You Could Be One of Seven To Win


Can you believe you get ALL of the items pictured above for only $7.50 when you subscribe!?  It’s a great way to try new-to-you designers at a low risk.  It’s also a great way to try new styles.  You also get the interactive Playbook with layouts, ideas, techniques, and tips:


When you become a member, you will find bonus gifts added to your account and also get access to exclusive kits.  This month, for members we uploaded a quick page album and an action that drops photos in the photo spots on the album.  All FREE:


I want to give a big THANKS to the designers that joined us during June here at The Daily Digi!!  I sincerely loved working with and getting to know each of these designers over the past month!  Thank you to:

Sarah Jones
Fayette of the “Ettes”
Kitty Designs
ReneeMarie of Forever Joy
Jady Day Studio
The Digi Chick

I’m always glad that working with these designers during their feature month is just the beginning!  I’m sure we will be seeing them more around here!

As always, we have SEVEN chances for you to win a coupon code from one of these designers!  Just leave a comment telling us something you enjoyed during June at The Daily Digi!!  Only one comment per person please (although you are welcome to share as many things as you want within that one comment…haha).

P.S. I neglected to announce that Becky was the random winner from the comments on The Digi Chick feature.  Thanks to everyone for commenting and so sorry about the delay!

P.S.S. My husband usually checks in here everyday, so I wanted to wish him a Happy Anniversary!!  SEVENTEEN years ago today we were married…I can’t believe we are getting that old!  Here’s to seventeen more healthy and happy years!

Two Photos are Better than One! (Diptychs explained)



Several months ago, Heather Hess mentioned that instead of doing a photo-a-day project, she actually takes 2 photos everyday. I (Katie) thought that she was just an overachiever (lol!) but then she explained that she likes diptychs. I had never heard that word before so I had to ask her what that meant and she explained that it is a pairing of two pictures together presented as one image. I decided that sounded really interesting, so I did a little research on the topic. It turns out that there is a whole world out there that I didn’t even know about!

I love the definition given in this Flickr group for diptych fans:

The diptych – two photos that fit better together than they did apart. A mini story in two frames, an association, siblings, parent & child, different perspectives on the same theme, anything that works well as a team of two. Get creative! Think in pairs!



Diptychs tell a story that goes beyond one photograph. I love Zalaine’s guest post on CaptureYour365 because it illustrates just how effective diptychs and triptychs (3 images) are for storytelling purposes. A series of photos can better represent a memory, a feeling, or an event.



This post from Digital Scrapbooking School also emphasizes the storytelling power of multiple images. I love the idea of showing what can happen in just a few short seconds of time. These 2 photos placed side by side allude to what might have happened between shots. Can’t you just imagine the first Lego guy telling the others “Hey! You’ve got to come and take a look at this!”?



Two photos together show different perspectives of the same scene:



Diptychs are great for comparisons or then-and-now type of presentations:



Not only can you share diptychs as a creative way to display your photos, you can also include them on digital scrapbook layouts!


pluto copy

Layout by Katie. Home by Audrey Neal. Foam Stamp Alpha by Sahlin Studio. The Architect font by Heather Hess.




There are several easy ways to create diptychs:

  • If you are familiar with your photo editing program. You simply need to place all of the images on the same canvas and then size them as desired. You can decide if you want a border to separate the images, or if you want them right next to each other. It’s totally up to you!
  • If you need step-by-step instructions, check out this tutorial from a flickr group member.
  • Many of the programs used for creating photo collages can also come in handy for creating multi-photo images such as diptychs.
  • The mosaic tool on is my favorite shortcut for creating diptychs and more! (see my previous post on Big Huge Labs here)


I love finding new ways to have fun with photos! I bet you will love creating diptychs too – give them a try!


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P.S. The Digi Show has a new website and a new facebook page. Be sure to check us out so you get first news of when a new show is available!

Color Popping Against Achromatics


I have always been a fan of layouts that use colors against a black, white, and sometimes even gray canvas.  The colors have always appeared more bold, more vivid. I decided to do a little research and found what could be some science behind my correct perceptions.

Achromatic colors are those that are unsaturated.  Pure achromatic colors are black, white, and true shades of gray.  Wikipedia says:

Black and white have long been known to combine well with almost any other colors; black increases the apparent saturation or brightness of colors paired with it, and white shows off all hues to equal effect.

Let’s take a look at some examples of one of my favorite design tricks…

I love how the journaling and title become the focal point of this layout through placement and also the color that helps frame them:



I love how bright and bold these papers and elements look against the dark gray background. Even though the photos are black and white, they still stand out in the colors:



The pinks, greens, and blues appear even more saturated against the white background paper.  The drop shadows also give the appearance that the flowers are growing right out of the frame and the butterflies just flew away:



The biggest contrast between two colors is that of black against white.  With the juxtaposition of the colored elements around the photo, against the black and white, our eye is naturally drawn to the photo:



Vibrant floral photos against a black background is one of my favorite layouts to create.  It just makes the flowers pop right off the page:



I love how the blue and red pop against the gray in this layout by Tara.  The lighter journaling adds a nice contrast too:



The colors just jump off the page in this layout with a white background. Add to it that the subject matter is Disney and it makes my heart go pitter-pat:



I love the mood that is achieved in this layout with the contrast of black and white.  With the only color being in the photo, we are immediately drawn to the look on the little boys face that says he is indeed a “Force to be Reckoned With”:



I love how the lego sailor is the focus of this layout and how bright that yellow becomes against the black background. Katrina’s photos are simply stunning and the journaling is such a sweet story too:



The white journaling is a great contrast to the black background in Katie’s layout. The background also makes the flowers pop off the page with brightness:



When I am having a hard time figuring out what color of background to use, I often reach for a black or white paper because I know the colors will always look great!

At the very least, be sure you have a date!

Our current technology allows us to easily determine when a photo was taken. Digital cameras export the date as part of the metadata so you can find the date for your pictures by simply hovering your mouse over the photo. It’s easy to determine when this photograph was shot.


I (Katie) would be able to get the same information by looking at the EXIF data for this photo uploaded in my flickr account.


Just go to the drop down menu under “Actions” and select “view EXIF info”


As you can see, I took this photo at 5:45 p.m. (Mountain time) on April 28, 2011. Thanks to current technology, we can find out when a picture was taken – IF it’s a digital photograph. That information is also available to us IF we are looking at the photo on a computer or examining the EXIF data in a flickr photostream.

What about if the photo is printed? What if it’s not even a digital photo to begin with? What if the photo is used on a scrapbook layout? The only way to know what date a photo was taken on is if you include it. This may seem like a simple thing (or even a tedious chore), but by including the date with your photographs and layouts, you ensure that the information lives on. You may think you will remember, but you will forget! Even if you are lucky enough to retain a perfect memory, should someone have to rely on having you next to them to understand when the photo was taken? Too many times we have to act as detectives and piece together when a photo was taken by looking for clues in the background, or trying to guess how old someone is in the photograph.

I love this layout and I love this photo of my Dad and brother. I’m not sure when the pictures was taken. My Mom isn’t really sure either. We can both try to guess by looking at my Dad. We can both try to guess by looking at my brother. My Mom knows a time frame it would have to be after because the glass bricks in her bathroom were an addition to their house, after a remodeling project. It would take a lot of guesswork to figure out the date, but we could still get a ballpark figure if we tried. After thinking about this, I’m motivated to pin down a general date and add it to the page so no one else has to wonder when this sweet scene happened.


Another layout I love, with some favorite pictures of my son. There’s no date information (no journaling either, but that’s a different post). How will anyone else know when these pictures will taken? Someday, I will even struggle to remember that this was Easter weekend of 2009. Just a simple little date on the layout would save everyone so much work later on!


Another missed opportunity on journaling, but at least this page has a date. It’s small, and barely noticeable, but it’s there! At the very least, my kids will be able to figure out how old they were in these pictures.


Are you beginning to see how important just a little date is? By including a date, you at least have a reference to figure out when the picture was taken. Even if you don’t include anything else (and you know I hope you will add some journaling) – at the very least, remember to include a date!

Need some ideas and inspiration for dating your layouts? Here are some fabulous resources:

A date might just be the most important embellishment you put on the entire layout!

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Great Gallery Walls

Digital scrapbookers are memory keepers who appreciate visual presentation. If you are anything like me (Katie), I bet you love a good wall display of photographs and other beautiful pieces. I adore groupings of pictures and I’m always on the lookout for a unique wall display. I love that there are so many trends in decorating now that emulate what I would call “gallery walls” – similar to a curated collection of similar (or even very different) frames, photos, art pieces, or other wall décor.


I’ve shared my own favorite collection of framed pictures here before. I fondly refer to this grouping as our “hall of fame”.

I’ve also been in the mood to create some more gallery walls in my house that will have a mixture of art, quotes, and memories to display. I’m in one of those “let’s switch everything around” modes (see my post on Use-what-you-have decorating), and I plan to give new life to some older pieces by combining them with fresh and new additions. I’ve seen so many inspirational ideas floating around Pinterest, and I’ve been busy pinning them all to help me plan my own projects. I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites here today:

I love the look of empty frames and it’s such a great way to repurpose some older frames that have passed their prime. I have some older gold frames that look outdated, but I think they will look fabulous if I spray paint them all white like this!


One of my favorite looks is a wall full of black and white photos! Keep the frames uniform in color and style if you want a clean and linear style, or mix and match frames for a more whimsical look.


Clipboards can act as easy-access “frames” to allow for an ever-changing art display. Brilliant!

One of my favorite sources for gallery wall inspiration is Pottery Barn. I love looking through their catalogs and website for ideas!



I also think it’s perfectly fine to let your own style and creativity shine. There really aren’t any “rules” these days, it’s your collection – and it’s your wall, so have fun!

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Scrapping with Brushes


Art Card from Around the World collab kit (the digi chick) in this month’s Digi Files. Spattered Alpha by Something Blue Studios.


I (Katie) try to make sure I’m always expanding my digital scrapbooking skills and techniques because it keeps digi scrapping fun and fresh for me. One area I really have not done much with is brushwork and using digital brushes. It’s not because I don’t like them, I really admire beautiful brushwork and think it can take a standard layout design to greatness. It’s just that I don’t remember to use them, I don’t have my brushes organized (gasp!), and I’m not as comfortable with the techniques they require. So this post is just as much for me as any one of you – I need some brush inspiration! I turned to the team for some help in this area.



Brushes are different than other types of digital embellishments because they can be loaded right into your program (find some tips and tutorials here). In fact, Photoshop programs come pre-loaded with several brushes and it’s easy to add more! Brushes are similar to a digital stamp and they generally have a softer and more blended look than most digital pieces. Brushwork makes a layout feel a bit more artistic and often adds some creative flair to a page. There are many types of digital brushes ranging from alphabets, stamped images such as flowers, blending masks, paint splatters, and more. Just about anything can be made into a brush (find resources here).

Wendyzine says that she loves grunge and paint-style brushes “to use behind photos to draw the eye in a bit.” She also prefers “to use masks and journaling prompts as brushes because I can load them into PS and have them there without needing to find the product on my HD.” Wendyzine has some good tips for looking for brushes. She says “I like brushes that come with preset scatter settings. To me, they are more useful.”



Jenn Lindsey is the master of brushes in my opinion. She says” I use different combinations of brushes to create all of the masks in my templates, as well as creating blended photos without my templates. The majority of my brushes are from, but when using them for commercial use purposes, you have to check the individual TOU’s of the brush makers.  I also use the Tuma Soft Preset viewer to keep track of my brushes and view them before I load them into PS.”

Here are some of her layouts to illustrate her brushwork:

In this layout, I used a couple of grunge brushes to paint a clipping mask that I then attached the faux brick background paper to:

Credits: Dragon Tales collab by After Five Designers


I used brushes to erase the top edge of this photo that I blended into the background in this layout:

Credits: Queen of Hearts template, So Thankful by MScraps Designers, Harvest paper pack by Three Paper Peonies, Spontaneous by Sabrina’s Creations, Zoie by Misty Mareda (recolored slightly), Wild Hearts by Michelle Coleman (sparkly flowers), Pea Sarah font


In this layout I used a grunge brush to slightly erase the word “at” before applying a blend mode; Splatter brushes were also used behind the photos in white (with the Overlay blend mode) to give the layout a more grungy feel:

Credits: Heart of Nature by After5 Designers, Bit O Luck by Audrey Neal, Upside Down alpha by Dunia, Big Kid Church alpha by Krystal Hartley, 9 to 5 alpha by Krystal Hartley, Boys in my Backyard alpha by Erica Zane, Jayne Print font


Here are some great layouts with brushes from the galleries (all images are linked)


This one has beautiful bits of blended color brushes to add just the right finishing touches.



The brushed scrollwork on the background gives this a feeling of wallpapered parlor in the olden days.



The brushes on this layout have made it into a real work of art.



The subtle brushes used on this layout show how they can add the perfect little accent behind a photo.




SHOPPING FOR BRUSHES: (all images are linked)

You can easily create a brush from any .png file by following the steps in this tutorial. If you want and even quicker shortcut, just use an action like this set from Wendyzine!




Spritz and Spray



Art Journal Caravan 2011 Provisions {Parcel 16} Apprentice Art Box Edition




Life In Pictures Brushes and Stamps



Grunge Brushes Set 3

And Jenn says to be sure to check out the brushes at Design Fruit – she loves them!



I use a lot of brushes that come in both .abr and .png format and usually just use the .png shapes (and there’s nothing wrong with that!). I’m feeling more inspired now though to load up some brushes and get playing. I love the soft and artsy look that comes with using brush files and I can see that they really do finish off a page. We’d love to hear about how you use brushes and what some of your favorites are. Feel free to share in the comments!

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TONS of Friday Fun for You!


First off, I wanted to remind you about the AMAZING kits you get as FREE bonuses when you are a member here at The Daily Digi!

Everyday Life is the first the exclusive kit that Digi Game members get upon subscribing:


Good Life is the 2nd exclusive kit that members get after 4 active months:


My Journey, My Life is the 3rd exclusive kit that Digi Game members get after 8 active months:


Aren’t those kits beautiful? They are also GINORMOUS! We are so grateful to the contributing designers who make these gifts possible, and we are grateful to our members for keeping The Daily Digi running! Remember that you can subscribe by the month or save even more with an annual membership!

Want to know what else caught my eye in digiland this week?

I love a good sale, and Chelle’s Creations has a big one going on!


Heather T. is offering 20% off this gorgeous Making Up kit through the weekend. So pretty!


It’s like Wendy can read my mind…I love the look of stacked papers and now she has created actions to make it super easy! She has an exclusive offer just for US

15% off any Studio Wendy purchase over $15
EXP: 07-04-11

I have a serious addiction to digital frames – I must have them all! Smile I love these clippy frames from Allison Pennington!


Kaye Winiecki has a new template pack out and it’s 20% off this weekend. I love her templates!


Jennifer Labre has a fun and colorful kit to help you celebrate those “special” birthdays. Winking smile It’s 20% off right now!


Dianne Rigdon has such a knack for putting fun colors and patterns together. I love this Happy Day bundle!


I’ve been in the mood to work on my son’s baby pages lately and this kit from Sabrina’s Creations is just perfect for baby boy layouts!


I love the color palette of the Summer Fix at The Digi Chick and this bunch of elements from Elise’s Pieces is just yummy!


This is an older product, but as I was looking through my template files the other day, I was reminded that this is one of the most amazing templates I’ve ever purchased. It fits 100 pictures! Thanks Misty Cato for putting together all of those layers so I don’t have to! LOL!


I adore the crayons in this Scribbled Out kit from Micheline Martin – and digital crayons always look brand new! Smile


Jenn Barrette’s Feet in the Sand kit is still one of my favorites. If you weren’t lucky enough to get it in The Digi Files last year (see how much you can save by getting that awesome bundle of files each month?!) then you can still pick it up in her store. I’ve used it several times!


I’m loving the stitched eyelet lace and the fun cherries in Amanda Heimann’s Bada Bing kit!


Have a great weekend!

katie big

The DigiChick: Encouraging Each Other to Record Our Precious Memories


The Digi Chick has been around in digiland forever (in digi years anyway).  I can be found cruising through the shoppe once a week and every time, I discover something new about the site that I love!  From the designers and the rocking designs (in just about every style you can imagine) to how easy it is to share products and the great URL’s that actually describe the products.  The Digi Chick’s contribution is HUGE (almost 1 gig by itself) and it’s filled with some beautiful papers, extremely unique elements, printables, hybrid projects, templates, and much more!

Let’s take a closer look at "Around the World" that is included in The Digi Files this month:

Here are some layouts created using The Digi Chick’s contribution:


Layout by Katie. Supplies: "Around the World" collab by The Digichick and included in The Digi Files #30; Template by Bree Clarkson (modified); Font: The King and Queen Font and Traveling Typewriter.
Layout by Anne. Supplies: "Around the World" collab by The Digichick and included in The Digi Files #30.
Layout by Lauren. Supplies: "Around the World" collab by The Digichick and included in The Digi Files #30.
Layout by Jacki. Supplies: "Around the World" collab by The Digichick and included in The Digi Files #30.


Travel journal printable project included in “Around the World” in The Digi Files during June, 2011.


Layout by SharonS, additional supplies: Template: Laurie’s Scraps, Font: Traveling Typewriter





The Digichick opened it’s doors in 2005. We recently celebrated our 6th anniversary in May!

How many designers do you have now?

We currently have a team of 33 digital and hybrid designers. We also carry BasicGrey’s line of digital scrapbooking "starter kits" as well.

What is the site philosophy?

At the Digichick, we are all about community. We want people to come to our site and feel welcomed! That’s why our gallery is an open gallery. We want people to feel like they can hang out with us at the Digichick and share their latest work in our gallery–regardless of who designed the kit they used. We love chatting and learning about new trends together. And as we plan for new events, we try to keep the focus on scrapping. I know that might sound obvious, but it’s very easy to become a digital hoarder! We want to encourage each other to be recording our precious memories and photos. That’s one reason why we love to host quarterly weekend scrap parties! The motivation behind all the things we plan and do at our site comes from our desire to help you "capture, record and preserve your life’s story."


One of our favorite things at the Digichick is The Hybrid Chick blog. At The Hybrid Chick, it’s all about sharing and enabling! Our creative team works to make some of the most incredible paper creations out of digital goodies. And then they share how they did it so that you can do it, too!


We love the All About Me collab. It’s got such a unique and funky feel to it. And the spirit behind this collab was a desire to help others remember to scrap about themselves. Too often as scrapbookers, we hide behind the camera and end up detailing the lives of our friends and family… and we neglect to tell our own stories. Our wish is that this collab encourages others to step out a little and make some pages about what they love!




Here are some of my favorite products by The Digi Chick:

























Here are some more inspirational layouts using The Digi Chick’s products. All of the layouts are linked to the originals with credits.







Save 30% off any order. Just use the coupon code: daily-digichick. Offer expires June 30, 2011.


Go have a look at The Digi Chick! We will randomly select a winner from the comments to win $10.00 in product from the store! (Comments must be posted before midnight EST to qualify)!

Understanding ISO | Completing The Exposure Triangle

ISO is an enabler.

ISO enables you to have a faster shutter speed in low light. ISO is there for you when you need a narrow aperture in low light. ISO completes the exposure triangle.

Just what is ISO?

I like to think about ISO as film speed. The digital equivalent of buying a roll of film in days of old.  Shooting in low light? Grab a high number. Shooting in bright light? Choose a low number? Shooting in different situations? That’s where things got trickier in film days.

Digital ISO solves that frustration. Changing your ISO in each situation gives you digital flexibility.

Remembering to change your ISO becomes the big frustration.

Here’s my work flow to get you thinking about your own.

1. Set ISO by looking at the light I’ll be shooting in

  • Bright & Sunny? 100-200
  • Outside but not so bright and sunny? 200-400
  • Inside well lit? 400
  • Inside not well lit? 800-1000
  • Indoor, very low light? 1000-6400

2. Set Aperture for my desired depth of field/creative look

3. Set the Shutter Speed for a correct exposure as indicated by my light meter (the needle thingy has to be in the middle ) *

4. Check the Shutter Speed to make sure it is fast enough for my situation.


  • Need faster shutter speed? Bump the ISO up to enable a bit faster shutter speed
  • Shutter speed super fast, more than I need? Set the ISO to a lower number for less potential noise.


5. Shoot

Remembering to set your ISO is all about getting into a routine when you pick up the camera. You will build the muscle memory and get faster at changing your settings. With practice you really will!

Let’s take a look at the “ISO what ifs.”

What if I can’t bump my ISO any higher without getting grain in my image?

Then it’s a trade off. You will need to:

  • Get more light in your scene, either artificial or natural.
  • Settle for a slower shutter speed – prop your camera on something or settle for motion blur.
  • Use a wider aperture (smaller f/ number).

What if I shoot outside with an ISO that is too high?

This happens all the time. You’ve set it high from the photos you were taking the night before and you forget to change it. Your photos may have some noise, but in bright light it won’t be quite as obvious. It isn’t ideal. Just remember to get in the habit of ALWAYS checking your shutter speed. If you are outside and it is around 1/2000 you know your ISO is HIGH!

Why can my friend set her ISO to 6400 and get beautiful images while I set mine to 1000 and have a noisy mess?

Here is where I have to admit, better equipment can create better photos (sometimes).  Newer camera models and models toward the pro-sumer to professional end of camera lines have more sensitive digital sensors capturing sharper, less noisy images at higher ISOs.

Does that mean you need a new camera? Not at all. Know the limits of your camera. Take the same photo through the full range of your available ISOs. Compare your results. Look for that spot where you begin to see noticeable noise that can’t be corrected through noise reduction software. Keep that number in mind when you shoot.

What if I just set my  camera to AUTO ISO?

It is an option. A great option for those of us who forget it each and every time. The drawback? You know the situation better than the camera. It is always going to default to a higher ISO to get a photo. You may not always want to deal with the potential noise/pixelation a higher ISO gives you.

One trick some newer cameras have is to set AUTO ISO limits. A handy little trick to tell your camera DO NOT go any higher than X or higher than X. Nice little compromise setting. You will need to dive into your camera’s menu to change the setting.

So we’ve made it all the way around the exposure triangle of shutter speed, aperture and ISO. They each work together taking cues from the others.  It’s a tight relationship.

What tricks do you use to remember how they work together?

No tricks? Still stumped by how they work? Where do you get frustrated with the three?