Frequently Asked Questions
What is a memory album and why should I have one?
What album themes or page ideas could you do for an album?
How should I store my photographs while waiting to put them in a memory album?
I am simply overwhelmed by the number of photos I have in a box! I don't even know where to begin. How can you help?
What is journaling and will you journal for me?
How many photos fit on a page?
What if I only have the original to a favorite photo?
What if I don’t want a picture permanently mounted?
What if I don’t want a picture resized (“cropped”)?
What do acid-free, photo-safe and archival-quality mean?
What if some of my memorabilia are acidic (i.e. newspaper)?
Can you still work with me if I am not in your area?
  How long does it take to complete a memory album?
I have started a scrapbook but have not had the time to finish it. Do you also complete albums for people?
How much will my memory album cost?
Do you have a contract?
What if I am not satisfied or don't like it?
What if I wish to cancel my order for a custom-made album once you have started?
What are my payment options?
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What is a memory album and why should I have one?
A memory album is a collection of your treasured photos and memorabilia. These are assembled in a custom-designed "photo-safe" scrapbook that will allow you to share your story from generation to generation. It is designed with the goal of portraying the essence of you or a loved one and displaying it in an exquisite way.

Why should you have one? If the event was essential enough to take a photo of it, it's essential enough to preserve that memory in an album. Also if you get those photos out of your shoeboxes and developing envelopes, you will be able to enjoy them whenever you like. Thirdly, you might not always remember the exact date of a certain event but you will be able to look in your album and remember the date, as well as see them over again!

What album themes or page ideas could you do for an album?

As you grow up
Anniversary
Baby's First Year
Baby Shower
Bar mitzvah
Best Friends
Birthdays
Book of me
Bridal Shower
Christening
Christmas
Chronological
Collector's
Everyday
Family Reunion
Father’s Day
First Times
Fishing
Gardening
Golf
Grandparents
Graduation
Heritage
Holidays
Honeymoon
Love
Memory of You
Mother’s Day
New Home
Office
Our Furry Friends
Pet Memory Album
Political
Portrait
Scout Troop
Retirement
Stag/Stagette
School Days
Special Outings
Sports Fun
Sweet Sixteen
Teacher Appreciation
Team Sports
Vet Office Book
Theater/Concert
Travel
Wedding

How should I store my photographs while waiting to put them in a memory album?
Always keep pictures and negatives in a dry place, away from any light! (Never in a humid, damp garage)

I am simply overwhelmed by the number of photos I have in a box! I don't even know where to begin. How can you help?
Simply e-mail me your wishes to get started on a custom made scrapbook and that you are finding it difficult to know where to start. We can set a time in which I can ring you at your convenience and together we can come up with an album theme in which to get started. If from there you have difficulty selecting and editing your photographs, you can mail me all your photos in order for the album theme and I can make the selection for you with your approval. In my e-mail of my preliminary plans for the page I will include the photos that will be included and those that I will exclude. You can always voice your opinion on what photos to include throughout the creative process.

What is journaling and will you journal for me?
Journaling will add your personality to your album. I recommend that you use one of the archival quality pens provided and journal things yourself. If you don't like your handwriting however, I do offer a couple options.
You can have your handwriting turned into a computer font. Then you just need to type out your journaling, and let me adhere it to your pages. I can give you more details about this option if you are interested or…
I can hand journal for you for an added fee.
Journaling is the story of your pictures or memories. It is the answer to the questions Who? What? When? Where? and Why? This is an essential part of a memory album. Isn't it frustrating to not know who people in old photos are? A few words written on the back of a photo with the essential information is the bare minimum, but it's still journaling. Some of the best pages include no more than the names of the people in the picture, the date and the occasion if any. Extensive journaling isn't necessary for every page, so don't worry if you just don't have all the information. The most important thing is to get your photos in a safe and viewable environment. (Note: If you are going to write on the back of your photos – do not use a ball point pen!! Use a felt tip marker, preferably photo-safe and quick drying. Ballpoint pens leave an indentation from the pressure of writing - eventually you will see this through the front of your photo. What a great way to ruin a perfect picture!)

How many photos fit on a page?
This depends on the style you choose for your pages. Usually, a 12x12 album will hold between 3-5 photos per page, or 6-10 per layout. An 8 ½ x11 album will usually hold between 1-3 photos per page, or 2-6 per layout. The number of photos per page depends not only on the style of the page, but also on the size of your pictures, as well as whether or not you choose to have some of your pictures resized or “cropped”.

At Make My Scrapbooks, I want your pictures, not embellishments, to be the stars of your scrapbook pages. If there is a picture that I feel represents the layout particularly well, I may choose to enlarge the picture for the layout. I would do this only after you agree to enlargements on the inventory sheet we fill out together during the initial consultation. An enlargement would obviously affect the number of additional pictures that would fit on a page. I will give you an estimate on the number of pages needed for your album after assessing your photos during the initial consultation.

What if I only have the original to a favorite photo?
I would suggest having a quality copy of it made to use in your memory album. If you are unsure about having this done, I can guide you through the process. I can also make the copy and print of your original photograph if you chose to go that route.

What if I don’t want a picture permanently mounted?
No problem! During the initial consultation, we discuss which pictures are to be permanently mounted. Most scrapbooking adhesives are intended to permanently mount your photos. However, there are many options for not permanently mounting, such as photo corners, corner punches, and repositionable adhesives.

It is recommended that most pictures be permanently mounted. That is the purpose of a scrapbook – to be a safe, permanent home for your photos. However, you may have a one-of-a-kind original that you do not want mounted. In such a case, you could either have a copy made to mount permanently in the album, or have the original mounted with a non-permanent method in the album.

What if I don’t want a picture resized (“cropped”)?
No problem! This is your decision and will also be noted on the inventory sheet filled out during the initial consultation. Part of my job during the initial consultation is to advise you. Some pictures certainly should not be cropped. Look what is shown in the background. Can your house be seen? How about your car? Even though your layout may not be regarding these items specifically, just think how exciting it will be for you and others to see the car 30 years from now. You may have otherwise forgotten it.

On the other hand, if your pictures represent your child’s first birthday party, for example, and your neighbor’s back is dominating one side of the picture, it may be best to crop that part of the picture off, to better help the layout focus on your child’s special day. Either way, the decision is ultimately yours, and at Make My Scrapbooks, this will be respected!


What do acid-free, photo-safe and archival-quality mean?
In order for your albums to last for generations, they need to be free of damaging agents such as acid, lignin and other items that cause damage to pictures. Do you remember those old magnetic photo albums with a plastic sheet that peels back to expose pre-glued pages? You may notice now that those little lines of glue are yellow and that your pictures are discolored or partially disintegrated. Acid is the culprit!

Acid is used to pull apart the wood fibers when manufacturing paper. If acid remains in the finished paper product, your pictures will begin to disintegrate. All materials used in a scrapbook should be “acid-free”, which means they have a pH factor of 7 to 8.5. Lignin is what holds wood fibers together in a tree. It is also found in some paper, mostly newspaper. Newspaper turns yellow due to the high lignin content.

Products labeled “acid-free”, “photo-safe” or “archival-quality” have been tested by their manufacturers to ensure that the products are safe for scrapbooks. Their products should not fade or discolor, nor should they alter or harm your pictures in any way. At Make My Scrapbook, all materials used are specifically labeled “acid-free”, “photo-safe” or “archival-quality”. Every item we use to assemble your scrapbook, from the paper and stickers to the adhesive and pens, is safe for your photos.

What if some of my memorabilia are acidic (i.e. newspaper)?
Newspaper articles are a great addition to scrapbook pages. However, the acid and lignin in newspaper make it very dangerous for the preservation of your photos. Does this mean you shouldn’t include newspaper in your scrapbook? Of course not! There are several options for including newspaper, including making a photocopy of the article onto acid-free cardstock, laminating the article, or spraying the article with a deacidification spray. All of these options ensure that the newspaper will not damage your pictures or your scrapbook.

Can you still work with me if I am not in your area?
Absolutely! Thanks to the wonderful world of the internet, e-mail, and overnight mail we can easily work together regardless of the distance. You can send me your photos along with a completed inventory sheet and I will get to work. Then, instead of face-to-face meetings, I will e-mail you digitized pages so you can see the progress. We can then chat online, over e-mail or even over the phone to discuss the progress.

How long does it take to complete a memory album?
During the initial consultation, we determine a timeframe and specific deadline together. The length of time before completion depends on the size of the project. A 20-page, 12x12 albums will usually take between three and six weeks, depending on the complexity of the design style. An 8 ½ x11 or smaller album would take less time. At Make My Scrapbooks, I will make every effort to accommodate your timing needs.

I have started a scrapbook but have not had the time to finish it. Do you also complete albums for people?
Certainly. To determine your cost, I would charge $10 per single sided page (based on 12 x 12 albums). I would complete an album of smaller size if that is what you have started with. Your deposit would be 50% of that figure. If you have an on going theme you have created in your scrapbook (i.e., a color theme) I would gladly attempt to continue with what you were going for if at all possible.

How much will my memory album cost?
The cost of your album will really depends on a lot of variables. You can see our pricing page to help you estimate how much your album will cost. I will work with you to keep within your budget, including ways to make your album fit inside your budget.
Go to Rates Page

Do you have a contract?
Yes. At Make My Scrapbooks, my priority is to provide you with an album you absolutely love. In order to do this, I need to be sure we are on the same page with you regarding design style, timing, delivery, and price. Therefore, I have a client-consultant agreement that is completed and signed at the initial consultation by both the client and myself. Download contract here

What if I am not satisfied or don't like it?
I strive very hard to make you happy with your album. If this is the first time you've ever thought about getting a custom album, send me your photos and I will make a sample layout page for you. If you're not happy with the results, you are under no obligation. If you choose to have me continue creating your album, simply send me the remainder of your photos. I will give you regular updates so that you can tell me if there is something you would like to change. Also, I recommend that you keep your doubles and negatives so that I can redo a page for you if you're not satisfied with it. I will even pay for you to get your duplicates printed from negatives. Because this is a custom album and everything is handmade, I cannot offer any kind of money-back guarantee, which is why I provide you with frequent updates. I want to make sure you are completely happy with the results.

What if I wish to cancel my order for a custom-made album once you have started?
I have no problem with you canceling an order at anytime, for any reason. You are liable for the cost of each page that has already been created at $10.oo per page. Your deposit will be returned minus the cost of work already completed and return shipping. If the amount due is more than the deposit, items will be withheld until payment for remaining balance is received.

What are my payment options?
I ask that you pay 50% of the estimated total upon signing your contract. This ensures that I am able to purchase things like extra pages, cardstock, adhesives, your album (if applicable) etc. that are needed to begin your project. Final payment is due upon receiving your final invoice which details exactly what was used in your album. Once we receive final payment, you will receive your album.
I accept money orders and personal checks made payable to Stephanie Larbalestier. The design process on any album will begin once your check has cleared the bank. If your album will be shipped to you, you are responsible for all shipping costs including insurance and tracking.

 

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