Today’s mini makeover has a story behind it, that I’ll share later in the post, but this one is about documenting you (and me) and making something that generations can look back on and cherish. There are so many things out there that help us to remember all the important moments and memories for the children in our lives, but I’ve not found many (or any, really) that focus on the story of us grown ups. I think this one is a great fit for the Love Your Life theme.
What you’ll need:
- Card Stock or a Computer Program like Photoshop, Photoshop elements or an online service like Canva – (I used Photoshop and printed mine)
- Some Great Fonts look here if you need some new ones
- A Recent Photo of You I don’t love mine but it was taken on my 28th Birthday, so it marks my age and how I look now. Try not to use an old photo from years past, as you’re trying to mark a point in time
- A Favourite Pen or Marker Even if you’re doing this all digitally, I think it’s a fun Idea to at least handwrite on it somewhere so future generations can know your handwriting – it’s a part of who you are
- The Date You Write It, Your Age and Your Name You could do this for every family member if you wanted to, or just have one that is just you, that you add to each year. I’m hoping to make this a birthday tradition for me so it will eventually become a collection. If you have a good memory (or have documented it elsewhere), you might be able to make some for previous years.
- Question List:
- Dream Job:
- Favourite Song:
- Favourite Book:
- Favourite Colour:
- Favourite Clothing:
- Favourite Perfume:
- Favourite Achievements:
- Favourite Places to Travel:
- Next Place on Travel Wishlist:
- Closest Friends:
- Dreams for the Future:
- Others you could include:
- Favourite Flowers:
- Special Anniversaries:
- Favourite Memory:
- Children (with ages):
- Best moment of the last year:
- Favourite thing to cook:
- Optional: If you’re doing it by hand you might also like to add stickers or patterned paper and use some cute pens
The story behind the post:
It was Christmas Eve, 2013 and I’m standing next to my Sister in her kitchen talking about dessert or whatever Sisters who are like chalk and cheese talk about. A song comes on the stereo in the other room and she gasps for just a second before realising that the song isn’t what she thought it was. She tells me that she thought it was our Mum’s favourite song, and in that moment, I realised that I never knew what her favourite song was, or all those other little things that no one bothers to document when you’re not a kid any more. She was gone too soon to ask and for me to learn.
I’ve thought about it for a while now, and I’ve realised that I want to make sure that’s not the case for any future babies I might have, or even just for my nieces and nephews. This isn’t meant to be a sad post, and it will cheer up exponentially in a moment, but sometimes you (I) need a dose of reality to kick start something you (I) might otherwise put off. It’s time to start making a ‘Me’ book – beginning with this first page.
(This is for the digital version I created)
Start by choosing the page size in your program of choice. I chose A4 in Photoshop, because that’s what I like to work in.
Next design your background. I decided on yellow spots (500px x 500px) and added them at random across the page.
Then I found a photo of me from my hard drive, opened it in photoshop, duplicated it (so that I didn’t accidentally damage or destroy the original), made it square and duplicated the layer into my A4 doc, and shrunk it to the size I wanted. I then added the stroke feature (the orange border – 16px outside). Then I dragged it to the position I wanted it on the page. You might prefer to just create the coloured box (or whatever shape your image is) and paste a photo onto it once it’s printed.
To the right of the image I added my age in the same orange as the border and added my Name below in Black in a different font. Here you can choose your own font choices. If you’re using an online service, note the font names down somewhere in case you’d like to use them again.
Then I chose my third font and added the questions from my questions list above. I also added the Date prompter to the top right. You can add any questions that you’d love for your children or future generations to know the answer to. These are just what I wanted to answer. I do think it’s important that you add a date, so they know when exactly you wrote it.
Once I was happy with the layout I printed it on white card stock (210gsm) and will fill out the answers in my handwriting later. I also saved a copy so that I have a basic template for next year.
Thoughts on the project:
It was really quick and easy to design and create using the computer. I think it would be easy enough to do with Canva or another online image service if you don’t have programs on your computer. It would also work well for those that like to scrapbook and do it by hand. You could even print it on to some patterned card stock if you preferred.
I think it will be really fun to see how things change over the years, and what stays the same. I know I’m hoping that my dream job and occupation become one sometime in the future!
You could make a whole book for yourself each year if you wanted to, but I think this is a great start! For those that don’t want to do the handwriting thing and would prefer not to print it themselves, you could collect the files on your computer and make them into a photo book that also includes each family member and your favourite photos of the year.
I know that I’m one to shy from the camera and have noticed that I’m missing from all the photo memories much too late, but I think this is a good way (and an important one too) to put ourselves back into the pictures and into the memories. So one day, a little kid (somehow related to you) will look through these and marvel at what they’re learning, rather than wondering what your favourite colour was and what you loved to cook more than anything else.
I think this is a good challenge, and one I hope to keep up. Maybe it’s one for you too.
Do you do anything like this? Is it something that you’d like to try? I’d love to hear.
Note: Learning that song from my Sister was a wonderful thing and a catalyst for this post. Sometimes it’s the bittersweet things that give us the wake up call that we are only now ready to take. This, as with all my projects is just a suggestion, and I don’t mean any harm in creating them. There might not even be a need for that sentence, but I wanted to put that out there anyway as talking about losing a loved one can unintentionally cause distress to others. x D