50 Jar Gifts: idea #3 – Sands of Time

image from indulgy.com

I think this idea is awesome. It is a beautiful way to remember your travels The different colors of sand are so beautiful and varied. You can also collect pebbles and rocks. I also like the idea of writing on the rocks. Here are a bunch of examples.

jars with sand and pebbles, etc. from different places from themagnoliamom.blogspot.com

image from interiordesigning.net

image from savvysugar.com

image from blog.kandrac-kole.com

What I’d really like to do is collect rocks and/or dirt from different places in my family’s history. Wouldn’t it be cool to go back to England where my great-great grandma, Mary Taylor was born and collect some soil. Then trace her journey to the west, stopping at key points along the way to collect more sample. Layered in a jar with labels of some kind and maybe a mini book to explain the importance of each place. With the power of the internet it would probably be possible to find people who live in each of those areas to gather what I’d need and ship them to me. The trip would be more fun but it isn’t in my budget in the near future.

dirt from places around the country
image from Sarah Wiley Joyce

If this idea inspires you, let me know. I’d love to share your project here too.jar gift logos4

50 Jar Gifts: idea #2 – Year in a Jar

Year in a Jar By Kid’s Crafts Contributor Stephanie, from the blog A Geek In Glasses via ThinkCrafts.com

Here is a fun and simple way to help someone collect their memories for the coming year. All you need is a jar, a photo and vinyl numbers or another way to add the year to the jar. Then as they year goes by they drop those little things they collect from their days into the jar. At the end of the year it is like a little time-capsule. ThinkCrafts.com has detailed instructions on how to make this jar gift.jar gift logos3

image from thinkcrafts.com

image from journeychic.com

If this idea inspires you, let me know. I’d love to share your project here too.jar gift logos3

Gift Idea #23 – Ancestor Ornaments

idea numbers23Wouldn’t a little tree with photos of ancestors be beautiful? Or you could put the ornaments on a full-sized tree in among the other ornaments. This is another conversation starter with the chance to share information about your family member.

Most photo printing places have custom ornament options. Below I have links for RiteAid and Walmart but there are lots more on the web.

If you would like a more hands on approach then the last two links below are a couple of craft ideas for making your own ornaments using photos. Your local craft store probably has more ideas or use your imagination and materials you have on hand to come up with your own creation.

Ornaments from RiteAid

Ornaments from Walgreens

Personalized Ornaments

How to Make Custom Photo Ornament

Bargain Photo Frame Ornament


Digitizing Old Documents and Books


Pbok1-1696 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FamilySearch has a great post on Digitizing Techniques for Old Documents and Books by James Tanner. All summarize it here but follow the link above to get all the details.

The first thing to keep in mind about old books and documents is the difference between old and valuable. The key is not to confuse old with rare or limited edition books. This will affect how you go about digitizing it. If the value of a book is the information it has then the best way to scan it is to take it apart so the pages can lay flat. But if the book has value it might be best to get professional help to digitize its pages without damaging it. James Tanner has the following links to sites that discuss how to build you own book scanner.

The trick is to keep the pages flat and the camera at 90 degrees to the page. You will always get the best quality image by making sure the pages is at a 90 degree angle to the imaging device. Flat bed scanners are designed for this. If you use a digital camera it is much more difficult to get a good quality image. Thanks James for the great article. I’m filing it away for future reference.

I’ve learned some of this by trial and error but I’ve never thought through the intrinsic vs. extrinsic value before. The best tip I have is when the print is showing through from the other side of the page place a sheet of black paper behind it before scanning. What tips and tricks do you have when digitizing books and documents?

Read the full article here.