Thursday, October 18, 2012


I have had a lot of fun creating family picture books using the website ARTSCOW.COM (thanks to my daughterinlaw Season!)

I know there are a lot of sites & stores that you can get your pictures put into a bound book format, however, I have found very reasonable (when you take advantage of their often offered discounts &/or free shipping).  The quality is also the best.

It has become, for me another method of preserving the tons of pictures that I acquire - I love capturing shots while Skyping with family, especially the g-kids!

I always order 2 of the finished book, one for me and one for them.

I feel strongly about preserving one's life in many forms, and as I feel like my children grew up with a strong sense of self and who they were, and where they fit in our family and in this life, I am convinced that this is a vehicle that provides that.

Here is a sampling of a few books I've made at this website.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


How did I think I was all done with my PRESERVATION ideas when I didn't even present one of the most important PERSERVES of all?

The ANCESTOR preserve...

I was raised to pay careful attention to those who've "gone before" me.
Both my parents preserved many items from their lives, as well as inheriting their parent's preserves upon their passing.
For some reason, dabbling in genealogy, collecting (mostly by reproduction) pictures of my ancestors, recording their stories, visiting those that were still alive, etc. has always been very important to me.
I must have understood what it meant to come from all these people, and it intrigued me. 
The preservation of "all things ancestral" became my BIGGEST hobby.
I wonder if some of my passion for this type of thing came from having my Great-Grandmother (my mom's grandmother) live with us from the time I was 9 years old, until I was 21.   She was a wealth of childhood stories for us.  She was one of our all time favorite people.

We also had an aunt come live with us for about 15 years. The same time she came to live with us, her parents (my dad's folks) both moved into a nearby nursing home where I got a job taking care of my grandmother much of the time she was there.

I think having a lot of family around and also having a cousin who was a professional genealogist who taught me a lot about genealogy, made relationship PRESERVATION become very important to me.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about my ancestors and savoring the little bits of information we have about them.

So, aside from the genealogy preserves that I'm always working on, ie: names, dates, family information... I took the items, pictures, certificates, obituaries, etc from my ancestors as far back as I could find pictures and made an ANCESTOR PRESERVE with a section dedicated to each person.  I have pictures and information back as far as a third great-grandfather...PRICELESS!

So, even though this is getting a bit "wordy" I am still going to list items that you might consider searching for and gathering up, from whomever in your family might have these items and creating your own ANCESTOR PRESERVE.
(warning: some items may be specific to members of the LDS faith).

- Pictures! (the more details the better)
- Pedigree charts listing the ancestor first and going back as far as possible.
- Family charts, listing the ancestor first as a child in their parent's family, then as an adult and/or a parent in their own family.
- Recordings of their voices - during an interview, or during candid story telling...
- Copy of their birth certificate
- Copies of their ordinance certificates (if they were LDS): blessing, baptism, confirmation, priesthood ordinations, sealing
- Priesthood Lineage - Line of Authority (if male and LDS)
- Copy of Patriarchal Blessing
- Maps of their birth place - a picture of their childhood home?
- Picture(s) of their family (as a child), (as a parent)
- Copies of their writings - poetry, stories, journals, life story, talks/speeches,memoirs...
- Their Profession/business/career information, resume's, business card, pictures
- Schooling: elementary, high school, college, university, degrees received, copies of diplomas, licenses, awards..
- Military service: records, information, pictures

- News clippings, articles that they were in or wrote

- Awards (misc) received
- Sports played: pictures
- Community service they participated in
- Their Wedding: courtship information, pictures,

decoration details, honeymoon destination
- Samples of their handwriting
- Mementoes they kept and/or passed down
- Anniversary celebrations: pictures
- Obituary, newspaper
- Copy of death certificate
- Funeral/Memorial service: program, pictures
- Grave site / Headstone: pictures

- Thoughts and well-wishes from those who knew person
- Your own memories recorded and written about the ancestor included with their preserve.
- Anything else you can think of

If you end up with items that were belongings of ancestors that are now heirlooms, or just keep-sakes, consider tagging each item and writing a short description about the item, making and itemization list so as to keep the "story" of the item available for years, and generations to come.  (Refer to the post: "It's a Treasure Box for more details).


Going through some of the kid's scrapbooks not too long ago while looking for something, I came across a number of letters that I'd written to each child.
A lot were written during the early months of their life, chronicling their achievements and the dates of the big events.
As they grew, the letters became further apart.
Mostly on their birthday - I'd write as many achievements, adventures, events, talents, and interests that I could think of that made up their past year.
I thought to myself that I would like a copy of those letters to keep for myself in a little preserve as they represented all the above listed items, but especially my love for them and how I felt about them at that time.

You may already have done / are doing this small act, and will in time realize the importance that it is.
But if you haven't started yet, do so while they are young and your thoughts are fresh in your mind.
I'm sure you can attest to the fact that details quickly fade, even when they happened just last week.

Would you like to have a letter to you from your parent remembering for you all the things that flew away from your memory when you were too little to remember, but especially their love for you? Wouldn't everyone?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I can't believe it!
ANOTHER idea - the fog must be lifting for a brief moment in time...quick, I'll take advantage of the clarity...
The PRESERVE that I share now is not uniquely mine.
I do not take credit for it.
Many people record and preserve the cute and amazing things that the little ones in their life say and/or do, so, all I'm doing is putting the bug in your brain to do just that.
When you hear or see something that just tickles your funny bone, or warms your heart said or done by a special little one in your life - TRY, TRY, TRY, to write it down and preserve it.

Anything and everything you do, to preserve and share with your loved ones as they grow, can only strengthen their sense of self and build their confidence as they see that what they do and say matters to you.
It is worth the effort.
Here are a few ideas I used that made this preservation possible
(nice illiteration)...
We will call this preservation:
(as in cute things they say and/or do).
I bought a cheap little calendar book and kept it in a very accessable place, so that it would be easy to grab and quickly jot down what I just heard or saw.
I can't say that I was perfect at this preserve, but I did remember to use it sometimes, and those times that I did remember - I have recorded some priceless pearls that we have enjoyed reading over the years.
(Most are pearls from D & J, as I didn't think of doing this until E & H were older, but, most are when they were pretty young.)

Hey, I just thought that with today's technology, you can push the button on the cell phone and either record or video what they're saying or doing, if you think fast enough...

I now subject you to some of them.
See if you don't agree - out of the mouths of babes!
(of course these could only be "dear" to me, but the treasures you record will be just as special to you.)

(In no particular chronological order):

J and Dad play a form of Chess called "Move a Guy". You can move any piece anywhere when you say "Move a Guy!", but when you say "Hey!", you have to move the piece back where it was.

J came up to our bed in the middle of the night, plopped his blanket and himself right down between us on our bed and said "It dawk downdehs" (It's dark downstairs) - we still say that in dark places.

J must always clap his hands together, lace his fingers and stick his thumbs in his eyes for every prayer - oh, he also HAS to say every prayer too.

D has made up his own language - he calls it "Gluten" - it includes words like youstum ukuladium, galichagallom, ooslaughterpiggyfat, delishagus, mugdoogdun, snazzerundous, mamoshka, ozaboza, woebuhgeeguh, oozey-goozey, moleekomosomo, etc. It never ends.

J told E the correct way to cough when you're REALLY sick - E coughed and J said that a "real" cough consisted of two coughs, not just one long cough...

E will put a bite in his mouth and leave some dangling out and then ask "is there something in my teeth?"

D and J love to spy and they named their mission "operation runny-nose". The jingle to the operation goes: Dum-dum-dum - and then you snoosh or sniff your nose. (not too stealthy)

H says that she can't eat carrots because they hurt her back...(that was the best excuse I ever heard, so she didn't have to eat carrots).

D loves to sing "Mom yells at me so loudly"...(I didn't yell)

J and I were joking about the line in Ferris Bueller's Day Off - "They all like him because he's a Righteous Dude"...J then said E's a righteous dude because he is a deacon in the priesthood...

J and D were playing with their swords when J blew a little whistle - they decided to call it the "whistle of war".

J came crying into the house, he'd scraped his leg on his bike and told me that "a rock sneaked into his leg".

D said "Mom, when I was in the bathroom today, I realized how long my legs were."

J was singing "Little woman, walking down the road..." When I told him it was "Pretty woman, walking down the street" J said " I can't do that!"

D said his T-ball coach must have a problem because he never smiled.

E came up with a new business that he can aspire to: Jerks who sell junk at the dump.

D asked me "when you get a new freckle, does that mean you're getting bigger?"

J ran in the house and said that there was this grasshopper outside that REALLY wanted to live in our house real bad. I asked if he wanted a "bug jar" to put him in and he beamed and said "yeah".
When J doesn't want you to know about something he's doing - or you tell him something he doesn't want to hear he says "don't talk me!"
E on the other hand said "when you tell me something I don't want to hear, I have to fall on the floor".

J screamed for me to come downstairs, when I got there, he was looking into his toy bucket and let out a huge sigh and pulled out his toy tomahawk that was broken and said "Everything in my whole life is broken!" (so pitiful!)

D said that the man reading the water meter in our neighborhood was doing the "water meter dash".

J plays with his toy basketball hoop and says he can "swam-dunk it".

D likes to play in his wading pool and holler to me - "Mom, watch me! I can fwum!"

J was sitting at breakfast - not eating. When I asked him what was wrong he said, "My heart's not beating."

J made himself a pudding and sugar sandwich while I was in the shower this morning.

J sings "Row, row, row, your is down the drain".

D tells us his middle name is Glockenshpiel...

H says I haven't written many funny things that she says - well, her HUGE talent is in her faces. She has so many different faces, that I put a collection of as many as I could find together and call it "The Many Faces of H". Truly a talent! What a treasure! She also has my "talent" for nick-naming.

D came downstairs dressed for church and I told him that he looked pretty sharp. D told J he'd better not touch him because he was pretty sharp.

Dad asked D how his hat looked- D said "kinda dumb".

Start recording TODAY!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY - you are awesome!

Thinking once again that all my ideas for "alternate" family history preservation had been exhausted and not having anything more to share - I remembered something that I can't believe I forgot about.  I remember it being my daughter's idea (I don't know why I write as if someone is reading these postings, and the need to protect the identity of those I write about, but I do),  however, my daughter says that I gave her the idea...whatever the case, she is the one who created and perfected the idea, so I give her all the credit.
The idea is a wonderful, fun collection of a family member's favorite things, creatively preserved each year as one of that person's birthday presents.  It gives such a great glimps into that person at their special time of year - and changes as the years change.  Hil would "interview" her brothers, asking them all sorts of very interesting and varied questions - then preserved their answers on a sheet to be placed in their history preserve, to enjoy over and over again, and be surprized about as the years pass.
Pictured below is one such preserve that she so artistically created for one of her brothers.
I always thought it was a great gift as well as way to preserve a little piece of a person's life at a specific time.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A X-Stitched Heirloom Preserve of a Birth Announcement

So, during the six years that my children were born - I really liked to cross-stitch.  Therefore, I cross-stitched a sampler for each one, complete with: name, birth date, pound-age, etc.
(Some of the info. was covered up to necessitate quick frame-age), but, nonetheless, you get the picture.
Of course I didn't create the patterns for each of the samplers, I merely purchased cross-stitch books with the patterns already inside.  I just chose a pattern that I particularly liked, and that I thought fit my child.  As the youngest ones were born, I got more creative - I think anyway...
They are a long-lasting, time consuming labor of love that you will be able to give to your child "someday". A creative heirloom for them to take with them, whether they want to or not...:)
It will always remind them that you were spending a lot of time thinking about them when they were tiny and putting those thoughts into action.
This is just one more idea on a PRESERVE that will always have fond memories in yours and your child's life.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What did you wear?

Is sewing yours or your own children's clothing a lost art or interest? 
Do many people do that anymore?
This "PRESERVE" may only appeal to those who may be older, unless there are more "sewers" out there than I think...
I learned to sew in my "tween" years - a skill that was horribly frustrating at first, but then (as "they" so often tell you) became of great value and enjoyment as I grew older.
I sewed A LOT of my children's clothes and therefore had a lot of fabric remnants.
The remnants from the dresses I sewed for my daughter were the prettiest by far and held the most nostalgia.
We would even name her dresses depending on what style they reminded us of.  
She had a Pollyanna dress, an Alice in Wonderland dress.  She had a Sleeping Beauty dress, an American Girl dress etc.  You get the picture...
It's amazing how certain things in your life can recall vivid memories - material scraps can do that for me.
I personally have a shoe-box full of fabric squares my mother cut out and gave to me of all the clothes I sewed for myself when I was young (I was not as foresightful as she was - thanks Mom).
  I can remember how old I was when I sewed the article, what function I wore it to for the first time, what boy I liked at the time etc.
Why is that?
Anyway, I'm sure my idea is not individual, but I've never actually seen a finished "preserve" such as I am presenting, made by someone else.
So, I got a "wild hair" (again) and decided to make strips of the remnants and machine sew them into Log Cabin quilt squares and make a Memory Quilt out of them as a present for my daughter to help preserve some memories of hers.
I won't go into the "how to's" on how to sew the squares here, but I will point you to the best, fastest, easiest method that I used -
The book is called Make a Quilt in a Day by Eleanor Burns.
She also has a website @

Super cinchy, fun, and memorable.
However, if you haven't saved any remnants then....sniff
Maybe you can "warn" those in your life who are younger, or still sewing to do so, so they won't have huge regrets.
It doesn't matter if the fabrics go together - as you can see, the conglomeration works regardless.
It's all good.