“License (plate) and registration…”

Can you tell I’m married to a police officer? Hehe. And guess what?? I’ve been married to that guy for 7 whole years now!!!  Woot!

 I will never stop laughing at Joey’s face in that picture.  Hahahahahaaa!!!

Well done, Joe.

We celebrated our anniversary this past weekend and it was total a blast.   We didn’t do anything crazy… Just coffee, dinner (really, really delicious dinner actually), and drinks, but it was super fun.  Date nights are just much needed sometimes, ya know? Good times.

Speaking of times, I say we talk about a clock.

That’s where this post all started after all.

With a clock.

A cute little clock that I found for $9.99 at TJ Maxx.

See, Lucas had requested a clock in his room from day one.  He can’t tell time yet, but for some reason was completely enthused about it.   I’d been casually keeping an eye out for a clock that would compliment his room, but up until this point, I hadn’t found one that I liked.   When I saw it, I knew.  It was simple, graphic, and inexpensive.  I brought it home, and propped it up on Lucas’s dresser to surprise him.   I wasn’t sure where I wanted to hang it, so I figured that it’s temporary spot on the dresser would do until I hammered it out.

When he walked into his room, Lucas was absolutely ecstatic about his clock.  It was all he talked about.  “Thank you, Mommy!” “I love my clock, Mommy!”   …And that’s when the nagging began.  You wouldn’t think that a four year old would be so obsessed with a clock.  But, holy moly, y’all.   From the time he first saw it, he wanted it hung on the wall, like, YESTERDAY.  It was every 5 minutes. “Can we hang my clock now?”, “Can we hang my clock now?”.  And oh, the hysterics…  At bedtime, he broke into tears because he didn’t want to go to bed without his clock hung on the wall.  I tried to explain that I was simply trying to decide where to hang it, and once I’d figured it out it’d be done. But, no.  That provided no solace for my clock-loving baby boy.  It wasn’t enough that the clock was sitting, displayed nicely on his dresser.   OH, NO.  It had to be ON the wall.  Yikes.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I totally get it.  I mean, I’ve cried over decor a time or two myself (sortof).   And he IS my son, after all.  And really, his excitement for the clock was pretty awesome. But, dang.  The nagging did not speed my creative process.  Like, at all.  It did, however, make me resolve to always hide the item in question until I know where to hang it next time. Heehee! Duelly noted.   😉

So anyways, after three days of dramatic clock banter, inspiration finally hit.   I knew that I wanted to do something with the license plates that hung in his last bedroom (plus, I have a about 20 more now than I did then).   And although I ultimately want to create a giant statement wall with these license plates, I decided to hang the clock within a smaller grouping of plates for the time being to appease the child and then slowly add more license plates as I decided on how to execute my statement wall.

I started by figuring out the arrangement of the plates with the clock on the floor.   I basically moved them around until I was happy with it, which landed me here…

Then, it was a matter of transferring this arrangement to the wall.   I basically used the above photo as reference the entire time.   I measured the middle of his bed, measured the height of the arrangement, and figured out how high I wanted it to go from his headboard.   Then, I started at the bottom, like so…

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I used small finishing nails to hang the license plates and made sure each plate was level before tapping it into place.  I gradually worked my way up…

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Until I had everything hung on the wall as it was on the floor…

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I’ll admit that the above shot was taken after I raised the entire arrangement a few inches.   The initial starting place ended up being a little low for my taste once I had it all up there.

Here are a few close ups…

I love the thin chrome frame and the white inset.  It’s reminiscent of an old-fashioned wheel in my head which is a great play for his transportation themed room.

Here’s that side of the room now…

The funny thing is that despite Lucas’s persistent nagging for me to hang the clock, he hasn’t seemed to notice that it has no batteries in it.  Lol!  It’s been 10:11 for over a month now and he hasn’t seemed to mind. Oh, four year olds….  🙂

Since it’s been a while, let me show you the other tweaks I’ve added to his room as well…

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The painting over the dresser was another TJ Maxx find for $11 on clearance.  I initially purchased it simply for the canvas as boats aren’t really my thing.  But then I realized that it coordinated with Lucas’s room perfectly.  I want to add some lime green accents to the painting modern it up a bit and tie it in even more, but I haven’t gotten around to it.

Last we looked at Lucas’s desk area, it looked like this…

Since then, his desk got a little organization, a lamp (found for $8 at Target on clearance), and some art.  My parents had that “Lucas’s Hot Rod Shop” art made at a car show.   The hot rod in the pic is actually my dad’s car.

Pay no mind to that wood chair.   It’s just there because we had it, but I’m on the hunt for something sleeker.

Straight when you walk in, you see the Rubik’s cube art that I made in memory of my brother, a metal bicycle which I spray painted orange, and his magnet board.

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And here’s the rest of the room from the doorway the last time we looked…

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And now…

I quickly lost that rug beneath the tent because, well… it looked weird.  I just forgot to snap another pic after the fact.   We had to give the white table that was there before the boot because both chairs broke and then the table started getting wonky thanks to some little 4-year-old-monkey-who-will-remain-nameless using it as a leaning apparatus.   He likes to hang out in his tent, so we figured, why not.   Since taking his pic, I’ve added a blanket “tent floor” that ties into the rest of the room for a bit of color and Lucas seems to love it.  I also cleaned up the hap-hazardly “styled” shelves by using similarly toned baskets that I already had on hand.

And just for fun, here’s a before shot when we first got the keys (before we installed new windows, changed out the stained carpet, and painted the room)…

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His ceiling fan light recently went kaput, so that’s next on the agenda.  No overhead lighting = total bummer.   I’m also still tweaking and trying to work out some of the decor/wall art, so I’d say that his room is about 85% done at this point.  Not too shabby.   We’ll definitely get there.   And I’m definitely having fun on the journey…. This is why I love to blog… looking back at previous pics is so rewarding.  Even simple and free tweaking can make such a difference.

***For updated pics of Lucas’s room as it is now, check out this post.***

So, what do y’all think?  Any ideas for my license plate statement wall that you’d like to share??

TDC Before and After

Lucas’s room… Rethoughts.

Oh, this room. At times Im convinced it will kill me. But then I get excited at the challenge. You see, it started out looking like this…

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A basic beige box with a small angled wall (which you can kind of see behind his easel). We decided not to do anything with it until Lucas transitioned to a big boy bed. So, when that day came, we got going. We wanted him to have a room he could grow with, so we wanted to choose a more grown-up paint color and basic bedding that would easily be acceptable as he grows older. We decided on an antique automotive-esque theme, but with other elements as well so it wasn’t overly themey. My dad has an orange hot rod and I wanted to create some art using pictures of it (haven’t gotten there yet), so I thought navy walls with bold orange, white and grey accents would be cool. For a little while, the room looked like this….

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The navy blue paint was a mis-tint that we got from Ace Hardware for 6 bucks. The plaid quilt and matching sham are from Pottery Barn Kids. The orange sham and bed skirt are actually the bedding that was on this bed when it was in the spare room. I just laid the quilt under the mattress so that it grazed the floor on the front and then folded it under on the backside so there wasn’t a huge amount of excess material on the back. I would love to do some kind of no-sew, velcro bedskirt someday, but I haven’t gotten there yet. The grey euro shams were hand-me-downs. We already owned the bicycle print. And the license plates were handed down from Joey’s parents. The bedside table was leftover from our previous guest room and, in my opinion, is too dark so I have plans to either paint it, or sell it/replace it.

Then, my dad gave us 28 more license plates that he had in his garage. So, I basically wallpapered a headboard out of license plates from the pillows all the way to the ceiling (sorry, no pic).  The next day (hence, no pic), while Lucas was SUPPOSED to be napping, he came out of his room shouting “Mommy, I broke my sign!”. I went in there and realized that he had ripped every license plate within reach off the wall and neatly piled them on his pillow. He had half-torn the lamp off the wall, had swung the bike print back and forth, scraping the paint off the wall in the process and had tugged on the curtains, pulling the curtain rod (and bracket) all askew.

It was a sad, sad day.

And I have to say, this is VERY unlike our little boy. I mean, just look at this face…

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He’s usually very well-behaved, and up to this point, had never done anything like this. Which is why I decorated it the way that I did. The possibility of him tearing apart his room never occurred to me. But, he IS two years old. So, it probably should have.

I will warn with these pics:  I am not a natural photographer and have not mastered how to make colors appear true.  The wall color is a bit off in these pics and almost looks mottled.   It’s consistent in person.  Not sure how to fix this issue since “auto” isn’t doing it for me.  🙂

Anyways, now his room looks like this….

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I had to take down the bicycle print because this kept happening…

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The wall lamp had to go too….

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So, we are now having to rethink our original plans to make it a bit more indestructible. At this point, we are planning to find a cheap, solid wood headboard in need of love on either Craigslist or a thrift store and paint it a light or bright color. (OR maybe install wainscotting?) Something two-year-old proof. For sure. Then, the license plates will extend to the ceiling above that and wrap around the corner onto the adjoining wall.

On this wall…

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We want to get a chest of drawers that’s taller and narrower to create more floor space, and then maybe the bicycle print will be hung above that. (??) (By the way… The giraffe and sock monkey were crocheted by my sister-in-law. )

Behind his door….

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… we currently have some awesome art created by my talented mother-in-law. Below that I wanna hang some hooks for Lucas’s jackets and backpack. Kind of a little drop-zone for him.   Then there’s this issue…

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Layout FAIL.  We cant open both his bedroom door and closet door at the same time without a traffic jam.   We were thinking of maybe removing the closet doors and replacing them with a curtain.  Or nixing the curtain and reconfiguring the closet with more shelving and adding boxes and baskets for an open (yet concealed) storage nook.

And while I like what we have going on so far on this wall…

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…we need more stuff around/above the wall art (maybe some white floating shelves? ). The mirror and shelf look a little lost on the 9-foot-tall wall. P.s. The car puzzle and toy chest were both handmade by my father-in-law. Did I marry into a crazy talented family, or what??

So, that’s Lucas’s room so far. Definitely a ways to go from being finished, but it’ll get there eventually. And I’m sure I’ll learn more decorating-for-2-year-old lessons as we go.