I’m really into thank you notes. I write them for birthday gifts, when friends have us over for dinner, when someone does something nice for me. I’ve been a thank you note writer since I was a little girl, and it’s something that I want to instill in Kate and Michael. A short and sweet handwritten card is always a good thing.
After Kate’s little birthday party, she received generous gifts from her friends, and we talked about how nice it was for her friends to give her such thoughtful gifts. And I asked her if she’d like to write some thank you notes. She was interested, so we popped over to Michael’s Craftstore to pick up some plain white note cards and envelopes.
She received two different stamp kits for her birthday (She LOVES these. They are the Melissa and Doug brand, and she was sad that I packed up the one set she had, so when she got these two new sets, she was eager to use them). So I set her up with colored pencils, markers, and the stamp kit. Then I reminded her what gift she received, and she helped dictate the note I should write to her friend. Then I let her go to town stamping and drawing.
Despite the look on her face in these photos, she enjoyed decorating the cards. She was particular about what sort of stamps and drawings she wanted on each card (“Da smiley face is for Dosh! Dis crown is for Alaina!”), and it was so cute to watch her decorate and stuff the envelopes.
This entire activity probably took 20 minutes and B+ effort, but I know it made our friend’s smile when they received the cards.
Large scrapbooks freak me out. There are 12 x 12. That’s large. A lot of space to fill.
Enter: the mini book.
So, so much smaller. More manageable, no?
I like to make vacation mini books because 1) they have a purpose and 2) they hold all the odds and ends I like to keep from my trips.
After our Sedona trip, I printed about 50 pictures from Winkflash. I ordered all 4 x 6 prints in a matte finish. I mostly ordered horizontal shots, with a few vertical shots that I loved enough to want to include.
When I went to put my book together, of course I started punching holes on the wrong side of the image. I punched holes on the top of the picture instead of on the left side. At first I thought about tossing them out and reordering them (the entire shipment including shipping cost about $6), but I wanted to complete my book quickly, and I didn’t want to be wasteful.
So I enlisted Dan’s help in triaging the situation. We decided I should find someway to cover up the holes. I remembered my Erin Condren Life Planner has these sheets of small stickers in various colors. So I chose one color sticker for each day, and I taped up the holes with those stickers.
Is it a solution everyone would be okay with? Probably not. But I am fine with it. If I went for perfection in all my projects, I’d never finish anything.
I love this book because I wanted to hold onto the business card from the hotel restaurant to remember those yummy omlets and hamburgers, I wanted to keep the Red Rock Pass to remember how I climbed to the top of a very, very, steep summit, and I wanted all those maps to remember the places we went and the things we did.
Here’s the bulk of the album (warning, many pictures ahoy):
That’s a lot of pages.
If you are heading out on a summer vacation, (or if you are wondering what to do with your vacation pictures and paraphernalia) think about storing those memories in a mini book, so you can look back during the cold winter months and be jealous of your past self’s tan.
I almost quit this project. Several times. But, in the end, I decided to push through, even though it did not turn out exactly how I envisioned. (Scroll through here to see the individual days.)
The day after Christmas, I took in the mess of scraps on my desk and this almost completed album and used all my inner strength not to swipe everything into the garbage in one swoop. I was so close to tossing it all out. So close. Like hands poised above the trash can, ready to chuck this album.
But I put it down. Stepped away from the glue sticks. And told myself, I’d finish it when I finished it. Whenever that was. It might not be today. In fact, it might not be until sometime in early 2012. A December 2011 album completed in January of 2012?! Call the Scrapbook Police!
I decided not to press the panic button and to complete this album when I had a few minutes to complete it. One evening I got my chance and furiously printed pictures, wrote some journaling, and slapped it together. I felt glad, relieved I finished it. But also sad because it didn’t end how I wanted it to.
And sad in general because December didn’t end as I expected, either. December felt like one giant slap in the face. And my cheek is still burning from the force of it’s furry.
So after I finished it, I thought, well, I can’t post it. But, since I’m funny about needing things complete, I didn’t want my archives to reflect a 3/4th’s complete December album. So I threw caution to the wind and backdated those suckers. Because I could. Because I needed to. Because I needed to show that December that I finished it. That I crossed it off my list. That it can’t pin me down and make me believe the lies it tells me. I’m free of you, December. And I’m moving on.
Christmas 2011. Kate ate Life cereal for dinner. And got lots of hugs and kisses from her grandparents.
Kate sitting on her Dad’s new compound miter saw.