Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Robots Taking Over The Boys Room

In a recent trip to ikea, we picked up a few picture frames with the intent of putting a super cool portal graphic we made in one, and...  something else... in the other one.

Although Eli loved the portal graphic we came up with, we were coming up short on ideas and time to make the other one.  So in the meantime, I grew a little tired of the stack of picture frames in my room and the bare walls in the boys room.   I figured I could at least hang the frames, and maybe throw some fabric or wrapping paper in them and pretend they're art.

So, I scoured my closet, and after coming up short on fabric/paper I liked, I decided to sketch up some super super quick robots in pencil and trace the outlines with permanent marker.  Have you ever tried to do a project with kids that like to make stuff as much as you?  It doesn't always go as planned. The kids loved the first robot.  And were insistent that he have a name, be filled in with color and ...stay in the frame forever.


So here's the first guy I drew up.  I'll have to ask the kids what his name is, I honestly can't remember.  He's modeled after one of the robots in Eli's Quilt.  Had I known I was going to have to painstakingly color him in, I may have made him a wee bit smaller.  I used oil pastels to color him.  It gives him a little bit of a textured feel with the stark marker lines.  I think I would prefer something more solid for the color, perhaps just drawn up on the computer, but having them done in one day with tools on hand is nice too.

Here's robot #2.  I didn't want him to match  the other guy too much, so I actually have him hanging out upside down.  Eli and I worked together for his center body design, and I really like how it turned out.

I guess it's not too bad for blank-frames turned sketched-black-and-white-robots to finished-art-my-kids-love.  Still.  Now I need to buy another frame for the real turret drawing... which we decided can just stay as a single.

In a moment of sudden self-consciousness, I realized all four pieces of art in my boys room were drawn by me.  I framed a coloring of Buzz Lightyear, I have a small painted canvas with a sun and a tree.. and now I have these two.  Add in my turret above, and I'm pretty sure the boys room is the most egotistical room I'll ever be in.

But enough about me.  Lets talk about how awesome it is to finally have privacy in the boys room! Their room does face a main road, and though distant, in the winter when leaves are gone (Ie the whole time they've been up there) the whole world can see right in.

About to change!  I searched high and low for high quality faux wood blinds. I was planning on going with low end cored blinds, but when I brought two samples them home from Lowes and Walmart to test we didn't like them.  Walmart's were cheap with plastic 'guts' (nearly the same as  Home Depot's, which I didn't bring home to try and return).  Lowe's off-brand were more robust, but the wood slats were so textured it irked both me and my husband a lot.

So semi-cheap corded blinds went out the window.  Literally. Haha.  Okay, I just returned them.  I decided to hunt for custom cordless blinds instead.  We figured the extra expense was worth the safety in the kids rooms.  (Eve was getting one too).

But,um...Custom blinds are expensive!  Like over $125 per blind expensive.  So that idea got tossed too.  Then I decided to try the custom-size-now blinds by Levolor found at Lowes.  (No, this isn't sponsored).  I love them.  I really truly love them.  They were a lot of money compared to cheapo 1" blinds, which we were darn sick of replacing/fixing/breaking, and way way less than custom, so for us, it worked.  Not for everyone, I know.

Here's the quick rundown.  You order from the store and have it ship home.  The box is designed so that the ends come off and they can cut it in store with almost the whole thing still 'in' the box.  It's amazing.  They cap it, and hand it back to you cut.  This leaves a WHOLE ton of burrs (metal slivers) that I highly recommend getting cleaned up outside before bringing the blinds in (only downside, not that I cared that much).  You can see below that there's room on each size for the blind to shrink down in size and not change any of the gears.

 They were pretty easy to hang up.  I can't remember the instructions well, but I remember thinking it was the most user friendly instructions I'd ever seen. (Again, no, not sponsored.  Just impressed.)

 I really really like not having dangling cords.  A lot.  It does take two hands to pull the blinds down, but it's manageable.  The kids can put them up as high as they can reach by themselves if they want, but we had firm instructions on how they're not allowed to break them (ie, pull them down themselves).  I think they'll survive some rough handling... but I don't want to test it.

Here's the downside.  The blinds don't lay flat on eachother.  I didn't really care if they were room darkening or not, so for me it's not a big deal that light gets in.  But they went through the trouble to remove the holes for the thread (usually more $$ for custom), so it seems a little odd that a key design, laying flat, was overlooked.

Still, we're loving them.  From a functional perspective this room is nearly done.  Only 1 million more things to do in the rest of the house and I can rest.

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