Inside the Studio – Sept 2015 Moodboard with Jen Allyson


Jen Allyson here to introduce my mood board – Free Spirit. I love creating mood boards, I do it all the time when designing paper scrapbooking supplies for My Mind’s Eye and its one of my favorite ways to bring together all the beautiful inspiration that I love. For this moodboard I wanted a flair of bohemian with lots of bright colors and a variety of textures.

I love bohemian textiles and how so many different styles can be mixed and matched for the ultimate boho vibe and I wanted to bring that idea to papers. Some of my favorite scrapbooking layouts are ones that expertly mix a myriad of patterns and styles. I suppose its the artist in me that wants all the beautiful things together all at once.

I’ve been decorating my new house and have been trying to bring in bits and pieces of the bohemian style mixed with a lot of white and neutrals, so this Free Spirit styling with its bright colors, tribal patterns, and watercolor textures really speaks to what is going on in my life right now. I hope you enjoy it as well as all the lovely items created by our P&Co. designers!



Inside the Studio – August 2015 Moodboard with Gennifer Bursett


I gotta admit… I love our collections. We have such incredibly talented designers here, and it’s always so interesting to see how each one interprets our communal moodboard. This month’s moodboard/theme was put together by me, and I loved seeing the whole thing come together!

It’s no secret that I’ve been working on a kitchen renovation that seems to be never-ending. SERIOUSLY. This has made me think a lot about our kitchen… We live in a small house, with an open-concept floor plan. This means that form had to be a big part of what we chose, as well as function. Along with being a central gathering place (particularly during family get-togethers), it’s also a very hardworking kitchen… With a family of 6, it has to be!

My husband and I cook together whenever we are able, and we really enjoy it. It’s a great time to connect and talk about our day, and often times our kids will join in the conversation and help us out. While I’ve always been a bit of a foodie, he’s becoming that way, and it’s fun for us to try new recipes or tweak family favorites.

The whole idea behind this moodboard was to really embrace the whole “the kitchen is the heart of the home” thing. The color are bright and cheery, and there’s a slightly retro vibe which gives a fun, timeless twist. We’ve also included lots of “eating out” bits, so whether you’re a home cook or one who dines out every night, there’s something for everyone!


I always find it interesting to look through the kits and see what I can find… Which designers took inspiration from what? Some of it is literal, but often, there are little touches that you might not notice until you look for it. Take a look at some of the things that caught my eye this month:


P.S. I want that oven. And those shoes. And that apron. #wantitall

Documenting Everyday: Getting The Teenager’s Perspective


I’ve fallen behind a bit. About four weeks behind.

I’m stuck on Week 24 and feeling a little panicky at this point.

I thought summer would be easier for me. I homeschool two of my kids and summer means that I can work on my Project Life layouts during the week! What I didn’t realize was that summer means extra stuff, too: camping trips, softball tournaments, family reunions, day trips, etc. And all that extra stuff needs to be documented, too!

We had the County Fair and a family reunion during Week 24.  I’m up to twelve (12!) pages for that week and counting. I’m hoping to finish next week…which will put me five weeks behind.

Something happened while I was working on my County Fair spread. I finished placing the photos for my two pages when I realized that I had pictures of my daughter and her best friend while they were at the fair, riding all the barfy rides and eating all the junk food. They had been sending those pictures to me the whole night! I saved all the pictures to my phone and started picking through them. With my daughter’s help, we placed the photos and wrote the journaling. She even helped choose the elements.

I’ve never thought to dump her phone before doing my weekly spreads, but I’m going to start from now on! I loved doing this with her. She’s growing up and doing more on her own or with her friends, and I think it’s going to be a great way to get her perspective (and adventures!) into our books.



1. Using photos your kids take is awesome. It gives you a different perspective and gets them involved in telling your family’s stories.

2. Falling behind is stressful.

3. To date: I haven’t made a single spread without a banner or an arrow.

Inside the Studio – July 2015 Moodboard with Celeste Knight


Every month at P&Co our designers put together a mega collaborative kit. These kits are so fun to be a part of. It’s exciting to see how the whole thing coordinates and comes together every month. To me it’s like magic! As designers we take turns putting together the mood board and color pallet for the month. This month we thought it would be fun to show you a glimpse at July’s moldboard and how I put it together. Summer, travel and dreams really influenced me with this board. I found this style guide on Etsy that I think stylistically says it all; Boho Chic.

 As I put this board together I had warm summer days in mind, fun summer vacation and travel, going places you’ve always dreamed of with people you love. Outdoors in nature is how I dream of spending summer. Summer dreaming made me think of dreamcatchers and feathers so I added those to the moodboard. Tribal influences being really trendy I added some pattern inspiration that reflected that trend. I think in the end, it came together in a fun, trendy Boho Chic styled inspiration. With elements like feathers, maps, dream catchers, and a muted dreamy summer color scheme to round out the kit, I hope you enjoy this month’s collaboration.

Typography 2: Serifs and Sans and Displays, Oh My!


Welcome back to the next installment in our typography series. Last week, we talked about some of the basic (but often misunderstood) terms in relation to typography, and also discussed how we can adjust certain things in our text. This week, let’s get into the different types of fonts.

If we were being specific, there are only three categories of fonts: Serif, sans serif, and script. For today’s purpose, though, I’m going to classify fonts into six basic categories that I see most often in scrapbooking: Serif, sans serif, slab serif, script, monospaced, and display.


Serif fonts are named for the features at the ends of their strokes. They are very common in printed materials, and give your text a traditional feel.



Sans serif are (literally!) fonts without serifs. These fonts tend to give a more modern, contemporary feel than their serif counterparts.



I consider slab serif fonts to be a happy medium between serif and sans, but they are technically a subcategory of serif fonts: They have a serif, but it’s a more modern, thick one. Slab serifs can sometimes feel a little heavy if used too much, but are great for mixing with other fonts!



Script typefaces contain letterforms that are linked together, and oftentimes imitate handwriting. Since they are generally decorative they aren’t very readable, and therefore don’t work well for long body text. They are best utilized in titles and subtitles only.



Monospaced fonts are ones where each letterform takes up the exact same amount of horizontal space, like an old-fashioned typewriter. They can convey both a vintage mood or a futuristic space-y feel. They are not great for journaling, because the uneven spacing can lead to ‘rivers’ (long winding spaces in text) and wreak havoc with ease of reading. These can be either serif or sans serif.



Display fonts can be from any of the above categories, but they are usually fairly detailed and are best displayed at a larger font size. They should always be used sparingly, for titles and subtitles.


This week, I have a little bit of homework for you: Take a look at the text around you: Logos, advertisements, books, websites… Anywhere you can! Identify the types of fonts used, and think about why it works/doesn’t work. Is it readable or striking? Does it enforce a brand? Does it evoke a certain emotion? The more you think about these things, the easier it will be for you to choose the ones to fit your needs when you’re creating your next layout.

June Gallery Highlights


Get ready for some inspiration!

There are some beautifully crafted pages from Pixels and Company circling around this month! Here is a round up of just a few of them!

You can see these and others around our social media groups. Come join our P&Co. Friends Facebook Group, where you can share layouts, browse layouts by others, and chat it up with us! You can also share your pages when posting to Pinterest or Instagram with the hashtag #pixelsandcompany (tag us, too – @pixelsandcompany).

There are so many things I like about this layout by Jan Sowder. The Sunny template is so unique, and I love how all the patterns fit together without looking too busy!


The stitching is fabulous here, and how it allows your eyes to follow around the page while keeping focus on the (stunning!) photo. Layout by Lisa Breuer.


Kym Tsukamoto’s layout is so much fun. I love the bling and the vibrant colors she chose. I also like how she used a larger sized photo on the page!



The star elements jumped out at me here. I’m enjoying how they are spaced around the page mixed in with the other elements. The photo perspective is simply adorable too. Wonderful! By Lynnette LeBaron Wilkins.


Thank you for stopping by!

Happy Scrapping!

Baseball Birthday and Hybrid Inspiration


Now that summer vacation is here for me, I’ve been looking for some crafty things to fill some of my time. This is the one time of year that I can plan and work on things I love. My youngest is turning 10 and requested a baseball party this year. I thought what a perfect time to put some fabulous digi stuff to use in hybrid form for decorations! I went to work using Play Ball Papers and Elements by Robyn Meierotto.


These papers and elements are so great. All I basically had to do was add some text to a few things, print and cut! My photos didn’t turn out the best because we had to move a lot of it inside due to rain, but here’s how it all turned out:



I kept thinking of idea after idea with these awesome supplies, but ran out of time before the big day. Maybe next time! Batting practice was, by far, everyone’s favorite, little kids and big kids alike.


Here are some other great hybrid projects from our Creative Team:

by Kate

by Kate

by Kate

by Kate

by Kate

by Kate

We would love to see your projects, too! Come on over to our P&Co Friends page and share them with us!


Typography 1: Let’s Talk About Text, Baby


You know that saying “It’s all in the delivery?” I’m a firm believer. Proof positive:


Technically, they are saying the same thing, but one is kind of hot, and one is kind of creepy. Right? Right.

Your journaling is the same way: You can type it up and put it on your layout, and it says what it says. However, change the font, tweak the spacing, and how you perceive what it says is instantly changed. Subtle nuances in your text really can make or break a layout.

Let’s start with a quick overview of the basics.


Not much in the modern world, but the phrasing goes back to usage in our history. When everything was done on a printing press, they needed to have each typeface in a variety of fonts. For example, Garamond in multiple sizes (8pt vs. 12 pt) would be considered two fonts of the Garamond typeface. Add in different weights and styles (bold, italic, underline, etc.) in each of the different sizes, and you can see how quickly the number of fonts would add up in a single typeface. Having said that, many of the best typefaces are still designed with multiple fonts. So, while your PS or PSE can imitate an italic or bolded version, it’s always best to take advantage of the different fonts you have in a typeface, because the end result will be much better.


Basically, this refers to any specific character in your font, whether it’s a number, letter, or punctuation. There are different parameters that can be used to describe the letterforms, which you can see illustrated below:


The baseline is the bottom line, where the bulk of your letters sit. Cap height refers to the height of a capital letter above the baseline, but some letterforms (rounded, like C or O, or pointed, like A) might extend slightly above it. X-height is (literally) the height that an x goes to in that particular font, which most of your other letterforms will match. Ascenders are strokes that go above the x height, like in b, d, and f, and descenders are strokes that go below the baseline, like g, j, and p.

In the Photoshop character palette, you have control over a few different settings:


Font size is the first one, and I think we all know how that works: The higher the number, the bigger the letterforms.

Next up is leading (pronounced leh-ding, not lee-ding), and it refers to the amount of space between your lines. Although it can be counter intuitive, increasing the leading can give you a more pleasing result than leaving the default spacing, and make it easier to read! Long text bodies especially can benefit from this.

Next, I’m going to skip over to tracking (also be referred to as letter-spacing), which is the amount of horizontal space between the letters. Bumping it up is very trendy, and can give you a fresh, modern feel. It looks especially nice with all caps or all lowercase text, and while there are preset options, you can type in any number you want.


Kerning is sort of like tracking, but it references how two specific letters work together. This is one of the biggest reasons that good fonts can be so darn expensive. Font designers can spend far longer adjusting the kerning for a typeface than they do on the actual letter designs. Here is an example of a font with the kerning set back to zero, and then how it looks with the kerning enabled:


As you can see, bad kerning doesn’t affect every letter, but it’s very noticeable between the A and the V. When you go to adjust it, you’ll see a few preset options: Optical and Metrics. Optical is the settings that the designer set manually, and metric is calculated using an algorithm.  The visual differences are slight, so which you use is up to you.


Unfortunately, PSE doesn’t yet have the capability to do some of these adjustments. There is a slight workaround though, that gives you some results. Go to Preferences > General and check the ‘Show Asian Text Options’ box. Next, select the Text tool, then click on your image and type. Highlight your text, and then click on the symbol at the top to adjust.

That’s it for today, but I’ll be back next week with more, as we delve into the different categories of fonts.

(Have a question you’ve always wanted answered? Ask it here, and I’ll include it in a future blog post!)


Destruction – With Purpose!


Hi everyone – I’m back!!  Did you try playing around with a quick page or two? That’s what we chatted about when we last got together.  This time, I’d like to talk to you about destruction with purpose.  Okay, so when you hear the word “destruction”, you might think about modifying elements by destructive or non-destructive means (recoloring something, for example, or using masks) … but nope, that’s not what I had in mind. Perhaps destruction is the wrong word. Um … how about creative re-engineering.  Yeah, that will work: Creative Re-Engineering.

Taking the next step from quick pages (QP), templates are a great way to stretch your digi skills a little more (really great for beginners or experts, alike). Like a quick page, a lot of the layout design is created for you by the designer, but unlike a QP that only has one or two layers, a template is choc-full of things you can play with.  Add papers, elements, photos, journaling. Pretty much, you name it, you can do it. Templates can be used “as is” or rotated, flipped, merged … or re-engineered. Let’s take a look at an example.

Here’s a page I created back in [eeeekk!!] 2013!  Oh my. It’s using a free template from Sarah Hemmert that’s still available in the P&Co store – you can find it here.

SoMuchFunMy process of creative re-engineering is taking a template, breaking it down, and rearranging the pieces to create something new. Although I love all the clusters in the original design, I really like the paper tear – those things can be so hard to replicate, unless you have some patience … and after all the caffeine I’ve had today, for example, now would not be the right time to try and attempt to create a paper tear. Lazy?  Heck, no!  Creative!  Using the paper tear as my base, and also picking up the tear under the bottom edge of the photo on the original design, I started to play around. I started to re-engineer the 2+ year-old template, giving it new life. A different life. Want to see my new-and-improved version?  Here you go —

Dream-EverydayCredits: Digital Scrapbook Collection | June 2015 – contributions by Jen Allyson (branch also by Jen); template – modified – by Sarah Hemmert

As you can see, I kept elements of the original template design, but creatively re-engineered them (I so love that phrase!) to design something new. Could I have come up with this page design on my own? Sure!  Is it easier – and faster – to use something that’s already done and modify it to suit my needs, to update it for my current tastes and design style? Yes!!

Destruction with purpose can be a fun exercise to try out. Why not take a template from your stash – the older the better – and see what you can do to re-engineer it. Instead of flipping or rotating the entire design, take individual components and shuffle them around the page. Change the order of layers, duplicate them … play!  With digital scrapbooks (as with many creative processes), there is no right or wrong … just play!!

Just a quick note on scrapbooking protocol – don’t forget to credit the original designer of the template when you share your layout on social media or in galleries, even if you’ve modified the original format.

How to Add Videos to Your Scrapbook Pages


Hi everyone! Zakirah here & I’m very excited to share with you how to add those precious family videos into your scrapbook pages.

I love to capture videos of my family’s activities, especially of my nephews’ playtime. Those are the moments that I want to treasure, and I think that it’d be great for my nephews to be able to see their parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles as young people because let’s face it – we can’t stop ageing. One of the reasons why I scrapbook is because as a granddaughter, I wish I could get to know my grandparents when they were young, and I wish they kept some sort of scrapbooks of their lives. Unfortunately for me, that didn’t happen, so I’m making sure that the future generations of my family would have a glimpse of our current lives with these scrapbook pages.

One of the best ways to include videos into your scrapbooks is by adding QR codes on your pages. Here’s an example of a page with QR codes:



If you’re not familiar with QR codes, here’s what it does: a QR code can contain URL (links), contact info, map location (latitude & longitude) and other information that you want to pass on to other people without them having to type long texts. The QR codes can be scanned from a smartphone or computer, and the data carried by the QR code will automatically appear on the person’s devices when scanned.

It’s a very handy tool, don’t you think?

So here’s what you need:

1. An account on a video hosting site like Youtube (You can use Dropbox or Google Drive too, but I find Youtube to be more convenient because it’s specifically for videos and the site will probably still be online in the far future).
2. A QR code generator. You can download or use an online QR code generator. There’s a lot of free tools out there, and if you’re on Mac, I recommend QR Factory (linked to Mac App Store).
3. A QR code reader/scanner on your smartphone (if you want to check how it looks like).


Now let’s get started!

1. First, upload your video to Youtube.


When uploading your videos to Youtube, be sure to set the Privacy to ‘Unlisted’ so other people can’t find your videos through Youtube search function or Google.

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 4.53.53 AM

2. After it’s uploaded, copy the video link and paste it to your QR code generator:

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Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 4.55.54 AM
3. Set your QR code’s reliability level to High, and choose your preferred output size.
Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 4.56.10 AM

4. Save it to your computer. And now, you can use it on your page!


Now your family can scan the codes on your layouts and watch the videos on their smartphone.


I hope this tutorial is clear and helpful! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment below. I’ll do my best to answer them promptly.