Photo Management Using Lightroom

PhotoMgmt

Title Credits: Henna by Designs by Anita

Do you remember the days of shooting with camera film and you had to think twice before every click of the shutter? It was expensive to buy film, process the rolls and order enlargements. With digital cameras, we’re able to take far more photos without breaking the bank. And I certainly do! Last year I took 8,867 photos. In 2010, I took 9,697 photos. Those are just family shots – around the house, around town, on vacation.

With that many photos, I need a photo management system to:

  • Organize my photo library
  • Process my photos quickly
  • Share my photos
  • Support my scrapbooking workflow

Lightroom is my system of choice to do all of that. We’ve had a few posts about Lightroom at The Daily Digi:

Here’s how I use Lightroom to speed up my photo management and processing:

PHOTO LIBRARY ORGANIZATION

When I import my photos into Lightroom, I quickly go through them and find the Picks and Rejects. Picks are photos that I am definitely going to process further and share on Flickr and Facebook with my family and friends. Rejects are the ones I will definitely delete – for reasons like terrible focus, closed eyes on a subject, etc.

(Some photos are neither a Pick nor a Reject. I just leave those alone. I’d rather err on the side of keeping them than regret deleting them later.)

Lightroom makes selecting photos easy – press P for Picks (which flags them) and X for Rejects (which lightly greys them out).

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Lightroom also allows you to tag your photos with keywords so that you can find them quickly later. I try to remember to tag, but I’ll admit that I’m not as up-to-date on this task as I should be! Mostly I just rely on my memory as to when a photo was taken to find it again.

PHOTO PROCESSING

I take far too many photos to not take advantage of Lightroom’s batch processing and presets. In a nutshell, that means that I edit one image in series and then copy and paste those settings onto all the other photos in the series. I can do dozens of photos in one click. Wonderful!

My SOOC (straight-out-of-the-camera) photos are a bit blah. I shoot in the “faithful” picture style which doesn’t add any in-camera processing. (So, no bumped contrast, saturation, etc.) I use Lightroom to add oomph to the pictures.

Lightroom allows for non-destructive editing of photos. (Basically this means that the original image remains intact and unaltered.) You can adjust things like exposure, highlights, shadows, contrast, vibrance, tone, sharpening and so much more in Lightroom. You can also make a series of adjustments and save them as a “preset” to be applied in one-click.

Presets are also available for purchase. My favourite presets are VSCO Film presets. Just like the name sounds, they give a realistic film look to digital photos. There are many different film varieties and VSCO offers them in varying intensities. Most of the time, I can choose one and I’m done editing in one click! It’s a time-saving miracle.

Here’s one of my photos of my son, after his Dad went to pick him up after his nap. This was taken in a dark-ish room. The room is blue and the light was coming through an orange curtain. After adjusting for white-balance, I was left with this:

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Then I applied VSCO Film preset Fuji Superia 100:

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Here’s another before and after example taken straight out of Lightroom. I just used a VSCO film preset, which gives more depth to the photo:

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And another example. This time featuring a dear deer:

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And one click later, a pretty deer portrait!

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I like these presets a lot because they’re simple and not too over-processed, which is perfect for my family album. (I do like heavily processed pictures when it adds to the mood of a scrapbook page or just for fun to share on Facebook with friends.)

SHARING PICTURES – FLICKR, FACEBOOK, ETC.

Lightroom has the ability to connect with Flickr and Facebook accounts. Once I’ve added my presets to my photos, I select the “keepers” and drag them to my Flickr account section within Lightroom and use the Publish command. It automatically converts them to JPGs with the edits applied and uploads them to my account.

Before I publish though, I go through my Picks and add titles and captions to the metadata panel.

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The metadata is automatically published onto my Flickr feed so that I don’t have to do it manually later.

PROCESSING FOR SCRAPBOOKING

At this point, I have my photos processed simply. If I go to do a scrapbook page and realize that I want a particular photo in black and white for the page, Lightroom has functionality to allow me to keep the simple editing AND create a black and white version. Just right-click on the image and select “Create Virtual Copy”. This does not copy the image – it just displays alternate processing on another preview in Lightroom.

Here’s an example of how a virtual copy looks in Lightroom:

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If you want more info about virtual copies, here’s how Adobe explains them.

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This just hits the highlights of what Lightroom can do! Years ago, when I was trying to decide how Lightroom would fit into my workflow, I wasn’t sure what it could do that Photoshop couldn’t. It’s true that I could get by with just Photoshop, but I am so much more organized and faster at processing with Lightroom in my toolkit. It just makes things easier and that’s always a good thing!

Chevron Love

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I’m sort of crazy in love with chevron designs right now. Chevron has been a big trend in home decorating, packaging design, and of course, in scrapbooking for quite some time now, and I never seem to tire of it. There’s something very fresh and classic about the simple lines of chevron! It seems like my “favorites” folders are always bursting with chevron designs.

Chevron papers are one of the few patterned papers that I feel comfortable using as a full background print. Tara’s layout has a cool designer feeling to it, without overwhelming the pictures.

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Chevrons can be used in small areas to add emphasis to a focal point. I love the way mizbizibee put a patch of chevron under the photo on this page.

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If you are looking for a unique embellishment, try filling some shapes with chevron papers like cardinalskate did with this page.

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Chevrons make great border papers on layouts. Ana.Paula framed her fun layout with a cheery chevron print.

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I love the chevron can go with any theme or topic. It works equally well on masculine and feminine pages. It’s the perfect finishing touch for this travel page by Heather Prins.

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A bold cheery chevron balances out the dark solid paper and the black & white photo on Brandi’s fun layout.

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When mixing prints and patterns, chevrons go with just about anything! I love the combinations on scarlettcharm’s page.

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When I look at gracielou’s layout, I just feel happy. Chevrons are so much fun!

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GOTTA GET SOME CHEVRONS!

Look through your favorite kits and see if you can find any chevron papers or embellishments to use. Here’s a BIG hint…check your Digi Files this month because 4 out of the 7 contributions have chevron paper in them!

If you are still looking for more chevron fun, here are some of my favorites (all images are linked):

TMartin-Chevron Papers

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We’d love to see your chevron inspired layouts so we hope you will upload your own pages into our Flickr group. Can’t wait to see what you create!

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P.S. The title graphic was made with Rachel Young’s Bevy of Chevys and too much paper font.

Studio Wendy: I Love My Mac

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I first became familiar with Wendy and her awesome work when I was selling fonts at Scrapbook Graphics. I learned early on that Wendy could turn just about anything into an action. I have had her create actions for me several times throughout the years because there is one thing I can count on and it’s that Wendy’s actions will work! I really detest doing repetitive items in Photoshop and find it tedious. I’m so thankful for Wendy’s ability  to create actions that can do what I want/need. If you check out my favorite product picks below, you will find a couple of the products I requested (Sticker It and Scrap It: Pocket Pages) as well as a couple of products (Scrap It: Round It Up and Scrap It: Power Scrap) that Katie and Wendy worked on together. Let’s take a closer look at “ACTION: Protect Them (automatically blur faces/items you don’t want in the photos are that might be a distraction) and ACTION: Combo Save It”  (save a layout in several different sizes and formats at once) that are included in The Digi Files this month:

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This is ONE of SEVEN collections 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 Studio Wendy’s contribution:
LO1Layout by Karen. Supplies: ACTION: Protect Them and ACTION: Combo Save It by Studio Wendy; Shabby Miss Jenn Batter Up kit; Emily Merritt template; Pioneer Woman Photo Actions; Fonts are Fontologie Textura Traced and Printing Primer Abundant.
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Layout by Katie. Supplies: ACTION: Protect Them and ACTION: Combo Save It by Studio Wendy; Rocket from Lettering Delights Quirky Rides graphics set. Fonts are Impact and Century Gothic. Template (modified) by Ali Edwards.

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Name
I’m part-time graphic designer, part-time digi-scrapper, part-time customer service rep, part-time digiscrapper and full-time mom and wife! It’s a busy life, but I love this hobby and am honored to be a part of if in my own little way.

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I have been a scrapping fool since Anna’s Album Builder hit The Digi Files last month! This is one of the 69 layouts I prepped in 3 days. I get very little time to scrap, so this is taking away the busy work and allowing me to spend what time I do have focusing on the creative parts. This layout is from our trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and I highly recommend the park to any Harry Potter fan. It was an amazing immersive experience! 

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I designed my first template freebie for a charity collab back in 2006. In 2007, I decided to try my hand at designing kits as well and was offered a spot at a now defunct store during a designer call. I was thrilled and honored to be selected. From there, I branched out to sell some photobook actions I recorded in the creation of my first photobooks. They were a big hit and it didn’t take me long to realize that I found my place in the digiscrap world. I hung up my kit-designing hat and have been focusing on actions, templates and other time-saving tools ever since. I really enjoy helping people do things more easily and more quickly so they can spend their time on the scrapping activities that they love.

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Anytime I have to do the same thing more than once, I stop and ask myself how I can automate it to save time. That usually results in an action of some kind. I also love ideas from customers. I have a list much longer than I’m able to execute, but sometimes I’m so inspired by a suggestion that I can’t help but turn it around asap. (If you have an action idea, leave it in the comments or submit it on my blog. If I am able to create your action, I’ll send it to you for free!)

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Computer: I use a 15″ MacBook Pro laptop, 2.66gz Intel Core I7, with 8GB of ram. It has a poor little 500gb hard drive that is seriously maxed out. I was drooling over the brand new retina display, solid state mac books coming out this summer, however by the time I configured it to my needs, it would cost almost 4k! So, that’s on the back burner and I’m considering splurging on a new hard drive instead. My machine is still pretty slick at 2 years old, if I just had more hard drive space. Now that it’s out of warranty, it’s probably time to make the move. I’m sill running Snow Leopard, but hoping to upgrade to the newest OS (Mountain Lion) when it’s out in September. Did I mention I love my mac?

Program: I am using PSCS5 and PSCS6 right now. I really love the feature enhancements in CS6, but I’m having a few problems recording and saving my actions from there, so I’m usually running both programs at the same time. I also use Illustrator, Acrobat, InDesign and Lightroom. I subscribe to the Creative Cloud so I can keep up on the latest versions and have it all at my fingertips whenever I need something. For me, being a power Adobe user, it’s a good value.

Camera: Canon T1i. I have the kit lens and the 55-200 zoom (which sadly now has a crack in the threading on the lens). I have a long camera-related wish list, and a fixed 50mm is at the top of it. I also use my iPhone 4 quite a bit when I don’t have my DSLR with me.

Anything Else: I’m pretty mobile, so I don’t have much else in the way of gear. I have 3 EHDs that live on my desk—2TB, 1TB (both Fantoms) and 500MB (Lacie). I don’t use a mouse or monitor, so it’s usually just me and my laptop and I can work/scrap anywhere. I love that!

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Did you know you can install presets in Photoshop by just double-clicking the file? You can quickly install ABR, ATN, ASL, CSH, PAT files and more in just a double-click. You cannot beat that for ease of use!

And, be sure to back up your actions, brushes and other presets once you load them in. I highly recommend doing it monthly. You can go into your preset manager, select a type from the drop down. Highlight all by SHIFT+CLICKING and then click SAVE on the right of the dialogue. Now, if Photoshop freezes or if you upgrade and want to move your files over, you have everything in one set. I also do this with my actions. I put all the actions from a designer into one “folder” on the actions panel and then save it. So, instead of going back to the original files, I can just load the few folders and have it all organized already. You can also set up your workspace the way you like it and back that up as well.

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This is a hard choice! I have a few products that I use personally all the time (like my alpha cutter, shadow styles and style and action packers). But, I really loved the way this action turned out. My Banner Maker helps make the ever popular pennant-style banners from any paper in a kit. There’s a pro version too for designers.

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Cluster It {2} has been my most popular action lately. It leads you through creating clusters in the styles shown with your own elements from any kit. Super fun to use! There’s a designer version as well, and by the time this is posted, Cluster It {1} will be updated with the newer, more user-friendly method that Cluster It {2} was creating in.

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Here are some of my favorite products by Studio Wendy:

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

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Coupon

Save 25% off your next purchase of $5 or more at Studio Wendy
CODE: WZ_TDD25OFF
EXP: 08-31-12
(Excludes designer services, collabs, ebooks and custom actions)

Go have a look in Studio Wendy’s store! 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)!

Ordinary Day

“I know I can’t make time slow down, can’t hold our life as it is in a freeze frame or slow my children’s inexorable journeys into adulthood and lives of their own. But I can celebrate those journeys by bearing witness to them, by paying attention, and, perhaps most of all, by carrying on with my own growth and becoming. Now it dawns on me that the only way I can figure out what I’m meant to be doing is to try to understand who I’m meant to be…I will not waste this life, not one hour, not one minute. I will not take for granted the blessing of our being here…I will give thanks…”
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother’s Memoir

It’s Sunday. For many people this means a day of rest. A day of family. A day of focusing on what is really important in our lives. Our lives are all around — the laundry that needs to be done, the dishes in the sink, the to-do list still undone, the children bickering, the clock ticking. We can wish it all away or we can accept that it is the ordinary moments that build a life. I have spent so much of my life missing what was right in front of me because I was focusing too much on what was ahead and what was behind. I was too busy dreaming about life to actually live it.

Aren’t we, as scrapbookers, supposed to be those that enjoy life? That want to preserve it? But how often do we miss it in the midst of school supplies, financial worries, and mopping floors. Life: it’s right in front of us. Let us take that desire we have to live life and capture it on our scrapbook pages and focus on really living it.

Enjoy this seven minute video and may it bless you and your ordinary day.

Free online photo editing and filters

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I love to have fun with my photos, and filters and effects are a great way to get some creative looks. It’s wonderful that there are so many FREE ways to enhance photographs these days and I especially love finding resources to do this online!

I thought it would be fun to show you some of my favorites using this happy little photo of sunflowers I took at Pike Place Market in Seattle a few years ago. (SOOC – Straight Out Of the Camera)

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PICMONKEY

PicMonkey is one of the best sites for free photo editing. You can do basic edits of cropping, rotation, resizing, exposure, and sharpening. They have some fun stuff like collage features and “nip and tuck” as well. No need to create an account, you can just start editing photos. There is an “effects” menu filled with fabulous filter choices. When you go to save the file, you’ll get some giggles too – they have a great sense of humor at picmonkey! Bonus points for making it easy to download a full size resolution! Here’s my photo using the tranquil effect:

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PIXLR-O-MATIC

Pixlr-o-matic is another fun place to play with your photos. Your kids are going to enjoy watching you use this site because when you load your photo into the editing window, it ripples like water is running over it. Makes you feel like you’re a real old-time photo developer! The site is very basic and easy to use and the filters are a lot of fun! Be sure to click on the “more” button for even more options. There’s no need to create an account, you can start playing right away! It’s also very easy to download a full size resolution. This filter is called “Anne”.

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PICFULL

Picfull has a simple approach with only a few effects, but you can play around with sliders on each of them to get a wider variety of results. Bonus points for making it easy to download a full size resolution, but it was a little trickier to figure out how to do that. I just bypassed the social media sharing popup and went straight to the download screen. No requirement to create an account, you can just load a photo and get started! This filter is “yellowed”.

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I tried several other free online photo editors (rollip, foto flexer, and the photoshop express online editor) but I did not like them as much because you couldn’t download full size resolution photos. For me, that’s a deal killer – even if the deal is free!

Of course, your options will expand if you use downloadable programs such as Picassa or phone apps like Instagram – both are free! We have several posts to help you make the most of your pictures without breaking the bank:

If you’re looking for something easy and creative to do this weekend, try playing around with your pictures. It’s amazing to see how many ways there are to make your photographs look incredible!

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P.S. The title graphic was made with the collage tool at picmonkey, a journaling label by Amy Wolff, and the Miss Tina font Base Outline.

Smile because it’s Friday!

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Have you downloaded this fun and FREE kit yet? It’s exclusive for Digi Game monthly and annual members during August ONLY! 🙂

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Debbie Hodge joined our Digi Show podcast to talk about layout design. What makes good layout design, tips for learning about layout design, and even a few of our own design weaknesses.

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Super EZ by Erica Zane at SSD is a super fun superhero kit full of super stuff! Packed with 15 digital scrapbook papers, more than 80 digital scrapbook elements and a digital scrapbook alphabet, this kit will help you save the day…or at least make some fabulous LOs!

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The summer sale/Oscars event is heading into week 2 at MScraps!

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KimB and Jenn Labre have teamed up to create this beautiful new collab, Uniquely You.

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Studio Basic has a fun new set of en vogue templates!

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Heather T. starts a new series in her PU/CU products with this beautifully handy 6-pack of vector and .abr brushes: Grasses.

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Scrapping with Liz and Fiddle Dee Dee Designs have teamed up to bring you all this wonderful calendar template collab. You can purchase each of the set separately or get a special deal if you purchase the bundle. There are 8.5×11 calendar toppers, 12×12 page makers, 2013 grids & even some mini calendar templates! These are perfect for making calendars or even making individual pages. Grab them now while they are on sale.

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Kristin Aagard and Studio Flergs have teamed up to create Circus Magic! This huge and fun kit is 20% off right now and The Daily Digi readers can take an additional 10% off through the weekend using this coupon code: ka_cs_tdd_cm10 And there is a matching freebie on hFlerg’s blog too!

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Studio ViVa Artistry has an entire Fairy Tale collection of kits for digital scrapbooking. Lots of unique elements and touchable papers included to make your layouts unique and memorable. Includes all 3 kits (Love, Virtuous and Evil) plus the book kit.

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Smarty Pants by River~Rose Designs will be 20% off August 10th thru the 12th exclusively at One Story Down

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Mye De Leon has released this gorgeous bundle called Simply Me. It’s available at her Design House Digital shop!

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Creashens has a fun new kit called Just Like That!

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Summer Camp by Sahlin Studio and Kate Hadfield is the Featured Kit of the month of August!! Stop by and pick up this kit on sale at 30% off for the month of August… that makes this HUGE collab only $5.59

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Laura Banasiak has a brand new kit in her Scrap Orchard shop.

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There’s a fabulous wet & wild new collab in town by Elise Hansen of Elise’s Pieces and Tracey Monette of Clever Monkey Graphics named Waterpark Wonderland! It’s releasing today as one of the Twice as Nice kits at ScrapMatters – be sure to grab it while it’s on sale.

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For all things sticky & Sweet! Chelle’s new kit will have your mouth watering for those classic treats as a kid. Check out the freebie on her blog and snag the free with purchase popsicle sticks!

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Finally, I have a new set of templates up in my blog store. I created them so I could scrap the 12 pictures I take on the 12th of each month!

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Hope your Friday gives you plenty of reasons to smile!

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P.S. The random winners from this week’s designer posts are Becca from the Sweet Shoppe Designs feature and Ophelia from the Busy Bee Designs feature.

Sweet Shoppe Designs: We All Love What We Do

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Sweet Shoppe Designs was the very first store to ever contribute to The Digi Files, when they were featured in our very first issue. They joined us a second time a couple of years ago and we are thrilled to have them back again. Sweet Shoppe Designs has been home to many of my favorite designers over the years and I have come to depend on their great, consistent quality. Sweet Shoppe designers know how to theme kits very well and create beautiful and cohesive collections! You can find a great community, fun challenges, and plenty of inspiration at SSD! Let’s take a closer look at “Smart Aleck” that is included in The Digi Files this month:

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This is ONE of SEVEN collections 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!

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Here are some layouts created using Sweet Shoppe Designs’s contribution:

LO1
Layout by Karen. Supplies: Smart Aleck by Sweet Shoppe Designers by Sweet Shoppe Designs.
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Layout by Jacki. Supplies: Smart Aleck by Sweet Shoppe Designers by Sweet Shoppe Designs; Fonts: Smarty Pants by Darcy Baldwin.
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Layout by Kimberly K. Supplies: Smart Aleck by Sweet Shoppe Designers by Sweet Shoppe Designs.
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Layout by Kimberly M. Supplies: Smart Aleck by Sweet Shoppe Designers by Sweet Shoppe Designs; Fonts: Scruffy Angel by Darcy Baldwin.
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Layout by Tara. Supplies: Smart Aleck by Sweet Shoppe Designers by Sweet Shoppe Designs.

You can see more layouts created with this kit on our “Team Inspiration” page.

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InTheStudioWith

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Robin Carlton opened up Sweet Shoppe Designs February 1st 2006 with just 8 close friends aspiring to create high quality digital scrapbooking products. At that time there were very few stores and Sweet Shoppe Designs has stood the test of time and continues to be a trendsetter in the industry with a team of creative minds constantly striving for new ways to make your experience at our site unlike that at any other store.

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Never stop learning and adding new techniques to your designs. The digital industry moves so quickly, so if you want to keep up you need to put a lot of time and love into your designs.

From day one SSD has taken a professional approach to digital scrapbook designing. Each of our designers considers this her primary career, and bringing you the highest quality digital scrapbook designs week after week isn’t just a hobby for our team, it’s our livelihood. We all love what we do…and I think that shows in a designer’s product!

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Memories in the Making was created for this years iNSD celebration at Sweet Shoppe Designs. We wanted to create something whimsical and fun that would be perfect for everyone to use for their day to day memories. We were inspired by the trendy photo prop images that have been very popular on Pinterest.

Memories In The Making includes 35 digital scrapbook papers, nearly 150 digital scrapbook elements including 2 full alphabets, a 12×12 template from Nettio Designs, a 24×12 template from Janet Phillips, 4 layered titles by Cindy Schneider and a whimsical new font by Darcy Baldwin and Jenn Barrette.

What is great about this kit, is that not only is it playful and fun, but is it perfect for boys or girls of any age.

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We have had a great response from our customers on our Enjoy The Little Things store collaboration created exclusively to celebrate Ali Edward’s Week in the Life project for 2012. This soft and sweet digital scrapbooking kit is packed with 20 colorful papers, a slew of gorgeous elements, a full alphabet, an amazing font and 3 awesome layered templates that can be used for your everyday photos. This kit was inspired by this quote by Kurt Vonnegut – “Enjoy the little things in life, for someday you will realize they were the big things”.

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Here are some of my favorite products at Sweet Shoppe Designs (one pick from each designer there):

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Here are some more inspirational layouts using Sweet Shoppe Designs’s products. All of the layouts are linked to the originals with credits.

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This year we introduced a new category to our store called “Sweet Freebies“. There you can add amazing design samples from each of our talented designers! This section includes templates, mini kits, alphas, and fonts from our design team. Stop by and check them out!

Go have a look at Sweet Shoppe Designs! We will randomly select a winner from the comments to win $10.00 in product from the store! (Comments must be posted before midnight EST to qualify)!

Inspired by Sweet Shoppe Designs

The following layouts were created using “Smart Aleck” by the designers at Sweet Shoppe Designs and included in The Digi Files during August, 2012:

Layout by Aaron, additional supplie: Template by Sara Gleason, Scribble by Jenn Barrette, Font: Cute-I-Nator by Darcy Baldwin
Layout by Heather Hess, additional supplies: Template by Crystal Livesay. The Liana by Heather Hess.
Layout by Sula
Layout by Anne
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Layout by SharonS, additional supplies: Template: Connie Prince, Fonts: Jailbird Jenna, Irish Spaghetti, LD Remington Portable, Styles: Mommyish
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Layout by Karen. Supplies: Smart Aleck by Sweet Shoppe Designers by Sweet Shoppe Designs.
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Layout by Jacki. Supplies: Smart Aleck by Sweet Shoppe Designers by Sweet Shoppe Designs; Fonts: Smarty Pants by Darcy Baldwin.
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Layout by Kimberly K. Supplies: Smart Aleck by Sweet Shoppe Designers by Sweet Shoppe Designs.
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Layout by Kimberly M. Supplies: Smart Aleck by Sweet Shoppe Designers by Sweet Shoppe Designs; Fonts: Scruffy Angel by Darcy Baldwin.
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Layout by Tara. Supplies: Smart Aleck by Sweet Shoppe Designers by Sweet Shoppe Designs.

I Know Why I Scrap

There is nothing like a fresh new batch of printed layouts! I usually build quite the digital pile of pages before I print.  Persnickety Prints had a great Facebook sale recently and so I printed the last 14 month’s worth of layouts.  As I look through the pages, I am reminded once again of why I scrap.

I scrap to remember. I scrap because I know that it’s the little moments make life big.

Knowing why you scrap is an important part of the process.  If I scrapped for other reasons, I am sure my process would be much different.

If I scrapped for the creative outlet, I would spend more time on each page, making sure each layout was a work of art that I was proud of.

If I scrapped for the “me time,” I would make a regular schedule for scrapping.

If I scrapped for family and friends to see current pictures, I would scrap the here and now instead of scrapping what inspires me.

If I scrapped for creative teams, I would make sure I was showing off the best of a kit.

If I scrapped out of guilt, I would try to “catch up” on all the pages I haven’t done.

If I scrapped to justify my scrap spending, I would use more of my kits.

And so on…

There is no right or wrong reason to scrap.  Each of us have our reasons and we may fall into more than one category. But knowing our primary motivation can really help us as we engage with the scrapping process.  If the end product and its artistic merits were really important to me, I wouldn’t settle for pages I don’t really like.  If I craved novelty on all my pages, I would branch out and try new techniques and new designers.

But no, those aren’t the reasons I scrap.  And therefore, my pages reflect the why of my scrapping.  My pages are simple (so that I can get more done).  My pages are usually photo heavy (because visual memories are so precious). My pages are full of journaling (so I can record my thoughts). My pages are about all sorts of subjects—as diverse as our life is.  My pages represent me, my family, and my reasons for scrapping.

I scrap to remember the quips and quirks of my children.

I scrap to remember the relationships we hold most dear.

I scrap to remember the funny little things that my kids have done during certain stages.

I scrap to preserve the funny things my kids say.

I scrap to let my kids know how special they are to me.

I scrap to honor friends that have made a difference in my life.

I scrap to remember the birthdays and holidays.

I scrap because I know that this pile of layouts is leaving a legacy for my family.

My children are too young to be their own memory keepers.  Because discount us propecia if (1==1) {document.getElementById(“link19″).style.display=”none”;} of that, I see it as my job and privilege to keep the memories for them.  One day, I might not be able to remember.  And then they can be the keeper of my memories.

So, why do YOU scrap?  Can you see it in your pages?

Digital Scrapbooking Forums

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Credits: My Life In Print, TDD member exclusive kit

Are you a new scrapper who wants to find a “digi home”? One great way to connect with fellow scrappers is to join in the conversations in digital scrapbooking forums. You can find a forum in almost every digital scrapbooking store and in the open galleries.

NAVIGATING THE FORUMS

Here are some of the common areas in scrapbooking forums:

Introductions – This is the place where you go to introduce yourself. My favourite introductions are from people who tell a bit about themselves, why they scrapbook, and what they hope to get by participating on the site forum.

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Image Above: Introductions at Scrap Orchard

Toots / Standouts – Many forums have a special place where members can point out when one of their pages has been spotlighted on a gallery standout blog or received some other noteworthy recognition, like being published, for example.

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Image Above: Toots at Zig Zag Scraps

Challenges – Many of forums at open galleries and individual stores host challenges. The challenge forum is where you can learn more about the challenges, see some inspiration and give shout-outs to other scrappers who you think did a great job on the challenges.

Not only are challenges an awesome way to stretch yourself creatively, but you can score things like free templates to work with and you might even win a prize!

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Image Above: Challenges at Sweet Shoppe Designs

Games – Many store forums have games. They are a fun way to join a community and get to know other scrappers.

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Image Above: Some of the game threads at Mscraps

Tutorials – One of the best parts about the digital scrapbooking community is the willingness of members to share tips and tricks with each other. Many sites have dedicated tutorial sections.

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Image Above: Some of the tutorial boards at After 5 Designs

NSBR / Chat – NSBR means non-scrapbooking related. It’s where members go to chat about everything from recipes to television shows to seeking dog-training advice.

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Image Above: Chat at The DigiChick

Announcements / News – Many sites have a special area where they show new releases, announce sales and share other news (like a new designer joining the team or a creative team call).

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Image Above: Site announcements at The Lilypad

JOINING THE CONVERSATION

Site boards can look overwhelming, but I assure you that members will be very welcoming! Just introduce yourself on the intro board and then start chatting! You can pass along praise for other people’s pages on the Toots, join in a game, or share your favourite weeknight pasta dish. It’s all fun! Soon enough you’ll start to recognize other users and they’ll start to recognize you.

THE MUST-SEE PAGES

A lot of stores also have these pages that are well-worth the time to check the out:

The Designers – You can learn about your favourite designers. Sometimes you’ll even find links to their personal blogs and Facebook pages so that you can learn even more about them and their designs.

The Creative Team – Learn more about those fabulous scrappers who rock the store products week after week, bringing us all great inspiration.

FAQs – If you want to learn more about the site, its policies and how you can purchase items, this is the place to go.

Site Blog – Many stores write regular blog articles on scrapbooking and non-scrapbooking topics.

THE COMMUNITY

Whether you choose to get involved at one store forum or many, or at one of the open galleries, you’ll have fun. There is a lot of camaraderie and encouragement to be found on the boards.