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Monday 19 August 2013

Home Made Hearts for San Francisco

Ever since the day we first arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area from Australia my two little girls have been in love. In love with the city. And in particular, in love with the hearts that dot the corners of Union Square.

The hearts on display in San Francisco's Union Square (among other locations) are made by local artists as part of a fundraising program for San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. Every year a new batch of 5 foot high, 400 pound hearts are made, put on display around the city and auctioned off to raise funds for the hospital. It's a great fundraiser and brings a nice dash of colour to the streets San Francisco.

My girls love visiting the hearts in Union Square. They love to give the hearts a hug and are always excited when we discover a new one. You can see some of their heart love here and a few cards that I've made using the hearts here and here.

Seeing as my girls love the hearts in Union Square so much I decided to help them make their own and take them to Union Square. Here's a look...

Ava with her Golden Gate Bridge heart

So colourful

I drew large hearts onto some thick card, gave the girls a collection of paint and brushes and sat back to watch the creative process unfold. 

Lola ready to paint - and looking like a Crayola advertisement!

Hearts ready for painting

My older daughter Ava decided that she'd like to create her own version of her favourite heart in Union Square, the one that remains constant on the corner of Powell and Post Streets and appears in every tourist's photos. You can see it in the top photo. She very carefully painted a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge and added a portrait of herself in the foreground. I may just be a proud Mummy but I think it turned out great!

Ava starts by adding some green grass to her painting

Ava blows on her painting to help speed up the drying so she can move onto the next part

Starting to look familiar

Adding the cables

Painting herself in the foreground

Waiting to dry

Lola's first painting, much like her subsequent ones, was much more abstract. At two years old she has mastered the art of drawing rainbows and people, however with a paint brush in her hand she tends to go all out and create an explosion of colour! As she painted she gave us a commentary of what appeared in her painting. Apparently there's a lobster, a squid, a fish, a bus and a sign stating "Don't walk on the train tracks because BART will squish you"! There's definitely something lobster coloured there but the rest requires a little imagination.

Dab, dab, dab...

Adding a little blue

That could be a lobster at the top!

Almost done

Adding a few final touches

While their first paintings dried the girls moved onto their next creations. Ava created an homage to San Francisco Zoo with some of her favourite animals and Lola created another colourful abstract piece.

I see an elephant and a giraffe

Now there's a monkey too

Pretty purple and blue

What could be better than painting with one brush? Painting with two brushes, of course!

Time for a break

After a few more paintings we left the girls' hearts to dry over night (Lola's had some pretty thick blobs of paint!) and then I cut out the heart shapes and mounted them on thick black card.

With their hearts ready to go we headed to Union Square for a few photos. 

Matching hearts!

Conveniently there is an extra base for the girls' hearts to stand on! 

Rainbow heart

Pretty happy with her hearts

Lola was pretty happy her hers too

Colourful hearts

Holding Ava's portrait together.
On a side note, I'm so angry that someone has graffitied on this heart.

Love these hearts!

Rainbow colours

Fireworks and rainbows

So proud of their hearts

One last heart to pose with

Loving all this posing with the hearts

On our way back home Ava told me that when she grows up she'd like to be an artist and that maybe one day she can create a real heart sculpture to be displayed in Union Square. What a wonderful dream to have. Keep your eye on Union Square in about 15 years. There just may be a heart sculpture by my budding artist!


This post was created as part of the Sunshine Kids California Blog Hop.

Sunshine Kids California Blog Hop

The Sunshine Kids California Blog Hop celebrates all that is wonderful about raising kids in the Golden State. The blog hop will run from August 19 to September 2. 

Link up your kid-centered posts about California: places to visit, books to read, crafts to create, recipes to try, and so on.

Thanks to Akane of Juggling With Kids for the beautiful photo! You can also check out even more California posts on our collaborative Kid Friendly California Pinterest board! Be sure to check out our upcoming project, Exploring the California Missions!          

Participating Blogs:

All Done Monkey InCultureParent.com - Raising little global citizens.
Kids Yoga Stories The Silly Pearl
The Art Pantry 2KuriousKids
A Mom With a Lesson Plan
Adventure Bee
Juggling With Kids
Little Hiccups
Slow Family The Good Long Road Adventures in Wunderland

Link up your kid-centered California posts below!


  1. I am so impressed with how creative and talented your daughters are! By the way, Union Square is my backyard. Loving the pictures.

  2. Awe. What a super sweet activity. I think my girls would love to tour them as well! We may need to take a fun day trip over to the city soon :-) Thanks for the art/outing idea!

    1. Thanks Rebecca. My girls absolutely love visiting the hearts in San Francisco. We've been going on a "treasure hunt" finding them around the city over the Summer so I'll have more heart posts coming soon :)

  3. That is s such a fun and creative idea. The girls' hearts turned out beautifully! They have an artistic flair.

  4. Love this this idea! They made beautiful heart :D

  5. Such beautiful hearts full of creativity! Nice DIY! You can visit http://www.kidsfront.com/ for more such DIY for kids.


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