Saturday, January 9, 2010

Making a Designer template yours! :-)

Here are some great tips that you can use to help you make the most of the Designer Templates available with your MMS program! There are tons of great templates that can really help speed up the process of creating family keepsakes for you. Let’s face it ~ we creative people have a big struggle when we approach a project. We want to get it done, we want to enjoy the process, we want to enjoy the results, and we want it to look like it’s ours! The flip side of that however is, most of us have INCREDIBLY busy lives! We have children and families, we work inside the home and out, we volunteer, we are there for those around us – and we TRY to squeeze out a little time for ourselves in there somewhere! Well, I have found that using Designer Templates really help me to get through a project quickly. Now, sure, there are still some times and some projects that I start from scratch, because there isn’t a template that quite matches the look I want or I really do want every element added to be of my choosing. That’s one of the things I truly LOVE about MMS. I have the flexibility to choose either option every time I add a page to a project I am creating. But for today’s post, I really wanted to show you some quick tips you can use to start with a Designer Template and truly jazz it up and make it yours! A couple quick steps and you will be DONE before you know it!

So, first I will show you the template page, completely as is. All I did was drag in the photos from one of my folders. In this example, I am using some photos from a project I did for my aunt for Christmas. We live in Florida, so we don’t see much snow – but there is a wonderful exhibit called “Ice!” at the beautiful Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando every year and I have some cute pictures of her family that I am going to use in these two pages.

As I was saying in the first page, the “before” page – I simply chose the page I was going to work on, and dragged each picture into one of the photo boxes that were placed on the page. This is so quick and easy the page literally creates itself in less than a minute or two. Drag, drag, drag, DONE! Looks great, sure! I could move on, sure! BUT… I want to “snazz up” the page just a bit so it better suits my taste. So, I choose a few simple options from all of those available in my MMS software. Now, most of these additions are available whether you have Version 1 of MMS or the newly released V2. They are SIMPLE to do and whether this is your first page or your 1,000th – YOU can do it!


As you can see, I used the ZOOM tool, to really get the pictures more “close up” so you can tell who’s in them! Click on the picture you wish to zoom, then click the ZOOM IN button until you get close enough in. You can also adjust the visible portion of the picture with the CROP tool, which allows you to move the part of the picture that is shown. This is one of my favorite things to do to really get more of the subject in each picture on the page. Okay, so now that I have done all three photos, I move on to the next little change. I choose to add a MAT to my photos. Again, all under my control, for these photos I choose a thin white mat to frame them up a little, and click the “APPLY TO ALL PHOTOS ON THIS PAGE” so they all match exactly. You can choose the color of the mats to suit your taste – you can also color match them so they are a perfect fit for your page! Then, I move on to my FAVORITE little change - SHADOWS. I can’t say enough how much I just LOVE shadows and what they can do for your page. They literally POP your pages to life. I pretty much use shadows on just about everything on the page! What I love about the shadow option in MMS is that it is COMPLETELY under your control. It’s more than just “do I want a shadow or not?”. It’s how much shadow do I want, where do I want the shadow to be placed, how dark do I want it, how much of a drop do I want? Everything is under my control! So, I first click on one of my photos and click on the SHADOW box in my Control Panel. That brings up the SHADOW PROPERTIES box. This is where you control the appearance of the drop shadow of your selected item (the shadows for embellishments work much the same way). So, you choose how opaque you want your shadow, how much blur (which affects how “soft” or “hard” the shadow appears). Then, my favorite part is to decide the offset. You can use either your mouse, by clicking on the actual shadow in the preview box and dragging it around until you like the way it looks, or by using the arrow keys on your keyboard. Either option gives you the flexibility to show a little or a lot, drag it more to the side or the bottom, etc. I just LOVE that option! You can even choose the COLOR of the shadow! Then, I click the little box that says “APPLY TO ALL PHOTOS ON THIS PAGE” so that all the pictures look the same. You can do each photo individually, but this will save time.

Then I moved on to a little more personalization – but not too much, just to keep this short and sweet! I change out the text that says “Dec 2010” for a little “Ice!” so it fits more with the page. Remember EVERYTHING that is included in a Designer Template is completely under your control. You can move it, resize it, reshape it, duplicate it, eliminate it, whatever you like. I chose to just leave the little shape and embellishment and change out the little words. So, I created a new text box (you can create this in “WORDART” in V2). Used one word to help define what is going on in the pictures on the page. Of course, I add shadows to each of the three parts of this little set. The white circle SHAPE on the bottom, the little blue MAT embellishment, and the text. When I am adding the shadow to the little blue MAT embellishment, I click “APPLY TO ALL EMBELLISHMENTS ON THIS PAGE” so it also adds the shadow to the snowflake embellishment along the left side of the pre-designed page, as well as the shaped strip at the top of the page (that you almost don’t even notice until the shadows makes it pop!)

Then, finally, I add one line of text at the top of the page, and the year at the bottom, to really just define it better and fill in some of the empty space at the top and bottom of my page. I add the “Gaylord Palms Orlando” and the “2008” text. I choose a cute font (this one is called “Tingle Institute” – cute!) and add the text in black, of course add my shadow also. Then another one of my favorite little tricks is to create the text like I just described, then I click the COPY button up top and paste and exact duplicate of my text line, so now I have two. Then I click the WHITE button (or you can choose ANY color) to change the color of the duplicated text to white (or whatever color you selected). Then I just “layer” it over the previous black text and it really POPS your text off the page. Some of this can be done in fewer steps with the word art options in V2, but I still like the double layer look!

To finish up, I enlarged each of the pictures, just a bit, to fully utilize the space on the page and maximize how much of the picture I could show.

NOW, I can say, “I’m done!”. I am happy with the layout of the page, and a few simple, QUICK little changes that really just bring it to life for me. Now, you can spend a ton of time working on each little detail, and many of us love to do that – I love to do that too, but sometimes you just WANT TO GET IT DONE! And this is a great way to combine your own personal flair and the ease of the Designer Template options.
Please let me know if you have any questions, or need a little more help with the instructions for anything I talked about here, just ask away! You can always reach me at or find me on the Facebook page at “Polaroid My Memories Suites”!

Good luck with your New Year’s projects and Happy Scrappin’!!

Lisa J.

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