Before you run in fear from the above title, read on….you just might find that digi crafting isn’t as scary as it first sounds.
There are a lot of different kinds of digi crafting, just like there are many kinds of paper crafting.
- You can buy CDs of images and background papers, print them and use them just as you would paper from a shop.
- Software is available for you to layer images together on your machine, so you create your card on your computer and just print out the result.
- Or a blending of the two, where you create/modify images on your computer and print the various elements out so you can assemble them ‘In Real Life’
So why am I encouraging you to try this kind of crafting? Well apart from the fact that it is a lot of fun, you can also save a lot of time and money printing your own papers, but the CDs often include embellishments, to print and layer as well.
I admit I did learn one of the more tricky pieces of software for my digi crafting journey, by choosing Photoshop Elements. Mainly coz it was on DHs computer and I could play, I took Free online classes run by Hewlett Packard the printer people and learnt how to use the program for digital scrapbooking. Thanks to that class I can now use their shapes, textures, bevel’s etc to make realistic looking embellishments, either to print or to use within the program to create an entire page.
Like a lot of us at the moment, funds are tight and paper crafting can get expensive. Pretty papers, stickers and embellishments soon add up and the downside for them is, it’s a use once and they are gone kinda thing. I fancied trying scrapbooking but the expense of putting each page together, mixed with the fear of ‘getting it wrong’ have always put me off. By using software like Photoshop Elements I can colour pic a colour from within my photograph to create a coloured background paper, add textures, drop shadows and have lots of fun. If I like the result I can save/print it. If it all goes a bit wrong, I can play with colours or position of things without having wasted a lot of money. Of course you can do the same with making cards, tags, invitations all kind of things.
For the newbie, I’d suggest starting out with the kind of CD where you just choose an image and print. No need for lots of prior learning for those ;) You can get CDs of background papers, some specialise in cards and you have the option of printing background papers, a main image and then a decoupage sheet to add dimension to the project. Going digi doesn’t mean you never get to play with the paper, you can get as hands on, or hands off as you like.
If you have a particular kind of style that you like have a look online, there are often people selling CDs with particular themes. Cute, heritage etc. Here are a few sites worth investigating for the kinds of print and play kind of CDs.
- Artylicious; Glenda Waterworth form Graphicus, makes the most stunning CD ROMs of printable papers and designs. Do check them out.
- Crafters Companion Flower Fairy’s, Beatrix Potter, from classic illustrations to cute. If you are a Pro Marker/Copic pen fan, you’ll love her matching stamp ranges too.
- Joanna Sheen; Joanna has all kinds of different styles of CD, do check out her online shop
If you are happy playing with software on your computer then you can get dedicated programs for creating Scrapbook pages. These often require a bit of time to learn what tools do what and how to get the best from them, but its worth the investment in time as you will get more flexibility over what you can do.
A few in between packages that would give newbies to digital crafting more options with their images include
Scrapbook Factory Deluxe; Pre made pages you can just drop in your own photos
My Craft Studio; has its own themed images that you can layer on the screen and print a finished card, or print elements to layer ‘in real life’ for more dimension. These also allow you to add your own images, in some cases. Their latest version of the software, includes the option of sending your finished card as an E card. They are moving more towards a simplified version of the more complex programs like Photoshop, but are still easier to navigate if you are new. If you follow the link, click on the ‘shop’ button for a listing of the themed CDs.
Advanced; that computer doesn’t scare me
If you are already confident on the computer the most versatile, and there for it will take a while to master, is Photoshop Elements by Adobe. Within this program, you really are in charge, you can edit your own images and create whatever you like, with so many effects like textures etc. If you are bewildered (as I was) do check out the free online classes by Hewlet Packard. They do a digital Scrapbooking class, every so often and it takes you every step of the way.The classes expect no prior knowledge and really teach you a lot.
The best thing about crafting like this, is that you never run out of that special paper! No more long drives to the craft store, if you mess something up, you just print another one. Need another sheet for the morning??? Craft Store closed? No worries, just press print and carry on ;)
Here are a few of the CDs/ DVDs that I use for Digi Crafting.
The larger programs often have free 30 day trials, so you can get started and see if you like them without spending a penny ;)
Do you have a favorite CD or digital software programs that you, like? Do leave a comment and tell me about it. This blog is all about sharing and it would be great to share programs from around the world with the readers of this blog.
Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon