Blending and Shadowing for Soft Effects

September 6th, 2014

Aloha! Natacha here, surfing around … This is my first post in the tutorial area for Jen Allyson Digital Designs, and I’m happy to share some little tips for you to enjoy. I love blending papers and adding subtle shadows – and these techniques work really well with the soft color palettes in some of Jen’s kits. Below is a layout that shows examples of these techniques (kit credits are listed under the layout, in case you want to grab anything):

JenAllison CT-Solysombra - arradon

Credits: all by Jen Allyson Digital Design



Here is a great way to blend two papers. Start by choosing two papers with a similar color palette and intensity or depth of color. Insert a transparent layer between them and then follow these steps –

  1. Select the first paper layer and click Control+G to associate the transparent layer. You’ll know when this is done correctly when the second layer indents or shifts to the right in the layers palette.
  2. Select the second layer (transparent) and then select the Gradient Tool from your toolbox.
  3. Select white and transparent gradient.
  4. Click at the top of your layer and drag a line straight down to the bottom.

That’s it!  You now have the blended papers, going top to bottom on your layout. The gradient tool serves as a way to (essentially) hide part of one paper and reveal pieces of another. For something a little different, you can also go side to side with the blending, or even diagonally.

Jen CT - Solysombra-tuto1b


And now, quick and easy shadowing

  1. First, choose one of your favorite stamps (particularly love Jen’s Vanity Fair collections …).
  2. Insert a white paper as the layer immediately above your stamp layer.
  3. Click Control+G to associate white paper and stamp layer. Once again, the associated layer should shift to the right.
  4. Select the stamp layer and apply a shadow effect by clicking on the small “fx” button on the far right of the layer information.
  5. Choose small size for the shadow (only a few pixels) and change the color of your shadow. When you click on the color box, a pop-up window with the color options will appear.
  6. Select a color that will give you some transparency, like a light grey or brown.

Once again, that’s all there is to it. Adding shadows to brushes and stamps can give you a whole new way of using these items in your stash – and make your digital dollar go further.

Jen CT - Solysombra -tuto1a

Can’t wait to see what you come up with.


The Project House Links

September 5th, 2014

My original Project House was featured today on Southern Hospitality, thanks for the feature, and thanks for clicking over if you came from there. I just wanted to give you a few links so you can easily find some great photos!

Here’s my most popular Before/After post. This house really was grimy, grungy, and stinky when we got ahold of it.


And be sure to check out ALL of our BEFORE PHOTOS!

 The New house that we are working on can be found under the Canyon View House Category.


 My Husband builds all of our furniture and cabinetry (except the antique pieces). He wrote a post about DIY cabinetry:


I’m obsessive about finding deals and renovating on the cheap, but my renovations never look cheap! Here’s an article I wrote about saving money on your renovation projects:


People always ask about my Paint Colors, So I wrote a post about that too.


And I just have to share this photo – because if we could take this kitchen:


And turn it into this kitchen:

kitchen-instagramThen really, the possibilities are endless!

Here are some more links you might like about our kitchen:

Kitchen reveal part 3

Kitchen reveal pt. 2

Picking a Marble Slab

Kitchen update – install 2

Kitchen Reveal

Cherry Countertops

Kitchen Cabinets Painted 1

Kitchen update

Kitchen update – install 1

Move-in Kitchen

Kitchen Plans2

Kitchen Plans 1


And a few more from other areas of the house:

Project House Mantel* Reveal

Guest bathroom

Master Bathroom Reveal!

Laundry Room *finished*

The Project House (house tour)

The Project House BEFORE PHOTOS


And if you’re still with me, I would love you to:

Big Craft Giveaway – Washi Tape

September 5th, 2014


A Washi Tape giveaway today on my blog PLUS… I’m adding a “GRAB BAG” to this giveaway – could be some of my fabric, paper, maybe a few 6×6 pads… you’ll just have to enter and see if you win, but that’s not all… there’s more! This is part of a BIG crafty giveaway with 15 other bloggers, each with their own awesome giveaways!

Some of us are giving away our extra supplies to make room for more, and some are giving away gift cards! You just need to click on their pictures below to get to all of the other fabulous giveaways…but be sure to enter the Rafflecopter for MY GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Enter here to win my Washi Tape and GRAB BAG. All you have to do to ENTER TO WIN is use the Rafflecopter below….and then make sure to go to the other 15 blogs below and enter the giveaway posted there as well. In one week we will all be picking a winner from each of our sites….so make sure to head over and enter them all!  Must live in the U.S. to be eligible to win. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post to see my other current giveaway and sale!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Who doesn’t want adorable washi tape?? And here are the other bloggers, click on their images to see what each of them is giving away:



Also there is still a few days left to enter my Cricut Explore Giveaway:


And TODAY through SUNDAY ONLY (Friday, Sept 5th, 2014 – Sunday Sept 6th) I’m having a flash sale on my Etsy shop. Art Prints are By One Get One Free – including my GOLD FOIL prints!


If you’ve gotten this far, you should totally follow me on Instagram too!