Saturday, May 9, 2009

Book of Colors: a gift idea for a child in your life

[Although it may seem strange to do this post right before Mother's Day, it is just what popped into my mind.]

Luxembourg Green

If you have kids, or have ever babysat a kid, or have a niece, a nephew, or any kid in your life, or even if you once stumbled into the children's section of your local bookstore by accident while looking for the café, you know that some of the earliest books in a child's library are about colors. A search at yielded 608,650 results. Granted, "colors" is a ridiculously broad search term, but still...

I was thinking about my last post and my mind wandered back to Paris...not to the architecture, but to the green chairs in the Jardin du Luxembourg. One year, I did an entire photo series of those chairs just because I like to remember them.

Then I thought about green and then...hey! Why have I never made my own book of colors for my kids? I really should have. And now that so many companies offer make-your-own photo books at affordable rates (although the image quality may not be as good as more expensive pro options), wouldn't it be cool to make a book of colors for the kid in your life? You could use your own photos, add text if you want, and make the perfect custom book for that kid you want to spoil. The possibilities are endless:
  • quick and easy—buy a basic 4x6 album, insert your photos representing various colors, and you're done. The good thing about this idea is they can drool all over the thing, bend the pages, whatever...You can swap out photos when you want. It may not be fancy, but it can be more book-like if you choose your photos well.
  • Hone your Photoshop skills and make your masterpiece—Slightly more involved, but you can design your own book and make as many as you like through various companies. Google "make your own book" and see what I mean.
  • Alter a board book—show one of those dumb board books who's boss. It will put up a fight, if you ask me, but some of you crafty folks are gluttons this kind of thing.
  • Alter something else—Why not a paint deck? Or you could just take a bunch of paint samples in whatever colors you need, adhere (your friend who is into crafts knows how, don't ask me) small photos over parts of the strips, laminate the whole thing if the kid is really young, connect your paint deck 'o colors with a metal ring (or whatever else that crafty friend of yours tells you is better), and you've got a cool book.
  • Or, if you've got $20, a few weeks, and a good supply of photos on your computer, and if the kid is into really tiny things (à la Littlest Pet Shop, Polly Pocket, etc.—be glad if you have no idea what I'm talking about), a set of 100 custom-made moo mini cards could become a tiny treasure box of color—perfect for that child who will grow up to be a designer. I love moo products (and sadly, I don't get paid to say that—but if you're listening, Moo peeps...). The print quality of the mini cards that I purchased is excellent.
  • Ask your friendly local scrapbooker—I won't even pretend to know what the latest trends are in the multi-billion dollar scrapbook industry, but around here, I could walk down the street blindfolded (don't try this at home) and bump into a dozen experts. But before you go and emblemish—uh, I mean, embellish a book to the point that it becomes a choking hazard for the child, remember that your photos are the content. Try not to get lost in the labyrinth of embellishment possibilities.
Oh, and feel free to limit your colors. What if you just chose three? (an "RGB" primer, anyone?) Or two? Or one—which would be the perfect thing for my daughter, Eva, who thinks that if it's not pink then it "isn't cute."

"I only like pink! All other colors are ugly!"

I could go on, but it's past 2 a.m. and I'm doing that "thinks when he should be sleeping" thing I do, so you'll just have to fill in the rest.

Anyone think they might try something like this? Or maybe you have already done something similar? Ideas? Comments? Let's hear them.