IN THE DESIGNER’S STUDIO WITH LAURA BANASIAK

DesignersStudiolbanasiak

I discovered Laura toward the end of summer when she had a school themed grab bag.  I was so excited when I unzipped it and found some really cool products that were high quality!  She has a unique twist to most themes (she calls it; a touch of emo) and it is fun to see a unique and fresh perspective. She has us ready to set some resolutions and goals with her contribution this month:

folder (2)

This is just ONE of the SEVEN collections you will get in The Digi Files this month for the bargain price of $5.00.  If you want to add the Playbook (an interactive ebook with digital scrapbooking tips, tricks, and tutorials) to The Digi Files, it’s only $7.50.  You can find these in the store or get them through subscription so you never miss an issue!

Here are some layouts created using “Make a Change”:

image

Layout by Heddy, additional supplies: Around the Way No. 2 template by Biograffiti available at OScraps; Fonts are CK True Type and Dirty Headline
image
Layout by Lauren
image
Layout by Karen, additional supplies: template by Tiffany Tillman
image
image
Layout by Jacki

You can see more inspirational layouts using this collection on the Team Inspiration page.clip_image001_thumb312

InTheStudioWithLAURAB Hometown: Midlothian, IL
Family: I live with my fiance, Chris and my two boys Rickey Jay and Aidan.

BLOG

STORE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

designerscanvas3 lbanasiak_familyLO

tips7tricks3

One thing to always remember is WHY you are scrapbooking in the first place. Will family and friends years from now love and appreciate the pages that you’ve made and the memories you’ve captured? Will they look at the photo and remember that day? If not, put a little journaling or title work on your page, it will surely help tell your story to future generations!

howitallstarted3

I started designing digital scrapbooking kits in the fall of 2008 and just haven’t looked back! I taught myself Photoshop in order to make all of the cute forum signatures I was seeing around at Babycenter. One thing kind of led to another. 🙂

inspirestocreate3

Most people would probably say that the majority of my kits have an ’emo’ undertone, hehe. I create what evokes emotion in me and find it very hard to create a kit with a theme that I can’t relate to.

toolbox3

Oh man, this is a tough one! I’m like a couple of the other contributors that I read up on…ask me Photoshop questions but other than that, no clue! Hehe.

Computer: Dell with Photoshop CS2 and Adobe Illustrator

Camera: Nikon D90

Scanner: Epson Stylus NX400

Tablet:Dinky little one I bought off of ebay about a year and a half ago. Does the job for now! 😉

favoriteproduct3

popularproduct3

clip_image001_thumb1512

Here are some of my favorite products by Laura

image

image

clip_image001_thumb1112

Here’s some inspirational layouts using Laura’s products. All of the layouts are linked to the originals with credits.

party-time-600

Ho-Ho-Ho-sm

Laura---thankful-copy

iheartmycomputer_web

lbthinker600

clip_image001_thumb712

Go have a look in Laura’s Store! We will randomly select a winner from those comments to win $10 in product from her store! (Comments must be posted before midnight EST to qualify)!

As a thank you to our readers, Laura has created this coupon to share with all of us!

image

P.S. SharonS was the random winner from yesterdays comments for EH Studios feature!  She won $10 in product from Elisa!

Inspired by Make A Change

The following layouts were created using “Make a Change” by Laura Banasiak and included in The Digi Files during December and available in the store or by subscription:

image

Layout by Anne

image

Layout by Kat

image

Layout by Holly

image

Layout by Laura

image

Layout by SharonS, additional supplies: Template: Starxlr8, Font: Krystyne’s Doodles, Pea Amy

image

Layout by Sally

image

Layout by Heddy, additional supplies: Around the Way No. 2 template by Biograffiti available at OScraps; Fonts are CK True Type and Dirty Headline
image
Layout by Lauren
image
Layout by Karen, additional supplies: template by Tiffany Tillman
image
image
Layout by Jacki

IN THE DESIGNER’S STUDIO WITH EH STUDIOS

DesignersStudioEHS

I instantly fell in love with Elisa’s clean, retro, minimal design style. I found it refreshing! I am excited to share her work in The Digi Files this month!  Let’s take a closer look at her contribution:

folder

Our team really rocked this kit, let’s take a look at some inspiration using “My New Neighbor”:

image

Layout by Karen
image
Layout by Jenn, additional supplies: Pea Sandra Dee and Chocolate Box fonts
image
Layout by Anne, additional supplies: template by designs by Cindy Schneider
image
Layout by Katie, additional supplies: Template by Darcy Baldwin. Font is DJB TracyScript
image
Layout by Heddy, additional supplies: Grow With Love Kids Edition template by Crystal Livesay available at OScraps

You can see more inspirational layouts using this collection on the Team Inspiration page.

clip_image001_thumb312

InTheStudioWithELISAH

I’m Elisa Hubbard, or Lisa around here & with my family. I live in a tiny town in Indiana that my family has lived in forever.
I’m 24 and am a self-employed photographer. My studio opened in Feb of 2009 & I’m loving it!
I’m not married yet, nor do I have kids, but I have an older brother and a younger sister and lots & lots of cousins & aunts & uncles.

STORE

BLOG

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

designerscanvas3 EverydayThankful

LoveToSee

ImaginationRenee

tips7tricks3

This may seem like a strange tip, but it is something I use whenever I’m making a layout or creating previews for products.
In PS there is a little window for “navigation” & it shows a thumbnail of what you are working on. I tend to use this as
a guide for the placement of things. Normally I’ll scrap a page, then select all the layers and move them around. It’s this
little thumbnail image that I’ll watch as I move things around. My reasoning is if I like how it looks in a thumbnail I’m
more likely to like it when it’s full size. Believe me, it helps and even a small adjustment makes a difference. Weird huh?

howitallstarted3

Well I started with paper scrapping when I was in 8th grade when my twin cousins were born, so I was 13. I scrapped all
the time until I went to college & didn’t have the time. Last May, 2009, on iNSD I happened on a digital scrapbooking
site and knew that was the thing for me. I didn’t get crazy addicted until last October after finding a place that fit
my style & personality more as a scrapper & got more inspired. I knew when I started scrapping though that designing
might be a good fit, so last November, after Thanksgiving, I gave it a go and set up my own store in December. (So this
happens to be my digi-anniversary for designing!) In January I got invited to my first store, ScrapInsider, & then in
April I applied to Mscraps & got accepted just in time to open for my birthday & my official digi-anniversary. I guess
the rest is history. I’m still an addict. Love designing. Love scrapping.

inspirestocreate3

I know this sounds generic.. but everything. My twin cousins are probably my biggest inspiration in anything that I do.
But Songs, lyrics, the way the light hits something, a phrase in a book. Really anything inspires me. I follow a ton of
blogs too for all kinds of inspiration for photography & design.

toolbox3

Looking it up….I use a Windows HP Pavilion dv9700 Laptop that I got in 2008. Intel Core 2 Duo 2ghz processor. 4 GB Ram. And not enough hard drive space!

I started designing & doing layouts in Photoshop CS3, but this year I’m using CS5. Also do some of my designing in Illustrator CS5.

I use both the Canon 20D & Canon40D, & recently got a point&shoot as well, Canon G11. My favorite lens is my 60mm Macro.

I do have a tablet.. Wacom Intuos 3 Graphics Tablet. I’ve had it for probably 5 years. When I first got it I hardly used it, but
now I use it for little doodles & handwritten wordart. Still getting the hang of all it can do. I still scrap with a mouse though. 🙂

favoriteproduct3

My favorite would have to be my Remember Being Small collection. It was just where an idea & inspiration & everything came together exactly how I imagined it in my head. Plus it’s about an idea that always has the power to grab me. I guess I like to follow the kid inside me sometimes & dream imaginary worlds.

Remember Being Small. Collection

popularproduct3

The Space Between. Vol.1

clip_image001_thumb1512

Here are some of my favorite products by Elisa

Remember Being Small.

One Sweet World.

You & Me Together.

Sun's A Little Brighter.

clip_image001_thumb1112

Here’s some inspirational layouts using Elisa’s products. All of the layouts are linked to the originals with credits.

10_10_09_pommesB_gallerie

ehs_rbs_templates_LO10

shoes1

joyds

Sleep-Tight-copy1

clip_image001_thumb712

Go have a look in Elisa’s Store! We will randomly select a winner from those comments to win $10 in product from her store! (Comments must be posted before midnight EST to qualify)!

As a thank you to our readers, Elisa has created this coupon to share with all of us!

ehstudiosCoupon

Inspired by My New Neighbor

The following layouts were created using “My New Neighbor” by EH Studios and included in The Digi Files which are available in the store and through subscription:

image
Layout by Jacki, additional supplies: Font is xoxo Karen from Peas
image
Layout by Helen
image
Layout by Terese
image
Layout by Terese
image
Layout by Marie
image
Layout by Marie
image Layout by Elisa
image
Layout by Elisa, additional supplies: Home Freebie Template by Zinnias & Swallowtails, font DJB Chloe by Darcy Baldwin
image
Layout by SharonS, additional supplies: Template: TDD, Brush: Danielle Donaldson, Font: SF Natalie, Traveling Typewriter
image
Layout by Karen
image
Layout by Jenn, additional supplies: Pea Sandra Dee and Chocolate Box fonts
image
Layout by Anne, additional supplies: template by designs by Cindy Schneider
image
Layout by Katie, additional supplies: Template by Darcy Baldwin. Font is DJB TracyScript
image
Layout by Heddy, additional supplies: Grow With Love Kids Edition template by Crystal Livesay available at OScraps

Hot Chocolate Mix-ins & Mashups

This is the time of year when I (Katie) love to drink hot chocolate. My daughter and I often enjoy a cup at breakfast or as a late afternoon pick-me-up. One of our favorite parts of this routine has been to create new flavors by adding various mix-ins or combining more than one type of cocoa mix. Why not have a little fun?!

Here are some of our favorite mix-ins and mashups:

  1. Add a scoop of ice cream to a cup of steaming hot chocolate. It cools it right off and makes it extra creamy.
  2. Use sundae toppings to add a little flavor. We like a spoonful of caramel topping added into plain hot chocolate.
  3. Stir a spoonful of seedless raspberry or strawberry jam into a cup of hot cocoa. Raspberry is especially good with a darker chocolate.
  4. Squirt whipped cream (from a can) on top of the hot cocoa and add festive sprinkles.
  5. Add chocolate orange candy sticks (or a chocolate orange candy wedge) to a cup of warm cocoa and stir to melt.
  6. Cherry cordial Hershey kisses (only available at Christmas and Valentine’s Day) are also good stirred in and melted to either milk or dark hot chocolate.
  7. Mint chocolate chips are another great add-in.
  8. If a flavored cocoa mix is too strong, combine it with another flavor – such as Belgian dark chocolate mixed with French vanilla.
  9. Use flavored coffee creamers to mix in with hot cocoa.
  10. Cinnamon powder can be added to hot cocoa for a little extra flavor
  11. Chili powder or a shot of hot sauce can be added for an extra kick!
  12. Make hot cocoa with milk instead of water for a creamier treat.
  13. Buy seasonal marshmallow Peeps (we like snowmen) and float one on top of your hot chocolate.
  14. Use flavored marshmallows like strawberry or toasted coconut ones to add to a cup of cocoa.
  15. Experiment with a few drops of extracts like almond, orange, or raspberry.
  16. Add Andes mints or a York peppermint patty to a cup of hot chocolate and stir to melt.
  17. Stir your hot cocoa with a candy cane or add crushed candy cane pieces.
  18. Use a chocolate dipped spoon to stir hot chocolate.
  19. Garnish your hot cocoa with chocolate shavings and whipped cream.
  20. Buy some Mexican hot chocolate at a Mexican market or specialty grocery store. It’s delicious!

If you are looking for a great recipe for homemade hot chocolate, Janet posted one last year so be sure to check it out.

Oh, and if you are wondering what the difference is between “hot chocolate” and “hot cocoa”, I found this tweet from FoodimentaryDid you know that “hot Cocoa” is cocoa powder and hot water while “hot Chocolate” has added milk or cream? I had no idea – Both are yummy in my book!

katie big

P.S. Sharon S. is the random winner for the Reader Challenge. Watch your email later today for your gift code Sharon! 🙂

Tips for Special Event Scrapbooking with Kristin Rutten

We are thrilled to have Kristin of Log Your Memory here with a guest post today! Kristin is a real pro at finding creative ways to scrapbook the everyday memories of life and make them into something wonderful and worth sharing! Here’s a little more about Kristin:

clip_image001

Kristin Rutten

Kristin Rutten is the creator of the Memory Logbook and accompanying website, Log Your Memory, an online community focused on capturing everyday, real life memories. She and her husband, Jacques, live in the heart of Montana where they attempt to keep up with four kids ranging from 2 to 15 years old. Candid photos and tales of everyday happenings make up the bulk of their memory-keeping efforts.

clip_image001

sharingchristmastraditions

When people think of scrapbooking or memory-keeping, the first things that come to mind tend to be the “big” stuff … birthdays, celebrations, important milestones … and of course, holidays. Those are the times when we tend to have friends and family together, cameras on hand and activities that seem special or beyond our everyday, sometimes dull, routines. We want to remember those moments because they don’t happen every day.

But when you ask a scrapbooker what is the hardest thing for them to scrap, very often the answer is … birthdays, celebrations, milestones, and holidays.

This stems from a lot of different reasons, but the ones I tend to hear most often go along the lines of…  too many photos, too overwhelming, too many expectations attached and sometimes … too boring. Why too boring? While we may only celebrate events like birthdays or holidays once a year, many of us tend to do the same thing year after year. Once we’ve scrapped those a couple times, it becomes harder to get excited about doing it again.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

How about approaching your holiday and special event memory-keeping from a new angle this year? How about capturing some memories and stories that you’ll really be excited to scrap about? It may sound daunting, but really all that is needed is a shift in the way you think about and capture your experiences.

tree_mbennett_carolxmas_web

.

Here are 10 ideas to help you get started …

  • Get in the habit of asking, “Why?” We often do a great job of asking who, what, when & where when scrapping special events, but we tend to forget all about documenting the reasons why we do what we do. When you figure out your answer, you will also have identified a great topic for your scrapbook page.
  • Find that special something. Identify the person, place or thing that really makes the event special for you or your loved ones … that element that is essential to the event’s success.  Is it having a particular person with you? Is it the way everyone seems to focus on the good? Is it the presence of a treasured family heirloom or tradition? If you can’t imagine the event without it, you know you’ve picked the right thing. Now, make that the central focus of a scrapbook page or journal entry.
  • Capture a conversation. Make a point of really listening to what’s happening around you, during the big events as well as during the days that lead up to and follow. Jot down the comments or exchanges that really tell the story of the day … or if you’re in the habit of carrying a video camera, use that and then transcribe later. These tidbits provide great journaling material for your pages.
  • Limit yourself. Choose just one photo or story to capture the entire event. Not only will this help make the memory-keeping less overwhelming, it will force you to really focus on what is most important to you. If this just doesn’t do the job for you, consider limiting yourself to one photo or memory per week or day.
  • Highlight the contrast between “everyday” and “special occasion.” Pull together images or descriptions that show how life changes because of a special event. Do you stay up later at night? Trade your favorite TV shows for holiday videos? Cut back on your daily latte in order to buy that special gift? Rearrange furniture to make room for the tree?
  • Tell the story behind the story. You know why you have lefse every Thanksgiving or refuse to replace that old worn-out star on the top of your tree but will future generations know the full story? It is often our traditions, family recipes, special rituals and other little touches that make our own holiday or special occasion stories unique and interesting for future remembering.
  • Save your calendar. If you are someone who relies on a calendar to get you through the holiday season, you already have a great source of information for future scrapbooking. Make a point of jotting down little details about each gathering, shopping trip or appointment right there on the page as soon as you return.
  • Pretend you’re a reporter. Get the whole story by interviewing family members and finding out what they feel is important, special or memorable about what’s happening. Better yet, hand them a piece of paper and ask them to jot down a few favorite memories or answer a couple of specific questions. This can be especially revealing with children, plus it’s a great way to capture handwriting samples at the same time.
  • Look in your mailbox. Christmas cards, family newsletters, holiday catalogs, even sales flyers all tell a piece of your holiday story. Find a way to incorporate them into your pages for a look beyond the “here’s who came to our house and what we had for dinner” standby.
  • Wrap it up. Sometimes the most interesting stories come from summaries – capturing the season or event as a whole all on one page. Perhaps this is through a collection of photos that span an entire month. Maybe it’s pulling out photos from years past and showcasing them next to the new ones. You might even share a series of photos or stories that capture the same event, situation or scenario over several years. Time passes quickly … you’ll be amazed at the little things you notice by doing this.

Countdown-twopage

.

I’m willing to bet that if you give at least a few of these ideas a try, you’ll not only find it more enjoyable to scrap the “big” stuff, but the pages you produce will become some of your favorites to look back on and treasure down the road.

And isn’t that why we scrap them in the first place?

kristin

Funtastic Friday Finds

FuntasticFriday.gif

It’s so nice to get to Friday, although is anyone else out there panicked that Christmas is just over a week away now? Oh well, it will all get done somehow, right? Smile In the meantime, here’s all the good stuff going on in digiland right now.

PaperclippingDigiShowCropped

I (Katie) was back on the Paperclipping Digi Show podcast this week, along with Heather Hess, Lynnette Penacho, Steph, and Izzy. We had such a fun discussion about digi scrapping yourself and also scrapbooking even if you don’t have kids.  What a great topic!

You can listen below or in iTunes; Izzy has a video on his site explaining how to do that OR you can see our tutorial with screenshots: Tutorial for Listening in iTunes.  You can join in the discussion about the show after listening if you want.  You can listen below, subscribe in iTunes, or subscribe through our RSS feed.

[audio: http://traffic.libsyn.com/digishow/pds028_ggm.mp3]

clip_image001[4]

.

We neglected to post this wonderful FREE gift from Juliana Kneipp yesterday in her feature so here it is! Click on the image to download – OR if you are a subscriber, it is in your downloads!

jkneipp_123countonme_freebie

.

Speaking of subscribers…we uploaded a new gift for subscribers of The Digi Game and The Digi Files worth $4.99 Subscribers will find download links in their accounts to grab it this month for FREE!!! Smile Smile Smile

.

And for ALL of our newsletter subscribers, a free gift from Flergs will be arriving in your inbox later on today so be sure you are subscribed!

.

Here’s a special offer JUST for Daily Digi readers from Darcy Baldwin. Perfect idea to make gift card or cash gifts a little more personable this year. Use code: im_in_the_money for 40% off. Expires Dec. 26, 2010

dbaldwin-inthemoney-preview15

.

Suzy Q has a new collab grab bag with Captivated Visions — the theme is A Year in Review, and it’s only $5 (includes a full kit, seasonal/holiday element pack, templates, and bonus alphas).

ayearinreviewGB_pvw

.

I love the colors in this Holiday Twinkle collection by Danielle Young. She’s a December guest designer at Mscraps.

dy-holidaytwinkle-mscraps

.

These free printable tags from Pamela Donnis are just adorable!

brown bag wrapped gift

.

Ninth & Bloom is celebrating the 12 days of Christmas with a different surprise each day!

12dayspreviewad

.

Jenn Lindsey has been giving away a different free gift every day on her blog. So fun!

jennlindsey_12daysoffreebies

.

After Five Designs has their 12 Days event going on with a different sale each day. If you follow the link to the shop and click on the number on the flyer in the shop, it will reveal the sale for the day.

a5d_12Days

.

Have you dropped hints to your Santa about what you want for the holidays? The wishlist feature at Scrap Orchard is a BIG help!

biggestlittlehelper

.

Sir Scrapalot is offering 20% off this adorable You Can Call Me Sweetie Kit all weekend long.

You Can Call Me Sweetie

.

Scrapping with Liz is offering this freebie on her blog and it coordinates with her new Frame Templates.

swl_freesample

.

This printables set from Kitschy Digitals is a great last minute holiday gift to create for book lovers! and woodland theme lovers!

.

We have revealed 5 of the 7 contributions so far for December’s Digi Files. Take a look at This gorgeous kit by Kristin Cronin-Barrow, a set of 5 layered templates from Crystal Livesay, and this super fun “Never Ending” kit by Kaye Winiecki. Did you see Miss Kim’s darling contribution? (It’s especially fitting for Disney theme pages) How about Ju’s fun and colorful kit? I love all of them!

Not only do you get these 5 incredible contributions, but you also get TWO more that have yet to be revealed! Why wait? Pick up this month’s Digi Files now in the store, or as part of a monthly or annual subscription. The files are the only revenue that keep The Daily Digi going. Without the files, there would be no DAILY in our DIGI. Thanks so much to our contributors and our customers who support The Digi Files! Smile

RevealPreviewBestDealinDigi copy

.

Hope you all have a FUNTASTIC Friday!

katie big

P.S. The random winner from yesterday’s post comments was Wahoolady so “Wahoo” for her! Winking smile

IN THE DESIGNER’S STUDIO WITH JULIANA (Ju) KNEIPP

DesignersStudiojukneipp

I could easily say that Ju “had me at hello” (to borrow a line from Tom Cruise).  I instantly fell in love the minute I found her designs.  Since then, she was on my list to invite and I am so glad it’s worked out for her to join us in THE DIGI FILES this month!  I absolutely love her bold, bright, and whimsical designs!  Let’s take a closer look at her contribution to THE DIGI FILES this month:

jkneipp_123countonme

We have some great inspiration for you using Ju’s “1,2,3…count on me”:

image

Layout by Rachael, additional supplies: Circles of Fun (modified template) by Crystal Livesay.
image
Layout by Heddy, additional supplies: Grow With Love Kids Edition template by Crystal Livesay available at OScraps; Font is DJB Gimme Space
image
Layout by Jenn, additional supplies: Template by Jenn Lindsey, Happy Haunters alpha by Kristin Aagard, Pea Bonnie Script font
image
Layout by Jacki
image
Layout by Karen, additional supplies: Jacque Larsen alpha

You can see more inspirational layouts using this collection on the Team Inspiration page.

clip_image001_thumb312

InTheStudioWithJULIANAK

Name: Juliana Kneipp
Hometown: Juiz de Fora / Brazil
Family: My parents, me and my little brother

CATSCRAP STORE

DSB STORE

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

designerscanvas3 jkneipp_chichappyfall

jkneipp_fall

jkneipp_me

tips7tricks3

When I’m doing my page, to make more real shadows I always use the light source as the right bottom and create new layer, so I go to the “warp” option (edit>transform path>warp)and change the shadow’s form…

howitallstarted3

I started to scrap in 2007! In 2007 I met a friend, Raquel – aka Kel…When she found out that I work in web/graphic design, she told me about digital scrapbooking and she showed me some sites and forums. We started working together – being BCD (Boutique Cute Dolls)! So since 2007 I’ve been a scrapper and designer! But since 2009, I started working here in my city, so my time for scrap was reduced.  I decided to design by myself starting this year, 2010, and I started as Ju Kneipp Designs!

inspirestocreate3

Moments that I live. Photos and music…

toolbox3

Photoshop, Corel, Illustrator, Corel Painter and an Dell notebook! ;D

I have one Dell laptop with 4gb ram and 500hd! And it works good for me! =D

Photoshop, sometimes I use Corel Draw and Illustrator and Corel Painter too, but all the time: Photoshop!

Nikon SLR D3000 10.2 Mp

I have one Wacom Bamboo tablet – and I LOVE soooo much this one!

favoriteproduct3

popularproduct3

A girl's diary collab by Lili and  Ju Kneipp Designs

clip_image001_thumb1512

Here are some of my favorite products by Ju

A little kraft mini kit by Ju Kneipp Designs

clip_image001_thumb1112

Here’s some inspirational layouts using Juliana’s products. All of the layouts are linked to the originals with credits.

663

3943

BasicFall2

Thats-The-Way-I-Like-It-III-Template-02

WAAF_All_web

clip_image001_thumb712

Go have a look in Juliana’s Store here and here! We will randomly select a winner from those comments to win $10 in product from her store! (Comments must be posted before midnight EST to qualify)!

As a thank you to our readers, Juliana has created this coupon to share with all of us!

jkneipp_discount

Inspired by 1,2,3…Count On Me

The following layouts were created using “1, 2, 3….Count on Me” by Ju Kneipp and included in The Digi Files and available in the store or via subscription.

image

Layout by Sharons (a reader)
image
image
image
image
Layout by Rachael, additional supplies: Circles of Fun (modified template) by Crystal Livesay.
image
Layout by Heddy, additional supplies: Grow With Love Kids Edition template by Crystal Livesay available at OScraps; Font is DJB Gimme Space
image
Layout by Jenn, additional supplies: Template by Jenn Lindsey, Happy Haunters alpha by Kristin Aagard, Pea Bonnie Script font
image
Layout by Jacki
image
Layout by Karen, additional supplies: Jacque Larsen alpha

Scrapbooking Streamlined with Anna Aspnes

We are thrilled to have Anna Aspnes here with a guest post for us today! If you’ve listened to Anna on the Digi Show podcast, you will know how inspiring she is! Here’s a little about Anna:

clip_image001

6a00d834528c3669e2013484e049ee970c-150wi “I am as passionate about art and design, as I am my family, and digital scrapbooking allows me to celebrate both in the same breath.  It is art with purpose, that has become more that just a hobby, but a way of life, that I choose to share with and inspire others.”

Anna is an independent digital designer at DesignerDigitals.com, creates digital albums and slideshows for Smilebox.com, teaches at ReneePearson.com, and is a member of both Shutterfly’s Scrapbooking Advisory Team and Wacom’s Penscrappers Panel.   Stay in touch with Anna on her blog at www.annaaspnes.typepad.com and twitter: http://twitter.com/annaaspnes.

clip_image001

clip_image002

Life is full. I think that is the reality for most of us.

Time, or lack of, appears to be a hot topic of conversation. The general consensus is that, if we had more hours in a day, then we’d be able to get more done. I’m not convinced. I think I’d probably spend longer on the tasks that I’m already performing. Regardless, there have always been 24 hours in a day, and always will be. The amount of time we have at our disposal will never change, but the way in which we choose to use it and manage it, will.

How we choose to spend our time is a matter of personal priorities. Scrapbooking is a priority for me. Documenting my life and the lives of those close to me, are as integral to my daily routine as brushing my teeth or working out at the gym. I make time for these tasks because they are important to me. Ideally, like most other scrapbookers, I’d like to spend more time but the busier I get, the less time I seem to be able to devote to my passion. In recent years I have had to get really creative in devising some strategies that streamline my process and allow me to get my scrapbooking done in the time I have available.

Schedule it

Make a date with yourself and write it down on a planner, schedule it on your iphone or whatever system you use for organizing your life. I have found that if I schedule a time to do something, even my scrapbooking, it’s more likely to get done than if I just wing it. In fact, it’s the only time I any scrapbooking done.

Get organized

Organization is integral to being efficient in any facet of life and scrapbooking is no exception. You have to find a system that works for you. You can have the best organizational software in the world, but if you spend all your time organizing and not scrapbooking, then it’s useless. I have found a folder tree Windows to be the most efficient way for me to store my supplies and photos. I save my photos chronologically and my supplies by store and designer. I also use ACDSee, in a limited capacity, in which tag my supplies mostly by color and shape. I also like to go through all of my supplies 2-4 times per year to take inventory and remain current with my stash. Knowing what I have on hand helps me know where to find it.

Simplify

Having choice can be a luxury but having too much choice can be crippling to any scrapbooker. I have come to appreciate that less is often more. I aim to keep about 1/3 of the photos that I take, deleting any that are duplicate shots or do not tell or support a story. I’m also very comfortable deleting digital supplies that I have never or over-used. Even with these measures in place, I can still get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of digital scrapbooking content. One of my strategies for combating this is to move copies of photos or supplies into temporary folders for any given project. It’s so much easier to look at a smaller group of photos or digital supplies than it is to be faced with a much larger collection. These temporary folders create visual separation and are deleted when they have served their purpose.

Batching and Repetition

Using the same template/design, elements, techniques or papers can really speed up the scrapbooking process. Why re-invent the wheel if you don’t have to? I have been known on more than one occasion to use the same solid paper in the background of all pages in a photo book or to repeat techniques from page to page. I will also batch techniques and tasks which involves working on multiple layouts at a time and completing the same task on each page before moving to the next. For example, I’ll systematically go from one layout to the next laying out my photos. If I want to edit these photos, I’ll merge all the images into one layer and then adjust the curves on that one layer so that it applies to all the photos at once. Note that it’s a good idea to duplicate your photo layers and switch off the visibility of the originals before you merge copies of the duplicates.

Be Realistic

Not every layout has to be a work of art. If you look at your layouts collectively then you will notice a variety of pages, complex and simple, are far more interesting than a continuous sequence of involved pages. After a while you begin to notice their beauty less and less. I am totally comfortable with very plain pages that include nothing but photos on a white background and some supporting words. So much time can be wasted looking for the perfect font or element to adorn a page. When inter-dispersed with my artsy pages, the simple pages provide a much bigger picture of my life.

Streamlining

Streamlining your scrapbooking process takes time, practice and patience, so take your time and don’t rush it. It will come to you over time. A big part of becoming more efficient in the art is discovering your personal preferences, knowing what you like and what you don’t, as well as letting go of the desire that everything needs to be perfect at all time. I have really fallen in love the notion of being imperfectly perfect and see my scrapbooking as a reflection of that self. The approach is definitely more real, and I find myself getting a whole lot more done.

anna