Genealogy-Gencrafts Getting your genealogy assets out of the file cabinets and onto your walls
Browsing all posts in: Scrapbooking

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 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: 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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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

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


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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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