Scrapbooking is a hobby that does not appeal to all. It can seem too time consuming or expensive. I see the beautiful pages that others create and send into scrapbook magazines, yet become overwhelmed by the stack of photos that I have. But for those of us who would rather sit at the computer, digital scrapbooking might be the way to go.
What is digital scrapbooking? Digital scrapbooking is utilizing a photo, graphics or publishing software program to manipulate and arrange photographs saved on your computer from your digital camera or scanned into your computer. You can then either print your creations on your home printer, take them to a photo processor, burn them to DVD, or upload them online. Many traditional scrapbookers utilize a 12 x 12 format; whereas digital scrapbookers opt for and 8½ by 11 or smaller end result. Virtual embellishments, papers, and other scrapbook goodies are available to decorate digital pages just as you would with a paper scrapbook album.
Digital Scrapbooking magazine, http://www.digitalscrapbooking.com/info/featured_articles, provides an online home for the print magazine of the same name. From this web site you can learn new techniques and read articles. To access the complete magazine, check your local bookstore or magazine rack for the print copy.
Scrap Girls, http://www.scrapgirls.com/, is a commercial site that offers some freebies of interest to those new to digital scrapbooking. An e-book entitled, "15 things you need to know to become a great digital scrapbooker," http://store.scrapgirls.com/product.php?id=5301 , is one of the free downloads on this site. At 51.9 MB, it is a large download for those on a dial-up service, but it is a great primer on learning how to do digital scrapbooking. It is easy to read, provides links, and answers pretty much any question you would have about the hobby. It's hard to believe this valuable resource is free.
Scrap Girls also sell digital layouts, similar to the papers and embellishments that you would find in a scrapbook store, to use in your digital scrapbooking. With the items you can purchase and download from the Scrap Girls, your digital scrapbook will look like the works of art that you see traditional scrapbookers create but without the scrapbook supplies taking over your house! A "university" link , http://www.scrapgirls.com/SG_University_main.htm, provides free online tutorials to further help you with your digital scrapbook creations.
Free Digital Scrapbooking.com, http://www.freedigitalscrapbooking.com/index.html, is a web site that provides embellishment and background downloadable elements for free. You can download alphabet fonts, virtual papers, embellishments like tags, "fibers," and eyelets. They have a "Digital Scrapbooking 101" article for beginners that describes the hobby and what is involved. Digital items are also for sale that you can purchase inexpensively and then download from the web site. Sites that offer embellishments, papers, etc. for digital scrapbooking will also be of use for those who want to make greeting cards, calendars, or other projects. A calendar of ancestors' pictures would look great when decorated with some of these free graphics. The other positive about downloading free graphics from Free Digital Scrapbooking, is that you can use them to create scrapbook pages and see if you like the hobby with basically no monetary investment. And unlike supplies that you purchase for traditional scrapbooking such as papers, adhesive, etc., digital supplies are reusable.
For those who move beyond the beginner stage, you may want to check out the web site, Two Peas in a Bucket at http://twopeasinabucket.kaboose.com/digital.asp. Its Digis FAQ page provides more in-depth information about the hobby, including information on how to use different aspects of graphics software and how to create various graphic elements like adding photo edges, drop shadows, and black lines. This web site is also loaded with information abut some of the more technical aspects that can be a part of digital scrapbooking.
For additional articles on digital scrapbooking see, Kimberly Powell's article "Digital Scrapbooking 101" at http://genealogy.about.com/od/heritage_scrapbooking/a/digital.htm or her links to articles on digital scrapbooking your heritage at http://genealogy.about.com/od/heritage_scrapbooking/.