December 6th, 2017

LD Experts: Thoughtful and Fun Photo Gift Ideas

Our LD Experts are knowledgable about many subjects, but if you need key advice on photo gift solutions, we’ve got you covered.

Last week, LD photo expert Tim Yaworski appeared on CTV Morning Live Saskatoon. Tim chatted with host Jeremy Dodge on the Tech Talk segment about some great personalized gifts that are available from the LD Photolab, as well as our easy-to-use smartphone apps. 

Watch the full segment here or read the highlights below.

Thanks to ever-improving smartphones and digital cameras, people are taking more photos now than they ever have, and London Drugs offers some wonderful ways to share these photos as unique gifts with friends and family.

 

 

Custom photobooks are a great way to share memories with friends and family, and with many different styles to choose from, you can find the perfect way to tell your story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts and Keepsakes: Everyone knows you can print a photo on a mug, but did you know that you can also get your special photos printed on a coffee carafe, a keychain or a fluffy pillow? These days, you can print a photo on just about anything! Ask your friendly, neighbourhood LD PhotoLab Expert about other ideas for photo gifts.

 

 

Photo Scanning Box:  Who doesn’t have a shoebox or two (or five) full of old photos collecting dust? Instead of that “scan old photos” item lingering on your to-do list, you can take those photos right into your nearest London Drugs PhotoLab and have them scanned for you! You’ll take home a tidy, little USB drive full of fond memories for uploading to your computer, or sharing with family and friends. Perfect for stocking stuffers!

 

If you’re looking to create your gifts on the fly, you can upload and order PhotoLab items right from your smartphone. Our Android and iOS apps are convenient and easy to use.

For help creating your holiday gifts, our Photolab Experts can answer any questions you may have, and walk you through the ordering process. Just visit us at any London Drugs location, in the Photolab department.



November 30th, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Kids (and Parents)

We’ve got just over a month until Christmas. Time to get your shopping sorted!

Starting with last week’s Holiday Gift Guide for the Home Cook, we’re posting gift guides every week until Christmas. Each will be aimed at different groups and include gift ideas from stocking stuffers to show stoppers.

 

This week, our guide has gift suggestions for all the kids in your life that parents won’t mind playing with either! Whether you’re a parent yourself, or you’re buying presents for other kids and parents in your life, London Drugs has plenty of ideas and options.

Board Games are Big Again

Board games have gotten incredibly popular over the last few years. Board game cafes and bars in Calgary and Vancouver can attest to their popularity! Board games are tried and true, and (actually) fun for the whole family. They make great gifts, but choosing between the hundreds of games available can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to help!

Modern board games range from serious strategy games like Ticket to Ride or Settlers of Catan to classics with a twist like NHL-OPOLY. Strategy games tend to be better for older kids, but Dixit is good for kids three and up while still being super fun. Pandemic is a cooperative game, teaching valuable lessons about collaboration while players work together to save the world. Kids and parents alike will appreciate learning new games.

Gift Guide for Kids - Monopoly Deal

Or, you can give the parents in your life some classics from their childhood to share with their own kids, like Twister or Battleship. Monopoly Deal is a great new version of an old classic that is quick to play and won’t cause any family feuds!

Tech Toys

While board games are great, video games are really the modern classic. This year’s ultimate gift is the Nintendo Switch, especially bundled with Super Mario Odyssey. The Switch can be a home gaming system, or a portable device kids can continue playing on for those long car rides.

Gift Guide for Kids - Super Mario Odyssey

Image via Nintendo.com

If the kid on your list is into computers, teach them the basics of programming with this cool programmable robot.

Gift Guide for Kids - WowWee programmable robot

Image via WowWee.com

iPads are incredibly versatile techie gifts, good for young and older kids alike. They’ve got YouTube and Netflix for watching kids shows, tons of easy-to-learn games, and they make it easier to connect with family through FaceTime. There’s nothing better for grandparents, aunts, and uncles than a video chat with excited kids on Christmas morning!

Kid Crafts

For families wanting less screen time, crafty gifts are endlessly fun. Scientifically minded kids will be into these Cool Science Experiments, ranging from invisible ink to lava lamps to hoverboards.

Those who love to draw will appreciate a fresh set of pencil crayons. Pair them with a sketchbook to make a complete drawing kit.

Colouring books are always fun and relaxing. Give them a colouring book with their favourite movie characters (be it Minions or Spider-Man) or opt for beautiful shapes or animals and let the recipient tell their own stories with colour.

Lego

As frustrating as stepping on those tiny pieces can be, Lego is a classic toy for a reason. Get fancy sets for older kids, like this Star Wars Resistance X-Wing, or go back to basics with a  classic creativity set. You can make anything with Lego.Gift Guide for Kids - Star Wars X-wing lego

Personalized Presents

Personalized presents are great for kids—they love seeing pictures of themselves and their family! The PhotoLab can put your family photos on just about anything, but some particularly good gifts are personalized mugs, ornaments, and puzzles.

 

For more gift-giving advice for the kids (and parents) on your list, speak to an LD Expert today. To make a purchase, visit London Drugs in-store and online.

We’ll be back soon with a top gift guide for techies. See you then!

See all of our 2017 Holiday Gift Guides here:

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Techies

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for the DIYer

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Music Lovers

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for the Home Cook 



November 20th, 2017

Make a Gift Day: Craft Your Own Personalized Holiday Gifts for Loved Ones

Photolab Gift ideas

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s fitting that December 3rd is Make a Gift Day. Let’s think of it as a subtle nudge to get started earlier this year. This unofficial holiday encourages people to hand craft gifts for loved ones. After all, that little bit of effort to personally customize a gift goes a long way to making it special.

Photos are a great way to personalize gifts.  You’ve likely captured hundreds if not thousands of them over the year, so why not put all those memories to good use? Do some digging through your virtual photo albums and see if you can find some gems to work with.

Even if you don’t consider yourself Pinterest-level crafty, our Photolab can help you tap into your creativity and produce personalized photo gifts.

Here are some of our favourite DIY gifts for the holidays:

Photo Mugs

Personalize a mug with a special photo or artwork. It’s an easy, inexpensive gift that shows you put some thought into it. Find step-by-step instructions for adding photos or text to a mug on our Photolab website or at our in-store Photolab kiosks. Photo mugs are available for same day pick-up. If you want to order in time for the holidays, make sure to get your order in by December 24th.

Photo Mugs

Hand Print Mugs

Have the kids create their own handprint artwork on pieces of paper, which can then be digitized using an at-home scanner. Or visit us in the Photolab, where you can use our self-serve scanner, or have one of our LDExperts scan it for you. Then you can upload those digital files to our Photolab site (or use our in-store kiosks) and customize special mugs with that artwork, to be given away as holiday gifts.

Personalized Stockings

If your family does stockings every year, a fun pre-Christmas gift to make would be personalized stockings for everyone. Brand new to our Photolab, we have a selection of different Christmas stocking designs to choose from. Customize one for each member of your family, by choosing a design, selecting a photo of your choice, and adding their name (you want Santa to know who he’s delivering to). Then we’ll do the printing for you.

Personalized Stockings

Photo Ornaments

Photo ornaments are a gift that will show the recipient just how much you care. It’s something that can signify a special moment or milestone in their life, and they can hang it on their Christmas tree year after year.

Our Photolab can help you create your own customized photo ornaments. You pick the design: metal, crystal, ceramic or pewter, in a variety of shapes. Then choose a design template that fits your giftee perfectly. We have everything from baby’s first Christmas to first Christmas as Mr. & Mrs. Then, you can add the right photo, and get as creative as you like by editing the colour scheme, text and layout. Knowing you put the time and effort to customize every aspect of the gift will make it that much more meaningful for them.

 

We hope you’re feeling inspired to use your images to make fun and personal gifts that your friends and family are sure to cherish. We have lots more items you can customize. Just check out our Photolab site to see them all, from bobbleheads and crystals, to photobooks and blankets.

Need a hand getting started? LDExperts at many of our Photolabs are hosting workshops throughout December to help you personalize your holiday gifts. For workshop locations and times, click here.

 

Holiday Order Deadlines

A great selection of products are available for same day or next day pickup, up to Sunday, December 24th including Enlargements, Canvas Gallery Wraps, Express Books, Photographic Calendars and Mugs. See a Photolab expert for details.

Be sure to place your orders for the below products before the listed dates to ensure Christmas delivery.

Photobooks, Calendars and Traditional Greetings Cards…………Sunday, December 17

Creative Products………………………………………………………Sunday, December 17

Crystals…………………………………………………………….……Sunday, December 17

Crystallize-it 3D Photo Crystals………………………………….Wednesday, December 13

Yes Video……………………………………….……………………..Saturday, November 25

 

If you need some help creating your holiday gifts, our Photolab Experts can answer any questions you may have, and walk you through the ordering process. Just visit us at any London Drugs location, in the Photolab department.



February 8th, 2017

Photo blankets are a real thing

The London Drugs Photolab continues to expand its impressive line of photo gifts. This is very good news for people like me who are always struggling to find fresh and interesting gift ideas for occasions like Valentine’s Day.  You can only give the same person a photo mug or a fine art print so many times, after all. Regardless of the quality of the print or the perfection of the chosen photo, after a while the recipient is going to wonder why you never bother to think of something new. It’s ok. They don’t need to know that the Photolab is happy to do this kind of thinking for you.

For example, the Photolab now boasts a robust selection of textile print gift items including t-shirts, hoodies, aprons, pillowcases and blankets. Textile gifts are perfect for a range of occasions including bachelor(ette) parties and company picnics, but to me at least they seem especially appropriate for Valentine’s Day. Giving jewelry or a vacation is a little overkill and candy/roses/dinner is lame and cliché, but giving a personalized photo blanket ticks all the boxes: sentimental, thoughtful, affordable, original and uncommon. Most importantly, if you choose something like a beautiful vacation photo of the two of you, it’s also very romantic.

And, as always, creating a textile gift is as easy as ordering prints. Here is a short walkthrough of some of the steps for ordering a photo blanket at the Photolab in-store kiosk:

From the main screen, select Creative Orders and accept the terms.

 

Choose the source of your photos to upload, for example Wireless Transfer or Facebook.

 

Once you’ve gone through the steps to select your chosen picture for your blanket, you can choose the upload size. Blankets have a large surface area, so you should choose ‘Large’.

 

Once the upload is complete, you’ll see the Photolab homepage and from here you should select ‘Textiles’ followed by ‘Blankets’.

 

Choose either than landscape or portrait orientation…

 

Finally, whether you want it to be a full rectangular image or if you want to go Valentine’s Day to the Max and choose a heart print!

 

Nearly there! You can name your project and then get to work choosing and placing your image.
There’s a Toolbar along the bottom which you can use to edit your photo and add text.

 

Then, when you’re done, proceed to the Cart page and voila! Valentine’s Day all wrapped up in a personalized blanket.

 

Come to think of it, a personalized photo blanket makes arguably the best Photolab Valentine’s Day gift—because it’s the only personalized gift that two people can snuggle in.

 



November 29th, 2016

Giving Gifts They’ll Actually Love

Hint: It’s not the thought, it’s the personalization that counts!

We all know that one person who seems to always give the perfect, thoughtful and most unique Christmas gifts. How do they do it? Our Photolab Experts have the secret, and it’s easier than you think. It’s all about personalization. Adding a personal touch, like a photo or custom text, will give your gifts a unique quality that your loved ones will cherish. Our Photolab has virtually endless possibilities to customize your gifts for friends, family, colleagues and anyone else on your holiday shopping list.

card_xmas22

Greeting Cards – Whether it’s your family’s annual Christmas card, or individual cards to give out to family, friends and colleagues, spreading the holiday cheer starts here.  Rather than picking out a set of generic cards to send, why not create unique holiday cards with personal photos? Our Photolab can now customize Greeting Cards using a wide variety of themed templates on 6 new premium card stocks: linen, natural white, matte soft white, shimmer silver and shimmer soft gold. We are the only local Photolab to use these premium card stocks, so your greeting cards are guaranteed to be entirely unique.

 

5677992_photobook_xmas

Photographic Albums – Give a truly thoughtful and personal gift by curating a collection of special photos and creating a personalized photographic album for loved ones. The book’s photos are printed on thick photographic paper that will brilliantly display cherished memories in a high quality format. Share photos of a recent trip together, a collection of photos taken over the past year, or even old childhood and family photos.

 

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Personalized Large Fleece Blankets – Brand new to the London Drugs Photolab, this is the ultimate cozy Christmas gift. Got a hockey player in the family? Customize a fleece blanket with a photo of their team, and parents can use it to show support and to keep warm at their next game. Grandparents would love a personalized blanket with a photo of their grandchildren, and a dog lover would be over the moon to see their prized pup immortalized on a super-soft fleece.

 

crystal_xmasheart

Photo Crystals – Choose a meaningful photo to share with your loved ones and gift it to them in the form of a crystal. Our new expanded selection of shapes includes heart, teardrop, moon, wave and rectangle-shaped crystal blocks, which can transform your photo into a unique, eye-catching Christmas gift. This would make a great personalized hostess gift for any of your upcoming holiday parties.

 

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Express Books – Need to whip together a quick and easy Christmas gift, and need it right away? The 8×8 photographic Express Books can be made within 24 hours at any London Drugs location. Just choose your photos, and we’ll create a sleek photographic book complete with black leatherette cover. So if you forgot one last person on your list, or if you received an unexpected gift from your neighbour or colleague, don’t fret: we can take care of that.

 

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Instagram Books – This small personalized Instagram Book makes the perfect stocking stuffer gift! Simply select your favourite square Instagram photos from your feed, and our Photolab will turn them into a beautiful square photo book you can easily pop into someone’s stocking. This is a great gift for hard to buy for tweens and teens and for hobby photographers who showcase their work on Instagram.

 

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Photo Calendars – Have a few people on your shopping list that you’re just not sure what to get them? Our photo calendars are easily customized, which make them the perfect gift for almost anyone this Christmas. For family, feature images of your kids growing up, or for co-workers, perhaps feature some of your favourite landscape photos. It is useful all year round.

 

mugs_xmas11

Personalized Mugs – Whether they’re a coffee person or a tea person, you can’t go wrong with gifting a personalized photo mug. Pick a colour, design, and then choose your photo: it’s as simple as that. You can even choose our Magic Mug that reveals your hidden photo when hot liquid is added. These personalized mugs make great stocking stuffer gifts, as well as gifts for colleagues or your kids’ teachers.

 

Order any of these gifts at our new Photolab website or by visiting any London Drugs location.

 

Holiday Order Deadlines

A great selection of products are available for same day or next day pickup, up to Saturday, December 24 including Enlargements, Canvas Gallery Wraps, Express Books, Photographic Calendars and Mugs. See a photolab expert for details.

Be sure to place your orders for the below products before the listed dates to ensure Christmas delivery:

Photobooks, Calendars and Traditional Greeting Cards: Wednesday, December 14

Creative Products: Wednesday, December 14

Crystals: Tuesday, December 13

Crystallize-it 3D Photo Crystals: Tuesday, December 13

Bobbleheads: Monday, November 14

Yes Video: Friday, November 25

Click here for information about order deadlines.

 



February 29th, 2016

New Easter Templates for Cards and Mugs

It goes something like this: you finish ringing in the New Year, blink your eyes twice and bam! Easter arrives. I believe Einstein theorized that it has something to do with the space/time continuum…or maybe we’re just getting old. Well, the Easter Bunny may be able to quietly ambush you and I, but he can’t sneak past the London Drugs Photolab—whose new website is already spring-loaded (horrible pun, sorry, couldn’t be helped) with a veritable Easter basket full of brand new templates for cards and photo mugs.

Here on the ol’ Photoblog we’ve already covered how simple it is to create stunning and completely original personalized greeting cards using the in-store kiosks as well as the new website, yet they also allow you to make a mug into a masterpiece. And the process is just as simple & convenient, if not more so. Let’s take a look, shall we?

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READ MORE



November 5th, 2015

Photo Gift Ideas for the Proactive

If you wait, before your know it Dec 24th will be here and you’ll have missed your chance to get Aunt Rita this customized photo pet bowl for her Shih-Tzus.

If you wait, before your know it Dec 24th will be here and you’ll have missed your chance to get Aunt Rita this customized photo pet bowl for her Shih-Tzus.

So…who’s up for being proactive this holiday season? Hmmm. Okay, I don’t see very many hands… What’s the matter? Oh, I understand: being proactive can be a hassle, which is probably why so many people don’t bother with it. Being proactive requires thinking ahead, and who has time for that? Speaking of time, that’s another big reason people aren’t more proactive with their holiday shopping: we’re too busy being proactive with other things to be proactive shopping for a holiday that’s still so many months/weeks/hours away.

Fortunately, as a lover of all things photography-related, you’re in luck; the Photolab has great gift solutions for pretty much everyone. Keep in mind, these are personalized gifts you create especially for the recipient, from your own computer or mobile device. Again, to recap: personalized gifts that are convenient, require very little of your time and involve photography—your photography, in particular—which is something you enjoy. See that? The Photolab has just removed all of your barriers to proactivity.

On top of all that, the Photolab has made it easy to customize the type of gift based on the recipient’s known preferences/lifestyle/etc. In fact, the selection of items you can put an image on via the Photolab just keeps on growing. Here are just a few of the many gift ideas you’ll find:

Mugs—Sure, we’ve covered these before and you already knew photo mugs have been around forever. My personal favourite is the latte mug. Not only can it display a larger image, but it also holds more coffee. I like lots of coffee.

Coin bank—Help the recipient save by printing a picture of their savings goal right on the coin bank itself. That’s motivation, right there! Or, buy one for yourself and put a picture of someone for whom you’re saving up to buy a more expensive gift. Either way, everybody wins. Available for square or panoramic images

Water bottle—Say you know someone who wants to get back in shape, and they’re doing it ‘for the kids’, or ‘the kids deserve a fitter, healthier parent’ or something to that effect. So give them a water bottle with a picture of their kids on it, so their motivation is always right there, in a cupholder on the Stairmaster. Available with 4×4 or 8×4 image.

Heart-shaped puzzle—This isn’t just for couples who aren’t too cool for heart-shaped things. I bet the grandparents would love a heart-shaped puzzle of the grandkids. I bet the kids would love a heart-shaped puzzle of the family pet. Think outside the box, dear readers. Start thinking more heart-shaped.

Photo pet bowl—It’s a good thing dogs can’t see two-dimensional images. Otherwise, they might think a food bowl with their picture on it is kinda vain. Fortunately they care more about what’s inside the bowl. Your cat can see photos, however, and cats feel entitled to such glorification. Available in small and large sizes.

So there you have it. The Photoblog has just provided you with the inspiration for probably half your shopping list. And this is only a partial list of the Photolab’s gift ideas. Do yourself a favour and check them all out; you never know what may jump out at you. While you’re at it, give yourself a gift, too—give yourself the time to be proactive.



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