Wednesday, March 11, 2009

get'cher CK fonts here!

The Scrap 'n Font site is having a CK fonts Retirement Party! In honor of this event, they're offering discounts of up to 75% off Creating Keepsakes fonts.

My personal fave? The CK Journaling family. They're perfect for...ummm... Well, they're perfect for journaling!

ACDSee for Mac: Episode 2

Some time ago I posted that ACDSee had announced a Mac version of their popular photo management software. Seems plans are moving forward and a public beta will be available soon.

ACDSee Pro Photo Manager for Mac is an integrated image viewing, managing and editing solution for professional and prosumer photographers. You can find out more and sign up to be a beta tester at the ACDSee site.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Photoshop Keyboard Combos

If you've noticed I've been referring you to Smashing Magazine quite a bit, it's only because they have fantastic content I'm usually dying to share with you. This time it's their Top 10 Killer Photoshop Combo Moves.

For example... Killer Move #10 is what they call the "Cloak of Invisibility" which removes everything from your screen except your file. That definitely comes in handy when you quickly want to see only your stunning creation without the distraction of palettes (now called panels in CS4).

There are 9 more just as useful tips offered by author Tom Giannattasio.

Friday, March 06, 2009

House of 3

Designers Heidi Swapp, Rhonna Farrer and Janet Hopkins have opened a new online store called "House of 3." These super talented ladies are stocking their site with lots of gorgeous kits and embellishments (both traditional and digital). You'll want to check them out.

And, if you're planning on participating in our most recent challenge... (You are planning to enter, right?) Then you'll be interested to know that "House of 3" has also opened a storefront in the Scrapblog Marketplace.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

New Simply Inspired Challenge: Visual Triangle

Welcome to another edition of Simply Inspired, the challenge where we take a concept from DSM Wire and apply it to our next layout. This week, we've been inspired by Rebecca Saylor to take a fresh look at that time-tested design principle: the visual triangle. Ready to get to the "point?" Enter today... you could win a prize that's anything but "square."

From the beginning of design, visual triangles have been one of the easiest ways to achieve a balanced layout. A visual triangle is the placement of related visual elements (whether photos, embellishments or colors) at three separate points to form a triangle. This placement helps the eye travel around the page and unifies individual elements to create a cohesive design. So on your next layout, we want to see you put this tried and true design principle to good use. You can literally draw a temporary triangle shape on your layout to achieve perfect placement as Rebecca did, or you can simply go freeform. But get that visual triangle in your next layout and let us know how you were inspired!

Upload your layout(s) on or before March 10 to the Simply Inspired gallery at Designer Digitals or create a fun Scrapblog to share with us. You could be the lucky winner who will get his or her layout published on the website and receive a $10 gift certificate from Designer Digitals!

We can’t wait to see your simply inspired layouts!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Beautify your desktop

One of the best sources of inspiration is desktop wallpaper. I change my wallpaper so frequently that shopping for new ones has become a welcome web diversion.

Smashing Magazine
is offering new wallpapers this year that are not only beautifully designed, but also have calendars included. My favorite is the one above by Cara Bonsdorf. Maybe because it's called "Scrappy Love?" You can see the complete March selection of 45 wallpapers here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

more free fonts

Font Squirrel offers free fonts. So what? There are tons of sites that offer free fonts, right? But the fonts at Font Squirrel are different. They're commercial quality with a variety of styles (Light, Light Oblique, Book, Book Oblique, etc.) and they come with commercial use licenses. Now that's a deal in my book.

Oh! I used the FFF Tusj font for my name above.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Blog Headers

Free blog headers are all over the web. What I love about the ones I found at Smashing Magazine is the quality. They're exceptionally well designed. And many of them include the PSD (Photoshop) files, so you can customize them for your own use.

Please share with us your favorite free blog header sites!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Jenni Bowlin's Digital Boutique

Another great paper scrapbooking manufacturer has gone digi! Yesterday saw the debut of Jenni Bowlin's Digital Boutique. The Spring Picnic paper and elements collection is available at [we are] storytellers.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Free Photoshop CS4 Class!

Thanks to Kim Alderman for letting us know about this free 10-week class. Now we can let you know!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Simply Inspired Challenge: Doodles

Welcome to another edition of Simply Inspired, the challenge where we take a concept from the newsletter and apply it to our next layout.

Hand-drawn elements and doodles are a unique way to put a signature thumbprint on your artwork. They not only convey great personality but also lend a sense of originality to any page. This week we want to encourage you to let your inner artist emerge and create a layout using hand-drawn elements. Experiment with a pen tablet, or draw your element or text on paper and scan it into your computer.

Upload your layout(s) on or before February 24 to the Simply Inspired gallery at Designer Digitals. One lucky winner will get his or her layout published on the web site and receive a $10 gift certificate from Designer Digitals.

We can't wait to see your simply inspired layouts!


Monday, February 16, 2009

Scrapbooks: An American History

Renowned graphic designer Jessica Helfand has written a new book on ... that's right! A new book on the history of scrapbooks. Scrapbooks: An American Historyhas been called:
A gorgeous visual history of American scrapbooks and their evolution over two hundred years.
Helfand has also created a dedicated site with a blog as well as peeks inside the book. Not to be missed is the section on Scrapbook stories:
Scrapbooks, and the stories they tell, rarely follow any kind of prescribed pattern. There’s no map, and as you muddle through, the hints themselves are often murky, at best. Identifying the principals is the easy part — but who were these people, really, and how can we tell?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Digital SEI

Everyone knows that SEI has a digital offering online, right? Well, I have to confess that until yesterday ... I didn't. Collections and downloadable trials are available at their online digital shop.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Photoshop Preset Viewer 2.0

This looks like a handy little tool! I just discovered the Preset Viewer from Tumasoft. I must admit I was a little disappointed that there's no Mac version. But Windows users should definitely take a close look at this application which allows you to view all of your Photoshop brushes, shapes, patterns, swatches and styles in a single viewer. If any of you have used this or decide to give it a try, please let us know what you think.

Monday, February 09, 2009

New Simply Inspired Challenge

The new Simply Inspired Challenge starts now! This time we'll be pulling inspiration from Anna Aspnes' Triple Take article on art inspiration. It's always fascinating to see how three people can take the same inspiration piece and create such different and unique layouts.

We want to see how the featured art piece inspires you! At first glance, what jumps out at you? The strong vertical lines? The use of heavy paint strokes? The color scheme? Whatever it may be, take that inspiration and turn it into a unique piece of art for your scrapbook album or wall.

Then simply upload your layout(s) on or before February 13 to the Simply Inspired gallery at Designer Digitals or upload to the Digital Scrapbooking group gallery (and title the file "Simply Inspired"). Be sure to include your name, where you live and a complete materials list. One lucky winner will get their layout published on the website AND receive a $10 gift certificate from Designer Digitals!

We can't wait to see your simply inspired layouts!


Friday, February 06, 2009

New Bamboo Craft from Wacom

I got a peek of the new Wacom Bamboo craft bundle at CHA. From their press release:
Wacom has launched Bamboo Craft, a pen tablet inspired by members of the scrapbooking community and dedicated to the burgeoning digital scrapbooking phenomenon. Anchored by a pen tablet featuring 512 levels of pressure sensitivity in the pen tip and eraser for precise and accurate workflow, Bamboo Craft comes with an assortment of creative software applications as well as some exciting tools, tips and tidbits to help build lasting memories the digital way. Fun for both novice and advanced digital scrapbooker alike, Bamboo Craft, at just $129 (SRP), is loaded with extras that significantly increase the overall value and creative experience.
You can check it out or order one at the Wacom site.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

how to be creative

Have you ever visited the wikiHow site? I subscribe, so everyday on my iGoogle page I receive a "How to of the day." Today's how to is all about creativity. It lists six steps to creativity along with ten creative exercises. They're all great, but my favorite is a tip posted at the bottom of the page.
Spend time around creative people. The most reliably creative people are children. Their imaginations aren't boxed in, and "mind merging" with them can remind you of what it's like to think outside the box.
Our final print issue, on newstands now, is also devoted to art and creativity. Be sure to check out the web extensions at


Monday, February 02, 2009

Create your own comics!

Comicbrush is aimed at people that want a simple way to create, publish and share a comic.

Rather than drawing a comic from scratch, Comicbrush lets you mix stock artwork from their collection of comic backgrounds, characters and props with your own photos. You can add speech balloons, text, your own artwork and more, before publishing your comic to the Web, social networking sites like Flickr, Facebook and MySpace, or a friend's iPhone/Touch.

Give it a try. This looks like so much fun!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Simply Inspired Challenge #2

Update: I'm sorry for the confusion over the link. The link has been updated and is correct.

For this Simply Inspired challenge, take inspiration from Pattie Knox’s 101 article on digital brushes. We want to see layouts featuring brushes in new and creative ways! Use them as photo masks, create your own patterned paper, let them frame your journaling…the possibilities are endless. So get your creative thinking caps on and wow us with your unique ways to use brushes. One lucky winner will get their layout published on the website AND receive a $10 gift certificate from Designer Digitals!

Simply upload your layout on or before February 3rd to the Simply Inspired gallery at Designer Digitals or upload to the Digital Scrapbooking group gallery (and title the file “Simply Inspired”). Be sure to include your name, where you live and a complete materials list. We can’t wait to see your simply inspired layouts!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Free Valentine's Day brushes!

Stephanie at Obsidian Dawn provides fantastic digital resources...all for free! All she asks is that you credit the source when you use them. The latest is a set of brushes ideal for Valentine's Day.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Inner Pollack: Part 2

How to save your painting:
  1. Whether you're using a Mac or PC, take a screenshot of your masterpiece. If you're using a PC, there's a print screen button which should place the image in your clipboard.
  2. If you're on a Mac:
    Cmd-Shift-3 Take snapshot of the whole screen
    Cmd-Shift-4 Take snapshot of the selected area
    Cmd-Shift-4-Spacebar Take picture of a window
  3. Open your image editing program, i.e., Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
  4. Open a new document window. It will automatically size itself based on the contents of your clipboard.
  5. Select Edit > Paste to paste the artwork into the document. If you took a shot of the entire screen, just crop down to the actual artwork.
  6. Save your document.
That should do it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Find your inner Pollock

Abstract artist Jackson Pollock was known for his drip painting technique.

You can create your own masterpiece online at When you arrive at the site, there's no introduction or instruction...just a blank canvas. (Seems appropriate.) Move your mouse around to begin painting. To change colors, click. When you're satisfied, drag your mouse away from the browser window and take a screenshot of your painting.

Use it as a background for a layout or do as I did and make it your blog's banner. Fun!


Thursday, January 08, 2009

ACDSee for Mac

That's right! The pro version of this popular photo management tool is being made available to Mac users. Go to the ACDSee site to learn more and signup for the beta program.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Time's nifty 50!

Now here's a fun spot. Compare your "coolest" list to Time magazine's tech editors picks. (They call it their "50 nifty links." A lot of my faves are on the list.

And while you're there, you may as well check out Time's list of the best sites of 2008.


Hmmm... Now I'm wondering why two lists. I guess coolest doesn't necessarily mean the best.