November 13, 2006

The DT Elmo Nursery Project

DT-DIY The Elmo Nursery Project

Sure, you're sick of Elmo now, but maybe the problem's not Elmo, but you? Maybe if you had a better attitude...

Maybe fighting the Elmo juggernaut is the wrong approach, a needless waste of parental energy. Maybe we need to embrace Elmo, make Elmo's World Our World. Maybe the sooner we accept Elmo, treat him as a natural force, as sure as the rain or the poo, the easier our lives will be.

elmo_in_window.jpgAnd so why not start with the nursery? The DT Elmo Nursery Project will be a resource for dads--stay away from all that paint, pregnant moms!--seeking to replicate the not-that-bad-in-fact-kinda-cool, crayon-centric design scheme of Elmo's house.

I started an admittedly crappy photoset on flickr of screenshots to use as a design guide. If anyone has better shots or details, send'em in, or throw then on flickr with an elmo_nursery_project tag. There are approximately 1.4 million photos tagged with "elmo," so if you find some clean shots of the walls or furniture, put the link below. [A surprise find: joshboston has images of the actual Elmo set. I had always assumed that the backdrop for the greenscreen segments was small and crayon-sized, but it turns out to be life-sized. Well, Elmo-life-sized, anyway.]

My cursory searches for crayons the size of a Magnum flashlight hasn't turned up anything. But there are oil-based paintsticks like the kind used by Richard Serra, in case you want to make an all-black nursery. Is it just me, or does this assortment of oil Shiva Paintstiks on Amazon actually look like 73 penises? [They're available in 5/8" and 1 1/4" diameter sizes.]


And now after seeing the Sesame Street set, I wonder if the actual colors used are too intense, and maybe you want to match it to the television colors instead. Either way, the ENP will attempt to gather sources, materials, techniques, and tips for successfully executing seemingly random--but no doubt tricky--scribbles.

Naturally, if anyone knows of some nurseries that use Elmo as a design inspiration, not a brand logo, definitely send them along. I'd declare an Elmo nursery painting contest, but my lawyers say the potential of warping all those fragile little minds is too great. On the other hand, it could fast track the whole lot of'em to Harvard and a life of sitcom writing, who knows?

[update: this art hotel room in Berlin is decorated like a cartoon, with every corner and edge "drawn" in black.]

DT The Elmo Nursery Project Photoset [flickr]
Previously: Elmo animatronic birthday cake-apalooza
Hand-painted nursery Seuss-scape


We're actually going for the Oscar's garbage can theme in our house. It is a lot easier to pull off.

Bummer that joshboston posted these pictures ... Sesame specifically asks you not to do that when they let you into the studio. Think about the kids, dude!

[uh, oops. and he called it the greatest day of his life, too. that said, I just explained them to the kid, and she didn't mind at all. And I have come across several puppeteering sites that talk about and show behind the scenes images of the Street... lol, there is this caption on one photo, though: "This kind of ruins everything when you see all the set lights. Maybe I shouldn't have taken this shot. " -ed.]

"treat him as a natural force, as sure as the rain or the poo"

No truer words have ever been spoken. My daughter tired of him after a week. I find that two-headed monster and the entire Journey to Ernie segment more annoying. I even rate it higher than teh McDonalds commercial on a general scale of irritation!

Thanks for the links to the set. We don't shy away from where TV comes from in this house. My daughter loves to play with puppets and see how this all goes down.

We're going for a Miyazaki theme in the next nursery ourselves, all Totoro and Kiki-fied.

Sandy Clark - Writer - Geek - Dad -

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