I started scrapping in 1997 (wow that makes me seem old). I went to a Creative Memories meeting with a friend from law school’s wife and bought my first few supplies. Then I discovered the scrapbooking section at AC Moore and fell down the rabbit hole (as one does)!
For years after that, I scrapped once or twice a month at scrapping events and did what I could at home. Of course, once my kids came along, I worked on my books a lot less frequently. A part of the problem was that I had to lay out my materials on a worktable to scrap and the kids would get into them and make a mess. Ever seen a flat surface covered with stickers? I have….
At one point, just to work on a few layouts, I would bring a carry-on size roller bag, a tote bag and a tool tote to every scrapping event! Even at the 7-8 hour events, I was lucky to do 3-4 layouts. Also, I built up an entire wall unit shelf of scrapping supplies (when I said that I fell down the rabbit hole, I really meant it).
Flash forward to a year and a half ago, when Diane told me how she was really getting into digital scrapping. I had dabbled with digital on the Close to My Heart online digital studio, but I didn’t like how rigid that platform was. You had to pick a kit, and other than resizing things and adding the pictures, you pretty much had to work with what they gave you. I liked how easy it was to bang out a ton of layouts, but it wasn’t exciting for me creatively.
Diane said she was using Photoshop Elements and that it was fun once you did some tutorials to learn how to do things. I didn’t want to invest in the software until I was certain I liked it, so I started out with Gimp, which is an open source program similar to Photoshop. I watched about a million tutorials to learn how to do things. My aha moment was when I figured out how to use drop shadows. All of a sudden, my flat layouts started to look real! After that discovery, I asked for Photoshop Elements for Christmas and was off and running.
I do most of my scrapping via the Gingerscraps website. The digital kits are reasonably priced there, with the advantage that they do regular sales. My favorites are the Buffet Sale at the beginning of every month, where the kits are mostly $2 and the mid-monthly sale, where you can get things for as low as a $1. If you participate in the forum at Gingerscraps, you can post 10 challenge layouts each month and earn a free themed kit (valued at $7). I have been earning the free monthly kits since I started at Gingerscraps. They also have a “welcome wagon” thread where members can download free kits from the resident scrapbook designers. Factor in the fact that there are special sales and events all year long where you can win prizes or get deep discounts, and digital scrapping turns out to be a relatively inexpensive hobby. I spend less than $10 a month on digital kits (I like to treat myself). This is WAY less than I used to spend on paper scrapping supplies, and each kit can be reused again and again.
I have been slowly working backwards through all of my digital photos, creating digital yearbooks. As I get to the older dates, some of the pages are regular paper scrapping and some are digital. It has been a lot of fun. At some point last year, I read about using the Project Life three-ring binders instead of post-bound albums. It was absolutely life changing. It is so much easier to put together an album in a three ring binder. If you’re like me, you probably don’t scrap everything in order. With the three ring binder, I can just pop photos in wherever they belong. With the post-bound albums, I had to take apart the whole album to add pages. The only downside is that the double page layouts look better in the post-bound books because they are held closer together by the binding. For the ease and convenience of the binders, I’ll take it!
I can’t leave this post here without showing a few layouts. (If you’re interested, you can see my whole gallery at Gingerscraps). Going through all of the albums, I’ve noticed the lack of photos of me. I’m always the one taking the pictures! So I am trying to do a few layouts that talk about my interests and weight loss journey.