June 24, 2014

My Childhood Ephemera Found During the Great Declutter

The great declutter has turned up item from my childhood. You know how much I like ephemera, old papers, writings in notebooks, drawings, books, well, this time I have found things my father saved from when I was a child.  I have spent time walking down memory lane looking through my school papers.

This file cabinet was from my dad's house, one of the drawers held my childhood memories. My father was notorious for taping up notes and inspirational messages, see all of the tape residue that remains? The sticker that is still attached has my children's names and birthdates on it how strange it is to again see my father's handwriting. I'm going to clean up the file cabinet and keep it.

How times have changed, stories about Indians and Eskimos, which are now referred to as Native Americans and Inuits filled an October magazine that we all had to color. Drawings from my early school days show I didn't get my father's artist gene. My perspective of objects in my art work, and my knowledge of color words leaves me wondering how I got through school.

I was 5 years old and in kindergarten when this was drawn.
My father was very good at documenting my school work.
Clearly the sun is yellow.
What I was shocked to find was my watercolor paintings from a summer art class. I remember my dad would drive me to a women's house, not a clue of what her name was, for the two hours class. We would go upstairs to her attic with sloped ceilings and sit at old kitchen tables and chairs. One table was a favorite of all the students, it sat between the two slopes of the roof and in front of the window. If you got there early enough, you could get a seat.

I was not a very good art student and a pretty poor painter. Here is some of my pieces.

Now I understand why people are afraid of clowns!

What is very scary is that I won  a safety poster contest. I remember the poster was a child's head with the caption, Drive Slow Children Move Fast. Maybe no one else entered or perhaps the judges needed glasses because clearly you can see I didn't have much talent.

I will be keeping these items for my grandchildren to one day find stored in my father's file cabinet. I'm sure they will get a good laugh.

What else will I uncover in my great declutter? Stay tuned. 


  1. Paulette how wonderful he saved all those precious things from your childhood for you to look back on. They were obviously priceless! I am sure when we get to sorting out my parents loft space there will be plenty of such things there!

  2. How fabulous. We moved about so much because my dad was in the Army that none of my things were saved. They would have just been more things to pack when we moved on again.

  3. Oh your artwork is great! Do not hide it away! Have each piece framed and ready to display or give away to the kiddies. They will surely appreciate such fine work their gran did! Aren't you glad you are decluttering? You have found some real gems! Linda@Wetcreek Blog}

  4. I've kept items from my daughter's childhood. I think when it comes to cleaning it out, she will just throw everything out. Who knows! There is a difference between Eskimos and Inuit and there are many different tribes in Alaska, these are only two of them. The Eskimos tend to be short and the Inuits are very tall.

  5. What a fun post!!! You were quite the artist!!

  6. What lovely items. I have all my childhood papers in a scrapbook my mother kept for me. It is wonderful to revisit those every once in a while. I think your painting are beautiful, you should frame one and find a place for it in your house.

  7. I know nothing about art, what is good and what is bad. But I did enjoy looking at your paintings, and i *love* the tree in the first one - seriously!