Friday, August 28, 2015

our brains crave storytelling

I recently read an article called "Why Our Brains Crave Storytelling In Marketing."  It begins by talking about cereal, but because the article is about STORY you can probably imagine how much of it leaped off the page at me.  I mean, my job is about storytelling!  My job is to encourage and teach people to publish their photos WITH THEIR STORIES, and give people an avenue to do it.  We take every photo for a reason.  That reason is the story behind the photo, the memory.  When we get our photos out of digital form so that we can actually interact with them, something truly magical happens.  Connections are made.  Memories become stronger.  {Recalling happy moments actually improves happiness in the present.}

The author of this storytelling article, Rachel Gillette, points out that numerous studies over the years have shown that our brains react better to storytelling, to connections, than plain old facts.  Our brains want a connection.  She wrote, "When reading straight data, only the language parts of our brains work to decode the meaning. But when we read a story, not only do the language parts of our brains light up, but any other part of the brain that we would use if we were actually experiencing what we’re reading about becomes activated as well."

Talk about PRESERVING MEMORIES!!  I find this fascinating, but I mostly find myself wanting to BEG everyone who owns a camera to please, please get those photos out of digital form.  Store them that way, sure, but publish them to love them and to share them and let other people love them.  And when you do publish them, TELL THEIR STORIES.  Please, please, tell their stories.  If you don't, the events just won't be remembered in the same way, and maybe not at all. 

This graphic from Ms. Gillette's article is geared toward marketing, but as you look it over, see how much of it translates to photos and their memories, to scrapbooking, to journaling.  It's very interesting!

Publish your photos with their stories.  We call them "memories."

Your storytelling doesn't have to be perfect.  You don't need to be an author or a poet.  You just need to record memories.  

What made this moment funny or happy or sad or interesting?  What happened right before you took the photo?  What happened right after?  Who is in the photo?  Where are you?  What's the date?  Why will you love this picture 10 years from now?  

Think about who will be loving it 50 years from now.  Write to them.  It will make a bigger difference than you can imagine.

Monday, August 17, 2015

chore charts and meal planners from scrap pages

Okay, there are really a lot of possibilities when you can essentially DESIGN YOUR OWN SCRAP PAGES!

These are some fun charts I just made.  And you can make them match your own home decor and style, too!

Here are some chore charts I made recently for a craft fair I've got a table at, and there are lots more styles in the Template Gallery.  These are made from 8x8 scrap pages and framed so you can write on it with a dry erase marker!!  Love. 

You could personalize them with a child's name or picture, too.  There is SO MUCH digital art you can use in your Heritage Makers account that you could really make these personal--a backhoe, a soccer ball, ballet shoes, cars, musical instruments, books, flowers... whatever your child's interests are!

A different chore chart option is one family chart instead of individual charts for individual family members.  This was originally a bigger 11x14 print in the Template Gallery, but I tweaked it and this is an 8.5x11 print.  Just a few dollars!  Again, framed so you can write on it with a dry-erase marker. 

You could also print the same thing on a metal print, which you can use a dry-erase marker on.  They're more expensive, but so beautiful. 

The other household charts I made are equally awesome, in my opinion.  :)  These are meal planners.  Same idea, two different styles.

Again, 8.5x11 scrap pages (or 11x8.5, if you want to get technical) framed so you can write on the glass with dry erase markers.  And again, if these styles suit you, great--but you can tweak or change them since everything in Heritage Makers is 100% editable/customizable, or you can choose a different one from the Template Gallery, or just plain make your own from scratch!

UPDATE 2022:  Heritage Makers is still being updated to a new software platform that doesn't require Adobe Flash to run (which Adobe discontinued at the end of 2020).  There's a workaround available at the Heritage Makers website right now which works for most people, but if you have trouble accessing your Heritage Makers account at the moment, give Forever's Artisan digital scrapbooking software a try.  

Forever's Artisan is similar to Heritage Makers' Studio program in that you have full flexibility and customization, but there are a few differences, too, such as being web-based vs. computer-based (downloaded).  Click this link to see the differences.  Here's an overview of Forever's Artisan:

NOTE:  This video is just a basic overview.  It would take hours to show everything that you can do in Artisan.  So, for more details, see Artisan Quick Tips with Jennifer videos where I demo just one cool feature of Artisan in each video.

Or, instead of scrap pages that you frame so they become dry-erasable, you could choose a Tabletop Panel since their surface is glossy and dry-erasable!  

Whatever you choose, I'd love to see what you do!  Email me a picture at or post it in our Facebook group so our whole memory-keeping community can ooooh and ahhhhh together!

Monday, August 10, 2015

CRAFTING: address label Hershey Nuggets

Did you know that the Heritage Makers address labels wrap just perfectly around Hershey Nuggets??

Just think... Valentine's Day treats, wedding favors, graduation party favors, birthday party favors, etc. So fun!!

The possibilities are endless.  Thanks to Team Wise member Marcie Mitchell for sharing these photos of the address label favors she's made!

These are such a fun way to celebrate anything!  Learn more (including a video tutorial) here!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

my vacation photo album (storybook)

Summer time is coming to an end!  Did you take a trip this summer?

Our family took a special one, and I've captured the memories and preserved the photos in this lovely 12x12 storybook.  I didn't use a template for this book because I had specific things in mind that I wanted to do, so this is all "hand-crafted" by me!

One thing that really converted me to digital scrapbooking is the fact that I can get multiple copies without extra work.  This is going to be the Christmas gift to everyone who went on this trip with us!

(Oh, and that photo reminds me of another thing I love--a library-quality binding.  YES!!  No glue involved, so the binding won't crack and yellow, causing the pages to fall out.  That's a huge deal.)

See what makes this method different from the usual "online photobook" options out there here.

What memories and photos do YOU have that need saving?

  There's no time like the present!  Get started right here--and choose from three different options, including beautiful pre-designed templates and fully creative and flexible digital scrapbooking.

Monday, August 3, 2015

celebrating milestones

We all have milestones--a birth, a retirement, a graduation, a wedding, a birthday.  And we are all part of other people's milestones.  Milestones are a beautiful thing to CELEBRATE.  

Lisa Bearnson has some great ideas here in this 5-minute video for celebrating milestones and making them extra special.   Which is your favorite?

Whether you are looking for an "easy button" option, beautiful pre-made templates to make your memory-keeping quick and easy, or fully creative and flexible digital scrapbooking, get started right here and you'll find all that in highest-quality books (and other products) from a company with a photo privacy guarantee!

Celebrate the milestones with something special!