Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What have we been working on?

We have been doing fun photo charts for Christmas already and I got brave yesterday and asked a few of the customers I've been working with if I could show you some thumbnails. I'm always to shy to ask because I know these are so personal. So if you ever have a chart we've created for you that you are willing to share, let me know. Here are some recent comments we've received.
  • You are the master. It looks perfect.
  • WOW!! and Fantastic!! Somehow these don’t even seem to express how great this is turning out to be. Your creativity and talent are amazing. (Plus your patience with all of our many additions and changes)
  • I think it looks terrific! And the tree in the background sets it off perfectly.
It's so fun to make our customers so happy. And not to brag ;-) but we get comments like this all the time. These charts look great, but when you see them with your own family the response is always fantastic.
Our online preview system is really personalized. Once you submit your chart and tell us what you are envisioning, we will put together the chart for you. Then you'll receive an email with a webpage link to your chart preview. At that point, you can request changes on anything and we will work back and forth with you until it is exactly what you are envisioning. And we can come up with anything you are envisioning too. Remember, the deadline for Christmas orders on our decorative charts is December 5th.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Three Generation Road Trip

We have been swamped lately with Christmas orders already so I have been somewhat quiet. But I wanted to get this blog post up. If you were watching facebook a couple of weeks ago, you know that we went to the Redding California Family History Expo. I took my mother and my daughter with me and we had the best time. I'm usually very protective about talking about my children much, but I just have to tell you about how much fun the three of us had.

In case you missed them, here are the facebook statuses:
Day 2 of roadtrip with Mom and Daughter: Apparently nagging about the speed limit skips a generation in my family. :-)

Day 3 of roadtrip with my Mom and my Daughter. It is so beautiful to see my Mom laugh and watch my daughter soak up her Grandmother's praise. And later, so weird to have them both tune me out with their ipods.

And then the two that I was too busy and never got posted:
Day 4 Mom is better friends with my Family History Buddies than I am now.

Day 5 Who is this woman who has kidnapped my mother and replaced her with this lady who is spoiling my daughter? This is definitely not the mother I grew up with.

I had two Grandmothers who adored me. They made sure I knew I walked on water. My Grandmother Carpenter would parade me around to all her friends, showing them my cute new clothes, or having me play the piano for them. And my Grandmother Dana was the best listener that ever lived. When I was in the room, nothing else was important to her.

It was so wonderful this weekend to watch my daughter get the same treatment. I'm so blessed and thankful to have a wonderful mother and grandmother for my daughter. As a Mom, I'm always correcting, and guiding and pushing them to stretch and achieve more. Sometimes the love doesn't come across like it should. It was so good to listen to my daughter bask in her grandmother's love for her and let her feel that unconditional love that a grandmother has. And so nice to relax and let my mother pass on wisdom that my daughter needed, everything from cute hairstyles, to nutrition, and to what is right and wrong in the world.

Sometimes I think that it is too bad that we don't live longer so that we can know more generations of our family. I would have loved to have known my great great grandmother, or her mother. I think a Great-Great-Grandmother would love you just as much. And I hope I get to be a grandmother someday and get to pass on that unconditional love. Maybe I'll even get to meet some great-grandchildren. And hopefully my efforts in family history will be passed down so that my descendants--maybe even further down--will feel my love for them and know about my mother and my grandmothers and what wonderful women they were.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Broken Branches


Lisa Louise Cooke just sent me an anouncement for an amazing interview. It is called Broken Branches in Your Family Tree.

Here is what Lisa said:
As I typed the title for this blog post, I visualized nearly every reader's hand.

I have yet to meet anyone who has not had sad and painful stories surface during their research...relatives who committed crimes, were institutionalized, or ended their own lives.

In the case of one of my listener's, the broken branch was very close to home - her parents. And more specifically the mother who left her and her sister on a street corner one day, never to return.

Listen to episode 44 of Family History: Genealogy Made Easy to hear her incredible story. She shares the pain of her childhood, her search for her mother, and the healing and freedom that can come from exploring your family tree.

I promise you, it's a podcast episode like you've never heard before.

I concur.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Holiday Order Deadlines

To avoid extra rush and shipping charges you might want to stay aware of our drop dead dates this holiday season.
For Decorative charts, any orders need to be placed by December 5th to arrive in time for Christmas.

For Working charts, Canvas Giclees, or Gift Cards, orders will need to be placed by December 15th.

Early Bird Holiday Sale

We have a great offer for you this year to help you get going on holiday gifts and get all organized early so that you can relax and enjoy the season knowing the gifts are taken care of. 20% off any order from October 1st to the 15th. And 10% off any order from October 16th to the 31st. Any rolled or framed pieces are included in the offer. Just use the promotional code below when you check out on the website, or mention it in any e-mails or free consults and the discount will be automatically deducted from your order.

Promotional Code: GM20Percent
Expires October 15th 2009

Promotional Code: GM10Percent
Expires October 31st 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New (and new to me) Genealogical Serendipity

From our newsletter:

We've been hearing some wonderful serendipitous stories from many of you lately. We are in a wonderful position in this industry where we get to talk to you after you have done genealogy research and gotten hooked. We count ourselves very lucky to get to work with such wonderful people and love to hear about your research.

If you listened to the podcasts I did lately you'll know serendipity has come up in my interviews quite a bit recently. And apparently the subject has been popping up other places with the people who interviewed me too. Lisa Louise Cooke just posted a new podcast talking about some serendipity stories, and I just happened to stumble across an old (new to me) podcast with George Morgan and Drew Smith that they talked about it too.

Besides the times we have talked about it on this site, snooping around a little more recently I've found a couple of other new to me sites:
Granduncle Mark's Genealogy Parlor
The Serendipity Listing on Cyndi's list
Serendipity on Genealogy Today

We've recently had our users tell us stories about searching records and having have a book open right to the marriage record of someone on different line that they thought was in another state. Or traveling to another country to find records and coming up blank, and then a cousin making a wild suggestion about a local place where the records eventually were found. Or having a business client mention someone they were looking for but hadn't been able to find and having that person turn out to be the business person's neighbor. We have heard many, many such stories this year. Thank you for sharing them with us, and if you'd ever like to share them further, we'd love to have you write an article for the blog.

And I have a great story I just realized I've never talked about here too: A couple of years ago we were displaying some of our charts at a genealogy conference. While we change the information on the living people, many of our display charts are of my own ancestry. As often happens, one lady came up and looked closely at the chart looking for people she was related to and she found Rosina Christina Gregerson, my great grandmother who died in 1934. When she said she had a book about my family and that she would sell me a copy, I was skeptical. But the book she brought in the next day was an incredible record of my family. I was actually in it as a descendant, and it ranged up through this line seven generations. It is an incredible 700 pages of stories and pictures and even included a chapter that my grandmother Hortense had written about her mother that we never knew existed. Needless to say I bought it from her and have treasured it. We often find distant cousins of mine at conferences. So if you ever need some help breaking through a brick wall, you can always let us display your chart at the conferences we go to. :-)

One of the important things to remember about serendipity is that the thing that makes these stories so great is how long the person has been looking for the information that has miraculously appeared. So don't get discouraged if you haven't had some serendipity in your research lately. There may be some right around the corner. Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, in her book In Search Of Our Ancestors, says that if you put 50 genealogists in a room, 45 of them will have had a serendipity experience. So if you haven't had one lately, don't worry. It's coming.

You know I think the word I like the best in genealogy serendipity is "miracles." I think genealogy brings all sorts of miracles into your life. It certainly has brought miracles into my life and it gives me this amazing sense of awe. It's just one of the many things that makes genealogy so exciting and fun.