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I love quotes.  They convey messages in a compact way, which somehow just appeals to me. Quite frequently, I use quotes for inspiration.  When I first started designing, I had the following quote taped to my computer screen:

“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” (unknown)

Of course, not all quotes are serious or inspirational.  I also love the quirky and whimsical quotes that just make me laugh…. like:

“Housework can’t kill you… but why take a chance?” (Phyllis Diller) or

“A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it. “ (Jerry Seinfeld).

My granddaughter, Emily, is now 9 years old….. Stay with me here … this will all make sense in a minute…..

When Emily was 2, she thought she was a Princess. Really.  She believed that Snow White and Sleeping Beauty were her BFFs.  The costume gowns that little girls wear to play dress-up?  She thought those were her real clothes.

It was adorable.  But then she was 3.  And her wardrobe was still the same…. And as she headed toward 4, we thought…. While this is still cute, it’s not going to be very cute when she is 14 or 21!  So for her 4th birthday I created a photobook for her. I entitled the book The ABC’s of Becoming a Princess.  I wanted it to be simple, with the focus on photos I had taken of her, along with inspirational or encouraging quotes, focusing on the positive qualities in life that we would like to see her strive toward.  The book turned out beautifully, and Emily loved it!

Over the past year or so, the idea of translating that positive experience for us into a digital product has been rumbling around in my mind.  The results of those rumblings is “The ABC’s of Life Quick Album.”

So what does this mean for you?

The ABC’s of Life Album was designed to help you create a lovely, meaningful album in under an hour.

Backgrounds papers were designed in muted, swirly colors to mimic professional photographer backdrops.  Quotes are provided for the characteristics that I included in Emily’s book. Titles are included (i.e.  A is for Achievement), however, I have also included a complete alphabet set so you can create your own titles if you wish.  Basic Quick Pages are included, so you can simply drag a quote and title onto a Quick Page, add a photo, and your album page will be completed in just a matter of seconds.  I have included templates of those basic pages, so you can change background papers, and embellish your pages as much or as little as you wish. The ABC’s of Life Album is versatile enough for both the beginning scrapper and the more seasoned scrapper.

Here is a sample, provided by Norma (yorkiemom), which includes 4 different levels  of complexity.

In the first image, she used an ABC’s of Life Template.  She chose a few papers from one of her favorite kits to use as her background, and then colored her frames. She then simply placed an ABC’s quote and title on the page, added a Divider, added her photos, and she was done.  She had created a lovely page in mere seconds.

Norma then continued to embellish her page, adding just a few more personal touches with each version.  I think Version 4 is just as lovely as Version 1.  It all depends on how much time you wish to take on your album pages. If you need something quickly, Version 1 is all you need.

ABC albums are perfect for so many things!  What I truly like best about them (beside the fact that they are quick and easy!) is that their simplicity allows my photographs to really make a statement. And many times, that is my goal.

This is the Quick Page Template that I started with, to create the page above:

With the addition of a Title and a Quote from the ABC’s Album, a pre-made cluster from one of my kits  (Apple of my Eye) (collaboration with Mad Genius Designs), and the addition of 2 paper strips and 2 buttons, I had an album page completed in just a few minutes.

Use of the Quick Page Base files, along with pre-made clusters that you probably already have in your stash, is just one more way to utilize what you already own!

I hope the ABC’s of Life Album will help you create Christmas gifts, Birthday gifts, or just every-day albums quick and easy!

You can find all of the individual ABC’s of Life products on sale for 30% off thru December 18th in my store: SnickerdoodleDesigns

Or pick up the entire Collection at a 55% savings!

Credits: Thanks to Norma for her layout samples!  Kits used in the creation of her samples:  Unforgettable, Walk with Me, Artist in Me, Take Me Away

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Alphas. Love them, hate them? I personally love them. They really make a title stand out. And I don’t even have to make the letters look cute, some one else has already done that for me, bonus! Now, how do you use your alpha? I mean do you like to open the whole individual 26 letters? I don’t. Too much going on for me. Some people like to open the whole alphabet on their LO. Way, way to much going on for me! So I am going to show you the easiest way to use those alphas- the All In One alpha sheet.

I think most alphas come with an all in one. I love using these. If you have never tried before, it’s really easy. I promise! I am going to show you 2 ways to use them. First with the marquee tool, then the lasso tool.

First open your alpha sheet. Activate your marquee tool hot key “m“.  Then use your cursor to draw a box around the letter you need.

Now switch to the move tool “v“. You will know it’s ready to be moved because the transform controls will show up. Now, simply drag that letter to your LO.

Now that letter is on your LO, on it’s own layer, ready to be moved and modified as needed! Isn’t that much nicer then having to open a whole bunch of letters? I think so. But that just me. And the less is better.

Now, you can also use the lasso tool to select letters. I personally prefer the marquee tool, but sometimes the letters are really close together and the lasso tool is easier. So, same concept- select your lasso tool “l“. Make sure you have the plain or polygonal lasso selected instead of the magnetic {you can certainly use any of these, but I find that the magnetic lasso sometimes causes a slight feathering of edges, who needs that?}. Carefully draw around your letter. Then switch back to the move tool and plop it on your LO.

Pretty easy right? Well, I have turned my LO into a QP for you! I used the kit Dear Ol’ Dad by NibblesSkribbles! DL Here

Ok and one more thing- I have BIG NEWS people! I am hosting a mega watt blog challenge this week!!! It starts on the 15. The prize is going to be fantastic! I love it so much, I wish I could keep it. That’s right, it’s something that I get to ship to your house! How fun is that? So, Check back here tomorrow for day one. And check back to the Studio, there is a whole Back to School bash going on! Lots of fun things!

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Notes can be found everywhere!  We write them on index cards, scraps of paper, or Sticky Notes.  We place them on our refrigerators, bulletin boards, computer monitors, and even the dashboard of our cars.  Notes help us remember important dates, events, or appointments.  (Remember me? The Queen of Sticky Notes?)

But what about when you are working in Photoshop and need to remember something important?  Like the due date of a layout, or designer credits that you will need when you post to your gallery?

“Notes” can help!  Yes! There are Notes in Photoshop!  I have found Notes to be an invaluable tool, and they are so easy to use.

In Photoshop, select the Note Tool on the toolbox.  It is in the drop down box when you select the Eye Dropper Tool.

Click on the active document to create a blank Note (the little yellow pad and pencil) and a Notes window will open.  Simply type the information you would like to remember about your document.

You may right click on the Note icon to close, delete, or open any notes.

Save your document as a PSD or TIFF file and your notes will be saved.

If you find the Note distracting while you work, simply expand your canvas and drag it off to the side.

Notes may be added in Photoshop.  In Photoshop Elements you may view and delete notes, but you may not add them.

I love using Notes, and it has saved me a ton of money on all of the Sticky Notes I was buying too!

Don’t forget to visit theStudio today and take advantage of our Christmas in July sale, July 21-31.  All Christmas products are on sale for 50% off!  This is a great time to pick up some great bargains and get a head start on your Christmas projects, layouts, or photo ideas.  In addition to the Christmas sale, all Personal Use and Commercial Use  items are 30% off!

I just love the Quick Page that Bernie, a member of my Creative Team, designed using my All Wrapped Up kit.  If you love it like I do, you can pick up up simply by clicking on the image below!

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My Advice to You

by Steph 19 June 2012
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I have a lot of friends that I have convinced to start scrapbooking their memories digitally. They always ask me, “What’s the best advice you can give a newbie like me?” Well, I have been doing this digital thing for over four years now, and the best advice I can give is journal, journal, journal. […]

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DOTD by ScrappyCocoa

by Steph 21 April 2012
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Scrappy Cocoa has a new kit out today, and you can get it at a wonderful 70% off! This kit is perfect for scrapping all your outdoor adventures! You can get the bundle, or each piece separately. They are available HERE And, I have a QP Duo for you! DL HERE

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Should you Shadow?

by Toiny Westberry 26 March 2012
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One of the most common questions all of us get asked; “should I add dropshadows?”… to elements, papers, photos.  My answer 99% of the time is YES. It is all a matter of personal opinion, so take my point of view with a big grain of salt, but I feel shadows add that “pop” to […]

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Beautiful You

by Steph 3 March 2012
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Scrappy Cocoa Has a new kit in the stores called Beautiful You. The muted tones in this kit make is great for scrapping a wide variety of photos. Vintage, black and white even wedding picture go great with it. The unique choices in elements are great for clustering, layering or simple elegant LOs.  Here are […]

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Knockout Style for Quickpages/BragBooks/Albums

by Toiny Westberry 20 September 2010

This one is for all of you who love to make a Quickpage/BragBook/Album set with your kits. I know my old way of doing it is a very common way. It is also a very tedious, annoying, time-consuming way. You know, where you select the area under a frame and then delete each bit under […]

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