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Since finding the photo of Liberty of London fabrics framed in embroidery hoops at Purl (see post here), I’ve been meaning to try the idea. Here’s my interpretation with some embroidered birds on linen. I painted the hoops matte black. But I think that these would be great unpainted or painted with different bright colors and used in a child’s room.

I simply hooped the fabric and cut the excess, so this was a quick and easy project. I plan to add more to this grouping, mix in some plates or find some flea-market style small round mirrors. I embroidered the birds myself, but I think that vintage handkerchiefs would make a great display. You can find lots of vintage handkerchiefs online here and here.

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I had to add some images of this snowman drawing that Eva made.  I digitized it and embroidered the design on some hand towels.  See my recent post about preserving children’s artwork.  This time she had me make some changes after I scanned it into the computer (she wanted to change the hats) and she picked the thread colors.  We’re going to give these to the grandparents.

Also, I had another thought about children’s artwork after watching Eva get super excited about these rubber stamps from the small object.  You could turn a drawing into rubber stamps!  I think a simple line drawing would make a fabulous rubber stamp (and a great stocking stuffer).  Here’s a site that can do it.  The customization feature is not totally user-friendly, but you can see your design after you upload it.

And I love the idea of making your child’s drawing into a stuffed animal.  Here‘s a nice example from Fruit of Her Hands:

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Since I started my monogramming and embroidery business I have developed a great appreciation for antique monogrammed linens.  There’s something really endearing about hand embroidered linens created in a time when life was slower paced and things weren’t mass-produced. These linens were often made for a bride’s trousseau and would be passed along to future generations. Other than on ebay and digging through stacks at flea markets and estate sales, one great site for finding these linens is Em’s Heart. You can occasionally even find your initials (like these beautiful damask napkins my mother found for me, pictured below).

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Technology has greatly improved the field of sewing and embroidery during the last 20 years.  Almost any design can be scanned into a computer and digitized for an embroidery machine.  This has allowed me to create my own designs and modify existing alphabets to make custom creations.  Here is an example of a design that I created for my mother-in-law:

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I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do with my children’s artwork as it is beginning to pile up and my four-year-old is creating some nice pieces.  I’m getting some framed; but I’m also looking for creative ideas aside from the usual refrigerator, clothesline or wall display.  I took Eva’s “Mud Monster” that she drew last spring and digitized it for my embroidery machine (above).  Someone’s getting a Mud Monster pillow for Christmas!  Eva really enjoyed being involved in the process and was proud of the finished product.  I’m thinking of offering customized kid’s designs in my shop, but it’s a pretty time-consuming process.  We’ll see.

But with all this technology readily accessible, you can have your kid’s artwork made into tees, coasters, large-scale canvases, mugs, bags, magnets, calendars, stationery, mouse pads, uhm…playing cards, and lots more.  These are all great (for you and your family).  Here are a few other ideas:

-Take photographs of the artwork before you pitch it.  Make a collage or a DVD.

Totally Out of Hand: They can create customized jewelry from your child’s artwork (example below). 

-Make wrapping paper.  Assuming your kid approves of this use of her artwork, sounds like a good idea and also a great way to reuse something!  We go through a lot of paper in our house.

-Collage it.  At the end of the year, you and your child can cut up the work and choose the best images to be made into a fabulous collage.  I see this turning into a possible decoupage project — literally, an art table.

-Sew it.  I like the free-hand sewing that I’ve seen lately and it lends itself well to children’s designs.  Check out this creation from angry chicken.  Or you can quilt it — take a look at this quilt square from sewcatherine.  Don’t have a sewing machine?  Re-create the work of art with felt and embroidery floss.

-Shrink it.  I love shrinky dinks and keep meaning to make something.  The possibilities are endless with miniature plastic!  Just trace the artwork or have your child draw directly on the plastic. Check out this link for making your own.  Caution on that plastic in the oven thing. 

Artimus Art:  Not tech-savvy or crafty?  This site lets you mail them your artwork where they will upload it and create an online gallery for you, then store it in climate-controlled storage (better than the floor of the closet?).   You can also order a bound book.     

-Have your child illustrate his own books.  We keep an extra long stapler around the house and make blank books for Eva to draw and write stories.  These “books” occupy her for several days and can be stored easily or given as presents.  You could also have your child dictate a story to you and print out the text. 

Other thoughts, ideas, links?  Please comment.

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It was International Day at Preschool last week, and it got me thinking about the Old World European style that I love so much.  Not dark, heavy furniture and velvet curtains — but more like Heidi, Swiss Miss and Hansel & Gretel.  Painted furniture, flowered ribbons, window boxes and bright colors.  Swiss, Dutch, German.  My girls represented the countries of Madeira and Germany.  When researching Madeira, I came across this lovely image of a traditional cottage (above) that has been in my mind since I saw it (perhaps because it’s just my size).  I love the shape, colors and thatched roof.

Below is a detail of the trim on Laura’s costume, which belonged to me as a child and was a gift from my aunt while she was living in Germany.  I was so happy that Laura was able to wear it.  I have been buying lots of flowered trims lately and love the look with the wide ribbon and the ric rac together.  Really sweet and cheerful.  I also made the girls some fall capes that are reminiscent of this style.  Burda pattern 9674. Burda, a German company, offers some cool European patterns for women and kids. You can order online or find them at the larger craft stores. For the capes, instead of the prescribed fleece (which would have been much easier) I used brown suiting wool lined with colored flannel and added some embroidery (also below) to play up the European style.  Eva seems to like her cape, but Laura won’t wear hers.  This is the trouble with sewing for kids!

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So thinking about ribbon and trim now, here are a few sites that seem to have a wide selection of decorative ribbon:

The Ribbon Jar

Reprodepot

M&J Trimming

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And I’d be interested in any other sites out there!