IÂ 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 itâ€™s the latter. Digital scrapbooks are incredible. Iâ€™m in awe of anyone who can create a scrapbook page on their computer and make it look so real.
Whatâ€™s a digital scrapbook? Itâ€™s a layout created entirely on a computer. Some folks are so good with graphics-based editing software they design their own â€œpaperâ€ and â€œembellishments.â€ You have to see it to believe it. Thereâ€™s even a magazine called Digital Scrapbooking.comÂ published bi-monthly.
Four or five years ago this type of scrapbook was in its infancy but now itâ€™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 PlaceÂ to look at items created by their members, download freebies, or just see whatâ€™s new. If youâ€™re interested in computer creativity also check out these sites.
- Photo MixÂ is a photo collage tool as well as a scrapbook creator. You can download a free demo and read articles on the topic.Â
- Scrapbook BytesÂ offers tutorials and some free downloads.Â
- Scrapbook FlairÂ lets you download free embellishments and templates. You can look at galleries of pages to inspire your own creations.Â
- Two Peas in a BucketÂ 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. Itâ€™s where members show off their creations. Need a little help and encouragement? Post a query on their message board.Â
- Adobeâ€™sÂ 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.
Thereâ€™s only one thing that bothers me about all this digital creativity. What do you do with it later. Since itâ€™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, itâ€™s like a digital photo with the same question–to print or not to print? Iâ€™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 â€œarchivalâ€ paper. Shop around.Â
- You can also take your creation to a copy shop but make sure you ask for â€œarchivalâ€ paper not regular copy paper. Archival refers to acid- and lignin-free paper and pigment inks.Â
- ‘Please donâ€™t use your standard home printer to make copies. The acidic paper and non-archival inks wonâ€™t stand the test of time. They probably wonâ€™t even last a generation before fading.
Iâ€™d like to hear from digital scrapbookers about what works and what doesnâ€™t. You can use the comment section in this blog to respond or you can send me an e-mail directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for a printer friendly version of this article.
Maureen Taylor writes about family photos in her blog on the PhotoDetective.com