Thursday, October 21, 2010

Guest Post from All Things Thrifty

If you are an avid Google Blog Reader user like I am, you may not have noticed that our Twice Lovely digs have been freshened up thanks to the lovely Lauren over at Designer Blogs.  I was fortunate enough to win a blog makeover from my friend Christa over at Stories of a House.  When I started emailing back and forth with Lauren about design ideas, I realized that there were things about our blog design that I wasn’t willing to throw out the window.  I wanted to keep some elements the same and keep the bloggy digs feeling familiar, just spruced up.  Lauren was terribly gracious, professional, and FAST!  Here we are, a week later, and it’s up and running!  Pop over from your reader and check it out!  You can even grab our cool new button!  :)

I’d also like to make a quick mention that my Palette of Metallics project was selected for the Top Ten Projects for October over at The DIY Club!  Hooray!!  If you get the chance and feel so inclined, hop on over there and put in a good word for me.  The winner for the month gets a glorious prize package worth $1500!  There’s lots of stuff that I could put to very good use.  :)  Thanks a bunch!


So, you remember that Artograph Super Prism Projector Giveaway we have going on?  :)  Well, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Brooke at All Things Thrifty, who posted a few weeks ago over at her blog about using a projector to paint a fantastic design on a boring block wall fence in her backyard!  This is not the first time Brooke has used a projector on a project.  This fantastic Wall Art was what inspired my dresser transformation last week.  She also did some cute truck art for a little boy’s room and painted a huge, awesome design on a focal wall of her kitchen!  With her courteous permission, her is her tutorial post about her most recent go-around with the projector, her block wall fence.  :)


The inspiration: Our backyard is definitely in the "work in progress" category. We have planted trees, and my husband has built me an amazing swing set, but our projects are only beginning. We just finished one that I have to share! A few months ago I was watching the DIY network. You are probably not surprised that I LOVE the DIY network. :) Well, I was watching a Turf Wars episode because my backyard design was up in the air, and I was hoping for some inspiration. I was in AWE at this amazing idea that I had never heard of. The backyard designer painted something on the fence. I LOVED it. When our block wall was complete, I was overwhelmed at how tall it was. In fact, we have nicknamed it "the tower" around here. The reason why it is so enormous, is because our backyard neighbor's (who are great, by the way) lot sits much higher than ours. So, the bottom portion of the block wall is a retaining wall. The wall is around 10 feet tall. When you walk out my back door, the first thing you see is this GINORMICA wall, and this bothers me. So, with the trusty help of the hubsters...we went to work painting the Turf Wars design onto our wall. Items you need for this project: An (old school) overhead projector :) A printable transparancy A few small high-quality paintbrushes Outdoor latex paint in the color of your choice A ladder Step 1: Choose a design, and decide where you want your design to go. We used the exact same design that was on the DIY network. We simply printed it off onto a clear transparency. If you look closely in the picture below, the artist put guides for the projector that came in handy. Since this project took us several nights in a row to complete, it was a great way to keep our projector in the same spot. We marked these guides with chalk.

We found the design with a Google search. :)


Picture source (Munkey Mind)

Step 2. Set up your projector and make sure it is in focus. You need to set it up in a place that is level. It is easy to bump the projector, and every bump causes the design to be nudged off target. Hint: tape your transparency onto your projector. If your projector gets bumped, use the guides to get it in the exact same spot again. Step 3:  Begin painting.  We learned from the get-go that painting a porous surface like a block wall is pretty challenging. It was difficult to get the lines to be smooth. After some practice we got pretty good at it, and from several steps back you cannot even see the difference. We could not see the design during the day, so we painted at night. We didn't have any idea how long this would take us...but like most of our favorite projects...this one took a lot of time and patience!

Here is a better picture at how far back the projector was. At some point during the project we painted sitting down.

We painted standing up! Here is my friend Jen helping out!

We painted, and painted, and painted!

On the third night, we finally needed ladders to reach the top.

Here is Dan getting ready to paint the last line. It was definitely camera worthy!

And here is the completed project during the day! We are quite proud at how great it looks. The design ended up being 14 feet wide and nearly 9 feet tall.

As you can see, the lines are not perfect, and painting in the crevices was a challenge. We did our best to keep the lines straight. 

Now, I just need a nap to catch up on some lost sleep. :)

Some of our neighbors think it looks like a tribal tattoo. I agree, and I love it. It makes the focal point I was going for. So, instead of noticing how HUGE the wall is, people notice how great the painting looks! Mission completed! The greatest part of all of this!?!? It was basically FREE because we had the paint from a previous project!! Now that's what I call THRIFTY!


Thanks again to Brooke for letting me share her tutorial!  Her blog is so fun.  You have to drop by and check out her house!  No fear of color there.  :)

Have I convinced you yet that you NEED a projector of your own?  :)  If so, there’s still time to pop over and enter our Artograph Super Prism Giveaway.

More to come!


  1. That is SO SO pretty! And the man is surely a hunk AND a sweetie for helping... =0) Gotta love these fellas who indulge us- they are keepers!

  2. WOW! I too have huge-mongous block walls...maybe I can talk my hubby into this? wish me luck!

  3. Congratulations on your Palette of Metallics project! Wow! What an amazing project on that wall!

  4. I love the new digs, Ann Marie! I'll definitely put in a good word at DIY Club for ya, sister!

  5. That is so cool. Now I'll have to check out her site to see all the other amazing things they've done.

  6. Ann Marie, This wall is amazing! I love that they turned a plain wall into a work of art. I just visted Brooke's blog and I have to say that she is one very creative lady! I'll hop over to The DIY Club and put in a good word for you and I'll keep my fingers crossed. Take care.
    xoxo, Sherry

  7. Oh-my-lanta! That is awesome! My friend Andi and I painted some huge Indian elephants one time for a missionary who came to visit our school. They also took forever, but where really fun to do!


We love lovely gals showin' some love!