Nov 20, 2010

Phrase Art

I picked up about six of these picture frames guessed it, a thrift store that is right here in Newtown.  They were a $1 each and I think they may have been used for a shower or wedding as table numbers.  Anyhow, I used a couple of them as small gifts for friends.  A simple photo in a frame is a nice and inexpensive way to show someone you're thinking about them.  I temporarily placed the remaining three frames on a shelf until I had an idea for what to put in them. 
These are the frames when I bought them
Friends and family kept asking, "What do the numbers stand for?"  So I decided to do something fun with the frames so that visitors wouldn't wonder any longer.

I thought it would be different to put puzzle phrases into the frames.  The first thing I did was perform a Google search for existing puzzle images. 

Then, of the phrases that I found I recreated the ones I liked the most in Microsoft Word.  It doesn't get any easier then this.  A three-year-old could do this!   

Because the frames will reside in the guest bedroom for now I chose to stick with black and white.  You can get as creative as you'd like by adding pops of color or different background colors.
I re-created (even came up with my very own) about seven different phrases- I was having too much fun! 

Can you figure out the phrases?

This is the puzzle phrase I came up with all on my lonesome.  Isn't it cute?

Nov 17, 2010

Inspiration Board

I get most of my inspiration from the internet and magazines. When I see something I love, I print it out or tear pages from magazines and make a note of the source.  Before I purchased this cork board I had papers all over the place.  I had accumulated a huge mess.  And I was starting to lose ideas because I constantly moved the mess around in an attempt to hide it, organize it, or find a new place for it. 

I've started to focus my attention back to decorating the office.  Now that I've completed a couple projects on my to-do list, mentioned here, I can begin to figure out what I want to do with our office space. 

The first thing I bought for me the office was an inspiration board - a MUST HAVE!  Inspiration Boards are awesome for adding color and uniqueness to an office.  And I couldn't think of a better way to start getting organized.  I knew when I saw all of my inspiration in an orderly manner that I'd get an extra burst of urgency to work hard on the office until it's completed.  

Here's the cork board Rob picked up for me the other night.  It's kinda depressing and ugly looking...def in need of some inspiration love.

 And here's the cork board after I added my "inspiration" to it.  I love this board now and I can't wait to make all these ideas a reality.
Do you see the "Office" section in the bottom left corner?  Not sure yet if my accent color will be red or yellow. 

This board will eventually make its way onto one of the walls in the office.  I can't wait to see it all come together. 

Do you have an inspiration board?  Take a picture of it and share, share- would love to see it!!!

Have a wonderful night! 

Nov 13, 2010

Decorating a Credenza Top

Now that the picture collage is hung and done, I can focus my energy on finishing decorating the top of my credenza.  My part of the credenza is completed.  I primed, painted, re-painted, spray painted and stenciled this piece of furniture until I was blue in the face.  When I write the full tutorial on my completed DIY credenza project I'll be sure to give you the down low on all the trials and errors I encountered.  The last part to this DIY project, our friend Steve's part, is to finish building the custom doors. 

Steve is a dear friend, a handy man extraordinare and a carpenter, pictured here [and single...I'm just sayin'], who offered to build custom doors for my credenza.  Steve was up for a challenge and I really wanted to add some UMPH to this piece so it worked out perfectly.  It'll be even more perfect once they're finished.  But you know how it is, when a friend offers to do you a favor, at no charge, you can't really put a deadline to these things.  So, once I get the doors I will share the full credenza makeover tutorial.

Before I move on from the custom door subject, I want to show you a sneak peek of the drawings Steve sent me:


I like the door on the left.  What do you think?  The plan is to insert glass panels behind the wood design and install lighting inside the credenza.  I'm so excited just talking about it. 

O.k., let's get back to the fun stuff- decorating!  Although I only have two doors on the credenza, I couldn't justify letting it just sit in our garage any longer- so I brought it inside (for good) once the picture collage was completed.  I've envisioned having a chic credenza under a wall collage of unique images with retro lamps and fun accessories in our living room before we even settled on our townhouse.  And it's finally a reality! 

Here are some images I took of the new living room space:

This shot exhibits the hand painted peacock feathers I added on top of the credenza.  My little sis hates the feathers- is she crazy?  Thoughts?

Fresh flowers.  Ahh.  I love to integrate flowers into my rooms and I try to buy them frequently to keep around the house.  I'm slightly addicted to teeny vases like the one shown above.  I love how they look in rows of three on window sills, mantels, tables or anywhere really.  I bought the silver vase above in a set of three for $.50 each at a thrift shop.  I aslo have three white ones and three glass ones also picked up at second hand shops- can't get enough.

I've been saving wine corks for months.  It drove Rob kinda nuts but I knew they'd come in good use sooner or later.  Putting the corks into the glass hurricane added nice color and texture to the mix.
Rob was searching online for a decanter and attemped to order several, including the Crate and Barel Mirabel Decanter priced at $39.95 shown above. I was angry at the fact that he was willing to spend that much money. Has he forgotten about our "not-so-kick-ass" budget? I kept reminding him that I'd find one at a trift store for pennies. And just a short week later I scored our decanter for $2.50. Patience is key.

Gotta give it to him, the idea for the decanter was all Rob's.  I recently realized how many good ideas Rob has suggested and implemented.  That makes me happy.  O.k., so now that I gave him some credit I'll tell you that the execution and idea for the silver tray was by yours truly. 
Image Details:
  • Decanter:  thrift store; $2.50
  • Silver Tray:  Crate and Barel; shower gift
  • Flower Vase:  thrift store; $1.00
  • Votive:  Walmart; $.75
  • Glasses & Spirits:  had

Ferns are my fav.  I bought one at the beginning of the summer and it grew beautifully.  I've been trying to use the leaves as much as possible before the frost comes and kills them.  I love how the leaves look in small vases.

Bare with me here...I couldn't control myself from taking so many pictures.  I think the apple green, pretty pinks and pop of yellow is so gorgeous. 

I included this image because it gives you a glimpse of the credenza.  Those doors will be replaced with custom ones.

And before I wrap this up, I think I should talk about my green apple colored lamps for a moment.  I love those lamps!  I wanted lamps that were this exact green and the inspiration for this came from a pillow I purchased shown here.  Once I got the lamps home I stared at them for a bit and thought about how lucky I was to have snatched them up- come on, they rock!  And hello, they're kinda Jonathan Adler looking...but I like my green better, no offense Jonathan :)  

Jonathan Adler capri bottle lamp; $275
Also, I popped into Lowe's this week on my way home from work to pick up a can of Valspar Summer Leaf spray paint.  I thought this color, by the looks of the cap [I know, bad to assume], may create the color I was going for.
The plan was to spray paint these lamps and give them a makeover to put on the credenza.  Well, after Lowe's that night I popped into HomeGoods which is when I scored the green apple lamps.  Totally meant to be.  I was bummed I had just bought the green spray paint but the color seems cool so I'll be sure to use it for something else.  And as for the lamps, I have a different plan for them now...master bedroom.

And finally, I'll end by letting you in on a little secret...check out the price tag on my gorgeous green apple lamps from HomeGoods:

I KNOW!!!! 

I know, I hate me!  I got the deal of a lifetime- still can't believe it.  I have no idea why they were so cheap.  Some things are meant to be.  I feel like alot of the items in our home are like that.  I love my home.  I LOVE HOMEGOODS!

This project is partying with the best of them at:

Nov 11, 2010

Completed Picture Collage

After tons of moving around, lots of reader feedback and way too much time spent staring at the wall...I'm so thrilled that our picture collage is hung, finished and lookin' good!  Our wall of pictures is a compilation of images I captured and that tell one unique story after another - and I couldn't be happier with the end result!

An added bonus to this picture collage is that I can bust out the mixologist skills I picked up from my good ole' bartending days and serve our guest up a nice cocktail while they enjoy the serene images.  Cheers!

My goal for tonight, in addition to showing off my collage, is to tell you a bit about what I did to create this collage look.

First, I went on a hunt for picture frames.  I frequent thrift stores several times a week so it didn't take long before I had a nice pile of frames to work with.  And even though this collage is finished, that won't stop me from continuing to look for old pictures and frames- there's always going to be something fabulous out there.  I knew that I wanted to spray paint most of the frames white. But I also wanted a couple metalic and dark wooden frames because I thought these would tie in nicely with the elements in our living and dining rooms.  Most of the the picture frames I purchased cost about $3.00.  I think the most expensive was about $7.00. 

Something you should know that I think will save you alot of time and money in the long run when creating your own collage is that although it's important you love the frame itself, this should not be the end all be all when buying them second hand.  Take these tips into consideration:
  • Matte- Look for pictures with a neutral or light colored matte that can work in any room.  Otherwise, be sure to keep in mind what color matte will work for your space.  Buying old pictures with a matte already included will save you lots of buckaroos.
  • Hanging- Check that the picture has a hole, hook, wire or anything else that will allow you to hang the picture from a nail.  I actually had to use my hot glue gun to add a hook on the back of two frames.  Ugh.  Also, when deciding which of your fabulous images to include in each frame, keep in mind where the hook is.
  • Condition-  Buy frames that are in good shape.  Frames that are dinged up, broken or chipped will not look nice once painted or hung on the wall.
  • Staples- Some of the nicest picture frames I picked up were held together with metal staples in the back...they. are. a. pain.  I recommend you remove them with pliers and then hammer a couple teeny nails in the back on each side for support of your new image. 
  • Glass- Make sure the picture frames you buy have a glass front already in them.  I mistakenly bought one that did not have a glass front.  
Next, wipe your frames with a damp cloth to clean them.  Now spray paint away.  Two coats should be sufficient.  I used Valspar white interior spray paint.  Make sure the spray paint you use is appropriate for your frame's surface. 

Then, select your favorite images and print them out.  I really wanted the pictures to look nice and I had store credit at Ritz Camera so I printed them there.  Also, with all the money I saved buying second hand frames there was a couple extra bucks in my budget to spend on quality printing. 

Finally, decide where you want to hang your picture frames.  There's a ton of tips and how-tos for doing this, and a simple Google search will showcase lots of different ideas.  For me, I found the best way to do this was to arrange them on the carpet in different ways- you can see a couple options I played around with here.  Take a picture of each option so you can go back to them and make your decision.  Also, when you make your decsion, the picture will also lend as your guide for where to hang the frames on the wall.  Unfortunately, my first attempt at hanging the frames was kinda dissapointing because I hung them too close and had to start over.

I hope you like the end result as much as I do.  Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions.

So now, if you've always wanted to create your own picture collage, I hope after reading this you'll get movin' on it.  It's so easy, inexpensive and DO-ABLE!!!  You have no excuses not to.  Be sure to send me your pics!   

Weekend Bloggy Reading
Check it out, HERE.

Check it out, HERE.

Check it out, HERE.

Nov 3, 2010

Thoughts on Picture Collage

After playing around with a couple options for how to hang these pictures, I (with your helpful input) decided to go with option #2.  And here it is...

Rob suggested I space the pictures a bit more. At first I didn't want to listen to him because I spent alot of time hanging them, but I think he may be right. Ugh. Also, I think I should move the entire collage up several inches so that the picture on the very bottom isn't so close to the chair rail.

In case you haven't noticed, there's seven frames hanging without pictures. I'll fill them soon. For now, they needed to be hung as place holders.

Here's a white pigeon I threw into the mix of the collage.  I honestly have no clue what kind of bird this is. 

This is when I'll defer to you again.  Do you think Rob's right about spacing the pictures more?  Should I raise the entire collage away from the chair rail?  And my mystery I nuts?

Nov 2, 2010

Budget Love - Pair of Lamps

Can I just tell you how long I've been searching for two of the same lamps that were VERY cheap and had fabulous potential with the right amount of TLC and DIY elbow grease? Like...for months.

I popped into Impact thrift store today, which I try to do a couple times a week, and saw these tall and slender guys.

At first, I spent a couple of seconds inspecting them.  The price made me instantly happy but I wasn't 150% sure I had to have them- so I walked away and continued to look around. But then, I happened to look over my shoulder, back in the direction of where the lamps were, and I thought I saw a young fellow (about my age) staring the lamps down - as if he liked them. Well, the thought of someone else snagging those lights sort of ticked me off...and that's when I realized I had to have them.   

So, like any calm, cool, and collected person would do, I went back and snatched them up fast. That young fellow thought I was crazy, I'm sure of it.

The lamps will reside on both ends of my credenza. Perfect for providing extra light onto my picture collage for added emphasis.

And the price?  Cha-ching!!!!!  Once again, my budget loves me.

Nov 1, 2010

Picture Collage in Living Room

I've never hung a collage of pictures on a wall, but I've wanted to do it for a long time now.  I always envisioned a schmoregusboard (really?  is there a correct way to spell that?) of original and wonderful images personally captured by me. 

Over the past several months I've been grabbing my camera wherever I go just in case something wonderful catches my eye.  I  like to take pictures in unlikely places and of everyday things.  For instance, I've shot pictures under bridges, in the sand, of a pile of rocks and even tree trunks. 

Anyhow, I finally got around to getting the ball rolling with the collage idea.  I plan to tell you more about this project when it's all finished - but for now, I'm in the process of configuring the pictures in an elegant and fun way.  My plan is to hang them above the credenza.

Do you like either of these set ups?  Any pointers you can share that I should know about?

set-up option #1

set-up option #2
I took these gorgeous sunset pics last Sunday while at the park with Roxy gurrls.  Good thing these were taken with my iPhone and the quality stinks when blown up, otherwise I just may have had to add one of these bad boys to my wall of gorgeousness. 

Good night, sleep tight!