Jan 13, 2011

The new art gallery

Nicholas is a prolific artist. He takes his art very seriously, and he wants me to keep ALL of it.

Clearly I cannot do that. For one, I have three kids and can't keep all their artwork. Second, I already take pictures of the art and put the pictures in their scrapbooks. And last, let's be honest. Much of it isn't worth saving. And in addition also too, I am the opposite of a hoarder. I get rid of most everything at some point.

But I'm trying to be a sensitive mom. To that end, I recently moved our Very Nice Land of Nod Toy Bins into the playroom and moved a Crappy Navy Blue Card Table into their place in the den to use as a craft/homework table. And then above it, to the left of my mantel, I did this:

The key part of that last sentence, in case you didn't catch it, was "TO THE LEFT OF MY MANTEL." Yes. On the wall next to my mantel. This is.

In 10 years when my kids are in therapy and they question how much I love them, I'm going to bring this up. YES I AM.

I'm hanging up the things they're most proud of from school, as well as the things we do together. I recently took a page out of Meg's book and drew pictures with a black Sharpie and then let the kids paint them with watercolors.

This is a self-portrait Nick did at school that he's very proud of. He did it around October. I would like to point out that it is now practically mid-January and I have not thrown it out.

A flower by moi. I know. I missed my calling.

Nicholas painted this owl freehand. I said, "Hey. That looks like Angry Birds!" He was all, "NO IT DOESN'T."

I'm sorry, Internet, you be the judge:


Anyway, to the left of the mantel, here's the scene:

This is about as well-organized as it's gonna get. I can't lie ... it's not gonna be some enviable craft nook like you see on some blogs, regardless of the fact that it's to the left of my mantel. In the room we spend most of our time in. It's serviceable, and it'll do, Pig, it'll do.

I anticipate that dedicating this space to crafts will come to mean a lot to Nicholas, who routinely spends over an hour a night on his homework because he wants it "just so." There is no halfway with this child. Exhibit A: his snowman with the watercolor scarf and matching hat:

My favorite parts are his feet. You've gotta love a snowman with chicken legs.

On this particular night, he also had a word search. I tried to tell him my tried-and-true method for word searches, a method that goes all the way back to my own Kindergarten days. "MOMMY. I DON'T NEED YOUR ADVICE. I KNOW HOW TO DO A WORD SEARCH."

Umm. Excuse me. I have six words for you: TO THE LEFT OF MY MANTEL.

The last part of his one-night Trifecta of Homework on this evening was to draw several pictures of things that start with the letter L.

He opted, all on his own, to draw a Lake (with an apple tree on its shore), a Lion, and Lexie. If you're new around here, you may not know that Lexie was our friends Heather and Rob's Golden Retriever who was hit and killed by a train recently. I was so touched that he wanted to draw her.

As Nicholas pointed out to me:

1. "Lines indicate movement. She was shaking her head and her ears were flapping."

2. "Heather said she gave lots of kisses, so that's her big pink tongue."

3. "Most dogs have a triangle black nose. I think Lexie had that, too."

4. "She had a big shaggy tail that she liked to wag."

Things like that make the whole TO THE LEFT OF MY MANTEL thing a little easier to bear.


Sarah T. said...

You are an amazing mom. And Nick is such a great little artist! I know he must LOVE his new nook. To the left of your mantle.

Rachel said...

What an awesome mom! :)

RLR said...

You just got Mom of the Year in my book. My daughter loves to draw and paint and cut out teeny-tiny shapes and glue them to paper. That you have a) art on display, b) a dedicated art area, and c) paint (!!!) TO THE LEFT OF YOUR MANTEL makes you my hero. My kids could only be so lucky...

Robin said...

How absolutely precious! You have got some really talented kids, especially Nick! I've been wanting to put up a curtain rod and use the clips to hang up Chelsea and Jameson's artwork, but have been unsure where to hang it. But you know, you are spot on to put it where everyone can enjoy it all the time. I think I'm going to put my rod up either in the dining room or the living room! :o)

Carry Grace said...

You are such a good mom!

Green Door Girl said...

such a good mom, NO WAY would an art center be put up to the Left of my mantel! :)
Nicholas is pretty darn talented - maybe having this to the left of your mantel will inspire him to be a talented artist one day and set up his own "to the left of my mantel" art studio! :)

paige said...

He's got some talent. Worthy of to the left of the mantel. And he knows what he likes. Good boy!

René said...

So cute! Isn't it hard deciding what to keep and what to trash? That is why our drawers are a mess.


Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Well, you guys are very kind. Can I still be a great mom if I complain about the location of the craft center on my blog?

Rachel said...

I'm soooo bad about throwing out all artwork so far. I really need to make a Left of Mantel spot to show Ali that I really do appreciate her artistic side... yes I do.

And yes, most definitely an Angry Bird was painted there.

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