The WRITE way

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I used to be an avid journaler. I probably have 15 filled journals that cover the years between high school and the first few years of my marriage. And then what happened? Well, kids happened. And all time for leisurely activities like journaling disappeared with my waistline.

Thankfully, less than two years after having kids I discovered the world of scrapbooking and I was able to rekindle my love for journaling. I may not fill entire notebooks with long entries of my days activities and feelings but I am able to record small snippets and feelings of my heart as I look back on moments and special days with the people I love. Journaling in my scrapbooks leaves a piece of me on every page and I see it as vitally important to the legacy I leave. More than the art and creativity, more than the photos I take…the WORDS I leave behind will last.

Here at THE DAILY DIGI we will be looking at THE WRITE way to journal. Notice I didn’t say the RIGHT way — there is no right or wrong. Instead, we want to show you the importance of the written word and help you learn to take feelings and thoughts and turn them into words. We will give you ideas, tips, tricks, and journaling prompts. We will inspire you with heart-felt journaling from around the community. We we will show the power of words and the void left without them. We will show you the WRITE WAY.
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In order to get you thinking about the WRITE WAY to do things, I thought it would be good to point you to some great places of inspiration. Sometimes, we don’t even realize how much we have to say until someone asks us a specific question or gives us specific direction.

Here are a few great places to go to be inspired to get on the WRITE track:

1. {We Are Storytellers} is a digital scrapbooking site dedicated to helping people tell their stories. They are passionate about helping people realize they DO have story to tell and they CAN tell it. One of the really great things they have going on is a regular blog post called the Writer’s Notebook. Audrey Neal uses her love of the written word to teach and to inspire. It’s really amazing and I am looking forward to what she has to share as she goes through the book BREATHING IN, BREATHING OUT: Keeping a Writer’s Notebook.

2. Ali Edwards (Creating Keepsakes Magazine) is known for her passion for WORDS + PHOTOS. She encourages others to simplify the scrapping process and and remember that in the end, the WORDS + PHOTOS will be what will last. Subscribe to her blog for regular inspiration.

3. The One Minute Writer: This has got to be one of the coolest things out there. This blog carries with it the mantra, “You have 1440 minutes a day. Use one of them to write.” Each day there is a short journaling prompt. You are given one minute (there is even a timer!) for you to answer the question. Do this every day and your will be amazed at how much you learn about yourself and the importance of the written word.

If journaling is hard for you and you don’t quite know where to start, we will at times be giving some freebie templates to get you thinking. Use them as a springboard for your thoughts and interpret the prompts how you wish. The important thing is to get the words out and to leave a legacy.

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DOWNLOAD EXPIRED

Today’s free template is here to encourage you to write out what you are loving right now. Interpret this as you wish — I will be back tomorrow to show you what I did with it and I would LOVE see yours. Add a comment with a link to a LO you made using the template before Monday and two lucky scrappers will be getting some goodies!

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Freebies

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Most of us probably began our journey into digital scrapbooking with a folder full of free supplies. Even as seasoned scrappers, we still love to download a good freebie! At The Daily Digi, we are committed to helping you find quality free digital scrapbooking supplies to start your stash (or add to it), but it is impossible for us to download and examine each one. Please, remember that though we do our best, not all freebies are created equal and you will need to download with discretion. 🙂

If you would like more information on freebies, please read “Freebie 411”

Quality Freebie Sources:

DigitalScrap Supplies

We (The Daily Digi) send out free gifts from past contributing designers a few times a month to our newsletter subscribers.

Templates

Fonts

Lightroom Presets

Matt Kloskowski’s free presets

Actions

SpeedScraps Actions

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A Bright Idea

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George Bernard Shaw said, “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.

Ideas are meant to be shared. When we have ideas about things — ways to make life better, ways to have fun, ways to express creativity, ways to relax — it is too hard to keep them to ourselves. When we have learned something important or something that works or a solution to a problem that many have, we just want to share it. We want others to have the information too. Why keep something so good to ourselves?

Here at THE DAILY DIGI we will be bringing you some bright ideas. Whether it be teaching you how to organize digital photos, how to get out of scrapping rut, or how to plan out an anniversary album, we will be here to share the wonderful ideas of the digi scrapping community with you. But remember,

“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.” — Buddha

So don’t just read about the ideas — make them part of your life!

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Today’s bright idea is about backing up…I know…we have all heard the stories about OTHER people losing data, right? Or maybe you, like me (Steph), have had the misfortune of having hardrives fail. Let me share with you my story and then, the Bright Idea


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I (Steph) have never been very good at backing up to CD’s and DVD. I tried, but it just became too much, so I came up with a pretty good system for backing up my files that worked for me. I had two little portable external hardrives (EHDs), one for photos and one for digi supplies that I used on my laptop. I backed them up to a larger non-portable EHD that was attached to my desktop. Whenever I downloaded photos from my camera, I downloaded them directly to the larger EHD and then copied them to my portable EHD for use on my laptop. Suddenly, without warning, my little EHD with my digi supplies died. I hadn’t been as good about backing it up, so I did lose some supplies, but I was able to get most of my links reset. I bought a new EHD and kept the same system for transferring photos from my camera, but again wasn’t very good about backing up my new EHD. During February 2008, I got caught up on all of my printing and just a couple of days later, that new EHD died. Because of my system for transferring photos, I did not lose any photos, but did lose some layouts (I had just printed them, but have lost the digital files), and again some supplies. I decided that enough was enough and I signed up for Mozy’s online backup. It took less than 10 minutes to set up my account and get the backup started and then, about a month to get all 160 gigs of photos, layouts, and supplies backed up, but I did get them securely backed up onto Mozy’s servers. After that, the system automatically backed up when I scheduled it to.

Fast forward to last month when I lost yet another EHD. We were on vacation and I only lost one days worth of photos that were not yet backed up to Mozy. When I got my new little EHD (a different brand from all of the others this time), I just right-clicked on the Mozy icon on my desktop and selected restore. Within 3 days, I had all of my photos, layouts, and digi supplies back and on my new EHD!! I could have cried with joy!

The peace of mind that I now have by knowing everything is backed up on an extra EHD and also backed up online has been huge! I no longer worry about what will happen if I lose things, because I know the chances are much lower than they were before. It’s not an IF but WHEN will your computer/hardrive die?

Bright Idea…

Which online backup solution is for you? I have linked below to a couple of articles that might help, but it seems that most digital scrappers use Mozy or Carbonite. Both are very affordable, right around $50/year with unlimited space. The biggest difference is that Mozy will backup your EHD’s as long as they are attached to your computer during a backup. Carbonite does not recognize EHD’s but the backup is more real-time where Mozy backs up once a day at a scheduled time (that you select).

Here is an article on how to choose an online backup service

Here are some reviews of online backup services

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Truly Inspirational

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I miss living in the United States. Of course I LOVE living overseas (which is why we have been doing it for six of the nine years we have been married) but there are definitely some things I miss. Target, Fazoli’s, family. And I miss my magazines. I loved going to the mailbox every day hoping there would be a new scrap magazine waiting for me. If there was, I knew it was going to be a good day. A new magazine meant taking a nice long hot bath and sipping a hot cup of tea as I slowly looked through the magazine page by page. By the time I was  finished I was so inspired that I wanted to start scrapping RIGHT THEN. Seeing other peoples art, whether it be scrapbook layouts, projects, or photographs always inspires me to try new things and stretch myself in my own art.

Even though I no longer get my scrap magazines in the mail (sniff sniff) I can still be inspired. The online scrapping and photography communities are FILLED with amazing artists and creations. It doesn’t take long of perusing the galleries to feel that same rush of inspiration.

Here at THE DAILY DIGI we are committed to bringing you a fresh wave of inspiration. On TRULY INSPIRATIONAL days we will showcase layouts, projects, and photographs from around the community. We want you to see the talent and creativity that is around and to be inspired to push yourself in your own art. We’ll bring you the inspiration, but you will have to act on it.

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The first week of the new year is almost complete. Seriously. Where does the time go? Before we know it school will be out for summer and we will wonder who tore out the calendar pages for February – June. But before the new year runs away from us, let’s make sure we commemorate the old one. I LOVE seeing Year in Review pages and albums. I love seeing how different people document their year. How can you sum up 365 days into ONE layout? Here’s how a few people did it: (please click on the links for the layouts to see full credits in the artists gallery).

Zenobia made this gorgeous layout. I love the muted colors with the pop of color.  I also adore her use of repeated circles and including the date as a major design element.

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Supertwinkle is the mastermind behind this incredible piece of art.  I LOVE how many photos she included and her brush work is fantastic!

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Over in the Digishoptalk gallery I spotted this layout by Daly.  This is a compilation of her 2008 Photo A Day photos.  Incredible to have half a years photos on ONE page!

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Back at My Scrapbook Art I found this spin on a year in review page by Luciana Orikassa— her sons first year.  I adore the black and white photos along with the bright and happy papers.  What a fun way to see how her son grew during his first year

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This layout by Crystalbella77 is so pretty.  I love the green paper and the acrylic overlay of the date.

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SarahG made this great layout.  I love all the postage stamps and date stamps as well as the month-by-month recap of the year.

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I love this two page layout from Islandmom (Steph).  It’s a good reminder that we have 525,600 minutes a year….525,600 moments….525,600 possible memories to create…what we do with them is up to us!

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And finally, I am impressed with this layout by SarahMD.  She opened up in her journaling about the incredibly difficult year they had.  Not every year is a good year and those times and memories are worth documenting as well.  Don’t let a rough patch keep you from commemorating the year.

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If you are hoping to do a year in review page or album and don’t know where to start, check out some of these template sets:

Jen Caputo has a YEAR IN REVIEW template over at SBG:

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Katie Pertiet has this one over at Designer Digitals (includes dates for 2006-2008)

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Gina Miller has this really popular year in review template:

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Misty Cato has this cool double-pager at Sweet Shoppe Designs

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Kelly Mize (now over at We Are Storytellers) has this great one out:

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And finally, if you are looking for an album, here is one I put up a few months ago (but hurry, because Studio Janet closes on the 15th so I can focus all of my effort on this site).

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So, how will you sum up your year?

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For more inspiration on a regular basis, make sure you check out Gallery Standouts.  They point to some of the best layouts in the galleries (and it looks like we noticed some of the same layouts!). You are sure to be inspired!

Crafty Corner

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In our house, craft days are good days. There is nothing my kids like more than breaking out the glue, paper, scissors, and a whole lot of imagination. We love to come up with new things to do and new ways to play. Buttons, paper, scissors, paint, cardboard, stencils, and beads. If it is colorful and makes a mess, my kids are sure to love it.

As much as I hate cleaning up the mess, I do love the crafts. I even love crafts that aren’t as kid friendly — stuff that I can create for family and friends that shows them that I love them and I cared enough to make something especially for them. Crafts give that personal touch — they show it came from the heart.

Here at THE DAILY DIGI we are going to help you find your crafty corner. But not only are we going to show you cool projects that you can do by yourself, with your friends, or with your kids, but we are ALSO going to show you how you can use your digital scrapbooking supplies to make the crafts! That’s right, now you can really live up to that mantra of yours, “Well, it’s really not that expensive since I can use it over and over again.”

So roll up your sleeves, pull out the scissors and the glue, and let’s get crafting!

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Today we are going to show you a fun craft that is just in time for Valentine’s Treats. Leave that set of boxed cards on the Wal-Mart shelf and break out the digi scrapping materials instead! Today we are going to make some SWEET TREATS!

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Check out these fun treats. Digi scrapping paper by Shabby Miss Jenn and Scrapkitchen Designs dresses up these sweet people complete with sucker/lollipop feet, hands, and head! They are super simple to make and super fun to eat!

MATERIALS NEEDED:

suckers or lollipops (5 for each “person”)
Tape or glue (hot glue works great!)
Printer
Popsicle sticks (1 for each “person” and 1/2 for each “sign”)
Yarn/string for “hair”
Markers for making face
Digital scrapbooking papers
Clothing templates (included)

1. Download the template set HERE.

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If you don’t know how to use templates yet, you can check out our section that explains them HERE. We also link you to some great tutorials!

2. After you download the templates, “dress up” as many people as you want to make. Feel free to alter the clothes and try new things. If you have always wished your favorite scrapbooking paper came in wearable fabric, here’s your chance ; ) Look at all the fun “clothes” I made:

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2. After you have created your people in your photo editing program, print and cut out.

3. Attach one sucker/lollipop to the back of each arm and leg. If desired, cover the “head” with white paper and draw a face. Add hair if desired.

4. For added stability you can add a popsicle stick to the back of the “person.”

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5. If desired, attach the sign to half a popsicle stick and then attach to one of the hands. You can write a note to a Valentine, tell a friend you care about them, or tell your hubby you think he is real sweet 🙂

6. Give as treats, party favors, decorations, or to anyone else you think needs a “sweet” treat.

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A written instruction set is available with the download above.

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Hope you enjoyed our first crafting corner. Get ready for LOTS more crafts!

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P.S. What do you think all these letters could mean?

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Hmmm…does this help ??

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Layered Templates

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If you would like to learn how to use a layered template, check out Steph’s free class “Scrapbooking with a Digital Template” by Steph at Big Picture.

Misty Cato has a tutorial HERE on using templates. She some extra tips available HERE.

Here are some more posts on using templates:

One Template Many Looks

My Favorite Template Trick

One Template, Many Looks

Making Templates Work For You

Two Page Layouts and Templates

10 Reasons to Love Templates Part 1

10 Reasons to Love Templates Part 2

10 Reasons to Love Templates Part 3

Creating Your Own Layered Template

Combining Templates to Match Your Style

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Hybrid Help

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Hybrid scrapbooking. You’ve probably heard the term before. I still giggle when I think of a few years ago when it was new and not “established” as an art in its own right. A person who did what we now call hybrid scrapbooking called themselves biscraptual 🙂 I think it was probably a good idea that someone stood up and gave the art form a proper name.

So, you might be asking yourself, “what exactly is hybrid scrapbooking and if I am a digital scrapbooker, why do I need to know about it?”

Simply put, hybrid scrapbooking combines digital techniques and/or product with traditional scrapbooking techniques and/or product. It is taking what you love about both forms of expression and merging them to create something totally new…and totally fun.

Both digi and paper scrappers alike are learning of all the fun that can be had in the hybrid world. Paper gals are learning to use Photoshop and us digi gals are dusting off those paper trimmers and mapquesting our way to the nearest local scrapbooking store. There is so much possibility and there is no “right” or “wrong” way to do it.

Just a quick browse around the digi world shows you that so many people have already started down hybrid road. Mini-albums, layouts, cards, gift boxes, treat toppers, altered paint cans and more. It is truly awe-inspiring. Check out some of these hybrid galleries:

DigiShopTalk
The Lily Pad
Scrapartist
MyScrapbookArt
Scrapbook Graphics
Little Dreamer Designs

And check out these stores that sell digital and/or traditional scrapbooking supplies specifically geared to help you in your quest to dive into hybrid:

Scrapbook Graphics
Scrap Orchard

Sweet Shoppe Designs
We Are Storytellers
The Shabby Shoppe
Prima Hybrid: HERE and HERE

Here at TDD we will be bringing you cool tips, products, and projects to help you in your hybrid scrapping. We’ll show you who is creating cool projects and products as well as where to get hybrid supplies. Whether you are creating hybrid layouts, creating mini-albums, or decorating your children’s rooms, TDD will be a place of inspiration and information on all things hybrid.

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As we get into the world of hybrid scrapbooking, I know that you are going to be inspired. However, once you get inspired I want you to be able to actually act on that inspiration. That means you would be wise to invest in a few really important products as well as gather up some things from around the house that you probably already have.

Although there are no rules to say you have to own a certain product, there are definitely some tools that make the process easier (and in my world, easier always equals more fun!)

Here are our top ten hybrid items to have on hand…

1. Computer (I will safely assume that since you are reading this you already have that one covered 😉
2. A printer. You could work around this by having things uploaded and printed, but really, a printer by your side will be a time (and sanity!) saver.
3. A good paper trimmer. There are lots on the market…you can find one at your local craft store. When I was in Las Vegas last year for Memory Trends, I remember CD Muckosky saying that trimmers from this company were the best she had ever used. If using this paper trimmer makes me scrap like her, sign me up!

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4. A Crop-A-Dile: Now, no one is going to tell you that you can’t do hybrid scrapping without this tool, but *I* wouldn’t want to do it! This thing sets eyelets and can punch holes through almost anything. Chipboard, CD’s, leather…you name it and the Crop-A-Dile can punch it. I love that you can set the depth gauge, too, ensuring that all your holes on various layers match up!

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5. Adhesive: Xyron Cheetah adhesive runner lets you apply a wide strip of acid free, permanent adhesive quickly and easily to a variety of projects. Also, Steph says that Super Tape (1/4 inch or 1/8 inch) is great for adhereing ribbons, buttons, and flowers.

6. A really good pair of scissors (small pointy ones work great!)

7. Mod Podge: This is an all-in-one glue, sealer, and finisher and I use it on almost all my projects.

8. A corner rounder

9. Basic Grey Precision File Set (great for smoothing out edges on board books and chipboard albums)

10. Some other things that are good to have handy: needle and thread (and/or sewing machine), paintbrushes and foam brushes, a hole puncher (if you haven’t taken the plunge on the Crop-A-Dile yet), a stapler, and lots of creativity and imagination!

See, once you have a few simple supplies look at all the cool stuff you can make. Look at this gorgeous layout by Amy Martin (owner and designer at the Lilypad, Creating Keepsakes 2008 Hall of Famer, Memory Makers Master). Isn’t it just sweet?

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Or this amazing album by hybrid artist Michello Filo

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Geordie Girl over at My Scrapbook Art has a wonderful gallery filled of lots of hybrid cards and other projects including this cool card:

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Or what about this amazing card by Rez (jstbkuz)?

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Or my all-time favorite LO artist, CD Muckosky. Here is an “oldy but goodie” from her:

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Inspired yet? Get ready to get your hands dirty and create some really cool projects. The Daily Digi will be here to get you inspired and ready to create!

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P.S. Some people have been asking about blinkies for THE DAILY DIGI. Well, your wish is my command. Grab a blinkie and some flair HERE.

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The UN-digi

the-undigiFor most people, Sunday is a day of rest.  Whether you put on your nicest clothes and head to church or sleep in and then snuggle up in bed with a newspaper and a second cup of coffee, Sundays are always a bit different.  They are the day we let the rest of our lives sit on hold for a while and we try to set aside the stresses of work, school, and the to-do list.  Yep, a day of rest once a week is a good thing!

Here at TDD, Sundays will be a day of rest too.  Not resting from posting, but rather, a day of rest from all things digi.  Instead, we will bring you the UN-digi.  This is our chance to show you really cool places and products that have absolutely nothing to do with digital scrapbooking (but which you are sure to love!) There is a great big world out there filled with really, really cool things.  We want to show you a bit of it.

So check back here every Sunday for the UN-digi…where you can find cool things that you and your family will love.

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This Sunday, we have two really cool websites for you to check out.

1. A few weeks ago I was reading on Lanne’s blog and learned about this site.  Oh my goodness…it is SO cool!  According to the description from their blog, Polyvore.comlets you mix and match images from anywhere on the web, to create outfits, interior designs, or any kind of collage.”

Basically, it lets you grab images from all over the web and mix and match them onto a collage so you can see what they would look like together.  Decorating your new bedroom? Create a set with all the furniture, bedding, and artwork you love.  Trying to find the perfect outfit for a night on the town? Find images from your favorite clothing stores and see if they go together as well as you think they do.  It will also save the link to the items you put together so you can find them again later!

I do have to warn you though…the site does have some certain addictive qualities .   I guess it is a good thing that the to-do list is on hold for the day 😉

2. The second great site I want to show you is BRIGHT OCTOBER.  This site was created by a couple who wanted more for their child than cartoon character toys and other plastic junk.  They wanted to find toys that encouraged imaginative play and motor skill development.  What resulted is an amazing site full of colorful and unique toys that any child is sure to cherish.

I had a hard time picking my favorites since there is just so much to look at!  But here you go…

DOLLS BUGGY

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TOOL SET

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And all the wooden cars and vehicles from WOODY CLICK

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I love that you can shop by age of child, price, brand, or type of toy.  They have a huge selection of quality wooden toys as well as organic toys and even handmade toys.  Parents, if you have been looking for something new for your kids, this is the place to go.

Hope you enjoyed this Sunday’s edition of the TDD.  Check back next Sunday for more things that are totally UN-digi!

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P.S.  One of our readers (and a friend of mine!), Whitney created an action based off of yestereday’s vignette tutorial.  Whitney is a great photographer and amazing scrapper! This action allows you to set the area of selection to the size you want (really cool!) When the action completes, adjust the opacity of the vignette layer and then merge! You can download it HERE.

Actions can be great time savers and if you perform the same steps over and over again in your workflow, they are a real blessing.  Just be careful that you don’t depend on actions — no one action will fit every situation.  By learning the process behind the action, you will learn your program better and be more equipped to deal with each individual photo and its unique characteristics.

If you don’t know how to install actions, check out the information HERE.  There is even a cool downloadable .pdf file that has instructions for PC and MAC users of Photoshop 7+ and Photoshop Elements 3+.  Print them out and never be lost trying to install an action again!

Installing Actions for PSE 6

PC and MAC USERS:

1. Close Elements if it is running.

2. Copy the atn file to the following folder:

XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\6.0\Photo Creations\special effects\photo effects

[This folder is usually hidden on most computers, so you’ll have to type the address in or show hidden files and folders. (You can copy and paste it into an Intenet Explorer window and it’ll jump to the folder.)]

Vista: C:\ProgramData\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\6.0\Photo Creations\special effects\photo effects

[This folder is usually hidden on most computers, so you’ll have to type the address in or show hidden files and folders. ]

MAC: Macintosh Hard Drive\Library\Application Support\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\6.0\Photo Creations\Photo Effects

3. If the folder contains only a .psd file, open the .psd file and save it in that same folder as a png called (same name).png. Delete the PSD file.

4. When you’re done doing steps 2 and 3 for all the actions you want to install right now, delete the thumbsdatabase:

XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\6.0\ThumbDatabase.db3

Vista: C:\ProgramData\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\6.0\ThumbDatabase.db3

Mac: Library\Application Support\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\6.0\Locale\ en-US\ThumbDatabase.db3 and MediaDatabase.db3

5. Open Photoshop Elements and your actions/effects will load!

It is best to do steps 2 and 3 for as many actions as you have before doing step 4, since after you delete the file PSE takes a long time to load up and recreate it.

Installing Actions for PSE 5

1. Close Elements if it is running.

2. Copy the entire folder (.atn file and thumbs.psd file) to the following location:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application
Data\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\5.0\Photo Creations\special
effects\photo effects

This folder is usually hidden on most computers, so you’ll have to type the address in, or set Windows to VIEW HIDDEN FILES AND FOLDERS.