Crafts Crafts

The Lunch Bags

My friend Lisa reminded me the other night that I should post “the lunch bags”, so here they are.

The framed lunch bags now hand over the mantle in our family room.

When my oldest daughter was in Kindergarten I was a newly divorced mother with my only child starting kindergarten. I started painting a scene from our favorite books on her lunch bag every day for school. They started simple and got more elaborate. I would sit in my kitchen every night with my pens and watercolors and work away on these little creations. These of course meant very little to Amanda at the time. In fact, some of the best ones ended up in the trash as she would just throw them away with her lefttover lunch. The ones she did manage to bring home ended up in the drawer of an old dresser used to store kids art projects in our basement, and there they sat for the last 14 years. About two years ago or so I decided to drag them out and frame some of them. I gathered the best ones together, figured out a pleasing order for them and had them framed. They now hang over our family room fireplace. I’ll give them to Amanda one day when she has her own home to hang them in.

You can see that they are wrinkled and even torn in some cases – probably from being rescued from the trash can by Amanda, but they are a fun memory for us.

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, The Day it Rained Hearts, The Strange Blue Creature, and Olivia Saves the Circus

Redbird in Rockefeller Center, Lettice, Owen, The Day it Rained Hearts

The Day it Rained Hearts, The Giving Tree, Parts, Boodil by Dog

There's a Nightmare in my Attic, A Porcupine Named Fluffy, Dr. DeSoto, If You Give a Moose a Muffin

If You Give a Pig a Pancake, One Zillion Valentines, Are You my Mother?, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, Dr. DeSoto Goes to Africa, The Something in my Closet, Huggly's Sleepover

I don’t know if I could pick a favorite from them. There’s a bunch that I really like. I don’t really know why I did them either. To instill my love of reading into Amanda? To compensate for divorcing her father? Because I had nothing else to do every night? Whatever the reason, I didn’t think much about them for years. I’m glad I remembered them though and had them framed.

The problem with having done these for Amanda though is that the three younger kids thought I was going to draw them lunch bags every day. Doing these for Amanda was a luxury I could only afford when I had one child; it certainly wasn’t something that I could have entertained with 4 of them running around. We joke that they’ll spend time on the therapists couch later in life over that.


  1. I am so glad you posted these… I love sitting on your couch and looking at them. It’s as much about the time in your life as it is about your artistic talents. I never stop raving about the extent of your abilities. Thanks for sharing with everyone. (p.s. I think one of my favorites has always been Boodil by Dog though I don’t know that book… his coloration reminds me of Bullet even though his ears are too small!)

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