Anna Forrest Designs: Insert Evil Grin


If you listen to The Digi Show, you know that I think Anna Forrest is a genius! I am always WOWed by her scripts and actions and her contribution to The Digi Files this month is no exception! THIS is the product that has changed my ever-loving-digi-scrapping life!

The Album Builder is a script that will take several folders of photos and journaling (in a text file in the folder) and match them up to quick pages or templates in a different folder.  It will then place the photos on the template, size them to match the photo spots, clip the photos, and add the journaling from the text file to the template, it also makes the title of the layout the name of the folder.

Here’s a video showing the script do it’s thing, see my full tutorial with tips for success using the action here. Note: I did speed this up about double time the script took 30 minutes to scrap the three layouts, but I was working on other things while it scrapped and my program recorded it 🙂 ).

Let’s take a closer look at “Album Builder (for Quickpages)” that is included in The Digi Files this month:


This is ONE of SEVEN complete products you get when you become a member of The Digi Game this month. You also get an interactive Playbook (in PDF and iBooks formats) that has lots of ideas for using the supplies including techniques, tips, and tricks! All of that, including access to exclusive collaborations every four months you are a member, for only $7.50 total per month!

dotsHere are some layouts created using Anna Forrest Designs’s contribution:

Layout by Wendy. Supplies: Album Builder (for Quickpages) by Anna Forrest Designs; Template by Janet Phillips; Cowboys & Indians (Characters) by Dawn Inskip; Birds of a Feather by Dani Mogstad; Cinnamon Christmas by Studio Rosey Posey; Say It by Faith True; Fonts: DJB First Grade Teacher Print.

Melissa Bennett: Somewhere Over Template by Traci Reed

Layout by Steph. Supplies: Album Builder (for Quickpages) by Anna Forrest Designs; Template by Traci Reed, papers and elements by Julie Melissa Bennett.

Papers by Gina Miller Spudman by Jacque Larsen Font: Cartoonist

Layout by Steph, supplies: Album Builder (for Quickpages) by Anna Forrest Designs, template by Janet Phillips, papers by Gina Miller, Spudman by Jacque Larsen, font Cartoonist


Layout by Steph, supplies: Album Builder (for Quickpages) by Anna Forrest Designs, template by Little Green Frog and Michelle Batton; papers and elements by Dani Mogstad and included in TDF July 2012; font Fontologie Printing Primer

Basic Bio Information: Name, hometown (if you want to share), family, and any other information you want people to know

My name is Anna Forrest – mom to 3 kids and wife to DH of 12 years (Can’t quite believe it has been that long!). We are an international family splitting our time between the US and Australia but currently living in the US. I am a Software Engineer by day and scrapper extraordinaire by night/weekend.






Since we’ve just moved into a new house and I’m faced with all sorts of boring blank walls I wanted to put up some photos I took around Western Australia. I found a tutorial on Pinterest describing how to mount your photos on canvas after printing them on tissue paper. The process looked a bit scary at first but actually it went pretty smoothly. The biggest trick – be VERY careful smoothing down the tissue paper. Once it gets moist with mod podge it is very fragile! I ruined two of my tissue paper prints on the first try. Fortunately it was very easy to recover. While the mod podge/tissue paper was still moist I simply wiped it off the canvas with a damp washcloth and let the canvas dry out thoroughly before I tried again.



Let’s see – in 2005 DD#2 was born. While I was on maternity leave DH thought he’d encourage me to take up a nice cheap hobby so he got me some paper scrapping supplies. Little did he know the monster he created at that moment! *Insert evil laugh here*

Being a computer nerd, the first thing I did when I started paper scrapping was fire up Google looking for things to print and add to my scrapbooks. I was like a kid in a candy store when I stumbled upon Scrapbook Bytes. Since that time I have split my time between digi and paper scrapping. But with 3 kids, digi tends to get a bit more attention just because it is easier to start and stop repeatedly – and without the mess paper scrapping generates. These days I’m always looking for a hybrid project too so I can get the best of both worlds!

Fast forward to the end of 2009 I think… At this point I hadn’t done any scripting – although I knew Photoshop could be scripted, I’d never had a great idea that warranted the learning curve to figure it all out. Wendyzine Scraps provided that seed of inspiration with the idea for her Element Sprayer. I thought that was the best idea I’d heard of in ages and promptly set out to turn her idea into reality.

That first script was a long process – every new version of Photoshop, every operating system – they all had oddities that had to be accounted for. Then I discovered I could get the scripts to run in Photoshop Elements and the fun started all over!

After doing a few scripts for Wendy, I decided to give it a go in my own store. I opened Anna Forrest Designs at PickleberryPop in Feb 2010 and have been there ever since!

Oddly enough, my best inspirations for scripting are boredom and irritation. I like photo editing actions but I find it hard to remember the effect each produces and then visualize that result applied to my current photo – the result was the Preview Maker for Photo Actions. I can see the result of every action in a set on my photo quickly; pick the one I’m after and move on to the fun stuff!

Likewise I did P365 and I wanted each photo framed in a consistent frame with date, title etc. I did about a month’s worth of photos before I gave up – and the Proof Maker script finished them off for me!

Computer: When we moved back to the US I set up a brand new system just for my scrappin’ pleasure. It’s Win 7 64bit, 8GB Ram, with two pretty matching monitors.
Program: I mainly use Photoshop CS5 for scrapping and Photoshop CS3 for scripting. I have, and will occasionally putz around in Illustrator – I mostly use it to make cutting files for my Pazzles. I just got Radlab too – totally love it!
Camera: Pentax K7. Love it. But I really should use it more often. 🙂
Anything Else: I do have a tablet, two actually. I think they’re both wacoms. I used to use it lots but my wrist gets very sore so I had to take a break from it. They’ve never gotten set up since my new system arrived.

If you’re interested in learning about scripting check out the forum These guys are so knowledgeable and willing to help. Even coming from a software development background I still go running to these guys!

I really like to use Alphas on my layouts but it was so tedious and boring to actually assemble them from all the individual letter images so I really couldn’t be bothered to use them much. And I certainly didn’t use them if I wanted a long title! It is a good thing scripts don’t wear out because this one has gotten A LOT of use.

With version 2 of the script – one of my CT members asked if I could modify it so that she could build a title from multiple alphas. I gotta say – that was one of the best ideas I have ever heard!


One of my biggest pet peeves about posting to the galleries used to be writing out every kit I used on a piece of paper as I worked so that I could post credits along with my layouts. I hated having to interrupt the creative flow to do that, but I knew if I didn’t a kits was going to get missed. So I created the Credit Tracker to do all that work for me. These days I’ll even tag each kit I buy with the appropriate credits before I even put it away. That way there is no interruption at all while I’m scrapping.


Here are some of my favorite products by Anna Forrest:
Use Code: DigiFiles20Off for 20% off Anna’s store. Expires Aug 1, 2012.

Go have a look in Anna Forrest’s site! We will randomly select a winner from the comments to win $10.00 in product from her store! (Comments must be posted before midnight EST to qualify)!