Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Digital scrapbooking! Part 2: Putting it together

Putting your digital scrapbooking page together is as simple as putting together a paper based scrapbooking page -- only slightly easier, as you can manipulate your elements without having to cut or paste papers, photos, and cardstock. (Okay, you actually will cut & paste in a computer sense, not in a real world sense.) If you have cute embellishments like ribbons, brads, buttons, and the like, you can add those after you've printed your page!

1. Download a paper package or create something yourself using a paint shop type program. Try scanning fabrics or paper or pictures you've drawn to use as backgrounds.

2. Open your publishing program and choose "blank page" to start. I use Print Shop Pro for the Mac, so I choose "blank page", and usually keep it in 8.5 x 11 (letter sized) format. Because I usually bind my own scrapbook albums, I tend to use the "landscape" mode and make my pages 8 x 8 so I can use the extra at the end as room for binding. (Notice the space on the left hand side of the page. I've left that there because I need at least 0.5 inches - 1.25 cm - for space for binding) If you will be putting your pages into a pre-made scrapbook, then choose your size based on the plastic sleeves in your book.

3. Look at your pictures. This will give you a sense of of what colour scheme to choose.

4. Choose your first background page. Again, I make mine about 8 x 8 so I have room for binding and because I can't print 12 x 12 (besides, I really like smaller albums!) I've chosen from the Shabby Princess Spring Breeze package because I really love bright colours and polka dots. I think I'll do a "Spring is in the Air" kind of theme featuring my adorable dog as my model!

5. I like to start with the first picture, although some will disagree with me. I like to find the perfect background paper for this first picture, and perhaps a caption or something I want to say. Okay, so I found my picture and the background -- I need to crop the picture to the right size. And perhaps add some special effects -- like a ripped or torn edge or perhaps a soft edge. I've chosen a light soft edge. (You can find special effects in your editing section of the publishing program. For me, I command click on the picture and get a menu.) Once you done your first picture -- group it together. (My function for this is "arrange" then "group" while highlighting the elements I want to group.) Note: I've removed the white space from this picture, but I still have it on my publishing program.

6. Position your picture somewhere. Don't worry - we can move it!

7. Think of a second picture and do the same thing with the background, elements, etc. For this second picture, I chose a torn edges special effect for both the picture and the mat behind it. I added two little brad thingies in each corner because I thought it would look cute. And I've grouped all those elements together so I can move them as one.

8. Now start thinking about the caption, title, and journalling you're going to do. Some people don't like journalling because they either don't like their handwriting (no excuse here when you have tons of fonts to choose from!) or they feel they have nothing to say. Everyone has a story they're trying to tell, but I think they don't feel they know how to say it. You don't have to be a great writer to tell your story. (I'll do an upcoming post on journalling, but for now, think of your story!)

An aside...I hate looking at scrapbooks without journalling: If you have to flip the pages and tell me the story, then it's really just a slide show and not a memory keeper! How will people of the future know what's going on? I mean, you have photos and inks that last THREE HUNDRED YEARS, and you'll be specks of dust flying around the atmosphere by that time! (How did a post on digital scrapbooking turn into a reminder of our mortality?) But I digress...

9. Titles are great fun. You can think of a well-known phrase -- "Spring is in the Air" or "Spring Fling" -- and change it to suit your page. For this page I might choose...
There's a Spring in my step!
The Spring has Sprung!
Bounce into Spring!
You get the idea. I think I'll go with "Sproing! Spring has Sprung" because "Sproing" is a word Raymond and I use all the time. (Yeah, you'd think it wouldn't be worked into conversation well, but we manage!) You want to personalize your pages with stuff that means something to you.

10. So pick a funky font that you love -- for this I've chosen Font Diner Sparkly because I love it. I don't like the black default colour very much, so I'll try another colour. (As a note, if you have a Word Art type option, this will format it very cutely with background shadows, outlines, etc. Try this if you don't like what you've typed!) I think a purple will fit, so I'll go with that.

A note about formatting: The "layer" command is your friend. Bring things forward, backward, or send to back or front. This way you can put things on top of other things. And also remember about the "undo" function. If you don't like it, UNDO IT!

And I'm done. I'll admit it's not a fancy page, and it really could do with some journalling, but it's getting late in the morning and work is beckoning, so I best leave it there. I figure I can throw in some stuff after I'm done like perhaps a pressed flower or a little frame or even some more journalling!

Digital scrapbooking is an awesome way to learn scrapbooking -- a lot of the packages are free, you don't need to print pictures, and you can mess around with it as much as you like -- and it's an awesome way for experienced scrapbookers to create pages without the mess and fuss of scraps on the floor or pages you don't like. You can add anything you want and you can print it and add more, if you like. In short, where's the bad in digital scrapbooking?

Tune in tomorrow for Mineral Make-up Wednesday: We're making purple!

No comments: