VP Boakai Wants US$1.7M Robertsport Fishery Cluster Completed

first_imgVice President Joseph Boakai has called on the Ministry of Agriculture, contractors and the project management team of the Robertsport Fishery Cluster to speed up and complete the fishery cluster before the end of this year.He said the completion of the fishery cluster would create many job opportunities for the people of that part of Liberia and will empower those involved in fishing activities in the county.Veep Boakai made the remarks over the weekend when he visited the Robertsport Fishery Cluster, ENSUL Cold Storage in Kru Town and Obasanjo’s Farm to observe the level of developments in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County.“The government is grateful to the World Bank for supporting this project with the huge amount and this cluster when completed will help our fishermen and people greatly,” he said.Project Coordinator Yevewo Subah assured VP Boakai that the cluster project will be completed in August and turned over to the Liberian government.He confirmed that the construction of the Robertsport Fish Landing Site Cluster commenced in March 2014 with funding from the World Bank. The total value of works is US$1.7 million and is being executed in three lots. Lot 1 includes a fresh fish handling building, a dry-fish market plus external works, including water supply. Lot 2 comprises fish drying sheds A and B, community fisheries center, shop-gear-boats and boxes service center plus external works including power supply and external lighting. Lot 3 has fishermen changing and fishing gear store, day-care center, toilet facility, external works comprising driveways and parking areas, fencing, gate house and walkways, the rehabilitation of the clinic at Fanti Town and the cold storage at Kru Town. The site when completed, he explained, will provide cold storage (350m3), ice (5Tons/day) and market opportunity for about 2000 small scale fishers and mongers in the Robertsport area, and employment opportunities.“Though the work slowed down due to the deadly Ebola outbreak in the country, steady progress has been made and actual construction is expected to be completed by August 2016,” he said.Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Dr. Moses Zinnah said the timely completion of the project will help the government to provide services to the people and the country.“Agriculture is key to the development of every country therefore, I encourage everyone to get involved in the process and bring the change the country needs in the agriculture sector,” Minister Zinnah said.He appealed to the government to assist with more support to the project and expressed great interest in the development that is ongoing in Robertsport.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Arsenal aim to back up Villa victory at Bolton

first_img0Shares0000LONDON, England, January 31- Arsenal’s season has been marked by too many false dawns but Thomas Vermaelen believes the FA Cup victory over Aston Villa can help salvage the club’s faltering challenge for a top four place.Arsene Wenger’s side resume their Premier League campaign away to Bolton Wanderers on Wednesday in their first match since an astonishing Cup fightback against Villa.Trailing 2-0 at half-time, the pressure on Wenger appeared certain to increase before three goals in seven second half minutes, including two penalties from star striker Robin van Persie set up a last 16 clash with either Sunderland or Middlesbrough. Having not won silverware since they lifted the FA Cup in 2005, it was important the Gunners retained their interest in the competition but their focus now switches back to the Premier League.Arsenal’s chances of mounting a late challenge in the title race disappeared after a run of three successive defeats left them 18 points adrift of leaders Manchester City.The priority now is to reclaim a place in the top four — and with it entry to next season’s Champions League.Wenger’s team, however, lie fifth, five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea who travel to Swansea 24 hours before the action gets underway at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium.Arsenal cannot afford to drop further behind and Vermaelen insists the manner of the victory over Villa will have an impact on their prospects for the rest of the season.“It always gives you confidence if you get a good comeback win. Even the game itself gave us confidence because we played better than last weekend (a 2-1 loss to Manchester United).“When we had the ball we were better, we put our opponents under pressure and the result gives us even more confidence,” the Belgian defender added. “It is great for us.“We have lost three games (in a row) in the league, so that is why it was good that we won (against Villa). It gives us confidence for the next game, so we will fight hard on Wednesday and try to get the three points.”Owen Coyle’s Bolton also secured a place in the FA Cup fifth round on the back of a home win over Swansea.More significant was the league victory against Liverpool the previous weekend that ensured Bolton remained one point above the bottom three.Ten points from their last six league games have helped revive Wanderers’ hopes of avoiding relegation after a dismal first half of the season.And centre back Zat Knight insists there is a new belief within the squad.“A few of the boys had been saying we haven’t beaten any of the top four in a while. It was a good occasion and a good performance against Liverpool,” said Knight.“The fixtures haven’t gone kindly for us. At the beginning of the season we had a tough run and we are in a tough run again now.“We’ve got Arsenal, and then a few weeks later Manchester City and Chelsea. They are all starting to fight for the Champions League spots and the points are vital for them as well as they are for us.“We just have to stay focused. We’re one point above the relegation zone at the moment so we’re out of the bottom three and it’s the first time we’ve been out of it in a long time.“We have to stick to what we have been doing and not get ahead of ourselves.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Chelsea raid robs City fortress

first_img0Shares0000MANCHESTER, February 3 – Chelsea defied Manchester City’s scintillating home form with a superb 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Monday that injected fresh intrigue into the Premier League title race.Imperious in recent weeks, City were looking to reclaim top spot from Arsenal and move six points above Chelsea, but it was the visitors who prevailed thanks to a 32nd-minute bullet by Branislav Ivanovic. City had won all 11 of their previous home league games this season, losing only to European champions Bayern Munich on home turf, while it was the first time they had failed to score at the Etihad in the league since November 2010.The hosts had been seeking a ninth successive league win, but instead Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea were left to celebrate a home-and-away double, having beaten City 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in October’s reverse fixture.Chelsea also hit the woodwork on three occasions, but Ivanovic’s vicious strike proved enough as they moved level on points with City, two points shy of leaders Arsenal.City were without top scorer Sergio Aguero due to injury, while Martin Demichelis had to fill in for the injured Fernandinho in central midfield, but the hosts attacked with their usual abandon nonetheless.Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech was obliged to race to the edge of his area to clear inside the first minute, before Alvaro Negredo rolled Gary Cahill and shot over.Aleksandar Kolarov whipped a cross across goal that narrowly eluded Yaya Toure, who then clipped a shot just over from the edge of the box before striding to the byline and teeing up David Silva to sweep an effort narrowly wide.Edin Dzeko curled off-target after giving David Luiz the slip, but City’s gung-ho advances left them exposed at the back and Joe Hart had to save from Ramires in the 27th minute after a cut-throat Chelsea counter.It was a reminder of the visitors’ pace on the break and five minutes later another raid saw them go ahead.Vincent Kompany did well to block from Ramires, who had been picked out by Eden Hazard, but as the ball rolled to the edge of the box Ivanovic met it with a devastating left-foot drive that flew into the bottom-left corner.With City rattled, the irrepressible Hazard worked Hart with a low strike before skipping past Pablo Zabaleta and crossing for Samuel Eto’o, who could only slam against the crossbar from a narrow angle.An exchange of chances saw both sides go close early in the second half, with Toure drilling a shot a whisker wide at one end before Nemanja Matic clipped the post with a 30-yard thunderbolt at the other.City manager Manuel Pellegrini sent on Stevan Jovetic for Negredo in the 56th minute, but Chelsea continued to threaten, with Cahill heading against the post from an in-swinging Willian corner.The hosts responded, Dzeko miscueing from a Zabaleta centre, while Silva drew a fine one-handed save from Cech with a dipping free-kick before clattering the ball wide from a Kolarov cross.Forced deeper and deeper as the game wore on, Chelsea were incensed when City defender Matija Nastasic was only shown a yellow card for a last-man foul on substitute Oscar on the halfway line.Jovetic then forced Cech into another eye-catching save with a shot from range in injury time, but Chelsea were to have the last laugh.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Guardiola admits Sanchez mistakes

first_img0Shares0000Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is struggling to turn his side’s fortunes aroundMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Dec 18- Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola conceded he may not have done Alexis Sanchez any favours by playing him out wide when they were both at Barcelona.With a plethora of attacking talent available to Guardiola in his time with Barca, Sanchez was often shifted out to the wing where he rarely shone ahead of players like Lionel Messi. However, since his move to Arsenal, the Chilean playmaker has been used in a more central role and has become a key player for the Gunners in the attacking third and the former Catalans manager admitted he may have done Sanchez a disservice.“He played really good in Barcelona but normally when you play with (Lionel) Messi all the players beside him are not at his level,” Guardiola said.“I think the position Arsenal are using him as a striker, in front, it is perfect for him. In Barcelona maybe I didn’t help him too much because he played wide. He can do that but he is better between the lines, closer to the goal.“In some moments he played there, especially one game against Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals. He played as a striker and after 40 minutes we went 2-0 up but it was an unlucky game and we lost and Chelsea reached the final.“He can play there and in several positions – left, right. He is a fighter in spirit, he is a character, he is a winner. He is a class, class player and now he is playing really well.”Guardiola will have to find a way of keeping Sanchez in check when his City side welcome Arsenal to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Celtic 1-2 Bayern Munich: Hoops exit Champions League as Martinez scores winner

first_img1 Celtic exited the Champions League on their shields after a 2-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in a pulsating encounter at Parkhead.A costly moment of slack play in the 22nd minute allowed French star Kingsley Coman to open the scoring and blight an encouraging first-half performance by Brendan Rodgers’ side.However, Celtic roared back after the break and Callum McGregor deservedly levelled in the 74th only for midfielder Javi Martinez to restore the German giants’ lead three minutes later meaning that with two Group B fixtures remaining, the Scottish champions have only three points from 12 and cannot get into the knockout stages.Bayern beat the Scottish champions 3-0 with ease in the Allianz Arena earlier in the month but the Hoops can take encouragement from this performance as they still remain on course for a place in the Europa League.Bayern’s selection problems had dominated the build-up to the game after Poland striker Robert Lewandowski had joined Juan Bernat, Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery on the sidelines with a thigh injury.The solution coach Jupp Heynckes spoke of among six changes was to play James Rodriguez as a withdrawn main striker.Celtic’s injury problems were again in central defence and with Jozo Simunovic and Erik Sviatchenko still out, midfielder Nir Bitton partnered Dedryck Boyata.French striker Moussa Dembele started for the first time in the Champions League this season, supported by McGregor, as Rodgers returned seven of his big-hitters to the starting line-up.Hoops midfielder Stuart Armstrong missed a sitter in the fifth minute, mis-kicking six yards out after James Forrest had set him up with a perfect cross.The Bundesliga leaders were struggling to get into any sort of rhythm and in the 15th minute Dembele outpaced Rafinha in the left channel but dragged his left-footed drive wide of the far post.Celtic’s good early work was undone, however, when Boyata hesitated and let a long punt from Bayern keeper Sven Ulreich go over his head.Coman was on to the ball in a flash and rounded keeper Craig Gordon before slipping the ball past the backtracking Boyata, Bitton and Mikael Lustig.On the half-hour mark Bayern midfielder David Alaba whipped the ball away from Dembele as he looked to tap in Armstrong’s pass across goal.The former Dundee United midfielder came close three minutes after the restart with a drive which was brilliantly tipped over by Ulreich for a corner.Amid great encouragement from the home fans, Rodgers’ side kept up their efforts and their goal arrived when Forrest threaded a ball through to McGregor, who drilled his shot low past Ulreich.Celtic Park was still rocking when Coman took an Alaba pass and crossed for Martinez to rise above Bitton and head past Gordon.It was a stunning blow to the home side but again they came back, fighting and scrapping for another leveller, only to run out of time before they were given a heartfelt round of applause from their supporters at the end. Javi Martinez heads in Bayern’s winning goal last_img read more

‘Forget England and get into the first-team’ – Ray Parlour tells Jack Wilshere

first_imgArsenal legend Ray Parlour believes Jack Wilshere should concentrate on getting into the Gunners first-team rather than dwell on being left out of the England squad.The midfielder has been overlooked by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate for upcoming fixtures against Germany and Brazil.Wilshere has only featured in 13 minutes of his side’s Premier League campaign this season and last appeared for England as a substitute in the 2-1 defeat to Iceland in Euro 2016.But having impressed for Arsenal in the Europa League and Carabao Cup, Parlour believes Wilshere can work his way into the international setup if he continues to perform.“I think Jack is so pleased to be playing football again,” Parlour told talkSPORT’s Jim White.“He’s had his injury nightmares over the past few years. He’s a big player – on his day – he’s really close to starting for Arsenal in a Premier League game.“He doesn’t have to worry about England at the moment. He’s got to concentrate and get back in that [Arsenal] first team.“If he keeps playing well and doing the right things in games and training, Arsene Wenger might give him another chance.“There’s talk he’s going to sign a new contract, which would be amazing really, because it looked like he was going to leave the club.”Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks has been named in Southgate’s squad after earning his first senior call-up against for the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.And as a direct rival for a position in central midfield, Parlour expects Wilshere to recover from the setback and take inspiration from his return to fitness.“Of course you’re disappointed but he’s a strong character,” Parlour said.“He wouldn’t be a strong character to come back from the injuries he’s had because some people give up.“And it’s really hard to come back from injuries like that. And he’s got knock-backs after knock-backs. Now he’s just pleased to play football.“It’s the worst possible thing when you’re injured and you’re watching the other players to go out and train – and you’re not part of it.“And he’s seen that. He’s been on that treatment table watching players go out with a smile on their face.“Suddenly he’s got that smile on his face now. All he’s got to concentrate on now is his performances.  “And since he’s been back in the side in the Europa League or the EFL Cup, he’s played well. There’s still plenty of time for him to get back into that England squad.”last_img read more

Neil McCann disappointed with application levels in cup defeat

first_img“The warnings were made all week about Ryan Williamson bombing down the right, and it was a terrific cross and a good back-post header.“The warnings were there about taking too many touches today and passing it.“I thought we were off it.”Dundee started their League Cup campaign with a 4-0 win over Stirling last week but it looked to have gone back to square one in defeat to the Pars. Injuries to captain Sofien Moussa, Nathan Ralph and Genseric Kusunga compounded a disappointing afternoon for McCann who refused to blame the lack of preparation time.He said: “I was really pleased last week and then you can’t suddenly go and blame it when you lose.“The boys know I’m unhappy with them.“We have picked up three injuries which is a concern and forced us into making changes, but I still believe we have the boys in our squad that should have won the game today.“Application levels were down.”The Pars went top of Group D with the impressive win to leave manager Allan Johnston delighted.“It was a really good performance from start to finish,” he said. “I think we restricted them to very few opportunities and going forward we looked a real threat and could have scored a couple more.” Dundee manager Neil McCann admitted his players were “off it” in their League Cup defeat to Dunfermline.The Dark Blues were 1-0 down minutes into the match after Jackson Longridge headed home a Ryan Williamson cross, and they could have lost by more had it not been for goalkeeper Jack Hamilton.The new signing from Hearts denied Myles Hippolyte twice from close range in the first half before Dee gradually grew into the game, but it was a lacklustre performance against the Championship side that left McCann frustrated.“Very disappointed,” he admitted. “I thought they scored a really good goal.last_img read more

WSLM Celebrates 64th Anniversary on Valentine’s Day

first_imgRadio Station WSLM, 1220 on the dial in Salem, IN, went on the air on Feb. 14, 1953 as a 250-watt daytime operation. 64 years later, Don Martin’s daughter, Rebecca White, is keeping the station alive and bringing it to the modern age with local and regional news, sports, weather and intermingling it with social media and web updates.  Promotions in the 50s referred to the “tri-county area.” In 1963, Martin increased the station to 5000 watts and WSLM took its place as the “most powerful radio station in South-Central Indiana”In a 1963 issue of INDIANA BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY, it was noted “The growth and influence WSLM has in the Kentuckiana area has been phenomenal since its beginning in 1953.”Martin believed that a radio station located in rural Southern Indiana had a future because larger markets and urban areas were already covered with radio stations. On this theory, Martin had to convince investors and advertisers he was correct. Construction of the station and installation of equipment was nearly complete in late 1952 when much of the equipment was stolen and demolished by thieves. Always having a flair for promotions, Martin told the Associated Press, he had the “equipment most preferred by thieves,” and this made headlines around the country. Most of the equipment was returned after the FCC detected they were operating a pirate radio station in Ohio. After repairing and retuning the equipment, WSLM first aired on Feb. 14, 1953. People came from all over Southern Indiana on that first day and soon accepted the “Big Voice” of WSLM.In 1958, the station increased its power from 250 watts to 1,000 watts and more than doubled its coverage area. Ratings sheets showed the station was pulling 50 percent of the listeners at the lowest listener point of the day. During peak listenership, this figure increased to 82 percent. In 1961, Martin started WSLM FM 98.9 FM. This new station began airing ballgames, midget racing and other evening sporting events. In 1963, WSLM AM was increased to its current 5000 watt power, which allows it to be heard over most of Southern Indiana, Eastern Illinois, Northern Kentucky and Western Ohio. In 1968, Martin was named Washington County’s Citizen of the Year. Among his many accomplishments, Martin had chaired the March of Dimes Fund Drive and was cited by the National March of Dimes for having the highest contributions in the State of Indiana. Martin worked on many other projects as well as operating WSLM AM and FM. Martin was the vice-president of the Lee J. Fultz Hopewell School in Salem and a member of the board of the Harrison County Crusade School. He also served as the President of the Salem Rotary Club (and was a Paul Harris Fellow) and served as Vice President of the Salem Exchange Club.Martin was born in Illinois and moved to Indiana in 1922 when he was two years old. Martin attended the Salem elementary school for three years and then moved to the country and attended a country school.A 1936 Graduate of Salem High School, Martin enrolled at IU Bloomington. He went to school there for three years, and then enlisted in the US Marines and served on Guam, where he helped build and engineer the Armed Forces Radio Station there. After returning home, he completed his fourth year of school at the IU Extension in Jeffersonville. In 1948, he graduated with a Bachelor of Education  and in 1951 earned his Masters Degree as well as his principal’s license. After leaving college, Martin taught at Salem High School for four years (1949-1952) where he taught English and coached the Debate team. During this time, Martin was planning and building support for WSLM. He had some opposition from people who felt the radio station would “cause power failures, draw lightening, etc.” He built the stations into a local media empire and pioneered the first Cable TV operation in Indiana with Channel 5. Martin had seven fully equipped mobile units and two complete mobile studios built into trailers. Back in the 50s, Martin also owned a 50 hp motorboat used to cover events on the Ohio River, and two airplanes. Martin said the “peanut popper on Radio Ridge has become a Powder Keg,” when increasing to 5000 watts.last_img read more

Project SEARCH(R) open house is March 14 at Harris Regional

first_imgWhere most of the world sees limitations, Project SEARCH® sees potential.Instructors in Southwestern Community College’s one-year internship program are looking for even more high-potential students to enroll this fall, so they’re holding an open house for young adults with disabilities and goals of competitive employment. The informative event is scheduled for 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, in the main lobby of Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva.Potential students and their families are invited to attend and learn more about Project SEARCH®, a national non-profit program which partners with businesses to create internships for young adults with disabilities.The local program is a partnership between SCC, Harris Regional, Vaya Health, Vocational Rehabilitation and Webster Enterprises. Project SEARCH® targets potential students between the ages of 18-30.“I work every day with students who were told they could never function independently in society; but the truth is, they can,” said Devonne Jimison, SCC’s Project SEARCH® instructor. “There is nothing more rewarding than observing their growth over the course of the year I spend with them.“All of our graduates are now actively employed in fulfilling jobs,” Jimison added. “If you or someone you know could benefit from our program, I hope you’ll consider coming out to our open house.”last_img read more

Extend the Magic: Using Photo Books to Tell Your Story

first_imgRepeating Title ThemeThis storytelling device is much simpler in execution, and it emerged naturally in my 2014 July photo book titled, “A Salute to all Nations, but Mostly America.” In that particular book, I saluted many things. Dragons (but mostly Figment), fireworks (but mostly Disney’s Celebrate America: A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky), and characters (but mostly just Olaf – don’t judge us on this; it was Frozen Summer Fun and I had an inordinate amount of Olaf-themed photos).This theme can only be stretched so far without getting annoying, so even though this was the underlying thread of the book, I did put in a lot of other quips and descriptions. It is possible to have a photo book with a theme and still keep that theme low-key. This particular book is a great example of that.A Comedy of ErrorsEven though this book focuses on things that went wrong, the cutesy cover focuses on the adventurers aspect.This theme was natural from the very beginning in our 2014 Labor Day photo book, titled, “Walt Disney World Labor Day 2014 or That Time We Accidentally Met Ariel.” Have you ever gone on a trip where everything possible went wrong? (When I say everything, I mean everything, with the pinnacle being Anthony losing his driver’s license in Magic Kingdom on the very first day…)We wanted to capture this nothing-can-go-right feel, but we also wanted it to be clear that we had a great time. So we took the idea of chronicling everything that happened and gave it a humorous turn. This immediately started with the title, specifically the “or” portion of it. We really did accidentally meet Ariel on this trip, and choosing that for the title gave the book the right attitude from the beginning. The narrative of this book was a bit more than we usually put in, but we certainly managed to capture the comedy of errors aspect we wanted.Photo JournalI knew before I even went on my 2014 October solo trip I knew that I would have a specific angle for approaching this photo book. This was my first solo trip, and I had two goals for this vacation. The first idea came from a Touring Plans blog article about taking a pal to Disney World. I HIGHLY recommend reading this article, as I had a blast following the suggestion to take a small stuffed animal with me on my trip and photographing him (his name is Tron, called so by Anthony using the sentiment that “all animals in Disney World are animaTRONic) enjoying the parks. It was a great exercise for a solo trip in particular!The second goal I had was an idea I got from yet another Touring Plans blog article, this one about a wearable character autograph project. This article was the catalyst for my Disney character signature quilt blocks, and I wanted to get character autographs on 16 prepared and themed quilt blocks. With these two goals as driving forces behind my trip, I knew from the beginning that this story would focus on them. That’s how I ended up with, “Tron’s Big Adventure or Angela Meets 24 Characters.”This photo book is one of my very favorites, as half of it (at least) is basically a photo journal of Tron’s adventures. I was minimalistic on narrative in this one because the story is told by the photos, and this effect worked extremely well.Day-by-Day AccountJust because you take a simple approach, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with it.Sometimes you go on a trip that doesn’t lend itself to utilizing a highly stylized storytelling device. Last December we did a joint trip with my brother, his girlfriend, and her 4-year-old. Although my brother had traveled to Disney with us before, this was the first trip for the rest of the party. There is some serious magic to be had when taking a child to Disney World for the first time, and the last thing I wanted to do was distract from that by using some crazy shtick to tell our vacation story.I still needed a way to frame the trip in the photo book, so I simply used Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, etc. each time we transitioned from day to day in the book. It was effective, and I was still able to give the book some personality without taking it too far. Share This!Photo books are a great way to extend the magic of your trip!I’m sure you’ve all been there – your Disney vacation is over and the dreaded Disney blues set in and all you want to do is extend the magic from your trip. The end of a Disney trip can be depressing, but I’ve developed methods for extending the magic past the vacation so I can bask in the Disney happiness just a little bit longer. One of my main methods of doing this is through the creation of photo books.Now I know what you might be thinking, “Photo books? Anyone can create photos books to document a vacation! What makes your method so special?” Well I’m glad you asked. I approach photo book creation for Disney trips from a unique angle. Rather than just documenting step-by-step the different events that take place on a trip, I attempt to find a new and different storytelling theme for every photo book I create. My desire is that the photo books not only transport us back to the wonderful memories from the trip, but also make us laugh at the way I chose to tell the story. Essentially, I’ve embraced the idea of being goofy. Let me break down my process step by step.Step #1 – Editing PhotosThis step won’t apply to everyone, but it is something that I do because I am an amateur (strong emphasis on the word amateur) Disney photographer. Another one of the ways that I extend the magic when returning from Disney trips is through my photo editing process. I love spending time going through all of my photos chronologically, figuring out which ones to edit, and figuring out which ones to have some serious fun with. Before I will even conceptualize a photo book, I will have edited all the photos from my trip. Yes, this takes an enormous amount of time. But I really, really like it.To give you an idea of how long it takes me, I’m still editing photos from our 4th of July trip, and I haven’t started on our Labor Day Weekend trip yet. Keep in mind that my day job keeps me pretty busy, so I can go weeks at a time without editing any photos at all. If I really was in a hurry I could complete this much faster, but I’m okay with lingering over this step. It helps me extend the magic.Step #2 – Choose a Photo Book ThemeI use Shutterfly exclusively for making my photo books. Other options exist, like Snapfish, but I personally like the selection of themes that Shutterfly offers, and by now I’m an expert at using their design tools, so I have no desire to switch to any other provider. When my photos are edited and I’m ready to jump into the photo book creation process, the first thing I do is select a photo book style. Shutterfly has many options to choose from, and this is always a step I take very seriously. (Very recently Shutterfly added some Disney styles, which is not something they’ve ever offered before, and I’m looking forward to being able to use those in an appropriate photo book.)Sometimes a theme paired to seasonal activities is perfect!There are some specific questions I ask myself when picking a photo book style:1. If I traveled during a holiday season, do I want to theme the entire book to that holiday?2. Is there a theme that will guide me in my storytelling process?Christmas, Independence Day, Halloween – I do have photo books that utilize holiday-specific themes, so there is nothing wrong with taking this approach. I will note that if I approach it in this manner I also like to have a strong story-telling device that focuses less on the holiday and more on a unique storytelling perspective, but I’ll address that a little bit more in the next step.If the trip didn’t have strong influences from a holiday, I base my decision more on the “feel” of the theme. For example, if the trip had a chill/relaxing kind of vibe, I look for themes that exemplify that feeling (toned down colors, themed stickers that fit with the ambiance). If it was during the hottest time of year, I might focus on overly bright and saturated colors – anything that screams Florida fun in the sun.I must admit that a large part of this step relies on my gut reaction. Shutterfly comes out with new themes often enough that when it’s time for me to make a book (which I do for every single trip we take, regardless of how long it was) I am sometimes pleasantly surprised by something new. For example, I just created our Memorial Day Weekend trip book, and while there was not a Star Wars theme to fit with Star Wars Weekends, there was a great comic book style that I used as inspiration for my storytelling method. Which leads me to…Step #3 – Choose a Storytelling MethodThis is my favorite part of creating a photo book. I love coming up with new ways and angles to tell the story of our vacations. Every time I create a new photo book, I use a new shtick. Over the years I’ve learned that the more ridiculous I let myself be, the more entertaining my photo books become. I used to be very prim and proper, because I wanted to make sure anyone who read the book would get a nice, tidy overview of our vacation. Now I fill the books with fun and silliness and (sometimes) inside jokes. Whimsy goes with everything my friends, and as long as Anthony and I love our stories, I don’t really care if other people think we’re nuts. I highly recommend this approach.3 years ago I would never have featured this photo on the cover of a photo book. Now I’m all about embracing the goofiness.So how do I come up with new storytelling devices? A lot of times it happens organically. I jump into putting a book together and by the second page a storytelling device has emerged on its own. Once I can identify that I’m on to something, I take that one little idea and run with it, making it the dominant approach. Other times the storytelling device comes out of the book style I chose in step #2, like with the comic book example. Writing that photo book in a comic book style was a no-brainer. In rare instances, I have a storytelling method from the very beginning, like with my solo trip. Here are some examples of storytelling devices I’ve used in the past:Disney SongsThis theme is one that I used in our March 2014 photo book, titled, “A Frozen Journey.” That winter was BRUTAL and we live in Michigan. MICHIGAN. The trip itself was a last-minute desperate bid for sunshine, and on the cover of that particular photo book I framed the trip around us fleeing Elsa’s terrifying winter. However, the first page started the REAL theme of the book. Rewriting Disney lyrics to tell the story of our vacation.The trick with this was to keep lyrics that would instantly cause the reader to realize what Disney song we were riffing, but making changes to personalize them. I’m going to share a bit of this to illustrate the point, and I will be eternally grateful if we could keep the good-natured mocking to a minimum… (Remember, whimsy goes with everything!)We used such gems as, “Be our guest, be our guest, put your sunscreen to the test!” and “Let every creature go for broke and sing; let’s hear it in the herd and on the wing; it’s gonna be the Wilhelms’ finest fling; oh I just can’t wait for the Spring!” and my personal favorite is in the photo below.It is impossible for me to read this photo book without singing the tune of every song I used. Comic BookThe Dreamfinder twist to the comic book story was entirely inspired by my clothing choice on day #1.I’ve alluded to my newest photo book, and the only thing that makes me sad about it is that I’ll never be able to use this storytelling device again, unless they come out with an entirely different comic book style (I never use the same style twice). This was a case where the photo book theme dictated the storytelling device, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.Every comic book needs a story line, and this one was built around Anthony and I searching Disney World and trying to find and free Dreamfinder from captivity. (I’m very sad to report that we failed in our attempts to rescue Dreamfinder.) This was a case of embracing a quirky approach, and it definitely worked!Final TipsI would like to make a few final suggestions regarding photo book creations. First, do whatever you can to keep your photos in chronological order. Try to use a storytelling device that will let you do this – it makes reliving your trip easier when you read the book. I often end up with the last page or cover as a silly conglomeration of those leftover photos that didn’t get put in where they were supposed to.I kind of enjoy it when the back cover is a smidge nonsensical.Second, have fun while doing this! This is about extending the magic, and every piece of this process should be a tiny way for you to bask in the Disney magic. As much as I love my artistic shots of Disney landmarks, parades, and shows, I have an even greater affinity towards the silly photos that evoke an emotional response. Don’t shy away from goofy photos; oftentimes those are the ones that capture the true flavor of a vacation.Vary the number of photos you use per page to keep the design fresh. (The caption on the page actually reads “Hi-jinks at the Wilderness Lodge,” but for some reason the online preview cuts off the last word even though it printed in the book. Glitches in Shutterfly are rare, but this is a prime example.)Third, vary the number of photos you put on each page. It is okay to create a page with just one photo and also have a page that has a huge collage. Try to scatter different numbers of photos evenly throughout the book; this keeps the look fresh. Also, if you have a story you want to tell, there is nothing wrong with devoting an entire page to text. Do what you need to do to capture the memories.Lastly, if you haven’t made a photo book before, please remember to have some patience with the design interface in Shutterfly. It can be a little confusing when you don’t know the ropes, and although I’m a pro at using it now, I didn’t get there overnight. I always use the “Custom Path” option that lets me build and customize every aspect of the book to my liking. If getting knee deep into this process doesn’t appeal to you, Shutterfly has a “Simple Path” option. The downside to this is that there are fewer styles to choose from, but this appeals to some people. Lastly, Shutterfly rolled out a new option called “Make My Book” where a Shutterfly designer creates your book manually. The fee for this is $9.99. (I also wanted to point out that I specifically did not include a pricing range for photo books – there are so many different options with pricing dependent upon so many factors that there is no way I could truly ballpark an estimate for you. The least expensive option for an 8X8 book with no bells and whistles is $29.99 plus shipping and tax.)Another thing to keep in mind is that Shutterfly has sales going on almost all the time. The standard sale I see the most often is 30% off photo books. If you’re not in a hurry and you can wait for your book, hold out for the next sale and see if you can score 40%. Occasionally it will go as low as 50%, so keep your eyes open for that one as well! Last January there was a great New Year sale going on with 50% off photo books, and I caught up on all of my backlogged trips and finished and ordered three books. And I saved so much money that it was ridiculous.Is there anything you do to extend the magic of your Disney trips? Are you a fan of photo books as a method for reliving your trip? Please share in the comments!   Always tell the truth in your photo books.last_img read more