Do You Believe in Evolution?


I always get a tiny bit jealous when I hear people talking about their digiversary. My journey into digital scrapbooking was a long process that I can track back to my earliest days in scrapbooking.  Because of that I can’t pinpoint an exact date that it began.

I started scrapbooking when I was a teenager, putting my photos, memontos, and journaling in the yucky magnetic albums.  I learned how to scrapbook as we know it today in 1994 when the second scrapbook store in Utah opened two minutes from my house.  I thought I would share a bit of my journey with you…..don’t laugh!


I created this layout in 1994 by arranging clipart from the DJ-Inkers CDs in PowerPoint, coloring it in by hand, using an exacto knife around the to images at the top to tuck my photo under.  I LOVED it!


Sometimes, I printed on COLORED paper and cut those out (the anchor and title).


In 1997, I upgraded to COLOR clipart and a COLOR printer.  Still using PowerPoint to arrange images, print and then add my photos.

image This was one of my very first all digital pages.  I made it in 2003 using Microsoft PictureIt and a CK Clips and Fonts CD (they were way ahead of their time, the products were great quality).


I made this layout in 2004 when I switched to back to PowerPoint.  I had a hard time understanding the layers in PictureIt and couldn’t find any resources for help.  I understood PowerPoint and how I could create layouts with it (and my dad had bought me a magazine about crafting with your computer that had an article in it about scrapbooking with PowerPoint).  The supplies were again from the CK Clips N Fonts CDs.


Later in 2004, I discovered Scrapbook Bytes by way of a special issue of Memory Makers Magazine all about computer scrapbooking.  I started using PaintShopPro and created 12×12 papers for all of my layouts I had done in PowerPoint.  I printed these layouts on my printer at home on 8.5×11 paper and trimmed them down to 8×8.


That’s when I was able to learn about the power of photo editing programs and my life was never the same!  During May of 2004 and December 2004, I created 120 layouts and loved every minute of it!  What about you?  Do you have a digiversary or was it more of an evolution for you as well?


Freebie 411 and some links to share


One of the best things about starting out in digital scrapbooking is that there are so many freebies out there! It’s nice that you can try digi scrapping out using free supplies so you don’t have to make a big price commitment up front. I (Katie) started out with freebies from 2Peas and from The Shabby Princess and I quickly became a paying customer at both sites. Even after years of digital scrapbooking, I still love and appreciate free goodies, but I have found that I’m much more selective now about what I download.

A “freebie” in the digi world is something (usually supplies) you can download to your own computer for free. Designers and stores give away free stuff in order to attract new customers, reward current customers, and generate new traffic and interest in their designs. It takes a lot of effort to put together anything to share online, so no matter how big or small the gift is, the designer invested valuable time in creating and posting it.

Customers love freebies because they get to try out new designers without any risk. If they don’t like the free gift, they don’t have to download it – or they can later delete it from their files. Many times a free gift is an add on to something a customer might have purchased from the designer. Quick pages, extra embellishments, or matching word art can be a fun reward for a customer who purchased a full kit.


  • COST: As a former designer, I have been on both sides of the freebie. I have given away my own creations as well as downloading countless gifts from other designers. The saying “nothing in life is free” also applies to the digital scrapbook community. The freebie costs the designer time (money) and even bandwidth costs in some cases (if the designer hosts it on their own server instead of uploading to a file sharing site, each time the item is downloaded, it costs the designer money). The freebie also costs the consumer time to unzip, use, and file the gift. If your storage space is at a premium, the free download also costs precious gigs on your hard drive.
  • PIRACY: Even free things can be stolen. If a designer or store is offering a free gift to attract sales and traffic, then they should receive at least one of those things in return. The majority of scrappers who download a free gift, might not go on to purchase something from the designer or store who offered the freebie. Visiting the blog or site where the gift is offered does increase their visibility and might result in future sales or more customer loyalty. Only download freebies from the original source and don’t give them away or share them with others (send them to the original source).
  • QUALITY: The great thing about the internet is that anyone can create and share something. The bad thing about the internet is that anyone can create and share something. There is no “quality control” like you will find in a well-established online store. If the freebie creator isn’t selling somewhere established, they might be just starting out. I know plenty of designers who began their careers by offering freebies. It could also be that the designs are not high quality enough to sell anywhere. Even though the price is free, the “buyer” (downloader) should beware. One thing I hear from those who use only freebies is that they can’t tell the difference and they are sure they are getting good quality supplies. I would encourage you to consider the source and to pay attention to detail. Zoom in on the embellishments and look for jagged edges and stray pixels. Compare quality to a kit from a respected designer and see if you can tell the difference. You are spending precious time putting these elements onto pages with your pictures and special memories. Be sure they look good!


  • Sunghee – I used to collect them so much when I first started digi scrapbooking, but ended up deleting most of them. Those were the files that I download just because it was free regardless whether I liked the style or not. Now, I only download the ones that I like and if I already don’t have the similar ones. I love the quality of the freebies that the well-known digi stores and designers give out. For me, I don’t know how one can only use the freebies and not be tempted to buy all the gorgeous digi kits!
  • Melissa S. – I went through the crazy freebie hunter stage. Though I used freebies a lot in my first year of scrapping I then narrowed down to only downloading stuff I loved. Now I still DL freebies but only from my fave designers.
  • Jenny B. – I love freebies, but as my stash has grown, I’ve become more selective.  I only download stuff I really like now.  I think it’s a great way to get started, though.  When I first started, I got all the freebies I could from Shabby Princess, and slowly started buying kits from the Shabby Shoppe.  At first, I was very loyal to that store, and couldn’t understand why anyone would use anything else. Smiley I slowly started branching out, though, and trying new designers.  I like to try out a designer with a freebie, and then if I like the quality and the style suits me, I’ll go back and buy something.  I think it’s OK to rely solely on freebies, but you have to realize that you’re limiting yourself.  I get most of my freebies from designers’ blogs and stores.  I sign up for their newsletters so I know when to go grab a freebie.  I also follow Digital Daisy’s Hand Picked Freebies blog, but I never download everything she posts.  Even if I liked all of it, I don’t want to spend that much time downloading, unzipping, and filing.


We here at The Daily Digi love a good freebie just as much as anyone else, but we also pride ourselves in recommending quality products to our readers. Whether we are posting on the page on the site where we recommend freebies, in twitter, or on facebook, we are always careful to only link to freebies from designers/stores that we know the quality of and trust. Our enabling posts are not just about supporting the designers who contribute to the Digi Files (although we LOVE them!), but we also point out products of good quality that we find and love, no matter who designed them. Freebies are no different than a purchased kit in our mind because they both take up valuable time and space in your digi stash.



Some frames by Ange


Happy Downloading!


P.S.  Jennifer A was the random winner from Karah’s post yesterday!  She won $25 in product from Karah’s store!  THANKS to everyone that took time to post!  Jennifer, check your inbox.

Taking Screen Shots


One of the things that I needed to learn immediately when I started THE DAILY DIGI was to take screen shots.  It was imperative that if I was going to give  tips and tricks that my readers be able to see what I was doing.  Many of my posts relied heavily on you being able to see what I was doing in Photoshop. Take this post for example: there were six different screen shots for you to see how I make eyes pop in a photo.

Many people have asked me through emails and comments how to take a screen shot.  So today, I thought I would share. Well really, I will just share where I got my info since I learned the way I learn most things these days: I googled it (don’t you love how “googled” has become a verb?)

Here are two very helpful articles:



And I know I am biased, but Mac really rocks for screen shots, giving you lots of different options. With different keystrokes, I can take a capture of my entire screen (Command Shift 3)


Or just a portion of my choosing (Command Shift 4)


Or just a window (Command Shift 4, then space, then click on window)


Taking screen shots can come in really handy, and not just for showing off some mad Photoshop skills.  You can use it to show proof of Paypal  transactions, show webmasters when their site looks wonky from your end, when you want to share some crazy error message with your ISP, and more.  And if you get really bored, you can go crazy with screen in a screen in a screen…


Happy picture taking 🙂


Getting it done

gettingitdoneSupplies: Kraft paper, Stephanie2; alpha, frame, paper, Rachel Young; font JP’s Hand Slanted

One of the freedoms that digital scrapping gave me was to scrap what I want, when I want and not constantly feel “behind”.  Even with that revelation though, I still wish I could get more scrapped than I do.  I’m sure you can relate…maybe just a little? I have a few tips I have learned over the years that have helped me to make the best use of my scrapping time.  I would like to share a few of those with you today. Then, I will ask you to email anything you have discovered that helps you “get it done” for a future post!


Remember that your scrapbooks are a journey not a destination!! Take time to enjoy the process of preserving these memories!  One of the things that I love most about scrapbooking is that we can enjoy the moments and memories the first time they happen, again while we are scrapping them, and then each time we look through our albums.  If we are enjoying our lives, we will most likely never be “caught up” because for each memory we scrap, there is another memory being made…and that is a GOOD THING!!


When you have some time to scrap, shut your email, close your internet browser, and then keep them CLOSED!! Resist the temptation to hurry and check email, or buy that one kit.   When I started doing this, I was shocked at how much more productive I was during my scrapping time!  Remember that scrapping time is precious and needs to be used for SCRAPPING (haha)!


Schedule time to scrap. I have done this many different ways.  When I first started digital, I had an online friend (that soon became a IRL friend) and we would IM and scrap every Saturday night.  It was fun to show each other layouts as we were working on them.

I have also scheduled scrap weekends away from home that proved to be very productive!  I have a childhood friend that has gone digital and she schedules one Friday a month with her girlfriends (that are all digital too) and go to her mom’s house to scrap.  This way, there are no kids and they can stay and scrap as late as they want.

If it is impossible for you to get big chunks of time to scrap, then give yourself a reward at the end of the day or during nap time and scrap for 30 minutes or an hour.  One of the beautiful things about digital is that you can start a layout and keep it open on your desktop, stealing a few minutes here or there to work on it.


Start a “Ready to Scrap” folder. There are times when I might have time to scrap, but I’m not really feeling like it…my mojo is gone for one reason or another.  Instead of forcing it, it will work on my “ready to scrap” folder.  I create a 12×12 canvas and then pull the photos, papers, and embellies that I want to use for a layout onto the canvas.  I usually make note in a text box, what supplies are there, and then save it as a PSD file inside of my “ready to scrap” folder.  Then, when I have big chunks of time (like my weekend retreats) I can just go to that folder and not waste time figuring out what photos and supplies I want to use.  This is one of the best time saving techniques I have used.

gettingitdonenumber5Don’t use every photo you take. Give yourself permission to scrap a one or two-page layout of an event and that’s all…nothing more.  It really is okay!  I am one that hates scrapping events (birthdays and holidays especially), but I know those will be important to my kids someday.  Some of my very favorite layouts have been ones where I put as many pictures as I tastefully can from one event and then journal about what happened.


Some of these tips might be ones that you already use, but I’m sure you might have others that have helped you GET IT DONE!!  If you do have some tips, then  email me at and I will share your tips with our readers in future post! 🙂


The Long and Winding…Path Part 2


Credits: Floral paper and elements (except stitching and staple) by Zoe Pern,Kraft paper and stitching by Stephanie2, staple by Shabby Princess

Last week, we talked about text ON a path and this week we are going to take it one step further and discuss text IN a path. Putting text inside a path will easily make the text fit within a shape that you determine. Sometimes, because of the design of the layout, shaped text would just look better (see above). First, I’m going to link you up with some tutorials and then I will share how I did the text above.

Text inside a shape or inside a path for Photoshop

Text inside a shape or inside a path for Photoshop

Text inside a shape for Paint Shop

For the layout above, I had to alter the shape a little so it would work with my journaling spot. The procedures were very similar to the ones in the tutorials but, here are the steps I took:

paths11First, I duplicated the circle shape that I used for my template or clipping path for the kraft paper and positioned that layer above the kraft paper layer.


Next, I used the rectangle marquee tool to select the left portion of the circle where I would not have any journaling. Then, I deleted that selection by making sure that the copied circle layer was selected and then clicking ctrl+x (or edit>cut).

paths3Next, I used the marquee tool again to select the bottom portion of the circle that would not have any journaling (I took the selection all the way to the bottom and right side of the layout, that is why you can’t see marching ants all the way around). Once again, I deleted that selection by using ctrl+x (or edit>cut).

paths4Now, the fun begins. I selected my magic wand and clicked on the partial circle to select it. We know it’s selected when we see the ants marching around the outside.


Now, select the paths tab in the layers palette and then click on the “create path from selection button”. This will create a path in the same shape as the black shape we just selected.

paths6Select the text tool and then move your cursor inside the shape, it should look like the text tool in the above screenshot. Change your font and size as necessary and then click where you want to start typing.


Click on the layers tab again, so you can see your layers. Click on the eye next to the shape to make that layer invisible. At this point, you can also highlight the text and click on the paragraph and character window tabs to change the justifiction, spacing, etc. Clicking on a new layer will make the path disappear or you can go back to the paths tab and click outside of that path.

I hope you will have some fun with paths! 🙂


Optimizing For Web and Email

size-for-webLayout supplies from Dani Mogstad

I (Steph) remember when I first started digi scrapping, I would email completed layouts to family members and they would say the the file was too big for them to download. WHAT? My dad told me that I would need to change the file size and make it smaller…but I had no idea how to do that. I finally learned how to “resize” after attending a speedscrap chat and having the moderator walk me through it so I could post my layout and get the freebie. 😉 Today, I was able to find some great resources for learning how to use the “Save for web” feature in PS and PSE and the “Jpeg Optimizer” in PSP.

I am a little embarrassed that there is a much easier way to use this tool than how I have been doing it. Most galleries have a file size limit (usually around 200k) and did you know there is a way to input the filesize you want to stay under and “save for web” will resize your image within that number you input? Well, I did not know that until today…haha. So, let’s get started.

FIRST, let me share this interesting information, RESIZING (which most of us call what we do when we make a photo smaller in resolution) is actually RESAMPLING —-GASP—-I know! Who would have thought!?

RESIZING is changing the PRINT size of an image but not the resolution or dpi.

RESAMPLING is changing the resolution or dpi of an image.

You can read more about resizing, resampling and the differences here.

SECOND, the highest resolution that most computer monitors can see is 72 dpi. However, some of the newer monitors can see as high as 100 dpi. You can read more about that starting on the 3rd page of this article.

Some reasons you might want to resize and typical sizes:

Blog post: A smaller file size will help the image load more quickly. I like to resize images on my blog because I don’t really want people to be able to pull up the full sized image and see the dirt on my floor…haha 🙂 At TDD I usually size my images between 400-500 pixels and I’m pretty sure Janet does the same. For my personal blog, I have a 3 column layout and the middle column is 500 pixels, so I usually size those to 400 pixels or smaller.

Email: A smaller file will make it so you can actually send the attachment and people will also receive it. It will also make it so the image will appear in the body of the email and fit on the screen, so the receiver will not have to scroll from side to side or up and down in order to view the entire layout. I usually size images for email at 600-800 pixels.

Gallery Post: If you want to post your layouts in an online gallery, you will need to resize it. Most galleries allow a maximum file size around 200kb.

Images for avatars in forums, blogs, or social networking sites: Most forums or social networking sites allow a maximum file size for this. This will take a lot of time and guessing out of getting the filesize right!

Backgrounds for blogs/social networking sites: I just recently signed up for Twitter, after my dad sent me an invite to follow him…no, I am not kidding. So, I resized one of my favorite digi papers to use as my background. I resized it to 800 pixels wide and made sure it was under the filesize limit and them uploaded it to Twitter. I selected the tile effect and there is a small seam, but it is very hard to see.

“Save For Web” (PhotoShop) and the “Jpeg Optimizer” (Paint Shop Pro) are much more than just an image resizer. They help images to be much more crisp and clear and eliminates jaggies on vector layers while keeping the files size low. They also take the guess work out pf sizing files within a specific range. Here are the tutorials to help you get the most from these tools:

Bestechvideos has a GREAT video tutorial on Save For Web HERE

Spanglefish has a PDF tutorial for Jpeg Optimizer HERE.

One side note…you may need to change the image size before using these tools depending on the size and resolution of your original layout.


Brushes-Beyond the Basics


Since I (Steph) did the post about brushes a while back, I received many comments, emails, and even a phonecall (haha) from people wanting to know MORE about using brushes. So today I have some links to really GREAT tutorials all about brushes. From these tutorials you can learn AS MUCH or AS LITTLE as you want and have time for. I learned quite a bit from these, for instance, did you know in PSCS you can use the dynamics settings to brush with TWO brushes AT THE SAME TIME!? Remember that even though these tutorials may have not been written for your EXACT program or version, they will often work in many programs. Please, don’t let the fact that they were not written for digital scrapbookers scare you, these principles can easily be applied in digi scrapping! 🙂


35 Tutorials for Mastering Brushes (scroll down until you see ROTATING BRUSHES, this is the first tutorial in the list. Each tutorial is listed with a screenshot and link in the title). I learned several new things from the tutorial on Brush Dynamics.

Paint Shop Pro

There are many tutorials for PSP on this site, scroll down until you see the three sections for PAINT BRUSHES.


I have had a hard time finding PI brush tutorials, but did find one here that might be helpful.

I hope this will help those of you that are still struggling with brushes!


P.S. Janet got me with that silly April Fool’s post too! I was looking through the scheduled posts a couple of days ago when I saw one called “SAD NEWS” and wondered what the sad news was, so I read it. I kept thinking, “I can’t believe she didn’t tell me!’ HAHAHA!! I think she does owe all of us a freebie! 😉 🙂



Most of us probably began our journey into digital scrapbooking with a folder full of free supplies. Even as seasoned scrappers, we still love to download a good freebie! At The Daily Digi, we are committed to helping you find quality free digital scrapbooking supplies to start your stash (or add to it), but it is impossible for us to download and examine each one. Please, remember that though we do our best, not all freebies are created equal and you will need to download with discretion. 🙂

If you would like more information on freebies, please read “Freebie 411”

Quality Freebie Sources:

DigitalScrap Supplies

We (The Daily Digi) send out free gifts from past contributing designers a few times a month to our newsletter subscribers.



Lightroom Presets

Matt Kloskowski’s free presets


SpeedScraps Actions