Dana, something must be different between your and mine installation of Creator 3.1 SP1 dated 2/18/2015.
When I start without any project open and select from start page "Find Example Project" a Shift Reg is offered. This seems to be different from your experiences
I am also using PSoC Creator 3.1. With no project open I select under Examples and kits >> Find example project. A window opens that lets me choose the device family and then it lists available example projects.
If I try to select a device family with no project open, the project pull-down menu options are grayed out. Is your experience the same? This seems to work as I would expect it to work.
Mine are not greyed out with no project open.
I also see the proper list of example projects, including the shift reg (it is also there for PSoC3 and 5LP). My Windows VM still has Creator 2.2, 3.0 and 3.1 installed.