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January 2009
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No More Guilt

January 12, 2009   

Submitted by Chris Crandall

It’s here-the New Year!

Usually this means making goals and resolutions that I have made time and time again that gain new vigor and hope in the coming of the New Year.

January 1 brings hope, excitement and energy.

January 12-yep, just a week later-brings…GUILT!

If I haven’t already “cheated” on some of my resolutions and “best intentions,” I feel OVERWHELMED by the rest.

But not anymore!

Several of the “to do’s” on my New Year lists have been:

  • Scrapbook Ellie’s birth story
  • Preserve and document the photos and stories that my mother-in-law has shared with me about her ancestors and family
  • Get a Family Yearbook done
  • Preserve my grandmother’s life story

Heritage Studio has come to the rescue!

With focus on a few projects, I have gathered the photos and uploaded them into my Heritage Studio account into labeled photo albums (love those!).

Now, to the really fun part…I simply choose which project I want to create first and get started!

  • Ellie’s birth story

Wow! The hardest part was choosing from so many wonderful templates! I found one that didn’t need too much detail for facts and firsts-since she is six years old now. I know, “Bad Mommy!” I am way too late on this but better late than never and now I can finally get it done because of the templates!

I did a “Baby” search in the Template Gallery and over 60 templates came up that had to do with creating Baby projects! Incredible! When the template I chose was in my account, I opened it to create my own project.

I just added Ellie’s photos and story and now I can’t wait to give it to her.

“I like Heritage Makers books more than my other books because they are about me and I know the people in them!”

– Ellie Crandall

  • Preserve and document the photos and stories that I have received from my mother-in-law

My great mother-in-law has collected stories and copies of photos of her ancestors and has given them to each of her children over the years. She compiled them into a three-ring binder and gave each family one. Of course, I have always wanted to put these into a hardbound book and turn them into favorite bedtime stories for my kids.

With Heritage Studio, I used the Family Tree genealogy chart graphic (in the Basic Art) and used “fill that in” for the first page. Then, I chronologically typed in the stories and added the images. I used several of the original typed and hand-written pages as faded backgrounds for the pages in the hardbound book that I created in Studio. The end result? We read a story about our heritage every night-fairytales have been replaced by family tales. It doesn’t get any better than that.

  • Get a Family Yearbook done

Candy May, who wrote the original Storybook, did a Family Yearbook years ago and I always thought it was such a great idea! (In fact, check out Candy’s great blog entry about this very thing.) No need to scrapbook or storybook each month, but rather upload the photos and journal the stories as you go throughout the year-and you can even complete the book month by month-a couple of pages each month. But, if you are like me and didn’t plan that back in January of 2008, you can still go through your photos now and put them into an incredible hardbound book that will archive and showcase your favorite memories of the past year. It’s a great way to actually show and share all of those photos from your Memory Cards and the stories that go with them. You can even have kids share their favorite memories too!

Are you a blogger? Family Yearbooks are a fantastic way to take the virtual memories of your blog and put them into a hardbound book that everyone can enjoy for years to come!

  • Preserve my grandmother’s life story

My grandmother passed away five years ago and I have always regretted not preserving her life story while she was on this earth. Each year since, I have regretted not doing a Storybook about her life. That is, until now.

The incredible Story Maps on the “My Studio” page of your Heritage Studio account take the fear and hesitation from writing a life story, or a love story, or a baby’s story. They are wonderful tools that you can download, print, and fill in the answers either with an interview or your own thoughts or research. As you fill in the answers to the questions, your story is written. The answers are the story and you simply add them to the pages of your Storybook project.

With your own design or one of the beautiful templates, your story and images are preserved and they will be enjoyed-and learned from-for generations to come.

All of those “to do’s” that have been on my Resolution List year after year…done! All of the guilt for not finishing them before…gone!

With Heritage Studio, life just got a whole lot easier and it truly is going to be a HAPPY New Year!

Top Ten List & My Family Album

January 12, 2009   

Submitted by: Candace May

I love David Letterman’s “Top Ten” lists. I think they are clever and fun! And I have adopted his “Top Ten” concept into a book. Every year in December/January I create and complete a book about my family’s adventures. At the very end of the book I place the “May Family Top Ten List.” This special list is where all my family brainstorm the top events of the year.


This yearly album is always an 11.5 x 8.5 size book. I create it easily by using a template in our wonderful template gallery. My favorite one to use is called “Simple Simon,” created by Catherine Schulthies. For this template you just need the basic account.

2008¬†was a wonderful year for me and my family. We have many wonderful photos of the kids enjoying every season. I love placing all my favorite photos and memories together in one simple yearbook. I envision sending my kids off to college someday with a box full of these photojournalistic-style books-they will always have their family’s special memories and events at their finger tips. Like this page of my son leaving for his first day of kindergarten.


I love that not only is there a great place for these priceless photographs, but I can also write my feelings and know my children will always have them.

Heritage Makers not only makes it easy, but they offer me peace of mind. I can store my family albums in my “completed projects” file for years to come. And I can order copies whenever I want!

This publishing system is wonderful! At Heritage Makers we cherish heritage but we also give you the best of what technology has to offer!

Here is a photo of the family albums I have created through the years.


If you are new to Heritage Makers, you can start your own family album by:

  • uploading your favorite photos of 2008 (I usually have about 70-100).
  • going to “template gallery” and using the “Simple Simon” template for the 11.5 x 8.5 size storybook.
  • dragging and dropping in your photos and adding text.
  • using the page manager to change the order and look of each page.
  • contacting your Heritage Makers consultant or attending a free online class if you need any help

Note: I always add additional pages. You can create up to 99.

At the end of your family album you can use David Letterman’s “Top Ten” list idea. It is a fun way to recap the year and see all that has happened at a glance.