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Create beautiful family history books, family tree posters, custom calendars, and more with MyCanvas.com. See our process, and the work of our clients, as well as stay updated on changes to MyCanvas.

Making Mother’s Day Special: A Gift Guide For Mom

Family Fun, Family History, MyCanvas Products By April 30, 2019 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Mother’s Day is right around the corner. With it comes the struggle of finding the perfect gift for the woman who has given us everything. It’s a challenge to find the perfect present for mom, but we compiled a list of thoughtful gift ideas that she will love.

1. Photo book

photo book standing open

 

To start off we suggest a customized photo book as an awesome option! It’s scrapbooking made easy. Save all of mom’s favorite pictures in one place for her to enjoy. If there are too many pictures to choose from you can always create a theme. For example, a past vacation, family reunion, or her growing up years. It’s a touching gift that’s completely unique to her. What’s not to love?

Create your photo book here.

 

2. Ancestry DNA Kit

Who doesn’t want to know where they originated from? Get mom a DNA kit from Ancestry to find out exactly where her family originates. You never know what cool surprises you might learn about your mom’s history. And it’s the perfect time to start making your family tree because it not only shows where her family’s from it will connect her to living relatives as well. The kit is $99 and totally worth it.

And speaking of family history…

3. Family History Book or Poster

Stories about your ancestors are an awesome keepsake.  Make a family history book about your family’s heritage. Compile stories you heard around the dinner table growing up or at family reunions. Call your grandparents to get more details about their parents and grandparents. Another option that coincides is to gift mom with her family tree. Map out a few generations and have it printed on a poster she can display for everyone to see. Either one is a wonderful sentimental gift that is sure to be passed down.

If creating a family keepsake sounds perfect, check out our next suggestion.

4. Family Cookbook Recipe Cards

Food is a central part of family traditions, and mom’s cooking will always be number one. Make it easier for her to recreate all your family’s favorites by compiling all her recipes into one family cookbook. No more digging through old index cards and worn out hand written recipes. Preserve great grandma’s cookie recipe forever. The book is sure to be a hit with your whole family. It’s also a great excuse for you to get all your family recipes for yourself. You can easily make a beautiful cookbook through MyCanvas.

Find tips on creating an awesome one of a kind cookbook here.

5. Recreate Childhood Pictures

Kid in Superhero capeOur next idea has been a fun trend on the internet. Gather together your siblings. Find some favorite pictures from your childhood to recreate. Get creative. Try matching the original photos as closely as possible. Find clothes and accessories needed by checking out local thrift stores.  Snap those updated pictures. Put them together in one of the following options: making a calendar with the snapshots of then and now. Print them out and display them in a photo cube. Make a photo collage with them all in one place.

This is a gift that mom will love, and it will make her cry—from laughing too hard.

6. Flowers

This idea is a classic. Pick up mom a stunning flower arrangement. The beautiful bouquet will brighten up her kitchen. Or if you want to go a more non-traditional route, instead of getting her a bouquet, pick her up some flowers she can plant. She will be reminded of you each time she’s out gardening. As a nice bonus the flowers will live longer than a bouquet.

7. Family Photos

If it’s been a while since your family has had family pictures taken it may be time to update mom’s photo wall. This makes for a great gift to coordinate with your siblings, as hiring a photographer may be expensive. It’s something mom will love, especially if she’s not the one having to hassle everyone to get the pictures done.

No matter what you do for your mom, she will love it because you thought of her. Make sure to make mom feel a little extra special this Mother’s Day.

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Tell Your Story: Missionary/College Book

Family History, MyCanvas Products By February 1, 2019 Tags: , , , , No Comments

After high school, young adults have many options that open up before them. Their lives and stories are full of potential as they move into their adult lives. Life changes fast during this time; be sure to capture these exciting and life-changing years in a photo book!

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Tell Your Story: Life History Books

Family History, MyCanvas Products By January 15, 2019 Tags: , No Comments

The basic family history book may not be as in-depth as some people want. For those families and storytellers, the templates from MyCanvas can create and shape one person or one family’s unique life. Consider creating a custom life history book like this one using MyCanvas! Use custom design and layout to turn the templates into a deeply personal, in-depth recollection of one family member’s life.

Find Your Narrative

It seems most intuitive to start at the very beginning: the day your ancestor was born. But it doesn’t always have to start there! Find a hook in your ancestor’s story, like the moment they married or the moment they emigrated to a new town or country.

Tip: Are you telling your own story? Finding that hook can be extra important! A completely chronological story can have a slow start, and may not be as engaging if the story is very long.

Wherever you start, it helps to find a theme for your book. Are you focusing on an individual? One family? Or a particular theme among many family members (such as immigration or military service)? Themes help you pair photos and stories.

Related: Writing Better Family Histories

Use Historical Context

Turn your book into an educational experience! There is a lot that modern readers might have forgotten or simply don’t know about. Take the chance to share teaching experiences! If there’s a little detail that offers historical background, share some tidbits about it. If your ancestor (or you!) lived through certain historical events, you can add in details about those as well.

Yes, putting context into your family history means doing a little bit of extra research. But there’s a fix for that! If you have your records and pedigree on Ancestry.com, the site provides historical insights on your ancestor’s timeline. This helps you find starting places for your research!

If you’re going this route, or using other historical data, add pages that use Ancestry data. These can provide interesting trivia about your family member. They also can provide quick layouts you can edit to suit your needs.

  • Right-click on one of the layouts at the bottom of the Project Editor window.
  • Choose Add Pages at the top of the menu.
  • In the sidebar on the left under Themes, find Family History.
  • Each style (Classic, Elegant, Family History) will have page options, from record pages, timelines, and descendant trees to photo layouts and recipe pages.

Design Tips

  • Divide up long stories. It can be hard to read one giant wall of text. Pair information near relevant photos, and don’t be afraid to spread out those stories over multiple pages.
    • However, if your story crosses only two pages, make sure those pages are in the same spread [page layout]! It generally looks better and reduces confusion over turning pages to keep up with a memory.
    • If you don’t want to spread your story over many pages, try using columns to cut up that wall of text. Use the Grid feature at the top of the Project Editor to make sure lines of text align properly between columns.
  • Group stories and photos by themes as well as points in your subject’s life. You might try organizing sections by a family member’s early life, raising a family, and later years, as a start.

How will you make your family history book more unique to your family? We want to hear from you!

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