11/06/08 What is a Freebie???

Some of you newbies have been asking this very question, and so I think it's time for a recap. No problem too, as once you all know what a freebie is and how to use it, you will undertand and value it's free-ness, as so many of us do. I have actually gotten to the point that I'd filled up all my space on my computer, and had to get an external hard drive to hold everything, so I could still work on my digital projects on my computer!

But I'm getting ahead of myself here~ Let me back up a bit.

Okay~ I want you think of yourself going into a scrapbook store to browse the paper selections they have there. Now, I'd like you to think for a minute on how the paper companies actually design their papers. Well, first off, they need their designers to come up with the patterns and cute flowers and the stripes that end up being the perfect papers for our projects.

But how do the designers actually design, or make, their designs? They start out on their computers. They use a program, such as Photoshop, to combine colors and design patterns and shapes for the papers. Their final designed project ends up as a file that they save on their computer, of a perfectly designed 12 x12 paper.

Then that file is sent to the printers, x-ing out a lot of middle stuff like approvals from the company heads and what not, and the printers download the designers' files, and print them out. The papers are packaged and shipped off to your local scrapbooking stores for all your scrapping needs and pleasure.

Having said all that, let's back up to the part where the designer saves their 12 x 12 project (or 8.5x11 or 8x8 or what not) as a file.

Designers who go independant, or simply who want to get their name and their work out there or otherwise, have a very nifty tool these days. It's called, the internet. On the internet, the world-spread phenonmenon of blogging has become a common, house-hold name, and a regular past-time for...lets just say many, as I don't really have a number here to give you. :) And on one's blog, one can post about, oh, what's been happening at work these days, or what adorable thing their kid did that day, or what political stand they take, or what song they wrote about their dogs, whatever.

My point here is that some very nifty and friendly and good-hearted designers out there are putting some, and in some cases all of their digital projects they've created, up on their blogs for our viewing, as well as for free downloading!

That is where I come in! I simply enjoy browsing the nets in search of...freebies, to post up on my blog....just for the fun of it! I'll tell you here and now that my personal digital scrapbook is feeling quite neglected, because of this addiction I have of searching out all of the fun, free stuff put out there by absolutely *great* designers.

So once you come to my blog, see a freebie you like, you can click on it. You will then be sent to the blog of the designer who made that particular freebie, where you will find the link to download it, and then you can unzip it on your computer to then access it for your own *personal* use! (Note: personal use being the key words here. Some designers will offer their products for commercial use for free, but it's not all *that* common, fyi. So I ask that you *please* respect their wishes, as it's also THE LAW, as copywrited materials.)

Now here's the kicker question: Once I've downloaded a freebie, WHAT DO I DO WITH IT?!!!

No worries, my friends! I have the answer!

You'll need some sort of photo editing software, one of which I like and use, is Photoshop, or Photoshop Elements, of which you may be able to download a 30-day free trial, to test it out! Here are some of the links:

Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows: here

Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 for Macs: here

To find other free Adobe downloads: here

Once you have your editing software, you can then open your freebie in it, and copy and paste your digital papers, elements and alpha's and switch them around with the use of your trusty mosue, just as you would with the traditional, physical versions of papers and elements and so forth.

No mess. Compact. Easy to share. And easy to print!

Now-a-days, you can send your entire, un-assembled album to a printer, like Shutterfly, for example, who will then print it all out for you, and in some cases, even *bind* it for you into an assembled album, book-style!

Very convenient, wouldn't you say?

As far as the cost goes....I really think it evens out. Truely. With traditional scrapbooking, the costs of physical paper, embellies, stickers, adhesives, stamps, inkes, tools and more... it can really add up! Then again, if you go digital, the up-front costs of the acutal products, the files, are quite minimal. But then you've got the cost of your photo editing software that you need in order to do anything with what you've either bought or downloaded for free! And on top of that is the cost of printing it all out. So, ultimately, I figure it's 6's.

That's why I do both! Traditional Scrapbooking as well as Digital Scrapbooking! I know~ I'm penniless!

Thank goodness for FREEBIES!