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JENNA AND LAURA DRESS LITTLE BEDS

Here is my youngest granddaughter Laura as she is leaving to go back home after a week's visit in July, 2004, holding her latest project.

I had two of these little beds, so when our granddaughters were here together and wanted to do a project, they seemed a good choice for a small bedroom scene. Both girls liked the little flowers that were already on the beds.

And fortunately I had two more of these clear plastic Kleenex boxes to use as containers.

Laura used this small chest of drawers and Jenna used its matching dresser - a good fit in the small space with the little bed. A folded blanket could probably work nicely in that spot where the drawer is missing.

We decided that we would dress up the storage pieces by painting on a flower design like the one on the bed.

I removed the drawer pulls, which looked rather odd in my opinion because they stuck out too far; not sure why.

Using the closest colors from my paint stash, I illustrated making dot and dash flowers and leaves. Jenna said, "I remember making flowers like that, Nana!" I had forgotten that I had shown her how to paint flowers on a Michaels hutch a couple of years ago (unfortunately I didn't get a picture).

"I remember everything you taught me, Nana!" she said fervently, to my surprise and pleasure.

I showed them how holding the toothpick straight gave a dot; how holding it at an angle gave a petal shape. I pointed out they could just paint the flowers on the main part of the drawer or it might be interesting to have the flowers behind the drawer pulls and they decided that's what they wanted to do. So, after a bit of practice, they were ready.

Here's Jenna with her flowers painted.

And here's Laura with hers.

We painted the drawer pulls yellow, so they would suggest the flower's center.

With their paint jobs drying, we began dressing our beds by first making a pattern for the mattress. I did this for them but illustrated what I was doing so that they would know how to do it next time.

Jenna is applying glue to the sides of the white fabric which will form the mattress.

For a five-year-old, Laura has a very steady hand. (That's how old Jenna was when we did her first project, the Kitty in the Plastic Box.)

I couldn't believe it when I looked at my fabrics. Here was a perfect little calico print that matched the flowers on the beds!.

I showed them how to glue foil to the back of the fabric ....

and cover it with white ....

... so that the sides could be shaped to hang down nicely. Frankly, I thought this looked pretty nifty. However, Jenna said, "Nana, that wouldn't feel too good to the dolly." I had forgotten momentarily that they would think in terms of someone actually using the little beds!

This was a good reminder of the different ways we approach our projects. They are much more literal minded. Therefore, we redid the bedspread so that it would tuck in, and here is how Jenna fixed her bed.

Laura decided she wanted another spread without the foil so that it would be more comfortable for her little dolly, too. She used a different fabric, but apparently I didn't take a picture while she worked on it.

MAKING THE BASE

We used our fingernails on some paper to indent a pattern along the edges of the Kleenex box bottom. We then used the paper pattern to cut a piece of white matboard.

The fabric is glued to the matboard. By this time, both girls were tired, so I finished gluing the fabric on for the floors.

Here is the finished floor.

Here is the bottom of the floor, nicely finished with a piece of white paper. We added stick-on labels that said, "Made at Nana's House, July, 2004, by ...." and each girl wrote her name. It will only be visible if someone lifts the box up to look underneath, but someone inevitably will, and the little girls will always remember when they made it.

Here is Laura's completed Bear In The Little Bed scene.

Because this was a Kleenex box, I wanted to cover the hole in the top to keep it dustfree, so I cut a piece of clear plastic from some packaging and glued it inside the box top. Then I glued the ribbon atop it and to the sides of the box, figuring the ribbon would help hold the interior plastic in place.

Not bad flowers for a five year old. Oh, yes, we didn't use the original drawer pulls. I could not get them back in easily, so instead we used glass headed pins which I cut to fit and the girls painted yellow.

On top of the chest is a tiny bear from my stash that Laura picked, plus an American Girl Magazine. She glued them in place.

The base of the lamp is an earring post colored yellow with glass paint. The heart came from a little girl's bracelet, the globe was a crystal bead, and the lampshade was from a hair tie ornament. It was all held together by a white headed long pin. Because of the difficulty level and the use of Super glue I made the lamps.

This is one of those cheap little flocked bears that you often see as stickpins. We dressed her up with some satin ribbon and lace. Laura felt she needed a bow on her bonnet, so I added that.

Laura decided she liked the quilt fabric better on her bed, after Jenna had made her point about the foil not being comfortable for a dolly. We moved the bottom drawer to the top and that's the original bedspread folded to fill in the missing drawer space. After all that work gluing bunka around the edges and using that wonderful little piece of matching trim! Oh well; after all, it was her scene.

This is the bear Jenna chose for her bed. It already had a scarf around its neck, so there was no need to make him any clothes, she decided.

Her choice of toy was this little wooden rocking horse.

Here's her American Girl magazine, teddy, and lamp atop Jenna's chest. She only glued the lamp in place. "I might want to play with the others," she said.

And here is a picture of Jenna's completed scene which I got after she had already taken her project home. She did a super job painting the flowers on her chest, and even added yellow trim around the drawers, etc.

After all that discussion, I notice she didn't tuck her spread in after all. Also, I wonder where the magazine is? Well, she did say she might play with the things on top of the chest ....

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