Pixels & Company

Christmas Photos and Inspiration

One of my favorite things to take pictures of at Christmas, aside from my children of course, is all the little things that make my home feel like Christmas. We all have those special ornaments and traditions. Why not take your camera out, get in a little closer, and take some pictures!
One of my favorite things to photograph during the holidays are my favorite ornaments. I love to get my macro lens out for this so I can really get in close and capture all of the detail of the ornament.

112807-6950a copy

I also always make sure to get a picture of the cookie plate my kids leave out for Santa. This particular year I made sure to place it in front of the tree in order to get the fabulous bokeh from the Christmas lights in the background. (there’s a great tutorial on that here)
121410-7237 copy

I was looking through the gallery and found quite a few inspiration pages that I’d love to share.

This page from Anna (AnnaDrozd) caught my eye almost immediately. Not only does she have a gorgeous page, but the image of her ornament is so delicate and beautiful!

 

Here is another page from Anna that captures the little bits of the holiday season. I love how soft everything is and the bits of glitter splattered across the page.

I love how Natacha (Solysombra) clipped a photo of her tree to a tree shape and journaled in a similar shape on the other side. Very clever!

Here is a page from Kate (KateChristensen) that captures a wonderful tradition of building gingerbread houses. I love all of the photos, but especially the large photo at the bottom with all of the houses lined up.

Lastly, I love this pocket page from Melanie (MelanieRitchie) that showcases some of her Christmas decorations. I love the little Santa in the snow and the title image is hauntingly beautiful.

So while you’re getting those pictures of all the most important moments, don’t forget to sneak in some shots of the little things around your house that remind you of Christmas. And don’t forget to get a picture of your tree!
122509-4279a copy

Lighten Up, Sequins! Bring a little Bling to Christmas.

 

 

Tis the season to make things pretty and scrapbooking pages are no exception. Are you participating in any holiday memory keeping? I love documenting the holidays. Looking over my past layouts, it is interesting to see how things change from year to year (children getting older), and how some traditions continue to stay the same.

I made the following layout to document the 10th day of December. Many of my days this month only have one photo or little story, but this particular day I had a few more photos to share. I had great fun using this template from Meredith Cardall with Deena Rutter’s Every Little Bit: Cheers Bundle.

I loved the sequins included in the kit but they looked dark against the papers I had selected.

So today, I’ll show you how I lightened up the sequins with the curve tool.

dec10layout-lores

1. I opened up the holly leaf sequin file. You can see at the bottom right, I’ve opened up the adjustment layer menu and “curves” is listed sixth from the top. Select it.

grab4

2. I selected the middle eye dropper tool. Then I pulled the line up a bit at the top and down a little near the bottom. You’ll have to experiment to see how it affects your element. I was happy when the sequin looked like shown below.

grab3

 

 

3. I repeated the same step for the red sequin and the tree sequin.

grab1

grab2

Are you ready to try using the curve tool? I admit, the tool always looked pretty scary to me. Now I love it. I use it on my photos and elements.

Have fun learning!

 

Project Life: December Edition

Hello, Pixels & Company friends!

Raquel here, so happy to bring to you the December edition of Project Life. Since it’s “the most wonderful time of the year” I decided to feature the wonderful ways many of you are documenting both everyday moments & Christmas memories.

Without further ado, here we go!

MelanieRitchie_December10

December 10th: MelanieRitchie’s December 10th is a beautiful PL layout featuring a blend of pastels & golds. What a whimsical way to document all the beautiful details that announce Christmas is finally here!

 

KateChristensen_December9

December 9: I’m a huge fan of grids – They’re perfect for showing off both photos and yummy elements. KateChristensen did a wonderful job sharing those fleeting moments on her December 9 page. I really love the stitching around the squares. By the way, if you peek at her gallery you will see how the format of each December layout is different.

 

ToriLynn_2

12-02 Harry: Notice Torilynn’s take on her 12-02 Harry layout. She is featuring Harry’s elfish antics in a gorgeous minimalistic style. What a great way to focus on the photos and the journaling! I love it!

 

raquelsabido_01

Hello December 01: Lastly, I humbly share my December album take. I decided to keep it simple: One photo per day and a couple of kits, including the amazing Joyful Collaboration by our fantastic P&Co designers.

Joyful

There are so many ways to document this December but whatever method or design you choose, I wish you well and I hope you enjoy every single moment with your loved ones.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Hugs!

Raquel Sabido

 

 

Challenges | December 2014

The last month of the year! How will you be documenting your December? Do you do a daily album? These challenges would be a great way to wrap up your year and document the last weeks of 2014. Our challenges have changed a bit, we will no longer have the weekly challenges. We will be focusing on our monthly challenges and our new subscriber area.

Up first is our photo challenge hosted by Jen P. she challenges us to capture the details of the season. Here’s her layout.

P&Co December 2014 Challenges

Now on to the journaling challenge hosted by Kat, this month’s challenge requires you to step back in time and record a favorite childhood holiday memory. Here’s her take on the prompt:

P&Co December 2014 Challenges

Jennifer H welcomes everyone to the template challenge, pick up the free template and play along. Here’s her layout:

P&Co December 2014 Challenges

Diane is hosting our recipe challenge, and it should be fun! Check out this great layout:

P&Co December 2014 Challenges

The color challenge coordinates with this month’s Subscription Kit Joyful. Anna’s layout captures beginning the holiday season.

P&Co December 2014 Challenges

If you complete all 5 challenges by 11:59 PM MST on the last day of the month, you will receive a coupon for 25% off. Each page counts for one challenge, and you cannot use one layout for multiple challenges. Challenge layouts must contain at least 25% P&Co products to be eligible for prizes.
Participants will earn the following rewards for completing these challenges:

1 challenge = 5% off
2 challenges = 10% off
3 challenges = 15% off
4 challenges = 20% off
5 challenges = 25% off

 

New this month are our member’s only challenges in the subscriber area. We will regularly host 2 challenges, with occasional bonus challenges or double point opportunities.  These challenges will earn participants points which can be redeemed for free or discounted products in the store.   $1.00 = 100 points.

Here is a peek at what the subscribers will be using as their inspiration this month:

Jan scraplifted her way to this beautiful layout:

P&Co December 2014 Challenges

Lynnette has a challenge for the pocket scrappers in the house, with her layout:

P&Co December 2014 Challenges

As a bonus, this month, subscribers can complete a layout using the mood board from Joyful as inspiration. Here is Melanie’s layout:

dec1_6x6lores

 Join us in the forum to see all the details for each challenge. I can’t wait to see all beautiful layouts!

Filed under Challenges by Sarah Hemmert @ 12:30 pm

Using QR Codes in your Scrap Projects

qrCode_image

Let me start by saying… YES, I realize that this is a piece of technology that will eventually be out of date and YES, I realize that our great grandchildren will look at these pages and perhaps be frustrated because they cannot access the gems embedded in them and YES, I still think they are super coolio and serve a fun purpose for the here and now.

So there.  Whew.  That is out of the way.  Hehe… now onto a little inspiration on how to you can add multi media to your pages and make your kids think you are the most awesome-est mom ever!

QR Codes.  What are they?  I’m glad you asked.  The dictionary say they are “A square grid of smaller black and white squares containing encoded data that is designed to be optically scanned, as to provide information about a product or service.”  I say they are “Magic squares that make you feel more technologically advanced than you really are”.  Either way, they have tons of uses for memory keepers.

Practically speaking, you can embed anything that can be stored on the internet on them.  Like the school song your little angel sang or the football play your tough guy nailed.  Your favorite music, a website or a PDF.  The sky is the limit.  And once you create the little code (don’t fret, I’ll show you how), you can download it and stick it on your scrapbook pages, just like any other element.  Then anyone with a smart phone can access the information.

android-iphone-3g1

First, you need to know how to create the code.  There are several websites that let you do this.  For free.  Here are a couple of sites I’ve used.  QRStuff and QRCode Generator.  Mr. Google can find you many more if you don’t like these.  I’m not picky about these at all.

Now, keep in mind that the free versions are static (which is fine for most things).  That means it points the code to a particular URL and if that URL changes (like the kitten YouTube video was taken down, for instance), the code will go nowhere fast.  There is also a dynamic code option, which you usually have pay for.  This directs you to a “middle man” URL that will THEN direct to the end URL.  So… if that kitten YouTube video is deleted, you can still go in and change the destination to another equally cute video.  Really, they are all the same anyway, hehe.  OK, enough of that.

So, go to your QR Code Generator.  Copy and Paste your destination URL and hit the DOWNLOAD button.  Voila.  The QR code is now on your hard drive, ready to be placed on your scrapbook page.  It will look like this…

qrcode.25780523

Go ahead.  It’s a funny cat video.  I know you wanna see, hehe.  Oh, you don’t know how to read it?  Hang on, I’m getting there.

Reading these is Easy Peasy.  There are several FREE QR Code Readers available for your Smart Phone, like QR Code Reader by Scan & Bakodo for iPhone or  QR Code Reader for Android.  You open one of these, point that phone at a the scrapbook page and within seconds, you are viewing or listening to any number of things.  You can even direct people to your blog, gallery, or a special video your talented fam created… directly from your Holiday Card (yep, I’m totally doing that, hehe).

You get the idea.  Here’s a page I created that includes a short video taken of my son and his friend.  It fits with this page and sweet birthday boy is amazed every times he watches it directly from my phone.

BirthdayGame_jenevang_web

Credits: Now Trending kit by Gennifer Bursett and Amanda Yi, Spooks alpha by Deena Rutter, Stitched Grids template by Scotty Girl, Notebook font by Karla Dudley

Told you it was fun!

Don’t get too hung up on the fact that it won’t work in 100 years.  I doubt any of our video footage will work then (hello, reel to reel… 8 tracks… VHS…  even cassette tapes).  Just enjoy for now!

Happy Scrapping.

Jen E.

Filed under Tutorials by Jennifer Evangelista @ 8:00 am

November 2014 Challenges

Only 2 more months left in the year! The holidays are usually a busy time for me and a great opportunity to take lots of pictures, giving me more to scrapbook. It’s nice when things work out that way. Now on to this month’s challenges.

First up is our Photo Challenge, hosted by Tori. She challenges us to scrap a photo of something you are thankful for. Here’s her take on the prompt.

November 2014 P&Co Challenges | Photo

 

Next up is our Journaling Challenge, hosted by Maribel. You will be journaling about a celebration, and use the word celebrate on your layout. Here’s her layout:

November 2014 P&Co Challenges | Journaling

Now a popular challenge and a great way to get your feet wet, our template Challenge, hosted by Lynnette. Snag the free template and jump in. Here’s her layout and the template she created.

November 2014 P&Co Challenges | Template November 2014 P&Co Challenges | Template

Kat jumped in this month to host the Recipe Challenge. She get an early start on the holidays with her layout:

November 2014 P&Co Challenges | Recipe

Our Color Challenge will be hosted this month by Jennifer H. She coordinated with the Company Stash making it easier than ever to play along. Here is her page:

November 2014 P&Co Challenges | Color

We usually have 3 Weekly Challenges, but this month we will have one:

3-Way Nov 16 Hosted by Mary
Featured Designer: Karla

Our final two challenges can be chosen from the challenges hosted by the Creative Team for Digital Scrapbooking Day

 

Join us in the forum for rules and all the details of each challenge.

Congratulations to Erin She is our Guest CT member for November. She completed all 8 Challenges in August earning her a 40% off coupon and her guest spot on the team.

2 challenges = 10% off
4 challenges = 20% off
6 challenges = 30% off
8 challenges = 40% off and a chance for a guest spot

If you complete all 8 challenges by 11:59 PM MST on the last day of the month, you will receive a coupon for 40% off, plus you will be entered to win a guest spot on the P&Co Creative Team! The first five challenges will be posted on the first of the month; the remaining challenges will be posted weekly. Each page counts for one challenge, and you cannot use one layout for multiple challenges. Challenge layouts must contain at least 25% P&Co products to be eligible for prizes.

 

Filed under Challenges by Sarah Hemmert @ 4:42 pm

DSD 2014: Get the Details Here!

dsd2014_700

Hello, and welcome to P&Co’s 2014 DSD Designer Blog Hop! We’re super excited to be starting off the DSD Celebration here, and I’d like to give you a quick rundown on what you can expect from us this week:


  • We’ve got a sitewide sale going on, and the more you spend, the more you save! You can earn as much as 50% off!

  • We’ll be refunding one random order daily with our Big Payoff contest!

  • Our popular Dream Cart contest has just kicked off.

  • We have 2 Speed Scraps: Saturday Noon MDT and Sunday 8 PM MDT, so everyone can have a chance to play along!

  • We’ve got games and challenges going on all weekend long in our Digi Talk forum, with loads of prizes!

Template challenge hosted by Rachel and Barbara

Rebus word game hosted by Tori and Laura

Journaling List challenge hosted by Sabrina

Photography challenge hosted by Rae

Name that Tune game hosted by Courtney

Art Journaling challenge hosted by Kat

Card making challenge hosted by Diane

Gallery Tag hosted by Lynnette

Pocket Card Challenge hosted by Jen P.

Find the Ingredients hosted by Willemijne

Scavenger Hunt hosted by Wendy C.

Lift The Person Above You hosted by Pallavi

Happy Chatty hosted by Heidi

Challenge me hosted by Anna


  • And, of course, we’ve got this fabulous mega collab to give to you:

pco_northofordinary_preview

It’s yours FREE, and all you have to do is hop through the following blogs. You’ll be collecting a series of numbers and letters along the way, and when you get to the end, you’ll have a coupon code that will bring your price on this fantastic kit down to ZERO.  Coupon expired.

Scooty’s Designs <- Go here first!
Amanda Yi Designs
Mari Koegelenberg
Dawn by Design
Digital Scrapbook Ingredients
creashens
Sabrina’s Creations
Scotty Girl Design
KimB’s Designs
Celeste Knight
Jen Allyson
Mommyish
Sugarplum Paperie
Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs
Robyn Meierotto
Wishing Well Creations by Laura Passage
Anita Designs
Deena Rutter
Karla Dudley
Gennifer Bursett

Have fun!

Cropped! 2014 | Round 5 with Jen Gallacher and Jennifer Wilson

cropped_newsletter

We’re down to the wire with Cropped! 2014. We had some amazing layouts submitted for Round 4, and the journaling on them was phenomenal! Some made us laugh, some made us cry, and some transported us completely into the moment with their great descriptions. We narrowed the field down (as hard as it was!) and we’re excited to announce the following 10 finalists:

Amy Hoogstad | Brynn Dukes | Em Stafrace | Erin Wright | Grace Lee
Kacy Vance | Kathleen Vallejo | Kathryn Wilson | Smitha Katti | Tiffany Landry

Round Five is Dessert, and we think it’s the perfect way to finish off a great meal, and our contest. This week’s challenge is to go all out… Our contestants should make their “dessert” layout luxe, rich, decadent, sugary sweet, and over the top. Whether that’s through their subject, their journaling, their embellishments, their techniques, or all of the above, now is the time for them to go all-out. They also must include the 4 Mystery Basket Ingredients, which can be re-purposed as needed to fit the theme of the layout. PLEASE NOTE: To choose our Cropped! 2014 Champion, we will be judging both this round’s entry along with their entire body of Cropped! 2014 submissions.

pco_croppedrd5_preview

For our final round, we are joined by two guest judges: Jen Gallacher and Jennifer Wilson. They will team up with Gennifer Bursett, Sarah Hemmert, Karla Dudley, Shannon McNab, Tiffany Tillman, and Sabrina Poole to decide who will be our Cropped! 2014 Champion.

jenJen has worked in the paper crafting industry for over 17 years as a writer, editor, design team member, and teacher for companies including Karen Foster Design, Making Memories, American Crafts, Northridge Publishing, and Two Peas In a Bucket. Currently she serves as the Marketing Coordinator for Echo Park and Carta Bella Paper, which includes teaching, designing, editing, creating marketing strategies, and much, much more.

Jen enjoys all types of creative outlets and writes about it frequently on her blog.  She also shares weekly tips and tricks for crafting and memory keeping on her Youtube channel, as well as, regularly contributes to the Scrapbook & Cards Today Magazine channel and EP TV channels.

As the mother of three children, she finds she has a lot to keep her occupied. When she isn’t busy designing, writing, teaching, or editing, she’s hanging out with her family because making memories is even sweeter than documenting them!

You can find Jen at the following links:

Blog | Website | YouTube | Twitter Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

jennifer

Scrapbooking educator and coach Jennifer Wilson offers guidance for uncomplicated memory keeping at Simple Scrapper. You’re invited to start simplifying today with her free quick start guide.

You can find Jennifer at the following links:

Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

October Gallery Highlights

Hi all!

Amy Kingsford here and I’m excited to share a few of my favorite layouts posted in the Pixels & Company Gallery this month.  There is never a shortage of inspiration in the galleries here at P & Co and this month was no exception.

I hope you enjoy these beauties as much as I did!

 

Tutu Cute by jessicalynn01

Tutu Cute by jessicalynn01 | Pixels and Company Gallery

I had to start with this one because it just screamed October to me! The bright colors, beautiful fall photos and the added bits of Halloween-inspired elements came together nicely!

 

Love & Laugh by Sharon-Dewi

Love & Laugh by Sharon-Dewi | Pixels & Company Gallery

I really loved the overall sentiment and feel of this page.  The scattered elements, the combination of textures and the warm tones used throughout are the perfect complement to these heart-warming photos and their story.

 

#forever by kym

#forever by kym | Pixels and Company Gallery

I immediately fell in love with the femininity of this page. The pastels paired with gold is such a great combo and I adore this sweet mix of embellishments and the soft dimension they bring to the page.

 

Stronger by christellevandyk

Stronger by christellevandyk | Pixels and Company Gallery

What’s not to love about this page!? The colors, the clusters and these photos are all amazing! However my favorite detail is how the brick pattern from the background has been used as an overlay that blends subtly over the focal photo–genius!

 

Fresh Is Best by Pamie

Fresh Is Best by Pamie | Pixels and Company Gallery

This page jumped out at me immediately! I’m not sure if it was the bright colors, the delightful mix of patterns or that adorable girl with her glistening hair, but either way this page is perfection!

 

Loving It by janedee

Loving It by janedee | Pixels and Company Gallery

I’m such a sucker for triangles! However I really love the mix of the tone-on-tone triangles paired with the triangle crops of the photos in this page.  This plays up the energy and bright colors in her photos, while softening the angles of the other two triangles just a bit.  And you can never go wrong with a few splashes of gold ;)

 

I hope you have enjoyed taking a closer look at some of my favorite pages from this month and I invite you to click on the links and leave each of these artists a little bit of love.

And a big thanks to all of you who share your layouts in the Pixels & Company gallery!  You all do such a great job of making our gallery such an inspiring place to be!

Rainy Day Photography

I don’t see a lot of photographs taken on rainy days. It’s wet, dull, and inconvenient. Soaked clothes tend to leave one running for shelter. However, weather is great at conveying moods. Weather is part of life and I love to the rainy days as much as the sunny ones.

Sometimes I’ll use an extra photo in my layout that doesn’t have to do with the subject but adds to the mood. It helps set the scene.

For this blog post, I waited for a rainy day and went outside to explore. I love capturing rain droplets on leaves. I like the contrast of textures. Slick wet surfaces on brittle ridged leaves. Puddles on asphalt.

Water droplets on leaves by Melanie Ritchie

Or raindrops hanging on to branches or objects. If my kids had been at home I would have loved to have caught a photo of a raindrop on the tip of my child’s nose.

Dandelion after the rain by Melanie Ritchie

Capture the sky right before the rain when it is heavy and dark with rain. Take photos as it begins to fall.

Capture the action. If I were in a city, I’d be trying to capture photos of people rushing around with umbrellas, or feet stepping into puddles.

At home, I’ve often captured my children dancing in the rain, jumping in puddles, or holding umbrellas.

If you’re in your car (safely stopped) take a photo of your windshield with the wipers on.

Take photos when the sun peeks back out and reflects off of droplets. See if there is a rainbow. All these different moments in a rainy day can make us feel such varying emotions. Think about how they might work into a layout.

mr_photo1

 

Water droplet on leaf by Melanie Ritchie


What does the weather look like from inside your home, office, or cottage? Do you feel cozy or bored?

Rain drops on my window by Melanie Ritchie

 

A rainy day in the fall will look much different from one in the spring or summer.  How does the sky and land look different? Rain in the spring might suggest the promise of flowers and growth. In the summer, kids are more likely to be playing in the rain. I love photographing the rain falling on the turning leaves.

Tomatoes and rain by Melanie Ritchie

 

 

How would the following photo look in black and white? Play around with your photos. I use  Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to edit my photos. Sometimes I’ll also use Radlab.

Maple Leaf on Rainy Day by Melanie Ritchie

Use the weather to frame your subject. I focused on the wet leaves so they would frame my house in the background.

My house on a rainy Day by Melanie Ritchie

 

Play around with your settings, experiment with your lighting, and see what kind of photo magic can happen on a rainy day. I had a lot of fun seeing a kinda dull gray day in a whole new way.

Rain and Greenery by Melanie Ritchie

Have fun clicking!

©2012-2014 Pixels & Company