i wanted to put together a special gift for haley's parents, when it was time for her to leave us for preschool. i have created a ton of layouts of her over the years, and taken a ton of photos. someone once asked me if i give the layouts of the daycare kids to their parents. and the answer is "no". i give them all the photos i take, but i keep the layouts. i have 6 albums full of memories from the last 8 years of daycare kids that we have had here. but i have thought over the years, that i should come up with a way that the parents can still enjoy the layouts. that's how this project started.
i put this book together through blurb, which i have used before for making my blog books. i started out designing a 7x7 book, which is a very economical size to have printed. halfway though, i decided that the 12x12 book would make a better gift and have more impact. you can't just change the size of the book though, so i had to start over and design the 12x12 book from scratch. so be sure about the size book you want when you get started. i ordered the 12x12 book for her parents, and got the 7x7 book for myself (since it was already put together).
my title page. i choose "our time together in photos and memories" for the title of my book, and also added this to my title page. it's the only writing in the book.
the intro page. these first few pages are set up automatically. so i just choose a few pictures of me and haley. on that left page, is the copyright info.
i started by taking out all the layouts that i've created of haley over the last three and a half years. i think i had about 25 of them. i have photos of all my layouts on my computer already, but they were all resized for the blog and online stuff. when doing these books, you really want to have the full-sized photos for better quality printing. so i re-took photos of all the layouts, and then cropped them all into a square. they were all in cronological order in my albums, so i took the photos in order. then i re-named each photo as "haley_1", "haley_2", "haley_3", etc. once i started the book, i simply added the layouts to every other page in the correct order.
for the photos, i got out my external hard drives and went through all the photos of her that i've taken. i have all my photos organized by month and year. so i started with the first month she was here with us. i made new folders on my laptop that were set up for "0-6 months", "7-12 months", 13-18 months", etc. i went through 6 months worth of pictures at a time, and just copied all of haley's pictures into these new folders. it helped to break up the amount of pictures and keep them in some sort of order.
i had a good idea of when the layouts were all from. so next to the layout, i would add photos that went with that layout. maybe it was the same photos that were on that layout. or extra photos from that same time, but that didn't make it on the layout. or maybe just photo taken around the same time that matched up. there are tons of page designs to choose from in blurb, when you're arranging your photos. i stuck with a few basic designs. the 9 grid design was a favorite, as well as the 4 grid design. i also liked the one large vertical photo, with the 2 smaller square photos overlapping it.
then there were the extra photos. the ones that i never did scrapbook or use on layouts. i wanted to include those too. so i just added in additional pages, in between the spreads with layouts and photos. still keeping everything in order time-wise. it was really simple to just upload a folder of 6 months worth of pictures into blurb, and work with just those at one time. i would fit the photos in with the layouts, add the extra pages of just photos in, and make it all fit together like a puzzle. any extra photos that didn't work into that time frame got deleted from the book project. and then i would pull up the next 6 months worth of pics.
i made a very concious decision about a year and a half ago, to stop scrapbooking the daycare kids so much. i know that might sound strange. but at that point, i was actually scrapping the daycare kids and my friends kids more than my own family. and that bothered me. i needed to shift gears a bit, and bring the focus back to my own family and our memories. which i have done really well. i still do scrapbook the daycare kids quite often. but as i was working on this project, i realized that i hadn't really done any new layouts of haley in quite some time. and i was finding pics that i wanted to scrapbook. so that is why, a few weekends ago, i made a point to create 5 new layouts of just haley. one of them didn't get finished in time to make the book. but the others did. my favorite is at the end of this book, but i can't share it with you yet. soon though ;)
once i had the books all designed, filled with photos, and cover done, it came to 70 pages. what you see here is just a sample of the book. i love that it was 70 pages long, and filled with tons of memories. i uploaded my books onto blurb, and then placed my order. i choose the hardback covers, but the paperback ones would be a great option if you wanted to save a little money.
and here is the last page. i just had to use this shot for "the end" ;)