|A few month back, Faith decorated her shelf boards, so that from a kid's eye view (from bed or desk chair), they are as interesting as what's displayed on them.|
Last summer, as some of you will remember, my Artgirl, Faith, announced we needed to do a carpentry project. Frustrated with the clutter in the bedroom she shared with her younger sister, Ava, she needed shelves to help organize things, especially her art supplies. Having made my own shelves from magazine instructions when I was her age, I knew a simple method that actually needed no real carpentry, just paint and a few minutes with a drill to install. But what kind of teacher would I be, if I let slip an opportunity to teach wood working lessons to a ten-year-old girl? So, we designed trays to hold small bits, and Faith conquered her fear of noisy tools to build them, using the miter saw, sander, and my nemesis, the hammer. (Santa still hasn't brought me an air nailer. Not that I'm hinting or anything.)
|Desire is a great motivator. Faithie wanted shelves so bad, she was willing to use noisy, scary power tools, so getting the hang of the level, and dealing with a little math and measuring were nothin'.|
|I'm not sure her daddy is going to get his drill back.|
While we were building trays and painting shelf boards, though, things over at Faith's house were changing, as they do in a family with six children. Faith's oldest brother decided to move into a home of his own, and this meant there would be a bedroom available. For awhile, the two youngest girls considered sharing a bedroom, and turning the other into a shared art room, but somewhere along the line, probably on a day when little sister touched one too many of big sister's treasures, it was decided separate bedrooms was the way to go.
|Finally, something for little sister to help with.|
Once big brother's stuff was removed, paint colors were chosen, carpet was ordered, and Faith and I spent a day painting her walls (and her toenails...oops!), which appeared on this blog just before Christmas. I popped over this morning to give Faith a lesson on using a level, and we started marking the walls for the hooks that hold the shelves up. Faith finished that on her own, while I went fabric shopping for a client, and then we reconvened this evening to finish. It only took us a few minutes to drill the holes, slip in the anchors, and hook on the ribbons.
|Organizing as a spectator sport?|
|Uploading the art supplies!|
For simple shelves that take less than a day to paint and install, seven months was a pretty long wait, but considering these shelves came with a brand new bedroom, I'd say Faith thinks it was worth it. The bear hug I got on my way out the front door confirmed it, and the last thing I heard, as the door closed behind me, was Faith promising to help one of her brothers make shelves for his room. Artgirls rule!
When not getting youngsters hooked on power tools, I do work at splashing paint on walls. You can check out my portfolio at theartofthehome.com.
Want to make these shelves yourself? We used 1 x 12 lumber, cut to length at the lumber yard; 1" grosgrain ribbon cut in 40" lengths, with the ends hemmed 1 1/2 inches to form loops; and the plant hooks you usually install in the ceiling. Yes, they'll hold. My improvised version, at age nine, used sixty year old barn boards, garden twine, and 4" nails that never hit a stud, and those held loads of books for years. This time, I actually followed the directions, just to keep Faithie's folks from worrying about things going bump in the night. If you need more direction than this, feel free to ask in the comments below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.