Modern Dragon Trainer

Once upon a time (about fourteen years ago) a new couple moved into a house ready to have their first child.  They wanted the perfect nursery with realistic animals and painted something like this.

Cute right?  There was the crib, the bamboo ceiling fan and it was perfect FOR A TODDLER!

Fast forward fourteen years and guess what, it’s still there!  I haven’t been able to paint over it and my tween son had to live with it until he moved into the teen room that I wrote about last year.

So my little guy moved into this room and while he loves animals, he was over this space.  He wanted dragons and more specifically he wanted “How to Train Your Dragon” bedding.

Character bedding.

Not my favorite thing to work with.  So I got to thinking and planning (around the same time I planned the other two rooms, A YEAR AGO) and started collecting items.  First up, the bedding.  Ugh.  And then this month I got to work.  I painted over all of the animal murals (after taking 10,000 photos) with a more modern blue. Selected an accent color to keep it fun and added in the fun stuff.


The toothless decal came from this shop.  The gentleman there was really great to work with and took time to write up installation instructions and everything.  So helpful.  And then the fan blades came from this shop.  I purchased a regular black and chrome fan from the store and switched out the blades.


This is the bedding that I had to work with.  Fortunately with the “treehouse bed” (that’s what we call it) it’s not on display as much as if it were a standard style bed. Down the road when he’s tired of this the decal will peel off and I can switch out the bedding/accessories.  Definitely less of a commitment than the safari murals (hello learning experience)!


To know me to to know that I can’t stand empty walls.  Over the summer I collected How to Train you Dragon artwork from various shops.


This little corner is a little busier than I’d like but he need a bulletin board to display his artwork. He also has lots of lego folks so the letterpress tray holds them nicely now (once HE fills it up).  He also inherited the bookshelf below that I technically should have painted white but I got lazy.  🙂


And then the little plush dragon are hanging on fishing line with alligator clips at the end.  Quite possible his favorite part of the room. He can unclip them whenever he’d like to play.

It’s quite a makeover but my dragon trainer is pleased.  And it’s a little more modern looking so his parents are pleased.



Let’s Celebrate!

If you haven’t heard the news, Scrapbook and Cards Today is turning TEN YEARS OLD!  And trust me when I say THEY, know how to party.  Head on over and be inspired.  Join in on the fun and you may win some of the REALLY COOL prizes being offered.

Enjoy the party!

Watercolor snowflake

I so love the internet. I could sit and read blogs for hours, learning and soaking up all kinds of fun art projects and techniques that I have yet to try!  If you haven’t visited this guy yet, go now. He’s great.  From tips to techniques, art projects…and he seems like a super fun guy…there is lots of inspiration on that blog!

So speaking of inspiration, I saw (on his blog) a snowflake lesson.  It involved black oil pastel and watercolor paints.  I did this with my first and second graders.  We talked about symmetry and snowflake patterns.  I showed them how to prep their paints and they sang the ever popular watercolor paint song…

“dance in the paint, don’t dig in the paint”…

it’s much cuter when they’re singing.  And they came up with some really fun designs and color patterns!


Some went heavy handed on the color, others chose a watered down look.  And the salt…boy did they love the salt!


Check out the eyeball design on the yellow one above…these little people are so creative!



Mondrian twist

I wanted to do this project last year with a group of my kids after seeing it on this blog. This year I made sure to allow enough time to properly introduce Mondrian to my third and fourth graders.  They are my most adventurous artists this year and take challenges head on.  So when I suggested the Mondrian twist, they were ready to go.  Between the classes I only had a couple repeat animals, the monkey and the owl.  Otherwise they were all about being unique which is music to my ears!


I love their interpretations and variety in cube size and color patterns.




City Prints

I recently did a project with my third and fourth graders that involved print making.  I saw the project here and thought with some minor tweaking it could work in our classroom.  We reviewed warm and cool colors, watercolor techniques, stamp making and print making.  I inherited several stacks of foam trays so we used those (along with dull pencils) to make the stamp.  The kids were very creative with their city drawings and proud of their finished pieces.  I definitely think that we will do this one again.


Bark Paintings

I saw this article and while first drawn to the colorful paintings, found that the story behind Amate Bark Paintings was actually quite interesting.  My kids love hearing stories and I knew this project would interest them.  It’s also a great way to recycle some paper bags (should have done this one closer to earth day perhaps).

I did this one with first and second grade.  I gave them the freedom to create a subject of their choice but it needed to be bigger than their hand (that’s hard for the little ones sometimes).  It also needed a border (we drew lots of borders on the white board for ideas).  I only photographed a few before my phone battery died and they’re on display now.  Hopefully I’ll add more photos in soon.