Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Book Cradle!

I love my new book cradle purchased from Baer Necessities on Etsy. My favorite thing about the cradle, besides the fact that it is handmade with solid pine and very sturdy, is that it is open on one end. I make lots of 12X12 inch books or larger and now I can use my cradle to punch the signatures. Here it is in use:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Create what you seek..."

When you visit's "About Daryn" page you will be greeted with this:

"Welcome to! I hope you'll visit each day to experience stories that make your heart go, "ZING!"

Many people ask me how I have such a positive outlook after more than 20-years in the news business. Simply, I believe in the adage, "Create what you seek." I was seeking inspiration, so I decided to create a home where those stories could live.

This isn't a "happy news," site. It is more focused than that. I would call it "hopeful" news. My mission and the motto of the website is to "Show the World What Is Possible!" one story at a time."

I love stories and these video stories are inspiring! Go HERE to watch a story about a fun artist that gave away smiles because that's what he was seeking! I love his characters, his paintings, and the smiles he creates!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Black and White Portrait Photography

When my first child was born almost 10 years ago a friend gave me the advice to be sure to take pictures with a roll of black and white film before the baby grew up. I was reminded of that advice when I ran across a book at the library called Mom's Little Book of Photo Tips, by Lisa Bearnson. The book was published in 1999, when my husband and I still used film. The book suggests that black and white film evens out skin tone and gives a "timeless" aspect to your photos. Also, for best results be sure to use natural light.

This is a photo that I took with a roll of black and white film and a simple point and shoot camera.

This photo was taken with a roll of black and white film and my father-in-law's old SLR camera - which I used here for the very first time. I was very happy with the results. These are some of my very favorite photos that I have of when my daughter was small!

Finally, if you're like me and have switched to all digital photography, why not try converting some of your photos in your photo software and experiment with which photos look the best in black and white! Here's one that was taken with my digital point and shoot just last week when we were at the beach with Grandma and PaPa, and converted using iphoto when we got home.

Another fun tip for us amateur photographers who record our family's "life stories" is to take photographs without faces showing. I love the natural look of these photos!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Virtue Bracelets

Hubby and I try hard to teach the virtues to our children by acknowledging when they either display the characteristics of a particular virtue or we see the opportunity to practice a virtue. Patience is one that I must always remind myself to practice. Right? One night, as I was being called in to the girl's bedroom room for the hundredth time because they were arguing when they were supposed to be going to sleep, I was so very tempted to behave in a way that I would not want my children to behave. Luckily, this time I reminded myself that I have all the patience that is necessary to respond to these children who are still learning an appropriate way to deal with conflict. I thought to myself, if I can use this time to model the behavior I want them to display (patience, discussion, peace, compromise, understanding, etc.) then perhaps they will be just that much closer to modeling the behavior themselves next time. What if I wore a sweet reminder, a virtue bracelet with a symbol that reminds me of patience, to support me in this journey of practicing this virtue so that I don't "forget" and practice "impatience"? Well out comes my waxed linen cord that I use for my bookbinding and jewelry making, Tibetan silver charms are obtained that are symbols of different virtues I want to practice myself, or virtues that I admire in others, and these adjustable bracelets were born!

To be honest, I still haven't made one for the virtue of patience because I haven't found a symbol that I could put on a cord. The symbols for patience seem to be donkey, ox, fir tree - to name three - and I just haven't found a source for those. I will keep researching! I do have the symbols and virtue bracelets for Faith, Hope, Love, Perseverance, Loyalty, Peace, and Courage in my Etsy Shop right now! More to come as I recognize these virtues in others and the need for a reminder to practice them in my own life. Am I especially feeling the need to have courage or faith today? I will don that bracelet as a reminder and a comfort that I have access to that virtue by grace. And for that I am happy and grateful!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm having a Yart Sale and Father's Day is coming!

In my Etsy Shop I currently am offering Free Shipping on all in stock albums and journals, as well as 20% off select items (see Yart Sale Section in my shop for discounted prices).

Father's Day is approaching and I have a great panoramic album for those dads who take panoramic photos - or would just like to put two 4"X6" photos on one page - side by side - how cool is that?

Or how about a birch tree journal for all of his thoughts, ideas, or notes?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

2008 A Year In Review Continued...

Continuing Creativity Prompt's December 31st post called "Journaling Prompt #32 - A Year In Review" I have answered question #3: "What is your most remarkable event of 2008?" My answer: our oldest daughter's First Communion in May 2008. Here she (on the right) with her friend on the big day. What makes this most remarkable for us is seeing how important this event was to her - and still is every time she has received the Eucharist since then. Her joy and her gentleness amaze us daily!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I just love learning about new blogs, especially when they feature one of my books or albums! Thank you to The Photographers of Etsy Street Team who have featured my Panoramic Album in today's blog post. Their blog is one to see!

Here is an custom 10"X10" album that was just sent off to Virginia:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Year In Review - question 1

From Creativity Prompt: On December 31st this was the post called Journaling Prompt #32 - A Year In Review. I chose a photograph (or two or three) for each question that Avital posed about 2008. For me, each question deserves a page or two in my family photo journal. It was a motivating way for me to get those pictures on the pages and to write a few words about them. The first question is:

If you’d sum up the year 2008 in one sentence - what sentence would it be?

My answer: It is well.

That was simply the first sentence that came to mind about our 2008 and it fits. All is very well as a matter of fact!

This is my very simple layout using a picture of 6 year old Mackenzie that illustrates the sentence perfectly. I framed the photo with scraps of bookcloth from previous bookbinding projects and briefly wrote with a Micron pen.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I've been anxiously awaiting my free order of 40 prints from (earned from!) so that I can begin recording my 2008 memories in photo as a response to this post from Creativity Prompts. The prints arrived yesterday, so I will begin creating quick and simple pages in my Life Stories Books family photo journal, photographing them, and sharing them with you here. In the meantime, I thought I would share with you a few of the books I've been creating the past couple weeks.

This one is a new Panoramic Album (5"X13") that can hold one panoramic photograph or two 4"X6" photos per page. I'm very excited about this new product that I just listed in my shop:

Here are two books that were given as gifts:

Another book for my shop, this one a journal with the most deliciously textured pages for writing: