Where I Practice My Craft

Do you like my title?  Makes it sound like I’m doing witchcraft, doesn’t it?  Well, I’m not.  Somehow Hogwarts never sent me a letter.  😦  I guess I’m not gifted enough.

Okay, enough silliness.  A while back, I took some photos of my craft room (when it was semi-clean).  I thought it would be fun to share the place where I do most of the stuff I blog about (except the cooking–and I will probably never post a picture of my kitchen; even when the countertops are pristine, they’re cluttered as all get-out).

The room also doubles as a guest room (if I can clean it before the guests arrive).  Ideally, I’d like to have a murphy bed so I could have more room when guests are not here (which is most of the time), but they’re expensive.  So that’ll have to wait.

Anyway, onto the room:


The guest bed and artwork.

The guest bed is a full-size bed.  I would like to make it a twin if I can’t have a murphy bed, but my most frequent guest (aka Mom) likes a double.  Also, my daughter sleeps there with her friends when she invites them for a giggle-fest sleepover.

The artwork over the bed consists of a cute print my former stepmother (who will always be part of my life) gave to me (head of the bed), a painting I did, and a glued-together-puzzle.  The painting was an attempt to recapture what I did in junior high art with pastels, but it never quite got where I wanted it.  I also never got quite the right color green in the background, so maybe it is good that you can’t tell the sage green wall color in the picture (it isn’t the most complementary matching).  One of these days, I will take a stab at making something I like better for over the bed.  Glued-together-puzzles always make affordable artwork, especially if you and your husband spent the first three to five years together (dating and before children) doing many puzzles.  We just used push-pins that matched to hold them up on the wall.  I actually have a lot of puzzles decorating the walls of my house.

This rolling cart is a pretty new addition to the room.  I love having some flat storage space so I no longer have to dig through all my flat items to find what I need.

A rolling storage cart contains paper, pencils, and other supplies.

A rolling storage cart contains paper, pencils, and other supplies.

My sewing table is an old student desk. When I started using the room, I wanted to be able to watch the TV while sewing. I stopped using the TV, so I got rid of it, but I like that the desk is facing the door. At any rate, I made a velcro curtain to cover the ugly backside of the desk so that my room still looks pretty when you enter it (assuming, of course, that it’s clean–big assumption).

Sewing table with curtain open.

Sewing table with curtain open.

Sewing table with curtain

Sewing table with curtain

I wanted a bulletin board in my room, but all I had were some old “kiddie” ones from my childhood.  I took the Snoopy one, painted it white, and covered it with the same fabric I made the curtain out of.  I used ribbon accents to make it prettier.  It sits right behind my desk/sewing table.

Prettified bulletin board.

Prettified bulletin board.

There are two areas absent in this entry.  One is the wall contains the former TV now printer stand and the closet.  The closet is scary messy.  I keep telling myself I’ll clean it to take a picture.  But I have sooo much stuff–fabric, wrapping paper, old boxes that I’m going to do something with one day, etc.  Because of that, I don’t have a picture.  If I ever get it clean enough for a picture, I will take one.  The other item missing is a storage cupboard, which I’d really like to take a picture of, especially since I built a custom shelf insert for it to hold my craft paint bottle holder.  However, I’m mid-project right now, and this blog has waited long enough.  So, I will have to add it some other time.

I hope all of you enjoyed seeing my space.  I’d love to see yours, so if you’ve got pictures posted somewhere, please feel free to leave the link in the comments!


Giraffes on a Wall

When my daughter was potty training, we had a hard time convincing her to get out of bed at night to use the bathroom.  When we asked her why, she said she was scared.  Her dad asked her if she’d be less scared if there was a friendly picture on the half wall next to the bathroom.  She said she thought it might help.  So, my husband asked me how we could giraffes (her favorite animal) on the wall.  While I had never done a mural, I said I’d paint them.  As usual, my husband was envisioning a quick and dirty job and I was envisioning how I could make the best giraffe mural I possibly could.  I don’t know how many hours it took, but it was many.

The view of the finished wall from the bathroom door.

The challenge on this project was that I had never worked on a wall mural before, and working close to the wall gives a very different perspective from how it looks when you stand back.  The wall is textured, so I had that to contend with.  And the hall is narrow, so I couldn’t really step back to get a really good perspective while I was working.

My giraffe drawing skills are not stellar.  So, my daughter’s wonderful art teacher loaned me a projector.  I found some images from a calendar we had and projected them on the wall.  Unfortunately, I did not project them at the best possible scale.  I wanted them as big as possible since they were the focus, but when I projected the tree, I didn’t think about how it was going to look in relation to the giraffes.  Since I didn’t project it on a good scale to be eaten by the giraffe, I made it darker to try to make it look like it was further back.  But at the same time, I painted too much texture into the leaves, so it doesn’t really look like it’s in the background like I intended.  And that was probably the most difficult thing about painting on a wall–trying to get all the elements into the right perspective for what I wanted.  The tree to the left is lighter in color with the intention that it would look closer.  Again, I don’t think I succeeded in this.

A view that includes all of the tree on the left.

My grass is a blend of yellows and greens to try to give it texture.  Overall, I’m pleased with each individual element, but I don’t think they worked together as well as I hoped.  My daughter, however, loved it, so I guess that’s all that matters.

What about you?  Have you done mural painting in your home?  What challenges did you face?  Any tricks you’d like to share?

Sea Turtle Border in the Bathroom

When we moved into our new house several years ago, I found a good deal on a stencil for sea turtles which my husband and I thought would make a nice border for our sea-themed bathroom.

It was a two-part stencil, which meant I had to do each set in stages, letting one part dry before putting on the second stencil to do the other parts of the image.  I wanted a more realistic effect than solid colors would give me, so I used layers of green and yellow for the turtles, and I used several shades of green on the plants.  I used both orange and yellow for the coral.  I only used blue for the bubbles.  Overall, I think it turned out rather well.  However, adding all the additional color meant that what might have been a 2-hour job took me closer to 9 hours.