Scrapbooking Q & A : Hybrid, Digital, Photoshop


I was wondering if you could give some insight on Adobe Creative it something you would recommend? Is it an easy software to learn?
Posted by: Angie

It all depends on what you plan to do. If you are looking for a program to edit your photos, create digital scrapbook pages, or work with hybrid elements than really Photoshop Elements is all you need. The Creative Suite (which includes a group of programs) is expensive and is really designed more for professional use (the range of things the programs within in the suite can do is far beyond what any scrapbooker would need). The Creative Suite includes programs such as Flash, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, etc. depending on which package you choose.

How did you learn what you know about digital scrapbooking? I am desperately wanting to get into that-- and I try to follow instructions in magazines about how to create something basic in Photoshop (which I purchased, and despite being pretty computer savvy can't figure out)... and yet it just never works. Any advice on how to get started? Websites that are helpful? Classes on Photoshop that focus on using it for scrapbooking?
Posted by: Jen L.

When I was in school for graphic design I took one class on Photoshop (back in 2001). Since then I have learned through trial and error, using the help menu, using a manual, and googling specific questions (I do this all the time). I have also asked Jessica Sprague and Katie Pertiet (owner of Designer Digitals) lots of clarifying questions and gotten help on specific ways to do things.

For digital scrapbook education I highly suggest taking Jessica Sprague's online class called Up + Running With Photoshop. Designer Digitals offers a bunch of tutorials here and a forum for asking questions about scrapbooking with Photoshop Elements here.

I think Photoshop is a great program. I am not even close to knowing all there is to know - I know just enough to complete the tasks I want to do and when I need to do something new I go looking for instructions/tutorials/etc. Always learning.

How do you organize your digital supplies?
Posted by: Melissa

Right now I have a very simple and loose system of organization - which means that I really haven't spent time on getting anything set up. Right now I am storing all my digital stuff on a separate hard drive - this includes the products I have created as well as others I have collected over the last couple of years. My goal is to set up folders for patterned papers (and then color), embellishments, overlays, etc. I don't want it to be complicated but I also want it to be easy to find everything. As I get some things more organized I will post about it again.

One of the things that has been recommended to me is a program called Shoebox. I am investigating it and seeing if it makes sense for me and my workflow.

On your digi overlays, I purchased the 8.5x11 ones instead of the 12x12 because I have a 8.5x11 printer...can they be resized to you said in a previous post or do they have to be a 12x12 overlay, and most importantly how do I do it, step by step!
Posted by: Alicia King

You can't really make the 8.5x11 version into 8x8 - it would need to be more like 8x10 or so to maintain the correct proportions. The 12x12 templates can be resized to 8x8 because it is a square to begin with - it's all about maintaining the  proportions. You can't turn a rectangle into a square without losing some of the content.

Here's a couple ways to resize the overlays:

1. Go to image/ image size and type in your desired width (such as 8 inches). Make sure that the "lock" is locked to maintain the proportions for the height.

2. Hit command T (transform on a mac - a pc will be a different keystroke) - hold down the shift key (to maintain proportions) and put your pointer on the lower right corner and drag to resize. Make sure you have the rulers turned on so you can see the new size (you can also see this is you have the width and height box showing). If you go this route you will end up needing to crop the excess canvas.

How do you incorporate your digital scrapbooking into your scrapbooks? Tips for new digital scrapbookers who may want to dabble in hybrid scrapbooking? How do you not get pulled into all the new products out there and stay with your style?
Posted by: scrapfin

I have started printing out the 12x12 layouts through and simply adding them to page protectors in my albums. They fit right in with the rest of my stories. If you are interested in dabbling a bit in digital scrapbooking I suggest you try out something like the digital overlays I created for Designer Digitals. You can read more about those (including a how-to) here. I did a whole week of tutorials/information on hybrid/digital scrapbooking which can be accessed here.

I started collecting digital element a couple years back. I started with date stamp and flourish brushes that I added right onto my photos - they were an easy segway into adding some computer elements on my pages.

I love your design digital stuff, I would love to see a preview of what is coming up new in the next month or so.
Posted by: scrapfin

I have new products that come out each week (on Saturday night/Sunday morning) and I tend to work on them the week before they come out. I am planning to have a preview day each week (starting in September) to showcase what's new for that week. Right now I have over 50 products available.

( 1.) Are your scrapbook page designs primarily done digitally or do you still use scraps of paper and real photographs? (I tend to think it would be MUCH easier to crop and enlarge/reduce digitally... which is probably why your work always looks so PERFECT!) ( 2.) If your work is done digitally, how would one get away from the guilt of an entire room full of crafting supplies and paper since most is computerized? Is there a way to incorporate all of that as well?
Posted by: Sarah (Hutchinson, MN)

My layouts are still primarily paper (about 80% paper/20% digital). I don't envision myself ever going completely digital - I love paper too much (and fabric and stitching and stickers and stamping). But what I really, really love is just getting the stories told - digital or paper - either way works just fine for me.

I think that paper scrapbookers can definitely incorporate some digital elements without getting rid of all their craft supplies (totally not necessary unless that is what you really want to do). Hybrid scrapbooking is simply that - using some computer elements in your paper scrapbooking. Why not do a bit of both? It so does not have to be either/or.

My question is in photoshop (I currently run PSE6). When you do a digi layout, how do you get text to go around a square element such as a picture or around the edges? You did this in one of your Designer Digitals Templates (#5). While I have that template, I'd like to know how to put text on my own blank LO's.
Posted by: Tanya

I asked Katie about this and she told me that to her knowledge PSE does not have a text path option. You can take any of the text paths from my templates and transfer them onto a new layout (drag + drop the text path layer). You can also purchase text path designs here.

I love the digital overlays etc you created. When you have time can you post more layouts using them - particularly the story of today set? Also, I would love to see you create a similar set that could be used for a month by month album - jan, feb etc.
Posted by: Chris

I definitely plan to show some more samples of these coming soon (thinking about doing a "week in the life" project in September using those overlays). And I love the idea of the months - I will definitely implement that soon.


Q & A posts :
MiniBooks/Sharing Your Story/Supplies
Design/Inspiration/Finding Your Style
Events/Teaching/Internet/Creating Keepsakes/Misc.
Hybrid/Digital Scrapbooking/Photoshop
Excess/Feeling Behind/Overwhelmed/Purging/Donating Supplies
Organization + Storage/Work + Life + Finding Time
Scrapbooking Baby/Getting Started + Design Teams/Telling Your Story
Techniques/Photography + Printing

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16 thoughts

  1. Amy says…

    I'm so enjoying the Q&A Ali! Thanks for doing this! (And I'm definitely looking forward to some digital templates for week in the life albums and monthly albums!)

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  2. bloomingayls says…

    When I launched myself into digital scrapping I realized early on that organization is tough. Currently I have a folder for every website I purchase from and I print the contact sheets, which I put into page protectors and have filed alphabetically in a 3-ring binder. This allows me to see what I've got and I know exactly where to go to pull it into my design. It isn't a perfect soultion and I am always looking for new ideas, but it has helped.

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  3. Linn says…

    Thanks again for the great info. I am competent in Photoshop (learned about the same way you class and lots of experimenting!) but haven't used it much for my scrapbooking yet. I like to hear how everyone is managing their hybrid styles so I'm ready when the time comes!
    I was so bummed to hear you won't be speaking at CPR next weekend! Yours was the part I was most looking forward to. The most important thing is to take care of baby Edwards, though, and I hope to hear you speak someday, perhaps with a little one in your arms!

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  4. Kathleen Turner says…

    Interesting Q & A ... thanks for sharing! Just a thought about the question from Tanya about text around a square in PSE. Although PSE does not support creating text on a path, for a SQUARE, you could make your text in 4 separate text boxes, and then rotate each text box to make it go around the square. Obviously, it doesnt work for a circle, and not a perfect solution, but it works! Sometimes we all try to make things more complex, and there is a simple answer.

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  5. Jen L. says…

    THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOO MUCH for answering my questions! I very much appreciate it :)

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  6. scrapfin says…

    I love your q&a this week. I cant wait to see some your work that you have been doing with your digital designs work!

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  7. Emily S says…

    Thanks; I love the Q&A sessions.
    I would love to see another one of your "process" posts, where you take us through the creation of a layout.

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  8. Jenni says…

    Love the Q&A, Ali. Just hearing your answers/thoughts inspires me to get going again!
    And I want to second the vote for for DIGI education! She is a fabulous teacher and having taken her classess, I have gone all digital.
    As for all the supplies (that Sarah from MN asked about)- I've kept only the really good, really basic stuff for hybrid projects. I do TONS of hybrid stuff now that I start digitally. I had never made a mini-book before digital (gasp!), but now I have several and have made even more as gifts! Its just so easy to reporduce and share in digital!
    Ok, I think that was enough from me!

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  9. Dawn M. says…

    Thanks so much for the Q I so appreciate your time doing this, and it's soooo helpful! :) I forgot to ask a question earlier this week. When your Designer Digitals came out (Which I LOVE!); something was mentioned about possibly getting those made into stamps? (clear would be awesome!)Is that still a consideration??? I think I'll have to get the software to make it compatible for my pc; & not sure the cost on that??? Thanks for your help;)

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  10. Carly says…

    I learn so much from reading your Q&A. Thanks!

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  11. Barb says…

    Ali, what a treat to come here and find this. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. :)

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  12. Maggie says…
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  13. Maggie says…

    sorry...wrong link above!
    A "sort of" text path idea for PSE 5.0 I just came up with? (Thanks for the challenge!)

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  14. Kathy says…

    Congratulations on 4Es! I just returned from vacay to your fabulous Q&As. THANK YOU. I have a dilemma with photo printing. I have a Canon XTi that I love. My pics look gorgeous on the computer, but I am often disappointed w/print results. Shutterfly does a decent job, hit or miss w/Costco (muddy colors). I need to try bigscrapbookpics. Question: do you calibrate your MAC for printing? Or maybe I'm just too picky? What paper do you use? Do you worry about archival quality of your Epson prints? XO

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  15. Alicia King says…

    Thank you so much for answering my question Ali! I will soon figure out the digi thing!

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  16. K.S. Bala Murugan says…

    Bharath Paper Conversion – manufacturers and exporters of paper cone, paper tube, paper core, edge protectors, composite cans, fiber drums and packaging products.

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