Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Vision for this Blog

Because I found it so difficult to start using GIMP, and because I think that once you're used to it it's such a great program (and FREE, which is so important to some of us), I decided to make that the theme of this, my new scrapbooking blog. I hope to be an encouragement and show what can be done with the program with practice, and as time allows, create a few tutorials to help you get started with GIMP, too, if you want to. I've learned completely by trial and error, and by seeing other people's layouts made using photoshop and trying to simulate the same look using GIMP. I have read a few online tutorials but many of them are for older versions, and I have not found any geared towards scrapbooking, so maybe there is room in that area for me to help. Once I have written some tutorials, if I can help even a few people to break into this fun hobby affordably then I think I will feel satisfied with the time spent. :)

The blog will also be a way for me to chronicle my journey as I continue to scrapbook and learn new styles and techniques, and work with new materials. I'll be posting some of the layouts that I create here, and if I am working with any designers as a member of their creative team, I'll promote their products here to help them out as a way of saying thank-you to them for allowing me to scrap with their kits.

Thanks for reading!

The Story of How I Began Scrapping with Gimp

Hello! Welcome to my blog! I begin this blog having been scrapbooking with paper since almost 20 years ago, and scrapbooking digitally since about 9 months ago. After 15 years of paper scrapping I had stopped a couple of years after my oldest child was born, and after several years without working on it at all I began to wonder if I ever would again. The main reason I had stopped was because I was busy being a mom, and I found that many times when I would get everything out I would have to put it all away again without even finishing a single page. It was so difficult to pick up where I left off once putting it away, and sometimes I would completely forget what I had been doing. Not having a lot of time to work on it, I lost interest and even began considering putting together (gasp!) regular photo albums for our family pictures.

Then one day my sister called and told me about a photobook printing special, and I checked out the website. It was artscow, which has it's own software, and once you've done your layouts with their program, you can only access them through their website. So frustrating! Also, I couldn't do a lot of the things I wanted to do. There was no way to turn off the snap to guides, make shadows on my elements, crop paper to make squares or other shapes, change the color of anything, or even move a page from one album to another. After doing about 30 pages using that program, I decided I needed to cut my losses and try something else because I felt that not only could I not do what I wanted to with the program, I was possibly throwing my time away. I wanted to be able to save my projects on the computer so that I could reprint them later if I wanted to, and wanted to be able to make pages and then resize them or put them in a different album than I originally intended to.

Not being able to afford to buy a copy of photoshop, I tried scrapbooking in GIMP which we had already downloaded for free and had been using for cropping and resizing photos. It was very different from the other software and not very self-explanatory, so it was VERY frustrating and confusing to figure out how to make my page look how I wanted to, and I had a very difficult time finding tutorials online to help give me a little bit of a head start. But I was determined to make it work. My first layout that I did took hours, and I was literally yelling at the computer and at my husband who was using another computer next to me for something else. :) He's such a nice guy.

I'll even share that first layout with you:
Kit: Sweet Sugar by Marie Stones from last February (2010)

A decent start, I guess. It was at least as good as what I was able to do on the web based software.