26 April 2012

Art Rules

This disorganised mother-of-three-crazy-kids embarked on a 14-week parenting course this year, in the hope that it would help me become a better parent.
Part of my parenting course homework was to come up with some Family Rules.
We were meant to talk with our kids and make a short list of the things that are really important to us, then put them up somewhere everyone can see them.

So the night before our homework was due I dragged out Miss fab's whiteboard (while the kids were trapped eating dinner at the table) and we brainstormed some Rules. They came up with a very long list which included things like, "Brush your teeth twice a day" and "Wash your hands". Riveting stuff.

Our list was long, unwieldy and full of Don'ts.
Don't swear. Don't hit. Don't pull hair. Don't Come in Your Parents Bed Before 6am.

I took my list along to the course... and realised that our Rules needed some refining.
Our facilitator's Family Rules were much more inspiring - short sharp positive statements like "LOVE OUR PETS" and "OWN YOUR MISTAKES".

Armed with this inspiration I re-wrote our list, focusing more on the positive and the values. I *channeled the spirit of the list* into a few snappy, easy-to-quote statements of our own.

Then I turned them into Art...

I ruled horizontal lines across the canvas at various intervals, and then blocked in the words in capital letters. They are all hand-drawn, there was no measuring (as you can tell) which gives it a very loose organic wibbley-wobbley look.

I left the letters white - that's the canvas showing through. I painted the background, using a small brush and a steady hand. The paint is a metallic-blue testpot* from Resene (which is really hard to photograph but has a lovely sheen.)

{*Resene Lucifer - hate the name, love the colour}

It took me an evening and an afternoon to complete...

Yes, I borrowed "OWN YOUR MISTAKES".
It sits nicely alongside "Be Honest", dontcha think?

I love the result, and the way it's right there in our entry hall for everyone to see.
When other kids come to our house, they'll know we want them to MIND their LANGUAGE.
When my kids are tempted to pretend it wasn't them that broke the plate, I can remind them to BE HONEST and OWN their MISTAKES.

There will be no confusion about what we value as a family.
After all, it's right there on the wall, in metallic blue-and-white.

Family Rules as Art. Who would have thought?

Other Stuff I'm Learning from My Course

P.S. "Brush your teeth twice a day" and "No kids in parents beds before 6am" are still good rules, but they might have to get written in vivid on a refill page and blu-tacked to the fridge. They just didn't make good art.

FOLLOW ME ON Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin //


Gail said...


meg said...

How crafty are you? It looks fantastic.

Tania Verdez said...

Great work! I love this idea xx

Maxabella said...

Clever you. You always inspire me over here, Simoney.

We have our rules written on an A4 sheet of paper stuck up on the kitchen cupboard door. Must do better! x

Megan said...

Looks great! I love 'no kids in parent's bed before 6am'. Excellent rule to have. Except I would make it 7. :P

Jen said...

how effective LOVE it!!!!!!!!!

Roz said...

A subtle way of sharing your values with the kids and visitors. I read a lot of your personal blogs today and really appreciate your honesty - it has meant a great deal to me.

Claudia said...

Great painting. Love the concept.

Our local school has summarised their school rules to "Be respectful, responsible, and real learners." Easy to remember, and reinforce at home.

Fay said...


Johnny said...

Love it!! Such a great idea!

CHD said...

What a great idea and it looks fantastic too. Cx

Kel said...

awesome artwork
making meaning on a canvas

Meghan Maloney Photography said...

Sorry to steal a word used in many of the other previous comments, but how.totally.awesome!

Michelle Walker said...

I love this ...great idea...so funny about the "not making good art statements" hahahha

I love its wibble wobbles

Widge said...

Totally copying this!

Bron said...

I love this idea...you did such a great job and there is certainly no excuse for the kids not to know what it was they help to decide.xx

Ana BC (Lanas Hilos) said...

Creative and educational. Great idea, and very cool!!!

Cat said...

awesome awesome awesome
you are an inspiration
this is awesome
and by the way
i think we are meant to borrow good information from one another : )
it is a good thing
love the spirit of the art!

love and light

jacksta said...

looks great simoney

amy said...

I really love this idea, and I think the time you spent making it really reinforces the importance of these rules to all who see them (kids, guests, you!). I'll be doing this. Thanks for the inspiration!

Rebecca said...

That's awesome, LOVE IT!!!!!!!

Catching the Magic said...

Great idea and looks fabulous!

Neetz said...

TOTAL AWESOMENESS!! SO WORTH STEALING... *consider it now "stolen" :)
Cool job !! :)

Unknown said...

love this!! And loving your blog atm!! wish i could have turned up at your scone pity party ;)

Post a Comment