Sunday, September 21, 2008

Upcoming Events

I think everyone will agree that it has been a crazy week in regards to our economic news and the financial crisis that we have watched unfold. We are grateful that our business moves forward during these uncertain times and we are moved by the meaningful stories that are being preserved through these projects.

We can finally announce that our products have shipped to the Fort Union and University Deseret Book stores in Utah. Still trying to get the St. George store's order out the door, but for our friends in Southern Utah... it's coming! We've just picked up a store in Tucson, Arizona and we look forward to getting to know the people of that area.

Fall classes have started and that means we're picking up the pace--like we weren't already running? We haven't forgotten to write up instructions for creating the family frame --we just haven't had any time. For those of you in the Salt Lake area; we will be at the Deseret Book Ladies Night Out on October 4th. Suni will be at the Ft. Union store and I'll head down to University Mall. I don't know if you've ever attended one of these events, but we were blown away at the May 08 LNO! The store gives away all sorts of prizes and we added to the assortment by providing one of our Family Memory Tree's and a Vintage Tin. Hope you'll join us!

We'll also be doing a demonstration at the Church History Museum in the afternoon of October 4th. They are located on West Temple, right across the street from Temple Square. If you're not aware, it is General Conference for the LDS Church so the downtown area will be packed. It's the perfect time to visit the Church History Museum store since they put everything on sale, not to mention that they already start the lowest prices around AND they don't charge sales tax. Who doesn't appreciate a bargain in these tough times?!

Gotta mention all help that we've added to meet our customers needs! Bethany and Sidney are helping with manufacturing. Lindsey is doing an excellent job at preparing our class kits. Courtney is now making all of our magnets. We'd be six feet under if it wasn't for their help!

If you are getting ready to finish a SbM project, be sure to check out our blog on finishing your project. Suni got to see first hand how important it is to shake the Krylon spray before turning it loose on your pictures.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Good things coming!

Lots of you saw our Family Tree at Swiss Days. We showed several different ways to display the finished project. The framed version was a big hit! We promise to tell you exactly how to finish your frame, but we're still madly trying to get out a few remaining Swiss Day orders, not to mention all the store orders.

We hope this picture will help you envision the finished project. We proudly display our tree surrounded by the Irish Blessing: "May the Roots of your Family Tree Grow Deep and Strong".

Start looking for an unfinished frame with an opening that is 12x12 inches. The wider the frame, the better. This one has a 3 inch edge. We picked up it up at Roberts for about $15.00, minus our 40% off coupon, of course!

Suni is itching to create her own frame and we'll be sure to take pictures of the different steps so you can see how easy the project is!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Distress It!

Note: We originally posted this in June. We decided to move it to the top of the list for all of you getting started on your holiday projects!
We thought we'd share ideas for distressing your project. You can personalize your project even more by using various distressing techniques. No two projects will be alike! Pick a look that matches your project, your pictures and your personal taste. Here are a few suggestions of distressing products we love to use:

Distress Ink by Jim Holtz. We love the color Old Paper and use it on EVERYTHING! It is a great start to making your project look like it's been around for a while.

There are also a few other colors in the Distress Ink line that we like to use. Vintage Photo is a great medium brown with just a hint of red. It looks great with black and white or color photos. We also like Walnut Stain to make the corners look extra distressed. Beware, this last one is really dark and we suggest to use it sparingly.

Along with Distress Ink, we like to use chalk. The brand we like is Color Box Chalk. Chestnut Roan is our absolute favorite! It gives better coverage than ink and is a good option for darkening paper edges or the wood when using dark pictures.

There are a few differences between using an ink and a chalk. It is good to know that the ink takes a few minutes to dry. If you don't allow it to dry it can smear and be a mess! Also, if you are planning on applying a top protective coating of decoupage glue, be sure to let it dry so the ink doesn't streak into your pictures. Chalk is a little easier - it dries immediately! No need to wait.

The trick to distressing your project is to just grab the ink or chalk and have at it! Start with a light color to build confidence , but don't try to make it too perfect. Imperfections just add to the character and help to tell your story.

Finishing Your Projects

You've worked hard to create the perfect project. You want to enjoy it for years... better yet, for generations. We used to recommend several coats of decoupage glue over the top of the pictures to protect your priceless images, but we found that sometimes the glue scratches or flakes using this process. We've tried numerous spray finishes. While most of them will work, we sing the praises of Krylon's Matte finish #1311.

NOTE: Several light coats of the spray work best! Hold the can at least 10 inches from the project. Thick
coats of finish, or spraying too close to the picture tends to dissolve the ink and/or change color tones.

Krylon Matte Finish #1311
Protect and enhance your finished project with this permanent, non-glossy finish. It reduces sheen and light reflection, while providing invisible protection.

Dries in minutes
Creates a soft, satin finish
Provides a durable protective coating in minutes
Moisture resistant

LESSONS LEARNED: The printed instructions on the can suggest that you shake it for two minutes before using it. If you're like us, you might be tempted to cut corners...DON'T! Suni had a class participant turn a brand-new (and might we add, unshaken) can onto her project. Imagine the horror of seeing your hard work splattered with a white-filmy substance?! The good news is that you can't ruin these projects. Simply sand down the affected pictures and glue a new one over it. Better yet, save yourself some time and SHAKE!