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Necessity and Invention

20 Nov

Necessity is the mother of invention,” so the proverb goes. (And by the way, did you know that the original author of this wise saying hasn’t been established yet?)

Well, in my line of work, I have to confess that I get excited by needs. And one fine day, I stumbled upon an urgent need of a very good friend of mine, Linda, who also happens to do a great job of creating layouts, designing, putting together wonderful table settings, taking stunning photographs, and… well, I digress. But yeah, she’s an amazing jack-of-all-trades, and she needed templates to put together a wedding album for friends (she took the photos, of course). And she needed it quick.

And just like that, my creative muse went on a thrill ride and this product is what is now sitting on my shelf, thanks to the inspiration from Linda.

My Foto Focus album templates are a huge collection of 26 fully-editable layered 12×12 templates for a complete album, including front and back covers. All templates come complete with a deliciously-textured paper to provide the perfect background to make your photos shine forth, as well as editable drop-shadows, photo masks, outline frames, and optional text paths. The design is deliberately kept clean and simple so that your photos and stories take center stage. The templates are so versatile that you can mix and match pages if you need more than a 24-page album, and you can even pull in your own papers and digital stash if that’s what rocks your boat!

Let’s have some amazing eye-candy, why don’t we?

Let’s start off with some stunning pages from Linda’s wedding album!

Adorable, right? When photos paint a thousand words, who needs more of the written stuff? (The text paths on the templates are optional, so here Linda has done away with text and simply lets her photos speak for themselves).

Here is a truly heart-warming and moving 2-page layout created by Chrissy. I love how it celebrates the generous spirit of her entire family in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

This wonderful layout by Lisa demonstrates how each template from the album also does a great job for single-page layouts!

On this awesome layout, Barbara does a marvelous job of taking the template and adding her own personal touch (and embellishments) to it!

Remember this wonderful Halloween layout by Rachael from some posts back? I love how the template she used totally puts the Focus on her marvelous Foto! 😉

Did I mention that this entire 26-template album set is on sale at 25% off till midnight Pacific time? Go grab it (click on the image of the product above, or click right HERE ) and you’ll never have any lonely photos suffering in the innards of your hard drives. Bring out those marvelous stories and lay them out with the help of these templates and watch with joy as your family and friends oooh and aaah over wonderful shots and equally wonderful memories!

Have an amazing first day of the week, my dear friends! I’ll see you soon! xoxo

The Joy of Playing

13 Nov

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” Why, indeed, it is, Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson. I quite agree with you.

I love playing with my kids, I love playing with my light and shadows on my camera, I love playing with Photoshop, and I love that in my line of work the lines that divide work and play are often blurred, making one spill over into the other and back again.

My latest product on my shelf, and the very first of my Digital Tools collection, is something that I think you’re going to have a load of fun playing with!

Creasers Vol.1 lets you bring the awesome folded and creased look to your papers (and more) in an instant and with absolutely no fuss: all you have to do is drag one, two, three or more of these digital creasers onto your paper (try photos too! :)) and change the blending mode to soft light, play with layer opacity, and voila! You have a wonderful creased version of your paper while still keeping the original flat version in your stash. What a way to play and increase your stash’s capabilities too! Cool, huh?

Did I mention that these debut at 25% off the regular price till midnight (Pacific time Monday)? Go grab ’em HERE if you like playing digitally!

Here are some amazing products of my super-artistic creative team friends as they played with Creasers!

This stunning work of art was created by Miki:

Miki also used my Joy of Childhood Paper Pack and Bubbling Over Stamps & Brush Set on her awesome layout above.

This wonderful layout of Summer just thrills with that amazing 70s vibe:

Summer also used my Circle of Life Frames on her layout above.

Rachael’s super-cute Halloween layout is right below:

Rachael also used my Brownbagger Paper Pack on her lovely layout above.

Linda used the creasers on the little journaling square beside that lovely photo of her darling:

Linda also used my Splatters Vol.1 Brushes and my This and That – Textured Stickers on her layout above.

This artistic, textured delight was created by Debra:

And last but certainly not, never, the least is Mindy’s lovely fall layout:

I have to mention here that I am particularly thrilled with the way Mindy used a whole arsenal of my products to create her awesome totally unified layout above. Aside from Creasers Vol.1, she also used my Brownbagger Paper Pack, Bubbling Over Stamps & Brush Set, Click Elements, Falling for You Leaves, Freedom Is Good Solids Paper Pack, Washi All About-Blush Tapes (recolored), Needs+Wants: Alpha Stampede, Needs+Wants: Stitchies Vol.1 – The Crayon Box Collection, and Needs+Wants: It’s a Date (Date Stamps).

Voila! Have a wonderful week and may it be filled with enormous opportunities to play!

BOOtiful!

30 Oct

It’s been incredibly busy these past weeks/months! In my part of the world, an insane flurry of activity is synonymous with the arrival of the “-ber” months (a play of words that refers to SeptemBER, OctoBER and so on as well as the “BRRRR” sounds that one makes along with the arrival of the colder season). We are a people who are really BIG on family (and let me tell ya, those family ties extend all the way to the sister of the best friend of the wife of your brother-in-law… well, you get the picture, and a pretty good idea of how huge and numerous the reunions and parties can be throughout the season).

So I’m incredibly sorry for being quite absent from here. Lots of activity going on in that thing called Real Life (and I have to confess I haven’t even begun checking that ol’ Christmas list, alack!). But I do have exciting news to bring to you today!

I haven’t made a kit in quite some time, and I am so excited to let you know about this newest one! I created the BOOtiful Kit to celebrate the beauty and magic of the colors of Fall as well as the fun of the season’s events (Halloween for the kiddos, Thanksgiving, the great big Pumpkin Patch, and just about any event that’s worth of documenting these coming months).

The BOOtiful Solid Papers and Patterned Papers are debuting today (and until midnight Eastern of October 29th Monday, they will be selling at 25% off). The BOOtiful Elements will be available beginning next Monday, Nov. 5th along with the entire BOOtiful Kit (solid papers, patterned papers, and elements all in one big bundle).

Here’s are the BOOtiful Solid Papers:

(Click on the image to get them at 25% off today till midnight, EST)

And here’s a full view of the solid papers:

Here are the BOOtiful Patterned Papers:

(Click on the image to get them at 25% off today till midnight, EST)

And here’s a full view of the patterned papers:

Here’s the BOOtiful Element Pack (Available only next Monday, November 5th)

And here’s a view of the entire BOOtiful Kit (also available only next Monday, November 5th).

The Yummiest, Most Wonderful Eye Candy!

from some of my uber-favorite peeps in the world:

This awesome layout was created by Miki:

Doesn’t this gorgeous layout just make you fall completely in love with Fall?

Miki used The BOOtiful Solid Papers on her beautiful layout above, as well as my Loopies Vol. 1 – Flutterby Brush Set, Bubbling Over Stamps & Brush Set, Splatters Vol. 1 and Splatters Vol. 3 and the challenge template that I gave for free over at JessicaSprague.com a week or two ago (another incentive for you to join the Spraground challenges!).

This awesome layout was created by Jana:

This super-fun delish layout of Jana just makes me want to stuff myself with candy corn!

Jana used both The BOOtiful Solids and Patterned Paper packs on her layout above.

This awesome layout was created by Jana too:

Don’t you just LOVE the gorgeous photos and the butterflies, and how everything comes together so perfectly on this layout?

Jana used both The BOOtiful Solids and Patterned Papers on her layout above, as well as my Loopies Vol.1 – Flutterby Brush Set, my Snippets Word Pack, my Tape It Up-Krafty Tapes, and the same challenge template that Miki used above!

This awesome layout was created by Margje:

I can’t stop looking at the beautiful photo of Margje’s kitty and how those eyes just totally mesmerize! I love how Margje’s layout demonstrates how versatile the BOOtiful Kit is… you can use it not just for Halloween, not just for Fall, but really, for anything at all! (Ooh, that rhymes! teehee)

Margje used my entire BOOtiful Kit here… the Elements along with the Patterned Papers.

Ahh. All that delicious eye candy has me sitting her smiling so contentedly, just like the cat that got the mouse and the milk and the fish. 😀 They are just so beautiful, no? 🙂

Have a wonderful, amazing, fun-filled Halloween and I’ll see you soon!

Lovin’ the Fall

25 Sep

The season, that is. I love the rich earthy colors, love the dance of falling leaves, love the cool breezes that leave whispered secrets in their wake.

And the season is the inspiration behind my newest product on my shop’s shelves: Falling for You!

Now you can bring the splendor and glory of fall to your layouts and creations with this pack of 36 real leaves, lovingly and oh-so-carefully scanned and extracted so that all the delicious texture and detail is preserved. You’ll have loads of fun creating with these… and then watching your friends as they reach out and try to touch the leaves to see if they are indeed real!

{Click on the image above to grab it at my shop}

Oh, and did I mention that these are going at 25% off till midnight tonight (Eastern Standard time)? Go grab ’em if you want ’em (and you know you do ;)).

And here are some super-awesome layouts created by the most amazing artists of the JessicaSprague.com Creative Team!

Falling for Miki’s Layout:

Miki also used my The Joy of Childhood Paper Pack, Loopies Vol.1 – Flutterby Rub-Ons & Brush Set, and Needs + Wants: Eyelets Galore 01 on her layout above.

Falling for Amy’s Layout:

Amy also used my Paint Swashes Vol. 2 on her layout above.

Falling for Antonia’s Layout:

Antonia also used my Livin’ It Up Mini Kit, Livin’ It Up Paper Pack, and Paint Swashes Vol. 4 on her layout above.

Hope you have an awesome day with lots of things to fall in love with today, my dear friends! 🙂

All You Need Is Love

21 Aug

… because what makes the world go round is… love, actually.

And maybe some heartfuls of love too? (Shameless plug, forgive me :P)

New in my shop today… and 25% off till midnight Eastern (with a few more hours left to grab, if you want :)):

Perfect for adding heArtfuls of love to your creations, this pack of rub-ons & stamps has 30 hand-doodled hearts in full color, and in stamped, slightly-distressed, and painted-with-texture versions.

And you knew I couldn’t leave you with a couple of LOVEly layouts, right?

This super-sweet one, by Emily, with a beautiful, touching tribute to the love of her life:

Emily also used these other liv.edesigns products on her beautiful layout above: Joy of Childhood Paper Pack, Loopies Vol. 2 – LoopyLove (Rub-Ons & Brushes), and EZ-PZ Template 10 – The Story of Two.

I just love “back-photos” and photos of silver-haired lovers holding hands, and so it’s no surprise that I think this layout by Jen F is absolutely poignant and heartwarming:

Jen also used these liv.edesigns products on her layout above: Brownbagger Paper Pack Vol. 2 and Needs + Wants: Eyelets Galore Vol.1 .

And may today be filled with LOVEly moments for you, my friends! xoxox

Round and Round We Go

7 Aug

Quick poll: how many of you smile and go skipping down memory lane when you hear this?

Ah, those days of youth. (Insert wistful sigh here). Dreams then, memories today: isn’t it amazing  how music brings both together in a seamless, wondrous mix?

Anyway (before I get carried away with memories of those days of big hair and rebellious teenage angst),  it was precisely Spandau Ballet singing in the background when I created this newest product in my shop:

{ Click on the image above to grab it in my shop: It’s 25%-off till midnight Eastern Standard Time today (Monday) }.

With my Roundabout Photo Masks & Labels, you can now blend your photos and even your paper accents beautifully and naturally with just one click (an alt-click on your clipping mask ;)).

There are 12 unique and individual circular masks with some yummy grunge. Each one has been hand-created and scanned, then lovingly extracted so that you get absolutely REAL grunge! The masks each measure between 3-5 inches (though as always, these are incredibly easy to resize to fit your specific needs) and come in black (transparent-background) .png files.

And because versatility and having options is a great thing, I’ve also included 12 pre-measured circular labels to go with your photo masks if you wish!

I’ve also included a few tips for use right on my product description page in my shop.

Here’s a little example of how these work for photos and for accents (love the quick and easy blending with the background, all with one click!):

And here are a couple of amazin’ layouts by the JessicaSprague.com Creative Team ladies!

This one, by Debra:

I just love Debra’s lovely showcase of her gorgeous grandkids! She also used my Brownbagger Vol.2 Paper Pack, Loopies Vol. 2-Loopy Love Rub-Ons & Brush Set, and Paint Swashes Vol.4 Rub-Ons & Brush Set on her super-fab layout above!

This one, by Chrissy:

Love how Chrissy’s very bright and colorful fun layout uses an enlarged version of Roundabout Photo Masks, and I love how that fab photo just blends into her background papers so naturally.

Et voila! I hope you had a fun time checking out the eye candy and probably bobbing your head to Spandau’s music, and perhaps even smiling at a suddenly-recalled memory or two of those 80s days. (If you feel the urge, please DO share those memories with me in the comments below. I’ll bet we’ll have a fun time remembering together!)

Here we go loopy-loo!

31 Jul

Here we go looby light… (Admit it, you were singing along, weren’t you? ~teehee~).

It’s a Monday, and you probably know by now what that means: it’s time for some More in Store Monday Madness! Toot the horns and break out the confetti cos here we go Loopy Love! 😀

{ Click on the image to grab Loopy Love from my shop }

Loopy Love is the second volume of loopies, which I hand-scribbled, scanned and carefully extracted for you. They’re perfect for adding a delightful whimsical look to your creations, and I’ve included outlined and filled hearts in this set. They come in individual .png files (transparent background) which are easily recolored, and in a complete brush set so you can stamp in any color of the rainbow.

And because it’s Monday, that means you get these set of 30 babies at 25% off all day Monday till 12 midnight Eastern Standard Time! (You can click HERE or on the image above in case you feel the need to include these in your stash of goodies).

Curious about how these can work wonders? Here are some totally awesome creations by our extremely talented JessicaSprague.com Creative Team members:

Barbara’s Layout:

I just love the colors on this layout, and the way Barbara flawlessly combined all the individual items on her layout to create a wonderful unified whole! Barb also used these other liv.edesigns products on her layout: Brownbagger Paper Pack Vol. 2, Paint Swashes Vol. 2, and A Whole Lotta Love Rub-Ons and Brush Set.

Margje’s Layout:

Margje’s portrait is so artfully done and so original, it literally takes the breath away and leaves one delightfully awed. Margje also used these other liv.edesigns products on her layout: Smudge It Vol. 1 Stamps and Brush Set and Needs + Wants: Alpha Stampede 1.

Meg’s Layout:

I think it’s so cute that this adorable little boy looks so much like my friend Meg, who created this oh-so-cute and oh-so-happy layout. AJ’ssuper-sweet smiles are just to-die-for too!

Amy’s Layout:

Amy‘s heartwarming layout is a precious testament to motherhood. Love her choice of very gentle, muted colors too.

Eye candy on a Monday: it’s the perfect start to the week, isn’t it? 🙂

Have a madly wonderful Monday, my dear friends!

Beautiful Mess

24 Jul

If one looks deeply enough, one will find beauty—often the most profound kind, even—amidst what might otherwise seem to be, on the surface level, nothing more than clutter, disorder, chaos. And thank goodness that it is so, for in the middle of a mess—whether it’s something as small as spilled milk on the floor or the bigger mess of a broken heart —it is often that glimpse of beauty that provides the thread of hope that we cling to (the sweetly-whispered apology of the milk-spilling culprit or the slow smile that finally breaks through copiously-shed tears).

Yes, there is often beauty that can be found in the midst of dire straits. Plus, to be perfectly honest, in a home dominated by five rowdy boys, it really helps to think of any kind of mess as beautiful. Especially when you think about the clean-up that inevitably comes on its heels (heehee 😆 ).

So you see, I’m no stranger to a little bit of mess. In fact, I think it belongs right at home in works of art too.

And so I’ve found a way to bring it to the digital world of creation while sparing you the discomfort of the post-creation clean-up! Awesome, right? 😉

These three new products are debuting in my shop today:

Splatters Vol. 1 Rub-Ons & Brush Set is a collection of large splatters:

Splatters Vol. 2 Rub-Ons & Brush Set  is a collection of single splatters and a few widespread splatters for those times when you want just a little bit to use as an accent, or when you want to combine a few splatters with the larger splatters

Splatters Vol. 3 Rub-Ons & Brush Set is  a collection of clustered splatters.

These are really fun to use, and you can choose one, two, or all splatters from each individual volume… or you can go have all-out fun, combine the splatters from all three volumes, and have a totally splatterrific time (hm! splatterrific is cute—i think that’ll be the name of my next splatter product! ;))!

Each product is linked to my shop (just click on the images above) … and have I mentioned that these are 25%-off today (Monday till midnight Eastern)? Woot! 🙂

To see these splatters at work, check out the absolutely magnificent artworks of our super-fab JessicaSprague.com creative team below! (Have I ever mentioned how much I just adore these ladies? To little bits and pieces, I tell ya).

This one is by Linda:

Linda is  my dear-designer friend (of In the Making Design) who is taking a hiatus from designing and has rejoined the best-ever JS creative team! She used Splatters Vol.1 on the layout above, along with my Beach Party freebie that I gave away during the recently-ended JessicaSprague.com Birthday Bloghop.

This one was created by Sarah:

Sarah created this super-fun layout by combining Splatters Vol. 1 and Splatters Vol. 3. She also used my Brownbagger Vol. 2 Paper Pack and my Freedom Is Good Paper Pack – The Solids.

This one was created by Miki:

Miki created this to document her lunch with another one of our CT members Julie (we love to get together in real life ;)), and she used Splatters Vol. 2 on this layout. She also used my Swirly Words Stamps & Brush Set, Storyteller Frames – The Bundle ,  Livin’ It Up Mini Kit , and Warm Wuv & Soft Hugs – The Elements.

This one was created by Margje:

Margje’s wonderful work of art was created with Splatters Vol. 1 and with my Nature’s Canvas Paper Pack too.

This one was created by Jen F:

Jen’s adorable Seussical layout was created with Splatters Vol. 1. She also used my Smudge It Vol. 1 Rub-Ons and Brush Set.

This one was created by Meg:

Meg created this super-summer-y layout (and wonderful documentation of her son’s perfect frisbee form) with Splatters Vol. 3. She also used papers from my Beach Party Birthday Bloghop freebie.

This was created by Amy:

Amy created this swimmingly wonderful layout with Splatters Vol. 3!

Here’s hoping you have a splatterrific week, my dear friends!

Perfect Imperfection

10 Jul

An oxymoron?

I think not.

There is a Chinese proverb that says:

A diamond with a flaw is worth more than a pebble without imperfections.

Though I do believe it is important to strive to work toward perfection (in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it’s called self-actualization—thank you, Psych101 ;)), I just as strongly believe that there are many beautiful, wonderful things that are amazing not in spite of but precisely with the little things that make them not-so-perfect. The sweet little freckles on your niece’s pretty face. The little twitch in the nose of my youngest son while he concentrates on a Math problem. Your best friend’s little personality quirks that can be both infuriating and endearing at the same time. Ah yes, there is perfection in imperfection (and doesn’t God’s perfection shine brightest in His children, greatly imperfect though each one of us is?).

I like the idea of imperfection in art, too. Which is the inspiration behind my latest product in my shop:

If you love the handmade, realistic look on your digital creations, you’ll love this easy way to get all that great texture and realism on your projects and layouts.

Smudge It Vol.1 Rub-Ons & Brush Set has 18 smudges that I created in real life with real art schtuff, then scanned and extracted lovingly so that all the little details are retained in each smudge. These are perfect for adding that handmade look with just a little messiness and a whole lot of goodness! Perfect imperfection! 😉

And here are some amazingly perfect layouts done by the awesome JessicaSprague.com Creative Team!

This one is by Jana:

Other liv.edesigns items used by Jana on her layout above are Brownbagger Paper Pack Vol.2, Doodle This Way Arrows, Scribbled Alpha, and Snippets Word Pack.

This one is by Amy:

Amy also used my Nature’s Canvas Paper Pack on her layout above.

This one is by Heather:

Heather also used these products of mine on her layout above: Doodle This Way Arrows, Click! Mini Kit, and Click! Paper Pack – The Solids.

This one is by Carol:

This one is by Jen P:

This one is by Jen F:

LOVE all that eye candy!

Oh, and did I mention that Smudge It Vol.1 is 25% off the entire Monday till 12:00 midnight Eastern? 😉

See you soon, my loveys! (((hugs)))

Monday Madness + 1 More Magnificent Week

26 Jun

Shucks. Times like this, I wish the word “week” began with a letter M—then my blog title would’ve been perfectly alliterative and the little word-geek in me would’ve been floating in bliss. 😆

But it’s a magnificent Monday nevertheless! And Mondays around here mostly mean new goodies in the shop!

Here’s what I have on the fresh-out-of-the-oven shelf this week: the second volume of my Brownbagger Paper Packs!

{ Click on the image to grab this at my shop … and read on to know why it’s a steal this week!)

Here’s a closer look at the papers in full view:

This has a lighter shade than my first Brownbagger Paper Pack, and more crinkles too. And this collection comes with little folded corners and a stapled corner too! (It’s the more playful little sister of Brownbagger Vol.1).

I am so thrilled to share the awesome art done by our JessicaSprague.com Creative Team members with it!

This one is by Kelly:

Kelly also used my Click! – The Elements, Click! – The Patterned Papers, Color Me Rub-ons & Brush Set, EZ-PZ Template 07 – I Heart MoMA, Livin’ It Up Paper Pack, Mask Me Photo Masks and Needs+Wants: It’s a Date (Date Stamps) on her layout above. Woohoo! 🙂

This one is by Miki:

Miki also used my Loopies Vol.1 – Flutterby Rub-ons & Brushes and my Snippets Word Pack – Rub-Ons & Brushes on her layout.

This one is by Keri:

This one is by Lisa B:

Lisa says that my Brownbagger Paper Packs are part of her go-to essentials, and guess what? My Brownbagger Paper Packs love her right back! 🙂

This one is by Renee:

This one is by Becky:

And here’s another one by Becky (gotta love both!)

* If you want some more serious eye-candy, please don’t hesitate to visit these great artists’ blogs… their links are right there on my right sidebar menu under JessicaSprague.com Creative Team.

I mentioned earlier that if this paper pack rocks your boat and you don’t have it yet, this week would be the best time to

Grab It!

because… guess what? Because you’ve all been so awesome, and because we truly love that you’ve celebrated our fifth birthday along with us last week, and because you’ve been so generous with leaving heartwarming, inspiring comments, we’ve decided to extend our JessicaSprague.com birthday sale for another week!

Yep! That means all our goodies in our shops are still 40% off (huge savings, right?) this entire week! So YAY! It’s shopping therapy time! 😀

PS. We only have a storewide sale like this twice a year, so now’s the perfect time to get the best schtuff at the best prices! Not that you need another justification for going on a shopping spree, right? Just sayin’… 😉 ~tee hee~

Happy Marvelous Monday, my dear friends!

Oh, and if you’re searching for my WordPress Photo of the Week entries, I have to confess I’m running 3 challenges behind. Have you ever experienced Real Life grabbing you by the collar and not letting go till you get the Priority NOW list checked? That’s exactly the culprit of my 3-challenges-pending state. But I will get to that, I promise! Real soon!

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