Jacob’s 6 Foot Hot Wheel

Here are the pictures of Jacob’s finished room! Finally! This project took more ‘engineering’ than creativity for me. It could have been the size factor or that I’m not used to drawing cars on walls. Probably both. But I think it turned out ok.

To get the proportions right on the wall, I literally drew a grid on the picture I was using as reference and on the wall.

For the wall I measured out the squares & drew +‘s to plot the corners of each square. This gave me reference points without having a big grid to erase at the end of the project.

Next came the outlined sketch and the first layer of paint.

Then I filled in the small details and outlined it all in black to highlight the detail of the car.

(Psst! I have been known to use a black sharpie pen to do this part. It is easier to manage and quicker. But it gives a matte effect, not a glossy one.)

To give the windshield a sheen I used a pearlescent white paint. The glow adds depth to the car and catches the light regardless of where you stand in the room.

I intended to work on the shadowing of the windshield and the engine. But quite honestly, I ran out of time and he’s 4.

The real mistake I made on this project was not thinking of the position of his bed. I had it all laid out, then one visit from my sister and she suggests moving it to make more room for him to play. Agggg!

She was right, the bed needed moved. But because I painted the car in the middle of the largest wall, there wasn’t a lot of flexibility in rearranging the furniture.

You can see by the last picture here that his headboard covers up part of the engine and the track. But quite honestly, he’s 4. ūüôā

If you have a project you’d like painted or just some help on getting started, leave me a comment and we’ll touch base.


Painting Paris – A Mini How To Guide

I’ve decided it was time for Emma & Jacob to have separate bedrooms. I tried this once when they were 2. I fought the screaming and crying for over a month and then put them back together. But this time we discussed it before hand and they both bought in. So as a gift to them I told them I would paint their room while they were gone visiting their dad over Christmas.

It started with a large search online for wall murals or wall stickers. Most of these are easily applied and removed. I didn’t have the money to get what I really wanted to I decided to paint instead. I haven’t painted in a long time but I love to be creative, so I knew it would be a lot of fun (work)!

Since I’ve had a few folks following my updates on Twitter & Facebook several questions have popped up. How did you do that?, Was it hard?, etc. Easy & No are the respective answers.¬† If you have 2 days and paint, you can do it too! Here’s how:

  1. The first thing I do on a project like this is develop a dimensional layout.
    • Print off a copy of the mural.
    • Measure the largest item with a ruler.
    • Determine the space you have to work with on the wall.
    • Come up with an easy ratio to apply (i.e. 1 in on paper = 1 ft on the wall)
    • This becomes your dimensional layout so the picture is proportionate.
  2. Draw a pencil sketch of the largest item on the wall using your layout.
    • If you need to you can plot a few points that are measured out with a yardstick or
    • If you need to you can draw a proportionate grid on the paper and on the wall, then sketch your largest item using the grid as your guide.
  3. Pencil sketch in the rest of the items on the wall using your layout.
    • All of the details do not need to be included, just the outline and major lines. (i.e. I didn’t include the white circles on the mirror frame on my original sketch. Ref pics below)
  4. Paint all large areas first, going from left to right if you are right handed (this is a tip to help you avoid smearing paint as you move across the wall). Let it dry overnight.
  5. Paint all the small areas and add details to your heart’s desire!

That’s it! It’s easy! You can do it!¬† Trust me. I’m not an artist. I’m more of the engineer type that breaks it down visually to connect the dots.¬† Below are the pics of Emma’s room start to finish. I’ll be posting Jacob’s room when it’s done.

Beauty Rises

Promising by Epic Creatives

Promising by Epic Creatives

Behind the ashen worn fringe
colors are feeble. There
darkness teeters on the edge of light
exposing the imperfections.

Beyond the paleness, the fray
is a delicate threshold. Where
thinly veiled fears are diminished
emerging as luminous hope.

Baring the wounds of the soul
crimson passion bursts forth.

Tenuously yearning to be released.

Beauty rises from radiant distress
Calling to the world.

Do not forget me.

This lovely piece of art is from the talented Stoney Noell. It just instantly captured me. I suppose it was a bit of a muse that inspired these words.  You can find his other pieces at Epic Creativity.

Twittersheep – A cool new visual to see who’s following you!

sheep3Check out my followers on TwitterSheep. It provides a word cloud for your followers bios. I’ll say that I was a little surprised at the results. The biggest word in my cloud: “love” ¬†That just makes me smile. ¬†

The other cool thing to check out is the Twitter speak about you. The word cloud that comes back is about derived from searching Twitter from your name. So it’s not just about what you are saying it’s also about what people are saying to you, about you. My top 2 biggest words on this one (there was a tie): “out” & “me” – the third is “great”.¬†

So go give it a spin. See what your cloud says about you!


PS. – The sheep at the left are actually made 100% from recylced telephones. Check out their heads.

Cultural Arts in Franklin

I’m proud to be a part of a community & school that loves the arts¬†with a passion! They attend Spring Hollow Community Learning Center, the art-based preschool that Emma & Jacob attend.¬†

Both of my kids enjoy painting and drawing, but my daughter Emma has a particular flair and passion for art. I bring her home daily from school splattered with paint on her clothing & body. She likes to use herself as a canvas quite frequently. (I do see tattoos in her future)  What I love about being able to send Emma to Spring Hollow is their philosophy on art and freedom pf expression. Many days I come in to find her in her rain boots and a guitar around her neck. She talks about her pottery and painting and loves, loves, loves to go to school there. We are blessed to have such a place in our community to attend.  It was founded by Dr. Katherine Ratliff Moon who is a true visionary as I have written about in previous posts. 

Dr. K is also the Vice Chairman of The Williamson County Cultural Arts Commission, a wonderful group of community leaders, artists and advocates in Franklin, TN and throughout Williamson County. Read below their mission and a key sentence that I love in red.  

The WCCAC exists to promote, encourage, educate, and advocate the cultural arts in Williamson County of Tennessee.¬† The mission of Williamson County Cultural Arts Commission is to promote development, accessibility, and excellence of cultural arts in Williamson County. The arts not only record our history and glorify the remarkable unifying spirit that is uniquely human but serve as a critical path of our success as a culture. As a part of our mission, the WCCAC is dedicated to encouraging the creative spirit and making its expression more readily available to everyone in our community. It is also our desire to acknowledge excellence in the arts.¬† The WCCAC…weaves the threads that connect the cultural arts to audiences in our growing, vibrant community.


They fund and manage community art projects, education and success. I can’t wait to continue my support and engage in my daughters pursuit of her passion.

Find out more about the WCCAC here: www.williamsoncountyarts.org

This is a post for Watercooler Wednesday .


I’m In The Mood for Love……

Loving new websites, that is!¬† So folks, I’ve been on an emotional hiatus from blogging. Lots of stuff going on here, but I’m coming out of¬†it today just in time to be greeted by this wonderful website call Moodstream by GettyImages.¬† WOW!¬†

Moodstream by Gettyimages
Moodstream by Gettyimages

Awesome: GettyImages MoodStream

For creative types, there is nothing more terrifying than a blank screen. If this happens to you (I know I suffer from this brain-drain syndrome periodically) then check out a powerful brainstorming tool called Moodstream from Getty Images.

Images, video footage and audio are available to provide inspiration for your creative. Users simply fine-tune their mood setting (happy or sad, calm or lively, nostalgic or contemporary) and choose a few preset indicators (intensify, stabilize, excite, inspire, etc.) which reflect their current mood and Getty pulls images, video and audio will detailed information making it available for purchase.

An excellent idea all around – the presentation of content and a stellar user interface is going to make MoodStream a phenomenal add-on service for Getty.

Settings for Moodstream
Settings for Moodstream

¬†I personally fell in love with Refresh. You can also adjust the audio for more or less music with words or not. So the visual and audio settings are completely¬†within your control.¬† If you’re looking for inspiration or just some really juicy¬†mind-candy, this is the sight to meet your needs.¬† ¬†Enoy!

This is a part of Watercooler Wednesday.

Natural Abstract Art

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† “It is impossible to give a clear account of the world, but art can teach us to reproduce it – just as the world reproduces itself in the course of its eternal gyrations.‚ÄĚ Albert Camus



¬†Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this we know to be true. Lately I’ve been seeing things around me as more beautiful than ever before.¬† I think as I grow older I am able to view my life and the life around me in a way that is more open to the unexpected and the unusal. There is a peace and tranquility in doing this. It allows me to capture those moments and hold on to them for a second longer. Art is all around us. It is in us. We just have to learn to see it.¬†
















Is it the lastest in abstract art? Is it a spectacular display of underwater photography?  It is one of those special colored sand displays in a frame? Or could it just be goo on a square plate? 

You be the judge?  Leave your answers in the comments and I will disclose the answers on Friday!

This post is a part of Watercooler Wednesday

Supporting Those That Cultivate Young Artists…

Looking for a reasonable night out, that supports a good cause, check out Spring Hollow’s Wine Tasting Fundraiser below… This is the school the twins will be attending in the fall and maybe even sooner. My post from Watercooler Wednesday on Cultivating the Youngest of Artists is the reason we are attending this school plain and simple.

I had a passion for drawing and painting early on as a child & my daughter is carrying on that trait. She will sometimes cry to paint or play with playdough even before breakfast. I am blessed to have found a place that will embrace her spirit and her passion as it should be, while meeting the needs of my son as well. He is my architect in the making or maybe he will be a demo man because he loves to destroy everything he builds immediately whether it is 3 inches or 3 feet high. But he is my builder. They will thrive in this environment and I am grateful that it exists so close to us. Come join us for an evening of wine, music & friends!


Wine & Cheese Tasting 2008
organized by the Friends of Spring Hollow Community Learning Center

Saturday, March 29
7:00 – 9:00 pm

Garden Club Estates Model Home
(Pulte Homes)
119 Snapdragon Court
Franklin, TN, 37067

Cultivating The Youngest of Artists…

environment.jpgAs¬†my¬†first post¬†for Randy Elrod’s¬†Water Cooler Wednesday: I am so proud & excited to share the preschool that the twins will be attending this fall. Spring Hollow Community Learning Center in Franklin. Their theme is “Nothing Without Joy”. How amazing is that?

Here’s their philosophy on teaching…

  • The first teacher is the child. Children learn from themselves and their peers. Children have a natural ability to be autonomous, intelligent, kind, and creative. Children have the right to make choices, create, discover, explore and invent.
  • The second teacher is the environment. The environment is beautiful, inviting, and reciprocates knowledge.
  • The third teacher is the adult. Teachers and parents encourage the child’s natural evolution of learning and are equal learning partners in the research process of knowledge growth.

Here’s an explanation from the director, Dr. Katherline Ratliff Moon, on Unrestrained Art…ga111.jpg

Considering the word restrained provides a context to understand Spring Hollow’s goals. Defined as the action of limiting or hampering the activity or growth effect of something, this word aptly describes what adults often do when interacting with children about their creations. We limit children when we impose certain values and expectations upon them.

An example of such a value is the importance we place upon finished products. How often do we find ourselves questioning and acknowledging the product of creating rather than focusing on the process? For the young child, the exploration of mediums, colors, and shapes in the creative process is of great importance. Of greatest importance is the child’s real life and imagined experiences. These experiences are the motivation behind the child’s symbolic representations within all the art forms. An example of an expectation that can restrain a child is our fixed point of view as to what we think something should look like. To a two year old, the simplicity of one line may represent a tree. How often do we remind the child of the necessity of adding branches and leaves instead of validating the choice the child has made? Young children are going through the very important process of identifying what they think a tree looks like from their point of view. To encourage their creativity and freedom of expression, it is important that we validate each step of their journey in process. We can extend their work by our acceptance and careful suggestions.

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