17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My Hobby: Photos and Scrapbooking

I love taking pictures. I love scrapbooking pictures.

I love photo gifts.

I have learned recently that there is a WIDE VARIETY of ways to scrapbook. I have heard about digital scrapbooking, giant journals, and crazy-takes-2-hours-to-do-one-page scrapbookers. There is a whole WORLD out there, that I am N-O-T a part of. I just go along my way and do my scrapbooks and give my gifts.

So, this post is for those with a mild interest in the hobby of scrapbooking and giving of photo gifts.

If you are crazy into it, visit some of these sights:
Heidi Swapp
Paper Cat
Giant Journaling

If you are average like me, this post is for you!

First I want to start with a new, very cool photosite called Heritagemakers. One of our commenters here turned me onto this. I put together a hardbound scrapbook through their website that had every bell and whistle you could think of. I was able to upload my photos, and then digitally scrapbook them. There were tons and tons of embellishments, alphabets, borders, colors, custom colors, already-done page layouts, and the list goes on. Not only that, but you can resize and rotate everything. It was this scrapbookers dream b/c there was no cutting, gluing or MESS in my house, and the end result was a fabulously printed and bound scrapbook...I even got to design my own cover.

At first I thought the price was a little up there, BUT I had this great cross-comparison. I recently made an 8 x 8 scrapbook for a friend, that had about the same pages as the 8 x 8 Heritagemakers Digital scrapbook. Doing a scrapbook from scratch with an acid free album, papers, embellishments, stickers, and printing the photos, was around $70-...not including the scissors, glue etc. that are already in my kit. Plus it took hours and hours to put together.

The Heritagemakers book is $49.99 I think. And it is a really high quality, creative gift. I think this would be so great for a very special gift: Anniversary, Wedding, Baby's 1st Year, Christmas, or Birthday. But, honestly I think it is so smart for all of you who WANT to scrapbook but are so intimidated by/"over" having to get all the supplies, pull them out and DO IT. $50+ a year for your family's scrapbook seems like just the right price, and you can be working on it a little at a time all year round. I give Heritagemakers an A+++. These books are NOT for those of you who want the stark white back grounds and a few photos on a page...this is for the creatives!

2 other points. 1 is that some of you out there are a little afraid of making mistakes, and here you can just UNDO...it's not STUCK WITH GLUE. And, they have a 12 x 12 album available, which is the size of my personal scrapbooks, and frankly they are starting to take up a LOT of space, so I am strongly considering making a 12 x 12 scrapbook from this site as my family's album....

Snapfish was my first adventure in an online photo service. I started about 5 years ago, and I am still a loyal customer. The quality of their prints, price, prompt service, and EXCELLENT customer service keep me coming back. I have gotten a lot of friends and family to use this site religiously as well, which tells me that many people enjoy snapfish.

Though recently they have added some new features, I am most familiar with their postcard, flip book, and photobook services. Every year I get my family Christmas postcard printed by them, and I love the quality and fast service. I can take the picture one day, and about 3 days later have the postcards, by using regular mail shipping options.

The flipbooks are great too, for small gifts, or little memories you want to preserve. Stark white, clean backgrounds with the option of borders and captions. It is user-friendly to put together, and high quality.

Photobooks are my favorite Christmas gift to give to Grandparents that already have everything. Their layouts/options for pages have become more sophisticated over the years, but are pretty basic. The price is right at around 20 dollars, and 10-15 percent off additional books that are the exact same. The only glitch I have experienced with these books is my grandpa received one that had about 15 pages in the beginning of the book, of some random person that I don't know's wedding photos, but the rest of the book contained exactly what I had ordered. He never told me this, I just discovered it when visiting, and my husband easily removed the other family's pages.

For that extra touch on a card or postcard, I am a fan of the photostamp. It is definitely a luxury item and a little pricey, but I just love the idea. I have done this a few years for Christmas cards, but when I realized that get stamped over quite a bit in some areas, I reconsidered...

I have also received photogifts made by a MAC site I think...right Carrie? and they seem very similar to Snapfish.

So.....would love to start a thread on your experiences, and maybe we will repost this with some tweaks and links around the holidays...to get us thinking of that extra special, personalized GIFT!


  • I don't scrapbook but I have to second your opinion of Snapfish. Love them! As room mother of my son's second grade class, I put together an album of pictures for his teacher. It turned out fabulous and shipped so quickly I was dumbfounded! I thought it would take weeks... it took 3 days from the time I ordered it to the day it arrived on my doorstep! So far, so good for me!
    posted by Blogger lainakay at 7/19/2007 07:02:00 AM  

  • What I like best about scrapbook pages is the funky little accents you can have and I think the 3D aspect adds something important to the page. Flat printed pages leave me cold for some reason. So my question about the Heritagemakers books would be: when they print them, with all the funky stuff you've done to the page, do they come back slick, smooth and flat? Or do they include the funky little 3D embellishments?
    posted by Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve at 7/19/2007 07:14:00 AM  

  • I used to work for the head office of Close To My Heart, which is a pretty big scrapbooking sales company. I bought tons of stuff to put together an album and THEN discovered digital scrapbooking. I'm thinking I'll put my wedding photos in the album I bought and then do everything else online, since I'm a computer fiend anyway. My best friend made a digital scrapbook of her engagement photos and it turned out beautiful, so I'm excited to be able to make one as well.
    posted by Blogger Kris Akarti at 7/19/2007 08:12:00 AM  

  • Oh and Eve--the pages that I've seen are flat. I think they look really pretty, just like a magazine or something. And no worries about your embellishments getting smashed or falling off!

    My pet peeve about scrapbooking is when people use embellishments to cover up pictures, or embellishments that take the focus off the pictures. My mom's scrapbooks have stickers all over the pictures, which is annoying because half the time you can't tell what us kids looked like when the picture was taken!
    posted by Blogger Kris Akarti at 7/19/2007 08:14:00 AM  

  • You can also order your pictures through costco.com. It is run by snapfish and costs $0.17/print. The quality is awesome and you can either pick them up at your local costco or have them ship them to you for free. If you order the specialty items those are mailorder only I believe.

    I have also used kodakgallery.com to make a teacher's book for my dd's kindergarten class teacher. It turned out really nice and was shipped to me within a week. The price was also reasonable.

    I can't wait to check out heritage maker site you mentioned!

    I love to scrapbook and I have the tons of materials to make scrapbooks, but it is so overwhelming to find & drag it all out and get started that I just don't do it. I also have become a little discouraged because it seems that if you aren't one of the 2+ hour pages type of scrapbooker, than your work isn't very good. I just enjoy having a very simple look w/o having to print special journaling, making paper piercings, or stiching, embossing, etc. on each page.
    posted by Anonymous mkc at 7/19/2007 08:51:00 AM  

  • I was a die hard scrapbooker and still have a room full of the stamps and papers and stuff, but I now prefer the computer. I love making picture books for special occasions, most recently I had a photo session of my newborn and put about 75 pictures into a book using picaboo.com Everybody loves it. I like using shutterfly.com for things like birth announcements and Christmas cards. While I enjoy all of this, my true love is photo videos--where you take the pictures, put it to music, add transitions and zooming, and have a scrapbook dvd. These are the best. The music makes all the difference, I think. These are what I make for Christmas gifts for grandparents. I've even done them to show at baptisms while the child is changing clothes before being confirmed. Love 'em!
    posted by Blogger colds1 at 7/19/2007 10:57:00 AM  

  • pd of eve, yes like kris said...smooth and shiny...but still a cool look, and she makes a good point about smashing, and a second point is that sometimes things come unglued over time and wear...

    colds1: I have received a lot of cards for shutterfly, seems to be a popular choice.

    Love the video idea. I actually do that too. Throughout the year I make little home videos (obvious stuff, christmas, recitals etc., and then just randomness...usually a GREATEST HITS montage of the girls singing, a bathtub video, playground, easter egg dying, etc.), put them all together on a dvd, and then usual make a slideshow for each child of their year, with a song that represents that year...this year it will probably be Corinne Bailey Rae's GIRL, PUT YOUR RECORDS ON....Makes great gifts!
    posted by Blogger Kage at 7/19/2007 12:16:00 PM  

  • I use snapfish too and love it, but I've also used some of the pre-assembled themed scrapbooks you can buy at Hallmark - the pages are already made and super cute and you just add in your pics! It just looks like you did a lot of work!
    posted by Blogger knittingirl at 7/19/2007 01:31:00 PM  

  • Thanks for the shout-out, Kristy!

    Anyone interested in checking out Heritage Makers, please send me an email so that I can set up an account for you and waive the one-time setup fee. tandylarson@gmail.com

    I fell in love with the HM finished product when someone introduced me to it several months ago. I have made 4 different books so far and I just love it.

    I am also a fan of some of the other products mentioned here. There really is so much you can do with your treasured photos!
    posted by Blogger Tandy at 7/19/2007 05:38:00 PM  

  • Thanks for this review. I also have used photomax.com. They have good prints and nice products as well. I did their DVD and loved it. They also will scan in negatives to be digitized and stored (do others do that too?)

    A couple of thoughts. First of all, as far as 3D embellishments go, I think it's not always a good idea to use them, as they can damage photos and paper (through rubbing and pressing). Just be sure you place them in places that won't press on things you care about and make sure your books aren't too packed so the pages aren't squished together.

    And if you do a DVD, be sure to have paper backups of some sort. I think it was Kage who mentioned a while ago that digital storage formats are not yet long-lasting and so we will likely outlive our DVDs. Be sure to get at least prints of everything you digitize.
    posted by Blogger M&M at 7/21/2007 01:39:00 PM  

  • The best price I've found on photo books is at http://www.viovio.com/wiki/Photo+Books . I haven't tried them yet, but they better be good, as that's what we're doing for most of our Christmas presents!
    posted by Anonymous Firebyrd at 7/26/2007 08:08:00 PM  

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