Saturday, February 9, 2008

It's Not Too Early

Have you started shopping for your Christmas 2008 gifts yet? If you want to give unique gifts, it isn't too early to make a plan and start creating them.

If you haven't heard of Canvas on Demand yet, take the time to visit the site and review their work. They transfer digital images or scans of photos to canvas. I'll focus on the family history aspect of their service, but when you look through the pages of the site, you'll see many other applications as well.

Find those favorite old photos of your ancestors, scan them at 300 dpi, save the file as a .jpg and send it to Canvas on Demand. Ask them to repair any problems on the image, choose the size and frame you want and in two weeks, a wonderful canvas of the photo will be delivered to your door. The large canvases can be expensive but may be the perfect gift for that special someone in your family.

Another gift idea will take a little more planning and effort on your part, bu
t it is well worth the investment of time and money.

Write and publish a book using Lulu. You can publish a family history, a collection of ancestors photos, an ancestors diary or letters and print as many or few of them as you want. Tour the Lulu site and let your imagination wander. You'll quickly see how easy it is for you to become an author.

While making your plans, you may want to consider putting your books up for sale. Lulu can handle that for you too. It is a great way to publish a family history with very little out of pocket capital because the books are printed on demand. Set the retail price and give family and friends the address to Lulu so they can order copies of your work.

The last idea is for those of you with quilting skills. Last year I asked my wife to create a family tree wall hanging of our family. We took silhouette photos of everyone early in the year. I resized them and printed them as patterns for the wall hanging. My wife and I designed the form and size of the tree and she applied her considerable skills as a quilter. Christmas 2007 arrived and I received a wonderful gift. Our 3ft by 5ft family tree now hangs on a wall in our home for all to see.

I don't know how much you would pay someone to make a tree like mine, but most of us couldn't afford it. However, by planning ahead and leaving plenty of time for construction, anyone can enjoy a fantastic gift like mine.

It's not too early to plan your 2008 Christmas gifts.