windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (mlp witch)
Last week, the kids were signed up for an end-of-summer hurrah in the form of a day camp together at MyGym. I packed their lunch each day, dropped them off at 9:00am and then picked them back up at 2:00pm. As a homeschooling stay-at-home Mom, it was the kind of childfree time I never get and I felt like I had acres and acres and acres of freedom! So, I took advantage of those hours by overhauling my Pony Room--the office of all things My Little Pony at the end of the upstairs hall. I cleared out the walk-in closet in there, removing most of the wire shelving and bought (and assembled) three white melamine bookcases to use as display space. I found frames for most of my large Pony Fair posters and got my Pony Fair banners hung up with double-sided contact squares. By cobbling together shelving and drawer space from all over the house, I was finally able to clear enough space to unbox *all* of my G1 collection, all of my G4 collection, and a good percentage of my G2 and G4 collections. It isn't the final product I have envisioned, where I'd like lighted and glass-fronted built-ins for everything, but it is a comfortable stopping point for now. I've got my vintage stuff out of the room's sunlight, I've got most everything out where it can breathe and be assessed and fixed and seen, and it's just a very happy, very pony-rific spot.

It does change the vibe of the room, though, to have most everything G1 hidden away in a closet while the bolder, brighter colors of G3 and G4 are on display. And while I am an all-generations fan, the vintage stuff is/will always be my favorite. Not sure what to do about that, short of bricking up the window, but for now it works.

IMG_8646
(My new closet displays. There are a lot of ponies in there that need some serious hair care.)

Care to see more? )
I'd been holding off until I could afford the cases, the paint, the chandelier, the slipper chair, the everything I'd envisioned for the room. But, for about $150 in frames/bookcases and scrounging the rest from what we already had, I've got something I'm quite happy working with in the meantime. :) <3

It's 100% me. Super happy, a little silly, faintly embarrassing...but mine. :)
windinthemaples: (kind)
In October 2009, two magical things happened in my life. One, I discovered the book 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life and I also came upon an old metal newspaper box that had been repurposed as a community book box and chained out in the elements on our Chicago neighborhood's sidewalk. It was covered in graffiti and heavily battered, held more trash than books, but it was still glorious to discover. I started making it a regular stop on Graeme's daily tricycle ride. We'd stock the back basket of his trike with books to donate and transfer all the wadded up newspapers, fast food wrappers, and empty Starbucks cups from the bookshelves to the nearby trash can. We loved being part of that project--even though we never met any of the people who were leaving or taking books. I don't know who created the box and stuck it out there on Chicago Avenue but they brought me such joy.

And so, while I've contributed to coffee shop book shelves and other little community book swaps in the past, I'd not heard of the Little Free Library movement until [livejournal.com profile] mrsbrewer started stewarding her own book box outside her home. It was wonderful--an organization that promotes and registers all these tiny independent book philanthropists, a searchable map on their website studded with little free libraries all over the world. I wanted one, so much, and so entirely lacking in carpentry skills, I started saving up money from holiday and birthday gifts to buy a ready-made box that I could plant right outside our new home in Florida once we moved.

photo 2

That pine box arrived and smelled divinely of fresh-sawed wood. I painted and stained it a buttery yellow color, to honor the spirit of our Sunshine House, and then it sat in our laundry room for seven long months because, frankly, I can no more install a library than I can build one. Finally, last week, I posted to our local town residents' page on Facebook asking for someone who had a post hole digger that I could hire for the job. To my surprise, within an hour, a team of five or six people had volunteered themselves to bring the supplies and show up for a sort of tiny barn-raising party on Sunday. Friday, another neighbor called me to talk about how best to install the box. In the end, he was so eager to help that he and his wife showed up with all the tools necessary on Saturday and found a way to tie the box into our preexisting fenceline so we didn't have to install a post at all. "You're in the library business", he said as he ran the last screw through. The Little Sunshine Book Box was born! :)

photo 1

Instead of having a post-hole digging party on Sunday, we gave out donuts to everyone who came by to donate books. In two hours we had about ten families come by and they gave a total of just under 200 books. We've got visitors to the box every day and up to 124 likes on the book box's Facebook Page. It's all pretty wonderful. :)

photo 2

photo 2

So, we are now happily hosting a book box and it is JOY to drive by it in our comings and goings, to restock the shelves and to see what's been taken and what's been given.

I got the box up and running before I realized my father's last gift to me, the check he'd sent at Yuletide, had paid for most of the Little Sunshine Book Box.

photo 1

That's heartbreaking and soul-warming both. My father was ever on my side when it came to my hare-brained philanthropic projects. (Thanks, Dad. Whether I was collecting storybooks or warm pajamas or holiday gifts or canned goods, you always made me feel like it was the right thing to do and you were always the first to pitch in to help. I cannot tell you how much I'm missing that.)

The Little Sunshine Book Box was a gift from him to me. May it be a gift to the community, as well.

photo 3

Profile

windinthemaples: A lane of red maple trees in riotous fall color. (Default)
windinthemaples

December 2015

S M T W T F S
  12345
678 9101112
13 141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:35 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios