Saturday, July 10, 2010

Looking Back: A Teenager's Memory Book you can tell, I've not been great at blogging this summer.  After our cruise to Alaska, school ended and summer school began.  Cody chose to take PE for his Sophomore year during the summer, which eliminated the need to take it for half a school year in the fall and opened up another elective course he'll be able to take.  And so, instead of playing too many video games this summer, he was able to enjoy some great "fresh air" activites through the PE program at school.  He got to go canoeing & swimming, he played badmitton, tennis, and a variety of ball games, and even was scheduled for archery.  Now why didn't they have something like that when I was in school...way back when?!  PE only lasted three hours so I've been busy running him back and forth to/from school.  And then, as summer would have it, we've had a lot of other activities going on most days.  So we've had a busy summer!

During my small bits of down-time I've been able to fit in a bit of crafting here & there and I actually have a lot to share -- But today I thought I'd rewind back a bit to 2005, when my son, Nathan, turned 16.  Since I never had any girls, only boys, I wasn't able to create a "Sweet 16" birthday party...I seriously doubt my son would've appreciated it.  But I wanted to do something special for him.  I remember for my 16th, my parents took me to Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour with some friends.  I ordered the "Pig's Trough" -- 9 scoops of ice cream in three flavors, lots of toppings, and one spoon.  When I finished the entire thing (by myself) they banged the big drum & cymbals, sang Happy Birthday to me, and had me stand and say, "I made a Pig of myself".  I still have the ribbon to prove it!  

Anyway...I digress...I've always thought that being 16 was a big deal, but what to do for a boy??  We decided on having a Paintball Party with some friends -- it was great, but the pièce de résistance was the Memory Book I created for him.  Earlier in the year I had written a letter to family & friends asking them to create an 8 1/2 x 11 sized page where they wrote a special memory they had of him and/or some words of advice for his future endeavors.  I asked them to add a picture of themselves and/or a picture they remembered of a time they spent with Nathan.  If they didn't want to assemble a "page" I asked that they send me their message & picture(s) and I'd assemble it for them.  It was awesome the response I got.  In most cases they sent their bits and I assembled, but some actually had a page prepared and sent. 

I put together a run-down of Nathan's first 16 years with a collage and assembled the book.  I made the book covers with foam core covered in decorative papers, I used a ruler that I covered in identical paper to reinforce the edges of the book covers, & bound it with leather cords & beads.  The pages were all put into page protectors and were easy to bind.  He was big into Napoleon Dynamite at that time, so I attached a picture card with ND on it to some ribbon and it became his bookmark.  It has remained his favorite gift of all time.

Two years later when my youngest son, Cody, turned 12, he said to me "I can't wait until I turn 16...because that's when I'll get my Memory Book!"  He just turned 15 years old, and I'm getting started on it now.  I'll still continue with the same size pages & page protectors, but I will change it up to suit his personality & style.  A year may seem to be a long way from now...but I've lost several family members in the past two years including my father, grandfather, & a dear uncle, and I don't want to miss getting any more family members involved in this process -- this is a book that will be a keepsake for future generations. 

In the meantime, stay tuned for an upcoming post which is a different take on a memory book -- a Grad Book I created for my niece!
Happy Crafting!  Lisa

(You can click on any picture to enlarge it)