Saturday, 20 April 2013

Yes, I use those programs you love to hate ...

Today's challenge word on the Divas Facebook group was "Five reasons". Here's the page I made with Raspberry Road's Domestic Goddess:

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Apparently you can only do digital scrapbooking with Photoshop Elements, or preferably that CS-whatever version that costs the same as a small car in the UK due to us being charged pound for dollar (on a download, for heaven's sake) and THEN having VAT added. It is entirely illegal, immoral and IMPOSSIBLE to make a scrapbook page any other way. Strange then that I've been digi scrapping for nearly 9 years and made over 3000 pages and NEVER used any variety of Photoshop until three days ago.

I started with Memory Mixer and still use that as my main program today. I'll continue to do so regardless of what else I learn in other programs as it's so quick, especially now that you can grab and embellishment you want and move it without having to worry which layer it is. I use My Memories too but I don't find it very stable. Smilebox? Brilliant and great fun! Easy albums with music that you can easily share with people, what more could you want? Oh, you want difficult stuff to impress your friends with? Then you won't want to see  my Smilebox albums HERE.

I bought PSE 11 very cheaply last November. Amazon UK were joining in all the Black Friday malarkey. It's stayed pristine in its cellophane wrapper for almost six months. Although I wanted it for templates and easy use of masks I couldn't face it as the last time I looked it was so un-user-friendly and I couldn't find a thing. Plus I can't even see anything when it's all gothic black. So I grudgingly installed it and WOW it's a nice colour and everything is easy to find. Reading a few reviews rather late in the day I discovered that die-hard PSE fans HATE the new version. They want black and hard-to-find. I find that hilarious. God forbid that ordinary mortals whose money Adobe would like to attract get to use the Sacred Photoshop. It reminds me of an episode of the Big Bang Theory where Sheldon says. "Windows 7 is much more user friendly than Vista. I don't like that."

What's made it even easier for me to learn is signing up to an Infinite Solutions Learning Photoshop Elements 11 class on Udemy. It's excellent material presented in a very professional way by a company that specialises in this kind of training. Now I could give you an affiliate link which would get you right there and earn me a few dollars but Udemy's idea of running an affiliate program is to have the system make it difficult to find the course you want, generate a link to the wrong course and ignore all emails. Don't get me started .... so I'll tell you how to save lots of money. Sign up to their email list or a free course and wait. Every now and then they will send you offers of 50% - 75% off. I only paid about $12 for my fantastic course. I've also signed up to a course on another site  on digi scrapping with PSE 11 so I don't get into bad habits. I'll be writing about my progress every week on the Coastal Scrapbooks blog.

So you're thinking I'm spending lots of money? Yes, but I'm not spending money on kits at the moment since I have enough for the next 500 years.

There's one I haven't mentioned from the list on that page - Studio-Scrap. This is from a French company and although almost everything is translated for you it does help to have a knowledge of French for little bits of the program they forgot to translate. Ask in our Facebook group if you get stuck. Also their Paypal link doesn't work even though it appears to so you need to pay by credit card. You can change the currency on the site so you know how much it will be and you can download a free trial too.

I bought it for the hundreds of cool template designs that are include and the photobook templates included with some of the kits. They work a bit like MM/MMS templates in that you can add/move/remove. Oh no, one of those illegal/immoral things the PSE wallahs hate! The kits appear expensive but they're absolutely HUGE. There's a learning curve on this one and I wouldn't recommend it for newbies but I'm going to have some fun with it. here's my first page using the Seaside Cottage photobook template.

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Sharon Horswill

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