Friday, May 25, 2012

Problem : Solution... The Lilah Mess

PROBLEM: Lilah, my 5 year old, spends quite a bit of time in my studio. Yes, she makes a big mess. Typical. But her mess... ahem... "creative play" has been migrating across the room. Closer to where I work. In fact, she had taken over one of my primary work spaces!

 Hey Lilah! that's MY worktable!!

I am very proud of her complete integration of all types of toys - cats, dogs, mice, Rement foods, wind-up UglyDolls, tiny eraser-Disney-princesses, a teeny rubber duck, and, my collectible designer chairs... hey!?

OK, so I need my space back now! But Lilah needs a place to play.

SOLUTION: We made a play-mat-table.
For the floor. But fancy.
I painted a large sheet of masonite, fiber-board... whatever it's called... with a few coats of gesso, then a few coats of various green acrylic paints. When it was dry...

Lilah: "Is it dry yet?"
Me: "No"
Lilah: "Is it dry NOW?"
Me: "Not yet"
Lilah: "Good grief - Is it dry NOW?"
Me: "Nope"
Lilah: "Mom?"
Me: "Hey, look at that - it's dry!"

We got out the Sharpie oil-based paint markers and started adding the garden.

Which, of course, has a big rainbow in the middle. And some bugs, a lilac bush, and a patch of flowers that are "perfectly fine to be picked". (That means, NO ONE will yell.) And a river with teeny goldfish on parade.

Meanwhile, I attached wooden craft pieces to the bottom of another sheet, using Weldbond glue. Good stuff.  I used Weldbond to glue the painted sheet to the footed sheet and clamped the pieces together with bulldog clips.

This morning, I dragged it outside and sprayed on a few coats of polyurethane. I left it in the studio where Lilah was sure to notice it. She did - she's very satisfying that way...

"Aaaaaaaaah! My garden!!!"

Three hours later, my counter is clear, clear, clear! And the fully loaded garden (Playmobils, Barbie kids, and all) slides under my desk. Woohoo!

Note: I am ashamed to admit that, when my son was little, I would have painted the little feet too. Blush. But that's life. My son also has seven photo albums of his childhood... with comments... my daughter... well, she DOES have a baby book. And this blog. ;-)


  1. Wow. Brilliant! You and Lilah are lucky to have each other! :-)

  2. love this story. feels so familiar! Lovely solution to a happy problem.

  3. Mary In BrookfieldMay 25, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    Such a creative kid! Such a good Mom!

  4. hahaha! lilah is an internet super-star! who needs a scrapbook!?!


  6. Lilah reminds me of my girls. My oldest daughter, who is now at Texas A&M studying architecture, used to have this little desk that she would place under my drafting table and pretend it was her studio. Her and my youngest also like to put together these intricate cityscapes all over their bedroom. I thought it was cute, until it was time for them to pick up before they had to go to bed. I miss those annoying moments. I'm glad you found a creative way to help Lilah continue her creative explorations. You won't ever regret it. Blessings!

  7. Wow, I love how you solved this situation, and Lilah is so blessed to have a mom like you. Linda E.

  8. Yes. Yes, she certainly IS blessed to have a mother like me. I'll be sure and let her know! hee hee. ;-D

  9. I have exactly the same problem, except my kid is older and filling my studio with stuff for "her etsy shop." And I don't have any floor space!

  10. Hmmmm.... can you hang something from the ceiling?

  11. Great idea. My kid is 14 and she still prefers to work on the floor. And she still takes over my space, but I wouldn't have it any other way.


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