Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pinterest Challenge: Squirrel Wall! Or, Okay Whimsy: Simmer Down Now



Is it just me, or was the last Pinterest Challenge like a week ago?



Pinterest challenge hosted by: Katie at BowerPower, Sherry at Young House Love, Emily at Sparkle Meets Pop, and Renee at Red Bird Blue

At any rate, for the last Pinterest Challenge I redid Ari's desk. Everything went very smoothly, I was very pleased with the end result--whoo hoo! I'm awesome at Pinterest Challenges! Or....beginner's luck? Things were a little different this time.

This time around, I again knew exactly what I wanted to do. Ever since I saw the sheep wall that Cassie at Primitive and Proper made:


....I've been completely in love with it and longed for sharpie-d animals of my own. 

Then I realized that I'd never actually pinned the sheep wall. I guess I loved it SO much that I knew I would never forget about it and need Pinterest to remind me. So, I, umm....pinned it real quick like once I saw the Pinterest Challenge announcement. That counts, right?

In case it doesn't, I DID pin this great round up of Sharpie projects from Owen's Olivia, including her very cool Sharpie "wallpaper:"



And I didn't pin this, either, but Stephanie at Sandpaper and Glue was another inspiration, with her recent sharpie wall project:


So, basically, I wanted to draw stuff on my wall with a sharpie. An animal of some sort, preferably. 

I ran through a list of animals in my head. I thought whales would be nice, but Dave thought ANOTHER whale room would put our house into whale overload. Chickens? Chickens are nice. But squirrels are kind of my fallback cute animal, so squirrels were our winner. 

I ordered some stencil paper from Amazon (I think it was about $6 and came with two sheets: one big, one little). And then I took a look at some squirrels on the internet and came up with a sketch:



Then I had to make him bigger, because it would have taken 4,000 years to fill the wall with squirrels that small. 

So once I had my bigger sketch, I turned it over on the stencil paper and rubbed the back all over with pencil to transfer the image. Then I realized we couldn't find an exacto knife anywhere. So I decided to just cut the squirrel out with scissors and do kind of a reverse stencil, tracing around the outside of it. 



Tragically, he lost his acorn at this point, because I couldn't cut out that little triangle shaped area. I'm sure he can find another one somewhere.


Here is the wall in the foyer where I decided to put the squirrels:


In the past, it has sported seasonal wall hangings, like the vintage wrapping paper from Christmas and the silhouette bunny and chicken from Easter, but it's never had any permanent adornment.

So then I started tracing squirrels. I had originally wanted a dark gray sharpie, but I couldn't find one. So I went with purple. "I love purple!" I thought to myself.

Dave got out the level and made little marks for me so I'd know where to put the squirrels. This is why Dave and I are the perfect DIY team. The idea of using that level and trying to figure out the perfect squirrel pattern sounds terrible to me. The idea of doing the actual squirrel tracing sounds equally terrible to Dave. Thank goodness I didn't accidentally marry another level-hater.

I put masking tape on the back of the stencil (is it okay to still call it a stencil when it's a backwards stencil?)




After a while, I had a wall full of squirrels:



I tried to love them, I really did. 

But it was just....too.much.whimsy. 

It looked like I'd drawn squirrels all over my wall with a sharpie.

Which I had. But I had been going for something a little more....classy. Subtle.

For awhile I figured I'd just go ahead and post about them and then paint over them in the near future.

Then I decided I could fix it. I could fix my squirrels! I could tone down the whimsy. I ran out to Michaels and bought a silver oil based Sharpie paint pen. And, yes, I drew over every single one of the damn squirrels. Twice, because the purple showed through too much otherwise. And now I am happier.


Ahh.....bearable whimsy!



Ignore that super cute dresser for now. I'm going to talk about it later.

Also, I know I move that globe around for every "styling" opportunity that comes along, but I think it's actually staying here.

And don't worry, orangey oak bannister: I'll deal with you later.

Oh, and don't stare at the squirrels for too long, or you'll start seeing weird swans instead. Optical illusion wall!

Linking with:
Stone Gable's Tutorials, Tips, and Tidbits

51 comments:

  1. Hahaha oh Gretchen you never stop making me laugh!! I love your squirrels, but I have to agree, they are wayyyy more...uh...grown up (?) in the silver.

    Way to go!

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    1. Yeah, I figure since I'll be 40 in two years I need to work on that growing up thing a little more ;)

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  2. Gretchen!!! The squirrels are just adorable! I think you made the right choice with the silver at the end. It looks really good! I also LOVE the dresser that we will talk about later and last of all, I have this very important thing I want to ... SQUIRREL!!!

    ;)

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    1. ha ha! fortunately my dogs haven't noticed the squirrels yet, or we'd have moments like that all the time here ;)

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  3. I like your decision to go over it in silver. However, I can't imagine how sick of squirrels you were by the end of this project! I'm visiting from Bower Power.

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    1. lol--it wasn't as bad as you might expect. I broke it up into about a million 5 and 10 minute sessions, and that kept it bearable. I'd just do a few more squirrels pretty much every time I walked by :)

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  4. You're right, the purple was a bit too much but the silver is AWESOME (said Jack Black style!). I love how it reflects the light. Very cool!

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    1. Thanks, Kathryn...I had read in someone else's blog how the metallic paint pen changes with the light over the course of the day, and I was pleased to find out that it's true!

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  5. Awesome! Although my husband would never agree to this. He's not really a whimsy-loving kind of guy. So I'll just admire yours!

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    1. Thanks, Melissa! Mine is pretty open to suggestion when it comes to house stuff :)

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  6. You're right: the silver is sooo much better. Such a cute idea!

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  7. So cute! I love the squirrels!! I'm with Melissa that my husband would never let me do this but I just LOVE it!! :) Enjoy them!!

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  8. The silver squirrels look great! I've been thinking about wallpapering some of the closets in our house, but this seems like it would be a much cheaper and easier solution. Just need to figure out what shape to use...

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    1. yes, these were time consuming, but definitely cheaper and almost certainly easier than wallpaper!

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  9. "It looked like I'd drawn squirrels all over my wall with a sharpie".
    Laugh out loud!!!
    I too love Cassie's wall and have it burned into my brain. Your squirrels turned out really cute in the end. Much better in the silver. I think a few of them filled in would look good too, and would add a bit of contrast.

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    1. I actually considered filling some of them in, Kelly....but it just seemed overwhelming after tracing all of them three times :). Maybe I'll get a second wind for squirrel making someday and give it a try!

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  10. Coming to check you out from the YHL linky and oh my goodnesss. Brilliant, just brilliant. I love your silver squirrel wall. Just wow.

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  11. oh my goodness i love them! i am partial to squirrels (i had a siamese cat named squirrel who was one of the cat loves of my life so i sort of collect squirrels to remember him by). i wish i had a place in my house for this (and a steady hand!). esp love the silver squirrels. :)

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  12. much better in silver- it really is a patience testing kind of project. haha.
    and thanks for the shout out! :)

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    1. I think yours probably took even more patience than mine...at least my wall was small :)

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  13. The squirrels look so cute. They remind me a little of the squirrels on the curtains in my boys' room. :)

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    1. Every house needs at least one room with squirrels, I think :)

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  14. AAAAH gretchen i totally LOVE it!!!! i am a sucker for cute squirrels! it looks AMAZING! and thank you for the shout out!

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    1. Thanks, Cassie--and thanks for the fabulous sheep wall inspiration :)

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  15. I really love how they turned out! Just the right amount of whimsy in my opinion :)

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    1. Thanks, Tamsyn--it's a fine line :)

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  16. You rocked it girl...the second color creates the subtle whimsy!!! Your hard work of tracing over each one paid off!!! Love it lady!

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    1. Thanks, Nicole--I'm definitely glad I stuck it out with the silver!

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  17. Wow! So cool! you are a seriously patient person, aren't you. I am seriously impressed by that. Fabulous!
    Krista

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    1. Thanks, Krista! Either patient or stubborn ;)

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  18. The silver looks great! Good choice. I love the squirrels too. And yes, the last Pinterest challenge was definitely like last week... Which is why I didn't do anything special.

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    1. I thought about skipping it...but since I was planning to do the squirrels sometime anyway, I figured it might as well be now! (or, well, last weekend)

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  19. I love squirrels! This is a seriously amazing wall treatment!! I bet the boys LOVE it!

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    1. thanks! gus actually told me, back when the squirrels were still purple, that he thought they were the best thing I'd ever done in our house. he is a sweet kid. and not a tough critic ;)

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  20. This post cracked me up. Haha... Nice save. The shiny little squellers look great!

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  21. Replies
    1. yes...the purple and blue was really too much!

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  22. The silver is SO what the squirrels needed. I've been trying to come up with a way to copy Cassie's cool idea too! LOVING these squirrels!!

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  23. wow. you have some sort of patience. Nice work…. I might try this on a MUCH smaller surface.

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    1. ha! It wasn't as bad as I expected. I seem to find squirrel tracing oddly soothing :)

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  24. I've been wanting to try this trend too! Love your squirrels & the silver.
    - Lora

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  25. Why am I just now seeing this??!! I LOVE squirrels!!! Great job!

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    1. Thanks! Squirrels are awesome...as long as they're pretend squirrels on your wall and not real squirrels in your attic ;)

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