All posts by Karah

HUGE sale!

This month marks my FOUR YEARS that I’ve been selling my designs at The Lily Pad!  It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long.  Seems like just yesterday I found out I was going to be able to sell at my all-time favorite scrap store!  To celebrate, I’m having a HUGE sale that you don’t want to miss!  The sale ends on Monday, so be sure to check it out!

40% off Sale

Shadows Make Me Twitchy

There. I said it. Inconsistent shadows make me twitch.

So what, you might ask, are inconsistent shadows? Look at your desk (or whatever is sitting around you). Look at the objects on your desk. They all have shadows, and for the most part, the shadows are all on the same sides of each object, based on the light source in your room (the window to your left, or the lamp to your right). And while there are some factors at play (the light from your monitor might cast a different shadow than your window which is your main light source), for the most part, all of the shadows are going in the same direction.

shadow-sampleIf you were or are a paper scrapbooker, the same would be true for your layouts. If you have a big window to your left, then all of the objects on your page will have shadows on the right sides. The shadows might vary in depth and softness, but they would all be on the right.

The same should be true of your digital layouts! Everyone has their own preference for the direction of their imaginary light source. Personally, I love to have my imaginary light source come from the bottom left of my layouts. For whatever reason, I love the look those shadows have. And for that reason, pretty much all of my pre-shadowed elements have their shadows on the top right (the opposite side of my bottom-left imaginary light source. Have I lost you yet?).

You, however, might prefer a top left imaginary light source. So as you are setting up your layout and choosing your bits and pieces, you should constantly be thinking about which direction your imaginary light source is pointing! If you have a button that has a bright glare near the top left, then you know that designer used a top-left light source. If you don’t want to use a top-left light source on your layout, then you need to ROTATE THE BUTTON until the glare is in the correct spot for your imaginary light source.

I’m not gonna lie – there have been times that I have changed the shadow direction for an ENTIRE LAYOUT based on one element. If I am using an element that has text on it but that also has an obvious imaginary light source, then I will change all of my other shadows to match the shadow of that element.

I know, I know – sounds like way too much work. But trust me … it is SO WORTH IT! Once you have mastered this, you will be amazed at how much more realistic your layouts appear to be!


Are you a Daily Digi subscriber?

If not, you need to get ON that!  Trust me.

Over at The Daily Digi, you get access to some amazing exclusive kits each month … over $50 of scrapbooking supplies … and you only have to pay $7.50!  It’s the perfect way to not only build up your stash, but to try out designers you may never have heard of before!

This month is the perfect month to get on board … not only am I a sponsor, but so are several of my fellow TLP designers!  Kaye Winiecki & Amy Martin both have amazing contributions this month (along with several other awesome designers).

Here’s a peek at the EXCLUSIVE kit that I created for this month!

Someone Like You by Karah Fredricks

Be sure to head over to The Daily Digi to find out how you can get this kit!


Last year, all four of my kids wanted store-bought valentines which was a huge bummer!  I’ve always made theirs and it made me sad to think that they are all growing up so much that they didn’t want me to make them anymore.

My oldest son is now in 6th grade, so he’s just WAY too cool for home-made cards.  This year he picked out some sports-related things from Target.  Yawn.

Imagine my excitement when my daughter told me that this year she wanted valentines with 1) a picture of her and 2) a picture of a horse.  I was all over that!  I just made a little fold-over card that I could staple onto a baggie of candy.  She loved it!

(credits: Piece of My Heart by me, Lil’ Cowpoke by me, Lonestar by Jacque Larsen)

Then I asked my other two boys what they wanted to do and once again I was surprised to hear them say that they wanted me to make theirs too!  I took them window shopping over at The Lily Pad and they both went NUTS when they saw Jacque’s Build a Bird set.  They didn’t even want to keep looking at what else there might be – that was it.  I had them each design their own card … they told me what pieces to use and where to put them.  And they turned out SO cute!

(credits: Build a Bird by Jacque Larsen, grass hill also by Jacque, from a retired kit)

I hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day!

Happy Anniversary Sale

This past weekend marked my TWO YEAR anniversary over at The Lily Pad!  Hard to believe it’s already been two years.  Crazy!!  I’m still very happy in my “home” and am looking forward to the NEXT two year!
To celebrate, I’m throwing a big ol’ sale!  35% off my ENTIRE STORE now through the 19th (excludes new releases).  You can’t beat that!

Organization anyone?

(Originally posted February 2008)

So I don’t really have the first clue if/how other people organize as they plan out their scrapping. Maybe most people don’t plan at all. LOL. I just thought I’d share my fun little system with all of you. Heck, if I help even one person out then I’ve done my job – right?

I print all of my layouts in 12×12 (chronological) shutterfly books. I LOVE them! Adore them. They are fantastic. I am able to fit about 6 months worth of layouts in each book (about 100 layouts).

Because the books are limited to 100 layouts, I have to plan for that. So here’s what I do.

Step 1: in photoshop, create a new document, 2 inches wide and 50 inches long (ie: 100 layouts).

Step 2: start looking in your photo files. For example, the last book I did was July-Dec. of 2006 so I started with pics from July 1, 2006. As you look through each folder, decide if you will be doing a layout with those pictures, and how many pages the layout will be. On your blank document in PS, type out the date and subject matter in a little one inch area. I’ll post a screen shot below to show you what I mean… Continue on with this until you’ve gone through all of the pictures you are planning on using for that book.

Step 3: Scrap! And as you finish a layout, shrink it down to 300×300 pixels, drag it over to your document and position it over the text where it belongs. Before you know it, it will be covered with layouts and you’ll be able to print a book!

Step 4: When you’re ready to print your book, just print out this strip on your printer and use it to arrange everything in the right order at It’ll save you so much time and prevent a lot of headaches!!

Screen Shots:

Here’s a close up!

And here’s the WHOLE book in one long strip!

Another closeup of the completed version.

Sometimes while I’m scrapping I find that I might need to rearrange things a bit – all I do is use the rectangular marquee tool to move the text where I want it to go.

So hopefully this helps those of you who have been trying to figure out how to scrap chronologically!

Digiscrapping 101: Now what?

(Originally posted January 2009)

Alright – ready for round two?

So by now you have your software… right?  Riiiiight?  😉

Well what are we waiting for then? Let’s dive in!

Now I have to preface this by saying that I use Photohop CS3 so  any screen shots or things that I post will be from that program.  But it should be ok.

So you have your program.  Have you installed it (if not, that would be step #1).  Have you opened it (let’s do that right now!)?  Have you played around in there?  No?  Well, we need to change that.

You will be overwhelmed.  I can guarantee that. There are so many menus and icons and options that it just makes your head spin.  DON’T WORRY!  You WILL figure it out – it just takes practice!!

Now I’m going to give you a few little gifts to practice with.  This download will contain a few papers, elements, and alphabet letters.  You will want to make a special folder on your hard drive that is JUST for scrapbooking – and believe me, it’s gonna fill up FAST.  So when you click on this download, just save it to that Scrapbooking folder, extract all the files, and you’re ready to go.

Now when you download a digital scrapbooking kit, the papers should always be 12×12 files (unless otherwise noted).  If you want to scrap in a different format (8×10, 8×8, 10×10) you just need to resize the file – it’s pretty painless.

Alrighty.  Ready to jump in and get your feet wet?

First, go to file>open and browse to that scrapbooking folder where you saved the download I gave you.  Open up the turquoise paper.  On this paper you will create your layout.  Your page.  Your canvas.  Your masterpiece.  Whatever you want to call it.  This is where magic happens.

Now I’m going to show you how to put together a layout and you can copy it if you’d like or you can get all funky & do your own thing.  This is just how I do it – every person does it their own way.  And honestly, I never do it the same way twice.  LOL.

So next you’ll need to choose a picture (note: I almost ALWAYS choose my pictures first, but for this example I chose the paper first because it’s all I have to work with).  So after you open your picture, just drag it over to the layout (the turquoise paper).  You can then close your picture file if you would like.

Now we’re going to get creative.  Let’s open the green dots paper that you downloaded.  Now this paper is the exact same size as your layout so what we will need to do now is crop it down.  We will get into doing shapes and things in a future post.  For now we’ll keep it simple.  We’re just going to crop it into a smaller square.  And if you are totally lost, this is what the crop tool looks like.  You will click on it and then use your mouse to draw a square on the paper – then double click in the middle of the square when you are done. **hint** if you hold down the shift key while drawing the square, it will guarantee that your square is perfect!

Drag your new square onto your layout and arrange it however you want.

Now before we go any further, we must learn about layers.   Each item you drag onto your layout will be on a new layer.  This allows you to move things around and rearrange things however you want.  On the right side of your screen, you should see your layers palette.  You can even drag those layers around to rearrange them!

Ok – on to our next paper.  Let’s open up the light green one!  Now this one I’m going to crop into a rectangle, just to shake things up a bit.  I’m going to drag this layer behind my photo layer.

So now that we have our papers in place, let’s embellish!  Embellishments, or, elements are the absolute COOLEST part of digital scrapbooking.  If you can imagine something, I can almost guarantee that it’s been created.  You will be amazed!  The elements I have given you in this download are fairly simple one but they are still cute! 🙂

First I’m going to open up the frame.  Now here is where you have some options.  I have given you a frame WITH a shadow and WITHOUT a shadow.  Not all designers will provide you with a pre-shadowed version of an element.  But I do with elements that don’t have basic edges.  So for this, I’m going to choose the shadowed frame.

Now you’re free to embellish more if you’d like.  When you’re done, it might look something like this:

The next step is to add shadowing.  I will be doing a shadowing tutorial at a later date so for now, just try to think about how the REAL shadow of those items would look.  You should add a shadow to EVERY item on your page, besides the background paper (unless an item came pre-shadowed).

So here is my finished layout!

Now you’ll want to save your layout.  I ALWAYS save a layered copy (a .psd file or a .tif file) of my layout just in case I ever need to go back and change anything.   But if you want to print your layout or share it with friends on the web, you will want to save it as a .jpg file.  And remember – these files are BIG so please resize them to approximately 600 pixels by 600 pixels before you try to share them on the web!

*phew* I know that was a lot to take in but I hope you are starting to feel a little bit more comfortable with your program!  I’ll be back in a few days with your next “lesson” ! 🙂

So what is this whole Digi-Scrapping thing?

(Originally posted February 2008)

Recently I have had many “real life” friends express interest in digiscrapping, wondering how to start, so I’ve decided to blog some of the basics for everyone who is just thinking about starting out.

Let’s start with an excerpt from the Blue Flombingo website…


By now, the term “scrapbooking” is as well-known as the terms “knitting” or “quilting.” What started out as a small industry has exploded into something HUGE that is constantly growing, changing and expanding. You can see this at any local craft store – where there used to be a few racks of scrapbook goodies there are now rows and rows. There are the scrapbook albums. And the papers. And the embellishments. And the storage systems. And the cutting systems. And the list goes on and on.

Recently, however, there has been a new movement among scrapbookers. Many “scrappers” have decided to transition from “paper scrapping” (scrapbooking in the traditional style of photo prints, papers and adhesives) to digital scrapbooking (or “digiscrapping”). There are so many incredible programs available today that ones options are practically endless.

Why DigiScrap?

I was a “paper scrapper.” I was a strict paper scrapbooker for approximately 12 years. When I first heard about digital scrapbooking and saw some samples of what it looked like, I SWORE I would never make the transition. A few years ago, however, I began feeling very overwhelmed. I have four children and I am a photographer, which means that I have bazillions of pictures. I do not have space in my home to set up a scrapbooking table or area, as many people are able to do. While I enjoy getting together for scrapbooking parties with friends, I usually end up talking too much and hardly get anything done. So in April of this year I succumbed and thought “what would it hurt to do a few digital layouts?” I did one. Then another. And then another and another and another. And in one week, I had finished 5 layouts! This is compared to the 5 layouts I had finished over the previous 4 months. I was immediately hooked.

While some people really love the appearance of “real” scrapbook layouts, the digital designs that have been coming out recently are created with the intent of APPEARING real. I have seen some digital layouts that make me I feel like I could reach out and touch them through the screen (and have had people actually reach out to touch elements on some of my printed pages as well!).

One huge benefit of digital scrapbooking is the delete or undo button. Don’t like where you put that picture? Undo. Don’t like how you cropped that photo? Undo. Misspelled in your journaling? Undo. And then there are the limitless options available through the photo-editing software. Have a picture you think might look better in black and white? Change it. Have a background paper that doesn’t quite match the picture? Re-color it. Have an alphabet you’d like to use, but think the letters are too big? Shrink them. The options are literally endless.

Getting Started

For people who are unsure about making the change, there are so many digital scrapbooking freebies available online for download. All you need to do is download a free kit or two and play around for a bit. It may be awkward at first – you may not know what you’re doing and may need to practice a little. But once you have everything figured out, you’ll be amazed at how EASY it really is.


So with that out of the way ….

Step #1

The first step is deciding on a program. There are a LOT of options out there – the best thing to do is download the free trials many of them offer and play around with them for a bit to see which one you like the most! Personally, I recommend PhotoShop Elements (PSE) to everyone who asks what they should use. It’s a fantastic program, packed FULL of features. More than everything you’d need to edit your photos and do basic to advanced digital scrapbooking.

Here are some links to some of the more popular programs out there…

PhotoShop Elements

Paint Shop Pro

ACDsee Photo Editor

Coming soon … I have my program – now what???

Folded Corner Templates Tutorial

(originally posted March 2009)

Hi everyone!  There have been a few people that have expressed some confusion over using the Easy-Peasy Folded Corner Templates.

I’m going to post some screenshots that will hopefully help clarify things somewhat!

(Note: in PSCS2 and beyond, you will need to click ctrl+alt+g to clip your paper to the template.)

Remember to rotate your papers to match the angle of the fold (ctrl+t will bring up the free transform options in PS – click ctrl+t and move your cursor just outside the paper and you should see the cursor change into a curved arrow, meaning you can now rotate it.  Click “enter” when it is in the position you are happy with.)

At this point, you can merge all of your layers or you can leave it as-is.

Please post any question you have and I’ll try my best to answer them!