Welcome. This blog is my little home on the web. It's mostly about my favorite hobby, digital scrapbooking. You might also find some recipes, home decor projects, or parenting woes. But mostly digital scrapbooking.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review: Costco Canvas Print

I recently made a canvas print through Costco. I'd like to give you a review of the product I received. I used this picture that I created with digital scrapbook images. It is a gift for my sister-in-law to put in her new baby boy's room.

credits: boy created from two images by Kristin Aagard (from One Love mini kit and Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow collab with Vera Lim). Everything else by Irene Alexeeva (from The Tremendous Adventure kit)

I hung the print on the wall and took a photo:

My comments:
  • Easy to create. If you are familiar with Costco's online album system, which is pretty straight forward, a canvas frame is super easy to create. You just click on "create" from the Canvas Prints page in the store, then pick your size, and then pick your image.
  • Cost: $29.99 for 8 x 10 inch size. There was no shipping charge because I selected the option to ship to my local Costco warehouse. You can also ship to your own home.
  • I noticed (from the shipping label) that this print was actually made by a company called Your Photo On Canvas. If you order directly from them, the cost of an 8 x 10 print is $59.95
  • Turn around: 5 days. I placed the order Saturday, December 18; I received the call that I could come pick it up on Wednesday, December 22.
  • Image size: 11 x 13 inches, finished print size 8 x 10 inches. 1.5 inches were wrapped around the frame all the way around, which left the finished size exactly 8 x 10 inches. When you create your canvas print, Costco's form even shows you a guideline of what part of the image will be wrapped around the frame. Comparing the canvas print to Costco's wrap guideline showed that the guideline was right-on. (By the way, I came to the 11 x 13 size after a couple trials of uploading and then checking the wrap guide.)
  • Hanging hardware included. On the back of the frame is a toothed metal hanging bar. This was a surprise to me as I did not notice it being mentioned in the description.
  • There was significant color variation, discussed further below. However, since I was giving this as a gift, and the recipient has no reference for what the colors were "supposed to" look like, I still found the print acceptable.
A couple more photos of the back:

Now, a little more about the color issue. I've been digital scrapbooking long enough to know that if I have not calibrated my monitor/software with the printer's color profile, I expect to see some variation. All of the prints I've ordered have been on photographic paper, either through Costco or Scrapping Simply, and I have always been happy with the color. The canvas print is made with ink laid down on the canvas, so it is a completely different process.

Here is a composite I made with the original image and the photograph of the print. The outer parts are the original image and the inner polygon section is the photograph.

When I had the print in hand, the most noticeable variation was in the letters L and R in "EXPLORE." In the original image they were a bluish color, but in the print they were actually purple. The background was off too. It seemed much less saturated than the original image, and was more purple than the deep blue-green of the original image. The reds and browns of the boy seemed to print fairly well. I don't know a lot about color, but overall I would say that warmer tones (the browns and reds) seemed to print more faithfully and the cooler tones (the blues) ended up with red in them, making them purple.

I looked through Your Photo On Canvas's site and saw that they do offer color calibration, but it was an option only available to people who wanted to register with them as professional photographers.

Overall, I was pleased with the print. If I hadn't actually compared the canvas to the image on my monitor, and was only relying on memory, I wouldn't have thought much about it. But having done the comparison, I must admit to being somewhat disappointed with how purple the image was - the variation is quite substantial. I would definitely order another canvas print through Costco, but I would probably give Your Photo On Canvas a call and talk to them about the color issue, and see if they have any suggestions.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dotted with ...

When I decided to start this blog, I immediately wanted give it a nice name. I've seen so many other blogs with creative names, so why couldn't mine have a great name I thought. And maybe someday I'll become a designer (yeah, right!), and I'll already have a name for that.

I was in the car, talking to my husband, the scientist, who is obsessed with music - all kinds of music. Well, probably not all kinds, but he likes and collects lots of music. He collects music like I collect digital scrapbooking kits. I told him I want to have a neat name for my blog, and somehow, the conversation turned to the idea of "stealing" a favorite song title and using that as a blog name.

I immediately thought of my favorite band, HorrorPops, and my favorite song of theirs, Dotted with Hearts, from their debut album Hell Yeah!

Dotted With Hearts sounded like a cool blog name. My blog will mostly be about scrapbooking, and Dotted With Hearts sounded a little crafty, and a little girly. And, it's my favorite song.

So, I ran to the computer to create my blog, and in about 30 seconds found out that dottedwithhearts was already taken. So, I immediately rationalized to myself that "dotted with hearts" didn't really fit me and who I am anyway. I don't dot with hearts; I dot my i's with dots. So I ran THAT blog name past the scientist, and he agreed that it did in fact fit "me" very well. So I typed the words and hit the button, and my blog was made.

Here is a layout I made back in February about this song. For credits, please click on over to my DST gallery.

*Dotted With Hearts*

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hi, I'm a web designer.

Hi, I'm Tiffany. I'm a web designer.

I design webs with yarn and tape, lots of tape. I frequently run out of tape.

Just kidding, I'm not a web designer. I'm a stay at home mom, and my three year old son is obsessed with spiders right now. He likes me to build webs for him. I also draw a lot of spiders on construction paper and then cut them out. Actually, I just noticed there are four of them on the desk in front of me right now. (I know, a couple of them look like ticks.)

My big hobby is digital scrapbooking, and this blog is a place for me to post the pages I make (this is for you Christine, so they will show up in your reader!). But I also thought I might make this site a little more interesting for the digi scrappers out there with some tips and tricks once in a while (not that I know much, but I do have some ideas to share).

So, see you again soon, I hope. I'm off to play "Spider-Man Scares the Kids" ... again.