Design House Digital

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What do you get when you mix together 12 amazing designers, a great color scheme, and a theme? One freakin’ AWESOME kit! We’re so happy to be bringing you the 2011 version of our Digital Scrapbook Day Designer Blog Hop. This kit is chuck full of scrapping goodness, with 43 papers, 62 elements, a full [...]

3rd Birthday Extravaganza – Winners!

Birthday Extravaganza

Our birthday is over, but we have one thing left: it’s time to give out the presents!  Everyone won, of course, because we gave some awesome free kits to all.  And each person who participated in a challenge completed a project and hopefully learned something along the way.

Our challenge winner is Michele Clay, for her layout Caleb-Best Slider, 2012, submitted for the blueprint challenge.  Michele wins a Silhouette Cameo cutting machineCongratulate Michele with a comment on her layout!

Challenge Winner

Layout by Michele Clay

At the end of the month, we’ll give away a $5 gift certificate to one entry of each challenge, so if you haven’t had a chance to enter the challenges, choose a challenge (or two or three) from our many challenges and enter!

Our forum winner is sjtrimble, for her post in the New to DHD? Say Hi forum thread.  She will get a Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch Tablet.

Congratulations to the winners!  Everyone, stay tuned, because we’re planning another fun activity and will post details very soon.  Have a great day!

Mary Shaw


1 Kit Many Ways – Tisha Chestnut

Working with shapes and colors can be very enjoying! It let’s you discover a lot of things that thought can never be so beautiful. Have fun learning more things everyday and let your creative talents shine as we get to bring  you Bracket Love Templates made by our newest designer Tisha Chestnut.

We truly had fun discovering just how many wonderful things we can do with this template. Let’s take a look at our designers’ wonderful creations.

Layout by Kelly Birrell

Kelly says, “I love the giant bracket shape and the cluster! Beautiful way to showcase one special photo!”

Layout by Mary Shaw

Mary says, “I LOVED working with this template. When I opened the zip file and found PSD and TIF files for both 8.5×11 and 12×12, I was impressed. And I was more impressed with the shapes inside of the template – they were very well made. The bracket love template was a lot of fun to work with. I used papers from Diane Rooney’s kit “Betsy” and a photo of my mom. The whole thing came together so easily.”

Layout by Amanda Shepherd

Amanda says, “I’m a huge fan of big shapes on pages, so I loved this template. Super easy to work with, and I liked the shapes already in there, I just decided I wanted something a little more blinged. I used Diane Rooney’s new betsy papers for the background, and elements from October Dawn’s “She’s Just a Country Mouse” & “Mouse Colors” kits. And the brush is from Vanessa Fenton’s new floral brushes kit. ”

Layout by Amy Lanham

Amy says, “As soon as I saw this template, I fell in love with it! It was so much fun to mix it up a bit. I needed space to put two pictures so I rotated the template 90* and moved the brackets to the left a bit. Absolutely stunning template!”

I hope you are inspired by these talented designers and decorators as I am. They surely had fun making their layouts! Next week, we’ll pick one lucky commenter and give this kit! All you have to do is comment below, and answer the following question:

What is your favorite shape?

Next week, we’ll post the winner in our new 1 Kit Many Ways Post. Come back and see who won!


Finding your shadow style

No matter which papers and elements you select, as you polish off your newest layout and sit back to admire its beauty, you may notice that one of the most important elements on your page is the shadowing.   If you are new to digital scrapbooking you may just be starting learn about drop shadows.

Do you shadow all your elements the same way?  Or do you specifically select a shadow effect based on the element or its layer?  From basic to complex, there are some pretty fun things you can do!   Today I’m providing a few tips that you can try in your layouts to find your personal preference.

  1. Play with the color of your shadows.  Instead of the default black, opt for a grey or very dark brown.
  2. Play with blending modes.  Options like linear burn or multiply can create a very different effect as they often pick up a bit of the color from the layer below the shadow.
  3. Play with the “light source” angles.  Do you like the default of 120 degrees?  How would 45 degrees look?  Or -45 degrees?  However, once you find your preference, keep it consistent within your layout.
  4. Play with the drop shadow settings.  Adjusting your opacity, size, and spread can really make a difference.  Do you like to keep the shadows neat and tidy next to your element?  Or do you like to add some size and spread to create the appearance of additional space between elements?
  5. Try something other than the drop shadow setting, such as outer glow.  This sometimes works well for objects that you want to look flatter on your layout, such as the first layer above your background paper.

How shadowing is used is a matter of great personal preference, but no matter what your preference is adding shadows to your layouts creates depth, interest, and makes them more realistic.  Let’s take a look at a before and after:



While the before still looks great, the after certainly looks even better and more realistic.  Here is a common shadow setting I like to use:

  • Color: Very Dark Brown
  • Blend Mode: Linear Burn
  • Opacity: 65%
  • Angle: 45 Degrees
  • Distance: 10px
  • Size: 20px

Give it a try and adjust it to your liking.  One great thing about most software programs is that once you find the settings you like you can generally save them.  In Photoshop and PSE you save them as layer styles.


Heart Garland Hybrid Project

One of the things I love about digital scrapbooking supplies is being able to print them off and use them in my paper crafting projects.  Some people call this hybrid crafting but I call my little projects “Print and Craft”.  Anyway, I thought it’d be fun to show you how to make a pretty heart garland.  Although Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, these heart garlands are perfect year round as home décor.  And pretty easy to make using my layered PSD template.

Project Notes + Overview: I’m using Photoshop CS6 but the technique works in Photoshop Elements too. If you use a different graphics/photo editing software program other than Photoshop (Elements), you can Google to find out how to use Clipping Masks for that particular program.  Clipping masks in Photoshop (Elements) is pretty easy technique to learn and is definitely for beginners; however, I’m assuming you have basic knowledge of how to use a computer and your software.  I’m using a PC so the file system and shortcut keys might be a little different if you’re on a MAC.

Ok, so let’s get started.

  1. First of all, you will need to download the Heart Garland Template but clicking on this link.  Download, save to your computer, unzip and open it in your graphics software
  2. Choose some digital papers for your hearts.  They can be 12×12, A4 or Letter Size.
  3. With your digital papers and your heart garland template open, select one of the hearts by clicking on the layer in the Layers palette
  4. Drag one of the papers to your heart garland template
  5. Make sure the paper is above one of the hearts as we are now going to clip the paper to the heart shape.  Go to Layers | Create Clipping Mask. Short cut key for this is Ctrl+Alt+G. You can also place your cursor between the 2 layers, click on the Alt key to create the clipping mask. Your cursor should change shape. It should look something like 2 interlocking circles.
  6. Now repeat the process again for the other hearts.
  7. Once you’ve done all 4 hearts, just print out onto good quality paper or card.
  8. Cut out the heart shapes and, using some glue or tape, stick some string to the back of each heart to create a garland.  Done!  Now you just need to find somewhere to hang it up!

More Tips & Tricks

  • Use different paper designs for each heart
  • Resize the papers (smaller) before clipping them.  Also rotate them if you need to.
  • Add buttons or bows on the string between hearts
  • Use digital stamps instead of paper and stamp designs onto the hearts.  Create a layer above each heart and stamp on that layer and then clip to the heart below as described above
  • Create garlands for the Seasons, birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, and holidays.
  • Get creative with photos and make a photo garland for a fun birthday decoration.
  • Print the template onto card, cut out and use as a template for fabric and make yourself some fabric hearts for a garland.

I hope you’ve found this project helpful and inspirational!  Go try it and post photos of your garlands in the gallery!  I’d love to see what you come up with.

I used my Ella Papers to create my garlands.

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1 Kit Many Ways & Goodbye to DHD

Well, the time has come for me to say goodbye to Design House Digital. It was just over a year ago that I started to sell my products here. I have loved so many moments here and feel honored to have been a part of the design house digital community. Over the past year I have loved getting to know so many wonderful people through their scrapbook pages, posts in the forums and fun times in the chatroom.

With this goodbye comes some good news though—a retirement sale. All of my products are on sale for 50% off! Gotta love a good sale :)

Some of my product will be permanently retired, so be sure to get them now. The sale runs through Wednesday.

To get you inspired, I have some amazing LO’s created by some awesome ladies using one of my favorite kits, En Route.

By Celeste Smith

By Jennifer Barksdale

Janneke Marquez

By Amy Kingsford

By Missy Backues

By Sandy Henderson

By Carey Bridges

By Rosalie Vos Tulp

By Mandi Buchanan

Aren’t these ladies awesome? A big thanks to them for sharing their beautiful layouts and projects. I would also like to thank all of the wonderful people here at DHD who have supported me! I truly have enjoyed getting to know everyone.

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