[home]: Updates and Blimps...


As I completed most of my son's bedroom, there was a wall that was left bare where I really wanted to do something special. I searched for inspiration pretty much everywhere - starting with the web and could not say that I was overly impressed with what I found as shared here. The problem that I created for myself (if you read this blog you probably guessed by now that I tend to make my life and decisions somewhat difficult for some random reason) is that I just had a general idea of what I wanted my son's room to look like and feel like, but no specific design in mind.

The reason I take this approach to designing our house is that I don't want to create expectations in my head of achieving something which requires certain budget, but like to be guided by general notions and feelings of resulting room that I envision in my head and allow for great deals, steals and finds to do the rest. What that means in reality is that approach that I think I might be taking, often times gets tweaked along the way. Specifically with my son's room that means that somewhere along the way everything turned towards air transportation - cool airplane hanging from the ceiling from PBK (clearance) and hot-air balloons picture (sale) set the stage.

I am not big on themes so I thought for a minute to throw a complete wrench in all of the vintage air travel design plans and draw black castle mural, but I decided to be patient. Well, inspiration came calling from Emily Henderson's living room and her blimp artwork. I was sold but was not sure how my son would react.. I was mulling everything over in my head too chicken to proceed....

I also happened on Pottery Barn Kids rocket wood plank that I liked which was my option #2 in case my son reacted with disgust at my proposal. He is into Star Wars currently and this is kind of "stars-y".. and "wars-y"..

I gave my 7-year old a choice between two above images which he looked at on my phone for all of 2 seconds. He immediately decided on the blimp! I was floored. Happy, but floored. Scared of work ahead, but floored. Just for the record, I never intended to do full on details in above artwork, just a simplified version only to have him ask me why I did not do all of those other details because he liked them...

So here it goes - the final product (as documented using iPhone):

I love it, the kids love it. If you saw how the room looked (or was revealed previously) you probably noticed that we made a few updates besides the addition of the blimp. Bed is now turned 90 degrees and I've framed two prints which we brought from France back in 2009. These prints ended up here so fittingly - that I feel like a genius with such foresight knowing that they will be perfectly placed in with rest of the antique air devices some six years later. I love these frames as well which I purchased from Urban Barn on crazy clearance for couple of dollars really and kept them for future use - again, genius.

Well, how did the drawing process go? Actually, quite quickly and easily... Whenever I have a go at the walls (well whenever is really two times now) I like to use the chalk to draw an outline. As kids tend to disperse with many items around house as part of who-knows-what-game-they-thought-of-now, I could not find any white chalk - not that I looked very hard but just asked them to produce one. They did, just not the white one. I've decided to pick my battles and just go with it since I just mustered the strength and willpower to do this and did not want to stop at the first little roadblock. I am glad I did because I drew it all in one breath, or in other words, under 10 minutes. I've decided not to embellish it too much mostly because I wanted to use stronger colour and did not want it to overwhelm the space.

Drawing with chalk happened in one night - the actual painting of it the next one. I am so happy I did not take days, weeks or months between the steps. Probably because I was afraid one of the kids will erase the chalk just to mess me with (just kidding, they would do it just to test if it can be erased). That really is the main reason why I use the chalk - you can easily erase it while you freehand the drawing and try again. In this case I did not have to do it once. That little smudge that is visible close to the propeller is my daughter attempting to see if she can erase it while I was guiding her through the process. She thought she was being helpful. Well - she did it with her finger which will definitely leave a smudge, my recommendation is to tap it lightly with a cloth. Of course, if this was actually white chalk - it would be even easier.

So my original plan was to go dark - black or dark grey, but then I felt with dark navy curtains and black map, things might be just a tad too dark and the kid just turned 7 after all.. he is still my little baby which is why I am still hanging onto his little baby rug in the room... Anyway - quick decision was made to go either blue or green, only to decide in next minute to mix it up as you can see below.

A very scientific approach to verifying the final colour - hold up the brush with colour next to a few items in the room to see if the colours (or undertones) clash.... No? We have a winner.

My intention was not to go for perfect match to any one colour in the room which made it all that much easier to settle on the first mix...

When I created a tree mural for a nursery a while back I used oil paint which worked well (as far as I remember) but this time I want to try acrylic as I could use water to get it glide easier on the wall - or so I thought. Adding water did not make too much difference and since I ended up adding a bit too much I was afraid a bit it might actually run down on the wall. Thankfully, that did not happen. What did not work so well was getting the lines of the blimp in one stroke - the paint would just run out so I had to do it in several tries.

I've started the paint process with one of the inner lines (as seen above) in case my hand is shaking so that any issues I potentially run into would not be as noticeable as they would be in one of the outer lines.  Overall, it worked out fine and I finished the whole thing fairly quickly - which is always a good thing.

At some point I was contemplating doing different parts of the blimp using different colours - or at least just one of them - but decided against it - simplicity won the day.

Here is another view and closer look.

I purposely used less paint when doing the smoke clouds allowing for the chalk to come through and make them look more 'smoky'...

For the months of thinking of this - the actual project took very little time. We love the result, it is dirt cheap and easy to change when the time comes... win win...

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