Bring the Ocean to You

After my daughters’ spent a month with their dad in Edmonton, I welcomed them back to Courtenay, BC with a huge mural on their bedroom wall that my lovely friend Jenja McIntyre painted.

I call my daughters mermaids as they’re always in the water or thinking about water. After being in Edmonton for the last month with their dad, they got off the plane and begged to go to the ocean (who could blame them), then check out the new splash park in Comox. Now that’s supper is done, they want either a bath or to jump through the sprinkler. They’re water babies through and through.

While the girls were gone, I missed them so very much and started thinking up things to do to welcome them back to the Island and remind them how much I love them. One night, my amazingly talented friend Jenja and I went out for drinks at Gladstone Brewery and then Cornerstone and she said it would be super fun to make a mural on the girls’ bedroom wall. Now Jenja isn’t an ordinary woman, Jenja is the type of creative, passionate, animated, talented, and outright fabulous woman that inspires you to strive harder and do more. I met her when she taught a Tuesday afternoon pottery class at Lupine Art Studio and I knew immediately we would be friends, so of course I said yes.

Yesterday morning, Jenja called me at 9am and we made a plan to get a mural painted to welcome the girls home. After picking up supplies and mixing paint tints to come up with the perfect blue background, Jenja and I got started. I’ll admit that putting the vibrant blue on only one of their bedroom walls was kinda weird but almost immediately, Jenja and I felt a shift in the room and the energy upstairs. It’s like Matilda was giving us a hug and saying thank you.

Jenja knew I wanted to take photos of each step of the process to keep track of how it looked, show the girls how many layers it took, and to write this awesome blog about it, but she got super inspired and just got started. I totally forgive you, wonderful friend. Once the base layer was added, I let Jenja move into her magic.

Here’s the background blue with a little added depth.


The image we were using was based on a digital piece I commissioned from an artist who went by Da Ghosty on Etsy. I can’t find her shop anymore, sadness but her Instagram is Ulmusfebris. This is the mural as the sea weed, kelp, and rocks were being added.


I love how much depth it added and the colours were popping. I could start really seeing the sun coming into the ocean and everything coming together. Each time Jenja called me upstairs to come take a look, I was overcome with joy.

Next step was stencilling, which Jenja did freehand, obviously. What a rock star!


From here, she added in my mermaids and started on the detailing.


This is the moment where I could barely say anything because I was in complete shock. It was just so amazing and was so close to the commission I gave her to work with. She added her own flare, of course.


After hours and hours of work, Jenja left tired but inspired at 2am. I can’t even begin to tell you all what a pleasure it was to be here as she worked and to spend time talking and getting to know her better. I feel so blessed she came into my life.

Fast forward to today, I woke up bright and early as I was excited to put the girls’ bedroom together and get everything ready for their return. I have to admit that I spent a couple of minutes sitting on Azalee’s bed and taking in this amazing mural. Thinking about the girls and the meaning behind the piece brought me to tears. When the girls were just babies, their dad and I took them to The Disney Store to hand pick their own stuffie. We put Disney character after Disney character in front of them until they squealed in delight, grabbed at the stuffie, and showed us they chose this one over any other. Tenesea chose Squirt from Finding Nemo and Azalee chose Pearl from Finding Nemo. Obviously they were always meant to be mermaid that live by the ocean.

Here’s the big unveiling!

Tenesea’s tears were happy ones. She’s like me – cries first and speaks later. Her heart was so full of emotion, she couldn’t do anything else. Azalee just screamed and screamed…so cute. It was one of the best moments in memory.



I’m so happy to have them home and to pull off such an huge feat with help from my friends.

Bravely Making Memories Forward


One thought on “Bring the Ocean to You

  1. Amazing surprise, and incredible artwork, I’ve done many of those decor or murals surprises and never get to see the reactions, the girls are cute as ever. Xo jori


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