2015 Digital Scrapbooking Day

In The Studio

A lot of people, when they hear my blog name or email address, assume that the “scraps” in Scraps of Life refers to scrapbooking. That’s not the case (it actually represents the bits and pieces–aka scraps–of time and experiences that make up our lives) but it’s true that I’ve been into scrapbooking since the late 90s, back when the landscape was wild and the supplies were few. My how things have changed (in, um, 17 years).

If you’ve hung around here long enough, you know I’m the crafty sort and I do love my papers and glue and for the longest time I swore I’d never give them up! I still haven’t, but I did broaden my horizons back around 2006 or so when I started fooling around with digital scrapbooking–turns out, I really liked it!

Even though I have most of my supplies for traditional, paper, scrapbooking I mostly use them for other projects these day. Instead, I’m 99% digital when I do make the time to scrapbook. Why?

  • Digital elements don’t get used up
  • Digital elements don’t take up a lot of space (well, physical space… my external hard drive is another matter, but storage gets cheaper every day!)
  • You never run out of glue
  • You can change the color of a paper or embellishment if it’s not quite right
  • Unfinished layouts are easy to save and come back to

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve held onto a particular piece of patterned paper because it was so pretty and I didn’t want to use it up because it was now discontinued. Or how I once borrowed my mom’s SUV to go to a scrapbook retreat because it meant I could bring more supplies. OR how frustrating it is to have the perfect thing for a layout but it clashes horribly with everything else I want to use. The struggle is real, and the supply bills are high!

Digital kits and elements also tend to be a lot less expensive than their physical counterparts. Add to that the fact that most of our photos these days are digital, you save money by not having to make prints for scrapbooking (not to mention the ease of resizing images to fit just so) and you can still print out your pages and put them into albums.

An unexpected benefit from digital scrapbooking was learning to use Adobe products (I took a course from Scrap Girls back in the day on how to scrapbook with Photoshop Elements 3.0–I think 12 just came out? No, wait, we’re on version 14 now) that made it so much easier when I started my webcomic and needed to do some digital post-processing. I’ve also dabbled in creating my own digital papers and elements, including this little mini kit (from back in 2012) which is kinda perfect for this time of year! In honor of Digital Scrapbooking Day (which is the first Saturday in November, aka tomorrow), I’m putting this little set up for grabs (for free!).

HMD_harvestfruit_preview600Get your free kit here!

More recently I got bit by the Project Life bug. I love that it’s quick and easy and the templates are so much fun to use. I bought a physical kit to put together an album of years of family photos for Mom a couple years ago, then I switched to their digital options for my own stuff. Here’s a smattering of some of my recent layouts

From our wedding album (which I really need to get on the ball with!)

From our wedding album (which I really need to get on the ball with!)

From our honeymoon (I still have a lot to do on this book, too)

From our honeymoon at Disney (I still have a lot to do on this book, too)

Halloween 2015! After all, the everyday is what makes the most memories...

Halloween 2015! After all, the everyday is what makes the most memories…

And one of last year's conventions.

And one of last year’s conventions.

Will you be doing any scrapbooking this weekend, digital or otherwise?

Harvest Fruit Digital Scrapbook mini-kit preview

Using What You’ve Got

64 Arts, Everyday Adventures

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been working on digital scrapbook pages again. That’s still true, and–based on my experience as a part of the Gauche Alchemy team (which I will be continuing for the foreseeable future, I love working with them!)–have been wanting to find a spot on a digital design/creative team. This means I’ve been submitting applications and had to put up a gallery of my pages so the team leaders could take a look at my work.

That last part had proved the biggest pain  in my ass. I’ve tried numerous plugins only to have one not allow multiple galleries on a single page, another that I tried had a nasty habit of hijacking ANY images I uploaded to this blog the next time I’d go to upload a layout (so if you ever came here and saw a lot of broken image links over the last month, that was why), meaning I had to re-upload and remap each and every picture in the affected posts. And y’all know how many pictures some of my posts use. So I kept looking for a better plugin. A better addition to this blog.

Turns out, WordPress has a native gallery feature that does pretty much what I need without bloating the install with any more plugins. I just didn’t know it.

Sure, I had to do some minor code tweaks to get everything the way I wanted it, but I’ve become good at reverse engineering WP themes, so it wasn’t the end of the world. And I still have to re-upload, tag, and credit a couple dozen layouts before it’s all said and done, but that’s minor.

In the end, I will have just the gallery that I want without having someone else’s programming to deal with, update, or rely on.

Now, what does this have to do with the price of tea in China? Or our day-to-day creative spirit?

How many times have you put off that fun idea because you didn’t have just the right type of paper/fabric/bead? How much money have you spent on specialty tools when the basic ones, with a little ingenuity would have done fine? How many times do we get hung up on the what and forget the why?

If you’re anything like me–and I’ll bet we have a lot in common–you’re nodding your head to those questions. You’ve been there. We all have.

Living creatively isn’t just about following a set of directions to make the same crafts and tchotchkes that everyone else has. It’s about taking an idea and running with it in our own direction. Sure, sometimes you want to do exactly what they did, because you like their end result, but we always put our own mark on our projects because we’re human beings, not crafting robots.

So have some fun with it–whether that IT is a craft project, a meal, or just getting from point A to point B.

And don’t get hung up on the details.

(Except when the details are important, of course. Things like your safety, meeting obligations, and stuff like that are details totally worth getting hung up on!)

Now, if any of you have been curious about digital scrapbooking and wanting to try your hands at it, I’ve put together a little mini-kit perfect for October that I’m going to share with you: for free!

Harvest Fruit Digital Scrapbook mini-kit preview

I actually started this kit a few years ago, and I used it to make the invitations for that year’s BYOP party (which was the year of the Halloween brunch, hence the fruit images), but never got around to finishing it or sharing it. Now that it’s done, it’ll be available for download until October 31st or 500 downloads, whichever comes first. (And if, by some strange luck, we hit those 500 downloads really early in the month, I’ll put up a secondary link.)

The mini-kit includes 6 papers, 4 fruit images, 2 tags, a piece of organza-style ribbon, and a twine bow. All images are 300 dpi, the papers are jpeg files and the embellishments are png files with transparent backgrounds. Drop-shadows are on the previews, only. Enjoy!

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