Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Duncan Reunion - Digital Scrapbook Double Layout

My husband's family holds and annual family reunion and this year I decided to put some 
of my digital scrapbooking supplies to use and create a fun layout.  

December 2011 - Family Reunion digital scrapbook layout. Using various digital collections from ScrapGirls
I have a large collection of digital scrapbooking supplies, 
yet I have not really scrapbooked digitally very much... till now.  
That's my new goal for 2012 and going forward. 

I've created several "real" scrapbooks in the past and though they are nice, there is only one copy of each.  For example - My Mom has a book I created for her of her early years when she grew up in Spain and I did a book for my Dad of his life growing up here in the States.  Each was a labor of love and is a cherished item in their homes; however they were extremely expensive to create and very time consuming with still only the one copy at each of their homes; so it's not as if I, my brother or the grand-kids can flip through them unless we happen to be visiting.
Then another concern - what if... flood, fire, unforeseen catastrophe and they are gone forever.
(ya, none of us like to think of those things happening but it happens and most people lament the loss of family photos that will never be seen again. - Going digital can be a safeguard.)

I also soon grew tired of running out of this or that and not having a good color match when working on a layout. I always seemed to be at a loss for the right color or right item or size needed for my layout regardless of the huge assortment of papers, embellishments and supplies I had stockpiled.   Then there was the huge process of dragging everything out and put it away again when I'm through.   Basically I gave up on scrapbooking and moved on to rubber stamping and other crafty projects. 

Then in 2011, I took the dive to learn Photoshop and started playing digitally.  
One of the first things I did was purchase digital scrapbooking supplies to use in my digital creations.  And I've even created digital scrapbooking supplies of my own - see HERE 

I've decided for 2012 I want to create a series of these double page layouts to commemorate special occasions or family trips.  This way I have them and I can easily share them with friends and family. (and if something happens to my copy there will be other copies out there)
I love scrapbooking digitally! Now I always have the right color paper or embellishment and I don't run out of anything!!!  I buy a product once and get to use it over and over. I can change the color or adjust the size anyway needed.  It's just so much more fun and enjoyable to create layouts this way - at least I thing so.

The Full 2 page layout

So the Duncan Reunion from December 2011 was my first large digital layout.
I created it so it could be printed and placed in 8.5 x 11 sheet protectors in a binder;
 just in case any of the recipients wanted to print them out and start an actual "book".

Left side of Layout
I used downloaded fonts already on my computer for some of the wording.
Family Reunion is font type - "Giddyup Std"
Duncan Gathering is font type - "Pristina"
Angier, NC is font type - American "XBd BT"

The Bold Lettering for DUNCAN and 2011
is from the Alpha portion of "The View Collection" from ScrapGirls

The hinges that connect the two pages and the copper hinges on some of the
photos are also part of "The View Collection"

The "Leather" items (Buckled Strap, Ring with leather trim and the Leather Corners)
all came from the "Persian Breeze Collection Biggie" from ScrapGirls

Right Side of Layout
I had a lot of photos to work into this two page spread so I scanned through my ScrapGirls collections and found several sets that worked well together.  This is one of the great things about purchasing digital collections thought sites like ScrapGirls.  The items in the collections are made to work together so you are not pulling your hair out finding things that "play nice" with other elements on your page.  Then again you can alter colors, shapes and sizes as needed and you don't run out of anything since you can use the products over and over again. All for one small investment. I call that a Win- Win!

Tip - I always stock up on the sales - especially the 40% off ones.
I keep a "wish list" and every time they have a big sale I buy several items from my list.
Don't forget to sign up for their daily newsletter - this gives you tips and tricks to using the product as well as great layout examples. It also reminds you to download the "free" item of the day.  That's right "FREE" items!!! 
Backgrounds, Embellishments, Word Art and more... for FREE!


Here is what I used for my Duncan digital layout.

I wanted to keep my layout quick and easy to put together 
so all my digital items came from collections at ScrapGirls

Please Note - Items do retire and artist leave from time to time so it is possible that some of these products may no longer be available from them.  That is something else I quickly learned - if there is a collection you want don't wait too long to buy it or it could disappear. 
Sigh - it's happened to me a few times.

Retired - No longer available at ScrapGirls
The colorized version of these Portrait Frames by Jan Hicks
are now available over at "Happy to Create" - HERE

Retired - No longer available at ScrapGirls
I did not see these at "Happy to Create" under Jan Hicks.
(You could always email them and see if it's possible to get them)
I have a thing for vintage frames so, I'm glad I have mine! - grins

I used the Rust one listed as 3_8 as the bottom background layer
I bought the Value Pack that has all 
three Gesso Collections for one low price.
Gesso 1 (Reds) - Gesso 2 (Blue/Greens) - Gesso 3 (Neutrals)
and I also bought THIS Value Pack of Gesso Styles for Photoshop.
Can you tell I have a thing for stucco looking textures???

I really do save by purchasing the Value Packs and it's a Super Savings when 
they run their 40% off sales; so I always look to see if a product I'm considering 
for purchase is part of a "Value Pack"

I used the Christmas ornaments on the Left page of my layout
Christmas Angel Dust Collection by Brandy Murry

The embellishments are available as a separate purchase from the paper set;
 or if you like the whole collection you can save some money in getting the full set.
That's what I did with this one.

I used several of the "Leather" items from this collection
Persian Breeze Collection Biggie by Brandy Hackman

The embellishments are available as a separate purchase from the paper set;
 or if you like the whole collection you can save some money in getting the full set.
That's what I did with this one.

I used the Stucco-Washed Background, Window Frame, Shutters 
Hinges and Alpha Letters (DUNCAN & 2011)
 The View Collection by Brandy Murry

The Stucco background in this collection listed as "Stucco Washed"
Was used to create the two upper most background layers.
The top background (the lightest) is the paper as it comes in the set.

The slightly darker layer below it is the same paper but I added a
color filter in Photoshop to change the look.
Also by using drop shadow and outer glow effects
I got a nice "rim" on the backgrounds.

My finished layout

 I created my Duncan Reunion layout by taking parts and pieces from the above 6 collections.

 I'm a bargain shopper so I collected most of  these on the 40% off sales ScrapGirls has a few times a year (another reason to sign up for the newsletter - you won't miss the big sales).
 I've got @ $30 invested in the 6 collections I used.  I've already created this one great layout and have not even scratched the creative possibilities these collections still contain.
(I can use all the items over as many times as I want and adjust them as my layout calls for it.)

If you hurry you can take advantage of the 40.5% off sale that ends tonight
February 29, 2012 at Midnight.

I've already bought 2 more collections to add to my ever growing stash!!!

Here is what I bought yesterday.

Blossoms and Blooms winter Embellishment Biggie by Brandy Hackman

 Frame Groups Embellishments by Brandy Hackman

Happy Shopping and Scrapping!

If you want to see other ScrapGirl related posts click HERE

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A New Look with a bit of Marie Antoinette Style

I'm starting a new vintage fashion plate series in the Marie Antoinette style over on my main blog at and thought this would be the prefect time to give My Fanciful Muse a bit of a face-lift as well.

This is the "new" look I've come up with for this blog - My Fanciful Muse
I've made a slight modification to the last swirled background I created for this page
and I've finally created a title bar for this blog - complete with a
vintage fashion beauty in the style of Marie Antoinette.

She is just one version of a 1770's fashion plate I'll be posting about on my main blog 
in the near future - so don't forget to come and check them out.

I started by finally creating a "title bar" for this blog and making a few
alterations to my background.I liked my original swirl pattern on the
background so I just softened it up a bit, changed the texture in the center
as well as its color to a softer sage green.

(if you want to know what the old background looked like click HERE)

I created my title bar by first choosing my fashion lady in the style of Marie Antoinette.
Yup - she is one of my adaptations from an original 1770's fashion plate.

EKD Dancing Marie #3 - Blue & Green version
I thought this image looked like a Fairy Queen would make a nice topper.
She is just one version of a "Dancing Marie" I'll be posting to my
EKDuncan blog in the near future, so she is just a teaser for now - giggles.

I could not resist using one of my Ackermann Repository images of a "Country Seat"
as the title bar background; and this amazing stately estate just seemed to fit the ticket.

1823 Eaton Hall - West, Front View - Ackermann's Repository
 This and other Regency Era estate landscapes can be found
on my EKDuncan blog post for Country Seats - HERE

My fanciful lady just had that Fairy Queen look to her so I wanted the feel of fairy dust about her.
My hubby says it looks like snow but the rest of us knows it's fairy dust - right? ... wink.

Green Glitter Shimmer Texture - photo taken by me
 I love textures of all kinds and one day I dragged out various glitters,
took my camera and had a blast taking shots from many angles
of various types and colors of glitter.

I used this shimmer texture at a reduced opacity over my title bar
background to get what I think is a "magical" or "dreamy" look.

I used a fun text style and added one of my vintage frames to finish off the look.

One of my favorite frames from my vintage collection
 A bit of adjusting in Photoshop and this frame fit over my Title bar just right.
It takes a bit of playing with in sections so that the side bars are all
the same thickness when your done but it is worth the effort.

My "adjusted" title bar frame

Put it all the elements together and I had a fanciful title bar for my blog

And I think it blends in pretty well with the updated background

Updated background for this blog
If you are wondering about the "faded" portion at the bottom...
I recently discovered on Mac devices when you scroll down on a blog,
the background does not stay constant like it does on a regular computer.
Instead there is a harsh ending between a blog background and the
solid background color for your blog.

I don't know why this happens with iPads and such, I just know it does.
So now when I update a new "look" to my blogs, I grab my hubby's iPad and
keep testing to see if I've "faded" the bottom of the background enough
so this is not an issue for those viewing my blogs on a Mac or iPad/iPhone.

I'm not sure if there is a better way to handle this "issue" but if any
of you know one, please drop me a note in the comments section.
I'd love to know an easy "fix" for this.


Thanks for dropping in and I hope you check out my fun new series
on Marie Antoinette vintage styles at

May you...