One Month

Happy Saturday to everyone! I hope your weekend is filled with fun, freshness, and family. I know mine will be!

It is hard to believe that we are already one month into THE DAILY DIGI. It has been an amazing few weeks — I am learning, growing, and getting to know some amazing people! I love hearing the stories of how the site is helping and teaching people and I love seeing people be inspired to tell their stories, try something new, and learn some tips and tricks. My dream for so long has been to help scrappers in the community and it is SO FUN to see that the site has been able to do that!

It is also hard to believe that we are halfway through our first month of THE DIGI FILES. It has been great to work with some fabulous designers, to spotlight their work, and to see what all of you have done with what they created. I want to thank you for your support of the site. Your $5 isn’t just going towards the grab bag — it is helping this site to bring you great information and inspiration EACH AND EVERY DAY — and all without being cluttered up with advertising. So THANK YOU to everyone for supporting this site. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

I have been taking a stroll around the digi worl and it has been SO FUN seeing what people have done with this month’s THE DIGI FILES. I love how people can take the same materials and make totally different pages with them. I have seen some and thought, “how cool! I would never have thought of that!” I have seen others and said, “WOW! What a great way to use that!” We are all so different and I LOVE that!

Here is my page using Shabby Miss Jen’s VINTAGE LINENS:

And here are some pages I have found around the community. If I have used your layout email me at janet [at] thedailydigi [dot] com and I will send a special coupon your way! Thanks so much for creating!

2009_01_09_farm-set1

48791_600x600

chaos_jmjaquez

eyeglasses_web

foryouiamthankful_copy

goofy24

ilookgoodweb

Marker Mayhem

morewithfour1

photography-web

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SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT — JEN CAPUTO

Spot Lit Wall

THE DAILY DIGI is thrilled to have Jen Caputo with us this month!  Jen is the original template queen and seriously talented scrapper and crafter.  Over the years she has been heavily involved in the paper scrapping and digital scrapbooking communities, has served on tons of creative teams, has been published multiple times, has worked with Jessica Sprague on some special projects for Creating Keepsakes, and has been selling templates and other scrapping-helps…all the while working a full time job and doing some serious vacationing!  I have had to privilege of meeting Jen on a number of occasions and every time we have a blast. Even my kids love her!

Before we get a chance to know Jen a bit better, let’s take a look at the INCREDIBLE product she included in THE DIGI FILES.  Oh my!  This product alone is well worth the $5 (in fact, she originally told me it will probably go into her shop for around $10).  Jen created this really, REALLY cool hybrid Weight Loss Journal.

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This journal is perfect for keeping track of your weight loss goals, progress, and more.  It has a 15 page pdf file with detailed instructions and photos!  It is filled with tracking sheets, recipe pages, shopping lists, and food lists, as well as pages for photos to show your progress and tabs for each month.  I LOVE this idea and totally plan on making one.  When I first did weight watchers, I remember scribbling my measurements and weights on scrap pieces of paper, never being able to find them.  What a great way to motivate yourself to stay on track!

Let’s get to know Jen!

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I’m Jen Caputo and I live in Arlington Heights, IL (just outside of Chicago).  I grew up in Dearborn, MI and graduated from engineering school with a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2002.  I live with my boyfriend of 7 years (Adam) and 2 cats (Kitty and Mr. Meowmers). I love good beer 🙂

STORE: Studio Jen at Scrapbook Graphics

BLOG: www.jencaputo.tpepad.com

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I started creating sketch templates for myself when I wasn’t in the mood to scrap. After months of giving away my templates on my blog and trying to teach people how to use them and what they were to begin with, I managed to get myself a pretty loyal following of people who kept telling me I should sell them.    I took a chance and applied to Holly McCaig’s Plain Digital Wrapper as a template only designer (of which I believe I was the very first!)

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The summer of 2006 is when I actually started selling (at the original Plain Digital Wrapper), I’d been designing templates and giving them away on my blog for a few months before that.  I’ve been at Scrapbook Graphics since March of 2007.

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Both.  Although I’ve been doing much more hybrid scrapping than pure digi lately.  I use all of my products in my hybrid layouts!

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Not nearly enough.  A year ago I would say probably 4 hours a day (and that was in addition to my full time job) but after buying my first house my designing/marketing time has gone way down hill so now I’m lucky if I get 4 hours a week.

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My photo grid templates. I love the look a grid gives to a page and these make it super easy to print my pictures all at once for my hybrid layouts.

jencaputo-photogrids-setof3-copy

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Text Paths Collection #1.  They are linked from Creating Keepsakes website and Jessica Sprague mentions them in one of her books so even 2 years after designing them I still sell one at least once a day.  It’s pretty crazy.
jencaputo-textpaths1-copy

Currently though, my latest product — 365 Templates are selling like hotcakes. Fast than any of my template collections to date (it’s kind of a really good deal)

jencaputo-proj365-doubles

10thingslove-copy
1. Adam
2. Beer
3. Lost
4. Papertrey Ink Rubber Stamps
5. Goat Cheese
6. Patty Griffin’s music
7, The color green
8. The Big Lebowski
9. Vodka & Soda w/lemon
10. My backyard

10thingsbug

1. Smokers
2. Feet
3. Cleaning
4. the 8 month hiatus between Lost seasons
5. Tardiness
6. When my boyfriend says he’s leaving work at 6:15 and doesn’t leave until 7:50 on Lost season premiere night!
7. that eating really good food makes you fat
8. wine snobs (not wine drinkers, i like wine too, i just don’t like when people think wine is so superior to beer)
9. Chicago winters
10. The current economic crisis

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Now let’s look at some of Jen’s other products. Jen is known for her clean lines and well thought out designs in her templates. She also has some really other innovative products!

jencaputo-collection16-copySKETCH COLLECTION 16

jencaputo-collection22-copySKETCH COLLECTION 22

jencaputo-textpaths3-copyTEXT PATH COLLECTION 3

jencaputo-tornoutandcurledrips-copyTORN OUT AND CURLED RIPS

jencaputo-concaveaction-copyJEN’S BENDS — Concave Photo Bend Action

And now let’s see some fabulous layouts made with Jen’s templates!

layouts1

Thanks so much Jen for being a part of the DAILY DIGI this month.  Your weight loss journal is truly inspiring and all your products are amazing!  I hope some people were able to find a great new-to-them designer!

ETA:  My SINCEREST APOLOGIES for not getting this up when the post went live.  But Jen does have a coupon for you!

jencaputo-thedailydigisale

What’s in a Name?

Names.  We all have them.  We all use them.  They all have stories.

Before I had children, I thought that one of the best parts about being pregnant would be choosing a name for our baby.  Here would be my chance to forever give a name to another human being — a name that would stay with them for the rest of their life.  How cool!

Well, now I have been pregnant four times.  And I have decided that one of the worst parts about being pregnant is choosing a name!  How do I choose something that will stay with them for the rest of their life?  Where do I even begin?  Do I pick a family name? Do I just pick a name I like?  Do I pick a name deep with meaning?  And what if I like the name but everyone else hates it?  What if there are six other kids in his/her class with the same name?  How will I spell it?  What kind of nicknames can cruel little kids turn it into?  The questions are endless!

In the end, we chose four names that we love completely. They fit our children very well and I love how they have grown into their names.  I also love how their nicknames have evolved.  Each has their own story, each has their own origin.  And you know what?  These are stories that need to be told!

I am sure that you have “name” stories that are special to you as well.  Maybe they are about the names you chose for your children.  Maybe they are about the pet names you and your spouse have for each other.  Perhaps you had a nickname growing up that has a story.  Maybe your kids have nicknames and no one knows where they came from.  In any case, the stories of our names are important to tell.  People use our names multiple times a day.  They are part of who we are and how we are presented to the world.  They are stories worth telling.

So, for today’s The WRITE Way, I want you to tell a story about a name.  It can be any story you want to tell.  Just take it from your heart and share it with those you love. My family is full of names stories and I have been glad to start getting some of them out of my head and into my scrapbook!

levi_forweb1(Credits: Background paper by Gina Cabrera’s OFFICE ESSENTIALS), staple from the PAINTED SUMMER mini kit by Shabby Princess,  HAPPY DANCE  alpha by CD Muckosky at Little Dreamer Designs, brush strokes by Michelle Coleman at Little Dreamer Designs, template by Janet Phillips for THE DAILY DIGI).

hellomynameiskc_web

(Credits: Back to the Basics Paper by Doris Castle at Scrapbook Graphics, Doodled Paper Alpha by Kate Hadfield, paw prints by Alana McArthey from her FELINE FUN Kit at SBG, template by Janet Phillips for THE DAILY DIGI).

If you need a jumpstart, you can download this template to get you thinking.  I love the fact that templates are just a launch pad — they help you get started but once you are going you are free to fly.

tdd_freebie2_previewDOWNLOAD TEMPLATE HERE

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And, how about a cool NAME giveaway to go with the challenge?  Sally Molhoek (artist extraordinaire who just so happens to be my sister) is giving away a FREE SET OF WOODEN NAME LETTERS!  Just scrap a page with a story about a name (you don’t have to use the template), give us a link in the comments of this thread by Monday, and we will choose a winner.  How cool would it be to win a custom set of letters?  She is so, so talented (yes, I am very envious).  You will be able to choose from lots of designs (including a custom design) and there are a ton of font choices.  You can choose a ribbon hanging or a regular wall hanging.  If you want to see a lot more examples of her work or to place an order, you can see some more of her work HERE.

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wallletters_one1

wallletters_two

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Good luck and Happy story telling!

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P.S. The winners for the Fontologie gift certificates are:

Jenni (who had a great question that I will answer next)

Kendra

and

Laurel

Watch your inboxes! 🙂

P.S.S.  Some of you posted a similar question question about temporarily loading a font.  When you temporarily load a font using a manager, you do not need to restart Photoshop, you can load the font with PS already running and it will stay loaded until you 1) unload it or 2) close PS.  Isn’t that GREAT!?  I know I am pretty excited about it! 🙂

Scrap Faster (and easier!)

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In my four years of scrapping, I have had the opportunity to meet quite a few of my online friends. I have met designers, fellow scappers, store owners, creative team members, and friends.  It is always so fun to get spend face to face time with people I usually only get to interact with online. In July 2007 I travelled to Chicago for summer CHA.  After a fun night in the city with some digi friends, I got back to my room, excited to finally meet my long time internet friend Hollie.  When I walked in, I saw her sitting in a nice comfy chair, leaned back with her Wacom tablet on her lap, scrapping away.  Her laptop was on the table in front her, far from arms reach.  I stood there, quite confused, wondering how she was scrapping. I asked, and she told me she doesn’t need her keyboard.  Utterly confused, I let it go and we got to know each other “in real life.”

That moment has come to my mind often since that night.  Addicted as I am to my keyboard shortcuts, I really can’t fathom someone taking my keyboard from me. Personally, I hate the thought of having to click on every tool I want to use and got through menus for every function I want to perform.  Instead, when I scrap, my hands work furiously together…my mouse in my right hand (yea, I gave the pen a try and didn’t like it) and my left hand is on the keyboard, pecking at keys without thought. Keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop/Elements are a complete necessity to me.  Hollie may be more comfortable in her chair but I am convinced that I can get the work done faster 🙂

There are lots of ways to learn keyboard shortcuts.  You can hover over tools and see the shortcut in parentheses, you can look on drop down menus and see the command listed, or you can look at written lists of shortcuts. As extensive and helpful as these lists are, they can be overwhelming!  When I was first learning them, I made a list of ones I wanted to learn (starting with tools and commands I used most often).  I put them right next to my computer and when I had to perform the action, I looked at my cheat sheet and practiced.  When I wanted to learn a few more, I wrote those on sticky notes and put them on my computer. In time, I knew most of them by heart!  I still have many more to learn, but I am thrilled with the way my workflow has sped up and I hope yours can too!

I have found some great websites that have detailed information on keyboard shortcuts for various programs. Since we all use different computers, different programs, and different versions of those programs, you are best up looking up the information you need.  These sites can get you started.

THIS SITE has a printable pdf document for Photoshop Elements (PC and Mac).

THIS AMAZING SITE has printable pdfs for the following programs (both PC and Mac):

  • Photoshop CS4
  • Photoshop CS3
  • Photoshop CS2
  • Photoshop CS
  • Photoshop 7
  • Photoshop 6
  • Photoshop 5
  • Adobe Bridge & Adobe Camera Raw

HERE you can see a list of shortcuts for Paint Shop Pro

Don’t try to learn them all at once — take the actions you do most often and write those out.  Then, as you learn those and are using them without thinking, add some more.  In time, your knowledge will build and you will be scrapping and editing photos faster (even if less comfortably!)  Here is a list of my most used shortcuts. You can print this list along with the shortcut for your computer and program and go from there.  Don’t get discouraged…it gets easier with time and before you know it, you will wonder how you ever lived without shortcuts!

keyboardshorcuts

DOWNLOAD PDF FILE HERE

Or, if you are a visual person and use a Mac and Photoshop, you can try one of these cool keyboard skins, available at the Photojojo Store.  They fit right over your keyboard and let you learn as you peck!

keyboardskins2

keyboardskins

No matter which way you choose to learn, you will be amazed at how second nature using shortcuts can become.  I love being able to just hit a key and move on!  Give it a try and see what you think!

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P.S.  A big congrats to some winners of some great coupons!  Random.org picked some great people! Thanks to everyone who challenged themselves to a MORE WITH FOUR CHALLENGE! Here is what they won:

Christie won a $10 gift card to Pineapple Plantation Designs.  Love the outcome of her truly taking on the MORE WITH FOUR challenge!

Side by Side won a $10 gift card to Melissa Bennett Designs for this layout, where she replaced two of her title letters with other elements

Becki won a $10 gift card to Shabby Miss Jenn Designs for this cute layout, using materials all from THE DIGI FILES no. 1

Kate Teague won a $10 gift card to Flergs for this layout (which, if you are already craving chocolate from Sunday’s post, you may not want to see it!)

Congrats, ladies!  Email me at janet [at] thedailydigi [dot] com to claim your prize!

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT — Vera Lim

Spot Lit Wall

There are no words to describe the talent of today’s SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT.  Vera Lim is just amazing.  Every time I see one of her kits I am in awe.  They just flow with beauty and gracefulness and  I am literally scared to scrap with them.  I am afraid that I will lessen the beauty of what she has created, and that just doesn’t seem right.  However, after spending lots of time looking through her store I just know I can’t stay away forever.  Before I show you some of the beauty I found, let’s take a peek at her contribution to this months DIGI FILES.

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Such a sweet little mini kit with her typical gorgeous papers and realistic elements! I can’t wait to get a chance to play with it!  You can grab this mini kit and other products from Shabby Miss Jenn, Flergs, Melissa Bennett, Jen Caputo, Audrey Neal, Pineapple Plantation, Sweet Shoppe Designs, and Heather Ann Melzer , all for just $5.00 in the DIGI FILES no. 1.

alittleabout-copy

Name: Vera Lim
Hometown: Wellington, New Zealand
Family: My hubby and 2 awesome kids, Tobey and Abby

Store: www.veralim.com
Blogs: www.veralimdesign.com/blog
www.veralim.typepad.com

(I also want to mention that Vera is a designer for Prima, Inc! She had a new line debut this weekend at CHA!)

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I practically started designing when I started digital scrapbooking because I created every paper and element by myself, even back then. After a year of doing that, people started to ask me to sell my designs…that’s how it all started.

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Around 4 years now

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Both. I might not have time to do as many layouts as I want…but when I do have time, I love to create layouts, projects and even paper layouts.

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Around 30-40 hours, depending on the number of projects I need to finish.

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My favorite product is my kit,  The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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My best selling products are my MAGIC LINE. Here are a few of them…

vlim_christmasmagicCHRISTMAS MAGIC

vlim_alittlemagic_cf1A Little Magic — Cardboard Flowers

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1. God, without Him I am nothing
2. my family
3. taking photographs of my family
4. my job
5. reading Karen Kingsbury’s novels
6. my coffee
7. baking, especially everything chocolate
8. chili, i love hot hot chili
9. anything crafty
10. going to the book store
10thingsbug

1. waking up many times in the night because of the kids crying
2 being in an unfamiliar environment
3. when I’m late
4. when the kids are sick
5. not having enough time in a day to get things done
6. bad coffee
7. when photoshop freezes on me (and I haven’t saved my latest work)
8. sandflies… man I hate sandflies!
9. oily food
10. ironing

And now let’s take a peek at some of Vera’s gorgeous designs.  There were SO many to choose from!

vlim_anewbeginning_vldA NEW BEGINNING

vlim_letitsnowLET IT SNOW

vlim_letitsnow_qpLET IT SNOW quick pages

Vera also has a great collection called A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE.  The collection has various kits where are sold separately as paper and elements sets.  This one is called PICTURE PERFECT.

walkdownpapersPICTURE PERFECT PAPERS

walkdownelementsPICTURE PERFECT elements

Vera also has some great element packs like her QUOTE IT COLLECTION

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QUOTE IT! SISTER

vlim_emb_alltaggedsmall_previewALL TAGGED

And HERE is a gorgeous kit called I WILL BE HERE FOR YOU.  It is available only at Shabby Pickle Designs.

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And here is some inspiration for you…layouts created with Vera’s gorgeous stuff!

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AND…Vera has a great coupon just for THE DAILY DIGI readers!

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Thank you, Vera, for being a part of this month’s sponsors.  Your work is truly inspiring and it allows scrappers the chance to scrap the beauty that is in their lives.  We are so glad that we got to know you a bit better!

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Font Organization

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We love our fonts as much as we love our scrapbooking goodies, but did you know that each time you install a font, it takes resources away from other parts of your machine? Each system comes with a set of basic fonts installed on it, but too many fonts above those, will cause some slow-down. Sometimes, it is very noticeable, but sometimes it’s just the time it takes to start up your machine after a shutdown, or maybe Photoshop taking a long time to load because it has to read through all of those fonts and load them (as does every program that uses fonts). A great solution for this problem is a font management program. A font management program allows you to leave your fonts uninstalled, but be able see a preview of them as well as easily install and uninstall them when you want to use them, with just one mouse click. By having less fonts installed at any given time, your machine will run more smoothly.

Here is a screenshot of my font manager to give you an idea of what it looks like:

fontmanager

There are many font management programs out there to choose from and weighing all of the different features can be daunting. I have been researching and considering which management tool to use for a few months now. I wanted a program that could:

1) look in mulitple folders at one time

2) not crash my system or be slow

3) view True Type Fonts (TTF) and Open Type Fonts (OTF)

4) be able to temporarily load the font (so I don’t have to install and then uninstall).

5) be able to customize the text in the preview window

During my search, I found this indepth article and this more simple article. I have tried a few different font managers during my search, some mangers were pay and some free. For one reason or another, I stopped using them. They were too slow, too much of a pain. After revisiting the latest versions for Mac and Windows, here are a few of our recommendations:

FOR WINDOWS

Extensis Suitcase, and Font Expert

I really like the interface on AMP Font Viewer and I like that it gives you some technical information about the font there as well. I like that you can change the preview to bold, italics, as well as changing the color. In Font Xplorer, uninstalling fonts and moving them to a new folder was very easy, I just highlighted the font, right clicked and selected uninstall and then the program gave me a window with choices to uninstall and move it to a folder of my choosing (along with a few other options).

FOR MAC

Extensis Suitcase, and FontExplorer. Neither are not free, but you can download a free trial.

NEXT STEPS

Once you install your font management software, you will need to go through your fonts folder and weed out the non-system fonts. (DO NOT DELETE YOUR SYSTEM FONTS, OR YOUR OPERATING SYSTEM WILL NOT LOAD AND YOUR COMPUTER WILL NOT RESTART.) You can find a list of standard Windows system fonts HERE and a list of standard Mac system fonts HERE. If your chosen font manager doesn’t allow you to move the fonts from within it, then you can go to c:>windows>fonts, select the non-system fonts and copy them to a new folder. When the fonts are safe in a new folder of your choosing, then you can delete those fonts from your system font folder. It only takes a few minutes, but your computer will thank you for it! 🙂

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For the Love of Chocolate

I never used to be a chocolate person, or really a sweets person for that matter.  I enjoyed a candy bar now and then and chocolate chip cookies made me swoon, but I have never really craved chocolate.  Until now.  I fully blame my fourth baby for forever changing my taste buds and cravings.  Sweets are now a necessity for me.  Most meals don’t seem “complete” until after I have at least a taste of chocolate. Brownies and chocolate chips cookies disappear at alarming speeds and I am constantly looking for treats that will satisfy my cravings.

chocolate

So, for today’s the UN-digi, I want to give you some great chocolate recipes and treats.  Most of these are great for Valentine’s Day or just any day.  It is good to have a list of things to choose from when the chocolate cravings hit. And homemade goodies can always look like we are trying to be sweet to the people we love when really, we just can’t wait to take a bite 🙂

Here are a few of our personal family favorites:

chocolatehearts

Chocolate Hearts:  I tried these sometime last week.  We can’t get Reeses Peanut butter cups where I live and so my peanut butter and chocolate cravings are in full force.  I found some heart shaped ice cube trays and figured I could just make my own peanut butter cups.  They turned out great!

There is no real recipe, but this is what I did.  I first sprayed the ice cube trays with cooking spray so that the hearts would come out.  Then, I melted down some chocolate in a double boiler (milk chocolate chips or almond bark would work well).  I added a bit to the bottom of each cup.  Be sure not to put too much in because they will be hard to bite into. I took a spoon and smeared some chocolate up the sides of each cup.  I then put these in the freezer while I mixed the peanut butter.

I mixed in 1/3 cup powdered sugar with 1 cup of creamy peanut butter and then chilled. Then I added the PB mixture to each of the cups, filling almost to the top. I pressed it down to make it as flat as possible.  I then topped each cup with more melted chocolate and chilled. When cold, I just turned the trays over and gave them a good tap and out they came.  YUMMY!

borwnie-balls

Another favorite of ours is BROWNIE BALLS. This is a recipe adapted from the original which I heard about on this thread at DST a few years ago.  After trying the cake balls once, I adapted the recipe and made BROWNIE BALLS! They are quite similar but I like the richness of the brownies more than the cake. PLUS, they are super easy and the kids LOVE to help with them! As you can see from the photo above, sprinkling stuff on is my daughter’s favorite part!

Bake up a batch of brownies.  When they are cool, smoosh ‘em up, leaving out the crispy edges.  Mix in 1/3 can chocolate frosting (about 1/2 cup) and then roll into one inch balls.  Dip in melted chocolate (white or dark) and place on waxed paper. Sprinkle with colored sugar, decorator sprinkles, or  mini chocolate chips. I have also used peanut butter instead of frosting which I LOVE.

CHOCOLATE CHIP OAT SNACKIN’ CAKE
(I think this is supposed to be a cake but we like to eat it for breakfast 🙂

CAKE:

1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 egg whites
1 cup milk
2 1/4 cups oats (quick or regular)
2 cups chocolate chips (regular or mini)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt

GLAZE:
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp milk

  • Heat oven to 350F. Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  • Mix brown sugar, butter, and egg whites.  Stir in milk.
  • Mix in flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips.
  • Spread in pan
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and center feels firm when lightly touched.  Do not over bake.
  • While cooking, mix all glaze ingredients together
  • When the cake is done, immediately spread glaze over the warm cake.

PEANUT BUTTER ICE CREAM PIE

CRUST:
1 1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

PIE
1 liter vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup peanut butter

Chocolate Syrup
Peanut Butter cups

  • Mix together the cookie crumbs, butter, and sugar.  Press firmly into a 9 inch pie plate.
  • Let ice cream soften on counter for 10-15 minutes.
  • Mix in peanut butter.
  • Spread ice cream over crust
  • Crumble peanut butter cups and sprinkle in top
  • Freeze until firm.
  • Drizzle with chocolate syrup before serving.

Here are some other fun recipes you can try:

Fudge Brownie Pie
Chocolate Strawberry Cake Squares
Chocolate French Toast
Homemade Girl Scout Cookies:

If you want a really cool chocolate gift idea, check this out!  You can personalize a box of chocolates with a photo (or layout!) What a great gift for a chocolate loving person!

And, if you just want to laugh about some chocolate, don’t miss the CAKE WRECK blog “When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong.”  The first time I saw this site I literally laughed for HOURS reading through the cake disasters and witty commentary.

Hope you have a yummy, chocolaty Sunday (or Sundae if you would prefer 😉 )

janet_sig16

P.S. Jana Grunberg and Jennier Brogran: I have tried to contact you via email about your winnings from the DIGI FILES giveaway, but your emails bounced. Please contact me janet[AT]thedailydigi[DOT]com before Wednesday.  If I don’t hear from you I will have to pick some new winners.  I really want you to get your prizes!

Love is in the air

checkitout

It is hard to believe that Valentine’s Day is just a little over two weeks away. Last year at this time I was hoping, begging, praying, and pleading that my daugher would be born so I could stop being pregnant. When Valentine’s Day came around I have never wanted anything more than to give birth that day. Sadly, that didn’t happen and I had to wait three more weeks. How much changes in a year!

This year I am really looking forward to Valentine’s Day. I have some ideas in mind for my hubby (can’t say what — he reads this site every day!) I also have some big plans for some fun stuff with and for the kids. I want THEM to know how much I love them. When days get long and hard I think it might be easy for them to forget (I do, however, remind them about 18,000 times a day). I want to express my love for them in words and it deeds. And since so much of me is wrapped up in scrapbooking and crafting, I know I will be handmaking some gifts. So, I need some great Valentine’s products to get me started.

I took a long, leisurely trip through the digi world to bring you some of the best Valentine’s products I can find. Some are new. Some are old favorites. Either way, when you go to say, “I LOVE YOU” to your family you won’t be lacking in way to say it. Check out what the amazing desingers throughout the community have come up with!

allyouneedislove_natali_sbg

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE by Natali Design at Scrapbook Graphics

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PLAYING WITH WORD ART no. 7 also by Natali Design

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LOVE STRUCK by Dani Mogstad at Sweet Shoppe Designs

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LOVE ME DO by Amanda Heimann at Scrap Orchard

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TWEETHEART by Rachel Young, Jamie Young, and Lilje Designs

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WILD LOVE by Shabby Princess at the Shabby Shoppe

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HEARTS -n- CRAFTS Quick Page set by Dianne Rigdon at Scrapartist

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LOVE IS IN THE AIR by Kristin Cronin- Barrow at Sweet Shoppe Designs

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HAND STITCHED HEARTS by Natalie Braxton at The Lilypad

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BLOOMING SWEETHEART by Lorie Davison and Kitty Chen at Scrapbook Graphics

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ROMANCE ME by Vinnie Pearce at Catscrap

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SWEET TREATS treat toppers and candy wrappers by Shabby Miss Jenn

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HEARTSTRINGS by Holly Designs at Shabby Pickle

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SWEET LOVE PRINTABLES by Jen Wilson and Kelleigh Ratzlaff at Jen Wilson Designs

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HEARTS AND FLOWERS by Kate Hadfield at The Lilypad

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LET LOVE GROW by Irene Alexeeva at Scrap Orchard

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The hard part is choosing. Because really, how many Valentine’s kit can any one person need??

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SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT: Melissa Bennett

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We are THRILLED to have Melissa Bennet with us this month at THE DAILY DIGI! Melissa’s fun designs and great color palettes are a treat.  Check out what she created for this months THE DIGI FILES!

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So pretty!  I LOVE the realistic paper flowers and the big red clip! What a fun little mini Valentine’s kit!  You can pick it up (with LOTS of other stuff!) right HERE for just $5.

We can’t wait to show you some of her other work, but first, let’s get to know her a bit better!  I changed up the format a bit for easier reading and linkable information.  Let me know what you think!

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NAME: Melissa Bennett

FAMILY:  I have been married 17 years to my wonderful hubby Walter and we have 3 beautiful children we were blessed to be able to adopt.

STORE: Melissa Bennett Designs and Sweet Shoppe Designs

BLOG: www.melissabennett.blogspot.com

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I started designing right after I tried digital scrapbooking. I swore I would never go digital as I loved paper scrapping. I used to do web graphics and knew right away I wanted to try my hand at designing kits.

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Just a little over 2 years now

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I consider myself both, but I don’t set aside enough time to scrap for myself.

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I would say anywhere from 30 – 40 hours a week. I really try to treat it as a real job.

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My kit Dear Santa is my favorite. I really enjoy creating Christmas kits the most and usually do several each year.

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My Christmas kits are my best sellers. I sell them year round.

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  • God
  • My Family
  • Being a Mom and wife
  • Diet Pepsi
  • Chocolate
  • Music
  • Crafting
  • Sleeping
  • Designing
  • Cooking

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  • Rude drivers
  • Messy counters
  • Laundry, LOL
  • Telemarketers
  • Junk Mail
  • Moving so much (Thanks US Air Force!)
  • DH talking about moving everyday. LOL
  • Large crowds
  • Traffic around Washington DC (see #1, LOL)
  • Running out of printer ink in the middle of printing

Now let’s see some of Melissa’s fabulous designs.  Her stores are so full of color and fun that it was hard to choose!

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JUST MY TY is a tribute to Melissa’s son.  I love all the bring and fun colors and patterns.   I have so much trouble finding boy kits I like so I am LOVING this!

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BALLPARK is such a great sports kit!  I love all the deep rich colors and the worn feel of the pages.

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ATOMIC BOUNCE is such a fun and happy girl kit! And that tree and birdie are JUST TOO CUTE!

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This gorgeous kit called FALL OUT is so full of the prettiest papers!  The bright colors and fun elements would work for any kind of page!

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What a fun kit to scrap away the winter blues?  Brrrrr is just the right mix of chilly colors and cute elements!

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Melissa is also known for her huge selection of quick pages! Many of her kits have corresponding quick pages which is great when you are making gift albums or just trying to scrap in a hurry!  I love this one that is made with her DEAR SANTA kit.

And, just to get you inspired, here are some pages I found in the galleries using Melissa’s stuff!

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Thank you, Melissa, SO MUCH for being a part of THE DAILY DIGI this month!  We love what you have created and can’t wait to see more of your designs in the future!

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MORE WITH FOUR — month 1

In the digi world, there is store after store and kit after kit and more product than anyone could ever use in their lifetime. The number of gigs of digi scrapping materials we have on our hard drives should say something about how much is out there. More and more, kits are overflowing with sometimes 10-15 papers and TONS of elements. It is easy to get swept away with all the cool stuff that is out there and there is a temptation to just “put it on our page because it looks cool!” It is also easy to spend most of our scrapping time “finding the perfect element” rather than getting the memories recorded. But what do you do when you are limited to FOUR products? Well, you do MORE WITH FOUR!

I asked four fabulous scrappers to limit themselves to just these four products (all from the current DIGI FILES).

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And these were the rules: The purpose of this challenge is to challenge scrappers to use MORE WITH FOUR. We want to show other scrappers some of the cool things about digital — the ability to alter, to resize, to recolor, to use more than one of the same item, etc. There are some great advantages of digi and there are so many things you can do with just a few supplies.

  • You will be given four digital products.
  • You are to create a layout or hybrid project using these four products only
  • For a digital layout, in addition to these items you can use paint/inking, paper tears or tearing actions, and fonts (NOT other alphas).
  • You can alter the items shown as long as the item is still recognizable.
  • You need to use some of each of the items.

THE MORE WITH FOUR product list:

1. The alpha from Flergs TROUBLEMAKER mini kit
2. Papers from Pineapple Plantation’s VINTAGE VALENTINE mini kit
3. Flowers from Melissa Bennett’s LOVE STRUCK mini kit
4. The metal “hardware” from Shabby Miss Jenn’s VINTAGE LINENS mini kit

And here are the fabulous results. This challenge pushed scrappers out of their comfort zones It made them strive to be creative with what they had rather than just digging in their stash for more. I love how each of the scrappers took the challenge in their own direction and made beautiful layouts that they can be happy with!

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Leslie made this gorgeous layout celebrating her pregnancy. I love how used the flowers to replace the letter “O” in bloom. The scalloped paper also adds to the page, mimicking the bump of her belly. Here is what Leslie had to say: “At first, I thought this would be an easy challenge to take on, but as I opened up the 4 products I just sat and stared. However, once I started on the page, it all started to fall into place. It was definitely one of the faster pages I’ve ever done.”

What you can try: In your title, try using elements in place of a a letter or two.

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Gina created this wonderful journal-filled page. I love that the journaling became part of the page design and she was able to tell a really important story in the process. And the pictures are so, so adorable! Gina had this to say: “Working with only four products was really HARD! I ended up going with a text-heavy subject so I could fill the page that way. I hate to have too many blank areas!

What you can try: Take Gina’s example and use journaling as the pain part of your page. Tell a story that is longer than you usually have room for or that you have been putting off because you don’t know how to make it fit.

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This beautifully simple page is by Emily. I love the way she scattered the flowers across the page, giving it a flowing and feminine feel. The fact that some of the flowers are “flowing” right off the page and past the border adds to that sense of movement. I also like the fact that she rounded the corners of her patterned paper in order to soften the layout. This was Emily’s response: “This challenge definitely pushed me out of my creative box. I am used to using a lot more elements, but it was fun to be challenged with only using a few!”

What you can try: Take some of your elements and make them flow off the page. Literally “break out of the box.”

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Cathy’s gorgeous layout is the epitome of sweet! I love the little flowers and the way her title is the main part of the page. I also adore how she used her photo to split the title in two. Here are some of Cathy’s thoughts: “This was fun! Being limited to 4 products forced me to be a little more creative with how I used my elements and paper. I covered some of the flowers in patterned paper using a clipping mask (one of my most used digi techniques) and I “cut out” some circular embellishments out of one of the patterned papers to add to the title. I used the metal brad prongs in two different ways: as a way to attach one of the blue flowers to the page and to accent my journaling in the top left corner.”

What you can try: Try using a photo to split your title. Be sure to do what Cathy did and make the split at the natural syllabic split. This way, the eye and mind effortlessly move across the page and keep the title as one.

After seeing these layouts, Steph and I just had to give it a try!

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I made a two page layout about my thoughts on being a mother of boys. I extracted the screws from the picture hanger by Shabby Miss Jenn and used them to adhere the flowers.

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What you can try: Take an element and use only part of it rather than being confined to using it “as is.”

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Steph’s page is a great example of some of the wonderful parts about digital scrapbooking. In order to keep with the colors in her photo, she recolored the apha to green and recolored the flowers to bring out the colors in her daughter’s t-shirt and the palm trees.

What you can try: Try recoloring an element that you love to make it work in a different color scheme.

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Okay, here is your challenge! We want YOU to try more with FOUR! Or, if you would rather, you can take one of the “what you can try” suggestions and apply to any new layout using any products. The point is that we want you to be challenged and stretched. Link us to your NEW layout in the comments for this post before Monday and we will be giving some lucky scrappers coupons to the sponsoring designers stores. We can’t wait to see what you do!

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P.S. Today is the last day to have a chance to buy THE DIGI FILES for a chance to win some great prizes. See this post for details!

P.P.S. We have gotten several email from people having trouble signing up for the newsletter. After the server move, we had some trouble accessing the database. However, it is now fixed so if you had trouble signing up, you can try again now. And there just may be some goodies coming in the first newsletter 🙂