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Blending a Photo into a Background

I love the look of photographs that have been blended into a background paper.   Today let’s take a look at a few examples of this technique and then review how easy it is to do.

This layout was created by Norma, a member of my Creative Team, using Firm Foundation. I really like how Norma blended this lovely photo of her and her Dad into the background, then included the color photo in her cluster.


In this layout, Norma placed her photo into a photo frame, and blended just the edges of the photo into her background.


Here’s another example from Cathy, also a Team Member.  I really like how Cathy has highlighted her husband by blending his image into the paper strip below her cluster.


Here’s how to accomplish this look:

1. Place a photo above a background paper layer.  For this tutorial, I have used 2 papers, simply because I liked the look.  Vintage Overlays Set 1, paper 3 is set at 100% opacity, and Firm Foundation Paper 19 is set at 75% opacity. My photo is the top layer.


2.  Change the Blend Mode of your photo, selecting the effect that you like best.  I chose Screen for this photo.

(Need a quick review of what Blend Modes are? See Blend Modes – Just what are they? and How to Quickly Change Blend Modes.)


3. Experiment with the opacity of your photo. I set mine at 81%, using the Opacity Option at the top of the Layers Panel. There’s nothing magic about that number. I just moved the slider, keeping my eye on the photo, and stopped when I was happy with what I saw.


4. If you are happy with the results, you are done. I didn’t like the harsh lines along the edge of my photo, and I wanted a little more of the background paper design to show thru on the top and left edges of the document.


I placed a mask on my photo and brushed away the parts of the photo I didn’t want. (Using Layer Masks in Photoshop.) Here is the result:


That’s all there is to it!


This weekend is our Father’s Day Sale.  Save 30% Storewide and 50% on Father’s Day Kits.  Now is a great time to pick up something on your Wish List, and try out some blending techniques!


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

When you experiment with this technique, or any technique you learn through our tutorials, we encourage you to upload your results to our Tutorial Gallery! Show off your hard work!  Please include the name of the tutorial and provide a link to it, in case some of our readers missed it!

If you would like to practice blending your own photos right away, here is a Firm Foundation Stacked Paper for you to experiment with! Maybe a photo of your Dad, Grandfather, or another male figure in your life who has has helped develop your character and personality, someone who has given you a “firm foundation” in life!

Click on the image below to download!


Thanks for coming by! See you next week!


LOTW June 12 -18 And the winner is …

Dannie 18 with her amazing page Destination DC. I love the photo treatment, absolutely gorgeous. The elements are so well chosen and perfect for this page and the wordart gives it a wonderful touch. So congrats Dannie 18 on winning this weeks LOTW!



This awesome page was created with the fantastic kit Destination Anywhere by The Urban Fairy and Manu Scraps.

theStudio Preview Template

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There is always a magic about the sea, about the ocean, it is a living thing, we are always happy and we feel born again when we go to the ocean. It is my favorite place to be, where I always find my inner balance and I enjoy the most of the divine sunlight! Always the Ocean by Feli Designs was created for all your holiday and ocean-dreaming photo projects. The colors work so beautiful for all your ocean and beach photo’s. Always the Ocean is a very special ocean kit, an ocean kit that can’t be missed in your stash!
De zee heeft altijd iets magisch, de grote oceaan, het is een levend iets. We zijn altijd blij en voelen ons nieuw en fris als we naar de zee zijn geweest. Het is een favoriete plek, waar ik me altijd fijn voel en geniet van het mooie zonlicht! Always the Ocean van Feli Desgisns is gemaakt voor al je vakantie en oceaan foto’s. De kleuren zijn zo mooi en passen zo goed bij de zee. Always the Ocean is een hele speciale oceaan kit, die niet in je verzameling mag ontbreken!
Besides the kit there are some gorgeous extras. Please take a look below:
Naast de kit zijn er een paar hele mooie extra’s. Kijk maar eens hieronder:
Now there is a beautiful deal for you if you want to have the whole collection. The Always the Ocean – Bundle is currently on sale for 60%!
Er is een geweldige aanbieding voor jullie als je de hele collectie wilt hebben. De  Always the Ocean – Bundle is momenteel in de aanbieding met een korting van 60%!
Here is the quickpage I made for you. Please enjoy!
Hier is de quickpage die ik voor jullie gemaakt heb. Veel plezier ermee!



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June Mega Kit ” Handsome”

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the father’s out there!!!

Handsome like daddy – a common phrase spoken when it comes to having boys around! This was the inspiration for our June Mega Kit “Handsome” featuring a boyish palette and all kinds of boy, guy and man themed elements – this kit is perfect for Father’s Day pages or any pages about your men, young or old!

Handsome-el-pv Handsome-pv

Here’s a stacked paper for you to document this years “Father’s Day” picture with, Enjoy!!!



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Our Little Drummer Boy

On Saturday Dave & I skipped the Army ball to see Dane in his BIG performance at his schulfest (school party).  I’d missed his performance at the beginning of year because, apparently, I cannot read German well enough to get the day right. Or I couldn’t then, I can now.  Still, me missing his first performance, and his part this time being a much bigger part, Dane was a bundle of nerves.

He couldn’t go to sleep Friday night. I heard him singing, in African, till well after 11 pm.  By 7 am he was up & ready to go. Sadly, even the last rehearsal didn’t start till afternoon so he had some time to kill.  With tired eyes, but a very wide awake spirit, I took Dane to run errands with me and buy him a brandnew, brightly-colored, shirt to wear to the performance.

The whole school (all 40 of them) had been studying Africa for weeks.  They learned about the different cultures, foods and musical influences.  As part of their performance, they were asked to dress in bright, African colors.  Something not that easy to find in Germany. Let alone last minute, hours before the performance.  But he was very happy with the shirt we did find and I think he looked perfectly handsome.

Dave brought him to the dress rehearsal, poor kid was practically shaking with excitement and nervousness. Dave said he asked at least five times if we would be there. My mommy heart broke just a little that my missing that performance last September weighed so heavy on my little guy.

We got there with 10 minutes to spare, thank goodness. Dane was on the front bench, craning his neck around all the parents, desperate to spot us.  The look of relief on his face was almost tangible when he saw us.

His was the first group to take the stage, Dane up on the big drums (his grandfather will be so proud, “papa” having been a drummer his whole life).  The boys, and one girl, played several songs on the drums and sang along in African.  Dane did perfectly!  He’d memorized every beat, every word, and played it pitch-perfect.

Afterwards he just glowed with pride, almost as much as his mom & dad.  It was 1000% worth missing the Army ball.

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As part of being on a jump (Omaha Beach) there is a lot of “hurry up & wait”.  That’s army talk for showing up, being ready to go, and then waiting hours & hours & hours to actually, you know, GO!

Last week Thursday, I dropped Dave off at the Abbaye de Montebourg where the Liberty Jump Team was headquartered for D-Day, and then took my mom & kids for a little touring of the D-Day activities.  Of course we went to SainteMèreÉglise first.  It is the center of all things D-Day.  It is the village the paratroopers landed in, as a surprise move to liberate the French from the Germans.  Many of our young men died that day.  One of the notable stories is best captured from wikipedia:

A well-known incident involved paratrooper John Steele of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), whose parachute caught on the spire of the town church, and could only observe the fighting going on below. He hung there limply for two hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner. Steele later escaped from the Germans and rejoined his division when US troops of the 3rd Battalion, 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment attacked the village, capturing thirty Germans and killing another eleven. The incident was portrayed in the movie The Longest Day by actor Red Buttons.

As we walked into the town square, having been blessed with a parking space 1/2 block away, Dane gasped when he saw the parachute hanging from the church:

“Is he stuck up there?  Still?” Brief silence, then: “I think he’s dead by now.”

Sometimes it is very hard not to laugh.  I explained that it was not the real John Steele, but a replica the French hang up every D-Day to remind everyone of the bravery the Americans exhibited during the liberation.  I had to let him look through my telephoto lens to make sure before he believed me and could relax.

We were very lucky to look around, see the amazing stained glass windows inside the church, famous for the US paratroopers imbedded in the “new” windows, the monuments scattered around town and the even-now grateful locals.

I managed to buy two prints, signed in person by WWI Vet Jim Radford.  I am in awe that a man that saw so much death, destruction and horror still had the fortitude to come back to Normandy, and do so with grace, kindness and a wicked sense of humor.  It was a joy and a privilege to shake his hand.

Later, those same two prints made Dave’s day.  I swear he pinked away a tear or ten.  Sadly, his jump that day in Graignes was scrapped.  The Liberty Jump Team uses on old, actual D-Day veteran, C-47 aircraft.  Just before the first load dropped, one of the engines sputtered and died.  The captain quickly deboarded his entire flight in one drop, and returned to the Cherbourg airport on one engine. Safely landing the aircraft without any further damage or injury.

I received a text from Dave just as I was trying to find the DZ (dropzone) in the middle of nowhere:

“The C-47 lost an engine.  Dom is trying to get one from the Airborne Museum.”  Dom being one of the team founders.  They did not get the engine fixed that day, but it was fixed in time for the big Iron Mike jump on Sunday.  Still, a paratrooper is always disappointed when the jump is scrapped.  Dave was feeling a little down to have missed the jump and the day in Saint-Mère-Église.  Being able to pull out my signed prints, made up for a day sitting on the tarmac… and then some.

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What are Points?


It’s a DOUBLE POINTS weekend at the Studio, but what exactly does that mean?  What are points, and how are they a good thing for you?

Remember the old Yogi Berra quote? Money is as good as cash.? At the Studio, points are as good as cash.  Here is how it works:

  • You shop (points are earned & spent only on our Personal Use products)
  • Every dollar you spend earns you 5% cash back in points
  • This weekend only, every dollar you spend earns 10% cash back in points

You can save your points for a big purchase, or get a little off every time you shop.  It’s up to YOU!

You can check your points balance by clicking on My Account in the top menu bar, drop down My Points.  You can see what my points look like when I login, just follow the pretty pink arrows:


When I go to checkout, under  Order Summary (on the right side of my checkout screen), I can add in as many points as I want.  As soon as I click in the Points box and type in the amount of Points I want to use, they are applied to my order.


That’s it. It’s that quick.  That easy.  Even better?  You continue earning points on new purchases!


LOTW June 5 – 11 And the winner is …

NotAVampireLvr with her fabulous page Superstar. I instantly fell in love with this page. The colors are great, the composition is awesome and I love the photo’s. The wordart tells us a bit about this young man and makes clear that everybody counts, and being different is okay! So congrats NotAVampireLvr on winning this weeks LOTW!


This wonderful page was created with the fantastic Yes I’m Different { Bundle } by The Urban Fairy.

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With a little of this and a little of that, Eclectic Mood by Sherah Kraan beautifully combines so many beautiful styles into one lovely kit! The warm colors pair beautifully with the delightful mix of grungy, artsy, floral and steampunk elements. Eclectic Mood is a kit perfect for so many photo’s and scrap projects and therefore a perfect addition to your stash!

Met een beetje van dit en een beetje van dat combineert Eclectic Mood van Sherah Kraan vele stijlen in deze mooie kit. De warme kleuren passen prachtig bij de heerlijke mix van grungy, artistiek, bloemenrijk en steampunk elementen. Eclectic Mood is een kit perfect voor zoveel foto’s en scrap projecten en daarom een perfecte toevoeging aan de scrapkits!


Besides the kit there are many beautiful and useful addons, so please take a look below:

Naast de kit zijn er vele mooie en gebruiksvriendelijke addons, dus kijk maar eens hieronder:








Of course there is a wonderful deal for you when you like all these products. Just buy the Eclectic Mood – the Complete Bundle which is currently on sale for 60% off!

Natuurlijk is er een geweldige aanbieding voor als je al deze producten graag wilt. Koop de Eclectic Mood – the Complete Bundle en je bespaart 60%!


Here is the quickpage I made for you. Please enjoy!

Hier is de quickpage die ik voor jullie gemaakt heb. Veel plezier ermee!




Nautical Wedding by Zesty Designs

Summer brings with it a longing for the coast – the sea breeze, the salty air, the crunchy sand, the cool waves. Spending time basking in the sun and swimming in the ocean is a summer ‘must’, especially if you live close enough to make it a reality. It is no wonder that couples love to combine a summer wedding with a nautical theme. Many even choose a honeymoon cruise to a tropical paradise.
“Nautical Wedding” by Zesty Designs is a collection that provides wonderful papers and elements that is perfect for scrapbooking a wedding at the beach or marina, or simply vacation time on the coast.


Be sure to check out the whole collection…clusters, papers, wordarts, and an alpha.


I’ve got this cute corner cluster for you today, Enjoy!!!




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