Old Jules over at So Far From Heaven thought some of you might find it interesting to see some photos of a project I did for my granddaughter the first Christmas after she was born.
I took some upholstery fabric from some sample books and decided to make them into pages for a photo book describing the people in her family tree. I didn’t have information for anyone from her mom’s side, and I left out her grandpa’s side, because I didn’t know all the stories, but I went back 3 generations on my own side.
I started with a photo of my dad’s family and described his growing up years and then went to my mom’s side, showing them both as young people when they met.
I used plastic envelopes for the photos and zig-zagged them onto the fabric pages. This took a lot of planning. Some of the photos are only sewn in on one edge, so they can be flipped over for another picture.
I tried to stick with subjects that would be understandable to a small child. The flip side of one of the pages shows Billy the horse pulling the milk wagon for the dairy business my grandfather had. My dad used to talk a lot about Billy the horse, and his dog, Fluffy.
I was fortunate in that I had a lot of photos to choose from. I chose some photos of my grandparents at Mt. Rainier and showed my dad with his walking stick ready to take a hike. The photo on the lower left is his bottle of soda and an apple he put to chill in a snowbank, something we always do.
I inserted some newer photos, too, if it seemed appropriate to the story. The above left picture shows my mom many years later at Twin Rocks, which is where the church camp was where they met as teens. I also showed more recent photos of them at Mt. Rainier and a photo of where they got engaged.
I’m not going to show every page here, but I put in my parents’ wedding photo, me with my two brothers, then my wedding photo, my five kids, my oldest son and his wife, then the two of them with Hailey as a baby.
That doll in the photo is at my house now, and the love seat is the same one we were sitting on when I read her this story last weekend. She also saw photos of my mom playing piano, and knows that it’s the same piano now at my daughter’s house. My five kids, and one of her dad as a baby.
I finished it by inserting the photo card that her parents sent out for her first Christmas.
In the back I inserted an envelope with a three-page account my dad had written of his family history, how his parents came from Norway and Switzerland, and how they met in Seattle.
I think I had in mind that they could read this to her every year at Christmas, but actually we all forgot about it until this year. She got a little bogged down with the first few pages of people she didn’t know, but was excited seeing her dad and aunts and uncles as little kids. Although it’s very simply written, she’ll get more out of it as she gets older and can make more connections.
Looking at it five years later, I have no idea how I had the patience to put this thing together. It still looks good though, and should last forever, which is what I had in mind. I couldn’t face doing another one, though!