Last summer we did a big reno in the girls' room, ripping up old carpet, fixing and sanding and staining the floor underneath, redoing some trim, and switching the wall color from an admittedly lovely pale purple to the even better cool mint you see above (before pic is in daytime, after is in night, hence the slight difference in color). One of these days (read:when the kids clean their room properly) I'll do a whole room tour. But for today, just a small recent upgrade for the blank section of wall between their closet and the door to the hallway. Since we were stuck inside during the snowstorm for much of the weekend, I worked on two little projects to make that wall more useful and inspiring for my girlies.
Since she was little and had the room to herself, Stella had this
Winnie the Pooh clock with her name on it on the wall. When we redid the
room, I took the clock out with the intention of changing the
illustrated paper inside it, since we can't very well have something
that just says Stella on it in a room that is Stella's AND Maeve's...
But it languished as one of those projects I'd never gotten around to,
until finally this weekend I made it happen. It was a pretty easy
project, once I figured out how to get the clock open!
I'm sure every clock is a little different, but here's how this restyle was done: 1. Assemble materials. I got the pretty paper a while ago at a craft store. 2. & 3. Take apart clock. It took me a few minutes to figure out since I assumed the clear face panel would just pop out, but instead I had to take the (very stuck-in) battery compartment out first. Definitely thought I had broken it more than once in the taking apart process... 4. Using the original illustation as a template, trace the shape onto patterned paper and cut out. 5. Create a light box to trace number placement onto the new paper by holding it up against a window with original paper underneath. 6. Go over traced numbers with a Sharpie. 7. Insert paper into back section of clock, making sure to pull the tabs through the holes. 8. Reassemble hands and face panel, replace battery compartment in back, and voila:
Isn't it cute? It's going to make mornings so much easier. I can't believe we went so long without a clock in their room!
Unlike the clock, this was totally sponaneous. I was on Pinterest earlier in the day and repinned that great Diane von Fursterberg quote that I love whenever I see it: "I didn't always know what I wanted to do, but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be." As I was pinning it, I was thinking about how this is exactly what I want to teach my girls... That as they grow up, and even once they're adults, what they want to do for a profession is going to evolve, making it a pretty terrible orienting point to to guide the journey. I've always felt uncomfortable that this question, "what do you want to do when you grow up?" is one we constantly lob at children to make them identify themselves. I think the far better true north point to follow is what kind of person they want to be, when they're adults AND while they're kids. It may harder to sum up in a quick answer but it's so much deeper, as it is a question of being rather than doing. So suddenly, reading this quote again, I thought, that'd be great to have up in the girls' room... One quick search for a spare canvas later and I was on my way.
It wasn't nearly as seamless a process as the clock, though. I spent hours measuring the words out on the canvas for placement, painting them in an ombre teal and then going crazy with brightly colored petal shapes, until I realized I... hated it. It was cute, but I wasn't really going for cute, and next to the canvas' bright colors, the clock looked dull. I tried whitewashing over the flowers to tone them down, which was a little better (you can see it in the pic above. I never got a photo of the brighter version), but still not what I wanted. So as soon as it was done I painted over it. The girls could not figure out what I was doing and thought I had lost my mind. I covered the canvas in layers of teal and green, then, quickly and without any guides, painted the words on with white. It's a little sloppy but I kind of like that. Overall, it's much better, and I like the combination of the canvas with the clock.
I am not usually one for decorating with quotes or words. I have a small framed Lisa Congdon message-y print in the hall (you can kind of see it in this post), but the Diane von Fursterberg quote is definitely anomalous. I think I confused Stella and Maeve a little by doing this, but actually I'm hoping that's a good thing, that it will make more of an impact on them because it's weird. That these words will be inside them as they grow. That they will know they can have all different jobs or even careers without needing to go through an identity crisis with each shift. That the kind of women they become is something they get to think about... and know... right now.
I hung the canvas off-center to accomodate the light switch because I didn't want the clock to be too high for little Maeve to see, and I didn't want the canvas so low that it interfered with the dollhouse that's on the floor underneath. At some point I might switch them so the clock is below and the canvas above, we'll see.. For now it's done. Feels good to get another small home project crossed off the list!
What about you? How did you spend the (snowy, if you're local) weekend? Any projects of either the spontaneous or finally! variety? Any other favorite quotes to share? Comment and let me know...