When we moved back into this house (Oh, I didn’t tell you. When we moved back in August, it was back into our old house. Funny how things work out. Oh how I love this house. Moving back here was like coming home.), I wanted to make one end of the kitchen an eat-in area, primarily for the kids. A place to eat a snack and do homework while I’m cooking dinner. A spot to keep me company while I’m making cupcakes. A spot for them. Who am I kidding? They have many, many spots to call their own in this house. But you get my drift.
So anyway. On one of the walls in this area, I wanted to use it to display the kids’ artwork. Ever since he could hold a crayon, Nick has been passionate about art. Any medium will do. Madeline is quickly following in his footsteps. “Color? Color? COLOR!” Art, and the pursuit of it, is important to us. That rainbow on the right side of that picture up there? Nick painted it, freehand, completely on his own. When he was four. I couldn’t wait to get that back up on the wall, and that was the first picture to go up on the new art wall. The house to the left of it he drew when he was 5. When their babysitter first saw how many crayons we had amassed, she was sure we had too many. I personally don’t think there is such a thing as too many crayons. Now that she’s been with us nearly a year, she sees how much they get used. She’s come over to the dark side a bit.
One by one, I’ve been hanging up some of the “better” kid art. I’ve been mixing up the frame colors and styles, because I think it lends itself well to what that area is all about. Art. No rules. But I wanted more. I wanted a spot where I could switch out the art easily for some of the more seasonal stuff. That’s when the idea of the art strip was born.
Last weekend, when the kids were with The Husband, I set to work on my little project. I bought a strip of MDF from Home Depot. It’s a little over five feet long. I purposely chose one that was already primed to make it easier. I also chose one that had a little bit of a beveled curve and was similar to molding, as opposed to something more plain jane. It was a whopping $5.50. Then I stopped at Staples and picked up large bulldog clips. I never knew they had an official name. I always thought they were called binder clips, but now after my little project, I know that binder clips refer only to the ones that have black on the clips. I was looking for ones that were all silver. And those would be the bulldog clips. And those bulldog clips are harder to find than you might think.
Once home, I nailed the MDF strip to the wall, even managing to get it straight without using a level. I have to say, I was pretty proud of myself. When attaching it to the wall, I didn’t put the screws all the way in. I left a little bit out so I could hang the bulldog clips from it. Now with the clips, we can hang some of the more seasonal art that we don’t want to frame and put up. When something new comes home, then I’ll swap it out and store those art pieces in the appropriate grade-level box.
Nick noticed the new addition to the art wall as soon as he home, bringing The Husband into the kitchen to show him. He called that area their “art gallery.” I loved that.
Just pretend you don’t see that Christmas tree in the corner of the picture. It went up a few days before Thanksgiving. We have a strict one-holiday-at-a-time rule, but I just unpacked it, and since this past weekend is when we started digging out the Christmas decorations, I couldn’t bring myself to lug it down to the basement, only to bring it back up a few days later. I’m sure you understand. Besides, I don’t think starting the magic of Christmas a little early, just this once, will hurt. Not this year. I love the little glow the lit tree cast on the art. The kids’ art gallery. Love that.