Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Review + Giveaway: My Memories Scrapbooking Software

Last month Liz from My Memories Suite contacted me and asked if I would like to try out their digital scrapbooking software and review it for you.  With 1,000+ digital photos after returning from vacation it was perfect timing!

I was a little nervous at first because I figured it would require an huge time investment in learning how to use the software. Actually, it turned out to be really, really easy to use.

If you can use Microsoft Word, you can master this software. If you write a blog and can use the Blogger or Wordpress dashboards, you can master this software.

This is actually the first time I've actually tried to scrapbook before in any form, as paper scrapbooking doesn't have a great deal of appeal to me, and so far I find making digital pages really addicting.  I was going to have this review up for you last week but I've been too busy playing with the software, downloading content, and creating pages.  Seriously.

I figured you might be a little tired of Ireland photos by now, so here is my pup Teddy, Cutest Dog Ever (though he is a bit scruffy from romping in these photos): 

I made this page using only the pre-installed paper, embellishments, layouts, and tools that came with the My Memories Suite package (with the exception of the tree, that came with a freebie kit that  I downloaded here).   There are many pre-installed options.

Yet one of the Very Best Features of this software package is that you can upload graphics from the huge free digital scrapbooking and graphic sites on the web!  The options are endless.

I did run into a little snag. While it is easy to upload files one-by-one into your layouts, I haven't yet figured out how to install content permanently into the software, though it is possible to do so.  At the time of this writing I found a great You Tube tutorial that demonstrates how to do this.

Also, I recommend using a photo editor before uploading your photos.  I use Picasa.

Another great feature in My Memories Suite is that you can export files and post them online, send them to friends, or take them to the printer of your choice to be made into photobooks, cards, and calendars.  You can also create albums that contain music, movies, or active links to the web! All albums can be downloaded to a CD-R or DVD-R, making this THE scrapbooking software to use to create wedding CDs to give to family and friends. 

I think that you'll really like this software.


In addition to the giveaway,  I also have a coupon for $10 off of this truly neat software for every Serendipity Handmade reader.  Share the code with your family and friends! It never expires. Just copy and paste the code into the Coupon/Promo Code box on the My Cart screen:



Would you to win a copy of My Memories Suite?

Visit the My Memories page and leave a comment with the name of your favorite digital scrapbooking kit by 11:59 Pacific Time on Tuesday, October 4th. International entries are welcome too!

If you'd like extra chances to win here are some additional options.  Leave one additional comment for each action:

  • Like My Memories on Facebook
  • Like My Memories on Twitter
  • Like Serendipity Vintage on Facebook
  • Follow Serendipity Vintage on Twitter
  • Tweet about this giveaway (be sure to use @SerendipityVint in the tweet)
Please be sure to leave your email address in your post or in your blog profile!    

The winner will be chosen by random number and announced on October 5th!  Best of luck!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Madison Avenue Monday: Talon, Fashion's Finishing Touch

I think Talon's ad men had a sense of humor, given the red "talons" on the model!

From Modern Miss, Fall-Winter 1960

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Field Trip: Starstruck Exhibit, Ulster Museum

Time for a field trip!  Like a moth to flame, though thousands of miles away from home, I stumbled over a costume exhibit while visiting Belfast.  And a Hollywood-themed exhibit, no less.  The costumes were all from period movies and television productions, many of which I liked so well I own them on DVD:

This gorgeous robe à la française was worn by Swoosie Kurtz as Madame de Volanges in Dangerous Liaisons.

via Google Image Search
Dear readers, you know how often I go to costuming exhibits.  Yet the Starstruck exhibit at the Ulster Museum was more wonderful than most of the costume exhibits I have ever seen for three reasons:

1) one of my favorite costumes of all time was on display and I never imagined I would see it in person, and
2) I could get quite close to the costumes to study the construction and fabric, and
3) I could take as many pictures as I wished!

How could I fail to photograph Colin Firth's costume from the BBC's production of Pride and Prejudice with Jennifer Ehle, by far the best Pride and Prejudice series to date? (I dare you to argue with me about this!).  I love the film still on the wall behind the costume that says "Grand Finale":

I was excited to see several of the costumes from the recent and exciting PBS Masterpiece production, Downton Abbey.  

Season Two can't come fast enough!  I particularly like this evening gown worn by the irascible Lady Mary Crawley, played by Michelle Dockery:

via Downton Abbey fan site

Last but not least, one of my favorite dresses of all time was in a children's film.  I have adored this gorgeous sari-inspired dress ever since I saw Irene Jacobs, as Lilias Craven, grace its lovely folds in The Secret Garden.  The beading is extraordinary and the color is amazing.  It seems much like something Paul Poiret might have designed:


I hope that you enjoyed our little field trip.  See more costume photographs from this exhibit on Flickr  in coming days.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Madison Avenue Monday: Modess...because

One of the early Modess ads in the 20th century. This famous ad campaign ran from 1948 to the early 1970s.  Iisn't it interesting how subtle ads for sanitary pads were in the past?

But as for fashion, this beautiful gown from 1949 could have been designed today.

From Ladies Home Journal, January 1949

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Vogue Paris Original, Vogue Designer, Vogue Couturier + Fall Sale

Just a quick post to tell you that there are new Vogue Paris, Vogue Designer, Vogue Couturier, and Vogue Americana patterns in the shop

To see new patterns just click on new listings or search by pattern manufacturer.

Also, to celebrate fall I'm offering a discount on all coat, jackets, capes, and wrap patterns:

Finally, September is National Sewing Month.  There some fun free patterns on the website, such as one for a zipper flower pin, or for a ruffled wristlet --  go check them out!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall Sewing Projects?

If you haven't visited the blog lately, stop by to see the new design!

It's fall (so they say, it's still hot like summer here) so it's time to go back to school for me. Sewing class has begun and I'm still trying to decide which projects to make.

First, I have to fix Simplicity 2936:

It's too big. 

You can probably see that neckline is HUGE (and though it's hard to tell, also very low-cut). The sleeves are also a little too voluminous as well (also hard to see in this picture). My guess is that this is what comes of slashing the pattern the easy way, like this:

to lower the bust and add volume, and not doing a full-bust adjustment instead.

I'm still learning how to fit so this is still new to me, but I can see how I might want to do things differently next time. My instructor is sure we can fix it -- we'll see. I'm really bummed about it because I've been wanting to wear it for ages.

For my other projects, dare I attempt another Vogue pattern after the frustrating flower purse? I really like Vogue 8527:


As color-blocking is hot this fall, and this silhouette has a retro 80s feel I really love I'm thinking about this knit dress:

V8610, via

I also would like to try a capelet, though as I don't really need one I'm not sure this is my first choice:

M5764, via

Dear Readers, which is your favorite?  What are you making this fall?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Madison Avenue Monday: P & B Wools

Love this chic silhouette, and the contrast of black and pink:

From Vogue Knitting Book, No. 49, February 1957

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Two Seams Make an Instant Shrug

Last fall I bought some lacy knit mohair fabric at Mood while on one of my field trips.

I had it earmarked to make a quick shrug using Anna Mazur's instructions from the August/September 2005 issue of Threads magazine.  I wish I could share the directions here but if you're interested you can buy a back issue or go to the library.

You have a choice of three versions:  kimono, batwing, or "Dancer's Sweater".  All of them look a little different.  As I had a lot of light, airy fabric I made the kimono sleeved version:

Shrug modeled by the lovely Esme

I simply folded the fabric, cut an opening for my body, and then serged the sleeves.  And that was it.  It's very quick and easy and you can read about other versions over at Pattern Review, should you want to give it a try. 

Hope you're having a crafty weekend,

Monday, September 5, 2011

Madison Avenue Monday: Labor Day Edition

All of you working women out there, enjoy your day of rest, and be thankful we have more professional options now than in 1955:

Image via Threadbared

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fortunate Finds: Annabella says "Mix Your Own Colors for Fall"

It's like a fiery inferno here in California it's so hot.  Ok, I exaggerate, but it has been quite hot the last few days leading up to this Labor Day Weekend that is supposed to mark the end of summer.

Given the heat, I remembered a little magazine that I found at an estate sale last number called Modern Women:  a Magazine Published by your ICE Company.  I have Volume 7, Number 5, and while it has no publication date, given the fashion and other little clues I have dated it to 1937 or 1938:

Subliminal message:  ice delivery truck in the background

This slim volume was published a several times a year and was sponsored by the Ice and Coal Industry to promote the use of ice and "air-conditioned ice refrigerators" (the kind that is cooled by a huge block of ice).

In 1937, in the midst of the Great Depression, there were approximately 122 million people living in the United States -- but only 2 million rather well-off families had refrigerators.  Articles included fashion, beauty, recipes, and housekeeping tips along with ice refrigeration ads, of course.

This volume had a lovely three page article starring Annabella, a highly-sought after French movie actress who was good friends with Schiaparelli and  married Tyrone Powers in 1939:
Image via

You can read a bit more about her here

I've reproduced the article, "Annabella Says Mix Your Own Colors for Fall" entirely for you here, as Annabella personally selected the clothing and discussed style trends for the upcoming season.  Note the period styling tips that Annabella shares by by Molyneaux, Schiaparelli, and Chanel.

But you'll have to use your imagination, as this fashion spread only talks about fall colors and it was photographed in black and white!   Think about tones of Autumn when looking at the fabulous ensembles pictured here:


I also found myself staring at this page for quite a while...

...and then decided to go enjoy the automatic "fruits" of modern refrigeration: a  huge glass of ice water!

BTW, have you visited my Facebook page lately?  I will soon send out a special Labor Day promo code for Facebook followers only at!