Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top 5 books I would have appreciated as a young girl had my mum let me go crazy and redecorate my shared bedroom

List by Tosca

"I would be the most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves."
- Anna Quindlen

At ten, though, I didn't want more bookshelves. Now I do but then? Then I wanted to be able to chuck paint on my walls a-la Jackson Pollock's 'Summertime' and call it art. I wanted to be able to make tacky doorway beads and snow globes and put splotches on my bedroom furniture. In short, I wanted to be able to put some part of my still-forming personality on the room and know that I belonged there. This quick and simple post is for the ten year old girl in all of us who wishes she had been able to redecorate her room more often. Can you tell that I feel my personal development as a child was thwarted by parental common sense? Oh, those crazy, crazy parents, making decisions for us! With hindsight (because we're all wise after the event) it was probably a good call. It's never easy sharing a bedroom with a sibling - most days we drew battle lines down the middle of the room avowing death to whomsoever put a toe across the line first - so I do wonder if mum said no to redecorating because one or the other of us would've tried to obliterate any trace of the other's individuality. Maybe she did know what she was doing, after all. Had we been allowed to do so, though, I would have loved having these books available to me in all their kitschy pva sticky glue glory! Although there's nothing says I can't employ a few of these tricks even now, at 35... This list of books also makes for great school holiday craft ideas for young girls wanting to brighten up their living spaces.

Rock your room with crafts / Tracy Nelson Maurer
Kids safely make room decorating projects with illustrated step-by-step directions using easy to find materials.

Tosca's comment: Suggests starting simply by moving furniture around - sometimes a change is as good as a holiday (I'd rather have the holiday, though) and also suggests simple crafts such as making a fringe blanket, doorway beads and a t-shirt pillow. They do, however, recommend cleaning your room. I did that once, and found cassette singles from the 80s. I try not to do that too much.

Redo Your Room! / by Samantha Brooke
"Packed with great tips for young readers on how to organize and decorate their room, this book contains step-by-step instructions on making cool crafts and includes such extras as vinyl mirror clings, picture frames, doorknob hangers, a pull-out poster, and more" -- Publisher's description.

Tosca's room: There's a little quiz to help you find your style, a floor plan to make you really think about how to work with the space that you have, colour tips and crafts. My favs are the snow globe, making your own pillow covers, wallpainting, bulletin boards and picture frames. Oh, and they advocate cleaning your room before your start. To which was my answer was, 'NO!'

Bedroom makeover crafts / Kathy Ross ; illustrated by Nicole in den Bosch
Handicraft for girls. Ages 9+.

Tosca's comment: Think doorknob posies, bubble dolls and heart letter holders.

Groom your room : terrific touches to brighten your bedroom / edited by Michelle Watkins and Trula Magruder
Offers ideas and advice that allow girls to create bedrooms that suit their personalities and lifestyles.

Tosca's comment: My fav activities: decorate your light switch plate (yes, I am forever a 10 year old girl at heart), painted terracotta pots to hold odds and ends and tricks with bricks.

I wanna re-do my room / by Clea Hantman ; illustrated by Azadeh Houshyar
Feeling crafty? Feeling like your room looks a bit blah, a bit humdrum, and maybe a bit like it has since you were four? Have no fear -- Clea's here to inspire you to whip your room into the here and now! Paint your room with Zooma-Zooma Racing Stripes. Give your bed an imaginary headboard. Add a thought bubble above your reading nook. Then fill your space with abstract art masterpieces, record jacket frames, and homemade tee shirt and sweater pillows that display your crafty talents. And why not throw in a brand-new bedspread while you're at it? All these ideas and more are inside this book -- and nothing's too tricky, thanks to the handiwork of the marvelously crafty and artistic Azadeh. All you've gotta do to create a brand-new room that expresses you better than anything you could buy is add a few tools and a hearty dose of artistic vision!

Tosca's comment: My fav section is the 'Make art not war' part because they suggest some great uses for frames (making your own and re-decorating your own) and album covers - like, honest to goshness album covers (not that mum or dad would have let me do that to any of theirs and nor would I have done that to any of my BROS albums but the idea is great). Am contemplating buying a whole heap of ugly handbags just to create the wall feature that they talk about in the book and they do the awesomest things with light switch plates.

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