I have been digital scrapbooking since 2006 and it is my second love – cross stitching/design is my first and that’s over at Coal House Designs. My portfolio there is limited because my hands don’t allow for hours of stitching, and that impacts my desire to design, but I still count it my first hobby love, learned back in 1992.
Digital scrapbooking took over in 2006 when holding a needle became difficult. Mastering a mouse with my left hand (perhaps I’m now ambidextrous?) gave me more freedom and I never looked back.
I do have one problem: I can’t manage to handle the traditional scrapbook page size of 12 x 12 inches. Over the years I’ve tried various sizes – 8 x 8 inches, 6 x 6 inches, A4 pages etc. You may wonder “Well, if you’re digital, does page size really matter?” Yes, because sometimes I like to see my pages in print. And I am not the only one who might want to see these creations; my husband likes reminders of the things that happened over the year too!
Digital Scrapbooking – Even Easier
The smartphone and technology in general has made this even easier.
This year I have used my phone’s camera, a massive 16 megapixels at my fingertips, for almost all of my photos. I also use Snapseed, an app for editing photos quite a lot more than I thought I would. However, I still do the bulk of my editing, cropping, and general fussing about in my beloved PaintShop Pro X8.
In 2016 I finally found a page size that works – 7 x 5 inches. Then I found a great app called FreePrints, and their sister app, PhotoBook and had two books printed last year, Week In The Life and Come Fly With Me, a scrapbook of my husband’s flying lesson.
My first 7 x 5 pages are created with templates I made myself, and are simple graphic blocks in different positions on the page. I like the clean, graphic look with a bit of text and it doesn’t take an age to do. With the introduction of text wrapping in PaintShop Pro X8 creating my pages became even easier – so I created my Even Easier templates to match!
PaintShop Pro doesn’t have a clipping mask like Photoshop does so I make use of layer masks for my templates. This means that each element of the template has its own layer mask, making it a simple task to slide in a photo or journal card/paper and have only what I want showing.
In the example above you can see the outline of the date card with the grey bounding box, while the mask area is outlined in red and only what is within that area shows on the page.
If I use any specific pocket page supplies, such as Project Life® I resize items by 50% and they fit the 7 x 5 inches page comfortably. Below you can see the Layers Palette, with the cards and photo under their respective Mask Layers.
Creating my weekly digital scrapbook pages is a simple process; I use only one kit (Project 52 2016) and my text is already formatted on the template page. Theoretically all I have to do is choose the photos for the week.
The process worked well for most of the year, when I was sidetracked by trying to go back to volunteering and realised – I’m just not as fit as I was 16 years ago!
However, for Thirteen Weeks my weekly pages were all complete and a joy to make.
Of course, it’s never that simple and whole hours go by as I play around with colour, texture, fonts….
Updated December 2016