Friday, 29 February 2008

Faded Beauty QP and a Few Drop Shadow Tips!

Still running a day late but I thought I'd surprise you all by blogging on Saturday! The week has flown by and I am almost caught up with my day job, well almost!! Not only do we have the wonderful QP's today but a few tips and hints on adding drop shadows to your elements.
As I was doing the new kit and playing with the lace in the preview, I started to wonder how easy you found doing drop shadows on something as fine as lace. Its a hard one to get right, or I think so, I certainly struggle. So I thought I would run through the basics just in case it might help.
One of my CT girls, Kim has taken pity one me and done me a great kindness by made the most awesome Quick Pages using the Faded Beauty Kit for your freebie today. They are really lovely. There are two, one with the Beauty Word Art and the other without. It is so perfect with the kit...Faded Beauty. The Word Art reads "As we grow old the Beauty steals inward". How true is that!! The Word Art was made by Kim too, she is a really talented girl! Kim has done a fantastic job with these and if you check below you'll see her layout that these are based on, it's stunning! Thank you Kim for sharing! Here's Kim's layout and what a beauty it is!! A wonderful heritage one, soft and worn. I adore the way she has tucked the card behind the frame, the whole layout just works so well!! Her Word Art, as usual is brilliant and so fitting. Fantastic job Kim!!!

Credits: All Papers & Elements from 'Faded Beauty' kit by Cen's Stuff, fonts used are MA Simple Pleasure & MA Sexy, Word art by Kimscrappin, Photo from her husband's collection

Here are the download links for the QP's
Download 1

Download 2

Thanks for letting me know there was a problem with the links I have now changed them. Sorry about that!
If you would like the Beauty Word Art separate, Kim is very kindly sharing it on her blog. So drop by and snag it and leave her some love!

Now for the drop shadows...they are always a matter of personal taste I know but they can be difficult on some layouts. Here are some tips that may help. I've tried to keep it general as I know people use so many different programs.
OK, so the important settings in adding a drop shadow and the ones that have the most impact on your result are:
1. The Distance - This setting decides how far off the page the item will appear to be sitting. The larger the distance figure is, the further from the page the item will appear. So if its a paper item you would set the distance small, if it was a flower or bow, something else that wouldn't lie flat on a surface then you need to scale up the distance figure. But beware of having it too huge or your item will appear to hover above the page!!
2. Size - The size of the shadow is what gives the shadow a that slight fuzziness...note I say a little fuzzy... not a lot!! Just a hint of a blur adds a realistic touch and takes away the hard line look, but don't overdo it or it will look like fuzz !
3. The Opacity of the shadow counts too - The theory is that the lighter the background then the lower the opacity, the darker the background (or for very small objects) then the higher the opacity.
I have to admit that personally rather than change the opacity for lighter backgrounds I prefer to change the shadow colour from black (the automatic setting) to a slightly darker shade of the background. I find that this works well. Below are two examples of the lace with drop shadows added.
The first image is way wrong!!!!!!!!! Here I have left the shadow colour on black and adjusted the size and distance, leaving the opacity on 75% (my default in CS2).....what a disaster!!!

The second image has the same size and distance settings as the first, but I have changed the shadow colour to a slighter darker shade than the background...this looks much better and way more natural!!! A simple change but it makes a big difference!!! I would now just play around with the size and distance again to get it just right.

I hope this helps show how a little change can make a big difference just a little for those who are struggling, like I do with drop shadows.
Now for today's gorgeous layouts and I was so bowled over by the ones I received. They are clever and used so much imagination. Each one an individual masterpiece!! And how is this one for an absolute stunner!! Tracy has done herself proud with this layout of her daughter eighteen years ago, as a baby. It is soft and gentle and so, so cute!!! Look at the stitches and that hanging bow...Wow!! So many lovely little details make this a beauty!

Credits: All Papers & Elements from 'Faded Beauty' kit by Cen's Stuff

This weeks Monday Challenge using the circle paper template is still producing awesome results! Stacey sent me in her layout and what a super one it was too!! She has used the template to great effect and she is soo clever, she made the background and the rest of the layout herself using filters and effects...this is all clever stuff!! I love that border Stacey, it really finishes it off beautifully!! Tremendous job!!
Credits: All page items made by Stacey, Circle Paper Template from Monday Challenge at Cens Loft.
Melanie's challenge piece has had me looking at it for ages...the more I look the more I see!! The border, the hanging hearts, the laces and that cute bee....I could go on, but you'll see what I mean! All this and it's still not cluttered! A wonderful layout Melanie to add to your album of that gorgeous little son of your! Brilliant work!!

Credits: Round Template from Cen´s Stuff, background paper from smplgrl retrodiva template prize, overlay: Love Actually Collab kit by flergspaper on heart template: Be Mine by retrodiva on frames: Carolina Haven by Eva Kipler, comwordart pride and Joy by AMC, laced eyelet: taht´s amore by cinzial, Staples: vanilla chai by eva Kipler, combee: sweet floral freebie by Krystal Hartley, love is freebie by Krystal Hartley, Template: smplgrl for second half of february template challenge at

Here in UK it's Mother's Day this Sunday, I know it's later in the rest of the World but have a look at the freebie on Gabrielle's Blog. It's some lovely Celebrate Mother Tags, I downloaded them and they are lovely, I'll be using them in my Mothers Day layout! So drop by and check them out!

Drop by Gabrielles Blog and get these great Celebrate Mothers Tags
Well, have to dash as my adorable Lilly and Charlotte are visiting and I have to spend some time with them. Lilly has grown and is smiling and laughing at is so lovely to watch them grow.
So take care and have a great weekend. See you Monday for the next challenge!!

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Faded Beauty Freebie, News and God What a Day!

I am soo sorry I did not blog yesterday but my day job needed extra work...too many reports needed writing at the same time!! I must be working too hard to produce them, lol!! So I worked on those until 1.00am this morning. Also my youngest son needed a hand sorting out some of his life warier in the day and of course that delayed me too, but with kids they always need NOW!! hehe! I am also working on some new kits and so time is always short, never any leeway for life's little crisis without it becoming major!
But I ahve lots of news, layouts and of course the freebie!! Tonight I have chosen a little add on for my new kit Faded Beauty as the freebie. The kit is as the name implies...faded...(could be me!) what was once vibrant is now mellow and softened, a gentle blend of muted colours. I hope you like it. Catch that curled lace...I am so pleased with myself!! There is an other add on too...if your interested I have a chat tomorrow, Friday in the chat room at Scrappin Digi Kreations the times are as follows:
EST - 4.30pm (16.30hrs)
GMT - 9.30pm (21.30hrs)
Pacific Time - 1.30pm (13.30hrs)
For those who attend there will be the second add on for Faded Beauty, check it out below.
Anyway here's the link for tonight's download Faded Beauty freebie

Chat Add On - join us Friday night in the chat room at SDK to get the gift

This is the Faded Beauty Kit that's just gone in the store, its 40% off for the first week!!

This week I feel really, really honoured. A friend and fellow designer, Lorie from Lorie M Designs has given me THREE awards!! The first one is a Forever Friends one and I am so touched to receive is beautiful, thank you so much Lorie!!I would like to pass this one on to my friend Sue, she doesn't have a blog but she is a really great lady and is always there for support, she deserves it as a special friend!!

The words read: A ball is a circle, no beginning, no end. It keeps us together like our circle of friends. But the treasure inside for you to see is the treasure of friendship you've granted to me. Today I pass the friendship ball to you.

The second is "Best Blogs in the Universe Award and I feel really flatter!! Sure I don't deserve that one...but wonderful to Have it!! Thank you!! I want to pass this one on to Scraps of Mind and Karen who does a fantastic job with her blog!!

The third and final one is "I love your blog" Award. I am so glad that someone loves it!! I am pretty keen on it but I'm biased so I don't count! So, thank you Lorie, you have made my week, so many nice things..I cannot remember when so many happened to me. This one I want to pass on to Kat..that girls has sooo many fantastic layouts on her blog!!

If you want a look at Lorie's designs drop by her blog and pick up her great Brag Book Page made with her new kit Happy Together, it is gorgeous!! I've downloaded mine!!

Freebie Brag Book Page from Lorie M Designs, snag it at her blog

But Lorie's kindness did not end there...she also did me a perfect layout of my little granddaughter Lilly!! I adore it!! That verse is lovely and the colours are so soft and soothing. Again thank you are my fairy godmother this week!! So many pressies!!

Credits: Angel's Wish Kit by Lorie M Designs

Now for this weeks challenge! Eva sent me this wonderful layout and look what a great job she has done with the circle template!! I'm really impressed, two colours in it!! Fantastic job Eva and what adorable photos!!

Credits: Little Blossoms by Cens Stuff, Font used was scrapkids

Heather was inspired and made the circle into a film slide! It is very effective and make a wonderful way to show all those cute pictures!! Wonderful it!!

Credits: Mandy Mystiques cotton candy kit

And what do you all think of this little beauty!! The layout is round...a perfect circle!! Stunning work Linda!! Great imagination and what a fantastic photo too!! This is a really clever job!!

Credits: Little Blossoms by Cens Stuff

Jessica used the circle theme well, photos, journaling and those cute little hands!! Fantastic layout Jessica..great work and I love your colours!! Jessica made the kit herself too!!

Credits: Kit by Jessica of Scrapaholics

Is this layout or gorgeous or what? It is romantic, bright and the title says it all!! I think the colours are just perfect!! Love your stitches Tracy, they really add an extra touch!!

Credits: Little Blossoms by Cens Stuff

I need to go now, or I will starve to death, lol!! Husband is out and I still have not eaten so, it's eat or die time!! Sorry again for the late post but I hope to see some of you at the chat tomorrow. Take care and watch out for my post with my Scrapbook Max layouts...I will do it!!!

Monday, 25 February 2008

Monday Challenge

Monday's Challenge means you have to think Round!! Karen over at Scraps of Mind had a great article on scrapping in circles and it so inpired me I thought that I would try to incorporate a little of it into todays challenge. Have a look its a good idea to think "outside the box" once in a while.I have got a round paper template for you to use in your layout. It has a heart shaped cut out border, which is quite nice. You can use the template to cut out your paper for matting or similar. As long as you use it in the layout somewhere, in some form! In fact you can use it lots of times if you want...just have a play!!

Just to remind you, open up the paper shaping template in your software and select the paper you want to use. Drag the paper into the same file as the template. You should now have two layers, the template and the paper. Make sure you are on the template layer and Select All (get the marching ants around it). Then, Layers>Select>Inverse. Now click on the Paper layer and press the delete key. Hey presto you have cut out your circle!! I know this will vary from program to program but its only meant as a pointer.

The Rules are simple:
1. Make a layout using the round paper template. This has to be used at least once in your layout.
2. Send me either you layout or a link to it at by Sunday 2 March midnight GMT.
3. Please include the credits for the kits, fonts etc used in your layout.

If you play along with the challenge then there is a little thank you gift of Patches and Buttons. Handy little things to stick in your stash!!! So go on think round!!

You can download the paper shaping template here

Last weeks template challenge turned out some awesome layouts. Dorys layout amde me shiver big time!! That is cold!! It shows the village on ice at Roberval. It's a village that they made on the lake. It has 350 little house built around 1 km of ice skating and walking. I love this one Dorys it really shows winter at it best, a fantastic layout!! Thank you for sharing it!!

Credits: Items from on the Mega kit, Funky Kit,Snow Delirium.

I just had to smile at Arni's, studying is a stressful time and she has choosen to scrap it. I think this is a brilliant idea, the journaling explains and the pictures and that great paper add to the feeling of overload!! Fantastic job!!

Credits: Template is by June Schutrups of censloft.blogspot including photocorners and prongs. Other papers and elements by Joanna Cinnamon of my digital, from her kit High Emotion (background paper with words) and Yesterday's Wishes. Fonts used are grants hand for the journaling and smudger let for the title.

The next one is just the opposite...full of peace and tranquility. Those pictures are so soothing and calm! It is beautiful!! Great use of white space Chris and what a stunning layout!!

Credits: Paper and the elements from Cen's Stuff Ingeborg's garden

And here's an other little beauty from Linda. What a gorgeous child Ellie is and the layout is just as cute!! I adore the little hearts and butterfly!! It is wonderful!

Credits: Template supplied by June - Copyright 2008 June Schutrups aka Cen'Stuff
Kit Used - by Coralie, Font Used - MA Sexy

Melanies layout shows her little son at play and the spirit of play and fun is captured well in this bright and fun layout. The paper choosen is ideal and love the buttons. Great layout Melanie!! Lots of little touches of originality, nice work!

Credits: Jump and Run Kits from the ABC-kits of Pamela from digitreats

The posting thank you last week was my new Page Kit Little Blossoms and Kim has amde a awesome layoutusing it!! I love the way she has the pictures tucked behind the ribbon and stiches and those frames are fantastic!! Exceptional work Kim!!

Credits...'Little Blossoms' mini Kit by Cen's StuffLayered Sketch template 7 by Susan Hobbs,Font is Hey Gorgeous

Now a round of the CT girls blog and what goodies they have been making with their own stuff!! They are soo busy!! Kim has an other great alpha on her blog It is gorgeous, that clever lady has turned the alpha into charms and she's even included a pop over and snag it!!!

Snag it at Kims Blog

Linda has a freebie too..hers are Quick Pages and they are lovely, so take a look! Beautiful Linda!!

Find them at her blog

Tracy has got aher first freebie on her blog. a great kit for all those who subscribe to her newsletter!! She's also made a QP with the kit which is up for grabs too!! So drop by and take a look.

This post has taken me for ever!! So many things to add in and Blogger has been it's useual helpful self...not!! So must go and see you all Wednesday. Take care and I hope that life is kind!!

Friday, 22 February 2008

Doodle Frames - Commercial Use Allowed

My photoshop has died!!! Well, hopefully it's just poorly, lol! I tried mouth to mouth but no hoo! I will reinstall it tomorrow after I have made sure I have saved all my plugins etc. So todays freebie is one I had already done and packaged. I would like to say I forward plan but my mother would slap me for telling fibs!!! Luck plays a large part here!! Lol!
It's a set of Doodle Frames, two ripped cardboard,one paper, colpete with doddle string and nail. There are three sets: one set neutrals, one set coloured and the third is grayscale (not shown on preview). These can be used for personal or commercial use. I hope you like them.
You can download them here

Tonight is my chat at SDK so drop in if you get a chance. Its at 4.30pm EST, 9.30pm GMT.

More of this weeks challenge ladies are brilliant!! Thanks so much for playing along and for producing such fantastic layouts!! I adore Heathers, the colours are wonderful and those photos show just what fun they were having. Real precious moments that were shared, full of laughter! Great touch the purse hanging on that bead string Heather! Great job!!

Credits: 3scrapeteers Kit Girls - Know How To Have Fun

Our Kim has been really busy again this week but she still found time to do a challenge layout and it is a stunner! I love the "Riber", the is soo cute!! Great journaling and I love those brads!! Your granddaughter looks like she had a great day!! Wonderful layout!

Credits...challenge7 template by Cen's StuffThe kits used in this LO are from the DSO Feb. Color challengeblack paper & buttons from Feb Color Challenge Gift by Kim Broedeletphoto prongs by Angel PowellRose by Pat W - Sorry no blog linkheart by Belanna At Oddscorners & background paper by mefonts are OkrienHmk & Times and Times again

The next one from Cheryl is just beautiful! I really think this kit is perfect for this, it makes the layout soft and bright. Great choice!! And those photos..from tomboy to a little lady!! I love it!! Fantastic job Cheryl!!

Credits: Papers and Elements from Lollipop Shop from Kimberly Cameron

Now this little doggy won Eva's heart and you can see why! Zack was her birthday gift (after a little bit of pleading!) and what a gorgeous gift. Look at those big puppy eyes!! An other one that shows template challenges produce such a great range of personalised layouts, each with their own individual flair. I just love that flower!! Beautiful layout Eva!!

Credits: Scrappy Expressions Man's Best Friend kit, Font 2Peas Gimme Coffee

As I said Kim has been a busy bee and look at this she made Pixie Pick of the Day at DSO with this one! Congratulations Kim and what a great job you did !! It made me smile..that photo...the lady monkey was still not impressed...even after the flowers!! Typical of us women..not easily won over! Lol!

Credits...Kit used is Decades-1960 by Cen's Stuff Blog Template 9 by Misty CatoFonts are Flower & GroovyPhoto from the web

The CT girls are getting up to all sorts of fantastic thingsthis week! Checkout Chris, she has a super challenge on her blog. Read down in her post and she gives details of a challenge she has set herself. Its for digi or hybrid so read the post and halfway down you'll find the details. She has great prizes...a freeb digi kit plus a voucher!!! Worth entering!! So drop by and have a look.

Well, I need to go now and get some food before chat time. Take care and have a great weekend and see you Monday with a new challenge!!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

This Much - Paper Doll Papers

Whew!! Just made it!! An other busy day bites the dust and is almost over. I almost didn't make this post. Sorry, I do have some more Decades Page Kits but I need to do the zips and of course I thought I would have plenty of time...not...the day has flown away. (It didn't help that my phone has gone none stop this evening too!) So I thought you might like this little freebie. When my kids were small they would ask questions like"How much do you love me?". I would tell them "Lots and lots". They would open their little arms up big and say "What this much?" and it would go from there. I was thinking of this the other day and felt inspired to try and work on something with this theme. I decided that it would be an idea to make the kids look like paper dolls, linked together and I had to add a frayed heart with "I love you this much" for good mesure! Thus this little freebie was born! I hope you like it. I do, it jogs my memories of happy times!!!
You can download it here

Tomorrow I have decided I will have an other play with Scrapbook Max. I have been told this is a super program for producing your layouts for an album quickly and that it offers flexibilty and choices in how you do this. As I have loads and loads of photos stock piling I have decided to try it out properly and give it a good road test! Lol! You can use the papers and elements that come with it, buy more, or import your own, so it gives you a lot of scope. I will let you know how I find it...and of course post my layouts!! So watchout I should be in overdrive if it lives up to its reputation! Any tips you may have for Scrapbook Max...please let me know. I love tips and there must be lots of you who use this program. I always say you can never have too many tips!!

This week challenge is a template one and I have had some wonderful layouts sent in. Don't forget if you enter the challenge this week you get my new Page Kit Little Blossoms for free for taking part and playing along!!
Tracy made this terrif layout and for a horrible minute I thought those crocs were real!! I thought she had a daughter that soo brave...or a whiz with crocs!! Lol! She has done a tremendous job and whilst using the template has given it soo many little individual touches that make it her own. Check out the Wild Thing label with the stitches threaded through!! I just adore seeing what people come up with they are always so unique and have their own twist. Great layout Tracy!!

Credits: Go Wild by Cens Stuff

Next up is one that really made me smile!! I loved it!! Jaye has combined her dog photos with a collage of what I call her "fruity dog". I think that fruity dog sooo cute!! Its fun and bright and original!! Great work Jaye!!

Credits: Decades - 1960s Page Kit freebie by Cens Stuff

The next one shows a gorgeous romantic layout and I love the kits Karla has choosen they are perfect for this!! (I love Heralds stuff too!!). Like the other two this layout is full of orginal unique touches from Karla, like the ribbon across the bottom and those adorable tags. This is wonderful Karla and thank you soo much for sharing it!!

Credits: Herald's Designs "Love Is in the Air" and "My Valentine, Tassel from Jeanette Bollinger's "Feb Color Challenge" kit, Prongs, recolored, from Helena Monteiro's "Kit Small Autumn", Fonts used are "One Fell Swoop" and "Porcelain"

Gina has used a different dimension and used the template landscape, to great success I may add!! I think that little face and smile really do make her daughter a little princess...she just glows!!! Gorgeous!! Those colours work so well with the photo. Gina I think I will have a go turning the tempate around myself...fantastic idea, you've inspired me!! Beautiful layout! I love it you ladies have soo many ideas and it's great of you to share them, thank you!!

Credits: February SupaDigi Kit from SDK - this part by Cens Stuff but have a look at it all. There are some awesome parts to this great collab kit and it's Februarys freebie at SDK!!
If you love templates you will adore this one!! Kim has a great on her blog, it allows you to use 11 photos....yep 11!! It's her family template pop over and take a look.

Kim's Template freebie drop by her blog and snag it!
Edit: Thanks to Sheila for pointing out the link for Kims Blog was wrong. It's fixed now.
Here's a brilliant one from Tracy, it's of her son when he was small...he's a little darling..I love his trike!! An other of her great touches here...look at how she has threaded the photo through the circle..thats clever and other one for me to try!! Thanks for sharing that Tracy, awesome layout!!

Credits: Little Dude from Cens Stuff

Now we have fun!! Look at this groovy 60's layout from Su!! Way out man!! I remember those VW's with flowers...they were soo cool!! It's a winnder Su as always!! Like I said I just adore getting those layouts they are full of inspiration.

Credits: Decades - 1960's Page Kit freebie by Cens Stuff

And last but not least is Kim's 60's layout. She's has made a layout with Twister (the game). I knew it was not new but didn't realise it was a 60's I learn something new each day!! I love these 60's ones, they are bright and psycadellic...just like the 60's were..fantastic era!! Thanks for sharing an other of your wonderful layouts Kim!

Credits: Decades - 1960's Page Kit freebie by Cens Stuff

A big thank you to all the people who send me layouts and share their awesome talents! Also to the people who leave a little love here on my blog, it is much appreciated!

Right enough is enough...time for me to go. So take care and don't forget my chats are on Thursday and Friday at SDK, drop in if you can, I'd love to meet you!! It's your chance to tell me what you want!! Dont forget there is an add on for Go Wild for attending. If you can't make either of them then I'll see you Friday back on the blog!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Monday Challenge and freebie kit this week

Monday Challenge Template download it here

(Edit: Tracy let me know the link was not working properly and it has now been fixed. Thanks Tracy!!)
Todays challenge is a template but with a little difference on the Thank You Gift! You girls who play along are so great and I appreciate you sending in your fantastic layouts to, I have a new little kit going in the store today and the Thank You Gift for playing along this week will be the Kit, Little Blossoms, Freee!!!!
Here's a layout that I did of our little Lilly using the template and also some bits from the Blossoms page kit. I cannot believe how much Lilly has changed in eight short weeks! She is laughing now and is such a happy baby. My husband says it makes a change..we normally get the miserable ones !!! Cheek!! I don't remember the children like that as babies...but perhaps it's selective memory at work again!! Lol!!
If you like the template and don't want to play, thats fine by me please help yourself. If you wan tplay along you'll get the new Page Kit FREEE!!!! If you hate challenges, then Little Blossoms is in my store at Scrappin Digi Kreations with 40% off for the first week.
The rules are easy:
1. Make a layout using the template provided. You can use any colours or kit you want.
2. Email the layout or a link to it to me at by midnight on Sunday 24 February.
3. Please list credits for items you use in your layout.
4. When I receive your layout I will send you a link to download the Little Blossoms Page Kit free.

Credits: Monday Challenge template Cens Loft
Papers, tab and flowers, Little Blossom by Cens Stuff
Button by Al Ward
The rest by me for the layout.

Little Blossoms by Cens Stuff play along with the challenge and get it free!!

I am doing two chats this week at Scrappin Digi Kreations and I am soooo excited!! It givs me a chance to find out what you really want and of course to meet you!! The Attendance Gift is an add on for the Go Wild Kit. Check out the details here and if you have trouble working out which time would fit best for you then check out our chat room at SDK ( the button top right of the screen at SDK). There are International clocks to help you work out what the time will be in your zone. Have a look at the add on below and hopefully I'll get to meet you later this week. Remember I want to know what you really might be a kit element you can't find or a tut, in fact anything. Just drop by and let me know at Thursday or Fridays chat.

Chat attendance gift for the chat at SDK more details here

Before I go I must mention that one of my CT, Jessica, has opened her own shop, she has worked so hard to get it ready! She and her friend Leonora have teamed up to form the site, Scrapoholic Designs, so drop by and wish them luck. They have lots of freebies on their blog so check that out too!!

Well I must rush as I am way behind and need to get working on Wednesday freebie...amongst other things!! So, see you Wednesday and take care, its cold out there!