I wish I was “together” enough to have a project for the girls, if not every day, at least several times a week. I’m not. We definitely do several a month, but sometimes they’ll be squished into a short period of time, and sometimes it will be a little more spread out. A lot of it has to do with a picky kid (Ella – Sophie just wants to be included at this point) and a picky mom. I limit myself on how much junk I’m going to buy for her when it will eventually end up under her bed or tossed for the newest thing, so I tend to lean towards more substantial things like the birdhouse we made in August. Ella doesn’t consider just coloring to be a “project” – it has to at least be one of those black velvet poster things you can get in the $1 section at JoAnn’s (which goes into the category of junky stuff). In other words, something she doesn’t have access to every day. Or – it could be for a purpose – like making cards, or in this case – wrapping paper.
My nephew had a birthday at the beginning of the month, and after a quick look at my stash, there was only Christmas wrapping paper to be found. I had recently been telling a friend that, as a kid, my family often made our own holiday wrapping paper out of giant butcher paper rolls and potato stamps. After another quick look in my pantry, with no potatoes to be found, I settled on crayons and markers for the decorating.
Out came a long stretch of paper off our Ikea children’s easel, and the box of coloring tools.
I even managed to convince Tom to join in.
It turned out really cute, so I think this will be a new tradition. Even more adorable though, was the reaction my sister caught on tape (second video of the post) when he opened the gift (no, not in response to the wrapping paper – to the Legos). I’m so glad I didn’t get him a sweater!
I also finished a project of my very own. Finally. It’s only been sitting in the basement for – well, way too long. I decided about a month ago that it was ridiculous to keep taking down the twin mattress we use as our guest-bed, from Sophie’s room, every time a guest leaves. We have them often enough that it seems prudent to just keep it up there. The room is definitely big enough – my hang-up has always been that I decorated it with a floor plan in mind. One that included only the crib, and other baby furniture. Eventually though, that crib is going to have to be replaced by a bed anyway, so I admitted to myself that I just needed to move things around and quit whining about it.
Before I get ahead of myself though – I am not finished! This project was just the first step, after rearranging the furniture. I had found this great little wooden bookshelf ($5! – fantastic deal for non-plywood) at my favorite vintage store, and decided it would be perfect for a Reading Corner, to replace the adult-sized chair I had in there when a baby needed to be soothed by tired parents. The bookshelf was nice, solid wood, but the paint was peeling badly and would need to be stripped and then re-done.
I ended up breaking out the power-sander to finish the job, because although some of the paint came off with a scraper, a good portion wasn’t budging.
When I finally remembered that it was just sitting in my basement, ready for paint, I decided to go with the same colors I used for her dresser. If I was more artistically gifted, I would have done some hand-painting on the shelves that would peek through the books, but I’m not, so this is how it looks now:
I’d like to hang some artwork at her level – and possibly something similar to Ella’s birds-on-a-wire, that can hold rotating Sophie-art. Not quite decided on that yet. The rest of the plans for the room involve moving around the artwork that’s already there, to fit the new layout, and making a simple quilt for the guest-bed. I’m hoping to be finished before she’s a teenager and decides her favorite color is black.