School will soon be out for my kids - June 2nd! It's that time of the year when Facebook gets loaded with all the graduation pictures and the "Beau's-Last-Day-of-Kindergarten" photos. Ahhh, the reminder that time flies and even though we want it to slow down, we relish the milestones of another year. Congrats to all the 2015 graduates!
I have a long way to go (9+ years) before my little ones experience a significant graduation. However, two thoughtful pinches that I'm working on now for my kids are: 1) making summer journals and 2) scanning their most precious artwork onto fabric squares. I hope to make a quilt (or have it made) for them to have after high school. This could be me TOTALLY fantasizing but I've got nothing to lose by trying. What are the chances that my kids see the love and thoughtfulness in these two pinches and say they don't want anything else for graduation? Right. Anyhow...
When school gets out I celebrate with a summer timeline. I revised an idea I got out of Family Fun magazine 3 years ago. I take wooden clothespins and a clothesline - I used rope the first year and colorful string last year. A clothespin is designated for each day of the summer break starting with the very first day off of school going to the day before school starts. I hang the clothesline somewhere so that we can all see it. Each day that goes by I write a little blurb of what we did on a piece of paper and/or attach momentos that we picked up that day and clip it onto the timeline using the clothespin. Like a feather Bella found while we were at the Long Beach Aquarium or a room key to the Surf & Sand hotel in Laguna Beach. It takes some work but not really because if you choose to write something for the day, great, if you choose to skip it, that's fine too - just take down the clothespin for those days so it doesn't glare at you with emptiness. What this does for my family is it visually shows us that we did something special, no matter how small, each day and if we ever forget that we did something, we see it right there on the time line. I wish I had pictures of what the timeline looks like by the end of summer but who knew back in August that I would be blogging about it? When the kids are back at school I take down the timeline and just stick it on pages of a composition notebook that I get during the school supply sales. Viola, a journal is made.
Special artwork by your kids adds up to like 100 trees a year. You can't bear to part with any of it. So I decided to scan the artwork using a company called Artsonia. When school's out, I take all the crap, I mean artwork, and sort thru it all. For the best pieces I use Artsonia to scan the art onto whatever I choose. Mugs, magnets, mousepads, a fabric square. Genius! These fabric squares can add up and make a snuggly quilt. And it's perfect because it takes up very little space so I'm storing these fabric pieces in a little box and years from now, I will have enough to make a king size quilt with artwork on the front and back. Once I receive my fabric squares, I give away the original artwork to friends or family as gifts or to cheer someone up (more on this topic at the end of Summer).
When school is out for summer (or another season if you go year round) you can use this time to start any traditions you want and make your own thoughtful pinches for your own family. Special items we make to hold memories ground us and reminds us who we are and where we came from. Even if your children are not children anymore, they are tweeners, young adults, heck, they may even have their own children, it is never too late to capture moments in time and share them. We all have phones with cameras so we all have pictures of special moments. Take your images off of Instagram and have them scanned for a quilt or make a photo album, collage or a decorated shoe box of pictures for your "child". Remind them who they are and where they came from any way you can.