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Monday, April 25, 2016

Mother's Day Blog Hop Stop Number 1

Welcome to the first stop of our Creative Memories Mother's Day Blog Hop! I am excited to celebrate my own mother today in this blog hop and to spend a little time thinking about how honored I am to be a mother myself. I will start you off with some simple ideas for scrapbook pages to honor the special women in your life, and along the way you will also be able to get inspired by some fun card and gift projects the rest of the team has created! 
So blessed by my parents and the love they have for my own family!
I can think of endless pages I could do to honor my own mother - pictures of her taking care of me when I was a baby, pictures of her when SHE was a baby, pictures of her beautiful holiday preparations, pictures of her with my sons. For the sake of time I decided to narrow it down to my gratitude for one specific act of service she has done for me my entire life - the gift of her sewing skills!

Celebrating a Special Talent

Does your own mother have a special talent you hold dear in your heart? My mother is a wonderful seamstress, and with the new Button Chain cartridge and a simple hand-drawn needle, I was able to make a few beautiful pages about the many projects she has created for us. This is just the beginning of many more scrapbook layouts about her sewing creations I am sure! 

Using the Button Chain cartridge, the Shades of Pastel cardstock pack and the Fresh Picks paper pack, I was able to complement the color of the dress she wore to my wedding. She made it herself, as well as my veil and my "money bag" for the reception!
The button chain cartridge came in handy again here, except this time instead of a long border I actually cut out "buttons." I  drew a simple black line to serve as thread connected to a hand-drawn "needle" made with the black and silver fine tip pens.

Borders from the Fresh Picks paper pack looks really pretty with this shade of purple, and I wanted the journaling and the button chain borders to be symmetrical on each side of this layout. 

How Far We've Come

In my twenties, I had no idea what my future would bring. I studied and worked constantly and prayed that one day I would find the right man and have children, but of course you never know what the future is going to hold. I think the 20-year old version of me would be happy to see that my fears were for nothing, and while I have two boys instead of the two girls I originally envisioned, I am one lucky boy mama! 

Sometimes it's good to just step back and think about how far we've come in our lives. What would the 20 year old version of yourself think if she saw you now? Have you ever had dreams that came true? Don't take those things for granted - they deserve a page or two to tell your own story, don't they? 

Used stickers from the Hello Baby Boy collection to create "ruled lines" for journaling! 

While I no longer have "babies", I was pleasantly surprised to see how flexible the new Hello Baby Boy papers and stickers were. I haven't yet purchased the Hello Baby Girl paper pack but I am willing to bet I will because with these pretty color palettes I can see so many uses outside of a baby album!

I also love how Creative Memories' paper packs have a couple of pages with strips you can cut into borders. I used one of them here to start off my journaling (and you might have noticed in the previous layout I did the same with the Fresh Picks border pages.)

Creative journaling down the side of the page with a border from the Hello Baby Boy paper pack to start it off - "Once Upon a Time" is just one of several cute phrases found in the pack

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is coming up on Sunday, May 8th and even if you don't have any big plans, take a picture of whatever you are doing (even if it is just picking honeysuckle and enjoying the sunshine!) I created this layout for a Creative Titles post for the CM Blog but just in case you didn't see it, the point of it was not to waste good photo backgrounds! 

I created a title out of shapes cut from the excess background space of photos that might have otherwise ended up in the garbage. The grass would be monotonous if each 4X6 picture was included in my layout, but when punched out using the Blossom Punch, it becomes a lot more fun!

Creative Titles using ABC stickers and shapes punched out from photos

Don't waste those backgrounds :) 
If you have cards and special keepsakes, don't forget you can incorporate those into your scrapbooks as well using Creative Memories' Pocket Pages - they are perfect for holding on to these special items!

I love all of these sweet treasures!

Creative Memories offers Large Single Pocket Pages for displaying your special memorabilia

Whether you are thinking of your own mother, contemplating your role as a mother yourself, or celebrating other special women in your life, I truly hope you enjoy this blog hop and that it will inspire you to do something special with your photos. As always feel free to leave comments - I love hearing from you! Here is the complete list of sites to visit on today's blog hop - enjoy! 

Stop #1 - YOUAREHERE! Fran Smitherman's CelebratingYourBeautifulLife
Stop #2 - Noreen Smith's OrganizedandCreativeMom
Stop #3 - Sarah Fitzgerald's ClickWriteShare
Stop #4 - Candace Bouldin's Scrappin JPEGs
Stop #5   JulieTambrini'sJuliesCMBlog
Stop #6 - Diana Miller's DBrinsleysBlog
Stop #7 - LisaGrahamBrown's Lisa'sWorkshop
Stop #8 - Creative Memories' Blog!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

What keeps you up at night?

What keeps you up at night? Are your memories as safe and organized as you would like them to be?

I have 90 Creative Memories scrapbooks and 97,000 digital photos on my computer. So yes, I basically panic every time I even THINK ABOUT anything happening to my house or computer. This has been a huge fear of mine for a while - all those memories are PRICELESS and IRREPLACEABLE. Enter Forever.

Forever is your one stop shop for your photos and the company's premiere offering is online storage for your photos. Unlike so many other providers out there, your memories are backed by the Forever Guarantee Fund and three servers strategically located throughout the U.S. Your account is fully encrypted like a bank's system and completely private other than the folks you decide to share it with. Your memories are guaranteed to be safe for your life plus 100 years - they will never shrink your resolution or share your info with advertisers. It is truly like photo insurance.

 The deeper I get into Forever, the more I love what I have been able to do to have fun with my pictures and to get that precious peace of mind I have been seeking for years! I want to share some images with you of what my accounts and projects look like:

My Home page where I can see all of my albums
What pictures look like as they come in from your phone or your PC (you can later drag them to your albums to get them out of this view!) The phone App is great - I have mine set to "auto upload" whenever I am on wifi. 

The inside of one of my albums, "Baby Andrew" - these are obviously pictures I would never want to lose to a hard drive crash of a photo vendor's tricky terms.

Whether you have a PC or a Mac, you can access your Forever account online, edit, organize and even create projects in Forever Projects (like "Artisan Lite".) I have created Storybooks and canvases already - I am about to try some cards because they are on sale this month.You can upload pictures from your phone and PC either automatically or manually (I love the phone app - it's free for your Smartphone or iPad!)

Forever also scans all types of media (photos, scrapbooks, videos, slides and negatives) and stores those high resolution images in your account. 
Forever Services has now scanned 7 of my traditional scrapbooks - I love seeing the images pop into my account. I can have them turned into page prints, into storybooks, share them with the people who are in the pages, or just sleep better knowing that if my house burned down all those pictures and  JOURNALING would be saved! Some things are irreplaceable- my 90 scrapbooks definitely fall into that category.

Personalized service - they call to let you know your digitization boxes have arrived safely before they start to scan them

Another album, home safe and scanned into my Forever account

In addition to curating my Forever account online, I also use desktop based Historian (formerly Memory Manager) and Artisan (formerly Storybook Creator) for more detailed editing and project creation. I love how I can create projects and work with my photos without the internet in these programs if necessary (some hotel rooms and scrapbook retreat venues don't always have the best wifi!) 
Want to create digital storybooks and have them preserved in the cloud (and printed as many times as you'd like!?) Here is how my pages are coming along in Artisan

A different view of a project coming together in Artisan

Now I can order my books any time I want!

If you haven't already, check out Forever - you will not be sorry! Please respond in the comments with any questions you might have - I am here to answer them! Here's to sleeping better at night! Fran