12 May 2008

Digi Scrapping

I have entered a new world, that I didn't know existed, but that I knew should exist. Somehow, I closed my eyes for a few years and it grew up and has flourished and I just now discovered it.

In early 1998 I started digi scrapbooking, however, I don't think that it even had a name back then. This is one of the first layouts I created. I remember decided long ago that I would create my pages in landscape format because they made better desktops and screen savers, and they fit in binders with pages protectors. I was a poor college student and now with 5 kids cheap is still good. Here is one of the first pages I created in Microsoft Picture IT.

Wake Up

On and off through the intervening years I have continued to create pages of my kids as time permitted. In college I learned to use Adobe Photoshop, just enough to want to take the class again. I still mostly used Picture IT, because I owned it and Photoshop was prohibitly expensive. I was excited to purchase Photoshop Elements when it first came out, however, I still used my newer version of Microsoft Picture IT Platinum 6. In 2006 my husband bought me a new scrapbooking program for my birthday, Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Designer Deluxe, which took me a long to learn to like. However, this is what launched me full force into becoming a digiscrapper. I created this layout shortly after my 5th child was born.

I got such rave reviews from everyone that was lucky enough to receive my emails. Several people asked me how I made it, so I did a search to find where they could purchase the program that I was using. However, as I did my search, I found so much more. DigiScrapping! I was amazed - however, not surprised. I've thought for years that it was easier and made much more sense to create on the computer. I just didn't know that people were finally designing for the computer. Amazing and Wonderful!!

Raspberry Road Designs was one of the very first websites that I found - http://www.raspberryroaddesigns.blogspot.com/ . Susan Darter has created some amazing scrapbooking kits, just like what you might find in any paper scrapbooking store, but even better, you can use the papers and elements over and over. Susan has been creating since at least 2005 and has many of her kits on her website that you can download for free. They are amazing and the backbone of my scrapbooking collection right now.

I also happened onto GOTTA PIXEL http://www.gottapixel.net/ - This website hosts a store, forums, challenges, and an online scrapbooking community. I have enjoyed the challenges, and learning new ways to scrapbook as I look at other peoples pages. I have done more scrapbooking in the last 15 days than I have probably done in the last year, and I have had so much fun. I'm very lucky that I can digiscrap one handed, because I've also done a lot of nursing my 6 week old baby while scrapping. I highly recommend joining a digiscrapping community - the best way to learn and grow in any area is to join with others who are working together to praise, encourage and challenge each other while working hard together.

Some frequently asked questions might be - how do I get my photos onto the computer, especially old photos? What program should I use to digi scrap? How do I get my pages off the computer and into my scrapbook? How do I learn to digi scrap?

I'll give you just a couple of links, but remember, these are just the very tip of the iceberg, and I've not used these companies, I'm just letting you know that they are out there, as I find more I will come and add them to the list and maybe someday I'll have a recommendation.

Scrapbook Programs
These are the first programs that I was recommending - however, I would now have to say that if you want the best quality you might do some more research. These however, would probably be really easy to use and great for getting started or for kids. My children ages 7 - 10 all know how to use Microsoft Picture it and could also probably use anyone of these programs with just a little bit of help.

I recommend this one mainly because it is a free trial download. I love trial versions. My kids have used this one and I would recommend it for the price, the full version is only $40. My sister in law - who has never digi scrapped until last week purchased this one and is hooked already. http://www.scrapbookmax.com/

I am using Adobe Photoshop Elements, which I purchased around 2000. It is a harder program to learn how to use, but very powerful. There are many newer versions, I'd have to research to find out the cost. I highly recommend adobe products if you can afford them.

http://www.sbtoshare.com/ - this website allows you to get your digital scrapbooks printed, or get copies made of paper scrapbooks. It looks like it has a great service.

Scanning - I'll have to get back to this section, my information is on the other computer right now.

How - the quick answer is tutorials. Most of the website devoted to digiscraping offer tutorials and there are also people you can ask for help in the forums.

This is where I have to get on my soapbox about the internet. You may have to be careful surfing the web because there are bad things out there, but the internet community is an amazing place to find intelligent and generous people. I am always amazed that so many people will take the time to create tutorials, digiscrapping kits, podcasts, educational games, etc and then give them away for the taking. It's a big big world out there in cyberspace, but it is a wonderful amazing place full of the most caring and generous people. Find a community, stay awhile, and make some new friends.

There is so much more out there once you start looking you may get lost, I know that I've spent many hours just on these few website in the last two weeks and occasionally I find myself sidetracked onto other websites. I suggest you find one and stay with it for a few weeks so you don't get overwhelmed. Build a community, connect with the other people, learn from them.

Oh yea, I almost forgot to show you some of my newest scrapbook creations.
Ross Park

Font - Primary Print

Background - Best Friends Boys Project 253 - http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/PrintLab/pl_projectDetail.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&catOID=-13781&objOID=96964

Alphas - World Tour Alpha - Raspberry Road Designs http://raspberryroaddesigns.blogspot.com/search/label/Freebies


08 May 2008

Diaper Crazy

My family has gone crazy - diaper crazy. I decided that I would like to try using cloth diapers with MaryAnn. I*m not sure why, advertising I guess. I have been reading Mothering Magazine the last two years. Somehow I discovered it about the time that Kevin was born. They have lots of ads for cloth diapers, and if you haven't seen an ad for cloth diapers boy are you in for a surprise. Diapers have changed in the last 30 years since I wore cloth diapers. I also have run across several articles in the last few months on the benefits of cloth diapers, and the environmental impact of disposable diapers. I*m not an environmentalist. I love the outdoors, in a clean sort of way, on an occasion. I do recycle, when it is convenient for me, which is frequently isn*t. However, as I*ve learned more about cloth diapers I decided that might be a good way to go.
I placed an order for a sample pack of cloth diapers before I left for the hospital. As we walked in the door from the hospital Brad saw the package, we made it as far as the dining room and he was opening the package of diapers. Everyone was ooohing and aaahing over brand new cloth diapers, they were all a little bit different as we wanted to find out what kind we liked best. I just stood there laughing about how excited they all were over diapers. Have you ever seen anyone ooh and aahh over disposable diapers?
It took several days before I had the diapers washed and prepped for use. I have to admit, it was fun and exciting. The first night I put cloth diapers on MaryAnn I took a picture at each diaper change. I had waited until bedtime to put these diapers on her so I could enjoy the time, and practice all by myself in the middle of the night when it was just MaryAnn and I.
I like cloth diapers. I always thought how lucky I was to live when we had disposables, but now I feel blessed to live when there have been wonderful advances in diaper covers, diaper pins, snappis, and most of all washing machines. I feel good using cloth diapers. At the first Emily asked if I wanted a cloth diaper or a "real" diaper. I think my family would now agree that cloth diapers are *for real* even if that means we are becoming peculiar.