Many of you scrapbook, I am sure, and I have tried my hand at that as well. A good friend of mine suggested a while back that I just start with my oldest daughter's birth (there are boxes and boxes of pics from before that!) and straight-edge crop and plop them in a book. I did that with four books, and it worked pretty well. But there is all that stuff you have to lug out and put back up before any of your sticky-fingered children come around. And there is the cost of printing the pictures and buying the books and paper and decorations and page covers. All of this plus the fact that you've put SO much work into the book and it is almost too fragile and precious to let the subjects of all those pictures look at themselves in a book. Can you tell I was a little frustrated with scrapbooking?
Enter blurb.com. This is just one of the many online stores that will print a book for you. Blurb's method is for you to download a free program called "Booksmart" which automatically pulls your pictures from your iPhoto or MyPicture program. Then you choose a book size, choose your page lay-outs, and drag and drop your photos into your book. You can make your pictures large or small, put lots of pics on a page or just a few, and you can write a lot or a little. There are not a huge amount of decorations, but there are enough to be creative.
The best things about blurb are 1. it's affordable (you don't have to print your pictures!), 2. there is no mess and no clean up, and 3. it's a lot faster than regular scrapbooking!
[later addition: I just did the math--a 20 page book is about the same price with snapfish, shutterfly, and blurb, BUT if you go up to a 40 page book, you'll pay about $40 with snapfish or shutterfly but only $22 with blurb. BIG DIFFERENCE!!]
I'm a huge fan.
So far I've designed and ordered two family picture books and have been wonderfully impressed. I'm working on our third and fourth books now. I have also taken photographs for a book of my own poems (above) that I published through blurb. This has been a life-long dream, and though it is only self-publishing, it is a great feeling.
So if scrapbooking is driving you nuts or if you're miserably behind with your historian duties as a mom, don't despair! Blurbing could be your answer.