News- New School Years Digital Kit and Photo Book Scrapbook Album and Blog Hop on Tuesday November 1, 2011

October 29, 2011 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

Happy Weekend!! A few News Worthy items to announce today…

We have added another Digital Album kit and Photo Book Scrapbook album on our web site! It is an album to record a Child’s School Years.

The Elementary years are captured in Primary Colors and Shapes. As the years move through the Junior High School/Middle School and on into High School, the pages gradually become more sophisticated, signifying how the child is maturing. The colors used in the High School pages are muted and/or multi-colored, so as to avoid clashing with school colors.

There is an Introduction page so that all the interesting facts about the child’s school years can be recorded. Each year of schooling from Kindergarten through 12th grade has a two (2) page layout.

The left hand pages have pre-made frames that are sized for the traditional 2×3 inch wallet picture that many parents receive in their child’s school picture packages. These frames sit within a larger frame however, so that if you have a 3×5 inch or a 4×6 inch photo, your picture will be framed nicely. The right hand pages contain frames that are typically sized for 4×6 inch photos.

There is even a final spread to celebrate Graduation Day!

So, grab your school pictures and layer them on these pages, to create and easy and fabulous memory album of your child’s school years!


Find all Easy Scraps Digital Kits here:


Find all Easy Scraps Photo Books here:



Easy Scraps will also be participating in a Blog Hop on Tuesday November 1, 2011. Come visit us and then follow the links to visit lots of different Artists. It is sure to be inspiring!!


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Babycakes and Confections Halloween Cupcakes-Rubber Stamping on Fondant

October 27, 2011 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

It is great to have friends who cook, and bake! One such friend, Karen Collins, owns BabyCakes and Confections, and she makes desserts that are just amazing! Besides whipping up delectable treats, she is also uber-creative. This Halloween she decided to stamp on fondant in order to decorate her famous cupcakes. We were so happy, that she chose to use Easy Scraps stamps! And she even described her process so that we could share it with all of you!!


Here’s what Karen did:



Colored fondant with food coloring & tylose (ingredient that makes fondant become quite firm)

Rolled fondant out using corn starch

Cut out circles

Let circles dry for 2-3 days


I tried two methods.  First, I made an ink ‘pad’ by putting a lot of food coloring on a paper towel.  Using a paint brush, I moved some of the food coloring away from the ‘pile’ so that I could press the stamp into the paper towel & not completely drench it in food coloring.  I then blotted it once or twice then pressed it on the fondant circle.  This process worked ok, as long as I didn’t press the stamp too hard into the fondant, but I frequently had to clean the stamp.

The second (better) method I used, was to brush/blot a bit of food coloring onto the stamp with a firm, small paint brush.  The brush allowed me to transfer the coloring onto the stamp without over-saturating it.  The trick was to apply pressure evenly, which would be fine except that it’s pretty difficult to roll out perfectly even fondant circles.

The number one lesson I learned was to always make extra circles to allow for all the messed up circles. &#59;)


Hopefully, this is just the start of a fun and delicious collaboration between Babycakes and Easy Scraps &#59;)


Karen even took pictures for us…

If you live in Massachusetts, you are in luck! You can buy these cupcakes at IdleWyles in Acton, and at Pemberton Farms in Harvard Square.

For more information on Babycakes and Confections, please visit Karen’s website at .


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Mono Prints Using GelliArts and Easy Scraps Rubber Stamps

October 21, 2011 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

I love making Mono Prints. I use them for Backgrounds, I cut them up for Embellishments, I scan them in and use them for all sorts of things in Photoshop. So, when my Mom was visiting, she wanted to try making some. I pulled out my favorite Monoprint maker- from GelliArts, grabbed some Easy Scraps rubber stamps and some stencils and we had a blast!! Here is a video, where I am teaching my Mom how to make her very first Monoprint. Not bad for her first time!!



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Rejections can be a Learning and a Shared Experience

October 17, 2011 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

I belong to a Facebook group with a bunch of wonderful Artists who are all trying (like Heidi and I are) to get their businesses off the ground. One friend applied to an Art Show, and didn’t make it (this time, but it will be different the next, I am sure!!). She decided to poll all of us to see how we handled rejections and then wrote a wonderful post about it. So, I thought I would share it. Check out Beth’s post, and her blog. Even if you aren’t an artist, the words of wisdom still can help for life in general!! And guess which advice was mine? Hint- if you know me at all, you knoow it pertains to talking and chocolate &#59;)

Recycle Those Old Wallets With Your Die Cut Machine

October 15, 2011 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

I was just about to toss an old wallet away, but the leather (if it really was leather) look grunge-y and cool. I hated to part with that cool look, so I decided to try using it with my Accucut die cut machine. You could use the same process with a Sissix Big Shot as well. Take a look at the video. I bet there are some old wallets and pocketbooks laying around that could be sacrificed for some cool embellishments for your projects &#59;)

Rubber Stamp Embossing on Newsprint

October 7, 2011 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

See how  cool it looks to emboss on newsprint. It ends up translucent, sort of like glassine!! Enjoy!



Here are the steps for this project in case you don’t have time to watch the video:

  • Stamp on the newsprint using versamark
  • Cover it with CLEAR embossing powder
  • Melt the embossing powder using a heat gun.
Note #1: usually when you emboss, you want to heat the powder just until it melts and then move the heat to another section, so that the embossing doesn’t melt right into the paper. In this technique, it doesn’t matter if you melt it into the newsprint, in fact it works better if you do.
Note #2: Once the embossing powder has completely melted on one side, you canturn the newsprint over and heat from the other side as well, to get the embossing to become even more translucent. Just make sure  the melted embossing powder on the front side doesn’t stick to your surface! A non-stick mat like the one from Ranger will prevent your embossing powder from sticking to the surface if you turn it over and heat the back side.
  • After the embossing powder has completely melted into the newsprint, use a dye based ink pad to color the un-embossed portions of the paper.
  • Glue the embossed newsprint over a colored background to see the color show thru the embossed areas.

Thank A Coach Today!

October 3, 2011 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

If you’ve never coached a team of kids before, you should give it a try. The experience is one that will stay with you for a long time. I had the privilege of coaching my son’s Soccer team for a couple of years. I was lucky, because I had great kids AND even more importantly, great parents on my team! It was a lot of work, but well worth it, when I got to see the guys improving each week. We didn’t win every game, but we had fun and the team mates became friends. Many of them still play together, although I don’t coach any more. The guys really needed a coach that had played soccer and really knew the game, and that was not me. But even though I don’t coach them any more, they will always be “My Guys”.

So today, I watched my son play football. Usually, he doesn’t get to do very much because he is a first year, and he is very small for his age. But today was different. The team was up by a couple of touchdowns and in the last minutes of the game, his coach let him run with the ball, and he actually scored! Well, that just made his day, if not his year! So it got me thinking just how much a coach can impact a kid. As a coach, I do hope I made some of “My Guys” day. As a parent, I know I’ve tried to thank each of the Coaches that have worked with my own children, although there are some that I haven’t had the chance to thank directly. So to all the Coaches out there- past, present and future- Thanks for making our day!

Feel free to Pass it on!!

Hue/Saturation Adjustments in Photoshop

September 27, 2011 in Digital Related Posts, Photoshop Posts by Ursula Smith

Here’s a technical tip for your Tuesday morning…

I was using one of the pages from the Easy Scraps Baby Boy Digital Kit, but decided I wanted a different color scheme than the original page. This is pretty easy to do using a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer, and it doesn’t permanently alter your picture!

The original color sheme was brown and blue, but I wanted to tweak those colors. I opened the file (Arrive No Title) containing the page in Photoshop (I believe Photoshop Elements will have something similar). First I saved the image as a copy so that the original remained untouched. Then I chose Layer-> New Adjustment Later-> Hue/Saturation. This creates a new layerabove the original. This layer will change the colors and/or saturation and/or the brightness of the colors of the layers beneath it.

Then I changed the Hue in the adjustment layer’s panel, finally arriving at the number -160. Notice that in the pull-down, I chose the default of Master, meaning all colors in the image will be affected.

This was the result when I chose to use Master and change the Hue…

See the difference then, if instead of using Master, I chose to alter just the Blue’s in the image, by choosing blue in the pull down…

If I bring in an additional photo, and layer it beneath the Adjustment layer and the page, the Hue/Saturation adjustment will alter that photo as well.

We can correct this, by “clipping” or “attaching” the adjustment layer to the frame layer avoiding the layers below. Make sure that the adjustment layer is directly above the Frame layer, and that the photo is below both of those. Now hold down Alt on a PC or Option on a MAC and click the line between the Adjustment Layer and the Layer with the Easy Scraps page. These adjustment layer will be “clipped” to the layer directly below it, and will only affect that layer. Any layers further below will remain unaltered.

Here is what the layers palette looks like with the Adjustment layer not “clipped”…

Here is what the layers palette looks like with the Adjustment layer “clipped” to the frame layer…

And here are the results…

I decided I liked the image better the first way- with the Hue/Saturation applied to all the color channels.

From there I tweaked the image a bit more. In fact, I added another Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer to get the blue a bit more towards the navy end of the spectrum. Because the first Adjustment layer was “clipped” to the frame layer, the rest of the layers below are still “masked” or shielded from the new Adjustment layer as well.

And here is the final result….

So don’t let the colors of a digital image stop you from using it! This is a great way to use your digital kits so you get more mileage out of them!! Enjoy!

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