SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT — Pineapple Plantation

Spot Lit Wall

Aloha, baby!  We are so excited to have PINEAPPLE PLANTATION DESIGNS with us this month.  Personally, I am really excited to have Shauna, the face behind the cool design name, with us this month because I got to learn of another great new-to-me designer!    Part of my goal in having the DIGI FILES every month is to show scrappers some designers they might not know about.  There are SO MANY great designers out there that we tend to get in a rut of using the same ones.  So, I was thrilled when Steph suggested PINEAPPLE PLANTATION.  I looked at her work and was excited to invite her.  She had gorgeous color palettes and fun designs.  She also has a large selection of commercial use items.  But before we get into all of that, let’s see what she created especially for THE DAILY DIGI!


Isn’t this mini kit SOOO pretty?  I love the rich colors and that red glitter alpha is amazing!  Also, she included a really cool overlay good for commercial and personal use.  So, if you wanted to try an overlay, here is a great way to do it!  You can grab this mini-kit as well as stuff from a bunch of other designers, all for just $5.  Grab it HERE.

Okay, let’s get to know Shauna a bit better!


Aloha! My name is Shauna Burke-Smith and I’m a proud Army wife and SAHM of three, Brittany 16, Emily 14 and Ethan 9.  After spending 7 years in Hawaii, the Army has recently moved us back to the mainland and to the (currently) VERY CHILLY state of New Jersey! While we all miss Hawaii, the family is enjoying living in Princeton and being so close much closer to our friends and family.

STORE: Pineapple Plantation Designs at Scrap Orchard

BLOG: Pineapple Plantation Blog


After paper scrapping for years, I finally took a Digital Scrapbooking class online and fell in love immediately!  As I began to learn Photoshop, and simply for the fun of it, I began creating freebies for my fellow classmates and started a blog!  After a couple of months I was asked to join a design team and 3 months after that I opened my own store (ScrapOrchard.com) with good friends Kami Leonard and Melissa Nishi… It’s been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done!


For just over a year now!

I WISH I were more of a scrapper! I would love to have more time to devote to it honestly, but with three kids, Scrap Orchard to run and my own designs to create I find less and less time to actually scrap 🙁


Well, honestly I probably spend 1-2 hours a day on my own personal design work, posting in the forums, blogging etc. But if you count the hours I spend as Design Team Lead and as an owner at Scrap Orchard you can probably triple that!


It seems like my favorite kit is always one of my last kits, so I’d have to say that currently my collaboration with Irene Alexeeva called Seaside Dreams!



My best selling product are easily my Overlays! I LOVE making them and I’m always getting requests for new ones!


  • Being married to my best friend… It’s the best!
  • Cuddling with my kids
  • Reading… I’m ALWAYS reading something on my Amazon Kindle!
  • My MacBook Pro – (seriously… I LOVE it!)
  • My Jack Russell Terrier, Kea
  • I know it sounds corny, but spending time with my friends and family… Can’t beat it!
  • Books by Stephanie Meyers
  • Laying on the beach
  • The sounds of a thunder storm
  • Watching Football (the Green Bay Packers to be specific!)
  • Traveling… Anywhere!


  • Rude, uptight or close-minded people
  • Deadlines (I sooo do not deal with deadlines well! LOL!)
  • That I can’t find Diet Dr. Pepper at ANY restaurants!
  • People who don’t get my sense of humor
  • Mornings… (need I say more?)
  • Great books that are made into bad movies…
  • Having to dress up… For ANY reason!
  • When my teenagers roll their eyes at me (that REALLY bugs me! LOL!)
  • Buying something at full price RIGHT before it goes on sale!
  • Skinny people who can eat anything they want (come on… Be honest… That bugs you too! 🙂


Let’s now take a look at some of Shauna’s gorgeous designs.  Whether her designs are her own or part of a collaboration, you can count on them being beautiful and easy to use!


SUNNY SIDE UP (collab with Ziggle Designs)

mele-kalikimakaMELE KALIKIMAKA (colab with Amanda Heiman)



AUTUMN BLOSSOMS (collab with Amanda Heiman)

paper-snowflakesPAPER SNOWFLAKES

And here are a few of her amazing commercial use items…



Thanks so much, Shauna, for being a part of THE DAILY DIGI this month.  I love finding great new-to-me designers!  We are so happy to have you be with us this month and we hope that someother people found out about all the amazing stuff in your shop at Scrap Orchard.

{As a THANK YOU to THE DAILY DIGI readers, Shuana is giving a HUGE COUPON!}

Good for 50% off anything in my store! DAILYdigiPPD50 (good from February 7th through February 12th)

She also has a commercial use grab bag coming out on February 13…so if you are looking for some great CU deals, be sure to check it out!


Weekend Inspiration…


Ahhh…the weekend.  For most people weekend means a few days of family, fun, relaxation, good food, and a little less stress.  This year is the first year in my married life (nine years) that we have actually had weekends off.  I am TRULY enjoying it.  This weekend is even more exciting…my hubby surpised me with a night at a hotel BY MYSELF.  Oh yea…I am excited.  20 hours of pure QUIET.  Just me and my laptop and a ton of stories I want to tell. I can’t WAIT to get scrapping!  I needed a little inspiration so I went searching through the galleries to see what other scrappers have been up to.  One thing for sure…love is in the air galleries!

Here are some of the pages and projects I am loving…


ONESIE by jjstar

What a fun thing to do! I would have loved these for my little ones and even the big siblings as a “baby is coming home” present!

39-facts39 FACTS by Shades of Bliss

I love how she got so much information about herself on one page!  I also love how she used the word art to highlight certain parts of her personality.  It keeps the reader interested and keeps the eye moving through the page.


LOVING YOU by KristenRice

Kristien made this gorgoeus layout that shows great element layering and shadow work.  I especially love the wire LOVE.

aam_enoughsaidENOUGH SAID by SuzyQScraps

This one cracks me up!  And it is proof that sometimes pictures do speak a thousand words!

natalie-daydreamerDay Dreamer by Sammi23

This one is just so sweet and pink and dreamy.  I just ADORE it. The repeated pictures add a really cool effect to the layout and all the girly colors just make me think candies and litte girl giggles.

ah_trulyTRULY by Amy Huitchinson.

I love the sweet photo and her use of elements.  And, it always makes me smile when I see designers still scrapping.

iphonewallpaperhybridPHONE WALLPAPER by Melwilson

I am always looking for fun ways to use my digi supplies and now that I have my iphone working again, I think I may just have to make some wallpaper!

lilach-harayonWAITING FOR YOU by LilachO

This layout is so sweet and soft and a great way to document a pregnancy!  I love the multiple photos of her growing belly with the ultrasound photo as the main image.

little_things2LITTLE THINGS by Kayleigh

The black, red, and white on this layout work so beautifully on this layout!  What a great tribute to the love of her life!

lovegrowsweb1LOVE GROWS HERE wall plaque by ccouch

What a fun and sweet hybrid project!


MY WORLD by my3hens

I just LOVE the red and the playfulness of this layout. And while nornally I am not one for shaped photos, this is an excellent example of a layout that does it very, very well!

pregnancy_cravings_010409PREGNANCY CRAVINGS by Kayleigh

Now I know I already posted one layout by Kayleigh..but hey, I love what I love, right?  This is such a great layout, both from a design perspective and from a storytelling perspective.  The visual story here is great.  Not only will later generations know what she craved, they will also get to see what it looked like.  No doubt today’s packaging will look “old” and “outdated” to future generations!

thewho82THE WHO by Melissa

This  layout by Melissa is fantastic.  She takes a memory from a long time ago (1982!) and creates a page about it in 2009!  She didn’t let the fact that she didn’t have a photo stop her from recording the memory!


So, what you are YOU going to scrap this weekend?  Link us up to any NEW pages you create this weekend and I will pick three random scrappers to win some coupons to sponsoring designers stores!  Hey, with all the scrapping I hope to get done, I might even enter 😉


That is SO cool…

“What’s cool?” you ask. Well, lots of things are. Steph’s post from yesteday…um, WOW! That is some serious coolness. I can’t wait to get playing with all that amazing stuff. I did one layout the other day, but I can’t wait to do more with it. Stephanie (the other one) is so serioulsly talented and I can’t wait to use more of her gorgeous work!

There are also so other really cool things I have seen around the web. I really think you should pick up your jaw from the gorgeousness yesterday and be ready to see these cool things…

1. Reader (and good friend) Erika sent me a link to this site. If you are ever in the mood for color, Idee Labs is the place to be inspired! You can choose a color and it will pull images from Flickr that have that color in it. How about some yellow?


Now I can add some green…


And any true girl needs some pink…


What a great way to bring more color into you life! LOVE it!

2. Eye-Fi Wireless Camera SD from the Photojojo Site. Coolness doesn’t even begin to describe this!


Here is the desciption fro the website: Never scrounge around for a USB cable again! Eye-fi is a magical orange SD memory card that will not only store 2GB worth of pictures, it’ll upload them to your computer (All Eye-Fis), and to Flickr, Facebook, Picasa (or 14 others) (Eye-Fi Explore and Eye-Fi Share), even geo-tag them so you can see exactly where in the world you took the photo (Eye-Fi Explore) wirelessly, invisibly, automatically!

This little guy looks like a normal 2GB memory card and works with nearly any camera that takes SD memory. There are no antennas, no protrusions, no subscription fees, and no cables.

3. I found this cool frame on Kate Hadfield’s blog which she found via this blog. You can buy it HERE.


4. Scrapbook Pictures is having a sale for the next few days…I meant to mention this a few days ago but forgot and then was reminded on Amy Martin’s blog! I have done all of my printing with them and never once been disappointed. Their color is spot on and their shipping is FAST (often same or next day) and cheap (always just $2 regardless of the number of prints).

5. This really cool necklace. I LOVE it!


6. Something Blue Studios sells these cool little FLAIR FOR YOUR FRIDGE. I had great plans of making some of these for Chrsitmas, but never got around to it. But they are available all year, so why not do it now?


7. If you are looking for a fun AND meaningful Valentine’s project, check out this MAP OF YOUR HEART craft from Playful Learning. I can’t wait to do this with my kidlets.


8. THIS deal of the day tracker tracks sites (specializing in electronic gadgets, etc) that have special one-day only deals. What a great way to snag a good deal!

9. There is a really cool challenge going on at Hodge Podge Art this week. It is all about scrapping pictureless layouts. I love the idea of people breaking free of the “rules’ of scrapping. Just because we don’t have a picture doesn’t mean we don’t have a memory. I hosted a similar challenge last year at the Digi Dare site — this time using stock photos to help tell a story. You should get scrapping this week — without photos!

10. Well, I didn’t really have a tenth cool thing to show you. But since going from one to nine is like singing “Happy Birthday” and skipping the last line, I figured I should come up with a number ten. For those of you on Facebook (a place I spend much more time than I should) there is a great little survey of “25 random things.” The point is write 25 random things about yourself. I have LOVED reading everyones. I will spare you a repeat of mine, and instead, came up with a “25 random things about THE DAILY DIGI.”


1. I first thought of this site back in February of 2008. I revisited the idea in May but didn’t act on it due to various outside circumstances (some personal and some in the digi world)

2. In November I revisted the idea again but didn’t know how to make it work — have a site that paid for itself without being overrun with advertising. While sitting at a staff retreat on November 10 I got the idea of THE DIGI FILES. It would accomplish two purposes — paying for the site and being able to introduce new designers to scrappers without being tied to any one store.

3. I only wanted to promote designers and sites that I truly believed it, not just ones who were willing to pay for advertising spots. I wanted the site to be a place that people could trust for advice on who to buy from.

4. In December I decided that YES I would go for it (having no idea what I was getting into)

5. I contacted a number of people asking about designing the site/doing the tech stuff. I either go no reply or replies weeks later. Kathy Moore of the Blog Shoppe responded right away and remained with me every step of the way until the site was up and running. I would HIGHLY recommend her.

6. Steph joining the site was by “coincidence” but we both think it was much more than that.

7. Steph and I actaully got to meet face to face about a year ago. It was the day before I gave birth to Katelynn. That now makes me chuckle, because I remember the first time I ever met a digi friend in real life…I met Kellie (joelsgirl) just one day before I gave birth to Levi.

8. Up until about a week and a half before the site opened, I didn’t know when the opening day would be. I can be fickle but decided that I needed a deadline to get it done. January 1 seemed as good as any, and besides, I liked the tagline, “A new year and a new way to do digi.” That wouldn’t have sounded as good on a date like January 20.

9. I think i have the coolest job in the world (running this site and taking care of my four little beauties)

10. Within a week and a half of the site up and running, we had to move to a new server. We upped our bandwidth tenfold, and still ended up going down on January 31. We will have to move to a new server again. You crazy readers 🙂

11. As of the writing of this we have had 14, 656 unique visitors to this site with a total of 2,877,793 total hits and 155,665 page views. Glad to know you like it 😉

12. We have some GREAT designers lined up for months two and three. I CANNOT wait. You won’t be disappointed!

13. I am working on some templates for newsletter subscribers. I miss creating templates SO MUCH…need someone to give them to!

14. Steph makes a FANTASTIC partner in this…she is good at everything I am not (or don’t want to be good at). We both have lots of experience in the digi world but in really different areas.

15. Did you know that for a long time Steph was the “help” behind help AT shabbyprincess DOT com?

16. I have BIG dreams for this site and what it can do for the community. But I have to take one day, one week, and one month at a time. I am a dreamer that is learning to be a doer.

17. I read every single comment that comes through the site. I respond to those that I think need/want a response.

18. I get giddy when someone learns something new from the site. It makes the long hours and ridiculous number of cups of coffee worth it. (Okay, you caught me. The coffee is always worth it 😉 )

19. The hardest part of the doing the site was leaving Scrapbook Graphics (I LOVED being a part of that site) and leaving my last few creative teams. Of all my teams, I miss the Digi Dares and Shabby Princess the most.

20. Every day when I work on posts I am struck with the thought, “the internet is SO SO SOOOOOO cool!”

21. I used to think I was a good scrapper. Now I think I am average.

22. My husband reads my posts (almost) every day. I love that about him. He even knows who people are. He is quite current with all the news in the digi world 😉

23. I didn’t know how to take screen shots before opening this site. Now I know it’s really easy.

24. I have decided that I HATE Internet Explorer — especially 6 (It can’t view .png files which means anything with a transparent background has to be uploaded as a .gif file.) Sadly, 46.7 % of you are still using IE. I love you but that makes me sad. On the same note, only 11.9 % are on Macs. Do I need to do a post on that too? (kidding, people. Feel free to use whatever operating system and browser you want. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉

25. I LOVE LOVE LOVE what this site is trying to do and although I know there are things we can improve on and there is so much more that can be done, I ALSO know that there is a big heart (two hearts) behind the site and what it wants to accomplish. I am excited for the future to reveal itself…to me and to you!

Happy Valentine’s Day – from us


Are you still trying to come up with a Valentine’s gift for the ones you love? Well, Janet and I (Steph) have been excitedly preparing this not-so-little Valetine’s gift for you that you can easily turn into a cute gift for the people you care about most!! 🙂 We teamed up with another Stephanie from Homegrown Hospitality to bring some of her artwork to you digitally (because we just knew you would LOVE it)! You may recognize her work from the paper scrapbooking community.


I will share with you directions for how I made my hybrid album using our supplies (and a few things I bought from Misty Cato), but if you don’t love hybrid like I do, then you could easily do a digital only version using Janet’s templates. Finally, if you are a lover of all things paper, then we have included 2 PDF’s in the digital download with Stephanie’s signature Homegrown Hospitality artwork for you to cut and glue until your heart is content! You can also use the previews of Janet’s templates as a guide to create an album. If you are new to digital (or even if you aren’t) you might want to read this article before downloading the digital supplies.

Are you ready? Then, let’s get hybrid!


The papers that I used are from Misty Cato’s “Heartstrings” kit. I adjusted the hue on the papers with a lot of red to -14 so they would match the artwork.


I used some of Janet’s templates for the foundation of my layouts. I just centered everything because I knew I wouldn’t be punching holes in the 6×4 prints themselves. I created a two-page spread for each of my kids, a cover page, inside cover pages, and back cover page. I then uploaded to Costco for printing. I didn’t size down at all, like I do on my larger prints, so you could see what the templates would print like without sizing (perfectly). I always use the lustre finish at Costco.


  • Basic Hybrid Supplies
  • Paper lunch bags (I got a huge package of them at Target for $1.27)
  • Paper flowers by Bazzill and Imaginisce
  • Heart brad value pack by Making Memories
  • Stitched rub-ons by Autumn Leaves
  • Acrylic heart by Heidi Swapp
  • Distressing Ink (tea stain) by Tim Holtz


1) Trim lunch bags. I trimmed my lunch bags down to 7.5 inches, cutting of the bottom part of the bag.

2) Add all paper embellishments (brads, flowers, ribbons).

3) Ink outside edges of paper bag. Now, I remember the first time I was told to ink on paper (not digitally) and I couldn’t imagine for the life of me, how to do it. I was at a class at my LSS and they got a chuckle and then showed me how to ink. So, if you don’t know how to ink, you can watch this video.


4) Glue prints to paper bag. I knew I would be stitching along the sides with my sewing machine, so I just put some adhesive along the top and bottoms edges (you can read about my favorite adhesive in this post). I then placed the 6×4 on the paper bag so it had a similar thickness of border on the top, bottom, and non-binding edge. This left extra room on the binding edge for me to punch holes and string with ribbon.


5) Punch holes in tags. I made a 6×4 tag for each child with a note on it to tuck inside the paper bag.

6) Loop ribbon through the tag. Fold ribbon in half and push through the hole in the tag from back to front, creating a loop. Then, push the ends of the ribbon through the loop and gently pull snug.


7) Sew edges of layout down. I really like messy stiching, so I wasn’t too careful, just tried to stay within the margins.

8) Punch holes on binding edge. I made sure the pages were in order and then used my Crop-A-Dile to punch holes through all of the pages at one time. I punched two holes about 1.5 inches apart. Then I pulled some ribbon through the holes and tied it in a bow.

And there you have it! A cute and easy Valentine project! I will also be making a smaller version of this album for each of my kiddies, with just their pages, note, and the cover.




Now for some more fun, here is a look at the goodies we have for you today as our EARLY HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT to our readers! We have LOVED being a part of your daily digi routine the past few weeks, and want to say, THANKS!!




You can grab them all HERE!


Sharing Files

(stitching and tab by Robin Carlton)

It is probably easy assumption to make that since you are paying for digital scrapbooking products, they are yours to do whatever you want with. The biggest difference between paper and digital products though, is that when you purchase digital products, you are not just paying for the products themselves, you are paying for a license to use them. The license is often in the form of a “terms of use” text docoment inside of the file. A “terms of use” or “terms agreement” is something very common in all types of digital products, artwork, and software that is downloaded from the internet (not just digital scrapbooking supplies). If you have questions about file sharing that you would like to see answers to here, please email me at steph@thedailydigi.com

So, what is okay and what is not okay? We wanted to help our new friends (and some old ones too 😉 ) understand, so you don’t unintentionally do anything illegal.

Can I give FREE digital scrapbook supplies to friends/family? No. The reasons sites and designers offer free products is to help promote their sites and designs. If you want to share them with your friends, send them a link to the page/site that has the download (do not link directly to the download itself, especially if it is hosted on a file sharing site such as 4shared).

Can I send links to free products included in a newsletter? No. Usually designers offer this as a benefit to their newsletter subscribers only, so honor that and tell your friends to sign up for the newsletter instead.

Can I give people my login information for a store and have them download the products themselves? No. This means that two people are getting the products for the price of one. It is the same as going into a store and paying for one item and stealing one for your friend.

Can I transfer my files to a friend or family member’s computer? No…usually. Some designers are okay with people that are family members AND (not or) living in the same house, using digital supplies on more than one computer, when in doubt it is always a good idea to email the designer.



Spot Lit Wall

Today we have the honor of spotlighting DesignHouseDigital designer AUDREY NEAL — of be Audacious Designs. Audrey is a talented designer, scrapper, and author.  I will always remember Audrey as the first person on my creative team.  I had only been designing templates for a week or two and she wrote me and asked me if I was looking for a team. I couldn’t believe that anyone would actually want to work with my stuff! Since that time, I have worked with Audrey on a number of projects including a special feature for DAM and for her amazing book, Paper and Pixels (see below).  Audrey’s designs are fun, fresh, and full of her gorgeous handwriting.  Just want until you see it all!  First, though, let’s see what Audrey created especially for this months DIGI FILES (available until February 14). You get this amazing set of WINTER WORD ART as well as contributions for 8 other designers/stores for just $5. I love this set of word art — SO pretty!   I especially love the quote, “No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn.”  I bet those of you currently buried in snow could print that one out and put it on your dashboard 🙂


alittleabout-copyI’m Audrey Neal, usually called Aud, and I design under the name beAUDacious designs at {we are} storytellers. I’ve been married to my husband Chris for almost 9 years, though we’ve been together for almost 14. We have two daughters: Cassidy is 12, and Cami is 7. We live in a small college town in western Kentucky, where I work fulltime for an educational grant at the university. Prior to that, I taught middle and high school English and K-12 Gifted Studies at a small rural school system.

STORE: be Audacious Designs at {we are} storytellers

BLOG: www.audneal.typepad.com


I essentially started because the more I learned about Photoshop and digital scrapbooking, the more I wanted to know. I liked being able to completely manipulate all aspects of my layouts and being to create certain items if I didn’t have them on hand.


I’ve been designing for almost 2 years now. I started with templates and handwritten word art, then gradually moved on to papers, elements, and full kits.


Both.  Although I’ve been doing much more hybrid scrapping than pure digi lately.  I use all of my products in my hybrid layouts!  I’m both a scrapper and a designer. I started paper scrapping in 2000, and I’ve been involved in just about every aspect of the industry available. I swore that I’d never turn to digital scrapping, but at this point, I really can’t imagine going back to paper.


I spend at least 2-3 hours per day on designing or other work related to it — answering emails, checking forums and galleries, blogging, advertising, and more.


My favorite product to date is my WORD 2009. WORD stands for “write. observe. reflect. daily.” and it’s a simple way to create a place and a time for recording stories that matter. It’s a monthly project, and each month features a certain word and a theme. For example, January’s word was “invite” and all the prompts dealt with the theme of “self.” It’s a downloadable file that gives you a .pdf file that you can print on any printer — you end up with a daily journaling page and plenty of room to write, plus prompts for writing, taking pictures, and creating layouts. You also get access to a fantastic kit each month. The whole concept of storytelling is really important to me, and it’s why I  joined  {we are} storytellers. I think that making time to write each day — even if it’s just something short, a list of certain items, for example — is vital to learning to remember and create layouts where the words and the photos combine to create layouts that really matter.



My best-selling product would probably be my Daily Birdie font. It’s just my ordinary everyday handwriting, and it’s kind of funny to see it turning up on layouts all over the place. My word art packs always sell very well, too. I guess those things — anything involving my own handwriting — are my signature products, you could say.

* playing trivia games with Cassidy
* books — I have piles and piles of them in my house, and I love to visit bookstores
* seeing my favorite musicians live in concert
* snuggling with Cami right before bed
* how my head fits perfectly right in the hollow of Chris’s neck
* finding cool stuff at the thrift store or flea market, especially vintage cameras, embroidered aprons, old vases and teapots, and neat frames
* the smell of honey and orange blossoms — I have this hand soap that I’m in love with right now!
* wandering around new places on foot with my camera in hand, either by myself or with Chris
* camping — I want to take a couple of camping trips to the mountains this year
* sleeping when it is raining outside


* when the toilet paper isn’t put on the dispenser the right way — the paper is supposed to come over the top, not from the bottom
* the word “moist” totally grosses me out
* the lack of any really decent radio stations around here
* when my husband leaves the cabinet doors and kitchen drawers open instead of closing them
* that I’m not very good with money (okay, I have the spending part down just fine, but need lots of help with the saving part)
* people who insist on turning left out of the school parking lot even though the sign specifically says not to (I deal with this every morning and it irritates me to no end)
* when restaurants have Pepsi instead of Coke
* that it’s winter so I can’t ride my bike every day
* that when I order a plain hamburger at Wendy’s, the invariably ask if I want cheese on it
* having to ask or tell the girls to do something over and over — but isn’t that just part of being a mom? 😉

Now let’s take a look at some of Audrey’s other creations  I love the mix of things she has in her shop — kits, fonts, journaling classes, and more!




LAUGH IT UP wordart


loveyLOVEY DOVEY kit


PAPER + PIXELS by May Flaum and Audrey Neal

PAPER + PIXELS book includes 10 exclusive digital kits and 2 template sets by Jen Caputo, Janet Phillips, Michelle Coleman, Jan Crowley, Lauren Reid, Katie Pertiet, Lynn Grieveson, Tracy Ann Robinson, Jen Wilson, and more! Price ($17.00) includes shipping and handling.


Here are some fabulous layouts created using Audrey’s designs and fonts!


Thanks, Audrey, for being a part of THE DAILY DIGI this month.  Your designs are amazing and I can see why everyone wants to have your DAILY BIRDIE font.  What amazing handwriting you have — I am totally envious!  We are glad to have you a part of this months sponsors.  Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

And thanks for this great coupon just for THE DAILY DIGI readers!



P.S.  I want to wish a HUGE congrats to Gina for being our random winner of the WHAT’S IN A NAME CHALLENGE. She did this layout about her son’s name. I love it!


Thanks to EVERYONE who made a layout for this challenge.  Doesn’t it feel good to scrap such a special story?  I know I am glad I was able to do it!  And for those of you who didn’t win, you can still get your own wooden name letters HERE. But hurry!  This listing ends February 12.  Normally her letters are sold in various high end baby boutiques for twice the price 🙂

Better Black and Whites

I go through phases with my photos. For a long time I made almost all of my photos black and white. And then, as I learned to take better color photos I became a lover of all things color. And now, I find myself swinging a bit back the other way – enjoying the classic look of black and white photos. There is a timeless feel to them and with the right photo, they can made a good photo GREAT.

However, not all black and whites are created equal. In photo editing programs, there are a lot of different ways to create black and white images and many variations within those methods. You can go deep and dark or light and airy. There is also that ugly grey and muddled look that we all seem to loathe but don’t know how to escape from. Each method has its unique results.

There are also a lot of black and white actions available to download/purchase that make the transition instantly. However, the problem with actions is that no one action will work on every photo. Photos are made up of millions of pixels — light and dark and everything in between. An action may be perfect for one photo but a photo with different lighting or focus can make that same action look awful. You could also use Lightroom with some black and white presets. However, those have the same problem as actions with the added difficulty of working in a second program.

So why not make your own black and whites? Some of you may be saying, “Um, Janet, remember that grey muddled mess you were talking about?” Well, yes, yes I do. But, I have learned a very simple black and white conversion method that I love, is possible in Photoshop AND Photoshop Elements, and looks great because it is done individually to each photo. It may look hard, but with practice it can be done in a less than a minute (20 seconds to be exact; I timed myself).

Here is a picture of my sweet six year old, Alaina. This shot is SOOC (straight out of the camera). Just in case you are interested, here is the technical info: Canon 20D, manual mode, ISO 800, f2.8, 1/60


I was working on a scrapbook page and had a specific kit I wanted to use. Her dress (which was her Easter dress last year but she insisted on wearing it for her birthday) didn’t match the kit I wanted to use and I didn’t like the orange tile behind her head. I decided a black and white photo was in order. Now, I could have just done a remove color or remove saturation in PSE, but then it would have looked like this:


Not bad, but not great. But I am not a fan of grey and prefer my black and whites to be actually be black and white instead of shades of grey. So, I did an easy gradient map conversion (which is easier than it sounds).


In the layers palette, click on the adjustment layer* icon, the one that looks like a half white/half black circle. Choose levels from the drop down menu. When the levels box pops up, click ok. We will come back to this box later.

(*Simply put, an adjustment layer is a layer that affects the layers below it visibly, but does not actually change the pixels of the other layers. Think of an old overhead projector — if you have a picture of your uncle Albert on a transparent sheet and then draw a funny mustache on him with a permanent marker, you have forever changed the picture. However, if you put a transparent page over the photo and then draw your mustache, on the screen it looks like you drew a mustache on the photo but the photo is actually unharmed, and untouched.)

Next, click on the adjustment layer icon again and choose gradient map.


When the gradient editor pops up choose the black to white option (the default choice will be you current foreground color to background color)


Now your layers palette will look like this


Next, click on the levels adjustment layer. For this tutorial, we are not going to get into what exactly the levels dialogue is and what it means. That is for another day. As you can see, when the levels dialogue opens, you can see a “mountain.” This mountain represents the light in your image — the lights, the darks, and the midtones. Ideally, the “mountain” will spread across the whole image and will peak towards the center. Now, you can see in my photo that the photo did a good job of peaking in center (shows that it had decent exposure) but I am a little short on the extreme ends of the tonal ranges. To correct that, I moved the black triangle on the left until it hit the mountain and the white triangle on the right until it hit the mountain.


This was the result


Now, this is much better but I was hoping for a more light and airy feel for this specific photo. In order to do that, I moved the grey triangle, which represents the midtones in the image, and moved it to the left, lightening up the whole image. I watched my image the whole time so I could stop when it looked right.



Okay, it is looking much better. However, lightening up the midtones seemed to wash out my photo a little. Good thing that is easy to fix! Above my levels layer, I added an adjustment layer for brightness and contrast.


With this layer I just added a touch of brightness and a bit more contrast. I just watched my photo until it had the look I was going for.


A quick sharpening of the eyes (another tutorial for another day!) and here is the final result!


See the amazing difference when you do the conversion yourself? And it really only takes seconds when you get the hang of it.


And now my photo is ready for my scrapbook page!


(credits: ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE by Dani Mogstad at Sweet Shoppe Designs. Stitching by Syrin at Catscrap. Alpha by Libby Weifenbach at SSD, teeny tiny mini stamps by CD Muckosky at Little Dreamer Designs, fonts are Mom’s Typewriter and Susie’s Hand).

Here are some other photos that benefited from a custom black and white conversion



Don’t let actions and defaults keep you from having gorgeous black and whites. Do the conversions yourself and you will LOVE the difference!


Living with Less

A few years ago I flew to Florida to visit my grandmother. As I spent the weekend in her home, I was overwhelmed by a sense of peace that I felt. My spirit was calm, I could breath deeply, and I had a content smile on my face for what seemed like no reason. I don’t feel like that often and so I was curious as to the reason.

On the day I was leaving I was sitting in her living room looking around.  I looked out the large window, glanced at her few pieces of tasteful furniture, and smiled when I looked at a few pieces of artwork I remembered from when I was a little girl.  And then it hit me.  I knew why I felt such a sense of peace.

My grandmother lived simply, but beautifully.  As I quickly scanned the room, excited to find the source of peace, I was shocked to see that the sense of calm I felt was coming from all the things she didn’t have.  There were no piles of clutter.  There were no extra pieces of furniture.  No TV was in sight. There were not books piled high or framed pictures hanging on every available piece of wall space.  And I felt total peace.

Ever since that weekend I have been striving to live MORE with LESS.  I am far, far from my goal and I am not very good at resisting the “more stuff” mentality, but I have made some improvements and I hope to make more.  I am very aware of how clutter affects my spirit and my sense of calm.  I know now that just because I like something doesn’t mean I need to buy it.  I know that if I am not using it, I don’t need it. I know how to make due with what I have and I know how to throw away things I am not using.  Our external environment affects our internal environment — when our outside world is in chaos, our inside world will be too.  And I really, really, want to live at peace, both inside and out.

For this weeks The UN-digi I want to show you a few sites/articles I have found on living simply, dealing with the clutter, and on embracing frugality.  I am hoping I can work harder to implement some of these things in my life so that I can spend my time enjoying relationships rather than things and spending time with those I love rather than spending it trying to manage (and pay for!) all the junk.

How about you?

100 Reasons to Get Rid of it
Small Notebook
How to Declutter
On Simplicity
One Bag Nation
Laurel Plum Online
72 Ways to Simplify Your Life
Fly Lady — Declutter in 15 minutes a day
The Story of Stuff

And, for us digi gals, THIS article dealing with digital clutter is worth a read.  Or ten.

No matter how simply we live, I think most of us could take a quick look around and see all the the stuff we have that we don’t need.  We can see the piles, the clutter, the excess. Do yourself a favor — start taking small steps to get rid of it and see how you feel.  Pick one small project to tackle today.  Choose one thing you could do differently that will help your family.  Cut out one small luxury that is part of your normal spending routine but adds up over time.  Do something small. Do something today.