I've been scrapbooking for some time now. I got started over eight years ago (at least) when my cousin invited me to a home party. Like Trinnie will tell you, when I do something it's balls to the wall, so I plunged into paper scrapbooking. I took a few years off, but started back up when DH left for the Army. I started frequenting my local scrapbooking store, snatching up every military-themed item I could find, and I even went to a scrapbooking convention! I accumulated a lot, but didn't get far - I think I left off during BCT/AIT, and never managed to scrap Korea, Bragg, or Afghanistan. Oops. I hadn't scrapped since then, and that was back in 2007/2008.
When I began my own journey into the military, I knew that I wanted/deserved to document my experience as well. Paper scrapbooking was tempting, but given my track record, it probably wasn't the smartest idea, and it can add up financially. I hadn't ever tried digital scrapbooking before, but I thought it might the best option for me. Digital scrapbooking makes so much sense for military families. You're not carting around tubs or bags of supplies and praying that the movers don't damage anything, or hoping that the next home you wind up in has room for a crafting room. With a portable lifestyle, you need a crafting pastime that moves with you, and digital scrapbooking does just that.
My Memories was smart to reach out to bloggers. They know that by the very nature of what we do, bloggers are archivists, documenters, and family historians. When I found won one of their giveaways on Liv's blog, Fairytales and Cancer Don't Mix, I was excited about finally getting to scrapbook my military career.
The My Memories Suite (MMS) software is a breeze to use. It's intuitive, well-designed, and there's little to no learning curve to getting started. If you don't consider yourself a creative purpose, fear not! They have 100+ templates already created, so you can drag and drop photos like you would if you were creating a photo album on any other website. MMS combines the ease of creating a photo album with the flexibility for complete customization and scrapbooking creativity. You can edit photos, integrate multimedia for publishing online, and create an album of any size. You can have multiple albums going at one time, just as you would with paper scrapbooking. I love being able to switch back and forth between albums as I get inspired by one idea or another.
The stock software comes with more than enough to get you started - papers, embellishments, etc. If you want more or something more specialized, you can shop at the My Memories website for kits and other add-ons. The beauty of the shop is that it's not "one style fits all" - My Memories works with all sorts of designers who create and manage their own shops within the site. Kits and add-ons are reasonably priced and sales/specials are held often! Did I mention Friday Freebies? Every Friday the My Memories Facebook page has a downloadable freebie mini-kit. There's a free content area on the website as well. If you've already purchased digital scrapbooking elements from another website, you can integrate them into MMS - complete flexibility!
So, let's get to it! Let me show you what I've been able to create the few short months that I've been using MMS!
Not sure if you have the creativity in you? Don't fret! My Memories is fantastic about getting its customers/users involved and keeping you crafty! Their blog has weekly challenges, features where you can meet their designers (and win free stuff), and my favorite, the Speed Scrap! Every Sunday they host a scrap via their Facebook and Twitter sites. Tune in at 8:00 PM EST and a series of six prompts will be given every ten minutes, for a full hour. They'll tell you how many photos to use, how many elements, different shapes, etc. It's a great way to make time for yourself and your craft, and it's amazing how differently people interpret directions. When the Speed Scrap is over, participants share their finished page on the Facebook page, which I love to check out for future inspiration. All of the pages you see above were made during Speed Scraps.
Get in on the action!
This giveaway will run through 12:01 AM EST on March 1st, 2012. By the end of the leap year, one of you will be exercising your creativity with a copy of My Memories Suite software!