Friday, December 3, 2010

A Birthday Mural Entrance

Welcome to our
Grand Entryway

  Living in an older home, the entryway happens to be the front door, so I thought I'd showcase the entryway you see after coming through our front door in the basement.
When my Farmer found out he would be shipping out to Iraq in a month after we bought this farm,
he tried to tackle the most essential projects.  I suggested that the stairway be given new steps so that I would not disappear beneath them one day when they gave out.  They were in BAD shape.

He did a beautiful job!
I then stained them to match; he used wood that his uncle had cut and made into boards at his wood mill.
A few of the steps were made from cherry wood.

While he was away, I decided that I would attempt to do something with the stairway for his birthday present.  What else can you give someone who is continents away?

The walls on this stairway were layered with different eras of wallpaper; 
the plaster was bulging and awkward.
  When I tried to remove the wallpaper from the ancient walls, the walls themselves just came off with the paper, so I had to find an alternative.
  I patched and then began the task of the mural.

I'd never done a mural before.  It was daunting,
but I knew I had lots of time,
and if I didn't like it, I could just paint over it and try again,
which I must admit that I had to do once...

or twice.

This table was bubblegum pink;
my aunt had rescued it from the dump, and it fit the spot at the bottom of the stairs perfectly,
so it got stripped, sanded, and repainted
when I needed a break from the mural.

It was good practice for the mural.

The floor,
which was just a cement one,
got a coat of off-white paint.
This proved a miserable mistake on a farm,
with scuffing boots,
the constant appearance of hay,
and that other dreaded thing that cows do.

So I tackled it with a sponge and now the "bricks" hide most of the 
farm stuff,
until I can get it cleaned up.

Going up the steps, this is what you see on the right side.
I guess you can tell which steps are cherry,
if you look for them.

The bridge.
I was going to give you some marriage metaphors,
but I'm too tired.
I can't think of any tonight.
So it's just,
"the bridge."

If you look at the backs of the stairs close enough,
you can see the decades of toe-kicking they have gotten as people have gone up them.
The realtor said the steps were original.  I'm not sure if it's true, but the condition of them when we bought the place sure made me believe it.

There's some kind of mess going on where the walls meet the ceilings.
I'm not a carpenter, so I grew a tree there instead...

and added some in the background
as well as a pasture.

Look at the old railing.  It looks like it could be original to the building date of 1850.
It's a neat one...

and REALLY long!

I spy a cherry stair
and the one above it still has bark on the outer edge.
I love touches of imperfection and occasional pieces of nature.

This mill was one I saw in a painting magazine and liked.
It took me some work.
I forget how many hours I spent on the whole mural.
It was alot.
Probably somewhere around 15.

My little sister was living with me while my Farmer was away,
and she watched movies in the evening while I painted.
Having her live with me made it bearable
and we had fun.
It still reminds me of that time when I look at it.

It was a fun project that I did when I had a lot of time
waiting for my Farmer to come home.

also linked to Remodelaholic


  1. Oh Tonya! You're so beautiful and you do such wonderful work!! You'd think with the plants hanging down, J and B would notice and wouldn't knock their head on it each time they go up and down your stairs! :)
    I love your house and all the hard work that's gone into making it so you!

  2. What an amazing project and what a sweet gift to your husband.

  3. So nice! Thanks for sharing.

  4. You made it so cozy! I love your furniture in front of the mirror. You are very talented and very Pretty;)!

  5. Love your mural!!! You're so talented & he did such a wonderful job on the stairs.

  6. Thanks everybody! It was fun to share! :)

  7. yes she is talented pretty and a hard worker. cant ask for much else, except rich!

  8. That was good Tonya. Dad was reading it and said you haven't changed when he saw your picture. Said you still look like you did when you were a little girl except you don't have the pudgy cheeks. Lillie has them.
    Shawn always makes me laugh.

  9. Amazing talent and gorgeous house! Wish you could come use your painting skills to help me camouflage our farm dirt for a while... LOVE your blog (and still have more to enjoy exploring)!

  10. I am amazed, you did such beautiful work! Your husband is so lucky to have you! What a talented artist!

  11. Thanks for the compliment, my Farmer, I think. :) We are rich together: we have what we need, we have our farm, we own everything we have with no debt. We can save up toward things. If we were any "richer" it would just give you more to worry about. Can't have that now! (I'm sure you'll remind me of this when I start complaining about something though.) :)
    Thank you Leslie and Irish Lass. You are very kind.

  12. lovely! isn't it strange how we can feel a connection w/ a total stranger? i too am a christian mother of 3/painter! you did a beautiful job on ur mural! i love the little table too! God bless!

  13. WOW!!!! You are so incredibly talented and brave! I'd be so intimidated to paint a mural - yours turned out amazing!!

    And that little table is pretty great, too! :)

  14. the next time i'm up @ Tammy & Dan's I'm coming by to see your (artfilled) house.

  15. Wow! This is awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  16. I'm stopping by for a visit from Kelly's Korner today.
    You have a wonderful entryway. The mural is lovely.
    Thank you to you and your family for your military service. You're our heroes.
    I really enjoyed my visit to your blog.


I love your comments!