Does your family have favorite sayings or expressions? It might be a funny Mom-ism or “Daddy always said…” that rattles around in your brain. It may make you laugh (or cry) and think “Oh my gosh, I’ve become my parent!” Keep your sense of humor and perk up your ears about those quips/jokes/family expressions. They make fantastic fodder for memory photo books with a charming mix of serious and humorous.
Quotes are one of my favorite parts about developing personal histories. I listen for the words and favorite stories clients enjoy recalling. I’ll watch faces, listen to voices, feel the emotion behind the memories. These words that are then gathered into marvelous “pull quotes” in their book. These are the words family members flag, dog-earing the page so they can find it quickly. They bring laughter, almost always start a “remember when…” session and sometimes cause a few tears. They stir emotion, the hallmark of a good story.
Working for the second time with a lovely client in Santa Fe, involved finding the perfect bit of text to accent her collection of family letters in Dear Sis…WWII Letters. I love the satisfaction of getting this just right when the author reads their book draft and says, “Oh, how did you know? That’s perfect!”
It’s all about listening with your heart.
Here’s a unique gift idea you can make yourself:
Family quote book—gather the pithy, the goofy, the advice or unique sayings of your family members. You can craft a handmade version, work one up on the computer or use an online service like Shutterfly. It’s easy to find coupons that make them quite affordable and the end product is stunning.
Gather up 20-30 of these memorable quotes, phrases, jokes or expressions; mix it up to really express the variety that is your unique family or focus in on one person. Select a photo from your family collection to illustrate each quote. Then, artfully place the photos and quotes to best showcase each. Probably one image per quote is a good guideline, but you might do a simple collage on a few pages for visual variety.
Here’s a few of my favorite partial quotes from some of my client’s books. (Author’s initials are at the beginning) They make you want to read the rest of the story, don’t they?
DM, Dear Sis…WWII Letters (available on Amazon):
“He lettered the nickname Gadgen across the side”
“…a person lives with his memories to a great extent”
DM, Strong Threads:
I had been impacted by the history that flashed across my young life.
He really fell in love with my horse.
BR, This is My Story and I’m Sticking to It:
It was the custom to send the three little boys to the movies on Sunday afternoon. December 7, 1941 was no different.
It was the first time in their life they had electricity for Christmas.
G & C R, Memories:
Forget the Doctor’s office, go to the hospital!
Do Not stick your hand in there, they are very aggressive!
I used to like camping but the Army kind of spoiled me in that.
BH, The First 90 Years
We stacked our mattresses on the truck and sat on top down Highway 66 and we got off in Scottsdale, Arizona.
G, Gallegos por Vida:
All the children went to school barefoot.
Once the shoe went flying it was time to wrap it up.
Quote books make beautifully memorable gifts, try creating one and give it to someone you love this Christmas or at their next birthday. Once you make one you’ll be hooked on the idea. You’ll be creating a uniquely piece of memorable art that they’ll treasure and enjoy.
Coming up next week- a peek behind the scenes on a personal history project!
Thanks for reading,