Minimalist Scrapbooker?

A few friends of mine have asked where I get my digital scrapbook content, so I have decided to share it here.

First – you must know that I am VERY anal about the quality of my scrapbooks. And I have searched long and hard for supplies that do not result in books that come apart within 6 months.  Also, I have now completely switched over to digital to eliminate the amount of supplies, etc that I accumulate. And I have passed on nearly all of my traditional supplies to those who are using them. Minimalist Scrapbooker? Never would have thought such a thing was possible!

Why digital?

Think about your supplies if you are a traditional scrapbooker.  You have:

  • albums
  • paper
  • stickers
  • adhesives
  • ribbon or any number of other endless embellishments
  • rubber stamps
  • pens

Do any of you have a beautiful piece of paper that you are “saving” for something special?  Has it been used yet (or ever)?

And if you’re like me, your supplies overran your office, spilled into your dining room, and took a small (or maybe large!) suitcase or special carrier to cart to crops and get togethers.  OK, maybe it took 2 or 3 carriers.  It got to be that I only worked on my albums when I was at a crop – because who would want to take that much time and effort to pull everything out if there wasn’t a huge block of time to work on it? And that was the only time I could trust my children wouldn’t get their sticky hands on stuff.

Enter the new realm of digital scrapbooking.

When I was first introduced to this world, the only options were the drag-and-drop type of albums available on Shutterfly, Snapfish, Kodak, and other similar sites.  I tried these. But I am a very creative person and I felt so limited and constrained by their little boxes. So, I decided that digital scrapbooking was just not for me.

Then I began seeing layouts from people who were using Photoshop to create pages. And they were detailed and beautiful – although I had no idea how they were possibly doing them. Were they creating their own embellishments? Where did you buy these things? And I knew that Photoshop was a very expensive program, and a complicated one to learn.

(Now, before I go any farther I want to emphasize: I am no longer a Creative Memories consultant (was between 2005-2007 to get a discount on my own supplies). The links to  CM are NOT affiliate/referral links and I get no commission on them. I simply LOVE their products and believe whole-heartedly in endorsing them.)

In my traditional books, I had been using Creative Memories products for several years, because I had found their quality to be top-notch. They also extensively test any of their products before offering them for sale.  I was at a CM crop when I was introduced to a new version of their digital scrapbooking software: StoryBookCreator Plus.

SBC+, as it is commonly known in the scrapbook world, was a program that took the creativity and possibilities of PhotoShop and made it user-friendly. But sadly, there was no Mac version available and we are a Mac household. So, I coveted the program from afar while I worked on my traditional albums.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX= STOPPED HERE

Most importantly- In Digital, I will ONLY use binding services that do stitched-binding. I no longer will pay quite a bit of money for a book (from Shutterfly) and then have it fall apart within 6 months as well.  I will never use Shutterfly, which only offers glued-bindings, for photobooks again.

Software

Mixbook (referral link) – this is a web-based scrapbooking software that is excellent for everyone, even beginners.  It is completely FREE to use, until you decide to have your book printed.

PROS

  • There is a ton of content already in the site, but you can upload content you have purchased (.jpg or .png format) or downloaded free and use.
  • IF you do use SBC+/SBCStudio (see below) or Photoshop, you can upload finished pages and have them bound as a photobook through Mixbook. Their quality is outstanding (stitched-binding!) and the prices unmatched. The only downside is their shipping can sometimes be higher than other sites, but their book prices are so low that it evens out.

CONS

  • The few limitations that they do have may have more advanced scrapbookers wanting a different program.  You can only use the fonts they have on their site. And you cannot change colors to any embellishments.

Creative Memories. – CM offers software for PC users (StoryBookCreator+) and for Mac users (SBCStudio).

PROS

  • User-friendly
  • This software will allow you to do ANYTHING digitally that you can do on paper and more! You can even change the colors in the digital papers/stickers you have, use a photo in a font, make an image a rubber stamp – so much you can do.
  • You can also use the fonts from your computer.
  • You can upload to CM’s own site to have your books bound ($$$), or save them as .jpgs and upload to several other sites for binding (see above).
  • CM also offers exclusive content for both PC and Mac to be used in either program.

CONS

  • Program is expensive to purchase – $64.95!  And if you upload to the CM photo site, their books are also very expensive.

FREE Content (I have more that I will add in the future)

Any other scrapbookers or crafters out there trying to downsize their supplies? Leave me a comment with more ideas.

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