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Monday, September 28, 2009

Alpha-licious!



In keeping with the theme of the room - function, play, learning - when I came across these ADORABLE, colorful, alphabet cutouts I knew I had to incorporate them into the room. So I have decided to put them on the wall as another "mural" - and will put the circle art on one of the smaller walls....They aren't actually stuck on yet, they are just placed with some tape for now. I am not sure if I should laminate and put them up or just mod podge them right to the wall...

Making Layla's Bed

Well, there are several beds I have found that I really like...but I would rather not pay a whole lot on a bed that she will only be in for a year or so.....with that in mind, I decided that maybe I could MAKE one - simple, but practical with leftover wood scraps that we had. So the concept emerged: building a toddler bed that was like a platform bed - close to the ground for easy entrance - with a guardrail just in case - a simple design that fit into the room space to create a dreamland for my little one (and some storage underneath!)

My Mom is always such a big help when it comes to these "little" projects that I think up...not only does she listen to my ideas but she actually helps me follow them through...and turn them into tangible objects.

We had some scraps and we got to work : marking, cutting, sanding, painting, building. It may not look PERFECT, but we made it with our own hands (and designed it with our own minds).

Take into consideration:
Existing crib mattress (so we wouldn't have to buy a new one)
the size of the wall space where the bed would go (I didn't want it to be to obtrusive)
the safety of our little one (a guard rail)
Storage space underneath (we live in a row home in the city - any extra storage is a big help)
High enough to get the storage, but close enough to the ground to make it easy for Layla to get in

we marked the board

and cut with a jigsaw - this was my first Jigsaw experience - at first I wasn't too sure...but by the end, I felt like I could actually start making puzzles! - (Yes, ANOTHER project!!)

Skip a bunch of steps which I don't have pictures of....like painting...repainting...building...transporting via car...carrying into the house...and....

voila!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Color Block Wall

One of the many focal points of interest in Layla's new room is this color block wall - ART. It wasn't all that difficult; it was relatively inexpensive; and definitely high impact as far as color is concerned. I pulled the color palette from the quilt that I made her last year. This wall is going to be her Reading Nook and pillow garden.

Here is the wall measured, taped, and ready to go.


Here, Layla is "helping" to paint the wall - I REALLY painted the top squares while she pretend painted all the squares she could reach on the bottom two rows. This is what it looked like from her point of view - and after only 1 coat of acrylic paint.


And here is what it looks like now with the tape off - after about 3 coats of acrylic paint (though some required only two - most required 3).

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I will be adding book "ledges" so that we can display book faces. I was going to make my own out of gutters, but found these at IKEA - they are more money but they are the PERFECT height to fit in between the colored rectangles. I think they are supposed to be "picture ledges" but I am going to use them for books that we can display and switch every now and again. Books are always more inviting when you can see the beautiful cover illustrations.
I can't wait to see what it will look like when we install them!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Eating Best = Books!



We LOVE some of the Earth's Best food products - in particular, the French Toast Sticks, Blueberry Waffles, Crunchin' Cheddar Crackers, and CHICKEN NUGGETS (I sure wish they made these in adult-size portions!) and when I found out about the partnership rebate program between Earth's Best and Barnes and Noble I was super excited! I want to share the rebate slip with those of you who are also fans for the food - and the books.

http://www.takeahealthybite.com/gift-card/index.html

It's only good for about another week - so get to your grocery store!

In our house these food UPC labels will equal Curious George Books for Christmas! (Shhhh...our little secret!) If you spend $25 in products you will get a giftcard for $10 to the bookstore - and each household can submit TWO offer forms! If you are anything like we are, and all ready have these delicious items in your house - you might as well stock up and cut the UPCs.

Continuation of Layla's Room


This is a new drawing of the room - a little more schematic than thought-doodle. It is beginning to come together. The walls are now painted white and I painted the colored squares on the one wall. I absolutely love the character of the color palette - it stirs my spirit with enthusiasm. I think Layla already loves it, too - she helped me "paint" the squares on the wall....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

As if I don't have enough to do all ready



As if my plate isn't all ready filled...with the end of summer...the restocking of my shop...living with an active 18-month old...

I have decided that I need to reclaim some of the "Adult space" in my house - right now there are toys ALL of the floors ALL throughout my home. Sure, it's fun. Sure, Layla seems to seamlessly travel from one creative thought to the next. Sure, we put the toys to bed every night (almost). But it sure does drive me crazy to see the bomb of play exploded everywhere I look. And the more I think about it, the more I am reminded of the other homes I've been in with little children...most have the same creative chaos. But something must be done.

Layla has a beautiful nursery upstairs. The colors of the walls are the same as when we moved in (I was pregnant and didn't want to add another painting project to the list). It is cute, with animals I painted on the walls...a project I never did finish. But, I have decided that, having a crib she never uses, in a room we are hardly in is craziness. This is my new, big, project. This week, little by little I have begun the process of organizing and excavating. I have all the ideas in my head and I am super excited to make the room a character with the spirit of my little girl. I want the room to have a personality as much as its owner. Sure the walls are going to be white - yes, white - but there will be color splashed EVERYWHERE throughout. Many of the things are going to be repurposed - a limited budget that needs to accomplish a great many things.

I want the room to have nooks, corners, and playful experimentation stations. I want as much of it to be as interactive as possible - and I would like the room to promote independence in exploration of idea, dreams, and designs. Something wordy, something scientific, something dramatic, something artsy, something peaceful - a comfortable place to be one with the room and to be inspired by the room (A tall order for an 140 square feet).
So, over the coming weeks you will be privy to a make-over adventure. Some ideas will work; some will be a work in progress; and others will work themselves out. Grab a cup of hot tea and meander a while with me and the child within...an exploration of functional design and learning through play.

Oh yeah....and the color palette: This is the first quilt I ever made (these are the fabric swatches on the wall) - when Layla was a baby she would curiously explore and play with the swatches of fabric...when she could stand she would pull them off the wall and put them back on the wall...when I finished the quilt she was incredibly fascinated with the colors and patterns. When I first opened it up to show my husband a huge smile appeared on her face and she got all giddy. She reacts the same way (a year later) when I open this quilt for her. Originally I had intended to sell it on my shop....but after seeing her reaction, time and time again, there was no way I could part with this endearing combination of colors and patterns. And so now, it is the inspiration for her room...and at the core of its character.