Monday, March 25, 2013

The Infinite Possibilities


If you don't already read 'Milk Please Mum', you really should. It's the personal blog of Mother, Photographer and creative Tahnee. Filled with truly breathtaking captures of her family, home, life and interests. Vivid colour, crispy lines and faces filled with laughter will be there to greet you, I promise.

One of the things that always floors me about Tahnee's blog (in addition to the woman's skills with the camera) is the crafting she undertakes with her children. We're not just talking pencils on paper here- we're talking full on ART and CRAFTS movement stuff.

I was absolutely thrilled when she agreed to prepare a post on Kids Art for us, just in time for the Easter long weekend too.

Read on to discover a range of ways that you can turn your children's art work into amazing keepsakes.


Hello there! Its so lovely to be here at The Beetle Shack. Nice digs, Em.

 Shes the good hostess sort and shes put the kettle on, so while we wait, in celebration of all things kid like here at the Beetle Shack this month, lets have a chit chat about the infinite possibilities that can be created from your little people’s never ending avalanche of artwork.


Most kids love to create - mine certainly do. Whether it’s with pencils, crayons, textas, chalk, glue, sticky tape, play dough, clay, paint, baking, useful box, glitter (Dear God, the glitter!).. the list is endless. Most of the time, so is the mess. But every now and then they come up with an absolute cracker that deserves pride of place in the home and makes you instantly forget about the glue you have to scrape off the dining table once you’re done admiring your little Picasso’s masterpiece. But then - where to put it? Add it to the crap pile (yes, we all have one) on the end of the kitchen bench? Absolutely not. Try prime position on the art wall, inspiration wire, pin board, mantlepiece, back of the toilet door. Or maybe the couch?

I often buy craft supplies when I see them on sale, whether they are necessary purchases or not. The fabric crayons and textas were such a purchase. I do love to give a thoughtful, unique gift. And the kids love to draw. Mash the two together and this is what you get! Not to go unnoticed, this also ticks my cheap box, which unfortunately is a factor for many families, especially those like mine living on a single income. In saying that, I believe the thoughtful, unique part totally cancels out the cheap part. This stuff is priceless.

My eldest, Ruby, created her Uncle Ash and Aunty Bree, with baby Rome in her tummy (who was just baby at the time of commission). The red building in the background is the hospital, close by and ready for delivery! My middle, Cole, his art skills (and enthusiasm) come and go. His rainbow started out beautifully until he decided he’d had enough and started scribbling all over it.. let’s just call it expressively creative, shall we?

Some quick points to remember when you try this at home ::

:: use a light coloured fabric so that your colours show up clearly and vibrantly;
:: tape your desired size of fabric to something firm to minimise movement - we used the back of their large sketch books;
:: remind your smalls to go slowly - drawing on fabric is different from drawing on paper, especially if your fabric has a little stretch in it. If you move too quickly the textas can become faint and you will then need to retrace to make them bolder;
:: if your child is a little too small to handle the fabric and instruction of SLOW drawing, simply trace their original paper artwork onto the fabric and bring their fabric masterpiece to life yourself;
:: let the kids know they need to keep their creations a few centimetres from the edge of the fabric to allow for your seam allowance when you are ready to sew your cushion cover together;
:: to cure their beautiful drawings, so that your cushion cover can go through the wash and come out again the same way, simply iron the fabric with a scrap piece of fabric/thin tea towel between the iron and the artwork (follow the instructions on your fabric markers box).

In years passed, I have also recreated Ruby’s drawings with embroidery, turning them into pillowcases, clothing, handkerchiefs or simply framing the embroidered fabric. Children do SO many drawings in these early years, and I find it so hard to throw away the good stuff (even the not-so-good-stuff for that matter), even when there’s mountains of it. Something like this makes the art useable, useful and enjoyable for all who see it, rather than piles of pretty pictures stashed in a box in the cupboard that you just can’t bear to part with.

Some more simple ideas to get your kids’ beautiful artwork out of the cupboard/crap pile and up on display around your home ::

:: just stick it up! It doesn’t need to be framed beautifully as if it’s heading to the museum, just grab the washi tape and get it on the wall, or install an inspiration wire* where the kids, parents, grandparents and visitors can admire their creative genius;
:: let them try embroidery. Hoops are cheap as chips and you can buy large, plastic, kid safe needles, or for your older kids, use a large needle with a blunter tip. Cut the excess fabric from the perimeter, leaving a few centimetres that can be glued inside the frame - hang it on the wall;
:: use their paintings as backing sheets for framed photos, rather than a plain white background;

:: make a magnetic task board for morning school/kindy prep.

:: put those creations that you treasure most in a simple frame and hang them.

:: put your creative skills together with theirs to highlight the creations that mean the most to you.

Em’s here with the tea (and cake!), so I’ll leave you to ponder which activity you’re going to put at the top of your craft list. Enjoy!

Oh - and thanks so much for having me Em!

*This is an idea created by uber talent, Soulemama [], as shown in her book The Creative Family []. We have two - one is a curtain line from Ikea [] which is one of my most favourite things in our home, and the other is in our playroom - a simple piece of string attached to the wall with pins.

Original post of The Pillow can be found here. []

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  1. Gosh what I wouldn't give to have a cuppa with you two ladies! Love this post, great ideas Tahnee! xo

  2. Cake, now all I can think of is cake! ;)

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas Tahnee.

    x Laura

  3. I am in awe of Tahnee's creativity and what she does with her children. Such a great post. Thanks to both of you. I'm with Jody, Would love a sit down and cuppa with all three of you! x

  4. Such fabulous ideas! Definitely have to give the pillow one a try. x

  5. Can't wait to make pillow art with Osc (I think his attention span is a little lacking, but soon he'll be old enough). Great post Tahnee.

    I also love Brenda @ Mira Narnie's idea of holding an exhibition and selling the children's artworks to doting relatives ( So smart.

  6. Gorgeous post and SO many ideas!

  7. No kids here yet but i shall store these ideas for later on. A wonderful list.

  8. Love Tahnee's work :) She's inspired many times over. As for my daughter's works of art I have purchased a whole stack of cheap photo frames from Target and frame her beautiful pictures which I hang on the wall or place about the home. Those Command hooks are my best friend! You can put them up and take them down as you please!

    Think I'll be purchasing those fabric markers in my next craft shop!

    Sophie xo

  9. great post tahnee. so many ideas to try, truly inspiring!

  10. Beautiful ideas, I will definitely be trying the fabric marker one once Bebe is little older! Can't wait to ponder on more ideas on Tahnee's blog :) thank you Em for introducing these wonderful ideas through Tahnee :) x

  11. Such lovely ideas, thanks for sharing!

  12. That was lovely. I absolutely treasure my son's artworks. he's 13 now and I've had a really hard time getting rid of any of his stuff. I'd love to put one of his drawings on a tshirt. Must have a go at that now:) x

  13. Love all the artwork :) nice pictures
    Vintage Inspired Fashion by Independent Designers for Your Little darling

  14. That pillow is just amazing! Such a great idea for a gift!
    Love Clare x

  15. A really lovely post Em, thanks for having our wonderful, talented daughter over for a cuppa & cake. Yes, she is always creating even behind the camera lens. Very proud Mum xx

  16. I am very impressed by this site and really going to share this site to my friends. Thanks for sharing....

    Embroidery Machine


Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em