I just have to share this with you. This is one of my favorite and most successful outdoor projects!
We wanted a nice waterfall/water feature in our backyard, so I got an estimate to put in several ponds with waterfalls going from one to another and then one on the other side of the bridge. They said it would cost us $14,000. YIKES! That was definitely not going to be happening. So I got creative. Off to the store I went and got:
- 4 blue plastic wading pools (about $8 ea). (Toys R Us)
- Thirteen 9" x 12" Retaining wall blocks for ea. pond (Home Depot)
- About 12 Flat Concrete step stones for each pond (Home Depot)
- 4 small pond pumps (about $20 ea) (Home Depot)
- Aluminum tubing to create an extension for the pumps. (cut to length at Osh.)
- Plants - we used Vinca's*
- Access to an electrical outlet
Our original plan was to have the water fall from pond to pond, but after trying several different ways, it never worked out well. So, we ended up simply creating a fountain in each pond - which worked out even better and created more water noise!!
Start by digging a level, shallow hole big enough to fit the wading pool into. Surrounded it with the concrete blocks making sure they are level too. Make sure the wading pool is slightly below the concrete blocks. Lay the pavers on top around the edge to hide the concrete blocks and the edge of the pool. Fill the ponds with water, add the pump, plug it in and presto! Your very own pond/fountain!
Total cost.... $400!
Things I learned along the way...
- Water does NOT make noise when it falls onto rocks. It DOES, however make lots of noise if it falls into water.
- It would be great to adhere the pavers to the concrete blocks, but then you can't remove the pool for cleaning. Darn. So be careful if you step onto those pavers!
- Speaking of cleaning... the best way to clean the ponds is to empty the pond by tilting the pump so the water squirts outside of the pond until the water gets too low for the pump to work. Then you will have to scoop out as much of the remaining the water as possible by hand - I used a plastic container with a flat edge. Then move the pavers away from the edge - just enough to remove the wading pool itself. Clean the wading pool, set back in and you are good to go! When they get a bit nasty looking just get some new wading pools! At $8 each ($4 when they are on sale) you can buy a couple of extras for future use. : )
- *Although the vincas look great, when they get bigger they get leggy and the petals fall into the pond and create a mess. Maybe keep them trimmed, or move them away from the pond a little bit. NOTE: Our vince's began popping up in lots of other places in the garden a bit later....
- You can buy a Fountain Nozzle kit, which gives you variety of different heads, but they kept falling over because they were top heavy. The suction cups on the bottom of the pump don't always work well. That's why I went to OSH and bought an aluminum tube and had it cut to about 8" lengths. It worked perfectly.
Yep, once again Pantone has come out with their color of the year. This time it is "Greenery". According to Pantone - "Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew."
So go ahead renew your zest for life and paint that mural you have always wanted to do. Remember, with our murals, you can change any and all of the colors to whatever you want.
Now check out some of our murals that use that color and ones that could look really zesty in it! The first one that comes to mind is this Forest Friends mural - the have an accent wall that looks a lot like "Greenery" and then they incorporated it into the mural itself. They did such an amazing job. It is in the playroom, but I think any adult would have just as much fun as the kids in this room.
Here is another of our favorites. The background isn't quite the full "Greenery" color, but a softer version of it - and doesn't it look fantastic as a backdrop to our Barnyard Friends and Barnyard Doorhugger?
Then, of course, with any of our silhouette/1-3 color murals, our Bamboo, Safari, Paisley, Damask and many others are easy to add your own colors to. This Paisley mural, although not quite using Greenery as the color will show you how easy it is to pick a color scheme to use in your mural.
Coloring books are fun and easy, and even quite therapeutic, but who is going to see your hard work in a dinky little coloring book? Why not show off your talent?
We say - Go BIG and go HOME and paint a GIANT Paint-by-Number wall mural where your hard work and creativity can be enjoyed by all. And what's a better place to start than with your kids room wall decor - then you can work up to doing your bedroom.
We've got you covered. Most of our murals are designed to fit onto an 8' tall wall with a variety of designs and varying widths from 1' wide up to 18' wide.
Change the mood in a room and set the scene for your little pirate with our Ahoy Ye Matey! mural. Go really big with our Forest Friends wall mural - all 18 feet of it! Make a wild statement with our Zebra Stripes or a bold statement with our Paisley Mural. Or you can make it soft, subtle & sophisticated, like our Bamboo Silhouette or add a bit of humor with our Shark Doorhugger!
And it's SO easy!Just TAPE the pattern to the wall, mindlessly TRACE the design, remove the pattern & carbon paper, and then PAINT inside the lines like a giant coloring book.
No decisions or talent required! We also provide a color guide so you don't have to make any decisions whatsoever, but feel free to choose your own colors for a perfect match. If you are feeling super creative, you can also separate or repeat the mural and/or the elements as many times as you like to get even more bang for your buck!
Kudos to YOU! Once you are finished, stand back and take in all the compliments. Here are a few comments from our customers:
"I've had several comments from friends that think it looks professionaly done as well, they just don't realize how easy it actually was thanks to Elephants on the Wall!!"
"Everyone thinks it was done professionally."
"Everyone that has entered our kids room has commented on the mural. Usually they ask how much we paid to have it done and when we tell them that we actually did it ourselves, nobody believes us."
"Very easy and what a huge impact it makes. Everyone always compliments us on the mural as soon as they walk into the space!"
"We received so many 'ooohs' and 'awwws' over the finished product."
"Everyone has commented that it looks like a professional job and I think that is thanks to your easy-to-use murals!"
"We have received tons of compliments and our daughter LOVES her new room!"
"My mother, grandmother, cousin and I painted this and it was amazing to watch it transform! We had a blast and it turned out amazing! Definitely my favorite room in the house!!"
HAPPY PAINTING! : )
Well, that is rather subjective on many fronts. Most of our murals are painted by the parents, but kids can do them too. We suggest that kids over 8 years of age will probably do the best, maybe even up to 10 years old. It pretty much depends upon the child and his level of talent, patience, and hand/eye coordination.
I once asked my daughter-in-law what the talent level of our 4 year old twins was. She thought for a moment and said "Well, let's say they are in their abstract stage." Beautifully put. So I would say proceed with caution.
If you do let younger kids try to paint these or at least "help" paint these. I usually suggest the one of the parents paint the outlines and let the little ones paint inside the areas - that is probably safest.
BUT.... I had one customer call me to tell me about how her mural was coming along. She said her 5 year old daughter was just dying to help and kept asking her mom if she could paint over and over again. The mom finally gave in and let her daughter paint some areas. I asked the mom how it looked and she said "Well, I'll just send you a picture". She sent me a picture of the mural with the little girl standing in front of it. To be honest, I couldn't tell one way or another if the mural was perfect or not, but the picture of the little girl standing in front of her mural with the BIGGEST smile on her face said everything. She was SO darned proud of painting the mural - you know what... it really didn't matter if the mural was perfect. She was just beaming with pride!
Ever since I started this business 11 years ago, I have found that when I actually got to paint one of my murals it was really relaxing and quite therapeutic. I used to joke with people that once you got painting, you could solve all of your problems and the world's problems. It seems to let the frivolous stuff fall to the wayside, while you could calmly deal with any problems you might have. Although I am no psychologist, it turns out I was actually onto something!
According to Ben Michaelis, a psychologist, he says that “There is a long history of people coloring for mental health reasons. Carl Jung used to try to get his patients to color in mandalas at the turn of the last century, as a way of getting people to focus and allow the subconscious to let go. Now we know it has a lot of other stress-busting qualities as well.”
As it turns out, Ben & Carl and I aren't the only ones who have picked up on this phenomenon. Currently the new trend is coloring books for adults. As a matter of fact, some of the top selling books on Amazon are adult coloring books!!
Who woulda thunk?!?!
So go BIG and pick up that brush and get started on a mural and solving all of the worlds problems today!
See more at: http://www.the-open-mind.com/according-to-psychologists-coloring-is-the-best-alternative-to-meditation/#sthash.5i5CCl07.dpuf
The great thing about Elephants on the Wall Paint-by-Number wall murals is that they are super versatile! Do you see one of our murals that you love but it's not in the right color? No Problem! Just change the colors. Find some inspiration like bedding, a picture, a rug etc. then use those colors in your mural. Here are some great examples of our Paisley Mural and some fun color combinations...
GUEST BLOG from Belly Ballot:
New Trend in Parenting: Go Social with Baby Names!
Soon-to-be parents have been facing this tough decision for centuries – what are we going to name our child? Historically, there was a tendency to name the offspring after family ancestors, so the first names would carry on in the family genealogy. Whereas there is still some inspiration in the names of our forefathers, it seems that there is just a little bit more in a name now than it once used to be.
Choosing the right name is tricky – you want something modern, but not completely unconventional; a name that goes well with the last name, sounds elegant but has casual nicknames. And I won’t even go into the excruciating details of trying to please everyone around with the name, be it your parents, grandparents or in-laws. If you want your baby name to start with the letter “J” for instance, go for it.
In the digital age, when Internet has become a global village and social media are popular means of communication, there’s no longer need for a plethora of books written about baby names. Belly Ballot is a social media baby naming website which makes baby naming more open to outside opinions and definitely more fun. All you need is an Internet connection to reach out to your family, friends or even complete strangers (if that is your wish) via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and give all these people a chance to become a part of the decision process. Not only can you find out what everyone’s opinion is about the potential names you’ve chosen for your baby, but the process can also generate new names and ideas you would originally never think of yourself!On top of all the fun interacting with your social media friends, soon-to-be moms who sign up and create their ballots always have a chance to win an amazing weekly prize for themselves or their babies. Social baby naming could seem somewhat unusual at first, but it’s only a natural step further in social parenting. Moms and soon-to-be moms already shop for things online, research information on the internet and share pictures of their children on Facebook or Instagram. As social beings, we love to use technology to our advantage and ultimately, that’s what social baby naming is all about.
We Updated our Website!
According to the 2015 Zillow Digs Home Trend Forecast the newest trends include:
"Cowhide: Cowhide is the ideal accent texture for 2015's modern, yet approachable design aesthetic.
Wallpaper: - from digital prints to textured wall coverings.
Blue Accent Colors: Blue will be the most popular accent color. Pops of indigo blue or deep navy will become a staple in home design this year.
Modern/Mid-Century Modern Elements: Mid-century modern elements will weave their way into the 2015 home décor - from architecture to furniture - and will be on of the biggest up-and-coming design styles for 2015"
So we want to know - what do YOU think about these new trends?
DON'T GET STUCK WITH STICK-ONS! or 10 Reasons Why...
Elephants on the Wall murals are SO much better than stick-ons!
1. You can REUSE an EOTW mural as many times as you like.
2. You can REPEAT the whole mural on another wall or repeat parts of it to carry the design all around the room.
3. You can REVERSE the pattern for that perfect fit.
4. You can CHANGE THE COLORS to whatever you like for that perfect match.
5. You get FULL-SIZED murals. Most of our murals are 7-8 feet tall.
6. Our murals work on TEXTURED WALLS - even brick or stucco!
7. Our murals allow for ENDLESS CREATIVITY. Change the colors, repeat the images, break them up, reverse them, you can even add special touches like chalkboard paint, glitter or glow-in-the dark paint.
8. We can even do CUSTOM MURALS for a bit more.
9. They are THERAPEUTIC & RELAXING. We have done the hard part so you can sit back, relax and simply tape, trace and color to your hearts content. Aaaaahhhhh..
10. It's REWARDING - BEYOND BELIEF! This is a project that you will definitely be proud of. And we can pretty much guarantee that your friends and family will agree. Here are some quotes from some of our customers:
”Our friends and family are stunned at how awesome the room looks!”
“I got so many compliments from people who couldn't believe it was a paint-by-numbers mural”.
“We received so many 'ooohs' and 'aaahs' over the finished product.”
“It was really great to paint this, as it brought the family together. Everyone wanted to help, from grandparents to nephews. It turned out great and we love it!
”My son was so excited when he saw it for the first time and is very proud of his "Forest Friends". Everyone who has seen the room absolutely loves it and is totally impressed that it was a trace and paint.”
“My two and a half year old Jake loves his dinosaurs so much that he actually asks me if he can go to bed so he can visit them! Now that's awesome!!!”
“My 8 year old son was so happy and excited to see the race car/speed way mural on his wall! Anytime someone comes over, the first thing he does is bring them to his room to show it off!”
We couldn't have said it better ourselves!