Thursday, April 23, 2009

Photography How To's worth Bookmarking

Going in the right direction! Yes!

It's like being pushed by a team of dolphins!

I felt like Wonder Woman when the two dolphins pushed me across the lagoon ....

They had awesome POWER!

They knew where they were going.

It's like having a great teacher - right?

One of my passions has been to be able to take great photo images.

But in the busyness of life, having manuals that are 200+ pages long, it just doesn't get to the top of my to-do list.

So today I'm going to DIRECT YOU to a Great Teacher.

I have come across Darren Rowse's blogs on digital photography and I enjoy how he simplifies it for us.

So click on these links and save them on your favourites. You are going to want to come back time and time again to make photography all it can be for you.

Happy Memory Making,

Barb Ashcroft

Personal Publishing Consultant

We Bring Your Stories to Life

April Special: Pick of the Month Save 25% on our flagship 8x8 bound books

contact me directly to save.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

History Nugget Challenge

Please read my previous post called
It's the playoffs - so this is about hockey
as my history nugget to meet the challenge posted by

I got so excited telling the story I forgot to include the link.
Thanks for the opportunity to retell a special story.

Barb Ashcroft

It's the Playoffs - so this is about hockey

Yes, that is my dad, Bob Frost sitting on the lower left end of the first row.

1936........age 13.......champs!

The Magic of this photo is that I found this photo as a damaged crumple in one of my dad's dresser drawers.........and ASKED him about it.

I'm so glad I did...because he told me the story.

5 of these boys went on into the NHL. That's right. I'll write it again. 1/3 of this team went on to an NHL career. I think that is worth writing about. In fact it gets even better. My dad went east to pursue his hockey career. However my mom followed him with a wedding cake in her trunk. How's that for 'go get em' attitude!

Vic Price, a scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs got Dad to sign a deal that he would play for them. Being conscientious, providing for a family won out though...and he shared his love of hockey another way.

Upon returning to Saskatoon he was one of Gordie Howe's Pee Wee coaches. Dad remembers Gordie as a shy, quiet kid from a very poor family. Looking back, wasn't everyone? Poor times back then. Dad with some of his friends got 25 cents together and bought Gordie a pair of skates from McCoys 2nd hand store. Even with 100's of kids trying to get on teams, Dad said Gordie stood out. He played goalie at that time.

Taken from "The Frost Family 1886 to 2006 - Preserving Memories by Barb (Frost) Ashcroft.

Now if I hadn't asked for the story behind the photo who would know this today. I think it is something my 8 year old grandson will want to know some day.

What's holding you back...write a story. Start with a paragraph or a recorder.

ps. Go Canucks gooooooooooo!

Barb Ashcroft

Personal Publishing Consultant

Monday, April 13, 2009

Here's the links that work for Pro Photographer Tips

It seems my preview that had everything working and linking on my last post was telling fibs.

Here are the correct blog links: Copy and Paste if necessary. I'm not even trusting tinyurl


50 "Must Have" Wedding Photography Shots

Photo Collage for your photoblog or website

and a side note: MS Office Tips and Tricks

Personal Publishing Consultant

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pro Photographers share their tips

I love it when we have a chance to learn from the pro's and they share with step by step, point by point illustrations.

I'm visual, so I'm a big fan of screen shots.

Today I feel I've hit the motherload.

Great instruction!

Great creativity!

Here are several blogs that will direct you with digital photography, photoshop and even working with your Microsoft Office.

Several Christmases ago I interviewed an award winning photographer and wrote a blog on helping folks take GREAT Photos with their new Christmas camera gifts.
It went over so well I reposted it several times.

I'd love to know which one of these postings you like the most.
Please leave your comments below.
So here is a listing of the 'good stuff' with links to various blogs.

#1 Fantastic creative ideas for Lighting with Darren Rowse

#2 50 "Must Have" Wedding Photography Shots by Bill D'Agostino

#3 How to make a photocollage banner for your photoblog or website - Helen Bradley

and an add-on another subject that interests me and hopefully you.
#4 MS Office Tips and Tricks with screen shots as well.
I love the generosity of these bloggers to share tips and tricks for those of us who want to learn.
I encourage you to retweet this message so more people can learn from them as well.
Just click on the retweet button on the left.
Till next time,
Barb Ashcroft
Inspired Storybooker
We Bring your Stories to Life

Thursday, April 9, 2009

5 Top Versions publishing a coffee table book

Going for a survey today

Here are 5 top versions of an 8.5x11.5 bound coffee table book.

Vote by leaving your comment and tell me which one is your favorite and you'll be entered in a draw for a 5x5 bound storybook for you to create.

1) The Classic;
clean lines, professional, great for business or portfolios

2) More than a photo book, this one is a Traditional Sign In Wedding Book

3) Another version of a Scrapbooky Sign In Wedding Book, this one with more digital components

4) Family Heritage Book (this is my hubby's family history book I completed last February, we never even knew his grandfather's first name before we did this)

5) Whimsical Family History Book for you to personalize

Of course this is simply a small selection, but I wanted to show the diversity of creating your own unique projects.

For more ideas, go to and check out the Template Gallery

Barb Ashcroft
Personal Publishing Consultant

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

20 Questions to ask when writing a Grandparent's Story

20 Excellent Questions to Ask

Questions = Page #

The Page # relatess to each question and tells you the exact page where you would put the answers when you create your
Grandparent Cornerstone Legacy Book

Example: Grandpa & Grandma _________: A Legacy That Lives On

Pg. 1: Their Legacy Lives On
What inspired you to write this book? What do you want your children to remember about your parents? (this is written from the perspective of you writing about your parents for your kids).

Pg. 2: Grandfather Benjamin
Give a brief biographical sketch of your father’s childhood. Where and when was he born, who were his parents, what were some of his childhood interests and experiences?

Pg. 3: Grandmother Esther
Give a brief biographical sketch of her childhood. Where and when was she born, who were her parents, what were some of her childhood interests and experiences?

Pg 4: When Grandma Met Grandpa
Write about how, when and where your parents met. What kinds of things did they like to do together? What did they admire about each other?

Pg. 5: Building a New Life Together
Write about why your parents decided to marry each other. How did your father propose? Where did they get married? Where was their first house? Describe their early life together.

Pg. 6: Working for a Living
What kind of work did your father do? Why did he choose that profession? What kind of professional advice would your father leave for your children? What kind of work ethic and legacy did he leave for them?

Pg. 7: A Woman’s Work is Never Done
Write about your mother’s work and responsibilities. Was she working when she met your father? In school? How did her responsibilities change as children came? What did she do to make your house a home?

Pgs. 8-9: A Growing Family
Write down the names and birthdates of your siblings as well as yourself. Include details about them such as their interests and talents, nicknames, or things they were known for. How did the children get along and care for each other? What experiences did you have that bonded you all together as a family.

Pgs. 10-11: The Places We Called Home
Write about the homes you grew up in. Write about your neighbors, your community, and your surroundings. How did that shape you as you grew up? Where were your favorite places to go? Who were your family’s friends?

Pgs. 12-13: Exploring the World Around Us
Describe family vacations or trips that you took together. When was the first time your parents took you beyond the boundaries of your regular home life and community?

Pgs. 14: Grandpa’s Favorites
What were some of your father’s favorite things: songs, food, recreational activities, books, quotes, music, hobbies, etc.

Pg. 15: Grandma’s Favorites
What were some of your mother’s favorite things: songs, food, recreational activities, books, quotes, music, hobbies, etc.

Pg. 16: Grandma’s Words of Wisdom
What kind of advice would your mother have left to her children? Make a list of some of your mother’s positive character traits. What kind of example did she leave as a legacy for your children?

Pg. 17: Grandpa’s Words of Wisdom
What kind of counsel would your father leave for his grandkids? What kinds of attitude and ethics would he like to see in his posterity? What kind of example did he set for his posterity?

Pgs. 18-19: Spiritual Reflections
Some people adhere to a specific organized religion. Some people have a more individualistic set of values they adhere to, but you can always tell a person’s true beliefs by the way they live. Write about your parents’ religious beliefs and personal philosophy of life.

Pgs. 20-21: Their Legacy Lives On
Write your own thoughts about your parents. Include thoughts of siblings, relatives, neighbors, etc.

This page is excerpts from our Story Maps

Once you create your free account you have access to Story Maps or cue sheets on the Studio Page. These include how to write a Life Story, a Love Story, a Baby Story and many more.

Follow these cues and you will have your Grandparent Cornerstone almost ready to publish. Just need to add the photos.
In fact contact me and I can provide you with a template that you only need to fill in your photos and your words. Totally customizable with your personal touches.
It never got easier to preserve the memories of those precious to you.

Create your free account today!

Barb Ashcroft

your Personal Publishing Consultant

1-800-919-1998 (North American toll free)

Monday, April 6, 2009

somedays even proofs don't show you the way it is

ahhh much for alignment of photos to words...seems like twitter isn't the only one taking a break.

Don't like to Journal?

We've got you covered. We have the wonderful Quote Library in our Studio 2.0 online storybooking design center.
It even comes with a FREE Membership.

Just drag and drop the quote of choice (even comes with a search function) to your page and voila you're set. You select the font, size and color to fit your design.

Quote Garden is another great source.

Here are a few favorite Graduation Quotes to be thinking for 2009 Grad projects.

When you leave here, don’t forget why you came. ~Adlai Stevenson, to college graduates
Graduation day is tough for adults.

They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child-raising, they are unemployed. ~Erma Bombeck

You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world. ~Tom Brokaw

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. ~Aristotle

It takes most men five years to recover from a college education, and to learn that poetry is as vital to thinking as knowledge. ~Brooks Atkinson, Once Around the Sun, 1951

A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad. ~Theodore Roosevelt

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. ~Benjamin Franklin

Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated. ~Garry Trudeau

People will frighten you about a graduation…. They use words you don’t hear often: “And we wish you Godspeed.” It is a warning, Godspeed. It means you are no longer welcome here at these prices. ~Bill Cosby

The future lies before you

Like a field of driven snow,

Be careful how you tread it,

For every step will show.~Author Unknown

Hitch your wagon to a star. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Just had to slip in a photo of my kids .....ah sweet memories.
Barb, Digital Publishing Consultant
We Bring your Stories to Life!

Wow it helps to have a mentor

You are going to see a bunch of new changes to my blog.

Today I am starting a 31 day challenge to make my blog 'that much more".
This is a service by Probloogger

Check it out!

I've added many new functions already on the sidebar. Functions that I didn't even know were available to me. I'm looking forward to putting a video on there for you.

I appreciate your comments. Let me know what you think of improved functionality and eye appeal. The next 30 days will be tweaking my message, and becoming much more clear about what I can offer you. Let us know what would help you the most with content.

Until tomorrow....
Happy Storybooking,
Personal Publishing Consultant

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Rocking the Boat

I just received the photo of the boat that goes with my last posting.

I wanted to make sure it was included.
Thank you to Pastor Al from the Tapestry Church
For podcast go to

Have a Wonderful Easter!

Barb Ashcroft