In the room with Boy 2 and Boy 4 (ages 10 and 3), the walls were really in horrid shape, and the idea for the stripes came from wanting to try and draw the eyes away from the many flaws (we did try patching and re-texturing, but there’s only so much an un-trained mother and grandmother can do in the afternoon allotted to the project). I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I feel like it’s a simple way to pull the room together but still keep it uncluttered. What did make it on the wall is the big rice paper tiger painting my husband and I purchased on a trip to China several years ago, and a couple of jungle-themed wall-hangings I made around the same time. The colors worked, so they went up. If the boys decide they want something else, that’s fine with me.
A couple of weeks later, I had a friend cut the vinyl lettering for the blue cups (purchased with the rod from IKEA) that the boys keep some ready art supplies in. Boy 2 loves to draw and was tickled to have a space set aside just for his hobby.
I flipped the large map around to the “physical” side because it showed the blues and greens best. Then I added a couple of larger maps (the one of Southeast Asia, for example) that we got through our National Geographic subscription one year. For the rest of the wall, I was really tempted to tear up a 1960′s World Atlas that we inherited when my grandfather moved out of his home 14 years ago, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. In the end, I was thrilled to find a large-scale atlas from 1997 at a local thrift store for $6. I got input from the boys on the selection and placement of different maps (my oldest is taking French this year, so wanted the map of France by his head. He’s actually done really well in the class, so maybe it helped :-). It took almost every page of the book (that had a map on it, anyway) to cover the wall, and we opted to keep the timeline at the top so it would all be filled it (hey, as far as I’m concerned, history and geography can happily co-exist). I actually just stapled the maps to the wall, eyeballing their placement. Super simple. I figure the wall was no masterpiece to begin with, and staple holes mostly disappear with a new coat of paint.
Just days after I found the atlas and finished this little project, my October 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine arrived. And look what I found on page 165.