I just wanted to do a quick share of one of my new favorite things. For any of you who would love to dabble in some artistic endeavors but are unsure if you can do it. This is for you!!
I have been wanting to learn to paint in watercolors for years. My Mom dabbled in it and I have always been drawn to the dreamy, somewhat abstract images that the medium produces.
However, work and Momming (pretty sure that's not a word) have not allowed me time to take a class. But now thanks to the generosity of online art teachers, I am finding my happy place!
These are a few of the projects that I have learned how to do through a site called Let's Make Art. Sarah is just so charming and she really makes it so easy to follow along and produce great results...even when I have no idea what I am doing! You can either purchase their kits individually, subscribe to their kit service or just access the online tutorials and use your own materials and supplies. They make it so, so easy! I also love the idea of their gift service. At $15 per project, it's a great, affordable way to share creative arts with a loved one.
I'm also loving YouTube instructor Creations CeeCee. She gives fantastic advice on how to spark creativity and find your own look. Her videos are especially useful after you learn some of the technical basics of watercolor. Then you can play with some of her exercises to develop your own personal style. She also explains how to build your own supply inventory (so you don't waste money purchasing the wrong materials). I now have a list of cool things to request for my birthday and Christmas this year!
My goal is to set aside a couple of hours each Friday or Saturday to watercolor and sketch. It is a wonderful way to quiet my mind and de-stress from the weeks' craziness. I love love love it and am so inspired to see what these ladies can teach me next! I hope some of you will check out these resources and give this medium a try. Please share if you do!
Thanks for visiting!
Thanks for popping in! This is Chapter 4 of my office reno series. Click these links to read all about the DIY paint treatment, wall unit and butcher block countertop projects. With those stages complete, I started composing the rest of the space. The budget was tight, so you won't believe how I stretched my dollars and also infused some really personal moments into what is now one of my favorite rooms in the house. Please note that this room was not put together in a day. It evolved as I found things that spoke to me. Patience is definitely a virtue in personal design, so I encourage all of you to just keep looking when you are seeking the perfect piece. Here are the details!
Main Furnishings I'm a lover of mixing styles. While the wall unit is fairly traditional and the paint is ornate and glam, I wanted a little classic and a little modern in the mix. These three items were the perfect combination at the perfect price. The loveseat is from Target and I scored it on sale and with free shipping using my RED Card. The desk is my fave. Small, but I get twice the surface space with the bottom shelf that is easily visible because of the glass top. Only $135 from Amazon! The chair was also quite affordable and so comfy. $95 from Amazon. With my loveseat sale price, the main pieces in this room came to less than $500. Such a great deal for pieces that I love and fit the room so well.
Capiz Globe Shades This room did not have overhead lighting and I did not have the budget to hardwire, so I found plug-in bulb fixtures that I hung from the ceiling. Cord covers do a pretty good job of hiding the cords along the ceiling and walls. Not perfect, but I am ok with it. I tried several different drum shades with these fixtures, but none of them were special. And then...I stumbled upon these blingy beauties at Decorator's Outlet here in Richmond. This store offers seconds and slightly damaged goods from high end lighting company, Shades of Light, and it's a treasure box! These globe shades were $10 each!! What a score. I looked for some similarly affordable options for you, but the closest I could find was this slightly larger and more expensive version from Pottery Barn. I love the organic texture and reflective quality that they bring to the room.
IKEA Hack Coffee Table Never underestimate the power of a can of spray paint. This is a popular hack that is all over Pinterest and it was the perfect solution for my glam office. It's a small room, so I wanted something glass that wouldn't take up too much visual space. And gold. So the answer was this coffee table from IKEA and a champagne finish gold spray paint. $80 for the whole thing. Not bad! (If you prefer, you can separate the two tables and use one as a coffee table, one as an end table. I love that versatility!)
Personalized Art This may be one of my favorite things in the house, but I am not going to lie to you. It was not as easy as is advertised. It started with 2 favorite photos of my twins (yes, I know. They are obviously fraternal). I wanted to turn them into paintings, but as crafty as I am, I am not a fine art painter unless I have something to copy. So I thought "wouldn't it be great if I could have a paint by number kit of these photos"? Well. Ask and you shall receive, I guess. I searched and found this company, Easy 1-2-3 Art, that offers custom paint by number kits of your photos. I loved the modern impressionistic effect that they offered, which you can manipulate until you get the look that you want. So I ordered and was thrilled when they arrived. I got to painting right away, but was dismayed that the included paints were not at all matching the original photo colors. The entire palette was much darker than it should have been. So, I bought some white paint and set to work lightening every single color. It was a pain and the project took me months rather than weeks. However, I love love love these paintings. A little abstract, colorful and full of subject matter of my favorite things on earth. It was all worth it.
Family Travels Map Travel is a huge part of my life. I spent many years working in the entertainment industry, visiting 5 continents and some of the most amazing places on earth. I also want to infuse that wanderlust in my kids and show them how important it is to experience and appreciate different cultures. This map documents the places that I or we have been and it was a cinch to put together. I simply found a large map printed on fabric (online) and secured it to an art canvas using duck tape. Push pins represent all of the places that we have been thus far. Hoping to one day cross off the other 2 continents!
Made-it-myself macrame I have a few tried-and-true design tricks that I always recommend for clients and use in my own home. One of them is to mix up wall decor so that you don't end up with all photos or all art, etc. So my general "wall rule of 3's" is to use at least one piece of art, one mirror and one textile or organic accessory per room. This formula adds so much interest and keeps the room from looking flat and one-note. I've loved macrame since I was a kid in the 70's. It was my go-to craft of choice. So when it came back recently, I was not about to buy one already made! I found this pattern on Etsy and whipped this up while we were watching a football game. It's not a complex design, but it sure does make me happy and I love the texture that it adds to the room. And the best part is that it is a really affordable piece of large-scale art.
Hide & Seek Shredder These photos speak for themselves. Ingenious, right? Thank you, Pinterest ;)
Well, that's it for the office series! I hope you found some nuggets of inspiration that you can use in your own home.
Stay tuned for some more money-saving DIY projects, including the big reveal of my neighborhood clubhouse makeover. This was affordable transforming at its best!
Thanks for visiting!
Hammer Time: Fancying up the office with paint
I promised you more on the office revamp, so here are the details of the paint. Keep in mind, this part of the project is a few years old and many owners might now look to wallpaper for a similar effect. For those who haven't noticed, wallpaper is definitely back in and textile technology has progressed eons, making it easily removable. It's not cheap, however. But this treatment was SO budget-friendly and I was able to scale it exactly the way I wanted it. I'm tellin' you people, DIY can save you gazillions! The best part is that years later, I still really like this (I'm a sucker for a little bling). Here's the step-by-step.
I was back and forth on a new color for this room and after some trial and error, decided to stay with the neutral background that we have in the foyer and halls. I'm happy with that, as it gives a more peaceful transition between the downstairs spaces. However, I wanted something in the room to make it special. I had been coveting a stencil that I had seen on Pinterest, so I decided to give it a try here. To the left is the inspiration shot. The tone of this home reminds me alot of some of the areas in our home, so I was pretty sure it would work.
When I started researching the technique, I found that the ready-made stencils can be quite expensive. This design was about $50, plus shipping. Too much for me! So, I set about creating my own pattern. Not a stencil, per se, but more of a tracing technique. Photos of the process are above:
I folded a piece of letter size paper into quadrants. Then with the folds on the left and bottom, I sketched out 1/4 of the medallion. This took a little trial and error to get the right curves, angles and proportions, but it was not difficult.
I re-folded the paper and cut on the line that I drew.
Then I did the same thing to create the inner line of the medallion, stacking them to make sure the points were lining up and the lines were the proper width.
This paper was too flimsy to use as the actual pattern, so I transferred the designs to poster board that I painted the background color. Before applying to the wall, I set out to the find the perfect accent color. I love the metallic effect in the inspiration pic, so I experimented with several colors to get that effect. I ended up combining light champagne and gold toned acrylic craft paint...perfect!
Time to cut out the medallions and start tracing! This was a very time-consuming process, mostly because I used a level to make sure that the outer medallions were lined up straight. Once the outer medallions were traced, the inner tracings were pretty easy to align.
I tackled this over several days - grabbing an hour or two when I could. It took alot longer than a stencil probably would have, but I am beyond thrilled with the result! You can't tell by the picture, but from one direction, the accent color reads darker (like you see here), and when the light hits it, the accent is lighter and metallic...just like the inspiration! It's pretty much one of the first things you see when you walk in the door and I love the tone is sets for the rest of the house. A little bit ethnic, a little bit glam and totally DIY...that's me!!
Next time, I'll show you all the fabulously inexpensive and personal accessories that really make the room sing. You won't believe how little money they cost!
Thanks for popping by!
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