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nina's book

Part of the festivities honoring my grandmother on her 90th birthday was a book full of all the things we love about Nina. Of course I forgot to take any photos of the book before I handed it over to my grandmother, so you'll have to make do with my PDFs. The cover was simply green with a big 90! on the front.

After checking out several printing options, we decided to go with blurb. I have made photo books with Shutterfly in the past, and have been pleased with the overall quality, but Blurb allows you to print directly from a PDF. Because I design books for a living, I can create the book using InDesign (a program I am very comfortable with) and then just upload the final PDF, instead of using one of their available templates. This gives me a lot of freedom with the design. I give Blurb a big thumbs up!

My grandmother has 10 children, over 30 grandchildren, and over 40 great-grandchildren so I wanted to do a book that counted from 1 to 90. I figured between all of us and our spouses, we could get 90 different memories or thoughts gathered. Luckily, several people contributed more than one memory.

Some comments were short and sweet, others went on for several pages. Some talked about a favorite memory (like my Aunt Penny above, remembering a trip she took as a newlywed with her mom and dad). Others talked about something they admire about grandma: the way she always makes Christmas special, or what an efficient household she ran, or how she makes the best strawberry-blackberry jam.

It was a pleasure to put this book together (though I admit it took longer than I thought!). It gave me a chance to see my grandmother in a different light. I now can see her as a young mother, trying to make ends meet. Or later in life, as a devoted wife taking care of my grandfather. I see her making dinner in the kitchen with her young daughters helping. I see her dancing with my grandfather to the music they loved. Or double checking that all the Christmas gifts for each of her children make it under the tree.

Of course I also still see her as my sweet grandmother... the one who sends out a family letter to each person in her large extended family each month. Who crochets a blanket for each new great grandbaby and never misses a birthday. She still makes it to the cabin each summer for our family reunion (she's the one passing out the toffee nut bars and making sure the great-grandkids have enough Otter Pops.)

90 years and going strong. Happy Birthday Grandma! I have no doubt we'll be celebrating your 100th birthday in no time at all.

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Reader Comments (47)

This is so incredibly sweet! I'm sure it made her so happy

01.28.2010 | Unregistered Commenterliz stanley

Absolutely stunning and I also loved the ideas in the previous post. What a wonderful way to celebrate the life of a loved one.

01.28.2010 | Unregistered CommenterEngracia

what a lovely wonderful heartfelt gift--and lovely to look at too!

01.28.2010 | Unregistered CommenterInha

What a great idea. The book looks great and your grandmother sounds like an amazing lady.

01.29.2010 | Unregistered Commentermarie


01.29.2010 | Unregistered Commentermichelle

beautiful idea with an equally beautiful book! thanks for sharing these sweet and personal happenings! it's really inspiring.

01.29.2010 | Unregistered Commenterjudy

I love what you do so much! It's making me think that when I go to college, I'll study graphic design.

Is that what you studied in college? I'm trying to figure that out because college is rapidly approaching! :)

01.29.2010 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

We did something very similar for my Hubby's grandfather's 80th. (But it wasn't nearly as pretty.)

01.29.2010 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

This is just beautiful. What a treasure. Thanks so much for yet more inspiration.

01.30.2010 | Unregistered Commentertwirling betty

great great book!

01.31.2010 | Unregistered Commenterjackie

This made me really happy. Thanks for sharing.

01.31.2010 | Unregistered CommenterAria

What a beautiful and touching keepsake. AND an incredible idea. My Grandma will also be 90 this year!

02.1.2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

i just adore the passage through life here. a beautiful expression of who seems to be a beautiful person. yah for Nina!

02.1.2010 | Unregistered Commentermrs. ott

this is FANTASTIC!

02.2.2010 | Unregistered Commenterjoanna goddard

One word : BEAUTIFUL.

02.2.2010 | Unregistered CommenterToni Turbeville

Wow! Fantastic.

02.2.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

What a wonderful gift. It's beautiful to look at for a stranger, I can't imagine how touched your grandmother must have been.

Her whole party looked fantastic. A fantastic celebration.

I just found your blog - I'm off to check out the rest of it.

02.7.2010 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

What a wonderful gift idea for a grandparent. I've done several books for friends commemorating their parents or grandparents. I have to say I love the clean style you used, it looks fabulous! Great idea. I hope more people will do this for their family keepsakes. They are priceless.

02.12.2010 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie Pearson

This is truly love. Thank you for sharing that wonderful idea. May I ask you where you find the resources to print such a book? I saw some type of family calendar made with pictures as well but never find how I can make it.

02.16.2010 | Unregistered CommenterParciparla

Sorry, I just read that you gave your referenes, I will go see it!

02.16.2010 | Unregistered CommenterParciparla

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