The Best Way To Preserve and Present Photos

Preserving and Printing PhotosThe way we preserve and present photos has changed significantly in this digital age. I remember spending dollars upon dollars on scrapbook material and then spending even more hours snipping photos, creating embellishments, and gluing like there was no tomorrow.  I love all the pretty papers and the creative process of scrapbooking, but I don’t like the price tag or the time it takes.

In order to simplify while still preserving and presenting those photos in a pretty way, I turned to Blurb, a company that specializes in helping you create beautiful photo books.

I’ve been using Blurb since 2007 when I made a photo book {Cheers} of my semester in Oxford. My book had thousands of photos and infinitely more memories splashed across 200+ pages. It would have cost me more to print each of those photos out at Walmart than purchase my $60, hardcover book. I have since created Full Bloom, a coffee table book of my flower photography, Eight Twenty Seven, a memory book of my Gramma’s house, and several photo books from different vacations.  I’ve also made wedding and vacation photo books for a couple friends.

I recently rediscovered Blurb after a year hiatus. Now, in addition to Booksmart {their stellar – and FREE – bookmaking software}, Blurb has rolled out with Bookify, an online book-making tool that streamlines the process even more. Both Booksmart and Bookify are drag and drop interfaces with wonderful pre-made layouts. They are also totally customizable if you want to invest more time into the design of your book.

Making a book is as simple as uploading your photos, dragging them into a layout, naming your book, and hitting the checkout button.

I have three Blurb projects going right now:

  1. Another study abroad photo book of my semester in Italy {half done and long overdue}
  2. Wedding book {I guess our first anniversary is as good a time as any to get this started}
  3. A collection of my favorite Instagram photos {getting printed as we speak – more on this project later…}

Blurb books are one of those Emily creative obsessive things, but I truly see so much value in preserving photos in a simple, yet fun to make, fashion.

Mother’s Day is a perfect opportunity to try Blurb out. Make a special commemorative book of your mom or present your momma with a compilation of your favorite photos of her with your kids. Plus, you get 20% off until May 10th!

This post contains my affiliate links. Thanks for supporting my blog!

photo credit: martinak15 via photopin cc

Wedding Christmas Ornaments

I am definitely one to attach sentiment to objects.  I have several shoe boxes full of birthday cards because throwing them away feels like throwing away the person who gave it to me. After reading books like 7 and Organized Simplicity, combined with the hassle of packing and moving, I’m learning to separate sentiment from tangible items.

My wedding was the perfect test for this resolve.  The decor was so intentional, and full of me and Tim, that it was virtually impossible to separate sentiment from all the little details. Throwing them away wasn’t an option. Many of the decorations now spruce up our apartment.

The floral aspects were a different story.  Flowers are difficult to preserve.  My bouquet was gorgeous, but the dried version was uninspiring and sat on my parent’s porch for months after the wedding.  I thought that was the end of the road for my wildflower and twine spray until my mom visited over Thanksgiving.

She brought a special, handmade gift full of sentiment and love.  My mom crafted two ornaments from wedding decor so that the memories could hang on our Christmas tree year after year.

One ornament is filled with dried flowers from my bouquet, the other is filled with miscellaneous wedding ephemera (I love that word…). She used clear, plastic ornaments from Michaels, which come in multiple shapes and sizes.

Each ornament top was wrapped with twine that had previously been wrapped around the base of my bouquet. My mom’s first married Christmas tree was decorated with red gingham bows so she also fashioned me a bow from the extra twine to put on my first married Christmas tree.

Pieces of tea-stained doilies, fabric, tulle, lace, and tiny birds punched out of blue card stock mirror the decor detail from our wedding.

An ornament is the perfect way to preserve special memories and details.  The stuffings are free, the ornaments are inexpensive, and the sentiment will be cherished every year.