Make a Custom Frame


custom frameCreate a blue rectangle that is 5″ x 7″, and a pink one that is 4″ x 6″. Align them horizontally and vertically and then flatten. frame 1.bmpUsing the wand, delete the pink rectangle. This is now the template.frame 2.bmp

Insert a pink rectangle that is 1/2″ x 7″. Align it with the left side of the template.

Insert a yellow right triangle and make it 1/2″ square. Duplicate it and align both as shown. Flatten the triangles to the pink strip.frame 3.bmp Using the wand, cut the triangles away. frame 4.bmpChange the color and surface texture of the pink strip to suit your layout. This example is glittery gold. The color is from the skin color options and then using the HSB (Hue/Saturation/Brightness) option, I made it a bit more goldish. I changed the surface to Block and made the contrast 10 to make it look glittery.frame 5.bmpMake a copy of the left side frame piece and align it with the original piece. Edit the top piece, using the image filter, to soften the edge to 25. Select the bottom piece and change the color to the darkest color that is in this image. You can use the HSB option to make it a little bit darker so it will contrast with the top piece. Now the piece has a little bit of a dark frame around the edges. Flatten the two gold pieces together. (This method of framing an element is explained here.)

Copy the left side piece and flip the second piece horizontally and align it with the right side of the blue template. Duplicate it again, rotate it 90° and align it with the top, left corner of the blue frame.frame 6.bmpSelect the top piece, click Cut & Fill, straight, blended edge, and make a fairly wide blended cut in the middle of this top, horizontal piece. Select Keep Both Pieces before selecting Cut. Align the left piece on the left side of the blue frame and the right piece on the right side of the blue frame. Flatten the two pieces together to form the horizontal 5” part of the frame. Duplicate this new piece, flip it and align it at the bottom of the blue template.

Select the blue frame template and make it the same color as the edge of the frame (should be the most recent color used). Flatten all five pieces together. Using the image filter, add a 3-D edge. The one shown here is: amount – 80, softness – 0, width – 35.

Click on format, shadow, and select the center option of heavy shadows. Flatten. Add shadowing to match the other elements on the page. Insert a 4.5″ x 6.5″ photo behind your custom frame.frame 7.bmpOf course, you can make your frame the size you want. A square frame would be a bit easier to make. Please let me know if you try this and then show me the final outcome!

Mat & Modify


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mat and modifyCramming a year’s worth of photos into 100 pages (although I have to admit that the number of pages is going down as my children get older) requires layouts that often have quite a few photos. In fact, if I’m scraplifting (using someone else’s layout idea), I’ll often replace the size and location of one of their photos with four or more of mine but there’s a bit of a challenge in making it all look just mat 1

Each photo needs to have dimensions that are divisible by 1/8″ (right click the photo, Properties, and adjust the measurements to end with .000 or .125 or .250 or .375 or .500 or .625 or .750 or .875) so you can use the Grid Snap option (View, Guides, Grid, Select Show Lines, Select Snap to Grid, Select a color that will show up well, Select 1/8″ for Grid Spacing, OK). Zoom in and move the photos to be right up against each other. If you like photos and elements to line up nicely on your pages anyway, then you will use this tool a lot!

Th problem with placing photos right next to each other and then matting them (Format Photo, Select Mat, choose from the various options), so you can see the individual photos, is that the outside border is half the size of the inside borders. This is just wrong!Photo mat 2Here’s an easy fix: First, make the mats different colors (Format Photo, Select Mat, Mat Fill).photo mat 3

Second, zoom in and, using the arrow keys, move the photos so that the interior frames completely overlap each other.

In this example, move the green mat to line up exactly under the blue mat and then use the Align tool to make the purple mat line up with the green one. Use the arrows to move the red mat up under the blue mat and then use the Align tool again to move the purple mat mat 4

Third, change the mats so they all have the same color. That looks sooo much better!photo mat 5

Family Milestones Metal Panel


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family milestonesWhen Creative Memories, as we knew it, was still around, they had a blog post about how to make a Family Milestones Metal Panel. I made one back then and knew that as soon as my sister-in-law saw it, she would want one for her family (and I was right!). In fact, almost everyone who comes to our home and sees it on the foyer table, wants one. Thankfully, a fellow scrapbooker still had the instructions and I’ve been able to basically recreate it. Panstoria sells metal panels but CVS’s panel, although only available in 8 x 10, is less expensive and the quality is just as good as what I ordered from Creative Memories.

To make it in Artisan, first install the two fonts that are used: Jellyka Delicious Cake and Twenty12. The two templates here are for element placement only. You’ll still need to add a shabby-style frame and a swirl pattern. Select from 8.5 x 11 (pink background) and 8 x 10 (light blue background). Once you’ve arranged it all just right, group the elements together (except for the light blue or pink background), save as a jpeg, upload and order. I cannot post links to the templates here so let me know and I’ll send them by email.

Family Milestones 8 x 10Family Milestones 8.5 x 11

Customize Your Facebook Cover Photo



Changing the Cover on Facebook (“FB”) can be a bit of a challenge because the banner is so wide and photos normally don’t fit well. Whether you want to change the cover on your personal page or on a group page, it can be easily done thanks to Panstoria’s Artisan, the recent replacement for Creative Memories’ Storybook.

1. Using the Snipping Tool, cut the exact shape of the cover photo on FB and paste it onto a blank page in Artisan. Now you have a template to work with. In case you don’t want to use the Snipping Tool, you can cheat by entering these dimensions in the properties section: personal or page cover photo is 8.5 x 3.125, a group cover photo is 8 x 2.5. Keep in mind the little box in the lower left which is going to block out part of your photo!Fullscreen capture 10072013 103824 AM.bmp

2.  If the photo or artwork you want to use doesn’t fit well, you can always center the photo and then add solid colors or some design on the sides. I recently had some event artwork I wanted to use for a group page but it was too tall. I cut it down to what I thought looked good, blended the edge on each side and then made the background color to match the artwork. I recently updated it to add the registration deadline. All of the members of the group shouldn’t miss the deadline now!FB banner

3. Even if your photo would fit into the banner just fine, with Artisan you can add frames or special effects. Add your photo to the page and then, using the Align options, make it the same size as the banner. Then you can crop and add mats or frames. In fact, you can drop a paper onto the photo part if you just want some decoration.vera

4. Save your new photo or artwork as a jpeg (I have a Facebook file for these kinds of projects) and then change the cover on your FB page. Easy, peasy!

Snip, Snip!



Yes, I have already posted about the Snipping Tool twice (fonts and scraplifting) but if you are not using it, let me reintroduce you. Microsoft has a short video showing how it works. Be sure to read the FAQ so you will fully understand its benefits. While reviewing the video just now, I learned about features that I wasn’t even using. I hadn’t paid enough attention to realize that I could save a snip as a jpeg – that will come in very handy!snip toolThe Snipping Tool is on the Task Bar at the bottom of my screen because I use it so often. In my family, we email birthday and anniversary greetings and with 33 of us (and growing!) there are a lot of greetings going around! Gmail doesn’t offer enough fonts for my taste so creating a greeting in Word, and then snipping and pasting it directly into an email, is the perfect option.karenSnipping is an easy way to email Facebook posts to friends and family who are not on Facebook.

And, finally, if you are a digital scrapbooker and you want to use a technique from another post in my blog, you can snip and paste it onto the page you are working on. Obviously, this will save going back and forth.instructionsDo you like the Snipping Tool as much as I do?



KaleidoscopeNine years ago we went to the beach and I used this photo of my tanned beauty to make a kaleidoscope for the last page of her book. A kaleidoscope could be used for anything from filling the cover of a book to a small embellishment on a page. A page from a magazine inspired one page of my Easter layout this year and that started this whole kaleidoscope thing!kaleidiscope inspiration.bmp kaleidoscope filled with paperUse these two templates to make your own designs. (Use the Wand in the Cut & Fill Tab to separate the colors and fill with paper or color.)
kaleidoscope 16 kaleidoscope 8

To make a photo kaleidoscope, download this template and remove the white triangle to create a negative (Cut & Fill Tab, Wand, select triangle, Cut). Change the color of the negative if your photo has a similar shade of blue in it. Choose a color that is very different from the colors in your photo to make sure the wand can do its job!kaleidoscope negativePlace the photo behind the negative and position it, rotating if necessary.kaleidoscope square redo Select the photo and the negative and flatten (Arrange Tab) them together. Wand away the negative. Duplicate the photo (Home Tab, Copy, Paste). Make the second photo a mirror image of the first and rotate it (Arrange Tab, Rotate Section, Flip Horizontally, rotate 90 clockwise). Flatten the second photo and line it up horizontally and vertically with the first photo (Arrange Tab, Align Left and Bottom). Flatten the two together.kaleidoscope twoDuplicate the new set. Rotate the second set 90 degrees clockwise. Flatten. Line up with the first set. Line up on the left side using the Align option. Zoom in and use the arrows to position the two pieces to just meet. Flatten the two together. Duplicate the new piece (which is now half of the final project). Flip it horizontally. Line up the tops using the align tool. Zoom in and use the arrows to position the two pieces to just meet. Flatten the two together.kaleidoscope fourThere are a few different ways to finish the edge. You can leave it as is or save it as a photo (Right-click, Save Selection, Export to Image File and then bring it back onto the page as a photo from your computer) if you want to add a mat (see my previous post about that).kaleidoscope fiveIf you want to cut a shape out of the final product, center it on the page and click on the side and top rulers so you will have lines cutting through the middle both horizontally and vertically. kaleidoscope six.bmpWhen you select the shape (Cut & Fill Tab, Shapes) be sure to click on Use Original Aspect and use the arrow keys to nudge the shape cutter centrally on the kaleidoscope.

Writing in the Sand


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writing in the sandSome time ago, one of my friends asked me to help her create a title on a photo of the beach that looked like it had been written in the sand. I don’t recall exactly how it turned out but I recently took some time to come up with something which is hopefully a bit better.

Create the Title: Insert Tab, Text Shape, Text: your title, Font: Segoe Print in Bold and Italics, Fill: Fill the shape with a solid color, sample the sand in your photo and then click on HSB and make it darker, Line Color (Outline): Sample, match the sand and use HSB to make it a little bit darker, Line Width: 3/16″, Create. (The Line Width or Outline should be set so that the basic title is totally visible but still as narrow as possible. This will vary with the length of the title and the font, if you choose to use a different one.)

Separate the letters from the outline: Cut & Fill Tab, Wand, hold down Shift key to select each letter, Keep Both Areas, Cut.

Select the outline. Format Tab, Surface, Concrete, Magnification and Contrast to the far right, OK. Format Tab, Filters, 3D: Amount 80, Softness 100, Width 20, Apply.

Flatten the lettering and the outline together: Select one then hold Shift key to select the other, Arrange Tab, Flatten. Format Tab, Filters, Soften Edge: 25, Apply.

Keep in mind that you may need/want to tweak the settings that are suggested. Please post your results if you try this technique!

Carving Wood


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carving woodA title on the Creative Memories Go Digital Fan Page on Facebook looked like it had been routered out of the wood and so I took up the challenge to duplicate the effect.

Insert 2 pieces of wood (Digital Embellishments – Elements, Wood Texture). Create the title (Insert tab, Text, I used the Impact font) and flatten it to top piece (select both holding the Shift Key, Arrange tab, Flatten) and then remove the title using the Wand (Cut & Fill Tab, Wand, hold the Shift key to select each letter, Cut). Add a 3D filter (Format tab) with the following settings: Amount 128, Softness 5, Width 10, Apply. Add a heavy shadow (Format tab). Flatten (Arrange tab). Add a heavy shadow again. Flatten. Add a heavy shadow from the opposite direction (Format tab, Shadow options). Make the second piece of wood darker (Color tab, Brightness & Light, slide Brightness to the left as far as you want.)

Think Outside the Storybook


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I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again: I use CM for way more than scrapbooking! Katie found a very cute skirt sold by J Crew but the skirt was too short and the price tag was rather high (especially for a seamstress). Of course, I looked at it and said, “I could make that.” It is just two squares with pockets and an elastic waist. For this skirt, I went to the extra trouble of making a scalloped hem which is very popular with Lilly Pulitzer clothes this summer. Perhaps I could have just taken some mugs or bowls and traced along a line to make the scallop pattern but it was more fun to create it using CM.

The process… print the pattern twice, cut up the middle, cut out the scallops, tape the pieces together overlapping the scallops, finish the straight hem with the serger before turning it to the right side, pin the hem (rights sides together), trace the scalloped hem with a pencil, sew along the pencil lines, trim the fabric, turn right side out and press.

Fullscreen capture 04152013 31728 PM.bmp

It was a bit of extra work but well worth it considering the final cost was only about $15.IMG_0228

Don’t See What You Need? Try Manipulation!


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Don’t let what you see in your choice of elements limit you. For example, this shape is the perfect mat for a square photo but you happen to need a rectangle.Shape one

However, if you stretch it out to a rectangle, the scallops are stretched out. This does not look right! There is a way to get around it with this shape and several others (but obviously not all of them).
Shape Two

1. Insert, Shape from Content Section, From art kit, Decorative Cardstock Digital Shapes, Shape 14.

2. Duplicate the shape and change the color.

Shape Three

3. Zoom in and line up the scallops while creating the rectangle size needed.Shape Four

4. Flatten the two elements together and fill with color, paper or a photo.

Now, THAT was easy!