Monday, August 31, 2009

Oh, My HECK!

I have to say, that is one of my favorite "Utahisms". I haven't used it myself, but it always brings a smile to my face whenever I hear it.

And I hear it when I show this amazing home decor idea - and again when I tell someone the price!

These would look great in any room - plus an amazing gift too!

What you need:

3 12x12 scrapbook pages from Heritage Makers ($9) (create at

mounted on foam board ($5 each)

and a roll of ribbon from Wal Mart ($2)

total=$26 (for all 3)!!!

Okay, all together now..."OH, MY HECK!"

Contact me to get started! These are so easy!

- Chris

Fun and Interactive Family Tree

My friend Heidi Arave and I had a "brainstorming" session of poster ideas and using magnets made with Heritage Makers products too. "How about a magnetized, interactive Family Tree?" I suggested.

Well, Heidi put the words into ACTION and here it is!

What you need: (All of the printed items are made at

1 18x24 poster (I have the template. Please contact me to transfer it to your account)

1 12x12 scrapbook page (I have the template for this as well, to use for the magnets)

1 18x24 metal sheet (available at local heating and cooling store)

1 sheet of 2x2 tiles (available at Home Depot)

Mod Podge - glossy (for magnets)

Magnets - (available at craft store)

Sponge brush, to apply Mod Podge

* Laminate poster at local print shop, or wherever laminating service is available near you

Instructions are available from me - just ask! :)

Within minutes, Heidi's son, Jace, went from asking "Who's that?" to "Can we do it again? That's fun!"

Contact me to get started on your own FUN Family Tree! (Great gifts for family and friends too!)

- Chris

Thursday, August 13, 2009


August 5, 2009

I’m having one of “those nights” again…so many thoughts and ideas in my head that I don’t want to go to sleep because I might forget them – so, I better write them down.

Why I do what I do –

We all have those moments…”Why am I doing this?” And it was today, when I stepped away from the computer, the contact lists, the brochures and even the storybooks – that my “Why” of what I do and why I do it each day became even stronger in my heart.

I was at the hospital today with my mom and I noticed that most of the people in the hospital rooms around her were elderly. Their aging bodies needed some repair and even replacement, after years of hard work, use and experiences. I watched their slippered feet slowly shuffle down the hall or need help to be put carefully into the foot rests of the wheelchairs. I hope they didn’t mind me watching. I couldn’t help it. I watched in awe, humility and gratitude. They had lived so many stories – each of them coming from a different background, experiences, trials and triumphs. I just wanted to pull up a chair in their room and talk and write it all down, before they and their stories were gone.

Then, I thought of the storybooks I had published – when I had taken the time to sit down and “write it all down”. One of the first was about my son, Connor, where he shared all of the things that he CAN do. Even though he wrote it when he was six years old, he still smiles and walks a little taller each time he reads it – or hears me bragging about it.

Click link to see preview of Connor’s CONNOR CAN Storybook:

Another storybook I remembered was one that I had created and published this past year, about my amazing grandmother. (She would blush and deny it, if she heard me use the word “amazing” to describe her, but to me, that’s not even a vivid enough adjective. She was.)
She would never talk with me much about her life story for a book when she was alive, always saying that I should write about someone else’s life story. So, after she passed away, I scanned each page of her journal, the pressed keepsakes inside, the words she wrote, the letters, the recipes – and put them into a storybook. The words are her own – from her own journal years ago. Her legacy will live on and on and as her posterity, we are better for it. Now, many family members have a copy of her storybook. I think she would like that. She was/is one of my real-life heroes and I know she is to my daughter, Ellie, now too.

Click link to see preview of my grandmother’s Storybook:

And as I remembered these books and reflected on them and the people that they are about, I realized this…again. What I do is help people leave their mark – leave a permanent “footprint” that they were here and that what they did every day meant something. Not just at the end of life – but in celebrating those “everyday moments” of what we do too.

Every day, we are each learning, teaching, growing, serving, taking, giving – and for what? To start it all over again the next day? And then, for what?

It is those stories – those moments – in every day, that weave us into who we are – uniquely. There is no else like you.
And these moments of struggle, challenge, growth, experience, love, gratitude and triumph are lessons that we are to learn from, grow from and pass on to posterity. Then, they matter.

But, what if the moments, the lessons, the appreciation – what if that is never preserved or shared?
It will all be forgotten. Unless it is written – preserved.

That is the power of Story. It is through story and storybooks through the ages that we preserve our past and take it with us to the future.

So, that is WHY I do what I do. To help people – even my own family and myself – preserve, share and celebrate the lives that are lived – at any age – and the stories that are shared and learned from, even for generations to come.
Every life matters.

Every story deserves a book of its own.

We ALL have a story to share.
I saw this quote tonight, after my time at the hospital. It was perfect.
“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

Live your story today – and write it down.

Monday, August 10, 2009

How to Write Your Own Memoir

Dear wonderful friends,

I am on Oprah's email list - you know we are close ;), and this was in my inbox the other day. It reinforces what Heritage Makers does - and what Heritage Studio provides - a "jumping off place" and the path to the journey of preserving and sharing their story.

Excerpt from article:

Writing is the way I ground myself, and it's what keeps me sane. Writing is the way I try to make sense of my life, try to find meaning in accident, reasons why what happens happens-even though I know that why is a distraction, and meaning you have to cobble together yourself.

- Abigail Thomas

Click the link below for the complete article and even a guide for with prompts for writing a life story - a memoir (click the link below):

And then, when they have written...then what? Do the words and memories get forgotten? Was the process and effort worth nothing - especially to generations to come?

That's when we realize the power of and need for Storybooking.

This is a wonderful article to read for ourselves and to share with our friends, family and clients.

Thanks Oprah - again!

(Remember, Oprah chose YOUR product as one of her "All-Time Favorite Gifts" - not just last year...ALL-TIME.)

Thinking of you,