Wednesday, October 31, 2007

There's hope

I just read yesterday's issue of "Scrapgirls" and there was a neat Designer Do-Over written by Amy Lemaniak. First of all, I have to say that I really did like her re-done page but something that she wrote struck me, "I feel like in this layout, the embellishments are really competing with the photo, rather than letting my photo take center stage. This time around, I want to make my photo the main focus and compliment the colors in it with the papers and embellishments I use." See, there's the trick. :) How to do that?! But I'm encouraged by her article because she emphasized how much she had learned since starting out. So I feel like maybe I could get the hang of this over time. I also had to chuckle because she pointed out that her original design comprised mostly of designer freebies and that's *so* me right now. But there's not really any point buying stuff when I don't even really know what I'm doing. But when I *do* buy something, I think maybe the torn page effect will be at the top of my list because I really do like that. :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The background paper is from Jenna Beam and here's her site. (Although I actually picked it up from BHG's site.)

I feel like such a shmuck when I look at the designs of all these amazing scrapbook artists displaying their handiwork on the web. I don't know how these people do it. I'm just not that creative. I can slap the photos down and come up with a background that matches but that alone is a pretty big accomplishment for me. :) I can't even SCRAPLIFT their pages effectively!! :)

My mantra was always that scrapbooking was about the photos and the journaling...but now I wish I could take it to the next level...but I just don't feel like I have a clue what I'm doing.

Plus I'm a little frustrated with fonts doing this on my computer. I really want to get a graphics tablet so that I can actually write. It's too hard to do with a mouse. But graphics tablets are expensive. *sigh*

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

October Layout

Okay, tell me truthfully, are the buttons too random? No buttons? Less buttons? What do you think? I think I need some sort of embellishment but I'm not sure the buttons do the trick...especially on the left page.

At any rate, I got the buttons from Lisa Whitney and I used a freebie template from created by Ronee Parsons. I downloaded the template when I was trying to figure out how to make one of my own but I actually really like it too. And Ronee's page that she made with it is awesome! And of course for the collage on the left I used the template that I created and offered to you down below. :)
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Saturday, October 27, 2007

First Digital Layouts

Here's a page for the new baby's book (and my absolute first attempt at a digital layout). I did everything myself on this one. So if you ever need a pink and blue striped background, let me know!

Yesterday I used one of my templates to actually create a layout. It looks pretty shabby compared to all the beautiful layouts I've been seeing on the web but...hey...we all start somewhere. The background paper and alphabet were freebies from BHG's site created by Lisa Whitney. I googled her and found this site. Lottsa cool layouts there to inspire you! And the template was inspired by this page designed by Leslie Lightfoot. (So no creative points for me!) Not to mention, I didn't even do a good job scraplifting because Leslie's page is much more visually aesthetic. I may actually do some more work to this later. I like how Leslie mixed b&w with color so I was thinking I wanted to do it but was too lazy to do it at that moment. :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

PSD template for 16 picture collage

Here's a very basic drag and drop template for a 12x12 size 16 picture square collage. Bring your 16 pictures into 16 different layers and then use clipping masks with the appropriate layers that I've already created. You can use transform to scale them appropriately. This is nothing too fancy or sophisticated. I was trying to figure out how it all worked. :)

Getting Started

I will be using Adobe Photoshop to design my pages (wikipedia about Photoshop). I've been using Photoshop for...oh...10+ years so I have a little experience under my belt. But I'm no expert. Watching my brother Jonny using Photoshop a time or two has been enough to humble me for many years over! But having said that, I'm definitely very comfortable with what I would consider to be the basics. :) So I thought I'd link to some tutorials but then I went to google and did a search for 'photoshop tutorial' and then 'beginner photoshop tutorial' and pulled up TONS of results so I'm just going to let you figure out which one is easiest for you. Not to mention, Photoshop has tutorials built right into the software. If you don't already have Photoshop, there are other less costly tools out there. Hmm...I saw a page reviewing software packages. Let me see if I can find that and put a link. Of course that means my walkthroughs won't be too helpful but you might still find other useful information here. Well, BHG has a PDF you can download but I know I saw one online too. I'll keep looking.

Moving on, I *do* have some resources to share with you. One of the first things I did was buy Better Homes and Gardens' "The Ultimate Guide to Digital Scrapbooking" which I picked up at the local Borders. Then I went to their web site They have a section for digital scrapbooking where I found some free stuff to use, some video tutorials, layout ideas, how to guides and so on and so forth.

Then I went to and signed up for their daily newsletter (or you can get a weekly one). They have free stuff for you too.

I also went to which seems to be somehow affiliated with ACDSee Photo Manager but since I happen to use ACDSee, that was very helpful. I read through the forums and got lots of good ideas for organizing my scrapbooking stuff (I already have my photos organized and catalogued using ACDSee so I read up on ways to keep those collections separate, et cetera).

Next I wanted to try my hand at making a template in Photoshop. I had been reading up on drag and drop templates and how you use them but I wanted to figure out how to *make* one. I wanted to make a very straight forward 16 photo collage (I'm going to upload that a little later...but I might make it viewable to members only - to retain a little control - so join the site!). I'm going to put up some sites where I found guides for using shape templates and if you click on the link, it will take you straight to the actual post: and .

Now I've chosen to print my books through Shutterfly. I've already printed a couple of books through their site (8 1/2 x 11) and was VERY pleased with the results. So here's a link to their specs, their FAQs, and their step-by-step instructions.

Going Digital

Well...with a household full of children, sadly scrapbooking fell by the wayside. You just can't leave the table sitting covered with scrapbooking materials when you have three children three and under milling around the house. Not to mention you hardly have time to clutter up the table with your project in the first place.

BUT, I have just discovered that I can still scrapbook. Years ago Dwight suggested that I ought to do digital scrapbooks. Well I was thinking that he meant "books" that you would look at on the computer - which I think is indeed what he meant - and that didn't appeal to me at all. I like to have books I can hold in my hand and flip through. And at that time there probably weren't even tons of resources for what I'm about to start doing. Whether or not there were then, there certainly are now. So I'm switching to digital scrapbooking. I'm going to make my books using Photoshop and then I'll upload them to Shutterfly, print my 12x12 books and end up with beautiful bound hardcover books. I think there are a lot of benefits to going digital. One is that you can use a page in multiple books or create multiple copies of books. So if my mom would like a copy of XYZ scrapbook, we can just have a second one printed. Or you can make one scrapbook for several pages.

I've been doing a lot of poking around online looking at various resources. When I would get really excited about a page, I would send a link to my friend Brooke. But I think I know other people who might be interested too so instead of continuing to inundate Brooke's inbox with hyperlinks, I'm just going to start linking to the various resources that I find online, here. Plus we can continue to share pages and now I can add templates to share with friends who might want to make the switch to digital as well. And even if you are scrapbooking the original way, I'd still love to see your pages, hear about your great tips and resources. So join the community girls...and guys?!