B's wonderful birthday party was last night. There were 40 people, all relatives, except for me and one other friend—a great celebration. B is one of my best friends for 50 years, at least. I wanted to bring a present, but we 70 or 80 year olds don't need much. She certainly didn't need another chachkie. One day, while I was pondering this question, we talked on the phone about roladexes and keeping track of people's addresses. B mentioned that she wanted a birthday book—a kind of diary where you entered the birthdates of friends and relatives–popular during our girlhood and earlier Victorian times.
There was my solution: make a birthday book. I emailed B's son asking for pictures and birthdates and he contacted the rest of the family. Sometimes it was like pulling teeth, but most were wonderfully cooperative. Once I got all of the photos and information, creating the book on the computer was relatively easy. Then I had to select and acquire the paper I wanted to print on and make all the decisions about the binding. I knew that B loved grayed green colors so I chose an olive green text weight paper. The book is 5.5 inches wide by 6.5 inches deep. I printed two pages on each side of 8.5 by 11 inch sheets, then trimmed and folded the sheets in three page signatures. Each signature was then wrapped in a translucent sheet with roses printed on one side and another piece pasted with double-sided tape to form a pocket for additional photographs. There are four signatures with a total of 48 pages, not including the translucent pockets. The first 12 pages have family pictures and info. The remainder have the month names heading each page with lines for names and space for photos. I made two books, giving the second to B's sister with some modifications.
The books are covered with a handmade (no, I didn't) paper with ferns and rose petal incorporations.