Thursday, March 6, 2014


So, I finished our first Blurb book. Yay!

You might remember me agonizing over photo album decisions here and on facebook. Well, I went digital, and i'm SO happy I did. So far, here are the 'pros' I can see of doing a digital versus traditional scrapbook album:

No setup/ clean up. Because all it requires is opening my computer, I can work on the album even if I only have 30 minutes. No more pulling all those scrapbooking supplies out and cleaning it all up.

Less space. The supplies (your computer) for a digital book take up less space than all that scrapbooking stuff. paper cutters, punches, and stickers, oh my. [yes, that was supposed to sound like the wizard of oz.] and the albums. let's not forget the albums. they are SO large. so pretty. and so fun. but so large. if you know me well, you know i HATE clutter. so the idea of tossing all my scrapbooking stuff in exchange for a thin, hardcover photo book that has way more pages anyway... well, let's just say to call that exciting would be an understatement.

Trial and error. You can arrange and rearrange your pages and photos as you go. For this first book I did, I started making a 2013 book at the very end of 2013. Once I had already done most of it, I stumbled across a photo folder that I had accidentally forgotten about. It was so easy to go back and insert those photos in and rearrange other ones accordingly. No can do in traditional scrapbooking.

Multiple copies. I'm sure no one else will want my gigantic 2013 family photo album copied. But, I could make a more reasonably sized (aka: less than 130 pages) photo album of family vacation and gift it to everyone who was on the trip. Or gift a mini album of our girls (i love saying that... our girls... it melts my heart to mush) to all the grandparents.

Price. Blurb is a more expensive company than some. I was willing to pay for the customization and quality. But even still, I think it's probably cheaper at the end of the day than printing all the photos & buying all the supplies for a traditional photo album. And once you get the hang of it, it's definitely faster. Plus, there are a ton of other cheaper digital photo book companies that do a great job for less moola. I've used shutterfly, and friends have used mixbook. (Here's a super detailed review of a bunch of photobook companies, including those 2.) They are always running 70% off specials or something crazy like that. I did an 8 1/2 x 11 shutterfly book for $15 recently and it turned out great!

Organization. I think it's easier (and obviously takes up less space) to organize photos digitally than printed. You have to print all those photos for a scrapbook and then keep track of them until you are actually ready to make a page. I consider myself a fairly organized person and it was still hard for me to figure out how to organize printed photos. I would always end up losing some of the first ones I printed, reprinting them, and then stumbling on the first ones later. Ugh.

Trips to walgreens. Speaking of printing photos, doing a digital album saves you a trip to walgreens! Or multiple trips if you are like me and would go to the wrong walgreens. [Gotta love that photo-department employee who looks at you like you are nuts as you insist you ordered photos 2 hours ago... and they would be correct. because you ordered them at one of the other 27 walgreens in this town. ay ay ay. Am I the only one?!!?!?] Although, I will say, you can order photos to be printed now online and have them delivered, if you plan ahead, which I do not.

There are more, but nap-time is over and duty (aka: Addie) is calling! "mama! mama? uhoh." (not sure why uh oh.)

As far as cons go.... the only one I can think of is that some people prefer the hard printed photo. I can totally relate. I love flipping through a stack of photos hot off the press. Or staring at all the pretty ones in frames on your wall. Seriously. But, I really think thumbing through a digital book is equally as fun. The fun part is the pictures! They're all printed somehow anyway. Actually, a lot of people are starting to scan old photos and album pages and have them printed digtially anyway. Better long-term preservation and a major space saver. (Like this!)

So, have I convinced you? When I order mine, I'll snap some photos and share the beauty. (Waiting to order until after our impending cross country move.) But in the meantime, here are some other ones to give you the gist.

see more of this book here

see more of this book here

and the book/blog post that convinced me to go with Blurb...

And a few screenshots of some layouts from my book. (Not printed, just on the computer as I was creating them...)

You'll notice no text in these screen shots. I decided to just do photos and hand-write in captions once it's printed. That was mostly a time-saver because I was trying to finish 2013 asap. I'm going to put the text in our 2014 album as I go. 

the left side here is a bunch of instagram pictures - i like being able to incorporate those in an album easily! in traditional scrapbooking, i would have to have those little square photos printed at a special instagram printing company.  
So there you have it. I'm officially pro-digital. Neither my formerly-loved scrapbooking stuff nor my never-been-used-project-life-album will not be making the 1500 mile trek back to Nebraska with us.

Happy book-making!

p.s. there was kind of a learning curve for me with the Blurb software. It was definitely worth learning, but I plan to do a mini tutorial sometime in case you want to make one :) but today, is not the day. and thank goodness, because this post got loooooong.