In the Designer’s Studio with Vinnie Pearce

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I am excited to have Vinnie Pearce here with us this month! I was unfamiliar with her designs until Janet sent me a link to her store and I have really been blown away! Vinnie has some wonderful and unique papers and elements in every kit she does!

Let’s take a closer look at Vinnie’s contribution to THE DIGI FILES this month:

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Here’s a little inspiration from our team:

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Layout by Karen, additional supplies: Tiffany Tillman template and Christina Renee Best Friend alpha

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Layout by Karen, additional supplies: template by DeCrow Designs at Scrap Orchard. Font is Calibri

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Layout by Amy W, additional supplies: Pea Mystie

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Layout by Karen

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Layout by Rachael

I know that it is hard to believe that you get this plus awesome designers page so far this month (and a bunch more) for ONLY $5, but it is very TRUE!! We want you to be able to try some quality new-to-you designers at a low risk. We want you to be able to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone. We know there will be something in this collection to suit your scrapping fancy.

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I’m a Homemaker/Designer/Author/Artist/Wife & Mother of two. I was born in Fiji, but lived in New Zealand from the age of three.

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Buy my book?

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I was introduced to my first pixel around the age 10, when my father opened up an old school paint program on his computer, I was instantly intrigued by the tiny little pixels making up the images. An eye was the first image I created with pixels. I had no idea I would end up working with them as a designer, its a dream come true.

I started paper scrapbooking 4 years ago. I didn’t have much time (or money) for it, even though I loved the idea. When I started digital scrapbooking I was instantly in love! Finally I could use all my photoshop knowledge as a graphic designer for more personal projects. The transition from scrapbooker to designer came after the release of my first book on Digital Scrapbooking in 2009. It just seemed like the most obvious and natural step to take.

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Everything around me that is a result of design and creative thinking.

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I use Windows XP and 3.50 GB of RAM
Programs:
Photoshop CS3 Extended and Illustrator CS3
Camera:
Canon 400 D

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Beach Flower – MINI KIT

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Here are some of my favorite Vinnie products:

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Here’s some great layouts for your inspiration (all layouts without credits are linked to originals):

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Layout by Katie, supplies: Purple Phase kit by Vinnie Pearce. Template by Hillary Heidelberg. Font is Susie’s hand

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Vinnie, thanks so much for joining us in THE DIGI FILES this month! We really appreciate you sharing your talents!

Vinnie has a great sale going on right now, so be sure to check it out:

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Go have a look in Vinnie’s store at Pixel Canvas and come back and tell her what you like, tomorrow’s GIFTaway will be randomly selected from those comments that are posted by midnight EST (must include a product name to qualify)!

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P.S. Today’s GIFTaway winner is Becky who was randomly selected from yesterday’s comments on Katie’s post and said: “What a great list!! thank you!”

Birthday Gifts for and from Digital Scrapbookers

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Since we are in birthday mode this month, I (Katie) thought it would be the perfect time to post about birthday gift ideas for the digital scrapbooker in your life. It is also a great time to think about what kinds of projects you as a digital scrapbooker could make to create meaningful gifts for others. Our team has been brainstorming up some great ideas for gifts and I’m so excited to share them with you!

FOR THE DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKER:

  • A gift certificate to a favorite online store. This is my favorite gift to give because I can even send it via email (nice if you have family that lives far away like I do). Gift certificates are also my favorite gift to receive because I get to go digi shopping! If the recipient is new to digital scrapbooking, you might want to give them a few suggestions on what types of products they might consider using their gift certificate for.
  • A gift card for The Daily Digi would be a fabulous present 😉 because the recipient would be able to try out a bunch of designers all at once! For only $5 you can give the gift of multiple high quality kits from the community’s best designers! My Dad bought my Mom a $60 gift to The Daily Digi for Christmas (smart guy!) so now she can by the files each month.
  • Printing layouts is one of the biggest costs of digital scrapbooking so a gift certificate to a local photo processor (like Costco) would be appreciated. I had a difficult time finding online printing sites that offered gift cards, but I’m sure they exist (or will soon).
  • Supplies like blank dvds and cds are great for backing up data. CD cases always come in handy. Thumbdrives are a fairly inexpensive gift that any digital scrapbooker will appreciate. An external hard drive makes a wonderful gift for anyone who takes a lot of pictures and/or collects a lot of digital supplies.
  • The hybrid/digital scrapbooker will enjoy items like modge podge, a cropodile, blank board books and albums, ribbons, blank envelopes, and heavyweight paper. See Steph’s recommendation here.
  • 12×12 (or 8×8) frames for the digital artist to display some of their creations. Blank albums and page protectors are also a very thoughtful gift.
  • A stylish laptop bag. There are a lot of fun ones in stores like Target and Office Max or you can find some really creative styles on ETSY.
  • Ergonomic digital scrapbook gifts like a laptop stand, or a new mouse. See my post on ergonomics here.
  • Online education. This is such a fun gift to give. With all the options available, you can give anyone the gift of learning. Digital scrapbooking, photography, journaling, and design principles are all taught at wonderful sites like Big Picture Scrapbooking, Get It Scrapped, and Jessica Sprague. A gift certificate to any of those sites would be a much appreciated present!

FROM THE DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKER:

As a digtial scrapboker, you have the ability and supplies to make unique and meaningful gifts! This list could go on for pages! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • A single scrapbook layout is a very meaningful gift. I often create a page for someone in my family who is having a birthday and post it on our family blog. It doubles as a card and a gift! I later send them a printed version of the page. I have given my parents blank albums to put these in, or sometimes I will frame the layout for them.
  • Scrapbook layouts or even an album. I really can’t think of a more meaningful gift! I put my heart and soul into creating layouts so when I give them away, I really feel like I am giving a true gift.
  • A digitally created card is a thoughtful way to remember someone on their special day. See my post on digital cards here and find a few more tips on this post.
  • Hybrid projects and albums. I gave my nieces these sweet little abc & 123 albums, and my daughter loved her little school planner that are featured on this post. The same post has several other good hybrid gift ideas as well. The party post from the other day also has some fun ideas for gift bags and even printable games that would be great for gift giving. Sunghee has some adorable hybrid projects on her blog to inspire you. The hybrid chick is an amazing resource for these type of ideas as well!
  • Use digital word art and your photos to create one-of-kind pieces of art to give as gifts. Frame them to make them extra special! See my post on writing on your photos for more ideas.
  • Sites like Shutterfly, Costco, and Scrapbook Pictures, all have fun photo-based gift products that make it easy to give something personal and creative.
  • Calendars made from digital scrapbooking supplies are perfect for gift giving. Personalize your project by adding in family birthdays as well. See Steph’s great calendar post here.
  • Turn your photos and/or scrapbook layouts into miniature masterpieces with Something Blue Studios magnets. These are really unique gifts and especially great for grandparents so they can show off their grandkids right on their refrigerator! Also a fun idea for students with lockers! These magnets are super thick and very high quality. I’ve ordered more than 50 of them over the past few years for gifts and I just love them – and so have the recipients!

Isn’t it fun to think of all the things you can do with a few digital supplies? Everyone on your gift giving list will think you are amazing when you give them something you have created. And if you have a birthday coming up, you might just want to forward this post on to someone who wants to make your day extra special. They will appreciate the hints! 🙂

katie

P.S. Today’s GIFTaway winner is Kim N who was randomly selected from those that have purchased THE DIGI FILES so far this month! Kim, you won a $10 GC to Michelle Underwood, check your inbox!

Un-Chronologically Organizing My Albums

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image from BigPictureScrapbooking.com used with permission

When I first started digital scrapbooking, I started scrapping the photos I wanted to when I felt inspired to scrap them. This was very freeing for me in many ways. I still, for the most part scrap this way, six years later. I will do some special albums in chronological order, but for the most part, just try to tell the stories I want to when I want to.

However, for a long time, I had a problem and that problem prevented me from printing layouts for quite a while. I didn’t know how to organize those layouts once they were printed. I knew it would drive me crazy to put the layouts in albums chronologically and then have to reorganize them later when I printed a layout that needed to go in-between two others.

Two years ago I signed up for Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories class, mainly because I wanted to figure out how to organize my albums, un-chronologically speaking, but also because I was intrigued by her system. I have to say that the one thing I have come to depend on getting from Big Picture Scrapbooking classes is a paradigm shift! I always leave looking at things with a brand new perspective and that happened in many ways during Library of Memories! I was thrilled to learn about Stacy’s method for organizing albums, which she gave me permission to share with you today.

True to Stacy Julian fashion, this system is SIMPLE and, when implemented, will help you see your scrapbooking from a different perspective than you ever have before. I have adapted it only slightly for my own needs. Stacy divides her layouts into these categories which go into albums by the same title:

  • People We Love
  • Places We Go
  • Things We Do
  • All About Us

I divide my layouts into these categories:

  • People We Love
  • Places We Go
  • Things We Do
  • All About Us
  • All About ___________ (name of each member of our family)

I added the ‘All About Steph’ (or any other member of our family) for example, so pages that were just about that person could go in there. My kids love to look at their very own albums. The ‘All About Us’ is about us as a family and our relationships with each other (since I love to scrap moments, this is a common theme). The other albums I try to focus on the WE, for example, a layout about us playing Rock Band would go in the ‘Things WE Do’, but a layout about the play my son was in would go into his “All About” album, because it is something HE did not WE.

Stacy only teaches her Library of Memories class once a year. Once you take the class, you can re-take it up to two times during the consecutive years following your initial class, for free as an alumni. Stacy told me that she has made a lot of changes to her class for digital scrapbookers this year as well. I will be sitting in on the class as an alumni this year and am really excited to see these changes! Registration for this class ends on January 25th (or when the class fills up, whichever happens first). Here is how Stacy describes her class:

I used to ask the question: are you caught up? I don’t believe that is the most important concern anymore. More important than your productivity is your passion. Yes, Library of Memories is about organizing printed pictures and digital images. Yes, Library of Memories is about letting go of unrealistic expectations and unnecessary rules. Yes, Library of Memories teaches a wonderfully satisfying approach to meaningful pages and projects. Best of all, Library of Memories teaches you how to connect to your past and value your present—it is about you finding and sustaining your personal inspiration in what is the coolest hobby on the planet.

If you think you might have too many self-imposed rules around scrapbooking, I encourage you to take this class! (after all, it was these self-imposed rules that led to me STOP taking photos for almost the first year of my sons life because I knew I would have to scrapbook them and I couldn’t handle that pressure If there were no photos, I wasn’t behind!…..biggest regret!) The most important thing to do in scrapbooking is to get those memories down before we forget…no matter how…or in what order we do it!

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P.S. Today’s GIFTaway winner is Kendall who said: “I LOOOOVE all Traci’s stuff! She is seriously amazingly talented. Out of all her kits (that I don’t already own! lol), I’d have to say my favorite is “10 Things.” I just love the color pallete and the thought behind the kit. It makes me so happy!”

Congratulations Kendall, you won a $10 GC to Traci’s Store! THANKS so much to everyone for taking time to comment, we all appreciate it! 🙂

In the Designer’s Studio with Traci Reed

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I am so excited to have Traci here with us this month! Traci is another designer that has been around for as long as I can remember AND also got her start at ScrapbookBytes. Traci has a great style and I LOVE how well she does bright and bold colors!

Here’s a closer look at Traci’s contribution to THE DIGI FILES:

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You get this awesome kit PLUS 6 other kits for ONLY $5!! Amazing! It’s a great way to try some new-to-you designers (not to mention pick some kits from those designers you love at an incredible price)! You can see everything that has been revealed so far on our awesome designers page.

Here’s what our team created with this kit:

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Layout by NeeNee (this layout is included in TDF11 as a layered template), supplies: Traci Reed – Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong (TDF #11); Font – DJB_Leoni by Darcy Baldwin (TDF#11)

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Layout by Karen, additional supplies: Darcy Baldwin and Lauren Grier Jacked Up Kinda Love font

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Layout by Jacki, additional supplies: Font is xoxo Peas by Karen.

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Layout by Katie, additional supplies: template by Sine at Scrap Orchard. Font is Heather E. by Darcy Baldwin.

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Layout by Ana, additional supplies: Font: Segoe Script

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Hi! I’m Traci Reed, I’m a 25 year old designing mama from Northern California! My husband is Patrick and my two sons are Karsten (5) and Josiah (4). I’ve been designing for 5 full years now and I’m also ‘this close’ to done with my degree in Graphic Illustration. When I’m not working, going to school, or carting the kids all over town, I love to knit, clean (loll!) and cook!

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Traci’s Team Blog

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1FromTheDesignersCanvas

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Credits: Kit is 1Up by Traci Reed, Miss Betty Alpha by Fee Jardine, Modified Template by Shrri at SSD

2DesignerTips&Tricks

When designing, I find it easiest to always start with your striped paper first. This way you can see how all the colors work together and you can modify and tweak them before you get too far in.

When scrapping with “acrylic” elements, set your shadow to “color burn” in photoshop so you can still shadow the acrylic but you don’t get that yucky dark shadow mucking up the element.

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I first started scrapping when I was 9 (yes really!) and I still have those scrapbooks too! I scrapbooked all the way through school and highvSschool and those are some of my most treasured books! After I had my first son I saw a digital scrapping magazine and was instantly a digital-only scrapbooker. I used photoshop for years before then and it was a natural fit. In November of 2004, I made a kit for a challenge I was helping to host at Scrapbook Bytes and went designer shortly thereafter.

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Color, color, color and more color! I just LOVE color. I scrap with a ton of color, wear a ton of color and surround myself with pretty and colorful things. Lately I’m loving vintage and unique looking stuff and I just stare for hours.

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Computer – MAC baby! I went Mac in October and I’ll never ever go back. I’m in love!!

Programs – I use the CS4 suite to design and ACDSee to organize.

Camera – Canon Rebel, but I hope to upgrade soon. I’m also thinking about a Nikon Touchscreen Coolpix for a purse camera.

I also have a tablet but I have a hard time with it. It’s not my preferred method of illustrating.

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Hmmm, I love them all…like little babies! I LOVE the kit I did for the Digi Files, Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong but after that it would have to be A Lot Like Love which I did for my Hubby and I’s 5 year anniversary.

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My Bad Sewing Machine line of products is my best selling line, specifically Don’t Be A Square 2. My best selling kit is Kissable.

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Here are some of my favorite products by Traci:

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Here’s some inspiration with Traci’s goodies:

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Layout by Jacki, supplies: This one uses Stealing Prince Charming and bubbles are from kit Fish Story. Cookie template from SSD.

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Layout by Melissa, supplies: Alot Like Love, Cindy Schneider template, Gina Miller Sweater Weather ric rac.

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Layout by Ana, supplies: Scrumptious and Bad Sewing Machine 17

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Layout by NeeNee, supplies: Font is Angel Baby by Darcy Baldwin.

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Layout by Katie, supplies: Traci’s East Meets West kit.

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Thanks so much Traci for being with us this month and sharing your talents!! 🙂

To show our readers her appreciation, Traci has this coupon for all of us 🙂 THANKS Traci!:

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Go have a look in Traci’s Store at and come back and tell her what you like, tomorrow’s GIFTaway will be randomly selected from those comments that are posted by midnight EST (must include a product name to qualify)! :)

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P.S. Today’s GIFTaway winner is Michelle D who was chosen from those that have purchased THE DIGI FILES so far this month. She won a $10 GC to Traci Reed’s store! 🙂 THANKS to Michelle and all of those reader’s who support The Daily Digi by purchasing the files! 🙂

For The Love Of Haiti

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All of us have been effected by the devastation we have seen in Haiti. The families ripped apart, the death, the missing…it is truly heart-breaking! It is hard to know what to do and it’s difficult to think that our little bit we might do, would really make a difference. The truth is that doing SOMETHING, no matter how big or small, is so much better than doing nothing! A dollar doesn’t seem like much, but a dollar donated by each of my readers CAN make a difference!!

So, let’s do something for THE LOVE OF HAITI…

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I teamed up with Cindy from Skip To My Lou to make some very cute Valentine cupcake wrappers and toppers. Just email me telling me that you donated to a charity of your choice for Haiti and I will send you a link to the goodies (there are 7 papers – 4 patterened and 3 solids, 1 cupcake wrapper template, 1 cupcake topper template, 2 printable cupcake wrapper pdfs, and 1 printable cupcake topper pdf.) No contribution is too small!! Together we can make a difference!

If you need ideas of great charities, the BBB has a list of charities that meet the Wise Giving Alliance’s Standards for Charity Accountability.

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P.S. If you would like a recipe for those cupcakes, check out Cindy’s post on Haiti.

P.S.S Our winner in today’s GIFTaway is Lor who won a $10 GC to Something Blue Studios! Lor was randomly selected from those that have purchased The Digi Files this month.

Party It Up Digital Scrapbooking Style!

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Celebrate doodle by Stephanie2, Paper from Reach the Stars by Stephanie2, Fontologie Giggles font. All at The Daily Digi store.

Since January is our birthday month, we thought it would be fun to share with you some ideas for using your digital supplies in your birthday party planning. First, every great party needs an invitation…

It is so easy to make a digital invitation to go with the party theme of your choice. You might even want to consider some ready made templates to save time.

TEMPLATES: Invite Me

Remember the post on digital greeting cards the other day? Several of our readers asked for help with finding greeting card templates (which would also work perfectly for invitations!) These would make wonderful thank you cards as well.

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Brag book templates also work wonderfully for making cards, thank you notes, and invitations!

Several of our readers also asked for some advice on printing cards. I (Katie) rarely print at home except for cards. They are an easy project to print yourself and in small batches they don’t use up too much ink. I simply size my front card image at 5.50 inches wide and 4.25 inches tall (for landscape orientation) or the opposite for portrait orientation (5.50 inches tall by 4.25 inches wide). Then I can fit 2 full cards on a standard size piece of paper to print.

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see previous post for card credits

You can also fill the entire page with 4 images to print and then trim the images and mount them on pre-made blank cards, or your own folded cardstock cards. Another great way to do this is to simply print the images as photos (I use Costco for this) and then adhere them to cards.

When I print my own cards I have always used white cardstock, but Steph shared her secret weapon when it comes to printing: “I always use HP premium presentation paper. The colors turn out great, the images look really good, and I have found if I let it dry completely, I can even Mod Podge it without it running.”

The great thing about designing party invitations digitally is that you can either print them out, or you can send them electronically in emails to the people you are inviting!

Of course the invitation is only the beginning. Look at all the fun things you can do with digital scrapbooking supplies to make the most amazing party ever!

If you want to minimize your work load, there are some wonderful party kits available that have everything in them you might need from invitations to party decor and favor ideas. The nice thing is that you can print as many as you need, whenever you need them!

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or you can completely customize your own party using any digital scrapbooking kit(s) that fit your theme and some hybrid helpers like these:

Create your own party hats

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Print out a special party banner

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Make your own cupcake wrappers with this free download from The Daily Digi and Skip to My Lou. You can fill them with any type of digital paper to customize them for your party!

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Create customized party favor bags

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There are plenty of fun projects to make your party special in this pack. The water bottles would be fun for a spa party!

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You can even create the entertainment using your digital scrapbooking supplies!

It would be a blast to make a memory matching game to play at the party. This isn’t only for little kids, I recently went to a 40 year old’s birthday party where his wife arranged a photo matching game that told stories about the birthday “boy” – it was so much fun!

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How about making your very own Bingo game for some entertainment? Bingo is fun for all ages and a great party game!

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There are a lot of advantages to using digital techniques and supplies for your party planning. You can control the number of hats you make, or invitations you print. Even with printing costs, you will find that this is a very economical way to make a party festive and fun (and you can reuse templates over and over in the coming years!) My favorite reason is the creativity of being able to turn any theme into a fabulous party!

For my daughter’s 13th birthday we threw her an outdoor camping theme party. I created everything we needed for the party using digital scrapbooking materials. If you want to see how it turned out you can read my personal blog post here.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and have your parties go digital! I hope these ideas are helpful, have fun planning your next big event!

katie

P.S. Today’s GIFTaway goes to Diana who was randomly selected form those that have purchased THE DIGI FILES so far this month. THANKS to Diana and all of our readers who are showing your support by purchasing the files (and getting some really GREAT scrapping supplies too 😉 ). Diana won a $10 GC to Sweet Shoppe Designs who have over 3 dozen new products on sale today for 20% off.

What You’ve Been Wondering – Answered

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There were lots and lots of questions posted in the “What You’ve Been Wondering” post that I did at the beginning of the year.  I am going to do my best to answer them 🙂 If you really aren’t interested in me, my feelings aren’t hurt, feel free to skim or skip to the bottom where I have posted some fun finds from Twitter this week. 🙂

Many of the questions that were asked can be answered in the “about me” section of the site, that was just put up about a week ago or so (including a photo 😉 ).  Things such as:

  • how long I’ve been scrapbooking
  • how I found digital scrapbooking
  • which Steph I am (yes, I am the same Steph that is on the team…lol)
  • if I have kids
  • what I like to do when I am not digital scrapbooking
  • my goals for the site
  • what my digital background is and where else you might have seen me (or my work).

You can also read more about me on my artist’s page.  Some of the things that you will find there are:

  • my favorite layout
  • who my scrapping idols are
  • what I can’t scrap without

You can find out information about my fonts, the 10 things I love and 10 things that bug me in the Fontologie Sponsor Spotilight.

Now, for some of YOUR other questions…

What did you like to do as a teen and do you enjoy traveling?

Growing up, my parents tried to give us experiences instead of things. It was not uncommon for us to get a trip for Christmas instead of toys.  We were fortunate because of my dad’s job, we got to do a lot of traveling for very low cost or free.  So, as a teenager I really enjoyed traveling and hanging out with my friends.  I have lot of really great memories of both.  I am still in touch with some of my friends from my childhood/teen years and enjoy seeing them when I go back home for a visit (I have to give a shout out here to Julie who reads TDD everyday 🙂 THANKS).  Those two things also helped lead me to scrapbooking at a pretty young age (I have many magnetic albums full of friends and trips…lol).

As a result of my traveling experiences growing up, it is something that I LOVE to do now with my family.  My husband is the king of finding really great travel deals (although Janet did beat him recently…lol…but, her area IS cheaper than the U.S. 😉 ).  I am willing to go just about anywhere just about anytime!!  I love seeing my kids experience new things and places.  There are many, many things in this world I would go without before I would give up those memories we create together on trips!  I know when my siblings get together now, as adults, we usually always end up talking about one of the trips and the fun memories we have!  I want that for my kids.

Colors…

There were a couple questions about colors.  My favorite color in general is PINK…has been for as long as I can remember.  As for what colors I like to work with, usually bright colors.  I love more saturated colors and have a more difficult time with pastels.  Some layouts need pastels, but for some reason, I usually struggle with them.

Snacks…

There were a couple of questions about what snacks I enjoy when I scrap.  Those that have scrapped with me know that I LOVE my chocolate covered raisins!  As for sweet or salty…love both! 🙂

I get a little jealous of the yummy snack food the Canadians have that we can’t get in the U.S. (they have much better chocolate, but we did finally get lime potato chips here…only took 4 years…lol).

Time…and my one little word

There were a couple of questions on this, “I was wondering is how you manage to find so much to post daily and still design, and keep things so fresh and interesting?”

First, thanks for to compliment!! 🙂 Designing has really taken a back seat for me since I started running TDD, because I can’t do it all, even though I LOVE it all…lol.

Finding things to post about comes from a variety of places, your questions and ideas, the reader survey, our team, things I see, things I wonder myself, and Katie and I brainstorm on stuff as well.  It’s really great because there are far more ideas for posts than there are days to post…lol!!

another similiar question,  “Do you have a daily schedule? Do you scrap at the same time every day? Do you cook more or get take out? Do you have a cleaning lady? I’m struggling to get everything done in a day…so I’d like to hear how you run things to be soooo efficient! Hee Hee!”

Well, my one little word for 2010 is ROUTINE…lol!! I’m just not very good at having routines, but as I have talked to friends that have very clean homes, they tell me about their routines.  My goal this year is to get better at having morning routines, nightly routines, and routines in general…lol.

I do not have a cleaning lady.  I have a daughter that is a huge help and so is my husband!  I did a post a while back on a couple of tools that help me, Once a Month Mom and Motivated Moms. I just did a big cooking session last Saturday and cooked for 6 hours straight and had 26 dinners in the freezer when I was done!  Now, instead of an hour or two each night on dinner, I spend a few minutes 🙂

The thing I keep telling myself is that balance does not mean doing everything perfectly!  I can’t do it ALL and do it all perfectly!  I just try to focus most of my attention on the most important things.

What do you struggle with now or what did you struggle with the most when you first started scrapping?

When I first started digital scrapbooking, I can remember being frustrated that I didn’t know how to do whatever it was I wanted to do.  Now, there are so many tutorials online, that it’s a simple Google search away.

Now, my biggest struggle is making time to scrap all of the layouts I want to get scrapped.  It’s all about priorities!  I love that doing posts on TDD makes me make time to scrap! 🙂

What TDD blog post of the week do you enjoy doing most?

Honestly, there isn’t one that I don’t love!  I love learning about all of the sponsors and working with them, so many talented and NICE people!!  I love seeing all of you discover them as well.  I love sharing a tutorial or process and having someone say that they learned from it.  It has been exciting to do some un-digi posts and have you guys say that they are changing you…wonderful!   I am really, really LOVING all of the feedback we are getting from comments this month and might start going through withdrawls when the birthday party is over…lol!!

Lastly,

What makes you happy?

Well, all of the things that are listed above…and then some.

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Okay….I am SICK of talking about me!!!!

Let’s end this post with some fun stuff we found on Twitter and digiland this week:

I love this album:

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Paislee Press announced a very cool new photography workshop on Friday’s

Misty Cato has this great tutorial on threading elements.

Yin has some free templates up.

I love the mission behind Songbird Avenue and LOVE this charity idea on their blog.  Love these cards too:

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Love these:

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Love these too:

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P.S. Our winner for today’s GIFTaway is Bobbie, who said, “Love it, and just had to buy it.. TDF#11, i could not resist.. I REALLY really want that Adorned kit..” Congratulations Bobbie!  You just won a $10 GC to Paislee Press! 🙂 THANKS!

In The Designer’s Studio with Liz of Paislee Press

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I am thrilled to have Liz of Paislee Press here with us this month! I had seen Liz’s work and fallen in love with it, but was having a difficult time finding her email address to invite her to contribute to THE DIGI FILES until she emailed me 🙂 I have really enjoyed getting to know Liz over the past few months and she is just as sweet as she is talented!

Here’s a closer look at Liz’s contribution to TDF11:

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You get this BEAUTIFUL kit and collections from six other fabulous designers all for ONLY $5!! PLUS, this month you have a chance to win several awesome prizes just for purchasing The Files! You can see everything that has been revealed so far in The Digi Files this month by clicking on our Amazing Sponsors at the top of this page.

Now, for a look at what our team created with this kit:

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Layout by Katie, this is a layered quick page that is included in THE DIGI FILES 11.

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Layout by Karen, this is a layered quick page that is included in The Digi Files 11

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Layout by Melissa, this is a layered quick page included in The Digi Files 11

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Layout by Amy Wolff

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Layout by Katie

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InTheStudioWithLIZ copy I currently reside in Los Angeles with my husband Eric and daughters, Audrey and Madeline. When I’m not designing, I usually like to keep busy by daydreaming about our next vacation to Hawaii, listening to Jack Johnson songs, drinking coffee and browsing Anthropologie catalogs.

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1FromTheDesignersCanvas Here’s a layouts by Liz:

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2DesignerTips&Tricks

Scrapbooking…

Start with a photo and a white background and build your layout from there. Treat your text/journaling as a design element. Have fun with your type but try not to go overboard with too many different fonts (keep it to no more than 3 different fonts). When you’re in a rut, toss all of your design rules out the window, deconstruct, play and have fun!

Photoshop…

When I’m dragging an element or paper onto my layout, I always hold own the shift button because it automatically “centers” it to the layout.

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I am most definitely a scrapbooker first. I made my first scrapbook album in high school using one of those non-archival magnetic photo albums. I didn’t pick up scrapbooking again until 2004. At the time I wanted to put together an album of a recent hawaii trip so I bought a 12×12 post bound album, stumbled upon an online scrapbooking community while I was browsing for inspiration, and from the moment I posted my first layout online, this hobby immediately took on a life of its own. I’ve always loved crafty things. But it was the social aspect of scrapbooking – being able to connect with others that shared my passion for creating, being able to instantly share a project and get feedback on it – that motivated me to create on a daily basis. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the support and encouragement I’ve gotten over the years from my online crafting buddies, many of whom I’ve grown very close to and are now a very integral part of my life.

I started digital scrapbooking in 2006. I was traveling a lot that year and scrapbooking digitally allowed me to make layouts while I was on the go and didn’t have access to my paper supplies. I never thought that I would end up going 100% digital, but here I am now!

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Virtually everything around me. My daughters, the color of a new cardigan, the texture of the wood fencing in our backyard, a funny conversation, a poignant moment, even the smell of coffee.

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A macbook pro 15″, 2.93 GHz, 4 GB; photoshop CS3 + illustrator CS3 + lightroom 2; Nikon D300; wacom tablet.

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This is a tough one! One of my faves is still the defined album

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viewfinder frames no. 2 + presslines No. 7 (laughter)

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Here are some of my favorite products from Paislee Press:

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And some beautiful layouts created with Paislee Press products:

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Layout by NeeNee, additional supplies: Once (TDF 11), Adorned, Press Plate No 27 and Presslines No 14: Daily Sentiments all by Paislee Press. Alpha: Autumn Spice by Penny Springmann.

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Layout by Rachael, supplies: Press Plate #3 and Photogenic Kit by Paislee Press

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Layout by Karen, supplies: Photogenic and FizzyPop template (Catscrap)

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Layout by Dunia, supplies: Press Plate No. 12, Date Me No. 3, Press Lines No. 7 by Paislee Press

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Layout by Melissa: Paislee Press/Amy Martin Midwinter’s Flight collab kit and template

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Liz, THANKS so much for being with us this month at The Daily Digi! We appreciate you and your many, many talents, thanks for sharing! 🙂

Go have a look in Liz’s Store, Paislee Press, at Oscraps and come back and tell her what you like, tomorrow’s GIFTaway will be randomly selected from those comments that are posted by midnight EST (must include a product name to qualify)! :)

As a THANK YOU to our readers Liz has this coupon:

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Be sure to check out the FREE goodies in her store too! 😉

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P.S. Congratulations to Diane who is our random winner in our daily GIFTaways. She was randomly chosen from those that have purchased THE DIGI FILES so far this month! Thanks to Diane and all of those who support THE DAILY DIGI by purchasing the files, we appreciate it!!

Birthday Cards from Digital Scrapbooking Supplies

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Birthday magic word art and kit by Kitty Designs

Why go out buy a birthday card when you have all the ingredients to make a customized card in minutes? If you are a digital scrapbooker, you most likely have kits, fonts, alphas, and even templates that can easily be used to create memorable birthday greetings to send by mail or on the web.

Digital kits can be reused over and over. This is great for layouts (read Janet’s great post on reusing kits here), but you can also extend the life of these same kits by finding other projects for them such as cards and gift tags.

Birthday kits can be use in a variety of ways to create one of a kind cards to print or share online. I (Katie) love this Little Mr. Big Man kit from Traci Reed because it has so many fun and bright birthday theme elements.

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I know I can come up with several cards from the designs in this kit. Here’s one I created for my sweet nephew.

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Additional supplies: card template by Bree Clarkson , font is Christy by Darcy Baldwin at Sweet Shoppe Designs

Another favorite birthday kit that I have used several times is Occasions by Shabby Princess.

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I love to personalize a card by including a picture of the recipient in the design. It doesn’t have to be a recent picture, this is the perfect excuse to dig out some baby or youthful photos to use.

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This Birthday Magic kit by Kitty Designs will also provide plenty of designs to use on special cards.

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Of course you don’t have to limit yourself to using birthday theme kits, any kit can make a great card! The Embrace kit by Paislee Press and Fei Fei’s Stuff is perfect for elegant card designs. Feel free to use (and reuse) any kit that you want to to make your own special creations for friends and family.

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If you print out your card creation, be sure to sign and date the card on the back for an extra special touch!

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P.S. Our GIFTaway for today goes to Carey who was randomly selected from our registered customers in the store and won a $10 Gift Certificate to Traci Reed’s store. CONGRATULATIONS CAREY!!

Remember to look through our Birthday post to see all of the ways you can win. There will be LOTS of good stuff given away at the end of the month to some random winners from those that purchased THE DIGI FILES this month!! 🙂 steph-sig.gif

Digital Scrapbooking Ergonomics

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Digital scrapbooking has so many perks and advantages to enjoy, especially in the areas of space-saving benefits and great portability. The extended use of a computer can cause some ergonomic issues however; specifically stresses and strains on the back, the neck area, arms, and wrists. Even legs and feet can suffer if you sit for too long. Anyone who uses a computer will benefit from following a few tips to stay healthy, and digital scrapbookers will find their creating time to be much more productive and enjoyable if they are careful to work in an ergonomic environment.

What is the right way to work at a computer? This is not an easy question to answer as it may be different for everyone. I (Katie) have learned through a lot of trial and error that certain chairs, tables, and sitting positions can easily wreak havoc on my body and end up causing me a great deal of pain. I have a few tricks that I have learned as well as some great links to share with you to help you feel healthier and happier while you are working on your computer:

  • Screen level – Pay attention to your posture. If you are slumped over, or straining in any way, your body will pay the price for it. I was so excited to get a laptop computer, but I soon found that I was hunching over to see the screen. One of the big advantages of a desktop monitor is that you can adjust the screen height to be closer to level with your eyes. I found that using a laptop stand for a good portion of my computer time has helped ease my neck strain. The laptop stand is something I picked up at Costco, but I know you can find them at just about any office store. This does cut down on my portability, but I can also lift my laptop out at any time and move to another location.The ideal setting for a screen is within your line of vision (and slightly tipped back is even better). See this link at office-ergo.com for a full range of tips like this one.

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  • Mouse & Keyboard – My laptop stand also came with an extra wireless keyboard. With as much typing as I do, this comes in very handy for me. I wouldn’t be able to type on the laptop while it was on the stand. Our family desktop computer has a cushioned and curved keyboard which is even more comfortable for lengthy typing sessions (once you get used to it). The biggest key to comfort when using a mouse or a keyboard is having adequate wrist support. Your wrist should be straight and not feel strain when you are working. Some people find that a wrist rest cushion really helps. I actually have to wear a brace to keep my wrist from hurting. I injured my wrist by tearing about 400 fabric strips for a church project and it has never been the same since. If I wear my brace though, I don’t have any problems.

One of the most frequent complaints from digital scrapbookers is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This can get very serious and require an extended break from the computer (gasp!) and even surgery (double gasp!) so this is something to take seriously. Women are much more likely to suffer from Carpal Tunnel. After browsing through some online forums, I found some innovative computer mouse designs meant to help with Carpal Tunnel symptoms. Logitech has a Track-Man wheel mouse and Evoluent specializes in ergonomic equipment. Many digital scrapbookers swear by the pen and tablet system over using a mouse so that might be a good option to explore as well.

  • The right chair – I have tried several different chairs over the years and I found one at Office Max a few years ago on clearance that seems to give me the right amount of cushioning and back support. It is not an expensive chair, but it works for me. I can’t work sitting at our dining room table because the chairs don’t have arms and the table height is uncomfortable. The very worst position for me is sitting at a high counter or bar. When my legs are not resting on the ground, I end up with a lot of knee pain. My back also suffers in high chairs. I need to have back support so a stool would not work for me. I would encourage you to pay attention to your own body’s signals when determining what chair and table combination works for you. The chair doesn’t have to cost a lot, but you usually will do better if you invest in a nicer chair instead of using a folding chair. If money is not an object, you might want to check out Herman Miller. They are supposed to be the most amazingly comfortable work chairs!
  • What about the couch? If you are like me, you want to move around a bit. One of the best things about having a laptop is that I can sit and watch tv with my kids or hubby and edit photos. The best thing to pay attention to is making sure your back and arms are supported. Prop up a few pillows on each side of yourself to create some arm rests. Make sure your back feels comfortable and supported. You might want to consider using a portable lap table to keep the heat from the laptop away from your legs. I still use a cordless mouse wherever I sit because the touchpad causes me wrist and finger pain.
  • Take breaks – Medical experts agree that the best thing you can do to avoid repetitive stress injuries is to be cautious about not overdoing it. Our bodies are not built to do only a few movements over and over. Variety in movement, and taking regular breaks will extend the life of your muscles and joints.

Each person will find that they have different needs so be sure to pay attention to what works for you. I also asked some of our team members if they had any advice on this topic and here is what they said:

Jacki Oh, dear, I need to do better at this. I do have a really good office chair that swivels so I can lean forward and backward as needed and my screen is big so I don’t have to be quite so close to the computer. I rest my feet on a box so they don’t swell up (I don’t have air conditioning and it gets really hot!). I also use a cordless mouse so I can move it around as I sit in different positions.

Steph – I have a bad back and my husband was convinced it was caused by me sitting on my couch (I sit in the recliner part, with my feet up…lol). The Physical Therapist said that sitting in the recliner would actually be better for my back than sitting hunched over at a table or desk. I have since found this to be true, sitting with my feet up relieves a lot of the pressure on my back.

Janet – I found that changing the height of my chair made a huge difference. My mouse arm was getting really sore and once I raised my chair so that my arm goes with gravity — so that it is above the desk rather than at the same height, I feel much better.
I know a lot of people choose to use a tablet…I could never really get into them. I should though…maybe I wouldn’t have a callous on my hand where my hand hits my desk Cheesy

For some wonderful resources on how to create an ergonomic work space, be sure to check out the following links:

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P.S. Kelly is our winner in today’s GIFTaway. She was randomly chosen from the comments left in yesterday’s post about Michelle’s products, here’s what she said: “I’m a long time Michelle fan too! I have to agree with everyone that the Vintage Holiday Memories kit would be my first choice but right behind that would be the Trendy kit. I really enjoyed the sample layouts using Michelle’s kit too! Thanks again you guys!”

Thanks Kelly and thanks to everyone who is taking time to submit comments, we read them all and truly appreciate it!! 🙂