Personally delivered to her front door by her best friend Fiona, Catriona Morgan couldn’t wait to unwrap the beautifully wrapped gift, tied with a pretty bow.
Excitedly unravelling the ribbon and sticky tape, she found two familiar faces peeping through the wrapping. Catriona could hardly believe her eyes – two adorable little peg dolls, that looked exactly like her and her lovely dad, Alan.
Tiny treasure, big surprise
Framed beneath a garland of cheerful bunting, the cute little characters were perfect mini-me versions of Catriona and her dad, who had passed away in July 2016.
‘ME and MY dad’ said the writing underneath, which made Catriona smile.
Even more special was knowing that pal Fiona Oldham, who supported Catriona throughout her dad’s cancer journey, made the portrait especially for her, inspired by one of Catriona’s favourite memories.
Oh! What I would do to go back to that moment
“I was so touched,” says Catriona. “Fiona’s quirky miniatures really captured my dad and what he meant to me. Not a day goes by without me thinking of him. I miss and love him dearly.”
A few years earlier, Fiona had also received a Mini-Me portrait from some special friends. Like the Mini Me portrait she gifted Catriona, it brought back happy memories.
Based on a photo of an unforgettable girls’ night out, it became especially poignant when one of the close friends in the happy picture sadly passed away.
“It’s always special to look back at that Mini Me picture and think of the incredible memories that day held,” says mum-of-three Fiona, who’s from Manchester.
“I just loved those little peg people. They were dressed just like us, and intricately painted with each of our personalities and individual features in mind.
“Oh! What I would do to go back to that moment.”
A few months later, Fiona wanted to buy a Mini Me portrait for a family member, but was disappointed to find out that the original manufacturer was no longer making them.
“So I decided to take on the challenge of making them myself,” she smiles.
Fiona discovered she had a real gift for turning plain little wooden pegs into characters that somehow exactly capture someone’s expression or personality.
Soon, a dedicated workspace in her home was filled with pots of colourful paint, brushes, craft materials, picture frames and wooden pegs.
It’s known as Mum’s Space by her family and it’s where Fiona captures other people’s memories to order, in unique Mini Me scenes.
* Mini we are family*
Every Mini Me portrait she creates is inspired by a photograph sent to her of a much-loved person, often capturing fond memories of a special time together.
“Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do or how to feel when you lose someone close to you,” says Fiona
“But I think a Mini Me can remind us of happy times. It’s lovely to see the look on people’s faces when they see the details of the Mini Me and can see themselves and their loved ones in the little figures.
“There are usually a few tears too” she smiles.
Fiona, left, and Catriona
“Fiona has an uncanny knack of changing little wooden pegs into magnificent memories,” adds Catriona.
“My dad’s personal strength and family values always made him my ‘go-to’ person.
“At times when I think about the kind of advice he would have given me, I’ll look at our Mini Me portrait and think about what he might have said.
“Dad was a truly kind man, full of wisdom and at the same time had a great sense of humour. He would’ve chuckled at novelty of his little Mini Me.”
##Keeping memories alive – Fiona suggests:
Think of your loved one as often as you like
“Surround your home with personal reminders of your loved one.”
Remember the love they brought to your life
“Keep your happy memories alive in your heart.”
Share your heart
“Talk to your loved one, and talk about your loved one.”