(NOTE: Lengthy post…Scroll to bottom for GIVEAWAY info!)
This blog isn’t a review/giveaway blog per se, but I am all about sharing creative ideas and tools to help you in your own creative insanity. And I’ve had a lot of friends approach me for help in getting started with digital scrapbooking and/or blogging. AND I know we bloggers love us some FREE stuff. So when Bonnie at Tutor Me, Girl contacted me about doing a review and giveaway, I thought this might be a great idea.
What is Tutor Me, Girl?
Tutor Me, Girl! is an online tutoring club. Members of the club can watch video tutorials on all aspects of digital scrapbooking using the Memory Mixer Software. There are also lot of tutorials about blogging and other computer related issue, like security settings. Club Members also receive Freebies and tutorials by email on a regular basis.
The Digital Scrapbooking Starter Kit includes a membership to the club and the Memory Mixer software.
Here is one of the Layouts I made using one of Memory Mixer’s Quick Page designs. Of course, if you know me, you know I tweaked and fussed, but everything in this album (photo editing included), was done with the MM software. I will upload all of my pages with credits into my Digital Insanity blog, but here is one cool feature about the software, you can turn your scrapbook pages into movies, and DVDs, easily. This came together pretty quickly, and if you aren’t me, it could be done really quickly (I’m good at complicating things!):
Review of the Software
I always have a hard time knowing what to say when someone asks me how to get started in digital scrapbooking. Because the first issue is always about software. You have to have some kind of software that will work with layers and allow you to add and edit several elements on one file. The software you most often hear about is Adobe Photoshop. The full version of Photoshop is extremely comprehensive (and extremely expensive) so many scrappers opt for the Photoshop Elements route, I currently use Corel’s Paint Shop Pro software, which seems to have most of the same features as Elements, costs a little less, and is a little more user-friendly. That being said, there is a BIG learning curve on these programs, and someone who isn’t very computer savvy might get really frustrated trying to figure them out. Heck, someone who is somewhat computer savvy might get frustrated. I once spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to move around a photo in PS Elements for a friend—even though I was already very familiar with my PSP.
That is where I think Memory Mixer, fills a great void. It doesn’t have all of the features of those other programs, but is much easier to use, and has everything you need to put together cute scrapbook layouts. It is designed specifically for scrapbooking, so I wouldn’t get it if you want to do a lot of other kinds of digital design, but if you are new to digi-scrap, want to make digital layouts and get them done, this might be perfect for you. I keep thinking about my MIL who has just signed-up for a Photoshop class at the community college, so she can start digi-scrapping. If I had done this review before Christmas, I definitely would have signed her up for Tutor Me, Girl and purchased the Memory Mixer software instead. Beginners will be able to see nice looking finished products right away.
- Uses all of your fonts, and can access other backgrounds and elements you may have on your computer.
- Includes drop shadow tool–which I think is essential, so pages have dimension!
- Lots of pages and elements included. I was excited to see kits by Michelle Coleman included with the software! She is probably my favorite digital designer of all.
- Includes basic photo editing tools (black and white, darken, brighten, etc.)
- Ease of finishing options (DVD, photobooks, printing, etc.)
- Quick pages are quick, but also flexible (can be edited). Great starting place!
- No layer navigation tool–This is only an issue if you use a lot of elements on your pages, but I use a lot of elements.
- May not be able to use papers and elements that come with the software with other software, like Photoshop, if you decide to go that route later on.
- Not every element is super realistic looking to me, but technology improves all of the time, and is compatible with elements papers you can download from the internet.
- Can’t really edit embellishments. (I like to tweak colors and things on ready-made embellishments)
Bottom-line: If you are a beginner, or someone who wants to make and finish digital scrapbook albums in a short period of time, this is a great product for you! If you are planning to do more serious photo editing, or digital design that requires more flexibility (and you are comfortable on the computer) I would look at Corel Paint Shop Pro, and/or Adobe Photoshop Elements.
Review of the Tutorials:
The tutorials on Tutor Me, Girl are very thorough and easy to follow. The nice thing is that they are all videos, which is great if you are visual like I am. Also, it is easy to pause the video to follow their directions and then come back to it, so you don’t have to try and remember a lot of steps at one time. Great for beginners–they don’t assume you already know how to do a lot of stuff. The membership in the club is free for the first month with the purchase of the software. Computer savvy scrappers, may not need more than 1 month of tutoring to feel comfortable with the software, but may elect to continue in the club to receive the freebies, tutorials, and project ideas, which come several times/week. There are tutorials about blogging, gmail, computers security features, and lots more, besides the scrapbooking tutorials.
So here is what you have all been waiting for. Tutor Me, Girl, is giving away a Digital Starter Kit (Memory Mixer Software + 1 month membership to their Scrapbook club–$39.95 on their website) absolutely free to one of my amazing (and lucky) readers. To enter, check out the Tutor Me, Girl page, and then come back here, and leave me a comment telling me about your experience with digital scrapbooking. Do you do it all the time? Tried it but needed some help? Never tried but wanted to? Or are you a paper and scissors girl? What kinds of questions do you have about getting started? If you follow my blog, tell me in a separate comment for a second giveaway entry. And if you decide to blog about this great giveaway, leave a third comment, and I’ll give you another entry. (Tutor Me girl is only able to ship with in the US for this giveaway, sorry.) Giveaway ends at midnight Friday (1/30) (or rather Saturday morning), and the winner will be announced at some point Saturday (1/31) after soccer and all that other stuff!
Since there can only be one winner, Bonnie at TMG is generously offering $10 off the price of the starter kit just for My Insanity readers. Isn’t that nice? We’ve set up the Pay Pal link here. (Ordering at their webpage will cost full price).
Alright, talk to me! Good Luck, everyone!