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Saturday, December 27, 2014

My Vow for 2015

Life can be extraordinary - fantastic vacations, special holidays and celebrations such as birthdays and recitals and retirements. Although those events are rare, they are often the focus of our scrapbooking projects, while the day to day routines that make up so much more of our time often get neglected in photo albums. This year, I vow to digitally document the every day stuff that will mean so much to all of us as we get older and look back. There will come a time when we will long for the mundane magic that was 2015, and how blessed we were with each of these tiny slivers of heaven that we called "a day in the life." Favorite ways to wind down after work and school, Mom and Dad dropping in to bring something over, funny things said in the car, the morning rush, even a favorite power tool or a closet reorganization project - all stories deserve to be told.

Here's the beginning of my digital album - can't wait to touch it a little bit every week throughout the year. And no I did NOT design any of those pages - those are predesigned pages from the Panstoria Shop (click on the "Preview Digital Artwork" banner for a link to view and purchase digital content such as this) and the Blueprints were from Pixels2Pages - let me know if you want to learn more about these "speed tool" shortcuts I love!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Life isn't always perfect and I am in the camp that believes that even in photo albums, you tell it like it is. Child refuses to sing at the holiday program? Tell the story. Birthday surprise goes awry? Tell it like it is. Terrible service threatens to ruin an otherwise perfect vacation? Tell that story! While it wasn't funny at the time, you will laugh about it later, believe me!  Here is my latest (and if I might say so myself, greatest!) digital book, printed at the Panstoria Print Shop. I toned down my true feelings about the lady at the food court at Coronado Springs (at the request of my husband) but the story is still there, the way it happened, no sugar coating at all. Apart from that one incident at the beginning, it was a wonderful trip with wonderful memories, and again, Artisan provided me with a wonderful way to get a trip in a book QUICKLY without cutting, adhering or photo developing! I love digital and I am so thankful for Panstoria's Artisan and Historian software, as well as the Panstoria Print Shop. Click the link below to flip through the entire book for ideas for your own memories:

Disney Fall 2014 Digital Storybook

Start your own journey today to scrap your memories digitally and still have something to hold in your hand for years to come! Check out Artisan (formerly Storybook Creator) to make a book like this of your own. So many wonderful features, not the least of which is the fact that you DO NOT HAVE TO BE ONLINE TO WORK! If you purchase through the banner on this blog please send me an email at so I can send you a gift!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Just call me Triple Threat! Enter the Cricut ...

Ahhh, the power of a Cricut! It was a special gift from my Mother-in-Law and at first I had no idea how to do much more than make fonts and single color die cuts! With some help from some awesome ladies at one of my scrapbooking retreats, I got inspired this summer and now I am excited to announce that I am a Cricut affiliate  - just call me Triple Threat :)  Creative Memories for traditional and Fast2Fabulous scrapbooking supplies, Forever for digital organization and scrapbooking and now Cricut for all my folks who want to add just a little something more to their scrapbook pages or homemade cards and art projects. As always, if you are so inclined to purchase through any of my banners here on this blog let me know at so I can thank you for your support. Click on the Cricut banner to see what all is new (and what's old - check out the "re-released cartridges under the "Deals" section!) Happy scrapping!

 My first attempt at the Cricut - a sign for the boys' new art room
 Having it accessible and in a well-lit area with an organized workspace makes a big difference - I used to have mine on a rickety table in the supply closet but now it's out and accessible!
 Another early page - fonts only!
 Someone made this for me with their Cricut expression (it is capable of doing 12X12 layouts and is my next planned purchase - either that or the Cricut Explore)

 Nothing wrong with plain pages plus some journaling
Nothing wrong with pictures on nice 12X12 paper

 But man, every once in a while THIS happens!
 My Cricut cuts before I knew what I was doing, haha!
My Cricut figures once I figured out how to layer! Cute, right? This is from the "B is For Boy" cartridge

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blowing Up Your Idea of Scrapbooking

I typically steer away from Pinterest scrapbooking pages because most of them look like this:

While beautiful, this is not my idea of memory preservation. This elaborate style might be okay for some folks, but in my opinion this misplaced stereotype of what "scrapbooking" might mean is what has brought the whole industry to a standstill. Can you imagine what a 20-something with a Smartphone full of photos and a Facebook account would think of this? How about a busy Mom such as myself with about 200 photos a week downloaded from her digital camera?  It's no wonder the scrapbooking world gets lumped in with crafty pursuits such as quilting.

At the end of the day, it's about the heart, not the art. I do think these pages are beautiful, but I also know the amount of time that went commemorating one photo. A few embellishments here and there is okay, but Creative Memories taught me the importance of simple pages, completed albums - isn't that what everyone wants and needs at the end of the day? 

The 3 dimensional effects are not good for your album itself and most importantly, there is NO JOURNALING. Telling the story is the most important thing of all - photos mean nothing without a story, and in this digital age we take too many photos to put one photo on a page. The artsy folks may hang me for saying this, but ain't nobody got time for that! Keep it simple and scrapbooking can be something EVERYONE can enjoy!

Friday, November 28, 2014

A Favorite Tradition - My Holiday Open House!

For 13 years I have hosted a holiday Open House on the Sunday before Thanksgiving as a way to thank my loyal friends and customers for their support all year. It's always been fun to set up the house with all the latest albums and album supplies from Creative Memories (or Ahni and Zoe) and this year it was especially fun to add a digital table! I have always put completed projects on display (including digital Storybooks, calendars, etc...) but I have never actually had a laptop - I am typing on it now thanks to the profits I have made this year and I am grateful for the fact that now Artisan (formerly Storybook Creator) can be licensed for two computers! Now I can scrap and work anywhere in the house or even on the go on business trips or retreats! I have been very happy so far with my Dell 17.5 inch Envy - I would highly recommend a 17.5 inch screen for your work with Historian and Aritsan (should you go the laptop route!) 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fran's Tips for Celebrating Life!

  • A. Remove your pictures from your camera or phone weekly by uploading them into your computer, preferably using a photo organizing/editing software such as Panstoria's Historian (hint - you don't have to use the default photo software that came with your camera!)
  • B. For extra security upload the photos to a photo developing website such as Shutterfly to prevent the loss of photos in case of a catastrophic event
  • C. Look for great deals to order your photos - Shutterfly frequently offers discount plans, free shipping, etc...
  • D. Make a commitment of time to DO something with your photos while the memories are fresh in your brain. That may include telling a quick story using the journaling function in Historian, taking an afternoon to put your developed photos into an album, or creating digital pages/albums using scrapbooking software such as Panstoria's Artisan
  • E. Share your creations with those you love - it lets them know how much you appreciate them and how important they are to you in your life
  • F. Repeat!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

CM is back!! So excited to be able to offer traditional scrapbooks and Fast2Fabulous albums once more - thankful for our investor and his vision for our company. For so many years Creative Memories has been the only album I would ever choose for my precious photos and I am relieved and overjoyed that this will continue. Please go check out my website to see what old and new favorites the new CM has to offer

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Just a few more days!!!

The new CM is launching soon and I can't wait to sign up - hard to believe that I am going on my 13th year as a consultant! In the new world I will be called an "Advisor" and the business is easier than it has ever been before. For $49 a year advisors will get a personal account and a URL to share with customers via email, social media, their blog or website. In addition to their own account, they will receive a discount on products (anywhere from 10% to 40%), plus commissions on advisors on their team) based on their balance of their personal account.

There are NO MINIMUMS and NO STARTUP KIT TO BUY so the business can be whatever the advisor wants it to be - workshop based, personal use only, home class based, and/or a team of advisors with a goal of growing their businesses and sharing the mission of preserving memories.

In terms of products, there will be the best of everything I have loved from Creative Memories and Ahni and Zoe over the years - high quality bookcloth coversets (Chocolate, Cobalt, Ebony and Ruby), 10 Fast2Fabulous albums (12X12), 3 Fast2Fabulous albums (8X8), White, Spargo and Natural Refill pages in 12X12 and 8X8, 4 new paper packs, a 9" trimmer, tape runners and refills and pens.

In the future, the company is looking into adding to the line with a few new cutting tools and slide-in pages (vertical, horizontal and full page.) They have been VERY accommodating and have asked for our input all along the way so I am very encouraged about this new owner! Website link coming soon!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Artwork Sale at Panstoria!

There is a 20% off artwork sale going on now at Panstoria - it lasts until October 14th and the prices are already marked down (you don't need a code!)

When you buy art, you will download it to your computer, and then within Artisan's Welcome page, click on "Import Content" to bring it into your software.

Your next step is to activate it - when you select "Manage Content" from the Welcome page there will be a button called "Activation Codes" - these alphnumeric codes come with your purchase. You can enter them, one line at a time, to unlock your artwork!

Here is a screen shot:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Let's Talk Fonts!

Let's Talk Fonts!

There are so many free fonts available for download on the Internet (Google's my best friend!) and that has made for some of my favorite digital scrapbook pages in Artisan (formerly Creative Memories' Storybook Creator.) When you download a free font, extract it and then copy it into your Windows "font" folder, it immediately shows up as one of your choices in Artisan for use in your projects. Check out some pages I have made recently using some of these free fonts I have found (in case you are wondering, they are "Aerosmith", Gracey's Curse" and "Blaster Eternal.") So much fun to have options like $39.95 Artisan is a great value. You can learn more about it and download it right here from my blog if you click on the banner....

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Historian and Artisan - A Match Made in Heaven!

Click on this photo to see it better 
I share so much about Artisan (formerly Storybook Creator) because it is easy to get excited about the fun sense of accomplishment you have when you create beautiful pages and hardbound books from your photos, but I don't want to neglect the power of Historian (formerly Memory Manager.) They work so well together and I cannot imagine my digital life without EITHER of them! As someone with 75,000 photographs, I am forever indebted to the creators of this fine software, Panstoria. I can edit photos, tell the story, rate the photos, keep up with which ones I have printed and not printed, and find ANY PICTURE I WANT in seconds either by using the timeline feature (that's automatic) or by using the Sort Boxes and folders I have created. I have Sort Boxes for Activities, Events, Travel, School, Individuals, Holidays, Parties, and then folders under each of them with specific events. Search made easy (and then you just shoot it over to Artisan to use in a project!

It took no time to make this comparison page - thank you Historian!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Today we are supposed to get a "sneak peek"of what Caleb has in store for the "new" Creative Memories - can't wait to see what he has planned! If you want to keep up with things of course you can always follow me here or on Facebook, but you can always go sign up at to get the news the fastest!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Digital Artwork - The Selection Continues to Grow at Panstoria!

New artwork at Panstoria - check it out under "New Content" when you click on the banner entitled "Preview digital artwork in a pdf file" right here on my blog! Digital scrapbooking is just as fun as traditional scrapbooking (and its faster with less mess!) There's a place for both in my heart and my home.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Retreats, retreats - I LOVE scrapbooking retreats! I love spending time with people who love their photos as much as I do  (and the food and laughs we enjoy are good for the soul.) No matter your style (traditional, whether simple or elaborate, Fast 2 Fabulous, or digital) you will be in good company. I have the option of adding another conference room for my upcoming October retreat to the Springville Camp and Conference Center and I have a few more events coming up in the winter and spring at the lovely Ruth Mountain Bed and Breakfast. These pictures are from our most recent trip there in August - look them up on and let me know if you would like to go with us. We get SOOO much done and our families are grateful for our results.