Sunday, December 21, 2014

This from Cynthia Coulon, Creative Manager at Heritage Makers:

 I’m obsessed with colors and patterns. I love mixing and matching. Discovering unique palettes and motifs that work together brings me joy. It’s delicious, and a huge part of why I love scrapbooking and creative memory keeping! It may not be the most nobel reason, but it’s what makes it really fun for me! Being a very lucky duck, I get to work with beautiful designs daily. Best of all, I get to find and purchase lots of pretty paper and embellishments as part of my job!

 Each and every month, I seek out fresh and fabulous digital scrapbooking collections to add to our Studio art library. Heritage Makers is fortunate to have working relationships with some of the best digital scrapbooking art providers around, including Pixels and Company, The Lilypad and Sweet Shoppe Designs. That’s where I shop.

 We also happen to have some talented in-house designers like Anna Bates, Roxanne Buchholz and myself, that design art collections specifically for Heritage Makers.

 So what does all this mean for you? It means that with a Heritage Makers account, you can access the world’s largest library of digital scrapbooking art whenever you want, from any computer connected to the internet. It’s an organized, keyword searchable, ever-growing online digital art paradise! And whether you want to design scrapbook pages, greeting cards, photo books, phone cases, posters or purses—the art is there for your creative use.


If you’d like to see what’s in our art library, visit the online Studio Art Catalog. You can do it right now! Sort by collection date to see the newest additions to the library. Try some keyword searches like, “red flower,” and see what happens. I’m confident you’ll discover that there’s art for every style, occasion and sentiment. And if something you want isn’t there, let me know. We’ll find it or make it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

by Cynthia Coulon, Mar-Com Manager

Has anyone asked you lately if you’re ready for the holidays? It might seem like a silly question in the middle of summer, but it’s really worth considering. Now is prime time to make your gifts and greetings list and to start accumulating all the publishing points you’ll need for your meaningful Heritage Makers holiday projects!

Enjoy looking through the templates below and get inspired to make this year's holiday season extra special with heart-felt gifts and greetings, seasonal decor, and more.

Make Holiday Cards as Unique as You Are
We have so many fabulous greeting card and invitation templates, the problem won't be finding one you like, it will be choosing which one you like the best! Below is a festive grouping of 5 x 7 invitations just to give you a small taste of what we have to offer.  With our new rounded corner and matte finish options, now you can add even more style to your holiday cards!

“Joy & Peace Basic Portrait” by Michelle Bell, template 100653; “Year in Review–Red” by Michelle Bell,template 100733; and “A Blue & Red Christmas” by Anna Gehmlich Bates, template 108685.

Studio makes it easy to create coordinating holiday pieces like the holiday greetings and thank you cards below. These very merry templates are very quick to personalize and will be an extra special way to share your love and thanks with friends and family this year. Complete your coordinated set with matching address labels!

“Merry Little Christmas Card,” “Merry Little Christmas Thank You,” and "Merry Little Address Labels," 5 x 7 invitations and address labels by Kari Pieratt, templates 9878398784, and 98785.

Make Your Cards Talk
This year, add an extra special touch to your gifts and greetings with the fun application of QR Code technology! QR Codes are scannable by most cell phones. The codes link to unique URLs on the web—so you can send people directly to videos, slideshows, audio files, etc., that you created and uploaded especially for them. The holiday greetings below are great examples of placing QR Codes on cards. Lynda Angelastro, the designer of the snowman card below, made a unique holiday greeting video for each of her grandchildren and uploaded them to YouTube. She then generated QR Codes for each video and put the codes on her holiday cards. Think of all the creative and fun possibilities with this technology!  Check out this article for more information about using QR Codes on your HM Projects.

“HM Bring on Christmas QR” 7 x 5 invitation by Roxanne Buchholz, template 97322“Young Man Holiday QR” 6 x 4 greeting card by Lynda Angelastro, template 97710;  “Warm Wishes” 8 x 4 photo card by Michelle Bell, template 97500.

Make Fun Holiday Home Decor

Bring some extra cheer into your home this year by personalizing some of our 11 x 14 holiday prints. Here are just a few of our favorites below.

“Santa’s Beard Countdown” 11 x 14 Print by Kari Pieratt, template 90921; “Christmas Subway” 11 x 14 Print by Cynthia Coulon, template 97144; “Christmas Joy Subway Art” &“Merry & Bright Subway Art” 11 x 14 Prints by Kari Pieratt, templates 97429 & 97430; “Oh Christmas Tree” 11 x 14 Print by Roxanne Buchholz, template 96174.

Add More Heart to Your Holiday Tree
Our customizable, double-sided Keepsake Ornaments are a wonderful way to celebrate holiday firsts, family events, and more. They make meaningful and lasting gifts as well. Below you'll see just a small sampling of our templates, and of course, you can always choose to make one completely from scratch!

“Our First Christmas” by Brittany Hutchings, template 94969; “HM Naughty or Nice Penguin” by Roxanne Buchholz, template 94979; “Baby’s First Christmas” by Anna Gehmlich Bates, template 92871; “Pennant Christmas Keepsake” by Kari Pieratt, template 97927; “HM More Wag Ornament” by Roxanne Buchholz, template 97252.

Make Fun Tags and Crafts
We've got lots of scrap page templates designed to be used for cute holiday gift tags and other crafts. Here are some especially fun templates brand new to the Gallery.

“Soda-lighted” 12 x 12 Double-sided Scrap Page by Cynthia Coulon, template 109376

“Holiday Dough v.2” 12 x 12 Scrap Page by Cynthia Coulon, template 110125

“You’re Getting Muffin” 12 x 12 Double-sided Scrap Page by Cynthia Coulon, template 97140

“Christmas Nativity Blocks” 12 x 12 Scrap Page by Marin Barney, template 110554

This article was just a small taste of the many holiday templates available to you as you prepare for the upcoming season. Remember, larger items like Storybooks, Canvases, Metal Prints, and Brag Bags make very meaningful and totally unique gift items for those you love. When you take the time and make the effort to personalize these keepsake projects, you can be sure that you'll be creating a gift that will keep on giving for years to come!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

by Roxanne Buchholz, Studio Creative Team Manager
It’s time to celebrate freedom—the perfect theme for this month's Your Style, Your Way design map challenge!
Our military heroes are close to our hearts and in our minds as we look forward to patriotic holidays and celebrations. Remembering our heroes is a way of giving thanks to those who have changed our lives through their selfless actions.
Take a look at what our Studio Creative Team members have come up with this month. Each member was given the same 12 x 12 gray-scale scrap page “American Hero Design Map,” template 108103 and asked to put their own spin on the project while maintaining the same text and photo placement.

“American Hero by Shanna,” by Shanna Vineyard, template 109203
“American Hero by Sandra,” by Sandra Dovre, template 109187
“American Hero by Kari,” by Kari Pieratt, template 109031
“American Hero by Roxanne,” by Roxanne Buchholz, template 108970
“American Hero by Michelle,” by Michelle Bell, template 109069
“American Hero by Cynthia,” by Cynthia Coulon, template 109044

How will you honor the military hero in your life this year? Find inspiration in our many templates in the Template Gallery or use this design map to create a tribute uniquely your own. Take a few minutes and let your hero know how grateful you are for their service and dedication.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

by Cynthia Coulon, Mar-Com Manager

We all have lots of stories to tell. We’ve got plenty of memories and sentiments we want to get down on paper (along with our photos) so they won’t be forgotten. We also know that sharing our thoughts and stories can be a meaningful way to connect with the people we love. But sometimes the idea of writing even a few sentences can be just plain intimidating!

Well, relax. Take a breath. And let us show you just how easy “storybooking” can be!

First of all, it’s helpful to think about the basic structure of a Heritage Makers storybook. It’s simply an opening title page, a closing title page, and ten “spreads” (two pages that are open and seen together) sandwiched between a front and back cover. It’s not a novel.

Next, use this structure to create a general story plan to guide you as you make your book. Consider the main theme of the storybook—what’s the overall message or purpose? Introduce it on the cover page, summarize and conclude it on the closing title page, and create 10 spreads that support or illustrate the main theme. And don’t forget to consider the pictures you have as you make your plan.

Here’s an example of a story plan that includes text for a storybook intended as a Father’s Day gift.

Main Theme: Showcase the relationship between a young boy and his dad; told from the boy’s perspective of enjoying the time he spends with his father.

Front Cover: “Me and My Dad”

Opening Title Page: Use title from front cover.
Text: I love spending time with you, Dad! We do lots of things together.

Spread One: Fixing Things
Text: I like to watch and help you fix things. You call me your “big helper!” You ask me to hand you tools and shine the flashlight.

Spread Two: Playing Ball
Text: When we play basketball, you lift me up high so I can make a basket.

Spread Three: Reading Time
Text: I like you to read me bedtime stories. You make funny voices and sound effects. You will read me my favorite book over and over.

Spread Four: Riding Bikes
Text: You taught me how to ride a bike without training wheels. We sometimes ride on the river trail or over to Grandma’s house.

Spread Five: Camping
Text: I love it when we go camping. We’re in charge of building the fire. You taught me how to toast marshmallows without burning them. Yum!

Spread Six: Hiking
Text: We hike up the canyon and see lots of things. We’ve even seen animal bones! We’re always on the look out for animal footprints.

Spread Seven: Playing Games
Text: I like to play Monopoly, Go Fish, and Candyland. When you play with me, it’s extra fun! You help me count my money and organize my cards.

Spread Eight: Swimming
Text: You take me swimming at the indoor pool when it’s cold and to the water park when it’s warm. I love to swim and splash with you. Thanks for teaching me how!

Spread Nine: Working in the Yard
Text: When it’s time for you to mow, pick up leaves, or work in the garden, I like to do it with you! You let me plant my own pumpkin seeds. It’s especially fun when we go pick up mulch in the truck.

Spread Ten: Loving Each Other
Text: Every day you give me a big hug when you get home from work. You tell me that you’re happy to see me and I know you mean it.

Closing Title Page:
Text: You and me are great friends. You play with me, teach me things, help me feel happy and keep me safe. I love you and you love me. It’s great!

Of course, you’ll make your story plan with text that works with the photos you have. You may have lots more to say, or lots less. The point is, planning your storybook in this manner can really help the whole project feel more doable.

We’ve gone ahead and created a 7 x 5 storybook based on the “Me and My Dad” story plan above. It’s template 107865, and is available for you to personalize. Below, you'll see the front cover, opening title page, and two inside spreads.

Remember, pictures may be worth a thousand words, but they don’t always tell the whole story!

Friday, April 25, 2014

My husband, Erik, and I both grew up with dogs. So, when we bought our first home, it was only natural that we would want to get a dog. Our Labrador Retriever, Buck, joined our family two months after we moved in. He was our first baby and we took him everywhere we went. If he couldn’t come along, he stayed with my father or Erik’s parents.

When we started having children we realized that Buck took his role as friend and protector very seriously. One afternoon, soon after we brought our daughter home, I was walking in the yard with him when a delivery truck pulled up. As the driver jogged up my driveway Buck stopped him in his tracks with a growl and hackles raised. From that day forward, no one could step foot on our property without Buck announcing their presence.  Buck’s protective instincts increased when we brought our son home three years later. Whenever our children were in the yard, he was nearby keeping watch over them.

One of the great things about dogs is that they can add so much to the family dynamic. Every summer, we travel to the Jersey shore and Buck was always with us. He would get so excited when he saw me take the duffel bags out of the closet because he knew we were going somewhere and he wasn’t going to miss out. He would shadow me from the minute I started packing until we loaded the truck. Then he would hop in the back and off we’d go.
Part of our routine at the shore was taking him to the beach to swim. He loved to race out into the ocean to retrieve his favorite football and he would surf the waves on his way back to shore. In the beginning, Erik and I would throw the ball for him, but as the children grew they soon took over.

Last summer, the children received their own kayaks so they could paddle out into the bay. One morning, we took Buck with us so he could swim while we kayaked in the lagoon. As soon as he spotted the children paddling out, he started barking. He swam out to their kayaks and circled them as if to say, “I don’t like you this far from the shore.” They got the message and paddled in as he led them back to the beach.

Buck started slowing down as he neared his 11th birthday, but he was still a puppy at heart. Sadly the day came when we had to say our good-byes to our loyal friend. As we mourned our loss, my husband and I kept telling the children to just let the tears fall and know that he will always be in our hearts.  Then my husband suggested that we make a scrapbook of all the memories we have with Buck.
A few days later I started the process of gathering all of the pictures I had taken over his lifetime. My son helped me by going through a box of old pictures that contained his puppy pictures. Once I organized the pictures my daughter helped with the page layouts. It wasn’t easy. Tears often flowed as we worked. But we also smiled and laughed as we remembered how he pinned me on my back the first night of obedience training, or how he would lie on the floor and chew his bone while the children climbed all over him. Then there was the time when he chased us down hills as we tobogganed. Buck wasn’t just a dog—he was a member of our family. Having this collection of pictures will always remind us of his loyalty to our family and his special place in our hearts.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Digital story and scrapbooking is fast and easy, enables multiple copies, carves far less “creative space” from your home and is typically much less expensive than traditional memory keeping. But there is one small downside, with “small” being the important word. While you’re working digitally, you don’t usually see your project at 100%. Constrained your laptop’s screen size, it’s not always easy to judge the actual scale of your finished project. To assist you in making the most of every page inch, let’s look at some tips, tricks and screenshots that will help get size and scale into perspective.

How Big is Big?
To illustrate our discussion, let’s look at the screenshot above. It’s a page from a 12 x 12 storybook that looks fairly well laid out, right? Well check out the page below. It’s the same 12 x 12 storybook, but now you can see that the enlarged design is really an “import a page” from a 5 x 5 storybook (Michelle Wolfley’s “Daddy's Little Girl,” template 133363) that actually could fit on a 12 x 12 page four times with room to spare in the middle.

Tools for Judging
Here are several suggestions for using the space on your page well, while keeping it size appropriate. 

1. Go to the size slider bar at the top of your project, just under the Heritage Maker’s logo and examine your project at close to 100% several times during your design session.

2. In the “toolbox,” go to the “layout” tab and check the size of unlocked photos against other photos you’ve published or have around the house. In this picture, the photo highlighted is about 2 ½ by 1 ½ inches. That’s about half the size of a playing card. Such comparisons can help you judge the designs you are creating.
3. Download Lynda Angelastro’s “Title & Text Cheat Sheets” to your “my templates” folder and choose “start my own.” This 5 x 5 storybook, template 17444, contains page after page of Studio fonts at the appropriate size for body text and headings on small to average pages. No need to print it, just use it to check and see which fonts work best at which sizes.

Scaling it Just Right
Ever got a book back and thought, “Wow, why did I try to pack so much on the page?” If the size and scale is off at either end, big or small, the overall design is not pleasing. Think of it like a home. If you’ve got a very small living room, you don’t try to crowd it with many pieces of large furniture. You choose fewer pieces in smaller sizes. Your page designs will benefit from the same attention to size. Use these suggestions and see if they don’t help you get the page scale just right.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

by Lynda Angelastro, Studio Product Manager

Making Mom’s Special Day Memorable
This Mother’s Day, take the opportunity to let the mom in your life know how much she means to you and her entire family. Send the thoughtful and personalized gift or greeting you know will bring a smile to her face and tears to her eyes. Heritage Makers products make it easy!

Say It With Photos
Send a card that features Mom's favorite children or grandchildren, and she’ll treasure it forever. Template 61575 is a 7 x 5 greeting card called “Mother’s Day Card” that was designed by Julie Young. Template 58099from Roxanne Buchholz is called “Mother’s Day Cluster Pink” and features a photo Mom will display long after the holiday is over.

Say It in Updated Style
Let her know what an exceptional mom she is with this contemporary-styled card from Anna Gehmlich. “One of a Kind MOM” is a  4 x 6 greeting card, template 104952. It opens up to show a photo greeting on the inside of the card. Even, the back of the card, shown here on the right, tells mom how special she is to you.

Say It Your Way
Go to the Template Gallery and put “mom” or “mother” in the search box and you’ll find hundreds of templates, many of them cards, to tell your mother how much you love her this Mother’s Day. Shown here from left to right starting on the bottom are templates 54770851625782721401,8385256584675608581258021 and 29595. You’re sure to find the perfect card for all the moms and grandmas you want to honor this spring.

Say It with A Tile
For a perfect Mother's Day gift or project from the kids, make one of these 8 x 4 photo card tiles. Start by personalizing either “Mom's Day Tile in Blue” (85226) or “Mom's Day Tile in Pink” (85300) by Lynda Angelastro. Then buy a single, heavy-duty 12 x 12 self-adhesive laminate floor tile from your local home improvement store. Leaving the backing paper on the tile, score at 4 inches deep, across the front of tile, and then snap to break cleanly. Score again at 8 inches across to make an 8 x 4 inch tile. Peel paper off back (exposing the adhesive) and mount 8 x 4 photo card onto tile. Sand edges and display on super small size metal easel. These instructions are repeated inside the template.

Say It With A Canvas
Make a special piece of home d├ęcor with Mom's family name or loved ones on it, and she will absolutely LOVE it! Shown here from left to right, starting at the bottom are some of our favorite home decor picks for Mother’s Day: “HM Family Photos Collage” by Roxanne Buchholz, 20 x 8 canvas, template 93775; “Our Family HOME” by Cynthia Coulon, 12 x 12 canvas, template 92182; “Jade Name Canvas” by Lynda Angelastro, 12 x 12 canvas, template 100512; “Sunny Daze Canvas” by Karilyn Pieratt, 20 x 8 canvas, template 90495; “Sweet Ellie” by Roxanne Buchholz, 24 x 20 canvas, template 106068; “HM We are a Family” by Roxanne Buchholz, 8 x 20 canvas, template 87594; “HM Make Me Laugh Canvas” by Roxanne Buchholz, 8 x 20 canvas, template 97686 and “Be The Good” by Cynthia Coulon, 8 x 20 canvas, template 93054.

Say It With A Purse-packable Book
“100 Things I Love About You, Mom” is a 7 x 5 storybook, template 56347, by Studio Product Manager Lynda Angelastro. With only one photo of mom accompanied by 100 snippets of text telling just how much she means, it’s an easy-to-make book packed with meaning and memories. In a similar vein, but more contemporary style, is “100 Reasons Mom is Queen” by in-house art director by Marin McKay Barney. Search fortemplate 106264 and you’ll find this pocket-sized treasure, designed especially to have input from more than one family member.

Say It With A Bigger Tribute Book
Is this the year you really want to “wow” Mom? If it is, use one of our easy-to-finish life storybooks like this 11.5 x 8.5 one from Michelle Bell. “Mom’s Life Story,” template 53766 documents this mom’s life for a gift that cannot be bought at any price.

Make Mom’s Day Memorable
Use your creativity and Club HM to make YOUR Mom's day a memorable one this year. You know there is nothing that would please her more or make her prouder than a gift you’ve crafted yourself! Get started today!