Every once in awhile I'll get a few 4x6 photos printed to add to a little photo album Rob and I have of photos of just us two. But I've never really done much more than that. When I was a kid, I used to keep journals and diaries, and paste magazine cutouts into notebooks. In high school, I made a few scrapbook pages. But never really continued with anything.
Somehow I stumbled upon the Paperclipping Round Table scrapbook podcast, and it got me really excited to start scrapbooking again. There's this scrapbooking project called Project Life that people have been participating in for a few years: it's about quickly scrapbooking your life, day by day (in their cute & convenient scrapbooking kits you buy, of course).
But after we got rid of so much of our stuff, I just don't want to start scrapbooking physically. I don't want to get sucked in to buying all those cutesy supplies and have an entire closet of scrapbooking paper and crap. And where to put your albums when you're done?! But a lot of people actually scrapbook digitally: they use paper textures, photos, and scrapbooking elements to create page collages in Photoshop. There's an idea I could get behind!
On Shutterfly, you can use a digital Project Life kit to create a photo book, and then Shutterfly prints it, binds it, and sends it to you. It's the look of scrapbooking but without all the crap. Plus it's cleaner and you don't have to worry about getting your digital photos printed. Sounds like me!
I probably wouldn't have done this on my own, but I got a coupon at our grocery store for a free 8x8 photo book from Shutterfly. Just pay shipping. It's a pretty good deal, since these photobooks start at about $30. So I decided to take advantage of that random grocery store coupon and create a little digital scrapbook of our photos from the past year.
The layout kit online had these little scrapbook ephemera pieces. Some were super cheesy, but I liked this "THIS MAKES ME HAPPY" one :)
They pre-make all the page layouts for you, and you can customize them to your liking. But when I went into this project, my goal was to keep it simple and don't spend too much time on it. So as soon as a page looked fine, it was on to the next one.
Overall I'm really happy with how this little hardcover book turned out. It was easy to make, and now I have a bunch of our most recent photos all in one place, physically. Without all the extra scrapbooking crap. I'm thinking of starting Project Life for real in January. If I do decide to take on such a big project, I'll definitely do it digitally and get it printed in this same way. Easy, clean, minimal... but still awesome :)