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My Book In Shutterfly Video by Lynette's Photo Art  

This post has been a LONG time in the making. Early last May I was contacted by Shutterfly requesting permission to use one of my books in a video they were making that would be shown internally, on their website, on YouTube, and more. It is quite an honor. Out of all the books that pass through there, they chose a book I made almost three years earlier and hadn't yet published yet.

For eight years (the first five years almost exclusively) I worked on an ancestry book for my daughters, siblings, nieces and nephews. It includes every photo I could get ahold of from before I was grown and many items that belonged to the people in the pictures and items from their era and what they did in their lives to give a sense of what life was like then. Given that they don't publish books larger than 101 pages, it was quite a feat fitting it all in and sadly it didn't leave space for stories. I left several pages at the end with only a background paper on them so my daughters could add their own pictures as they marry and have children and then those after them - to keep the book up to date. I guess that's the ultimate hybrid project - starting 100% digital then the last pages being physically paper scrapped!

I have added a pedigree chart for both my side and their father's side of the family. My side was traced back to an unbelievable 300 BC by my oldest half-sister on Now we finally have a printed record of how we are related to Benjamin Franklin. Grandma Faye would have loved seeing the exact line.

My husband's line was a nightmare. I was honored to be given every piece of ancestral info his side had by my ex-sister-in-law and spent countless miserable hours disciphering things and compiling the pedigree chart myself, scanning every image so everyone interested could have complete copies, improving those images as best I could though they were all xeroxes of copies of badly messed up old pictures and documents. Not many pixels to work with. Then I made two more pages in the book collaging all the new pictures from their father's side that I hadn't had before. Glad that's done! I made all of that downloadable for everyone on his side that wants copies of it all.

I finally finished!! Can you imagine having every image in one book, restored and in order with names and dates? No more boxes of loose photos from yesteryear without names, damaged and everyone's connection unclear? It's been the biggest accomplishment of my life and I hope it will bless the rest of the family too.

I attached CD pockets to the inner back of each book and included two CDs - one of all the raw scanned images and one of all the pages to the book so it could be ordered anywhere in the future. (I learned early in PS that you always save the originals/scans as you are continually learning and improving your skills and this way you can go back and make a new edit from the originals without the jpg issues of re-saving repeatedly and deteriorating quality.)

When they contacted me in May, it turns out they had already made the video using my book. The final part of our arrangement was to send me the link to the video on YouTube to share with all of you here and that's why I've been waiting to write this post. :( They did send me a dvd of the video, but in the end they decided it revealed too much about the innerworkings of Shutterfly and decided not to make it public. Out of respect for them, I won't upload my copy of it, but I sure was proud of this honor and wish I could share it with you. Oh well!

UPDATE: I have been asked to show my book here, so please click here to see pictures of some of the pages and read helpful information on how to go about such a daunting project.

For today's gift, I'm going to offer my 10 commandments book again as it was quite popular and I don't want anyone to miss it. Have the children write a way each commandment applies to their life as a child on the blank page. Then have them cut the tablets out. To make the book they will fold each in half on the center line, then glue stick the back of the blank side of Commandment 1 to the back of the printed side of Commandment 2 and so on. Then cut the cover out and fold on the center line. Glue to the book. Or you could trace the tablet shape a little bit larger on black construction paper and have them cut it out and glue it to on to be the covers and write "Ten Commandments" on the front with a metallic silver marker. This will help the commands be personal and memorable to them. Remember to have fun doing it!
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