New Layered Looks: Pack One

New in my shoppe at 30% OFF today are Layered Looks Pack One & Individuals. Take a peek below.

No matter how many times I change up my style, I always venture back to the tried and true. The classic. The dependable. The simple. And that they are. Layered Looks mix polished design with the perfect balance of embellished groupings, steal-the-show photos, journaling, and an outstanding title. Everything a layout needs to shine.

Check out some page inspiration from the gals. Click on the images for credits.

Jen Pop








New Modern Masters | The Five Second Artist Tutorial | Giveaway

New in my shoppe this Thursday is the next bundle of Modern Masters!

The Difference
Modern Master Templates no. 21 – 24 are specifically different from their predecessors. The background brushwork spans the entire page — from margin to margin. While my previous Masters feature brushwork that is confined to a centralized portion of the page.

The Five Second Modern Masters Tutorial
Want to know why I REALLY love my Masters? I mean seriously, I like all that I do — some more than others — but my Masters take me from no design to amazing design in five seconds. Look.

Basic Page | Linear/Minimalist Design

Five seconds later …

Basic Page | Linear/Artistic Design

What’s the secret(s)?
The paper you choose! Or the photo. Or the digital object you clip to the brushwork presented in the template. All you have to do to make a Master shine is to clip a paper with an immaculate design to the brushwork. Scrapaneers, check out today’s email newsletter for more tips on picking artistic background papers.

Another key tip is to run with contrasting colors. In my example above, I chose a textured white for my background and paired it with a strong, deep blue. The brushwork edging stands out because of the contrasting colors.

You might recognize the design of this specific template. I originally created the brushwork for this layout.

Modern Masters 21 – 24 Giveaway


Would you like to win this set of templates? Post a comment here in this thread by Wednesday, March 11th, 2012 by 10:00 PM EST. Good luck!

Everyday Storyteller – Have You Seen This?

Have you seen this yet? The phenomenal Jennifer Wilson, owner of Simple Scrapper, is combining the efforts of 33 amazing scrapbookers into one, digital e-book. Snagged from the blog: with 33 inspiring contributions from across the scrapbooking industry, Everyday Storyteller is an essential resource for the modern memory keeper.

And guess what? I’m one of those 33! I can’t detail what my topic is just yet. But definitely check out the site, sign up to be part of the ever-growing Launch Party, and discover the remaining scrapbookers contributing to the book.


Wednesday’s Pixel Pages

Woosa. My baby boy turns one this month and I’m finally at a place where life moves steadily. I know, I know. Woooosa. Feels so good, don’t it?

With less stressful times comes rewards and — you guessed it — scrapbooking! Playing. Developing. Learning. Trusting. Letting the stories flood my mind and finding the photos to illustrate. Like this layout I’ve wanted to make since 2009.

Innovation by Sahlin Studio
Artistic Photo Masks by Simply Tiffany Studios

I can’t believe how much my life has changed since I visited Orlando. It’s like standing at the top of a mountain and peering over my shoulder at the path traveled. Cresting is a good thing.

LilyKate Digital Kit by Basic Grey
 Digital Scrapbooking Day 2011 Template (freebie) by Simply Tiffany Studios

This layout was concocted for the Basic Grey blog. But I needed to share the story of a memory long passed from last year. My daughter’s buddy moved away at the beginning of this year and we miss him so. I know she’ll enjoy seeing the page once it’s printed.

And that’s my joy of scrapbooking! Nothing to catch up or feel guilty about because it’s not done. Scrapbooking is there when I’M ready.

Best darn hobby in the world. Woosa.

Tutorial: How to Create Acrylic Text using Adobe Photoshop

Have you ever wondered how to create “see through” text? Today I’ll share my techniques for creating transparent, raised, acrylic-looking text using Adobe’s Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop Elements users will want to scroll down for additional *notes* as steps to achieve a similar look are quite different.

As you scroll down the tutorial, click on the screenshots for larger, more detailed images. Here is the effect we’ll re-create today:

Photoshop Users


Step 1: Choose Font | Type Text

I chose the cool, collected and standard font Futura Medium. Most any font will work. But the results you’ll achieve are dependent on your font choice and size.

The color of the font does not matter so pick hot-lips red, or anything that suits your mood. My text is set at a size of 28 points.

Step 2: Reduce Fill Opacity

Once you’ve chosen your font and typed your text, completely reduce the Fill Opacity of the layer. Now that’s FILL OPACITY. Not OPACITY. There is a difference so be sure you’re teasing the correct slider. It’s located at the top of the Layer’s Panel. You will no longer see your text once you reduce the fill opacity. But that’s exactly what we want to do!

Step 3: Open Layer Styles Menu | Add Custom Styles

Now, double click the layer and open the Layer Style’s menu. From here, we’ll add the settings to “acrylic-ize” our text.

First, the Drop Shadow. The settings I used are below. Notice the blend mode of “Linear Burn”. I usually set my drop shadows to this blend mode. Peppermint, owner of One Little Bird Designs, offers a mind-blowing Shadowing Tutorial on the importance of this blend. Be sure and check that out.

The actual values of the Shadow, and the Inner Bevel + Satin below, are completely dependent on the font style and size chosen. So you might need to adjust the values to suit your tastes. Keep that in mind as you play.

Next, add the Inner Bevel. My settings are similar to embossing techniques I’ve discussed in my Embossing Effects video tutorials.

And finally, the Satin. Satin is an under-utlized style in Photoshop. Used creatively, it alters the lighting of an object helping to define reflections, metallic, or otherwise “sleek” surfaces. For our example, we’ll use Satin to vary the color of the Acrylic. A deep gray creates a dark tone; a lighter gray will look more translucent.

Step 4: Verify Results | Tweak if Necessary

Click OK once you’re happy with your results and marvel! The set of steps outlined above can be changed at any time by revisiting the Layer Style’s menu. To test your text, layer it over something colorful. If you can see the layer’s below AND see your translucent text too, then you go girl!

Here’s my final layout with Acrylic Text within. I’m still finishing up my Disney Album folks. Sigh. One day!

Practically Perfect by Sahlin Studio and Ju Kneipp
Artistic Photo Masks Set Two by Simply Tiffany Studios
LoopDaLoops by Anna Aspnes
Southern Sayings Bonus Word Art by Simply Tiffany Studio 

Adobe Photoshop Elements Users


After a bit of “tinkering” in PSE 8, I developed a set steps that presented an “acrylic” look. But, personally, I don’t dig the end result. It’s not as acrylic-y as I’d prefer. But I’ll share my steps, sans the fancy screenshots, with hope that experienced Elements users will play and perhaps find a better solution.

Step 1: Type text. I chose the font Futura Condensed and set the size to 36 pixels. Choose a grayish-brown color. I chose HEX code: 3b3731.

Step 2: Reduce the opacity of the text below 30%. Results will vary.

Step 3: Add a “Low” drop shadow using the Effects panel. Open the layer’s Style Settings and adjust the Size and Distance to smaller values.

Step 4: Add a “Simple Inner” bevel using the Effects panel (or toggle on the Bevel in the layer’s Style Settings). See the screenshow below for my exact settings.

And my results from this setup:

If you get a chance to play with this technique in Photoshop or Elements, show me your results in the comments section below! And check out my tutorial center for more tricks and techniques.

Back That Thang Up

Yesterday, during some routine time-wasting on Facebook, my computer suddenly and without warning displayed a question mark. And it never went away! I felt like someone shot off my pinky toe.

Yes folks, I experienced the demon-folder screen of death. It’s fangs gnashed at my soul with gruesome, hideousness. All of my files and folders, gone. The operating system, gone. Everything I’ve created, gone. In two seconds.

There weren’t enough tears.

But before I completely curled up into the fetal position, I remembered this. Remember that? That post when I described my NEW resolution to back up my files every Sunday on a dedicated external hard drive? Well, I had forgotten more like ignored my reminders to back up my files since mid-January except for this past Sunday!

This past Sunday, on a whim, I plugged my computer in for the night and ran a time machine snapshot of everything on the computer. Just because, somehow, I knew it was time. Some small part of me said, “you know, just in case, you might wanna. Just do it!”

Halleluja! Little voices rock!

I only lost files from this week, which were (or will be when I can) easy to replicate. I’m so proud of myself. So very thankful. So very blessed. Not just because I backed that thang up. But because, for now, the hard drive seems to be in working order. I avoided losing my work and personal artifacts like photos and what not. And all because I backed that thang up. It took six hours to restore the system, but saved me a lifetime of regret.

So let this serve as a service announcement of love to you: BACK THAT THANG UP! Back it up like your life depends on it! Back it up like no one’s watching. Back it up because all good, wholesome women should.

Once in awhile.

Sale at DHD | This Weekend Only


All of my products are 25% off from now through Sunday evening at DHD. Newsletter subscribers received a coupon code for an additional 10% savings in their inbox Thursday morning. Stock up and save!

This Week | Collab with Karla Dudley + Giveaway

On sale now through Sunday, March 4, 2012.

I’ve been a fan of Karla Dudley for a long, long time. Her brain leaks design — seriously. Open it up and I bet you’ll find digital scrapbooking design schematics seared into her cerebellum. The girl is a kit genius! And I’m lucky enough to call her a friend too.

We’ve wanted to collab together for some time and finally the stars aligned long enough for us to work together. We created This Week: a papers & elements + templates collaboration.

I love Karla’s kit because it’s perfect for Project Life or 365 but versatile enough for events and moments celebrated any week. I love my templates because they’re straight-lined, linear with that touch of unpredictable. I often find templates, such as these, get right to the point and tell the story yet the photos stay right in the spotlight. The kit and templates are on sale until the end of the weekend.

Take a peek at Karla’s creative team’s creations.

It’s Elemental | The Giveaway


One lucky someone can win both kits! To enter for your chance to win This Week templates + kit, simply leave a comment answering this question: What are YOU doing this week? by Thursday, March 1st at 12:00 pm (noon) Eastern Standard time/New York City.

The winner will be announced here Thursday afternoon, March 1st. Good luck!

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