Posts Tagged ‘Art’

We haven’t finished anything big recently, but we did make two small changes that I’m very fond of.

1.) We moved our wedding arbor

Michael and I built this for our wedding at his parent’s farm. It’s made entirely of cedar trees from near the field (Free!). We’ve been living here nearly two years, but just now finally moved it.

I like having it in the front yard šŸ™‚

2.) Swapped out a picture on the photo wall.

This is a tiny, tiny change. We went from this placeholder printed-out map of NZ…

To this art print from Etsy artist Elisabeth.

Same subject, same size, lol. Like I said, small change.


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I put the built-in to good use already. At Ā 12.5 feet long it’s a pretty awesome workspace.

I got the order in from Nations Photo Labs today, and trimmed and matted the 14 pictures. Some photos got traditional mats, some got scrapbook paper, and one got purple spray paint.

The gallery wall isĀ finallyĀ done!

I started this project months ago, and I’ve worked on it off and on since then.

This one is probably my favorite:

If you want to know what all these things actually are…

Here’s the items on the left…

The outside (starting at the top and working clockwise)

  • Ā View from a propeller plane, NZ
  • the wake from our snorkeling trip in the Bahamas
  • three random keys
  • photos of our wedding reception dances with our parents
  • scrapbook paper
  • paint chip art
  • a historic map of our hometown
  • us kayaking down a mangrove lined river
  • a map of New Zealand
  • toilet paper art
  • a butterfly acrylic painting from Etsy

The inside (top working clockwise)

  • F monogram made with washers
  • Sheep farm in NZ
  • Instruction manual from our tv
  • Wedding collage
  • Us in doubtful sound NZ

And the right side…

On the outside (starting top, working clockwise)

  • Emma helping with boat repairs
  • Abel Tasman national park, NZ
  • Sugar Packets
  • scrap napkin & lace from our wedding
  • Lighthouses in NZ
  • Warrior Dash 2011 metals
  • puppy Emma
  • 3-d butterfly art
  • Us at Disney

On the inside (starting top, working clockwise)

  • Yard stick art
  • Picture of a “Protect Yo Tings! Use a rubber every time!”Ā sign from a Nassau government building
  • (tiny) Michael remodeling something

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DIY Stretched Canvas

We have had this fabric poster since Michael’s dorm days. It never hung very flatteringly.

And so we built a frame out of scrap 2 by 4 lumber,

stapled some thin black cotton as a wrapping,

and then used hem tape and an iron to mount the fabric flag to the (fabric-wrapped) frame.



It took Michael about an hour to do all the hard stuff (build the frame, staple the black fabric on), and it took me about 30 minutes to mount the actual poster.

Total cost was $0 šŸ™‚

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Photo Print Shopping

I have several blank frames on my gallery wall waiting for photo prints.

Fourteen empty frames, ranging from business card to 16×20. Now I have to decide which company to print them with. I made a huge ordeal out of it šŸ™‚

Here is my comparison of online photo print services. In the running are…

  • Picaboo – 1/2 off Groupon available!
  • Nations Photo Lab – Free Shipping!
  • Snapfish
  • Walgreens – You can’t view prices without signing up :/
  • Shutterfly – 30% off prints promotion!
  • MPIX
  • Winkflash – 40% off large prints!

They will be ranked on…

#1 Size options
I have 6 sizes I need, some unusual… how many of these sizes do they have available? This is 55% of the total score.
#2 Cost
How much will my 13 prints cost? This is 45% of the total score.

The Results:

After estimating my order from each of these places, here are the results…It ended up as a near tie, Nations Photo Lab and Winkflash.

Place Sizes Size Score Price Price Score Total Score
Nations Photo Lab 6 100 $24.65 90 96
Winkflash 5 83 $21.51 100 91
MPIX 6 100 $37.47 50 77
Snapfish 5 83 $42.87 33 60
Shutterfly 4 67 $37.23 50 59
Walgreens 4 67 $52.87 1 37
Picaboo 3 50 $53.19 0 28

I will be using Nations Photo Lab, because they had exactly the sizes I need for all of my prints, and they have excellent prices. Next time, I’ll know to just check NPL, Winkflash, and MPIX.

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I’m still working on that frame gallery wall in the living room. I have something in 15 of the 27 frames.

Free Art

The first free art is filling up a 14 by 17 inch frame. I claim 0% creativity for this one; I found it on Pinterest.

It’s made out of spray painted toilet paper tubes. You can use wrapping paper or paper towel rolls instead, and it’s still free šŸ˜‰

The original creator used a wood frame with no glass or back, but I had a frame that fit this project well; it had a thick Styrofoam spacer between the glass & back, so I could fit the rings inside the frame.

The most difficult part of this whole project was remembering to save the rolls instead of tossing them. Once I accumulated 7 of them, I got to work.Ā  I cut them into rings the depth of the frame (about 1/3 of an inch). I creased them to lay flat, and cut some of them into strips to act as stems and curly-cues.

I then fiddled with the rings until I liked them, and used Elmer’s craft glue to stick them together. I ended up using about 6 rolls.

I used white Rustoleam spray paint to camouflage the cardboard-ness of the project. Then it went into the frame. My original plan was to line the back of the frame with scrapbook paper, but none of the paper I had was large enough for the frame. Plan B: One of the blue napkins we used at our wedding reception.

It photographed pretty well… but I didn’t like it much. So, I tried again with different spray paint; a metallic hammered finish, still by Rustoleam. I didn’t like it then either.

I removed the back of the frame and let it hang on the wall.

Done for now.

A second free art came from the rejected wedding reception napkin. I put it in a smaller frame with some of the lace used on my wedding dress.

Sure why not.

Key Art

This was fun to make, probably because it involved a hammer. I may or may not have nailed the back of a frame to our kitchen counter during this process šŸ™‚

World Market (which I love) had this little stash of keys on a ring for $8. One “Sure, why not” later, I had it at home. I chose a darker scrapbook paper to be the back, and used 3 wire nails to mount the keys to the back of the frame.

I’m happy with this frame and the Warrior dash metals; they contribute some depth that a wall full of matted pictures wouldn’t have.

Tennessee Art

This piece isn’t for the frame wall. I’m actually not sure where it will end up. The inspiration for this piece came from Pinterest (as usual) and also from this very creative blogger’s site. These are available from several shops on Etsy from as low as $20, but I like making things like this.

I used a 2 ft poplar project board from Lowe’s as the base ($3.68). I trimmed the length a bit, sanded the surfaces, and then pre-treated, stained, and polyurethaned (x2) the board. I used Miniwax Early American stain for this, see the post about our stain ‘paint stick’ here. It took me two days just to prepare the board; being patient was difficult!

Then the fun part began. I printed a road map of Tennessee, trimmed it to size, and traced the outline on the board. I then hammered 10 million 3/4 inch #16 nails. Actually, I only used a 2 oz package of them ($1.23).

The map trimming and tracing ended up completely unnecessary.Ā  I nailed the paper down in two spots to hold it, and then put the nails directly through the paper. P.S. – Tennessee has a long perimeter.

The stash of tools I used is below. I used the needle nose pliers to help keep the spacing even , and flat nose pliers to keep a consistent height.

I made it this far before smashing my finger with a hammer; pretty good!

Some in action shots..

I was able to hand-place many of the nails, but the needle nose pliers helped along the west and east borders.

I used the flat pliers as a template for how tall the nails were.

I used white sewing thread I had on-hand to connect the nails, and done! This part would have been much easier if the nails forming the heart had more space between them.

A note to anyone attempting this; the wood will split along long straight stretches.

I really like this thing, but I’m still not sure where I’m going to put it. At least now I can cross it off my list of steal-this-Pinterest-idea art.

Total Cost: $5

The Frame Wall

Here’s the wall so far! I need to add photos in the remaining spots; it has too much crafty stuff going on.

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The answer is; white spray paint! Okay, maybe that won’t fix everything. It has fixed 27 frames for me in the past. This time, it fixed an art idea that I stole, and a random dust collector nick-knack I got at a thrift store.

More Stolen Art:

I stole another idea from YoungHouseLove. They diy’d a canvas art painting. It turned out pretty amazing looking. To be fair, the author (Sherry) was an art major, and can actually paint. Me = not so artistic.

I was aiming for something with a little more contrast. Luckily, I didn’t even have to be creative enough to just copy Sherry. I found someone else (on Pinterest) who copied Sherry, exactly the way I wanted to. 2nd-degree plagiarism to the rescue.

Off to Michael’s I went. I found three 12×16 canvas panels 50% off for $11.50. I also got four acrylic craft paints for a little less than $3 total.

Then, like YHL and the first copy-cat, I marked vertical lines with a yard stick, and used a 90 degree angle to randomly divide the vertical lines.

And then I mixed some random paint colors, and painted some random sections.

I started this critter right before Christmas. I painted on and off for a few days, and then not at all for about 3 weeks. The picture below shows it 95% done. After that, I painted a few of the blocks with the 2nd floor wall color… and I didn’t really like it much.

I probably spent 10 hours painting that thing. And I didn’t like it. I pulled Michael down to look at it, and he didn’t really like it either. I had the option of painting the whole thing white again and starting over, but at that point I was tired of painting little arrow-box thingies. So I put it outside and spray painted it white, barely. I basically just let over spray drift onto it for a while.

I like this enough to hang it, and so up it went.


Dollars: $15

Artistic Ability: 1st grade level

Creative Thought: Pre-K level

Custom Dust Collector

I got this creepy fellow at a thrift store.

Largely because I had a groupon for $20 at that store, and had only found $10 worth of clothing.

As you can see, he was pretty cheap. For $3 you can decorate with two empty beer bottles. Or you can give a creepy owl a spray tan and have this;

I’ll take it. Plus, he would even look cute next to empty Guinness bottles.

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We’re finally starting to paint the 2nd floor. I got a gallon of primer intended for the ceiling and most of the walls…. and it covered 60% of the ceiling. Oh well.

We’ll get a 5 gallon bucket, that should cover it. Michael’s going to work on the railing and the built-in tomorrow while I paint the ceiling, walls, and built in… a few times. Oh, and trim. Yeah, lots and lots of painting.

I’ve put up a few more things on the frame wall.

Such as this scrapbook paper stuck in a frame. Sure why not šŸ™‚

I used the same scrapbook paper behind two sugar packets we picked up in New Zealand.

I also shamelessly copied Younghouselove for one art-ish thing. I transferred a grid onto some cardstock.

And glued some trimmed paper butterflies onto the dots.

Done! It’s one of the few things on the wall so far that isn’t only blue.

We also framed our Warrior Dash Metals from 2011, in their original condition šŸ™‚

Total cost for those frames was about $.60 for the scrapbook paper. It’s getting there. I have about half of the frames with something at least temporary in them.

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