Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Digital Studio Color Combo 1 Challenge

This week at the challenge is a color combo challenge.  You may not know, but nearly unlimited color-combinations are available as suggestions for your project in the "choose color" option in My Digital Studio.

Watch this quick video below to see how to access them!

This is the page I created for this challenge:  I realize it's an Easter themed page and we're actually fast approaching Christmas, but I like to start my design with a photo - and these were the photos I liked best for this color combination. 

Tips & Tricks:

Designing around 1 point of inspiration:   I like to start my pages with a great photo.  In this series of photos I loved the texture of the bark on our pear tree and I wanted to duplicate that somehow in my page.  Using the "Bunch of Backgrounds" stamp brush set, I found the perfect crackled wood-look background.  An added bonus was the tie-in with cracked eggs for Easter and the cute sentiment.

Re-coloring Stamps:   I love this new feature in MDS 2!  The border stamp I used was recolored to incorporate all the colors in my color-combo theme.  It adds a more fun and festive look to this page!  I have a video tutorial posted here.

Favorite Downloads:

Bunch of Backgrounds:  If there's a background or overlay stamp set, I will buy it.  They are infinitely versatile.

Bunch Of Background Stamp Brush Set -- Digital Download
A Good Egg:  This is an adorable and inexpensive stamp brush set with super cute elements that can be used for many other occasions.

A Good Egg Stamp Brush Set -- Digital Download 

My Digital Studio Express Trial

Friday, September 21, 2012

Beach Grass

I love doing digital challenges.  This week the My Digital Studio Challenge is to use 10 or more pictures in a single page layout.  This one was a stretch for me because I like to start with one particularly good photo and design around it so that the focus is on my photo.  I was able to still accomplish this I think - showcasing my favorite photo of the ten and the using the other nine as "supporting photos."

Tips & Tricks: 

Natural Composition Overlays is a great stamp brush set for creating cool textured backgrounds.  I used three layers in different colors and opacities to create the "grass mat" look on this page.

Natural Composition Overlays Stamp Brush Set -- Digital Download

Photo Stack:  This a fun way to give a "realistic" look to your virtual page.  Layer the same photo and frame several deep.  Rotate each layer a little bit and add drop shadow to make them look like a stack of photos.

Lovely Little Labels:  Labels are such a sweet way to add a little extra something to make your page look finished.  This designer kit comes with a stamp brush set and coordinating punches.

Lovely Little Labels Kit -- Digital Download 

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I'm a Weimaraner person.  I started with one: Greta, a beautiful blue 8 week old bundle of total wild craziness.  I then rescued 2 more in order to surround myself with more chaos.  I was always well-protected.  You cannot imagine the cacaphony that occurred when someone came to the door - which included not only barking, but since my home has mostly tile and hardwood floors, a sound not unlike a herd of rampaging elephants.  Our poor postal worker was terrified to leave packages at the door.

I dubbed them "Cerberus" - the three headed hound of Hades.

Now, sadly, I am down to just one Weimaraner (also a rescue).  The beautiful triumvirate in these photos have all passed on. 

This is also my entry in the IBN DigiChallenge - a color challenge this week, using Wild Wasabi, More Mustard, and Baja Breeze.

Tips for creating this page:

  • Recoloring Embellishments.  The lighter the embellishment is to start with, the better your color results will be.  I recolored the "baja breeze" embellishments - which were originally Island Indigo
  • Using Embellishments.  Knock yourself out.  There are so many fun little bits to add:  digi-tape, staples, saftey pins, borders, banners, brads, journaling scraps, stitching, etc.

Digital Content Used to Create this Page:

Natural Composition Overlays
Natural Composition Overlays Stamp Brush Set -- Digital Download

Fan Fair Designer Photobook Template 

Fan Fair Photobook Template -- Digital Download 

MDS 2 Free Trial

Thursday, September 13, 2012


When you buy My Digital Studio, you have access to an amazing online community at  There is a wealth of information:  project ideas, training videos, a blog, and contests.  The weekly contests are a great way to expand your MDS skills and have fun doing it!

This week's challenge is a "Scrap Map" - a layout design for a scrapbook page.

 I just purchased the Floral District Digital Content Disc (it's 31% off until tomorrow!) and that is primarily what I used to create this page.  It's really a simple layout - I put it together in about 15 minutes.  MDS makes it easy!

Digital Content:

Floral District Digital Content Disc:

Floral District Collection DVD 


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pals Blog Hop

Glad you could join us for some fun fall crafting with the Stampin' Pretty Pals! You've probably hopped over from Julie Trevett-Smith at The Stampin' Affair!, I'm stop number 25 on the Pals Hop and I'm glad you hopped in! I'll help you "hop along" from blog to blog where you'll find great ideas for Stampin' Up! fall projects! Should you hop off course, simply click on any of the links in the Pals Hop Line-up below and you'll be back on track

Fall is my favorite season.  I particularly love cooking and baking - it's finally cool enough to use the oven and enjoy all the delicious comfort food that I adore.  One of my favorite cooking magazines is Cooks Country.  The little rooster from the A Fitting Occasion stamp set combined with the gingham prints in the Orchard Harvest Designer Series Paper reminded me of the magazine layout.

So with that inspiration, I decided to make a gift box to hold various treats that I might bake for a friend.
  • The box is up-cycled from a cardboard pantry item box 
  • The crinkly brown paper is from a regular brown paper bag
  • I stamped the rooster right on the Designer Series Paper
  • I stamped the flower image from the Perfectly Preserved stamp set right on my brown paper bag
  • I gently un-assembled my box so I could lay it out flat and cut the top edge with my Adorning Accents Edgelit die
  • The Core-dinations Card Stock is embossed with the Woodgrain Embossing folder - it adds such a great rustic touch
  • Use sticky strip to hold everything together!

Stamps:  A Fitting Occasion, Perfectly Preserved, Chamomile (Stampin' Wheel)
Ink:  Raspberry Ripple, More Mustard, Lucky Limeade, Early Espresso
Paper:  Early Espresso Core-dinations Card Stock, Orchard Harvest DSP, More Mustard CS,
Very Vanilla CS
Ribbon:  Linen Thread
Tools:  Stampin' Around Handle, Big Shot, Wood Grain Embossing Folder, Floral Frames Framlits, 1 1/4" Scallop Circle Punch, 3/4" Circle Punch, Adorning Accents Edgelits Die

Now hop along for more inspiring ideas from Katie McGloin at Just Fun Stamping, stop number 26 on the Pals Fall Flair Blog Hop! Thanks for "hopping" by!

  1. Nicole Watt at Impressions By Nicole
  2. Beth Beard at My Little Craft Blog
  3. Maxine Conrad at Stamp to the MAX
  4. Claire Crotteau-Hutt at stamppaperscissors
  5. Susan Lankford at Stamp and Scrap With Susan
  6. Nicole Picadura at Scraps and Stamps
  7. Bobbi at My Therapy
  8. Mary Fish at Stampin' Pretty
  9. Barb Furlong at The Love of Stamping
  10. Rae Harper at Wild West Paper Arts
  11. Sherrie Gross at Stampin Sunshine
  12. Lynn at Cattaildesigns
  13. Dawn Tidd at Tiddbits from Dawn
  14. Kim Czenszak at Live Love Stamp
  15. Naki Rager at ...notes from Naki
  16. Kerry Willard Bray at Stampgoodness
  17. Patti MacLeith at Papercrafts by Patti
  18. Peggy Noe at Pretty Paper Cards
  19. Kim Luithle at Kim's Stampin Stuff
  20. Lori Martin at The Rejoicing Papercrafter
  21. Diane Roberts at scoreatfourandaquarter
  22. Maggie Mata at Maggie Made Cards
  23. Kris Kilcoyne at Kween Bee Kreations
  24. Julie Trevett-Smith at The Stampin' Affair!
  25. Jennifer Takacs at Stamped in Full
  26. Katy McGloin at Just Fun Stamping

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Fresh Look for Fall

I've changed my blog theme to give it a fresh look for fall!  I hope you like the new look.  I fell in love with the Fan Fair Designer Photobook Template and all the beautiful elements included in this kit.  It's primarily what I used to design the new look of my blog.

Do you have a blog?  Customizing your blog is easy with My Digital Studio 2.  There are now custom sizes available when choosing your project size.  It makes it easy to create blog headers, blog buttons, and backgrounds for your blog.

Fan Fair Photobook Template -- Digital Download 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Winter of Our Content

The title of my page is a nod to my favorite of Shakespeare's "Histories", The Tragedy of Richard the Third.  He was my favorite villain - I did a paper on him in college and there's been some news lately that archeologists may have found his tomb - exciting stuff, really, but I'm getting off topic.  The famous quote I'm butchering is "Now is the winter of our discontent..."

What I have is a winter themed page for my Old House Journal.  I used a sketch of my home in the winter time that was drawn circa 1970 and used by the former owners of my house as a Christmas card.  I also scanned in some old documents from our abstract to use for background papers.  Isn't that cool?  MDS really opens the door for creativity!

Tips and tricks for this page:

  • Journaling:  write what you're feeling - describe what makes this moment special to you and journal in non-traditional spots on your page- like over or around a photo, or right on your background.
  • Stamps:  there are so many cool little bits of stuff in these stamp sets - add one, two, three - don't feel like you have stick with one set.  Layer them to peek out behind photos.  Put them on photos.  Have them hang off the edges.
  • Color match:  to create the torn edge at the top of my page I used color match so the "Torn Edges" stamp would match the color of my "Convention 2012" designer series paper exactly.  
  • Embellishments and Photobook Templates:  Photobook templates are a great way to get a huge amount of content to play with!  The ones I used for this page come with so many beautiful embellishments it will keep you designing for many projects to come.

Photobook Templates used in this project:

Back to School Digital Ensemble:  this is an AMAZING kit full of such cool embellishments, papers, stamps, template...a must have.

Back To School Ensemble -- Digital Download
 Conventional 2012:  the chalkboard backgrounds, scroll-work frames, and gorgeous punch shapes are a fabulous addition to your MDS arsenal.

Convention 2012 Photobook Template -- Digital Download
 Fan Fair:  The embellishments alone are worth the price of admission here.

Fan Fair Photobook Template -- Digital Download

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Teachers! Get MDS for FREE!

For a limited time and on a first come first serve basis, Stampin' Up! is generously offer FREE copies of My Digital Studio for schools!  Contact me and I will email you the request form for your school.

Here are a few ideas of fantastic things you can create for your school/classroom:

  • Create bulletin board d├ęcor
  • Make certificates and awards for student achievement
  • Make birthday cards for students
  • Create parent flyers or newsletters
  • Create a photobook of a special class activity, or an overview of the whole year
  • And more... 

some of the fine print:
  • If a school has already received a donation from Stampin' Up! and has exceeded the amount of donations that we allow in a given time period they will not be able to participate.
  • donations will be met on a first come first serve basis while supplies last.
  • Stampin' Up! will follow-up with the schools to see how they are using the software and may contact them for stories about the usage. 
  • This offer is only available in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. 

Using MDS to make E-cards

As crafters I think many of us tend to think of things in the tangible, rather than virtual.  MDS can accomplish both by having your cards, scrapbook pages, journals, and board books printed by the excellent Stampin' Up! print service.  But, it's fun to use MDS for just virtual projects, too.

I love making birthday cards to post on my friends' Facebook pages.  It definitely stands out from the typical birthday wishes!

To do this, I usually start with a postcard template since I only need one page.

Here's a sample of one I created for one of my dearest friends who lives very far away...

I made this one using the gorgeous Photobook Template World Traveler.  She lives in Hawaii - so I brought her a little closer using a tag and the "Hawaii" punch from the Fifty Nifty digital download.  I love all the little map markers and trajectories - I marked our favorite spot to grab a beer together.

Have some fun making virtual cards for your friends to post on social media sites.  They will love it!

World Traveler Photobook Template -- Digital Download

Fifty Nifty Kit -- Digital Download 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


My Digital Studio has an excellent online community full of fantastic resources at  It's an invaluable resource for help and inspiration.  The My Digital Studio official blog is featuring a weekly challenge and giveaway until the end of the year.

This week's contest is to use any download from the month of August.  I'm using the Storybook Specialty Designer Series Paper.  It's a perfect backdrop for all those cute photos of your children.

Embellishments made this project super easy!  Adding little strips of pattern and color is a great way to give your project a fun and trendy look, and add small bits of accent colors for balance.  You can add text or stamps to the strips or even layer them on top of each other.

For my color scheme, I used colors that would compliment the photos - Tangerine Tango for the carrots, Pool Party from his bib and a splash of Daffodil Delight to balance it.

Downloads used in this project:
Storybook Specialty DSP
Domestic Goddess DSP
Back to School Digital Ensemble
Scallop Dots Ribbon
Candid Frames Designer Kit
Get it Done

Techniques Used:  
Cropping Embellishments
Recoloring DSP

Storybook Specialty Designer Series Paper -- Digital Download

Monday, September 3, 2012

IBN Digi-challenge

This is MDS week on my blog.  I'll be featuring projects I've made using My Digital Studio 2 all week long!  I started it off yesterday with my "Old House Journal."  Today, I'm participating in a digital design challenge created by the very talented Nicole Watt and Kris Kilcoyne (also fellow Stampin' Up! Pretty Pals).  Visit Nicole's digital design challenge blog for details.

I'm excited for digital challenges - we need more of them!

This is the sketch for this week's challenge:


And here is my entry:

Almost all the elements that I used in this page are from the Fan Fair Photobook Template download.  Photobook templates are a fabulous way to add an extraordinary amount of content to MDS.  They not only include the templates, but also large sets of embellishments, papers, and stamps.

Fan Fair Photobook Template -- Digital Download

This set has some fantastic embellishments - if you love stitching you will want this one for sure.  There are many different stitch types and shapes - so pretty!

Techniques I've used are:
  •  Re-coloring Photos
  • Changing Opacity
  • Adding a "Splatter"
Click on the MDS page button above for helpful MDS 2 video tutorials.