We love photo booths over here. Once upon a time, Ben and I seriously considered purchasing a vintage one just to have in our home, but the maintenance stopped us. Thankfully, we go to Palm Springs and the county fair each year, so that’s where we get our photo booth fix in.
I scanned 4 photo booth strips, and used Photoshop to adjust the image to fit the size of the frame I had (I think it’s the largest one of this IKEA frame). Then, I took that file to get made into an engineering print at the local copy shop.
We have a long hallway upstairs that I want turn into a gallery wall of memories, but there was only one framed family picture on display downstairs. Ben had been asking me to put more family pictures up (he appreciates seeing family pictures on the walls displayed in people’s homes), so I thought a little collage of photo booth strips is just what this little wall needed.
We’ve blown up one square of a photo booth strip before, and we have that taped on a wall in our homeschooling room (see that one here). The girls have some things they want to enlarge and make into posters for their room (they are Star Wars and super heroes related), so we aren’t sick of making engineering prints just yet.
While I homeschool 3 of them officially, Glow’s been expressing an interest in being part of homeschooling lately, so I’ve started doing more intentional learning lessons with her too. I’m thankful True and Brave are pretty much at the same level (makes my life a little bit easier), but it definitely takes juggling to cater to the 3 different stages the girls are at. We started off the year trying to include Glow, but she would zone out quickly, so I didn’t want to pressure her if she wasn’t ready. I would send her off to play (I believe a lot of learning is done in play too) and she would be nearby while the rest of us did school. Now though, I see she is paying more attention to what we are doing and wants to be part of it. It’s made my mornings a bit more full, but it’s exciting to see her interested.
The day I have Soul and Glow completely reading on their own, I’m definitely going to do a happy dance and treat myself to ice cream (or shoes). I thought reading was going to be the most difficult thing for me to teach, but math is where we have had the most obstacles. It’s been better lately and we all have grown to like math a little bit more (thanks to Life of Fred). With the end of the school year not too far from now, I’m starting to think about curriculum for next year. I was thinking about trying out a math curriculum with a video component. If any of you have any suggestions of math programs you have had success with, I would love to hear.
The girls’ rooms drive me a little batty because it isn’t the “clean” that I would like, but it is really cute to see their personalities come out in their spaces. Obviously, you know my girls love Star Wars, and Brave is really into super heroes, Rey and Spider-Man are her favorites (I love all the things she has taped up next to her bed). I’m in the mood to do some reorganizing and slight redecorating in their rooms. I’ve definitely been bitten by that spring cleaning bug. Anyone else get bit too?
To make our large piece of modern art, I used 2 1/2 yards of black-out lining fabric. It’s a type of fabric that goes behind curtains to block out the light, but it has a canvas feel. It’s found in the home decorating section of the fabric store, and with a coupon, I got 3 yards for $12, so it made this large painting really affordable.
I cut down the width a little, then folded down the top, and sewed a panel for the dowel to go through. I attached a string to the dowel and hung it. Then, I let the girls go to town painting. I chose the color scheme, handed each girl a bowl with some paint, gave them a designated area to paint, and they worked their magic. I put a large piece of plastic on the ground in case paint spilled, and the fabric is so thick that no paint leaked through.
We had been reading a book on modern art for our art study, so this was their own collaborative modern art piece. I love the art my kids create; I think adults tend to overthink art, and it comes so natural to kids! If you ask each one what they made, the portion they painted has a little story. Brave painted a waterfall, True made a group of fish blended together, Soul made shapes, and Glow just had fun making lines. It’s all so random in the best way possible. This big piece of art was perfect to spruce up the playroom, but it makes the perfect picture backdrop too.
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Our guest/playroom got a little update to make it a more welcoming and cohesive space. We recently put in an antique cast iron bed (the previous one got moved upstairs), and behind the mountains are the girls’ toys. Other than that, I didn’t feel the room had a strong personality. The side with the globe collection felt complete, but there is this little alcove with a blank wall on the other side, and I never knew what to fill that space with. In the meantime, their little cardboard “store-front” gets kept there. The girls play here a lot (proof here and here), so I wanted to spruce it up for them and for when guests stay over.
I knew I needed a big plant (plants always do wonders to a room), a cozy chair for the kids, and then something for them to hideaway in. Their cardboard storefront could get moved to the closet, and they could take it out when needed. The kids requested for more pillows because they like to sit on them when they’re playing on the floor (they’re always taking the cushions off our couch and using them on the floor).
Target’s new Pillowfort collection came in handy for some of the things we wanted. What immediately got our attention was the teepee. It would make the perfect hideaway spot! True lobbied for the corduroy beanbag as a reading chair. Then, we picked up a bunch of colorful pillows (this tassel one and this coral one), and Glow carried home the knit alligator.
The hard part was figuring what art work to go in that alcove. We are studying modern art in homeschool, and then the girls said, “We should make a big painting!” and so that’s exactly what we did. Now, the painting came out really colorful, so we needed to move the chicken and lamb painting out, and needed something simple on the wall next to it. Thus, I painted a simple saying and put that in a white frame. We were all excited because for the first time, that little corner was looking so pretty and inviting!
True and I set to fixing up the room together. All Brave wanted to do was read her Nancy Drew book, and Soul and Glow played while we worked. After we had all the pieces, especially the artwork, the room came together pretty quickly. I think that big piece of art really inspired me; it was just what that room needed. If you’re in need some amazing art, let your kids go to town on a canvas. I think kid art is the best kind! I placed the large palm in the corner, in a basket I already had. We opened up the teepee, True put in some pretty pillows, she placed the beanbag where she wanted, and there you have it. It was ready for play!
True and I gave each other a high-five for a job well done, and now we’re ready to conquer our next design challenge.
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When I look back at my earliest memories of my own bedroom, I remember my mom had it decked out in Strawberry Shortcake with a canopy bed. I felt my bed was so magical with that canopy. My first memory of trying to insert my own personality into my room was putting together wooden animal puzzles and trying to give it a museum feel. I thought my one or two wooden puzzles were artifacts, and I totally thought I was nailing that museum vibe.
In late elementary school, I got hit by the Disney bug bad. I was Disney obsessed growing up and wanted to work as one of their animators one day. Lion King was one of my favorite movies and I had giant decals plastered all over the wall (this was during middle school to sophomore year in high school!). My canopy bed was gone, and I had a bunk bed shared with my sisters, and our bedding was all Lion King. In eighth grade, I even got a Mickey Mouse phone. It definitely looked like the Disney store in my room.
The day finally came for me to get my own room, and so I moved downstairs (that was a big deal). I decked my room out with my favorite movie posters, Titanic (yes, really), My Best Friend’s Wedding, and Mrs. Winterbourne (random, I know). At 16, I discovered this quaint antique shop, and my mom bought me my first vintage piece. It was an antique vanity set, perfectly shabby chic and sweet. Of course, IKEA also came along, and I had little things from there in my room too. In college, I came across an article of a home featured in Victoria Magazine, and I ripped that out and saved it as for inspiration for my future home (still have it and it has inspired my house today). I digress.
For Soul’s birthday, Ben and I got Soul this Luke Skywalker decal. We were deciding between a cardboard cut out, or the decal, and I think the decal was the best choice. The other day Brave was talking about how all the people in Star Wars are actors, and Soul said, “Not Luke. He’s real.”
Glow’s favorite, as you probably already know from her birthday request, is Yoda, but she says she loves R2-D2 just as much. So not only does she have one Yoda next to her, but 3, and then a string of Yoda lights (my sister got it for her for Christmas), and if you look at the window above her bed, there are more Yodas. These girls of mine are too funny with their love for that genius space soap opera.
This was their room just a couple months ago; there isn’t too much change. We changed out the rugs (brought in the one from True and Brave’s room), and obviously their love for Star Wars is now quite evident. I like watching how they bring their personalites into their rooms. If you’re wondering how we keep their room neat … the rule is they can make a mess and play as much as they like during the day, but before bed, everything needs to be cleaned back up and put in its place. #notnegotiable
How do you approach decorating your children’s rooms?
We go really simple for our Christmas decorating, and I love to bring in a lot of natural elements. Our most colorful things are our stockings. I thought about changing those, but I love the quirkiness of it. We have a faux Christmas tree in our front window, but we got a small real tree for our family room. I also picked up a lot of extra Christmas tree scraps from Lowes (for free) and used those to make wreaths and little garlands. Our advent wreath is pretty much like last year’s, but I used candlestick holders instead. There are a couple wooden ball garlands strung over the fireplace, and a wool felt ball garland by our small tree. And of course, we have lights everywhere; it gives everything such a cozy glow.
The girls have some decorations in their rooms. Soul and Glow hung up their deer garland on their door, and True and Brave’s room has a (teeny) vintage, white Christmas tree they put their own decorations on. I’m surprised they didn’t do a lot more decorations on our walls like they did for Halloween or Thanksgiving, but I think it’s because they’ve been focused on their handmade gifts for each other.
All our festivities start on Christmas Eve, so posting might be light here until the New Year. Besides all the family time and celebrating, I want to spend some time catching up with some projects around the house, and leave plenty of opportunities for chillaxing and having movie days in bed with the girls. I hope you cherish this special season too … one more sleep until Christmas!