Your Toy Portrait Giveaway! ***GIVEAWAY CLOSED***

null(2)One of my all time favorites, Jennifer Maher of Your Toy Portrait, has once again generously offered a custom Toy or Pet Portrait to one lucky Mamatoga reader this week!

I can’t tell you enough how much I love our portraits, every time I pass them on the stairs they make me smile. Childhood goes by so incredibly fast, and there are those little moments you think you will always remember but don't always hang on to. Like them coming down the stairs in their jammies holding their favorite stuffed animal. That one stuffed animal or toy they can't seem to part with, their special little childhood friend. That's where Your Toy Portrait comes in, her work perfectly captures that specific essence of childhood, the sweetness and the innocence, that time when having your favorite little buddy tucked in with you was the most important thing. I love how distilled the idea is with her portraits too, the simplicity of them allows for you to see all the details on these much loved subjects. That is what comes through the most for me with these portraits, all the love poured into these little inanimate objects, how cherished they are by your favorite little people.

Originally from Chicago, Your Toy Portrait artist Jennifer Maher now lives and paints locally here in Upstate NY. A long-time collector of unique stuffed animals, she has often turned to them as inspiring subject matter for her artwork. The birth of her daughter in 2008 revived Jennifer’s interest in documenting favorite toys, especially those most special to Sonja. This series has expanded as other parents began requesting portraits of their own children’s special stuffed animals. {Check out Jennifer’s portraits featured on Cool Mom Picks here}

Jennifer just completed our fourth Toy Portrait (I seriously cannot get enough of them, see the Blabla Bunny below) and each one is so uniquely special to our family. Plus having a custom painting by a local artist? I love it. This bunny she painted was extra special to me because it is posed on a small chair I have had with me since I was young, so the pattern behind it is also a happy memory of my own childhood.

10410609_1141664175861483_1801881689321973381_nImage-11IMG_2606For this giveaway though, you get to choose, because guess what? She also does pet portraits! I know it will be nearly impossible for some of you to choose, because how amazing are these pet portraits?!

nolaprocessnoladogThese portraits are perfect as a gift (LOVE the idea of a first birthday gift to hang on a nursery wall) or as a keepsake for you and your child to hang in your home, a special little childhood time capsule to be treasured. My kids love their toy portraits as much as we do, to them their little loved ones are getting the special attention they deserve. This would also make a perfect holiday gift for a child or that special dog lover in your family (Christmas is just around the corner, seriously).

IMG_8032photo-1-50-667x1024Turnaround is quick for these custom portraits, and if you live locally she can even paint your toy from life (don’t worry, she won’t keep it long!), but she can also easily work from photographs. All you do is email her two or three images of the toy or your pet, preferably taken without flash and with a strong light source from one side. You tell her a bit about the toy (or pet) and what makes it special to you, your family, or your child — (your story adds to her creative process and is a large part of the joy she takes in her work). The painting will sport a simple hand built pine frame and is ready to hang on your wall. redridingprocessredridingfinal (1)For the giveaway, ONE winner will be chosen at random on Monday, September 28th at 5pm to receive a custom 8×10 portrait of the subject of their choice, either a toy OR a pet! To enter, first go “like” Your Toy Portrait on facebook here (if you haven’t already) and comment below. You MAY comment more than once, and one winner will be chosen at random.

To read more about Jennifer, click here to see her feature in Mamatoga Magazine. Many many thanks to Jennifer for the giveaway, and good luck! xoxo

hedgieytp1***This giveaway is now closed, many thanks to all of you who entered, and a big thanks to Jennifer for doing this awesome giveaway!***