Saturday, February 21, 2009


I've been thinking about the amazing art space we were going to create for River ever since we decided to buy this condo. I initially imagined dedicating a large wall in the family room in the basement for this purpose: the three-part wall would have a chalk board, a giant roll of paper, and a magnetic board. He'd be supplied with crayons, markers, paint, magnetic letters, construction paper, stickers, glue, and any other crafty thing I could think of. If there was ever an art-mergency we would be covered.

Since then, we filled half of the family room with our enormous book collection and I've taken the other half as my sewing/craft space. Sorry, River, no art space for you - you'll just have to get by with the crayons and scraps of paper I hastily throw your way every now and then.

Okay, okay, I didn't really abandon the idea altogether. I just decided that River's downstairs room (yes, he has two - see, the kid isn't suffering) was plenty large to house an art corner, and that is what Thom and I have been working on this month.

Here's what this space looked like before:

Pretty sad, huh? We've had the table and chairs for a few months (they were a part of my original design) and recently we found a cool roll of paper which we attached to one end of the table and anchored to the other side so pieces could be torn off and the roll moved forward.

The next step was to create the WALL OF ART, which is pretty much how I think of it. Imagine James Earl Jones or Patrick Stewart saying "WALL OF ART" in an epic, booming voice and you get the idea.

Around 5am one Saturday morning I woke up thinking about how I wanted to design the WOA, and started sketching a large chalkboard with a bright wooden border, shelves, and a decal that said "Imagine." When morning finally arrived we headed to Home Depot and bought chalk board paint, magnetic paint, and molding. I made the cuts on the molding myself (yea, handy!), nearly came to blows with the old lady trying to cut me in the paint line, but we got everything we needed.

We have a large collection of tools at home so we didn't need much besides some hardware. The original plan was to paint the magnetic primer with chalkboard over it, so the wall would serve two purposes. Turns out that primer works NOT AT ALL, so those three coats of magnetic paint were for naught.

The chalkboard paint worked significantly better and while I waited for coats to dry I worked on the accent pieces.

I painted the table, chairs, outlet covers, vent, and molding with four colors. We attached the molding withe nails, hung the shelves, and I made a fabric decal with the title of one of our favorite John Lennon songs.

Thom took on the enormous task of entertaining River and keeping him from stepping in paint cans while I worked. After about 5 days, this is what we had:

It didn't get nominated for a contest I entered on Ohdeedoh, but River loves it and I love it, so that's all that matters.



Anonymous said...

Can't believe your WOA project didn't get nominated! I think it's just fabulous!

jenn marsala said...

You are adorable. Seriously, seriously adorable.