Saturday, September 10, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking

Have you ever tried digital scrapbooking? If not, I think you'd be surprised at how much fun it is.  Before I came to the conclusion that I had time in my crafting life for both traditional/paper scrapping and digi-scrapping, I really did not think it was for me. It's just not the same. You're not creating something with your own two hands using glue & bits of pretty stuff.  To me, it was the equivalent of crossing things off on a paper to-do list (I never could get used to a digital to-do list...)
Have you ever created picture Christmas cards through a website like Snapfish or Shutterfly?  Or done a photo book through a site like that?  If you have, that is digital scrapbooking!  It's really just the tip of the digital scrapbooking iceberg, though.
What finally got me to consider digital scrapbooking as a viable option, were the free collage templates that Scrapbooks etc. published on their website and became increasingly popular on pages featured in the magazine.  I pinpointed that for me, what takes the longest (and was the most stressful) part of scrapbooking - was picking out the photos & deciding on sizes and getting them printed.  I always hated feeling locked in on sizes.  At that time, you couldn't readily get a 2x2 photo - you had to "crop" a 4x6 down to that size. That was not necessarily easy (or a good look!).  The collages (see link here), gave me the ability to put a larger number of photos on a page, but still look nice & neat & clean. There were different sized/oriented blocks and using a few fairly simple steps, you could drop your pictures in, crop them, move them to see what looked the best. With just a little practice, I could put together a collage to be printed on an 8 1/2 x 11 in about 10-15 minutes. Print out the whole collage and use on a traditional page OR cut the collage into smaller pieces for a different look.  I was now able to decide much more quickly on my pictures. That was my version of "hybrid."
Here are a couple pictures of pages created using the Scrapbooks etc. collages. 

Are you interested in giving it a try? There are lots of programs out there and I'm sure they are all great. BUT, I'm going to recommend Adobe Photoshop Elements for a couple key reasons: 
1 - you can download a free 30 day trial from the Adobe website. Try it, see if you like it before buying it. 
2 - buying it is similar in cost to Stampin Up/Creative Memories programs but gives you the power of an Adobe product - it's kind of like a dumbed down Photoshop.  You also don't need the most current release of the product. I've been using version 4.0 for a couple years now and have no real need to upgrade (I think they're on 8.0)
3 - almost any tutorial you find online, especially on the major digital scrapbooking websites, forum type websites, etc. are for Photoshop Elements. 
4 - getting help from other digi scrappers will be much easier using Elements as that's what the majority use... 
Just my opinion - take it for what it's worth!

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