Monday, January 26, 2009

Digital scrapbooking! Part 1: Finding your elements

As you might know, I'm not the greatest scrapbooker in the world. I'm not very visual, so I take forever to make something very very basic. But Wanda is the queen of scrapbookers, and has been struggling to help me be more visual.

For me, digital scrapbooking is a great thing! I can play with elements, cut up photos, create pages, and erase it all if I don't like it. It's an awesome thing for someone like me who feels very unsure about scrapbooking, and who is kinda lazy about getting digital pictures printed.

I decided make what I'm calling a "Song Book", which is a series of pages laid out according to the lyrics to one of my favourite songs ("Land of Sunshine" by Faith No More), a song that has meaning to Raymond and I. I think this is a great place to start if you are unsure about what to scrapbook. Choose a song that means something to you and someone else, then make a small book (6 x 6 inches or 15 cm by 15 cm) to give as a gift. (To bind it yourself, check out my posts on this topic!)

The first thing you'll need for digital scrapbooking is some kind of picture editing or publishing program. I use Print Shop for the Mac, but you could use Photoshop (any version), Publisher, or other types of programs that let you tinker with your elements. (Word will not work here...) Your computer may or may not have this kind of software on it. If it doesn't, check out some free programs that might work with your computer (sorry, I forgot everything I know about Windows based computers now that I'm a Mac user!)

You'll need to find some sites that offer free scrapbooking packages. When you download a complete package, you'll get the papers (plain and fancy), elements (like brads, ribbons, etc.), and sometimes a fancy font.

For the packages, you'll probably find tons yourself, but I figure I'll start you off with a few sites.
Shabby Princess has tons of downloads, primarily in the shabby chic catgeory. I love her stuff!
Digital Freebies Friday Freebies are up for one week and are always gorgeous!
Fern Lilli's blog has fantastic packages!

There are tons of forums around (I still think the plural should be "fora" but I guess I should stop being so obsessive, eh?) that offer free downloads, but you'll have to join them to access the good stuff and to find design ideas!
3 Scrapateers is one of my personal favourites!
RAKscraps is the home of the monthly mega kit! Great stuff!

And you'll want some funky elements, neat designs or pictures you can add to your pages...
eScrappers -- love the candy stuff (there's a surprise, eh?)
Scrap FX has some lovely elements!
A Little Scrap of Time has a few elements, and they change regularly.
Scrap Elegance has some great papers and backgrounds.

If you need some free, downloadable fonts, check out these sites:
Font Diner - click on "free silverware" (I love the font diner font - it's one of my personal favourites!)
1001 Fonts,
Font Paradise,
or House of Lime

As a note, these papers and elements are great for making labels for your bath & body stuff or for Christmas present tag making, so I make sure I always download the things I think look awesome! And make sure you burn what you download to CD or DVD and label them! I find I get tons on my computer, which takes up a lot of space, and I get frustrated. So I'm making a point of burning things to disk and writing on the front "Christmas" or "green" so I'll know where to find them!

Stay tuned for Tuesday's post: Digital Scrapbooking! Part 2: How to put it all together.

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