Archive for the ‘Team Inspiration’ Category

Around Here Lately {sale & inspiration}

Michelle Shefveland using ShapeBlends 1, This is Life 3 Scrap.Words

Happy Thanksgiving, all! What a wonderful year it has been and we have much to be grateful for. Around here we’ve been busy licensing our art, writing, and creating and wanted to share some inspiration with you. We hope you have been nurturing your creative spirits, too!

This fall, I was more than thrilled to see art from my Autumn 2015 Somerset Digital Studio article on the front cover. The 5-page article is an easy how-to (with lots of ideas, too) for those who want to delve into using Double Exposure apps on your mobile device, as well as using Adobe Photoshop/Elements. The magazine is a piece of art with so much to learn, too, and am honored to have written for Stampington for over 10 years now. Grab it on newsstands, too. It makes a fabulous gift for a digital enthusiast.



On the site, we are having our 13th Annual Thanksgiving Sale (new products 50% off, too). Wow! Most of Philip’s life and now he’s a college freshman. Do capture memories of your family and friends, as time passes so very quickly and those moments will be etched in our hearts even better when we have them etched in photos, journaling, and art. 🙂



Check out our team gallery for layout ideas and technique tips and tricks. Most of the team has been with us for eight years already, and some for all 12:) Two recents from Tonya and Rikki are below.

Tonya Regular using Autumn Love Pak

Rikki Donovan using Autumn Love Pak


Do you instagram? When time allows, I love to participate in challenges, especially those from #jj. This summer I posted a few and it’s really exciting when you get a shout out from them, like with my daffodil shot below. Mextures is my favorite iPhone app and #jj_mextures is a great place to be inspired by other creatives.

JJ_Mextures feature2


And what is inspiration nowadays without some Pinterest fun????? Here is some favorite color love.

Pinterest Color Love

Happy creating doing what you love! Michelle and Team

All Taped Up {how-to}


Layout credits: Everyday paper pak no. 17; Chevron Blends paper pak; Click.masks no. 26; Everyday paper pak 18; Word Travels InstaArt; Everyday paper pak no. 13; Nature’s Sketchbook Love Grows Element pak; Encouragement Art Journal page pak; Winged beauty element pak; Quiet of my heart page pak; Everyday Scrap.Words. Alles von Cottage Arts; Fonts: Appareo-Light, cattleyascript

Post by Rikki Donovan. Hi, Rikki here, to show you a great, non-destructive way to make digital tape look more realistic. I have started this layout and added a piece of tape from the Quiet of my Heart Page Pak beneath the torn paper on the right.


First give the tape a slight drop shadow. These are my settings:


Let’s show which paper is on top of the other, so you see which direction the tape is stuck on the paper. It goes from top right to bottom left.


To emphasize/show the edge of the paper underneath the tape you will use the dodge and burn tool on the Toolbar.


But before using dodge and burn you want to make sure your method is non-destructive. You create a layer above the tape, activate the new layer, ctrl+click on the tape layer so you see the marching ants around your tape and fill the empty layer above with 50% gray. That gray layer you set to Overlay blend mode. Now you cannot see the gray layer any longer.



The layers panel now looks like this


And the layout just like before


Now you ctrl+click on the paper that is on top to select it; you will see marching ants around it.


You activate the gray layer above the tape and choose the dodge tool. Here are my settings


You rather want to use low settings and repeat what you are doing instead of doing too much at once.

Now you dodge the tape along the ants within the selection, so that the side of the tape becomes slightly lighter.


Can you see the light edge to the right of the ants?

Now you invert the selection, so that the outside of the paper is selected (Shift+Ctrl+I) and choose the burn tool. My settings are like this


Here it is even more important to keep the settings low, otherwise you will end up with tape that looks just too dark to be real.

Now you burn the tape along the ants, this time on the other side, so the tape becomes a little darker.

Like so:


If you changed the blend mode of the gray layer to Normal it would look like this:


Now I treated my second piece of tape the same way and it looks like this:


And here the two tapes together.


Now with all the layers visible again, this is my page so far. Doesn’t this look much more realistic?


Remember, if you find your tape affect too much, just lower the opacity of the gray layer a little to suit your taste.

Here is a comparison of before and after


And this is my finished layout with a few more items and a title. Enjoy this simple yet useful technique!


Happy creating! Rikki and team

Scrapping your Vacation {tips}


Post by Tonya Regular. Earlier this year, my daughter and I met up with nine other close friends and vacationed in California for eight days.  It was the first time we had taken such a vacation and was a big deal for us, especially as we from Canada and it was the dead of winter! While planning the trip, I was really looking forward to scrapbooking all the pictures once the trip was over. Knowing how important it would be to preserve the memories this way, I tried to pay close attention to the moments I wanted to capture while we were there.

See details and supplies for Tonya’s vacation layouts in our gallery here.


We visited many of the tourist-type places.  California Adventure Land, Disneyland, San Diego Zoo, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Most of those places involved a lot of color and movement and I knew my camera wasn’t always capturing it the way I hoped (I have an older model and not a cool cell phone camera like our teenage companions). Also, my daughter was so excited and rarely wanted to stand still in that perfect pose for a shot. Usually, my pictures almost completely focus on her so this experience was good for me to expand my photo subjects – I captured places, things, buildings and I even got in lots of pictures myself!

Thankfully, one of my favorite scrapbooking styles is to use a big picture and play around with blend modes, photo effects and opacity. When using this style, the quality of the photo is not so important. Experimenting with a neutral (or even slightly patterned) background paper often helps bring out the colors in my pictures.


I have two scrapbooking goals for these vacation pictures.  One is to create some pretty, traditional pages using some of the Scrap Templates, Scrap Frames and various Page Paks with corresponding colors and elements to really play up the pictures. I decided not to stick with one page pak as there are so many with great colors and elements that I can pair up with my pictures. I’ll have these pages printed in a photo book with a cover that includes a group picture of our travel party.


My other goal is to print a second book that showcases even more pictures (I did take more than 2000) in a collage-type format. There are a number Scrap Templates that can accommodate multiple photos and these are so easy and simple to create. Scrap Templates 48 Page Layouts was used to create the “Disney Parade” page and I plan to fill a second book with pages of this style.

Looking through all the pictures and choosing the perfect ones to use on each page is so much fun and I’m enjoying the memory-preserving process almost as much as the actual memory-making trip!

Happy scrapping! Tonya Regular

Creative Edits for your Digital Stash {how-to}

michelle shefveland

Who doesn’t love discovering new skills using your digital art stash to make digital scrapbooking even more economical, uniquely you, and such fun?! Today we’ll share four simple customization techniques: selective re-coloring of embellishments/papers, rearranging word art, custom drop shadows, and blending of Click.Masks to complement your photos and design.

Many digital scrapbookers like to use a coordinating kit of papers and elements and keep colors as they are and add photos that complement those colors. That’s awesome! Others like to mix and match papers, elements, and word art from various kits and then part of their creative process fun is making them work together cohesively with a chosen photo or set of images (and many like to do some of both!). Here’s one example of that mix-n-match process for the layout above…


First off, I had chosen an iPhone photo of poppies and irises as the focal subject of my art. To this I added a World Travels 2 collage paper, torn paper Click.Mask, Love Grows Scrap.Word quote with butterfly, and butterfly trail. Kind of a hodge podge of unmatched stuff. But let’s see how fun it is to bring it all together.

Creative Recoloring 

The easiest and most common edit is probably re-coloring of papers. For this multi-patterned map collage paper I simply changed the overall hue -16 in Photoshop Elements (Ctrl-U for PC or Cmd-U for Mac shortcut) from tan to a warm salmon.

Next I changed the hue of the blue word art to plum (+67).

A bit more involved, but really useful, technique is selective recoloring. See the butterfly element? It was originally teal and gold and I wanted it plum and salmon. Hmmm…how do you do this? In two steps. With the first step, you do as above and make an overall color change to one of those colors. In this case, we made the center of the butterfly salmon. This made the outer part of the wings green.

OK. Now, the really fun part. Select Enhance>Adjust Color>Replace Color. Using the eye dropper selection tool in the Replace Color dialog (default selection tool) and your mouse, click on the color in the element you want to change. I clicked on the green in the wings. You have some leeway here on the amount of matching of that color with the Fuzziness slider. In the lower part of the dialog box play with the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness sliders to get your desired end color. For me, I set the Hue to +155 for a soft plum and now I have a beautiful complementary butterfly.

Rearranging Word Art

With word art you might love one of our quotes’ font work, but once you get your layout designed it might not lay out as you really want. With just a few steps in your image editor, you can quickly and easily rearrange most word art.  As I worked on this design in particular, the Click.Mask fit beautifully in the lower left square block. The word art in its original square footprint didn’t jive with this. I came up with the idea to cut it in half and rotate the bottom half so it wrapped around the photo at the top right. So easy to do.

Simply select the word art layer in the Layers Panel, select the Rectangular Marquee Tool and draw around the part you want to cut away with the mouse or your tablet’s pen tool.

Select Edit>Cut and then Edit>Paste and your selected word art will be moved to its own layer to move. I then rotated it 90 degrees right (Image>Rotate>Layer 90 Right) and with the Move Tool positioned it where I wanted it. Done! At this point you could also change the color or size of this portion of the word art for even more variation.

Custom Drop Shadows

Finally, as shown in detail in my custom shadow tutorial (using Photoshop Elements), I also opted to add a lifted drop shadow to the butterfly for more realism.

So, there you have it! A completely custom piece all your own. And lots of ideas to keep you scrapping for eons (ok…maybe that’s an exaggeration)! Here’s the final again:

Blending/Recoloring of Click.Masks

Another editing technique we have featured on the blog before is changing the color of our Click.Masks in order to enhance blending into the paper layer beneath. Featured in the layout below, I changed the color of the black painted Click.Mask to white, setting the blend mode to overlay and then clipping the photo to that click.mask. See a detailed how-to on our blog here. I also re-colored the word art to blue to complement my dress.

michelle shefveland

More Inspiration


Below, our team had fun recoloring and rearranging elements and papers for these pretty pieces. See layout details, including creative edits, in our gallery here.


Happy creating! Michelle and team

beth ervin

Tonya regular

beth ervin

beth ervin

rikki donovan

michelle shefveland

michelle shefveland

michelle shefveland

Loving our Moms {ideas}

beth ervin

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, and some of us recently losing our beloved Moms…our team created some special tributes to them.

May the memories and love of those no longer with you bring much peace, knowing they live within us always.

michelle shefveland

Layout details can be found in our Mom gallery here.

karen wilhelm

rikki donovan

michelle shefveland

michelle shefveland


Michelle and Team

Exciting New Partnerships {ideas & sale too}!

rikki donovan

Hello all! We’ve been busy around here the past many months with some exciting partnerships and wanted to share the news with you, too.

Many of our long-time followers will remember our partnership with Jasc/Corel that started 11 years ago. I was blessed to write a book for them in 2003, Scrapbooking the Digital Way, as well as license all our CDs for re-sale in their format. This wonderful relationship has been renewed, and we are excited to have a large collection of our art bundled with Corel PaintShop Pro Photo for special promotions. Stay tuned in their newsletter for future announcements.

Some may also know that I worked with Creative Memories in 2006-2007 to help develop their digital product/software division, as Creative Memories’ headquarters is here in St. Cloud. With their recent re-structure I have been able to again work with the co-creators of StoryBook Creator Software, Panstoria, and am selling our art in their shop in their proprietary format. More of our kits will be added weekly.

If Photoshop Elements is a bit overwhelming, give Artisan (their version of StoryBook Creator) a try! I am thrilled to again be a part of the software side of digital scrapbooking (using my technical degree) and look forward to seeing all Artisan will be in the upcoming versions.


melinda vermeer

And, the team has had creative fun mixing patterned papers and geometric shapes. See details and more layouts in our patterns and shapes gallery.

See our current sale in the shop on all purchases, for a limited time.

tonya regular

tonya regular

beth ervin

As always, keep learning and happy creating!

Michelle and team

Cardinal Christmas Freebie!

We recently released our Cardinal Christmas Collection and have a little freebie below for you made from it: a 4×6 Quick Page Photo Card (or frame cluster for your digital layout). Instructions are included in the zip file.

Here are some of the 2013 holiday art collection kits and layouts made with them from the team. Layout details in our gallery here.

And here’s some holiday Pinspiration from our curated collections. Click to enlarge.

Click here for FREEBIE download (3 mb png file). Enjoy!


Michelle and team

Creative Borders {ideas}

Ever make a scrapbook page and say, “there is something missing here, but I have no idea what?” Well it could be missing a border, or at least for me that’s often the case. Something that forms a decorative edge on your layout, giving it a balanced feel…something that draws your eye into the story of the page. You don’t have to use actual borders; you can use just about anything in your digital stash! With the new products in the shop this week, you can make a variety of unique borders for your art. Check out these simple ideas!!

rachel shefveland

Stack two papers on top of each other, with two edges of the bottom paper sticking out from beneath the top. Give the top paper a custom drop shadow to make it look realistic. This will give the scrapbook page a composition that draws the eye back towards the main focus of the page, instead of drifting off the side.

michelle shefveland

Lay the edge of a paper with complementary colors over one side of your layout like Michelle does below. It will look almost like a ribbon, and you don’t even have to add a drop shadow! But it doesn’t end there: On the same page, she also uses the bottom of a frame cluster from Scrap.Frames 28 as a border at the top. The two custom borders work beautifully to bring everything together as a cohesive layout.

michelle shefveland

You can do the same thing as above, but with all 4 sides of the paper showing, giving the layout a full border that keeps everything nicely balanced.

rachel shefveland

Use the edges of our Scrap.Journals for a chunkier border to fill a large space. This one includes a little word art, which gives it a double use – score!! Be creative and layer elements to get even more unique effects!

michelle shefveland

Below, Tonya creatively uses stitching and mini accents to make two opposing side borders, and an embellished ribbon to balance her travel journal page. So eye catching!

tonya regular. supplies

tonya regular. supplies

Enjoy more inspiration with these new product layouts and those in our creative team gallery! – Rachel & team

rachel shefveland

michelle shefveland

tonya regular

karen wilhelm

beth ervin

One Template = Endless Possibilities {ideas}!

tonya regular. supplies

My absolute favorite products to use when scrapbooking are templates. They’re already set up to be beautiful layouts, so all I need to add my photos and grab a kit or paper pak to match. SO simple. But the other fantastic part about them, is that you can move everything around, change the colors, add word art and additional elements, duplicate layers, remove layers, and completely transform them! That’s what our creative team did with this beautiful new set of templates made by Melinda. Introductory sale through Monday, September 2!

As you can see, just by using a different page pak, the templates take on a completely different look. So every time you use one, it’s like you have created a totally new layout. Don’t be afraid to mix and match kits to make something really unique! This first template is perfect for Project Life or Instagram photos!

beth ervin. supplies

melinda ver meer. supplies

rikki donovan. supplies

karen wilhelm. supplies

tonya regular. supplies

rikki donovan. supplies

Follow us on Pinterest for more digital art  and photography tips/inspiration!

Happy creating! Michelle and team

Capturing the Everyday with your Mobile Device {fave iPhone apps & new art}

Lots to share today! We just released 6 fun new everyday products (our newsletter with sale goes out Friday morning – check your inbox!), and the team’s been busy showcasing their summer memories with them.

One main reason most of us scrapbook is to remember the daily happenings in our lives…those little things that make our life ‘our life.’ Like what games we enjoy, what restaurants we like to go to, what activities our kids are in, how we spend our time, our hobbies, and on and on. Our mobile devices are with us when we are living out these moments and they make capturing them slick and easy.

With my iPhone 5 I use Camera+ as my camera app of choice. It allows me to select separate focus and exposure points via touch screen. Awesome! Our favorite go-to apps for editing on the iPhone and Rachel’s iPod Touch are Mextures, VSCO Cam, Snapseed, and PicTapGo. And then we use Dropbox or email to get the images onto our computer where we can play with them and our art.

Here Rachel shares snippets of her week using her iPod shots blended with our newest Click.Masks 40.

She gave the two layouts’ photos more depth using Snapseed’s Tilt Shift function (a type of selective focus blur effect mimicking a shallow depth of field). This works for these images since they were all shot at eye level and have a foreground and background. Here one before and after:

Here’s how to achieve the effect in in Snapseed:

Open Snapseed app (available for Apple or Android)

Open photo

Scroll along bottom and select Tilt-Shift button

Four horizontal lines will appear. The blurred section will be between the two centermost lines. To increase this space, press two fingers on screen and spread them outward. Press Apply when satisfied. Note: you can rotate the lines to rotate the direction of the blur, as well.

That’s it! Press save. Share to your desktop via preferred method (Dropbox, email, etc).

With this next layout, she captured a fun birthday meal at a local eatery. Since it was shot from above, everything is on the same plane and a Tilt Shift effect would not be recommended. Another great everyday design element is to take photos of road signs, city signs, restaurant logos/menus and use them on your pages.

While on our recent vacation to Montana, we made fast friends with the neighboring horses. I always had my iPhone with me when going for walks and this beauty, in particular, loved posing! A quick moody edit in VSCO Cam and the photo was ready for making a poster. For a unique design twist, I layered our new Everyday Art Journal Cards 2 all over the landscape background, using Multiply blend mode within Adobe Photoshop Elements (Photoshop and Corel Paint Shop Pro would give same results). It gives a fun patchwork texture effect without being overpowering.

Here are how some of the layers are stacked and blended (click to enlarge):

Rikki loves using our Scrap.Templates and Scrap.Frames with her iPhone/ Instagram shots to quickly share her everyday moments. She says she is now completely addicted to Instagram!

These are just a few of the ways our mobile devices and apps make everyday digital scrapbooking even more fun!

And see our Everyday gallery for layout details and more of our newest inspiration by the team!

Happy creating! Michelle and team

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