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Curating for the young artists of the family

Among all the titles bestowed you at the onset of parenthood, curator is both a beloved and exhausting title for me. I love folding teeny-tiny (and now, not so teeny-tiny) sweaters, t-shirts and spiderman undies straight from the dryer. Hot and freshly scented with fabric softener, I neatly stack the clothes into piles and love feeling accomplished at the task. However, I occasionally look at the ever-growing mountain of laundry and wonder, when did we become a 5-6 loads of laundry a week family vs. a 2-3 load per week family? Probably somewhere along the point we became a dozen and a half eggs a week family vs. a dozen.

I can easily take over a 100 photos of our family a month, and delight in capturing our little people, but then I feel frozen with the task of archiving all these photos. Do I print them? Should I put them together in a book? One book for each child or one book for all? After much paralysis, I finally printed 18 months worth of photos last month and organized them neatly in old-fashioned photo albums… you know the kind with the plastic inserts and actual photos. Crazy right?

And, then the artwork… let me just say, the creative and collector in me loves all the adorable, fun art projects that come home from school, daycare and the grandparents. However, the tired pregnant lady in me looking at the overflowing boxes I have neatly labeled “Jack” and “Jamison” with artwork for the last year or two was feeling a bit overwhelmed with what to do with it all.

So, last weekend I finally tackled this curator job for the young artists of the family.

The benefit to doing this once a year or so (okay, okay, I was more than a year behind) is that you have enough of a stash you can truly weed out the artwork into 2 categories: pieces to be recycled and pieces needing some kudos!

Saturday morning I pulled out each of the boy’s boxes and the boys and I looked through them.

Then, I scanned each of the pieces to our computer as jpg’s. I combined some of the smaller images and ended up with about 30 scans for each boy. I originally printed each of the images as contact size (1″ x 1.5″) and that was pretty small, so then I went back and printed my favorites as wallet size (about 2″ x 3″). That size ended up being just right for the size mat board I had.

Also, now I don’t feel guilty recycling the majority of these original pieces because I have an electronic copy. I saved the best of the best “originals” for their books. When they are little, there is nothing like their actual handprints to scale masquerading as elephants or spiders and the like.

Once the images were printed, I cropped them with my paper-cutter, arranged them on some mat board I found at a thrift shop last year and attached them with double-sided tape. Of course any frame or board would do, I was just trying to use what I already had. The total project took about 2 hours. One hour to organize and scan the artwork and then an hour to crop and arrange on the board.

The boys are quite proud of their boards and I love how colorful and graphic they turned out. I promised the boys we would hang each of their art boards up in their new shared room… once it was actually done.

Here are a couple of other fun ways to display kid’s art I found to inspire the curator in you.

Courtesy of Sawdust Girl
Courtesy of Sawdust Girl
Courtesy of Just Another Hang Up
Courtesy of Just Another Hang Up
Courtesy of Simply Organized
Courtesy of Simply Organized
Courtesy of Young House Love
Courtesy of Young House Love
Courtesy of Simple as That
Courtesy of Simple as That
Courtesy of Paislee Press
Courtesy of Paislee Press
Courtesy of the Caterpillar Years
Courtesy of the Caterpillar Years
Courtesy of Little Moth Design
Courtesy of Little Moth Design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Monday and happy curating friends!