Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Labor of Love

(warning, extremely wordy post to follow)

When I was not much older than my oldest daughter, my parents decided to build a house. While we were building, I remember making numerous trips to the Builder's Square which was a Home Depot-like hardware store. During one of those trips, a strategically placed bin full of wall paper caught my eye and drew me in. Inside it was the most magnificent wall covering my 5 year old eyes had ever beheld... Strawberry Shortcake wall paper. The thought of covering an entire wall with Strawberry Shortcake herself blew my mind. I HAD to have it. I remember pleading with my mom for the wall paper, willing to offer anything I had for it, and I didn't have much. I was thrilled when my mom picked it up and put it in the cart and even a little taken aback by how easy it was to talk her into it. I remember the time that she spent pasting my wall paper in my room and I loved her for it. Add in my Cabbage Patch Kids bedding (my loyalties were divided) and my beloved double bed complete with frilly, white canopy and I was heaven.

Fast forward 20 some odd years. When we moved, Jane was a little traumatized and I was determined to make a nice room as a sanctuary for her. She informed me that she wanted a "princess room" so I decided that even though the thought of decorating a princess room made me gag a little bit, I would do the best that I could. I thought that maybe I could handle it if I made one that was a little more maturely and subtlety princess themed rather than just buying Cinderella bedding from the store. I have issues with cartoon characters making their way into my house in anything other than DVD form. Don't ask why, I don't know. My mom was way nicer. So, I started on it. We bought matching beds for the girls since they were going to share the room. I painted. I made Brent put up molding. I made pillows and curtains, but it just wasn't turning out.

A few weeks ago, after several months of dealing with horribly under-rested children, we decided that Jane and Lizzy sharing a room just wasn't working and had to do something different. As a resolution, we chose to split up my beloved craft/play room by putting a wall in the middle of it to make a room for Lizzy. I'll get photos of those at some point, I'm sure, but this post is about Jane's room. I wanted to do something that she would like better, make it a little younger, I guess, and this is what we came up with...





It certainly isn't finished since it has nothing on the walls, and baseboards aren't all there, the closet door is on backwards and (as Jane has informed me) it needs a rug, but the the bulk of the hard work is done. I painted those pink and purple princess stripes all myself over the course of the past couple of weeks. It took hours and hours of my time. They go around the entire room and required 4 different coats of paint. I sure hope that she likes it. I made the curtains, the bedskirt and pillows. I still need to paint the dressers and add the crystal hardware. After having done this, I have a much greater appreciation for what my mom did for me at this age. I feel, now, the love that she must have had for me that made her willing to wallpaper my room in Strawberry Shortcake just to make me happy. I know that it is a couple decades over due, but maybe it's better late than never. Thanks Mom, I love you.

9 comments:

Leslie said...

I like the stripes. You wanna come over and paint my nursery this weekend?

Katie said...

You make such a great point! My girls haven't discovered wallpaper, but we struggle mightily every time we shop for clothes. (I like Dora the Explorer. I don't like Dora the Explorer on their church dresses).

This room looks like it could have been ripped out of a magazine. I LOVE it. We have the same pink chenille chair (with stains in roughly all the same places).

Lynda/Mom said...

Thanks, Sweetie. I loved every minute of fixing your room when you were a munchkin--you were such a girly girl when you were a little kid. Your princess room looks fabulous, but you may have to wait for Jane's daughter before whe really appreciates it.

The Calls said...

It looks so great Laura!

I hear you on the Cartoon characters... never been a big fan of clothing or bedspreads with them on.
I want to come see her room in person.

Jana Sohm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jana Sohm said...

Darling room!! You are much better than me! I figure if I get to decorating my kids rooms in the next 5 years, I am doing pretty good.
(I deleted my last comment because I hit "publish" before I wrote anything. My mind isn't all there these days.

Barbara said...

Wow, Laura, your creativity really comes through. I would have loved a bedroom like that when I was about Jane's age. I hope she appreciates your efforts and loves it.

Jenny R said...

So pretty!!! Gives me some ideas for Nina's room - poor girl is still stuck with her nursery decorations - ugh!

jen said...

found this post through a search for princess rooms. had to comment that i love that you wholeheartedly made the choice to go with what your daughter wanted ... i'm in exactly the same predicament. and i'm trying to avoid the cartoon-y characters but still manage princess. i think you did a fabulous job.