Saturday, 28 June 2008

Where to buy...

Of course everyone loves freebies, they are fantastic! But, there will come a time when you might want something specific for your layouts, or when you need some retail therapy! This is where online stores come in handy!! There are loads of sites out there where designers sell downloadable digiscrapping supplies. These are mostly reasonably priced and of course they are absolutely gorgeous!

Here are a few links to a few of my favourite online stores:

More lovely freebie links

Here are a couple of freebies that I have oooh-ed and ahhh-ed over in the last couple of days!

This gorgeous fairy overlay can be found at Rainy Day Scraps. I love how detailed and delicate it is.

Aja Abney's fun and colourful My Wish For You kit can be found in the gallery over at

I love anything a bit shabby, torn and aged (in terms of a scrapbooking aesthetic anyway!) so I have fallen a little bit in love with this ripped newspaper frame avaliable at
Wilma's Creations

These grungy grub papers are my favourite find this week. I love the shabby, aged look they have and they are so perfect for a project I've had in mind over the last couple of weeks. They are made by Susan over at Raspberry Road Designs.

Thanks to all the designers for your generosity and to any freebie hunters, enjoy!

NOTE: All links active as of 28/06/08

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Step Two: The Fun Part! (Part 2)

Okay, so you have managed to find lots of gorgeous and lovely freebies on the internet. Now, you have to figure out what to do with them all!!

Firstly, you have probably discovered that there are a lot of different things being offered out there. They should fall mostly into the following categories:
  • Kits: Which includes full kits, collaboration kits, mini kits. Kits will usually include paper; sometimes several different designs and usually several embellishments. Some also include wordart and alpha.

  • Papers: Digital papers only. Sometimes you will be offered a single paper and sometimes a pack containing several different designs. These papers might be commercial overlays that you can alter for your own projects, it is important to check with the designers.

  • Elements: These can include anything from ribbons to bows to frames to buttons to stamps. I also include word art in this category. There's lots of different types of embellishments out there. Again some of these are offered as a changable commercial use freebie.

  • Alpha: Which includes lowercase and/or uppercase and/or punctuation and/or numerals. There are also a lot of different fonts out there available for download. Note that some alpha downloads are 'pre-cut' into seperate png files and some require separation with a cutting tool (which can be found in programs such as Adobe Photoshop.)
  • Templates: A pre-made scrapbooking template which you can fill with papers, photos and embellishments etc. So the basic structure of a scrapbooking page is provided ready for you to personalise.
  • Quickpages: Which are basically a premade scrap page, possibly including frames, embellishments etc. The idea with these is that you just add a photo and maybe the odd bit of embellishment/journalling etc. These do not allow as much scope for personalisation as templates. But are ideal if you are short of time or for experimenting.

NOTE: Freebies are often offered in different formats and different sizes e.g. tagger size. I will try and go in to this further at a later date. Just be aware that some downloads may not be compatible with your particular digiscrapping program.

So, you have found the freebies that you like and would like to use. Now its time to begin downloading! This is a pretty simple process, and is really about following the onscreen instructions. Some designers have a link beside the image of the freebie and some use the image itself as a link. In other cases the designers place links elsewhere, but reading through their post will direct you (alot of the time freebies are posted in a designers blog which are fun and worthwhile reading anyway).

Freebie links will work in different ways, some will direct you to a file sharing website such as 4shared, others will open up a download box instantly. I have also obtained freebies where I was required to right click on the image and choose 'save target as'. The designers will tell you how to obtain their freebies, but I mention this as part of my education!

Some advice:

Think about how you organise your downloads; you want to be able to know roughly what's in them, but you also want to know who designed them incase you ever need to credit the designer (for example if you want to post a finished layout online). Also, some designers rightly ask that you do not change the name of the downloaded file. It is after all their work and should retain the name they give it. The problem is that sometimes the name of the file gives very little information about the contents. In this case, I tend to keep the original file name of the download, but file it inside a file which is named so that it gives me an idea about whats inside. (I used the word file a lot just then!) Anyway, it would be organised a bit like this: Mint Green Elements>lohlor_118> various contents.

It might be worth keeping your downloads in seperate sub files; for example kits in one sub file, and alpha in another. Otherwise, you could possibly get bogged down with them all. I also file mine seperately into different types. So for example a flower element will be filed in My Documents>Scrapbooking>Elements>Floral. Otherwise I know I would get lost and waste a lot of time looking for things to use in my layouts. This is obviously quite a time consuming and possibly boring process, (i'm a bit geeky, so I quite enjoy it!) but if you do it as you download, it does save a lot of time when you want to use the files.

I know that i'm not the law on manners and I feel a bit rude even writing this, but I think its nice to say thanks to the individual designers, after all, they have generously shared a lot of their hard work, talent and time.

Obviously I am not the person giving away the various freebies on the net, so it is best to address any concerns or questions etc to the respective designers. The above is just my personal experience of freebie gathering

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Lovely Freebies

Every so often I shall post a blog dedicated to freebies I have found on the net that I personally like and will use. These are not freebies that I have made and so it is important to thank the relevant designers for their hard work and generosity and to bear in mind their individual copyright controls and what they are allowing the freebies to be used for (e.g. commercial or personal use only.) The following images are for reference only, they are not links for download. Please follow the links to the respective designers website for download links and information.

Some of my favourite designs are made by Susan Darter at Raspberry Road Designs and I particularly like the Sassy Lass Collection that she has been giving away over the last couple of days.

These stamps, avaliable at the gallery at digital scrapbook place are fantastic for journalling, dates, titles etc.

I also really like the Lemonade Stand add on avaliable at The "Kreative Karma"

This mini kit avaliable at Franziska's Scrap Blog is gorgeous, I love the muted tones of the papers and the crossword elements.

This Altered Melody word art is made by Irene at Irene Alexeeva Digital Designs. It coordinates with the Altered Melody page kit which Irene has kindly offered for free and which is avaliable here.

I love love love these journal notes avaliable at Lindsay Jane Designs. I've got a bit of a thing for notepaper at the best of times (does that sound a bit weird?!) and the funky shapes of these are great for adding journal entries to scrapbook pages.

So, thanks to all the lovely designers who are offering these freebies and to anyone using them, have fun scrapping!

NOTE: All links active as of 25/06/08

Step Two: The Fun Part!!! (Part 1)

Ok, are you ready? Have you got plenty of time on your hands? Enough computer memory to store all sorts of lovely goodies? If so, I am about to introduce you to one of the best bits about preparing to digiscrap. FINDING THE GOOD STUFF!!! (I know I make it sound like a treasure hunt for a small child, but to me that's exactly what it's like!)

As a beginner, you may be unsure about how dedicated you will become to this digiscrapping business and so although the majority of digital supplies are resonably priced, it is a good idea to have a browse around the internet for digiscrabbing freebies. Many kind designers offer various products for free which are an exellent way to experiment and have fun with digiscrapping without worrying about making a foolish investment.

And there really is a ton of stuff just waiting to be downloaded and incorporated into scrapbook designs, so much in fact that at first it can be a little overwhelming. Luckily, there are several fantastic websites where the kind owners have done the hard work for us. Two of my favourites are Scrapping with IkeaGoddess and Digifree – The Digital Scrapbook Freebie Search Engine. Both of these websites are updated very frequently (usually daily) with new digital freebies found on the internet.

Alternatively, many designers have their own blogs or websites where they offer gorgeous freebies, some of these also have long lasting links, so it is worth looking back through the archives to see what you can find. Some of my personal favourite designers who offer freebies can be found at Raspberry Road Designs, Irene Alexeeva Digital Designs and Ziggle Scraps. But there are loads of talented individuals out there kindly giving stuff away. When I've had a bit of time on my hands, I've often found myself following links from designers blogs or digiscrapping search engines and have found lots of lovely freebies this way.

Freebies can also be found in the newsletters that many digiscrapping websites offer for you to sign up to, such as at Scrap Girls.

Finally, freebies can be found on online shops, such as at Shabby Princess or in dedicated digiscrapping forums such as at Gotta Pixel ... Addicted to the Pixel. Bear in mind that some of these sites will require you to register your details before allowing you to view and/or download the freebies.

Bear in mind that most of these sites also offer digital scrapbooking goodies for sale and most of them are reasonably priced and extremely droolworthy. (Bad choice of word I know!)

Step One: Choosing Software

When I first started digiscrapping, I hadn't previously had any experience of scrapbooking before. Because of this, I wasn't sure how dedicated I would be and whether it would be worth my while spending out a great deal of money on a hobby that I might grow quickly tired of.
There are however masses of wonderful websites out there which offer many different digiscrapping freebies or sale items which are perfect for the beginner to digiscrapping who wants to experiment and learn.

So starting from the basics and assuming that you have access to an online computer (oh and be warned if you do fall in love with digiscrapping you will need lots of memory to store all those gorgeous kits, papers and elements etc that you will find!):

The first thing that a digital scrapbooker needs is software. There are several different programs avaliable that you can use, some of which are much more simple than others to navigate and some much cheaper than others. Prices range from hundreds of pounds for a brand new edition of Adobe Photoshop, to nothing for Google's Picasa. It may be worth experimenting with a couple of trial versions initially until you find a program that you feel comfortable using. I started off using a trial of Lumapix Fotofusion Scrapbook Essentials which is avaliable here

A very good guide to the various programs that you can choose from is avaliable at They have a section dedicated to beginner digiscraping called Digital Scrapbooking 101 which includes, among other useful information, a guide to the various programs that are out there for digiscrapping. From my browsing on the net it seems that a popoular choice is Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop elements. Trial versions of both of these programs are avaliable on the Adobe website downloads page. (NOTE: It unfortunately seems that downloads are not avaliable from the Adobe website until July 1st.)

Once you have chosen your preferred program it might be an idea to familiarise yourself with it before attempting to launch straight into scrapbooking. As I have previously hinted, some programs are much more complicated than others, but there are some great tutorials or userguides avaliable either on or offline which are tremendously helpful.

So, goodluck with the search! I hope you find a program that works well for you!

Monday, 23 June 2008

A foray into the world of blogging

Well, here I am, blogging for pretty much the first time ever! Recently I have gotten into the world of digital scrapbooking in a biiiiig way and I have read so many entertaining, witty and interesting blogs that I have been inspired to start my own.

Initially I thought about starting my own blog dedicated to scrapbooking freebies, but there are already so many wonderful sites on the internet dedicated to this already (and doing a good job too! - see my links column for some of these) so the aim of my blog is to provide information to the beginner digiscrapper, based on my own learning experiences. It will probably also include lots of random thoughts and musings that pop into my head!!

To anyone who spots mistakes, errors or misinformation relating to digiscrapping in my blog please feel free to get in touch with me so I can make ammendments. I am new to this, and any corrections will be greatfully recieved!!