Monday, September 28, 2015

new Magical Moments (a.k.a. Disneyland) collection!

Heritage Makers releases NEW digital art collections EVERY MONTH!!  Look what we just got!

(I know it says "coming soon," but I waited to post it until it we already have it.)  

So there have been 3 sizes of books pre-designed for you!  We call those "templates."  Templates are still fully customizable, so if you want to move things around, add pages, remove a flower embellishment, etc., you can!

The three larger squares above show the front cover and a two-page layout.  The smaller square shows all of the items in the digital art collection which you can use to create your own book (ANY size) if you prefer DIY to using a template.

To use any of these templates, just go to and click "sign up" at the upper right to open your (free) Heritage Makers account.  To get the best price on these when you submit them for publishing, read about Club HM in the tab in red at the top of the page. 

It's the happiest day on earth!

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.)  :) 

Friday, September 18, 2015

creating a focal point on a page

The most important thing you can do when memory-keeping is to PRESERVE YOUR PHOTOS WITH THE MEMORIES AND STORIES BEHIND THEM.  Period.  That's the most important thing!

Some people like to add some artistic and creative touches when they preserve their photos and memories.  If that describes you, you will enjoy this article from Heritage Makers about creating a focal point on a page using what's called "the rule of thirds."

I've been scrapbooking as long as I can remember, but I've never really done anything with the Rule of Thirds and I thought this was a great article!  I hope you enjoy it.
You can {find the article right here.}  

 Are you a Heritage Maker yet, or are you still a Photo Keeper?  Move from just keeping or amassing photos to actually making heritage!  Open your free Heritage Makers account at and click the red tabs along the top of this page to learn about the best prices and what you get with Heritage Makers.  Don't forget to click the "contact me" tab!  I love to help people make heritage, and I've been doing it for 10+ years, so I can answer anything and give suggestions if you want them, too.  Happy Heritage Making!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

digital scrapbooking: or, how to scrapbook faster

 You have photos.  You have a lot of photos.

You know keeping them on your SD card or computer isn't the way to enjoy them because you never look at them there, and your children never look at them there, and you know that all it takes is one computer crash or one newfangled technological advancement to make your digital files harder to access.  (Hi.  Remember floppy drives?  Or are you too young?!)  You know it's wise to have your photos in two digital places as back-up and (and at least) one printed placeMaybe you even know from my previous posts that printed photos can last up to 200 years, and the effect of actually interacting with printed photos and the memories associated with them has been shown to increase happiness, confidence, and self-esteem. 

Just knowing this much is a step in the right direction!  But now you need a direction.  And you don't have all the time in the world.  Come on.  What you need to know is how to scrapbook faster.  All righty, then!  Let's do this.  Let's get a handle on the photos, let's get them published, and let's not spend an arm and a leg, shall we?

So, where do we start?  Here are 3 keys to scrapbooking faster.

Like most things, you don't usually "find time" to sort photos or scrapbook--you MAKE TIME.  I suggest calendaring it!  Set aside 15 minutes every day or a couple of hours once a week.  Put it on your calendar and keep that appointment with yourself like you would keep a dentist appointment or a piano lesson.  Even small spurts of time contribute to the big end goal.

TIP:  Team Up!  Work with a parent, child, or sibling.  Or find a friend in the same "I've got lots of photos and I need to do something with them" predicament and work together!  It makes it more fun, and it helps you keep your appointments. 

The best way to start is to organize.  Know what you're dealing with.  I personally suggest organizing chronologically.  It makes it easy to know what to do with a photo.  I personally have photo files on my computer by year and month.  So I have a folder called 2012, then inside that folder I have folders called "January 2012," "February 2012," and so on.  Then when you come across photos from Halloween 2012, you know right where they go.  More importantly, you'll be able to find them faster when you're putting them in your scrapbook later.

Even if you are working with older photos that need to be scanned, chronological organization is still good way to organize them.  You'll need to go through the additional step of scanning first, of course, but once they're scanned, organize them this way and they will be much easier to find and publish.  (If you need scanning information, click the "photo information" tab above in red.)  However, if you have a preferred way of organization that works for you, do that.  Doing what comes naturally to you will help you be more successful.

(photo credit:
It's also very important to not feel like you have to use every photo you take.  Digital is great because we can take lots of photos, but it can make scrapbooking feel very daunting because we end up with So. Many. Photos.  Choose your favorites.  Narrow down.  Don't feel bad about not using every photo.  There's no rule that says that just because you took it you have to save it or print it!  

TIP:  Don't get overwhelmed.  Just do one thing at a time and focus on that one thing while you're doing it.  Enjoy yourself.  Don't worry about what else you still have to do.  What they say about eating an elephant is true:  one bite at a time! 

Once your photos are all organized, you are ready to publish them so they can be enjoyed!  Digital scrapbooking removes the steps of printing the photos, buying paper, buying adhesive, buying stickers, buying pens, buying binders & sheet protectors, etc.  Digital scrapbooking is hand-in-glove with digital photos. 

IDEA #1  The VERY EASIEST way to publish your photos is by using a Heritage Makers template.  It's easy because the book is already created for you, and you just swap out the photos and text in the book for your own photos and text.  A template is, in my opinion, what makes Heritage Makers perfect for people who love scrapbooking as well as people who really don't.  And I've even made a video tutorial showing you how to use a template, which {you can watch here.}  Here are some examples of Heritage Makers templates:

(see the Washington, D.C. travel book template page by page:

(see the Valentine's Day book template page by page:

(see the cheerleading book template page by page:

The most wonderful thing about a Heritage Makers template is that it's completely editable.  100%!  That means if you don't like the embellishment, remove it; if your photo is vertical but the one in the book is horizontal, change it; if you need more pages, add them.  IT'S PERFECT.  You will get exactly what you want.  Period.

IDEA #2  Use a yearbook template (sometimes called "family yearbook").  It's a template as described above, but it's organized by month so that one book houses one year's worth of pictures.  This is what I would do if I had a lot of scrapbooking to do because it is just so slick--it's so well-organized that putting photos in would be a SNAP.  So fast!  Here are some examples of family yearbook templates.
 (see all the pages of this yearbook here:
(see all the pages of this yearbook here:

IDEA #3  You can always create your own pages (whether in books or in individual scrap pages) from scratch.  Heritage Makers gives you 100,000+ pieces of artwork to use (I sometimes refer to it as "all-you-can-eat art"!) and the highest quality product on the market with acid-free pages metal-stitched into a library binding (no glue here)!  

These are the same photos in a hardbound book (available in 7 sizes) and in individual scrap pages (available in 3 sizes).
I also have a video tutorial series called "Getting Started With HM" which {you can find right here} by scrolling down a little and clicking on #1.

TIP:  Focus on the photo and the memory associated with it.  Papers, backgrounds, and embellishments can make the finished product very beautiful and appealing, but they are always secondary to photos and their memories.  If you enjoy creating, go for it.  But if you don't, stick with simplicity.  A good scrapbook is valuable to you and your family not because it's full of cute, but because it's full of YOUR photos and memories.

So this is all well and good, but we weren't going to spend an arm and a leg, right?  Heritage Makers makes the highest quality product on the market affordable through a FREE program called Club HM.  You buy publishing points each month (you choose how many months) and deposit them in your account.  Because they don't expire for a year, you could pay for a $50 book by accruing publishing points over a couple of months.  For full details, see the tab above in red called "the very best price:  Club HM"

TIP:  I've found that working with others has great benefits.  We have more fun and get more done!  Hold Digi-Crop Girls' Nights or a similar type of activity--you just need computers and wifi.

These steps, suggestions, and tips make scrapbooking so much easier!!  I hope you will enjoy implementing them, and that you'll share these ideas, too.  I want everyone who takes photos to do something meaningful with them!  Digital scrapbooking can be your best friend.  If you don't preserve your memories, who else can?

If you're a paper-scrapbooking lover, there are two great options (one is even mostly done for you!) above in the "paper scrapbooking, too" tab in red.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

CRAFTING: Holiday Greetings & Perpetual Calendar Blocks

Back before Heritage Makers was born, I made some holiday/calendar blocks with some friends.  They were this cool design where four sides of a block had letters and you could spell out different greetings.  I've had them on a display shelf for about 15+ years!  I really like them, but I didn't do a fabulous job painting with stencils.  I realized about a year ago that I could probably just make the block "faces" with a Heritage Makers scrap page, cut them out, cover my bad paint job, and come out with a much cuter end product! 

That's when these blocks were born:
This is the full set.  I think they're so cute!!!  I'm going to show you how to make your very own set.  (I do sell them completed, as well, if you prefer.  My contact information is at the "contact me" tab in red above.)

They are 1 3/4" blocks painted an off-white.  I used to be able to find blocks like this at my local craft store, but I can't really find them any more, so I order them from, although there are other places, I'm sure.  Order with a friend and split the shipping!  :)  You will need 23 wooden 1 3/4" blocks for this set.

You will need to order the scrap pages I designed, too.   Here's what the scrap pages look like:

Email me at and just tell me you want the Holiday Greetings & Perpetual Calendar Blocks scrap pages, and I'll send them to your Heritage Makers account.  (Don't have one?  It's free.  Get one at

The project is three 12x12 scrap pages.  You can chose the "lite" option for thinner paper, which is a little cheaper, or just stick with the regular thick scrap pages--I don't think it matters for this project.  Either way, I suggest adding the UV coating to the pages (which is free if you're in Club HM, which you want to be anyway to get the best prices--see Club HM tab above).

All the directions you need are on the scrap pages.  You'll just cut out the little squares and stick them on the corresponding blocks, and you're done!  I actually use permanent double-sided tape for this, but you could use spray adhesive or a Xyron or whatever you like best.

And then you get cuteness like this, all year long:

...And wouldn't this set make a darling gift??

(Only 113 days left until Christmas!)   :)