Mini Me

I have always been fascinated with photos from my childhood. The blonde haired, cheeky faced girl with the sturdy thighs (‘big Buddha’ is what my husband will tell you – I prefer the term ‘healthy’) fascinates me.
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I have always been fascinated with photos from my childhood. The blonde haired, cheeky faced girl with the sturdy thighs (‘big Buddha’ is what my husband will tell you—I prefer the term ‘healthy’) fascinates me. It is me…but yet ‘she’ remains somewhat of a mystery. I want to know her. I want to go back in time and observe her. I want to capture every element.

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Unless any of you readers have recently designed a time machine and want to let me know about it—this won’t be happening. I can’t go back in time to visit myself as a kid. I can’t hear my voice or peek inside my 5 year old mind. But I can celebrate and visit my childhood in another way. Yep, you guessed it right—I can scrapbook my childhood!

A procrastinator from way back, this is a concept I have been putting off for some time. I figured that the stuff I remember now about my childhood would surely not be going anywhere, would it? But having recently given birth to my second baby I’m beginning to realize those memory and brain cells actually might not come back…

It’s also fun for the soul to step away from creating pages about your kids or travels or pets for a little while and take a trip down good old memory lane. Journal keeping and recording family history is important to me, and by creating my own childhood scrapbooks I am preserving pieces of myself, and my history for future generations.

Being the first child born to my parents I was of course the object of a lot of photo taking. Mum didn’t want to miss a moment of my cuteness (do you blame her?) and for this I am so grateful—I have an abundance of pictures to work with, jolt my memory and help catch a glimpse of who that little munchkin was.

I know that not all of you will be as fortunate as me to have such a sea of pictures to scrapbook (although prying them away from my mother is not an easy task!) for whatever reasons. As one of 7 kids, my husband Mick didn’t even get a picture of him taken until he was at least 11 months old, and between then and the time he met me (and my camera!) they are few and far between. Don’t let a lack of pictures discourage you. There are still stories to be told, memories to be written down, keepsakes to treasure and fun to be had. Not every scrapbook page needs a photo on it!

If the thought of creating a childhood album seems a little overwhelming, a great place to start is with a mini book (you know how I love those!). Make it random memories, or pick a theme such as birthdays, holidays, friends, and favorite activities as a child. Keep it simple and fun. Or start an album dedicated to your childhood (I started a 9x9 album as I find this a fun and easy size to work with). Something simple that you can add random memories and photos to when the inspiration strikes. There is no reason for it to be chronological. A lot of my pictures are without dates on them, I have no idea when they were taken! I find a fun picture and document it, or think of an aspect of my childhood that I want to preserve—then look for a photo to go with it.

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I also love to gather pictures of myself (or my husband) as a child and compare them to my own children right now. My new baby has been wearing some old jumpsuits that were my own, my 4 year old plays with my old cabbage patch kids and reads my old books. Looking back at old photos of myself, then taking a similar picture of my own kids is so much fun, and I’m sure they will love it too when they are older! {See below for a page I made with a photo of my husband as a kid, and our daughter—the likeness is uncanny!} Even if you don’t have pictures you could create a page comparing your childhood to your own child’s…games, foods, fashion, music, the cost of items etc.

Scrapbooking is all about telling the story, preserving the memories and expressing yourself artistically. What better way to have some fun with this than to pay tribute to your inner child? Make some time for yourself this month and dust off the old photographs and memories. You’re worth it!

—Emily J

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