Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sneak Peek and Template Freebie

As I've mentioned in prior posts, I am busy working on several new kits but know that I will not be releasing them for a few more weeks yet.  I want to ensure I get the finishing touches on them just right. :)  However, I do want to share a sneak peek with you!  Here are three layouts I've put together with my first paper set from my soon to be collection - Boho Chic. 

Fonts used: Elephants in Cherry Trees, For the One Hundredth Time, Pea Cathi 
I'm excited to continue working on this collection.  As the title of this post suggests, I also have a freebie for you today!  The first layout design was inspired by a pillow I saw while shopping and for some reason I immediately thought of scrapbooking.  lol!  You can pick up the .psd template here for your personal use.  Please come back and show off any pages you make.

Monday, August 29, 2011

True Story

Although I had dabbled in digital scrapbooking starting sometime in 2008, it was actually taking a class in digital collage which sent me spiraling into the frenzy I live in today.  I mean, I went to Michael's today with the intention of doing a memory book with paper supplies but left thinking the only thing I really needed was a scanner! lol!!  Maybe Michael's should start selling scanners?  hmmmm...

For a little history, I have no idea how I found digital scrapbooking at all, but I know that I didn't really find it.  That's confusing.  What I mean is that I learned software existed that could help you make a digital scrapbook.  It allowed much more control than using websites like Shutterfly.  (Side note: Sorry to sound snobby, but that's just not the same.  Plopping pictures into a predefined "Scrapbook" is just like putting them in a sleeve in a traditional picture book.  Don't tell me you "scrapped" anything!)  Back to the story, so I began working this way and loving how quick and easy it was.  I liked that I could change the size of a photo without preplanning and without reprinting it!  And there was a lot of digital paper and embellishments to choose from.
Well, a year or so and a few internet searches later and I discovered a whole new world!  There were classes you could take and all kinds of fun projects for digital scrapbookers.  And you could have the freedom to make things the way you wanted them.  So I dived in and purchased the Bamboo Craft Wacom tablet which came with the latest copy of Photoshop Elements and a few other things which made the price tag appealing. 
Ok, getting closer to the meat here....well, then I found reneepearson.com which is full of all kinds of classes - I've taken several - and had great interest in the offering on digital collage.  That class is what showed me all that I was missing using the scrapbooking software and taught me all kinds of fun things about Photoshop and how I could control the look of my pages, etc.  That's actually how I started this blog too!  So I could post my work and look back at how I had progressed.  Relive my excitement here.
Renee is busy working on a sequel to that class and I am excited to see what she comes up with!  On her blog she has put out a call for layouts using her Melange kit which you can grab for FREE and was made specifically for digital collage.  So, I went back to work with that kit and here is what I sent in:

I'm hoping she likes it because I would love to win a spot in her new class!!  Hope you can find your inspiration somewhere too!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The busy times of summer

It sure seems like summer has gone fast!  I can't believe we are almost done with August.  Around these parts the kiddos are not yet back in school so at least it still appears to be summer for a short time yet.  Since we don't always have this wonderful weather, everyone is constantly packing in just as much as they can.  I'm happy to say I have done well with scrapping the events of my summer, but not that well.  In fact, there are still pictures on the camera.  We've been in town and out of town and just generally all around.  I don't have any new releases coming up but I do have several things in the works that I will be sure to release in September - and I must admit, I am very excited about them.  I'm already dreaming up all the layouts I'll be doing with them!

In the meantime, do pop over at the store and check out the wonderful selection there.  Remember, if you spend only $8 then the customer appreciation kit is yours for free!  And it's huge and packed with lots of goodies.

Hope to post more information soon but I've got to soak up the last of summer!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

One Day Sale!!

It's Thursday!  At ndisb.com that means it's time for Naturally Guilt Free Thursdays where you can save big on special one day only sales!  Today I am offering my paper packs and element packs for both Blooming and Cupcake Party for $1.00 each.  They are normally $3.00 each so be sure to grab them while the savings last!  You can find them at my store. 

Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter so you don't miss out on any future sales!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August Customer Appreciation Kit Now Available at ndisb.com!

Our newest collaboration - Town Fair - is now available at Natural Designs in Scrapbooking and can be yours for FREE if you spend just $8 in the store.  This kit is packed full of fun papers and embellishments which will make great pages to document your summer fun, especially any trips you've had to the fairs.  To learn more about it and to see other current deals, check out this month's issue of ND*ezine - a free 25-page publication full of news and inspiration.

Here's a look at what's included in the Town Fair Collaboration:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A bit of time to organize!

Organization.  Exciting topic, I know.  But to a crafter, organization can be a major issue so supplies are not lost or forgotten, so projects can be completed faster, and so your space allows your mind the freedom to think.  This is also true of digital arts!  But I think this point is easy to lose track of as you download goodies and know that they are all safely tucked into a folder.  Yes, folders, they seem so organized but without careful consideration, your digital stash can suddenly become an overwhelming mess of folders!
If I could start all over again, I would have organized everything using categories in Bridge, but I didn't have that then.  In the end, my stash is fairly well organized for me but it's not great.  I've flipped back and forth too many times - by designer, by kit, by theme...which should it be?  That's truly a personal question. 
Here's a little insight into my personal organization system (if one can call it a system!)
  • I for one cringe at separating a full kit into separate folders since not all designers have taken the time to name their files in a distinct manner.  I'm not saying I never mix and match, but by and large I want the same green on one page to match the green accent, etc. 
  • The one thing I did right away was to create a separate file for frames as they are generally very useable across kits.  I think another area where this would also apply would be fastners, especially anything that is metal in style.
  • Another biggie for me is to make a preview of a template file if one was not already provided by the designer.  That way you can easily see what your templates look like without having to open up each one.
  • Terms of Use.  Since I generally keep my kits together, I keep them in the folder as well.  However, if that is not your system you may want to consider setting up another folder to put these in so you have easy reference in case you need it.  I'm always a bit annoyed when a designer simply labels the file "Terms of Use" or "TOU" since then I need to rename it.
  • Fonts.  I keep all of my fonts in a separate folder with subfolders to identify where they were downloaded from. I find that it is helpful when I need to reference a font for a layout I've posted.  There is software you can purchase to organize your fonts but I haven't ventured into that just yet. :)
  • Brushes.  I won't go into this in much detail but if you use Photoshop Elements or Photoshop, I have found it helpful to organize my brushes into sets so I can simply load a set to work with.  For example, Floral, Grunge, etc.
Again, it's all personal based on the way you work and that's just a little bit of what is working for me.  And I do think it deserves some thought if you are starting out so you don't get buried in!

I was thinking about this over the past weekend as I had a few hours in the car returning from our trip.  I was able to make some stride in organizing what I call my Designer Toolkit.  I had started it a while back while taking The Art of Digital Design but I surely did not keep up with it.  Now, I can completely see the value of maintaining organization here as well.
So my point, give some thought to it so you don't lose out on taking advantage of all those useful goodies you have!
Here is a link that may help you out with some further ideas:

Happy organizing!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Release! Cupcake Party Collection

I'm thrilled to announce my new release, the Cupcake Party Collection!  As I was competing in the Design Factor Race at digiscrapconnect.com, the final challenge was to create a mini-kit with a food theme.  I made a list of several items, but when it came down to it, I was most excited about cupcakes!  And I really do love cupcakes. :)  I had such a fun time creating my mini-kit and was so inspired by the colors, that I couldn't stop!  And so, there is now an entire collection which is available in my store at Natural Designs in Scrapbooking so you can mix-and-match the papers and elements to make the perfect kit for you.  And just so you can taste this treat for yourself, I am offering the mini-kit for free through August 12th!  (just click on the image below)

And if you like what you see here, you can purchase any of the 4 paper packs or 2 element packs or get a deal when you purchase the entire collection!  And don't forget, my grand opening sale is still going on through August 9th!  Every celebration is just a bit more fun with cupcakes!  Here's some more info on the new collection:
Paper Pack 1 features seven solid color papers and five patterned papers.  Paper Pack 2, 3, and 4 each feature 12 patterned papers.  All of these can be used on their own or as a part of this collection.  Element Pack 1 includes thirty-one fun, high quality embellishments to zest up your pages and projects for party fun.  Included are two juicy cupcakes which can be topped with a candle or party flag, flag bunting, brads, stars, swirls, ribbons, bow, and various cutesy stickers.  Element Pack 2 includes two frames, five journal tags, four borders, and word art.  That's a total of 48 papers and 47 elements!