All About Credits

wheretostart3

Have you wondered about listing credits when you share a layout online? I (Katie) remember the first time I ever posted a layout online (back in 2005) and I was so nervous about how to list the credits. I didn’t really understand much about how to do it and it seemed to take more time than I wanted to spend. Just like anything, there was a small learning curve before it made sense to me, and now I can pretty much keep track of supplies in my head as I scrap, or use a few handy tricks to make it easy. Once you get in the habit of keeping track of your credits, you will really come to understand why you should keep track of credits. It might surprise you!

WHY TRACK CREDITS?

  • Do it for yourself! Some digi scrappers wonder why they need to keep track of credits at all, especially if they don’t share their layouts online? The number one reason I keep track of credits is for myself. Yep, just for my own records! I wish I had done this in the very beginning so I could find the same supplies I used for some of those early layouts. I find it to be especially helpful to have a list of credits to refer to if I want to go back and make an opposing page to go with a layout, or create something similar. Now, I always put together a list of credits, even if I never share the layout online. I post all my layouts to Flickr, but I do mark some of them as “private” or viewable only to family. I find that the description area on Flickr is the perfect place to keep track of the information relating to the layout. Some scrappers create a hidden layer with the details and keep it in their layered file. Others might keep a word document. I prefer the Flickr method because it’s so easy for me to always find the credits when I look up the layout.

 

  • To help others: When you share a layout online, others can be inspired by your creation and they will want to know where you got the “stuff” and/or the ideas for your layout. I quickly realized that if I didn’t post the name of the font I used, people would comment to ask me what it was. One of the great things about sharing online is the feeling of community you experience. It’s fun to have others comment on your layouts and to share the good things you find in digiland with them. I love it when someone tells me that just had to go and buy a certain kit because of one of my pages! It’s considered a common courtesy when you post in a gallery, or even on a personal blog, to include the credits for your page. Of course, there are no “credit police” out there – it just makes it more fun for everyone and it’s nice to do!

 

  • To promote a designer/store/website: If you are on a creative team, or completing a challenge or prompt, it is generally expected that you will list the appropriate credits with your creation. This is the way we all find out about what’s available for digital scrapbooking. When I see a layout that I like, I carefully read the credits to see what products were used, or if there was a challenge that inspired the page. I want in on some of that good stuff too!

 

  • When a layout is published: A magazine won’t publish a layout without proper credits. They know that people are going to want to know the “recipe” for that page so they can make it themselves. Can you imagine the mail they would get if they published so many fantastic layouts without any information about how they were made?!

 

HOW DO YOU KEEP TRACK OF + LIST CREDITS?

This might seem daunting at first, but I find that keeping track of credits for digital layouts is much easier than when I tried to do the same thing as a paper scrapper. The product information is always right there in the product, or at least in the folder. You just need to experiment with the system that works best for you. Here are a few approaches I’ve used:

  • Use only 1 kit. This is the easiest way to keep track of what you’ve used on a page, just pull everything you need from 1 single kit, or even from 1 designer. I used a template and a kit that were both from the Shabby Princess for this layout. I like to keep the folders I pull the supplies from open until I’ve had a chance to jot down what I’ve used. Again, I just type them into the description area on Flickr, but a sticky note on your desk, a word document, or a hidden layer in your file, all work equally well.

5727189691_45812db638_b

Here’s how I would list the credits if I was posting this layout in a gallery or sharing it here on the Daily Digi. I would just list the designer and the product used.

Shabby Princess Easy As Pie Template # 12
Shabby Princess Clementine kit
Traveling Typewriter font

If I wanted to add more detail, I could mention that the template was a freebie on The Shabby Shoppe blog. I could also copy and paste my journaling right into the credits. Some people like to be able to read the journaling and I enjoy sharing it. Journaling reads:
You are such a beautiful girl – inside and out! I love that you care so much about people and that you express your love for us often. Your heart is very tender and your emotions are often close to the surface. You are constantly looking to learn new things and you spend many of your days inventing new knitting projects or dreaming up experiences and parties you would love to participate in. You truly have a zest for life and that makes you even more beautiful!

  • Refer to the source of an idea. For this layout, I used a technique that I wrote about in a previous article here at The Daily Digi about using charts and graphs for scrapbooking. I anticipated that others might wonder how I made the graph so I thought I would mention the article. A lot of what inspires me to include things in the credits is thinking about what I would want to know if I saw the same layout online.

reading copy

Tattered Pear Bookmarked (TDF 32)
Template bySine (NLA)
Graph idea from http://thedailydigi.com/digi-scrapping-charts-and-graphs/

Traveling Typewriter 12 pt. 18 pt. leading

Did you notice some of the extra things I added in the credits? When I listed (TDF 32) next to the Tattered Pear kit, that indicates that this kit was in The Digi Files #32). I added this for my own records, but someone who has bought the Digi Files in the past will appreciate knowing where they can find this fun kit!

The (NLA) means that this particular item is “No Longer Available”. I think this is helpful to let other people know so they don’t waste time looking all over for the item. Some scrappers might have it in their own stash so they can look through their files.

The font size and leading is something I recently started adding after I wrote this article on Text Size Matters because it is something that is very helpful to me when I go to make an opposing page, or if I need to know what a good text size is for a certain font. I’m not sure if I’ve seen anyone else list this in with their credits, but I like to do it.

 

  • Include sources of other images: When you use a stock photo, someone else’s photo, or even a website image, it’s considered more than good etiquette to list the sources, it’s a matter of respecting copyright and terms of use. These items are ok to use on a personal scrapbook page if proper credit is given. When a stock photo is purchased through proper channels, you might not be required to credit the source, but it’s nice to give credit where credit is due. Others might wonder if they see that same stock photo popping up on other scrapper’s pages as well.

good day

Weeds & Wildflowers + Cinzia Designs Everyday Life kit, elements, & word art
screen shots from myfitnesspal.com

  • Keep track of multiple items from many different kits and designers: You won’t always be creating layouts from a single kit at a time. Some digiscrappers never do that and prefer to combine many different ingredients together. When I scrapped this page a few years ago, I participated in a Digi Dares challenge to use at least 4 patterned papers in the design and 5 different fonts to create a word art piece.

3414742147_110354d041_b

I used quite a list of supplies from a variety of sources. I just listed each item and the designer to compile my list of credits.
Experiment No. 16 template by Emily Powers
East meets West kit by Traci Reed
Glitter Paper by Two Sisters Designs
Natural Spring kit by Katie the Scrapbook Lady
Good Day Sunshine kit by Rachel Young
Build your own blooms by Christina Renee
Please Refrigerate kit by Lauren Grier and Mikkel Paige
Fonts: Francis Gothic, CK Classical, Abadi MT Condensed, FO giggles, Angsana New

  • Copy and paste the file names into your credits: When we did the From the Files Reader Challenge here at The Daily Digi, we needed to use very specific items from several different kits included in The Digi Files. I found it easier just to copy and paste the exact file name of each item right into my list of credits.

5527190228_52c94a3816_b

klewis-mywonderland-border
pspring-iam-journaling2-list
sd_Rememberthisday_Paper12
tmonette_springFieldTrip-pp25
WW_EL_paper5
vlim_sweetmemories_epoxyframe-sh
I’m so lucky (in kk_wio_spring folder)

Font is Pea Luv Holly Wood. Background template by Scrapping with Liz (paperback 7). All I did to recolor the orange paper (in PSE) was to add a new adjustment layer and slide the hue slider to the left until I got the right shade of pink (-38). I changed the border by clipping the green paper to it. I lowered the opacity on my large background photo to create a paper. I used the word art of “I’m so lucky” to inspire me to write down some of the many things I’m grateful for.

Use a credit tracker: I’ve heard great things about Anna Forrest’s credit tracker, so you might want to consider using either the Photoshop CS version or the Photoshop Elements version.

AFD_CreditTracker_preview

Check out the product description:

Do you hate keeping track of all the supplies you’ve used? Struggle remembering every little details? Don’t stress – let this application do all the work for you! Just build your layout as usual and when you’re finished get a nicely formatted list of all your supplies and fonts ready to post! Credits can be formatted in plain text, BB code, or HTML. They can be saved to the file’s document info, a text file or in a text layer! Product links and store names can be included if desired. Don’t compile a list of credits ever again!

So cool!

WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?

  • Credits should still be given even if the item was a freebie. It doesn’t matter whether or not you paid for the item, it’s still someone else’s creation and should be credited. You can read more about digital freebies here.
  • When using a collaborative kit with many designers, it’s not necessary to list every item you used and the designer responsible for that item. Just be sure to list the collab kit name and other pertinent details such as the store it was sold in, or the charity it raised funds for, or if there are only a few designers, you might want to list them. You can read more about collaborative projects here.
  • Don’t be worried about “not doing it right” when it comes to listing credits. Just keep practicing and you will get the hang of it. I think the best advice for learning how to post credits is to browse through a gallery, or a blog like this one and see how others do it. You can read more about online galleries here.
  • It helps to know a little of the digi “lingo” when you are posting credits. You can read about digital scrapbooking acronyms & terminology here.

 

Posting credits is a great way to keep your own records, and share in the fun  of the digital scrapbooking community. Take an extra minute or two next time you create a page to jot down the credits,. You’ll be glad you did!

 

katie big

 

P.S.  Jacinda was the random winner selected from the comments on the Micheline Martin feature. Congrats! Smile

All about collabs

screen

One of the things we really love in the digital scrapbooking community is collaborative kits! These are referred to as “collabs” in digi language and there are a lot of different types of collaborative projects. Basically, the definition of a collab means that more than one designer contributed designs to the kit. Generally speaking, collabs are a great opportunity for designers and customers alike. Lauren Reid, a designer and a team member here at The Daily Digi had this to say: “Collabs are SO MUCH FUN! I could go on for ages on it, but I’ll be short and sweet. Depending on who you work with… they can be really inspiring… some collabs are more “collaborative” than others… sometimes it ends up that you initially decide on a kit idea and color scheme then you make your pieces separately then it all comes together at the end. Other times it’s a back and forth project, which to me is the best! That’s how Val and I were on the very first collab we did together… which ended up leading us to form The Tattered Pear together.”

Collab kits take a lot of coordination and hard work to put together because everyone needs to keep a common cause/theme/idea in mind to make sure the finished project comes together. There are several ways this can happen, and these types of projects have many benefits to the contributors and the customers.

TYPES OF COLLABS

Two (or more) designers from the same store.

This is a very common type of collaboration since it is easy for the designers to coordinate the release details with only one store. Often times, the store owner will take care of dividing up the sale proceeds between the two designers when they make their regular payments. This is a good opportunity for the designers to get new exposure to someone else’s fan base. The customer gets to try two different designers at the same time.

21967ae7ff9a675ea03590a84e9cad7e

Two (or more) designers from different stores.

This type of collab can take a bit more coordination since it will be sold in two different stores. The advantage for the designers is the cross-traffic that will be created by bringing customers over from another site. It is typical in this case for each contributing designer to send the other one half of the proceeds they earn from their store sales on the kit.

lmurphy-smj-shabbyshanty-1

Store collabs

happen when all (or most) of the designers from a single digi shop put together a kit. There are several reasons for these types of collaborations and these kits are often given away as a customer bonus with a minimum purchase (usually $10 or $20 required from the customer). This approach works really well on me since I often will bump up my cart total just to get the big collab kit.  It is typical that the designers don’t make any money from their contribution to a store collab kit. It is simply an opportunity to promote themselves and the site that they are a part of.  When these types of kits are later sold on the site, the proceeds usually go to keeping the site running and helping with hosting fees. Many stores have requirements for the designers to participate in a minimum amount of store collabs so everyone is sharing the duty of helping out. The benefit to the consumer is that they get to download really big kits as a reward for their purchases, or for a much lower price than if they were to purchase the items packaged individually by the designers.

An interesting sidenote – As I help Steph search for high quality designers to contribute to The Digi Files, I often start with these big collabs because I can check out A LOT of designers for a low price. It gets expensive to purchase kits from every designer we consider, but we feel it is important to do that so we know they provide high quality designs.

Another reason for a store collaborative kit is when a store is featured here at The Daily Digi as a contributor for The Digi Files. This has been a great way to introduce our members to a lot of new-to-them designers and share great digi shopping sites with them. Those kits are sold later on in the individual site stores so the best way to get them is by being a member here! This Around the World collab by The Digi Chick designers was included in The Digi Files last month (July 2011). This month we have a collab from the After 5 designers in the files which will be revealed later on this month.

tdc-aroundtheworld_LRG

Multi-store collabs

when two different digital shops collaborate to make one giant kit. The reasons for this type of collaboration are usually similar as those for a single store collab. The extra benefit to more than one store working together is that there is a much bigger opportunity for cross-promotion between the two sites. Some stores have entirely different customer bases so this is a good way for the designers to get their work out in front of a much wider audience. Again, the designers usually don’t make any money on their contributions to these kits, unless they can later repackage their pieces for sale once the collab is pulled from the shop.

folder-499_t_600

Charity collabs

These are kits that are put together to raise funds for a charitable cause. Often, the digital community wants to reach out and help when something  devastating like an earthquake happens. There have been times where an individual scrapper or designer has struggled with the loss of a loved one or a long and expensive illness and the digi community shows their support by putting together a kit to help them out. I love to buy these types of kits because I feel good about contributing a small amount to help someone in need. Another way to do this is by simply purchasing more from the designer’s regular store to boost their sales. When designers contribute to a charity kit, they don’t make any money for their work – it’s a labor of love. The site that hosts the kit usually doesn’t make any money either, or they might simply cover the hosting costs of selling a kit that requires a lot of bandwidth. If you purchase a charity kit, be sure you understand who the money will be distributed to. If the kit benefits someone like earthquake victims, the description should explain where your money will go to help such as a specific agency like the American Red Cross.

5570287531_7494417799_z

Bonus gift collabs

are a fun way to try designers from all over digi land.  We reward our members here at The Daily Digi every 4 months with an exclusive kit that they will never be able to purchase anywhere else. We invite any of our past contributors to participate in these huge collabs. The designers don’t get paid for their contributions and The Daily Digi doesn’t make any money from these kits, even though there are huge bandwidth and hosting costs associated with them. These are a labor of love from everyone involved to thank our members! Here’s a preview of the 3rd kit a member would receive after their membership has been active for enough consecutive months.

preview_4d4a4d86_eacc_402d_8f6d_d37d23c00f26

Why do some collabs end?

Many charity collabs only run for a limited time because they are raising funds for a specific cause. There is a lot of time and money involved for the site that is hosting the charity kit so these usually have a limited run time. Sometimes the designers will package up their contributions for sale later on, but most of the time they are gone when the kit is. Many store and multi-store collabs eventually end as well once they’ve quit selling as much. Some stores do keep their collabs up indefinitely though which is nice for customers who find digi later on and want to try a sampling of designers. When a collab is put together by a group of designers, they are usually the ones who decide how long it will stay in their stores. It takes a little extra time and effort for them to divide the profits each month and if they decide down the road that it isn’t worth the effort anymore, they will probably retire the collab. Now it is often the case that they will package up their own contributions to the collab and simply sell them in their individual stores.

Some of our favorite collaborative kits:

We thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite collaborative kits with you. Each image is linked.

tdc-shutterbug_LRG

xctmpMyKGFS_t_600

sbg-goodtimes-pr-03-01-1

Oscraps-Delight-PREVIEW-elements

folder-343_t_600

2011_Aug_all-600

foxlyle-birthdaybashgirl-preview

SrslyStoked_preview-full

TLP_youmakemesmile_collab_preview

artandsoul-600

531253839746e3c068ce915491e91962

91eaafc0fd5555ecaf418e3194af5898

Mscraps_ourjourney_preview

14b1c1e5c6105b057fcd0746cfd46c1c

How do you feel about collab kits? Who would be in your DREAM COLLAB TEAM? We’d love to know!

 

katie big

Keeping Elements on a Digital Scrapbook Layout in Perspective

image

Layout by Steph, supplies: template and technique included in the Playbook, July, 2011; papers and elements by Studio Rosey Posey and included in The Digi Files during July, 2011.

 

I remember the first time I had some of my layouts printed.  I was shocked that I had a HUGE (much-larger-than-real-life) staple on my layout.  There were several other elements on my layout that were skewed out of perspective.  I decided to come up with a way to know, as I was working on a layout, what size things should be, so I wouldn’t have regrets after printing.

The monitor size and the display customizations you have set will determine what percentage you need to view your layouts at to judge scale correctly.  An easy way to figure this out is to:

1) Print a layout.
2) Open the same layout in your photo editing program that you use for digital scrapbooking.
3) Hold the printed layout up to your monitor.
4) Use the Zoom Tool to zoom in and out until the elements in the layout are the same size as they are in the printed layout.

In most photo editing programs, you can fine toon the percentage by clicking on the percentage (in PSE and PSE it’s in the lower left corner) and entering in a number.  On my monitor, I know that real print size is 33.7%

ScreenClip(35)

Make sure your rulers are turned on (in Photoshop go to View> Rulers) and now you can drag items up to the ruler to see how big they are.  I know that a staple looks good at right around a 1/2 inch.  Once I am zoomed out to 33.7% I can scale the staple accordingly using the rulers:

ScreenClip(37)

The same technique can be applied to any elements to help you keep everything on your layout in perspective, so your printed layouts are regret free.

Are you an advanced digi scrapper and have other methods you use to keep things in perspective?  Please share, we would love to hear!

P.S. I totally dropped the ball and forgot to post Laurie Ann’s free gift for our readers with her feature. Sad smile It’s an adorable word art pack for you to download.  Be sure to check out the exclusive coupon to her store in her feature:

Folder

Tiny details make a big difference in digi scrapping!

wheretostart3

It’s really pretty easy to make a digital scrapbook layout, especially if you keep it simple. All you have to do is drag some digital paper and photos onto a blank canvas in a photo editing program such as Photoshop Elements. So what’s all the fuss about? Why do we need all these tutorials, tips, and tricks, to create digital scrapbook pages? Well, it’s because it really is the tiny details that make the BIG difference in making digital scrapbook layouts look great.

Let me (Katie) show you what I mean. Here’s a layout that only uses the most basic of digi skills. I simply opened a digital paper in Photoshop Elements and then opened a photo and place it on top of the paper.  You can find a lot of great information right here in our tutorials section. I’m using supplies from The Digi Chick Shutterbug collaborative kit for these examples.

1

This is a digital layout. I included a piece of plain digital paper, 2 embellishments, and a photo. While we love to emphasize that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to digiscrap, we do know that our readers want to know how to make their memories shine by using digital techniques to make them more visually pleasing. It’s a lot more fun (and actually easier) when you know how to use your editing program to achieve the look you want to create on your layouts. That’s what it’s all about here at the Daily Digi, we want to provide you with options and knowledge that you can use if you want to. We love to share our favorite tips and tricks!

TINY DETAIL THAT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE – DESIGN PRINCIPLES

When you pay attention to layout design principles, you will find that there are many small ways to make a page look it’s best. By grouping the embellishments together and deciding that the focus of the page should be the photograph, this page has a better flow and presentation already. I also cropped the photo to get rid of some of the unnecessary background.

2

By adding some contrast through papers and layering, this layout has more visual impact.

3

TINY DETAIL THAT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE – SHADOWING

It’s up to you how you choose to use shadows on your digital layouts. Some scrappers prefer them, others don’t like to use them. Understanding where and how to use shadows will give you the option to add small details to your page that can give you big results. If you want to take your shadows to the next level, Peppermints self-paced class at Big Picture Classes is an amazing resource! I used fairly subtle shadowing techniques on this page, but everything looks a little more “real” and not so flat.

4

TINY DETAIL THAT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE – IMPERECTION

Not everything on a paper layout is always placed with exact precision and if you want to add some reality to your page try placing a few embellishments a little off kilter (like the tilted camera on this layout). It’s also great to vary the direction of items such as buttons and staples for visual interest. Brush work and some “messier” type elements can soften a page up. While I’m a big fan of perfect alignment, I also love to group small pieces together so they overlap each other just a bit. It’s a nice way to keep the design cohesive looking.

5

TINY DETAIL THAT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE – MEANINGFUL JOURNALING

Taking the time to add well thought out journaling can take your page from ho-hum to memorable. We believe in telling the story and we share many journaling techniques here to help you express the words that go with your memories.

shutterbug

font is The Typewriter by Heather Hess. You can read the journaling by clicking on the image to see it on flickr.

Wouldn’t you agree that these tiny details add up to a BIG difference?

1 vs. shutterbug

Pay attention to the little things when you create your next page. I know you will see a BIG result!

katie big

P.S. Tammy was our random winner chosen from the comments in yesterday’s feature of Yari from Jady Day Studio. She won $10 in product from Jady Day Studio!

How-To Crop Photos on a Layout (and not get funhouse mirror family members in the process)

One of the things that stumped me when I first started digital scrapbooking was how I should crop photos once they were on my canvas. I’m sure most of you are giggling and saying, “Really?” Yes, it is sad, and so very true!

I thought it would be great to show a couple of different options for cropping photos once they are on a layout.  All joking aside, this is one question I get a lot.  Another request I get from seasoned digital scrapbookers is to, “Please, please, please show new scrappers how to change a photo without distorting it.”  Resizing or changing the shape of a photo the wrong way, can end up with some pretty crazy looking family members (you know, like they should be looking into a fun house mirror).  So, I also cover that in this video.  Enjoy!

We have a newsletter going out today with a free goodie in it, so if you aren’t signed up, click on the FREE button in the top menu (right side) 😉

Line it Up!

image

Layout with grid and guide turned on

 

Do you know how to use grids, guides, rulers, and alignment tools in your program? These simple tools are very important to make everything look great on your layout. Some elements don’t need to be used in a linear fashion, but most of the time it makes better design sense to have your photos or embellishments lined up evenly. These tools are especially useful if you are making your own template, or using a line of items as a focal point on the page.

Here are a few posts that discuss using the built in tools that come with most programs.

Here’s a step-by-step screenshot recap of my own process. I’m using Photoshop Elements 8 for this demonstration. In the top toolbar, I selected “View” and accessed the drop down menu. I then selected “Grid” so that it would show on top of the black paper I used for this layout.

image

 

I decided to also use a “Guide” for this project, which means I can turn on a line guide on a certain area of the canvas. In the same drop down menu, I selected “New Guide”

image

 

I then entered the position I wanted the guide line to be in the canvas space. I chose a vertical line at the position of 3 inches (my project is 12 x 12). This can be repeated as many times as you want.

image

 

The result is that I get a bright line to guide me in placement of items on the canvas. You can use this tool alone, or with the grid option also selected as I am doing here.

image

 

As I add the numbers on this layout, the grid helps me keep track of the spacing between them and where they are placed on the page. Note that they are not all evenly spaced because my journaling is bigger in some areas, but the grid did help me visually even things out.

image

 

Another way to check the placement of a line of items is to use the “Align” tool.

image

 

Click on the Align drop down menu from the lower tool bar and while the desired items are all selected in the layers area, choose how you want to align them. I could choose to align them all by either the left edges or the right edges since they are equal in dimensions. In this case I chose to align the horizontal centers, which also gave me the same result.

image

 

When you no longer want to see the grid or guide, simply uncheck them in the view menu. You can also “Clear Guides” when you are ready to use new ones.

image

 

Here’s my finished layout! I love how all the numbers all line up! It would be distracting to have them any other way.

favorite flowers

Layout by Katie. Credits: Mari Koegelenberg Thrifty Finds. Traveling Typewriter font.

 

Familiarize yourself with the simple built-in tools that your program offers to help you make your layouts look their very best!

katie big

P.S. I (Steph) was out of town for a few days and came home to pretty sick kids, so I am running a bit behind with the winner from the Pixel Gypsy post on Monday.  I’m so sorry!  The winner is Diane and she won $10 in product from Pixel Gypsy!  THANKS to everyone who played!

My favorite template trick

image

If you look over my layouts from the past year, you will notice a trend – the photo spaces have gotten bigger. I have a lot of completed digital scrapbook layouts, so I decided to look through them all in one sitting to evaluate my style. I decided that I’m ok with a lot of different styles, but the one thing that was constant for me is that I like larger photos on my pages. Another constant for me is that I almost always use templates because they are such time savers. I’ve found that many templates are designed with smaller spaces for photos. I have no problem with that though because I know how to stretch a template to fit my needs. It’s so easy!

I’ve done this twice with a template from this month’s Digi Files. I absolutely love Sarah’s templates (Zinnias and Swallowtails) and I’ve already used this one two times.

sgleason_dandelion_five

It’s a great template and like her other ones, I know I will use it multiple times!  Here are the layouts I’ve already made with this template:

image

Layout by Katie, additional supplies:  Weeds and Wildflowers Sweet and Simple Kit #6, Font is Century Gothic

sgleason_dandelion_five copy

Layout by Katie. All supplies from The Digi Files #28 (April 2011)

Notice how much bigger my photos are on my layouts? I stretched the template to fill up more of the canvas. You can stretch (or shrink) anything on a template with just a few simple steps. I’m going to use this template one more time so I can show you exactly how to use this trick.

Open the template in your photo editing program. I’m using Photoshop Elements 8 for this demonstration. (click image to enlarge)

image

Make sure you can see the stack of layers and decide which ones you want to enlarge. I want to enlarge everything except for the background paper so I’m going to select all of the layers but that one. I can do this by hitting the ctrl button on my keyboard as I select the desired layers by clicking on each one with my mouse. This lets me make more than one selection at a time. You can see that the layers I have selected are a darker color (to the right) and that the background paper is not selected.

image

You can also tell that layers are selected by looking at the actual template because of the black dotted line around the chosen areas.

image

Put your mouse on the corner of the dotted line until you see an arrow. Then grab that arrow and move your mouse to stretch it.

image

It will ask you to confirm this action by clicking on the green arrow when you are done. Or you can choose the red circle to reject the change. By moving all of the pieces together at one time, you keep the original proportions that the template designer intended to use, so you will end up with a nice looking finished layout.

You can stretch the template in one direction, instead of using the corner to stretch everything in proportion. Be aware that this will distort many shapes on the template and also will make it difficult to use pre-designed text paths.

image

This could still be used as a template if I deleted the text box and added my own. I would also want to adjust how I used the embellishment guides – this would become more like a sketch that I worked from instead of being able to clip papers to the actual embellishment shapes.

Keeping the template design in proportion is why I love to stretch everything at once using the mouse in the corner trick.  For this layout, I decided to stretch everything to fill up the canvas a little more. I also moved the whole block down further on the page to leave room for a big title on top.

image

After altering the template, it’s ready to be filled with photos and digi supplies.

sgleason_dandelion_five_stretched copy

Layout by Katie. Papers by Amy Wolff (barely there) and Misty Mareda (chatterbox). Word art by Kitty Designs. Font is Century Gothic.

 

When you change the look of a template, you can get even more use of it. Have fun stretching your templates!

Using and Organizing the Digi Files

image

Digi Files #27 (March 2011)

The Digi Files are a collection of kits and templates that are put together each month to keep The Daily Digi running (we have no advertising revenue, the files are the only thing that keeps The Daily Digi going). The purpose of the Digi Files is to provide a way for digital scrapbookers of any level to try 7 different designers each month with 7 full size kits/collections for about the price of only 1 digi kit. Such a great deal for everyone! I (Katie) have been digital scrapbooking for 6 years now and I’m still amazed when I open a new set of files each month! I’ve discovered many favorite designers because of the Digi Files.

This month we just finished revealing all the contents of the Digi Files #27. That means that there have been 27 sets of files! Looking over the list of past contributors, I realized that because I have every one of the files, I now have 174 different kits (or template collections) from more than 150 different designers and stores. That’s a whole lot of digi goodness! So how do I organize all of those supplies?

I know when I was just a reader, I wasn’t really sure how to organize the Digi Files each month. Should I split them up and file them with my regular folder system? Or should I leave them organized by monthly digi files? If so, how would I remember to go back and use them? As a team member, I still struggle with this because currently all I do just keep them all in a digi files folder, but I rarely remember to go back and use past ones. I decided that I needed a solution for organizing these collections so that I could still keep track of which supplies came from which set of Digi Files, while also integrating them with my regular organizational system. Who better to ask than some of the other digi team members?

Tips from the team:

Heddy: I use ACDSee. After downloading and unzipping The Digi Files (and deleting the zip file) into my Scrap Supplies folder, I tag the preview for each item according to type (element pack, kit, templates, etc.), by store name, by designer name, and with the tag “The Daily Digi”.

Jacki: After I’ve unzipped them, I leave them in my Downloads folder and label them TDD and by number with the designer’s name and kit name (e.g. TDD28_JLarsen_Lonestar). Once I’ve used it, I remove the TDD and number and cut and paste the designer’s folder into my Digital Kits folder. In there I have them organized by designer name so it’s easy to find again. If the kit is more of a topical/themed kit, I place it in a different folder (e.g. Western). That way if I’m scrapping something by theme, I can easily find it.

Jenn: I do basically the same thing, where I download and unzip to a file labeled with the given month and “TDF” which I keep on my desktop until each designer’s kit has been revealed. Once the month is over, I move each of the individual kit folders to my PU Digi Kits folder, which has each of the kits labeled by DesignerName_KitName. The templates go into a subfolder in my PU folder. I tend to remember specific items that I may like to reuse, so this system by designer works well for me.

Melissa S.:  This is my process –

  • Download into a TDF## folder in my Digi folder on my PC
  • Unzip with Unzipthemall
  • Import into PSE Organizer
  • Add them to TDF## album
  • Tag all the previews as previews
  • Use them to create!
  • If I decide I want to move some contributions around I use the Organizer to do it, this keeps them all linked up
  • I have smart-albums set up for my favourite designers so I just click on Flergs (for eg) and all her deigns come up or I use the Ctrl-Shift-K for find by filename

Trina: I unzip them and keep them all in one folder for TDF and I label them with ‘TDF #’ so I know I got them from TDF.  Once I’ve used them I put them in my general kits (or templates) folder or in the designer folder if it’s one I already know and love.  I keep TDF in the name of the kit because it reminds me that I got a great deal on it and I like to be reminded of that lol!

Amelia: I’m certainly a newbie here, but thought I would throw in my input too since I have bought quite a few of the files in the past:
– I separate them by designer and then kit name.  However, I highlight the kit name (I am on a Mac) and put – “from the daily digi” (though I really should abbreviate that! Smiley by it so I know where I got it!
– I also use picasa and tag them according to what they are + Daily Digi (again so I know where I got them)

Tips from our readers:

We also asked some of our readers how they organize their Digi Files supplies. Here are some of the responses:

  • I put them in folders by designer and tag them with TDD so I know where I got them
  • I have a TDD folder and the every kit is in it’s own folder
  • I unzip and put them by month and by items as ribbns, frames, etc
  • I organize in folders by designer/kit name and also tag in Picasa with “Digi Files”
  • I have a Digi Files folder that my downloads go in to and then they’re sorted by month after that.
  • If its a designer I’ve purchased from already, I put the file in theirs…If not I leave them in the monthly folder.
  • I pull the kits apart and put them in folders like: paper, ribbon, flowers, animals, alphas…etc.
  • I keep them in the folder by The Digi Files, then I tag them.
  • Keep them together as the Digi files and now have them keyword also by designer in Lightroom
  • By name of kit with a folder of kit previews
  • Each file in an individual folder labeled with designer and the Digi Files #

As you can see, there are many ways to organize the Digi Files (and digital scrapbooking supplies in general). There really is no wrong or right way, just find what works for you. I’ve loved having all of my supplies in folders labeled by the Digi Files number. I love to look through the past collections to see what has been included each month. It’s sort of like taking a trip down my digi scrap memory lane because I’ve found so many new-to-me designers through the files. But I do think it will help me to either tag the previews according to theme, or include preview images in my regular folder system so I remember to use the great kits that have joined my collection because of The Daily Digi.

image

 

Do you have any other methods for organizing and using the digi goodies from the Digi Files? We’d love to know!

Backing Up Is Boring


If you have been digi scrapbooking for very long, you have heard about backing up.  You know it’s important and you might even have a routine and be backing up your files on a regular basis (or having it automatically done for you).  If you have been digi scrapping long enough, you have most likely had a harddrive failure and possibly lost data.  But talking about backing up is boring (so I hear, I love it 😉 ) and most of us think that losing data won’t happen to them.

When I talk to new digital scrapbookers and try to explain backing up, it makes them nervous and it makes me nervous too.  I can tell a lot of times it’s all overwhelming to them and I fear they won’t do anything and will end up losing years of photos.  Backing up is a necessary part of having digital data…as boring as it is!

A good rule of thumb for backing up is that you need to have your saved in three different ways in at least two different locations (one location being on onsite and one location being an offsite).  I think most digi scrapbookers that are following this rule have their data on their main harddrive (place one), and external hardrive (place two), and online backup (place three).

I posted a long time ago how happy I was with Mozy as my online backup solution and I was.  At the time that I was looking for online back up, Mozy was the only solution that recognized EHD’s (which is where I save all of my data). I had drives fail and I was able to get my data back from Mozy.  I had to pay an additional fee to get my data back, which bugged me that I wasn’t aware of that up front, but I was so happy to have my 6+ years of digital photos back, it seemed like a small price to pay.

I recently shared on a couple episodes of The Digi Show and on Twitter that I would be moving from Mozy and have since had lots of questions about it.  Mozy increased their rates and I was going to be paying what equaled $1 per gig, per year. That AND the cost of having to pay to have my data sent to me made me decide I needed to look for alternatives.  When I tweeted, I got an instant reply from CrashPlan to “Mozy on over” to them (that made me laugh, so I had to check them out, brilliant marketing).  I did some research and really liked what I saw.  I know lots of digital scrapbookers use Carbonite, but they don’t recognize external hardrives still.  Lots of digi scrappers like Backblaze too, but I have almsot 1TB of data to back up and that would take FOREVER (I think it told me 6 months).

With CrashPlan I have a gazillion options that I haven’t seen anywhere else (see the differences between them and Mozy).  They recognize EHD’s AND they won’t delete that data if my drive isn’t attached during a backup.  I can back up to another drive onsite and their online backup at the same time (using their interface). The biggest thing for me though, was the Seeded Backup.  It cost me just over $100 to have them send me a 1TB drive to back everything up to (shipping is included both directions).

I will say that when I first got my Seed Drive, I had a hardtime logging into my account using their interface.  I tried to reset my password and got an error.  I emailed their support and received a confirmation that they had received it.  After 3 business days and no response, I finally found a phone number, got through immediately, and it was instantly fixed.  Learn from my lesson, just call if you have a problem.

It only took 24 hours to back up just short of 1TB of data.  I backed up two laptops and two external drives. I just shipped the seed drive back to them yesterday (as you are reading this, today as I am writing it).  When they get the drive and upload it to their system, I will get an email, then I will change the back up destination and my back up will start where it left off.  It will take me a lot less time and I won’t be spending weeks or month panicking that I have a failure before everything is backed up.

Overall, I think I am happy so far.  I do intend to order my data once a bit of time has passed so I can see how smoothly that goes and I will keep you posted.  My fingers are crossed that things go well!

I have mixed emotions about Mozy.  On the one hand, I’m glad they became too expensive for me.  I will be paying significantly less with CrashPlan and I don’t have to worry about my data being deleted ever (I always worried with Mozy that a backup would run when my external drive wasn’t attached and everything would be deleted). On the other hand, it was a company that I loved and believed in and I’m sad to see that end.

I’m curious to know what you do for back up and if you would be interested in learning more?  I know some people that know a lot about these kinds of things and we have talked about having them on the Digi Show, would you be interested?

I also wanted to mention that NO affiliate links were used in this post 🙂

Posting layouts to online galleries

wheretostart3

When I (Katie) first started digi scrapping back in 2005, I hung out every day in the Two Peas online gallery. I posted my very first digital layout there on April 13, 2005 and I was thrilled when I received praise from other digital scrapbookers. I was hooked! Over the next few years, I posted 387 digital scrapbook layouts to my 2Peas gallery before I moved to a few other sites such as Digi Shop Talk, A Cherry on Top, Natural Designs in Scrapbooking, The Shabby Shoppe, Designer Digitals, and My Scrapbook Art. If a new gallery popped up, I usually gave it a try, but I always seemed to land back at that handful of original galleries. I have shared hundreds of layouts on those sites, and made lasting friendships in the digi community because of my involvement in galleries.

Over the past year or so, I’ve lost touch with online galleries. I’ve only posted sporadically and have chosen to just upload all of my layouts to my Flickr photostream and share them with a few groups there. While I love Flickr and the groups I’m involved with there, I’ve recently found myself longing for a bit of the “good old days” of hanging out in the galleries. There are so many now though, that I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed. I can only imagine how a beginner must feel! Gallery posting can be a bit intimidating at first, but it can also be very rewarding. Before you get started, there are a few basics you need to know if you want to share your layouts online:

.

Save your layout in a web size that is appropriate for a gallery.

If you have any questions about what the size requirements are, there are usually specifications posted in a forum thread or a FAQ area. The standard size that will work for most galleries is 600×600 pixels in 72 pixels per inch. There are a few different ways to change your layout size (also called resampling). Here’s the method I use:

  • Open full size flattened jpeg layout in PSE (or similar program).
  • Immediately resave layout with a NEW name so you don’t overwrite the original layout. I always name my web layouts starting with web_ and then add whatever I want to name it such as web_home This keeps all my web layouts together in my files if I want to delete them later on.
  • Go to Image –Resize – Image Size

image

  • Change the resolution to 72 pixels/inch and the pixel dimension to 600 x 600 and click “OK”

image

image

and use these settings

image

Again, the unsharp mask is purely optional, but it really makes web images look great!

  • Click “OK” and then save your image and close. Now your web file is ready to post.
  • You can also check out Steph’s post on optimizing for the web

.

Post to Gallery

Gallery websites will require you to create an account with a user name and password. You will also need to accept their terms of use, which usually include guidelines for keeping the community free of harmful content. Be sure to review the terms and make sure you comply with them. Some galleries have posting limits so everyone gets a fair chance at having their layout seen. Usually, the limit is 5 layouts per day, but that does vary from site to site. Take a few minutes to become familiar with what the site expectations are.

  • When you are ready to share a layout, look for the upload button or tool. I’m using the Me So Scrappy gallery to illustrate the uploading process.

image

image

Select the web file from the folder you saved it to on your computer. Add the title, description, and credits to the layout. I like to check the box to be notified when someone comments. You will also want to enable comments on your layout.  Then hit “Submit”

image

Some galleries will give you a second page option like the image above where you can still edit your submission. If you are posting to a specific designer’s gallery, this is usually where you can make that selection. Click on “Process” or “Submit” as needed.

  • Check to be sure your layout posted properly. Here’s mine if you want to see it up close.

image

.

The Next Step

If you simply post your layout and then leave the gallery, you won’t get much out of the whole experience. It’s also considered good online etiquette, to do a little more than just post and run.  While there are no official rules for most sites, it’s generally considered polite to look at a few other layouts and leave some nice comments (aka “praise”) for them. I highly recommend taking a few minutes to do this because you will get to know other digi scrappers, and learn to find good things about other people’s creations.

In this case, I left comments for the 3 layouts that had been posted right before mine. I commented on a beautiful blue & green color scheme, great title work + clustering of elements, and well-written journaling about an emotional topic. I learned a lot by looking closely at these 3 layouts.

image

Some scrappers try to return praise to anyone who leaves them a comment. Others will leave comments for every layout on the same page as theirs. It’s a matter of personal preference, but I do suggest you give back a little if you want others to look at your own creation.

.

Why Post in Galleries?

This is a good question because it does take extra time and effort to post a layout online. There are also some layouts that shouldn’t be shared online if they have very personal information or could be harmful to someone’s privacy or safety. (Don’t post anything with your address, or information that could compromise your or someone else’s safety). There are many good reasons to participate in online gallery sites though.

  • Get feedback on your scrapbook layouts. This is a fabulous way to grow your skills as a digital scrapbooker. If you notice that you get a lot of nice comments on a page where you tried a new design technique, you will realize that it was a successful experiment. When someone notices that you took the time to add several different groupings of buttons and flowers, you will think about how you arranged them on the page and why you chose to do that.
  • Learn from other digi scrappers. By looking at other layouts and reading the comments (or leaving your own), you can get a good idea of what works well on a page. I learned about the difference a few small details can make on a layout, by paying attention to the gallery posts that got a lot of praise.
  • Share what you are creating. It’s reinforcing to share what you make with others and helps you want to keep going.
  • Promote designers and products you like. Creative team members are encouraged to share their layouts in online galleries to help showcase the designer’s products. I often find digi designs that I want to buy after seeing layouts using those items in the galleries. I like to see how the products can be used on real layouts.
  • Be a part of a community. This is why I love galleries – you will get to know other people and feel like you are a part of the digital community.

.

Which Galleries?

There are SO many great galleries these days, it would be impossible to list them all! I have a few favorites that I will share:

Open galleries (means there are no rules on which products you can use)

And don’t forget our Flickr Group! There are no product restrictions, it is considered an “open” gallery. It’s even easier to post to than most galleries and you don’t have to resize anything! Smile

Closed galleries (means that they would like you to use a majority of their products – many stores have “closed” galleries because they are promoting their own designers). These are a great resource to find layout examples using a specific designer’s designs.

.

Here are a few great tips from some of our team members:

Heddy says:

I post my scrapbook pages to DigiScrapTalk, MyScrapbookArt and Log Your Memory, as well as to the stores where I purchased the products used in the scrapbook layout. DST, MSA and LYM are “open” galleries which means they allow posting of layouts containing any products. I find the widest variety of inspiration at these galleries. I particularly like LYM’s focus on storytelling though, as I am a journaling-heavy scrapper.
I post to galleries for a few reasons. First, some of my creative teams require posting to a certain number of galleries are part of my commitment to the designer/store. Secondly, I get a lot of inspiration from galleries and I think it’s only fair to share some of the pages I create to contribute to the community.

My gallery tips:

  • I use the Windows 7 “snipping” tool to snip (make a screenshot capture of a specific part of the screen) an inspiring layout, the users name and layout credits. I save these in an inspiration folder on my computer. It makes it really easy to find an cool product or credit a scraplift. You can always use the favourites button in the gallery itself, of course, but I’ve had bad luck with some favourited layouts disappearing or replaced with an “Out for Publication” notice.
  • Not every layout needs to be posted to galleries! I wouldn’t post ones featuring my child’s school name, for example. I also don’t post really personal journaling — although I will post mushy journaling about how much I love my kids because I figure everybody knows that! For layouts with journaling that I want to keep private, I create a special web version with the journaling text replaced with a filler like “The journaling goes here. The journaling goes here. Etc.”
  • When posting in a store gallery, I like to post my layout in the main gallery and the kit designer’s gallery. I like it when other people do that so that I can go to the Designer X gallery and see many layouts created by many people using her designs.
  • If there’s a store or a designer that you really love, post your layouts in their gallery. I really, really like The Daily Digi. I’ve used almost every kit from The Digi Files over the past two years. As each designer spotlight would come out, I’d post my layout in the TDD Flickr group and leave a comment in the designer spotlight post. Eventually, persistence paid off and Steph asked me to be on the TDD team!

Melissa S. says:

Although I use a variety of galleries to post creative team work, I really enjoy the community at Scrapbookgraphics. I’ve chosen to keep that gallery as my home base and I’ve been on the team of a couple of designers over the 4 years I’ve been active there. I find that sticking to one main gallery helps me thin-slice my forum browsing time! I also spend some time commenting and find that participating in challenges and in the forum means that others see my pages and comment too!

I have been loving finding designer pools on Flickr lately – a great way to see work with a designer you love!

.

We’d love to know if you post in online galleries and which ones do you post in? Do you have any great tips for other digi scrappers who might want to join in?

See you around in digi land!

katie big