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DIY: Handmade Journal Tutorial

Source: journals | curiously crafty.

We’ve been talking about Art Journaling – which Jill defines for us in this post Art Journaling 101Jill explains to us that beyond the actual artistic efforts of creating the art, a lot of people do this style of scrapbooking in a journal. So, I thought it would be fun for crafty folks to create their own journal to journal in. I found this tutorial – which looks a little complicated, but is broken down into manageable steps. This will walk you through creating your very own, handbound journal! I would suggest, if you plan to paint in your book, that you use a thicker paper (and maybe smaller sections of pages to sew together) but, the choice is yours! Not into Art Journaling? Try making your own Smash Book!

If you’re looking for some fabric to use for the covers, our own Angel Hartline Designs has a fabric line Babyville Boutique that has some adorable options that you can find here. Here are a couple I love.

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After you’ve created your journal, you’ll need to fill it up! Here are some fun supplies you could print out and stick in, in addition to printing out smaller versions of your layouts to include too!

Digital Collage Sheets by Laitha’s Designs

Pocket Scrapping Journal Cards – we have a lot to choose from, here are a couple sets that I like



Word Art – Mix it with other elements into clusters or print it, trim it and stick it in!



Art Journaling 101

Art-Journaling-101Hello … I’m Jill; the person behind Jilbert’s Bits of Bytes. I’m here to introduce you to Art Journaling by explaining what it is and ways of doing it. At the end of this post, I have some links to share with you that helped me, and hopefully will help you, discover more about the world or art journaling.

Trying to define Art Journaling is like herding cats. This is because it really has no rules to define it by. When I first started bringing my mixed-media art into my scrapbooking, someone told me I was art journaling. My immediate thoughts were — WOW! … Really? … What’s art journaling? Even they couldn’t give me a definition. However, to not give you at least an idea of what it is would be a cop-out, so I’m going to try to do my best to give you my take on art journaling.

My art can best be described as either mixed-media and/or abstract art. Mixed media means I use multiple artistic mediums to create my art (acrylics, watercolors, pens, found objects, etc.) and my subject matter tends to represent something that isn’t photo realistic. One place I do diverge from a typical mixed-media artist is that I tend to “paint” on my computer. In fact, that’s how I discovered digi-scrapping … I was looking for some “found” elements to add into my art. Why am I telling you this? Because, as I found out, this is one form of art journaling and, like mixed-media art, art journaling can be done with real art supplies or digitally. Below is one of my early attempts at art journaling digitally, back before I knew there was a name for it.


O.K., so that’s the art part of art journaling; what’s the journal part? It’s actually a two-part thing. Many artists keep a journal … it can be spiral bound, tied together, bound like a book … something similar to that diary you may have had when you were a kid. The cool thing about this journal is that it’s meant for only you. It’s where you can try stuff out without worrying about finishing it, what it looks like, or showing it to anybody. It’s also used to write notes (the other part of journaling), paste examples, etc. Starting to sound familiar? Below is an example of some of my journals that I’ve done my experiments in.


If you’re going to art journal physically, you would typically use a journal albeit one that has sturdy pages in it; for example, something that’s 90 lb or heavier. However, some art journalers do their journaling on a individual pages, then bind a set of these pages together when they’re done. Doing it that way eliminates the “fear” of messing up a page and ruining your journal. However, in art journaling, there are no mistakes … if you want to hide something cover it with gesso or figure a creative way to build on your mistake. Personally, I prefer to do my art journaling like I do my art, digitally. Why? Because there’s no clean-up and there’s an “undo” (although it’s obvious from the photo above, I don’t always clean-up).

There is a wealth of information on how to do art journaling, but like I said earlier, there really are no rules. Part of the no rules is that you don’t have to actually write (or journal) anything. In fact, some folks actually do write things out, then hide their writing in some way, to keep it private, as a form of therapeutic art. Another no-rule has to do with photos … you can add them or not. I often like to add an artistic element to my photos like my example below. In my mind, by adding photos to an art journal page I get the best of both worlds: art journaling and digi-scrapping.


If you’re looking to try your hand at art journaling digitally, theStudio is having an Art Journaling 101 Sale to introduce you our growing art journaling products. This means you’ll get 40% off all products in the Art Journaling category. This doesn’t mean you can’t use regular kits to art journal (remember, there are no rules), it just means these products were designed with art journaling in mind.

The easy way to find the products that are on sale is to click on Art Journaling in the top menu bar.


You can also get to it from the Personal Use area by scrolling down to the bottom of the left column and, under Style (PU), just check the Art Journaling box.


Finally, I’d like to share some links to sites that I discovered when I started my art journaling journey. Yes, I know there are a bazillion sites out there about art journaling, but these were, and continue to be, the ones I always go back to.

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer – http://balzerdesigns.typepad.com/
Dina Wakley – http://dinastamps.typepad.com/

While this next one isn’t actually an art journaling site, it’s just a great place to learn about different techniques that can be used in creating art journal pages.

Tim Holtz – http://timholtz.com/blog/

Of course, the best place to find examples of art journal pages is on Pinterest.

If you have any questions, links to share, or comments, please do add them to the comments section below and I will do my best to get back to you with an answer (at least the questions).


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Using the Type Mask Tool in Photoshop

For the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the Text Tool in Photoshop. Here’s a recap:

Nested in with the Type tool are the Horizontal and the Vertical Type Mask tools.  Both Marks tools function in the same way, the exception being the orientation of the type.

Today let’s work with the Horizontal Type Mask tool and cut some text from a paper.  I will be working in Photoshop CC2015.  The Mask tools are included in Photoshop Elements, and work in the same way as in Photoshop.

1. Open the document you would like to cut your text from. (Document must be rasterized, or simplified in PSE; this will not work on vectors.)  I would like to cut a word title from this ledger paper.


 2. Click on the Horizontal Mask Type Tool in the left tool bar.  In the top Menu Options, select your: a) font, b) font size, c) left justify; d) font color.


 3. Click on your document (in this example, the ledger paper), and type a word.  A red mask will be placed over the entire document. Don’t let this scare you, like it did me the first time I saw it!  That’s supposed to happen.   If you would like to change your font choice or font size, you may do so.  You may also move your selection, by clicking and dragging outside of the type. Once you are happy with your choices, click on the check mark in the top Options Bar to commit your choice.


4. Once you commit your choice, the mask will disappear, and you will see “marching ants” around your word, letting you know that it is selected.


 5. At this point you have several options:

  • If you just want the word cut out of the ledger paper and do not want to use the ledger paper: Hit Control+J and the selection will be placed on its own layer, ready for use.  Turn off the visibility of the ledger paper, or delete it.


  • If you want  the word and the ledger paper with the word cut-out of it: When you see the marching ants, indicating the selection of your letters, click inside the section and move the word where you would like it to be on your document, then commit.

sd-mask-text-8 Doing it this way, both the word and the ledger are still on the same layer, which restricts your options for moving these objects independently from each other.


  • If you would like the word on its own layer, and the ledger paper (which now has this great word cut-out in it) on its own layer, so you get the most flexibility:Follow steps #1-4. Once you see the marching ants around your selection, making sure you have the ledger journal layer active, hit Control + J to copy your word selection onto its own layer.
    • Hold down Control and click on the thumbnail of your copied text to select it.
    • Click on the ledger paper to make it the active layer.
    • Hit delete. This will delete the word/text from the ledger paper, leaving you with the word cut-out on one layer, and the ledger (with the cut out visible) on another layer.
    • Hit Control + D to deselect the text on the ledger paper.
  • If you want the word cut out on its own layer, and the ledger paper intact (no cut outs): After you hit Control + J as noted above, hit Control + D to deselect the text. This will leave your ledger paper in its original condition.


Lots of creative choices!

That’s it! That’s how easy it is!

And here are 2 layouts, the first using the word cut-out; the second using the ledger paper.

It’s always fun to have options!

SD Chart Your Course marisa Lerin tp 487 font: Ever After regular picture from morguefile.com

SD Chart Your Course marisa Lerin tp 487 font: Ever After regular picture from morguefile.com

Chart Your Course is new to the SnickerdoodleDesigns personal use store. Whether you are mapping out your vacation, or mapping out your life, making the right choices for YOU is critical to your general happiness and well-being. Renee, a member of my Creative Team, has made the choice to travel to Africa in October!  I thank her for allowing me to play with her Chart Your Course layout.  Her page will serve as the vacation album Cover Page from her trip.

I’ve turned Renee’s layout into a Quick Page for you!  Just click on the image below to download.


If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here: Using the Type Mask in Photoshop.

If you are a visual learner, you can view this tutorial on SnickerdoodleDesigns You Tube Channel and on theStudio’s You Tube Channel.

Please head over to You Tube and take a minute to Follow both channels.  Each Channel will have some exclusive videos, so by following both channels, you will be sure not to miss a thing!

Masked text would make a great addition to any art journaling page!  Check out our Art Journaling Sale this weekend!



Charmingly Sour [Collection] by Vero

Charmingly Sour by Vero is absolutely perfect for your summer memories : Colors are fresh and bright, elements are sweet and not that sour… citrus and watermelons, flowers and ribbons will enhance beautifully any of your summer digital projects. Light in this collection is amazing, and your pages will be at the same time very joyful and unique.


And if you want the whole package you can grab the total collectionVero-charminglysour-coll-pv

And here’s a layout that I did using this colorful kit, it worked perfect for these fun pictures that I had.


And I’ve turned this layout into a quick page for you today, Enjoy!!!



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


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!!!