I have vivid childhood memories of the excitement I felt when I had a blank piece of paper and the liberty to cover that canvas with anything I chose. I never became a great artist, but I do remember how proud I felt when I could finally draw figures that actually looked like something! I see the same gleam of excitement in the eyes of my almost-five-year-old girl, when she has a crayon in her hand. So, like many parents, I cherish my children’s art work and as I’ve mentioned before, it is displayed all over the house in various ways. We spend a lot of time coloring and drawing and on many occasions, the entire family gets in on the act.
I have experimented with numerous ways of preserving their art, while at the same time, trying to reduce the clutter it can create. For the most part, we keep a notebook of some special pieces, and the rest are scanned into the computer and turned into photo books, ordered from websites such as Snapfish and Shutterfly. But recently, I decided to take it to the next level and create something that would do the job of displaying and preserving all in one. The joy of creating it (hers and mine) was half the fun!
Here is a piece of art that was drawn a few months ago and was scanned into the computer. (Obviously, she did not draw the flowers border…those were already part of the paper).
I printed the image onto printable fabric and sewed it onto another piece of fabric that would soon become a pillow case. Then, using a hoop to hold it in place, I traced the image with embroidery floss. (I am new to embroidery, so don’t look too closely.) The process of guiding my needle over each line that she created gave me a peek inside her creative little mind. It forced me to study that piece of art, down to every last detail. I remember her saying that this picture was of Dad, herself and her little sister (from left to right). Notice, her sister has 6 arms. Or are those legs? Hmmm….
It is amazing to me how much more detailed her art work has become in just a matter of a few months, which makes me appreciate the necessity of “capturing a moment” even more. At this age, they are so fleeting. For example, here is an image she drew just a few weeks ago of a princess wearing a striped dress, matching shoes, crown and rings on her fingers!
As the years go by and the piles of school work begin to grow, I will no doubt come up with more ways to preserve these brief phases, but this pillow will represent her 4th year. And when she looks at it, she beams with pride.