Monday, November 24, 2014

Selphy vs Picturemate Charm Comparison


I am a part of many crafting groups on Facebook and a hot topic is always the Selphy vs Picturemate debate. I find myself commenting often on this, so I thought I would post my experience in a blog post. 
Back in 2013, I purchased the Canon Selphy 900. I loved it! It was great to be able to print right from my phone and anywhere I wanted. My teens loved it, too! At this point I was only using it for novelty printing, not for scrapbooking. 
As I've gotten more and more into pocket scrapbooking in the Spring of this year, I started using the Selphy to print photos missed in my regular photo website orders, or for putting two 3x4s on a 4x6. Then I started to see it- the quality differences between the Selphy prints and my photo website-ordered prints. 
Around the same time I started seeing the Selphy vs Picturemate posts on my FB groups and was reading all of the comments. Two different comparison blog posts were pointed out to me, 1) Kerri Bradford's, and 2) Jennifer Wilson's. Through these two posts I discovered that they were each referred to the Epson Picturemate by two very well respected scrapbookers, Cathy Zielske and Ali Edwards. That really spoke to me. They are all about quality photos and showcasing them in beautiful ways. 
 I went ahead and bought the Picturemate Charm this past July and have been LOVING it. I've been printing like crazy! I just finished my Halloween mini Sn@p album and used all Picturemate prints for it. And then quickly after I bought the Charm, I sold the Selphy. I don't have many photos left from the Selphy, but managed to find this one from my daughter's scrapbook.  I must admit that these selfie photos are not of quality themselves. They were taken on an iPhone 4s by teenagers at their school. I'm so glad I have these, though!

I found that the prints are both 4x6 IF you cut where 
the photo ends on the Selphy print, not where it is perforated. 
Otherwise the Selphy print is 3.94" x 5.83" cut at the tabs.

One thing to note: Unless you crop the photos to a perfect 4x6 
before printing, cropping off things will still happen with either printer. 

This is the Selphy perforation up close.  

And here is the other side of the Selphy print showing the perforation.

Selphy
Pros
+ Can print directly from a smart phone. 
+ The cost is reasonable (half of the Epson Picture Charm).
Cons
- Color of print is off, especially for flesh tones. 
- Not a true 4x6 print. You either tear off tabs and have a smaller print, or live with the perforation marks in your print.
- You must use the special Selphy paper and ink.
- There is no matte option at this time.
- Not compatible with all software if using on a PC. Windows 8 does not have a driver yet.
- The unit gets dusty, and in my case, filled with pet hair, which has printed onto my prints. To avoid this, I had to remove the paper tray, stack it on top of the unit, and then had an Etsy seller make me a custom cover for it (it is now one of her best sellers, BTW). Then I had to reassemble each time I wanted to use it.

Epson Picturemate Charm
Pros
+ Prints a beautiful, vibrant photo.
+ Prints a true 4x6.
+ Can print matte photos! And they are gorgeous like Cathy Zielske says. All of my Christmas card photos were printed on matte using the Charm this year and are ready to mail!
+ I have not done this, but you don't have to use the Picturemate paper. The Epson paper is a very high quality paper, though - thicker than the Selphy paper. 
+ It is self-contained with a handle. I just grab it off the shelf, flip the top open, and press the front door open. Easy peasy, and no dust or pet hair gets in and prints onto my prints.
 Cons
- Cannot print wirelessly or through a Smartphone. (Like Kerri said, in this day and age, it should!)
- Costs double the price of the Selphy. Today on Amazon: Selphy=$87, PM Charm=$170
- Does not come with a USB cable. Had to buy one for $3 from Amazon. My recent HP printer purchase didn't, either. Not sure why that couldn't be included?

There are things that  people often ask on the FB groups that are the same for both printers, in my opinion:
Both
+ Setup was easy for both for me.
+ Both are portable dedicated 4x6 printers.
+ Both of the printers' software was easy for me to use and has different collage options especially helpful for pocket scrapbooking. 
+ Per print costs are very similar. Amazon as of today: Selphy=$0.28 pp, PM=$0.24pp glossy, $0.30 matte
+ Both printers claim to have water resistant prints. I really don't want to test this, but good to know!
+ Both have a small footprint.

So there is my comparison. I would also like to note that your process may play a lot into your compact printer preference. I use my high end point-and-shoot camera for most events and edit all of my photos in Photoshop Elements. My iPhone is impressive, but I only capture day to day things or if I don't have my regular camera with me. This makes my process very different and always involves my PC because of it. I rarely travel with my compact printer, either. Just some things to think about.
Thanks for hanging in on this long comparison post! Happy Crafting!
Jen 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Halloween Scrapbook Update




Just wanted to post an update to my Simple Stories Sn@p Halloween scrapbook. The night after Halloween, I added 3 pages to the album to include 2014. But somehow I also remembered two other events that I missed from earlier Halloweens, so I added them this past week, too! It's great to be able to just add in pages and move cards around if needed when using pocket scrapbooks!


The above page on the left was the previous end to the "Outings" 
section of my album. I have now added the haunted corn 
maze we went to while we were on our Fall camping trip 
weekend in early October of this year. That is on the right.


And then the 2nd page of the haunted corn maze ends the Outings 
section. The bottom photos I got off of the corn maze's website!


 The right side of the layout above is pumpkin carving this year. 
I love how these pages mirror each other and shows 
the comparison of this year's pumpkin carvings to last year's.


I also want to mention that I used these Simple Stories photo crops 
A LOT in this project. When I was first deciding on a pocket page 
for the 2014 pumpkin carving addition, I used the crops to 
determine if I wanted to crop photos down. In this case I was 
contemplating a 4x4 page. I didn't end up going with it, but the 
guides really helped me to see how much I would be cropping off.  


Above left is now the last page of the Pumpkin Carvings section. 


I didn't see my 2-week old  great nephew on Halloween,
but I wanted to remember that this year was his first.
And how awesome was it that my niece texted me a photo of him,
so he now stars on a page all his own in the Oct 31 section!

On the right side are me and my girls on Halloween. 
My older daughter (top right) went to a party but posted 
that spooky stitched up pic to Instagram. And my younger 
daughter stuck around  for me to take a few pics.


More of the younger daughter with her friend!

Here is one of the missed events that I somehow
remembered last weekend. Trick-or-treating at the
campground is documented in our 2013 Michigan Sn@p
album, but I put it in this Halloween album under the
Outings section because it just plain fits. I tried to add a few 
different photos, though, then what was in the other album.


Another event I wanted to add before I called this 
Halloween scrapbook done was our visit with our little 
cousins. Last year I got my Silhouette Cameo and really got into 
making shirts. I saw the "Trick Or Treat Smell My Feet" 
t-shirt idea on Pinterest so I really wanted to make them 
with the boys. I also decorated their light up treat buckets.

This page is in my Parties section because it all mostly
took place at my house. I thought making a craft (the shirts),
baking cookies, receiving treats, and "Monster Mash"
dancing are all party-like things to do.


These added cousin pages cover both 2013 and 2014. 
I only had 2 photos from this year, so I just snuck them 
onto these pages. They're not my favorite layouts, but this stuff 
is now documented- YES. I'm one of those that can't remember 
what I give or make from one year to the next so I can just 
look through this scrapbook to remember what I did.


Here's a view of my dividers. I like that I did this and think it will
be helpful when referring back to this book. What was my oldest
dressed as in 2012? I can just flip to the back divider - Oct 31!


 And since I now know I was able to fit 2014 
into the album, I remade the spine label. 


Ok, NOW I can call this album DONE and feel accomplished! Thanks for hanging in during another long post. Happy crafting all!



Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Sn@p Album using Frankie and Friends!

Happy Halloween, fellow crafters!

I know I haven't posted in a long while, but I have too many photos of this fun Halloween project not to share here on my neglected blog!

A couple of weeks ago I saw a blog post on the Simple Stories blog by Rebecca Keppel. She created an adorable 6x8 Halloween scrapbook using the Simple Stories Frankie and Friends collection that she plans on adding to every year. I loved that idea! But instead of doing present/future, I documented the past 4 Halloween seasons. What fun it was to revisit those events! And everything shown is from Simple Stories, my favorite scrapbooking company!

Here is the cover:

This project has really opened my eyes to Chipboard stickers! 
Love the dimension! And speaking of dimension, I love the 
enamel dots, too! I added a trio to the 4x6 word card.


I separated the book into 4 sections with those great Simple Stories Sn@p kraft dividers: 1) Outings, 2) Parties, 3) Pumpkin Carving, and 4) Oct 31. 

Here is the 1st divider, Outings, followed by the pages in that section:



 The white letters above were cut on my Cameo. Love that machine!





And here's the 2nd divider, Parties, followed by pages from that section:



 This is my first Sn@p album using the Insta pocket pages. 
I found that the 2x2s are great for capturing details, like from 
these parties! Above shows the invitation, the "finger" cookies 
baking in the oven, and the cupcake holders I made with the 
Cricut machine I had back then (Now I'm strictly a Silhouette girl!). 

 More party details: the favor given to each guest,
the banner I made, and the candles with "dripping blood!"

 Above left was a shrunken down version of the letter 
we gave to our neighbors letting them know the kids might 
be stopping at their house asking for scavenger hunt items. 

This is why I should scrapbook or at least journal about events. 
This party was in 2010 and no one remembers 
who won each costume category - oops!

Here's a close up of 2011's party invitation. 
I just printed a photo of it small enough to fit in a 3x4 pocket. 
I am all about the witch for Halloween! 

 More enamel dots in action! 
I like using them for bullet points in lists.

I got some ink smudges on the scavenger hunt, so I used the stars 
to cover them up. Crafters don't make mistakes- they embellish - lol!

Another detail in a 2x2 - the apple bobbing bucket!

I actually texted the girl this week who won most original to 
confirm that was the category she won. Not all winners made 
sense to me, but that's what you get when you let the peers vote!


And here's the 3rd divider, Pumpkin Carving, followed by pages from that section:








On the left shows details from my Halloween decorating 
around my house in addition to the newly carved pumpkins. 
The moon pic, I thought, was a fun addition, too.


And here's the 4th divider, Oct 31, followed by pages from that section:










This last photo is of the spine. Not sure it will stay that way. I'm waiting to find out if I can add this year's Halloween season still to this album. Once I know all the years it will contain, I will probably add the dates to the spine as well. The word 'Halloween' is from one of the Simple Stories patterned paper sheets,
Happy Haunting. 

Oh, and, that's my adorable pup, Bella in the background. She makes a great companion while scrapbooking. That and my iPad. I love to watch TV shows or movies while I craft. On the last night of making this album, last night, I watched the classic Halloween movie, "Hocus Pocus" - my absolute fave!

I think one of the keys to my success in getting this album done and so quickly was striking while the iron was hot, so to speak. I saw the idea two weeks ago, ordered supplies right away, and then dedicated all of the evenings this week to making it. I sacrificed some sleep along the way, but better to be sleepy yet content from completing a project than well rested and feeling under-accomplished-lol!

Well, there you have it. I'm hoping Simple Stories comes out with another Halloween line next year. Don' get me wrong - I love Frankie and Friends! This line was so much fun to work with! But I'm thinking I want to go even further back and make one or two more albums covering the decade before what this album covers.
Here's to hoping! 

Thanks for hanging in so long! Happy crafting and memory keeping!