Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Inspiration (AKA: I Win At Coolest Mom EVER!)

I am not going to vent & bitch today.
Should've told you to sit down, sorry. My bad.  Pick yourself off the floor now.

My daughters are both very into art.  You know how kids have a default activity they tend toward when there's nothing else going on?  It's art for my girls.  They have 2 large drawers in my kitchen desk full of art supplies.  They also have 2 full cabinets in my laundry room of art & craft kits. (Also, paint, fabric markers, playdough & everything else they have to have permission to use.)  So Christmas was coming & I was trying to think what to get them from us.  Santa brings them each a "big" gift (scooter for Big, doll car for Little.)  But we usually give them one "big gift" from us.  Last year it was the trampoline.  So, I'm trying to think of what they love & then what we could get them related to that. I immediately went to ART! Of course!  So, what can I get them, besides more crayons & paper?  It dawned on me.  I'm constantly on them to put their stuff away.  The problem is that they out grew the drawers where they keep their supplies, before we even put the stuff away.  I thought how cool would it be, for all of us, if we could give them an art studio!  That would be very cool, but how do you give them a "studio"?  It's not something you go buy at Target, right?

Read on:

Here's the deal; we have a large "living room" in the front of our house.  In the back we've created a "great room" which includes, the kitchen, a dining area & a "family room."  Next to the kitchen & partly behind the living room is a "formal dining room."  We use the dining room as a dining room about 2x a year, maybe.  The rest of the year, the table becomes a place to put things we don't want to put away.  Last year we replaced the window in there & made it into a sliding door.  Now this room has direct access to the part of the yard, where the trampoline sits.  So the kids are constantly going through that room anyway.  When we moved in, we made our living room into a "play room."   The idea being that we won't have their toys where we're hanging out.  But after 5 years, I'm tired of the mess in there and want to turn in back into more of a "family room."  (It would still be their 'playroom,' but a little more adult friendly; Newer furniture. Toys are more hidden.  I'll tell you more about that in another post.) So, if we were to give them the dining room as an art room, they have room to play, store their art stuff & I can clean up a bit more.  Plus we would be actually using the room, instead of just dumping crap in it.  So we sold the dinning room set.  It was my grandmother's.  It made me a little sad to see it go.  I really liked it.  It just didn't go w/the rest of our house and it wasn't getting used.  So I'm glad it's going to get the attention it deserves.

Here's what it looked like as a dinning room. (These are the pix I used for selling it, so there's no stuff on the hutch.

First, we painted: (DaddySpeak painted.  Elfie & I observed.)
See dark green wall being painted blue.

Added new furniture. (Yeah! Ikea!)
Old light fixture in this one.  

And lots of art supplies from the grandparents under the Christmas tree!

Christmas Morning. They like it!

I'm still working on getting the walls set up.  I'm going to get some quotes in vinyl to put on  the walls.  I have square cork boards I'm going to cover w/fabric to hang "masterpieces." But really, I want them to have influence on what we put up.  It should be stuff that inspires them.
(I know, I totally wish I was my mom too.) ;-)


Janine @ Alternative Housewife said...

OMG -- I am an adult and I am jealous of that space! I would have died for it as a kid as well. Amazing! You definitely win at coolest mom, and that's so great that you are fostering creativity and life skills. Art is great for you in so many ways!