Sunday, July 29, 2012

52: Create a Travel Journal

We are currently heading back home from a great two-week vacation! You can be sure that when I get home I'll be scrapbooking many of our adventures, but I also love the idea of creating a mini-album where all the photos, stories and memorabilia from our trip can be stored and shared. This weeks Creative Prompt helps you do just that!
The CM August Project of the Month is totally customizable to any trip you have taken - you can use any color 8 x 8 album along with the Destinations Photo Accents to create this little gem! It only takes about an hour to put together the bases for all the pages and then maybe another hour to add your printed photos and journaling. And, if you're organized, you could even make it up ahead of time and bring it with you so you can the journaling as you travel - then just add the photos when you get home!

You can download and print the instructions and all the easy-to-follow layouts here!

Happy Travels...I'll be home soon!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Christmas in July - Calendars

This is the fifth and final post in my Christmas in July series. If you missed any posts, you can see them all by clicking here.

Hello! I meant to have this posted yesterday, but we had no internet connectivity during our travels. Better late than never I guess! A few days ago in the post about Christmas Gifts, I mentioned that Creative Memories has so much to offer when it comes to creating calendars that I wanted to do a whole post on them, so here we go!

Each year calendars of every theme imaginable are given as gifts. Several years ago it became possible to create your own calendar using photos and clip art. Now, every photo developer offers customized calendars! But I think Creative Memories calendars are the best in the industry for several reasons -

1) Unique sizes and features. Choose from three sizes: Desk Calendar (10x4), 12x18 or 8x12! All three offer unique perforations that allow you to remove the page from the calendar grid and put it in a PicFolio Photo Album. It's like giving two gifts in one - give a calendar (and possibly an album in a coordinating size) and family members can keep this years' memories for years to come.
2) Easy to create using Storybook Creator Software. Quickly drag and drop your photos into the free flattened layouts or purchase pre-designed calendar pages. There are even videos to walk you through each step of the process for each size and style of calendar. Don't have Storybook Creator Software? You can download a free 30 day trial version to create all your calendars!

3) Quality manufacturing. The calendars are printed on archival, heavy weight cardstock. This is perfect for when you are ready to slip the layout into an album - you know it will last. And each calendar is spiral bound so there are no punched holes that will rip and tear.

4) You can begin in any month. Most of us will start with January, but if you wanted to start a calendar in September for example, there's no problem! And, each part of the calendar grid is customizable with your own text including choices of font and style etc.

Now lets talk templates! Even though it’s only July, CM has already made 2013 calendar templates available! Have a look...

There are four FREE downloadable templates for the 12 x 18 calendar size...

2013 General Templates (which actually has three full different styles of calendar templates within it):


Enchanted Daily Prayers Calendar Layouts for Girls and Boys:




And a Blank Template that allows you to add your own 12 x 12 layouts on top of the pre-made calendar portions:



You can also get free pre-designed layouts for the 8x12 calendar:


and Desk Calendar sizes:


You can see and download all the free Calendar artwork here!

You can also purchase a wide variety of templates that you can see here.

With so many great options for calendars like these, you'll never have to settle for a boring calendar again!


I want to share one of the best gift ideas I have seen in a long time - a Pre-Decorated Baby's First Year Calendar. The calendar is non-dated, so it can start whenever baby is born. Parents can write in little milestones that occur and simply add a few photos from each months of baby’s fist year to end up with a beautiful record with very little work! Add an album for mom and dad to slip the finished pages in and baby’s first year album is done! The Simply Fabulous Baby's First Year Pre-Designed Calendar Templates includes both little boy and girl templates!

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The Changing Seasons Pre-Designed Template is a lovely way to showcase a year in review:

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And I love the Click and Fill Calendar Templates...they allow you to take a pre-created page and add your own choice of papers and colors to it!

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Here's another great option for a Desk Calendar with beautiful layouts ready to go...just add your photos!

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Once you have chosen your calendar style and added your photos and text, you can purchase them by uploading them and ordering them through the Creative Memories Digital Center. You will need to input a consultant ID number as you are completing your purchase - if you like, my ID number is #75483791. If you choose to use my number then I will be able to help you with any difficulties or questions you might have!

A little tip...Creative Memories often puts Calendars on sale in the fall in preparation for gift giving...you might want to create and upload your calendars now to your digital center account and then watch for the sale prior to ordering! Make sure to sign up for my monthly CM newsletter so you know when all the sales are coming. Simply enter your email address in the sidebar and you'll automatically receive next month's newsletter when it goes out! And as ever, feel free to contact me...whether you need help with a Calendar or other project! I love being able to help people preserve and share their photos and stories!

So friends...that concludes my little Christmas in July series. I hope it helped inspire you to get a head start on your Christmas planning this year! I'd love to hear what you did as a result - please feel free to post a comment below!

We are heading back home and I will resume regular postings next week. I'll be sharing some vacation layouts and talking about my School of Life albums too. See you soon!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Extra Day for the Sale and More Christmas Inspiration

Just a super quick post today...

Creative Memories' Big Birthday Sale was supposed to finish yesterday, but apparently many customers weren't able to place their orders during the last hours of the sale due to technical issues. So CM is extending the sale by one day! Yes, you can still place an order until 11:59 Centra Time tonight and take advantage of the 25% off sale prices! Go to my website for all the details or to place your order. Enjoy!

I'll be posting my final Christmas in July post this weekend, but since I'm here, I thought I would direct you towards some more inspiration from CM. Have you ever visited the CM Project Center? Check it out...you can look at Digital or Traditional projects, search by category or occasion, or even by tool or techniques. Not only do you see a photo of the project, but the CM design team supplies a list of materials used and full instructions on how to create each project! There is also a small selection of quotes you can use on your pages and cards. Go check out lots of Christmas themed layouts and projects by clicking here.

Have a great day!

Noreen

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Christmas in July - Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas

This is the fourth post in my Christmas in July series. If you missed any posts, you can see them all by clicking here.

Are you in the Christmas-in-July spirit yet? I am writing this on a warm summer's day while sitting near the ocean, but Christmas is definitely on my mind! We've talked about scrapbooking pages about Christmas past and making a variety of traditional cards and digital cards...I think we need to chat about Christmas presents now!

We all want to give Christmas gifts that are personal and meaningful - not just another tie for dad and bubble bath for mom! Many of the gift ideas I'll share with you below are are items you can make yourself, or can personalize for the special people on your gift list. And although we are talking about Christmas, these make lovely and thoughtful gifts for other occasions, too.

Here are ten of my favorite scrapbooking-related presents to give:

1) Calendars. Hey, we all need a calendar right? Why not give a beautiful keepsake calendar instead of a run-of-the-mill calendar? There are lots of calendars to choose from at the Digital Center (so many in fact that I am going to dedicate a separate post to Calendars in a couple of days!)

2) Family Recipe Book. This is such a lovely gift - it will surely become a family treasure! Imagine a recipe book featuring all the family favorites or heritage recipes so they can be preserved and passed on to future generations - now that's a meaningful gift! Use the coordinated Nancy O'Dell Recipe Quick Album to whip it up quickly and easily, or go digital and make multiple copies for all the members of the family! You can read more about how to create a family recipe treasury here.

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3) Year in Review Album. If grandparents and/or extended family members live far away, it's wonderful to be able to send them a little album with all the highlights of the year. Use an 8x8 scrapbook kit like the Nancy O'Dell Love Kit and Coverset and you'll be able to whip up an album that's sure to be treasured.

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Are you a digi-scrapper? An 8x8 Storybook will do the trick, and the bonus is you'll be able to create those time-saving multiple copies!

4) Personalized Storybooks for the Kids. It's great to see a child open a book and realize that they are the main character! You can easily create a Hardcover Storybook for a special child using Storybook Creator 4.0 software - add the illustrations (photos) and the story (journaling) and upload it to the CM Digital Center to have printed. The result is a beautful, archival keepsake book that will have the special child in your life feeling like a star! Other possibilities include creating a lovely personalized prayerbook (boy and girl versions available):



or a Children's Devotional book:


or a book of Hope:



You can get all these books as pre-designed pages, and they are available for FREE by clicking here! Simply download and save the files you like to your Storybook Creator 4.0 Content section. When you create a new project, select the package and then insert your photos and text! So simple, but with such great results!

5) Useful Personalized Photo Items. The CM Digital Center can help you create some of the best photo gifts in the industry today! How about a fun write-on Photo Panel:



a lovely Family Heirloom Wall Print:
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 or Personalized Mugs, Tee-shirts or Mouse pads? Any of these items will be welcomes and appreciated because they are both beautiful AND useful!

6) Friendship Album. Tell a special friend how much she means to you in a small but mighty keepsake album. All you need is a few photos, adhesive and a journaling pen and you'll have a personalized, meaningful gift in about an hour!

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There are variations on the Simply Said books for parents, grandparents and even teachers! You can see all the varieties of Simply Said books here.

7) Home Decor. I have several Everyday Displays hung throughout my home and I change the display on them seasonally. For the gal on your gift list that loves to decorate, this is the perfect gift! Choose from a variety of finishes - from weathered and countrified to sleek and modern!

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Although you can use any scrapbook papers and embellishments to display on the board, I love to give the Welcome to Our Home Display Accents kit which is reversible, so the Domestic Diva can change up the display whenever she likes!

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And for smaller spaces, the Nancy O'Dell Mini Magnetic Everyday Display Board is the perfect gift!

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Check out all the display boards and kits here.

8) Starter Kit of Scrapbook Supplies. If you know someone who is just starting a memory-keeping hobby, why not give them the essentials and get them started off right? My top picks for a newbie would be:

Tape Runner of course! You can't too far in this hobby without something to stick those photos and paper down, and this easy to refill model is one of the best!

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Tool Kit that includes Scissors, Multi-Purpose Tool, Reverse Grip Tweezers, Embossing Tool and Mat:

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7-Inch Photo Trimmer to crop pictures:

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Black Dual Tip Pen for journaling. A basic that will write for a long time.
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These tools will take the new scrapbooker far! If you like, throw in a gift certificate so they can choose an album and paper that will suit the projects they will be working on. and they will be ready to start a new and rewarding hobby!

9) Quick and Easy Photo Album. Do you have friends who say "I don't scrapbook", but have tonnes of photos sitting around in envelopes? Maybe they just recently went on a vacation-of-a-lifetime, got married or had a baby and they want to do SOMETHING with all the photos? A PicFolio Album and Photo Accents is the perfect gift to help them preserve and share their photos without all the cutting and pasting of "scrapbooking"! They can simply slide their photos into the album pockets then use the photo accents to add a bit of color and flair to each page. Pre-lined journaling boxes mean that all they have to do is write down some of the facts or stories behind the event and they are done! There are many albums and photo accents to choose from...there's bound to be the perfect combination for your non-scrapbooking friend!

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10) Tote Bag (& Scrapbook Supplies). Got a special crop buddy? Help her get organized for your next crop or retreat with a new bag. The Daisy Project Tote is large enough to carry an album, papers and tools, and sturdy enough to hold 15 pounds! 

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She will love it and will want to use it as her everyday tote too! Add in a new tool or paper pack she's had her eye on and she will be all set to scrap!

11) Even though this was technically a Top 10 list, I had to include this fabulous item as a bonus idea!

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This lovely hardbound book Secret Ingredients by Nancy O'Dell is such a great resource when it comes to creating personal and meaningful gifts. It includes some of the ideas I've given you here, and so many more! Pick it up now and have enough inspiration (and instructions!) to create all the gifts you plan on giving this Christmas!

I hope you are inspired to start planning and creating the personalized, meaningful gifts you want to give! If you start now, all you'll have to do come December is wrap them up!




PS...the 25% Off the Top 25 Sale is on until July 25th. Make sure to take advantage of great savings on the best-selling CM products! You can still take advantage of the sale by ordering directly on my website. Your items will ship directly to your home - how convenient! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Scrapbooking on the Road

I am excited to be on a much needed vacation for a few more days! Prior to leaving I was busy prepping and packing all that we needed to have a great time, and for me that means bringing some scrapbooking projects to work on while the boys play or after they've gone to bed in the evening. Since I took my computer along (so I could post to the blog), I can always do some digtial scrapbooking (especially of pics that I take en route) but I also wanted to do some paper scrapbooking as well. That begs the question...how do you pack to take your scrapbooking supplies on the road?

Well, no matter if I'm packing for an evening crop, a weekend retreat or a long road trip, I approach it the same way - I take some time to pre-plan and make PAGE KITS. These little babies are lifesavers for scrapping on the go and make the most efficient use of both packing space and scrapping time! They contain everything you need to make a page all in one neat little package. Let me show you how I made them up ahead of time...

1) Sort through photos from your to-be-scrapped photo album, pile or box. Select some that you think you want to use on a layout (you don't need to know exactly which of the photos you are going to use - just keep a group of potentials together so you have some options). I know I want to create a page using these Stampede photos of Grayson and Shane...just not sure which ones will make the cut.



2) Next have a look through your supplies and choose some papers or a collection that coordinates with the colors, theme or subject matter of the photos. Also pull out any stickers, embellishments and title or letter stickers that might work. Again...you don't need to know exactly which ones you are using - just set a few aside for consideration.

3) If you like to start a layout with a sketch or page plan, choose one or two that have approximately the same number of photos you think you will be using. Photocopy the sketch to add to your kit or draw a rough copy of it on a scrap piece of paper to refer to on the road. I have a friend who takes this a step further - she copies any sketches she thinks she may want to use into a small notebook and takes the notebook with her to crops and retreats so she has lots of inspiration!

4) Now consider all the photos and supplies you have set aside. Ask yourself if they will all work together. Do you need to add anything else? Put something back? Can you pre-cut or punch something now so you don't have to haul all your larger, heavier tools with you? Here's my final selections to bring with me...the photos, some paper and stickers from an older CM power palette called Discover, some stars pre-punched from coordinating solid paper and a couple of possible journal boxes.




5) Once you have pretty much settled on all the elements for the layout, you'll need to package them up into a page kit. You can use an extra large manila envelope or zip-loc bag you may have around the house, or purchase reusable poly "craft keepers" that have string closures. I like to use zip-loc bags - no little pieces can escape if my scrapbook bag gets turned over, and the contents are protected from any spills that might happen. (I realized afterwards that I didn't have my page plan inside, so I tucked it inside at the last minute!)



Make as many page kits as you like or think you'll have time to scrapbook. Since I have been putting these together now for several years, it only takes me a few minutes to make each kit. I brought about 6 with me so I have a choice as to what I want to work on. If I don't use all the kits I can save them for the next crop I go to, or just use them when I get back home...once you make up the kit you are ready to scrapbook on a moments notice!

6) Finally, gather all your essential tools. For me this includes a tape runner, precision point adhesive, foam squares, scissors & multi-purpose tool, a corner rounder,  paper trimmer, a black and brown journaling pen, a pencil and eraser and a ruler. With the exception of the paper trimmer, I pack my tools in a Daisy Case which keeps them all together and easy to use on my work surface, even if that is just a small hotel desk or table!


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7) Now pack it all up in a scrapbook tote that will keep the page kits accessable, safe and wrinkle free. I used my Daisy Weekender Bag - it has plenty of room for my kits, tools, a magazine or two for further inspiration or easy reading, and a padded section that is intended to protect an album but works equally well for my computer. It's perfect for scrapbooking on the road!

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Although I'll be scrapping on a balcony overlooking the ocean for the next few days, I'll still be posting - I'll be continuing the Christmas in July series here on the blog and if I get a chance to photograph the layouts I create en route, I'll post them too!

Happy travels!
PS...the 25% Off the Top 25 Sale is on until July 25th. Make sure to take advantage of great savings on the best-selling CM products! You can still take advantage of the sale by ordering directly on my website. Your items will ship directly to your home - how convenient! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

52: Christmas in July

Since I am in the middle of a "Christmas in July" series of posts, it seems only fitting that the Creative Prompt this week has something to do with Christmas! So far I've shared some Christmas scrapbook pages, traditional hand-made cards and digital cards, so hopefully you have lots of ideas, but I thought I would share some page plans and their corresponding layouts with you, just in case you need a little extra inspiration. The photos and layouts are four years old...created back when I had my own scrapbook kit company.

A variation on Page Plan (or sketch) #23...


...was what I used as a basis for this layout:


And I used this Page Plan (#12)...


...to put together this layout:



Neither layout is too fancy...just photos, a few seasonal papers and embellishments and some journaling to capture the story. Simple, fast and easy!

So this week, your Creative Prompt is to use one of the 25 Page Plans on this blog to create a Christmas layout. If you post it on a blog or photo sharing site, I'd love to see it...feel free to post a link to it in the comment section below.

Merry Christmas in July!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Christmas in July - Digital Cards

This is the third post in my Christmas in July series. If you missed any posts, you can see them all by clicking here.

Even if you love to make traditional (ie: paper) cards, there is a lot to be said for digital cards. You can make multiples to send to everyone on your list. You can also incorporate photos into digital Christmas cards - in fact, more "photo cards" are sent at Christmas than for any other holiday or occasion! And your cards don't have to look the same as all the other ones from local photo developers like Wal-Mart or Costco, because Creative Memories offers lots of ways to create unique photo cards.

First off, have a look at what the Creative Memories Digital Center can offer...

Fun Accordian Fold Cards that you can insert several pictures and journaling into! These are perfect to send to far away family as a keepsake of the season! Available in 4x4 five panel or 4x6 three panel versions.

Beautiful 5 x 7 Folded (or Flat) cards. These are a lovely way to send larger or multiple images, and have more room to write a longer holiday greeting:


And yes, you can order 4x8 cards, choosing from many templates like this one:



These cards are all great options for non-digital scrapbookers who still want to create personalized digital greetings...just drop in your photos and text into the templates, click the order button and you're done.

But for those of you who are already seasoned digital scrapbookers, the sky is the limit! Whether you use CM's Storybook Creator 4.0 or another digital scrapbooking program, CM has amazing digital Christmas artwork and card kits that you can use to create your own holiday greetings. Print them locally or trust CM's Digital Center to print beautiful, archival prints for you. Here's a sample of the digital card kits you might want to try:

Christmas Digital Card Kit

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Holiday Digital Card Kit

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(Although I haven't chosen the photos I am going to use for this year's cards, I am leaning towards using the White Christmas kit this year...hmmm, I think I'll get them all, just in case I change my mind!)

Don't forget that all digital artwork is on sale until July 25th, including these digital card kits. Shop for and download yours today so you can get started on your Holiday digi-cards now...and be ahead of the game for Chrismtas!