A Simple Way to Store and Preserve Children’s Art

Anne-Marie agreed with me about getting rid of stuff, but wonders what to do with her children’s artwork. I’ve wondered the same thing for awhile. And in typical perfectionist fashion, I’ve done more pondering than doing.

My children’s artwork is stashed in the desk drawer, file box, or craft closet.

The Young Artist by Marcello Febbo
The Young Artist

I planned to store current items in my desk, add a few photographs from the year, and put them all together in scrapbooks for posterity. It’s a good idea and a good plan, but it has yet to be implemented.

For me scrapbooking becomes all about the paper and color and layout. My craft time vanishes. I look at my accomplishment, one vibrant page with three photos displayed. Hundreds of images are left in the box.

The following tutorial inspired me with its simplicity at last year’s Heart of the Matter’s Online Conference. Kelli Crowe shows how a binder, page protectors, and stickers can be used to quickly store and preserve the memories of a school year.

I can do that! Anne-Marie, you can too.

How do you store your children’s artwork?

To Ancient Egypt and Back Again (Part 2)

Peanut butter sandwiches and apples filled our bellies outside of the Dallas Art Museum. After lunch in the outdoors, we entered the glass doors again. Seeing the King Tut exhibit was not enough. I wanted to get the most out of our tickets.

Alabaster Canopic Jars of Tutankhamun, King Tut, Egyptian Museum, New Kingdom, Cairo, Egypt by Kenneth Garrett

A few steps down the hall my children veered into the interactive area. My son used cardboard to make a miniature pyramid. My girls “sewed” with strips of cloth and pipe cleaners. I kept glancing towards the exit. There were paintings upstairs I longed to see. The elevator finally enticed my youngsters away from the messy tables. We sped to the top floor.

Sunshine asked if the enormous canopy bed belonged to King Tut. Only a staircase separated the centuries between gilded statues of ancient Egypt and ornamental wood from an American plantation; her confusion is understandable.

I pointed out a few painting by Benjamin West, and my son recognized the style of Mary Cassatt. Then Sunshine stopped at a painting of a lady in a purple dress. Her brother announced the lady’s name with beaming pride. It was his sister’s name. My little girl spun around, “Really, Mama? This is me!”

…in a Purple Dress

The maze of galleries lead us through Europe and the Orient. The couches beneath Monet invited, but my children were tired, and my watch proclaimed the time to meet our friends. A sigh escaped my lips as my troupe stomped downstairs.

I remembered the first time I stood transfixed under paintings previously loved in books. I was nineteen. My children are only ten, five, and three.

Perhaps one day we will stroll through the canvases reflecting on techniques and colors. For now, it is enough to have enjoyed our day gathering a few special memories.

photo credit: mharrsch

To Ancient Egypt and Back Again (Part 1)

Whispering, “It’s time to get ready,” was all it took for little girls’ eyes to open. A smile transformed their grimacing faces as short arms stretched above their ears. They bounced out of bed and quickly dressed in the clothes I’d laid out. Then I sneaked into my son’s room to rub his back. He smiled, too.

Munching the eggs and toast, the chatter never ceased:

“We’re going to Dallas!”

“What is at the art museum?”

“Is King Tut dead?”

“How long until we get there?”

“What’s Dad making for lunch?”

I knew Bug would enjoy the art museum, but my girls have the short attention span common to little ones. What could I do to help them enjoy the trek through artifacts centuries old?

King Tut- Dallas Museum of Art

I planned to print out pictures of various artwork at the museum and create a treasure hunt. My good idea is still just a good idea. It didn’t happen in the scramble to get ready.

Miniature books intended to hold the images were the only things completed and tucked into my children’s bags. Their discovery brought more questions and a bit of upset. Sweet Pea pouted, “I don’t want pencils.” After I explained the purpose, she slung the bag over her shoulder, and skipped to the van.

Photography was prohibited, but I wish I had a snapshot of my children sitting on the floor sketching ancient relics in their handmade books. Bug captured the map of King Tut’s tomb and a few hieroglyphics. Sunshine drew stripes of gold and onyx on the staff and flail. Sweet Pea colored spots on a cow’s head.

King Tut’s Name in Heirogylphics

In the crowded rooms, I interpreted the purpose of various objects. The princess chair brought gasps of awe and decorative canopic jars received quizzical glances.

The tour ended in a shop plastered with trinkets portraying ancient civilizations. We left with a simple postcard book, so my children can add the photos to their notebooks.

Matchbook Art Book

We haven’t studied Ancient Egypt, but Tutankhamun and The Golden Age of the Pharaohs was an impressive introduction.

My Taste in Art Surprised Even Me

I didn’t think I would ever post one of these time wasters quizzes, but I have learned not to say, “I will never do that.”

When I saw this at Andrea’s blog, the brushstrokes and color were irresistible. (I was trying to ignore the dirty dishes.) The result is surprisingly accurate. At least, I like to pretend it is. (grin)

What Your Taste in Art Says About You

You are Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.

People that like Impressionist paintings may not always be what is deemed socially acceptable. They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others.

They value friendships, but because they also value honesty they tend to have a few really good friends. They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others.

They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but shades of grey and muted colors. They like things to be aesthetically pleasing, not stark and sharp. There are many ways to view things, and the impressionist personality views the world from many different aspects.

They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences. If they are content in their life, they will more than likely be pleased to keep things just the way they are.

(They didn’t mention anything about being a grammar geek, but I qualify. I edited this for typos.)

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at Hello Quizzy.

Now I’m off to enjoy the art museum! We leave too early in the morning to discover King Tut’s tomb. I’ll let you know how it goes when we get back. I’m hoping a few simple ideas will keep my little girls busy and quiet.

Autumn Craft Collection

Collecting seeds in the woods resulted in imaginative creations.

My son designed a pine cone bird with a sweetgum head.

Pine Cone Bird Craft

My daughters made acorn dolls with green hair and silk flower dresses.

Acorn Fairy Craft

On our next adventure, we hope to gather leaves. Last year the leaves rotted brown. If the rusty patinas are missing again, we will make our own color with these crafts:

Next on the agenda, haircuts.

Sunshine and Sweet Pea

What are you creating this season?