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 following these steps.  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!

Friday, November 25, 2016

looking for an easy Christmas gift?

Here are my top three suggestions for EASY Christmas gifts!

easy + meaningful = best gift ever

These should be ordered by about December 4 or 5 for Christmas gift-giving (assuming you don't have to turn around and mail them--but you can ship these directly to the recipients if that helps).

1.  COOKBOOKS (This one is basically ZERO work.)
I just ordered these, and they are adorable--with yummy cookie recipes from Betty Crocker.  They're only about $7 and they look like mini-magazines.  The only thing you'll need to change on this whole book is the personalization on the back.

TO GET THIS:  Open your Heritage Makers account at (click "sign up" at the upper right if you don't already have an account).  This is a Premier template, so you need to have a Premier account to access it.  But that's okay because you'll get a better price anyway.  Click the "how to get started" tab in red above, and watch the video in Step 3.  Do Step 4 as well.  Next, click "Template Gallery" at the upper right, then "Browse the Gallery."  Once the Gallery opens, type 91882 into the search field.  This book will come up and you'll click "personalize."   Heritage Makers' Studio is a drag-and-drop system, but if you need some pointers, watch the video in Step 5--or feel free to contact me through the "contact me" tab in red above.  Please note:  When I ordered mine, I changed the front cover from white to "cookie color," shall we call it.  :)  So your cookbooks will not look like this one unless you do the same.  


These come in all sorts of shapes and sizes (so the prices vary, too).  What makes these EASY is that they generally only use one photo and a quote, so they don't take very long to create--especially if you're using one of Heritage Makers' 200,000+ fully-editable templates!

TO GET THIS:  Click the "how to get started" tab in red above, and follow the 5 steps.  Next I suggest clicking "Template Gallery" at the upper right, then "Browse the Gallery."  You'll probably want to select "home decor" at the left to see the available canvases, metal prints, and wood prints.  The simple 11x14 prints are also a nice choice, and at about $3 each, the frame will cost more than the print!  Once you choose a template, click "personalize" and you're ready to go.


 These come in at around $20 and come in three shapes.  Again, these come together really quickly because they generally only use one photo (though they ARE double-sided) and just a little quote or digital art (included!!).  These are white-coated aluminum and include a ribbon.

TO GET THIS:  Click the "how to get started" tab in red above, and follow the 5 steps.  Next I suggest clicking "Template Gallery" at the upper right, then "Browse the Gallery."  You'll probably want to select "photo gifts" at the left to see the templates for ornaments.  But there are lots of other easy photo gifts, too!  Once you choose a template, click "personalize" and you're ready to go.


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. 

If you're not visiting this post because you're looking for craft fair display ideas, you may be wondering about some of the things I have for sale in those photos above. 
  • The items in the first picture can be found at
  • The items in the second picture are mostly from the Anthology line, including Christmas gift card holders, Pocket Scrapbooking Kits, cardmaking kits, and Canvas Exchange Blocks.  You can see a lot of these items spotlighted here on this blog if you click the "Anthology" link in the link cloud in the right sidebar, or you can go to and click "products" then "Anthology DIY."
  • A few items in the second picture are from the Our Memories For Life line (similar to Creative Memories), including the cool Border Maker.  You can see a lot of these items spotlighted here on this blog if you click the "Our Memories For Life" link in the link cloud in the right sidebar, or you can go to and click "products" then "Our Memories For Life."

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, including Heirloom Assurance.  {See the list of what makes Heritage Makers stand head & shoulders above other digital publishing here.}  The wide variety of products Heritage Makers offers really means there's something for everyone.  From hardbound books to scrapbook pages, from templates to create-your-own, you can choose what YOU prefer.

For anyone who feels technology is a hurdle too big to jump, I often suggest the Pocket Scrapbooking method by Anthology.  {You can read all about that here.} It's very simple, straightforward, and hands-on (and the papers, etc., shown below are optional). 

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.

But for 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 at by opening your account and then searching the Template Gallery (select "browse gallery") and typing 126365 into the search field.  (FYI, this is a Premier template, so to have access to it and to get the best price you should check out the Club HM video here: )  This is a nice little addition to your Thanksgiving table, or a nice little gift, at under $20.

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 "work from home" link in the topic cloud at the right, or contact me using the "contact me" tab above.  I'm a supportive and no-pressure team leader, and Heritage Makers is a rewarding place to be.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Heritage Makers ON SALE! $50 free!

This is a huge deal, not only because you get $50 worth of digital personal publishing FREE, but because sales like this don't come around that often with Heritage Makers.  (Instead the "forever sale" is Club HM--click the tab above for more info.)

From now through November 30, you can get 150 Publishing Points for $99!  So that's $150 of whatever Heritage Makers products you like--calendars, storybooks, travel books, board books, Christmas cards, wedding invitations, business products, canvases, metal prints, wood prints, phone cases, you name it!

Don't have a Heritage Makers account yet?  No worries.  Just click the red "how to get started" tab above.

To get this deal, you need to call customer service at 1-866-694-3763.  You'll need to give them your Heritage Makers account number and tell them how many of these special deals you want.  (Getting 2, for example, would be $198 for 300 publishing points--that's $300 worth of publishing.)  There is a limit, in case you're wondering, of 3,400 publishing points.

(FYI, projects intended for Christmas gift-giving should be completed and submitted for publishing by about November 30.)

Happy publishing!!!