After falling in love with Graphic 45 abc Primer paper, I decided to create a minibook of our early grade school years (my husband’s and mine). The papers actually reminded me of those first days of school for me. My little school, in Blue Eye, a tiny town on the Missouri/Arkansas border, did not have kindergarten (most schools in our area of the country did not, at that time). By the time I began first grade, I was so ready, that school was literally a thrill for me. I absolutely LOVED learning, and actually, everything about school. That was true when I started school, and it continued to be true throughout my teaching years. So just seeing these nostalgic primer papers brought back some absolutely wonderful memories. I knew that I wanted my minibook to be an attempt to recapture and store some of those recollections.
It was a much larger project than I anticipated, and it took me several weeks to finish. I started by getting some ideas from YouTube videos, especially enjoying the work of Clare Charvill. In fact, I believe her ideas were the inspiration for my cover. I soon discovered, however, that while others’ work is very dramatic and gorgeous, I would need to settle in on my own style, keeping in mind my desired outcome (to have a minibook that my children and grandchildren would enjoy, that would give them a glimpse of that stage of our lives).
One of the painstaking, but actually fun, activities involved preparing the little black math flashcards from the papers. I wanted to make them like real miniature flashcards, and so I adhered the whole page of flashcards to black cardstock before cutting them. Then I punched a small hole in the corner of each, to thread them onto a chain, along with a ruler cut from the papers (also adhered to black cardstock).
The first step in the album creation involved scanning in the old school pictures, repairing and editing them. The basic format of my album is that each of our first three grades has a two-page layout (except for Russell’s first grade year, for which we have no school picture). Each left-hand page has a pocket that I created, and inside the pocket is a decorated tag, with journaling on one side, written on primary paper that I scanned and printed. Each right-hand page is the school picture from that year.
This is the only photo that is “hidden” beneath a flap.
The “journaling” tags: I opted NOT to photo every single tag from every single pocket, but I covered both sides of every tag, one side with papers and the other side with primary printing paper with my hand-printed journaling.
(An astute observer might note that my husband has two basic primary school memories: recess and girls, as his third grade memory is similar to this one! Hmmmm.).
Then I attached something to each tag to make it easy to pull from the pouch (button, ribbon, chipboard piece, and so forth.). Some of the pockets also contain other things, such as portions of text printed from my life story, a piece of music referenced by the journaling, etc.
Whew! I’m glad to have it done! Through the years, I have written my life story, and it was fun to use portions of what I had recorded about my elementary years for the journaling.
(For a closer view, click on each picture.)