January 14, 2012

CRAZY about Photo Books.





BLAH!!
BLAH!!
BLAH!!
that's all i have to say about that.

i have a few issues.
1. digital picture books
2. computer software/equipment
3. photography questions
4. family history organization
5.  TIME to research and make the best decisions
6.  MONEY to do what i find
7.  getting over my initial desire to just forget it all... till next year.  :)

i'm just a plain old mother of 7 who wants to make them a picture book.
i want to print my blog.
i want to create a yearly book of our family.
i don't want crazy scrapbookiness...  i CAN'T do that.
i just want a classy book that doesn't cost me millions.
that is worth the time and energy that i will put into making it.
i DON'T want 100 different kinds of albums-- some for thanksgiving, some for summer...
i want them to look the same on my shelf.
(hah!  the truth comes out...)

i want to put my ENERGY into making the dumb book NOT deciding HOW to make it.

i found this site...
Top 10 Photobooks-- 
i think i'm going to stick with Shutterfly 12x12 (they rate them #2)
cause i've used them before, and this gal uses them (scroll to the bottom to see her cute book)-- 100+ pages, 12x12, hardcover, picture front and back for under $50.
but, i dunno.
this girl uses My Publisher.
and this girl uses Blurb.

i bought "my memories" digital scrapbooking software
because it cost me $26.
because it was rated #1 for digital scrapbooking in Top 10 Digital Scrapbooking Software.
because i think it will help me make fun layouts and cute quotes and stuff...
BUT, i can't open it because i don't have enough space on my computer.
AND... i'm not sure why i need it or want it or if it was dumb for me to get.

I WANT TO LEARN HOW TO USE MY CAMERA BETTER.
BUT i am completely overwhelmed when i try to read a book or look at a website.
it seems like i have to become a professional photographer to even take the next step.
SORRY i don't have money to buy a $500 tripod and $1000 lens just to figure out how to make my pictures more crisp.
AND i don't have 1000 hours to sort through all the different sites to find where to find the information.
blah.
SERIOUSLY???
do moms REALLY whip out the tripod every time they want to snap a picture making cookies with their kids?
i don't want to BE a professional photographer-- i just want to be a good mom who takes non-blurry-ish pictures and prints them out in a book fairly regularly.

i can't even decide HOW to do these stupid books.
do i print each year (January to December)?
or, do i print each birthday?  Birthday to Birthday.
of do i print each SCHOOL year-- kindergarten, first grade, etc.
or, do i have a family book "2012" and a separate book for each kid "age 12" or "second grade"...
UGH!!
the decisions.

do i need to buy paper and a cute banner template for $2.99 from scrap girls? (rated #1 for digital scrapbooking elements... whatever the heck that means.)
do i need photoshop?
do i need lightroom?
can't i just use the little folders that i'm currently using?
we have office 2003.
i can get the new office for $10 (through todd's work)-- but then i need to get a new printer, because my printer doesn't work with the new office.
even though my printer works great.
i think i need a new printer anyway because i need a scanner to scan in my pictures from before my digital age.

i have a really great friend who laughs at me regularly.
she says i just need to make a decision and stick with it, even if it isn't the "BEST" decision.
i tried to do that when i pushed purchase on my "digital scrapbooking My Moments software" and now it's making me crazy because i can't even open the stupid thing.
(should have done more research??!!)
Blah.
Blah.
Blah.

list of things i need to buy so i can be a good mother and document my kids' childhood.
new printer/scanner
office 7
lightroom/photoshop
tripod
$100-$300 online photography course
digital scrapbooking software
$50-150 each printed book (times 7 kids time lots of years)

UGH!!
THIS is why my pictures are sitting nicely in my simple little "My Pictures" folder on my computer.
for the past 10 years.


And, i'm trying to get back into family history.
same issues--
do i need to buy a better program?
do i need to subscribe to Ancestry.com?
or, should i just stick with my little old paf program?

Just so you know...
the information age is driving me CRAZY.

er.

Crazy-ER.


happy stinkin saturday!


hah, just kiddin.
i'm not really cranky... just venting.   :)

ps.  scrapbooking is one word, right?
i keep getting it underlined as wrong...

14 comments:

Heather said...

so - i have a bazillion cutesy poo scrapbooky DIGITAL scrapbooking elements and papers and such. Years ago i tried to do it all cute... and it took so much time... and i felt like they were dated. ok - really... anything will be dated... hair styles and clothes in pictures.

anyhoo... so now i just love the clean lines... photos (my kids don't care about a cute page). i can see you being like this too. i decided to try and do a family book that highlighted normal life and big events for each season. so i try to fit in 4 a year. sometimes i'm sad that i don't have a book for each child for each year to send with them when they move away from home. But I decided that since I wanted us to focus on family memories, that i'd just do a family book (and i try to make sure there are even-ish pictures of all... ya know so eliza and hannah don't hog the entire book. girl cuteness).

i decided to do photoshop elements. but honestly i do so many collages in Free Picassa and then pull them into photoshop to add a border and the text. It's so much faster in picassa.

i love shutterfly. I do the 8x8 hard books. i totally like the books all being the same on the shelf. and i messed up some of the spines so the text isn't all facing the same way... and it bugs me. but at least they are all the same size... tidy. Plus, once or twice a year i get a free code for a free photo book and i just end up paying for the shipping (ok - which is like $11)... but it's still cheaper than the book.

I need to thoroughly read your post. I just skimmed it for now. Fun that you have a good camera. Mine is so tiny and half-dead and stinky. and there is no sunlight in utah in winter. sad. the flash is blinding my baby.

good luck.

let me know if you have any questions. not that i'm an expert, but i know a bit about photoshop elements and picassa.

Thanks for all your fun laundry comments. i hoped you would give your 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenifer,

I use mixbook, Rated number 1. I use to use shutterfly... LOVE mixedbook!!! SOOO much more flexibality. you can add or SUBTRACT features from the page. If you have not checked it out... DO! Hoover over a line or sticker and you will see that you can delete it from the page! :)

As for Family History... Your local LDS Family History center has a subscription to ancestory.com... go use theirs.

H

Victoria Gilbert said...

Amen sister! I'm feeling that crazy overwhelmed feeling too. About all of the same stuff. It's a lot of pressure isn't it? Whatever you decide to do will be great though, and your kids will never know the options you didn't choose, they will just be thankful that you did it for them! :) Good luck.

Steph said...

I'm a shutterfly girl when I get around to it. You already take fantastic pictures, so don't sweat it.

Jilene said...

I use Artscow. They have a lot of free scrapbooking kits or you can just do your layout in photoshop and then upload it. They are always giving me free credits for books where you just pay shipping. I like their 8x8 size books and I think when I use my credits it's about $7 or $8 per book.

CTR Mama said...

I Shutterfly, very simply, but not often. I do family or vacation books. My plan is to let the kids go through the digital pictures and create their own books, maybe for their birthdays, so they can choose the pictures of people and events that had meaning for them. What I choose and what they would choose is so different. Good luck!

Jaidi Clayton said...

I just finished making a first year book for all three kids. I did it on Shutterfly and they turned out AMAZING! You can look at them here: http://jaidiandjustin.blogspot.com/2011/11/our-kids-first-years.html I love them because they have layouts you can use or change and paper and designs and elements... My sister designs scrapbook paper and elements and sells them here: http://justforyoudigiscraps.blogspot.com/ I don't have the patience to do scrapbooking...Hence the reason I did it all on Shutterfly! Good luck!

Allie said...

My sister-in-law does some amazing journaling of her kiddos and their life and captures it REALLY well. She also just prints the entries out on nice cardstock and matches the pictures to it. It looks REALLY nice. Of course she is an amazing writer and has a nice camera....but that's beside the point.

I asked her once how she would separate it all for each one of them in the future and her reply was perfect...

She keeps it for herself right now in one book because she figures by the time they really want it for themselves...there will be enough advancements in photo copying and digital stuff and all that jazz.

I thought of her response for you...trying to make it just perfect right now-but really you are wanting it perfect for the future....for your posterity, right? So do what you can afford and handle right now...how it makes it easy FOR YOU. And when the time comes that THEY want it for their own....things will be different and easy and perfect for them! If they want to go through and get their grade level stuff...they can. Or birthday to birthday, they can. Or just a copy of your book....they can!

PS..She's living on a professor budget too...and with five kids....so she gets the budget thing! :)

valerie in TX said...

Hey Jen, I'm not a digital scrapbooker, but I'm about to start a Project Life scrapbook from Becky Higgins, and just saw on her website that they now have digital scrapbooking! I didn't look at any of the details so I don't know if it would work for you or not, but I thought of you when I saw it, so here's the link!

http://www.beckyhiggins.com/blog/2011/10/new-product-has-arrived/

Hope you find something that will be just what you're looking for!

jenifer said...

thank you for all your tips!! keep leaving them if you are just reading this post...
i still haven't decided what i'm going to do... i like the "do what you can and don't worry about the future" idea.
yup. i'm always telling myself the same thing-- it's all good.

valerie in TX said...

btw - found this post on Becky Higgins' (Project Life) website. It talks about this very dilemma! Thought it might give you some ideas. :)

valerie in TX said...

oops, haha - sorry, here's the link:

http://www.beckyhiggins.com/blog/tag/scrapbooking-system/

ashley said...

Jen,
I second the Project Life stuff!!! Check it out- you can do it with real paper & binders, or everything digital (like with Photoshop or PSE) And now it is on Shutterfly, too. :) It's really straight forward and so flexible. I love that there is more journaling involved - but that there can be more photos if you wish. I love that you can work on it through shutterfly and print it off with a coupon or when there is a sale. And share it via email with family. And it is saved forever if you want to print more later... a great gift for a child's wedding or first baby. Love you!

ashley

jenifer said...

i LOVE all your comments and suggestiongs... i'm still milling them over and haven't decided much. THANK YOU. i can still use all the help i can get. ;)

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