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Digital Scrapbooking w/ Ashley

I've been a fan of Ashley's since I first started blogging. She's an amazing digital scrapbooker and since I'm looking to join in the phenomenon I thought I should learn from a pro. I learned so much and I hope you will too. Enjoy.

1. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Ashley (onehm= One Happy Mama). I have been married for almost 11 blissful years to my best friend and the cutest boy I've ever known...we have 4 incredible children, who I stay at home with. My mom and I are partners in a preschool...I help out there some. I have a degree in Elementary Education. I LOVE photography and digital scrapbooking... **I did my first digital LO in January of ‘07, and have never looked back! My DH and I adopted three kids and got pregnant (after many years of infertility) with one of our own…we suddenly had 4 kids in 18 months! So there was no time and no place for me to paper scrap. I was blog hopping one night, and found Jenn Woodbury’s blog and her beautiful LO’s inspired me! I was hooked after doing a tutorial…

2. In my opinion, you’re a fabulous digital scrapbooker. Can you tell us what software program(s) do you use to design your layouts?

I use Photoshop CS3 (recently upgraded from CS2) to create my scrapbook LO's. I am lucky that my DH is a graphic designer, so I end up with his "hand-me-down" programs when he upgrades!! LOL! But I recommend Photoshop Elements to people who are just starting out and wanting to purchase a program. Photoshop really is "the standard" in digital scrapbooking and you will find that most of what is out there is PS compatible. Plus the Elements program is quite easy to use and gives similar results as the professional version that I use.

3. What software/website program(s) do you use to print out your layouts?

I am picky about my LO's being printed. I like quality...so I won't print them on my printer here at the house. I have only printed my LO's at Costco so far. I have been pleased with the product.

4. Can you print them out in a photo book like Blurb and Shutterfly?

Absolutely!! I have not done it, but one of my really good friends has, and they look AMAZING!

5. What are your favorite websites/blogs to download embellishments?

I have become alot pickier in the quality of my materials...I really want my pages to look REALISTIC. My favorite freebies are from: Brittish Designs, Tangie Baxter, Shabby Princess, and Peppermint Creative. (just to name a few!!)

6. What are your favorite websites/blogs to get inspiration from?

I love to look at the LO galleries at Digishop Talk, TangieBaxter.com, and ScrapMatters.com.

7. Can you give us a mini-tutorial from start to finish on making a digital layout?

I would recommend you going to the Shabby Princess website and choosing a tutorial from their extensive list...they have TONS of things available and they are all FREE! It's an awesome resource, and they are super easy to follow. I used this tutorial and here's one for PS Elements. When I started. It's how I learned to scrapbook!! ;)

8. How do you organize your embellishments?

I have all my Digi-scrap materials on an external hard drive. I keep a folder for "Digital Scrapbooking" and then I have subfolders such as: "kits", "papers", "embellishments", "alphabets", "frames"...etc. I also have a separate folder for the designers that I am on creative teams for (Tangie Baxter and Brittney Leavitt). I keep their items organized the same way, so that they are easy to find when I am working on a LO for them.

9. How do you save & organize your layouts?

I save 3 copies of each of my LO's...One is the original Photoshop document. I also save a full size JPEG version of the LO for printing, and I save a smaller, for-web jpeg version (edited to change names and recognizable information) for posting on my blog and in my personal LO galleries. I organize them by year and "who" they are about in folders. I have a separate folder for the "for-web" versions.

10. If you don’t have them printed in a book form, do you print them out individually? If so, how do you do that? What company/website do you use?

I print them individually because my kids LOVE to look through their books. I wanted to be able to replace pages if they were ripped or crumpled. Our youngest (he's 2) LOVES his book. He looks through it every day. He loves to see all the people in our family and his memories. It's the best part of what I do. So I print each of my pages in 8x8 format at Costco.com and then slip them into the page protectors in the scrapbook albums that I have found on sale at Joann's and Michael's craft stores. I love the way the pages have turned out.

11. Famous Last Words:

I love to scrapbook. I love that I am recording my family's history for us to enjoy now as well as my posterity to learn from later!! I love that there is NO MESS to clean up when I am done scrapping...I just walk away from the computer! It's fantastic!! There are TONS of free scrapbook supplies out there! Every day you can check out the freebies on: Ikea Goddess. It's a fabulous resource to take advantage of!

I would tell everyone to just try it! You might just become addicted like me!! LOL! You can also put the links for my Galleries if you want.

Thank you so much Ashley! This is amazing and such great information. You've absolutely convinced me to stop procrastinating and try it out.