Monday, April 14, 2014

Scraps N Pieces Blog Train - April

Hey y'all! Hope April has been good to you thus far. It's been wonderful here with the weather warming up, the sun shining, grass turning green and trees finally starting to bloom! I can't wait to see them full of pink and white blossoms.

This month's blog train from Scraps N Pieces has a lovely color palette that I"m sure you can use in a variety of layouts. There was no theme, so each designer either omitted one or selected one of their own. I went with "little things" because for some reason the softness of this palette reminded me of appreciating the little things in life.

With that, here is my portion.


Download via

I hope you get lots of uses out of this month's blog train. Here's the full list of contributors:

GraceBlossoms4U
A Venture into Digital Scrapbooking
Love it Scrap it
Shuckclod's Stuff
Janece Suarez Designs
Delightful Blessings Design
Luiza Pires Designs
Growing Pains Scrapped
Jiovanna's Creations
EmJay Scraps
Triple J Designs
Manda Lane Scraps
Nana's Digi-Blog
MG Scrapbooking
True North Scraps
Cajun Diva Scraps
Mandy's Lovable Designs (<---You are here)
Arizona Girl
Wendy Tunison Designs
Ann's Scrap Heaven
Janet's Digital Joys
Sheri's Scrappin' Spot
Dreamn4ever Designs
Day Dreams 'n Designs
Joyful Expressions
Scrapping Lu
Karen Diamond Designs

Enjoy!

♥ Mandy

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sweet Spring - Color Challenge

Happy Saturday everyone!

I came across a sweet little color challenge over at Digital Scrapbooking Studio and decided to give it a try. I suppose it's like a blog train with one color palette and theme, except the members of that community are to download and create things out of your challenge part instead of the usual "blog hop."

Anyhow, here's my "Sweet Spring" mini that came out of it. I couldn't decide if I wanted real foliage or the paper leaves, so I went with both...lol!


Download via

Enjoy and share with your friends. And have a superb weekend! :)

♥ Mandy

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Designer Challenge - Layer Styles

Hi everyone! Hope you're having a great week. I've been super busy - getting one kiddo ready for prom, one getting ready for baseball season, and the two youngest just registered for kindergarten! Whew...we have a lot going on around here.

Busy as we can get, when I saw this designer challenge at Pixelscrapper I just had to get in on it. The challenge? Layer styles! I've only played around with making a few layer styles, so this is still pretty new to me. But I do ♥ using them. I've grabbed quite a few freebies from around the web and now this is my chance to give back.




This is a pretty simple one. I went with a style for stitching. I use a lot of stitching in layouts and designing and they're not always "real" stitches. So more often than not, I have to apply a texture and bevel to give it a more realistic look. And that's exactly what these two styles do. One is a small bevel with light fabric texture and the second is a larger bevel with a thicker fabric texture.

The styles will work with any color (well, except white...you can't really see the texture on white). If I could figure out how to make a shadow style that would work on top of these styles, I would've included those as well. However, every time I tried to apply the shadow style on top of one of these, it wiped out the stitch style and only applied the shadow. :/ Any ideas how to fix that?

Anyway...here ya go. Two styles in one .asl file and metadata included for PSE users. These are also commercial use friendly!


Download via

Hope you find them useful! Enjoy and have a great rest of the week. :)

♥ Mandy

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Designer Challenge - Mini Kit

Hey y'all...

I had some time last week to get in on another Pixelscrapper designer challenge. This was a fun challenge - we had to step outside what we might normally put in a mini kit with a specific list of what to include and what NOT to include.

5 Word bits/tags/labels
6 Papers
7 Other Elements

Not too bad, right? Well...now the challenge:

NO Flowers
NO Stripes

And a little more of a challenge to include:

Polka Dots
Leaves
The word "together"

So, here is what I ended up with...


Download Part 1 via

Of course, once I was finished it wasn't so easy to just leave it alone. I have to admit, it felt really incomplete without any flowers. So I went on to make a Part 2 to match. If you grab both minis you will have this Better Together kit to enjoy:


You can find the second part on this blog post. It was kind of a bonus to kick-off the new direction I've decided to go with designing. :)

I hope you enjoy them all. QC'd as always and ready for all your fun digital and printable goodies!

Have a blessed week!

♥ Mandy

And The Conclusion Is?

Hi friends!

I have spent a lot of time and mental energy over the past couple of months evaluating my life, my priorities, my to-do lists and everything in between. Along the way, I was faced with questions about my plans for digital scrapbooking. Most specifically, my plans for continuing (or not continuing) as a designer.

I have attempted to take breaks here and there while re-aligning other areas of my life. Every time though I've been brought back to designing. I absolutely love being creative. My house is full of DIY goodies and plans for more to come are in the near future. I make simple, fun art prints to sell on Etsy as the inspiration flows (or someone requests a custom print). Well, designing digital scrapbook supplies has been an awesome outlet for that creativity as well. In the midst of learning the basics, exploring ideas, and pursuing better quality items, I ran with the thought of having my stuff in a store. What fun to have my little designs out there for anyone and everyone who would like to have them! ...for a price.

Admittedly, I have the hardest time putting a price on something that I've created. I tried to price items at whatever seemed reasonable in light of what others were charging. I found that even though it's cool to see people buying your products, I had so much more fun giving them away. Which may be why I like blog trains so much! I really do enjoy creating and seeing the outcome of that creativity. Yet it seems like such a waste to then go set those creations in a corner somewhere and limit people enjoying them as much as I do by putting a price on them. With that said, I know artists, designers, etc. need to make a living and their hard work, energy, time justifies a price. For me, however, this is just fun. I'm not making a living at it nor do I plan to.

Back to examining my life. As I laid out my priorities, my time management, my plans for the future, I noticed that designing has to take a back seat. I announced last month that I would be leaving it behind for an undetermined amount of time. In doing this, it freed me from feeling obligated to create things to sell (even if it was just me putting those obligations on myself). It freed me from feeling like I have to perform to some standard or specific style in what I create. I just wanted to have fun and share the fun!

I had to thoroughly examine why I was designing and selling in the first place. Am I trying to make extra money? Do I want to design full-time? Am I obsessed with this hobby? The answers were no (and slightly yes, lol!). Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that I simply enjoy making digital scrapbooking stuff and I equally enjoy giving it away to people.

So after much self-examination, prayer and prioritizing, I've decided that the undetermined amount of time has been determined. Though brief as the semi-hiatus may have been, much came out of it. And the conclusion is...

I will no longer be selling my items in a digital scrapbooking store. I truly appreciate the opportunity that Simply Love Scrapbooking has given me, but it is just not an avenue I would like to continue to pursue. All current stock will remain in the store through the end of June.

I will continue to participate in blog trains, designer challenges and any other fun tidbits that come along AS TIME ALLOWS. Along with determining what to keep in my long list of life duties, I've also re-worked my schedule and time management is of utmost importance.

I will run with any inspiration that hits to create anything that comes to mind. How broad an objective is that? lol! So you can look out for kits, mini kits, personal or commercial use items, random packs of elements, templates, alphas, printables, etc. I don't want to be limited and it's so much fun being random!

I've also considered accepting donations. But will have to think on that one a little longer.

So what do you think? It sounds like win-win to me. If you've read this far, btw, I am impressed. My life is really not that exciting but I love to share it anyway. :)

To kick off my newfound approach to designing and keeping it fun and creative, here is a cute little mini kit for you that was inspired by Pixelscrapper's latest designer challenge.



Download Part 2 via

This is actually part 2 and was an add-on to the original challenge. If you haven't picked up part 1 already, you can get it here. After you've gathered both parts, you'll have this Better Together kit to enjoy!



As always, QC'd and ready to go for your fun printable and digital projects. Thanks for hanging out with me and enjoy your freebies!

♥ Mandy



Saturday, April 5, 2014

Digital Scrapbooking Terms of Use Made Simple

You may see a variety of terms of use (TOU) thrown around the digital scrapbooking world and be wondering what each of them means. I certainly did when I first started digital scrapbooking, but wanted to be even more informed once I started designing. I didn't want to infringe on any designers purpose for the products I was using - freebies or otherwise.

You should always take care to notice the TOU for each product you purchase and/or download for free because they will vary by designer, store, and item. Some designers may have a particular TOU for one item, but different terms for another item. Most designers provide a copy of their TOU in the download file so you are not left wondering or searching the internet for information. If you haven't reviewed my TOU, you can do so here.

Here is a list of the most common Terms of Use you will find in the digital scrapbooking world. Please note this is a general list and you should always contact the designer or store if you have questions about a particular product.

Commerical Use (CU) - license to use the item for purposes that will generate income. You may generally use these items to make something that you sell under a personal use license. You may not use these items to make anything for sale under a commercial use license, unless specified. More often than not you will have to alter the design of the item purchased to include it for re-sale in your digital scrapbooking kit or other product. Some designers request a credit back to their name while others do not. (AKA: CU4PU)

Commercial Use for Commercial Use (CU4CU) - license to use the items for purposes stated under the general CU, but you may also re-sell the altered products under a commercial use license. Basically, you can sell them as commercial use products, providing you have significantly altered the item and/or adhere to any other specific requirements of the particular designer/store.

Personal Use (PU) - license to use the item for any purpose that will NOT generate income. This includes your own digital scrapbook pages and other paper crafts. Credit back to the designer may or may not be requested.

Scrap for Others (S4O) - license to use the item to make digital scrapbook pages for other people that WILL NOT generate a profit. This license usually includes a stipulation that the final product is in a flattened .jpg format so the actual products purchased are not being passed along. Credit back to the designer may or may not be requested.

Scrap for Hire (S4H) - license to use the item to make digital scrapbook pages for other people that WILL generate a profit. This license usually includes a stipulation that the final product is in a flattened .jpg format so the actual products purchased are not being passed along. Credit back to the designer may or may not be requested.

Hope this quick list helps to familiarize you with digital scrapbooking's general terms. Please always read through the TOU included with your purchase and contact the designer/store if you have questions about how you want to use their items.

Happy Scrapbooking! Thanks for stopping by. :)

♥ Mandy

Monday, March 31, 2014

Pixelscrapper April Blog Train: Earth Day

Hey friends! Thanks for stopping by the Pixelscrapper blog train. This month's train is full of fun colors and designs. There are many wonderful creations to not only help you scrap your favorite Earth Day celebrations, but will make for fun printable projects as well. You can find the full list of contributors at the Pixelscrapper Forum.

My first layout using lots of pieces from this great BT. :)
Here is my part. I was really feeling something fun and playful. Maybe because when I think of Earth Day, I think of 1. The Lorax (watched over and over in this house) and 2. Fun craft projects for the kids.


Download via

I also have a little Facebook freebie for our fans. A pack of colorful cardboard papers. If you're not a fan already, head over and like the page to grab the download link.


Happy blog-hopping! Come back and share some of your fun creations! I'd love to see them. :)

♥ Mandy