Capture the Memories
Both of my kids loved to draw and paint when they were small and I had a hard time tossing the hundreds of projects they made. When Eden was small, I thought it would be best to start a little “portfolio” to track her developing skills as an “artist” and her beginning writing skills. This allowed me to pick some of the best samples of her work and let go of the realms of other art projects without feeling guilty. Of course, I have done the same thing for Shay.
I titled the pieces when applicable and tried to date their work as they did it. I used an inexpensive 12″ X 12″ scrapbooking album. The cover of the books are canvas, but covered with a clear protective layer, so I was able to slide in my own title page for their art portfolios. The kids made handprints and I incorporated them into the title page on the cover. The books are post-bound albums and allow for expansion of the book and page additions. The layouts are very simple with just a hint of embellishment to bring the art piece to life. I used black pages for both books, as the art shows up so well against the black.
What I really love is how the collections also reflect their interests and the stages that the kids went through. As they have gotten older, they spend much less time independently drawing and painting. When they do, they have more stamina and will often produce one or two pieces rather than the 20 that might have been produced in one sitting when they were smaller. I have also added some of their school art projects as well. I am a little behind and have a stack of papers to go through and add to their art portfolios, but I have purposely kept the embellishments to a minimum and the layouts simple, so I can usually do an entire year for both kids in one day. Maybe updating the books will be a Christmas holiday project??
Art Portfolio Gallery
Here is a gallery of snapshots from their art portfolios. I just took a few random shots to give you an idea of how to go about making your own. I have a wavy cutting tool from Creative Memories and use that a lot to dress up a page with very little effort. Another favourite embellishing tool is coloured tape. I can add it to a plain page and give it a lift without spending much time on a layout. I have arranged their books in chronological order to reflect their growth and development. You can also see how some pictures were cut out and mounted on cardstock to help them standout on a page. The key to keeping this manageable is keeping it very simple. I can literally do a layout in about 15 minutes (or less if I am “0n a roll”). The simple design of the pages means you can rattle off many layouts at one time. The other key to success, is filing and dating the work, so that it can easily be sorted when you go to work on it. When the kids were younger, I had to commit time about 3 to 4 times per year because of the amount they produced and how much their skills changed in a very short period of time. Now, I set-out approximately one day per year to update their art portfolios and find that the amount of work is still manageable. Click the images to enlarge. Again, each single page is 12″ X 12″ in size, so a double page layout is 24″ across.
You will also notice that I have labelled some of the items in the pictures and have even made short “journal” entries where applicable. In some cases, I wanted to explain a situation, phase or particular interest at that given time. Journaling helps to capture the entire memory.
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