Find Your Style

Yesterday’s post has so much wonderful information — go read it if you hadn’t yet!  Additionally, find your favorite designer’s blog and read!  There will often be links to  tools; and to those who inspired your favorite designer!

Magazines are another source for ideas when you’re ready to create pages.  When I began putting pages together it was classified as desktop publishing.  Soon there were magazines featuring digital layouts — this is now long enough ago that you can often find scrapbooking magazines in thrift stores!!  Your local library is an excellent source for books and magazines that will help you with your layout plans and with your software.

When we knit or sew there are patterns that tell us how many stitches or where to cut.  So the link I’ll add to yesterday’s ideas is that of pagemaps.  There are hundreds of ideas for you to use when creating a scrapbook page.    You will also find these listed as templates in scrapbook galleries.  There are many important things to learn about digital scrapbooking; another is shadows — you will want your page to have some perspective.

The 300 dpi is so very important, whether scanning or creating!  I scanned so many photos a few years ago at a low resolution — they may work in a slideshow, but I won’t be able to use them for my scrapbooking.  When in doubt about your pages, send some sample pages to print.  You may be glad you planned this way!

Search, read, and ask questions.  Then look around and find a style that you really like!  Then play — don’t worry (work with copies of your photos and copies of the elements of any kits you may have downloaded — that way you won’t change the originals and can always start over!!)  Understand layers — it’s like you are working with a piece of paper and placing a photo on top of it and placing a ribbon or button (or both) as design elements.

What fun!  With digital, you can create a page that showcases photos, includes journaling to explain the photos, and a title to describe!  And allthewhile, you haven’t altered your original photos, can change or replace your page, and can use the kits again!  We’re documenting today for future generations; how important is that?

Digital scrapbooking is a must do!  MyPicTales is also a must do when it’s time to print your layouts or your photobooks.  It’s an exciting process and you’ll just love the results!

As Ever,

8 Steps to a Perfect Photobok

1. Start with Great Design
The internet is a great place to find inspiration for a fabulous book. Our blog often highlights inspirational pages. Check out photographer and scrapbooker websites for tips, tricks and designed pages. Find something you love and imitate it. Focus on the story you want to tell in your book and look for ways that tell your story the best. Purchase premade pages designed specifically for photobooks. Drop your photos in the openings and add some captions or journaling.

Here are some articles about good design.

Here are some pre-made pages.

Here are some blogs and galleries full of inspiration.

2. Use High Resolution Images ( 300 dpi)
Always use high quality images whenever possible. Use the largest size photo your camera will support. Your photos will look best when used at 300ppi (pixels per inch). If all you have is a small, low-resolution, or phone camera photo, by all means use it. Sometimes you don’t have the opportunity to capture a memory in high-resolution, but keep in mind that they may appear pixelated or have jagged edges when printed. Also, be careful about enlarging your images too much. When you increase the size of an image, you actually reduce the resolution.

3. Full Bleed Backgrounds
When you want to fill an entire page with your photo or layout, be sure to take advantage of our Automatic Resizing option to ensure your book does not have white edges after trimming. Simply drag your image onto the page and choose SINGLE PAGE BACKGROUND. This will enlarge the image to fill the entire page. A small portion of the image will be trimmed off during production. So, ensure anything important is kept away from the edges of the image.

4. NEW: Create Custom Covers with Custom Spines
Our newest version of TaleWeaver now allows you to upload separate images for your front cover, back cover and spine. In addition, you can now add text to your spine from within the software. If you want a full-bleed cover, be sure to drop your backgrounds, papers or layouts as SINGLE PAGE BACKGROUNDS. This will ensure you don’t see white edges on the cover.

5. Fill Every Page
Make full use of all the pages available to you. You can put images on the first and last pages of the book. If you don’t have enough images to fill all 20 pages, consider putting a nice background image on the left-side pages and your photos on the right side pages.

6. Leave Proper Margins
It’s a good design principle to leave plenty of negative (empty) space on your pages. Keep your images in from the edge of the page by at least 3/4″. More space is even better! By keeping your photos, text and embellishments away from the edges, you will ensure nothing gets cut off or hidden in the binding unexpectedly. You should still drop your background papers as SINGLE PAGE BACKGROUNDS to avoid white edges, but leave plenty of margin around your photos, elements, captions and journaling.

7. Proofread/Preview Your Projects
There’s nothing worse than opening a book, calendar or card and finding a typo! Carefully read every page. Ask someone else to read through it for you. Make use of our share option to let others help you proofread your pages. Sometimes others will pick up on mistakes that you won’t see.

8. Ask For Help
If you run into trouble at any point in the process, contact us. We are happy to help you ensure your projects are exactly as you expect.

Getting your Kids involved

Getting your kids involved with scrapping can be so much fun. I recently experienced this a few weeks ago when was offering a free book to kids on their FB page.  The idea was to give them something to do during the rash of snowdays that we (especially in the NE) were having.  I asked my son (who’s 8) if he was interested in doing it. He was surprisingly enthusiastic about it.

Last summer he participated in a digital photography class at a local school.  He had the opportunity to walk around town, learn about photography and take tons of pictures (I think he takes after me in this respect 🙂 ).  At the end of the week, he brought home a CD that had close to 500  pictures and printed out his ten favorites. Some of the pictures were quite good.  I had been wanting to do something with them for awhile, but thought that it would be more meaningful if he did. Enter the FB opportunity.

The Taleweaver software was easy to use.  I basically let him do all of the work and just guided him when he got stuck.  It was kind of hard for me to step back and let him make the design choices, but after all, it was HIS book.  I was excited to hear him say, Mom, I want to use this and that color because it represents me and is my favorite color. I let him go and the book was something that is truly unique and his. It turns out that he does have a good design eye, and that is something that I am looking forward to developing with him as he gets older. 

He was so excited to get his book and is very proud of it.  He kept asking everyday when his book was going to be here and I have to say that the production and shipping time was outstanding.  We had the book in our hands in less than a week.

So thank you My Pic Tales for helping to inspire my son. I will challenge you to create a project with  your kids.  It’s easy, fun, simple and the benefits are amazing.



Squirming about!

The title got me.  I admit it, I read the title and had to click. I am so glad I did.  I think I love a layout with a ton of pictures, especially in a series as much as I do the photoless ones! I am an extremes person, I suppose.  Seriously, what fun to click the pictures, giggling at the antics of your own bug a boo, then the snuggles that came from the event, then uploading and being excited that you captured the moment in freeze frame shots!

Oompaterra totally captured the moment in her page called Squirming About:

I have to say, #4 Wiggle your bum made me laugh right out loud, and is the little worm element is the perfect touch! I hope you smile through this layout, I just giggled! Wonderful!

Telling Your Story

Are you guilty of this? Not telling YOUR story? I think that sometimes we get so caught up in telling everyone else’s story that we forget about us and don’t tell our story/  Well, a very talented designer has come up with a solution to this problem.  Yari, of Jady Day Studio has two new releases this week that will help you accomplish this goal:


These two kits will easily allow you to capture your story, and then of course, you will use the fantastic services here at to have your book, or individual pages, printed out.

Until next time,