living in a crooked house

We have this kooky plan for the next year.  We're thinking, since we live in a small and clownishly dimensioned house, we should embrace our ridiculousness and turn our home into theatre.  Or art.  What is life if not unscripted performance art anyway?

It was not hard to convince the childs to see our home as a stage.  But now what we need is some scenery and props.

To set some parameters, we thought we would pick a theme, something that appeals to all of us and has both natural and supernatural elements, and a deadline.  Next year, August, we plan to remove all our props and paint the walls to prepare for a new theme.  Or maybe some neutral time?  Anyway, nobody has to be too dedicated to any particular aesthetic in the house because a year from now it'll be gone.  Hopefully it will be a creatively freeing experience and we'll all get to practice some little used skills.

Like mural painting.

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Some inspirations to use for our theme, Into the Woods.  I know that there is a play by that name and a movie being released soon also, but that's not exactly what we mean.  We are embracing the Grimm and Gothic woodland and all the dark and fantastic elements that implies, with a heavy leaning on literary references.  Because I like literary references.

We've been talking about this for a few weeks now and with the home school year officially starting next week, I thought I'd get us going with a bit of woodland ambiance in our dining cubby.

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This is one of those times when having an overhead projector laying around is pretty handy.  The tree drawing is loosely based on an illustration by John Tenniel from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass.  As you'll see, when I got it on the wall, it deviated from the original quickly.

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First, though, boy child freshened the paint for me.

Then, with a deep breath, I started tracing and filling out the tree.

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The idea was to create a look of a charcoal sketch reminiscent of older children's books, from the days when colour printing was prohibitively expensive and books were printed with just one or two colours.  So it's going to be a bit retro.  Hopefully.

Though I love the creepy elements of Grimm, Gorey and Poe, all influences for this theme, I wanted to keep our eating/learning/crafting/everything area uplifting and bright.   

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Don't judge me too harshly (I'll do that!), it is my first mural ever.  I sort of wish I had stuck to the overhead drawing more carefully, but on the other hand, the point of all this is to try things out.  It's also nasty to try to paint a round thing over a corner.  What was I thinking?  Oh, I know, to hide the super crooked wall.

Stage two of the mural is painting the background.  Perhaps it should of been stage one? 

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I've got another coat to do and some touch ups before I declare this particular base done. Tomorrow.  And the day after, who knows what we will add.  I will tell you now, though, that the rock is my favorite part and how it actually looks like a charcoal sketch.  Go me!


  1. wow! it's looking very cool. You have some serious talent :)

  2. This is gorgeous!!! Very inspiring too!

  3. If we didn't live in a rental, I would so hire you! I have always wanted a tree mural in my home. I love this tree you made and the bright yellow is super cheerful. Excited to follow the progress of your theatrical home!