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Thoughts on books, design, storytelling, family, and more. From my little corner of the world to yours.

Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

things that make us happy

Monday, May 17th, 2010

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Ok, this is what makes us smile around here…packages of photos for a brand new book project! Especially loving the glassine envelopes with precious vintage items.




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getting creative in a tough economy

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

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And no, I’m not talking today’s economy…I’m talking Great Depression.

This is the work of a man who made it through the Great Depression with imagination, pen, paper, a fancy camera, and a whole lot of gumption.

I heard this story last week from Bob, who is working on his family history book with me.

Bob’s father’s garment business was liquidated during the Great Depression. He needed another way to make money, so he started to draw. And it turns out he was GOOD at it. He illustrated these children’s books and pitched them to publishers…and got some published!

2009, here i come

Monday, January 5th, 2009

here i go 

Highlights of 2008:

* getting to see my grandma almost every day
* celebrating my first wedding anniversary
* working with amazing people to tell their stories + honor their families
* buying a house
* getting pregnant! (baby due april/may 2009!)

This photo is from a memoir I did last year. We didn’t end up including it in the book because we didn’t know whose legs these were! But I love love this image and it captures exactly how I feel heading into 2009….

I can see the path ahead of me and I’m excited for the journey. I might approach said path a bit crooked and in my own unique way, but my arms are swinging and I am very happy.

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what a legacy

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

I am one of the 4,121,135 people (and counting) who has viewed Randy Paush’s Last Lecture. I finally watched it last night, after hearing he passed away yesterday from pancreatic cancer.

What a remarkable, inspiring man. And what a remarkable legacy he left his 3 children. His lecture and book, though viewed and read by millions, were really just for his kids.

As he said on his blog of his book, “they’re about to have two million copies in print, but all I cared about was the first 3 copies.”

If you’re seeking perspective and inspiration, watch his lecture.

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Friday, July 18th, 2008

This morning I’m working on my first wedding book. And hatching all sorts of plans while I work. I’ve decided it’s time. With a little encouragement & lots of great ideas from the lovely ladies over at Junebug, I will soon introduce some great wedding book ideas.

Feel free to send me any ideas of your own, or let me know if you’d like to be an early adopter and make a book I can use as an example when I launch!

Here’s a sweet little pattern I’m using for today’s book. More to come.


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let summertime begin

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Happy summer solstice tomorrow!


p.s. this photo is from a memoir in progress…couldn’t resist that cute little white ruffly swimsuit.

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cute old book

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

cute old book 

Am trying to start on a book right now and am having a bit of designer’s block.

So being inspired by all things vintage, I headed to my collection of my grandparent’s old books I inherited. (OK OK, technically no one wanted them and they were headed for Goodwill when I snatched them up. My Grama just shook her head asking, “Why on earth do you want these old books, Kimmy?!”)

For inspiration, of course.

So what do you think? Am I crazy for thinking this is a great little book cover? I love the simple title, centered with those stars and the triple lines wrapping around the spine.

cute old book 

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anniversary book idea!

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

this is us: wedding photo 

I’m sitting here working on a 40th birthday book that is really a book celebrating a marriage and family. I love how it’s coming together, mainly because the inspiration for the book title and theme is Better Together – a Jack Johnson song this couple loves, and so do I.

So, being a music lover I will share another song I think would make the perfect anniversary book theme: This is Us, by Emmy Lou Harris and Mark Knopfler. I think you could title the book This is Us, and then show the different “chapters” of a couple’s life together. It would be especially meaningful for a couple that has been together a while.

Also, for those of you approaching your first anniversary (like me) who still haven’t put a wedding book together (yes, like me!) the first anniversary gift is supposed to be paper…a perfect book opportunity!

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5 tips: turn your box of photos into a book!

Friday, April 25th, 2008

my box of old photos 

I just had such a fun meeting with my neighbor Judie and her cousin Maureen about their upcoming book project: their grandparent’s story.

Judie and Maureen are at what I call the ‘concept stage’ for their book. I love talking to people at this stage! They have a general idea of the story they want to tell, they have gobs of stuff from their boxes of photos and memorabilia, they still feel like they are missing a ton, and they are (quite naturally) feeling very overwhelmed.

So, here is what I told them. These are my tips for anyone who suffers from what I call the Box Problem (boxes of photos and no clue what to do with them!) and is ready to start on a book.

5 Tips For Turning Your Box of Photos Into a Book:

1. Pick one clear story. You can’t cram the whole box into a single book – an especially tempting approach for first time bookmakers. No one will want to read the book and you’ll feel scatterbrained putting it together.

examples of a good story: Mom’s Memoirs, Grandparent’s Story, Story of a Family Farm, One Branch of Family, Love Letters, Your Child’s School Photos, Your Family’s Santa Pictures, Celebration of 90 Years of Life, etc.

examples of a bad story: combining any of the above, mixing many branches of a family, mixing too much family history when telling a family member’s story

2. Create a table of contents. Totally essential. This will be your don’t-leave-home-without-it roadmap for the entire book project. It will help you organize images, gather your thoughts, and write your story.

3. Get help scanning the images. Unless you are a whiz with scanning, this can be an overwhelming task. We now offer a great scanning price – around 250 images for $100! Even if you’re not ready to start on your book we’d be happy to get your images ready for you. Email if you’re interested.

4. Pick a meaningful deadline. And I mean meaningful. Otherwise it won’t stick. Birthday, Anniversary, Christmas, Family Reunion. If you have a reason to finish the book, you will.

5. Accept that you will never be fully “finished.” You won’t find that one photo, that one family name, or the map of that one town in Sweden where Grandpa grew up. But it won’t matter. With few exceptions, my clients hand off resources to me and say things like “I’m sorry it’s not more organized” or “If I just had one more week…” or “I feel like I’m missing something.” But when they see their book designed, they are blown away. What looks rough and incomplete in a text document turns beautiful and priceless in a book form.

Books are magical that way.

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coffee = idea

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

I love this handmade book I found on Flickr, by Spills Her Coffee. I couldn’t agree more. Coffee and ideas totally go together.

coffee = idea, from 'spills her coffee' 

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