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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Growth Charts: Hand Painted Christmas Gifts

Inspiration for this project first came from my daughter, Emily, who months ago asked if I could make a growth chart for her little girl; something that could be easily moved when necessary. This request triggered  memories of a growth chart we had for our children years ago that was not so movable. It was the white painted wood door jam of a 1950's kitchen in our home in Durango, Colorado. This growth chart was not restricted to family members. Anyone and everyone who wanted to be measured would stand up to that doorway and stretch as tall as they could; I would take my ruler and pencil to mark their place on that wall with their name and the date they were measured. It was so much fun for everyone to compare who was taller than who and track the progression of our children and their friends as they grew. Our tallest entry came from a good friend and co-worker of my husband's. His name was Jack and he measured in at 6 feet, 9 3/4 inches. Jack was a tall man. The kids squealed in delight when they saw his mark.

I never realized how special that growth chart would be until the day the movers came and everything we owned was loaded up into a large moving truck. The only personal item remaining in that empty house was the immovable growth chart, a small memorial to the many years of growing and changing that took place in our little house. I cried.

And now I fast forward to today and the creation of growth charts for my granddaughters that will never have to be left behind. I painted them on a pre-treated canvas fabric with acrylic paint.( My kind next door neighbor, Susan, hemmed in the edges for me.) They turned out to be quite the Christmas project. Each one took longer than I had planned but in the end, they were wrapped and ready under the Christmas trees waiting for their unveiling.


  1. Oh those are beautiful!!! I love each and every little Beatrix Potter character! These granddaughters are so blessed. I have to hand Elena's up ASAP as she keeps wanting to lie down on hers as she thinks that's how it works.
    And, I cried just now remembering our growth chart in Durango. The nostalgia of that chart is THE REASON why I really wanted a moveable one for Elena. Moving and leaving a place of wonderful memories is hard enough. You forgot to mention all the wonderful artwork you left on the walls, floors and doors of that sweet little house. I cried for those too.

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  3. That was a fun little house wasn't it, Emily? I guess painting flowers and faux rugs all over the place was my way of expressing myself artistically when I didn't have the time or space to do more.