Rosemarie | 24 January 2010 | 0 comments
A guest post by MrsPeel, from Enjoying the Simple Abundance, reviewing Scrapblog. You can also read her review of Smilebox here.
After using Smilebox I came across Scrapblog.com and, this, by far, takes all the prizes, an absolute winner.
An online program, Scrapblog is free to use, lets you play around with elements, backgrounds, edit your photos, crop & resize,include links and videos,music, transitions....the features are amazing and it is really, really easy to learn, with many tutorials on video and the blog & forums always there to help.
Now, for us, who started as the site was starting, a small team running the ship, a small community,everything was free for almost two years.
Early 2009 though, the Market Place started. Of course we knew this one day would have to happen, none does anything for free these days (or almost none!) they have to earn their living as the team grew, the program developed...
With the program still free to use, and LOTS of stuff for free (one could make a 20 pages scrapblog without needing to pay a penny (or cent!) is still really difficult to resist temptation with all the fabulous designers who have stores there...so I started spending a bit of money...after all, I was making my daughter's year books and it was worth it...
The way it works: You register in in a very, very simple process. You will then will have a page for all your creations, click on the Create new which will open the builder (working area)
when you click in "get stickers" or "backgrounds", it will take you to the Market Place
There you can choose "Least Credits" and all the free stuff will come up, or browse by tag, color, theme, even go to each designer store without leaving Scrapblog.
If you click on a priced item,(just slightly moving your mouse over the item will tell you) the window will open to ask you to credit your account.
Every thing you buy it's yours to use for ever, goes into the "purchased items* area of your builder, but, contrary to elements and papers bought in designers online stores,or anything we get through file sharing, these cannot be used outside Scrapblog. Remember you also need to have a good working net connection for the program to work.
U$10 will buy you 500 credits, U$25 1000 credits, and so on.
The cheapest sticker (element) is 10 credits and the most expensive is 30 credits. Backgrounds go for 25,50 and 75 credits.
One can also choose to start with a theme: there are free and priced themes, and one can either leave it as it is or move everything around, switch between pages, very much freedom for creativity.
They lately introduced the Quick-Mix, which are Quick Pages in which you need to do nothing but upload your photos....the program will allocate them into the pages, with freedom for you to change anything you aren't happy with.
The printing available is ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL....I have printed cards (U$1.99 per a 3 page card) calendars (U$24.99) and a diversity of books, well priced and (I repeat) absolutely wonderful quality. I had a calendar printed for my mum, then soft covers books, but the winner has to be the keepsake book...this are a bit bigger than an A4 page, in hard cover and the quality is superb. In these kind I am making my daughter's year books, every year one keepsake book.
They are U$34.99 for 20 pages, with the possibility of adding pages for an extra 90 cents or so. My books are never less than 50 something pages, the longest reaching almost 80....still, not only the pleasure of having composed them entirely, but the happiness in my daughter's face...every penny is well worth it.
If you are in the UK though(or further, as they are based in the USA), delivery can prove a bit expensive, especially because they don't have an "add to cart" feature, so one ends up paying about U$40 delivery per book...but no need to panic: do what I did.
Get a friend in the US to receive them for you. You will still pay delivery per book but only within the US (much cheaper), then ask your friend to go to a post office,,send you all the books together...it works a bit cheaper that way. (or so I think!)
Another really good side of Scrapblog. com is the community and the team, they are pretty good at listening to customers needs, will always go the extra mile to help, there are forums, challenges and always new features and general stuff.
So why, I hear you asking, did I go for the other programs if Scrapblog is the winner?
Well, you see, once I discovered the magic of PNGs, the wonderful world of DigiFree(recently renamed CraftCrave) and people like our dear Rosemarie here @ Pixel Scrapbooking, I had so much beautiful stuff I wanted to use, and I had payed nothing for it....
Scrapblog may prove that tricky.
They do not stop you using your own files, but to do so, you will need to bring them in through Photobucket, otherwise they will show the transparent layer as a white square. Sometimes it works just fine: you click "get photos" click Photobucket from next menu, get them, fine. Many, many times this just does not happen. Why? it puzzles me too.
Never mind the free stuff in Scrapblog, I was getting so tempted by new stickers and backgrounds, I started spending money in the Market Place....soon I realized I had spent over a U$100...and then I remembered about making calculations about a program I saw advertised being around U$50.....problem being that in the past year I had switched from PC to Mac.
So this program was ScrapbookMax V2.0, and after that I bought Digital Scrapbooking Artist by Serif, both on the same price line,both allow you to use your own , designer or freebies PNGs,but will be telling you more about them later, as I can see this went a long way already!
(Rosemarie's note: stay tuned for MrsPeel upcoming ScrapbookMax review).
MrsPeel is an former performer, eternal traveler, a warrior of life and of course, an avid digital scrapbooker. Follow her at Enjoying the Simple Abundance; you can also visit her Scrapblog gallery