November 30, 2010

Life with Liz - Advent Calendar Challenge

Can you believe December 1st is tomorrow? For most of us things get pretty crazy in December. All those parties, Christmas shopping, wrapping, cooking, decorating, etc.... I've been thinking a lot lately about making Christmas time in our household more intentional, taking time to enjoy it, taking time to do special things with my girls, taking time to really understand the true meaning of Christmas. Not the crazy, hectic, materialistic side. So what I've decided to do this year is make an advent calendar and what I'm going to do is try to capture those special moments in December, whether it be a tradition that we always do, maybe it will be something new, maybe it will simply just reading a special Christmas Story book or parts of the Christmas story from the Bible. I'm going to take pics of these events every day and fill in my advent calendar with 1 pic each day. I really want to remember these moments with my family.
What I've done to make it even easier for me is I've already made my page. So all I'll have to do is put the pic in each day! I used my Advent Calendar Template and a kit from Vera Lim called Be Merry. Oh and a bunch of different alpha/numbers I had in my stash (aren't alphas wonderful?)...they are all from Scrap Orchard.  So here you can see, my page is already made and ready to go.
Plus I made a 2nd page just so I would have a little place to put some journaling about each day/pic. I matched the alpha that I used for each day and I have a simple little journaling block by each number that I can edit each day. So now that both of my pages are ready all I have to do is remember to take a pic of something special each day, add it to my page and then journal a simple sentence about it.
And since the Advent Calendar Template in my store does not include the 2nd page (an afterthought), I thought I would give it to you so you can join me in my challenge. So if you haven't already gotten my Advent Calendar Template go ahead and grab it. Here's a coupon for 25% off: swl_actemp25
And then grab the 2nd page for FREE here! *download expired
I thought I would show you what some of my team has done with this Template & Challenge. Tiff took the Advent Calendar Template and used it for pics from last year. She made a double layout about her Christmas Memories. It was fun reading her Christmas stories. Something I'm sure her family will treasure. 
 Then Ellie resized the template and is using it as a hybrid advent calendar. She decorated each day and is cutting the different days so she can open up the "windows" and put a photo in each day. She's got it all ready to go and all she has to do is slip the photos in. 
 
I'm going to try and keep you updated (probably through my facebook fan page) on my pics and journaling throughout the month.

So will you join us in this challenge? Let's preserve all those memories of Christmas and let's help our families and others understand the true meaning of Christmas. Post a comment here and let me know if you are going to join me in this challenge and then at the end of the month link me up to your layouts. I may even show your project on my blog and if I do there might just be a little something special for you!


November 28, 2010

Hybrid Fun!!!

Hello! Helen here to bring you a little hybrid post using some of Liz's Christmas templates. But first, I hope all of you (who celebrate it) had a wonder(full) Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends! I know I have so much to be thankful for.....if I started counting my blessings I would not finish for hours.
Now, on to the hybrid talk. Many people shy away from hybrid because they think things have to be perfect!!! And trust me, when you first start out doing it, you most likely will have little goofs here and there on each project until you start to hone your skills. I forewarn you, I am still in the "honing" process with my skills.....but I trudge on.....showing my imperfections in hopes I will convert another person who has a huge stash of traditional scrapbooking supplies collecting dust in a room somewhere.
I made three little projects today. I started off making an ornament using the kit, Ornaments & Stocking Templates shown to the side (and linked to Liz's store)
I chose this template from the pack.
Next, I found a Christmas kit I liked from my stash called Heartfelt Christmas by Faith True at Scrap Orchard. As you can see below I eliminated the thin, red circle frame from my design. For these I basically chose 2 papers and one element from Faith's kit and clipped/layered them on to Liz's ornament. I added a metal style to the topper to make it more realistic. After I was satisfied with my design I created a new workspace in my PSE program, 8.5"x11", and I added my ornaments to the new workspace for printing on to white cardstock.
I wanted a nice, 3-D effect so I also took both felt pieces in the center of each ornament (tree & flower) and also added it to another 8.5"x11" workspace so I could cut them out and place them on top of the ornament with pop dots. Here is my other workspace showing various elements from my projects. I try to get as many elements on one sheet just as good practice in case I ever have to send out for printing to an outside source.....since they charge by the sheet :)
After printing & cutting out my ornaments & the tree & flower elements I began to assemble. My initial plan was to have TWO finished ornaments. One with the tree showing on both sides and one with the flower showing on both sides of its' own ornament. However, I boo-boo'd and when my designed ornaments printed the ones on the right side of the page were cut off. Therefore, I changed my plan to ONE ornament with a tree on one side & a flower on the other. See? You just have to be flexible & creative.
Here are both sides after I added some embossing powder/glitter. The ribbons at the top cover up yet another gawdy mistake while trying to hollow out the hole for the loop where the hook generally goes.
Next, I set out to make two cards. One is completely digital while the other has some hybrid added in. I chose to use Liz's Christmas Card Temps seen here in this preview.
The all digital card I chose was this little beauty.....
The kit I used for this card is the November Mega, Baby It's Cold Outside, at Scrap Orchard. I clipped my papers to start with. I changed the Season's Greetings to Merry Christmas and added some more text and something that looked like a personal signature.
I wanted the option to add a photo so I cut out a spot for that on the left side and added my frame. I then moved on to the elements and printed! The only thing I did, which you may have a hard time seeing, was added some sheen to the card with a Spray Mist in pearl white. I love the added effect it gives my card.
My next card is more hybridy. Is that even a word? This is the template I started with for the next card from the same template set as above.
My kit choice here is Candy Cane Christmas by SuzyQ Scraps at Scrap Orchard. I actually designed the entire card (including the ornament you see in the finished project) but I removed the ornament and left this as my base on which to build on. For my base I simply added the white background paper & some red paper was clipped to the border/2010 and I changed the font color to match that same paper. I then added a bevel to all of it for an embossed look. That is hard to see in the photo but it is there.
Once again you see my 8.5"x11" workspace with the rest of my ornament pieces for this card. I printed this page and cut out my pieces.
After cutting out the pieces I began to glue my ornament on using both regular glue tape AND some pop dots for added dimension. I did not like all the space left in the upper right quadrant of the card so I dug through my stash and found these Christmas flowers from my traditional scrapbooking days. I added a brad in the center and glued them to the card. Normally I am fine with negative space but not this time, lol. I added some sheen mist to this card as well. I am a bit addicted to that little bottle of prettiness!!!
Here is another view from the side to show you the dimension of the ornament using the pop dots to adhere it to the card base.
And there you have it. Three little projects that will make a big impact on those that receive them. I hope you enjoyed the post and that maybe....just maybe....I have inspired you to try your hand at hybrid despite the potential for errors along the way. After all, that is what the embellishments are for!! Have a great week everyone.
~Helen~

November 18, 2010

Ornaments, Stockings, Trees, an Advent Calendar & a FREEBIE - New Releases!

Liz has been super busy this week creating festive goodies for you! I love each and every one of them! And guess what?! Liz has an AWESOME buy one get one free offer for you! Check this out...


That's right! Buy the Tree and Present Templates and you'll get the Ornament and Stocking Templates FREE!! Here's this weeks new releases...
All of these are 20% off for one week only! Here's what the CT has done with them so far, I know there are a few projects in the works which will be shown to you at a later date!
By Caits - Using the Tree and Present Templates
By Carrie1977 - Using the Tree and Present Templates
By HeatherKate - Using the Tree and Present Templates
By Ellie80 - Using the Ornament & Stocking Templates

And here's your freebie from Liz! Just click on the image to download!
Here's a reminder of what's coming up next week!!! Farmers Market over at Scrap Orchard! That's right, tons of goodies for $1.  Liz even has a set of new masks coming out that you'll be able to get for $1 along with over 20 of her older products that will also be $1. So be sure to check that out next week. It starts Nov. 25 and runs through Nov. 29.


Thanks for stopping by!
Ellie :)

November 17, 2010

Life with Liz - I want to SCRAP!

I know I'm a bit late for Tuesday's regular scheduled post. Sorry! I hope you don't mind but tonight I'm just going to show you some pages I just finished. I've been in the mood to scrap. Wait, aren't I always in the mood to scrap? Well, tonight I didn't care about anything else that needed to get done (including this blog post...oops, did I say that out loud?) By golly, I wanted to scrap and nothing was going to stop me! So here are the pages I made. I had snapped some pics of my daughters raking leaves (and their reward of an ice cream bar) a couple of days ago. Don't you just love my daughter's outfit for raking? Complete with butterfly wings.


I used my Zine Style Templates and Dear Diary by Tracie Stroud and Vera Lim. I took my zine style template and duplicated and moved a few photo squares around so that I could make a double pager. I know it's very simple....but I like it. Hope you do too.

 

November 14, 2010

Tutorial - Grouping Layers

Hi, it's Tiffany here. I'm bringing you a little tip that you might find helpful when you create your layouts. This tip is only for Photoshop, but there is an alternative (although not as versatile) option for PSE.

When I make my layouts I usually do not rename my layers. I place items in my page by dragging them in, and Photoshop automatically names them "Layer #" and that's fine for me most of the time. But lately I have started naming some of my layers and even taking things a step further, by grouping layers together. Grouping makes sense for a bunch of layers that go together as a unit - like the letters that form a title or the elements in a cluster. In this layout, I grouped the little cluster of flowers together:


First, here is how you group layers: You need to multiple select all the layers you want to group together (by either Shift-clicking or Ctrl-clicking). Then drag your selection down to the little symbol that looks like a file folder.


This creates a new Group layer, and all of the layers have been collapsed into a single line. You can give the Group your own name if you like. I called mine "cluster."


I love that the layers have been reduced to a single line. Since they are all a functional group, I don't really need all that space being taken up in the Layer Palette. It makes scrolling through much easier.

If you make the Group the active layer, you can move the entire group around with the move tool. In my layout, I liked the little cluster I had made, but wasn't sure where I wanted to place it. With the Group feature, I could move the entire cluster around without having to multiple select all the layers.

You can click the Group's eye symbol to make the entire group disappear - you don't have to go and make each layer invisible by hand. I've used this when I have made two titles with alternate alphabets, and was trying to decide which I liked better. I could toggle the visibility of the title all at once.

For me, the best part about Grouping layers is that it does not "lock" them together. You can still very simply go in and modify a single one of the layers. All you have to do is expand the Group (by clicking on the little triangle) and all the individual layers will appear again, below the group layer. You can go and move a single layer around now, without effecting any of the others. And then when you are done, you can collapse it again - by clicking on the little triangle.


(In the Layers Palette, the grouped layers are slightly indented in the list, to signify they belong to the group.)

Besides grouping titles and clusters, I've also used it for layouts with multiple photos - once I was happy with the photos I grouped them all, and then I could more easily focus on embellishments, without needing to scroll past all the photo and clipping mask layers.

In PSE, the Group feature is not available, but you can Link layers together. This "locks" the layers together so that if you try to move one of the layers, they will actually all move together. It is similar to Grouping but with less versatility.

To Link in PSE, multiple select all your layers and then right-click over the Layers Palette and choose Link Layers (also available through the menu command Layers -> Link Layers)


A little chain-link symbol will appear on each of the layers to signify that it is linked.

If you want to make the layers invisible, you have to click the eye symbol for every single layer. You CAN go back and move a single layer by itself, but you first must select all the linked layers, and then unlink them, and then you can manipulate the individual layers again. But then they aren't linked anymore. So you would have to go and select and link again if you wanted them linked. You cannot collapse the layers down to a single line with linked layers.

There is a feature in PSE called "group" but it is equivalent to what is called a Clipping Mask in Photoshop.

I hope you find this tip useful. It isn't something that I do in every single layout I make, but I have been finding my self using it more frequently. I think it just makes things a bit more organized, and when you've got 30 or 40 or more layers that's really helpful.

Keep your eye here on the blog for more tips and tricks coming your way each month!

November 9, 2010

Life with Liz - Emmie's B-day!

First off I want to say that I have the best fans ever! You made this DSD weekend so much fun for me. Thank you for playing along with my games in the forums, for all your beautiful layouts in my gallery, and for making handing out coupons sooo much fun!
DSD wasn't all I was celebrating this weekend. It was also my daughter's birthday last week.  Friday night we had a birthday party for her. She's been really wanting to have a sleepover but she just turned 6 and most of her friends and cousins are younger then her and they aren't quite ready for a sleepover (or maybe it's me that's not quite ready for her to have a sleepover). So we had a mock sleepover. Everyone came wearing their PJ's, we had b-day cake, and everyone grabbed a pillow and blanket and watched Toy Story 3.....and when it was done everybody got to go home. :-)
I participated in the Make Mine a Double challenge to help get me going on this page. I used my Fall Fun Temps & Faith True's kit How Old Are You.
Here it is put together. 
And in case you are wondering if I made her awesome Toy Story b-day cake, no I didn't! That would be my awesome sis....she makes cake and I scrapbook!


November 4, 2010

DSD Sale! Freebies, Give Aways and More!


It's DSD weekend and of course I'm having a big sale! 30% off everything in my store....but that's not all folks....keep reading.

1. There's a free template below for you to grab....but wait, be sure to read on because you definitely want to see how you can win more free stuff this weekend.

2. For every new page you make with one of my templates and upload to my gallery over in the Scrap Orchard gallery you'll be put in a drawing to win a $25 coupon to my store! Must be uploaded between 11/4-11/7. Drawing will be done on 11/7.

3. Be sure follow me on facebook and twitter to see other RAK's I will be handing out...you never know what it might be!

Okay, I think that is it. I wanted to keep it short and sweet for you so you can get to the sales and do some scrapping.

Oh and Scrap Orchard is having a FWP....if you spend $10 you'll get a free kit....you can read yesterday's blog post to see the FWP ad.

Here's the freebie you've been waiting for!
Download is Expired.

Mixin Up the Templates & Christmas Card Templates

Hey all! Ellie here to show off Liz's new releases for this week! I have two awesome new products to show you as well as some news on DSD at the bottom of this post - it's all exciting!! Here we go...

By Carrie

By Heather

By Helen

By Sarah

By Sarah

By Sarah

By Tiff
Next up Liz has some fab templates to make your Christmas cards super easy this year...
By Carrie

By Sarah


Now I don't know about you but I'm all excited for Digital Scrapbooking Day! The fun has already started over at Scrap Orchard there's a sale going on which means you can already save 30% on this weeks new releases!
And not only that, you can come away with a FREE kit by the Scrap Orchard designers!!
Be sure to come back tomorrow as Liz will have a speciall DSD freebie for you!!
Enjoy your weekend!
Ellie :)
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