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231  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: Wild Things mural (a bit photo heavy) on: June 19, 2007 01:35:05 PM
Thanks for all the kind words!

We had a lot of fun painting it. We had a whole Wild Things-themed day: We read the book, painted the mural, played with wild-colored playdough, and made "wild cookies," which were chocolate-chip cookies with rainbow-chip frosting and umpteen different kinds of sprinkles on them. It was a hoot.

For my next project, I'm kind of thinking about painting a mural based on The Lorax on the side of my garage. My husband and I are in the process of converting to a grid-tied solar power system for our house, so the Lorax kind of fits our style. My goal is to have a whole Lorax-themed garden, with a lamppost that says "The Street of the Lifted Lorax" and a Lorax mural and some other little details. We have a ring of stones I set up this spring, with a section of trunk in the middle from a boxelder we had taken out a couple of years ago. The idea was for the trunk section to look like the Very Last Truffula Stump of Them All, but my collie mix destroyed the "UNLESS" plaque I'd hung on the side of the stump, so I have to get some Sackrete and make an UNLESS stone like the one in the book.

The sad thing is that we don't even have kids ... unless you count me. My husband swears I'm 32 going on five.  Grin
232  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: Wild Things mural (a bit photo heavy) on: June 19, 2007 10:43:59 AM
I freehanded it, but I went slowly and erased a lot. Smiley

Putting on the outline in pencil and then coming back with paint to outline the different areas of color helped the kids paint neatly, but it also helped me catch flaws early in the process, before it was too late to do anything about them.

I've done other murals in the past, including this one for my friend Randy, who owns a body shop on Route 66 and wanted something 66-themed in his lobby:

More photos of the Route 66 mural are online here:

233  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Wild Things mural (a bit photo heavy) on: June 19, 2007 10:26:22 AM
I've been lurking for a long time and kept promising myself I'd post this when I actually completed it, but since it's been sitting here in an almost-but-not-quite-finished state for three months, quietly waiting for me to come back with a paintmarker and put in the last few details, I think it's probably about as completed as it's going to get for the foreseeable future ... and since the current challenge has a "Wild Things" theme (albeit in a medium I've never gotten the hang of), I guess this is as good a time as any to post my most recent mural project:

The image is from the cover of Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are," except the colors are much brighter (I was using acrylics, which just aren't as subtle as watercolor, and my young assistants aren't quite advanced enough to mimic Sendak's nuances of color and shading). The original image shows Max's boat to the left of the Wild Thing, but I left that off to keep things simple and to allow room for my desk, which -- as you can see in the picture -- doubled as an incubator for a small flock of chicks this spring. The wall is in my home office, which also serves as a sewing room, art studio, and de facto potting shed.

Here are some pictures of the mural as we were working on it:

I sketched the design on the wall and then painted outlines around the different areas of color before the kids came over, which made it sort of like a paint-by-number set. I used this method once before with a group of children who were painting "stained glass" on boarded-up windows, and it worked very well.

It still needs some crosshatching and a coat of sealer to protect it, but it's basically done. Eventually, I want to staple some chicken wire to the ceiling and run ivy garlands through it to make vines cover the ceiling like they do in Max's room.  Smiley

UPDATE: Just to clarify: The kids are cute, but I can't take credit for them -- I just borrowed them from my friend Terriann for the afternoon, 'cos painting is more fun if you have some rugrats to help you. Smiley
234  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: earring and necklace holders on: June 19, 2007 10:26:08 AM
That's a great idea for earring storage. I need to do something with my collection. I have a ton of earrings but hardly ever wear them, largely because I don't have time to go looking for them in the morning. Maybe displaying them neatly in the bathroom would resolve that issue....
235  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Re: Toilet Paper Tube? on: June 19, 2007 10:23:15 AM
My mom used to teach Vacation Bible School every summer. One year, they had a safari theme or something, so she made us save up old toilet paper tubes for her 4-year-old class. She helped the kids wrap the tubes in pretty paper, staple them together, and attach strings to make "binoculars." They went outside and looked for birds and flowers and things. I remember cracking up because one imaginative little girl thought she might see a giraffe.

This probably isn't what you had in mind, but thanks for conjuring up the great memory for me, anyhow. Smiley

Mom -- who is an awesome cake decorator -- also used to cover TP tubes in waxed paper and use them as bases for making leaves and petals and things from royal icing. I think she cut them in half first to keep them from rolling all over the table.

At our house, all of the cardboard tubes that come in are the exclusive property of my gerbil, Juliet, who uses them as hideouts before shredding them into fluffy bedding....
236  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: the OHSO popular infinity dress! HIPHIPHORRAY. on: June 19, 2007 10:11:30 AM
I love the dress ... and as a sometime photographer myself, I second the comments praising your dad's work. His photos look like some of those moody shots of musicians that appear on the insides of CD jewel cases. Beautiful work all around!
237  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Re: Oscar on: June 19, 2007 10:02:51 AM
This is too cute and brings back some great memories ... my little brother was absolutely obsessed with Oscar the Grouch when he was little. If I had any aptitude for working with yarn, I would SO make one of these for my nephew. Sadly, it's all I can do to crochet a little fluff onto a pair of flip-flops, so I guess I'll just have to sit here and admire your Grouch from afar. Smiley
238  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Re: mosaic stepping stone on: June 19, 2007 09:57:52 AM
I think it looks great. I've done a little bit of mosaic work, but mine never looks that neat.
239  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: My First Big Project! on: June 19, 2007 09:54:12 AM
They look very professional. Great job!
240  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: Castle tin on: June 19, 2007 09:53:14 AM
This looks really beautiful, and I'm impressed with the creative problem-solving that went into it -- I never would have thought of hot-gluing a paint stirrer to the inside to turn it.

Spray paint is so tricky ... I'm grateful for my garage, where I can paint to my heart's content, but even that has its drawbacks, mainly because I never remember to sweep before I start working, so I end up blowing dust and dirt into whatever I'm spraying.

Using contact paper was a great idea, too. I've got a stupid-looking tin that I was going to toss in the recycler. Maybe I'll just borrow your idea and dress it up a little bit instead....
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