March 8, 2008

Altered Bag Book For Mom Part 1

I made this gift for my wonderful mother year before last. It took a few months, but was well worth it. I think of all the things I have ever made, this is the one I am proudest of. I am sorry for all of the pictures, but I really want to share how much of my heart I put into this.

My mom never really had a "baby book". My grandmother took lots of pictures that were in a huge box. I used to sit with her for hours and go through all of these pictures and hear the stories behind them, the stories of her life. Gosh how I miss hearing those stories over and over again.

One year, my grandmother and I spent time going through these, while I wrote info on the back of many in this huge box. Unfortunately I wasn't knowledgeable at the time of acid free products. During one visit, I went through the hundreds of photos while holding a video camera, you know the big one's that people first had that you had to hold on your shoulder? At times, she would come in and sit with me and talk about the pictures with me. It was so important to me to have this information about those beloved pictures. She wouldn't let me video tape her, but I do have her melodic voice.

On the evening that my grandmother passed, at the very hour, I was sitting at home watching that very video tape. I was celebrating her life the very moment it was taken away. I will always be heartbroken and miss her, but I was also relieved that she wasn't going to suffer anymore. I know what a beautiful place she is in and that I will see her again one day.

Many years after her death, my mother finally trusted me to those very pictures. My grandmother always wanted me to have them after she passed away, but understandably, my mother could not let go of them. Imagine my joy when I was finally able to look through those pictures again. I am still scanning them for my family, so that we can all have a copy like I promised my grandma I would.

While going through these pics, I found a few of my mother in a small scrapbook. They were attached with tape, so I knew they needed to be remounted in a less damaging way. When I removed the pictures, I saw my grandmother's handwriting on the back. Words that had not been read in almost 70 years (sorry Mom). It was a treasure found. We never knew that my grandmother called my mom "baby Lynn" and we were able to read the comments she made about her new baby girl.

I knew I had to make a book for my Mom. At the time, I was really into making paper bag books. I needed some huge bags for this project, and a lot of them. I made copies of both the front and back of each photo I used so that my mom could see her own mother's wonderful words.

I researched for weeks and found pictures of items that my mom might know from her childhood. My dad helped with this part. Different characters at the time, or yummy treats and products. I found loads of these items and printed pictures of them to collage into my masterpiece.

Below is my book for mom along with the box I made to keep it in. Be sure to see part 2 in the post before this. I hope that it inspires you to make a gift for your own.


Kathy~Vintage Snaps & Scraps said...

Wow, this is a huge project! So many nice memories...I bet it was well worth it. Good job!

Tracye said...

My, oh my! That is the most beautiful scrapbook (although that term doesn't nearly describe it!) I have ever seen!

Words fail me.

Summer Gypsy said...


Absolutely awesome!! What a priceless gift!


Abbie said...

I think it is a fabulous gift that you gave your mother! She must adore it!
Hope your weekend was wonderful!
:) Abbie

Sherry ~ Cherie ~ ms. herbes de provence said...

No wonder this took you time to put together -- a labour of love --she must be over the moon about this!