Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blessed Chinese New Year !

It's going to be a long post, but first I want to share a Chinese New Year Wish with all of you, even if you don't celebrate it! Traditionally, when we meet anyone during the CNY celebrations (which lasts 15 days) we greet them with wishes that come in 4-characters-phrases/idioms. I loved how these set of 4 traditional wishes became meaningful when someone shared with us how there are Promises in the Bible that promises similar or better! (I'll roughly translate for those who don't understand chinese)
Here's wishing you:
心想事成 (whatever your heart thinks will come true)
Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
万事如意 (everything will be according to your wishes)
Romans 8:28 in all things God works for the good of those who love him....
岁岁平安 (every year will be peaceful)
Philippians 4:7 The peace of God will guard your hears and minds in Christ Jesus
事业有成 (whatever you do will find success)
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know my plans for you, plans to prosper you...plans to give you future and a hope.
A blessed New Year to you all, truly, in Him and by His grace, every of our days will be blessed!

Here is my latest layout. My dear friend Yen snapped these pictures of me and dh while we were singing and running through chords for worship songs for a gathering later that night. These are the moments that are so precious and that matters. I'm really missing 365 but glad I have more time for layouts like this.. Do you have layouts of everyday moments that captures your heart?

And my 365 photobook has arrived!!!
The very best part is seeing how the family, especially dh reading and enjoying every photo of everyday of last year! He said "this is wonderful, this is beautiful" quite a few times, wow. Even Miffy (this particular one we call Biffy (he is more beafy) enjoyed finding himself in the book!
Now we had been talking about printing double pages in the last post, and had received quite a few feedback, thanks to everyone who responded, let me summarise some of it here:

Lynette shared how much she loved books printed at this new site she found - you can find her review on her blog in this post here.

Jacinda has printed some of my 2-page templates successfully through, what I'm excited to hear is that the pages come out looking EXACTLY like they do on your computer screen - nothing cut off in the printing process - I gotta check this out.

Michelle printed with Heritage Makers and liked them so much she signed up as a consultant! She loves that the books are hand stitched and the matte version is beautiful.

I have also read that Viovio is great, and have wanted to try Blurb for the longest time, but every time Shutterfly throws one of their coupons at me, I just go with them! Less learning curve!

Oh and thanks to reader sdwrdt for pointing out that the heart shaped template in the post below shows as template 92 on the preview but is actually template 93 in the actual file. You're amazing, thanks!

Jody asked for my templates that have photos that cross the centre page, do these print nicely or does some of the photo get cut off? So I took some pics to show you. Personally I am alright that some photos like the beach shot at the top of the layout below spreads across the page, and a little of it down the middle gets hidden (mine was a 70 page book!) I find that worth sacrificing for the effect of a double page spread! Don't put a facial shot down the middle of the double page spread though!

It gets a little more tricky if you have words down the middle, so I won't recommend it unless you're die-hard like me!
I want to show you in detail how I circumvented the problem I might have had with words down the middle like in this layout below.
The words lined up quite nicely after printing, but I had to do some adjustments for shutterfly because of the way they trim off edges of each page I upload, and then bind the middle (thus hiding from view a bit more of the middle) You can see their printing guide here for more details, and also refer to this post of mine for more examples. I believe most printers do this too.
Now here is how the layout looked on photoshop in 24x12 format, before I 'cut' them to save as left and right jpegs for uploading to shutterfly
And below are the left and right 12x12 jpegs that I uploaded to shutterfly to produce the printed result shown above. Can you see that for the left jpeg, I shifted the layout slightly to the left when I 'cut' it, and for the right jpeg, I shifted it slightly to the right? So there is about 3/8ths overlap on both sides, such that after shutterfly does their trimming (approximately at the red line), the final result printed will match up in the middle.
click on the image to enlarge
Yes I have an announcement to make! You know, I don't really think of myself as a template designer, more of a layout designer who turns them into templates, and feel so privileged that I get to have this small and personal blog and blogstore. So I had never thought of having a creative team, but when it comes to this someone whose layouts I really admire, and have snagged many to show off on my blog, and who has become a friend through many emails and help she gave me, I asked, and she agreed, and I'd like to introduce you to my new CT, the talented Christie Stearns! She is also known as Digital Daisy on forums, and she is the one behind the fabulous Handpicked Freebies blog site. Do say hi to her, you can find her personal blog here, and her many beautiful layouts here, and of course I've snagged more to show you here! Don't you just love her great photos, sense of colors, her choice of elements and papers, and clean and elegant style? I especially love the Wedding Day layout. Thank you Christie! Thanks for being on my team!!
Well I myself haven't done any new double pages, but did finally find all my files from 2008's freebies to pack into Template Pack 3 - these are in the store here. My favorite layouts of this lot are the 2nd layout on the left of us on Empire State Building (!) and the left, bottom row layout of the boys hanging out together - love that we captured those precious moments! You can click on image to enlarge the view. But may I brag - the SNOW in Central Park layout (top right) was published in CK last Jan! :P
Click on image to enlarge
This template is now available as a set in the store HERE


  1. Thank you so much for your great freebies! Congrats on snatching Christie up as your creative team!She's awesome!! I agree her layouts are fantastic and she has 'sold' me on your templates which I now use almost exclusively!!!

  2. I just want to thank you for your templates! And I want to tell you that the best thing about your templates is that they are all about the photos. So many people in the digital world get wrapped up in the artistic creativity which looks nice, but the photos get lost. Yours are all about the photos and they still look nice!

  3. Great choice on CT member. I know I have visited your blog for a template after seeing her Wedding Day layout. :)

  4. I agree with Laurie - Love that your layouts are "photo-centric." :) Also, I wanted to add to the list of places to get nice prints.
    does a great job. I recently had some 8x8s printed there. They came out looking great, and there was NO cropping of my page. They also do 12x12s and photo books, but I haven't tried those yet.

  5. Thank you very much for the fun template! :)

  6. Hi, I love your layouts and have bought a few.

    For shutterfly printing, does that mean that for single page layout, I should add a white border to the page for Shutterfly to crop away when printing (so that I don't lose the sides)?

    And for double page, I add a white border to the 3 sides on the "outside" and take 3/8 inch of the other page for the border at the fold?

    Thanks in advance!

  7. Love your templates. They are my favorite digi tool and I use them almost exclusively!

    I get my layouts printed at because they are reasonable and also because they print exactly like you send cut off. It's a US site (the other you mentioned looked like it was in Australia) so maybe you could pass that one along as well.

    Thanks again for everything!

  8. I have been meaning to send you some of my layouts forever...since you have been such an inspiration for me...what is the best way to do that? email? I don't regularly post them to any forums, but I could... Thanks again! Kathy

  9. where do you print your photo books? how do the two page templates work?

  10. Thank you so much for all of the great layouts. We just got back from Vancouver and I can't wait to scrap our trip using your templates!

  11. Christie is a great choice for your CT. I love her pages. The two of you (your templates & her scrapping talent) really complement each other beautifully.

  12. Thanks for another great template!

  13. Happy New Year! I wish you and your family all the best.

    It really was an impressive blog post! =) Thank you for showing the close-ups of your album, it is always interesting to see. You got it perfect!

    Thanks for the template too!

  14. Your "SNOW" layout in CK is why I came to your website. It was so fresh and artful. I've sent so many people to your site since then. You are a great designer and photographer; I only have 2 blinkies on my blog and one is yours.

  15. Thanks so much for the awesome template...I am going to follow your blog!

  16. ooooo! I love your album! How exciting to have it printed and in your hands...can't wait for mine to be finished!

    Thank you for sharing some of the Chinese New Year traditions. I love how you matched up scripture with the traditional wishes. Beautiful!

    The freebie is wonderful..thank you so much!

    p.s. just had 33 pages printed, at least 12 of the pages were scrapped with your templates! :D

  17. So excited to be working "with" you across the world :) Thank you for this honor!!

  18. Hi Yin - thanks again for a wonderful template. I love your templates and use them all the time! I just printed an album with shutterfly and thought I'd share it with you, since it features tons of your designs. Sometimes I change them around a little to accomodate a special pictures size - hope that is okay!

    Thanks for all your hard work!

  19. Yin, thank you very much for your freebies!!! Those templates are amazing!!!
    And one more THANKS for the tip how to avoid trimming off the edges when printing. It was so useful to me. And I shared this tip on one Russian web-site. Here is the link Baby-Blog. Thank you ones again!!!

  20. Yet another fabulous template! Thank you!

  21. Your books are wonderful Yin!



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