In The Designer’s Studio With Kitschy Digitals by Danielle Thompson


I am really excited to welcome the fabulous Danielle Thompson of Kitschy Digitals with us in THE DIGI FILES this month. Danielle has a signature retro style that is easily recognized in layouts and she is quite a fun girl too. Here’s a closer look at Danielle’s contribution to THE DIGI FILES:


This is ONE of the SEVEN contributions (six kits and one template set) that you get in THE DIGI FILES 17!! It really is the best deal in digi! What a great way for you to get some high-qualtiy digi supplies by designers you love as well as designers that are new-to-you! You get to try them out at a very low risk! It’s also a great way to support THE DAILY DIGI and all we do! It will is a win-win! Here are some layouts created using Granny’s Attic:

Layout by Karen, additional supplies: Additional Crredits: Polly & Rufus alpha; My Four Hens photo action.
Layout by Anna Backstrom
Layout by Anna Backstrom
by Marie Lottermoser
Hybrid Projects by Sunghee: Bag template, Almost Square Bag by Sunghee. I simply cut a lot of elements from the kit in different sizes and layered it with 3-d foam adhesive.



Hi! My name is Danielle Thompson and I live in Atlanta, Georgia. I am married to Ethan and am “Mommy” to two little boys, Cooper and Campbell. I’ve been a graphic designer for 12 years and just recently quit my part-time graphic design job so that I can focus solely on my digital design (which is super exciting!). I love that I can design at home while the boys are at school, but I’m able to be there for them when they’re not. I feel like I have the best of both worlds and I feel very blessed for it. Aside from designing, I am interested in so many things (is there such thing as too many hobbies?) such as: interior decorating, crochet, photography, Blythe dolls, blogging and I just recently took my first quilt-making class (something I’ve been wanting to learn for ages!). I just love crafting in general. I’m always making things. My design style always centers around my love of vintage, color and pattern.










My designer tip is that some elements look much better photographed than scanned, especially very three-dimensional elements. If you have a good camera already, you should be using it for your designing as well! And even if you aren’t a designer, you can use your camera to photograph elements for your own scrapbook pages. I’ve found that only really flat elements look good scanned, like old photos, flat ribbon, etc. But anything with even the slightest thickness looks better photographed. I find that you get more natural looking lighting. Scanners tend to give three-dimensional elements not-so-flattering lighting and shadows. (This is just my experience.)

I use a Canon 30d and I always use my 50mm prime lens when photographing elements for my kits. This way you don’t get any distortion (like when you use wider lenses). Also, prime lenses yield a much sharper image (in my experience). I usually put the object on top of a white background on a flat surface, usually the ground (depending on how large your object is you could use plain white printer paper, or if it’s too big for that, white photography backdrop paper.) I usually experiment with different light, but most often the lighting looks best when the object is placed in a shady area, or any area will do if the sky is overcast.

Some items that are very thick, putting them in direct sun sometimes yields a better result (since the sun is coming from overhead and straight on, there aren’t as many cast shadows within the object). The key is to just experiment. Take photos of your object in different lighting and then see what you like best when you pull them up on your computer screen. For extracting, I do it the way I’ve been doing it for 12 years: manually drawing a path around my object with the pen tool. I also use the Quick Mask Mode and a small brush to select the area I’m extracting. Extracting can be very time consuming, but it’s totally worth it when you have a beautiful and meticulously extracted image. Find whatever works best for you!


I first started scrapbooking in 2003 when my first son was born. I was a paper scrapper and I totally fell in love with it. I picked up a scrapbooking magazine, and then I was truly hooked. I got bit by the publishing bug and my scrapbooking took a more serious and professional turn when I started creating artwork for various publications and books. By the time I got pregnant with my second son in 2006, I was truly burned out and wasn’t enjoying it so much anymore. I wasn’t really documenting my family’s life, and even the “creating” part wasn’t fun anymore because I was having to force it for assignments. And I knew I couldn’t keep up that schedule anymore with a baby on the way (um, it used to take me like 5 hours on average to complete one layout! Just not practical!) I would also say that the clutter, expense and waste of paper scrapping really turned me off after a while and I just totally and completely stopped doing it, and haven’t created a paper scrapbook page since.

Getting into digital designing was really a fluke for me. A person in the scrapbooking industry that I had worked with previously approached me to design digital scrapbooking supplies for a new store that she was going to be a part of. It never really occurred to be that this is something I would want to do, but I was like “why not!”, so I did. We soon realized that my style wasn’t really a good fit for their brand, so I went out on my own. I started selling my first kits on my blog in 2008 and within a month Two Peas in a Bucket asked me to design for their store. It was a great way to get my feet wet and get more exposure. After a good while designing there, I decided that I wanted to go out on my own (again) and was selling from my blog again. Then after a good while doing that, I was asked by Jessica Sprague to design for her store! And it was an offer I couldn’t refuse for so many reasons. I LOVE having a “home” there. She and her team are absolutely delightful to work with. So I guess I owe the person that put the thought into my head about designing, a huge debt of gratitude. I’m doing something I never thought I would and I’m truly enjoying it! I’m growing as an artist and a designer through digital scrapbook design.

As far as scrapbooking goes, it was only natural that I started doing some digital scrapbooking. I don’t do it regularly just because I don’t have a lot of free time, but I’m a huge advocate of it and wish I could do more. I LOVE that is faster, less costly, reusable, less wasteful than paper scrapbooking. I could probably come up with even more reasons why it’s a better alternative for ME at least. I still love paper arts, don’t get me wrong. I love tangible crafting. But as far as scrapbooking goes, I’m a total digital convert. It just fits my busy lifestyle better.


Color & pattern


I have a Dell, running Windows Vista with 4 gig ram. I use Photoshop and Illustrator. My camera is a Canon 30d, 50mm lens, 28mm lens. I do not use a tablet yet (I know! Crazy!), but this is something I really want to learn. I actually have one that has sat in my drawer for probably 3 or more years. I’m so old school when it comes to designing, which still works, but I need to learn some new tricks!


This Digi Files kit!



Here are some of my favorite products by Danielle





Here’s some inspirational layouts using Danielle’s products. All of the layouts are linked to the originals with credits.


Layout by Karen, supplies: Kitschy Digitals Vintage Stacked Flowers, Washi Taped Frames, Granny’s Attic paper (from TDF17); Amy Hutchinson paper (from TDF17); Fizzy Pop Designs Sidekicks No. 15 template; Michelle Filo Retro alpha; Fonts are Marketing Script, Traveling Typewriter and Pea Darlin’Debclip_image001_thumb7

Go have a look in Danielle’s Store here and here and come back and tell her what you like, we will randomly select a winner from those comments to win $10 in product from her store! (Comments must be posted before midnight EST and must include a product name to qualify)!


As a thank you to our readers, Danielle has created this coupons good at Jessica Sprague and 2peas:

20%offDDReadersCode at 2peas is: DailyDigi20