Checking Out Something New

Checking Out Something New

In the spirit of “every time you’re putting words and pictures together, and sharing them with the world, you’re scrapbooking,” there’s a new-ish product out that makes that statement even more true.

I’ve been seeing ads in my Facebook feed for My Social Book, which claims to take all your posts and pictures and turn them into a book that you will treasure forever.

For kicks, I decided to give them a try, and see what kind of quality product they produce.

To start off with, they will need access to your Facebook feed in order to create your book. If you’re not comfortable with that, this is not going to work for you.

After you grant them access to your feed, they ask you to choose types of data to include, from photos to links to comments, as well as the date range for the book. My Social Book then generates a mock up with a few pages in it, so you can see how it will turn out. (I’m trying to recall all the bits and pieces from memory. I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but it really is an easy process.)

If you like what you see, you can then order it.

I placed my order on April 16th, and was told to expect the book between April 28th and May 7th. On the 21st, I received a shipping notice, and it arrived the week of the 27th from the USPS. (I can’t remember which day exactly! Sorry!)

Shall we take a look at it?
IMG_0579

This is the soft cover version, because I did not want to spend more money on a hardcover. It’s Ikea catalog/ typical magazine type quality. Thinner paper than I was expecting, and the photo quality was only okay. The photo and paper quality on something printed from a photo service like Shutterfly is much better, with thicker paper, and better resolution photo printing.
So not perfect so far, but acceptable. Now on to the interior.

IMG_0584

This is what a typical page looks like, with status updates and photos. The little blue circles next to each post contain the number of people who have liked or commented on a particular status. The paper is thin, and the photo quality issues continue throughout the book. It’s not that they’re bad, they just aren’t the quality that someone who loves photography would be satisfied with.

IMG_0583

A weird thing that happened repeatedly was on statuses from other people that I had commented on or been tagged in frequently did not include the name of the person who posted the original status. Most times you can figure out who posted the original status, but not always, which makes its value in the book questionable.

IMG_0582

Another issue concerned photos that were cropped for the monthly headers. I didn’t see a place on the ordering site where you could adjust photo crops, so as you can see, the headers had some weird compositions.

IMG_0581

The last issue I had with the book was with the post on the right in this image. I was tagged on a giveaway post, and tagged some friends as well, and they printed the whole post with comments. This was about 18 pages of the book. Crazy, right? I didn’t see anything where you could pick and choose specific posts to include or exclude, where you could avoid having something like this show up in your book.

So it sounds like there were a lot of issues with the book, right? Like I don’t like it? Well that’s just not true. I actually loved it.

There are a few reasons I loved it. First of all, getting it done was quick and easy. It wasn’t very expensive, as far as on demand printing goes. This was 182 pages, covering the time period from January 1, 2014 to April 16, 2015. You can change the date range to include as much or as little as you want. The regular price was $59.90, but I went through one of their ads on Facebook, and got it at 30% less, and free shipping as well.

They delivered the product well within their estimated delivery time. I like it when companies do what they say they’re going to do, when they say they’re going to do it, don’t you?

Most of all I love it because it’s a walk down memory lane. It reminds me of conversations funny and sincere, and friends far and near. I use Facebook partly as a notebook, to capture the things my family says or does that are so completely them. It was great to be reminded of some of the ridiculous things my family has said or done in the past year+.

Will I use this service again? Probably. I think I’ll be going back to see what they dredge up from the data banks of time.  I’ve been on Facebook since January of 2009. There’s bound to be a lot more memories hidden there, and it would be good to get them into the light of day again.

Let me know if you decide to check My Social Book out for yourself. I’d love to hear your opinions on it.

Playlist Your Life

Playlist Your Life

Yesterday’s prompt was all about making playlists. Did you used to make mixtapes back in the day? I made a lot. Presents for friends. Mixes for car trips. Playlists to help me concentrate while studying. It was fun!

For the prompt, I made a playlist to remind me of the stages of my life so far. As I was going along, and reminding myself of all the great music I’ve listened to over the years, I came to the conclusion that one playlist is not enough.

playlist ||noexcusescrapbooking.com

I’d really like to create playlists for each season of my life, as I remember it, and make pages to go along with it. That however is a task for another day. Let’s at least finish the highlight reel!

playlist in action ||noexcusescrapbooking.com

When I started creating this page, I had just bought a new set of Project Life cards to share with my sister. The happy colors seemed like the perfect complement for the memories I wanted to record.

IMG_9501

Each card represents a single song on the playlist, and is taped down with washi tape, that acts as a hinge. This is a very interactive page, and there’s also a playlist that anyone can listen to online at 8tracks.com. (You can find it here: Memory Lane.)

Do you have a playlist for the soundtrack of your life? Why don’t you make one? You’ll be surprised at how well it works together I bet, and how inspiring it is for stories to include in your scrapbooks.

Put It In Your Pocket

Put It In Your Pocket

Hey, how about another sample from this month’s musical LOAD?

The prompt for this page was to create a page with a pocket, a la liner notes from record albums and CD cases. There are a lot of pockets in the counterfeit kits I made, so it was fairly easy to add one to a page. (It’s almost like I knew there was going to be a prompt about pockets!) 😉

pocket ||noexcusescrapbooking.com

While assembling this, it seemed to really need a bit of green as a border strip, but the baker’s twine that was in the kit just wasn’t thick enough. It was getting lost on the page. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of crocheting, so the idea of creating a crocheted border seemed like a natural fit. This is just a chain stitch, but there are so many more things you could do to add a bit of texture to the page with crochet. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

The pocket holds some quotes from number one son, from about when this photo was taken. While making this page I realized I haven’t been as good at recording the silly little things everyone around me says on a regular basis. Must try to do that more. I love how saving those little moments captures a little bit of their personality and wit and interests at the time.

Bonus? Using up three shape paper clips on one page! Maybe I can get these out of my stash soon, and make room for newer embellishments!

What are some ways you’ve added pockets to your pages? What do you put in them? I’d really like to know!

 

String Art

String Art

How about another sample page from LOAD?

This was built using pieces from one of the Counterfeit Kits I made for the April challenge. The star was completely inspired by the string art in the sample pages of the original kit at A Beautiful Mess.
fan girl || noexcusescrapbooking.com

To keep the string from creating ridges behind the photo mat, the mat is mounted on foam tape. Other than that, the string art was very easy to do. You could do all sorts of geometric shapes this way. Anything with corners would work. Curves would be much harder to accomplish. The page would end up looking more like this:

String-Art-3

Click to see the source page

Which is cool, but it might be hard to fit a photo and journaling in around it.

What kind of string art do you think you could add to a page? Does the idea of string art even remotely appeal to you?

 

Feeling a Little Square

Feeling a Little Square

Last week, one of the prompts for LOAD was “Who do you dedicate your scrapbooks to?”
Rather than getting into who I scrapbook for, which has been done numerous times before, including this instance:
100_6001

I went a slightly different direction with the page for the day. Instead, last week’s page was all about the musicians that have impacted my life, from Mozart to Melissa Etheridge. The goal is to use this as a title page for a music themed scrapbook.
dedication

This took forever to do, since I started with this:
grid layout small squares || noexcusescrapbooking.com
That’s 49 squares people! 49! Of course some were hidden to make room for the title, but still 49 squares!

Anyone else want to fill in a grid with 49 things? (Almost!)

You can download a .psd version here: grid layout small squares photoshop document

If you make something with it, make sure to share it with me! I’d love to see what you create!