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Getting Started with Digital Scrapbooking?

If you have heard about this thing they call digi, but you arenít sure where to start, then read on!! Digital Scrapbooking is a very fast growing version of a favorite memory preserving past time. There are a few basic things you will need in order to get started:

1. A scrapbooking or photo editing program.
2. Lots of your favorite digital photos
3. Digital Scrapbooking kits
4. A little patience and the desire to preserve those memories!!

Choosing a program

There are many different kinds of software available that can be used to scrap with. Some people choose to buy software that is manufactured specifically for digital scrapbooking. Often, this software has built in papers, elements etc, but may offer limited editing capabilities.

Many people choose to invest in a photo editing program, such as Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro or Photo Impact. While sometimes a little more expensive, these programs offer many more options when creating your layouts. They allow for a wider variety of file types to be used, and they donít restrict you to being able to use only the pieces built in to the program.

Your Photos

Many people are using digital cameras as their camera of choice nowadays. Digital provides you with the ability to preview and/or delete your pictures right after you take them. No more waiting for your favorite pictures to be developed, just upload to your computer and they are ready to be used in minutes. Film pictures can be used in digital scrapbooking as well, if they are scanned on a scanner and saved in your computer.

Digital Scrapbooking Kits

Would you like a little something to get you started? E-mail me and I will send you a mini kit for free! It contains all you need to make your very first layout!! This file is in .zip format, so you should be able to extract the contents in Windows by right clicking the file name, and going to Extract All. If you do not have Windows, there are many unzip programs available for free that can be found with a quick Google search.

Once you have this kit unzipped, you will need to find a picture or two that you would like to scrap. After finding the pictures, you will need to open a paper. If you are using one of the editing programs listed above, then it most likely works in layers.

Imagine that you are working on a paper layout, with all the supplies sitting on the table in front of you. As you build your layout, the pieces get layered on top of each other, with the paper being the 1st layer, since it is on the bottom. Well digital is the exact same way!! To start a layout, you will need to start with your first layer, your paper. Everything else in your layout will build on top of that.

Generally, in Photoshop, you will just drag your pieces onto your paper, then use the various resizing tools or layers palette to arrange them where you would like. In Paint Shop Pro, you will have to copy each piece and paste it onto the layout as a new layer. When you view your layers palette, the order in which the layers are listed is the order that they are on your paper. If it helps, you may want to rename each layer by clicking on the name in the layers palette and typing in the name, such as: paper, ribbon, etc.


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5 Reasons to go Digi!

So, I got together with several of my digital scrapbook friends and asked, "Name the Top 5 reasons why you are a digital scrapbooker instead of paper scrapbooker."

And here are their answers:

Reason #5

Takes up less room.

A while back I saw some photos of a ladies scrapbooking workshop in her house. I was blown away. She had file cabinets set up for her papers, and canisters for her buttons, clasps and beads. An entire room that was meticulously organized and the supplies were endless. If I walked into the room and turned all those supplies into digital files I could take that entire room and convert it to the size of my little flash drive! I have one hard drive on my computer devoted to digital scrapbooking supplies and currently it has 365 gig worth of products on it which is thousands of different files. If I were to turn all those products into tangible products, I would need several warehouses to store it.

Reason #4

Itís faster.

For myself, the longest it has taken me to do a layout was 1 week, but the typical time that it takes me to complete a layout is about 4-5 hours. I know many scrappers who create their high quality layouts in an hour or less. Because there is no preparation, cutting, gluing, stamping, coloring, etching, etc. etc. involved, you can get busy the second you sit down. Switching products is a breeze as well. Iíll start using a specific product and realize that this just isnít what I wanted, and instead of having to put everything away and finding the papers that I think will work better, I simply delete the layer and open a different folder on my hard drive.

Reason #3

There is no mess.

Digital scrapbook supplies are all nicely stored inside your computer on your hard drive. When you want to work on a layout all you have to do is turn on your computer, open your graphics program and get to work. You can create your layouts on a desktop or a laptop and when youíre done there is nothing to clean up, put away or throw away, you just shut off your computer and walk away.

You can create your layouts in bed, on a plane, in the coffee house, anywhere you can take your laptop. Remember the name of this blog, No Glue Required!

Reason #2

Itís cheaper.

Iíve seen more and more paper scrappers switching to digital for this specific reason. People are trying to find ways to cut back on expenses while not giving up their loves, and digital scrapbooking provides the opportunity to continue to scrap more economically.

Reason #1

Everything you do in digital scrapbooking can be undone.

With paper scrapbooking, when you cut a piece of paper, thatís it. You canít undo it. When you glue something down, removing it is not an easy process. With digital scrapbooking that isnít the case. If you place an element on the canvas, and donít like itís position, you simply move it. If you create a shape in the paper, and donít like it, you simple undo! You donít have to think twice before you cut the paper... you just cut!