Friday, September 27, 2013

silhouette nativity blocks {a tutorial}

As much as I love the Chunky Nativity Blocks for Kids that I showed last week, I love these just as much.  These are the slimmer, more grown up version of a similar idea.  This set has more pieces, and because they are not specifically designed for little hands, I don't feel the need to go to the extra steps of a Mod Podge covering and a sealant.  (Although you definitely could.)


Don't you just love the silhouettes?

These are just as simple and inexpensive as the other block tutorials I've shown.  This project cost me about $7. 

Here's what you need:
  • Heritage Makers template 112226. This is actually my own template--I created it!  Then I just submitted it to Heritage Makers and let them add it to the template gallery.  You can see it at www.heritagemakers.com/jenniferwise.  Just click the "template gallery" link at the upper right, then type 112226 into the search field.  
  • about 2 1/2 feet of a 1x4 piece of wood (This size is also found at home improvement stores.  I had no idea this even existed.  But I REALLY LOVE the slimmer look for this particular nativity set.  I just think it's more sophisticated than the 2x4.  Again, even though the wood is called 1x4, it actually measures smaller--about .75"x3.5".)  You'll need to cut the wood into one 5.5" piece, two 4.5" pieces, and four 3.5" pieces.
  • a saw (power saw recommended), or a nice person at said home improvement store who will cut the board into pieces for you--just be sure you take the measurements with you.
  • black paint (Craft paint or spray paint; I use craft paint.  I chose black because the silhouettes are black.  I think it looks really sharp.  But you can choose whatever color paint you prefer.)
  • adhesive  (spray adhesive, Xyron, double-sided tape, Mod Podge, or UHU stick)
STEP 1:  create the beautiful part
You can always create your own designs from scratch, but feel free to use my design (template 112226).  Place the template into your account by doing a search for it in the Template Gallery.  Once you find it, click on it.  Then click "personalize."  This template was made from the Premier Art collection, so you'll need Premier Art access.  The easiest way to get that is through Club HM because it's free AND you get the best price on everything you publish with Heritage Makers.  Click here for Club HM information.  Once it's copied over to you account, you can also change things in my design if you want--background colors, borders, whatever.  This was made on a 12x12 scrapbook page, which is 6 publishing points (or $6 retail).  I'm in Club HM, which means I get discounted publishing points deposited into my account each month to use however I want, so I'm actually saving 33%.  This print cost me $4.  If you've been to the post office, you know shipping isn't cheap--so what I did was save this print until I was ordering other things, and I ordered them at the same time to save on shipping.  I always do that. 

Preview your project with the "preview" button to see how it will print, then submit it for publishing.  While you wait the 7-10 days for it to come in the mail...


STEP 2:  cut your wooden blocks
I've put directions right on the Heritage Makers scrapbook page, so when it's printed, just follow the directions.  I'd recommend that you cut the blocks with a power saw, to save time and to get a cleaner cut.  (You'll notice that the wood is cut slightly larger than the Heritage Makers pieces--it's easiest to have a little bit of a wood border around your HM pages.  It protects it a bit, and it's easier to place the pieces on the blocks without worrying about how the edges meet.)  I really love this slimmer 1x4 wood!  

STEP 3:  prepare the wooden blocks
Sand rough edges.  Paint (I'd recommend painting all sides, but I suppose you could leave the back and the bottom unpainted if you'd prefer.)  
Let dry completely.


STEP 4:  cut out the cuteness
Once you get your finished scrap pages in the mail from Heritage Makers, just cut out the pieces. 

STEP 5:  adhere the cuteness to the blocks
Use spray adhesive, Xyron, double-sided tape, Mod Podge, or UHU stick on the back of each of the pieces of scrap page.  I used double-sided tape for my decorative tiles, and Mod Podge for my Chunky Nativity Blocks for Kids.  This time I am trying the Xyron...which I have never used before!

It's so easy and fast!!  You just put your pieces in the machine and turn the handle.

Keep turning the handle, and when they come out the other side,
they are essentially a sticker!  Just peel it off and adhere it to the corresponding size blocks.

I loved the Xyron for its ease and speed.  The only thing I didn't like was that the edges of the piece are sticky, so I had to rub off the excess.  I liked it so much, though, I'd definitely use it again.  Feel free to use whatever method you prefer to adhere the pieces to the blocks.  You can spray with a sealant if you want, but I didn't.


Next Step:  Wait for the compliments!

That's it!  You've just made a simple, classy, crafty ($7) nativity!!  Show off in your home or give as gifts.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

new "DRAG TO SELECT" feature

If you want to select multiple items, you can hold down the "shift" key while clicking on the items.  You can then move or resize these as a group.  VERY COOL.

But here's something really great!!!

NEW STUDIO FEATURE: "DRAG TO SELECT!"













To select a group of items in Studio (where you make your projects), now you can simply click and drag across any portion of the layout and all the components within the selection area will be highlighted. Be sure to start (as shown above) in the white area outside of the images. If you happen to select something you don't want, shift click afterwards to deselect the item. This feature will make copying and moving groups of items much easier. Thanks to the IT staff for making this available!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

the new Heritage Makers Photo Uploader App!


The new Heritage Makers Photo Uploader App is up and running!!!  It's a FREE app and is available now for iPhone.  Very soon for Android.  You can now upload photos right to your Heritage Makers account straight from your phone!!!  (Just be sure your phone is set to take highest-quality photos.  And, as always, avoid dark photos.)

Here's a little more info in the new app:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hm-photosafe-mobile-manager/id694395050?mt=8

Isn't that so cool?!??

Friday, September 20, 2013

chunky nativity craft blocks for kids {a tutorial}

Here's another idea for craft blocks using Heritage Makers.  This one is a little different than the last tutorial ("thankful" blocks; click here for the link).  These are just as simple and inexpensive, but these are for Christmas!  Also, these are made for kiddos. 

Anybody who has children around the house and nice nativity sets know that these two things don't go together.  From personal experience, I highly recommend some hands-on, kid-friendly nativities.  And that's what I'm going to show you how to make today.  To make these blocks more kid-friendly, I'm going to use Mod Podge to adhere the pages to the wooden blocks AND put a coat of it on top, too, as a sealant.  This should prevent little ones from being able to pick off the decorative part of the blocks.


Aren't those ADORABLE?!  I think this art is sweet.

This project cost me about $5 total.  It took more time than the Count Your Blessings blocks because the Mod Podge takes longer, but I love this set so much that I don't mind. 

Here's what you need:
  • Heritage Makers template 112122.  This is actually my own template--I created it!  Then I just submitted it to Heritage Makers for them to add to the template gallery.  You can see it at www.heritagemakers.com/jenniferwise.  Just click the "template gallery" link at the upper right, then type 112122 into the search field.  
  • less than 2 feet of a 2x4 piece of wood (found at home improvement stores; remember that 2x4s actually measure 1.5"x3.5".  I know.  Whose idea was that?!  You want one piece cut 5.5", one piece cut 4.5", and three pieces cut 3.5".)
  • a saw (power saw recommended), or a nice person at said home improvement store who will cut the board into pieces for you--just be sure you take the measurements with you.
  • dark brown paint (Craft paint or spray paint; I use craft paint.  I chose dark brown because the little border around each piece is dark brown.  But you can choose whatever color paint you prefer.)
  • Mod Podge.  You could use other methods (spray adhesive, double-sided tape, etc.) to adhere the decorative pieces to the wooden blocks, but I'm going to use Mod Podge this time both to adhere the pieces to the wood AND to then cover it, sealing the paper to the wood.  This should prevent cute little kiddo fingers from pulling off the decorative papers. 
  • a clear acrylic sealer (optional but suggested)  (I just used a spray can of this.  You can find it near spray paint.  I just got mine at WalMart.)

STEP 1:   the beautiful part (the print)
As I mentioned, I created this design myself, and now it's a template that you can use.  Or you can create your own design from scratch.  You can also change things in my design if you want--background colors, borders, whatever.  You'll place the template into your account by doing a search for it in the Template Gallery.  Once you find it, click on it.  Then click "personalize."  This template was made from the Premier Art collection, so you'll need Premier Art access.  The easiest way to get that is through Club HM because it's free AND you get the best price on everything you publish with Heritage Makers.  Click here for Club HM information.   This was made on an 8.5x11 scrapbook page, which is 5 publishing points (or $5 retail).  I'm in Club HM, which means I get discounted publishing points deposited into my account each month to use however I want, so I'm actually saving 33%.  This print cost me $3.33.  If you've been to the post office, you know shipping isn't cheap--so what I did was save this print until I was ordering other things, and I ordered them at the same time to save on shipping.  I always do that. 

While you wait the 7-10 days for it to come in the mail...

STEP 2:  cut your wooden blocks
I've put directions right on the Heritage Makers scrapbook page, so when it's printed, just follow the directions for the wood.  Measurements are listed above.   I'd recommend that you cut the blocks with a power saw, to save time and to get a cleaner cut.  The blocks will end up about 1/4 inch larger than the paper pieces all the way around.  This gives a nice little wood border around your HM pages so that you don't have to line up the edges exactly or worry about them getting bent or anything.

STEP 3:  prepare the wooden blocks
First, sand the rough edges.

Then paint all the sides of the blocks.  Let the paint dry completely.  


STEP 4:  cut out the cuteness
When your blocks' decor arrives in the mail from Heritage Makers (and you're finished with your happy dance), cut out the pieces.  Use a paper cutter or scissors--whatever you'll be happy with.

STEP 5:  adhere the cuteness to the blocks using Mod Podge
First, I painted Mod Podge on the back of each decorative piece.  I'd never used it before, so I'll admit I was a little scared.  But it was fine.  Just use a paint brush or a sponge to cover the backs of the pieces.  Then place them on top of the blocks.  Smooth out any air bubbles.  Let dry completely.  I turned them over (face-down) and placed some other heavy wood on top of them while they dried.

STEP 6:  apply Mod Podge on top of the cuteness (two coats)
I will admit, this was a little scary.  You get these darling little pieces of cuteness, and then you paint over them with goo!  But the Mod Podge does dry clear, so don't worry.  



What I did was paint the Mod Podge in sort of a heavy coat around all the edges--where the paper meets the wood.  This IS thick paper since it's printed on a Heritage Makers 8.5x11 scrapbook page, so it's cardstock-like.  Anyway, I did a heavy coat around all the edges, then went back and covered the whole thing using a light-to-medium coat.

Given the protection you get from these Mod Podge coats, I would highly recommend this method, particularly as this is designed to be a children's nativity set.  Mod Podge does make for a less "clean" look.  It does leave some brush marks and such if you look closely, but again I like the sealed edges, and I really think they end up looking good.  

You can see the progression of how the Mod Podge looks as it dries.  I did the camel at the bottom first, then the shepherd, then the angel last.  

I found since this set has five blocks, by the time I was done putting Mod Podge on all the pieces like this, the first one I started with was dry by the time I finished.  So I just started over and went back and put a SECOND COAT on each piece--again, a thicker coating around the edges where the paper and wood meet, and then a light-to-medium coat over the rest.  The second time, I did the brush strokes the opposite direction.  Whatever you like.  LET DRY COMPLETELY

STEP 7:  spray with clear sealant (optional but suggested)

The package says that Mod Podge will leave a little tackiness (stickiness)--not what you want for something that's intended to be handled--and suggests that you finish your pieces with a clear sealant.  I honestly didn't notice any stickiness, but I'm all for a little extra protection on these pieces, so I sprayed them with clear sealant.  And that's it!!

I just love it!!  I think it's darling, and I think it would be a great gift for little ones, too.  (And only 5 bucks!!)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Word Art using Heritage Makers

You can publish ANYTHING with Heritage Makers.  If you have a favorite saying, or want to decorate for holidays or a baby's room, the possibilities are endless.

Like this 8x20 wrapped canvas.  Sweet.

I've been having a lot of fun lately with the 11x14 size prints.  They're not too big, a great price ($5 or less with Club HM), big enough to frame, and --of course-- completely customizable.  

I just made this one.  We had one week left of summer--can you tell?!
And now I just have to frame it!

Here are a couple of nice French Line Metal Prints.  (The gray areas are not part of the design--that's where it will be cut.)


Both of those quotes are awesome, don't you think?!

Any sayings, phrases, quotes, can be designed as you choose with Heritage Makers.  The canvases and metal prints are more expensive than the 11x14 prints, but they're all high-quality, so you can fit any style and budget.  Pretty great, right?!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Gold Unleashed!

If you need more publishing points than you are getting with your monthly Club HM deposit, there's a new program called Gold Unleashed!

NOTE:  THIS PROGRAM CHANGED IN 2015.  Now, when you are a Club HM member, you can run out of publishing points and simply publish anyway and get the same discount!

The best way to get publishing points is to get them for free, of course.  So I'd first recommend hosting a workshop (like a class where Heritage Makers is introduced and samples/ideas are shown).  I can present IN PERSON or ONLINE workshops, so it doesn't matter if you live near me or not!

The second best way to get publishing points is to get them discounted 25-34% off retail price by getting them deposited into your account each month with Club HM.  Read more about Club HM by clicking here.

But if you find that you need more publishing points, you can just add to that second best way!  It's called Gold Unleashed.

First of all, let's review the Club HM savings:

  • Bronze Club HM saves you 25%  --you're getting 40 points for $30
  • Silver Club HM saves you 30%  --you're getting 70 points for $50
  • Gold Club HM saves you 34%  --you're getting 150 points for $100

With Gold Unleashed you can add another Club (the same as whatever level you are on) to your account!  If you do the math, it makes more sense for people on Bronze or Silver to just change levels than it does for them to add another Club to their account.  They save more by just moving levels.  Once you've been in Club HM for at least 3 months, you can move levels for a month at a time if you want, going up and down in levels as your needs change.  You just do this from your own account.

If you are on Gold Club, however, you can't move up a level if you need more publishing points.  In that case, this Gold Unleashed is a huge benefit!!  You can now get more publishing points AT THE SAME SAVINGS.  In the past, you could get more publishing points by ordering them from your consultant, but the savings was only 25%, which is not as good as the savings you were getting from either Silver Club or Gold Club.

Let me give an example of how this works.  I'm on Club Gold.  I add a second Club Gold to my account.  Each one costs me $100, and I get 150 publishing points for each of them.  Like all Clubs, it will automatically renew each month unless I cancel it.  I can cancel this in my account online, or just keep it going as long as I want.  I LOVE this new program!!

If you have questions about this GREAT new Gold Unleashed program, you can contact me using the information at the "contact me" tab in red above.  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

EASY hanging decorative tiles {a tutorial}

I am learning all sorts of new ways to craft with Heritage Makers scrap pages!  This is so fun!  The way I'm going to show you today is RIDICULOUSLY easy.  I made Halloween signs, but you could really make ANYTHING you want!

Here's what you do.  First, create (or find in the template gallery) something cute you want to hang on your wall (or front door!) at www.heritagemakers.com/jenniferwise.  Submit it for printing (remember that Club HM is the cheapest way) and wait 7-10 days for it to come in the mail. 

Here's what I made:

(Sorry.  Images from my cell phone don't self-right in blogger.)  I have to say, my favorite is "Well-behaved children welcome.  The rest will be made into pies."  I'm not Grinchy at Christmas, but it comes out a little at Halloween!  Again, your design could be anything at all.  The only important thing is that it's a 12x12 individual scrap page.  I choose the regular weight with a UV coating, but you could choose lite if you want--it's a little cheaper.  I do recommend the UV coating (free with Club HM) because it just makes it a little sturdier.  These pages are $6 retail, but you'd save 25-34% with Club HM.

Next go to the tile section of your local home improvement store.  You're looking for a 12x12 self-adhesive VINYL tile.  The color/design doesn't matter because you won't see it.  The top tile there in the photo is the front of the tile, and the bottom one in the photo is the back, showing the paper partly peeled off the self-adhesive part.  
My friend gave me a heads-up--get a tile that is light-colored on the back.  Some of the darker/black ones show through the scrap page some.  I'm assuming this is if you use a lite scrap page, but I'm not sure.  That's not what I used here.

These tiles should be around 69-99 cents.  (I know.  Score!  This project cost me less than $5.)

The next step is to place the scrap page face down on a hard surface.  (That's the white square at the bottom of the photo.)  Peel the paper off the tile.  Place the tile on the scrap page, lining up the edges as best you can.  Press down a little so it sticks.  (But it's pretty sticky--you don't have to press hard.)
Then turn it over and push out any air bubbles so that your page is adhered well to the tile.

Next you need to punch holes to string the ribbon (for hanging) through.  I was a little scared of this, but it wasn't bad.  You take a phillips-head screwdriver (and I used a ruler to make sure the holes were even on each side), and you gently but firmly twist and push it--boring a hole in the project.  See the hole below?  The screwdriver is pointing to it.

Do one on each side, again measuring to make sure they're even, and then thread ribbon through the holes and tie in the back.
Sorry about the non-self-righting thing.  But isn't that so cute?!  Hang it on a wall or door.  It takes about 5 minutes and $5 to make!!!  Have fun with the possibilities!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How to Transfer a Project From One Account to Another

Do you have a project you want to share with a friend or family member, or have you seen their neat project and want it for your own use?  You can transfer projects from one Heritage Makers account to another.  If you make changes in the project in your account, it doesn't affect the original project in the other account.

I love this!  In fact, I created a big family history book recently that I'd done a lot of research for, and it's something that all my aunts, uncles, and cousins would enjoy.  My cousin asked me about it, and so I just transferred it to her Heritage Makers account--and now she can publish it any time she wants!  She can change the font, or write a personal message to her kids on the first page, or whatever she wants.  Pretty great, right?

Here's how you transfer a project from one Heritage Makers account to another:
  1. Login to your Heritage Makers account.  (You will also need the Heritage Makers account number of the person you are transferring the project to.  Just ask them for it.  Alternatively, you can use the e-mail that the person has associated with his/her Heritage Makers account.) 
  2. Click "click here to view all projects" at the right.
  3. Click "completed projects."  The project you transfer must be in completed projects (closed to editing).
  4. Locate the project you want to transfer.  There will be a "share" link underneath your project.  Click that.  (That's NOT the same "share" button at the blue Facebook Share at the right.  That blue one will share your project on Facebook, which is also cool, but not what we're talking about today.)  ;)
  5. Enter the person's account number/e-mail, and continue following the instructions.
THAT'S IT!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How do you make money as a Heritage Makers consultant?

I just received an e-mail inquiry from someone who was interested in the Heritage Makers business.  She'd come across this blog, looking for something interesting she could do in direct-sales, and she liked Heritage Makers a lot.  Her main question was "How do you make money as a Heritage Makers consultant?"


Good question, indeed!  I realized I hadn't really covered that on this blog!

First of all, you are not required to have a minimum number of sales each month.  I LOVE that Heritage Makers just lets you do your business your way!  I love that I can make my life fit around my business, and not the other way around.

Basically, here's the rundown of earning money as a Heritage Makers consultant.  There's BREADTH and there's DEPTH.

My job as a Heritage Makers consultant is to share Heritage Makers--to introduce it to people, to teach people about it, and to help people if they have questions.  As a client, you are one lucky lady to have a HM consultant!  "Can you make the font bigger than 150 point?  How do you make a photo into a circle?"  You don't have to call customer service, or worse yet, not have anyone to call at all.  Just shoot an e-mail to your consultant.  (Or, if she's me, you already got the answers to both of those questions in your welcome packet!)  :D 

I can share Heritage Makers in many ways--in-home workshops, online workshops, craft fairs, even "digi-crops" where everyone gets together with laptops to work on photo projects (and you might get a prize if you bring a friend).  I can do whatever works best for me.  Once I meet a client who wants to start using Heritage Makers, that person will have their account opened ON MY WEBSITE.  That links them to me, and I become their consultant.  I earn commission on any purchases made by any of my clients any time.  It's how I get paid for my time helping people start using Heritage Makers.

If I get 20 or 50 or 200 clients, that's the BREADTH part of my business.  I grow WIDE.  And that's good.

I can also grow DEEP.  I can teach other people how to be consultants.  I have a team of consultants under my leadership.  I teach them what I know.  I earn commission on purchases they make, and purchases their clients make.  It's how I get paid for my time helping them be good consultants.  Growing both WIDE and DEEP is the best way to maximize your business for maximum profit.

Club HM is a fantastic thing for both clients and consultants.  For clients, it's the cheapest way to buy Heritage Makers products, with lots of additional perks.  Most clients like to let Club HM renew month after month, so they always have publishing points and can get the best price (and use Premier Art free), and this also allows them to save up publishing points over time if they want to purchase a bigger or more expensive item (or multiple family calendars for Christmas gifts, for example).  Club HM is a GREAT DEAL for clients!!  For consultants, having clients on Club HM gives a consultant recurring income without started over at $0 in sales each month.  It's win-win for everyone.

So...  The bottom line is that, like other direct-sales companies, you get paid on commission with Heritage Makers.  This is true for both clients and consultants on your team (and thereby, THEIR clients).  To maximize income, you grow your business both wide and deep!

Like many other direct-sales companies, you qualify to earn commission on ANY purchase anyone makes at your website by simply using the product yourself.  For Heritage Makers, a personal purchase of $50 (so, that would be Club Silver) qualifies you to earn commission that month.  In my opinion, I think this works out well because as a representative of Heritage Makers, $50 is really what you want to be publishing anyway.  As a consultant, you WANT to be publishing in Heritage Makers a lot, giving HM products as gifts, making the coolest business cards ever, giving HM teacher thank-you gifts, sending HM birthday/holiday cards, etc., because you are essentially getting samples into as many hands as you can when you do that.  It's perfect!  If you jump up to the next Club level, Club Gold at $100, you qualify to earn 30% commission on new sales* for that month!!

I personally am at Club Gold because A) I publish that much anyway, and B) I want that 30% commission!  Then, about 4-10 new Club members a month (depending on their level) pays me back for my $100!  I'm also CEO Qualified because I get extra bonuses that way, but I always tell prospective clients to just start where they can, work their business, try different approaches to sharing Heritage Makers (different things appeal to different people), and GROW from there!!  It's a really fun and rewarding business!

*details:  30% commission is on the first month of a new client's purchase for all Gold Consultants.  After the first month, you earn residual commission of 8% if you're a Club Gold consultant.  (Residual commission is 5% for Silver Consultants.)  Club HM is available in $30, $50, or $100 levels, so your commission would reflect whichever level your client chooses.   In real terms, what that means is that if I have a new client who starts, as an average example, Club Silver this month, my 30% commission on their $50 purchase is $15.  If they continue on Club Silver, then I as a Gold Consultant get 8% commission ($4) month after month, as long as they are on Club Silver.  (If they quit Club for a few months and join again later, I start getting that 8% again when they join and each month they stay on it.)  This recurring commission is great to add to the new Club clients I'll get next month.  Obviously, the best way to maximize my income is by MULTIPLYING.  One Club client is a great start, but ten is much better, and fifty is even better, etc.  Renewing Club clients allow you to have residual commission/income as a base while you work to add more NEW Club clients. 

(updated 2015)