Genealogy-Gencrafts Getting your genealogy assets out of the file cabinets and onto your walls
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Present your Mexican Lineage on an Antiqued Sugar Skull

November 8

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Pedigree Chart Art – Make it your own

June 23

NOTE: I am not Tlinget. This art project is to demonstrate making a pedigree chart based on family tradition and/or art created by one of your ancestors. I am just lucky enough to have offered to help a friend with her genealogy and do a pedigree chart for her, only to find that she possessed the most fabulous tunic created by her mother.



A similar project could just as easily be done using the fabric of your mother or grandmothers apron or favorite dress and bits and scraps out of their jewelry box or junk drawer.



I sat down with my friend Julia, and started asking her all the standard questions to fill out a pedigree chart to the best of her abilities, as far as she knew so I could continue and confirm the information.

Then I asked her if she had any photographs of her parents, grandparents, etc and she produced this incredible portrait of her parents.

Photograph of Rachel "Dixie" Johnson and Peter Charles Johnson Sr.

Rachel “Dixie” Johnson and Peter Charles Johnson Sr.

I commented how cool it would have been if the photo were in color and she said she owned the tunic that her mother was wearing in the picture.

Photo of Front of Julia's mother's tunic

Front of Julia’s mother’s tunic

Photo of Back of Julia's mother's tunic

Back of Julia’s mother’s tunic

I set to work taking lots of photographs with my iphone of all the detailing as well as a large solid area of felt on the back. Here are only a few of them.

Photo of Bead work on tunic

Bead work on tunic

 

Photo of Bead work and fringe on tunic

Bead work and fringe on tunic

Photograph of Large solid area of felt on back of tunic © 2017 Genealogy-Gencrafts.com

Large solid area of felt on back of tunic

Photograph of Button boarder on sides of tunic

Button boarder on sides of tunic



Color swatches from the photos of Julia's mother's tunic

First I made color swatches from the photos of Julia’s mother’s tunic

Photo of One of the first things I did was replicate sections of the bead work and make Julia some scrapbooking paper using the colors and textures found in the tunic

One of the first things I did was replicate sections of the bead work and make Julia some scrapbooking paper using the colors and textures found in the tunic

 

Photograph of digital scrapbooking papers based on the bead work and colors found on the tunic made by Julia's mother

Using Photoshop filters I made more abstract digital scrapbooking papers based on the bead work and colors found on the tunic made by Julia’s mother.

Photo of Using a traditional Tlinget Button Blanket shape, I copied buttons and beads off of the tunic to make a simple Pedigree Chart for Julia using the digital scrapbook papers I made in Photoshop using the colors and textures from her mothers tunic.

Using a traditional Tlinget Button Blanket shape, I copied buttons and beads off of the tunic to make a simple Pedigree Chart for Julia using the digital scrapbook papers I made in Photoshop using the colors and textures from her mothers tunic.



But the project that exploded in my mind when I first saw the tunic was this chart, using more of the elements from the tunic. The felt from the tunic, the fringe on the bottom with the button borders, the beaded flowers, and the beaded eagle head.

Every element on this artwork, turned pedigree chart, was created by Julia’s mother, Rachel “Dixie” Johnson, I just rearranged it and included the portrait that led me down the path to this finished product.

I did the entire project using digital images in Photoshop. There was no fabric, bead work or eagles, damaged to create this artwork.

Photo of Final artwork designed using elements of fabric and bead work from Julia's mother's tunic.

Final artwork designed using elements of fabric and bead work from Julia’s mother’s tunic.



I hope this inspires you to create a pedigree chart that jumps out of the frame instead of the same old, same old, chart they have been photocopying down the ages.

Get Inspired !

Jackie Whedbee-Mattingly


The bead work designs above were created by Peter Charles Johnson Sr and executed by Rachel “Dixie” Johnson. I received permission to put the photographs on this post, and to do the pedigree charts. Please respect their creative copywrite and mine and do not reproduce without written permission. © 2017 Genealogy-Gencrafts.com

 

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Makine a Tote using Word Clouds

March 19

Making a word cloud is simple weather you do it yourself or use one of the automatic word cloud programs.

I Googled making word clouds and found auto generators at WordClouds.com, http://www.wordle.net . . .and the list goes on.

I found wordclouds.com a little frustrating, I could not make the names I wanted to be larger. I found Wordle.net easier to use

On the first tote I made the current generation the largest, our grandparents and children the next size down, Great Grandparents and Grandchildren the next size down, etc. On the second tote I made my mother and fathers surnames the largest, my husband(s) names next, same size as grandparents, great grandparents a little smaller and great great grandparents the smallest.

Over the years I have transferred line art to fabric using every method I could find and finally arrived on a product that is simple to use, and irons onto the fabric in the colors I wanted and possibly could have left “As Is”, but I wanted some texture and left the transfer light enough to color over it. My favorite transfer pen ever is the Silky Iron-On Transfer Pens, available in eight colors.

 

 

 

Supplies:

Fabric Tote

 

Favorite Transfer Pen ever:

Some of my favorite medium that did not run or bleed on the course tote fabric:

Uchida 122-6A Fabric Ball and Brush Marker, Set of 6

Went down creamy and rich. Ironed permenant.

Pentel Arts Fabric Fun Kit, Pastel Dye Sticks (PTS15BNABP)

 

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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

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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

coffee-cups-1

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
img_8239

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.

img_8506

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

cc_4746

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

cc_4165

 

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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Pass Down The Family Recipes On Useful And Decorative Pot Holders

November 16

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A grand way to pass down the family recipes are to turn them into practical kitchen artifacts.

When I was a child, I thought “salad dressing” was this recipe. The recipe was on a 3 x 5 card in my moms recipe box, it said “Lois’s French Dressing” at the top of the card. I was a teenager before I learned there were other kinds.  And not being a fan of salad in general, I did not think much about it over the years unless I was in a situation that I had a plate of lettuce put in front of me. When my mother passed away one of my disappointments was that this recipe was no longer in the recipe box.

When I decided to do a post about handing down recipe’s I was reminded of this tangy memory of my aunt Lois and I called my sister and asked her if she could go through moms recipe boxes and look again for me, to no avail. I even contacted Lois’s daughter.

You were almost reading a post about the worlds best pecan pie, made out of walnuts, but that is a long story in itself.

You have to consider the fact that I have moved several times over the years since mom passed away, and to my knowledge I have never had a copy of the recipe. About 2 weeks ago I moved a box in my dining room and a piece of paper fell out. While I do believe in miracles I doubt that they get wasted on salad dressing recipe’s, but there it was. A very old xerox copy . . . Aunt Lois’s French Dressing . .

Pecan Pie will be on a dish towel. . .


Step OneDesign your Pot Holder in your choice of layout programs and print the design on some cotton fabric with a laser printer or write out the recipe directly onto fabric with a waterproof pen.

 

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8″ x 8″ is a practical size.

I made a salad and poured on the dressing, and took a photo and printed it, to put on the back side of the pot holder. You could do similar or use any cotton fabric of your choice. Maybe even use some fabric from a heavy cotton item belonging to the recipe owner?

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Step 2 – Assemble your pot holder. You will need some padding. I used 2 layers of an older towel but you could purchase some fusible fleece for padding. I have not sewn in years so I sprayed the back sides of the front and back fabric with some spray basting. A shot to both pieces of towel and stacked them appropriately. Then used some 3/8″ heat bond to iron on the hem tape. In the top left corner I added a loop to hang the pot holder.

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Step 3 – Embellish. Depending on how durable you want your pot holder to be you should either use a sewing machine to secure the pot holder together or do as I did and use a blanket stitch to go around the edges.

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The perfect gift for children moving away from home !

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Bible Journaling – It’s Not Like Your Grandmas’s Bible Any More!

November 11

Family history has often been found in the pages of your ancestors Bibles, but today’s Bibles are becoming tomorrows treasures in their own rights. Bible Journaling has become a common past time that has become as common as the adult coloring books that fly off the shelves.

Anna Downs
  •  This page, which illustrates Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 has been pushed a step further than simple illustration.  It has pressed and dried ferns, the same kind of fern picked and pressed, over the entire month of September . . .
  • Ecclesiastes 3 King James Version (KJV) , To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die. etc. The words to Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 have the distinction of being the oldest lyrics to every make it to #1 on the pop charts, sung by The Byrds in 1965.
  • The photos are all of my Great Great Grandmother, Anna Theresa (Downs) Freund.

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  • The effect that I achieved was, that in Spring when the ferns were bright green, she is on gloss paper with wings for dreams, and then she got married and was printed on practical 20 pound bond surrounded with flowers and maturing ferns that were starting to turn, and then as the color faded from both the ferns and Anna, the ferns curled and there was snow on the ferns.
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  • At the top, Anna is 90 years old, she is kind of faded, as is her portrait, on purpose, by the way I transferred it to the Bible using a blender pen. The curled up brown leaves that have fiber paste on them that made nice snow.
  • Assembling the art on this page I used the least amount of Mod Podge possible for each item since I knew there was more to follow. I brushed up all that squeezed out each time with a dry brush until I was finished and then put one light coat over all of the flowers and leaves just to seal the edges down.
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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.

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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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“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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DIY Light weight Photo Cube Decorations

September 14

Aunt Mary turned 90 and had a birthday party in August.

I made her 6 of the 6 sided photo cubes which were lightweight enough to hang from the wire armatures of a balloon weight.

Each cube was different so we were able to display 36 photos on what became a table centerpiece at the party.

The instructions for making the 6 sided cubes are at my previous post “How to make 6 sided photo cube” Click HERE

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My Favorite Monogram Resources

September 8

Even our ancestors were proud of their names and heritage and were probably decorating their clothing and home decor with their initials and family crest since before first set of guest towels were hung on a rod.

Seriously, the wealthy families had crest rings and medallions since before the average man had two names.

Today monograms still give us a sense of family identity. If it belongs to you, you can put your mark on it. Even if it is just your annual pumpkin. Click HERE for the pumpkin tutorial.

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Decorative monograms can be incredibly intricate and designing your own can be quite a task. The simple solution is to not re-invent the wheel and use one of the many reference books available to either scan straight from the books (for personal use only) or use as a starting point.

While it has numerous Art Nouveau Initials in it “The Treasury of Authentic Art Nouveau Alphabets, Decorative Initials, Monograms, Frames and Ornaments” Edited by Ludwig Petzendorfer only has five complete sets of Monograms, every combination of two letters possible. However they have a Art Nouveau flare while still being simple enough for any craft project straight out of the book. This is my go to book as a jump off point when designing my own monographs.

I highly recommend The “Compendium of Ancient Artistic Initials For Vintage Style Monograms“,  well described in their Amazon description as “a collection of over 3400 intricate artistic initials largely drawn from Victorian, Art Nouveau and Edwardian eras”. Initials and designs are in larger format (most are 2 inches high or greater) to preserve detail.” With multiple monograms styles from between 1840 and 1850. Most of which are suitable for sewing and craft projects straight out of the book.

5000 Decorative Monograms for Artist and Craftspeople, Edited by J. O’Kane is filled with 2 and 3 letter monograms that have a Victorian (or older) feel and are well suited for embroidery as well as a nice way to add art to pedigree charts and family group sheets in family history books when photographs are not an option.

Monograms and Alphabetic Devices are to quote the preface are “Unabridged republication of the plates from the Dictionnaire du Chiffre-monogramme” published in Paris in 1881. They are ornate but the printing is clear and well suited for the family history book when photos are not an option and with minimal work, suitable for embroidery and craft projects.

The Encyclopedia of Monograms by Leonard G. Lee are elaborate monograms with a renaissance flair. most suited for inclusion in family history books or decoupage.

You can see inside of these books using the Amazon.com links.

I hope you find my reviews helpful.

Jackie

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