Thursday, December 12, 2019

How the Best Way to Appreciate Life is through Memory-Keeping

When people ask, "So, what do you do?" I generally have a hard time answering.  I try to focus so much on individual needs that I end up doing a variety of things that fall well outside the basic "Photo & Story Treasures consultant" description.

I was asked this "So, what do you do?" question recently, and since my answer wasn't planned, I've thought about it a lot since it came out of my mouth.  Here's what I said:

I teach (free) classes on the importance of our photos and memories and then provide strategies and solutions to make high-quality memory-keeping doable.  It's less about "scrapbooking" and more about appreciating and cherishing life.


In the 14 1/2 years I've been sharing the Heritage Makers vision ("Everyone has a story.  Tell yours."), I've been met with surprising responses when I mention that one of the methods of telling your story is digital scrapbooking.  There are lots of methods, by the way:  {the Yearbook method}, {digital storybooking},  etc.  The word "scrapbooking," though, seems to get the most reaction.  People tend to either love it or hate it.  And people tend to mistakenly believe the {myth that if they don't scrapbook then they can't preserve their memories}.

So let me say this again.

Preserving photos and memories is less about scrapbooking and more about appreciating and cherishing life.

See "how to get started" for even more options!

Doesn't it seem like depression, anxiety, fear of missing out, and a lack of real connection are prevalent these days?  

So doesn't it follow that happiness, security, joy, gratitude, and connection are needed right now more than ever?  

The good news is that these things are closer than we realize!

Let me be so bold as to suggest that the best way to appreciate your life is through memory-keeping.

Research going back over 25 years has concluded the following amazing (and very hopeful!) facts:
So don't you think it's time?  Don't you think it's time to stop worrying about "scrapbooking" or "not scrapbooking" and just be a memory-keeper?  Photos and memories do so many good things for us--so many things we NEED!  They aren't just "nice"--they're necessities.

{Memory-keeping} is nothing more than sitting down with your photos and memories--your life experience--and putting words to them.  It's organizing the things that happen in such a way that you can develop perspective and gratitude.  It's seeing {long-gone moments and long-gone faces in order to remember and appreciate}.

If I could share anything with you, it would be that!  So I've created this video for you to help you appreciate life, increase your happiness, make connections, and lower your stress.  I talk about WHY memory-keeping is so important, what it can really do for you, and how to actually DO THIS--how to make it a real, consistent part of your life.


(And because it's recorded, you can stop, start, and replay as needed!)

2021 UPDATE:  In addition to Heritage Makers, Forever is another high-quality option for preserving photos and memories, with a bigger variety of options so you can find what works for you, including digitizing and scanning along with permanent photo storage.  

I'll end here with two personal examples.  

In 2012, my brother and sister-in-law were finally expecting a baby after years of trying, waiting, and trying new (expensive) options.  When my baby nephew died halfway through the pregnancy, the grief was unlike anything any of our family members had ever felt.  I couldn't do anything for them, so I made them a book.  (I discussed my experience {here} if you'd like to read it.)

Looking through pictures that were taken at the hospital 2,000 miles away from me helped me "be there."  Writing down the little miracles that happened along the way that my family had told me about over the phone helped me tell this little boy's story in a really beautiful way.  We grieved, yes, but putting those things to paper helped us through the grief AND helped us recognize blessings we might otherwise have missed.  And now that baby boy's 6-year-old sister gets to read about the big brother she never got to meet.  He is real to her, and it has created a connection for her.


Example 2:  Mostly, though, life is great!  There are birthdays and graduations, new jobs and old friends.  I take pictures of all these things.  Because I don't let them sit on my phone or camera and forget about them, I get to re-live them!  I get to re-love them!  Experiences and sweet times don't fade and disappear.  I put pictures and memories in {digital scrap pages} and in {digital storybooks}.  That's how they stay in my memory and in my heart.  Good times are always close by.





So scroll back up and be sure to watch this video I made for you:  Why It's Time to be a Memory-Keeper!  From my heart to yours.


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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Three Gift Ideas for Connecting Kids with Far-away Grandparents

Do you know or love a toddler?  You probably already know that little brains have a hard time with long-term memory until they get a little bigger.  So the three ideas I'm sharing with you today about helping toddlers connect with faraway family members are just perfect for that toddler you know and love.


Marissa at Just Simply Mom has two little ones and faraway family members.  I wrote a guest blog post for her in September about three of my favorite ideas for using pictures, books, and games to connect across the miles.

You can see pictures and descriptions and even directions on how to create these amazing products for your toddlers--and they make the perfect gifts for grandparents, too!  

And these are not your ordinary grandparent gift ideas.  Trust me!  In fact, just go look for yourself.  These are AMAZING gift ideas that grandparents will love and cherish always.

Click on over to Just Simply Mom to read

Don't forget to share the post with someone who will love it!  You can find more ideas beyond these three that are even faster and simpler to create right here.

Pin this image to Pinterest, or Tweet, email, or share on Facebook

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Tiny Lay-Flat Nativities

I am a self-professed nativity addict, and I am always looking for just one more unique one to add to my collection.  Last year I came up with the idea of using {a deck of Heritage Makers playing cards to make multiple sets of tiny, lay-flat nativities}.  When I say "tiny," I mean 3.5" tall.  And when I say "lay-flat," I mean that these fold flat so that they take up almost no room to store!

These would make AMAZING little gifts for very little cost, so let me show you how I made them and how you can make them, too.


I'll show you how to DIY these sweet little nativities, but I have a handful already made that are for sale over at {My Heritage Makers Shop} (or just contact me) for a few dollars apiece if you'd rather not DIY.

STEP 1:  Publish this nativity playing card deck using your Heritage Makers account.
First, {open your Heritage Makers account} if you don't already have one.  Next, {contact me} and ask me to transfer this nativity playing card deck from my account to yours.  (I made this deck, so it's in my personal account.  But with Heritage Makers, you can transfer any project to another user!!  SO COOL.  I love sharing what I've spent the time to create!)
NOTE:  One deck of playing cards is $21 and contains 17 nativity sets.  
STEP 2:  Punch holes using a small hole punch (not a regular-sized one).
There are very small stars on the cards that show you where to punch.  They're a little hard to see, so if you can't see them, just punch holes in these general locations.  I like to hold one card on top of the other card, punching both at the same time, so that I am sure that the holes will line up perfectly.

Small hole punches can be purchased at craft stores.  Because these nativities are
tiny, a regular-sized hole punch would be too big.
STEP 3:  Tie the cards together with string, ribbon, or raffia (shown).
With the fronts of the cards facing each other, tie the cards together. Tie the shepherd card to the left side of the holy family card.  Tie the wisemen card to the right side of the holy family card.


THAT'S IT!

This little nativity measures about 7" wide when open and 2.5" wide when folded flat.  Easy to store, easy to set up, easy to gift!


I absolutely love mine!

This is just one of MANY creative projects you can make and/or gift with a {Heritage Makers} product.  Explore this blog for lots more ideas!

Love this idea?  Pin and share!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Stop Wishing Your Scrapbooking Was Done and Do It (with 3 options)

Are you one of the many people who WISHES your scrapbooking was done?  Would you really like to have your photos in a book instead of languishing on your phone?  Do your kids ask to see pictures of themselves, but you don't have anything significant to show them?  

You're in the right place!  Today I'll show you three completely do-able ways to stop wishing your scrapbooking was done and do it!


 

Before we get into the 3 options I have to share with you today (which, really, are about 7 or 8 methods), let me first share with you two videos which can help you get over some of the basic hurdles to memory-keeping or scrapbooking.  

2021 UPDATE:  Photo & Story Treasures now offers even more heirloom-quality options to help you find the method/platform that works for YOU--what makes "scrapbooking" more doable for you!  Find the information right here.

Here's how to get your photos off your phone (5 minutes):

And here's one great way to organize your photos on your computer (19 minutes--I walk you through the whole process):

And now on to the 3 options I suggest to help you stop wishing your scrapbooking was done and do it!

OPTION 1:  FIND SOMETHING YOU LOVE

It's very important to find a high-quality method to preserve your photos, but it's equally important to find something you love.  If you don't love it, it feels more like a chore instead of something to look forward to.  Putting your photos and memories into something you can hold and look back at for years and years to come is good for the heart and soul.  In fact, I've called it {The Secret Ingredient to Self-Care and Wellness}.  So you should find something do-able that fits your needs and preferences so that you can enjoy all the {personal benefits of memory-keeping}.

So let's explore!!  Let me help you find something top-quality that you will love to do!  In this 15-minute video I show you 4 different possibilities (2 for printed photos and 2 digital methods) that are fantastic.  See which one you like best: 

If you're looking for a digital method that's basic and simple but still higher quality than the average "online photo book" out there, here's another option to consider.  There's even an auto-fill option where you just push a button and all your photos go in the book!

2021 UPDATE:  Some of the options in this video will be changing soon as a couple of the companies go through updates and consolidation, so click here for the most current options.



OPTION 2:  THE YEARBOOK METHOD

This is my *favorite* method to share with people who are overwhelmed with their photos, wishing their scrapbooking was done but not knowing how to just DO IT.  The yearbook is a product, yes, but the method itself has some valuable strategies that will really help you out of overwhelm and allow you to enjoy your photos by getting them in a book.

I made this video to introduce you to the method (giving you a lot of pointers for dealing with too many photos) and to show you step-by-step how to make your goal into reality.  You want to stop wishing your scrapbooking was done and actually have it done, right?  This is how!  

(Note:  I had a technical issue from 27:11-34:05 in the video, so skip that part.)

I just love the yearbook method!  I hope you will, too.  If you're feeling stuck or overwhelmed, I really believe this is a genius way to get up and going again, preserving your photos and memories.

You can create yearbooks at both Heritage Makers and Forever, both of which offer heirloom-quality books.  Heritage Makers offers one platform for creating your yearbooks, and Forever offers three (ultra-fast, fast, and fully creative digital scrapbooking).


OPTION 3:  FOR HIRE

If none of those possibilities seem to do it for you, you might need a memory-keeping partner to help.  


Whether you need photo organization help or someone to make your ideas into reality, your wish is my command.  You can e-mail me photos with a little something (memory/detail) about each one and I can do the work of creating a digital book or digital scrap pages for you.  You can choose a yearbook theme, a vacation theme, and more.  Truly, if you have an idea, we can make it reality.

I can do all or part of a project, help you start or help you finish.  You can find all the details and fees {right here} at the bottom.

I have clients who just needed to see their first book in their hands in order to get motivated to (and believe they could) continue and do more books on their own.  I also have clients who just like handing me everything and saying, "Work your magic.  Make this a book."  :)  Either way is fine.  My Digital Scrapbooking For Hire program is intended to be whatever YOU need it to be.

Share the love by sharing these helpful ideas on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, or
your favorite social media platform.  

What do you think?  Which method do you think would work best for you?  Which one will be THE ONE to let you stop wishing your scrapbooking was done?  Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Kids (really!)

It might seem a little suspicious that I could tell you THE BEST thing you can do for your kids, but--believe it or not--it's true!  Over the last few years, I've done a lot of reading about actual research that has been conducted about the family and what helps kids the most.  The findings are absolutely fascinating!

In fact, if you're a mom who worries about too much screen time and not enough vegetables, this post will help you take heart.

I know—it seems a bold statement.  I can almost see the suspicious look on your face.  I’m sure you’re thinking, “Can you really tell me in one blog post the best thing I can do for my kids?”  Actually, I can.  It’s something simple with powerful, lasting effects, and the great news is that it’s something you already have.  This Best Thing has been proven in studies, too. 

So let me tell you how I first learned about this Best Thing, starting with a little background.

I’ve been a journaler, photo-taker, and photo-preserver for as long as I can remember.  I made it my business in 2005, and in 2009 I started blogging about it.  In 2017 I was invited to be a regular contributor for a new blog where I’d write about family, photos, memories, and connections.  Because of my own personal background and passion, I knew already that photos and memories (“scrapbooking,” if you will) was really good for you.  I knew it was good for kids and families, that it increased connections between people, and that it was a therapeutic and cathartic activity that was a known stress-reliever.  There was a period of about a year and a half where I was writing two blog posts every week, so I started doing reading and research beyond my own personal experience. 

HERE’S THE BEST THING

The first article that really struck me with a sense that I had been onto something all these years was called “The Stories that Bind Us,” by Bruce Feiler, published in The New York Times.  Feiler met with experts, looked at studies, and determined that the best thing you can do for your kids is create a family narrative.  In other words, give them their own stories.

One of the main studies Feiler looked at was one by Dr. Marshall Duke of Emory University.  In the mid-1990s, Dr. Duke was studying the dissipation of the American family and what could be done to counteract it.  Almost by chance, Dr. Duke’s wife Sara mentioned to him her own observation in her work as a psychologist for children with learning disabilities.  Sara had noticed this about her students:  “The ones who know a lot about their families tend to do better when they face challenges.”


Dr. Duke and his colleague Robyn Fivush decided to test Sara’s hypothesis that knowing family stories makes an enormous difference to kids.   The results were astounding.  They found that kids who know and connect with their family through their family history (or family stories) had higher self-esteem and a stronger sense of control over their lives.  Duke and Fivush determined that family stories were the best source for a child’s emotional health and happiness.  

Shortly after their research, testing, and findings, Duke and Fivush were able to test their theories and results even more thoroughly because September 11, 2001, happened.  Afterwards, they tested the same kids again and found that those who knew more about their families by belonging to their family’s narrative were more resilient in the face of stress and trauma.

So add “resilience” and “coping skills” to that list we’ve started of what family stories do for kids.


Another article that solidified my belief that preserving photos and stories is more powerful than we think was Elaine Reese’s “What Kids Learn From Hearing Family Stories” in The Atlantic.  This article gives even more insight into the power in a family narrative.  She cites 25 years’ worth of studies on the family that show that family stories—any family stories—give kids greater ability to empathize and connect with others, lower rates of depression and anxiety, and a stronger concept of self.

Family stories can be interesting, scary, funny, or even sad.  They can be anecdotal or have distinct morals to the story.  A family history can includes humorous events and silly traditions which strengthen bonds and camaraderie.   Whatever they are, family stories help children know they belong. 

A family narrative lets kids know that Grandma Ethel overcame a hard thing, so they can, too.  Fivush noted that kids with the most self-confidence had a strong sense of their “intergenerational selves.”  Kids learn how to go through and overcome challenges when they know that their family has a history of doing that very thing.  Family stories emphasize that we are capable and there is hope.

GOOD FOR KIDS AND GOOD FOR YOU

Where are your stories?  Is it easy for you to be a storyteller, or not so much?  I feel too much like a deer in headlights when I think, “Gosh, I should tell a family story at the dinner table.”  When I write things down, I have something to refer to in order to refresh my memory.  Some stories just come up naturally, but others (like stories that didn’t happen to me) aren’t at the tip of my tongue so easily.  When I make a record of my family’s stories, they’re fresher and much easier for me to tell very naturally.  So I collect them!  I record them in books with pictures of the person the story is about.  That way, I can tell them or we can read them together at our family night (or any time).

And here’s what’s cool about that.  All the while these stories are good for my kids, they’re good for me, too. 

Memory-keeping in general is cathartic, therapeutic, and healing.  It’s good for us to sit down with our life’s experiences, sort through them, and give them somewhere to live (book, photo album, digital scrapbooking, etc.)  Journaling is used in therapy for lots of reasons!  (If you haven’t heard of memory-keeping, here’s what it is and why it matters.)

Pictures alone have been shown to increase happiness!  Gretchen Reuben’s “Happiness Project” found that viewing photos help us remember happy times (which makes us happier in the present) and can “bring back” people, places, and things we love.  

I also enjoyed Dr. Peter Naish’s study on how photographs lift your mood and happiness level.  Naish found that the common things we use to try to increase our happiness are eating and drinking.  His study showed that those things actually only increase mood by 1%.  After looking at photos, people reported an 11% increase in happiness!  (By the way, his study also found a 22% increase in relaxation after looking at pictures!  Pictures even beat out chocolate for relaxation, which only came in at 8%.) 


 So don’t forget pictures when you’re recording your family stories.  Pictures bring your family’s history to life!  They make the people in the stories real, even if they’ve passed on.  Putting together your own family stories (preferably with pictures) will make you happier while you’re on your way to giving your kids the Best Thing you can do for them.

(If you need ANY help turning your good ideas into reality, just ask me.  I have lots of free resources and ideas and guides, or I hire out to roll up my sleeves and do the work for you if you prefer.)

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

Start anywhere!  Think of a story your mom always told, or a funny thing that happened to your grandpa once.  How did your grandparents (or great-grandparents) come to this country?  Who was the first person in your family to go to college?  What did your ancestors have to overcome?  Whose life seemed like one challenge after another?  What was the defining moment of your grandmother’s faith?  Where did your parents meet?  What’s a lesson you learned as a child that you’ll never forget?  What are your cherished family traditions?

Family stories don’t have to look a certain way.  In fact, that’s the beauty of it.  My family stories are probably not very much like yours, but mine are meaningful to me and yours are meaningful to you.  Just like it should be.  Write down what you know and what you remember, then ask siblings or cousins what stories they remember.  Ask parents or grandparents.  Keep a running list and continue adding to it.        

 


Because I’ve been helping people professionally publish their photos and memories and stories for several years now, I’ve got a little collection of resources that can help you right here at this post: Why Your Family Needs Its Stories.  It has several suggestions of where to start and how to write down or publish your stories, including several additional links to additional helpful posts.  Find high-quality options for publishing at this link.

If you’re worried about all the things moms are usually worried about, take heart.  I’ve been momming for more than 21 years now, and I’m still concerned about vegetables and technology and if I’ve taught them enough.  As it turns out, just telling them stories of my great-grandma’s hard life and what she made of it and my parents’ faith and my grandpa’s sense of humor has a lot more power than I realize.  

So if your kids won’t eat broccoli or clean up after themselves, tell them a story about something hard you did once and what makes your grandma amazing.  

Tell them a family story of perseverance, tell them your favorite tradition, or tell them how you know you can do hard things.  

It’s actually the Best Thing you can do for your kids.


Did you love the information and encouragement in that post as much as I did?
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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Digital Scrapbooking and Memory-Keeping For Hire

One of the casualties of the busy lifestyle so inherent in today's culture is our photos--and with them our memories.  Unfortunately, we're not just losing our photos and our memories.  We're {losing ourselves}. 

I believe strongly in the process--how sitting down with your own photos and memories is a great source of peace.  Taking the time to look through photos, choose your favorites, and preserve them in a hand-held way where you can write memories next to them is powerful.  There's actually a lot of perspective, gratitude, and connection to be had through it, too.  Studies even show that looking back on happy times (in a photo album, for example) actually increases happiness in the present.


I've been doing this myself for years, so I know all these things firsthand.  However, I also know that memory-keeping has become a lost art.  And, no, I'm not (necessarily) talking about scrapbooking.  I'm really just talking about the simple act of printing up a picture and writing down something about it.  People just don't do that any more.  Digital photo snapping is super cool and easy to share, but we have SO. MANY. PICTURES.  So many people I talk to are {overwhelmed}, and most people don't even know what they're supposed to do with all those pictures.  Or how.

an heirloom-quality book plus digital scrap pages of the same event
(Click here for a variety of top-quality options.)

Because memory-keeping comes second-nature to me, I have--in recent years--begun digital scrapbooking and memory-keeping for others.  There's no way, of course, that I could do ALL that memory-keeping entails since they're not my pictures and not my memories, but it's really easy for me to be the boots on the ground, so to speak, making everything happen.  Your wish is my command.

So if you find yourself wanting to do something more with your photos than confining them to JPEG Jail, let me help you.


There are lots of options from digital hardbound books to digital scrap pages.  If you'd like a cute scrapbook-y kind of look, I can do that.  If you'd like a clean look, I can do that.  I can let you pick a template or I can create from scratch for a fully-flexible option.  (I do charge by the hour, so templates will go much faster, but getting exactly what you want without needing to fit into a template has perks, too.)  



I can make any project you have in mind, from baby books to family yearbooks to graduation sign-in books and wire-bound cookbooks and canvases.  

Let me be your memory-keeping partner.  You take the pictures and make the memories, then you share with me your favorites (both pictures and a little blurb about each one) so I can make those pictures and memories last.  {Here is the basic information} about how Scrapbooking For Hire (or any project) works.  For more details how it works, just {contact me} and I'll e-mail you a document outlining everything.

If you need a memory-keeping partner, don't put it off!  Memories get dimmer all the time, and photos left in digital form are always at the mercy of technology.  Let's get your photos out of the cloud and your memories out of your head into something that will be seen, held, and loved for generations.

Know anyone else who needs memory-keeping help?  Share!
E-mail, share on Facebook, Tweet, or Pin to Pinterest.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

My Best Methods for Organizing and Storing Digital Photos

Are you in {my Facebook group}?  It's a great place for information and inspiration, but I love it when people use it to share projects they've created and to ask questions.


A few months ago, Angela posted a great question.  Here's her post:
"Looking for some advice on best methods of organizing and storing photos.  Please share your methods!  Go!  Thanks!"
This is a great question!  This is such a common question and common need that I want to share the answer with you, too.  Here's what I told Angela that I hope will be helpful to you also.

There's so much talk today on photo organization and storage that it can feel overwhelming and even impossible.  Some people even pay to have their photos stored.  But the purpose of a photo isn't to store it.  It's to see it.

So here's how I make sure my photos are taken care of, all the way around:  I store them digitally and in print, which are the two suggested ways for storing them.  (Experts say not to put all your eggs in one basket and that the safest way to store photos is in print.)  Storing photos in multiple ways might seem overwhelming, but the way I do it is actually really convenient--I only use one website for multiple methods!  Here's what I do:

STORING MY PHOTOS IN PRINT
  1. I store my photos in print (again, one of the safest ways to store them).  By "store in print," I mean that I publish my photos and memories in books and/or individual scrap pages.  You MUST prioritize quality, though.  {Find my recommendations here.}
  2. I love using a company where my entire projects are safely stored as well.  So I not only have my photos saved in printed books and scrap pages like the ones shown below, but I have access to the digital versions of those works-of-heart as well.

STORING MY PHOTOS DIGITALLY
  1. First, I save my photos to my computer.  Computers {aren't the safest places to store photos}, but since I also back up my computer to an external hard drive once a month, my Photo Eggs aren't all in my Computer Basket.
  2. Experts recommend one onsite (computer/hard drive) storage option for digital photos, plus one offsite (not in your house).  Here, it's important to prioritize photo privacy  (If you haven't heard yet that other photo companies sell your photos, be sure to {read this article ASAP}!)  My go-to recommendation for cloud photo storage is {Forever}.  

Doing this means I know my photos are SAFE and secure, plus I get to actually LOOK AT THEM in printed pages any time!  Print is where photos actually get loved.  



I personally organize my photos this way.  This video is 19 minutes of you essentially looking over my shoulder while I organize photos and explain my system.

UPDATE:  I actually taught a Photo Organization and Preservation class in 3 parts that really covers everything you need to know very thoroughly!!  So I highly recommend these 3 videos to you:

Part 1:  Organizing and Decluttering Photos

Part 2:  Solutions for Storing and Preserving Photos (and why they're not the same thing)

Part 3:  Strategies for Consistency (10 ideas to make your good intentions into reality)

I think video is the best way to see what I'm talking about, but here are some pointers in written form for both physical (already printed) and digital photos, if you prefer.  Just click here to read:  How to Organize Both Printed and Digital Photos


My niece was here visiting for my daughter's graduation in May.  We were really busy most of the week (especially me), but it was fun to see that during downtime, my niece would pull out the scrapbooks and photo books I've made.  She and my son are the same age (22), and they enjoyed looking at pictures of themselves when they were babies "meeting" for the first time and toddlers playing together.  

That just wouldn't have happened if I'd had a CD or a flash drive sitting on the shelf.  The printed version, complete with details and memories written out, is what means something.

It's what pictures are for.

Get started preserving them {by following these steps}.  Because it's the BEST!  Really.

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Yearbook Boot Camp - preserving a year's worth of pictures in 4 weeks!

Have you preserved your photos and memories from last year yet?  What about 2016?  Or 2012, for that matter.  If it's been a while, or if you feel a little lost about the best way to go about preserving the myriad pictures you've got on your phone, camera, cloud, computer, etc., do yourself a favor and come to Yearbook Boot Camp.   It's all online!  And it makes {a fantastic gift that is meaningful for decades to come}.  

CURRENT INFORMATION:  
Minimum 4 attendees in order to hold the session.
Session 1:  September 16 - November 4, 2019
Session 2:  January 27 - March 16, 2020 
(hiatus while I attended graduate school)
Moving forward, Yearbook Boot Camp will only be 4 weeks because we will use a simpler photo project platform that only takes about 2 minutes to learn!
Session 3:  September 12 - October 3, 2022, 11:00am Mountain Time 
Session 4:  2023, TBA


In 4 weeks you will preserve one year's worth of photos and memories in a high-quality, well-organized hardbound (or softbound, if you prefer) book--which makes a great gift, if you choose.

Every week of Boot Camp, we'll "meet" at a 1-hour video call where you'll receive your assignment for the week and plenty of resources to help you complete it.  (And each video call will be recorded and emailed to you to watch later if you can't make the call live.)  Most of the time, you'll be able to complete your assignments in the hour we're together, but if there's outside work (like organizing your photos), you might need about 1-2 additional hours per week to complete your assignments.

Look at what you can have in just 4 weeks!  And I'm not talking about bargain bin "photo books," either--these are heirloom-quality treasures!!

photo credit: Brooke Mehr


With Photo and Story Treasures, you have a lot of options to make your Yearbook exactly what you want it to be.  There are several sizes, two types of top-quality bindings, and a wide variety of styles to choose from as well. 

Here are all the details of Yearbook Boot Camp:

"Jennifer is so professional and knowledgeable.  It was an excellent experience start to finish and the best part is you actually finish a family yearbook!  It's something my family will always treasure."    -Candace, Washington, Yearbook Boot Camp session 1

Some people like to just choose favorite photo and dedicate 2 pages to each month of the year, but you have the option to add more pages if you like (up to 99).

"Thank you for the workshop.  I have been scrapbooking for years but appreciate the format in which you broke it down in small chunks.  Never thought of that!  I'm happy to work with you." -Brenda, Yearbook Boot Camp session 1

REGISTERING FOR YEARBOOK BOOT CAMP IS SO EASY!  Just email jenniferwise4heritagemakers@gmail.com ASAP to RSVP.  You'll receive an email reply with Venmo payment information.  Yearbook Boot Camp is only $20!  Once you're registered and paid, you'll receive an email with a link to our weekly video calls (via Zoom).  You'll pay for your book and for shipping separately at the end of YBC.


"This was a great boot camp!  I committed 3 hours a week (sometimes less) and I have a whole year of memories done for my kids.  This is super doable for anyone.  Jennifer was always super fast at responding and helping when I needed it."  -Elnora, New York, Yearbook Boot Camp session 2

FYI:  Previous YBCs required about 2-3 hours of additional work outside class per week, but the new platform should shorten that to 1-2 hours, or less!  If you'd like a look at the new platform, here's a short walk through it:

if you're a new customer) to make our Yearbooks.



"Thank you Jennifer for doing the Yearbook Boot Camp.  As you know, I've done several calendars and storybooks with you, but you taught even this old dog some great new tricks that I will be able to use for years to come."  -Radeen, Colorado, Yearbook Boot Camp session 2

Although this is (or can be) a physical gift you can give your family, it's also a personal gift that will keep on giving right back to you because you'll have the skills and knowledge you need to keep creating and preserving your precious photos and memories!

"I love the way you have broken everything down.  I have ADHD and it's hard for me to keep up with things sometimes, but not this.  Your explanations are very clear.  I really appreciate it."  -anonymous, Yearbook Boot Camp session 1

There's absolutely no time like the present, so don't delay!  (To register, all you have to do is email photoandstorytreasures@gmail.com and tell me you're in.)  

See you soon at Yearbook Boot Camp!  


Just about everybody could use some help getting a handle on preserving their photos and memories,
so share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or your favorite social media platform!


Thursday, August 1, 2019

How to Transition from Paper to Digital Scrapbooking

Memories fade, and photos in digital form are always at the mercy of technology.  Maybe even more important to remember, though, is the fact that photos and memories {have been shown} to increase our happiness, gratitude, and sense of belonging while also lowering stress and anxiety.

At this blog you've seen lots of examples of digital books, from {life storybooks} to {time-saving yearbooks}, but {paper/traditional scrapbooking} remains a favorite method for some people.  As I always say, it's important to find something you love so that you'll do it.  Looking forward to something you enjoy makes it easy.

But what if you're a {burned-out scrapbooker}?

Or what if you LOVE the hands-on method of cutting pictures and using fancy scissors and adorable stickers but you just don't have the time (or table space) any more?

Well, you're in luck.  I can help.


If you're a scrapbooker but find it hard to make time for handcrafted pages--or if you've never been a scrapbooker but just need a fun but high-quality way to preserve your photos and memories--come to my online class.  It's free and only about 30 minutes but will be jam-packed with information!

You'll learn how digital scrapbooking can help you work faster (while it's easier on the wallet) without giving up the hands-on aspects you love.

You've probably guessed, but it's VERY true that not all digital scrapbooking (or storybooking) is created equal.  At the class, I'll teach you what I've found is the BEST out there--not just how to scrapbook digitally, but where.

No paper scrapbooking required!  This class is for everyone who knows that pictures are important and that they matter to kids, families, and hearts.


Here's what Sherry, a paper-scrapbooking lover, said about her first experience with digital scrapbooking using Heritage Makers:


2021 UPDATE:  We're thrilled to announce that Photo & Story Treasures has expanded!  We recommend both Heritage Makers and Forever for heirloom-quality digital scrapbooking.  You now have quick options for scrapbook-looking templates that come together quickly as well as 100% flexible and personalizable creativity with scrapbooking software.   Find all the options plus a link to a side-by-side comparison of the offerings of both companies to find what you'd like best by clicking that link.

Come dip your toes in the world of digital scrapbooking and see what it can do for you.

UPDATE:  Here's the recording of this great class.

Do your friends a favor and share this with them!  Everyone needs a little more happiness in their lives, and pictures are one of the best ways to get it!  So let's make memory-keeping fun and easy.

Pin to save and share!