Monday, February 16, 2015

BUILDING OUR FAMILY QUILT: a book review on four different books on scrapbooking your Family Heritage.

"Why waste your money looking up your family tree? Just go into politics and your opponents will do it for you." -- Mark Twain

Normally I read a book and post a review of it.  This time, however, I have read four different books on the same subject and decided I would post a comparison review of the four.  

Each deals with the subject of researching and scrapbooking your family heritage.  A subject near and dear to my heart.  I will list them from my least favorite to my favorite of the four.  My plan is to glean the best from all four to create a series of scrapbooks on my son’s ancestry that I call the Family Quilt. 

Coming in at fourth place is Memory Maker’s “Family Tree page ideas for Scrapbookers, 130 ways to create a scrapbook legacy.

Had I read this book first I might have been more impressed with it and the various versions of family trees and how to create them, but it had the unfortunate happenstance of being read after the one I deemed my favorite of the four.
If you are a true genealogy beginner, then this book may rate higher up the food chain for you.  

 It starts with several good ideas on how to do your basic research into your family history.   I basically skimmed over this part because I have been doing research since 1989 and all the hints I saw were things I’ve already done.   However, not everyone has played with dead people for decades like I have and the info there could be quite helpful.

The book does have some good layout ideas if you strictly want to use the “tree” concept throughout your entire scrapbook, with various creative ways to create the tree.  However, it left very little room for journaling and I am a person, as you well know, that likes to include journaling. 

It did have a couple of good ideas that I am certain I will incorporate into my own scrapbook, such as an accordion fold section for small photos or journallng and the half page fold ins at a diagonal to add a little dimension to the book.

Included in the back of the book are a few patterns that you could photo copy to create certain designs.  I gave this one an overall rating of a B- simply because it did not inspire me the way the other three did.

Third place honors go to “Scrapbooking Your Family History” by Laura Best.
She too includes helpful hints on researching your family history, as well as some creative ideas on how to display cherished memorabilia.  I liked several of the display and journaling ideas in this book.  

She goes into colors, time periods and themes much more than the previous book, which I find extremely helpful. I gave this book a strong B+ in my rating system.
Coming in a very close second to number one is Creating Keepsakes “Scrapbooking Family Heritage  . It includes over 800 Creative Designs and tips. 

From using small envelopes and ephemera to leaving a space for great Uncle Harvey’s photo you know you will find some day this book covers it all.  It also include where to find many of the items it suggests you use.  Which can be a plus if you want a very certain look. 

From rustic to elegant, and comical to serious it has a concept for the type of page you are looking for.  I did notice a heavy use of vellum in these ideas, but each to their own taste. 

Journaling is pushed far more in this book than the previous two and I like that.  If you do not share the stories now, they may be lost forever. 

It even suggests ways to hide journaling to prevent an overcrowded page.  Again a big plus.  

Texture and dimension are addressed, as well as ways to create certain looks without a major expense.  All in all I give this book an A-.

Okay here it is my #1 favorite of the four and it barely beat out its sister book. Also by Creating Keepsakes “Scrapbooking Your Family History, the Ultimate Workbook”. With a bonus of 72 forms you can download for free.  

It wasn’t just that bonus that won my heart, but it did go a long way.  It was the step by step layout of ideas and how to incorporate them into your own family history to tell the story of your family for generations to come.

I am going to give you a little bonus myself right here.  The downloads can be found at either:  or  

I found myself immersed in reading the family history on the sample pages as I went along through the book.  The simple yet beautiful way the authors told the family story made the family come alive for me.  This is the type of scrapbook(s) I want to create.

Needless to say I gave this book an A, to get an A+ I would suggest checking both the Creating Keepsakes books out of your local library to get the best of all worlds on how to create your own Family History.  Jan who can’t wait to get started on her family quilt scrapbook in OK