Piggies & Paws For Papa’s Day: Keepsakes For Life

June 17, 2010 Digital footprints have taken on a new meaning…

Yesterday I wrote about new baby Noah Silverman and the future of early learning in his media world, today, I’m literally writing about digital fingerprints created via new media art forms, blending traditional art with electronics to scale and expand familial bonds globally. (Springwise shared Tokyo designers Otete & Anyo (shown above, the words “otete” and “anyo” signify a baby’s hand and foot in Japanese)

For all those who roll their eyes at Father’s Day commercialism, just know that the sentimental offerings are getting sweeter (and more pragmatic) in the digital age where custom creations are becoming easier, cooler, and (ahem) less breakable.

From FREE Animoto video trailers and slideshows with text kids can customize in a jiff to look like a photo pro, to Jibjab Father’s Day freebies,  Storybird collaboratives and other personal favorites, there’s no doubt kids can be involved hands-on in keepsake creation. We’ve come a looooong way baby, in preserving memories and milestones whether it’s beautiful Blurb.com custom baby books or new digital one-offs like elementary school’s TreeRing yearbooks to capture the passage of time affordably on a per child basis…It’s easy to see how media and marketing are shifting the way we archive our own permanent collections.

There’s a window of time with newborns where parents just can’t get enough of wee ones’ appendages as they kiss, hold, nuzzle and marvel at the human miracle before their eyes.

It’s those wistful, sigh-producing moments that make it feel like time slides through the fingers like sand, and you want to capture every moment.

Enter Tokyo’s  Otete & Anyo which would’ve made my foot-dunking fete more practical, since you simply send them black ink prints via email which they engrave in high quality stamps, perfect for papers and posterity. (I rolled her eensy weensy foot in water soluble paint to create her birth announcement which now measures about the size of her index finger)

I think about how often we’ve preserved multi-generational ‘turkey’ handprints, ‘ghost’ footprints, and wax and plaster castings of all kinds  knowing full well ‘we may never pass this way again.’ And now? So much of that is digital, and seamlessly preserved so it doesn’t yellow, get spilled upon, or go the way of ‘eight track tapes and floppy disks.’

Equally brilliant in ‘digital meets designer’ are these limited edition art pieces from Piggies and Paws turning junior’s adorable appendages into tasteful, artful décor. (a far cry from the drawer full of recycled gift wrap footstompings and foam door hanger hand-critters of yesteryear)

These creations are the brainchild of mompreneur Jennifer Thomas who blended Web2.0 conversations with opensource design ideas, beginning with a dozen and exploding into 200 by hosting ‘Piggies and Paws’ parties where new iterations and design development would take shape.

I like how the Piggies and Paws business template spins off the techie ‘app’ and ‘dev’ collaboration side of open-source platforms, by layering ideas and feedback into products to purchase, complete with business expansion model targeting work from home moms and scouting new career opportunities.

Not only are they developing local artisans and licensing new talent, they have a built-in growing market…kids development documented via art. That’s a smart, wide-open canvas to paint upon…

Needless to say, as infants transition to toddlers and preschool art abounds, the novelty may wane, but particularly for those of us with ‘only children’ (or lots of accidental breakage of precious castings from rowdy tail-waggin’ pups!) the ability to capture what will soon be ‘lost moments’ is a gift in itself.

Happy Father’s Day (new dads particularly) and here’s to cherished memories (not just the MB kind).

Related Father’s Day Posts on Shaping Youth

Media’s Portrayal of Father Figures

Meaningful Media for Father’s Day: My Daddy Taught Me To…

Free iPhone Apps For Dad He’ll Appreciate More Than Soap On A Rope

Father’s Day for $5, When Kids Want to Use Their Own Money!

Father’s Day Letter to President Obama

Shaping Youth Via Fatherhood, Joe Kelly on New Media, New Men

Shaping Youth’s Fatherhood Resource Roundup

What About the Boys? Packaging Boyhood Authors Respond

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