Jojo, of My Random Insanities left a comment on 100 things I love post last week asking about advice for someone just looking in to digital scrapbooking. We exchanged some emails and she made it an official request for Friday!
This could be a few weeks of posts, so it will be very link intensive. I want to welcome any of my scrapbooking friends who have any ideas or links to add, to please feel welcome to leave them in the comments!
Digital Scrapbooking – Getting Started
I love digital scrapbooking. My memory-recording started with simple plain photo albums back in my high school years. I progressed to captions, then almost scrapbooking in photo albums, then paper scrapping. Now I am fully a digital scrapbooker. I love that I don’t have to put everything away if I have to leave a page I’m working on, just hit save! There’s also no mess left on the table and no little snips of paper on the floor. There’s also the fact that my typing is much easier to read than my handwriting!
When I became curious about digital scrapbooking in the beginning of 2007, I already had an old copy of Photoshop 5.0 LE which was software in the package on my old Mac and I transferred it to the newer Mac. I’d already had some work experience doing simple graphics. 5.0 LE is a good program to learn and move into Photoshop Elements. You can get Photoshop 5.0 LE for less than $10 at Amazon.
I think Photoshop (PS) and Photoshop Elements (PSE) are the most common programs I see spoken of in the scrapbooking forums; however PaintShop Pro (PSP) is also fairly common. There are software suites made specifically for scrapbooking, but be sure to do your homework. Some software only works with elements offered by their company or only with their templates which is limiting to your variety and creativity.
There are a lot of free software or free trials that you can try out before you settle on which software works the best for you. Since I use Adobe products, I can tell you they do have 30-day free trials for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. This will give you the opportunity to do a few pages as you learn the software before you decide on the software that’s right for you. There are lots of free tutorials for doing different things with the more popular software choices. You can always post questions about how to do things in the forums at the scrapbooking sites.
As for getting started, I’ll share how I got started. One thing to keep in mind about digital scrapbooking is that there are MANY alternatives for every aspect of the hobby, not just software! The first thing I’ll suggest is to check out a good digital scrapbooking community. My favorites are Digital Scrapbooking Studio and Ginger Scraps. The main elements that are useful at a digital scrapbooking site are the forums, challenges and store. Most sites have blogs now too. There are a lot of sites and stores out there. Don’t be afraid to sign up to join a few. They’re free to sign up and offer a lot of information and inspiration.
When I first started I got a lot of tips and encouragement doing challenges in the forums. At that time there were bonuses for participation but now the participation awards are usually a store discount. Many offer bigger discounts the more you participate. Challenges are great for learning new scrapbooking techniques.
Credits: Winter Bliss, Freebie kit by Dreams Fulfilled
Building up your scrapbooking stash so you can participate is not difficult. Many scrapbook designers create freebies that complement their kits and designers that are starting out create full kits for free for practice and you get their name out there.. While you’re getting started in the hobby, you can help them get started too! I will say that I don’t really recommend going to a store and purchasing kits for your first couple of pages if you are on a budget. I had enough in freebies to scrap for about two months as I was getting addicted to it. Then I knew I was going to stick with it and making a purchase was a safe investment. The first kit I purchased was My Wish by Jan Hosford. The colors were just SO me. It ended up being the kit I used for the first pages in the first book I had printed with digi-scrap work. I haven’t printed any of those pages I did the first month. I got better at it and then it was worth printing!
Speaking of printing! What DO you do with all those pages once they are done? I print mine in 11x11” books at Inkubook. I haven’t really talked to a lot of people about what they do with their layouts. I know others get them printed in books as well, but some print the pages individually and slide them into the plastic insert pages in traditional paper scrap books. I like to be able to add ephemera, ticket stubs and such, to my books, but I scan those things and make them part of my layouts. Some people print at home, either with a printer that will print a 12X12 page or they make 8-1/2X11 pages or print the square pages for an 8X8 book. Still others keep their pages as an online book to share with family via a link.
So, there’s the skeleton of the many choices to start a digital scrapbooking hobby. It’s a great opportunity to really be creatively expressive and you’ll meet and share with some great people in the digi-scrap community.
Jojo’s blog, My Random Insanities
These are places I enjoy for my scrapbooking needs:
Adobe, Photoshop and Photoshop Elements
Scrapbooking boutiques, forums and challenges:
Digitalegacies Design freebies, right here at The Chronicles of Nani
If a freebie you’d like is expired, drop me an email and I’ll make sure you get it!
Click blog next to Digital Scrapbooking Freebies