My Wonderful Walls Blog — In the News
Parents "To Be" Create Whimsical Forest Room for Baby McKenzie 2
Parents "to be" Charles and Genevieve Foxworthy knew without a shadow of a doubt, they were looking for a fox and forest themed room for their new baby girl on the way, McKenzie. Well, once they saw our site: mywonderfulwalls.com, they looked no further! Though we also sell sticker versions of our stencil kits, the Foxworthy's went the stencil route creating a beautiful and whimsical space for their new baby girl. Read the interview we had with Charles below to hear about their nursery decorating journey:
My Wonderful Walls: What gave you the idea and inspiration for such a creative nursery project?
Charles: We have always loved foxes and thought what better way to decorate a baby girls room then to litter it with fox and forest imagery. It is also a part of our family crest which help solidify the center piece of the fox.
MWW: For whom is this Forest Themed mural intended?
Charles: The mural is going to be for my yet to be born daughter McKenzie Marie.
MWW: What made you choose this theme and what made this mural a good fit for your project?
Charles: I picked out the Forest Friends kit, mainly we did this because it had a fox in it and we have always loved foxes.
MWW: What do you think your child's reaction will be to the wall mural when she first sees it?
Charles: Well, once I finished the project I brought my pregnant wife in the room and unborn baby McKenzie kicked her, so we think she’s pretty excited to live in there.
MWW: About how long did it take you to complete the project?
Charles: I think total it took me about 6-8 hours spread out over 3 days. Progress was slow going at first while I was figuring out the best way to use the stencils on the textured wall, but after that, when I started lining up multiple stencils that used the same colors, and I had about 5 brushes with different colors going at once, things sped up considerably.
MWW: What did you enjoy most about the your mural creation experience?
Charles: The best part about the creation of the mural was probably painting those foxes they are just so darn cute and I wanted to cuddle with them.
MWW: Did you add any personal touches to the mural/room other than what came with the kit? If so, what gave you the inspiration?
Charles: Being a woodworker, I made a heart that says, "Love" out of Purple Heart, Mahogany, and Koa. It was a blast to make as well and she will be able to put it up in her kid’s room one day. I also sew and make quilts as well as some other crafts, mainly learned from my mom.
MWW: Do you have a favorite piece or favorite scene you created? If so, please describe.
Charles: Yes, the pink shell’d turtle going to eat the mushrooms reminds me of Mario Brothers.
MWW: Do you have any helpful tips for people who use our stencil products?
Charles: I have some very helpful advice, first have a plan. Put as many stencils on the wall as possible. Then pick color to pain that is shared by most of the stencils you plan to paint. Then paint all the stencils with that color by the time you finish the first coat on all the stencils the first stencil should be ready for a second coat. And repeat the process. Also, don’t try to paint in strokes, dab the paint on, and put as little paint as possible on your brush. This will help prevent bleeding on a textured wall.
Charles: The only resource I used was the how to video on the Forest Friends main page. I also read the instructions that came with the kit. I found both resources pretty useful. It definitely helps to plan the mural out since the more pieces you can paint at once the faster it goes. And the instructional video helped with the technique for painting the stencils.
MWW: Tell us your overall experience with the stencil kit and with the My Wonderful Walls folks in general.
Charles: Everyone was very, very helpful. There was a little issue where McKenzie’s name was missing a capital 'K' and I let them know. They sent out 2 corrected name tags with the correct spelling immediately and I got it like 2 days later. Best customer service ever. <(Aww, thanks, Charles!)
MWW: What else would you like us to know about you and your project?—parents are important too!
Charles: Really, I just like to be unique and this project allowed me to make my daughter's room one-of-a-kind. There is no one on this planet who will have the same layout or room as her. I feel that this room is something special I can give to her even as a baby. I know she will grow to appreciate it, love it, and make it her own. I’m glad I also put up my little wood working heart of "Love" in there as well, since it will be something that can be remembered forever.
Well, I'd say baby McKenzie is in for a real treat! A unique forest room that will grow with her for years to come. Thank you Charles and Gen for sharing your experience and beautiful photos with us!
Calming lilac colored walls compliment room and stencil colors while creating a dreamy sense of wonder. See Charles' handmade "Love" plaque above the bed - perfect!
McKenzie's bi-plane stencil flying high over mirrored closet doors - cute!
Cuddly, plush foxes sit on McKenzie's dresser in the pic below, patiently awaiting her arrival. Also, don't miss the adorable matching deer tote in the corner! - super cute!!
Forest Friends Themed Teepees Prove Our Stencil Kits Aren’t Just For Walls! 2
Back in March, our friend Connie from kokoandkoko designs in the UK asked us if she could use our stencils on fabric for a teepee art project she was planning to do with young children. Brilliant idea, right?! Connie has created many different lines of teepees and wigwams for children using a variety of designs and materials. This time she wanted to take the teepees to a new level by encouraging the children to create their own designs using our forest friends stencil kit hoping to ignite within them the same passion for arts and crafts she harbors within herself. We couldn’t wait to see how the teepees turned out! Here's what creative Connie had to say about this fun and rewarding experience:
My Wonderful Walls: How did you find out about My Wonderful Walls?
Connie: I stumbled across My Wonderful Walls while searching for reusable stencils using the Google search engine.
MWW: These teepees are amazing! What gave you the idea and inspiration for such a creative project?
Connie: Having made teepees with applique designs, I thought it was going to be interesting for children to take part in decorating and personalizing their own teepees using permanent fabric markers or paint. This project was aimed to help children develop their creativity and art skills by having fun. I also make plain teepees for doodle art where children can have hand prints, sponge art, and any doodles from their great imaginations.
MWW: What are the first names of the people who did the mural on the teepee?
Connie: The names of the children in the picture are Bithiah (girl aged 10yrs) and Shemaiah (boy aged 6yrs).
MWW: Where was your masterpiece created?
Connie: Essex in United Kingdom.
MWW: For whom is this mural intended?
Connie: This was my new design and lines of teepees and wigwams and intended for children.
MWW: What product did you purchase?
Connie: I purchased the Forest Friends Reusable Stencil Kit.
MWW: Tell us a little about why you choose this theme and what made this mural a good fit for your project?
Connie: I love nature and wildlife. The Forest Friends Stencil Kit has all of the classic nature designs that will always be appealing to little ones.
MWW: What was your son's reaction to the mural when he first saw it?
Connie: My son loved it. He was happy when I asked him to show his art skills by painting the teepee.
MWW: How long did it take to complete the project?
Connie: It took [the kids] a few days as an after school project and a weekend. My son asked if I could create another teepee to paint.
MWW: Obviously you have lots of artistic skill, but describe your artistic comfort level. Have you always had a love for arts and crafts?
Connie: I live for art, crafts, and any other creative activities. Having worked as a children's clothing and accessory designer for many years, designing is my life. I enjoy experimenting, but often I don’t have enough time to try all my designs.
MWW: What did you enjoy most about the teepee mural creation experience?
Connie: I enjoyed using the stencils to create a small indoor wildlife scene.
MWW: Was it what you had expected?
Connie: It is definitely what I expected and I would like to try different media or paint if time permits.
MWW: What did the kids think about the process/experience?
Connie: They would like to do another one. I would like them to colour a lampshade, cushion, or a canvas bag.
MWW: Did you add any personal touches to the teepee other than what came with the kit?
Connie: I added the brown and green felt at the bottom to create landscapes.
MWW: Do you have any helpful tips for people who use our products?
Connie: My advice to people is: do not hesitate to invest in one of the My Wonderful Walls mural kits and grow your creativity. You definitely will not be disappointed but will be amazed with the "WOW " results.
MWW: Did you utilize any or all of the resources on our main website (how-to videos, virtual mural maker, or customer photos)?
Connie: I did not use any videos or virtual mural maker because I had my ideas flowing before purchasing the kit. All I needed was to interpret it onto the fabric.
MWW: Would you recommend our products to others? why, or why not.
Connie: I cannot recommend your product enough. Your products are impeccably awesome, and easy to use. With your products there are guaranteed beautiful wall murals for those special people in your life.
Connie, we can’t thank you enough for sharing your experience using our forest friends stencil kit! If you’re feeling as inspired as we are, see for yourself how easy it is to have fun, and get creative with our unique stencils, stencil kits, and wall stickers. If you have a creative way you’ve used our stickers, or stencils, share your awesome idea with us in the comments! Or, let us know by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Your project could be our next blog post!
How to Stage Your Home to Sell Quickly 0
Recently, Lori Smith from Red Violet Interiors shared great pictures of an accent wall and canvas art piece she created using our beaded pattern wall stencils. We caught up with Lori to talk to her about how wall stencils fit wonderfully in to her design plan and some tips for homeowners who are putting their house on the market.
Based in the Phoenix, AZ area, Lori has an extensive background in art and real estate and has been renovating and flipping her own properties for 14 years. She has taken her background and passion for design and brings that experience to homeowners who are looking to effectively renovate and stage a home to sell quickly and for a premium!
When Lori discovered the My Wonderful Walls patterned wall stencils she knew they were a great alternative for wallpaper on an accent wall. Accent walls are a super easy way to add drama and interest to a room and can also define a space in a multi-functional area. Our self-adhesive stencils are easy to use and offer you the flexibility of picking any color combination you want. They can also be re-used for future projects. Lori told us, “People need to realize how easy they are to use. I had to start over once the first time I used them because I didn't layer the stencil right. But no biggie, it's just paint and was easy to fix.” She also suggests going back with a small brush for any touch ups once you are finished stenciling. Lori used our Beaded Wall Stencils on both an accent wall and a 4 X 4 canvas so far and plans on using them again.
According to the Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp., staged homes spend half the time on the market than non-staged homes. So what if you are selling your home but can’t hire a professional to help you stage it or renovate? Lori offered these tips to getting your home ready for a fast and profitable sale:
- Depersonalize and declutter your space. What that means is take down family photos, trinkets, etc....potential buyers need to picture themselves in the home, not the existing homeowners and it needs to feel open and clutter free.
- Replace any outdated lighting, plumbing fixtures and if budget allows update the kitchen as much as possible with new countertops and kitchen cabinets. It's true that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. When renovating stay classic, not trendy.
- Clean, clean, clean. It's the details that potential buyers will notice, so with that being said it would also be a good idea to touch up paint on the walls and baseboards. And don't forget spaces like the garage, storage rooms, and patios. These are usable spaces and should be highlighted not looked over.
- Neutralize the space as much as possible. Having bedrooms painted in bright colors might work for your family but could be very off putting to a potential buyer. By painting the home, a neutral shade of gray, taupe or white would allow the potential buyer to visualize their furnishings in the space. It is great to incorporate an accent wall, as long as it ties in with rest of the house. This goes for furnishings too. Add pops of color in accessories not in large pieces of furniture.
- If your home will be vacant when you put it up for sale, stage it! It is a proven fact that homes that are staged sell in half the time as those that aren't staged. Here's why, it is very difficult for buyers to visualize their furnishings in the space. By staging the home, it adds warmth to the space and a sense of "home”. Use large scale, original artwork to make a statement (like the 4'x4' canvas with the beaded stencil) and unique accessories. It is crucial to add an emotional element to staging. The goal is for the potential buyer to fall in love with the property as soon as they walk in the door and see themselves living there.
So there you have it, if you are looking to sell your home and want to get the best price, consider hiring a professional like Lori or follow her tips to do it yourself. And for a fun and easy way to create an accent wall in your home, check out My Wonderful Walls Patterned Stencils. You can contact Lori at email@example.com for help with design and staging in the Phoenix area and email the My Wonderful Walls team any time for help with choosing the right stencils to create a brilliant accent wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Bee Wonderful Project 2
Stop killing our buzz! Learn about our Bee Wonderful Project and how you can help!
Here at My Wonderful Walls, we care a lot about our environment. Like most folks, we want to do what we can to help make the world a better, brighter place. So, we started the Bee Wonderful Project.
Our Bee Wonderful Project began in the Spring of 2016 as a personal endeavor of Michael Goins, the founder of our company. The decline in bee populations, known as “Colony Collapse Disorder” has already had a serious impact on the environment. The truth about the alarming decline in bee populations really hit home when Michael recently took a trip to Honey Island Swamp, near his childhood stomping grounds in New Orleans. Formerly known for their abundant bee population, Michael was stunned to find there are no bees in Honey Island Swamp now. That’s why we decided to take BIG action in helping out some of our little friends - the bees.
Inspired by Earth Day, we are taking 5% of the proceeds from our Earth Day Sale and putting it toward our Bee Wonderful Project. Join us on our eco-friendly adventure as Michael uploads photos, shares videos and provides updates of the bee-friendly garden and beehives he prepares outside the My Wonderful Walls design studio in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
A bee checking out our newly planted flower garden
Can you find the pollinator among our sprouts?
Future bee hive location
7 Ways You Can Help Our Bee-utiful Friends
From fruit, to nuts, to coffee beans, one out of every three mouthfuls of food in the American diet is, in some way, a product of honeybee pollination. So, if you’re nuts about your coffee, you’d better perk up! Bees are dying off at such a rapid rate, our food supply is at serious risk. Here are 7 ways you can help our ‘bee-utiful’ friends:
1. Stop using chemical pesticides: Neonic pesticides are the #1 killer of bees. The best way you can offer immediate assistance to our bee friends as well as other animals and insects, is to stop the use of pesticides all-together! Did you know when you use pesticides they make their way through the entire plant? That means if you use pesticides on your veggie garden, you are not only killing off pollinating insects, like bees, but you are consuming pesticides yourself and putting your own health at serious risk. *Tip: If your garden is in need of pesticides, try organic pesticides and natural insect deterrents like an herb garden, or night blooming flowers to attract bats - known as mother nature’s organic pest control.
2. Practice leave-it-alone gardening: Think about your garden as a habitat for wildlife, rather than a perfectly manicured lawn. Not only is it easier to maintain this type of garden because of the super low maintenance, but it’s also bee-friendly! *Tip from scientist Sylvia Fallon at NRDC’s Land and Wildlife Program.
3. Grow local: You don’t need those fancy-schmancy hybrids you find at plant nurseries to have a bee-utiful garden! They may look pretty, but most of them have the pollen, nectar, and even the scent bred out of them - which isn’t good for our bee friends. *Tip: To find out which bee and insect friendly native plants will work best in your area, visit the Xerces Society.
4. Grow wild: Plant native breeds of all shapes and colors that will bloom from early spring to early fall to attract bees, and butterflies alike! *Tip: Planting in clumps rather than individual flowers or plants will make it easier for our pollinating friends to find you! Also, Milkweed is a particular favorite of the Monarch butterfly.
5. Bee a smart shopper: When shopping for seeds to plant in your garden avoid any and all products that say “protected”. A product with this label means the plants and/or seeds have been chemically pre-treated with pesticides. *Tip: The best way to get seeds for your garden is to buy from organic local farmers, or smaller plant nurseries that specialize in organic gardening.
6. H2O will help them grow: It’s getting warmer outside and bees need cooling off too! Especially in drier climates. If you have a bird bath or a small bowl, fill it with a few pebbles and some fresh water. This will help the bees stay cool and hydrated so they can do their pollinating magic. *Tip: Keep fresh water on hand and change out daily to prevent mosquitoes from nesting.
7. Bee Brave: If you really want to get involved and help the bees in a BIG way, learn how to be a beekeeper! To get started, you can purchase a pre-made “bee box” at your local hardware store or farmer's supply store. Bees also make their homes from fallen branches and trees, so if you have a fallen tree branch on your property, drilling a few bee-inviting holes in the deadwood makes a perfect home for our high flying friends. This is one of the best ways to repopulate the bees and help save our environment. *Tip: For more information check out this inspiring video by Kirby Engleman, as she charms the beekeeper inside all of us.
We hope you’ll follow our journey and do your part to bee wonderful along with us!
A Musical Wall Takes Center Stage in Vashon Island, WA 3
Here at My Wonderful Walls, we certainly appreciate a unique wall of art when we see one. Our customers often share photos of their wall murals created in their homes, businesses and schools. But a different kind of wonderful wall recently grabbed our attention all the way from Vashon Island, WA. This musical wall was created by Joe Schonbok for his daughter, Shelby’s classroom where Joe volunteers weekly. Joe is the owner of Strum Shop on Etsy where he builds and sells stick dulcimers, a three stringed instrument you play similar to an ukulele. These instruments are designed to be super easy to play and loads of fun because you simply can’t play a bad note. Read on to find out more about Strum Shop and stick dulcimers.
Joe Schonbok has played musical instruments almost all of his life, starting with a trombone in elementary school. He found it somewhat frustrating and eventually stopped playing but picked up string instruments as an adult and fell in love with music. Wanting his daughter to have the opportunity to grow up learning how to play a stringed instrument, he discovered stick dulcimers or “strumsticks” and set about learning how to make his own. Inspired by the story of Andy Mackie and his “Mackie Music Sticks”, Joe had the idea to create a classroom set for daughter, Shelby’s school.
What is a “Strumbolina” stick dulcimer? A stick dulcimer is a three-stringed instrument you play like a guitar or ukulele but it is fretted and tuned like an Appalachian Dulcimer. It is tuned to a single key. Since it is a single-key instrument, all of the notes sound good together. No stress, all fun! They are a close cousin to the cigar box guitar. Joe came up with the name Strumbolina for his stick dulcimers to set them apart. Made from sustainably harvested logs right from Vashon Island, these instruments are made with very little waste and are high quality handmade instruments.
At the Chautauquah Elementary School, the reaction has been very positive to the classroom Strumbolinas. The kids in Shelby’s classroom got to see the very first Strumbolina stick dulcimer Joe built and try it out. They were thrilled to be “in the know” about such a unique instrument. Now they have their very own musical wall where the dulcimers are stored and get to experience the joy of creating music for themselves. With so many schools not having art and music as an integral part of the curriculum, any opportunity to inspire a love of music is priceless. Kids as young as six can easily play a Strumbolina as it is perfect for their size and finger dexterity at that age. And parents will love getting involved with this frustration free musical instrument as well.
Joe plans to eventually add additional handcrafted instruments to his store on Etsy. He is currently working on a few ukulele designs. If you would like to learn more about the Strumbolinas and how you can get one for yourself, check out Strum Shop on Etsy or the Strumbolina Facebook page.
"It’s Showtime!" Video Testimonials Wanted 0
If you’ve purchased something from us that you love, we want to see your short 30-60 second video testimonial. In exchange for your video, we’ll send you a $20 e-gift card to www.MyWonderfulWalls.com.
VIDEOS MUST BE RECEIVED BY MARCH 11, 2016!
1) How long should the video testimonial be? 30-60 seconds. Yes, that’s short but, really, we only want clips less than 1 minute. This is key. 60 seconds max!
2) What do I do in the video testimonial?
-tell us your first name and location (city/state/province/country)
- give the product name
-show the product
-tell us where you have the product
-give specific reasons why you love it (some ideas: quality, installation time, originality, comparison to other products, how you discovered My Wonderful Walls, initial reactions, etc.)
3) Should I shoot the video with my cell phone? Yes, the easiest way for us will be to shoot it with your cell phone. Just make sure there is plenty of light and that you or your “camera person” shoots it with a steady hand. It might also help to plan out what you are going to say first and practice a few times. Additionally, it wouldn't hurt (wink, wink) to tidy up the space a bit.
4) Should I shoot is horizontally or vertically? Good question because this is IMPORTANT! Make sure you shoot the video horizontally (short and fat), NOT vertically (tall and skinny).
5) Do I have to be in video? No. Feel free to shoot the video from behind the lens or in front of it.
6) Should I have my kids in it? No, leave the kids out of the video. No videos with children will be accepted.
7) Are other people going to see this video? Yes. When you give us your video, you are giving us permission to share it on our website and on all our social media channels.
8) Can I submit than one video? If you’ve purchased multiple products from us and want to do multiple videos, we’ll give you a $20 e-gift card for the first video and $5 e-gift cards for each additional video. Limit 3 videos per household. Each video must be of a different product.
9) How do I submit the video? Just email it to us at email@example.com. Or if the file is too large, use WeTransfer. Just go to https://www.wetransfer.com, upload the file and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. It takes 30 seconds.
10) How/when will I receive my gift card? Submit your video by March 11, 2016 and then allow 2-3 days for us to review it. Once we’ve confirmed that you’ve complied with all our “rules and regulations”, we’ll send you an e-gift card via email.
*The fine print: Please take the extra effort to provide us with a usable testimonial of reasonable quality. If your video is unusable (super shaky, unclear, blurry, inaudible, kids in video, etc.), we reserve the right to not issue you a gift card. So, please don’t let that happen.
Here are 2 short sample testimonials we did in the studio: One with Cassie in front of the camera and another from behind the lens. Feel free to get creative. We are excited to watch your videos! REMEMBER: ALL VIDEOS MUST BE RECEIVED BY MARCH 11, 2016!