During this last week since the rush and bustle of Christmas has subsided, I’ve been getting reacquainted with digital scrapbooking and enjoying every second of it. I had forgotten how much fun it can be, but ever since Creative Memories began to release some of their collections as digital art I have found myself playing with them every chance I get!
Now, I am way too much of a paper and scissors kind of girl to ever abandon traditional scrapbooking, but there are several benefits to creating layouts digitally:
- It’s portable – you can create anytime and anywhere
- There is no mess
- Layouts and projects are easy to share
- Cost effective – artwork is reusable over and over again
- Easy to fix “mistakes”!
Many of my friends and customers would like to try digital for these very reasons, but aren’t sure how to go about it. Here’s some basic consider before getting started:
1) Choose a digital scrapbooking software program. There are lots of them out there, so how do you know which one is right for you? This review of the ten best digital scrapbooking software applications of 2016 is a good place to start. (Versions compatible with Macs are reviewed here.) Spend a little time reading about each program to see if you think it would work for you. Remember to check if it is compatible with the Operating System and Memory capacity of your computer. Also check if there is an opportunity to try before you buy!
I use the program that comes in at number 4 – Artisan by Forever – although it is number 1 in my books! This is the updated version of the old Storybook Creator software from Creative Memories, and I have been using it for many years, so it only makes sense that all of my posts about digital scrapbooking and how-to videos or tutorials I create from now on will be using Artisan.*Full disclosure – besides being a Creative Memories Advisor, I am also a Forever Ambassador.
2) Choose some digital artwork. You can get digital papers & embellishments from many sources, including Forever and now from Creative Memories. Forever sells hundreds (if not thousands!) of digital art kits from lots of different designers. They are formatted to work with Artisan and are easy to purchase, upload and install from Forever directly into the Artisan program. Creative Memories is now selling their beautiful designs in universal digital formats – jpg and png. This means that the artwork can be used in any software that accepts jpg and png images. So yes, I can use it in Artisan as well as other digital scrapbooking programs, and even in programs such as Microsoft Publisher, Word, Google Docs, and Photoshop.
3) Set yourself up for success. Create folders on your computer in which to keep your artwork and your projects. Make sure to back these up just like you do your photos!
4) Play and practice. You didn’t learn to scrapbook in one sitting, so realistically you can’t expect yourself to master a new software program and method of scrapbooking in one try either. Watch some tutorial videos (pssst…I promise to create a few how-to videos for Artisan in the new year!). Read a few articles in the help section of your software. Create some practice projects…who cares what they look like at first! Reach out to people who are using the software you chose – there are lots of online forums and facebook groups to choose from!
5) Scraplift! We do this with traditional scrapbooking, so why not do it digitally! Search online or look at Pinterest for examples of scrapbook layouts that you like, and then duplicate them digitally. Even if you don’t have the same products or artwork, you can easily recreate shapes, colors and the overall layout.
6) Or, try a template. One of the easiest ways to create a digital layout is to use a drag-and-drop template, which is like a pre-designed page. If you are using Artisan, there will be some templates that come with the software, and lots more available for purchase in the selection of Digital Art of the Forever shop. Pixels2Pages is another great source for Blueprints (their version of templates) as well as tutorials for using Artisan. I hope to be able to provide you with digital templates of my 1-2-3 sketches in the next month or so as well!
7) Printing. Once you have created some layouts that you love you can either save and share them online, or have them printed to add to your physical scrapbook albums (I add mine to my Creative Memories Albums using Large Pocket Pages). If you live in a major centre, you can probably get your pages printed locally at places like your local Costco Photo Centre, but the latest price for a 12 x 12 print there is $6.49 (CA$). At that price, online services are a much better bet!
- Forever Excellent, archival quality 12 x 12 prints are $3.99 each, but you can save when there are specials and with bulk orders. (Forever prints beautiful hardbound photo books, home décor pieces and photo gifts as well.)
- Persnickety Prints Good quality 12 x 12 prints at $1.99 each. There are also some good learning resources and even some free downloads! Shipping in the US is $5.99, and to Canada is $15.00 (so wait until you have 15 or more pages to print at $1.99 per page, and even with shipping you’ll still pay only $3.00 per page!).
- Scrapping Simply also offers $1.99 pages and shipping is only $5.00 in the US and Canada ($10.00 Internationally), but I haven’t ordered from them, so I cannot attest to quality.
There is so much more info that I want to share with you in future blog posts and videos, but these suggestions will get you going and help you decide if digi scrapping is right for you! If you want to give it a try, you can download a FREE trial copy of Artisan on my Forever website and play with it for 30 days. If you like it you can always upgrade to the regular copy after that. As always, feel free to email me if you have questions that I can help with!
As 2016 draws to a close, I want to thank you for all your support of my projects! I am looking forward to bringing you more of what you enjoy in 2017, and with that in mind, I’d love for you to head over to my Facebook Group to tell me what YOU want to see on my blog, YouTube channel etc. Leave your comment before 11:59 pm January 1, 2017 and you’ll have a chance to win a gift certificate for your choice of Creative Memories, Forever or Thirty-One Gifts products!
Happy New Year and Happy Scrapping!