Thursday, February 24, 2011

Playroom Tour

Two long months later, the painting is finished! 
See this post for details of the design process.

Light paint + natural light = larger looking room.
I knew this, but it is still amazing how much of a difference it makes.

In case you are wondering: 
Not decals. 

Triangle & Ruler.
Painter's Tape.
Sharpie Paint Marker (if applicable).

Sketch out your design to scale. I did mine on the computer, but this can be hand drawn as well. As long as the design is to scale, it will keep proportions of the design accurate to your room.  

From your sketch, draw your design on the walls with a pencil. I used a triangle & a long 24" ruler to keep everything level and square. For the sun, I did the old-fashioned trick of a central point attached to string with a pencil at the end. I drew the largest radius first and shortened the string for the inner concentric circles.

Don't be afraid to improvise! 
If you notice gaps in the design, or you didn't account for that outlet (or wall base, or light switch, etc.), don't fret. That is why you start with the pencil (and a nice big eraser). 
I added a hot air balloon, relocated a car, added a van, and threw in an airplane.
And I like it better.

Once your drawing is complete, it is time to tape! 

For the non-square items (ex. hot air balloon, helicopter, vehicles, sun, etc.), I did not tape, but rather applied several coats very carefully with a steady hand. 
I used Frog Tape for this project, and while it was certainly not perfect, it did a much better job than anything I have used before.

I used the Sherwin Williams- Color to Go paint. This paint is about $5 for a quart.
I purchased 5 colors, so for this complete cityscape it was under $30.
And plenty left over for future projects.
(Imagine what this would be in decals...)

Plan on spending a lot of time on this kind of project.
As my colors were very saturated, I needed 2-3 coats + touch-ups after removal of tape.
I also did outlines of black using the Sharpie Paint Marker. It worked great.

There you have it.

Additional details:
Target Itso Bins. I used these for color inspiration (and storage).
I felt color was needed on the floor, but could not find any rugs that would coordinate.
So I got a few carpet tiles, cut into a pattern, and duct taped together on the underside.

The airplane banner:
Light grey felt fabric with thin strips of an accent green felt as piping on the top & bottom.
I used iron-on transfer paper to print the alphabet letters and ironed the letters onto the felt.
I adhered the banner to the wall with adhesive hanging strips (giving the banner a wave off the wall).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Book Review: The Zoo by Suzy Lee

The Zoo by Suzy Lee
I am a big fan of Suzy Lee. Her books have few, if any, words, but convey stories exquisitely through the illustrations. Though I still feel that her book "Wave" will always be my favorite, The Zoo is another great Suzy Lee book.

Synopsis: A little girl goes on a trip to the zoo with her parents. The illustrations on these first pages are washed out grey tones as the girl visits empty cage after empty cage with her family... with the exception of a colorful peacock that catches the girl's attention. She absentmindedly wanders away from her family to follow the peacock, and as she does, the greyscale background of the empty zoo transitions into a vivid green one.

The following pages are a contrast between her parents search for the girl in the grey empty zoo and the girl's adventures in the colorful oasis of animals. "We watched the hippos in their pool," the book narrates, on a greyscale page where her parents are searching for her at the empty hippo pool. The following page shows the peacock leading the girl to a colorful pond with happy hippos and monkeys who have escaped their drab cages.

In the end, she is found by her parents asleep on a zoo bench. As the relieved parents carry the little girl home, you can see the animals in the background watching her go and, as she smiles at them, the book states, "I love the zoo. It is very exciting."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ode to Cooking

Doesn't this just look delectable??

This Valentine's Day weekend I had a SPECTACULAR dinner made by the Fabulous Mr. Dish.  

Now, there is COOKING, and then there is the ART of cooking. 
This meal was MOMA material. 

To be honest, I don't remember the name of a single thing I ate; but I can tell you that I was beyond tempted to lick my plate. And the table decor? Yeah, that was the Fabulous Mrs. Dish. Tulips & roses, candles and crimson linens, French cuisine... Husband and I had a spectacular evening with spectacular friends.

All of which, but me, have the ability to cook.

Confession: I am an ABYSMAL cook.
I routinely microwave leftovers to a rubbery food-looking inedible mess. 
The oven and I have a little arrangement: As long as I clean it and otherwise leave it alone, it won't set off the smoke alarm on me.

A year into our relationship, I thought it would be a good idea to invite my now-husband over for a homemade meal- even though I was fully aware of my cooking abilities. I chose what seemed to be a simple cheesy chicken and rice dish and that evening he arrived to find a decorated table and dinner presented nicely on plates. We sat down to eat and as he put that first bite in his mouth I heard a loud CRUNCH. In all my cooking wisdom, I purchased the non-minute rice. As the cheesy chicken sauce was blended with the rice, this was not an easy fix. My poor date spent over an hour trying to salvage my disastrous cooking venture. Finally he turned to me, laughed, gave me a big hug, and said, "How about I order us a pizza?"

Bless his heart, nine years later, he still hides his trepidation every time I get that urge to cook something in the kitchen. 

Happy Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With Strings...

I typically don't make a big deal about Valentine's Day.

However, this year, inspired by this delicious twine (and needing a little break from painting), I sent a few valentines out to some special friends and family.

Brown paper packages tied up with strings.
Now for that silver white winter that melts into spring...