Tracie Stroud: The Good In Circumstances

DesignersStudio

Tracie Stroud’s kits are ones that I tend to use for several layouts. They are filled with fun goodies that I just NEED to create with! I love Tracie’s colors, font choices, and her awesome ability to mix patterns so well. I always know I can use lots of her papers on one layout and they will look GREAT! I’m thrilled to have Tracie joining us again in The Digi Files! Let’s take a closer look at “I Am Beautiful” that is included in The Digi Files this month:

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This is just ONE of the colections you get in The Digi Files and Digi Game during January, 2012. See the others we have revealed so far and don’t miss out by becoming a member!

Here are some layouts created using Tracie Stroud’s contribution:

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Layout by Karen. Supplies: I Am Beautiful by Tracie Stroud; Template by The Tattered Pear.
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Layout by Heddy. Supplies: I Am Beautiful by Tracie Stroud; DSD 2011 Template by Crystal Livesay.
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Layout by Jenn. Supplies: I Am Beautiful by Tracie Stroud; Fonts: Jailbird Jenna and Gimme Space.
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Layout by Melissa. Supplies: I Am Beautiful by Tracie Stroud; Story Starters (word art) by CD Muckosky; Font: CK Ali Handwriting.

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Layout by SharonS, additional supplies: Template: Rainy Dayz Designs: Font: SF Katie

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

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InTheStudioWith
My husband Michael and I have been married for 11 1/2 years. We met at college the first day of my freshman year and his senior year, and we’ve been together ever since. We have 3 beautiful kiddos, ages 6, 4, and 1. We live in Shreveport, Louisiana. I’m addicted to reading, Pinterest, and chocolate. My very favorite pasttime is just staying home and having fun as a family.

STORE

BLOG

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

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I created this layout for a challenge that required using 12 different patterned papers. I absolutely love including lots of different papers in my layouts, so this was right up my alley.

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I started paper scrapping about 10 years ago. After our first baby was born, I didn’t have the space or time for all the supplies. I didn’t know about digital at that time, so I just gave up scrapping altogether, but I really missed capturing those memories. When I was pregnant with our 2nd baby, everyone on the baby boards was raving about digital scrapping. I decided to try it, and I was hooked! After scrapping for a couple of years, I really wanted to try designing. I started selling in January of 2009.

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Colors are my biggest source of inspiration. I’m always drawn to a color pallette first, and I build my theme around a palette, instead of the other way around.

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Computer: I’m currently using a Toshiba laptop with Windows 7 and 4 GB of RAM. I desperately need to upgrade though, and I’m hoping to do that soon.

Program: I use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, both CS4. I use ACDSee Photo Manager to organize my files, and I use a Bamboo Fun tablet instead of a mouse.

Camera: Just a Nikon Coolpix point and shoot right now. It serves my needs for the moment.
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Don’t be afraid to use a variety of patterns and color in your layouts! If you use small pieces and strips of patterned papers against a neutral background, your photos still take center stage.

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I created My Bliss during a difficult personal time. It speaks to my desire to always try to find the good in circumstances that may not be so great. No matter what we’re going through, we can always look around us and focus on the people that we love and the small blessings that we tend to take for granted.

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I created Rock The Shadows Layer Styles to try to give scrappers an easier, more versatile way to shadow their layouts, so I included versions for 3 different light sources, and versions for both Photoshop and Elements, all in one package. I can’t tell you how many emails and pm’s I’ve received about them. So many of my customers have thanked me for creating them, and have raved to me about how much simpler shadowing is because of them. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I’ve been able to help scrappers simplify and enhance their creative process.

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Here are some of my favorite products by Tracie Stroud:

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

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Receive 35% off your order of $5 or more from Tracie Stroud Designs with coupon code TSD_TDD_35on5; expires 02-15-12. May not be combined with other discounts, coupons or sales. Not valid on collabs or bundles.

Go have a look in Tracie Stroud’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 Tracie Stroud

The following layouts were created using, “I am Beautiful” by Tracie Stroud and included in The Digi Files and Digi Game during January 2012:

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Layout by: Nikki
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Layout by Jackieann
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Layout by SharonS, additional supplies: Template: Rainy Dayz Designs: Font: SF Katie

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Layout by Karen. Supplies: I Am Beautiful by Tracie Stroud; Template by The Tattered Pear.
LO2Layout by Heddy. Supplies: I Am Beautiful by Tracie Stroud; DSD 2011 Template by Crystal Livesay.
LO3Layout by Jenn. Supplies: I Am Beautiful by Tracie Stroud; Fonts: Jailbird Jenna and Gimme Space.
LO4Layout by Melissa. Supplies: I Am Beautiful by Tracie Stroud; Story Starters (word art) by CD Muckosky; Font: CK Ali Handwriting.

iGoogle as a home page

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I’m sure you’ve all heard of Google, but are you familiar with iGoogle? iGoogle is your own personalized Google page. It’s easy to add news, photos, weather, and stuff from across the web to your page. I have my own iGoogle bookmarked as my home page because it’s my very own starting place to get going on the internet. Instructions for making iGoogle your home page vary by browser, but are always as easy as clicking a button. See this link for details.

I have my own page customized to show my Google calendar, the time & date, the local weather, a dictionary.com search box, and a wikipedia search box. I even added the rss feed for my Flickr set where I post my phone photo of the day (my own 365+1 project) – seeing that daily photo on my home page reminds me to take my picture each day and helps me to enjoy the ones I have already uploaded. (If you are looking for the rss feed on any Flickr set, just scroll to the bottom of the set’s page.) You can add any url to iGoogle with a rss feed to the page, just like a gadget.

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The best way to explain how to set up your own iGoogle page is to have you watch a few very short videos from Google. You also should be able to find everything you need to know by simply exploring the links on the left hand side of the iGoogle page. Just remember to sign in to your Google account (top right of the screen) so all your changes are saved.

Now you can have your own customized home page!

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KISS Digital Scrapbooking

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Jacque Larsen Love Letter, Traveling Typewriter font

I’ve been short on time and inspiration lately, but I’ve been longing to scrap some memories. During times like thing, I need to remind my self that it’s OK to “Keep It Simple Silly!” (K.I.S.S.)  Some people say “Keep It Simple Stupid” but I prefer to tell myself I’m “silly” for overcomplicating things. I’m still a smart person, I just need to remember to ease up on myself a bit.

If you are finding that your digital scrapbooking process is weighing you down, consider these tips to simplify your scrapping:

USE A TEMPLATE:

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“Life Composition” by Viva Artistry. Template by Scrapping with Liz.

We talk about templates all the time here at The Daily Digi, but they really are huge time-savers and a great way to simplify the digi scrapping process. Let someone else do the page design work for you, then you can enjoy selecting the page ingredients to complete your very own masterpiece! Believe it or not, this layout only took me about 15 minutes to complete and I didn’t have to put much mental effort into it at all since I just followed the template design.

Check out our resources for making the most of digital templates.

MINIMIZE PAGE DESIGN:

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All I did for this layout was to enlarge a scanned copy of a postcard and add the story. I didn’t worry about a fancy page design, I just made sure the memory was documented. Everyone who looks through my scrapbook albums always comments on how much they like this page. I always get a kick out of that because it has to be one of the easiest pages I have ever made!

Helpful posts for simple page designs:

“CHEAT” ON JOURNALING:

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Kitty Designs 365 Inspiration 3.  Asian Artistry by Emiko Designs.  Font is Franklin Gothic

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the task of journaling but there are so many ways to simplify this part of the scrapping process. A page without words is definitely missing something special! Here are my favorite methods for “cheating” on journaling:

CREATE A SIMPLE MOSAIC OR COLLAGE:

I love using the mosaic maker from Big Huge Labs to create super easy layouts! There’s nothing wrong with a simple arrangement of photos printed up as a scrapbook page. Here are some links to help you make easy collages using several different programs:

USE A QUICK PAGE:

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Digital Design Essentials Jeepers. Century Gothic Font.

There’s nothing easier than using a pre-designed quick page! All you have to do is plop your photo in and you’re done! You can even alter them a bit by using only a portion. I moved the frame & clusters of the layered quick page on the layout above and combined them with other papers and word art from the kit. I bet you will be surprised to discover that all the pages in my post about Super Speedy Scrapping are quick pages!

The next time you are feeling overwhelmed and/or short on time, don’t let that stop you from digi scrapping. There are so many ways to simplify the process. Just remember to K.I.S.S!

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Funtastic Friday on Friday the 13th

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There are a few key things around here that allow us to keep the daily in your digi: 1) our members 2) the designers the contribute to The Digi Files 3) the designers that contribute to our exclusive collections.

This month, our newest exclusive collection, “My Life in Print” started going out to our members that have been subscribed without a break since October, 2010. We started working on this collection in OCTOBER, 2011!! image

You can see previews of everything inside this collection here. This collection will go out to all members as they reach their 16 month mark of being a member of THE DIGI GAME level of subscription. If you unsubscribed and decide to come back, your accumulated time does not start over as long as you sign back up under the same username.

This week, we are saying thanks to the designers that contributed to this collection. Here’s what they have going on this week:

Chelle has a Winter Thrills bundle out on Friday. If the bundle is purchased between 1/13 EST and 1/19 EST, the quickies are free:

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Check out this fun collection by The Queen of Quirk:

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Jeanye Labaya has 5 new products this week.  Large photo templates, a pack with extra white space for journaling and 3 packs great for year in review, baby’s first year or yearly school pictures!

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Just Breathe is a beautiful new kit out today by Jenn Labre – and it’s on sale for 20% off through Sunday!

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It’s a new year and it’s time for resolutions and new directions. This kit from Secret Stash and Litabells Designs is perfect for scrapping all about what’s meaningful to you this year!

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A fresh kit from Deca Designs…

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Retro Valentines 3 Element Pack from Quirky Twerp

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Elise of Elise’s Pieces has an incredible new kit at The Digichick this week.  Affirmation is full of beautiful papers, a huge collection of elements, and two alpha packs.  With great versatile colors and a theme that works with your All About Me or Project Life layouts, you’ll absolutely love this kit.  Save 20% off at The Digichick today, too!

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JennCk Designs has a fabulous collection now available at Gotta Pixel. Forever is perfect for wedding albums, anniversary pages, or everyday pages about your loving relationships. The bundle is on sale 40% off!

 

New from Laura Banasiak and Emily Merritt, XOXO! Doodly, bold and fun. You’ll love this Valentine’s Day inspired collaboration!

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Look at all of the new goodies Connie Prince has out!

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Karen says: In an effort to help you “tell your story” I have created this Wellington Document Pack that focuses mainly on journaling and labels for daily documenting. This pack also contains some themed wordart, all of which can be teamed up with Wellington kit or paper pack.

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Here’s Wendyzine’s latest action for creating 8.5×11 subway art to print or include on a layout.
$1 off Subway It with code WZ_TDDSubway. Expires 01-20-12.

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And now for something a little softer and sweeter…comfy shabby textures in a peaceful palette for January 2012.

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9 NewART digital products at 20% discount, complete AnnaRelease at 35% discount and one $1.00 AnnaSelect item arrive in the store Friday January 13, 2012 circa 9.00am EST.  Anna is also having an After-Christmas SALE happening now through Monday January 16, 2012 at Midnight EST in support of the Holiday Album Project. All Christmas-themed digital products in the Christmas Sale are discounted by 30%.  Please note that the discount on these items will be reflected only when added to the cart and viewed. Look out for a new series of video tutorials coming soon!

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NEW – 52nd Avenue Collection
on Sale @ 60% off this Weekend Only
Great for Project Life, Project 365/52
Add to it all year with co-ordinating kits – Ultimate Mix & Match Collection!image

 

I love this fun kit from Aja Abney:

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How fun are these tabs from Allison Pennington?!

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These are some super fun and clean graphics for adding dates with:

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Check out Heather T’s “Year of Hope”:

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I think the colors in this collection are super relaxing:

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These big words would be great on a layout OR on a wall:

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I love all of the paper layers on this template set by Jenn ck:

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Have you checked out Katie’s personal blog? It’s always fun to see what she’s up to over there!

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I always love Melissa’s colors:

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Meredith just opened her store at Scrap Orchard and it looks like she has a sale going on to celebrate! Here’s a new collection as well:

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I really LOVE these templates by Michelle and Little Green Frog:

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This is a super fun collection from Flergs and Jen (love the templates):

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Aren’t these snowmen just adorable?:

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Are you doing 12 for Twelve?:

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If you are making fitness goals for 2012, you should document your progress with this fun kit:

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There has been a lot of talk this past week about LightRoom 4 beta being released for FREE for testing! Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 beta is available immediately as a free download on both Windows and Mac at http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/. Customers can submit feedback on the community powered feedback site: http://feedback.photoshop.com. Users can also connect with the Lightroom team directly on Facebook (www.facebook.com/lightroom), via Twitter (www.twitter.com/lightroom) or on the Adobe Lightroom blog (http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal). For Lightroom how-to videos, visit http://www.youtube.com/lightroom.

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If you have already listened to this weeks Digi Show, you heard me announce that we are having a contest. Well, we will be having that contest and details will be announced a week from today. I wanted to make sure all of our I’s were dotted and our t’s were crossed before we announced anything. I just have a couple more details to work out, but it’s all coming together quickly! (I give some hints about the contest in The Digi Show)

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This week on The Digi Show Renne Looney joined Peppermint Katie and I and we discussed our workflow for scrapping and photo editing. What do we do first? How do we decide which photos to use? How much photo editing do we do? What shortcuts have we learned?

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Well that wraps it up for digiland this week! I hope you have a great weekend!

P.S. Tiffany was the random winner chosen from yesterday’s feature on SuzyQ Scraps! She won $10 in product from Suzy!

My Life In Print

“My Life In Print” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their sixteenth payment (or  16th month for annual members). “My Life In Print” contains: 105 papers, over 280 elements, 2 layered templates, 1 brush set, 6 alphas (1 in 3 colors), 2 printable art posters and 6 quick pages. This amazing collection was created by 30 of the top digital scrapbooking designers (all of whom are previous contributors to THE DIGI FILES) and two Daily Digi team members.

Here’s a closer look at everything that is included in “My Life In Print”:

Aja Abney

Anna Aspnes Designs

Allison Pennington

Chelle’s Creations

Christine Chodil
(formerly cheekymonkey designs)

Connie Prince

Deca Designs

Dianne Rigdon Design

Elise’s Pieces

EH Studios

Fay•ETTE Designs

 

Designs by Heather T.

JennCK Designs

Jeanye Labaya

Jennifer Labre Designs

Krisi’s Kreations

Karen Lewis Designz

Laura Banasiak

Michelle Batton

Melissa Bennett Designs

Meredith Cardall

Queen of Quirk

Quirky Twerp

ScrapbookLady

Secret Stash

Steph

Studio Flergs

Studio Rosey Posey

Studio Wendy

Vicki Stegall Designs

Wimpychompers

Wild Dandelion Designs

suzyQ scraps: The Pressure of Perfection

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I’m excited to be welcoming back SuzyQ Scraps to The Digi Files! Suzy’s designs are super playful, bright, and so perfect for scrapbooking many festivities and occasions.  Her style is whimsical and include a child-like innocence. Her collections contain a variety of papers and elements that can be used for more serious subjects as well. Let’s take a closer look at “A Fresh Start” that is included in The Digi Files this month:

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Here are some layouts created using SuzyQ Scraps’s contribution:

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Layout by Jacki. Supplies: A Fresh Start by SuzyQ Scraps; Fonts: Smartypants by Darcy Baldwin.
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Layout by Jenn. Supplies: A Fresh Start by SuzyQ Scraps; Fonts: Eccentric and Traveling Typewriter.
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Layout by Heddy. Supplies: A Fresh Start by SuzyQ Scraps; Fonts: They Once Were by Amy Martin.
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Layout by Kim. Supplies: A Fresh Start by SuzyQ Scraps; Template by Gina Miller; Font: DJB Jenna by Darcy Baldwin.
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Layout by Karen. Supplies: A Fresh Start by SuzyQ Scraps; Template by Emily Merritt; Font by Darcy Baldwin.

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

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InTheStudioWith
I’m Suzy Iverson, wife to the love of my life and mother to my greatest adventure, a rambunctious little 4-year-old who was born to move mountains (at least, mountains of sand), and soon-to-be mommy to child #2, due in July. We recently relocated from the middle-of-nowhere (after 4 years!) to a lovely home in Provo, Utah.

I am a creator, a woman, a teacher, a leader, a designer, a writer … a dreamer. (See, I’m not all that different than you.)

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This is a layout from Project: Love, Me, a project that Ziggle Designs and I created to help scrapbookers share their personal journeys. Each month has its own theme, and every week we post a new prompt — so 52 total for the year. I made a commitment to participate in the project myself — I’ve completed 35 layouts so far (I’m just a bit behind). It’s been a really fantastic year of discovering more about me and sharing my experiences, thoughts, and feelings. From both a creator’s and a participant’s viewpoint, this project has been more work than I first envisioned. I’ve had moments when I’ve wanted to toss in my hat and give up … and I’ve shed more than a few frustrated tears … but the project has been oh so worth it, and I’m so glad to be a part of it.

May I share a tip? If you’re looking to get involved in any sort of long-term project, like Project 365 or a Project 52 like this one, be gentle with yourself. If you miss a few days or weeks here and there, that’s okay. Don’t let the “failures” discourage you — just jump back in wherever you are, and worry about catching up later, if you even want to catch up. And if you decide that the project is not something you want to commit to anymore, you can totally stop at any time. 🙂

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I scrapbooked my first pages as a teenager with cardstock and stickers. Years later I hadn’t moved beyond the basics, thought my pages looked blah, and hated the mess and how much time it took to get everything out and put it all away. So I started searching for a way to scrapbook on my computer and stumbled across digital scrapbooking — I had no idea there was an entire industry! I downloaded freebies for months until Christmas, when I was gifted Photoshop Elements (and discovered how truly horrible some of those freebies were).

Digital scrapbooking became my creative outlet. For once in my life, I was happy with the layouts I created — even surprised sometimes at how “good” they looked! I even made it on a couple of creative teams, which was so awesome!

As I began scrapbooking and studying the papers, elements, and alphas, I thought, “I bet I could do that … and I’d save a lot of money!” So I searched for any tutorial I could find and after a lot of trial and error gave away my first freebie in December 2008. Shortly thereafter I started selling my designs, and by November 2009 I was selling at Scrap Orchard. I feel like I’ve always been there. (And no, designing didn’t save me money … I still shop!)

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Oh, wow, everything … I was born to create — stories & characters & anything really. There’s something so satisfying about taking an idea or a dream and turning it into something tangible. My digital scrapbook designs are inspired by nature, splashes of color, my son, my husband, magazines, web pages … so many different things!

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Computer: My workhorse is an HP Pavilion that runs Windows 7. I have 16 GB of RAM, an awesome processor, and just recently updated the graphics card, so this baby is FAST! I can easily work with Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign all open at the same time. Love it! I use a 19″ LCD monitor … it’s next on the list to be upgraded.

Program: I design most of my creations in Illustrator CS4 (aside from realistic extracted items, like ribbons) and do the finishing touches in Photoshop CS5. I use InDesign CS5 for my e-books, and Camtasia Studio for my classes & videos.

Camera: I snap all my photos with a 10 MP Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 that I absolutely love, with 18x zoom … DSLR-like but for a fraction of the price and a fraction of the photographic skill (lol!). It does have a couple of options for different lenses, not that I know how to use those. My husband chose it because it could do video too. We got it for a steal of a deal during a Black Friday sale a few years back and we don’t plan to replace it anytime soon. It’s a very affordable and easy-to-use camera if you’re looking for something a bit more than a point-&-shoot, but aren’t ready to plunge into the DSLR world.

Anything Else: I only ever use a mouse for video games now — I’m completely hooked on my Wacom Intuos 4 tablet. LOVE IT!

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I’d love to share with TDD readers something I learned last year that has totally changed how I scrapbook, as well as how I approach a lot of things in my life — from housework to family stuff to hobbies.

“Perfect is great. Done is better.”

That’s not to say you should do your shabbiest work. But it’s okay if that scrapbook page isn’t completely perfect — it’s better done than sitting on your hard drive “collecting dust.” It’s okay if your photos aren’t professional quality — scrapbook them anyway. It’s okay if you aren’t the perfect storyteller, if you’re not great at grammar, if your spelling sucks … write the story anyway. Our flaws & imperfections make us unique and REAL.

How many times have you not finished something — maybe not even started something — because it wasn’t (or you weren’t) perfect?

Whether the “it” is scrapbooking, laundry, dishes, starting a new hobby … I’d love to encourage you to release yourself from the pressure of perfection, and just get it done!
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Wow, it’s SO hard to choose a favorite … but the one I absolutely LOVE is Raindrops & Rainbows. The colors were totally inspired by a birthday card I received. (Thanks, Aunt Sharisa!) The theme was inspired by life in general — ups & downs, sunny days & rainy days, rainbows of fortune & raindrops of disappointment. This collection, and its companion The Sun Will Come collection, really reflects how I felt about the postpartum depression I experienced after the birth of my son, as well as its aftermath and my healing. My emotions and thoughts and learnings from this life experience are poured into every paper and element. It’s truly a piece of my heart, a long time in the making.

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My most popular product is the A Life Expressed collection. I’ve received a lot of feedback about it — most customers say they purchased it because it’s so versatile — it’s perfect for the everyday layouts about everyday life. Because all the different pieces coordinate, they can easily mix-&-match and create page after page of unique layouts.

I can’t even remember now where the inspiration from the colors originally came from … it think it started with the green and I built it from there. I really wanted to create a collection that could be used again and again, something packed with value that would be an excellent choice for scrapbookers starting out in digital, and something big enough that you could create an entire album (like Project 365) without getting bored. I also wanted it to be available in smaller chunks, so if you only wanted part of it, you could just buy the kits that spoke to you. I think I came close to bringing that vision into reality. 😉 My customers certainly seem satisfied with it. But wow, it was a TON of work. I still have nightmares about that one. 😉

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Here are some of my favorite products by SuzyQ Scraps:

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

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Save 35% off SuzyQ Scraps with coupon code LUVtdd_25_sQs; expires 1-31-12. Not valid on collabs. Cannot be combined with any other offer.

Go have a look in SuzyQ Scraps’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 SuzyQ Scraps

The following layouts were created using “A Fresh Start” by SuzyQ Scraps and included in The Digi Files during January, 2012:

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Layout by Amber565

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Layout by SharonS, additional supplies: Template: Jennifer Barksdale, Font: SF Jubilee

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Layout by lenushenka

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Layout by lwenkie
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Layout by Jacki. Supplies: A Fresh Start by SuzyQ Scraps; Fonts: Smartypants by Darcy Baldwin.
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Layout by Jenn. Supplies: A Fresh Start by SuzyQ Scraps; Fonts: Eccentric and Traveling Typewriter.
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Layout by Heddy. Supplies: A Fresh Start by SuzyQ Scraps; Fonts: They Once Were by Amy Martin.
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Layout by Kim. Supplies: A Fresh Start by SuzyQ Scraps; Template by Gina Miller; Font: DJB Jenna by Darcy Baldwin.
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Layout by Karen. Supplies: A Fresh Start by SuzyQ Scraps; Template by Emily Merritt; Font by Darcy Baldwin.

PU CU?

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Over the years I’ve had several readers email me and ask what PU and CU stand for. I always answer the emails, but had never done a post on it. I’m going to change that today. Why would a regular scrapbooker like you and me want to use CU products?

Definitions

PU – stands for ‘personal use’ and typically means you can’t use a product in any way commercially. That doesn’t just mean making money off the actual product, it also means using it on or by something that makes money. For example, if you use some personal use products to design a web graphics for a friends business, but they don’t pay you for it, it’s not personal use. Since the graphics will be used on a site that generates (or is trying to generate) money, it is considered commercial use.

CU – stands for ‘commercial use’ and typically means it a product can be used to create products for commercial use. Designers will often put CU4PU meaning that the product can be used to create other products for personal use. The designer cannot use a CU4PU product to create products that can be used for commercial use.

S4H – stands for scrap for hire and typically means you can use that product to scrap layouts for someone that pays you to do that. This post won’t really go into S4H.

Confusing?? It can be. The best rule of thumb is to always read the designers TOU’s, especially if you plan to do anything other than use the products on your own layouts.

Why would I want to use CU products?

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Products from Close To My Heart by Zoe Pearn (no longer available), stitching is by me, kraft paper by me.

Several years ago, I started buying a few CU products to use on my layouts. It started because I wanted a specific item that I could picture in my head, but it didn’t exist. A lot of products, I could recolor and they would look fine, but one of my favorite elements; stitching, is really hard to change the hue/saturation on and not lose the details. The above layout has some zigzag stitching and kraft paper created by me using CU products. I made some kraft paper a long time ago and it has become my go-to kraft.

Since then, there are more stores and designers selling CU products. I often fall in love with the CU products just like I do the regular completed kits and collections by my favorite designers.

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NO! It doesn’t mean *I* (meaning me, personally) can design! First, I don’t love it. Once in a while, I enjoy creating a few things, which I have done for exclusive gifts and collections for members. But, once I do a few things, I’m good for a long time. I would just rather scrap with my time. Making an item here or there for one of my own layouts, is something I really enjoy as part of my scrapping process.

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A lot of CU products come with tutorials and instructions in them, especially if uncommon steps are needed to get the desired look.

We have a tutorial for coloring grayscale images, which is the format many CU products come in. Chelle also has lots of tutorials for using her CU products from her store. Most of Flergs CU products come with instructions, but she has a bunch of tutorials on her blog as well.

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Many digital scrapbooking stores around the community sale CU products., look for a “Commercial Use” link in the store categories. Sometimes they are also listed as “designer resources or tool”.

One of my favorite places to fall in love with (and buy) CU supplies is Sugarhill Co. Sugarhill is a completely CU store and I have found their quality to be top notch! I emailed Miss Tiina, the owner over there and asked if they would like to share a coupon with our readers (I know our readers LOVE coupons)! And they were delighted to indulge us! Smile

Have you used CU products in your personal use scrapping? Tell us how in the comments! If you’ve been wanting to try adding some CU products to your layouts, now is the time! Head on over to Sugarhill and grab a couple of goodies and give it a go! You might start adding a new tool to your scrapping process as well.

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Using a Big Picture Background

 

The “big picture” background is a digital scrapbooking technique that I just love. A scenic photo can set the mood for the whole page and a big portrait puts the focus of the page squarely on the photo subject.

There are so many ways to use this trend:

  • Turn the photo into black and white and then layer colour photos on top of it
  • Use a mask to give the large photo some shape
  • Use blending modes to give the photo the texture of the background paper
  • Use brushes to add flourishes or paint strokes to the photo
  • Stack on some coordinating word art
  • Stitch the photo down onto the page
  • Journal on the negative space of the photo. You could even use your dodge and burn tools to make areas lighter or darker to make it easier to journal in those areas

Here are some examples of this technique that are inspiring me to scrap!

Negative Space

Gateausoso used the negative space on her image to layer papers and smaller frames.

Layout by gateausoso. Supplies: Hooray Add-on by Sabrina’s Creations and Say It! Template Set 02 by Che Yang Designs

Desaturated Image

Pom desaturated her image and layered coloured, framed photos on top. The green background paper and the addition of the green lined frame force the eye onto the centre cluster.

Layout by pom. Supplies: Created with Designs by Anita’s Secret Garden kit and Quick and Simple template set 4

Horizontal Focus

TanteEni’s large photo is framed by paper on the top and bottom which nicely highlights the beautiful photo.

Layout by TanteEni. Supplies: Nature Calls by Designs by Anita

Masks and Brushes

JustJen used a photo mask and brushes to accent her photo and fastened everything down with messy stitches.

Layout by justjen. Supplies: Joyce Paul Summer grab bag, stitches from awakening, staple

Double-Page

Yin kept the left side of her two-side spread entirely focused on her winter-scene photo.

Layout by Yin. Supplies: Yin Template 221

Image Toning

Morgane used a colour-toned image to be the background of this art page. The coffee-stain brush is the perfect, slightly messy touch.

Layout by morgane. Supplies: Travel Notebook Collab – The Bundle by t for me designs and Val C. Designs, and with some elements from the two freebies offered by T for Me designs and Val C, WA “fall” free (modified) from Anna Aspnes

A Bold Portrait

Ella_75 made the portrait the star of the page by journaling and title work in all the available negative space.

Layout by Ella_75. Supplies: Kit Fly High, by Val C. Designs

I hope you feel inspired to try something new!

 

 

 

 

P.S. Laurel was the random winner selected from yesterday’s feature on Roadside Designs. She received $10 in product from Roadside Designs 🙂