Friday, March 12, 2010

Help the Children

I stated recently how much I absolutely love my career. I don't do this for the steady income (anyone in the design field knows that it's feast or famine in our business!), but because I love the opportunity to be creative. There are many ways to express creativity, however, but I have chosen to express my creativity by designing children's decor. I've chosen this specialized field because I love the magic and whimsy of childhood. I really enjoy interacting with children to understand better what is going on in their wonderful little minds! I also love working with parents who are so full of love for and anticipation of the birth of their baby. It's all so wonderful and certainly gives you those warm and fuzzy feelings just reading about it, I'm sure!
And because I'm blessed to work in such a happy environment, I believe fully that it is my responsibility to give back to the community. I remind myself how fortunate I am to have healthy children and to be blessed with a job where I can work with children every day. So each month, I donate to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. I would love it if you would consider visiting their site and even if you can't donate to their cause, at least take a moment and send a few prayers their way. This is a reputable organization and worth your time and attention.
That being said, I also take on a few "free" jobs each year to help children as well. I donate Sherri Blum Designs products to auctions and more recently, when asked by a former college sorority sister- I took on the task of redecorating the foyer of her childrens' preschool. This little school had a small budget within which to work and the director needed some help figuring out how to get the best bang for her buck. So I visited the site, took my "before" pictures and came home to begin the planning.
As we all know, the foyer isn't always necessarily the place to invest big bucks, however it does give your guests their first impression of who you are, what your tastes are and how you live your daily life. So it's definitely a space that deserves some attention! And in the case of a child care center, it even sets the mood for the young children as they arrive to school each day. It's very important that this space present a warm, cheerful and comforting atmosphere.
This is the main entrance into the center before we began.

The cinderblock walls were a drab gray blue color and the carpet, while a bit outdated- needed to stay. So our first task was to select fresh, welcoming wall colors that would work with the existing carpeting. I offered two color schemes from which the director and parents could select. They chose the more conservative of the two, and were very happy with their choices.
See the before photos here, as well as some photos of the space after the paint had been added.
I'll post more images once we get the finishing touches completed!
In the meanwhile, please share with us what you do to "give back" to the community. I'd love to hear from you!
This is the area just past that entry door...a little alcove with a small kneewall and stairs going to another section of the building.
Here is a little hallway going back to the classrooms. The drywall on the right is the only drywall in this space. I want to make it a focal point since everyone walks past it each day to come and go.
The deeper blue area below the glass is bulletin board. The director and teachers don't like to use it as such, however, because all of the little hands grab and touch everything as they walk past. We will be removing those unnecessary boards and giving it a clean, fresh coat of paint!

Sherwin Williams has this great computer program in which you can login and upload your own image to select paint colors for use in your room BEFORE you invest in a paint color you might not like! I used it to show the director and parents the various color schemes I was recommending for the room. It was very helpful to them! The colors vary slightly between computer screens, but it gives a good idea.
This artwork was donated to the school back in the 1970's if I'm not mistaken. Regardless, it has great sentimental value and is adorable and colorful! We will place it on that drywalled area to make it a focal point for all to appreciate!

 Parent volunteers painted the area...looking good so far! Now we are working on the furnishings and accessories to warm it all up! Check back for more to come!
We're setting up a parent sign-in area.
Hallway, minus those unused bulletin boards!


Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

This is great, Sherri! I'm sure it's a lot of fun pulling together this entry, since it's the first place the kids and their parents see every day.

I've been involved in a couple of auctions and last year I donated to a school in need through {where you can pick the state, county, school and project you want to donate to}. This year I'm donating to an auction and a children's home that a local girl scout troop is makng a craft room for. I'm contributing a gift card to Michaels so they can get some supplies.

While it is feast or famine {famine for me right now ~ thank God for the day job}, these are small amounts that won't bankrupt me and I'm glad to be involved in some way.

Sherri Blum, CID said...

Thanks for sharing, Kathy! I'm sure that the majority of us out there, despite the economic downturn, are doing something to help. I'm honored to be one of MANY generous people in this line of work. Love the craft room project for the girl you're dying to get in and see those little creative minds at work there! Hoping others will share, too. Tell us what you're doing, folks. I'm always looking for new and creative ways to give and help, so share your might inspire us to do the same!

Margo said...

The paint looks great! What a great way to donate your time. You have a great blog.

Melissa Miller said...

Sherri you are sooooo wonderful to do this! Thank you sweet friend from the bottom of my heart. :)