Tuesday, May 17, 2016

New Summer Freebie Planner Stickers and Silhouette Cameo Tutorial




Well I was back at it all day Monday! Making new stickers for my Happy Planner.  Inspired by the incredible freebies from My Planner Envy.  This very gifted designer shares her planner stickers with us and I love her style.

So inspired by Jessica's stickers, I set out to create some of my own.  Using color stories I snagged from Design Seeds.  This is one of my favorite places to go to find exciting color harmonies that I can use.  

{ flora hues } image via: @c_colli: Here's the Design Seeds picture that inspired these first set of stickers.  I just used the color picking eye dropper on the Silhouette Cameo Fill screen and "picked" the colors I wanted right from the picture.  Then I added text and some darling graphics from Creative Market.  This is a wonderful  sight that offers great buys and lots of freebies on fonts and graphics.   


So after I was happy with this first set, I got to work on a second set inspired by a more beachy bright collection. 

I mention the website: 
The Hungry Jpeg
I love going to this sight to pick up incredible bundles.  Loaded down with fonts and graphics, they really kickstart my creativity.  Plus, most of the sets in the bundles are commercial liscenses.  A big plus for such a little price!  

Here's a picture of the latest bundle I bought.  Look at all those wonderful watercolor graphics and great fonts!  Can't wait to play with them all...







Below, I posted the quick video I did on some of the steps to get you started creating your own with the Silhouette design space.   So easy and so much fun!




Just right click on the photos to download a copy for your personal use if you'd like.  And have fun creating!  

Molly

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Easy Tutorial for Making "Font Frame" Embellishments with Silhouette Cameo


So it's been less than a month since I received my Silhouette Cameo.  But let me tell you it's love at first cut!  I just uploaded a quick and easy tutorial.  

I am helping a friend finish her wedding album from over 30 years ago and wanted to use as many Anna Griffin pretties as I could.  Well that's where the fun started.  
I have dozens and dozens and more of Anna Griffin sentiment stickers left over from card kits I have bought.  But... they have sentiments like...with deepest sympathy, congrats on your new baby, get well soon...not exactly perfect for a wedding album.  So the challenge was: could I use my Silhouette Cameo, with our without Photoshop Elements 14 to recreate them into something just perfect for Pam's beautiful album?

And the answer is absolutely Yes!  

So if I could do this, could I make titles with Cameo that had that same timeless elegance that Anna Griffin is so loved and known for?  Again the answer is Yes!  I just used the Cameo Design screen, typed in some frames using specialty dingbat fonts, typed in the sentiment, made offset layers and voila ... coordinating titles.  And of course I couldn't stop there.  I had so much fun making sentiment stickers for greeting cards to cover up even more of the sentiments I wouldn't be using.  
Here's the video of how I did this so easily with the Cameo.  Below that is a list of fonts you might want to use if you are going to give this easy method a try.  




Easy Tutorial for making "font Frame" titles and embellishments with Silhouette Cameo


Fonts for Frames:
Vintage Frames by Sughayer Foundry
Calligraphic-frames-soft font by Intellecta
Kg-flavor-and-frames font by Kimberly Geswein

but enjoy a few minutes and head over to Dafont.com , search for frames or dingbat fonts and you'll find lots of fun sets, including some this pennants and flags!

Well I hope you enjoy this method, give it a try and keep sharing ideas.
Have fun crafting!
Molly D

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Freebie Happy Planner Stickers and My new Silhouette Cameo

Flowers used on these labels are
from the pixeledpaperdesigns available on etsy
 I am so over the moon happy!  I got a new Silhouette Cameo!  Now those of you who know me, know I have a Cricut Explore and love love love it.  

So why buy a Cameo?  I make scrapbook layouts alot and like making titles with shadows.  Plus, I love making planner stickers to share and lots of other "print then cut" designs to use as layout and card embellishments.  But my Cricut was falling a little short on these two fronts.  

But did these two "needs" actually justify spending over $250 on a new machine?  Well, a good friend of mine has a Cameo and shared it with me to play with.  I fell head over heels, but told her unless I could find one under $200 it was out of the questions.  Then, the very next day,  really, the very next day...HSN listed a cameo for $188.  It had to be a sign from Heaven, right?  So I now own my Cameo.  

Here's my take on the advantages and disadvantages of each of these two wonderful cutting machines:


Cricut Explore:

  • Makes deep cuts, letting you use a wide range of materials to cut. Cameo does not cut as deeply.
  • Design Space is a breeze to use.  Learning curve for first time users is short.  
  • It is internet only accessible, which can be limiting at crops or any place there is no internet access.
  • Cricut team is very energetic and friendly, offering great support if ever needed.
  • Faster and quieter than Cameo.
Artwork used on these stickers were from
graphic bundles from thehungryjpeg
and poppymoondesigns
  • Print then cut is easy to use, but eats up a lot of paper, because Cricut has print area limited to around 8" by 6", meaning you use waste about half a sheet of paper every time you cut.
  • Editing tools are somewhat limited.  Easy to use what is there, and easy for beginner or intermediate level crafters, but limiting for advanced editing.

Silhouette Cameo:  

  • Let's you create shadows or offsets very easily.  Cricut is working on this feature, but has been for quite a while.
  • Print then cut is very easy and lets you use almost all of a sheet of paper, including 81/2" by 11" and even up to 12" by 12".  I have a wide format printer so this is wonderful.
  • Editing tools are wonderful.  Instead of using other digital editing programs like Photoshop, I can do most of my creating and editing right on the Cameo design screen
  • With the upgrade to Designer Edition you can easily cut any SVG you upload and can even convert your work to rhinestone templates in a few very very easy steps.

The two set of Planner stickers I am showing here were cut on the Cameo.  The top one, pinks and aqua, was created in Photoshop Elements, then uploaded and cut with the Cameo.  The second set was created completely on the Cameo mat, using the Design screen.  OMGeeeeee, for me, this is a huge wow!  

Here are my planner layouts using these stickers...


Well, back to playing with my machines.
Have fun crafting!







P.S. here's the video I did showing these quick and easy planner stickers!



Molly 

(If you right click on the pictures of the stickers I made, you should be able to save and print for your own personal use.)





Friday, April 22, 2016

Designing the Perfect Scrapbook Layout

Don't you just hate it when you go to the mall and it's so crowded you can't find a parking space?  And there are just too many people crowding you in and the stores have their clothes racks just too close together?

Basic human instinct of survival are just kicking in.  You were hot wired to want to have a place of visual advantage to easily see the path ahead, lots of room to "graze" to your hearts content. and a safe exit strategy.  We just want excitement and something that touches our emotions, but not visual overload or anything too boring.

Well, there are easy design principles you can use to create a scrapbook page that keeps those same basic anxieties at bay, and allow the "star of the show",  your picture to take center stage!  Now, you know there is no such thing as a "perfect" scrapbook layout.  Styles change, moods change, but these simple principles can help you create captivating and timeless layouts.

 Rule of Thirds                                                 
"Memories Captured" VIDEO TUTORIALA very basic rule from the photography world.  Imagine dividing your layout into 9 equal parts just by drawing four lines.  Just like a tic tac toe board.  One of the  four spots where those lines intersect are where your pictures dominant feature should be placed for greatest impact.  One of the best designers at capitalizing on this technique is Gabrielle Polloco.  If you are interested in seeing more of her works, be sure to check out her blog at http://gabriellepollacco.blogspot.com/



 White Space                                                   

Okay, white space isn't really always white.  It is just a clean space for the eye to rest, and the brain to process what it is taking in.  Too little white space, or too much visual clutter and the brain gets agitated and wants to turn away. Today's trend in advertising is lots and lots of white space and make the logo or message clear and  dominant.  The same is true in scrapbooking trends.  See how both ads are selling cleaner.  But one really stands out because of the effective use of white space.  Nope I don't recommend one cleaner over the other, just the use of white space.








 Line                                                               
A line is the simplest way to have the viewer follow your lead.  A line can be curved or head off in any direction.  But your visual line  should be easy enough for the eye to follow and end in the pot of gold...your picture or message you wanted to show off.    Notice how this gorgeous layout by Ingvild Bolme  from Prima's website use two lines to frame the darling picture.  

Remember the yellow brick road? Yep lots of twists and turns, but they kept to it because it was easy to identify as the way to go and they trusted the payoff at the end would be worth the trip.













 Repetition                                                       
It's easy....just try to use any visual image at least 3 times to create a pattern to set a theme.  More than 3? Just keep them odd numbers, it's easier on the brain and will keep it interested.  Many practicers of Fung Sui design principles believe odd numbers of elements create movement.  I love how this BoBunny layout repeats the shades of green and the stamped images.  Really balances the layout!  

This is another great layout from Gabrielle at 
Scrapbook.com  It's not only perfect to highlight the effectiveness of repetition, but the richness that adding texture can bring to your scrapbooking story.





 Texture                                                           
Remember the yellow brick road we talked about above?  Well it was filled with excitement, things that made the journey anything but boring.  Well that's where texture comes in on a scrapbook layout. Texture can be created with mixing in metals, fabrics, stenciling with modeling paste, embossing, paints, using pop dots to create raised effects...just have fun and add texture!  It will keep your eye interested in continuing the journey and yet give it some "roses to stop and smell" or fill you with a excitement that will make the trip memorable.

 Color                                                              

Can't help it...it's science...colors produce feelings and emotions in the viewer.  So use it to it's best advantage by playing with and easy to use color palette builder.  Good old fashioned color wheels are still great for helping inspire you with color mixes. But if you want something a little more new age...try some online color palette generators.  Just like with pattern, it is often more pleasing to use one dominant color, then at least two supporting, one secondary and one accent.  

Two of my favorites color palette sites are 
  • Adobe's Kuler Color Wheel  (even lets you upload an image or picture to suggest palette!)
  • Design Seed  Doesn't let you upload a pic to "match" but man oh man are her images inspiring and very often pull me off the couch and fling me to the craft table just by their pow factor!
Interested in learning a little more about color theory? See my post: 



So when it comes to creating a scrapbook layout that really pops, just remember to follow your own natural instincts.  After all you ARE an artist.  We are all wired that way!

Have fun and be fearless!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Be Inspired - Playing with Printables



I grew up in a generation born without computers.  Heck we didn't even have remotes for TV's when I was a child.  Fax machines didn't come to my work until I was in my mid-twenties.  I was captivated with what technology could bring.  AND then computers!!!!  Oh my Heaven's, they had me at hello.

I am having a ball, everyday, learning something new about playing with art and color and design on the computer.  There is a saying..."Never measure your start by someone else's middle."

I remind myself that every time I get giddy with excitement when I learn something new about Photoshop Elements.  Keep going, you haven't even gotten close to reaching your middle... I keep telling myself.  But I am light years ahead of where I was yesterday.

Creating printables was something I wanted to learn to do.  I love typefaces, I love color, I love art, I love home decor...it only seemed to make sense that I needed to learn to make printables.  Plus, I could play and play with my digital supplies and never have to worry about making a mess on my desk.  A mess on my computer, trying to organize files and keep track of digital files, yes.  But at least my desktop and craft room were none the worse for wear.

I recently went to a fabulous crop with over 200 women present.  The creative juices were flowing like wine.  I was so very blessed to be sitting across from a dear friend and very very gifted artist, Belinda Keller.  She was working on an idea she had for art inspired by the theme of the crop - Willy Wonka.  Belinda decided she  wanted to play up on the Good Egg scene from the movie.

Well, Belinda created this incredible piece of watercolor art in shades of blues and greens.  She shared she wanted to use it as a photo frame for her scrapbook layout.  Amazing!

But she didn't care for the color she had painted the "GOOD" egg.  It was a gorgeous fuchsia that was one of the colors in the eggs and pictures we took.  So lucky lucky me!  She recolored another egg for herself.  Right there...on the spot...made another gorgeous egg.  And I got to use, steal, take the fuchsia one.

Then I asked her if I could play with making myself some digital printables with it.  So I scanned a copy in.  Opened it in Adobe's Photoshop Elements and played with recoloring it to match the title.

On Photoshop Elements it's as easy as:
Hitting the drop down button for "Enhance".
Then select "adjust color".
Then "adjust hue/saturation".  Now just slide the hue bar til you find a color combo you like.




Inspirational Printables | On Sutton PlaceNow the easy peesy printable I made from Belinda's incredible watercolor artwork makes me so proud of how I am learning to play with printables. I have gained courage and artistic inspiration from so many places.

One of the most inspiring blog sites I have ever stumbled upon was
On Sutton Place Printables.

She is an amazing artist. Her site is one of my go-to places to be inspired.  She shares dozens of seasonal and inspirational printables.

Kiss from a Rose digital kitHow would I ever be able to create anything more beautiful than those?  I may never be, but I can learn to create things I like.  Things that come from me.  And that's the fun of it.  

Photoshop Elements 14 is the software I use to play with.  I find beautiful digital supplies from dozens of sites, free and for purchase on the web. One of my favorites is Scrapgirls.com   It's an online store featuring dozens of talented digital artist.  They have a wonderful offering that fits every taste.  And tutorials that I found immensely helpful in learning how to create on a computer. It turned this hardware into a beautiful palette.  My computer now holds many times more happy scrappy supplies than would ever fit in my scraproom.

Another artist that is so inspiring is Katie Pertiet.  She has an outstanding blog, where she sometimes offers incredible freebies. Her designs are offered for sale at Designer Digitals.


3x4 free project life printable

Of course  Pinterest is an unending treasure trove for printables, freebies and for purchase.  And the overwhelming inspiration can be crippling.  I have had to discipline myself to disconnect from Pinterest before I have spent the whole day filling my soul with inspiration.  I want to create.  I want to learn.  And the only way to do that is just to do!

So while I feel like I am approaching the middle...I still take such pleasure from playing with printables and learning something new as often as I can.

Enjoy, play and have fun creating!
hugs,
Molly

Monday, February 8, 2016

Be Inspired - Playing with Watercolors

How often do we tell ourselves..."I am not an artist"?  I have done that terrible deed to myself for decades.  It was only in recent years that I  have started to face my self doubts and go for it.

013016-Negative-Coloring-Video-by-Jennifer-McGuire-Ink
Here's a link to her great video:

So I wanted to share some of artists and trends I find inspiring.  After all, I spend more than a forty hour "work" week on watching videos and reading blogs.  And I thought it might be fun to share the links and posts that most inspire me.


Thank Heaven above for the inspiring artists that so generously share their time and talents with us on YouTube.  I watch everyday, looking for a new idea, a new trick, a new trend that I can play with.  And that's what finally what I had to tell myself...play!  No one will see if you make a "mistake".  And just turn that mistake into a happy accident, and play. 

Now I haven't gone as far as creating an art journal for myself.  Still haven't overcome the fear of someone stumbling upon  it (and so what if they did?) , or me reminding myself of the boo boo's.  So I create little snippets.  Try new things and what the heck.  If I don't like what I see, I keep going and recreate it or throw it away.  And for me, that's saying something. 








This week I wanted to play with watercolors.  My favorite go to gal for inspiration is Jennifer McGuire.  Now she is not a watercolor artist by trade, she is a card maker blogger extrairdinaire!   And recently she shared a technique for coloring outside the box.  Sounded like it was meant for me.

I recently received a new stamp set from Hot off the Press and thought the flowers in it would be great to try this gorgeous new technique.





 I pulled out some of  my Strathmore Mixed Media and Watercolor paper scraps I have been hoarding.  I know, I know, I can't throw anything out and couldn't bear the thought of wasting a whole new page.   And what fun it was to start to play.



Here's my project, warts and all.  Thank you Jennifer!  I am such a huge fan of yours!!! Now that was fun...what's next?








Plus!  here's a link to another quick and easy video from Prairie Paper and Ink  I think you would enjoy!  Looks so quick and easy!



Be Inspired - Playing with Watercolor

P.S. Click the link above to watch my video for close up of these cards and a couple of tips on organization you might enjoy!



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016 New Year Freebie Stickers for Happy Planner

Well I couldn't decide!  I was making a new cover and stickers for my MAMBI Happy Planner and I just couldn't decide.  Bright with watercolor fun or gardens of pink and cream flowers?  So of course I did both.

Here are the stickers I made, and wanted to share.  Please feel free to copy and print for your personal use.  (Just  click on the photo, and save to your favorite file or print to use now.)

So I think you can see, I was completely in two very different moods when I created these stickers.

Which brings me to my true dilemma.  I am trying to set my goals for 2016 and just can't seem to focus in on just one, two or even three.  It seems I have a certifiable case of crafting attention deficit disorder.  But isn't that the real beauty of crafting?   Creating something that expresses how you feel, at that moment.   


Well, anywho, back to my Happy Planner. Along with the stickers, I made two different covers. 

For the watercolor one, I downloaded some graphic artwork from Dress your Tech which I found on Pinterest.  Wowzer they have great looking graphics. Intended for use on phones, tablets and computers, but hey why now use as craft designer paper too!  


For the beautiful shabby chic pink one, I scanned a sheet of pinkpaislee paper I had stashed away years ago, then "transformed" the size in Photoshop elements 14.  Then I "erased" the wording they had in the white frame and replaced with the year.

I made several "insert" sheets to coordinate with the watercolor cover, as well as two other sticker sheets, using great artwork I downloaded from Pinterest.  Here's a peek at the two other sheets. Head over to my Pinterest boards, Planners and Journaling Printables and Printables and Digital Fun, to see pins from the original pinners.


I will be posting a video later, showing my planner, these stickers and extra insert pages I made to coordinate with the watercolor cover as soon as I can.  But for now, I am just having fun playing with all these pretty things!

Happiest of New Years to you!
Have fun creating,
Molly