Framing Matisse…

A few days ago, Son decided to draw a picture.  In most cases, his artwork isn’t kept for long, unless it shows some sort of  developmental he hasn’t portrayed before, in which case I stash it in a folder.  He also has a sketch book where he can draw, and once it’s filled up, I give him a fresh one, and put the used one away for safe keeping.  This method works wonderfully for us; it satisfies that parental urge to save everything our offspring creates, and the organizer in me that doesn’t want to be buried alive by aimless scribbles.  Well, the other day, when Son decided to create another masterpiece, I thought nothing of it.  I wasn’t concerned that he was drawing on an unusual, and used piece of plastic.  After all, his canvas was really just trash that we hadn’t gotten around to recycling.  But once he finished, and gifted me with his artwork, I immediately wish I had giving him something truly keep-worthy.  He had drawn me, his mother, a beautiful garden of flowers.

I knew I was going to keep it the second I saw it.  I think I may have nearly cried.  His drawing wasn’t of superheros, or machines like usual.  Instead he drew something to show me he loved me, and I wanted to show him how pleased I was, and how much I loved him.  I wanted to frame it.

First, I thought about the words scrawled across the top, written by my long passed grandfather, apparently in an attempt to make some money off his pond.  Since I don’t know the story, the text has always seemed odd to me, and I have no emotional attachment to it.  I can’t even tell you why I have it in the first place.  So I figured I would try to remove the words so that Son’s flowers would shine.

I learned that I could remove permanent marker from a dry-erase board by coloring over it with a dry-erase marker, and erasing.  Since the fish sign was made on a corrugated plastic board, I gave it a shot, being sure to test on an area I planned to crop.

It worked, but it wasn’t working quite as well as I had hoped.  My grandfather has been gone for over ten years, so that permanent marker had plenty of time to settle in.  So I stepped back, and looked at the picture a bit longer.  I decided to leave the words.  I guess on some level it’s neat to think my son’s drawing shares a space with the handwriting of the great grandfather he never had the chance to meet.

So instead, I went forward with the cropping.

Of course, as I began cutting the sign in half, Son said that I should have cut off the top, and not the side.  I guess I should’ve consulted the artist before I went to editing his work.  It would have looked nice that way, slicing off the top line of text, but I hadn’t thought of that.  It’s OK, since I had already chosen a place in my hallway to hang it, and the wood I chose probably wouldn’t have worked in any other size.

Yep, I chose some scrap wood I found in the garage, and measure out the 18″ length needed for the vertical sides.  I made one cut, on two separate pieces of wood, and ended up with the exact size needed for the top and bottom that way.  I know I got lucky.  I only needed to saw once, since I taped the wood pieces together before breaking out the tools.

I used two nails for each corner, and hammered the pieces together.  But just because I now had a rectangle didn’t mean I was finished.  The most important step to making a frame is putting in some sort of gusset so the box doesn’t rack, or lean to one side or the other.  For this, I cut four triangles out of some press board left over from Son’s Chalkboard project, and attached them to the back.

I sanded down my new frame, and then painted it gloss white to match the other frames hanging on my gallery wall.  More on that hallway here, here, and here.

It makes me happy to see Son’s flowers hanging on the wall.  Until now, all his art has hung on the fridge, or been relegated to a folder, or worse, file thirteen.  I think he’s pretty pleased with his official art, too.  What do you think?


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Filed under DIY, Fun and Free Ideas, Save my Wallet, Save the Earth

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