Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Digital Dilemma

Just a little back story: As part of Michael's adoption, we agreed to send monthly updates to his birth mother for the first 6 months, and then yearly for 18 years. So, I gave her a scrapbook with our original profile book in it, and then a bunch of empty pages and told her that each month, I would send the updates in the same format, and she could just slide them into the scrapbook, and everything would stay together.  So every month, I would do a "What Michael is up to at __ months" page, and then have several pages of pictures behind it. I did this in my digital scrapbook program. Every month, I would print the pages on my home printer, and mail them to the agency, for them to pass along to his birth mother.

Well, after the 6 months, I decided I wanted to keep going, since it was such a great thing for me to have. Just to see how much he changed and grew over the course of a year is incredible. Well, after his birthday, I had to decide how I wanted to print all of the pages, 84 to be exact! The pages were formatted in 8.5 x 11 so I could print them on my home printer. Well, to print that many pages on quality paper, would have taken a lot of money, just on the ink and photo paper. To get them printed at a photo printing place, I would have to re-size all of the pages to 8x10 and it would be anywhere from $2-3 a sheet. Do the math - that is way more than I wanted to pay. So I had the idea of just doing a photo book. So I looked at my usually websites to see how much that would be. Well, it wasn't even an option, because none of them had a 8.5x11 size book. Then I looked at the website for my digital scrapbooking program, and it was not easy to use, and I couldn't ever see how much a photo book would be with all of the extra pages unless I went ahead and uploaded all of the pages to their website. But the price for 20 pages was $27.95. So I googled and found a great website:
I could see how much a photo book would be based on the number of pages and the different options. I could choose from softcover or hardcover, different types of paper, or I could print all the pages individually and put them into a traditional scrapbook. It was so nice to see all of the different sizes and options they had, and I didn't have to sign up for anything, or upload anything to get the actual price. So once I decided that I would use this website, I uploaded my pictures and then I could have them auto fill and put them straight into a photo book in the order they were uploaded. It was super easy and the best part, I only paid  around $25! I decided to get the cheapest options, just to see how it turned out. I didn't want to waste a bunch of money on something I wasn't sure would turn out good. Well, I got my book yesterday, and am very happy with how it turned out. I will definitely use this website again, and I may even order another one of these books with a hardcover and better paper this time, which would only put the price at around $50.
Here are some pictures of the finished product:

Now I just have to decide if I want to do all of my scrapbooks in digital form, or if I want to go back to traditional. It is a lot easier to do it digital, since all of the pictures are digital, but there is something to working with your hands to create a unique scrapbook. Decisions, decisions...

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