Thursday, May 25, 2017

design your own messenger bag (computer bag)

#tbt   Have you seen Heritage Makers' Messenger Bag?  It's a computer bag, and YOU design the front cover (or you could use a template if you prefer).

That means you get exactly what you want!  Photos, logo, included digital art, text--whatever you want.


This link {here} is a throwback to 2 years ago when the Messenger Bag first came out.  It gives all the specs and details and shows a few more pictures.  It's a GREAT gift idea for a mom or dad, grandma or grandpa, but it also can make a professional-looking computer bag that doubles as advertising for your business!

Win-win, no matter what you use it for. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

an easy way to preserve your own story: social media

After a few years of being on Facebook, I realized that the little posts I was writing were really my life story in snippets.  We sometimes think about writing our life story in paragraphs and chapters.  Those are obviously very effective ways to do it, but why not think outside the box?  In what ways do you already record your life story?

I decided to compile my little snippets in a storybook. 

I had seen this block style book on a Heritage Makers template before, and it was really easy to duplicate.  Each two-page-spread is a different style, using the included digital art.  But the fun thing is that you can do it YOUR way--any way you want.  

This project was basically just a lot of copying and pasting, and uploading photos.

I actually really enjoy looking back on these posts and pictures preserved this way.   It's fun!  My kids like it, too.

Think about where you have recorded little snippets of YOUR life story!  Social media?  E-mails?  Gathering them and preserving them in a tangible form makes them easily accessible and enjoyable. 

If you're new to Heritage Makers, learn more in the "What Makes Heritage Makers Different?" tab in red along the top.  When you're ready, the "how to get started" tab gets you on your way.

P.S.  I realize that most people think Facebook is going to be around forever, but who really knows.  Trusting that bits of your life story on free, online platforms will always be accessible may or may not be wise.  Plus, in my case, who knows when you might want to actually get OFF Facebook!  ;)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

personalized DIY business planner (and affordable, too!)

You've heard the old adage:  "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."  There's a whole lotta truth to that.

I'm a planner.  I always have been.  I've struggled, though, to find a good way to keep track of my business plans without having scribbles and notes all over my daily personal planner, which becomes too chaotic for my brain.

A few years ago, I started creating my own separate business planner using the 6x9 booklet from {Heritage Makers}.


Here's what I love about it.
  • PRICE  These babies are only about $6.50-$8.50, depending on the discount you choose. 
  • SIZE  It's 6x9 so it fits nicely in the front of  my dayplanner.  (And, yes, I still use a paper planner.  Something about being physically able to cross something off a list really helps me.)
  • BINDING  This booklet has a simple staple binding, so it's flat and fits easily in bag or other planner or purse without issue.
  • PERSONALIZATION  This is THE #1 REASON I make my business planners with Heritage Makers.  I have certain ways I organize my plans, certain things I do on certain days (best way to keep up on social media, BTW), and notes of things I want to do in the future.  No other planner really gives me the space to plan and take notes like something that I can make myself to specifically fit my schedule!

I also made it pretty.  That should be a bullet point, right?  :)

I really love how I can list everything out that I need to do and cross things off.  This is essentially my to-do list.  I write down classes I'm teaching and networking events and such in my regular planner/calendar, but this is all the prep work to make those things happen, including everything I do online.

Here are some other booklet planner examples.  
These are templates.  Remember that Heritage Makers templates are 100% editable, so you can change any element, add your own logo, add photos, rearrange things, anything.  That also means you can edit something from one year to use for a different year.

Look page by page through this calendar planner {by clicking right here}.

Look page by page through this appointment planner {by clicking right here}.

My planner isn't in the Template Gallery, but I can easily transfer it from my Heritage Makers account to yours--just ask!

Another possibility
I made one of the 6x9 wirebound books as a business planner for a gift once.  These are about $10 more than the staple-binding version above.



(I gave this gift with some Hershey Nuggets and Tic Tacs that I'd dressed up with Heritage Makers address labels!  The video tutorial about making chocolates with labels is {here}.)

This planner isn't in the Template Gallery, either, so if you want to use this one, I can transfer it to your Heritage Makers account from mine--just ask.

It's a great gift idea, too, for team members or friends!

Making your own planner means you're getting exactly what you want.  It follows your personal schedule and needs.  You can use a template from the Template Gallery and alter anything you wish, or you can design something yourself using the 200,000+ pieces of digital art available in the Heritage Makers program, Studio.

Click the red "how to get started" tab at the top for directions on how to make your own TRULY PERSONAL business planner!

Or, if you prefer, I hire out to create FOR YOU exactly what you want!  See the "contact me" tab for more information.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Four fun gift ideas for Father's Day

Does your dad or grandpa or husband have enough ties?  Here are four cute gift ideas for the fathers, grandfathers, or special men you know.

#1  PERSONALIZED PLAYING CARD DECKS
I LOVE these!  They are so much fun!!



You're seeing the BACKS of the decks of playing cards here.  These particular decks come together pretty fast because you are really just changing 1-4 photos and a few words.  I've created a video tutorial to show you how to make any of one these sets right here:

#2 FATHER'S DAY CHOCOLATES
These aren't like any old chocolates!
These chocolates are made special for Dad using Heritage Makers address labels.

I have a few sets on hand (25 chocolates for $6+shipping) if you like, but if you prefer to PERSONALIZE them, you can!
These Father's Day labels are template 134254This video tutorial shows you step-by-step how to make labels for chocolates.  You can create your own message on the labels, or even add a picture! 

#3 COUPONS
What dad doesn't like a little help?  These cute little double-sided business cards perfect for dads.  The giver can fill in the goods & services offered.  They're inexpensive and a step above coupons written on notebook paper.  ;) 

These coupons are not in the template gallery to order yourself, but I have several on hand, so if you'd like a set of 10 for $3 (+shipping), use the "contact me" tab.

#4 FATHER'S DAY GIFT BUCKET
If you didn't see my Mother's Day Gift Ideas post last month, your first question is probably:  What's a gift bucket?  It's basically a super cute (& personalized, if you want) container for you to fill with goodies that your dad would love, from popcorn and movies to candy bars or whatever HE would like.

Crafting with Heritage Makers is so much fun because you can essentially make your own scrapbook paper AND there are about a grazillion templates you can use if you'd rather not design anything at all.

Here's a tutorial on how to make these cute gift buckets, with some additional ideas for gift bucket possibilities, too.  http://lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com/2015/03/tutorial-buckets.html

I do have 1 of these completed buckets on hand if you prefer.  It's $10+shipping.  Just use the "contact me" tab in red above to snap it up.

What would YOUR dad or grandpa or husband love?  Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

DIY punch cards for business: Abby's WildTree loyalty cards

I've been having so much fun lately exploring with small business owners the possibilities that Heritage Makers offers.

Here's the thing:  All the {business products} that Heritage Makers has to offer are pretty great, but because you can do ANYTHING with ANY product, you can even create something business-related from a non-business-related product!  Let me show you this fun one:

Abby created these loyalty punch cards for her {WildTree} business using a playing card deck!  That makes them the size of a playing card instead of a regular business card, so they just stand out a little more.  The finish is slick and durable.  Abby wanted to keep the card simple and beautiful, and I think what she ended up with was just perfect. 
Although most playing cards have backs that all look the same and fronts that are all different, creating punch cards like this means all the fronts are the same, too.  That was really easy with the "duplicate" button!  So Abby now has 54 punch cards with the fronts and backs you see here to give to hosts of events and attendees, too.

You can see another example of {punch cards here}.

When Abby sent me this picture of her completed product, she wrote, "They look awesome and I cannot wait to start handing them out! They turned out so much better than I could have imagined."

And that's exactly what you want right there!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Wish you "had time"? Here's how to make it.

This may come as a complete surprise to you, but there isn't any such thing as "not having time" or not having "enough time." 

And that's because we all have time.  We all get 24 hours every single day.  Over and over and over.  We all have the same amount of time.  Always.


The REAL question is:  Where are you spending your time?

How much free time do you think you have in a day?  Most people I talk to tell me they have no free timezero hours to do something they're not already doing.  So when people think about preserving their photos and memories, or reading that book they've been meaning to get to, or taking up a hobby, they're pretty convinced they don't have time.  How true is it?

According to {socialmediatoday.com}, people spend an average of 2 hours a day on social media.  And according to the {nydailynews}, people spend an average of 5 hours a day watching TV.

A. DAY.

This obviously isn't true for everyone, I know.  But time management is an issue for everyone.  Whether you're good at managing time or bad at it, our time is ours to manage.

What types of things do you wish you "had time" for?  I often hear people "wish" they had time for getting their photos off their phones or cameras and doing something meaningful with them.

So how do we turn that "wish" into reality?  Memories fade so quickly that making time to preserve them is very important.  And this, too, is true:


We know we have THIS moment.  Henry David Thoreau gave us a little perspective in his essay Walden when he wrote:  "...as if we could kill time without injuring eternity."  Using the moments we know we have for important things takes a little prioritizing and planning, but important things are always the most meaningful and rewarding.

I read a couple of articles recently that I'd like to share bits of with you that can help you "make time." 

{This great article} called "How to Make More Time For the Things You Love,"  gives some excellent tips on how to "prune" your days.  This will be a great resource for you if you're looking for more time to do something important.  To summarize Elsie's suggestions:
  • delete anything excessive (things you're doing too much of)
  • delete anything you're duplicating (like multiple shopping trips)
  • delegate (what chores could your kids be doing, for example?)
  • consolidate (meal prep, errands, etc.)
  • make a plan to do it (don't hope for the time, plan for it)
  • consider creating a ritual, a regular time
  • use your time wisely

Naomi at {www.planitonapostit.com} observed that when we "have a lot on our plates, we suppress the ability to create."   Have you ever thought about it that way?  Remember--creativity isn't for "creative" people.  We all create all the time.  Our ability to create relates to creating new ideas or new ways of doing things as much as it relates to actually creating something tangible.  So making time to create is necessary!

Speaking of tangible, let's go back to trying to make time for your photos.  Here are a couple of posts that are specific to making time for preserving photos and memories.  See which tips and ideas would work for YOU.
What do you think?  What could you change?  What could you prioritize, plan, or prune?  How could you create a ritual or even a family activity so you can  #makesomethingmeaningful?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

preserving photos and stories: why you should care

Why does doing something with my photos matter?  Why should I even care?  What good does it do?

You might be surprised.  Maybe even amazed.  This two and a half minutes touches on scientifically-proven reasons that we need memory-keeping, and what it can do for us and our loved ones.

Memory-keeping can affect us, help us, and change us.  In fact, it should.
Many thanks to Clarissa at {Constant Motion Fitness} for the video.

Monday, May 1, 2017

showcase your photos by creating a canvas!

Don't you think some photos are so great they should be seen year-round?

Me, too!

And that's why Heritage Makers has canvases! 

Create your own or use a template, just like all the other Heritage Makers products.


And I made a video tutorial that walks you right through the process of making a canvas!

ENJOY!