I love the hush of going to the library, catching up with my friends the books, and the feel and smell of working with paper. So why on earth would I consider digital scrapbooking as worth pursuing? I had been curious about it for a while before taking the plunge with some fellow Geneabloggers. That’s how I got to know such wonderful people like Stephanie Pitcher Fishman and Jennifer Shoer. Jen let me know about an upcoming online class for those interested in making a Heritage Scrapbook. The class was offered through Jessica Sprague’s website and the plan was for those who participate to share their experiences on their blog.
I had a lot to learn when I started and did not have Photoshop installed on my computer. Luckily Adobe offered a month's trial of
Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and so with some tutorials and trial and error I was soon cranking out new pages like crazy. I was pretty new to Photoshop and appreciated all the information available through YouTube and sites like PhotoshopGirl and the DigiChick. I got so into it that I began making family trees for just about everyone I could think of in the family! I had to be kind of sneaky to get the family information to fill in, but once I did it was fairly painless to create custom trees for my sweetie and all his siblings.
Unfortunately I got behind the rest of my fellow bloggers and did not finish the project. I downloaded all the lessons though and hope to give it another shot for Christmas this year. At the very least I learned some great benefits to digital scrapbooking that I had not realized. In conventional scrapbooking all those pedigree charts and family tree designs are pretty detailed and if I ever had to make an update (read correction) to a name, date, or place I’d have to cut and paste over the old text. I do not like that! The nice thing about digital work is that if you need to correct something you can always do it and then just reprint that particular page! Plus it allows me to reproduce multiple pieces without having to handwrite them over and over.
Over the last few months I have become more familiar with the many resources available for digital scrapbooking. Sites like Designer Digitals, Digital Scrapbooking, and even Creative Memories provide great templates and ideas to get you started. A fun blog to check out is Crafty Family Tree where bloggers Liz and Lexie create all kinds of genealogy related crafts. As for printing your scrapbook pages there are a number of options. I prefer Scrapping Simply due to their use of archival paper and ink for their prints. If you aren't as concerned about archival quality most photo printing places now offer 12" x 12" size printing. The nice thing about digital scrapbooking is that it is quite easy to reprint if something should happen to your original. Or you could make multiple copies for your family (say a family history scrapbook that you give to your siblings.) Personally, I have enjoyed using the pages as part of a framed gift for my family members. How would you like to share with your family?
© Jen Alford 2012
Jennifer Alford is the author of Jewish Genealogy, a monthly column in The In-Depth Genealogist which highlights techniques and resources for those interested in Jewish research. Jennifer can be found blogging at Jen-Gen’s Family Research Blog.