I Love {House Portraits}

Since the boys both celebrate birthdays within a month of Christmas, each year on their birthday we give them one, nice item that we hope they will have forever.  This year’s gift is rather tardy, however I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not like they’ve been chomping at the bit to get their forever gift :-).  One day they will thank me.  (Cue the day dream where I become my Mother and say “You know I’m always right.  I knew you would love these down the road.”)
So, on to the good stuff… to mark their fourth and seventh birthdays, the littles received framed illustrations of the two homes they’ve lived their sweet little lives in.  (See last year’s forever gift here and the rest of them here.)
January 2013 006 copy
We had our current home (right) drawn back when we moved in for use on our moving announcements. It took me a good long while, but I finally found the same artist (he moved from ebay to etsy) and commissioned a pen and ink drawing of our old house. Paul Young (artworm on etsy) was a dream to work with both times. His attention to detail is unmatched and I love that he provides a high resolution digital image in addition to the 9×12 original.
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Since I already had a gallery wall in the baby’s big boy room and procured frames for the PCP’s gallery wall at the same time last summer, I knew I wanted to use an Ikea frame.  The frame originally had openings for three 4×6” pictures, so I used an exacto knife to cut the dividers out making the mat just one large opening.RIBBA Frame IKEA Holds three 5x7" pictures or one 20x9" picture. The mat enhances the picture and makes framing easy.
In photoshop, I combined the illustrations of each house into one file and added the street addresses.  I needed a print to be 20” wide to fit in the adjusted mat and was pleased to see that I could order a single 16×20” print from Shutterfly and cut it in half to fit both frames! 
WResidences 16x20 copy copy With just a little work, the baby’s house portraits have already been added to his gallery wall.  We’ll hang the PCP’s whenever we get around to his little room reno (which first requires paint and crown molding so don’t hold your breath.)
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January 2013 015
I also had Paul draw Sister’s house for her Christmas gift this year.  She said it was the best gift she got that she didn’t even know she wanted :-)  She’s a hard one to surprise!!

These are the We’ve Moved announcements we sent out with the house drawing at the top.  I absolutely LOVED them and think they are my favorite of all the paper goods we’ve ever sent out.Weve Moved copy And while the baby still says his new tool bench was his “bestest birthday gift ever”, the PCP thought the house portraits were “awesome”!!  A boy after my own heart…

22 thoughts on “I Love {House Portraits}

  1. Beautiful and so so creative! I love the drawing… and the houses. I am going to to use the inspiration of your post to make a print of the watercolor done of StoneGable.
    It looks great on the gallery wall!

  2. Just found your blog and I absolutely adore your home. Will definitely be referring to a lot your design as inspiration when we move to a new home.

  3. I look forward to all your blogs and your ideas, energy, and home are fantastic. love your blog and what a wonderful mom and wife you seem to be. My kids are almost grown and it's nice to see your littles growing up in such a loving home. I have even posted some of your ideas on my blog! Thanks for sharing and being consistent in your blogging.

  4. Oh how darn cute is that! I would love something like this with our house.

    Okay, one of my New Years resolutions is taking the time to leave more notes for my blogging friends! I always read posts in a reader and it makes it hard to leave a comment or two. But I do not miss a post! Love seeing the things you share and your lovely home. I wish I had more time to blog, but I work part time at our local library. I wanted to share with you my new blog, just opened this week…. http://www.brookekroeger.blogspot.com…. it will be for my vingage and digital work… including printables you might enjoy. I also have my home and garden site, http://www.creativecountrymom.blogspot.com. This week I am doing a look back to my spring garden.

    Hope to be able to connect more in this new year. I am spending less time on Facebook and gave up twitter and everything else. A girl needs time to create, decorate and GARDEN ya know!

    God bless….Brooke
    [email protected]

  5. Love your thoughtfulness. There are a couple of phone apps that take a photo and make it a sketch. My Sketch and Power Sketch.

  6. I think this is a fabulous idea! And yes, they will thank you immensely later on. :) I can understand why your sister was so pleased ~ such a thoughtful gift.

    Thanks so much for sharing ~ my mind is whirling right now.


  7. This is so cool! Not only the forever gift idea, but especially the house drawings. Thank you so much for linking to the artist. I pinned one of his watercolors to my wish list. We just built our dream house and I would love one of these for our "build" gallery. Thank you!

    Jen @ http://www.dejongdreamhouse.blogspot.com

  8. I gave Hubby a rendering of our first house this past summer for our 10 year anniversary..he loved it. I have it hanging on our gallery wall and nearly everyday my almost 4 year old stops, looks at the picture & says that's his baby house (where he was born). A great way to remember where we came from & where we are going. Maybe I'll switch to a pen & ink drawing of four current house.


  9. I also love a home portrait and thank you for the info because I didn't know of anyone to do it. Also there is an iPhone app "My Sketch" that does a sketch that I just used for a Christmas ornament and it turned put pretty well…not nearly as nice as yours but it made for a neat gift to have the home they left in a keepsake. Love your blog and headed your way for Atlantamart on Wednesday. Tonya

  10. I love this. I did a similar thing by finding three gorgeous country homes hand drawn, framed them and put them above our bed in our bedroom. There is something magical and inviting about hand drawn pictures. Thanks for sharing. I'm a new follower. I'd love you to drop by my blog – http://www.restylerelove.com. Thanks, Julie

  11. how unique!!! i love this!!! and what gorgeous homes! :) i am moving soon so this will be a perfect present to give myself and to my family when we make the big move. i will definitely be checking out the artist! thanks for sharing!!

  12. I love home drawings as well! The forever gifts are such a great idea!! My daughter is just 7 months, so I'm thinking we may start this tradition! Thanks so much for sharing!!

    Jenna @ rainonatinroof.com

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