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February 22, 2010

Save your life! (A free digital template download for you)


On Saturday, I  hosted a coffee hour chat as part of Designer Digitals 1st Quarter Sale-a-bration. It's always fun to chat (albeit very, very quickly!) a bit about scrapbooking and about what makes me love this hobby the way I do.

I always come back to the same thing: scrapbooking saves my life. I don't mean to make it sound all dramatic and schmaltzy, but it really does offer up this singular opportunity to document and save the stuff that makes me who I am.

Do I scrapbook with great frequency? No. Do I take a gazillion pictures? Well, yes, I suppose that I do, but when I train my scrapbooking eye on any given topic, I emerge with the main thing I went in for: a story to remember.

Simple and focused, I save a little bit of my life one scrapbook page at a time.

Today, I'm giving you a template (both in 8.5 x 11 and 12 x 12 sizes) and challenging you to save a bit of your life.

One photo. One story. Just find someone in your life who is amazing to serve as your subject.

It's probably not too hard to come up with just one. Me? I live with three of them and every day, I could probably come up with a story to tell, just like the story of Cole's renewed passion for all things Titanic.

My goals as a scrapbooker don't revolve around frequency or quantity. I just want to put a bit of this life down on record.  And it's not just for the kids, or because it's what Moms are supposed to do. I do this for me. I do this for the creative freedom that comes from telling my stories. Our stories. From this, goodness and gratitude inevitably flow.

This template is designed for use in Photoshop Elements and Photoshop. (It won't work with any other photo imaging program.) The base template looks like this:


Included with this package is a beefed-up step-by-step PDF instruction sheet to help some of you less seasoned designers use the template. Here is the download: (The files are zipped and you will need to unzip them in order to use them. Simply click on the link and the download should automatically begin.)

Download CZ_AmazingTemplate

As you know, I combine the best of digital and real world scrapbooking in my approach. For example, the layout at the start of this post is purely digital and 12 x 12. Most of my albums are 8.5 x 11, so, I turned off the background layer, printed it out on a piece of 8.5 x 11 photo paper, trimmed it out and mounted it onto a piece of kraft cardstock. It looks like this:


Digital to hybrid, just like that. And why not just keep it purely digital? Well, let's just say I like to pull out my adhesive and feel the love.

Any way you choose to work with this template is up to you. For those of you who are relatively new to digital, this will give you an idea of how my Designer Digital templates work.

Here is a quick video tutorial to show you how I created the 12 x 12 digital page, and then how I turned it into an 8.5 x 11 page. (Note: for you 8.5 x 11 scrapbookers, the process still applies, but you can just start with your preferred size of template. The core image area on both templates is the same size. Also, to watch the video in a larger size, simply click on the link below the video.)

Digital Scrapbooking Tutorial from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll be checking them throughout the day.

Just wanted to share a bit of life-saving love with you today. Enjoy the template.

It's just my way of saying thank you for hanging out at my blog from time to time. I do so appreciate you.



DIGITAL PAGE SUPPLIES: Krafty No. 7 Paper PackSpot Dots No. 13 Paper Pack (altered) • Ethan Solids Paper PackJust Linens, No. 1 Paper PackStitched by Anna No. 1 • Avenir font


Thanks for the freebie! That is a great page of Cole! I hunted down some old pages and was horrified at the lack of journalling. I'm all about the story these days :)

Thanks! I know lots of amazing people...

How sweet, Cathy! Sadly I don't have PS or PSE, but I do love your blog and have been reading for years...even back before you quit blogging and re-emerged!

Thanks, and thanks to your last video I'm now using your templates regularly to create hybrid pages. It sounded so hard once, but once I got the hang of it, it makes design so much easier and faster.

Thank you for making digital doable for the newbies. I am hesitant to purchase digitals when I have so many questions. Between you, DYL, and Ali I am gaining confidence everyday. Thanks, JillB

Thank you for the great template!

Cathy, Thank you so much for the template! I remain awed at Cole!


Thank you so much for the lovely templates. I'm going to do a page for each of my 3 children today. I was lucky enough to visit NY last week from the UK and my most exciting purchase was some 8.5 x 11 photo paper so I can't wait to print some layouts without fiddling around to adapt to A4 size!
I have to say I did not find a decent cup of tea in NY though!

Suzette, you can still lift the design and concept! Go for it!

You should have come to my house! Okay, so it's far from NY, but i'm learning every day how to make better and better cups of tea!

thanks Cathy, you rock!

thank you Cathy, for the template and your video help! It's great to know we can use a 12x12 template and print to fit on 8.5x11 card stock.

Hmmm... now, who do I scrapbook first with this template? It may become a mini album.!

p.s. Cathy, saw this business card via twitter and thought of you:

Thanks for the awesome template Cathy!

Thank you so much for rockin' template Cathy!!!


do you know who I think is AMAZING? You! That's right, YOU, Cathy! You are amazing!

<3, Rachel

Thank you so very much for the template. I love it. And thanks for the gentle reminder about your other templates at DD, as I have had your products on my wish list for nearly 3 months just waiting for the big sale. :o) One question...I like 8.5x11 pages and I am wondering if some of your recent templates like 44 and 47 can easily be converted? I know that 12x12 is a popular size, but my wish is that all of your future templates would be both sizes to make it easier on me. I keep hoping and dreaming. :o)

Thanks, Cathy. Great template!

Did you know that you can also open an element in the document you are working on by choosing the "Place" option under "File" in the toolbar. You don't have to move the element into your document; it opens right inside your open working document!

WOW thanks so much - so generous. You're awesome.

Thanks, Cathy! I have a lot of amazing people around me, too! I always tell them that someday, they are going to be very happy that I was a scrapbooker! They will have so many memories recorded for them. I just wish they would stop running from the camera!

You are amazing! I love your blog and read it every day. I got to sit in on your chat on saturday am. you were...well, you know, AMAZING! Thanks so much Cathy...for all you do to inspire and for a lot of laughs along the way. (Thanks for the template, too! Awesome!)

Thank you.... Thank you.... Thank you... I'm a big CZ design fan... And your templates rock.

Thanks Cathy so much for the template. I'm trying to get back to my scrapbook therapy with life continuing to be a little stressful. But we have some awesome pictures of the girls playing in the snow on their slide that are just begging to be scrapped. Thanks for the push today, I NEED to fit this in to the day. ... Now where is that camera cable?.... :)

that's pretty cute.

Awww. GET OUT! ; )

Stacy, yes... you can size things down pretty easily!

But now i'm worried: did you know the 1st quarter sale was this past weekend?

Never knew that! Off to try. COOL!

Thanks so much Cathy! I was pretty bummed on Saturday morning when I missed your chat hour, especially since I am on CST. I love your simple yet attention capturing style. Thanks for continually teaching and being such an inspiration!

Be well!

(I'm off to brew my favorite cup of green tea: The People's Green Tea. But I'm going to give yours a try one of these days!)

Thanks for the great template and the tutorial! I always learn a ton from your blog and enjoy reading everyday. Great chat yesterday at DD too!

Oh, Thank you Cathy!

I just purchased a couple of your templates at the quarterly sale, just because I want to try some digi-hybrid stuff. Now I have one more to add and try. Thank you!

Thanks so much! Love all your stuff!

Thanks, Cathy, for the template. I am going to do this today!

Yes, I know the sale is this weekend. According to the last DD email I received, the 30% off is good until 6 a.m. Tuesday. So, it's all good. Oh, and as far as sizing things down pretty easily...hahahaha. Nothing digi is easy for me except using your templates as is. Wish I could hear you with Martha this morning. But, I don't get XM or Sirius. Have fun.

Actually, the sale is STILL going on! Sorry. Doh.

...and i so appreciate you! thanks!

a big thank you, cathy!

And thank you! I started a digi layout on Thursday about my husband, with a photo from our early days, but I'm just not feeling it. I think this will get me going again.

Thank you for the awesome template. I love it!


Thank you so much for this rockin' template Cathy. And thanks for the reminder about the DD sale, I need to get my skates on and see what I have in my wish list, LOL!

PS: Any plans on making a "School of Life" type of template, pretty please? Travel would be great too (maybe like your vacation album that I can't remember where I saw it but loved it so much, it had pictures of the corn palace in it and you left your camera on the train I think?!!).

YOU are Amazing! :)

cathy!! this was so nice of you...i was in and out all day saturday and missed a few of the freebies and yours was one of them...i was bummed because i knew yours would be awesome. thank you so much!

Someone else already said it, but it's worth repeating... it is YOU who is truly amazing, CZ! Thanks for this and for the tutorial. I will pass the link along to some folks in Lain's LO a Day challenge... some of them are trying out digi for the first time, and I think this will help them see how simple and fun digital scrapbooking can be!

Oh, one question... would it be totally vain if I used the template to make a page about me? I feel the need to give myself one a pep talk. Again.

You have inspired me to go digital and start saving my life! I have been scrapbooking forever, but I wasn't getting the story down. I was spending too much time getting the paper and other embellishments just right, that I didn't journal as much. Thanks for the new vision!

Thanks Cathy! I just picked up some of your other templates over at DD last night! I love them!

Thanks! What printer do you print from at home? Is there one you would recomend?

Thanks Cathy for sharing your atristry (did I spell that right?)! YOU are amazing! I'm off to create one for each of my kids!! Also, leaving a link on my facebook page to see if I can drum you up some business-however, most of my friends are scrappy friends I met in your ECWL class on BPS.

Thank you so much!

You are one generous gal, Cathy!
Thank you!
- Lee

Thank you, Cathy! :)

You ROCK, as always, Cathy. Thanks so much for the template. I will put it to good use ... TODAY :)

Yes Sue! I am going to start working (hopefully this week) on a digital and hybrid school album set! Stay tuned!

Brooke, I have a Photosmart 8750. It's about 4 years old now, but it's my second Photosmart printer. I've had great luck with HP!

Thanks Ann!: )

Go Lee! : )

Thanks for the template :)
hugs, Mandy

Thanks Cathy. What a nice Monday treat.

Thank you!

Thanks Cathy :) Brand new to digi so please excuse what I am sure is a question that has an obvious answer...

I have an image where I want it for the first time (tried to use a template for a LOAD prompt earlier this month with no success) but I can't figure out how to change the journaling...

We have photoshop CS and hubby usually does it as I find it overwhelming to say the least.

Thank you! I love the template!

Betty, you'll need to use the Text Tool, then click on the layer with the "T" on the small thumbnail icon in the layers palette. Then, you can highlight your text, just like in a word document by clicking on the words and dragging to highlight.

: )

Thank you so much for the freebie. I am brand new to digital and am trying to learn. This will be great. Thanks again.

OMG OMG!! I did it... I did my first digi LO and it is all due to the awesome CZ :):) Thank you Cathy!!!!

I didn't get the BG color to change but that will come :)

I'll have it up on my blog later today if anyone wants to see it.

oops a little too excited I forgot the link

WOW! Only today I was starting to sort through 7 years of my kids school work and pondering how on earth I was going to (easily and simply) document the whole thing before they leave home (they are 11 already, sigh). Thank you, thank you. I am totally thrilled to hear this (are you telepathic btw?!!), my credit card awaits ....

hello there radio star...i live on the west coast, so i set my alarm to wake my sleepy self up @ 4:45 a.m. to hear you on sirius. i loved it. loved how u said, grab a manageble photo album, pen & pics and go. yeah, i loved that idea, but the catholic "guilt" kicks in and says no, you need embellies, glitter, stickers...ribbon. i can go on forever.
thanx for the heads up about u being on.
too cool.

I have been wanting to try one of your templates for a long time. This is the push that I needed to try it out. Could you tell me which is the yellow paper you are using from Designer Digitals? I know you listed the supplies but I can't quite figure out which one is the yellow. Great video explaining things!!!

Thanks so much for the "Amazing" template. You are always so generous in sharing your talents with us.

Thanks so much for the templates. I love the 8.5x11 size.

Thanks Cathy! I spent all this snowy weekend working on finishing up Jessica Sprague classes and learning so much--this is perfect. Now if I could just get around to posting my DYL layouts...(hey, maybe if I did the rest of them digital I'd actually post them!). Love the layout and I know just the story to tell. Thanks again.

Thank you for the tutorial and freebie Cathy. I enjoyed the chat on Saturday,definitely worth getting up at 5am. I got so addicted that I stayed all day and night. Crazy. Thanks again.

Thanks so much!

Thank you for the template! I have the feeling that hybrid is where I want to be -- the flexibility and time saving nature of doing part of it digitally, but the tactile nature of using "real" supplies is a huge draw and inspiration to me.

I've always been a little fascinated with the Titanic. Unless your son already has this, or something similar, this ( is a really cool book with lots of facts and figures.

Very cool video Cathy. Thanks for posting it and the free template.

I'm brand spankin' new to PSE. Loved your tutorial!!

Thank you for the freebie! We have the same titanic book in our house and have had a few bouts of titanic obession through the years with our boyz.. Love the creativity!! Peace~

1) thanks for the template--just 'on the verge' of jumping into digital 2) I always love your design but more than all that 3) amazing is really the word--for both of your children. You and D must be spectacular parents and should be so proud of them and of yourselves. I went hunting down a you tube video, but there are so many. . . Thanks again

thank you for the template. it's very cool

Thanks Cathy! You are AMAZING!...and generous. You mentioned working on the school templates. Have you ever thought of doing that as a BPS class? Just a thought. I would definitely sign up?

thanks again,


First, thank you for the freebie from the Designer Digitals chat on Saturday. It was fun to read what you said and quite a challenger too due to the volume of typers!!

Second, thanks for your generosity again with today's freebie here. You're the best!

This is so cool! I too attended the chats at DD this last Saturday. Of course I thought yours was the best chat of the day! You are the fastest typist ever! I always love your video tutorials so keep doing more. You are the best!!!

What a great way to start my week! Thank you for the little surprise free template I found today after reading your entry. Always looking forward the messages you post and I have my little collection of CZ Templates from Designer Digitals that just keeps growing!!

Thanks for the inspiration to write. I didn't even get through all your post before I clicked on Word and jotted down a story about a funny vintage party I hosted this weekend and had just been going through the photos of. I will probably finish reading your post. I may use the template. But mostly, I got the story and that's what matters. You're just swell!

Thank you, Cathy!

Thank-you for the template Cathy, what a lovely surprise this morning. I must confess to having purchased every single one of your 8.5 x 11 templates from Designer Digitals, all now happily converted to A4 size. Now I just concentrate on the story, work out how many photos I want to include, choose the appropriate template and sometimes I get two or more layouts done in an evening after a long day at a very intense full time job. All thanks to you :)

"Scrapbooking saves my life." CZ
OK. Now I NEED to have that on a cafe press t-shirt. So, when will that be available? My birthday is next month....

Thank you so much for the template and your clear instructions! I have learned so much from you, and I can't wait to play with this today!

thanks Cathy. and thanks for the tip on switching from 12x12 to 8.5x11

Thank you, Cathy. I'm just getting into the hybrid thing, so I'm excited to work with your template. You enabler, you!

Thanks again.

thank you! love your templates!

Hey Cathy,
Thanks so much for the AMAZING template! I was so sad I missed the chat. I logged in at 6 am Pacific time and realized I had missed the whole thing! Any chance you can offer the freebie from the chat for those of us who tried but missed it? I just love your work--and I'm excited to use the new template!

Thank you for the template! I have a quick tip (this works in PS and, if I remember correctly, it works in PSE too). When you use the move tool to drag your graphic onto your page, if you hold down the shift key while you drag, it'll center it right onto the page you're moving it to.

Amazing template, Cathy. Thanks for sharing. Am excited to try it.

Thanks so much for taking pity on us west-coast girls! I love your templates and can't wait to play with it!

Thanks for the freebie, the weight loss inspiration, and the humour!

Once again you are just so stupid cool! You are the best ever! Luv Ya!
Jen R

COOL! Did not know that. thanks for sharing!

I can't offer the freebie outside of the chat! sorry!

Thanks for the link!

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