Tutorial Tuesday (Digital Scrapbooking)

8 ball, Corner Pocket!

Last week when I was struggling to find a topic to write about, I asked the GingerScraps Ad Team members for some ideas. Teresa suggested I do something about pocket scrapping. I have to tell you, I was floored. Pocket scrapping isn’t my thing and it’s really not my comfort zone either. I know it was a big part of the digi world several years ago, and I flirted with Project 52 (there’s NO WAY I could commit to Project 365 and I admit it!) but I wasn’t all that successful. So I had some learning to do before I could present myself as an expert. Ha! The EXPERT is Becky Higgins, the developer of Project Life. She has an app for that in addition to a whole paper line for pocket scrapping.

What IS pocket scrapping? Basically, it’s a clean-and-simple style of layout based mainly on a grid. It’s ideal for documenting the memorable (and the ordinary) events of our lives. Each section of the grid or block can hold a photo, a pocket/journal card, art work or a cluster of embellishments.

Why is it called pocket scrapping? It has its roots in paper scrapping, and it makes use of vinyl pockets of mainly two standard sizes, 2″x3″ and 4″x6″. Digital pocket scrapping follows the same format, and it lends itself very well to hybrid scrapping. You can create your page, print it and then attach buttons, ribbons, lace and pockets holding ephemera to the page.

Most of the designers on the GingerBread Ladies team here create kits and templates that work beautifully for pocket scrapping. In fact there are pages and pages of kits tagged for this style of memory keeping. And it’s easy to find them, too! I thought about giving you a list of designers whose products are amazing for pocket pages, but it would be a lot faster just to show you how to see them for yourself.

I’d love to show you some examples I found in the Gallery. This one is from trina513. I like that she’s used her Instagram photos.

minicooper452 created this one. The photos tell a story, and the journaling preserves the excitement of the day.

This one by emscraps is obviously a Project 52 layout. Em has managed to maintain her P52 for years now!

Belis2mi has documented a special day for her children with this layout.

I really like the feel this layout from amyjcaz has, with the photos of how she spent her day at the beach.

Because I live in cowboy country, this one by psychozoe caught my eye right away.

And then there’s this one from firstoscartgrouch that’s so whimsical and fun.

After looking at all these examples of pocket scrapping and seeing the individual stamps of each scrapper on her layout, I decided to give it a shot! It’s pretty amateurish, but maybe if I do a few more…

Next week there will not be a tutorial. We’re going to visit my parents and then our daughter in her new home in the mountains for a few days and I just won’t be able to squeeze in a blog post. I’ll be doing all the driving so I’ll be seeking a horizontal surface!

Tutorial Tuesday (Back to Basics)

Don’t Lose Your Cool… or Your Stash!

First off, let me thank all of you who took the time to reach out and offer your support after my husband’s accident. I won’t lie, the last couple of weeks have been very hard for us, but he’s on the mend and eventually we’ll be back to normal life. I’m finally getting into a sort of routine, but I’ve had no time for scrapping, or for playing with Elements, so I asked Ginger to give me a topic for this week. And her suggestion is a really timely one, coming so soon after the feeding frenzy of Digital Scrapbooking Day. Ginger says she gets a lot of service tickets related to lost files from crashes of some sort; we’re VERY lucky that she’s so willing to replace the download codes for our purchases because few of the online stores will do that after a certain period of time. So let’s talk about backing up files.

It’s happened to all of us at one time or another. Our computer has let us down in some way – either with a hard drive failure or a processor failure – or in my case, with a video card failure. All those lovely photos, finished layouts and digi-scrapping supplies are gone! It’s been known to cause many tears to be shed, multiple F-bombs to be dropped and more than one injury. (My photos aren’t actually gone, but they might as well be, because they’re inside a laptop that I can’t see the contents of – although my techie-nerd husband says there’s a way to retrieve them. (If only I’d left them on the SD card…) Trust me when I tell you I’m not really great at backing up my files, but I’m going to work on that!

About the easiest way to back things up is to copy your files onto a DVD/CD, flash drive or external hard drive (EHD). It’s time-consuming but it’s easy as pie. As long as the drive isn’t corrupted, or exposed to a magnet, or any other sort of calamity! I have two EHDs and I’m sure I have multiple copies of some of my older kits and photos. One of these days I’m going to go through everything and weed out the duplicates… but it won’t be today.

While I was researching this topic I found a great list of free back-up software, as vetted by Tech Radar. Why use dedicated software? Well, some of them will eliminate the duplicates, simply by only backing up what has been changed since the last run. Some of them can be set to run at regular intervals, with removes the whole OMG-I-haven’t-backed-up-my-files-in-forever panic when it looks like there might be a crash on the horizon. To read the whole article, click on the link above. Their #1 choice is EaseUS Todo Backup Free. They call it the best balance of automation and user control. It doesn’t include some of the functions the pay-to-play premium version has, but they’re more business-oriented so most of us who aren’t techie nerds won’t miss them. One thing I think sets it apart is that it allows for Cloud backup in addition to physical copies. One caveat: when you download the software it will also download a Chromium browser and Bing search engine UNLESS you uncheck the boxes for them BEFORE you say Go. Another possibility that sounds good for the averrage digi-scrapper is Paragon Backup and Recovery. It comes with a wizard that talks you through every step, you tell it what files you want it to copy and has the added advantage of a recovery script right within it.

There are a number of Cloud-based solutions to file back-ups. iPhone users may already be using the Cloud to store their photos; if, like my daughter, they’re also running a Mac, it’s not a big leap to also store copies of other sorts of files there too. Google Drive is another option for online Cloud storage., as is Dropbox. All three have a limit on how much room you can have free, with a reasonable cost for additional space. If you’re looking for something that will look after your backup needs without any reminders, you can subscribe to an online backup service for a monthly or annual fee. PCMagazine has an in-depth evaluation of several of these. Their top picks are IDrive, Acronis True Image 2018, SOS Online Backup, Backblaze, SpiderOak One and Carbonite. Each has its own pros and cons. Backblaze and Carbonite are the only two on their list with unlimited space, although neither of them offer any free space but they both only cover one computer. Before you commit to one of these services it would be a good idea to compare them head-to-head on features and subscription costs.

Make the time soon to back up all your irreplaceable stuff. Choose the method that works best for you but DO IT! And then make a commitment to maintain those backups for the future. Maybe tie it to a specific event, like (i)NSD and DSD, or to the time change to and from Daylight Savings, like you do with the batteries in your smoke detector. (Don’t ever forget to do that… The people in your life are worth so much more than photos and scrapbook layouts!) Better safe than sorry.

Tutorial Tuesday – General

UNZIP Me Dahling!

I don’t know about you but I will never have too many digikits!! But being a digikit hoarder has its downside… All those kits have to be unzipped and organized. Who has time for that? And then there’s National Scrapbooking Day (well, more like NSWeek!) coming up in no time, with all the fantastic new products it brings with it. That you’re going to want to play with right away. What to do, what to do?

I’ll be the first to admit that my downloads folder is a mess. I’m trying to develop some better work habits, and keeping on top of unzipping is one thing that would really make a difference. So I’m going to show you a terrific app I found that lets me unzip multiple files with only a few keystrokes. It’s called Extract Now (clickable link) and it’s FREE! I work in Windows, but there’s a Mac version too. I’m guessing it’s similar in layout and behaviour, but I can’t say that for sure. I’ve tried a few others, one of which carried a virus… and this is the one I liked best for its ease of use. It’s on my taskbar now for ease of access. The menu looks like the image below.

There are several ways you can customize the performance of the app. I don’t use a lot of them, but the ones I do use include letting it check for its own updates and turning off the sounds. I’m surrounded by noise all day every day (if you’ve ever been on an intensive care unit, you’ll know what I mean), so I don’t want a bunch of added noise in my environment if I can turn it off.

In the Process tab, you can tell it what to do with the zip folders after they’ve been extracted. At first I had the app delete them as soon as they were extracted, but I had to retrieve some stuff and now I manually delete them.

This is where Extract Now really shines. You can designate exactly where your unzipped files are sent by using the Destination tab. I had it set up to extract everything into a Downloads subfolder, but found I left things in there forever and eventually forgot about them. The Help button is really useful at showing you how to customize the app for your purposes.

I create a new folder for each kit I’ve downloaded. If you’re into keyboard shortcuts, hit CTRL/Shift>N (Windows) and you’ll have a new folder you can call whatever you want.

Over the years I’ve refined how I manage my digikits. They all go into their own folder, which later becomes a subfolder within my store folders. I name them all with the same format, designer’s name and kit name spelled out in full. That makes it so much easier to find what I’m looking for later, and it helps too with credits when I post my layouts to various galleries.

I select all the zipped folders for each kit by clicking on the first one on the list, CTRL/CMD>clicking on the last one and voilà!! Then I can open up Extract Now and drag them onto the menu.

When I click on Extract, a submenu opens asking me where I want the files to go. This is when I find the new folder I’ve created for the kit in my Downloads folder and click on it.

Click on OK to All and the app goes to work.

You can watch the progress as your files are extracted. When all the files are successfully unzipped, you’ll see green check-marks next to each one and there’s a new button activated at the bottom right. Click on Clear and all the files are removed from your app workspace. I can extract several dozen files in a matter of a couple of minutes with this useful tool.

Like I said, I choose to manually delete the zipped folders from my kit folder, which is super-simple because they’re all still selected. After I minimize or close Extract Now, I only have to right-click on the selected files and choose Delete from the menu.

We all have much better things to do with our time than extract one file at a time, right?! Give it a try and see what you think. (You can always remove the app if it doesn’t work out for you.) May 5 will be here before we know it. Now go get your scrap on!

There’s an App For That – Beautiful Mess

I don’t know about you, but I wish I could scrap more often. I scrap at home, while the guys are watching something I have no desire to or while everyone is sleeping. I’ve thought more than once how I wish that I could scrap on the go. While I have not been able to find an app that lets me scrap from start to finish. I have found a few that cuts out some steps and I can do on the go. Not to mention they add special touches to my layouts. I am stopping by today to talk about one of those apps!

A Beautiful Mess

What is this app you ask? A Beautiful Mess is a photo editing app. It comes with 6 photo filters, quite a few fonts, great borders, word art, and doodles. You can make in-app purchases for more of everything (except the filters). The in-app purchases are $0.99 a piece.

When using A Beautiful Mess, it crops the photo to a square. Once you are done, it saves it to your photo library. It is available in iTunes and Google play. A lot of you will have known about and used this app. However, for those who do not, let me tell and show you how this can help your digital scrapping!

I took 4 photos that I had taken while my son and I were out having our, “Me & You Day”. I edited these in about 10 minutes or less.

shawnbearscrap_a beautiful mess

shawnbearscraps_abeautiful mess

So, as you can see I took photo photos and added to them. Little word art here, a tad of color there, and fun borders. Now, how does this help with scrapping? It might have only taken me 10 minutes or less to do this in Photoshop. I think with the searching and creating though, it would have taken a bit longer. Not to mention, I can do this while waiting for an appointment, or laying in bed being lazy! I didn’t have to lug out my laptop or go sit at my desktop. How easy would these be to put in a layout?

Fun, right?! Don’t limit yourself to your computer and remember, you don’t just have to pocket scrap with these kinds of photos. Explore your phone’s apps and see what you can come up with. If you find a really cool new app, let me know! I would love to check it out and might even use it in a future post.

Made a layout using a photo from A Beautiful Mess?! Remember to upload it in the gallery and come back and link us up! We love to see what you are scrapping!

GS_footer_LaShawn

 

There’s an App For That | Snapbook

GS_blog_TheresAnAppForThat_Header

Have you heard of Snapbook?! I didn’t know it was around until I went into my app store and searched, “scrapbooking”. I scrolled around and the logo for this app caught my attention. (A great logo can take you places!). So, I downloaded it and played around a bit. I thought that it was perfect for scrapbooking. Especially pocket scrapbooking. I am going to tell you a little about it and show the two photos I pulled together, sitting at work, and in less 10 minutes.

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Android | iTunes | Facebook

Snapbook is a free app. There are in-app purchasing. You can buy more ellies and kits. For the free version (at least android. I’ve not played with it on an iphone) you get 5 free kits. These kits are not like something you buy here at gingerscraps. There are a few ellies, borders, and backgrounds for each. There are 11 more kits you can buy at $0.99. Everything from “magic” (think mouse) to “Spook”. Here are an image from their page on google play. To give you an idea of what they have to offer. That says pocket scrapbooking if I ever saw it!

unnamed1

Cute, right?! Pocket scrapbooking isn’t really my thing. I can never make my pages look as good as you guys do! I tend to want to cluster too much. Here are two images that I tossed together. Like I said, it took me less than 10 minutes. I did it while sitting at work too. Who doesn’t like a bit of scrapping away from home?!

15 - 215 - 1You will see these on my layouts! I might even give pocket scrapbooking a try! I saved these to my phone and transfered them to my computer. You can do the same & then get them on your layouts! I would love to know if you have used this app. If you download it & use it, we would love to see what you create! Link us up!

You guys gave me great ideas on our last app post. I will be showcasing those in the future. So, keep it up! Got ideas, let me know. Happy Scrapping!

GS_footer_LaShawn

P52: Using Evernote

First off, I apologize for the long period of time between blog posts. I’m honestly so behind and it’s not even funny. Things have gotten so hectic around here, courtesy of just life, 😆 I’m sure everyone knows what I’m talking about.

Since I am so behind (I just finished Week 08, so I have 8 weeks worth of layouts to make up! To do that, I’m using Evernote!

That’s the screenshot of my desktop with the app. I just love it! I can create a whole page dedicated to just each week’s highlights. So much fun!

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