Tuesday, July 1, 2014

{Tuesday Tip: Display Words}

I close my eyes and picture my childhood home. Which isn't super difficult, now that I think about it. Because that's where we happen to live now. But I picture my mom's decorations and I see words. Words of truth displayed on walls, words like "Give us this day our daily bread" in the kitchen and verses like, "A merry heart doeth good like medicine" cross-stiched with love or Colossians 3 posted on the bathroom mirror as a family memory challenge.

One display puzzled me for a number of years. It was uber-70s in its design. Carved wood with a mirror behind it, showcasing three crosses and the word Heisrisen. The crosses should have served as a rather strong clue, but my little kid brain somehow decided that Heisrisen must have been a beer brand. I remember pronouncing it in my mind with two long "i" sounds and a hard "s": Hizerizen. Very beer like. Probably German. One day it dawned on me. It was not one word but three: He is risen. My relief was acute.

Jamie, too, remembers a specific sign in his childhood home. It was needlepoint bearing the phrase, "Home is where your heart is." In place of the word "heart" was a heart shape and instead of a period at the end, the artist chose to have a little ladybug punctuate the statement. This caused Jamie's younger brother to assume that the sign was trying to convey a rather different message: "Home is where your love is bugged." Which is pretty accurate, don't you think? We should all have such a sign.

I was recently at a friend's house, and it was inspiring to see the number of words and phrases she had tucked around her home. A verse written on the bathroom mirror for the kids to see while brushing their teeth. Words over the kitchen table, encouraging a young reader to remember consonant blends. Framed verses and words of truth displayed for all to see.

My beginning-of-summer family challenge. Fridge reminders can also prompt discussion around the dinner table.

Her displays prompted me to go back to my own drawing board and take stock. It was time to add some new words to our home. I do have a few verses and quotes and reminders here and there (some permanently framed and others on chalkboards -- or simply taped to the fridge -- to change from time to time), but I've had several ideas simmering in my brain that needed to actually happen.

I have a Pinterest board titled "Words" for just that purpose. If I come across a verse, quote or poem that especially resonates with me, I add it to my board and start to think about how I might display it. One idea, which I hope to implement fairly soon, is to use my own kids' quotes as decoration. (I've kept a notebook ever since Drew started talking to record some of their more memorable -- and often hilarious -- comments.) A little phrase or question by a four-year-old can be captured on a blank canvas. How cute is that?

An inexpensive plate from Ross propped up on a dollar store display rack. Easy-peasy! (Looks like I need to update my poem.) Also a fun way to write birthday and holiday messages for the kids.

But the idea that I was most recently determined to finish is for our room. Last year I marked a verse in my Bible from Song of Solomon that I really love: "This is my beloved and this is my friend." I knew I wanted to hand letter it and display it somehow, but my creativity stopped right there. It was sparked once again when I found a blank, fabric covered board on clearance at Kohl's last month. I asked some artist friends for their recommendations as far as what kind of ink I should use and how to best letter the words (that overhead projector continues to come in handy), and I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Little Miss was enthralled with the whole process, so I found a few burlap-covered boards at Michael's that the girls are eager to use in their own room. I look forward to seeing what they come up with. And I look forward to starting on my next project which just begs to be displayed near the kitchen china cabinet. The words? Bethie's first prayer: "Father, for the tea. Amen."     

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