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Selecting a Color Scheme

MyCanvas Products By August 2, 2019 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

Have you ever decided you were going to paint the walls of a room, and then when you arrive at the home improvement store to pick out paint, get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of paint chips? Or tried to pick out a color scheme for a wedding or formal event? Similarly, choosing a theme and colors for the photo book you’re making can be and endeavor. You want it to look good and match your theme. But when it comes to color, the wide spectrum of color makes for endless possibilities. So how do you decide on a color scheme?

For a little design inspiration let’s start by going over the basics of color theory.

A Splash of Color

First off, the color wheel. The primary colors are Red, Yellow, and Blue. These three colors mixed together make every other color in the color spectrum. For example, secondary colors are made by mixing two of the primary colors. Red + Yellow = Orange. Yellow + Blue = Green. Blue + Red = Violet. All three of them together create brown.

Next let’s break down common terms: Hue, Saturation, Tint, Shade, and Tone.

Hue is the easy one; it’s just another name for color. Whereas saturation is how much pigment of the hue is being utilized. If it’s highly saturated it’s going to be a very bright pure color. Low saturation, on the other hand, is going to make it dull and soften the color. Completely desaturating color takes all the pigment out leaving a grey tone behind. Tint is lightening a hue by mixing in white. It softens colors and gives you pastels. The more white that’s added the whiter the color gets. Shade, on the other hand, is adding black to a hue. Darkening the color. The darker it gets the closer to black it gets. Lastly, there is tone. It’s when Grey is mixed with the hue; the more grey there is the duller the color gets.

Fortunately, technology makes it easy to find all the colors you need. No need to hand mix colors.

Color Schemes

There are many different types of color combinations and schemes, also known as harmonies. We will only be covering the more basic ones here.

color harmonies


Let’s begin with the Complementary color scheme. Looking at the color wheel, colors directly across from each other are considered complementary. Possibly one of the most famous complementary color schemes belongs to Christmas: red and green. Many sports teams also utilize opposite colors, think navy blue and orange. Sometimes putting together complementary colors can feel jarring. When using this combination, it’s a good idea to choose one of the colors as the dominant one and the other as an accent.


Another common combo is called Analogous. It involves using colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Depending on how technical you want to get it can mean red, red-violet, and violet. Or it can be used as blue, green, and yellow. Either way the colors are considered next to each other on the wheel. For example, you see these types of combinations frequently in patterns and retro eras like the ’70’s.


Then there is the triad. Three colors evenly spaced apart from the color wheel. A perfect example: the primary colors. It gives good color variety and touches all sides of the color wheel.


This brings us to our next color harmony: Monochromatic. It’s one hue in various shades and tints. This may sound overly simple, but it can lend itself to creativity and unity in design.

Black & White

And last but not least there is always black and white. It’s a classic. If you want to add a little more variety, choose an accent color or two. This combination looks very clean, and elegant. It’s a great color scheme for wedding or formal event photo books.

Color schemes can be used in everything from photography to interior design, or a garden. These harmonies are helpful when considering what colors to use, but don’t be afraid to play around and experiment with any color combinations that you like.


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.


How to Make an Ancestry Calendar with MyCanvas

Family History, MyCanvas Products By October 25, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

At, you can sign in with your Ancestry account to create family-oriented custom calendars. Learn how to add birthdays, anniversaries, and names of not only your descendants, but your ancestors! Include as far back as six generations. Begin your Ancestry Calendar by following these instructions:


Creative Calendar Fun | Miriam J. Robbins

Guest Blogger, MyCanvas Products By May 10, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , 3 Comments

In November 2008, I was recovering from rotator cuff surgery, and trying to come up with Christmas gifts for family members. At the time, I was hearing a lot about MyCanvas in various press releases on genealogy blogs. MyCanvas is an online program in which you can create personalized items like family history books, recipe books…