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

Archive for 2007

oh, family tree!

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

megan_dedication_copyGreetings All.

Yes, there is still time to get the sweetest, easiest little personalized Christmas gift for a child or family you love.

Monday, December 17th is your deadline for ordering our custom-printed family trees. They come in a great little paper frame with your very own dedication. For only $36!

Order now! Our multitude of family tree elves are standing by!

Elf Kim


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great family photos

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Liz and I are finishing up a book of her mom’s memoirs (her christmas gift!) and I just had to share these two family photos. They didn’t make the book but we absolutely love them.

One of the hardest parts of putting a book together is the task of curating photos that best support the story. Alas, these did not make the cut…but they’re too good not to share!

What is it about them? They convey such nostalgia, emotion, eras…

great family photo

fun running

Pretty great, yes?
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janda family book, volume 1

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

hot foil stamped title I’m so excited to finally be sharing this book with you!

When Janda and I first met over coffee last February, we looked at a book she had just made through a photobook service. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite capture her maternal grandparent’s story the way she hoped. Now she wanted to do it right.

Not only that, Janda really wanted to create a look/feel that could be translated into future books about other branches of her family. So, here is what we created – a volume one about her maternal grandparents. Next up is a book about her dad’s family.

I’m quite proud of our work together on this book. Thank you, Janda…we did it!

(book details: 100 page, 11×17 family history book, foil stamped title, ribbon bookmarks)

book cover

ribbon bookmarks for the 3 family trees

We included 3 bookmarks, one for each family tree. Many of Janda’s ancestors shared the same names (even in the same generation!) so being able to refer back to the trees is very helpful.

old map of germany

the lahner kids

A few spreads showing the page styles we used – a chapter beginning, and a “kids” page.

book spread with glassine envelopes for artifacts

glassine envelopes for artifacts

In her research, Janda uncovered some wonderful old documents she wanted to include. We added these archival glassine envelopes to hold them, so you can actually touch and feel bits of her family history.

I look forward to volume 2!
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heading to nyc!

Monday, October 15th, 2007

heading to nyc I’m very excited to be heading to nyc for a few weeks to soak up a bit of city inspiration.

I’ll be staying in Brooklyn, but exploring everywhere. So if you’re in the area and would like to talk about a book project, please let me know! I’ll have some sample books and would love to meet up.

I’ll also be working on some book projects I can’t wait to show you in November! Stay tuned.

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not so surpisingly young

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Marilyn & Francie Fishing Several times I’ve been told I’m surprisingly young to care about family history. I’m 35 years old. Generally, these comments come from contemporaries of my mother or my grandmother, and for a while I believed that yes, maybe I was a little bit unusual for choosing this line of work at my age.

But lo and behold, to my absolute wonder and excitement, this past week I’ve heard from four like-minded women of my age to start on custom books! And let me tell you, these ladies are tackling their family book projects with downright gusto…traveling to family farms, sitting down with last remaining relatives, visiting historical organizations, collaborating with mothers and grandmothers, poring through old letters and memorabilia, researching family trees. And lucky me, I get to turn all their findings into beautiful books.

For me, it is mind-blowingly wonderful and inspiring. And yes, such a relief not being so surprisingly young after all.

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my guest blog debut!

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

blackeiffel Rachel at Black Eiffel graciously invited me to be a guest this week on her lovely design blog.

It’s been so much fun, and she’s patiently let me ramble on about everything from party themes to wedding planning to why I love the post office. What a gal! You can read all my ramblings here. Be sure to browse through her other posts too, she’s got a great eye.

Thanks, Rachel!

always, james

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

Always, James Thank you to Anna and Maggie, the mother-daughter team who entrusted me with the story of James, their recently deceased father and grandfather.

This book tells the story of a quite remarkable man named James. It’s his life story as told through his wartime letters from 1942-1945. Whether telling of his quest to become a pilot (which was ultimately unsuccessful) to falling in love (which was ultimately quite successful!) he liked to sign off his letters, Always, James.

Most of the letters were written to his beloved, Anna, who he met right before enlisting and finally married while on furlough in 1944. Trust me, he writes her some of the sweetest darn letters you’ve ever seen – I shed more than a few tears reading them!

(a note about the book details: this is a 115 page, 13×11 personal history book, with custom artwork on the spine, foil stamping on the fabric cover, and a hand-stitched CD pocket on the back inside cover.)

Now for a peak at the book. On the cover we used James’ signature for the book title and a collage of his envelopes for the spine.



We started the book with a timeline to give context for the story. The top of the timeline shows the events in James’ life, while the bottom features the events of World War II.


From there, we started taking excerpts from the letters and featuring them in different chapters. This is the “Sense of Duty” chapter.



Here are a few of the main chapter pages.




And a few more of my favorite pages. We tried to use a few of the actual letters because the handwriting is so beautiful, even if it is hard to read!



And now to await Anna and Maggie’s report. They’re currently at their family reunion where they are presenting copies of the book to an unsuspecting but sure-to-be-blown away family!

What a gift.

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a day in little lila’s shoes

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

lilacover Oh, to be two again. When the quite talented Rachel McGinn approached me to make a photo storybook about her family, I was thrilled. (Just take a look at some of her photos and you’ll see why.)

Together, Rachel and I came up with this simple book concept to capture a day in the life of her darling two year old, Lila. I love this little book, not to mention the carefree life of a 2 year old!

(a note about the book details: this is a 25 page, 7×7 photo storybook, with board pages and ribbon binding on the spine)


Rachel “interviewed” Lila and we used some of the quotes in the layout. Here she says her best friend is big sister “yaya.” Pretty darn cute.


Some spreads are full photos like these two – jumping on the bed and blowing bubbles.



Now, don’t you want to be two again?
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a 65th birthday book

Monday, March 19th, 2007

book_cover Talk about a meaningful gift. For her husband’s 65th birthday, Margie approached me to put together a book about her husband’s life and heritage.

Six months and a lot of research later, all her efforts paid off. The book was presented to her husband at a small dinner celebration with family. A copy was later given to each of their children. Everyone now has it prominently displayed in their home and loves it.

At our first meeting we pored through boxes of “stuff” and developed a storyline for the book. We decided to use chapters to tell the story. Here are a few of the chapter headings.




At the front of the book is a 3-generation photo family tree tracing his parent’s roots.


We also used lots of his old school year photos, report cards, and news clippings.




In the end, the book is a lifetime heirloom for the whole family. The hardest part, according to Margie, was keeping it a secret for six months!

Please get in touch or request a quote at the top of the page if you’d like to make a family or personal history book for an upcoming birthday, anniversary, wedding, or retirement celebration. We’d love to help!

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kk’s family tale

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

butterfly Alison just finished her family tale for daughter KK’s first birthday and has given me permission to share bits of her story. Thank you, Alison. It is quite special.

This first vignette shares the story of KK’s big brother William, who sadly only lived a few hours. Amazingly, one year later on William’s exact birthday little KK was born.

KK was weeks premature and spent her first 4 months in the hospital, but she is now celebrating her first birthday. Alison wrote this second vignette about all the nurses and doctors – extended family – who helped give KK her start in this world along with her guardian angel big brother.

(for a bigger view, you can click on the photos)


Thank you, Alison, for sharing your amazing story. Happy birthday, KK!

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