Saturday, September 7, 2013

Go ahead, Write on the Wall!

We were gifted an art easel a few years ago with a chalk board on one side and a white board on the other.  The girls love to draw on it, but I was getting annoyed with it sitting in the middle of the floor.  In my Pinterest wanderings, I saw a number of ideas over a long period of time that came together to come up with a plan to keep the drawing boards, but clear the floor space of our play room. 

The Inspiration

I saw this project for a large art center and loved the idea of putting the chalk and white boards on the wall rather than on the easel.  Then I saw this cool oil drip pan magnetic board and decided to add that to the wall.  To store the art supplies where they could easily be put away I loved the ideas of hanging small buckets on a rod that I saw here and here

The Materials and Assembly

I am terrible about taking "before" pictures, but our easel was a lot like this one.  It was really easy to just take off the white and chalk boards and simply attached them to the wall.  I used anchors for the top two screws, just in case.  I put them right up against the edge of the wall and against each other for two reasons:  First, that way they all fit without covering the outlet and second, that way there wasn't wall space in between to be colored on in and "oops" situation. 

I got the oil drip pan from Walmart.  Easy as can be!  I let the bottom rest on the floor and used two upside down 3M hooks on top to keep it again the wall.  The pink magnetic baskets to hold the magnets were in Target's school supplies (locker organization) this year. 

The simple and cheap cafĂ© rod I got at Target (I'm sure Walmart has them too).  Again, I used screw anchors on the rod brackets, just in case.  The little buckets were in the Target Dollar Spot a while ago.  I simply strung the buckets onto the rod and snapped the rod into the bracket.

And there you have it!  The girls love it and I love not having to walk or vacuum around the easel!  And, with the addition of the buckets and the magnet board, it is better than before!

Good luck and have fun! 

Stuffed Animal Zoo Tower

Looking for a great way to store all those stuffed animals?  I have put together a great one! 


Stuffed Animal Avalanche

We had a very large pile of stuffed toys stacked into two small baskets in my daughter's room for years.  Every time she took one out of the pile, the entire mountain would avalanche onto the floor of her room and would remain there until I got angry and shoved them all back into place while cursing stuffed animals and anyone who ever gifted one to my children (even me).  I wanted a new solution and I saw plenty of cute ones on Pinterest, but I don't build from scratch.  I need an easy hack to an already produced item.  My daughter's room is already very full of stuff too so it had to fit in the small area where her stuffed animal mountain already resided. 

Then I found this post on Pinterest and an idea was born.  This was cute, but this small shoe tree wouldn't even put a dent in her collection, so I went to Amazon and ordered the biggest shoe tree I could find.  I was also worried that once we started stacking the animals in there they would still tumble out so I decided to get some mini bungee cords to string between the baskets as the "bars" to hold everyone in place.  Now, all I had to do was wait for them to arrive! 

How to


Assemble and Place Shoe Tree

Simply put together the shoe tree as stated in the directions inside the box.  The only hiccup we had is
that there are two extensions to the tension rod at the top and we figured out after trying to muscle the thing down as hard as we could that we should take one of the two off.  One extension rod was enough for our height ceilings. 






Attach Bungees

Once the tree was assembled and in place I started stringing the bungees from the bottom of a basket to the top of the basket below.  I soon realized that the bungees could not be pulled tight or they would pull the baskets up out of place (the baskets were designed to be weighted down my shoes, not pulled up by bungees). 


So, I put the bungees on loose.  However, when I started loading animals, the bungees would come unhooked easily, rendering them useless.  So, I ran and got my pliers and pinched the bungee hooks closed around the basket frames.  Now they aren't going anywhere.










Load the Zoo

And enjoy the wonderfully clean (Ok, comparatively clean) floor of your child's room! 

It has been working so well in my daughter's room, I may put up another in our playroom for our puppet collection. 

Good luck and have fun!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Crazy in Love

A while back my mom was talking to one of my cousins who is my age and also has two young children. She is working full-time as an engineer. When my mom told her that I have taken a break from my career to stay at home with my daughters my cousin simply replied, “I would go crazy.” Hear this working moms: When you encounter a stay-at-home mom, PLEASE do not say “I would go crazy,” or anything of the like. By saying such you are implying that we ARE crazy. Of course there are many reasons why we might be considered so: Years of higher education now being used to change diapers and cleaning spit up, days on end when the only people we talk to cannot tie their own shoes and, of course, having the very peppy theme songs to any number of cartoons constantly stuck in one’s head. However, each stay-at-home mom has her reason for being one and all are very important reasons and should be respected. It takes a special woman to be a SAHM. Does it make one crazy? Possibly, because while I am watching “Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas” yet AGAIN (yes, it IS May!) my youngest stares at me while drinking her bottle and my oldest climbs up and snuggles next to me, hugging my arm I realize that I am crazy. Crazy in Love.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What's in a Name?

I don’t really even like kids. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my daughters, but as a rule I have never really been able to identify with kids enough to enjoy hanging out with them. I babysat maybe twice as a tween before I realized I was much more comfortable with people older than me rather than younger. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to have children until right before we got pregnant with our first. When we decided to have children we also decided that I would give up working and stay at home, at least until the kids went to school. After spending several years as a professional with a title and a job description, I now find it difficult to fill in things like “occupation” on forms. Housewife? No. Homemaker? GOD no. I struggle with that often. What will my girls say when talking about me? “My daddy is a judge and my mom just stays at home with us.” JUST. Why do I have a master’s degree JUST to help my two-year-old put on and take off her shoes countless times a day? But as my mom’s principal told her when she was planning to get married, “God need smart mommies too.” Now I simply fill in “Mommy” on those forms. Is that ALL I am? Of course not, but right now, that is my priority. Then my daughter says “Mommy, shoe help peeeees,” for the fourth time this morning and I think “I am Mommy and that is the most powerful and important title there is."