Painting a Wall Mural!

More than a year ago, I started doing artwork, most drawing with graphite. Soon after that, I took over the guest room as my dedicated office space. We used to have guests at least once a month, but didn’t have any last year and none so far this year. Nevertheless, the bed is still in the room, but in a way that it looks more like a sofa than a bed. My dog uses it a lot while I’m working too. So I knew any design would have to include the bed.

Mural in daylight and overhead light. The black rail is the daybed frame. The dark purple goes down to the floor but it’s mostly hidden by the bed.

I mention the bed because it takes up an entire, unbroken wall (except for an outlet that’s in a very odd place). This room was painted white on three walls and dark green on another by the previous owner many years ago. We bought the house more than eight years ago, and it looked newish then. Since I’ve been working in this room for the better part of a year, I got bored with the color. But instead of just painting it one color, I wanted to paint a wall mural. The wall is on the eastern side of the room, so I wanted to depict a sunrise. Note that I am a nerd and got out my compass, so the sun painted on the wall is exactly east when standing in the center of the room.

Dark view of the mural, with just the very cool night-light for illumination.

After watching a bunch of videos on YouTube, I was convinced I could do it in three days. HAHAHAHA! In reality, it took longer than a month from painting a sample to scale, sketching on the wall in pencil, buying the paint, priming the green wall, painting the other three walls a very light sort of rose-grey color called Winter Morning, painting the trim, painting the actual mural, doing touch-ups, and re-arranging furniture. I only bought three colors for the mural, a dark purple, a dark orange, and white. I mixed them for the shadows and highlights, and I added in my own acrylics (red, black, and green).

Overall, I am happy, but now I am thinking about doing a gallery wall elsewhere in the room, so another project is forthcoming!

Basketweave Knitted Fingerless Gloves

Happy Monday! I’m fairly sure I mentioned about my love of crafts before, but I’ve decided to start posting more about them. Knitting has been a hobby of mine for about seven years now, and I’m just starting to get to the point where I can write my own patterns. Below are my lovely basketweave knitted fingerless gloves and the pattern to make them. I used a dark grey, because I thought it would show the pattern better than black, but any color would work.

gloves

Cast on 35 stitches
Knit 4 rows
Knit 5, Purl 5, repeat until end
Knit 2 rows
Knit/Purl in alternating pattern until piece measure about 1” less than the circumference of your hand
Knit 4 rows
Stitch together, leaving room for thumb

The dark art of knitting and other yarns

Thinking back, I have always been somewhat of a crafty person. I was a very quiet child, and always preferred sitting quietly with my grandmothers to playing with other children. Mostly, I liked to sit and read, but one of my grandmothers was crafty, and instructed in the ways of these dark, yarn arts. She taught me everything from knitting, crochet, needlepoint, to rug hooking, although I never delved too deeply into any of them.

IMG_0539

I think I was five here, and making a Snoopy needlepoint!

As an adult, I realized that I could do only one crochet stitch, as long as someone started the chain for me. And knitting was lost entirely to the void that was my insane twenties. But around the time I was expecting my first child, I decided I wanted to try my hand at crafting again. I picked knitting as my medium of choice and a baby blanket as my first project. Unfortunately, I quickly figured out that I didn’t know how to knit as well as I thought I did. Fortunately, there was YouTube, and with it, a ton of instructional knitting videos.

After knitting a couple of practice squares and figuring out what pattern I wanted to use for the blanket, I was ready to begin! Sadly, that’s when my wrists decided to swell up and be extremely painful on bending (this is actually a fairly common horrible thing your body does to you when you’re pregnant). So I was only able to do one row a night until about five months after a had the baby, when my wrists went back down to normal. And just before the baby’s first birthday, I was finally able to finish the blanket!

IMG_0540

Here is the completed blanket in all it’s glory. And I still haven’t gotten over my fascination with multiple-color yarn.

Now it’s almost five years later, and I’m still knitting. Currently I’m making a blanket for a friend who is expecting her first baby, so I guess that’s why I’m feeling nostalgic. I also love the calming effect that knitting has on me. Is it the repeated, almost meditative motions? Is the the act of bringing order to chaos? Is it the creation of something beautiful? Whatever it may be, I’m glad that after all these years, I’ve finally found my crafty hobby of choice.