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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Personalizing Our Space: Silhouettes

One  of my favorite things hanging on the wall in our home is a frame filled with silhouettes of our kids. The silhouettes are special to me for a couple of reasons. Of course one reason is because they're my kids. They are also special to me because my mom had silhouettes done of me and my sister when we were little too and they've hung in my parent's house for as long as I can remember. 

Apparently, once a year or so, a silhouette artist would come and set up shop temporarily in the Children's Department of one of the large local department stores. My Mom saw their little ad in the newspaper and took us to have our silhouettes done. I don't really recall going or sitting for it, but by my hairstyle I'd say I was probably around kindergarten age.

Years later, when my kids got to be about the same age, Mom saw an ad in the paper again about a silhouette artist coming to town. She jumped at the chance and made an appointment for the grandkids.

It was pretty amazing and not at all what I expected. I was expecting an overhead projector and tracing paper. Trust me, this was nothing like that. Silhouette-making is a true art form and was amazing to watch.

This particular artist was Lena Bengtson from North Carolina. Ms. Bengtson has been creating silhouette art for over 35 years.

Watching her work was amazing and almost unbelievable. She had each of the kids sit in front of her in profile. She carefully used small scissors to cut each child's silhouette overhead projector, no tracing paper. It truly is art...and a skill....and is one-of-a-kind.  

So I guess it's kind of a tradition and having them on the wall in our home tells a little bit of our story. It gives the artwork on our walls meaning and personalization.

By the way, Lena Bengtson continues to do silhouette art around the country. But she also can do it long distance with a child or pet's photograph. She even has an Etsy shop these days. She really does beautiful work.

How about you? What things do you have on your walls or in your home that tell YOUR family's story? Silhouettes, your children's artwork, family photos....they are all things that can make your home special for your family.

Today's thankfulness....

* For the abilities God gives us to be creative.

* For encouragement from friends.

* For new mercies every morning. 
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- Jill


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