Artifact_Uprising_Baby_Book_4I bought a standard baby book to document Isla’s milestones not long after she was born and I don’t think I ever removed its packaging. I knew I wanted to create a book for her eventually, but I couldn’t put my finger on how I wanted it to look. Then I found photo book maker Artifact Uprising on Instagram and slowly the idea took shape. I decided to turn my monthly blog posts (12 Months of Isla) into a book, complete with a few pictures from those fun nursery photo shoots and the text from each post, as well as her weight and height that month, if I had it.

I’ll discuss the book itself and my thoughts on Artifact Uprising in a minute. First, let me tell you how sweet it was to sit with Isla and show her the book when it arrived. I wasn’t sure she’d be interested and was very concerned she’d rip the pages, but instead she was so gentle and loved looking at every new page. Funny story though, she kept saying, “Mommy, Daddy, Theo!” She thinks every baby she sees is Theo and will not be convinced otherwise.

The book itself is 50 pages of Isla’s first year only. I started with a personal note to her explaining the book, then added photos from her professional newborn shoot, followed by her birth story, the monthly photos and text, her professional first birthday photos, two pages of my favorite Instagram images from her first year and, finally, my favorite family photo of the three of us on the beach. Each page is absolutely gorgeous, and I’m not just saying that because it’s my sweet bee’s face on each one.

And this brings me to Artifact Uprising. I had a wonderful experience making this book. I found the online editor to be for the most part — minus a few glitchy things I’d change or add — very user-friendly and intuitive. Mostly, I loved that I could log into my account, work on the book and save the project for later when I needed to walk away or tend to the kids. It took me a few weeks to get all the text and photos aligned exactly how I wanted them and the perfectionist in me rejoiced at being able to stalk my project and continue tweaking it until it was exactly how I envisioned it. The editor offers a bunch of great templates for photo layouts so you can customize each page, but since my book included quite a bit of text I was own my own for some of the pages. As a result, I got stuck a few times when text and photo boxes weren’t lining up exactly (the lack of a ruler when creating your own template was the one element in the editor that was lacking for me). I contacted customer service for help and was thrilled when the woman offered to take a look at the book herself to help me make sure everything looked right and she even sent me a PDF when I was nearly finished so I could get a better idea of exactly how the book would look when printed. That was incredibly helpful.

A few details: I chose the 50-page, hardcover book with a landscape layout, full dust jacket and ‘smoke’ colored fabric. I used size 11 Theano Dido font and my friend Susan, of Letter19Design, created the monthly ‘chapter’ headlines and cover title.

In the end, the book arrived looking stunning and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve already started working on Theo’s first-year book, a wedding album (because I never bought one!) and I think the kids need one of these books documenting every new year!

I only hope Isla finds as much joy looking back at these memories as I felt living them.

Keep scrolling for a peek at how it turned out.

{Disclaimer: I contacted Artifact Uprising about working together so this book was a gift from them and I offered to share my thoughts here on the blog. Those thoughts, as always, are all mine. Pinky swear.} 

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  • Reply Danielle February 25, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    The book is beautiful. I love Artifact Uprising!

    Question – how did you do the layouts with multiple photos (for example, the layout on the back of the book)? I’ve used AU before but I’ve never seen layouts with so many photos on one page.

    • Reply Risa Page February 25, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      Thank you! I created the back cover collage in Photoshop and then uploaded it as a single jpg. For my two-page Instagram spread I eye-balled those layouts actually. I added one photo to a blank page and made it whatever size I wanted. Then from there the green editor indicator lines served as a guide as I lined up the images and made sure they were all the same size. It was tedious but effective. If I had had the actual jpgs of those Jnsta photos I would’ve used Photoshop again but instead I used the editor feature that lets you add photos directly from your Insta account. Hope that helps!

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