Join in Again, SEVEN Will Win

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Today is the last day for this issue of THE DIGI FILES and the last day to get ALL of these fabulous collections for ONLY $5!!  It’s an amazing deal! After today, these designers will add these products to their stores for regular price, which will be above $5 each.

We want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to this month’s designers!  We really appreciate them sharing their time and talents with us!

Tracie Stroud
ErinInk (templates)
Three Paper Peonies
Eva Kipler
MLE Card
Karla Dudley
Melissa Bennett

Also, this month was the first month we offered the Playbook/Digi Files option where you can get the Playbook interactive e-book filled with digital scrapbooking tutorials, tips, and tricks.  We have been getting really good feedback about the Playbooks and know you will enjoy them!  In this Playbook, you will find tips and tricks about:

Altering papers
Layout design
Title Tricks
Brushes
Shadows
and hybrid projects

Leave us a comment sharing something you learned from the Playbook or the site this month.  Seven random commenters will be chosen before 11p.m. ET to win $10 in product from one of September’s contributors to THE DIGI FILES.

We will also be announcing some pretty big changes in the way you can get THE DIGI FILES starting tomorrow!

How to make your own digital scrapbook template

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One of the questions we get asked the most here at The Daily Digi is “how can I make my own templates?” I (Katie) LOVE templates and rarely scrap without one these days. I bet you will notice that a lot of our team members feel the same way. Templates make digi scrapping so fast and easy! Plus, you can use and re-use them in so many ways. Want to see how to make the same template look different each time?

If you need some general tips for using layered templates, be sure to check out these past posts and tutorials:

While there are SO many great templates already out there, sometimes you might want to make your own. All you need is a photo editing program that supports layers (such as Photoshop Elements or Photoshop).

Creating your own digital template from scratch:

Open a new project. I always use 12×12 size, 300 dpi for the best quality. For templates I select a white background or colored background. I’m using Photoshop Elements 8 for this demonstration. Steps might vary slightly in other programs.

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Be sure to save your file to a location where you will be able to find it later. I keep things on my desktop while I’m working on them and move them to a different storage folder after I’m done.

Feel free to change the color of the background layer (and any other layer you create) to help you keep track of where things go in your layered template design. Some scrappers like to keep all the papers in 1 color family, all the photos in another color family, and all the embellishments in another set of colors. Others like to make each layer it’s own color. Some template designers just use variations of one color (grays are popular). There is no wrong or right way to do this, just use the method that you prefer. For this demonstration I’m going to use a variety of colors to make it easier to visually follow along with the process.

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Using the paint bucket tool on the left sidebar, go to the area at the bottom left where you can select the background color. I chose a dark steel blue for the background layer. Then to add another layer, right click on the layer palette area next to the first layer and chose “Duplicate Layer”.

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You can then rename and/or recolor that new layer as desired. Once you have a layer duplicated (using the right click method),renamed (also using the right click menu), and re-colored using the paint bucket tool, you will want to change it’s size and/or it’s location in the template. Switch back to the move tool at the top of the left sidebar.

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I grabbed the corner of the top shape with my mouse and simply resized it. This keeps the square proportioned. Instead of grabbing the corner, you can just resize it in one direction to create a rectangle. Repeat as often as desired, naming each layer. Save frequently throughout the process.

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I like to start with the papers, then move on to the photo spots. Embellishments are always last for me. That is just my design style. Some scrappers might start with the accents and work on papers or photos last.

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Sometimes you will have shapes that you want to line up evenly. In this case, I want the photo spots to be aligned so I select each shape in the layers palette while holding down the CTRL key to allow for multiple selections. You can see that they are not lined up properly in the image below so I chose “Align” and then “left edges” from the menu bar above the workspace.

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Now they are perfectly aligned.

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Now I have the basics of this layered template done. I have a place for papers (decorative and journaling) and photos.

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I could stop here to keep it minimal, or I can still add a text box, a title placement, and embellishment guides. If I’m going to share the template with others, I like to add these finishing touches.

Use the horizontal text tool on the left sidebar to add your text and title. If you are going to share the template with others, they will have to have the same fonts installed on their computer to get the same look, so I used a very basic font (calibri) for this one. Whoever uses the template will probably change the font selection by choosing a different font from the drop down menu when they click on the text area. The title is just to show an idea of where to place a page title.

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Many templates have decorative shapes on them to show the user ideas for embellishment placement. An easy way to do this is to use the cookie cutter tool on the left sidebar. You will want to create a layer of paper to use the tool on. I created another layer and colored it pink. Then I selected the cookie cutter tool (looks like a star cookie cutter) and went to the drop down menu on the top horizontal bar. I picked the flower shape.

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Then I click on an area of the pink paper while I have the cookie cutter tool selected. Dragging with my mouse, I can make the shape as big as I want. Once I have the size of shape I want I click the green check mark to finalize the selection.

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Using the duplicate layer feature and the paint bucket tool, I created a few more flower shapes and clustered them together on the template.

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Most templates do not include shadowing since most digital scrapbookers like to create their own. If you want to pre-shadow all the papers and elements, anyone who uses the template can still adjust the shadow settings by clicking on the “fx” next to each layer.

Now that the template is created, just drag and drop the photos,digital scrapbook papers, and embellishments of your choice into the template. Clip or merge each paper to the chosen layer (CTRL + G is my friend!)

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La Patisserie by Sugar Plum Paperie and Paislee Press. Font is Traveling Typewriter

Presto! You have created a digital scrapbook template that can be used over and over again!

This layered template will be available as a free download to anyone who purchases the Playbook that comes out this Friday (October 1, 2010) with the new set of The Digi Files!

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P.S. We have even more BIG stuff in store for you on Friday! You have been asking for:

  • a way to be sure you never miss The Digi Files
  • a way to be rewarded when you consistently buy The Digi Files
  • a way to get this kit ….

On Friday all of your wishes will come true! Be sure to stop by on Friday October 1st to learn more!

Desktop backgrounds for Digi Scrappers

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Free desktop from Weeds and Wildflowers blog

I (Katie) am not much for seasonal decorating around the house. It’s a lot of work (and money) to gather decorations, store them year-round, and then decorate the house with them for just a short amount of time. But I LOVE to decorate my computer desktop! With just a few clicks, I can create something fun to inspire me throughout the month! I feel so festive each time I turn on my laptop and see a special picture and creative page design looking back at me. It is the perfect way to set the mood for digital scrapbooking!

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Free desktop from Traci Reed team blog. Picture by Highlite Photography.

As I was selecting this desktop image and photo to use for October, I thought about some of the great reasons to use a digital scrapbook desktop.

  1. Many of them are free! (See list below for sources)
  2. They are a fast and easy way to create something beautiful.
  3. Desktops are so easy to put together. They are similar to quick pages – all you have to do is add a picture!
  4. I love having a calendar right on the desktop screen of my computer. It comes in SO handy!
  5. Having a pretty desktop encourages you to keep your actual computer desktop clean and clutter free. I don’t like to see icons all over my beautiful work of art (ok, someone else’s beautiful work of art + MY photo) so I keep my program icons in the toolbar or in a subfolder. My desktop only has a recycle bin and an “IN PROGRESS” folder. I love it that way!

Once you have the desktop image paired with your favorite photo(s), simply choose to save it as a desktop background. I just right-clicked on the image and selected “

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Now this is what my computer screen looks like – all decked out for fall!

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I love desktops with lots of white space because I think they are easier on the eye. I love a prominent calendar and a spot for a big photo (or a few photos). Looking at a special memory each time I log on to my computer helps me remember why I love to scrapbook so much!

FUN & FREE SOURCES FOR DIGI SCRAP STYLE DESKTOPS:

Most of these designers and digital scrapbook shops/blogs offer some sort of free desktop background around the end of the month or even on the first day of the applicable month. So October desktops should start showing up in the next few days. (A few are already available)

WANT TO CREATE YOUR OWN DESKTOP?

With all the fantastic free desktops out there, you might not ever need to create your own. But if you want to try your hand at your own desktop design, it isn’t much different than creating a digital scrapbook page. The only difference is you need to set the canvas size to the same size as your actual computer desktop display. How do you find that out? The best trick is to hit “print screen” on your computer (usually a button on your keyboard close to the delete key) and then open a new project in your photo editing program (such as Photoshop or PSE).

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When you select “New” and then “Blank File” it will automatically open up to the size of the image you just copied by selecting “print screen”. Now you have your exact screen dimensions!

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Pretty cool trick!

If you need more information about how to put together a basic digital scrapbook page, be sure to refer to our fabulous tutorials section.

Now have some fun decorating your desktop!

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Inspiration to Kick Off Your Week

It is obvious to me that kids are back in school and that people are spending more time scrapping! The galleries are just FULL of amazing layouts and inspiration. Here are some of my favorites from the weekend (all images are linked to original gallery postings).

This layout is perfect. I love the high contrast colors, the block design, and the great element use. I couldn’t improve on this if I tried!

This layout is just SO CUTE! I love how she shares her love for shopping and those elements are just SO PERFECT. I also love the flow of the journaling as a design element.

I am always amazed by layouts that make great use of patterned papers and those that can pull off circles. This layout does BOTH!

This layout, part of the Digi Dares, is just fabulous. The dare was to do a layout about something that happened the year you were born. What a fabulous way to take a look at history!

Since I have a slight obsession with two page layouts, I instantly noticed this layout. I love the heavy journaling, the tons of photos, and the fun elements.

I ADORE the simpleness of this layout. The super-simple design with the bright green just makes it POP out in the gallery. Perfection.

Recipe pages are some of my very favorite layouts. Food is such an important part of our lives and I love preserving these “stories” on scrapbook pages. Who wouldn’t want to cook when looking at a page this pretty?

Any page that can make me laugh (and sympathize!) on a Monday morning surely gets my vote! If you can’t read the journaling, click over to read it on the original post.

For me, scrapbooking is all about the stories and the preserving of memories. I want my kids and grandkids to know the little bits and pieces of my life that made me who I am. I think that this layout is one of those special ones. I love the HUGE title and the long journaling to share the story of the artist’s first house. I am sure it will be cherished!

Another perfect story and layout. I may not have met my true love through technology, but my life sure has been enriched in SO many ways! I owe a HUGE thank you to technology as well!

As you start another new week, I hope you find inspiration and time to share the stories of your heart!

PERFECT PANCAKES

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Perfect Pancakes by Pioneer Woman (say that 5 times fast!)

Sunday morning is here already and I (Katie) have to admit that I love big breakfasts on the weekend. However, I rarely have time or energy in the morning to put together something that requires more ingredients than a bowl, a box of cereal, and some milk. Sunday evenings are the time I love to make breakfast for dinner. There is something so comforting about having pancakes on a Sunday night. Pancakes are pretty simple to make, but if you need a few tips, Martha Stewart has a great Pancake 101 post to review. I usually just make plain old pancakes, but I’m excited to try some of these fun variations:

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Colorful pancake stack from i am mommy – a rainbow on a plate!

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Lemon-blueberry pancakes from Laurie at Tasty Kitchen. My mouth is watering!

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Spooky Pancakes at eighteen25. How fun for Halloween!

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Gingerbread pancakes with Cranberry syrup from Country Home. Wouldn’t these be perfect on Christmas morning?

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Blueberry cornmeal pancakes with orange maple butter at Bakerella. Double Yum!

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Peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes from Sweetest Kitchen. I bet my kids would love these!

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m & m pancakes at Edible Crafts – I love that they are served with the candies!

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Bacon and eggs pancakes from Jim’s Pancakes. I had no idea there was such a thing as pancake art! So fun!

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My tummy is growling now, how about yours? Happy pancake making!

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Drop Shadows

Should I use Shadows? – a post by Katie showing when you want to shadow or not.

One Layout Different Shadows – see how different scrapbookers shadow the same layout.

Top Tips — for great shadows:

1) Keep the direction of light the same.

2) Keep the size proportional for the size of the object

3) The bigger the space between the object and its’ shadow, the lighter the shadow will be (the shadow for a piece of paper placed directly on top of another paper will be darker and less opaque than a button or flowers).

4) Play with the blend mode. Using the color burn mode when applying a shadow to acrylic works best.

Some great tutorials for creating perfect drop shadows:

Peppermint’s “Mind Blowing Drop Shadow Tutorial”

Paperclipping Digi Show all about drop shadows:

[audio: http://traffic.libsyn.com/digishow/pds022_ggm.mp3…

Why Would I Want To Warp Or Liquefy Drop Shadows

PSCS – This tutorial changed the way I do drop shadows, love it!

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PSCS – using the warp tool

PSCS – using the warp tool (video)

PSCS and PSE – some different settings by Liz

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PSE – using liquefy

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Putting a shadow on it’s own layer in PSE (and adding details similar to the warp tool)

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Tips for Great Shadows (any software) and free styles

Shadow post on TDD

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Tools for Making it FAST

It is always a good idea to know how to do these things in your program, but if you would like some tools to make it easier, they are out there!

Tool 1) Copy/Paste the layer style. Once you have created the perfect drop shadow, you can right click on that layer> copy layer style and then select all other layers and right click>paste layer style. I will often create my paper shadow first and then just increse the distance and size for the larger items after pasting the layer style.

Tool 2) Kristen Rice has some great shadow layer styles.

Tool 3) Flergs has some FREE layer styles to get the look she creates with her drop shadows.

Tool 4) Megan has some FREE layer styles on her blog.

My Favorite Hybrid Projects

I love hybrid projects.  I don’t really do hybrid layouts, but I LOVE creating hybrid albums and projects!!  I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorites that I have done over the years and maybe even give you some ideas! (note: many of the digital products used in these projects are no longer available, but you can use these ideas with any of your favorite digital products.  Also, many of these are from my times on creative teams.):

I think my favorite altered project ever is this game board.  Every other square on the game board had a question for a family member to answer:
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As seen in Simple Scrapbooks Magazine, Digital Scrapbooking special edition.  Digital supplies by Digital Design Essentials, gameboard from BareBooks

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Supplies: Shabby Shack digital kit by Digital Design Essentials, box from Oriental Trading

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In this mini album, I adhered the layouts to the front of some envelopes and stuck keepsakes inside:

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Digital supplies: Pregnancy album by Digital Design Essentials (the colors were for a boy, so adjusted the hue/saturation for my baby girl).

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I made this fun shirt to wear for Halloween using iron-on transfers for dark colored shirts,  I used my Wiggle Worm font, printed (be sure to follow instructions for your transfer paper), cut around the outside of the letters (leaving a white border) and ironed them on my shirt (be sure to follow the ironing instructions for your transfer paper).

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This one is one of my favorites…I think I need to make them again this year for my family!
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Digital Supplies: Spooky and Sweet by Digital Design Essentials

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I made these fun Halloween treats a couple of years ago:
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Supplies: treat toppers by Dani Mogstad

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I made this hybrid advent calendar a couple of years ago (I’m pretty sure you can find the advent part:
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Supplies: digital by Dani Mogstad, brads by Basic Grey

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This is one of the very few hybrid layouts I have done.  I created the 12×12 layout digitally, keeping in mind where I might put some “paper schtuff” and added those items after printing.
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Digital Supplies by Dani Mogstad, paper supplies by Prima, Basic Grey, and Bo Bunny

Then, I took a 12×12 shadow box, added a calendar grid to the back side of the glass and added the dates on the front of the glass using a deli menu marker.  Now, I can clean off the dates, but leave the grid in tact.
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In the last episode (17) of the Paperclipping Digi Show, Zoe and I talked about these cute, shaped, quick albums that I used below.  I made these bookmarks a couple of years ago and my oldest daughter still can be seen using them to mark her spot:

IMG_8980blog2 Digital supplies by Dani Mogstad fonts are Fontologie

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image Papers are from Island Chic by Shabby Princess

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imageDigital Supplies: Olivia by Shabby Princess.

Here are some basic instructions for the journal:  I bought the journal at Target for under $3 (gotta love that). I then did the cover in PS, printed it, and ran it through my Xyron (adhesive on one side and laminate on the other). The handles are made by 7Gypsies and I added them by punching holes with my new crop-a-dile (loving this tool).

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Well, I’m ready to get some printing done and and go back to my roots a bit.  I love these kinds of projects and plan to create some fun things over the next few months.  What about you?  Do you have any hybrid/printable projects up your sleave?

Fabulous Funtastic Friday!

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Soooo much FUNTASTIC-NESS going on in digiland this weekend!!  First up…

We have revealed ALL of the contents of THE DIGI FILES for this month, click the image to see larger images:

TDF21_Preview.jpg You can also add in the Playbook that is over 30 pages of interactive digital scrapbooking tutorials, tips, and tricks for only $2.50 more.  You can also still get THE DIG FILES by themselves for $5.00.  Each of the collections inside THE DIGI FILES will be removed from our store in about a week and will be sold for well over $5.00 EACH!

image We also started something new yesterday just for newsletter subscribers that we are excited about! We will be sending out FREE GIFTS from some of our past contributors to THE DIGI FILES a couple times each month!  It’s our way (and theirs) of saying THANKS for staying with us!  If you aren’t subscribed to the newsletters yet, it’s not to late.  All of these gifts will be set up to automatically be delivered to new subscribers over a period of time as well!  The sooner you sign up, the sooner you will start collecting the goods!

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We released a new episode of the Paperclipping Digi Show this week where we discuss hybrid mini albums with Zoe Pearn and Vinnie Pearce.  Listen to the show and then join us in the comments of the show post for even more discussion and share your thoughts!

If you listen in iTunes (and subscribe), it helps us keep track of the size of our audience.  Izzy has a video on his site explaining how to do that OR you can see our tutorial with screenshots:

Tutorial for Listening in iTunes

You can join in the discussion about the show after listening if you want.  You can listen below, subscribe in iTunes, or subscribe through our RSS feed.

[audio: http://traffic.libsyn.com/digishow/pds017_wwv.mp3]

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Here’s what’s going on around digiland:

Wild Dandelion has a sale going on:
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Kaye has this GREAT deal going on through 9/29:image

And the very sweet Kay Miller will now be selling her designs at After5:
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Chelle’s Creations and Connie Prince have a collab on sale for 20% off AND if you by 9/30, you some word art FREE:

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Chelle has this blog freebie:

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Our very own team members, Lauren Reid and Amy Wolff teamed up to create this beautiful collection (and it’s 20% off):

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Sugarplum Paperie has a clearance sale going on:

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Peppermint of One Little Bird has this fun, new kit:

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@Scrapbook Graphics:

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Studio Wendy has these new calendar creating actions:

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She will also be hosting a chat on Tuesday night and hosting lots of fun events and giveaways on the blog as well:

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feifei’s stuff has a chance for you to win through the 26th:
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SuzyQ has a free alpha at the bottom of the linked post:
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She also has the free printable:
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Digital Design Essentials has just released a NEW Idea Notebook for only $3:
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Finally, Traci Reed has an EXCLUSIVE offer for THE DAILY DIGI readers:
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Traci Reed is rolling out a whole new product line starting tomorrow at Sweet Shoppe Designs and it’s just in time for Christmas!  Wouldn’t it be fun to have yourself made into a paper doll?  Or maybe you have a little girl at home who loves playing with dolls all day and would love to have her very own paper dolls!  For a limited time only, Traci Reed is offering these adorable, one-of-a-kind illustrations where you get to customize the entire doll!  You can even purchase separate outfits as well!  With the purchase of each doll you receive not only an extra large .png illustration designed to your specifications, but also a fully printable hybrid paper doll with instructions!  Use it digitally or print them out and play!

Exclusive offer for Daily Digi Readers only:
As you know, on Saturdays at The Sweet Shoppe, all new releases are 20% off .  Due to the labor intensive nature of this product THIS Saturday, new release day, is the ONLY day this year that the All Dolled Up line will go on sale.  Traci is offering exclusive pre-orders today, Friday September 24th only, to the readers here at The Daily Digi.  All pre-orders will be at the new release discount of 20% off off the regular price of $10. All you have to do is have an active PayPal account, and email her at tracimreed@gmail.com with the subject line “All Dolled Up” and she will send you an order form, it’s that easy!  Spots are going to fill up fast for the Christmas season, so insure your place in line today with your pre-order! *spots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis based on the return of the order form and payment of PayPal invoice*

P.S. The random winner chosen from the comments on yesterday’s feature of Melissa Bennett is Rainee, congratulations and check your email (sidenote: I went to elementary with a girl named Rainee 🙂 )

IN THE DESIGNER’S STUDIO WITH MELISSA BENNETT

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I have been a fan of Melissa’s since she started selling digital scrapbooking supplies several years ago.  I love her color pallets, fun patterned papers, and embellishments!  She creates amazing kits for both boys and girls and I always have a soft spot for Melissa’s fall kits, because of that, I am super excited that Melissa’s contribution just happened to be a fall themed kit!  Here’s a closer look:

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Here are some layouts created using “Autumn Memories”:

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Layout by Jenn, additional supplies: Everytime I Miss You font.
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Layout by Karen, additional supplies: wordart by Audrey Neal
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Layout by Tara, additional supplies:  Font – Sissy Lynn (funky fonts) by NeeNee designs, NeeNee Designs PaperCropz template (altered)
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Layout by Trina
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Layout by SharonS (a reader), additional supplies: Template: Starxlr8, fonts: CK Blackout, Hobo Std., Pea Amy G

You can see more inspirational layouts using this collection on the Team Inspiration page.

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Hi my name is Melissa Bennett. I am 43 years old and have been married to my Air Force hubby Walter for 18 ½ years. We currently live near Charleston, South Carolina with our 3 children, Tyler age 16, Nicole age 7 and Skyler age 7. We are originally from Washington State but have been able to enjoy living in quite a few places across the country thanks to our assignments in the Air Force.

Sweet Shoppe Designs

Melissa Bennett Designs

Twitter

Facebook

Blog

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I started out paper scrapping in the early 90’s and have accumulated quite a collection of papers, stamps, embellishments and tools. When I started hearing about digital scrapbooking around 2005 I swore I would have nothing to do with it as I enjoyed playing with paper and paste. After exploring the gallery at 2 Peas and seeing the amazing digital pages I finally took the plunge in June of 2006 and tried my hand at digital scrapbooking. I was hooked instantly. I used to design graphics in Paint Shop Pro prior and enjoyed creating so in August of 2006 I started trying my hand at designing digital scrapbook kits. I started selling in my first store in October of that same year. I have always enjoyed different creative outlets. I used to own a craft business and for many years cut out my own wood and painted primitive crafts that I would sell at craft shows. When I discovered designing digital scrapbook kits I knew I had finally found something that I could really love doing. I absolutely love putting together color schemes and then creating the kit with it. It is magical to see everything come together and I take joy in every kit I create.

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Color is the biggest thing that inspires me to create. If I have a good color scheme I can usually get a flood of ideas start running through my head.

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I use a Gateway touch screen desktop with 64 bit Windows 7, with an Intel Core i3 processor and 4 GB of RAM. For designing I use Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Adobe Illustrator CS3. I have a Bamboo Pen & Touch tablet which I absolutely LOVE!!

My Camera Equipment

My camera is a Nikon D50 and the lenses I use are a Nikon 50mm 1.8 and a Tameron 18-200mm 3.5 – 6.3 macro. I just recently bought an external flash and hope to start getting some mad photography skillz!!

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Here are some of my favorite products by Melissa

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

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Go have a look in Melissa’s Store! Post a comment below and 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, Melissa has created this coupon code for 35% off in her personal store to share with all of us!

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Inspired: Autumn Memories by Melissa Bennett

The following layouts were created using “Autumn Memories” by Melissa Bennett and included in THE DIGI FILES during September:

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Layout by Sula, additional supplies: 2 tags from Oodles of Tags by Julie Billingsley, the title (layered template) was created by Cindy Schneider and the font is DJB Jewel by Darcy Baldwin (all from SSD).
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Layout by Jenn, additional supplies: Everytime I Miss You font.
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Layout by Karen, additional supplies: wordart by Audrey Neal
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Layout by Tara, additional supplies:  Font – Sissy Lynn (funky fonts) by NeeNee designs, NeeNee Designs PaperCropz template (altered)
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Layout by Trina
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Layout by SharonS (a reader), additional supplies: Template: Starxlr8, fonts: CK Blackout, Hobo Std., Pea Amy G