Friday, January 27, 2012

Our Playroom Is Done!

welcome to our play room tour!

before we painted the room (originally intended as an office) it was a very boring shade of painter's beige.  boooooring!

we found "rona eco" recycled low-voc interior paint in "ocean" for a great deal at  the colour looked nice on the container (they didn't have any swatches available, at least not that we could find) so we risked it!  i'm so glad we did, the colour turned out exactly how i'd hoped.  not too blue, not too green, not too grey, just a nice, warm, beachy colour.
we also painted the bulk-head white to match the ceiling instead of the colour of the walls.  i think it looks better.

here it is!
the kids love it, and we're really happy with how it turned out.

there's a comfy adult-sized chair (an ikea poang) near the entry for somewhere to kick back and relax with a book.  the kids have all their measurements since they were born on the height chart i made for them out of a recycled glass-front cupboard door and a drawing on paper (that i can change out for something else when they grow out of this drawing).  there is also an art wall, table & chairs, a kitchen, an easel and a fold-up barbie dollhouse.

our ikea expedit shelf fits perfectly in the closet-sized nook in the corner and houses more toys and storage bins.  shelving is key in a kids room, it was mismatched before looked messy, so although they aren't all the same still we thought we should at least keep them all the same pine/birch colour for a sense of cohesiveness.  favourite toys can make great decorations, too.

kids love fish, have you noticed that?  our goldfish now live in they playroom for the kids to see and feed.  there are alphabet magnets on a magnet board (which can also be used for all sorts of magnet games they have).  
although she's not even 2 (almost) my daughter loves barbies already.  she has a bunch so we found this fold-up doll house to play with them in.  i loved barbies as a kid, too, so i have fun playing with them with her.

see my last post about the clip-board art wall and picasso quote we put together for the kids to enjoy.  we didn't spring for the $50 top half to this kitchen, instead we hung up a $8.99 rail with hooks to hang pots and pans, oven mitts, and play-aprons.

when my 4-year-old son saw that we'd hung this menu above the table he was excited at the idea of his "customers" sitting and ordering from him so he could cook their food in his kitchen.  pretty cute.

also in this room is a staircase that leads to my in-law's house upstairs.  it's hard to tell in this picture but it was the same boring beige as the rest of the house before so we painted it all our in a bright crisp white.  it really brightened it up and looks more modern now, which we love.

thank you for joining me on the tour of our playroom.  i hope you've been inspired!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kids Art Wall

we've recently combined our kids into one bedroom and turned the old bedroom into their new play room.  i've been having a lot of fun scouring pinterest for decorating ideas to make it fun and functional.  my latest project has been coming up with a way to display all the wonderful art my kids love to make.  usually it spends a week on our fridge and then gets bumped by something new and finds it's way on top of a shelf somewhere.  not ideal.
i thought, how cool would it be for the playroom to have a wall of my kids own artwork on display?  so off i went on searches of other people's ideas.  here are a few:

ikea tension curtain rods with clips
i like it, it makes the art easily interchangeable, but i find it a little bit chaotic for my neat-freak perfectionist tendencies.

uniform framed artwork
this is my favourite idea because it looks so neat and professional but it would take more effort to change the artwork in the frames and the artwork going on display isn't always a perfect 8x10.
{i'm unsure of the original source - if it's you please let me know so i can give credit where credit is due!}

cork boards
 i love this idea but have concerns about kids mixing with thumbtacks.

this office has a very tidy clipboard wall set up, making all the snippets and clippings look organized.  i'll bet that would work great for kids artwork, too!
{again, i'm unsure of the original source, here's where i found it through pinterest: source}

so google it i did, and the winner is: clipboards!  of course!  perfectly interchangeable, neat and tidy in a line, and can fit art smaller or in different shapes than just your standard 8x10 paper.  i love it!

i LOVE this "every child is an artist" pablo picasso quote!
{source - complete with a tutorial for putting words on the wall}

using microsoft word i put together a couple of fonts for the picasso quote:

{"every child is an" and "pablo picasso" in the font "quicksand" (free download here)
and "artist" in the font "halo handletter" (free download here)}

i printed it out in the size i wanted it to be on my wall.  i have jennifer at insideways to thank for the "how-to" side of transferring my letters from paper to the wall using the home-made carbon paper technique (like she did on her diy scrabble tiles in this post) - thanks jen!

a little sharpie (for a nice crisp straight outline), some black paint (to fill the letters in... because it turned out sharpie and a painted wall weren't quite as made for each other as i'd hoped), and a little bit of patience later i had the quote up on the wall.  the hubby came in handy at hanging time and up went the  clipboards and some of the cutest artwork i've ever seen (even though you can't quite make it out in the photos i took...but trust me, it's cute!)

so, without further adieu...
using a couple of the above ideas - voila!  here is our new art wall in the play room!

we're so happy with how it turned out.
thanks to all those whose ideas led me to this finished product even though you had no idea you were even doing so!

stay tuned for a play room tour in the next few days!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fizzy Fun

i found a simple recipe on a great UK blog i've only just discovered (where have you been all my life?) called Mini-eco.  the recipe is for a magic fizzy potion (think science fair volcano).

i decided i'd try it out with elliott while molly was napping.  here is how our adventure went:

 fill a clear cup half full of vinegar, add dish soap and food colouring
(blue is always elliott's colour of choice) and stir.
 add a heaping teaspoonful of baking soda.
watch in amazement as it grows blue foam.
after the amazement wears off, add yellow food colouring to see what will happen.
watch as the foam turns florescent yellow.
then stir in red food colouring, again to see what will happen.
drip the creepy red foam around for awhile.
get a call from grandpa to go play in the snow and run away.
ha ha, at least it was fun while it lasted!

you can find this and many other great ideas from mini-eco on her great blog or throughout my pinterest boards!

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Feel Calmer Already

want to feel relaxed, peaceful and romantic?  just peruse this tumblr page i happened upon:

it's full of wonderful photos, quotes and second-long movie clips.

(isn't that cute?)

i feel great, how about you?
where do you go to unwind?