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Friday, March 29, 2013

I Got It! I Got It!

It came in the mail yesterday! The first original piece of art I have ever owned (made by someone other than myself that is). You might remember me mentioning an artist named Emily Rickard in this post. Here is her Etsy Shop. And this is the amazing painting that I bought from her:

Here are my poor quality photos of the painting (which is acrylic on canvas):

I LOVE it! I was so excited when I came home from work yesterday and this package was sitting on the table:

I mean, even the package is cute!! And to top it all off, I turned the painting around to the backside and this hand-written note was tucked inside of the canvas in a little envelope:

So adorable. I love her. And my new painting! I first discovered her work on the Society6 site, and I'm so glad I did. It was a splurge for me, but I've never bought an actual piece of art before, and it was love at first sight. I was "Smitten." Which appropriately, is the title of the painting! Here's what it cost on Etsy:

It was totally worth it. Now please excuse me, while I admire my new art. :) I just need to find a place for it along with all of my own paintings! I set it up next to them in the living room just to see how it would look...pretty much makes my art look like a kindergardener painted it. Haha! We'll see where it ends up.

Well, I'm on my way to Ohio today to celebrate Easter with Trent's Family! Hope everyone's Easter is wonderful!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Soup-er Duper Paintbrush Holder

I'm popping in for a quick post, before I start getting ready for our little weekend trip, so I will be busy packing tonight! But I thought I would quickly share this easiest-project-ever.

A while back, these limited edition Andy Warhol soup cans were available at Target in honor of the 50th anniversary of Warhol's famous "32 Campbell's Soup Cans" piece:

Of course I bought one of each of them! And so far, I've eaten the soup from all but one I think. I've been saving them in a drawer (after I'm finished with the soup inside and have cleaned them out). I've been wanting to do some kind of project with them, but I figured the easiest way to utilize them for now anyway, would be what the fine bloggers at Young House Love (my favorite source ever) did - to store pencils, pens, and the like in them. Here's their finished project which served as my inspiration:

At the moment I only needed a place to store my paint brushes, so I stored them in one of the cans:
This is just a picture taken on my living room floor where I was painting, but I plan to keep it upstairs in my office. And one day when I have my craft table in the guest room, I'll probably use the other cans to store colored pencils, Sharpies, etc. Because Lord knows I have many!!

Hope you enjoyed this short but sweet EASY project I did in about 5 seconds. Literally plopped the paint brushes in there and snapped a pic. Done! Now, off to work then packing for our Easter weekend getaway! Woohoo! More details on that next week!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Home Decor Book Reading List

I'm giving myself a summer reading list. That's right. Even though I'm not in school anymore (Thank God), I'm still making a reading list for myself. But it's a fun reading list! Yep, a Home Decor themed one. There isn't another genre I'd rather read, except maybe something art or graphic design related. Haha. 

How did this idea come about? The other day, after shopping for my sister's apartment and picking out tons of decor items we both thought were awesome and coming up with ideas for what she could do with the space, I decided to stop at the Barnes and Noble home decor section. I was drawn to all of these books that I had always wanted to read but haven't yet. And I want to be inspired and enlightened. And learn new things about interior design that I haven't learned yet. I checked out all of the home decor-related books and jotted the titles down on my cell phone to buy later on Amazon (They're usually much cheaper there!). I ended up buying three books from Amazon (And they should arrive at my doorstep by early next week- woot!):

There are a few more that I would like to read by the end of summer, too:

Lara Spencer - "I Brake for Yard Sales"

Suzanne and Laura McGrath - "Good Bones, Great Pieces"

Nate Berkus - "Home Rules"
Nate Berkus - "The Things that Matter"
And of course my favorite home decor book is already on my coffee table:
I've paged through it quite a few times but haven't really read it in its entirety, yet. So it's on my list too! 

Here's my full list:
  1. Sherry and John Petersik - Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update, and Show Your Home Some Love
  2. Grace Bonney - Design*Sponge At Home
  3. Deborah Needleman - Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-By-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy
  4. Deborah Needleman - The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well
  5. Nate Berkus - Home Rules: Transform the Place You Live into a Place You'll Love
  6. Nate Berkus - The Things That Matter
  7. Lara Spencer - I Brake For Yard Sales: And Flea Markets, Thrift Shops, Auctions, and the Occasional Dumpster
  8. Suzanne and Laura McGrath - Good Bones, Great Pieces: The Seven Essential Pieces That Will Carry You Through a Lifetime
I hope to have them all done by the end of summer. Definitely expect reviews from me on each of them right here on my blog! I will share my favorite tips, quotes, and highlights, too! Super excited to start reading. If anyone else has any suggestions, feel free to let me know!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ikat Inspired Painting

Another art related post today. In addition to the Mod Podge art I created over the weekend, I also painted another canvas! This time I was feeling pattern-y (is that a word?) and was inspired by some Ikat paintings I found while perusing the web. Like this one:

And also by the Abstract artist Kristy Gammill, who creates some gorgeous Ikat-like paintings:

While my painting is more of a Beginner's attempt, I still loved doing it and think it turned out pretty well! I started by spreading some shades of pink across the canvas:

Then I added some orange, blue, and white to the mix. And ended up with this:

The lighting is horrible in the photos I took of it since I finished it Sunday night. But I'm going to try to take a better one tonight. This is the final result:
I really love it. Haven't decided where I'm going to put it yet. But I love the colors. It was a fun painting project once again!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mod Podge Canvas Art

As promised, I have a little Mod Podge project to share today! Yes, yesterday did turn out to be a pretty productive Sunday for me. Not only did I get the dishes done and the living room dusted, but I also knocked out a couple of crafty projects. One of them being this one:

And it was SUPER easy to make. Here's how it all went down.

Yesterday after lunch, which consisted of this:

And a little of this.....
(Can't beat a relaxing morning listening to some Dave and eating some snack food at the coffee table)

I got to work on my FIRST Mod Podge project ever! I had been looking for some ideas on what to make, when I found this project via Pinterest:

Who knew there was a website called Mod Podge Rocks, completely devoted to Mod Podge porjects? Anyway, this project seemed like a good beginner one for me. You just choose a printed image and use Mod Podge to attach it to the canvas. I already had an image in mind that I wanted to use.

So the first thing I did was get all of my supplies together.

I had bought some Mod Podge, some new canvases and some more paint at Hobby Lobby this weekend. I also gathered up a bunch of possible art prints from old calendars - I keep all of my old calendars in case I ever want to hang up a print inside or use them in projects like this. I ironically have a Charley Harper calendar!
In this case though, I decided to go with my first instinct, and that was to use my favorite print from my Wolf Kahn calendar. It hung in my office on my memo board, and I absolutely love it. I think it's all the pink. Actually, I'm pretty positive that's what it is.

 I laid it on the square canvas to make sure I wanted to use it (And yep, I did)...
 Then I painted the canvas with a wash of pink mixed with a little white.

Then I just applied some Mod Podge to the canvas and to the back of the print, and attached it. I let it dry maybe a half hour or so, but I couldn't really wait the recommended 2 hours it said on the bottle (come on, 2 hours, really!?) so I went ahead and applied a top coat over the image and the top of the canvas to seal it in.

I didn't realize it but I got the kind that's supposed to be for Paper-on-Paper. I think after further research, This Kind would have been better (I think it's more of the "original" kind), since it's for All Surfaces. But I'm a Mod Podge beginner and knew nothing about it aside from looking up various projects...and who knew there were so many varieties of the stuff? Geez! (In the end though, it seems like it attached to the canvas fine.)

I let the first coat dry another half hour or so, and then I applied a second coat.

And here it is after two coats of Mod Podge on top! It's a perfect pop of pink, in my opinion :)

It will go in my office with my other paintings! I can't wait to spruce up my office more now. This summer I'll have to work on it some more. Right now it's only kind of half way finished.

I think my first Mod Podge project turned out pretty good! I'd definitely call this one an easy beginner project. I created another piece of art last night, too, so I will have that to share tomorrow!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Shopping and Some New Additions

Ok, WHAT is this outside??
It's supposed to be spring and this is the scene outside my window? Ugh, Mr. Phil the groundhog was so wrong this year!

Moving on though...Yesterday, I went shopping with my mom and my sister Haley to get some things for Haley's new apartment. I had fun picking out a bunch of things for her, especially decor items! We stopped at Marshall's, Hobby Lobby, Sofa Mart, and Target. I'd say we were pretty successful, considering her entire car was full by the time we were finished. The best part is that I was able to find some new additions to my living room that I'd been looking for, as well as some more art and craft supplies I wanted.

At Marshall's, I found the white pitcher I was wanting for my hydrangeas. Even though I really liked the glass blue vase, I Love my new white pitcher!!

I also found a little blue ceramic birdy at Hobby Lobby that looks pretty cute on my coffee table. I don't think he'll live here forever, since I am looking for something more quirky and white, but for now, he likes his home here pretty well.

I got a bunch more art supplies at Hobby Lobby too to keep me busy, including some new canvases and acrylic paints, and some Mod Podge that I have a project for to work on soon!

Besides this awesome find at Sofa Mart (WHITNEY sofa, what what!)...
We didn't find anything there. There was a gray arm chair on sale that I thought about for a moment for the living room, but came to the conclusion that it wouldn't really work in there, because it was a little too big, and it wouldn't match our brown couch too well.

Then we went to Target. We had 2 full carts full of things for Haley's apartment, plus a large box with a table and chair set on a flat that was too heavy to pull around ourselves. I also found a couple of items for myself, including a matching sofa pillow to the one I had bought a few weeks ago (Now I have a matching set!):

And a new rug for the kitchen that makes things a little more colorful in there! (It needs all the help it can get!)

Right now its home is under the stove, but I may move it under the sink. We'll see..In the meantime, while Trent is working today, I will be attempting to get some things done around the house. Dishes, dusting,'s been a lazy morning for me so far, so we'll see how much gets accomplished!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Etsy Artist Love

It's been an artsy week for me on the blog. But I have some Breaking News I have to share: I bought my first official piece of art! I'm so excited! But I'm waiting until it arrives to share the details, so stay tuned! For now though, I will say that I bought it on Etsy. If you haven't spent much time on Etsy, well, you might want to stay away. It's a site I try to avoid whenever possible, because I love so much on there that it's quite dangerous. I pretty much want to own everything. From decor items, to art, to jewelry, there's so many amazing handmade items on there from very talented people.

So today, I have a short little list of artists on there that I am loving right now. They're all abstract works, because that's kind of what I'm digging at the moment.

1. Lindsay Cowles - (Click on the link to view her Etsy shop) - She's based out of Richmond, VA, and her work is of course, very colorful! My favorite kind right now :) Just check out how her paintings look in these office spaces - Gorg!:
Check out more of her work here.

2. Emily Rickard - I already mentioned that I loved her work on the Society6 website. But I seriously love her paintings. They are so bright and colorful, and I love the pops of pink! Even the names are fun, like Nail polish on the Carpet, and Pie for Breakfast. Here's a couple examples of her amazing paintings:

See more of her work here.

3. Maurie Hartel - I just love her technique with the glossy finishes and the mixes of colors she uses (and all the pink, haha). One of her paintings of course inspired one of mine that I blogged about in this post. Here are a couple of my other favorite pieces by Maurie:
You can read more about her and see more of her work Here and Here.

4. Yangyang Pan - I've loved her work for a while, ever since I discovered it on Pinterest. I love how intricate it is, and the texture it creates, especially since it is oil, not acrylic. She is truly an amazing artist.
You can see a bunch more of her paintings on her website Here.

So that's my short list of the artists that I'm loving right now. Pretty soon I'll have an original piece of my own in my home. And it may just be from one of the artists above...hint hint!

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