My blog.

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

Archive for March, 2008

sneak peek: pocket books, coming soon!

Friday, March 28th, 2008

I can’t wait to share these next books with you. They won’t be ready for a few weeks, so today is just a sneak peek.

Volumes 2 and 3 of Janda’s family history (this is Volume 1) will contain pockets. Many many pockets.

Here’s why. Janda discovers new branches of her family at an astonishing rate (is there a cure for addiction?) So there will naturally be new family charts, documents, photos, etc. And that’s where the pockets come in. She’ll just insert them as she finds them, and the books will be her ongoing family archives.

So this week was Pocket Making Week. Armed with straight edges, exactos, and plenty of adhesive, Maggie and I whipped up 54 (dare I say) stunning pockets.

Here’s a before/after of one of the map pockets (apologies for terrible lighting – the paper is not really yellow).

maps - for making into pockets 

finished map pockets - closeups 

It’s a diagonal pocket all the way across the page, one of several pocket styles we used. I’ll post lots more photos when the books are all finished!

. . . . .

family stories with a sense of humor

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

I love it when people ditch the traditional stuffiness of family history and inject a healthy dose of humor to their books.

I’m working on Tara’s Family Tale right now and am cracking up at this vignette she wrote.


Don’t mess with Great Grandma! I love it.

. . . . .


Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

A big thanks to Eliza at PoshCravings for featuring Good Stock today! Here is the book Eliza “picked.”

writeup - poshcravings 

. . . . .

doing the dirty work, tracking down family history

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

grammy grave rubbing 

I love this photo of my grammy I recently received from a cousin. She is grave rubbing – tracking down family information the good old fashioned way. (pre-internet!)

You go grammy.

. . . .

happy easter

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

easter egg found 

An action shot from our family’s easter egg hunt today…my niece Quinn finding the egg I hid on the fence. Ok, so I might have slightly directed her to the location.

Hope everyone enjoyed the day!

. . . .

child’s first year, in weekly snapshots

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

This is the greatest idea, period. I saw this over on growmodern (thanks, Summer!) and just can’t get enough of Lola in her orange chair.

From week 1, Erik van der Neut has taken weekly photos of his daughter, Lola. She sits in the same orange chair with an assortment of stuffed animals and tells the camera just how she’s grown.

Eric then makes the photos look like Polaroids and labels them. You can see his full set of weekly shots here. My favorites:

Erik van der Neut - Lola, 1 & 4 weeks 

Erik van der Neut - Lola, 23 & 41 weeks 

Erik van der Neut - Lola, 45 & 46 weeks 

Erik van der Neut - Lola, 50 & 51 weeks 

And of COURSE, I think the next step for these pictures is a book!

Now if you’re so inspired, go get thee an orange chair, a child, and a camera. And you can use this site to make like a Polaroid picture, since the real thing will (quite sadly) soon be extinct.

Thank you, Eric, for sharing your photo project!

. . . . .

a green book for st patty’s day

Monday, March 17th, 2008

memoir - cover I have been meaning to share this book for a while, and St Patrick’s Day is the perfect excuse. At least if you’re color-oriented like me. (And Irish!)

This book contains the memoirs of Jaime’s grandfather, Paul, whom she hardly remembers and wouldn’t really know were it not for this memoir.

In 1971, inspired by reading his uncle’s memoirs, Paul typed his own story. In his own words, “I began to realize that many of these tales of over 100 years ago might be of interest to coming generations.” Indeed.

Jaime collected photographs, family tree information, and a timeline of her grandfather’s life to accompany his writings, and gave a copy of the book to each family member for Christmas. What a treasure.

memoir - intro 

memoir - spine + interior 

memoir - fold out family tree 

memoir - timeline 

(images top to bottom, l to r: book dedication as written by jaime’s grandfather in 1971, alongside his photo; book spine; mother’s family chapter page; fold-out family tree; closeup of family tree chapter page; closeup of timeline showing key events of paul’s life, like his son’s graduation in 1964)

Thank you, Jaime. This was a beautiful project!

. . . . .

march 14th wisdom, from seneca’s picture a day book

Friday, March 14th, 2008

march 14 

. . . . .

a new little life, isaac hayden

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

My dear friend Sarah had a baby boy yesterday. I am so very excited…yet so very sad not to be near her right now! I do wish I was in LA.

So here’s a post in honor of little Isaac Hayden. A beautiful photo taken by the talented Teddi Yaeger, whom I am thrilled to be working with.

Congratulations Sarah + Joel! And welcome, little Isaac.

baby photo by teddi yaeger 

. . . . .

designing a new book style

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

I’m designing a new accordion book style right now, with the hopes it will become a photo brag book – for weddings, babies, vacations, family photos, etc.

I’m not sure how most people design new products, but for me it is trial, error, trial, error…until I finally have it. I’m not really keeping track, but I’m probably on error #3 right now!

I thought I’d share some of my experimenting.

mockup #1 (pics are of two different books)
accordion - 1 

accordion - 2 

mockup #2 – thicker paper and ribbon better incorporated into cover
accordion - 3 

accordion - 4 

And now I am wondering about one image per page vs multiple, and white border around photos vs bleeding to edge. Any thoughts?
. . . . .

join our mailing list