Thursday, July 30, 2009


While Santa is on vacation, I have been working to give you tips and ideas to make your Christmas especially creative this year.
This is the last chance at getting all your publishing at BUY 3 GET the 4rth FREE and I am going to be up late for you so that nobody gets lost!
Check out all the ideas that I have been sharing with you this month, and think to the one you want to use for your family and friends.
Leave a comment, send me an email or call me, and I will help you get started with the packages that are just for you!
You have until 10 p.m. EST on Friday July 31st, then this offer will be gone! HURRY!!!!
This are the ideas I have shared with you this month:
Keep it simple or spice it up!
Family favorite recipe book

Mini calendar mania
Not your usual gift tags
Storybooking for healing
Kids idea: let's learn!
Let's play!
A very special calendar
Personalized greeting cards
Picture CD with CD cover
Family reunion ideas

The best gift you can give is the gift of YOU!
Since you cannot be there 24/7, these ideas will help you give your dear ones something that will continually remind them how important they are to you. It will be almost as if you were there telling them I LOVE YOU exactly when they need it!

Come get inspired!

Christmas in July idea: Keep it Simple or Spice it up!

What's your style?

If you are someone that likes keeping everything simple, and believes that less is better, then the BASIC membership is for you!
It is simple, it is FREE, and it allows you up to 2GB of free photo storage!

If you like to embellish everything, if you can't help but add a little touch here and there, if you enjoy playing with pictures, then the Premier membership is your perfect match!
What can you do with 40000+ digital scrapbooking elements, hundreds of completely modifiable templates and unlimited photo storage?
Seems like heaven, doesn't it?

Here is an example of what you can create with BASIC

and how you can spice up the same project using the embellishments available with Premier membership.

I chose a canvas template from the template gallery, I changed the text and the pictures and in a couple minutes my simple canvas was created. Wanting to spice it up, I used the premier embellishments, changing the backgrounds, using an artsy initial and framing it. A couple swirls, et voila', my upgraded version of the basic project.

I found a 12x12 page clock really cute for any crafting project, and I decided to show you the basic version too. Imagine it completed with your family pictures: which would fit best your style?

One last example.
I took a couple pages from the Simple Simon template that you can find in the template gallery, dragged and dropped my kids pictures, put a little border on each of them, changed the text and added a title, and it really turned out cute!
Wanting to spice it up, I searched for some beach themed embellishments, which is so easy to find with the search tool in the Studio 3.0 editor, and dragged and dropped the ones I chose. This is the end result:What do you think?

So, your choice, simple or spiced up, you can do it with Heritage Makers!!!

With the incredible BUY 3 GET the 4rth FREE Christmas in July deal, you can make have fun with as many projects as you like and not have to break your wallet! Hurry, you have only 1 day left to take advantage of these incredible deals!!!

Call me or email me and I will be happy to help you get started on all your wonderful Christmas projects! And don't forget to ask me about the premier deal for this month! You won't believe how inexpensive it is to set your creativity free!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Christmas in July idea: Favorite family recipes book

So you think you can cook?
Why not share your talent with family and friends? Why not preserve those precious family recipes for generations to come and collect them in a beautiful and practical spiral bound book?
It is so easy and fun to create a cookbook with the Studio 3.0 software that you might not want to stop!

I am creating a cookbook with my own recipes, mostly Italian, learned over the years or just created out of the blue, that have become my family favorites.

I keep joking(seriously;)) that when my boys are grown up and become "wedding material", any girl that comes to my house will be presented with the cookbook and if, and only when they can cook my recipes, they can seriously date my sons, and eventually get married!

I dream of my grandchildren cooking my recipes, of my traditions being kept even when I will be gone, and this makes creating my cookbook even more meaningful and important.

The most difficult part for me is getting to use cups and tablespoons, as I am used to just cook as it goes, but I am really appreciating it as my husband can use my recipes when I am sick, instead of continually putting together PB&J or cheese sandwiches, which is what happen during my last difficult pregnancy.
It also helps when I get one of my "brain fart moments" and for some reason I can't remember what is missing in the dish I am preparing.
Since I have told my family and friends about the cookbook, I have had so many of them asking for a copy, so this looks like a great opportunity to share my culinary talents with my loved ones!

Creating your favorite recipes cookbook might be the best gift you have ever given to yourself or your dear ones, and you can be assured that is going to be cherished for years to come...
And when your family grows, it is a gift you can give any time to new family members, for Christmas, as a wedding gift, as a house warming gift or any other occasion. Your project will be stored in your account forever and you will be able to print more copies anytime!
Remember, with the BUY 3 GET the 4rth FREE Christmas in July deal, you can make copies for anyone on your Christmas list and save money and time! Or you can create a pasta recipes book, and a vegetable recipes book and a dessert recipes book, anything you feel like! Only 2 days left to take advantage of these incredible deals!!!
Call me or email me and I will be happy to help you get started on all your wonderful Christmas projects!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Christmas in July idea: minicalendar mania!

Sometimes the smaller the gift, the better. If the gift is also useful, well, you just made somebody's day... or should I say year?

How about some cute mini calendars with sweet (or crazy, or serious...) family pictures, for your dear one to cherish all year long and also use when needed?

You can use a 3 fold family foldout as a desk calendarYou can use a 7 fold :

or you can use the playing card format, for a wallet size calendar(or even desktop if you use a business card holder.

You can also create timeless birthday calendars, listing pictures and birth dates in a greeting card format or a poster, or have fun creating a daily planner like this.

If you want to go a little bigger you can use a 8x8 page or a 8.5x11.5 or even use a poster. Get a nice frame, et voila', a great gift for the whole family! And with the BUY 3 GET the 4rth FREE Christmas in July deal, you can make as many copies as you need and save a ton! Only 3 days left to take advantage of these incredible deals!!!
Call me or email me and I will be happy to help you get started on all your wonderful Christmas projects!

Christmas in July idea: Not your usual gift tag!

Every Christmas I assist to the family ritual of picking the gift under the tree, reading the tag, ripping the paper off, and then trashing everything that is not the gift.
Call me a sentimental but I think that the tag is important too! After all, it does have the name of the giver and sometimes some cute word!

Since I cannot push anybody to change this habit, I thought that the best way to "save" the tag from imminent death would be to make it more useful.
How about a tag with a picture of the giver with or without the recipient?
How about using the whole family picture in the back of the tag?
It would then become a keepsake! Using our playing card format, a tag can become a wallet photo, a bookmark, or even a wallet size calendar!

Let the gift start from the tag this year!!!!

You can get a free Publishing account by signing up at and start creating unlimited projects at once!
Love my Creative Genealogy templates and ideas
My HM club members can have their favorite template transferred to their account for personal use, or  can have it completely personalized by me for them  for a reasonable fee.
Want more for less? Check out our incredible host rewards and My Club HM!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Christmas in July gift giving idea: Storybooking for healing

Not all Holidays happen to be as happy as one wishes they could be. Some years a loss might have happened in the family that just makes someone feel sad, and sometimes it might be really hard to even just smile.
If this is your case, or you know someone in your family or among your friends that is going through a difficult time because they are mourning the loss of a loved one, there is something you can do to help them heal...
Collect as many significant pictures as you can of the departed, ask questions, write the answers down, have the ones that knew the family share their memories, and organize all this in a storybook.
Sometimes when you lose someone you don't want to talk about it, but other times you wish people wouldn't act like it never happened, like your child, your husband, your mom was forever forgotten. Having the story written on a book helps overcome the pain and the loneliness one can feel, and makes the loved one come back to life every time those pages are read, and the pictures recall happy memories.
When nothing else can comfort a grieving heart, a Storybook will be like a bridge between that deep sorrow and the possibility to smile again, knowing that the loved one is not going to be forgotten.
Whether it was a still born child, a few months or years old, a teenager, 100 years old, whether it was the child, sibling, parent, grandparent, spouse or dear friend, Storybooking their life and the impact they had on the lives of others will give a new light to everything, and help in the process of grieving and healing.

This is something dear to my heart as I lost my dad when I was 13 and I feel like I am still grieving...
This is why I am writing a card to him in which I tell him my feelings, and why he is an hero to me, while I wait to be able to talk to his side of the family who is still in Italy, my aunt and my cousins that are older than me and got to know him better, since I want to write a storybook about him, how he touched everyone's life, and the example that he has been to me.
I think I will be able to totally lift this burden from my heart when the book will be completed.

I hope my words might have inspired you, I wish I knew English better because I feel like I am at a loss of words when it comes to to express my feelings about this matter.
When I take the time to put together a book about my family, I grow a deeper love for each of them, and when I collect photos and stories about someone, I am blessed since I get to know him/her better. When the book is completed, this blessings are passed on to all the people that will open it and will be reminded of good memories or discover something new about that person.

Take time to touch your loved ones' heart, it will be the best gift you will ever give them.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Christmas in July gift giving idea for kids: let's learn!

It is always great to see our children get all excited at Christmas when they rip the paper and discover the presents they get, if only this excitement could last!
I am a fan of learning toys and since I discovered the possibilities with Heritage Makers, I have found the answer to my dilemma! I can create educational projects for my kids that will keep them entertained and excited for long time after they open their present. What's even better, they will learn something, and they will improve their self confidence.

Long time ago I found in the template gallery a template for an ABC book, and I loved it, so I created one for my children, and they love it! It has their pictures, and they can tell me the story behind them. They love showing these books to friends and family when they come over! You can have a 3D preview of the whole book here.

Seeing how much joy and enthusiasm this brought to my children induced me to create another book, a color and numbers book, which has been their new favorite since!
You can have a 3D preview of the whole book here

My youngest boy is turning 1 soon and I am creating an ABC matching game for him, it is never to early to start them on learning! I know that my other 2 boys, who are 3 and almost 5, will end up being the ones who use this cards most in the beginning, so this is going to be a gift that keeps giving! I might even order a copy for each child, to avoid any fight!;)
You can find a 3D preview of the template that I am modifying to suit my kids' needs here.

Another matter that is very important to me, is that my children speak Italian, as I was born and lived in Italy for 30 years, but I have had no luck in finding any tools to help me in this endeavor. My only choice was having to go back to Italy and get some books, which I would be the only one able to use to teach to our children, then I found this template in the template gallery, beginner Spanish flash cards, and was inspired to create a beginner Italian flash card set. Now my husband will be able to use them and learn Italian together with the kids. How cool is that!^_^
I also just found a cute ABC poster, it was a breeze to just pop my kids pictures in it, I created it while also updating the blog, timing my self: it took me 7 minutes, and could have been less if I didn't take more time trying to decide among many cute pictures of my children! I dragged and dropped the pictures, re sized some, and it was done!

You'll find many more educational ideas in the template gallery, each of them modifiable to suit your own needs!

You can also create any educational book or flash card, or poster for your children, and tailor them to your kids' individual capabilities!

My first born tends to put himself down when he doesn't succeed at first in something, so he is going to get a special book where I list all the things he can do, that he might always remember how special he is and all of his great qualities and abilities!

As you can see the ideas are endless, so don't wait!
With the wonderful  packages available each month, creating gifts for the whole family is going to be super fun and you won't have to break your budget this holiday season!
 Just give me a call or email me and I will be happy to get you started on the best gifts you can ever give to your dear ones!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another great gift giving idea: Let's play!

Don't you love how playing games seems to always bring the family together? Kids get to improve their attitude about winning/losing and it's something fun that grown-ups and kids can enjoy together.
There are some great ways to bring a fun family connection to game night - your family photos on one of our Playing Card Game Decks!
You can't go wrong with them! Kids just love seeing their faces and the faces of their family as they play their favorite card games.
And what a great gift for the grandparents - a deck of cards featuring their grandchildren!

Here are some of my favorite Card Game Templates, some found in the Heritage Makers Template Gallery, some just created by me from scratch- just click on each link to preview the whole deck:

Family Domino: this is your simple Domino, with a kick: faces instead of numbers. I had so much fun creating it from scratch!

Basic Photo Playing Cards: Sometimes, simple and easy makes the best gift! Just pop in your photos and you have a great standard card deck for all of your favorite card games - a perfect stocking stuffer! This is how some of my cards looked:

Fancy photo playing cards: If you like your playing card deck to be more elaborate, you can chose among many other templates or create a new one like I did with mine:

3 in 1 Family game - Don't you love BOGOs? Even better when you get 3 games at the price of one! With this card deck, you can play any game you would with a standard deck of cards, plus you can guess who is the person in the picture(it is up to you to make it as difficult or as easy as you like, depending on who the usual players will be) or it can start the conversation going with questions about people's dreams, memories, and more... A great way to get to know each other better or be reminded of things you "should" know!

I took the idea from a template, but decided to make it more personal changing backgrounds and embellishments. This is a project I am working on as I write!

But there is more than just using them as playing cards - combine card game decks with other Heritage Makers projects to make these fun, personalized games. Give one of these as an unforgettable gift - you'll never find it at next year's yard sale!

Family Land - Playing Cards and Poster Game Board and Family Fold Out Game Rules - Just like that other popular board game, this uses family photos instead of colors to go from square to square. Combine the card deck with a 18 x 24 poster as the game board! You can also print the rules on a Family Fold Out card.This is how mine looks:

You can really come up with any new game, you can make your own UNO game, OLD MAID, there is no limit to the creativity with our playing cards!

One of my next projects is to create the game of "SCOPA" which is a classic card game played in Italy, so that I will be able to share some more of what is part of my culture with my kids.

More ideas to come in the next days, so stay tuned!!!

I'm happy to help you create your own unique Card Game for yourself or as a gift! Just call me or email me and I can get you started. And remember with our Buy 3 get the 4th Free Christmas in July sale, you can get multiple decks of cards to give to your dear ones at an amazing price! You must purchase the credits this month to get the sale price, but you'll have plenty of time to complete your cards before the holidays! Gift giving has never been more fun!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Christmas in July idea#3: A very special calendar!

Last year my husband got a calendar as a gift. You might think it is a weird gift for a husband, but I will explain why. He never remembers a birthday!!! He has his nice notebook, his computer reminders, but he still forgets!
So, I decided to create a calendar that is very nice to look at, full of our family pictures, and I dropped a picture wherever there was a birthday or anniversary.
Now he doesn't have any excuse. The calendar is there, the pictures catch his attention, so he can't forget anybody! Yeah!
Also, my kids love looking at their own pictures on the calendar, and telling me who everybody is.
It was pretty easy making this calendar using a template! I wanted to make it more personal so I changed something here and there, but it was really a breeze!!!
You can give a look at the whole calendar here.

This year I am going to create more calendars. I am working especially on one for my mom, who lives in England with my sister while most of her brothers and sisters still live in Italy.
When she came to visit last Christmas and saw the calendar I created, she was tempted to "steal" it, and she made it pretty clear that I had to make one for her too. I told her that she would get one by the next Christmas since I didn't put all the uncles and aunts on the calendar I had already made.
Since she went back to England, she has been "kindly" reminding me about the calendar every time we talk at the phone!

Your whole family can be amazed with such a easy yet incredible gift, and what's even nicer, they will be reminded of you every time they look at it, which is practically... every day!!!^_^

And don't forget, this month calendar credits are Buy 3 Get the 4th Free, so you can easily make multiple copies for your whole family! With this sale, each calendar is only $22, which is an amazing deal for this truly unique gift! You'll see how creative you can get with the Heritage Studio Publisher - it goes well beyond what you can get with those bargain copy-shop one-size-fits-all photo calendars. It's simplicity and creativity you can only find with Heritage Makers!

You must buy your calendar credits this month to get the sale price, but you have plenty of time to create your calendar before the holidays! Call or e-mail me to order your calendar credits today!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Christmas gift giving idea #2: Sending very personalized greeting cards with our address book

Did you know that your free Heritage Makers account comes with an Address Book? It's the fast and convenient way to send your cards!

Just log in to your Heritage Makers account. From your My Studio page, click "My Account" and then at the top of the page click "Address Book". You can enter your friends and family - anyone you'd like to send a card to. Heritage Makers will directly ship any card you create to your recipient in a beautiful individually addressed envelope with your return address on it! You can send out cards individually for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary, or send out your entire batch of holiday greeting cards, all without ever having to lick a stamp! Just create your card and choose Direct Shipping when checking out - then pick your recipient(s) and off it goes!

And the best part is, your friends and family will receive a card custom designed by you - a much more personal touch than a generic greeting card!

You can include photos, artwork, and any special message you wish! You can even scan your own handwriting for cards! You can choose one of our templates from the Template Gallery to give you some creative inspiration!

This is the Holiday greeting card I sent last year to my Italian family, which I filled with family pictures and in which I shared the highlights of the ending year, the blessings we received through our trials, and the hopes and dreams for the upcoming year, for both our immediate family, and all our family and friends.

Here is the Holiday Card I sent out last year: it's a Heritage Makers Invitation, which is a double sided postcard that comes in an envelope. I changed a template found in the template gallery, the first side with a family photo and photos of the children and the back side has pictures and a few words to thank this friend of mine, Teresa, for all that she does. She is like a mom to me. I entered my addresses into my Heritage Makers address book and had all the cards sent out automatically!

What a time saver, plus my family and friends loved it, and they felt so special!

And, of course, all of our Cards, Postcards, and Invitations are on sale in our Christmas in July Sale! Get a great discount and get your cards done early! Imagine how great you'll feel if your Holiday Cards are done and ready to be mailed with a click of a button - another item checked off your Holiday List! I can help you get it done - just call or e-mail me and you'll be on your way to a Stress free holiday!

I hope you are enjoying my Christmas in July tips this month! Please write me a comment and tell me what you like, or feel free to request something in particular - I'd love to hear what you'd like to see here on my blog!

Have a great day & Happy Storybooking everyone!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Today's Chrismas in July Idea

Do you like seeing your Christmas gifts in next year garage sale? Do you like giving always the same kind of gifts?
I don't, and I am going to give you some wonderful and thoughtful ideas this month that will help you create some unforgettable and very meaningful Christmas gifts.

Picture CD idea:Make a CD with all the family pictures you can find. If you still have most of them in shoe boxes under a bed or in the closet, take them out, and scan them. If you don't have time to do so, hire a professional photo scanning specialist, it is totally worth it! Make the CD even more personal, by creating a beautiful cover with some of the key pictures on a 3panel family fold!
You can make as many copies as you like, and you will have made so many family members happy, and probably some will even shed some joyful tear!
I have already scanned many of my husband's grandparents pictures, and I am going to look for more. As soon as I have found all the pictures I can, I will burn the CD, including pictures, maybe a word document telling them what I felt going through their story in pictures, and I will have this CD cover that will really make the CD stand out!
I am so anxious to see their reaction when they see it!!!!

Stay tuned for more Christmas in July gift giving ideas!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Family Reunion ideas

Do you have a family reunion this summer? Here are some great ideas of fun things you can do at your family reunion to strengthen your family’s heritage!

1. Family Treasures Card game: This is a fun family game that has a playing board (laminated poster) that goes with it. To view the instructions click here.

2. I AM a Heritage Maker Activity Book: This is a great way for your kids and their cousins to get to know their heritage in a fun activity book.

3. Personalized Card Deck: Does your family like to play card games? Create your own custom deck of cards with pictures of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. There are lots of templates to choose from in the gallery (rook, old maid, go fish, face cards, etc.)

4. FAMILY LAND: This fun game is just like Candy Land, but with your family name and the family activities you enjoy doing together. It will keep the kids entertained for hours! Also, it has a deck of cards to go with it.

5. Family Cookbook: If you have time before the reunion, have family members send you a favorite recipe and a picture. Put together a family cookbook. Take the cookbook to the reunion and if family members would like a copy, you can take orders. If you don’t have time to put it together before the reunion, have your family bring their picture and favorite recipe to the reunion. Then put the cookbook together later.

6. BINGO: Create your own Bingo cards with pictures of grandparents and other relatives. This is a great way for the young kids to learn the names of their great grandparents.

I got all these ideas from the Heritage Makers blog

Make and Take:

Do you need fun craft ideas? Here are some that are simple, fun, and affordable!

Special Memories Box: This is a great way to keep all your favorite cards, notes, letters, etc. all in one place. This is made using 2 12×12 pages and a 7 inch craft box ($2 at Walmart).

Family Clock: Super easy and a great addition to your home. This is made using 1 8×8 page and a 9 inch clock ($4 at Walmart). Blocks: Create your blocks to say whatever you want. Does your reunion have a theme? If so make a block per family or per kid with the theme or family motto. 1 12×12 page will make 5 blocks. Cut a 2×4 into 7 inch blocks.

Tiles: Create a tile with a picture of an ancestor or of grandma and grandpa that includes one of their favorite sayings. 1 12×12 page can make 4 tiles. Get 4 6×6 tiles at Home Depot or any home improvement store.
Scanning: If you have a scanner, offer scanning services to the persons in your area who will be attending reunions. Have them ask each family member to bring the pictures they have of great grandma, great grandpa, etc. (The pictures don’t leave their sight). You can scan everyone’s pictures while at the reunion and then everyone gets a copy of everyone’s pictures. It’s a win, win for everyone!



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