Finding Tutorials for Digital Scrapbooking


So you’ve been busy collecting some goodies to digi scrap with, you’ve got your software and you’re ready to start. But you don’t know what to do or where to find information. 
Yep, I feel your pain. I had some working knowledge of Photoshop from my doll customizing days. However, I soon found out that it was extremely limited knowledge. I knew how to crop and resize photos, and some minimal knowledge of adjusting brightness, color, etc. Very minimal, but it was enough to display my doll photos for auctions etc. There are a slew of “modes”, “Filters” and layer options with confusing names that don’t offer up many clues as to how to use them or even what they were for so I had to start with the basics.
So began my hunt for information and tutorials. I started with my good friend “Google” and did a search for “digital scrapbooking tutorials”. Lots of hits, some of them extremely helpful, too many of them assuming more knowledge than I actually had, using terms that I had no idea what was meant by them. Worse, when I tried to look up what those terms meant, I found that the terms were used differently by different tutorial authors, contributing to my confusion and frustration. How could I learn how to do something when I couldn’t figure out what the terms the author was using actually meant? Sometimes I knew the term, but the author would say “clip the photo to the mask” and assume I knew how to do that. Nope. I sure didn’t.
Over time, I learned enough on how to do things that I could overlook the terms each author used to see what they were actually doing. Some of the tutorials were for software programs other than Photoshop or they were using a different version of Photoshop than I own so I would have to hunt for the buttons that did the same thing in Photoshop. A difficult time consuming and often confusing and frustrating way to learn, but when you are trying to do it without spending any money, you accept that it’s going to be a hit or miss journey.
Eventually I decided that I was willing to actually pay to learn the basics but I was afraid of running into the same problems with terminology and the assumption of knowledge I didn’t have. I finally stumbled up this site: http://digitalscrapper.com/classes/
This site proved to be the most helpful to me, with several free video tutorials as well as some structured classes that were not free. I took the plunge and purchased the “Learn Digital Scrapbooking” class. This class was exactly what I needed, step by step, simple explanations that didn’t skip over steps that I needed to be successful, plus they even provided the kits I needed to practice and do my lessons with and a gallery to display my classwork projects and get feedback.
If you have more working knowledge with your graphics software program than I had, you might not have the difficulties learning digital scrapping that I ran into. Google “digital scrapbooking tutorials” and visit the different stores and designers listed. You may have to create an account to check out a store’s freebie or tutorial area, but feel free to look through what they have to see if you understand enough to be able to follow the tutorials offered. If so, remember to bookmark the site so that you can return as often as you need to learn new techniques or get a quick reminder on how to do one that you’ve already learned but may not remember.
Here are a few sites that might help. Remember that some may require that you learn the basics first, but they all have great information that you will need at some point:
http://www.digitalscrapbookingstudio.com/category/tutorials/
http://www.thecoffeeshopblog.com/(she also has some GREAT style freebies that you’ll be interested in, so bookmark the site for future reference)
Michelle has some incredible tutorials to take your scrapping to the next level:
http://networkedblogs.com/NmODF
There are many more than this so remember to use Google search to find as much information as you can. The more you learn the better. I visit the above sites often to learn new techniques so I’ve bookmarked them for easy retrieval later.
I happen to be one of those people who love the “for dummies” books. They seem to explain terms and techniques in a language that even “dummies” can understand.  (Hey! That’s me!) I also found that it is helpful to have them handy to use when I’m learning a new technique or just exploring the software on my own. I can skip around in the book to the specific areas I need for what I’m doing and it’s easier for me to find that information in an actual book. I can also find information on how to do something that I already learned, but I haven’t done it in awhile so I need to brush up on the technique.  It’s also one less piece of monitor real estate that is free for me to open folders, etc. while I work. I found the “Adobe Creative Suite 5 Designs Premium All-In-One for Dummies” book online but I wasn’t willing to pay $39.95 for it. YIKES! That’s too much!! A search with my good friend Google found a copy at Barnes & Noble’s online store for $9.95. I was able to get it shipped for about $13 total. THAT is an amount that I was willing to pay. I love that I can look up terms and functions quickly. The book even told me where to go to find free brushes, styles, etc. Love it!!
I hope this information was enough to get you started. If you know of another site with great tutorials you want to share, please leave a comment with a link so that others can take advantage of any knowledge that is available!
As always, happy crafting!
Pamela

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