09 January 2016

Let's Get Sketchy {Challenge}

I thought I'd participate in a fun sketch challenge over at Let's Get Sketchy!  It's been awhile since I used a sketch... and for the life of me I don't know why!  I LOVE sketches!

Okay, okay...  I'll show you already! 

Here's the sketch...
...and here's my take...
Aren't you just in love with those amazing colors?!  I created this layout featuring my sweet little girl (not so little anymore, I guess...) with Peppy by France M. Designs, Meg Designs, and Anita Designs.  It's beautiful, fun, sassy, sweet, and totally fun!

By the by...  it's on sale right now over at The Digital Press! ;)

Thanks for stopping by and peeking at my layout!

Have a wonderful weekend!

23 August 2015

Drop Anchor {Freebie}

Hey there!  Wow, what a busy summer!  I can't believe it's almost September... the kiddos are back in school... and here I am looking forward to sweaters, hoodies, changing leaves, and boots!  

BUT, before we get too far into fall...  here's a kit perfect for your summer water adventures! 

France M. Designs is the featured designer over at MScraps!  She has created an adorable mini kit that is yours for free...  and you DO NOT want to miss it. 

Wanna see it?

...AND...  if you sign up for her newsletter, you'll get some extras to go along with this lovely mini! {solids and dots}

...AND...  if you follow her Facebook fan page, you get MORE! {glitters and vellums.- who doesn't love GLITTER?!}

Now here's what I created with this sweet thing...

I really love reminiscing over our trip to San Francisco last September.  It was truly my favorite trip with my love {so far}, so when I see a kit that is just perfect for these beloved pics, I'm ecstatic that I get to scrap them!  I'm sure I'm not the only scrapper who feels that way about some of their photos!

Don't forget to get over there and sign up so you can grab this mini!

Hope you all had a wonderful summer {if you are in my side of the world} and are looking forward to fall!  

Many blessings,

12 July 2015

Do you {RE-DO}?

Not that long ago, someone asked over in The Digichick Forums, do you re-do your layouts from way back when you first started?  

My immediate response?  Heck yes!

I actually have a folder on my computer full of layouts that I'm hoping to makeover.  There's a ton of reasons I want to do this... the main reason is that I've really developed my style and learned so much, I know I can do better.  It doesn't have anything to do with not liking the kit I used originally, for me, it's just because I didn't do my photo(s) justice!

The other side?  A LOT of responses were... absolutely not!  Some would never go back and makeover any of the layouts they've previously created. 

In my honest opinion... there is NOT a right answer here!  It's personal preference.

So, back to my Heck Yes response...  I chose to makeover a Disney layout I created many years ago.  Again, it's not that I don't like the kit (I mean, it's a Disney kit for Heaven's sake!), but I know I could make it cleaner and make my photos (which are by no means perfect) the star of the page!  

It was fun... and I see lots of 'RE-DO's' in my future!

Sooooo.... here's the original..... (This was before I knew the importance of credits, so I unfortunately can't tell you the designer of the kit.)
Here's my makeover... much cleaner.  I feel like the photos are the focus of the page and the elements don't distract from that.  This page is created with Project Mouse (Basics No. 2) by Sahlin Studio and Brittish Design.
I don't think there is anything wrong with going back and making over an old layout.  I had a good time doing this... and by using these pictures from our first trip to Disney, I got to reminisce over how much fun we had!  That was the best part!

Oh, and I'm currently working on making some new Journal Cards for my Weight Watchers Smash Book!  I'll post them when I get them done...  curious?

Thanks for stopping by!  

09 July 2015

So.Many.Projects. {So Little Time!}

You guys.

Yes, it's been awhile... but, I realize now that I totally underestimated the time and effort it takes to get a house in shape to put on the market!  Do you ever have so many projects going that you just can't see straight?  Yep...  that's me!  No, not only scrapping projects (which I have a ton of those started, but not finished), but PINTEREST projects have taken over my life!  Some have been successes, others pretty massive fails, and some that leave me shaking my head and saying "What the...?!?!"

Ok, anyhow...  In the midst of the madness of my life right now, I'm still scrapping!  No rhyme or reason to my scrapping, it just basically gets me through the week.  I've often thought I should create pages chronologically... or with some sort of reason, right?  BUT, as organized as I pretend to be, that just doesn't work for me.  I have a P52 going for this year, which I thought would help me stay focused, but not so much.  (I may be way behind, but I'm not giving up!)

So what about you?  Do you scrap chronologically?  by kid?  by event?  by vacation?  Do you only scrap with a certain style, like Project Life?  I don't feel the least bit guilty for having books with random times and events, or even styles!  All I know is that my family loves reminiscing over my pages, and that, my friends, is the point of doing what we do!

Enough talking, right?  Here are some layouts and the fabulous kits I used to create them!

I used Absolutely Amazing by Kimeric Kreations for this Disney 2 page layout...  

This next one is the first page of a soon to be 2 page layout featuring our daytrip to St. Louis just recently.  I used The Morning Sun Kit by JB Studio

I had so much fun with this one!  Look at Gabe!  He's getting so teenager-y...  sigh...  Created with Hipster by Meagan's Creations

...and my most recent layout...  created with The Mother Road by Meagan's Creations.

That's just a few of the many layouts lately... but just wanted to share!  Don't forget about the challenges over at The Digichick!

Many blessings, friends!

07 February 2015

Project{52} & Basic Clipping Mask Tutorial

Well, I finally started... good grief it took me forever and now I'm already behind!  Only about 5 weeks into the year... figures...

BUT...  I'm really happy with my first 2 weeks.  I get really caught up in making my layouts look perfect, but why?  I'm doing this so we can remember what we did this year.  I'm not doing this to impress everyone...  so as long as I love them, what's it matter?  Right?  Anyone else deal with this?  :)

Here's my first two weeks...  and I have to say it would have taken me WAY longer to get them done if it weren't for the Photo Focus Pockets Templates by LJS Digital Designs.  They are just awesome and there are tons to choose from.  They are easy to use and they even have the shadows done for you!

Let me show you...



Aren't they awesome?  So easy and tons of choices.  Can't beat it!

For those of you who are just starting out with Project Life or Photoshop in general, I want to share with you a very simple little thing that has saved me tons of time since I learned about it...  Incidentally, it took me awhile to try it...  why do we do that?  It's not complicated and seriously... it's a life saver!  

It's a little thing called CREATING A CLIPPING MASK...  Basically, it's a fancy way to say you are 'clipping' your paper to a shape or text...  The paper version example:  Say you have a chipboard heart.  You cut out a piece of patterned paper/cardstock or photo to glue onto the heart.  Easy right?  Well, the digi version is MUCH easier!  Here we go...  (my screenshots are made in Adobe Photoshop CC, but they can be adapted easily to Photoshop Elements)

Step 1:  Open a template, shape, or text.  (I've used one of the templates shown above) 
Step 2:  Drag your paper to the layer above whatever you want to 'cover'.
Step 3:  Select the paper or photo and right click.  Select Create Clipping Mask from the drop down menu. You can also hold down ALT and place your mouse arrow on the line separating your layers in your layer palette.  You will then see a little down arrow and white box, simply click your LEFT mouse and it's clipped!
This is what it will look like...  Now at this point, you can move or re-size your paper or photo to make it look exactly as you want it.
Step 4:  Click on both layers, RT click, and choose Merge Layers.  Now you can add a shadow or whatever else you want to do!
Here's a couple tips... make sure your layer that you are clipping to doesn't have a shadow on it when you clip it...  and you just have to play around with it.  It took me a little bit to get the hang of it, but I use it on almost every single thing I create now!

Please let me know if this spurs any questions...  if I don't know the answer, I certainly know some amazing Photoshop gals who can help me answer you!

Happy scrapping!

15 January 2015

{Blending} Basics

Tomorrow is Friday... and I don't know about you... but, boy, am I glad!  It's not that it's been a bad week, but there's just something about a Friday before a weekend that I know I'll be getting some scrapping therapy...  makes it that much better, right?!

Well...  I want to share with you a layout I created this week.  I had a lot of fun creating it for a couple of reasons.  

First of all, I had a beautiful kit to work with (which happens to be on sale right now!)To The Moon! by Kimeric Kreations is full of rich colors and textures, along with an amazing group of graffiti (I really LOVE graffiti!).  Let's just say... it's outta this world!  (I'm chuckling right now, just so you know...)

Second, I got to 'play' with one of my favorite photos of the kids.  It's an older photo (from 2009), but it's always been one of my faves.  I've paper scrapped it, but never digitally created with it.  I have to give credit where credit is due... my dear friend Marni (Sonshine Photography) took this photo.

I wish I could tell you exactly step by step how to create the affect on the big photo... but, alas, I can't.  I just played with it until I liked the way it looked.  That's the beauty of art, right?  You wouldn't want to make something exactly like mine, anyhow. 

Which brings me to.... BLENDING.  It's fun, creative, easy, and totally unique.  If you are a beginner, this is something you may want to play around with.  There isn't a right or wrong!  I promise!

First of all...  you'll find the Blending drop down here...  (this is Adobe PS, but you'll find it in the same place in PSE)

Whatever layer you have selected is the layer in which the blending will happen, with whatever is behind it.  So, I layered my photo on top of one of Kim's background papers.

After doing this, I just kept layering the photo, adjusting to different blending styles, and I even adjusted the opacity of my photo layer as I went.  I hit the UNDO button A LOT (all hail the undo button), but I eventually ended up with something I really loved.  

A tip about duplicating layers...  you can duplicate a layer by clicking on it in your layers palette, right clicking, and choosing 'duplicate layer'.  You can even duplicate a layer to a new 'untitled' project or something else you have opened by doing it this way.  Just click on the drop down arrow under Destination in the action window.

The other way is the way I prefer (unless I'm duplicating it to another project)...  Click on whatever layer you would like to duplicate in your layers palette...  and then drag it to 'Create New Layer' (see photo)

Again, this is PS...  the 'Create New Layer' icon is at the top of the layers palette in PSE.  It will show up in your layers palette like this:  Layer 3 Copy (or whatever your original layer is named - Copy).  That way you can distinguish which one is which.

I really encourage you to play around with blending.  I chose to start with a basic (slightly patterned) background, then eventually added a little color behind the photos as well with a textured background.  I also used the graffiti behind the blended photo... which made it softer and a little less pronounced.  There are so many fun things you can do...  like make your own unique background by layering 2 backgrounds and adjusting the blending of the top one.  You can use blending on Type to make it look more realistic (I prefer Overlay and Soft Light when working with Type).  

Remember, there is no wrong way to make art!  It's unique...  it's beautiful...  it's YOURS!  Have FUN!

Please let me know if you have any questions.  I taught myself about 98% of what I know about PS and PSE.  Tutorials help tremendously... so does fearlessly trying things!  I'm not an expert, but I will try and help!

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday!  Happy Creating!

Many Blessings,

11 January 2015

Need to be {challenged}?

Do you ever feel like you need a challenge... whether it's a sketch challenge, color palette challenge, technique challenge, etc... to be inspired to create?  I often feel like that... PLUS, when you participate in challenges, you often get lots of love on your layout.  Now, let's be honest, folks...  who doesn't LOVE comments on the layouts that we are so proud of?

Well, I'm here today to show off a layout I created... and you may have already guessed it - I participated in a challenge!  There are tons of challenges over at The Digichick forums...  seriously... tons.  I'd be pretty hard pressed to not find one or two (or three) to want to participate in!

I chose the Spotlight on Akizo Designs - and the best part of this challenge?  She is giving (that's right... GIVING) us a template to use!*  You can't lose here, right?  You get something super useful for FREE, and you will get a layout completed in no time! 

So, here's what I came up with.  I used Akizo's Brand New Me kit to create this...
Here's the template...
...and here's the kit!...

So what are you waiting for?  You have nothing to lose and so much to creatively gain!

Many blessings,
*I used to not use templates very much...  I had this weird idea and it wasn't truly MINE if I used a template.  What was I thinking!?  Templates are so useful... and you can truly make them super unique and totally yours.  I'm going out on a limb here... but I'm probably not the only one who has ever felt this way.  SO...  I'm here to tell you that you don't have to feel that way.  Play around with a couple.  Something like this is the perfect chance to do so...  it's FREE.  You can rotate them, pick and choose what you want to use in the template, and most of all, create a layout showcasing your awesome life in record time!  That's the point, right?  So, don't hesitate to give them a shot.  Templates are really awesome, just give them a chance!

07 January 2015

LOOK at this KIT! {A Creative Life}

If you are reading this...  chances are you are creative... artsy... crafty...  whatever you wanna call it!  So, you have to check this kit out!  It's perfect for 'us'...


Here's what I created with it...
Aren't these unique!?  I know I will use them over and over... Check this one out, as well as her other Photo Focus templates!

One last thing...  are you a hybrid girl or guy?  Do you love using digital and paper and creating something absolutely unique and beautiful??  Well... here's CT call perfect for you! 

Hope you are all having a great start to 2015!  

Many blessings...

02 January 2015

Happy New Year! {2015}

Happy New Year to you all!  I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted...  but, I've had a lot of changes in my 'creative' life...  I've gone from a designer to a member of the awesome TDC creative team... and now, I wouldn't have it any other way!  I've had more time to document our photos and memories, and I've been enjoying less stress as well.  

This year, I'll be posting my layouts, but also some tutorials.  I'm learning more and more as I create, and I feel I should share that.  I know there are tons of creative & inspiring sites/blogs out there, so if you are reading this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Oh...and, since I once was a designer, I'll occasionally have some freebies available...  so keep your eye out!

Here's some layouts to inspire... and some beautiful kits I had the honor of working with!  (the kit and designer links under each layout)

Want to be challenged?  Inspired?  Creative?  Check out the January Challenges... 

Challenge accepted?

Well, I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season... now onto the best year of our lives! 

Many blessings,

13 October 2014

...and the {WINNER} is...

Thank you all so much for your comments!  I randomly picked a winner for the Spooky Boo Kit and...

the winner is...

Please let me know what email you wish me to send the link to!

Keep an eye out for another give away...  SOON!