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Add some Excitement to the end of Summer

When summer starts to wind down, sometimes the excitement begins to wear off – and it’s hard to keep the fun levels up! I browsed my Pinterest page for some fun ideas to bring back the excitement of summer!

Sponge Balls – I made these for my kids last summer – and let me tell you, they are SO fun! It’s like a water balloon fight without the time/effort of filling up balloons! These are super easy to make, and very inexpensive. A few kitchen sponges and some twine or string to tie them together! Fun for the backyard or fun for a big party!




Ladybug Appetizers – how adorable are these little ‘caprese bites? I would totally sit the ladybug on a leaf of basil instead of a cracker – these would be a super cute addition to any summer party!






Color Powder – Have you seen photos of runs like the Color Run where they cover runners in colorful dust as they pass miles? It’s really easy to make your own color powder for a backyardcolor party! Warning: This stuff is messy, takes a few attempts to wash out of clothes and leaves your yard looking rainbow like – but the kids (and adults) love it! I used the recipe found here to make my powder (and a a little goes a long way) we used cake decorating bottles to squirt each other – but you can find lots of fun ways to attack with it!


And, of course, after you have summer fun, you need to scrap those memories! Check out all of our summer products – or, these kits that match up well with each of these ideas!

Sponge Balls would scrap well with Pool Party by WendyP Designs

For the Ladybug Appetizers, try Little Ladybug-a-Boo by Just So Scrappy

and for the Color Powder, maybe Rainbow World by Nibbles Skribbles

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Winipeg1 with her fabulous page Sweet Little Lady. And she is a sweet little lady, I so love her smile!! I also love how the color of her cap goes with the colors of the page. The little clusters are just great and the journaling adds a personal touch. I think this page is absolutely outstanding, so congrats Winipeg1 on winning this weeks LOTW!


This amazing page was created with the beautiful Little Lady Kit by Just So Scrappy.


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Creating a Text Reflection in Photoshop

Creative titles can be just the perfect finishing touch on a layout.  Today let’s look at how to create a text reflection.

For today’s tutorial I am working in CC2015. This technique will work in other versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, although the  instructions may be slightly different, depending upon what version of software you are using.

Here is a layout I created for Jilbert’s Bits of Bytes Christmas in July Journaling Challenge.

For the title, I added a small white stroke to the text and created a slight Arc, using the Warp Text Tool.  I also added a very slight shadow to make the title stand out.


Let’s change the look of that title by creating some reflected text.  I removed the Arc, so we are starting with just a straight text line.


Let’s get started:

1. Duplicate your title, either by going to the top Menu Bar: Layer > Duplicate Layer  or by using the shortcut Control + J.

2. Right click on the duplicated layer to Rasterize the type (Simplify in Photoshop Elements).

3. With the duplicated layer still active,  go to Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical.

4. Click on the Move Tool to make it active, and use the arrow keys to move the duplicated layer below the original text layer.


5. Add a Layer Mask to the duplicated text layer by clicking on the Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel.  (If you need a review of this:  Using Layer Masks in Photoshop.)

6. Click on the Gradient Tool to make it active. (The Gradient Tool is nested with the Paint Bucket Tool.)

7. Make sure your Foreground / Background colors are set to Black / White.

8. Click on the Gradient Edit tool in the top Menu Bar, and choose Foreground to Transparent.


9. Click on the mask you applied to the duplicated text to make it active, then apply the gradient by clicking at the bottom of the duplicated text and dragging up to the top of the duplicated text, then release your mouse.


10. You may do this several times if you wish, depending upon the amount of reflection you like.  If repeating the action twice gives too strong of an effect, lower the opacity of the Gradient Tool in the top menu bar for your second pass.

11. Click on the thumbnail of the duplicated text to make it active. Soften this layer by going to the top Menu Bar: Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.  The amount of blur will be dependent upon your title. For this title I selected a blur of 2.5 pixels.


12. Now you could stop here if you wanted.  In certain layouts this would look nice, but for this title I want to add another dimension.  Click on the duplicated text layer to make it active; right-click to Apply Layer Mask.  Go to the top Menu Bar and choose:  Edit > Transform > Perspective; or use the Shortcut Control + T, then right-click and choose Perspective.


13. Click on the lower left handle of the Transform Box and pull to the left, until you see the result that you like.

14. You may also lower the opacity of the duplicated layer, if you like.  I lowered the opacity of my duplicated layer to 52% and here is the result.


Alternative: If you wanted more of a shadow look, you could fill your duplicated layer, at this point, with 50% gray.   Here’s what that would look like:


That’s it!  Experiment with this technique and see what amazing things you can do with it!

The paper in this tutorial is from Holiday Hoopla, which is included in our Christmas in July Sale, where you can save 50% on all Christmas-related products! This includes Personal Use and Commercial Use!  Sale ends July 31st!

If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here.

See you next week!


Dog Days of Summer!


Take a page out of Roman’s book (LouCee Creations beautiful boy) and scrap now while it’s cool inside and too hot for anything but wilting outside!  We’ve made it easy for you by putting all our summer goodies on sale through Monday.  Go ahead & close the blinds, turn  up the air and enjoy the sunshine on your screen.  These are just a few, a very few, of the gorgeous summer stuffs now in our store. Now on sale:






I used Feli’s Always the Ocean Page kit (see above) and Southern Serenity’s Sundrenched Template (#4) to create a layout from our trip to the D-Day commemorations in Normandy last June. I used the Bradley Hand font for the journaling and the Amazing Ruler font from KevinandAmanda for the title.

You can click on my page to get a FREE quickpage (without my photo or journaling).  Or click HERE.


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Live, Laugh, Play Page Kit by Nibbles Skribbles is all about having fun and that’s really what it’s all about, right? Live. Laugh. Play! This bright, cheerful and playful collection gives you plenty of fun. It helps you scrap all those fun photo’s and enjoy them even more!  Live, Laugh, Play Page Kit by Nibbles Skribbles is created with vibrant colors and all sorts of playful bits – Live, Laugh, Play is perfect for layouts about anything!

Live, Laugh, Play Page Kit van Nibbles Skribbles gaat helemaal over plezier en is dat niet waar het allemaal over gaat? Leven. Lachten. Spelen! Deze vrolijke en speelse collectie geeft je veel plezier. Het helpt je al die leuke foto’s te scrappen en er nog meer van te genieten! Live, Laugh, Play Page Kit van Nibbles Skribbles is gemaakt met levendige kleuren en allerlei speelse elementen – Live, Laugh, Play is perfect allerlei layouts!


Besides the kit there are some gorgeous extras to help you scrap your pages. Please take a look below:

Naast de kit zijn er een aantal prachtige extra’s om je te helpen je layouts te scrappen. Kijk maar eens hieronder:






Of course there is a great deal if you want to buy all of these amazing products. If you purchase the Live, Laugh, Play Bundle by Nibbles Skribbles, you will save 50%!

Natuurlijk is er een geweldige aanbieding als je al deze producten wilt kopen. Kies voor de Live, Laugh, Play Bundle by Nibbles Skribbles en je bespaart 50%!


Finally I will show you the quickpage I made for you. You can download it below!

En dan nu de quickpage die ik voor jullie gemaakt heb. Je kunt hem hieronder downloaden!





Save 50% on all Christmas products and join us in the forum for some fun & a prize or two!

And to get you started in all the fun grab One Step Beyond Christmas in July by Booland Designs.

One Step Beyond Mini Kits go that one step beyond the One Page Wonders and contain 9 papers, 50+ unique elements and 1 Alpha. Perfect for scrapping several layouts and super easy on the pocket too. Scrap it, Wrap it and Go. What could be easier :)

OSB Christmas In July goes even further. Filled with 12 gorgeous festive papers and over 70 Christmas themed elements this mega mini is sure to get your creative soul singing carols all the way through to December.

And because we love to spoil you, we’ve included a fabulous set of 4 Stacked Pages to kick start your holiday project totally FREE


Here’s a little freebie for you, Merry Christmas in July!!!





Tess & her Gladiators

Being stationed in Europe has some amazing, fantastic, out-of-this-world benefits.  Last weekend Tess & I joined our guests (Mini-Movie) for a long weekend in Rome. ROME!

We had a terrible experience on an insanely cheap flight (Vueling.com).  No flight.  New flight,  5-hour layover in Barcelona (such a gorgeous city, I need longer than the 3 hours we had downtown). Delays. More delays and some more delays.  However. The Barcelona airport is my new favorite airport in the world. Clean, modern, roomy, beautiful with great shopping & food.

We finally got to Rome, and our fabulous friends picked us up after midnight.  No need to figure out trains, buses or taxi’s in Italian on little sleep.  We stayed in a fabulous convent ( DOMUS NASCIMBENI) near the Vatican.  I highly recommend this for budget travelers, who love air conditioning, lots of cappucino’s & free breakfasts!

We got up bright & early to a very hot day.  We asked very carefully for directions on taking the local buses, with our maps in hand, to get to the Coliseum.  Our first big tourist stop.  We found the bus, the cigarette shop to sell us our tickets, and got on the bus.  And stayed on the bus. And got hot on the bus…. and finally realized, we were going in the opposite direction. LOL!

Off the bus we got, crossed the street (dodging Vespa’s all the way) and waited for the next bus.  Which was, of course, the exact same bus.  The poor driver could hardly stop laughing.  Thankfully, after that, he made sure we got out at the right stop and we all got to see a little more of the wonder that is Rome.

Oh! I have so much more to say.  Look at me babble. I will stop here, this is one of my favorite pictures of our first full day in Rome.  ROME!




Wish it. Pin it. Win it.


Our snorkeling Santa has hit the forum. He’s spreading love & presents everywhere. I love him.  Come join us in the forum for some fun & a prize or two. Head over to the store (anything goes!) and pin your Christmas wish list. The Studio Santa will be popping in all week long to deliver goodies to good little scrappers.

Here’s how it works:

  • Create a wish list Pin Board on Pinterest, you may use one you already have – but the pins must be pinned this week to count for the contest.Post a link to your board here in the forum. (Not to your pinterest profile, but directly to the board you have created)
  • Start pinning! Use #thestudio and #AllIWant in all of your pins to help us make sure we’re selecting the right pins!
  • Studio Santa will pop in here and let you know when a prize has been delivered! Happy wishing, pinning, winning!

 Adorable Snorkeling Santa by Valentina’s Creations


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3D paper star wreath tutorial from Little Birdie Secrets

I saw this cute wreath pop up on Pinterest, and I thought it would be a super fun project to do for the holidays – and, because it’s using stars it could be done for other holdiays too (maybe using the July Coodinated Collection).

3D how to make a paper star

Source: {last minute christmas decorations} 3D paper star wreath tutorial | Little Birdie Secrets

Head over to our Christmas section (everything is 50% off right now) and grab a few kits or paper packs – print out a few papers onto cardstock to use! For the star centers you could even print and cut out some cute elements!

I like some of these fun paper packs!



crystal1972 with her fabulous page Borabora. I fell in love with the gorgeous composition of this page. The clustering is fantastic and the beautiful photo’s show how much fun this lovely girl has. This is such a happy page, so congrats Crystal1972 on winning this weeks LOTW!


This wonderful page was created with the Falango World Tour Bora-bora by reginafalango.