Diaries Magazine

A Birthday Gift to Myself

Posted on the 26 September 2017 by Vidyasury @vidyasury
A birthday gift to myself

It is my birthday week and I am all about making my own dreams come true. Even as I am waiting for the bookshelves I've ordered to house our collection of books, I thought it might be a nice idea to create a memoir of photos to see and enjoy. Sure, we have digital cameras and fabulous phone cameras, and can see our photos on our computer any time. But then, few things compare to the joy of actually holding a large photo album in our hands and reliving memories through those photos.

A case in point is our wedding album. I've seen most people roll their eyes when it comes to wedding albums and videos, but for us, they're precious memories of family get-togethers-more so now than before, since many of those loved ones have passed away.

The album idea was triggered in my mind when I was spring-cleaning last week. We have a large stack of photos and photo albums. Even when my son was born, we had one of those point and shoot cameras, and those days, it was wickedly expensive to buy and develop film. We got our first digital camera in September 2004 (yep, a birthday gift from my family!). Needless to say, millions of photos were clicked. I got a more advanced digicam in September 2014, to my utter delight with a 50x zoom. My folks would tease me saying I could probably see all the way to Sri Lanka from our terrace!

So anyway, even as I gloated over my photo-stash, darkness fell in the form of lightning, destroying my hard drive, and I lost most of my digital camera photos. So yes, I had some stored online, but hadn't gotten around to backing up the recent ones. Solid wakeup call, that!

Certain photos were precious and I really cannot recreate those events again. So I figured, why not make some physical albums with a chosen few photos? They would make lovely keepsakes. Also, some of the elderly in our family prefer physical albums to look at and cherish.

I have many themes in my mind, and set about planning this. Long ago, I remembered a friend mentioning websites that make this super easy. Thus began my search, and I found photojaanic.com. This delightful website helps create photo albums, prints, wall art (canvas prints and collage posters), calendars, stationery (notebooks/notepads and different types of cards), gifts (mugs, keychains, mousepads, stickers, playing cards, and even wine bottle labels, mobile cases and much more. One can go all-out creative.

There are incentives on various products across several categories-such as 50% off on your first mounted print, 30% off when you make a travel photo album and so on. Also, there's a site wide 70% off via The Great Diwali Sale. So there's plenty to explore on your journey towards creating memories. These also make thoughtful gifts.

Let me show you what I created there for myself-a lovely hardcover photo album with vacation memories.

Here is the cover. One of my most favorite photos-with The Dalai Lama

A birthday gift to myself

Below, on the left is the Dharamsala cricket stadium and on the right, Lalbagh in Bangalore

A birthday gift to myself

We went to the Bannerghatta zoo when my son was home for summer and here we are, on the left, and on the right, home sweet home.

A birthday gift to myself

Here are my sweeties. At home.

A birthday gift to myself

And like this, there are twenty-two pages.

How I made my photo album

This was quite easy to do after I signed up on the website. I actually thought of a softcover photo album, but figured a hardcover would be nicer. Various sizes were available and I chose an 8"x11" from the dropdown list. There were two cover options: image wrap and dust cover.

While the dustjacket is laminated, tear-resistant, with a detachable cover sleeve that wraps around the cover of the photo album, the Image wrap album comes with a printed hard cover in matte finish, which is scratch and water resistant. I picked image wrap.

After making these choices, I clicked the get started button.

The album is printed on luster silk paper. While there are several layout options, one can also manually create the layout of choice. The photo albums start with 10 sheets, which means 20 pages. One can also add more photos, but I found those auto-arranged themselves into collages. Again, these can be edited, but I personally preferred full page images.

Of course, I went nuts over which photos to choose and finally, between the two of us, my husband and I zero-ed in on 30 and then finalized 20.

I uploaded these into my account. Later, I could see the photos under "My projects" which are stored for 74 days from the last date of usage. It is the same with "my albums" where all the photos I uploaded were visible-here I could delete the photos I wanted to remove. You can only remove photos one by one, with the page refreshing for each delete-which means if you want to remove 60 photos, it means 60 page refreshes. It would be nicer to be able to select multiple photos and remove them.

I had a good time playing with the layout of the album-it allowed me to resize, replace, drag and drop, fiddle with the layout, add clipart, backgrounds and borders, and text wherever I wanted.

The layout gave me a preview of how the photo would be placed on the page: as in full page or within a frame. What fun to see the previews! If I wasn't happy, I could simply start over! Once satisfied, I could save the project, and move on to the next step, which is order it.

While we waited for our photo album to arrive-they had promised that it would be delivered in 3-5 business days, and we got it in four-we received an email alert informing us about the status and a link to view our album online, once we signed into our account. We could also share the album with anyone we wished to. It was exciting to flip through the album and see the full-page images.

I am thrilled with my photo album from photojaanic.com and can't wait to show it to my son when he visits in October. The print quality is quite good.

And that's my birthday gift to myself.

At least, one of them.

My next project is a calendar-I figured I'd put some of my photos to good use and make some to gift away.

Have you used Photojaanic? What did you create there?

A birthday gift to myself

Writer, editor, blogger, social media enthusiast. Love DIY, Coffee, Music, Reading, Photography, Family, Friends and Life. Mantra: Happiness is a DIY Project. In my free time I play with my dust bunnies and show my diabetes who's boss. Tweet as @vidyasury

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