Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The last thing I needed was another hobby. Digital Scrapbooking

So I've been trying to finish up Selena's baby book before the new baby comes but it has been kind of hard. I was given a baby book calendar as a shower gift which I really loved. I left it on the table and whenever she reached a milestone I could jot it down on the calendar and each month I made little notes about her. It had pages pre-decorated so that all you needed to do was print out some pictures and tape them to it. When the year was up you could rip out the pages and put them in a 12x12 book.

Unfortunately I wasn't very successful in getting the pictures in the book. Mostly because the pictures I printed didn't fit the shapes of the frames provided. Also after I printed them I put them in a pile and then when I thought about them again I didn't know which ones went to which month so I have to look them up on the computer to figure it out. So I've ended up just taping the pictures to the pages without paying attention to the frames and I still have 6 or 7 that are loose and need to find a home. For other pictures I wanted to include in the book I used Google's free photo program Picasa to create collages and printed them out on 8 x 11.5 prints through Costco and then taped them to scrapbook paper. Also when I tore out the pages from the calendar I discovered that I had to put them in the book sideways because they are printed front and back and if you put them in right side up the next page is upside down. So basically Selena's baby book is not very pretty which is kind of a bummer.

So for the next baby I thought that it would be neat to make some digital scrapbook calendar pages and I could do it all on the computer. I had asked for Adobe Photoshop Elements as a Christmas present over a year ago specifically to make this picture of Selena, but also in hopes to try digital scrapboooking. But Photoshop isn't the easiest program to use and some things that I thought should be simple, I couldn't figure out how to easily do, and I didn't have a lot of free time, so I hadn't gotten around to trying it till now. but I decided to sit down and figure out how to do what I wanted and once I did I have whipped out 9 scrapbook pages pretty quickly and with no mess. :) It is great because I can work on the pages for the short intervals I have some free time and it doesn't require a lot of thinking on my part which I seem to have problems with lately. Also working on the digital scrapbooking helps me work on my design skills which I have needed in the past for work (instead of just writing code I have been frequently asked to design the graphics for software and websites as well), but I usually was unsatisfied with what I created.

So I have made a handful of calendar pages for the new baby's baby book and I am taking the old blog posts of Selena and putting them on scrapbook pages that I can add to her book and at least part of it will be pretty. I'm also going to start a new separate book for after her first birthday. I'm very thankful that I have been doing the blog posts because after I ran out of calendar pages I had stopped writing down milestones etc, except for in my blog posts.

So here are some pictures of what I've done so far, and I think I'll write up a short tutorial on Photoshop and include the hints I figured out. The calendar pages have some pictures of Selena on them at the moment just for testing purposes. I'm still working on the July pages as I'm not completely happy with them.

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