My name is Lisa and I'm a crafty girl with wanderlust working as an engineer by day. My blog chronicles projects in my home as well as pictures and stories from my travels.




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Terrasini Gift Scrapbook Album 

Earlier this year Frank and I went on vacation to Italy and stopped in the small Sicilian town of Terrasini, which is where Frank's paternal grandfather was born. Frank's great-grandfather and grandfather would head over to Detroit to work long hours in the auto industry and then head back to Sicily bringing money home. Frank's grandfather eventually decided to settle down in America and raise his family in Michigan.

We decided when we were planning our Italian trip that we wanted to see Terrasini. We took a boat from Naples to Palermo and then planned to take a day trip to Terrasini from there. We ran into a snag when we went to went to Palermo Centrale station and discovered that the TrenItalia website's timetable was not correct and the next train wasn't for a few hours. We had not come so far to be deterred and negotiated a good price with a taxi driver to take us to Terrasini. We had a wonderful day exploring the town and it was quite an experience to walk along the streets of his ancestors.

For Christmas this year I decided to make Frank's dad (who has never seen the town where his father was born) an album of the photos I took of Terrasini while we were there. I have a stash of albums and chose a 10" x 10" 7gypsies album with kraft cardstock pages and a kraft chipboard cover with wire binding.

To start I carefully removed the covers and pages from the wire binding so that I could have my pictures extend to the edge of the inside of the pages. I wanted to keep things simple and just used some brown patterned paper and cream cardstock for matting pictures inside the album. After finishing each page I flipped it face down and used an X-acto knife to cut out where my design had covered the square holes for the wire binding. When I finished the everything I reassembled the album.

To decorate the cover I cut up a piece of wrapping paper with a vintage map of Italy on it. Since Terrasini is on Sicily I put that section on the front and used another section of the map for the back. I added a small strip of brown patterned paper that I used throughout the book to set off the map from the chipboard cover. As an accent I cut out a star from a photograph of a statue in Terrasini (more about the statue later) and finished by adding a title with letter stickers.

On the front page of the book I enlarged a photo of one of the streets in Terrasini with the mountains in the background. I also cut out the some sign markers from a picture I took on the outskirts of town and placed them in the right corner.

The first place that Frank and I stopped in Terrasini was Piazza Duomo, the central square in town flanked by shops and cafes with Cathedral of Santa Maria delle Grazie sitting at the end. The stonework of the piazza was being replaced while we were visiting and I am sure it will look quite lovely when completed.

The streets and buildings in town were charming and I loved the small second floor balconies.

We walked out to the coast which was beautifully rocky and impressive, despite the cloudy day. For this section I enlarged a photo to 16" x 20" and trimmed it to span both pages of the spread.

The coolest part of the visit was stumbling upon this statue which has Frank's great-grandfather's name on it. From what we can tell it was erected by citizens of Terrasini who had worked in Detroit (one of those people being Frank's great-grandfather) in honor of a fallen World War I soldier. It was pretty amazing to come halfway around the world and see this.

We next walked a little out of town to try and find a second cousin of Frank's knowing only a street name that he had lived on a few years back. We walked up and down the street looking at the names on the gates but didn't find the name, unfortunately. It was a lovely area though with an abundance of orange trees and beautiful gardens.

We walked back through town with me taking more pictures along the way, of course.

On the final page I put an enlarged photo of some of the shops along Piazza Duomo along with a sign that we saw with Frank's grandmother's first name.

I am happy with the way the album turned out and I hope that Frank's dad enjoys it.

Have you made any scrapbook albums for gifts this holiday season?

1/3/2013 Update: Courtney requested in the comments that I provide an update on Frank's dad's reaction after I gave it to him. He really liked it and I saw him quietly looking through the album several times over the course of the evening as well as pointing out the family name on the statue to each of Frank's nieces.  It made all the effort worthwhile to see him enjoy the album so much. 

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Reader Comments (11)

This is lovely Lisa! I am sure he will enjoy it.

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Stacey- Thank you so much! You are so sweet!

December 15, 2012 | Registered CommenterLisa

What an amazing gift. These are the gifts of Christmas; love, time, personal connection and heart.

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary-Lou

I love this! What a great idea. I'm sure his father will love it too.

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa S.

This is really lovely, Lisa. I am making a scrapbook for a friend of mine that will have pictures from our trip to England and France a couple of years ago. There were 4 of us that went on the trip and I made a scrapbook last year for the couple that went. My friend told me not too long ago how disappointed he was that I hadn't made one for him. Made me sad, so I decided I would make him one this year. I hope he will be surprised.

I am also making two scrapbooks for my soon-to-be daugher-in-law and for my sister. I call these "20 Questions" because you ask the same 20 questions for 17 years (because kids don't really have a favorite song at 1..haha) and record the answers. I hope they will like it.

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRene

Absolutely beautiful! I know he will love it!

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

Love it! The design is gorgeous and the photos are amazing.
I need to take some screen shots of this entry to stow away in my Lisa scrapbook ideas.
I am sure he will love your gift.

December 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkathy f

This is a beautiful book - and a very thoughtful gift. I can only imagine the pleasure this will bring.

December 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda J

What a thoughful thing to do! I'm so eager to hear his response when he's given his gift...will you update your blog with the "results" please?

December 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney Craig

Mary-Lou- Thank you! I like to make homemade gifts for just that reason.

Theresa- Thank you! I hope he likes it!

Rene- Thank you! Your albums sound wonderful! I bet your friend will be quite surprised to get the album and you already know in advance how much he will appreciate it! The 20 questions albums also sound awesome. What a great idea!

Sandy- Thank you so much!

Kathy- Thank you! What kind compliments!

Linda- Thank you! You are so sweet!

Courtney- Thank you! That is a great idea. I will definitely update the post after Christmas.

December 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterLisa

Love it I have took some screenshot for the images of this entry for ideas to make scrapbook.The design is gorgeous and the photos are amazing.
I would gift the scrapbook made by me to my friend as remembrance because she is getting married.So,that she never forget the memories we had together,I am sure she will love my gift.If we loved this Idea so much I am sure Frank's dad will also love your gift.

June 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterStella

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