Category Archives: Photo Solutions

Making Space and Giving Gifts

The topic of downsizing and purging is going to continuously come up here. On that thought, I mentioned to one of my friends that I wanted to donate excess scrapbooking supplies specifically where it would be used, not sold. As a former Creative Memories Consultant, I could try selling to other CMCs, and I have. A group of border makers that I had were “hot items” at the time I decided to sell, and the page coordinator even assisted me. Those were relatively small, and I could mail them in a manila envelope for about three dollars. Although I took time to post more items for sale, they were ignored or I discovered that I would need a lot of bigger boxes, and it would take more time than it was worth it to me. What seemed to move was when a “wanted” item was posted, and you had to pay attention and be first to comment or possibly be the closest in proximity. I tried a garage sale, too, and that didn’t go far, so I stored everything the best that I could.

20160814_190118-1.jpgIt turned out that the friend I mentioned the wish to has a sister who crafts all the time. She has rheumatoid arthritis, and to keep her fingers moving, she makes cards, journals, and much more. My friend connected me to his sister, and we chatted on the phone. I not only believed them both about the supplies going to good use, I was excited. By going through what I have (and there may be more that I haven’t found yet) I already made more space in my apartment, with the pile of items placed by the door. On top of that. we all win – it made my friend feel good to connect us, it made his sister feel good to have more supplies than she could ever afford, and it made me feel good to give it away and make space. My friend’s sister is not going away, though. We are now friends, and she offered that anytime I want to spend a day crafting to let her know. This is HUGE. I haven’t had the space to do much in the last couple of years. Also, since the end of my consultant days, I haven’t had many friends who have time and want to craft together. In summary, new friend, more space at home, new chances to craft and I will have access to tools that I gave away. Can you feel the excitement?

20160814_115410.jpgMy next big “picture” project related to downsizing has to do with magnetic albums. I have around 15 books that are 100 pages each, or about a year’s worth of time. These albums are sitting on a shelf up high in the kitchen. Not only are these albums bad for pictures, that’s too many to convert. On top of that, the layout never stays the same. I photographed the pages of the books I previously took apart, and have come up with a new idea – short videos. With a video, I can do a narration and it’ll be like a home movie, then I can dump them faster and preserve what I can. Stay tuned!




Boot Camp Part III: The Graduation Album

2013-06-09 12.08.19

As you may have guessed from seeing the bonfire pictures in the Bonding by Bonfire post, there was more than burning photographs happening. Someone was taking pictures that evening. I actually lent my camera after asking ahead of time, and didn’t know what I was going to see until they were downloaded. I already had a “Fast to Fabulous” type book for graduation from Creative Memories. The idea of that book was to put everything together, fast.

I started with the celebration at school that was a couple of nights before the big ceremony.

2013-06-09 12.04.49

Then included pages with pictures taken while waiting and during the ceremony.

2013-06-09 12.04.19

2013-06-09 12.07.15

Next was the celebration with family, and later (not shown here), with friends:

2013-06-09 12.07.57

Finally, was the bonfire celebration:

2013-06-09 12.09.01

If it took longer than the hour it was only because I had many, many, many more pictures than the expected layouts for this book and didn’t stick to the format. Overall, a pretty fast process, considering. It is nice when albums are themed or designed to accomodate several. The cover of this one was a sparkly black and could have been used for a wedding, graduation, or anything similar.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading (and commenting!)

Karaoke Page

2013-06-28 22.58.09

I’ve talked about karaoke a lot. This post, though, is about What’s on My Walls and Shelves. All the decorations I have mean something to me, and most are photographs. At the time I originally hung up pictures, the most important groups were the MI Jaycees, my “Pit Crew” and high school classmates. The people and friends from these groups have been the central part of my life at one time or another, and the general connections are important even when the focus has changed. It was that importance, though, which inspired me to make the pages. Karaoke was also a high focus for awhile. As mentioned in Taking Chances, I had already been participating in karaoke with one group of friends when they discovered a new place and I became hooked. The place doesn’t exist anymore and I don’t see the same people simultaneously, if at all, anymore. We’ve not only scattered, some seem to disappear, and I have met new people as karaoke has continued. Since the bottom line is that the people are important to me, I thought it fitting to make a new page for my wall.


Yesterday I loaded supplies and pictures into my backpack and headed to one of the local cafes. I had to order a few more pictures, which I picked up in the evening. Hopefully, I didn’t forget anyone since the page is crammed. A couple of friends included are ones I knew the entire time. One would not participate in karaoke and the other did, and both supported where I hung out at (and still do) for karaoke. Sometimes I met someone through karaoke friends who didn’t participate. Others have moved away or dropped out of going. I decided that whether or not I presently see them, they were important enough for me to include. I wonder what I’ll think about when I look at the collage page five or 10 years from now.

2013-06-29 15.07.30

Luckily, I had an extra frame. In debating on which wall to hang it up, it didn’t seem right to add a 4th frame. I wanted it more at eye level and that would’ve made it up above. It is the TV (which I hardly ever use) that is below, and, I think, enough space for adding a second frame next to it. Interestingly, I am starting to see more of my MBA classmates since graduating. They may be next!

What do you think? How do you decorate?

Thanks for reading (and commenting)!

One Day at a Time


One popular photo project in the last several years has been a “year in review” type where the object is to get a photo a day. I first tried this in 2012, using a specific digital layout from Creative Memories. The end result was a hardcover book from all the digital pages. It wasn’t easy to get a photo everyday, either. Although I tend to take lots of pictures, I don’t necessarily think of a reason everyday. It was fun to put together and I kept up with it fairly well, usually not having to catch up more than a couple of months. I decided it would be my “yearbook” for 2012, and since the fun of school yearbooks was autographs from friends, that’s what I did with this one. I even had a friend ask if writing “Have a Good Summer” was ok (this was back in February). Yes! Of course! Lol!

2012 Year in Review - Page 002

It took a little while to decide whether or not to continue the trend for 2013. I decided to do it, this time as custom album pages. The advantage of using a new template in this format (all through Creative Memories), was that I didn’t have to wait until the end of the year to have a whole book printed. Since these pages have been on sale in May, I have finished and printed through the beginning of March (and have incentive to do 10 more pages through part of May) and am already enjoying the results. Custom album pages fit in a traditional coverset, and I own enough empty ones to not have to spend anything additional. I may add white pages for autographs again. I was also debating on including my calendar pages. The pictures will be 2012 and the calendar is 2013, which would give a reference that way. The answer is still tbd.

Year 2013

Have you ever tried or seen this project? What do you think of it? I’ve heard about variations, such as weekly or monthly highlights.

What have you taken a picture of today?

Thanks for reading (and commenting)!

Boot Camp Part II: The Picfolio Project

2013-05-17 13.51.18

In Boot Camp Part I, I explained the concept of boot camp, the project I decided to work on first, and the type of album being used. Since I didn’t have four hours in a row to devote, I worked on it for an hour or so over a few days.

My intention was to place the pictures in chronological order, as best as I could, and that was how I sorted the envelopes. It turned out that the contents didn’t necessarily match the date, so instead of chronological they were grouped by topic. Sometimes the topic was a holiday and sometimes it might have been a person. This page shows some of my favorite pictures taken when I was about five and a half years old:

2013-05-18 21.36.07

The end result? It took about 3 hours of work and I LOVE it! I added journaling for the identification of people and event, as needed. Other than that, and some fillers for extra slots, I kept it really simple. Plus, this format works well in case anyone wants to make any copies. Although I did save negatives, it will be easier and faster to make scanned copies of pictures. Also, the un-photo-safe box is gone, along with most of the envelopes, which fits the downsizing I’ve been doing.

I can’t wait to show my brother and anyone else who will agree to look at this with me.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading (and commenting)!

Boot Camp Part I: Choosing a Project

2013-05-15 14.13.12

One of my biggest projects right now is downsizing and purging what I don’t need in my house. With that thought in mind, I decided the box of pictures from my mom, basically of my childhood, would be a good boot camp project. The idea of boot camp is to have the minimal necessary supplies: album, pages, pictures, adhesive, and a trimmer. With 150-200 organized photos, the idea is an album will be COMPLETED in 4 hours. Yes, really. In order to be able to better teach the method to people, I am trying it first.

2013-05-15 14.12.51

My choice for an album is going to be the Shine 11×14 Picfolio from Creative Memories.

2013-05-15 14.12.05

Each page has multiple slots where I can slide the pictures into, or paper for journaling.

2013-05-15 14.13.32

Want to know what the pictures in the envelopes look like? Stay tuned!

Does this sound like something you would try? What do you think?

Thanks for reading (and commenting)!

Just Cause, Part Two

The story continues from Just Cause, Part One, with a similar theme: a community event that is a breast cancer awareness fundraiser. Last year I lead a work team for the American Cancer Society Making Strides event. Since I was planning on being the team captain, I attended the kickoff breakfast. One of the speakers included a dance instructor who was a survivor. She told us about her inspiration for choreographing a dance to perform before the main event. Since dancing is one of my favorite things to do (anyone reading this who knows me personally is probably rolling his/her eyes) I jumped on the opportunity and sent my email request to participate. We ended up with a group of 50 women and performed in front of an estimated  crowd of 4000+ people. What a thrill!

I wasn’t the only one who loved it. This year, Miss Diane was invited back and rehearsals have been scheduled. I already attended one and look forward to seeing new friends at future rehearsals and encouraging others who also like to dance and are interested in the cause to be a part of this. For more information about the main event, click here. Although I am not a team captain this year and I am not fundraising specifically for this event (I will donate), if you are interested in donating, search for the “Dancing Queens” team.

Contact me or follow the link here for more information on the photo pages pictured in Just Cause, Part One or Two.

How have you participated in similar community events?

Thank you for reading!

We are Family

For over a year, I had been anticipating the Creative Memories National Showcase event. It was going to be more than learning about new products (although that was certainly important!). What I was looking forward to the most was reconnecting with my friends and meeting more. It started with my Unit. Similar to a family tree, we were all a part of the same “branch.”

Last year when Jessica and I attended the same event, we worked really hard at networking to be able to help me connect to others locally – at least within a two or three hour driving distance. It worked! And I met more people within their unit “branches.”

The fun really does not stop there. I met more consultants than who I have pictured, as we waited in line, among other places.

The Home Office gets involved in the networking, too, especially the co-founder of Creative Memories.

Sometimes I met people because we liked being goofy.

We wouldn’t have a reason to be there without the interest from our friends and customers (sometimes the same) in what we do.

If you would like to know more about the page prints or the company, please email me or comment here. How would your pages look? 

Thanks for reading!


I’ve discussed classmates from college, family, and people I knew growing up.  For the most part, rare visits are expected because we are not directly a part of each others’ lives anymore. Family could be the exception since time spent together would tend to be more often. The story today is about a semi-recent group of friends.

Four years ago while looking for chances to network, I was pointed in the direction of the Kalamazoo Jaycees. I met a ton of people in the area and around the state over the next couple of years. You see, the clincher was that I was turning 39 and the general member ages out when s/he turns 41. Sometimes it is tough because I cannot be involved how I want to anymore and have found new groups and continue to pursue areas of interest. On the other side, these are my friends. Most of them live in the area or at least in the state. I want to be able to see them to share stories and be supportive.

Here is how the rest of it goes:

I loved chairing projects. My very first one was a Coloring Party, featuring the author of the coloring book:

Shortly after that, I had my first state convention experience, where one of the awards I earned for the chapter was for the Coloring Party project:

This turned out to be a trend, and the start of a friendship.

The convention experience did not slow down and I continued to hang out with those in the same Region family while meeting more people from other parts of the state, and sometimes out-of-state visitors:

My enthusiasm may have helped convince a friend and her daughter to check out convention:

After awhile, going out as friends became a part of the routine. These groups were together for Art Hop, and in the first picture it also happened to be my birthday weekend, which made it special:

I find it interesting that “before my time” there were actually double the members pictured here named “Dave.”

Another project that surprisingly included male and female members was Craft Night. It was based on the participant’s choice, within the setting of the room we were in:

I also had the chance to lead a group to visit lighthouses.

One of my all-time favorite projects that I continue to support is Ghosts of Kalamazoo. This is a celebraton at the end of a tour night:

As I continued to attend convention, I took on a role of trainer. One of the trainings was based on a shorter version of my original Coloring Party project. I discovered later that a participant had transferred to Kalamazoo! (I knew she looked familiar!)

The fun did not end when my membership eligibility did. After moving, I decided to host a “housewarming game night” and most of the people pictured I met because of the Jaycees. We had more people than room around the table playing Scattegories!

Which brings me to what happened recently at convention. I missed most of the original excitement and came in time for the celebration:

These pictures, believe it or not, only represent a sample of those who I know. In fact, someone new to the convention shown above noticed that I greeted people coming into the room and commented on how many I knew. It was great seeing the bigger family of friends and I am grateful for the local ones. They have made the journey worthwhile.

What’s your story?

Thanks for reading!

Hidden Treasures

Has it ever happened to you that while you are looking for one thing, you come across other items that  you had forgotten about? For whatever reason, this happens to me all of the time. Today, for example, I was looking for a space to place some items on a shelf, and started rearranging when I rediscovered a (mini)  power sort box of pictures.  This particular box had a section of pictures from when I was an undergraduate in college and the main group of dorm friends I hung out with during the first two years. We remained friends after that, only not as close since we did not live in the same building and we graduated (or not) at different times.

For two years, during the fall and winter semesters, my friends and I had to find Sunday night dinner on our own since the cafeteria was not open. A favorite place when we ventured out was an area park, and it was convenient to choices of fast food restaurants. I have a group shot from sophomore year:

Since it was at a park, that also meant we could check out the amenities such as swinging on the tires:

Or walking across rocks in the pond:

And, of course, feeding the ducks:

Within the same box of pictures, I found more from a trip to a mill. Four of us went:

Here’s another swing:

A covered wagon:

and one friend warming up by the fire:

I am planning on putting all of the college photos into one book. For the moment, they will remain in the same divider in the box until I decide which album I am going to put them in.

What have you found lately?

Please comment here.