KsQuared: We Have a Lot of Fun


KsQuared is the new brand that was created after Kristin Aagard and Kristen Rice started collaborating and found that they work really well together. They create some super fun and happy collections together. We have each of these designers contribute to The Digi Files before, but this is the first time we have had them join us under the KsQuared brand. Let’s take a closer look at “Sunshine through the Rain” that is included in The Digi Files this month:


This is just ONE of the SEVEN collections you get when you are a member of The Digi Game. You also get a Playbook with ideas and tips for using the products, access to exclusive collections, and when you become an annual member, you get one month FREE!

Here are some layouts created using KsQuared’s contribution:

Layout by Jacki. Supplies: Sunshine through the Rain by KsQuared.
Layout by Katie. Supplies: Sunshine through the Rain by KsQuared; Template by Shabby Princess; Stitching by Anna Aspnes and Syrin; Font: The Architect by Heather Hess.
Layout by Kim. Supplies: Sunshine through the Rain by KsQuared; Template by Nettio Designs; Fonts: LD Elementary and Kidprint.
Layout by Trina. Supplies: Sunshine through the Rain by KsQuared; I Love me Some Jenn (template) by Darcy Baldwin and Jenn Barrette.
Layout by Anne. Supplies: Sunshine through the Rain by KsQuared; Fonts: District Think.

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

KsQuared is a collaboration team of two designers, Kristen Rice of K Studio and Kristin Aagard. Kristen Rice lives in Columbus, Ohio and Kristin Aagard lives in Draper, Utah. We both have 3 kids, a hubby and a dog. And we are both work-at-home moms. We met in 2010 and began chatting online occasionally. We decided to collaborate in May, and created our first kit together, Backyard Adventures. We enjoyed working as a team and felt that our designs mesh really well. So we decided to form an ongoing collaborating team, which is how KsQuared was born. We have completed 4 projects together, and have many plans and ideas for future collaborations as KsQuared.


Kristin Aagard’s Blog

K Studio’s Blog

Kristin Aagard’s FACEBOOK


Kristin Aagard’s TWITTER

K Studio’s TWITTER

Kristen Rice: I love being able to scrap multiple photos from 1 day on 1 layout, but it can be so challenging to do. I created this layout when creating quick pages for our Love Lives Here collaboration. I also love to layer elements! I used frames in this layout, but the actual photos were not technically framed with those frames. The photos were cropped square, then I just applied a white stroke to them (which can easily be done with the layers palette under layer styles). If you need help learning how to use a quick page, I have a simple tutorial on my site.


Kristin Aagard: I scrapped this photo of my daughter on her first day of first grade this year. I tend to pile up and cluster a lot of elements on a page when I scrap. I love the “load files into stack” script that is built into Photoshop because it saves so much time in loading all of the elements and papers onto my layout. I have a tutorial available on my blog if you would like to learn more about using the script.

LOMMBoth of our pages use our collaborations. Kristen Rice used Love Lives Here and Kristin Aagard used Teacher’s Pet.

Kristen Rice: I dabbled a bit in paper scrapping before falling head over heels in love with digi. I digi scrapped for a year before becoming a designer.

Kristin Aagard: I began as a paper scrapper, but switched to digi after about two years. I started out in digi creating photo journals, and then started creating elements and papers for layouts.

We met when we were both designing for After Five Designs in 2010 and we’ve been friends ever since. The KsQuared team and our friendship has been formed through lots of giggly IM chats and emails. We think so much a like when it comes to designing, that collaborating feels natural to us!

We have a lot of fun choosing our themes and colors. We make each other laugh a lot when we chat. So getting started on a new project together is probably more time consuming that it needs to be, but it is so much fun!! It’s always the theme is that kicks things off for us and then we search for a color palette that we both love.

Usually one of us will think of a fun theme based on something going on in our lives, or a holiday or something one of our kids is doing. Our kit for The Daily Digi started off as a St. Patrick’s Day theme, but morphed into a spring kit when we both fell in love with a bright and pretty rainbow colored palette.


Kristen Rice: I use Windows 7 on a Dell laptop. Since I am also a full-time stay at home mom, this is most convenient because I can stay on top of my designs while I take care of my home and family. I am looking into picking up a new lappy in the near future.

Kristin Aagard: I am just completely loving my new desktop PC that my hubby built for me in December! I have it set up in a corner of my family room, where I can hang out with my family while I design.

Kristen Rice: I use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for designing. I use Mozilla Firefox for browsing the web, and 7-Zip for compressing and extracting folders/files. I also use Lightroom, and Adobe Dreamweaver for Web Design. I also use Adobe Lightroom, and Dreamweaver for Web Design. To keep my computer running smoothly, I use CCleaner and Defraggler. I use Suitcase Fusion to manage and organize my bazillion fonts. And, to keep from losing anything, I use Carbonite for online backup. For renaming files/folders quickly and easily, I use Métamorphose.

Kristin Aagard: I also use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for designing and Mozilla Firefox and 7-Zip. I occasionally use Art Rage. And I love playing with Alien Skin and Filter Forge plug-ins. I use and love NexusFont to categorize my massive font stash. I use a basic renaming program called RName. I am currently using Mozy for online backup. And I cannot work without Pandora blasting away in the background!

Kristen Rice: I use and LOVE my Canon EOS Digital Rebel Xsi.

Kristin Aagard: I am using a Canon PowerShot SX10IS. And I am super jealous of Kristen’s Rebel!! I most frequently use my tiny Nikon Coolpix, which I keep in my purse. I love having a tiny camera with me wherever I go.

Anything Else: We both have a CanoScan 8800F scanner, which we both love, and use all the time. It’s a great little scanner and we totally recommend it! We also both have Wacom tablets but neither of us uses a tablet frequently, as we both prefer to draw using a mouse.

Each time we start a kit, we determine our light source. When we design individually, we each prefer a light source coming from completely opposite directions. For our collaborations, we usually choose the preference of person who remembers to mention it first!! 🙂

Your layout will look more natural if before you start adding drop shadows to your page, you take a moment to determine the designer’s light source. If the designer has included any shadows in her element layers, or has included a bevel on her elements, try to match your shadow direction as closely as possible. You can adjust your shadow direction by changing the angle on your drop shadow layer style, or by right clicking on the “effects” in your layer styles and adjusting the angle of your global light. The resulting difference in the shadows may be subtle, but you will have a prettier and more natural looking finished page. For our Sunshine through the Rain kit, we used a 35 degree light source.

Our favorite kit together so far is Backyard Adventures. This was our first collaboration together and we had so much fun working on it! It was during the making of this kit that we knew that we would become good friends and that we talked about collaborate together in the future. Backyard Adventures came about because we both have daughters who can be a little bit of a ‘TomBoy” and we thought it would be fun to create a boyish kit for both boys and girls.

Love Lives Here is our most popular product. It’s a very versatile kit because everyone has photos of family and home they need to scrap. We have both scrapped with the kit several times, and it is really easy and fun to use.

Here are some of my favorite products by KsQuared:

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


Receive 30% off K Studio with code KS_TDD30 and 30% off Kristin Aagard with code AAGARD30. (Both coupons are valid through March 31st, not valid in combination with any other discount.)

Go have a look in KsQuared’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)!