Thursday, February 25, 2010

Questions on printing photobook

Just a quick post to answer some of the questions from my last post:

macchiato queen asked:

1. 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)? 2. 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?

No I don't add any white borders to the page (whether single page layout or double page layout). I don't think the printing process would be cutting so precisely, so that would pose the risk of having a silver of white border left on the layout. I want my pages to extend all the way to the edge.

If there are items on my layout that are near the edge and I don't want to risk them being cut off, this is what I do. Before I save the jpegs, I select all the layers on my layout except the background paper layer, (ie, all the photos, mats, elements, words, text layers) and edit/transform them a little smaller on the layout, such that they would be still visible after the cutting. The background layer is left intact extending all the way to the edge, so that my page will not have any white border no matter where it is cut.

Here's an example. This page is as it is originally on my photoshop file, it had elements quite near the edge which I did not want to be affected.

Before I load the page onto shutterfly, I had reduced the size of every layer except the background layer, such that the elements are now at least 0.25 inches from the edge.
And here is how the page looked printed!

Wendy has written a wonderful article on The Daily Digi on how to do it, she does a much better job than me! She also has lots of products in her store to resize for printing, which has received great reviews. I wish I know how to do actions like hers, that would save me a tonne of time! So do go check her out.

Shamnalee asked: where do you print your photo books? how do the two page templates work?
Well I printed at For more information on using the two page templates, see this post and this post too. Hope these help!

Thanks Mima and Jenny for sharing where you print, may I ask if your experience is for printing loose pages or binded photo books? Thanks!

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

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stories of our days, months and years

So much has happened in January, thanks to those who have shared with me your stories about your grandma as you have listened to mine. My family has drawn closer and also closer to God in wonderful ways in the last few weeks, it amazes us and we're very thankful. Though I only saw my grandma once every few months in the past few years, now that she is gone, everything just feels different. I guess it can't be the same anymore, especially during special holidays and days... so hard. As Jody said, she will remain in our hearts forever. And we will see her one DAY!

I have been able to get back to scrapping, as always so nice and theraputic to create and muse and journal about our lives. Oh, have I told you I have decided not to continue with 365 for 2010!! Don't get me wrong, 365 is fantastic and I'm so GLAD I have an entire year of daily life recorded in an album. (My shutterfly album is going to arrive anytime now!!!) But I do feel that I missed out on certain stories of last year that I wanted to journal about more, or record more photos of that particular day / moment / story, which I did not have enough time to do while scrapping 365. So I've stopped a photo a day, but will switch back to telling stories of each week or month as they come along. I'm feeling a little withdrawal pangs especially when I look at others' 2010 365 layouts such as Jacinda's FANTASTIC ones!

Well, here's my 365 days of 2009 album, in which I threw in all the other pages I made for 2009, since this will be the one album I will print for last year! It's a bit mixed bag as a result, but wonderful nevertheless!

Click here to view this photo book.

By the way, all the 365 page templates are still available for download on the blog - see right side bar for the link :)

In lieu of 365, I'll have to make sure all the stories of 2010 gets told! Here are the first two: 1) Ryan's 13th birthday in a more masculine/less childish colored layout for my new official TEEN!
Credits: Background paper, blue paper, and ribbons by Peppermint Creative , row of flags by Miss Vivi , balloon stickers by Miss Kim deisgns , "totally love you" tags by Ksharonk.And 2) this layout shows us on 1 Jan in 2009 and 2010, in exactly the same place in almost identical photos - we are such creatures of Habit!! hahaha. These templates are in the store here. Thanks for looking!
Credits: Background kraft paper, us, fresh, new, 2010 word pieces, bird sticker by Something Blue Studio, 09 tag by Dani Mogstad, pink arrow by Kate Hadfield, January by Misty Cato, patterned paper by Paislee Press, yellow paper by Megan Turnidge.
Now I had this idea of a "love" template about two months ago, and just managed to complete it in time for Valentines' Day to share with you. Originally I wanted to use it for a layout of me and dh through the 28 years we've known each other (!) But now I've decided it will be a layout showing all the relationships that surround my family and blesses us with love. Immediate family, extended family, cousins, friends, godparents, teachers, our family in Christ, and so on... it will take a while gathering all the pictures! This is all I got so far with the layout today :)Download these LOVE templates here. I think this could be use for a baby's first year layout, or even a layout of something you love. For template 180 you could insert 1Corinthians 13 as I did here, or a poem or quote you love, or just use the space for journalling. I might put in my favorite quote by Helen Keller (see right side bar)
Oh, and my all time favorite heart shaped layout template 92 is still available here if you like it. Happy Valentines' Day!
Tell me what layout you think you'll make with the LOVE templates, or better yet, link us up to your layout when you're done! Love to see what you do with it! May you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day spent with your loved ones. In Singapore we are also celebrating the Chinese New Year, (though on a quieter note for my family this year), so happy CNY to everyone who celebrates it, have a grand time!

Oh, I have one more question. Has anyone printed double pages like my templates or any other double pages album with other printers other than shutterfly? If so, can you share with us your experience and link us to some pics if you have? I'm been asked about this but have so far only printed with Shutterfly as I really like their quality and am used to their application. Will love to hear from you if you have experience with other printers! Thank you!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Thank you

Thank you everyone for your kind words and prayers. We are indeed blessed with the rich memories of her wonderful life, and blessed to have the Hope of meeting her again.


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