If I were to identify whom might be my number one influence in my artistic endeavors, it most certainly would be Dr. Seuss aka Theodore Geisel. While Walt Disney the man, not the brand is close, Seuss was a bit more of a rags to literary wealth success story, which for me embodies the American dream. He single handidly changed the way in which young people learn to read and in turn see the world around them.
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." - Dr. Seuss
On this special day acknowledging Mr. Geisel, please allow me to geek out for a bit and share some of my favorite Seuss and Seussisms.
By popular demand, I've added a new series to my Speedway Racing Collection of wall art. The new pieces explore the thrill of speed with images of a race car, mx motorcycle, mechanic type ephemera, vintage signage and more. The works are available as individual images or combined into a nine image collage with either a cream or black grid border.
Visit my shop's Transportation category to see this piece and many more race inspired pieces perfect for boy's rooms, teen spaces and of course the man cave.
I hurriedly met with Mr. D as a response to his heartfelt plea for help. You see, he and his wife just divorced and their three year old daughter was not adjusting well. Her world of routines, togetherness and familiar places had just been turned upside down. The sale of their home had mom and dad leaving for separate new places. Mr. D found a quaint farmhouse to rent. He had one week until Jane's first visit and that's where I come in. His plea- "will you make her room amazing?"
Finding myself with little notice and a newly divorced man's budget I scoured my retail haunts for furniture and findings that would fit lil' Jane's personality. She loves to draw, make forts, play dress up, be read to and the colors purple and pink. The plan was for me to help her adjust to her new home by making her room "hers". Outside of a few stuffed animals and some dress up clothes, I had to find treasures to fill the room from floor to ceiling, and stay on budget.
One week later, the white walled, dark floored room was filled with what I would hope she would come to love as "her room" and "her things". The end result....well....
Rather than my babble further, here's what Mr.D sent me- "Aaron, I wanted to extend to you my sincere appreciation for your hard work with Jane's room. There are so many wonderful options for Jane and her new room signifies the wonderful girl she is. At one point while she and I were in the room playing I almost broke down crying because it just felt so right, right for Jane and I in this moment. She adores her new room and I can't even tell you how special it is to have you come into our life at such a difficult time and help make it better. We couldn't be happier!"
I'm happy to report that Jane is doing much better, she and her new kitty "Tiger" are enjoying her and her daddy's new home. Mr. D, having experienced this makeover, now has me working his new bedroom into a manly refuge. I'll post about it soon.
To fill Jane's room on a modest budget, I relied upon some big bang for the buck items and a few fast and effective fixes.
If you have a trick or tip on transforming a plain white walled rental, I'm sure my readers would love to hear about it. Your comments are welcome!
One of my greatest sources of inspiration and joy are my two children. Although they are technically no longer children but young adults, and very amazing ones at that. My son, whom defines himself as a creative, is always challenging me to see through his eyes. He has a great eye for what's important, interesting and meaningful to a generation that I'm purely an observer of due to the age difference.
This year marks an important milestone for him, as he graduates from COLLEGE. He's a student at University of Oregon, in Eugene, Oregon.
Four years ago we put together a fun high school graduation party for him that I intended to post about. Well, here we are four years later and it never quit appeared on the blog. So to reminisce and enjoy it all again here's the details of that special day.
The goal of the party was to acknowledge and celebrate his accomplishments in high school and build excitement for his college experience. One of the very basic things I started with was working out some common ground between the two school's color palettes. His high school colors were cardinal and gold and his college was green and yellow. So I tweaked both into my preferred color palette of vintage look colors. We were now working with burgundy reds, ochre yellows and olivey greens mixed with the neutrals of parchment, kraft and burlap.
I can't take credit for the concept but I can take credit for the execution of the little suitcase pictured. His school asked that we create a box keepsake and fill it with insightful and inspirational items, quotes and sentiment. I covered his in stickers I created that represent many of the stages in his academic journey. Many were logos I already had on hand from events and projects I had a design hand in through the years.
The box itself contained items that were adorned with small kraft tags. On each tag we came up with short explanation as to why we chose the item. Some of the items were toys he had as a boy.
The handsome heads you see are blow ups of my son's face. We used them as markers to reserve the family and friends seats at graduation. They we fun to wave in the air during the moments we could get noisy and revel.
At the house I used a lot of props, which as a prop hoarder it wasn't too difficult to do. Globes, encyclopedias , typewriters, flash cards, things with letters and ones that reflect the 12 in 2012. A hand painted burlap pennant streamer spans our front porch welcoming guests through the garden.
Small vignettes of photos and props were placed throughout the house. I used books to create fun shapes and opportunities to stage items. While its something we don't showcase year round the digital photo frame was a great addition to the displays. Having k-12 photographs scrolling through time was enjoyed by our guests.
Having a very large backyard gives us many opportunities for merry making. The problem often becomes scale. How to make a party look intimate and special on such a large scale is often the issue. To remedy some of that I strung very long strands of lights to bring the "ceiling" down a little and offer light as the evening waned past sunset. The combination of clear bulbs and paper lanterns were very handsome.
In the revised color palette, collections of school logo cutouts, paper goods and decorative details bring it all together. I found some amazing natural leaf made plates that had great texture. They were combined with the more graphic striped traditional party plates.
A multi layered dimensional height display of suitcases, manipulated books and other props made for a perfect dessert table. Letters and numbers were cut using my silhouette machine.
Now, we're in the planning stages of his college graduation. I might revisit some of these props and ideas to create a new but familiar and welcomed look. Hopefully, I will be good about posting those before another four years passes.
I hope you find a few things inspiring or just fun to look at. Shoot me over any questions or sentiments for the graduate. I look forward to your thoughts...
I've taken the liberty to host the photos above on Pinterest for your pinning! Be sure to follow me.
My friends at Boy's Fort in Portland referred a wonderful family to me. They wanted a loft bed for their daughters room, one that was rustic, modern and that worked well with the other furnishings in the room.
After a couple rounds of drawings and pouring over finish samples, the idea came to fruition. It was to be made of reclaimed old growth fir. I designed into it a headboard that had a classic shape to it. The horizontal lines from the boards were highlighted by not butting the boards together. The finish complimented the bed underneath and drew in the variations of cream and gold around it.
My clients loved being part of the design process. The final product definitely reflected the points they were enthusiastic about. I also loved the opportunity to put my personal spin on those elements.
The finishing techniques allowed the grain, vintage saw cuts and character to come through. Light sanding and application of multiple coats of matte clear and a final waxing assured that the texture would not be rough to the touch.
It's always great bringing to life the dreams others have. In a way its like being an interpreter of sorts. Translating vision into reality. I love my job.
A local pediatric office commissioned us to create a treehouse for their lobby. The office was going through a remodel and a new waiting area was being carved out of obsolete storage areas and halls.
The office has a jungle theme. There are creatures in terrariums like a chameleon, turtles and tanks of fish. The doctor wanted something unusual to tie into the theme. We discussed lots of options and came up with a tree house. Now, the word tree house is a bit broad in concept considering 1) there is no tree in the office and 2) the ceiling is low at 8 foot.
I worked out a way to elevate the play space of the tree house, giving the illusion of a height and created access through a hollowed out pretend tree trunk. The exterior is designed to look as if it was built using various parts from other structures. A palm and banana tree were created to look as if they hold up part of the structure.
If you cruise the blog and our social media sites you will see we specialize in creating unusual things. If your professional office, home or business need something unique to entertain your customers give us a call. We'll dream something up for you.
The imaginary world of superheroes has grown into a sub-culture phenomena. The caped wonders have influenced everything from candy to luxury cars. Gathering places like Pinterest are flooded with super easy, primitive hero DIY's. As an experienced maker of things, I love the challenge of something more difficult. As I'm sure many of you do.
Here I've gathered a collection of 12 superhero DIY's varying in difficulty. They range from easy Kryptonite Jello to multi-step latex hero eye masks. I hope you enjoy the selection as much as I do. If you tackle any of them let me know how they turn out.
The Geeksmiths over at The Geek Forge are sharing instructions on how to make your own professional grade superhero gloves. You could scale them up or down, making them perfect for adults and kids alike. If you want to take their DIY one step further try using multiple colored fabrics to recreate your favorite hero costumes.
With this easy to follow DIY video, Sarza the South from Nsomniaks Dream will help you create a custom eye mask. These latex wonders are akin to what live actors wear in the superhero movies. Be sure to check out her YouTube channel for all kinds of hero and otherworldly make-up effects.
Want a great gift for a superhero fan? Why not make them a one-of-a-kind comic book wallet. The talented team at ForUsToBe have laid out detailed instructions on how to create a wallet using a standard comic book. It's a great idea! Who better to protect your Benjamins than a superhero?
Suddenly, there's a demand for those idle satellite dishes that you see on roofs. I know I'm guilty of having one parked on my roof. Seamster from Instructables.com has the ultimate repurposing guide to transform one of those dishes. Follow the straight forward instructions and you'll have a movie prop quality Captain America shield.
Before you comment that building a cloud is a bit of a superhero stretch, I must remind you that there's quite a few heroes that control the weather. Plus, I can totally see this in a kids room with an action figure flying by. Talk about playtime fun! Serena over at The Farm Chicks takes you step by step, with quality photos. I suppose at step three you could paint your clouds silver. That way when things get tough you'll aways have a cloud with a silver lining! I know, I know.... I had to go there.
I've been working on some new mood boards for boy's rooms and keep coming across terrific DIY's and uses for old baseballs. Then it dawned on my... I should share them! So, here are 11 great ways to use baseballs for home decor and 1 accessory I thought was clever for you moms to check out.
I've worked hard to find the original sources for these DIY's. Please, if you share or Pin them always link back so the original source can be found. If you want creatives to share their ideas in the future, then please honor and reward them with the original source link. I've also watermarked the images with the sources so they don't get stripped by the pinning sites.
#1- BASEBALL BOOKENDS
Amanda over at Kaleidoscope of Colors grew up with great baseball memories. Here she busts out the power tools to create these terrific bookends. They're simple and perfect.
#2- RECLAIMED PALETTE BASEBALL FLAG
Heralded as a Fourth of July project, Courtney from Sweet C designs has a DIY that's perfect, at least I think so, for a boy's room, nursery or man cave. It will have you rubber necking while you drive, looking for palettes to transform.
#3- SHADOW BOX BASEBALL FLAG
The age old tool brand Craftsman is offering a how to video that will walk you through the steps to create this timeless treasure. For a kids room friendly variation I'd suggest painting the bats. Imagine them in a grey toned color scheme or the classics red and white.
Oh..baby, where's some nursery inspiration when you need it?
Check out Red Tricycle's 11 knock out nursery picks, there's inspiration for just about everyone. You might even recognize one of them....http://redtri.com/…/gender-neutral-nursery-design-…/slide/7/
Mural client reunion! I painted this Portland inspired cherry blossom tree mural for lil Harper before she was born. I finally got to meet her as we now are planning her big girl room. Her baby sister will inherit the nursery, once she arrives in Dec.
Remember that sheetrock pillar I cut open to discover what was inside? Well, it housed two steel posts. The master plan was to replace the boring sheetrock with a studio sculpted tree. With it having two posts, the plan changed to a two trunk tree.
To wrap one post the tree needed to be installed in two pieces. Now that two trunks were needed, it took some creative seam work to wrap both posts. Here are some snapshots reflecting a before and after. This project also included our creating a pretend fruit/market cart that would house all those freebie dental hygiene products that the dentist gives his clients. Packaged toothbrushes, floss and trial size toothpaste have zero visual appeal, so we integrated them into boxes and bins within the cart. They're now hidden in plain sight.
Thanks Dr. James for the fun project. Check off one more installation in our quest to turn boring dental spaces into theme park like kiddie wonderlands!
Can you guess where this is?
The studio's embellishing elves were busy last night installing one of our latest endeavors. It's a delicious mix of studio woodwork, props, and synthetic fruit and vegetables. It's designed to resemble an open air market cart. I'll give you a hint.... Towards the top, those packages look an awfully a lot like toothbrushes.
We've uploaded some new mood boards with our art offerings on Etsy. The theme based story boards explore bedroom ideas for football, the ever popular superhero and the classic transportation look.
Adding some color wow to the POW. I reworked a client proposal into a new mood board to share. I wanted to shake up the atypical superhero color scheme. What do you think? I'm kinda digging the new yellow toned metallic trend.... Of course that's my Superhero Pow art that we personalize. Thank you fictitious Aiden!
Newport Cottages has their Newport, CA store is all decked out in "this guys" art! Thank you Pockets, Cristina and the NC gang for all you do!
Welcome to my Embellishments Journal, it's a new feature. I will be posting about some of our projects, sharing pictures and interesting things. Chime in, ask questions and keep your arms and hands inside the ride until it comes to a complete stop. -Aaron