Geez louise, I gotta post earlier in the day.
The talented Smocklady sent me a question about digital scrapbooking. So here we go, I’ll share a few tips, and reasons why I am so into digiscrapping right now.
Tip 1: The thing that has helped me the most in digital scrapbooking is to learn my program a little better. (In my case, Photoshop Elements 3.0.) In all honesty, it really helps to have Photoshop or Elements because so many people do, there are a LOT of tutorials out there for them, lots of online help available. (Scrapgirls has some good free articles, for example.)
Tip 2: Drop shadows are extremely important, especially if you’re like me and you like to make your pages look similar to paper in many respects. When I found this tutorial that showed me how to adjust my drop shadow from PSE’s ridiculously huge default of 21 pixels, to something far more realistic, like oh, say, 2 or 3 for flat paper, it made a huge HUGE difference.
Tip 3: Brighten your photos if you need to. Digital cameras (and scans of regular photos for that matter) tend to be dark, and they’ll look so much better with your pretty digital papers and eventually printed if you brighten them up a bit. I can’t speak for other programs, but if you have Elements (or Photoshop itself), you can use adjustment layers while you’re working on the layout itself, and it’s great. With an adjustment layer, you can alter the levels, color, etc, of each photo on your layout individually, and after adding it to the layout; you can also alter it in the middle of things if you suddenly decide you want to turn a photo black and white or something. Just try them out — they’re great. (Oh, by the way, for those who do use Elements, here’s a link to a free set of actions for PSE that let you adjust curves. Read the linked page for specifics.)
I listed some other tips in this former entry.
A few things I love about digiscrapping:
- The ease of resizing photos, or converting to black and white if I so desire, and not having to get them developed first. I’m way behind in my printing schedule, and so most of the ones I just have hanging around are older pics. That’s fine, but sometimes I want to do something more recent, and I have improved SO much in my photography, that normally if I want to just make something pretty, with a nice photo? That means using a much more recent picture.
- I love being able to match colors to things in my photos, or in a piece of digital paper I’m using. Not to mention being able to use the Hue/Saturation sliders to change the color of my digital supplies if I want to.
- So little mess. Easy to save and put away for the moment (well, in theory, if I didn’t have obsessive tendencies). And so easy to take to crops. I love the socialization and dedicated time at crops, but I hate hate hate packing my paper supplies and tools, especially if I don’t have a current, very specific project going, where I’m using limited supplies and I have them all together. Even having to haul my whole desktop along, it is easier and faster and much less stressful for me than packing half the doggone room into crates and bags, that weigh a ton, “in case” I need something. Just imagine how easy it’ll be when I have a laptop and just have to plug it in and open it up… oh, did I just salivate on my keyboard? Whoops.
- The undo button. Brushes. Making templates (I find this really fun, for some reason). Being able to type out a nice long piece of journaling without futzing with my printer and all. How easy it is to recreate the simple style of paper layout that I like so much — like many Cathy Zielske and Becky Higgins layouts, for example.
- All the beautiful free supplies. Also lovely ones to buy, most relatively inexpensive (especially considering that you can reuse them as much as you want). But honestly, so much awesome free stuff. You could go for so long (possibly forever) on just the free stuff. And regardless, you can get it all from your computer RIGHT AWAY, as soon as you download it. Woohoo!
And finally, for your downloading pleasure, these are my current favorite places for digital scrapbook supplies.
Oscraps.com – Has some fabulous freebies, and lots of variety.
ShabbyPrincess and her Shabby Shoppe – Shabby Princess has the most beautiful free kits, just gorgeous.
Designer Digitals – good deals every week, some freebies, and basically, I just can’t get enough of Katie Pertiet’s designs
Digi Shop Talk has a very good deal of $25 for a year’s worth of kits, one per month. I like what I’ve seen of their message boards.
P.S. Costco does 8×8 and 12×12 prints now. Can’t wait to try them.