Monday, June 25, 2012

Dinosaur Room

Original computer illustration drawn to scale
Since I had my daughter & quit my day job in November, 2009, I'd been searching for other ways to express myself creatively. When she was about 5 months old, I started designing her room. I designed a large dinosaur mural on the computer that would cover one of her walls. The plan was to do the one wall and the window. I ended up painting a 360° mural around her room of an entire cartoon prehistoric scene, in addition to the large orange dinosaur, I added an extra large prehistoric flower and a distant volcano & misc. other foliage. It took weeks to complete since I only had her nap times to work on it, but I think the effort was well worth it.

To make the window into a tree, I bought brown blinds & painted the window frame brown. Then, I had to make the leaves for a valance. I decided to use wool felt since I figured it could be cut to shape and not require much sewing. I also thought it would drape similar to actual palm leaves the best. I chose two green colors, one for the leafy part and one for the stalk. The stalk was sewn up the middle of the leaf to create a long pocket & I filled it with poly-fil. Then I put heavy wire in the pocket to support the leaf and get it to arc out from the wall. 
To attach the leaves to the window, I bent the end of the wire in a bit of a 'z'  shape to hook over the curtain rod & rest under the frame at the top of the window. I was so proud of myself and thrilled with the result. Mostly because this is the first sewing project I've done since Jr. High.

I had all these odd drop off pieces from cutting out the leaves. I barely had to think about what to do. I'd make fat, plush blades of grass to sit at the bottom of the tree, of course. Lilah and her brother Jack like to play with these fun, odd shaped pillows.
Lilah in her prehistoric scene
The distant volcano
I used the grid technique to transfer the dinosaur to the wall but the remainder of the room was free-handed shortly before I began painting. 
Another view of the volcano
Entry door to the room with fantasy foliage
While my babies had no choice in their room theme, I think any child would love to play and sleep in this room. While the colors are bright & bold, when you stand in the room, the green & blue is incredibly calming and the happiness of the illustrations are simply, fun.

I used Benjamin Moore Aura paints so I wouldn't need a primer. It was so worth the added expense. It was low odor. I did need 2 coats which was wonderful compared to my previous experience with bold color. I purchased 1 quart each of Peony, Citrus Blast, Mystical Grape & Jade Green. I got 1 gallon each of my custom blue & custom green for the sky & grass. The guys at the Westmont store did a great job color matching to the Disney color palette, (Sonic Boom Green & Buzz Blaster Blue) which really matched my original colors from my computer illustration. The brown was some left over paint also from Benjamin Moore but I'm not 100% sure of the color name, I think it was Clydesdale Brown. The black was Liquitex Acrylic, Mars Black.

It was fun designing this room. I still have ideas for some sewing projects but my inexperience & lack of time keep holding me back. I've designed a couple of wall quilts I hope to make some day. But, I've never quilted or done any applique.
I also wanted to create a custom cushion for the rocker. But again, super amateur. Luckily the babies are still very little, and maybe this theme will last a few more years, or at least until I get my projects complete.