Thursday, June 5, 2008

For the Simple Girl: Online Photo Books

Let me preface by saying that I have nothing against scrapbooking. I think it's a darling & productive hobby, and I love to look at the amazing pages that my friends create.

It's just not for me. I get too overwhelmed by the embellishments, the punches, the stickers. The storage, the messes, the trips to the craft store. Frankly, I'm terrified by the commitment of gluing things together.

Still, something must be done. My girls deserve to grow up with the kind lovely books that line the shelves of my patient, talented scrapbooking friends. Surely there is a solution for those of us who are neither patient, NOR talented.

Enter the greatest invention of all times. (aside from the Vita-Mix blender, which - mark my words - WILL be mine)

I have been organizing our photos into books using (I also recommend - see below).

*No cutting
*No gluing
*For me, No tearing up and RE-gluing
*No swiping my debit card at the craft store
*No messy kitchen table.

Just a simple click, click, click, done.

Here are a few samples from Leah's book. If you're a simple girl too, see below for suggestions.

The two best sites I have found are Shutterfly and Picaboo. My favorite thing about Shutterfly is that everything is done online. They store your photos and your pages. No downloading (no risk of loosing work if your computer crashes), and the site is quick. Picaboo, on the other hand, has to be downloaded onto your computer. You store the photos, pages, etc, which means it can eat memory, and the program sometimes CRAWLS. I've done books using both, and if I had to choose, would recommend Picaboo (Leah's pages were done with Picaboo) if for no other reason than their background paper selection is amazing. When you're designing a page with Picaboo, click "More backgrounds online." Make time, though - It's SO fun to browse the designs - Like shopping for free! Also, Picaboo lets you design pages in any order & sort them when you're done. Shutterly is linear. I got so frustrated using Shutterfly, as I would occasionally design pages out of order and have to delete them and start over. On the other hand, I do like Shutterfly's cover design better...Ah, life is a series of compromises.


Alyson P. said...

I designed a book in Shutterfly too, and you can move the pages around. It's been about a year though, so I can't explain how to do it. Also, has a good price. Not easy designs but maybe you can download your Picaboo pages to Winkflash. Their books go on sale for $20 for 100 pages! That's the best price I've ever seen. I have started a book and then I'm just going to wait for the sale to order it. I design the pages in Photoshop and then download to Winkflash.

Holbrook Girls said...

I am right there with you Katie. Scrapbooking is not for me either. I will have to look into those two websites you recommended!

Jeannie said...

Love it. I'm with you 100%. Our Shutterfly books from family vacations are priceless. Super easy. I need to get some going to chronicle Renny's life...

Jane said...

You already know how much I love this!! I can't wait to get started. And I never knew about that blender, is it the one that can turn dvds into powder? We just need a recipe that calls for some dvd powder before we buy one.

Daily Jot & Tittle said...

I'm with you! After years and years of scrapbooking I just did our 2007 family scrapbook on Shutterflly and loved it! I agree with you that picaboo has more selection for background pages, but I thought Shutterfly was faster to use and didn't lose any of my pages. And you can move the pages around, I think you click on "arrange". I also love that it can be out as a coffee table book and it doesn't take up so much space. Have fun!

Courtney Vance said...

I don't do scrapbooking in any form. It would probably lead to tourettes or something.

Dawn said...

My Publisher is another great site. They often have sales that are 40% off $100 orders. It comes out to be 3 books for $60. Not bad, and a great finished product!

Julie Knowlton said...


Thank you. For being the other pea in my pod.


Kristin said...

Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I love projects. I would be a fanatic scrapbooker if A.) I had oodles of extra time on my hands (who does?) and B.) I had plenty of extra funds to spend on trinkets and cute things to put in there.... Unfortunately, neither A nor B are the case, SO, I've already vowed to digitally scrapbook. Thanks for the tips!

Ben+Rileigh=Jocelyn said...

You are in so much trouble. This stuff is genius and there goes all of the free time I was going to use cleaning my house. Oh well, at least I will have pretty pages for my posterity.

senategirl said...

You saved my marriage with your suggestion! Jim can't understand why I hate scrapbooking so much! I used kodak gallery before, but I'm going to picaboo soon. Thanks, and I loved seeing your samples from your album.

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