For a long time now I've been meaning to get my head round a graphics package and do some digital scrapbooking but most tutorials didn't start in the right place and I'm very task orientated so I tend to need something to be aiming at to learn next techniques.
However a week or so ago I found a forum which was about digital scrapbooking and happened to have it's second birthday celebrations so lots of freebees and games and such. Lot's of challenges to do great for specific forms of layouts too which is great for me as it gives me some direction. Then I looked some more and found two more, also having birthday celebrations so obviously September is THE month to start scrapbooking endeavours !
The two I have actually got involved with so far are Digital arts Cafe and Go digital scrapbooking but I have also been following Stone Accents Studio who are running a designer completion at the moment and all the kits being designed for that are available free. The last two do a free mini kit of some sort every day and they all have really nice kits as joining presents so you can quickly build up a big library of papers and elements to use in your layouts plus they all have shops where you can buy more kits if you want something specific. So I would highly suggest joining a couple if you are starting out as I am to get ideas and items to start you off and also they are friendly places too.
I have also found a whole host of blogs that give away free designs or do useful tutorials, you can find most of those under the groups I follow and in just a week I've picked up some wonderful kits for free from some very talented designers.
So what have I actually managed to do? Well I am using Gimp so there are less tutorials on the forums than if I was using Paintshop but it's close enough I can work things out and Go digital scrapbooking has a good getting started tutorial plus a fourth forum Scrapbooks gone digital focuses on Gimp and has lots more tutorials.
I have done three layouts so far.
The first is of a photo I did a while ago and is for a challage to do a modern picture in a heretage style. Of course doing roleplay does have it's advantages and I worked on this photo to make it look like a painting a couple of years ago. The original was extremly dark and looked like there was nothing there but after lightening it and playing about I like it very much. Most of the papers etc are from Prairie Tales by Marina designs but the frame was from Cen's Loft. The seal I picked up ages ago and I've no idea where. The font is King and Queen which you might see again as I like it and it is for another challenge this month.
The second was done with a kit which I got from doing a treasure hunt.. it's by Rhondogg and I just used items from the kit. The font is wicker SF. This is the christmas Small was two and four months and he was very much able to get the hang of the V-Smile he has in his hands. It is a games consol but runs educational games for small kids. He has loved using it and the games have helped him learn several things, I think used right such things are a bonus though of course if they only play with computers that isn't good.
The final one was for a challenge where we had to use several specific things. A torn edge, a button, a leaf, lace, a striped paper, string, and a tag. I used items from various places. cardboard, lace and string stitches by gunhild, who has all sorts of useful bits for free. Papers, tag and button from My Favourite Things by Christy Skaggs. Leaves by Bon Scrapit Designs
I did my first ever merging of layers with the photos on the cardboard and also had to make the edge of the photo match the edge of the ripped of cardboard. I'm not entirely happy with the way things are laid out on this one but I am happy with the techniques I've learnt and the fact that being told I had to get certain things in made me do more than I would have other wise.