Tuesday, May 25, 2010

blast off... to the safari!

mr and I are currently in the process of painting our whole house.  We have been in this process since we moved in, about two years ago.  Why are we paint our whole house?  Because the whole house looked like THIS when we got here:
Builder’s white.  And, lucky us, there’s a big bucket of it leftover in our basement - just in case we wanted to remain yawnably boring the entire time we live here.
I do not want to remain yawnably boring.  It’s not my style.  Fortunately, it’s not mr’s style either. Unfortunately, the similarities in our styles end there.  mr is a safe, somewhat contemporary, simple and clean, I’m a chemical engineer kind of style.  I am more of a crazy, colorful, anything unique and different, I’m an eclectic theatre girl kind of style.  So, it’s taken a while to get mr to jump on the bandwagon with the painting thing.  I wanted to whip out the brushes, sponges, cans, rollers, faux finishes, glazes and vinyl the second we moved in.  mr dragged his feet.  And since he has to live here too, I really didn’t want to just take it over and do it anyway.  So I have been patiently waiting until the bug bit him too.  And, lo and behold, this spring it did!  Needless to say I am very excited.  Our plans this summer include painting the rest of our house that I have not yet gotten my hands on - the main floor (kitchen, dining room, living room combo) the family room, two hallways, and the kids’ bathroom.  I know, ambitious!  Thank goodness we have a lot of family in the area who are so sweet and kind and always willing to lend a hand - right guys?  Right??
On Monday we started the playroom and it is ALMOST finished!  You can find the first official picture of it here, on yesterday’s post.  And here’s a sneak peek of what the 2’s and I did today:
I know, it’s going to be exciting.
See, the kids’ rooms are the places mr really lets me have my way.  I guess he figures that since he doesn’t have to live in them, he can let me go wild.  And I do, I really do.
To inspire our coming paint projects, I have decided to post the ones we’ve already tackled.  Because I just can’t wait to put these up, I’m starting with the crowning glory - in my opinion anyway.  They are bug’s bedroom and mini’s bedroom.
bug’s bedroom wasn’t finished until over a year after we moved here and he was almost 2.  It was inspired by this bedding:
It took forever to finish, but this is why:
mr went to Mexico on a business trip and when he came home, bug’s room was this nice “heliotrope” color.  He was a little surprised.  When I finished that, Lise came over and helped out by drawing chalk outlines of all the planets.  (I know, I know, planets are just circles, what’s so hard about that?  Well, have YOU ever tried drawing big old circles on your walls and ceiling freehand?  Didn’t think so.)  Then we primed all the shapes since the background color was so dark.  Anyway, Lise’s most amazing accomplishments were the Earth and the moon.  I made her do those because I was too afraid to attempt them and she’s the art teacher.  (and boy am I glad I did.  Can you believe that moon??)  She also did Venus and Mars.  

I did Saturn, Uranus,  Neptune, Jupiter, and Mercury.  Oh, and all those stars you see.  Ay-ay-ay!  I know, that part took forever.  I also did the satellite, which I kind of hate.  A lot.  It’s like this huge monstrosity orbiting the light fixture.  If I’d been thinking, I would have painted the ceiling fan silver and added some details and used that as the satellite because the fan panels look like the satellite panels.  Oh well.  I painted the comet and the meteor shower, too.

I just noticed I spelled handiwork wrong.  Oops.

There is no Pluto, because even though it was a planet when I was a kid, it was demoted.  So we didn’t technically put it up.  But we decided to call one of those really big white stars Pluto.
I spray painted a big Chinese lantern that I got at IKEA orange and yellow and hung it from the light as the sun.  You can see some smaller chinese lanterns I got at the dollar store hanging in the corner as stars.  The hanging rocket shelf is from IKEA, too, and is PER.FECT. for the space.  mr’s contribution?  The starship enterprise hanging above bug’s bed.  Sigh.  I couldn’t change his nerdy chemical engineer’s mind.  
Here's another picture of that moon.  Because it's just too cool not to put up.  (thanks, lise)

Since these photos were taken, I got some glow paint put up, and I’ll have to take a picture of that later so I can post it.  I love how it makes the room glow at night, and so does bug!
I know the blue paint makes his room VERY dark, and a lot of people wouldn’t like that, but I was going for a unique bedroom, and when I found this bedding on clearance for like $25, the whole concept was born.  I actually like how it’s dark in there, even during the day, because I don’t think he’d nap nearly was well if it were light!
mini’s bedroom, on the other hand, is VERY light!  mr actually came up with the idea for her room all by himself.  We saw this very sweet little yellow and brown giraffe after we found out we were having a girl, and mr announced:  “This is what I want her bedroom to be!”  

Yellow happens to be my favorite color, so even though I wanted a “fairy tale room,” I relented.
Her bedroom also took a while to finish, but this is what it looks like now:
I started by painting the whole room yellow.  mr wasn't in Mexico this time, so he helped.  bug wanted in on the action too.

Then I went around the bottom of the walls with brown.  I decided I wanted all of the details to be done in silhouette to play up the brown on yellow contrast.

My mom and sister came over to help draw some of the animals.  My sister drew the giraffes, the leopard in the tree and the small elephants.  My mom drew and painted the big elephant and the alligator in the watering hole.  I drew and painted the lions.  I also painted the varying degrees of tan and yellow in the background to add perspective.  I painted the background trees, the leopard, and the grass.  

Then mr and I painted the big tree in the corner, the focal point in the room.  It took FOR.EV.ER, but it didn’t feel like it, mostly because I love trees and yellow, so I was pretty much always happy when I was working on her room, despite having only a month or so to go until my due date!  I was also happy that mr seemed to be enjoying helping out with the tree.  Lastly, I added the leaves in the tree

 and the final touch (AND hardest part) the sun in the corner.  What, you say?  The hardest part was that little circle of light yellow?  Circles don’t want to be painted in corners.  The just don’t.  It’s incredibly difficult to get the perspective right and make sure it looks like an actual circle and not a weird, lumpy, lopsided oval.  But, mr and I agreed that the sun HAD to go in the corner.  When you draw a picture as a kid, you always put the sun in the corner, don’t you?  Well, we did, anyway.
I found her bedding for cheap on-line, and now I’m not sure I like it very much, but it does go with the theme!  I painted a dresser I found for a ridiculous price at St. Vinny’s and an old shelf from our apartment days.  I also painted the little bench chair in front of the window a distressed yellow and tan and reupholstered it with one of mini’s receiving blankets that she didn’t use.  It’s tan and cream stripes.  I couldn’t find fabric that I liked for a decent price, I had the blanket on hand AND it is soft, so I think it was a good choice.  
Don’t get me started about the ugly green carpet.  It was one of the biggest cons for buying this house.  We went with it anyway, because it’s cosmetic and can be changed.  But until we do change it, we have to live with it.  Unfortunately.  I don’t know why this color carpet even exists.
I know mr won’t let me do anything like this on our main floor, so it’s good I got it out of my system with the kids’ rooms.  I’m not a muralist, by any stretch of the imagination, and I know their rooms aren’t perfect.  But I hope that as they grow older they will look around and realize how much time and effort and LOVE was put into making their rooms personalized and one of a kind.  Although, as I get older, it’s not likely I’ll let them forget it... “do you know how much sweat, blood and tears went into that room?  I slaved and slaved for you...” especially when bug decides his is too babyish and wants to paint everything black and mini falls in love with her generations equivalent of The Backstreet Boys or N’Sync and plasters posters all over.

Have you heard of the new site, The CSI Project?  They are having a paint challenge this week, and I'm linking up!
Visit thecsiproject.com
Life in the Pitts

SYS Thurs

 MuralMaker and More 


alicia said...

Can I just say, WOW!!!

Unknown said...

why, thank you, Alicia! :)

Julia said...

Ditto to Alicia's comment! These are amazing transformations.

Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming said...

Wow, that is some amazing work. The detail on the moon is incredible! Gorgeous tree too. I just adore theme rooms! Fantastic job {lots of talent here} ~ Stephanie Lynn

Unknown said...

Thank you, Stephanie and Julia! We had fun putting in all the little details. I'm glad I had an artist artist (my sister) helping me out!

Thrifty Decor Chick said...

Amazing!! All of it!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Sarah!

Jen @ tatertotsandjello.com said...

Wow - you guys are so artistic. What wonderful murals. I love it!

Thanks so much for linking up to the CSI Project! We really appreciate it. I hope you will come back next week for our Hardware Store challenge!


Unknown said...

thanks, Jen! I'm trying to come up with some "hardware" ideas...

restlessrisa said...

Those rooms are SO cool!!! I love that it is so original, and no one else has the same thing :) Amazing!!! And, very creative :)



Unknown said...

Risa - thank you! When I was younger, my parents let me paint my bedroom anyway I wanted... I resolved then and there that I'd do that with my kids... but until they can decide and paint on their own, they get to have whatever I want them to have!! :)

Thanks for coming by my blog everyone!

La-Dee-da crafter said...

Wow, found you at Life in the Pitts Link party. I love these kids rooms. The power of paint....you have the secret weapon. TALENT!!

La-Dee-da crafter said...

BTW, love, love your blog title. So cute!

Helena said...

Oh my gosh, those rooms are fantastic! You're right, that moon is crazy. And the sarafi room for your daughter is beautiful.

Thank you for participating in the Creative Therapy Session with Life in the Pitts!

Unknown said...

I'm so glad I found this blog! I have an african safari themed nursery I'm working on (actually planned it out completely on my own, I didn't steal your idea! I promise! lol)
I want to put the Acacia tree on the wall, but yours is the ONLY one I have come across that actually makes the leaves look real. I desperately neeeed to know how you painted them!

Unknown said...

Hi Kimberly, it's me again :) Just wanted to leave you the link to my 'finished product'. It's hardly comparable to your masterpiece, but for a creativity challenged person like me it turned out great! Would have never been able to pull it off if it weren't for your help. Thanks SO much!

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