Wednesday, March 6, 2013

UP, up and away!

Prince Charming and I have a dream to one day retire and spend it traveling the world.  We have decided that when the time comes we will most likely sell our home in Ohio and buy a condo in Orlando, FL and use it as our home base.

Why Orlando, you ask?  Well, we love Orlando mostly because we love Disney World.  We are Disney Vacation Club members and we visit at least once a year.  Bug-a-Boo also loves it there and we hope that by the time we retire she will be in college and then if we are lucky she will one day have a family of her own and what better place to be for our future grandchildren than Disney World.

Every once in a while Prince Charming and I will check out the real estate websites to see what types of properties are out there and to get an idea of areas, etc. that we may enjoy.  While searching one day I saw several properties that people rent out while they are out of town.  Some of these properties are heavily decorated in a Disney theme and marketed towards families looking to rent a place for their Disney Vacation.  I thought this was a great idea and started dreaming about a magically, tastefully, Disney decorated home in our retirement.

As the days went by I couldn't stop thinking about bringing the magic of Disney into our home and started wondering why I couldn't do it now.  If I was going to do this now though it had to fit with what we already had and it needed to be tastefully and subtle.  Unfortunately, all I kept finding online was extremely bold Mickey Mouse type stuff.  Then one day while on Facebook I saw this post from Disney Pixar (which I am a fan of):
It's not the adventure that matters as much as who you spend it with.
I immediately sent it to Prince Charming.  We love the movie UP because of the wonderful love story between Carl and Ellie Frederickson (we purchased Grape Soda pins the last time we were at Disney World and we wear them on our coats) and because of their love for adventure and travel.  Carl and Ellie are very reminiscent of Prince Charming and me.

This was the inspiration I needed.  Our Family Room is decorated in a travel theme already, so I thought what more perfect movie to use as inspiration than Disney-Pixar's UP!

I started a mad search online for ideas on how to incorporate elements of the film into our decor.  I started with artwork.  In the film, Ellie paints a mural of Paradise Falls above the fireplace.

We have a large map framed above our fireplace with pins in it marking the places we've been so instead I printed out a 4 x 6 photo of Ellie's mural and it sits on our mantel.  We didn't have binoculars but we did have a very old telescope that belong to my grandfather during the war and I found a decorative camera that also fits with the vintage travel theme.  In addition, I found an artist on that makes fantastic replicas of Ellie's Grape Soda badge.  I have that along with Russell's Wilderness Explorer Assisting the Elderly Badge and I plan to frame them in a small shadow box frame.

Our mantle

Ellie's mural
Ellie's Grape Soda Badge and Russell's Assisting the Elderly Badge

The other artwork I found were in the style of vintage travel posters.  There were several out there but I made sure that the four I chose had an element of the movie in it, primarily Carl's house being floated by balloons.  I printed them out 5x7 and bought frames at Michael's and hung them up among our personal travel photos.

you can see silhouettes of Carl, Russell and Kevin in this print.

The final two prints I found fit the theme perfectly.  Charles Muntz was Carl and Ellie's hero and the reason they wanted to travel to Paradise Falls.  Even though he turned out to be the villian in the story I felt like he needed to be represented.

Charles Muntz concept art

This 5x7 print sits on top of a chest that sits on a ledge.  I also found a concept print of Ellie that I just loved.  I am a lot like Ellie, even have the red hair, so I really liked this print.
made by Rogie
Carl and Ellie are always saving their pennies in order to one day go to Paradise Falls.

In order to make a Paradise Falls jug I needed the jug.  I looked at about 5 different stores and had no luck.  Finally, I knew I would have to break down and go to the grocery store.  I bought a 1 gallon jug of Carlo Rossi wine.  We now have our own Paradise Falls jug.

Another important element of the film is Ellie's Adventure Book.  Being a scrapbooker and a traveler I knew that we needed to have a replica of the book that we could fill ourselves.  I found an amazing artist at who makes them.

Along with the Adventure Book I also purchased The Art of Up by Tim Hauser and the Wilderness Explorers' Guide by Ellie O'Ryan to use as "coffee table books".

Another simple thing I did was to take some photo coasters that we already had and I printed out stills from the movie.

My final project for the family room involved Russell's Wilderness Explorer Badges.  In the movie, Russell has one more badge to earn in order to become a Senior Wilderness Explorer, the Assisting the Elderly badge.  It is what brings him to Carl and a huge part of the story.

I knew that I wanted to do some how incorporate the badges into the room but I just couldn't figure out how.  I knew how I was going to make them so that they looked real (thanks to Chariots of Ire blog).  I purchased 8-1/2"x11" transparent sticker paper by Avery and 1-1/2" felt pads (used on furniture).  I printed out the badges, cut them and stuck them to the felt pads.  Since the stickers were transparent you are able to see the texture of the felt through them and they really look authentic.

Now I just had to figure out how to display all 47 of them.  I was stumped and then one night as I was drifting off to sleep it hit me.  We have a storage ottoman in our family room that serves as both a place for Bug-A-Boo's toys and a coffee table.  In order to actually use it as a table I had to purchase trays that could sit on top of it.  I could line the bottom of the tray with the badges and have a piece of plexiglass cut to set on top.  It came out awesome!  (You may notice this empty space, that's for my Assisting the Elderly badge)  I love it!

I absolutely love the little additions to our family room to bring the love, adventure and magic of UP into our home.

The best part is that nothing is obtrusive.  Everything is very subtle and most people probably won't even notice.

Next up...Ratatouille kitchen!


  1. How did you replicate the "Paradise Falls" sign so perfectly? I'm having an UP party for my daughter's 1st birthday this month and already have the jug, but I'm too much of a perfectionist to attempt to write it myself. Also, where did you find the Assisting the Elderly badge? I'm having trouble finding a high-resolution version that I can use to make badges as favors. Thanks!

    1. In order to get the "Paradise Falls' perfect I took the photo that I used above in the blog post and cropped it so that I had just the paper with the handwriting on it and then printed it out. Easy-peasy. As far as the Assisting the Elderly badge I scanned the image out of the "Wilderness Explorers' Guide" book.

      I hope your party goes well. I would love to see what you have planned.

    2. Thanks! I tried to recreate the "Paradise Falls" in Photoshop, after searching through my over 18,000 fonts to find a font that was closest to her handwriting. I warped the text to fit the slightly arched flow of the text, but I couldn't get just the right pencil effect that I liked (did I mention I'm a perfectionist?!).

      I have the same Wilderness Explorers' Guide book and scanned the sticker that came with it, but it looks super dotty after scanning it. I didn't think about scanning the page in the book though! Thanks for reminding me that it was in there. :o)

      So far I've recreated the Ellie/Grape Soda badge, the Soda Pop badge, Lemon Pop badge, Tastee Cola badge and the Wilderness Explorer badge in Photoshop (because I needed high resolution images and everything I found was very tiny) and I'm working on the Drink Pop Beverage badge now. I will send you a link to my Facebook album after the party is over so you can see all the goodies!

      I'm glad I found your blog while looking for the Assisting the Elderly badge. I LOVE what you've done with your family room. Being an Army family, we've lived all over, so that gives me an excuse to decorate our living room with some of your ideas as well. You've proven that just because you chose to add details from an animated movie doesn't mean it has to seem to childish. It looks fabulous!

  2. The font looks closest to "Dear Joe 6" at I am a perfectionist myself planning my son's first birthday party using the same Up theme =)

  3. Was trying to find your email! Curious whether you'd sell me your PSD file for Paradise Falls if you still have it. My email is - chat soon!

    1. I didn't create a PDF of the Paradise Falls label for the wine jug. I used the photo above and put it into Photoshop. I cropped it so it was just the label and then I enlarged it to fit the bottle I had and printed it.

  4. Do you have the file with all of the badge images at the correct size? I can not find a quality image file where there are done correctly to size.

    1. I have searched through all my files and unfortunately I cannot find the files.

  5. Where did you buy your jug? I love it and I am using an Up theme for my housewarming.

    1. I got the jug at the grocery store. It was a jug of wine. I can't remember the brand. Beringer, maybe.