Tutorial Tuesday | Blend Modes

Welcome to another installment of our Tutorial Tuesday series! Today, I want to share a few ways I use blend modes in Photoshop in order to blend my own custom background papers for my layouts!

Layer blend modes can be quite confusing, and honestly I think that simply playing around with them & trying out different opacities is the best way to learn what fits your style. In general, though, layer blend modes change the way layers (or their colors) react with each other.

The modes that I use the most are:

  • Linear Burn & Multiply (the 2nd group of blend modes make things darker; eliminates whites)
  • Screen (3rd group of blend modes make things lighter; eliminates blacks)
  • Overlay & Soft Light (4th group of blend modes generally make things lighter; they work with the gray tones, and results depend on the colors of your base layer)

The Blend mode panel is found just above the layers in the Layer panel. The default is always ‘normal’ and clicking on the small ‘v’  will bring down the rest of the blending options, as shown here…

Here are a few examples of how I used the blend modes mentioned above to combine two papers together in order to make my own unique background papers. I’ve shown my final layout (top left), the original paper files from the kit I used (bottom left and right), and also the blended version (top right) along with information about the modes/opacities I used…

In the next example, the text paper (lower left) was super fun & I really wanted to use it… but as a background on its own, it was a tiny bit too distracting. Blending it into the starburst paper (lower right) & then lowering the opacity almost all the way down solved that problem. You can still see & read the words on the new version (top right)… but it doesn’t overpower the layout (top left) any longer…

In the next example, I loved the swirly paper (lower right) and wanted to use it for my background, but it was a bit too bright. When I lowered the opacity, however, it seemed to wash out the pretty greens in the paper. My solution was to use a solid green background paper (lower left) because it helped to keep that color nice & sharp, while still decreasing how bold the pattern looks on my layout (top left)…

The next example highlights a useful tip I want to share — which is that if you can’t get it just right with one blend mode, you can always combine it with another mode and/or duplicate the layer that you’re blending. In the following example, I wanted that hexagon paper (lower right) to pop, even despite the darker paper I combined it with. Duplicating the paper and lowering its opacity gave me the defined hexagons I was going for…

Moral to the story: if you love a certain pattern, but you need a darker/different color for your layout… or if you want to tone down the brightness… or if you simply need a certain color to tie your photos together with a kit… blend modes can be your new B.F.F.! Through the use of blend modes, the possibilities are endless!

It’s also a great technique that can help you stretch your scrapping stash! The sky is the limit when it comes to making something unique and creating your own style with just a few clicks of the mouse! 🙂


AmieAbout the Author  Amie is a craft-loving dental hygienist who lives in Washington state. She loves her husband, her two kids (ages 9 & 5), and her English Bulldog… as well as coffee, baking cupcakes, daffodils, glitter & sprinkles, reading a good book, and lip gloss — not necessarily in that order.

Hybrid How-To | Decorate Your Home

 

Hello everyone!!  Today I’m here to show you how to create this cute sign with your digital word art stash.  I love crafting and especially hybrid crafting.   I made this one for my craft room.  I’ve also decided it’s the perfect time to get started on those Christmas gifts.  I don’t know about you, but I love getting and giving homemade gifts.  This year I’ve decide I’m going to make everyone a sign for their home.   The Digital Press has tons of word art kits.  There is something for everyone!!!

SUPPLIES:

  • Cutting Machine
  • Digital word art (From The Digital Press…of course)
  • Wood (I used scrap pieces I had laying around in the garage)
  • Paint – make sure to get matte
  • Paint Brushes (The cheap sponge ones are fine)
  • Vinyl
  • Transfer Tape

I used the new release, GRATEFUL, and ANOTHER 25 DAYS by Sabrina’s Creations.  GRATEFUL word art is perfect for home décor.

boards

There are different ways to achieve the same look.  Today we are going to do the PVPP method….Paint Vinyl Paint Peel

Prepare the wood.    To start off you will base coat the wood with the color that you want your word art to show.  On this project I base coated my board white because I wanted the writing to show up white.  While the wood is drying you will start getting your vinyl ready.

draganddrop

Open your cutting software.  Shown here is Silhouette Studio Designer Edition.  Simply open the file you have your word art saved it and drag the one you want to work with first to the mat.

You are going to have to give the image cut lines.  If you were to go to cut now, it would cut a square box around the image, because it’s not a svg file.  I will show  you how to TRACE the image so that you will have those cut lines.  Highlight the entire image and uncheck the High Pass Filer and move the Threshold over until the image is completely yellow.

cutfileattop

Now select Trace. Move the image over and you can see the red lines.  These are the cut lines.  You can delete the black image now.

cutsetting

Cut your vinyl to size, apply to your mat, load and cut.  Make sure that you have chose the right material type and have changed your blade settings.  I don’t think you have to change your blade on the newer machines.

Now it’s time to weed your image.  To start off you will remove the bigger pieces around your image (1).  Next, you will use a weeding tool or a safety pin to remove all the smaller pieces (2).

The next step is to apply your transfer tape over the entire image (3).  Now apply it to the prepared wood.  Use a flat card to burnish it to the wood (4).  This keeps the paint from going under the vinyl.

remove-transfer-paper

Carefully remove the transfer tape.  Use your finger and go over the vinyl to make sure that it is adhered to the wood good.

Using the color you want on top, paint over the entire image….vinyl and all.    Make sure there is not a lot of paint on your brush.  A couple of lighter coats is better than one thick coat.  If you do it too thick, the paint will get under the vinyl.

This is the step that you will hear different opinions on.  Some say to wait to remove the vinyl until it’s completely dry and others say to remove the vinyl while it is still a little wet.  I prefer doing it while it is still a little wet.  You can work on a scrap piece of wood and see what works best for you.

Here are the final results.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out.  Below are photos of some more signs I am still working on.

This one I’m going to sand the edges to give it a more rustic look.

For this one I’m going to add a frame to the bottom left.  I thought it needed a little something more.  It’s a little wood frame that I purchased at Hobby Lobby,  I’m going to paint it black.  That way you can add a photo of something or someone that you are Thankful for.

Another suggestion to try if you don’t want to paint is to simply add vinyl to an already painted plaque or piece of wood.  The possibilities are endless.  I hope that this tutorial was helpful and that you will give it a try….. ENJOY!!


TanyaAbout 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.

Tutorial Tuesday | Journaling Techniques

Hey ladies! I know that journaling is something that many scrappers struggle with. And yet to me it’s the main reason for scrapping: to tell a story, to remember the moment and the feelings. My job is to write 95% of the time, so my “writing muscle” is strong and always ready to get to work, but I can understand how difficult and overwhelming the idea of journaling can be when your muscle isn’t as strong as mine. So let’s flex and stretch and build up your writing muscle together, shall we? Here are some journaling techniques you can use to help you tell your story even when you feel uncomfortable writing.

  • Answer to the “Five Ws and One H” that journalists use. Those questions are interesting because you have to elaborate somehow, you can’t just answer them with yes or no! You can talk about facts (what happened?) or about feelings (what emotions did you feel?), and of course you can pick and choose which questions to answer!
    • What?
    • Who?
    • When?
    • Where?
    • Why?
    • How?

On this LO, Corrin added the When (date on upper corner), the Who (kids’ names) and the What with lots of details!

  • “Talk” to someone. It’s hard to express ourselves “on our own”, but if we write to someone like we would talk to them during a conversation, it becomes much easier. Try talking to the person your page is about, telling them why you decided to scrap this story, why you love this or that in them, why they make you go nuts with this habit of theirs. Try writing to someone that is gone, or that isn’t here yet. Write to someone you admire, a fictional character, an historical figure. You could even write to your pet or to a thing! “Dear Netflix,…”

What a touching “letter” Heidi wrote to her dad! Sweet!!

  • Use someone else’s words. If you’re not confident enough to journal from scratch, why not “borrow” someone else’s words: a song, a poem, lines from your favorite book or movie, a quote.
  • Use wordbits or wordart. Our beloved designers work hard to provide us with beautiful kits, but often those products are also terrific tools to help us tell our story. Let those elements be your journaling or inspire words of your own!

Here the wordart is used by Shivani both as a title and a starting point for the journaling!

  • If you feel comfortable writing but not sharing your journaling, you can easily hide it when you create the web version of your LO: delete it, blur it, add paint on top of it, blend it into the paper until it’s unreadable… There are lots of ways to keep it secret!

On this LO I could easy have blended the journaling even more to make it unreadable if I wanted to keep it a secret!

I hope those few tips will help you overcome your fears or awkwardness towards journaling! If you need an extra push to try it, why not join this month’s journaling challenge hosted by Amy?


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 | 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!)

ahgordon_octhybrid_tdp-5

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.

ahgordon_octhybrid_tdp1

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!

ahgordon_octhybrid_tdp2

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 | Use Products from TDP to Scrap on Your Phone

 

Here at The Digital Press, we love memory-keeping. We know that if you’re a fan of The Digital Press and you’re reading this, that you likely love memory-keeping, too.

With that said… life is busy. Things are always crazy, and there are never enough hours in the day. Never ever. We get it.

As such, it’s soooo easy to fall off of the scrapbooking bandwagon… and so easy to start to feel “way, way, way behind” when it comes to scrapbooking your cherished photos and memories. We’ve all been there — and sometimes, the task starts to feel insurmountable. The feeling of “I will never get caught up again!” can simply overwhelm.

About two years ago, one of our colleagues in the memory-keeping and scrapbooking industry — Becky Higgins of the Project Life brand of products — launched a completely revolutionary mobile app that made it possible for all of us to use our mobile devices to create scrapbook pages. If you haven’t yet checked out this app, you should definitely take a peek.

We’ve known Becky and her team for years now, and have simply loved watching this app — and her brand — take the scrapbooking world by storm. She has a passion for making memory-keeping something that is simple, quick, and effortless for everyone… and we adore that. Here’s a look at bunch of our team members from here at The Digital Press, meeting with her at the Craft & Hobby Association convention back in January 2015, where she excitedly showed us features of the (at the time brand-new) app…

 

[ group photo: (top L-R) Laura Passage, Danielle Engebretson, Karla Dudley Noél, Shannon McNab, Mari Koegelenberg, Nicole Seitler;
(bottom L-R) Kelleigh Ratzlaff, Becky Higgins ]

For those of you who have used this app on your mobile device… you know how easy it is. And it’s definitely a game-changer, because it allows you to productively use all of those little chunks of time that would otherwise be wasted (think: waiting rooms at doctors’ offices… sitting in the car line at your kids’ school for 20 minutes at the end of the school day… etc.) — to instead accomplish something, such as scrapbooking your photos, using the device that’s in the palm of your hand! 🙂

But did you know that you can use any digital scrapbooking products you like (not just the cards/etc. that are available in the app itself)?

We’re here today to show you just how easy it is to transfer your favorite digital scrapbooking products to your mobile device… and then import/use them in the Project Life app. Today’s tutorial — written by Laura, Erin, and Jen — is PART 1 in a 3-part series that will be on The Digital Press blog in the coming weeks… a series devoted to helping you use products from The Digital Press to scrap on your phone.

 


 

PART 1 — TRANSFERRING YOUR DIGITAL STASH TO YOUR MOBILE DEVICE

If you’ve used the Project Life app, you know that there are already pocket cards available within the app. Some are included in the app itself, for free… and others are available as in-app purchases. While this is awesome, and convenient… it can also become costly when you’re constantly making $1 and $2 purchases every time you’re working on a themed page and need a card to match.

Most of us, however, already have lots of fun scrap goodies sitting on our computer’s hard drive — stuff we want to use, but simply haven’t ever had time to use.

The exciting news is that you can use most of your own scrap stash in the app! Uploading your own scrap stash for use in the Project Life app is so much easier than you think.

For the purpose of today’s tutorial, we’re going to focus on transferring pocket cards to your mobile device… and then importing and using them in the app (in the future editions of this tutorial series, which are coming soon, we’ll show you how to use other items, as well).

This month, there is a FREE pocket card set available at The Digital Press [download expired 8/31/2016]. We’ll be using it in this tutorial; if you’d like to follow along. 🙂

 

 

1.  First, download the cards to your computer’s hard drive. Then, unzip the file and organize the included images however you desire. This is what Erin’s cards looked like on her computer’s hard drive after she unzipped them…

 

 

Erin likes to keep all of her TDP goodies together in one folder so that she can find them more easily. You could also create a folder full of all of the journal cards you wish to use for mobile scrapping… or you could organize in folders by designer name… or by theme… etc. It’s totally up to you!

 

2.  Next, you’ll transfer your files to your mobile device… using an online file sharing program. The three of us all prefer to use Dropbox, but there are a variety of file sharing services out there (*NOTE* Dropbox is handy because the Project Life app actually lists Dropbox as an option when you choose your photos/images… so it’s integrated right into the app). No matter what service you choose… make sure to use one that you can access from both your computer and your phone/mobile device.

 

 

Shown above, Laura’s process for using Dropbox to transfer files from her computer to her phone is as follows: (a) she opens Dropbox on her computer, first, and creates a folder called “MOBILE-SCRAPPING” in her Dropbox account; (b) then she uploads the files from her computer’s hard drive to that same Dropbox folder; (c) next, she opens Dropbox on her phone and finds those same files in the “MOBILE-SCRAPPING” folder; (d) she saves each file to her phone by opening it in Dropbox and choosing “save image”.

**TIP** If you save your images onto your phone itself, we recommend creating an album (or albums) on your phone in which you can store your digital scrapbooking supplies. Depending on your phone’s operating system, you can do this manually; on an iPhone, you just click on “albums” within the photo app, and then click on the “+” sign in the top left corner and you can create a new album and name it anything you like.

 

3.  You can also leave your images in Dropbox (as opposed to actually storing them on your phone, as described in 2(d), above)… because the Project Life app actually gives you the option of opening images straight out of Dropbox. More on that in the next few steps…

 

4.  Now you’re ready to begin using your pocket card images in the Project Life app…

 

 

Open the app on your phone (or tablet)… click on the blue top-right layout creation option (A, on the above images)… and then use the button at the top-left (B, on the above images) to toggle open a layout selection menu (C, on the above images). Choose your layout design option.

Once you have your layout option selected… simply click on any of the blocks on the layout in order to “fill-in” that block. When you do, the app will zoom-in to that block and give you 2 options, as shown here (D, on the following image)…

 

 

Shown above (D, on the far left image), the app gives you two options for filling any of the blocks in your layout design: photos (left) or cards (right). If you choose the cards option on the right, you are able to use any of the cards that are built-in to the Project Life app. For the purpose of this tutorial, however, you will be choosing the photo option on the left.

When you click on the photo option… your phone will open a menu to allow you to find and select the photo that you want to use (E, on the above images); note the difference in interface between the iPhone version of the app (center image) and the android version of the app (right image).

Here’s the trick — you’re not actually adding a photo. You’re adding a card… but because you’re importing the card from outside of the Project Life app, the app will view it as a “photo.” Therefore, you’ll use the photo option… and then you locate the image you want to use (which is one of the cards you’ve imported/saved in Dropbox and/or on your phone, itself).

 

5.  Fill the blocks on your layout with cards and photos…

 

 

In the images above, you can see Erin’s step-by-step progression from “empty layout design” to “completed page” as she clicks on each block within the layout and fills it with either a card or a photo.

You’ll also notice that she added text to one of the cards (the pencil journaling card). Currently, this can’t be done directly in the Project Life app (you can only add text to the in-app cards… but not to photos). Thus, we’ll detail the process of adding text to cards from your own digital stash in the next installment of this series (coming September 6 to The Digital Press blog, so stay tuned!). For now, however, we’ll just mention a few of the other apps that we have used to quickly and easily add text to our cards from our phones: Over, Letterglow, Textgram, and the Rhonna Designs app.

 

6.  Once you have created a page you like… it’s time to save your layout and export it as a high-resolution image.

 

 

In the images shown just above, you can see Jen’s process for saving her completed page as a high-resolution image. First, she clicks on the button at the bottom-right corner of the app. Next, she chooses “Export” — and from there, she is able to choose an image size (12″ x 12″ or 8″ x 8″).

Once she chose a size, her phone prompted her to choose a location to save the final image. It is possible to save it to the user’s camera roll, or to Dropbox, or even to send the page off to be printed (yes, that’s right — you can order prints straight from the Project Life app, if you want to).

Here’s a look at 2 finished pages — one by Jen, and one by Erin — both created using the Project Life app, as well as the card set shown in this post…

 

 

This final step of saving a high-resolution copy of your image will also come in handy when we get to the 3rd and final installment of this series (coming in late-September to The Digital Press blog, so stay tuned!) — in which we will teach you how to use this app, along with your TDP scrap goodies, to create non-pocket style pages, as well.  🙂

Sounds exciting, right? IT IS! The idea of creating non-pocket style pages in this app is something that expands the possibilities of this app in a way that is just awesome. Freeing. Liberating, even. The flexibility to scrap in numerous styles from the palm of your hand is just way too cool. We can’t wait to continue this series!

For now, however, today’s PART 1 post should ensure that you are all set to make some basic pocket pages on your phone using all of your favorite scrap goodies from The Digital Press! Enjoy, and happy scrapping!

 


Laura PassageAbout the Authors

Laura Passage is the owner of The Digital Press, and also the designer behind Wishing Well Creations by Laura Passage (WWC). She works now as a graphic designer in both the digital and paper scrapbooking industries, but previously spent over a decade working as a college soccer coach. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two young sons (affectionately referred to as The Tiny Terrorists), and will rationalize eating coffee ice cream for breakfast to anyone who questions it.

Erin

 

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.

 

Jennifer Hignite

 

Jennifer Hignite is a mom of three boys and new homeowner with her fiance in the mitten state of Michigan. When she is not scrapbooking, she enjoys photography, decorating, and shopping at Target.

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 | 4th of July Party Favors

Summer is in full force, heat and all. So many fun things happen during the summer… vacations, pool parties, barbecues, and more — including the 4th of July! A lot of people celebrate the 4th with food, family, friends, games, and lots of fireworks. I love the 4th, and the meaning behind the celebration, so I decided to do make some 4th of July party favors. It’s easy, and I’m going to teach you how in today’s Hybrid How-To post!

For this project I used the …And the Pursuit of Happiness | Kit & the coordinating digital stamp set set (which is also mobile-ready!) — both designed by Laura Passage. I also used the Gingham Style collab collection by The Digital Press Design Team (from back in April 2015).

I am a Silhouette girl… and I use the SSDE (Silhouette Studio Designer Edition) for almost everything. I find that even some of the more difficult things are easier to do in this software over Photoshop Elements (PSE). I still use PSE for my all of my scrapbooking, however.

First, I opened this pillow box file I already had in my stash of hybrid files. I re-sized it until two of them fit onto an 8.5″ x 11″ page. *NOTE* there is no need to turn on registration the marks here, but do make sure the cut lines are on.

Then, I used SSDE to cut out my project on clear cardstock. I loooove clear cardstock! It can be purchased online. It is a little thicker than the acetate sheets that I used in my floating ornament tutorial. I put my cardstock onto the cutting mat, loaded it, and cut. The cut settings are “chipboard, blade on 7 and double cut.” Then, to assemble it… I just used one strip of double side tape on the edge.

Next, I filled my new pillowbox container! I used fireball candies to fill this one. I think the finished product will be cute in a little basket on the treat table at a party. I also filled another pillowbox container with little firecracker pops.

The next step was to embellish the pillow box. I drew out long strips and used various digital papers from the kits to fill them in. I also opened up a few element files (using the star shapes, and stamps from the mobile-ready font & stamp set) and put them on the same page.  Again, no need to turn on the registration marks in SSDE, because after printing I will cut them out with my scissors.

Here’s a look at some of the pieces after I printed them out, as I was cutting them out…

Next, I combined the paper strips with the other elements — attaching them with double sided tape. I also embellished with ribbon. How cute are they?

This next one is the one I filled with the firecracker snaps (you throw them on the ground to pop)…

Now, to make the sparkler holder. These will be presented as a “Thank You” gift for coming to our 4th of July festivities…

For this part of my project, I used Silhouette Studio. To design the holder, I used elements from all three products.

 

You can print and use scissors (or an exacto knife) to cut around the opening… OR… if you have a Silhouette, you can turn on your registration marks and do a print and cut. As you can see, the design is past the registration marks — and that is okay because I will cut that part with my scissors. You can see here that I have cut marks around only part of the middle part of the design. I did this by tracing the “circle” part of the design and cutting part of it away. This is to ensure that it would only cut a small opening for the sparklers to fit through.

You can see here in this next image where it cut (I put the sparklers through the opening so that you can see what I mean)…

The part that goes past the registration marks will not cut. That is okay for this project. I simply took my scissors and cut out the rest.

I backed the sparkler holder to make it a little more sturdy. To do this, I started out by drawing out a 8.5″ x 11″ shape then filled it with paper from the …And the Pursuit of Happiness kit. To get the shape of the template, I mirrored the image and turned on my cut lines before printing. After printing, I cut it out with my machine. You do not have to use the registration marks for this part of the project. If you don’t want to go through all the steps above, you can simply print the paper and cut a strip with your paper cutter or scissors. It just won’t cover the back of the banner on the sides… but I think that would be just fine, and a lot quicker!

 

After cutting, adhere with double sided tape…

What a fun party favor! You could always add more details, as well… like the year, your name, etc.

This project was really fun. There are so many more things you can make for your party. I’m thinking of things like cupcake toppers, garland, and food tags… just to name a few. Let your creativity run wild!

I hope that you enjoy giving these fun projects a try, and I also hope you have a safe and Happy 4th of July weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today!


TanyaAbout the Author  Tanya is a part of the hybrid team here at The Digital Press. She has been hybrid crafting for at least 12 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, 24 and Chance, 20. She also enjoys crocheting, photography and woodworking.

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.

Tutorial Tuesday | Save for Web

 

I often say that Photoshop is like our brain: we only use 10% of it. Well, “save for web” is probably one of those features that we don’t put to as good of a use as we should! It’s a simple tip… yet it can change the way you share your pages online!

As is often the case with Photoshop, there are several ways to get to the same end result… so I will simply share my own process (I use PS CS6), but keep in mind it’s definitely not the only process.

First, I always save 3 versions of the same file:

  1. My original layered file. I used to save it in .PSD format, but I’ve recently switched to .TIF format as they are non-proprietary (hence readable by software other than PS), smaller in file size, and can be previewed in my windows folders.
  2. The high definition .JPG file. This is the file that I use for printing (at 300dpi).
  3. The web version. This is a low-resolution .JPG file (72dpi), but it’s still nice and crisp.

When my layout is finished, I save the .TIF file first. Then I flatten it and save the high-resolution .JPG file. Then, I start my “save for web” process.

 

Here are my “save for web” steps

First, I go to  Image>Image size  or  Alt+Ctl+I  and change the resolution to 72 dpi (from the printing resolution of 300 dpi) for screen use, and I re-size the file. The file size/image size settings that I need are different from one gallery to another. The Digital Press gallery allows layouts from 600px to 900px in size (900px preferred), so when I re-size my layout I switch to 900px (because I scrap square layouts, I re-size my file to 900px x 900px). If your page isn’t square, just keep the proportions of your original but make sure the longest side is set to 900px.

Next, to ensure that my layout looks fantastic when displayed online, my file often needs to be sharpened. Now is the time! Again, there are various ways to do it. I simply use Filter>Sharpen>Accentuation (you could also use Smart Sharpen or a Highpass filter). Here are my settings when I sharpen — but pick whatever suits your own taste and your page, using the preview window to help you…

Here’s a small comparison of the before and after of my layout; it’s a subtle difference, but it gives my page a really nice oomph (you can really tell the difference if you look at the string frame… look how nice and sharp it is on the right side)!

 

Next, I will save this web version using… wait for it… “save for web” (in the File menu)! Ha! The shortcut in my version of Photoshop is Ctrl+Alt+Caps+S. Then I use the following settings…


I make sure to set a file size limit using the “optimize for image size” option. Here’s where the menu is located, in the top right corner (click the little 3-lines/arrow icon at top right, and you’ll get the following drop-down menu)…

A pop-up window allows me to pick the maximum file size I wish to allow, which I choose according to the online gallery’s requirements/guidelines. In The Digital Press’s case, the max size allowed is 400kb — so I could increase the 350 you see in the following image to 400…

The quality level of the layout will automatically adjust to fit within this size limit you just set. Use the preview window to make sure it still looks good, then click “save”.

This tip is super simple, but it will help your layouts take up less space online (including helping you adhere to different gallery limits/requirements), while still looking nice, beautiful and sharp! You can even create an action to record the steps you end up using to do this… and make it even quicker/easier! I hope this info will help you out; don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions!

 

In case you’re wondering the layout I used for the examples in this tutorial, above, was made using several items from the new June 2016 Special Edition that launched this past weekend!


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.

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!)…

Tutorial Tuesday | How to Create Actions in PS or PSE (Video)

Create Actions in PS and PSE

I don’t know about you, but my time to scrap is sometimes limited. When I’m busy with work, family and life in general, I want to optimize my scrapping time and I prefer to spend it actually scrapping than doing repetitive tasks like resizing layouts (LOs), retouching photos, etc.

In Photoshop (PS) and Photoshop Elements (PSE), there is an amazing tool to help with that: actions. If I’m correct, something similar exists in Paint Shop Pro (scripts) and maybe even in Gimp (macros?).

What is an action? It’s a record of various steps from a process that you can then play and replay whenever you need the exact same process. Let’s use the example of saving your LOs for TDP’s gallery. To do so, you first need to resize your LO to 900 pix wide. Then, you might add some sharpening and maybe some color enhancements to make it pop. Finally, you’ll need to save for web in the file of your choice, at a maximum size of 350kb. Rather than doing all those steps “by hand” for each of your TDP LOs, why not create an action that will automatically perform those tasks just as you like them?

How do you create an action? I’ll show you the process in PS CS6 but it works the same way in other versions of PS or in PSE (ETA: unfortunately you can only load and edit actions in PSE, not create you own! Sorry about my mistake!).

  1. Think about the steps of your process to know in advance what you’ll need to record and in what order. You can correct the mistakes done while recording your action, but it’s easier if you don’t record them in the first place! Don’t forget to think if you want to duplicate the file to start with (so that you don’t risk overwriting the original one), to close the file once you are done, where you want to save it, etc.
  2. Open your actions panel by using Alt+F9 or in the menus: Window -> Actions
  3. Create a new actions folder (by clicking on the folder icon in the actions panel) for your homemade actions and name it. You’ll get addicted, trust me, and you’ll create more and more actions to simplify your life, so get ready to store them all in one place!
  4. Create a new action and name it. It will automatically start recording, as the red dot indicates. All you do now will be recorded in this new action. If you don’t want to start recording right now, just click on the square to stop recording, the red dot will turn gray again.
  5. Perform all the tasks you defined in step one, in the correct order. The action will record everything you did and you will be able to see each step as a new line in the action panel.
  6. Once you’re done, press the square to stop recording. Your action is now ready to be played over and over again and to make you save some precious scrapping time! Woo hoo! Don’t forget to save your actions’ folder as it would be too bad to lose them!

Here’s a video showing how I recorded my “resize and save for TDP” action (Click on the image below to view in YouTube.):

Create Actions in PS and PSE

Let us know if you’re interested to learn more about actions, I’d be happy to do a follow-up post on how to personalize and tweak them further!


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

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.

 

Tutorial Tuesday | Splitting a Photo into Multiple Pockets

Hey there, scrappers!

Today, I want to share a little tip with you related to pocket scrapbooking (which can actually be used on non-pocket layouts, as well!). A lot of times when I am working with a pocket scrapbooking-style template, I end up with a photo that just doesn’t fit into one pocket. So, why not get creative and split the photo into two or more pockets, right? It might seem challenging, but it really is quite easy once you learn this trick.

      1. Decide which pockets you would like to use for your photo. I am going to use two 3×4 journal card-sized pockets for one landscape-oriented photo. For this example, I’m going to put my photo into the two pockets at the top right…
      2. Select both of the pockets by clicking on the first one and then holding down the COMMAND key to select the other pocket or pockets. (CONTROL on a PC; and *note* that in PSE it might require holding down the SHIFT key, instead, to multi-click and select)
      3. Merge the selected layers into one layer by hitting COMMAND+E. (CONTROL+E on a PC)
      4. Drag your photo onto the layer directly above the merged layer you just created.

      5. With the photo layer selected in the layers palette, choose “Create Clipping Mask” with COMMAND+OPTION+G.(CONTROL+ALT+G on a PC) Then, just resize your photo so that it fits properly “into” your pockets.

I hope you will find this quick tip helpful when you are trying to arrange your photos on your pocket scrapbooking layouts!

Another note — if you are looking for some awesome pocket-style templates like the one I used for this tutorial, check out Laura Passage’s Project Twenty Fifteen Templates!


Katie

About the Author  Katie is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in central Florida with her husband and their four sweet-but-crazy boys. When she’s not dodging Nerf bullets or trying to dig out from under a never-ending pile of laundry, she enjoys photography, cooking, going to Disney World with her family… and, of course, digital scrapbooking.

 

 

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.

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.