Friday, November 8, 2013

Digital Scrapbooking...So It Begins

Yup, I took the plunge. I know what you're thinking. Holy cow! She's leaving us. I'm not. Really, I'm not. I've been dabbling in digital scrapbooking for awhile, but was never really impressed with anything I tried. 

I tried Studio J from Close To My Heart when it first came out. I didn't like how everything was pre-formatted for you and you couldn't change papers. I've heard that it has changed since then, but I also didn't like that I had to be online to scrapbook and that I have to purchase the printed layouts or jpeg's from them. I travel a lot and internet access can be tricky at best in many locations. 

I also have tried MDS from Stampin' Up. It's nice. Better than Studio J. It has much more than scrapbook layouts in it. You can make cards and other projects. I am under the impression that you can only use SU products with it. I could be totally wrong. The consultant I asked about it when I purchased it knew absolutely nothing about it. I have purchased additional items from SU for MDS, but I never loaded them into MDS. I keep all the papers, embellishments, and stamps all in folders based on their collection name. I did this so I would have access to them to use them in Photoshop. 

Some of my trees in autumn
I've heard that Photoshop or Photoshop Elements was really the way to go with digital scrapbooking. Problem with that. How the heck do you use Photoshop? Seriously! I own the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 and don't even know what 98% of the programs included are! I took a Photoshop and Illustrator class at a local college when I lived in South Carolina and felt like I didn't learn squat so I was not at all comfortable using either piece of software. In fact, I HATED Photoshop. I thought Adobe was full of morons. Nope. It wasn't Adobe who was full of morons. Turns out it was my instructor.

Well, last year I purchased a digital scrapbooking class from Jessica Sprague. I talked to a few people who I knew dabbled in digital. I did some research online and pretty much everyone said yes take Jessica's classes. You will learn lots and you will love digital. The class ended up on sale for whatever reason. I purchased it and thought why did I waste that money? Who am I kidding? I HATE Photoshop. 

Fast forward a year. I've got thousands more photos that need scrapbooking. I have been organizing my digital photos. I've got 2 years done! That took almost a month. Yes, I literally have over 100,000 digital photos. No exaggeration. One day at a zoo, I took 495 photos. That was one day! I was only there for about four to five hours. 

So now that I'm in the digital organization mode, I've been wondering how I'm ever going to get all of my photos into completed layouts before I'm 653 years old and still keep taking pictures and travel. Oh and I have other things to make besides layouts. 

I was staring at my MacBook in complete disbelief. Really thinking I'm going to give up sleep and tv and relaxing and working on my house (Who cares if the roof collapses on me. I've got pages to get done!) and bathing and eating....maybe then I'd get it all done. Yeah, most of that was never going to happen. The girl who can't go more than a day without showering or washing her hair at least once a day is never going to give up bathing!

Tigger the Lounge Kitty
I started poking around in Finder to see what other junk...I mean good stuff was collecting dust aka taking up space on my harddrive. What do I find? A whole mess of papers, embellishments, and stamps - all digital - from Jessica Sprague's website. I'm an Echo Park junkie and there's tons of their products. Hmmmm......

I go to her website to see what other cool things she has now since I hadn't been there in like a year. OMG! Color me happy! Bo Bunny. Basic Grey. Fancy Pants Designs. Carta Bella. Echo Park. Cosmo Cricket. Big names in the industry have collections for sale on her website! I log into my account and guess what's there....yup, that class I bought a year ago. Guess what I started working on this week. 

Ooh ooh ooh. Upon further examination. Many of the big industry companies sell lots of their collections digitally on their websites. I've contacted a few who I couldn't find anything from and some responded that they are working on it, a few told me where I could find the digitals, and a couple were like pffft we don't do that. So if you're interested in digital products at all, contact your favorite companies via Facebook or their website and ask them! The more people who ask, the more likely they will sell us what we want.

You're going to get a kick out of this. When I originally bought my digital papers from Jessica, it was to print the 12" x 12" papers at home so I wouldn't have to buy the same kits multiple times or when I ran out of those papers and it was no longer available. As of today, I've never printed any of them out and I have a 13" x 17" printer I purchased especially for that purpose! Good thing it was only clearance at Staples!

I'm almost done with lesson two. My assignment for that lesson is to share what I created in class. While people who've been at this for ages may have better layouts or suggestions on improvements, I'm very happy with my layouts. Could they be better? I don't know. I like them. I probably could sit here and spend 20 hours adding layers and crap to them, but less is more! I have that some problem in traditional scrapbooking. I want to keep adding stuff. Every cat sticker I own doesn't need to be on one layout. 

Maxx being crazy after bathtime
Today I'm sharing with you my completed layouts from class. Hope you like them. I do especially the one of Tigger. 

Oh and one more important thing. This is kinda huge. I don't hate Photoshop anymore. Shhhh....I'm actually kind of enjoying it. 

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