Hello, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and this is been happening...
Rain and rainbows. Our magnolia is in bloom. They are very rare here so I was just thrilled when we moved to this house ten years ago and saw a mature magnolia.
When I finished Persuasion, Capt. Wentworth and Cracklin' Cornbread, I decided that I was going to take a brain break. I'd been working on some writing project for almost 12 months straight. Things had fallen by the way side (not homschooling or cooking or mothering... those are just part of life) and I was feeling I needed to take off the writing blinders for a while. Along with some home projects, I wanted to learn a few new skills.
First, I bought a new camera. It's not fancy, but it has actual settings. I've been learning to use the macro lens. (Above) I'll show you some more fun pictures at the end of this post.
So, this was one of the bookshelves in our living room. No space for anything new. We have hundreds (probably thousands) of books, and bookshelves in every room... but everything was out of order. Something had to be done. Most homeschoolers have a designated classroom area, but we only have the living room. My kids work at the dinner table, or in the book nook. Books end up EVERYWHERE.
But before anything gets better, it has to get worse, right? The kids were thrilled to know they were going on "break". We have school year round, and it works for us to be as flexible as possible. So, kids went on vacation and I started a project I saw at Centsational Girl. She's one of my favorite blogs, all about upcycling and repurposing! This project uses new bookcases, but it could work just as well if you have some matching sets.
OK, five IKEA bookcases, 7 ft tall.
Yeah, this was my living room for a while. Felt just like home.
(We decided to paint at the same time, so that's what the blue is up on top.) So, put the bookcases together and set them against the wall. I measured (and re-measured) before I ordered, so I knew the wall would hold five bookcases. IKEA sells different widths, too, so if you need a skinny one in the middle, it's possible. Check to see how far part the shelves need to be. The trim will cover the gaps, so don't be afraid to spread them out a little bit.
Now, we wanted our shelves to be truly "built in", as in "never gonna leave this house". We also have small people who randomly grab, pull, and climb the furniture. My older kids remember when a terrible accident took Tiggy's life, and the days after when my husband and I went through every room, bolted down every piece of furniture. My littlest guys have no memory of this toddler from a homeschooling blog halfway across the United States, but we try to gently explain how we have to make this bookshelf safe, even if they swear they'll never pull on it.
So, 3/4 inch plywood platform. And another 3/4 inch plywood on the top. This thing is never going to budge.
We heave it upright, and slowly swivel it against the far wall.
Now the fun begins! After measuring (twice!) all the trim, hubby cuts it so that it covers the gaps between the bookcases.
A closer view of a portion of the bookshelves.
I couldn't wait, even though I had AA's to finish. I started unpacking books I'd had in boxes...
My new resolution is to read all the books on the shelf that I haven't before. First up, "Mother Carey's Chickens". The title alone is intriguing. How can chickens give a 350 pg story? Is it in the point of view of Mother Carey? Is it told by the chickens? Is it an early version of Chicken Run?
Every child has a full length bookshelf... except for this little guy. He was VERY excited to have his own spot for all his books! So, that is the tale of the bookshelves. They're mostly full, but still have some free space to display treasures.
Random recipe that we made for a birthday dinner for our friend Barbara. The kids picke the menu, so it was a lot of kid food. Strawberries, oranges, Jello, pizza, ice cream, you get the picture. We also had home made lime aid! 1/2 cup lime juice, 1/2 cup grenadine, 1/2 to 1 cup sugar, chopped strawberries and fresh squeezed lime.
I'm wishing you some sunny days (even if you've got a foot or two of snow like Ruthy or Jan) and a little pep in your step. Easter will be here before we know it, so hang tight if you're feeling the grind of the last days of winter.
Until next time!