Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More Thoughts on Scrapbooking and Product Reviews

Feathering My Nest
It's three-fourths of the way through February, a month in which I have been focusing on scrapbooking. So far, I have organized my already-printed photographs and layouts; completed Henry's birthday album; completed Clara's middle school album; scrapped 6 pages to complete my 2010 chronological album; scrapped 18 pages to complete my 2011 chronological album; updated my Christmas card photo albums and made Clara two photo books with her cross country and track photos from sophomore year.  
These last few days have been spent "feathering my nest" by going through all the photographs on my computer and iphone and trying to get them organized (at least in my head). I ordered all the photographs from my computer that I plan to scrap with paper, as well as photos to complete Clara's birthday album. 
I continue to find the 2,500 photos on my camera roll on my iphone a challenge to organize and order. But I did make some headway by following everyone's advice about getting Dropbox as an easy way to get the photos off my phone and on to my computer. I have been finding the dropbox-shutterfly interface to work pretty easily, so I will keep using that to order photos off my phone for 2013, 2014 and 2015. Then I resolve to reclaim the storage space on my phone by deleting the old photos from my camera roll! And to use my big camera more. 
One of the biggest epiphanies I had while looking through all these photos was that the best way to deal with a big bunch of them is to create a photo book for Clara's work at the Humane Society and Guide Dogs for the Blind. I have never taken my big camera along to these places, but I have hundreds of photos on my iphone from our time volunteering. 
So, at the end of week 3 of February, here are my remaining projects:
1. Photo book with Clara's volunteer work at Humane Society and Guide Dogs (probably 8x8 from shutterfly).
2. Photo book with Barcelona pictures (probably 12x12 mixbook).
3. Order photos from iphone (through Dropbox and Shuttefly).
4. Organize 2012, 2013 and 2014/2015 to paper scrap.
5. Scrap 2012, 2013 and 2014/2015.
6. Update Henry's sports album
7. My heritage/genealogy album - a project I haven't mentioned before because it's always on the very bottom of my to-do list. But it is something I would like to do . . . someday!
8. And, finally, I do occasionally think about taking our wedding photos out of the album we received 30 years ago and scrapping them (mainly so I can add journaling). Not sure I will ever do this. Thoughts appreciated on this one!
I know I won't get through these all before the end of February, but I will probably go ahead and move on to my March intention, while continuing to work on these projects for the rest of the year (or the rest of my life - LOL!).
And now for some quick product reviews:
Shutterfly 12x12 Hardcover Photo Books
Love these! I made one for Clara's sophomore XC season and one for Clara's sophomore track season. More importantly, she loved them and asked immediately if I would make her one for this year! Since all my photos were already up on the shutterfly site, the photo book part went together really quickly. It took a bit longer to go back and add the journaling. The quality is good, and they came really quickly in the mail. They can be a bit pricey, but they are very affordable if you wait until there's an appropriate sale (because there's always a sale at shutterfly, and retailmenot often has discount codes as well). I got mine during a 50% off hard cover book sale, plus found a free shipping code and another code for some additional percentage off my entire order. I'll definitely use shutterfly to make her photo books for the rest of her running seasons and will use them for a book on her volunteer work.
Shutterfly Prints
Eh, all of okay. Quality is basically fine, especially if I'm printing iphone photos. Price is very reasonable. Order takes a loooong time to arrive in the mail. I'll use them to order the rest of the photos I want from my iphone, since their interface with drop box works pretty well.
Persnickety Prints
I really liked the quality of these! The photographs arrived super fast. More costly than Shutterfly, but the couple of cents difference is such a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of all my other scrapbooking supplies. Since I truly believe that the photos should be the star of the layout, I don't mind paying more. I'll continue to use this service to print photographs taken with my DSLR. Thanks to Melissa and Karen for suggesting this service in response to this post. Blog friends really do offer the best advice!
Drop Box
Thanks to Missus Wookie and Helena for suggesting this service in response to this recent post.  I had to upgrade to accommodate all the photos on my iphone and camera, but I'm happy to have a safe backup for my photos. And I'm very happy to find a low-frustration way to get photos off my iphone and into print! I'm also hoping I can use it as an easy way to upload photos from my iphone onto my blog. Still experimenting with it, since I thought I had cropped my toes out of the photobook photo, but they showed up in the drop box photo! LOL! I'm thinking that it preserves the original photo, not the unedited one, which is a bit of a bummer. Any advice from you drop box gurus?


Sian said...

A really interesting post. I'm cheering you on with your nest feathering; and from a personal point of view I'm interested to read about your experiences of printing iphone photos. I've been looking here, but honestly it looks as if Persnickity or Prinstagram would be just as cheap if I can bear the wait for delivery!

Cheri said...

enjoyed reading this post and the parallel track we are on. Although seeing your list, I am so glad I don't scrapbook chronologically... pretty sure I would have completely given up by now! I'm still slowly working my way through creating lists of what needs to be done to call old paper albums complete!

GlorV1 said...

Hi Maria. Hope you are doing well. I haven't any lists. Just taking it day by day.:) Long time no see. Have a great day and enjoy your year.

Karen said...

I'm so impressed with all you've accomplished this month! I use Dropbox when we're traveling so I have documents and photos I might want while we're away. One of my intentions for 2015 is to learn more about Dropbox (and Evernote) so I'm making better use of both of them.

Susanne said...

Girl when you concentrate on scrapbooking, you really concentrate. What fabulous progress you've made. Hubby and I are coming up on our 30th anniversary and I still have a few pictures from our honeymoon that I want to scrap. We weren't into taking pictures much back then, so it is not a formidable task. I just ordered over 100 pictures from Shutterfly this week and they arrived super quick, but they and I are both in the Midwest. I agree with you that their quality is good but not great, but the same can be said of most of my photos. I have heard good things about Persnickety and will find time to figure the website out as well. My kids use Dropbox to share pictures off their phone with me, but none of us are particularly impressed with Dropbox.

Melissa said...

Great progress on your scrapbooking Rinda! I agree about the Shutterfly photo books - I've made several & really like them. And, yes, Persnickety Prints is great quality - so glad you tried it & liked it.

On your wedding album - don't take it apart! I think the original albums are worth keeping. However, it would be worth it to scan (or photograph) your favorite photos to scrap & add journaling. It's perfectly acceptable to have two albums! :)

Carola Bartz said...

You have been busy!!! Wow! I could never really stick to chronological scrapbooking, especially when using physical albums. I love Shutterfly photo books and have made several of them. I use a lot of their services and most of the times I like their qualities. I also like the prints, but I haven't tried Persnickety yet and can't say anything about that. However, my Shutterfly orders usually arrive pretty quickly.
Concerning your wedding album - I agree with Melissa, don't take it apart. If possible, scan the photos and then work with those.

Anonymous said...

I am just floored with all that you got accomplished. Interesting points about the various services/books etc. I haven't printed any iPhone pictures yet. As for dropbox, I guess the Scot is coming out in me that I don't want to pay for the upgraded version which is what I would need so instead I guess I'll be transferring them over to my computer via the usb cable that's part of the charger.