Pursue Custom Shapes


I love to use brushes/stamps on my photos, just to give them that little bit of extra. I love it when these are included in kits, but even when they’re not, it’s super easy to create your own using fun fonts and the custom shapes tool.

Take a look at the two pages below. They are the same page, but the first one doesn’t have the little extras I created using shapes and fonts. On the second page, I added a little, chevron arrow pattern (repeated a few times) and some custom text.

Cards from Project Weekly and The Simple Life by Amanda Yi Designs

Cards from Project Weekly and The Simple Life by Amanda Yi Designs

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use custom shapes to make your own stamps to use on your own photos.

  1. Create a blank document. I usually use a 4×6 or 3×4 document, since those are typically the size of the “pockets” I use for my scrapbooking.
  2. Over on the tool bar, click on the corner of the shapes tool to bring out the flyout menu, and click on the one that says “custom shapes tool.”


  1. The shape options will show up on your top toolbar. If all the shapes aren’t showing up, you can click on the little tool icon to bring up this menu. I like all of my shapes to be showing, so I select “ALL”.


  1. For the page above, I chose to use this cute, little chevron-shaped arrow. Click and drag on your page to draw the shape. If you hold down shift at the same time, it will keep the same proportions (which matters for some shapes and doesn’t for others).


  1. For this one, I duplicated the arrow so I had five copies of it. Here’s one of my favorite tricks. Select all 5 arrows, and make sure your move tool is selected. Then, push the icon at the top that says “distribute horizontal centers” when you hover over it. It makes your arrows evenly spaced!



  1. At this point, I like to merge the shapes together. To do this, select all the arrows, right-click, and select “Merge Layers”. I also like to rasterize the shape (right-click and select “Rasterize Layer”). Now, you can drag the arrows over to your layout and use them however you want.


  1. For the top right pocket on this page, I rotated the arrows, made them smaller, and changed them to a blue color that matched my layout. I felt like I needed something next to the picture on the card, so I put the arrows there. I duplicated the arrows for the moccasin pic, but I decided that five arrows was too many, so I used the lasso tool to select two of the arrows, and deleted them. I also changed them to white for that pic and lowered the opacity to about 75%.


  1. The final step I took for this page was to add text to the bottom left pic. I had converted that photo to black and white, and I felt like it needed a little more. I just added some text boxes directly on top of the picture. Sometimes I will lower the opacity, or change the blending mode, but for this one I just changed the text to the same color as the top arrows. I liked it, so I left it that way.

Here is the final layout:

Cards from Project Weekly and The Simply Life by Amanda Yi Designs

Cards from Project Weekly and The Simple Life by Amanda Yi Design

There are so many fun shapes to play around with, so the next time you think your photo or page needs a little something extra, check them out! Here are a few more of my favorites:


JaimeAbout the Author: Jaime is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She is a stay-at-home mom to 4 boys and 1 girl. When she’s not chauffeuring, volunteering at school, or helping with play costumes, she likes to digitally record her family’s memories, improve her photography skills, and read (there’s always a stack of books on her nightstand).

Pursue History

Pursue History

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be here with you today to talk about one of my favorite subjects – scrapbooking family history! A heritage/family history scrapbook album is wonderful way to document your family’s history and create a lasting gift for future generations. Some people find scrapbooking family history to be a challenge so I thought I’d help out a bit by offering a few different ways to document your family history in your scrapbook pages.


One of my biggest tips regarding family history scrapbooking is to just get started. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the photos and memorabilia from the past and wanting to be sure each and every page is perfect. I have found that just jumping in is one of the best strategies for getting the pages done – find a photo or a story that you really want to document and JUST DO IT! It’s often a good idea to start simple – using neutrals and muted tones which are more traditional colors for historical photos. Trying to focus on keeping it simple can help you get started. Neutrals and traditional motifs can help you create beautiful but fairly easy pages that don’t require a lot of fuss! Here are a few examples of pages using ‘traditional’ heritage supplies to create beautiful pages for your family history scrapbooks!


Layout by farrahjobling

Layout by Stacia


One of the things that I often hear people say about heritage scrapping is that they don’t scrapbook family history because they do not have photos about the events of their family’s past. Although I certainly understand the trepidation that comes from not having photos, I have a few suggestions about how to document those events and experiences from the past  despite not having photos with which to base a scrapbook page! My first suggestion is to think outside of the box and scrapbook a page that tells the story of the major historical events have impacted your family. One example of this technique, is a page I created about the fact that my maternal grandfather was stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed by the Japanese and how that experience affected him and his family. It was a difficult page to create because it outlines some very personal and difficult experiences but I love that it tells the story of our family within the larger context of the world around them. I didn’t have any photos of my grandfather at Pearl Harbor so I googled photos of the Pearl Harbor bombing and found this photo which was perfect for the theme of my page! Don’t be afraid to search for relevant photos online that might capture the themes of your page!


Pearl Harbor

Layout by Amy Melniczenko (anrobe)

Other ideas for scrapping family history pages when you don’t have photos include the following –

  1. Document pop culture of the past
  2. Tell stories from the past and use scrapbooking supplies on the page that will reinforce the theme of the story you are telling! One of the main things future generations will be interested in is the stories you have to tell so be sure to document them regardless of whether or not you have pictures that go with those stories.
  3. If you have memorabilia from the past, you can always use that in lieu of a photo to tell a story.
  4. Do you have any furniture, glassware or art that you’ve inherited from a family member? If so, take photos of all of those precious ‘things’ so that you can tell future generations about the things from the past.
  5. If your family has certain family recipes or foods that are significant, be sure to document those in your scrapbooks. You can make the dish and use a photo from today to document those recipes or you can do a photo-less page that outlines the recipe and why it’s significant to your family’s heritage.

Another thing that I have often heard people say they struggle with in scrapbooking the past is that they prefer using modern supplies (vibrant and bold, for example) which we don’t tend to see used with older photos. I love to use more current kits and supplies on my heritage layouts – so I definitey recommend you give it a try! No one said that older photos had to be neutral and muted! Add some color and use more modern motifs to add that extra something to your pages! Here are a few examples that might help inspire you to use more modern supplies and motifs on your family history photos!


Layout by AlinaLove


Layout by Scrapsandsass


Layout by Amy Melniczenko (anrobe)


I really hope these suggestions and ideas are helpful to you and allow you to begin to document your family’s history! Don’t forget that  there are no rules for scrapping the past – it’s your scrapbook & you should create pages that resonate with you!

So, now it’s your turn! I would love to see what you can do to pursue history by using one of these suggestions to create a family history page.  I’m hosting a challenge over on the forums and I hope you will come play along!  Check it out at The Drawing Board: Challenges.

About the Author: Amy lives in Reston, VA with her husband of 13 years and their 9 year old boy/girl twins. Their 18 year old daughter is in the midst of  her second year at West Virginia University!  Amy has been scrapbooking since the early 1990s but discovered digital scrapbooking in 2005 when her twins were born and has primarily scrapped digitally since that time. She is passionate about telling her family’s stories and documenting their life together! Amy is a huge reader (mostly literary fiction) and is a pop culture junkie! She also LOVES all things beauty & makeup!

Pursue what you Love

Pursue what you love

Hello, hello! Cynthia here today bringing you this awesome lovey-dovey article. But—if you thought this would be yet another Valentine’s Day post, prepare to be surprised! How often do we forget to actually do what WE love? When was the last time you ate a whole bag of lemon drops while watching Dr. House? Uh, ok, that may be just me, but in all seriousness, how often do we put ourselves last and fulfill the needs of our significant others, kids, co-workers, friends, etc. first?

For example, I do love to watch Dr. House,  ER, Grey’s Anatomy and all those hospital shows while my hubby truly despises them. He says he can’t stand the idea of seeing someone in pain (when most likely he can’t stomach the idea of blood, even imaginary). So I don’t watch them, or else watch an episode here and there when he’s not home.

Pursue what you love


Another thing I love to do is cook elaborate dishes and desserts, but when you are constantly on the move with little ones (and one that is THE pickiest eater ever) I end up cooking the same things over and over again. Every once in a blue moon, I do indulge in my inner Marthe Stewart and whip up something super fancy or at least, something new to break the routine.

Pursue what you love

I also love gardening, but don’t seem to find the time to do it. I have a gazillion pots that are just begging to be filled and also a gazillion plants in those horrid plastic containers. *sigh*

Pursue what you love

So my challenge to you today (and every day if you can!) is to find those big and little things that you love but don’t often have the time to do, and recapture them. Pursue them even if it’s for an hour, or if you only get to reminisce about that city you loved when you first visited. Make the time to have at least a few minutes of “me” time every day, I promise everyone around you (even if they don’t know what you’re doing!) will appreciate it. But mostly, you will love to pursue your (mostly) forgotten loves every day.

Head on over to my Scrap your Love Challenge here in the Forum, where I’ll show you a couple of ways you can scrap those other loves in your life! Can’t wait to see what you love!

Cynthia About the Author: Cynthia is a CT Member here at The Digital Press. She lives in sunny (way too sunny!) Mazatlan, Mexico with her hubby and their 8-going-on-40 yo daughter, plus the 2 most spoiled Westies who ever lived. She loves reading, cooking, photography and of course, scrapping!



Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible and Inspired

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a creative rut? You might take a look through your gallery and see that a lot of your pages look the same, or you don’t even feel inspired to create a new page because you feel like it has all been done before, or… you can’t even decide what to make for dinner anymore because you are sapped of any and all creativity. Well, maybe you don’t have these problems, but I certainly do. And when I’m lacking in creative mojo, there are a few things that will get me back into the creative zone:

  • I use Pinterest to search for art/design/color or really anything that jumps out at me and makes me feel like creating. Sometimes it is a quote, sometimes it is someone’s art, sometimes it is a list of ideas or creative kickstarters.
  • If Pinterest isn’t doing it for me, I will turn on some of my favorite music and do a little afternoon dancing. I think that if we get physical and ignore our mental blocks, they can dissolve themselves.
  • Magazines or scientific/technological websites will often give me a punch in the gut because of the interesting things that are happening on their websites or between their pages. An article about 3D printing, beautiful descriptive language in National Geographic, or reading about advances in medical technology can offer creative inspiration… especially if it isn’t something you would usually read. It gets you outside of the typical box and lets you take a peek into another world.
  • People-watching/eavesdropping. I admit to being an eavesdropper. Not always. But sometimes, you catch a nugget from a conversation that immediately draws your attention, and then your imagination. Follow that, and you reach creativity. Listen to those around you. Jot down key phrases or note something you liked about their personality or style.

It is always important to find what really works for you. You can read a lot of different opinions on creativity, but if one or the other doesn’t work for you, it is a problem. You have to find what keeps you inspired and creative. Here are some other thoughts/ideas about creativity:

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired



Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired


Pursue Creativity: Keep Yourself Flexible & Inspired

Now that you’ve seen a variety of different ways to pursue creativity, it is your turn. Join us for the Pursue Creativity Challenge in The Drawing Board challenge forum.

KimberleeAbout the Author: Kimberlee is a lover not a fighter; a stay-at-home gran, a poet, and a lifelong learner. She grooves on saturated colors, Tuesday dance parties, optimism, glitter and sunshine. She colors outside the lines.  She is a dreamer. She is a collector of moments.  She is all about the story.  Kimberlee completed her MFA in Creative Writing and is currently working toward a M.Ed. in Instructional Design.

Pursue inspiration: meaningful words and meaningful photos

Pursue inspiration: meaningful words and meaningful photos

I for one am a word person. I love writing, and reading, and find myself so inspired by a good quote, poem, or some words of wisdom. Often the words we find ourselves drawn to or inspired by are also words that reveal a lot about who we are and what we’re going through at this particular moment in our lives. As memory keepers, that idea resonates so perfectly with the desire to capture photos that have particular meaning for a point time and seem to capture our lives at that time so well. With that in mind, today’s post is intended to encourage you to seek out some wordy inspiration, and even better, to use that inspiration in your scrapbooking to add meaning and remind you of a feeling or idea that went right along with that photo.

This year, as part of the note-taking in my diary that I intend to use to keep track of everything for my Project Life hybrid album, I’ve started noting down some inspirational words when I find them. There are any number of great places to find them, but some of my favorites are Pinterest and GoodReads.

Here’s a recent example I pinned to use later:

Pursue inspiration: meaningful words and meaningful photos


The next step though, is what to do with them. When you have that moment where you think “…so true!” – that’s worth preserving one way or another. Of course, there’s always just sharing it on FB, Instagram and Pinterest, but honestly I think it’s never been easier to add this kind of inspiration into your scrapbook pages, too. Here are a few ideas on how:

  1. Pick a kit with a great message. I think you’re often drawn to a new kit or collection because of the words as much as the design and color scheme. A kit like this from the TDP store is packed full of ready-to-go inspiration, and includes word art that I can easily imagine would fit with the inspiration you could draw from an image. Imagine a gorgeous image of your little one wandering down a quiet road or path – add some superb word art from this kit and you’re adding a double layer of meaning.Pursue inspiration: meaningful words and meaningful photos
  2. Take a quote you like, and use it as the journalling on the page. Personally I love labels and little journal tags as design elements in kits, so this is a great way for me to use them, especially as I am not a big journaller otherwise. Here’s an example I’ve created using Love Is In The Air (new in the TDP store from Mommyish and Mari Koegelenberg on Feb 6). The quote is from Alan Moore, author of The Watchmen: “there’s a notion I’d like to see buried: the ordinary person. Ridiculous. There is no ordinary person.”Pursue inspiration: meaningful words and meaningful photos
  3. My third suggestion is great for pocket scrapbookers, but could be applied for traditional pages too. Journal cards are a great easy way to add some meaningful words. I’ve often seen card sets that have some really inspirational wording as well as great design, but even better, almost every set comes complete with several cards with space to add your own words. Take one of the quotes you sourced elsewhere, play with a font or two, and voila – a personalised, meaningful message. Here’s a quick example I put together using a journal card from the amazing TDP collab Winter Berries:Pursue inspiration: meaningful words and meaningful photos

Make sure you check out our February challenge series in the forum that’s full of ideas for things you can pursue this month. If this has motivated you to scrap some inspiring words, our Pursue Inspiration challenge starts Feb 6.

KathrynAbout the author: Kathryn Wilson shares her 1920s New Zealand home with her husband, a wauzer, and a cavoodle. She is a photographer, and both a digital and hybrid pocket scrapbooker, who has lots of DIY projects she should probably be working on right now.

Pursue Your Beloved

Pursue Your Beloved (Write a Love Letter)
Hi everyone! It’s the start of a new month, and that means a new crop of challenges in the forums here at The Digital Press. Each month we create a series of blog posts and challenges that correspond with one word.  This month, we chose the word PURSUE.
Pursue could mean many different things and we would love to have you join us as we “pursue” different aspects through our scrapbooking.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, this is a great time to focus on our loved ones. If you have a spouse or partner, it’s likely that you don’t communicate things you love and appreciate about that person every single day. Personally, although not a writer by nature, I find it easiest to communicate those thoughts to my Beloved through the written word.
Pursue Your Beloved
Here are a few journaling prompts you can use to jumpstart your own love letter:
– Use an endearing name (i.e. Beloved, Darling, etc.).
– List qualities you love about your Beloved and tell them why you love those qualities.
– Write about things your Beloved does for you that often get overlooked in the hustle and bustle of life (but you still really appreciate).
– Record the story and relive the memories from when you first started your relationship with your Beloved, and write about how things are different and better today.
– Write about your hopes and dreams for your future together.

And one final tip: be sincere and leave the humour to a minimum for this letter. Really dig deep and write from the heart!
Pursue Your Beloved
So, now it’s your turn – I’m hosting a challenge over on the forums at The Digital Press and I hope you will come play along! Check it out at The Drawing Board: Challenges. See you there!

Amy H.About the Author: Amy is a wife and mom to three from Ontario, Canada. She’s always been interested in scrapbooking, but didn’t try digiscrapping until 2008 when she received PSE for her birthday. By then she had 1 year old twins and a baby, so the thought of just playing for 10 minutes, hitting save and walking away with no mess was extremely appealing! She’s been hooked ever since. She loves being the memory keeper in the family, loves taking photos, loves telling the stories. She’s also excited to know that these memories are recorded for her grandchildren to enjoy someday!