Saturday, February 28, 2009

Think of the Possibilities!

Had a fun class at the Ft. Union Deseret Book store today. It's always nice to get together with people who understand our passion (or is it obsession?) and validate the long hours and sleepless nights of trying to get our ideas into project form. The best part of classes is seeing the pictures that participants determine need preserving and hearing the stories that make these pictures so meaningful.

Today, Sharon made a memory puzzle using pictures of past trips to the Oregon coastline. The puzzle was beautiful, in part, because of the fabulous pictures that Sharon had taken, but the real beauty was hearing Sharon's stories of past visits to these picturesque lighthouses and the memories that had been preserved in her mind.

Lori is a talented crafter who put the pedal to the metal and cranked out TWO puzzles in the time most of us can barely get through one. She recently became the proud keeper of an entire box of family photos and she made a wonderful keepsake of her grandparents legacy. She also bears the distinction of being a descendant of a local town's namesake. She beautifully preserved pictures of many of the town's early buildings and will give this puzzle to the current mayor, who just happens to be another relative.

As we visited, we discussed the countless options our blocks kits provide for preserving memories. I've personally given puzzles for wedding gifts, baby gifts, birthday gifts and Christmas gifts. Obviously, I think our Memory blocks make a great gift! We've seen puzzles made of summer vacations, family pets and historical events. The ladies at the class suggested that I throw the question out there to our world-wide audience... what life events do you consider important enough to preserve for future generations?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Memory Calendars

Just released! Our newest product is making its grand debut at the St. George Family History Expo. It's a calendar that you can use year after year! Feature family faces on important dates and you've got a treasured keepsake that is uniquely yours.

So, whaddaya think? We might be a little biased, but we think they're fabulous and have had a blast testing the process by making a few. Hope my sis doesn't see this blog before she gets her birthday gift! Check out how easy it is to format your pictures for the buttons by using our exclusive Photo Wizard. We're still waiting for our programmer to add this project's dimensions to our software, but we figured out an easy workaround by using the Face Button for the Memory Tree option. Just alter the scaling ratio to 70% for round buttons and 80% for the square shape. We know, the instructions implicitly state that you're supposed to print at 100%. Contact us if you need more information!

Our featured calendars are displayed using a metal easel, but they look equally wonderful hanging on the wall. Just punch through the paper (holes have been pre-drilled) and complete with a ribbon. They also look great in a frame. Try finishing one with chalkboard paint so you can add messages, when needed. Suni's mom came up with her own perfect way to display these calendars. Just apply four super-strong magnets to the back of the board and attach it to any metal surface, like a refrigerator or filing cabinet. Wow! Such versatility!!

We have had so much fun putting this project together. We even have holiday buttons so you can highlight those memory-making moments throughout the year!

Our Memory Calendars are now listed in our Etsy store. We're also working to get them on the website, but that's not going to happen until late March. Our programmer is booked until the end of the month and he's banned me from touching the code since I know just enough to break things!

We'd really like to know what you think!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy Birthday!

The brains and spirit behind Stories by Me is having a birthday today! And I thought I'd let everybody know! Those who know Lauri know how absolutely amazing she is. I am so lucky to have met her and am thrilled that she saw something in me and let me be a part of this amazing journey. Lauri is the first to find the good in everyone and everything. I want everybody to know how much I appreciate Lauri and all she does! Happy Birthday, Lauri!!!

New Memory Tree designs

We've added two new designs to our 2009 Memory Tree lineup. Everyone who's had a chance to sneak a peek agrees with our assessment that they are GORGEOUS! You'll notice that there is no longer a heritage statement at the bottom of the design. For those of you who liked that feature (like Lauri), sorry! Just too many requests for "this saying" on "that design". Consider adding a frame around your Memory Tree. Add a favorite thought with paint or vinyl on the frame. We used chalkboard paint and now have a perfect canvas for a 'thought du jour."

These new designs aren't available on the website quite yet, but you can check them out in our Etsy store. Better yet, check them out in person! We have loaded the truck which leaves tonight for the St. George Family History Fair. Can't be there in person, but our friends at LDS Scrap has offered to feature our merchandise in their booth. Lauri will be at the Deseret Book, Fort Union store this Saturday from 1-4 and next Saturday we'll be at the South Davis Family History Fair. The event runs all day at Bountiful High School. Come by and say hi!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

We've been busy!

We couldn't wait to show you what's been keeping us so quiet on the blog front... and housework front and time with friends front...

Some of the products are new and improved, some are brand-spanking new; all will be available on our website and/or Etsy store.

Let us introduce you:
Memory Puzzle Blocks - These are what got us started. And what a great start!! We'll be eternally grateful to My Mind's Eye for giving us a hand-up and helping us bring in our first boatload of puzzle kits. We've now sold more than 10k of these wonderful little kits that preserve memories in the uniquest of ways. This year we hope to introduce a Stories by Me kit version. We think you'll like (scratch that...LOVE) our new and improved Memory Puzzle Block kit!

Memory Trees - These big guys were unveiled last summer and much to our delight were an instant hit! We're thrilled that you have embraced them and made them such a popular gift item. Yes, we know that the hard part is finding pictures of all the loved ones that need to be featured in your family tree. But it is SO worth the effort! Remember that while our tree's were made to display 3 or 4 generations, you can keep making face buttons and add them to your family button box. That way no one gets left off of the family tree!

Our designer, Carol, has done us proud!! We are drueling over our new Antique Floral design and the Cream Leaf pattern goes with EVERYTHING!

Vintage Tins - These beauties were created in conjunction with our Memory Trees. We had all these fabulous vintage photographs that were begging for a more prominent spot than what the archives could offer. They have been a huge hits at our shows and our collection keeps growing, thanks to your many suggestions. Only problem is that we haven't figured out how to make them available on our website since the collection is constantly changing. We're working on adding a core collection to the website and will put other pieces on Etsy, as time allows.

Memory Calendars - We are so excited about our new Memory Calendars. We've been kickin' around the idea for nearly a year and then BAM! it just all came together beautifully. The calendar will be sold in kit form (like the Memory Trees) and offer just what you need to make your own memorable calendar. What makes these so cool is that you'll be able to customize your calendar by featuring family faces on special dates. We know... we just had to include family pictures in the project! Yeah, the picture is so tiny, it doesn't do justice to the finished project, but more pictures are coming. And, Suni is working to get this into our Etsy store.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Welcome Spring!

Today it was 45 degrees. Tomorrow it's supposed to be even warmer. That's a big deal for a thin-blooded Californian. You'd think that my blood would thicken. After all, it's been 10 years since we started calling Utah home.

Suni and I decided to get take advantage of the gorgeous weather and get some outside shots of our newest creations. Suni found an old brick wall that was a perfect backdrop for our heritage products. Mind you, the destined wall was located at the far end of a vacant lot. In hindsight, I probably should have realized that things start to melt once the temperature moves above 32 degrees. I must have gone a good 10 feet before I realized that I was sinking in mud!

The good news is that we got some fabulous pictures. Check back...they're coming!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Social Media at its Finest!

Last week I was able to attend a fabulous social media workshop sponsored by StartUp Princess. It was amazing! Talk about a great group of women who are all working together to help other women promote their businesses and network with each other. We learned much about Twitter - have you started tweeting yet?! It's a great way to share with and meet people from all over. (Follow me! My twitter name is sunimason. Pretty easy!)

The other topic for the evening was Kirtsy. Haven't heard of it? Well, you have now. You know when you find something really fabulous online and want to tell all of your friends and neighbors and family and want everybody to know about it? Enter Kirtsy. Here you can post your fabulous finds and share with the world! And the more people that find your 'story' interesting, the more popular it becomes. You can vote for a story by simply clicking it. The more clicks, the more votes, the more popular and your story moves up the chain. Watch for Stories By Me stories to be shared soon! We've got new products for 2009 and are anxious to get them out there. We'll keep you posted when we do! And if they are on Kirtsy, we'll point you to the link so you can share with everybody! (Oh, and that Kirtsy link at the bottom our posts - that's an easy way you can share Stories By Me on Kirtsy! Just click the link and voila!)

And guess what happened?! I won the drawing for the evening! A free ad for Stories By Me on Startup Princess and free massage. How cool is that?!

It was a fun evening where I met so many amazing blogging women who have a wealth of knowledge in the social media scene. Thank you for sharing your expertise and helping Stories By Me to stay in the loop!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Going, going, gone!

In case you haven't figured it out already, I'm the type who's always running to catch up. It's inevitable that I'll try to squeeze in one more task into an already overstuffed schedule. This isn't a complaint. I actually get more accomplished this way, but it sometimes finds me racing along without any idea where I'm running to.

Take today, for instance; raced around town trying to put the finishing touches on everything needed for our first show of the new year. Felt the adrenaline pick up as it got later in the day. Still so much to do and so little time to get it all done. Suni is right there, running along side me. Mind you, she is young and fit, and completely up to the task. As we raced along, Suni calmly questioned why I was pounding the pavement with such intensity given the fact the event was more than a week away. What?! I had completely sped through an entire week. Slow down, B-R-E-A-T-H-E!

Let me just say that finding a lost week is even better than finding a forgotten $20 bill in your pocket!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Still Kickin'

We know. It's been quiet on the Stories by Me front lately. Trust us, it's not because we're sitting on the couch eating bon-bons and watching the soaps. Suni can't even eat bon-bons, given that she's so committed to her New Year's resolution of getting fit... like she isn't already?!

Can't wait to share our newest products. If you're in the Salt Lake area, be sure to visit us at the South Davis Family History Fair on March 7th. We look forward to seeing our fellow Family Heritage enthusiasts. Otherwise, check back... we'll debut the latest and greatest here in the coming months!

Here's proof that we've not been idle. Kinda gross, but it's amazing the size of dust bunnies that grow when you're not paying attention! We're trying to get organized and ready for another busy year.

Gotta give a shout-out to our birthday boy, Davis. Let's also give a head's up to anyone in the North Salt Lake area. You might want to stay off the sidewalks... he is 15, you know, and that's old enough to get your learner's permit around here. YIKES!!!