Introducing the new Scrumptiously Hybrid Scrapper!

Wow, wow, wow, this is so super exciting! I have found the perfect hybrid scrapper to add to the Scrumptiously creative team.

My intention in seeking out a hybrid scrapper for my team was pretty straightforward. I would like my designs to be useful to hybrid scrappers. And whether that entails thinking when designing about colors and textures that will look best when printed, offering ideas for creative paper projects that can be made with Scrumptiously products, or simply showing off how beautiful a Scrumptiously hybrid project can be, it’s an area where I have next to no experience.

That’s why I’m thrilled to announce that Dana Desmond will be joining the Scrumptiously Creative Team as our Hybrid Scrapper! She has tons of experience as a hybrid scrapper, card creator, and artist. Check out some of her work at her blog, Dana’s Imagination Creations. Dana has a wide-format printer (I think that’s what they’re called) which means she can even print full 12×12 papers! Very cool.

And now this is what you have to see. It’s just… there are no words. (But I’m me, so I’m gonna try ūüôā ) Dana made a “hybrid mini album” using my digital scrapbooking bundle Already There. It’s pretty mind-blowing. She first made digital layouts in Elements, printed those out, then used her Silhouette to print and cut additional elements, glueing those on to the printed pages and adding dimensionality to each page. My head is kind of spinning, it’s just so cool – you have to see! She’s made a video showing the album page by page, and you can also check out this post on her blog where she goes into detail about her process.

Welcome, Dana!

So hopefully I’ll be steadily ramping up what I think of as my “hybrid inclusivity” now that I have Dana on my team. It may take a little while though before you start seeing signs of it. I’m gonna get real with you all for a minute here – you may have noticed it’s mostly been radio silence from me lately, both in terms of blog posts and new design releases. Making Already There was one of the most fulfilling creative projects of my life, but at the end I pulled TWO all-nighters in a row – not in order to finish the kit itself but to do all the other stuff, the previews, the marketing copy, the renaming, the zipping, uploading, tagging, etc. As someone with energy and fatigue issues, that was beyond pushing it, and I burned myself out to the point that something broke in me – my drive, my motivation, my spark – that needs some time to be repaired.

I had intended for Documentarian to be a monthly offering, inspired by so many of the amazing monthly Project Life subscriptions out there. But I overestimated my capacity, especially as my other career is just starting to take off. I still love designing, I just need to go more slowly, and adjust my pace to nurture the burnt-out part of me that desperately wants designing to go back to feeling like a joy rather than an obligation.

There’s so much I want to do – so many blog posts I have in my head, freebies I still haven’t posted for you guys, kits I want to make, designers I want to collaborate with, areas I want to get better in (using a tablet and using real-life art materials are the big ones currently). But here I am in the ironic position (and I recognized this even while it was happening) that Already There, my beautiful kit about slowing down, not pushing, taking care of ourselves, was the project I burned out on.

Already There journal filler cards by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

I have a lot of compassion for myself – this is a totally new venture, and it will take me a while to learn how to pace myself. I also think (and maybe this is projection, who knows) that I am over on the slow end of the spectrum when it comes to my speed and facility with design. I think I often do things the long way, and everything I make involves learning a ton of new techniques that need to be experimented with and perfected before I can move forward with a high-quality final product. So I generally feel like it’s okay for me to simply do the best I can. It’s just hard to feel like I’m letting you down somehow, letting Pixel Scrapper down…

I don’t have any answers to any of this, just the willingness to stay with this experience and continue to move forward as mindfully and lovingly as I can. What comes will come, and the best I can do is greet whatever emerges with kindness and flexibility. I’ll keep you posted! ūüôā


Announcing the New Scrumptiously Pocket Scrappers!

I don’t know who was more nervous during this creative team call – me or my applicants! I was worried no one would apply, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to choose, I was worried I would never even manage to get through the applications since I’ve been so darn busy.

Feeling oh-so-clever, I had made a special form for the application that applicants could fill out right there in the blog post. Little did I realize that any time there was an answer spot where people included multiple URLs (linking to their various layouts, for example), those URLs would not show up as live links in the spreadsheet Google Docs generated with the form data. That meant that I had to copy and paste every one of those links by hand. Gaaaagh! So I ended up putting off this task a bit longer than I had intended…

When I finally did get all the links loaded and was able to look through each application, I was so moved to see what talented and lovely people had applied to join my team. Each applicant had such a unique and creative style and would have been an asset to my team in their own way. I can’t overstate what a privilege it is to get to be a designer and know there are people out there who are thoughtful and talented and excited to create things using my designs.

In the end, the decision was both hard and easy. It was hard to choose because everyone who applied brought their own unique gifts and perspective. And in another way it was easy because the two women who I ultimately asked to join my team have been making beautiful pages with my work since I first came on as a Pixel Scrapper designer. This wasn’t why I chose them – I evaluated each applicant on a number of factors and I think I can get a good sense of how someone’s style would fit with mine no matter what designer’s material they’re using. But it did mean that when I determined these two women would be my new pocket scrappers there was a sense of cozy familiarity already established.

And now for the fun part – I’d like you to meet my new Creative Team Pocket Scrappers! (And I’ll put a plug in here that I am still taking applications for the Media Maven and Hybrid Scrapper team positions.)

First up is the fantastic Emily Silverman. Emily is not only talented and creative, I am also simply in awe of her productivity and dedication. Emily works and parents and has completed Project Life albums. She has scrapped weekly for a full year, and then printed out her layouts and bam! had a book of the entire year. Considering that the last time I managed that was 2011, I think Emily is basically a superhero. I am so excited to have her on my team to model the weekly style of Project Life pocket scrapping and to be an inspiration to us all.

Here are a few of my favorite of Emily’s layouts made using my designs:

Week 13 – 2015 – Right Side made using Already There

Me and My Tatertot made using Bright Days

Week 14 – 2015 – Right Side made using Already There

Next up is the wonderful Brenda Hollingsworth. You can tell from her purple hair, multiple piercings, and deep fondness for keeping hedgehogs as pets that she marches to her own beat, and her layouts are no exception. Her pages are clever, creative, and often very moving – I have my own deep fondness for scrappers who scrap about the hard stuff as well as the good. One of the things Brenda mentioned in her application might be challenging for her is that she doesn’t scrap weeks, she scraps moments, so while she’s a great pocket scrapper she’s not a traditional Project Life-style scrapper. That’s why this dynamic duo is such a dream team – Emily is rocking the weekly pages (as well as a million other layouts – how do you do it, girl?) and Brenda is showing us some of the other creative ways pocket scrapping can be used to tell a story.

Here are some of my favorite of Brenda’s pages made using my designs:

Embrace Hope made using Already There

The Crumb & Cup made using Pocket Basics, Vol. 1

The unspeakably brilliant Paddy Wolf will continue to hold down the traditional scrapbooker spot on my Creative Team (Emily & Brenda are quite skilled traditional scrappers as well and I’m sure we’ll see many fun layouts from them in the months to come). Here are a few of her creations using my most recent bundle, Already There.

Stamp Attack

Hunka Ham

In conclusion I want to express my deep gratitude to everyone who applied for the position of Pocket Scrapper. I appreciate so much all the love and work that goes in to this art form of ours, and am honored that you want to spend some of your creative energy on working with my designs. May there be many wonderful layouts in our future!

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.


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.


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.

Creative Team Call for Scrumptiously Designs


Violet Irisovna of Scrumptiously Designs (that’s me) is looking for some fantastic scrappers (that’s you) to join her Creative Team! You don’t need to have years of experience, or prior work on other CTs – just a passion for digital scrapbooking and a love for Scrumptiously designs.

Perks of being on the team:

  • Free Commercial Use access to all of Violet’s designs, past and present.
  • A chance to have input (feedback, requests, new ideas) into the work of a designer you love.
  • See your layouts shown off to the world, featured in Scrumptiously and Pixel Scrapper blog posts, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • “Behind the scenes” access to the digital design world, including access to the private Pixel Scrapper Creative Team forum.
  • Relatively low time commitment – current rate of release is about one kit or bundle per month.

I’m currently looking for scrap enthusiasts to fill¬†two different¬†positions on my Creative Team. Each position has different responsibilities. You are welcome to apply for more than one position – just indicate your preference on the application form at the end of this post.

Hybrid Scrapper:
I’d like my designs to be accessible and useful for hybrid scrappers, and my Hybrid Scrapper CT member will be a bridge between Scrumptiously Designs and the world of hybrid scrapbooking.

Hybrid Scrapper CT Responsibilities:

  • Review designs and advise Violet on how to make them accessible to hybrid scrappers (e.g., additional formatting options for journal cards, low or no texture versions of papers, etc.).
  • Keep your “finger on the pulse” of the hybrid world by keeping current on the latest trends (e.g. designers including full-bleed versions of pocket cards for professional printing).
  • Make 1-2 projects¬†per kit or bundle release. One of these should be hybrid – something physical made from printing out Scrumptiously designs, either a pocket page, traditional paper layout or another creation of your choice (a card, a box, a planner page, etc). The other creation¬†can be either hybrid or digital.
  • Upload any digital layouts to the Pixel Scrapper gallery, pin all layouts and projects to Pinterest, and upload to other open galleries as requested (this will be in coordination with the Media Maven).
  • Participate in Pixel Scrapper layout challenges.
  • Some of your projects¬†made using my designs may be turned into hybrid project templates, page templates, quick pages, or stacked cards.

Hybrid Scrapper CT Requirements:

  • Experience with hybrid scrapbooking (printing out digital designs to make paper layouts and other physical creations).
  • Access to high-quality printing so the Scrumptiously designs you print out look fabulous on paper.
  • Good photography skills so your photos of the hybrid Scrumptiously creations you make are well-lit and crisp with true colors and appealing composition.
  • Excellent “save for web” skills – uploaded images of your work are never blurry or pixelated

Apply for the Hybrid Scrapper CT position using the application form below.

Media Maven:
Scrumptiously Designs currently has a Pinterest and blog presence and is looking for a social-media savvy person to help me expand my media/marketing presence.

Media Maven CT Responsibilities:

  • Set up and maintain a Scrumptiously Facebook page and Instagram account.
  • Scout open galleries beyond Pixel Scrapper where it might be beneficial to post layouts made with Scrumptiously designs.
  • Assist other CT members with posting their work to open galleries and Pinterest.
  • Potentially help create and maintain a Scrumptiously newsletter.
  • *There is no layout requirement for this position*

Media Maven CT Requirements:

  • Social-media savviness; familiarity and comfort with Facebook, Instagram, etc.
  • Familiarity with and excitement about digital scrapbooking in general and Scrumptiously designs in particular.

Apply for the Media Maven CT position using the application form below.

I appreciate each and every submission and read them all with gratitude – I know it’s not easy to put yourself out there this way!

Pocket Scrapper: [The Pocket Scrapper positions have been filled.]
Although all Scrumptiously designs are intended to be flexible enough to use for any kind of scrapbooking, the Documentarian collection is created specifically with Project Life and pocket scrapping in mind. I’m looking for a Pocket Scrapper CT member to make gorgeous pocket pages that showcase how my work can be used for pocket scrapping and Project Life-style documenting.

Pocket Scrapper CT Responsibilities:

  • Make 2 or more pocket-style digital layouts per kit or bundle release. Ideally at least one of these would be Project Life-style documenting (different events and stories chronicled in different pockets on the same page, rather than a pocket-style layout that tells only a single story).
  • Quality check designs as you use them.
  • Upload your layouts to the Pixel Scrapper gallery, pin them to Pinterest, and upload to other open galleries as requested (this will be in coordination with the Media Maven).
  • Participate in Pixel Scrapper layout challenges.
  • Some¬†of your layouts made using my designs may be turned into page templates, quick pages, or stacked cards.

Pocket Scrapper CT Requirements:

  • Quick turnaround time – be able, under most circumstances, to complete your two layouts in a week or less.
  • Excellent “save for web” skills – uploaded images of your work are never blurry or pixelated

Apply for the Pocket Scrapper CT position using the application form below.

The applications for the Pocket Scrapper and Hybrid Scrapper positions require at least one layout or project made using my designs. If you like my style and think we’d be a good fit, but you don’t own any of my products yet, you’re welcome to make a layout for your application using any of the freebies available here on the blog.

The application form will ask you to link to your¬†layouts or photos of hybrid projects. If you have images you want to include in your application that aren’t¬†posted online anywhere, I am open to receiving emailed photos. Just fill out the application form below and instead of links, write “photos not online” in the appropriate spots – I’ll contact you via email and you can send me your photos.

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 Bren√© 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 ūüôā

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

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!


Pixel Scrapper October Blog Train ~ Autumn Art

Greetings, blog train passengers! Have you been enjoying the ride so far? It’s been a while since I felt inspired to hop on the train myself as a designer, and I’m pretty excited about what I have for you today. My offering is broken up into three parts which you’ll find interspersed throughout this post.

I posted earlier about my recent foray into the world of art journaling, and this month’s blog train theme, Autumn Art, and its rich, vibrant color palette were a perfect fit. I am particularly smitten with my Painty Bits, which were inspired by the work of designer Lynne-Marie, whose artsy designs I’ve been creating with lately. I experimented and came up with a bunch of new techniques I’d never tried before, which is always a fulfilling process. The Painty Bits download also includes a stencil, and a tutorial on how to use it to turn any patterned paper into your own beautiful falling-leaf painty bit.

Blog train freebie links only stay up for a limited time (though you can still find older blog train goodies if you explore the blog). My Autumn Art kit is no longer available here on the blog but you can check out my other designs (with an option to download things for free!)  at Pixel Scrapper.

Free digital painted elements from Scrumptiously for the Pixel Scrapper October 2014 Blog Train

Free digital painted elements from Scrumptiously for the Pixel Scrapper October 2014 Blog Train

I’m in sort of an awkward period right now as a designer. I was approached by someone I really respect about designing things for sale (super flattering!), but I feel like I currently rely too heavily on other people’s commercial use products to qualify as “real” designer. There’s a popular “computer generated” look to many digital design materials that just isn’t my cup of tea, and so then we’re in the realm of extractions of real-life objects, and of Illustrator and Photoshop and just plain artistic skills I don’t (yet) possess.

I recently had the opportunity to beta-test a class for beginning designers offered by Marisa Lerin at Pixel Scrapper. I thought this could be a perfect chance to start honing these skills, and the papers I have for you today were indeed generated as assignments for the class (still using some CU resources for textures, etc.). But when I got to the elements portion of the class‚Ķ well‚Ķ it turns out that it’s not just about skills. There’s a big dollop of patience required to fiddle endlessly with layer style adjustments, trying to find the exact bevel height and angle and shading to make something look “real.” And it kind of bores me. I want to be making the things I see in my head, and when the fastest way to do that is to be a “magpie,” pulling resources together from here and there, that’s what I’m inclined to do. My thinking for now is that I’m making stuff to give to people for free – I want it to look awesome, I can allow myself to not be worried about¬†some kind of professional pride.

Free digital arty papers from Scrumptiously for the Pixel Scrapper October 2014 Blog Train

Free digital arty papers from Scrumptiously for the Pixel Scrapper October 2014 Blog Train

Maybe when I have more time, when I’m not doing grad school and practicum and chronic illness and house-caught-on-fire all at once, I’ll have the spaciousness required to get to this next level of design-independence. And I don’t want to sell myself short – I am always learning and gaining new skills. This month I made my first-ever flair and I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. The wooden leaves and gear were new forays for me as well. (Lesson learned from wooden leaves: something looks “off” and computer generated? Slap some paint on it! I think they turned out pretty well in the end.;))

Free digital autumn elements from Scrumptiously for the Pixel Scrapper October 2014 Blog Train

Free digital autumn elements from Scrumptiously for the Pixel Scrapper October 2014 Blog Train

Thanks, as always, for reading (I’ve been wordy as usual) and for downloading. I love knowing my designs are being enjoyed! (Does anyone actually scrap with these things, or just enjoy the deliciousness of the download? The sheer pleasure of the digital hoarding is totally legit, but I find I’m so curious – have any of you made anything with a design you downloaded from me? Let me know in the comments!) (Edited to add: I am absolutely not trying to imply there’s shame in hoarding, I use the term affectionately to describe the great pleasure I get from collecting, unpacking, and organizing my mountains of digital supplies. It’s a different aspect of the hobby, but one I think is¬†a ton of fun!)

Free digital stencil from Scrumptiously for the Pixel Scrapper October 2014 Blog Train

Free digital stencil from Scrumptiously for the Pixel Scrapper October 2014 Blog Train

Finally, here’s a look at the stencil that is included in the Painty Bits download. It’s based on a cool set of brushes from Lileya and will allow you to turn a patterned paper into a pretty falling-leaf design (could be great to use on other interesting papers from this blog train that catch your eye). (Edited to add: The tutorial included with the stencil walks through how to use the stencil in Photoshop. If anyone uses it in a different program, leave us a comment here so others know they’ll be able to use it, too. I imagine it will be usable in most.)

Alright, blog trainers, thanks again for stopping by and now, onward! To find the whole list of Pixel Scrapper Autumn Art blog train goodies, check out this thread at Pixel Scrapper.

Trying something new

I’ve mostly stopped taking pictures. I’ve completely stopped Project Life-ing (although I am still making desultory movement towards getting something done for 2012 and 2013 – mostly learning Lightroom so I can wrangle my photos before PL-ing them). I’ve felt mostly too busy with school and practicum and house stuff (only now really starting to recover from the fire) to design for blog trains. Plus being tired all the time puts a damper on creative inspiration.

So when I saw buzz going around about a mysterious new art-journal-ish project that was starting up at digital scrapbooking store The Lilypad I followed¬†with interest but no real idea that I’d participate. I don’t have a lot of disposable income, and I pretty much only spend digital-designs money on commercial use products so I can keep making more & varied freebies for y’all. ūüôā But I am super interested in digital art journaling and was looking for something to give me motivation¬†and structure to make things again, so when the big reveal came and it turned out to be a subscription to a monthly mixed-media/art journal style kit made by four of the most creative, high-quality designers in the biz, and that the project would be supported by a private forum with weekly challenges and a community of people sharing their creations, I decided to try it out for a few months. (I’m not trying to be an ad for this, but I’m also not trying to be cryptic; if you want more info you can find it here on one of the designers’ blogs.)


It worked!! I have been making pages again!¬†I’m still pretty new to making pages that aren’t pocket-scrap style, but I’ve been having a ton of fun. Art journaling is compelling to me¬†because it traditionally allows for expression of the full spectrum of emotion, introspection as well as celebration. Some of the pages I’ve made are too personal to post, but I wanted to share a few here. Each of these was made for a particular challenge in the M3 forum.


This one might need¬†a little explication. I’ve been intrigued by a¬†new layout style Sissy Sparrows has introduced, called Pocket Journals. You make your whole layout on an 8.5×11 page, print it, and then fold it so it becomes a little physical booklet. So cool! (A brief sidebar here – I love Sissy Sparrows so much, I collect their freebies avidly, and I’ve been inspired by them in my own creations many times, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually bought anything from them. I was feeling kind of bad about that until it turned out they make throw pillows! I had over a dozen I needed to replace from the fire so I am now¬†the proud owner of this awesome owl pillow¬†and my guilt has been assuaged.) The above version is how I laid it out to print, with the back and front covers over on the bottom left. I’ve rearranged the pages below in case you want to actually read stuff that’s not upside down. Incidentally, another reason I love art journaling is that I feel like I’m allowed to say things like “when I lost you I lost a piece of my heart” which I would never normally say due to aversion to cheeziness and melodrama. ūüôā


I am apparently full of feelings once the art journaling gets rolling:


What If?
All materials except those listed below are from Mixed Media Monthly ~ August 2014 (Just Jaimee, Quirky Heart, Lynne-Marie, and Little Butterfly Wings).
Papers and elements were used from main kit, Lynne-Marie ~ Artsy Bits add-on, and Mixed Media Monthly Sampler.
Template, incl. stitching: Captivated Visions ~ Yes You Can
Brushes: Captivated Visions ~ Mishmash stamp stash, Marisa Lerin ~ Gesso
Confetti: Crafty Button Designs ~ Feminine Touch Mini
Vines: Idees De Christine ~ Mixing It Up
Photo filter: Sparklestock ~ Instant Hipster Retro Actions (Hudson)
Lyrics: Fidelity by Regina Spektor
Pocket Journal
All materials except those listed below are from Mixed Media Monthly ~ August 2014 (Just Jaimee, Quirky Heart, Lynne-Marie, and Little Butterfly Wings). Papers and elements were used from main kit and Lynne-Marie ~ Artsy Bits add-on.
Book binding by Mercurycode on Deviantart.
Very Quiet
All materials except those listed below from the Mixed Media Monthly M3 August collab by Just Jaimee, Quirky Heart, Lynne-Marie, & Little Butterfly Wings.
Materials used from main M3 August kit and Lynne-Marie ~ Artsy Bits.
Raindrops: Maya de Groot ~ Zen & the Art of April Showers, Just Jaimee ~ Painted Newsprint
Fonts: Special Elite, Edwardian Script