Shannon Berrey

Simply try it/Encourage your kids awesomeness

Monday, February 24, 2014

You guys know that I love crafting and creating with my kids. As boys get older, these opportunities happen way less often. Jack is a gamer -- an all out computer game luurver. When Maris wanted to up her laptop style years ago, we bedazzled it with a monogram made out of teeny rhinestones. This took more than a few hours... But, Jack wasn't looking for a bedazzled computer and I couldn't convince him to paint it with chevrons ;) No, he had his own plans. 

He had been wanting a new computer for a long time. For Christmas, he asked for no gifts, just money that he could put towards a new computer. He spent hours researching all of the components that he wanted. He placed his orders, and soon, boxes and more boxes from different companies from all over the country, started arriving in the mail. If I recall, there were 7 in all. I'm not going to lie, I was a little hesitant for him to spend so much on such an idea. I could not even contemplate the knowledge or the courage to attempt building your own computer! But, I never let him know my hesitations.

He worked patiently and diligently to piece it together. After many hours, he walked in painfully defeated when it just wasn't working. After many more attempts, He finally came to the conclusion that the motherboard was defective. At least, this was his hope. So, it was repacked and sent back to the company for a replacement. A new one arrived, and we may have done a little happy dance when everything lit up and google was accessed!!  

But, he decided that the inside of his computer was so cool { it glows, ya'll!} and yet, it really couldn't be appreciated because the vent was so small. He came up with the idea to remove the side panel, and to turn the vent area into a large window. This would show off all of the innards of his great DIY work! I thought it was a great idea and I worked as his apprentice. We traced a new window shape and then taped off the area with painters tape. We didn't want to get any scratches on it. We tried using the Dremel, but, it  was really hard to cut through and not precise. 

We {and by 'we' I mean 'he'} ended up, instead, using a Metal Nibbler tool. It works kind of like a hole punch. You squeeze it and it makes precise tiny cuts through metal. This took Jack a super long time. But he was patient and with sore hands and arms, he completed the cut out. 

The cut edge was really sharp. We went in search of trim which landed us at Napa AutoParts. Rubber window trim has a little channel, which, was the perfect thing to trim out the interior of the new window.  {sorry I don't have a pic of this step}. It is attached by removing the paper on the inside of the channel that reveals a 3M glue. It's really sticky. Then the fine folks at Lowes had a free scrap piece of plexiglass that they cut to 12"x10" {a little larger than our opening} and using 3M sticky tape, we taped the plexi to the back of the panel. 


BOO-YAH !!!!  WHAT!!!

Nestled in with its friends: glowing water speakers, lit headphones, keyboard and mouse {all Jack's selections!!} feels right at home. 

So here's the thing. Design is 50% talent and 50% confidence. You may have fabulous style and innate talent, but, if you are too scared to attempt it, then you will always live in 'the safety zone'. I think one of the greatest gifts you can give your kids is the push to step outside of what's accepted. Encourage dreaming big. My parents did. They had no idea, most of the time, what was stirring in my brain, but they always, always made my ideas feel important and they were my biggest cheerleaders {and still are}.  

Tackle the projects your scared of! When Maris and Jack own their own homes in years to come, I want them to feel empowered to tile their own floors, wire their light fixtures, paint their walls, refurbish antiques, and to sew their own curtains. I want them to remember that they watched their parents tackle their own dreams because they {we} had the confidence to simply try it. Believe in them, you may be amazed at what they can accomplish!!

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Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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