Friday, April 8, 2016

Crafty Lady

Anyone who knows me already knows this but I am a total "Pinterest mom."  You know, that mom that makes DIY toys for my kid and hand makes gifts and party decorations.   I mean, I made him an elevator out of a cardboard box last year (with The Pilot's help).  I'm secure enough to own up to all of my "labels," including Pinterest mom.  I don't apologize for it because I was a crafty lady before I had Megatron.  I've always been creative.  Opening a new box of Crayola crayons was pure heaven as a kid. Who am I kidding?  I still love a brand new box of crayons. I read this article that put into words who I feel about being a "Pinterest mom." I didn't make 20 feet of paper chains for Megatron's 1st birthday party because I thought he would like it or remember how festive his party was.  I made them because I like to do that kind of thing.  I don't think anything of it when I go to a party and someone hangs up store bought party decorations. I'm not judging anyone for not making random crafty things like I do because not everyone is crafty or has the desire to be.

Before I started my journey as a stay at home mom, I was an event planner.  I frequently used my crafty skills to add personal touches to the events that I planned.  I frequently would bring projects home with me at the end of the day so I could use my craft supplies to add some flair to board member gift bags or vendor thank you cards.  I didn't have to, I wanted to because that's just who I am.  So now that I don't have a professional outlet, I craft at home for my kid.  I give handmade gifts.  I make stuff just for myself.  I make stuff because it gives me an outlet from the monotony of staying home and raising an extra special kid.  Time spent crafting is "me" time.  It's no different than when I go for a run really.  Running and crafting helps clear my head and makes me feel whole again.  It's no secret that I've had a hard time adjusting to staying home with Megatron.  It wasn't part of the plan and I knew I wouldn't be completely fulfilled "just" staying home with him.  I'm making the most of it because I know it's the right thing, right now.  I'm finding a much better balance of getting "me" time and making sure Megatron isn't running with scissors and is happy and healthy.  That's because I'm making more time for running and crafting.

So now to where I do that crafty stuff...

When we first walked through the house we ended up buying four years ago, there was one bedroom that basically sold the house for me.  We liked the first floor but when we walked up the stairs, there was a bed room that screamed "craft room!"  Yes, it really did.  If you are at all creative, you know what I mean.  At my condo that I owned when I met The Pilot, I had a craft space but it was in the basement without any windows. Not very inspiring.  This house had an extra bedroom upstairs with a big, east facing window.  We knew we wouldn't need it as a bedroom and The Pilot was happy because I was happy (smart man!) so we bought the house and bam, I had my own craft space with a window!  The craft room is also my "Disney" room where I hide all my treasures so people don't walk into our living room and feel like they are in the middle of a Magic Kingdom gift shop.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I did marry someone who simply tolerates my love of Disney.  And if he let me have my Disney collection all over the house, I would have to agree to have model airplanes all over the house.  Marriage is all about compromise, is it not?  So my Disney collection decorates the walls and shelves of the craft room but the furniture itself was a random assortment of college particle board shelving and hand-me-downs.  It was all mostly functional but it didn't feel like a grown up, inspiring space.

In the fall, The Pilot and I borrowed a larger car and made a (kid-free) trip to Ikea (currently, the closest store is about 90 minutes away so it's a production to go there).  I was hoping to find a new craft table.  I figured I would end up with an inexpensive desk and that would be that.  Until we got to the kitchen section of the store and I saw a giant kitchen island.  I fell in love with it.  The Pilot knew it.  We went back to the desks and I sat at probably a dozen different desks but I kept thinking about that island.  It cost more than we had planned to spend and I was about ready to settle for a simple desk when The Pilot gave the thumbs up.  It was going to be both my Christmas and birthday present....for the next 3 years but I was so pumped.  That bad boy went home with us.  It took us awhile to put it together because it was a 2-person job and finding free time when The Pilot and I are both home was a challenge.  So we finally got it put together.  What we didn't realize when we bought it was that it was an unfinished butcher block work surface so it would need sealed first.  OK, no biggie.  Except once we got the sealant and read the instructions, we realized it was a couple months long process.  What??  I wanted to do crafty stuff NOW!  But if we spent that much on the table, it needed to be done right so the surface didn't warp. So every couple days, I lightly sanded and added another coat of sealant. Until finally, FINALLY! The table is assembled, sealed and ready for crafting!
Those bins under the table hold all my fabric.  The bottom shelf has all of Megatron's "quiet" activities.  The things we take on car tides, long doctor visits/procedures and restaurants.  :)

I decided that a new table meant the entire room needed a mini make over.  One big thing that this bright room last lacking was lighting.  Even though the window is great, I often have to do my crafting once Megatron is down for the night.  I've been using 2 lamps but they cast all kinds of shadows so it wasn't ideal.  Luckily I come from a family of electricians.  My uncle and cousin came over and ran electricity through the attic and installed a ceiling light for me!  I am ridiculously excited about this!

I made a new window treatment because the old one was left over from the condo and really didn't do anything to jazz up the room so I bought a 1/2 yard of fabric and made a simple valance.  I also wanted to tie in the fact that it was a creative space and not just a Disney room with a craft table.  So I customized some cardboard letters from Hobby Lobby to spell the word 'Create' on the wall.  I used fabric scraps, buttons, washi tape, paint and paper to make each letter different. 

The closet is full of my craft supplies but was a little out of control so I purged a lot (that's a post for another day!) and re-used some storage containers from other parts of the house to get a little more organized.  I tend to hoard anything that I think I can make something out of so my stash gets out of control easily.  I had an entire box of scraps of ribbon...but you'd be surprised how often I end up using random pieces of ribbon!  So I wrapped the scraps around craft sticks, pinned them and placed them in a jar on the table. Now it's a pretty way to keep them organized.
 Any respectable type A human owns a label maker.  These are more for me but one can hope that clear, labeled bins will one day help Megatron put his own crap away.  One can hope....
If you are crafting with kids, I highly recommend a vinyl table cloth.  I bought one at Target last year on clearance after Easter and I cover our kitchen table whenever Megatron is painting (which I still do with him strapped into his booster seat.  I am type A after all, I can't have complete chaos when paint is involved.)

This over the door organizer was actually a wedding gift.  We got a gift certificate to the Container Store and I found this. It's  designed for a pantry but it's perfect for holding paints and glue!

For the most part, I like my supplies to be out of sight but there are certain things I like to have at my reach at all times (scissors, tape, tape measure, pens, my nicer paint brushes).  I found a tin to keep those things in on the table also.  It also keeps those things out of Megatron's reach (for now at least).

During a previous Ikea trip, I had fallen for a little metal cart but at the time, I couldn't think of a reason I needed it or a place to put it.  But this trip though, I got sucked in and realized it would be a perfect addition to the craft room.  I like to have access to supplies I need but don't want them on my actual work space so this teal cart is perfect.  The lower shelves have things for Megatron and I left the top shelf empty to use while I'm working on a project.

When we went to Ikea, we also wanted to find a small table and chair for Megatron.  I wanted him to have a space to sit at in the craft room too.  I had this fantasy that we could both be in the room, crafting together.  I wasn't sure if he would be into it but I figured a little table would have decent re-sale value if he didn't use it much. I'm soooo glad we did find a little table because it does work!  Megatron does sit and stand at the table and work on crafts and other "quiet" activities. Not for long but long enough for me to get organized for my next project.

Sitting at his table working on fine motor skills...pushing pipe cleaners through a dollar store colander.
We put his table together first so for awhile there was a mostly empty room with a tiny little table in it.  It was nice to put a few things on the table him though and work on the rest of the room.

So that's a good portion of the room.  The other side of the room is still a bit of a mess.  It's been acting as my purging staging area.  Anyone who has read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up will understand, but like I said, that's a post for another day. We also have plans for one more Ikea purchase to transform the space from "college mismatch" to "a creative grown up works here."  Gotta keep saving the pennies for that though.

1 comment:

  1. Your table & room look amazing! Cute idea covering those letters in fabric. And congratulations on your new 5K PR! I always have respect for people who race with strollers - and there's nothing as humbling during a race as getting passed by a runner pushing a stroller. :)