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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fall Blog Hop

Welcome to the last stop on our Fall Blog Hop! It's fitting that this one is last as I am using it to look back on a great 2017 for Creative Memories and all of the wonderful paper packs introduced this year. I have collected all of them and would like to make sure I use them because I know 2018 will bring even more fun product launches! A little while back our Creative Life Scrapbooking Team did a "Stash Bash" challenge with products no longer available and a fun sketch. Today I am doing a "Stash Bash" challenge of my own with paper packs and embellishments that are STILL available from Creative Memories (but don't wait too long if you like them!) Here are a few pages I have come up with using Christmas photos I have been wanting to scrapbook for a while - I hope you enjoy the ideas and find some time to use some of your favorite paper packs in your collection before the year ends!

Made With Love and Woodland Whimsy! 

I love love LOVE gingham, especially red gingham, and it looks so beautiful next to green! I found the perfect combination in the Woodland Whimsy embellishment pack's trees, a few foam squares to make them pop off the page and the red gingham paper from the Made with Love paper pack. 

Time to pick a Christmas tree!

Documenting our annual tradition at Home Depot!

To complete the look, I used the wood grain paper from the Made with Love paper pack as part of a double mat that included (surprise, surprise!) a little bit more red gingham. The trees on the bottom come from the Woodland Whimsy Boy sticker pack - now all I have to do is journal.


Hot chocolate and gingerbread houses, it doesn't get better than that in November and December. I am in love with the Sugarplum line of paper and stickers because I love the ballet and I have a son in "The Nutcracker" this year, but until I have those pictures, I still have plenty of ways I can use this beautiful line. I made a quilt page using the Shape Maker Punch's square cartridge about a week ago - did you see this on our Facebook group? 

Making a quilt is easy with large squares punched out using Creative Memories'  Shape Maker System

I also wanted a way to show off the cute Gingerbread house and hot cocoa stickers so I made an easy border using the Fence cartridge that comes with the Border Maker System and a strip of paper woven through the slats of the fence!

A sugarplum border!

Showing off my new border on some gingerbread decorating pages!

Croptoberfest Project Recipe!

I have really fallen in love with Creative Memories' Project Recipes this year! They are only available from an Advisor and they are basically a pattern that you can use over and over to make beautiful page layouts. If you don't know an Advisor, you can find one near you by using a consultant lookup (or you could sign up to be one yourself!)

Most Project Recipes are simply guides to be handed out at workshops, but twice a year (National Scrapbook Day in the spring and Croptoberfest in the fall) a special kit is created  and available for purchase that includes all of the paper, stickers and patterns you would need to complete several multi page layouts. I made these pages from the 2017 Croptoberfest project Recipe kit ($12.50) back in October at my fall retreat without knowing which pictures I would use on them. Now I have found some photos that work with them! That is the beauty of a project recipe - paper first, photos later. All you need is a 12 inch trimmer  with a ruler and a tape runner.

Croptoberfest 2017 Project Recipe kit - Layout 1

Croptoberfest project Recipe 2017 - Layout 2

How will you use your paper packs? For more ideas on how, be sure and like and follow the Creative Life Scrapbooking page on Facebook  - we are a group of Creative Memories advisors and Forever Ambassadors who love to share our creations with others! We have regular features on Mondays and Fridays and the occasional Blog Hop and Virtual Pajama Cropping party :) 

Thank you for hopping along with us today! If you by chance started at my blog first and want to see the rest of the wonderful ideas, the links are below. Happy hopping! Fran

Stop 1. Sarah Fitzgerald at Click! Write! Share!
Stop 2. Noreen Smith at Organized and Creative Mom
Stop 3. Karyn Creamean McDermaid Rolfe at Karyn Crops
Stop 4. Stefani Jones at Crop with Stef
Stop 5. Fran Allen Smitherman at Celebrating Your Beautiful Life - YOU ARE HERE!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Time is Now To Make a Photo Plan

Life is beautiful and we have so much to be grateful for. Our photos remind us of all that we love so it is very important that we invest the time to learn about how we can protect them for years to come. What are you grateful for? Do photos play a part in holding on to the memories? They truly are treasures that take us to another place in time and remind others about how much we love and cherish them and their place in our lives.

Digital photos add a whole new level of complication to things, don't they? It used to be we finished a roll of film, took it to get developed, and never worried about losing them (barring an act of nature.) Now we take more photos than ever before, but rarely get them developed. We need a way to protect all the THOUSANDS of photos we take. 

Where are your photos now?
If you are like most people, these photographs and other memorabilia are stored everywhere. For most of us, “everywhere” is a mix of Smartphones, hard drives, laptops, external hard drives, flash drives, online retailers, boxes, closets, Facebook, free cloud services, etc… The list is ENDLESS. Wouldn't it be great to have them all stored permanently in ONE place and not have to worry about them? Wouldn't it be great to have them accessible to you, families and friends when needed to create a great slideshow, digital book, or a special gift such as a canvas or a calendar? Wouldn’t you like to be free from the worry over whether your account is going to be closed due to family neglect, lack of activity or a forgotten payment? What about you? Do you have a backup system? if you are relying on a cloud storage provider, have you read their terms and conditions? My eyes were opened WIDE when I found out that most cloud storage sites will delete your account upon their discretion, shrink your photo resolution to make room on their servers, sell your info to advertisers and have no promise of privacy or permanence. Your photos deserve better than that and free isn't always free.

Free Isn't Always Free
Are you aware that cloud and social media services such as Google, Dropbox, Shutterfly, Facebook, and photo developing companies such as Shutterfly and Wal-Mart have terms of service indicating that your account may be deleted at their discretion (or if you don’t buy from them within a certain period of time), that they will shrink the resolution of your photos to make room on their servers, and that they reserve the right to sell your data to third parties? Eeek! Eye opening. My photos are currently stored on my iPhone and in the iCloud, my camera's memory card, my computers, two external hard drives, scrapbooks, boxes, Shutterfly (previously), and in my account at Forever. While I work full time and don't have near as much time as I would like to devote to memory keeping, I do try to accomplish a little something every day to save my photos. Having the right tools makes all the difference in the world so please read on for more details on how I keep my 100,000+ photos safe and accessible!
 A Permanent Home

I was so excited to find my “Forever” home for my memories over two years ago. I have my computer and phone photos, old family recipes, my children’s scanned artwork and even scrapbook pages stored in my Forever account, safe from all that has scared me in the past. I love being able to access all of them on the go, from my phone and from any computer I wish to use. Better yet, I can retrieve them at full resolution. Here’s a short video for you to watch – let me know what you think after you do!

Cloud storage of your memories is a necessity in today’s world. People are taking more photos than ever before and not printing them, and computers and external hard drives have finite lifespans. A Forever storage account is permanent and is guaranteed for your life plus 100 years. Your account is financially and technologically backed by the Forever Guarantee Fund, similar to an endowment for a college or a life insurance policy. In other words, Forever is like PHOTO INSURANCE (but it is so much more fun than regular insurance, and unlike home, car, life, and health, you only have to pay ONCE to protect your memories!)

How is Forever Different than Other Photos Storage Solutions?

Forever is backed by a promise that your account is PERMANENT – you own it, you do not rent it. Your memories are there at full resolution for when you want to access them, and your account is PRIVATE (meaning your information will not be sold to advertisers.) Forever accounts are MOBILE with apps for the phone and iPad, SECURE with three servers strategically located throughout the country, fully encrypted like a bank. Finally, Forever accounts are SHAREABLE and you have complete control over who sees your pictures.

How Do Your Photos Get Into Your Forever Account?

Several ways! Auto upload from the free Forever phone app, pull pictures directly from your computer using the "Upload" button in your Forever account, send pictures from our Historian software, or link up with Facebook! There are so many ways to get your memories into your account.
What if your memories aren’t digital? No worries – Forever offers media digitization services! The professional team in Green Bay, WI do an amazing job scanning all types of media, from photos, negatives and slides, to scrapbooks, VHS tapes and even cassette tapes. The memories will be housed in your Forever account once they have been scanned, and you can also request a flash drive if you prefer.


Calling the Geek Squad to restore a computer can cost upwards of $1000 (and they can't promise to restore your photos.) Car, home, and life insurance cost thousands of dollars a year (and you hope to never need them.) What would you pay to insure something that is irreplaceable? What would you pay to OWN that home in the cloud rather than RENT it? What would you pay to pass these precious memories down to your loved ones in one organized place? Forever storage accounts start at 10G and you can add more storage from there (I have 250G with about 90,000 photos in mine, and it's about half full.) The one-time payment for the 10G account is $199, or $19 a month for 12 months, but in NOVEMBER ONLY you can get started for $139.30 with the code BLACKFRIDAY!!!! There is no annual fee, and once you own storage, it is yours to fill as you like. I would personally pay $200 a YEAR to protect something as irreplaceable as my photos, but this is a one-time payment. Better yet, Black Friday has come early to Forever and storage accounts are 30% off this month using the code BLACKFRIDAY! This is an AMAZING OPPORTUNITY! The code BLACKFRIDAY will also save you 40% off of the software programs, all print projects, and all digital art. Conversion boxes are also on sale for 15% off. November is the best time to start thinking about creating your photo legacy with Forever.

How Do I Get Started?

Signing up with Forever is so easy! As your Ambassador I am here to help you every step of the way with online and in person events and training! My link is and there you will find everything you need to sign up for a free 2G account, purchase a permanent account, create your own book in Forever Print or purchase your copy of Forever's award winning digital scrapbooking software Artisan 5 software and more! Once you have set up a free or paid Forever account don't forget to get the App for your phone and set it to auto-upload to back up those precious phone pics at all times! Remember the code BLACKFRIDAY to save up to 40% all month long :)

I have been an Ambassador with Forever for 3 years and it has been a wonderful experience. I love helping people with their photos and I am right here to help you every step of the way (along with Forever's fantastic support.) Consider us your Geek Squad, your photo coach and a friend to help you collect, curate and create with your precious memories! Fran