As we journey through life we accumulate many stories along the way. Joyful, hard, curious, easy, sad, momentous, life changing. If we are mindful we capture bits and pieces of these stories, maintaining our memories so we can draw back on them and share them with others. My beginning years are chronicled by photographs held tightly to black pages by little white corner mounts. It represents a time and an era. My children’s life moments are secured by clear cover sheets, another place and time. Today’s pictures are all too often only located on a device, be it a digital camera, a computer, or a phone. I love browsing through the abundance of pictures on my computer but no one else really gets to see them except me. I used to print pictures after each occasion. Friends used to marvel, “Marianne still prints her’s out”, but the abundance of picture taking with all the digital technology finally won out and many of my pictures stay trapped.
I recently went on a search to find a company to print a book for a special project I wanted to do. It wasn’t the back log of photos but some special memento’s. I wanted to create a keepsake book of the lunchbox notes created for my granddaughter by my husband, her Paw Paw. “Lunchbox Love“ was the result. After much research I settled on this amazing company I think you will love, not only for their ease of use and quality product, but also for how they cherish the story and responsibly make their product.
Artifact Uprising believes in archiving your stories for future generations and moving stories off your device and into your life. They sum it up best…
Inspired by the disappearing beauty of the tangible. Bettered by a community of inspired storytellers. Driven by the belief everyone has a story to tell. Tell On.
Click here to read more about their core values and environmental responsibility.
Now for the story of my experience. I had scanned all of my granddaughter’s lunchbox notes with good intentions of creating this keepsake book for a Chistmas present. But…I never got around to it. So…I decided it would make a great gift for Father’s Day and headed to my computer on Monday June 15, exactly six day’s before Father’s Day. I was in luck, according to their site, they could make it happen. I would suffer the consequences of my procrastination, however, and have to pay crazy shipping costs to expedite it. My man was worth it.
The first choice I had to make was the type of book I wanted to make (hardcover, softcover) and the number of pages to start with (50 or 100). I then had to choose from a full or half dust jacket and 7 book fabric color options. I decided to go with the half dust jacket so the texture of the cover fabric would be partially exposed and then chose a masculine grey. I decided to use a few photographs in addition to the notes, so I rounded up all the lunch boxes and the sketchbook and pencils to take a few shots. One of those pictures is on the dust jacket below.
I have one omission here, in my rush to meet the Monday night deadline I forgot to hit save after typing the title and the cover came with a blank white box. I enlisted the help of my daughter and her good handwriting to add the Lunchbox Love. Always hit save!!!
I decided to upload my images to their site and then easily used their software to drag them onto the page template. They do have an option where they can flow your images into the pages for you if you like. I knew I would want to customize everything. It was so easy to change the templates. I would drag the image into a template and then click others to immediately see how it looked in a larger, smaller, or multiple frame template.
If you have plenty of pages available it is a great idea to use a page at the beginning to write an introduction of sorts and leave the back of that page blank. I also learned from my days of being yearbook adviser that it is nice to include a blank page, front and back, at the end of your book giving a little breathing space to your last image.
My original thought was to use a light grey background behind each drawing then my love for color won out when I thought about how the perfect color could make each drawing pop and it would be more enjoyable for the kids as they looked through the book.
It was easy to use their color picker. There was a little place holder at the top that would show maybe up to the last 6 colors you used, which made it easy to be sure you were using the same green you used on other pages. I could quickly and easily change the background color until I was satisfied with how it showcased the drawing. Note here: remember to hit save after you find the one you like. I would be all happy with the color and presentation I saw and then eagerly move on to the next image, only to realize that I had not hit save. I am embarrassed to say how many times I did that. Slow learning curve I guess. So just hit save!
I had about 108 images so I had to work steady to meet my deadline to get it in. I told myself to just make that decision and move on to the next one. There was a moment after I hit publish that a little sick worry set in. See, I know that all color pickers are not created equal and that I am the self professed “Queen Of Color”. Spot-on color matching is my thing and if that color picker did me wrong it was going to be a “hot mess” and I was going to have a little mud on my face. Well when you wait to the last minute I guess you deserve a little stress.
After hitting publish I was sent an email confirming the order that included an expected delivery date. I was good. It was expected to arrive on Friday, two day’s before Father’s Day. The day it arrived I heard the Fed-X truck coming up the driveway and literally ran down the stairs to get out the door to meet them. I think the Fed-X driver was a little taken back by my abundance of joy but was glad I was happy.
I opened the box which included a sweet little note of gratitude, unearthed the precious keepsake, began to devour each page, and the tears began to flow. Weeping probably is a better description, but the love and commitment of a grandfather leapt off every page. (You can go here to the post Lunchbox Love and read the whole story behind these notes.) My previous fears all washed away as I encountered true-to-match colors, clear images, and a beautifully constructed book. I was now their new #1 fan. I was amazed by, and greatly appreciated, how quickly they make and shipped my order.
I greatly appreciate the fine folks at Artifact Uprising for allowing me to use some screen shots from their web site for this post. I don’t make any commissions or anything like that, I just wanted to pass on my experience with their great product and how easy it is to use their site.
So, if you are thinking about creating a photo book then I recommend you go on over to Artifact Uprising and get your story started. Tell On. – Marianne