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Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 & GIVEAWAY! (day 2)

I love Digital Scrapbooking. I have to admit that I did resist it for awhile, thinking that my precious touch it and feel it paper way was all I would ever need or enjoy. Not to mention I was a bit confused by the “technical” aspect of using software to make a page. However once I took that leap and gave it a try, I found that not only was the learning process of how to create a digital page not as difficult as I thought, but that I actually really enjoyed the creative process too! It is different and yet very similar to paper scrapbooking (as far as design and memory keeping are concerned), and now my digital supply collection is starting to rival my paper one (albeit about a thousand times easier to store and keep uncluttered on my hard drive).

So now, I’m a big advocate of giving Digital Scrapbooking a try and frequently encourage those that haven’t yet to do so. From those that have never given it a go however, I hear most often two basic reasons why they have not:

1. I just can’t afford that ‘fancy’ software.
2. I just know I won’t be able to understand all that technical mumbo jumbo.

And honestly? I didn’t have the best arguments against those two reasons. The most popular program out there to digitally scrap with is pretty expensive. Also it can be intimidating to use for a true beginner. So, when offered the chance to review Digital Scrapbook Artist 2, a software program that seemed to possibly solve both of those issues, I jumped at the chance!

First a note, I don’t mean this review to be a comparison between Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 and that ever popular more expensive program, so won’t be going that route. However as a frequent user of the latter, I found myself instinctively looking for options that I am used to using to create a digital page. I pretty much found them all. Would a beginner know to look for “Layers,” “Drop Shadows,” and “Brushes” when creating a page? Hmmmm maybe not, but if you are an experienced digital scrapbooker with that other program than I can tell you that in Digital Scrapbook Artist 2, like Ragu, “It’s in there.”

I was able to play with the software for a few weeks before writing this article, and enjoyed it very much. Below are some of my condensed experiences during that time, as the program has a lot to offer.

Installation is quick and easy. A set-up wizard takes you through the process and you are ready to dive in after about 5 minutes.

The start up wizard pops up when you open the program and offers three options:

1. Start with a theme, which is both a fantastically easy option as well as super-quick. The five digital kits that come with the program are very cute, and come complete with pre-made pages for you to simply drag and drop your photo into. Using one of these I created a layout in minutes:

Everything on the pre-made layout is customizable. Remove a flower, add a button, change the background, it’s all up to you.

2. Open a saved work. Something to note on saving in this program is that your document will not automatically save to a traditional “JPEG” format. It will save as a .Sbp format which cannot be opened in other photo editing programs, or sent to certain online photo printing sites as it is specific to this software. There is an “export as” option though, which will allow you to save as a JPEG or PDF.

3. Start with a blank page. I absolutely loved how the space on the screen is organized by Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 in order to create a page from scratch. To the left are spaces for pretty much everything you might desire on a page: backgrounds (your “paper”), photos, embellishments, materials (pretty literally – knits, fabrics, etc. to add some elements with texture), frames, and letters.

To add items to these spaces you can either add from the free kits that come with the software, download new kits directly from Daisytrail.com (some are free, some to purchase), or from one of the collections of kits available for purchase also at Daisytrail.com. Each collection disk has 10 kits. I was so happy to be able to play with Collection 4 and found them all quite cute! Here’s a layout using their Haberdashery Kit:

There is no need to crop a photo to fit a frame either, simply drag and drop and the software automatically fits the photo inside the frame.

The elements are definitely hybrid project worthy (printing digital elements to use on a paper project) as well. Here’s a card I created after printing embellishments from the Painted Backyard Kit:

Adding the actual items to a page is a breeze. Just drag and drop. Click on the items to re-size or rotate them. Can you use digital supplies you might already have? Yes, you can. I did so by adding these items as “photos” and dragged and dropped them into a page as I did other elements.

To the left are more great options to customize your page, my absolute favorite of which is the “Palette.” When using one of their kits, Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 gives you a palette of coordinating colors to go with it. I use this option to select the perfect color of text for my journaling. Easy!


Here also you will find a unique option that the program offers called Stencils. They are just that, digital stencils that you place on your layout and “spray” with paint to fill in. Sure you could do this with a digital brush, but this way is just plain fun!


Finally at the top are two of the popular actions when creating a digital page, including:

Drop Shadow: Incredibly easy to use in order to add a little more depth to an object on the page. Simply select the object, and then drag the shadow out to the desired depth. Think of drop shadows as digital “pop-dots.”

Transparency: I found this option a little difficult to use and get the hang of how I wanted an object to appear, but it is a neat effect.

Also included is a photo-editing lab where you can add many effects to your photos before scrapping them. There are standards such as convert to black-and-white, adjust the contrast, etc., however there are also more advanced editing options such as Levels (an adjustment I make to almost every digital photo I take!). Available are one-click actions to add numerous effects to your photo (over 70 according to the Daisy Trail website).

Finally, my favorite feature of the entire program is their Image Cut-Out Studio in the Photo Lab.

I’ve never been particularly great at using the various methods to extract an object from a photo in other programs, however somehow this option is so instinctive as to what you want to cut out, it makes it incredibly easy! I love digital pages with extracted images, and this is the first one I’ve done that I’m pleased with:

(Created with the Home Sweet Home kit)

There is so much more that this program has to offer such as blending, cut out tools, and filters. Each is easy to use. I highly recommend popping over to the website to watch their video to get another look. As a program strictly meant for digital scrapbooking, Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 delivers the goods.

So to go back to those two excuses at the top:

1. I just can’t afford that ‘fancy’ software.
Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 is $49.99, half the cost of the most popular digital scrapbooking program out there, and you get just about all of the features you could ever want to create a digital layout. (FYI I’m not saying you get it “all” because I’m in no way an expert on either program, but I really didn’t lack for anything).

2. I just know I won’t be able to understand all that technical mumbo jumbo.
This program is made for scrapbookers, and so their tools are specific to what you might want to do while creating a page. Do you need to do a little learning before hand? Well sure, just like with any computer software, but they talk to you like you are a scrapbooker and play to those instincts while teaching you how to use it. The program has many helpful tutorials to get you started and using the software, and there is also a community online at Daisytrail.com should you need help along the way.

To sum up:

Pros:

  • Ease of use. The program is meant for digital scrapbooking, so as a scrapbooker, it is easy to understand how things work and what they are for.
  • The Photo Lab allows you to edit and tweak your photos just as another program would, and the one-click filters and actions are fun. The Cut Out Studio is amazing!
  • Cost. For what the program does, it’s my opinion that $50 is extremely reasonable.

Cons:

  • Even as someone with experience digital scrapbooking, there were a few times when I got stuck on how to make something work. But I always found the answer in the “help” section, and truthfully am glad there aren’t constant tips popping up in my face for things I already knew how to do.
  • Layouts don’t automatically save in a standard JPEG format, you’ll need to export the finished project to do so.
  • Using digital elements you already have is possible, but not quite as easy as using those that are specific to the software (meaning you have to use them as “Photos” rather than “Backgrounds” or “Embellishments” unless there is a way to do this that I have not found). Edited to add: Another reason why we love our readers, Marilyn was so kind to point out in the comments below that yes indeed it is possible to import digital elements you already own or purchase outside of Daisy Trail as “Backgrounds, Frames, etc” by using an option in the program called “Digi Kit Creator”. By using this unique feature, I was able to upload my already owned Digital Elements and tag them with the appropriate names so they would be easily organized and accessible when creating a layout. What a great feature! Thanks very much Marilyn! And of course other helpful tips are abundant at Daisytrail.com, here’s a quick link to this info in their forums: http://www.daisytrail.com/search.html?from_forums=0&q=Digikit+Creator.

Finally, if you are interested but aren’t sure, Daisy Trail also has a free version called Digital Scrapbook Artist Compact so you can get a feel for the software’s style.

GIVEAWAY!
Daisy Trail is giving one lucky reader a free copy of the Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 Software. Leave a comment on this post telling us your thoughts as either an experienced or total beginning digital scrapbooker? Have you used this program and have anything to add? One comment per person, per Vendor Spotlight: Digital Scrapbook Artisit 2 article, please. Winner will be selected Wednesday, April 28th at 6pm CST.

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74 Responses to Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 & GIVEAWAY! (day 2)

  1. Debbie April 27, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Debbie April 27, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    I have tried digital scrapbooking but have found it very difficult. I would love to try Digital Scrapbook Artist 2. Thanks for the chance

  3. Jaime April 27, 2010 at 8:04 am #

    I have never used a digital scrapbook program before. However it caught my attention due to the amount of paper and supplies I have. It would be wonderful not to have to dig thru all my stuff to find the perfect paper/accessory.

  4. Colleen April 27, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    My computer came with Paint Shop Pro and I have tried to learn how to use it, but I just don’t have the time to sit and go through really long tutorials right now in my life. Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 sounds like it might make learning the program a lot less time consuming. Would love a chance to try it.

  5. Shirl Martin April 27, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    Reading the Craft Critique review I thought maybe this will work for me. I have always been interest in digital scrapbooking but never felt I could understand it. I would love to try this program.

  6. Janette April 27, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    I have Photoshop CS3, and I don’t spend enough time with it to know how to digiscrap on it, this program sounds awesome for someone like me!

  7. LeAnn April 27, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    You make it look sooooo easy

  8. Creative Expressions by Lynn April 27, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    This looks like something I might could actually do. I am so intimidated with this type of stuff. So, I don’t ever give it a chance. This would be a great way to learn it. Thanks for sharing this information and a chance to win it.
    God Bless!
    Lynn

  9. Craft Assassins April 27, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    This looks like a really great project. In the past, I have scrapbooked by and, but I found that, while I love the final outcome, it was so time consuming. Plus, I didn’t have a dedicated space, and my cat would get into everything!

    Another pro that I see to this is that all of my pictures from the past 10 or so years are on the computer, already in digital format. This would make creating super cool digital scrapbook pages a snap!

    I hope I win!

  10. Catherine April 27, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    I’ve never done digital scrapbooking, but find it appealing.

  11. StampinCathy April 27, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    I would love to try having everything all in one place. Plus it wouldn’t be so messy playing. The pages are just fabulous.

  12. Marilyn April 27, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    I’ve used this program and Jessica you can use your own materials within the program by making your own Digikit. There is a Digikit Creator. You import your papers, materials, embellishments and even alphas and they show up right in that column on the left. You can even name your new kit and save it to use again! I’ve been digital scrapping for 10 years and this is the best program I’ve found, by far.

  13. rudie2shoes April 27, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    I’ve never used digital scrapbooking before so I’d love to see what it can do for me. It looks so much fun, but somehow time consuming.

  14. Helen April 27, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    I tried PSE but it was too hard to remember from time to time. Maybe this one would be easier.

  15. Rebecca April 27, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    I’ve dabbled a bit in digital scrapbooking, but I tend to be overwhelmed by PSE and all the different tricks. This looks much easier to use and I like how they suggest a corresponding color palette.

  16. Lori April 27, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    , I love what can be done with digital scrapbooking but I’ve been hesitant to give it a try since the software can be expensive and sometimes intimidating…this however looks like something I could handle! Would love to give it a try…

  17. MA April 27, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    This looks like a great program. I just tried digi stamping with different inks..wow! Would love learn more techniques. TY

  18. dclouser April 27, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Still haven’t tried digital scrapbooking, but if I won this giveaway, I’m sure I would take the plunge!

  19. Tammy Q Howell April 27, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Looks like a great program for beginning or expert digital scrapbookers! Great critique!

  20. Works From The Attic April 27, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    I have never used this program but have used others. I would welcome the opportunity to try it.
    Linda M

  21. lycinda April 27, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    wow, this looks amazing!!! I am definately going to have to check into digital scrapbooking…never have the time for the traditional.

  22. Spicey Cat Chick April 27, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Okay, I’m loving this even more than after yesterday’s post. You guys make it look so easy, I think I could even do it!

  23. La Vikinga April 27, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    The way you put it, it doesn’t seem soooo difficult, but I was the person who would think it’s too difficult for me…

    La Vikinga

  24. april April 27, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    I am a big fan of DSA! I’ve used the original for over a year, and it is wonderful. The developers are very involved with the scrapbook community at Daisy Trail. I’m hoping to get DSA 2 someday, so I can play with all the new bells and whistles!

  25. rush8888 April 27, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    i haven’t used a digital scrapbooking program yet. i would be willing to try it out. i wonder if there are program add-ons that change papers, etc. to go with the trends.

  26. Lynne April 27, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    l have been an avid user of DSA since first trying the compact version and then purchasing DSA1 from the NEC.
    l wouldn’t be without it as it enhances each and every photo to show off its best.
    Paint shop pro and Adobe photoshop have taken a back seat to DSA.

  27. Michelle April 27, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    I don’t have a program to use, so I have been struggling with Photoshop to create my pages. Wow, it sounds like it would be so much easier with Digital Scrapbook Artist 2. Thank you for the chance to give it a whirl!

  28. Beth April 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    I’ve been thinking about moving from traditional scrapbooking to digital. I just can’t seem to find the time to get all the supplies out, print the photos, etc. I started researching DS software but there are so many choices out there! I would love to try this program!

  29. toothteri April 27, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    It is on my bucket list to try Digital scrapbooking. Will check out this program. Sounds like I might be able to handle it with this program.

  30. Donna April 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Great tips for working with this software. I haven’t tried digital scrap booking yet but it sounds like fun!

  31. Lorianna April 27, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    LOVE to try it!!!!
    I have dipped my toes into Digital Paper, but that as far as I got!!!!
    Hoping to win this and try more!!!

    Hugs

  32. Carole RB April 27, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    I have never tried digital scrapbooking so this is completely new for me.

  33. Playing with Paper April 27, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    I have not done any digital scrapbooking it seems very complicated to me. I would be interested in trying it out though.

  34. Shanta April 27, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    I so love to win this program to learn how to use it to do digital scraping.

  35. Weezie April 27, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    This sounds like a great program to use. Thanks for the info!

  36. Jan Castle April 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    I have another high priced photo/scrapbooking product which I never use because it is user UNfriendly! Would love to try “Digital Scrapbook Artist 2” sounds easy, and I’m all into easy!!! Thanks for the critique!
    Jan Castle

  37. Angel Musick April 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    I love dsa2 I use it all the time as far as using kits you have previously purchased else where it’s really easy you load them using the digikit creator and then you can open it just like a daisytail digikit so great for organizing and viewing your stuff

  38. Aznewmom April 27, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Thanks so much for a chance to win this book. I have played a bit w/digi-scrapping, but have really only used MS-Word in doing so. I’ve gotten fairly good at it, but it is extremely limited. I’d really like to learn how to do more. I’m guessing that until my DH gets a job ( was recently laid off ), I won’t be able to purchase any software, nor this lovely looking book. Sure hope I can win one!!!
    Cheers,
    Stacy

  39. Gail April 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    I would LOVE to try digital scrapbooking!
    Your projects look great!
    Thanks for the chance!

  40. Katherine April 27, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    I’ve always done traditional scrapbooking but am wanting to get into the digital relm. This program looks like a good way to start.

  41. lozva April 27, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    i am a total digital scrapbooking beginner. i would love the chance to win. this looks so amazing. x

  42. Karen April 27, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    I am extremely new to scrapbooking and have been investigating the digital side of it.

    I have been testing out Digital Scrapbook Artist Compact but would love the opportunity to work with version 2 of the software.

  43. Cindy Liane April 27, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    I am just now starting out on Digital Scrapbooking and would love the chance to use Digital Scrapbook Artist 2.
    Thank you for this chance.

  44. Anne McIntosh April 27, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    I have several different kinds of digital scrapbooking – haven’t tried any yet, because I don’t have a lot of time to experiment on them. However, your review of DSA makes me want to try it. At least the “free” demonstration online. Thanks for giving us “non-techies” a real person review.

  45. BARBARA April 27, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    I haven’t tried Digital Scrapbooking, but I would love to learn and create. Thanks for the chance to win with you giveaway Digital Scrapbook Artist 2.

  46. Chrisi April 27, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    This is a wonderful prize and I would LOVE to learn to scrapbook this way. Thanks for the article.

  47. KanataNewf April 27, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    I’ve never tried digital scrapbooking but would love to give it a try…

  48. Renee April 27, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    My son keeps telling me I should use his fancy computer and expensive program for digital scrapbooking, but it’s downright intimidating! I’ve looked at it and I have no idea where to start. This sounds like a program that I can work with.

  49. Debbie April 27, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    I’m totally new when it comes to digital scrapbooking. I’d love to know more and this software sounds great.

    Thanks for the post and a chance to win.

    Have a great day.

    Debbie Reaves

  50. Barb Y April 27, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    I am really new to the digi world but want to try!! thanks for giving me a chance to win the great giveaway!!

  51. Janine April 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    I’m like a lot of people here and have never tried Digital Scrapbooking. I’ll be honest, one of the main reasons I haven’t tried it is because I never knew which version of PS to purchase for what I want to do. It is just too damn confusing. This software sounds like it’s more up my alley–there’s no guessing. It just is what it is—Digital Scrapbooking!

  52. Dell April 27, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    As a traditional scrapbooker I am finding it difficult to keep up with and scrapbook my digital pictures the traditional way. This program looks intriguing and fairly simple to use. I would love the opportunity to win the Digital Scrapbook Artist 2!

  53. sucor April 27, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    I have always wanted to try digital scrapbooking, but I wondered if I could understand it. I would love to try this program. Thanks for the chance.

    sucor_2@hotmail.com

  54. barbs April 27, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    I would love to try Digital Scrapbook Artist 2. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  55. smahrty April 27, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    I havent used this software, but your bloggin has me very interested to try it! Thanks for the little peeks into what the program can do.

  56. Betty Benton April 27, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    I would very much like to try digital scrapbooking. Sounds like a wonderful program that would not be too difficult to learn — thanks for the opportunity to win one!

  57. Melinda AKA medialady April 27, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    I have photoshop elements and played a little with it but I get very frustrated. Something easier would be great!

  58. Cara April 27, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    I am an avid scrapbooker and have been recently exploring the diffrent type of digital scrapbooking programs out there. I love how this one looks easy to use and would love the opportunity to explore this software in further detail.

  59. Sandi April 27, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    I would like to try digital scrapbooking. I have photoshop and it is to complicated for me. I have purchased tutorial cd’s for photoshop, but still it is very hard for a senior citizen. Or maybe it’s just me lol. Sure hope I win.

  60. SmilynStef April 27, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    I’ve done very little digital creating, but I’m itching to do more. I have lots of free downloads and have taken one free online class, but I need more help to really move toward being comfortable with the tasks. Thanks for the chance to win.

  61. Jennifer Moore April 27, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    This sounds like an interesting program. My digital scrapbooking is limited to Scrapblog and I would enjoy the chance to try something new. Thanks for the chance to win.

  62. Shelley Germann April 27, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    I am pretty clueless when it comes to digital scrapbooking. I did buy Photoshop a few months back. I have tried to do some playing on it ONCE! Just one of those things I need to invest some time in, to learn a few basics!

  63. Stacey - Elle Belle April 28, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    Great review, thanks for being so thorough! I’ve been considering taking he leap into digital scrapbooking and your review was really helpful! Stacey at ellebellebaby dot com

  64. Btrflywmn April 28, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    I have tried alittle digi scraping, would love to learn more. Looks so fun.

  65. Julie April 28, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Total beginner, would love to learn. Thanks for the chance…

  66. Angie Marion April 28, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    I’m a beginning Digital Scrapbooker and my first thought is that this program would make it very easy and I could probably even use it for my blog!

    pricousins at aol dot com

  67. Laura April 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    I am a total novice, but it looks wonderful….so many possibilities!

  68. sue April 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Ohh lokks like it might be fun. I tried a software scrap program long ago when they firt came out, but was not immpressed. This software looks easier to use and deffinitly has more options. This can be used as a hybred too is a plus.

  69. Tammy D April 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    This is really interesting. I have some digital stuff I am wanting to do along with my regular. I think this might the software to help me to it.

  70. Iris April 28, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    I have not tried digital scrapbooking yet but it is on my “to do” list. Thanks for a chance to win. Iris Soscia

  71. Mamta April 29, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    Thanks for the chance. It would be great to try this software.

  72. rmloyst September 19, 2010 at 8:04 am #

    Hello

    I have PSE and a few other digital software programs that take a lot of time to learn and right and find I don’t use them. This DSR2 looks like it will be alot easier and less time consuming to learn. Where was digital scrapbooking when I was purchasing all my stuff to fill my scrapbooking room 🙁 I could have save tons of money.

  73. Anonymous February 3, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    please can you tell me me were I can buy this program? I life in Holland.
    Greets Judith

  74. Susan July 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    I recently purchased Scrapbook Artist 2, so I enjoyed reading your post, looking for some helpful hints as I am figuring out how to use the software. I too love “real” scrapbooking, but find I can produce so much through digital scrapbooking, at a whole lot lower cost. This program is easy, flexible, and a great deal of fun, & I have only been pklaying with it for a couple of days. I can’t wait to figure it all out. Forget tutorials if you don’t have that kind of time, just play with the software. It is pretty intuitive, & if you don’t like what you did, just undo it or don’t save it. The only thing you lost is a little bit of your time. For the price this is excellent software. I have created a couple of pages, and love them. Thanks.