Friday, April 23, 2010

Special Olympics Gold Medal

A friend's son won a Gold Medal for the 50 meter breaststroke at the Special Olympics on Saturday. Asher (last name blurred for privacy) is a nice boy and I'm proud of him so when I heard about it I offered to make a page for him free of charge using SBC 3.0 for him and his family to remember his accomplishment. I think it turned out quite nicely and hope he enjoys it over the years. I printed it on standard photo paper and trimmed it with my paper cutter to 8x10" so they can frame it and he can hang it on his wall if he wants to. His mother thinks that some of the other parents may want a page for their children who also participated in the Special Olympics.

I think that creating a single page to commemorate a special event is really a great idea and provides so much more meaning that a single photo does. Did you or your child win an award, win a sports championship, perform on stage, go on a Make-A-Wish trip, graduate from college, complete a marathon, retire from a long career, do you want your favorite saying combined with photos of your loved ones to hang on your wall and remind you what's important  to you? I think the possibilities are endless.

Contact me if you are interested in hiring me to make you a single page to frame. Or you can do it yourself if you purchase Storybook Creator Plus 3.0.  A big thanks to Jennifer who gave me the idea when she said she was going to frame the page I made for her daughter of the poem Evie wrote for her.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Birthday Poem

My youngest daughter has "some medical issues" and had surgery last week. Spending 4 nights in the hospital and her coming home in a lower body cast has put a little wrinkle in my scrapbooking plans. But I did do this little project with my 9 year old daughter. She had written a poem for her friend and neighbor's birthday party and wanted to make it into a page print using the StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0. We printed it on 8 1/2 x 11" matte photo paper. It turned out to be quite cute and Evie was thrilled with it! Digital scrapbooking has been a fun activity for us to do together, she really enjoys helping select the artwork.

Scrapbooking is powerful. It shows those we love how important they are to us and why.

The photo used in this project was taken in our treehouse that Evie and Zeirna's dads built together. They live kitty-corner to us and we have a passageway in the fence between our houses that the girls have used to go to each other's houses since they were 3&4 years old. One of their favorite things to do is to get all dressed up and play "olden days" as they were doing the day this photo was taken. She said it brought a tear to her eye and she is going to have it framed. We were very flattered. It felt great to hear that it meant so much to them.

Page designed using content from Simply Beautiful Power Palette and Classic Spring Addition, Zinnia image found on internet and recolored in SBCP, signature font Floral Caps Nouveau.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tag Maker

Look what arrived in the mail yesterday from Creative new tag punch. I am so excited! Have you ever been at a loss for a card or tag for a gift?

The paper I used was a piece of heavy cardstock that I saved from the packaging of a toy the kids got. It is green on the backside and will make perfect gift tags....AND I'm reusing. Think what cool tags you could make with pretty double-sided scrapbook paper. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Consultant Crop

Yesterday I went to a free Consultants Only Crop at my up-line, Eileen's, scrap studio. A crop is when a group of people get together to work on scrapbooking projects, eat  and socialize.  As Eileen says it's a great way for women (and an occasional man) to get together for some time away but actually accomplish something at the same time. It feels a bit like the quilting bees of years past. It was great and I look forward to getting away to do it again soon!

Eileen has been a CM consultant for 8+ years and has several consultants under her. Some have been CM consultants for 15 years. It was great to meet them, a really nice group of women. Several of them told me they were very impressed with my layouts and sample book, which made me feel great as a newbie and reassured me that what I'm doing maybe isn't so crazy after all. We also shared tips and information and learned from each other.

I got started on my 2009 Disney trip album and have downloaded the CM Disney Mickey, Princess, Cars and Pooh Digital Addition Kits which I think will make a great addition to the "Basic White" pages with some additions from the "Primary" palette.

I love this idea of women coming together to socialize yet make progress on their albums at the same time. I'm looking forward to setting up some crop events at my home with people who want to bring their laptops and scrap digitally. I am not setup to host crops with traditional (paper) scrapbookers at this time but Eileen is and I can put you in contact with her. If you live the Seattle/Bellevue area and are interested in attending a crop event please e-mail me at .

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sample Album for Auction Event

I've been working feverishly, staying up extra late many nights this week, to create a sample book for the King Street Co-op Preschool Auction (we're alumni). I donated a copy of Storybook Creator Plus 3.0 and 2 hours of my time to help the winner get started. The event was last night and it felt great to have some professional looking display items for the table. The main piece was an 8x8" album that I made by printing pages onto 8 1/2 x 11" photo paper using my home printer. I then trimmed the pages with a paper cutter and slid them into a Creative Memories album with page protectors.

I was really happy with how it turned out because I think it gives a good idea of the variety of types of layouts that a person can easily create using just the free artwork that comes with the software.  I started with predesigned pages, which are complete page layouts already created. All you do is simply add photos and text/journaling and make modifications if you choose. I used some additional techniques and have labeled the samples below so you can see what changes were made. Of course, in addition to the content that comes with the software, Creative Memories also sells additional artwork that I'm really excited to start using. Next, I'm looking forward to creating my first full length album. It's a big project, tackling my 800+ Disneyland photos from our trip last year and ordering it as a Storybook printed by Creative Memories

Here are the two page layout samples I created. In the book they are viewed side by side. I'd love to know what you think of the pages. Please feel free to comment.

"Discover" theme predesigned pages. Modifications: additional square photo frame added and slight repositioning, "A Day to Remember" text embellishment added.

"Basic Black" theme 12x12" predesigned pages. Modifications: frames cut from "Delight" papers, "I can fly" text path, added cat shape filled with black, leaf created with paper shape cutter, added celebrate and good times embellishments, "Peter Pan, Wendy & Tinkerbelle" text using "Delight" alphaset.

"Discover" theme predesigned pages. Modifications: Added "enthusiasm" embellishment, circle frame added for teacher, thought bubble shape cut from "Discover" paper, " "Adrian's First Day of Kindergarten" text using "Adventure" font.

"Basic White" theme predesigned pages.  Modifications: photos changed to black and white, embellishment added, full page photo background, frames changed to style "Standout".

"Delight" theme predesigned pages. Modification: none. 

"Basic White" theme predesigned pages. Modifications: created scattered photos page by copying and repositioning frames, text box background  (used a white square behind the photos to block text from coming through).

"Delight" theme predesigned pages. Modifications: embellishments removed and added, font used Harlow Solid Italic.

"Basic Black" theme predesigned pages. Modifications: scatter page created by copying existing scatter page from another album and adding to it, full page text predesigned page used Harry P font (you can find the link in my Freebies section), Hogwarts crest used a .png file with opacity changed.

"Discover" theme predesigned pages. Modifications: Stitching covered with ribbon, added text embellishments, enlarged circle tag, added frame.

Note: The pages I used are just some of the many pages in each theme of the predesigned pages sets that come with the software. To see the full 30 page 12x12" sets of predesigned pages click on the links below.

The software also comes with 7x5", 11x8 1/2", and 8x8" (which are the same as the 12x12") sized predesigned pages in the same themes. To see those .pdf files click this link to the Creative Memories Help Zone.

The predesigned pages are just an easy starting point. You can even choose to have the software auto-populate your project with photos. All the elements of each page can be recolored, rearranged, moved, added to or removed according to your taste or need. If you want to design from scratch you can do that too. Truly there is no limit to what you can do, especially if you start purchasing additional digital scrapbooking content.  This is just the beginning.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Feel As If I've Joined a Cult

Okay maybe that's not the smartest first thing to say about my new venture, and cult is probably too strong a word, but it is the truth. I don't like to sell things. I even cringe when asked to solicit donations for my kids' school from their grandparents. So I'm not the type of person to try to sell things and I dislike it so much I've never had a sales job of any kind and I'm in my 40's. In fact, I've always been afraid of direct sales companies and the people who sell their products. That is why it is so incredible that I've decided to become a Creative Memories consultant. For those unfamiliar with the company it is the Tupperware/Amway/MaryKay of scrapbooking. They offer high quality scrapbooking supplies and have a pretty loyal following. I too am excited about their products and I'm pretty picky, but that doesn't mean I'm going to try convert or recruit my friends and family. Please don't be afraid. Wink, wink.

Those who know me personally know how passionate I am about taking pictures. Recording memories is extremely important to me and scrapbooking them digitally is the perfect extension of that. As far back as I can remember I loved to look at family pictures. In the 5th grade my mom let me borrow her camera to take pictures at camp which I promptly added to my baby scrap book. I've been collecting momentos and taking photos ever since. Now days I mostly take pictures of my kids, other peoples kids (I have friends who swear I have more pictures of their kids than they do) and special events (weddings, parties, baby showers etc.) Sometimes I actually take the time to photograph nature and other things of interest that aren't related to my home and family life. I need to get better about that.

I'd always loved to make old fashioned style scrapbooks, the kind your grandma had with black pages and photo corners, with tickets stubs and other momentos, long before it became a popular hobby. Although I admit I always hated how the pages would get caught up on each other and the books wouldn't lay flat (this was before you could find scrapbook albums with page protectors, or maybe I just didn't know where to find them) so after I got married and started accumulating more pictures I opted to switch to traditional style albums because it was faster and kept the photos better protected. In the days before going digital I managed to put ALL of my pictures in albums. It felt great! And it was so fun to be able to pull those albums out whenever I wanted. But that ENDED literally the day I got my first digital camera. Sadly, I haven't made an album since. It's not that I can't. I know the services are out there but life was busy with 3 little kids and for a long time it was impossible to make the time to do it. But I've been painfully aware that the problem just gets harder to tackle the longer you wait.

When I realized you could create the look of a scrapbook without the bulk, by creating a photobook, and could therefore store far more photos in less space I was really excited. I wanted my kids to be able to enjoy our photos and memories now. So, a year or so ago I started the process of creating a photobook through Shutterfly. I discovered quickly that their layouts were far too limiting for what I wanted to do. My biggest complaint was that after spending all this time uploading pictures I couldn't reposition the layout to include the exact pictures where I wanted them on each page or oriented the frame to match the picture's orientation. Frustrating! In other words, I had to work completely within their template choices. And, there wasn't enough room in the text boxes to tell my story the way I wanted to tell it. I knew right away that I needed more flexibility and room for creativity.

I figured there had to a program out there but honestly I really hadn't heard of any. Only a few people I knew had even created a photobook on-line. After asking around some internet friends told me how much they LOVED Creative Memories Storybook Creator Plus 3.0 . It did look really cool but I was turned off by the business model and was afraid I would be forced into using their scrap elements and photobook printing. I found out that wasn't true but I still proceeded to look into other top rated software first, hoping they would be just as good or better.
  • I downloaded the trial of Adobe Photoshop Elements. This software is preferred by many serious scrapbooker designers because you can do anything in it. But it is more difficult to learn with a less intuitive interface and in my opinion it is harder to keep your scrapbooking elements organized. Being a very organized person this was a big drawback to me. Elements looks and functions quite a lot like it's big brother Photoshop.
  • I also tried Memory Mixer. They had a 30 day money back guarantee so I tried it. This software was simple to use but I was very disappointed to find I couldn't recolor custom photo frames or use papers to create my own frames. So for example if I got a PNG scallop freebie frame I couldn't actually change the color of the frame using this software (like you can in Elements or Storybook Creator). While this program is probably great for some people I knew I would want to do far more than it was capable of.
After watching all the video tutorials on Storybook Creator Plus 3.0 I felt this software was really going to be the best for me. I was ready to order it but found at checkout that I had to give a consultant ID# to make the purchase. I starting looking through their consultant finder so I could buy it and found a lady in Bellevue who is a Creative Memories Unit Leader. She was really nice and helpful. After talking with her awhile on the phone I made the decision to become a consultant myself. My kit is ordered and should arrive any day. She and I are going to meet in person in early March. I'm not sure where this could lead me. Time will tell.

Hopefully I'll get over my initial embarrassment about this new endeavor of mine as time goes on. First and foremost I'm really excited about starting the process of getting my own photos organized and into albums. This is something that most of us struggle with in the digital age. People need help! And I'm going to attempt to do just that. I'm excited, and this is just the beginning. I don't want to be that person that people avoid. So please do me a favor, if you feel like I'm trying to convert you please ask me nicely to stop.