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Tag Archives | iPhone

Review | Etsy iPhone App

So, you got a new iPhone for Christmas and want to know what is out there to turn it into a craft geek power tool?

Well, if you love all things homemade, a great first stop is the new app from Etsy, the online marketplace for all things unique and handmade. I spent several days testing the app out, and I’m pleased to report that it’s stable, easy-to-use, and oh-so-beautiful to boot! It puts the convenience of supporting small sellers and cottage industry at your fingertips, making one-of-a-kind gifts, fashion and home decor just a search-and-mobile-phone-enabled-payment away from landing on your doorstep!

The front page of the Etsy iPhone app displays a selection of hand-picked items, along with a sampling of Treasury Lists, much as the front page of the full Etsy site does. The Dancing Snowflakes list immediately caught my attention (I have just a tiny obsession with snowflakes), and I couldn’t help tapping on it to browse further.

Continue Reading →

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Staff Blog Hop: Scrapbooking With Your Phone

Scrapbook Update’s staff members have varying levels of geek in our blood, but we have one thing in common about our tech: we love using our gadgets to help us get our scrap on! Today we are having a blog hop to talk about the different ways that we use our tech to help us with our scrapbooking-related tasks.

It is true that all of our staff are devoted iPhone users (and everyone is buzzing about that new phone today), but there is plenty in our posts of interest to any smartphone owner, as many of our suggestions aren’t platform-specific.

So come along and check out our scrappy love affairs with our phones! Here’s where you can find us:

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Michaels Releases iPhone App

I was quite excited several months ago when arts and crafts retailer Michaels began accepting coupons via smartphone at their checkout. I was even more excited to find that they’ve recently released an app for the iPhone that combines their electronic coupon functionality with some exciting new features.

The app is well laid-out, easy to use, and filled with pleasing visuals such as the screen that greets users on opening.

Once loaded, the app gives customers access to a number of features, most notably the ability to browse sales flyers and search for products.

The “Deals” section of the app provides access to the Michaels weekly ad in a mobile-friendly format. Customers can navigate by category and then drill down to see more details about sale items.

The “Coupons” section will probably be the most-used in the app as it gives customers a way to carry coupons without the hassle of printing them and then remembering to bring them along to the store. Coupons are automatically loaded into the app when available and removed after they have expired. Each coupon can be used multiple times (subject to the current “one per customer per day” wording) and contains a barcode that is scanned at the checkout.

I found the “Projects” section to be surprisingly well-rounded, containing in-depth instructions for craft projects in a number of categories. The images, shown as a thumbnail on the instructions screen, will display a larger version when tapped.

The “Lists” feature provides a place for customers to compile one or more shopping lists to use in the store. It’s tied closely with the “Products” section that allows customers to browse available items (the products listed are not tied to a particular store’s inventory and may not reflect current stock) and add them to a shopping list. Users can also add items manually by typing in text.

The “Products” section, which I’ve already mentioned, allows users to browse available items by navigating through categories to find products. Customers can drill down to a specific product to read details, and there is also a space for reviews  (though none of the items I browsed had reviews yet). No pricing information is provided for items.

Customers can also view upcoming classes and events at their local store under the “Events” button. The app also has functionality to locate stores nearest to you, just in case you catch the crafty bug while traveling.

The app also provides the ability to read QR (Quick Response) codes to allow customers quick access to information on the web. These codes are “scanned” by holding the iPhone’s camera over the code until it is registered by the app, which will then redirect the user to the appropriate web page.

Droid users, don’t despair!! Michaels corporate office has assured Scrapbook Update that an Android version of the app is planned, although there is no release date available yet. Scrapbook Update will keep you informed of this and any other developments as the areas of tech, crafting, and retail continue their exciting convergence.

Pre CHA Product Sale at Two Peas in a Bucket. Get 15%-75% off Select Products. Sale runs July 14-22, 2011

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The State of Digital Publishing in the Scrapbooking Industry

It’s a brave new world in today’s publishing market. The advent of miniature technological marvels such as the iPad, Kindle, Nook, and the myriad of other electronic reading devices on the market today mean that publishers have more diverse and immediate options for producing and delivering content than ever before. Newspapers and magazines alike are moving from traditional print media to electronic delivery, in some cases bypassing even web site content models in favor of delivering digital media directly to subscribers’ devices.

For scrapbookers, this new media outlet can be a wonderful place to obtain new content. Digital media doesn’t require physical storage beyond your computer’s (or device’s) drive, is quick to access, and in many cases is portable on certain devices. There is no current industry standard, however, on platforms for delivery and access of digital content, so scrapbookers should educate themselves on the available options before making a purchase. I’ve collected digital publication data for several major scrapbooking magazines and compiled it all into a handy reference that should help when making purchasing decisions. Continue Reading →

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Paperclipping Roundtable #59: Smartphone Photo Talk

This week the Roundtable crew got our geek on by talking about taking and using smartphone photos with Ana Cabrera and Kristina Werner.

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To listen to this episode, you can use the player embedded above, right-click on this link to download the file to your computer, visit the Paperclipping Roundtable web page or to make things easy, you can use this link:

Subscribe for free to Paperclipping Roundtable on iTunes

That link will open in iTunes and take you to the subscribe page, and then you can click on the “subscribe” button.

Subscribing in iTunes is one of the best ways to support Paperclipping Roundtable. Using iTunes is free, and subscribing is free. (If you don’t know how to use iTunes to subscribe, you can watch a video here that shows you how.)

The Panel

Sponsors:

Big Picture Classes! Big Picture Scrapbooking has a new name! Click here for a promo code for Paperclipping Roundtable listeners to use to save 10% on any one class at Big Picture Classes! (Don’t forget that you can still use the link to support Roundtable even if you’ve already used the one-time discount code.)

Ella Publishing: Save 20% when you purchase 9 or more Ella ebooks using the Paperclipping Roundtable coupon code! Click here to view more details and the coupon code. Hurry because this expires soon!

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iScrapbook: iphone as a Traditional Scrapbooker’s Tool

I am not a tech kind of girl.  I will never be the kind of person who knows what is new and exciting in technology. That said, I appreciate and enjoy the technology and tools that I do choose to use. This summer I argued against the switch to the iPhone, but eventually my husband’s arguments (and my dying old phone) won me over, and I found myself thrust into a whole new-to-me world of technology.

How am I doing? I adjusted fairly quickly, and while I will probably never be the typical iPhone user, I am finding it exceptionally useful as a scrapbooking and crafting tool. I’m not alone in looking at mobile phones as potential tools in crafting either. Pink Paislee has posted free mobile phone wallpapers based on their Hocus Pocus halloween line. {One shown on my iPhone below} I would love to see more companies do this sort of thing, and I’d love to have scrapbook product-inspired wallpapers on my phone all the time! That is just one way that traditional scrapbooking is joining with my mobile phone. In August, I joined the iPhone nation. Since then, because it has a camera capable of print-quality photos, I’ve been evaluating how I have (and can in the future) use this camera feature to the best of my ability.

The ways I utilize it so far are:

  • Take photos where I wouldn’t normally have a camera (at school, restaurant, store, random locations)
  • Grab photos of inspiration for my crafting
  • Snap photos for my blog, Twitter, and Facebook to aid in my memory keeping
  • Create videos for blogging and short tutorials

Recently I printed out my first batch of photos from my iPhone, and while I could clearly tell the difference between those taken with the phone and those taken with my Nikon D60 DSLR camera, I was still pleased with the results from the phone. The images are, for the most part, better than any photos my parents took of us as children. The quality is there in the technology, and if used in the right circumstances it can create photos to cherish. Now, none of mine are going to win photography prizes anytime soon, but that’s ok! I love the moments and details I can now scrapbook. I love that in the grocery store my phone became my camera and I caught some cuteness, and that when I had a dinner date with my husband I wasn’t hauling out my big camera to take photos. Instead I slipped my iPhone out of my tiny purse.

I do have some suggestions for those of you looking to scrapbook more mobile phone photos.

  • Remember to assist the camera. My iPhone4 lets me click the screen and ‘focus’ on my subject. I also make sure to get the best possible lighting when I can, and not try to take tough shots and expect the camera to get it perfectly.
  • Set it down. Whenever possible I set the bottom of my phone down on a shelf, desk, ledge… anything. The more stable the phone, the better chance of a clear image.
  • Check the settings! Make sure the camera is set to take large enough images, and that you’re not going to wind up with web quality only photos.
  • Don’t try to replace your regular camera with a mobile one. While I will be using (and loving) this feature on my phone, it can not compete with my Nikon D60. If your mobile phone is actually a better camera than your real camera – that’s a different situation. For me, I have a nice camera that I dearly love and it will still be coming along on all big events, family celebrations, vacations, and any time where I would normally use it.

I am just getting started with this, and I know there’s a whole world of possibility spread in front of me. Having a print quality camera with me almost all of the time hidden inside my phone is a wonderful thing, and I’m making the most of it. From craft store antics with my girls to sharing photos of my current works in progress on my twitter account – and even the short videos I’ve been posting to my blog – this phone is a tool I see improving my paper crafting life.

If you have tips or ways you use your phone to assist you in crafting please do share!  As a high tech phone newbie, I’d love to hear about it.

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Paperclipping Roundtable #39: Halloween Scrapbooking Ideas

Something spooky is taking over the Roundtable, as Amy Coon joined Noell and Izzy and I to talk about Halloween projects.

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To listen to this week’s episode, you can use the player embedded above, right-click on this link to download the file to your computer, visit the Paperclipping Roundtable web page or to make things easy, you can use this link:

Subscribe for free to Paperclipping Roundtable on iTunes

That link will open in iTunes and take you to the subscribe page, and then you can click on the “subscribe” button.

Subscribing in iTunes is one of the best ways to support Paperclipping Roundtable. Using iTunes is free, and subscribing is free. (If you don’t know how to use iTunes to subscribe, you can watch a video here that shows you how.)

The Panel

Sponsors:

Building Pages from GetItScrapped.com: Click Here for the course information, and make sure you use coupon code building4prt at checkout.

Big Picture Classes! Big Picture Scrapbooking has a new name! Click here for a promo code for Paperclipping Roundtable listeners to use to save 10% on any one class at Big Picture Classes! (Don’t forget that you can still use the link to support Roundtable even if you’ve already used the one-time discount code.)

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Show Notes:

Scrapbook Update Contributing Writer May Flaum very kindly volunteered to share a photo of the house that she made using a birdhouse and textured grunge board that Amy talked about on the show this week:

To see her full article on the project, including technique close-ups, visit the Spooky Halloween House article on her blog.

And here’s some samples of the iPhone HDR photos that I took, both with the built-in HDR capability in the new iPhone camera software and the PRO HDR app that I talked about.

The top two are from the Pro HDR app, and the bottom one was from the built-in feature. All are incredibly crisp given they came from a camera phone. While the foregrounds are a bit dark, that can be fixed in only a few seconds in Lightroom with some fill light:

Voila! It’s a much improved shot, but because of the HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, the sky isn’t blown out. Not bad for a camera phone!

Now Shipping from Amazon.com - Scrapbook Page Maps 2: More Sketches for Creative Layouts and Cards

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Paperclipping Roundtable #21: The Sum Of Our Stories

Paperclipping Roundtable #21 with me and Jessica Sprague, Ana Cabrera, Noell Hyman, and Izzy Hyman is now available for listening! This week we chatted a lot about scrapbooking as storytelling.

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To listen to this week’s episode, you can use the player embedded above, right-click on this link to download the file to your computer, visit the Paperclipping Roundtable web page or to make things easy, you can use this link:

Subscribe for free to Paperclipping Roundtable on iTunes

That link will open in iTunes and take you to the subscribe page, and then you can click on the “subscribe” button.

Subscribing in iTunes is one of the best ways to support Paperclipping Roundtable. Using iTunes is free, and subscribing is free. (If you don’t know how to use iTunes to subscribe, you can watch a video here that shows you how.)

Show Notes:

This episode of Roundtable is sponsored by Big Picture Scrapbooking! Click here for a promo code for Paperclipping Roundtable listeners to use to save 10% on any class at Big Picture Scrapbooking!

The Panel:

Picks of the Week:

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