IN THE DESIGNER’S STUDIO WITH AUDREY NEAL

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I am excited to welcome Audrey of Audacious Designs back to THE DIGI FILES this month!!  Audrey was one of the very first contributing designers in THE DIGI FILES #1!  I absolutely love Audreys use of color in her kits and can’t wait to show you what our team did with her contribution this month!  Here’s a closer look at what she contributed to THE DIGI FILES this month:

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Here’s what our team created using this kit:

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Layout by Karen, additional supplies: Janet Phillips Collection 49 template; Font is Steinem
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Layout by Katie, additional supplies: Template No. 39 by Ali Edwards, Krafty bare paper by Katie Pertiet, DJB Tracy Script font.
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Hybrid layout by Sunghee
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Layout by SharonS (a reader), additional supplies: brush: R. Young, font: SF Katie.  Sharon made this layout to go inside her purse that displays layouts.  She decided it was ‘perfectly find to scrap my boys in pink when it’s for my purse’.  I love it!
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Layout by Sharongrey8 (a reader)

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Hi! My name is Audrey Neal. I currently design digital scrapbooking products under the name Audacious Designs at Design House Digital. Over the past six years, my articles and designs have been featured in numerous idea books and magazines, such as Scrapbook Trends, BH&G Scrapbooks Etc., Memory Makers, and Scrapbook Answers. As a writer, my work includes monthly columns with Memory Makers, Scrapbook Dimensions, and Scrapbook and Cards Today, as well as editorial positions with Digital Artist Magazine and Scrapbook Dimensions. Along with co-author May Flaum, I wrote a book about hybrid scrapbooking called Paper + Pixels, which features step-by-step techniques for beginning, intermediate, and advanced scrapbookers. I’ve also released two paper lines with Dream Street Papers and two stamp sets with Inque Boutique.
I live in western Kentucky with my husband, Chris, and two daughters, Cassidy and Cami. A former middle and high school English teacher, I currently work fulltime for a federal education grant at a local state university. When I’m not designing or scrapbooking, I love to read, take photos, travel, camp, scour flea markets and thrift stores, and attend concerts.

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Credits: everything from Audacious Designs: Winterberry (patterned and solid papers, elements, word art); Sketchy Stamped Alpha; TTV Frames; Pieces of Me (elements: notebook paper and messy stitches)

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I started off as a paper scrapper. After I had my oldest daughter, I decided to create a small scrapbook album for her grandparents; we lived 6 hours from them and there were lots of everyday things that they never got a chance to see. So I gathered up some of my favorite photos of her and browsed the scrapbooking aisle at Wal-mart. This was back in 1997, so my options were fairly limited: brightly colored patterned papers, stickers, and a spiral-bound 6×6 album. It was nothing fancy, but it achieved my purpose. After completing that project, I didn’t scrap again until 2000 or so. I picked up a copy of Becky Higgins’ Scrapbooking Secrets book and decided to scrap our wedding photos. From that point on, I was hooked. I paper scrapped up until 2006. At that point, I was working with Scrapbook Answers magazine and had gotten a number of hybrid assignments, so I started playing around with some of the options that using my computer gave me. I co-authored a book on hybrid scrapbooking with May Flaum, titled Paper + Pixels, which really made me curious about moving further into the digital realm. Not long after that, I attempted my first digital layout. Slowly but surely (after once claiming that I’d never go digital), I started making the transition from paper to hybrid to fully digital.

Designing just seemed to grow naturally from that point, after I started really learning my program. I was just so excited about all the things I could do, and these ideas started forming in my mind. I started off making templates and handwritten word art, and then progressed to papers and elements.

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I love color and pattern and the way that those two things can combine to tell their own little story. A lot of my kit ideas come from little words or phrases that I hear, that spark an idea. Then it’s a matter of finding the right mix between colors, patterns, elements, and those words or phrases. Honestly, I’m not nearly as talented, artistic or program-proficient as a lot of other designers out there. But I work hard to put together kits that take a common theme and add a little bit of humor or whimsy, feature a great color scheme, and keep things simple so that your words and pictures can be the main focus.

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I scrap on an HP Pavilion dv2000 laptop with 3 GB of RAM. I also have a 500 GB EHD that we use for backup, and I have a Western Digital Passport EHD with 360 GB of storage that I use for storing my scrapbooking and design files – it’s perfect for the traveling I have to do because it is so small.

I use Photoshop CS (the original version) and PSE 5.0 for designing, as well as CorelDRAW. I know that I should upgrade at some point, but to be honest, there are so many other things that I’d rather spend the money on.

I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50, which is essentially a hybrid – it’s more than a point and shoot, but it’s not quite a dSLR. It does give me the option to shoot in RAW, and I can change lenses on it. It has been a great transitional camera for me, but I would love to upgrade to a true dSLR.

I have a Wacom Bamboo tablet, but my oldest daughter uses it much more than I do. I’m very much a creature of habit when it comes to the way I work, so even though I have some fancier tools and programs available to me, I stick to what I’m most comfortable with.

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My favorite product is probably my Chemistry collection (papers, flair, elements, word art, and grids).

It’s one of those instances where a color scheme and a phrase came together perfectly and melded into a really fun take on a love-themed kit.

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Here are some of my favorite products by Audrey

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

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Go have a look in Audrey’s Store 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)!

As a thank you to our readers, Audrey has created this coupon to share with all of us!

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Read a Book

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Once a week, we do an “Un-Digi” post  as a little break. It’s good for the “mojo” to step away from digi scrapping once in awhile and refresh ourselves creatively. Lately, I (Katie) have been longing to grab a book and head outside for some reading time. I earned a college degree in English Literature and during those long semesters of required reading, I always vowed to myself that someday I would read books just for the fun of reading. Mysteries, simple novels, magazines, and non-fiction books all appealed to me while I was buried in classic literature and Shakespeare.

Those years are well behind me now and I do still love to read. Sadly, I still don’t take the time to do a lot of reading just for the pleasure of it. These days I spend my time reading school related materials (I homeschool both of my children). I also use a lot of reading time researching digital scrapbooking and blog related topics. I have become a seeker of information, not a recreational reader. There’s nothing wrong with that because I enjoy what I read, but I also don’t want to miss out on the pure joy of getting swept away by a good book.

I want to read a book. A really good book, with no deadlines or pressure. Just page-turning fun. The kind that makes you want to lie in bed with a flashlight because you can’t wait to find out what happens next. I shared some of my most memorable books in the bullet journaling post a few weeks ago. Now I’d love to know what books YOU love to read! I bet plenty of other Daily Digi readers feel the same way. 🙂 Feel free to post about your favorite books in the comment section. Can’t wait to see all of your suggestions!

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Do You Believe in Evolution?

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I always get a tiny bit jealous when I hear people talking about their digiversary. My journey into digital scrapbooking was a long process that I can track back to my earliest days in scrapbooking.  Because of that I can’t pinpoint an exact date that it began.

I started scrapbooking when I was a teenager, putting my photos, memontos, and journaling in the yucky magnetic albums.  I learned how to scrapbook as we know it today in 1994 when the second scrapbook store in Utah opened two minutes from my house.  I thought I would share a bit of my journey with you…..don’t laugh!

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I created this layout in 1994 by arranging clipart from the DJ-Inkers CDs in PowerPoint, coloring it in by hand, using an exacto knife around the to images at the top to tuck my photo under.  I LOVED it!

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Sometimes, I printed on COLORED paper and cut those out (the anchor and title).

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In 1997, I upgraded to COLOR clipart and a COLOR printer.  Still using PowerPoint to arrange images, print and then add my photos.

image This was one of my very first all digital pages.  I made it in 2003 using Microsoft PictureIt and a CK Clips and Fonts CD (they were way ahead of their time, the products were great quality).

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I made this layout in 2004 when I switched to back to PowerPoint.  I had a hard time understanding the layers in PictureIt and couldn’t find any resources for help.  I understood PowerPoint and how I could create layouts with it (and my dad had bought me a magazine about crafting with your computer that had an article in it about scrapbooking with PowerPoint).  The supplies were again from the CK Clips N Fonts CDs.

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Later in 2004, I discovered Scrapbook Bytes by way of a special issue of Memory Makers Magazine all about computer scrapbooking.  I started using PaintShopPro and created 12×12 papers for all of my layouts I had done in PowerPoint.  I printed these layouts on my printer at home on 8.5×11 paper and trimmed them down to 8×8.

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That’s when I was able to learn about the power of photo editing programs and my life was never the same!  During May of 2004 and December 2004, I created 120 layouts and loved every minute of it!  What about you?  Do you have a digiversary or was it more of an evolution for you as well?

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Funtastic Friday

Hooray for Friday! I know that I (Katie) am ready for a weekend of sunshine, scrapbooking, and shopping (for digi supplies of course!) Here are some great “Funtastic Friday” finds to get the weekend started:

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I had the privilege of being a return guest on the Paperclipping Digi Show this week. We discussed blogging and how it can help you preserve your memories. Guess who else was on the show? Long time Daily Digi readers will be thrilled to hear from Janet Phillips! It was so fun to hear from her all the way from Indonesia! She, Steph, Izzy, and I all had a great time, and Izzy made us all laugh really hard at the end of the show! You will have to listen to find out why. 😉

Some of the posts we mentioned in the show and a few that relate to the topic:

FUNTASTIC FINDS:

After 5 Designs is having a month long summer block party! They have have games and challenges in their forums, and a photo contest with a $50 prize, along with a sale on all photo products. How fun!

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Free template to download!

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COLLAB: The Summer of Us album (with Tiffany Tillman)

I just love products that simplify the scrapping process. This looks like a great summer album project! Sale priced through this weekend.

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30% off sale on Dunia’s gorgeous kits! I love all her bright and cheery color schemes!

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Great sale and her prices are already really low! 🙂

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A fun and FREE alpha

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From Jennifer Fox and Design Girl – to celebrate making it to the halfway mark of Project 365 they have put this fun collab on sale for 20% off.

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This was JUST added to ksharonk’s store – what a great deal!

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Mari Koegelenberg has a bunch of products for 35% off in her store right now. These ribbons are some of my favorites!

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Liz Tamanaha (Paislee Press) is hosting a giveaway on her blog for these gorgeous templates from Kitty Designs. Today is the last day to enter!

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Fruit Stand (with SMJ)

I just LOVE this new collaborative kit from Shabby Miss Jenn and Kate Hadfield! It’s on sale for 20% this weekend. Available at The Lily Pad or at Shabby Miss Jenn’s Shoppe. I also love the matching fruit trinkets from SMJ. Fun!

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Scrapping with Liz and NeeNee Designs have a jam-packed summer grab bag. 8 brand new products for only $5! It’s available at that amazing price for one week only.

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Chelle is having a birthday celebration going on July 22 – 31st.

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Her new kits are 20% off.:  Celebrate! (brite) is at The Digi Chick

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and Celebrate! (bold) at Scrap Matters

Then on July 27th, everything in both store is 27% off.

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There are daily freebie downloads on her blog. Love these free layered edges!

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Expecting

Suzy Q Scraps has this super cute Expecting kit and Daily Digi Readers can save an additional 10% by using the code sQ-preggoTDD at checkout. Also, if you buy the kit before July 30th, you get this pregnancy timeline for free!

Pregnancy Timeline

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Hope you have a Funtastic Friday!

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P.S. Tami is the random winner from yesterday’s comments.  She won $10 to Emily’s store!  Congratulations Tami!

in the designer’s studio with EMILY POWERS

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I am happy to welcome the amazing Emily Powers to THE DIGI FILES this month!!  Many of us will know and recognize her from her beautiful photography work.  She also has some great digital scrapbooking products!  She contributed some really fun products this month that you can get in The Digi Files EXCLUSIVELY (this will be your only chance at these products):

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Look at the really fun things my team created with these products:

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Layout by Karen, additional supplies: Dani Mogstad Just Stay Little kit; Ali Edwards word art; Anna Aspnes stitches
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Layout by Katie
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Layout by Jenn, additional supplies: Explore, Learn, Grow by Sahlin Studio, Font: CK Jot, Chalk Dust
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Hybrid project by Sunghee, detailed instructions for this project will be found in July’s Playbook which will be out July 27th.
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Layout by SharonS (a reader), additional supplies:  Papers, word art, ribbon: Two Little Pixels Collab, Template: Janet Phillips, Photo overlay: Emily Powers, Acrylic heart: Nikki, Flowers and pearls, Hero Arts, Font: CK Journaling

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StudioEmilyPowers

John Newton once wrote, “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.” I’m a mom, a wife, an artist, a dog lover, a photographer, a writer, an eternal optimist, a teacher, a limping worshiper, a storyteller, a dreamer, an entrepreneur, a night owl, and a bibliophile. I’m spontaneous, determined, loyal, whimsical, smart, eclectic, organized, passionate, creative, generous, ordinary, and resourceful. Mostly, I’m just me, Em.

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FACEBOOK

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NEWSLETTER

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Photo dates are a free and fun way to grow as a photographer. Your community is an oyster; there are pearls hiding in the most unassuming, ordinary places. Grab your camera, head out solo and capture the world around you. Want to experiment with modern portraiture? Invite a significant other, child or friend to model for you. I like to occasionally schedule a photo date with another camera enthusiast and take turns photographing each other’s families; that way I’m in a picture once in awhile too!

Go on a photo date each month and your skills will dramatically improve as you wade outside of your comfort zone and photograph new people, places and things in new ways. Classes, books and workshops are helpful, but they cost money and nothing compares to self-discovery; get out there and engage the craft!

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I’ve been scrapbooking, in one form or another, since high school, but I started digital scrapbooking and experimenting with photography in January of 2006, six months after my daughter was born. My sister-in-law, Angela, stumbled onto digital scrapbooking while browsing online. She introduced me to the concept and we both said goodbye to our paper scrapbooking supplies and never looked back.

Addy was my creative catalyst. Every day she changed, grew, moved on to something new and memories slipped between the cracks. I think it’s important to look back at where we’ve been in order to see where we are going. This is one of the primary reasons that I document our journey through photography, art and storytelling. One day, Addelyne will look back. She will know that she was loved and wanted from the very beginning. She’ll be able to trace the themes and stories that crisscross her life. She’ll know where she’s been and that will set her free to see where she’s going.

About a year after I dove into digital scrapbooking and photography, my entrepreneurial mind began to spin. Deann McDaniel, a close friend of Nancy Rowe Janitz, emailed me and suggested Angela and I contact the ScrapArtist owner about selling templates in her store. Long story short, Two Sisters Designs was born. When Deann decided to open her own store, we joined her team of storytellers. At that time, Angela and I also started individually designing digital scrapbooking products. After {We Are} Storytellers closed, I took a six-month hiatus, but then decided to join my good friend Liz Tamanaha at Oscraps.

It’s always been important to me to love what I do and do what I love! I agree with interior designer, Summer Thornton: “If you don’t love what you do, do something else. Even if you have to take a pay-cut, even if you have to ‘start over.’ Do whatever it takes to do what you love.”

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I’m inspired by my family, particularly my husband and daughter. Matt is my heartbeat. We’ve been high school sweethearts and best friends since the 10th grade. It’s stirring to wake up to your soul mate every day. My daughter, Addelyne Raine, is four-and-a-half. She’s a 3’6” adventure. If Matt is my heart, Addy is my soul. She’s taught me to live moment-by-moment with my eye’s wide open.

My Abba inspires me most of all.

“Welcome, child,” he said.

“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”

“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.

“Not because you are?”

“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”

“For a time she was so happy that she did not want to speak.”

(From Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis)

Blogs are never-ending source of inspiration. There are many blogs I like to pop in and visit every day.

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Computer – MacBook Pro, Processor 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Memory 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM

Programs – Adobe Creative Suite

Camera – Canon 20D

Printer/Scanner – Epson Stylus Photo RX580

Tablet – Wacom Bamboo

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The Hybrid@Home, PHOTOLOGY, Expectantly Yours Kit + Album lines are all my favorite. One example from each is shown below.

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The PHOTOLOGY line

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Here are some of my favorite products by Emily

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

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Go have a look in Emily’s Store 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 tonight)!

Emily will be leaving digital designing and closing her store at the end of July, the products in THE DIGI FILES this month will not be avilable in her store (so grab them while you can).

As a thank you to our readers, Emily has given us this coupon code to share with all of you!

DD50%OFFEMILY

AMOUNT: 50% OFF YOUR PURCHASE

EXPIRES: SUNDAY, JULY 25

ONE TIME USE.

GOOD ON ALL EMILY POWERS PRODUCTS.

EXCLUDES COLLABORATIVE PRODUCTS.

INCLUDES CU PRODUCTS.

COUPON CODE FOR TWO SHUTTER SISTERS:

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AMOUNT: 50% OFF YOUR PURCHASE

EXPIRES: SUNDAY, JULY 25

ONE TIME USE.

GOOD ON ALL TWO SHUTTER SISTERS (ANGELA + EMILY POWERS) PRODUCTS.

EXCLUDES COLLABORATIVE PRODUCTS.

INCLUDES CU PRODUCTS.

DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING BEACH LAYOUTS

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Beaches are a favorite place for photographers and scrapbookers alike. The gorgeous scenery, and beautiful colors are begging to be captured and celebrated in a photo or on a layout. Beach visits are usually associated with vacations or special trips, with many memories to document. Because I (Katie) live in the Rocky Mountains of Utah, I don’t get to the beach as often as I would like to, but I’ve been lucky to travel to many wonderful beach destinations over the years. Beach layouts are one of my very favorite things to scrap!

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR SCRAPPING THE BEACH:

  • Take great beach pictures. These 10 Beach Photography Tips from Digital Photography School will give you some helpful hints for capturing the very best of the beach with your camera.
  • Steph posted some useful tips for scrapbooking epic vacations in the Theme Parks post. A lot of the same advice can apply to beach layouts if you have a lot of them to tackle.
  • Play up the natural colors of the beach with blues, whites, and sandy neutral colors. Bright colors also look great with pictures of blue water and sandy beaches.
  • Have fun with beach themed embellishments like shells, fish, and flowers. Adding a few of these whimsical elements can emphasize the subject of the layout or add interest to a journaling block or title.
  • Don’t limit yourself to beach theme kits. Many kits can be used to create beach layouts, especially if you use the right color schemes.

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Our team members here at The Daily Digi love the beach and have plenty of layouts to prove it!

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Layout by Katie. Template by Kitty Designs. Papers by Cinnamon Designs, Background Paper and seashell by Jofia Devoe. Font is Franklin Gothic Book

Layout by Dunia. Scrap Easy Template 3 by Dúnia (me) The Delightful Collection by Gina Marie Huff Torn N Tattered Templates 4 by Anna Aspnes

Layout by Dunia. Sandy Toes by Kate Hadfield Sunburst Alpha by Kate Hadfield Let’s Curve by Loreta Labarca Papers from a Pocketful os Sunshine by Jacque Larsen Super Sized Alpha by Katie Pertiet Font: SF Zimmmermann

Layout by Melissa L. Shabby Princess Sandbox kit Cindy Schneider template
Miss Mint curled frame Fonts are DJB Poppy Seed and DJB Gimme Space

Layout by Melissa L. Gina Miller Sandy Toes Gina Miller Simple Singles Template White Space #3
K Studio stitching Fonts are LD Blankie and CK Ali

Layout by Melissa L. Water Park by Sahlin Studio/Jacque Larsen

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Here are some beachy layouts that caught my eye in the galleries and our flickr group. (All images are linked)

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Credits: Perfect Summer kit - Designs by Kat Perfect Summer Wordstrips - Designs by Kat Faded Masks - Scrapping With Liz Font - CK Amelia

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Get ready for some serious enabling! We have scoured the internet to find some amazing beach themed digi goodies to help you document your beachy memories. Each image is linked for easy shopping!

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The Coral Sea

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Backyard Beach

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Typically Tropical Collab Kit

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{TBD Classics} The Great Pink Sea

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Lil Ship Boy {Full Kit}

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Seashore Package Saving

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Sea, Sand, Surf by Jacque

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Whale of a Good Time Kit

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aaah paradise

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FQB - Sandcastles Collection - Click Image to Close

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Footprints in the sand - Page Kit

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Make A Splash Word Art

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Luau by Jacque

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Welcome to Paradise: BUNDLE

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I’m ready to do some beach scrapping, and some digi shopping! My pay pal account is about to take a beating!

P.S. The tags used for headlines in this post are from the Hot! Hot! Hot! Digichick Collaborative. The font is Fontologie Messy Bessy.

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Plenty of Projects

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Most of the digital scrapbooking I (Katie) do is making one or two page layouts. I love to work on a single layout for awhile and then enjoy the accomplishment of having finished something. It’s a great feeling! I guess that is why I’m sometimes reluctant to tackle a bigger project like an entire album, a mini-book, or even a hybrid-inspired creation. Lately I’ve come to appreciate those types of projects, and I’m realizing that it is a very satisfying and manageable approach to documenting the many memories I want to include in scrapbook form. I’ve been searching my bookmarks and favorite websites for project ideas and I’m so excited to share them with you!

(All images are linked)

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I can always count on Ali Edwards for project-based inspiration! She is so good at bringing together pieces and creating a whole and beautiful finished product. This “I Love You Today” mini-book is just the kind of treasure I want to create for my children. The link also includes a free download for journal strips and a video tutorial.

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Do you remember this mini-album that Steph posted on Ali’s blog? I sure do! It’s been on my mind’s “to-do” list for months now. It’s a simple, but very meaningful project. There is even a free download still available to give you the tools you need to get going!

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Stacy Julian put together this adorable little album for her daughter using mainly photos and titles. She used paper products, but there is no reason why this couldn’t be done with digital supplies. Just create a canvas size that works with your mini-album (4×4 is a fun size!) and use that for the photos and title/end pages. You can even add text right on your photos. (See my post about writing on your photos for more ideas.)

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Cathy Zielske has an inspiring post about putting together school albums for her children. Love that she has digital products to make this project super easy!

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I put them together these two Shutterfly Baby Books last December and we still enjoy looking at them. They are very easy to complete and I shared screen shots of the process on my blog.

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Want even more inspiration for some quick and easy projects to work on? Check out these links:

This post has inspired me to get working on 2 album projects that I’ve had on my mind for awhile now. I promise to share them here when I am finished!

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P.S. Be sure to take our SUPER QUICK Survey (only 1 question!) and let us know what type of tutorials you prefer here on The Daily Digi. We love our readers and want to be sure we are making YOU happy! 🙂

P.S.S. mhreen08 is our random winner from the comments in yesterday’s post.  She won $10 in product from Queen of Quirk 🙂 Check your inbox!

in the designer’s studio with QUEEN OF QUIRK

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I am very excited to finally welcome Queen of Quirk, Jan with us in THE DIGI FILES this month!!  I have long admired Jan’s work as a designer and as a philanthropist (she is co-founder of Songbird Avenue, the only official digital scrapbooking charitable organization). The Queen of Quirk line is a very clean and crisp line of products with a bit of an artists twist to them and very unique.  Here is a closer look at her contributions to THE DIGI FILES this month:

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Here’s some inspiration created with Cirqu du Ciel by Jan:

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Layout by Karen, additional supplies: Queen of Quirk Scrap Canvas: Off Kilter template
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Layout by Amy Wolff
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Layout by Melissa L, additional supplies: Kristen Rice stitching; font is 1942 Report
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Layout by Katie, additional supplies: Template by Sine. Traveling Typewriter font.
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Layout by Heather (Queen of Quirk CT)

You can find several more layouts created by the Queen of Quirk CT, TDD readers, and our CT in the Team Inspiration category!

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STUDIOQUEENOFQUIRK

Hello there. My name is Jan and I live in Germany with my hubby and 3 daughters, Lara, Mia and Norah. We always joke that we should have had 2 more kids, Oprah and Paul, so we could just yell “LMNOP!!!” whenever we wanted all of them. 😉 We’ve lived in Germany and England since 2003 and it’s very much starting to feel like home over here. We get to travel all over (when volcanoes aren’t acting up, of course) and experience new cultures and new people. It’s very exciting and lends itself to widely varied inspiration that creeps into every aspect of our lives. When I’m not buried in Photoshop, designing digi goodies, I am either baking, sewing, gardening, painting or finding that millionth other hobby I haven’t tried yet that I just can’t wait to sink my teeth into. It’s not hard to do with 3 little girlies in the house. They’re always up for anything crafty. The next projects on my to-do list? Vintage pillow case skirts and a pirate birthday cake for my oldest daughter.

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Many times when I feel stumped creatively, I go on a little scavenger hunt through my scrap stash. I find 6 random things that I love and I make them work for whatever project I have at hand. Because I only buy what I really love, most of the papers and embellishments I own are right up my alley and coordinate anyway. I always love challenging myself to see if I can make something work. And unexpected pattern and color combinations are always to stumble upon.

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…. Like a lot of other designers and scrappers “back in the day” I fell in love with digital the minute I saw Shabby Princess’ designs. With 2 sticky-fingered princesses of my own running around, my paper scrapping days were a bit hectic and disheveled. I started using digital more and more and by the time our 3rd princess arrived I’d started selling my own designs. I actually stopped selling for a while and was a freebie designer for over a year before I was inspired to start Songbird Avenue, a charity site, with my good friend Meredith Fenwick. It’s a job I love and am very proud of. I now sell my designs at JessicaSprague.com and couldn’t be happier. It is a fabulous site, full of friendly faces and inspiration.

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Everything around me, especially our travels. We’re lucky enough to have been all over Europe and I am inspired heavily by the places I’ve been to and the places I dream of. I love color and eccentricity. I find that the more something seems askew, the more I am drawn to it. I love a bit of wonkiness and so when I design anything I try to bring that quality to the table. I love a “collected” look and I try to achieve that each time I sit down to create.

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Although I love using my tablet and Illustrator, I haven’t forgotten about my 2 first loves: my Sharpie and my scanner. I’m also seriously addicted to sketching in my notebook. I’m pretty old fashioned when it comes to execution. As much as I love technology, it’s also nice to just head downtown and pull out my notebook and sketch in a café. It’s very “no-fuss”, which I crave.

Currently I am working on our 4 year old laptop while our “BIG DADDY” computer is being repaired. My husband built it but we’re having issues with the graphics cards. When it’s up and running again, I’ll be coasting along quite nicely with 4 gigs of RAM. Can’t wait.

I just upgraded to CS4 last year so I’m sticking with it for a little while longer. I find there are new things to learn every day and I’m not in any hurry to have the latest and greatest. I’ll probably upgrade again sometime around CS7 or so. 😉

We purchased a Canon a couple of years ago. We love our 40D. The lens is bigger than my head and I’m just in awe of the photos we get out of it.

I have a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet that I love. My kids love it, too. They think it’s magic, of course.

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Here are some of my favorite products

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

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Layout by Dunia, supplies: You Are Here Collab by Queen of Quirk and Paislee Press

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Go have a look in Queen of Quirk’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 today)!

As a thank you to our readers, Queen of Quirk has created this coupon to share with all of us!

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Inspired by Cirque du Ciel

The layouts below are created using Cirque du Ciel by Queen of Quirk and included as part of THE DIGI FILES during July 2010.

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Layout by Heather (Queen of Quirk CT)

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Layout by Sharon S (a reader), additional supplies: Template: Chelle’s Creations, Font: FG Amyie

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Layout by Sharongrey8 (a reader)

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Layout by Karen, additional supplies: Queen of Quirk Scrap Canvas: Off Kilter template
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Layout by Amy Wolff
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Layout by Melissa L, additional supplies: Kristen Rice stitching; font is 1942 Report
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Layout by Katie, additional supplies: Template by Sine. Traveling Typewriter font.
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Layout by Heather (Queen of Quirk CT)

Un-Digi Katie’s Summer Blog Tour 2010

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I woke up on Monday morning a couple of weeks ago and checked my Google Reader to see a post on Katie’s blog called, “Katie’s 1st Annual Summer Blog Tour…” (yes, this would be the same Katie that is a contributing writer here at THE DAILY DIGI).  I was intrigued and had to find out what it was all about.  As I pulled it up and read the intro., I giggled to myself, “She didn’t tell me she was doing this!  What a fun idea!”  I knew instantly that I would want to share it here as well, for an un-digi!  Katie is great at finding really fun things all over the www and her blog tour is no exception!

Each post has a description of the blog and what Katie likes about it.  It also includes some souvenirs Katie has brought back from her visit to the blog.  I’ve started a category in my reader called, “Katie’s Blog Tour 2010” and am subscribing to all of the blogs she hits! I think it will be a fun souvenir for me during the next year!

You can start reading the blog tour posts from the first day and work forward OR from the most recent and work back, which ever you prefer!  Enjoy!

P.S. The random winner for the Reader Challenge was Leigh. You can see her layout right here. Thanks to everyone for participating!