I Have a Question

I have not done this before but I have a question that I would like a variety of answers to and it dawned on me this morning that you (yes, you) would be the perfect place to turn.  I know that many of you are the artistic, crafty type of people of whom I am secretly jealous.  And I imagine that there are several of you out there that also have the crafting gene but choose not to blog about it.  It is to you, the inspired, crafty, artistic, DIY people that my question is directed towards.  Although any input to get the creative juices flowing would be great.

If you have been following me for any length of time, you will know that my dad has Alzheimer’s.  This is not something I blog about much but I have put it out there a few times.  Today is the meeting with hospice.  Conversations flow about final wishes, cremation, obituaries, and my mom has shown an interest in hosting a small open house to celebrate his life.   I have been given the honor of writing my dad’s obituary and as I have been researching this and writing bits and snippets of prose about the amazing man that I am proud to call my dad, I had a thought.  I do not like guest books.

I do not like guest books; that is my thought.  I would like instead to have an old glass Ball jar and some strips of paper with fancy pens set out on a table for people to write a memory, a moment, a personal comment about my dad on and to place in the jar.  The problem is that paper rips.  Ink fades especially in creases and folds.

Guest Jar

So I ask of you:

What type of material would be best for people to write on and with what type of pen?  I have thought of spools of ribbon and sharpie pens but would it be easy to write on?  I don’t know.  I have this idea and would like it to become a reality but I don’t have the time or patience to go out and buy random types of fabric or paper to test what combination is the best.

Any thoughts?

About Shoes

I am an elementary school teacher, a former microbiologist, a mom to a herd of two boys, and a grilled cheese sandwich and beer connoisseur.
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12 Responses to I Have a Question

  1. sharpie is always great on acid free paper

  2. I love this idea. Unfortunately, I know little of preserving such things, but I look forward to learning from others’ responses. What a creative way to capture memories!

    • shoes says:

      Thank you. I was thinking having the jar with the strips of paper you can pour out and touch and move around would in someway be comforting. I hope I can put this together in time.

  3. renxkyoko says:

    You’ d need a big jar for this. I fancy pieces of bamboo paper , roll them then tie with small ribbons.

    Greetings from California.

    • shoes says:

      You are very right about the size, my jar is much too small. I will check out Amazon or if I have time the local antique stores for a larger one. I like your idea about bamboo paper with ribbons but know nothing about bamboo paper. Is there a certain type of pen that would write better on it than others?
      Thank you for your comment.

      • renxkyoko says:

        It looks like a regular paper but you can still see the “grooves” ? Any pen will do, but try not to use the ball point ones. You cannot find this kind at WalMart or regular stores,,,, only at specialty stores. Maybe at Amazon ? I saw a really big jar at WalMart though. ^.^

  4. Lisa W. says:

    I absolutely love the idea! What a wonderful way for people to share their memories! I am totally NOT crafty, but I used to be a teacher, so my only thought is this. Could you take them out of the jar after the service and have them laminated?? It’s not cheap, but you could have them laminated at Kinkos. Better yet, if you or a friend has access to a laminating machine at work (a school, church, etc.), you might be able to use that for free.

    • shoes says:

      Thank you for your thoughts on this. Laminating would be a good way to preserve the memories but may not look as pretty in the jar. Something to consider though. And if I used different colored paper strips that could make it look a bit nicer through the glass of the jar. Hummm.

  5. Jodi Stone says:

    My thoughts on this…pick up some acid-free paper http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid-free_paper and if you look at your local craft store you can pick up some archival pens which should work well with the paper. You can also pick up paper punches and punch out different shapes to write on.

    The other thought I had deviates from the jar,but uses index cards for people to write their memories on and then put them in a photo album where they can remain protected.

  6. Hetterbell says:

    I don’t really know what paper, although there are permanent pens. But one idea is that you could have people use regular pens and paper and then later spread the pieces out on a surface, cover them with clear self-adhesive film and cut between the pieces. It would be quite a quick process and it would not only preserve the writing but also keep the paper waterproof.

  7. Beth says:

    The memory jar is an excellent idea. My first thought was a mylar paper, the kind of stuff that some envelopes are made out of. Regarding pens, perhaps some acid free gel pens designed for scrap-booking would work. These come in a lot of different colors. One thing to watch for is the ink bleeding. For example, felt tip on ribbon may have a tendency to run, making any writing hard to read.

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