Delicate Silhouettes

15 12 2013

We awakened Saturday to a blanket of snow. By mid-afternoon it had changed to rain, and we scrambled to pack for our postponed race at Busch Gardens – the ChristmasTown Dash! But first, we had an appointment to have E’s silhouette cut at our favorite toy store downtown!* The artist’s name is Tim Arnold, and he is known as “The Silhouette Man” because of his free-hand cut style of silhouettes. I was interested to see what he could create with our bouncy, happy 17-month-old!

I meant to give E a bath and comb his hair before we left, but he napped until it was time to leave, so I threw a comb in my back pocket and a plaid collared shirt over his bright orange Puma tee. I figured colors wouldn’t matter, but shape would, and I just prayed that whatever stickiness in his hair would comb out later. (Snowman donuts, perhaps?)

We arrived at the toy store with plenty of time to play before our appointment after we checked in. Yesss! E played with a toy Dyson vacuum (#dreamtoy) until it was time to start weaning him from it before his turn.


Sure enough, when we put it back on the shelf, he cried until we could find him a nice doggie stuffed animal to transition him into his appointment.

But first he had to play in this teepee and get his hair all staticky as he played peek-a-boo with daddy.


And thennn he just HAD to squeeze in one big tumble on this stuffed tortoise to make sure his hair was *extra* scrumbled-up for the artist.


And then he found a dime under the turtle and turned it in (with daddy’s help), and the kind lady let him keep it for his piggy bank.

And THEN it was our turn!

E sat in daddy’s lap while one of the sweet employees read him popout books all about dogs and cats as the artist went to work with his scissors, skillfully wielding a precise silhouette of my sweet little boy. I stood by with my camera, intrigued by the whole process, which was over in less than 5 minutes. (Seriously.)


He didn’t use pencil drawing, shadows or special lighting; he expertly and swiftly snipped away “the parts of the paper that weren’t E,” as Michelangelo** would say.

ImageNote that E is not even facing him at this point! 

I held my breath and watched as he then began snipping into and across his fragile and perfect silhouette, creating features reminiscent of the “embellished European style” of silhouettes that, as I read on his website, he learned from his mother, making his work truly distinguished on a national scale.


And just like that, he was finished! His attention to detail made it seem as if he’s known E his whole life, instead of mere seconds.

For mounting, I chose an ivory paper, and the artist used spray adhesive to attach the two perfectly-mirrored silhouettes he had freed from the black and white paper in a matter of minutes.


I am smitten. With two pieces of paper.

He was all out of frames, but the toy store ordered one for us to pick up later this week! It’s a black oval frame lined in a beautiful gold matte-like interior trim.

Just LOOK at those curls. And those eyelashes. Those came straight from his mommy, no question. I couldn’t be more blessed with my strawberry blonde mini!


I guess we found the perfect combination of bed head, powdered donuts, teepee static, and tortoise fuzz to make those perfect dreamboat curls that evening.

Watch out, ladies. ❤


*I was not compensated for this post. I just love, love this sweet lil toy store downtown! They do so much for our kids, and I’m so glad they scheduled Tim Arnold to come this season, because he was absolutely fabulous and incredibly gifted.

**”David was always there in the marble. I just took away everything that was not David.” ~Michelangelo, on how he made his masterpiece, David



One response

20 12 2013
{Five on Friday} | Running MOMentum

[…] case you missed it, we took our 17-month-old to get his silhouette cut at our local toy store last weekend! What an incredible experience! I am still in awe of how the […]

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