Welcome To My Storybook Lady's Blog!

My StoryBook Lady is dedicated to helping you and your family discover, preserve and celebrate your family stories and heritage. Here you will find helpful posts about digital scrapbooking and digital storybooking that will save you time and money.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

What Are Cornerstone and Foundation Books?

Once you’ve fallen in love with making pages and projects in Studio, put cornerstone books on your to-do list. Cornerstones are books you write about your life and the lives of your parents and grandparents. Designed to preserve the photos and memories of you and your loved ones for future generations, these books also put treasured stories in the heart of your home and can be a rich and meaningful family experience. 

Start your cornerstone to-do list by documenting your grandparents’ lives. The easiest time to help grandparents write their stories is while they are living in the family home and remain in good health. Once they retire, many grandparents move into smaller, easier-to-care-for, or warmer-climate accommodations. Downsizing often means that precious records, mementos, or photos are scattered among family members or get boxed up and sent to a storage unit. Just asking for access to these family records often brings to light stories that no other family members have heard.
Our “How I Became Your Grandpa” and “How I Became Your Grandma” 8 x 8 cornerstone books by Lynda Angelastro make writing family stories simple. Download the templates, look at each spread, and make a note of how many photos are needed for that topic. Only have three photos of Grandpa as a baby instead of four? No problem, find photos of the family home, scan birth certificates or fill in a photo box with patterned paper. More photos than allowed for in the design? Go to “manage pages” and duplicate a spread or two. Your book can be a few pages bigger than the template and need not be like anyone else’s.
If your grandparents are no longer living, ask parents, aunts, or uncles to help you write the stories and find the photographs. Make it a family project. You’ll be grateful you did, and so will your brothers, sisters, and cousins.
If you’re doing the math, writing a story for each grandparent is four books. Add four more if you’re helping with a spouse’s grandparents. Try to get at least one done every quarter. Put it in your day planner. Add it to your computer calendar. Plan ahead and you can make many opportunities to talk to family members about your grandparents at family gatherings.

Once Grandma and Grandpa’s lives are documented, turn your attention to the growing up stories of your mother and father. The 8 x 8 storybooks “Before I Was Your Dad” and “Before I Was Your Mom” by Wendy Bailey are perfect for the job. Documenting the lives of your parents is far easier if they live close enough to share facts and photos, but if they don’t, make it one of the priorities on your next visit.
Finally, write the stories of you and your spouse. If you have children, you can use the same “Before I Was Your Dad” and “Before I Was Your Mom” storybooks. Swap some of the cover papers around to give the books a different look from your Mom and Dad’s. Your book is every bit as important as your parents’ and grandparents’. How precious would your book be to your spouse, your siblings, your parents, or your children if tragedy ever struck?
Cornerstones do not have to be 8 x 8 storybooks. The 12 x 12 “Hats Off to You Grandpa Ben” and “Hats Off to You Aunt Alice” templates make wonderful life story books for Grandma and Grandpa or Mom and Dad.

“Through the Years: Male” and “Through the Years: Female” 11.5 x 8.5 storybooks, by Wendy Bailey again, also make good choices for cornerstone volumes.

And, if you like the 11.5 x 8.5 storybook format and want to make a snapshot of your family heritage before working on individual cornerstones, check out the template “Becoming the Goddard-Angelastro Family” by Lynda Angelastro. With a three-generation family tree as the opening spread, followed by pages about you, your spouse, your parents and grandparents; this overview of family heritage works well for both traditional and blended families.

While you’re checking cornerstones off your list, consider working on a couple of “foundation” books each year. Foundation books are a series of 12 x 12 storybooks that capture the flavor of your family across the years by providing a look at the ways various holidays and traditions are celebrated. These fun and easy-to-make books provide an over-time history of what makes your family unique and special.
Foundation books currently available include: "How the Butlers Celebrate Birthdays" by HM Signature Templates "How the Butlers Keep Christmas" by HM Signature Templates, "A Prezant’s Hanukkah" by Christine Prezant, "A Butler Thanksgiving" by Elisa Black,  "Family Weddings" by Elisa Black, and "Family Love Stories" by Lynda Angelastro. More titles will be added this year including family, baby, and vacation books.

Chances are that one of the things that drew you to Heritage Makers was your enthusiasm for capturing just the kind of family stories we’ve been talking about. You understood the importance of making these precious memory books the heart of your home. There’s also a good chance you haven’t got to them yet. February is cornerstone month. Put cornerstone and foundation books on your to-do list and use Studio Night to work on them. Be sure to sign up for Club HM today of you haven't yet! As a member you'll save big on publishing all year long and get Premier for free! If you've already got points, but no Premier, contact me today to find out how you can get Premier for as little as $8.33 per month. ~ Betty
Article from my February Celebrations newsletter. To subscribe to my mailing list drop me an email.


Heritage Makers is one of OPRAH'S ALL-TIME Favorite Things!

Heritage Makers is one of OPRAH'S ALL-TIME Favorite Things!
O Magazine, Dec 2008, page 94

Heritage Makers is one of OPRAH'S ALL-TIME Favorite Things!

Heritage Makers is one of OPRAH'S ALL-TIME Favorite Things!
Here's the full spread...

Heritage Makers is one of OPRAH'S ALL-TIME Favorite Things!

Heritage Makers is one of OPRAH'S ALL-TIME Favorite Things!
It's an honor to be listed on the same page as her favorite books...