Tuesday, June 2, 2009

And if only it were my size!

One rainy, Saturday morning, a sweet old man drove up to my house while the rest of my family was napping. He bent over in the sheets of water and quickly reached into his trunk. I waited, loitering on my porch barefoot, but finally ventured out from my shelter when he pulled out two child-sized chairs and a table. I squealed at all of their tininess and slapped a mere $60 in his hand for the handmade set that he had also primed at my request. He didn't say much; perhaps it was the rain or a craiglist formality, but he was off in his car before I could even say thank you.

Little Bitty awoke that day to see her playtable and chairs and happily colored, ate, and playdoughed for weeks until we decided on a paint color. A very uncreative white was the winner, because, as always, the cave-like setting of our cozy cottage's wood-paneling convinced us that we needed something bright. B put on a coat of white, and even willingly and expertly did a damask stencil that I had purchased at Hobby Lobby. I could not have made it look as perfect as he did. And that's why I make him do everything. Wouldn't you?

The fridge was getting crowded with all of Bitty's artistic endeavours, so I enthusiacally gallivanted off to Hobby Lobby to purchase some burlap and an artist's canvas. Instead of a canvas, I found this "beauty" for a mere $5.44.

Some deconstructing of it later and haphazardly cutting two pieces of burlap (maybe a yard or so) , I covered it and made it anew. Incidentally, if you want to cover something with burlap, don't use a regular stapler like I did. Do yourself and your stapler (may mine rest in peace) a favor and use the much more aggressive staple gun. I think I would have been able to cover this a little more neatly as well.

I would like to have made some cute fabric-covered button thumb tacks, but I'm not feeling the safety of that near a curious 2-year-old. Thus, I've reverted to good ole fashioned scotch tape for adhering these masterpieces. I'm still trying to figure out a solution for this, though. Let me know if you have any ideas!

A trip to Goodwill produced a $5 lamp (which isn't actually the lamp pictured, but it did find its home on top of the fridge) with a purple shade that I "thought" i could spraypaint. MK and I visited a thrift store weeks before and found all sorts of things in the wrong color that we loved, but that didn't deter us. But you could spraypaint it! we yelled and laughed at each other across the store. Little Bitty held my hand and looked at us warily, and right she was. A runny coat of black spraypaint on a lampshade was later deemed a fire-hazard by B and a mess by myself. I begrudgingly purchased $10 lampshade from Target instead.

Around the corner of this craft area, I have a wall cubby that once, when this house was built in the 1930s, functioned as a place for the telephone. I've made it into a craft cubby instead, and it's perfect to keep Bitty's crayons, paints, and otherwise messy things from her reach. As a busy toy-picker upper and laundy put-awayer, it's also easy just to reach in and grab what she needs when a creative moment arises (Co-w-ors, Mommy?).

And what would a creative moment be without some inspiration from the Creator Himself? Well, almost. Some fake daisies in a wooden pot (read: not breakable) decorate her little table. I had no idea how much fun arranging the daisies would be for her, either. Definitely worth the $4 I spent at Hobby Lobby for 45 minutes of independent play on her part that day and a few more times this week.

Here's the finished product! There are some things I'd still like to do, such as put something else on the blank wall or on her table, but I love it, and am so proud to display it in our general living area. It doesn't blatantly say,

A kid lives here, and a bunch of bright primary colors is going to make sure you don't forget that.

but instead,

A tiny person with good taste lives here...and so do her parents.

Here's the cost rundown.....

Table and chairs: $60
White paint: already had it, free
Black paint: $2
Stencil: $6
Lamp: $5
Lampshade: $10
Burlap: $6
"Bulletin Board": $6
Daisies: $4
Vase: $3

Total: $102


Cindy said...

Very well done! That table has the neatest shape too!

Ashlee said...

I love it!!!!

Katie said...

very impressive!

Jill said...

So cute!!! Love the stencil!

Chrisie said...

Very cute! So crafty! Love the damask stencil. I'll have to check HL...been looking for the perfect flourish stencil.

Julie said...

Love it! I am inspired by how you were creative AND thrifty! :)

Jill said...

It is absolutely precious! I want one.

Kelly said...

too, too cute!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Very cute!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Visiting from Kimba's party. :) I love what you did with the kids' table and chairs. The stencil is lovely. :) I always get my husband to do projects that require a bit of perfection. (Because he is more careful than I am and also if he messes up, then I have someone to yell at) ;) Looks great!