Ah, summer. Weeks and weeks with no school, and an almost-five-year old who wants to do everything that Mommy is doing. Beau has her own watercolors, crayons and pens, but the thing she loves most is painting with my acrylic paints. "I want to paint with your paint, Mommy," she says, "and with your brushes, too."
So today after creating this
... and this
... Beau declared that she was finished painting for the day. There was a ton of paint still left on the paper palette, so I grabbed a spray bottle of water and spritzed the paint to wet it a bit, then tore out some pages from an old book. Beau and I took turns laying the paper face-down in the paint, and voila: beautifulness!
Aren't these gorgeous? All of these are from the one single palette.
These will probably end up in collages (digital and otherwise) but they are so pretty that I am tempted to frame them as is. So, next time you are finished painting and have some wet paint left over, use it up!
A couple of months ago I started looking for a fold-up dollhouse for Beau. Our little house in the woods is *quite* little, and we are already overrun with toys big and small. I thought: How cool would it be to find a dollhouse that I could just hide away at night? Then I came across a couple of blog posts from moms who made their own dollhouses out of recycled cardboard. Bingo!
I decided to make Beau's dollhouse with foam core instead of recycled cardboard; it isn't "green", but I was more interested in the dollhouse being stable than recyclable. I also wanted a floor for the dollhouse, so I added an additional piece for the bottom and pasted on flooring to match the rooms. For collaging the dollhouse I used old Ikea and Pottery Barn catalogues, and my husband's Dwell Magazines.
Here's the basic design:
Basic measurements are this: bottom piece is 28" x 17". Walls are 8 1/4" high, door openings are 5" high, long center wall is 28" x 8 1/4", two shorter wall pieces are 17" x 8 1/4". You can view links above to see the mechanics of how the walls fit together, it's pretty easy. I used 3 pieces of 20" x 30" foam core for the whole project. I got the foam core at my local art store.
Here's the front yard. How do you like my 70's era bricks? The "grass" is construction paper, and the window looks into the bathroom. The front door opens out.
Won't you come in?
Here's the kitchen (yes, there is a ghastly price tag over the hood of the stove, but Beau doesn't notice).. kitchen images courtesy of an old Ikea catalogue, and I found all of my rugs and floorings in Dwell.
Here's the cozy living room... I was going modern with the flat screen TV and the modern art. (That's Cy Twombly top left.) I also added a kitty by the fireplace since Beau adores cats. The fabulous wing back chairs I got from Judy Go Vintage, they are "Petite Princess Fantasy Furniture" chairs and came in their original boxes!
The bedroom is very simple, I used a page from a Pottery Barn catalogue for the wall. Isn't the bed amazing? It also is "Petite Princess" and came in its original packaging from the 1960's.
The nursery is my favorite. I took the yellow walls from an Ikea catalogue, and the rest of the images are from Pottery Barn. The nursery furniture I ordered from Melissa and Doug. I LOVE Melissa and Doug.
And yes.. the bathroom. With a hanging plant that you can barely see off to the right. I grew up with spider ferns hanging from macrame baskets, so I had to do it.
I love the open top of the dollhouse. It's so easy for little hands to reach inside. You can also "see" what everyone is doing in each room.
A sweet little wooden family completes the house, and the proportions happily invite Polly Pockets, Disney Princesses & Fairies figurines, and Fisher Price folk... on occasion.
And if there was more room in the living room I'd be purchasing this:
(Petite Princess Mid Century Modern Chair and Coffee table, sold here.)
So, if you are inclined, I hope you have a go at one yourself! Have some collage fun with your old catalogues. And let me know how it goes... Beau plays with hers every single day... I might be making a more hefty version in wood someday soon.