Enjoying Your Child’s Art (Part 1)

Note: I nixed linky party this Friday in favor of blogging some of my efforts to display Rockstar’s art from school because it’s the weekend plus almost summer hols and I figured lotsa parents would be getting their kids’ art projects coming home… They also make good gifts for the grandparents’ homes…

The best thing for me was seeing Rockstar just so happy I was fussing with all his art the moment it arrived home yesterday.

Oh, was that too sappy?

Gimme sec. The second best thing was the art isn’t totally hideous. There now, sound more like me?

It doesn’t mean I’m not incredibly sentimental about Rockstar’s art. But we realists over here.

Me: Rockstar, what’s this one?

Rockstar: <like I’m stupid> A splat. 

Us… Real. Rockstar is not incredibly talented at art, but he’s my child and I want to put his art up. I’ve been putting effort into decorating our home with some of his stuff for some time now. This is how uh, “determined” I can get:

photo-1346   photo-1340

The above left was done by me with Rockstar when he was 2 years and a bit – all he did was splatter black paint onto a huge piece of paper. Then I folded it over and he had a lot of fun hammering on it to smear the paint. I cut out a small bit of the entire piece and framed it in an Indonesian hard wood HKD 600+ frame. The above set was something Rockstar brought back from baby school before he was even 2. We’d get all these odds and ends papers every other day and when I asked what these scraps were, he said “Grass”. So I put the ones he delivered the “grass” verdict on in a picture frame from Ikea with a date and title “Grasses – Multimedia by Rockstar” (they were done with poster paint, sand-on-glue, and chalks).

Maybe it’s because I went back to work and hit the ground running right after standard 2.5 month maternity (it had simply not occurred to me to do otherwise even though I sorely missed Rockstar – my career was everything to me, I grew up wanting my career to be everything to me). Maybe it’s because it took me 2.5 years to act on the fact once I had kids career was no longer my first priority. It wasn’t always easy to even realize that about myself because I had such different priorities before the kids.

Whatever it is, I am incredibly sentimental, I want to lovingly fill our home with stuff done by The Rockstars. Not some pretty thing that I know someone totally did for him. That attitude comes from back in baby school when we were told (too late) our helper did “everything” for him (and the teacher also another one, Y U No Say Anything til so late?)

A little help holding a paper steady is fine. It being done by someone who is too impatient to wait for a baby to figure how to do it himself, n-ot so much. So, there were times when toddler Rockstar appeared to produce suspiciously pretty stuff. I didn’t save those – I framed ones he could remember doing, the ones that got him excited when he looked at them again, even if they were simply activity papers.

On the other hand, would kinda be nice if we didn’t simply fill the apartment with scraps of paper that had a few lines and splats. Frames and other display units are totally your friends. Let’s see if “packaging” can make a difference :) Also, when some of your child’s art comes back nicely mounted or laminated from school, or well, because your child is older now and has actually been taught to draw something halfway nice :D

So fast forward a few years and I’m still on the framing memories kick. Except what I get to work with just keeps getting so much better. 

Dis is a piece of styrofoam Rockstar says he had a LOT of fun doing in school

Dis is a piece of styrofoam Rockstar says he had a LOT of fun with in school – it came home carefully wrapped in newspaper and tucked in a small compartment of his bag – NOW I know what all the little pockets on his bag are for!

Dis is what he used it for.

Dis is what he used it for.

I picked this first in the post because Rockstar had been coming home talking about making these for several days and telling me to look out for it. So I did.

Dis is ART.

Dis is what I’m using it for. Base metal frame HKD 290 from Tequila Kola. Bonus: I didn’t even need a black mounting board, just turned around the piece of backing that came with the frame…

The one below is in what was supposed to be a house key box, i.e. you hang keys and things on the pins and the glass case has a door on hinges – snapped it up immediately at Indigo, to hang Rockstar’s Art Of The Day; but I loved the picture below so much it’s probably gonna stay in there for awhile.

Someone in school meticulously cut this out and put it on black sugar paper

This came home from school meticulously cut out and mounted on black sugar paper – LOVES! It’s still totally your child’s art, but it looks SO much nicer on display!

Why not. <sheepish> We just put the HKD 25,000 contemporary art print by famous Chinese Painter Kings’ clients gave us into storage, to make room.  (They really don’t mind la, more important we make em money.) But well since we’re putting the erm, “proper” art into storage, we kinda appreciate when someone takes the trouble to save the kids’ art nicely for us to display. Can you imagine someone having to cut thirty of these things per class, per picture, so it comes home looking a little prettier?

Ditto this one.

Ditto this one.

I have actually changed the frame on the one above several times, as I’m deciding where to put it. Rockstar drew this when they were growing bean sprouts (i.e. taugeh) and were learning what plants needed in order to grow.

This was the look I was going for; pic from kaboodle.com

This was the look I was going for; pic from kaboodle.com.

Who knows, maybe someday I will have saved one plant painting, per primary school year! (yikes, and per child! We need a bigger apartment!)

And here are a couple more things we did:

"Before" pic

“Before” pic

HKD 95 tumbler from Starbucks. I even got a free Tall Caramel Machiato worth HKD 33, so technically this stunt cost HKD 62 and Daddy gets a gift for the office:

Free coffee when you buy the tumbler

Free coffee when you buy the tumbler

Ta-raaa! Smug Rockstar holding Kings' new coffee mug. It's possible I forgot to tell Kings this morning he has a new coffee mug.

Ta-raaa! Pleased Rockstar holding Kings’ new coffee mug for work. It’s possible I forgot to tell Kings this morning he has a new coffee mug.

And this is the cat styrofoam stamp - took out the paper backing; but I think I'll go see if Ikea makes the same frame in black instead...

And this is the cat styrofoam stamp – took out the paper backing; but I think I’ll go see if Ikea makes the same frame in black instead…

Added bonus: Rockstar gets really thrilled with this stuff. And remembers the fun he had making it in school. I have art that reminds him of important lessons he’s learnt, around the apartment.

And- and - Little Miss got to touch (and taste) some of the art too!

And- and – Little Miss got to touch (and taste) some of the art too!

There now, that’s the kids’ pics for the weekend. Hope you have a great time with your child’s art!

Oh, then I bought a shell-inlay box from Tree (HKD 595) to put the baby's hair clips and things and display next to this frame

Oh, then I bought a shell-inlay box from Tree (HKD 595) to put the baby’s hair clips and things and display next to this frame

ps: Obviously there’s a part 2, when I manage to finish up….

 

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About Aileen

I blog about living and raising my son in Hong Kong - where toddlers have entrance interviews, parents keep test score spreadsheets, private school debentures can trade for more than half a million USD. Raising Rockstar's the most important thing I'll ever do. We show our true colors by the choices we make in bringing up our children. My blog is a message to my toddler son, about what the world and his parents are like today - for when he becomes a teenager and knows everything.
Posted in Rockstarisms | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 comments
  • mun

    Have a nice weekend!

  • mun

    Very nice! How come you have all these suitable frames lying around in the house? Did you prepare them beforehand to welcome Rockstar’s art home? :)

    Ditto goes for Starbucks create your own tumbler. When you buy it, did you know that you are going to put Rockstar’s art in it?

    • http://raisingrockstar.com Aileen

      Thanks for the encouragement and you have a good weekend too… I always have a few frames lying around the house because I frame lots of kids’ pictures and things, so can always change them around… But that day I’d gone to Ikea with another mummy friend earlier because we knew the kids’ art would be coming home sometime this week…

      As for the other ornamental frames / shell box like the big metal one (plus another shell inlay one I haven’t put up yet), it was because I finally, finally managed to totally stop pumping milk this week and in anticipation of packing up the pump I wanted to treat myself to a prettied up bedside table because for a year it has been breastfeeding pads, pump, wipes….. So I’d already been scouting round for stuff…