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Posts Tagged ‘Artwork’

Could there be anything more difficult to pick out than artwork? Not only does it make a statement in your home, but it’s an investment as well. While I’ve been working on my little master bedroom update, I’ve been researching artwork options to flank our bed (as well as researching bedside tables). I searched high and low and found some great options, but nothing was singing to me. That is, until I found this pin on Pinterest.

Jackpot. Graphic? Check. Free? Double check. Easy to change without guilt once I get tired of it? Bingo. I give all the credit of this idea to How about Orange, a great site for DIY ideas. I put my own twist on this with different colors, but the creativity was all from her original print. Jessica used Glidden paint swatches for her artwork, but I decided to try out the Martha Stewart line of paint colors from Home Depot. I kept on hearing how great her colors are, and lord knows I don’t need to paint my house anymore, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to try them out (colors listed at the end of the post).

I grabbed four of each paint color (is taking that many swatches from Home Depot even legal?), but each print took about 70 triangles and I got 4 triangles from each swatch… so you can do the math. :) I cut all my little triangles (2″ tall x 1.25″ wide, per the tutorial) and got to work on my completely random layouts.

Cute, right? These prints were as simple as gluing triangles to a piece of paper – because that’s essentially what I did. I made one print a little lighter (mine) and one a little darker (Scott) so I would have his/her artwork for our bedroom.

I hung the prints behind our lamps, which may seem strange, but hanging them above the lamps would have ended up looking very awkward. When the print is hung at a height that relates to the furniture underneath it, it creates a sort-of vignette with the table, lamp and print – so all three pieces serve as one element in the room. Also, hanging art too high is just decorating suicide – keep that in mind, folks. You want a room to die? Hang art above eye level and you’ll succeed.

Notice our new white bedding and gray striped sheets? These are the summer changes I’ve been talking about – and we kinda love them. More on that later!

 Paint swatches used (all Martha Stewart Line): Talc, Sandpiper, Cityscape, Bayou, Eiderdown, Parchment Paper, Fennel Seed, Oolong Tea, Dried Chamomile, Schoolhouse Slate, Gabardine, and Falcon.

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I’m at that point in my life where my friends are having babies. Alien children are growing inside of their stomachs and will soon be walking the earth amongst the rest of us, by some form of magic or science fiction. Can you tell I’m not quite at that point in my life yet? :) While I think babies are fine and dandy, I’d rather spend my time at this point being an awesome aunt and throwing fun baby showers for my friends who are into the alien-in-your-belly thing.

One of my best buds in Charlotte has a bun in the oven, so I decided to team up with my friend Evelyn and throw a fun shower for the parents-to-be. My preggo friend was a bit nervous to have a shower thrown for her, since she’s not into the whole “measure my belly” and “guess the poo” types of games that most showers entail. I promised her that this party would just be a gathering of friends with a simple premise, yummy food, and loads of baby gifts. And some fun decorations that tie perfectly into my modern theme. Because that’s how I roll. We met the other night to discuss our agenda and came up with a crisp and clean color scheme that will be perfect for this no-nonsense modern mama.

This “mood board” of sorts is basically where we’re headed with the shower. No barn yard animals or dump truck themes for this Mom. The things I know about her are as follows: her wedding was black and white, her nursery will be green, and she lives and breathes on candy and cupcakes alone. Put those all together, and voila, a shower idea was born.

I’ll keep you all up to date with the details once the actual shower comes together, but for now I’d like to share a quick little invitation that I whipped up in Illustrator the other day. Yes, you read that right – Scott and I have taken the plunge and decided to teach ourselves Adobe Illustrator. Photoshop is still my number one bestie, but for anything that we plan to print, Illustrator is where it’s at. I know I wanted something simple and graphic for the invitations, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t pigeonholing us into a theme by making any sort of animal or baby-themed item the focus.

A bunch of fun fonts in varying sizes, placed just so to fill up the page was just the ticket. The dotted lines help to give the invitation some structure and keep the mis-mash of text from being too difficult to read. The little pops of chartreuse bring in the fun accent color, and draw the reader’s attention to key points as they read along.

I printed these on my old standby, white card stock. I really do have a lifetime supply, so thank goodness I’m into DIY invitations. I’m still debating on rounding the corners of these bad boys for a softer, baby-ish feel, but I’ll let you give me your two cents on that one. Stay tuned for more modern baby shower items coming your way in the future!

Images courtesy of yours truly, the almighty Google, Whisker Graphics, Etsy, and Flickr

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Nifty Gift Idea

Since the holidays are gone and done with, I’m sure you’re relishing in all the amazing gifts you received. And by you, I mean me. This Christmas wasn’t necessarily a blow out or anything, but the gifts I did receive were thoughtful and down right bitchin’. My creative Mom definitely went all out by making all the girls custom aprons and finding cool scarfs on Etsy, but her best gift was something that I thought I’d share with the blogosphere because of its heart-felt sentiment and simple DIY-ness.

My Mom and Dad recently visited an antique car show, and my Mom had the brilliant idea of taking pictures of numbers on the cars and turning it into a framed piece of artwork with our wedding anniversary date. Now, not only was this genius because it gave her something to do at a car show, but also because it made the perfect gift for my brother, sister and I, all of whom are recently married. You may have seen the trend of architectural letters to spell out names, etc. (which I love as well) but trying to DIY it and find letters hidden in shrubbery and buildings is a bit on the difficult side. Numbers, on the other hand, are everywhere! You could take pictures of unique house numbers, road signs, etc. and plop them into a frame to commemorate any special date. This would be a perfect wedding gift or a gift for new parents with their babe’s birthdate, or even a housewarming gift to new homeowners with their house numbers displayed. The possibilities are endless and the cost is basically at a minimum.

Our wedding date does a nice job of completing our gallery wall in the den, don’t you think? Did any of you receive any super creative/thoughtful gifts that you’d love to share? Sound off!

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This past weekend, I was flying solo. Alone. Singleton, yet again. The hubs was traveling for work, so Charlie and I had free reign of the house. I figured I should use my time wisely and A) watch some horrible chic flicks and b) do something creative. I certainly watched my fair share of awesomely bad films, and I also tried my hand at a little painting for our kitchen.

Here’s what I was dealing with beforehand. When we moved in, we had to plop one of our college-esque Rothko prints on this wall since the genius that built our house decided to put a monstrous circuit breaker smack dab in the middle of this wall. I felt like it was time to move on from the quintessential student poster (hey, at least it’s framed!) but I didn’t want to spend serious dough on a large piece of artwork. So, I decided to try my hand at painting. You may remember my attempt at a simple, graphic painting a while back, but this one was a bit of a challenge since I am not a painter. AT ALL. Not even a little bit. I always had to trace my people in my design school perspectives because I’m absolutely TERRIBLE at making things look realistic. Except for furniture and architectural details. That I can handle.

I picked up a 24 x 36 canvas from my local Michael’s and slapped on some cool blue paint that we had leftover from the guest bathroom reno. I also picked up some gray, black and white craft paint, and pulled out some paint brushes I had leftover from the bike mural in my big sister’s nursery. I wanted to do something graphic and pop art-y, like the silverware painting David Bromstad did in a kitchen renovation I had seen on HGTV one day. Now, let me preface this again by saying I am not a painter and by no means David Bromstad. AT ALL. But hey, I figured I’d give it a shot while I had a weekend to kill.

I started out by taking a fork out of my silverware draw and measuring it to see the proportions I should be shooting for (prongs to handle, etc). I then took my trusty pencil and started sketching, all while taking some measurements to make sure my fork wasn’t completely wonky. As you can see, it took a bit of sketching to get the shape I thought was acceptable. I’m not sure if the pencil sketch method is the best way to go, but it worked for me in this instance.

I then took my trusty $0.99 craft paint and filled in my fork sketch with a cool gray paint (cool gray to go along with my cool blue background paint). The gray had a little hint of green in it as well, so I knew it would go nicely with our green wall paint in the kitchen. I then took my white and black paints and made a couple of different shades of gray to add some dimension to my (very sad) fork shape, giving it a bit of dimension. After that, all while referencing my real fork next to the canvas, I added a few highlights with the black and white paint to add a little pop to my gray blob of a fork. I had to let the paint dry between each of these steps so that the colors didn’t all blend together. Trial and error, people. Non-painter folk over here.

After the fork paint dried, I took some more of the blue wall paint and filled in the areas where my pencil sketching had gone amiss, covering up any evidence of disproportional fork shapes. I then hung it on the wall above Charlie’s food bowls and had a minor panic attack. What was I thinking? I’m not a painter! I waited until Scott got home to see if I was completely insane, and he very nicely commented that the prongs seemed a bit short for the fork. Shucks. Sure, it’s not the most realistic looking fork, but maybe I was going for whimsical (haha). Scott says it’s a bit contemporary for our home, but the more I look at our giant fork, the more it’s growing on me. What do you think? Give it to me straight here, Internet. Should I keep my attempt at a fork or wipe the slate clean and start over with something more abstract? Sound off!

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Tilt me, Shift me

As I’ve stated waaay too many times on this blog, I am by no means a photographer. Or a photoshop wiz. But I like it. A lot. And so does my husband which makes us two peas in a pod. I read a lot of photography blogs and have noticed a cool technique that a lot of my favs have been using recently. After some research and more blog browsing, I saw that these photographers are taking part in “tilt-shift photography”. If you’re a photographer reading my blog, don’t bother reading this as I’m sure I’m about to butcher your art. But if you’re a laymen like me, check this out! Tilt shift is a technique that blurs portions of the image with the use of a special lens, putting more focus on the predominate feature in the photograph. These special lenses cost a blooming fortune, but they can actually tilt (rotation of the lens) and shift (movement of the lens parallel to the image plane), creating some pretty interesting imagery.

Scott found a photoshop tutorial online (shocker! our new favorite thing!) and we got to cracking on creating a faux tilt-shift effect on some of our own photos (like this one from Santa Monica). Sure, the effect isn’t quite the same as the professionals, but it was fun nonetheless acting like we were creating something awesome on a lazy Sunday morning. This is our attempt at an example of tilt-shift miniature faking, or smallgantics, which takes a picture taken from a high vantage point and makes it look like the scene is a miniature model. My favorite book growing up was The Borrowers, so I’m slightly insane for all things mini. Miniature shampoo bottles, David the gnome; you name it!

We did the same effect (well, Scott worked his magic and I very enthusiastically watched) on a picture from a Panthers’ game we went to a couple years back. It’s like we’re giants in a little world of tiny football players!

We also played around with another picture of Santa Monica. We learned that people really add to the miniature affect, but as an example of plain ol’ tilt-shift, we think this one looks pretty rad (albeit fake). Any fun photo tricks you’d care to share?

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A good White Elephant

This blog is slowly turning into a showcase of “look what I bought”. Sorry for that. But I had to share this little guy since I’ve had my eye on him for quite some time, and finally bit the bullet and dished out a few bones to make him mine.

Why, it’s my favorite little elephant friend from West Elm! I’ve been watching this guy for some time, waiting for him to go on sale or jump into my lap, but he wasn’t budging. I noticed that he wasn’t available online anymore, so I popped into my local store (which by the way, has the nicest employees ever) and took a few laps, getting closer and closer to the elephant at each passing. The saleswoman and I got to talking, and she shared her love of this little creature as well and how she was waiting for the perfect moment to scoop one up. She also added that it was so versatile that it would one day grace her future child’s nursery, even though she didn’t have a child… or a boyfriend. Talk about a planner. She let me know that they were no longer restocking these and they only had a few left, so I took it as a sign. Man, she really made that sale, huh?

Our new little friend now resides next to our television in the den, bringing a bit of lightness to our dark furniture and tying in nicely with our new, white picture rail above. The irony in this little trinket is that Scott is not a fan of my chotchkies. He says they just collect dust and are a waste of money, which is the opinion of every husband I think I’ve ever encountered. Don’t they know that items like this are necessary to make a house feel like a home? I digress. It’s ironic because a white elephant is usually associated with “a valuable possession of which its owner cannot dispose and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) is out of proportion to its usefulness” (thanks, wikipedia). Let’s just hope the hubs isn’t right on this one.

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Home Hodgepodge

Because I’m officially obsessed with all things photography, I decided to try and hone my picture taking skills in low lighting conditions. And where better to practice than my dark house? Our house has a ton of windows, but also a lot of large trees, so I always find it difficult to take good pictures inside of my house because the natural light is so scarce. Rather than take pictures of my husband sitting on the couch watching the USA vs. Brazil soccer game (and yelling at the tube every 2 minutes, might I add), I decided to make a collage of the little details that make up our abode.

It’s amazing all the little interesting details you can find in your house when you’re purposefully looking for them. Everything from a pattern on a pillow, to a threaded strap on a bongo drum to a scrabble picture on a calendar. Maybe next I’ll tackle a collage of the exterior of our lovely home – probably thrilling for no one but myself, but oh well. :) Hope everyone had a great weekend!

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Some of you may have noticed some changes to the artful abode recently. We purchased the rights to my blog’s CSS (say what? Yeah, I’m not quite sure either) and my lovely husband has been helping me with sprucing up the place. We’ve done away with the standard gray and hunter green color scheme and brought in a more neutral, soothing palette to counterbalance my colorful writing (ha). I’ve been on a kick recently for all things white and light, so I’m sure this layout will change in the future. But at least I have the option to change things around to match my ever changing moods – yay!

Another little feature I’d like to point out is the “buy me this!” sidebar. I’ve been bugging Scott to figure out how to get a wish list of sorts for me on the blog, and by golly his genius brain figured it out. Here I’ve provided an easy access point for all of the lovely things I’m digging – and want you to buy for me. If you see something you’re dying to purchase, I’ll gladly send you my address, shoe size and preferred cut of diamond. Really, it’s no trouble on my end. I’m easy to work with.

See anything you loathe/love? Let me know your thoughts on the new digs!

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After some great feedback on my sister’s shower invitations, I decided to take the plunge and print these suckers out. I made a few minor tweets tweaks on the text sizes/colors, but overall it seems that the birdie invitation design was a winner from the get go. These were printed on simple white card stock – turns out you can only buy card stock in massive economy packs, so I have enough to get me through the next 50 years.

I decided to use a corner rounder to soften up the edges a bit, making it more appropriate for a baby shower. Sharp edges + baby = bad idea. I can relate, since I cracked my head open as a kid on the corner of a coffee table. Ow! Did you catch that bird reference – cracked? Yeah, there’s more where that came from.

Since the invitations were brightly colored, I decided to have a little fun and forgo the standard white envelopes and pick up some punchy colored ones from my favorite Charlotte stationary store, Papitre. (unfortunately, no website – boo!) I had my mind set on some cool blue envelopes to mimic the blue in baby Greenlee’s nursery, but couldn’t help myself when I saw the rockin orange envelopes. Why not do half and half? Now all I have to do is address these birdies and send them on their merry way. :)

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Tweet Invites

As you very well know, my big sis has a bun in the oven. When an event like this comes around, I can’t help but get creative and get involved, whether is be designing a nursery or helping to throw a baby shower. I’m basically a wannabe Martha Stewart, but without the criminal record (zing!). So, for my sister’s upcoming baby shower, I thought I’d take a stab at designing some invitations. I’m by no means a graphic designer – I’m limited to my minimal knowledge of photoshop and the free brushes I can find on the internet (anyone want to give me Illustrator? teach me the program? Anyone?). But, I digress. The whole bird theme seems to be popping up everywhere in baby land. Even ol’ Martha featured some bird themed shower ideas on her website. With the fun words like “hatching” and “nesting”, the bird theme really is a win win.

While thinking about a bird themed shower, I just so happened to come upon the most perfect invitation during a little light blog stalking. I had to borrow OhBrooke’s text design for my invitations (because it was downright perfect), but decided to try my hand at creating a different design to fit my sister’s taste. Behold, Option numero uno.

option one

option one

Does this invite make you wanna pop on over for some yummy treats on a saturday morning, or would you prefer something a bit different, like option numero dos?

option two

I would love love love some feedback on these (like “ew that’s gross, change the colors” or “oh my goodness, you’re brilliant!”) so drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts!

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