Saturday, July 29, 2006

belated birthday postcard

I keep thinking I wish I had set up this so-called blog a couple months earlier so I could have posted about the things J and I made for Iris's second birthday. Our house was a hive of creativity leading up to the day – sometimes there's nothing like a deadline to get the sandpaper and paintbrushes flying. Well, today I'm thinking, why not just post about it now? What's a few months among friends?

First there was the rehab of this vintage toy crib. A family in our neighborhood put it out for the trash when they moved away. It was pretty beat up – a couple of the spindles were missing and it was covered in nasty old contact paper and Disney stickers. I razored them off, painted the scarred-up end panels, and covered a piece of foam with flowered fabric for a mattress. J cut, stained and installed new spindles and voila! A bed for Baby Ute! (Funny how she still sleeps there and Buddy still sleeps with Iris even since their marriage.

Next, I tarted up a toybox from Ikea with a two-tone paint job and decoupaged birds. If you know Lotte Jansdotter, you know where I got the inspiration for these birdies. Decoupage was so easy, I wanted to paste paper shapes on everything in sight. I'm surprised J was able to restrain me. How can you keep your hands out of something called Mod Podge?

Finally, the big event, the kitchen. Iris's kitchen, that is, which is actually in our dining room, the most unfinished room in our house – and that's saying something. But it was the one room with a big-enough corner for this play kitchen set my mom got her for Christmas, and J stayed up late nights spackling the walls and putting up apple-green paint, shelves, even a baseboard, which the rest of this corner lacks (the previous owner had made this area a closet), so she would have an un-grungy place to cook her wooden food. My part in this endeavor was ordering bushels of said wooden food from eBay, which is all stored in a cabinet just outside the frame.

How happy I would be if our real kitchen could be as pretty as Iris's! So okay, hers doesn't have a refrigerator... but I could really relate to Stephanie's post about her un-remodeled kitchen. Not that we're having an Ugly Kitchen Contest, but believe me, ours is unlovelier by a lot. That's a saga for another day.


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