Friday, December 28, 2012

Photo Mask AKA Clipping Mask Tutorial

People ask me all the time how to use Photo Masks, also known as clipping masks. No idea what I am talking about? Here are some examples.  (tutorial below)

Instructions are for use in photoshop and photoshop elements.
Step 1. Open your document.
Step 2. Open the photo mask you want and drag it to your main document
Step 3. Open your picture and drag it to the main document.
Step 4. In the layers menu make sure your layers look something like this with your picture above the photo mask:

Step 5. With your picture selected hold down your Alt key and hover between your photo and photo mask in the layers menu. When the cursor changes to an image that looks like an open circle on top of a filled circle CLICK. 
Step 6. Your photo should now be clipped to the shape of the photo mask.
Brilliant huh? I love this feature. It was like turning on a light bulb in a pitch black room when I learned how to use these. Hope you love your new knowledge too! 

Isn't that pink marshmallow cute too? And yes, the contraption in the background IS a medieval catapult called a case you were wondering. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Today's total

$64.25 was the total for today's sales. Thank you for everyone who donated!!! I hope across the country enough people will donate to the Sandy Hook families so none of the families will have any expenses due to the loss of their sweet loved ones. They have enough to worry about.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Proceeds going to Sandy Hook Elementary

Just letting you know that ALL 100% of the proceeds from my shop on Wednesday, December 19th will go to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

My deepest sympathies go out to family, friends, classmates, teachers and really the nation because we are all so deeply affected by this tragedy.

Visit my shop at

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays despite this horrific event. May God bless all of your hearts with peace and comfort.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Generosity Project

We went on a 14 hour car drive last week to take the kiddos up to see my folks for Thanksgiving. It was nice. I haven't been "home" for the holidays for 10 years. While I was waiting to get one of the best sandwiches ever in the poe-dunk town I grew up in I noticed a little giving tree overflowing with needs. I started looking at them and noticed how many of the children needed all the necessities--socks, underwear, shoes, boots (it is a pretty harsh climate), coat, shirt, pants, and some listed a single toy.

I remember going to school with kids who wore the same outfit every single day--and they smelled like it too. We drove around and noticed the houses or mere shacks that were often missing windows, had dilapidated roofs and may or may not have had running water and electricity. We also noticed a few toys and realized their were kids living inside.

As I was looking through the ads before Black Friday I noticed some things that were great deals that I wanted and was starting to put these items on my mental wish list. I started to feel guilty as I thought about all of the kids in this one community who would probably go without. There were so many names on that one tree and I found out all of the names aren't taken every year. How would that feel to be left out? Forgotten? Cold?

I was talking with some people and they said they wished they could do more to help these kids but they couldn't and I didn't say this out loud but I am now, "Why can't you do more?"

Since we left, I've been thinking more and more about what we can do without this Christmas and throughout the year so that we will have more to give. What good is it to be celebrating our Savior's birth around a cozy fire and nice things when a child is sitting in the cold probably counting down the days till they are back in school with a school lunch in their belly?

This Christmas season I'm going to forgo the little extras, the little niceties that really just waste money and take up more time. I'm going to bake a few less of our traditional treats and spend that time reading stories to my kids and playing ponies with them. I'm going to wish the people I forgot to get gifts for (happens every year) a Merry Christmas via text or a phone call instead of rushing out and getting a guilty gift and seeing too many great deals and purchasing those too. Next year I'm going to look for deals on clothing to buy for these kids so my money can go farther. I'm not going to give as much in my comfortable, affluent suburbia community where the wish lists hardly ever list clothes but several toys. Instead I'm going to look further for those who need it most.

We already cut back a lot in our family the last few years. Our kids just get 3 gifts--symbolic of the Savior receiving 3 gifts from the wise men. Next year I am going to find ways to cut back even more throughout the year on everything. Each purchase I make will have a heavier weight--do I really need this or can I use my money instead to help a child?

So the question is "Who's with me?"

If you want to join me in this Generosity Project then please feel free to comment what you and/or your family will do without so you are better able to give to those in your own communities. Feel free to be anonymous if you wish. Come back often. I hope this helps you to have greater peace and happiness in your life to live with a little less and give even more.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Joy to the World Freebie & Neighbor Gift ideas

November was supposed to be my slow month. I was going to relax--which is almost unheard of for me. But....I got roped into a few more obligations. They have been awesome but I am looking forward to them being done too. :)

For a Relief Society (church) event I made a bunch of neighbor gifts to give people ideas (even though my neighbor gifts have been done for months!) :)

Click here to download the 4x6 freebie of the below picture

I saw these reindeer and snowman at here and here respectively. Of course I had to do mine with felt instead of wood cutouts for the noses. (i have a slight felt addiction)

Photo props. LOVE these! So excited to give these away and use my set. I used oatmeal containers and lazily taped on some scrapbook paper. Got dowel sticks precut at walmart (the hubby was happy he didn't have to cut them) and hot glued on the shapes. I printed off bow ties that you can find in my shop (and laminated them because I'm also addicted to laminating), and cut out mustaches, a monacle, and lips out of felt and foam. I used regular felt and then stiffened it myself with equal parts water and glue. I won't say that I wouldn't do that method again but it would have been nice using pre-stiffened felt. I'm glad I didn't have to pay for such pre-stiffened felt though. :)

Click here to download the jpg file (for free) of the shapes to cutout your own stuff.

I LOVE the idea of sending a game to encourage some family time. I can't wait to play this one with my kids. Find it here. I simply laminated. I didn't see the need to spend way more time and money to make it marginally cuter.

Magnets. I know I should have cropped these pictures but alas I am running out of time and eating pumpkin roll and playing dungeon siege II with the hubby sounds way more fun. :)
I saw these fun magnets and decided to do my own Christmas versions--of course out of felt. They came together super quick one afternoon while I was doing my mom duties. Start to finish I made 16 in one afternoon while the kiddos were awake.  

I hope you found a fun idea here. Less than a week till I eat turkey! Woohoo!!! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Yes, I'm still here

I haven't posted for a while. I have a super awesome list of all sorts of things I would love to blog about but it has been crazy. The baby was sick and teething for about 3 weeks and then I taught preschool, did my 2nd Crafting for Charity event, taught some classes and we had  a birthday party and other craziness mixed in between. I'm trying to reorganize some things and trying to design in spare minutes. Not sure when I will post something super awesome but hopefully soon. Don't give up on me. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Gift Code Offer

I will be offering $5 gift codes to my shop for layouts using my products that I choose to put on this blog and in my shops. That seemed like a complicated sentence. Lets break it down:

  • Send me jpgs of something you've designed/made using my products 
    • Send to prettifuldesigns at gmail dot com
    • Can be scrapbooking layouts, invitations, cards, wood crafts, t-shirts, etc. 
    • You must be willing to let me use your pictures on my blog and in my shops.
    • You must own the rights to the pictures - if including someone's photo you must have permission for me to use it.
    • Submission Deadline October 15th
  • I will pick my favorites. If I Super Duper Love, LOVE, L.O.V.E. your stuff I will give a $10 credit!
  • I will post my favorites on my blog and in my shop.
    • I will give you whatever credit you want (name, blog, facebook, shop, etc).
    • Others will get inspiration and create and we'll all be happy.
***Note -- Sending me a design does not mean you will get a gift code. I will be choosing my favorites. I'm not setting a limit. I'm not sure what it is exactly I'm looking for but when I see it I'll know. Please keep this in mind if you don't get selected. I may do this again too and you could always try next time. 

I will pick October 17th and will notify by the 19th.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

FREE Halloween Bucket List Printable

I am so excited to share this Halloween Bucket List printable with you. 
Click HERE to download for FREE

Love it and want to support me? Just click on the picture above to purchase. 

Just print,(laminate if you want) and check off each time you complete one of the items. 



Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Fun Experiment for your Spouse

I had a random idea yesterday. I went to a church meeting last night and I remembered a story I heard a few years ago about the man conducting the meeting. His wife has some sort of chronic illness and she can't do much at all for herself. He does a lot for her including her hair and her make-up EVERY DAY. He does a pretty good job at it to. :) When he talks about his wife you can tell how much he loves her! I so strongly believe that he loves her so much because he serves her.

I decided last night to serve my husband in some of the same ways this man serves his wife. I told my husband I was going to do something random the next day to show him I love him. I also told him to not expect the world because we have 3 kids AND  we are still catching up from having the stomach flu all week.

This morning I slapped some hand cuffs on my husband and told him he couldn't use his hands and I was going to get him ready for church (he went and I stayed home with the kids because we are probably still contagious and we absolutely don't want to share!).

For the next hour (it did take a while) I got him ready. I bathed him, dressed him, did his hair, brushed his teeth, shaved his face, put on his socks and shoes and brushed the lint off his suit.

It may seem like a weird or non-important thing to do but by the end his face was really beaming. We had to communicate about things we never have before as I asked him how to do his hair and if I was hurting him while shaving etc.

When he left for church he said he wanted to do that for me sometime and I can't wait.

If you want to do this, hint at it the night before. I think this really helped and had him wondering what on earth I would do to him the next day. Also, make sure you do it on a day when you have time as it did take a while. It also doesn't have to be getting him/her ready. You could feed them a meal or something else.

I hope you'll try this and that you have amazing results. Let me know how it goes! :)

Monday, September 10, 2012


Good morning, Mom!  It's Monday!!
Like most people's homes, things have been pretty crazy around here.  Even more so than usual.  To sum up:  car died-as in DEAD, dryer broke, vacuum broke, I have morning sickness the worst EVER 24/7, lost my wedding ring...pretty much a country song!  I keep telling myself to breathe and calm down.  I do deep breathing often to slow my heart.  BUT.  I have discovered a secret all purpose de-stresser!!  Talking one night, my husband and I came up with a plan that has changed our perspective.  Once a week, we sit down (in the evening when the kids are in bed and it's finally QUIET,) and have a talk.  We list on a piece of paper all the things that stress us out.  (One column for each of us.)  Underneath we write what we can do about each item.  The deal is to do all the things we CAN do, and then forget much as possible.  HOLY COW, you guys, this has been amazing.  Some of the things that were bothering me I didn't want to bring up at first because I didn't want to stress my husband any more than a father of almost 7 should be already.  It created a really safe, non-confrontational venue to discuss hard topics.  Now we share burdens and work on them together.  Often times the only thing we can do is pray.  But it's enough to know we are truly doing all we CAN do.  I know we're not the first to try this, but I'm so excited about it, I had to share it.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ice Cream Will Never Be The Same Again

Dedra here. Big things have been happening in my household lately. No, I'm not the one pregnant--Michelle is. :) Just making sure we are all clear on that one! :)

I've been exhausted with everything lately. My husband's work still hasn't improved. We aren't too far from the end of our rope. Still can't buy the house that we walked through 15 months ago but we are still trying!!! Half of our things have been packed up for almost 2 years and I have had enough. I have been unpacking, reorganizing, throwing even more things away and giving boxes of stuff to charities. I'm hoping to be done by the end of next week and hopefully I will be able to blog more and design more with a box-less and more organized home.

The oldest started preschool this week. Little sister got to tag along too. We are doing a "Joy School" type of thing where each mom takes a week. It's pretty low key which is what I was looking for. It is good but sad at the same time. The oldest also lost a tooth last week. Crazy! She got her first two teeth before 4 months so it is expected but still crazy to see her toothless.

NOW on to the reason you're here: 
Ice Cream Goodness

I made some yummy desserts to take to a dinner party. I was going to look at pinterest but the idea just came into my head and it sounded to yummy to ignore! I was soooo right.
Its like an individual ice cream pie with some twists. 

I started with a suped up graham cracker crust topped with chocolate chips. Bake.

Then comes ice cream.

  Top with whipped cream and candy bars. I used Reese's Fastbreak (my favorite), Kit Kat, Reese's and York (not my favorite combination but one of the kids was super excited for the York so it was definitely worth it!)

Here's the real instructions:

Graham Cracker Crust:
12 full graham crackers
1/2 c. sugar
3 shakes cinnamon (the secret weapon)
6 T butter (the real goodness!)
1 t. water

Put graham crackers, sugar and cinnamon in a food processor OR how I did it: place in ziploc bag and beat and roll with a rolling pin. It is actually super easy--maybe takes a minute. Add melted butter and water to the bag. Close. Scrunch with hands until it forms nice clumps.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cupcake pan with some sort of oil/butter spray. Put decent amount of gloppy mixture in each section. If you want, sprinkle in some chocolate chips. (It makes the pies a little hard to dig your spoon into. It still tastes really good without.) Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove and smooth chocolate with a spoon. Put in freezer. Place candy bars in freezer. Pull out ice cream and frozen whipped topping to thaw (I usually only use real whipped cream but this is really good this way!).

Remove candy bars and cut up. Fill cups with ice cream. Put a dollop of whipped cream on top. Sprinkle on the gluttony candy bars. Put back in freezer. Pull out 10 minutes before serving.

Note: I've tried smaller muffin tins too (yeah, I've eaten more than I'm willing to admit this week) and the crust got really crunchy cooking at 10 minutes and I LOVE it too! I can't decide which I like better. I recommend making both about 3 times a week. Of course you'd probably have to excercise 16 hours to keep that many at bay but hey--it's worth it!

Prettiful Designs

Monday, August 27, 2012

I am newly pregnant, and being pregnant, I would like to dedicate this post to something that is dear to me right now:  food.  Over the years, my husband and I have tried to cut back on the processed sugar and processed food in our diet.  We've cut out all cereals other than cheerios or corn flakes (most of the time-I am weak), hot pockets (I miss them), and fruit snacks.  That kind of thing.  We avoid artificial colors and flavoring and lately I've been trying to introduce beans as a better alternative to eating so much meat.  (I'm losing the battle.  There's not much one can do when the flu hits after the first all bean meal.)  HOWEVER, there are just some foods that are WAAAAAYYYY better pre-made.  Like pudding.  What is it about the pre-made pudding that makes it more...elastic?  I can't figure it out.  And I can't stop eating them.  Oreo icing.  Ummmm....double stuffed oreos with whole milk.  I have to stop eating that.  Hamburgers.  They don't taste right unless there are lots of chemicals mixed in with all the fat and grease.  Though I will say that not even Arctic Circle can compete with my dad's burgers.  He is a chef in that area.  And brownies.  The stuff that comes from the box is so much better than anything I've ever made from scratch.  My from scratch brownies are always too buttery or too dry.  I've given up on those and will pay the $0.99 it costs for a mix.  What are your thoughts on the subject?  I await your responses, and while I wait I will also dream of hot dogs and hamburgers with french fries, my daily all-the-time cravings which would normally gross me out.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Family Adventures

We get out of the house A LOT as a family. On weeknights, Saturdays. You name it. I Rarely ever get out during the day with the kids so it is a welcome break. Friday night I needed a drive so we drove a ways to the Little Sahara Sand Dunes near Eureka/Delta/Nephi (which means in the middle of nowhere!) in Utah. 

Our kids loved it!!! The baby put her face in the sand first thing and came up smiling. Whatever floats her boat I guess. We brought a bunch of water and built a sandcastle, buried the oldest in sand and then ran around on the tops of the dunes playing follow the leader and sliding down the hills (babies favorite!) We had a blast! 

If you are not in the regular practice, my advice for tonight is to get out at least once a week as a family. Create your own family night where you only do things as a family. You don't have to spend money. Go for a walk, go to the park, find a free concert, play at a mall playground, see a dollar movie, go throw rocks in any body of water, lay on a blanket and watch the stars come out, etc. Just be together. Finding places without cell phone coverage can be great for us parents who are easily distracted!!! (i wouldn't know anything about that)

Families that play together stay together. I firmly believe it! Plan something fun right now to do this week as a family and get in a regular practice. 


Friday, August 17, 2012

3,000+ Sales=Huge Sale! :)

I've recently reached 3000 sales so to celebrate I'm throwing a 
Buy 3 Get 3 FREE Sale 
in my shop

Just add items in increments of six and the 3 with the lowest price will be automatically FREE! Cool huh? I have an awesome programmer! 
You could take advantage of this sale to buy things like these newbies:

Hope you all have a great weekend!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Musings of a Mother of Six

I've heard people say that when you have a baby you lose like 1/4 of your brain cells.  I believe it.  Though, with six kids, that means I've lost my whole brain plus half of someone else's brain.  I still believe it.  I try to help my poor brain with Sudoku and logic problems and cross words.  eh.  Reading too, should help.  So I use my poor moldy brain as an excuse to escape to the world of Hogwarts or some romantic spot in another time and country where kids don't whine and never fight.  What was the point of this post again?...ah...Oh yes. Cameras.  When we moved into this house, I lost my external hard drive with ALL my pictures on it.  ALL OF THEM.  My twins in their blessing dresses, weekly excursions all around the state with the kids, anniversary trips, everything.  I backed some of them up on flikr and some on my desktop.  I kept meaning to buy a bunch of jump drives and put each year's worth of pictures on one (I like to organize.)  I never got around to it.  My brain didn't let me remember to do it and now my brain won't let me remember where I packed that dang hard drive!  So, moral, don't make the same mistake I did.  Back up your pictures!  And then back up your backups.  You'll have fun looking through them as you do it, and so will your kids.  Do it together.  Then, when you're done backing them up, scrapbook them (insert shameless plug) using Prettiful Designs products!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Lack of Motivational Posts

It's been weeks since my last marriage/family/life motivational post. I am truly sorry for that. I have wanted to but I have just been lacking in the motivational department.

We found out a few weeks ago that someone has been deceiving us and lying to us and it was a really low blow. We've just been trying to get our minds past it. I'm really not angry, which is kind of surprising for how much this persons actions have hurt our family. I'm just really disappointed.

The house we're trying to buy has moved forward in the last few weeks and we've been pretty occupied with trying to figure out how to make things work and trying to keep it moving forward.

In all my busy insanity I also decided to start a charity (we've been watching a lot of Secret Millionaire) and it involves collecting food and money through CRAFTS---I bet you're wondering how the heck I'm going to pull that one off. I will post more about it once I get all the logistics worked out.

So, I am sorry you all have been neglected! I just am trying to keep our little family going and it is taking all of my available brain power.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Other Peoples' Ideas are the BEST

I have a secret (or probably not so secret) addiction to pinterest.  I love finding other peoples' ingenious ideas and using them for my own.  I do reserve the right, however, to pin stuff that I never intend to really try.  ;)  For today's post, I want to do a review of children's activities that I have actually tried.  With reviews, of course!

  1. Barbie bathtub boat made from plastic bottles.  Okay, this one I haven't actually done-yet.  But it was WAY to cool to not have on this list.  I want one now because I never had one when I was a kid.
  2. Water blob.  This is basically a water bed mattress for the kids to jump on outside.  We even used it as a slip'n'slide.  On one "slip" my daughter tore a HUGE hole in the top about 2 feet in diameter.  The thing was still usable.  The kids could still jump on it and everything and the water stayed inside.  It's one of the most fun activities we've ever done and it cost about $5 total.  So. Worth. It.
  3. Candy jewelry.  We made bubble gum necklaces for my daughters' Valentine's Day class party.  I premade the holes the night before (using a sterile nail or thumb tack) and it wouldn't have worked if I hadn't done that.  A child wouldn't have been able to thread the needle through the gumball on her own. They're quite tough, gumballs.  Also, if you're going to do it, the little gum balls are very difficult to work with, so get the big ones.  Jelly bean look a lot easier to work with.  The necklaces were SO CUTE when they were done though, the teacher said she'd never seen the students have so much fun in the craft before.
  4. Pool noodle marble races.  My kids actually came up with this one on their own and spent 2 HOURS happily racing marbles down the track.  After a while, they discovered they could aim with the noodles and began shooting them at targets...I have boys.
  5. Using yarn to make an obstacle course.  This one took WAY too long to set up, and the kids only enjoyed it because I put M&M's at the end.  Basically they were bored to tears.
  6. Glow in the dark F.U.N. with glow sticks, black lights, and highlighters.  We've done glow in the dark volcanoes, baths, balloons.  The list is really endless.  You can take the cartridge out of a highlighter pen and soak it in whatever liquid you're going to use-anything from bath water to vinegar, and then use a black light to see the glow.  I've even seen people mix it with pop and dry ice for a fun Halloween drink.  (Make sure it's non-toxic-I wonder if it makes the taste gross?)  Put glow sticks inside balloons, etc. for nightlights and evening entertainment.  This blog has lots of really fun ideas.
The ideas on that website are ENDLESS!  ENDLESS!!!  I may have to do a post on all the cleaning stuff I have learned.  But that's another day...

Friday, August 10, 2012

New Printables and Clip Art!!!

Is it really FRIDAY?!?!?! Phew....I'm exhausted. So much has been happening lately. Some good....some pretty bad.... but that is a post for another day. Here are some things I've worked on this week:

 Mistletoe Flowers And Borders Clip Art

Spooks On Clip Art Set 2

Cowgirl Happy Birthday Banner

Girly Rainbow Birthday Banner
 Halloween Advent Printable Cards - I AM SOOOO Excited to use these in October
 Graveyard Bash Boo Banner
 Halloween Night Boo Banner
 Spooks On Boo Banner:
 Zombie Dance Boo Banner:
 Jonathan Birthday Banner:
 Crisp Fall Thankful Banner:

Available Exclusively at

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I want to introduce one of my favorite products of ALL TIME.  Seriously, this is the coolest thing we have ever bought.  In fact, we bought two because we have two toddlers.  My kids BEG to go on it everyday.  We can now go on long family bike rides together.  My husband and I each take a toddler on our bike and we're off!  At first I was nervous, thinking it would be really easy to fall over.  But the child is right at the center of gravity and it's actually really comfortable.  Way better than having one of those big seats up behind you or lugging a trailer. 


How do you TOTE your TYKE? The Tyke Toter front mount child bike seat is the perfect solution for you and your growing child. Intended for children ages 2-5, it takes over where other front mount child bike seats leave off.  Tyke Toter child bike seat is adjustable higher or lower on your own bike’s seat post to accommodate children as they grow and until they are old enough and big enough to ride along with you on your bike rides. Other child bike seats have low weight limits as well as other size limitations, and while they are great for infants, they are not designed big enough for the toddler and pre-school age child. And who wants to miss out on a fun, interactive bike ride at this magical age? Your child is getting bigger; he can hold on to his own handlebars, balance and wants to ride a big bike like you. Give him the thrill of his life every time he rides along with you on his Tyke Toter! The Tyke Toter child bike seat has a generous suggested weight limit of 45 lbs., and is designed purposely without straps allowing for the feeling of balance and freedom of a more real and intuitive riding experience. This is a child bike seat that gives children their own handlebars and foot rest, nestling them securely between the arms of their parent, and setting them in a central, well-balanced location for the easiest bicycle handling experience for you, and the most interactive bike ride you’ll have with your child! Tyke Toter child bike seat boasts a unique quick-release attachment which allows for a super easy, super fast  install/uninstall in less than a minute and is simple and intuitive even for the novice bike rider- no tools required, no extra hardware on your bike! It fits most standard bike frames whether road bike or mountain bike, women’s or men’s style making it easily interchangeable between more than one bike. Each Tyke Toter is hand-made and assembled in the USA.