Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Christmas! ... it's snow much fun here!

Happy Christmas friends! I hope you are certainly having a special time with family and friends as you enjoy all the good things that the season brings ... and if you live anywhere on the east coast of the USA, that probably includes snow ... and a LOT of it!

It's SO different to experience a white Christmas, because where I'm from (Sydney, Australia) we would normally be surfing or sunbaking at this time of year ... but instead ... here we are SNOWED IN (literally) on Boxing Day, and loving it!

Jodie & my daugher Georgia (9), boxing day 2010.
It's given us lots of time to be creative (I've been working on my new Dover Book, due for release Spring 2011), and to enjoy some fun times together at home ... Check out the Gingerbread House we made with a fabulous kit from my favorite gourmet grocery, Trader Joe's. It took just a couple of minutes to put together, but a couple of days to completely devour :). Isn't it adorable?!  Yes, that's the old witch in the corner. We ate her first so she wouldn't eat the children before we got to :)

{worn photo overlay courtesy Vera Lim}
Trader Joe's GingerBread House Kit Authentic German "Hexen Haus" with Candy & Cookie Decorations.
And of course, we've had our favorite music playing in the background every day this week - the latest Christmas CD from Starbucks.  LOVE this album! Seriously RETRO, but funky ...  even caught myself doing an Elvis Presley impression to 'Blue Christmas' - much to the embarrassment of my hubby and kids :).

The real HIGHLIGHT of Christmas for me though, was putting my kids to bed after reading the Christmas story to them from 'The Jesus Storybook Bible'. It is a beautifully illustrated book that tells the inspirational story beneath all the stories in the Bible. Before going to sleep Luca (6) said to me 'Mummy, I know why we give gifts to each other at Christmas.  It's because God gave us the best gift of all when he gave us Jesus'. Thank you Luca, for that precious reminder of what CHRISTmas means to us.

Happy Christmas, happy Holidays, and Season's Greetings to you all! Check the blog for a new FREEBIE arriving tomorrow! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Freebie: Christmas Angels with Harp Vintage Postcard!

Here is another gorgeous restored antique postcard from my collection! I thought you might like to use this stunning image for your Christmas crafts or cards. Click on the image to go to the larger preview, click again, then right click to download and save the image to your computer.  Personal use only. You can purchase a limited commercial-use copy (10x7 inches!) from my Etsy Store (Vintage Scrap Box) HERE.

© Gypsy Chick

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me :) 40 years old today.

Yes friends, there's no use denying it, and I can't escape it, so I may as well celebrate it :) I'm 40 years old today. My birthday is actually the 18th of December, but since I was born in Australia (they are a day ahead), and I live in the USA, I'm celebrating it today ... and tomorrow :) ... excuse me while I get a little nostalgic here and show you some 'vintage' photos :)

Jodie, 1971.
Jodie, 1972.
Jodie, 1973.
Jodie, 1977.
1979.  Mum & Dad - love you!

20 yrs old.  Long live the 80's!
Me (40) with my little cuties, Luca (6), Giorgia (9), 2010.

Winner Announced: Father Christmas 6x6 paper pack!

REBECCA LOVELL of Rebecca's Scraps:
is our winner of the Pink Paislee/Gypsy Chick 'Father Christmas' 6x6 paper pack!

Check your mailbox Rebecca!

Thank you to everyone for leaving your wonderful comments on the pack here on the Gypsy Chick Blog. I really wish I could send all of this pack!

I did notice that if you do a google image search for 'Pink Paislee Father Christmas' you will come up with a few small online scrapbooking sites that still have the 6x6 inch paper pack in stock.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tutorial: Design your own cards from vintage images!

It's easy to create your own collage-style cards from vintage images ... and the results can be quite enchanting, as I'm about to show you. One recent creation of my own is this free 'French Bird Christmas Card' which you can download HERE (pictured in the final image below).

Here are the ingredients I used to create this card in Photoshop, but you could also figure out how to create a paper version without too much difficulty.
Easy Directions for Photoshop:
1. Take an old illustration of a bird or other animal/object. You can find vintage images to download on Etsy. Try searching 'digital collage sheet' + 'bird'.
Choose an image that would create a nice silhouette. Select the background area behind the bird with the magic wand tool. Inverse the selection.
2. Open another image of vintage flowers, or foliage or other design. Choose an image that would bring out the character of the bird shape, or create a crazy abstract effect. You might find the perfect vintage image in my 'Vintage Scrap Box' store at Etsy HERE.
3. Copy and paste this image into the selected area of the bird image (edit > paste into).
4. Select the background area again, fill with a color, then stamp with vintage text and antique printer's ornaments.
5. You may like to add a background pattern (I've used damask here), and a calligraphic style box with text. These books by Dover have some gorgeous calligraphic boxes!

6. You can then print, paste onto cardstock and embellish further if you like.

That's it! How fun is that? So, please try it out, and email a picture of your creations with a link to your blog to, and I will post them here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Freebie: French Bird Christmas Card!

I worked up a little Christmas card design to send to some friends today, and I thought I'd share it with you as well. There should still be enough time to print, paste and post before Christmas! You get two different colored versions of the card in this freebie (see below).

I can't get enough of the 'French' and 'bird' motifs so popular in design these days, (that, plus this Aussie girl is not used to these freezing North American winters, so I'm dreaming about warm Spring weather, lovely  twittering birds, pretty blue sky, ... etc, etc :).

How To: The image is 4 x 5.5 inches in size. Print onto either watercolor paper for a softer effect or glossy photo paper for a brighter effect. Attach to a 4.5x6 red or yellow card, add ribbon, embellish.

You can click on the images below to see the bigger previews, but you must come back and click HERE to download the French Bird Christmas Card, and please leave a comment below.  I always love to see photos of your creations, please send to This card is personal use only.

Want to see a tutorial on how I created this card? Go HERE to see how you can create your own cards from vintage images!

© Gypsy Chick
© Gypsy Chick

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Freebie: "Santa Calling" Digital Scrapbook Paper!

Got a little freebie for you today ... a 12x12 inch digital scrapbook paper by Gypsy Chick.  Click the preview to see a detailed image of what you'll be getting, then simply download HERE, and enjoy!

Feel free to leave a comment if you like it! :)

© 2010 Gypsy Chick

Monday, December 13, 2010

Win the 'Father Christmas' 6x6 inch paper pack!

All you need to do is leave a comment here on what you think of the new 'Father Christmas' collection by Pink Paislee/Gypsy Chick and you will go in the running to receive this 6x6 inch paper pack! It's a lot of fun for scrapping your favorite Christmas memories or even making Christmas cards! 

The winner will be announced December 16 here on the blog! 

© 2010 Gypsy Chick

Friday, December 10, 2010

Freebies From the New 'Father Christmas' Collection!

Make sure you stop by the Pink Paislee Blog where they have featured all kind of fun project ideas and downloadable freebies from my new 'Father Christmas' paper scrapbook collection at their '12 Days of Christmas' promotion.

Here is just one of the many freebies you'll find there (pictured below) ... a cute Christmas quick-page I created for you. Go HERE to download it from the Pink Paislee blog.

You can also read about me in their 'meet the artist' feature as well (blush:) ... thank you for the kind words Pink Paislee!

© 2010 Gypsy Chick

© 2010 Gypsy Chick

New Paper Collection: Father Christmas

Oops ... Thanksgiving has come and gone, and time is just flying by! For all my friends in the USA, I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving like I did! After eight hours in the kitchen that day, our family had one of the most amazing meals I've ever cooked (if I don't say so myself! :) ... it was awesome!

and now... Christmas will soon be upon us ... bringing many wonderful memories I'm sure you'll want to scrapbook. SO, if you haven't had a chance to check out my new paper collection (by Gypsy Chick), then here it is!

This collection was released with the very wonderful 'Pink Paislee' brand, and they tell me it sold out a few weeks ago :( ... however you may still be able to grab a few bits and pieces from various online scrapbooking stores, or your local scrapbook store if they stock Pink Paislee (if they don't, tell them you want it! :)

The 'Father Christmas' collection is a fun vintage collection featuring those nostalgic Victorian Santa images that we've all grown to love ... take a look!  Leave a comment and you will go in the draw to win a mini paper pack (6x6 inches) of the whole collection! Happy Christmas everyone.

© 2010 Gypsy Chick

© 2010 Gypsy Chick

© 2010 Gypsy Chick

© 2010 Gypsy Chick

© 2010 Gypsy Chick

© 2010 Gypsy Chick

© 2010 Gypsy Chick

© 2010 Gypsy Chick

Monday, October 4, 2010

Designing With Vintage Scraps!

Vintage scraps are a great way to add instant nostalgia to all your digital designs! Most of the older designs are now in the public domain, so there are no worries about copyright.

Dover has some great clipart books with CD that feature lots of royalty-free die-cut scraps, but you can also find these lovely little bits of ephemera on places like and

A lot of the scraps can be quite small, (1-3 inches) but if you scan them at a high resolution, you can usually bring them up to a size that will work perfectly for your designs.

Here's one I restored to perfection for you ... feel free to use it any of your personal or commercial designs, just give me a credit if you can either on your blog or in your terms of use file.

How to download: Click the image to get to the larger image, then click the image again to get the largest size. Right click, then save to your computer. This is a JPG file with a white background. To make a transparent PNG file, simply choose your magic wand tool in Photoshop with a tolerance of 1, Select white area, select inverse, then select modify and feather it by 1. Copy and paste into a transparent document, and there you have it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gypsy Chick @ Pink Paislee!

Hey friends, I am really excited to announce the upcoming release of my first collection with Pink Paislee! This is a wonderful paper scrapbooking company who have some really gorgeous designs ... so how exciting!

My new collection, titled 'Father Chrismas' features all those wonderful vintage images of jolly old Santa from the golden age of postcards (early 1900's). Due for release into stores soon, you won't want to miss this one for all your holiday creations! Do keep checking the Pink Paislee website for further details, and retail/wholesale information on where to purchase 'Father Christmas'.

It's an honor to be designing for Pink Paislee alongside such designers as the very fabulous House of 3 designers (Rhonna Farrer, Heidi Swapp, and Janet Hopkins). They have a gorgeous new collection out called 'Parisian Anthology' - check it out on the sneak peek page at the Pink Paislee website.

Goodbye to Summer :( broken butterfly wings

OMgosh friends, I can't believe the summer is gone! And look how long it's been since I last posted! I trust that you have all had a wonderful summer full of fun family times together.

As for me, I've been spending a lot of time with the kids. I taught my nine year old daughter Georgia how to sew, and she'll soon be surpassing me in her sewing skills, I'm sure! My little son Luca (6) has learned how to swim and loves getting dumped by waves at our favorite little beach getaway, down at 89th street Virginia Beach :)

I have a very special freebie for you today from Georgia, who came running inside with this precious little find - real butterfly wings! It was a bit sad to find these wings on the ground like this, and we do wonder what happened to this beautiful butterfly, but the wings left behind are a gift from nature, and so we thought you might like to use them in your designs.

Click on the image to get the larger version, then right click and save to your computer. This is a jpg, so open it in Photoshop and select the white area with the magic wand and a tolerance setting of 1. Go select>inverse and there you have your beautiful wings! You may use these commercially. If you can give a credit to my daughter 'Georgia Gandolfi', that would wonderful.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Photos that Pop? Get in on the Action!

As a designer of digital scrapbook products, I've always felt that the photos we take of our beloved family and friends should always be the central focus of our layouts, not the designs we dress them up in. After all, design trends come and go, but photos are forever.

One way to make your photos really POP is with Photoshop actions.  If you look around at some of the gorgeous photography blogs out there created by avid 'mama-razzi' photographers,  you'll find that a lot of these photographers are using actions or plugins on their digital photos to get incredible results, often with the touch of a button. Let me show you one example (below).

Here is an adorable digital photo of my new nephew, Bondi, that my sister sent me this week from Australia.
I wanted to bring out the magic in the shot, and thanks to actions, I knew I could do this with just a few simple steps in Photoshop.

You can find all kinds of portrait pop actions for free on the internet. It's just a matter of trying them to see what  you like. First, use an action that makes the photo pop (lightens, and works on contrast issues), then use one that has a softening, skin smoothing effect (but don't overdo it here).

Here is the recipe I used for this shot. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust to suit the needs of your photo. If you're not sure about how to load an action or use one, google for tutorials (don't worry, it's really easy).
1. Run 'Color Boost' Action by Shannon Beauford, available for free here:
2. Run a plugin on from Topaz Labs called Adjust 4 ('portrait smooth' or 'simplify' preset), available from . They are a bit pricey, but they do have a free trial version.
One of my favorite FREE plugins for portrait effects is 'Virtual Photographer' from OptikVerve Labs available at And of course there is always which has an incredible array of free Photoshop actions (always check their terms of use).

So, now you can get in on a little action and rev up the 'OOooh' factor on your photos
BTW ... isn't he adorable? Totally LOVE that hair!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

As Seen In: Altered Hearts E-zine

This month's issue of the digital scrapbooking magazine 'Altered Hearts' features an interview with me, PLUS my steampunk brush set is also included as a freebie (personal use version). This is an amazing digital design magazine featuring tips, tricks and all kinds of wonderful resources. You can grab it here for just a few dollars.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

As Seen In: Digi Shop Talk

Oohh, it's a little overdue to mention ... but I was the featured designer at DigiShopTalk to kick of 2010! Here is the kit for gold members on the site, and here are some layouts below that I created for the kit.

Freebie: Spring Bird Card

It's Spring here in the USA! I've been enjoying nature walks with my kids and waking up to the chirps of little birdies outside my window :). So in celebration of Spring, here is a little freebie for you - a 4x5 inch greeting card you can customise/print. Click to go to the larger image, then simply right click and save. Personal use only. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Freebie: Designer Palette

I love collecting vintage children's books, particularly ones from the 1920's.  These books are a wonderful resource for designers, particularly in terms of the inspiration they provide when you are looking to add some vintage charm to your modern digital designs! 

Here is a FREE designer color palette that I created for you from one of the antique books in my collection. You can use this in all your designs both personal and commercial. Just right click and save! 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

As Seen In: Somerset Digital Studio

Gypsy Chick is published in the 2010 Spring Edition of the Somerset 'Digital Studio' Magazine!

Digital Studio is a gorgeous magazine featuring 150+ inspirational digital layouts. You can find my layout (pictured below) on page 100 of the magazine. You can purchase the magazine from any Barnes and Noble store, or directly from here.

Like the layout? You can purchase it as a 'Quick Page' from my Gypsy Chick store at here.
Other brushes used in this layout can be found in my store here, here, and here. Thanks to TKWhimsy for use of the 'TKDoodle Font' which you can find at

© 2010 Gypsy Chick