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I have some fabulous products and some great deals to showcase for you today.

Christmas is so close now (how I wish time would just slow down!) and Jilbert’s Bits of Bytes has some fabulous shiny metal flowers in her store.  You can get them in green, platinum, red or gold and I think they would be fabulous in a Christmas kit or page. In each pack Jill has included a lovely co-ordinated Czech glass button as a bonus. This would make a beautiful center for the flowers.  SAVE 30%.

Flower Kit - Gold

Sweetmade is offering her ENTIRE CU STORE for 95% OFF!  This is a limited offer and available for one week only.


Boo has just added some pretty papers to her Signature Papers range of products.  Thankful Heart Signature papers are available with a 40% SAVING.

Thankful Heart Signature Papers CU

Fancy Bird Design has some really pretty and colorful birds on sale with a 35% SAVING. 

Cu 25 Vintage Birds By Fancy Bird Design

I love a touch of glitter and who could resist having this Gold Glitters Toolset in their stash!  SAVE30%.

Gold Glitters Toolset

Nibbles Skribbles has this fun set of layered templates containing 6 different book spines. Being layered templates they are very easy to customize with colors and styles to fit your design style.  SAVE 35%.

Book Spine Templates by Nibbles Skribbles

These delightful Antique Perfume Labels from Vero – The French Touch are currently on sale with a 20% SAVING.

CU Volume 130 [Antique Perfume Labels]

I love the variety of these white frames from ADB Designs.   On sale – SAVE 30%.

White Frames Vol 1

These Carols Grungy Overlays would be perfect for any Christmas kit or page.  If you prefer the less grungy look you can also get these in Carols Clean Overlays.  Both are on sale with a 30% SAVING.

CU Carols Grungy Overlays

Hand drawn directly from the computer, these quirky Funny Circles are on sale – SAVE 20%.

By Hand 7 - Color Circles

Last, but not least, how about some gorgeous Christmas glitter to add to your stash or decorate your holiday pages.  SAVE 30%.

Merry Christmas Glitter by Mad Genius Designs


In perfect time for Thanksgiving, Karen (Snickerdoodle Designs) has made this lovely stamp for you.  Thanks Karen!

Click on the image to download.

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving, I wish you a wonderful time with your loved ones………..and if like me, you live in a part of the world that does not have this particular celebration, it is always good to stop and take stock of our lives and be thankful.



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I love Photoshop brushes because they offer so much versatility. Today let’s take a closer look at them.

Many designers, when creating brushes (ABR files) will also include the “stamped brushes” in PNG format. So when you purchase a product that comes with both PNG files and ABR files, which should you use?    Let’s look at different ways to use both formats, then you can decide what works best for you.

Note:  Photoshop brushes prior to CS6 were  limited in size to 2500 X 2500 pixels.  With the introduction of CS6, brushes can be as large as 5000 x 5000 pixels. This is why you might see something like this is a designer’s brush product:


The “sd_oven-lovin” ABR file would be for versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements that accept 2500 x 2500 (or smaller) brush sizes.  The “sd_oven-lovin-CS6+” would be for Photoshop versions (CS6 and CC2014) that accept larger brush sizes.

Why you might want to use PNG Files instead of an ABR file:

  • Placing a PNG file on your document is fast and easy.  There is no need to “load” or “install” the ABR file to use your product
  • PNG files give you a good visual reference for what the brush truly looks like on your page.  It can sometimes be difficult to see the brush image in the Brushes Panel, even with the large preview option.   You can  hover your brush over the paper to get an idea of the size brush on your paper but will need to stamp it to see what it truly looks like.

Why you might want to use an ABR File instead of a PNG file:

  • Versatility.  You can make a lot of creative choices prior to stamping the brush on your paper.

Using either a PNG file or a stamped ABR brush is a personal choice.  The important factor  in making your decision is… how can you get the best result with the stamp you are using and the background paper you are working with.

Here are just a few ways to use PNG and ABR files.

In the image below, I have placed a black PNG stamp on a background paper.  The Blend Mode is Normal.  This will be our starting point.


Here are how different Blend Modes affect this PNG file on this background. (You could get different results on a different color background.) Using Blend Modes is a quick way to work with PNG files.  You might find the exact look you are trying to achieve very easily.


Here are another few ways to use PNG files:

1. Use a Color Adjustment Layer to change the color of the PNG file by clicking on the half gray / half white circle at the bottom of the layers panel.  Choose “Solid Color,” then select your color choice from the Color Picker Window that opens.  Doing this will clip the color layer to your PNG file, offering you the flexibility of experimenting with blend modes and opacity levels of both the color layer and the PNG file.  (Alternatively, create a blank layer above the PNG file, fill that layer with color using your favorite tool, and clip to the PNG file.)

2.  Clip a background paper to the PNG file. (If you need a refresher on clipping masks: Clipping Masks in Photoshop.)  In my  example below, I duplicated and rotated the background paper, and clipped it to the PNG file.  Experiment with other papers to see the results you get with them!

3. Lock the Transparent Pixels and paint over the PNG file with your choice of colors,  using a soft brush. Alternatively, place a blank layer above the PNG file, and clip it to the PNG. Paint on the blank layer.  (As usual, with Photoshop, there are multiple ways to accomplish the same task. Choose your preferred method.) In image 3 below, I picked up one of the light brown colors in the background paper, and then added another few brush strokes of the light rose color.


These are just a few ways to work with PNG files. Experiment and see what other ways you can discover that help you achieve the look you want.

Using the ABR file allows you to make multiple design choices prior to actually stamping the brush on your paper, and this flexibility is preferred by some.

In the top menu bar, you have the opportunity to choose:

  • the color you stamp the brush with
  • the size of your brush
  • the blending mode
  • the opacity


By accessing the Brush Presets in your Brushes Panel, you can choose other options that might be of interest to you when using certain brushes; for example, scattering, texture, color dynamics, and more.


It’s really up to you. If you know exactly what effect you want, sometimes using the ABR file is fastest. If you would like to experiment with different options, sometimes it’s more fun to play with the PNG files.

Me? I use both. I just can’t make up my mind which I like best, so I’m glad that I don’t really have to choose!

For this paper and this stamp; however, here is the result I liked best.

Tools and technique:

  • ABR file
  • Stamped the brush in color d5a355
  • Blend mode Linear Burn
  • Opacity 28%

(I enlarged the stamp a little using the Transform tool.  Normally I would not recommend enlarging images, but because of the texture on the background paper any potential loss of stamp quality was not noticeable.)


 As a point of possible interest, here is the original image from which I made the brush; the Hoosier that is in my kitchen.


Many of the utensils seen on the Hoosier you will find in my new kit Oven Lovin.

Click on the image below to download the stamp used in this tutorial!


Click the link to download a PDF of this tutorial:  PNG vs. ABR files:  Which should you use?

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Are you looking forward to Winter. I love the Winter, taking long walks outside, breathing the cold air and then looking forward to coming home in a warm and cosy home! I do hope there will be snow this year, cause I always find the landscape so beautiful when is covered in white. I also hope we will be able to skate. It’s just great to go out and skate on a lake or pond. Of course lots of pictures are taken in the Winter and I can assure you that the beautiful Winter Hug kit by Designs by Brigit is a perfect kit to scrap them. The Winter Hug kit is filled with lots of gorgeous winter elements and a touch of Christmas all in beautiful shades of red, brown, gold and white! Winter Hug kit by Designs by Brigit gives all your winter memories a warm feel!

Kijk je ook al uit naar de winter. Ik hou van de winter. Heerlijke buiten wandelen, de koude lucht opsnuiven en me dan verheugen thuis te komen in een warm en gezellig huis! Ik hoop dat we sneeuw zullen krijgen dit jaar, want het landschap is zo mooi als het helemaal wit is. Hopelijk kunnen we ook schaatsen dit jaar. Wat is er nu leuker dan lekker buiten schaatsen op de vijver of op een meer. Natuurlijk worden er dan heel veel foto’s genomen die je dan kunt scrappen met de prachtige Winter Hug kit van Designs by Brigit. De Winter Hug kit is gevuld met prachtige winterse elementen en een beetje kerst allemaal in tinten rood, bruin, goud en wit. Winter Hug kit van Designs by Brigit geeft al je winter herinneringen een warm gevoel!



Besides the kit Brigit also created some gorgeous clusters for you. Just take a look below:

Naast de kit heeft Brigit ook een set prachtige clusters gemaakt. Kijk maar eens hieronder:



and to make life even more easy for you there is a set of beautiful quickpages:

en om je leven nog makkelijker te maken is er een set prachtige quickpages:



To give you a little touch of the kit I also made a quickpage for you. You can download it below, please enjoy!

Om je een klein beetje idee te geven van de kit heb ik ook een quickpage voor jullie gemaakt, die je hieronder kunt downloaden. Veel plezier ermee!



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Ever So Thankful by Linda Cumberland Designs and a free quickpage for you

by renee 13 November 2014
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Each year on the fourth Thursday in November, Americans gather for a day of feasting, football and family. The “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. So it’s clear Thanksgiving has a long tradition of saying thanks for the harvest and all others blessings received. Ever […]

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What’s new in our CU store and a FREEBIE!

by Robyn 9 November 2014

I have some great new CU products to showcase today.  Included in these new products are some lovely winter and Christmas goodies for you to enjoy! Nothing says Christmas like some holly, and these holly sprigs from ADB Designs are currently 30% OFF. ADB Designs is also offering these traditional Holiday Decorations Vol. 1 with […]

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Round Robin: Folkish Autumn

by Toiny Westberry 5 November 2014
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It is time for another month of fabulous, gorgeous, breath-taking Round Robins staring none other than our own Valentina’s Creations! We kick things off with the stunning Folkish Autumn Kit and Collection: I’m so pleased to introduce to you a lovely collaboration with one of the most professional and kind designers I have ever met. […]

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Boy’s Club by Jilbert’s Bits of Bytes and a free quickpage for you

by renee 31 October 2014
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Do we not all know a man who loves cars? Maybe we love cars ourselves too. Boy’s Club by Jilbert’s Bits of Bytes is all about cars. You get lots of unique elements like cars, tools, signs, flames (gotta have flames), hardware, gas pump, rims, tires, motorcycle and many more! Together with a set of awesome retro inspired […]

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Blustery Days by The Kit Cart and a free quickpage for you

by renee 24 October 2014
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Blustery Days by The Kit Cart is filled with beautiful fun fall items such as pumpkins and pickups. It’s a lovely fall kit in beautiful and vivid colours, absolutely perfect for all kinds of children fall pages. Children love fall, the love to play in the leaves or search for chestnuts and acorns. So there are lots […]

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SnickerdoodleDesigns Big City Big Sale

by tammy 23 October 2014
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Our very own SnickerdoodleDesigns has a big sale! She recently took a trip to the Big Apple, from the top of the Empire State building, she took the above gorgeous photo of the miles of skyscrapers in New York. What a fabulous place. This week she has her whole store on 40% Off Sale! Now […]

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Working with Guides and Smart Guides in Photoshop

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 18 October 2014
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Photoshop Guides and Smart Guides are tools which allow us to easily align shapes and/or selections.  I use them quite a bit, but last week I discovered something new about them! I did a search on our Studio blog to see if previous authors have written about Smart Guides.  I found a tutorial written by […]

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