Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Digital Scrapbooking

Hello Readers!  I just couldn't wait to get on here again and show off my research.  I played with some various forms of digital scrapbooking and it was really cool.  I have to admit that it was very enjoyable.  I found myself working on the following projects until late in the evening, which is usually beer and TV time.  I definitely plan on doing more digiscrap'n in the future and I will explain why.

Above you see two, small samples I made from Smilebox.  This website was pretty darn good.  Did I forget to mention that it is free? You have to install their software program onto your computer, which the hubby didn't like too much, but suffered through it.  It is very easy to use and I would highly recommend it for people who say they are not very creative.

I was excited in the beginning at the beautiful colors and themes.  I really loved it all.  After finally choosing one I went on putting my pictures in.  Then more pictures.  Then....after only 4 layouts it started all over again.  Hmmm...  That means all of the other pages would be just the same, except different pictures.  That is not at all what I wanted.  So, Smilebox is good for small, fast projects, that require none of your imagination or creativity.  They do it all for you, which is really great if that is what you are looking for.  There is also the matter of printing.  They provide a service at a fee, of course.  It says that you can print them out, but my quality of layout was terrible and I wouldn't dream of printing them out.  It is partly why I kept the image here, small.  There might be a better way to do it, but my hubby couldn't wait to get the program out of our computer.

Ah, that's more like it!  Above you will find a digital scrap layout from a freebie I received at  This is more my style for sure!  I had no idea I would be able to get such nice, free stuff.  If I get into it more, I will consider buying the scrap packets that this site sells at super rates.  The selection would suit anyone's tastes and there is always something new, too. They sell things individually, but if packets are an option, I get them.  Matching papers, embellishments. letters, stickers, etc.  There is no better way to get a more congruous look.

This layout with Liam & JJ was my second attempt.  The materials are also from  This is what I thought digital scrapbooking would be like.  Pieces of paper to choose from for your background, embellishments, frames, letters and numbers.  Lovely things!  Did I mention it was free?!  

This LOVE layout was my first attempt at this kind of digital scrapbooking and I think it looks nice.  I was totally digging on the colors and embellishments.  Totally my taste.  I joined up for the ShabbyPrincess Newsletter via e-mail where they give away these kinds of freebies.  All you have to do is click on the freebie and download.  I opened it up in my "finder" and just drug it all on to a PowerPoint Presentation.  I didn't know if this was the best way to do it, but I'm familiar with P.P. and figured I could put the pages together faster this way.  They do mention that Photoshop and Adobe is good for this, too.

The page is a contemporary style of scrapping that I've seen in magazines lately.  It is simple, clean and allows you to focus on the picture more than anything else.  Working with resizing the letters was a bit tricky, but it turned out acceptable.  The look in the corners would take a long time to achieve with traditional scrapbooking.  You would need paints, stickers or stencils, embossing kit, etc.  This page was put together in about 25 minutes.

I thought it would be nice to include a super simple layout like the one above.  Just get your pictures the size you want them, choose a background paper and crop it to fit.  I only used one kind of embellishment and copy pasted it four times so that it would be exactly the same size.  Once again, 30 minutes tops and it was finished.  I can't say that it would take me much longer to make this exact layout with the traditional style of scrapbooking, but most other pages would take a lot longer.

To sum it up, my digital scrapbooking experience was very positive.  I think it might be a bit difficult if your not good with computers, however.  There are many pros and a few cons.  Digital scrapbooking means no drawers and closets full of materials.  No gluey, sticky fingers either.  It saves oodles of time and if you want to ship your project to friends or family it won't cost you nearly as much.  Neither will the materials. You don't have to have your supplies shipped either and your supplies never run out! No garbage either.   I like that.  They are right there at your fingertips like any other on line shopping store.  There are CD Rom's you can purchase as well.  Digital scrapping remedies a lot of downsides to traditional scrapping.  I also think that men may be more inclined to venture into digital scrapbooking if I dare say.  That will be another blog, for sure!

I wouldn't even say there is a down side to going digital.  I do enjoy holding my materials.  Feeling them and toying with them on the page.  Texture and dimension are more obvious.  For some projects, digi- scrap'n is the way to go.  If you want it done fast or if you want to ship it.  There might be an issue of computer availability and maintenance that might ruin your scrapbooking projects.  An electricity failure or your computer gets wiped out, but that's me searching for negative aspects. Apples and oranges my friends.  It is a matter of preference.  For me, there is something more with traditional scrapping.  A little glue here, a little imperfection there.  To witness the work, skill and time in a three diminutional form is just more gratifying.  Digital scrapbooking is very practical and meets a lot of needs for many folks.  All of these options just makes scrapbooking all that much more enjoyable and easier to share.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

To Edit Or Not To Edit

 Edit Out Your Favorite Photos?!  No!!!

Have you ever had so many photos for a project that you thought you could never get them all in one book?  I found myself there, too.  Recently I made a book for my nieces and there were so many photos that I thought just HAD to be in there. Another challenge needed to be met.  Check the results out for yourself and add more photos to your next project.

Give your next project a different angle.

Liam's page is very symmetric.  The viewer can really focus on the pictures.  Cut out some formed pictures, add some reinforcement, ribbons and embellishments and you've got yourself little puppets that seem to come to life.  The girls thought this was very cool and fun.  Check out the flowers that are cut in half.  I very often cut out regular papers and use them for embellishments, but then I end up with a lot of half flowers such as these.  Put them to use like they are here.  

You don't always have to use the entire picture.  Besides, what else would you put in tiny frames like these?  Framing draws your eye to the picture and makes a pretty princess even more adorable.

Wow!  You can find 9 pictures in this layout.  Now, that is maximum usage.

Above is one of my favorite pages from the book.  Again, I had so many pictures of my niece.  I wanted her to be able to see them all next to each other, so that she can view her own progression through life.  I am so glad I have nieces.  Finally, I can use flowery, girly stuff.  These foam flowers were made with a stencil as well. 

Remember to take your layouts out of their protectors before you take the picture.  Otherwise, you end up with serious glare.  Hard to fix once you give the book away.  "Note to self".

Turn your pretty flowers into their own little flowers with this layout.  I don't have a die cut machine.  So, I use stencils.  This is more time consuming, of course, but the result is still spectacular.  7 pictures adorn this layout, yet it still doesn't look cluttered.  Pull out colors from your background page when looking for the perfect embellishment to make your layout more cohesive.

This page is very attractive.  Coordinating papers help make the look.

Fun pictures are usually the favorite.

Is this page kicking or what?!  Sporting 14 funny photos, a page like this is bound to bring a boat load of laughter and pleasant memories.  Fun pictures deserve fun colors.  I just eyeballed it.  No measuring. It went very fast.  Make sure if you only have the fewest of tools for your projects that a paper cutter is one of them.  You will save so much time.

 Unlike the layout above this one, that was spaced out, these pictures overlap a little.  The pictures blend into each other a bit more.  It goes twice as fast, too.

This layout is actually a bit chaotic for my usual tastes, but somehow I still love it.  Count the photos?  There are over 10.  Another great time saving tool is a shape cutter, which I used for all of these circles.  It took a bit of time for this page.  Cutting out all of the circles then playing with the layout until it was just right.  For this kind of overlapping, it is best to strategically place your glue dot or double sided tape so that you have some flexibility to possibly put another photo slightly underneath.  It was worth the time.  Don't you think?

Using maximum pictures for one or a double page did prove a bit difficult, but this is one challenge we can tick off.  Check!

Feel free to e-mail your multiple layout projects.