Sunday, November 7, 2010

Free Digital Scrapbooking Template for DSD!

I celebrated Digital Scrapbooking Day (November 6) by scrapbooking all day with a friend. We had a blast and I actually got some real work done, including two new layered templates.

Here’s one:


{Webajeb-Template-045 – drop-shadows for preview only}

I scraplifted this layout from the August 2010 issue of Scrapbooks, Etc., and made a template out of it.  Then I created this:


{digtital papers and elements from Melissa Bennet of Sweet Shoppe Designs}

I stuck pretty close to the original layout, just moved a couple of the journaling strips around and added the extra elements (leaves) at the bottom.  Love the way it turned out!

I hadn’t done any scrapbooking in a long time and it felt good to get back to it, even if just for a little while.  I even got the new template uploaded to my online store where you can get it for just 99 cents!  Just click here to go to my website.  AND once you’ve purchased the kit email me and I’ll send you a second layered template absolutely free! 

Here’s a sneak-peek at the free template:



The templates are in both .PSD and .TIF format and are copyright-FREE!

No need to worry about whether or not you can use them in your scrapbook for hire projects, or whether you can post them in online galleries.  Go right ahead!  Credit is appreciated, but not required.  Of course, I’d love to make lots of sales, but if you know a scrapbooker who is having a tough time financially (I certainly do) you are welcome to share my templates.  {Please read the TOU delivered with the templates for complete copyright information.}


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Looking Back to Go Forward

I’ve been in a bit of a creative slump the last few months.  A lot has to do with having started working at a regular “9 to 5” (or, in my case, 7:00 to 3:30) job, five days a week.  A pretty demanding job, that requires a lot of energy and, more importantly, a lot of my creativity, and where I sit in front of a computer nearly the entire day. By the time I get home I’m beat, and not up to sitting in front of my own computer for yet more screen-time.

I’m finally feeling settled in there, though, and ready to get back to some of my OWN projects, including creating digital designs for Webajeb, especially (my favorite): templates.. 

I create templates for my own use, and then I put them out there for YOUR use. Sometimes they are for sale, for a small price; often, they are free.  I have missed this part of my life, and am looking forward to sharing new templates very soon!

Meanwhile, to get back into the habit of posting to my blog, here are some of my favorite digital scrapbook pages from past years:

Scout-I-Dare-Ya copy 2009-02-Bradley-is-Boggled 2009-03-My-Garden 2009-08-Four-Seasons-in-Cali copy 2009-08-Mike-Hanging-Clothes copy Catbed-too-small copy If you’d like a template of any of these pages, just say the word!

Or, have you seen a scrapbook page online that you love, and would like a template made of it for your use?  I can do that, too.

And for the rest of you – I will post new Layered Digital Scrapbooking Templates by Webajeb very soon!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Digital Scrapbooking Freebies - Graduation and Father’s Day!

2004-06-Kristen-Graduates copy

It’s Graduation time!!!!  Here’s a scrapbook page I did last year for my sister’s graduation from Brooklyn Law School in 2004.  I made the photo mask and loved it so much that I made 6 more!  They were very popular last year so I updated them (with the year 2010) and have re-issued the set.  Here is a preview of what’s included in the set:

Webajeb-Masks-Graduation-Preview copy

{Click on the image to go to my online store!}

Seven digital photo masks AND, as a BONUS – with your purchase of this set I will PERSONALIZE one of the masks (your choice) with the name of your graduate AND the year (if it doesn’t happen to be 2010).  Instructions and my email address are included in the set.  I usually have a very quick turnaround so within about 24  hours you will have your personalized photo mask via email.

Plus, there’s a there’s a tutorial included on how to use photo masks!

And the entire set is only $1.99!

Not a bad deal, eh???

And, don’t miss my Father’s Day FREEBIES as posted yesterday!

‘Cuz June is all about Dads ‘n Grads!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Freebies - Father’s Day Digital Photo Masks Revisited

Webajeb-Mask-Sample-Use copy

I love my Dad!  I made this digital scrapbook page last year around Father’s Day for my Book of Me.  I also modified the page dimensions to make a Father’s Day card for my dad – and he loved it!  I was his first daughter.  He was my first hero.  There’s an unbreakable connection there.

This year has been very different.  Father’s Day has sneaked up on me!  It makes me sad because I really wanted to do something very, very special for my Dad, and now that it’s only 3 days until Father’s Day, I’m running out of time!

So I’m recycling and re-issuing my Father’s Day photo masks from 2009!  (Feel free to skip ahead to the end of this post, where you’ll find links to get my Father’s Day photos masks – FREE!  Or, keep reading for news about what’s next for Webajeb.)

‘Cuz I just want to say that I’m also sad about how long it’s been since I updated this blog.  I miss it terribly!

But, as many of you know, due to the high cost of individual health care premiums, and the slow economy, I made the tough decision to go back into the corporate world.

My husband, wisely, renewed my business license anyway.  So Webajeb Digital Photo Albums & Portfolios is still in business, if minimally.

Having said that, now that I’m settling into my new job and my new schedule, I’m slowly but surely working my way back toward carving out some time to do what I love most: create fun digital products to share and sell within the digital (and paper!) scrapbooking community.

Not to mention create digital scrapbook pages for my own albums!  (Laptop crop, anyone???  SUSAN?  APRIL??)

So it looks like my lil’ business will go through yet MORE changes.  But what is life without surprises?  The true test of our resilience just might be our ability to roll with the punches and I intend to do just that!

I do thank you all for continuing to visit my website, read my blog, and purchase my products.  You provide the motivation for me to carry on.

So please, enjoy these FREE Father’s Day photo masks.  It’s last-minute, I know; however, if your Dad is online, you can send you creation to him via email.  If not, and you want to print out your photo and / or create a handmade card for him, call him on Sunday, and let him know it’s coming.

If your dad is like mine, he’ll totally treasure that conversation and the card, when it arrives, will be the cherry on top of his Father’s Day Sundae.

Don’t you just love how easily pleased Dads are?

Here are the links to my FREE Father’s Day digital photo masks at 4shared:

Set One – Nine Father’s Day photo masks (click on the image to download)!Webajeb-Masks-Fathers-Day-Preview-01 copy

Set Two – Three MORE Father’s Day photo masks (click on the image to download)!

Webajeb-Masks-Fathers-Day-Preview-02 copy

I hope you enjoy these freebies – I’d love to see what you create with them!

And remember, all my products are copyright-free!  So if you’d like to share them with your digital scrapbooking friends, or use them to create a digital scrapbook page to enter in a contest, or whatever, FEEL FREE!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Saturday Scrapbooking

Wow, finally a chance to do some of my own scrapbooking!  On Saturday I went to an all-day crafter’s fundraiser.  Everyone brings whatever craft they like to do (most people bring scrapbooking projects although I’m the only one that does it digitally) and we work on our projects, snack, eat lunch and then dinner, and socialize.  It was a very fun day.  Here are a few of the pages that I did:Jen Caputo - Digital Sketch 2010-04-Foster-Kittens-Title-Page



For those of you wondering what’s going on with my business, Webajeb Digital Photo Albums & Portfolios, there have been some huge changes in my life; hence, the long silence in this blog, and no newsletter.

Bottom line is: I’ve gone back to work full-time.  The reasons are many but foremost was health & dental insurance.  My little business was barely bringing in enough to pay my taxes, let alone pay my bills AND handle the ever-rising cost of individual health insurance premiums, so the tough decision was made to go back into the corporate world.  I know many, many small businesses are struggling in today’s economy so I will say that I’m extremely grateful to have landed a great job.

Tomorrow will begin my third week at the new job and I’m finally beginning to settle in to the new routine.  It’s been quite an adjustment!  I am not shutting down my business completely, but I will not be taking on any client projects; I will only be creating some digital products and putting them on my website for sale or on my blog as freebies.  I will try to do this at least once a month, but no promises!

I also plan to post many of my own digital pages that I create because, well, I just like to share!  And it’s a good place for my friends and family to see them.  I’ll still send out the email notification whenever I update this blog.  (If you’d like to opt out of those notifications simply use the “Opt In/Out” link on the left-hand side of my blog.)

Keep on scrappin’!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Digital Photo Books – I’ll Make ‘em for you!

Cover 2007 

Photo Book-Making Service by Webajeb

I’m creating a photo book today for a client.  It’s the third in a series, one for each summer, that she and her family spend at her dad’s lakefront home in Canada.

{I can create one for you, too, for a low flat rate for the first 20 pages.  Click here for more info.}

You’ve heard the website names, perhaps visited one or more:

Snapfish, Shutterfly, Smilebooks, KodakGallery, MyPublisher, Lulu, Picasa, Blurb, Photobook Memories, and more every day.

You can go to any one of these websites, upload your digital photos and, using their premade backgrounds and page layouts, make beautiful photo books in a variety of styles and sizes.

Easy and fast, right?

Yes and, well,  no.  It IS pretty easy, once you’ve been through the process a few times, have learned the tricks at the various websites to make the process go faster, are familiar with the photo book tools for editing, adding and spellchecking text, creating the covers and spine designs, etc.  Oh, and resolving any issues that may pop up such as text that’s too large to fit the space allotted, a photo that gets cropped incorrectly or turned on its side, or pages that are out of order.

And the process IS pretty fast, once you’ve been through it a few times.  I will warn you right up front, though, to be prepared for it to seem tedious and tiresome and for it to take far longer than you expect your first time through.  Each time after that will get easier.

I know.  I’ve been ‘round the block with most of them at least once or twice by now!

My current favorite is Shutterfly; I like all the services they offer to digital scrapbookers, and they are the best for when you want to upload your own custom-designed scrapbook pages instead of using their premade stuff.  I like their galleries, too, and how you can set up one of your own and make it invite-only if you want.

I have a gallery there myself which contains some of the photobooks I have made.  Here is the link, but you’ll have to become a member before you can access it.  When you go to the link you’ll be able to choose the option to request being added as a member.  I’ll respond to all requests as quickly as possible.

Take a look at the books I’ve already created.  Perhaps you’d like one, too?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Free Digital Scrapbooking Template Number 043

{Webajeb-Template-043 - 2-page layout!}

It's been awhile since I gave away a freebie, so here's a cool 2-page digital scrapbooking template FREE to my blog readers!  This template was inspired by Sketch #23 in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine.

Get it in PSD or TIF format (or download both, if you like).  You'll get the 2-page layout as one file AND as individual right and left pages,so you can work with the template in the way you are most comfortable.

These templates include all of my "Easier-to-Use" features: numbers on each photo spot so that you can quickly locate the layer where you want to drop your photo; a plus sign (+) in front of the layer name for layers that are clippable, AND font names included in the layer names for text in case you want to use the same one.

Download in PSD format here or TIF format here.

Visit my online store for more templates, as well as lots of other fun digital scrapbooking products!!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Five Ways to Reduce PSD (or TIF) File Sizes

 {8x8 canvas: PSD file size before: 40.98 MB; PSD file size after: 33.02 MB}

What to keep and what to throw out?

Do you save your layered digital scrapbooking files?  Or do you flatten them into JPGs and then delete the original PSD or TIF file to save space on your hard drive?  Or do you keep both?

I used to keep both; in fact, I used to keep THREE versions of every scrapbook layout that I created: the original layered PSD file, a flattened JPG file for printing, and a smaller, low-res version for the web!

It wasn't long before I realized I was quickly filling up my hard drive and I began to wonder - did I really need to keep three versions of every layout?  If not, which ones should I keep, and which should I throw out?

My first thought was to delete the PSDs.  Because of the layers in a PSD file, they are by far the biggest in size and take up the most hard-drive space.  By deleting them I could quickly free up a lot of space.  My reasoning was that once the layouts were finished and printed I certainly wasn't going to go back and make changes, so why keep them in the layered format?

In talking with other digital scrapbookers I found that most were deleting their PSDs (or TIFs) and keeping only the flattened JPGs.  Not yet 100% sure I wouldn't EVER want to go back and change something on one of my personal layouts, I decided I'd start by deleting all the PSDs for my clients.  After all, once I'd delivered their printed layouts, or their completed albums, I could definitely consider those layouts finalized.

The first decision: Get rid of the huge PSDs files.

I deleted about 200 PSDs and freed up a LOT of space on my hard-drive so I was pretty pleased with myself.  Until a few weeks later . . .

 . . . when I realized that a piece of digital paper that I'd created on-the-fly for a client layout would be perfect for the layout I was working on . . .

. . . but that I hadn't saved it off separately.

Well, that PSD file was gone and all I had was the flattened JPG.  I wasn't going to be able to pull the paper out of that!

I was able to recreate the paper, pretty closely anyway, but it took me a lot longer than if I'd had it available, and it was frustrating to have to do that work over again.

Soon after that I realized that many of the layouts I'd done in the past for clients could easily be reused for another client, or for my own personal layouts, and vice versa!  If I had the PSDs all I would have to do is swap out the photos and change titles and journaling.  Argh!

Why I had never thought of that before I'll never know.  I'm usually pretty good at finding the quickest and easiest way to do something {probably because I'm basically a lazy person, lol}.  It's a totally Murphy's Law kinda thing that it wasn't until after I'd deleted hundreds of my PSD files that I recognized their value.  Or should I say, a totally ME kinda thing to do, as is what I did next: which was to totally reverse my standard operating procedure.

The second decision:  KEEP the huge PSD files.

Now I save the PSDs and delete any JPGs!  After all, I can always quickly & easily make a flattened JPG (high or low-res or both) from the PSD anytime I want, but I can't make a PSD from a flattened JPG!
Then, because there was still the issue of how big PSD files are, I looked for ways to make them as small as possible, and came up with five quick and easy ways.

Five Ways to Reduce PSD (or TIF) File Sizes:

Before starting a new layout:
1. Choose the correct canvas size.  Don't create layouts at 12x12 if you plan to print at 8x8.  Templates, quick pages, and digital papers delivered at 12x12 can be scaled down as needed.

After your layout is finished:

2. Crop the canvas.  With the marquee tool, start at one corner of your canvas and drag the mouse to the opposite corner to select the entire canvas.  From the menu select Image, Crop.  Press Enter.  This trims any part of digital elements or photos that extend outside the boundaries of your canvas. 

3. Delete any hidden or extra (duplicate) layers.  Turning the eye on and off to make sure the layer is truly extra.

4. Delete that original white background layer, if it's no longer needed.  Most likely it's totally covered by another piece of paper!

5. Merge any clipped layers.  This is a biggie!  You'll shrink your file size by a lot by getting merging the clipped layers together.  If you use template you can easily end up with 6 or 7 extra layers (photos) that are clipped to the template.

Some real-life examples:

The layout at the top of this post was done at 8x8.  Using Tips 2 through 5 I was able to reduce the file size from 40.98 MB to 33.02 MB.  Layouts done as 12x12s can be even more dramatic in the file size change results.  Check these two out:
{file size before: 91.85; file size after 65.02}

{file size before: 130.12 MB; file size after: 68.23 MB!}

As you can see, even after clean-up a layout done at 12x12 is going to be considerably bigger than one at 8x8.  So always create at 8x8 (or 8.5x11) unless you know for sure you're going to want to print at 12x12 or bigger.

Note: I once sent a friend one of my layouts (created at 8x8) and she printed it at 12x12 and it looked great, so I'm not convinced that it's ever necessary to go with a  larger canvas........but I wouldn't want to stake my reputation {or your prints} on my limited experience.  ;-)

My final decision:

I'm keeping my {cleaned-up} layered PSD files - only.

Simple.  Uncluttered.  I like it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gettin' Dotty with LAYERED Digital Paper

{dotted LAYERED digital background paper by Webajeb}

{available now in my online store}

Each of the three papers are delivered in both the usual .JPG flattened format AND in layered .PSD and .TIF formats.  So you can either use the .JPG format, as is, open up the .PSD in Photoshop or, if you use a scrapbooking software other than Photoshop, you can use the layered .TIF file.

Here are some of the modifications you can make to my layered papers {instructions are included in the set of three papers}:

* Change the color of any or all the layers.
* Change the opacity of any or all the layers.
* Remove or hide the Bevel & Emboss style on the two dotted layers.
* Add a different style to any or all the layers.
* Add a texture to any or all of the layers.
* Remove or hide any of the layers.
* Enlarge the dotted layers and move them around.
* Add more layers.

Essentially, you can end up with an entirely new, different, and custom-designed-by-YOU piece of digital paper!

Once you've finished with your changes, and are happy with your new paper, save it as a .JPG.  It is now ready to be dragged onto a layout.  That's really all there is to it.

Of course, if you like the papers just as they are, simply use the .JPG file in the download.

Get this set of three layered digital scrapbooking papers, and see what other cool stuff I have, at my online store here!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Revisiting Artsy Quick Pages

{My niece, Megan, on her 21st birthday}

After my last post, Go Big or Go Home, I was surprised to receive numerous comments and emails from people who agreed with me!  I truly believed that I was one of just a few people who dislike the current trend of putting one very small photo on a layout, and leaving lots of "white space" around it.  It's one thing when people are using this technique on their own layouts - that's all a matter of personal style.  But the trend has also extended to many, many of the Quick Pages available for download.

So it was nice to know that I'm not as alone as I thought!  Even nicer? I got some suggestions on a couple of really cool ways to use those Quick Pages.

Lisa of Mama Llama Designs mentioned that the more "artistic" Quick Pages look great when printed on canvas and hung on a wall.  I can envision that very well, and totally agree.

Amber and Belle both wrote to say they use the "artsy" QPs to scrapbook low resolution photos, such as those taken with a cell phone, and which will only print well at a small size anyway.  Awesome idea!

My layout, above, uses a low-res photo that I downloaded from Facebook.  It printed beautifully.

Wouldn't it be great if Quick Pages were customizable?  If you could change the size and/or position of the photo window, the elements, the paper, even the text?  Check out my first ever (and perhaps the only one of its kind anywhere) Layered Quick Page

It's a free download, too!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Go BIG or Go Home

Ok, peeps, what is UP with all the eensy-weensy photos on everyone's digital scrapbook pages???  If you browse any of the popular designer's websites and/or blogs, you know what I'm talking about.  Layout after layout after layout featuring only a single {tiny} photo, lots of digital elements, and a whole lotta blank space.

Not to mention, when I find a really fun Quick Page to download, there they are again -- itty-bitty windows in the .PNG files where you can slide in a photo no bigger than thumbnail-size.  Like this page:

{Quick Page by Creashens}

How CUTE is that page?  And perfect for the sweet photo of my great-niece, Kayla.  But, dang it, when I printed this out at 8"x8" for my family album, Kayla's picture came out measuring only 1.5" x 1.5".  That's wayyy too small for me {when I have to get out my reading glasses to get a good look at the photo I get grumpy}.

Maybe it's just me but when I look at this page I see the focus as being on the elements - the owl, the button, the stitching, the patterned paper border - rather than on the photo.  I like my pages to be the other way around - with my photos as the focus.

I've been waiting a long time for this trend to go away.  And it's just not going away.  I know there's this idea that all that "white space" (aka empty space) on the page is restful to the eyes, artsy, and modern but, in the long run, my goal is to get all my photos scrapbooked with a minimum of time and money spent.  If I scrapbook just one photo per page it's going to take me a LONG time to make any headway, and it's going to cost me a LOT in ink and paper, too, and albums to put all the pages in and page refills, and bookshelves to hold all the albums . . . well, you get the idea.

Well, I never have followed the crowd, but it could be that my taste and/or style is just different.  Like these pages that I did over the weekend:

{double-click any image for a larger view}

As you can see, my tendency is to FILL the page with photos - usually to the extent that there's no place for journaling {I'm working on that}.  I haven't left much room for elements either, like buttons, ribbons, digi-stickers, etc., which is kind of a shame since I have an external hard drive literally stuffed with 'em.

But somehow I'm ok with that.

And I'm keeping Kayla's page, too, 'cuz it's just way too cute not to.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fun Free Digi-Scrapbooking Template Plus BONUS

Hi all!

I have a number of half-finished, even some all-the-way-finished(!), templates in my "work queue," so I've been working on getting some of them out the door and into your capable hands. 

Today's FREE template is a fun one that I created based on a layout I made for my son's wedding album.  It INCLUDES two Bonus Items: the "Meant to be with You" word art, AND the "love you" photo mask.  And, in case you want to change the "love you" part of the photo mask to something else, I've also included the mask as two separate layers; the rectangle shape, and the text.

Here's the layout that inspired the template:

Download Webajeb-Template-039 from 4shared in .PSD format here, or in .TIF format here.  (Take a look at other Webajeb templates at my online store!)

Enjoy my templates, and please share the layouts you make!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

FREE Digital ScrapbookingTemplates


It's been too long since I've posted templates so here are a couple freebies for you.  Use them alone, or together.  The one on the right was inspired by a traditional page layout in the Scrapbooks Etc. magazine (february 2010, page 21).  I created the layout on the left as a companion page, and as a place to put a large title for the 2-page layout I had in mind.

I love the grid-style layout, not to mention spots for up to 9 photos on one page!  This would be perfect for a Year in Review layout, too, for 2010.  There are 12 spots for photos, and a large section for title and journaling.  Or use the larger space for a photo, and one of the smaller ones for title and journaling.

As with all of my templates these include a layer with numbers so that you can quickly see which layer to highlight before dragging your photo in.  (You'll want to hide or delete this layer before printing or posting.)  All clippable layers have a plus sign (+) preceding their name in the layers palette.

Here are the layouts I made with these templates:

{click on either image for a larger view}

Download the templates from 4shared in .PSD format here or .TIF format here.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Creating Digital Paper on the Fly


My goal for this year is to reduce my dependence on pre-made digital paper and elements.   Instead I want to create a toolbox of skills, or quick procedures, to create paper and elements on the fly, as part of designing a  page layout.

I found a quick and easy method of creating solid colored, textured, digital paper being demonstrated in a video on YouTube by Chris Beasley of

Watch the video (it's nice and short!), learn the technique, then use my cheatsheet notes below to refresh your memory when needed.

Cheatsheet notes:

1.  Open a new 12x12 blank document.
2.  Fill the background layer with the color of your choice.
3.  Create an adjustment layer, select Pattern, and choose "Gouache Light on Watercolor" from the "Artist Surfaces" group of patterns (load these, if needed, as shown in the video). Increase the scale to 1000%, or as desired.
4.  Change the layer's blend mode to Overlay.
5.  Reduce the opacity to 40%, or as desired.
6.  Create another adjustment layer, select Pattern, and this time choose "Dark Coarse Weave." Increase the scale to 125%, or as desired.
7.  Change the layer's blend mode to Soft Light.
8. Reduce the opacity to 30%, or as desired.
9. Save as a .JPG file.


I recommend keeping the .PSD file as well as the .JPG.  As CB mentions at the end of the video, if you have the .PSD file (or .TIF, if that's what you prefer), you can open the original file and experiment with different blend modes, scales, and opacity on the adjustment layers.

You could also swap out the Patterns and experiment with those, trying different combinations of patterns for endless possibilities.

One of my favorite things about having the .PSD file handy is that I can use the Paint Bucket and simply fill the background layer with a different color (pull a color from your photo or from a patterned paper that you are using) and instantly have a coordinating paper with the same texture to use in my layout. How about orange?

Or experiment with the Gradient tool:

How cool is that????

I'll be collecting more fun techniques for creating digital paper On the Fly, and writing them up in Cheatsheet format.  Feel free to copy and paste to your own blogs, share my Cheatsheets with your friends, print them out for easy reference, they're copyright-free.  (A link back to me is appreciated, but not necessary.)

Put that in your Digital Toolbox and Use It!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Online Scrapbooking Classes Are Just Not Doing it for Me

I mentioned in an earlier post that I've developed a dislike for online scrapbooking classes, especially the ones with a long list of supplies to purchase.  The cost of a class can range from free to upwards of $95.  I got an email invite to one of these classes this weekend and, though the class sounds real nice, it's been my experience that the time I spend "in" class is yet one more activity that takes away from the time I could be, um, scrapbooking!

And I have a confession to make.  Of the half-dozen or so online classes I signed up for last year?  I didn't finish a single one, not even the ones I paid money for!

That just made me feel stupid not to mention a little poorer in both money and time.  Oh, and printer ink and paper, too, because it seems there's always stuff you gotta print out; worksheets, checklists, workbook dividers, organizational charts, and other handouts.  Aren't we digital scrapbookers trying to move toward paperless???  I only want to print my finished layouts! Instead, I ended up with a stack of stuff printed on cardstock but that I never put to use because I both lost interest in the class because there was too much  filling in of the blanks on those printouts (by hand!) AND I was busy scrapbooking.......!

Most classes now also include audio and/or video lessons.  I seldom have the patience to watch the video lessons (and I have even less patience with audio because I am a very visual learner). I'm sure a lot of people like them, but I don't.  Just give me a written tutorial with a few (a few, not dozens!) of screenshots.  I like to have something static to refer back to later if I need to; I don't want to have to watch the video all over again!  I can save a written tutorial in my Tutorials folder on my laptop and then search that folder for key words to find all tutorials dealing with the skill I am interested in.  As far as I know you can't search a video in that way.

And let's face it; there are so many versions of Photoshop CS and Photoshop Elements and Digital Imaging Pro, and Scrapbook Max, and MemoryMixer, and there are new ones popping up all the time, these classes can't possibly cover the detailed step-by-step for every one of them.  I would rather the "lessons" just use terms such as "select {insert name of object here}" and let me decide which tool (in Photoshop CS3, in my case) to use to do that.  Let's understand our software, not just follow step-by-step procedures to perform a task because when one of those steps doesn't work for our particular software, we're hosed!

But not if you've learned to use the tools in your scrapbooking software's toolbox.  Then you can just say to yourself: "Self, my software does that in a different way, and I know what it is!"

Back to those {usually quite long} "supply" lists............granted, they are usually at their most damaging to your wallet if you are doing traditionl {paper} scrapbooking but, good grief, I've seen some for online digital scrapbooking that are ridiculous!  Most common is for the supply list to consist of kits and other products sold at the website that is offering the class.  Well, ok, that's a marketing technique to get more sales, I understand that.  But the rebel in me wants the choice to use products that I already have or {gasp!} my own designs.  Some instructors do say go ahead and use whatever you want or have but the lessons (and screenshots) are always geared toward using what's on the supply list.  Sorry, but that just saps my own creativity.

LOTS of people love those classes; they must, or there wouldn't be such a huge number of them being offered, and more popping up every day.  If you're one of those people, more power to ya, and have fun.

But don't look for me in class. ;-D

Monday, January 4, 2010

FREE-Webajeb's First LAYERED Quick Page!!!


Introducing...the very first....LAYERED QUICK PAGE!!!  WOOT!

This is not just a template, and it's not just a quick page - it's BOTH!  Each element is still on its own layer in a .PSD or .TIF file (download either or both!) and has NOT been flattened to a .PNG file.

You can choose to either pop your own photos into the spaces provided OR move any of the elements around, resize or recolor them, change the title, swap out the elements with your own or another designer's, pull the individual elements out to use in other layouts, whatever your little heart desires!  The paper and elements are created by me, and are copyright-free, so have fun with them!  Giving credit to me is appreciated, but not required.  {The ONLY thing I ask is that you do not rename them and sell them as your own.}

I'm VERY excited about these . . . even though they are going to take longer to create than regular templates . . . hm, they'll take longer to create than regular quick pages, too . . . still, I'd love to have found something like these out there in digital-land myself, especially when I was a beginner digital scrapbooker (and in many ways I still am since there's always so much to learn).

The inspiration for this first layered quick page came from a layout I did for a client a year or so ago.  I've always loved the bright, pastel colors and the sticker look of the sun and title elements.  The fun background paper is one I created using a photo of my Mom's parquet entryway floor as a texture, then playing with color overlays.  The sun is a standard Photoshop Custom Shape and the font is Flowerchild, available free at  To make them look like stickers (with the white border) I added a size 16 white stroke on the outside.  Add a drop-shadow and you've got the sticker look. It works with pretty much any custom shape and or text.

Here's the original layout:

I do have a problem, though, and I need your help.

I don't know what to call these!  I don't want to just call them "layered quick pages."  Boring!  So that's where you come in.  If you've got an idea for a fun & catchy name, please leave a comment, or send me an email.  If I pick yours, you'll NEVER pay for a Webajeb "Layered Quick Page" - Ever!  I'll simply send you each new file in an email when I post it!  I'm hoping that bribe will prompt you to put on your thinking caps and hook me up with an awesome name.

The other thing I'd love is feedback after you've tried using this.  What worked, and what didn't?  What should I do differently?  I want these to be as useful as possible for you, so any and all critique will be welcome!

Download the file from 4shared as a .PSD here, or as a .TIF here.