Saturday, February 28, 2015

Look, Ma! No Flowers!

I admit it.  I am something of a clusterholic sometimes when I scrap.



I'm kind of a fan of lots of things tucked here, there, and everywhere.  

I'm also a little addicted to "outlining" things.  Titles, edges of layouts - doesn't matter.  Lets me use more papers, so it can't be a bad thing  #LovesPapers


So today I tried doing something new and different.  Because I spent some time the last few days looking at recent layouts, and it seems that I am in a rut.  So here we go.  No outlines.  No elements/flowers/strings/labels/butterflies.  


Well, ok, the paper is flowered, but that's all.  And ok, maybe I outlined the photos and the diagonal.  But I rather like the clean look.  Will it become my new "thing?"  Probably not.  As it is I am itching to put another paper around the edge...

How about you? Are you in a scrapping rut?  Tried anything new lately?  I'd love to hear what you're up to!

In the meantime, I made a template out of the first layout above.  You can download it HERE.


Enjoy!






Friday, February 27, 2015

New Release | Simple Days

Hello Scrappers! Team member La'Shawn here. I have a beautiful new release from Studio Sherwood to share with you. Today's new release is Simple Days.


As you can see, there is nothing simple about this digital scrapbooking kit. From the rustic colors, the fun banners, and what about those jars?! This kit is perfect for just about anything in your life. Scrap those simple days, or that sweet photo of your kid, or fun family game night!



Those papers are to die for! Right?!
I know you want to see this beautiful kit in action. Wait no longer. Here are some of the fantastic layouts from the Creative Team.















Here are some extras to go along with this kit. I think you are going to love these. A great addition to an already beautiful kit.



You can see this and more in use in Studio Sherwood's GALLERY.  We would love to see yours! You can post them in the gallery or you can share them on the FB page, too. Simple Days is available now at the introductory sale price, so don't miss out! We look forward to seeing your beautiful creations!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Just Plain Fun. Fonts that may or may not have an actual use, but they tickled my fancy :)

Ready for some fun fonts?  I did the kid-in-the-candy-store-thing and just picked out everything that made my mouth water!


Here's the list with download links :)

(true love)
Alburquerque
Claudette Aimele Chocolat
Cookie Monster
Cute as a Button
East Coast Stationery
Glazed Honey Buns
Going Rogue
MF Hello Heartache
MF Lovesong
Schnoodle
Uptown Funk
Xiomara

And now, curiously, I want chocolate and cookies and honey buns.  Go figure ;)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Dainty, check. Sweet, check. Pretty, check. All set for Valentine's Day!

I guess there's still a little bit of the happy second grader in me - the one clutching her homemade Valentine's box (my father always helped me, and mine were always fabulous, thanks to him!) and carefully inscribed cards for my classmates (so much fun to pick out which one was perfect for whom).  So Valentines of all sorts have a happy, beckoning power over my girly senses and draw me in.  Which is why I always create some sort of kit this time of year that has a "heartsy" application, although that stubborn practical streak I have usually compels me to make it a little more general for scrapping lots of things.

Enter "Sentimental."  It's dainty, it's sweet, and it's pretty.  And you can scrap your valentine, or things you love, or other dreamy things.  (Or you can scrap your daughter's cat, or your other daughter's husband and dog.  Which I did.)





There's a new set of Display Boards to go along with the tender heartedness:


I'm enjoying these templates so much - so versatile and so much fun to use!

Then there's the big money-saving bundle:

And as afore-mentioned; the cat, and the husband and the dog:



I was particularly fond of that newsprint cover I made for the display board, so I added it in to the folder as a bonus - it also gives you an idea of changes/additions you can make when you create your own masterpiece!

And here's some gorgeous inspiration from my talented team:


 Layout by Robin

  Layout by Maria

  Layout by Rae

 Layout by Jenni

You can see more gorgeousness HERE in my Scrapbookgraphics gallery!  Feel free to post your own layouts there, I always love to see them! (or you can share them on my FB page, too)

The Sentimental collection is available now at the introductory sale price, so get yourself a little something sweet for Valentine's day.  You know you deserve it.  And then go buy the kit and scrap the something sweet, LOL.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Clickety-clack.

I learned to type on a Royal portable typewriter of my mother's.  At least I think it was a Royal.  I know it was portable.  As a kid I thought it was pretty darn heavy, but having inherited a non-portable model in the recent past, I appreciate how portable that original really was.  Uffda.*  They are all heavier than, say... my new 17 inch laptop.

Anyway, I wasn't particularly good at typing, having sort of a proclivity for watching my fingers rather than the copy.  Sort of  meaning "totally."

tYPwriters are also very unforgiving.  I left that oopsie there so you could see what my blog would have looked like had I been limited to a manual typerwiter. (see what I did there?  I wish I could say it was on purpose.)

The thing is, though, there is still a bit of a romance in my head with the typewritten word.  I just like the way it looks, I like the memory of the clickety-clack of the keys and the ding of the carriage return.  So it isn't a great surprise that I am fond of using typewriter fonts for journaling on my scrapbook layouts.  While I may not always use the same exact font, I like to think that using the same general "type" (ha ha) of font provides a certain unity to my pages.  

Which is my way of saying this is my schtick and I am going to use it til I am tired of it.

I did a little Googling to explore the world of typewriter fonts to expand my collection, and thought I would share them with you.  (meaning, I wasted time harvesting fonts on the web and now I am sharing them so I no longer feel guilty about the time "invested."  Sorry that I am cheating you of that experience, but you can pin this on Pinterest or share it on Facebook and then you kind of get in on the virtue with extra time left over to, oh, I dunno, go research script fonts or something...)


And the download links:


Hope there are some new ones on this list for you - must keep those font addictions fed :)  Enjoy!


* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uff_da   - I live in North Dakota now, so Uffda (or Uff da) is now a regular part of my lexicon


Friday, January 30, 2015

Shabby, tattered, and torn. Not talking about my underwear, either.

This week's release at Scrapbookgraphics is going to go in my favorites file.  There, I said it right up front.  I love some of my kits more than others.  Sorry, kids.  I try to treat you all fairly, but some of you are easier to love.

This one combines my love of shabby things, worn edges, distressed textures, and soft, warm colors.  It's so darn happy and pretty, and just the right touch of vintage-y stuff.  :happysigh:  And it also has a delightfully obscure name that I have to 'splain to everyone.  So let's just jump right to that.

Tatterdemalion.

tat·ter·de·mal·ion  (tăt′ər-dĭ-māl′yən, -mā′lē-ən)
n.
A person wearing ragged or tattered clothing; a ragamuffin.
adj.
Ragged; tattered.


Pretty, right?  Makes me smile inside.


And here's the best part - the goodies from my team.  I am always fascinated at the wonderful things they do with my creations.  Sometimes I add things just to see how they are going to make them amazing.


Layout by Maria

Layout by Chili

Layout by Poki

Layout by  Jenni

Layout by Anita

Layout by Tamie

Layout by Rae

Layout by Edna

Layout by Jennifer
Layout by Dolores

Beautimous, right?  Give them a hand!  [wild clapping]

You can find Tatterdemalion Here in my Scrapbookgraphics shop - and it will be at the introductory sale price for a limited time!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Devil's in the Details - 5 Simple Ways to Take Your Scrapping to New Levels

Having recently perused some of my old layouts (rather than cleaning the basement, LOL), I am reminded that it's a good thing to improve one's skills. Most of the development has been in the finishing details that really make a difference in the quality of my layouts.  And because I am still avoiding putting away the Christmas decorations, I'm going to take a moment to share some of them with you.

1.  Do the Twist.

One of the beauties of digital scrapbooking is that we can use an element sixty-billion times if we want to.

Or five.

Either way, take a second when you add that flower for the second (or fifty-nine billionth) time - turn it a little bit.  If it is exactly the same direction as the others on your page, your mind is going to register that they are identical, and pay more attention to that than your focal point.

Let's face it.  Nowhere in nature will you find two flowers that are exactly the same, with the same shadow pattern and the same bent petal.  So, fool us into thinking you have five similar-but-not-the-same flowers on your page.

Don't get carried away, you still have to pay attention to the direction of the light on the element, but you can generally get away with a fifteen-twenty degree turn in either direction without getting into too much trouble.  And of course it goes without saying not to turn them all the same way, right? 

 (Also applies to buttons.  And bows, which can also be flipped horizontally for some variation)

2. Avoid Black Holes.  This isn't Star Trek.

This makes me sad.  I will see an absolutely lovely layout, but the photos are dark and indistinct and disappointing.  As a result, I'm not drawn into the story of the layout, because I can't see it!

Now I am NOT a photographer.  My pictures range from averagely bad to averagely adequate.  I don't think you have to have a professional quality photo to scrap.  I think you should make the most of what you DO have, though!

Here are a couple of super easy quick fixes that will help make your photos be the star they should be:

Brighten Underexposed Photos

Fix Underexposed Photos

3. One of These Things Is Not Like the Other.

Shadows really do matter.  I know not every one cares as obsessively as I do about shadows looking realistic and natural and touchable, but the truth is, if you don't make some sort of difference between the shadow of a thin piece of metal and a big fluffy flower on your page, then the viewer's mental process will be trying to decode what isn't quite right in the back of their mind, instead of oohing and ahhing over that photo you just dressed up (see #2).

So.  Repeat after me.

Things that are close to the background paper have narrower (and darker) shadows. Items that are further from the background have wider, softer, less distinct shadows.

I don't insist that you separate every shadow onto its own layer and warp and smudge and blur.  Just get a good set of shadow styles (freebies listed below) or settings in PSP.  It's a detail that will catapult your layouts into a new stratosphere :)

The Daily Digi - Shadow Layer Styles 

Megan Turnidge Shadow Styles

Krystal Hartley's Shadow Styles

Flergs Shadow Styles

PSP Shadows

4. Color Clash.

If there's anything I fuss over more than shadows, it's color.  It pains me a little to see a photo in a layout where the overall tone of the photo is completely different than the colors used to scrap it.  There are ways around this.

Probably the easiest is to make the photo black and white.  This works very well for photos of people.  Maybe not so well for that gorgeous blue ocean or dazzling sunset photo.

You can make some subtle shifts with a saturation/hue adjustment layer that will make all the difference (and not just to the photo - subtle shifts in papers and elements might be the answer!).  Here are a couple of guides for working with colors and photos.

Make your photos black and white

Adjust Color

Recoloring an element

A related issue is the visual weight of your photo - I find it hard to scrap with pastels, because to me they aren't a good fit with the deeper colors of most of my photos.  This is an instance where converting the photo to black and white is useful.

Or just skip the pastels.

Oh wait, did I say that out loud?  Nevermind.  I admit that it bugs me to see a photo with Olive Green grass scrapped with mint green cardstock.  I'm obsessive.  I get that this might be abnormal. But do take overall color into consideration when you look at the whole page.

For me.  Mwah.

5. En-TITLE-d.

No doubt this is very subjective, but in looking at my own work, I find that pages that have a title are much more interesting than those that don't.

Maybe it's a phase I'm going through.  I dunno.  However, since titles have been a part of scrapbook layout design forEVER, odds are there's a good reason for that ;)  It's like the title draws me in and gives me a clue that guides me to the rest of the layout.  Sets the expectation.  And if the title is particularly clever it adds a new layer of enjoyment.

Take a look through your favorite gallery, and see if you agree with me.  Or take a good look at that layout you finished but just don't love.  Maybe a title will make a difference. I've actually gone back and added titles to a couple of pages I wasn't happy with, and it made all the difference.  To me.

Title Approaches


There you have it.  Five easy details that will help you elevate your scrapping to new levels with a minimum of fuss and no pain.

Now, who wants to come help me finish cleaning the basement?