songs.

But with so many Holiday songs, I sometimes feel the need to clean up — just like I feel the need to de-clutter by donating clothing, cleaning up my closets, or selling items from my garage just to get more space. 😉

De-cluttering your music, you say? Yes! I found an article written by Courtney Carver where she gives us some tools to simplify your music. Here are some of her tips:

  1. Albums — If you still have them, you often keep them for sentimental reasons… maybe in a few years you’ll feel differently, and will be able to minimize your collection.
  2. Cassette Tapes — There are companies that can transfer your tapes to digital media; however, quality may not be perfect, as these tapes were not the best. But it’s likely still better to have a digital copy than a cassette copy (as you’ll be more likely to listen to it more often)!
  3. CDs — Transfer your CDs to iTunes (but only those that you really listen to!). Donate the CDs you never listen to (so that someone else will).
  4. Jewel Cases — For the CDs you keep… there is really no reason to hold onto the jewel cases or album artwork (unless they are collectors items); you can discard or donate them, and store the CDs in page protector albums.
  5. Playlists — If you put all your music into iTunes/etc. in Step 3 (above), the best way to hear your favorite Holiday tunes is by creating playlists. You can create them for lots of reasons (not just to pull all of your holiday music together): organize them by season, or create a list for your running/exercise music, or a list of “dinner music,” etc.
  6. Shuffle — Use the shuffle feature on your iPod/etc. and you might get surprised by some of the tracks you’d forgotten about!
  7. Digitally De-clutter and Purge — Go through your iTunes library and permanently delete the media that you do not use and will not use. For instance… there are CDs you bought for just 1 or 2 songs (and you can delete the other 10 songs! it’s OK!).
  8. Save Hard Drive Space — Rather than use your computer’s hard drive, you can use external hard drives to store your iTunes Music and save space on your computer; just remember to back up your playlists and library.

After you have done all of this, you might find that you do not want more music… but you will likely have more space to add to your collection! Or, you might just realize that you want/need more free time to enjoy your newly-simplified music collection.

Do you have any holiday music favorites? Are there any special Christmas songs that give you the “Holiday Shivers”? If so, please share your favorites with us in the comments, below, so we can can create our own “TDP Christmas Playlist”!

Enjoy!


Miranda

About the Author: Miranda is mom of two teenage boys, aged 13 and 15 years old, and is also a fur-mummy for her 3 Bernese Mountain Dogs. She lives in the South of the Netherlands, close to the beach where she loves to walk with her dogs. In real life she is HSE-responsible for few companies in the construction industry. She loves to bake and decorate birthday cakes and wedding cakes; loves to read Danielle Steel novels; and has been digiscrap-addicted since 2007.

Hybrid tutorial: Fall wreath

donnaespiritu-hybridfallwreath-header

Hello everyone! Donna here to get you inspired with a hybrid project.

Although we don’t have fall where I am, it is one of my favorite seasons because of the warm colors. Today, I’d like to show you a project on how to create a simple hybrid fall wreath.

First, gather your materials.

  • Cardboard (size depends on your preference)
  • Printer, photo paper
  • Digital kits (I used WOODLAND WHIMSY DIGITAL KIT BY: INSIDE PIXELS BY LISA BELL and AUTUMN WOODLAND ELEMENTS BY: RIVER~ROSE)
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun/stick (or craft glue)
  • Ribbon
  • Die cutting machine, metal dies (optional)
  • Acrylic paint and paint brush (optional)

I already printed and cut some of the elements here. I used a 100 gsm photo paper for my print outs. Preferably, use fine-tipped scissors to cut through the intricate print outs. I cut all of these by hand but if you have an electronic cutting machine, you can also do that (I do have one but it’s under my craft table and I’m too lazy to pull it out lol).

 

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This is optional. I just happen to have a die cutting machine and some metal dies so I used them for this project. donnaespiritu-hybridfallwreath-tut03

I also used the same metal dies to trace solid ones. Another option is to search Google for fall leaves templates and trace those instead if you don’t have metal dies like I mine.

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Cut a circle like the one in the image. This is approximately 8 inches in diameter. I just recycled a cardboard from a shoe box.

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The background won’t show through but I still preferred the cardboard painted. (Ignore the messy table… lol)

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Tie a ribbon and a bow. Then start adhering the cut outs. I used a glue gun because it’s faster. But you can also use any craft glue.

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Continue adhering everything, making sure there is balance in your placement. It’s also like creating digital layouts, balance is key to a desirable outcome.

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That’s all for now, I hope you give it a try!  Please join us in the challenge forum for a fun challenge inspired by this.

Happy Crafting!


DonnaAbout the author: Donna Espiritu is a mom to a little girl who just turned 1 year old and wife to a very supportive husband. She is currently living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with them. When she is not scrapbooking, she likes to read books/e-books (sci-fi/romantic/time-travel) or watching old episodes of some of her favorite TV shows.

Harmony: Making Peace with the Past

Harmony With The Past

 

I have been taking this class that is all about journaling and finding your voice. I went into it not thinking that I needed ‘help’ with my journaling but now that I’m halfway through, I love that I am digging deep and telling stories that have hardly been told before. That’s why we scrapbook right? So that our children/friends/family/whom ever you do it for has a legacy of your life! Through my class, I’ve done a number of pages JUST ABOUT ME! I know right? Not a single picture of my kids or dog! LOL! I have discovered that although the many stories of our children or the minutiae of our days are absolutely noteworthy- my story is just as important to pass down. One of my stories that I have yet to tell my kids- mostly because they are young and have not really asked- is about my parents’ divorce. I am fortunate that theirs wasn’t nasty or any worse than a typical separation. Yet, I have vivid memories of when it all went down. While making a layout and finding my words to talk about that time in my childhood really helped me today. I have no way to really explain it, except that it just ‘felt’ good to say it. Even if no one reads it or just my kids when they are a bit bigger, it made me feel better and that folks is what really matters! Happy mommy= happy life! 😉

 

Harmony with the Past

In Kacy’s layout- she talks about learning from her past & realizing how strong (and awesome btw) she is!

Harmony with the Past

 

Alrighty- my CHALLENGE to you is to DIG DEEP! Even if your story is different than mine- we all have had hard times in the past and scrapping a layout just might bring you some peace today! If your stories are too personal for the interwebs- there are some great ways to still ‘get it all out’ without the entire world able to read it. A few ideas are- blurring your journaling, using tiny or a scripty font, or masking it into the background. Either way, please share with me over in our forums HERE!.

 


AmieAbout the Author: Amie is a craft loving, dental hygienist in WA state who loves her husband, two kids (ages 7 & 4), English Bulldog, coffee, baking cupcakes, daffodils, glitter & sprinkles, reading a good book and lip gloss- not necessarily in that order.