The coffee table in the Baker family's Queen Anne living room is a low oval marked with faint, colored scars, with two Lilliputian blue chairs on each side. This is where Addison and Kylie Baker spend hours at a time drawing and painting.
"They get in a zone," says their mother, Lynn Baker.
In the past few weeks, their artwork has taken on another purpose, besides just being creative. Addison and Kylie have been making cards to benefit survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
So far they have raised more than $500, all deposited into the Washington Cares Fund at Washington Mutual Bank and slated for the American Red Cross. Not bad for a first business venture. Addison, 5, just started kindergarten at John Hay Elementary School. Her sister Kylie, 3, attends Little Friends Preschool.
After Katrina hit New Orleans, Addison asked lots of questions about the dis-aster when she heard her parents talking about it. She was especially concerned about victims who had nowhere to turn. "Addison is very empathetic," says Lynn Baker. "She wanted to do something to help."
Baker scanned and shrunk 10 pieces of her daughters' artwork, bought card stock and some "paper shapers," scissors that ruffle the edges of paper in different patterns. The girls assemble the cards, but it's Lynn who actually glues them to-gether. Spray-on glue is thin and uniform, but not meant for little girls.
The cards sell for $2 each, 100 percent of which goes to the cause.
At first Addison and Kylie ped-dled them to their neighbors, then at Kylie's preschool. Soon they started receiving orders from people they don't know.
"Every time we sell a card to someone," says Addison, "they tell their friends, then they tell their friends." She sighs happily. "It'll go on and on until we get tired of making cards."
Both girls like to render princesses, flowers and other pretty things in their artwork, but Addison claims the similarity ends there.
Her favorite color is blue; Kylie's is red. She draws; Kylie paints. "Plus, we have dif-ferent ideas," she says. "Kylie makes more complicated pictures."
Take Sleeping Beauty. Addison's has huge eyelids shaped like beehives fringed with lashes. Kylie's has two circles for eyes with dots in the center, suggesting irises. Are Beauty's eyes open? "She's in bed," Kylie explains, "but not asleep."
Now, that's complicated.
Addison and Kylie (and their mom) are planning to broaden their efforts. Commercially, mother Lynn will ask Queen Anne shops if they will carry the cards.
The young artists also want to help more people. One of their grandmothers lives in Houston, so they have taken a personal interest in Hurricane Rita. Proceeds will now go to a general hurricane-relief fund.
Finally, they are concerned about pets made homeless by both hurri-canes.
Addison and Kylie will create pictures of animals, make those into cards and sell them to benefit a hurricane animal-rescue organization.
To place your order - while the artists are still inspired - e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 286-8168.[[In-content Ad]]