Sunday, 11 May 2014

Memory box for my Dad

My very lovely Dad died in 1994 aged only 57. My children and I still miss him and talk of him often and it is amazing how much some of my grandchildren resemble him, both in looks and characteristics.

I was thinking of him this morning and decided I wanted to make something that would represent him and I came up with the idea of a memory box. Each of the 4 sides of the cube represent a memory I have of him from when I was a child.

This side represents some of my earliest memories. Well before I started school my parents taught me simple card games and by the time I was 5 I could play some games with the adults when they were playing. These cards remind me of how much fun that was and how I was really advanced in mental maths when I started school, thanks to having to count in card games such as cribbage and order numbers in games like Brag. These 3 particular cards have extra meaning because my Dad was my King of Hearts when I was growing up and the 4 and 5 represent the day and month of his birthday, which are the same as mine, except reversed.

The second side is from when I was 8 or 9. When I was young my Dad was a milkman in rural Surrey and in the holidays I used to get up at 5am and go with him. I know that I used to go in the winter too, but in my memories the sun was always shining, the spring and summer flowers were out and my special job was to look out for rabbits so that Dad didn't run them over in the milk float! Half way around his milk round we would stop for a snack. He would always have a pint of milk and I, because I have always hated milk, would have orange juice and an apple pie

This is how I have chosen to represent those idyllic times - look closely and you might see the rabbit hiding in the flowers. For some reason I can't get this photo to turn the right way up :(

The third side is probably my favourite. My sister and I pretty much ran free in the holidays. My parents both worked and we would leave the house in the morning when they left and come home in the evening when they returned from work. Most of our time was spent in the woods near our home and in the abandoned plant nursery which was at the top of our road. We climbed trees, made camps and generally had a good time. One of the things I used to do, because it was not illegal back then, was collect birds eggs. My Dad, who had been brought up in the countryside too showed me how to blow them and he got an old cigar box from a friend for me to keep them in. I can still smell the cigar box and see the beautiful colours of the eggs. On the weekend he would sometimes take me to the woods, along with my little Observer, book of Birds, and we would look to see how many different types of birds we could find. The live int he moment band is really important too, as Dad had his first heart attack at 40, followed by several more and he always said that he needed to fit in as much life as possible.

The last of the four sides represents reading. My parents were both avid readers and my sister and I are too. I have included the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland as I can remember my Dad reading this to me before I could read for myself. I'm happy to say that I still love to read and so do my children.

The top of the box is very plain, and is simply a photo of my darling Dad and my eldest daughter, who was his first Grandchild. I have written all of my memories up and put them into the box, which I have now sealed. I started scrapbooking because I wanted my Grandchildren to have memories of me, but this way they will have my memories of my Dad too. It is also a celebration of my childhood and of the wonderful relationship I had with him.

I am going to enter the box into the following challenges:

A Vintage Journey - this challenge asks how the entry is inspired by Tim Holtz. All of the papers, which came from the French Industrial paper stash, for this box had a meaning, even though they have been covered up. One side had French stamps on. when I was about 10 I collected stamps and Dad bought me a really old French stamp album full of stamps which were all from before 1911. 8 still have it now. Another was of perfume bottles  and brushes. My Dad was always very well groomed and was quite vain about how he looked! Another side had something about Suchard Chocolate, which was his second most favourite chocolate. Bizarrely, KitKats were his favourite. And finally the fourth side had French writing on. We always used to tease my dad because he was called Maurice and had been named after an old French actor called Maurice Chevalier. The theme for the challenge is fond memories.

A Sprinkle of Imagination - this has the theme of "Anything Goes!