By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Home Crafts, Kids Crafts, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Monday, May 14, 2012
I have been meaning to have my kids do some artwork that I could frame for quite sometime. I finally decided this would be the week, no more putting it off.
My initial plan had been to let the kids use finger paint to create a painting on scrapbooking paper (or any paper that is acid free so that it won’t yellow over time) and then to let it dry and frame it for the wall. However the homemade finger paint that I attempted to use was too thick I came up with a “plan B”. I went to Target and purchased a frame with a mat. I opened up the frame, removed the mat and allowed them to paint it any way that they wanted to with their crayola paints. It was fun to see how great they both turned out even though they were so different!
We allowed the mat to dry and then I marked it with their name and date. Then I chose a recent photo of them and placed it in the mat and put it back in the frame. The end result turned out really awesome. I love that I have both a personal art piece but I also see how old they were at the time that they created it! I decided that they turned out so well that I purchased another frame for them to paint as a gift for my moms birthday. An idea like this could also be fun as a class gift to a teacher (each child could add a few fingerprints or brushstrokes) with the class photo enclosed. If you have additional ideas, please share and feel free to pin this post on Pinterest!
By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Home Crafts, Kids Crafts, Organize Me!, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Monday, April 30, 2012
Last week I shared 7 steps to organizing your child’s art. Now I want to share a fun way to display your child’s art.
(Total cost for this project is less than $30.00)
1) Start with a magnetic strip from The Container Store.
There are several sizes and styles but the exact one that I got was the Mighty Magnetic Strip ($12.99). IKEA has something similar intended for kitchen knives however they look to be a little thicker (I like how thin the Mighty Magnetic Strip was). There are some magnetic boards from IKEA that look to be nice and thin like mine is and the price is good too starting at $7.99.
2) Create your own custom magnets.
The strip that I bought comes with some very small, very powerful magnets. However, because of the danger of magnets around children, I opted to make some larger ones. To do this I found some family photos with smaller face images. I cut the images into small squares and glued them to thin cardboard (such as a cereal box) to give them some added strength. Finally, I glued the images to my magnets. You can find more detailed instructions on making homemade photo magnets on a previous post from our blog. Keep in mind that children’s art can be heavy so choose strong magnets (think construction paper with glued on lentil beans).
3) Add some vinyl lettering.
I wanted to make this area of the wall look intentional and give it some additional “pop” so I ordered custom vinyl lettering from Expressions By Elle. I have ordered from Chauntelle in the past and have found her to be very easy to work with. We emailed back and forth as she sent me examples with different fonts, colors, layouts and sizes for me to consider. Although places like Target and Kohls are now starting to offer vinyl lettering, I love that I could create my own quote and specify the exact size and font for my project (PLUS I love supporting other work at home moms)! Even better is that the overall price was about $14.00 which is at or below what I have seen at the big box stores.
4) Put it all together!
The final look is fun and “organized” while still being totally flexible. The “art” can be displayed and then rotated as often as you like and when you are done, the art can go into your art bin!
When Hunter saw the finished “art wall” he said, “MOM, you put a tattoo on the wall??!!”
Total project cost:
Magnetic strip: $12.99
Vinyl lettering: $14.00
Magnets: simply the cost of the photos (less than $1.00)
Total: just under $28.00
If you don’t already have a system for displaying your kid’s artwork, I hope you are inspired. Next week Monday I will share an alternative idea that I am using in another location in our home that I think you will also enjoy.
How do you store or display your kid’s artwork? If you liked this idea, consider pinning this post on Pinterest!
By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Organize Me!, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Monday, April 23, 2012
Kid’s art work is a fun bonus of having kids. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some tips and ideas on how I keep my kid’s art work from taking over our home. Some of these tips have been shared in the past. However, last year when we switched from TypePad to WordPress for our blog a lot of images got deleted. I have spent some time updating those posts with new images and hope you don’t mind revisiting this topic again!
Perhaps you have a little Picasso in your home, art work is created, amazing, priceless pieces of art, one after another. . . at some point you have to decide exactly WHAT you are going to do with it. I am both a minimalist (I have no problem de-cluttering) but I am also sentimental. Here is what I did to create harmony between those two seemingly incompatible personality traits:
1) Each time my kids create some art one of two things happen. Those that are not going to be kept get recycled in the trash (DEEP in the trash where they hopefully will not discover it “Oh my! How in the world did THAT get in there?” is my standby response). Those that we wish to keep get labeled with their name and date on the back.
3) When the art comes down from the art wall, I scan them into my computer (I have a ScanSnap and LOVE it for the art that is not 3 dimensional) or take a photo of them.
4) I have a folder on my computer for each child dated with the year so as soon as I scan the art I can save it in the correct place. This is one of the most important steps for me because it makes all the difference at the end of the year which you will see in a moment.
4) At this point we pick out a friend to gift it to, use it for gift wrap or I put it into one of a few a manilla envelopes pre-addressed (ideally) to one of the grandparents. Once the envelope has a few pieces inside we send it on its way. You could also simply email the scanned copies to family members if you wish to skip this step.
5) At the end of the school year, I upload the images from that year to a company such as MyPublisher and create a digital book with the photos I uploaded. If I have done a good job of filing the art into the right folder on my computer this task is SO MUCH easier!
6) I order a copy of the book and send the digital version of the book to grandparents for them to view for free.
7) Enjoy the artwork for years to come!
Below is the front cover of the book we did of Hunter’s art last year. It was the first time I did this project. I labeled it and added the date.
The inside pages are a mix of both art and photos from his school year.
There are several benefits of organizing my kids’ art this way. First, we are creating a book of THEIR work. It is a special book that they enjoy looking at again and again and are proud to show friends and family. Secondly, we are blessing others with their art by sending it on. Third, we are keeping our home free of “extra” stuff while also placing value on their art. Fourth, we have a back up should the book get damaged that we can easily order another. I enjoy scrapbooking so this format also makes it easy to print of physical prints of their art for layouts or I can tuck their “art book” in a pocket page.
What do you do with your kid’s art? Any other ideas to share? Have you used sites other than MyPublisher that you would recommend? Stand by for more ideas to come next week when we talk about creating an art wall to display your kid’s masterpieces and if you liked these ideas, consider pinning this post on Pinterest!
By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Home Crafts, Kids Crafts, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Monday, March 5, 2012
I just finished making my third “art bookmark” and wanted to share the process for those of you who may enjoy this unique and creative way to turn your child’s work of art into a useable gift. Some of you may remember the instructions below that I originally posted in May of 2010.
Several years ago when my husband and I were house hunting I discovered something about myself. I have a hard time “envisioning” what could be without having something of inspiration to start with. Where he could look at a home and totally gut it and refinish it in his mind I had a hard time getting past the yellow carpet or ugly tile bathroom. BUT if you give me a home decorating magazine with photos of adorably decorated homes and let me look at the same home again I can totally strip down and redecorate it mentally. I need inspiration! But once I have it, just set me loose and I will run free.
This perhaps is why I enjoy reading so much. I love to be inspired by others who are doing something that I want to do better or learn more about. I previously showed you how to make a memory tree out of reporposed fabrics which was a craft inspired by Handmade Home Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures written by Amanda Blake Soule. This last week just before this book was due to be returned to the library, I was inspired by another project in this book–making bookmarks out of your children’s art. I know that I said the memory tree was my favorite project of all time but this one is pretty great too, maybe it is my new favorite !
What you will need:
-light colored fabric (the size depends on how many bookmarks you will make and what size you want them to be)
-felt for backing to your bookmark
-embroidery thread (the number of colors depends on your preferences)
-embroidery hoop (optional but very helpful)
-pinking sheers (optional)
-pencil or pen
-a budding artist
-sewing machine (optional)
-a ribbon or fabric scrap (perhaps some remaining fabric from your memory tree project or another outgrown outfit)
1) I started by cutting out my light colored fabric (3 inches across and 6 inches long). However I found that cutting it first made it a little hard to hold inside my embroidery hoop. In retrospect, it would have been easier if I would have cut out the fabric rectangle at a later step. So I suggest that you mark out the area that you plan to use for your bookmark with tape or a pencil line (in order to help your child know where to draw) and leave enough room around the edges of the bookmark for you to easily hold it within your embroidery hoop.*
2) After cutting the fabric with pinking shears (this creates a cute look and reduces fraying) I taped the edges down to the counter and let Ashlyn draw a portrait of me. I added the month and year at the bottom so I would remember when it was created. *As I mentioned above, I suggest you wait to cut the bookmark out until later in the project.
3) Once the image is drawn, place the fabric within your embroidery hoop and cover the lines of the image with your thread. I used about 3 strands of embroidery thread but using all the threads would have worked better to cover the pencil lines. (For those of you who may not know, embroidery thread is comprised of several threads twisted together. Depending on the project you may use differing numbers of threads.) Ashlyn had fun choosing which thread color I should use for different parts of the image. She also helped me pull the thread through the fabric. Depending on the age of your child, see which parts they can help with and involve them as much as you can. By the way, do you like my belly button:)?!
4) *This is the point in which I would suggest cutting your light colored fabric out using pinking sheers.
5) Cut your ribbon or fabric scrap in a strip that you can fold over so that both sides show the outside of the fabric. I cut my fabric strip about 1 inch wide and about 3 inches long before I folded it over. Again, I used my pinking sheers so that I wouldn’t have to hem the edges. I had some fabric glue so I used this to adhere the ribbon together between the two layers that were folded over but this is optional. (For my ribbon I used some left over fabric from one of Ashlyn’s outfits that I used for our family memory tree.)
5) Place your bookmark over your felt fabric and cut around the edge so that the felt is slightly wider than the top fabric. You may wish to pin these two fabrics together to prevent them from slipping before you sew them together. I will mention that at first I planned to adhere my bookmark to the felt fabric with fabric glue but found that this didn’t work well for two reasons. First, the bond wasn’t holding well for me and more importantly, the glue was showing through the light colored fabric which I didn’t like. Because this bookmark will be touched and handled a lot I think it is best to sew it anyway.
6) Sew your two fabric pieces together (I used a straight stitch) taking care to stitch the ribbon between your two fabric pieces at the top. If you don’t have a sewing machine you could sew this by hand using your choice of thread.
7) Step back and admire your work!
8) Grab a book and try it out! Here is the current parenting book that I am enjoying: Raising Your Children With No Regrets by Catherine Hickem.
9) Take a photo with your little artist and the project you made together!
For an alternate bookmark option that is super easy:
-Use some cardstock and allow your little artist to decorate it with stickers, stamps or a drawing.
-Add their name and the date.
-Cover it with some packing tape or laminate it.
-Punch a hole at the top and add a ribbon.
Both Hunter and Ashlyn have had fun making these simple bookmarks and sending them to friends and family in the mail with a handwritten note of hello. It is a great way to use up extra scraps of scrapbook paper!
In my opinion these bookmarks make a very special gift (perhaps for Mother’s Day coming up). They are personal, inexpensive and fun and will be treasured for years to come! I hope you feel inspired. . .
By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Sawyer's Story, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2011
How is it possible that after writing more than 65,000 words about the death of our infant son Sawyer that my vocabulary has seemingly dried up?
On this 3rd anniversary of his birth, I find myself at a loss for words. I grapple not only for words to describe my feelings, but for the feelings with which to attach my words. My heart has learned how to live with the loss. My mind has discovered ways of processing the pain and I feel secure in my weakness. I have found my strength in Christ. I recognize the inherent frailty of my earthly existence, which is magnified by the chalenge to invest my fleeting time in a deserving manner.
It is a daunting task: to live with intention–one that often haunts me. Not because I fear my days are limited, but because I fear that my potential may not be reached. I fear looking back and seeing missed opportunities and unreached potential.