Tag Archive for picasa collage

Does your Family have a Christmas Project?

My parents started a wonderful holiday tradition well over 15 years ago.  They print a family photo calendar for the New Year filled with pictures and memories of the past year, or even from many years ago.  I have blogged about this project in the past, but it becoming such a time-honored tradition it’s a story that bears repeating.  When this annual project started,  in 1997 my Mom was the editor, and set up girl.  She would collect pictures that had been taken by family members for the prior years happenings, and use those to put the pages together for the New Years calendar.  The calendar also includes all of the family member birthdays and anniversaries.  So there’s no forgetting any important dates.

1997 Calendar 0011999 calendar page 001

Over the years the process of putting the collected the pictures, and scanning, and building the calendar pages has transformed into a completely digital process.  Now a days the pages are put together using Picasa’s collage feature.  Pictures for each month’s page still have to be collected, but the process of putting the pictures on the pages is a much easier process and allows for a greater number of pictures to be included.

This is a page from our 2013 calendar:

August Calendar page

Credit for this collage collection goes to Travel Man.

The printing process of the calendar is another piece of family history.  For many, many years my Mom would put the calendar together in “old-school” fashion.  Cutting and pasting each picture to the page and then scanning it in for the final copy.  My Dad was in charge  of printing all of the copies. They did all of this, including the printing, at home, and I’m sure they were printing 10 or more copies.  Quite a venture.  And with your parents being the “project managers” on this type of project, you knew you had to meet the picture deadline.

Of course pictures submissions have always been  strictly voluntary, but everyone likes to be included on this project.  And even more exciting for the 2013 calendar, a few of the pictures that Evan  took during the year made it on the calendar too.  That would mean that this year’s calendar was put together by four (yes that’s 4) generations of family members.  Wow!!  I just realized that fact.  Isn’t that amazing?

In the younger years of our family calendar, the kids would all count how many times they made an appearance in the calendar, and of course compare their counts.  (I think my Mom went a little nuts with this one.). And they were also quick to let their grandma know if a picture had been duplicated.

For quite a few years we only included pictures from the previous year. Then in 2004,  my mom surprised us all and threw in old pictures of some of us, and it was a great blast from the past.  From that year on we have had pictures from the here and now,  and a few from the past mixed in as well.

We have now been doing the calendar for so long that someone will take a really great picture or a really funny one, and we’ll say, “That’s a calendar shot!”.

A few years ago my Mom commandeered help from everyone who wanted to help put  together the pictures for the calendar. So, around Thanksgiving time my mom will post a message on Facebook for what month people would like to be responsible for. Once the months are all assigned then the picture collecting frenzy begins.  I always tell myself I’m going to collect the great calendar shots as we go through the year, and then life sets in and I forget,and the first week of December I’m scrambling to find pictures.  Oh and there is also someone assigned for the picture on the cover of the calendar. This is a coveted position each year.

The updated printing process has now been assigned to Staples. Once the editing is complete the calendar goes on a flash drive and a few days later, voila the calendar is finished.  I think my parents print around 20 copies of the calendar each year now, and they’re always ready for our family’s Christmas day get together.

The calendar has created a wonderful  pictorial of the family history. Watching the kids grow up, and ourselves getting older.  I have all the picture portions of my calendars in binders, so we can page through the years, and enjoy all of the pictures quite easily.  The binders become a great conversation piece at family parties.  Travel Man will carry a calendar with him this year, as he loves to share pics of his family, and we’re hoping he’ll feel like he has a little piece of home with him.

Our 2013 Family Calendar is a sight to behold, and welcomes the newest member of the family, Miss Madison.  Hats off to my parents for keeping this tradition going.  It is a memory that I’m certain will be treasured for years and years to come.

This post has been linked to the GRAND Social linky

Finishing out the Holidays with our Family Calendar

There is nothing finer than being able to record the pictorial history of your family and friends.  Around 1997, my Mom had the idea to put together a family calendar using pictures from any and all family events during the year.  The actual calendar pages also showed everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries for the year.  It’s really amazing.  I actually had to consult with my Mom to get some history on how my parents have put the calendars over the years.  Thanks Mom!

The first generations of calendars  had just one picture per page, something like this:

These are the actual calendar pages from 1997.  I’m pretty sure one of my girls put the colorful stickers on the page on the left.  Maybe Hilary?

Then in 1999, we graduated to a few pictures on a page and the kids in the family were so funny.  The first thing they would do when they got to see the calendar, which for the  most part has been on Christmas Day, is count how many pictures they were in.  Then they would have some sort of meeting and compare notes to see who made the most appearances! 

According to my Mom for the first 3-4 years of the calendar process she put it together “manual” style.  Good old cutting out the actual pictures, creating a collage, and then off to the printers. For the calendar portion with dates, birthday’s and anniversary’s she uses Microsoft Publisher.

Then in 2000 or 200, she went digital and used Photoshop for the pictures.  At that time my parents were printing the entire calendar, with all of the copies for the family on their own.  That ink must have cost a pretty penny.  My Mom would create the picture portion of the calendar, and then Dad (the engineer) was responsible for the printing, getting everything double-sided in order,etc., and getting them done on time.

In 2006 or 2007, my Mom started using Picasa collages which makes the process so much easier, and allows for tons of creativity.  At this time, my parents were still doing the entire calendar on their own.  My Dad would announce around Thanksgiving time that they were collecting pictures from everyone, and give us a due date.  Yikes a deadline from Dad – don’t be late.

Then in 2008, my Mom decided to get help from all of us, because the Picasa collages are so easy to put together.  So, now my Mom puts out an announcement on our family page on Facebook, so everyone who wants to can take a month and create a collage from the pictures they have on hand.  And then she also selects someone to design the cover for the calendar.  A prestigious appointment.

Here’s a sample of one of the collage pages from this year’s calendar:

To view the entire calendar from this year just click on this link-  2012 Family Calendar.

The calendars are great conversation pieces when you are visiting with long distance relatives, and want to show off your family.  Over the past few years the photos that we are able to jam pack into each calendar page are tremendous.  For myself, I have all of the calendars from the past years put together in binders.  It’s such a treat to sit down and go through almost 15 years worth of calendars now, and reminisce.

Hats off to my Mom and Dad for keeping this tradition going over the years.  It’s a tremendous effort, and we all appreciate having the pictorial memories that will last a lifetime.

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