Mother’s Day, is right around the corner. I’m always WAY behind on this holiday (or any other, really). But not this year (thanks to ). I think I can speak for all moms when I say we really just want sentimental gifts, thoughts or acts that make us feel appreciated from our partners and children. I personally want memories in the form of photo books or videos and a card drawn by my kids – so I assumed my mom(s) do too. We can book our own massages and sure, sleeping in is a gift in itself – but when it comes down to it, a photo book is maybe the best gift I can give (or receive). Big statement. I know.
So when reached out I was psyched. Their books are BAR NONE the most beautiful of all the photo books (as you’ll see below) and my mom(s) is going to LOVE IT. Now, let me be clear you don’t need fancy or expensive books to bring you or your mother back to some of your (or her) happiest memories. When it comes to sentimental gifts of this sort, the font, the linen and the lay-flat options are not what is important, it is the pictures and the thought behind it. Full stop. But man, those books sure are stunning and beautiful holders of memories. They are more of a splurge, but they are heirloom quality and for a gift (or wedding book, or baby book) they are extra special.
A bit more about them. Artifact Uprising is a Colorado based brand that produces photo books, frames, prints, and all locally here in the US.
Their books are something that are not only visually beautiful but eco-friendly as well. They care greatly about both the quality and the environmental impact of everything they make. It’s like the Tesla of photos books. The papers of the hardcover and softcover books are composed of recycled fibers which contain 100% post-consumer fiber, and all of the electricity used to manufacture the paper is matched with renewable wind-generated electricity. All of their wood products are made from fallen pine trees and in the last four years their efforts have reclaimed 250,000 feet of fallen pine in the Rocky Mountain forests. As they put it “Why use healthy trees with so many already fallen?”. They are a brand that produces a beautiful product in a beautiful way.
The quality is high in every way – their website, customer service, photo quality, customization and of course the finishes – the linen exterior and metallic foil is so beautiful.
So I was able to create a book for both my moms, some for myself and then we had some credit leftover so my entire staff got to create one for their moms.
Creating photo books takes time – which is why I have only done a few since the kids were born and they were for trips, not just our daily lives. Despite my begging, no company will physically come to your house and organize your photos from your phone, but Artifact Uprising’s system makes creating the actual books so easy and seamless. It still takes time, but it’s totally enjoyable and simple.
Once you have all of your photos organized (I created one folder for my mom, my MIL and me) it is just a matter of dragging and dropping into their online editor (which can also be done directly on your phone through their app). You can choose the type of the book (I built a ) and then any of the details that make it special like a linen cover, any foil engraving, or dust jackets (if you’re building a ). Their system will walk you through the process if you want to customize each page’s layout, or you can click “auto-fill” once your photos are in their database and they will organize all the photos into a book preselecting the best layout and page style for each photo. It honestly is so easy and can be done so quickly.
For my mom I chose a big 11×14, lay flat in a beautiful Oatmeal color. My parents went on a church mission for a year and a half so for my mom’s ‘grandmother’s day’ photo book, it’s a combination of the photos that I have of them with our kids, as well as some of just our family that they might have missed while they were gone. My siblings are pretty good at creating photo books of our family vacations and we have a ton of growing up, so this one I thought could be more about my parents and my kids. I suppose it’s more of a ‘grandmother’s day’ present than a mother’s day, which I feel like I would LOVE to get if/when my kids have kids.
It was actually SO FUN for my kids to look through my mom’s book together before we sent it off. They were so little when they left on their church mission, so they’ve only really seen them a few times in the last 2 years (they got back in December and we went for Christmas but are due to spend a lot of time up there this summer – and since they are retired you bet my kids will get lots of “mimi and papa” time).
It’s actually remarkable how much they feel connected to them despite living in another state. They bring them up constantly and will say ‘I love Mimi and Papa so much’ out of nowhere. I suppose they just know in their soul that Mimi and Papa love them and that they are family. It’s pretty darn touching.
The photo above is when we found out Birdie was a girl (thus the pink kazoo and crazy excitement on our faces). Maybe I’m projecting but I think getting photos of either of my kids as parents, showing their love for their own children, is hopefully somehow satisfying and fulfilling.
Now onto my books. When artifact said I could make some for myself I DID. If you know me then you know that there approximately 76,398 (probably more) unorganized photos on my phone at any time. This was my excuse to put together the last 4 years of our lives – essentially my first four years as a mom.
HOT TIP: as you take photos ‘favorite’ with the heart your favorites and that puts them in an album. Then it’s SO much faster to go through once a year. I actually do this and I even often grab Brian’s phone and ‘favorite’ his that way it’s easier for us to share. We used to have a shared cloud album with both our parents but stopped when they left the country (they didn’t have cell phones where they went). I’m going to start doing this again!
For mine I chose the ‘autofill’ option to save time, and while some things are out of order – I don’t care at all. Below is Volume 1 – Charlie’s first year and our first year as parents.
I can’t believe that kid is 4 1/2. Just insane.
Then on the spines of each of the books, I labeled each with a volume number so that they can easily be stacked according to date and I can continue to add to them for years to come.
For my books I also went with the which basically means that the pages are thicker (almost like a thick business card or notecard) and also lay completely flat as you turn each page. The pages feel and look heavier and thicker which also helps if you are going through with your kids as the pages will stay nice and crisp and there is no chance that those cute (but destructive) little hands will tear through a picture of aunt Norma.
The layflat also allows you to have a photo bleed from one page to the next and you can barely see a seem. Like so:
The layouts that they provide are simple, clean and modern and showcase the pictures so well. They come in 2 premium papers, 10 fabric colors, 4 varieties of foil-stamping and 5 sizes that you can choose from.
And because I love celebrating (and spoiling) mothers on this special day, I also asked Artifact Uprising if each of the staff members here at EHD could make a book to give to their Mother or in memory of their moms. They chose different colors, fonts ad sizes.
Some went with the layflat option, some chose the traditional hardcover option which comes with a dust jacket and they all did their own style of engraving on the top.
Hopefully, all our moms get them in the mail before they read this. For my mom I wrote ‘Happy Grand-Mothers Day, Mimi’ and the same for Brian’s mom, who my kids call ‘Sue Sue’
Artifact Uprising, you made me look really really good this year. Admittedly I’m not the best at remembering gifts for anyone ever (and I only expect a video as mine), so I’m going into this day feeling good about myself 🙂 (P.S. my mom’s is the one that we are looking through with the kids earlier in the post – I did them both the same size as mine just with different linens!)
They also come in a simple clean box without any branding on it, which you know I can stand behind as it means that you can tie a simple bow around it, write a little card and you are good to go. Our kids each wrote a card to both their Mimi and Sue Sue. We typically ask them what they love about them and the answers are mostly ‘because I love to hug her’ or sometimes ‘i love mimi because she makes dog cookies with us’.
Here’s a hot tip – if you are concerned about budget (as these are high quality, and are more expensive than some other brands) then the 12×12 or 10×10 is such a great size ESPECIALLY if you are going to add to it every year. I got greedy with my 11×14 and while I love them a 12 x12 is easier to put in a bookshelf and more affordable. I think if you are doing just 1, then get any size, but if you are like me and now plan on adding one a year, then scaling down is a good thing so you have room for the next 30 years 🙂
I can’t TELL you how much I love mine – and my kids to, too.
Not to get too sentimental but there have been times lately that I’ve worried I am actually missing the best years of my life – the years when my kids are so young, sweet and want nothing more than our love and attention all day and night. It’s something that makes me cry often (like now) but as I was looking through the last four years in these books I was like Wait, I have been here. I do remember all these important or totally non-important moments with my little loves. While I’m working and juggling so much and exhausted this is proof I really have not missed these years. Its just going too fast… as it does for maybe every parent.
Even my mom. She has 6 kids, with the oldest being in her late 40’s. It’s just a blink, and that terrifies me.
The days are long but the years are short, folks. It’s like you can’t wait for them to be less dependent, yet you cry at their baby photos and if you are like me, you might even ponder having another – just to have more of that love and joy. I’m not getting greedy about kids, though. For now I’ll stick to these two kids and then just stare at my BEAUTIFUL linen and gold-foil photo books of our first years as a family – FOREVER.
Thank you for giving me the excuse (and gift) to create these stunning books for my moms, myself and my teams’ mothers. (***P.S. one of my team’s members moms passed a few years ago so she created a book in memory of her mom which I think is such a sweet, lovely thing to do for yourself or your family if you are up for it).
These heirloom quality books will be held, manhandled, kid-handled and cherished forever. If only they were waterproof…. (for tears, not, like, swimming :)) Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, soon to be moms and everyone else out there. You are loved.
To get you started readers can receive 15% off their Artifact Uprising order from Monday, 4/23 – Thursday, 5/3 with code EHD15. The turnaround time is about 8 business days for layflat books and 5 business days for hardcover books so be sure to get your orders in before May 3rd to get them before Mother’s Day (if you shipping with Fed Ex Ground!)testtest