Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts

Monday, September 5, 2016

Making a Family Cookbook from Scratch



My daughter, Brianna, celebrated her 23rd birthday a couple of weeks ago.  When asked what she wanted for her birthday, she replied, "I want a cookbook of all of your recipes."   This was not an easy task to accomplish.  First - like many people out there - many of the recipes I make are in my head.  I measure ingredients by sight and taste on many things.  Oh, sure, I do have several recipes written down or bookmarked in favorite cookbooks, as well, but I often improvise on these, too, to make them my own.  In addition, while I knew I would "someday" make recipe books for each of my kids, I knew it would be a large undertaking, as well as time consuming.  I am currently a full-time college student, plus I work part-time for a non-profit agency and run my own little jewelry business. Where in the world would I find time to construct a family recipe book?

I wanted this book to be special.  I wanted something that was more than just recipes.  I wanted this to be a generational cookbook; one that featured recipes not just from me, but also from my mother, grandmother and other family members.  I wanted it to be personalized with family stories and memories of food that will be otherwise lost when the older generations pass on.  In addition, I wanted to share special family pictures and my own cooking "secrets" that have worked for me over the years.   It was important to design the book in such a manner that my daughter can add her own recipes to the book, so she can eventually pass it down to her kids.   Last, but certainly not least, I did not want to have to create a book totally from scratch due to my tight time constraints.  (I had about 6 weeks to complete the book from start to finish, and that is not a lot of time.)

I ended up purchasing a pre-designed recipe/scrapbook from Hobby Lobby.  The book came with a set of designed tabbed dividers, several colorful scrapbook pages, page protectors and decorative recipe index cards.  Of course, I had to purchase additional recipe cards and pages in order to ensure I could put everything I wanted to include in the book.  Using the book as my template, I purchased other items to decorate and design the book, such as scrapbook paper in coordinating colors, vintage-looking paper flowers, lace, ribbon, buttons and cooking-related stickers.   All in all, I think the book turned out beautifully.

I began the book by writing a heartfelt letter to my daughter about my own cooking experiences and how I wanted her to make this book her own by adding her own recipes and memories to it.  Immediately following the letter, I designed a page of the four generations of women in my family that are (and will be) the main contributors to the book - namely, my grandmother, my mother, me and my daughter.

Generational family cookbook - four generations and counting.




I included individual pages about each generational member (the cookbook "authors") of our family, such their photos, their names, where they were born, dates of death and birth date information.  These pages were decorated with lace and flowers to give them an antique-heirloom feel.

The pages about my grandmother and mother.

The pages about me and my daughter.

One the front of each tabbed divider page, I wrote humorous food-related experiences encountered by our family members.


The back of each tabbed divider contains more photos of the women within our four generations.

Decorated divider pages. This is of my grandmother.

  Decorated divider pages. This is of my daughter when she was little.

No recipe book is complete without a few kitchen secrets. These are a few of mine.

 
Kitchen secrets page.



 And, of course, it is important to include pictures of some of the recipe highlights from the book:

Featured recipes pictures.

Featured recipes pictures.

Featured recipes pictures.






 When the book was completed, it was quite thick, but it still has room for additional recipes to be added in the future.

The completed recipe book.

The completed recipe book

My daughter loved her book.  She is getting married next month, so it is ready just in time for her to begin adding her own recipes to the book; an heirloom in the making.

Brianna and her family cookbook.

Brianna and her family cookbook.

To anyone thinking about making a family cookbook - you don't have to be an avid scrap-booker in order to create something like this.  Just be sure to allow sufficient time for it to be completed.  It took me six weeks to complete this book, and I had to work on it every day during that time period.  To make it really special, I'd also recommend handwriting the recipes and such in order to give the book some personal flair.

An another note - since I am sharing family information on this post, I want to announce that there is a new bud on my family tree.  I became a grandmother in July- for the first time ever (courtesy of my son and daughter-in-law)  to a beautiful blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy name Oliver (Ollie).  He has absolutely stolen my heart.  There is no doubt you will be seeing more of him and creations made for him on this blog in future posts.

Me and my precious grandson, Ollie. ♥

My little sidekick. LOL

Sweet little Ollie.
Please be sure to follow my blog here or through Facebook in order not to miss any future posts.  As always - have a creative day!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Craft Room Remodel Begins

If you are one of my contacts on Facebook, you know by now that I am in the process of remodeling my craft room.  It's long overdue, let me tell you.  My craft room is a converted one car garage, so it is fairly long and narrow.  A few years ago, my husband added cabinets and counter space to two sides of my room, in addition to making some handmade book shelves to accommodate books and craft supplies.  Like any good crafter/sewer who accumulates lots of fabric and supplies - I have outgrown my space and I need something more functional.  And, this picture of a remodeled craft room I found on Pinterest really inspired me.


I love the bright and cheery look of the red and aqua colors, and have decided to model the colors of my room after this.  The walls will be painted aqua.  The old carpeting will be pulled up, discarded and replaced with a red epoxy floor for easier maintenance.  I will be making handmade curtains (and even counter curtains to hide unsightly stored stuff) in these beautiful fabrics courtesy of Michael Miller fabric:



In short, the whole room will be rearranged.  The cabinets and one set of counter tops will be moved to the opposite facing wall for insulation purposes.  The doorway entrance will be moved to the end of the room to give me more wall space (courtesy of my talented handyman husband, Michael. :)  )  In addition, a short dividing wall will be built near the entrance way.  This wall will be multipurpose as it will contain another counter top and additional storage space.

In addition, I found this nifty idea from The Polka Dot Closet's blog on using slat walls for extra storage, so we're installing these, too.  How flipping cool is this?


Last, you can see what I am dealing with, here are some "before" pics of my craft room.  Yes, it's embarrassing, but not for long!!!  








Stay with me as I provide updates as to the craft room remodel and turn my frog of a craft room into a handsome prince. :)


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