Ep 23 Layout a Day – The Podcast: Digi or Didn’t She

by Lain Ehmann on October 19, 2011


 Today I’m talking about digital scrapbooking.
Do you do it? Why or why not?

Join me and find out
* what I eat, think and dream about,

* what is holding me back from doing more digi,

* what used to be the highest compliment you could receive
for your digital scrapbook page,

* how I use “hybridly” in a sentence, and

* how you can help me help you help me!

Are you interested in trying some digital scrapbooking?
Here are some links to get you started:
* freedigitalscrapbooking.com – join their free club for access to freebies and more.
* scrappyfreebies.com  - click on ‘Linky Love‘ on the menu bar on this blog and
take a look at the long, long list of freebie sites.
* digitalscrapbookingfreebies.com - join their newsletter and be the first to hear
about the newest freebies.
* daisytrail.com - lots of gorgeous freebie kits!
* digitalscrapbookfaves.com – hundreds of freebies, tutorials, tools and
promotions updated daily.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and tell me whether you digi or not,
about your experiences with digital scrapbooking, favorite digital
supplies or suppliers, and  which programs you use and love (or hate) and why.

Spawn of True Scrap starts TOMORROW!  Are you registered?  No?
The only way to get in on any of the 17 incredible classes,
the amazing virtual make-n-takes, the awesome digi goodie bag,
and more is to get signed up right now! Sign up here before it’s too late!

Would you like to keep listening to Layout a Day -The Podcast? Do
you want to be one of the first to hear about the newest episode?
It’s easier than you might think! Go here to subscribe and never
miss another episode -or double your money back!

Hope to see you at Spawn of True Scrap tomorrow!
It’s gonna be a Scrap Happy Weekend!

  • http://www.BackToPaper.com Linda Tieu

    Great topic… because I certainly went from traditional photo corners type of album back in the day  to digiscrapping then back to paper and now sort of both – sorta hybrid. I really like what you said about utilizing digital techniques that you can’t do with paper. I think we just have to take the best of both worlds.

    I personally love the real layering and tactile part of working with paper. But digital makes journaling easier for me…not to mention it’s faster to get new product. I love the instant download of digital products and being able to edit them or change coloring… I often print out things and make my own embellishments. I also often print titles or a background page to build upon.  But of course, there’s nothing better than an actual paper layered flower or such. I don’t care for things that are digital that “look” real… not my thing. 

    I suppose that digital can be an extra tool for those of us who are more paper scrappers. However, I always go digital for huge events with hundreds of photos, because it’s faster!

  • Jennifer

    I started doing some digital scrapbooking at the beginning of last year.  I personally use Creative Memories Storybook Creator which is super simple.   They have great online help and pixels2pages has awesome and easy tutorials if you want to learn more detailed information.  Storybook Creator 4.0 also makes it super easy to organize your paper and embellishments however you want.  You can also import non-CM elements easily.

    Since I do mostly traditional scrapbooking and only some digital I just have 12×12 page prints printed and put them in my albums along side my traditional pages.

    Just started listening to your podcast about two months ago and have listened to all of the past ones as well.  I am also enjoying “catching up” on your blog.  Thank you for all of the great pointers and ideas.

  • http://brooklyngirlnextdoor.blogspot.com Rosann517

    I enjoyed today’s podcast. I consider myself a paper scrapper but I have done more than dabble in digi. I own several kits and have done a lot of hybrid using both PSE and CS3. What I would say to you to get your digi mojo flowing is to get templates. I think that Cathy Zielske’s are the best, especially for beginners because they are very clean and simple and not overly embellished. So they are a good place to start. She has a post on her blog from yesterday that really speaks to this and she has 3 products that she advertises. It’s the same project but using all digi or hybrid. Again another good way to get the digi mojo and learning started.  Good luck.

  • Lynnette

    Never expected to find a podcast today with Spawn starting tomorrow.  With a rainy day and a big pile of laundry to fold, I was pleasantly surprised!   Never tried digi.  I kind of feel like you in that I don’t really have the time to learn it.  I also really like working with my hands, sorting and organizing my stuff into jars and on peg boards, moving it around the page and even making a mess.  To me, that is all part of the scrapbooking experience.  Although, I do see real benefits to digi…never running out of a particular letter, documenting an event an hour after it has happened, neat and clean workspace.  I think hybrid or digi in certain applications (like when traveling) may be the choice for me.  I would appreciate a recommedation of a good, inexpensive and easy-to-use program that I could try out.

  • Rebecca Lovell

    I actually started scrapping in digi, and have since transitioned to doing only traditional.  I loved digi, but found myself NEEDING to touch and feel things, as I felt like so much around me was held in the computer.  My work is all done on computer, and when that’s done, I want to FEEL my crafting!  That said, I do sometimes do some hybrid papercrafting, thanks to Heidi Swapp and Jessica Sprague. :)

    I do have a tip for you – when I got bogged down by all those files, I found the best way for me to keep track was to make separate file folders for each manufacturer.  Then, when you download something, just drop it into that folder.  Download some new Cosmo Cricket – drop it in their file.   I found if I wanted to use something, I usually knew who made it, and then it was easy to find.  Hope that helps!  Oh, and I’ve used Elements and also Corel Paint Shop Pro x2.  The corel program is more advanced than Elements, but you can’t use Actions in it.  Plus, most tutorials you find will be done with a Photoshop program.  But, I really think unless you are really wanting to do some technical stuff, Elements is all you really need. :)

  • Anonymous

    So glad you liked the podcast. Thanks for the software recommendations – I will check them out!

  • Anonymous

    I think the key is to find a balance that works for you — maybe that means lots of digital, or lots of photo books, or a little of everything. Sounds like you are willing to experiment – love that! :)

  • Anonymous

    I will check out CZ’s post – love her! I just got to interview her for True Scrap. She always rocks my scrapping world. :)

  • Anonymous

    Great ideas! So do you have a separate file for each designer?

  • Rebecca Lovell

    Yes, that is what I have.  It works well for me.

  • http://twitter.com/IAmMikki Mikki McGehee

    I am a paper scrapbooker. There is something tactile that I just can’t bring myself to abandone. I will also confess that I have a bit of negativity towards digital scrapbooking. I find myself looking down on digital layouts that look “fake”. If a digital layout doesn’t “look just like paper” or have the look that can only be achieved with digital I just have a hard time accepting it. I definitely mean no ill will towards digital scrapbookers, I just feel like many products are lacking in quality.

    I have done a few hybrid scrapbooking layout, but I feel as though calling a photoshop brush/overlay “hybrid” scrapbooking is an insult to those who do it amazingly LOL I just copied, pasted and resized. I’ve added to a photo, or done computer journaling but I am no hybrid scrapper.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=694054925 Kayla Lane Lamoreaux

    Love this podcast Lain!  As you know, I am a fully immersed digi scrapbooker. :)  I have to say that I think the way you feel about digi is a little how I felt about traditional – it was hard for me to keep my supplies organized, bringing layouts together took me so much longer and it was harder to be creative.  Then I found digi.  So the first thing is if traditional flows – I say enjoy it.  If digi flows for you – enjoy that too!

    To answer a few of your questions – I scrap using CS5 and PSE.  I definitely spend more time in CS5 because it is my favorite.  

    One of the things I love about digi is the fact that once I use a product it’s always there.  However, as you mentioned that does lead to a quandary of how to keep it all organized. I use Lightroom to organize both my supplies and photos and I love that when I’m feeling creating I can do searches and filtering in my software to find exactly what I need by color, theme, design, etc.  No more searching through folders…

    It really does take time to learn digi.  That is the only drawback.  I tell my students to practice.  The more you do it, the more the process flows.  That said, if you are perfectly happy with your traditional process – why change?  Creativity is about doing what inspires us.  Some will love digi, others traditional, and still others a mix of both.  I say whatever floats your creative boat – enjoy it!

    P.S. I have an entirely free class on organizing your supplies in Lightroom here - http://www.digiscrap101.com/lightroom-class-2011-index-of-posts.html

  • http://twitter.com/catvinnat Catherine Riley

    do I digi? You bet I do!!!

    I discovered it after I was on a tight deadline for a gift album and I’ve never touched my paper stash since – and that was 3 years ago!
    I kind of lost my mojo for my own page layouts about 2 years ago after DH was diagnosed with a chronic illness.  For 12 months I did nothing but slowly started designing digi and spend all my free time on it now (I work full time)
    I loved Spawn of true scrap but despite all the glorious inspirational paper classes I found myself mentally translating it all into digi as I was watching it! Unless we have some serious unforseen energy disaster I can’t see me reverting back to paper now – anyone want to buy my stash?

  • Sbyurich

    let’s get easy! How do you print pages? which machine to use, or what can you afford? How much ink does it take to print photos and patterned papers?

  • Anonymous

    Great questions! I want to know! :)

  • Donna Nuce

    I do both digi and traditional and mix them up together.  I like printing digital elements and putting them on a traditional layout.  I use Creative Memories Storybook Creator Plus program.  I have PSE but found the learning curve  is much harder for PSE than CM Storybook Creator.  I like one of the suggestions that said to file your digi files by designer.  I currently have mine filed by what store I purchased them from.  By desginer is a better idea.  I enjoy your podcasts.  I signed up for True Scrap but life got in the way (also the time zone difference didn’t help).  But I am looking forward to viewing the re-runs!  Thanks Lain!

  • Kathy28

    I converted to digi about a year ago…(Wow, it feels like it was a lot longer back…)  Through Stacy Julian I found PaperClipping Round table which really opened up my world to so many great talents including you  and the gals at The Daily Digi.  Always been a slight geek so digital appealed to me.  I also have a huge problem finding just the right product to use on a paper page so the ability to tweak colors and sizes for elements really made me happy! 

    I dove in when I signed up for last October’s LOAD and the majority of my pages were digi.  You’re definitely right in saying there is a learning curve. I struggled with the simplest techniques– learning from any blog I could find on the internet.   I didn’t take a class until this summer and I could kick myself  for not doing it sooner. (Patty Knox and Jessica Sprague are great teachers) I still do some paper cards (to use up my stash) but my LOs are all digi now. 

    I use PSE6 but I will be upgrading to PSE10 before long.  I use Picasa to organize my photos and my digi supplies.  I have a fairly simple folder structure with Designer and  kit name. The other tool that is phenomenal is a utility call Unzip Them All.  Digi kits come as zipped files and this let you unzip a ton of files at once…saves a lot of time

    If you are serious about trying digi, you can download a free 30 day trial of PSE from Adobe.com.  There are several other programs that you can use… it all depends on how creative and in control you want to be. I have a friend that uses the CM one and loves it because it is so easy but she doesn’t like to do a lot  of editing or other artsy stuff with her pages..

    I think there is room for both paper and digi in this world.  We are all different and the fact that we can share ideas and support one another no matter what our medium is what makes us scrapbookers unique.

  • Tonysfrenchgirl

    I am primarily a paper scrapper. Ironically, Lain, it was the May 2010 LOAD that precipitated my foray into digi scrapping. I had to be out of town for a family wedding and wanted to be able to get that daily layout done so I purchased the Memory Mixer software and digi scrapped from my hotel room. I was able to scrap right away as the software is quite intuitive. Maybe someday I’ll have the time to learn PSE, but for the time being, I am super happy with Memory Mixer. They have a terrific selection of supplies on their website AND you can bring in any PNG files you happen to pick up elsewhere on the web. I could never give up my paper, but it sure is fun to be able to digi scrap when the mood strikes!

  • Anonymous

    Hey Donna! I think that’s the way I’ll end up going – a little bit of this and a little bit of that. :) Several people have mentioned the CM software, so I may have to check that out. The replays for True Scrap are available now, so go ahead and check them out — it was amazing! http://www.truescrap.com/spawn

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Kathy! I actually own PSE9 and use it for all sorts of things, but not much digi scrapping. Haha! I can’t decide if it’s better to jump in and take a class, or learn exactly what I want to learn to do what I want to do. Probably both. ;)

  • Karen Hanim

    I have done some hybrid scrapbooking. I find that Picasa works well for organizing the digital products.  I tag them into folders. All of my papers are tagged in a paper folder, the alphabets in a alphabet folder etc. You can see them instead of seeing just the folder name. Using the collage program has made it easy to do grid layouts. Once the collage is done you can go back and write on it before you print it out.

  • Karebear

    I totally understand your frustration with digital scrapbooking and admittedly I’ve been trying to find my groove with it too for the last SIX years.  I started with Paint Shop Pro which I struggled to learn, tried Photoshop Elements 3 but it took me forever to do anything, bought Lumapix which had some fun features like auto-collage and then found my absolute favorite – ACDSee.  I also have since purchased a newer version of Photoshop Elements and when I take a class like the ones offer at Big Picture from the Daily Digi gals, I can navigate a little more quickly. 

    As a full-time working mom in a stressful job with three with kids in multiple activities and involvement in church, I don’t have time to use PSE regularly and it is hard to pick up again…feels like I have to relearn it if  month goes by without using it!!  I think ACDSee is the easiest to pick up again after any period of time.  It just feels the most natural.  As a long-time Microsoft Word user, I think this program has a similar feel.  It still has all the options with layers etc.. of PSE, but is much easier to use.  I have another little secret for making super-fast cheap pages.  Sam’s Club partners with a softward program called Smilebox.  It costs me $40 a year but there are unlimited “kits” to use and Sam’s Club is super cheap for printing layouts.  Many of the layouts have options for color choices, level of embellishment and text so there is some customization possible but you are largely using a designer’s style.  This is my dirty little secret for creating lots of layouts and books.  It gives you the option of saving the jpgs and putting them in a digital frame, turns layouts into a slide show complete with music (which you can then share via email or post to Facebook at the touch of a button) or just send to get printed at Sam’s Club.  My favorite thing to do is to save my layouts as jpgs and then upload to Shutterfly to create a photobook when I get  good coupon or a free 8×8 book promo code. 

    With Smilebox I know that when I snap a bunch of great pictures and have a story to tell, I can quickly go to the program and create 8 pages in less than an hour and then share them, print them or post to Facebook.  If I want to, I can print them to Sam’s and have them in an hour.  This wows friends, family and co-workers!  I also can make fantastic collages in a matter of minutes.  They also have fanstic slide show templates, cards, and photo books you can create and I never have to buy individual supplies with Smilebox…just a one year subscription that is so worth it.

    Another big help for me was when my husband surprised me with a laptop for a gift 2-3 years ago…I am much more apt to scrapbook if I can be with the rest of the family…while they watch tv, while on a road trip or even while my kids are doing their nightly reading!  I can bring my laptop to crops and not spend hours packing.  My kids can’t get into my stuff and make any messes and it is easier to just jump in when I only have 15 minutes. 
    I am not an organization guru but this is what works for me…I have a file on my computer called “Scrapbooking downloads” where I save all my freebie and purchased kits.  Everything that is downloaded is saved by the designer’s title when they created the file.  I don’t ever change it.

    I hope this time you catch the digi fever.  I have given my paper supplies largely to my daughter but still use them for card-making.  I still wish I was better with PSE since there are so many cool kits from Cathy Zielske and Ali Edwards and from many shops where their templates are only PSE ones but I have to do what is easiest and the fastest.

    Also…I use the digital version of Becky Higgin’s Project Life.  Love how simple it is to document everyday life with that program. 

    It was so refreshing to hear that digital didn’t come naturally to you!  Thank you for your podcast on the subject.  Sorry I am so wordy this morning….too much coffee.

  • http://blog.mshanhun.com Melissa

    I work a similar way – 1 folder per designer then the kits stay together within that folder…
    I then tag in Photoshop Elements organizer  - mshanhun.com/photoshop-elements-organizer-organising-the-digi-files/

  • Anonymous

    Okay, I didn’t even know that Photoshop has an organizer. The amount of information that I do not know is continuing to amaze me. Thanks so much for the suggestion!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for your thoughts! Now explain something to me. Smilebox… Is that the program itself or a photo organizer? You talk about quick kits but I’m not sure what the kits are or how they relate to Smilebox. And with AC/DSee… What file formats can you use? Do designers make products specifically for that program? Trying to get it all figured out.

  • Anonymous

    THank you so much for your suggestions! Being able to actually SEE the item,not just the name, is critical.

  • Anonymous

    I can understand your desire to have digital look like paper — I felt that way for a long time. But when I’ve seen some of the things that Katrina Kennedy and Anna Aspnes, to name two, have done, it makes me change my mind! :) I think I’ll slowly add more digital to my repertoire, but I will always be a paper/hybrid scrapper at heart.

  • http://blog.mshanhun.com Melissa

    I love the organizer – I have about 80 000 items in there all tagged! :) But the trick is that I don’t tag one by one. I search by file name and tag all the papers etc in one go.

  • Anonymous

    See, these are the little tricks I need to know!

  • Anonymous

    That is great to know! I have a few friends who are interested in a plug-and-play solution, and I will definitely recommend this to them!

  • Sualg

    Lain,  am finally catching up so have just listened to your podcast. Great topic.

    I’ve digi scrapping for about 4-5 years and just love it.  I’m able to scrap “on the go” by just taking my laptop when traveling.  I create a scrapbook every year as a Christmas present for my DIL (and family) that captures the entire year.  Each book has about 20-30 pages.  What’s neat is I’m able to create a two-page layout and then insert pics and journaling specific to each family.  Now I have created 6 pages within about an 1 hour.  No need to buy more paper, embellishments, etc. and spend time designing  new layout.

    I use PSE7, but will be buying the newest release (I believe PSE9 or 10).  I did invest about $20.00 in basic video tutorials when I first got into digi.  You can find a lot of info on You Tube, but this takes time, and if you buy a basic tutorial you can speed up your learning process.

    I also blog several neat digi  sites and get “tips of the day”.  I try to incorporate many of these tips in current projects I’m working on so I remember them. 

    There are at least 2-3 different way to do the same thing in PSE and I end up using the one that is most comfortable for me.

    I also do hybrid scrapbooking too.  Sometimes I just need to get my “hands dirty”.  I also make digi and traditional cards.

    I organize my digi files by the way I know I will look for them.  For instance, I have all my papers “sorted in files” by color.  Sort my embellishments by type also, such as “embellishment flowers”, “embellishments tags” etc.  I always start the file folder with the name of the item–paper, embellishment, word art, etc.  I also sort by holidays-Christmas, Halloween, Valentine and then sort by type of item within that folder.

    I create my pages, save a .jpg copy and then wait for various sites that have sales.  Currently I use Scrapping Simply to print my pages.  I’ve been very pleased with their service.  The usual cost is $1.99 per page plus $5.00 shipping for any size order.  I think this is very reasonable.  It is even cheaper when they have a sale once or twice a year.

    I’ve also created photobook using various sites–Shutterfly, Snapfish, etc.  In the past I’ve used their layouts, but in the future I’m going to upload my own page layouts.  I’ve created these quick and easy books when I’m creating theme books.  I’ve created as gifts for friends and they just love them.

    I could go on and on, because I’m really enthusiastic about digi.

    P.S.  Currently I’m working an “ancestry” book for my kids and brothers and sisters.  Digi makes it so easy.

  • http://blog.mshanhun.com Melissa

    ACDSee organises pretty much any image files you have on your computer/EHD. @Peppermint2go:twitter  trialled tagging her designs for it, but I think she ended up discontinuing doing that

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Kayla, thank you so much for your input! I think it comes down to different strokes for different folks. I definitely want to learn more about digital, investing some time to learn how to do it right! And I want to take your class, too. :)

  • Anonymous

    I’ll buy your stash — what do you have???
    PS I am hoping to have a digi-only mini-True Scrap coming your way soon! :)

  • Anonymous

    That would definitely help the process! :)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for all this info – and sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. What site did you take the video tutorials from? I’d love to check them out. L

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