Sunday, February 08, 2009

What is a digital kit, you ask?

So, the other day when I posted my first digital kit, Jane asked me what a digital kit is. Well, might I just say Jane, that you asked the magic question hehe.

So, for those of you who are digital scrapbookers, you probably don't need to read this post, you can just skip to my freebie. For those of you who visit my blog for other reasons (friends and family) and are curious, here is your answer.

As you probably know, I have been a paper scrapbooker since my almost 11 year old was born. Sometime last year, I got a really cool program to do 'storybooks', which are books made from my own photos and bound and printed into hardcover books. I was afraid ... I had no idea how to do it, if it would look good, etc. It tooke mw quite a few months of owning the program before I decided to try it.

When we went on our first Family Road trip, I decided this was a perfect chance to get started and do a digital storybook. And WOAH did I ever LOVE it. There is waaaay less mess when you digitcal scrapbook, no pack up after (just click 'save' and walk away) and a lot more flexibility. If I don't have the right colour, I just alter it and voila - a whole new graphic. I could cute up photos, and if I hated it I could just click 'undo' and have my original photo back (can't do that with a paper photo!).

Curious about what others were doing with their digital scrapbooks, I googled it. And WOW. I had no idea what a huge community of digital scrapbookers there are! Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people online, in forums and on blogs, sharing the work they do, and becoming friends.

What I was amazed to find was that there is gigabytes and gigabytes of free graphics available for scrapbooking. There are designers who give away freebies to promote the sale of their designs, there are designers who are learning and give away their freebies hoping for feedback, and there are all sorts of other reasons people give away their freebies.

For me, it wasn't long before I started to wonder if I could make graphics that people would be interested in using for their own digital scrapbooking projects. Not to try to sell them, but to contribute back to, and become even more involved in, the community I am so enjoying. So I started doing a couple of challenged on forums that involved creating kits.

So, a 'kit' is a package of graphics that is used for digital scrapbooking. They usually revolve around a colour theme or other theme, and often you can find several that co-ordinate together. Kits usually involved digital 'paper' and other 'embellishments' such as 'ribbon' 'frames' 'buttons' and so on. The preview below show strips of each of the papers I created, as well as the embellishments I made (through recolouring, adding textures, etc).

What do you do with a kit? Well, download it, unzip it, and load it into a program like Photoshop and play with it! You can use the papers as backgrounds, or cut them into shapes and use them to enhance your page. Put your photos on - and you can even try trimming them, too - and voila you have a layout (LO) that celebrates those photos.

You don't need to pay for a scrapbooking program to give this a try. I believe there are free downloads of various photo editing and graphic programs that you can try, and see how it goes. If you find you are too limited by the free version, and it is something you really like, then you can purchase a program. And like I said there are endless amounts of freebies for the graphics themselves. Check out Digifree and you'll find enough to fill a hard drive (or 3).

So - I hope that answers your question: ) And Jane, I know you said you have a hard time getting enough photos - maybe you'll find a love for digital scrapbooking and that will encourage you to take more photos. I challenge you to try - plus I want to see more photos of your kids heh.


Jane said...

Wow! I'm in a blog!

Jane said...

I don't know where I'm supposed to leave this comment, but I downloaded your kit, and loaded an old copy of CorelDraw I had from some promotion and voila! I'm a scrapbooker. Or whatever you call me. I LIKE your kit. I've never used any others, but I think it's really pretty, and I can't think of anything I'd change. (Sorry I was no help.) Now I'm going to try some others. As soon as I figure out how to show it to you, I will.

Jewel Goodwin said...

thats awesome Jane- welcome to the land of digital scrap-booking! fun isn't it?

If you save your image to a smaller resolution ... you can upload it to photobucket and then use the image link from photocuket and post it in the comments. Or you can just email it to me as an attachment because I know you've got my email :)