Introducing “North of Ordinary” (by the P&Co Design Team), and One of My Favorite Scrapping Tips/Tricks!

Just in time for Digital Scrapbooking Day (DSD) this weekend… the design team at Pixels & Company has once again joined forces to bring you something truly awesome. Feast your eyes on North of Ordinary

North of Ordinary (by the P&Co Design Team)

Now, listen here, people… you can just click on the image above and run over to the shop to buy this beauty… easy peasy. That’s one way you could go.

—OR—

…you could get it for FREE“What the what?! Free, you say?” Yes, indeedy. Just follow the P&Co Designer Blog Hop that launches today… gather a letter from each of the stops along the way… and in the end you’ll have a coupon code that you can use to “purchase” the kit for free in the P&Co shop. :) Check the end of this post for more details (and to get my letter!).

But first… here’s one from the WWC vault for you. One of my favorite digital scrapping tips/tricks…

STEP ONE
Open your striped paper in Photoshop / Photoshop Elements, and duplicate it once.

STEP TWO
Rotate the duplicate layer (i.e. the one on the top) horizontally.*

* NOTE: if your original striped paper is vertical/horizontal, rather than diagonal… simply rotate it 90-degrees instead of flipping it horizontally

STEP THREE
Change the opacity of the top (duplicated/rotated) layer to 50%.

*BOOM* …plaid paper. :)

Here are a few examples of layouts that use plaid papers that “don’t actually exist” in the kit that was used to scrap the page…

layout by Hillary (using a stripe from Count Your Blessings, releasing today!)

layout by Hillary (using a stripe from Boardwalk by WWC)

layout by Hillary (using a stripe from Boardwalk by WWC)

layout by me (using a stripe from Bountiful by Shabby Princess)

layout by me (using a stripe from Bountiful by Shabby Princess)

It’s so easy to do… give it a try! Next time you’re scrapping and your page just doesn’t “feel right” with a stripe, you can remedy it in a jiffy. Sometimes a striped paper gives the page the feel of too much direction or movement, whereas a plaid doesn’t.

Meanwhile… you’re looking for a letter from me, right?

Well, my letter is actually a number. ;) …4

Don’t forget to collect the letters you find at each designer’s web site! Write them down in order from start-to-finish, and you’ll end up with a coupon code that you can use to grab North of Ordinary for FREE. ;)

If you’re following the P&Co Blog Hop from start to finish, you should have arrived here from Robyn Meierotto’s site and your next stop will be Anita Designs’ site. If you get lost along the way, here’s a look at the master list to help you get back on track:

Posted in New Releases, Tutorials | 6 Comments

Kicking Off DSD A Few Days Early at P&Co!

Digital Scrapbooking Day (DSD) is this coming Saturday 11/1… and we’re kicking-off the party a few days early here at Pixels & Company!

One of the best things about DSD is that the much sought-after “Create Your Own Grab Bag” offer, which is only available twice a year during DSD/NSD weekends, comes back to my shop. Choose what you want, and get it at a great discount. 5 DAYS ONLY (OCT 29–NOV 2, 2014)… and available in two sizes (LARGE and small)! Click on each image, below, for more details…

{small} Create Your Own Grab Bag | DSD 2014

{LARGE} Create Your Own Grab Bag | DSD 2014

Additionally, I’ve got another amazing Grab Bag-esque deal for you… and this one will knock your socks off!

I’ve teamed up with the ever-amazing Mari Koegelenberg and Shannon McNab of Scotty Girl Design to bring you a GIGANTIC new collection that was created to help you document and celebrate all of the things that fill your heart with gratitude and love. The rich, warm color palette will work perfectly for autumn-themed projects, while also lending itself to year-round usage that isn’t seasonally-specific.

Best of all? Only during DSD, you can grab the entire collection — 3 kits (!) and 6 add-on products – for just $8.00 (normally $21, with a retail value of $34)!

Count Your Blessings | The Full Collection -- JUST $8.00 -- ONLY DURING DSD 2014!

Here’s a closer look at my 3 portions of this awesome collection…

Count Your Blessings | Mini Kit

Count Your Blessings | Mobile-Ready Font & Stamp Set

Count Your Blessings | Wood Veneer

Each of the separate parts of this collection will be on sale 35% OFF during P&Co’s annual DSD sale (Oct 29–Nov 2)… or you can take advantage of the 5-DAY-ONLY DSD deal on the full collection, shown above! $8.00 for 9 full products by 3 designers… you can’t beat that! ;)

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This Is My Story

As scrapbookers, we all make pages about our families… our kids… their activities… our vacations… etc. Every once in a while, though, we need to remember to tell our own stories. My newest collection is a great way to do that!

Created to coordinate perfectly with the rest of the October 2014 Company Stash at Pixels & Company, This Is My Story is a simple and classic All About Me-style collection. Here’s a look at the main kit…

This Is My Story | Kit

The papers and/or the elements may also be purchased as separates, if desired.

There is a coordinating journal card set, containing 10 cards that are available in both digital format (lightly textured) or printable format (non-textured)…

This Is My Story | Journal Cards

…and finally, there’s a set of 6 coordinating add-on alphas (a couple of which are neutral enough to be perfect for use with other kits/collections, as well!)…

This Is My Story | Add-On Alphas

If you love it all and want to save some money, there’s a handy bundle that discounts everything when you buy it all ($10.00 instead of $12.00… and if you grab it during the monthly Company Stash sale from Oct 1-5, it’s 30% OFF on top of that = just $7.00 for everything!)…

This Is My Story | Collection

Here’s a tiny peek of this collection in action… a couple of awesome pages by team members Kacy and Angie…

This Is My Story | Sample Layouts

Don’t forget… everything in the October Company Stash at P&Co will be 30% OFF between October 1-5. :)

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“Simplification Sunday” — 5 Ways Your Phone Camera Can Simplify Your Life

5-Ways-Your-Phone-Camera-Can-Simplify-Life

Last week, my husband went to our 1st grade son’s “Back to School Night” to get a chance to visit the classroom, meet the teacher, etc.

When he came home afterward, he told me the following “guess how old we are?!” story: as he was leaving the classroom that evening, he had grabbed a sheet of paper to take some quick notes about everything our son’s teacher had written on the board. After scribbling out some quick notes, he turned around to see another (apparently younger? because obviously not smarter) dad pull out his cell phone and simply snap a photo of the info on the whiteboard that my husband had just copied onto paper.

Doh!

This prompted us to start discussing all of the ways we DO, in fact, use our cell phones to make life simpler/easier. Because, y’know, we had to convince ourselves that we’re not headed for the geriatric ward just yet…

Anyway, it was an interesting discussion — and I figured that a few of the more “aha!” (read: eye-opening) uses for cell phone cameras would make a great Simplification Sunday post. As such…

#1: DON’T BE A PARTY TO THEFT AND DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY

We’ve all been there. You’re sitting in a waiting room, reading one of the office’s magazines, and you find the most amazing recipe. The inner-struggle begins: do you steal the whole magazine by “accidentally” putting it in your purse when you leave? Do you tear out that one page and jam it into your wallet? What’s the Acceptable Adult Behavior for this situation?

There’s no need to struggle inwardly with guilt on this one any longer; simply pull out your phone, snap a photo of the recipe in the magazine, and pull it up on your computer (you can even print it) later when you get home again. ;)

5-Ways-Your-Phone-Camera-Can-Simplify-Life

 

#2: REMEMBER HOW TO WORK YOUR TV, ETC.

Electronic hook-ups can be tricky. Once they’re connected and working properly, you don’t really ever want to mess with them, right? Except… sometimes you have to. Maybe you’re temporarily moving your TV to paint a wall… or maybe you’re permanently moving it to another room… or maybe you’re moving across country and you’re in the middle of packing.

When you’ve got a good thing going, don’t mess with it! When you disconnect your electronics, use your phone camera to snap a quick photo of the cords/etc. that run in/out of the back of the TV, DVR, DVD player, gaming console, etc. You won’t be sorry to have that info later!

5-Ways-Your-Phone-Camera-Can-Simplify-Life

 

#3: UPDATE YOUR PHONE’S ADDRESS BOOK WITH PHOTOS

I will admit: I never would have thought of this on my own, but I immediately loved this idea!

Each year, we all usually get tons of photo cards from friends and family. I always love receiving them, but feel slightly guilty when I toss them into the recycling bin in January.

Instead, use your phone’s camera to snap a quick photo of each photo card you’ve received. Then, use that new image to update your phone’s address book for each of the families/people involved! Not only is it a great way to store the card images without having to keep the clutter… but it’s fun to have the photos pop up on your screen when someone calls you and you’ve got their image in your phone’s address book!

5-Ways-Your-Phone-Camera-Can-Simplify-Life

photo card examples from Shutterfly.com

 

#4: –DON’T FORGET WHERE YOU PARKED YOUR CAR

Use your phone to take a picture of the spot where you parked your car — especially if it’s in a giant lot with different sections / numbered signs / etc.

I always do this when I park my car in a long-term lot at an airport while traveling. The truth is that after being out of town for a few days (or a week, or longer), I can’t ever remember the details of where I parked. So I just snap a shot of the nearest section number (or other identifying sign/etc.) before I leave the lot after I park on Day 1. It works like a charm!

5-Ways-Your-Phone-Camera-Can-Simplify-Life

 

#5: TAKE NOTES!

And last but not least… the very idea that led to this post: using your phone’s camera to take notes. Remember my husband and the “Back to School Night” at our son’s elementary school? Exactly.

Never again will you have to hurriedly take messy notes with a pen and paper, when what you really need is just a (potentially temporary) quick reference about something you’ve seen — saved in image form, for a later date.

5-Ways-Your-Phone-Camera-Can-Simplify-Life

p.s. This last photo is totally the white board from my son’s 1st Grade classroom last week. Or not. You’ll always wonder now, right? ;)

Posted in Simplification Sunday | 1 Comment

“Simplification Sunday” — The Best Banana Bread Ever

The Best Banana Bread Ever

OK, wait. How is a recipe for banana bread going to simplify your life, you ask?

Well, the point of this series here on the WWC blog is to save you time, money, and possibly sanity (?) in your daily endeavors. This one’s all about the Benjamins, baby… and about saving money by not wasting food.

See, in our household, we will all totally eat a banana that looks like this…

The Best Banana Bread Ever

But there isn’t one member of our family that will even touch a banana that looks like this…

The Best Banana Bread Ever

And sadly… our bananas often turn out looking like this 2nd picture more often (and more quickly!) than we’d like.

As such, I’ve become a pro at figuring out ways to use these bananas — bananas that are totally fine, albeit overripe. And my family’s hands-down favorite is the following banana bread…

INGREDIENTS
* 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 2 eggs (well-beaten)
* 1/2 cup butter (softened)
* 3 ripe bananas (preferably overripe)

INSTRUCTIONS
Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Blend in butter with your fingers (yes, it sounds weird… but seriously, do it — yes, with your fingers!). Next, mash the bananas up with a fork, and add them into the bowl along with the eggs. Fold in quickly; batter will be lumpy.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured bread pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes (large bread pan), 40-45 minutes (2 small pans), or 25-30 minutes (muffins).

TIPS/TRICKS
* I’m too lazy to sift flour, so instead I just take a few tablespoons out as I measure it
* I use cholesterol-free egg substitute (like Egg Beaters) instead of eggs; it works great
* The riper the banana, the better; easier to mash up, and more flavorful
* I usually double this recipe, and make one bread loaf and 12-24 muffins at one time

Posted in Simplification Sunday | 2 Comments