Friday, January 30, 2015

Rio's Play Kitchen

Let me tell you a little story.  When I was in my twenties, I was living in Oklahoma City working on my undergraduate degree.  At the time, I had three part time jobs - a nursery worker in a church, a student secretary in our school's Humanities Department, and a sales gal at a store called Earth Home in the nearby mall.  It was the only time I've ever worked in a mall and boy was that an experience!  The store sold things like wind chimes, nature sound cds, healing stones, and the like.  I enjoyed the store and the folks I worked with but wasn't the biggest fan of mall life (although I DID meet David Lee Roth while working there, so......) but am glad I did experience it.  Anywho.  One day in our backroom, there was an exceptionally large pile of things to be transported to the communal dumpsters, including an office chair and this particular (very heavy) display cabinet.  I drove a very tiny car at the time but I was bound and determined to get those two pieces of furniture back to my apartment.  And I did, even if it meant driving with chair wheels in my face.  The chair lived with me for many years but didn't stick around as long as the cabinet.  Over the past fifteen years, this piece of furniture has been used for anything and everything but for the last few years, it lived in our garage as a catch all.  When we started discussing getting rid of it, I immediately starting thinking of converting it to a play kitchen for Rio.  Our goal was to have it completed for her birthday (beginning of October) but that whole unexpected-buying-and-selling-and-moving-business pushed this project to the back burner.  I was dead set on having it completed by Christmas and by golly we did!

It was crazy simple, just took a little time.  We bought a dog water bowl that seemed proportional to the cabinet, a little hook for a towel, and the least expensive faucet that we could find.  That's all we purchased for the project.  We did put a little foam adhesive on the bowl lip so it would be a bit more secure.  We wanted to make sure it was still removable in case a little someone decided to actually put liquids in it.  :)  Brent sanded things down and cut out the necessary holes while we tried to decide how we would paint it.  Since we're a painting factory at the new house, we had tons and tons of various colors to choose from to use.  We wanted to make sure to use colors found in her room already so it would fit in well.  Painting took some time; that puppy soaked that paint right up!  Plus, when working with multiple colors, dry time was critical between coats.  I made the curtains on Christmas Eve, of course, and Brent secured them with a few screws and some electrical wire.  Done and done!

I'd say the kitchen has definitely been a hit.  It timed perfectly with her creative play really starting to develop so she's been preparing us many meals and serving us much tea lately.  It really makes me happy to know that I saved this thing from the dumpster so many years ago and now, it's truly been given new life.  We have a little dresser that I painted some years back that I'm ready to change and I believe it would make the perfect stove/oven for her.  There just might be a part two to this project!

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