Thursday, January 19, 2012
Alrighty girls (and any guys that might have joined in)…we are ‘officially’ wrapping up project SCRAP 2011 - woohoo :o) Yep…that’s right…Shabby Princess here today and I’m so excited to share our final templates (ALBUM COVERS) for project SCRAP 2011…and photos of my finished album (along with a few tips and ideas…and lessons learned along the way, lol)!
So to start…how about the ALBUM COVER TEMPLATES?! Kylie and I designed these sets for you guys and I love how they came out! The first set…I selfishly designed, as I knew I did not want a photo on my cover, lol! I know that might sound odd…as it is a scrapbooking album…and what is it all about, if not photos? I know, I know – trust me – I get it! HOWEVER, I personally find it VERY difficult and well, stressful (lol) to try and narrow the entire year down to one (or a few) photos! I take SO many throughout the year, and to try and choose just seems overwhelming! So, I prefer to opt for a photo-free cover for my albums (unless it is a themed album – like a birthday – then I am fine putting a special pic or two on the front)! Anyhoo – so this first set is what I went with for my personal album, and I love how it turned out – YAY! But, no worries – IF you do prefer to have one awesome photo on the front…we have you covered there, too! At the same time – if you like LOTS of little pics…we have that for you as well :o) Of course, on option 3…you could also just use bunches of little paper squares and NO photos (or a mix of photos and papers, like Kylie did) - totally your choice! And, if none of our cover options are what you are looking for…just create your own custom version – and that way you end up with exactly what you want or need (you could even re-purpose one of the monthly templates for your cover…or use one of our free temlate challenge templates)! Just remember that scrapping an album cover is really no different than scrapping a layout…only the dimensions are different! Alrighty…so here are our three options…all free and ready for you to download:
You have FOUR different DOWNLOAD options (clickable links below)! You may download the ALL-IN-ONE, which includes all six templates (it’s about 135 megs). OR, you may download each ‘set’ individually (three in total). If you are on dial-up, or have an unreliable connection – I’d recommend downloading the individual sets :o) No matter which download option you choose…we include each template in both a .psd and .tif (layered).
CLICK HERE to download the ALL-IN-ONE
CLICK HERE to download OPTION ONE
CLICK HERE to download OPTION TWO
CLICK HERE to download OPTION THREE
PLEASE NOTE: if you participated in project SCRAP 2011 right here at the Shabby Shoppe’s BLOG…you do not need to purchase this product. Be sure to check your hard drive before purchasing :o)
So, there you have the FINAL downloads for project SCRAP 2011 – we truly hope you enjoy the cover options we designed for you! Again, remember that you can always modify, customize and tweak…to meet your specific needs – that is the beauty of LAYERED TEMPLATES :o)
So…a few words about FORMATTING your album covers…and, PRINTING your albums/books/layouts!
As far as FORMATTING your covers…it really all depends on the SIZE of your final book/album, and, WHERE you plan to have it printed. Each printing lab will have different specifications for printing – when it comes to both size and bleed areas (cropping and safe zones). So, you’ll want to find out WHERE you plan to print…and then decide on the final size. For me…I had my album printed with WHCC and went with 10×10 book (the size I generally prefer for my albums). WHCC offers great sizing templates (go to resources and then click on product templates…from there, select free sizing templates)…so formatting was pretty simple for me. Basically, when you download their sizing templates – they are simple files with only GUIDES (if you do not see the guides, you will need to turn them on (in PS, view>show> guides) to show the bleeds/safe areas. These are very helpful…and you can see what my final digital file looked like (of course I removed the GUIDES before submitting for printing). Everything within the blue guidelines is SAFE…anything outside COULD be printed…but probably won’t :o)
I love looking at the digital version of my cover, and then the ‘real’, printed version, lol! I think it is a great illustration of how everything comes together! I truly love my final album…and much of that comes from all of the time and energy spent on formatting :o) It can be a tedious process, but well worth it in the end!
So, when it comes to printing…again – I generally go with WHCC (White House Custom Colour). It might partly be from habit, lol…I’ve been a customer for quite some time – but I also truly love their quality and service. They are not the most inexpensive when it comes to printing…but at the same time, they are very competitive when it comes to pricing among the ‘pro photographer’ labs :o) There are definitely less expensive options out there…and I welcome you to research all of them! In the end, you will have to find what works for YOU and your budget! In the past few years…sooooooo many printing companies have joined the market for printing scrapbooks…and a quick Google search will definitely turn up lots of options. I do not want to recommend (or not recommend, lol) any specifically because I have not tried them. I generally stick to pro (NOT that I’m a pro, lol…but I like the QUALITY and level of SERVICE that I receive with these labs/companies) printing labs like WHCC and MPIX. One thing to keep in mind about these companies is that you generally have to ‘apply’ in order to become a customer. Some of the pro labs are stricter than others when it comes to requirements (some require that you have a photography business). This is completely understandable as they must be fair to their professional photographer customers, and keep their pricing confidential. Anyway, that is probably way more information than you needed, lol – but I wanted to explain labs like WHCC a little more in the event you wish to print with one of them!
Again, there are many options…many times, including local companies. Many local printing companies, photo labs and office supply stores now offer album/book options – so be sure to check them out! More than likely though…most of us will have our albums printed via online labs. Do your research, look for reviews and compare pricing :o) Printing albums is an investment…you have to find the best quality that will fit in your budget and remember that the hope is that our albums are forever :o) This is one reason that quality is so key to me…I want my albums to last, and hopefully be passed down throughout the years! I’m definitely not saying that you have to pay crazy prices for that to be…just do your homework before you make the investment :o)
There is always the option of just having your layouts printed individually – and placing them in a traditional scrapbook album (found online or at local scrapbook/craft stores)! You do not HAVE to have a bound book/album printed…it’s just your preference in the end! I have lots of scrapbook pages in regular albums and love them all! And, there are so many cute and fun album options, in lots of sizes…something for everyone and every budget! Personally, I do prefer the bound books – but that is mostly just because of the ‘neato’ factor, lolol! There is something so polished and professional about the books – BUT, you have a lot more flexibility when just printing pages and adding to an album! You do not have to be so careful with page ordering…as there is no ‘finality’ to it! Printing bound books and albums can be a little stressful – just because you do feel the pressure of getting everything ‘just perfect’ :o) With individual page printing…you can change the order of the pages in your scrapbook album – and best of all…if you find a mistake or typo – you can just reprint that ONE page! Generally, if I find a typo in my bound books (it happens – even though I proof several times…and even copy/paste my journaling into word for spell check lol) - I just leave it, as it is too expensive to reprint :o) I just tell our little man…MORE proof that I am not perfect, ROFL (as if he didn’t already know, ha!)!
There are also options that you might wish to look for when it comes to printing :o) For me…a lay-flat or hinged album is a must! This just means that when you open your book/album – all of the pages lay perfectly flat, instead of having that ‘bump’ at the binding. It doesn’t seem like such a big deal, lol…but I’ve had both and if possible – I always go with hinged! I’m not sure which labs offer this option, and which do not – but it’s something to consider!
This is something you will want to know before formatting your pages for print. I know that with WHCC…the formatting is a bit different if you choose a hinged album or book (on both the pages and the cover). Another ‘must’ for me, is the ability to design my own custom album cover. While most companies offer this (for an additional fee)…some only allow you to choose from their premade options. Again, each and every company will have different specifications for their cover formatting…so you will have to decide on the company, and then work on formatting! Here are a few more pics of my printed album (sorry for the icky pictures, lol):
Something else to consider when formatting your pages for printing – DROP SHADOWS and DETAILS! As silly and insignificant as they sound, drop shadows really do make all the difference in the end! Realistic drop shadows can make your pages come to life…and literally have people touching the layouts to see if the elements and papers are ‘real’, lol! It happens all the time! When formatting…I go back through all of my pages and tweak drop shadows until I find what I like! Unfortunately…drop shadows are quite subjective. There is no ‘magic’ setting that will work for everything, lol! For example…papers should have a smaller drop shadow than a flower (naturally, a flower is thicker and heavier than a paper…and will produce a larger shadow)…and stitching will have it’s own look, too! Trust your eyes – you know your own preference for shadows…so just go with it – but try to be consistent throughout your album! Another way to add realism is with stitching…I love to work with stitching and it always add such depth and dimension to my pages! Here are some details so you can see the results:
Now, if you are NOT going for a ‘scrappy’ look…then shadows are not really an issue…but since most of us have ‘scrapbooked’ our pages for this album – I wanted to mention it!
Another thing I wanted to show…one of my ‘extra’ pages! You guys often ‘hear’ me saying that I have too many photos in one month – so I need to scrap extra pages! Well, I try to keep those pages simple (since I’ve already journaled on my regular monthly pages)…and all about the pics! Here’s an example of one of my (many, lol) extra pages:
Another thing to keep in mind…most albums need a ‘first page’! Meaning that when you open your book/album – there will be a single page (actually the back of your ‘left side’ January page) on the right – and most printing labs allow you to customize that page. In my books – that is generally a letter to our little man…or just a summary of the year (or if it is a birthday album – a bunch of info about the birthday, etc.) – but it can be whatever you want it to be – extra photos, one large photo, kid stats (age, weight, height, school info, etc.)! That’s the beauty of it…you can make it whatever you like! Here is mine:
And finally…just a few more pics of my final album – I believe these are the spreads for November, January and September :o)
Alright, I can’t think of much else when it comes to formatting and printing your albums! Again – there are just too many variables for us to be able to give specific information – it ALL depends on the lab you choose for printing – and their specifications for the final album size that you choose! If you have questions – just contact your lab’s customer service and they should be able to help and answer any questions. I hope that you all LOOOOOOVE your final albums – and I truly hope you will share photos of them with us in the GALLERY! You will be an inspiration to all of us :o) The more participation…the more motivated we ALL become! We’re int his together! And, I know that printing this first album will be a learning experience for many…especially those who have never had an album printed before! So, remember to enjoy the process and try not to get overwhelmed! When you see your final, printed book – I can assure you – it will all be worth it :o)
With project SCRAP 2011 being our first year…we were bound to learn some valuable lessons along the way :o) And, when I say ‘we’…I really mean ‘me’ lol! I can really only share the things which *I* learned while completing my own album…but hopefully, these tips will help you guys as well :o)
If, like ME, you plan to have extra pages some months (i.e. there was an event or vacation or birthday or Christmas and you need MORE pages to fit all of your photos and/or journaling) – DO NOT put it off, lol! Do the EXTRA pages at the same time that you do your monthly template pages! I KNEW that I had lots of extra pages to scrap…and while I did scrap some along the way – I saved way too many until the end and found myself in a rush and trying to catch up! And well, that is the whole IDEA behind project SCRAP…to scrap as we go so we never get behind! Granted…I was still better off than any other year…but I wish I had kept up with my ‘extras’!
If you know what size and where you are going to have your album printed…FORMAT your pages for printing EACH MONTH! I really should have done this! It’s pretty easy for me as I almost always have my albums printed at WHCC…and I almost always go with a 10×10 size! But…still, I just scrapped my pages at 12×12 each month (which I always do anyway, in the event I ever want to go back and have them printed at full size…or if my mom wants a 12×12 album, etc.) and left it at that! And, well, that WOULD have been fine! However, in my rush to complete my album (so I could share pics of it with you guys today, lol)…it was a PAIN trying to prepare SO many pages for printing at once! Ya see…with WHCC – when I format my pages for a 10×10 album…the final pages/sides are not true squares…so each page takes a little tweaking…especially if the design is square (like a square border, etc.). I found that this took me a LONG time and I really, really wished I had done this each month (and I WILL this year, NO questions, lol)! Now, the only way I would advise against this…is if you do not know what size you plan to print…or where! Each printer/lab will have different specifications…so I would not put the time and effort into doing this in advance…unless you are certain as to these two decisions!
If…like ME, you change information, substitute photos, or leave out personal journaling for the page you upload to the gallery – make sure to finish the REAL/FINAL version at the same time, lol! As many of you know (and like many of you do as well), I keep many personal details private…so most of my pages do not have names, locations, etc. on them – or if they do, they are ‘faux’ :o) I also do not post photos of our little man’s friends…or certain members of my family (at their request). So, often – I will substitute other photos in my layouts for the blog and gallery! No problem at all, right? Well…no problem except for that I am often in a huge hurry trying to get a post finished…and I think I will just go back in a few days and finalize my ‘real’ layouts! But, i’m sure you know what happens…YEP – I just get busy again and forget! Yeah…so when finalizing my album for printing…it was a bit of a pain, lol! I had to go through all of my layouts and put the ‘real’ info back in…find the photos I really wanted to have printed, etc. I could have saved myself SO much time and stress by doing this monthly (are you seeing a ‘theme’ here…MONTHLY – just finish each month, monthly, lol)! Not only the time…but everything was ‘fresh’ on my mind then. But, when going back to LAST February…I really had to try to remember details, etc. This year – I will be sure to save out my final version each and every month! And, while I know this tip will not apply to many of you who do not change out personal info/photos/etc…I also know MANY of you do…so maybe this will help :o)
In a nutshell…the point of project SCRAP is to stay up-do-date on our photos and scrapbooking…without ever having that overwhelmed feeling of being behind! Well, in the end – I still felt that (my own fault, of course, lol) – but, I must say, to a MUCH lesser extent, without question! These are just a few things I can (and will) do differently this year :o) The object is to stay current – at least monthly…and put NOTHING off. This means that by the 1st or 2nd week of each month…you have the PREVIOUS month COMPLETELY finished (pages complete…including extras and ready for final printing)! Lesson learned, lol :o)
If you learned any lessons…or have any helpful tips to share – we’d LOVE to see them in the COMMENTS section – thanks :o)
Before I leave you – I had to share Kylie’s album cover pages – aren’t they so SWEET? Just a little inspiration if you are planning to work with Album Cover Option 3 :o)
Well, I think that does it! And, as sad as I am to say GOODBYE to project SCRAP 2011…I am equally as happy to begin project SCRAP 2012 with you guys :o) So…get ready, as we will be launching the 2012 project NEXT THURSDAY – WOOHOO!
Be sure to stop back by the blog tomorrow as Rosy shares a super fun hybrid project with us! THANKS AGAIN – have a wonderful weekend…XOXO – SP :o)