6 ways to use digital products without Photoshop

Hi there! One of the greatest/worst things to ever hit scrapbooking is Photoshop. This program has literally changed the scrapbooking game. There are now ENDLESS possibilities of ways you can edit photos. There are people who scrapbook exclusively in photoshop. Which brings me to digital products. Woah. There are entire companies based solely on digital products. Which is amazing! These products are more affordable (sometimes free!), reusable and can be customized to any stretch of the imagination.

BUT! Photoshop has also completely overwhelmed and ostracised many of the more traditional scrapbookers, those who aren’t as tech savvy or those without the time to devote to the intensity of photoshop. So, I am here to show you 6 different ways you can use digital products in your scrapbooking without photoshop, needing a degree in IT or if you are in a pinch for time or just want to use your digital elements in a new way!

6 ways to use digital elements without photoshop by Lauren Likes

These weekly cards can be found here (for free!) by Caylee Grey! 

A quick note: When saving digital elements you must save them as jpegs to use these techniques.

1. First, my favorite technique. Add the digital element in an app. All you need is a smartphone. Apps like Mystic, Over or photoshop (a MUCH simpler version and only $5 for your phone) allow you to quickly add digital elements to photos with only a tap or two. Here is a step by step tutorial using Mystic for how I created this photo. In short, you save both photos to your phone and upload the digital one in the app under the ‘handwriting’ choice. Done. Beautiful. Simple.

6 ways to use digital elements without photoshop2. Print directly onto patterned paper. This one only takes a few attempts at figuring out your own printer. Run a piece of plain paper through to figure out placement and you’re done. I literally use the program Paint to print these. Yes, that program you used as a kid to make weird spray paint looking art on because it was the only program that came with your computer. I open the photo in Paint and choose the size I want to print. Do a practice run and then insert my pretty paper when I’m satisfied.

6 ways to use digital elements without photoshop 1

3. Print on vellum. This is the greatest trick I have ever learned as a scrapbooker! Follow the steps in number 2 to print on vellum instead of paper and then lay it over a photo or paper, etc.6 ways to use digital elements without photoshop 2

4. Fake a digital overlay. To make this card, I simply printed the digital element on computer paper and then cut very closely around the letters, adhered it and was done.6 ways to use digital elements without photoshop 3

5. All hail the white space. I love printing on good, white card stock. Whenever a project is just too busy, this is a great way to calm things down.6 ways to use digital elements without photoshop 4

6. Design your own background. I followed the same steps as before, printed on white cardstock and then watercolored these very trendy stripes. The possibilities with white space are limitless…oh the places your scrappy imagination can take you…    6 ways to use digital elements without photoshop 5

I hope you have found a new way to use your digital elements that are quick, easy and stretch your stash a little farther. I can’t wait to see what you make! Have more ideas? Share them in the comments so we can all use them!

Get Messy 16 + August Link up

Art Journal ombre by Lauren Likes  In honor of demonstrating that art is not permanent and that change can always come, I revamped my page from last week that I just wasn’t in love with. I used your suggestions and committed to making it work. I wish I hadn’t hand written the script, but it adds a little more of an abstract feel to it and I didn’t want to just start over, I want to rework what I had. As my style is evolving I am finding more and more of how much ‘layers’ plays into my projects.

Art journal by Lauren LikesFor Caylee’s “Self Portrait in Objects” prompt I struggled. At first. I had the prompt for over a month and it just wasn’t working for me. Then, inspiration struck. And! I actually sketched out my plan. I’m going all Andrea on you ;) PS, I loved the sketching part! It made it so easy as I was collecting things to go in. I drew my inspiration from a mood board style and added in objects or photos that represented myself. This was my favorite prompt for sure!

Self Portiat in Objects art journal prompt on Lauren Likes

Self Portrait in objects by Lauren Likes

Ps I apologize for the worlds worst photographs. They will be fixed ASAP.

I cant wait to see how you interpreted this prompt, so link up so we can all see!

PS Caylee and I have some really exciting stuff up our sleeves, so Get Messy participant call is closing soon. So if you want to get on board email myself or Caylee ASAP!




Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal.



100 rejection letters project

100 Rejection Letters by Lauren Likes

Reject Me. Tell me no. I dare you.

I’ve got plans. I’ve got goals. And I will get there.

I have realised 2 things in my short blogging career.

(And by short I mean I have been putting weird stuff out onto the interwebs for 4 years now! How crazy is that?! But I’m counting the first 2 blogs I wrote as practice or pre-gaming for the real deal.)

Hey Lauren-Likes, I’m taking you somewhere.

The 2 things I’ve learned in life and in blogging:

  1. Act confident and people will think you belong.
  2. You’re not going to get stuff until you ask for it.

With this project, I’ve set out to do multiple things:

  1. Work on my self-confidence by not being crushed every time I experience rejection
  2. Purposefully seek out new opportunities
  3. Put myself out there by getting visible and pushing my own limits
  4. Network and meet other people who are working in the field I love
  5. Be proud of what I do and show it to people
  6. Try new things
  7. Create/curate a portfolio of projects I am proud of

I’ve already been rejected by Sarah Von Bargan of Yes and Yes and by One Little Bird. But you know what? These 2 really amazing bloggers took time to look at my blog and talk to me personally. Win, win. I knew that Sarah’s position was a long shot and she actually filled the position within 24 hours (crazy), but I tried. I failed. And it wasn’t the worst.

Some guidelines I’m setting:

  • I’m not applying to just any and everything if I’m not interested in actually following through with the commitment. This is fair to no one and is a waste of time.
  • The rejection letters can come in any form. From unreturned emails to flat-out rejections.
  • Anything can count. So asking to be featured on someones blog, applying to a design team, asking someone to post on my blog, submitted something for publication, etc.
  • What doesn’t count: “tag a friend and win’ instagram contests, etc. It actually has to take work and be a substantial and enriching goal/prize/opportunity
  • No real timeline, hopefully within 6 months or so

My plan is to get rejected by some pretty crazy people, like Martha Stewart and magazines, design teams, guest blogging spots and more!

Also, I don’t think this counts for my project, but was such a cool boost. I was checking my blog stats the other day and found this link that was sending along a fair amount of traffic called “Country Living”. I laughed and thought, some random blog named Country Living shared a link of mine. NOPE. Country Living, THE MAGAZINE, had shared a link to a tutorial of mine on their website. Yep. You can see it here. 

So hey, anything is possible right? I’ll definitely get rejected by at least 100 people, but who knows who will say yes and what will happen?! Have you done a project like this? Tell me all about it! Got any cools things I should apply to and see if they dare to reject me? Send me a link!

I’ll share updates randomly as I go. Here are a few other people who did rejection projects for you to check out. Another rejection letter project, famous people s rejection letters

Take a walk by the Han River

Take a walk on the Han River in Seoul South Korea One of my favorite parts of our apartment is that we live right on the river. What I love about the river is that there is a fantastic walking/exercise area that runs under the bridge along the river front. There is this amazing view. Paths for walkers, bikers, etc. And a ton of super strange workout equipment that people are legit using. I was so excited and we were playing on it, so I didn’t get pictures of all the machines. Confession: we couldn’t figure most of them out even with the pictures demonstrating them! I was also impressed with how many people were using them! And the upside down sleeping…that was interesting. There are these inclined benches that tons of people were laying on with their heads at the low end. Interesting technique? IMG_6731 IMG_6733 IMG_6738IMG_6740IMG_6751IMG_6746IMG_6741 IMG_6755

Seriously, who couldn’t love these faces?! Excuse me while I go politely turn down all the modeling agencies that are for sure calling us right now…IMG_6758IMG_6759IMG_6760

There is a bridge under the main bridge so you can walk/bike to the other side of the river too! IMG_6767

Umm I’m sorry, what exactly are you measuring with that giant measuring tape? Oh the water gets that high? For real? Oh, ok cool. IMG_6764

I really love street art and take lots of photos of it when we are out or are traveling. Any suggestions for what I should do with these photos?! Start a feature? A hashtag? Obviously a mini book called Street Art Around the World…. Umm book deal anyone?! Wow this post is proving really lucrative for me. Modeling, book deals….IMG_6763IMG_6762IMG_6770

Also, there are a ton of river activities you can do! Fishing, boating, jetskiing, and more! IMG_6768The bridge that we walked to (with the measuring tape) has a light/water show most evenings, so that is on our list to watch one night. Photos to come!



Lost at Seoul Tower

Love locks at Seoul Tower by Lauren-Likes

This is a story about fear and bravery and unexpected surprises and seizing the moment and trust and how working out is the worst. Love locks at Seoul Tower by Lauren-Likes

Some of my girlfriends wanted to try a new workout class in the park the first week we moved here. I hate working out, but can be peer pressured really easily. So I agreed. They all lived right by the park, I lived a decent ways away by multiple buses. I knew that I could do it though. The bus system here is really easy and I had been to all the places I needed to go (just not in the right order that I was going in that day), so I thought this would be so easy and a fun first adventure on my own. Up until now Terrell and I had gone everywhere together or with friends (who knew what they were doing). So I asked someone which bus to take. Easy. View from Seoul Tower by Lauren-Likes

I left the house ready to go. I was going to work out, hang out with new friends and go on an adventure all by myself. Well, some of those things happened….I got on the first bus, making great time. The bus was insanely crowded and I stood on someones foot stand as they sat. The bus was comically full. I jump off and as I’m crossing the street to take the next bus when I run into some other friends who inform me that I’m taking the right bus but on the wrong side of the road. So I cross back over, starting to get worried about time and how my plans have changed and I was wrong and what a close call that was! Nerves. Love locks at Seoul Tower by Lauren-Likes

The bus arrives, I hop on. Feeling better, but eyeing the clock. The bus is going in the right direction, there is a lot of traffic. The bus doesn’t take the turn I think it should. But I don’t worry, because I don’t really know the route. My American phone isn’t connected yet, it’s virtually an iPod now. The bus continues to drive. And drive. And make turns. And drive. Stops get less frequent. Time is ticking. I recognize nothing. But its ok. It’s just a weird route. I’ll get there. More turns. More giant buildings. Fake playing on my non working phone. Less people on the bus. A nice Korean ladies hands me a pamphlet for an English ministry of her church. She’s very nice. I’m officially very lost. More stops. More turns. Fear is surmounting. My chest is getting tight, I’m acutely aware that my shorts and tank top are not really in appropriate fashion for Korean street wear. Don’t make eye contact. Everyone knows. Seoul tower by Lauren-Likes

I’ve completely missed the start workout of the workout class by 15 minutes. But I don’t know what to do. Can I go late? Will I even be able to find them? Will I ever get there? Is this bus taking me to North Korea?! (Just kidding, I didn’t think that). I decide to just ride the bus until I either get to the park or it loops back around and drops me off where I started. (most of the buses just drive giant loops) This is what it feels like to be a foreigner. Lost, alone, silent, helpless, fear. No one speaks my language.  I have no working phone to help me navigate where I am or need to go. Fear. But I’m fine, I tell myself. I need to figure this out. I live here. This will happen often. I must stay calm and know what to do. View from Seoul Tower by Lauren-Likes

The bus stops. The driver FORCES me to get off. THIS IS NOT THE PLAN. The plan, good Korean sir, is to ride this bus UNTIL THE END OF TIME. I step out. There are people everywhere. Correction: there are TOURISTS everywhere. Theres nowhere to go. But up. I begin following the giant crowd up a giant hill (so I did get my workout in). I come over the top of the hill and this is the view that greets me. Realization hits: I’m at Seoul Tower. IM AT  SEOUL TOWER!! I KNOW WHERE THAT IS! I totally pretend like I meant to come here the whole time. Now my none working cell phone is my BFF because it has a camera. I snap away. I walk around and take in the breathtaking sights of the city. MY city. The city I just drove through with complete fear. Its beautiful and huge and full of possibilities. I take a billion photos of the love locks. I’m literally checking things off my bucket list with every step Im taking. I can do this. So I missed a workout that sounded like it was going to kill me. Oh, well. Look where I am. Seoul, South Korea lighting up by Lauren-Likes

Once I have thoroughly walked around and gotten over that uncomfortable feeling of ‘Im here alone and everyone knows’ I head back to the bus. I try to read the signs. They are all in Korean. But that never stops me from trying. So I get back on the exact bus I came on, because it will just backtrack right?! The driver at this point just knows he is going to have to live the rest of his life with me living on his bus. We both accept our fate and settle into it. I ride back the way we came. I edit photos on my phone. I am amazed at what I just unexpectedly found. I am amazed that I survived. But why should I be? I was made for this. Surely enough, the bus drops me back off in familiar land. It’s then that the boldness and courage is truly manifesting itself. I decide instead of catching the next bus to walk home instead. It’s actually a really nice 20 ish minute walk, downhill, through my neighborhood. But its getting dark. I have to do it. If I can handle the lostness, I can handle walking home. Seoul is one of the safest cities in the world and this is MY road. MY neighborhood. I walk home, stop and buy myself a new little succulent as a reward because I can do anything I want. I am fearless and brave and adventurous. Ok I walked a little fast a few times. But I did it. I arrived home to a furious husband. “YOU WENT TO SEOUL TOWER WITHOUT ME?!’ Well….kind of but not exactly….but yes?2014-07-29 19.59.42I did it. I survived my first of what will be a lifetime of lostness. And it was amazing. 

PS. I have seen this “To the moon and back” painted all around Seoul, but have no idea what it is. Anyone know? I promise I’m not a cult supporter if that’s what it is…..

Have you been lost? Where? Tell me what happened! You were brave. I know it. 


Get Messy 15

I cannot believe there have been 15 installments of Get Messy! And soooo many people have joined! This community blows me away every week! It is just amazing! Thank you guys so much for making this the most fun Ive ever had blogging and creating!

As I mentioned in our facebook group, I sat down and created a lot of random backgrounds using my watercolors to have on hand for when time/inspiration is running low. So this week I was really excited to use one of them. I loved the ombre stripes and knew I wanted to use these lyrics as they have been my athem for our move. And I used my fancy new watercolor brushes to write them out and love how it turned out. But the page is a little too flat for me. It still needs something, but Im not sure what. Any suggestions?

Ombre music lyrics art journal by Lauren Likes

I fell in love with this photo the second I saw it and have been hoarding it until I could find somthing perfect to go with it. A friend posted this quote on Facebook and I instantly went to my craft space and added it to the photo. I feel like the hearts are a little too much, I was just trying to use up some stash. But the quote and photo together are perfect!

Wanderlust art journal by Lauren likes

I cant wait to see what you made this week! And dont forget that you still have one more week to complete Caylees prompt to add to the link up I will host next week! YAY!

Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal.


Home tour: before + during




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In true Hooper fashion, when we landed in Korea, we hit the ground running. We slept our first night at a hotel (thanks so much to our school for arranging that for us!!) and our luggage was delivered to our house ahead of us (again by our wonderfully thoughtful school). Thankfully all 13 pieces of our luggage made it through 3 airports and customs unscathed! Our first day here we did some exploring with our wonderful tour guides, then came home ready to tackle suitcase mountain. If you know anything about my husband, know this: he doesn’t quit. He will not stop whatever he is doing and put it off for later. He will work relentlessly to finish something in one sitting….pretty much the opposite of my life philosophy. But thankfully in these situations, it works out really well. In less than 2 days we were completely unpacked and mostly organised (mostly because the stuff that was my responsibility I put off for a while…)


Now onto the good stuff! This is what our apartment looked like the day we moved in. Remember that our apartment is a mix between asian and american style as we have an oven, beds, bathtub, etc but still have the quirks of an asian style place. All the furniture you see came with the house and all the dishes, etc were here already. We have had to buy barely anything to furnish it at this point and are so thankful for that!

The front of our building. IMG_67222014-07-24 12.04.18

Spare room that will become Terrell’s office. 2014-07-24 12.04.47

Main bathroom that is out in the middle of the apartment for guests and us. 2014-07-24 12.05.06


Our room + some random slightly gross leftover items.

2014-07-24 12.05.19

Bathroom in our room. This is actually a ‘wet’ bathroom. If you can see the shower head in the right corner, these are traditional Asian showers where you just close the door and everything in the room gets wet….no thank you. But for real, how does the toilet paper not get wet?!2014-07-24 12.05.38

The view from our bedroom looking into the kitchen/dining area. 2014-07-24 12.04.05 2014-07-24 15.36.31

The living room view standing in the dining area.

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Spare room #2. You can see an additional porch here. Were not exactly sure what its for. We know you can create a cross breeze by opening the doors and windows to both porches. But the floor of this one is laminate on top and foam on the bottom. It totally freaks me out to step on it. I only use it at this point to photograph my projects.2014-07-24 12.07.49

Views of our ‘drying porch’. We can see right out onto the playground and in the winter we will be able to see the Han River! 2014-07-24 12.07.56

There are traditionally no drying machines in homes, so there are large screened/glassed in porches with drains and hanging racks to line dry your clothing. 2014-07-24 12.08.19


The view into the living room. That’s the front door on the right and the bright light is coming from spare room #2.

Now, how it looks after our things are all moved in and some semblance of order has been restored. IMG_6694

Possibly my favorite place. My little succulent collection is growing so quickly! Also, we have no drawers, so silverware in mason jars it is!IMG_6701

Our wardrobes and dressers in our room. No closets…IMG_6700

Our room. I really wish someone would have told me EVERYTHING in Korea is a wood color variation so I would have chosen a color for linens instead of gray and white…sigh. I guess that means I’ll have to get started on a quilt!


The bathroom in our room. IMG_6704

We brought exactly enough clothes to COMPLETELY fill our wardrobes and dressers… IMG_6703


Our main bathroom with the BEST shower curtain we could find. I mean seriously?!?! A shower curtain from Target is the first thing on my care package list for mom….IMG_6699

Terrell’s office. Mr. Minimalist. 2014-08-03 20.20.01-2

IMG_6717Our little shoe rack/living room entrance. I felt like this place was actually coming together well with decor and all! I have to remember to focus on one spot at a time..IMG_6716

Our shoe closet. You’re not supposed to walk around your home with shoes on! IMG_6689

(below photo) The view from the living room into the rest of the house. My office is the door on the right, you can see my desk. Terrell’s office is on the left. The tiny bit of wall corner you see on the far left is the entrance to our room. IMG_6690IMG_6691

Hey hey tiny kitchen! It’s actually working pretty well for us so far. But, if we let dishes pile up for more than 1 day, it is a massive mountain! IMG_6692IMG_6693

We are just blown away at how much space we have! That contraption in the corner is our air conditioner. Which is all in Korean and we only run in the afternoon/evenings. IMG_6688

Our view of the playground. IMG_6719Our drying porch more organised. IMG_6714

Our laundry room and storage area, etc. This is right off the kitchen.  See the Korean quirks I’m talking about….IMG_6715

And of course, the best place in the house…..My craft room!! IMG_6712

And let’s be honest about what it really looks like….Messes everywhere….IMG_6709Thanks for taking a peek into our home! It’s still in the very first, rough draft version. Our landlord is supposed to be re wallpapering soon, so we have to wait to hang things up. But I have SO many ideas and cannot wait to see how this place comes together! What do you think? Any suggestions on how to maximize space?! Wanna come visit?!?!


From there to here



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How we got from there to here. Our journey to Korea was not short nor a straight shot. In fact we went to 14 different cities/states/countries/continents within about 6 weeks time! Crazy. Here is our journey in photos.

We said goodbye to our home in Athens, GA and headed out on the road…2014-06-21 13.00.56

Had an incredibly fun weekend with friend sin Birmingham, AL…2014-06-22 12.09.55

Took a trip to the land of HOT for our prefield orientation (for Korea), for 2 weeks, in South Haven Mississippi. But of course we made time to visit Memphis, TN a few times..2014-06-27 20.35.34

Spent the 4th of July in one of America’s gems: Downtown Nashville, TN.2014-07-04 22.12.07

Did nothing but squeeze a baby and watched her roll around in the floor for 2 days in Goodletsville, TN… 2014-07-06 12.52.28

We left, aiming to hit Ashville and camp for the evening, but quickly decided we were tired. So Pigeon Forge, TN it was! (photo is from Cades Cove) 2014-07-07 15.13.19

Oh hey Ashville! A quick stop for dinner then more all night driving…2014-07-07 19.35.53

Glorious Hilton Head, SC for a few days of camping with my family..2014-07-10 14.31.13

Then, back to my hometown of Rock Hill where this happened….2014-07-13 00.36.43Terrell jetsetted off to Chicago for an AP music theory training….

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We are reunited and we take off to say goodbye to his parents with a weekend on Lake Nottely in Blairsville, GA…IMG_6580


And back to Rock Hill, SC for a going away party and last minute packing session…IMG_6606

Then….we board a plane….2014-07-22 09.10.33

We layover in Chicago…2014-07-22 09.09.32

We board for our longest flight…2014-07-22 14.10.24

Have a quick layover in Tokyo….2014-07-23 17.01.15

We finally arrive in Seoul, South Korea!! But are so exhausted we immediately sleep…

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We wake up the next morning and meet our new home…. 2014-07-24 15.11.34 


Apartment living inspiration

I plan to share our apartment tour with you this week and pre warning….its not the prettiest. But! Its got GREAT potential! So in efforts to spruce the place up I’ve been pinteresting like crazy for easy DIY decor and how to live large in small places. Here are a few of my favorites with links to their sources. If you have any recommendations or suggestions please let me know! See the whole pinterest board for more ideas here. 

Kitchen makeover Best small kitchen makeover. (source) 


Our motto (source) 

Map wall tutorial by Lauren-Likes

The map wall is for sure coming back!  (tutorial) Geometric photo hanging

Love this geometric design!  (source) ABM woven wall hanging I already have all the supplies to make this wall hanging! I cant wait to get started! (source)

Get Messy 14

This is the week of the thief. I did what all the great artists do. I stole. Right Austin Kleon?!?!

I can honestly say Ive never been so tired in my life. So creating has taken a backseat, no matter how much i want to get my hands on pretty papers, I just cant keep my eyes open at night. So when I sat down to work on my art journal this week it was out of sheer force. I had only one small idea and couldn’t figure out how to do it, so I just wanted to quit. But I pushed through and Im so glad I did. I did what I always do when I have NO ideas: I went to the Get Messy Pinterest board!! DUH! And decided to copy the greats and wait for the inspiration to roll in!

Andrea created this tutorial for this amazing page she made, so I just followed the instructions and ended up with a page that I love! I followed her instructions a little loosely, but thats what we to do as creators, right?! I used pretty patterned papers, cut them with my fancy scissors and added my journaling and embellishments. I found these photos of us doing things we don’t normally do and harnessed that feeling of trying new things and the adrenaline rush that comes with it to use for my journaling. Ive been pushing myself so much since we moved to Korea to try new things and just love it and want that to always be what my life is about.

Be Bold art journal by Lauren Likes I swear I made this page, not Olya. I don’t know if i’m kidding myself thinking people could actually get our work confused because her watercolors are just out of this world. But! When I stepped back and looked at it, I immediately thought, this looks like an Olya page!! I am going to say that Im quiet proud of that!! And then I stole from Caylee. I love the ‘she’ exercises she does and wanted to try one. Clearly I was needing/feeling some girl power in these pages. I say this every week, but I am standing firm this time. This page is my new favorite!

  She is.... art journal by Lauren-Likes

I cant wait to see what you made this week!


Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal.