Digital Scrapbook Pages – Made Easy!

Aloha, all!

     For the easiest of all scrapbooks, Stampin' Up!'s digital program, My Digital Studio, is the best!  And it's become even easier by allowing two-page layouts to be viewed and edited side-by-side!  While my favorite new feature of MDS-2 is that you can color stamps with different "inks," being able to view and edit pages side-by-side is a close second in my voting for favorites!

     While it was possible from the beginning to unlock the page views and see two pages side-by-side, the new feature of MDS-2 is much better than that.  Now the pages sit side-by-side by design, and it's SOOO much easier to line up the elements in each page.

     This is how the pages of a recent scrapbook looked while I was editing them.  The first thing that was super easy was lining up the Border Embellishment from the Comfort Cafe Designer Kit.  Before I would have had to look at the positioning of each border vertically by using the Edit feature.  Copy the placement, open the other page, use the Edit feature, paste the placement number.   There were a couple of other ways I could do that, but none would show me how the two pages would look side-by-side.  Now I know visually that the two are lined up horizontally!

     This way of looking at the pages also allows me to place the photos and other elements in a way that looks pleasing to my eye.  Believe it or not, sometimes an angle of a photo just doesn't look right to me and I go fuss with it until my eye is comfortable with the placement. 

     As you can see with my designs, I like my scrapbook pages to be fairly clean and simple in their design.  I definitely oooh and aaaah over the fabulous pages done by the truly gifted designers.  But my focus is on the photos and getting them into a book that people will enjoy leafing through – to see the photos! 

     For my project last week, I was also doing THREE photobooks with a DEADLINE!  Had I thought to make these photobooks earlier in the year, I would have been in a bit less of a rush.  But once I decided that each of the three grandchildren involved in the story I am telling in this photobook had to have his or her OWN photobook,in JUST THREE WEEKS! things became a bit more complicated – and more of a rush.

     My Digital Studio to the rescue!  I now have all three photobooks at the printer and I should have them in plenty of time to show off at home and then pack for my trip to North Carolina later in the month. 

     And, no, it's not three copies of the same book!   Each books is different, and not just in small ways.  Check back here next Tuesday and I'll tell you more about them!

Breaking News:  A Price Reduction from Stampin' Up!

Stampin' Up! has announced a PERMANENT REDUCTION IN PRINT PRICES for most of its My Digital Studio print projects, including the soft cover photobooks that I've designed for my three young grandchildren!  So instead of the basic price for these books being $24.95, they're now $19.95.  For 24 pages, including 2 that are printed as the front and back cover, that is a super deal.  I'm definitely going to be having more of these printed with that kind of a price reduction.  $60 sounds a lot better than $75 for three of these!  If you'd like to know more about My Digital Studio and they printed projects, just send me an e-mail and I'll be glad to help you!

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Posted on : Oct 04 2012
Posted under My Digital Studio, Scrapbooking |

All Kinds of New Fall Stuff!

Aloha, all!

     Now that I've got Christmas out of the way (well, for at least a couple of months!), I'm finally getting to play with my new fall-themed products from Stampin' Up!  I just love fall colors – probably better than the colors for any other season of the year.  Being out here in Hawaii, I really miss the fall leaves from the Shenandoah Valley and Skyline Drive in Virginia.  There was a year when my husband was a doctoral student at Virginia Tech and I lived in the Washington, DC, area.  I loved the drive down Interstate 81 in the fall to visit him – there just can be no more beautiful Interstate drive anywhere!

     Now, however, I have to leave it to my paper crafting to give me a taste of the fall colors that I love so well.  And who better to provide the products for that than Stampin' Up!

Autumn Card

     I don't even know where to start with this card – although I should probably start with the idea for the layout that I got from the September 2012 issue of CardMaker magazine.  But the images for that card had to be hand cut – and these leaves from Stampin' Up! were die cut with the Sizzix Autumn Accents Bigz Die.   No, the leaves are NOT part of a framelits die set – they're in a traditional die format.  But using my Stamp-a-ma-jig helped get the stamped images somewhat centered on the Very Vanilla Card Stock that I cut with the die.

     The stamp set for the leaves is the Wonderfall Stamp Set from the Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog.  Ooooh, I love plaids, too.  And now that I look at this card, I've decided that my next project with this leaf image is going to use the "Rock and Roll" inking technique.

     But enough of that – now for the papers!  Both sheets of Designer Series Paper are from the Orchard Harvest Paper Set.  The colors in this set include the colors that I used for stamping the leaves and the colors of two of the buttons that I used to accent them:  Cajun Craze, More Mustard and Lucky Limeade.  Two of the buttons are from the Regals Designer Buttons (Cajun Craze and More Mustard), and one is the Old Olive Button from the Brights Designer Buttons. I tied a small piece of Linen Thread through each of the buttons.

     Now for the other "stamped" image.  That's not a stamp!  No, it's an image that I created using My Digital Studio 2.  There is one thing that I did with this "stamp" image from the Autumn Harvest digital set:  I used two colors on the same stamp.  So now what I can do with a rubber image and Stampin' Write Markers, I can do with My Digital Studio images.  There's a way to "brush" on different colors.  It's called the "Coloring Tool" and so far it's my favorite new tool.  So anyway – I colored the whole stamp in Lucky Limeade (just like we used to do with the original My Digital Studio) and then used the coloring tool to color in the leaf and its stem using Cajun Craze.  I then placed the whole stamped image on a digital Modern Label"punch" with a "mat" of Cajun Craze.  I stretched the digital image just a tad so that I could punch the whole thing (printed on Very Vanilla Card Stock) using my regular Modern Label Punch.

    After that I went a little bit crazy, and stopped just to do some coloring on a digital stamp I bought just for this purpose.  I'll share that image and how I went about making it over the weekend.  Just too much fun!

     And where's the ribbon to tie the card together you might ask?  It's definitely there – along both vertical edges of the Very Vanilla strip on which I've adhered the leaves. 

     Oh I'm so busy these days that I've not had as much time for playing with My Digital Studio.  But for sure I'm going to make some time over the next couple of weeks and I'll be sharing my efforts with you, along with my regular paper-and-ink cards!

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Posted on : Sep 20 2012
Posted under My Digital Studio, Sizzix, Stamping |

Playing Around with Sizes!

Aloha, all…

     …and welcome to the June 2012 Blog Hop of the online group, VC Rocks!  This is a group of stampers who spend their summer in chat, chatter and crafting fun, pretty much all related to Stampin' Up!  Since this is a summertime activity and since Stampin' Up! holds its annual convention in the summer, the group decided long ago to become a "Virtual Convention" site.  We have swaps of all kinds, classes and make and takes – and even a hotel where we each claim rooms and roommates for the duration!

     We also have blog hops.  After all we're virtually at Convention but actually on line.  So we get to share our projects with you, too!

     This month's blog hop theme is "Any Size Card."  While I took that to mean that I could use what I usually show off – a 5-1/2" x 4-1/4" card – I chose to show anything BUT that size!  But I couldn't decide which size to use.  Hmmm.  Why not use a bunch!  And, as I do not at the moment have much time for making a bunch of cards for one blog post, I turned to My Digital Studio  and the Season by Season product suite for today's projects.  After all, I could use the same basic elements for all the cards and still have time for projects that I have scheduled for tomorrow! 

     My first card is a 3" square gift card, the size that I'd usually make to tuck inside a gift package.  For this card, I focused on the Not Quite Navy and So Saffron colors.  The greeting and the swirl are digital stamps, and the flower is a digital embellishment, such as you might find in a Simply Scrappin' Kit.



     For my second card, I expanded the height to make a 3" x 6" card.  These are cards that are very efficiently made from 12" square papers and card stock, because I can just cut the paper in half vertically and horizontally, fold the paper, and I have myself four cards!  Digitally, of course, it's just as easy as any other size (smile).

     I also added another set of accent colors to the mix by including another of the embellishment flowers with Rich Razzleberry and Pretty in Pink.  But I did not change the main accent colors of Not Quite Navy and So Saffron.



     My final card is the largest of the group at 5" x 7".  For this card, I kept the Not Quite Navy and So Saffron accent colors, but added in Calypso Coral, first by way of the background Digital Paper pattern, and then by adding in a flower with the Calypso Coral and Pool Party.  But that 3" x 6" card is still there, pretty much intact – I just moved it onto a larger background canvas!  I love adding ribbon to cards, and this larger card really lends itself to some digital grosgrain ribbon.  To keep the card from being too busy, I removed the brads from the greeting element.

     So three quick and easy cards – ready to print out and send off!  If you have any questions about any of the My Digital Studio elements, just leave a comment here or send me an e-mail!  And if you don't yet have My Digital Studio, don't forget that you can try it FREE for 30 days!  Let me know if you're interested in the trial and I'll get you right on it – and then you'll be having as much fun with it as I am!

     That's it for my turn in the blog hop!  If you'd like to see some of the other blogs, please check out the entire list at the VC Rocks Blog!

Posted on : Jun 15 2012
Posted under My Digital Studio |

Special Birthday Cards!

Aloha, all!

     Sunday, June 3, 2012, is a very Special Birthday for my husband, who is also "Grandpa" to 5 wonderful grandchildren.

     But we live a great distance from our grandchildren.  So when we visited with the youngest of them early last month, I carted with me everything that they needed to have a crafting session to make Birthday Cards for Grandpa.  You'll undoubtedly recognize the stamp sets that we used as some that recently retired from Stampin' Up!'s catalog.  But they were perfect for the children, as you'll see in a moment. 

     I created some digital scrapbook pages that will be part of the travel scrapbook that I'll (eventually) create that will cover our entire visit with them, as well as with the older grandchildren and other friends and relatives.  I used a new Digital Photobook Template – Keep This Memory – made for Stampin' Up!'s My Digital StudioI moved and changed some of the elements in the template – but it's so easy when it's digital! 

3-year old Grandson Carson really got into this!  His favorite thing was gluing on scraps!


Granddaughers Morgan and Kiara even let Grandma Robin get in on the fun!

     Grandpa Harry LOVED the cards!

Posted on : Jun 02 2012
Posted under My Digital Studio |

Making a Difficult Project Easy!

Aloha, all!

     I made this project originally for a blog hop that featured Stampin' Up!'s digital papercrafting product, My Digital Studio.  Even though the blog hop is over, I still enjoy showing off this fun Stampin' Up! product, and hope you enjoy this blog post!

     My project for today is one that I would absolutely never have considered undertaking with paper!  I saw an ad in a magazine that caught my eye in an instant – big bold colors and a graphic design that really appealed to me.  I immediately wanted to try to make a greeting card inspired by the ad.  While I do this a lot, I just could not see myself cutting out all those little strips of paper, let alone lining them up and gluing them to a card without pulling my hair out!

     My Digital Studio to the rescue!  With My Digital Studio, I could start laying out strips of digital paper and resizing them – longer, shorter, wider, thinner – with no trouble – and no wasted paper! 

     I began by opening a blank 12" x 12" page, and making some horizontal digital strips that looked to me like they would be a good approximation of the pattern in the model's shorts.  For this picture, I used Pacific Point, Calypso Coral, Night of Navy, Whisper White, and Peach Parfait.

     The next step was to make the same pattern in vertical strips, and then arrange them all together into a pattern that would be the basis for my diagonal design.  I then "grouped" all the strips together, rotated the group 45 degrees and exported that page to a .jpeg file.

     Working on another page of the My Digital Studio document, I located my new .jpeg picture file (using the browse feature), created a photo box; dragged the diagonal picture into it; and cropped the picture to make a neat square.

     Now that I had the basic design, I made three copies of it and arranged them into the large square that you see in my finished project – and it was just what I wanted for my bright and cheerful Birthday Card!

     There just isn't enough space in one little blog post to make this a full tutorial.  But the great thing about My Digital Studio is that there is a whole online community that is dedicated to helping all of us learn all the ins and outs of this fun – and powerful! – program.  It's called "" and is open to anyone who wants to learn more about My Digital Studio and share projects with the rest of the community.  And there's always your own Stampin' Up! Demonstrator who's there to help you, too, especially if he or she is certified in My Digital Studio.

     If you have any questions about My Digital Studio, please let me know!  I've received Stampin' Up!'s certification and I do work with it a lot.  If you've got a puzzle, it will be a lot of fun for me to try to solve it – if I don't know the answer already!

Posted on : Mar 16 2012
Posted under Challenges, My Digital Studio |

Happy 2012!

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou – or Happy New Year – All!

     I just love living in Hawaii, but especially in the winter when I don't have to deal with the snow – and where I can actually remember the season's greetings in Hawaiian!  Besides that, there are flowers everywhere, which is something I did not experience in January when I lived on the mainland.  While I'll share my New Year's card with you in a moment, I just have to share a photo of this flower, which is blooming right now where I can see it from my kitchen window.

Bird of Paradise

     This lovely Bird of Paradise will be around for many days to come!

     Also around for many days to come is the year 2012.  I am ALWAYS needing a calendar.  Figuring out that many of my friends and customers could also use a calendar, I decided to make them a New Year's card with a calendar built in.  As I was running out of time for hand-crafted projects in 2011, I remembered that Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio now has a trifold card design that would be perfect for me to include a calendar!  So back I came to my computer and this is the card that I ended up making! 

     I sent quite a few of these out this morning, and I actually had time to make a "real" bow out of the Sale-A-Bration ribbon set that inspired the design of this card.  So this card is just a little bit hybrid – mostly digital, and a touch of "real."  The flower stamps and the papers, as well as the beautifully thin ribbon, are all going to be part of the 2012 Sale-A-Bration catalog – and you can get them all for free with qualifying orders during the Sale-A-Bration sales period!

     But back to the card.  I found a digital image of the 2012 calendar and put that in the middle section of the card.  I left a blank white space in the third section of the card for me to write a note when I send it out.  I just love the colors – and the Stampin' Up! printing service does a gorgeous job matching Stampin' Up!'s colors!

     Here is the back of the card.  If you want, you can print just as much on the back as on the front.  Fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrator, Patty Bennett, used this format to include lots of pictures of her and her family along with journaling about their 2011 activities.  Each panel is 3-1/2" high by 5" long, so plenty of space for that. I just wanted to show off the pretty papers that are going to be available!

Back of Card

     So here we are in 2012!  I hope that it's all that you want it to be – and that you'll have lots of time to have fun with paper crafting!

Posted on : Jan 01 2012
Posted under Family and Garden, My Digital Studio |

Hybrid Trick or Treat?

Aloha, all!

     Those of you who read my blog posts regularly know that most of what I share with you are greeting cards made exclusively with Stampin' Up! products – stamp sets, inks, papers, embellishments – everything in the current Stampin' Up! catalogs!

     But today you might not recognize at least one of the items on the card as being in a catalog.  But it is!  Can you guess what I'm talking about?

Trick or Treat Card

     Of course it's the skeleton!  If you look at the Holiday Mini Catalog, you'll see that the skeleton on my card is a lot smaller than it appears in the Piece of Poison stamp set AND it's facing the other direction!  No, I didn't shrink the stamp and work some fancy magic to get it this way.  I used My Digital Studio and the Piece of Poison Digital Download found on page 8 of the mini catalog.  That is one of the thousands of fantastic things that you can do with My Digital Studio.  I made my card look exactly as I wanted without being tied down to the stamp in the catalog!  So my card – with Stampin' Up! stamps, ink, papers and embellishments (love that ribbon and those brads!) is a hybrid – a mix of digital and 3-dimensional products!

It's a Create With Connie and Mary Challenge – with PRIZES!


     I made this card for the Create With Connie and Mary Weekly Challenge this week.  This week's challenge and those for the next 5 Sketchweeks are special because they're a part of the Create With Connie and Mary Holiday Edition subscription – BUT we get to share them with everyone, not just those who've purchased the subscription.  Fun for me since a lot of projects on which I've been working this month are limited to subscribers.  I know a lot of you have already subscribed (because you've told me!) and I hope some more of you will think about it, too!  The projects this week have been so much fun (when I have time I'm making at least one of them from another designer for sure).

     The Create with Connie and Mary challenge this week is a sketch challenge, and you are invited to submit your very own project, too, by commenting on the Create with Connie and Mary Blog.  If you are a subscriber to Create With Connie and Mary – Holiday Edition, you'll also have a chance to win a prize!  Here's the sketch.  I would be SO happy to have one of you win that prize at the end of the Holiday Edition!

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A Big Reason I LOVE My Digital Studio!

Aloha, all!

     Though I don't post much here about Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio, I use it quite a lot – and not just for digital scrapbooking! 

Bon Voyage Digital Card

     I make greeting cards!  You might think, "Hey, she has all that paper and ink and all those stamps and embellishments; why would she want to go digital?!"  A very good reason is that Stampin' Up! frequently retires a lot of those papers and stamps and so forth.  They have to in order to add new stuff to their catalogs.  But where does that leave us when something we love retires?

     Up until 2009, it left us in the lurch.  NOW, however, a ton of that "stuff" lives on in the digital world of Stampin' Up! – through My Digital Studio.

     Take today's card.  I really needed a Bon Voyage card for some friends about to go on a cruise of a lifetime.  But Travel Journey Designer Series Paper as well as the stamp set, Sentimental Journey were RETIRED!  What to do?  Go digital, of course! 

     OK, now I have a confession to make.  There are some stamp sets and papers that I just can't let go!  And I happened to have some scraps of Travel Journal paper stashed away in the craft room – right next to that wonderful scrapbooking stamp set, Sentimental Journey.  So our friends did receive a stamped and embellished card.  Of course, I could have had the digital version printed professionally and then added in the still current Pumpkin Pie Ribbon.  But I didn't have time – I had like a day's warning that a group wanted a card to sign!  And, no matter how well I calibrate my printer, ink jet is just not the same as the wonderfully printed cards made by Stampin' Up!'s printing service.  So here, carefully stashed at the bottom of this blog post, is a real honest-to-goodness card made with retired products (gasp!). 

     Hey, compare the two!  Is My Digital Studio not wonderful!  And from now on, when I want the Travel Journal paper for a project, I really am going to have to go digital – because the scraps I now have left are really, really, teensy.

Paper and Ink Card

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Posted on : Feb 26 2011
Posted under My Digital Studio, Stamping |

A Valentine for my Husband

Aloha, all!

     As many of you know, my husband was quite ill for most of 2010.  It really made us both focus on how precious is our time together.  For this Valentine's Day, I decided that a card was not enough.  During the past year we had many opportunities to be together in places and times where we had our pictures taken together, more than is normal for us!  So an album of some photographs of our times together in 2010 seemed to be just the thing.

Album Cover

     This album is a simple Accordion Album, made with one piece of Stampin' Up! Card stock, and decorated with papers from the Sweet Stitches Designer Series Paper Set, featured in the Stampin' Up! 2010 Occasions Mini Catalog.  The quote for the front of this album – the perfect quote for it! – is from the Level 3 Hostess Stamp Set, Occasional Quotes.  I punched the flowers from the same paper set and added a Sweet Stitches Fabric Brad, also from the Occasions Mini Catalog.

     Album Inside

     Inside the album are six photos.  The two on the left were taken on a March 2010 trip to the island of Maui.  The middle two photographs were taken while Harry was in the hospital on the island of O'ahu, with the 4th picture taken the evening before his surgery in June.  His surgery was to take place on his birthday, so we celebrated a day early – the reason he's wearing a lei!  The 5th photo was taken on an October trip to visit the property in Lawrence, Kansas, where his grandparents had their dairy farm when Harry was a child.  The final photograph – and a tribute to his having made it through a very difficult year – was taken in December when we visited the island of Kaua'i.

     I wrote the notes on pieces of Whisper White card stock which I printed from images made with My Digital StudioThe stamp set that includes these images, Notes and Details, is also available in the Occasions Mini Catalog.  These were just perfect for my hand-written journaling in this little album.

     When you're thinking of making cards and gifts, don't forget that small albums such as these are oh so quick and easy to make!  And they are often just the most perfect gift you can give someone.  Certainly the perfect gift for my husband this Valentine's day 2011!

     Have you seen the word, "Perfect," all through this blog post!  It's really a tribute to a perfect husband.

     Happy Valentine's Day!

Posted on : Feb 14 2011
Posted under 3D Projects, My Digital Studio, Stamping |

OK, I Give Up! More Snow Stuff!

Aloha, all!

     The last time I posted I said that I was so OVER snow.  And I just sit and read about snow, I don't live in it.  I can't imagine what you gals and guys who've been living with so much of it this winter are going through (well, yes, I've been there/done that – 50 inches the last winter we spent on the mainland).

     But when there are grandchildren involved and their mother (a photographer) takes pictures of them, I have to give in.

Carson in the Snow

Morgan in the Snow

     Both of these scrap pages are made with Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio, and both feature photos of one grandchild each.  The photo layout is one of the built-in layouts provided in the software package that comes with My Digital Studio.  I modified it just a bit, added the background paper, some snowflakes from digital "stamp sets" and some journaling backgrounds made with digital "punches."  All digital!  Not a speck of paper wasted trying out different colors for the mats!  And (best of all) no added clutter in the craft room!  That's the real plus because it seems to be in a constant state of disarray as I am cleaning up after Christmas and getting the new Occasions Mini Catalog stuff set up.

     If you have any questions about My Digital Studio, I'll be glad to help you with them!  I've taken all of Stampin' Up!'s tutorials and have a lot of practice doing lots of fun pages (fun is my mantra for 2011!).   There's also an online resource for everyone who uses My Digital  Lots of great samples and discussions!  If you're not quite sure you want to buy this software, go check that website out – you'll be hooked!

     And whether you're making cards or scrapbook pages or anything else creative today, have fun with it!

Posted on : Jan 14 2011
Posted under Family and Garden, My Digital Studio, Scrapbooking |