Daily Digi Digest 39: Something New-You ARE Smarter Than Your Camera

Today, we are starting something new on The Daily Digi. Once or twice a month, I will sit down with someone that inspires me and find out what makes them tick. Why they do what they do, how they got their start, and more. These are the kinds of conversations I love to have with people, but I don’t get to very often in our digital world. I’m so excited to have an excuse to visit with these individuals and share it with you!

We are kicking it off with someone I always feel encouraged and inspired by, Katrina Kennedy. So, do whatever it is you love to do while listening, and enjoy the show! Feel free to connect with us by posting questions and/or sharing your thoughts in the comments of this post, we would love to hear from you!

DailyDigiDigest-KatrinaKennedy

Katrina Kennedy is the owner of
CaptureYour365.com, a photographer, and team member/writer at The Daily Digi. I sit down with her to find out how and when she got started in photography, her favorite things to photograph, why she started teaching photography, why she loves the photo a day project, and so much more!

You can
Download here or Subscribe in iTunes.

Folder Images on a Mac

I made the switch to Mac in late 2007. My Toshiba laptop died and it was time for a new computer. I had a choice to make. I wrestled for a while, but one trip to the Apple store settled the issue. I was going Mac. And you know what they say,

Once you go Mac, you’ll never go back.

Although for days I kept saying, “It’s just so pretty!” I have to admit that I had some serious buyer’s remorse. I didn’t know how my computer worked. Doing work on a PC was deep in my muscle memory. I didn’t have to think about it…my hands just knew. And then all of a sudden, I was fumbling around on a beautiful machine, being frustrated that I couldn’t do the simplest of things.

I gave in and bought Switching to Mac for Dummies. I had some serious issues that I needed to resolve. It took a while, but my fingers figured it out and I fell deeply and devotedly in love with my Mac.

One of the issues I struggled with at the beginning was the ugly folder icons on all my files. As an avid digi scrapper, I wanted to see the beautiful kits inside all those blue folders. It took a little detective work, but I finally figured out how to change them.

So for you Mac girls (and those who want to be some day), pin this little tutorial. You’ll save yourself some time and frustration!


In the Finder window, you have the choice of how you view your files. I like to view as icons. But those blue folders that are there by default just have to go!

Doesn’t this look better?

Oh but wait! What is that ugly blue thing doing in my otherwise gorgeous sea of Kristin Cronin-Barrow kits?

Here’s how you fix it…

1. Go into the folder you want to change the look of. Choose the image you want to replace the blue folder with. In my example, I want to use the preview image inside the kit.

2. Right click on the image and choose Open With > Preview.

3. Once the image is open in Preview, click Command A (copy all) and then Command C (copy). Close the preview.

4. Take a step backward in your Finder window (the black arrow at the top left of your window). Then, right click on the blue folder icon and choose Get Info.

The following window will appear:

5. Click on the small blue folder icon in the top left hand corner of the window. The folder will highlight.


6. Click Command V (paste) to paste the preview image. Done!

And now your ugly blue folder is replaced with a beautiful kit preview!

It really only takes about 15 seconds of your time…totally worth it!


What issues did you struggle with when you first switched to Mac? If you are considering the switch, what holds you back?

Springing Into Funtastic Friday

Here are some of the fun goodies we found from around digiland this week!

Bella Gypsy:

Whether you need to scrap a life lesson that your little ones have learned, or you want to record some advice for their future, this digital scrapbook collection by Bella Gypsy is perfect for you. If you’d rather scrap a page on another topic, that’s cool, too…because remember, it’s sometimes okay to break the rules!

Chelle’s Creations:

Cilenia Curtis:

Clever Monkey Designs:

Crossbone Cuts Designs:

Darcy Baldwin:

Down This Road Designs:

Erica Zane:

A digital scrapbooking element by Erica Zane at SSD, Through the Mist is a perfect addition to any stash!

Heather T.:

Jennifer Labre:

Celebrate the beautiful season of spring with this gorgeous new kit from Jenn Labre. Grab Spring Jubilee for 20% off through the weekend!

Just Jaimee
:

Kimeric Kreations:

Atta Boy is brand new from Kimeric Kreations

Kristin Aagard:

Libby Pritchett:

Meredith Cardall:

mleCard:

Pink Reptile Designs:

Quirky Twerp:

Sausan Designs:

Scrapbook Lady

Katie the Scrapbook Lady has a new set of templates in her scrap shop this week and they are on sale for 30% off! They can be used as 12×12 layouts or as a double-page 24×12 spread.

Snips and Snails Designs:

Southern Serenity:

Studio Angelclaud Artroom:

Studio Blagovesta Gosheva

Studio Rosey Posey:

Studio Sherwood:

Studio SuzyQ Scraps

Ready to add to your scrapbook skills? Pick up the Terrific Title Tricks and/or Topsy Turvy Templates ebooks, now available at Scrapbookgraphics.

Studio ViVa Artistry:

Sugary Fancy:

Tracy Martin Designs

Vinnie Pearce:

It’s About Time

DesignerLogo


I’m excited to welcome Vicki Robinson to The Digi Files for the first time this month! Vicki has a beautiful mixed media style combined with some vintage, shabby elements that could easily be used on a paper looking page OR a digital mixed media page. I had so much fun visiting with Vicki and learning more about her life in California, her designing, and how digital design helped her find her love for mixed media. You can listen below (on the site), Download here or Subscribe in iTunes

Let’s take a closer look at “It’s About Time” 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 Vicki Robinson’s contribution:

LO1

Layout by Vicki. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson.

LO2

Layout by Vicki. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson; Fonts: Beautiful Memories (template #22) by Indigo D; Font:Calibri; Photos by Cheryl Curtis.

LO3

Layout by Rachael. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson; Fonts: GF Halda Normal.

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

Name

Hi everyone! My DH and I are retired and we live on a golf course way (WAY) out in the Gold Country foothills of Northern CA. My Dad was a “lifer” in the Air Force, so we traveled quite I bit and I went to junior high and high school in American schools on military bases in Stuttgart, Germany. I left home (at that point, Texas) when was I barely 18 and moved to California, where I had a long and varied career path. I won’t bore you with the details, but the end result is I’m very technically (geeky) oriented. Which means I’m the go-to person for all my friends on anything computer-related. I often joke that I answer my phone “Vicki’s Tech Support. Press 1 for English ….” My rates are quite reasonable! LOL! I love all things Apple; I sleep with my iPad; and i’m addicted to blue nail polish.

STORE


BLOG


FACEBOOK


TWITTER


layout

So much has happened in my family this year that after some recent and (very) good news, I felt the need to do some journaling. It ended up being a bright and very simple page. There’s actually lots of journaling – which I covered up with gesso and paint. It is very freeing to be able to write whatever I want and then hide it. It doesn’t matter to me that the words aren’t visible; I know they are there and that makes the pages special.

Also, Cilenia Curtis and I are working on a class on how to make your own brushes (which should be released soon). Luckily you can’t see the rest of the room – it’s covered with inked paper! How do you like my fancy paint brush holder?

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started

I’ve been designing for about four years (originally under the name “GreenEyedLady Designs”). I was never a paper scrapper but in 2007, while looking through the Photoshop Elements Village forum, I stumbled on a category of threads talking about “digital scrapbooking” and was instantly smitten. It allowed me to use my geeky-techie software-loving side AND explore the creative side of me – which until then I didn’t really know existed. Plus, it gave me the perfect excuse to buy lots of stuff! Digital scrapbooking led me to designing, which in turn opened the door to digital art/life journaling. And that led me to explore the world of hands-on mixed media art journaling – which I incorporate as a basis for my digital products. My blog is subtitled “An Unexpected Journey” because if you had told me twenty years ago (or ten or even five years ago) that I would have a room in my house filled with paints and canvasses and stamps and stencils and gel matte medium, I would have thought you’d lost your mind. Oh and the best part? I get to buy more stuff! Of course, I’m also gonna need a bigger house!

inspired

I’m an avid blog reader and have tons of feeds to browse through (I use Feedly). I’m always behind, but I love seeing what other artists, crafters and photographers are doing. I find that observing creativity in others gets my own mojo working. Pinterest is another reliable source of inspiration and has replaced my old-school physical inspiration boards. I’m also an online class junkie and I’m always inspired to use the techniques learn in my work.

tools

Computer: I converted to a Mac three years ago and have never looked back. I have a 21-inch iMac desktop, running Mavericks, with a 1TB hard drive and 16 gigs of RAM which I upgraded myself. I use a second monitor when designing and I have three 3TB external drives for backing up my 40,000 photos, scrapping products and my designs. I also have a separate external drive dedicated to Time Machine (the built-in backup which also does the operating system) and use Backblaze to continuously backup online.


Program: I gave in and subscribed to the Creative Cloud when Adobe offered the Photoshop/Lightroom deal at the end of last year. I’m grumpy about it though and will keep my licensed version of CS6 just in case they really make me mad. I love my Topaz and Filter Forge plugins but do most of my photo editing in Llghtroom. I also use Illustrator CS5 and have used all versions of PSE through 11, which I use for recording video tutorials. I also have Art Rage (on my iPad mini too!) and have played with Corel Paint. When I was in the Windows world, I loved and depended on ACDSee to organize my digital supplies. The Mac version is not very good, but Finder (the Mac version of Windows Explorer) is lightning fast, so I stopped tagging and now use a folder organization system.

Camera: My big girl camera is a Canon Rebel xSi – I have several lenses for it. I also have a Canon Powershot P&S I keep in my purse, but my iPhone 5s takes such great pictures, I find I use it less frequently.


Anything Else: I’ve been using the large Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch (which has been renamed the “Intous”) in place of a mouse ever since I started designing. I love the control it gives me when making selections and I’ve programmed the buttons on the pen for all sorts of shortcuts. I’ve been tempted to save my pennies for one of the “pro” models, but really can’t justify the cost.


tipstricks

A practical tip – whatever software is your favorite, learn and use your keyboard shortcuts. My favorites are for changing blend modes in Photoshop Elements or the full versions of Photoshop. Activate the Move tool (V on the keyboard) and then, to cycle through the Blend Modes, hold the shift key at press the + (plus) or – (minus) keys. Or to go directly to Soft Light: press shift alt f (mac: shift option f); Overlay: shift alt o (mac: shift option o); Multiply: shift alt m (Mac: shift option m). To return to Normal mode: press shift alt n (Mac: shift option n). I’ve included a Blend Mode shortcut cheat sheet with my featured kit.

A philosophical tip – no one at the end of their days ever said “Gee, I wish I’d spent more time perfecting … (fill in your current obsession).” So capture your memories or create your art in any way that makes you happy. Tell your inner critic to take a hike.

favorite

“The Journey” represents my own personal evolution as a creative person. It blends the more artsy style with more traditional scrapping elements. Many of the textures used on the papers and elements were made from my physical art. The colors make me happy!


DesFav

popular

I think the neutral colors were appealing, but I also think that “The Music’s in Me” was popular because most people can relate to having some melody stuck in their head. I am constantly singing or humming (although I can’t carry a tune at all). With the right music playing, I turn into an air-guitar strumming, dancing and singing fool. I’m pretty sure I was a musician in a former life!


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Here are some of my favorite products by Vicki Robinson:




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

CT1

CT2

CT3

CT4

CT5

Coupon

VR-TDD30 – 30% off order
VR-TDD40 – 40% off $20 order

Each a one-time use coupon. Both expire 4/30/2014.



Go have a look in Vicki Robinson’s store! We will randomly select TWO winners to win $10 in product! All winners will be selected through the Rafflecopter widget below. There are several ways to enter and you can do ALL of them to gain more entries for yourself!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Inspired by Vicki Robinson

The following layouts were created using “It’s About Time” by Vicki Robinson and included in
The Digi Files during March, 2014:


Layout by Kitty. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson.


Layout by SharonS. Supplies: It’s
About Time by Vicki Robinson; Template by Connie Prince; Lifted frame by
Scrapgirls; Font: LD Remington Portable.


Layout by Kelly. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson.


Layout by Kelly. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson.


Layout by Alanna Banana. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson.


Layout by Jacqueline. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson.


Layout by hondachicc. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson.


Layout by Gina. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson.


Layout by MotherBear. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson.


Layout by misslovescraps. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson.


Layout by flohbock. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson.


Layout by thimbleberrie. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson.


Layout by snowdropz. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson.


Layout by mystampin. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson.


LO1

Layout by Vicki. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson.

LO2

Layout by Vicki. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson;
Fonts: Beautiful Memories (template #22) by Indigo D; Font:Calibri;
Photos by Cheryl Curtis.

LO3

Layout by Rachael. Supplies: It’s About Time by Vicki Robinson; Fonts: GF Halda Normal.

Making Art with Triangles and Digi Supplies

I wanted to make some art for my daughter’s room so I decided to start by looking in my digi supplies and seeing what sparked my interest. After I picked a kit with some fun, playful colours, I created a 12×12 canvas in Photoshop. I made a grouping of triangles, with the edges touching. As you can see, I wasn’t too fussy about overlapping and I let the shapes run off the canvas.

Then I added a circle background:

\

Next, I clipped some neutral papers to the background:

And finally some pretty patterned papers to all of the triangles. Then I clipped the triangle layers to the circle layer. (So, you can see why I wasn’t concerned about the triangles running off the page.)

I debated about filling the entire circle in with more patterned triangles, but I found some great word art in my stash so I decided to use that instead. (I often sang Three Little Birds to the kids when they were babies, so the word art made me smile.)

Be Kind

Supplies: Heart Art Be Kind by Sugarplum Paperie, Today’s the Day by Sugarplum Paperie

I tried taking a photo of it in its frame, but evidently I picked the most reflective frame possible! So, here is the page, sitting on top of the glass so that it’s actually visible.

My daughter loves it and it makes me smile when I walk by it!

Have you ever made art for your home with your digital scrapbooking supplies? Is it something you might try out?

How To See Your Photos With A Critical Eye

I love most of my photos. You probably love yours too.

Of course we do! When we capture our moments and our memories, it makes logical sense we’d love our photos.

Have you ever wanted to take your photography to the next level? Have you been unsure how to do that?

Once you’ve learned how to shoot in manual mode, how to see the light, and how to get a great composition what’s next?

I believe the next step is to see your photographs with a critical eye. Not in a beat yourself up because you never get it right way, but in a next time I should think about this way.

When I critique photos in class I focus on three things. These three elements help to create a stronger image.

Emotional Impact

The first step is to look at the Emotional Impact of a photo.

Take a look at my photo and then quickly respond to the questions below.

  • How does this photo make you feel?
  • What do you like or dislike about this photo?
  • What does it remind you of from your own experience?
  • What does this photo make you think of?

Your answers may be different than mine, but a good photo will begin by creating some type of emotional connection to the viewer. You are reminded of something, connected to something, or made to feel a strong emotion. In my everyday photos I like the emotions to be positive, but it’s not just positive emotions behind good images.

MY EMOTIONAL IMPACT CRITIQUE

This photo makes me feel warm and happy. I want to reach into the frame and give him a big hug. I’m reminded of childhood innocence and that special connection between a mother and her child.


Composition

Once you’ve critiqued from an emotional perspective, move forward to composition. Often composition choices help drive the emotional feelings we have about a photo. We’ll look at four specific elements of composition.

Take a look at this photo and quickly respond to the questions below.

  • Does the photo appear balanced?
  • If used, Is the rule of thirds used effectively?
  • Does the angle of view enhance the photo?
  • Does the crop work for the photo?


MY COMPOSITION CRITIQUE

This photo relies on the use of the rule of thirds, filling the bottom two portions of the thirds with landscape. The horizon would be stronger if it was either lower in the frame or just a tad bit higher as it falls very close to the midline of the frame. The leading lines created by the road, lead the viewer into the frame in an effective way creating balance and movement.


Technical Elements

Now it’s time to get technical. For the technical qualities we can start with a few basics.


  • Is the exposure too dark or too light?
  • Is light used effectively?
  • Does the depth of field enhance the photo?
  • Is the photo in focus?


MY TECHNICAL CRITIQUE

This photo has strong emotional impact. The technical qualities of the photo could be improved with more light on the subject. The eyes lack a catch light, making them a bit flat and lifeless. The depth of field is very shallow, making the letter to the tooth fairy difficult to read. The low light of the image, impacts the focus of the image. Notice how it falls on his nose rather than his eyes or the finger pointing to the new gap.


So What Now?

Does my critique mean I delete these photos from my collection? Absolutely not. I use the critique to improve my next photos. It helps me to think about those small elements that come together to create an image I love. I’m also reminded that sometimes the emotional impact is enough for me to overlook the technical mess a photo may have.

Did you find one area’s questions harder to answer than another? The area with the most difficult questions is most likely the area where you can grow your photography skills the most! A nice little critique bonus, isn’t it?!

Have you critiqued your own photos in a constructive way? Share in the comments below!

The Blessed Life

DesignerLogo


I’m happy to have Amber Shaw back in The Digi Files this month! I really love Amber’s fun themed kits she creates and the plaid papers that can be found in most of them (I love scrapping with plaid!). I had so much fun visiting with Amber about her life in Indiana, where she is dreaming of moving to, her love of sunshine, and her start in digital scrapbooking and designing. You can listen below (on the site), Download here or Subscribe in iTunes

Let’s take a closer look at “Blessed Life” 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 Amber Shaw’s contribution:



LO1

Layout by Katie. Supplies: Blessed Life by Amber Shaw; Fonts: Myriad Pro.

LO2

Layout by Vicki. Supplies: Blessed Life by Amber Shaw; All Scratched Up (borders) by One Little Bird; A Loving Heart (template) by LorieM Designs; Fonts: Old Newspaper Type.

LO3

Layout by Vicki. Supplies: Blessed Life by Amber Shaw; Fonts: Century Gothis, Rat Infested, Calibri.

LO4

Layout by Jacki. Supplies: Blessed Life by Amber Shaw; Title by TDD; Fonts: Digs My Hart.

LO5

Layout by Anne. Supplies: Blessed Life by Amber Shaw; Fonts: Courier New.

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

Name

My name is Amber Shaw, and I design under the same name. I am originally from Indiana, and currently reside just outside of Fort Wayne. I consider myself a Floridian after 11 years living there, and 4 years of unsuccessful social integration back in Indiana. I definitely consider the Tampa/Palm Harbor area my home. I have 4 gorgeous children ages 19,15,13, and 8. I have been with my husband and best friend for over 17 years. I LOVE spending time with these 5. They are my absolute everything. I am a homebody but when the weather is nice we like to venture out. I LOVE sunshine, even in the stark winter, if the sun dares to peek out, I have my face in a window soaking it up. Some of my favorite things are flip flops, things that smell good, reading, crafting, laughing, and a good glass of Moscato wine. Not necessarily in that order. Sometimes the wine must come first!

STORE


BLOG


FACEBOOK


layout

When Becca of Tickled Pink Studio and I got together to make our first collab, we both jumped at making a shabby-ish baby kit. I had these pictures of my daughter, who is now 12, when she was only 6 months old and they were perfect for this kit. I used a template by Fiddle Dee Dee and she had this little circle for a photo and I have always loved layouts where a portion of the picture is used as a closeup, in this case, her chubby little hands!



DesignerLO


started

I got my start as a digital designer after weeks of photoshop tutorials in the pursuit of making my own label for my little perfume line. I stumbled upon digital scrapbooking in my internet search and was amazed! I had always ran away from paper scrapbooking like it was the plague, my OCD would not allow me to deal with the mess associated, but THIS! I fell in instant love! It wasn’t long I was scrapping away and then I started designing in a small store. I just celebrated my 4th anniversary designing and I still love it as much as the day I started, and I am still learning as I go.

inspired

So many things inspire me to create. It could be a phrase that will spark an idea of colors from a comforter I passed by at the store I was shopping at. I take pictures of things that inspire me with my phone all the time or sketch them on a pad I keep close by. Many times, my 2 daughters will give me ideas and my Creative Team is incredible at making requests that will get my creative gears moving.

tools

Computer: I actually design on 2 laptops, 1, the Toshiba, runs my photoshop (Windows7) and the Dell, well Adobe Illustrator seems to be more fond of that one.

Program: When I design I use Photoshop CS4, Illustrator CS6, I also doodle on my iPad using Adobe Ideas app, a little bit of Art Rage, and at times, some Eye Candy or Filter Forge. I really like to draw my own elements, and that is mostly done in Photoshop though the pen tool in Illustrator and I are still courting.

Camera: I have a Kodak Point and Shoot that I love and I also have a Nokia Bridge Camera, I am saving for a DSLR and quite frankly taking my time, as I am a bit intimidated with learning it!

Anything Else: I also use a Bamboo Pen and Touch but will be upgrading very soon to something with more features, I am not decided on which one yet. I tend to over analyze my purchases! I have 2 office spaces, I have a den that has a big antique “bankers” desk that I adore. I design there when I want to get away from all the noise and focus. When I want to design but still be “in” what is happening in my family, I have a small desk in my room and I get to work and watch TV and the kids usually end up in here too.

tipstricks

The best tip I can give someone is take more pictures with YOU in them. I tend to be behind the camera so much that when I go back to look through all of my photos, it sometimes feel like I have been erased from the moments or that I wasn’t a part of them. I know I was there, but when my kids are older, I want them to be able to see pictures with us all in them. I know it’s hard, but utilize the timer mechanism and start to photo bomb your own family photos!

favorite

I Love You Infinity is probably my current favorite product. It was inspired by my kids, when they were all little they would say “Mommy I love you dis much” (arms wide open) and I would say “yeah well, I love YOU infinity!” and it was something we did with each of them. I created the kit while I had my BFF from Florida visiting and that made it all the more special. I chose a very muted palette because I wanted the kit to be gender neutral and have a very papery feel. I managed to get red in there, as I do with most of my kits. I really. LOVE. Red.

DesFav

popular

Right before Thanksgiving, I drew the elements for Hot Cocoa knowing soon it would be cold and time for that yummy concoction, building snowmen, and the like. It’s just a fun kit, with plenty of pinks, blues, and tans and that makes it very versatile. That kit was my most popular of any of my other winter or Christmas kits through the entire winter. I tend to have 2 very distinct design personalities, a shabby/papery style then a more playful side. This is one of my more playful kits. Everybody must really love Hot Cocoa!

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Here are some of my favorite products by Amber Shaw:

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

CT1

CT2

CT3

CT4

CT5

Coupon

30% off of your next purchase
code: AS-30TDD
exp. 3/31/14



Go have a look in Amber Shaw’s store! We will randomly select TWO winners to win $10 in product! All winners will be selected through the Rafflecopter widget below. There are several ways to enter and you can do ALL of them to gain more entries for yourself!

a Rafflecopter giveaway