Monday, January 30, 2012

Finally, some work.

It’s been about 14 years since I last wrote.  I’ve had nothing really to write about, as work on the house has slowed to a super crawl.  We’re saving up money for a kitchen.  These things take time.

Since my last post, however, life has changed a bit for us.  Not in any major way (yet), but slightly.  Our house renovation priorities have shifted a bit, as we’re going to have a tiny, mucous slinging, pants pooping, scream production plant moving in with us.

In April, Amanda will probably give birth to a miniature male human Topham.  Big mistake.

In light of this development, we’ve started to make some alterations to our guest room to become our permanent crying guest room.  Getting some furniture (thanks parents) and repainting the room has already happened (lighter blue three walls, flat grey/blue one wall).  You will likely see the proverbial fruits of that labor shortly.  Over this last weekend, however, we got cracking making it into an actual kid’s room.

Please keep in mind when reading the rest of this, and looking at the images, that we’d like our offspring to be a man of science, rather than a man of cutesy boring stuff.  The following is a decent head start, but will likely do almost nothing in slowing the cutesy boring stuff train post-birth.

Instead of buying pictures and stuff like that, we decided to paint a big stencil on the wall(s).  Since we both like dorky science stuff, we thought dinosaurs would be appropriate for a boys room, as they are generally awesome.  in attempting to find some images to steal and edit, we didn’t really find anything that we liked.  On Friday evening, knowing that we were going to start working on the stencils this the next day, we continued our image search hoping to find something usable. 

We didn’t find anything that we really liked, only a few things that we found acceptable, when I had the epiphany of using dinosaur skeletons instead of fleshed and skinned cartoon or rendered dinosaurs.  It was a great idea.

We found some cool skeletons to use, I edited them a little bit in Photoshop and we get them printed out.  Here is the first example, expertly printed by our friends over at Office Max (I don’t own a printer):


Stepping back a bit, the way that I usually stencil things is to print out a giant image (usually on many pieces of paper), cut out the stencil from said paper, tape it to whatever it is that I want to paint it on, and paint.  Since our walls are textured (because the house was built in the 80s, which were terrible), my usual way of painting would prove impossible, as I wouldn’t be able to get a crisp line, since the stencil would be off of the wall in some spots, allowing paint to seep behind it.

Amanda had the semi-genius idea to procure a small projector from her workplace.  She got said projector:


We put the printout (regular letter size) under the project, darkened the room, and displayed the image on the wall.  We lined it all up and Amanda got to tracing:


The fun part about the tracing was how small the projector was.  It only showed some of the picture, not all of it.  Amanda had the pleasure of attempting to line up everything she had traced after moving the projector to accommodate the larger than its input printout.  I’m sure it was a joyous chore.

She persevered, and once penciled, it was up to me to fill in this with paint:


To say the the process was painstaking would be pretty accurate.  I had three different sized paint brushes to use and had to trace out and fill in all kinds of weird shapes.


The above took me probably two and a half hours to do.  As you can clearly see, it wasn’t all that close to being finished.  After another two and a half hours of painting, the brontosaurus skeleton that will surely scare our offspring at some point on a stormy night was completed:


Amanda also traced out a Tyrannosaur skeleton on a different wall, but I will pain that one a little later on, when I have five hours of free time.

Admittedly, a stencil of a dinosaur’s bones on a kid’s wall might be a terrible idea.  It could conceivably terrify the child every night.  Amanda and I are banking on the fact that since a baby has no prior experience with anything at all (aside from complete darkness, cramped spaces inside a uterus and muffled noises), he will have no frame of reference for what is and is not scary.  Once the kid is old enough to have developed that frame of reference, we likely won’t live in this house any longer and the stencil would have long bee painted over.

At any rate, I think it looks super awesome, so that little imp can stuff it.

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