Today was a quiet day. It was Shabbat, so it was perfect for a low-key indoor activity. The Bean is finally on the mend from this nasty sickness and the baby is just super-easy, so I though some painting would be fun. Beans painted a wooden “J” with a hook, a kitty cat that I had primed black and some garden plaques. When he was done with the garden plaques I painted the names of his respective grandmothers and great-grandmothers. We will send them off on Monday. Once again, a cheap, easy pastime for a three-year-old.
The Beans and I are usually pretty active. We love to hike and garden and go on grand adventures as well as undertake all sorts of projects. But lets face it. I am one LAAAAAAZY pregnant lady. So even though my precious, active son really, really wanted to go somewhere and “do” something today, I just couldn’t bring myself to get us going. So I pulled out the bag of “rainy day” projects. This is a bag of easy, fun art & crafts material I horde for days such as this. Beans decided that he wanted to paint a birdhouse and a horse. Awesome. Plant the kid at the kitchen table with his little wooden (and did I mention cheap?) items and let him have at ’em with some (equally cheap) acrylic paints. It had been my intention to prime these wooden paintables and then spray paint them with a solid color BEFORE the Bean got to them…but I just never got around to it. I promised him I would take him to Michael’s and let him pick out some more things to paint tomorrow – I’ll try to get right on top of those and paint a base color on them as soon as we get them home – It just tends to make them look so much more finished…. So, Beans painted a horse and a birdhouse: it killed an hour, cost less than $3 and satisfied my son’s desire to “do” something. Win, win, win. AND he’s going to give them away as gifts. Whatta sweetie!
Ever look at the clouds and pick out the “things” that you see in the billows of white & gray? Sure, we all have. Today’s art project isn’t far removed from a cloud watching exercise. This morning my three year old asked me what we could do “together”. I’m feeling pretty pregnant and pretty lazy so not a whole lot of adventures came to mind. I remember seeing a blog not long ago that featured these “blob” paintings – where the artist would paint a “blob” and then interpretively sketch a character out of the near-formless painting. I figured I could tailor the project to me and my pre-schooler’s particular needs. I set him up with some watercolors and let him paint till his little heart was content. Then we talked about what he saw in each painting. It was interesting that we both saw many similar “things” in the paintings. Under the Bean’s directions, I’d sketch in what he interpreted his brush strokes to be. Lots of fun – AND he’s very proud…
So, I have some empty wall space in my living room that is just begging to become something more exciting. I really try to decorate with personalized art. I LOVE taking photos,so I felt the best way to fill the space was to collage some of my favorite family photos.
Here is a relatively easy, fun and inexpensive way to decorate a large wall area. I chose a few dozen of my favorite family photos and had them printed in B&W from Costco (I think they do the best affordable printing around here). Next, I went to the Dollar Store and bought an appropriate number of frames in various sizes and variegated shades of gold and silver. After framing the photos, I ripped the back stand off of the frame back and applied about a square inch of mounting tape on the corners of the frames’ backside. After laying out all my photos and finding the best looking “pattern” for my wall, I mounted them using a level, measuring tape and pencil for spacing. I intentionally left some blank spaces in my pattern so that I’ll have room for pictures of the new baby when he’s born. I’d like to find some oval frames for the Sprout’s photos to further the variety of the frames. All in all, this project cost me about $40. Not bad considering the size and personalization of final product.
I have done this project before using black frames of uniform size and it looks fantastic as well – though it definitely lends a more modern look.
So, the Sprout should arrive next month and I have been sorely procrastinating putting his nursery together. We moved into this house in November and that was quickly followed by a nasty bout of flu, the holidays, multiple birthdays (including The Bean’s) and general end-of-pregnancy-zombie-like fatigue. We are planning a home birth, so making sure everything is in order for the actual *BIRTH* took precedent over making Sprout’s nursery all cutesy-cutesy. My experience with Beans was that these kids could really care less what going on inside their bedrooms till they’re at least 18 months old. That being said, Sprout will being moved into Beans’ bedroom when he’s a few years old and the nursery will become the School Room. So my goal was to create a cool nursery that would segue into a learning area for the boys later on. I really wanted to get more exciting with the color palette but, just like a wino returns to their Midnight Train, I went back to my favorite foundation color of green. I’ve really been admiring these vinyl wall decals I’ve been seeing all over the place. So after a lot of shopping around on Amazon and Ebay I purchased several sets – One was a giant tree, another a couple of branches and doves and the third being Jeremiah 1:5. I washed and dried the nursery walls and got to work applying these decals yesterday at 1pm. What a pain in the ass. Seriously, if you have even the smallest iota of artistry in your blood it is easier to PAINT than to apply these decals. It took me about an hour and a half to junk the recommended application recommendations and come up with my own system that worked better. I found that cutting off small sections of the decal, peeling the paper backing off and applying it like a sticker worked a heck of a lot better than taping the 2’x4′ sections to the wall with masking tape and pressing them of a half sheet at a time. By 9pm I was done applying these ridiculous decals. The final result looks great, but doggone…I really should have just painted it for all the effort it took. Sorry the photos at the top of the page aren’t the highest quality – I took them with my phone as my camera couldn’t zoom out enough to get the pics….