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My Memory Suite? Craftartist? Pse? Help With Software!

My Memory SuiteCraft Artist Photoshop Elements Software

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#1 *JT*

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 12:18 AM

Hi Ladies!

 

As I said in my intro, I have been creating digital scrapbooks that I printed into hardcover books using Shutterfly for years. It's slow, and I am looking for a nicer finished product, so it's time to invest in some software. I've read that most of you use PSE, but it's really more for editing photos, isn't it? I really want something that will make scrapbooking easy, while giving me lots of features and control. The other thing is, I want a lot of content, backgrounds, frames, embellishments, layouts. I've heard of My Memory Suite and Craft Artist. Has anyone used either of these and really liked them? Do they have a lot of content? I know you can buy kits, but I'm not sure how that works. How do you ensure that they will work with your software? I know you can get some for free, but are they any good?

 

I'm considering GIMP, My Memory Suite, and CraftArtist 2. I would possibly consider PSE, but it's so much more expensive than I want to spend right now. I know others have asked this question, and the answer always ends up being either Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Are the others just not worth bothering with? Any help from someone who's used actual scrapbooking software would be appreciated. And if you really love your PSE, can you tell me why? How you use it to scrapbook? Where you get your content?

 

Thank you all so much!

JT



#2 ValerieT

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 01:37 AM

I used to use Craft Artist, I loved it until I found out how much it couldn't do.  I started to hate how much it limited me, I couldn't blend photos into the background, I could only do photo effects included in the program and there were many products that were not compatible (layout templates for example).  For me making the change to PSE was an easy choice, I have since made the move to full photoshop.  I still have craft artist on my computer because there are collections on it that I love and I'm trying to find a way to export them for use in photoshop.

 

There is one big reason to seriously consider PSE , tutorials.  Nearly every tutorial on digital scrapbooking is written for PSE and photoshop, which also means there are more people around who can help if you get stuck.


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#3 Belle

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 04:48 AM

The older versions of PSE would be very cheap. Try a trial version first if you are not sure. 


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#4 *JT*

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 09:42 AM

Yes, I've been considering a trial version to see what I think. And thank, I didn't realize there were so many scrapbooking tutorials. How about content, though? I don't want to have to *buy* all my templates! backgrounds, embellishments, etc. Does PSE come with any? Or can you suggest where I can get good stuff for free? And Valerie, what are the big differences that made you switch to the full version? I would LOVE the full photoshop, but it's super expensive.

Thanks for your help!
JT

#5 Belle

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 09:55 AM

PSE comes with lots of embellishments. You can also get a lot of freebies from Scrap Girls. With the twice weekly newsletter and well as, I think, it's two collections. Very pretty. 


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#6 JenniferZ

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:21 AM

I would recommend PSE -- it does come with some embellies and frames, but a lot of them (at least in PSE9) are "locked" and must be purchased. PSE has and can use styles, shapes, brushes and most actions, which add a considerable amount of flexibility to your scrapbooking repertoire.

 

If you want high-quality looking pages, you will have to invest a little money in high-quality products. Remember that digital scrapbooking (with PS/E, at least) allows you to recolor and mask, erase and blend - among many other things - and you can re-use all of your purchases as many times as you want, so your dollars are money well-spent. :) If you want more flexibility, check out any of our ScrapSimple products: (The ScrapSimple Club is a GREAT deal at only $6.99/month.)
Embellishments

Papers

Alpha

Word Art

 

They are grayscale images, so you can easily recolor and blend them to match any color scheme of your choosing. Some come in layers, so they are further customizable by turning layers on or off to create many variations. Scrap Girls has a lot of freebies and specials for you to download and use (they change all the time, so you will be able to collect quite a few.)

 

Once you get into the creativity involved in creating your own pages, I think that a scrapbooking-only program (Craft Artist, My Memory Suite, etc.) will be too restricting for you. My advice is to go ahead and invest in PSE. Check out tutorials and ask questions in the PSE forum and you will be amazed at what artistic pages you will be making!  

 

Can't wait to see your creations in the Gallery! :)


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#7 lorac

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 11:37 AM

I started out with PSE5 and I now use PSE12.  I believe the trial version is still available and if you check around, you might still be able to find it for about $40 somewhere.  The Scrap Girls monthly club is only $9.99 a monthly and it's a huge savings.  Freebies come out twice a week and there are always sales going on, like the one that is ending tomorrow.  When I first started digital scrapping I used another scrapping program, Scrapbook Max, and realized that I couldn't do a lot of stuff that could be done with PSE.


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#8 lindarobin

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:16 PM

I have all three of the aforementioned programs.  Each has its own pros, depending on what you what to accomplish.

 

Craft Artist has been replaced by Craft Artist 2 which is a pretty amazing piece of software for its price.  It has blend modes and layer masks and a powerful photo-editing program built in (has advanced features such as histograms and curves), giving CA2 pretty much all the capabilities of Photo Shop Elements.

 

***All the beautiful papers and embellishments here at Scrapgirls*** can be used in CA2 and My Memory Suite. (but not the layered templates, brushes, styles)

 

The least expensive, My Memory Suite, does an excellent job of creating scrapbook pages that look like real paper pages.  It's much easier to learn and use.  I believe it currently comes with 2GB of art although a lot of it, IMO, is early 2000's style.  No blending, no layer masks, no advanced photo-editing features.  To most of us here at Scrapgirls, that's a deal-breaker.  We love to blend!

 

Photo Shop Elements definitely has a higher learning curve.  I have often heard on other scrapbooking forums that PSE was too complicated for the scrapbooking they enjoyed doing.  However, if you aren't put off by this, but the price is holding you back, then definitely look around for an older version as Belle suggested.  That's how I got my version 8... for $25!



#9 *JT*

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 07:42 PM

Wow, thanks for all the advice.

 

If I go for an older version of PSE, any thoughts which is the best that's still pretty cheap?

 

Linda, it sounds like either CA2 or PSE are the way to go. Anything you can say to help nudge me in either direction? I know I can do a trial of PSE, but I don't think CA2 offers that.

 

Thank you everyone!



#10 lindarobin

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 09:15 PM

JT, there is a free Craft Artist Compact version, but it is the limited program that Valerie mentioned.  Still, the free version will give you a feel for its interface, and you can download their free digikits and use them in the program.  If you sign up for their newsletter, you are alerted to special discounts.  Earlier this year, CA2 had a promo where it was only $25!  It could happen again.

 

I was just lucky to walk into a store that was getting rid of old inventory - that was how I got PSE8 so cheaply.  It certainly was never advertised.  I didn't see anything that fits the bill at amazon.com, but you might have better luck.  EBay maybe?

 

Some of the ladies here might be willing to part with an old version if they don't use it anymore.



#11 *JT*

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 12:22 AM

Thank you so much! I'm going to download the free version and PSE trial and give them both a test run. Thanks for the info!



#12 A-M

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 01:23 AM

I warn you JT, to be careful buying PSE on ebay. I bought the full version  of Photoshop at a cheap price and when I went to buy an upgrade on it I discovered it must have been a pirated copy of the software as the product code was invalid. 

I started off with the very first version of PSE which came with my very first scanner but it could not do much so once I got hooked I bought PSE6 and then bought full version of Photoshop as I wanted to dabble in designing ( you can design in PSE ) and now own CS6 and also PSE8 ( which came with my wacom ).   I need to keep a PSE on my computer as CS does not work with my scanner. 

 

Hope you enjoy the trial version of PSE.   Here a page you might want to visit on our forum:  http://scrapgirls.co...g-tutorials.php   and take at look at some free tutorials. 


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#13 ValerieT

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 02:20 AM

I had the full version of craft artist, not the trial, however it was bought a few years ago so it may have been updated.  One of the things that really frustrated me was getting help on how to do things, their forum at the time was very quiet.  I waited two weeks for an answer once. 

 

Then I found this forum and didn't look back.  I quickly downloaded the PSE trial.  There was a huge learning curve but help was always available, I rarely had a wait more than an hour for an answer.


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#14 lindarobin

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 06:35 AM

The free CA isn't a trial as such as it does not expire like the PSE trial version.  The CA forum must have evolved considerably over the years because it is very active now and questions are usually answered within hours, sometimes minutes.

 

The Scrapgirls forum is terrific for getting help on PSE and all things scrap related.  I think we have some Paint Shop Pro users here, too.



#15 *JT*

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 10:56 AM

Thank you all for your help! I downloaded the trial versions of PSE and CA, and now just to play around and see what I think of each. 

 

The Craft Artist website definitely seems to have evolved. There's a whole website called DaisyTrail that is very into it. I'm not sure if it's the official forum or not, but they're all into it and have tons of kits for it. The software seems much more limited than PSE, though, of course it is the limited version. I wish they did a free trial of the full version, like PSE. I'm guessing PSE will be the winner, just because of that!

 

Like I said, I don't want to have to buy a million kits. I would love software that includes a lot of kits, or even a purchase of a whole bunch of kits at once, if it worked with whatever software I end up with. Does PSE have such a thing? Eventually I'll want to make my own embellies and such, but right now I need to get started on my photoalbum, so it's done in time for Christmas. If I try to make all my own content, that will never happen! LOL 

 

Thank you for the warning, Anne-Marie. I have gotten burned on Ebay before and am very cautious about it. In fact, we recently had to buy something from them for my work, which turned out to be a huge mistake. The customer service was terrible. At this point, I pretty much only look on Amazon for things, because they stand by their site and will take care of any problem without delay.



#16 lindarobin

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 03:14 PM

The Craft Artist website definitely seems to have evolved. There's a whole website called DaisyTrail that is very into it. I'm not sure if it's the official forum or not, but they're all into it and have tons of kits for it.

Definitely official.  In fact, right inside the CA program, there is a DaisyTrail Upload button.  When you click it, the program automatically uploads your project to the DaisyTrail gallery (provided you have registered to become a member there).  If you like to share your pages, this is kind of nice because they make it so simple.  You don't have to create a separate web sized JPG version on your own and then upload it as another step in the process.

 

PSE does have an official forum, but it is not associated with a digi-scrapping store, so the answer is NO, PSE does not come with any scrapbooking kits.  As Belle mentioned, PSE does come with some starter graphics.  I think you find them in the Content tab.

 

If you want great digital scrapping kits (and more!) specifically designed for PSE and PS, look at the Scrapgirls Boutique.  Get the newsletter and you'll be alerted to all sales and discounts.

 

Get some freebies.  Use the program to manipulate them into so many more different versions.



#17 *JT*

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 07:49 PM

I thought it might be official, but like I said, I only took a peek. I was just trying to find into about what software to get, and they were obviously biased toward theirs. 

 

I am going to check out the boutique when I finally sit down and play with the trials I downloaded. Then I can see what they software can do, plus see some of the great kits, etc. Hopefully later tonight, but we'll see how that goes. Today hasn't gone as planned, but then when does it ever. LOL. I am also going to need to watch some PSE tutorials, because I have no doubt it's going to be a tough nut to crack on my own.



#18 Smiles

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:26 PM

One thing you need an Adobe product for is Styles.  I couldn't scrap without my styles.  They're a super easy way to color a template, for one thing.  I did a brief look around some other sites, and they don't seem to offer styles at all.  You'll find amazing styles in the SG boutique.


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#19 *JT*

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 12:35 AM

What exactly is a style? I was reading tutorials today, and I couldn't figure it out.



#20 ValerieT

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 12:39 AM

There are all sorts of styles, they are preset effects that you can add to a layer (paper, embellishment, alpha).  There are shadow styles to make embellishments look more realistic, you can add glitter, patterns, emboss, engrave, add photo effects, the list goes on.

 

One click and some of the more difficult or time consuming things you can do are done for you.


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#21 teecee

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 08:23 AM

What exactly is a style? I was reading tutorials today, and I couldn't figure it out.

 

 

There are all sorts of styles, they are preset effects that you can add to a layer (paper, embellishment, alpha).  There are shadow styles to make embellishments look more realistic, you can add glitter, patterns, emboss, engrave, add photo effects, the list goes on.

 

One click and some of the more difficult or time consuming things you can do are done for you.

 

Hi JT,

 

Here's a link to the Styles section in the boutique so you can get an idea of the things you can do with styles: Styles



#22 *JT*

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 09:25 AM

Thank you!







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