Wednesday, July 27, 2011

California Landscape with Poppies ~ Melissa's Mural

Before moving to our current home, we lived in a duplex,
and my dear friend Melissa lived next door.
We painted her kitchen a deep persimmon color
and I painted this California landscape on the wall.

A mural bridges the quickly changing, frequently re-invented realm of interior design 
with the (sometimes) more stable, longer-lasting realm of artistic creation.

Even while painting I am aware that this artwork will not always fit this space, 
that tastes change or needs change and this mural will not last.

 I'm glad I took pictures, because we sold that house 
and who knows if this even exists anymore.

I've painted a lot of murals over the years 
that have been left behind when the house was sold.

I think from time to time I'll post pictures 
of those forgotten, likely painted-over murals--

just for old-time's sake.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Cheater's Terrarium

 This terrarium has survived multiple locations and many months in my house.

It doesn't make a mess and requires almost no care.
 It cost about $12 and about 2 minutes to put together.

And it's a fake.

I normally think fake plants are a pretty bad idea, especially cheap ones. 
(This fern was 99 cents at Michael's.)

But I've discovered that if you put them behind glass, or mix them with real plants, 
or just display them at a distance, you can get away with it.

I added some real twigs from our backyard, some fake mossy rocks, 
and behind glass I think it works.

So there it is--sometimes I'm a cheater.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Princess Party from the Past {and how to make a castle cake}

When Elizabeth turned five we threw her a princess birthday party, 
complete with etiquette lessons and castle cake.
Even though this took place a few years ago 
I thought it might be fun to document the sweetness.

I made the invitations from scrapbooking stickers and shiny purple paper 
I picked up at a yard sale (thanks Alli!).

I perused pictures of castle cakes online and came up with this design,

cut out and fluffed up some puff ball decorations.

strung some tulle streamers,

and plotted my cake construction. Here's the basic plan.

        • various candies (for cobblestones, entry decoration and battlements)
        • wafer cookies (for doors)
        • sugar ice cream cones and large granulated sugar
        • two round cakes (to make the main part of the castle in two layers)
        • six cupcakes
        • toothpicks or (even better) wooden skewers
        • plenty of frosting

        • first freeze your cake and cupcakes
        • layer your frozen round cakes and frost them
        • layer two cupcakes for each turret, skewer them for stability (the skewer can extend up into the roof (sugar cone) area
        • stack the other cupcakes on top of the round cakes for extra towers
        • frost the cupcakes
        • frost each sugar cone and roll in sugar, stack on top of the cupcake towers
        • decorate the whole shebang with candies and cookies

The birthday girl was costumed early.

Then the little guests arrived.

We helped them decorate party hats 
with stickers, ribbons, and tulle for their craft and favor.
My dear friend Melissa dressed up and taught the girls princess etiquette.

After the princess tea the girls played outside.

Such a sweet group of pretty princesses.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dahlia Drama

 A few months ago I bought eighteen dahlia bulbs and planted them throughout our flower beds.

Since then, I've been the witness to an unfolding, unfurling dahlia drama.


The lead actors towered over their humbler counterparts, some growing taller than me.

And the final scene is lovely.

The best part is that the show promises to continue all summer!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to Make a Giant Waterfall

Last week was Adventure Week, our church's version of Vacation Bible School. This year our theme was On Safari: God Makes a Way. As a part of the planning team, I was in charge of transforming the church campus into scenes from an African safari.  The big impact piece was "Victoria Falls" at the entrance to the sanctuary where the main meeting took place.

I used a combination of ideas I found online, and then added some new elements, to create our giant waterfall display.  Here's how we did it:

You will need:
  • a tall structure to use as a base for the waterfall (we used set walls from a theater production)
  • cardboard to provide shape for the "rocks"
  • brown packing paper (for the surface of the rocks)
  • flat blue paper (butcher paper would work)
  • metallic blue fringe curtain (both straight and curvy)
  • irridescent fringe curtain (both straight and curvy)
  • water pattern gossamer
  • panels of cardboard layered with styrofoam cups hot glued into place
  • live ferns
  • green butcher paper (cut and stapled to resemble palm leaves)
  • wooden boxes to build out the base of the waterfall and to provide "shelves" for the ferns
  • a life size plywood gorilla!
These are the steps:
  1. Erect the wall structure, angling the panels to create dimension, and cover it with blue paper.
  2. Fold and shape cardboard pieces for rocks at the top of the wall and staple into place.
  3. Arrange wooden boxes (or other shelf-like or stair-step like pieces) in groupings around the base of the wall.
  4. Cover cardboard pieces and some of the wooden boxes with crumpled and shaped brown packing paper, staple into place.
  5. Place/hang ferns and paper palm leaves.
  6. Hang metallic fringe in layers over the blue paper. The top layer should be irridescent.
  7. Arrange panels of cups around the base of the wall to create "foam."
  8. Weave water patterned gossamer around cups and any gaps in the paper.
  9. Set up faux palm tree and gorilla.
  10. Bring in the kids!

    We had a great week learning about how God has made a way for his people in Christ!

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...