Clever Monkey: My Goofy Nature


This is Tracey’s second time joining us in The Digi Files and we are thrilled to have her back!  Tracey designs some pretty amazing themed kits, but they are also versatile enough to be used for just about any topic. Her collections are very cohesive from colors through the elements, and the papers too.  I can’t wait to get my mouse on that “Just One More Picture” kit that is one of my picks below. Our team created some AWESOME layouts using Clever Monkey’s contribution this month, so let’s take a closer look at “Galactic Geek” 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 Tracey Monette of Clever Monkey Graphics’s contribution:

Layout by Katie. Supplies: Galactic Geek by Tracey Monette of Clever Monkey Graphics. Supplies: Scrapbook Lady Scientific template. Neuropol font.
Layout by Jacki. Supplies: Galactic Geek by Tracey Monette of Clever Monkey Graphics.
Layout by Jacki. Supplies: Galactic Geek by Tracey Monette of Clever Monkey Graphics.
Layout by Anne. Supplies: Galactic Geek by Tracey Monette of Clever Monkey Graphics; template from Transformers 16 by Lauren Reid.
Layout by Melissa. Supplies: Galactic Geek by Tracey Monette of Clever Monkey Graphics; Fonts: The Dry Ribbon by Heather Hess.

You can see more layouts created with this kit on our “Team Inspiration” page.
I’m Tracey Monette of Clever Monkey Graphics and I’m very happy for a return visit here at The Daily Digi this month. I’m married with a just turned teenage daughter and we live in the Portland area of the great Northwest. I grew up in Toronto Canada and have had the pleasure of living in Northern California and Paris France before settling here.

I’ve been designing for over 6 years and sell my products mainly at ScrapMatters and in MyMemories. Occasionally you may find me guesting at another store or collabing with a new designer friend!





I love the free-form silly feel of this layout. I had just snapped a shot of my daughter and one of myself so I could test out a kit (Just One More Picture) that I was finishing. This layout truly shows off my goofy nature.


startedI’m betting there are a multitude of stories I forget from my own childhood. My daughter won’t have a chance to forget because her mommy scrapbooks every moment of her life. Yes, I am a mamarazzi!

When my daughter was a few months old I was introduced to paper scrapbooking. Digital was in its infancy at that time and I’d not even heard of it. Quickly hooked on telling my daughters stories in artistic ways and already a trained graphic designer I was creating my own titles and elements and printing them for my paper pages. By 2006 (?) I had discovered digital scrapbooking, loved it, and pretty soon after started designing and selling my kits back in the original Plain Digital Wrapper. Through the years I have grown greatly as a designer, and learned so much about the lives of other mothers and scrappers throughout our world. Digital Scrapbooking not only gives my daughter a fun-to-look-at way to look back at her life and a stay-at-home career for me, it also gives me friendships around the world.

An artistic view of the world is just part of my soul. I grew up with a family of artists and photographers and was taken to art galleries from an early age. I still remember the fun of peeling acrylic paint off a canvas my mother had created, but didn’t like. So as an adult when I see a color combo, a design style, or if I am inspired by a theme I needed to scrap my own daughter, I am quickly at the computer working on a new kit. When you see the world from an artistic viewpoint – everything is inspiration.

Computer: Most of my work is done on an HP Pavilion dv6 Notebook computer in Windows 7 with as much memory as I could afford to purchase and what was supposed to be a good graphics card. What I love about this computer is that it has a non-glare screen (extra option). Usually I’m sitting in a comfy recliner with a big picture window beside me so that non-glare screen option made me switch from the Dell computers (which did not have that option!!) This laptop has a small Graphire3 Wacom tablet that I use with it when necessary.

I also have an HP desktop setup. The computer, running Vista, is nothing to endorse, but I do have a Wacom Cintiq monitor attached to that one so that I can literally doodle directly one my moniter when I want to. Made a big difference in how well my drawings were turning out. I’m just not that great at the hand to screen coordination with a tablet. I also have an outdated but great Epson scanner attached to an ancient Dell that runs Windows XP. Epson was not kind enough to update their scanner software. They’d prefer I bought something new – I’d prefer to simply keep the old computer up and running just for scanning purposes! LOL.

While I do have a big fancy Canon digital camera, my go-to camera is my little Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1 that I keep in my purse.
Program: Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator 4. Occasionally I’ll open Artrage for a tool only they have.
Camera: While I do have a big fancy Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi camera, my go-to camera is my little Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1 that I keep in my purse.
Anything Else: Small Graphire3 Wacom tablet and lots of external portable hard drives!
I think as scrappers, we all need to design outside our traditional box at times. I believe it helps keep our mojo flowing. One thing very different for me that I did recently was to design my page BEFORE choosing which photos from an event I was going to place on the page. As I created the page I knew there were elements from one of my kits I wanted to use, but then I did a search on my computer for everything I had from a different designer whose work I like to use and I simply grabbed a bunch of her items from all sorts of her kits and brought them only my canvas in photoshop. That was a wonderfully liberating page to create and I loved how it turned out.

One trick I learned that revolutionized how I scrapbooked was the photoshop command File>Scripts>Load Files into Stack. Suddenly I didn’t have 20 documents open in photoshop… instead they were all sitting in one document, each in their own layer. This lets me do one shadow style before I transfer to my layout or quickly set up words from alphas.

The other trick I learned revolutionized how I used the pen tool in photoshop. How did I go to school for graphic design and not know this??? To trace an item place anchor points around it with your pen tool. Now, switch to the Add Anchor Points version of the pen tool. Everywhere you need curves, add your anchor point – take the tool away for just a moment – go back, click on that new point again and you should be able to drag a curve how you want it. I’ll be you’ll find lots of ways to use this cool trick.

Anyone who has seen my kits know I have a strong love of color. Under the Boardwalk captures that love with bold bits of bright colors on a calmer base and allowed me to have great fun in creating many doodled elements that did not have a typical doodle feel about them. I think this kit marks a bit of transition in my personal design style. For 2 years I wanted to create a beach kit that would better work for non-tropical beaches but kept running out of summer to create during – Under the Boardwalk and it’s add-on pack finally came to fruition this past summer. This kit has let me scrap Maui photos and Oregon coast photos equally well – and I still have lots of photos I want to scrap with this kit waiting for me on my hard drive!

I think in our very populated world of digi-designers it takes a lot of factors to make a product that proves very popular. You must first and foremost create a great looking kit; I’m lucky I can draw well so that I can add my own character elements be they doodled or done with the pen tool, I’ve learned to work well with felt & love my trusty scanner to add many of my own flowers, leaves, and ribbons, your kit needs to look like you – not like 20 other designers. Advertising; social media, and getting CT showing off layouts; & sending out a newsletter are very important. Timing of a thematic release can be paramount. If 10 great designers release the same theme kit the week before yours, chances are, you’ve just lost sales.

Fall Festival turned out great with a mix of textural & uniquely mine elements, it’s theme worked perfectly for it’s release date, and the use of navy in it gave the color scheme a very current feel. I created lots of layouts with this kit and found it so easy to use! Having it advertised in my ScrapMatters store in the featured kits section the month of October certainly helped too!

What I do find interesting is that what sells best in my ScrapMatters store is not what always sells best in my MyMemories store!

Here are some of my favorite products by Tracey Monette of Clever Monkey Graphics:

Here are some more inspirational layouts using Tracey Monette of Clever Monkey Graphics’s products. All of the layouts are linked to the originals with credits.


Use coupon code cmgDDJan12-20off to save 20% off purchase in Clever Monkey Graphics’s store. May be used 5 times per registered customer. Offer expires end-of-day January 31st, 2013

Go have a look in Clever Monkey Graphics’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)!