Genius idea #752 – The Alphabet Photo-book 10

December 10, 2014



I’m prone to ideas for projects that will take a lot of time to complete. Ideas so full of good intentions they should have their own girl guide badges. Projects that before I even begin I start wondering “Why?! Why am I doing this?” This one, an alphabet photo-book, was no exception. Here’s what happened (cue crazed moment of ENTHUSIASM FOR LIFE):


Hey! I could make a special photo-book of our holiday for the girls!


Yeah? Sounds simple enough.


I could print one copy each, for them, and one for Matt and I to keep!


The thinking with exclamation marks is worrying me.


Perhaps I could make it a bit different..?


Uh oh. 


I know! I could make it an ALPHABET photo-book!


Here we go.


Photos for each letter of the alphabet! And a little rhyme to match!


Please someone tranquilize this woman.


My rationale was that the alphabet format would help teach the girls letters and that they’d love, just luuuuurve, the little rhymes too. How hard could it be? How many letters are there in the alphabet? 24? Oh, 26? (I am the one that needs the help, not them, clearly) Surely it wouldn’t be too difficult to allocate 26 words to 26 letters, find photographs from our holiday that matched (that weren’t blurry or uninteresting and included lots of snaps of the girls themselves), AND create 26 mini poems to match??!? Pppffff. Piece of cake!


The other problem I have, other than a special talent for dreaming up time-comsuming projects, is that once I decide on a project being remotely possible my brain will nag and nag and nag until I have completed it. It is utterly relentless. I try to reason with my brain that I am much, much better at coming up with ideas than following them through. This is a well-evidenced fact. I add that I have little to no actual practical skills. Also well-documented. I’m lazy. I’m busy. I’m tired. I don’t want to. My brain refuses to leave me be. It says – You have opposable thumbs, you can physically do it, now DO IT!! 




(Dreaming, Scheming Brain + No Practical Skills + Relentless Internal Nag = Late Nights Spent in a State of Perpetual Frustration. The kind of equation always welcomed at this time of year, in the lead up to Christmas.)


Of course, all that said, when the project is finally complete (and I can go back to dreaming up more stupid ideas) the hours I spent on the last one seem to melt away from my memory. It’s like a newborn! All cute in the recalling and I forget just how long it took me, how frustrating and difficult it actually was. Because when it’s done it simply seems lovely. Despite all the flaws that make me whince. It’s done and now it’s a thing and would you look at that?


Unfortunately for me the girls don’t often “look at that”. The alphabet photo-book is not their favourite. They don’t mind it, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t love it in equal proportion to all the effort that went in. Which cracks me up. All that time and energy and pulling out of hair and they’re just “meh”?! I thought they’d at least love it for all the photos of their gorgeous faces but no, they’d rather use my iphone and take selfies, thanks very much. Matt nudges me and asks, yet again, “Why do you bother, babe?”, to which I can only shrug, unsure how to explain. The truth? My brain made me do it.


Never again.


(Until next time.)



Hannah x


P.S. I know I’m not the only one with this problem. Yes, you, up till 2am icing the Princess from a Disney movie cake / researching how to plumb in your own espresso machine / sanding wooden building blocks. I know who you are…


1 Ria Voros { 12.10.14 at 4:36 am }

I LOVE this idea! Yes, it sounds like a crazy amount of work and I’d make myself insane attempting it, but I LOVE IT! And by that I mean, I love that YOU did it. And really, I think your girls will love it when they’re older too. How can they not?

By the by…is this perhaps one of your procrastinating-from-writing tactics? Just askin’…

2 Hannah Tunnicliffe { 12.10.14 at 5:24 am }

Thanks Ria! Word nerds unite! We should start a blog…oh hang on… 😉
Actually not a writing procrastination tactic funnily enough. But definitely an unnecessary late night project when I should probably just go to bed. X

3 Amanda { 12.10.14 at 8:41 am }

Hanzy I love the alphabet idea! I made Tomas a book for his 1st bday and stupidly hand cut animals from cardboard and stick them down with glue and stickers! This is a far better option! While the girls don’t give it the right attention now they’re doing to loooove this with all of their hearts as they get older. Perhaps read it to their own kids. Xo

4 Hannah Tunnicliffe { 12.10.14 at 9:49 am }

Cutting and pasting old skool styles, Amanda! Go you! Yeah, these Littles are worth the effort I reckon. X x x

5 Jen Griffiths { 12.10.14 at 8:17 pm }

Cool idea, you are such a talented young lady! Totally get the dreaming, thinking “Yeah, I reckon I can do that,” and diving in……enthusiasm 1000% / actual skills ???. Many past projects that in the end, after much sweat and tears have all turned out totally cool. The receivers don’t notice the little quirks that aren’t quite perfect (I do due to my slightly OCD tendencies to achieve perfection). Current project, refurbish/upholstering an antique chair that was our great Grandparents, and making modern, cool and fabulous for my 4 year old niece. Her only request….pink & purple!

6 Hannah { 12.10.14 at 8:25 pm }

Jen, that is SUCH a cool idea! She will love it. I still daydream about lounge chairs my grandparents had and wish someone had saved and recovered them. A very special gift x x x

7 Jacqui { 12.11.14 at 2:13 am }

What a gorgeous book idea, and I agree with the others – they will come to cherish their special books when they are older. My brainwave this year was sewing together a big teepee for my sons room. Cue trips to numerous fabric, haberdashery and craft stores to find just the right materials, swearing at the sewing machine while adjusting the tension, and of course the ridiculous, “Mummy’s busy sweetheart just let her finish this, then we can play.” Then the guilt of neglecting him while i work on something ‘special’ for him that he may or may not even like.
Yep, very familiar with the crafty brainwave 🙂

8 Hannah Tunnicliffe { 12.11.14 at 5:27 am }

That’s so funny, Jacqui, a friend of mine has that exact same model of teepee in her lounge. Blood, sweat, tears, frustration and love in the very stitches! Our kids must surely learn from our dogged determination? X

9 Glenys { 12.29.14 at 6:27 pm }

The alphabet book is not only a wonderful personal idea but the finished article is absolutely amazing!. There is a third generation here receiving an enormous amount of joy from your efforts. Love watching you create heirlooms and traditions for your family, Love sharing the experiences with you, Love reading it to the littlies and Love having my own quiet reflection and read. A great idea with the added bonus challenge of rhyme. Now that was the icing, but ever so clever. X

10 Hannah Tunnicliffe { 12.30.14 at 6:10 am }

Naw, bless you Mama. Always wonder if the real magic of any journey is in the recollection? Somehow makes all the moments richer and brighter. A trip of a lifetime x x x

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