Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My memory is NOT what it used to be. That's why this is a good thing.

**Caution: this post contains a lot of pictures and some rambling.  If you want to skip it, at least scroll to the bottom for the awesome GIVEAWAY!!**

I realize that I am smack dab in the middle of a different giveaway, but it ends tomorrow night, so I thought it would be safe to do another.

This is the giveaway I had planned for my super stellar birthday week "yea, I turned 30" celebration!  Which was preempted with the whole need for 80's attire thing.  Ahem.

BUT!  Better late than never, I always say!  And you'll be glad I say that, too, when you see this really cool post.  Are you ready?  Hold onto your computer chair.

My Memories Suite contacted me a while ago and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing their product.  Specifically, their digital scrapbooking software.  You already know that I don't do a whole lot of reviews and giveaways on my blog, because I really don't want that to be the main focus of what I'm doing.  I also refuse to endorse things I don't use.  Sooo, I was slightly hesitant at first because the truth is, I am a horrible scrapbooker.

Let's be clear.  I love to scrapbook.  I've scrapbooked throughout my tween and teen years, into my marriage and even began a baby book for bug.  I am now scrapbooked up through my wedding reception (over 5 years ago) and bugs 4th hour of birth (almost 4 years ago).  So you see my dilemma.  I love to do it.  But I don't do it.

So could I endorse this scrapbooking stuff?  Would I really use it?  PLUS I was always an avid "touchy feely" paper, glue and layers, momentos, mess-maker, PURIST of a scrapbooker.  I've heard of digital scrapbooking and how EASY it is, and how it takes NO time, and it's just so wonderful... and I always kind of thought it was a cop-out.  If I want to save my photos, I want the tangible product, right?  And I've spent a veritable fortune on scrapbooking supplies, so there is that, too.

So I went on their website: My Memories Suite

And was intrigued.  So I checked out their blog: My Memories Blog

And was MORE intrigued.  I decided I wanted to try this out.  So I agreed to the review/giveaway.

Now is when I admit that I haven't had a ton of time to play around with the software.  Not as much time as I wish I'd given myself in order to point out all of its awesomeness - because I am sure there is a whole ton of awesomeness I am not even aware of yet.  But let me show you why I think this software is cool.

1.  Ease.  I know, I know.  This isn't a new line.  But it is a true one.  They have a ton of layouts already on the software that you just click and load your photos into.  Then you can add text if you want, but you don't have to.  There is even a feature for automatically adding photos from a folder on your computer, so you don't even have to load your photos in individually if you want to go the REALLY lazy, er, easy route.  
Here are some screen shots of an album I made using one of their layouts that was already in the software:

I created all of these pages in about 30 minutes - and that included changing the embellishments and shadows, etc.  AND if you're one of those journal scrapbookers, check out page 5 there.  Journaling - done, and done.  Bam.  You can see the software menus, etc. in these shots.  User friendly, people.  Guaranteed.  This one happens to be specifically a fall theme.  Which brings me to my next point.

2.  Variety.  Lots of options for layouts, lots of options for pages, lots of options for themes.  Each premade layout comes with multiple page options that you can include in an infinity of different ways.  None of your pages have to be the same in an album unless you want them to be.  This is great for those of us who crave versatility (read: CHAOS).  It's also great for theme specific albums - you could do one for every season or holiday or special event.  And, because of NUMBER ONE, highlighted above, you could do all of these albums and more in no time.  Seriously.  I'm not kidding.

3.  Affordable.  Honestly, this habit can cost you as much as you want it to.  There are so many embellishments, backgrounds, papers, shapes, frames, etc. that are in the software it's pretty amazing.  But there's also a plentitude of free or very inexpensive designs that you can buy online in their store.  I downloaded a few of these items and used them PLUS the blank canvas (totally customizable page) to create the partial scrapbook here:

I figured it was about time to do mini's baby album.  Why not?  PLUS they make it easy and affordable to print your albums in a bound book.  So there IS something tangible after all - if you want it.  (PS.  Those blurry areas are just names, not mistakes.  PPS. Why, yes, I WAS as big as a house - thanks for pointing that out.)

4.  Creativity.  Firstly, you can do everything on your own, or you can use the templates.  You can combine the two techniques - you can spend as much or as little time and include as much or as little detail as you want.  I was always afraid of the LIMITS digital scrapbooking would impose, but I actually don't get that feeling at all.  I feel MORE creative almost because I don't start something only to realize I don't have what I need to finish it, only to toss it in the "whip" pile to be forgotten about.  I also have a tendency to be slightly perfectionistic, and there's a GRID available so you can line everything up!  And you don't have to worry about cutting things straight!!

Ok, I think that's enough on the "WHY I like this software" thing.  Let's move on to the "WHAT will I do with it" thing.

So you say you don't scrapbook?  Interesting.  Guess what.  There are a lot more uses than just photo albums here.  How about a first day of school print?  Here's bug's:
(again, blurry=name)
I've seen lots of first day of school photo ideas, and this was so easy to whip together.  The best part?  Just save each year in the same album folder and when they reach grade 12, send it to the printer!  Now you've got a hard bound book of each first day!

I also used this to create some business cards for myself and my mom and sister.  Our items may be appearing in other locations besides etsy soon, and I thought this would be handy:

Want some other ideas?  Here are a few I've come up with:
Personalized bookmarks (maybe a party favor?)
Holiday printables.
Subway art done EASY.
A portfolio of your crafty/sewing work - compile all those photos of your projects into one place, put them in print and you've got an instant portfolio to show prospective sponsors or clients!
T-shirt iron on's - design in the software with the easy to use grid to make sure everything's the right size.  Print it out on iron-on paper.
Blog headers and buttons - a very easy way to have a cute one-of-a-kind blog.

And there are tons of other ideas for using the software on their blog, too!

Well, now that I've talked your ear off... are you still there?... how about I tell you the good news?  One lucky reader will win My Memories Suite Version 2 software!  (Free is a good deal, people, really.)  Want to win?  Do this:

Follow bugaboo, mini, mr & me publicly.  Visit My Memories Suite online and browse around.  Come back here and let me know which Designer Pack is your favorite!  (They've got some awesome fall and Halloween ones right now!)

That's it!  That's all you have to do!  Easy!  No hoops!  One entry only.  Awesome, huh?  Random.org will pick a winner next Tuesday, the 27th!

You know what?  That's not all.  No, really, it's not.  
My Memories Sweet wants to give EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store!  So even if you don't win, you still win!  Just use this code when purchasing your software:
(copy and paste it to prevent typos)

Phew.  That's a lot of info.  Good job for making it all the way to the end.  (You ARE still there, right?)

PS - disclaimer: they gave me the software, nothing else, all my own opinion, blah, blah, blah, you know the drill.

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!


Ashley Sisk said...

I've never created any scrapbook stuff but a dear friend of mine does and I'd love to win and give it to her.

Zoe said...

I want to win!! I love the At The Cabin pack!
Thanks for the great giveaway!

Becky said...

I like the Berry Bliss pack. This software would really help me stay on top of creating photo books for my family! Thanks for the chance to win!

Bella @ Bella before and after said...

Thanks for letting me know girl. I also never tried online scrapbooking, hopefully it is easier than real life scrapbooking, lol.

I like the GOING COASTAL kit, for all our Fl vacation pictures :)

Thanks girl.

Hugs, Bella :)

Crystal said...

I love the pretty in pink pack.

Lindsey said...

I love the Sweet Caroline Kit. And it's on sale!!! :)

Unknown said...

Sounds like a fun thing to try! I used to be a scrapbooker, but had to let go...SO time consuming! I think I could handle digital :)

alisamm said...

I really like all the fall ones...One Autumn Evening is so nice. Random number generator pick me!

LP aka A Crafty Southern Chick said...

I've never tried digital scrapbooking...I'm not much for doing it the "old-fashioned way"...so this looks fun :) I love the 'Hocus Pocus' pack and the 'Pirate Pete' pack...the pirates would be so cute for my son!

Melanie @ bear rabbit bear said...

I follow you and like the Sweet Life Pack!!


Amie {Kitty Cats and Airplanes} said...

I looooove the garden party pack! Thanks for the great opportunity!

Siamapieceofcake said...

I love this software!!! I love the dotty girl pack. This would be a great idea for a Christmas gift.

Maymie said...

Such a great giveaway! I love the kits, there are almost too many to choose from. If I have to pick one, I like the 'My Favorite Recipes Pack'. I want to make personalized cookbooks for my children. Great blog. Thanks.

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