Tuesday, March 19, 2013

from ember.

So, before it gets completely and ridiculously too far away from this past Christmas season, I wanted to share a project Ember did as gifts for her grandparents.

I actually pinned this idea in 2011 I think. I remembered it a few months ago, knowing I'd like to try it and see if Ember was up for it. Of course, now I can't find the actual pin and link to the project that I saw, but this general idea is in many places in slightly different ways.

I simply took small canvases and used letter stickers as masks for the names of the recipients  Then I allowed Ember to go to town with the paint. These babies were thick with paint too, took forever to dry! Peeling the letter stickers off once the paint was dry wasn't fun, but I didn't have very good quality, sticky stickers to begin with. They didn't want to stick to the canvas at all. I think though, that the messy way they peeled up only adds to the project. Perfection was definitely not the goal here.

I wish I had gotten photos of the first time she did this. I had her paint the canvases for Neil's parents one weekend before the others, because we would be celebrating Christmas with them early. This was her first real exposure to paint. I spread out some brown paper bags on the floor, and then set up some paint on a plate and had the canvas ready for her. I figured she would just want to use her hands and so we started out sort of directing her that way.

She was pretty bewildered by the paint and why we were shoving her hands in it! She quickly got the hang of pressing her hands in the paint and then putting them on the canvas, but a general look of confusion never really left her face.


So, this second time, I decided to set her up in her highchair and let her try a brush.



Literally, as she completed each canvas, she seemed to get more and more comfortable and confident with what she was doing. She would even point and tell us which color she wanted, not by color name, just by point and nodding when we picked up the one she was wanting. This past month, she has started naming colors and recognizing each one by name, but when she did this project in late December, she wasn't quite there yet.


She seemed to really like the brush.

And by the end was even trying out her hands again as well.


Here are three of the finished canvases. I wish I would have gotten a photo of the one she painted for Neil's parents.


I was surprised by how much I was tempted to direct Ember on what to do. I would immediately want to stop her from mudding up all the colors or I would want to direct her where to put each color. I wanted it to look pretty... but I wanted more for it to be whatever Ember made it, so I tried to shut that part of me up!

I think she did a beautiful job... I'm going to have to come up with something larger for her to paint on for our own house. Glad I finally jumped into doing projects like this with her!


  1. Those really turned out beautifully!

  2. Turned out great! Like mommy like daughter :)

  3. Those turned out so so so cute!