Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Letters to My Daughter

It's been more than a week since my daughter's fourth birthday, so I figured I ought to go ahead and write her annual birthday letter before I forget. I try to do this for each child each year around their birthday. That way even if I get no scrapbooking done at all (unlikely), I'll at least have the annual letter covering the year's high points.

I got most of the idea for this project way back a long time ago in Splitcoast's Fan Club gallery. In September 2004, "Dirty Girl" Melanie Muenchinger (melmel on SCS), posted something very similar. (Sorry, I can't include a link to it, because the Fan Club is for SCS members who support the site with a small annual donation. If you're a Fan Club member, check it out. If you're not, subscribe! :D)

Melanie got the idea from another home party company that focuses on preserving heritage. The concept is that you write the child a letter each year on his or her birthday, then shortly before the 21st birthday, you begin giving him or her the letters, one at a time, ending with the final letter at 21.

Now the birthday letter idea wasn't new to me, but the whole "packaging" part was. I know myself well enough to realize I'll have a much better chance of being a faithful letter writer if I have a pretty little box and matching cards. Melanie's execution of the concept was absolutely phenomenal, and it stuck in my head and rattled around for a year before I did anything with it. Then, a couple of years ago, when the altered lunch tin was so hot, I knew it was the perfect container for this project, and I was finally inspired to make one.

I heeded Melanie's advice not to make it too babyish, since my daughter will be an adult when she gets the letters. I figured I couldn't go wrong with florals, but I still didn't want the traditional pinks and purples. Blue and black might seem like an odd choice for a girl and for flowers, but I really like how it came together.

The biggest change I'll probably make is to keep writing letters into their adult years, or at the very least, wait until well past 21 before I hand them over. Sorry, I just don't think most 21-year-olds have the maturity to know the value of something like this! Maybe I'll give them their letters after they have children of their own.

The biggest fear I have is that this will be "ugly" in another 15-20 years! You know, like the avocado appliances of the 70s? Most of my stamping projects from as little ago as two or three years, even those that were my absolute favorite, now seem dated. I have considered just making something "current" each year. That way the cards can grow and change with the child. And I may still do that. It's just that for now, I don't want the whole "first I've gotta make a card" to be yet another reason to procrastinate at letter-writing time :) Know thyself ... ;)

Anyway, I hope you enjoy today's project, even if I am posting something from two years ago!

Supplies (all Stampin' Up, unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Looks Like Spring
Inks: Bashful Blue, Basic Black, Barely Banana
Paper: Bashful Blue, Basic Black, Barely Banana, Whisper White
Accessories: black gingham ribbon, Spring Bouquet punch, lunch tin (from Provo Craft)


My Paper World said...

very sweet idea!

Maren said...

What a great project! Thanks for sharing!

Tracy said...

i have heard this idea but i dont think i've seen a lovelier box for the letters :-) i dont see how in years to come it will be dated miss. its a good classic look and i think its a great choice on the colors (course i'm partial to those). what if she hates pink/froufrouey stuff? even if she loves pink etc she will love this because you made it for her and thats a kind of beauty that is timeless :-)

June Houck said...

This is a wonderful idea! I love your tin and I doubt this will seem out-of-date in 20 years...or ever. Very classic looking and pretty!

Melissa said...

What a fabulous idea!