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Giveaway: Custom Toy Portraiture From First Friends

“Gou-gou” means, dog in Chinese. It was my eldest son’s first word thanks to his grandma. It is also the name of his cherished lovey. Dear gou-gou came to us from an old friend and Pottery Barn Kids. He’s worn, tattered and just plain beaten up but only because he is dragged, kissed and squeezed daily. It will be bittersweet the day my growing boy gives up his gou-gou. And while I plan to one day package gou-gou away in a box (can’t help but think Toy Story here), how sweet and symbolic would it be capture my son’s best friend in a custom portrait? After all, gou-gou is kinda like family. He sits at the dinner table and has enjoyed every family vacation to date!

Artist Erin Chainani has cleverly created the Miami based business, First Friends, allowing us sentimental mommies keep precious childhood toys and the “gou-gou’s” of the world alive! Erin is a mom of twins, former NYC costume designer and Yale trained artist.  Taking cue from the excitement her own children expressed when she painted portraits of their favorite toys, Erin has made purchasing a one of a kind portrait a convenient online transaction. Simply submit payment, email your subject’s photo and expect to receive a beautifully hand painted, original work of art.

Erin’s one of a kind custom portraits start at $65 unframed and are turned around in approximately two weeks. We truly believe her art makes the perfect keepsake gift and gift certificates are also available.

SAVE! Mention “ProjectNursery” at check out for your unframed order and receive complimentary custom framing!

WIN IT!! Artist Erin Chainani will custom create a 9×12 framed toy portrait of your child’s choice (a $165 value). Enter by commenting with the story behind your child’s favorite toy or cherished lovey. We can’t wait to hear about it! Contest ends March 18th, 2011 at 11:59 PST.


1. “Like” Project Nursery and First Friends on Facebook and tell us you did with a comment below.

2. Follow Project Nursery and First Friends on Twitter, tweet about it and tell us you did with a comment below.

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Contest Closed. Congrats to Sydney S who wrote:

“My 2 yr old son had no attachments to any toys or blankets, until he received this stuffed turtle from his grandma. You would swear he thought it was his long lost brother the way he *gasped* and *Oooo’ed* over seeing it for the first time. It is with him at all times. Bed time, breakfast, dinner, brushing teeth, potty training…you name it & turtle is THERE. I think he would go bonkers over a painting of his turtle. What a great idea.”


“Turtle” for Owen | First Friends Custom Toy Portraits

Tuesday 8th of November 2011

[...] mommy, Sydney, was the lucky winner of the Project Nursery giveaway I did last spring, and although the winner was chosen at random, her comment was definitely one of [...]

Veronica Garrett

Friday 18th of March 2011

My daughter's first toy and friend was a stuffed Barney. She carried it everywhere with her. She finally got to see Barney in person.

Jennifer J

Friday 18th of March 2011

My little girl has a stuffed duck toy that she just loves! I found it a secondhand shop. She doesn't always have to have it, but when she sees it her whole face lights up!

Mary Gardner

Friday 18th of March 2011

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jagar0047 at yahoo dot com

Mary Gardner

Friday 18th of March 2011

I Follow Project Nursery and First Friends on Twitter as jg4462 and tweeted!/jg4462/status/48918606142115840

jagar0047 at yahoo dot com