Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Bow-tique

Neverland Scraps met with Carol, the owner of MouseScrappers about the possibility of donating a kit to the store to help with site/maintenance fees.  After a few weeks, Neverland Scraps created Bow-tique which went live today! 
I love how this kit came together! 
There are six pattern papers and four solid papers. 
There are over 85 elements and a complete alpha that coordinate beautifully together! 
 
As  a bonus, Neverland Scraps created Bow-tique {bonus} to scrap those moments, yourself or those special people in your life who have battled or who are dealing with Breast Cancer. 
Where can you get Bow-tique?
I'm glad you asked!
You can get Bow-tique exclusively here at MouseScrappers
Bow-tique will ONLY be available for purchase at MouseScrappers during the month of July.
ALL proceeds from the purchase of Bow-tique will go towards the site/maintenance fees of MouseScrappers.  Your small contribution can make a large impact for such an amazing community!
I know it's been a while since I designed, but I remembered how much people liked seeing the product in use!  I am pleased to show you how these two layouts turned out using Bow-tique
 Both layouts were using Neverland Scraps Pixie Plates 
Make sure you head over to Neverland Scraps Facebook Fan Page to pick up Bow-tique {bonus alpha} which is not available any where else, but at Neverland Scraps Facebook Fan Page!

Don't forget Bow-tique is ONLY AVAILABLE during the month of July.  At the end of the month, it will be removed from MouseScrappers and I do not know if you will be able to purchase it again as I am not selling in a store at the moment.  Make sure you get Bow-tique before it's gone and while you are helping a fabulous community, MouseScrappers!!

Until next time . . .

Monday, June 15, 2015

Pixie Plate #296

One of my favorite things about designing is seeing how it was/is used!   When I was selling, I loved getting emails from customers sharing their latest project with something of mine.  I also loved being able to go through the store's gallery to see how customers used my product.  It gave me great joy to see those projects.  Pixie Plates always gave me the greatest enjoyment as I'd look through the gallery thinking "that's my template?"  and then be wow'ed at how the scrapper took the template and made it their own with altering the template by removing/adding photos or cluster differently than I had imagined.  That was probably my favorite memory about being an active designer and selling in a store--seeing how my designs were used.    So if you have used Pixie Plate #296, consider emailing me or posting her the link to your layout so I can see how Pixie Plate #296 gave you inspiration on your layout!!
 
I wanted to scrap with this template,
so I grabbed In the Stars Collection by Amber Shaw
 
 
When I saw this kit, I knew I needed to have it and scrap my daughter's 8th grade formal.  As I scrapped, the layout kept evolving and changing from one direction to another.  Originally I had four photos along the bottom, but I wanted to journal, so I removed two of those photos.  At the end of the night, this was my finished layout using Pixie Plate # 296
 
 
I love how this layout come together.  I love everything about it!
How have you used Pixie Plate # 296 or another Neverland Scraps product?


Friday, June 12, 2015

MouseScrappers Blog Hop

Welcome to MouseScrappers Design Challenge #21 Blog Hop! 
You probably came from Chef Minnie Mouse's blog.  Thank you for playing along in MouseScrappers Design Challenge Blog Hop!  I'm so excited as this is my first time participating in the Design Challenge, much less the Blog Hop!! 
Basically how this works is a handful of people came together, using the monthly color swatch and created either a template or a mini kit.  I had originally planned on doing a mini kit, but time ran away from me and so I asked if I could do a template instead. 
This is the color swatch that we were given for this month's Design Challenge:

Once we've completed our portion, we uploaded it to host of the challenge.  She went through everyone's submissions and gave each of the participants links to each other's creations.  After that was done, everyone's submissions are being hosted at MouseScrappers Store, where you can purchase the entire collaboration.  Your purchase, helps keep MouseScrappers running, so please consider purchasing this month's collaboration!

This is my submission for this month's collaboration:

The ONLY way for you to get this Pixie Plate and all the other submissions is to purchase the collaboration kit at MouseScrappers!
All proceeds of purchase of this kit will be used to keep MouseScrappers running, so help your fellow Disney site running! 

However, since this is a blog hop and you came here for a matching freebie, I'd like give you Pixie Plate #296 to thank you for stopping by my blog and supporting MouseScrappers.
 *available in .psd, .tiff, .page and individual .png files*

***This link has been removed***
 Did you like Pixie Plate #296?
Do you want to see more Pixie Plates?
Let me know what you think, if you'd like to see more from Neverland Scraps!
So where do you go from here? 
You will head on over to MJAJmom's blog
If you get lost, here's a master-list of everyone participating

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Template Challenge

I'm hosting another Template Challenge at MouseScrappers!  All template challenges run for two weeks, giving you plenty of time to play along in the challenge.  Since MouseScrappers is a Disney-inspired site, we ask that your layout be related to Disney whether it's from a recent vacation, going to the Disney Store, or even photos of something Disney (Mickey Mouse, Ariel) in your home!  Once your layout is completed, upload your layout in the MouseScrappers Template Gallery.  Find the coordinating forum about your layout and post the link/image to give others Disney-inspiration!!  After you've done that, come back to my Template Challenge Thread and post the link/image of your layout with the coordinating forum link to be eligible to win an extra prize at the end of the challenge!! 

I know, you are asking, what does this template look like?  I'm glad you asked because this is the Pixie Plate #291 that you will be working with for the next two weeks
 
And here is how my best friend, Dawn (Aussiegirl) used the template to create a Disney Cars layout
credits:
Neverland Scraps Pixie Plate 291
Britt-ish Designs Motormania
Kellybelle Designs Crossing the Finish Line Word art Freebie
Dream Big Designs Raceway
So where do you go to get the template?
Head on over to MouseScrappers, download the template in THIS thread.
While you are there, see what other exciting things MouseScrappers offers with their challenges, inspiration and chatter!
 
Until next time . . .

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Goodbye isn't Forever

I don't know if many know, but in January, our family said, "goodbye" to my husband while he went overseas on an unaccompanied hardship assignment.  The children and I put our belongings in storage and moved in with my parents so the children could be closer to family during this transition.
 
Usually when my husband goes away, I go crazy taking photos, but I never scrap the time that he's away.  It's too painful to scrap the photos because he isn't there to see them.  Or it's too painful to scrap the photos after he comes home, because I remember how much I missed him and become a sad, depressed woman.  I tried scrapping current photos while he was gone the last time, but every time I scrapped the photos, I felt guilty and ended up in tears!
 
This time around, it's been four months since he's been gone.  Over the weekend, I missed my husband so much that I started looking through the photos that I've taken since he's been gone, or the week he left.  As I was looking at the photos, I kept thinking to myself, "oh I love that photo" and before I knew it, I had about 20-photos that I wanted to scrap.  So instead of just taking photos to store on my hard drive and feel guilty about scrapping them, I sat down this weekend and scrapped two different photos, which in a way was major therapy for me.  Yes, I cried.  Yes, I miss my husband, but somehow scrapping these layouts don't make me miss him so much and I can start to look forward to the day he comes home next year!
 
These photos were taken at Reagan National Airport.  After a crazy day, my husband's flight was finally secured and we had the timeframe of when we had to say goodbye.  We asked at the USO if they could get the family in at the gate to spend time with him, but they were unable to help us.  So we asked at the reservation desk.  Normally, they allow one person back at the gate, but because we were a family of five, they were more hesitant.  My daughters started crying and that's when the man behind the counter handed us four tickers that allowed us to wait at the gate until my husband boarded his flight!  We waited about two hours before they finally called my husband's plane.  Saying goodbye, with a baby, was really hard!  He had no idea what was going on, but knowing how much he'd grow in the year that my husband was going away, really made it difficult.  The girls, really struggled to keep their composure so that Daddy wasn't sad before he left.  Once he left, the kids and I stayed at the gate, waiting for his plane to take off.  The kids were standing at the window when the man behind the counter, the one who allowed us to go to the gate, came and said, "if you wave, the pilots might wave back."  The kids waved and sure enough the pilots waved while they were checking their engines!  It was really neat.  About 20-minutes later, the plane taxied and we watched it take off.  That moment, was probably the hardest moment in my mother-years.  Immediately, I had two hysterical girls and a toddler screaming, "Daddy".   It took me another 20-minutes to calm them all down with the help of the gate clerk and the man behind the counter.  The drive from DC to PA was a long drive, filled with the occasional crying of a child
 
**please click here for credits**
 
If you look closely to the background of the layout, you'll see an airplane blended in the background.  That is my husband's plane taking off and heading towards Jacksonville!!
 
Fast forward to the end of April when I picked my husband up from the Philadelphia Airport to surprise my children that their daddy had come home for a short visit!  His flight came in at midnight and we didn't get home until closer to 2am.  As soon as my husband came in to our bedroom, the dog barked and growled not sure of who I brought home!  Once he realized who it was, he was so excited to see my husband.  I really wish I had captured their reunion on video!!
 
The following morning, my husband hid in our bedroom while I told the three children that we were going to make birthday pancakes for our middle, who's birthday was the next day.  The girls reluctantly came downstairs and were a little aggravated that I was going to take photos and video them making their own breakfast, when normally I make them breakfast.  It was at that time, my husband entered the kitchen saying, "hey, what's for breakfast"
 
This moment, I did video and uploaded to YouTube, so the family and friends could see the children's reaction, which was priceless!!  You can view their reaction here:

**please turn down your volume as my middle cries almost the entire video**
 
A month prior to my husband coming home, my middle had been having nightmares that Daddy came home and when she woke up he was gone.  So when he actually came in the room, she started crying because she thought it was another nightmare.  I don't know if you can hear, or understand her, but she keeps screaming, "this isn't a dream" and then she asks, "is this a dream?"  She thought for sure she was going to wake up and he'd be gone.   She really couldn't believe he was right there, standing before her in person and not in dream!!
 
So this weekend, along with scrapping my husband's departure, I had to scrap his visit home, which while it was a very short visit, we did a lot during his time home.  Sadly, he's back at his duty station but we are now counting down the days until he comes home!!
**please click here for credits**
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Are you a Whovian?

When Tracey released Loving the Doctor at ScrapMatters, when I was on the QC Staff, that was the first that I had heard of Doctor Who.  She said "watch the show", to which I tried, but never got in to it.  And every time I heard people talk about it, I zoned out.  ScrapMatters closed and everyone moved on.  Fast forward to this month and I now have not one, but TWO Whovians in our household!  Every time they bring up something Doctor Who-related, I try to listen, but for the most part still zone out.  I even tried sitting down to watch an episode or two, okay maybe a whole season, but I just cannot get in to the show!  But not my children, they are obsessed with Doctor Who.  This Christmas, it was all that my oldest got for presents!  She got a set of Doctor Who socks, a "Bad Wolf" pin as well as a few other Doctor Who related pins.  But her best and favorite gift was a Sonic Screwdriver.  You should have seen her zapping things around the house, looking for aliens!! 

Imagine my excitement, when I was browsing Tracey's store at GingerScraps and stumbled across Loving the Doctor!!  Of course I had to buy it and add it to my limited Doctor Who collection.  I finally had a kit that was scrap-worthy of my daughter's Christmas presents!!

 
As you can see, it SCREAMS Doctor Who, that is if you are true Whovian!!
So this weekend, as part of GingerScraps Mix It Up (May) Challenge, I scraplifted a kit I never used before and honestly may have "forgotten" about it until my daughter begged me to scrap her Whovian photos!! 
**please click here for credits**
 
I'm so excited that I stumbled across Tracey's kit and even more excited that I found a challenge to make me use the kit and in a way that I would never have thought to use the kit--in a PL-style layout!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Template Challenge

That's right, I am hosting a template challenge over at MouseScrappers!  All you have to do is download the template and create a beautiful layout about Disney!!  It's really that easy!!! 

So head on over to MouseScrappers.  While you are there, check out their other challenges and prizes you can earn for scrapping all things Disney!!
 

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Most Magical Place: Journal/Date Cards

My best friend, Dawn (Aussiegirl) is hosting a Scraplift Challenge at MouseScrappers.  She had asked me if I would create a participation prize for her.  Little did I know that not only could I still design, but (1) I had fun doing it and (2) it would spawn in to a full blown Disney-inspired kit!!!  That's right, you heard right!!  You will WANT to do Aussiegirl's challenges over at MouseScrappers and earn a beautiful product that you can scrap all things Disney!! 
 
This week, you can scraplift a layout using her challenge rules and earn
Most Magical Place: Journal/Date Cards
 
When you complete the challenge you will get three sets of journal/date cards in Black, Red and Yellow so that they can coordinate with the other pieces of this Most Magical Place collection!
 
Hurry, head on over to Scraplift Challenge #136 today to earn this prize!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Anti-Alias

What kind of term is Anti-Alias and what does it do for me?
Anti-Alias is simply a method of fooling the eye that a jagged edge is really smooth.
So why can't I make a smooth edge on my computer? Because computer images are made up of tiny square pixels.  When you want to make a straight line, you'll be able to have a straight line of pixels stacked up one another.  However when you have an angle or a curve, the pixels can't bend as they need to fill in that block, thus seeing the steps of the rounded edge. 
That is where anti-alias comes in handy.

The clever system that anti-aliasing uses to fool your eyes into thinking that a line is not jagged is to use subtle changes in color around the curved or diagonal area. These slight changes in color make the image blend around curves and giving the impression that the line in true. The colou changes are on such a small scale that you eyes cannot detect them under normal circumstances
**taken from Panther Products website**

Make sure when you use the marque tool (the cutter tool) in Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro you always have the anti-alias option checked.  Back when I first started designing no matter how many times I tried to make a smooth circle I couldnt and didn't understand why.  Then one day, not too many days later, I realized I had unchecked that box.  Boy did that make a difference.

So how can you see if your anti-alias is check-marked. 
Open your program and click on the marque tool.
From there, look to the top of the screen and you'll see the following in Photoshop CS4
(hopefully the same for the other versions)

Or the following in Paint Shop Pro X2
(hopefully in the other versions as well)

To see what I am talking about, here is an example in Photoshop CS4 with the anti-alias unchecked:
Are the edges (pixels) are more noticeable to the naked eye?
Notice how the edge is jagged--you can see the steps of the circle!

Now take a look at this circle with the anti-alias checked
Doesn't that look like a smooth, round circle the way our eye is used to seeing an image?
That is the difference between on checked or unchecked button.

Make sure when you are using shapes Anti-Alias is ALWAYS checked!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Learn Your Program

After learning about copyright the next thing you should do is learn as much as you can about your program; know what it does, what it is capable of doing, how to do those things, etc.  Designing is not purchasing the best Commercial Use products available and recoloring with each and every kit.  Designing is an art of creativity.  For most it is starting with the basic shapes and creating from there on up, adding shadowing, textures, etc.   
Take for example this construction barricade.

What shapes do you see when looking at this element?
It is basically created from squares and rectangles. 
When I was changing my blog around, I sat down at the computer and imagined what a barricade looked like and started creating my template.  I started at the focal point, creating shapes to look like what I was envisioning in my head.  Once I created the template it was just a matter of filling in the colors, adding bevel around the edges as well as adding texture to the sign.
There are a handful of designers who do the exact same thing when it comes to creating templates.  Look in any online digital store, under Commercial Use, and you'll see countless templates filled with shapes in all different sizes and characters.  These designers look at something and recreate it with shapes or they are artistic and draw the element they are wishing to create.  That my friend can be you if you learn and understand what your program is capable of doing!
Where do you start?
Well if you are reading my blog, I guess this is a good start.  But generally when I started learning how to design and about my program I relied on Google for the answers.  There were nights while my husband was deployed that I would be searching "Photoshop CS + Ribbon Tutorial".  I would walk myself through several tutorials on that element, learning how to do it without looking at any guides, notes or tutorials. 
Another thing you can do it enroll yourself in some classes where it be online or in your local university.  There are a handful of online sites that offer classes with different programs.  The perk of it being online is that hopefully you are able to work around your schedule, work, naptime, etc.
When in doubt if you dont know, understand, have questions ask a fellow friend who uses the program.  I had been designing for several years and one day Melissa Daniel Designs said "hey you know if you do this . . . . "  and a lightbulb went on in my head understanding what she had told me! I had no idea that I could do that with my program, let alone the possibilities she had opened up by telling me a simple suggestion!
Learn your program before jumping in to designing. It makes it that much easier when the harder stuff comes knocking at your door.