Friday, November 1, 2013

imagine this.

Imagine an app for your iPhone that allows you to edit, organize AND easily add comments & stories.

Imagine an app that helps you get your photos off Facebook and into your life.

Imagine an app that sends reminders to take pics on special occasions.

Imagine an app that when you add a print plan and FLAG your favorites, they will automatically be printed and shipped to your door! (With NO shipping charges.)

Imagine that the app is FREE... and you get it from me... or at the Apple App Store.

No imagining necessary. It is called inawink. And it is coming soon!

This is Ahni & Zoe.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

may i introduce...

Ahni & Zoe might be just what you need to get your photos off your devices and into your life!  A simple approach to album making... from snap to finish!  

The inawink app can be attached to a print plan - Simply tag 25 favorites - They will be printed and shipped to your door in a wink! All for only $8.50 - no shipping charge.

Ask me about the no-decisions album pages AND slide-in pages. It is genius. You have to see it to believe it.

We are waiting on the app... I will let you know when it arrives!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

our new pathway for support & updates.

Hello  fellow lovers of Memory Manager & StoryBook Creator!  These two software programs changed my life for the good just over 7 years ago.  They equipped me with tools to manage my digital images with ease and confidence... all 40,000 of my photos can be found and enjoyed because they are in user friendly folders with helpful labels.  More importantly, these two software programs have helped me get my photos out of cyber space and safely into my family's hands. Now memories can be relived and stories can be passed down from generation to generation because our photos are enjoyed in hardcover albums, calendars, cards, photo panels and family cookbooks.

My love for these programs can hardly be contained.

As you know, Creative Memories was the company that introduced us to these amazing products that were created by Caspedia, now called Panstoria.  And we are all thankful for the great support CM provided over the past 7+ years!  In the process of Creative Memories' exciting "makeover", they have decided to reemerge without MM and SBC, but the good news is that the mother company will be providing us with the support and updates that we want from October 2nd forward.  We can even smoothly transition all of our digital embellishments in SBC - and all of our labeling, sorting, stories & stars in Memory Manager!

The link below (in pink) will take you to the Panstoria site and link you to me as my customer.  You can share this link (and this web site) with any friends you know that want to get Memory Manager (Historian) or StoryBook Creator (Artison) - and enjoy the best photo software in the world for themselves.  Or click on the banner under "about Me" on the right.

Support for Memory Manager & Storybook Creator through PANSTORIA

I am still researching what our best print options will be in the future.  In the next few days or weeks, Panstoria will be offering print services through the Panstoria Print Shop (similar to print services available at the CM Digital Center).  I want to spend some time researching where we will find the highest quality products, because that is what always sold me on Creative Memories.  I will keep you posted right here.

If you own StoryBook 4.0, you got an update notice in your software yesterday, October 2nd.  (Open your SBC software and look in the lower left hand corner.)  When you complete this update, you will have access to the Panstoria Print Shop.  I could not get the update to work for me today but I am sure they are working out all kinds of bugs.  Just be patient.  The great news is that the programs will still be supported and updated, and there is still a place where we can ask our questions. 

If you own StoryBook 3.0, watch for your update notice to appear around October 7th.

I plan to continue my Digital Diva Classes --- with hopes of going viral with some of the training.  Exciting times. 

Friday, August 23, 2013


The Cover - Front & Back

Pages  1-20
This is a simple 20 page album that you can make in a snap!  I created this one to honor Charlotte's first year of life. It is basically a Photo-A-Month album.  What a blast to watch a baby grow up right before your eyes in a simple 20 page album.

Here is the link for you to view the StoryBook:
To see the shared StoryBooks Karen Blanc shared with you, simply follow this link:

And guess what? I made a ONE YEAR... AND COUNTING Template for SBC so you can make your own version quick as a wink!   Just clink on the link below to download the Predesigned Pages.   Drop and drag your own photos into the grey boxes - and VOILA!  Baby Album DONE.

Click here to view ONEYEAR...AND COUNTING Template.

I started with a pregnancy photo labeled 0 MONTHS.   Then I followed with 1 HOUR, 1 DAY and 1 WEEK.  (You could change it up depending on what precious photos you have.)   Then I followed with 1 MONTH, 2 MONTHS, 3 MONTHS, etc..   The hardest part is selecting just one photo!

On the last double page spread, I put 16 photos on each page that reflected her growing up like magic right before your eyes!  This also allowed me to use more of the favorite photos from her first year.  The final page was reserved for photos from the first birthday party.

I am sure you noticed (or I hope you did!) that this sort of works like a COUNTING BOOK too.

Babies grow up faster than you can say 1,2,3...

exciting times.

As you know, I am married to MM and SBC, so to speak.  These software programs have helped me to keep my treasures safe, and to enjoy my photos more fully.  I am in love with them and passionate about them.  And I have a love relationship with Creative Memories.  I am truly thankful that Memory Manager, StoryBook Creator and Creative Memories have given me an opportunity to have "work" that I love... and that doesn't feel like "work" at all.

As our beloved company re-designs itself for a happy future, I am now actually and honestly anticipating the transition.  I plan to stay loyal to CM and to MM & SBC --- and I hope to take you all with me!

What I know today:

1.  We know now that MM and SBC will be supported - either by a new vendor relationship or with the software's "mother", Panstoria.  Be comforted that we will still have:
- Continued support
- Continued ability to buy digital artwork and use it in SBC
- Continued ability to print StoryBooks and other output that we will be proud to own
- Continued availability of upgrades and improvements to the software
- Access to existing projects
- Ability to move the software to other machines

2.  Creative Memories has exiting things up their sleeves with the new company.  One of my dear, dear consultant friends is currently Beta testing the new digital app they will be launching in November.  And while she signed a confidentiality agreement and could not share specifics, I could hear the sheer excitement & enthusiasm in her voice about where we are going as a company.

This means we can still use the software that we are IN LOVE with - and also have access to a digital app that will offer 'simpler solutions' when we need it.

I just wanted to write to share my heart about this stuff... and my excitement.  We should all be working to complete any projects we have in the works, as we can use the current CM Digital Center to order projects until September 23.  I am having a blast being a busy bee with my photo projects.  This deadline is helping me stay more committed to the projects I long to complete.

Thank you for sharing my love for stories & photos!


Saturday, April 27, 2013

do this.

If someone were is ask me "If you only had time to make ONE photo album this year, what would it be?"  My answer: Make an in-a-nutshell album about your life.  Where you live, what you do, what your house looks like, what your kids look like, and then add some nutty facts about yourself. 

When we went to Ireland four years ago, Mike is the one who said "You should make an album about our day-to-day lives to take with us.  Even though there isn't a language barrier, a picture is worth a thousand words and it might help us connect with more people."   Did it ever!  We were amazed at the number of times we whipped out this little album and made a conversation more interesting.

The fun (and fascinating) thing about this album project is that "ordinary life pictures" are sometimes something we don't even have in our possession.  The advent of the cellphone camera has helped, but ask yourself --- do you have a photo of the outside of your house?  Your car?  Do you have a nice photograph of where you work - and spend hours everyday? 

I grabbed our "Made in 2009 About Us Album" when I headed out the door to a 125th Anniversary Celebration of Delta Gamma recently.   While conversing with sorority sisters, I was shocked by how out-of-date our little book was - in just 4 short years!  There was no mention of our 2+ year house renovation... or Mike's cancer journey... or the addition of 6 grandchildren!  Below are some of the pages from our REVISED About Us album.  You can view the whole thing on this link:

Revised ABOUT US StoryBook

If you meeting someone for the first time and only had a few minutes to tell about yourself --- what would you say?  These are the sorts of things that go in an ABOUT US album.  

I always try to grab this little album when we are going out of town.  I was glad I had it in my purse when Mike was having his cancer surgery in St. Louis.  It turned out that Mike had to be on a ventilator for three days... the nurses that tended to him day and night knew nothing of the man they were caring for.  I made sure to leave the little ABOUT US book on the tray table next to his bed each night so that when he couldn't talk or communicate --- the book could for him.  I wanted the nursing staff to know about the fine man they were caring for.  Because of this simple collection of photos... they did.

Monday, April 15, 2013

thoughtful words.

"If you want to learn what someone fears losing, watch what they photograph."
Got this cool quote from photographer extraordinaire, Wyn Wiley.
Isn't it amazing to ponder the power of photography.
I used to regularly tell my clients that even taking a photograph of a child (or adult) esteems them, because it is communicating that 'you care' and 'you want to remember this moment together'.
It is thrilling to ponder that our photography (even with our phones) communciates a lot about us.
The wonders of photography run deep.
How are you protecting your treasure?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

year review album is in my hands!

 It is hard for me to contain my excitement about this!  988 photos from 2008 in one fabulous 100 page digital StoryBook album!  988 photos saved from cyberspace with stories written beside them. It arrived this week.

2008 was the year that I stopped printing my photos with the digital age --- so that is where I started.  2009 is next.  Then 2010, 2011, 2012.  Now that I have a plan with these amazing predesigned pages,  the task  does not seem overwhelming.

Every time I get an album back I am always amazed at the quality of our Creative Memories albums. WOW.    This time I opted for the LAY FLAT option, and I will never go back.  (Why haven't I always done this?)  The quality of the paper and the colors and the inks is amazing!

There are more details in earlier posts about my favorite Wedding Gallery 12x12 and Photo A Day 12x12 layouts.  The real beauty of the YEAR REVIEW album to me is that this is where our "everyday family life" is captured... I have managed to keep up with getting vacations and weddings and big stuff in digital albums, but it is the precious, everyday, random stuff that eluded me.  Remember that this is not all the photos I took in 2008. That would be 4389 photographs. (Really.)  This is the collection that formed from creating 8 pages per month. This is the plan that made the project do-able to me.

The reason I wigged out when my computer crashed last December was because it was our "everyday ordinary family life" photos that were left hanging in cyberspace.  I am all about capturing 'perfectly ordinary' for images we almost forget to snap... I want to remember silliness at a family dinner or when Mike dressed in the girls clothes after folding too much of their laundry... I want to remember when Kiley drove the car into the house... and when the ducks started pooping on the porch... I want the quiet, tender moments of my daddy's hospital days as much as vacations and weddings.  A Year In Review album helps capture the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days that make a year... and life.

My quest will be to show this album to as many people as I can... to inspire them to retrieve their precious memories from the computer.  Remember the thought provoking saying "Memory Keeping begins with the printed photo..." This is the essence of it. Images on a computer are at risk - both to computer crashes and to changing technology. The best way to preserve an image is to have something that you can hold in your hands.

Want to take a peek at this album all done?

Karen's 2008 Year in Review Album

Want to make your own version?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

year-in-review album.

You know the story... my hard drive crashed... I woke up to the pitfalls of cyberspace... my 2013 goal is getting my precious photos off my computer and into our lives...  

It was 2008 when I stopped printing my pictures, so it is 2008 where I am starting.  The ONLY way I can manage this large task is using the "YEAR-IN-REVIEW ALBUM" concept.  8 pages per month gives me a 100 page album (give or take).  The other part that makes this manageable for me is PREDESIGNED PAGES.  Specifically Wedding Gallery 12x12 and Photo-A-Day 12x12.

(This layout is from Photo-A-Day 12x12. I used it to celebrate the completion of Abby's traditional 
BABY BOOK, which she received for her college graduation!)

I am half way through 2008 and love the result.  Mostly because I am getting it done.  Please check out the book in progress with the link below:
Karen's YEAR IN REVIEW Album

The layouts in Wedding Gallery and Photo A Day are so valuable in my opinion that I am going to recommend that if you do not already have them, you head straight to my web site to do some shopping.  (Ordering hints can be found in an earlier post.)
Wedding Gallery 12x12 Predesigned Pages
Photo a Day 12x12 Predesigned Pages

The cover and first page options are one of the best features of the Photo A Day package. The collage effect is fabulous!

I am giddy happy about having a plan for the photos presently stored inside a metal box called my computer.   I have my work cut out for me, but I am up for the task - thanks to a "Year-In-Review" plan and some great predesigned page layouts.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

iSay backup your iPhone pics.

This post is nothing more than a simple reminder to BACK UP YOUR PHONE PHOTOS and VIDEOS.  More and more we are capturing treasured photographs with our phones... and they are hanging over a dark precipice when they are not backed up in some other place.

Attach your phone to your computer with the USB cord. Open Memory Manager / Library tab / Get Media / the Camera or Phone.  Then GET PHOTOS.  I recommend putting phone photos in a separate vault.  (Select NEW MEMORY VAULT on the Start Menu.)

Connect your phone to your computer with USB cord.  Click on COMPUTER / then  PORTABLE DEVICE.  After selecting your PHONE, click on INTERNAL STORAGE / then DCIM folder.  Find the folders with VIDEOS in them - which are distinguished with the black film edges.  Select them and add to a FOLDER on your desktop (or wherever).  I then RENAMED each one because some of these are my new favorite movies - like "Splash, Splash, Splash" featuring Eleanor Grace. 

Then open Memory Manager / Library tab / Get Media - and go to your new video folder and GET VIDEOS.  Did you know that Memory Manager stores your video images too?  Yep.  It is THE BEST!

where are my vaults?

Another favorite feature of our Memory Manager software is that I can have NUMEROUS vaults to house my photo collection.  For me, this means that the hundreds (and thousands?) of before & after pictures we took during our house renovation are in their own vault, which I call THE DREAM HOUSE.  This means that when I take photos of OTHER people's families and weddings and sporting events, they are housed in their own vault. 

I also recommend keeping your phone photos in their own vault.  I love the convenience of my iPhone camera and treasure the pics I can snap on a whim, but I personally don't like having these low-resolution pics in the same place with my "good camera" pics.  The point is: YOU HAVE CHOICES.  Use them.

Where are your vaults? They are on your hard drive - or on the C: drive of your computer.  And it is handy if you record the exact "address" on your computer.  I keep a list of all my Memory Manager Vault locations in a file folder at my desk for easy reference.

Or how about this?  When in MM, select OPEN VAULT on the Home Page or Start Menu to view a listing of your recently used vaults.  Then snap a photo with your phone!  Vault Address List DONE.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

want fast? try auto-fill.


Want to get your photos in an album REALLY FAST?  Do you have 30 minutes to try?

For speed and ease, try the AUTO-POPULATE feature of your StoryBook Creator software.  Did you know that you can select a predesigned template - and the software will automatically put your photos in the album if you select this feature?  Yes, it is true.  I decided to try it out for myself.  To be honest I had resisted the concept in the past because I did not like any of the templates available.  They were too fussy and over-decorated for my taste.  But that has changed.  I have three favorites now:

My mom is turning 81 next week and I know that a photo album is the best gift I can give. Since I was short on time I thought I would try letting the software do the work for me. AND IT DID. I am amazed at the outcome.   I selected 116 photos from the 838 I took on our trip to France in 2007 for this album.  (This took 20 minutes.)  Then I started.  I opened my SBC software and followed the prompts:  CREATE NEW PROJECT / STORYBOOK / 12x12 HARDCOVER / then selected the SIMPLE LIFE template. My next option was to ADD PHOTOS - which I did. And then all I had to do was select the YES button for "Do you want your photos automatically placed on the pages in the project?"

After hitting the YES button I ran to the kitchen to grab a cookie.  When I came back my photos were in the album - like magic!   I could technically have printed the album just as it came out, but I wanted to add some text boxes for stories.  There was also a few places where the "auto-fill" left a blank or gray photo box because my selected photo did not fit the format.  I just want back into Memory Manager and picked another photo that was the right shape for the job.  I spent just over an hour filling in the stories - and boom! this birthday album was ready to order. Want to take a look?

Each 20 page Predesigned Template album holds approximately 100 photos.  If you have more photos than that, it will automatically add more pages.  Note: Use the 12x12 format even if you want to print an 8x8 size.  It gives you more options at ordering time.

If you have heard yourself say "I don't have time"... Auto-Populate might be your new best friend.

Monday, February 11, 2013

make a goal calendar!

Just finished one of the most fun projects I have ever made --- and I am jazzed to help you make one for yourself.  I believe that WRITTEN GOALS are one of the most forces in the universe, and this 'visual goal' reminder takes that to a whole new level.  This $14.99 Calendar could change your life!
It is a 4 x 10 size on a spiral that can sit up on your desk in a prominent place.  Your goals can be up-close-and-visible throughout the year.

The starting point is taking out a piece of paper and WRITING down your GOALS for 2013.  Just write or even scribble.  This is the start of defining how you want to spend your year!  If you have already documented your 2013 goals, grab the list.

1. From your written list of 2013 GOALS, select 12 things to be represented on your calendar.

2. Now (the fun part!) capture this goal in photo. Collect them in a file folder in MM.
3. Now you can start the actual calendar! Open STORYBOOK CREATOR. Select NEW PROJECT / then CALENDARS / then DESK CALENDARS.
You can click on FREE 2013 CALENDAR TEMPLATES if you have not done so already.
Select the BLANK PAGES option in the project set up. Name it 2013 GOALS DESK CALENDAR and you are off.
4. Start filling the calendar and having some fun!
Here is a link to my 2013 GOALS Desk Calendar:
To see the shared Calendars Karen Blanc shared with you, simply follow this link:

I started by changing the FONTS because I am a font freak and cannot live with Verdana, which is the default font. I don't recommend taking time for this because the mantra for this calendar is "Done is better than perfect. Done is better than creative." And let's just get it on our desk before February is over!

 But if you want to - Left Click anyplace on the actual calendar grid, then select FORMAT CALENDAR. You can change the fonts or the layout or the colors or any sort of thing. Just read the screen and follow the options.

Because "Remembering my girlfriends' birthdays" is one of my goals, you will notice that I added names to my calendar grid. To add text to your calendar, left click over the square you want to write in, then click on CALENDAR CONTENTS / then EDIT CALENDAR CELLS. Write in the text box with whatever you want to say.

 Word of caution:
These boxes are very, very small and hold a minimal amount of writing. If your text is "too big" for the spot, remember that you can change the font size to something smaller by selecting FORMAT CALENDAR, then DATE STYLE (like in Optional A above).

What I want you to remember:  CM Calendars are AMAZING and anybody can figure them out without any instructions by just DOING IT. If you can read, you can do it. Have FUN! These calendars will be a powerful encouragement in our lives to take us where we want to go... and become who we want to be!



Friday, February 8, 2013

favorite fonts.

You are looking at the list of fonts that I use most with my photo projects.  Here is a basic how-to for installing new fonts to your computer - which means new fonts for your StoryBook Creator projects.

1. Go to a web site that offers free fonts - like or (There are dozens of options and thousands of fonts!)

2. DOWNLOAD your favorite (or some of my favorites!) to the DESKTOP of your computer.

3. Once downloaded, click on your new font and select EXTRACT. Now it is ready to join your other fonts.

4. Under your CONTROL PANEL, open your FONT FOLDER.

5. Now just DRAG the new (extracted) font into your FONT FOLDER. Voila.


TrueType Fonts are the ones recognized by your StoryBook Creator software.

When working on a StoryBook (digital) album, I recommending using two fonts - one for the main text and another for page titles.  Too many fonts in a project can be distracting.

Happy FONT-ing!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

hard drive protection.

"If you have not had a hard drive crash, you will."  Photographer Nick Kelsh

The cold, hard fact is that hard drive crashes happen.  And it is inevitable that it will happen to you. 

I got a new computer 3 1/2 years ago.  At the beginning of December I was thinking to myself how wonderful it was that my computer was running so fast & so efficiently.  Two days later the hard drive crashed.  The black screen with primitive white letters was horrifying.  I thought I was above this sort of thing.  I care too much about my photographs, my memories and my stories... somehow I  thought that would translate through cyberspace and protect me.  Didn't my computer know that part of me would die if I lost my photo collection?  Right or wrong, it is my reality.

While I tried to remain calm & collected while my computer genius worked to retrieve my photos & data, the reality was that I was a hot mess for several weeks.  Mike sweetly asked "Could we take more precautions with back-ups to prevent this from ever happening again??? Please."

I have an external hard drive that I use faithfully to back up my photo collection through the Shadow Copy feature in my Memory Manager Software.  It is one of my favorite features of MM because it makes back-up simple & fast with the touch of a button... But low and behold, I had been getting an error message which indicated that my external hard drive was full and thus the backup could not be completed.  With the Holiday Home Tour fast approaching I decided to "take care of it later".   This realization made the CRASH even more painful.  The 33,000 photos in my personal vault were not backed up.

My story did end happily.  After three weeks of data retrieval efforts, Andrew my computer guy - now best friend, was able to restore all my data and all my digital images - with the exception of maybe two images.  I can live with two.

My Bottom Line:
I have emerged from this with a new fervor about what I do.  I feel even more passionate about teaching my Digital Diva classes and helping people get their photos OFF THEIR COMPUTERS AND INTO THEIR LIVES.  I felt first hand how precariously our photographic images are dangling in cyberspace.  I have a renewed commitment to get my own photos printed in some form for posterity - be it StoryBook albums, calendars, photo panels or printed photographs in a photo album or even in a box.

Andrew's Hard Drive Tips
Andrew Cullen of Novus Computers was the guest speaker at my January Digital Diva Classes.  He brought a hard drive for us to look at and explained all the moving parts.  Our brains were bursting with technology by the end of the evening but here is a summary of what we learned.

It is best to have your hard drive only half full - or less.
Many of us make the mistake of filling our C: Drives to full capacity. Mine was at 97% when my crash happened.  Keeping your hard drive around 50% capacity helps keep the drive defragmented, and as a result your computer will run faster.

There are 4 ways to back-up your Hard Drive - and 3 of them are good options.
1.  CDs or DVDs
This is an option that is almost obsolete and not a durable choice.  But years ago burning photos & data to CDs was what we did.  Andrew explained that there are two kinds of CDs: Pressed Disc and Burnable CDs.  If you buy the soundtrack to LesMiserables or watch the movie Toy Story 3, you will have pressed layers of plastic & film that provide a more durable product than the Burnable CDs you  buy at Staples for backing up your photos. The single layer of plastic with burnable film is much more prone to scratches and deterioration, giving it a shelf life of less than 5 years.

And with my 650 Gigabytes of photos & data, Andrew estimated that it would take about 685 CDs every time I backed up.   Now that is funny!

2. External Hard Drive
Everyone should have an External Hard Drive.  It provides one of the fastest means of recovery. Andrew recommends backing up your data every other week.  Like I mentioned, Memory Manager software helps make this easier.  Under the PROTECT tab, select the SHADOW COPY option.  Since you choose the location of your SHADOW COPY, select whatever drive you plug your External Hard Drive into.  Using an External Hard Drive with my Memory Manager software is a good option for me because it is my PHOTOS that have my highest value of anything on my computer. Since I use Memory Manager so often, it is easy to remember to SHADOW COPY every time I add a collection of photos.

External Hard Drives cost between $100-$250 depending on the storage size - and this is a one time cost.

A couple things to remember: An External Hard Drive has the same components as a Hard Drive on your computer, so it is prone to failure as well.  At one time I viewed an External Hard Drive like the "black box" on an airplane - indestructible & durable even tumbling thousands of feet out of the sky.  Not true.  It is a delicate piece of equipment that could be damaged if it fell off the table. 
If some catastrophic event happened to your home and wiped out your computer, chances are your External Hard Drive would be toast as well.

3. Network Attached Storage
"NAS Box" for short, this is a popular solution for small businesses - and maybe people who have crazy-big digital photo collections.  It is like having your own server or "your own personal cloud"right in your home.  It interfaces with all the computers in your house and manages multiple drives.  One cool benefit is that you can access files from your main computer to other electronic devices in your house.  For example,  I could sit downstairs on the sofa in front of the fireplace with my lap top or iPhone and access data on my main computer in my office.

The cost of setting up a Network Attached Storage System is around $500 - but it is a one time cost.  Again, if your house was wiped out, your NAS Box would be too.

4. Offsite Online Storage - like CARBONITE
When you download a purchased subscription, all your data and photos are uploaded to a safe & secure storage "cloud".  I am going to talk about CARBONITE because it was one of the first and is one of the most well-respected Offsite Online Storage companies... and my new best friend Andrew the computer guy recommends it.  If you have more questions, you can even email him at

I am personally thrilled to know about this option.  There are 3 very reasonable service plans which will systematically and continually back up everything on your computer 24/7.  All your data is fully encrypted (which means that it cannot be intercepted en route to the storage site) and all the storage in right here in the USA.   The means for $60 - $150 a year (or $5 - $12.50 per month) all of your precious photos & data can live off site in a "cloud" as a safe BACK UP - and it all happens automatically. Ahhhhhhh.

As soon as I got my restored computer back into my hands, I ran a SHADOW COPY on a new, bigger External Hard Drive - and I started a CARBONITE subscription.  With the massive data files I mentioned, my Carbonite backup should be complete when my asparagus heads pop up in the spring! Andrew said that for a 'normal person' the complete backup should take a couple days. Ha.

The cost of a CARBONITE subscription is:
Home Package  $60 per year (24/7 backup of unlimited data)
Home Plus  $100 per year (includes backup of external hard drives + mirror backup)
Home Premium $150 per year (all the above + courier service to deliver recovered data to your door!) I picked this one. 
Remember that this is an annual cost.  One of the sweetest benefits of Offsite Online Storage is that if the catastrophic event wiped out your computer and home, your photos & data would be safe and sound.

This is a lot of information to absorb but THIS IS IMPORTANT STUFF.  When your hard drive crashes, I want you to be in a better place than I was.  Make a plan today for backing up your computer hard drive.  And don't put it off.

Fell free to share this blog / link with anyone and everyone who might need it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

how to order.

I admit that navigating the purchase of digital embellishments can seem complicated.  But I would like to share a few simple suggestions to help you chart a fun shopping experience.

1. Go to my web site at

2. I recommend viewing digital artwork at the HELPZONE first - before actually shopping. In this PDF format you can make informed shopping decisions because you can see every paper and every embellishment and every word in each kit. You can even print them out for ready reference.  (This is what I do!)

Scroll to the bottom of the opening page of my web site.
Go to HELPZONE, then click on DIGITAL ARTWORK.

Simply click on the PDF of your choice to see the kits upclose & personal.
Print off the ones you love - and maybe the ones you might want. You can study the contents to help you decide what to purchase.

You have heard me say it, and I will state it again here:
Some kits are not worth buying, and then there are others you cannot live without.  Please check out my new favorite MUST-HAVE digital embellishments.

Nordic Christmas Digital Kit
Cakes & Candles Digital Additions
Cakes & Candles Digital Kit
*Tropical Tiki Digital Kit
*PS I Love You Digital Embellishments
*PS I Love You Digital Kit
*Happy Birthday Digital Embellishments

*Brand New This Month

3. When you find something you want to own, head back to the top of my web page and select SHOP ONLINE / then DIGITAL SOLUTIONS.

I think it is easiest to type the full kit name in the SEARCH BAR in the upper right corner. The kit you want will pop right up.  You can also find your favorites by clicking on the Category and scrolling down to your choice.

4. Remember to select the STORYBOOK CREATOR option rather than UNIVERSAL. With the SBC option the embellishments go straight into your software upon purchase - so easy!

5. Add any embellishemnts you want to your cart! This is the SHOPPING part!

6. It will ask for your email for your CM Digital Center account - this is so that your new embellishments will go straight to your computer and into your SBC software.  (If you don't have an account yet, you can follow the prompts and do it then.)

7. Then follow the prompts to check out! No shipping charges. No crowds. No parking issues.

8. You will receive a confirmation email with download links and actvation codes.

Wishing you smooth sailing on your next digital shopping spree!

these are a few of my favorite things.

About a year ago I made a list of my very, very favorite digital embellishments.  These are the kits that I find myself using over and over again on my digital StoryBooks, calendars, cards and photo panels.  When my Digital Divas ask me, I tell them that they NEED these to survive.

I think it is time to post the 'old favorites' list again. 

My challenge to you is to discover your own favorites.

I will list mine to help you acquire a collection of digital embellishments that you love...
I added a *star* to my super hero favorites.

Earthy Serenity Digital PP Kit
Tie the Knot Digital Addition*
Save the Date Digital Addition*
Fabulous Baby Girl Arrival Digital Addition
Rugged Baby Boy Arrival Digital Addition
Cheerful Christmas Digital Addition*
Cheerful School Digital Addition
Jewel Christmas Digital PP Kit
Romance Digital Power Palette
Distressed Digital Embellishments
Digital Embellishments - Elements
Vintage Romance Sewing Room Digital Embellishments
Digital Embellishments - Sewing Room Stitches
Digital Embellishments - Office Supplies II
Digital Embellishments - Doodles
Dress It Up Digital Embellishments
Fabulous Milestones Digital Embellishments
Digital Embellishments - Frames & Borders*
Cheerful Digital Power Palette*
Fabulous Digital Power Palette
Very Merry Digital Kit
Vintage Romance Digital Kit