Saturday, April 26, 2008

Earth!, Updated

I was premature in posting a picture last night. I was just so glad to get the wallpapering aspect complete. Anyway here's the project finished. Except we'll probably put a coat of polyurethane on the frame right before we leave town next.

I also came to understand that I made a big mistake in this project. I took out a wall outlet (so the map would be flush) and falsely believed I was okay to just clip the wires and wrap the loose ends in electrical tape to be safe. What I didn't realize was that, like a string of old Christmas lights, this outlet was part of a line of outlets. So when I clipped those wires, I broke the circuit, and now the fixture and outlet in the next room don't work. To correct this, I've got to wire the whole room over again or reconnect those loose ends from the outlet. And to do that I'll have to go through the wall, behind the map. So I'm going to try and bust open the box from the other side in the pink room, cause, well, we're going to repaint that room anyway so who cares if I have to do some wall repair there.

Anyway we're talking about a length-of-the-room long strip of corkboard for the wall opposite this one. We'll see what we decide. Other projects in the meantime.

Friday, April 25, 2008


We are midway through Project #2 in the boys' room. Earth. (Picture is blurry because it's 11:30PM and the room is dark and the boys are asleep; the camera flashed but didn't focus). This map is about ten feet wide by a little over six feet tall. Came in three panels. There were lots of "little jobs" that had to be done to get it up. Removing a socket, filling the hole where it was at, applying primer, and then lining up each panel perfectly. Also measuring and marking where everything was supposed to go. It should have been simple math but turned out to get a little more complicated.

The next step is to put a frame around the edges (mostly to keep the boys from picking it off the wall). Then we'll paint the remainder of the wall. Green. Then we'll be done with the project. Next up (not necessarily in this order)-- an electric train set that circles the room (maybe tunnels through into the next? Not sure yet), a touchscreen built into the wall (Sesame Street's website has educational games), and who knows what we'll do with the other walls. We've toyed with a few ideas. Suggestions welcome.
Also, the boys have the planets all memorized now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


The project took a lot longer than planned, but we're fairly pleased with the (semi) final result. We used about three times as much paint as we had expected to get the ceiling navy blue, and about triple the anticipated time for that part alone. We replaced the fixture with one more spherical and "sun-like", and put in a bug bulb that burns yellow instead of white. Then we took some string and chalk and measured out the orbits of each of the planets. We included Pluto even though it got voted out of the planet club. It came in the set. Anyway the orbits aren't perfect because they aren't perfectly circular but I wasn't about to try and get it THAT accurate. After we drew the scale orbits (which, by the way, are 100 million km per inch, e.g. Pluto sits 59 inches from the "sun", which means Pluto's orbit is about 5.9 billion km away). It got tricky with the four inner planets because they're all within about four inches of the lamp. After the planets we added ten constellations but again, were limited with a rectangular flat ceiling and had to improvise since we didn't have the sky. It's pretty accurate. Then we tossed in the glow in the dark stars cause, well, we wanted more glowy stuff.

Now for the rest of the room...