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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Spring Blog Hop - Stop Number 2

Spring Break Memories!

Ahh, Spring Break - that magical time so needed by students everywhere as they attempt to make it through the long stretch between the Christmas holidays and summertime! Whether you have a sanctioned "spring break" or not, I hope you have chosen to do SOMETHING special to celebrate the change in the seasons. Our blog hop today is focusing on all things spring, and while chronologically I am nowhere near caught up with my photos and should not even be THINKING about these pictures yet, I'm cheating (and giving you permission to do the same!) I always tell those who are overwhelmed with the volume of photos and projects they are "behind on" to start with something current, so I am following my own advice.  I am definitely "guilty" of scrapping what I am in the mood for, and many times vacation photos take priority because they are just so darn fun (right?) 

Once the day is done, there's really nothing like loading your pictures onto your computer and looking at a full screen version of your memories. I encourage you to set aside some time to take a seat at your laptop with a beverage of choice and start the process of recording YOUR Spring Break  memories. Once you have completed and printed your digital book, the entire family will be able to easily enjoy and relive the trip over and over again - memories preserved for a lifetime are the reason we take these pictures in the first place. I've already started my Spring Break 2017 book and I can't wait to share a few pages from our recent trip to Orlando with you here! 


Grab some coffee and your laptop loaded with Artisan 5 digital scrapbooking software so you can start your own digital photo book while the memories are still fresh!
Photo credits: Yamilette Platero at The Boss Latina


Our Spring Break was last week, and this year we took my parents with us down to Orlando to have some fun at Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and the Kennedy Space Center. As you can guess, I took LOTS of pictures - I mean it's not every week you get to meet Marilyn Monroe, Lucy and Sponge Bob AND watch a SpaceX rocket take off!


My little guy turned down a kiss on the cheek from Marilyn Monroe - at least he said "no thank you!" She sure was a good listener to all of his concerns about the day :) 

A SpaceX rocket launching with a great view from the Kennedy Space Center

I am determined to get these stories told and photos shared so the family can relive the memories through the pages of my photo albums. With over 1,500 pictures and lots of stories to tell, I want this project done quickly while the memories are fresh, so as I do with so many trips, I am choosing to make a digital scrapbook in Artisan and have it printed as a hardbound 12X12 book at the Forever Print Shop

A few of my digital vacation books from the past few years - so easy to travel with and the whole family loves looking through them!

You might remember how excited I was during our Christmas Blog Hop when I found out that Creative Memories was introducing digital art to match their fabulous paper and stickers, and I am happy to show off a few pages here using some of those kits. Due to a few "down days" where we were able to relax away from the parks, I was actually able to carve out some time while on vacation to start on my book. I am already having so much fun with my digital photos and thanks to my Artisan software program and some super fun Creative Memories digital art kits my pages are really popping! I don't claim to have the most elaborate pages because I am more interested in getting my books done and the stories told, but it is nice to have a pop of color and some fancy fonts here and there. Let me show you what  I mean.

Beleaf It or Not! 


I have never been one who worried about having an exact paper or sticker to match my theme. Licensing gets tricky and I always like to think outside of the box when I scrap anyway. So when I didn't have a Jurassic Park kit to scrapbook this hilarious "raptor encounter" moment, did I sweat it? Not a bit! I just reached for my Creative Memories Better Beleaf It digital scrapbooking paper and a free Jurassic Park font from Dafont.com and went to town. I liked it so much that I decided to make this moment the front of my book. I loved how the leaf paper wrapped around the back of the book for me to add more photos to it for a consistent design. What a great feeling knowing my entire cover is finished already!

The front of my Spring Break digital 12X12 book. This Jurassic moment brought to you by a free font and Creative Memories' leafy "You Better Beleaf It" digital paper pack! 


The back of my 12X12 book captures a fun moment for each of us, with a "thankful" phrase from Creative Memories' Painted Harvest Digital Mat Pack

The front and back of my cover as seen in my Artisan software (CM digital artwork displayed in the Content panel on the right.)
Cool and Serene! 

One of the prettiest collections Creative Memories has introduced in recent times has been the Cool Serenity collection! I love it traditionally (there is paper, a Fast2Fabulous album and embellishments) but I REALLY love it digitally because I can stretch and shrink the elements to my liking! Again, I didn't have a Moana scrapbooking kit, but boy I love how this Cool Serenity digital art kit worked so perfectly on my pages to create this tropical feeling. I foresee a lot more use out of it for trips to the beach and aquariums in my future. "You're welcome!" (uhh, inside joke - you must see the movie!)

Who needs a "Moana" kit when you have Creative Memories' Cool Serenity papers and embellishments?

Did Someone Say DONUTS? 

Okay, I am a sucker for images of food, and I just loved these pictures of my son with a donut that was literally bigger than his head. Hey, he deserved it - we had just ridden the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror*, haha (note - these pictures are actually from a trip we took back in February. Yes, I have a "Disney" problem, I can't seem to stay away and I have several books going right now!) If you love images of sweets like I do, then the Soiree collection has you covered, with cupcakes and donuts and everything you would need for fun celebratory cards and scrapbook pages! As much as I love the Soiree collection on paper, for this blog I am showcasing the fun of it digitally (and yes the word "fun" is one of the embellishments that comes with it.) 

*For another idea for your Tower of Terror pictures, check out my post in our February Blog Hop
A little fun with the digital Soiree art kit from Creative Memories

More fun with Soiree digital paper and embellishments! 

While this particular blog post is primarily about digital pages, I am definitely an "ambiscrapper" who loves traditional and digital scrapbooking, so I have also had fun with the paper versions of this kit. The cool thing for my readers is that you can get the Soiree sticker set  (an $8 value) for FREE throughout the entire month of April if you set up a new account at Creative Memories and place an order for traditional product. Get it now while it lasts - CM has been great about introducing new products but that often means "out with the old, in with the new!"  

Free stickers in April for new orders at Creative Memories!  

Have you had a chance to use Creative Memories' digital artwork yet? If so, we would love to see what you have done - feel free to share your work on the Creative Life Scrapbooking team's Facebook page! And what vacation scrapbook would you like to work on this week? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. Please do enjoy the rest of the "hop" and until next time, keep scrappin' :)  

Next stop - Organized and Creative Mom with Noreen, enjoy! Fran

Here is a list of today's participants: 

Stop 1 Stefani Jones Crop with Stef
YOU ARE HERE! Stop 2 Fran Allen Smitherman CelebratingYourBeautifulLife
Stop 3 Noreen Smith Organized and Creative Mom
Stop 4 Candace Bouldin ScrapinJPEGs
Stop 5 Karyn McDermaid-Rolfe Karyn Crops
Stop 6 Lisa Brown Graham Lisa's Workshop
Stop 7 Diana Miller Brinsley D Brinsley's Blog






Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February Blog Hop

Wow - I cannot believe it's been a year since the Creative Life Scrapbooking team (formerly known as the CM Content Contributors) did a February blog hop, but such is life and time does move on doesn't it? Love is in the air and I LOVE the new products I am going to be featuring today - I hope you will too! Today I will show off pages I made using the newest tools from Creative Memories, a few "unexpected" ways to use the new Mi Amour and Cake My Day CM paper packs, and the fastest way to get your favorite photos into your hands from the Forever phone app. As always, I enjoy your comments so let me know what you think and once you have finished with my blog, be sure to check out all of the other posts (links are listed at the bottom.) Let's crop!

Button, Button, Who Has the Button? 

It is so so fun playing with new cutting tools, and Creative Memories continues to come up with new standalone cartridges such as the new Embossed Trio Button Punch and the Garden Vine Paper Punch. With some pink cardstock and the precious Soiree paper pack I was able to make this eye-catching but simple page to celebrate a precious little girl - I called it "Cute as a Button!" I used the Border Maker System's Button Chain cartridge down the side to finish it off, and the letters came from the "Storybook" Cricut cartridge.  CM's Mini Tape Runner refill cartridges really come in handy with delicate letters such as these.


Buttons and polka dots, it doesn't get much sweeter than that!


Creative Memories' Embossed Trio Button punch is a fun stand-alone tool that can be used to create pretty designs such as this one. 

Creative Memories continues to add to its line of cartridges for its Border Maker System 

Another new favorite tool of mine is the Garden Vine Border Paper Punch. I love how it works its way up the side of this page here like a true climbing vine, perfect for pictures of a Bed and Breakfast in Maine and a bit of splurge on myself during an anniversary trip (yes, I found a Crabtree and Evelyn store!) 

Creative Memories' Garden Vine Punch was perfect for these Primrose Inn pictures!


Mi Amour and Cake My Day Used in the Most Unexpected Ways

Creative Memories outdid itself with the gorgeous Cake My Day and Mi Amour collections. They are available digitally as well! 

At first glance, the Cake My Day collection looked decidedly fun and feminine with its bright pinks and yellows, and Mi Amour looked very much like something one would choose for Valentine's Day and anniversary pages with its rich reds and blacks. As the Mom of two little boys I love the challenge of finding a way to use paper packs in unexpected ways, and I was able to come up with a few good ones I think! :) 

Look closely in Cake My Day - do those darker pages remind you of tracks? PERFECT! We just held the Cub Scouts' Annual Pinewood Derby Races! With a little help from the Chevron cartridge  I have begun to lay out the beginnings of some cute race pages. Again, I will be VERY grateful for the mini tape runner refill! 

Cake My Day paper for Pinewood Derby - who would've thought it?



I also could not help but notice the very distinct HOUNDSTOOTH paper in the Mi Amour paper pack. As a graduate of the University of Alabama, my first thought was that this paper pack would make some BEAUTIFUL Crimson Tide pages! 

Roll Tide! Red cardstock, a homemade football and the Mi Amour paper and stickers are all you need to make your Alabama pages come to life!

And I CERTAINLY don't want to leave out the DIGITAL versions of CM's art kits! It is VERY exciting for those of us who also like to scrapbook digitally to have the ability to purchase and download DIGITAL VERSIONS of Creative Memories' papers, mats, letters and other embellishments. This digital paper from Mi Amour truly looked like something from "another dimension", perfect for our most recent ride on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror! I used Forever's Artisan software to make this page - I used a "fractured" mat for the photos and, believe it or not, Creative Memories' "Christmas Past" digital embellishments to give it an "antique look" in the corners! Christmas embellishments on a Tower of Terror page? You bet!



Photo Developing Comes to Forever! 

Do you have the free Forever photo app yet? If not then now is a great time to check it out! The most recent version of the app offers the ability to print your photos at your closest Walgreen's store. I was very excited to have these Pinewood Derby pictures in my hands on Sunday morning (the race was Friday night!) I had uploaded pictures from my phone and my camera into my Forever account after the event and created a "Pinewood Derby" album - it took a few clicks on my Smartphone late Saturday night to pick out my favorites, and by Sunday morning I had an email from Walgreen's to let me know my pictures were waiting on me. Talk about fast!

Thanks to the new "print" feature on my Forever app, these pictures were in my hands within hours of ordering them


I am happy with the quality of the images and there are definitely times when I don't want to wait for my pictures to arrive in the mail. I love what Forever offers and this feature is definitely just one more reason for me to want to share Forever with the world!

I hope you have been inspired to celebrate your memories and remember to leave a comment and let me know how I can help you! I love to encourage others to do something meaningful and safe with their photos, no matter where they are in their journey (no idea where to start or a seasoned scrapbooking/digital pro!) Creative Memories and Forever both have something for everyone so if you haven't already, be sure to check them out today.

Thanks for reading my blog and now it's time to head to the next stop on this blog hop which is Sarah Fitzgerald's blog, ClickWriteShare!


Stop 1 D Brimsley's Blog
Stop 2 CropwithStef
Stop 3 Fran Smitherman's Celebrating Your Beautiful Life
Stop 4 Sarah Fitzgerald's Click Write Share
Stop 5 Julie'sCMBlog
Stop 6 Noreen Smith's Organized and Creative Mom
Stop 7 KarynCrops


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Blog Hop!

Welcome to Celebrating your Beautiful Life! I hope you have enjoyed the wonderful ideas in the blog hop so far, and if you are starting here be sure to check out all of the other blogs for some great inspiration - the links are at the end of my post.

It is that time of year when our minds turn to memories of the past and excitement about the days to come. Scrapbooking is near and dear to my heart as I love to record the details of life so as never to  forget them, and it is something that I do not just during special times such as the holidays, but all year long. While I love my shelves and shelves of Creative Memories 12X12 and 8X8 traditional scrapbooks, I am also in love with the many albums and projects I have created digitally. Needless to say, I was VERY excited to find out that Creative Memories was planning to introduce digital artwork for digital scrapbookers!

Creative Memories has announced that it will soon be offering digital images of its artwork! 

For years people have admired CM for its beautiful watercolor paper and stickers, so it will be exciting for their fans to see what they offer when they step back into the world of digital scrapbooking. It is especially exciting for so many of us who are still using our beloved Artisan 5 software (formerly sold by Creative Memories as Storybook Creator Plus but now supported by Forever!) CM has not announced a formal date yet but we do know the artwork will be in a universal format that will work with most scrapbooking software programs.

While we wait with anticipation, let's talk about digital scrapbooking a bit. This time of year is perfect for taking beautiful photographs and it is also a good time of year to give gifts, and there are many different types of projects you can make using digital artwork. Whether it is a gift for yourself or a gift for someone else, printed projects created digitally are sure to be as cherished as traditional ones, and a little bit of artwork goes a long way in making your creations just a touch more special. Since we can only imagine what types of digital papers and embellishments we have to look forward to, I would like to share a few images of projects I have made using digital art kits within Artisan 5:

Page Prints

One of my favorite ways to use digital art kits is to employ predesigned pages (similar to Creative Memories' Fast2Fabulous line!) Predesigned pages make it easy to quickly create a lovely book or page print with many photos, thus making the most of the space (and limited time) you have. The hard work has already been done for you! The pages shown here are actually the inside of a bound digital book I made with Artisan and Forever's digital artwork, but they could also be ordered as page prints and slid into a high quality Creative Memories album (I mix the two up all of the time!) I also have a canvas of the first one!


A predesigned tree using Forever's digital artwork

A predesigned page made this wreath a breeze to pull together


Hardbound and Softbound Books

It is always so exciting to watch your stories come to life quickly through the power of digital scrapbooking. One of my favorite recent projects was a hardbound Christmas 2014 album - I had it in my hands before the month of January was over! I love the speed and ease of digital album creation - I think I am even more creative digitally than I am in my traditional albums because it is easier to play around with your artwork.


A few of my digital 12X12 hardbound books
Watching the pages come to life in Artisan 5

A project view in Artisan 5


A completed two page spread in my 12X12 digital book


Canvases and Facebook Banners

I am giving canvases as Christmas presents this year - I love how these are high quality yet lightweght and easy to hang on any wall. I used Creative Memories' original "Expressions of Love" vellum verses for my wedding banner, and I used Creative Memories' Dance Additions digital artwork from several years ago to create the banner of our recent performance of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardobe." I can't wait to see how CM's newest designs turn out when they release their digital artwork!

Love my wall art!

FB banner turned into a canvas - what a wonderful gift

A Facebook banner created using the former Creative Memories' Dance Additions digital artwork

Invitations and Christmas Cards


Digital scrapbooking software can be used for a number of things, including invitiations, business cards, letters to Santa and of course Christmas cards! I have even used Artisan to create business cards and gift tags (available for print at the Forever Print Shop.) 




Front of a folded 5X7 card 

Inside of a folded 5X7 card - a project choice within Artisan 5 that can be printed at the Forever Print Shop


As you can see, digital scrapbooking software can open up the doors to many different types of projects, and we are all very excited to have Forever's support of the software we love (Artisan 5) as well as the prospect of Creative Memories offering digital artwork in the future. I have always combined the traditional and digital worlds happily, and this move by Creative Memories is welcomed by many. We will be watching closely for a formal announcement! 

I would love to hear what you think of my projects and CM's announcement so if you would please leave a comment at the end I would be happy to send you a free ebook on photo safety! Be sure to check out the rest of the blogs so you can keep the Christmas spirit going strong - the next stop is Noreen Smith's Organized and Creative Mom!   Thank you for hopping over here, and keep on scrappin'! Fran

Stop 1 KarynCrops
Stop 2 Lisa'sWorkshop
Stop 3 DBrinsley'sMemoryKeepingBlog
Stop 4 CropwithStef
Stop 5 CelebratingYourBeautifulLife YOU ARE HERE!
Stop 6 OrganizedandCreativeMom

Monday, August 29, 2016

Preserve Your Memories Forever!



As the world moves to digital, Forever is right there with you making sure your memories are safe.I have loved the security of knowing my tens of thousands of photographs are preserved safely, privately and securely in the cloud, backed by the Forever Guarantee Fund. My photos and documents go into my account from my phone app, from my desktop using the free Valet photo uploader and from the excellent scanning services offered by the company's digitization facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It is so fun to see my memories all in one place and to feel organized and secure in my memory keeping efforts. Even more exciting is the ability to access them all on the go while on my phone, as well as the ability to share them securely with family and friends. I can even create fun projects such as books, canvases, mugs and so much more in the Forever Projects tab!


A snapshot of my home page - those pictures are simply one of many within my "albums" I have created




If you are like me and have LOTS of memories, I would recommend one of the storage packages. All size storage accounts (one time payment only) are 20% off until the end of the September at Forever.com. Software, artwork and printing are also on sale using the code School20, and for now, new Ambassadors get the extra privilege of a 30% coupon at signup. Being a part of the community has been a lot of fun and joining as an Ambassador is the best route for many who are passionate about photo preservation.
It's never a bad time to join Forever (but August is just particularly sweet!)

If you just have a few pictures that you want to preserve and share and like the idea of backing up your smartphone, now is the time to get your name and password set up and to download the ForeverApp for your iphone or Android.Forever offers a free account that will go from 3G to 1G in October so by setting it up now you will get grandfathered in at the higher rate.


I love this company and the promise of privacy and permanence that it offers - there is no price tag on peace of mind. Please comment below if you have any questions or comments and thank you as always for reading! Fran


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Make Your Life Brilliant!


I've written before about the challenges of finding time to scrapbook or to organize your digital images. It is something so many of us aspire to - we know our memories are important and we want to preserve every moment so we can enjoy them later, but so many days slip away from us without doing anything to get us closer to our goal of completed albums. And it doesn't stop with photo albums! Do you have other dreams - dreams of losing weight, dreams of sending more cards to family and friends, dreams of growing your own business, dreams of saving money for a special trip  - that seem to get lost in the habits, routine and shuffle of day to day life? Do you want to make a commitment to be more intentional with your time and make those dreams a reality? Then the Brilliant Life Planner is for you! 

So Much More than a Planner

About a year ago I discovered the Brilliant Business Moms. I loved their positive message and the free printables they sent me to get me on the path of putting my dreams in writing. I filled them out with gusto and made a commitment to myself to make each moment of each day matter. Here are a few of my favorites:




It felt so good to put my dreams, no matter how big or impossible they seemed, in print, and as I filled the worksheets out I began to grow in my confidence that with baby steps, I could get where I needed to go to make my dreams come true! I made miniature copies of my "Big Goal Mind Mapping" sheet once it was filled out and I kept it in my purse as a reminder of why I was doing what I was doing. What an inspiration! I even made a picture collage of one of my top dreams (to become a Lead Ambassador with a company I love called Forever) as an extra reminder to carry with me and guess what - DREAMS DO COME TRUE! By staying on track, sticking to my plans, and working intentionally each day instead of letting time slip away from me, I was able to achieve my dreams. Thanks Brilliant Business Moms! 


As a full time investment professional, Mom, wife, friend, daughter, supporter of other women's businesses, Creative Memories advisor, Forever Ambassador, and personal scrapbooker, I have a MILLION things running through my head at all times. With all of these dreams and only 24 hours hours in a day, no regular calendar was going to get me where I want to go. I needed plenty of room to write out not only my appointments, but also my thoughts, my plans, my challenges, and my list of daily accomplishments and plans for the week/month/year. That is why I am so excited about the 2017 Brilliant Life Planner - I've already ordered mine (I went for the lovely Blue Stripe but they are all gorgeous, inside and out!)




Each planner comes with 4 goal setting pages similar to the free printables I fell in love with, as well as full color on the inside, two page monthly spreads, 37 lined pages for notes, and 8 project planning pages for your biggest tasks of the year. Everyone that buys the bundle now will receive not only the planner itself, but also free printables, a PDF copy of their book Time Management Mama, a free course and all of the positivity and support you can imagine from the Brilliant Business Moms themselves, Beth Anne Schwamberger and Sarah Korhnak. All of this is just $50 during the kickstarter campaign, wow! Prices will go up by $10 once the campaign is over so this is the best deal!












Order your own Brilliant Life Planner!

What are your dreams? Don't let another day get away from you - let's be intentional together! Whether you want to commit to photo album completion and photo organization and preservation, grow a business, lose weight, grow in your job, or just manage your every day life, putting your dreams in print will greatly increase your chances of success. Don't forget to check out the Brilliant Business Moms' Facebook page as well - lots of fun free webinars and encouragement there! Keep scrappin' and thanks for reading!

PS - I volunteered to be on the "Launch Team" for this planner out of sheer love for what the Brilliant Business Moms do - I am not an affiliate and receive no benefit when others purchase this planner through this blog, I am simply sharing the love for others who might want to plan for an intentional and beautiful 2017!