Friday, September 9, 2011

House Play

When I was a child, one of my favorite things to do was play "house".  I would commandeer my younger brother's yellow booster seat to be the house, which gave it 3 walls and a floor, but no roof or 4th wall, much like a tv sitcom set.  There were no dolls involved; in fact, any "people" in the house were wholly imaginary and incidental.  My goal was to decorate the house--without using any garish Barbie furniture or other doll-house sized miniatures.  I loved finding ways to take ordinary objects and make them become something else.  So a spool of thread with the jar of a lid resting on top became a charming dining room table.  The bottom of a check box draped with handkerchiefs became a bed.  The couch was an upside-down jewelry box with it's lid nestled sideways to make a back.  And those hideous free chalky-tasting mints you grab as you walk out the door of restaurants made adorable throw pillows.  I didn't actually play that much once the house was completed.  It was the building of it--creatively turning found objects into things I needed--that fascinated me.

So totally a table.

I still love doing this.  And today I found a tiny way to do that in my real, life-sized house.  Let me tell you why I'm a genius.


I've already confessed my paper addiction, and now I must add my extreme fondness for pretty ribbons as well.  I love to wrap presents in a beautiful way. I feel it makes the present itself even more special when the outside shows care and thoughtfulness.  I try to choose gorgeous papers, make special tags, and accessorize with the right ribbon.  So I have a generous selection.  I find that Costco often has lovely ribbons at outstanding prices, so I (impulsively) add to my collection when I am there.  The problem is storage.  The rolls are large, and don't seem to fit in drawers easily.  I currently have them in a storage tote with handles that I keep under a table and slide out when I need it, but I have so many rolls that they lay on top of each other and I can't see them all without lifting out 6 or 7 rolls and then tossing them back. 
And no, this isn't all of them.  Not even close.
Since I actually wrap presents pretty frequently and also regularly craft with ribbon, I like to have the ribbon easily accessible.  So the mess, and inability to find the ribbon I want when I want it, have been a huge frustration for me.  So when I saw this item today (for a fraction of the price, again at TJMaxx!),  I had a total "Aha" moment and was transported back to my childhood imagination.

I took this*, a perfectly lovely paper towel holder. 

And made it into an even more perfectly lovely ribbon holder. 

Isn't it a lovely decorative display? I keep my most used and bulkiest rolls on it, and since they stack vertically, they take up less space.  They sit on my table ready to go, and best of all, they spin easily so I can just pull out the amount I need, snip it off, and I'm done!

This little $10 investment tickled me tremendously.  It solved a persistent problem, made a pretty display, and for a moment, made me feel like the creative genius I was as a child playing house.

What genius re-imaginings have you discovered?  Celebrate your ingenuity, and share them with us!

*This particular model was ideal for my needs because not only is it a graceful design, but it doesn't have the side arm on the bottom that most models sport; and the finial at the top screws on, keeping the rolls secure if it gets knocked over.

1 comment:

  1. Love the paper towel holder idea! I tried using a dowel, but had trouble getting it steady at a base, then all the rolls kept unraveling!
    And my confession: I played house with a shop class model house my brother built, but I indulged *big time* into Barbies, clothes, furniture -- even a theme song. :/