About Me

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Dawn is a watercolor and collage artist, writer, Host of #JournalChat Live and Creative and Social Media Consultant. She enjoys sharing insights, humor, and encouragement as she shares from her life experiences. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. Hope you enjoy perusing the blog posts and in the process, get to know her a bit better. Enjoy your stay!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

My Daughter's Notebook: A Different Approach

For my youngest daughter's Birthday, we decided the best way to create a Birthday Wall for her this year would be to put it in a book--a binder notebook to be exact. This would be a wholly different approach to a wall spread, but it worked out very well.

I used colored construction paper to fit in the binder, punched holes in the pages and prepared layouts based on different preferences in various categories, from music to books to favorite foods.

She's a Spanish major in college, thus the Spanish language is prominent throughout the pages which she adores. 

She has a college-focused blog, By Hannah Joy, where she talks about her college experiences as well as beauty and fashion, which she has a lot of fun with. That inspired this page. 

It was fun compiling images suitable and then trimming them out and putting colored triangles on the corners for a scrap-booked look. I used two primary colors and used them to contrast each other which looked really cool.

I especially enjoyed creating a front page with birthday banner throwing some colored dots on for a confetti look.

I think what I loved most about this notebook approach is that I was able to use a similar approach that I use in my art journal, using matte medium for adhesive. The only disadvantage to this is once the items are glued down, you can't rearrange them!

But, interestingly enough, she prefers the notebook and wants me to continue that approach in the future.

I chose an image of keys to the car for an ending statement since she got her driver's license this summer!

So, there you have it! I hope these visuals have inspired you to work on one for your child's birthday.
You can also check out my e-book that gives you the full story and great ideas for wall or notebook collage.

Here are a few ideas you can use if you choose to present the Birthday Wall in notebook fashion:

Include at least 5 categories for different subject matter
Use at least two colors for contrast and visual effect
Use colored construction paper or card stock for the pages
Trim to size
You're better off preparing too many pages rather than too little (I had a few left over)
Matte medium makes a great adhesive, but you can use regular glue as well
Cut triangles for corners on your images which gives it a finished look
Don't be afraid to try your own ideas; your creativity is just waiting to be expressed!
HAVE FUN and your child will enjoy it.

Showing your child how much you love them by creating this collage style visual will be remembered and treasured for many years to come!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Rebuilding the Blocks by Sarah Herring

As we celebrate 10 years of our family tradition, The Birthday Wall, my eldest, Sarah, wanted to share a new view on The Birthday Wall in connection to the time she spends playing blocks with her son, somewhat of a life analogy for the meaningful message The Birthday Wall so many times contains with her being the recipient, as well as creator of one for her son now too. Enjoy!

Rebuilding The Blocks
By Sarah Herring

A decade ago my Mother invented a birthday tradition called, "The Birthday Wall." 
In short, it's a wall of choice, created and decorated of special moments, favorite songs, sayings, movies, books, celebrities. It includes unforgettable nicknames and personalized sentiments.

Friends and family are warmly welcomed to participate which makes the Birthday Wall even more special and unique. It's a rewarding version of my own personal holiday. 

The Birthday Wall is a bit like building and re-building blocks for me. 
When I'm creating a "masterpiece" from building toy blocks with my son, I build, edit, revise, and re-build each creation to best connect with what he likes and what matters to him.

It's symbolic of his baby steps and stepping stones.

In parallel, The Birthday Wall does the same thing, starting with the basics. Over the years it has become more complex and relates exactly to my interests, hobbies, talents and ideas, right where I'm at.

The Birthday Wall says goodbye to one year and hello to the next one, refreshingly, artistically, with inspiration. 
It grows with me. It's never boring. It's always exciting. It brings out who I really am and nurtures the child inside me. 

The Birthday Wall defines validation, originality, refreshment, nurture, acceptance, new ideas; loving your child to their core. 
It is what helps me define the entire year: my goals, aspirations, progress, expectations, and dreams for the future. It's also something priceless I have passed down a generation to my own child. 

There are no limits to The Birthday Wall's creativity, meaning and purpose. 
From young to old, It is a perfect present for anyone, in all of it's dimensions. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Birthday Party for All Children

I always love to share good news, especially Birthday news. How about a teenager who wants all children to have a birthday like she always has. Meet Sarah Wolford, 16 years, who has a passion to help kids get the treats and excitement a birthday party can provide through Birthday in a Box. Her story is inspiring and kind, just the sort I love to share here on The Birthday Wall blog.

The Birthday Wall can also be a  similar celebration, only on the wall (or in a notebook as one friend did) which can provide a special child a gift of validation to let them know how special they are. You can keep it as simple or fancy as you want to make it.

If you do provide such a delight, please let me know; I'd love to share your story right here to inspire others!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Food and Fun!

For those who like to create and have fun right alongside your kids to celebrate their birthday, Dana Holmes has come up with a few fun ideas and easy-to-do recipes to implement theme based parties your kids will love. From the adventure of a magic forest to camping or park time or going under the sea, there's some fun, fantastic ideas to run with to make your kid's day special.

You can incorporate the same food-related fun by including your child's favorite foods on their Birthday Wall, highlighting what their palette fancies! It can be a funny approach to show our kids how well we know them, even by the food they eat.

Imagination and the palette can be just the source to get your creativity going for a birthday they'll remember.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cate Russell-Cole, Author and Teacher, Shares Birthday Wall Treasure

My good friend, author and writing teacher, Cate Russell-Cole, has kindly shared her appreciation for The Birthday Wall and it's wonderful benefits for your child in sharing their story.

That's really what The Birthday Wall is: it's a story of your child. A Clear Visual Representation of what your child means to you and how much you appreciate who they are and what they love.

And the story is beautiful!

Create your child's story on their Special Day.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Recipient's Point of View: Sarah Herring

About ten years ago my mother cam up with a brilliant, family-oriented, authentic idea on how to celebrate your child and make them feel as special as possible on their big day. It was named and still is named, "The Birthday Wall."

It started out with a simple birthday banner featuring our name, our new age, and pictures of things we liked at that time, nicknames we'd been given, and accomplishments we'd achieved. At first I just thought it was a cool idea that would last until my sister and I were adults. I had no idea it would leave such an impression on me and become the ONE THING I look forward to every year on my birthday.

On my most recent birthday, all I really wanted was a Birthday Wall from my mom or something--anything--like it.

I was thrilled when she presented a collage she had made for me including my most favorite song for the last eight years, my favorite foods, my senior yearbook picture, my age, a seventeen year old nickname that still makes me smile like it did the first time she used it. The collage was all shaded in and surrounded neatly and artistically with my favorite colors and quotes.

It was the PERFECT gift, something so sentimental and priceless to me that it almost instantly sent tears straight from my heart right to my eyes in a way that touched Mom's heart.

She has invented a method of making her family feel loved, cherished and important for years to come. Ten years of such has changed my heart and my life, and I know it's something I can count on to make each birthday unique and special in its own way. It's something I get excited about and look forward to as my special day approaches.

I fully intend to pass the tradition down to my son who is almost two in hopes that The Birthday Wall will last for generations to come.

It is amazing that a simple, heartfelt idea turned into a wonderful family tradition that can bring a whole new outlook to your child's birthday.