because the before in this situation was positively shameful.
our downstairs closet has always been called the “art closet” because instead of hanging coats (which we never really need) we always stored our basic kid art supplies inside, along with their school stuff. (backpacks, etc) in various forms, such as a rolling plastic cart or an ill fitting bookshelf. the results were always a complete disaster. kids papers and backpacks and musical instruments thrown haphazardly inside, peeking out the bottom of the door even when it was shut. it drove me a little more insane each day. but, i let it sit like that for almost four years. so you can imagine how insane i really am.
i got the idea in mind to add more shelving about six months ago, and i finally had a chance to hire someone to do it two weeks ago. once the shelves were put up, the walls looked a hot mess. i realized i would have to paint the inside of the closet.
sidenote: ever since we moved here, i have wanted to paint my laundry closet a shocking, fun color, just to have a little happy surprise when i opened the doors. but i havent ever actually done that. i am too scared to move my machines. they were really hard to get in there, and even just thinking about moving them makes me feel anxiety ridden.
so, to satisfy my whole “shocking, fun color in a closet” desire, i purchased hot pink paint for the art closet.
(lowe’s : rasberry blush)
i also scurried about finding baskets and jars (target & at home) to hold all of their art supplies.
i also bought the kids all NEW art supplies. new crayons, colored pencils, markers. glue sticks, tempura paints, watercolor paper. puff balls, googly eyes, pipe cleaners. paint brushes, pencils, erasers. totally stocked them up. they needed it. we havent updated our stuff since the beginning of the the previous school year, so i didnt feel wasteful getting rid of some of the old stuff. also, after reading and being really, really inspired by this book, The Creative Family, by Amanda Blake Soule, i wanted to do as she suggested and give them good quality art supplies to create with.
i started sunday morning at 10:30, when jeff left for the gym. the kiddos were all happily occupied with club penguin (internet game) and el dorado (our favorite cartoon movie). we were all in our jammies.
they each came downstairs every so often to see what i was up to, and help. help sort things into jars. help toss out trash and recycle out the paper and plastic from the new supplies’ packaging. help fill up the shelves once i was finished painting. anna begged to help me paint, but i just couldnt quite hand it over to her, i had no tape or anything else protecting the floors, baseboards, or shelves. (but i promised her that the next painting project she could have at it. and she made me promise whatever it was, it would be pink.)
jeff came home while i was only about 1/2 way through painting. he passed and said, “pink, tara?! pink?!” and i looked at him with the eyes that mean “praise me now or lose me forever!!” and so he said, “but i like it!” and i said, “its a CLOSET man. A CLOSET. chillax!”
we finished at 4:30. we did have some breaks for lunch time and other stuff (fights, consequences, computer support), so all in all, it took me about five hours to finish. we were still in our jammies.
and here it is, in all of its care bear splendor. (thanks lisa.) :)
that green basket on the floor holds our oilcloth tablecloths that protect the table and floor from artsy messes. i bought them from a sweet woman in mexico who sells oilcloth purses out of her house and hangs them from her fence so driversby can purchase. i knocked on her front door praying she spoke at least some english so she could understand what i wanted. and she did. and she made me two in three hours, while we hung out in rosarito beach.
so if you are still reading, thank you. for some reason i really wanted to write about my process. i feel like i accomplished something huge, that has been on my to do list forever. so i feel really great today.
when i first started my blog, i did this thing called One Project A Week. (OPAW) i think once a week will be too much for me, so i am going to do one project a month. (OPAM) anyone want to join me? im going to call this project my april OPAM. and my project for may is going to be to fill the 9 20×20 frames you can barely see in the top photo with the last 7 images it needs. once i do that, i will take a photo. i could post my before on may 1st, and my after on the last day of may. you all could post on your blogs too, and link in the comments here. wouldnt that be fun? we could all goad each other into finishing.
(and guess what, i already took that before picture).