VP Challenge #2 - March 2019

Elizabeth Weaver

Designing Ninjas
Hi everybody! I've been looking forward to this one, to see what you make of it!

I've recently come to the sad realization that physical, real, paper books are truly losing their market demand. I myself prefer audiobooks so that I can multitask. Many read e-books, which I have also done. This week I read an actual paper book (a vintage one) for the first time in YEARS, and really enjoyed it. You can't get the majority of old books on audio or e-format.

I tried to sell some of my (I thought really cool) books recently, and bookstores do not want them. Around the world some donation centers are not even taking them - or if they do, it's to recycle only. How heartbreaking is that? A couple of weeks ago I watched as a bookstore employee took a large cart of books out to the recycle bin and began throwing them in. I get that a lot of titles are mass produced, but the kind of books I was trying to sell were vintage from the 1960s - childrens' books mostly. And they did not want them. I will have to figure something out.

So here we are, you and I, smack in the middle of this age of diminishing physical books. We need to preserve for the future how important books have been in our lives - the lasting mark they've imprinted on us. This challenge will be all about what a BIG impact a book can have on our emotions, our education, our social behavior, and more! And paper, cardboard, leather, etc, is where it all started for us.

I want you to create a layout using a BIG book. Have it cover the majority of the page. It can be an element or a photo of a book - as long as it's LARGE. Here are some ideas:

~ Textbooks - how heavy were they to carry around in school?! Students today have e-books or books that stay in the classroom.

~ Fantasy - Create a 'look into' a book by adding a scene or photograph on a blank page. You can even cut a 'door' or 'window' into the pages.

~ Stack of books - Show us your favorite titles! Extra fun would be to show yourself (or an artsy representation of yourself) sitting on the stack of books!

~ Book edges - Make up funny titles that pertain to 'inside' jokes with your family or friends. If this is to go into a scrapbook for future generations, be sure to explain the jokes in your journaling.

~ Dress up like one of your favorite characters, and put yourself on the cover of a book! (sorry, magazines aren't welcome in this challenge! :) )

~ Find internet photos that illustrate your favorite book or series (Outlander springs to mind) and combine photos of the books with the characters, along with journaling which explains what the book or series means to you.

~ Something else! As long as the book is BIG, and the layout means something to you, then it counts!

I have some layout examples to show you below, and I also have some LARGE book elements in the store, which I put on sale for this challenge. The use of these is NOT required to fulfill the challenge.


ScreenHunter_5550 Mar. 15 01.52.jpg

NOT MINE: Here is the image that inspired my first layout. I apologize for not saving the source, but I just love the art:


And here is my layout:


These two were jokes for my Pokemon Go playing friends - the titles all have to do with stuff that goes on in our group:



The One Little Word challenge this month offers free word art with books/reading as the subject. Go check that out and grab the freebie if you haven't already. You may use the word art on pages for this challenge. To get credit for both challenges, though, you must upload two layouts.

Okay - go on then! I can't wait to see what YOU come up with!!!

"Here are the requirements that must be met for all PDW Challenges to receive points:
1. To receive points you must Use at least one item from a Plain Digital Wrapper Designer- You can use retired PDW products, freebies, and store collabs. BUT the designers have to be still active (except in the case of collabs)
2. Be a new layout created for this challenge.
3. Be only entered in 1 challenge category.
4. Upload your layout to the Variety Pack Challenge Gallery and post the link and photo in this thread.
5. Your page must be posted by the last day of themonth in order to receive points.

You will receive one Wrapper for completing thechallenge and a Bonus Wrapper for using ALL PDW products if you keep track in the It's a Wrap Thread!! Those add up quickly-and 20 points will get you a $5 gift certificate to the PDW store
Last edited:


Active Member
Same goes for me!!! I'm so excited I don't know what I'll do for the challenge LOL Great one though Elizabeth!!

P.S. I LOVE your layout!! I sure hope I can figure out how to scraplift this for another time!


Active Member
This was indeed a challenge. After seeing what has been done I was stressed lol. As much as I LOVE your layouts, I knew I couldn't do a page like you had. So I took a deep breath and got at it. It's taken me all weekend to feel semi-satisfied with my layout (I had to stop or it would never get posted). Thank you for your creativity @Elizabeth Weaver! AND your awesome free Teal and Blue overlay! They ended up being my lifesaver LOL



Elizabeth Weaver

Designing Ninjas
Oh Ruth I am sorry it stressed you! You really nailed it though! I do like the addition of the overlay - it adds just that bit of detail around the book, which is of course the main feature. Thanks for playing!


Active Member
Oh Ruth I am sorry it stressed you! You really nailed it though! I do like the addition of the overlay - it adds just that bit of detail around the book, which is of course the main feature. Thanks for playing!
Thanks Elizabeth. I'd like to try this again sometime and see if I can figure out how to achieve this in Artisan 5

Elizabeth Weaver

Designing Ninjas
I really wanted to try that too - and a while back I had taken some photos of my daughter to do it with, but I file my photos under month and year and I forgot when I took them, lol. I'd have to do some searching. She wasn't dressed up fancy though, because I was just going to put her in a video game, not into a book. So I went with the easier task of just doing the photo in the book.

In steps, I think you'd:

~ Have someone pose specifically for these photos
~ Extract them to put on the photo of the book
~ Give them a drop shadow against the page
~ Cut the rectangular shape from the book
~ 'Burn' mode the edges or use an edge overlay or brushes to get that blackened effect
~ Place another photo behind the book
~ Use a large soft eraser mode to erase away the sharp edges of that photo that come under the book.

I had to do some of that for the layout of my daughter in the long dress. It would actually suit her personality better if I was to find the other photos and put her in the video game!

I didn't have a lot of photo at the bottom, so I used the clone tool to 'bring out' the pine straw, with a big soft brush. The brown leaves are an element.

If anyone has any other questions about how I did any of my layouts, ask away! I use a very old version of Paint Shop Pro (8) to do everything. Right now my computer won't run Photoshop, and I like PSP better anyway for most things - just because I'm very used to it.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Oh my! I won't say that was easy (I had to do a fait bit of extraction, book and plane photo, transform part of my photo into a sketch, and to add some perspective to papers to decorate the pages of my book, plus blending, and perspective to ephemera elements under my book), but that was also fun!
I even added the sunglasses to my son's face - attention to detail! Hehehe!