Top Ten Reasons

Flip-Pal owner Janet McBride talks about the top ten reasons why she likes digital scrapbooking.
If I could make a list of reasons why I prefer to scrapbook digitally over using traditional paper and supplies, it would look something like this:

1. I have so much control over my photo sizes and cropping

2. Templates! Someone else lays out the page and you just clip on your photos, papers and elements to make it your own.

3. I don’t have to get photos, scrapping supplies, cutters, adhesives, markers, etc. out and put it all back when I’m done to keep little hands from making “improvements.”

4. Digital designers put together complete scrapbooking kits with coordinating papers (usually 8 – 16) and realistic looking elements, including stitching, flowers, photo corners, frames, perfectly wrapped ribbons and bows, buttons, staples, tape, word art, alphas, journaling cards and various special items.

5. From all those elements, you can crop, re-size or re-color them for your layout.

6. Once you purchase a kit, it is on your computer to use as much as you want – no more missing that one letter or running out of a particular paper – I used one kit to complete almost an entire vacation album because it was a great outdoors theme for our trip to Alaska.

7. I always have CTRL-Z (undo) if I don’t like something I just did and it doesn’t leave any marks.

8. Designers have galleries where scrappers post their layouts using the designer’s products – that is a lot of inspiration and “scrap lifting” is not a crime.

9. Fonts, fonts, fonts – use them for titles and journaling (my “handwriting” never looked so nice!). And, you can choose any color from your layout – that’s a lot of markers!

10. Once a layout is complete, I can print it for as many albums as I want – multiple grandparents, family year in review, individual child albums, special graduation or wedding albums, etc.

I won’t go through all of these today, but let’s look at the first two.

For those who have never digi-scrapped before and are wondering where to start, you need a computer program that allows you to layer your elements on a desktop, very similar to the way you would with traditional supplies. There are many out there, but the most commonly used in the digi community is Adobe Photoshop (commercial edition and expensive) or Adobe Photoshop Elements (consumer edition and reasonably priced. The benefit of using Photoshop or Elements is that almost all of the tutorials offered by designers are geared toward these programs so although it may be a foreign way of doing things, there is a lot of free help to get you going quickly.

O.k., on to my first reason for loving digital scrapbooking. I’ve discovered I’m somewhat of a control freak, at least when it comes to photos. In the layout below, which I designed at 24 x 12, but can easily be resized for an 8 x 8 album as well, I would have had to order a special print size to achieve the 6 x 12 photo of my kids being so darn cute. Digitally, I just had to use my crop tool set at 6 inches wide and 12 inches long and drag my mouse over the photo to include what I wanted on my layout. A big time and money saver, but honestly it just opens up so many options, because I simply would not have waited for a specially ordered print for an every day layout.

Of course, this goes the other way, too. If you have a small photo spot on your layout, say a 3 x 3, you can crop the exact portion of the photo you want to use and it will automatically resize it for you. From a photo, this would have been about a 4 x 4 square, but using my crop tool automatically reduces the size to a 3 x 3 inch document.

It is so easy to get exactly what you want on a page without being constrained by printed photo sizes!

On to templates. Oh, how I love templates!
What is so great about templates, you ask? Let me tell you. Someone much more talented than myself designs the page and lets me copy it! A template is a layered document that you open in your software and then you clip or group your own papers and photos to the layers. Here is a template from my favorite designer’s blog.
Each of the different colored shapes on the template represents a different layer on your desktop. Some designers do it all in different shades of gray, but this makes it pretty clear what you’re working with and what your finished product will look similar to.

So, now that your template is open in your program, you also open the photo you would like to use and the papers and elements you would like to use to clip to the shaped layers (CTRL+G in PS or PSE). You can see that there are buttons and flowers on this template and most digital kits include realistic looking buttons and flowers, so you can either use the shapes provided for a cut out paper look, or you can delete that layer and replace it with a different element. Or, delete any of the layers you want if it is too busy for your style. You can rotate or flip the entire template for a different look, too. It is really just a starting place to get your scrapping mojo going.

I like to do double-page layouts because I like the consistent look when I’m flipping through a printed scrapbook. Using a template on one side provides me with a starting place and I can also move or duplicate any layers and drag them to the other side to use over there. Below are two examples of using this template on the left side of my layout and you can see how different they turned out. This template is available on The Shabby Shoppe blog as part of a challenge and Piece-a-cake page.

The way I see the Flip-Pal mobile scanner benefiting digital scrappers is by getting the boxes of printed photos organized on our computers in a quick and easy way. Well, that’s it for me. Whether you use digital or traditional scrapbooking, genealogy or memory keeping, you’re doing a great thing. It is so important and fun to preserve our memories for future generations. Keep up the great work!

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