Episode 65: Little Clouds of Heaven


Wendyzine joins Steph, Katie, and Peppermint to talk about photobooks. From planning to printing (and some role reversal for fun).

Joining the Discussion:

Wendyzine Scraps
Peppermint Granberg
Katie Nelson

From the Mail:

From the Show:

  • Steph’s Photobook Printer Reviews
  • AdoramaPix’s 20% Off Sale Extended through 11/29  (20% off photobooks thru Nov 29 with code pxthanks20, 10% off photobooks Nov 30-Dec 4)


Wendy: Angie’s List
Peppermint: Acorn Polar Moc III Slippers
Katie: Photobook of children’s drawings and projects
Steph: ZagFolio case for iPad



For the best deal in digital scrapbooking, become a member at TheDailyDigi.com.



This entry was posted in Katie, Peppermint, Show Post, Steph, Wendyzine and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Episode 65: Little Clouds of Heaven

  1. Anna Forrest says:

    Apparently Peppermint can’t find me :) I’m at myranalis at hotmail dot com.

  2. Kris says:

    hi ladies, this is not a question specific to this episode, but I wanted to ask if you could make a list of a few of the podcasts that you listen to? Of course I love the Digi Show, but there are more hours in a work day than there are Digi Shows to listen to (when you have listened to them all!) Thanks! I am such a big fan of the show and appreciate all that you do!

    • StudioWendy says:

      Adventures in Art Podcasting
      Paperclipping Roundtable
      Grammar Girl
      Layout A Day
      Lightroom for Digital Photographers
      ONCE (Once Upon A Time Fan Podcast)
      Once Upon A Time (official podcast)
      Podcast of Interest
      Pro Photo Show
      This Memory Keeper’s Life
      Capturing Magic

      When I was planning our Disney vacation, I also listened to a bunch of those. I don’t listen regularly to those now.

    • Melissa says:

      Love that list from Wendy
      Can i add
      Busy moms survival guide
      Get it done guy

      Can I throw in a plug for my shows?

      Scrapbooking inspiration podcast

      December Daily Inspiration Podcast

  3. kimberly jones says:

    I don’t think this podcast has been mentioned before – but I love them!!! Improve Photography. I downloaded them thru itunes. Great information, great voices/humor. I learn something new everytime. I’m a beginner but I notice that there is even info for professionals. The other two that I like for information purposes if photography 101 and lifehacker (thanks peppermint!). There are several for lightroom as well. Have a great day ladies!

  4. Kami Leonard says:

    I missed you guys last week!!! I’m so glad you are back!!

    I’m not really a photobook scrapper but I have recently gotten some AdoramaPix books and I’m kinda totally hooked on their books! My favorite thing about the AdoramaPix books is that they use photo paper. It makes the images really saturated and they pop more and they are just so beautiful!

  5. Melissa says:

    I was thinking you can reprint the photo books they aren’t that pricey
    I also print 2nd copies or if I mess up then its Emily’s copy

  6. SarahT says:

    I love photo books! I have an idea for Katie for organizing her photo books for her parents. You guys were talking about organizing by theme….
    I would look at the favorite layouts from the year and look for a common theme…kinda like a “one little word” idea. Do your layouts show “growth” or “joy” or “togetherness” that way even if you have a layout that you forgot to include from a previous year, but it still fits with the theme, your book would still feel complete.

  7. kimberly jones says:

    Quick question – initially meant for Katie but would love to hear from others~ What is the Lightroom preset/actions that you use from Matt on a regular basis for your every day photos (kids, pets, general project life type photos). Can you use several at a time – i know that he does an auto tone, and one for teeth, lips and eyes. Can both be applied to a group of photos at one time or how does that work. Thanks Ladies!

    • Laurel says:

      I would love to know what other presets you ladies use, as well. I just splurged and bought myself Lightroom for an early Christmas present. I just bought some of My Four Hens presets (she has a great sale right now – until 12/3), but I would love to know of others. Thanks!

    • Kimberly Jones says:

      Thank you Laurel for hooking me on the sale at 4 hens – love her stuff. Very generous sale. Merry Christmas to me!

  8. StudioWendy says:

    Listening to the show and a few comments on some things I didn’t have answers to when we recorded…

    I took a look at AdoramaPix and their website says all their photobooks ARE using actual photo paper for the pages, Peppermint. So, that makes total sense why they ONLY offer the lay flat option, because you cannot print on the back of the photo paper.

    On Shutterfly, my guess is that it’s card stock and not photo paper since it says it’s a satin finish, but that’s just a guess. I cannot find specific information on their paper stock.

  9. HelenH says:

    So funny. I just started a Shutterfly photo book yesterday (first time). I spent a few days last week with my mother. She has memory problems, so I planned an Ali Edwards “Today You…” project of every day life photos, and jottings on a 3×4 pad of paper. I scanned the journal tags to use like photos. I chose a 5×7 book with the 20 page option. I chose a style with simple fall background colors (deleting the backgrounds I didn’t like) and then used a couple of 2-photo layouts to add photos and journal tags to the pages. I’ll go back to add some embellishments and tweak the content. Then I’ll have a print copy sent to her directly. A couple of hours and $15. Done.

  10. Rosy says:

    I loved listening to this episode. I print my yearly books in 10×10 photobooks and love that size. I would love to know if anyone here has experience with Persnickety Prints’ 10×10 flexbinding photobook. I love the idea of the pages laying flat, but it’s more expensive than the books I usually print and I’d love to hear from someone who has printed one of these.

  11. Nina F says:

    Okay Katie, I hope you pick your iPad case soon :) I’m thinking an iPad2 would be a great gift for DH, but he definitely would need a keyboard & case; need to hear your pick before I make a decision. No pressure.

    Great show as always!!!

  12. Jackie B says:

    Hello Ladies, I have been listening to podcasts more than once because there are items that I just have to review and write down as often I listen without a pen/paper handy.

    Can anyone tell me (and I know it has been mentioned as a “pick” twice” what the phone recharger is that can be recharged on the go.

    Thanks for great work.

  13. Dawn N says:

    Always a great show – great timing on the photo books, I have started a vacation one and never finished it- I sympathize with peppermint, I can only do it for so long before I get distracted.

    Katie I was thinking since you mentioned that you give your parents books and still have to send pages that you add later – maybe you can give a picture of the cover of the book as the gift on Christmas, with the actual book to come later (after you can add December)… or start a December to November book – “almost 2012″ and next year have a “almost 2013″, etc…. I think you could come up with a pretty cute quirky name… And last – what about that book crbinding thing tat Provocraft”Your Story” that was put out a while ago? has anyone tried bindng their own photo books in it?

    Just some thoughts

  14. This has nothing to do with this episode (in fact, I haven’t had a chance to listen yet, but I am really looking forward to it!!)… but…

    My husband pointed me to this article (he and I are kinda* nerdy :)) and after I read it, I thought that it might be interesting to the Digi Show ladies and listeners.


    It’s a back-of-the-envelope discussion/analysis of how many pictures people take with their cameras based on the distribution of default filenames on Flickr. It gets a little bit math-y, but I thought his conclusions were interesting, especially since they are from a (presumably) non-memory-keeper’s point of view. (also, the little drag-n-drop illustration made me snicker :))

    Hope it’s interesting to you, too!

    *read: really, really nerdy

  15. Tiffany says:

    I enjoyed this show and was tickled when you read my comment about self portraits in the mirror.

    I’m definitely a photobook person. I was hooked after printing my 2009 P365 book – for exactly the reason Katie said – how compact and easy they are to hold (I print 12×12 books).

    I know a lot of scrappers worry about scrapping an old picture/memory without the ability to slip it into the album. I, on the other hand, like the idea that once the yearly album is finished, there is no lingering pressure to keep going back over the photos to see if there was anything I missed. There is enough current scrapping to be done, I don’t need yesteryear’s photos to fuss over.

    But I admit that I am only now finishing up my 2011 layouts. Luckily, I don’t think I’m as “behind” on 2012.

    I did recently look back at 2007/2008 photos and forced myself to scrap something old, just do see what it was like. I did find some everyday moment photos that inspired my creativity, and the layouts I made ended up with a then-and-now feel to them. Even though the pictures were older, the thoughts and ideas were anchored in the present, so I think they will fit well into my current year album.

    I had one other comment. I have printed two 12×12 Blurb books, both on premium paper. Some of my 2010 layouts used very thin handwritten fonts, and there were quality issues with how they printed (like Peppermint was describing), even on the premium paper. The very thin text printed in a streaky manner. I didn’t think it ruined the books, but I do notice it when I look at the pages.

    But that was nearly two years ago … maybe Blurb’s print quality is better now. Hopefully I will be able to answer that myself after I print my 2011 album :)

  16. Lisa says:

    Hi Ladies, I love your show though I have to admit I’m more of a “thinking about scrapping” person than one who actually does it! However, I do seem to collect a lot of supplies…

    Anyway, I thought you might find this article helpful based on this episode:


    I haven’t tried either of the programs that are referenced but have had good success with other recommendations from Make Use Of.

  17. gz says:

    This comment is mostly to Peppermint. I had an idea hit me during the show. For a christmas gift to my son this year I will make an appt. with him to sit down and make a photobook as a gift of my time. Maybe that would be a good way to do something to avoid Supermom Fail Syndrome. Sorry if someone else responded this way also.

  18. SarahT says:

    I make my yearly photo books based on the school year. They start in August and finish in July. There’s usually something we do fun and exciting in August just before school starts that kicks off the book beginning and I usually end with a camp trip or a church event that happens at the end if the year. This year I made pages about who they are and what I anticipate about their school year. I have a scrapping layouts folder and inside that I make a sub folder for each child for each year. (For instance “Andy: 2012-2013, third grade) I scrap in whatever order I want and then just save them in the appropriate years folder. When a layout folder is getting full, I go through my photos for that year and make a list of the layouts ideas needed to finish that year. Then I just kinda dogpile that list until I’m done and scour the web for coupons to make the book cheaper. It’s a different sort of approach that works for me.

  19. Rita Q says:

    Just a heads-up to anyone thinking of using AdoramaPix for photobooks and trying to get their 10% off…. IT”S NOT AVAILABLE!!

    I have been desperately trying to finish a Wedding album for my daughter in time to grab their 20% sale (totally missed the deadline for 30%) but thinking that I would swoop in under their Dec 4th deadline for 10%off. At $85 for a 26pg 12×12 book, any savings would help :). Unfortunately, they discontinued the 10% off sale in lieu of 2 extra days for 20%off. I guess I missed the fine print.

    It also took me a bit longer than anticipated because the interface is different than Shutterfly’s (which I know like the back of my hand). Plus, when uploading fully digi layouts, I had no idea which book to choose and which ‘fit’ vs ‘fill’ to page option to use. So I lost a couple of days with chats back & forth.

    In any case, they would NOT honor the 10% off … saying I missed the deadline. Not a great first experience with them. Hope the photobook is as special as everyone claims they are. It’s a $100 investment after shipping, etc…

    • Katie says:

      I hope it turns out great for you. That is really frustrating about the discount. I missed all the deadlines so I guess I will just have to wait for the next sale. :(

      • Rita Q says:

        Thanks Katie… it’s due to arrive on Dec 12… super excited. Will report back on quality comparison to all my Shutterfly books. Hope Steph is right! :)

  20. Kelly Grace says:

    I have finally gotten through all 65 episodes and I am able to comment! Last year I found blog2print.com and had a book printed of all the entries on my husbands blog. They pulled everything from the blog, I could choose to exclude entries if I wanted to and was able to add pictures for the covers.

    Also, last year when I was working on tons of photobooks of my son, I found that you can make your own using the Unibind – PhotoBook Creator Machine. You buy the cover which has a piece of metal in the binding and the glue is on top of it. The machine heats the glue up and adheres to whatever paper you put in it. I’ve made a few, it’s easy to do and instant gratification! I’m the type of person that would much rather spend the money to get what I need to do it at home rather than wait for something to be delivered.

    Love the show, keep it up ladies!

  21. Laurel says:

    Alright ladies…I need your help. This is totally not related to this episode. I’m on a mac. Just splurged and bought myself LR4 as an early Christmas gift. In preparing to move all my photos over from iPhoto, I’ve read the easiest way to keep my metadata intact was to download a trial version of Aperture, move my photos into it, and then into LR. Well, I just found out that Apple has not offered trial versions of Aperture since April. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I’ve spent a lot of time adding keywords, comments, ratings, etc., that I really don’t want to lose. Ok, Peppermint…I’m ready for your proprietary comments :)


    • StudioWendy says:

      I’ve never been a fan of the iPhoto, so I’m not super familiar with it. But, I found this tutorial that might help you. You are basically exporting the photos to a new copy and then importing that copy into Lightroom. If that doesn’t work, there seem to be some plugins available that might help, but again, I haven’t used any of them.

      And, if possible, I’d back up your iPhoto before you start anything!


    • Peppermint says:

      I’ve actually gone back to tagging my digital product previews in ACDSee, which is proprietary, so you won’t hear a peep from me! Haha.

      • Tammy says:

        I’m starting to play that game, too – moving everything from the PSE Organizer.

      • Deirdre says:

        Peppermint, can you tell us why you switched back to ACDSee from Lightroom? I was planning to start tagging product in January…and now I’m curious. Thanks!

        • Peppermint says:

          You know, it’s just a matter of ease at this point – Lightroom was adding an extra step to my workflow.

          I use ACDSee as my everyday file browser (over Windows Explorer) so it’s always open and it’s how I move around on my hard drives. I do all my prep work in ACDSee (unZIP, rename, delete extra previews, etc) but I was switching over to Lightroom to tag the previews. Then when I was scrapping, I would locate the products I wanted to use in Lightroom but then switch back to ACDSee to navigate to the folder based on the designer’s name – because Lightroom only has the “Open in Explorer” option.

          Originally I had switched over to Lightroom because my previous system wasn’t working – but the software was never really the problem for me. My organizational needs had just become far less complicated.

          I do still run the risk of finding a corrupt ACDSee database one day, however I never realized that you could embed ACDSee information into a file’s metadata before – and that you can set up ACDSee to remind you to do it when you’re closing the program. It’s still writing that data into proprietary fields that only ACDSee can read, but at least the information stays with the file rather than in a database. So if my database were to become corrupt I could create a new one and repopulate it with the embedded metadata. Or if I were to move my files to a new computer, I could install ACDSee and have it read the information in.

          I never knew that was so easy to set up. So now I back-up my entire database (rarely …) and embed to the metadata for all new files (at every program close).

          Plus my CrashPlan software is backing up my database in real-time. So I figure that’s three levels of protection against not having to retag all my previews one day.

          • Deirdre says:

            Thanks so much for answering this so thoroughly. One more question though, are you still using Lightroom to tag your photos or for photo editing? Thanks again!

            • Peppermint says:

              Yup! Lightroom is still my numero uno photo organizer and editor! And in a way I like that my photos are separate from my supplies again. It’s like the old Bic Mac containers that kept the hot side hot and the cold side cold. Haha.

  22. Melissa says:

    I’m with Steph about the Adorama book – I printed my first Adorama photo book last year when they had an $8 sale, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to another company. They printed beautifully, and I love the lay-flat pages.

  23. Sallie says:

    I love this and all episodes! I did albums for many years and found that they are just too expensive; the album, page protectors, etc. and they are too bulky on my shelves. I experimented with different companies and finally settled on Costco (I think that MyPublisher does their books) and have been using them for a couple of years. The price is so great. I use the 11¼ x 8¾ size however my format is a little odd :) I create the pages 12×12, created an action that flattens, resizes to 7.5″, and places a black border on the edge, but I still save my original 12 x 12 .psd. Then I place the layout centered on a background 11.25 x 8.75, flatten and save to .jpg. naming each page 1-? to make it easier. I recolor the background papers to the same color, use the same background for the entire book, or change the background color if the event changes. I create a new album in my Costco photos and upload all of the pages. When creating the book, it choose the 1 photo fill template with each page and it goes very fast. The cover and spine are easy. The black border around the layouts create a professional appearance. I hope that this makes sense.

    I really liked the coloring idea! There are so many tutorials on creating a sketch. How fun to create simple sketches of the pages, print out, and the kids can color their photos or pages. Not in book form ! ! ! (giggle)

  24. Lyndel says:

    Great show ladies,
    I pretty much only print in photobooks and love them. Most of them have been “Year in Review” and last year I did a “Year of Weekends” photobook. For that project I created a separate blog (churchills2011.blogspot.com) and posted each weekend’s page as I went along. At the end of the year it was just a matter of uploading them all to my photobook printer and ordering. It was a project I loved and plan to do again. It helped us as a family to focus on making the very best of every weekend and my husband even made sure he took photos for the project when he was away from us (fishing usually). My other favourite photobook project was making a book out of a story my son wrote in Grade 2. He wrote and illustrated his version of a Robin Hood story. We typed up the text and scanned his drawings. I wrote an author blurb about him and printed it up in 6×6. He gave copies to his grandparents and teacher. His teacher absolutely loved it and asked him to sign her copy :-) I recently made a book of random layouts, some old, some new, and scrambled them all together. I put the ones that had similar colours as facing pages and if I couldn’t find two that looked OK together I used a single photo from the layout or from the same time on the facing page. I have mainly used Artscow. I started there based on price and haven’t changed yet. I’m sure the other printers have better quality, but the higher the price the more pressure I would feel and maybe that would freeze me into never printing. Anyway I’m having fun and love to leaf through my 8×8 books that sit so neatly on the shelf. After reading one of Cathy Z’s books I make sure I have a title and dedication page which seem to pull it all together. Some of my books are in the gallery at Artscow – just search for Lyndel – if you are interested in seeing examples of super-simple photobooks.
    Thanks again for the show, Lyndel

  25. Michelle Blue says:

    I just listened to your episode on photobooks and really enjoyed it! Our regular family scrapbooks are chronological and ring-bound. Since I don’t scrap in order for regular pages, this works great to be able to insert them wherever I want. However, I love printing photobooks for vacations, “themes,” and as gifts. I loved how you shared ideas for kids having their own books. One thing I started doing for both of my kids are “All About Me” books (this title idea is taken from Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories concept)—and what I do is periodically make each child an 8×8 photobook of their own that includes layouts I’ve made of and about *just* them. So my son’s albums start with “All About Andrew Volume 1″—I don’t worry about chronology at all with these and mix pages of them of all ages. And all the pages can also be fond chronologically in our regular 12×12 family ring-bound albums. Whatever pages I have done of that child, I put in the current volume for the child’s photobook. So when they look at these books, the focus of every page is on them. It’s really easy to just continue these over time—as soon as I realize I have enough pages for a new “volume,” I just get a book printed for that child.

    I also love the themed photobooks I’ve made. This is a great way to sort of cover an entire year but to have a topic to narrow down the content. For example, I made a photobook for 2010 that is called “Water Logged,” and it includes all of our adventures that whole year that involved water—boating, water parks, the beach/ocean, and swimming pools. My family love the water, and this is one of my favorite photobooks!

    Thanks for the great episode, it was very inspiring!

    • Lyndel says:

      Love your ideas Michelle!

    • StudioWendy says:

      Loved these ideas too! It reminded me of the a discussion (here or at papperclipping?) where someone was talking about how they file their layouts based on when they scrapped them, not on when the photos were taken. So based on that, you can totally make annual books starting anytime of the year and ending any time of the year and containing your thoughts for the year, basically. It’s certainly a way to take the pressure off that part of it!

  26. Rita Q says:

    Finally got thru the show. Great one and timely. Another idea for simple photobooks… I’ve done ABC books of my grand-kids visits to me. I’m the far-away Gram. It’s become an annual tradition, much like the annual calendar :)!

    I use Shutterfly & try to time it to a sale. I don’t use their pre-designed ABC books but do use a pre-designed color scheme, usually bright & fun. I select photos of activities/events, etc that we’ve done that correspond to the alphabet letter… eg.. A for Airplane (they travelled by plane to see me-photo of them in their seats). For the letter of their name, I do a collage of photos, but for the other letters, I try to limit to one photo to keep it simple.

  27. Renee says:

    I mainly document my memories in photobooks, or at least I intend to. I’ve done a few already. One thing that’s holding me back from doing more is deciding on a size. I wish 10×10 was a more common size! In my opinion 12x12s are too large, but 8x8s are too small. I know there are a couple companies that do 10×10, but I just want to put a plug out there for more 10×10 options. Does anyone else feel this way?

  28. Kimberly Jones says:

    I love my 12×12 for my “family” albums, but for those events, etc. I would love 10×10. I’ve never heard of any company making that size …give us the scoop!

    • StudioWendy says:

      Viovio and MyPicTales both do 10×10 printed books. I’m sure there’s probably someone else, but it’s not coming to mind.

  29. Barbara says:

    I just got my yearly order back of “The Kids of Summer 20__” that I make for gifts each year and was reminded of something really, really important. Which I forgot. :-/ Your photos/layouts will look MUCH lighter on your computer than in print, being back-lit my the monitor light. So, you might want to lighten them up a bit, no matter who you print with. Except Persnickety Prints, as they will check your layouts when printing by the page. Love them!

  30. Katie (sakura-panda) says:

    I’ve never limited myself to “themed” photo books — since my paper scrapbooks are not themed, it never occurred to me that photo books *should* be themed. My photo books are exactly the same as my “regular books”, with a hodgepodge of layouts in a variety of styles in whatever order I threw them together. I have made a themed book — that was a collection of otherwise unrelated layouts — but I don’t do that often.

    I started digital scrapbooking with photo books — I put a photo book together, using the publisher’s software and layouts, and it took such a long time that I thought I would be farther ahead creating my own scrapbooking layouts over a long period of time and then printing them all together in a book. (I was paper scrapping then and had heard of digital scrapbooking, but had not considered trying it myself.)

    I made books for all of my kids’ grandmothers that year (using MyPublisher) and have made a few other books since with Shutterfly, Mixbook and Adorama. The books I ordered from MyPublisher had hard linen covers, and after experiencing those, I find that I don’t care for the hard photo cover books I get from Shutterfly. Everyone raves about the Shutterfly books so much that I have ordered from them twice and was unhappy both times. The Mixbook album was similar to the ones I got from Shutterfly — I even got a 12×12 from them in case it was the 8×8 size that I didn’t like — but I didn’t like that book either.

    (My mom loves all the books I’ve made, by the way. She only sees the photos and doesn’t notice the albums or sheets at all. LOL)

    I still prefer post-bound albums for myself, but for gift albums, I think photo books are a better choice! Based on Steph’s recommendation, I ordered an Adorama book last fall (leather cover), and I was happy with how it turned out. After listening to this episode, I’m leaning toward staying with Adorama — taking advantage of sales! — and not trying anybody else new.