Happy Easter – Today 14 Will Win


Happy Easter to all of our readers, members, and their families!  Every once in a while we have the last day of the month or the first day of the month that falls on a holiday, so the holiday gets a quick mention and then…it is back to business for us.

When you become an annual member you get access to 13 months of products for the price of 11! That’s just barely over $6 a month for products with over $50 of retail value (OR less than $1 per full-sized product)!  AMAZING DEAL!!   No waiting for payments to process. You can start downloading your goodies as soon as the calendar changes to a new month and you have all month download!

You can become a monthly member as well for $7.50 a month.

This is what our members said at the end of last month:

Best money I ever spent. Never disappointed with the selections of some favorite designers offered and some up and coming new ones. Love this site and all the tips, hints, and instructions. – Shawna

Every month since November 2010, I heart The Digi Files! Thanks again for an awesome month of goodies for an unbelievable price and the quality posts on a daily basis. – Sarah R.

Love love love the quality of designers you pick each month – NEVER a disappointment. I can’t wait to see what we get next month! :) – Cynthia

Here’s a closer look at everything that is included this month:



EH Studio

Heather Joyce

Splendid Fiins

Wild Blueberry Ink

Jumpstart Designs

Cluster Queen Creations


Did you know that every four months you are subscribed to The Digi Game level (annual OR monthly) you get an exclusive collaboration from past contributors to THE DIGI FILES?  They are AMAZING:


“Story of Everyday Life” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to those who subscribe to THE DIGI GAME level of membership (available immediately).



“The Good Life” is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their fourth payment.


“My Journey My Life” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their eighth payment.


“My Life At Play” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their twelfth payment (or twelfth month for annual members).


“My Life In Print” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their sixteenth payment (or  16th month for annual members).


“My Life At Home” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their 20th payment (or 20th month for annual members).


“My Life of Adventure” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their twenty-fourth payment (or 24th month for annual members).

“My Life of Celebration” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their twenty-eighth payment (or 28th month for annual members).

We are changing things up with how the contests here are done on The Daily Digi (even the designer features). We will be using Rafflecopter to track entries and there will be MORE ways to enter besides just commenting.

You can get and entry into the drawing by doing several things such as, commenting, pinning, tweeting, liking, etc. You will need to enter through the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions for each method you want to enter.  We will verify entries when winners are selected and those entries will be disqualified if instructions weren’t followed.

We will randomly select FOURTEEN people from Rafflecopter  to win $10 in product from one of this month’s contributors.  Winners names will automatically be added to the widget here after they are selected. The contest closes at 11pm ET.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Making a Repeated Element Overlay


Credits: Starfish by Forever Joy Designs, Chipboard Action by WendyZine and Krystal Hartley, Doodle Action by WendyZine

I was reading The Sweet Shoppe’s challenges for the month of March when I came across this one that I thought sounded very interesting:

Challenge 2. – Babe Erin inspired me with her ingenuity on creating her own overlay. She used laced snowflakes to create this stunning layout. Create an overlay on your layout using one element repeated.

Here’s Erin’s sample page. Isn’t it amazing?!


Page is linked to credits

I loved the idea of creating an overlay! What a fantastic way of adding texture and working with a kit! This is exactly why I am such a fan of reading and participating in challenges – they provide such great inspiration!

I decided to try out this technique here:


Page is linked to credits

It’s a super-easy way to add texture. Here’s what you need:

  • A simple element with enough space around it to allow the background to show through. Items that will work well are things like stars, snowflakes, and hexagons.
  • A solid paper background. (You want the element to be the star of the page here.)

Here are a few examples:


Credits: Starfish by Forever Joy Designs


Credits: Forget the Clouds by EH Studios

And that’s all there is to it! A simple way to add texture to your page and make the most of your digital supplies.

Friday Lovin’


credits: Forever Joy Be included in this month’s digi files. Heather Hess The Sketchy Seriff font.

We just love Fridays at The Daily Digi. It’s our chance to share what’s new with some of our favorite designers and stores!


Flergs has a new “big” collection to tide you over for a little while!


Danielle Young has this fun, new Freestyle collection at Oscraps, and it’s 20% off this week!

FFThis week, Quirky Twerp released her Easter Retrospect Redo Scrapbook Kit with new elements.


Anchor is a brand new kit from River~Rose and on sale March 29th through 31st.


Sugary Fancy has a brand new kit and a great offer for you! Buy the NEW Wood You Be Mine Kit and get the Woodbits for FREE this week!


Do you need some inspiration to scrap your Project 365 pictures, or do you just scrap lots of pictures in one layout?


Check out this “Rides & Attraction” Journal Card Pack from Britt-ish Designs and Sahlin Studio. It is perfect for capturing any Disney, fair or carnival or theme park moments!


Ready for spring? Then Hello Sunshine is for you!


Scrapping with Liz has a couple of new template sets out this week and this is one of them. They are part of her Weekly Instagram Project. Grab them at 20% off until 4/4/13. Make sure you check out her other new release as well!


Check out this new collection by Amber Shaw and NEW INTERCHANGABLE LAYERED Page Starters! On sale for $8.49!


New by Sabrina’s Creations and 20% off through the weekend! Purchase the Every Minute Kit and receive the Journal Cards for free through April 12.


Jennifer Labre has a coupon just for our readers!


Dawn by Design and Sarah Jones Designs have this “refreshing” collab out this week – just in time for scrapping about Spring. You can get the journal cards free through Thursday, April 4, when you purchase the kit


Check out SarahJ’s store to find two new kits this week, both on sale for 30% off! First is this gorgeous collab with Dawn by Design, with a sweet set of journal cards FREE with your purchase! Also, there is a bright and festive birthday-themed kit perfect for your birthday boy! All Sarah’s boy-inspired items are 25% off through Sunday!


6 new digital products, to include a love-themed ArtPlay Palette, 3 sets of ArtsyKardz for Project Life, an artsy DoublePage Template and co-ordinating PlasticPockets. These MidWeek Release products are available individually in the Anna Aspnes Designs store at 20% off until Wed April 3, 2012 at 9am EST.


Studio Karen is have a Closing Down Sale. Save 50% off everything.


Kristin Aagard’s brand new kit, “A Perfect Mess” is 35% off this week during Scrap Orchard’s store-wide birthday sale! Also, this week when you purchase the kit, you’ll get a free coordinating sticker pack!


Scrap Orchard is having a sale this weekend to celebrate our 5th Birthday!!


Britt-ish Designs is wishing everyone a Happy Easter by having a little SALE! All Britt-ish Designs’ Easter themed products are 30% off. Hop on over and pick up some goodies to scrap all the adorable pictures you’ll be taking this weekend.

FFEaster is available in Tracey Monette’s store! Use coupon code: DD-Easter to get an extra 10% off her Easter products until April 2nd, 2013. Be sure to check in the ScrapMatter’s forums for a freebee that matches The Bunny Trail!


Studio Wendy’s Complete First Season of Learn It TV is on sale for $29.99! Subscribe now and you’ll be eligible for the same low subscriber price for Season Two when it’s released in a few weeks. See the product page for a complete listing of all 14 episodes available in Season One.


Katie has a special gift for all of her facebook followers. Just go to her official facebook page to download this free set of layered templates!


Here’s an amazing new LDS collection from Chelle’s Creations!


Kitschy Digitals and Paislee Press have teamed up again to bring you a new collection of gorgeously styled digital quick pages. Curated No. 4 and 5 is a collection of Quick Pages featuring quiet spaces juxtaposed against pops of bold + bright colors.


This Curated No. 6 collection features quiet spaces juxtaposed against pops of bold + bright colors.



Hope you loved this Friday as much as we did. See you next week!

Play it Again with words


worded big by Amy Martin


I am so excited to bring you another round of “Play it Again” and share with you many different ways to digi scrap the same memory. This is a great way to illustrate some of the many possibilities that exist when it comes to digital scrapbooking! Here at The Daily Digi we really want to emphasize that there is not a “right way” or a “wrong way” to put together a layout. It’s more about capturing the memory, finding your own style(s), and PLAYING! Yes, it’s ok to play and have fun!


This time, I asked a few of the best scrappers in the digi community to scrap a journaling entry that I used on a page back in 2007. The only rule they had to follow was to include my original wording. Everything else (including the title) was up to them!


Enjoying life is something I strive for each day. I like to think I’m the type of person who appreciates and enjoys the little things around me, and I know that being a scrapbooker has reinforced that part of my personality. Whether I create a layout about a special event, a big vacation, or a simple or silly topic like crazy socks, I am taking the time to cement the memory and share it with others. Even more difficult experiences can be scrapped and somehow, that makes them more bearable. For me, the journaling is an extremely important component of preserving the memory. Real and authentic journaling helps me process what was memorable and enjoyable about each experience. It’s easier for me to find the good in things (and people) by taking the time to scrap and write about my memories.

I enjoy life and I love scrapbooking!


I’m in awe of Ronnie’s layout here with all the beautiful and artsy details. The doilies, butterflies, and word art are all just fantastic! This page feels like an art journal layout and it has such a fun mixture of ingredients.

Anna Aspnes Art Play Palette Elegance<br /> Anna Aspnes Art Word Play<br /> Anna Aspens Celebrate Word ART<br /> Anna Aspens Different Strokes<br /> Anna Aspens Doily Edge Overlays<br /> Allie Edwards Memories Are Delightful Circle<br /> Createwings Designs Now Showing Splatter<br /> Katie Pertiet - GraphedNo3<br /> Katie Pertiet – In a Book No1<br /> Katie Pertiet – Letter Box Blendables No1<br /> Britt Designs – Are We There<br /> Connie Prince – Starpower (staple)<br /> Chelle Creations – Fall Semester<br /> Captivated Visions – Captivated 2012 Feb<br /> Captivated Visions – Yes You Can<br /> Mye De Leon – The Best Time of the Year<br /> Tracie Stroud – Love Me Tender<br /> Word Art World – Words Life, Moments, Remember painted<br />

Layout by Ronnie. Gallery Link. Supplies: Anna Aspnes – Art Play Palette Elegance, Art Word Play, Celebrate Word ART, Different Strokes, Doily Edge Overlays. Ali Edwards Memories Are Delightful Circle. Createwings Designs Now Showing Splatter. Katie Pertiet – GraphedNo3, In a Book No1, Letter Box Blendables No1. Britt Designs – Are We There. Connie Prince – Starpower (staple). Chelle Creations – Fall Semester. Captivated Visions – Captivated 2012 Feb, Yes You Can. Mye De Leon – The Best Time of the Year. Tracie Stroud – Love Me Tender. Word Art World – Words Life, Moments, Remember painted


I absolutely adore photos of flowers and the path in this picture makes a perfectly framed journaling space. Vicki did such a nice job with the text treatment on this layout – I love how it starts out big and gets smaller as it winds down the path.

Play it Again with words Vicki

Layout by Vicki. Gallery link. Supplies: Katie Pertiet-Spot Dot Flourish #1, Clipped Stacks #6 frames.


Lorelei always has such a creative flair for putting together fabulous pages and I really like the brushwork and splattered and worn look of this layout. That lady with the binoculars is just awesome!


Layout by Lorilei Murphy. Gallery Link. Supplies: Studio Miki Ferkul Business as Usual, Studio Captivated Visions I Became Somebody Else, Studio Sissy Sparrows Anything Goes Paper Pack, Studio Tangie Extreme Journaling font.


What a fun idea to break up the long text into little sections all over the page. Super creative layout and fun clustering from Britanee!


Layout by Britanee Walker (britaneejean). Gallery link. Credits: Everyday Basics – Bundle II by Sugary Fancy, Dumbstruck Cuckoo by Little Green Frog Designs, Spring Script & Pea Kadee.


Kristen used dividing boxes on the page to showcase words and embellishments. This feels like a shadow frame of memories and it is so much fun!


Layout by Kristen. Gallery Link. Supplies: Kimeric Kreations Scrap Therapy collection. Digital Designs by Amber Morrison’s Clever Little Printer Tray Templates. Quirkytwerp Stitched Borders and Stitched Frames. Michelle Batton’s Chalked Edges and Artsy Edges. Font: Michelle Batton A lil bit Alana


This page was actually created in early 2007 and I used it as the basis for this challenge. I thought about redoing it, but then I decided that I’m ok with how it is. This page represents what my style was like at the time and the artsy paper makes for a colorful backdrop for my journaling.

enjoy the process 2007

Layout by Katie. Gallery Link. Supplies: Rhonna Farrer Organic Papers, CK printer font.


What style of page appeals to you? There’s no right or wrong answer, just a chance to explore different styles and play with creativity!


Using all the parts of a digital kit

using all the parts of a kit

I love digital kits that are filled with all sorts of supplies and goodies to help me create a beautiful scrapbook layout. We are lucky in digiland to be able to have access to so many amazing kits with a wide variety of designs! This “Enjoy Life” kit by Cluster Queen Creations is just ONE of the MANY kits our members received this month as part of The Digi Files for an incredibly low price. I knew it would be a great example to use as a roundup of ideas and links to what you can do with the contents of a digi kit.

digiscrapping with solid paper

Solid papers are the backbone of scrapbooking and I always love to see several included in a digi kit because I know I will get a lot of use out of them. I’m a big fan of solid papers for backgrounds, especially when I will be journaling on the page. There are many ways to get the most out of solids:


digiscrapping with patterned paper

Patterned paper really brings a kit to life and adds creativity and flair to our layouts. I love a kit that includes some great patterned paper standbys such as stripes, chevrons, and dots. I often buy a kit because of one or two fabulous pieces of patterned paper with a unique design such as a floral or original doodles or patterns. Using these types of paper adds so much fun to the page!


digiscrapping with flowers

Flowers are like frosting for me – cake is good on it’s own, but so much better with frosting! Flowers make me happy and I use them on all sorts of pages – even on boy layouts!


digiscrapping with fasteners

Steph says she uses fasteners on almost everything on her layouts so nothing will fall off – lol! No need to worry about your layers falling off of a digi page, but if you like the look of paper layouts, adding fasteners is one of the best ways to replicate that feeling. When you staple, stitch, and button down the pieces of your layout, you get some fun little details to enjoy.


digiscrapping with frames

Perfect for highlighting a special photo, or calling attention to journaling or a special design feature on the page. Frames are a digi scrapper’s best friend. How else can you add a fantastic frame to your masterpiece without adding any bulk?


digiscrapping with word art

Word art is my favorite way to add a quick page title or some special journaling inspiration. When a designer makes the words look beautiful, it makes it easy to add something special.


digiscrapping with alphasjpg

If you really want to make a word or title stand out, digital alphabets are a wonderful tool to use. It’s fun to get creative with mixing alphas and fonts, or even combining more than one alpha together.


digiscrapping with goodies

There is such a wide range of fun little treats and goodies that are included in digital kits these days and there are so many creative ways to use all types of embellishments. I love using all of the pretty extras that designers include in their kits!

Be sure to take a good look through your digital kit files and think about all the ways you can use those fun supplies!


PS. Congratulations to this week’s reader, Dolores, who has won $10 to Cluster Queen Creations. Thanks for commenting!

How To Develop Your Photographer’s Eye | Part 3

In Part 1 we discussed telling a visual story. In Part 2 we explored interesting composition.

In Part 3 we have to talk a bit about equipment. Specifically the lens you choose and why it matters.

The MM | Angle of View Changes The Story You Tell

Your lens choice determines your angle of view (how much or how little you can have in your frame.) It’s an important consideration to get the composition you want.

There are three main choices:

  • Wide Angle – Less than 40mm
  • Normal – 40 to 50mm
  • Telephoto – Greater than 50mm

The smaller your focal length (the mm), the more you will capture in your frame and the less it will be magnified.

Go with a longer focal length, the less you will capture in your frame and the more it will be magnified.

So…three photos all standing in the same spot in my March garden (For the record, it’s not as pretty as my July garden.)

Knowing what you are going to photograph can help you make a lens choice for the best composition. When I step out the door with my camera I always have a quick conversation with myself about lens choice.

  • Big picture or details? (wide versus normal)
  • Subject at a distance or close to me? (telephoto versus normal)
  • Lots of extra bits and pieces or clean, clear backgrounds? (telephoto versus wide angle)

Explore even more about lenses.

The f# | Depth of Field Defines Your Story

Depth of field defines how much within the image is in focus, and when used well it’s a powerful tool to direct the attention and push/pull the eye within the image. David Duchemin, Photographically Speaking.

How much or how little is in focus in your frame is determined by your aperture.  With a shallow depth of field, the background details disappear, telling the singular story of the subject.

Notice how the depth of field changes the story as I moved from a narrow aperture to a wide aperture.





Explore even more about depth of field.

Developing your photographer’s eye is about choices. It’s about knowing what to include in your frame and what to exclude. It’s about knowing what visual story you want others to take away from the photo. It’s about knowing how to achieve that visual story with the equipment you have.

Developing your photographer’s eye is about capturing the beauty YOU see in your daily life.

Cluster Queen Creations: The Periphery


I was really excited to get Cluster Queen’s application to contribute to The Digi Files. I had been watching her store for a while and really LOVED her products instantly!  I noticed her store is about equal parts digital scrapbooking kits and equal parts templates and asked her to contribute both.  Cluster Queen has a variety of styles she is really good at designing; from whimsical to themed and a little shabby too.  Her templates are filled with lots of layers and (you guessed it) CLUSTERS!!  Cluster Queen really does have something for everyone.  Let’s take a closer look at “Enjoy Life and Gimme Layers-The DigiFiles Edition” 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 Cluster Queen Creations’s contribution:

Layout by Heddy. Supplies: Enjoy Life and Gimme Layers-The DigiFiles Edition by Cluster Queen Creations; November CC Template Freebie by Kim Roedelet, The Silver Reed font by Heather Hess.
Layout by Trina. Supplies: Enjoy Life and Gimme Layers-The DigiFiles Edition by Cluster Queen Creations; Font: The Sara.
Layout by Ronnie. Supplies: Enjoy Life and Gimme Layers-The DigiFiles Edition by Cluster Queen Creations.
Layout by Jacki. Supplies: Enjoy Life and Gimme Layers-The DigiFiles Edition by Cluster Queen Creations.


Layout by SharonS. Supplies: Enjoy Life and Gimme Layers-The DigiFiles Edition by Cluster Queen Creations; Font: The Lemmon.

You can see more layouts created with this kit on our “Team Inspiration” page.
Hi everyone! My name is Melissa Rieschick, aka profiler_mar, aka Cluster Queen Creations. I’m from a small town on the Texas Gulf Coast, about 35 minutes south of Houston. I live with my boyfriend of 7 years, Brent, our 10 year-old cat, Morgan, and our 2 year-old chihuahua, Zoe. I work full-time as a social worker and other than scrapping/designing, my favorite stress relief is to read…I read anywhere from 2-4 hours a night! I am addicted to iced tea and flavored lip glosses, and I have a strong fondness for office supplies. People can own me for life giving me any of those things! 🙂





My niece loves playing with the camera on my iPhone and my mom’s iPhone. We were sitting together in my dad’s chair one day and I started snapping photos of us together, and got this really cute one of her being silly and me looking so happy with her. When I created my kit, You and Me, I created a word art “Us Together”, and immediately thought of this photo. I love how I took a couples/family themed collection and showed how it could be used for other types of pages as well. I love the balance of patterns here, using tone on tone and small patterns to balance the mixed media background and the strip of multi-stripe paper. It is really easy to think you have to have solids on a page, but tone on tone papers or small patterns will balance as well as a solid will, and may be more visually pleasing too!


I started to paper scrapbook in 2003, when a friend introduced me to Creative Memories. I made a couple of albums but was soon sucked into the world of Creating Keepsakes and Scrapbooks, Etc. where the pages were more layered and technique-driven. I was an avid paper-scrapper for 6 years when, in 2006, my close friend Chel’s son was born. Within a year (late 2007) she was looking for a way to preserve memories with less mess, since she didn’t have a space for paper-scrapping, so I told her to check out digital scrapbooking. Another year went by and she had discovered ScrapMatters and Scrap Orchard, and was constantly showing me beautiful kits she was using. Finally, in early 2009 I couldn’t stand it any longer and asked her to teach me how to make a layout in PSE. Within a couple of months I was hooked and by May 2009 I was solely a digi-scrapper. I discovered quickly my passion for layering and clustering, and that sealed my fate in never paper-scrapping again. In 2011 I began to design templates, having discovered that my pages all have their own unique flair and style. Later that year I began to design kits as well, deciding I was so obsessed with papers I wanted to make them myself. I began to doodle shortly after and soon my quirky, unique kit style was born.

I get inspired by so many things! I can be in a restaurant and see a pattern in one of the photos on the wall that I want to replicate. I once took a photo of my neighbor’s ceiling tiles because I liked the pattern on them and wanted to try and replicate it in a paper. I get inspired by color, fashion, TV, movies, music, magazines and books….and my primary inspiration comes from my life, my two nieces and Chel’s son.


Computer: I have a custom built desktop with 1 TB hard drive and 4 GB of RAM. I run Windows 7 on my PC. I have one monitor, 21 inches, and I use a wireless mouse.
Program: I design in Photoshop CS4 and I use Inkscape for my doodles.
Camera: I have a Canon Rebel T1i. I love my camera.
Anything Else: I doodle on a Wacom Bamboo Pen tablet. I also have an older Wacom Graphire tablet that I love to use for doodled words. I have tried to use the tablets in place of a mouse, but I just can’t make it work, I prefer my mouse for everything but doodling. 🙂
When scrapbooking with doodles that are stroked to look like a sticker, your page will look more balanced and pleasing if you re-size them all at the same percentage, keeping the stroke around the doodle, as well as the doodle pen stroke, the same size on each element. I do this by placing all the doodles I am working with on the page at the same time, selecting the layers in the layers palette holding down the shift key, and using the bounding box to shrink them down to the size I want. I never size anything larger than it is created, as it will lose resolution.

I feel like this kit marks the transition in my designing. It is the perfect example of my style, quirky and unique, with a little shabbiness and a little grunge. Shattered was inspired by some recent events in the periphery of my life. They did not happen directly to me, yet had a large impact on me nonetheless and I was struggling with all of the emotions I had inside. The colors represent the sorrow (the grays), while the oranges, pinks and purples reflect the beauty and hope in life as well.

Gimme Layers Vol. 25 is my first set of large photo templates. All of my templates are created from layouts I have scrapped and since I usually do not use large photos, I had not created a set like this before. After several requests for them I decided to give it a try. Now, I am a large photo addict!


Here are some of my favorite products by Cluster Queen Creations:


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

Receive $2 off $5 purchase at Cluster Queen Creations’s store, excluding collabs and bundles, with code: 2off5CQC-tdf expires: 4/31/13.

Go have a look in Cluster Queen Creations’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 Cluster Queen Creations

The following layouts were created using “Enjoy Life and Gimme Layers-The DigiFiles Edition” by Cluster Queen Creations and included in The Digi Files during March, 2013:


Layout by SharonS. Supplies: Enjoy Life and Gimme Layers-The DigiFiles Edition by Cluster Queen Creations; Font: The Lemmon.
Layout by Heddy. Supplies: Enjoy Life and Gimme Layers-The DigiFiles Edition by Cluster Queen Creations; November CC Template Freebie by Kim Roedelet, The Silver Reed font by Heather Hess.
Layout by Trina. Supplies: Enjoy Life and Gimme Layers-The DigiFiles Edition by Cluster Queen Creations; Font: The Sara.
Layout by Ronnie. Supplies: Enjoy Life and Gimme Layers-The DigiFiles Edition by Cluster Queen Creations.
Layout by Jacki. Supplies: Enjoy Life and Gimme Layers-The DigiFiles Edition by Cluster Queen Creations.

Growing App List


Credits: It’s a Boy Thing journal card by Cluster Queen Creations

I sheepishly confessed in a January 2012 article that I didn’t own a cell phone. My family was planning a big road trip in the summer of 2012 though and that motivated me to pick one up. The convenience of that little flip-phone must have been the push I needed to jump into technology wholeheartedly because I picked up my first ever smartphone in February. What a life changer! It’s been less than two months and already I wouldn’t want to go back to not having one. It’s so handy.

Like most people with a new smartphone, I immediately starting looking for the best apps. Over the years, Steph and Katie have written some great posts about favourite apps:

I thought it was time to do an update on useful apps. I left it as a simple list so that any new smartphone owners reading this can quickly run through the list. Wherever I could find links for the Android or iPhone version of the app, I put them beside the app name.

(As always, before downloading anything, do your own research to make sure it will work with your device and is safe.)

Email and Social Apps

Entertainment and Music

Scrapbooking and Memory Keeping


Photography Apps

Productivity and Utility Apps


Shopping Apps

Health and Food


That’s a lot of apps! And yet I’d love to hear about YOUR favourites! Please share your most-loved apps in the comments so that other readers can find them too. Smile

Simple Photo Tricks Part 5

If you’re like me, you probably take a few shots of a moment you want to capture. Oftentimes I’ll find that no one image is perfect, but the different photos have different aspects that look good. For example, I was trying to shoot a photo of my son with his dog. In one photo, the dog looks good but my son is blurry. In the second photo, my son looks good but the dog is blurry. So I merged the two images into one so that neither of them are blurry. This trick is especially helpful when taking group shots and someone has his or her eyes closed.

Start by choosing the photo that has the majority of what you like. For example, if it’s a group photo, choose the one that is the clearest and best of everyone. This will become the “background” photo. In this case I used the photo where the dog was not blurry. Now go to the other photo and using the marquee tool, select the portion of the image you want to copy over to your background photo. In this case I selected my son’s face. Click copy (alt C or command C) and paste it (alt V or command V) on your background image. It’s going to look obvious that you pasted it on there, so we need to fix that.

In the Layers Palette, use the Opacity bar to lighten your layer enough so that you can see through it.

You can manipulate it to line up perfectly with the background image. I normally use the eyes to line up the two layers. Once you’re happy with how they line up, slide the Opacity bar back to 100%. Now it’s still going to look obvious that you pasted a layer on top of your photo so you’ll need to use the eraser to soften the edges or get rid of extraneous bits.

Choose a soft round eraser and begin erasing around the edge of that top layer so that the layer and background begin to merge together. Sometimes I’ll hide my bottom layer so that I can see if I’m erasing properly and sufficiently. To hide your bottom layer, click on the eyeball immediately to the left of the thumbnail of your layer in the Layers Palette. The eyeball indicates the visibility of that layer.

Once you’ve erased the unwanted bits and the two layers line up nicely and you like what you see, merge the two layers together. (Merging is helpful if you need to Clone any parts from the background onto the top layer.)

Be sure to save your new photo with a different number or name so that you’re not saving over the original photo. Usually I type in the letter R at the end of my photo number to indicate it’s been revised.

Here you can see the difference in the photos by using two original pics to create a new and improved one.

This trick is something I use regularly and it may not even have to do with blurriness or eyes closed; it’s often just about getting the best out of two photos.

Go ahead, give it a try, see what you think!