The following layouts were created using “Better Than Ever” and included in The Digi Files during April 2012:
Layout by SharonS: Template: Sabrina’s Creations, Font: Arial
The following layouts were created using “Better Than Ever” and included in The Digi Files during April 2012:
Sometimes I feel like I am going to the same web sites over and over. Each day, I’m at my email, Facebook, Pinterest, the local news/weather site, and the Daily Digi (of course!). Most days I’m at a scrapbooking forum or two and I read many blogs through Google Reader.
When I want someplace new to go, I head on over to StumbleUpon to find fresh information and inspiration. Basically, StumbleUpon helps you find new sites based on your interests. It sets up a small task bar at the top of your browser where you can click through site after site and indicate whether you like them or not.
Here are just a few of the neat sites that I came across:
There is so much interesting stuff out there just waiting to be found!
Some photographers believe in doing all their cropping in the camera, meaning that they try to compose the picture properly as they take it so there is no need for post-production cropping in a program like Photoshop. That might work if you are a professional photographer with the time and energy to plan out all of your shots, but for the majority of us, it’s just not practical. Not to mention all of those pictures from the past that we scan and photos taken by other people. The truth is that many of us are cropping a lot of the photos we use on digital scrapbook layouts. I would say that almost all of the pictures on my layouts are cropped in some way.
If you have never cropped a digital photo, I have a few helpful links to share:
If cropping significantly changes the photo (removing background items or people), consider keeping the original and the the cropped version in your photo archive files.
Remember, cropping can change photo file sizes and resolutions which can have an impact on future printing of the pictures. If possible, keep the cropped image as a standard size, full-resolution image.
I rarely crop my photos when I load them into my computer. I do crop my photos ALL the time when I’m digi scrapping though because it’s so easy! What’s my secret? I let templates and photo masks do all the work for me.
Here’s a photo I’d like to use on a layout, but I want to get rid of all the extra background distractions and keep the focus on my son.
When I place the photo in this template (by Darcy Baldwin) I can simply size the photo within the masked space and it will crop it for me when I apply the picture to that layer (using CTRL+G in PSE)
I never have to crop the actual photo, I’m just using the template photo shape to help me place the picture in the size and shape that I want. You can also use this trick on layouts without templates. Just pick a shape to fill your photo with.
There are many reasons to crop a photo and the great thing about doing it digitally is that wonderful “undo” feature if you go too far!
Improve Your Composition
A photo can go from good to great with a little bit of cropping. Use a gridline with the rule of thirds when cropping to help you improve the composition of your picture.
When it comes to composition, this isn’t a great picture. There’s a lot of empty space at the bottom and top of the photo and the subjects are lost somewhere in the middle.
When I use the rule of thirds grid in the photo editing window
I can see that there is nothing of interest on any of the intersection points.
By cropping the photo using these grid lines, I can make a dramatic difference in the overall look of the picture.
The most common reason that I crop my photos is to remove something distracting. When I took this picture in St. George, Utah, I didn’t notice the tied tree on the right hand side. For me, it detracts from the scenic view of the condominium where we stayed.
With a minor crop, the picture is cleaner and nothing of importance is lost from the scene.
Cropping can be done for creative reasons as well. There’s nothing wrong with having some fun with your photos!
Quirky and creative photo!
Even with digital cropping, you should be careful not to cut out too much from a photo.
Don’t Cut Context
This cropped photo of all of our suitcases could be used on a layout about our cruise to Alaska a few years ago.
But it’s so much more interesting with the background in place. Now you can see my tired kids sitting at the airport. They were all traveled out and listening to headphones and playing games. They were both wearing t-shirts from one of the ports we visited (Victoria B.C. in Canada) The hustle and bustle of the airport building is in back of them. The story is much more complete with the context of the entire photo.
If you are trying to fit a photo into a certain shape or space on a layout, you might be tempted to cut off some arms and legs. (Sounds brutal, doesn’t it?) While there are no set “rules” for how to crop body parts, it’s generally thought that cutting them off at the joints is not eye-pleasing. If the crop feels uncomfortable, don’t do it!
Which one do you prefer? Cut off at the knees?
Or the full body?
Don’t Overdo It
Someday, you might want to see the mess in the background, the cars parked on the street, or the goofy face someone is pulling behind you. I actually wish I could see MORE of the background in this photo of me as a baby asleep on my Grandpa’s shoulder. I would love to have a peek at what my Grandparent’s house was like at that time.
Every photograph tells a story and you can improve (or take away) from that story with how you crop a photo. Use common sense, and don’t be afraid to try new things, but be sure to save your original file intact as well. Cropping is a great way to make your photos look their best, which also means you’ll have better looking digital layouts. Crop on!
P.S. The clippy frames in the title image are by Allison Pennington. The banner titles are from Digitally Smitten by Gina Cabrera Digital Design Essentials. The font is Lobster.
There are many days that we all feel like pinching ourselves here at The Daily Digi because all of you make it possible for us to do something we are passionate about…share our love of digi scrapping! We really appreciate everyone who stops by the site each day to read our free content, subscribes to the free newsletter, leaves comments, downloads the free app, listen to free podcast – The Digi Show, downloads the free Digital Scrapbooking Manual, and most of all, those who support the site by purchasing the Digi Files and those who get the full benefits of being a Digi Game member! We couldn’t provide all the daily inspiration and fun without designers who are willing to contribute to the monthly files and without customers who support the site with their purchase. We love that we can provide the VERY BEST DEAL in digi for all of you!
For only $7.50 a month (less for annual members) you get
Don’t miss out on all of these awesome goodies!
Another thing we love to do at The Daily Digi, is to share our fun finds with you each Friday. I always do a lot of shopping because of these posts and I know many of you do the same! Are you ready to join me for some fun? Here’s what caught my eye this week:
A digital scrapbooking Photoshop tutorial from Sahlin Studio on: How to Create Shapes in Photoshop, AND Using Clipping Masks to Clip Papers and Photos. For those that are newer to digital scrapbooking, this is a great way to learn a new trick. And for those seasoned scrappers, it might give
you some ideas on how to branch out with the skills you already have.
I’m loving birds right now as we’ve been having fun watching spring robins build nests in our yard. This new kit from Quirky Twerp would be perfect for some spring pages!
It’s time to stock up at The Lily Pad during their storewide sale!
Akemi is bright and beautiful in Japanese. This is precisely what ViVa Artistry brings to you with this kit. Ideal for travel photos and art journal or pages with a delightful Asian flair.
Jeanye has a brand new set this week that is just a little “off kilter”. Put a spin on your layouts and cluster like a pro with these! They are 20% off through Sunday, April 15th. Don’t forget about her coupon just for The Daily Digi readers too, combine it for an even better deal!
Traci Reed has a clever new set of clip it templates to help you create a unique and eye-catching background.
The bright colors and fun theme of Sarah Jones’ new kit make me happy!
Dúnia has a new kit filled with fun patterns and designs.
This Pretty Playful Bundle by Studio Vivarant is so soft and pretty!
Pink Reptile made this beautiful set of bright coloured crochet flowers, scanned them and extracted and voilá instant handmade gorgeousness.
I love all the fun little cards in Julianna Kneipp’s newest release!
Laura Banasiak has a brand new weather themed digital scrapbook kit in
her Scrap Orchard shop this week…perfect for April and May in the
US…grab it now while it’s 20% off.
Wendy’s at it again with another new scrapper tool… an action for combining your frames and photos quickly and painlessly.
Karah Fredericks and Traci Reed have a fun new collab out today!
Heather T. has a great collection of Art Journal Bits–4 separate packs to help you tell your stories!
Rich, vibrant colors paired with classic pieces will give you a kit you will use over and over. Dads, grads, travels, antique photos, you can scrap anything with the Traveler Collection from Chelle’s Creations. Get it for 20% off the first week. Buy the bundle and get the quickies.
Flergs has a gorgeous new spring-fling collection out!
Karla Dudley has a new collaboration and also a feature store sale this weekend. All kits 30% off!
WM Squared has a new template set 20% off for one week!
The colors and elements in Jennifer Labre’s new kit, Pure Happiness, will surely make you happy! On sale for 20% off all weekend.
Studio Basic has a new pack of Twist and Shout words in her store.
One Little Bird has a free pack of Word Art available to fans of her Facebook Page through 4/15. The coordinating Meadowlark kit is also on sale for 20% through Sunday. Are you a fan?
Have you seen the re-launched Digital Design Essentials website? So many great designs and I love all the new features!
Finally, we recorded a fun listener mail show for The Digi Show this week where we discussed all sorts of digi-related things!
Have a great weekend!
P.S. The random winner from Jeanye Labaya’s post is Caroline and the random winner from Krystal Hartley’s post is Kelly – Both won $10 gift certificates to the designer’s store! Watch your email inboxes for your gift codes
I’m very happy to be welcoming back Krystal Hartley to The Digi Files this month. Krystal has a wide array of styles that she can do very well! From shabby and sophisticated to whimsical and fun, Krystal can do them all! Let’s take a closer look at “Uncharted” that is included in The Digi Files this month:
This is ONE of SEVEN collections you get when you become a member of The Digi Game this month. You also get an interactive Playbook (in PDF and iBooks formats) that has lots of ideas for using the supplies including techniques, tips, and tricks! All of that, including access to exclusive collaborations every four months you are a member, for only $7.50 total per month!
Here are some layouts created using Krystal Hartley’s contribution:
You can see more layouts created with this kit on our “Team Inspiration” page.
I’m Krystal Hartley, wife to Michael, and mom to daughter Avery (16) and son Landon (11). I’m a native Texan and we currently reside just outside Dallas.
I turned 40 last summer and have entered a new chapter in my life. I find myself compelled to creatively illustrate and document my story, my evolving paradigm, and the always important, yet sometimes painful revelations of self-discovery. I’m enamored with the process and the way it influences my choices. I fully look forward to an amazing decade of fulfillment and self-improvement.
When I’m not buried in Photoshop, you can find me exercising, freckling (weather permitting) or kicking butt as a shadow priest in World of Warcraft.
As I mentioned before, I’m sort of in an All About Me mode with my scrapbook pages right now. This page is a retrospective story of personal triumph. It’s merely a glimpse of a struggle because the details are still to dark for me to put on paper. I tried to mimic the story’s reconstruction of myself with the photos…revealing more parts of myself and appreciating the half-smile…hopefully a sign of a better things ahead.
Probably my favorite part of the layout was the journaling…the formatting and highlighted words and phrases. To do that, I simply used one of Photoshop’s wet media brushes in a color similar to my paper and free-handed lines though the text. Then I just adjusted the blending mode and opacity. Oh, and I love that font!
I started scrapbooking in 1996 when my daughter was a newborn. I needed a way to organize and document all the baby keepsakes and photos. I was thrilled to discover scrapbooking through a church event. I started digiscrapping about ten years later in 2006. One day I stumbled onto DigiShopTalk (DST) and then onto a designer contest and decided to try it. And I won! I officially began designing Oct. 1, 2007.
Everything. Music, colors, clothes, my kids, my mood, Pinterest, other scrappers, etc. I’m very eclectic in my tastes, but I’ve sort of finally settled into sort of a more sophisticated, shabby vibe.
Computer: I’m not very techy. I have a Toshiba laptop with 6 gb of ram.
Program: I have been using PSCS3 for years but just upgraded to 5.5. I have Illustrator but don’t use it often because I haven’t really sat down to learn all its capabilities.
Camera: Nikon D70
Canon Powershot 9
Anything Else: Canon scanner
Intuos pen tablet
The one thing I can’t live with out…
Photoshop >; File >; Scripts >; Load files into stack
Seriously dream come true time saver for cluster scrappers or full kit scrappers like me. It allows me to select all the elements from the kit(s) and then opens them all into ONE canvas. I then just drag them all at once onto my paper and start rearranging, resizing, shadowing, etc. It even keeps the original file name as the layer name which makes it easy to credit.
So I was browsing Pinterest and found this gorgeous altered box using kraft, lace, denim and pearls…aged and distressed to perfection. I had been drooling over tons of photos and projects of crafts and wearables using natural and neutral fibers and textures all morning, and I just relate to the statement they make. I’m very much a girl next door, nothin’ but cotton, natural and a little bit shabby kind of gal, and the kit just showcases my love for that.
Well Natural Beauty is also my most popular, but this collab with KCB seemed make impression with the customers, too. It was Kristin’s idea to do a birthday kit, and I had those color set aside for such a theme and apparently we make pretty things together. I think I actually squealed when it was finished. I’m looking forward to doing a boy version with her very soon.
Here are some of my favorite products by Krystal Hartley:
Here are some more inspirational layouts using Krystal Hartley’s products. All of the layouts are linked to the originals with credits.
Save 30% at Krystal Hartley’s Sweet Shoppe store with coupon code EPIPHANY. Expires 05-31-12.
Go have a look in Krystal Hartley’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)!
Here are some layouts created using Krystal Hartley’s contribution to The Digi Files during April, 2012:
I love to record conversations. They make for excellent scrapbooking material!
How could you not want to remember moments like the one above?
There is no “one way” to scrap a conversation. Here are a few of the ways I’ve captured some conversations. I hope you find some inspiration to record a conversation of your own!
On this page, my daughter said something sweet, but it needed a bit of back story for it all to make sense.
The journaling reads:
One day Maddy came home from school and told us about how she learned about feelings. She said that we all have invisible buckets of feelings and that it is important to fill up other people’s buckets with nice words because we have to carry our feelings around with us. A few days later, she came home from school, sobbing. I asked her what was wrong. All she could stammer out was, “I forgot my bucket on the bus!” It took me a moment to put two and two together. But then I realized that she had “forgotten” her “invisible feelings bucket”! Oh my! It took all my strength not to laugh. I explained that it’s impossible to forgot your feelings bucket and she eventually came around. Her innocence was so sweet.
My daughter and I had a short conversation that cracked me up so I had to record it. These aren’t “big” moments in our lives, like weddings or births, but I think the funny little moments are worth recording and remembering.
The journaling reads:
So, I went to wake up Maddy this morning as I always do. I said, “Good morning sweetie. It’s a brand new day. Time to wake up.” She said, “No thank you. Turn out the light. I’m going back to bed.” I laughed so much! I expected sleepy mornings in the teen years, not at 5 years old!”
As a side note, the photo used on the page above was actually my daughter playing her Leap Frog Explorer in bed. I cropped out the handheld game and now it looks like she’s sleeping. Shhh, it will be our little secret.
On this page, I recorded a conversation between my husband and I, word for word.
The journaling reads:
Jon: This was a good dinner. We should put it on the menu rotation. Heddy: It was good. It was vegan, too. Jon: Why’d you have to tell me that? Now I can’t enjoy the rest of it!
(He was kidding around, by the way. We’ve enjoyed that dinner many times since!)
On this page, I only included my daughter’s response to my question because it’s all that’s needed to understand why I had to record this!
I think the key for me to remember a conversation is to write it down as soon as possible. I use my computer for this, but you could record them in your phone or in your notepad or agenda. Whatever works for you!
I am also a huge fan of Katie’s method of keeping a running list of scrapbook topics, which could of course include conversations.
These conversations are the sort of thing you’ll bring up with your spouse or kids many years from now and remember fondly. I’m scrapbooking them now so that we’ll remember as many of them as possible in the future. I encourage you to scrap your special conversations, too.
I’ve always loved to read and I’m a big fan of scrapbook journaling so I guess it’s no surprise to find out that when I surf the galleries, I spend a lot of time reading the journaling! A stunning page design or beautiful photos will grab my attention to get me to look at a page, but it’s the journaling that captures my interest. I feel like I’m on a treasure hunt to find the meaning of the story shared. Even just small tidbits of writing bring the layout to life and make it more memorable.
In the spirit of one of my favorite blogs Gallery Standouts, I thought it would be fun to share some favorite layouts with exceptional journaling that have jumped into my favorites folder.
This page is such a fabulous example of why it’s worth doing no-photo layouts! I love the boxes of journaling illustrated with fun doodles. This page is just asking to be read and I was fascinated to hear her likes and dislikes concerning many different career paths.
The sweet simplicity of this layout makes it so easy to focus on that darling girl and the journaling that details her cute personality and unique traits. Reading about her favorite things just made me smile!
Not only is this a gorgeous layout (check out the texture on the large photo), but the journaling is integrated into the page design in a very inviting way. I loved reading about the joy that the beach brings to this boy and his Mama!
This journaling really resonated with me since I used to play “school” as a kid and always dreamed of teaching as well. It was great to read about how she found her own way to be a teacher and her gratitude for the experiences she has had.
It’s fun to read about trip details on vacation layouts and you can even get ideas for sites you want to see if you ever travel to that location.
Because I love to read journaling so much, I often include the journaling right in my layout description on Flickr or in a gallery post. Others have commented how much they enjoy being able to read what I’ve written, especially when it can be hard to see on screen. While it isn’t difficult to read the text on this layout when it’s enlarged, it is a bit tricky to see in a blog post like this one.
I just copy and paste the journaling right into the description and it can be viewed by when the layout link is shared. This is just a personal preference of mine and I also like that it’s another way to preserve the memory in case I or someone from my family wanted to use the text without the layout.
Next time you take a gallery stroll, pay attention to journaling and think about what captures your attention. It’s a great way to find inspiration to add more text to your own pages. I bet you will also be surprised at how many pages don’t include any journaling at all!
P.S. the title graphic includes a splatterfic cluster by Karah Fredericks and the Café Rojo font.
I’m excited to be welcoming back Jeanye Labaya to The Digi Files! I love NeeNee’s layered, clustered templates! They are easy to work with and I love that I can use as many of the element layers as I want (or don’t want) and have a great looking layout! Using her templates make it easy for the cluster-challenged (like me) to have some great looking clusters! Let’s take a closer look at “Ratatouille” that is included in The Digi Files this month:
This is ONE of SEVEN collections you get when you become a member of The Digi Game during April. You also get an interactive Playbook (in PDF and iBooks formats) that has lots of ideas for using the supplies including techniques, tips, and tricks! All of that, including access to exclusive collaborations every four months you are a member, for only $7.50 total per month!
Here are some layouts created using Jeanye Labaya’s contribution:
You can see more layouts created with this kit on our “Team Inspiration” page.
I’m Jeanye although, you may know me as NeeNee in the digital scrapbook communities. My husband and I make our home in Texas where I was born and raised. I have 3 beautiful girls (only one which still lives at home) and I have an 18 month old grandson as well who introduced me to a love more deep than I ever imagined was possible. I am just a wee bit smitten with him. 🙂 I am free-spirited, usually the life of the party and extremely passionate about life. I love my family, friends, the beach, working out, quilting, scrapping and riding Harleys.
Scrapping about my grandson is a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. As much as I love capturing and recording memories of him, it is also extremely saddening for me because I don’t get to see him as much as I would like and his photos often times brings tears to my eyes. The photos on this layout are from the first moments that my daughter and grandson shared together. Nothing could have prepared for me the moment that she brought him into the world. I cried so much that there was a puddle of tears at my feet. I felt more emotion in that moment than I have ever felt in my life, watching my child hold my grandchild for the first time. Even though there is not much of it, the journaling on this layout took me hours to do and I will do everything in power to ensure that all of these wishes for him come true.
I began paper scrapping when my youngest daughter was about one year old after admiring the layouts that my sister-in-law was doing. I went into it gung-ho as I do with everything and although I really enjoyed it, my first love was quilting so I did not do as much scrapping as I really wanted to. In late 2008, I was trying to create a web page for my parent’s business and well, one thing led to another really. You know how it goes when you go to one site which links you to another and another, etc. I just want to point out too that I had no idea how to do a web site, I was just jumping in with both feet and was going to teach myself. After I stumbled upon digital scrapbooking, I began reading and learning everything I could about it. I was a stay at home Mom at the time and this gave me a new creative outlet. It did not take long to get hooked and I eventually found myself giving up my beloved quilting more and more so that I could scrap. Becoming a designer just seemed to fall into the natural course of things for me. I really started just to see how I would be at it and it is all history from there.
The majority of my templates come from my actual layouts and the inspiration just comes from where my mind takes me when I am scrapping. I just start arranging the elements and paper crops and see where it leads. When I do create a template from scratch, I get inspiration from magazines, doodling while watching TV and believe it or not, they come to me a lot while I am drifting in and out of sleep.
Computer: I work on a Toshiba laptop. I bought it for myself about a year and a half ago and I am super proud of it. It really is nothing extraordinary but, it feels good that I bought it from my business earnings.
Program: I create in Photoshop and Illustrator CS5 (something else I bought for myself! Go me!) mostly although I do still sometimes revert back to my Photoshop Elements 6, my old faithful and what I learned to scrap and design with.
Camera: Oh no, don’t get me started on my camera! I despise it and have wanted to throw it in the dumpster many times over the last year. It is a Sony 10.1 Megapixel point and shoot with only a 3x zoom. I keep telling my husband that a grandmother needs a really good camera to properly capture moments of a grandchild’s life but, so far it isn’t getting me one. But hey, my anniversary is coming up so you never know.
Anything Else: I also have a Wacom Bamboo Tablet, 3 EHD’s ranging from a 500 GB to 2TB. My scanner/printer is a Canon MP240.
My favorite tip is one that Krystal Hartley shared on her blog many years ago that allows you to load all of your elements and papers in Photoshop into your canvas at once. I am almost embarrassed to say that I once would open each element and paper individually in Photoshop and then move them over to my canvas. It is amazing how much time this little tip has saved me! Since it is a tip that I discovered from someone else, I prefer to send you to her blog so she can have the kudos for sharing it.
You mean besides the template pack I have done for this feature because it is my new favorite actually. But, if I am picking one from my store’s current inventory, I would choose Serendipity. These were my first release when I came back to designing in November last year. All of the templates in this pack were created from layouts by me and I really like this pack because of the colors really. I don’t even remember how I came up with them now though!
My most popular product would be Caddywompus. Every time I type or say this name I can’t help but smile. The name couldn’t fit the style of template much better than this. I really think people are drawn into the off kilter composition of these as this kind of layout seems to be pretty popular right now. I knew I wanted to do something like these because I thought they would be well received and well, this time I was right!
Here are some of my favorite products by Jeanye Labaya:
Here are some more inspirational layouts using Jeanye Labaya’s products. All of the layouts are linked to the originals with credits.
Go have a look in Jeanye Labaya’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)!
The following layouts were created using the Ratatouille templates by Jeanye Labaya and included in The Digi Files during April, 2012: