Thursday, January 26, 2012

For the Scrapbook Challenged (Giveaway)

I started scapbooking years ago... I was a junior in high school back in '97.  Wow, that so dates me and makes me feel old.  Back then, there was no such thing as "going digital".  Most people didn't even know what a digital camera was, and those that did, the pictures were still not that great.  My cell phone takes WAY better pictures than the first digital cameras did.  I think Ben has one kicking around somewhere that is the size of a Polaroid camera, but with a tiny screen in the back and each picture was like .2 megapixels... crazy how fast technology advances!

I remember thinking how totally awesome it was when we got a "One-Hour Photo" place not too far from our house.  And when getting "doubles" became FREE!  That was the ultimate.

I remember how scrapbooking shops would thrive!  You would have to go in once a week and check out all the new paper, drool over the metal elements a high school student could not afford, and dream about the day when you would own the whole "stamp" set.

Digital scrapbooking changed all that.

"Going digital" started become popular after I had been married for 3 or 4 years.  I did my wedding album by hand, and the first year of Sam's and Nephi's lives.  All by hand.  Then someone gave me a freebie program and I started using that a bit.

But when I started blogging, I kind of stopped scrapbooking as much as I should of.  I still used all my stuff to make things on my blog, and I figured out how to do some stuff on Photoshop Elements.  But honestly, it just took too long to do a page, and having a bunch of crazy kids around didn't help my patience.

Then last week I got an email from MyMemories.com, asking me if I would be interested in reviewing their digital scrapbooking program.  I thought about it, and then agreed.

After using about 10 different programs in the past, there are certain features I like to look for:

1. User friendly interface.  This is important for people who just want to throw some pictures on a page and print it out.  Not all of us are Photoshop savvy, and need something easy to work with.

2.  Easy and fast ways to find and add backgrounds, elements, words, etc.

3.  Easy ways to manipulate, edit, and enhance photos. (Picnik.com was perfect for this, and I am totally crushed that they are closing the site!)

4.  You don't need a manual and youtube videos to figure out how to use it.

And many other things....

So I thought, "My Memories is probably just like all the other scrapbooking software, just a little different, yet lacking a feature or two that I love from one of the others."  However, I am pleased to announce that I was totally wrong.  I LOVE My Memories!

It has a super easy interface, everything is very orderly (and you know how I love order), and I could find everything EXACTLY where it should be!

And it's FAST!  I really love how when you open the elements window to add an element, you can choose how many you want to put on.  I get so sick of copying and pasting and opening and adding and closing.... you know what I mean.  With this you can click on what you want and then the quantity.  THEN the BEST part is, that the element window doesn't close!  You can add a ton of stuff on your page at the same time, then close the window, then move everything around like you want.  SUPER FAST!  I am all about fast...

Their website is pretty awesome too.  They have lots of free ad-ons, and then ones you can buy for a pretty reasonable price.  I bought the military package as you can see above and came up with this page in about 3 minutes:
Other things I really liked about My Memories Suite:

1. The fact that I could also download the packages from the website in a Photoshop friendly format... So I did both ways.

2.  I was impressed that I could choose to put frames and shadows on ALL my pictures at the same time too.  That was very handy!

3.  I LOVE the word art section!  It is so cool that you can customize the bevel, shapes, shadows, etc. The shadow can be as big or small as you want.  The bevel can be deep or protruding, or hardly noticeable.  It took me a second or two to figure out the coloring section, but once I did, I felt like a dork because it was SO EASY and I had been over thinking it. (See wording in picture below)

4.  I was able to use my own elements I made in Photoshop (see photo above) by just loading them on as pictures.

5.  There are a ton of other great features that they have too:  you can add videos, music, and other multimedia.  Also there is a calendar section too -- I look forward to playing around with that as well.

HOWEVER, there were a few things I didn't like:

1. You can only save it as an album.  I wanted to save my pages as JPEGs so I could use my pages on other things.  I had to screen print the one above to use it on this.

2. I have a little technical difficulty at first.  I kept getting an error when I tried to add pictures.  After calling the tech-guy we accidentally figured out that my Java wasn't updated, and that was the issue.  Now it works fine, but it would have been nice to know to check that before I uploaded the program.

3.  I didn't like the fact that I couldn't select multiple pictures to add at the same time.  I had to keep going through the add picture process and scroll through a bunch to find the one that I wanted.  It really surprised me that it wasn't a feature.

and lastly....

There is a feature that I have yet to find on a scrapbook program that I would really LOVE to have.  I would love to see a program with a work space behind the page I am working on that I can drag pictures and elements onto it until I could use them.  Usually though, elements and pictures can't leave the page.... I would really love the extra space to rearrange my stuff before I place it.  I photoshopped this to show you what I mean:
Wouldn't that be cool?

Anyway, as you can tell, the things I didn't really like about it were VERY minor.  Over all, this is a FANTASTIC program and I recommend it to anyone, honestly!

Now, the good news!  I get to give one of these programs away!!  Yay!!


Here's how to enter the giveaway:

Mandatory --

Pop on over to their site: http://www.mymemories.com/ and browse around at all they have to offer.  Then come back here and leave a comment on what your favorite package is.

Optional additional entries: (please leave a separate comment for each that you do)

Follow one or more of the following --
My Memories Blog
My Memories Facebook
My Memories Twitter

OR

-Share this giveaway on Facebook, twitter, or your blog!

Contest ends Monday night at 11:59pm, winner will be announced on Tues!

AND if you can't wait for the giveaway, I have a coupon code you can use anytime (doesn't expire):  When you use the code, you will get $10 off the software, THEN you will get a $10 off coupon toward a package or something.  That's a $20 value!!  Here is my code:

STMMMS96438

or you can click on the link here:




-Cat

3 comments:

Damaris said...

I've never tried digital scrapbooking, but it looks like fun! I like the polka dot snow package. (any many of their other packages...)

New Mommy Confessions said...

I like the Baby Girl Lullaby set. I've been meaning to start scrapbooking for ages, and just never find the time. I'm drowning in photos over here! lol

Kritta22 said...

I haven't digital scrapbooked before either but I'm looking for a new header!

Thanks for the honest review. I don't like reading about ones that just are being nice.

I love the Bugs and BLoom!