Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saturday Showcase: March 16, 2013

It is time for the Saturday Showcase where I highlight other artists' work (whether it be stamps, cards or otherwise), a blog post offering a great technique, or I might even just pick a whole blog to showcase. If you are new to my blog you can find out why I created the showcase HERE.

Once again, I'm changing things up completely but I think you are going to like what you learn.  




My focus this week is on...


Created by:
Marisa Lerin & Jordan Magnuson
Introduction

If you've seen the majority of my papers, then you've already been introduced to Pixel Scrapper in a round about way since all but the first few I made, have been made with templates from Pixel Scrapper. I absolutely adore this site and I am going to share with you today a little why that is so but first I want to share a bit of background about this incredible site.

To begin with, Pixel Scrapper was founded by Marisa in 2010 to, as Marisa put it, "function as an organized collection of easily-accessible digital scrapbooking resources with simple and freeing terms of use." Then in 2012 she worked with her husband, Jordan, to transform the site into something different--a digital scrapbooking community site. Forums were added and it became a "vibrant community hub, where designers and digital scrappers from around the world come to download resources, find help, and be inspired in their creative endeavors." Now, I don't know about you, but I really like the idea of this unique vision.


I was fortunate enough to find out about this site while visiting over at Crafting With Jack back in December. She had donated to a blog train over at Pixel Scrapper and had provided a link. Not knowing what a blog train was, I decided to investigate. Not only did I soon learn what it was, I also had my eyes opened up to a whole new world of goodies.


In order to benefit from the many unique items offered by Pixel Scrapper (PS) you must become a member. The sign up process is easy and uncomplicated but there are certain expectations. Marisa and Jordan want PS to be a place where people can get to know a little bit about each other, rather than just one more faceless, impersonal website. Another feature that makes this community so unique. You are expected to share your real name or a pseudonym based on a real name, if you are worried about your full name being used on-line. One of the ideas behind this is that they want you to create a meaningful identity, especially if you're uploading layouts to the gallery. They believe that your work deserves a name to go with it. It is also difficult to relate to people who call themselves the 'Purple Pansy'. Remember the idea is about creating a more personal environment to interact within.


Marisa and Jordan also believe that faces tell a story Therefore all users are expected to upload a profile picture, and are strongly encouraged to upload a real photo of themselves.  Preferably a picture showing their face.  Again if people are very uncomfortable about doing so, they don't have to but they are expected to find either a public domain image of a face or even use one of a relative.  Again the idea is that people relate more to a face than they do to an icon, logo or a clip art image.  It's just one more way for people to connect on-line

How it Works

As much as Marisa and Jordan would love to be able to allow people to download as much as they want from Pixel Scrapper every single day, the reality is that it is impossible.  Bandwidth isn't free, and every single download from the site costs money.  With thousands of people visiting every single day, it simply isn't feasible for them to allow unlimited downloads.  Poor Marisa and Jordan would go bankrupt!  So instead, they implemented a system whereby people receive a daily allotment of  "Download Credits".  Everything on the site "costs" a certain number of credits, depending on the size of the file, and whether the person wants to download it for personal use or commercial use.

When you first join up your download credits are pretty low, approximately 5 credits per day.  However, the good news is that you can build up your download credits by earning what is referred to as Community Points for things like filling out your profile, and posting in the forums, leaving comments on posts or people's creations in the gallery.  The rate at which they build up is all dependent on the amount of time you put in.  When I first started back in December, I had quite a bit more time to spend over there--call it my pre DT days.  In a very short period of time I ranked up over 255 Community Points.  What this means in terms of download credits is that right now I have nine credits I can spend each day and these credits will grow on an exponential curve by continued participation in the community, earning more Community Points.
 
Now these credits are not
cumulative.  Up until this past week it had been about a month since I was last there.  I didn't have oodles of credits waiting for me when I signed in--just the nine.  But when I used up those nine and went back the next day, I had another nine to play with.  You'd be amazed at the number of items you can download with just nine credits.  Now I just have to find the time to go back each day and make use of them but the nice thing is that the credits are always waiting for me when I do get back and as I participate more, these points will grow.  If you want to, you can also get more download credits by donating to PS or by participating in layout challenges and winning extra credits. 

What Is Available

You can download either assets or templates.

An asset is a finished product that can be downloaded and used to create a layout. They are colored and often coordinate with each other to make kits. You will find finished papers and elements in this category.


A template is a file that can be modified by designers or DIY scrappers to fit their own needs. They usually come in gray-scale, as either a single .PNG layer or layered .PSD file.  A single template may have several assets attached to it, in different colors or other slight variations. 

While in the beginning I downloaded assets, I have stopped doing so.  It is more important for me to get practice in creating my own items so lately I've just been downloading templates.

The wonderful thing is, the choice is all yours.  You can download one, both or a combination.  If you are just going to be downloading for your own personal use you can spend fewer credits on each item or if like me, you'd like to offer them up as freebies or sell them as I plan to one day (don't worry that  doesn't mean there won't be any more freebie, I promise) you can spend a few more credits and download the commercial use license.  

Now that I've shared some of the nuts and bolts, here is a better idea of what they have to offer.  The number beside the type is indicative of how many are available within a single category.  For example, there are 2340 embellishements in the assets section and that is just for this moment in time.  The numbers are continuously growing as more items are added to each collection.

Type of Assets:
  • embellishment (2340) 
  • paper (1634)cluster (158)
  • alpha (148)
  • palette (50)
  • word art (44)
  • illustration (3)

Type of Templates:
  • overlay (461)
  • layout (271)
  • paper (267)
  • embellishment (224)
  • shape mask (219)
  • stamp/brush (88)
  • word art (56)
  • pattern (36)
  • photo mask (19)
  • alpha (1)
Even though there are so many items to browse through, PS makes it easy by allowing you to hone in on a specific item.  For example, if you were looking for a specific embellishment in the asset section, you would check off the box for embellishments and then you'd be provided with a list of what is available within that category.  In this case the choices would be as follows:

Type of Embellishment:
  • flower (349)
  • tag (335)
  • brad (311)
  • ribbon (299)
  • shape/cutout/stamp (239)
  • button (156)
  • frame (103)
  • seamless glitter (103)
  • staple/clip (92)
  • metal (78)
  • other (56)
  • scatter (44)
  • stitches (42)
  • ephemera (37)
  • sticker (36)
  • tape (36)
  • border (13)
  • bracket (7)
  • swirls/doodles (4)
You can then apply further filters for colour and other choices.  It is a wonderfully organized system that definitely appeals to the left side of my brain!

There are bundles and kits that you can choose from as well.  However, these require a significant number of download credits so you will need to donate to receive the entire kit or bundle in one shot.  The great thing though is that for the majority of kits, you can obtain each item separately through your daily download credits.  It will take you a little more time to get everything you want but it does provide you the opportunity to do so for free.  Here are some watermarked versions of some of the different bundles and kits that are available.  Obviously this is only a very small sampling or you'd be here until next Saturday just checking them all out!

Assets:

The elements in this bundle happen to be some of my personal favourites.  The snowflake paper I created is based on the snowflakes from this bundle.  Additionally, there are a number of really neat embellishments and glitter treated papers in this bundle.


This is another really neat looking kit filled with a lot of interesting embellishments.  You can also see a  sample of what the Alphabet looks like from the Desert Spring Kit.  I love the geometrical shapes within each circle and how they look like buttons.  Really neat!

I'm anxious to get my hands on some of the pngs from this kit.  It also contains brushes.  I don't really understand the whole brush aspect of Photoshop Essentials but it will be nice to have some once I finally do.  I love the idea of using music sheets as backdrops for digital design.  Especially as they relate to quotes about life and music.  I currently only have one music overlay so I can't wait to finally be able to start downloading some of these! 

While I don't often just download assets, as I prefer to be able to learn how to make my own, I may be tempted to download some of the papers within the relatively new 'Love Me' kit.  They are so soft and pretty and and least three are calling out my name!










This is a set of templates I currently have so don't be surprised to see some papers based on these designs sometime down the road.  I just love argyle.  I don't what in particular it is about it that compels me but it definitely does.




Now here is another set of templates, only this time with ornamental designs.  I don't have any from this kit yet but look forward to the day I will.  First though I need to figure out how to colour in whole aspects of a a design at a time as opposed to using the paint bucket to colour in every element separately.  Can you imagine me doing that with the firth design in this kit?  It would take me months to get it all done!
Here is another bundle filled with oodles of goodies.  I have a few of them, some of the glitter papers in particular which are really cool.  Now I just have to come with some ideas on how to use them.

I really love these glitter elements that are part of the Bedouin Nights kit.  There are some really funky looking flowers that could be used in so many different ways.


Finally, what a better kit to leave you with than the Spring Fields one.  Filled with soft, romantic colours, shapes and elements.  You are sure to find something within this kit to bring you out of the winter doldrums.

  

 

 

 


But there is still more available at this amazing site...

Just what I have highlighted alone would be enough to get most people to sign up but there is still more to Pixel Scrapper. There is a gallery where you can upload your designs to have other members in the community comment on. They also have challenges to enter. On top of that there are a number of forums you can become a part of. The one other area that really interests me the most, though unfortunately I haven't had any time to check it out, is the numerous tutorials that Pixel Scrapper makes available for its members. I'm sure to learn a lot once I have the spare time to sit and go through the amazing tutorials Marisa has created.

So, what are you waiting for. You certainly couldn't ask more from any one site and the best part of all is that the majority of what you see is free! Free! Free! However, the site will survive or perish solely on the generosity of its members so if you like what you see and have been downloading for awhile, a small donation would be a wonderful gift to keep this amazing site going for our creative community!

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I hope that you have enjoyed your visit and will take some time to go see for yourself just how amazing Pixel Scrapper really is.  I am very grateful that Marisa gave me permission to introduce her fabulous site to all of you.

Where will we end up next week?  Well, you never know.  Just keep your eye out because it might be YOU I contact next!

I hope that you will all continue to visit me throughout the upcoming week as I have new ideas and new cards to share with you.  Also, if you haven't had a chance yet, please be sure to check out my 100th follower celebration post.  There are many goodies just sitting there for the taking and a chance to win a whole bunch more!  Clicking HERE will take you directly to the post.

Until next time,

 

4 comments:

Vicky F. AKA Crafting Vicky said...

Wow didn't know about this site other than hearing you talk about it. Now I'm curious to check it out. Have a fabulous Sunday and Happy St-Patrick's day!!!

Tracey Tilson said...

Lisa... you did a superb job describing everything that Pixel Scrapper has to offer to the public. I, myself just "discovered" the site a couple of months ago and love getting my free downloads. But what I also love are the forums which have been so helpful... especially to a scrapbooking "newbie" like me! Everyone is so friendly and gives excellent advice and tips.
Anyway, great post! I'm sure Marisa of Pixel Scrapper is beaming with pride! ~Tracey

Glenda said...

Thanks, Lisa! Pixel Scrapper in a nutshell!

Charlene Mitchell said...

I just found Pixel Scrapper this past week. You have done an awesome job of showcasing it - it is everything you say it is!!