Fostering Fun with Friends

Sunday, June 10, 2012

As I mentioned to Dreaming in a comment last week, I am getting quite a lot done since school let out. Unfortunately, none of my recent productivity has been at my own house (and isn't that always the way?) Several months ago my friend Lori and I promised another friend, Caroline, (the teacher I talked about in this post) that when she was ready we'd help her fix up a spare bedroom for a foster child. Someone had given her some bedding and a few pieces of furniture, so it seemed the only thing left to do was pop over to her house and paint the walls. Er, not quite. Caroline admitted to being completely out of her element with this kind of thing, and said she definitely needed some serious help. Because I didn't realize a major overhaul was going to be in order, I didn't bring my camera for a before photo. Caroline sent me this lone photo she took with her camera phone before Lori and I got hold of the room (and her *grin*). Here 'tis:
Blah, right? And lest you think I am being obnoxious to Caroline here, she knows (I asked her up front exactly how honest she wanted me to be about it; I really didn't want to hurt her feelings *laugh*). Lori loved the little white hand-painted wardrobe in the corner - not pictured, sorry - to the degree I razzed her about coveting (and it was quite pretty, but I didn't care for it in there at all). She was also rather violently opposed to that dark chest of drawers, and wanted it relegated to the [spacious] closet instead. Right with ya on that one, sistafriend. I really wasn't too keen on the heavy floral patterned curtains, floral bedspread, living room like table with skirt, chest of drawers....well, you get the idea. One of those, "Oh wow, ummm...Hmmm." kind of things. So instead of a couple hours of painting, it turned into a two day budget special makeover. Lori had some beautiful sage green paint left over from rehabbing one of her rooms, and Lori and I [being the peas-in-a-pod that we are] both said, "Accent wall". So we had a mini-painting party (which was kind of fun - fellowshipping comes in many forms, right? ;o) but Lori had to leave us right after we finished painting. 
Since Caroline told me I could do "whatever I wanted" in there (which she probably regretted later, as I may have scared her), it was ON. I'm posting some photos of the [mostly] finished room. Lori will likely appreciate them as she wasn't there for Jen in 2D (demented decorator) mode. We pilfered a desk and bookcase (among other things) from other rooms, and picked up a few fairly inexpensive items: the bean bag, the over-sized dog, blinds, a topper, picture and poster frames, and - most importantly - some matching green spray paint (boo-yeah). Spray paint is my all-time favorite thing when decorating on a microscopic budget; it's awesome (more on that in a minute ;o) This is Heidi, by the way. Isn't she cute? Anyhoo, here we go:
Better, yes? She had those two beautiful watercolor prints already, but they were unframed. A couple of cheap-o poster frames and some paint and voila! Not to bad, eh? I liked 'em ;o) The bookcase we swiped from another room went where the chest of drawers was (that fit ever so nicely in the closet - go Lori!):

Since she already had the adorable stuffed mom and baby rhinos, and we were on a no-budget budget, I offered to kick in some of my art prints if she'd take care of the frames. Eat Your Veggies was a given (because hey, rhino) and she liked Sara N. Getti for the opposite wall. I wanted to add some color and help create a little reading/relaxing place tucked in the corner by the bookcase. I matted him in blue and Sara in a deeper shade of green. Have to say, I really liked the way the corner turned out (which may or may not be tacky, since the art part is mine). Caroline found the dog on sale. Initially she was waffling, thinking he was superfluous but I said oh we just gotta have him; he's perfect! What do you think?

A rockin' (ha, ha) pencil caddy, clock (complete with silly stuffed cat), a pretty lamb, and an empty coordinated frame went on top of the desk. Pilfered that from another room too;  kiddo has to have somewhere to do homework, right? She is going to call me as soon as she gets the word and then Caroline and her new charge will come for a farm visit right away; which should make for a fun outing to bond over. That's what the empty frame is for (because her friend Jen is a picture happy lunatic *laugh*). Plus it will help make the room feel more like their very own for as long as they are there.
One of the reasons I adore spray paint when fixing up a room is because it allows you to tailor make your own accents. Both of the poster frames in the first photo were black; I painted one with ivory textured paint and the other with the green. The .95c picture frame on the desk next to the lamb was also black; but "Rusty" and I took care of that in short order too. Caroline got into the spirit of things on Friday and voluntarily yanked the icky fru-fru skirt off the vanity table; brought a proud tear to my eye ;o) She had the cutest pair of lambs she found on sale, and I made and framed the little sage crocheted cross to put on it somewhere between 4 and 5 a.m. Friday morning (and yes, I'm aware that's insane).
The dog is sporting the cheesiest grin you ever saw, so of course he had to go over the mirror (he also covered up the hanger and nail quite nicely - love that multitasking-type stuff *grin*). You can see it a little better below, the top is scratched and worn and the front definitely needs some new paint, but that will have to be for another day:
Last and maybe least [dunno] is the door which absolutely, positively cannot be left blank (how else will they know it's their space?) When she calls me with the particulars, I'll make up a fun little sign with their name. In the meantime, I found a cute little DIY cork board frame in the clearance aisle at Wallyworld:
Of course you know I couldn't leave it like that...Some more spray paint (am I an official tagger yet?), a crochet flower, another (other) drawing, and TaDaaa! we're done :o)
My that was long; are you tired? I am. I'm so glad you stayed to the bitter end, 'cause it sure was a long way down here, wasn't it? Oh my. Have a blessed week everyone, and I'll have a Sarabear update for you next time. Hugs!


  1. wow, nice job. What a difference. Since you have the summer off maybe you would like to come over and redo a few rooms in my house. You can spray paint and move anything you want :)

  2. Oh my stars you are so talented! How sweet is that room ~ I love it. Doesn't some paint and a bit of creativeness go a long way?

    Fantastic job Jen!

    xo Catherine

  3. Ann: Oh if only I could - can you imagine how much crafty trouble we would get into?? Yikes. *laugh* I wish I could do budget special decorating do overs as a part-time job, but ironically the people that would need my services couldn't afford to pay me for them. ;o) Ah, well. C'est la vie...

    Catherine: Oh my, thank you! *blush* It never fails to surprise me what a difference a little bit of paint and some odds and ends can make.

    To All: My friend Lori sent me an "all caps" email yesterday saying that she LOVED the way it turned out (she doesn't 'puter much ;o)

  4. What an amazing difference! I'm with Ann, I need a decorator! Although I suppose Australia is a bit far to come...

  5. Oh boy - what I wouldn't give to come play at your house girl! That would be SO cool.
    I wonder if I could mail myself down there... mmm, maybe not. ;o)

Your comments really brighten my day!

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