By Thena Smith
I have been involved in number of crafts and hobbies throughout the years and have found scrapbookers to be among the most generous and willing to share of any group. The scrapbooking crop has been compared to the quilting bee of my mother’s generation.
(I have been to those, as a child, and there are some striking similarities).
For the traditional cut and paste scrapper, there have always been welcoming sites such as www.creatingkeepsakes.com, www.simplescrapbooking.com and www.twopeasinabucket.com to provide helps, sell supplies and furnish a gallery to share finished layouts. With each year, these sites have gotten more into the teaching of technique and sharing videos or tutorials that show step by step how something is done. Now CK and SS have their own blogs where the very people we respect and admire in the magazines share their time and talent with us.
Scrapvillage (www.scrapvillage.com) was instrumental in building up my confidence as a digital scrapper years ago when I was encouraged to share and my work in my gallery was appreciated for what it was when most everyone else there did traditional work. They have so much to offer the scrapper in tutorials, fonts, sketches and input from dedicated hobbyists as well as professionals in the industry. Be sure to check back into their archives for more articles and tutorials. If you want a special font or a unique sketch to follow, be sure to check in with them!
Other excellent sites are www.scrapjazz.com along with www.scrapbook.com . Scrapjazz has additional helps that you can sign up for if you are a beginner anxious to find out how things are done. Each one of these sites have a forum full of friendly and helpful folks along with a variety of choices such as tips, tutorials, sketches, quotes, and instructions. Most have an archive so that you needn’t miss out on everything that was shared before you found them!
Another site that I have found helpful in every area of crafts is www.divacraftlounge.com. They have a show on blogtalkradio. They have had most of the industry celebs on and some simple folks like me! They also have an archive where you can go back and listen to your favorites—want to hear what Ali or Becky sounds like? Want to know more about trimmers or pens? They don’t do step by step instructions on the show but they send you to people who do.
As a digital scrapper who felt alone in the world for a few years, I was so grateful when digital sites started to appear. What I had called “computer scrapbooking” or “ PC generated layouts” suddenly had a name-Digital Scrapbooking and became acceptable as a legitimate form of scrapbooking! Hurrah!
Michelle Shefveland (www.cottagearts.net) and Linda Saggast (www.scrappersguide.com) are unsung digital heroes in my humble opinion. Cottagearts was one of the first to hit the market with affordable digital CDs for scrapbookers and to provide tutorials on her site to help us. Linda Saggast has a website with a forum, sends out instruction newsletters and has a premium membership (at an affordable price) for those who want more. (I signed up without hesitation!) You will see Linda at the Adobe booth at various trade shows and Michelle’s work is constantly in magazines. Both of these ladies love what they do and love to share that joy with others.
Another site with all manner of tutorials for digital is www.scrapbookbytes.com which has also been around since the beginning of the digi era! They have a newsletter and they have a great variety of tutorials on site. A lot of well known digital ladies have come from there or been on their DT at one time.
One of my favorite places www.digitalshoptalk.com provides a place for all of the digital community to come together and share information, site news, sales information and just have a great time chatting with those who love the same hobby or who share it as a business venture.
For those serious about learning Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements we have Jessica Sprague who not only has some great books but a website where you can sign up for classes from beginner to advance. I just finished the advanced and it was money well spent. (www.jessicasprague.com) . Digital Scrapbook Artisans Guild (http://www.digitalscrapbookartisanguild.com ) offers some very good classes, easy to follow and their instructors are always ready to help. I took a wonderful class there on designing digital papers (which I have always loved to do). These classes are so good for folks like me who have been digital for years but being self taught, we sometimes do things the hard way. I learned easier ways to do the things I love to do!
For the person who is very serious about learning Photoshop, I suggest Al Ward’s (http://www.actionfx.com/ site. Al is extremely generous in his sharing of tutorials, designs and advice. He is not only a photoshop guru but has joined a couple of scrapbooking sites and listens to what need and what we want to learn. He also has a membership area which is worthwhile. (I bet you already know that I signed up!)
A great place to learn Photoshop from videos is Photoshop User TV. http://www.photoshopuser.com and if you join NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals, you will receive a lot of benefits.
I know that I must end this list somewhere but I have to tell you that You Tube is also a great place to find great tutorials. Just search for the thing you want to learn from a basic page to creating a cutout and you will find a step by step tutorial.
For those of you who use Digital Image Pro, there are several of us who do tutorials for that software. You can find my simple tutorials at www.pccrafter.com or on my website www.thena.typepad.com . Shellyrae and Kim Lizzy have a great site at http://dipdivas.blogspot.com and also Mary at Mary’s Graphics http://www.marysgraphics.com/. Sites such as Digital Scrapbook Place http://www.digitalscrapbookplace.com and Scrapbookbytes also include DIP tutorials.
I know I must stop at some point or I will have to order dinner in! These should get you started and you can always find more by using your friendly search engines. Google is your friend when it comes to finding a wealth of information. Have fun and Happy Scrapping!