Family Group from Paper Scraps


journal entry:


We are always searching for our ancestors. Their stories and their clothing and their faces and their tools.  Their professions and their families. Their talents. Sometimes we follow clues but other times we barely know where to start.

We can remedy that disappointment in our grandchildren’s futures but leaving keepsakes behind which not only identify us and our families but express faith and hope. This is my latest effort to make a keepsake non-traditional family tree. Each member of our family is represented in a family group. I have chosen to create a family panorama which is rich in the symbolism of our faith and our lifestyle.

I have created a” key” for little people to use when they view the family. It will help them, or anyone in the future, to know what I was thinking when I chose a particular item to be included.  When I am gone perhaps it will matter to them that I went to the trouble at all.

It is just one of many ways to provide “tomorrow’s family history” for our families. To make certain we have cemented ourselves in time.




There are many ways to make a non-traditional family tree interesting.  Among them are texture, color, layering and distressing. While half of the bodies were cut with my Silhouette paper cutting machine, the other half were free-hand.  The wings were cut using the paper cutting machine but all of the clothing was created by hand as I went along. I chose scraps which were rich in texture and clothing styles reminiscent of our Bible and Book of Mormon heroes.  I used “pop dots” generously to add dimension to the entire family panorama. The crowns were from the scrapbook store, as were many odds and ends throughout the picture. Like the keys and the doves and the stars in the heavens.


Now and then I threw in something of greater detail such as these metal wings and the little bird on a string of silver embroidery floss.  Above all I wanted my family to be rich in tradition and have beautiful clothing with wings and belts and robes. The wings are simply symbolic. See. There is the first thing to talk about.

A” key” will hang down from the picture with all of the symbolic touches I have put into the final panorama. Now and then a child might need to look something up in the scriptures in order to learn why it was included or ask a grown-up what something means.  Of course the” key” will include every person’s name so that each person can find a place in the family. At the top of the picture are two little silhouettes of children with their hands still holding on to Heaven. Perhaps they will join the family in the future.

Each person wears a small heart to remind us of the importance of turning our hearts to our fathers. Our ancestral fathers.

I believe in tomorrow’s family history. If it isn’t written or photographed or recorded in some way it will be as if it didn’t happen at all.  And that would break my heart.



  1. alright, I just discovered your blog today (linked to pinterest) and I couldn’t be more smitten! I don’t even know your name, but the family collage above it so unbelievably AMAZING I just had to write you a little note and say that I am in awe of your artistic abilities and may very well spend the weekend enjoying your musings and pictures!!! Thank you for sharing them and inspiring me, xo beth larson

  2. Sandra

    Dear Beth: You are so kind and thoughtful. Because my blog isn’t monetized it isn’t on the radar. I just share it with family and friends and they share it if there is something they like. I really use the blog as a way to “journal” the things I like to do. I am going to take some time on brownsparrowstudio. Keep in touch.


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