Open Thread Thursday – A Gift

This week’s topic for Open Thread Thursday is:

If you could give any type of gift – no matter what the cost – to a new genealogist or family historian, what would you give?

There are many genealogy gifts mentioned or reviewed here at GeneaBloggers but don’t limit yourself to the conventional! Be creative, think outside the gift box, and tell us what you’d give!

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Please either post on today’s topic of “A Gift For A New Genealogist” at your own blog and then post the link here in the comments or simply add your two cents in the comments section:

  • Can you think of one item, product or service that you wish you new about when you first started doing genealogy research? Would this make a good gift for a new genealogist?
  • If you could issue a “recall” for any one genealogy product or practice, which one would you target and why?
  • Are you secretly hoping that Santa will bring you a certain genealogy gift this Christmas? Want to let us in on it?

This is a great topic for this week’s Open Thread Thursday! And please, if you have a topic you’d like to see discussed among your genealogy blogging colleagues, please contact us and we’ll take it under consideration.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Review – Art For Your Sake

Art For Your Sake

I want to introduce the readers of GeneaBloggers to Art For Your Sake and a unique concept and gift idea that can help expand your family’s understanding of family history. Using the “digital photomontage” concept, its owner and resident artist Nancy Gershman can actually “recreate” pivotal moments in your family history especially when no photo or image exists. In addition, Nancy is able to “create” situations that never actually took place but might be vibrant and captivating “what ifs” and “imaginings” to help understand the people and places that came before you.

The Digital Photomontage Concept

Intrigued? Confused? Don’t worry – so was I when I first stumbled upon the Art For Your Sake site. But in reading and reviewing the various pages, you can get a better understanding of how Nancy works with a client to create these works of art.

In short, this is how it works: Nancy will sit down and help you focus on a family history story or episode and help memorialize it by gathering the “back story” and creating art work based on the story and any images you provide.

What if you don’t have a photo of your great-grandmother as a bride, the one who was a dance hall girl and married the Standard Oil executive? No worries – she can take existing images and add elements to create an “imagining” of that special day or event.

Art For Your Sake Christmas

The image above shows a Wedding Anniversary “dreamscape” that Art For Your Sake created for a client. As Nancy describes it:

SUSAN & DAVID’S DREAMSCAPE: Susan loves fun socks; her husband David loves cruises and Hawaiian shirts. So for this anniversary photo gift made from childhood photos, I thought, why not have Santa sit on a beach instead of inside a department store?

Note also how I’ve created a new pair of arms for David so Susan won’t slip off his lap. And those arms are not even his!

After giving her husband this photo collage portrait, Susan W writes: “To quote my husband of 10 years, ‘this ROCKS!!!!’ I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the process, the anticipation and the end result. This is a gift we will cherish always! Thank you from the bottom of my overflowing heart!”

Another unique approach – which I love – is how Nancy can actually take images of your ancestors and place them at a current celebration such as a bar mitzvah or wedding.  Haven’t you had a special day in your life where you wished a parent or grandparent could be there? With Art For Your Sake you can capture a moment that you’ve imagined using photos and other elements.

For Celebration

Many of the works that Nancy creates at Art For Your Sake are in commemoration of a special event such as a birthday or a wedding. These can be events in the present day or very near past or even those that took place over a century ago. And as described above, even if you don’t have a photo of that event, such as your grandparent’s wedding, Nancy can help recreate it!

For Healing

Many clients will have a photomontage created to help them heal from a loss or recover from an addiction. Have you ever felt “stuck” in the past or had regrets over a certain situation? Or perhaps a photo depicts a certain difficult time period for an ancestor but you want to show the healing and recovery that took place in that person’s life? Art For Your Sake can work with you to create what I call “healing images” that will help you process the situation for you and your family.


If you want “special” or “unique” in terms of family history-related gifts this season, then take a closer look at Art for Your Sake and contact them. The end result will be not just a photo – it will be a work of art that your family will admire and others will stop and ask, “What is this? What does it mean?” and you’ll have yet another opportunity to share your family’s story.

Follow Art For Your Sake on Twitter and Facebook.

Note: Later today I will be posting an interview with Nancy Gershman, owner of Art For Your Sake, here at GeneaBloggers – stay tuned to find out more about Nancy and her work.

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Disclosure statement: I do have a material connection with Art For Your Sake and its creator, Nancy Gershman: she has offered to create a digital photomontage for me in exchange for social media and genealogy industry advice which I have provided to her and her company. To review the other material connections I have with genealogy vendors, please see Disclosure Statements.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Cyber Monday Deals for Genealogists

Cyber Monday Sales

Today, November 29, 2010, is Cyber Monday when online deals and discounts abound. The day is said to be the biggest online shopping day of the year as folks look for holiday bargains from the comfort of their home or office.

The genealogy industry also has its share of such Cyber Monday deals including yours truly (I am offering virtual presentations at 1/3rd off my normal speaking fee!) If you know of any good deals that you want to bring to the attention of other members of GeneaBloggers, post about the offer or discount at your own genealogy blog and we’ll carry your post in the roll-up below.

Also, if you are on Twitter, remember the #CyberMonday hashtag and include either the word “genealogy” or the #genealogy hashtag as well.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee