We've enjoyed seeing her share the amazing mural work she's done over the years. We're pleased to announce the 1Q2012 Home Sweet Home featured member is Redforkhippie!
Tell us about yourself.
I live in Tulsa, love Route 66, and have spent the past four years teaching high school (English, math and journalism) to support my beekeeping habit. My husband and I live in a near-zero-energy house with two dogs and a cat who thinks he's a dog.
Your 'Will work for coffee' coffeehouse bathroom redo is fantastic! What was your favorite memory of the creative experience and how much free coffee have you been able to drink so far?
Thanks. I had a lot of fun with it. I think my favorite part of the whole project was when I first started, and the owners had no idea what to expect. I showed them some other murals I'd done, and of course they saw my car, but you know there's no telling what you'll get when some random person walks into your business and says, "Hey, how about I paint your bathroom in exchange for free coffee?" The look on Stevia's face when I finished ragging the walls and started sketching the postcard -- a picture of the famous Blue Whale in Catoosa -- was priceless.
I didn't keep track of my time very well, but I'm estimating the whole project took between 40 and 50 hours of actual work. I was averaging somewhere around a cappuccino an hour, so I've probably sucked down the better end of four gallons of coffee over the course of the project.
Do you have a another favorite mural or decorative feature that you've painted?
I've done tons of painting projects, but my favorite would have to be one I did in Depew, Okla., in 2005. I didn't really set out to paint murals there. I was chairman of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association's historic preservation committee, and we were trying to keep the city from tearing down some historic buildings that had fallen into disrepair. The original goal was just to clean up the buildings, replace the boards that were over the windows, and paint them white or something to make them look a little better. I was covering a big piece of plywood with white paint when I remembered seeing some trompe l'oeil panes painted on boarded-up windows in St. Louis when I was little. I ran inside and asked the owner if she'd mind if I painted a giant stained-glass Route 66 shield on the plywood. While I was working on it, the mayor's developmentally disabled son came along and wanted to help. One thing led to another, and pretty soon the whole thing spun wildly out of control, as my projects have a way of doing. Before the summer was out, we had every kid in Depew out there, doing a sort of paint-by-numbers thing. The mayor and the owner of the building, who are both very artistic themselves, ran with the idea and did some more murals on other windows around town, and they made a special window with all the kids' names on it. It was really great to see everybody come together like that for the benefit of the community.
Have you stopped embellishing your 'Love the one you're with' Honda and does it get a lot of attention when you drive it around town?
I'm mostly finished with the exterior, although I need to redo the hood because it's faded out again. The interior remains a work in progress. I'm starting to run out of real estate on the dashboard, so I've started gluing stuff all over the ceiling, and the button collection continues to grow. Every time I take something from a geocache, it goes in the car.
What is your favorite Craftster project that someone else has posted?
I'm not a huge Whovian, but TARDIS and Dalek-themed projects always crack me up, and I'm a total sucker for sock monkeys. I got on Craftster shortly after the sock monkey challenge a few years ago, and I still laugh every time I think about the Mr. T monkey somebody entered in that. There was also a pretty sweet Cthulhu sock monkey on here a while back, and the most amazing thing I've ever seen was a 15-foot-tall sock monkey stuffed with styrofoam peanuts. I remain in complete and utter awe of that monkey.
Where else on Craftster would we find your projects?
Let's see ... Miscellaneous Topics; Toys, Dolls and Playthings; More Art, Less Craft; Purses, Bags, Wallets; Clothing; and probably several others that I have since forgotten.