Imagine Delightful Freshness


This is not quite the family room redo I had in mind. And frankly, I have Todd Oldham to blame. I bring home this book for the kids last week, thinking that over our 3 day weekend (Monday was no school) we could make some thing(s). Maybe weave a cool belt? Maybe make a duct tape bag? A Calder-esque mobile? You know…something small…maybe even usable…something cool.

I soon realized they had an entirely different project in mind. The kids wanted to build a “case place”, known to us laymen as a cardboard box house- the biggest project in the book actually.  Well, I said okay and stopped by our local Sears store, where they were more then willing to give me an empty refrigerator box.   I barely managed to stuff it (flattened) into our car and had to go straight home (why risk errands when I can’t see out of the left side of the car?)

I don’t have a camera lens to proper capture the size of this box. Big. Huge. You could easily fit 4 kids sitting side by side across it, and if they scooch in on their knees, their head will not be touching the top. Good lord, refrigerators are very big. As you can probably tell from the photos above, Emma’s side has built-in shelves (all her idea), a battery operated candle, and all that sensational tweener “ambiance” that I just adore about kids her age. Ian’s side is most definitely straight up agent headquarters/hideout/secret compartment, all strategically designed to confuse and fool the enemy. Inside, its divided by fabric thrown over a wooden dowel threaded through the center. I cut in folding windows (trimmed by the kids in green tape), hatch doors with handles on the top, and flap doors on the side.

“Imagine delightful freshness” it says on the side of the box facing us. Yes…yes…I am trying to imagine the delightful freshness I will feel when the kids tire of the box and this room gets new paint. Perhaps in spring.
Till then, they are having an absolute ball with this box. We now have a schedule of who will sleep in there on what night this weekend. They run to it after school.

About the book, Kid Made Modern. I *love* this book. Its not all that new, but after having it on my wishlist for probably a year, I had to have it. I love that it appeals to both my 11 year old crafty girl (she made the idea for a laptop case into a small stuffy), and my 8 year old non-crafty boy (I’ve been given a supply list from him, so exciting!). There’s something in it for both of them. The projects are wonderful. And there’s even a little mini-lesson in each project about some modern design icon. You know, so they can throw around names at bithday parties like Isamu Noguchi or Verner Panton.

  • Sarah :: greenclogs

    March 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    I had no idea where you were going with that title. I’ve had this book on my list, and now I’m not so sure. I foresee a refrigerator box in the middle of my living room for months on end. At least now that it’s nice outside, they could have it in the back yard and the chickens could add some *ahem* farmyard ambiance.
    I’m glad they’re having such a fabulous time with it – there’s nothing better (or more rare) than a fun collaborative project for siblings.

  • Molly Irwin

    March 11, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Have you all read a book called “Kristina Caterina and the Box’? Your story today reminded me of the transitions of that box from ship, to race car to ballroom dance floor on the front lawn under the tree. I’ll bet your kids would love it.

  • blair/wisecraft

    March 11, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I haven't read it but I think its very appropriate for our house at the moment, I will check and see if our library has it. Thanks!

  • emily

    March 11, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    love. our last refrigerator box was a spaceship. and my mom (who procured the box) had to call us to come with the van to get it because she couldn’t get it home from the appliance store. i think i need that book too.

  • Amber Lee

    March 11, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Dude this is so awesome! My 14 month old can’t make up the house herself, but we cut smaller boxes into little forts for her and she drags things in there, sits for a minute and then scrambles out, it’s so cute. I love your kids creativity!

  • Kristina

    March 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Boxes are a big hit at our house. My children immediately drag whatever box comes in the mail off to their room to get busy transforming it. We’ve had hand held video cameras, laptops, cars, houses, robots, and more, but what really made me laugh was when I started walking around my house seeing dozens of small squares, with dots colored in the middle, taped to the wall. My middle boy said, “Ignore the video cameras, mom.” Then, he made a red one and called it the ‘Santa Cam.” LOL He loves boxes so much that my MIL got him a pair of heavy duty scissors for his birthday so that he would leave mine alone.
    Yes, you can imagine the loveliness, but the absolute wonder of seeing your children’s creativity is just as lovely. 🙂

  • Erin | house on hill road

    March 11, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    i’ve been wanting this book, too, and since there is a refrigerator box in my future this post pretty much seals the deal!

  • sarah

    March 11, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    this is a great book, we’ve had it a few months now and my children really enjoy it….so do i 🙂

  • Quince and Quire

    March 12, 2010 at 6:13 am

    Love this! Your kids express their creativity in such fabulously individual ways.

  • Rae Grant

    March 12, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Boxes! Kids and cats love them for some unexplained primal reason.
    I’ve been eyeing that book too believe it or not.

  • kate

    March 12, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    For my daughter’s 5th birthday we did a Mermaids & Pirates theme. A castle, pirate ship, and mermaid cave were made from sturdy bbq boxes. I joined them together by cutting and overlapping the cardboard then punching holes and using zip ties and then painting. The year before we made a village for our back yard and the neighbor kids took them home. Next time the kids can decorate them and let their imaginations run wild. Kid graffiti is so cool.

  • Molly

    March 13, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    You’re the bees knees. You know that, right?

  • larissa

    March 14, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    sounds great! thanks so much for sharing!

  • hayley l.

    March 16, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Very cool! Thanks for the book tip. I love how inventive your kids are– Kinda makes me want to find my own fridge box!
    My kids were bummed when we finally broke down/recycled the moving boxes. Fort World was no more. Back to cramming sheets into the couch cushions to make forts that way (Ahem…please don’t use Mom’s laptop to hold down the other side of that sheet…why? Because…CRASH…sigh.)

  • oona

    March 17, 2010 at 12:03 am

    you are SO excited. I can tell from your post.
    I love it.
    High Five!

  • lisa s

    March 19, 2010 at 10:18 am

    i love their big box… i want to make one [and i would never have thought of asking sears for big boxes… genius]
    the book looks great. thanks for that tip too…

  • Melissa

    March 22, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Thanks for the giggle!
    I too have fond memories of worn out kids craft books that kept my little brother and I busy for years! Although I’m sure my mother was rethinking those purchases when we got out the blender to shred newspaper for recycled notebooks!

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