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Modifying Traditional Chinese Crafts to Celebrate Your Chinese Ancestors Heritage

May 24

Chinese New Years Eve Celebrates Family and Ancestors

Hung Bow lanterns made with family photographs

Chinese New Year or ‘Spring Festival’ is China’s most important festival and holiday. The dates changes every year and are decided by the Chinese lunar calendar, but it’s always between January 21 and February 20 of the Gregorian calendar.

Traditions and Activities

In China, Chinese New Year’s Eve is a time for families to be together. Wherever they are, people are expected to be home to celebrate the festival with their families. On New Years Eve traditions include  remembering the ancestors and giving red envelopes that contain crisp new paper money to the children and seniors in the family, and watching fireworks and firecrackers which scare off the evil spirits.


Looking at the Hung Bow Red Lanterns crafted from the red envelopes to decorate for Chinese New Years, I decided it would be a simple matter to make Red Lanterns with family and ancestor photos on them to personalize the decorations and show respect to the ancestors on Chinese New Years Eve as well as year round.

These are traditionally made by folding and stapling red envelopes.

Photo of Hung Bow Lanterns made with family photographs

I have modified a simple 6 panel Hung Bow Lantern by using photographs of Chinese Ancestors.

READ MORE – CLICK HERE !

 

How to translate Chinese Caricatures into Computer Fonts

READ MORE – THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT !!

Signature from Document

 

Chinese Caricature Generators

Screenshot from the Chinesetools.eu Calligraphy Generator

CHINESE THEMED PEDIGREE CHARTS

READ MORE

I hope my tutorial has inspired you to create one of your own. Please leave any comments or questions below. I would love to hear about your genealogy crafts.

If you are interested in ordering from Amazon.com, please click on any of these ads to be directed to their site. Any purchases, while there, will give us a small bonus, at no extra cost to you. This will help fund the Genealogy-GenCrafts.com website. Thanks ~ Jackie

 

“Genealogy-Gencrafts.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking from/to amazon.com.”

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Modifying a 6 Panel Hung Bao Lantern Using Family Photographs

May 24

Photo of Supplies

These instructions are for making a very simple 6 panel photo lantern. I am making this one out of 4″x4″ photographs trimmed from 4″x6″ prints that cost 15 cent each, so including the cord and some dabs of glue the entire project cost less than $1.50.

Supply List:

    • 6 Square photographs of any size
    • 1 Piece of scrap paper the same size as photographs
    • Piece of Ribbon or Cord
    • Pen or Pencil
    • Scissors
    • Glue
    If you are interested in ordering from Amazon.com, please click on any of these ads to be directed to their site. Any purchases, while there, will give us a small bonus, at no extra cost to you. This will help fund the Genealogy-GenCrafts.com website. Thanks ~ Jackie

    “Genealogy-Gencrafts.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking from/to amazon.com.”

    Photo of paper template

    Cut a paper template the same size as your photo squares

     

    Folded Template

    A) Fold the paper in half and then half again, as shown by solid lines in this picture. B) Cut 2 sides as shown in the photograph on the dotted lines.

     

    Photo of folding template

    Normally you would fold the red envelopes to determine the fold lines that make the square or diamond shapes, so as to not bend the photograph we will use the template to draw the fold lines on the back of the photograph.

     

    Photo of folding template

    To ensure the template is square, we are only going to draw 2 corners at a time.

     

    Photo of back of photo

    Draw around template and then turn around.

     

    Photo of back of photo

    Trace around the template again.

     

    Photo of back of photograph

    The back of your photo should now have a perfect square drawn on it to use as fold lines. Repeat on the backs of remaining 5 photographs.

     

    Photo of folding photograph

    Gently fold each photo along your template lines forward

    Folding photograph

    Crimp a crisp edge at each line, on each photograph.

     

    Photo of folded photographs

    Each photo should look like this.

     

    Photo of top 3 photographs

    By now you should have decided which 3 photographs are going to be on top and which 3 will be on the bottom. The top 3 photographs should all point to the center when you glue them.

     

    Photo of glueing photos together

    Glue the top left edge of one photo to the top right corner of the second photo you want on the top.

     

    Photo of tiny clothes pins

    I recommend using tiny clothes pins to hold each section together as it dries. They will not leave marks on the photographs like some other methods might.

     

    Photo of glueing 3rd photograph

    Line up and glue the 3rd photograph to the second photograph.

     

    Photo of hanging cord.

    You will need to place your ribbon or cord, coming out of the top before you glue the final corner of the 3rd photo to the 1st photo. In order to keep the ribbon or cord from sliding out of the photo cube you must secure it by either tying several large knots or gluing and or stapling a piece of scrap card stock to the ribbon or cord. If you are only making one lantern you could cut a corner off the template you made earlier.

    Photo of glueing 3rd photo

    Position the knot of your cord in the top corner and glue the final top corner of the 3rd photo to the top corner of the 1st photo. This should secure the ribbon or cord in place.

     

    Photo of top of Photo Cube

    Secure all of your glue joints and set aside to dry.

    Photo of gluing bottom photgraphs

    The 3 photos for the bottom half should be arranged where you glue the bottom point of all three photos together.

     

    Photo of bottom half.

    While you placed your hanging ribbon or cord at the center of the top half, I made a small loop of cord (again stapled to card stock) to come out of the bottom so that I could hang embellishment from the bottom. This step is not necessary if you are not going to hand a tassel or other item from the bottom. Let the glue dry securely before moving on.

     

    Photo of gluing top and bottom together.

    The glue on the top half and bottom half must be thoroughly dry. Then you will glue the 2 haves together, securing each joint as you go, until they are dry.

     

    Photo of Gluing Flaps

    I found it easiest to put glue on all of the flaps on the bottom half and secure each flap around.

    Photo of finished project

    At this point you can add any embellishment you might want to the little loop if you put one in. If you did not put a bottom loop on your project you are complete ! ENJOY


    Since I had 4″x6″ prints made, in order to get the 4×4 photos for the project, I was left with a 2″ x 4″ area. I reduced the 4″x4″ photo and made 2, 2″x2″ copies of the larger photo. I chose 12 photos instead of 6 and for my embellishment  I am adding a 2″x2″, 6 panel photo lantern, below the 4″x4″ photo lantern. – Was easier than it sounds.


    Photo of hanging cord.

    I looped the cord to hang the small cube through the bottom loop of the large cube.

    Photo of small cube

    I continued making the small cube just the same as the larger cube.

    Photo of assembly

    I secured the photos and let them dry well as I went.

    Photo of small cube

    I even left a small tail coming out of the bottom of the small cube for an additional embellishment.

     

    6 Panel Photo Cubes Complete

    I am extremely happy with the small photo cubes as embellishments. The bottom embellishment is a tag with the name, age and birth location of grandmother Yuntie Chin Leo.

     

    Photos of 15 panel Hung Bow Lanterns

    If you enjoyed this project leave a comment below and I will post the tutorial for making the 15 photo panel Hung Bow Lantern!

    See Also

    Converting Handwritten Chinese Fonts to Computerized Character Fonts.

    HANDWRITTEN SIGNATURE

    HANDWRITTEN SIGNATURE

    READ MORE !

    There is an App For That !

    “Genealogy-Gencrafts.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking from/to amazon.com.”
    If you are interested in ordering from Amazon.com, please click on any of these ads to be directed to their site. Any purchases, while there, will give us a small bonus, at no extra cost to you. This will help fund the Genealogy-GenCrafts here on the web. Thanks ~ Jackie

 

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Chinese Themed Pedigree Chart Art

May 7

CHINESE THEMED PEDIGREE CHARTS

The Chinese have a complicated structure as to how they address their family members and ancestors based on whether the person is from their father’s side, mothers side, whether the person is older or younger than their parent, grand parents etc.

Many Chinese individuals never know or learn their ancestors actual names because they refer to them by these names. If you have old photographs, these nomenclature may require you to determine WHO wrote the name on the back of the photo.

Chinese are more likely to display Family Charts than individual Pedigree Charts.

For more information read further explanations on Wikipedia.org (You will be leaving my site)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_kinship

When Chinese married, it was most often a prearranged marriage, and the first time the bride and groom saw each other was when she was carried from her fathers village in a sedan chair and arrived at the door of the grooms house in a sedan chair and he opened the curtain after throwing firecrackers at the sedan chair to ward off any evil spirits.

If you are VERY, VERY LUCKY your parents or grandparents may be in possession of the three generational chart that would have been exchanged by the families prior to marriage to make sure they were not to closely related.

Marriage document

This document (not a generational chart) explains the woman’s birth date, and birth location, presented to the grooms family to determine if the marriage will have compatability.

If you want to be able to read, understand and display the information, for your family, you may want to create your own personal Chinese Themed Pedigree Chart.

Chinese Themed Pedigree Chart

Note: I am not Chinese, and this is a “Chinese Themed Pedigree Chart”, that I painted. Not to be represented as something you would find in China.

 

Information that may be of interest, regarding Chinese naming patterns.

Each village had one primary family all related to each other. Everybody in the village thus had the same family name. Chinese naming traditions dictate the Family Name comes first, then the individuals name, and then (to aid in the confusion of everybody having the same family name, each generation of a particular family, all had the same (third) generational name.

EXAMPLE:

Family Name: Wong

Individual’s name: Hung

Therefore “Wong Hung Yin” and ALL of his brothers generational name was Yin. All his sisters would have the same generational name also but may not be exactly the same middle name as their brothers.

So any individual in a village whose name was Wong Something Yin, would be siblings. No question about it. And all the men whose generational name was Yin had fathers, whose generational name was the same. So you could group generations but not necessarily figure out whose son they were.

Each family had an 8 generation “Family Poem” So they knew 8 generations in advance what first letter they would use to pick the generational name for their children.

This makes grouping the male ancestor moderately accurate. Until the men get married and take a “Married” Name, unrelated to their birth name. And when they came to America they might adopt and English name.

Take into account the various accent with which they talked and how the person heard what they said, and finding ships list with the correct ancestor on the list has issues.


On the other hand, while the women had childhood names,  once they married they often took their fathers family name added “Shee” (wife of) then her husbands name. Thus a female named Chin Yuntie who married a man who was of the Leo Clan, Would become Chin Shee Leo . . . Taking into account the Chin Village was probably fairly near the Leo Village, you end up with a large number of women named Chin Shee Leo. After coming to America some Chinese women went back to there childhood name. As an example the woman above took the name  Yuntie (her childhood name), Chin (her father’s clan), Leo (her husbands family name). Yuntie Chin Leo.

Prior to the 1930 each village had an “Ancestral Hall” that housed all the generations information, however the Communist did their best to destroy all of those records to break familial ties making standard genealogy research much more difficult.

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Chinese Lantern Photo Cube w/free printables !

May 7

This post is still a work in progress.

Photo of Basic Red Chinese Lantern Photo Cube

Basic Red Chinese Lantern Photo Cube

 

Whether you make the basic Chinese Lantern or embellish yours with tassels or dragons, this photo cube is simple to put together and versatile. And if you don’t have any Chinese ancestors all you have to do is change the color scheme and embellishments and you can make this lovely “Mothers Day Tulip” shaped photo cube.

Photo of Female Ancestor Tulip Photo Cube

 

Photo of Lantern

Simple lantern decorated with Dragon Heads, A Tassel and the Chinese Character for “Wong”.

 

Photo of Chinese Lantern template.

    Drop your favorite photos into the Chinese Lantern Template in your preferred photo manipulation program. If you don’t have a photo manipulation program you can print the FREE PRINTABLE (link below) as is, cut out the squares for the photos, print the photos separately and tape them behind the template. (Example Below). Use photos of all the same person or multiple generations. For this lantern I hand colored photos of all the same person at different ages, in Photoshop. I also put the Character for “Wong” above each picture, and the characters for his first and generational name below the photos. I also replaced the bright red background from the Free Printable with an acrylic dirty pour that I made using Red and gold and black acrylic paint. I had the Chinese Lantern art printed at a commercial printer on Luster Photo Paper. Gloss ends up with hard to remove fingerprints. I also printed several on 50lb coated paper on a laser printer at home and the results were quite pleasing

 

For Bright Red Chinese Lantern template CLICK HERE

For Dirty Pour Chinese Lantern template CLICK HERE

For Tulip Lantern template CLICK HERE

I would recommend printing several copies at home on your printer if you have one to practice your cutting and folding.

 

Photo of cutting out the lantern

Cut out the Chinese Lantern Template.

 

Photo of folding the Chinese Lantern

Fold each section of the Chinese Lantern template and press crisply.

 

Photo of folding the template

Repeat the folding process at the bottom of the photos and press crisply.

 

Photo of pressing the fold.

Lay on the table and press firmly with your finger.

 

Photo of flattening the template.

Gently flatten the Chinese Lantern Template.

 

Photo of folding all of the Vertical lines of the template.

Fold all of the Vertical lines of the template.

 

Photo of pinching the vertical lines crisply.

Pinch the vertical lines crisply.

 

Photo of folding and pressing crisply all of the glue tabs.

Fold each of the glue tabs.

 

Photo of folding and pinching the template crisply.

It is important that the fold is pinched crisply.

 

 

Photo of double sided tape.

Use double sided tape on all of the glue tabs and the side tab. It is important that the tape cover the entire tab. Either use glue tape which I found worked best or hot glue. Trying to use contact cement was frustrating (for me) and it was next to impossible to hold position while regular craft glue set up.

ADDITIONAL STEPS INSERTED HERE

Examples Of  Various Embellishments

Photo of embellished Chinese Lantern

Chinese knots and tassels make great embellishments for the Chinese Lanterns.

Photo of more complex tassle.

More complex tassels are easy to assemble.

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Present your Mexican Lineage on an Antiqued Sugar Skull

November 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

See a wide variety of Family based arts and crafts

HERE

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Using Vintage Postcards in Framing and Scrapbooking your Ancestors

November 5

How I use a vintage postcard to make this custom matte for a Civil War Ancestor.

 

Photo of GAR Postcard

I found this vintage GAR postcard on ebay for $3 plus $1 postage

 

Picture of vintage GAR Card

You could use the original, but I have another project in mind for it, so I scanned the card and deleted the area where the soldier was.

Step 2

Then using the clone tool to keep the original color and texture, I deleted the words “To My Comrades” on the banner

 

Adding the name on the banner

I added D. McArthur on the banner in a color I picked up from the eagle.

 

Adding photo of David McArthur

I put the photo of David McArthur in the opening where the soldier had been.

 

Finished picture of David McArther

Instead of enlarging the card to fit a 5×7″ frame, I put a matte behind the photo in the shade that was in the shadows under the banner and put a drop shadow on the card layer to make it pop. Now it is ready to print and frame.

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Celebrating the Veterans in your family with Military Collages

November 4

A military tribute to your families veterans makes a memorable addition to your family history scrapbooks.

I cannot believe I passed my high school history classes. I remembered just enough to pass the test and the dates and events flew out the back side of my head faster than the chapter on the next war. Now with those date put in relationship to each generation of my ancestors, I cannot believe that my brother fought in Vietnam, my father in WWII, my grandfather got out of fighting in WWI somehow (I wish I knew the answer to that), and my great grandfather was a cook in the Civil War because of a bad back and his brother died in Andersonville Prison (a very bad place where most died of disease.

Somehow that puts war in another light. I think if they had all the students make a chart that showed which generation of their own families fought in which war, maybe they would pay more attention in class.

 

John Whedbee's Honorable Discharge Page

Even if they did not do anything heroic or get wounded, any individual who served during any conflict or war would have received a Campaign Medal or Commendation that are a colorful addition to a military collage. If the collage is for a page in a family history book and you don’t have the actual medals, photographs can be found online. If you are doing a shadow box it is possible to order replacement medals online.

Military Page of John L Whedbee

A Timeline is a great way to show military service. If a person were in the Navy it is a simple process to search for the name of the ship and get photos (for personal use) and list of dates of where the ship was and the conflicts it engaged.

 

Mikels Military page

Fold3.com is your one stop internet site (for a fee) for millitary records, Revolutionary War through current conflicts and among other thing it has photos from “Cruse Books” from the Vietnam conflict that has unit photos and information on the various Navy ships of the era. It is a simple matter to find information on the internet regarding a given ship after you narrow down the dates your ancestor was on it.

 

For a fee you can get your ancestors entire military file from the National Archives online at: https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records which will list everything you need for timelines and searches for appropriate photographs if you don’t have any. If you are lucky enough to already have discharge papers or any other documentation regarding your ancestors service, there is huge amounts of data that you can find for free online to add spice and variety to your collage.

 

Photo of GAR Medal

There were and are also many veterans organizations for veterans of every war, starting with Daughters of the Revolution, The GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) and currently Amvets that retain many records and photographs.

 

Photo of David McArthur.

For step by step instructions on how I turned a vintage postcard into a personalized photo mount – CLICK HERE

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Making A Unique Ofrenda from a Shutter Frame

October 19

Celebrate your Mexican ancestors with this Simple Shutter Frame Ofrenda

Photograph of simple but unique Ofrenda

Perfect addition to your table top family alter.

 

Photo of matterials to make shadow box Ofrenda

To make the shadow box Ofrenda, I started with a Plaid brand Shutter Frame, a wooden laser cut oval frame and some packing material that came with a small hard drive.

 

Photo of painted frame.

I wanted the shutters to look like “Papal Picado” so I painted each one different tissue paper colors. I painted the shadow box black, so I painted the frame in front a contrasting bright color.

 

Photo of the frame and Day of the Dead notions.

I pulled out all of my Day of the Dead themed notions.

 

Photo of oval frame.

The oval frame needed a way to float in front of the shadow box so I used hot glue to glue a couple tin flowers on the front of the frame.

Photo of oval frame.

I used hot glue to suspend the oval frame over the shadow box hole.

Photo showing the placement of the oval frame.

Center the oval frame in the space where the photo usually goes.

 

Photo showing the oval frame in place.

Oval frame in place.

 

Photo of my great grandfather

I glued a photograph of my great grandfather onto a piece of scrap cardboard I painted black to give it a stiff support to suspend behind the oval frame. I wanted a 1/4 setback between the photo and the oval frame but it would have been simple to just hot glue or tape the photograph behind the oval frame.

 

Photo showing gluing beads on the back of the photo.

I glued 4 beads onto the back of the photo to space the photo away from the back wall of the the shadow box, but keeping it 1/4″ from the oval frame.

 

Photo of portrait placement in the shadow box.

I was happy with the placement of the photo, but I did not glue the shadow box to the back of the frame yet.

 

Photo of decorated frame.

I used my assorted notions to decorate the frame.

 

Photo of close up of skull candle holder.

I used a small plastic cross and glued a skull to the cross to make a candle holder. Then I melted a one inch section from the top of a gold birthday candle, using a bit of hot glue.

 

Photo of decorative tape used as Papel Picado.

I had originally thought I would make tiny cut tissue paper Papel Picado for the shutters, but I found and used decorative tape to make the shutters look like Papel Picado. This was much easier and far more intricate than I would have ended up with had I followed my original plan.

 

Photo of Ofrenda

I made miniature Papel Picado banners to hang across the open Ofrenda.

 

Photo of side view

Side view

 

 

Photo of finished Ofrenda

I had intended on tucking paper marigolds in the shadowbox behind the picture but I decided the black was much more dramatic and so I left it flat black and glued the shadow box with the photo behind the frame.

I hope my tutorial has inspired you to create one of your own. Please leave any comments or questions below. I would love to hear about your genealogy crafts. If you need any of the supplies from Amazon, please click through using the Genalogy-GenCraft affiliate links below.

 

 


If you are interested in ordering from Amazon.com, please click on any of these ads to be directed to their site. Any purchases, while there, will give us a small bonus, at no extra cost to you. This will help fund the Genealogy-GenCrafts here on the web. Thanks ~ Jackie

Supplies for this Project

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Other “Day of the Dead” themed items you may be interested in…

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“Day of the Dead” – Traditional Celebration of Mexican Ancestors and the Art those Ancestors

October 11

Because of the overlapping dates, “The Day of the Dead” decorations have become very popular recently for use while decorating for Halloween, without the people using the boldly colorful skeletons and skulls being aware of the true meaning of the holiday.

“The Day of the Dead” originated in Mexico 2000-3000 years ago. It was originally a month long celebration around August by the Aztec Indians, and is currently also celebrated in other parts of Latin America and the United States but is not part of any Halloween tradition. Instead it is a fusion of Spanish Catholic and Mexican traditions and beliefs, to honor ancestors, family, friends and sometimes even pets, who have died.

 

Mexican traditions hold that each individual dies three times. Once when their bodies quit functioning. Once when their bodies are put into the ground or cremated. And once when they are forgotten.

Unlike it’s spooky cousin Halloween, The Day of the Dead is a joyous holiday celebrating the ancestors, family and friends who have passed on to their next lives.

People from Mexico believe souls have the ability to travel back and forth between this world and the next and during the Day of the Dead celebration their souls come back and visit. So there must be preparations and accommodations made for the returning spirits.

The Day of the Dead is Celebrated on October 31st, November 1 and November 2.

On October 31st the food is cooked, the home alters are constructed (see below), the cemeteries cleaned and the graves decorated with Ofrendas, or offerings. These decorations include wreaths of marigolds, which are thought to attract the souls of the dead toward the offerings, and toys brought for dead children (los angelitos, or little angels) and bottles of tequila, mezcal, etc. for adults.. After cleaning all day, they party all night long at the cemeteries where stories of the deceased are told and excess of food and the alcohol consumed. On November 1st while the Roman Catholics celebrate All Saints Day, the Mexicans celebrate “Dia de los Santos” to honor the children which is called “Dia de los Inocentes” or “Day of Little Angels”. November 2nd “All Souls Day”, “Dia de los Fielles Difuntos” is celebrated by the Roman Catholics and in Mexico they celebrate “Dia de los Muertos” or “Day of the Dead”

As a part of the Day of the Dead celebration, families build altars in their homes for loved ones who have died.

“Day of the Dead” altars have many traditional elements representing the elements of nature. Water, Wind, Fire (candies) and Earth (food and marigold flowers which are yellow or gold like the sun, representing life and hope.) are represented, photos, candy and chocolate or sugar skulls, skeletons of all kinds, mementos and cut paper decorations called papel picado.

Photo of Ofrenda

At only 5.5″ x 8″ this little Ofrenda packs quite the punch of Day of the Dead Symbolism.

  Sugar Skull

  • Calaveras: Brightly decorated skulls, made of sugar, paper machie or ceramic and can represent specific ancestors, family or departed friends, inscribed with the names of the deceased on the forehead. They can be used alone or with other traditional decorations to embellish Day of the Dead altars.
Photos of Sugar Skull Cookies

Sugar Skull Cookies

  • Food: particular favorites of the ancestors, including tamales, empanyadas, candies,  pumpkin seeds and amaranth seeds which were used by the Aztecs to make the skulls instead of sugar.

  • Monarch Butterflies: Monarch Butterflies migrate to Mexico in the fall and are believed to be the spirits coming to visit.
  • Candles: Representing fire, candles are burnt on the family alter to guide the spirits back from the afterlife.
  • Alcoholic beverages: Used to toast the departed. The Aztecs had a beverage called pulque made from the sap of agave that they served for special spiritual ceremonies.
  • Papel Picados: Hand cut tissue paper represents the wind and how fragile life is.
  • Dogs: Believed to guide the ancestors spirits to the afterlife.
  • Milagros:  The flaming heart, is a popular symbol for expressing love and passion on the home altar. Milagros translates to “little miracles”.

Photo of ofredas

This simple 10″ tall ofredas was simple to make using a “Shuttered Picture Frame”.

For complete instructions/inspiration

Click Here

You can take these traditions one step further by incorporating entire pedigrees of your ancestors into traditional Day of the Dead art projects.

Photo of the Color it yourself, Day of the Dead Pedigree Chart

Day of the Dead 4 Generation Pedigree Chart

Help support the blog by downloading a copy of the 4 generation Adult Coloring Page

CLICK HERE

Here is a short video of my Alter Display at the Anchorage Dia De Los Muertos Event.

UNESCO has declared the indigenous festivity dedicated to the dead as an intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (Unesco.org).

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Your Pedigree – A Long Line Of Love

January 30

Particularly well suited for Valentines cards and decorations, the concept behind these projects are taking the initials from your pedigree, and carving the initials in a tree and interpreting them into Valentines Art.

Carved initials on a box of Chocolates

Carved initials on a box of Chocolates

Colors, Initials and embellishments to suite your style.

Colors, Initials and embellishments to suite your style.

 

Tiny alphabet stamps

I started by purchasing a set of alphabet stamps that were suitably small enough to stamp the wooden hearts.

Stamping the symbols on the wooden hearts

I stamped the “&” symbol first on each heart

Finished hearts

They don’t have to be perfect, but even if you have not painted the hearts you still have 2 chances to get the perfect look . . . if you don’t like it turn it over and try again.

Embellish your stamped hearts

Either before or after stamping you can color and or embellish the hearts any way you please. Or trace over the stamped initials in alternative colors.

Position your hearts

Hot glue your hearts onto the chocolate box or Valentine . . . .

Connect your hearts with bits of twigs.

Snip some pieces of twigs to go between your hearts and hot glue in place. If you don’t like their color you can paint them either before or after glueing in place.

Photo of Valentines Card

This same style of “Carved Initials” Pedigree makes a great Valentines Card

If you are interested in ordering from Amazon.com, please click on any of these ads to be directed to their site. Any purchases, while there, will give us a small bonus, at no extra cost to you. This will help fund the Genealogy GenCraft site, here on the web. Thanks ~ Jackie

“Genealogy-GenCrafts.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking from/to amazon.com.”

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Scrapbooking the Love Stories of Your Family

January 25

Everybody has their own style of scrapbooking, and it is easy to translate that style into decorating the top of boxes of chocolates making them suitable for anything from Valentines decorations to holding trinkets and memorabilia.

Does your family have a love story?

The most romantic story in our family is that of my Uncle Everett and Aunt Velda’s 50th wedding anniversary. Their children sent them to Hawaii, since they had never went on a honeymoon. Mid-flight, my uncle talked to the stewardess and she let him have the microphone where, at 32,000 feet, on a plane full of people, he beautifully sang, “Let Me Call You Sweet Heart” to his blushing bride . . .

Photo of box of chocholates.

Here I used tissue paper and doodles, with a rosette made from cupcake liners to embellish this small box of chocolates that I picked up at Walmart for $1.

 

Vintage Crazy Quilt Box Of Chocolates

I featured my grandmother, Anne Bethel Hoyt, on a Crazy-Quilt-styled piece of scrapbook art on the cover of a box of chocolates. I used a variety of textured papers, as well as lace and pearl embellishments, to create this chocolate box with a vintage touch.

 

Photo of Digital Scrapbooking on top of a box of chocholates

After the love of my mother’s life (my dad) she loved anything Glittery, Gold, Red, Hearts, Roses and Elvis Presley. This box top is a wonderful combination of all of those in a digital scrapbooking style, without any additional embellishments.

Base Art for Chocholate Box Lid

Here is the art which I used as the base layer to create my moms “Box of Chocolates”.

Notes for the Digital Scrapbooked Heart…

  • I used Photoshop to assemble this digital scrapbook image.
  • I started by putting my box of chocolates in the scanner to get the precise size and shape of the top of the box.
  • I added interest by having the photos going in different directions.
  • I got “texture” photos by searching the internet for Gold and Red Fabric (for personal use only)
  • I put a copy of her marriage certificate as a top layer, at 70% opacity. Erased wherever there was a body/faces or other important images.
  • I used a bevel and drop shadow on the marriage license newspaper clipping and the rose and crochet hearts.
  • To add variety to the photos, I used “photo filter” to shift the tone of several of the black and white photos, some warm, some cool, and hand-colored one of the black and white photos.
  • I was able to put 2 completed hearts on an 8×10″ file (that I then had a high quality commercial print of) so I could keep one box and give my sister the other.
  • Between New Years and Valentines day, I found small boxes of chocolates at Walmart costing as little as $1-$3. That is less than an empty heart-shaped box from a craft store.

 

 

 

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Displaying Genealogy Crafts Year Round

December 20

Merry Everything and a Happy Always

Photo of genealogy crafts hanging on the left side of kitchen archeway

20 years later the decorations are still hanging. Some old some new.

One for Christmas I decorated the archway into my kitchen. I used 2 simple expandable curtain rods (the kind with a spring you just squeeze and put in place) I wrapped one string of 50 tiny red lights that are so cheap at Christmas and a string of 50 multi-color lights around the rod and plugged them in behind the refrigerator.

First I wrapped clear and white beaded garland around the rods. I hung up some non specific ornaments, including little pictures like ones I have tutorials on Genealogy-Gencrafts.com. found Here and Here Then I tucked white garland loosely around the curtain rod, and then red garland was added. . . super festive . . and yes, dare I say, Christmasy.

After Christmas I left everything up except a couple definite Christmas items, and replaced them with Hearts. Not even fancy hearts, just red and pink paper hearts. And I unplugged the multi Color lights, but left them in place.

Shortly after Valentines day I took down the hearts and red garland (note –  I put the white garland up first so removing the red garland was easy.) I unplugged the red lights and plugged the multi-colored lights back in. It was almost like I had a plan. I made and hung some family egg panoramas across the rod. (family egg panoramas are found on the blog here) note – I did not remove the other items on the rod.

After Easter I was at a partial loss. .  .Next Holiday was 4th of July . . . even the white garland was a bit much so I took it down along with the Easter Egg panoramas.

Ironically I had gotten use to the lights framing the kitchen door arch .. . I could navigate upstairs without turning on any lights.

That was over 20 years ago . . .I never have taken down the rods . . .and the lights stay on. Sometimes I unplug them in the summer but most years I don’t. . . .

I had one 4th of July item that I can’t really call an ornament, added to the menagerie and it still hangs there.

Hope everyone has a Merry.

 

Jackie Whedbee-Mattingly

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Simple Cookie Cutter Photo Ornaments

December 19
A photograph of a Cookie Cutter Ornament featuring a photo of David Anthony Whedbee

Cookie Cutter Ornament featuring a photo of David Anthony Whedbee

A Cookie Cutter Ornament featuring a photograph of Paul Benton Hoyt

A Cookie Cutter Ornament featuring a photograph of Paul Benton Hoyt

Christmas Ornament featuring Audrey Hoyt and John Whedbee in 1947

Cookie Cutter Christmas Ornament featuring a photograph of Audrey Hoyt and John Whedbee 1947

Cookie Cutter Christmas Ornament featuring a photograph of John L Whedbee Jr. when he was 6 years old.

Cookie Cutter Christmas Ornament featuring a photograph of John L Whedbee Jr. when he was 6 years old.

Photo of Tools and Supplies for this project. Listed below.

Tools and Supplies needed for this project; Dremel tool or other drill; Cookie Cutter; Photo to fit; 1/4″ adhesive squares; Silver 3 dimensional paint; Glitter or fine glass beads; Embellishments of your choice.

Photograph of drill going through the cookie cutter

First thing to do is drill a hole in the top center of the cookie cutter. If you don’t have access to a drill you could place it on a board and use a nail and hammer to make the hole.

Photo pointing to the front edge of the cookie cutter.

The edge of the cookie cutter with the rolled edge should be established as the front of the Christmas Ornament.

Tracing around the photograph.

If the cookie cutter has fairly straight edges you can just place the cookie cutter on top of your photograph and trace around it. Using this method you will cut to the inside of the line to make it fit the best.

Making a template from the cookie cutter.

A different method is to place the rolled edge on a piece of paper, trace around it and use that piece of paper as a template after you make sure it fits into the cookie cutter well.

Cutting out the template

Cut out your template and make sure it fits well.

Making sure the template fits.

Once you make sure your template fits well it is easy to lay it over the photo, trace around it and cut out the photo. Like a carpenter who measures twice and cuts once, it is easier to cut a new template than have to get a new print if you have ruined your photograph.

Photo showing 2 - 1/4" squares of foam adhisive squares.

You are going to place the 1/4″ adhesive foam squares, 2 deep on the back edge of the cookie cutter

Photo of row of 1/4" adhisive squares.

Place the first row of 1/4″ adhesive squares flush to the back edge of the cookie cutter. There is no exact measure between the squares but make sure there is one at every corner or sharp turn to make an even platform to place the photo.

Showing placing the second row of adhisive squares.

Then go back and put another row of the 1/4″ foam squares around the cookie cutter. If the cookie cutter does not have many details you could use 1/2″ adhesive squares and skip the second row.

Photo of the photograph placed inside of the cookie cutter on top of the foam squares.

Make sure the photo fits properly.

Putting the glue on the top edge of the 1/4" adhesive squares.

You can use any clear glue you want and dab a little on the top edge of each adhesive square, or do as I am here and using silver 3 dimensional paint since that is what I am going to use to finish the front edge.

Place the photo on top of the adhesive squares.

Place the photo on top of the adhesive squares.

If the photo does not lay flat put something light enough to press it flat but not so heavy that it bows down. I used the bottle of 3 dimensional paint. Let it dry thoroughly.

If the photo does not lay flat put something light enough to press it flat but not so heavy that it bows down. I used the bottle of 3 dimensional paint. Let it dry thoroughly.

Run a thin but even line of silver 3 dimensional paint around the picture. It will be a close color to the cookie cutter.

Run a thin but even line of silver 3 dimensional paint around the picture. It will be a close color to the cookie cutter. If your cookie cutter is not tin, pick a paint that matches the color of the cookie cutter.

You could consider it finished at this point.

You could consider it finished at this point and put the hanger on it along with any embellishments you prefer.

I sprinkled clear iridescent glass beads on the front while the paint was still wet and rolled the cookie cutter around to distribute them evenly.

I sprinkled clear iridescent glass beads on the front while the paint was still wet and rolled the cookie cutter around to distribute them evenly.

You could also use any kind of glitter that suits your fancy.

You could also use any kind of glitter that suits your fancy.

Descide how you are going to hang the ornament.

I am starting with a ornament hanger from the craft store and need to straighten the end before sliding it through the top of the ornament. You could simply run a ribbon through the hole if it were large enough.

Push the wire or ribbon through the top of the ornament and either bend a loop on the inside or tie a knot.

Push the wire or ribbon through the top of the ornament and either bend a loop on the inside or tie a knot.

Putting information regarding the picture on the front of the ornament on the back

Print information about the person on the front of the ornament and cut it out to fit the back of the ornament using the same template that you used to cut out the photograph. Use a little glue on the back side of the foam squares and finish the back of the ornament.

Photo of back of ornament with the personal information on it.

You can finish the back edge and fill in any gaps with your silver 3 dimensional paint

Cookie Cutter Christmas Ornament featuring a photograph of John L Whedbee Jr. when he was 6 years old.

Put any embellishments you desire on the ornament and hang on the tree : )

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Using Coffee Cups for Photo Albums

December 13

When you are lucky enough to have photographs of multiple generations you need to show them off in ways that get the most mileage.

And Coffee Cups often fit the bill.

Unlike whipping out your smart phone to show your latest selfies to people who don’t care, having your family photos on your coffee cups inspire people interested in genealogy to perk up and ask questions. Or not.

This cup shows photos of my sisters grand children, her daughter, her, our mother, our mothers mother, and her mother . . . and her mother . . . . .

Some layouts are handy because at a certain point you can swap out the younger generations and use the same design for sisters and cousins like I did here.

coffee-cups

Susan’s Mothers Day, Coffee Cup

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Noma’s Mothers Day Coffee Cup

The first layout being my sister’s cup and the second cup being for a cousin. I had to change out their moms, them and their children and grandchildren, but the grandmothers, great grandmothers and great great grandmothers remained the same.

Mothers Day Coffee Cup to show off Genealogy Crafts

Mothers, Mothers, Mother

Since I had one printed and mailed and the other cup was printed locally I had to change the dimensions. This is something you have to be careful about. Even between cups from the same company the dimensions are different for 11 oz cups vs 15 oz cups etc.

 

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Transferring Photographs to Tin Ornaments

November 28
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Tin Ornament with the photograph of John L Whedbee Sr and his grandson Charles in approximately 1930, in Arkansas.

Creating Beautiful Vintage Looking Ornaments

Supplies for transfering photo to tin

Supplies Needed:

  • Tin Ornament
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint Brush
  • Photo Printed on LASER PRINTER
  • Desired Embellishments
Coat Tin with a generous layer of Matte Mod Podge

Coat Tin with a generous layer of Matte Mod Podge

Place photo toner side down onto the tin.

Carefully place photo or art, toner side down onto the tin.

Ornament

Starting at the center, gently press the paper against the tin, working out wrinkles and excess Mod Podge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ornament

Press out from the center until it is as smooth as possible.

Set ornament aside to dry

Once you have pressed out the wrinkles to the best of your abilities, set the ornament aside for 3 to 4 hours or overnight to dry. The longer the better.

Put ornament in water.

After the ornament is completely dry submerge in water for about 30 seconds.

Tin Ornament

After 30 seconds gently rub the paper, if it starts rolling off, continue gently rubbing, if it does not dip back in water for a few seconds at a time until it does start rolling off.

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Rub the paper away.

Tin Ornament

Dip back in the water.

Tin Ornament

Continue Rubbing the paper away.

Tin Ornament

You are going to want to get all of the paper to rub away, just keep dipping and rubbing, this takes patience.

Tin Ornament

When you have rubbed all of the paper away let it dry. if you see any paper fibers left you can use wet fingers to get the last of the fibers to roll away.

 

 

 

Hand color the photo

I decided to slightly color the photograph with pearlescent watercolors.

Hand colored photo on tin.

I painted a little peach on the skin, blue on the shirt and green in the trees.

Tin Ornament

After I was happy with the color I dabbed another layer of Mod Podge over the entire ornament, dabbing instead of brushing so I did not move the watercolor paint around. Then I sprinkled on some gold Mica Chips and glitter to sparkle it up a bit.

Tin Ornament with the photograph of John L Whedbee Sr and his grandson Charles in aproximately 1934, Arkansas

I tied a piece of ribbon around the top of the ornament and it was ready for the tree.

Other Examples

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Paul Benton Hoyt and his first wife Amelia Long

Albert Mattingly, husband of Louise Catherine Ryan

Albert Mattingly, husband of Louise Catherine Ryan

.

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Cookie Cutter Christmas Ornaments

November 21

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Make the most of grandmothers cookie cutters or make new family treasures from thrift store finds !

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Tools and Supplies

Tools and Supplies

Tools:

  • Drill to put a hole in the top of the cookie cutter. You could use a nail and hammer.
  • Block of wood to drill into
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue

Supplies

  • Cookie Cutters
  • Photo Prints
  • Pen and Paper
  • Glue squares
  • Jump Ring and Ribbon to hang the ornament, options below.
  • 3 dimentional paint, I used a glitter color on this ornament, works as both glue and grout to cover any mistakes. Tin cookie cutters I use a pewter color that looks good with the silver cookie cutter.
  • Whatever Embellishments you desire
Sizing your photographs.

Trace around your cookie Cutters and then scan the page so you can use it for sizing your photographs to make them the perfect size. If that is to complicated, get 4 x 6 prints of your photos and pick a cookie cutter to fit the picture instead of the other way around.

 

Final print to make 9 cookie cutter ornaments.

I used the scan of the cookie cutters as the bottom layer in Photoshop and made sure the pictures I wanted for the cookie cutter ornaments fit. Then I sent one 8×10 print to have a matte print made. Glossy printes end up with fingerprints on them. The final print I was able to make 9 cookie cutter ornaments.

 

Measure Twice, Print Once.

Make sure your photos fit the cookie cutters by making a print at home before sending to get a photo quality print.

Drilling the hole to put the ribbon through

Drilled a small hole in the top of the cookie cutter to put a ribbon through. You could also epoxy a loop of some sort to hang from or tie a ribbon to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect Placement

Hold the cookie cutter behind the photo to get perfect placement.

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Trace around the cookie cutter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut out your picture.

Since the sides of this cookie cutter are tapered, i drew a second line 1/8 of an inch smaller than the outside so the picture would be perfectly positioned.

Make sure your photo fits perfectly.

Make sure your photo fits perfectly.

This was a very shallow cookie cutter so I only used the 1/4" x 14" mounting squares.

This was a very shallow cookie cutter so I only used the 1/4″ x 14″ mounting squares.

 

Placing mounting squares

Place the mounting squares all the way around the cookie cutter.

 

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Once you get the mounting squares in, but before you put the picture it you must install the ribbon hanger. I tied the ribbon securely to a jump ring.

Install the ribbon

I put the ribbon down through the hole I drilled at the top of the tree and then hot glued the ribbon to the back of the cookie cutter.

Place the photo in the cookie cutter

Place the photo in the cookie cutter where it sets nicely on the mounting squares.

Make sure it fits perfectly.

Make sure it fits perfectly.

Put a small amount of glue on the mounting squares to adhere to the picture.

Put a tiny amount of glitter glue or 3 dimensional paint on the edges of the mounting squares to adhere the photo to. You could also use any simple paper glue.

Secure photo with glitter glue.

Put your photo in position and run another line of glitter glue around the edge of the cookie cutter and embellish as you please.

The tiny Christmas lite strand make this tree even more festive !

The tiny Christmas lite strand make this tree even more festive !

 

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Use Ancestor’s Cemetery Headstone Information To Create A Unique Necklace

November 2

 

Simple Headston Necklace

Whether you choose to make this simple and inexpensive version of my creative Headstone Necklace . . . . with typed data. . .

More involved neclace made from reduced headstone rubbings.

Or this version, with actual headstone rubbings reduced down to a fraction of their original size, with extra embellishments and photos. . . . Either one is made more special by the information being from your own ancestors !

Supplies you are going to need for the headstones are:

  • Paper and or towel to protect your work surface
  • Small wooden tags (half again more than the number of headstones you need)
  • Pens and Acrylic Paint to color headstone
  • Print of the information you want of the headstones
  • Mod Podge
  • 2 chains – plastic or metal
  • connectors or jump rings and extra links of chain

Tools you will use.

  • Soft Paint Brush
  • Bowl of water
  • Jewelers pliers.

Making Your Headstones –

Start with wooden blanks for your headstones.

You need to pick small wooden tags available in most craft and many department stores with the hole already drilled, or find tiny headstone shaped wood blanks (available during Halloween craft season) that you will need to drill later on. The small wooden tags come in a reasonable variety of shapes. I would recommend doing several extra in case you are not happy with the results of a given headstone you can do it over.

Step One

For the Mod Podge to work properly you need to have at least a basic layer of paint or primer on the wood. . . What I did was start by saturating the wood with water on a soft bristle paint brush.

Color to suit your pleasure.

You can paint your headstones any way that suits you. . . I outlined each headstone with a Gelly Roll pen which is water-soluble and has a ink which was a lot faster than a layer of paint since I did not just want plain white or grey headstones.

Paint all your headstones the same.

However you choose to paint your headstones, do all of them the same way, here I put red on top left, purple bottom left, blue top right and green bottom right. . . some a little more, some a little less, but primarily the same.

Ink up each headstone.

The ink on each little headstone bled from the water, and I exaggerated this action by adding more water and swirling the brush around immediately after I inked up each one.

Dry the water off your headstones.

I wiped each piece with a piece of tissue. . . rubbing the center a little extra to stop the bleeding of color, and let them dry.

Swirl watered down acrylic in the center of the headstone.

To lighten the center a little more I swirled a watered down brush with just a little antique white acrylic paint on each headstone to lighten up the center. The color bled up through the wet acrylic paint.

Colorful Headstones

Color added some fun to my headstones, but I believe grey would look more spooky for Halloween. . . . The more unique your color scheme, the more extra headstone you should paint.

Print your headstone information in reverse

Type the information you want on your headstones to fit and then flip your print when you print the information.

Cut to fit your headstones

Cut to fit your headstones

Put a nice layer of Mod Podge on your print.

Put a nice layer of Mod Podge on your print.

Center your prints on each headstone.

Center your prints on each headstone.

Smooth bubbles out from under prints.

Use an outdated credit card to smooth any air bubbles under the paper. Don’t get any Mod Podge on top of the paper if you can help it.

Soak little headstones about 2 minutes each.

Toss 2 headstones in a bowl of water. As you pull one of the headstones out of the water put another one in so they get a head start wetting the paper good. . . you should be working fast enough that they should not be in the water more than a couple of minutes each.

Rub the paper off of the headstone.

As you pick each headstone out of the water soak, rub it with your thumb, and the paper will roll right off. . . rub in all directions.

Get all the paper off the headstones.

Get all the paper off but don’t rub so hard the type comes up.

See your words apear.

This is where you start mumbling about needing to have painted more blanks.

You can re-wet the paper to remove remaining paper.

Even after the headstone dries you can re-wet and rub off remaining paper.

After all the paper is up dry with a soft cloth.

After all the paper is up dry with a soft cloth.

Here are the headstones of Susanna Fields Whedbee, William T. Whedbee and all of their children.

Here are the headstones of Susanna Fields Whedbee, William T. Whedbee and all of their children.

Drill your headstones.

After the headstones have dried, you can put a 1/8″ hole in each one with a drill, if the wooden blank does not already have a hole in it. . . I don’t drill the headstones before this because the paint goes on easier, the Mod Podge does not build up in the hole and until now you don’t even know that you are going to be happy with each individual headstone.

Assembling the Necklace –

This low budget version I used plastic chains and connectors.

For this low budget version I used 2 packages of plastic chains and 1 package of connectors (total $3).

Cut off 2 or more inches of one chain.

Cut off 2 or more inches of one of the 2 chains so your headstones have plenty of room to hang.

Connect 1 end of both chains together.

Connect one end of both chains together.

Connect the other ends.

Connect the other ends.

susannah-whedbee

If you want to add a center photo to the simple necklace you can do it using the same method that you used to put the words on the headstones. Here I put a photo of Susanna on a wooden tag that I had prepared with the same colors as the headstones. I then doodled around her picture with gold and silver metallic markers and black fine line Sharpie.

The plastic connectors do not require any tools to connect to the plastic chains.

The plastic connectors do not require any tools to connect to the plastic chains.

Improved dangling.

I found the little headstones hung from the chains much better if there was an extra link and jump ring connector between the chain and the headstone.

Improved dangling.

Hints –

You are going to want to lay out the necklace chains and figure out where you want your little headstones before you put them on the chains, but don’t be surprised if you have to adjust them once you try it on.

Add extra embellishments to make your “cemetery” more interesting

Finished Simple Headstone Necklace –

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Advanced Headstone Necklace –

Three comments and I will do a tutorial on making this necklace.

Three comments and I will do a tutorial on making this necklace.

Hope You have a creatively blessed day !

Jackie Whedbee-Mattingly

 

 

 

 

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Creating a Family Word Cloud Pumpkin

October 28

Creating a Family Word Cloud Pumpkin

 

Our own version of a word cloud celebrating family.

susans-word-cloud-pumpkin
I went to my sisters house with a plan. I brought 2 pumpkins that I had already painted to choose from and a word cloud I created in photoshop as a starting point. But like many plans some just take on a life of their own, and this cloud changed in the wind.

Word Clouds change in the wind.

Susan had a large selection of letter stickers to choose from and we decided we wanted every name to be different. While that sounds great, it is more challenging than you would think. Even if you choose to make all the fonts the same style I would recommend using different colors alternately over the pumpkin to make each name stand out. For our pumpkin we tried to have a half and half mix of all one color fonts and mixed color fonts.

Bob

Right off the bat (yes Halloween pun) it was determined if we wanted my sisters first and maiden name and her husbands full name to be the largest words on the pumpkin, that if we were going to even attempt to start the word cloud like I had designed in photoshop, that we would have to shorten Robert to Bob . . . and besides I liked the way “BOB” looked in those stickers.

Work out from the first word.

After getting the first name on the pumpkin you have a starting point to work out from. For the second name (Susan) we started with the “N” and worked backwards so we would not have to figure out letter spacing.

Use a guide to keep your names level.

For longer names it helps to use something as a guideline to keep the names straight. Here we set a ruler on the table and turned the pumpkin as the name wrapped around the pumpkin.

Sizing the words

Once the word cloud that I had designed was thrown out the window we worked from the largest names down in order of importance (or perceived importance).

Convienience

We positioned each name on a pencil or ruler so we could move it around on the pumpkin to decide where we wanted it to go. And have the letters convenient as we placed them on the pumpkin.

Fill in the spaces with the smaller names

After placing all the larger names we started filling in the spaces with the smaller names. It helps to use a poker or spatula to place the smaller stickers.

Choose flexible stickers

You need to only choose letter stickers that are flexible enough to stick to the contours of the pumpkin.

We added 2016 to commemorate the date.

We added 2016 to commemorate the date.

 

Add embelishments

After putting all the names on the list there was some room left so we added a couple more peoples names ( Including mine ! ) and still had 2 blank holes which we filled with some Halloween stickers. I especially liked the wiggly eyes.

Jackie's name on the pumpkin

My name ( Jackie ) being one of the last names added to the pumpkin had to be in a letter sticker rejected because the style was already used for Whedbee.  The letters were black which made it harder to see at the bottom of the pumpkin, so we were going to have to do something to spice it up and make it fit my personality, like we attempted to do with all of the other names.

Magic Puff Pens

This is how we finished my name with Magic Puff Pens –

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DIY Halloween Jewelry featuring your ancestors !

October 27

Halloween is upon us !

The thoughts of cemeteries and photos of dead relatives are at hands reach for most genealogist so why not take advantage of our genealogy files to create fun and classy Halloween Jewelry that we can identify with!

This is a project that can be done in one afternoon if you have a craft store that carries Tim Holtz scrapbooking accessories near by, or with Amazon Prime you can get ready for next year early.

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SUPPLIES –

Supplies

Here are the supplies you need: A) Photo B) Chain, either bulk or one ready made chain that will go over your head and a second 4 inches longer C) Glue that is photo safe but strong enough to hold embellishments D) Photo frame, here I am using a round frame that the picture is 1 1/8′ with the frame wide enough to hold spiders E) 4 very small red rhinestones F) Jim Holtz spider embellishments G) Eye Pin long enough to hold the word you are going to spell.

TOOLS –

Tools needed for this project

Here are the tools you might use: A) Small scissors B) Jewelry Pliers C) Tweezers D) Tooth pick E) Pen F) End Cutters.

PRINT –

I recommend White Metallic Cardstock.

If you are going to print your photo instead of using a commercially processed print, I would recommend White Metallic Cardstock. It gives the print an unusual sparkle that makes old photos look great.

ASSEMBLY OF PENDANT –

Measure image

Measure the area that the picture needs to fit or use the template that comes with many frames.

Trace around template

Trace around template

Cut out the photo

Cut out the photo

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Put a small amount of adhesive in frame

Put a small amount of adhesive in frame and spread it out very thin.

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Place photo in frame

Carefully place photo in frame

Different Finishes for Photo

If your frame came with a plastic or glass bevel you can put it on now or you may desire to use Ice Resin or another three dimensional sealer if you want your pendant to have a more finished appearance. BEWARE you need to do a test on a scrap piece of the picture before you use any type of paper sealer, decoupage or crackle finish to make sure it will not blur or pull up the finish of the picture. This comes from experience. Not all finishes work on all photo paper !

Use a tooth pick and put a dot of glue where you want your first gem to go

Use a tooth pick and put a dot of glue where you want your first gem to go.

Place the gem.

Place the gem.

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Continue embellishing the frame with your gems.

Continue embellishing the frame with your gems.

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Prepare to embellish pendant.

Prepare to embellish pendant.

Your going to have to remove the ring from the spider.

Your going to have to remove the ring from the spider.

The end cutters are good to remove the ring from the spider.

The end cutters are good to remove the ring from the spider.

If the end cutters do not leave a clean cut, the jewelry pliers can be used to nibble off any bits remaining.

If the end cutters do not leave a clean cut, the jewelry pliers can be used to nibble off any bits remaining.

Look Ma . . . clean bottom : )

Look Ma . . . clean bottom : )

Put a dab of glue on the frame for your spider

Put a dab of glue on the frame for your spider.

Put spider in position.

Put spider in position.

The second spider will look best if it is symmetrical in placement as possible.

The second spider will look best if it is symmetrical in placement as possible.

At this point you have multiple options. Follow my directions or use the finished pendant any way you can imagine.

At this point you have multiple options. Follow my directions or use the finished pendant any way you can imagine.

ATTACHING PENDENT TO CHAIN –

Cut chain to appropriate length

If you are cutting the chain yourself and don’t want to use a clasp measure one chain that will go over your head. Cut another chain 4″ longer than the first if you have not purchased 2 ready made chains (one 4 inches longer that the first),

Spread the link from one end of the longest chain and slide it into loop on the frame.

Spread the link from one end of the longest chain and slide it into loop on the frame.

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Repeat for the other end of the long chain.

Repeat for the other end of the long chain.

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ASSEMBLING THE NAME CHAIN –

Connect an eye pin that is long enough hold the name you want to spell onto one end of the shorter chain.

Connect an eye pin that is long enough hold the name you want to spell onto one end of the shorter chain.

Crimp the eye pin to the chain.

Crimp the eye pin to the chain.

Slide the letter beads onto the eye pin.

Slide the letter beads onto the eye pin.

Cut the eye pin, 1/4" longer than the name and make a loop that you can connect to the other end of the short chain.

Cut the eye pin, 1/4″ longer than the name and make a loop that you can connect to the other end of the short chain.

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Embelish your chain with spiders

I counted 6 links out from both ends of the name and placed a spider embellishment to the chain using a spare link left over when I cut my chains to length. Alternately a jump ring of the same color as the chain could be used. Then I counted another 8 links out in both directions and connected another pair of spiders. Depending on the size of the links on your chain

Name chain with 4 spider embellishment.

Name chain with 4 spider embellishment.

Completed Necklace featuring my Great Grandfather as a young man. Just in time for Halloween !

I opened the center back link of the pendant chain and connected it to the name chain so they would always remain centered together. Here is the completed necklace featuring my Great Grandfather as a young man. Just in time for Halloween !

Hope you have a Happy Halloween

Jackie Mattingly

 

 

 

 

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Family Monograms for Upscale DIY Halloween Pumpkins

October 19

If you need help with the design concept for your own monogram go to my post on monogram resources HERE

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Upscale Family Monogram Pumpkin

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Supply list: Pumpkin (I used recycled foam pumpkin from last year), Monogram, Acrylic Paint, Graphite Pencil, Paint Brushes Scissors Painters Masking Tape, Ball Point Pen. Optional: Foil Glue, Gold Leaf, Silver Foil

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Clean the pumpkin with a steel wool scrubby to both clean it and rough up the surface to prepare for painting and then gave it a prime coat of one of the colors you are going to paint the pumpkin with and let it dry thoroughly.

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Once dry continue painting the pumpkin until you are satisfied with the results. Let this coat dry over night.

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Have a monogram sized to fit the pumpkin. Pryor to taping the monogram to the pumpkin use a graphite pencil and THOROUGHLY coat the back of the paper with graphite using a graphite pencil.

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Tape the monogram to the pumpkin with painters masking tape so that the fresh paint will not pull up when removed.

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After positioning the monogram on the pumpkin using the painters tape to make sure it will not move, use a ball point pen and firmly go over the lines that need to be transferred to the pumpkin.

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Make sure all of the lines have been FIRMLY traced.

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After you have traced all of the lines, remain patient.  Only pull up one side of the paper to make sure that you can see the lines well.

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If you will not be able to paint within the lines, tape it back down and go over it again a little harder.

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To be honest, I could see the lines ok, but they did not photograph well so I went over them with a fine tipped black marker.

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At this point you can paint your monogram any way, in any color, that makes you happy.

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It may take 2 coats of acrylic paint to make solid lines solid.

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I wanted to use gold leaf to fill in the outline lettering to make it really shiny but I did not have the gold leaf adhesive so I figured the Deco Foil Adhesive should work.

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Instructions said to hold the bottle at a 45% angle.

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The Deco Foil Adhesive went on REAL THICK so I had to let it dry/set up over night to get to the dry but still sticky point that you can put the gold foil on it.

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I placed a sheet of the gold leaf over the sticky area I wanted foiled and used a soft dry paint brush to both press the gold leaf into the adhesive and brush away the leaf were it was not suppose to be.

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The thick adhesive made for lumpy gold. If it were anything besides a Halloween pumpkin I would have been starting over. But on a Halloween pumpkin it looked pretty cool.

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I did not want the silver foil eyes to be as lumpy as the gold so I tried something different. I used rubber cement and carefully put a thin coat where I wanted the silver foil and let it dry completely. The important issue is to use a glue that when it is totally dry is still tacky.

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Foil works different than leaf. It is as thin as leaf but it is on a substrate that keeps it from tearing and floating away, so once the rubber cement is completely dry you place the foil over the area and rub it firmly.

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Once you are sure you have rubbed every area you gently pull back the substrait and leaving the foil where it sticks to the glue or adhisive. The rubber cement worked as well as I had hoped.

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Once I had finished putting the gold leaf and silver foil onto the pumpkin I went back with the fine paintbrush and cleaned it up a bit with the black acrylic paint.

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Finished pumpkin !

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Pumpkin on display


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