Friday, July 24, 2009

Welcome and Season's Greetings....

In the spirit of the holiday season, I thought I would share with you the project that I created last year for my family. The idea all started one day as I flipped through one of the many papercrafting magazines that I subscribe to. One of the articles discussed the idea of setting up a jar or two filled with slips of paper and markers and encouraging family members to write down their favorite Christmas memories, etc. Well, I filed that idea and let it simmer. In October of 2007, we purchased our first home. That Christmas, my entire family decided to fly up together (a first) and join us for the holidays in our new home! I should say that I live about 17 hours from my immediate family as I moved up North ten years ago to begin my career. The last time I spent Christmas at "home" with my entire family was five years prior, in 2002 when my first son was not yet a year old. Anyhow, I digress....My parents, my two brothers, my sister and two significant others would be arriving early on Boxing day and staying until December 30th. I was ecstatic! I finally had the home I had dreamed of for years and my family was going to be here to join in the festivities! Then it dawned on me - I would have my chance to "corner" them all and get them to share and record their Christmas memories.....

This is what I did....before they arrived, I prepared several chinese food style take-out boxes - filling them with slips of paper and/or pre-cut tags and markers. I deocrated the boxes with ribbon, etc just for fun. On each box there was a different question for them to answer. The first question was "What is your favorite Christmas tradition?" The resulting layout is above. As I planned all of this, my idea was to create a Family Christmas Memory Book based on the responses to the questions and give it to them all the following year from Christmas. I had been sitting on this idea for quite some time, and couldn't wait to get started....

The next question asked about their favorite Christmas treat or recipe. In these layouts, I decided to feature recipes from both my Nana and Grandma who are no longer with us. Both receipes were mentioned in the responses and it was important for me to include them. I even made my Nana's recipe for Christmas Pudding and remebered to photograph it. I served it to my family for dessert after out Christmas Dinner together that year.
I was so lucky to have my Grandma's punch recipe in her own handwriting. I simply copied it onto good quality paper at the printers and added it to the page. Click the photo to take a closer look at the recipe, you won't be sorry, it's a keeper, so yummy. I'm thirsty now...

On of the more difficult parts of this project for me was to keep the journaling original. However, it was important for to me to keep the originals at least on some of the pages as I was then able to capture the hand-writing of my entire family in this one album. On some pages, I had to transcribe what they wrote due to space constraints or for design purposes.

I decided to work in 8x8 format as I had decided that I was going to produce five identical albums. Because there was no way I would have had the time to make them all original, I color copied each page as I completed it, but before adding any 3D embellishments. I cannot believe how beautiful them came out! I copied them at the Print Shop on quality paper and added embellishments later. I kid you not, once the embellishments were in place, it was nearly impossible to tell them apart from the original posting.

These pages were about favorite Childhood Christmas Memories.....

I so loved the papers I used on this layout, I had been hoarding them afraid to cut into them! They are from Daisy D's. Don't they just scream vintage wrapping paper!?! I still have some I havent' used!

I admit that this one has to be my favorite - it is me when I was about two years old and not so sure I wanted to be sitting on Santa's knee!

And this facing layout is of one of my younger brothers. This paper was also paper I was "afraid" to cut into, but it was so worth it because I love how it turned out!

I used the last page as a dedication page for my parents and managed to incorporate some stamps into the text, something I had been wanting to play with.
Well, I worked on this throughout 2008, it certainly wasn't something that could be thrown together in a few evenings, at least not for me. I put a lot of thought into it and was so pleased with the outcome. It was my first time working with older photos, so I scanned and printed them all at my local Black's store and that took the stress out of working with originals for which I do not have the negatives.
I was so excited to give this to my parents and my siblings last Christmas and I know that they really enjoyed it. I intend to keep it a bit of a "living" album, adding a couple more pages each year or so as I still have many ideas of pages to add. There were a few more questions everyone answered for me that I was not able to get into these pages - one asked "What is your favorite Christmas song or album?" I have a really hard time choosing a true favorite, there are so many I love. I have to list two favorite albums - Conway's Twitty's "A Twismas Story" and Alabama Christmas. I am a country girl at heart. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl. My favorite song would have to be "Silent Night" and I often sang my boys to sleep with that one, especially my youngest who was born in November. My other favorite to sing him to sleep with was "Away in a manger" - he used to ask for it all the time, didn't matter if it was August...
So what is your favorite Christmas tune?
Don't forget to stop by all the other Christmas parties happening today - you can access the list from Maggi's blog HERE. Check it out, you won't be sorry!


  1. Thanks Shanna!

    The weather around here only feels like Fall, but now with all your beautiful Christmas & Winter photos you have made us jump another season here in Thunder Bay! All kidding aside, your Christmas tribute is beautifully done.

    For all of you who may question the photocopying of scrapbook pages, I saw her original album and the photocopies and you seriously had to put your nose right to the page to tell a difference. It's a great money saver and a time saver.

    Happy Holidays!

  2. Merry Christmas and I have so enjoyed spending the day with you!!!!! Love all the pics!!! :)

  3. What gorgeous art you've created. This post and your post above remind me of why I love Christmas time so much.

  4. Oh wow, this album is amazing! What a fabulous legacy to hand down!

  5. Beautiful projects! I have some of that vintage looking Daisy D's - can't get myself to use it! But you have inspired me too. Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog! Merry Christmas!

  6. Oh this is fab, great photos and the Xmas pud looks yummy

  7. Wow, I am blown away by this idea. I am going to snag it and give it a try. I don't scrapbook---am just about to start. But, I can surely do this. What a gift from the heart.

  8. Love all the fabulous layouts! Just wonderful!

  9. what a beautiful book, glad your family appreciated it. my fave song is i'll be home for christmas sung by bing crosby

  10. This is great!! Your book is such a wonderful idea. All of your Christmas talk makes me long for cooler weather. We are in heat advisories for the next few days here in AZ..expecting 115!! YIKES!!


Thanks for visiting! I love to hear what you think of my work! :)