Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Memory Puzzles Back in Stock!

Our memory puzzle kits have been a hot little item and recently, we have found ourselves scraping the bottom of the barrel. We are happy to say that we have received an order of metal trays and we are back in business!

Of course, that's not what this post is really about.

Our passion is for telling a story. Our newest order of puzzle trays have quite the story, and that's BEFORE they had a chance to get into your hands for the story telling!

I received an apology from our metal company with the shipment of the new trays. One of the trays came with a series of numbers written on the back of it, identifying a potential getaway car in a robbery. We learned that the company noticed a robbery going on across the street while they were processing our order. The worker couldn't find a piece of paper, so he grabbed the first thing he could find to write on; one of our puzzle trays.

We thought it quite the story! {Don't worry, it's not going into our inventory. We're hanging on to this tray!}

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ready or Not!

If you follow our post, you will know that we are always running to keep up... {yes, we are still planning to post updates on our Family History challenge.}

Imagine my surprise to wake up to a winter wonderland. I'm not ready for winter!

I am hoping that this declaration will make the snow go away... at least for another three (or more) weeks so that I can pull out my old garden, rake up the leaves, cut back the summer growth, turn off the outside water, oh, and plant spring bulbs. There's no end to the list!

*For those of you who might be totally together and preparing for such things, Christmas is exactly TWO months away. YIKES!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October Challenge: Create a Treasured Heirloom

Look at that. We're already falling behind on our own challenge. Isn't it interesting how life gets in the way of the best plans? We really have made progress... we just haven't had two minutes to share our tiny little baby steps with you.

I had planned to gain control of my kids stack of VIPs (Very Important Papers). Once again, I've let the pile get out of hand, but I'm confident that I can knock it down to size in a matter of an hour (or two)! I'll share my easy, no fuss approach in the coming week. (Yah, right! Ok, so it's a worthy goal.)

Suni and I got to catch up this past weekend as we shared our passion for preserving stories with two different groups of ladies. In between helping our class participants create their own work's of art, Suni reported that she has had success with her personal efforts of COLLECTING and PROTECTING. She plans to share her strategies in the coming days (er, or weeks... another reality check!).

While I didn't quite make Week One's focus of COLLECTING and PROTECTING, I did make a solid home run with Week Two's endeavor.

This week's focus is to CREATE some sort of treasured heirloom. I wanted to preserve Suni's beautiful memories of welcoming baby #3 into this world. Because I was lucky to be the one holding the camera, I had easy access to all sorts of fabulous memories. I just knew that these pictures needed to be turned into block ornaments!

I just couldn't share the project with you until I gave Suni (and baby) a chance to check it out.

This project took about two hours from start to finish. All I needed was six blocks, 6 metal eye screws, some decorative paper and ribbon, a jewelry stand and 24 fantastic pictures! Go here to get the complete set of instructions for making these easy Block Ornaments. A rather boring, but very detailed video is available here. The jewelry stand was picked up at a local store called Rod Works for under $10.00. If you have an old mug tree from the 70's, it'll work equally well!

The best part is that I didn't have to pick ONE favorite picture to feature. I got to share 24 fabulous memories!

Here are some additional ideas of things that you can create that are sure to become a treasured heirloom:

1. Make a pictorial Family Tree.
2. Create a family heritage recipe book.
3. Work with extended friends and family members to collect personal memories of an individual to share with that person as a gift.
4. Display a digital picture frame that includes pictures of your extended family.
5. Create a family calendar. Record family members (current and ancestors) birthdays throughout the year.
6. Start a family blog or web page featuring your family stories. Be sure to print copies of stories for a book version.
7. Collect family history questions in a jar for a grandparent to answer about their life history.
8. Start making Block Ornaments so you can turn your Christmas tree into a Family Tree this holiday season. (A personal favorite!)
9. Create a world map showing the birthplace of each ancestor using pins or tiny flags.
10. Poll family members as to their favorite family tradition and create a book documenting these memories.

Next week, we'll look for ways to DOCUMENT and RESEARCH our family history.

Monday, October 4, 2010

And the WINNER IS...

Wow! Saturday night was amazing!! Jen (recent addition to the Stories by Me team) and I spent the evening with several hundred women at the Ft. Union Deseret Book Ladies Night. There was live music, local authors and artists, yummy food, discounts galore and the main draw... lots and lots of prizes!

As promised, here are the winners of the Stories by Me drawing:

Drum Roll Please.........................

Personal History Publisher by MemoryMixer: Carole Inglish

MemoryMixer Software: Lisa Tucker

Wire Tree Kit: Anna Layton

Didn't win today? You still have a chance to pickup the Personal History Publisher FOR FREE! Lane, over at MemoryMixer, has been very generous by giving us another copy of this software package that will help you write your Personal History. We will give it away in the next couple of weeks on this blog. All you have to do is take the Stories by Me October Challenge. Find ONE Family History project that you can complete in the month of October. We'll be offering inspiration on our blog. Share your success (or let us learn with you from your less successful efforts). More prizes coming!!

For those of you who won the MemoryMixer software package (either at the event or in this giveaway) be sure to check out the MemoryMixer blog. It shares all sorts of amazing things that powerful little box can do for you!

Also, for those of you who asked... Here's the link to our Generations Pocket Book.

Friday, October 1, 2010

October Challenge: Collect / Protect

In honor of October's Family History Month both Suni and I are taking the Stories by Me Challenge. This first week will focus our efforts on Collecting / Protecting Memorabilia.

We hope that you'll take the challenge. We've created a list of ten different ideas to get the creative juices flowing. Pick one, or come up with your own. Let us know your successes. We can also learn from your failures...so don't be shy. Send us an email (send it to mythoughts@storiesbyme.com) or add a comment to our blog. At the end of the week (Oct 9th) we will pick one winner who can select $40.00 worth of Stories by Me products. That's right. Forty buckaroo's towards anything project calling you. (And we'll pay the shipping too!)

WEEK ONE: Collect / Protect
1. Locate your pictures.
2. Label your pictures using an archival quality pen.
3. Organize your immediate family documents and important papers.
4. Scan original documents (certificates, wills, journals, letters, etc.), label and store them in a safe place. Share files with family members.
5. Collect copies of documents for as many ancestors as possible.
6. Take pictures and record memories of family heirlooms.
7. Frame keepsakes or mementos in a shadowbox.
8. Protect any handmade items made by an ancestor.
9. Go through old Books of Remembrances or photo albums and preserve them with acid-free materials.
10. Convert an old family movie to DVD format.

Let Carrie inspire you at Or So She Says... LOVED her idea on capturing family history!

Be sure to check back during the week. Suni and I will update you on our progress. We'd also LOVE to share your stories!

Oh, if life isn't already busy enough... We'll be at Deseret Book's Ft. Union Ladies Night on Saturday, Oct 2. Can't wait to share some of our new projects and pick up a gift or two... it's a perfect time since everything is ON SALE!

And, if I haven't already mentioned... Suni had the absolute MOST beautiful baby a few weeks ago. Is it possible that his one month birthday is creeping up? There is NOTHING better in this world than holding a sweet baby (crying one's just don't have the same charm) in your arms and breathing in all of their goodness. It makes the craziest day seem almost sane. Thanks for keeping me sane Baby B!

Yes...that is Suni already fitting in her skinny jeans. That is sooooo NOT FAIR!!