Monday, November 28, 2016

home decor: crafting with coasters

I'm sure that title makes you think:

"Um.  What?!"

But, yes, I'm going to show you a craft project using coasters I made with Heritage Makers!

I first saw the idea {here} and thought it looked kinda cool.  And then some things got changed around on my bathroom wall, and all of a sudden this was going to be the PERFECT thing to go there!

The first thing I did, of course, was create the coasters in my Heritage Makers account.  {You can do the same thing by creating your own coasters.}  And remember I'm here if you have questions.  It took about 8 days to receive them in the mail, and then I gathered all my supplies together:


I did a beach theme, and I created the coasters using all pictures of beaches we've personally been to as a family in recent years.  It was so fun!  You can't see here, but in the bottom corner I actually put the place and date in small font.

If you're new to Heritage Makers coasters like I was for this project, here's the low-down.  A little shy of 4" square, cork-backed, and a really glossy, nice finish on the front.  (I honestly LOVED how my photos looked on these!!)


You might notice in my "supplies" photo (that I showed you first) that one of my supplies was a set of earrings!  The original instructions for this craft were to use a "large book ring."  I have one, but I just didn't like the look of it.  So I thought What else is cheap but would look good and do the same thing?  Walmart earrings, of course!  :D


I closed the clasp and then folded the ribbon over and hot-glued it.  (And, yes, this is really "ribbon," but it looks pretty different.  I was hoping for a beachy, flip-flops-and-hat kind of look.

I expected this to be a little harder or more complicated, even though I knew how simple this project was, but for the next step you literally just hot glue the coasters to your length of ribbon.  And that's it!


I saw that phrase "The beach fixes everything" on a sign once and adored it.  That is definitely a true statement for me!


And there it is on my wall!  I decided to dress it up a bit with the ribbon because I cut the bottom ribbon a bit too short, but those bows and knots are completely optional.

This is SUCH a fun project and SO EASY and such a cool way to display your photos.  If you do this craft, I'd love to see YOUR photos!  E-mail them to me at the address in the "contact me" tab above!

Monday, November 21, 2016

craft fair display

I wanted to up my game a little where my craft fair display was concerned.  I've been doing craft fairs for about 8 years, in 3 different states, so I've seen a lot and have been considering how to draw more attention to my booth.  I decided I needed to go HIGHER.

I need to have a display that stores well, without taking up much space, from year to year.  I love the idea of crates and tents and some of the other things you see at craft fairs, but in addition to the storage issue, spending a lot isn't really an option for me right now.

After some internet searches, I decided to use white pegboard (just from my local home improvement store).  I have two different tables showing two different types of things, and I wanted to give each pegboard stand a "title" so that people can see it before they come to my booth.  And I wanted it to be cute.  :)

I created cute little banners from a Heritage Makers 11x14 print.  The advantages here are
  • I could create it exactly like I wanted, with LOTS of choices of (included) digital art 
  • prints are a little over $3 each
  • I got the optional UV coating, which gives them a little more durability
I actually also really like this because I made these banners to match my business cards, flyers, and tri-fold brochures.

I submitted the prints for publishing and got them back about a 8 days later.  They looked like this
At my booth, I display items made via "online, digital personal publishing," and I also display "papercrafting & scrapbooking" items, so I have two different styles of banner pieces, as you can see.

Then I cut them out,
punched holes in the corners, and threaded some ribbon through.


Since these banners are only about 3" tall (you could make them bigger if you want), I used a mini hole punch and 1/8" ribbon (which costs almost nothing).  I did secure the ribbon on the back of each piece with a little tape just to keep them from sliding on the ribbon.

I used a total of six pieces of common white pegboard because I was making three background displays total.  They were 4 ft. high and 2 ft. wide.  Each piece was $8.  I put each pair together with white duct tape on the back, then pushed ribbon through the duct tape (using an x-acto knife) and tied them together for a little extra security.

Then it was time to put my adorable banners on the pegboard (just with tape).


I bought some pegs and some baskets made for pegboards as well.  Again, just at the home improvement store.

In my "personal publishing" section of goods, I sell a couple of magnetic items, so I bought some sticky-backed magnet strips (available at craft stores--I got mine at Walmart).

SEE??  It works!  :)
(I love doing creative things with the Heritage Makers car magnet.  It's 12x18, so although it goes great on a car for business, it also goes great on a fridge for a family calendar or menu planner, or on a file cabinet for a vision board!  You can write on and wipe off with a dry-erase marker!)

Ready to see what the display boards look like AT the craft fair??

I clearly need some more baskets for that last set-up!  This was my first run using the new pegboards, so next time I'll have it covered.  :)

I really love the height, but I especially love the little personal (and cute) touch the banners give to the pegboards.  I wish they were a little bigger, but what I wanted to say is really long!  Still, it really gave a nice feel to my display and is a big improvement over past years. 
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Friday, November 18, 2016

you don't keep something as powerful as photos in a box


It's just not where they belong.  Photos were meant to be seen.  They weren't ever meant to be stored--either digitally or in a box.  It's just not their purpose.  Photos are supposed to be looked at.

There's great power in photos--the ability to remember, to laugh, to enjoy, to heal, to fall in love again.

I often suggest Heritage Makers digital personal publishing for setting photos free.  Digital has many advantages--the ability to make multiple copies, for example.  Heritage Makers has many more advantages than that, too. 

UPDATE 2021:  Photo and Story Treasures now recommends both Heritage Makers and Forever  for heirloom-quality photo products (like photo-storybooks) and guaranteed private photo storage.  See the differences and what would work best for your preferences here.

Whatever you choose, just be sure you're not keeping something as powerful as photos in a box.  

They were never meant to go there.  Same thing with digital storage.  It's not where photos belong.  Backups are great, sure, but THE REAL THING is the one you see, the one you interact with.  

There's a very real power there.  Unleash it.

Monday, November 14, 2016

chocolate wraps: Happy Holidays


I'm a part of a few networking groups, and I decided I'd like to take little December Wishes treats to my friends in the groups at our December meetings.  So, of course, I made little Happy Holidays chocolates.

Well, technically I made the sticky wraps from address labels in my Heritage Makers account, and I BOUGHT the chocolate.  :)  But you know what I meant.


If you haven't made address labels as chocolate wraps before, I suggest using a template from the Heritage Makers Template Gallery.  You can change anything in a template, and it'll give you a good jumping off place as far as how things should be measured and aligned so they'll fit around the Hershey Nugget.  Let me know if you need any help.


I have Christmas-celebrating friends and Hanukkah-celebrating friends, so I put both on the label.  And, of course, a little nod to my business.  Because these are so cool everyone will want to make them.  ;)


Then you just center the label on the Nugget and wrap.


CUTEST, huh??

These can be personalized for birthday parties, graduations, weddings, baby showers, and much more.  You might remember my first post about wrapped chocolates {here}. 

UPDATE:  Here's a video tutorial I made, walking you through making these awesome chocolate wraps.

UPDATE 2022:  Heritage Makers is currently being updated to a new software platform that doesn't require Adobe Flash to run (which Adobe has discontinued).  For the time being, it's easier for you to order these items from me--meaning I make them for you--than it will be for you to make them in your own Heritage Makers account.  Just contact me with questions and/or to order these fun chocolate wraps!

And now, I wish all my friends a Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah, and a prosperous new year!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Thanksgiving dinner conversation cards (great gift idea, too!)

I can't tell you how many people are duly impressed with the playing card decks from Heritage Makers.  I love showing them to people!!  I came across one recently in the Template Gallery that I had to try out!  They are Thanksgiving Dinner Conversation Starter cards.


They come in a nice little box, and this is a deck of 54.  That "thankful for you" side is the back of the cards.  The backs are all the same, but you can put anything you want on the fronts. 


I just love these, both to bring out as a host of Thanksgiving dinner but also (maybe ESPECIALLY) to bring as a gift when you're the guest!


I made a few little style-related tweaks to the cards before I ordered them, but you can certainly order them as-is.  

This is a nice little addition to your Thanksgiving table, or a nice little gift, at under $20.

UPDATE 2022:  Heritage Makers is currently being updated to a new software platform that doesn't require Adobe Flash to run (which Adobe has discontinued).  For the time being, it's easier for you to order these items from me--meaning I make them for you--than it will be for you to make them in your own Heritage Makers account.  Just contact me with questions and/or to order these neat cards!

Happy Thanksgiving!  #begrateful

Monday, November 7, 2016

love your job


I love doing something that matters.  If fact, I NEED TO do something that matters.

I believe passionately that memory-keeping is priceless, and I feel keenly that we have ONE chance at it.  Memories fade and moments pass.  I believe passionately that we can't afford to pass up what preserving our life stories and photos gives us:
  • an increase in happiness
  • therapeutic benefits including healing from grief and loss
  • increased self-esteem (especially in children)
  • a sense of belonging and security (especially for children)
  • improved connections with others
  • stress reduction
I love sharing beautiful, meaningful, high-quality ways to preserve photos and memories and life stories that will last.  I am passionate about inspiring, educating, and helping people to not just realize but FEEL the gift that photos are.

What's your passion?  What drives you?  What's something you could do that wouldn't feel like work?

Do you know someone who is passionate about photos and memories and preserving them?  Do you know someone who is their family's historian?  Do you know someone who loves genealogy?

Our passions are ours for a reason.  What's yours?

For more information about sharing the passion of memory-keeping, explore the "make it your side gig" tab at the top of this blog, or contact me using the "contact me" tab above.  I'm a supportive and no-pressure team leader, and a memory-keeping business is a rewarding place to be.