Saturday, March 26, 2011

Karel’s Make Your Own Holiday Blog Hop

Hmmm! When Karel posted that the March Blog Hop was going to be “Make Your Own Holiday” I thought that I knew immediately what I wanted to do. Trying to come up with a holiday either real or pretend was a tough one for me. I won’t say how many different holiday themes that I came up with & then over the course of a few days, changed my mind for one reason or another. One theme that I had thought of was a Princess Day but unfortunately my three little princesses weren’t available in time for me to do a project for this hop.

“You should have arrived here from Bonnie at A Scrap Above at If you just stumbled across the hop, and you’d like to start at the beginning, hop over to Karelj’s blog at to start at the beginning. After my stop, you should head over to Nicolette at Beyond Scrapping at to see what she has in store for you!”

Ok…first I’ll tell you about the blog candy and then on to my holiday post.

“Karelj ( is offering an over-all blog candy for those who are hopping along with us. She thought it would be fun to have some holiday-themed candy for this hop--but, of course, made-up holiday items were hard to come by! She decided to do a whole bunch of *regular* holiday themed stamps for you to enjoy. From Fiskars, there is an assorted holiday set; there's an alphabet from All Night Media, a set of 100 plus clear stamps and a storage case from Family Memories, and 5 sets of clear stamps from various dollar bins in big box stores. How to win them? Follow along the blog trail, leaving a comment on each and every blog. On Monday, Karelj will ask her buddy Randy ( to select a blog number (from the list), a day (Saturday is one, Sunday is two), and a comment number from that blog. Please make sure you have left a reliable way to contact you (email is best, in the safe format of **** at **** dot com) so you can be notified by her personally. If you don't, she’ll have to select another winner.”

I will also put together something for blog candy. I'm not sure what yet but I will pick one winner by random over the two day postings to win a prize. I'll try & get a picture posted soon.

I finally decided on “Who Do You Think You Are” day. I borrowed the title from the new television show where they follow different stars while they trace their family trees. My holiday is more about remembering your roots, remembering those that came before us and celebrating them. Without them there wouldn’t be a you or I.

I’ve always been fascinated by my family history and have always wanted to learn more about my ancestors. I started back in the early 90’s tracing my mother’s paternal side of the family tree. My Great Grandfather came from the Orkney Islands in Scotland, UK and it wasn’t an easy job to tackle. With no one really knowing much about my Great Grandfather and his life in the Orknies, it was quite the difficult job. I am thrilled to say that after hundreds of hours, some help from online friends, a lot of research and quite the paper trail, I’ve been able to accurately trace my Great Grandfather’s side of the tree back to the mid 1700’s.

I also traced my mother’s paternal mother’s side (Doan/Doane) of the family tree and have accurately been able to trace them back to the late 1500’s on her side. My mother’s maternal side of the family tree has always been a mystery to her. It was always my “brick wall” and eventually I’d give up. Last summer I decided to play around on and try to see if I could trace her mother’s family tree. It was funny because I had sat down at the computer on Mother’s Day and started putting in names and before you knew it, I had found her family. I was thrilled because this has always been something that my mother has wanted to learn more about as did her older sister, my Aunt Elva, who sadly passed away in 2009. She would have been totally thrilled with my findings as over the years she was a huge help in my family tree research. Aunt Elva was 93 when she passed away from the C-Dif virus, she was an amazing woman and it’s so sad to think of all the stories we’ve lost now that she’s gone.

This got me to thinking of the stories that my mother has that haven’t been told yet. How at 86 years old it’s time for us to ask the questions and to hear the stories. Because I want to hear the stories of my families history, my mother’s childhood, her parents and siblings, I decided to make my mother a Journal Jar.

I took an old jar that I’ve been saving for just this purpose and decorated it to match the journal. I printed off over 100 questions about her family, her thoughts, memories, etc. Then I cut each question down to size, rolled them up & put them in the jar. The journal is a composition book that I picked up at our local dollar store. I decorated the front & back covers as well as the inside covers. On the front inside cover, I’ve added a pocket just in case she has a question she can’t answer right then she can place it in the pocket and answer it at a later date. I didn’t want any thick embellishments on the front cover as it would make writing on the back side of the pages too awkward. I'm still not quite finished with my jar and am still attempting to try different finishes for the top. I don't want to make it to bulky as my mother has arthritis in her hands and adding bulk to the top will make it difficult for her to remove the top.

The way that this Journal Jar works is that each day (or week) mom pulls a question out of the jar, then glues it to a page in her matching journal and writes down her memories to that question. I’ve also provided a matching glue stick for her. I also plan on adding a matching pen but unfortunately I ran out of time for this post. Then when she’s finished I’ll take her answers and put them in some sort of order in book form and pass it on to my siblings and nieces. This will be a way for my brother & sister and I to learn more about our parents and grandparents as well as our children to learn more about their roots. If we don’t ask the questions now, someday it will be too late.

One of the questions that I’ve put in the journal jar is “When and where did you meet our father. Tell us the story of how you met.” My father passed away when I was 11 ½ years old. I know bits & pieces of how they met but I’ve never asked her the question of how they met to get the story behind it. I’d love to more about their meeting, courtship and marriage.

Here are some pictures of the Journal and Journal Jar that I’ve made for my mother. I plan on giving this to her for Mother’s Day along with my project that I will be sharing tomorrow.

Come back tomorrow and celebrate more of “Who Do You Think You Are” Day and see part 2 of my Mother’s Day gift to my mom. I’m really excited about this gift for her. I just hope that I can hold off until Mother’s Day now. Lol

Thanks for stopping by and staying throughout this long post. Next stop on the list is Nicolette at Beyond Scrapping at where you can see the awesome project she has to share.

If you get lost along the way I’ve included the list of blogs participating in this hop. They are as follows:

1. Karelj at One By One The Flamingos Are Stealing My Sanity at

2. Janice at Cricut Confessions at

3. Summer and Jennifer at The Cricut Diaries at

4. Denine at Pumpkin and Spice at

5. Colleen at Col’s Creative Corner at

6. Mistyrose at Sweet Magnolia Rose at

7. Ellen at Card Monkey at

8. Rachel at Suburban Crafter

9. Monica at Scraps 2 Treasure at

10. Jen at Young’s Scrapping at

11. Becka at Creations With Becka at

12. Jamie at Glitter, Paper, Stamps, Oh My! at

13. Michelle at Peanut Butter and jelly Designs at

14. Celeste at Touched By A Butterfly at

15. Leah at Leah’s Card Designs at

16. Calie at Calie’s Creative Corner at

17. Audrey at It’s A Beautiful Life at

18. Bonnie at A Scrap Above at

19. YOU ARE HERE ***Diane at Crafting This Moment at YOU ARE HERE****

20. Nicolette at Beyond Scrapping at

21. Gina at Gina Thornton Stamping at

22. Kathryn at Creations With Kathryn at

23. Yolie at Just Yolie, Just Create at

24. Patti at Short ‘N Scrappy at

25. Krista Orr at Scrapaleupagus at

26. Kay Craig at 100 Things at

27. Jane Hollon at Sneezy’s Ramblings at


Anonymous said...

your projects are wonderful .... I love them.

Melissa said...

This is a fantastic idea! Great project!


DtsArt said...

what a lovely journal and jar

Sweet Magnolia Rose said...

You should enter this project in my yu-du challenge this matches the theme perfectly!! I hope you do good luck!

Pat P said...

Beautiful project and story. Pat P

Ellen ♥ CardMonkey said...

Oh how sweet! Can you share with us a list of the sorts of questions you wrote on the slips of paper? I would love the time-sharing tips as I make one of these to bring to my parents!


Ellen ♥ CardMonkey

P.S. STOP BY MY BLOG this weekend for opportunity to win three different lots of BLOG CANDY. Top three posts detail it.

Lisa said...

LOVE your holiday and your project!

paperbutterflies AT sbcglobal DOT net

Jazmin said...

This is an amazing Mother's Day gift.


Lillian Child said...

Absolutely delightful projects. My sister loves digging through our ancestry and we just discovered we are irish somewhere down the line. No wonder I like Baileys in my coffee.

And I just found your blog on this hop and am now a follower - so very nice to meet you!

Sweetpea said...

great job and TFS fabulous simply fabulous

Kopperhead said...

What a wonderful idea and story. I love genealogy also, and had been working since the '80's with handwritten notes from my Mother, who died in 1983. When Ancestry got better and better, I found out a lot but still had a blank space on one very important person and no one to help me. I was working in my studio one day, the History Channel was on, I was listening to the program, and lo and behold, they mentioned one of my great grandfathers and the wife I was missing, and their son. My g-grandfather was also from Scotland, and he married a Wind Creek Chief's daughter, Princess Sehoy III. Their son was William Red Eagle Weatherford and Red Eagle and Princess Sehoy III graves are about 35 miles from my house as a national monument site, and the Wind Creek Nation is just up the road. So, since I am a direct descendant of Princess Sehoy (all the girls were named Sehoy) I consider myself a Princess!
Yep, I'm long winded sometimes too.
kopperhead at cox dot net

Gina Thornton said...

Very cute projects!!! Thanks for sharing!!
dot net

Tambo said...

What a great gift for your mother. So much love put into it. I have also been doing genealogy since the early 90's. I love this idea. What a great gift. I found a surprise for my mom when I told her that her dad's 1st family didn't just have just 3 boys, but 8 kids. Then I found 1 more 1/2 brother from another marriage. My grandpa had secrets. LOL gavinsmini AT gmail DOT com

Kathy's Kreative Spot said...

What a great gift for Mother's day.
Katsews at gmail dotcom

Cricut Design Chicks SWARM said...

beautiful!! TFS :)

Bonnie Weiss said...

Great idea Diane...the journal and jar are well done.

Leah said...

What a wonderful idea... We have been digging into our family roots and we've come across lots of information. My grandmother Gigi(passed 2007) helped greatly and other family members my Dad in 2009 passed away. This is a great way to remember family history.

Thank you!


mitch1066 said...

So many stories get lost,you are so right.Im glad you traced your family,i want to do that someday too.
I had one grandfather that was a canadian soldier based in England during the war,all i have is his name and 1 photo.On the other side of my family i have an irish catholic grandfather and again all i have is his name.Funny thing is ive always loved irish music etc and now as an adult i live in Canada,its weird:)

BunnyFreak said...

Love the journal jar.

cdm317 said...

How fascinating! I really enjoyed your post. My family history is so blurred, I wish I knew more. I love the thoughtfulness of your project. Beautiful!
cd m31 7a tyaho odot c o m

Karen S. said...

What an awesome idea! I wish I had done something like this with my grandmother. She has dementia and has a very hard time communicating.

mitz said...

...what a joy it was to read your story.. such a ** funtastic ** idea you came up with.. WTG.. thanks for the opportunity mitz_zee@yahoodotcom

iluvkatie74 said...

That is so beautiful. What a great way to get talking about your family.

at yahoo
dot com

Michelle said...

This is a fantastic Idea... I may need to get a list of all those questions. I to am our family historian... Boy did I find out a bunch of things... Some great and some not so great. Take Care.

ps .. I love this project. I'm sure your mom will love it too!!! I would like to do this for both my Mother and my Nana getting them to fill it out would be the hard part.

mpetrovich23 at yahoo dot com

Kristin said...

What a great idea! Your mom is going to love this but more importantly it will be a treasure for your entire family.

ksully4597 at gmail dot com

Karelj said...

This an incredibly wonderful idea--and such a treasure for generations to come! My MIL left diaries, which are such an invaluable and loving thig for her children to have...this will be similar. Thanks for hopping with me--you're among the best! Karelj

Lisa R said...

What a neat way to find out your history. I'm sure your mom will love it!

scrapperbecka said...

love love love it! Awesome idea TFS

scrapperbecka at yahoo dot com

Jenn said...

Beautiful projects! I love the concept of your holiday - very creative, TFS!
smile4jenn at hotmail dot com

stampinlara said...

VERY cute, great idea! Thanks so much for sharing. ;-)
stampinlara at yahoo dot com

silvia said...

What a wonderful story!! LOVE your journal and jar!!

Misty said...

That is such a wonderful idea!

Hummer Hugs,
hummingbird204 at comcast dot net

Tamara said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful projects! Both days stuff are awesome!!!
sweetheartcopper at msn dot com

Babe O'Mara said...

Your projects are simply wonderful. Love the journal. Thanks for sharing.


Love to scrap Lyndra said...

those are very pretty journal and journal jar, that is a wonderful idea, thanks for sharing

dbjb1519 at yahoo dot com

Anniebee said...

What a wonderful idea! More people might take to journaling if they had something to guide them down that path the first time. This would be the perfect thing to get them started thinking about their pasts and writing down their memories for posterity's sake. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

lucyblueeyz at yahoo dot com

Marcy S. said...

That is such a great idea. Thanks for sharing and I am a new follower.

Marcy S.
m.serrano at live dot com

Marianne - Fiskateer #6701 said...

Your attention to detail really makes your projects turn out to be so beautiful! Your mother is going to love these!

Summer said...

Another great project! TFS

Sweet Magnolia Rose said...

Thanks for adding to my collection!!! I love the jar idea.

Anna said...

Great gifts!!! Just wonderful!
I'm a follower.
Thanks for the chance to win.
http: // mamawann. blogspot. com/
annadowdy at gmail dot com

A Scrap Above said...

WOW.. this is beautiful, your mom will love this for sure, such a sweet thing to do.
ascrapabove at aol dot com

Chris Wooten said...

I love this idea..thanks

thanks for sharing your projects with us and for letting us hop along and celebrate Alex one year.

Debc06 said...

What lovely projects. I just found your blog via Alex's Gotta have friends hop and now am a follower of yours also.
debbie_craine at hot mail dot com

Tanya said...

I done this exact thing for Mother's Day last year! I love genealogy and it is a perfect way to have a keepsake. Another thing I done with mine was added a spot on the inside cover for the person to put a photo of themselves. That way when later generations are looking at the book there is also a photo to see!

phenis2031 at yahoo dot com