Tuesday, December 29, 2020

One Day or Day One, You Decide!


That's a powerful quote isn't it? How about this one? Life moves pretty fast, as Ferris Bueller famously says, and if you don't stop and look around, you might miss it. 

Are you taking care of your photos and memories in a way you'd like to, or are you just snapping away and letting them pile up on hard drives and flash cards and on your phone? If 2021 is the year you want to do something meaningful with them, then follow along with me. For 18 years I have helped people get their photos organized, backed up and ultimately into digitally or traditionally created books. Sign up for a free Forever account to get a $20 welcome coupon and me as your helping hand whenever you need it, and if you haven't already, take a few minutes to walk through my free online class on getting things organized.

2021 is right around the corner, and if you want a fresh start and an accountability partner with resources and tools to get you where you want to go, I am here for you! I hope you have a very Happy New Year and if you have any questions for me, reach out here in the comments or on my Facebook page. Fran

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

CLS Fall Blog Hop Stop 6

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, but have you scrapped your Halloween photos yet? Halloween is one of my FAVORITE holidays, and going back to childhood I have had a LONG tradition of dressing up (with many of mine and my boys' costumes thanks to my Mom who is a wonderful seamstress.) This year we had to change things up a bit so instead of going out to find the fun, we kept it in our own home. Instead of trick or treating in various neighborhoods around town, we made spooky food, ordered a fog machine and decorated our house to the nines for a fun night with my parents! Here is what I came up with to celebrate these special memories - instruction sheets are at the end of the post. Enjoy! 

A Spooky House with Doors and Windows!

How Did I Do It?

I hope you can use these ideas in your own books and know that this is just one of many WONDERFUL fall-themed ideas on our blog hop today!  Hop along with us and follow these links to see all of the blogs of the Creative Life Scrapbooking team members:

 Stop 1: Krista French

 Stop 2: Meggan Jacks

 Stop 3: Karyn McDermaid - Rolfe

 Stop 4: Diana Brinsley

 Stop 5:  Tessa Chapple

 Stop 6 : YOU ARE HERE!  Fran Allen Smitherman

 Stop 7:  Noreen Smith

 Stop 8:  Lisa Brown Graham


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

CLS Summer Blog Hop!


Welcome to the last stop of our Summer Blog Hop! Down here in the South, while the calendar may not say it (or the temperature) summer is basically over and all the kids are back in school, in whatever shape that might take this year. We all have "First Day of School" pictures, and since this is such a busy time of year with many other activities starting back as well, I wanted to make sure and document that special day, as surely it was like no other that the fellas have ever experienced:

I knocked this page out with the Book Smarts digital kit in under 5 minutes thanks to the speed of digital scrapbooking. I will get it printed as a digital print and slide it into my traditional 12X12 scrapbook. I love how it turned out! I am sure the page on the other side will have journaled details about their first week or so, and maybe even some memorabilia and letters from their teachers. 

Here is another page I made for a different event in our home this summer - a massive bookshelf rehaul that led to three updated rooms! Has a garage sale purchase ever led to a major reorganization project for YOU? Boy, it's funny how one or two new items can trigger a chain reaction throughout an entire house!

A few clicks and you're done - that's my style. And I just LOVE Creative Memories' artwork - it seems as though with every collection they absolutely knock it out of the park. But, to stay fresh, things come and they go, and while the coversets, refill pages and adhesives that we depend on are always there for us, stickers and paper packs are here and then they are eventually replaced. So what's a scrapper to do? Buy the digital kit EVERY SINGLE TIME, I say!

When you have the digital kits, as long as your laptop is running well and you also have an external hard drive that you back up to, you will have that art forever to use in whatever application you prefer to do digital scrapbooking or other design projects in (I use Artisan 5 from Forever myself!)

And if you have a wall of Creative Memories scrapbooks as I do, be sure to check out our Custom Foiled Spines as well - at just $10 each, they are so affordable and easy to create! Three different font colors (Black, Gold and Silver), many different font choices (see below) and an array of colors to choose from make it sort of addicting, frankly, to enhance the look and the readability of the scrapbooks on your shelves!


I hope I have inspired you to think about some of Creative Memories' digital options as a way to stretch a favorite kit out or to enhance the books already on your shelf. They have other digital options such as custom coversets, custom refill pages and photo prints as well, so Creative Memories has thought of everything! I also hope that you have had a great time on this blog hop and that you will join us for our next one. 

In the meantime, here is our Creative Life Scrapbooking Facebook page where we share ideas every single week, and if you started the hop with MY blog, then you definitely want to go and check out all of the rest of the stops! Keep scrappin', follow me on Facebook at Celebrating Your Beautiful Life and let me know what you think or if you have any questions - that's what I am here for! Fran

Stop 1 Noreen SmithOrganized and Creative Mom
Stop 2 Krista French Scrappin with Krista
Stop 3 Meggan Jacks Meggan Jacks.com
Stop 4 Tammy McEwan Photos 2 Albums
Stop 5 Karyn McDermaid-Rolfe Karyn Crops
Stop 6 Diana Brinsley D Brinsley's Blog
Stop 7 Tessa Shoaf Chapple Tessa Scrapbooks
Stop 8 Fran Smitherman - YOU ARE HERE! Celebrating Your Beautiful Life

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Are photos on your mind this summer?

How has your summer been? With so much more time at home than ever before, I have found more time to think about scrapbooks and other household projects while also enjoying the extra time with the family (quality time, not time rushing from place to place, that is - right, busy Moms and Dads?) I've been cooking more and driving less since my husband and I are 100% working from home, so it's amazing how many hours have been freed up without all of the commuting. What have you been up to? Reading a bit more? Rearranging furniture? Maybe looking through old boxes of photos and memorabilia? I know I sure have! This has been a challenging time for the nation for sure,  but memories always bring comfort, as do checking things off of our list that we always wish we had more time for. 

If photo projects have been on your mind, I hope you will take a few minutes to catch up with all that is going on with Forever this year. The company continues to grow by leaps and bounds as more and more people fall in love with their safe and private storage, the highest quality digital conversion out there (Forever is the only one that does more than transfer your memories from one temporary format to another), and our excellent print projects such as coffee table books, mugs and so much more

In the last five years, I have saved over 100,000 photos in my Forever storage account, I’ve created so many wonderful books like this one of our recent beach trip (some in Artisan, some in online Design and Print) and I love knowing that my videos are safe too. Forever IS the answer. 

 I have devoted the last 20 years to helping people with their photos (not just scrapbooks!) and it is my passion – nothing makes me happier than seeing people saving their photos in a PERMANENT and PRIVATE place in the cloud, creating projects to relive their best memories and taking old videos and bringing them back into their lives into a format they can enjoy no matter where they are. That is why I became a Forever Ambassador. My in person retreats and workshops bring so many people together to learn, but in this digital age, I can help you WHEREVER you are. In fact, just a few weeks ago I hosted a Pixels2Pages Live event with 52 photos lovers all over the United States, led by the amazing Tameka Bond. There are no geographic bounds to what Forever or I have to offer. 

July is special because it is when we are having our annual Forever Live convention – this is a special time for Ambassadors to learn about new products and to connect with home office. I wouldn’t miss it – in fact,  I love it so much the company asked me to write a blog post about it - if you have a minute check it out to see why I am so passionate about attending this event (which is of course virtual this year but will be just as exciting!) Clients and Ambassadors are welcome – it’s not too late to get your ticket! And if you ever want to join me on the Ambassador side of things, let's talk. It has been LIFE CHANGING. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Fall Blog Hop with Creative Life Scrapbooking

Welcome to Stop 2 on our Creative Life Scrapbooking Fall Blog Hop!

Embellishments! They are SO cute, but I have to admit I don't always use them as much as I could. When we first started scrapbooking, stickers were all the rage, so the natural inclination is to look for a sticker. Fellow Creative Life Scrapbooker Karyn once taught me that you can even turn a sticker into an embellishment to use with a foam square by rubbing the back with baking soda to remove the stickiness - who knew?

But as we get close to Thanksgiving, Holiday Open House season, and the holidays, I know I have lots of gift plans for people, so I thought, why not take some of these candles and lotions and baked goods and put them in a cute, inexpensive homemade bag? And that's where the embellishments come in! Great way to "bash your stash", right?

Croptoberfest 2019 embellishments (but you can use anything of course!)

 With a pack of inexpensive brown paper bags, a tape runner and several sets of embellishments, I was able to knock out about 20 bags, all within the time span of a couple of "The Office" episodes!

You can either make them open and stuff them with tissue paper once your gift is inside, or use a banner look to create a clasp of sorts to fold the top over! You might want to put a staple or two in the fold just to make sure it doesn't pop open. How cute is this?

Cheap bags, cute gifts!

With Open House season coming up, all of my attendees are going to get these for stopping by. If you don't have a Creative Memories consultant, use the locator to find one near you so you can get some as well!

Thank you for stopping by and be sure to check out all of the other stops along the way! Next on the Hop is my friend Candace at Scrapin JPEGs!

Stop 1 Julie's CM Blog with Julie Tambrini 
Stop 2 YOU ARE HERE! Celebrating Your Beautiful Life with Fran Allen Smitherman
Stop 3 Scrapin JPEGs with Candace Bouldin
Stop 4 Karyn Crops with Karyn McDermaid-Rolfe
Stop 5 D Brinsley's Blog with Diana Miller Brinsley
Stop 6 Lisa's Workshop with Lisa Brown Graham
Stop 7 Organized and Creative Mom with Noreen Smith

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Summer Blog Hop with Creative Life Scrapbooking

Welcome to our Creative Life Summer Blog Hop! Summer has flown by, hasn't it? Have you been able to take some time for yourself? I sure hope so!

Ours has been a good one, with trips to the beach, Utah and Las Vegas. Naturally,  I am knee deep in photos that I want to save and preserve, but thankfully many of these trips have already been documented in albums because I have made it a priority! My process when I travel is the same every time - upload the memories to my Forever account throughout the trip so I can know they are safe, organize them in albums and nested albums right there in my account, and when I am ready, make a book from them! Depending on the event, I can either create the book quickly in Forever Design and Print online as I did with my beach and Las Vegas pictures, create an elaborate two volume set using Artisan as I am currently working on with my over 3,000 (yes!) photos from our trip to the National Parks, or print a few favorites to add to my traditional Creative Memories albums (those tend to be reserved for every day life for my family!) Whether simple or creative, my story is told and my shelves are full (my heart as well!) 

A lifetime of memories in Creative Memories albums

Christmas, Disney, and Beach trips are perfect in digital books printed by Forever

Quick and easy, drag and drop Forever Design and Print books!

Love the variety of sizes of the books I create (5X7, 8x8 and 12X12)

The point is, making albums doesn't have to be hard, and you just need to be organized with your time and with your photo process so when it IS time to put a book together, you are ready! Having a clean and organized workspace never hurts either - I know I am always more inspired to work when I have a nice table or two  just for memory keeping. 

My scrapbooking room (on a good day!) 

So with that pep talk, let's take a little time to be creative!

Mermaid Cove Using the Scrap Happy Project Recipe

If you have been around a Creative Memories Advisor in the last few years, you might have been fortunate enough to have been handed Project Recipes. If you don't have an Advisor, find one in your area that hosts events if you aren't near me (I am in Alabama) and make sure you start receiving them! They are fantastic.

A binder or Creative Memories Project Recipes for inspiration for page ideas

Binders and page protectors are my favorite office supplies!

Project Recipes are like sketches, and while CM launches them every time they release a new paper pack, I often take the "pattern" and use it with another collection. I have done that here with the Mermaid Cove Paper and Stickers using the Scrap Happy project recipe! I love how it turned out :) Sea creatures and tide pools, what a perfect way to highlight those. I also made a mini album using Mermaid Cove and the Hexagon Explosion Album idea, be sure and like our Creative Life Scrapbooking Facebook Page to see all of our posts! We share every week and also do the occasional virtual crops so we'd love to have you follow us.

The CM "Scrap Happy" Project Recipe featuring the Mermaid Cove paper and stickers

Card Making with Rainbow Rush

And for some quick card projects, all you need to do is make a few borders, grab some stickers, and put them together for when you are in need. I had these borders leftover from some projects I had already finished, and I thought I should use them for cards. Creative Memories sells a box of plain cards and envelopes for $6, so I keep several of those around for when I have some time to knock out a few cards. I used Rainbow Rush primarily to make these - I also used the new and gorgeous Lace Trim Border punch to make the lace on the gingham ones. Easy, done, ready to give away!

Blank cards and envelopes from Creative Memories

Cards created using Rainbow Rush paper and stickers

Whether you prefer to make digital books, traditional books, cards, or all of the above, I can help you, so respond in the comments or shoot me a message and I can help you get inspired to bring your photos into your life in a meaningful way.  Be sure and check out the other ideas on the Blog Hop! Here are the links:

Stop 1: Karyn Crops with Karyn McDermaid-Rolfe
Stop 2: Julie's Creative Memories Blog with Julie Tambrini
Stop 3: Crop with Stef with Stefani Jones
Stop 4: YOU ARE HERE! Celebrating Your Beautiful Life with Fran Smitherman
Stop 5: Scrapin JPEGs with Candace Bouldin