Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Fever

Sometimes, after I buy a brand-spanking-new can of spray paint, I walk around my house looking for things to paint. Other times, I don't have a choice. Like this here gosh-darn story:

Long ago, when I lived in Iowa, I bought this little bird at Hobby Lobby. How I miss Hobby Lobby!
Anyway, the bird was 50% off and it was cute. It wasn't the best color, but I still had a special little place in my heart for it.

James calls it The Squirrel Bird. The nerve!

But he's right. *sigh* Look at that tail!

Well, recently it's been calling to me. Like the slot machine that calls to Franklin in the Twilight Zone.

Do you remember? If you don't, or just need a frightening refresher, here you go:

Except my little squirrel bird isn't quite so disturbing. And she didn't make me want to fall-jump out of a window made of the thinnest glass ever.

She has a sweet little voice that's been chirping:
"Paint me!"
"Paint me!"
"Paint me!"

And since I'm not one to take Twilight Zone signs lightly, I paid attention. Because THERE ARE LESSONS TO BE LEARNED from the Twilight Zone.

And so I painted.

Oh, Squirrel Bird, you are adorable! I was thinking about distressing her a little, but remember, I'm a wimp, and also, I kind of like the boldness of all that blue.

I like the way the etchings seem to be a little sweeter after they were painted all one color:

I perched her atop the cabinets in my kitchen.

So that she could be the boss of my cookbooks. Doesn't she look so regal and bossy?

Go on with your bad blue self!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Twiggy Bird and the Butterfly

I know you know that I have an etsy shop called Smart-Bottom Kids. I know you know because I'm always all linking to it on the sly like that right there. And then I'm always all craft kits this and craft kits that and craft kits blah blah blah. 

And you're all "No way! I'm totally not going to look at anymore of your dang craft kits because I totally saw when you got your 1st neutral feedback where the lady said your Easter Eggs are thin and your Christmas Trees are spongy EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE ALL MADE FROM DIFFERENT COLORS OF THE EXACT SAME CARDSTOCK!" WHATEVER!

Phew! I think I needed to get that out of my system. I'm done now. It's okay. Really. You can stop peeking through your fingers at the screen.

Anyway! Did you know that I also have a super secret etsy shop called And Then? Well, I do! Because I like to be all mysterious like that. 

Are you dying to know why I named my shop And Then? Because of this:

 (click on the title to see it bigger and make sure you watch the whole thing! It's frickin hilarious yo!)

Anyway, a long time ago I created this piece of mixed-media art and let my son name it. He was 4. He named it: "Roxy Bird and the Butterfly." And then I stuck it in my super secret etsy shop

Well, a very cool mom saw it and loved it. She is in the process of decorating a nursery for her baby girl. The only issue is that her baby's nursery walls are already pink. And she really wanted a piece of artwork that would stand out more. So she asked that I make the same basic scene, but switch the colors around.

So I did it! Introducing: "Twiggy Bird and the Butterfly."

Can you see why I named this one Twiggy? Her eyes remind me of the model from the 60s! 

I love it! And she loves it! I'm so thrilled to be able to create something that will be lovingly placed in the sweetest room in the house. It's a happy thing.

And go check out my super secret shop! You totally want to. Just admit it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Initiation and Redemption

Hey, so do you remember when I turned this $4 thrift store find:

into this lovely jewelry box that I lovingly gave to my sweet daughter for Christmas (out of love, because I love her):

Well! I got my first disapproving comment ever on my blog because of it. And, I have to say, I'm not even offended. I feel kind of honored. Like I've been initiated into the blogging world. Some of my favorite bloggers get awful comments all the time, so I think this means I'm In! 

Marja wrote:

"this is terrible - such a beautiful wooden piece of the past... you should have taken it to the antique restorateur instead of destroying its own beauty. Greetz from The Netherlands!"

Whoo Hoo! She's soooo jealous of me. 

There are lots of things I want to say to Marja.

Things like: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."  

And: "I'll be at the Thrift Store tomorrow at noon if you want to try to stop me from buying something else. Because I might buy some ugly piece of antique-y ugly ugliness just so that I can paint it and put it out of its ugly misery." 

And also: "Hey! I think I just saw you on Hoarders!"

But it all basically comes down to: "Suck it." 

ANYWAY! Guess what! Not even 4 days later....


Remember my $13 Paper Wall:

Well! Coolest compliment ever! If I can *sniff* just change one person's life *sniff* for the better *sniff* it's all worth it!

DC Baby wrote:

"I LOVE this idea so much that I stole it for my baby's nursery: 

I have gotten so many compliments on it!!"

It looks great! I especially love how Jennifer spaced out the paper. That takes so much patience and super precise measuring. And the colors are beautiful!

Thank you soooo much Jennifer! You totally made my day!!!! It's gorgeous!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

'Under the Sea' Room

Many years ago, when Peyton was just a little two year old boy, he loved Finding Nemo. We watched that movie over and over and over and... 

Somewhere along the line, I decided we might as well go all out and make the kid an ocean room. So I started painting. It probably took me about 3 or 4 months, off and on. I started with painting the walls and the ceiling a beautiful shade of ocean blue. Then I slowly added plant life and creatures. I mostly used the little bottles of non-toxic acrylic paint and, every once in a while, a sharpie marker. 

Can you see little baby Ella in Peyton's crib during the photo shoot? She's so tiny!

James was in charge of all the big green kelp around the room:

Here I am finishing the last creature, an octopus, just ONE day before Ella was born. I wasn't trying to fit it all in before she was born (can you imagine the stress?), it just happened that way. This room was a slow, fun process, not a task.

I got the idea for this cute guy from the front of a Softsoap bottle.

I don't have a close-up, but do you see Rainbow Fish? I love that story!



and, of course, Nemo:

We found his curtains at Ikea. They are kind of kelp-ish, don't you think? Even though we've since moved a couple of times, we still use those curtains. They work well with all sorts of boy-themed rooms!

And of course we needed some turtles! Mama loves turtles!

And lots of coral and other plant life:

See the canvas art above his chifferobe? I bought 3 white canvases and some paint. I let Peyton finger paint them whatever colors he wanted. We really didn't need a lot of added wall decoration, since we had so much going on already. I think the simple artwork of a 2-year-old was perfect for this room. (Ah,  Diaper Genie pail, how happy I am that you are not part of our decor anymore.)

I got the idea for these striped fish from some stickers Peyton had:

I painted some little orange sea horses above his toy boxes. I also painted some of those $1 wooden initials blue and hung them above his door. The four blue frames you see are little fish pictures I found in the dollar bins at Target.

You can see the ceiling a little bit in this picture of Peyton's closet. I painted it the same color as the walls. Then I added white to the leftover blue paint to make water ripples on the ceiling. 

I miss this room! I used to lie down on the floor and bask in the calmness of it all. Peyton loved his room, too. But he was so young, I don't think he really got the full impact of it. He mostly just got excited whenever I brought in my box of little acrylic paints to make a new underwater creature. I would spend hours painting while he played in his room. It was so fun to create this relaxing and colorful space for my sweet little guy.

I linked up here: 


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