Sponsor Spotlight – Stephanie2

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Stephanie and Steph are the two girls behind Stephanie2 (or “Stephanie to the power of two” or “Stephanie squared”) right here in The Daily Digi Store. Naturally, the first thing people want to know is how we started working together, which we will share and so much more after we share our contribution to The Digi Files 5.  The Digi Files are what help pay for the site costs and bring you the content that you enjoy on  daily basis, while keeping the site free of blinkies, banners, and ads.

Here is what Stephanie2 contributed to this months The Digi Files:

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s2_pippishappypreview

Here are a few layouts from the girls at TDD:

max-little-mr-wonderful-052309(layout by Karen: Stephanie2 Pippi’s Dream Doodles; Amy Stoffel Fresh Air kit
(DigiScrapAddicts freebie); Lauren Reid Clearly Trimmed; Lauren Grier
Layered Up In You Circles; Laura Bratcher Once Fabulous black frame; Aja
Abney flower from ScrapArtist Get Creative collab; Designs By Lili blue
string from ScrapArtist Get Creative collab; Emily Powers Let There Be
Light; Kristen Rice star stiches; Fonts are Love Ya Like a Sister and
Typewriter)
friends2009(Layout by Rachael: Pippi’s Happy Doodles by Stephanie2
Garden Zest by Kaye Winiecki at The Lilypad
Speckled Papers by Kacque Larsen at The Lilypad)

Kelly did a couple of GREAT hybrid canvases too! 🙂

kelly-stephanie2tdd5followyourheart(by Kelly: I used the Stephanie2 kit from TDD5
with some buttons, tickets and ribbon.)
kellystephanie2tdd5celebratecollage(by Kelly: All supplies from TDD5 Stephanie2 Collection
plus baker’s twine)

All of the Stephanie2 doodle packets include the colored doodles in png format, the outlines of the doodles in png/abr format, and pdf files of all of the doodles for easy printing in your hybrd projects (and for our paper scrapping friends that don’t want to mess with any programs at all 😉 ).  All of the Stephanie2 kits also include a font that co-ordinates with the alpha.

You can get these collections along with many other items for just $5.00 in The Digi Files5.

alittleaboutstephanie1stephanieStephanie is a self-proclaimed “die-hard-long-live-paper-scrapper”.  Her hybrid projects are jaw-dropping gorgeous (you can see them in some of the previews in the store) and her doodles are the same!  Stephanie is the doodler of the bunch and has been designing in the paper industry for years.  She is also known for her brand Homegrown Hospitality and always has some kind of fun scrap related project going on.  She does most of her creating in her Shedteau (the, dare I say, “shed” in her back yard…shhhhh don’t let her know I called it a shed)!  Stephanie is a “Simply Complicated” girl….I love the simple things and most of the time complicate them…in a good way.”

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stephI (Steph) am the digital girl of the bunch!  I have been scrapping on my computer since 2003 and love everything about it!!  I am also known around the digiworld as islandmom and I opened Fontologie (my font business) in the spring of 2007.  I love challenging myself by learning new programs and skills, that’s one of the reasons I love digital so much, there is always something new to learn!  I joined Janet here at The Daily Digital before the site went live and love being here!  I am really enjoying teaming up with Stephanie to bring her doodles to the digital world!

startedI (steph) came across Stephanie’s designs for the first time a couple of years ago when I was at the bookstore and saw a magazine called “Homegrown Hospitality” and bought it.  It had some of the cutest doodles in it I had ever seen!  I LOVED it!  Fast-forward to early this year when I saw a post on a blog about ordering your word of the year in a doodle form.  I followed the links to Stephaine’s blog and instantly recognized her style to be the same doodles as the ones I loved in the magazine.  I then went to her Etsy store where I saw a Valentine’s Day kit you could pre-order along with some printable doodles and a font.  So, I emailed her and asked if I could just get the printables and the font.  I just happened to link her to The Daily Digi and my font site and asked if she had ever thought about selling stuff digitally.  Stephanie emailed me back instantly and things snowballed from there.  At some point we decided on the name Stephanie2 because we just kinda liked it!

But we keep finding ways our pathes have crossed, just recently we discovered that Stephanie knows my cousin and in fact…my cousin took her wedding photos!  Yeah, we thought that was funny too!

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Our process…it really varies based on the product and is kind of random.  Sometimes I will email Stephanie with an idea and she will say great and doodle it, other times, she just doodles and then sends them to me and says, “How about these?”  The “Together” collection was a bunch of different doodles she sent me at different times that all happened to be in the same color scheme, so I (Steph) put them all together…heehee.  The kits, we go back and forth…she doodles, I add ideas and elements, then Stephanie adds ideas and they kind of explode. No matter what though, she is always the doodler and I am always the digitizer!

Stephanie’s favorite colors to use are what she calls her “homegrown colors” which are barn red, sage green, liberty blue, and tan.  But, she typically just grabs a color and goes for it! My favorite color is PINK…which Stephanie doesn’t really care much for (although I think she can rock the color in her doodles!)  We discovered that we both love gingham when I made up a couple of gingham papers to go in Whirligig and Stephanie emailed me back and said, “I LOVE GINGHAM!!  Let’s do them in every color for both of our kits!” So, we did!

This brings us to our favorite products.  Stephanie says her favorite is the gingham papers.

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My favorite products are usually the newest doodles we have done (Pippi in this case) but I think our first two kits will always be on my list.  I love that they have fonts that match the alphas!

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s2_reachforthestarspreview450

Some layouts by Katie with these products:

katie_steph2_stars

(Reach for the Stars kit – and the font. I love that these kits
include a font!
Template is by Bree Clarkson)
katie_steph2_whirl(Whirligig kit from The Daily Digi Store
Template by Kaye Winiecki (modified))

Here are a couple of other products:

s2_togetherpreview600

pippialphapreview450

600sentimentspreview

We want to say THANKS to The Daily Digi readers with two fun things!  The first is a SALE!!!

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The second is a random drawing for a custom doodle!!

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You pick a word, name, or short quote and we will work our magic on it!  Just post a comment here by the end of Monday, June 22 to enter yourself to win!!

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Declutter Your Hard Drive

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This is a post by team member, Ana Paula

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It’s almost summer and it’s very likely that you had your Spring Cleaning by now. It’s time to get rid of the stuff we don’t use anymore, donate clothes to charity, or maybe sell it all in a garage sale. When we give away what is not useful in our lives, we make space for the new. According to Feng Shui we improve our lives by organizing our home. Check it out HERE.

So, why not do it in our computers as well?

If you are like me (Ana), you probably have thousands of digital scrapbooking files in your hard drive. Tons of them! Last time I counted, it came to over 13 gigabytes! Now, do I use all of the 13 Gb frequently? I think you know the answer.

So, I decided to stop the madness and do a major clean up in my computer. The task is insane, so I am taking baby steps. Each day I delete 5 folders of products I haven’t used recently. In a week, I’ve got rid of 25 folders and hopefully I’ll have a few more megabytes of space in my HD.

Sometimes I delete files within folders. When we get a huge kit, sometimes we are not in love with all of the files. So I choose the ones I like most and delete the rest. This helps reducing the size of my digital scrapbooking folder too.

Now, let’s talk about pictures. Oh, I can hear the screams “No! Don’t touch my photos!” But, really, do you need 372 pictures of your baby taking her first steps? I don’t. With digital photography, it’s so easy to keep shooting and shooting and we end up with tons and tons of images, most of those we never get to print anyway.

I used to be like this – kept every single photo I took and couldn’t even think of deleting one of them. Now I have a different approach. When I download my images, I sort them out right away. I delete the bad ones (blurred, bad focus, bad cropping, etc) and I also delete the extra photos of a scene, keeping just 2 or 3. The rest just goes. Then I scrapbook even fewer, sometimes I just get prints done and put them in my regular photo albums.

Recently I’ve started to clean up my fonts as well. I am a type addict (I specially love the handwriting and script ones) so I install lots of them every once in a while. But, again, some I never used. So I’m using the 5-a-day rule with fonts too. It makes my life much easier when I get to scrap because I don’t need to go over a huge list of fonts to choose one.

So today I invite you to do a major cleaning in your hard drive and get rid of the files you don’t use anymore. Don’t forget to also make regular backups of your files.

ana1

Power Shopping — Digi Style

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I (Katie) am not a shopper. The thought of going to the mall and trying on clothes is right up there with a trip to the dentist for me. Shoes are even worse. I’m a bit unusual that way. Shopping is just exhausting for me. You have to wade through so many choices, and even though I can easily walk a few miles in my neighborhood, a jaunt around the mall just makes me tired. Digi shopping is an entirely different matter though. Give me a mouse and an internet connection and I can have some serious fun!

Shopping for digital scrapbook supplies is especially rewarding for me because I know I will use my purchases to create works of art, as well as works from my heart. Even when I go on a bit of a digi shopping spree, the damage isn’t too bad either because the prices are very reasonable. I shudder to think back on my paper scrapping days when a trip to the local scrapbook store would cost a small fortune. Sadly, many of those paper supplies have never even been used. Anyone who complains about the price of digital scrapbook supplies probably was never a paper scrapper. The greatest benefit of using digital scrapbook goodies is that they can be used multiple times. Incredibly, many are even free!

What’s the downside of digi shopping? It is easy to spend all your free time surfing and shopping (and downloading and unzipping) and never really have time to actually create anything with all your purchases. It is also possible to spend way too much money. If your budget doesn’t allow for it, any dollar amount can be too much. Nothing is a bargain if you aren’t really going to use it or simply can’t afford it.

I’ve been an all digital scrapper for 4 years now and I have learned a lot of tricks along the way to make the most of my digi scrapping budget. I’ve also learned how to minimize the time I spend on shopping so that I have more to spend on actually working on pages.

  • If money is tight, be sure to set a budget. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy anything at all, it just means that you need to be extra wise about your purchases. There was a time in our life when we literally had no extra wiggle room in our bank account. When I needed to pay for photo prints or supplies I cut back in other areas to find a little money to use. Shopping smart and looking for sales will help you stretch that money even farther.
  • Besides setting a budget for the money you spend, it is just as important to set up a time budget for shopping. If you are spending your days in the forums looking for enabling threads, you might find some neat kits, but you will also use up a lot of hours that could be spend on journaling or putting together special pages. Your family won’t gather around the table and “oooh’ and “ahhhh” over your great digi stash on your hard drive, but they will treasure actual pages and albums of their precious memories!
    Decide when and how much time you will spend on digi shopping. For me, I use the time as I check my email and do my “rounds” each morning. I do my shopping as I work through these tasks and then I’m done with it for the day. I don’t shop every day but more importantly, I don’t shop ALL day.
  • Pick your favorite few stores and bookmark them. These should be the stores that you regularly buy from. Don’t worry about the others right now, I have some suggestions for those in the next section.

I created a folder right on my toolbar called digishop. (I use Mozilla firefox thanks to Janet’s recommendation but any browser should let you do this)

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as I bookmark each site to go in this folder, I make a note next to the site name that tells me what day they have sales if there is a regular schedule.

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I do shop at other stores as well. These are just the ones I seem to frequent on a regular basis. I really worked on paring down the list so it was manageable. Most of these sites have regular sale days. For example; notice that next to Designer Digitals I put “Thurs Sunday” which means they always have sales on Thursday and Sunday. You can edit the name of each bookmark to say whatever you want by clicking on “properties”.

There are other ways I keep track of the places I shop so you might wonder why I keep this folder on my browser bar. If I feel like shopping I simply go through the list in this folder. Depending on the day, I check certain sites. More than anything, it reminds me to shop the sales and look for deals. I find it to be very useful.

  • Take some time to visit each store and each designer that you like to buy from. Make sure you are subscribed to their email list if they have one. Or you can follow their blog or twitter account. This may add to your email inbox load but it will keep you in the know about all the sales going on. This is the best way to get high quality freebies from designers you already love. Almost all newsletters have valuable information and links to sales or special deals. If they don’t, then you ought to unsubscribe.

Reading newsletters or blogs is the method I use for the bulk of my digi shopping. I see something great in a newsletter and I just click on the link and make a purchase. I love how quick the whole thing is!

  • Find a good enabler (someone who shows you the good stuff and makes you want to buy it). My Mom and I send each other links to previews of kits we like. This got to be such a regular practice that I decided to just post everything I buy on my facebook page and in my twitter account. This may seem silly, but it keeps me accountable on what I spend since I know a lot of people will see it, and I’ve had a lot of people actually thank me for this service. There is A LOT to wade through out there in digi land and so many wonderful things to buy that it can be overwhelming. Find someone who seems to pick out the kind of designs you like and pay attention to what they are using. As you look through galleries and blogs, there will be supply lists included with layouts that tell you what items they used to put together the layout. That is how I continue to discover new (or new to me) designers and stores. If I see something that I like, I will make a point to look for it. You can save yourself a lot of time by relying on the good taste of others. It just means more scrapbooking time for you!

katie

Organizing Life

googlecalendar

When I (Steph) was 13 years old my parents enrolled me and my older sister in a class to learn how to use the Franklin Day Planner.  I used the system for a while, but ended up just using the calendars and not much else.  Since then, I have used various calendars and systems to try and make sure I know where I am supposed to be and when.  Some worked better than others.  Some I loved and others I hated.  But I have not used any calendar as consistently as the one I will share today.

A couple years ago, I was searching for a calendar that my husband could access as well as me (I could enter things, but he would be able to see it real-time on the calendar too), would sync with my phone, could be printed if I needed, and could be color coded based on the person the event is for.  I researched and found some paid calendars and found a few posts in various forums about Google Calendar.  It took a while for me to decide that a FREE calendar could really provide everything I was looking for.   I decided to give it a go and quickly fell in love.

Google calendar is a web-based calendar system that can be synced with any other calendar and almost any device.  You can set up a different calendar for each person in your family (or church group, school groups, etc.), assign them a color and mange them on the left side.  You can make the calendar private and invite people to view them or help you manage them, you decide how much control to give.  You can also view other public calendars (I have one for U.S. Holidays and the weather for my area) or private calendars you have been invited to view.  You can easily toggle through daily, weekly, or monthly views.  I have most of  my calendars set up to give me an onscreen reminder 20 minutes before the event.  One of my favorite calendars is one I set up for my husband’s family and his mom went through and entered all of the birthdays and anniversaries.  This event calendar sends me an email reminder two days before the event.  You can set the calendar up to send you test reminds as well if you want.

Google just recently added tasks to the calendars, which I have not yet tried, but intend to very soon (as in today…haha).

Just like all Google products, Google Calendar is definitely intuitive and easy to use, no need for a user manual!  If you would like to read some reviews though, I dug some up for you here and here.  I also found a great resource for more information on all of the cool things you can do with your Google Calendar here.  If you are looking for a way to help you organize your life then go ahead and give it a try, I know you will LOVE it too!

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Inspiration is Everywhere

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No matter where you go, what you do, what you see, you can be inspired. Every day life that happens around us can be a source of inspiration.  We can pay attention to color, pattern, design, texture, and more.  That inspiration can then translate into our art — whether that be photography, scrapping, or some other art form. Inspiration is everywhere!

I asked my team what inspires them and here is what they said:

KATIE:

  • Beautiful photography always inspires me. I love the BIG PICTURE blog at Boston.com – the pictures are news oriented so sometimes the subject matter is tough, but they are always amazing.
  • Some of my favorite photographers to follow on flickr are tataAnne, dolpharius, and  jeff clow
  • Pioneer Woman always makes me want to take more pictures (and buy more lenses!) Her blogs are amazing!
  • I’m also loving the Gallery Standouts blog to find inspiration for scrapping
  • I’ve also made a commitment to be better about actually reading all the digi newsletters that I download from designers and stores. They have so many great articles and layouts in them!

DUNIA: I love to find inspiration in the galleries, my favorite gallery for inspiration is SISTV and I also like to find inspation in children stuff like books, clothes, cartoons, etc.

ANA:

  • I was a subscriber of Simple Scrapbooks, which unfortunately was discontinued. I have a dozen magazines that I always turn to when I’m stuck on a layout. So, there’s that.
  • Also, I LOVE seeing Two Peas in a Bucket gallery. I get really inspired by the traditional scrappers there
  • I love Ali Edward’s blog too.  Her approach to life and scrapbooking is just really inspiring.
  • And Etsy.  I can spend HOURS just browsing!

KELLY: I’m a decor magazine junkie. Seriously. I need a 12 step program for my issue. But anyway, I am amazed at the patterns and colors and combinations that fill those pages.  I’ve got stacks of ripped out pages sitting beside my bedside table waiting for me to file them in my idea files. 🙂

AMY: Most of my inspiration has been mentioned, but if you like decor and accessories and stationery and basically eye candy of any kind… I recommend these two blogs: Poppytalk and Oh Joy!

AGGIE:

  • I love  love love the Creating Garden at 2Peas. Whenever I am in a creative rut, I always turn there for inspiration. I don’t know why but I just love mimicking paper scrapper’s design layout ideas. I also love the variety of topics they have!
  • Lately, Cathy Zielske’s blog has been such a resource for inspiration too. Have you guys seen her preview of the Encyclopedia of Me (A-Z)? Amazing!

And ME, well, I have so many sources of inspiration!

  • I love to type in a word at istock photo and see what comes up.  SO incredible!

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  • I Love Photography is always one of my first stops in the morning.  I love seeing all the amazing photos and reading about how to make my photos better.
  • My Google Reader is full of amazing blogs with great ideas and inspiration for scrapping, photography, and crafts.
  • Online stores like Old Navy and Pottery Barn always leave me swooning!
  • And there is NOTHING like getting a fresh new scrapping magazine in my mailbox and sitting down with a cup of coffee and pouring over the pages.  Talk about inspiration!

So, what inspires you??

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Moving…Again

the-undigi1The cold, hard truth:  I have been married for almost ten years and we have moved houses EVERY summer that we have been married.  Sometimes it has been across the street and sometimes it has been across the world, but yes, we have packed our home and started somewhere fresh EVERY summer.  That’s a lot of moving!  Truth be told, though, I like it.  I like to clean out and de-clutter  and start new and fresh and fun.  Packing, however, is not always fun or easy and even though I am pretty much a professional now and I can slap on shrink wrap as good as any professional mover, I still need some tips here and there.  I came across a great article on packing and moving and so I thought I would share:

How to Move in 6 Weeks or 6 Days, and Keep Your Sanity

By the time I get back from vacation (yes, being at the beach is WONDERFUL) I will have six days to pack my home and make the 25 minute move across town. I am all about that “eating take out” idea 🙂

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MORE WITH FOUR — The Digi Files 5

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Another month and another installment of our fun MORE WITH FOUR challenge! Each month we select four products from THE DIGI FILES and challenge scrappers to do 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.

Here is the basic set of guidelines:

  • 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
  • You can alter the items shown as long as the item is still recognizable.
  • You need to use some of each of the items.

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This month we have chosen four really fun products, all from THE DIGI FILES 5:

Word Art by Steph 2
Papers by Amber Clegg
Stitching by Amy Hutchinson
Film Frames by Leora Sanford

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And here are some of the amazing layouts our team did using JUST these four products!

awolff_morewith4_450Layout by Amy

Amy has this to say, “Look through your custom shape menu! You will find tons of shapes you can use as clipping masks. I love the butterfly. A little bit of shading and shadows make them look like they are lifted off the page.

happiness_more4-450Layout by Steph
kas_farewellsleepover_09_webLayout by Jacki

“The girls were beyond silly when I was trying to snap photos during their sleepover, but I wanted to get it scrapped for the memories of it. My DD’s friend is moving away today – so sad. I used the cookie cutter tool in PSE to cut the moon from Amber’s paper. The hearts and stars are extracted from Stephanie2’s adorable wordart in The Digi Files 5.”

rgiallongo_happinessLayout by Rachael

I used the outline version of the wordart and then added the colors by using the eyedropper to select colors from Amber’s papers.”

ana_morewith4Layout by Ana

I had so much fun doing this challenge! When I saw the film frames, I immediately knew I wanted to spread them out across my page. Then I grabbed one of the doodles and I had my theme. I LOVE the result!”

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Layout by Dunia

“It was a challenge for me use a patterned background in my page, but I love the contrast with bold paper and softeness pictures.”

morewith4_katieLayout by Katie

“This was a really tricky assignment for me but I’m glad for the creative exercise that it gave me. I have become very accustomed to using mainly one kit when I create a page these days and this made me think a little harder about how to combine products I might not usually use together. The only thing I used besides the 4 products was a template by Ali Edwards

kellymorewith4howwonderfulLayout by Kellie
rob-relay-celebrate-060609Layout by Karen

“I am loving the challenge of these layouts! I’d been excited to use the ribbon version of the Celebrate word art with pictures of my husband walking in the Survivor Lap at Relay For Life this weekend! I used the outline version of the word art in several ways. For the title, I filled in the letters with color, then added a drop shadow, bevel and texture to make it looks as though it was cut out instead of stamped. I also used various layer styles (like vivid light and color burn) for the various lightly stamped versions of the title on the background paper. I also extracted the stars from two different versions of the word art. The fonts are Fontologie Printing Primer Low-fat and Inheritance Font “

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Now it is YOUR turn! Do a MORE WITH FOUR layout using the above products and post a link in the comments section of this post before Wednesday. We will be giving away some great coupons!

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SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT — Ellie Lash

Spot Lit Wall

We are excited to have talented designer Ellie Lash with us today. Ellie is a Studio Girl at Scrapbook Graphics and has a fabulous store full of fun kits, amazing doodles, and great inspiration.  I am excited to share with you some of my favorite things.  But first, let’s look at what she created for THE DIGI FILES 5.  It was the perfect little mini kit for me to scrap a great day I had out with my daughter and her class!

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And here are some layouts our team made with it.  I already have plans for using this kit again to make a cute little recipe card for my favorite Strawberry Tallcake!

kids_highlandstrawberries_05_webLayout by Jacki: Font – xoxo Karen from Peas
Template Scrappable Storyteller #2 by Tiffany Tillman
rgiallongo_strawberryhillLayout by Rachael

starwberrypicking_webTwo page layout by Janet.
Stitching and white paper by Shabby Princess, date stamp by Amber Clegg, paper templates by Emily Merritt, stamped alpha by Nancie Rowe Janitz

lukas-strawberry-picking-0509Layout by Karen. Janet Phillips’ April 2008 grab bag templates and word art from
Jackie Eckles… The rest is the Ellie Lash kit.

You can get this adorable kit as well as designs from lots of other designers for just $5.00.  Grab it HERE.

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alittleabout-copy2

Name: Ellie Lash
Hometown: Mesa, Arizona
Family: I’ve been married to my husband Chris for almost 8 years.  We have 2 kids, twin boys Adam and Luke.

STORE: Studio Ellie @ Scrapbook Graphics

BLOG: Ellie Lash Designs

question1

I’ve always been the kid of person who looks at something and thinks, “I wonder if I can do that.”  Usually the answer is no (lol), but I had a little background creating web graphics and discovered that this was something I could do, and that I really, really enjoyed doing as well.

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‘ve been designing for almost 2 years.  I started posting freebies on my blog back in September 2007.

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I’m mostly a designer.  I’m trying to find more time to scrap, though.

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40-50 hours a week, normally

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I think my favorite is my On The Move kit

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I think it’s probably Merry and Bright or Sugar Bug

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1. My family
2. My friends
3. Sushi
4. Ladybugs
5. Chocolate
6. Sleeping in
7. Books
8. The beach at sunrise
9. Jamie Fraser
10. My elliptical

10thingsbug

1. People who are intentionally unkind
2. Roaches
3. Spiders
4. The heat (too bad since I live in Arizona!  lol)
5. Waiting for the next book in a series to be published
6. Horseradish
7. When I forget to charge my camera battery and miss a good photo op because of it
8. Um… that’s all I can think of.  lol

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And now let’s look at some of the fun stuff in Elli’s shop!

littlepeepers

formelissa

doodleborders

pixie

sugarville

somethingwild

natural

shabbyspice

perpetualcalendar

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And here are some fabulous layouts using Ellie’s designs

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lo2

lo4

lo5

lo6

lo7

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Thank you so much, Ellie, for being with us here at THE DAILY DIGI this month!  We have loved having you with us!

As a thank you to our readers, Ellie has a 30% off coupon good through August 1, 2009.

TDDROX

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I See Your True Colors Shining Through

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(Slide from TDF5)

After my post last week where I shared my iPhone skin that printed exactly as I saw it on my monitor, I had a few comments and emails asking about how to calibrate monitors. I figure that there are probably more scrappers out there with “sad eyes” than there are scrappers seeing “true colors shining through” from their monitor to print. After all, I was one of those scrappers with an uncalibrated monitor until not too long ago myself.

How do you know if you need to calibrate your monitor or not? The first part of this great article at imaging-resource.com has some easy tests for you to see how badly your monitor needs calibrating. Most monitors will need some adjusting.

There are some ways to calibrate your monitor for free without having to buy software or gadgets. For most scrappers, this will work great! Until I started working with the other Stephanie to design digital supplies, I used these various methods and they worked fine for me. Wikihow.com has a great article with some tips on how to calibrate your monitor for free. It will work for people on most platforms. The article also briefly explains a few pay-for gadgets and software tools to help in calibration.

If you are a designer, photographer, or addicted scrapper that would like a perfectly calibrated monitor, then the second part of this article by imaging-resources.com explains the differences between the different Spyder products for calibration. From the different articles I have read, it seems most graphic designers and photographers use Spyder products, but if you have had success with other items on the market, we would love to hear about it!

For years, I read on the message boards in digiworld about monitor callibration, but was a little…okay…a lot intimidated by it. After buying my Spyder and running the calibration, I realize that I really had nothing to be affraid! So to quote (again) Cyndi Lauper and run the risk of bordering on corny , “don’t be affraid to let them show, your true colors are beautiful….like a rainbow!”

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If Your Blog Needs a Makeover…

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There are lots of us in the digi world that blog. I started my personal blog way back in January 2006 (I think!) and for a few years was blogging every day. I love that blogs allow me to keep track of the day to day stories of my life in a fun way that my friends and family can see. I also love reading other people’s blogs! I have quite a long list of blogs I check out. While most of them I read in my Google Reader, there are some that are just too pretty not to look at directly. I am a sucker for all things pretty.

So what can you do to pretty up your own blog?

There are lots of options! If you don’t feel like doing it all yourself, check out some of these resources for getting your blog to look great!

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One of the easiest options is a website called CUTEST BLOG ON THE BLOG. They have lots of free backgrounds and banners and easy installation. This is a great choice for a quick makeover and is also great for your non-digi friends who want to make their blogs as cute as yours!

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Shabby Miss Jenn has a TON of fun blog packs. They come with full instructions, including screen shots and html codes. There are also video tutorials. If you have tried everything and still need some help getting you blog looking right, they have an exclusive arrangement with The Blog Shoppe to help you out! Each of SMJ’s blog packs include a banner, banner for a photo, 3 background images, picture frame, border divider, journal mat, tab buttons with text and blank tab buttons.

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Shabby Princess also has a lot of options when it comes to BLOGwear. I guarantee that anything you make with something by Shabby Princess will be oh-so-cute!

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Zoe Pearn also has a lot of blog packs over at Sweet Shoppe Designs. I love all her fun and fresh designs! This is from the descriptions of her “Blog in a Box”: The “Blog In A Box” line contains everything you need to bring your Blog to life, including Photo Headers, Non-Photo Headers, Sidebar Buttons (both labeled and plain for you to add your own headings), Backgrounds, plus Post-Separator Graphics. Everything is coordinated, right down to the text and link colours to make sure your blog will look absolutely perfect! Installation couldn’t be easier – full, easy to follow instructions are included, PLUS the code for the page to make sure that everything will turn out perfectly!

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If you are looking for something totally custom-made but don’t want (or know how) to do it yourself, why not give THE BLOG SHOPPE a try? Kathy, the master behind it, is FABULOUS. She has done everything for THE DAILY DIGI. She worked (cheerfully) with all my questions, plans, mistakes, and made my dream come true. She has also done a lot of other great blogs! In addition, she has permission to use digi materials from great designers such as Kitty Chen, Flergs, and Shabby Miss Jenn.

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So what are you waiting for? Give your blog a makeover today!

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