Thursday, December 30, 2010

Beach Memories 2008 - Pine Knoll Shores

One more project started, but it's one that may not be finished any time soon. My higher-level (Premier) membership with this company is about to run out for now and it's really not in our family's budget for me to pay out that extra money. Paying the extra access fee opens up lots of unique and beautiful artwork, but it also makes every project that much more expensive - and all of these projects already cost quite a bit of money, time, and mental energy. I love this theme, though, and even though I don't have time to finish this project before access to the art expires, I had to at least put in some of my family's pictures from our trip to Pine Knoll Shores, NC so I could see how the project has the potential to look. Maybe I'll get the chance to finish and print it some day. For now, I'll enjoy looking at just this part that is in place.

Epic Go Fish - Disney Style

This project idea came from the templates on the Heritage Makers site. Once I got started, I could barely pull myself away from making these little individual pieces of art. Although I had more ideas and more pictures I could've used, I had to make myself stop and publish before I lost my last few remaining credits. Now my family (and about 15 of our closest friends) will be able to play the biggest and most expensive ever game of Go Fish while looking back on some of our fun moments at the Disney parks and in Disney-related productions.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I tried making Christmas cards online this year. I think this should show a preview of one of the many I made - the one I decided to print in greatest number. I hope it shows the whole thing. I like that this design let me put pictures on the outside and the inside of the card. I also liked the selection of available templates, along with the speed of having the design already be mostly prepared.
With Love Blue Christmas 5x7 folded card
Make a statement with Shutterfly Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Proclamation - Personalized

This is the first project I've tried with this company. I really like the very specific templates they have. It was easy to navigate as I took advantage of a great sale offer and quickly created this book. (Organizing my pictures is what took the greatest time investment.) I rearranged the order of some of their clipart quotes (which are based on the Proclamation, but I can't get the link to that Proclamation to work here) and changed some of the picture layouts and sizes to suit the photos I wanted to use. So far, I'm liking the service this company can provide! I think it may influence the pictures I think to take at certain events, even, and the way I think about documenting special moments in our family.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

High quality comes with a large investment - in more ways than one.

These projects are ready to be ordered, processed, and sent to me, at long last! Keeping in mind that every single element you see on any of these pages was specifically hunted, placed, adjusted, sized, shadowed, angled, and approved by me, please take a look at the treasures I've been making for my family. Similar products from other companies cost much less to purchase and definitely involve a much smaller time and energy investment. Others do not, however, allow this level of personalization, nor do they produce the same quality of family heirloom. If I had unlimited funds, time, and energy, I would make hundreds of photobooks and other fun projects on this site. As it is, I am crossing my fingers and hoping that these last few projects will process correctly and I will finally be able to breathe a sigh of relief at their completion.

BOOK (8x8 Spring Break/ Family Time-share History):

LARGE BOOK (13x11 Our family's farewell tour of California from just before we moved away):

Since these seem to be posting correctly, I'll post one more book. It's a repost, actually, because it didn't work right when I first tried it over a year ago and because, well, I love this one.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I enjoy Twilight, but is it college credit-worthy?

My family would tell you that I'm a fan of all things Twilight Saga. They'd be right. It's not all perfect and not all presented the way I would have liked to see it, but I can't get over loving the stories. I shook my head, though, when I first heard that there's an actual college course being offered that is based on the series. Then I decided that I'd actually read about the course before I jump to any conclusions.

Now I'm thinking that it's an interesting concept. If there are women's studies courses and almost countless other sorts of specialized courses that are designed to get people thinking, discussing, and being actively involved in reading and the learning process, who am I to say that this idea couldn't be valuable? I know I enjoy my book group meetings and would love to talk about the issues these stories spark in my thinking mind. I love finding opportunities to stick up for values that I see in the books and that I feel are vitally important. In fact, I might even be inclined to attend the class if it were available where I live. (Well, at least in my dream life where I'd have time, money, and a family situation so I could do things like take any courses at all, much less this specific course.)

In the meantime, I'm planning to peek in on the class occasionally through the online component. I want to see if the investment of time and creative thinking and writing that got this course off the ground result in equally valuable learning and discussions.

Monday, September 6, 2010

2010 Families Can Be Together Forever Book

First - I didn't delete the book. Maybe it's not showing up because I changed the title. If you click on the link below where the book should be, though, you can see the book and then you can click to view it full-screen.

Second - I don't see how they're making money on these books when they keep sending me codes for free ones. Even with a few extra pages plus tax and shipping, I'm spending less than $15. I've got so many projects going on already that I can barely keep up with them on my daily lists (picture me trying to keep a table full of the proverbial plates all spinning and you've just about got the right image), but I can't resist taking a few hours and filling in a free book. I especially love the way this one turned out. I'd love to make a bigger version of it with the dates and occasions all marked (which I could only do in a program like Heritage Makers; these less top-of-the-line programs don't have that capability), but for now I'm happy with being able to match family pictures with the ideas in one of our favorite songs and have the book in our hands. I hope you like it!

Click here to view this photo book larger

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Princess book for not-so-traditional Princesses

When I first browsed through the names and brief descriptions of the various princesses, this was the one who most appealed to me. I wonder what combination of answers caused me to match with her.
The Secret Lives of Princesses

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

One project almost complete, several hundred left to go...

I used to have a poster in my bedroom with a picture of an elephant (of course) and a caption that read, "The farther I go, the behinder I get." That statement seems to be even more true of my life these days than it did back in my middle school days when I ordered the poster from a class book order. As I complete the very few projects I can say are actually finished, the tasks still waiting for me seem to have grown exponentially. For that reason, I am making myself rejoice in the completion of even one thing. (I still need to find a better version of the map of California, but everything else is finally pretty much finished.) I'm forever making to-do lists for myself and now, as I prepare to joyfully draw a line through this project, I've got to share it. (Now let's just see if the share method works!)

Just in case, here's a link to the book I've made about our family's Farewell Tour of California.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Testosterone shortage and pleas for a girly-girl vote

In a family with three boys, it would be natural for our fourth child, a girl, to be a complete tomboy. The reality, though, couldn't be farther from the truth. All the testosterone seems to have been used up on her three big brothers, leaving our little one to be a complete girly-girl. Hello, lip gloss and hair bows, dreams of modeling and dancing. Now we talk of hairstyles, clothing, and always the coordinating accessories. Make way for American Girl and Barbie, Littlest Pet Shop and Loving Family dollhouses, and most certainly for Fancy Nancy.

Here's a site I visited because we are such huge fans of the Fancy Nancy books. Vote now for Robin Preiss Glasser!

The stories are clever and splendidly entertaining, but the illustrations are what makes these books so magical, fantastic, and absolutely gorgeous. (Note that I am trying to use my fancy words.) Illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser is nominated for a 2010 Children's Choice Book Illustrator of the Year award for her work in Fancy Nancy: Explorer Extraordinaire! You can help her win by voting at the Children's Book Week website I've posted above.