Valenties Day Hybrids

So the past week I have been REALLY into creating some hybrid Valentines day projects for the house and found a couple cute ideas I wanted to share! I created them all digitally and printed them out on my computer.

This first one is a playing deck card box that I am printing out and folding for Caulen’s class valentines day projects. You can find a Poker card box online, as a template. I found mine here and made the green lines super light so you can see them enough for folding but you wont be able to see them unless you are really, really up close.  I also sized them down a little smaller so two boxes would fit on my 8.5×11 photo paper so I don’t waste paper and ink. Aside from cutting them out this is a really easy and cute project to do for your kids school parties or other fun gifts you can think of. If you would like the exact template/print out that I used and designed feel free to email me, and I will be more than happy to give it to you for free. :) That way all you have to do is print,fold and cut your way into a cute gift for Valentines Day.


I have tons of photos in frames around my house, and I wanted to create something different so I found that word art in frames works really well together. The best part is that you can change them out with every coordinating season or holiday and have new decorations for only a few cents all the time! This is what I came up with for a Valentines Day word art frame. I found the frames for about 5.00 at Michales, the ribbon was 2.99 for one roll and some Modge Podge to hold the ribbon to the frame.







The last thing I have created, so far, for Valenties Decorations in a”Be Mine” banner. It was really easy to create the template (if you want it for free please email me: that fits onto an 8.5×11 piece of photo paper that you can design and print out on your own. Now I know mine looks light in the photo but in person it came out super cute.








Those are some examples of easy to create projects for your home that you don’t have to spend a ton of money on.


Amy Herzog

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The Retreat Files: Creating A Silhouette In Photoshop

1. Open Photoshop or other photo editing program.

2. Open photo you want to use to create the silhouette. File>Open>Select folder where the photo is located>Open.











3. Click on the Lasso Tool in your toolbox. Right-click to see your options. You can choose either the Polygonal Lasso Tool or the Magnetic Lasso Tool to create your selection.





4. Using your Lasso Tool, move your mouse to carefully select the area on the photo that you want. The “marching ants” will show your selection.

5. Once you’ve made your selection, you will make a copy of that selection. Layer>Duplicate Layer. (Shortcut: Control-J)

6. Now you will clock on the “background” layer in your layers palette, and press DELETE. This will remove the excess part of the photo.

7. To make the silhouette a solid black color click on Hue/Saturation, and move the”Lightness” slider all the way to the left. Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation (Shortcut: Control-U)







8. Now you have your silhouette! You can use your move tool to drag it onto any new project you want and use it in so many fun ways!!

9. To save your silhouette file, you will want to save it as a PNG file. This will allow you to move only the silhouette image (not the background) to different documents and projects.

10. Here are some idea of what you can do with silhouettes:

Do individual head silhouettes, family holding hands, bride and groom kissing, action silhouettes (dancing, jumping in the air, ect)

You can line them up in a row of each family member’s silhouette and frame it. Cards and tags. Use printed out silhouettes as a template to trace out fabric or vinyl to make personalized pillows, put on glass or vases, create personalized jewlery, ect. You can make a family tree just using silhouettes of family members.

Here are some examples of what Brooke Kemp (teacher) came up with for silhouettes:










































Thank you Brooke Kemp for your amazing and simple class!

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The Retreat Files: Double Page Layouts

Do you ever find yourself with a huge amount of photos from certain events or holidays and become overwhelmed with trying to fit all of the “important” ones onto one scrapbook page? In this class we will learn a simple way to perhaps ease some of your frustrations—making a double page layout! A double page spread will allow you a larger yet still cohesive space to fit more of your precious memories! Here are the simple steps.

Step 1: Create a new canvas
There are two main ways you can create a double page layout:

1. As one large canvas (12 x 24 in. or 11×17 in.)
2. As two separate canvases (12×12 in. or 11 x 8.5 in.)

I like to do it on one large canvas just so I can see the whole spread together all at once, like a magazine.

So to start, create a new document. (File > New)









Step 2: Add a guideline to separate the pages (optional)
This step will provide an optional “visual aid” so that you can visualize the two sides of your canvas that will eventually be your two separate layouts. By adding a guideline, it may be easier for you to remember where you will “cut” your layout and help you avoid placing a photo, journaling or any embellishments in the middle that will be chopped in half.

To add a guideline in Photoshop CS4, go to View > New Guide, with the vertical placement at 12 inches.





This is what it’ll look like with the guideline added.

The nice thing is that the guideline won’t show up in your prints, so you won’t have to delete it before printing.

Step 3: Design your layout
Now comes the fun part! Add your papers, photos, embellishments, journaling, etc. to create your amazing layout. Again, I like to avoid placing things in the middle of the canvas because I don’t want things to be chopped in half when printed, but it’s completely up to you in your personal design preferences. However, strips of paper that span the entire canvas or perhaps even large landscape photos would work just fine, just as long as a person’s face isn’t cut in half.  You’ll also want to make sure that your journaling isn’t too close to that middle line, because you don’t want anything to be cropped off in printing.

Step 4: Save your project and prepare for printing
When your double page layout is complete, first save the entire project as a layered .psd or .tiff file, just so you can go back and make changes later or use it as a template for another project. Also, this will “protect” the file from any changes you will make when preparing for printing or posting in galleries.
Next, we’ll prepare for printing by flattening the layout. (Layer > Flatten image)

Then you’ll want to separate your pages by using the crop tool. In the options bar at the top, type the dimensions for the page. For example, type in 12 inches by 12 inches with 300 resolution.

To crop, start in the left corner, then click and drag out the crop lines until the whole left side of the canvas is selected. Hit enter or the check mark to confirm crop.


After cropping, save the left 12×12 layout as a JPEG and it is ready to print! Then undo the crop and do the same thing for the right side of the canvas, and save it as a JPEG.
Now you can send your layouts to your favorite printer or online publisher.

Special Thanks to Brooke Kemp for teaching our class on Double Page Layouts!

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February 30 Day Photography Challenge

This challenge is going to be so much fun. We are starting February 1, 2012.  Anyone and everyone can participate and I urge you to come join in the fun!! Details and questions can be found here.

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Family History Expo Review

Whew, our first show in almost a year! To my surprise everything went so well. I think I forgot how much I missed doing shows until I am  thrown back into them.

I flew out to Arizona for the Mesa Family History Expo in Mesa, AZ. To my surprise there were less vendors than last years shows, but there was no shortage of people. I think my favorite part of doing Expo’s is meeting all the new people and showing them how exciting and amazing digital scrapbooking is. I don’t think a lot of people know how cost efficient digital scrapbooking is over traditional scrapbooking ( if you want to find out how it saves you money, email me:  Every show new people come to our booth and wonder what digital scrapbooking is. After talking to them and figuring out what they want and what they are looking for I am able to get them really excited about jumping into the world of digital scrapbooking. There were a lot of people who asked questions first and came back the second day with the decision to invest in digital scrapbooking. Over selling our graphics, the most important thing to me is to see how excited a person gets over digital scrapbooking. I love people getting into the digi world and starting to see how amazing and fun it is. They then see how and why I do what I do and am so passionate about sharing it with everyone.

Back to the show, lol. Everything, like I said before, went so well. I met a lot of new people and made some new friends and saw some old faces from the show last year. I had several people so excited about digital scrapbooking that they are blogging about our company. Isn’t that so cool?! I am hoping to see a lot of them on the message board to share their new layouts and ask lots of questions. We visited with our friends from Heritage Collectors, Marlo and his wife, and got the latest on their products and vice versa. I caught myself taking breaks while everyone was in classes to go out and enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. Utah, as most of us know, is not the warmest in January so I soaked up as much of the sunshine and warmth as I could.

I can’t wait for the Roots Tech Expo at the Salt Palace Convention Center in two weeks. I hope some of you can  make it out to come and visit me and check out our new products. This show is MASSIVE and contains over 150 vendors from all over the country. Last year was their first year doing the expo and I am very proud to be a part of it again. We were very successful at the last show and I am crossing my fingers that this show will go even better.  Check the blog in a few weeks to get a review of the Roots Tech show. This time I will not forget my camera so I can show everyone how much fun it is!!

Much love,

Amy Herzog

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