Friday, April 29, 2011


I've been scrapbooking since I was 13.  That's right....I used to walk down the street to my neighbor's house, where she taught me to crop, cut, and paste my very first scrapbook and introduced me to Creative Memories - the most popular scrapbooking supplies company back then.  Since then, I've crafted many scrapbooks...for myself, for my family, friends, etc.  I made my own wedding album.  I have documented friendships, vacations, holidays, and just everyday moments.  I've always loved the process of taking all of these separate components and putting them together to achieve a creation that is completely personal.  And me in a scrapbook store = kid in a candy store.  In addition, I love preserving memories and telling a story so that, someday, my kids and grandkids can look back and have a glimpse into our lives.

I've been somewhat "stressed" about how I'm going to organize and display the pictures that I've been taking of Natalie.  I take her picture everyday.  Maybe a little ridiculous - but I don't want to forget the sweet faces she makes...the way she is growing and changing...her new experiencces.  I have taken almost 1,000 pictures since she arrived.  Yikes!  There is NO WAY I can make scrapbook at this pace!  There are too many pictures!  Too little time!

What to do?  Well, I've been weighing all of my options....
1.  Print my pictures and put them in pocket-page albums.  This is a time-consuming option as well.  I'm not so good at uploading pictures very often to get printed....and I don't have the space to journal around my pictures.  Plus, printing photos is expensive.
2.  Photobooks.  I like the idea of a nice, hardbound book...such as what you can find at Shutterfly.  What I don't like about them is their layouts, colors, etc.  Not for me.  So I found a website called My Publisher.  I downloaded their free software and started making a book.  I liked their layouts better, but still had little control about how pictures and words were placed on the page.  Limited color choices...the backgrounds are grey, black, white.  Which does show off the pictures....but I still like the look of a little bit of color.  Plus, it was hard to get the journaling on the pages - I like to write on my scrapbook pages.  The journaling tells the story of the pictures....many times I have looked back at my books and have read my words and it literally helps to bring back memories of things I had forgotten.

I wasn't happy with either of these choices....they just couldn't replace my beloved scrapbooks.  Then I saw what Kelle Hampton does to chronicle her daughter's lives (Have you seen her blog? Amazing!).  She creates her own layouts, then uploads them to Shutterfly to be printed (so she doesn't have to use their pre-made layouts, colors, etc.).  I didn't know you could do this!  So, I was intrigued by this whole "digital scrapbooking" thing. 

After a lot of googling, video tutorials, and website reading, I was able to pick up the basics.  You need a program to create the layouts - the  most popular is Photoshop Elements.  You can download a trial version for 30 days, then purchase the full version for $79.99.  Not bad.  Next, you need to download some templates, papers, etc. to use on your pages.  (You don't have to do this - but it takes some of the guess work out of creating the pages and makes it go much faster.)  Then you can insert your pictures and journaling, and VOILA! 

Unfortunately, it is not quite that easy...  Photoshop has quite a learning curve -- it's not an easy program to learn. I got frustrated trying to figure it out.  So, I went back to Google and YouTube and found some great websites with more tutorials.  (I had to get the information in 10 minute intervals as my baby allowed!)

Now that I've started and figured this whole thing out...I'm afraid I may have created a monster! There are so many websites where you can get FREEEEEE things for "digi" scrapbooking.  My favorites right now are Shabby Princess and Two Peas in a Bucket.  There are lots of neat things out there to purchase as well - but I'm all about the free stuff.  Templates, papers, die cuts, oh my!  Many of "digi" scrapbooking items are a little "busy", but you can simplify the layouts as you work with them in Photoshop to make them cleaner...which is the look I was going for.

Okay, okay.  After all that talk - do you want to see my first layout?  I did it more just as an experiment, and am not sure I'll eventually put it in a book, but it's a good first go at it.  Simple layout...some pattern, some color.  I didn't do much journaling yet because I was just figuring it all out, but there's space for that later. 

What do you think??? I'm SOOOO excited about this!  I had to do a lot of playing and learning over the last couple of days...but this layout took me less than 15 minutes!!!  That's MUCH less time than the old cut and paste of scrapbooking.....and a solution that I'm very happy with!  Looking forward to creating my first book and learning more about digital scrapbooking. :)  Any of you out there dabbled in the world of "digi"?  Would love to hear some of your favorite resources, websites, etc.


  1. FYI, you can get a teacher discount from Adobe by uploading a copy of your paystub or ID and your driver's license! I just did this last week and purchased Photoshop for $69, it was well worth it. I am just trying to figure out the digital scrapbooking to, it isn't as easy as it looks, but I think I will have better luck after school is out for the summer. I love Natalie Grace's first layout!

  2. Janine - great tip!! :) Thank you!

  3. What a great post! I have really struggled with this to because I love photos so much but have ZERO scrapbooking experience, background or "time", so I think, anways... I've used My Publisher for a couple of projects and it's so funny you talked about Elements because we are currently working with a trial version also trying to see if we like it! Have you seen Florabella's website for textures and collage templates? My solution has been to use IPhoto for a yearly photo book. I have one for 2010 and just every week or two work on a page for what we have done that's definitely not as artsy, but it gives me a chance to keep up with our photos and document our life together. I bet your scrapbook will be beautiful!