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Tag Archives | digital scrapbooking

Organizing: Digital Elements

As I’ve started experimenting with digital scrapbooking (mostly for making photo books), I’ve started to accumulate the supplies to go with the new format I’m playing in. At first, there were so few that it was easy to keep track of what I had pretty much in my head and just browse through folders to find things, but now…well, it’s definitely beyond that.

It got to where I had to come up with a new way to find my stuff, and a new way to avoid making duplicate purchases. I had to be able to find what I need! I considered using the photo gallery tool in my Photoshop Elements, and I may still do that, but first I decided to do some basic file organization so my hard drive wasn’t chaos.

My digital elements are stored divided into the following folders:

  • Alphabets
  • Brushes
  • Card Templates
  • Embellishments
  • Kits
  • Papers
  • Templates

I will probably divide out my patterned and solid papers into separate folders soon since they are starting to get a bit crowded.

The next key was coming up with consistent file names that allowed my files to naturally sort themselves into the way I usually look for them. I wanted things sorted by store, then by designer, then by product name, so I came up with the following file name style:

store_designer_productname

Some of these items are abbreviated, especially store and designer names, to keep file names manageable. But the result is that I can see everything I have within a folder from a single store together, and then see what I have from each designer at that store listed together. Since different stores and designers tend to have distinctive styles, just like in paper design, it helps me to be able to have all of their items together since I tend to use them together. My file list ends up looking like this:

This way, if I’m using a product by a certain designer, it is easy to look for something to use with it that might be a similar style. And it is easy to double-check my files to see if I already bought that item on my wishlist (and forgot to delete it from the list) before I hit “buy” again!

Being able to use the filenames to find my files is especially important to me. I’m on a Mac and Mac OS X doesn’t allow you to set an image for your folder icon the way that you can on Windows. So when I’m looking at a folder, all I have to go on for the contents is the file name.

This method, which is actually similar in many ways to how I arrange my paper scrapping supplies, is working for me for now. I will likely have to use the library in PSE 8 to be able to do more tagging and previewing at some future point, I realize, however. ACDSee is a popular option for doing this on Windows. Currently there is a beta version of the ACDSee Pro software for Mac but since beta usually equals buggy, I’m in no hurry to take that on.

If you would like other ideas on how to organize your digital supplies, check out these resources:

Katie’s system is similar to what I use, only she divides stuff out by type and topic way more than I do and uses numbered folders to keep things in the exact order that she wants.

Just because digital supplies aren’t sitting around in messy piles doesn’t mean we don’t need a way to impose order on them to be able to find what we want when we want it. An orderly hard drive makes for a happy digital scrapper!

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BasicGrey: Now available in Digital

I was sitting in my car one crisp winter morning the first week of December. I was about to head inside the gym to work off some dessert calories when my phone rang. It was someone with information I would be interested in for my upcoming Hybrid Scrapbooking class, and it totally made my day. The news I am talking about is not just that BasicGrey was about to announce a new website design, but something bigger – something that has a lot of people talking:

BasicGrey has gone digital.

The website is not yet complete (there will be a gallery and more to come at some future time) so I won’t attempt to review the site as a whole at this time. Instead, I’ll stick to the big, exciting, available now news that BasicGrey has digital scrapbook products.

I understand that some retailers could be concerned about the effect digital products might have – that consumers might just “go digital” and skip them all together. While I understand the initial concern, I don’t believe there is any reason for alarm here. I know I speak for many when I say that nothing will ever kick paper out of my scrapbooking. I enjoy the textures and hands-on approach to crafting too much! Secondly, and more importantly, BasicGrey is releasing only their older lines in digital form. I was told that the plan is to continue this down the road. They will release their paper lines to retailers as they always have, and then at some later date they will become available in digital form.

This should give retailers a good run with the paper products, but it also gives us as consumers the knowledge that BasicGrey product has a longer life in our stash, and that if a favorite line is discontinued or hard to find we can purchase items in digital form.

BasicGrey gets a big thumbs up from me for their debut digital offerings and approach. Sande Krieger, a longtime favorite product designer of mine (both in digital and in paper) is now working exclusively with BasicGrey, and I see that as a very good thing for both their future digital products as well as their paper lines.

Ordering off of the new digital site was easy and not only are the products the best quality, but the pricing is reasonable as well. They are offering everything from brushes to page kits to blog backgrounds – and this hybrid scrapbooker is happy with what she sees. Many of the brushes and elements can be easily utilized with newer lines, or other digital brands, and will make for great additions to any digital or hybrid scrapbooker’s stash.

supplies: BasicGrey digital textures and Urban Couture starter kit; BasicGrey Origins patterned paper, clip, flowers, and canvas tag; BasicGrey Sugared collection alphabet stickers, Maya Road Envelope, unknown lace and thread

In the layout above I used the texture .png files along with the Urban Couture digital papers to create the papers framing the left side of my photo. I also added in a black flourish and the border accent along the bottom before printing out on white cardstock.  Then I paired it with some of my Origins stash and a few random bits and pieces.

There are a lot of products to explore – and I’m enjoying every creative moment. Above is a peek at a BasicGrey digital page template that I’m playing with right now as a part of my Hybrid Scrapbooking class at Big Picture. I look forward to what will be released next – both digital and paper – from this long time favorite company.

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