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The Jabberwocky Hand-Painted Step Stool Project

The Jabberwock by Graeme Base

The Jabberwock by Graeme Base

This is what my little feral one wanted to paint on his step stool... himself... with spray paint.

Realistic painting project for a four year old? Maybe not, but I agreed that we had to try to make it happen.

Here we go...

The Feral One with his blank canvas.

The Feral One with his blank canvas.

The Feral One priming his stool

The Feral One priming his stool

Me making the stencil.

Me making the stencil.

Taping the stencil to the painted stool.

Taping the stencil to the painted stool.

The feral One checking out his handiwork

The feral One checking out his handiwork

The Feral One and Snaggletooth adding some texture

The Feral One and Snaggletooth adding some texture

The boys' creation

The boys' creation

I added the final details

I added the final details

The Feral One poses with The Jabberwock.

The Feral One poses with The Jabberwock.

Here is a link to Jabberwocky which is a favorite poem of mine and The Feral One. Enjoy!

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New Year's Resolutions

I'm a total cliche when it comes to new year's resolutions. I change my diet for about a week, organize a few drawers in my house, and then quickly forget what I had originally resolved to do. And I just can't cut back on my coffee intake no matter how hard I try. So, forget it. No more resolutions!

This year I'm forgoing personal improvements for a hearty list of art-based home projects. Inspired by Apartment Therapy's January Cure, Young House Love and dream to be part of the West Austin Studio Tour, I've created a pretty thorough list of painted furniture and art pieces for my soon-to-be progressive home gallery. I'm looking forward to making it all happen. Take a peek!

Cheers to a fantastically creative 2014!

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Furniture Painting...With Kids!

My dear husband and I have been quite busy lately (I mean, aren't we all, right?) and working a lot on the weekends. We've taken on some serious tag team parenting - I paint for six hours on Saturday till the end of nap time; he goes into the office on Saturday afternoon till dinner; he goes to a casting call all day Sunday; I leave the house to work on some sketches on Sunday evening. We kind of miss each other. 

We promised some actual, for reals family time this past weekend. The feral one (older brother) wanted family time to involve painting furniture since I haven't let him help me lately. I thought that was an awesome idea. Dear husband was not so sure. Luckily, the feral one and I are good at ignoring dear husband's voice of reason. 

Here's the play-by-play of Saturday afternoon's kid-friendly-ish painting project.

Step 1. Find a piece of furniture in the house that we don't care about. Pretty easy for us since so much of our furniture is from Target or Ikea. We found a porch side table that seemed perfect.

Step 2. Design decisions. "Feral one, what should we paint on the table?" "A dinosaur eating a honey badger!" "Obviously. Why did I ask?"

Step 3. Draw and cut out a stencil out of contact paper and affix it to the table top.

Step 4: Give the boys paint pens and let them go to town. Let paint dry.

Step 5: Tape around the table legs, give boys paint pens and let them at it again.

Step 6: Add a couple of finishing touches as directed by the feral one. "Mom, can you make them talk?" "Yeah, buddy! Of course."

And done! True awesomeness, right?

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Happy Birthday, Avery O Design!

It's been one year since I officially started my business, Avery O Design. Still so young, but slowly growing! It's time to list my first year accomplishments and give myself a little happy birthday feel good moment:

  1. I've completed nine murals for clients, with two more commissioned pieces being painted in the next month. 
  2. I've completed three mural pieces in my own home. 
  3. I've begun playfully and experimentally painting furniture.
  4. I've led a community mural project at the Austin Mini Maker Faire.
  5. I've built two websites.
  6. I've learned marketing via social networking and I've kinda gotten into this whole blogging thing.

Huh! Okay, not a bad start looking back at it. In fact, I'm pretty proud of all that I've accomplished, especially since it's been done with two wild toddlers around most of my days. 

So, what's a birthday without presents? No, no. Not for me, silly. A present for you! Well, a present for ONE of you. I just finished painting this nightstand/sidetable, and am giving it away to say thanks for all of the love and support in my first year of business.

Interested? GIve Avery O Design a shout out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or wherever you socially network and leave me a comment with any suggestions for my next furniture project. A lucky one of you will get a birthday present from me! Oh, I do love birthdays!

Much love and thanks, Avery O

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The Porch Makeover

The furniture was supposed to live on the porch just until we could replace it with nice outdoor furniture and was then headed for the dump. But, I just could never seem to get rid of it. Since it was supposed to be trash, living out it's final days, I let the kids go to town on it. Outside is where we paint, and everything on the porch but the walls has been fair game.

 

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Murals vs Wall Decals

In all honesty, I love the modern design of some of the wall decals out there. I noticed recently that so many of the murals that have inspired me on Pinterest are not, in fact, murals but rather decals. So what's wrong with decals? Great designs. Fairly inexpensive. Temporary. Nothing wrong with any of those things, right?

But, I still don't like them. Why not? Well, here are my top three reasons.

1. They look like wall decals. The photos you see in catalogs, on Pinterest and on design blogs are taken and edited by professionals. Don't be fooled. They never look that good in real life. They often have a plasticky glare when seen from an angle and they never look right on a wall with any kind of texture since, well, wall decals aren't textured. Kids' rooms are the only rooms that you can get away with using wall decals, but then there is my second problem with them.

2. Kids will pick at them. I promise. If you have a children under the age of 3 or maybe even 4, don't put a decal where it can be reached. My kids mess with everything. All kids mess with everything. They will get pealed off as soon as your kid realizes that they aren't painted on. Cheap ones will peal off on their own, even without a kid picking at them.

3. They are limiting. Most wall decals don't come in an endless array of colors like wall paint. You won't be able to perfectly match or compliment your wall color, furnishings or decor. Also, you won't be able to fit them to your space exactly. It can be quite tricky to work wall decals around windows or doors the way you want to.

As with most things, you pay for what you get. Cheap wall decals aren't ever worth it, and the higher quality ones may in fact be too adhesive for your own good. Some wall decals can actually damage a painted surface so that your "temporary" art work leads to a much more expensive fix-it job than just simply painting over a mural that you are tired of.

So, there you have my personal opinion on wall decals. Take it or leave it, and have fun decorating either way.

 

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