Last Day of June 2013

It’s the last day of the June, I can hardly believe it! In just a few hours, ALL of these products will be GONE!!  Hurry and become a member before midnight ET so you can get this issue of The Digi Files before it’s too late!

When you become an annual member you get access to 13 months of products for the price of 11 the first year! 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!  You can become a monthly member of The Digi Files for $7.50 a month.

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

I am coming to the end of my second annual subscription and I look forward to my third. I have consistently received beautiful kits by my favorite designers as well as an introduction to designers I might not have discovered on my own. The variety of styles and colors helps me to broaden my layout repertoire in ways I might otherwise have never considered. Great value for the money!

*My Life of Change* came as a welcomed surprise in my May 2013 downloads! I cannot believe I’ve been a subscriber for nearly three years already! I love everything!!! Truly. Madly. Deeply. ;-)

Another fabulous month of Digi Files! Thank you!!

I really LOVE The Digi Files and think everyone needs to be a member. :) Nowhere else can you get so much value for the price. Even when my supply budget is small, I always know I’ll end up with new, awesome products! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked “where’d you get that kit?” and my response is always “It’s from this months Digi Files”. I’ve tried so many styles and really grown through my membership thanks to always having a diverse selection of kits and templates. The Playbook really gives me the confidence to play with styles outside my comfort zone and I love the tutorials, tips and tricks. The Playbook could be a magazine in its own right, but it’s just a happy bonus to the membership. I can’t wait for next month!- Carrie

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

Weeds & Wildflowers Designs

ViVa Artistry

Scrapping With Liz

Cilenia Curtis

Angie Kovacs

Quirky Twerp

Meagan’s 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, (or fourth month for annual members).


“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, (or eighth month for annual members).


“My Life At Play” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their 12th payment (or 12th 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 16th 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 24th 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 28th payment (or 28th month for annual members).

“My Life of Change” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their 32nd payment (or 32nd month for annual members).

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

Unblurring a Photo aka Smart Sharpen

I’ve been looking forward to the Shake Reduction feature hitting Photoshop for a very long time! I was excited to try it out for myself and see if it was everything I was hoping for. When it was first announced, I was so excited and I think my expectations were pretty high…too high. After Shake Reduction was released in Photoshop CC, I started seeing videos of people using it and I often had to stare at the images to see a difference. You might be thinking that of the flower above. Many of the videos were flowers too. I can see a subtle difference, but not huge.

I then decided to run it on some people pictures and the difference there was more noticeable. I love the sharp eyes!

I put it to the test and ran it on some of my most difficult, blurry, people pictures and was not as pleased. I will admit, I was hoping it could fix some of my super blurry photos taken in low light and it couldn’t (it morphed them into crazy looking people that looked worse than the blurred picture, that’s why there aren’t any samples). But, I’m not disappointed. I’m hopeful that eventually, the technology will get there, and I think it will.

In the mean time, I’m really happy to have this super simple way to sharpen up my photos without the hallo and noise. As I get older, and my arthritis gets worse, I have a more and more difficult time getting super crisp images. I’m really glad to have something to make up that difference and still look great!

If you would like to see a video of Shake Reduction in use as well as a tutorial showing how to use it, see this FREE tutorial on it at

Ready for a Funtastic Friday?

Daily Digi Funtastic Friday June 28 2013
Credits: Meagans creations Open Wide - part of this month

Are you ready for a Funtastic Friday? Some of our favorite designers are…

Blah Blah Blah… Dunia has a new kit.


The Eyes Have It by Erica Zane at SSD is full of fresh, happy colors. While it’s obviously perfect for glasses and eye exams, the versatile color palette and element selection will leave you with plenty of options!


Jenn Labre has a fantastic kit for all of those upcoming 4th of July photos!


This week Tracy gas a subtle artsy set of papers, Hodge Podge Papers.


Celebrate what makes you unique with this fun digital scrapbook collection from Bella Gypsy Designs! Birthmarks, scars, freckles, glasses, all part of what makes you YOU! Unique Chic Mini Kit comes FREE with purchase of the collection until July 3, 2012.


Scrap Orchard has revealed the Grand Prize for their Iron Scrapper contest! This year the Grand Prize winner will receive a Toshiba Satellite 14-Inch TouchScreen Laptop and a $250 Gift Certificate to Scrap Orchard! To find out more information keep an eye on the Iron Scrapper Forum for the Official Rules & Information!!


Scrapping with Liz sponsors a challenge over at Scrap Orchard on the 24th of every month. Make sure you go on over to the forum to grab this free template and play along!


Are the kids spending summer with the Grandparents? Make sure to add this kit to your stash so you are sure to capture every one of those grand moments!


Studio Flergs is back from maternity leave with this ultra girly collection. Save a further 10% on either collection until July 1st with code SAVE10@FLERGS


New this week from Kimeric Kreations


Get ready for 25 days of fun with SuzyQ’s Christmas in July event! Want to join the party? Sign up for her weekly updates so you don’t miss out.


Chasing Time, New from River~Rose Designs. On sale June 28-30th!


ViVa has another Asian style kit for your collection. Manatsubi, Japanese for midsummer, with its feminine blues and greens, leaves a cool touch to decorate your pages.


Meagan’s Creations has a sweet new template pack out this weekend! Sugar and Spice Templates are girly with great shapes and fun clusters. Save 20% off through Sunday!


Sugary Fancy added two new Summer-y Packs and they are on sale this week! PLUS we’re having a 50% off Retiring Sale going on (June 27-30)!! Enjoy the Last Chance!!


Stolen Moments and Mommyish teamed up on this Sweet Liberty kit.


Only a couple more days to get these FUN templates FREE with your $10 purchase at ScrapMatters!


New collection in Blagovesta Gosheva’s Studio – A touch of Whimsy. Now available in one big bundle for great savings.


*NEW* White Washed – 20% Off through Sunday at ScrapMatters.


5 New products from Anna Aspnes—3 summer-themed sets of ArtsyKardz, a new FotoInspired DoubleTemplate, as well as a new DuoPack of Artsy Layered Template. (Discounted by 20% until Wednesday July 3, 2013) Check out her blog for her *off the cuff* Summer 2013 memory-keeping project.


Amanda has a FREE paper pack on her Facebook page that coordinates with her American Pride kit.


New from paislee press, Hey There Handsome, is 20% OFF thru June 30, 2013.


It’s your last chance to get some of Chelle’s fabulous products before they are gone forever.


One Little Bird Designs has two new products in her shop this week – The Daily Bulletin and coordinating 3×4 Journaling Cards. They’re both 20% off all weekend long, and you get the cards FREE with the purchase of the kit.
Add some modern, fun and creative girls to your pages with the Creative Silhouettes of Maya de Groot Designs.

We’ll rustle up some more fun finds for you next Friday!

Creating an easy Instagram photo book for a teenager

instagram photobook

This was the easiest and fastest scrapbooking (or should I say photobooking?) project I have ever worked on! If you’ve listened to me on The Digi Show, you will know that my life has been out of control busy the last few months as we have been moving to our newly built home. When Steph asked me if I would put together the photobook project I told her that I had brewing in my head, part of me wanted to say “not now, I just can’t do one more thing!” She assured me that I would be surprised at how quickly I could put together a book using the AdoramaPix site and I decided to trust her and give it a try. Now if I can put together a fun little album like this in the middle of unpacking a new house, then I really think anyone can do this kind of project!

Getting Started

adorama choices

I logged into the photobooks area of AdoramaPix and chose to “create a book”. Then I selected the custom cover and the square format. For this project I used a 6×6 Washington Square size, but it would also work well in the 8×8 Union Square size. Due to the smaller size of Instagram photos, I don’t recommend a 12×12 album for this type of book.

I selected a book of 38 pages and I ended up using 125 photos for the book (including the ones on the front and back covers). To keep things as easy as possible, I selected a pre-designed theme under the photography category called “Cameraphone White”. I love how it was designed to use with smaller resolution photos!


I could see right away what this type of book would look like with the preview image shown with the design.

sample phone art album

Here’s the coolest part of all…I didn’t have to hunt all over for photo files to upload. I just chose to import photos from Instagram to use in this album. If I was accessing my own Instagram photos, I would just enter that account information. Because I wanted to use my daughter’s Instagram photostream, I did need to ask her to share her password with me. If you wanted to do this as a surprise gift for someone, that part could get a little tricky and you might need to just upload images from files on your computer. If someone didn’t want to share their password with you, they could change it temporarily while you worked on the project.

import choices

After you’ve connected to the Instagram account, you are all ready to go!

Putting it all together

This is where it really pays off to use a pre-designed theme! All I had to do was to drag the images I wanted to use to the corresponding spaces. For the cover, I picked some of my daughter’s best shots and titled the spine with “Instagram Volume 1” and added her username.

layout of covers

You will notice in the menu bar below the cover, that there are several page designs to choose from. I played around with many of them, but I decided that I really wanted to stay simple. I used the layout that was similar to the cover design, plus one other design and just alternated them throughout the book. All I needed to do was to rest my mouse over an image and pop-up text guided me through the rest.

drag to rearrange

To move layout designs to a different order, just drag them to the spot you want them to be.

changed order

Once I had the pages I liked in place, I just used the copy and paste feature to fill in the rest of the album.


I also used the mirror spread option to change the orientation of the pages throughout the album. It was an

easy way to make it more visually interesting.


Let me show you a few pages to illustrate what I did:

opening pages

summer 2012

good eats

December memories

I only added minimal text to the album, but it is possible to see the text that the Instagram user added to the photo by hovering over the photo while it is in the work space. It would be fun to add those details in for journaling!

see titles of photos

I didn’t worry about staying chronological on the order of this book. Instead, I grouped similar pictures together by themes or even by randomness.

She loves Christmas!


and food photography


and she also just takes random pictures. Isn’t that awesome?!

random shots

How long did it take?

Because I didn’t have to go hunting for photos to use (her entire Instagram feed was imported for me) and I didn’t have to make a lot of design decisions, this book came together very quickly. How quickly? Well, it only took me 45 minutes from start to finish to complete the entire album and I have never used the AdoramaPix website before. Seriously! In fact, it took me a lot longer to write this post than it did to put together this album.

My order said that it would take 4 days to process + shipping time, but it actually was a little shorter turnaround. I’m sure a lot of that depends on the amount of orders they have to process plus the shipping location.

processing time

How did it turn out?

After Steph has been raving about AdoramaPix books for several years now, I’ll admit that I had very high expectations. I was a little worried that they wouldn’t live up to all the hype. Um, I had no reason to worry at all! You really can’t explain how beautiful these books are until you hold one in your hands!

capturing life on instagram

The covers are sturdy with great binding. These really are books, not just flimsy pages being held together by stitching. I love how thick and luxurious the covers and pages feel! They also have a pearly luminescence that is subtle, but beautiful.

teen pages

The pages are sturdy enough that you don’t have to worry about them tearing or getting damaged when people look at the album.


The lay-flat binding truly lives up to it’s name! No distracting seam down the middle!


The colors, tones, and vibrancy, were all superior in quality. In fact, I was even a little surprised at how amazing these little Instagram photos looked when printed out in this book. They really are little pieces of art!

The real test came when I showed the finished album to my daughter. She was absolutely thrilled! She’s already working on photos to fill up Volume 2 in a series of many books to come.

holding the instragram book

A few final thoughts

  • If you have any questions or if you feel at all uncertain about the process, there are step-by-step tutorials right on the AdoramaPix website.
  • Read through the FAQ section to learn more about how these books are made.
  • Don’t forget to check out Steph’s post from yesterday to see more photobook inspiration and don’t forget about the amazing AdoramaPix coupon that is an exclusive bonus for Daily Digi and Capturing Magic readers! Huge thanks to AdoramaPix for a 40% off 8×8 photo book coupon code. You can use for as many books as you would like, as many times as you want until it expires on November 30th 2013! Here’s the code: pxmagic40

You can do this!

Don’t let lack of time or fear of the unknown keep you from putting together your own masterpiece. You can let AdoramaPix do all the heavy lifting while you get to do the fun part. Remember, I made this album in 45 minutes in the middle of unpacking a new house. It really is that easy!


Creating a Quick and Easy Photo Book From Digital Scrapbooking Layouts – Plus Exclusive Coupon

I am pretty vocal about how much I love AdoramaPix for printing by photo books. If you are new, you can read about it in these posts:

Recently, I decided to print a photo book that included some of my favorite digital scrapbooking layouts. It has been great to have to show people what I do. I thought I would share with you how simple it is to put digital scrapbook layouts in a book with AdoramaPix. I also have an exclusive coupon to share with you! 🙂

First, head to AdoramPix and select Photo Books:

Then, select “Create a book”:

Now, you can select the style and size you want. I always like to do custom cover, so I can put a layout or something similar on there:

I’ve always done 8×8 square books. I love that size (and that is what the coupon is for):

Then, you will see a confirmation screen that will point out all of your choices so you can verify them (you can add more pages later if you need them, but only in the incremental amounts listed):

After, that screen, you will want to select, “Build Your Own” which will allow you to fill pages and spreads with your own jpeg digital scrapbook layouts:

Then click Proceed to Next Step. Now, we can start uploading. You can upload photos from a lot of different places, but we are going to upload photos from our computer:

Select the layouts you want to upload and while those are uploading, you can click on “Browse” under the progress window, and select more layouts to upload.

After everything is done uploading, just click on “Proceed to Next Step”:

Next, you just drag your layout onto a spread and drop it:

Click on Fit/Fill in the menu:

If you are using a two page spread OR a 24×12 layout, then select “Fill to Spread”:

The layout will automatically fill up the two page spread and because AdoramPix photo books are “lay-flat”, two page layouts are absolutely beautiful in their books!

If you are putting a 12×12 on a page, drag it onto the page you want it on, drop it, click Fit/Fill and then “Fill the page”:

I designed my cover right in the AdormaPix Book Builder. Because AdoramaPix allows you to used png files (and keeps them transparent), I just uploaded one of the collages I had saved as a png many years ago for a layout. It was already split into 12×12 png sections, which I uploaded and then added to each side of the photo book cover and sized them to fit inside of the bleed guides. Then, I selected one of their fonts and added a title to the front and the spine. The title is a line from an old Sara Evans song and says, “These Are The Moments I’ll Remember All My Life”.

AdoramaPix has been great to work with over the past few years. A relationship that started because of my very first review when I compared the 12 different companies. They even added some features in the past week based on a book I created for Capturing Magic (more on that on next week).

The folks at AdoramPix wanted to send something special over for our readers here at The Daily Digi and and boy did they ever! They came through in a BIG BIG way! I’m really excited to share with you a 40% off 8×8 photo book coupon code. You can use for as many books as you would like, as many times as you want until it expires on November 30th 2013! Here’s the code: pxmagic40

Sooo many of you have shared that you’ve really want to try a photo book from AdoramPix, so NOW IS THE TIME! Just upload some of your favorite layouts and give it a try. Then, I’m thinking gifts for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, and everything in-between!

Katie and I have several more great ideas for creating photo books and will be sharing them with you over the next while. Here are a few more posts you can check out to get you going:

At AdoramaPix, you can customize the inside cover and cover page, see how I have done mine:

Let me know if you have questions! Happy photo booking!


10 Things To Look For While Carrying Your Camera

Do you find yourself carrying your camera more during the summer? Mine comes out more often with the activities and abundant light. It’s the perfect time of the year to sharpen your photo skills.

How do you go about sharpening your skills without investing in a class or taking time away from your family? Easy. Look for things.

When I launched CaptureYour365 two years ago, I began writing daily prompt lists. The intent of those lists was to get people looking. Not for daily subjects, but for photographic opportunities. Through finding things that photograph well, you begin to improve your eye for composition, tell better stories, and learn to work the angles and the light.

You can grab a prompt list (I have many) or you can turn your camera toward the 1o things I find most photographically interesting. Focus on finding them all or focus on finding one of them over and over. Either way will help to develop your photographer’s eye.


I love to find reflections in mirrors, windows, and on still body’s of water.


You can find repetition in brick walls, rows in the garden or in fields you pass from the roadside. You can create repetition with produce in the kitchen or crayons from your child’s collection.


In the bright light of summer days, backlit situations seem to pop up everywhere. They are a great way to practice your technical skills while creating interesting photos. You can create them with people, buildings, or objects.

Read how to create silhouettes. And see how to have silhouette fun with the entire family!


Pick one that you focus on all summer. When you find it, photograph it. Or select a color combination to look for. Want a really big challenge? Find a color you don’t normally photograph and try to find it.


Ahh, beautiful light. Photography is light, so what better subject?! Look for indirect light. Look for the color of light. If this is THE ONE item from the list to look for this summer, your photography will improve!

Read how to see the light.


Look for shadows in bright midday light. This is a great time to avoid taking photos of faces in unflattering, harsh light.

Try photographing your own shadow, or creating a fun photo with several people’s shadows together. Even non-human subjects can work!


Oh sweet texture. It is the reach out and try to touch it part of photographs I love. I love to find texture in brick walls, fences, the leaves of squash plants, sidewalks, tables, and walls. Think about filling your frame with texture to really emphasize the details. Go wider when you want to capture texture and pattern.

The Sky

I love how the sky changes through summer. I love the big blue sky with fake looking clouds or the stark cloudless skies that seem to happen in August at my house. The sky at night with beautiful oranges and pinks can be a great contrast to the midday sky or the morning tones in the opposite direction. Try capturing your sky with nothing else in the frame or positioning a tree or post to provide a focal point. Notice how using the sky can help you create a correct exposure for an added technical challenge.

If your sky will include fireworks, read how to capture them on a budget!


Lines create movement and order in photographs. They can lead the viewer’s eye through a frame. They can be used powerfully to help tell a story.


Following the red rule has never failed me. The idea? If you see red, photograph it. It’s a beautiful color that provides great contrast.

A few of my favorite reds to photograph:

  • Strawberries
  • Flags
  • Candy
  • Stop signs
  • Tomatoes (of course)

Bonus #11 – Something You Love

This category of seeing can be just about anything. One summer I photographed every beer I drank. Your love might be human or of the four legged variety. Combine your love with one of the other ten ideas and you’ll have a photo you can treasure.

Photography is about seeing. The more you practice looking for interesting photographic subjects, the more you will begin to find them in your everyday photos.

What do you love looking for when carrying your camera?

Meagan’s Creations: Open Wide


It didn’t take me long to fall head over hills with Meagan’s designs! When I was in Utah at the Scrapbook Expo and saw a whole book of Meagan’s designs printed out, and was so excited that we already had her scheduled to be a contributor! They were as beautiful in print as they are in my monitor! I love her weathered, retro look accompanied by bright colors. I think the bits of old ephemera that she adds to her collections are so much fun! I’m thrilled to have Meagan joining us in The Digi Files this month! Let’s take a closer look at “Open Wide” 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 Meagan’s Creations’s contribution:


Layout by Lauren. Supplies: Open Wide digital kit and Word Art Clusters by Meagan’s Creations; Fonts: Typerwriter & CK Ali’s Hand.


Layout by Ronnie. Supplies: Open Wide digital kit and Word Art Clusters by Meagan’s Creations; Lets Travel by Sabee Creative World; Skinny Stitches by Shannon McNab.


Layout by Jacki. Supplies: Open Wide digital kit and Word Art Clusters by Meagan’s Creations; Font: A Little Pot.


Layout by Heddy. Supplies: Open Wide digital kit and Word Art Clusters by Meagan’s Creations; All of December: The Album by Amy Martin


Layout by Monica. Supplies: Open Wide digital kit and Word Art Clusters by Meagan’s Creations; Painted Mask by LivE Designs; Staple and Date Stamp by Splendid Fiins; Font: Pea Amie, JSHS Motography.

You can see more layouts created with this kit on our “Team Inspiration” page.
I’m a 27-yr old mom of 2, married to my sweetheart for 7 blissful years. We live in Shreveport, LA and I stay home with the kids. Besides designing, I also tutor math online because I have a Bachelor’s degree in Math Education. I love reading, playing board games with friends and exercising to some kickboxing. I also do some couponing, hunting for good deals where I can!




I really want to remember how my children’s interests and likes change through the years. It is fun that my daughter can actually talk to me about the things she likes. So for this page, I came up with some questions and asked her what she loved here at age 4. It’s something I hope to do each year to see how her answers change!


Well, I started paper scrapping in about 2007. I did my wedding album and I kept it basic! I wasn’t ready to spend a whole lot of money on scrapping supplies! Then I had my daughter in 2008 and it got harder to keep up with scrapbooking! I would get with a friend, hauling my backpack of supplies over to her house and we would spend 3 hours and get 1 layout done! I just thought at this rate, it will never get done! Plus I saw all the cute embellishments at the store and felt I couldn’t afford them! It was later that year that I saw my friend’s blog header and asked her how she did it. She told me about digiscrapping and how there are freebies all over the place! I started by using the GIMP program but then my husband suggested I use Photoshop (funny that he knew more than me!). I had worked in PS years before but it was still a little bit to get adjusted to it again. I quickly fell in love with how easy it was to make layouts and the cute realistic elements! By the beginning of 2009, I was making word art to give away as freebies. That fall, I got on a couple of CTs and they really helped me grow and learn more about designing! February 2010, I opened up shop and started learning about Quality Control. I just asked the store owner if I could join and she said yes! At the time I was pretty much the only word art specialist there. It helps to be unique in the market place! I stayed on Creative Teams my first couple years of designing but in the last year have put all my focus on designing instead of scrapping. I’ll still scrap layouts though just not as many as I used to! But I do love making the word art clusters I do for each kit as a way of scrapping with what I have designed! I recently got a bamboo tablet so I’ve been using Illustrator more to create my shapes and add doodles to some of my kits. It’s fun to keep growing and learning!

Oh wow, I get inspired by other designers, by home décor, by clothing, by a palette, everything! My Creative Team will often make requests and they always have great ideas! Lots of times I have photos I need to scrap and I design the kit with the theme I need to scrap them! That’s what is great about designing- fulfilling your own kit requests! I am very much inspired right now by vintage and retro grunge styles. I love making shabby chic papers that I feel are sophisticated but can work with kids’ photos because of their quirkiness!

Computer: I Have a Dell that runs Windows 7 with 12GB RAM, and a 1GB HD. My monitor is 24″! I LOVE IT! I literally laughed out loud as I opened it up and set it up. It was so exciting! It’s a great size for designing and I can’t imagine having to work on a smaller screen now!!
Program: I use Creative Suite 3 so Photoshop CS 3 and Illustrator CS 3. I know there’s version 6 out there now but if it’s not broke…. I also use the Alien Skinware Metallic Filters. Super cool!
Camera: Oh this is embarrassing! I would LOVE to say I have a DSLR but I don’t. I have a Canon Powershot SX150. Maybe someday!
Anything Else: I also use a Wacom Bamboo Splash.
My favorite tips to share are about making titles! I use 4 principles when making a word art cluster/page title: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity. For Contrast, I like to stroke my words, especially if the font is skinny. Then right-click on the stroke layer style, and click “Create a layer” to put the stroke on its own layer so you can now add a drop shadow to it. You can also have contrast in the fonts you use so try to stick to only 2 fonts in making a title. Like if I have the title “Tuck Family Vacation” I would probably have “Tuck Family” in one font and then “Vacation” in another font. Good contrasting fonts are like plainer, straight fonts and a scriptive font. Two decorative fonts will compete with each other and not look good! For repetition, use some fun flowers or other elements around the title to make it stand out more. Repeat a flower on both sides of the title but across from each other diagonally. I like to align words on top of each other and have the top word look like it’s actually resting on top of the word. Or if I place a scriptive word on top of a basic word, I like to have it overlap. And then finally proximity; I like to play around with having the title on the photo or in a corner. Just try it out so that it connects the elements on your layout!

So my favorite product is The Simple Life. First of all, I love yellow and blue! So this speaks to my heart with the colors but then it was also the first kit where I pushed using the modern patterns you see out there so I love the moderns and how crisp it is. The soft colors are also really dreamy and so I have balloons and clouds and I just love that kind of whimsical, light-as-air feel in my layouts. It’s easy to make any set of pictures work with this kit!
My most popular product is Doctor’s Orders! I had wanted to do a doctor kit for a while seeing as my kids are always getting scrapped up! And maybe what inspired me to do it in a retro-vintage is how old-fashioned my last OB was! He had the most bizarre heartrate Doppler, instead of a machine, it was like this set of stethoscope attached to a piece on his forehead he would press on my belly. So weird! So I guess I thought a fun and funky retro kit would be a quirky way of doing it! I did a search for retro palettes so this one was just great with the funky yellow but I loved the turquoise in this kit. The mix of browns, blues, yellows and pinks makes it great for boys and girls! I think the style of this kit is what makes it special as well as my custom elements! I made the stethoscope, headband, nurse hat, scissors, doctor’s bag, hospital bed, crutches, blood pressure cuff, etc! in Photoshop so you know it’s not just a cookie-cutter kit from commercial use products. It’s got original pieces in a great and fun style!


Here are some of my favorite products by Meagan’s Creations:



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


Save 30% off your purchase at Meagan’s Creations’s with code MegsC_Digi30 (EXCLUDES bundles and collabs, EXP 12/31/13).

Join Meagan for a chat in honor of her feature. Stop by the ScrapMatters chat room TONIGHT at 10pm EST/9pm CST.

Go have a look in Meagan’s Creations’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 Meagan’s Creations

The following layouts were created using “Open Wide” by Meagan’s Creations and included in The Digi Files during June, 2013:

Layout by SharonS. Open Wide by Meagan’s Creations; Template by Crossbone Cuts Designs; Font: DJB Tara’s Heart for Oklahoma.

Layout by Lisa. Open Wide by Meagan’s Creations.

Layout by Lisa. Open Wide by Meagan’s Creations.

Layout by Lahni. Open Wide by Meagan’s Creations.

Layout by Amanda. Open Wide by Meagan’s Creations.

Layout by Meagan. Open Wide by Meagan’s Creations.

Layout by Dana. Open Wide by Meagan’s Creations.

Layout by Kandice. Open Wide by Meagan’s Creations.

Layout by JennS. Open Wide by Meagan’s Creations.

Layout by Lindsay. Open Wide by Meagan’s Creations.

Layout by Heather. Open Wide by Meagan’s Creations.

Layout by Vicki. Open Wide by Meagan’s Creations; Font-28 Days Later.



Layout by Lauren. Supplies: Open Wide digital kit and Word Art Clusters by Meagan’s Creations; Fonts: Typerwriter & CK Ali’s Hand.


Layout by Ronnie. Supplies: Open Wide digital kit and Word Art Clusters by Meagan’s Creations; Lets Travel by Sabee Creative World; Skinny Stitches by Shannon McNab.


Layout by Jacki. Supplies: Open Wide digital kit and Word Art Clusters by Meagan’s Creations; Font: A Little Pot.


Layout by Heddy. Supplies: Open Wide digital kit and Word Art Clusters by Meagan’s Creations; All of December: The Album by Amy Martin


Layout by Monica. Supplies: Open Wide digital kit and Word Art Clusters by Meagan’s Creations; Painted Mask by LivE Designs; Staple and Date Stamp by Splendid Fiins; Font: Pea Amie, JSHS Motography.

Getting to know Proust



Heddy told me about Proust several months ago, and I’m still enjoying the entire site so much! I love that this simple web tool inspires me to tell my own story and also gives me an easy format to share the memories with others that I love. Best of all, it’s FREE!

proust getting started

What is Proust? is a place for families and close friends to share the stuff that really matters. Proust is a private place to capture our life stories, thoughts, and aspirations to spark meaningful conversations about who we are. was inspired by the 19th-century writer Marcel Proust, author of Remembrance of Things Past. Proust also became associated with a popular ice-breaker parlor game, now known as the
Proust Questionnaire.
Here you can send questions to your family and friends, discover their life stories, and get to know them better. On, it all starts with a question.
(except from website)

When you log in to, you will be greeted by a question. You can answer it and add as many details (even photos & videos) as you want to. You can also choose to skip that question or even work on a different one.

proust questions


You can really start anywhere in your story – no need to be chronological!

proust choose a chapter


If you want to share your story with others, you can invite them to read what you’ve written. You can even ask them to answer some questions!

share proust


You can even make your story viewable to the public, but I’m just going to invite my family to view mine.

proust privacy


I love that you can print out a PDF version of your story when you are ready!

print a pdf of your proust


It’s simple, but it would be such a priceless treasure to share with your friends and family!

Katie story Proust


Be sure to customize your settings to find out when your own friends and family update their stories. You can also receive a weekly email question to keep you going.



The more you write, the more complete your story will be. I’m especially excited about the timeline feature!

proust timeline


Enter some locations to generate a map of your life.

map of your life


I’m not sure a lot of people know about the Proust by Year section of the site. If you click on a year, you can find out some of the world events that happened then and even read some public stories relating to that time.

proust by year


As you can see, there’s a lot more to Proust than just answering questions. It really is an amazing memory-keeping resource and I hope you will all take some time to document these kind of details for your own life. It will be so meaningful for you and for those that you care about!


After Downloading


Supplies: Believe in Me by Angie Kovacs

I think we all have a different way of doing things, even something as simple as downloading a kit. 

When I download a kit, I download into a “New Goodies” folder. Then I run the UnZipThemAll extractor program on all the zips in the folder at once. I have the program set up to automatically recycle the zip file once the contents are extracted. Whether or not to keep zip files is a personal preference. I have been deleting mine for a long time and have never once regretted it. It frees up so much space.

At this point, I create a “top folder” called “Designer Name/Initials – Kit Name”. More often than not, the name provided by the designer is just what I need. My organization program, ACDSee, has issues with very long file/folder names, especially as you get deeper into a folder structure. So, for designers with long names, I use just their initials.

I always take a minute to organize the folders the way I like:

  • Papers
  • Elements
  • Alphas
  • Others (templates, fonts, etc.)


Then I get the large kit preview and I save it to the top folder. I use Windows, so having a JPG in the top folder makes that image appear in the folder icon, like this:


I don’t like a lot of “nested folders”, so I bring everything up into the top folders. It looks like the folder organization image above.

Then I go through each of these folders and delete all of the:

  • Extra previews
  • Terms of Use (TOUs)
  • Banners
  • Links to stores
  • Thank you notes

These files can really add up in size, especially in multi-designer collab kits.

Then I move the whole kit into the designer’s folder in my scrap supplies directory and tag the preview in ACDSee.

Lastly, I back it up via my online backup and onto my 2nd EHD.

It take a couple of minutes for each kit, but I think it’s worth it because each kit is quick to find and the folders make it easy to work with the kit.

What steps do you take when you download a kit? Do you do something similar or very different?