Arches at Glendalough 2009

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Genealogy Crafts

This Wednesday, the Ocean County Genealogy Society in Toms River isn't having a speaker. They are having a Christmas idea exchange. I love idea exchanges because you can walk away with some neat ideas for sharing your genealogy.

With that in mind, here are some ideas I have used over the years.
Christmas cards: I've been making my own Christmas cards over the last ten years. I love working with paper and have some great comments from family and friends over the years. My friend from college recently told me that she likes to see what family design I incorporate each year. I've used old ads from family businesses to pictures for the cover and print my own holiday greeting inside. I purchase blank cards and envelopes from the local craft stores. I also include a small paragraph telling how the card relates to my genealogy.
Wreaths: Lisa Cooke has a wonderful idea on her website for incorporating pictures into a holiday wreath.
Feather Trees: My friend told me about her idea of making mini ornaments from her family pictures and hanging them on her feather tree. I also saw a variation of this in a craft store with a brass tree and ornaments. You only need to add your pictures to create a family holiday heirloom.

At a dollar store I found glass paper weights for one dollar. I glued a picture of my daughter with her boyfriend to the bottom and decoupage the bottom to adhere it. It was a simple gift and one she loved. You can also do the same on the bottom of a glass plate. Add some simple "rub on" stickers to rim.

I found this great "how to" online at that shows you how to make an ornament. This is on my list to try this year.

And don't overlook ideas from Martha Stewart. I've seen several ideas posted that include genealogy. But there are several ideas that could be adapted for genealogy. Look at the craft of the day or easy sewing projects for quick ideas.

The sky is the limit...have fun crafting your genealogy this holiday season.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Last night I gave a presentation and the question came up about iGoogle. Why use it was the questions? Why not? was my answer.

iGoogle is a neat tool that allows you to create your own iGoogle homepage.Think of it as a daily newspaper with the "frontpage" customized to what tools you use in one location. It places everything you need at one spot instead of hunting down the icon on your toolbar or trying to remember the webpage address.

I have several tabs on my iGoogle. One tab hosts my genealogy links. It is like a "frontpage" newspaper for all of my genealogy links. From this page I can search and read Eastman's newsletter. It makes it easier for me to have my links together on a webpage than tucked into my favorites/bookmark list. It also allows me to access my iGoogle page from any computer anywhere in the world. ( It even worked when I was in Ireland last year!)

Each feature on iGoogle is called a gadget. It is easy to place them on your page and to move around. Using the calendar gadget allows you to list important dates in your family history or to keep track of your busy genealogy schedule. The notepad gadget can help you list your notes for your genealogy research. In a library in CT and forgot to print out you "to do" list for genealogy? You can access your iGoogle page from a library computer and print out your list. Want to collaborate your findings with your fellow researchers or cousins? You can note your findings on your iGoogle page and share it! Better yet, you can even access your iGoogle page through your phone! Which is easier to carry- a laptop or a phone? And best of all, it is free!

Please take a look at the online videos through or Googling "igoogle."

Try it, you might like it!