Thursday, January 04, 2007

I Couldn't Share them Before . . . But I Can Now!!

Before Christmas, I really was wanting to share a few things here on the blog--but I couldn't, or both my parents and my in-laws would see some of the gifts they were going to get! But now that Christmas is over and gifts have been given, I can now share them with you! Yay!

I really wanted to do a lot more handmade gifts than I did. The initial plan was to do several mini scrapbooks and altered frames, but my plans fell apart as the holidays got closer and closer and I got further and further behind.

I did make my grandmother a few really cute gifts that she took home to Texas after she visited for Thanksgiving. They were really EASY gifts and something all of you could do. I simply took those refrigerator magnet picture frames, put 4 x 6 snapshots in them (I did one of each of the girls), and then altered the frame with scrapbook supplies (alphabet stickers, rhinestones, and flowers mostly). Also, McKenna did some really cute altered pocket calendars for her best girlfriends and they went over really well (they liked how creative they were, but also liked them because they were a perfect "McKenna Gift," since she is the most organized 14-year-old around!)

But the biggest project I did was a scrapbook for my mother-in-law. She actually had requested a scrapbook for a gift, so I immediately began thinking of the concept for it. It turned into really a generic family album with pages dedicated to her parents, her siblings, her five grandchildren, and then several pages just filled with random family shots. She seemed to really love it and everyone whose seen it has also said how great they thought it was. (This isn't to brag on my work--it just makes me feel good that it was appreciated. And, to tell the truth, who doesn't love a scrapbook? The combination of photos, creativity, and memories is a win-win thing! I probably could have just slapped pictures on a page and it would have been a great gift!)

I thought I would share a few pages from the book, starting with one of her parents (Gary's grandparents), who we call Gan Gan and Papa Doug (we lost Papa Doug just this past year, so it was emotional doing the pages with him on them)--

One of her children--my husband, Gary, and his sister, Angel (WOW! Look at those 70s looks!)--

I did about 8 pages that just included random 4 x 6 photos of family members and events over the years. This was one of the pages (with a favorite picture from Sydney's baptism and a really great picture of Gary and his dad on one of their hunting retreats)--

Then I did a page dedicated to each of the 5 grandkids. I tried to do them similarly, but also unique in their own ways. They each had a 5 x 7 photo and paper strips that listed some of their personality characteristics. These are the pages I did of Delaney, my nephew Steven Lee, and Sydney--

The concluding page in the book was just a page that told her, "Merry Christmas 2006" and utilized our Christmas photo from this year--

We also were excited to use some of Gary's creativity in giving out two other gifts, which were GREATLY appreciated. Both Gary's mother and my mother had said they just wished they had pictures of all the grandkids together (yes, they hinted a bit loudly about it, so we got the hint! lol). So we gave large 12 x 14 framed photos of the five grandkids on Gary's side of the family (this pic was taken at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens)--

And then gave a picture of the five grandkids on my side of the family to my parents (this picture was extra-special, I thought, because it was taken in the woods on my parents' property; we took it during our Thanksgiving visit and they had no clue that we'd done it. So that was fun!)--

I don't know about you, but I love getting homemade gifts. Whether it's a handmade quilt or a crocheted throw, or some hand-sewed pillows (like my grandmother did for eachof my girls), or some baked goodies . . . those are always so appreciated because you knew it took extra time and care to do them.

I know that there are a ton of creative ladies who visit my blog everyday and I'm inspired by your homemade creativity. Did any of you make handmade gifts this past Christmas? I would love to hear about them!

Well . . .that's about it for tonight. I'm off to go watch the end of the Sugar Bowl (I can't stand LSU, but when it's Bowl Time I root for all SEC teams and I do not want Notre Dame to win...) and to then watch the news and get more updates about our new football coach at Bama (Hooray!). And, in the meantime, I'm watching Sydney run through the room yelling, "I'm wiggling my booty!" Oh my goodness--where did she learn that??!! LOL

I will be picking up some more photos tomorrow, so I will (hopefully) get to do some scrapbooking for my own soon. I have some Disney pictures that still need to be scrapbooked, plus my Christmas photos. So... time to get creative!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!!


aimee said...

I loved the album pages! You did a wonderful job!

I didn't get around to making very many homemade gifts this year. I actually went to Shutterfly and made a photo album for my in-laws that way. Does that count? :)

Corinnexxx said...

wonderful pages! Thanks for stopping by at my blog!


............Aimeslee said...

You have been busy bee busy, Cheryl! I missed so much when I was sick! Gosh, what gorgeous photos and layouts, I really enjoying the posts. {{hugs}}

Jolene George said...

So many great layouts and you are so right...homemade gifts are the best! Great pictures of the kids too!

Missy's Blog said...

Cheryl, I love homemade gifts too. The scrapbook you made for you MIL was absolutely wonderful!

Mississippi Songbird said...

How wonderful!
That gives me an idea for my new years resolution to have a hobby. I have boxes of photographs.. What fun it would be.. Thanks for the idea..
Love the photos!

~Telah said...

Cheryl, Love all your great things you made. I made stuff this year too...lots of stuff. I want to share it all too on my blog when I find the time to do so...hopefully tonight. But one thing I can tell you now is that I took the idea of McKenna's to alter the pocket calendars. I did 6 of these for my children's Sunday School teachers. I didn't get pics of them but I changed out the paper for some pretty cardstock and coordinating patterned paper and then stamped their name on it and added a flower or chipboard and embellisments. They went over great as well! So Thanks for letting me scraplift that!

Cheryl Wray said...

Aimee-I think that the Shutterfly photo album is a GREAT idea! I thought about doing one of those for my mother!!
Aimeslee--Welcome back! I hope you had a wonderful holiday! I know how creative you are, so thanks!
Jolene--Thanks about it all!
Missy--Homemade is the best! And thanks!
Songbird--You DEFINITELY should give scrapbooking a try. It's a wonderful hobby to have!
Telah--That is SO great about you doing the altered calendrs. I'm so glad I helped you with an idea, and that they went over well! Yay!

Clara Wray said...

Cheryl may not want to brag on herself, but I'll brag on her! She did a wonderful job on the scrapbook and it is one of my most prized gifts. I loved everything I got for Christmas, but Gary and Cheryl won the prize with the Scrapbook and my picture of the grandchildren. I wouldn't have gotten a better daughter-in-law if I had picked her out myself. God made an excellent choice when he chose Cheryl as my son's helpmate. I love you both. Nanny

Amy Mowbray said...

I love your pages! And this was such a great gift. Very cool.

maria said...

I loved, loved, loved, all your pages! Priceless gifts indeed! I love making them for gifts and I love looking at those who get them and see their expressions. It's so fun!

Jen said...

Great work and BTW, I was trying to find a video link to that SAME video yesterday becasue I kept replaying it on CMT. I love this song!!

Cheryl Wray said...

Clara--That is SO sweet! It really got me mushy-eyed (ha!). You guys are so great; the whole family is! And I'm lucky that I married a guy who was raised so well!!
Maria--Thanks! I know you have made some beautiful gifts over the years. Your stuff is wonderful!
Jen--Don't you love that song? SO good!

Amanda said...

Holy cow girl, that is a LOT OF WORK! You really do put a lot into that kind of stuff. I vote you the Christmas MVP girlfriend!

Lynn said...

First of all Thanks for stopping by my blog I love to meet scrappers all over the world, second love the layouts, I love homemade gifts! Great stuff!


Heather said...

Great layouts Cheryl! Your work is awesome! Can't wait to see more! That is so sweet of you to make a scrapbook for your husband's parents! I know they loved it! I have a work in progress too like that for my husband's parents. I haven't worked on it in awhile...maybe I will go get it from them in the next day or two and do some more pages to add to it! Thanks for the inspiration!

Carmel said...

Those are absolutely beautiful! I love how scrapbooking can turn photos into even more interesting things to look at.
I want to do some of that for my photos.
I love handmade gifts, I think they are the best gifts because of the thought and work that goes into them. Thanks for sharing the photos.

Kentucky Gal said...

what beautiful pages!!
great work!!

Cheryl Wray said...

Amanda--Yes, it's a lot of work. But it's SO MUCH FUN doing it, that it doesn't seem too much like work!
Lynn--Thanks for stopping by! I was excited to find your blog too!
Heather--I think that's great that you've started an album for them. Start working on it. They will love it!
Carmel--I love scrapbooking (can you tell?! lol)You should definitely try it!
Tammy--Thanks! You're sweet!

Design Goddess said...

What very cool gifts! My mom did something similar for us three kids for Christmas this year. She made movies of pictures (which is very amazing since she's not too computer literate!) for each one of us.

Have a great Friday! :)

Susie Q said...

Those are amazing and will be cherished by your mom in law! Home made is such a treasure. I have used photography and scrapbooking and drawing as gifts for many family members and friends over the year. Dan always made his gifts and now Grace does. It is always so special.

You are quite a talent!


jessi said...

Tjose are beautiful pages and such a beautiful gesture!!! I make scrapbooks for my in-laws...they live in BC and don't get to see the grandkids as often as they would like!! As for christmas this year?? I ran out of time for homemade gifts...I wanted to do altered canvases for people this year...but it didn't happen. The only gifts I made were for my kids...I made them each a customized jacob's ladder...those are so much fun!!! But, I too, love making and giving homemade gifts and I LOVE recieving them...they are personal and unique!!! ciao for now!!

Crazy Working Mom said...

Beautiful!! I bet she was SO happy to get such a heartfelt gift! You rock!

Brown English Muffin said...

I just love these layouts and the pictures...I just love family group pictures don't you!!!!!