Thursday, April 10, 2014
Spring-y new kit, and new freebies!

Today, I have a new kit for you. It's perhaps the most popular with the CT so far this year, and I can understand why! I'm partial to cherry blossoms... their pink color, their softness, their falling petals... and it all lends beautifully to digital scrapbooking, I think! I hope the cherry blossoms have bloomed in your neighborhood, and that spring is here for you!


When the cherry blossom blooms in the first weeks of spring, it's truly a spectacular sight to behold; the whole tree explodes in pink flowers, beckoning the warm and cheery days ahead.  In Japanese culture, especially, the cherry blossom ("sakura") has much significance, and stands for (among other things) beauty and life.  With a mix of watercolor and washi textures, this kit captures the soft and ethereal spirit of the cherry blossom.

Includes:
24 papers (8 solids and 16 patterns)
66 elements
2 alphas (1 uppercase washi alpha, 1 lowercase water color alpha with numbers)

The new release price of this kit is, as usual, $3 only. You may also get the packs individually for $1 each. Special new release prices come down on Apr. 14, Monday!

Inspiration:
 by Grace (Template by Our Misadventures and font is "DBJ The Librarian")

 by Heather

 by Amber

 by Dorine

 by Nancy (Template by Marisa Lerin)

by Robin

Freebies:
Journal cards by Hat of Bunny will be available on Facebook (make sure to like Hat of Bunny to get the freebie).

Quickpage freebie by CT Robin will be available at her blog.


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Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Guest CT Winner, New Kit, and Freebies!!

Today I have a new release for you, but before I get to that, let me announce the winner of last month's challenge. Two people posted a layout, and Mr. Random picked Bryony Branch. This is her layout made with "Just My Luck." I love it!


Bryony won a guest spot on my CT in April! Congrats! Please send me an e-mail at zanthia122@yahoo.com.hk so I can get you all set up!

Would you like to win a guest spot on my CT too? Keep an eye out for another challenge this month!

And now, onto this month's first new release!


Do you have a special little girl (or little boy!) in your life, whose cute smiles just melt your heart and who you cannot help but shower with sweet nicknames? If so, "Sweetie Pie" is the perfect kit for you.  Packed with bright pinks and blues, sugary elements and saccharine sentiments, this kit will let your sweetie pie's personality shine through.

This kit includes  20 papers (7 solid and 13 patterns) and 58 elements, which you can get separately at $1 each from April 1 - 5. Or simply get the whole kit for $2!



Inspiration:
 by Dorine
 by Nancy
 by Robin
 by Heather (Template Mish Mash 2 by Designs by Jen Yurko)
by Amber

Freebies:
 Frame freebie by CT Heather available at her blog.

Freebie by CT Robin available at her blog.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014
A Very Special New Release

Hi guys! It's Thursday, and I have another new kit released for you. It's a theme that I don't see in digital scrapbooking a lot, but one that's very close to my heart. Both my B.A. and Master's degrees are in English Literature, and if... when... I go get my Ph.D., I'm sure it'll still be in English. While it's my second language, I'm crazy about it! I love reading beautiful works, and I love waxing poetic with words. And so, I'm proud to introduce "Wordsmith," a vintage writing-themed kit:


William Faulkner once said, "If a story is in you, it has to come out." As scrapbookers, we are all record keepers and storytellers.  "Wordsmith" is a beautiful vintage kit that celebrates all forms of word-crafting, and however you choose to tell your story it has something for you.  The lovely neutral shades, pops of maroon and navy, and bits and pieces of ephemera are perfect for genealogy/heritage layouts, journal-heavy pages, and for recording your creative expression.

This mega kit includes 8 solid papers, 13 patterned papers, and 2 worn papers, 73 elements, and1 full typewriter alpha (unicase letters, numbers, and some symbols).




From Mar. 20 - 24, the kit is marked down to $3 only (over 50% off).

Or, you can get the individual packs for $1 each.


CT Inspiration:
by Amber (template by Anita Wells)
 by Robin
by Nancy

My lovely CT member Robin also made this beautiful cluster frame for you. Click on the preview to go to her blog to download!





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Monday, March 17, 2014
Tutorial - How to Make Your Subject The Focus in Your Photos

Hi all! I think it's about time we have some tutorials on this blog. So today I bring you a simple one -- how to make something stand out and be the focus in your photos! It's a technique I use often; I hope you find it useful too! And if you follow along the tutorial and post a layout in the comments, you could win a guest CT spot in April! Read below for details.

Do you find that sometimes the everyday photos you take and want to scrap with have too much clutter in it? Well, mine does (no one beats me in having clutter around the house LOL)! So I use a simple trick to turn these cluttered photos with an amateur feel into photos that look like they've been taken by a professional photographer. ;)

Here's a layout I did with the technique. (All LOs can be clicked for full credits)


Here's the original I stared with. See, clutter in the background!


Now, grab your polygonal lasso tool. You can use the pen tool (or any other tool that can make a selection) as well.


Make a selection around your subject. It doesn't have to be as precise as if you were extracting it, but you want to go pretty close to the edge.


Then, choose "Select ->  Modify -> Feather..." from the top menu bar. This is to make sure the blur we're going to apply later on looks natural. You can play around with the settings. I used 25 pixels here. You want to make sure that the selection doesn't go over your subject after it's been feathered.


Then, go to "Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur." Again, play around and see what you like. I use 7 pixels here.


Here's my finished version. With the cluttered background blurred, your subject takes center stage and your photo becomes more dramatic. Compare it with the original!

Finished photo

Original

Here are some other LOs I've used this technique on:



Here's a little challenge for you:

1. Follow the above tutorial and transform one (or more) photo;
2. Use that photo on a LO done with mostly Hat of Bunny products (freebies count! I have a free full kit on my Facebook page!);
3. Upload it and post the link in the comments. That's it!

A winner will be chosen at random at the end of this month, Mar 31, midnight MST. The winner will be a guest CT for April and will receive all of my new releases in that month!

I hope you play along. Can't wait to see your creations!





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Saturday, March 15, 2014
Month of Play, and the BIGGEST SALE of the YEAR!

It's BYO time over at STO again, and this month I have a cute mini kit in the "month of..." series for you.


For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, March is the month when we (hopefully) say goodbye to winter blues and welcome back sunshine.  It's also the perfect time to go out and play!  "Month of Play" is a kit created around this theme, and will help you scrap all your spring and playground photos.
It includes 16 papers (17 solids, 9 patterns)
and 45 elements.

This kit is available exclusively at ScrapTakeout.

CT Inspiration
 by Nancy
 by Amber
 by Heather
by Dorine

Freebies
by CT Heather available at her blog.
by CT Nancy available at her blog.

My Facebook Page has reached 3,000 fans this morning! To celebrate, I have created a coupon for you. It can be used in addition to my store-wide sale, my retirement sale, and even my new releases. Unless I reach 4,000 fans this year, this is going to be the biggest sale of the year!! Available today and tomorrow only, and good for 1 use per person:

HOB_FB_3000

Take an additional 30% off your order!!

Thank you so much for your support!!
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