Wednesday, January 4, 2012

design on a dime

my daughter judah means the world to me. (as though you hadn't noticed.) she is my incredible blessing from the Lord and i can't imagine my life without her. i hope and pray that she knows the following things: that she is loved, valued, cherished, and that Jesus is Lord. it's not enough to simply desire these things, i have to plan for them. i show her that she is loved by listening to her, by spending time with her. i show her that she is cherished by not dismissing her as a child. by putting her near the top of my list every day and by putting up her pictures and artwork. likewise, i show her she is valued by making time to hear the ideas in her mind and (often) acting on them. i read to her and invest in her. and daily i tell her about Jesus, His love, His sacrifice and His offer of salvation.
but there's more. children are astute. they are intuitive. and if the words coming out of our mouths do not match up with our actions, they notice. if i tell judah that the Lord wants us to live and love sacrificially but don't model that, she'll see my hypocrisy. if i tell her we need to give to the poor (matt 19) but spend all my money on plastic toys from target to fill her already overstimulating room, the things i say fall flat. so you see, i had to be careful with how i designed her room because that is what's best for her and for me.
therefore, i re-designed this room on a dime because, well, i only have a dime. but more than that, i did so because i wanted to put action to my words. judah doesn't need another toy or stuffed animal to know she's loved. she needs me. and i firmly believe that the way i spend my money makes my heart transparent. so i didn't go overboard on spending in her room, because not only have her needs already been met, but because i'm modeling right behavior for her. commonly referred to as "the pink room", my parents set up this room and the one i live in as guest rooms. they run a veritable bed and breakfast here, and if you haven't been a recipient of their hospitality, get up here!
as you can see this room was pink before the re-deux. ;) you might also notice that this is an old picture, pre- new window installation. if you look closely, you'll notice that our new windows are larger than these and some of the artwork around the window frames has been diminished.
so, off my soapbox and on to the details of this oh-so-fun make-over! i searched pinterest for an evening, gathering ideas and then set immediately to work. first off i changed the layout to offer her more free space for playing. secondly, i emptied the closet (mom's summer clothes, the hand-me-downs that are still too big for jude, extra chair cushions, etc.). moving her into her own closet freed up a lot of space in the whole house. i found toys all over the place and i was able to move most of them into the closet. well, those toys that i kept. the rest are slated for the garage sale! whoo-hoo!
ahem. anyhow, i was ready to begin the fun part: decorating. i used this quilt for my color palette of turquoise, red, pink, white and yellow.
one of the first ideas was the old window frame with fabric in the panes. i found a fat quarter at "joanne's" for about $7 that was in the perfect colors. the window took a little cleaning, but it was something we had on hand, so i was pleased with that! putting effort into things for my child tells her she's valued, remember? :)
for that project i needed hot glue (on hand), molly bolts (had 'em), a drill(you bet) and some of those picture hanging things with teeth (also found in the garage) to go into the back of the window. done and done. so cute! and so cheap!
i bought a $3 oversized letter "j" and plastered it with fun scraps of paper i had on hand in the same colors. again, it took a little time, but less money. that came out pretty cute, right? and then i had to re-create a painting i found on pinterest with one of my most favorite verses on it (micah 6:8):
also on pinterest was a fun and colorful child's silhouette. since i'd already created one of those for my "line of judah" shop (oh yeah, in pink), i simply cut it down to size and stuck it in a matted frame i already had. the other picture was already framed in yellow (perfect) and the doll is from jamaica. i like to have little dark-skinned dolls around since judah doesn't have anyone else the same color as her in this house. (although, clearly, she's not this black!)
in the garage i came across an old tv cart. we took the wheels (casters?) off and voila! a bookshelf that not only fits in the closet, but also holds ALL of her books!
oh me, what am i to do with all the shelf space i now have in my room? :)
so my beloved daughter now has a custom-designed, big girl room for very minimal $$. she is excited, feeling important, and since we set so many things aside for the garage sale the lesson of passing things along was reiterated. mission: accomplished.

**oh, and i have artwork on the way from some incredible etsy sellers for the currently empty wall over her bed. preview those amazing pieces here, here, and here! i'm also hoping to purchase this one in the near future! thanks for taking the time to read this! **