Friday, February 8, 2013

Very First Flaunt My Friend Friday! Elizabeth!

This is the friend that spurred the brainstorm that had me come up with Flaunt My Friend Friday! She asked me if I could share a project of hers as a guest post! I was flattered, and said "of course!". Elizabeth was a part of my Moms Group that I was a part of when Jake was little and we lived in the Chicago burbs!

This is Elizabeth (and her darling family)...

She wanted to share with you about the plan she came up with to manage her children's artwork! I think many can relate there... I know I have yet to take the plunge myself. But Evan will start PreK next year so I need to get a plan before the art takes over next fall!

I have just about every scrap of artwork my children have ever made. My son was born in 2005 and my daughter in 2008. So their first year or two not much was made in terms of art work. But then they started getting bigger and we took classes, went to Children's Museums, and did projects at home. I didn't know what to do with it all. So I put everything in a storage box until I could figure it out, there was no Pinterest when I first had my kids.

Fast forward to late 2012, now I have an overflowing storage box of artwork from 2007-2012 and it is GROWING every week. I realized I had to tackle this problem and several ideas came together all at the same time to help me find a solution.

1. I saw my friend Sonita displayed her daughter and son's artwork in a frame on the wall.
2. I was introduced to an app for my IPhone called Art Kive.
3. I bought file folder storage boxes for my kid's school work to keep track of everything.

I realized that I could combine all these elements into a usable system for me to organize, display, and store my kid's artwork. In order to do the project the way that I have it you will need the following supplies.

1. File Boxes (Staples Legal/Letter File Boxes), including files labeled by year and then grade in school, for each child
2. A smartphone with the Art Kive app downloaded
3. 8x10, 11x14, 16x20 or other larger standard frame size

Okay, so I started by using a coupon to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and picked out to fairly inexpensive matching frames for my wall. I determined ahead of time the wall I was going to use and my comfort zone for size and price.

Tip 1. Pick as large a frame that you can afford and will fit on a selected wall space. Kid's artwork doesn't come in one size if you want to display it.

This wall is over the stairs leading into the downstairs living room that is open to the kitchen area
So, now I had a way to nicely display the artwork on the wall without using the refrigerator.

 Next step I need to organize and store the artwork. I have way too much of it and over time I realized that some pieces aren't going to survive. This lead me to realize the Art Kive was a solution for me. I can take a picture with my phone and permanently have a digital record of that artwork. The app organizes the art work by child name, grade, date created either date, month & year, or year.

Tip 2. Always put a date on your kid's artwork using whatever date system works for you.
You can even add a title and additional information. I find the app easy to use with my IPhone. I take the picture and add the information and it is done.

Depending on your level of expertise in photography you can stage your artwork. I am pretty basic in terms of not distracting background where the art is positioned and get good natural light to capture the colors. Art Kive has additional features and there maybe other app programs out there but this one worked for me.

As I am going through the big box I am also evaluating which artwork is worth trying to keep stored. I obtained file boxes this year to keep their schoolwork in to help me stay organized. As papers come in it gets put into the file box for each child.

I have file folders organized by date for pre-school and then grade for the artwork now. The difficulty with using the file folders to store the artwork is if you want to keep an odd or large size art piece it doesn't fit well. You will have to fold some items. If this bothers you then the file folder method might not be right for you.

I am making slow progress on this project as I have the time available to work on it. It took me 5 years to fill the box but it won't take as long to empty it. If you try any or all of this project I wish you well!

Thanks so much Elizabeth! You've certainly got the wheels turning for my own art storage plan!

1 comment:

Ellie said...

LOVE this and snagged the app and can't wait to institute this. Going to try to snap everything, keep only special ones (HANDPRINTS of course!! unwritten rule) and store them in the Legal filing system throughout the school year. and then end of year put what fits in a binder and is the best of the best