Thursday, June 15, 2006


I’ve had several questions about digital scrapbooking lately so I thought I would answer them all in one place. I am far from an authority on the subject – you can buy magazines etc. devoted to digi-scrapping if you are super keen… they offer lots of tutorials etc. to get you started. But honestly – they’re not really necessary. You can get started without them. Any graphics program will work; I use PSE (Photoshop Elements – a dumbed-down, cheaper version of Photoshop that came on our computer.) There are hundreds of websites selling digital scrapbooking kits, and most have a couple of freebies you can download to sample the designer’s work. Kits run around $5 US apiece, which is comparable to what you’d spend on supplies for a traditional page. Kits vary in size, but typically include an assortment of papers (backgrounds), an alphabet set, and assorted embellishments, like digital versions of stickers and ribbons and such. When I do a page, I just start a blank 12x12” file, then open the files from the kit that I want to use and drag and drop them onto my canvas. The same goes for photos and text. Each piece is a new layer, and you can arrange the layers in any order you wish, or delete a layer at any time.

Some of the benefits of digi-scrapping (to me) are:

  • I don’t have to wait to get photos printed before I can do a page
  • I can adjust the size of the photos as I go
  • I can alter the size of any of the elements in the kit
  • I never run out of a letter like I do with stickers – I can copy an element and use it over and over again
  • I never glue anything down, so it is so much easier to manipulate things and rearrange them until I’m happy
  • I like that I can have my gridlines turned on so that measuring things is easy (the anal engineer in me coming out!)
  • I can change the colour of the elements to better match my photos (though I admit that I rarely do – because half the fun is in finding a kit that already suits my photos)
  • I don’t make a huge mess and have supplies spread all over the dining room table

All in all, it is much faster for me to do a digital page than a traditional page. But, I’m bi-scrapsual, and doubt that will ever change; I will never abandon the paper world, because I still love the artsy-craftsy look of traditional pages (versus the ‘magazine’ quality of a digital page) and process of putting them together. And there are lots of cool traditional supplies that digital can’t match.

I have been having my digital pages printed by a place in Utah, and they are mostly turning out ok and are cheap to print there (and only $2 to ship)… but some other printers have hit the market, so I am now shopping around to see who I like best. Printing a 12x12 at a photo lab is way expensive, so I think these businesses devoted to printing digital scrapbook pages are the way to go. I am also considering designing my pages as 12x12 but then shrinking them down to 8x8, pasting them onto an 8x10 canvas and having them printed at the Superstore photo lab for just a few dollars each… then I would just need to trim off a couple inches of white space before storing them in 8x8 albums. I may also switch over to 8.5x11, which is the other ‘traditional’ scrapbook size, when I buy my next album… also much cheaper to have printed. Lots of options.

One of my favourite digi-scrapping designers is Shabby Princess… … she has some cool free downloads to get you started. Check her out.

(Liam has started collecting snow globes from all the places he visits... here he is with piece #1... a snow globe from Chicago.)


jenn said...

I love the snow globe idea. You could have mentioned it last night that Liam is acustomed to playing with them before I took one away from him for fear of it exploding in his face if he fell and thus scarring him for life. I was quite proud of him for being so vocal just because he was P.O.'d - no one will push that little man around! (I just hope he forgets all about it the next time he sees me) :)

megan said...

Were you in our town without calling, visiting or anything??? Not cool, not cool at all.

jenn said...

Take it up with Darin who decided that we needed a whole evening to spend with the MacBarrs and a quick visit just wouldn't do. I do recall, however, a few postings of yours talking of visits to my town without so much as a phone call my way, AND it was a Wednesday and you are not even home, you are in my neighbourhood on that day, the day once a week where we don't hear from you. We do love you and will visit VERY SOON. :)