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so happy

So . . . just popping in real quick with a little share from Miss Laura.

Loooove this card!
And it’s so appropriately titled after the family reunion weekend I had.

That was me . . . so happy. :)
(and the card makes me so happy!)
I will post some photos and share some details of my weekend soon.
But in the meantime, feast your eyes on this darling card!


[ Shapes | Life Additions: Backgrounds (circles) / XOXO (hearts) / Say What 3 ('happy') ]

Here’s what Laura has to say:

I had some leftover hearts cut from my previous layout, and thought I would create a quick card to use them up. I had also cut the word “Happy” for another project, and didn’t end up using it. It just happened to be the perfect width for the front of a card. I love happy coincidences! I thought the colors of my sentiment and hearts looked great against a white card base, but wanted to add a bit more interest to it. So I cut a few of the circle backgrounds from the Life Additions: Backgrounds kit, and spritzed them with a bit of pink misting spray. I added a few rows of random machine stitching, before layering all of my cut pieces on the card. A few tiny alpha stickers helped complete my sentiment.

And be sure to check back for the ‘previous layout’ that Laura talks about with this card!

Terri Marchbanks - July 23, 2012 - 12:56 pm

Laura, Your card is Fabulous… Just makes me feel so Happy Great job my Friend…hugs

Tove - July 24, 2012 - 8:39 am

So pretty. I’m so glad I found this site, so many great ideas.

rossana - July 24, 2012 - 10:30 am

this card is STUPENDA!! great inspiration

Deb Lucero - August 2, 2012 - 9:37 pm

I love your designs! I could spend $50 in the blink of an eye. I’m from Colorado Springs.

christmas in july

Ho ho hoooooo!!!
It’s Christmas in July with that Miss Nichol!

She’s at it again!
Check out this amazing page she did to showcase all the Christmas photos she gets each year.

[ Shapes | This+That: Winter (ice skates + sled) / This+That: Family (frame + sign post) / This+That: Christmas Past (long ornament) / Here Comes Santa Claus (‘santa parking’ sign) / Christmas Countdown (ornament)

I just looooove how Nichol ‘sets the scene’.
She does it well . . . very well. :)

And I adore the laced up skates!

Here’s what Nichol has to say:

Even though the temperature is 103 degrees this July day, I thought it would be fun to dream of cooler temperatures and celebrate the holidays by creating a little “Christmas in July” layout. I keep an album of all the Christmas photo cards we receive during the holiday season and I still had a few photos that needed a home. Typically I add the names of who’s who in each photo (and I will this time too!) but I ran into a bit of a printer malfunction (aka I ran out of ink and had to order more…boo!). Once I print the names on kraft cardstock, I’ll cut them into strips and lay them over the bottom of each coordinating photo. Nothing fancy, just a nice way to remember and celebrate friends and family every year!

I adore creating die cut “scenes” by mixing and matching shapes from several different kits. I used 8 designs from 5 of Kerri’s kits. I used the photo frame from the This & That Family kit as the “base” of my “scene” by resizing it big. Then I cut the pieces from lots of different Christmas colored papers and added a black die cut “shadow” to each for depth and dimension. Shadowing is my “go-to” technique for giving die cuts that little something extra that really makes them the star of the design. :) To give the ice skates a more realistic look I threaded string through the die cut holes and “laced them up”. Small touches like this really take your die cuts up a notch. White Studio Calico Mister Huey mist on the sign gives it a “snow” look perfect for a winter-themed layout.

If you’d like to see the other layouts in my Christmas Cards from Friends and Family album, click HERE (scroll down for all the page links). I used one of Kerri’s titles on THIS page as well. So versatile and fun!
Jeannie L - July 18, 2012 - 4:41 pm

Nichol never fails to amaze and I always love the details she adds to her layouts.

Shawn Wenrich - July 18, 2012 - 7:24 pm

I love this, what amazing work!

i love white

Going through some things . . . here and there — computer, cleaning office . . . all that.

Came across these pages that I’ve done over the past two or three years.


It’s my fave.

Thought I might share a few favorite ‘white’  blasts from my past today.

[ the text is blurred on account-a it's personal. :) ]

Deb Burroughs - July 17, 2012 - 9:32 am

I’m a big fan of white, too – the majority of my scrapbook pages have white cardstock as the background…

Jane Saxton - July 17, 2012 - 10:17 am

I usually reach for kraft for my background – your layouts ar making me think that I should consider white – at least part of the time! Thanks for sharing and making me think!!

Rhona Stevenson - July 17, 2012 - 11:06 am

I also love white as a background colour. I think it makes the layout look sharp and you can use any colours on it. Love these layouts Kerri x

Kristin O. - July 17, 2012 - 5:36 pm

Thanks for sharing the layouts!!! I was just thinking that even though I love love love your shop (and btw, I think I own just about everything in it!!:) it is great to see your designs in action to get the creative juices flowing! More please!

a dog’s life

For 20+ years we went through life without a pet.

Well, we had an occasional fish or hermit crab given to us, but can you really call that a pet?

The deal was, the kids had to keep their room clean for six months in order to prove they could handle having a dog. Heck, I probably would have settled for six weeks!

Alas, no one could achieve this goal.
And no matter what amount of begging and pleading and bargaining occurred,
the answer was always ‘no’.

Well, about three years ago, while on the family farm, my niece decided that we all needed to raise
a kitten and turn them into farm cats and we wound up with Sam.

Sam is a big fat chicken and barely goes outside, much less turn into a farm animal.
He would die for sure.

(This is Sam taking advantage that the dog now had to start going back outside since spring had arrived. We could finally find him in his usual places for sleeping…on the furniture, on the floor, on the bean bag. He felt like king of his castle again. In other words, they really don’t get along.)

Then two years ago, while on the family farm . . .again, a sweet and lovable stray dog that found his way there, did not move on like most animals do. He was limping and super skinny and because we did not want to risk him getting put to sleep if taken to the shelter, we brought him home.

My kids still say, ‘It’s still so weird that after all this time, we have animals.’

Yeah. I agree.

I love our dog, but I’m definitely more of a cat person.
The dog is suppose to go with whoever moves out . . . whenever that happens. ;)

So, a dog (and a cat) kit has been on my to-do list for quite some time.
Not to mention I’ve gotten it requested many-a times. :)

So now, I present to you, It’s A Dog’s Life.

 [ Comes in SVG/STUDIO/AIv8/DXF/PNG ]

Price: $9


This baby is jam-packed with doggy goodness!
Something for all those memories of your dog, for sure!

 There are 14 unique concepts there with a twist or two on a few of them.
‘Cause y’all know how I love variety. 
So when all is said and done, there’s 19 doggie delights for just $9.

And believe me when I say, I could have gone on and on, but had to stop somewhere.

Okay. I’ve been a good girl. I think I need a ‘treat’ now. :)

Dolly/scrapthat - July 14, 2012 - 6:22 pm

SUPER CUTE Kerri! Makes me wanna adopt a pup! :D

mandyb - July 14, 2012 - 6:36 pm

ohhhhhhhh cute fur baby pics!!!
so are you doing a cat kit sometime soon???

tanya - July 14, 2012 - 11:37 pm

Oh Kerri!! :) Thank you!!! I’ve been very patiently waiting for you to put this one out! I can’t wait to use it! :) I also can’t wait to see what your designers do with it!

Kris - July 15, 2012 - 12:24 pm

Thanks, Kerri!! I have been anxiously waiting for the dog kit…it’s great!!!!

Robin - July 15, 2012 - 8:07 pm

This is awesome and a must have! My wishlist is growing and I think it is time for some shopping! :)

Laura M - July 16, 2012 - 10:32 am

Your pets are ADORABLE!! This kit is great and I can’t wait to see (and buy) the feline version. :)

K in PA - July 16, 2012 - 2:43 pm

Please don’t stop here, Kerri! Permission granted to go on and on for the dogs. More titles and shapes are needed for all of the pampered pooches out there. I know I, for one, would love to see and buy the kit: A Dog’s Life, Part Duex. Carry on for our faithful friends, please!

Sandi Kuhlman - July 17, 2012 - 7:43 am

Oh my Gosh!
You have really hit the nail on the head here. We have 2 Basset Hounds that turn 1 today, and an 11 yo cat. Can’t wait for the cat set as well!!!
Off to purchase! and as always Thanks!

dog training Calgary - July 26, 2012 - 5:04 am

This is really nice that you gave a home to that little dog because every one cannot do that kind of work. Happiness of having a dog can be feel only after having a dog because 8 years ago i also use to hat dogs, but just because of wish of my children i bought a puppy and now without him in our home no one can live without it even me too. so in our life every one should try it for once.

a delightful evening

Last night, the girls and I went to see Singin’ In The Rain. A one-night special event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the movie. We were thrilled when we saw the ad for it when we went to see The Avengers. Otherwise, we probably wouldn’t have known.

All I can say is . . . what a treat.

Makes me want to see more and more classics in the theater. We started naming off a few that we’d like to see–West Side Story, the one Jordan mentioned, would be really cool to see. I don’t necessarily like all the numbers, but it sure has some amaaaazing ones! I can remember seeing The Sound Of Music in the theater when I was a kid–for what I believe would have been a 10th anniversary special. That’s a good one on the big screen too.

Not only was it just fun to see Singin’ In The Rain  on the big screen . . . and hear some interviews and behind-the-scenes, but it was wonderful to see it with an audience.

The laughter.

The applause after the big numbers.

The excitement at seeing something with others who love a good wholesome musical too.

Something that you can see with your kids and know that you don’t have to worry about the one f-word that they feel compelled to throw into a PG-13 movie. Why do they have to do that?

The Golden Era for sure.

I love a good musical. My girls do too.

If you ever have the opportunity to do something like that, I highly recommend it. :)


{dawn} - July 13, 2012 - 9:36 am

I love this movie, too! I saw it on the big screen at Radio City Music Hall on what must have been it’s 25th anniversary – 35 years ago!! Oh my gosh, I am feel so old!

Jackie Kraftchick - July 14, 2012 - 6:31 am

I also love the old classics and, especially the musicals! They just don’t make them like they used to! Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies are some of the very best!

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!


Char - July 14, 2012 - 11:08 am

When I was young I would stay up late and watch the 11:30 movie after the news. I loved Fred & Ginger, and all the big band movies. Would love to see them on the big screen.

photo editing according to moi

First and foremost, I have to say I am no expert in the world of photography and editing. When all is said and done, I actually don’t know squat. Okay, maybe I know a little bit, enough to understand the basics of both photography and editing, but compared to others in the field? Yeah, they’d probably think, ‘that girl doesn’t know jack.’

That’s why I love Actions so much. First of all, I’ll admit it, I’m lazy. Why go through all the steps when a click of a button will do that? This theory of mine goes way back to my WordPerfect days when I would create macros to do what we needed to do in our team. We’re talkin’ twenty years ago, so you can understand where I’m coming from when I say I have the urge to always simplify my process. :)

So I’ve used Photoshop Actions for a few years now and recently bought MCP Actions Lightroom Presets too.

Love ‘em.

Don’t know what I’d do without them.

Can make your photo look awesome with just the click of a button.

But while I could go through and look at what it did . . . um . . . too lazy . . .and why? lol

However, recently I took Erin Cobb’s Clean Color class. Bought it when Karen Russell posted about it being half off (I hope you guys were able to ake advantage of it!). Could not resist the opportunity to grow my skills. After all, ‘grow’ is my ‘one little word’ for the year. I looove looking at Karen’s photos. They look dreamy and beautiful. I want perfect lighting like that in my house. ;)

All I have to say is: loved the class.

For some reason, that editing process resonated with me. I still have yet to go through some of the classes, so I can’t compare the general editing process. But I loved everything she shared. The whys and wherefores. It just totally gave me a better understanding as to what is really going on with some of those Actions and why you would do certain things. Of course, while she simplified only two steps of her process into an Action, I have to say I’d want to put the whole thing into an Action and tweak as needed. ;)

I’m still watching and rewatching the video though. Which is another thing I loved about it. You download it to your hard drive. It’s in my iTunes, so with File Sharing between my computer and devices, I can watch it on my iPad (while it’s on my hard drive). Love that.

As with most things, you can’t retain it all the first time.

So here’s a few things I like when shooting and editing and some favorite things I learned from Erin . . . and maybe even a little bit of the whys. ;)

Shooting RAW vs. JPG

First, I have to say, that I love shooting in RAW. And, if I have the space (I really need a bigger CF card), I much prefer to shoot RAW+JPG so that I can easily share the JPG because most people I know don’t have PS to handle viewing the RAW image. The best way I can explain the difference between the two is to put your two hands out and look at your fingers sticking straight out. Imagine each one contains information about the photo you took–the pinkie has the contrast, the ring finger has the white balance, your middle finger has the exposure and so on. When you shoot in RAW, all of those components are saved in that file individually so when you want to edit it, you’re more or less only editing that one piece of it. Now take your two hands and clasp them together–interlocking your fingers. When saving it as a JPG, all that information is now connected and the file is saved at the best guess that your camera has when assessing the photo. You don’t have as much flexibility to alter the separate components of the information saved in the file. The quality of your photo will decrease more if you are editing a JPG vs. a RAW. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s going to look bad, but the more you make changes to the JPG, the more the quality will change.

So that’s my philosophy on RAW and JPG. What I found fascinating was that Erin says she shoots in JPG. I just assumed that any ‘professional’ photographer always shot in RAW, so I thought that was pretty interesting. And, in fact, in one example she mentions that she can’t fully recover some of the information of the photo (I think it was blown out) because she’d only shot it in JPG. But in RAW, that information is there and you can recover it much easier.

Another thing to note, because your camera is not assessing ‘the best info’ to compress into a JPG when shooting RAW, your image won’t look as enhanced, which is fine because you’re most likely to edit it anyway.

So, food for thought there.

Using Actions vs. Erin’s Process

Like I said, I love editing a photo at the click of a button. However, I loved going through the process of what Erin did. Totally helped me to understand the whys and wherefores of what’s often going on in the Action process. I thought I’d compare Maggie Holmes’ Simple Color Boost action with going through the basics of Erin’s process, and while I didn’t necessarily notice too much of a considerable difference, there was some–particularly with the skin tone. Which is another thing Erin taught–how to get a good skin tone. Love that little nugget of info.

So I thought I’d try it out on some engagement photos I recently took of my nephew and fiance. I don’t know if it’s that much of a difference, however, one thing I see is that I was able to get a truer representation in color with Erin’s process. The Action seems to have more red in it, as can be most notably seen in the face and the color of the jacket.

Of course, this was my very first attempt at the process, so who knows where I will go from here with perfecting it.

The other thing is, because I’d only brought one card and because they had multiple outfits which meant lots more photos, I switched to just shooting in JPG somewhere along the way so that I could make sure I had room. Rarely do I do this, but it was necessary at the time. Like I say, I need a bigger card. ;)

Using the Liquify Tool

This was one of my favorite things I learned in Erin’s class. I know, it probably seems silly to get excited about that. I have always tried to use the Clone tool to modify things, doesn’t always work. But if you notice her booty in the original, I think through a combination of things, it bunched a little funny. So I used the Liquify tool to push it in slightly at the top where his hand in and bring it out slightly at the bottom part of the dress that shows.

The original original was actually more blown out than this one I’m sharing. But using Camera RAW (works with PS), I took the exposure down 1.35 so that I’d have a better base to start with.

And then I had to add my vintage twist to this. I used Seventies (26% Opacity) and Soft & Faded (45% Opacity) from The Pioneer Woman. These are free Actions. Gotta love it when two of my favorite words are found together–free and actions. ;) She also has a Burn action to go around the edges, but in this instance I used one from Totally Rad Actions. More favorite actions, but not free. These were actually the first actions I ever owned. Love ‘em.

A Couple More Action Examples

Here’s a couple that I shared on Facebook. And, gosh darn it, I can’t remember what I did on the one of them between the trains! But I love it. I usually write down what Actions I use or I’ll save the PSD file with the layer combination. But I think in order for me to use the Fresh+Colorful action from The Pioneer Woman, I had to flatten it…so then I lost the layers of what I’d done. Urgh. One day I’ll spend more time on it to see if I can’t recreate it.

So there’s a lesson . . . always write it down . . . right away!

(This one I used the same process as the train one above.)

Okay then. That’s the photo lesson for today. :)

Lorraine M. - July 12, 2012 - 1:57 pm

Fabulous shots! I bought Erin Cobb’s clean color process last year, but then my computer crashed and I haven’t looked into getting it back on. In your first comparison, I love how the clean color process gave the couple such great skin tones. The pic is bright and so natural. Well done!

Issy Scotland - July 12, 2012 - 2:40 pm

Love your photos Kerri! The thing that I LOVE the most are your backgrounds – I so wish I had nice retro petrol pumps (Like the ones in your daughter’s prom date) and those train tracks are just Amazing. Your backgrounds and props just really add that special “oomph” to your shots. I just wish I had interesting stuff like that here in Bonnie Scotland!
I too have been doing Erin’s Clean Colour. I’m slow but getting there on the basics.I just wish I could find a good Photographic class that would help me understand ISO etc. I’ve got a Panasonic Lumix G (Which is like a SLR, and DOES shoot in RAW – but I don’t think it is actually a SLR!- not sure!)I’d love to understand more about Photography. -Any suggestions? Love from Scotland xoxo

Audrey - July 12, 2012 - 4:02 pm

I’ve tried many actions, but after learning Erin Cobb’s Clean Color, I use it on all of my photos with only a few exceptions. I find that I like the Clean Color photos the best.

Beth R - July 13, 2012 - 6:27 am

Your photos are amazing! For not knowing “jack” they are pretty dang good. It always helps to have an adorable subject and those two lovebirds look like they just stepped off a movie set. What beautiful engagement photos. You really have an eye in setting up the shot,your props and outfits are so fun! My favorite is the “Booty Shot” just beautiful.
I have NEVER adjusted a photo other than to crop it. I just dont know how, have never been able to figure it out and just dont think my brain can retain PS or Elements. I have loved photography since I was a teen (35 yrs ago)bought my first Pentax 35 mm film camera when I was 16 and have always taken photos, but I just Do.Not.Understand. the whole concept of editing. If I had a bucket list then learning how to enhance my photos using PS would be on it. Maybe I need to break down and pay for a few classes? I am so afraid I will be wasting my money on something I just dont understand.
Can everyone really learn this stuff?

Kerri - July 14, 2012 - 10:36 am

Beth, I totally think you can learn! But I have to say, Actions make it look like you know what you’re doing. I would say just go get the free ones from The Pioneer Woman and play with those. If you have PSE, you can find the actions for those HERE. Once you start editing with a click of the button, you’ll never go back…even if it’s just a click to enhance the photo. It’s amazing how much it can help brighten a photo and sharpen it.

And yeah, those two…they are theatrical people, can you tell? Makes it such an easier shoot when your subjects have personality. :)

Vicki Boutin - July 25, 2012 - 8:02 am

Kerri….I want to be just like you when I grow up.

Do you us a PC? I bought a MAC and now I have no clue where and how to find and add Actions. I use PSE, too.

Now I need to get some of your Silhouette stuff and add it to my old PC. I have a new Silhouette and looking at your site has me wanting to hook it up and start using it!!!

Kerri - July 25, 2012 - 11:06 am

Vicki girl…you are too cute! I’m emailin’ ya. :)

new kit . . . monthlies!

In case you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a brand new kit in town.

Something to help you add some flair to all your dates . . .
it’d be awesome with Project Life too!

[ Comes in SVG/STUDIO/AIv8/DXF/PNG ]

Price: $7

There’s all twelve months in there.
Go figure. ;)

Beth R. - July 11, 2012 - 1:41 pm

I was trying to hold back until that little tease “Woof” was for sale, but I just have to add this to my collection. So happy your back to designing and pray you have an endless supply of mojo so the designs keep coming !

Kerri - July 12, 2012 - 12:14 pm

Thanks Beth! :)

introducing: simplicities

Last year our little Miss Nichol Magouirk asked me to design a page kit specifically for her for her True Scrap class
. . . which of course was a resounding ‘YES!’

This spring . . . another one was born.

So now, with the release of the a la carte classes with True Scrap (and with Nichol’s permission),
I’m now offering those exclusive kits that you could only find in Nichol’s class right here on my website.

Which now launches a new series called Simplicities.

With Simplicities, you’ll have everything you’ll need to whip up your page.
It’s like ‘Sketch Meets Page Kits’.

The sketch is laid out. The pieces you’ll need are there.
All you’ll need is some patterned cardstock and you are ready to go!

But, of course, you can use any component for any page.

These first two page kits have a photo template (PS/PSE), title, some printables, embellishments and background pieces.

Keeping it simple and quick.
Because, after all, you want to spend more time making the memory than scrapping it, right?

So without further ado,
I bring you . . .

Price: $3

– and –

Price: $4

Each kit comes in the usual assortment: SVG/STUDIO/AIv8/DXF/PNG

Just look for the little pink tag in the store for the Simplicities line.

Kind-a excited about these! :)

Dolly - July 7, 2012 - 12:13 pm

AWESOME Kerri!! I think I will need to review some of your tutorials if I want to go forward on this one…but I DO love both so I’m sure it will be well worth the effort!

Renee G - July 7, 2012 - 5:09 pm

These look really fun, can’t wait to try them. Do you have a tutorial for the subway art? I may have just missed it, thanks.

{dawn} - July 9, 2012 - 7:32 am

Speaking of “the best thing ever”, I just have to say – through your Silhouette classes I. have. learned. so. much!! Seriously, I am not only feeling super creative with my scrapbook layouts, but now I am thinking up other applications for my new-found skills. I have designed a new logo/letterhead for our family business. And, my newest venture, drawing up plans for additions/renovations (which I have done with pencil and paper for so long) with the Sil Designer edition. I know there are CAD programs for this (which are somewhat cumbersome), but I have the Sil at home and the Sil is what I know at the moment, so I am going with it! “Oh, the places you’ll go” is right!

Thanks so much, Kerri!”

Kerri - July 11, 2012 - 3:12 pm

Thanks so much Dawn! It’s totally liberating when you can start doing stuff that you wanna do, isn’t it?
Glad you’re having fun!