PDS 012 – Not Ready to Go There

What are some hidden journaling solutions for digital scrapbookers? What methods can digital scrapbookers use to hide more personal journaling that they may not want to be accessible to everyone?

That’s the subject of this week’s Paperclipping Digi Show!

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  • Designsbysuecummings

    My point and shoot takes up to 16 pics with point seconds of one another…

    Designs by Sue Cummings

  • I haven't made it very far into this episode but I wanted to ask a question
    before I forget! As someone who is mostly paper, I don't shop for complete
    digital kits where you get a coordinating set of papers, alphas,
    embellishments, etc. Instead, I look for items on and individual-purpose
    basis. For example, I decided I would like to have digital journal strips as
    another option for me to add journaling directly to my photos, so I've been
    shopping for those. I know that I can get non-kitted single-purpose digi
    packages from Designer Digitals. Other than that, I'm not sure where else to
    look. It seems like most other digi sites I run into have coordinated kits.
    I'm sure most full-on digi scrapbookers know of lots of places with single
    purpose packages, but as a mostly paper scrapbooker who has been adding more
    and more digi techniques over the last couple years, I am clueless.

    Are there certain sites catered to single-purpose packs, and other sites
    that cater to coordinated kits? Do some do both?

    Also, what is the best way to search for digital supplies that are designed
    for a single purpose? I have a picture in my head of something I want: a
    kind of clipping mask where the bottom is dripping as if it were painted. I
    searched on Designer Digitals (since it's the site that I know so well) and
    didn't find what I wanted. So then I googled it and all I got were tutorials
    on clipping masks — not products. I don't know where to look next.

    This is a specific example, but I would love to hear some general tips on
    how to search for a certain type of digital product.


  • Carolyn Miller

    This show got me to thinking about how to incorporate hidden stories and videos into digital scrapbooking. I personally print all my layouts up with shutterfly into a 12×12 bound photobook. But, I was thinking that it wouldn't be too hard at all to add some extra stories or short video clips onto a usb drive and somehow attach it to the book. (like on a string that you glue to the inside cover and the usb dangles outside the book??) Or use velcro tabs to attach to the back of the book. I guess that would make it sit funny next to another book on the shelf though? haha) Anyways, the normal person looking through the book probably wouldn't use the usb drive. The person more interested would. And if its a particularly juicy story that you only want one person reading, I suppose you could password protect that specific file and somehow give the one person the password.
    Just a thought. :)

  • I am not sure where you can find that specific product. However, any solid shape can be used as clipping mask. Try making your own. Start with a solid rectangle shape, then use your wacom tablet (since I know Izzy bought you one :) to draw the drippy shapes on the bottom. Let me know if this works.

  • Hi, Noell! I have some suggestions for you.

    I would say that it mainly depends on what each designer wants to create. Many times, designers enjoy the process of making full kits. Other times, they find that their specialty is really making unique tools like masks or stamps and the like.

    Most shops will have several categories that you can browse. For example, at The Digichick, we have full kits in a category called “Designer Kits.” Then you will find packs of paper under “Paper Packs” and element sets under “Element Packs.” Browsing a shop by category will be a quick way to locate what you're looking for. Some shops will break it down for you even more with sub-categories (like “Word Art”) or seasonal themes (like “Back to School” or “Christmas”). At least, that's how we have it at The Digichick. LOL!

    Other than that, often times people will ask their friends on a message board for some help locating just what they are looking for (as long as the site allows for such posts). Many times at DST (DigiShopTalk: http://www.digishoptalk.com/) you'll see “ISO” threads. That stands for “In Search Of.” People ask “Where can I find this?” and tons of people will come to give an answer. You'll find a ton of new shops and designers that way–for sure!

    Hope that helps!

  • And off the top of my head, here are some masks that might fit what you are looking for:

    Design by Heather T.


    ViVa Artistry:


    (we are great “enablers” in the digi world–LOL!)

  • DailyDigiSteph

    We digi scrappers LOVE our kits!!! One reason that most designers don't sale just one product by itself is because once they pay the PayPal transaction fee, it could cast them for you to buy a product. It's makes more sense for them to bundle products and charge enough to make a profit.

    Once you start looking around in stores, you will get more comfortable with it. I looked at Catscraps, but I looked under the brush category because I know what you are describing would come in a brush form, not a shape form instead of just a clipping mask or a shape. You can use the brushes as a clipping mask as well. Here's what I found: http://www.catscrap.com/shoppe/home.php?cat=276
    I would also suggest checking Oscraps.com in their brushes category. If you need a tutorial on using a brush as a clipping mask, let me know and I will either find one or make one for you. Chances are if you need to know how to do it, others will too!

    As far as knowing where to shop, this is a list of all past contributors to The Digi Files:
    You will know that any of the site, stores, designers on that list will have quality products. Good luck! I would love to hear what you go with!

  • DailyDigiSteph

    Great ideas! You could do the same thing with a DVD, I suppose, that way the book would lay flat still. Lots of options!

  • Carolyn Miller

    Yeah, I was just thinking that. Don't know why I didn't suggest that as well. LOL.

  • Not feeling super confident in my drip-creating abilities, but I haven't tried it, so maybe it's really just a confidence issue! Okay, I'll give it a try!

  • Wow, thank you for the guidance! That's a big help! :)

  • Thanks Steph. I wasn't asking about single PRODUCTS. I was talking about looking for single-purpose PACKAGES, which I buy from Designer Digitals all the time. I'm wondering where else I can buy packages of similar types of items, like Ali Edwards's photo overlays, for example.

    Thanks for the links you included! I'll take a look at those when I get home.

  • Cheryl

    I'm actually a paper scrapbooker and I'm just starting to look into digital scrapbooking. Here's a very easy question: Do I need to buy shadows or can you do it yourself in Photoshop?

  • Lynn in FL (wearefamilyw)

    This is one of the topics that I was really interested in, thanks so much for more thought provoking discussion! As I've pondered this more I was thinking, couldn't you add those private, more intimate thoughts to the metadata of the saved layout file? I don't know how everyone else does it, but I save a copy of all my layouts on an external hard drive. It's easy to go into photoshop elements and type in details under 'file info'. I've typed entire paragraphs before! I'm thinking you could even put a little 'identifier' phrase on your layout somewhere that would signify that there's 'more to the story'. Maybe 'MD' for metadata or some other phrase very inconspicuously placed in a corner of the page. That way your kids would know, “Hey mom/dad has something more to tell me here.”

    Anyway, just some thoughts. Thanks again, great show!

  • CarolineDavis

    I hope you don't mind me butting in, but I just wanted to speak to Crystal's question about which camera to buy. First, I have to mention that I just dropped my laptop and my S key fell off, so if a word looks like it should have an S in it, go ahead and assume that I was having technical difficulties. :)

    Izzy, while I agree that the lenses on SLR cameras make a huge difference in the quality of the photo, I have to say that I don't actually think it's THE biggest factor. Like, the kit lens that you get with a typical entry level SLR is merely OK quality, in the grand scheme of things. Personally, I think the sensor size is responsible for the biggest difference in quality. Why is that? Well, on a point and shoot camera, the sensor – which is the part of the camera that grabs the light and makes the image – is only slightly bigger than a pencil erasure. However, on most SLR cameras, the sensor is the size of one frame of APS film, and since even APS camera owners don't know how big that is, it's roughly the size of a big stamp – like the pretty ones you see on wedding envelopes, not the little American flag ones.

    Why does that even matter? If you look at the head of an erasure and think about dividing that up into 10-, 12- or 14- MILLION light receptors…every time I say that it just boggles my mind. (And, I should mention that I say all of this a lot, since I sell cameras for a living, and we talk about these things All. Day. Long.) At any rate, each one of those receptors (aka pixels) is miniscule. Which means that unless the light is perfect, a point and shoot camera is going to really struggle to capture the light and give you a nice, fine image.

    Now, even when I think about the larger sensor being divided up into 10-, 12-, or 14-MILLION pixels, I get like “holy wow, batman!”, because YES, those pixels are gonna be pretty tiny too. BUT, they're about 8 times bigger than the pixels on the PnS…so already we've got a better chance at getting a good photo.

    And the lens is really important – I just wanted shed a little light on why even an entry level SLR, right out of the box with a standard kit lens, and shot in auto will always out-perform a pocket camera.

    And just in case anyone is still reading, I'll throw out some other thoughts… :)

    Crystal, I totally agree with what the panel says in terms of any Nikon or Canon SLR will serve you well. I don't have anything bad to say about Sony or Olympus, but I think it's easier to stay with Nikon or Canon just for the availability of lenses and advice. If you're not interested in having video on your SLR you can get a base model for $499, whether it be Nikon, Canon, Sony, or Olympus (and if it's not, wait two weeks and ask again.) Adding video general bumps up the price point by about $200.

    If that's more than you want to spend, or the camera is bigger than you want to carry around, here are some other thoughts:

    Fuji F80: Fuji gets the whole miniscule pixel thing and when the camera senses it's in low light it actually cuts the number of megapixels in half. That doubles the size of each pixel, making it twice as good at capturing the light. Megapixels don't really have anything to do with clarity (that's actually controlled by the lens and the camera's processor), what it gets you is the ability to print BIG. So even at its 6 megapixel setting, you can still print 4×6, 5×7, 8×10…and it'll actually be worth printing. It's also pocket sized with a 10x optical zoom. (This is retailing for about $279)

    Panasonic Lumix SZ7: For a long time those of us who have been in the camera industry have really resented electronic manufacturers that decided to “get in on the game” when digital photography was developing. Why? Because they thought just because they could make a chip, they could slap a lens in front of it and call it a camera. Sadly, there's a LOT more to photography and making a camera than just whether the camera records to film or a sensor. They gave digital cameras a bad name. They made good cameras look like they were priced too high. Blah blah blah…mostly, they just weren't good. HOWEVER, Panasonic is winning my respect with this camera. It takes beautiful pictures. It does better than most in low light. It's not tiny, but it's really comfortable to hold. It's not cheap, but it has an incredible lens on it (made by Leica, and that's Merecedes-Benz of lenses) and the screen resolution is soooo pretty. 12x optical zoom, retailing around $399.

    Canon S90:Tiny! Cute! An F/2.0 lens, which means it's letting in a ton of light. Has lots of manual over-rights, so if you want to dabble in bossing your camera around, you'll have the means to do it. Biggest issues: It's slick – like it feels like you could easily drop it. The flash pops up right where your left hand usually holds the camera, which is a little awkward until you get used to it. And, at $399, it doesn't have much zoom. But that f/2 lens is sure sexy in an I'm-way-too-into-cameras kinda way

    If you're looking for a point and shoot with a big zoom, I'd probably read up on the Olympus SP-800 UZ. It's $349 with a 30x zoom, and one of the few with a rechargeable lithium battery (which is better for the environment, but more important, holds a charge way longer and is therefore less frustrating). There's also the Panasonic Lumix FZ100, which I've only played with a bit but is AMAZING, but at $499…probably too rich for most.
    Sorry to have blathered on for so long. I realize that I’m not part of the panel and no one asked me. But as camera stores go out of business around the country it makes me sad that people don’t have the chance to come in to stores like mine and get to know the cameras and talk to people who really get it. And there are so many great cameras out there, and there’s no “best” camera. Everyone brings to the table their own set of wants, needs and priorities. Which is why being able to have a 45 minute conversation before making a decision that’s going to last you the next 4 years is so important. Especially for us scrappers, because we’re really using our cameras…not just for vacations and special occasions but to capture LIFE and that’s kinda wow when you think about it…

  • CarolineDavis

    OMG. That's massive. As my one kid says when he really means it: “sorrysorrysorrysorry!”

  • No need to worry about “butting in!” Thais why we really encourage people to
    read and contribute to the comments — for other people's insights. Thank
    you for the awesome detailed information. I hope Crystal reads these
    comments and sees this!

  • Bibliotecaria

    I am not sure if you know it but the term grok comes from Robert Heilein's book Stranger in a strange land, where grok is a Martian term for understanding deeply, gut-deep understanding of a new concept.
    Just thought you might like to know.

  • Steph H.

    Enjoyed the show again today. I also loved the camera write-up CarolineDavis added to these comments.

    I would add that one of the most important things to consider before buying a camera is what kind of shooting you will be doing. After all, the best camera is the one you have with you, AND that it's appropriate for the type of activities or subjects you'll be shooting. For example, if you want to capture the action at your kids' sporting events, a point-and-pray may or may not be the best choice. Personally, I would invest in a DSLR for this. But, if you are traveling and will be trying to shoot where perhaps you shouldn't (not that I have ever done this ;), a DSLR is not the best choice as it's a bit hard to hide (again, not that I would know this first-hand). In addition, battery life, optical zoom and whether or not the camer can shoot video clips are also important considerations. As someone who traveled a lot and often to third world countries, battery life was definitely a consideration for me as I did not always have access to electricity. Having batteries that would last through at least 1k shots was very important and not possible for all of my cameras.

    I was very intrigued by your conversation about hiding journaling and all the options. The key seems to be to find a solution that will last as long as the need to access it. So, even if we use DVDs or thumb/flash drives, we'll likely need to transfer the data to more up-to-date technology options as they become available and as our current options become obsolete (think 8-track tapes, VHS tapes, etc.). I see a huge market opportunity here all you entrepeneurs! :)

    Again, thanks for a great show everyone. I especially loved all the laughter!

  • Steph H.

    BTW, I was thrileld to hear about Izzy's pick, Camera+ for iPhone. However, when I tried to get it through iTunes, it said it was not available in the US. Bummer. Izzy, if you were ale to buy it, please share your secret. I sooo neeeeed this now! Thanks

  • Steph H.


    Sorry for the typos in my previous comment. Dang, need to slow down these crazy fingers of mine. :) Here's what my comment was supposed to say:

    BTW, I was thrilled to hear about Izzy's pick, Camera+ for iPhone. However, when I tried to get it through iTunes, it said it was not available in the US. Bummer. Izzy, if you were able to buy it, please share your secret. I sooo neeeeed this now! Thanks

  • SirScrapalot

    Hey guys, I just wanted to take a quick minute and link you up to the post from my blog about shrinking digital templates. Hope you enjoy!


  • Christine

    You can make shadows yourself very easily in Photoshop. There is actually a drop shadow function. Do a google search to find tutorials.

  • Christine

    I haven't listened to this show yet, but I have a question regarding comments that have been made in numerous shows.

    Izzy, you talk about grabbing still frames from video to use as pictures. I saw you have a tutorial on how to do that in quicktime pro. Is there a way to do it in the current version of iMovie? From what I can find online, it looks like Apple may have removed the “save frame as” functionality.

  • I've been listening to PDS since day one. I found PRT after the first 5 or 6 episodes were released. I love, love, love the show and the format. My favorite time of week is when I can play the latest episode of each when the house is still and quiet and scrapbook.

    During the Queen of Scrap contest held at scrapmatters.com in May I was doing well keeping up through the month with the other contestants. The last week my cat died (after 12 years of being the best pet ever) and 2 days later my fiancé broke up with me. I still had 4 days of the contest to go. I had to keep up with the other contestants and remain in the top 30% with my production in order to be eligible to win the contest. You all motivated me while I didn't want to keep going. I wanted to cry and mope. Instead I just kept pushing through with the help of PRT.

    The podcast helped give me inspiration to keep scrapping and use that emotion and fresh thoughts and feelings putting them into my pages. I turned that weekend into therapy through scrapbooking. I didn't win the Queen title, but I did become one of the two Princesses of Scrap for 2010! I felt like a big winner though; because I completed my goal. I didn't give up and finished the contest. I had every right and reason to quit. No one would've blamed me, but I wanted to finish something I had worked so hard for and not let the recent tragedies in my life ruin it all.

    Here are links to two of my layouts I made for therapy during that weekend for the contest. I want to thank you for the time you put into this. Please know that you do not go unappreciated. It’s good to hear that people I admire have struggles with the same things I do and how they handle it. Thank you for being so transparent with your audience and please keep up the good work!

    As a side note I twittered about Woopra to someone I thought would be interested and said I found it on a podcast for scrapbooking (they aren’t a scrapper). Woopra found my tweet and wants to support PRT and PDS so I sent them your information. Maybe a new sponsor is in the future ;-)

    Miss You Maul – http://bit.ly/d6RJs4
    Never Again – http://bit.ly/ccESJU

  • DailyDigiSteph

    THANKS for all of the kind words about the show! I'm glad to hear that we helped you, indirectly, through a difficult time! I checked out your gallery and you are a GREAT scrapper and have some beautiful layouts!!

    I can't help if you are the same Tanya Riley that has been around digi scrapping since I started forever ago? The same one whose work I used to stalk? Maybe just a coincidence…but there seem to be many similarities ;) I've been wondering what happened to you! Welcome back (if you are the same person)!

  • DailyDigiSteph

    WOW!!! This is amazing information and soooo helpful!! THANKS so much for contributing and taking the time to share your knowledge!! :)

  • DailyDigiSteph

    haha…you totally could…I wonder why none of us thought of that!!! THANKS for bringing it up!! :)

  • DailyDigiSteph

    You do not need to buy shadows. You can make your own by applying the drop shadow layer style and then adjusting the settings so it looks right. We go over some different settings in the first two Daily Digi Playbooks:
    First book: http://thedailydigi.com/funtastic-fridays-were-
    Second book: http://thedailydigi.com/let-the-games-begin/
    We also have some tutorials here: http://thedailydigi.com/drop-shadows/

  • DailyDigiSteph

    I wasn't sure which you meant for sure, so thought I would include info on both. Did the links help? I want to make sure I am answering your question ;)

  • Angela

    Need a camera show…..:) Caroline sound like she would be a great informative guest. I even have a title f-this and f-that :). Angela

  • Yes ma'am I used to be around a long time ago back in the days pre-stores and was on the SBB Design Team where we made freebies and worked on Tid-Bytes the e-zine. I was just a young 20-something girl with a toddler then. I had to take a lot of time away to figure life out for my 20year old self. I had a lot of problems with my sweet little girl.

    She was just recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. She's 9 years old and going into 3rd grade. I had her repeat kindergarten. She wasn't socially read for school. So the last few years has been me trying to work with her and find out where I fit into all of it. I had to learn that we don't need to give up who we are to be a mother. We need to add being a mother to who we are.

    I'll shoot you an email and we can catch up a bit. I love what you've accomplished. Leaving the digi world and coming back to it after just a few years was really overwhelming. The dynamics and community of it have changed so much and grown so much. I had to learn all new ways of protocols and doing things. How people want credits, how creative teams operate, speed scraps, oh man. It's a lot. I can see why totally newbies are overwhelmed. I already had the software thing down and *I* was overwhelmed by it all.

  • DailyDigiSteph

    I thought it was you!! You were well-seasoned when I first started…lol! I'm glad you are getting things figured out! I was just chatting with a friend yesterday about all of the wisdom we gained when we left our 20's…lol!

    You are definitely skilled in the software department!! Interesting how you have gone through a bit of a culture shock coming back! It does all change very fast! The power of the internet!! :)

  • DailyDigiSteph

    THANKS so much for all of the nice comments!! :) Also thanks for sharing your knowledge with all of us! :) There definitely are lots of opportunities that we discuss on these shows! :) Hopefully some willing and able body will capitalize on them! ;)

  • Siri_F

    I´ll make one for you if you want to! Maybe you could draw me a sketch, and I´ll create it just like you want it. Then I´ll put it up on my blog as a freebe and you can download it there.

  • Siri_F

    Love this comment! I am going to print it out and remember it when it is time for me to buy a camera. Even though these cameras might not be wat I need, it does explain the terms very well, and I might not feel like such an idiot talking to the shop people.. Thank you Crystal!

  • Siri_F

    I just want to share a link to a blog with free clipart and vectores. It is called The Graphic Fairy, http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/, and I love it!

  • Michelle

    I listened to the show and fell in love with the idea of “hidden” journaling. I am in the camp that doesn't really think scrapbook pages are the place for family secrets or petty arguments although I've definitely had my share of things I'd like to vent. I keep a separate journal via Word that I pull journaling from-edited! But, I love the idea of “just between us” pages. I especially like the idea of the transparency decoder-blue background and blue transparency idea. So, I am begging and pleading for a designer to make a brag book with this functionality. I can manage to find a blue or red or whatever transparency but I need someone to make the book. Wouldn't it be so cool to have a 12 page 4×6 book with 12 favorite pictures of your child and “no journaling” or minimal journaling and then give them the “decoder ring”. Each page would have a special comment just between you and that child. Geez! I am so excited by this idea. It would be so great to give as a birthday book. It could briefly review the year, month by month, and have those special “just between us” comments. I would think a vendor like Shutterfly would love to offer this. OK-so are there any takers? Also, LOVE this podcast!

  • Tracy

    Just got back from holidays and am a couple of weeks behind. I don't think this question has been covered yet: How do people print their layouts – glossy or matte? And why?

  • I totally understand the issue from both sides…I think usually things start from being a kit… but you can search for element packs, bonus packs, etc that would just be a grouping of certain items rather than a whole kit. Like if you are only looking for frames or journaling tags… Besides designer digitals I also shop on Scrapbook Bytes http://scrapbookbytes.com/store/digital-scrapbooking/digital-scrapbooking-ephemera/ There is a category dropdown, so you can look for other packs instead of full kits.

  • On the show topic of hidden journaling…I think for digital scrapbookers it's hard to hide journaling unless your pages are going to be interactive somehow. Usually folks try to show journaling in creative ways, so they aren't as noticeable unless you are looking for it. You can type your journaling all around the page, so it takes more effort to really read it or incorporate words into your visual design. Otherwise, hidden journaling would take your pages hybrid in terms of creating pockets, tags and pull outs as with traditional scrapbooking. There's a great article here http://www.scrapjazz.com/topics/Techniques/Journaling/329.php

  • StudioWendy

    I think you can find some designers who specialize in kits and others who specialize in packs of like items. Scrapbookgraphics has several designers who do a like of individual element packs, like frames, labels, and clipping masks.

    One last thought…one reason you might not see packs of similar items is the use of commercial use resources in the creation of the items. Many CU products have licenses that prohibit them from being sold that way. It's okay to create 2 frames using a certain resource, and include them in a kit, but not okay to create a pack of only frames. For this reason, I think there's been a trend toward designers not using as much CU resources in the creation of their products.

  • mshanhun

    Hi Noell – here's a roundup on photomasks from Scrapbookgraphics http://www.scrapbookgraphics.com/2010/09/studio-spotlight-masks/

  • KM

    I haven't made it through all of your shows with, so forgive me if you have already covered this as a topic. You guys have vaguely mentioned scrapping as a kind of art therapy in several episodes, but I'd love to hear you delve more into it. As someone who scraps my heart into so many of my own pages I'd love to hear some more perspectives on scrapping outside the box… I guess you could call it art journaling.

  • Pingback: Journaling Challenge – Do you want to hide?()

  • Melinda Kirk

    Great show as always – I am working backwards as I only found the brilliance that is Paperclipping Podcasting in January of 2011 – I practically had to blow the dust off this one!  I have been a dedicated hidden journal-er on my paper layouts – not because I have a heap of dark secrets but mostly because I dislike my handwriting but still wanted to include it. My Gran was a big writer and some of my most treasured things include letters and notes from her. She despised her handwriting and that hasn’t made me love those treasures any less – so for me it’s important to get a bit of handwriting on the page for my boys to have when they are old enough to be nostalgic about my chicken scratch!  So when I went digital I was a bit stumped for a while on how to get those hidden bits in there.
    I do two things now that work for me – I print in 12×12 and store in page protectors so the easy way is to attach an envelope to the back of the layout and slip an index card or similar into the envelope. I like the library card envelopes they are sturdy and already open at one end. The second is to do a ‘lift the flap’. I do a lot of that when I paper scrap. My kids love it – it’s like their ‘lift the flap’ story books. For the ones I want them to find now I cut the page protector so they can lift it and for those that are for later in life I just leave them under the protector. I made the same work for my digital layouts by including an element that would be the flap for my journaling – a tag or similar – and then once it is printed I cut the shape out on three sides with a craft knife so it’s a flap then secure my journaling behind the layout with tape. It takes a bit of fiddling to get it aligned right but is worth the effort. Can’t wait to see what other treasures I unearth as I travel backwards in PDS time. Thanks to you all, Mel.