Couples Photo Map

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This was a fun project! I can’t wait to make one for Tony and I, but this particular one was a Christmas gift for my parents. You’re probably wondering, “Wow, Christmas was months ago. What took so long?” I couldn’t figure out how to get this present to them, so they didn’t get it until the kids Spring Break. I couldn’t post about it until they had seen it. So here we go!

This pin has been on my photo display board for a while now. Honestly, until today, I didn’t even look at the actual blog. I had seen the picture on Pinterest and fell in love with the concept. The original blogger used push pins, attached to the back of her photos to hold the pictures in place, giving the map more depth. Not having read the blog, here is what I did:

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I started with this 24×36″ map from Amazon. I love Amazon! If they don’t have it, it’s not to be had! I went with that size because I wanted to be able to see the pictures when they were all in place. Then the fun started. I had to sift through my pictures, thousands and thousands of pictures, to find pictures of my parents in different states. I wanted pictures with just the two of them, but the Missouri picture included my kids (mom still loved it!).

Then the tricky part. Cutting the pictures into the shape of states. Certain ones are easy, like Ohio. Others, like North and South Carolina can be difficult. Especially considering you have to cut the photo in such a way as both people are still visible.

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Some states, like Hawaii, there is nothing you can do, so make up your own mind what to do with the special states. I just did a cutout around them and put it by the state.

Once I had placed all of the photos I had, I framed the map and considered it complete. There is always the option of adding more photos, I definitely want to add a picture of them from Alaska when I find one!

Mom was very happy with the gift. I haven’t heard what dad thinks yet, but I picture a smile, a nod and a “looks good”. Sweet and a little shy about it, just like he’s always been.

If you travel, if you take pictures, even if you wanted to do a family map instead of a couple map, this is a fun, and only slightly complicated craft!

Happy crafting all!

Family Year Books

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Hello, my name is Stephanie and I’m a picture freak. Living in a digital age, it’s easier to take more pictures, and less need to print them all, especially since I can pull them up on my computer at any time. I do print some for photo albums, like Disney World and Hawaii, as I purchased special photo albums for those photos.
Of course now I have all these great photos of my family and no way to show them off. I already have a ton of photos hanging on the wall, but my little house only has so much wall space. Since Tony has vetoed the idea of papering the walls in photos, I had to come up with something else!
Enter the DeSantis Family Yearbooks.

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I start going month by month, this is easiest because it’s how my photos are sorted on my computer. The May page featured here has a few of my favorite pictures from that month and a brief explanation of what’s going on. Chiara turned 2 and moving into a big girl bed, Arthur’s preschool field trip and a goofy trip to the mall. Nothing life changing, but still good memories.

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Aside from the regular month pages or spreads, I also do pages for specific events. Vacations usually get their own page as well as big life events. The above spread was about when Chiara broke her arm. Just over a year old and she broke her arm in a fall. It was more traumatic for me than her, but it was definitely noteworthy in 2011!

I get my books printed at Shutterfly. They have a very user-friendly website that let’s me use pre-designed pages, with the option to adjust as needed. I get the hard covered 20 page books, which allows for sturdiness and I also get to design the covers. I find 20 pages is enough for monthly pages, and it allows extra pages for the spreads.
The books can be pricey, $40 with shipping, but I use my coke points, you know those codes on your bottle tops and in the cases of coke products. One of the rewards you can cash your points in for is a free 8×8 20 page book, meaning I only have to pay $11 and change for shipping. 

If you’re a picture freak like me, hopefully this has inspired you to start your own family yearbooks. Enjoy!