It’s Elemental | Winner

Girl, lemme tell you! Perhaps you’ve noticed the mini-hiatus from posts. One by one, the kids and I fell prey to that *hacking*coughing*sneezing*snotting*snorting*achy* so you really can’t sleep syndrome. It’s that time of year when all you can do is rest in between the insistent blows of your nose bugle.

But like all good crappy times, our cooties passed. I’m jumping back into my blogging saddles and I’ve got loads more cooties to share — of the good kind.

Without further delay: the winner of a complimentary seat into It’s Elemental | the Workshop, is:

Lori! Hot diggity-dog! Send me a message and let’s get you registered. Thanks everyone! I’ll see you tomorrow here on the blog!

Digital Scrapbooking Embossing Effects in PS & PSE | Video Tutorial

Hey y’all. Want to know one of the main reasons why I uber-love templates? Speed. Hands down — speed. Not the kind Keanu Reeves was on – nope. Templates cut my creation time in half, if not more, because I don’t have to think about the design. Templates, oh how I love thee. Let me count the ways.

You know what happens when I don’t have to “over-think”? Techniques, baby! Templates allow me to concentrate on fun digital techniques. And don’t you think today is a great day for a technique tutorial?

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Sliver Templates Collection One | Inspiration + Winner

Finally in the store today are the Sliver Templates Collection One for 30% off until Thursday 11:59 PST. I sincerely enjoyed creating them; I feel like they’re “me” more than any other design. Or the “me” who showed up for 2012. The templates feature strong shapes, some whitespace, dramatic title areas and a few photos to drive the point home. The Slivers are exactly where I’m at design-wise. And there’s just something about imagining a type of layout in your head and transforming the idea into the tangible. It’s a good feeling, know what I mean?

Also included in the download is a *bonus* back of Southern Word Art. The reason behind their creation? I was watching Top Chef, which was recorded in Texas this season, and I thought it’d be cute to have some dialect phrases to pull from on occasion. Hope y’all like it, you here!?

The Page Artists created loads of inspiration. Check out how they rocked the set.













Sliver Templates Giveaway Winner


All right! Thanks everyone for entering to win a chance to win the set. The winner of a brand new set of Sliver Templates Collection One is … MMikes! Please contact me to claim your prize.


Sliver Templates Collection One | Giveaway

Coming to the DHD store this Thursday! Sliver Templates Collection One.

Enter below for your chance to win it now!


To enter for your chance to win a set, simply leave a comment by Wednesday, January 18th at 8:59 PM Eastern Standard time/New York City. Increase your chances of winning by posting about this giveaway on twitter/facebook/or your blog. Be sure to come back and post a link as a new comment entry. Post a new comment for each.

The winner will be announced here Wednesday evening, January 18th.

Break Those Bad Digital Scrapbooking Habits


I’ve been a digital scrapbooker since 2004, which makes me an OG (original gansta) of the genre. I’m not the original — but I play one on TV. One would think, with that much gansta-ness behind me, I possess the best digital photo-editing tactics. Well, I confess: I don’t. I simply don’t take the time to do what I’m supposed to do. And that bites.

The fact is I follow methods I learned as a beginning digi-scrapper I should have outgrown. Some are bad habits I think save time but don’t. Others are processes that haven’t evolved with the ever-evolving photo-editors. Perhaps my bad habits are your bad habits too. So let’s discuss my top three, shall we?

Bad Habit no. 1 | Not Backing Up Digital Photos (or Files)

With all the existing options for backing up digital files, one would think this was a no-brainer. But I’m bad at this dude. Really, really bad. Know what’s even worse? I paid for Mozy’s annual subscription plan! I know, I know. Don’t throw your hands up in disgust and write me off yet.

I do have a second backup system using Time Machine for Mac and an external hard drive (EHD). I’ve mapped Time Machine to this drive and when they’re connected, Time Machine saves the most recent snapshot of my system. Actually connecting my Mac to the external only takes a few seconds but I always forget. And therein lies my problem: a pure, bad habit.

The Fix | Hitlist is my ultimate scheduling app. On Jan 1, I created a reoccurring reminder to plug-in my Mac to the EHD on Sunday afternoons. I’m less likely to use/need my computer during those times so it’s perfect. So far so good! I haven’t missed a back up and at least I can rest knowing I’ve got one failsafe in place just in case I experience Mac Death.

Bad Habit no. 2 | Not Using Masks for Edits

With the addition of the “Create New Layer’s Mask” button/icon in PSE 9, no one — and I do mean no one — should be erasing, painting, or just plain destroying objects in their layouts. Seriously. But time to time, I find myself opting for the Eraser tool because I believe I won’t need to make changes later. One hour into the layout, two seconds from its completion, I realize I DO need to make changes. And because I used that stupid Eraser, I have to start over. It’s the end of the world as we know it.

The Fix | Always use a mask. They are non-destructive and using them shaves time off your digital scrapbooking process.

Bad Habit no. 3 | Not Using Preset Manager

Dude, this is my Bad Habit numero Major. And I TEACH digi scrappers how to use the Preset Manager so I have absolutely no excuse. The Preset Manager in Adobe Photoshop Elements allows you to catalogue and save your custom brushes, swatches, gradients and patterns (plus a few more major options in Adobe Photoshop). That means:

  • If PS/PSE suddenly crashes and recovers, you’ll still have access to brush tips that mysteriously vanished pre-crash.
  • If you finally create that perfect acrylic style in PS, you won’t have to remember your settings two months later.
  • If you you create a set of contours that’s the baddest contour set ever, you can save them all and offer them for sale on your blog.
  • And many more.

That’s a lot of good options from a single good thing.

The Fix | Become familiar with the Preset Manager especially if you use Brushes, Swatches, and Styles. And if you do know how to use the manager, save your favorite swatch groups. Or brush sets. Or style combinations. Or something.

And there you have it. Feels good to share. So … what are your top bad habits of digital scrapbooking? What would you add to this list? Please tell me I’m not alone!

2012 DHD Designer Calendar Blog Hop

12 of the designers at DHD are hosting a calendar blog hop. All you have to do is hop around to all 12 blogs and pick up each month for the year. I designed the November page. One for photo, one sans. Hope you like!

Here are links to the other designer’s blogs:

Jen Allyson – January

Robyn Meierotto – February

Karla Dudly – March

Erica Coombs – April

Karen Funk – May

Angie Hinksman – June

Celeste Knight – July

Shannon Hegarty – August

Sara Schmutz – September

Gennifer Bursett – October

Tiffany Tillman – November

Agnes Biro – December

To download th e original image, first click on the image(s) below. After you click on the image, right click on the enlarged image and select “Save Image As” from the dropdown menu. Then save the image to your hard drive.

The November 2012 FREE Calendar download is for personal use only. If you would like to blog about this free download, please credit and link back to this article. Please do not link directly to the downloadable file, but rather to this page. No customizations.

Thank you for visiting my site! Be sure to check back every Thursday for a free template from my 52 Thursday series.

2012 One Little Word | Grow

2011 | Passion

Last year I chose passion as my word. I wanted to reconnect with parts of me and the world around me that I was most passionate about. Sometimes the choices were simple like picking up a NookColor and connecting with my long-lost passion of reading. I didn’t read as much as I desired in 2011 but I opened the door and made it to the coat check desk. I’ll join the party in the next room soon enough.

Other passions I found were completely new, like Yoga. Practicing yoga, meditating, and deep-breathing settled my mind and stabilized my energy. It opened my senses and offered a self-awareness I hadn’t realized existed. Nothing opens you up more than a deep fire-breathing dragon pose after you’ve injured your groin years ago during childbirth. Nothing.

But I digress.

My entire 2011 was based on a single premise of reconnecting with myself. Loving myself and the world around me. Finding passion in who I am rather than looking at anyone else or honoring their needs first. Well, everyone else besides my children.

That single one little word helped me make little choices everyday that summed up to great rewards. Time to choose another.

2012 | The Dead Tree

Earlier in the year, Hurricane Irene decimated one specifically large tree in the ravine next to my home. The tree was once tall and beautiful with huge roots growing into the riverbed underneath and the tips of its leaves high as the eye could see. Now it looms over the grass in my front yard, lopsided with tips near to the ground and exposed roots barely clutching the soil.

I thought for sure it was a-goner so I called the city to have it removed. When the workers arrived, they did an amazing thing: they simply pruned the tree. They sheared off the parts touching the ground and nurtured the few remaining areas clinging to life. They were careful to only snip limbs which absolutely had to go. And they treated this simple tree with love and care.

The tree ain’t dead. She’s certainly not youthful. Actually, she’s better.

2012 | Grow

The tree inspired my word for 2012: grow. I am the tree. I encountered one (more like two) of the strongest and longest storms of my life. The storm pulled at the very roots, the core, of my being. And I was nearly knocked off my foundation. But I managed to hang on.

The storm is over; a rainbow shines. I stand, pruned. And now I can grow again in a different direction with new winds to feel upon my branches. I’ve got new things to learn, new places to visit, and new people to meet. Time to grow.

Hey you, have a Happy New Year! What’s your word for 2012?

One Little Word

It’s never too late to choose one little word. For more inspiration visit:

Artistic Photo Masks + Oh Joy Template Album

A new year brings new additions to my product line-up! For 2012, I’ll offer distinctive and original masks, frames, and blend-able pieces in an effort to help you add more artistic depth to your layouts. Today, I’m offering Artistic Photo Masks Two & Three. Both sets are on sale today for 30% off thru December 29th, midnight PST.

I also released the entire album collection of  journalers, dates, and individuals templates from the Holiday Templates 2011 class. The Oh Joy Album Collection are all 30% off thru December 29th, midnight PST. Studiolist subscribers received a discount coupon for an additional 10% off the entire album. Check your Inboxes!

You can mix and match the single templates to build complimentary single pages or two-paged spreads. Each work well for holiday-related events or moments from any occasion.

I didn’t have a chance to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Visit again this evening for this week’s 52 Thursday Template download.

Cyber Monday Sale | Elegant December

Break out in your favorite Spongebob lyrics because it’s the best day ever! DHD celebrates their first ever “cyber monday” for 2011. We’re offering all of our Halloween, Fall & Christmas digital kits at a monster 40% off.

Whoa, Momma.

Elegant December Templates | New in my shop are an elegant arrangement of December templates. The temps are magazine-ish: loads of room for journaling/text, stand-out photos, and small areas for embellishments. A 31 day date stamp is included along with flourished ornaments and snow wisps. They are not part of the Holiday Templates 2011 class but I might use one or two in my album.

December WordArt One & Two | I’ve never been a fan of my handwriting and I’m happy I was born in the digital age of fonts. But every now and then, I need a word for a project and only my handwriting will do. So after much scolding by my digi-friends and the template team, I unshackled my penmanship. Hence my first ever handwritten word art sets! I hope you like them.

Once you’re finished enjoying Cyber Monday, chat with me at 2 PM EST, Monday the 27th at the Holiday Templates invitational webinar. See, I told you it was the best day ever! Now, I seriously cannot get that song out of my head.


Black Friday: Totally Rad Coupon

Hi ya peeps! You might remember my review of Totally Rad’s Radlab a few months back here. Well today, on Black Friday, is their annual HUGE sale! Their prices will not be as low until next year. And I’ve got a 15% off coupon you can use with your order for maximum savings. Enjoy the sale! Use code 1131BLACKFRIDAY at checkout to get your discount. Code expires at the end of their sale.

I’ll be back next week with a new 52 Thursday Template + some cool stuff, things, goodies — you know how we do it!


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