One of the joys of toddlerhood is the influx of arts and crafts and creations of all ilks. When Matthew went to daycare we actually didn't have that much coming in because Matthew only went twice a week and it seemed they did a lot of outdoor walking/exploration/play on the days he went and most of their arts/crafts on the days we weren't there. However our small collection started to get a little large for my liking and began taking over the fridge and flat surfaces of the house. I knew I wanted a "dedicated" area in the house for kid art and after some "pinspiration" came to putting this up. Here it was when I first installed it (many, many months after purchasing the materials of course). From where I stand most of the time in the kitchen it's kind of off to the side in a corner. However, I realized today it's really one of the first things you see when you come in the front door.
And here's how it has ballooned in the past 3 weeks after some arts and crafts with Ed and Georgina and with our new preschool co-op.
Funny story: For the past month Matthew has been going to co-op preschool in the morning and his normal school/daycare in the afternoon while I finished out at work. I've been excited because with his new preschool he's been doing lots of fun arts and crafts. The other week the preschool co-op theme was "the earth" and they talked about litter and made a litter "project" i.e. trash glued to paper. Fun but not something I'm dying to put up on the art wall and brag about per se. That day when I went to pick him up from his other daycare (where he's probably made less than 10 projects in the past year) I noticed all these ADORABLE Halloween projects with footprint ghosts on pumpkins. Ms. Melissa says to me "let me go get his project" and I was so pumped. Then she remembered "oh yeah, he wasn't here for that". Womp. Womp.
It's okay, we've been working on our own Halloween crafts here. I first created a 3 eyed monster
But he got a little wild so I had to disassemble him. Catherine however was all business and got straight to work on her pumpkin:
And we put them all together on our coke bottle shelf with some votive holders we decoupaged and white pumpkins we decorated. Matthew's is the top shelf, Catherine's the middle and mine are on the bottom.
And some fun free form monsters from playgroup the other day:
We also redecorated downstairs with some rare earth magnets.
Attractive huh? :-) Actually, I discovered a very old school (yet superior) way of marking the studs in our walls. We've been through a few stud finders and they always seem to indicate that our studs are 5 inches wide and 2 or 27 inches apart. After having a series of pencil marks on the wall I did some googling for new ideas and tried this. These magnets were far more reassuring that yes, we could be a screw in the vertical line, which was important because it was time to mount our TV again (unfortunately our first attempt ended up too high and we have yet to fix it):
The blue table with crap on it needs to be replaced with an entertainment center of some sort. I'm hoping to DIY one out of an old dresser or antique piece but I haven't found one yet that will serve the purposes needed (like hide the ridiculously awkward Wii drum set we keep moving around). We moved the books upstairs into the master bedroom which made a huge difference in the feel of downstairs:
This move was made possible by completely removing the "stage" from the basement the other week. So far it's really opened up the room and we seem to be spending a lot more time down here. We now need an entertainment center for our peripherals and have about 55 million coffee table type pieces that need to be refinished but it's improving every day. The current layout also works really well for preschool. We do lessons, stories and calendar infront of the couch, leaving a good amount of separation from the toys and distractions. Then the little table gets moved into open area for distraction-free group projects/art and back for trains and free play.
In other excitement James and I picked up my early Christmas present :-) I've had my eye on some signs from this craft booth ever since I tabled near her at the farmer's markets this season. I couldn't commit to a word or sentiment (though I'd love to get the kiddos names for their doors one day) but when I found this one it was perfect! Fall and fun and a great reminder above our coat rack as we hang up our coats after an adventure.
Our home improvement hasn't been limited to inside, we raked up the leaves (in our front yard at least) just before the snow fell! Catherine did an amazing job considering we only gave her a tiny shovel!
Well, at least she did an amazing job emptying the bins for us. Matthew clearly disapproves:
It's okay, she had a plan at least: