Rectangle Digi Scrapping

Layout by Anne. Credits: Papers, alpha and elements by Michelle Batton Designs. Stitches by Anna Aspnes

 

It’s true that the majority of digital scrapbook layouts shared online in our community tend to be square in size. It seems that most digi scrappers use a 12×12 canvas and either print in that size, or reduce down to 8×8 or even 6×6. Many scrapbook albums are customized for those size of layouts, and many photobooks come with those specifications as well. Even so, there are still many who prefer the rectangle approach of creating layouts in the same standard size of printer paper (8.5 x 11 here in the United States). Although I (Katie) call myself a square scrapper, I’ve done my fair share of rectangle pages and I love them just as much!  Let’s explore how and why you might want to use this size of layout for your own projects.

 

CONVENIENT PRINTING & SUPPLIES

When I’ve asked other digi scrappers why they choose to print in standard page size, many of them have touted the convenience of being able to print from their own home printer. It is also nice to be able to slip a page right into a standard page protector (still a good idea to use archival page protectors) and use a standard 3 ring binder. No need for a specialized scrapbook album or custom page protectors. You can buy the supplies you need for this size of scrapbook right at your local office supply store.

While I didn’t print these pages at home (I used Costco), I liked the convenience and low price of using a standard 3 ring binder for my holiday planner project that I wrote about in this post. I can easily add to it over the years and also include pages printed at home if I choose to do so.

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Binder, page protectors, and Avery repositionable note tabs from Office Max

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Layout by Katie. Credits in this post.

 

CONVENIENT SIZE

The nice thing about standard letter sized binders is that they easily fit on any bookshelf. Many scrappers don’t want to store 12×12 albums since they often protrude from bookcases (which is personally why I like the 8×8 size).  For me, the best thing about the rectangle size is the portability.  I created my travel journal from Kim Lund’s amazing free class in the 8.5 x 11 size so I could pack it along on our Alaskan cruise. I knew that I would be able to slip in the ship newsletters, brochures, and other standard size memorabilia to keep right inside my album. That would have been much harder to do with a square size album!

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Album by Katie. See supply list in this post.

 

I’m currently planning a garden themed notebook to keep track of when and what we plant in our brand new garden. This will be a binder that I add to each year, and I want to be able to take it outside with me. An inexpensive office binder is the best option for me with this project and I like that it will fit nicely on my bookshelf next to my gardening books.

 

CREATIVE PREFERENCE

Team member Anne decided to challenge herself with a LOAD (layout a day project) done all in rectangle page format. She said “I did choose the size mainly because I was curious and wanted to get a feel for for the format. I had never done a layout in 8.5×11 before. I really liked it and for some reason it felt like the layouts came together a little quicker, but I guess I will continue to mostly scrap in 12×12 none-the-less.” If you want to change things up a bit, try using a different size of layout like Anne did. I love her rectangle pages!

Layout by Anne. Credits: papers and elements from Kaisa Designs stitches by Anna.

 

Layout by Anne. Credits: alpha from Kitty Designs papers from Cinzia Designs, One Little Bird Design and Nina Scraps Design, element from Fei-Fei’s Stuff, stitches by Syrin.

 

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Layout by Anne. Credits:  alpha by Denise Beatty Originals, papers and element by Fei Fei Stuff

 

Layout by Anne. Credits: template by Ali Edwards (modified), papers and element from Bookish by Sweet Tomato Designs, alpha by Tracey Howard designs

 

THE BIG QUESTION – WHAT ABOUT TEMPLATES?

One of the questions we get asked the most here at The Daily Digi is how to adapt 12×12 templates into 8.5 x 11 size? Some rectangle scrappers lament that there are so few products designed specifically for them, but the truth is that it’s much easier to size down instead of up. Papers and supplies need to be created with the 12x 12 digi scrapper in mind because they are still usable to those who want to scrap smaller. Templates sized as 12×12 sell better and have a bigger customer base. The nice thing is that they are easily adaptable for the rectangle scrapper! There are a few template designers who create rectangle templates, but don’t feel like you are limited if you choose to use this format. It’s easy to resize!

Janet wrote a great article about changing 12×12  templates into 8×5 x 11 size, so be sure to check it out!

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So whether you are already a rectangle scrapper, or you have only made square layouts, I hope you will feel inspired to change things up a bit after reading this post. Remember, there is no “wrong” or “right” way to scrap your projects and memories. Just let go and have fun!

My favorite day of the week

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It’s Friday and I (Katie) have decided that it is definitely my favorite day of the week because I always go digi shopping! Yes, I enable myself with these Funtastic Friday posts! lol! This week is no different, even after my National Scrapbook Day binge shopping last week. I still found so many fun things in digi land!

 

Summer has arrived in Chelle’s Creations shop. I love the fun siggies!

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This pawsitively cute kitty kit by Laura Banasiak has me wanting to dig out pictures of our old cat Figaro. Fun!

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Dinosaurs are so fascinating! These would be great for pages about dinosaur exhibit or a dinosaur birthday party. Dinomania by Tracey Monette of Clever Monkey Graphics is on sale as a new release Friday & Saturday for 20% off!

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I’m always on the lookout for great stitching and Quirky Twerp has three new packs of stitches…borders, frames and elements. (Stitch Medley Borders shown here.) All new products are 20% off Thursday and Friday.

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KSharonK Designs has a great sale this weekend!

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Mari Koegelenberg has a great tutorial on printing your pages at home. Thanks Mari!

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Jenn CK has some fabulous $1 deals!

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I just adore the color palette in this beautiful new kit from Eva Kipler. It’s called Girlfriends and it’s a collab with WM[squared] of ScrapMatters.  The kit will be 20% off Saturday, May 14th, at Sweet Shoppe Designs!

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Peppermint has some new gorgeous found frames & fasteners that are 20% this weekend. My son and I love to do crossword puzzles together so these need to join my stash!

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I just had to share one of my favorite finds from last weekend. I love these Great Britons doodles from Kate Hadfield in her guest shop at Scrapbook Graphics. I’m going to use mine to scrap about the royal wedding!

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These word snippets from Gina at Weeds and Wildflowers are another new favorite of mine!

 

After we talked about Flergs’ glitters and shimmerz on this week’s Paperclipping Digi Show podcast, I thought it would be fun to show you how pretty her shimmerz are!

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Can you believe that my Power Scrapping – Digi Style workshop starts in less than a week? I’m so excited! It comes with tons of goodies, videos, and a couple of live chats with me. Class starts on Thursday, May 19th.

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If you have ever wanted to learn more about blending modes, when to use them, and how to use them, then Jenn’s Beginner Blending is for you! It’s a bargain price of just $10 and it’s self paced. You get three templates from Jenn, a video, some handouts, and even a blending cheat sheet:

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Come Away With Me is a FREE self-paced class by Kim Lund teaching you how to put together your own vacation journal with the downloads included:

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Scrapbooking with a Digital Template is a great place to start and it’s FREE as well! Steph goes through scrapping with a template and makes it so easy to understand!

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We recorded a new episode of the Paperclipping Digi Show podcast. We discussed actions and styles and all sorts of digi inspiration. Just click on the Podcast link in the social media icons in the above right corner of the site to see all of your listening options or push the play button below. We would love to hear what you think after you have a listen! Thanks to our guests:

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Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

P.S Diane was the random winner from the comments left on yesterday’s post and won $10 in product from Nanie’s Designs!!  THANKS!

Nanie’s Designs: Paper Scrapping Always Scared Me

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I love when I find use templates and the layout just falls together effortlessly! That’s how Nanie’s templates are for me! They are super fun and adaptable to many styles by simply leaving them as they are or removing items if you are a more simple scrapper. They always create great looking layouts too! It’s hard to believe she’s only been selling these babies for a few months! Let’s take a closer look at “Sassy Starters Vol. 16″ that is included in The Digi Files this month:

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Here are some layouts created using Nanie’s Designs’ contribution:

LO1

Layout by Lauren; Additional Credits: Luckiest Day by Lauren Reid Designs: Fonts: CK Carpenter, Courier New, Arial.
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Layout by Amelia; Additional Credits: Little Boy by Echo Park and Crystal Wilkerson; Staycation by Girl Boy Girl Designs Dots (Buttons and string): Busy Road by Kitty Designs; Fonts: The Faulty Marker; The Bold and the Beautiful.
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Layout by Karen; Additional Credits: Time Ticking By by Lauren Grier.
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Layout by Trina; Additional Credits: Celebrate by Gina Miller.

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Layout by Lime.

You can see more layouts created with this kit on our “Team Inspiration” page.

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I’m Stephanie, template designer and my design name is also my real life nickname, Nanie. I’m Canadian and I live near Ottawa, on the Quebec side, in a suburb town named Gatineau. We are a French-speaking family. I’ve been with my high school sweetheart since 1997, so almost 14 years. We got married three years ago. We have three boys, ages 3, almost 5 and almost 7. I’ll be turning 30 this year.

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I was on a mommy board in 2006, the year my second son was born and the girls were making lovely calendars to give as presents to the family for Christmas. I wanted to give it a try. That’s how I started scrapping. I have never paper scrapped, it always scared me with all the equipment involved. I’m not organized and I’m not a crafty person, so it would have been disastrous for me. lol. Late in 2010, I realized that I was basically creating templates when I scrapped. I start with a blank canvas, then use the shape tool to place photos and papers. The next logical step was to offer these templates to the public, so I contacted Kami from Scrap Orchard and I’m so very grateful that she gave me a chance and took me onboard at Scrap Orchard. I’ve been there since January, so I’ve been designing for about 5 months. I’m definitely a scrapper at heart, and I create layouts with all my templates that hit the store.

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New pictures to scrap, a great kit, a nice color combo, ads and magazines, browsing the galleries, I pretty much find inspiration everywhere. I’m a template junkie too and when I’m not using mine, I use templates by other designers.

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I design and scrap on a 27-inch i-Mac, using Photoshop CS5. I have 8 gigs of RAM, i7 processor and a 2 TB hard-drive. I also have a 14-inch touch-screen Fujitsu laptop for checking e-mails, browsing the Internet, but I don’t scrap or design with it. Right now, we have a Canon 40D camera with a main 17/85 lens and a macro lens but we are in the process to changing for a Canon 7D. I also have a point-and-shoot Canon in my purse at all times. DH shoots very well in manual, but I have yet to master the art. It’s one of my resolutions this year. lol!

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Always sharpen your layout after you have re-sized them for the Web. It makes a huge difference and looks more polished. I always run an Unsharp Mask (in PSCS5) at 85 %, with a radius of 1,0 pixel and a 4 level threshold.

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I love blocked layouts, so this is my very favorite template set to date is Sassy Starters Blocked Volume 1.

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I’m not sure, but I’m going to guess that it is my first bundle, Sassy Starters Bundle 1.

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Here are some of my favorite products by Nanie’s Designs:

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

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Finally, Nanie has generously provided a 30% off coupon for all our readers, expires May 31, 2011. Enter thankutdd11 in the shopping cart at checkout.

Go have a look in Nanie’s Designs’ store! We will randomly select a winner from the comments to win $10.00 in product from her store! (Comments must be posted before midnight EST to qualify)!

Inpsired by Nanie’s Designs

The following layouts were created using the templates by Nanie’s Designs included in The Digi Files during April:

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Layout by SharonS, additional supplies: My Life: TDD Collaborative, Template: Nanie’s Designs, Font: CK Painterly, Pea Krystyne’s Doodles
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Layout by Kristi, additional supplies: kit ReCreation 23 by Catherine Designs and Create Wings designs

LO1

Layout by Lauren; Additional Credits: Luckiest Day by Lauren Reid Designs: Fonts: CK Carpenter, Courier New, Arial.
LO2
Layout by Amelia; Additional Credits: Little Boy by Echo Park and Crystal Wilkerson; Staycation by Girl Boy Girl Designs Dots (Buttons and string): Busy Road by Kitty Designs; Fonts: The Faulty Marker; The Bold and the Beautiful.
LO3
Layout by Karen; Additional Credits: Time Ticking By by Lauren Grier.
LO4
Layout by Trina; Additional Credits: Celebrate by Gina Miller.

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Layout by Lime.

Just SCRAP! New Reader Challenge

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Just over two months ago, I wrote a post called “Scrapping Roadblocks” where I talked about the roadblocks that sometimes stop us from scrapping. I gave our readers the challenge to scrap and it thrilled me that so many of you took me up on that challenge (some after a long break)!

Today, I want to introduce you to our new “challenge” here at The Daily Digi:

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Just Scrap! Just set aside the time, set aside the roadblocks, and SCRAP!

Where to Start

Start with something that “makes your heart sing” (as I always say on the Digi Show). If it’s a product, start there. Maybe it’s a photo or a memory or story. Whatever you think of or see that makes your heart feel full, start there.

What Next?

Open your favorite scrapping program and get to work! Pull in the photos, the products, a template, whatever you need to get you in a grove. Save often and if you have to come back, that’s okay, the important thing is that you SCRAP!

Remember, something is better than nothing!

Here’s my layout:

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supplies: Papers by Studio Rosey Posey, alpha and doodles by Kate Hadfield, Template by Nanies Designs (TDF29), Title Builder by Anna Forrester, Supply Tracker by SpeedScraps.

When one of our team members announced that she was going on bed rest with her pregnancy, it instantly brought these memories back and I felt an urge to document them, so I did. Here’s what the journaling says:

When you went in for your transplant, my sisters gave us a few months of Netflix. We were excited to try it and we did more than that! The day we came home from the hospital, I went down on bed rest with my pregnancy at 20 weeks. We would send the kids off to school and watch movies the whole time they were gone. There just weren’t too many things we could do your first few weeks home, no driving and no public places. Crazy crazy time of life for us! It was filled with lots of emotions (happy, scared, stressed), but these are some of my favorite memories from that time. It’s also some of my favorite memories from our almost 17 years together. We had a new start with your health and had been given the gift of time! A second chance! What more could anyone want? We just celebrated your 5th year anniversary of your transplant and we are still Netflix subscribers…going strong, never stopped! Lots of good times!

I’m so happy to finally have this memory documented so I don’t forget!

Now it’s your turn! Come share with us what you scrapped (post a link) by 9pm ET Saturday, May 14th and one person will be chosen randomly to win $10 in product from a contributor. The only rule is that the layout needs to be scrapped and posted in response to this challenge Smile

Short Stories are Scrapbook Journaling

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When I used to put my daughter to bed each night, she would ask me to “tell her a story” to help her unwind from the day. She liked it when I made up stories about pretend events and people, but she really LOVED it when I told her stories about her own life. She wanted to hear the stories of when she was a baby, or how I met Daddy, or what I remembered most about my own childhood. It’s the same thing when we pull out the scrapbooks…she wants to know the stories. They don’t have to be long, it’s just important that the experiences are shared. I’m quite certain that if you ask your own family members what they love most about your scrapbook layouts, they will tell you that it’s the stories that mean the most!

Even if you don’t feel like a writer (I promise that you CAN do it!), there are many ways to use your digital skills to tell your stories.

Pick a picture and describe it. Feel free to be creative! In this case, I was inspired to try a different mode of storytelling to describe what I saw as I walked behind my children.

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Carded frame by Katie Pertiet.

Journaling:

She reached for his hand like she had done so many times before, and gently guided him on the winding path before them. He talked of imaginary triumphs, video game battles, and weary feet. She listened patiently, and with interest. Their parents feel back a few extra feet and soaked in the beauty of the simple act of siblings holding hands.

Tell the story directly to the person who it is about. When I scrapped about the ultrasound I had taken when I was expecting my daughter, I told her the details by using a conversational tone and addressing her specifically.

Xo by Fee Jardine, Template by Janet Phillips. Calibri font

Journaling:

In June of 1996, we went for a checkup and ultrasound at Dr. Hansen’s office. We couldn’t wait to find out if you were a boy or a girl! Dr. Hansen used to do the ultrasounds himself, but now that he has gotten busier he has an ultrasound technician do the honors. The technician was not very friendly and she rushed the whole exam. She told us that people should not want to find out the sex of the baby before it was born! Daddy finally asked her “Well, is it a boy or a girl?” She answered “it sort of looks like a girl” and that is all we could get out of her. We weren’t sure what to think of that. When we showed the pictures to Dr. Hansen he thought it was maybe a boy. Even though I was relieved that you were healthy, I was disappointed that we didn’t find out what you were going to be. I really wanted to start planning and shopping!

I’ve never been good at being in limbo and the whole thing was driving me a bit crazy so Daddy suggested I get another ultrasound. We didn’t have much money so I was worried about spending $50 at Fetal Fotos, but Daddy said it would be worth it. He was so right! He also was very generous to suggest that Grandma Kathy go with me for this one as she had never seen an ultrasound before. I know this was a special experience for Grandma. Fetal Fotos was located on the top floor of Cottonwood Mall. They took a lot of time with us and made it a special day. The ultrasound was detailed and even recorded on a video tape with music playing in the background. The technician there could definitely tell you were a girl and she said that you were cute already! Both Grandma and the technician said that you had “a cute profile.” We even got to see you sucking your thumb! I have to say that it was totally worth every penny we spent. It was nice to hear that you were very healthy. We knew all along that if you were a girl, we would name you Riley Kate. After the ultrasound confirmed that you were indeed a girl, we all got to start shopping for pink and dreaming about the little lady that would soon be joining our family. What a wonderful blessing technology is. I feel so lucky that I got to take a peek at you even before you were born!

Let the subject of the photo tell the story in their own words. You can have someone write out the journaling for you as they tell their side of the story. Or you can give a voice to a young child, or even an animal or inanimate object and let them do the talking. When our family vacationed in Oregon, we found that we had a frequent visitor at our door. This little squirrel begging for food became one of the most memorable parts of our vacation as my daughter couldn’t wait for him to come around each day. I wanted to include this experience in our scrapbook but I had a hard time knowing what to say about it. When I stopped trying to tell the story, it turns out that Mr. Squirrel did a pretty good job of explaining the whole thing.

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Century gothic and CK easy goin font. Heidi Heidelberg template. Doris Castle Sunday Love kit

Journaling :

Aha! New tourists are here. Bet they will come to the sliding glass door if I wait here patiently. Time to turn on the ultimate “cute” pose, it gets them every time. No one can resist my sweet little face and innocent begging.
Score! These saps are pushovers! And I just love pistachios. I’m amazed by my own power, I always get my way!

When you think about scrapbook journaling as simply telling a story, it can feel a lot less overwhelming. Instead of worrying about writing the “perfect” journaling, just enjoy some story time instead!

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P.S. Sandy_in_MD was the random winner chosen from Veronica Sprigg’s post yesterday! Congratulations Sandy! You won $10 in product from Veronica!

Veronica Spriggs: I Came About Scrapbooking The Backwards Way

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Studio Vivarant has a very sophisticated, elegant design style. Her kits are full of unique, realistic elements. I love her pennants and flowers that she included in “Cherish” this month! I also really love her calm color combinations! Let’s take a closer look at “Cherish the Day” that is included in The Digi Files this month:

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Here are some layouts created using Studio Vivarant’s contribution:

LO1Layout by Jenn; Additional Credits: Typewriter Scribbled font.
LO2Layout by Lauren; Additional Credits: Courier font.
LO3Layout by Anne.
LO4Layout by Karen; Additional Credits: House Blends Sampler by Jenn Lindsey (template, flipped); Fonts: Zapfino, Times New Roman.
LO5Layout by Jacki; Additional Credits: XOXO Karen font.

You can see more layouts created with this kit on our “Team Inspiration” page.

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I’m Veronica Spriggs aka Studio Vivarant. I live in Delaware our nation’s first state. There’s just lil ole me so I have lots of time to find things to get into. Mostly that’s a good thing. When I’m not scrapping or creating I spend time hanging out with my bf.

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I’ve never actually been a paper scrapper. I did keep a scrapbook back in college but that was back before I even knew what scrapbooking was. I just thought I had a super cool photo album! My journey into scrapbooking has been completely digital. I started back in ’06 when I wanted to learn how to make embellishments to adorn tags I used to create. I’ve always had the desire to do some type of design as a career. I figured I’d be a web designer but once I discovered scrapbook design I knew it was for me. And it’s not nearly as frustrating as web design! I supposed I learned about scrapbooking the backwards way. But that’s not atypical of me. As a designer, I became more and more interested in scrapbooking and eventually began creating digital layouts. I will confess designing layouts comes a lot harder to me than designing kits. And still to this day I haven’t scrapped a traditional layout yet but it’s on my list of things to do.

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Designing for me is like reading a good book. Once I’m done with a project I instantly want more. I stay inspired by the design process itself. I try to make a mental note of things I find inspirational, which could be anything, from something I’ve seen at a craft show to something I’ve seen on the web. But mostly when I’m creating, the ideas just come. I have a sort of tunnel vision when I’m creating and I barely come up for air.

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This may be a very odd tip but I do it all the time. When I’m done a layout sometimes I find the layout or perhaps the colors look a bit dull or flat. So to add a bit of pop I do this simple trick. See it here if video doesn’t show: http://youtu.be/Ws1ITuq3t1M

What kind of computer do you have?
I am on PC and Mac. My PC is a Gateway with a dual core processor @ 2.66GHZ and 4 gigs of ram. My Mac which is a laptop has 3.06 GHz processor and 8 gigs of ram. Even though my mac is more powerful I have to confess I’m really a pc girl at heart. My plan though is to someday be completely reliant on mac for my designing. That would probably mean loading windows on mac though and I’m not too keen on that idea.

What program/s are you using?
Photoshop of course, CS4. I hear CS5 is to die for so eventually I will upgrade but I’m in no rush. By the time I get around to it CS6 will be out. I started in Paint Shop Pro and generally kept a copy installed but so many reformats I decided to keep it stream lined. I am a fan of PSP though and it took a while to kick the habit. I also use Illustrator

What kind of camera?
I started with the Nikon D40x and although it takes great photos once I started taking photography courses I just had too hard a time trying to operate it so I upgraded to the Nikon D90 and I love, love, love it. But then as it always happens they came out with the Nikon D7000 but I’m just going choose to ignore it . Although I am a bit curious what it has to offer I seriously doubt I would upgrade again unless I were going for a full frame camera but that won’t be until I hit the lotto. And I don’t even play lol.

Do you use a tablet or any other tools?
It took ages for me to actually USE my tablet once I got it, I’m such a creature of habit I just couldn’t get out of the habit of using a mouse. But now I am hopelessly addicted to my tablet. I use it almost exclusively. That’s partly because since I moved my mouse to the port on the front of my pc it’s always falling on the floor. My first tablet was Wacom’s Intous3 now I’m using the Intous4. I gave my I3 to a friend I’m kinda wishing I’d kept it as I really miss it. Another essential tool my scanner. I use Canon’s canoscan 880.

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Here are some of my favorite products by Studio Vivarant:

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

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Studio Vivarant has a special offer for everyone! First, sign up for her newsletter and receive two bonus quick pages created with “Cherish the Day” (see preview below). Here’s a coupon for 25% off your $10 order. (Collabs excluded, expires May 31, 2011.)
Code: vjsDailyDigi

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Go have a look in Studio Vivarant’s store! We will randomly select a winner from the comments to win $10.00 in product from her store! (Comments must be posted before midnight EST to qualify)!

Inspired by Studio Vivarant

The following layouts were created using “Cherish” by Studio Vivarant and included in The Digi Files during May:

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Layout by Jennifer

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Layout by Conny

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Layout by Conny

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Layout by SharonS
LO1Layout by Jenn; Additional Credits: Typewriter Scribbled font.
LO2Layout by Lauren; Additional Credits: Courier font.
LO3Layout by Anne.
LO4Layout by Karen; Additional Credits: House Blends Sampler by Jenn Lindsey (template, flipped); Fonts: Zapfino, Times New Roman.
LO5Layout by Jacki; Additional Credits: XOXO Karen font.

Happy Mother’s Day

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We want to wish you and the ones you love a Happy Mother’s Day!  We are taking the day to create some memories with our families and hope you are able to do the same. Smile We’ll be back tomorrow with more digi scrapbooking goodness!

Supplies: Thrifty Finds by Mari Koegelenberg


Digitizing Doodles

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In the most recent episode of the Digi Show, I talked about a class at Get It Scrapped to learn doodling (click over there for a coupon code for the class).  I said that I would be posting a tutorial this weekend for “Digitizing Your Doodles” and here it is.

I am not an artist, but I learned some techniques in this class that I decided to try and was pleased with the results.  I am excited to work through each exercise and see what I can do!

I just used a regular piece of paper and a ball point pen.  A ball point pen isn’t the best doodling implement option out there and doesn’t create doodles that are very easily digitized, but it will work.  A felt tipped pen is typically a better choice.

We first need to desaturate the image:

In PSCS go to Image> Adjustments> Desaturate

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If you are in PSE go to Enhance> Convert to Black and White

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Next, we need to increase the contrast:

In PSCS  go to Image> Adjustments> Brightness/Contrast

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In PSE, go to Enhance> Adjust Lighting> Brightness/Contrast

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I moved the slider for contrast all the way to the right (in either program):

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Next, I used the lasso tool to select one of the doodles, copied it, and pasted it to a new, blank canvas.

Now, we need to separate the black from the white, so I use the magic wand for that and here are my settings in either program:

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Use the magic wand and click on the white part (not on the doodle).  Then, Select> Inverse.  Copy this and paste to a new, blank canvas.

It will look like you only copied the doodle, but if you add a red stroke to it, you will be surprised how many pixels are there that you can’t see without the stroke.

In PSCS, I just double clicked on the layer and then selected stroke.  You can also go to Layer> Layer Style> Stroke.

In PSE, Layer> Layer Style> Style Settings and select Stroke.

I usually use a 3-4 pixel stroke in the default red for this.  Here is what my doodle looked like:

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Wowzers!  All those little red dots are stray pixels that I didn’t see with my naked eye, even zoomed in at 200%.  These need to be erased, so grab a hard, round eraser brush and get to work!

Now, we’ll change the brightness so the doodle is all black, accessing the menu the same as we did above, this time using these settings:

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I wanted my lines to be thicker, so I added a 4 pixel stroke and then, in PSE, I simplified the layer (right click on the layer and select “Simplify”).  In PSCS, I added the stroke by going to Edit> Stroke instead of adding it as a style.  This adds a stroke that is simplified already.

Now, we want to smooth the edges a bit.  Select the doodle layer in the layers stack and with the magic wand tool selected, click on the blank canvas. Inverse that selection, just like we did above.  Now, click on the “Add Layer Mask” icon in PSCS in PSE it’s called the “Layer Vector Mask”.  They look the same though:

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You will need to make sure the mask is active, this is what it looks like when it’s active in PSCS (note the brackets around the masked image):

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Here’s what it looks like in PSE when the mask is active (it’s highlighted):

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We need to add a Gaussian Blur to the mask.  In either program; Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur.  I usually select between 1.5 to 3.0 depending on the size of the image.  If the image is small, the larger you go on the number, the less of the image there will be.

Now, we need to “firm up the edges” (that’s what I call it, not sure what it’s called for sure).  You do this by changing the levels:

In PSCS go to Image> Adjustments> Levels.

In PSE go to Image> Adjust Lighting> Levels (see below).

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Now, you play with the sliders, while keeping an eye on the edges of your image to see how they are looking.  Most often, you will slide the black toward the center, but not too far or you will lose too much of your image.

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Now you can see that the edges are much smoother:

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Here’s my finished doodle:

image

So, how about it?  Are you going to try digitizing some doodles?  I would love to see if you do!