child’s play designs by sharlene

niki: give me three words that describe you.
sharlene: i am creative, flamboyant, and i have always been an individual.

niki: how long have you been painting?
sharlene: it started when i bought my first house in 1995. first i  experimented with blending unusual color schemes and trying out different faux wall techniques. then when i gave birth to my daughter in july 1999, i was inspired to create a special room created just for her, a unique gift that would come straight from my heart. a gift she would wake up to everyday and be reminded of the labor of love  i poured into it. i painted a jungle theme mural, made lion shaped valances and designed the room with jungle theme accessories. i was hooked after that. it was such a natural and fulfilling expression of who i am as a person.

niki: what made you choose murals as an artistic expression?
sharlene: painting is such a peaceful and relaxing feeling, developing the perfect image to match a child’s personality satisfies the creative side in me. the most rewarding experience i take away from it is the pure joy i see in a child when they see the final result. the happiness on their faces is so pure and innocent. it’s the kind of joy many of us lose as adults. the simplest things in life can be the most rewarding. i am reminded of that every time i see the light in their eyes when they see the finished project.

niki: where do you draw inspiration for your work?
sharlene: my inspiration comes from children and my own childhood memories . when you think of kids in general what comes to my mind are bright colors, happiness, fun, simplicity, and innocence. i try to bring all of these qualities into every mural i create and every room i design.

niki: what has been your favorite project so far?
sharlene: i really enjoyed creating designs for my children at different stages of their development. they are my most challenging clients. if they don’t like something they have no problems telling me!

niki: what creative power do you wish you had?
sharlene: i wish i had the creative power to make everyone feel comfortable in expressing the creative power within themselves, even if it means not following the crowd. imagine how much more interesting the world would be if everyone dropped the mask and revealed their true, authentic selves.

niki: what music gets your creative juices flowing?
sharlene: it is so funny you are asking me this question. i am a diehard music fan. there’s not a day that goes by when i’m not listening to music, looking up underground artists or trying to expose people to a sound other than the same tired grooves you hear on the radio. i listen to a little of everything really…neo-soul, rap, alternative. my favorite artist is prince. lately i have been listening heavily to bilal, van hunt, nikka costa, eric roberson and the great erykah badu… need i say more?

sharlene lewter-flood and child’s play designs serve the dc metro area (dc, md & va)

for more info call: 240.463.8622

happy resurrection day!

Jesus Christ on the Cross ~ "It is Finished!"

Matthew 28:1-10
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

all dyed out

so since dutch’s t-ball practice was rained out, i figured, let’s dye our Easter eggs!! fun, right? well, not exactly. first of all, as soon as we walked through the door from spring break camp, he’s like, i’m ready to dye the eggs now!! hol’ up there, buddy. the eggs haven’t even been boiled yet!

i told him to just wait a minute and that we’d start soon. so then i go into the bathroom and here he comes knocking at the door (like always), “mom, i’ve got the eggs!!!”

oh boy.

what in the world? i told him to put them back and i’d be out in a minute to boil them. then i hear him fall…with the eggs.


i ask, “dutch, did you break the eggs?” dutch: i didn’t break them! “dutch, did you check the eggs?” dutch: i didn’t check them but i’m pretty sure they didn’t break.

yeah, okay.

two were cracked. not a big deal. i had bought two dozen. so i boil the eggs and prepare dinner at the same time and tell dutch that we have to eat dinner first. that’s when the break down happened. “why do we alwaysssssssss have to eat first when we come home? why can’t we do other things first?!! like watch tv.”

i save my whole speech about how there are starving children in the world because really, i just don’t even feel like giving a speech. instead i stew a little bit in my annoyed-ness ’cause see i have a bad habit of imagining how a particular activity will go and when it doesn’t go that way and things get all funky, well, mama ain’t too happy with that.

can you blame me though? dyeing eggs is supposed to be fun! not a whine-fest. so yeah, i get annoyed. i’m tired, i don’t want to dye eggs anymore. but i proceed anyway because i mean, really, i’m in too deep at this point to change the course of the evening.

i barely read the instructions, realize that i hadn’t bought what i thought i bought (like the little egg holder thingy, it was just an egg holder thingy…no dye, no nothing). and since i didn’t really read the directions the eggs don’t quite come out looking like the ones on the box, you know, with this whole marble look. instead they just look kinda…blah.

then dutch cracks two more eggs. dye is all over the table and instead of using the little hook thingy, he uses his fingers to get the eggs out and dye is just…well, everywhere. we fuss back and forth about when to take the eggs out of the egg holder dryer thingy. i think i care too much about egg dryness. i mean, really, do the eggs have to be thoroughly dry before we move them to the tupperware-ish bowl. probably not. so i wave my surrender flag, or rather the blue rag that i was using to sop up dye from the table. put the eggs wherever you wish, dear son.

but i have to give a strong no when dutch says, “okay, after all these eggs are dry, we’re going to put them in my room.”

sneak peak at “the help” starring viola davis

i don’t make it to the movies that often, and truthfully there haven’t been very many lately that i’ve just been dying to see. but lo’ and behold here comes the help. i’m so eager to see this one that i’ll even sit in a theater all by my lonesome (stocked with popcorn and milk duds, of course) to check it out if i have to.

based on kathryn stockett‘s #1 new york times best-selling phenomenon, the help, the film stars academy award®-nominated viola davis as aibileen, emma stone as skeeter and octavia spencer as minny—three very different, extraordinary women in mississippi during the 60s who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk.

check out the trailer below:

the help opens in theaters everywhere august 12th.

beyonce :: move your body {flash workout routine}

first lady michelle obama and beyoncé have teamed up for the let’s move! campaign against childhood obesity and here’s the video for the new “get me bodied” remix. at you can download the full instructional video. so move your body!

if you have a child in middle school you should know that on tuesday, may 3, 2011, 1:42 p.m. eastern and across time zones (12:42 p.m. central, 11:42 a.m. mountain, etc.) students are encouraged to participate and perform this flash workout in order to raise awareness about the importance of having a healthy, active lifestyle.