Wednesday, February 27, 2013

You're running out of time!

This is a friendly reminder that all entries to the February Color Swatch Blog Challenge MUST be in by midnight on Thursday night (2/28). One lucky randomly drawn winner will receive a $15 GC to my shop!!

Get those layouts scrapped (and posted back at this post) before the clock strikes twelve tomorrow!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Pocket Style Tips: Digital Templates & Page Protectors

Pocket Style Templates

Since Project Mouse has come out, SO many people have asked me if sell pocket style templates. I've considered it, but I feel like there are so many people who already sell digital Pocket Style templates, that it wouldn't be something original for me to create and sell. I'd basically just be copying someone else's ideas in a sense. So my answer is no, I don't sell them. BUT I know lots of great places to get them.

Krista Sahlin wrote a PERFECT article on her blog with lots of great links to buy templates, digital plastic page protectors and even links to a couple fun freebies. This is a must-read article for those looking for pocket style templates.

Digital Page Protectors

When I started doing pocket style I was trying to decide if I wanted to do all my pages with the plastic digital page protectors that many designers have been releasing. I bought a set from Valorie Wibbens and started to play around with them.

Unfortunately, this set of page protectors doesn't come with the template layers underneath. You can buy them separately, but I decided to save my money and make my own template underneath.

I learned that the page protectors definitely look cute, but they sort of give you a grey "filmy" look.

This is a close up of one of my weekly journal pages with NO page protector:

And here it is with the page protector laid on top, as the very top layer.

I know some people dig this look but its not for me. I like my photos, papers & other embellishments to look bright, crisp and clear. So . . . what to, what to do . . .

Turning down the opacity level on the page protector seemed to work a little. But then I was loosing the look of the pockets. A couple gals from Sahlin Studio CT taught me to just laying things ON TOP of page protectors - so put the page protector at the very bottom of all the layers. Then you still get the cute look of the page protectors borders and dividing lines, but keep all your crisp layering. It actually looks very cute this way. Here's the same close up as above, just with the page protector moved to the bottom layer.

Much cuter than I would have expected! So simple, just moving it to the bottom.

Another trick I discovered is:

* Duplicate the page protector layer (command + J on a mac or Layer > Duplicate Layer > click OK)
* Then put one page protector on the very bottom of all the layers and the other on the VERY top.
* Change the blending mode of the TOP page protector to "Hard Light".

This is the result:

You still get a slightly plastic pocket look over the top, and those same cute dividing plastic pocket borders.

While I am happy with this last "hard light" method, in the end I've decided that I won't be using page protectors in most of my pocket style scrapping for 3 reasons:

1) I like the freedom to create ANY configuration of "pockets" that works for that page and not be limited to the page protectors pre-designed pocket arrangements.

2) I also like a little freedom to let tags and things overlap a tiny bit. When using a digital page protector I felt like I HAD to keep everything inside the pockets. (I know, duh that's what pocket style is all about, but I like a little bit more freedom.)

3) I think that if I did an ENTIRE album with page protectors I would get sick of looking at those little pockets and borders page after page after page once the book was done and printed. I still like the page protectors to use on a random everyday scrapbook page. But for my 2 "album" projects (Project Mouse and Weekly Journaling) I think it would start to look repetitive and annoying after 100+ pages!

Here's an everyday layout I did using the same Valorie Wibbens page protector and my "hard light" method.

(click image to enlarge)


LOVE the pocket look like this!! SO CUTE. I still don't think I want an entire book of this, but on an occasional page here and there - yes, please!

*DISCLAIMER! THESE ARE JUST PERSONAL PREFERENCES!!!* If you LOVE an entire album full of digital page protectors, AWESOME!! Send me a link to your book and maybe I'll see the light. Like I keep saying - I'm totally in an experimental phase with Pocket Style digi-scrapping. Learning as I go!

Do you use digital page protectors? Which ones are your favorites? Do you have any other tricks I haven't discovered?

Hope you're all coming along with your Project Mouse and other pocket style digi-scrap pages. I'd remind you that we have a Project Mouse Flickr Group where you can come browse Project Mouse layouts and add your own too!! I love seeing all the LOs there. And they don't have to pocket style! ANY LO using Project Mouse is welcome!! Happy scrapping.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Project Mouse - Leading Up To the Magic

Oh my goodness. Here we go again! Sahlin Studio and I have an all-new series of Project Mouse cards to release today. Are you ready???

Leading Up To the Magic

When does a Disney vacation really begin? For me, it happens long before I ever walk through a turnstile. That "magic before the trip" is what today's release is all about. All of today's products are here to help you record, document, and even MAKE memories leading up to the magic. And of course, they are all made to coordinate with "Project Mouse: Bundle No. 1"!

(Krista & I have more freebies for you too at the end of this post so make sure you read all the way to the end!)

Ok - lets get to the products!!!

"Project Mouse: Bundle No. 2 - Leading Up To The Magic"

Each pack is sold separately too:

"Project Mouse: Reveal/Countdown"

"Project Mouse: Planning"

"Project Mouse: On Our Way"

"Project Mouse: We're Here!"

I was so excited to dive in and use these card packs for myself!! As you know, I'm conducting a little "experiment" by trying to scrap my entire Sept 2012 Disneyland trip Pocket Style - and Project Mouse is DEFINITELY getting me there. Today's packs gave me the tools, inpiration and push I needed to scrap a big milestone that happened on this trip. Scarlett's FIRST plane ride:

Krista is still making serious ground on her hybrid pocket style album. I love that she's creating magic with her entire family BEFORE her trip even takes place - and documenting it all!

Is that fun, or what? LOVE her pages.

My Britt Girls scrapped such a WIDE variety of page themes and styles using the new Bundle 2 cards:

by Wendy

by Stacy

by Shantell

by Natasha

by Melissa

by Melinda

by Kelsy

by Julie

by Jan

by Fonnetta

by Denise

by Christie

by Chelle

by Alexis

by Justine

Make sure YOU come share your Project Mouse creations with us in the Project Mouse Flickr Group!! (And in my gallery of course too!)

Despite the Project Mouse madness - I haven't forgotten about Show Offs! Here is today's slideshow FULL of awesome layouts featuring Britt-ish Designs products:

If you were a Show Off this week, watch your email inboxes. You are all getting a free paper pack of your choice as your gift this week.

(find out more about Show Offs here)

One last thing before I go - there's the matter of those freebies I mentioned before! They are FREE for your personal-use only.


I hope you are all enjoying Project Mouse. I LOVE seeing those pocket style pages (both Disney and non-Disney alike) around digi-land! Keep up the amazing work and have a magical weekend (hopefully full of scrapping)!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

anticipation . . .

See you at midnight!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Project Mouse Page Breakdown

Hello Scrappers!! I'm so excited about the response Project Mouse is getting. It sounds like many of you are ready to dive into Pocket Style scrapbooking and document your memories - both Disney and non-Disney alike. I want to thank everyone for their support of Project Mouse on its debut and tell you - you are going to LOVE what's coming next!! Definitely stay tuned.

Today I thought I'd give you a page breakdown about how I put together a Project Mouse layout.

I know when I first started trying out this style I found myself a little stuck on just how to "make it work" as my pal Tim Gunn says. Maybe this will help!

Here's the page I scrapped tonight:

I actually timed myself because I was curious how long I currently take to put together a Project Mouse style page. If you remember - one of my goals in creating pages this way was to see if its really as quick and efficient as I think it is!
Goals of my experiment:
1) To see if I like Pocket Style enough for an entire album.
2) To see how much I miss creating and then looking at traditional pages in my trip album.

-->  3) To see how long it takes, and if pocket-style is really as quick and efficient as I think it is.

Once I had picked out my photos, I set the timer and went to work.

I edited my photos (brightened them up and ran an action on them), decided on my arrangement and got my page laid out. I was already to this point only 11 minutes in!!

The rest of the page took another 40 minutes. So 50 minutes total. Not too shabby, BUT I know I could have been much faster. I got hung up on my title and a couple other dumb things. Plus, I have to keep in mind I'm still getting the hang of pocket style scrapping. The more I do it, the faster I'll get. Also, journaling takes time. Writing it, getting it placed right, etc. So if you're not big into journaling, your pages can probably be done MUCH quicker.

Ok - let's get to the BREAKDOWN!!

Supplies used:

 As you can see, this particular layout has 8 sections or "pockets". I didn't use a template or anything like that. I just used the basic 3x4 and 4x6 cards and arranged them until I was happy. I had 1 photo that I REALLY loved that I knew I wanted to be nice and big, so I took up 2 4x6 spots for it. This is one of the things I love about doing DIGITAL pocket style, you can create whatever arrangement works for your photos instead of being limited to the page protectors.

1) My title card: "While We Wait". I wasted too much time fiddling with my title. I tried to use a font and create sort of a graphic looking title, but it just wasn't working! Grrr. Then I remembered seeing a ton of my Britt Girls use the alpha from my kit "Just Plain Fun" on their Project Mouse pages. Turned out perfect. Added a Mickey head button for accent and a couple staples. I'm addicted to using staples. At the last minute I added some white paint splatters using some free paint splatter brushes I downloaded online. I don't even remember exactly where, I've had them for so long. Oh and & I should mention I also rounded all my corners using the free corner rounding action that's included in our card packs.

2) Just a photo with a word strip and sequins from the Project Mouse embellishments pack. Simple enough!

3) One of my FAVORITE photos from the entire trip. I don't know why, but its just so sweet to me. So I made it nice and big (this is from my PHONE can you believe that? It was plenty big enough right off my phone. I thought a big graphic word overlay would look cute on it, so I added "COUSINS" with the tracking (aka the space between the letters) set to -75. Then I quickly added a heart shape (used the Photoshop custom shape tool). The heart and text were white, but I turned the blending mode to "Soft Light" for a more subtle look. I added a hexagon journaler hanging off the side of the page so it looks sort of like a tab and made a simple date strip in yellow because I realized right side of the page didn't have any pops of yellow and it felt unbalanced.

4) A cropped photo with a flower, word strip, and washi tape from the Project Mouse: Embellishments pack. Easy peasy.

5) I love this card from the Quote Cards Pack. I thought a page about waiting was a perfect time to use it. More white paint splatter brush work. I think I used the splatters to give the overall look of the page a less of a stiff boring feel.

6) One of two journaling cards. This is actually a 4x6 card from the Project Mouse: Basics Card Pack. It's easily cropped to a 3x4 size! Perfect. I'm trying to keep my handwriting font consistent througout my Project Mouse book for this trip. And I had the idea on my first page to make the text blue so it looks like I handwrote it all with a blue ink pen. I sort of love how this looks! The font I'm using is Pea Lauren America. I picked it because I like it AND it sort of looks like my own handwriting! Only cuter.

7) Another photo put into a 3x4 rounded corner spot. Tiny bit of paint splatter in the corner.

8) Another journaling card from the basics pack. Used a little arrow to point to the photo I was talking about. Added a washi tape up top and a bow for a cute girly touch.

DONE!! That's it! Just like that I've recorded some vacation stories, details, photos and memories. I'm still getting the hang of the look and feel I like for my Project Mouse pages.  But the more I play, the more I'll nail down the style I want.

I hope this helped you get some ideas when putting together your own Project Mouse pages. Be sure to come share your creations with us at the Project Mouse Flickr Group. There's already a tons of awesome layouts to browse through there. Bookmark it as a place to look for ideas and inspiration!

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