31 Days of Make Believe: Meet Dawn, Day 7

Dawn Papandrea-Khan is PainterMommy, an artist, children’s muralist, and faux finish painter. She is also the mommy of 2 going on 3 in a couple weeks – all under the age of 4. And I thought I was busy!

Dawn has three blogs. The Surfaces with Paint Blog is where she posts all of her latest art, murals, and painting project pictures and the explanations of each project. Surfaces with Paint is the name of her New York based company.

The Murals & Faux Blog is where Dawn posts inspirational pictures, ideas, tips and advice, how to instructions and much more concerning murals and faux finishing.

The Nursery Murals and More Blog is a blog with more inspirational pictures, ideas, tips and advice, etc. concerning nursery murals and wall décor.

*Now for the Make Believe Part*

What did you always want to be when you grew up as a kid? Why?

I often hear my 4 yr old son talking about how he wants to be a fireman or a tractor driver when he grows up. But when I think back about what I wanted to be – I honestly can’t remember.

I was an ADD kid and I pretty much lived in the here and now, so thinking about the future wasn’t on my mind all that much. I never wanted to go to college or do anything that my parents wanted me to do. I was extremely rebellious as a teenager and wound up involved in drugs and alcohol for 4 years until I hit rock bottom and hard. After that, I finally started pursuing my dreams.

I always loved art and being creative, but art school was way too expensive so I had to work really hard learning and studying on my own. And now, I have been in business for almost 7 years. I have worked with over 100 clients in the New York area to create and design spaces that they can enjoy for years to come.

What is your favorite fairy tale and why?

I had to think long and hard about this one. My mom was always a very dramatic reader and she told me that when she would read stories to my brother and I, that we would cry because we were so enamored by the story and how she presented it. A few fairy tales that I can remember that I liked are: The Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Gretel (I always got scared of the witch), The Princess and the Pea (I am a bit obsessive compulsive, so I could relate with her feeling the pea under all those mattresses), and The Ugly Duckling (I felt sad for him).

It is the night of the big ball. The one you are destined to marry is among the crowd, so you’ve dressed your best. Describe your outfit.

I don’t like dressing up much at all. But if I had to woo my soon to be husband, I would wear a periwinkle colored, simple ankle length dress, tiny silk flowers trimmed along the empire waste , spaghetti straps, thin strappy white sandals, hair in an up do, and glitter on my eyes. I don’t like all the poofy chiffon and lace.

Your life has been selected to be featured in an upcoming fairy tale style movie. What is the title and premise?

"Mommy’s Adventures in Everyday Life"

I see my fairytale as more like a Seinfield episode – funny, spontaneous, sometimes frustrating, but always entertaining. Circumstances and situations always changing, children screaming, phone ringing, going from one appointment to the next, being pulled in different directions with each scene. Lessons to be learned, apologies made, intermittent tears, but laughter in the midst of it all.

You need to be rescued. Where are you and what is going on around you? Describe the scene as your hero approaches.

This reminds me of the captured princess locked away at the top of a tower. She sees her prince approaching on a white horse in the distance. Does that count? Or maybe something more modern…. I am in a burning building, my body caught under a heavy beam. I am choking on heavy black smoke, screaming for help, pleading with God to save my life. And there in the distance is a light coming towards me. It is a flashlight in the hand of a man yelling “I am here to save you!!”.

I just watched the documentary on 9/11. It was so moving. I just can’t imagine what those people went through and the courage of those firefighters – truly amazing heroes!!