Happy iNSD, Freebie, & Die Cut Fun

Hello to all you scrappers, I wish you all a very happy interNational Scrapbooking Day!

iNSD Journal Card made with Freebie Die Cut digital card templates for digital scrapbook, pocket scrapping, project life by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

International Scrapbooking Day, or iNSD, is one of two annual scrapbooking celebrations (the other is Digital Scrapbooking Day in the fall). One thing I enjoy about iNSD is that it’s a day to celebrate both digital and paper scrapbooking, so for me it’s a fun reminder to check out what my fellow scrappers are up to over in the land of paper scraps. I got my start with paper scrapbooking, but I only did pocket scrapping back then. I feel so inspired when I see the magical creations people make out of real physical paper, and get all, “How did they do that? And all with no ‘undo’ button? Look, real shadows, wow!” And then I want to go figure out how to make it digitally, which is sometimes easier and sometimes much more complicated.

Recently I’ve been coming across some gorgeous paper layouts online featuring elaborate die cut backgrounds, often combined with a “paper pieced” look using patterned papers behind the die cut shape. I love this bold, geometric look, and thought it would be fun for us digital scrappers to get in on the action! Creating these geometric patterns requires some math and plenty of attention to detail – luckily that stuff is fun for me (I’m a nerd, what can I say?) so I felt inspired to whip up a few templates so we can have our own “digital die cuts.” These Die Cut Templates released on Pixel Scrapper today. I’ve been having so much playing with them, and I can’t wait to see what you guys make with them!

Die Cut digital layout page templates for digital scrapbooking by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

I also have a digital die cut gift for you today, a fun little freebie to celebrate the holiday and our shared love of scrapbooking. Use these die cut pocket cards to commemorate the day – perhaps along with a screenshot of an overstuffed and heavily discounted shopping cart at your favorite online scrap shop? Click the preview to download.

Freebie Die Cut digital card templates for digital scrapbook, pocket scrapping, project life by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Something I love about these die cut templates is that they have a kind of magic to them that feels different than the average template. The die cutting process sometimes has the look of something revealed (like in the Scrap Scrap Scrap card above – wouldn’t it be pretty with glitter or foil behind the cut-outs?), and sometimes has a look reminiscent of paper-piecing in quilt making (like my layout below, using the Scales template). Die cut templates can be a way to feature a bunch of beautiful papers without things looking too busy or out of control.

Here’s some delicious die cut inspiration from the Scrumptiously creative team!

Sometimes You Just Have To Wait layout by Violet using Die Cut digital layout page templates for digital scrapbooking by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Kaleidoscope Night layout by Violet using Die Cut digital layout page templates for digital scrapbooking by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Oh Benji layout by Paddy using Die Cut digital layout page templates for digital scrapbooking by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Wildflowers layout by Violet using Die Cut digital layout page templates for digital scrapbooking by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Layout by Emily using Die Cut digital layout page templates for digital scrapbooking by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

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Resistance = Love

Free “Resistance = Love“ digital art protest marchers carrying signs with words of resistance, downloadable freebie for art journaling, digital scrapbooking, planner decorating

Welcome to my stop on the March 2018 Pixel Scrapper “Love Knows No Borders” blog train! As soon as I saw this month’s theme and palette I knew exactly what I wanted to create. I had a vision of a collection of people, created using the wonderful soft colors of the blog train palette, all holding signs with words of love and resistance.

As a scrapbooker, as a designer, and as a human, I feel like I am currently living in two parallel worlds. I feel drawn to making art that is fun and uplifts me, or art that feels poignant and expresses something about my experience in the world whether that is happy or wistful or thoughtful or complex. What I don’t want to do right now is make art about how worried I am, how often that worry slips into terror, or, sometimes even worse, into numbness. I can’t make art about how my heart is breaking seeing my communities devastated in a dozen ways, about how my brain is breaking under all the lies and misdirects, how helpless I feel when a mass shooting, something that once made the whole country reverberate for months and years with shock and mourning, now happens every other day.

I remember the grief I felt after Columbine, after Charleston, after Orlando. I remember how I walked around for days in a haze of shock and pain and disbelief. If I allowed myself to feel that now after every shooting I would be completely non-functional; I would be in a puddle on the floor.

So I scrap about making sushi and hanging out with my family, about celebrating birthdays and my 10 favorite things from the month. I scrap about my best friend and his wonderful boyfriend and how happy I am for them to be getting married soon, not about the tides of hate surging around women, queer people, disabled people, immigrants, and people of color. I scrap about getting older and the unexpected gifts it brings, not about being disabled and in constant dread that I’m about to lose health insurance and life will go back to how things were for me before Obamacare, when for a decade I was brutally ill with zero access to insurance, only this time around I’ll be ten years older…

I think it’s ok that for now my art lives in a separate place. I think it’s ok that, with a few exceptions, a future historian looking back at my memory keeping from this time would have no idea what was going on in the country, or the churn of fear and anxiety going on inside me. It’s good for me to have an outlet that brings me joy and commemorates the sweet parts of life that continue even now. (In fact, wanting to intentionally document moments of sweetness during the hardest of times is how I got into scrapbooking in the first place, back in the years when I was so sick with no health insurance.)

I also think it’s ok that my work as a designer exists in this parallel world. Not everyone who scraps with Scrumptiously designs is living in the middle of a social and political meltdown, and not everyone who lives in the same country I do feels the way I do about what’s happening. I’ve never encountered any scrapbooker who wasn’t a compassionate and open-hearted person, whatever their worldview, and I want my designs to be there to facilitate self-expression for anyone and everyone who wants to use them. (With the obvious exception that I would be sad if someone created something I perceived as hateful using my designs, but, as I said, I’ve never yet met a scrapbooker who didn’t have a huge and kind heart, so that seems pretty inconceivable.)

And, with all that being said, sometimes these two worlds do come together in a way that feels natural and good, and that’s what happened for me when this blog train theme and palette bloomed in my brain. And so I present to you my blog train offering, Resistance = Love. [Download links are down below the second preview.]

Free “Resistance = Love“ digital art protest marchers carrying signs with words of resistance, downloadable freebie for art journaling, digital scrapbooking, planner decorating

This mini-kit comes with seven people, ready to go out and change the world. Each person comes holding a blank sign, and then there’s a pack of 16 sign messages in two fonts each so you can choose what the sign says (and of course you can put your own words on the sign just as easily). There’s even a separate pack of the same messages that come tilted for the person with the scarf and tilted sign. All but one of the seven people also comes in a version without a sign, so these figures can be used for other types of layouts as well. (You’ll notice there are only six people in the previews – there are so many more people I want to make, with different bodies and gender presentations and so on, that I keep working on more, and I finished one more in time to include here. She’s in a wheelchair with shoulder-length light-colored hair, wearing a pink knit hat, shorts, a tank top, and sneakers.) Each figure’s clothing and hair is made using blended art papers, and I am including those papers in this kit as well. Figures and papers are together in one download.

Free “Resistance = Love“ digital art papers, downloadable freebie for art journaling, digital scrapbooking, planner decorating
Both download links are for the SAME materials, you only need to choose one. I provide the Mediafire one just in case the direct download Dropbox link is not available due to high traffic.

Direct download link (may not be available due to bandwidth overage):
DOWNLOAD RESISTANCE = LOVE
Mediafire link:
DOWNLOAD RESISTANCE = LOVE

I hope that you will find a use for this heartfelt offering. I created it to inspire myself, and saw that my art and my worries can intersect, but that sometimes in that intersection I will find hope and strength and resilience.  I share it with you in case it speaks to you, as a way to express some part of your experience right now, or as a set of pretty, dreamy figures and papers for making pretty art about anything.

Be sure to check in with the rest of the stops on the “Love Knows No Borders” blog train, it looks like there are some fantastic treats to be found along the way!

So, wow, 2017.

2018 Album Cover Image made with The Best Is Yet To Come digital scrapbooking kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper
2017 is over! A new year can begin. There’s a Cuban New Years tradition where you take a bucket of dirty water and throw it into the street as a way of tossing out the bad stuff from the past year so the new year can start clean. We’re lining up the buckets over at my place.

Last year I made the very jarringly themed (for many Americans, and I’m sure for many others besides, for their own reasons) “The Best Is Yet To Come” digital scrapbooking bundle, to be used for scrapping New Years layouts (um, is it New Year’s or New Years?) and 2017 album covers. I had already created it before everything went sideways. (I think the general consensus regardless of political affiliation is that very few Americans got what they’d hoped for from 2017).

But then I ended up feeling like the theme actually brought some hope with it, and in particular connected me with my favorite quote and personal guiding mantra, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” King’s quote grounds me back into faith and patience.

MLK quote card is part of The Best Is Yet To Come digital scrapbooking kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

In that spirit, I’ve updated The Best Is Yet To Come 2017 with a 2018 supplement. I hope the theme will do its little part to support us as we work to create a more just world, which I believe we can move towards in part by listening to each other from a place of deep compassion and open-heartedness. In 2018 I want to do less talking and more listening, as much as possible to voices that don’t often get to be heard.
Best Is Yet To Come 2018 digital scrapbook, project life, pocket scrapping kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

I’m still kind of flummoxed by making previews and couldn’t find a way to fit all the pieces of this supplemental kit in without messing with the elegance of the metallics, on the one hand, or not really displaying the yummy blues and purples. So I copped out and made several previews. That’s ok, right?

Best Is Yet To Come 2018 digital scrapbook, project life, pocket scrapping kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

One of my favorite things in this 2018 update is a rad triangle template, perfect for year in review layouts (there are 12 rectangles, so you could put a photo from each month in one half of the triangle pairing and a paper or journal card in the other) and 2018 album covers. I used it to make my 2018 album cover. I’m really happy about how many people are such a part of my day-to-day life that I feel like they’re integral to my story and belong on my album cover. I’ve intentionally cultivated close relationships outside of my partner and family, which I love because different parts of me are fed by connection with different people. Seeing all these smiling beloved faces brings me a lot of joy.

2018 Album Cover Image made with The Best Is Yet To Come digital scrapbooking kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Best Is Yet To Come 2018 digital scrapbook, project life, pocket scrapping kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

I’ve made a little gift for you guys, to wish you all a happy new year filled with peace, enjoyment, and movement towards a more just world. The textured version shown above of my “The arc of the universe…” journal card can be found in the BIYTC 2018 Supplement kit. But I wanted to make these words available to scrappers who may not be pocket scrappers, crafters who may not be scrappers, and people who may not do any digital crafting at all. The freebie download includes an untextured 4in x 6in version of the card on a plain white background, perfect for printing and framing, and a transparent PNG version so you can put it on whatever background you like.

Because this is a blog freebie I’m releasing it under a Personal Use only license, so please don’t use the imagery for any commercial purpose. The one possible exception is if you want to use it in some way related to funding a good cause, in which case send me an email and let’s talk that over.

Freebie MLK printable from The Best Is Yet To Come 2018 digital scrapbook, project life, pocket scrapping kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

DOWNLOAD 2018 JUSTICE FREEBIE

In the Pocket – Pocket Scrapping Sampler Blog Train Freebie

Did you know I was originally brought on to Pixel Scrapper to be the pocket scrapping designer? True story. It was pretty much the only type of scrapping I did, and my first-ever design offering, for the Pixel Scrapper February 2013 “Retro Kitchen” blog train, was a huge batch of  journal cards and papers. Marisa, the site owner and main designer at Pixel Scrapper, wanted to expand into offering pocket scrapping/project life designs and after we’d known each other a while from my participation in a bunch of blog trains and as a student in her Designer Basics course, she asked me to come on board.

My first kit for Pixel Scrapper, Bright Days, was completely designed for people doing pocket scrapping. It was the pocket scrapping kit I would have wanted to scrap with. Bright Days had title cards, journal cards, and filler cards. It had papers (for pocket page backgrounds and coordinated DIY pocket cards), alphas, flair, stamps, washi tape, and a ton of labels. When I sent it to my creative team to work with, I asked them if there was anything else they’d like to see in the kit. They said it would be helpful to have a little more dimension added to the kit, stuff like wood veneer items (stars, hearts, arrows, numbers), sequins, glitter spills, buttons, staples, etc. So I added a small element pack to the kit (and went right up to the limits of my ability, at the time, to design dimensional items). 

Bright Days pocket scrapping collection by Scrumptiously on Pixel Scrapper

My next kit was Pocket Basics, Vol. 1. This was a big bundle of stuff for pocket scrappers; again, it was the sort of stuff I myself wanted to have on hand for my pocket pages. Tons of templates (with the then-in-vogue rounded corners on the pocket spots), photo overlays with days of the week and frames for captioning, date stamps, and a set of alphas, papers, and journal cards in neutral colors to coordinate with any page.

Pocket Basics pocket scrapping supply bundle from Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Around this time, I started to notice there were very few people doing pocket scrapping in the Pixel Scrapper gallery. My original creative team even stopped pocket scrapping! So then things got a little weird in my brain. Part of me was still designing for myself, the pocket scrapper. And part of me wanted to design for the Pixel Scrapper community, to make designs people would want to scrap with.  Even though I knew that one of the points of bringing in a pocket scrapping designer was to attract new pocket scrappers to the site with more offerings to interest them, I couldn’t seem to keep myself from visualizing my audience as the current PS members. (Interestingly, around this time Marisa actually started her pocket scrapping project that she has now done successfully for the past several years, and created many wonderful pocket scrapping resources along the way.)

Trends were also changing in the pocket scrapping world. Back in the early days of Project Life, most pocket scrappers would get one kit and scrap their whole year with it. Back when I started there only was one Project Life kit to choose from! Then PL started publishing more and more kits, and people started to mix it up more, maybe using one kit for a few months, then switching to another. Now there are more Project Life and pocket scrapping kits than I can count. Rather than a single kit with enough cards in that palette and theme to scrap a whole year, most people mix and match from a variety of kits, or use a kit to do just one pocket-page spread. Pocket layouts have gotten more elaborate and layered over time as well.

My next kit, Already There, reflected my having a foot in both worlds. While making the kit, I taught myself tons of new techniques and grew my skill in the dimensional-elements department. Already There has four packs of journal/filler/title cards, but I think it’s also much more flexible in terms of being suitable for both pocket pages and traditional layouts. It even has stuff like word art that, given its size and proportions, is clearly intended to go on a 12×12 page rather than in a pocket.

Already There kit for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapping by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Hmm… you know, I started this post feeling like I’ve drifted away from designing for pocket scrappers, but as I review my contributions to Pixel Scrapper perhaps that is not as true as I think. My favorite Project Life-brand kit of all time is Rain by Nisa Fiin, and when I hold my work against this example I am clearly spending a lot of time designing non-pocket-specific items. Rain consists of papers and title cards, filler cards, and journal cards with lots of room for actual journaling, in 3×4 and 4×6 sizes. That’s it, nothing else. It was created back when PL kits contained enough variety to use throughout the whole year.

However, when I look at what I’ve created since I started designing for Pixel Scrapper, I see I haven’t actually strayed that far from my roots. My most recent kit, The Best Is Yet to Come, contains loads of papers and elements for traditional scrapping, but it also has 80 pocket cards. My contribution to the recent Cozy Day designer collaboration was three sets of pocket cards, with every card design offered in three sizes. In fact, all my collaboration contributions have included pocket cards and other items intended for pocket scrapping, like these date tags from the Good Day collaboration.

Good Day date tags for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapping by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

So here we are now at In the Pocket, our first pocket scrapping-specific blog train! One of my New Years resolutions this year was “no more design projects with deadlines.” Every time I have a design project with a deadline, I run myself ragged right at the end doing all the preview-making, uploading, etc. I don’t know how other designers aren’t burdened by this, I know it means I must be doing something the hard way, but it takes me HOURS and I usually end up staying up very very late. So for 2017 I decided to take a break from blog trains, not require myself to contribute to each designer collaboration, and not create any other themed works like The Best Is Yet to Come that really did need to be released on time at New Years. A bunch of 2017 title page cards would not make sense in April, you know?

So I didn’t even know until last night that we were doing a pocket scrapping neutrals-focused blog train this month! When I realized it I was super excited and knew I had to participate. What would have been AWESOME was if my next bundle, Pocket Basics 2, which is sooooo close to being finished [UPDATE: It’s finished!], had been ready to release in time for the blog train. I could have showered you guys with pocket scrapping supplies! But as I mentioned before it takes me ten million hours to actually get my designs from the “finished being designed” stage to the “ready to release on the site stage.” Plus, nothing has been QC’d yet, and that would have been a little sketchy. 😉 So…. instead I stayed up until 3 AM making you something new! I decided that since the whole Pocket Basics 2 bundle isn’t ready to release, I’d make you a sampler of the kinds of things that will be in it. Download is linked below preview (you only need to choose one) and you can read on for more detailed information about what’s inside.

Freebie

Direct download link (may not be available due to bandwidth overage):
DOWNLOAD IN THE POCKET SAMPLER
Mediafire link:
DOWNLOAD IN THE POCKET SAMPLER

Like Volume 1, Pocket Basics 2  is a big bundle of supplies created to support pocket scrappers. The trends have changed in pocket scrapping, and rounded corners have given way to square corners, so PB2 contains a ton of crisp square-corner pocket page templates like the one in the top left of the sampler preview. There are lots more photo overlays, some like the phrases and glitter swirls shown in the sampler which make cute stamps when put over a photo, and some the type you can use to put a frame or caption over your photo.

Freebie

One of the most often-requested items on the site is more card templates (I guess people are pocket scrapping after all? Or they use them for traditional or hybrid scrapping?). The journal card templates in Pocket Basics 2 allow you to take any kit and make coordinating journal cards to match the kit colors, which will means you can adapt traditional scrapbooking kits for pocket layouts. I’ve included a card template in this sampler, a fun “Current Faves” card. The card template is a fully editable layered file, which means you can change the colors, clip different papers to it, even download the free font I used (link included) and edit the text, if you have different favorites you want to document. (The text is also included as image layers, so there’s no need to download the font if you just want to use the wording as-is.)

Freebie

Remember earlier I was mentioning the Project Life Rain kit, and how it has everything I would want in a pocket scrapping kit? Well, that’s not quite true… the main thing I always want, with any pocket scrapping kit, are color-coordinated labels. I just can’t get enough of them! Labels are my favorite way to add captions and dates to photos, and to make a bit of journaling stand out on a card. Pocket Basics 2 has all kinds of labels, in all different shapes and sizes, and they’re in easy to use layered template form, so you can customize the color of the label border and even the label itself. I’ve given you two here in this sampler to play with. Try them out and perhaps you’ll agree with me about how satisfying it is to have labels perfectly matched to every kit. (By the way, just FYI, these labels and all the sampler designs are newly created for this blog train, there are no repeats in Pocket Basics 2.)

Freebie pocket scrapping template in three different styles for Project Life, pocket pages by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

I get the impression from reading the in-progress thread for this blog train that many people participating have not yet tried pocket scrapping. I hope this blog train will inspire you to give it a try and see how it feels! I decided for this sampler to provide the same layout template in three different pocket scrapping styles. Like all Documentarian templates, these three layout templates are deliberately arranged with more intuitive layer ordering than most similar templates – I find them much more usable than typical pocket scrapping templates which often have the pockets in no particular order in the layers palette. This template pack includes each pocket scrapping template in both layered TIF and PSD formats. I suggest using the layered TIFs if your program supports them because the file size is smaller; either way you can delete whichever version you won’t be using. Save that hard drive space!

The round-cornered one in tans and browns is in the style of the templates in Pocket Basics Vol. 1. The square-cornered one is an example of the style used in the layout templates Pocket Basics 2. (In other fun template news for Pocket Basics 2, it is my first template kit with the option of .PAGE format! If you’d like any of the sampler templates in .PAGE format, please let me know in the comments below.)

The grey and white one with the colored borders is in the style of one of my favorite project life scrappers, Kimberly Kalil. I love how colorful and fun her pages are, and for me they strike the perfect balance of layering, ornamentation, and font variety, which makes her pages look “interestingly busy” rather than “overwhelmingly chaotic.” I think the colored borders add great definition and interest to the the page. I have a couple of Kimberly-style templates already on Pixel Scrapper as well. Here’s a Kimberly-style layout of mine using my beloved Rain kit.

PS_5_20b

Well fifty trillion words later, that’s it from me. Maybe I could get my kits done faster if I spent less time writing blog posts! But you know I love it 🙂 I hope you enjoy this sampler and please let me know what you think!

Question for you: Given that my task is to focus towards making pocket scrapping kits, what would you like to see from me? Are you a traditional or hybrid scrapper who might find some particular types of pocket scrapping designs useful? If you’re a pocket scrapper, what are you looking for? Anything you want to share with me (in the comments here or you can email me directly) would be super appreciated. I really would like my designs to be useful for you. Otherwise I suppose I’ll just keep on making stuff I like and hope you like it, too!

Happy Digital Scrapbooking Day!

The first Saturday in November became a glorious day once I discovered the magical world of digital scrapbooking. I would spend all weekend hopping from blog to facebook to scrabooking store, downloading a cornucopia of freebies one to two files at a time over my painfully slow internet connection. One year I had a major paper to write over DSD weekend and I remember writing to my study buddy about what a huge conflict it was. (DSD won, of course, for the most part. Those freebies ain’t gonna stay free forever.)

I’m excited to have the chance to give back this year with a freebie of my own. I don’t know how many people will find their way to my blog during the DSD freebie-fest, since Pixel Scrapper doesn’t do any extra DSD promotions or festivities, but I’ll leave this up for a while and it can be the icing on your gigantic full-hard-drive freebie cake.

Free Printable Inspirational Poster from https://eversoscrumptiously.wordpress.com

What I have for you is a free printable poster that coordinates with my Already There digital scrapbooking and pocket scrapping bundle. I’m still completely loving both the mint & copper color palette and the theme of the kit, which is about slowing down, enjoying what you have right now, and resting in the knowledge that you are exactly where you need to be. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need a little reminder of this particular piece of wisdom, and what better way to do that than with sparkles!
Free Printable Inspirational Poster from https://eversoscrumptiously.wordpress.com
I was fairly dubious when printables first started popping up all over the web. My printer is good but not great so I wasn’t sure if the result would truly be of framable quality, and color printer ink is a precious commodity. I was especially suspicious of  posters with dark backgrounds, like this one I’ve made for you here. What a lot of ink to risk!

Then I came across a fantastic post by Kristi of the blog I Should Be Mopping the Floor. She tells us exactly what to look for in a high-quality printable, and shares that she gets her printables printed at a print shop, like Staples or Kinko’s. I ended up using Office Max and was super pleased with the quality and the price. Printing a poster like this one, which will fit on a regular 8 1/2 x 11″ piece of cardstock (or whatever paper you choose – another benefit of print shops is they have tons of paper choices), costs less than $1! When your frame costs more than your art, you know you’ve gotten a good deal.

Just click on the image above to download a ready-to-print, 300 dpi, 8×10 PDF of this poster, with no URL running across the bottom, of course. I hope this image, whether you use it digitally or in print, helps you remember that you are “Already There.”

Pixel Scrapper May Blog Train ~ Renewal

As soon as I saw the soft, vintage-feeling color palette for this month’s blog train combined with the theme, “Renewal,” I immediately thought of libraries! I love libraries – nearly every book I read I get through my city library. Libraries led me to think of books (I love books!) and things just kind of took off from there.

PS_May15_BTpalette

First I went a little wild at the library’s semi-annual book fair, which is held in a huge hangar-like pavilion. Table upon table of books, as far as the eye can see. I really wanted authentic library pockets and checkout cards to scan, and I found some great ones. The mini-kit I was planning to make ended up mushrooming into a full-size kit packed with art journal style and vintage ephemera. I’m still working on the kit, but for the blog train I wanted to share a fun template and quick page with you, to help you make pages about your favorite books, your books-I’ve-read list, or your books-to-read list!

As I often do when I’m making a kit, I was simultaneously making a layout so I could get a feel for how some of my designs worked together. This page documents my favorites from the books I read last year (I read a lot of fantasy and romance in 2014 – no judging! It was a stressful year, that’s my literary “comfort food.”). I had so much fun hunting online for book cover images and the page brings a smile to my face every time I see the familiar images of the books I enjoyed so very much.

layout_bestbooks

As my contribution to this month’s blog train, I am giving away both a quick page and a template. The quick page has empty spots so you can include your own book covers to document your reading – or I’m thinking it would be super fun to make a page documenting a kid’s favorite books over the years, or any number of other book-related layouts. The pocket template I created for this layout is perfect for folks who like to get a lot of photos on the page – 24 little square spots to stick your pics in! Download link is beneath the image.

preview_QP_template copy

You only need to choose ONE of these links:
Direct download from Dropbox
Mediafire Download (in case Dropbox is unavailable)

Happy reading, and happy book-documenting! If you’d like to check out the rest of the Pixel Scrapper May blog train – theme: Renewal – take a look at this thread.

Already There ~ A new kit & a freebie for you

My life is really, really good right now. I have two dream jobs, a secure and comfortable home, and incredible friends and family who love, support, and delight me. My health is better than it has been in years and I’m able to do so much more than I could five years ago that it’s hard to remember the years when I could barely get out of bed.

How does this relate to my new scrapbooking bundle, Already There? Well, there’s a bit of a story there.

One thing I’ve always seen as a gift of my long illness is that it taught me about boundaries and how to say no. Whether I said it with regret because I was too sick to do a yearned-for activity or with relief at skipping some perceived obligation, I became a pro at “No.” The people in my life were initially taken aback, but eventually the folks who stuck around came to realize that my developing forays into limit-setting opened up greater permission within them to set their own boundaries. I am definitely the friend to flake on in order to stay home and do some self-care. Far from taking it personally, I’ll be cheering you on.

But an interesting realization has been emerging over the past few months. By developing my ability to set boundaries in conjunction with learning to listen and care for my body, I never actually learned about other kinds of limitations. Like, you know, time. When you can only do about one significant activity a day, you don’t have to worry too much about schedule-juggling. And even people who are well still have physical limitations – there’s only so much you can ask even a healthy body to do without sleep and food and all that good stuff. (And as much as I’d like to be, I’m still a good distance  from “well.”)

Protect layout made with Already There digital scrapbooking kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

So recently I came to see that I don’t know how to say no to “good things.” If an opportunity for something good comes along, I figure, hey, I’m not stuck in bed so why not add it to the mix? And lately that’s been catching up with me and biting me pretty hard. But I couldn’t seem to stop – it felt like I had no mechanism for moderating my “yes.” I spent so many years feeling deprived, watching as so much of the richness of life passed me by. Some part of me feels like I’ve suffered enough, and like a loving and indulgent parent, I don’t want to deny myself any opportunity for enjoyment and growth.  I was telling a wise friend about this dilemma, and what he said to me was, “If you keep adding to your life – even good things – you will eventually lose the ability to protect and maintain what you already have.”

My friend’s words had a huge impact on me. He got right to the heart of the matter, and I realized I was risking compromising the many parts of my life that I already love in order to pile on more and more good things. It was a wake-up call for me to look around and realize I’m already where I want to be. And if I don’t take time to rest, practice self-care, and actually integrate my experiences, I won’t be able to protect this life I love from my own go-go-go mentality.

And from deep personal insight – a scrapbook kit was born! Ha! Well, kind of, yeah. I’d been excited for a while to make a kit built around the color theme mint + copper. What a gorgeous, clean, modern combo those are. (And from the number of great images I was able to find for my mood board, I’m gonna say the internet agrees with me.) But I thought maybe this time I wanted a more specific theme than I had for Bright Days, which was mostly built around color. As I started assembling my ideas, I knew my recent insight and my yummy dreamy color palette would be perfect for each other.

Already There journal cards for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapping by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

I think the kit has a good mix of themed and non-themed items. I know not everyone is at the same place in their lives that I am, but as I started working with the idea of “Already There” the significance of the idea expanded for me. Spiritually, we can get so caught up in self-improvement, striving to be a better meditator, a more evolved being, that we lose sight of the fact that, as Eckhart Tolle said, “You get there by realizing you’re already there.” Emotionally we’re all under so much pressure, influenced by a society that places way too high a value on what people produce and accomplish. As someone who was forced by illness to step off that hamster wheel I know all too well how much our identities can get wrapped up in achievement and success. I love this quote from Brené Brown, who is so awesome at telling it like it is: “Worthy now. Not if. Not when. We are worthy of love and belonging now. Right this minute.” Yes!

Already There mint + copper elements for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapping by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

I had so much fun making this kit. The colors are so delicious to me, and getting to play with so many different copper textures was a delight. That confetti made of little triangular bits of copper is probably one of my favorite things I’ve made, ever. Speaking of elements… I think I made a scrapbooking kit! I mean, yeah, of course I did, but I think I made a traditional scrapbooking kit, rather than one focused mainly on pocket scrapping, which is something I thought I’d never end up doing (since I almost never scrap outside pockets). But I just followed where inspiration took me, and this is where I ended up. There are still plenty of journal cards, stickers, cool stacked frames, pocket-sized elements and a whole bunch of new pocket page templates, though, so our pockets will not go empty!

Already There journal cards for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapping by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

You may notice there’s more illustration in this kit than in previous things I’ve made, like that amazing Vespa and those gorgeous flowers above. I am extremely lucky to have Paddy Wolf, one of the world’s most creative digital scrappers (in my humble opinion) on my Creative Team, and she’s a talented artist on paper as well. I commissioned several pieces from her for this kit, which was an incredible opportunity to go beyond my own technical limitations (as I’ve mentioned here before, I’m a designer/assembler/magpie rather than an illustrator). We even spent the final part of my kit creation process in an almost constant collaboration, passing ideas and designs back and forth. It was one of my favorite design experiences ever – I’m such a relational person, and being out of the “design vacuum” and able to get a real-time opinion from someone whose eye I trust was invaluable.

Already There mint + copper bundle for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapping by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Messy Stitched Pocket Page Overlays for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapping, by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

I think that about wraps up the long tale of how I got from here to “Already There.” (See what I did there? :)) I have a couple of freebies to accompany this kit, one today and one that I’ll be putting up in a little bit. It needs some finishing touches and right now I am wiped from finishing this bundle! That image below is not your freebie (sorry to tease!) but I wanted to show you how the actual freebie, which is a style set, looks when applied. You can see the ombre grey enamel style on the chevrons on the left-hand stacked journal card.

Already There stacked journal cards and frames for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapping by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Today’s freebie will only work for Photoshop users, unfortunately. It’s two sets of styles in the dreamy palette colors from the kit – a glossy enamel set and an ombre enamel set. It’s my first style set that I’m offering to the public, rather than just making for my own use, and in addition to my complete ignorance on how to make them work in Elements, I will admit I have no idea how to test them to make sure they work in all circumstances. Or even really what to do to them in the first place to make sure they work in all circumstances. So I’m giving them away for you to play with, and if they work well for you as they did for me, hurray! And if not, it didn’t cost you anything 🙂

Free Photoshop Enamel Styles freebie for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapbooking

You only need to choose ONE of these links:
Direct download from Dropbox
Mediafire Download (in case Dropbox is unavailable)

Finally, I want to give special acknowledgement to some very special resource-creators. This kit could never have come into existence without the incredible copper textures provided by some very generous artists. I credit and link to them on the Credits page for the bundle (as I do with all resource creators who express a preference for being credited), but this time around these particular resources were vital to creating the core of this kit so I wanted to acknowledge them here as well. If you’re looking for high quality stock resources, check out:
Manoluv on deviantart
Scratzilla on deviantart
InsipidStock on deviantart
Alleca on deviantart
Texturex

Pixel Scrapper May Blog Train ~ Hello!

Another blog train, hurray! I haven’t felt inspired by the colors for Pixel Scrapper blog trains lately (which is for the best since I’m in a perpetual state of “swamped & in over my head” these days), but this month’s palette felt fun and bold and bright, just the thing to inspire some springtime designing.

I was heavily influenced this time around by my enduring love of my new(ish) Silhouette, which I continue to adore although I’ve had only a handful of chances to play with it since school started up again in January. Something about this palette and my beginning forays into print-and-cut just called out to me for flat, textureless hybrid-ready designs. Me! The Texture Queen! Who once wrote the sentence, “If papers look ‘flat’ in the preview, just like squares of digital pixels, I probably won’t download.” Just goes to show how things change!

That’s actually one of the fun things for me about scrapbooking. I’m not a trend-follower in general, or even exposed enough to popular culture that I know what most of the trends are. But scrapbooking (and digital designing) has been for me a novel experience of seeing other people’s designs, both commercial and personal, and having those influence my own tastes and ideas. Once I got the Silhouette and decided to do Project Life in paper form this year (SIGH, the update on that process is a post for another day) I started delving into the world of hybrid scrapping, and now bright colors with no texture look awesome to me!

Scrumptiously May 2014 Pixel Scrapper Blog Train Print & Cut Journal Card Freebies

Both the colors and the theme – Hello! – felt playful and cheerful, so I thought some lighthearted stickers and rubber elements (hello trend!) would be just the thing. I also have been wanting to do some interview-type pages in my Project Life album, where I ask the kids in my life to fill out cards about their interests and favorite things right now. I looked around and didn’t see what I wanted, which was fun journal-card sized cards on a variety of “All About Me” topics, so I decided to make my own. When I realized I was going to be using several designs from my new Miss Tiina Everyday card templates, which are okay for commercial use, I figured why not make my interview cards in blog train colors so I can share them with all of you!

Filling out the Arts & Crafts card

These cards were my first time doing print and cut with Project Life cards, and it was very satisfying to see my designs come to life in three dimensions! I used special fancy paper (Epson Premium Presentation Matte paper) and the print quality is beautiful, much nicer than I expected (the color is truer than it looks in the photo up above). The kids had been involved some with choosing the topics and weighing in on the designs, and so it was fun once the cards were printed to see how they interpreted the cards and filled them out.

FIlling out the Current Faves and Reading Lately cards

Without further ado, here’s what I have for you this month…

First up are those interview cards. I made these because I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for anywhere else. They’ll be great for “All About Me” pages about you, your kids, or anyone you want to commemorate in your pages. Some are open to interpretation (A “Celebrate” card for documenting favorite holidays; the kids decided to title the what-I’m-good-at card, “Talent Show!”). There are two cards with a spot for a QR code linked to a video, one for “My Signature Move” and one for “My Signature Phrase.” I made little videos of the kids doing their moves/saying their phrases and will paste the QR codes for the videos onto those cards. **For all you Silhouette owners out there, this card set comes with Silhouette studio files ready to print and cut!** There is also a printable PDF of all the cards, with both squared and rounded corners (digital folks get to round their own corners – I figure they’re likely getting clipped to a template). The versions that are for printing (PDF & Studio files) are sized to actually fit into Project Life page protectors, so they are slightly smaller than 3×4. And as a secret bonus, this pack of 25 cards also comes with 4 hybrid-ready papers, just for fun! [Click preview to download.]

Free Journal Cards (with Silhouette cut files!) from Scrumptiously for the PixelScrapper May 2014 Blog Train

Next up is an adorable set of rubber elements. They’re very thin rubber (I mean, they’re not any kind of rubber, they’re pixels, but you know what I mean) so that you can shadow them however you like, having them be more like puffy stickers or more like thicker pieces of rubber. I’ve really been enjoying this particular look lately, and used a fantastic style set by Mommyish to make these for you. Little rubber name tag just kills me for some reason! [Click preview to download.]

Free digital rubber elements from Scrumptiously for the PixelScrapper May 2014 Blog Train

Finally I have a sticker set for you, inspired by these cool digital/printable sticker sets by Amy Jaz, who is one of my favorite designers. I had so much fun with these – as I said above, for me the color palette just cries out for stickers! The stickers come as individual PNGs and also on a PDF or JPG printable sheet (just print it out on a sheet of label paper and you can cut out your own stickers), and I’ve included Silhouette studio print and cut files. Can you tell I’m a little obsessed right now? 🙂 [Click preview to download.]

Free Digital and Printable Stickers (with Silhouette studio print and cut files!) from Scrumptiously for the PixelScrapper January 2014 Blog Train

Don’t forget to keep hopping along on the rest of the blog train – there are over 40 contributors this time! You can find previews and links at this Pixel Scrapper thread.

Pixel Scrapper October Blog Train ~ Thankful

You know that thing where you write a word over and over and at some point it starts to look like it’s spelled wrong, and then eventually it doesn’t even look like a word anymore? Well, my brain thinks “thankful” is just about the strangest collection of letters it has ever beheld! I’m looking forward to having a little distance so I can get back to appreciating the word, which does express, after all, one of my most beloved concepts.

original_palette

Blog train color palette

This month’s Pixel Scrapper blog train is quite dear to my heart for several reasons. For the first time, I proposed a potential color palette, and when we voted it was the one chosen, which was very exciting! I love the richness of the colors, and the way they evoke harvest and bounty without screaming “Thanksgiving.” We wanted to create a collection that honored the theme of the holiday while still being useful for everyone who doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. I’m glad about that because thankfulness is so much bigger than a single holiday (not even getting into the issues with historical distortion and whitewashing that accompany our American Thanksgiving). Gratitude is such a core concept in my life. When I manage to connect to my sense of all that is right in my world, either through happenstance or through deliberate manifestation with mindfulness or prayer, I find my life is infinitely sweeter and less stressful. Right now I’m feeling grateful to have had the opportunity to make all these pretty things for you!

PSOct13_scrumptiously_thankful_preview

I’m continuing my habit of breaking up my contribution into separate pieces. The advantages for me are that I like knowing you can take the things you want and not have a bunch of stuff you’re not interested in that you have to then remember to delete later (yes, journal card junkies, I’m looking at you!), and that doing it this way allows me to see what types of materials you like best (because I can track the number of downloads for each piece). A potential disadvantage I can see for people who do want everything is that then they have multiple folders, palettes, previews, and TOUs they’ll have to delete if they want everything all tidy and streamlined. If you have a strong feeling either way (all one big download or separated by type) let me know in the comments!

Up first are a set of papers, frames, and mists. There are four papers that would make good starting points for art journal pages and four frames that will add an arty touch to any page. All the materials I used are credited in the kit, but I have to give a special shout-out here to Cajoline Studios, who made and then generously gave away the gorgeous frame templates. They fit so perfectly with the sort of dreamy, swirly look I was going for here. The frames are actually quite a bit larger than they appear in the preview. I like to have things large and then shrink them down as needed, since you can’t ever upsize design materials. The five mists are pretty fun – they’re 12×12 overlays that will “stencil” a misted pattern onto whatever is below them. I used the diamond patterned mist to make one of the journal cards below – check it out! [Click preview to download.]

PSOct13_scrumptiously_thankful_papers_preview

Then there are two sets of journal cards; each set is a separate download. There are some fun simple cards with gratitude words on them, and an assortment of various more elaborate designs. I even threw in the flower I made for one of the journal cards (in a larger size, of course). I’m not much of an element-maker, but I figured since this one was already made I might as well add it to the mix. I’m sorry there’s not much in this month’s kit that’s okay for Commercial Use – I have too much fun playing with all my CU materials that are only for making PU stuff – the simple wordy journal cards are the only things that can be used for CU. [Click previews to download.]

PSOct13_scrumptiously_thankful_jc_words_previewPSOct13_scrumptiously_thankful_jc_preview

Finally, I present to you my first-ever word art. I’m not really a word art person – I tend to make my own titles, quotes, etc. so I don’t find much use for premade ones. But the topic was so inspiring to me I thought I’d try my hand at bringing a few of my favorite gratitude quotes to life. I had fun with these; I like the Oprah Winfrey quote with its ransom-note-like lettering – it makes me imagine the person saying “thank you for that experience” through slightly gritted teeth! And the gorgeous wings evoke so much for me around this theme – the sense of being borne up by a power greater than myself, and the image of my own gratitude soaring out into the Universe. They’re not technically word art, more… “image worth a thousand words” art. 🙂 [Click preview to download.]

PSOct13_scrumptiously_thankful_wordart

The blog train is huge this month! Over 30 contributors at last count – there’s sure to be something for everyone. You can find previews and links for the rest of the train at Pixel Scrapper.

So, please enjoy! I’ll be so delighted if anything I made can contribute to your expressions of gratitude and thankfulness. If you do end up making something using any of my designs, do let me know, I would love to see it!