Have you ever wanted to unlock your door with a fingerprint? Control the indoor and outdoor lights with your phone? You can do those things and more with a smart home. We show you how to get a home with connected technology and remote-operated devices that are designed to improve and simplify your life. We sift through the many options, including smart appliances, new apps, and smartphone and tablet innovation, and only bring you those that can make your life better. We give you tips and tricks for navigating the new home technologies and help you with buying decisions.See More
Before you head on your next trip, check out these simple projects to capture all your vacation memories.
Bring summer sun home to a three-ring album. Add patterned paper and chipboard shapes to the cover and interior.
You won't lose your luggage on your next trip with this custom-made tag. Simply mix and match your favorite papers, print off your address, and laminate. To create the hole, use a small punch and finish it off with a creative eyelet. Then thread a small chain through and attach it to your bag.
Purchase a shaped chipboard album for a creative mini album. Prepare the album in advance for on-the-road journaling.
Save spots for journaling and photos with a simple background of monochromatic papers. When you return from your trip, place photos in the album.
To keep up with your busy travels, bring along basic stamps like these to create simple cards you can add to your photo album when you return from the trip.
Use an airplane-shape chipboard album for air travel. The small size makes it a project you can finish in a day.
The pages are the perfect size for a photo and a little journaling. This mini book comes with enough pages to include vacation highlights yet is still a project you can finish quickly. Use the plane as a template to trace and cut out patterned paper for each page. Stitch around the exterior edge of each plane shape. Adhere the patterned paper to each album page. Use a nail-buffing block to remove any excess paper and smooth the edges.
Instead of keeping a journal of your travels, send postcards to yourself describing each day of your vacation. Then make an album of the postcards when you return home.
A genius use of a flip file is to make it into a vacation album. Set the finished product on a side table or desk for quick reminiscing.
Don't let a single day of a great vacation slip from your mind. Create dividers by covering index tab cards with decorative paper. Add the day number with stickers and jot down the day's activities.
Nestle cropped photos behind each day's card, and you're ready to flip through to enjoy the memories!
Photos are the most treasured part of a trip. Here are a few ideas to make sure you will get your photos returned to you if the film happens to go missing. We recommend taking a photo of your home address if you are using a film camera so the developer will be able to return your missing photos. For disposable cameras, stick an address label to the bottom for easy returns. To ensure your digital camera of a safe homecoming, be sure you have your address and phone number tucked inside its case.
Decorate an album cover with theme products so it's instantly recognizable. For a mouse-ear embellishment on the cover, cut out circles from coordinating patterned paper and piece them together.
Use large papier-mache letters to share vacation memories. Lay each letter facedown on paper to outline its shape. Cut the shape into sections that work with your images. Paint the sides and backs of the letters with crafts paint; let dry. Use the pattern to cut postcards and photos to size. Apply spray adhesive to your cut postcard and picture pieces, and cover the letters.
Don't let your travel souvenirs be forgotten. Make a quick list of everything you want to bring home, and then check each off as you find them.
Handwritten thoughts from a vacation fill the large bubble-turned-car-exhaust-cloud. Add quotes from the kids and cut silhouettes from photos from the trip to add interest and context to a scrapbook page. Emphasize the tone of the quotes with capital letters and color.
Make it as you go. Bring along a small bag of supplies including a blank journal to scrap as you go. Store small keepsakes and journal each day of your trip to save your memories for a lifetime.
Combine photos and strips of patterned paper to create a striped scrapbook page. Orange patterned paper brings out the blue ocean in the photos. Have a standard-size photo you want to use for this design? Enlarge it and trim it to look panoramic.
Keep your memorabilia organized in empty page protectors or sealable bags. Bring a few along so you can sort them into categories, making scrapbooking much easier when you are home.
Favorite quotes, places you've been, things you love . . . Make a list of everything worth counting with this by-the-numbers swatch book. Fill this little purse-size photo book with memories of your last trip at BHGlifeinphotos.com.
No need to carry your address book with you on your next vacation. Instead just print out your friends' and family's addresses on labels. This trick will make sending postcards a breeze.
To liven up your scrapbook album, stop at a local scrapbook shop to pick out theme stickers, papers, and stationery from the area. Keep on the lookout for other treasures that would make good openers, such as menus or photos of unique signs.
For your international journeys, make pocket-size translation cards. Simply print the phases on note cards and connect them with a small chain. Visit www.travlang.com/languages for common foreign language translations.
Scrapbook your vacation photos in a flash as this designer did with her 8x8-inch album. She kept it lively from the start: Her cover features a painted metal frame, a tied-on metal-rim tag, and an epoxy sticker.
Designate a bag to be the carryall for road trips. Pack it with essentials for yourself. Be sure to pack small toys to keep little ones entertained.