Tuesday, December 29, 2015

showing off my new wood print and metal print

I've been itching to try the new wood prints and metal prints from Heritage Makers, and this past fall we had some family photos taken, so I jumped at the chance!  (Actually, I'd done a metal print as a gift before, which is fantastic, only I don't get to keep what I give away as gifts!)  I'm so excited to show you my new prints!


I decided not to put any artwork on this--no buttons or swirlies or words, but just the photo itself.  When you make one, do anything you want!  

The surfaces of both the wood print and the metal print are different than, say, scrapbook pages, canvases, or storybooks.  So there is a different sheen, and the colors are a little more vibrant.

From this angle, you can see that this is just a natural wood plaque. It's made with Maple veneer with low gloss clear matte coating.

It also has pre-drilled keyholes on the back so it's ready to hang.

Of course, you can do anything with these wood prints.  Like this:


Gee, how can you tell it's glossy metal?  ;)  ...Sorry about the glare.  As you can see, with the metal print, I did decide to use some of the fantastic (included!!!) Heritage Makers art, so there's a background "paper" and some word art down at the bottom left.  I really liked how it turned out.

This is the back.  There are a couple of options you can add on when you submit your metal print for publishing.  One is this metal easel you can see here taped to the back of the metal print.  (This is obviously before I took off the easel and adhered it to the back of the print.)  Another optional add-on is a mounting block.  They're each a few dollars and, again, are optional.  I've used the metal easel in both of the prints I've ordered, and I like them.

Of course, you can do anything with metal prints.  Like this:

Aren't these sweet and fun home decor??  They would make a great gift for parents or grandparents, too.  Which one would YOU like to try??  Get started here.

Friday, December 4, 2015

How to find MONEY for Memory-Keeping

This is a continuation of the previous week's post which talked about finding TIME for memory-keeping.  This post was updated in 2022.

The results of my recent poll here on my blog (asking for the biggest obstacle to preserving photos & their memories) had MONEY coming in second.  38% of my poll-takers said money is their biggest obstacle to memory-keeping.

On Pinterest, a hashtag I often use is #icanhelp.  It's one of the things I love most about what I do!  I really LOVE helping people preserve their photos and memories because they are irreplaceable.   

First shoes = $20
First day of school clothes = $40
First bicycle = $100
Photos and memories of those events preserved so they can be easily accessed and loved = PRICELESS

So let's brainstorm some ways to take out the money obstacle so you can preserve those priceless photos and memories!  

Let's start with how many things cost $25.  Here's what my brainstorming comes up with:
  • 2 tickets to a movie without popcorn
  • a just-released hardbound book 
  • almost a pair of jeans
  • 3 or 4 12-packs of Diet Coke/Pepsi/pick-your-poison
  • 5-ish trips to Starbucks (mmmm... peppermint hot chocolate)
  • one of my favorite scented candles
  • a manicure
This is a list of things that are obviously great, right?!

You know what else costs $25?  

One month of Forever Club (which is free to join, and you can quit/re-join any time).  Here's what you get for your $25:
  • 5% off Forever products and services (so, technically, your $25 actually gets you more than $25 worth!)
  • $25 to spend on Forever products  (i.e. memory keeping!  If your desired book/item costs more than $25, just stay on Club another month because your Forever Club Dollars never expire.  This means you can save up over time to purchase larger items!)
  • highest-quality memory-keeping around!!  
  • guaranteed photo privacy (not the case with most online photo companies)
  • one more perk with photo storage--I'll explain that below.
Or use your $25 towards Forever services like the Forever Box (digitizing VHS tapes, etc.) or Forever Storage (for photo, video, audio, and PDF files, guaranteed for your lifetime + 100 years) or for Artisan (digital scrapbooking software).

If you do purchase permanent Forever Storage and you're a Club member for 3 consecutive months, you get additional storage free!  (I do this, and even though I'm taking more pictures, I don't think I'll ever have to buy more photo storage ever again!)  The $25 Club gives you 1/2 GB every 3 months, the $50 Club gives you 1 GB every 3 months (and on up), but you can also combine Clubs (like if $75/month is your sweet spot, join both $25 and $50, and the you'll get 1 1/2 GB of free storage every 3 months).

I hope this brainstorming is helpful.  I know money is always a consideration in life, but in my years of being a Photo & Story Treasures consultant, I've often been surprised to see what people who tell me they don't have enough money for memory-keeping end up spending their money on.  Sometimes just stopping to reconsider things can be helpful.

There are two other ways to save money on Forever products & services, too!  Deals (sales) and Referral Rewards:

I recommend those three savings methods to everyone!

One other option is to not *save* money for memory-keeping, but instead *make* money for memory-keeping.   

Trust me, you DO NOT have to be a salesman (hello, how do you think *I'm doing this?? ha) to be a memory-keeping consultant.  You just have to be passionate about memory-keeping (or willing to learn).  My consultant team (Team Wise at Forever) is a really low-pressure place to be.  I'm just here to help.  Learn more about making memory-keeping your business (side gig or full-time work) here.

*Here's my story of being an introvert in an extroverted direct-sales world.

The great thing about any money you spend on memory-keeping is that it is an investment.  

In 10 years, you won't remember the movie you spent $25 on, and in 3 months the scented candle will have lost its scent.  But memory-keeping is actually investing in your family, creating priceless connections, raising self-esteem, and even increasing happiness.  

Actual miracles can happen through memory-keeping.  Read more, including studies done on the subject, by clicking right here.

So don't let money be an obstacle to memory-keeping any longer!  Use the 3 (or 4) savings methods mentioned here, then get started at this link.

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Friday, November 27, 2015

How do you find TIME for memory-keeping?

I ran a poll here on the blog for about six weeks, asking what the biggest obstacle is to preserving photos and the memories that go with them.

61% of you said TIME
38% of you said MONEY
And, wouldn't you know, 0% said INTEREST.

A hashtag I often use is #icanhelp.  It's one of the things I love most about what I do!  So let's see how I can help you today!  

You have the interest in preserving your photos & their memories, so let's get you the time.  (We'll talk about money next time.)

First off, it's important to remember that nobody ever "finds" time for anything.  We don't often have 6 extra hours or 2 extra days with nothing to do.  We MAKE time for everything we do.  

I attended a women's conference back a thousand years ago when I was in college.  One of the things that was said was:

"If we didn't have too much to do, we wouldn't know 
what was important."  -Jeanne Innoyue

Don't read on too fast here.  Think about that statement.  We are meant to prioritize.  And it's hard, I know.  I am SO there.  But when we have to prioritize, we learn more about what is really important.  

So let your photos and their memories be important, because you already know they are.

Remember this graphic I posted a few months ago?

One of the things that stuck out to me the most when I did the research for this graphic is that we would have 5 more hours a week if we just stayed away from Facebook.  (approximately)  Or how many more hours if we didn't watch so much TV?  Now, I'm not saying that you should give up Facebook or TV, but what if you just cut your time in half?  Or what if you just took 2 days off from Facebook or TV or sports?   

And how about that 90 Minutes For Life idea?  What if you just spent 15 minutes a day with your photos and their memories?  I must say, too, that once you get in the habit, it's easy to keep doing.  

Enlist help if you need to!  Find a memory-keeping buddy who needs time to scrapbook (or storybook) just like you do and report to each other.  Find a family member who can work with you.  

I know a gal who is a business coach, and one of her fabulous tips that she repeats a lot is:

"If it takes more than 15 minutes, it should be on your calendar."  

I can't even tell you how quickly my calendar fills up.  I'm (mostly) a SAHM (a complete misnomer because I'm not home that much!), and usually when someone asks me if I can do something next week, it's already full.  So I can tell you that this tip is absolutely true.  

I LOVE memory-keeping, and it is SO EASY because I have a method that works so well for me, and I could happily spend hours and hours doing it.  But when my calendar gets full and I have a memory-keeping project I really need to get done, I put it on my calendar.  Thursday afternoon I am spending two hours on this book, period.  Then I just don't schedule things over it!  It's how I prioritize.  

I have too much to do, just like you, so this is how I make sure the important things get done:  calendar it!

How many of the ideas I've gone over so far sound good to you?  Which ones would especially work for you?

I have a lot more tips for simple steps to memory-keeping right here, too.  See which of them help you the most.  

One of the best things I do to make sure my memory-keeping gets done is I work with other people.  You can work with me and our little memory-keeping community if you like (it's so fun!)--just check that link to see what's coming up.

Whatever you do, when you work with someone else, it's easier to get things done because you've committed to another person that you'll be working at the time you've reserved on your calendar. 

Which of these ideas and tips will YOU use to MAKE time for memory-keeping?  

Be a Heritage MAKER, not a Photo Keeper.

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Friday, November 6, 2015

Christmas cards & letters MADE EASY!

It's that time of year!  Such a fun time to send and receive greetings to and from loved ones. 

Let me help you ENJOY December!  Get in your Heritage Makers account now and get those cards or letters done in a snap so they're ready to go out before the busy-ness hits later on. 

UPDATE 2021:  You're invited to the Umpteenth Annual Online Enjoy December Card Party!  Click there for all the details, and join us!

Here's a tutorial video I just recorded to help you.  Here's what you'll learn:
  1. First I talk about CREATIVE, UNIQUE, LESS EXPENSIVE alternatives to Christmas cards.  
  2. I show you how to save time by using a pre-designed template (which is still fully customizable, so you can change anything you want!)  
  3. I show you how to order your cards, as well as use the "direct ship" option so your cards go directly to your recipients and you don't have to lick an envelope or buy stamps!  
  4. Last, I show you how to make a card from scratch if you prefer that method. 

UPDATE 2022:  All these items shown were made with Heritage Makers.  However, Heritage Makers is currently being updated to a new software platform that doesn't require Adobe Flash to run (which Adobe discontinued at the end of 2020).  If you have difficulty accessing your Heritage Makers account, try other high-quality options here at Forever.

Grab a snack and learn a lot in a short amount of time right here, then scroll down to see some examples and prices of cards and UNIQUE cards/greetings!

Before I show you some traditional cards, you must know that Heritage Makers offers discounts on orders of cards over 25.  This is great for Christmas as well as weddings, retirement parties, or whatever!  UPDATE 2022:  Forever offers large order discounts as well.  Cards come in packs of 10, and are discounted when you buy 5 or more 10-packs. 

These are the traditional type (folded cards), available in 5x7 or 4x6 or 5x5.  Envelopes are included. (FYI: The 5x5 size is the only size that can't be direct-shipped due to restrictions from the postal service.)  Here you're just seeing the fronts.

I think this next one is cute because it's to a grandchild from grandparents and just has her name with some of Heritage Makers' digital art instead of the traditional family photo.  There's SO MUCH you can do with Heritage Makers!!  I love the possibilities.

And now the last group of options for Christmas greetings.

These are a little lower in price than traditional greeting cards, but they obviously have half the panels (surfaces) since invitations are two-sided.

Invitations like these come in 4x6 and 5x7.  They come with envelopes.

OR!  How about a card from Santa!  This is one of two styles in the Template Gallery, or you could create your own style.

Photo Cards are great!  Look at how much more interesting and PERSONAL they can be--so much more so than your average ones from the nearest drugstore!

Those are all the Christmas greeting options I can think of!  You sure have a lot to choose from, right?  Contact me if you need any advice or help, and be sure you share this post with someone you know who would love it!

Gotta run...  I have some super cool ideas for my own Christmas greetings this year!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Your Gift-Giving Publishing Plan

This post was updated in 2022.

Believe it or not, fall is in full swing!  That means it's the perfect time to start publishing for holiday gifts!   

Raise of hands--who would like to give amazing gifts without the hassle of going to the store???  How great would that be??  Well, you're in luck because I'm about to tell you how.

These gifts are meaningful, personal, and never-to-be-forgotten.  They are guaranteed to not be re-gifted!

How about some fun and fast ideas?  

You can find coaster sets, steel water bottles, mugs, ornaments, cards, calendars, and many more possibilities at the Design & Print option.  Even memory books come together quickly using the beautiful (free) Design & Print templates.

To be guided right through a few fun and fast ideas, have a look at my previous Fast, Fun Friday! events right here. 

One of my favorites is the Tabletop Panel.  It is a lovely way to showcase photos, but it has another pretty great feature.

It has a glossy surface, so you can actually write on it with a dry-erase marker!  I absolutely love my meal planner Tabletop Panel!

Let's get this show on the road!  Here's all you need to do to make unforgettable, beautiful, high-quality, personalized gifts.  Get started with these three steps:
  1. Make a list of family members and friends you'd like to give gifts to.  Dream big!  Gift-giving with Photo & Story Treasures means you can give something really special.  Club means you don't have to pay for it all at once!
  2. Next, explore lots of ideas here and see the different possibilities for printing meaningful gifts here, from an "easy-button" publishing platform to a quick & simple template platform to a fully creative and flexible digital scrapbooking platform.  It doesn't matter which one you choose because all the projects you print are heirloom-quality and include a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
  3. Don't miss additional savings, too!  You can see current Deals (sales) here.   (And this is another fabulous option for more savings.) 
Because these items take a little time to be printed and shipped, you'll want to order them before Thanksgiving.  It's actually fantastic because then all your "shopping" is DONE in November, which means you can relax in December!!  

Now THAT'S a great idea!

Don't hesitate to contact me with questions!  I love helping people create and give such meaningful gifts.

Friday, October 2, 2015

I'm not a salesperson

"I'm just not a salesperson."

I've said it.  It's such a habit I still say it.  So what makes me think I can work in a direct-sales business for the last 10+ years?

Because I AM a salesperson.  We all are.
  • You ate at a great restaurant and posted about it on Facebook, telling your friends they HAD TO go try it.  Sold!
  • You read a great book and recommended it to a neighbor who ordered it from amazon.com right away.  Sold!
  • You saw a new movie and called your sister to tell her she and her family would love it.  They see it the same weekend.  Sold!
  • You found a great service in your local community that you know moms would love so you tell your friends and they all start using it.  Sold!
  • You find an heirloom-quality, time-saving way to put your pictures in beautiful photo-storybooks.  You tell your friends about it and why you love it.  They're hooked.  Sold!
  • You finally find a digital photo storage company that is private, doesn't reserve rights to your photos, doesn't charge a monthly upkeep fee, lets you store photo, video, and audio files, and includes automatic file migration should any of your files become outdated--with a guarantee for your lifetime +100 years.  You tell your friends about it and they're thrilled to find this unique company.  Sold!
  • You start a social digital scrapbooking group to help you and those friends make time to work on your photo projects.  Your friends invite friends.  Sold!

What's the only problem with all these sales?  Your friends are all happy.  These are fantastic products and services.  So what's the problem?  

You're not the one making money.  The restaurant is, the bookstore is, the movie theater is...

As a "non-salesperson" myself, I know from experience that all you have to do to have a successful, fun, enjoyable business is love what you're doing.  

In truth, a salesperson is simply "one whose job involves promoting or selling commercial products." (dictionary.com)   We naturally promote products and things that we enjoy and love.   

So think about this:  You need a photo solution, and so does everyone you know.

How does no minimum sales requirement sound?  How about setting your own hours and your own goals?  Your business, your way.  Something that everyone needs, something that can benefit people for generations!  These are huge reasons I love having a memory-keeping business, despite not being a salesperson.

I love sharing photo and memory-keeping solutions because there are SO MANY emotional and social benefits for people who do it.  One of my favorite research statistics about memory-keeping and photos is that it increases happiness by 11% and increases relaxation by 22%.  

If anyone needs that half as much as I do, I'm in business!  (Read more about that study here, and you'll see why this is true:)

I've put all the details of what I do as a memory-keeping consultant, why it's so needed, and why you might love it, too. 

Being a memory-keeping consultant never needs to feel like a sales position because it's really just sharing what you love.  Just like telling someone about your favorite restaurant or grocery service.  Have fun with it and see where it takes you!  

Plus, I'm here with over a decade of experience and ideas to help with whatever you like.  It can become such a meaningful way to make a paycheck that even introverts like me love it!  (Read about my introvert business thoughts at that link.)

Pin to save and share!

This blog post was updated in 2022.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

everything you should know about photos & scrapbooks

I'm so excited!!  I was invited to write a guest post on a website called "Advice Sisters" in their lifestyle column, and my article went up today!  Please read and share!  EVERYONE needs to be inspired to do something meaningful with their photos!


(P.S.  I knew it would be edited, but I didn't see the final copy before editing, and there are several mistakes in the editing, so please overlook those.  Hopefully you're not as Type A about those as I am.)  :) 

UPDATE 2021:  You'll see references to a wonderful company called Heritage Makers in this article, and I've added one more wonderful company to my recommendations for heirloom-quality books and guaranteed photo privacy:  Forever.  Between the two companies, you have FOUR possible ways of preserving your photos and memories, from an "easy button" option to beautiful & fast done-for-you templates to fully creative and flexible digital scrapbooking.  Learn more here and see what is the best fit for you!  Plus, Forever offers permanent digital photo/video/audio storage, digitizing services (like old VHS tapes or slides) and more.