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.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

An Alternative to Scrapbooking

I hope I don't get booed for suggesting that there is an alternative to scrapbooking, but I wanted to share my form of memory-keeping just in case there is one other person in the world who is NOT good at scrapbooking.

I have never been crafty. I don't have a shred of talent in this area (except that I can tell what looks good and what doesn't...and anything I make usually falls into the "doesn't" category.) After having my first son and taking a gazillion pictures and endless video footage I figured I needed to organize and highlight somehow. Enter iMac.

I had tried to make a video for my parents of our Lake Powell trips on my PC and I almost went insane. I don't even like watching it because it brings back major feelings of frustration, discouragement and anger (do I sound crazy? I almost went there doing that video...grrr). I had heard that Mac's were supposed to be much easier to work with in that dept, so I agreed to do a wedding video for my sister in law. It was simple. It was fun. It was easy. And it turned out beautifully.

iLife (which comes on every Apple computer I believe) is an incredibly user-friendly program for picture/video editing and sharing. I decided to create a video and picture slide show for each year of my child's life highlighting their experiences from that year and abandon all things scrappy. I am almost done with my son's video: Year One. He already loves to watch it. His dad loves to watch it. I love to watch it. There are so many things you can do with iMovie and they are very simple and intuitive. I have to admit, the video looks good. It's a project I feel proud of.

I am not saying everyone needs to go buy a MAC (although you really should, they are wonderful) but consider video scrapping. It may sound expensive to buy a whole computer, but I did a scrapbook for my mom's 50th birthday last year and that stuff is NOT cheap. The supplies, the paper, the add-ons or embellishments or whatever they are called, the glue sticks, glue dots, glue lines, glue gun, the ribbon, the mat stacks, the cute cute cute stickers and quotes...it all adds up. If you are a scrapper - you're good at it, you enjoy it, your happy with the outcome - stay right there. Scrapbooks are wonderful to have and I am sure kids appreciate them immensely. But if you get frustrated and don't enjoy it much (like me!) maybe give this video thing a try. The finished product will be enjoyed and loved just as much as a book.


  • amen sister! I'm not a scrapbooker, and not a particulary regular memory organizer at all, but I do love the ease that Mac adds. I've made numerous movies and books on the computer, and it's easy and beautiful. And I love Mac and always have. Keep spreadin' that Mac gospel. :-)
    posted by Blogger marian at 9/12/2007 09:55:00 AM  

  • Entry into the Mac world is really not expensive at all. Get a Mac mini for $599, keep your current monitor and mouse and keyboard. Even the lowliest Mac mini comes with the awesome iLife suite, which is worth hundreds of dollars. "Equivalent" programs on Windows that are only half as good will cost you twice as much. (but the truth is there absolutely is no equivalent Windows software to the very stuff that comes included out of the box with every new Mac.)

    Between iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD, I hav everything our family--immediate and extended--needs for some awesome memory-preserving and sharing. We make several DVDs each year, not just of movies, but of photo slideshows, backed up by some well-chosen background music, and every single person who gets our DVDs loves them...not just says they love them, but really loves them (the sentimental teary eyes give people away when they watch the DVDs with us). My grandmother, for whom we made an awesome DVD with decades worth of photos that she could watch right on her TV, said the DVD was the nicest gift anyone had ever given her.

    And it really takes very little time or special skills to make these things. And you DON'T have to be a techie.

    If you are a student, Apple Store online has some pretty sweet discounts. I bought my new Mac for $1799, $200 off the retail price, with a student discount. I know for sure I spent at least $500 on scrapbooking supplies...TRYING so hard to make it be "for me"...but it just wasn't my thing.

    In summary: Show your family you love them...get a Mac and iLife and have fun!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 9/12/2007 10:09:00 AM  

  • I am not a scrapbooker and never will be. Praises to you, Melis for this post.

    I was introduced to the gospel of Mac by Marian and Tftcarrie...and my life has never been the same. My Mac book is one of the best purchases we have EVER made.

    LOVE Macs.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 9/12/2007 12:50:00 PM  

  • Yeah, I love making imovies too!

    Another benefit to doing this is that you can put them on line so your friends and family can enjoy. And if a tragety befalls your belongings they will be "backed up" on the web.
    posted by Blogger happy nanny at 9/12/2007 01:25:00 PM  

  • don't just limit yourself to the iMovie. Use iPhoto, make a book, and have it printed up. Their quality is top-notch, they look great, only take about 30 minutes to an hour, and they cost no more than all of that creative memories stuff would.
    posted by Blogger Hayes at 9/12/2007 01:53:00 PM  

  • Just be careful, though...the digital storage media will only last a few decades. Even if you don't scrapbook, at least get prints of the pics and put them in a photo album (just the kind you slip pics in, no frills) so that when you die, your kids will actually have something to show their kids!

    You are seriously making me want to get a Mac, though. :)
    posted by Anonymous m&m at 9/12/2007 05:30:00 PM  

  • I used to scrapbook, but then I started using iPhoto on my Mac to make 'memory books' for my kids. I love it and it takes about a quarter of the time to make them...I just drag the photos I want into the scrapbook, arrange them, type up what's going on, and push "order" and seven to ten days later, I get the book in the mail.

    I looove it.

    My success with iMovie is limited so any hints would be great.
    posted by Blogger Nancy at 9/13/2007 11:06:00 AM  

  • This is very cool stuff to know about! Although I own a pc my family is unanimous on the fact that macs are better. Maybe next time...
    posted by Blogger Katie at 9/14/2007 08:34:00 AM  

  • Nancy- you will find iMovie just as intuitive as iPhoto. I went into the Apple store and had their genuis bar give me some tips but here are some things to start you off:
    -Use the HELP command on the tool bar. By typing in your question you will most likely find a little tutorial on how to do what you want to do
    -It's the same drag and drop idea when creating books. Drag your video clip down to the timeline.
    -Hit "AppleT" to split the clip (this is the function I use most)
    -Under the clips there is a menu that reads Clips - Themes - Media - Editing - Chapters. Media is where you can pull music from iTunes and pics from iPhoto - again, just drag and drop. Editing is where you have the fun - there are titles, transitions, and effects. Click "add" for the titles, choose a transition then drag and drop where you want it and go crazy with the FX. So much fun!
    So that's the quick and dirty. As you can probably tell I'm not a "techie" so I am most likely not using the proper terms for things, but you should be able to get the point.
    Have fun!
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 9/14/2007 09:10:00 AM  

  • I've been making videos for ourfamily for the last few years with the Windows Movie Maker that comes with our PC and it hasn't been too difficult to use. I have NO idea how to turn the wmv into a DVD though, and I'd try the Mac, but I swear every time I try using one, I crash the computer. Every. Single. Time. You are right though, it sure beats scrapbooking!
    posted by Anonymous reva at 9/14/2007 02:34:00 PM  

  • Ooooh I love macs so much. We made "the switch" about 6 six years ago and haven't looked back.

    Oh, Melissa I am so there with you. I love scrapbooking in theory. But the reality is that I just can't do it. I love making Imovies and I have committed myself to making a slideshow on the Mac for each of the girls on their birthday highlighting the best pictures of the year.

    I start with a series of close-up photos showing how they have grown and changed through the year, then I include one or two photos from every holiday, then a section showing them with the family and friends they spent time with that year, then a section with a picture from every place/adventure we had during the year and then other highlight like a montage of sleeping photos, or "getting messy" photos or "firsts" photos. It usually spans the time of two songs. It is a great record for the year and the girls love to watch them. Each year I burn a new DVD to include all the past years slideshows including the latest one.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 9/15/2007 10:19:00 PM  

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