Episode 24 Feed Your Disease


Renne Looney, Peppermint, Katie, and Steph discuss their digital scrapbooking work flow and layout design process. What do they do first? How do they decide which photos to use? How much photo editing do they do? What shortcuts have they learned?

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Joining the Discussion:
Renne Looney

Katie Nelson
Peppermint Granberg

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Picks of The Week:
Renne: Coffee Shop Blog
Peppermint: Path.com

Katie: RedStamp.com
Steph: Neil Pasricha: The 3 A’s of awesome

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39 Responses to Episode 24 Feed Your Disease

  1. Valerie says:

    I haven’t even started listening yet, but I’ve been stalking the site all day hoping that you were going to post a show. I did a little happy dance just now when I saw a new one.

  2. Melissa says:

    Just on the file name issue – have ongoing issues with files that I’ve unzipped that are encrypted. They were fine on my old Hard Disk, but when I moved over the extracted files onto a new HDD the encryption messes up and I can’t even open the files :(

    Any idea what I’m doing wrong? It mostly happens for files created on a Mac (I notice I have the extra OSX file). Happens with a variety of designers.

    I have to go hunt for the original zips for things I want to use.

    Any help would be appreciated! :)


    • StudioWendy says:


      At first I misread you and was going to suggest that it was a corrupt zip file, but I see it’s the opposite. You cannot open the unzipped files? Try creating a new folder and copying them into that. It could be more of a locked file or permissions thing. Also, try deleting that extra mac file. You don’t need it. I don’t run across very many files that are encrypted to begin with, so I’m not really sure what’s going on! Maybe Peppermint or Steph have heard of this issue. At least you have the original zips… which I don’t usually recommend because those corrupt very easily.

    • steph says:

      What OS are you using on each machine? What are you using to unzip them?

  3. Kami says:

    I have tears streaming down my face! Feed Your Disease! I LOVE IT! I think we have our new tag line!!

  4. Kami says:

    I’m back! I just had to agree with Renne about the star system. As I go through my photos, if it’s a really bad photo that I know I won’t use, I delete it right away but anything else, I assign a star (I do give out 1 stars- LOL). I assign my stars by the impact the photo has on me the minute I see it. I try not to look too much at the photo technically and focus more on how I feel about the photo. If it makes my heart happy- then it gets a 5 star. There are times the photo is blurry or has poor lighting but there’s something about it that just speaks to me. I think that’s true for any form of art. If it speaks to you then there is no “good” or “bad”.

    Sometimes I do have to study a photo for a while to figure out why I love it so much because it’s not a photo that someone else might look at and think is a 5 star photo, but usually I can identify what I love about the photo. And I remind myself that these are my photos and my stories, so it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about them because it has meaning for me.

    This was another great show guys!!

  5. Angie Gladwell says:

    I am very sad to say that yes I have the disease also. I have the Anna Aspes variation where every time she releases something new I get a twitchy pay pal finger. Hahaa Great show as always ladies. Ps. you guys are so fun to listen to.

  6. Tina says:

    I have to say how happy I am that you guys are back after the long holiday break. Yes, the break was nice, but I need my Digi Show fix…how’s that for a disease. :) Over the break I did some major searching for worthy podcasts to listen to. What did I come up with? Nothing! I have other interests besides digi scrapping and I listen to several other podcasts, but I must say The Digi Show ranks among the best of the best. The sound quality is excellent compared to some of those BlogTalk Radio shows. I love the App picks you all pass along and are using several. I love the Photo365 app, Feedly is awesome and just finished uploading Path and Red Stamp. I would love to hear of any podcasts you all enjoy listening too. Thanks!!

  7. Angie says:

    Katie – I have the perfect pick for you next week. A lego kit from Kristin Aagard!!!


  8. Jennifer says:

    Love the show! Love you all!

    I wanted to throw my two cents into the ring concerning the rating of photos: Right now I use only up to 2 stars. 1 star is for any picture that is I feel is necessary to “tell my story” for that particular time period or event. I also make sure to use the captions in my photo organizer to be sure to tell that story. 2 star photos are the very best of the bunch for that month – the highlights.

    Eventually I’ll probably have to use the 3-star once I have a collection of photos that represent the best of an era. Kayla Lamareaux mentioned once on an old show that you need to leave yourself room to grow with your rating system.

    Although I am pretty ruthless with the delete key when I organize my photos, there are still photos that are unrated. Usually they are the photos that are the original unedited copies that I want to keep, but I don’t need to display or photos that I can’t quite delete just yet.

  9. LeslieM says:

    Jennifer, I use your method. 1 star goes is worthy of scrapbooking. 2 star is worthy of being a single photo layout or very highlighted photo. Bad photos that don’t resonate with me for any reason are deleted. If it’s a bad photo but tugs on my heartstrings for some reason, then I keep it or even star it. :)

  10. Tiffany says:

    I’m getting ready to print photobooks and was wondering about sharpening my layouts for print. During 2011 I started sharpening for web using the Unsharp Mask settings you gave in a Daily Digi post. My layouts look so much better in galleries after doing this. Do any of you sharpen for print and would share your settings? I know it might come down to every layout needs its own setting, but I just don’t know where to start with the values, and I’m not sure how to interpret what I see on the screen to how it will look in print.

    • StudioWendy says:

      I do sharpen for print. I have an action that does it for me, but it’s still a very subjective thing! First, you want to be sure that you don’t oversharpen, which will blow out the white areas of the page. Because a scrapbook layout is comprised of so many different images, it can be easy to oversharpen parts of it without enough sharpening in others. So, I go for a slight overall sharpen. The other thing to look out for is areas where the tonal range changes, ie a very light image on a very dark background or vice versa. Take a close look at the transition between the two and make sure there’s no halo effect going on after sharpening. If you do that, you should be good.

      Also, you want to zoom in at 100% to see the actual pixels that would be printed at that size. If you are printing an 8×8 photobook, you want to resize first, then sharpen and then zoom to 100% too look at it. When you resize an image, that’s when they tend to get fuzzy on the edges and where sharpening comes in the most handy.


      • StudioWendy says:

        One more thought… If you’re really concerned about it, have one page printed as a single print at a vendor that uses the same print method as your photobook printer. ie. ordering a photo-based print won’t tell you what a cardstock print would look like.

    • steph says:

      We talked about this on the show we recorded today.

  11. I feel a little sheepish here. I don’t rate my photos. I simply import them to the proper place on my hard drive. Once I feel like scrapping them I start going through and editing the ones I wouldn’t mind being on my page and saving them in and “edits” sub-folder. I pick a template and kit then go to town.

    I will say that I am really good about deleting really crappy photos in camera before they can ever be imported. It may be blurry, exceptionally dark or light, an accidental shot, or just a really bad photo. I have learned over the years that if I don’t just delete in camera and it makes it to my hard drive, it is cursed to take up hard drive space forever. I just don’t take the time to delete these useless photos after they get on my computer.

    So I guess I do have a rating system. If it is on my computer then I found it worth keeping. If it’s not on the computer then it wasn’t memorable enough.

    • Valerie says:

      You think you feel sheepish! I don’t really even edit my photos, other than cropping them. Since I started listening to the show, I’ve been trying to think about how I would edit my photos, but my pages are really more product driven. When I got into paper scrapping it was really because I like to play with the paper. I did something similar to katie’s power scrapping method in paper. I used sketches from scrapbooks etc. and I would pull together all the supplies I needed for the pages in the sketch if I felt like playing with color. If I felt like cutting, I would cut all the layers/embellishments. And, if I felt like gluing I’d put together quick pages that would be ready for pictures when I had something to scrap about. I still have a couple of albums worth of coordinated papers/sketches/supplies ready for me to put pictures and journalling to. I think I still have some of that in digital. I have a lot of time on the train, but obviously no table, so I can play with the paper on my laptop. A lot of times I just play with my stash without actually even scrapping a page. I’ll reorganize my papers and embellishments into my own project “kits”. I’ll clip papers/embellishments/etc down onto my generic templates to make coordinated album templates, again, so they’re ready to go when I have something to say.

  12. Deirdre says:

    Looking for the link to Renee’s pick??

    Katie, love the 12on12 idea. I’m familiar with it from Elizabeth Dillow’s blog; she’s even doing a series with Ella publishing this year AND they have templates!

    Great show, guys!

  13. Anna Forrest says:

    Oh, my goodness – all this talk of the delete key is giving me panic attacks!! I cannot delete photos. I may not scrap them, but I won’t delete them either!! Personally I just import them to a folder by month and when I’m ready to go scrap I go browsing for something I can get inspired by. Simple but it works for me. I tend to only scrap the most recent events anyway so I rarely look back more than a month or two.

    And I don’t really scrap for memory keeping – I scrap for my own enjoyment and just happen to capture a few memories along the way. After 5+ years of digi scrapping I am only now going back to put together a book of the layouts that I’ve done so that there is a family photo album. Maybe the kids will enjoy looking at it, maybe not – but I certainly enjoyed making those layouts so I’m happy.

  14. Valerie says:

    This show is my new favorite obsession. I don’t usually get involved in online communities, but digi scrapbooking communities are so interesting. I want to participate more, but I’m a little concerned about the “rules.” I’m not really confident of my design skills, so I scraplift almost everything I do to one extent or another. I took Jessica Sprague’s Digi in Deep course, and I got really excited about making templates. I had been paper scrapping from page sketches for years, and I started using the sketches to build templates.
    What I do is to pull the pdf into PSE turn down the opacity and use the select and paint bucket tools to build up the template layers.
    I haven’t really been keeping track of where I got the sketches in order to credit them, not to mention the papers, embellishments, etc. I would love to post some of my pages in some of the galleries or flikr streams, but I’m worried about the fact that I can’t really credit all the people/places I got stuff from. I guess I’m just wondering from the perspective of the designers, would they rather people like me go ahead and post their stuff just so it gets shared or should I just keep what I’ve already done to myself and try to keep track of these things going forward and only post things when I have all the information to credit? For the sketches is it enough to just cite scrapbooks etc.? Do I really need to keep track of who designed the sketch for them?

    • steph says:

      I would say that going forward, keep track, so you can share the resources with others. I would also say, share what you have. I don’t know about all sites, but most sites that have an open gallery or Flickr group will not get after you for not posting credits.

      I think saying the layout is based on a sketch found in ________ is good enough. You don’t need to keep track of who designed it. Remember the biggest point of credits is so others can find the same materials if they want to create it themselves (or fall in love with them).

  15. StudioWendy says:

    I think as long as you do your best to credit, you’ll be fine. If you got a sketch from a magazine or book, citing the title of the magazine or the artist is probably enough. And, in cases where you don’t know what you scraplifted, simply saying “a scraplift” is enough to at least let other folks know that you are not taking credit for someone else’s design. Crediting for online posting is a requirement of many designer’s terms of use. But, crediting the layout design based on a scraplift is more of a courtesy.

  16. Shannan says:

    In Aperture, I rate my favourite photos (either a good memory or a technically good shot) with three stars and mark all of the ones to delete with a 9 (this marks them for deletion at a later time so it’s good for people who can’t commit to deleting!). My five year old daughter loves doing this with me. We go through the newly uploaded photos together and she’ll say “Is this a three star one?” and I’ll explain why it is or isn’t then she’ll make the rating. When I’m ready to scrap, I usually just look through the three star photos. Someday I plan to go further and mark the really good (technically) photos with five stars (these are photos you would enlarge and hang on your wall) but for now it’s either three stars or delete.

  17. Shannan says:

    I should say it’s either three stars, no rating or delete.

  18. Dawn N says:

    I have not finished listening to this episode in full yet – but I wanted to comment while I was thinking about it – I chuckled when I saw the title and literally lol’d when I heard the show.
    Peppermint made the comments on how much she has changed her ways since she has been involved with the show, and Katie, I agree, I sat there nodding along with her as well – even though I am not in as deep as you all are – (ie. I was still breaking apart my kits by element and seperating buttons, ribbons, etc… all in their own files). I dont feel like a follower – you see, none of my close friends or people I see on a regular basis digi scraps, so I am very much thankful for the open forum “buffet” where I can listen to see what works for someone else, and pick and choose from that buffet of knowledge and try it in my flow. Some has worked – others I cant seem to click with, so follower, no – smart – yes.

  19. sarahbhb says:

    Thanks so much for reading my letter…it totally made my day. Katie, I really think the beauty of doing a cookbook project is that you can do it at your own pace and document those recipes you’re already cooking and photographing (I’m really hoping it helps with my food photography as well..another reason I’m doing this project). I think it is something that could easily be done digitally as well (I’m choosing a hybrid route with mine though). I just think that the food we cook is such a big part of our lives and I love that I have recipes handed down from my grandparents and great grandparents and love that I’ll get to continue in that vein.

    I’m also hoping to start documenting our family favorites in a separate cookbook, but think I want to finish this project first so that I can learn what works and doesn’t work for me in a book that, honestly, won’t hold as much sentimental value, but still has it’s worth in my version of memory keeping.

    I finally got my Recipe 52 book put together this afternoon and my first two recipes documented. I’m hoping to share it in the next day or two and I’m really still excited by it! Sorry for the rambling note and again thanks for reading my letter….but I have to say it’s so weird to hear someone else read your words!

  20. Dawn N says:

    What is the text action by Anna that you mention in a few episodes? I have been trying to google actions to find but not having any luck.

  21. natalia says:

    I’m only now catching up on your old shows, and heard about the lightroom tagging and the tutorial you have, but I can’t find it. Would you be able to point me in the right direction, please?
    Thanks ladies!