More Work Less Words

If this blog had a summer theme, that would be it. A seasonal motto, if you will. “More work, less words!”

But this blog doesn’t have themes or mottoes, so we’ll see how that works itself out. Pretty much, I have a kajillion things I’d like to accomplish this summer and the less I type, the more I work. I’m wordy, though, so I’m not certain how it will play out. Time will tell.

So last I left off (a decade ago in blog years), I had built a bench and taken down the welcome wall. I promised to show you what I hung above the bench and then disappeared for a ten day vacation and a very successful last month of school. Can I get a “whoot!” from all the homeschool moms out there?!

I wanted one piece. The piece itself didn’t have to be calm and serene, but I wanted one piece so it didn’t cause mental stress when your eyes can’t decide where to land when seeing this wall first thing upon entering my home. I looked around briefly and then decided we’d make our own “art.”

It needed to be pretty large. I didn’t want one little dinky thing hanging there. Scale is important, people!

Canvases are dang expensive! Even more costly than I remembered. I could purchase a piece from at home (formerly Garden Ridge) for less than a blank canvas, but alas I didn’t find anything that I loved. So, we decided to make our own. Canvas and painting.

I went with a bead board panel since I’m going to use the remainder of the piece in an upcoming project, but you could use plywood, mdf, hardiboard, any kind of smooth wall board…

I glued that, smooth side out, to some 1x2s. I had some leftover from the tub apron (oh, I need to blog that), but I needed to buy a bit more. I’d say this entire “canvas” was <$20.

1clamp canvas 1canvas

The “good side” of the panel came primed, but I wanted to use the smooth side which didn’t. So, once the glue dried, I gave it a coat of primer.

And then I sat it out in the front yard on a warm, early-spring day and gathered some supplies.


I’m not an artist. At all. Nope. I can’t even.

Ergo Therefore, it would be an abstract. And it would involve the entire family. Because, really, is there a kid who doesn’t like to paint?

We’re not a very creative bunch around here. No, seriously. Yes, my husband majored in video editing and did that for nine years. Yes, he now designs and builds websites. Yes, I love interior design and refinishing furniture. Yes, I do nearly all of my own hair cutting and coloring. Yes, all of my children like to color, draw, paint, build. But really, we’re realists. We think concretely. I’m an accountant at heart and always will be.

They needed a little bit of direction to get going. “Be creative” is a frustrating statement to all of us. You can’t force creativity. We all like our creativity to be structured and rigidly scheduled. Just kidding about the last part.  So I gave them a bit of help. One kid was going to paint the 5 New York Boroughs, one kid was going to paint a train, and one kid was going to ride his scooter for a few minutes while he thought of something on his own.

1nyc 1nyc boroughs

They understood that we’d all be working on the same canvas and that it would eventually be an abstract painting, but they just needed some inspiration to get started.

1train 2train

Some spots got painted completely over, some just got dinosaurs and duck feet on top.

1duck feet

I taught them about Jackson Pollock.

1pollock method 1pollock paint

There are some hidden, upside down cars and sideways trains (abstractly, of course). There’s an abstract fire hydrant. And a stake that held Christ to the cross.

1fire hydrant 1stake

We used latex and acrylic and spray enamel. Even dimensional fabric paint. We worked on it until we loved it.

3paint 2paint 1paint

I call it “Chaos on Wood.”


Fun times and memories to last a lifetime! Isn’t that what art is all about?

That rug went back immediately because it stuck out too far in the walkway. It was cute, but so not functional for here.


And I’m always switching up pillows all over the house.

2pillows 1pillows

And of course I need a wide angle lens to be able to get a good pic since my entryway isn’t very large. Meh. Someday.


How was that for less words? Not horrible, right?

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