Gift Idea #48 – Ancestor Handwriting Font

idea numbers48My grandmother has distinctive handwriting and I’d love to turn it into a handwriting font. There are online services that will take your handwriting and convert it into a font for you. Some are free and some charge for their services. I have yet to try this even for my handwriting but it is on my list of things I want to do. It will be a little more difficult to do it for someone who has passed on because you will either need to trace their handwriting or else do some scanning and cut and paste to get the needed characters. Below are a few links to guide you along the process.

Handwriting Font Creator

Make Your Own Handwriting Fonts

Tips on making a handwriting font

Writing Fonts



Gift Idea #47 – Travel to Family History Site

idea numbers47How about planning a trip to a place where your family came from. It could be across the ocean or just across town. The distance isn’t so important as having the purpose of the trip to learn about your family’s past. Just pick a place, do some research and plan an itinerary. One word of advice, be flexible and don’t over schedule your trip. This isn’t about packing it so full that you can’t enjoy the time with family members and learning about the past.

So you have something to wrap up, you could print up your itinerary with a map and some images of your destination and the ancestor(s) associated with this site.

Gift Idea #46 – Story Box

idea numbers46This gift idea was inspired by this post on Design Mom. Guest Aunt Kelly Wilkinson made a story box for her sister as a gift before her first baby was born. I think this could be adapted for other situations. What Kelly did was take a wooden cigar box and decorate the outside with pretty images. A wooden box would be wonderful but other types of containers could be used also.

Inside she and a few friends put handwritten cards with story prompts. This cards can be used by her sister or in the future her sister’s children to start stories from their mother’s life. Children love to hear stories about their parents lives. This idea could also be used with grandparents or other extended family. The story prompts could also be generic and then the story box could be used by anyone to generated memories of their lives. The story box could be the start of a new family tradition that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Gift Idea #45 – Music CD

idea numbers45With today’s technology, putting together a CD with someones favorite songs is fairly simple. My idea is to gather the favorite songs of an ancestor or family member and then make copies to share. It would be fun to add a few short stories about the person. If you know the background of why a particular song was their favorite that would be very fitting to add to the CD. If you have some audio of the person’s voice that would also make a nice addition to the gift.

If you don’t already have these songs, there are lots of sources to download audio files on the internet. Just do a search by song title and/or artist and you will find them. So will be free and others will cost a small amount for each song.

This idea could also be share as mp3 files via an email, link on a website or through dropbox or another file sharing service. A custom CD would also be a perfect to include in a gift basket (see gift idea #41).

Pupdate – Yakira, Casey, Puppy Club and #7

Yakira – photo by Lisa Thompson

Yakira is continuing her stead pace through training. She is in phase 4 this week. Keep it up sweet girl, we are cheering for you.

Guide Dog News, a quarterly publication of Guide Dogs for the Blind, in its News of Our Graduates section listed Casey’s handler, Carrie as this years recipient of Reach for the Stars Scholarship. Congrats to Carrie on this accomplishment.

Our local puppy club has gotten too big and this week was our last meeting together. We meet at the Cold Stone in South Jordan to see Frosty and the other candy windows along with enjoying a tasty ice cream treat. It was a wet evening but lots of fun.A new club is being formed and we will be part of it. It is going to be fun to see what it takes to organize a new puppy raising club. We need to pick a name for our club. Any suggestions?

Right now the new club only has 5 puppies but more our expected soon. It seems that GDB has too many puppies in the kennels and they are looking for raisers. So we decided yesterday to apply for our next puppy, #7! He/she may be a co-raise with my friend Lisa, but we decided it was a good time to add another puppy to the household even if she decides now is not the best time to co-raise a puppy. So puppy #7 could arrive, by plane, in just a few weeks.

Gift Idea #44 – Shadow Box

idea numbers44Many years ago I worked as a picture framer. One of the most challenging things I did but also the most rewarding was putting together shadow boxes for customers. Shadow boxes are a wonderful way to display and protect a treasure historical object. I’ve framed everything from china to dresses to locks of hair to military medals.

There are pre-made shadow box frames available at many craft and hobby stores but you might want to consult a custom framing shop before you tackle this project. Depending on what you are framing it can be tricky to figure out how to mount the object without causing permanent damage. Make sure the object is protected by using acid free materials and glass which will block out UV rays to prevent damage from light.

Gift Idea #43 – History Kit

idea numbers43Would someone on your gift list like to start writing down their own history or help someone else get started on their history? Then how about putting together everything they need to get started?

It could be as simple as a journal or a three-ring binder and paper along with a list of questions and a pen or pencil. Or it could be high-tech. I found software that will help you write your history. Another approach would be a digital recorder in place of the journal.

There are a bunch of sources for questions or journaling prompts. I’ve gathered a few of them below to get you started.

Life Story Printables

Get to Know Your Family and Friends Better

The 50 Best Life Story Questions

Personal History

Tips for Doing Your Personal History

Personal History in Depth