Monday, January 30, 2017

catch up on your photos: the ten-step escape plan

Is this you?

photo courtesy TimThumb
Do you have so many photos that you feel like you're drowning?  Are you overwhelmed with the amount of photos you have that need homes?  Do you not even know where to start??

It sounds like you're in a frustrating place called Overwhelmville.  Let's get you outta there--with a ONE-WAY TICKET.

I recently came up with an Escape Plan to help people who are under a mountain of photos.

For the next 10 Fridays, I'll post one of the Escape Plan steps.  Some steps are things to do, others are things to remember.  All of them will help you get a handle on your photos, figure out where to start and how to move forward, and help you solve the problems you're having with your photos.

If you haven't already subscribed to this blog by e-mail, you'll want to hop over to the right sidebar and do that.  It's the easiest way to get the steps right into your inbox. 

I love helping people turn this
to this

Because memory-keeping MAKES A DIFFERENCE.  It's good for YOU when you do it, and it's good for the people who receive and enjoy what you've created.  It decreases stress and raises self-esteem.  Memory-keeping isn't for "creative" people or people who are into "scrapbooking."  It's for people with memories and photos.  And that's it.


See you on Friday!  :)  

P.S.  I'll be posting all these steps at the "how to catch up on your photos" tab at the top of the blog, too.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

why you HAVE TO print your photos

I just read something alarming.

Remember when I said that you should print your photos because it's so easy for phones to get lost, stolen, or damaged?  (In case you missed that, it was {here}.)

So, yes, it's really a good idea to back up your photos to your computer, a flash drive, an external hard drive, etc., but don't lose sight of the fact that the digital version is only a backup.  It's not the real thing!!  It's essentially the film negatives--it's not THE PHOTO.  (You can read why digital photo storage is a backup, not a goal {here}).

We all know how fickle technology is.  It changes.  It crashes.  Files become unreadable.

But did you know THIS?
  {This Google study} is ALARMING!  Here's what it says:

And this is A MINIMUM!  If you keep your computer for five years, you have AT LEAST a one in three chance of your computer crashing.

Keeping your files backed up is great, but printing your photos is even better!

See!?  That's much better than a bunch of digital files anyway!

Click "how to get started" and "helpful tips" above to get on your way!

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Importance of Storytelling (by guest blogger Hollie Clere)

Throwing your photos in a "photo book" really isn't that different from sticking undocumented photos in a shoebox.  

What makes a photo meaningful is the story behind it--the REASON you took the photo.  You don't have to be a writer to tell your story.  Just tell your story like you'd tell it to your friend.

Today I'm pleased to share with you some fantastic thoughts on storytelling from an expert.  Hollie Clere is also known as The Social Media Advisor.  I've often heard her say how VITAL storytelling is to a business and a brand--and it's vital to preserving photos and memories, too.  It's all about the story.   See what insights Hollie has and think about how they relate to telling your story as you preserve photos and memories!

The Importance of Storytelling
Hollie Clere
You have a story to tell, and I want to read it. Guess what? I’m not the only one!
Every project you create has a story behind it. Taking that story and turning it into something takes more than just time and materials. It encompasses frustration, brainstorming, determination, and joy of completion. Your story is inspiration; the inspiration behind anything you choose to make from it.
When you look at something you’ve crafted, the effort behind it is readily apparent. There’s sentimental attachment to the process. It showcases a message that will be interpreted differently; dependent on the viewer.
Your project doesn’t have to be perfect, and if you’re chronicling your efforts through text, pictures, videos or any combination of the three, it’s the stuck points that can help others overcome their own difficulties.
Every project, just like every person and business, has a story. There is the process, and then there is the emotional connections and attachments associated with it.
A story is made up of three very important things:
  1. What led you to creating the project? This is your inspiration.
  2. The voice/tone/style. Your voice is how you tell your story.
  3. The process from beginning to end. This is where you incorporate your materials, time, instructions and promotion.
If you’re telling this story on a blog, social media, or in a video, you’ll want to tell your story in a way that compels readers/viewers to create – to make something of their own stories. This element of being inspired will ensure that your audience returns over and over again. Here are some quick key tips to making your story memorable:
  1. Mention your pain points in the storytelling. Give people something that they can relate to. Give them a reason to be invested in your outcomes.
  2. Make sure that it is immediately obvious that it is YOUR story and that you are the mastermind behind telling it.
  3. Be social! Interact with anyone that feels compelled to talk to you about your story.
Whatever method you use to tell your story, storytelling is an important part of all of our lives. Keep creating and sharing your tale with the world so that they feel inspired to create and share their own stories.

Hollie Clere, with the Social Media Advisor, teaches your clients the importance of storytelling. Telling an effective story in your brand will make or break your online presence. We are storytellers. The Social Media Advisor builds robust bios that tell your real story, the pains you are solving, incorporating your ideal target market, and the most effective keywords. We build a working bio for you that equips your audience with the story they need to hear from you.

Monday, January 16, 2017

one-of-a-kind Valentine gift ideas (tutorial!)

There are so many fun, sweet, and unique Valentine gift ideas available at Heritage Makers.  The very nature of Heritage Makers gives you a truly special and meaningful gift.


Have you seen this video tutorial about creating your own awesome Valentines (cards & gifts)?  These are very simple if you're new to Heritage Makers, and the directions are right in the tutorial.  Check it out {here}.

I suggest submitting your special Valentine project by January 31 just to be on the safe side.  And remember, I'm your Heritage Makers consultant--so consult with me if you need anything.  My contact info is in the red tab above.

Friday, January 13, 2017

how to catch up on your photos: Year in a Snap

If you're behind on memory-keeping, it can be hard to catch up because you're always taking MORE photos.

Year in a Snap solves this problem in a simple, straightforward way.  Choose your preferred method, and follow the schedule!

BETTER YET, do it with friends!  I always recommend this because it tends to *get done* that way.  Just like telling yourself that you're going to walk 2 miles every morning at 5:30, it's more likely to happen if you're doing it with a friend--not just because you've committed to someone else to do it, but also because it just makes it more enjoyable.

Let me first introduce Year in a Snap and tell you how it works, then I'll tell you how to make it better with friends.

(Prices listed are for one of the two years' worth of photos you'll be completing during Year in a Snap--you'll repeat these steps again after six months.)

STEP 1:  Choose Your Method
Do you have digital photos or printed photos?  Do you want a creative look (without the work!) or a more clean one?  Think about what best fits your needs and interest.  There's something for everyone in these four choices:

A completed DigiSnap book (using Heritage Makers) comes out to around $10/month to complete.  That's half the price of a pedicure!  (Scroll down to the bottom to see an explanation of the price difference and how to get a discount off that $68.25 wholesale price.)
A completed PocketSnap book (using Anthology) comes out to around $15/month to complete (or $6/month if you use your own paper).  That's less than the price of two tickets to a movie!

A completed ScrapSnap book (using Our Memories For Life) comes out to around $20/month to complete (or $15/month if you use your own paper).  That's less than you'd spend on dinner out!

and coming soon...

STEP 2:  Order Your Supplies
  • For DigiSnap:  Open your free account at by clicking "sign up" at the upper right.  Next, look at the two digital storybook/scrapbook options to decide which you prefer.  To do this, click "template gallery" in the upper right, then "browse the gallery."  In the search field, type 143002 to look at all the pages in the blue book and/or type 118051 to look at all the pages in the purple and mint book.  Choose your favorite and click "personalize."  This places the template in your account.  
  • For PocketSnap:  Go to and click "products" then "Anthology DIY."  Scroll down to find each of the products listed in the PocketSnap image above and click "add to cart."  Checkout and expect your products in around 7-10 days.
  • For ScrapSnap:  Go to and click "products" then "Our Memories For Life."  Scroll down to find each of the products listed in the ScrapSnap image above and click "add to cart."  Checkout and expect your products in around 7-10 days.
  • FOR Basic DigiSnap:  COMING SOON
STEP 3:  Choose Your Years & Gather and Organize Photos
Over the next 12 months, you'll preserve TWO YEARS' worth of photos.  (That's where the catching up comes in--you're preserving photos faster than you're taking new ones.  Hooray!)
  1. First, decide which two years you'll preserve.  During the first six months of Year in a Snap, you preserve one year's worth, and during the last six months, you preserve another year's worth.  So I suggest starting with last year and then doing this year.  But this is YOUR CHOICE, so do whatever seems best to you.  
  2. Second, to simplify preserving photos and make this a conquerable task, you'll choose 10-20 photos from each month.  Choose your favorites--you don't have to preserve every photo you ever take, right??   If you don't have 10 from one month, that's just fine--use what you have.  
  3. Third, organize the photos.  If you have printed photos, put them in envelopes organized by date (January 2016, February 2016, etc.).  If you're going to preserve them digitally (DigiSnap or Basic DigiSnap), organize them on your computer in dated folders and subfolders, then upload them to your Heritage Makers account (where you can also organize them in folders and subfolders).  This video shows you how:
STEP 4:  Preserve Your Photos and Memories
When preserving photos, don't forget to *write*--this is what makes photos mean something.  Include dates, names, places, and memories.  What made the photo worth taking?  What was funny, important, meaningful, sad, happy, etc.?  Some day, someone who doesn't remember the event will be looking at these photos.  Tell them what makes these photos matter.   

Follow this schedule to have TWO YEARS' worth of photos preserved after 12 months:
  1. Month 1:  Choose your method (four options above), order your supplies (step 2 above), choose your years and organize 10-20 photos from each month of those two years.   Preserve photos and memories from January and February from the first year you've chosen.
  2. Month 2:  Preserve photos and memories from March and April from the first year you've chosen.
  3. Month 3:  Preserve photos and memories from May and June from the first year you've chosen.
  4. Month 4:  Preserve photos and memories from July and August from the first year you've chosen.
  5. Month 5:  Preserve photos and memories from September and October from the first year you've chosen.
  6. Month 6:  Preserve photos and memories from November and December from the first year you've chosen.  Congratulations!!  You've preserved photos and memories from an entire year!  It's time to go through Steps 1-3 and re-order products you'll need to start the second year next month.
  7.  Month 7:  Preserve photos and memories from January and February from the second year you've chosen.
  8. Month 8:  Preserve photos and memories from March and April from the second year you've chosen.
  9. Month 9:  Preserve photos and memories from May and June from the second year you've chosen.
  10. Month 10:  Preserve photos and memories from July and August from the second year you've chosen.
  11. Month 11:  Preserve photos and memories from September and October from the second year you've chosen.
  12. Month 12:  Preserve photos and memories from November and December from the second year you've chosen.  Congratulations!!  You've preserved photos and memories from an entire year!   REPEAT AS NEEDED.
Let me explain that discount I mentioned for DigiSnap, and then tell you about the freebies you can get by doing Year in a Snap with friends.

The price difference with DigiSnap depends on whether or not you take advantage of the free program called Club HM which gives you a discount at checkout.  You can learn about Club HM here:  I would recommend Club HM for two reasons:  First, you get a discount at checkout.  Second, you can split up payment of the book.  For this 12x12 book, I would suggest joining Club HM at the Bronze level now, which places 30 publishing points (they're like Heritage Makers Dollars) into your account.  Then make yourself a note in 3 weeks to quit Club HM so that it won't put 30 more publishing points into your account the next month.  Don't worry--your 30 points are still in your account because you have a whole year from the date of purchase to use them.  When you are ready to publish your first book six months from now, join Club HM again at the Bronze level.  Current Club HM members get a discount at checkout, and being a Bronze member (which, again, is FREE) will save you 15%.  You'll have a total of 60 publishing points in your account now.  At the Bronze level, this 12x12 will cost you $58.02.  You'll have a couple of publishing points left over for your next book (or a greeting card, address labels, business cards, etc.) while still paying less than wholesale price.  After you order your book (so you're getting the discount), quit Club HM again.  (You join Club HM by logging in to your account and clicking "my account," and you quit the same way.  If you'd like the lowest price, be a Gold Club HM member at checkout!)

How does getting together with friends once a month to do something that lowers stress and benefits your family at the very same time sound?

I know!  To do Year in a Snap with friends: 
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, doing this with friends can be very beneficial.  It's more fun, it makes preserving photos & memories into a commitment instead of a hope, and you can actually get some free products as the host.   

Contact me (contact info in the tab above in red) to place a group order instead of having everyone order individually.  I can just gather the orders if you like, or we could set up an online meeting where I can show you specific products in person and answer questions.  I can include Club HM purchases in a group order, too, so ANY method you and your friends choose counts towards some free products for you.

Then you just set up monthly workshops so everyone can get together and work for 2-3 hours, following the schedule outlined above.  I can do another group order for you in another six months when everyone is ready to start year #2!

ENJOY!  This is a GREAT WAY to catch up on your photos and have fun doing it!     

Monday, January 9, 2017

video tutorial: Import Page (from one project to another)

One of the most convenient little tools we have access to in our Heritage Makers accounts is called Import Page.  You can essentially copy a page from a different project into your new project.  This feature also allows you to make a different product from an existing template (such as making a canvas from a template that's a wood print).

I walk you through it all right here: