Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Sale!

It's been a crazy end to December as I knew it would be.  With a little man's birthday and all the holiday celebrations, I finally feel like I'm emerging from a Christmas-y cloud!  I'm ready to get back to scrapping and designing!  I will be posting more products, pages, and other ideas just as soon as I get them completed.
I hope everyone is looking forward to the start of 2012.  To celebrate and help you stock up for your scrapping adventures, I'm putting my entire store on sale at 40% off the list price starting December 30th, 2011 and running through January 2, 2012.  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December Daily Template Tuesday #48 Template Tuesday #44

Template by Tiffany Tillman
Well, on marches December!  The last several days have been busy in our home as I'm sure it has in many others.  Our little boy is turning one soon and this past weekend we were able to celebrate with some of our family and friends.  It was a really fun time and AJ sure enjoyed himself!  Those who had not seen him in a bit were very impressed by his walking and could not believe how big he is getting.  He was showered with wonderful presents and is having a blast discovering them all. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December Daily

I almost fell behind but I am getting it done!  The important part is to at least remember to take the pictures and that I have not stopped doing!  Hope everyone else is able to keep up or at least do your best to record some of the special memories for this month!

Monday, December 12, 2011

December Daily

We continue to enjoy the holiday season.  Our home is festive and we hope to continue to welcome many friends and family over.  Our new stockings have arrived and they are super cute!  And we also took AJ to see Santa Clause.  We'd hoped that his love for the camera would allow us to capture at least one smile but he just melted down the minute he hit Santa's lap.  Oh well, I guess we have the traditional crying baby in Santa's lap picture.  :)  The experience made me really feel for Santa - that's a lot of crying babies!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Anatomy of a Page - December Daily Edition

I'm pleased that I've been able to keep up so well with my December Daily this year; however, I also know that it's the later part of December that actually becomes the real challenge for me so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!  Today I'm posting my page from December 7th where I had some fun paper crafting the card board I shared with you yesterday.  I've been doing more paper crafting again and it is pure joy!  In this page I had a lot of fun playing with shadows and some other looks but what I'd like to point out to you is my use of blending modes and how I created a realistic use for digital tape.  Here is the page:
There are a few places on this page where I used blending modes.  Let me first say, if you've not tried them, please do so!  You will find so many interesting ways to use them once you know how to work with them - or even find something unexpected along the way!  Let's start with the frame.  This frame is from the Essentials Collection by Carina Gardner.  Both the front and back frame looked like the back when I started.  I copied it to a new layer and erased the back frame so that in the end, they would both be a bit different.  Once done, I pulled out a paper that was red and cream chevon.  It looked pretty cool just like that but I thought I could make it look a bit more natural than it did with just the clip mask of the paper on the frame.  So, I started playing with the blending modes and really liked what I found in the darken section.  These modes will allow the darkest color to come through.  I ended up using "darker color" which rid the paper of it's cream.  I like the look of it!
The second place where I used blending was on the circles on the left side of the page.  I wanted to stitch these on and then because I love playing with shadows to make things look more dimensional, I tried to make them look like they were coming off the page a bit.  It looked good but I still wanted it to look a bit more realistic.  So I found a paper in stock that was crumpled and creased.  I clipped that to the circle layer and found just the right crease and to lay in the right spot by moving and rotating the paper.  Once set, I used the "overlay" mode.  The end result is that you see the crease but the original design shows through.
And lastly I wanted to talk about digital tape.  I used the tape in my design to affix the note card to the page.  After I made the swirl look a bit like chipboard using the bevel and emboss function, I wanted to do the same thing to my note card.  Then, my tape looked kinda silly.  First I reduced the opacity of the tape layer because that's how I think tape should look.  I then marquee selected the note card layer using Ctrl+right click on the layer, with my tape layer selected I then jumped that overlapping portion to a new layer using Ctrl+J.  Right away it looked better since the tape was less transparent in that area.  I then added a small drop shadow for extra dimension so the tape appeared to fold down the chipboard and onto the background.
I enjoy challenging myself to make my digital pages look as realistic as possible and hope you've found a few tips to experiment with.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Project & December Daily

Isn't it great when without planning you can make something pretty cool with some simple things you already have on hand?  Yeah, I think so too.  In just under 30 minutes I was able to whip together this item to hold our holiday cards.
It might not be a masterpiece but it will certainly work and also adds a little holiday cheer.  We had this old cork board in our basement.  It pains me to say that I think it's from college...  I took three sheets of holiday cardstock to cover it with using spray adhesive.  Then I took a light green ribbon and put five pieces down going in one diagonal direction.  I secured them using some tiny push pins.  Next, I choose a darker green ribbon to do the other direction.  I cut them and secured them with the same push pins, with the exception of the corners.  You could use the same color ribbon or lots of different colors - it's just great to use up what I had on hand!  If nap time had not ended, I may have painted the frame but alas, it's still pretty cute.  And fast!  No need to make it completely perfect as it will be filled up by cards soon enough.
And, let's not forget December Daily!  I've been keeping up!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy St. Nick's!

Growing up, both myself and my husband celebrated the coming of St. Nicholas on the eve of December 5th, so naturally the tradition has continued in our household.  On the morning of the 6th, we wake to discover what little treats he's left behind for us.  This will be our first year celebrating with AJ and we are excited to introduce the tradition to him.  He opened a small, plush gingerbread man...hey, he's not quite one so he was pretty excited.  Our lovely labrador got a great rope toy, which he never gets since he's so destructive with his toys, so all and all, a great day here.
I wanted to do something special for my husband so I made for him (and my parents) these adorable little snow globes that I picked up at Michael's.  It really was a very simple craft to do and will make a great item to adore his desk at work during the holiday season.
To complete this project, you just need to do a few simple things:
1. Open Photoshop (or whatever program you use) and create a new file that is 4 in. by 6 in.  This is because you will be printing it out on photo paper.
2. I used my guides to create a rectangle for the dimensions which were listed right on the snowglobe.  It measured 2.1 inches across and 2.7 inches on each side.  I doubled the length (to fit both sides on one print)  and included a guide to denote the middle where I would cut my design.
3. Then I selected my rounded rectangle tool using a radius of about 400px.  You can experiment here to see what you like.  I used my guides to draw out the rectangle.
4. Just in case things weren't too exact, I added a stroke of about 16 px to the outside of the rectangle in a color that would match the papers I choose to use.
5. Then using the square marquee tool I selected one side of the design from the middle to the bottom, Ctrl-J to post in on a new layer. I did this so it would be easier to work with the front and back sides but you could just follow the guide you put in the middle.
6. Next select some digital papers and elements to complete your design.  I did the top portion as my front, then rotated my image to work on the back so I didn't have to work upside down.  I used Echo Park's "Sleigh Ride", a frame from Carina Gardner's "Essentials", and backer's twine by LivE Designs.
7. Print, Cut, and slide into the snowglobe! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December Daily

So far so good!  I've got the first two days of December documented.  I'm sure this will only be a greater challenge going forward.  Thanks to Finn, the second of December has a lot of action...

Although I have not pre-planned my album, I have decided to go forth using only one kit and two or three fonts in order to provide cohesion to my December Daily pages.  I feel in love with the kit 12 Days of Christmas just released by Jessica Sprague and Heidi Swapp.  It has a great vintage feel, yet still modern.  In these first two pages I also grabbed some items from Carina Gardner's Essentials collection. 
I am looking forward to seeing where this takes me!  It's already be fun documenting the every day things we do.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Smart Phone Wallpaper Freebie

Tis the season!  I've got a freebie for you today - wallpaper for your smartphone!  Now you can incorporate the holiday cheer just about everywhere you look.
While some phones may differ, you can simply right click on this image and save it.  Then email it to yourself and open it up on your phone.  Next "Save Image" and then add it to your wallpaper.  On my iPhone this is done under settings - Wallpaper.  Find the image in your photos and then hit "set".  Just a simple and easy way to spread some holiday cheer!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hello December!

First, I cannot believe it is December already!  Second, welcome December!  Yes, there is so much packed into this crazy last month of the year but it's also full of wonderful.  I'm going to try hard to stick with a December Daily album this year but I must admit I have no idea just how I'm going to prepare many ideas.  I think this year I'll just go with the flow and then maybe next year I'll have a better plan!  If I can stay on task, I hope to share my album with you as I go along.

And thanks to the wonderful Heidi Swapp, I won a seat in Maggie Holmes December Daily Photography Workshop and I hope that will help me stay on task! 
So whatever your plans for December, it's here already!  And have fun!