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Your child's momentoes - do you cherish or chuck?


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#1 diary~dad

Posted 18 February 2010 - 10:45 AM

To Bin or to Bind?
By Joseph Kelly

Apart from the silver cup my godparents gave me at my Christening and a photo of me with my family when I was three, I don’t have any mementoes of my childhood.  Being the seventh of eight kids, I think my parents were well and truly over collecting and cataloguing the childhood journey by the time I arrived.  When I vowed to do more as a parent to faithfully preserve everything my kids created, I obviously had no idea of the sheer volume of artwork one child can produce in a single day.

There is a routine I now have in place for dealing with Frances’s accumulated artwork.  On Tuesday morning, when I drop her off at Kinder, I find that all of her artwork from the previous week has been loaded by forklift into her pigeon hole.  As I am leaving Kinder I collect this artwork and, because it is so special, instruct a team of labourers to lay it out in the back of my car rather than simply dump it all straight in the bin.  The rule is if it is still there on Sunday it is lovingly and respectfully disposed of in the recycling waste bin down the side of the house.

It wasn’t always like this.  I used to agonise over throwing out anything one of the girls had created.  Not only were my own office walls plastered with various paintings and collages, but also the walls of every single colleague in my office – until they politely but firmly told me to stop.  Susie and I then created a wall at home dedicated to sticking up whatever Maisie or Frances created until it grew at least a foot thick and posed a very real and immediate health and safety hazard.

Next was to try a range of different paper-binding techniques to create telephone-book-sized almanacs that we could pass on to polite and unsuspecting relatives.  But it wasn’t long before everyone we knew had at least one of these door-stopper volumes of artistic musings, and no-one was gullible enough to accept a second.  Still terrified that the Gods of Good Parenting would strike me down if I threw anything away, I resorted to filling boxes with the artwork and storing them in the shed.

In the end it all became too much.  Between what Maisie was producing at school, Frances was creating at Kinder and what the two of them churned out on the weekends there was nowhere left to store anything.  It was time to get ruthless.   Figuring that I already had a shoe box filled with such items as their hospital tags, the little clips that went on their navels and a lock of their hair from their first hair cuts, I didn’t see the need to continue to retain every scrap of paper unless it passed the “Unbearably Cute” test.

So a new regime was instituted.  Any of Frances’s artwork that remains in the car until the Sunday clean-out gets chucked; Maisie is now responsible for scrap-booking any pieces of her own work she wants to keep; while everything else not Blu-Tacked to a surface is thrown out during the Tuesday night house straightening.  This weekly purge requires an iron will that is free from sentimentality.  So far, the only drawings to pass the Unbearably Cute test are a sketch Maisie made of her dream cubby house under the self penned heading “My Cubi Has” and a drawing by Frances of me pregnant with triplets.

How do you manage the unending influx of irreplaceable artwork generated by your kids?  When it comes to mementoes of your kids childhood, are you a cherisher or a chucker?

#2 Kylie Orr

Posted 22 February 2010 - 10:11 PM

I blame childcare. My 18mo is sent home with a blank piece of paper with his name at the top and when I hold it up to the light, I can see a yellow scribble in the lower right corner. Thanks. Straight in the bin. Just another thing I have to feel guilty about!

In our house, we use most of the artwork as wrapping paper. It took a couple of episodes before my kids relinquished some of their art for this purpose.

The really special ones go on the fridge for a week and are subsequently framed (if mega amazing and could possibly earn money in the National Gallery one day), blu-tacked in the laundry or filed. Often in the recycling when the artist is not looking. Harsh but I've never had them ask "where's that drawing I did of you looking like a dog and daddy leading you around the back yard?"



#3 c_milicevic

Posted 24 February 2010 - 03:02 PM

I scan the better ones, save them to computer, and at the end of each year I create a calendar using a piece of artwork for each month, rather than using a photo. For example, last year my middle son made a beautiful Nativity scene, so it became December's picture. I then get the calendar printed and give this to the grandparents, godparents, etc for Christmas.  In this way the kids' artwork is in print forever, they also get to see it displayed each time they visit their grandparents, and there is no guilt about throwing out the originals. You can use any online photo website to create the calendars.

#4 gypsyblu

Posted 24 February 2010 - 03:19 PM

I have a large box where everything goes into then at the end of the year we go through it and keep the "great things" and then use the others as wrapping paper. The one's we have kept go into their "box", which also has all the other momentos  biggrin.gif
I am a hoarder monster and would keep evertyhing if I could!!

#5 Sarey1973

Posted 24 February 2010 - 03:40 PM

I've just been agonising over this. My Maysie (May) has just started three year old kindy and every day comes home with an phenomenal pile of artwork. The fruit loop necklace didn't even make it to the car, but I've been stashing everything else. She doesn't seem to have any attachment to it whatsoever, but I feel like I should keep it all. I love the wrapping paper idea. I think I'll just have to save some and let the rest go. My mum's got one picture I did, which I love, so if we save a few we should all be happy. Actually, my dad spends a small fortune accumulating dubious artwork, maybe I can pawn some off on him.

#6 diary~dad

Posted 24 February 2010 - 03:47 PM

Nice to see another Maisie/ Maysie out there, Sarey1973 and welcome to EB!

#7 suzyanneau

Posted 24 February 2010 - 09:38 PM

I scan the smaller ones and if they are too big, I take them outside on an overcast day where there are no shadows and photograph them. I also photograph pottery and woodwork etc. I used to print them and add them to the scrapbooks, but now days I make an annual photobook with the best. My daughter wants to be an artist, so I figure one day she will thank me for doing this. She already enjoys looking back over them and comments how much better she is each year.

#8 mokeydoke

Posted 24 February 2010 - 09:45 PM

I decided not to keep too many momentos when my mother presented me with 3 boxes of cra...I mean, especially preserved artworks/awards/assignments I had completed from age 4 - 18. Some things were cute, but some things I could definitely have done without seeing again.
I had plans of taking photos of the really cute pieces of art, but haven't managed that yet. I still have a good 13 years up my sleeve though wink.gif

#9 michelle120773

Posted 24 February 2010 - 10:01 PM

DS is only 2 but we already have PILES of artwork...thanks so much child care!!!

Last year I scanned it all in to the computer and put together a photo book.

I think I already have enough for at least another volume from this year and we haven't even made it to March yet!!!!

I still struggle with the purging though and have a big plastic tub in the bottom of his wardrobe that is the art bin....I may get around to emptying it one day!

#10 Salbadal

Posted 25 February 2010 - 02:15 PM

I scan the best ones, or those with some special sentimental value... and I love the other poster's idea of creating a calendar out of it. Nice work.

#11 Hodgo

Posted 01 March 2010 - 01:29 PM

No advertising please.

Edited by Jupiter, 01 March 2010 - 01:45 PM.


#12 ComradeBob

Posted 01 March 2010 - 01:41 PM

DD's creche actually does most of the hard work for us - they put together a diary/artbook/scrapbook that records all the milestones each child has reached with a report each week and has examples of art and also photos they've taken. It's wonderful and I will definitely be keeping them!

I actually can't remember my mother keeping much, if any of my artwork from school. This is most likely because I was (and still am) utterly crap at art. What I kept from my childhood were my books, which I still think of being far more representative of who I was than a bunch of baddly drawn pictures of misshapen animals/houses etc etc!

#13 MammaJen

Posted 02 March 2010 - 02:26 PM

Paintings make lovely WRAPPING PAPER!  So you feel like you're not "chucking" their precious art, and you're saving money too!  People seem to like the personal touch to their gifts, as well...
tthumbs.gif


#14 Sparkle4

Posted 02 March 2010 - 04:39 PM

I also recycle paintings as wrapping paper!  I always need wrapping paper given the seemingly endless stream of parties my kids attend.  

What I find funny is that I send all my egg cartons, cereal boxes, yoghurt containers etc etc off to kinder and school only to have them transformed into creations that come back home again!

Sarah
DD 8
DD 6
DS 4
DD 7 months

#15 ziz

Posted 02 March 2010 - 05:50 PM

I plan on making a collage from DS's artwork 0 - 5 years old (a sample selection obviously).  You either take a picture of the artwork or scan and shrink accordingly and mount and frame.

Should look something like this:


Edited by ziz, 02 March 2010 - 05:52 PM.


#16 Lyra

Posted 03 March 2010 - 10:34 AM

That is an awesome idea, Ziz

#17 katie.baby

Posted 06 May 2010 - 03:50 PM

QUOTE (c_milicevic @ 24/02/2010, 03:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I scan the better ones, save them to computer, and at the end of each year I create a calendar using a piece of artwork for each month, rather than using a photo. For example, last year my middle son made a beautiful Nativity scene, so it became December's picture. I then get the calendar printed and give this to the grandparents, godparents, etc for Christmas.  In this way the kids' artwork is in print forever, they also get to see it displayed each time they visit their grandparents, and there is no guilt about throwing out the originals. You can use any online photo website to create the calendars.


Now why didn't I think I think of this? Definitely next years project! Thx for the idea!




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