Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Family Book of Thanks

So, I heard of this idea awhile back: creating a Book of Thanks for your family (and guests) to record something they are grateful for each Thanksgiving.  Take a group shot of everyone at your Thanksgiving feast each year, save room for it on a
page, and then have everyone there (kids included!) write down (or draw) something that they are thankful for that year.  It's a simple thing to do, and makes for a neat record and family keepsake.  I love looking back over my own personal gratitude journal for similar reasons. Plus, it'll be interesting to look back over the years and see who was there with you each year.

We couldn't get everyone in a standing we got everyone about to eat instead. :)
Rather than buying an expensive book, I thought I'd make my own in a binder.  That way, I could add in as many pages as needed (knowing the kids like to draw--and draw big! ha).  This year it's going in a binder with a clear cover, but you could also put this in a nice scrapbook binder (where I hope to transfer mine to, soon enough).   

I also made lined, and unlined sheets (for the little artists in the group) to use inside the book: 

(I love this turkey and font! :) )

I've created a pdf document of both the lined, and unlined pages, which you can use and download, here:

Note:  The unlined page is actually the same colored turkey as the lined page; my printer was just running out of colored ink when I printed this. :)

I liked the title "share the harvest," bringing to mind the idea that we are sharing some of the blessings that we have reaped over the year with each other, through writing them down.  Spreading the joy. ;)  Aaaanywho.  Just stick them inside sheet protectors when the page is filled, and you've got yourself a book.

Well, if you happen to like the cover sheet that I made, let me tell you a little about what I used, (fonts, images, paper, etc.), along with a few tips.  

First off, the fonts.  For the fonts I used each of the following:

Our-- Birmingham (free font, downloadable online)
Book-- Bauhaus 93 (I think this comes with Word?)
of-- Tagettes (free font, downloadable online)
Thanks-- I actually cut this out using my Cricut to get the font I wanted and the shadow feature. These are the letters from the Winter Wonderland Cricut Cartridge, and were cut at the 1 1/2 in setting.  (A neat cartridge, that comes with a 3D village you can cut out! Cool.)

I brushed the outside of the "our" and "book" lettering with chalk ink. 

Next, for the turkey.  

My cute one-legged turkey (whose other leg I accidentally ripped off and ate for dinner.)
For this classy little guy, I found the image in my Silhouette library.  If you want to find it on the Silhouette online store, it's Design ID # is: 13729.

Because I didn't want all those fine little feathers on the inside cut out, I opted to first have him sketched using a black Silhouette Sketch Pen.   Saved me from an embarrassing turkey drawing that I might have attempted by myself. ;)  

Simply insert the sketch pen in place of your blade and select "Sketch Pen" in your settings.  Once he is drawn, DO NOT UNLOAD/REMOVE THE PAPER FROM THE MACHINE.  Leave the paper and mat right where they are, with the pen/blade holder right over the upper left hand corner.  This will ensure that your paper will be read from the exact same place when you go to cut him out (without using a print and cut feature, etc.) and will get it juuuust right.  (You'll see.)

Use a Silhouette Sketch pen to draw out your image first, before cutting just it's outline.
(You can see my squiggles in the bottom corner, testing out which color sketch pen I wanted to use on this paper.)
So next, to cut it out--and just the outer edge of the turkey--select the entire image in Silhouette Studio, go to the cut window and select "no cut."  This will make sure all the inner portions won't be cut.  Then, select the image, hit "ungroup," then carefully just select the main body.  Again, in the cut window, select "Cut" and now it should just have the outer edge highlighted to be cut.  Then out will come happy little turkey-man, as you can see a few pics above.  (Note his one leg.  I accidentally ripped the other one off.  Whoops!  Pretend he's part flamingo.)

Along the lines of my parenthetical tangent above, be sure when lifting thin or detailed cut images from the mat--and particularly a very sticky mat--that you use your spatula to help you slowly lift the rest off.  It helps prevent any tearing.  

Use spatula to lift detailed or thin cut sections off sticky mats to help prevent tearing.
For my large background shape, I actually created that myself by stretching a "label" shape I found online, adding a flourish to the top, and a "{" turned sideways to round off the bottom some.  Then I merged them all together into one shape, and cut it out using my yellow paper.  I also made the shadow/border behind it by right clicking on the image, selecting "offset", rounded, and then lowering the offset amount to about .25.  

The paper I used was from The Paper Studio, from their Bella Bohemia pack, and then just other random sheets I bought. ;)  I'm sure you can find lots of stuff you like. :)

And that, folks, is all.  I'm excited for this little piece of family history to get started, and am already looking forward to "sharing the harvest" with my family and seeing something that we're all grateful for.  It's been a year with a lot that I could choose from.

Just sharin' the harvest!

Note: This project was adapted from a book I saw on Eighteen25.  I loved their idea and had to make my own version!!! Check theirs out for ideas as well.

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