A blissful shopping experience and a hybrid layout share and process

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking102 Comments


Last week I posed a simple question to you, my readers, regarding tea. The response was utterly amazing—the most non-giveaway comments I've ever received. Many of you tipped me off to Adagio Teas, and today, I'm here to report on what I found.

The bottom line? My shopping experience—from my initial browsing of their site to the final sip of my first cup made using their products—was singularly impressive.


When I opened my package I was greeted by stellar design and you know me: I've got a bit of a soft spot for design.


The design starts when you meet them online, and continues right down to the last packaging detail. They even throw in a book for first-time customers. For free.


For free, people. Who doesn't love a company that throws in something useful for free?


My purchases included the ingenuiTEA, two glass mugs (which I am IN LOVE with) and some assorted tea sampler packs to get started on my exploration of loose, gourmet teas. (Note: it really is worth it to go and watch the video on how the inegnuiTEA works. Again, form following function. Love that.)

My first cup yesterday morning was of Adagio's English Breakfast, and it was DIVINE. (I know my British readers are looking for the milk and sugar, but remember, my English comrades, I'm on a diet.)


Every time I look at my tea maker, my mugs and my little adorable tins I just feel good. I want to call up whoever heads this company and say, "Whoever it is making your decisions, tell them they have just made a lifetime customer of me."

I mean, I got an email from them that said, "Your UPS man just delivered your package," and lo and behold, there it was. Cradle to grave, amazing service.

I believe if more companies put this kind of thought and care into the entire experience that more consumers would be giving them their money and feeling good about it in the process.

So there's that.

And that inspired the following scrapbook page.

See, tea is my new smoking. I love anything that can be habituated, or ritualized, and right now tea is it, mama. Unlike my former smoking habit, this one smells goo gobs better and is actually good for me!

I decided to make a layout featuring my lovely tea shots, and using one of my digital templates in a hybrid fashion, and I'm going to share the process with you.

Here is the finished hybrid layout:



SUPPLIES: Layered Template No. 42 (Cathy Zielske) • Cat's Life Press Stamp • Staz-On ink • PSX mini alpha stamps • Avenir font

A lot of people like the idea of digital templates, but want to use them in a more hybrid fashion. Here is how I took a basic digital template and did just that.

Here is the basic template design:


First, I did the digital thing, dropping in my photos and my journaling into the template:


The next thing I did was to fill the entire background with white. I then saved this file, and did a Save As to create a new file, which I then cropped to 11 x 8.5 inches.


The reason I did this is to be able to send this file to print onto an 8.5 x 11 sheet of photo paper. In this way, I was able to use the core design of the template as the base for my photos.

I printed this image at 97% of original to allow for some play with the document's original outline.

Then, I opened the original digital file, and turned off all the layers except the one holding the outline.


I printed this onto a 12 x 12 sheet of cardstock.

The final step was to trim out the photos just to the inside of the outline and manually round the corners, before finally mounting it onto the 12 x 12 piece of cardstock. Voila! Hybrid layout done!


Just wanted to share a) a great company, b) a few nice photos of my new habit and c) how you can take anything fully digital and blend the best of both worlds.

Cathy ZielskeA blissful shopping experience and a hybrid layout share and process

102 Comments on “A blissful shopping experience and a hybrid layout share and process”

  1. #1

    YES!!! That is awesome! Glad you went with Adagio:) Love the layout. Will def check out the sale, too!

  2. #4
    Stephanie Howell

    i don’t “do” digital, but i’m totally lifting that layout in a paper version. it’s lovely.
    and i’m not a tea person either, coffee all the way! but i’m thinking about making jimmy read this post. as i mentioned, he’s a tad tea obsessed (french press and all).
    have a beautiful thursday, sweet friend. by the way- have i ever told you i love your blog? and YOU???? xoxo

  3. #5
    Ronnie Crowley

    No sugar – just milk. A splash of 1% milk won’t kill you on WW’s and with an English Breakfast is a must. I love a fat free milk steamer as well with sugar free caramel from Starbucks (no coffee just the milk).

  4. #6

    thank you Cathy for:

    #1 being YOU!
    #2 having a wunderful blog!
    #3 teaching me to love and appreciate digital more and more
    #4 answering the age old question, “where can I get a great cup of tea?”–

    This was a delicious post and I think I’m going to give it a try–i’m tired of buying traditional teas that do not satisfy my taste buds–Thank you for sharing—remain blessed!

  5. #8

    Excuse me while I go drink 9 dozen cups of tea so I can use up all of the tea sitting in my cupboard so I can go stock up on Adagio tea. They had me at “ZZZZZ” over the decaf cup.

  6. #10

    Awwww. You know, I too, am a lover of the coffee. But the tea is so… like i said, ritualized. Ex-smokers like things that have that kind of process.

    Good thing I didn’t decide to go shopping at HeroinFansOnline.com, huh?

  7. #13

    Great layout, Cathy! 🙂 I have quite a stash of tea already but maybe I’ll use the coupon to get that ingenuiTEA pot to help me actually use my loose tea! 🙂

  8. #14

    I’ve never been a “hot tea” person, but after reading what you wrote I’m all the sudden craving some hot tea! I’m going to have to try this!

  9. #16

    I’ve placed an order but I didn’t know where to include the $5 off coupon so after I did the checkout I sent an email to them and maybe I can get the $5 off. I like coffee and tea too. I also like your hybrid layout. Thanks for sharing your tea experience and your hybrid layout.

  10. #17
    Chris A.

    Thanks for posting this, I’ll have to try it out as soon as my current tea is done. Is the IngenuiTEA teapot plastic or glass? Just wondering.

    Re the DOOCE reference (LOL) she posted about Cupcake Chardonnay wine and a few weeks later I saw it at the store and had to try it. It was excellent.


    Haven’t seen the Plungerhead Zinfandel yet to try it.


    I think I would buy it just for the label on the bottle (LOL).

    But of course you are on Weight Watchers and I don’t know if they allow wine.

  11. #18
    Tanya Gilmartin

    yeah- I am the same way- i like to know everything about something when I get into it. Just checked out the site and I LOVE it! I am ordering at starter kit for me, my parents and my inlaws- they will love it! thanks for the coupon.

  12. #22
    Cynthia Friese-Hassanein

    Oh yes!!!!!! I am totally sucker for good packaging too. And all the little details.
    you sold me on it. My husband is a huge tea drinker. And I slowly got into drinking
    it myself. Looooooooooooove the lay-out another winner my friend! Will have to
    pick that one up too.

  13. #23

    Thanks, Cathy! Order has been placed for my ritual-tea-loving husband (also an ex-smoker who loves his rituals).

    I got the pot with black sampler and ordered an extra green sampler. Can’t wait to try it out! Thanks for the tip and the $5 coupon.

  14. #24

    Hey Cathy!! I just recently started drinking tea, too 🙂 I may give these a shot, since I’m almost out of my last purchase – so thanks so much for the coupon code!
    I do have a question about the lo – how do you place the one photo under the 2 clipping masks (i’m using PSE on a Mac)??

    Thanks so much 🙂


  15. #25
    Ilya Kreymerman

    Thank you to everyone who has purchasing the starter set that Cathy recommended. In case it is unclear, the $5 code goes into the gift certificate field in the checkout.

  16. #26
    Peg Graham

    Cathy- thanks for this info on the tea. I ordered mine today, but didn’t see where I could add the coupon code, so I emailed the company in hopes they will recalculate it for me. I also ordered the Birthday Tea blend…can’t wait!!!

    Thanks mucho!!!

  17. #27
    Susan L

    FYI for the Europeans among us, adagio has a UK website, with much more reasonable shipping rates to UK and Europe http://www.adagio.uk.com.

    It’s interesting that there seems to be more bagged tea at that site than the US one. And the US has a much larger selection of varieties. Shatters all my stereotypes.

  18. #29

    Stacyjo, I just clicked on BOTH of those layers in the Layers Palette (hold down the Shift key to be able to select both at the same time), then go to the Layers menu, and choose “Merge Layers”. Then they act as one layer and you can clip a single image inside.

  19. #31

    Peg, they just posted above:

    “Thank you to everyone who has purchasing the starter set that Cathy recommended. In case it is unclear, the $5 code goes into the gift certificate field in the checkout.”

  20. #34

    I have a question on your hybrid layout. Why didn’t you just print it all on a 12X12 and call it a day? I think I must be missing something.
    My daughter and her family are big tea drinkers. I’ll have to pass on your experience to her.

  21. #35
    Kathleen S.

    ‘Goo gobs better?’ You gotta love someone who can come up with goo gobs. Angie Lucas must haunt your blog for examples of English as a living language.

  22. #36

    Thanks Cathy for the “coupon”…just ordered my infuser and some sample teas. Please let your readers know that you have to enter the “coupon” at the checkout screen as a “gift certificate” first and then you can continue to checkout with your credit card, etc. at the rapidcheckout area. Hope this helps, Roberta

  23. #39
    Tammy M.

    Just watched the video at Adagio on the Ingenuitea teapot…that is TOO COOL!! And they have a honeybush tea sampler too!! I’m so tempted to try this but I’m trying to be a good girl with our credit card…tempting, tempting, tempting!

    Great layout too! Love it!

  24. #42
    Deb J

    Hum! I have to try this tea. Will go out and check on it. Love the layout. So life oriented. I like that about your layouts. I will have to do something like this myself.

  25. #46

    Hi Cathy — I know you probably have written about your printer(s) on your blog somewhere before, but I am curious to know what you use to print on 12×12 paper (and your photos, too)? Thanks!

  26. #47

    I’m a 3 cup coffee in the morning drinker with my cinnamon toast..but it’s just not the same for me in the afternoon when I need that pickup(taste bitter to me after lunch)…probably don’t need anymore after 3 cups anyway..but hot tea around that 4:00pm slump sounds pretty good…maybe helpt me resist the chip/m&m attach I get around that time..gonna have to try some of this stuff..thanks cathy!

  27. #48

    Crud, I got so excited looking at the website and placing my order, that I totally forgot about the $5 gift code. Oh well, now I’m just looking forward to my tea arriving. BTW, the last thing I needed right now was more tea.

  28. #49

    Yay! So glad you tried Adagio. I love the company and their products al the way down to their font choice! After your post last week I was inspired to place an order for a green tea sampler, which I’ve always been hesitant to try due to my picky, American palate. But the flavors I’ve tried have surprised me with how easy they are to drink. The layout rocks, too. It’s so inspiring to see a design like this that celebrates new passions and the Now.

  29. #50

    OK, so I finally saw the Titanic video by Cole. Brilliant!
    Amazing! So much talent for a fine young man! He reminds me so much of my 8 year old boy, who may I say is also brilliant, amazing and charming 🙂
    Now the important stuff. How long do you have to store the ship? I still have every diorama that my 14 yr old daughter has ever made. That might be too long huh?

  30. #57


    you rock my sock off! i JUST placed my adagio tea order. now can you check to see if you can get a discount at villageteaco.com? 🙂 Just Kidding!

    Do I smell a new regular blog feature? “For The Love of Tea”

  31. #58

    by the way I ordered Honeybush Vanilla and Honeybush Hazelnut, plus a cool glass teapot. I have been wanting one forever. Thanks for the hook-up!

  32. #59

    Hi Cathy,
    I’ve been following your work for a while now, and have copies of your books, and now both myself and my daughter follow your blog, feel that I should introduce myself as I’m beginning to feel like a stalker! Don’t be scared – I’m not 🙂 But I am English, living in England, and have followed your tea blog with interest! Strong, sweet with a little milk – it’s like mother’s milk to most of us Brits! Try it! Like your style by the way – scrapbooking, parenting, life generally!

  33. #60
    Suzanne E

    I will definitely be checking out Adagio. I am southern so I grew up drinking tea. So I have always loved tea cold or hot it doesn’t matter. Thanks for the coupon info!

  34. #63

    Stunning LO and template :). Every time I think your design can’t get any cleaner, simpler and cooler, it just does. Intrigued by the photos of the Adagio designs, but thought “Hey-ho, won’t be available here in the UK”. For all of you European readers – they are! The UK site is http://www.adagio.uk.com/ (am I allowed to do this on your blog, Cathy? You can delete it, if not). Found the IngenuiTEA very cool but I need white bone china for my tea! Great site and thank-you.

  35. #64
    Mary Mitchell

    I wasn’t familiar with this company…..but I soon will be. Just placed an order for the sampler and brew pot.
    Thanks for passing along this intriguing find and the coupon code

  36. #65

    Hi Cathy, yet another digital template I have to buy and I’m not a digital scrapbooker and I don’t have a large format printer either. I can’t print this onto 8.5×11 can I as the outlines box is square. Oh well. One more REALLY IMPORTANT QUESTION FOR ME please…. How to you get your text onto consecutive lines in your journalling card. I don’t have any trouble with the first line but is there a trick to working out how far about the leading lines (I think that’s what you call them) are. I have a few text boxes from DYL class and don’t know how to type the journal in so that the typing flows easily onto the lines. Sorry for rambling on. Hope this makes sense.

  37. #67

    Christina, to create a text BOX so to speak in PSE, you click on your text tool, click where you want it, hold down the mouse and drag a selection area. When you let go, you’ve then created a space to contain your journaling and the lines will move down and flow accordingly.

    Does that answer your question?

  38. #70

    My honey just brought me a sampling of teas back from Canada for Valentine’s Day… If you ever get the chance try some “Teaopia”. It’s completely wonderful!

  39. #71
    Erica K

    Wow, only $19 for the starter kit, although the pot seems a little less convenient than my regular mug with the filter… I do believe I’ll try them! I can’t remember how much I pay at the local tea store, but the prices seem decent. 🙂 Thanks!

  40. #72

    I am with you in loving tea. One of the best parts of my day – picking which kind to have today. Plus, warms me up on these cold, cold Midwestern days (although I drink hot tea all year around!).

  41. #73

    I seriously, seriously love this layout. Clean and simple. I am a white-space-aphobe and desperately need to do more layouts like this.

  42. #74
    Becky Dustin

    You are such an enabler and I am such a follower. I stopped drinking coffee years ago and have missed it so much. Regular tea just tastes like warm water to me, I need a stronger flavor. I too am dieting and looking for low calorie options to soothe and comfort. So, I did it. I ordered the same setup you did with the herbal tea sampler along with some of the herbal chai teas and some of the herbal rooibi (sp)tea flavors. I even got two of the infusers so I could have one at home and one at work. Naughty naughty for sure. Hoping there is some serious flavor involved here.

  43. #75

    I’ve been to the store and ordered online from http://www.teaopia.ca/ Same idea, just in Canada. I see they ship to the USA also.

    I like to add a shot of sugar free vanilla syrup to my chai, to satisfy me and not eat any extra points.

  44. #77
    Lou Ann

    Are you still drinking Coffee? How does Dan feel about you ddrinking tea? I am thinking I may need to give it a try.

  45. #78

    Love tea, always have. Having British parents it comes to me naturally. And, naturally, it’s with milk and sugar (just a little teaspoon). Used to use Splenda but I finally figured that even on WW, it’s better to use the real thing for the 2 tsp’s I use a day. But I have my tea morning and afternoon. And the cycle isn’t stopping because now my kids are tea drinkers! I’ll definitely be checking out the site! Thanks for it all, Cathy!

  46. #80

    Becky, i’m definitely focusing too on the health benefits of tea. I make some right after lunch, and it seems to tell my body, “Okay, you are DONE eating now.” Enjoy!

  47. #82

    oh yes, i’m still making my morning coffee. But, i’m cutting down to 2, or 3 cups at the most. I drink half decaf/half regular. I mix up beans from Dan’s coffee shop, who ALSO sells tea.

    Now i fear i’ve crossed a line! LOL!

  48. #83

    This is beautiful!! As always your photos are fantastic and the layout is superb. I have seen this system in a local cafe and was fascinated but not being a big tea drinker, the thought drifted away until last night when I saw your post. I am now considering this as I desperately need to change from my current beverage of choice…Coke Zero to something healthy and not addictive. My question to you is, how on earth do you decide what flavors to get? Herbal, oolong, rooibos, green, flavors?? Oh, the decisions!!!!

  49. #88

    Cathy, Cathy, Cathy – 8am EST is 5am pacific – on a Saturday, give us Best Coasters a chance! Saturday is my day to sleep in – but for a chat with you, I might pull out my Mighty Leaf Chamomile Citrus or maybe Organic African Nectar and crawl out of bed. And loved the layout.

  50. #89

    Hi Cathy! Thanks so much for sharing about Adagio Teas. I will definitely check them out. I’m a big fan of Republic of Tea and I love the whole shopping experience there too. They say that the “Minister of Shipping” has delivered the teas to you. Love it! I’m especially partial to the “Be Well” series.

    Also I have to share this funny little thing that just made me laugh. I checked out Catslife Press and was just browsing through their stamp catalog. I came across this set and I swear one of the bees’ heads looks like you! #299E. LOL! http://www.catslifepress.com/catalog/bees.htm

  51. #91

    Ok , so you got me with this all-tea-thing. I’ve spent all morning long browsing their website, and of course, of course, I ordered some and the ingeniutea. Now, the most difficult part: trying to explain to hubby why I ordered more tea while my cupboard is already overflowing with tea….well, I HAD to put this one on you…sort of. It was impossible to go thru the all website and exit empty handed, so I’ll have a large sample collection to try when it arrives.No hard feeling I hope, and thanks to you, this all shopping thing glided like butter with hubby. I can’t wait now to get it and try. Thanks for sharing your findings!

  52. #93

    This is awesome Cathy! I too am working on a new, healthier me this year and I’ve given up the soda and have never been a coffee drinker…I’m on water and chai (I’m a David Rio fan) almost exclusively and I am b.o.r.e.d. This is exciting me. Now just to pick which sampler to try! I’m bummed the chai sampler is on back-order but there is lots of others to try in the meantime. Thank you so much for the enabaling!

  53. #94

    After your tweet about Adagio I went to their website and bought one sample kit with the kettle. Amazing website, amazing service, amazing product… They shoud change their name to Amazing Tea 😀 And the kettle idea… oh my!
    I love tea, but having a ‘special” something about it is wonderful, as you said: became a ritual. Tks for posting!

  54. #95

    Thanks for that Cathy. I did do that and I’m fine with the text box but it’s getting the typing exactly on those lines that I’m not getting. They are either above or below. It’s driving me crazy. Thanks for taking the time to answer all our questions. I love all your digital templates.

  55. #97

    Cathy, I just wanted to touch base and let you know our teapot and teas arrived yesterday… wow. You weren’t kidding! The coolest thing I’ve come across in a long long time and the tea is DIVINE! I ordered the green tea sampler in addition to the black tea that came with it. I’ve had White Monkey and Vanilla Green so far and wow, I’ve never had tea this wonderful before. Thank you! Another lifetimer here.

  56. #98

    I love the Adagio teas also. But the best part, those little square tins are PERFECT for storing my brads and little trinkets in my scrapbooking closet.

  57. #99
    Angji P

    You have converted me! I have always hated what passes for tea in this country. Bitter, strong, and a strange aftertaste. However, I checked out their site and like you I fell in love with the site itself. Besides I was armed with a coupon and a satisfaction guarantee. Plus I really need to kick my soda habit. So I ordered the ingenuiTEA kit. I am in heaven! I am a total tea convert and tea snob now. I have converted my mom, my best friend and my boyfriend! You rock! Thank you for sharing your life and coupons with us. 🙂

  58. #100
    Jen Ruhl

    Cathy, Happy Birthday! You are an awesome lady! I love to read your blog as it inspires me and you crack me up! Hope 44 is a wonderful year for you.

    I also agree about the tea!

    Jenn Ruhl

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