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Parting Gifts

August 15, 2011

My sister and her family spent the summer in the states again this year and I’m so glad we got to spend lots of time together.  Summer is drawing to a close, and sadly so is their time with us. I wanted to send the girls home with a little gift to help keep them happy and busy on their long international flight home.  Because sending things to Lebanon (yes, the country) is nearly impossible, my Christmas and birthday gifts to my nieces aren’t tangible, they are typically digital in nature.  Yet another reason I wanted to send them home with something more like what I would give them if they lived in a place with reliable postal delivery.

All of my nieces love art!  And so for a while now I’ve been collecting art portfolio tutorials … fabric crayon/pencil/marker rolls and portfolios of all sizes that hold both a variety of writing utensils and pads of paper, notebooks or coloring books.   They seem like the perfect thing to keep little hands busy while waiting for a sibling during lessons, practice or appointments.   This summer I ran across a tutorial for a traveling art show and decided to give it a try.

This tutorial is really well done and easy to make up.  I added an inch to the height of the roll to accommodate boxes of skinny makers and colored pencils.  It also helped accommodate the longer sheets of stickers sold in the card section of the store.

It was great fun looking for little things to tuck into the pockets of this roll.  And since school supplies are out in the stores, there are lots of options.  I went with a small spiral notebook and pad of blank paper – not as easy to find as I thought- with sheets and sheets of fun stickers and plenty of colored pens, pencils and markers.

I am under no illusions that this will remain in-tacked for more than 10 minutes.  But the great thing about a simple rectangle of fabric with pockets, is you can fill it with anything you want.  And as things are used up and lost, it can be refilled with a new assortment of fun little books, puzzles and supplies.  What would you put in your traveling art show?  I know the preschooler would try to get a pair of scissors in hers.   Man does that girl love to cut paper!

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