Digital Daze, by Maureen Taylor

I read a few weeks ago that scrapbooks are declining in popularity. Could it be true? Is the hobby losing steam or has it just changed from paper and paste to a computer cut and paste industry? I think it’s the latter. Digital scrapbooks are incredible. I’m in awe of anyone who can create a scrapbook page on their computer and make it look so real.

What’s a digital scrapbook? It’s a layout created entirely on a computer. Some folks are so good with graphics-based editing software they design their own “paper” and “embellishments.” You have to see it to believe it. There’s even a magazine called Digital Scrapbooking.com published bi-monthly.

Four or five years ago this type of scrapbook was in its infancy but now it’s a full grown segment of the market. Ready to use templates make it easy for even a novice to drag and drop a photo into place. Stop by the Digital Scrapbook Place  to look at items created by their members, download freebies, or just see what’s new. If you’re interested in computer creativity also check out these sites.

  • Photo Mix is a photo collage tool as well as a scrapbook creator. You can download a free demo and read articles on the topic. 
  • Scrapbook Bytes offers tutorials and some free downloads. 
  • Scrapbook Flair lets you download free embellishments and templates. You can look at galleries of pages to inspire your own creations. 
  • Two Peas in a Bucket now offers kits to show you how to re-create the digital effects in some of their images. Cool! I have to admit this is one of my favorite sites. They sell a little bit of everything for any kind of scrapbook enthusiast, but their PeaNut Gallery is worth exploring. It’s where members show off their creations. Need a little help and encouragement? Post a query on their message board. 
  • Adobe’s website has a digital club for kids who have access to their popular Elements software. They can create themed scrapbooks or put together a digital story.

There’s only one thing that bothers me about all this digital creativity. What do you do with it later. Since it’s a digital image, you can share it with others via e-mail or by uploading it to an online gallery or Web page. On the other hand, it’s like a digital photo with the same question–to print or not to print? I’m for printing out pages because I spend enough time at a computer screen every day. Here are a few basics to remember:

  • If you decide to print at home, invest in a photo printer that uses high quality inks and papers with the flexibility to print on a variety of paper sizes. Epson, Hewlett Packard, and Canon all have printers that use specialty inks and “archival” paper. Shop around. 
  • You can also take your creation to a copy shop but make sure you ask for “archival” paper not regular copy paper. Archival refers to acid- and lignin-free paper and pigment inks. 
  • ‘Please don’t use your standard home printer to make copies. The acidic paper and non-archival inks won’t stand the test of time. They probably won’t even last a generation before fading.

I’d like to hear from digital scrapbookers about what works and what doesn’t. You can use the comment section in this blog to respond or you can send me an e-mail directly at photodetective@gmail.com.

Click here for a printer friendly version of this article.

Maureen Taylor writes about family photos in her blog on the PhotoDetective.com

8 thoughts on “Digital Daze, by Maureen Taylor

  1. I have a new blog that features digital scrapbooking as a main topic. If you’re interested in learning how to get creative with your family history, check out “Creative Genealogy” at CreativeGenealogy.blogspot.com. There are so many great ways to record your family history and digital scrapbooking is certainly one of them… photos capture the lives of your ancestors; colors, textures and ephemera add mood and emotion; journaling tells the story so that generations to come will know who is in the photos and what they were doing. Yes, digital scrapbooking puts it all together. I’m not selling anything on my blog, I’m just sharing what I know and inspiring others to get creative with their genealogy!

  2. I second the idea of printing! It’s so fun to see a well-made page printed out, especially a well-done 12×12 print. Digi scrappers should be aware, however, that many online photo printers that say they do full-bleed printing don’t take into account the fact that many digital scrapbookers (me included!) take stuff ALLLLLL the way to the edges of their LOs. Be careful to look for a printer that will do true edge-to-edge printer. Even scrappers printing at home who choose “borderless” prints WILL lose a bit on the edge. We offer this service at ScrapQuick.com (true edge-to-edge printing on archival paper), along with a completely free graphics program and ready-to-use digital scrapbook quick pages. Come see us!

    http://scrapquick.com

  3. Talking about right timing. I bought an ‘organic’ scrapbook last week. I call it organic because its cover, pages and trimmings are all made from organic, native and nature-friendly materials. I was thinking I can paste tickets from my travel in there and perhaps some travel pictures. But I ended up finishing a blog and an online scrapbook before I could finish one entry in my offline organic scrapbook.

  4. Digital scrapbooks offer so many options that it’s too good to pass up. I sold off all my papers and stamps and I’m concentrating just on digital. Products like Memory Mixer (Windows) and Memory Miner (Mac) also give you the opportunity to include audio and video in your projects giving them even more value. I’m excited by the opportunities and keeping a sharp eye on Jasia’s new project to see what great ideas she has to share.

  5. Hello:
    Great article, I hope you don’t mind if I link into our forum.
    I use flip album to create dvd slides of my albums to send to family and friends.
    I also print my album at home using an Epson 12×12 printer it does create great quality.

    We have tons of tutorials in our forum on hybrid which is combining paper with digital.
    This month we are doing drawing of copies of Acdsee software valued at $70.00 with any $15.00 purchased.
    Stop by and see us at Dragonflairestudios.com

  6. Pingback: Digital Scrapbooking Info » CoComment keeps track of blog comments

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