School Days Freebie!

Ready for a freebie?

My School Days kits are slowly coming together (much more slowly than I had hoped, thanks to a busy work and home schedule, but such is life!), and I’m trying to release at least one new kit a week until they’re all posted. Watch my Etsy Shop for new releases, and I’ll post them here when they’re up and going, too!

In the meantime, enjoy this little freebie! (Download here.)

Pixels and Pix Digital Design, School Days, Crayons Freebie

This set of eight crayons coordinates with the School Days series and is perfect for embellishing those layouts for elementary school students, preschool kids, artsy types, day care experiences and more! Have fun! And if you use them on a layout you post later online in a gallery, on your blog or on Facebook, please drop me a note in the comments section so I can see your lovely work! 🙂

Also, I posted my Lines and Ledgers Plain and Simple Paper Pack in Etsy recently. Check it out here.

School Days Lines and Ledgers, Plain and Simple

Happy scrapping!

School Days is now for sale!

Hello, all!

I’m excited to share that my first three kits in my School Days series are finally for sale! Due to no longer supporting the sale of digital products, I have opened an Etsy shoppe and hope you’ll hop on over to pick up my newest products.

Here is what’s available:

Primary Elements Pack

School Days Primary Elements Pack, Pixels and Pix Digital Design

Buy it now for just $4!

Primary Paper Pack

School Days Primary Papers Pack, Pixels and Pix Digital Design by Corie Farnsley

Buy it now for just $6. (Typically, my paper packs will not be $6, but this one is chock full of 43 papers! If you were buying them in a scrapbook store, they would cost you more than $20!)

Grade Titles Add-on Pack

School Days Grade Titles Add-on Pack, Pixels and PIx Digital Design by Corie Farnsley

Buy it now for just $2!

We’re getting closer!

Oh, it’s so close! I am wrapping up the final steps to preparing my School Days series of kits for release very soon! I have encountered another speed bump (finding out Lulu is definitively not hosting any more digital items for sale as of October) and am working on opening an shop as another method for selling my kits, so that’s taking a little time as well. But things are moving along, and we’ll be up and ready for sale soon!

In the meantime, take a sneak peek at a few of the kits I have packaged and ready to go. I am still working on packaging some variations of these kits, so there will be more to come soon, but these will give you an idea of the kinds of kits that will be coming!

School Days Primary Papers

This will be the primary paper pack. While there will be additional paper packs that contain variations of these papers in different tints and shades of the color scheme, this will be the main kit and will contain the most papers. (Again, this is a preview only! It will be for sale soon!)

School Days Lines and Ledgers, Plain and Simple

School Days, Lines and Ledgers, Textures

The Lines & Ledgers packs are perhaps my favorites!

School Days, Grade titles

This is the main titles kit, but there will also be another word-art kit with similar titles that include things like “fall school photo,” “teacher,” “field trip” and more.

Well, that gives you a taste of what’s to come! If you want an earlier sneak peek at products in the future, be sure to like my Facebook page!

Hope your kiddos are off to a great start this school year!

Sometimes I need a little kick in the head…

Yes, sometimes I do. And sometimes God has a way of doing just that — knocking me upside the head when I need a reality check. The last half of July and the first half of August have flown by in a blur as I have been dealing with some heavy-duty family stuff (plus a little light-hearted family vacation, which was pleasant but not particularly productive!). Digital scrapbooking (as much as I totally love it) needed to take a back seat for a while, and thus, I unintentionally fibbed by promising I’d have my School Days kit ready in time for going back to school. (Our kiddos start tomorrow. Yours might have already started??) Anyway, it’s one of my priorities for this week, so hold tight for me, if you will, please. It’s coming.

In the meantime, enjoy a little freebie, an alphabet border perfect for those back-to-school pages. (Click here to download the 12″ version. If you click on the image below, you’ll get a tiny version.)

School Days border - alpha overlap black

School Days kit really is coming soon!

I know I’ve been chatting about my School Days kit “coming soon” for quite a while now. The truth is, I lost my energy for design for a few weeks and just needed a break. The good news is, last night I stayed up late and worked on my new kit for a few hours. It’s getting exciting again, so I know it’s time I finish this up and release it ASAP! 🙂 I hope you love it.

Here is a layout (not school-related) I created a week or so ago using some of the papers I had finished to date. I needed to play with them and see if everything would come together like I wanted them to. I was a little concerned that the papers were too grungy for a school days theme, and I was worried about having to start all over with them. But now that I’m back in my groove, I have decided I like them. 🙂 I hope you do too.

Paper airplanes and rainbows for sale

So stay tuned. School Days (the kit) will be release in time for your little ones to return to school.


  • All papers: School Days by Pixels and Pix Digital Design by Corie Farnsley (coming soon!)
  • Fonts: CK Stars and CK Newsclips (title), Myraid Pro (journaling)

From screen to scrapbook: Part 2 (hardbound books)

(Warning up front: This is a long post, so if you want to jump to the meat of it – comparing three digital hardbound book printers – click here!)

hardbound books

This is definitely one of my favorite things about digital scrapbooking: Printing all of my layouts together in a hardbound, coffee-table-quality book. I actually just recently received my third hardbound book, and I was giddy with excitement when the UPS man dropped it at my doorstep!

Getting your finished layouts from screen to scrapbook is easier than you might think. It’s simply a matter of organizing all of those finished layouts in a way that makes sense for an album, then uploading those photos like you would any other photo to an online photo developer who offers photo book printing.

For me, organizing my layouts for a hardbound book means I need a beginning and an end for my layouts, and because I don’t generally scrapbook my “everyday” layouts in chronological order, the best topics for hardbound books tend to be theme albums. My three hardbound books include a memorial album for my grandmother, a wedding album and a vacation album. Each had a definite beginning and end, and I knew when I was done scrapping these topics. (This is unlike my normal albums; for example, I still might go back and do a page from my son’s first year, even though he’s now 9 years old, just because the mood strikes.)


It’s easiest for me to organize my layouts before I try to create an album online. This means combining all of my JPGs for the album into one folder on my computer, then naming each file, starting with the number corresponding with the page I want the layout to occupy in the book. (Don’t forget to name the low-end numbers with zeroes in front to keep pages in alpha-numerical order. So, for that first layout of the book, name it something like “01 – cover.” Otherwise, your files will be ordered with page 1 right before page 11, page 2 right before 22 and so on.) This way, your layouts will be organized in your folder in numerical order, so you can see exactly how they will fall in your printed book. If you scrapbook in two-page spreads, you’ll want to chart out your layouts on paper so you know your two-page layouts won’t get separated into two separate spreads.

So, for the wedding album I did, I might chart something like this:

Page Number File Name
Cover 01 – cover.jpg
Pages 2-3 (spread) 02-03 – title and introduction.jpg
Pages 4 -5 (spread) 04-05 – bride and groom formal.jpg
Page 6 06 – invitation.jpg
Page 7 07 – location.jpg

The added benefit to this numerical file-naming is that when you upload your layouts into your photo book printer’s online software, they will load in the order you want them to be placed in the book, so you avoid fishing through all of your layouts to get them in order at that time. And at the time when you’re uploading everything, you’re just ready to be done, so anything that makes it faster at that point is worth it, right?

Choosing an online printer

One of the benefits of digital scrapbooking (and the simpler, even more popular photobooking) becoming more popular over time is that there are now several options for choosing a company to print your photo book/digital scrapbook. When I started digital scrapbooking in 2006, I only knew of a couple of printers that offered hardbound, coffee-table-style books for digital layouts. Now the options are much greater, but taking the time to decide who will do the best job for your special project can be a little overwhelming.

But it pays to do your research.

My experience has been that you get what you pay for. I’ll share my specific experiences with three different printers, but keep in mind that these are simply one consumer’s experiences. Take my advice with a grain of salt, and know that not everyone will experience the same challenges. Also keep in mind that I printed these three books over a period of time that spans several years, and things change (often for the better) over time.

Here are the three companies I used and my opinions about each.

Heritage Makers.

Heritage Makers

I printed my first book with Heritage Makers in 2006. They did an awesome job. The page thickness and color accuracy were high-quality. I paid about $75 for an 80-page, 12×12 book. (Note, though, that when I recently looked into printing from them again, the price had increased quite a bit.) They didn’t offer a custom spine at the time, but I believe they do now. It was a little bit cumbersome (OK, a bit of a pain) to have to make contact with and order my product through a consultant before I could do anything online, but that would be my only complaint. All in all, I loved this book, and it has held up nicely over time. I would recommend this printer to friends without hesitation.



OK, this is where I hesitate a bit. I printed with Blurb in 2007, I believe (or early 2008 at latest). I printed a small book, 7×7, and I have to say that I was a little disappointed in the quality. The color, specifically the reds, was not quite right, leaving some pages oddly tinted, which was sometimes most noticeable on tan faces. At the time, Blurb did not offer a custom cover, so I ordered a custom dust jacket on their standard album. The dust jacket was not folded on center, so the spine text was not centered on the spine, and the cover images were not centered. There were several small globs of glue on the back cover that were not noticeable when the dust jacket is in place, but when the cover is removed to make looking at the book less clumsy, are rather noticeable. The pages are a little thinner and seem to be bound a little less sturdily than Heritage Makers’ product (a look at the top of the album shows that the pages were cut at an odd angle), and the images inside were not super-crisp, either. The price was hard or impossible to beat (just about $35, I think, for a 74-page album), but I was left a little disappointed in the end. I will say, however, that I believe they now offer a custom cover, and I imagine that over time their color issues have improved. However, I have been nervous to try this printer again. (If you have used Blurb for a photo book/digital scrapbook and have had a better experience, please leave a comment below so we can share that with everyone!)



The most recent book I did was through Shutterfly. I chose a padded cover for a 12×12 book that had 100 pages, and I absolutely love the feel of the padding. The book feels substantial and very high-quality. The pages are super-thick, and the quality of the color and pages is overall very high-quality. I will say that if you design your own pages in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (rather than use Shutterfly’s page-design software), you might choose to turn off the aut0-correct color feature. Mine had a dark gray, lightly patterned background on all pages that turned out black in the final product as a result of the color-correction process. The price of the book was a bit expensive ($120-ish, on sale), but then, when I was researching printing this time around, price hikes were across the board. Shutterfly’s sale brought its prices down to one of the most reasonable of the printers I had researched. (I’ll share more info about that research in another post soon.)

While I was very happy with the overall quality of my book through Shutterfly, I will say that I had two big issues with the printing. First, the title on the spine was truncated. So, while the title was supposed to be “Colorado 2010: A family vacation,” all that printed was “Colorado 2010: A famil.” And page 15 was blank, even though there was definitely a page uploaded and placed in the original layout online. I double-checked my online proof, and both of these issues turned out to be Shutterfly’s mistakes. After a call to customer service, though, I am happy to report that they are reprinting the books for free. I had ordered two copies – one as a gift and one for myself – and they are printing and shipping both at no cost. So in the end, I’m a happy camper, even though I will be waiting for a “good” copy for some time.


From top: Blurb, Heritage Makers, Shutterfly


From top: Blurb, Heritage Makers, Shutterfly

And that’s a wrap!

That’s an overview. I could talk about this all day, but I imagine my wordiness has led some people to move on by now! Just wanted to share my experiences. I would love to hear if you have printed hardbound books yourself and what your experiences have been like. We can all learn from each others’ experiences, and hopefully we will be more prepared to make educated choices for our next album printings!

Oh, and watch for a post in the near future detailing my research (page counts, costs, options, etc.) on several photo book printers!

Sneak Peek at my upcoming School Days kit!

I am tirelessly working on my upcoming School Days kit and can’t wait to unveil the final product! In the meantime, I’m playing around with some of the papers I have created for the kit, just to see how they work together, what else is needed, etc. You saw one layout on the Disney challenge post. Here’s another.

funny faces

As you can see, the colors for the upcoming kit are bright and bold…just right for layouts about elementary-school-age kids!

Fonts: Adobe Fangsong Std (journaling), Avenir Heavy (photo captions), You are Loved (title)

Papers: From my upcoming School Days kit. Stay tuned!

50% off sale!

Well, decided that it is going to discontinue my digital products soon, so I am offering a 50% off sale of all Graphic Nature products as well as Template #2! Buy them soon, or they might be gone for good! Click on any of the products below to purchase.

Template #2 by Pixels and Pix Digital Design
Template 02 - 5 pix


Graphic Nature Mega Pack
Mega Pack
Graphic Nature Paper Pack
Graphic Nature Paper Pack
Graphic Nature Element Pack 1
Element Pack 1
Graphic Nature Element Pack 2
Element Pack 2
Graphic Nature Element Pack 3
Element Pack 3

Also don’t forget to grab the FREE template!

Free digital scrapbooking template from Pixels and Pix Digital Design
Template 01

P.S. Lulu is one of the only e-vendors that allows an instant download for customers who purchase my products. So while I continue to look for alternatives to Lulu for hosting my products in the future, be aware that there is a possibility they will no longer be available for immediate download. You will likely have to purchase my products through Paypal, then wait for me to respond to you by e-mail and send you the download link. Sort of stinks…but you can blame Lulu for that!:-) In the meantime, several newbie digital designers and I are looking for alternative options as we begin to build an audience for our products. Stay tuned. We’ll come up with something, I’m sure!

A Disney page – and a challenge if you’re up for it!

Of all the time I’ve been digital scrapbooking, I’ve honestly never taken time to do any organized online scrapbooking challenges — until today!

A friend of mine from high school has recently opened a blog based on digital scrapbooking (check it out here: It’s Just Meejay Designs) and has a challenge running now through June 26. The challenge is to scraplift her layout …

We're Here by Just Meejay Design

… with some Disney World photos and post it into the MouseScrappers forum (check out that link for the complete rules). As a reward, she’ll give you this super-cute Donald Duck-theme mini kit!

Ah Phooey kit by Just Meejay Designs

I absolutely love the alpha and numbers in this kit (oh, and that cool craft-colored paper…oh, and those fluffy, stitched stars…so fun!), and I’m looking forward to receiving it! So, I just finished my scraplift layout. (Remember that scraplifting just means you take something – the idea, layout, color scheme, photo themes, elements, etc., – whatever floats your boat – and apply it to a layout of your own. In this case, I loved the overall balance of the layout, the journaling on the left, title on the right, stitching around the journaling block and the cluster at the bottom right. I also love the photo!)

Disney World digital scrapbook layout

Please contribute to Jaime’s challenge! If you do, post a link to the MouseScrappers page where you posted your scraplift layout in my comments section here, and I’ll also send you a freebie (shown below)! Just don’t forget to follow the challenge rules so you can get Jaime’s kit! You want it; you know you do! And don’t forget to check out her blog, too!

Freebie for Disney challenge

Happy scrapping!

Sources for my layout:

  • Fonts: Walt Disney Script (title, date and first line of journaling); Zolano Serif (journaling)
  • All papers and elements are from my upcoming School Days kit. Stay tuned!

Sources for Jaime’s layout are found here.

Happy Father’s Day!

Just wanted to say a quick “happy Father’s Day” to the two most important dads in my life – my own dad and the dad to my kiddos! I love you both very much!

I realize I need to make a page specifically about my dad! Since I don’t have one handy, here’s one from my recently-completed Colorado book. I’ll have to share that album soon.

Hope you all have a great Father’s Day! If your dad is nearby, give him a hug today! (Mine’s 1,400 miles away, so our hug will have to wait!)