How to make a vellum mat for your digital scrapbook page

Weeks ago, I shared layouts from JB Studio Creative Team using You’re Rad Collection. All the layouts are awesome, but there’s one that got people’s attention on Instagram.


How cool is this layout!

I love the photos on this page, but something in special caught my attention. How she added a vellum mat to her background, it makes the layout interesting without looking busy. Her photos are full of colors and details and the artsy paper she used as the background would distract our eyes from them, so the vellum mat was the perfect solution for this awesome digital scrapbook page.

So, today I’m sharing a quick tutorial to show you how to create a vellum effect that can solve some design issues and add a special touch to your layouts.

How to make a vellum mat to your digital scrapbook page

P.S.: This tutorial is made using Photoshop CS3, but I believe the steps are the same for Photoshop Elements (PSE) and other versions of Photoshop.

Step 1 | Open the template or create a new 3600 x 3600 pixel file. I’m using the same template Jen used to make her page. When you’re using a template, remember to duplicate your image. You don’t want to mess up the original file, right?


Step 2 | Choose the patterned paper you want and clip to the proper layers. You will notice the spot for journaling is too hard to read because of the patterned paper. I chose the Hot Cocoa Collection to scrap my new habit of drinking tea.


Step 3 | I prefer to use a solid paper from the kit because it has texture. I resize it to the size I want. Hold the Shift key while resizing to make all sides even. I chose the lighter solid paper from the kit so it the page is coordinated.

If you prefer, you can create the mat using the rectangle tool. It is important to hold the Shift key to make it a square.


Step 4 | If you’re using the template, copy the drop shadow from a paper element to make all shadows look uniform, then paste it to the shape layer. If you’re creating a new layout on your own, add the shadow as you like.


Step 5 | To add the transparent look, change the fill rate until you like the way it looks. As I want to add journaling to my page, I made the fill 80%. If I was not going to add journaling, I would make it lower than 70% to show more of the patterned paper underneath it.


And it’s done. You can use the same technique and create any vellum elements or details to your layout. Have fun!





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How to get over a bad day

Hey there!

Here’s a quick break from the blog schedule for this week because I thought sharing these tips is important. This thought came because yesterday I had a pretty bad day.

If you’re a woman and you go through PMS every month, I’m sure you will understand what I’m talking about.

Yes! I had a pretty bad day yesterday. *sigh

I woke up feeling well and ready to have a productive day, I got dressed, had breakfast, read for about 40 minutes and sat at the computer to add my new collection to the Buffet Event at the shop.

All good so far.

Then, I started feeling a bit distracted… I didn’t want to do anything from my to-do list.

*Weird feeling* 


Not only did I feel resistance to doing the things on my list, but I also had those bad thoughts of self-doubt. Can you relate to any of these thoughts during PMS?… or any other bad day?

* You have to do this, you should to do that…
* Why can’t you just keep doing it? You were feeling good about it before, what changed?
* Why is everything so complicated for you? Everyone else has it all figured out.
* Why can’t you just keep your promises?
* Why did you start it anyway?
* Are you sure you wanna keep doing it?
* Who do you think you are to be doing it?

How can one make any progress having these voices in her head all along the way?

In the past, I used to push and push harder to keep crossing things off of my to-do list and have a usual work day. The outcome was I had most things done or sometimes half done. That’s good for a bad day, huh?

But as the years went by and I became more mindful and intentional about my life, I learned that it’s not always good. Here’s why:

Creating the life you truly wanna live is about
living the life you truly wanna live every day.

I’m always talking about creating the life I truly wanna live. What does that mean? It means that all my decisions now are with the aim of creating the reality I think is beautiful and happy for me with the things and people I love to hang out with.

But first, the most important thing to be aware of about creating is that it happens now, at this very moment. So, I’m creating the reality I aim for while I enjoy the whole process every single day.

That’s what I thought was worth sharing with you:

While having half or most of my to-do list crossed off is good, the feeling of frustration at the end of the day was not compatible. As human beings, our goal in everything we do is cultivating feelings of worthiness, pleasure, and happiness and/or any other positive feelings you consider important. It all boils down to us always wanting to feel good.

Reflect on how your to-do list makes you feel

Crossing off items on the to-do list will only make us feel good at the end of the day when the things on our list are meaningful for us. Tasks for duty’s sake don’t make us feel good. They make us feel nothing if not frustrated. I know I feel totally frustrated, but it has to do with my core values and I’ll be writing about it soon because I just love the subject. The tasks that provide us that feeling of accomplishment are the meaningful ones.

OVER TO YOU: If you’ve never looked at your to-do list with this perspective in mind, I challenge you to take a 5-minute break and reflect about the items you have in your list and also your goals. Ask these questions to each task/goal:

  • Is it valuable?
  • Do I feel like doing it?
  • Why is it important for me?

P.S.: Remember to be honest with yourself. If you don’t feel like doing something, it probably is not as important as you think it is. Sometimes we take someone’s else important stuff as ours, that way we don’t live based on our own values.

Great warning here! When we live up to other people’s expectations for a long period, our life becomes meaningless and we fall into depression.

Be aware of what you resist always persists

An important lesson I learned in the self-growth path I’m walking is that every feeling we resist persists. A couple of years ago, when I was depressed, I used to try to different things: cheering me up or distracting me watching movies and series. Both are ineffective because they were about me resisting to feel what I was feeling. The feeling persisted for days and nothing seemed to get me back in a good mood. It was hard.

Find the reasons underneath the self-doubt and negative feelings

I don’t believe I’m facing depression anymore because most of my days are positive and productive and I’ve been living intentionally every day. It doesn’t mean I don’t face bad days. Yes, I do. What is different now is the way I react. I don’t resist anymore. I take some time off to feel what I am feeling and reflect about the reasons I’m having those feelings. Sometimes I journal, sometimes I draw intuitively while listening to mantras so I can express my feelings through art, sometimes I meditate… these work very well for me.

Any way you choose to reflect and reveal the real reasons for the negative feelings about yourself, it is important to find a quiet place and calm your mind before starting. Breathing deeply helps to calm down and concentrate.

 Take time off to do what makes you happy

Yesterday, instead of pushing me to do as many tasks as I could. I took a quick look at my daily schedule and did two that I knew were priorities I couldn’t just pretend they didn’t exist. After that, I gave myself permission to do whatever I felt like to.

This time, I didn’t need to reflect about what I was feeling because I know these are usual feelings of PMS and I just need to go through the day and I’ll be ok. So, instead of journaling or reflecting I chose something that would make me feel really good.

I drew a lot! I love drawing and I know I need to practice to become the artist I wanna become. However, I don’t give myself much time to draw because I have a pretty busy schedule. I usually draw to illustrate posts or to add to my vision board, but I almost never draw for my pleasure only.


Accept that it is not a great day… and that’s ok

I’m addicted to making progress, but I learned to accept that some days are not as good as others while some are extraordinary. This is the Universe balance, we would never identify a day as extraordinary if we never experienced a bad day.

Remember this is only ONE day in a life-time period. At the end, it will have no impact on the big picture of your living.

Be patient and persistent

Today is a new day. I woke up feeling much more positive than I was yesterday. I won’t lie and say I’m feeling energized and vibrant. I’m not. But I’m feeling much better and I’ll focus on the priorities and things that I feel more motivated to do because I know that if I’m patient and keep doing what makes me feel better everything will get back on track in a few days and the negative thoughts will be in the past and won’t matter anymore.

And here you are. I hope you find it useful and it can help you create more intention and peace in your living.


If you like this post, help me touch others
by pinning the images above and sharing with other
creative women who could benefit from it.
Thanks so much.

Remember to sign up for my newsletter to get the latest from the blog and the shop and all positive vibes I can send your way. Besides that, you’ll also get a quick guide to choosing your word of the year. Subscribe here.

How I Bullet journal (a simple guide for beginners)


Are you a beginner on bullet journaling? Me too, I’ve been bullet journaling for 85 days and I know how hard it is to make it simple yet fun with all the inspiration in the community. How can we NOT get crazy about trying all the great spreads and ideas we see around, especially from the ladies who have been doing it for years and have all those creative, tidy and beautiful journals? Today, I share my experience in the almost three months of bullet journaling and hopefully you will get some ideas on how to start and evolve.

>> Check how I startedI wrote a post about how I came across Bullet Journaling and why I fell in love with it and what were my plans at that moment.

> If you haven’t ever heard of a Bullet Journal, check out Ryder’s video below to get a general idea of how the system works.


>> Download the dot paper printable I use at the end of this post.

As I shared on my first post about the subject, when I started Bullet Journaling I fell in love with it because of its flexibility. I was very happy I found a planner in which I could use my creativity, practice doodling and hand lettering while planning my life, take notes of courses, webinars and books, and journal my reflections. All things in one place.

Why I decided to give Bullet Journal a try

Until 2014 I tried using simple planners I bought at stationery stores with no success. In 2015, I started working from home, and I knew I had to get organized if I wanted to grow my business and create the life I truly love (which is my primary goal). During that year, I tried lots of different free printables online. Since buying a planner from out of my country was not an option because it would be very expensive and there were no flexible options in my country. I bought a binder and downloaded printables and started building it. Some worked for months, others only worked for weeks and I sadly learned that some would take time and effort to set up and then never use it or only use for one day.

Back in January of this year, I came across Bullet Journaling and have been doing great progress so far. My life is more organized; I’m finding time to take care of my house and family and my mind is in peace most of the time. That’s why I’m loving it. Of course, you can’t give all the credit to the Bullet Journal system because it all depends on your efforts to put the systems to work.

>> Read about the 7 techniques I use to avoid procrastination and get things done.

It’s all about finding the systems that work for you. We can find lots of great planners and printables online and if they fit you and your routine, I say “Perfect! Go for it.” However, if you’ve tried a lot of things and haven’t found your system yet, I recommend trying Bullet Journal. It’s like wearing shoes; you can only feel comfortable and get to your destination in good condition if you’re wearing shoes that fit you. If they’re not your size, you are likely to get rid of them or get your feet hurt during the journey.

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Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Some weeks ago, Kim from Tiny Ray of Sunshine wrote a great post about The 8 stages of the Bullet Journal Addiction and it became very popular because we all can relate to the stages. I know I can. They are:

  1. Amazement
  2. Preparation
  3. Diving In
  4. Inspiration (overload)
  5. Experimentation
  6. Overwhelm/Ineffectiveness
  7. Simplifying
  8. Centering

I want to thank Kim for sharing that, and I would never find a better way to guide you through this experience. I will use her headlines to tell you how it happened to me.

Amazement ~ She’s entirely correct about the stages. At first, I was amazed about how simple and flexible Bullet Journal is and even more excited when I saw all the room to explore my creativity.


Preparation ~ Then, I got into the preparation phase. I knew I couldn’t spend money on it. Actually, I didn’t want to spend any money while I was only trying something new. What if I found out I didn’t like it? (how wrong I was to think that). What if it didn’t meet my needs? (how could I think that if it was up to me to try new hacks and systems whenever I wanted). Well, it was a completely new approach and I was not certain about how it was going to evolve. So, I got a small notebook I had, ripped off the few pages I had already used, got the regular pens I had on my desk and started.

Yes, it’s that easy! Don’t think you have to buy all fancy stuff the bullet divas are using before you start. The core of bullet journaling is finding the systems that will support you to have a more balanced life, run your days smoother and achieve your goals. All the pretty bits are complementary and make it more personal and unique.

Diving in, Inspiration (overload) and experimentation ~ For me, these three stages intertwined. I didn’t dive in until I googled and found inspiration and ideas on Instagram. I tried out different kinds of headers, dailies, monthly tracker, goals setting spreads, reviews, etc. Oh, I even tried a different notebook (which I loved by the way). All of this lead me to feeling overwhelmed and ineffectiveness as predicted in stage 6.


Overwhelm and Ineffectiveness ~ I got to this stage some weeks ago, in March. I was not happy with the notebook because I journal a lot and I like taking notes of courses and webinars and all of this was making me loose sight of my goals and tasks.

Indexes never worked for me. I’m the kind of person who never read indexes on books, I’d rather flip through the book to find what I’m looking for. So, I knew from the beginning it was not gonna work – but I tried it and well… it was a total mess and didn’t help at all. That’s when I realized I needed to go back to my binder where I could have sections. However, I didn’t like the lined paper I had because it was thin and the ink of the fine line pens would bleed (yes, at this point I am using fine line pens). That’s when I decided to create my own printable dot paper for the binder. My goal at the moment was simplifying as you can see at step 7.

Simplifying ~ Here I am. I think this stage is the best so far. I’m making the systems my own and even though I find great inspiration around the Bullet Journal community, I know what I need and I can make a conscious decision on what I will try and what I know won’t work for me.

And I now I’m ready to dive into stage 8.

>> Download the dot paper printable I use in my binder.

So there you have it! I hope it helps you get motivated to start bullet journaling and focus on what is more important for you.

*See how I currently set my month in the next post, coming on Monday.


If you like this post, help me touch others
by sharing with creatives looking for the system
that will help them be more productive
and create the life they truly love.
Thanks so much.