Okay - if you are not the least bit interested in digital scrapbooking - you will want to skip this post. A friend asked me to give her the dish on digi, so I'm doing just that right here. I thought it might be helpful to some others who are wondering the same things.
You seem to have several options in digital scrapbooking that I didn't even know about when I started in July. I'll try to give you a brief run down of each and the pros and cons, too.
Option 1 - Photo editing software and downloaded graphics
I think this is the best option. Not because I started out this way, but I think it is the ultimate in a digital scrapbooking experience. For someone who is a "jump in with both feet" kind this is the way to go. For some, this may not be an option ($ - although it really isn't terrible; no access to DSL - downloading graphics on dial-up might send some into a severe state of mania!).
The breakdown of costs for Option 1:
Adobe Photoshop Elements – $50 right now at Costco!! Originally $80, but if you are a homeschooler, you could possibly get it cheaper using the educational discount. You would obviously have to teach some graphics editing to your children for this to be a viable option. I’m a Christian woman, so I'm not into cheating the system!
Digital elements and papers (kits) – First, you can get TONS of freebies online. Several designers I know always have an “add-on” to their purchase kit that is free on their website. You don’t have to purchase the kit to get the add-on, but it is in the same color scheme and style as the one that you can purchase. When you do purchase the kits, they will run $3-6 depending on how large they are and frankly how proud the designer is of their work. Sometimes they are more than this and collabs (which is a collaboration from 2 or more designers) are often free w/ a purchase, but then are sold in the stores later with a large pricetag ($10 and up usually).
Freebies that are always free and always rock:
http://summertimedesigns.blogspot.com/ - be sure to check out her gratitude kit several posts down.
Printing: This is applicable for all options. I use www.sbtoshare.com. Lise is really incredible to work with. She has been so helpful. Prices are the lowest that I’ve seen and the quality is bar none! She has a flat rate shipping charge of $6 no matter how large your order is. This really can make your pages cheap. I will only be printing pages 20 at a time.
Adobe Photoshop Elements is photo editing software. You create your pages from the ground up. You are creating in layers with editing software, just like traditional scrapbooking. Start with your paper, add your photos, frames (or you put mats on your photos which would be under them obviously), stickers, text, etc. You also have the option of using templates. I've offered a couple of these free on my blog. There are so many tutorials on how to build a page, but I really love Taylor Made’s tuts.
Quick pages - pages that have already been created and you just put your photos in. These still need photo editing software to work, though.
Creating a New Layout
Using a Quick Page
Here’s a LO (layout) that I created with a quick page! Some of these ladies are really incredible and their Los are amazing – so why not grab ‘em!
I used a QP from tortuemaori - who I'm going to guess is a french designer. The cool thing about digi is it spans the world over!
First I had this which is the actual quick page:
Then I added the photos under this layer and got this:
Then I added text on top (for a total of three layers - photos, then qp, then text) and got this:
Option 2: Photo editing software and purchased CDs with graphics
This is the option that would be best for someone with dial-up.
Adobe Photoshop Elements: still would use this – learning curve is slight and there are tutorials everywhere for it.
Digital Elements and papers: Hobby Lobby sells some CDs from a company called Digital Scrapbook Memories. Their products are really high quality and beautiful. The CDs range from $15 - $25, but are jam packed with papers and elements, and even quick pages.
Printing: The same as Option 1
Option 3: Scrapbook Flair, Scrapbook Max, etc.
These are programs which are sometimes free and you purchase additional supplies from them or sometimes have a slight cost.
There is no learning curve, they are definitely easy to use. They really limit you though. I played with one of them for a bit earlier and it is something that my 9 yo daughter could use, but not something I would mess with. I’m a jump in with both feet type of person, though. Scrapbook flair will allow you to use your own graphics, but you can’t rotate anything it seems. Also when I pulled in my graphics – which were created at 300 dpi, they were huge in the program and had to be seriously resized. This sent up a red flag for me, that when I printed a completed page, the quality might be poor. You can save them as jpg, which means you can get them printed wherever you want.
Here is a LO that I made using Britt-ish Designs papers and elements from Dreams Do Come True. I really didn’t care for anything they had to use on the program. You'll notice how flat the page looks. I wasn't able to add any drop shadows to the elements or pictures.
Traditional page - $4.00-$5.00 and up A good friend of mine told me that it costs an average of $5 per page to create a traditional layout.
Digital page – I would say that I spend about $2.50 - $3.00 per page – including printing, and depending on what I use. The coolest thing about digital is that you can use things over and over and over. So, if I use a kit over and over, eventually it is free for me to use that kit. Make sense? Digital is not consumable!
The absolute coolest thing about digital for me is that I can close my laptop and that is the extent of cleaning up!
What else would you like to know? Leave me a comment and I'll try to answer your questions! :)