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, Vol. 2, which is sooooo close to being 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, Vol. 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 Vol. 2 will be 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 Vol. 2 will contain a ton of crisp square-corner pocket page templates like the one in the top left of the sampler preview. There will be 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 Vol. 2 will 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 Vol. 2 will have 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 won’t be any repeats in Pocket Basics Vol. 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 Vol. 2. (In other fun template news for Pocket Basics Vol. 2, I think it will be 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.

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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!

The Best Is Yet To Come 2017 Layouts

I recently released a sparkly celebratory new digital scrapbooking bundle, called The Best Is Yet To Come. You can read more about the kit’s meaning and creation at this post here. My lovely creative team as well as other Pixel Scrapper scrapbookers have already made some fantastic layouts using the kit, which I wanted to share with you here.

Creative Team member Paddy asks “Is it possible to fall in love with yourself?” with her layout Bday.

Birthday layout made with Best Is Yet To Come 2017 digital scrapbook, project life, pocket scrapping kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Pixel Scrapper member Melanie makes great use of the bokeh overlay in the Best Is Yet To Come 2017 Elements Kit in her layout Resolutions 2017.

Resolutions 2017 layout made with Best Is Yet To Come 2017 digital scrapbook, project life, pocket scrapping kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Creative Team member Emily has used the kit to document weeks 3 and 4 of January pocket-page style.

Pocket 2017 Week 3 layout made with Best Is Yet To Come 2017 digital scrapbook, project life, pocket scrapping kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Pocket 2017 Week 4 layout made with Best Is Yet To Come 2017 digital scrapbook, project life, pocket scrapping kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Pixel Scrapper member Marti created a title page for her 2017 album and lays out some very beautiful goals, wishes, hopes and dreams for the new year in her layout 2017 – Start Again.

2017 - Start Again title page, cover page layout made with Best Is Yet To Come 2017 digital scrapbook, project life, pocket scrapping kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

I created a title page layout for my 2017 Project Life album with the frame cards and monograms in the kit, which I used to create a page featuring the whole family.

Paddy created an energetic layout about her best girlfriends in her layout My Girls.

Emily created a playful page using all kinds of shapes with her The Best Is Yet To Come Recipe layout.

There were so many fun options for 2017 album title/cover pages to make with this kit that I ended up making four! I haven’t decided yet if these will all be title pages for different albums or if I’ll put them all into the same album. Why not, right? Who says you only get one title page per album!

 

2017 – The Best Is Yet To Come

“The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here we are at the start of a new year. A new opportunity to reflect upon and dedicate ourselves to what we hold most dear. My wish for myself, for my family and friends, for you my dear digital scrapbooking community, for my country, and for the world is that in this year to come we bend ourselves towards kindness, towards empathy, and towards compassion. I hope that by the end of 2017 we’ll have found a way to leave the world a better place than we found it.

2017 Album Title Page, Cover page: Life *Is* the Project layout made with Best Is Yet To Come 2017 digital scrapbook, project life, pocket scrapping kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

2016 was a year filled with blessings for me, and there has also been a lot of really hard stuff. More even than it being a hard year for me, it’s been hard for individuals and communities that I care about. It feels disingenuous to release this “Best Is Yet To Come” kit (which takes its colors and theme from on an older blog train kit I made several years ago, and which I started working on way back in September) without acknowledging that this past year has been hard and that I’m not actually sure what is coming next. I believe the best is indeed yet to come but, like the MLK quote above implies so beautifully, that highest manifestation of goodness may not come in this next year, or even in my lifetime.

2017 Album Title Page, Cover Page: Take a Deep Breath and Start Again layout made with Best Is Yet To Come 2017 digital scrapbook, project life, pocket scrapping kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

For now I hope you will use The Best Is Yet To Come 2017 scrapbooking bundle to create layouts about your own hopes, dreams, wishes, and celebrations of the new year, as well as for your 2017 album title pages that will set the tone for how you document the year to come. I hope that if things become harder and murkier in the months to come that we can all be shining beacons in the darkness, keepers of hope, and share generously with our communities of our strength and wisdom.

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The Best Is Yet To Come 2017 bundle was created to include everything you need to start documenting your 2017. This bright and shimmering bundle of kits offers plenty of flexibility and variety. If you’re taking on a Project Life, P365, P52, or other pocket scrapping project, you’ll find plenty to fill your pockets with 80 journal, title, and filler cards and a wide variety of page decorations specially sized to fit into pockets. If you lean towards more traditional layouts, The Best Is Yet To Come 2017 bundle contains nearly 100 papers, 170 elements, and four eye-catching alphas to bring your 2017 pages to life.

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The Best Is Yet To Come 2017 is part of my Documentarian series, the cornerstone of my mission to support people however I can in creatively and easefully documenting their lives. Documentarian is a collection of digital designs created with both pocket scrapping and traditional scrapbooking in mind. With an abundance of coordinated journal cards and other digital pocket scrapping essentials like stickers, labels, stamps, and tape, Documentarian has everything you need to record your life in style. Traditional scrapbooking elements like flairs, veneer, scatters, and alphas mix and match with a multitude of papers for beautiful layouts that let your creativity shine.

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Bundle Includes: (97) papers * (80) title, filler & journal cards * (26) washi tapes * (14) flairs * (11) frame cards * (19) ribbons, borders, and trims * (2) 12×12 overlays * (24) labels * (18) word art * (2) frames * (6) stitches * (8) glitter geotags * (7) glitter dots * (43) additional elements * (4) alphas in upper case, numbers, and additional characters * ~~ Not all items are shown in previews ~~

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Vintage New Years Cards

While I was hunting for vintage ephemera to include in an upcoming New Year’s themed kit I came across a bunch of wonderful vintage New Year’s cards. I love designs from this era and thought it might be fun to put together a digital collection of these cards. Vintage ephemera adds something special to a scrapbook or art journal layout, looks great tucked into a pocket scrapping pocket, and I could also imagine printing these out as charmingly old-fashioned New Year’s cards to send to family and friends. Mostly I just thought they were cool, so I felt moved to clean them up and share them with you! You can find them at Pixel Scrapper – the full kit is available now and individual cards will become available each day between now and New Year’s Day.
Vintage New Years Cards for digital scrapbooking, art journaling by Scrumptiously at Pixel ScrapperAren’t these fun? I love the mix of whimsy, sentimentality, and occasional outright weirdness that characterizes Victorian greeting cards. (Champagne-swigging babies? We’ve got ’em! Children being hatched from eggs? Yep, we have that, too.) There were way more cards than I could fit in the customary square preview, so at the end of this post I’ve included a preview that shows each card.

Several of these holiday cards are Norwegian and it seems clear that the Norwegians embraced a similar aesthetic during Victorian times (which of course to them weren’t “Victorian” at all; I believe these date from what is known as the Norwegian Neo-Romanticism period). I’ve included two versions of the Norwegian cards, one blank and one with the original Norwegian greeting. I included the originals because some of the lettering is wonderful and perhaps there are some Norwegian scrappers out there who would appreciate the chance to wish someone a vintage “Godt nytt år!”

The work required to digitally restore the cards was primarily technical, which provided a nice little break for the creative part of my brain. I love the look of ephemera when it’s a bit ragged and even grungy, so I left the worn paper edges on some of the cards, but for the most part my intention was to restore these cards to their original lovely appearance. I disappeared dirt and stains, retouched where parts of the image had been torn or worn away, smoothed away scanner artifacts, and often even found myself correcting errant specks and other printing errors from the original card designs. I also edited out the Norwegian greetings and year numbers in the case of cards that already had a specific year on them.

Example of cleaned-up card (in GIF format, flashing from stained and torn to restored) from Vintage New Years Cards for digital scrapbooking, art journaling by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

“Before” and “After” versions of a restored Vintage New Years Card

The cards are high resolution (300ppi) and sized for printing at their original paper size. They range in size from 8×5 to about 2×4, with most falling somewhere around 4×6. I’ve also included printable PDFs in the download to help streamline the printing process. For your inspirational enjoyment I’ve been collecting layouts that use vintage ephemera in creative ways, you can find some inspiration on Pinterest here. You can find the cards themselves at Pixel Scrapper. I hope you’re able to make use of these fun little treasures from the past, and as always, please let me know what you make!

Preview of all Vintage New Years Cards for digital scrapbooking, art journaling by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

 

 

 

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.”

Bohemian Breeze ~ Pixel Scrapper September Blog Train

It’s about that time – time to say “Goodbye, Summer” and “Hello, Fall.” I took a design hiatus this summer and I think it was much needed. I went into the switch from passionate amateur scrapbook designer to neophyte professional scrapbook designer with a lot of ideas, ambition, and excitement. I have had tremendous support from Marisa & Jordan, owners of Pixel Scrapper, the site I design for, as well as from the other Pixel Scrapper designers and my wonderful creative and uploader teams. And yet just in terms of sheer energy expenditure I ended up getting in over my head. I was tired all the time and worst of all the fatigue led to near-total creative burnout – can you imagine, after designing just a few full kits? It was disappointing to say the least!

Everyone has been so supportive and understanding, I really appreciate them all so much. And when one of the other designers took a design hiatus I realized, “Oh, I can do that, too, instead of feeling guilty every minute that I’m not designing.” I feel super restored after three months away (or mostly away, I did make contributions over the summer to the Good Day and Work Day designer collabs as well as August’s UK-themed blog train) and ready to get back on the design wagon. I do want to make sure to pace myself better this time, though.

How to do that is a puzzle for me right now. When they hired me, Pixel Scrapper asked for a certain rate of contribution, and I, having my chronic illness and another career, asked if I could contribute less frequently. Marisa & Jordan said sure, because they’re awesome, and yet I still managed to burn myself out. So the question now becomes how to balance my desire to show up and support this wonderful community that supports me while still managing my energy carefully so that I don’t dip too low. I thought I had it all figured out – when I agreed to join the PS team I felt like I had tons of extra energy – but clearly there’s more to the equation than I realized at the time.

One thing I know for sure, that I’ve mentioned here on the blog before, is that the admin tasks associated with this job really kill me. The designing is one thing, but it’s the organizing, renaming, uploading, tagging, and so on that always cause a rush and a slog at the end of every project. That’s the part that led to two (TWO!) consecutive all-nighters when I released Already There (yep, the kit about resting and not pushing, oh the irony). I wonder if I am going about it wrong in some ways because I never hear anyone else complain about that part!

Ok! Enough of me babbling on – I just wanted to fill you in on where I’ve been and what’s coming next. If anyone has any tips or advice about how to design more efficiently, I am all ears!

This month’s blog train palette is so pretty – I feel like it’s perfectly on the border between summer and fall. The palette is so delicious part of me wishes I could have made more with it, but as it is officially still summer I am officially still on hiatus. 🙂 The theme is great, too – Bohemian Breeze conjures up images for me of lots of scarves and funky jewelry and wandering wherever the wind may take you. (And, of course, people dying in garrets of tuberculosis.) It seemed like a perfect pairing for my “painty bits” style, and I sure do love making painty bits! They add an instant art journal quality to any page.

I did want to be cautious as I worked with this theme to avoid cultural appropriation – some of the imagery conjured by the name took me too far into the “tribal” or “gypsy” realms. If you’re unfamiliar with the issue of cultural appropriation, please check out these links on the appropriation of Native American tribal symbols and sacred regalia and why “gypsy” is considered by many Romani to be a slur and the romanticization of the Romani lifestyle can be deeply problematic. I just started reading about a week ago about the appropriation of Native war bonnets by fashion, photographers, and festival-goers, and I was kind of blown away by how popular it seems to be to throw a war bonnet (an item of sacred regalia created with specific intention and prayers and worn only by certain honored individuals) on a naked or near-naked girl, often with “war paint” added on as well. Yikes.

At any rate! I made some pretty things. Please download them, and use them to make your own pretty things! The Bohemian Breeze Painty Bits Flowers and Bohemian Breeze Painty Bits Borders will be available for download here on the blog through the end of September, and after that they can be found at Pixel Scrapper.

Put together a giant coordinating bundle for yourself with the fabulous contributions from all the other blog train designers – find them all here in this thread at Pixel Scrapper.

Blog train freebie links only stay up for the month of the blog train (though you can still find older blog train goodies if you explore the blog). My Bohemian Breeze Flowers and Bohemian Breeze Borders are no longer available here on the blog – you can now find them at Pixel Scrapper.

Bohemian Breeze Painty Bits Flowers for digital scrapbooking, art journaling by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Bohemian Breeze Art Journal Page Border Overlays for digital scrapbooking, art journaling by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Anarchy in the UK! Pixel Scrapper June Blog Train

“I…. wanna be…. ANARCHY!” Okay, so not really, anarchy sounds pretty chaotic (by definition, in fact), but nonetheless I do have a huge soft spot for the Sex Pistols, who penned those lyrics for their first single, “Anarchy in the UK.” Formed in London in 1975, they took Britain and the world by storm, kicked off the British punk movement in both fashion and music, and have remained hugely influential to this day.

The real story of the Sex Pistols is tragic, violent, and drug-infused. Sid Vicious, the bassist, died at 21 from a heroin overdose. I don’t glorify their history, at all, but there’s something about the music that really moves me. Sid’s slurred, screamed version of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” is at once both crass and utterly sincere. It’s the anthem of a generation trying to find their way out from under the shadow of their parents’ “greatest generation” legacy, trying to find a place for themselves during a time of strikes and recession and chaotic upheaval of standards and mores, trying to piss off the greatest number of people possible with as much flash and drama as possible, all just to prove how much they “don’t care.”

I’ve talked about (for the Vintage-themed blog train) how much I appreciate Christian Dior’s “New Look” fashion style that marked a giant transition from the privations of World War II to the post-war era. I think my fondness for the Sex Pistols comes from a similar place – this is music that demarcates a boundary line, art that captures a moment in time when everything was in flux, after which things would never be the same.

anarchy - Brenda H

“Anarchy” by creative team member Brenda Hollingsworth

This month’s Pixel Scrapper blog train had the theme of “England.” I wasn’t feeling too inspired until somehow I suddenly decided to make a punk kit and then it came together in a matter of days. Punks dressed in black leather and Royal Stewart Tartan (irony in fashion before irony in fashion was fashionable) with outrageous hairstyles are still a prime tourist attraction in London, so this kit would be perfect for scrapping any of those photos. Otherwise I’m curious to see what you make of it. You could combine bits of it with pieces from the rest of the Pixel Scrapper England Blog Train. Maybe you’ve got your own punk rock rebel kid at home, or maybe you have an art journal page waiting to emerge about your own experience with the counterculture sweetness of punk rock love.

The Anarchy in the UK mini-kit was available here for free through July 1st, and now it can be found at Pixel Scrapper.

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Whoops! I only realized I’d somehow left her out of the Credits page after I’d already uploaded the kit to three different places, so a special shout-out here to the Graphics Fairy for the adorable vintage couple showing their “true colors” in this kit.

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

Sneak Preview – “Already There” Mood Board

Marisa Lerin, owner of Pixel Scrapper and scrapbooking designer extraordinaire, has been posting sneak previews of her upcoming kits recently. The twist – instead of showing us a few snippets of the kit itself, she’s been posting her mood board. It’s a great way to whet our appetites for what’s to come, and it lets us peek behind the curtain to see some of what inspired her designs.

I made a mood board for the first time while working on my newest, soon to be released bundle, Already There. In the past I’ve usually made Pinterest boards to collect my colors, shapes, images, words, and other inspiration. I was amazed at how different the experience was with a personally created mood board, in this case a collage I made in Photoshop.

Being able to see everything at once (I pack a lot into my Pinterest boards, so they require a lot of scrolling), choosing the relative size and placement of images, and covering up distracting bits were some of the benefits. I even went to some quote-generator sites to make my own custom pretty quote posters like you see on Pinterest all the time, which let me add the words I was inspired by right onto my visual inspiration board. Making my own board also allowed me to easily add a few of my main initial ideas to see how they worked with the overall feel I was going for.

I won’t say any more for now – I’ll let the images speak for themselves. Enjoy a little peek into my inspiration!

moodboard_mint