No Foolin’ SEVEN Will Win


March is drawing to a close which means another issue of The Digi Files is about to wrap up! Today is your last chance to grab ALL of these goodies for only $7.50 total. After today, these products go back to their designers’ stores for full retail value.  Once they’re gone, they are gone!

As a member of The Digi Game, you get:

  • Try new-to-you designers with a very low risk.
  • Stock up on high quality products at an extremely low price.
  • Get layout ideas for the products included (in the Playbook).
  • Learn the latest digital scrapbooking techniques in the Playbook.
  • Products are automatically added to your account each month, no checkout or PayPal login required.

Here’s what some of our members are saying:

“What’s not to love about The Daily Digi? Every month you have a collection of kits that are always varied but always beautiful. You have contributions from all of my favorite designers, and the freebies that come along throughout the month are always a happy surprise. Most of all, I love the ideas you share both on the site and in the Digi Playbook. I’ve gotten tons of good ideas from everyone at The Daily Digi! Such a great value for the money. Thanks! :)“ –  Virginia Pratt

“I’ve been with you since your launch and there has not been one single month that I have ever been disappointed by the wonderful offerings…” – Cindy J

“…I have collected 998 MBs of scrappy-goodness. I have 1,004 individual files in exchange for $7.50 [per month]. Where else could I get that? It’s well rounded collection of the best digi scrap available. What more can one want? I may have to stay up late tonight to get the next installment. I’m so excited!!!” – Carrie

Here’s a closer look at what you can find inside this month:

Designs by Anita: My Biggest Inspirations

Karen Lewis: The Importance of Learning

KsQuared: We Have a Lot of Fun

Scrapbookgraphics: A Community Pool

Faith True Originals: Kinda Country

Misty Cato: A Great Deal of Coffee

One Little Bird Designs: Totally Random Things











This month’s Playbook includes tips, tricks, and tutorials on:

  • Brushes
  • Elements
  • Fonts
  • Layout Design
  • Papers
  • Photos
  • Templates
  • Topics to Scrap
  • Saving Time

NOW…for the FUN part! Leave us a comment sharing one thing you enjoyed about The Daily Digi, The Digi Files, or The Digi Game this month! We will randomly select SEVEN people from the comments below to win $10 in product from one of this month’s contributors.

Viva Las Vegas Digi Style

imageLast weekend, I was in Las Vegas with a hundred or so other digital scrapbookers at Digiscrapapalooza. One of the fun things we did was record a live Digi Show. It was the largest panel of guests we’ve ever had and it was a lot of fun! If you haven’t ever listened to the show, you’ve been missing out!

Adobe released Photoshop CS6 in beta last week. Right now, you can download the beta version for free. If you’ve been wanting to try CS, this is a great way to do it for FREE!


Here’s what else is going on in digiland:

Have you seen Tangie’s new very cool planners? I can see using them on lots of layouts or a whole album as well:

Tangible Plans™! The New Planner System from Studio Tangie from Tangie Baxter on Vimeo.

Get this beautiful Forest Friends kit by Mye De Leon and don’t miss the coordinating pieces. They are just beautiful! It’s still on sale at Gotta Pixel so don’t miss it!



Dunia has a collection of her favorite templates available:



I love the colors and patterns in this fun new collection from Stolen Moments:



I am very sad to announce that Deca Designs is retiring. If you want to buy her kits with a HUGE discount the time is NOW!



Danielle Young has this adorable new set of Easter-themed wordart and illustrations at Oscraps! For a limited time, they’re free with $2 purchase of her designs.



Jennifer Labre is guesting at Scrapbook Graphics and has two new kits out this week, both on sale for 20% off



Follow your bliss with this lush kit collaboration from Juliana Kneipp & Lisa Sisneros! Overflowing with unique and eclectic patterns, rich colors and tons of vintage-style elements, you can capture the romantic beauty and carefree artistic expression ofyour inner bohemian. Available at CatScrap!



Laura’s back from Digiscrapapalooza 2012 and has this super cute
digital scrapbook themed kit in her shop!



Liz has a new set of templates featuring lots of layered paper strips and ribbons. These are subtly decorated with paint splatters, buttons and flowers to make your pages beautiful, but the focus remains on your photos and memories.



Paislee Press has 25% off sale in celebration of Oscraps’ 6th Birthday!





Even classes are on sale in Chelle’s Creations shop this weekend:



Cindy Schneider has a new exclusive template freebie on facebook.  It’s only available for a limited time so grab it while you can!



Read me a story! Tell it again! ViVa brings you a kit for those special times with your kids or memories of your own childhood books. Lush, vintage, eclectic, a kit great for today’s memories as well as yesterdays!



Grow Wise Little Owl is new from Secret Stash and all about raising your little ones with wisdom and encouragement. Don’t we all treasure those special “lightbulb moments” they have? The first time they count to ten or recite the alphabet by themselves, or learn to tie their shoes, or learn a foreign language, the list goes on! Whatever pops into the bright little mind of your children, this kit is sure to help you display those memories. On sale for a special 35% off during our Birthday Sale at Scrap Orchard!



wm2 has this great, new font:



Save 35% off storewide during Scrap Orchard’s birthday sale. Includes Designer Essentials classes and new products. Save an extra 35% off discounted bundles by SuzyQ Scraps — plus snag her new grab bag for only $4.50!


Veronica Spiggs has a beautiful new collab with Valentina’s Creations.  The Victorian Charm Collecion is now available at Studio Vivarant at a savings of 36%  Don’t miss this charming collection!



Sahlin Studio is offering a small sampler FREEBIE, that coordinates perfectly with Precocious.  Stop by and pick it up!



Flergs has this bright, fun collection out:



Kaye has 3 new products out this week: A set of Easter digital stamps, an Easter printable which is great for packaging up small easter treats and a stamped alpha. All are 20% OFF



New from Jeanye Labaya this week is Doowackydoo, a template pack that is full of possibilities with one to four photo spots and even a journaling only template. These are 20% through Sunday, April 1.



Kate Hadfield and Kim Jensen have teamed up again to create Springity Spring, a colourful new collab kit that’s packed with beautiful papers, hand made elements and doodles and LOADS of spring sunshine! Both the full kit and the individual packs are on sale at 20% off all weekend!



Peppermint has a new kit, on sale through Sunday. And her whole store is still on sale through Saturday for Oscraps birthday:



Lauren Reid has a new home:



Gina just re-launched her new site and has a big sale going on, new products and lots and lots of freebies. She also has a new blog.



Michelle Pierce and Colleen Elliott were the winners chosen from our feature images design contest. Check out their sites and watch for their winning designs to show up here during April!

Almost 100 Ways To Take Sharper Photographs

Is there anyone who doesn’t want their photographs to be sharper? It is one of the most common questions people ask me.

So here you go! Almost 100 ways to get sharper photos!

Steady Your Camera

  • Use a tripod when it’s practical.
  • Use a solid surface to rest your camera when a tripod isn’t practical.
  • Use a remote release when it’s practical. (It’s usually not practical for me, so keep on reading.)

Use Good Form

  • Steady yourself against a doorway or other solid surface.
  • Tuck your arms into your body, steadying them against your chest. TIGHT!
  • Press your eye tight against the viewfinder.
  • Get a firm grip with both hands.
  • Shoot like a sniper. Yes, I said it. I’ll let you google it!
  • Breathe out and shoot before you take a breath. (Okay, this is a sniper technique. I like to think of it as a yoga technique though!)

Watch Your Shutter Speed

  • Shoot with a shutter speed fast enough to stop motion, at least 1/125th of a second.
  • Use a FAST shutter speed for fast moving subjects, between 1/1000 to 1/5000 of a second.
  • Shoot with a shutter speed fast enough to avoid camera shake, at least 1/50th of a second with a 50mm lens.
  • Read more about shutter speed.

Use The “Right” Aperture

  • Watch your depth of field! Use an aperture narrow enough to get your subject in focus, think f/4.0 or f/5.6.
  • Avoid the lure of your widest aperture!
  • When more than one person is in the photo use a narrow aperture, think f/5.6 to f/11.
  • Find the “sweet spot.” Use an aperture one stop narrower than your widest aperture. If your lens is an f/1.8 choose f/2.5. Think of it as three “clicks” from your widest aperture.
  • Want to use your widest aperture? Step back from your subject some.
  • Read more about aperture.

Know Your ISO

  • Keep  your ISO low to get the least noise.
  • Learn the limit of your particular camera by shooting through your range of ISOs to learn how high you can push it.
  • Read more about ISO.

Look For Light


  • Avoid letting your camera choose the focal point.
  • Use your center focal point for the sharpest photos.
  • Opt to change your focus point rather than focus and recompose.
  • Learn back button focus. (Also known as Focus Lock or AF-On for Canon/AF-C for Nikon)
  • Watch your focal distance, leave enough space between the lens and your subject.
  • Keep things in the same visual plane to keep them sharp.
  • Focus on your subject’s eye that is closest to you.
  • Read more about focus.

Choose The “Right” Lens

  • Use your lenses’ vibration reduction (VR on Nikon) or image stabilization (IS on Canon).
  • Turn it off when your camera is on a tripod.
  • Shoot with a prime lens when possible. (Think 50mm, nifty fifty, it’s a bargain!)
  • Clean your lens! The more crud on your lens, the more chance it’s going to show up in your image.
  • Read more about lenses.

Mind The Odds & Ends

  • Shoot more than one photo. Check your drive mode and bump it to continuous shots!
  • Roll your finger slowly over the shutter button.
  • Slow down! Sometimes you do everything right but add your own movement to your image as you are moving on to the next thing before you click the shutter.

There you have it!

Put them all together, shoot with a bit of intention, and you’ll get sharper images.

What’s your go-to method for taking the sharpest photos?


(Okay, it’s a bit short of 100, but I really wanted to use that cute photo!)

Digi Scrapping with Clusters


Clusters are one of my favorite design features on scrapbook pages, but I have to admit to being a bit cluster-impaired. lol! I’ve always admired how team member Jenn Lindsey uses clusters so effectively on her pages. She has a few tips to share with us:
1. Vary the size and rotation of the elements you’re clustering
2. Elements closer to the bottom layers will cast smaller shadows than those on the top of the clusters.


Credits: Star Gazing by Misty Cato and Melissa Bennett, The Faulty Marker (Heather Hess) and FO Textura Empty (Fontologie) fonts


Credits: Little Traveler collab by A5D Designers, DJB JenLin font


Credits: Snow Fun by Marta Designs, Conrad Voigt and CK Constitution fonts

Team member Trina is a clustering queen! I love to study her layouts because she does such a great job with grouping and placing embellishments. I was happy to learn what tricks she uses to achieve such wonderful results. She shares:

Clustering was one of the hardest things I learned how to do for digital scrapbooking, and I found using templates really helped me get the hang of it until I could do a cluster on my own. Now my biggest problem is that I always want to put every single element in the kit! Shadowing plays a HUGE role in making a cluster look realistic like the other girls said. I usually start with papers because I love patterned papers and fill different types of shapes with them, and then add elements on top of that. To create a cluster that looks realistic you may have to hide or erase parts of elements so that something is wound around something else (such as threading a tag on a ribbon). Resize elements, use them 2 or 3 (or more) times, hide parts under others, just go nuts until the cluster is as big and as full as you like.


Credits: Glamorous kit – Jenn Barrette and Eva Kipler Exuberance Templates – Jeanye Labaya


Credits: Yin & Yang 2 Collab – Scrapping With Liz and Fiddle Dee Dee Designs Winter Thrills bundle – Chelle’s Creations


Credits: Everyday Storytelling – Jenn Barrette and Kristin Cronin Barrows Solos Part 4 – Busy Bee Designs

Heddy (another team member) shares a great tip for anyone who struggles with clustering – she says: I love the look of clusters! I often rely on templates with cluster guides because it takes the guess-work out of creating a full cluster.


Credits: facebook fan freebie template by Caroline S.

When it comes to clustering, nothing makes me happier than when I can cheat and use a pre-made cluster. I love it when designers include these in their kits or offer them as embellishment packs! Here are some of my favorites: (all images are linked)












Be sure to read the descriptions on kits and embellishment packs and look for the word “cluster”.


When I looked at the other preview images for this kit, I found that it included several pre-made clusters.


When I read the description for this kit, I found that there were several clusters included.



If you love the look of clusters and want to learn how to make them on your own, be sure to check out NeeNee’s previous post on creating clusters for some great tips. A fun cluster adds so much style to a page!

katie big

P.S. The title image was created with the Worn Collaboration cluster set by Sahlin Studio and One Little Bird Designs. The font is Traveling Typewriter.

Life Before Scrapbooking: Telling Our Stories, Pt. 2

In Part One of this series, I talked about why it is important to go back and scrap our older memories.  Unless we started at birth, there is a time in our lives that was “before scrapbooking.” Those memories are still very important and they deserve to be scrapped.  The question is, though, how do we go about conquering this huge task?

I would like to suggest that the first thing that has to be done is to develop a plan. You need to decide exactly what you are trying to accomplish and why, as well as being realistic about the amount of time you want to/are able to put into it.  Let me give you a few examples of how you could scrap your backlog of stories, along with a brief look at the pros and cons.

1. SCRAP AS USUAL: Simply put, you just scrap your old photos just like you would your current ones.

Pros: cohesiveness in your albums, possibly using old kits you bought specifically for something, and the fun of the process.

Cons: Extremely time consuming.  This is especially true if you are a one/two photo a page scrapper and you also like to scrap most of your photos.

2. SCRAP ONLY IMPORTANT EVENTS: Only focus on scrapping important events like birthdays, holidays, and vacations.

Pros: Faster than scrapping everything, highlights milestone events.

Cons: So many stories and memories happen in the “in between” moments and it would be a shame to lose them.

3. PHOTO ALBUM STYLE: Put all of your photos in a photo album (with maybe a date and name(s) on the back and call it done.

Pros: Fast, easy, and it actually gets done! Great if you have lots of prints.

Cons: The stories of the events aren’t told and people looking at the pictures 50 years from now will most likely not have any idea what is going on.

4. PROJECT LIFE STYLE: Use a mix of photos and simple journaling cards to quickly record memories in style!

Pros: Can be quick, records photos and words, allows you to easily add in scraps of paper, momentos, etc, a great way to save a lot of photos in not a lot of space, great if you have lots of prints.

Cons: Could be time consuming (depending on the person), can get expensive (all the plastic pages and albums), requires printing any old digital photos.

5. SIMPLE ALBUMS: Group like-events/time periods together in simple digital albums and then print into a hardbound book.

Pros: Fast, simple, and easy to do.  Little to no decision making as cialis professional far as kits, papers, elements, etc.

Cons: Not very “pretty” or “fun,” difficult if all of your photos are already printed.

You are definitely not limited to the ideas mentioned, but these methods would all achieve the same end purpose: getting your photos and memories preserved.  Depending on your time, desire, resources, and personal style, you can pick and choose the right approach for you.  You also have to decide what is most important to you and feel free to leave the rest.  For me, I knew I had to have photos + journaling.  Everything else was secondary.

Many of you mentioned that you were going to tackle your older stories Project Life style.  I LOVE it and yet, as I thought seriously about my life (which involves homeschooling five little kids and moving from Indonesia to the US in three months!), I realized that doing Project Life for my older stories would just never work.  So, I chose option five: SIMPLE ALBUMS.

I know that I just don’t have a ton of time to devote to this project.  When we move, I really want to leave behind the boxes of photos that I have and in order to do that, I have a LOT of stories to tell in the next three months!  I also have a lot of photos that I already had scanned, so I knew that I would be off to a great start with so many older photos already digitized! So, I chose a very simple and effective approach.

I decided to use my album templates from my Just the Basics Album.  I figured that since I already created the templates, I might as well use them. I will have to tweak here and there, but at least I have a great place to start! And I made the tough decision to not use any paper or embellishments. I want this to be a fast process, and if I dive into the world of pretty papers and cute flowers, I may never return.  So, “Just the facts, ma’am” is how it has to be.

After deciding on a design approach, I decided to choose just three fonts to use on all of my pages.  I wanted fonts that would work with any page, regardless of the subject, fonts that had would add some style to the page, and fonts that I actually liked.  In the end, I decided on Rockwell (titles), CK Cursive (subtitles), and Century Gothic (journaling).

I also had to make a decision about my photos: to edit or not to edit. In the end, I decided that while most photos will be left as-is, I don’t mind a 20 second edit if they really need it or even longer if there is a photo that is significant.  I don’t want this project to overwhelm me, so I have to settle for accepting the photography skills of my past!

And that was it! After just a little soul searching and reality accepting, I found my approach.  And once I had it, I decided to test it.

This layout took me 13 minutes!  Woo hoo!  With a design approach chosen, templates created, fonts decided on, and a “bad photos are okay” approach, this whole idea of scrapping life before scrapbooking doesn’t seem quite so daunting.

This one only took me eleven minutes, including choosing photos and template, and modifying the template!

So…how about you?  Have you decided how you are going to tackle it?

Does the thought of not using scrapping supplies scare you or thrill you?

Could you ever just print out photos, put them in an album, and call it a day?

Designs by Anita: My Biggest Inspirations


I absolutely adore Anita’s clean, simple, sophisticated designs! When I look at her previews I am always struck with how well the colors, patterns, and elements all flow so well with each other. I am happy to welcome Designs by Anita back to The Digi Files again this month! Let’s take a closer look at “Favorite Moments” that is included in The Digi Files this month:


This is ONE of SEVEN collections you receive when you are a member of The Digi Game during March, 2012. All of the collections have been revealed and they are AMAZING! When you are a member, you also get an interactive Playbook (filled with tips, tricks, and tutorials), and access to exclusive collections every four months you are subscribed! When you are an annual member, you get one month FREE!

Here are some layouts created using designs by Anita’s contribution:

Layout by Lauren. Supplies: Favorite Moments by designs by Anita.
Layout by Trina. Supplies: Favorite Moments by designs by Anita; Template by Heidi (Hawt Mama freebie); Font: DJB Tweenybopper.
Layout by Aaron. Supplies: Favorite Moments by designs by Anita.
Layout by Jenn. Supplies: Favorite Moments by designs by Anita; Fonts: The Other Twin font by Heather Hess.
Layout by Amelia. Supplies: Favorite Moments by designs by Anita.

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

My name is Anita, I am a SAHM of 3 kids (ages: 16, 14, 10) and married. I am addicted to Photoshop and I love to design and create stuff to scrap and make layouts. I discovered designing at the end of 2007. My kids, family, pets, nature… those are my biggest inspirations !





I wanted to make a baby album from baby pictures of our son, and I wanted it to be in traditional colours and clean and simple.


I started digital scrapping in 2007, and I loved it immediately, playing with photos in photoshop and paste them on papers.

My family and all that is around me!!

Computer: I use a PC; intel core 2 (quad) memory 2GB @ 64bit – windows 7
Program: Adobe Photoshop CS5, Artrage
Camera: Nikon D60
Anything Else: Bamboo tablet

Add a drop shadow to your separate element layers. It gives more depth in your layout, especially when you are clustering the elements.

I love the colors !

It has a winter theme, and I just love snow and ice skating !

Here are some of my favorite products by designs by Anita:

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


The Daily Digi readers can save 25% off Designs by Anita by entering TDD25READ at checkout (excludes collaboration kits).

Go have a look in designs by Anita’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 Designs by Anita

The following layouts were created using “Favorite Moments” by Designs by Anita and included in The Digi Files and Digi Game during March, 2012:


Layout by SharonS, additional supplies: Scrapping with Liz, Fonts: I <3 DJB Fonts, Oogie Boogie
Layout by Lauren. Supplies: Favorite Moments by designs by Anita.
Layout by Trina. Supplies: Favorite Moments by designs by Anita; Template by Heidi (Hawt Mama freebie); Font: DJB Tweenybopper.
Layout by Aaron. Supplies: Favorite Moments by designs by Anita.
Layout by Jenn. Supplies: Favorite Moments by designs by Anita; Fonts: The Other Twin font by Heather Hess.
Layout by Amelia. Supplies: Favorite Moments by designs by Anita.

Geotagging on purpose and by accident


Geotagging means putting a geographical location with a photograph to tag where it was taken. Flickr pioneered geotagging in 2006 with map pinning features on their website. With the advancement of consumer level GPS tools more people participated in adding location tags to their photos. Now that smartphones have cameras that automatically save the geographical coordinates when enabled, geotagging is commonplace for many photographers whether they know it or not.

Why Geotag?

I love to use geotagging when I’m traveling because it’s like putting a virtual pin on the map of earth to show where I have been. I only have a small portion of my public photos currently geotagged in Flickr, but you can get a good idea of how the idea works by looking at this map. Note – geotagging is not limited to Flickr, I’m just using my Flickr photos as an example.


By adding geotags, you embed the actual location of the photo into your EXIF data which means it is written to your photo file. This is a great way to add valuable metadata to your picture that will tell others about where it was taken.

This also means that you might unwittingly share locational information that you don’t intend to if you aren’t careful with your settings. You will notice that most of my geotagged photos are outside of my home state of Utah. The only nearby photos that I feel comfortable marking on a map are taken at very public locations where there are many people (like a Jazz Game) and I only share those photos after I have left the area so as not to advertise my whereabouts. Others might feel differently about this level of privacy (wanting more or less), but this is what feels good for me.

As a general rule, I turn off my iphone GPS location settings when I’m home and I turn it on when I’m traveling – but I’m very careful about posting pictures publicly when I’m traveling and I wait until after the trip is over before sharing any of them online.

How to Geotag

There are many ways to get geographical coordinates attached to your photograph.

  • Use a camera with built in location services (such as an iPhone) and make sure the location settings are enabled.
  • Take a photo with an iPhone at your shooting location to mark your spot and then shoot the rest with your regular camera. You can manually add the same coordinates later on when processing the photos.
  • Use a GPS device and make notes to manually add the coordinates to your photo when uploading.
  • Use an eye-fi card or a GPS camera attachment or a GPS enabled camera that will record the geotag with your photo (check your camera manufacturer for options).
  • Look up the addresses where you took the photos and add the coordinates manually when processing. (Thank you Google search!)
  • There are web and smartphone apps that will help you with geotagging. Be sure to check the settings on some social sharing apps such as Instagram & Twitter to be sure you are getting the level of privacy you desire.

Here’s a photo I took in Arizona in 2009 using an iPhone 3 camera. I didn’t want to take all my photos with the phone camera, but I did want to record the coordinates.


Because I had the location services enabled (check the settings), I can find the exact point on earth where this picture was taken.

flickr 8

This places it on the map at the spot we were at in Arizona

flickr 5


I used these same coordinates to tag the other photos I shot at the same location. You can find this information from your photo by examining the EXIF data in a photo processing program. I like to cheat and use the easy way by looking at the uploaded photo on Flickr. Simply use the drop down menu under “actions” on your photo and choose “View EXIF info”.


I’m sure some other online sites allow access to this information as well. In my research I found that geotagging is enabled in Picasa. Check the FAQ section for your favorite photo sharing site if you want to find out about geotag capabilities.

Anyone who knows me, knows about how much I love Flickr so I’m sure you aren’t surprised to hear me say that I haven’t found a site that manages geotagging better than they do! I especially like that Flickr lets you manage who can see the information on photos that you share. You can even set up geofences to prevent you from accidentally sharing a photo embedded with your own home or work coordinates – you set up the boundaries!

flickr 9

Geotagging the manual way

What if you don’t have a smartphone, or a GPS device? What if you want to tag a photo that was taken before you went digital? There are plenty of ways to add the coordinates on your own.

I have a photo of a lighthouse in Oregon that has no metadata attached, but I was still able to map the coordinates and tag it geographically because I just looked up the address of where the lighthouse is located. It helps that I remembered the name of the lighthouse – lol!

flickr 6

Most of the time, you can figure out the location of a photograph. I didn’t have any GPS devices with me when we went to Totem Bight in Ketchikan, Alaska, but I was able to find the coordinates by checking it out on a Google map.


I like to manually add these geotags using the Flickr map tools, but you can also edit your metadata in programs such as Lightroom 4 to include the same information. Some older programs might require plugins to work around geotagging limitations.

Really helpful geotagging links

You might even enjoy some of the geotagged communities on sites such as Flickr where you can share you photos and even enjoy those taken by other photographers at the very same place. One of my favorite things to do there is to explore the map and see sites around the world from the comfort of my own computer.

Today’s a great day to check out the locational settings on the photos you take and share. If you don’t want to advertise the exact point on the map where you eat breakfast, be sure you are wise about what kind of information can be viewed in the photos you post online. If you want to create an amazing visual trail of the places you’ve been, geotagging is a fabulous tool!

katie big

P.S. Anna was the random winner from the journaling challenge post. She received a $10 gift card from one of our amazing featured designers!

Inner Shadow


Sometime last year, I purchased some templates that had a paper cut-out. I thought it was a neat effect, so I made some pages with cut-outs… I loved the effect, but it turns out I wasn’t using the best technique for it.

The “Old Way” of Cutting Holes in Paper

Now, don’t pay too close attention here because I’m going to tell you a much better way after! I used to (1) create a shape, like the rectangle in the sample below, (2) select the shape with ‘marching ants’, (3) select the paper layer in the layer palette, and then (4) hit delete to cut a hole in the paper in the form of the selected shape, and (5) hide the shape itself. It works perfectly fine, except that the cut out hole cannot be moved. So, if the cut-out would have looked better an inch to the left, the “hole” would have to be repaired or, more likely, the cut paper would have to be deleted and replaced with a new paper and the cut re-done.


(Note that in this method, the shadow is a drop shadow on the solid paper.)

The “New Way” of Cutting Holes in Paper

One day back in December, I was listening to The Digi Show podcast episode A Trend That Aggravates Me. Peppermint Granberg of One Little Bird Designs made a comment on the show about a better way of doing cut-outs.

Enter the “inner shadow”.

I don’t know how, but I’d never heard of it. Sure enough, there it was in the “fx” menu in the layers palette.


The inner shadow menu looks the same as the familiar drop shadow menu. I copied my usual drop shadow settings and inputted them into the inner shadow menu. (You can find some drop shadow ideas in this section of The Daily Digi.)

Here’s the result:


(Note how in this method the shadow is an inner shadow on the rectangle shape, which has the striped paper clipped to it.)

To save time in the future, I saved my inner shadow settings as a style so that I can apply it in one click from now on.

Here is the first layout I made trying this technique. (The cut-out doodle stars have an inner shadow on them.) It was so freeing to be able to move them around the page until I found the “right” spot for them.


This little process change made cut-outs much easier and something that I can quickly try in various places on a page. I love learning new tricks in Photoshop!

PS – The title graphic was made using papers and elements from The Daily Digi member exclusive kit My Life. The examples were made using One Little Bird Design’s kit Narrative.

Friday Fun


We recorded a new episode of The Digi Show this week all about Home décor projects using your digital supplies and skills. If you would like some inexpensive ways to spruce up your home, this show is for you!


Mye De Leon has an awesome release this week! I’d say get the BUNDLE to save 40% off on this gorgeous Forest Friends collection available at her Gotta Pixel store!

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Chelle’s Creations has a new baseball bundle. With peanuts and popcorn and cracker jacks, this kit will have you scrapping all your spring training games, regular season games and practices in no time. With everything you need in 7 team colors! Buy the Bundle and get the NEW alpha free!


Love I Spy? Here’s an awesome collab inspired by I Spy with lots of vintage toys. Paula Kesselring and ViVa Artistry created this kit for those childhood memories. Vintage elements make this kit very versatile and unique.


Pixel Gypsy is having a 50% off moving sale through the end of March, preparing for the move to her own shoppe in April. Everything is on sale, and many products will be retired at the end of the month.


I love these new precocious (flowers) & precocious papers by Sahlin studio

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Rúbia of Studio Basic is having a moving sale with 40% through 3/25


Here’s a special offer from Amy Martin on a great little spring-y kit (buy the kit, get the cards for free – for the weekend only!


SuzyQ Scraps has a new exclusive FREE mini kit for anyone who signs up for her newsletter!


Check out Hippity Hoppity by Kristin Aagard. This sweet springy Easter kit is 20% off through Friday, Midnight at After Five Designs. Visit Kristin Aagard Designs on Facebook and you’ll find a coupon code for an additional discount!!


Liz Tamanaha of Paislee Press has a sale and a giveaway going this week


After Five Designs has a cute new designer collaboration in store this week! Everything About You is HUGE and versatile and the best part is that it is FREE with your $10 purchase through May 4th!!


Tracie Stroud’s Everyday Extraordinary Bundle is a fantastic way to celebrate individuality in your loved ones! The extra alphas are FREE when you purchase the bundle by March 29! Individual pieces are also available for purchase separately.


Oscraps is celebrating a birthday starting this weekend and Jennifer Labre is joining in with a sale – 30% off everything in her store!


Heather T. is the Featured Designer at MScraps this week, and her store is 30% off–plus she has a special offer for you with her newest kit, A Year of Hope: Kit 2!


Jeanye Labaya has now opened her store exclusively at Zig Zag Scrap. She has her entire store on sale for 20% off through Sunday the 25th. She even has a new fun paper blocked/striped set this week called Clever Endeavor! TDD readers, save an extra 10% in her store sale with the coupon below!


Nicole of Sugarplum Paperie and Elise of Elise’s Pieces have teamed up to bring you this beautiful Springtime collab:  A Walk in the Park! The papers in this kit are just gorgeous– and it’s 20% off at The Digichick today!


New Free Template for March on Studio Rosey Posey’s blog!


Call For Tips & Layouts from Studio Wendy!


Studio Wendy is working on a new project all about Florida Vacations! She would love to feature layouts from around the community about any part of your Florida vacations…whether from the distant past or recent future or
anywhere in between. Any topic is welcome… from Disney to Daytona to
Key West to Ft. Myers. Did you take a cruise, visit the sandy beaches,
tackle the theme parks, swim with the dolphins? Then share your
layouts with me and you might just get published in her next project.
If your layout is chosen, you will receive a $10 coupon to Studio
Wendy at Scrapbookgraphics, and a digital PDF copy of the final project
after it is released.
To be considered for publication, send the following to with FLORIDA in the subject line. You may submit more than one layout, but please send each in a separate email.
First Name/Last Initial or Screename (as it should appear in the publication)
1200px wide JPG, RGB of your scrapbook layout
Layout Title
Short Travel or Scrapbooking Tip
If your submission is accepted, you will be asked to “digitally” sign
a copyright transfer agreement allowing me permission to use your tip
and layout in my project.

Hope you all have a FUN Friday!

katie big

P.S. Deb Broaderson was the random winner chosen from the comments left on the K[squared] feature on Monday. She won $10 in product from Kstudio!

P.S.S. Meg was the random winner selected from the comments left on the Karen Lewis feature from yesterday. She won $10 in product from Karen!