2D Flatware

Last post about the new gallery wall in the kitchen, promise.  Let’s talk about the utensil art.

Initially I was just going to find a couple of free printables online, print them out, stick ‘em in and up and that’s that.  But I couldn’t find anything that didn’t take away from or compete with the ‘take & eat’ so, after I found these great (and free) printables from The Questionable Domestique, I got an idea.

My plan?  To transfer her printables to my kitchen by painting a couple of the designs on some watercolor paper and hanging them.  They were simple, kitchen-related, and didn’t draw attention to themselves instead of Jesus.  Humility at its finest.  ;)

So, first I penciled the designs onto my cut-to-size watercolor paper and mixed some watercolor (using the same acrylic/water mixture I used on the ‘take & eat’).  Then I just painted in the lines and let it all dry. 

Then, like I usually do, I took it a step further after being inspired by this gorgeous flatware set from West Elm:
Using more gold leaf, I jazzed up the stems of each 2D utensil.  Things didn’t turn out exactly as I had pictured in my head though.  I wanted straight lines and no watercolor showing on the stems.  When I attached the gold leaf to the fork, I brushed Elmer’s school glue onto the stem, hoping that would give me the straight, clean lines I wanted.  Nope.
 photo 1 (12)
I don’t know what happened but things looked a tad crazy...the glue might’ve dried too quickly?  I don’t know.  I tried to scratch off the gold leaf but it wouldn’t budge so I laid my cares aside, filled in the right side a little more, and just let it be.  The rest of utensils got the same gold treatment as their abstract art neighbors – a glue stick plus gold leaf plus a pat and a rub-down when dry.
 photo 2 (19)

The final products:


Oh and I spiffied up the frames a bit too.  These frames were actually in the previous collage but I spray painted them white and added a dotted border with some gold paint along the inside edge. 
I just used a small, flat paintbrush to dab on paint.  No measuring.  All eye-balling.  Perfectly imperfect.  :)  It was such an easy way to add a little flare to an otherwise plain frame.

And speaking of flare, I hope your Monday is full of it!  Adios for now!

Mrs. Mix-A-Lot

Abstract art.  Anybody can do it.  Seriously.  You can even get all fancy by mixing colors and adding some gold leaf like I did.  I found this tutorial by Virginia at Live Love DIY and didn’t even wait until naptime to start.  Turns out, if I work on top of the (unheated) stove, I can get a lot done without little hands seeking and destroying.  :) 

diy abstract art

For this art project, I used two 11 x 14 inch canvases that I bought at Hobby Lobby (it was a two-pack on sale for $7.99).  I also used paint and brushes that I had laying around at home.  First, I dumped some paint directly from the pot onto one side of each canvas (I was going for a half-sided look).
photo 1 (6)

Then, I painted about 1/3 of one side of each canvas by starting at one edge and pulling the paint down in lines.  I didn’t use sweeping, back-and-forth motions, but just kept brushing down down down all the way across the side of the canvas.  Also, painting down towards the middle of the canvas vs. from middle to end gave me an unfinished edge where the paint ended, which is what I was going for.
  photo 2 (17)
Since I was going to add some gold leaf and more color, I didn’t drag the paint down all they way to where I wanted it which was about halfway across the canvas.  I figured I’d use more gold paint when I mixed it with the other colors I wanted to use so I’d finish pulling it down then.

So, when the gold paint was dry (I waited about six hours), I grabbed a glue stick and just smudged it onto my gold paint in random areas
photo 3
[The purple spots are glue – I used the Elmer’s glue stick that goes on purple and dries clear.]

Then I grabbed a sheet of gold leaf and laid it over the glue spots, patting it down lightly to make sure it was stuck for good.
photo 4 (3)
I waited another six or so hours until I was sure the glue was dry, held the canvases over our big trash can, and brushed off the excess, loose gold leaf with my fingers.

Next up came more paint.  I pulled a few colors out of the Last Supper to use on my painting – gray acrylic, a coral-red latex, light blue latex, and white acrylic – and I also grabbed the gold to layer onto the existing gold and extend the end of my paint line to about halfway down the canvas.

I waited until naptime to do this part to make sure I wouldn’t have to stop after I had started and to add a little more calm to the whole idea, I grabbed the Moscato.  Wining and dining painting.  The way to go.  :)

First I added more gold.  Then I just put random spots of color onto the canvas (I did one half of each canvas at a time to ensure I had time to mess around with the paint before it dried but I think I probably could’ve just done the entire thing at once) and brushed each dot into a big splotch (abstract talk, I guess?), trying to also mix it in a tad with the still-wet gold paint.
 photo 1 (10)

I brushed in one color at a time and wiped my brush off onto a dry paper towel between each color.
photo 2 (18)
I tried to brush color around each gold leaf spot just so the gold leaf looked more incorporated into the painting…if that makes any sense at all. 

I hung them before the were dry (rebel!) and that was that! IMG_5795


So, have you ever tried your hand at abstract art?  Maybe you have a five-year-old that has because, like I said, anyone can do it.  :)

.           .           .

I’ll be back early next week to drag this collage project out into one more DIY and then I promise it’s enough talk of it.  We’re in the middle of painting our living room, entry, and hallway (again) so there will be lots to share and show on that soon!  TGIF!

Take & Eat

I think watercolor might be my new favorite medium.  I like it because it kind of has a mind of its own once you put it on paper.  It just sinks in and marbles a little depending on how much water/paint there is on your brush.  Mistakes can just be attributed to the mind of the paint vs. the hand of the artist unlike thicker paints like acrylics and oils which need to be maneuvered.  However, and that’s a BIG however, I’m no professional artist.  I’m not even an amateur.  I’m a very beginning beginner when it comes to painting as an art so you should probably let my opinion on the subject go in one ear and out the opposite. 

That being said, I used a watercolor technique to create the ‘take & eat’ art in our new gallery wall. IMG_5792

I didn’t use actual watercolor though; I used black acrylic paint mixed with water because I didn’t have any watercolor and wanted to use what I had on hand.

  photo 1 (1)
My other supplies included a plate (an old one I use exclusively for painting), an 11 x 15 in. piece of watercolor art paper, a cup of water, a paper towel (that I didn’t end up using), and a paintbrush (included in a pack I thrifted but originally from Michael’s).

I didn’t get any pictures of the process of painting this because I was in a big hurry; hoping to start and finish this and another painting project before the kids woke up.  Sorry!  I’ll try and explain the process the best I can.

The first thing I did was write out the ‘take & eat’ onto my watercolor paper as lightly as I could with a pencil.  I’m not good enough to paint without guidelines.  :)  The lighter the better in case any erasing has to happen.  I really like this Asterism font, so I tried to copy it as best I could.

Then it was time to paint.  I grabbed my brush and dipped it into my cup of water and then into the little puddle of paint I had poured out onto my plate.  I repeated this a few times until I had a little puddle of watered down paint.  To paint, I dipped my brush into my diluted paint, brushed some excess paint off onto a clean part of the plate, and drug my paintbrush away over my pre-penciled on design, grabbing a little more paint every couple of inches. 
 photo 2 (12)

The paintbrush I used was pointed at the end vs. a flat-edged brush.  I tried to vary the thickness of the lines I was painting by only using the tip of the brush for thin lines and the thicker middle part of the brush for thicker lines. 

Up close, you’ll notice a few mistakes.  The ‘a’ in ‘take’ has a rough left side and I could’ve made it thicker to fix the edge but I was too afraid of it looking too thick so I just let it go. 

IMG_5802My lines are far from perfect and my hand wasn’t 100% steady (thanks to being in a hurry!) but I don’t mind the imperfections.  :)

I had to buy watercolor paper (I bought this pack from Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon) but had everything else I needed for the project so, if you factor in the fact that I only used one of the 12 pieces of watercolor paper in my new pack, this little project cost me under $1. 

Cheap and aesthetically pleasing…just like I like it.  :)

Hang Ten

Ten frames, that is.  I’m popping in today to tell you how exactly I hung the new frame collage in the kitchen, in case you want to hang your own.

First, I laid out the frames on our living room floor in the layout I wanted them hung on the wall.  This was a process with a lot of trial and error involved.  I had a bunch of frames to choose from and just kept laying them out until I was happy with the result.  I probably laid and re-laid about 20 times before I got to the final result.  Initially, I was going for a very unsymmetrical layout – lots of different sizes of frames, randomly placed.  But then I tried a more symmetrical layout (not exactly symmetrical though, as you can see) and ended up loving it, so I stuck with it. 

Here’s where I ended up:Image-1 (1)

Here are the sizes of frames I ended up using:IMG_5791meas
The measurements labeled are the inches of the outside edge of each frame; not necessarily the picture inside.  As long as you have the inches, you can raid your local store for frame sizes and worry about filling them with the appropriate-sized pictures later.  (Thrift stores usually have lots of sizes so maybe check one near you!)

To hang them, I started in the vertical middle of the wall and hung the two middle frames first, working my way to the outsides.  I hung the whole collage so it was a little higher than the horizontal middle (ceiling to chair rail) so the girls wouldn’t be able to touch the Last Supper when they were inhabiting their high chairs (an accident waiting to happen!), but I’ll probably move the whole thing down a few inches once we move them to the ‘adult’ table (soon!).  I used the same tool I used to hang the first (failed) collage in here; a DIY hanging tool I made following The Scrap Shoppe’s idea.  It’s the most amazing tool for hanging pictures, I tell ya!  Gone are the days of making paper templates of each frame and hanging those first or measuring a thousand ways to determine nail placement!  All you have to do with this handy tool is hang the frame on it, hold it up to the wall where you’d like it hung, and press so that the nail on your tool makes a little mark on your wall where you’ll hammer in the real nail.  So easy!  If you don’t feel like making your own or don’t have a scrap piece of wood laying around, this picture-hanging tool (affiliate link) from Under the Roof Decorating will do the same thing (and it’s only $10).

I’ll be back tomorrow with details on the stuff I diy-ed in this collage! 

Happy Humpday!

Last Supper

A long-ish time ago I hung a combo of frames on a big, bare wall in our kitchen and a long-ish time ago I really, really didn’t like how it turned out.

Exhibit A:
Not that bad, I guess, but definitely nothing to write home about, or blog about (even though I did).may262012004_thumb1
I thought it was a great idea to spray paint all the frames silver and haphazardly toss some art in them and call it a collage.

And so for a long-ish time I saw it everyday as I walked back and forth; to and from the kitchen and I didn’t like it each and every time. 

But not anymore!  Nope!  While Anthony was at the March for Life in DC a couple of weeks ago, I took the old down and started anew on a fresh slate.  It’s looking much better these days…
Yes?  You think so?  I hope so!

It all started with this picture of the Last Supper:
It’s an antique that my grandma gave me a couple of years ago.  It used to hang in the farmhouse my grandpa grew up in.  I love it.  :)  And it only took me a long-ish time to finally get it hung here!  The “take & eat” above it hearkens to Matthew 26:26 – While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

The rest of the collage is a conglomeration of thrifted frames (that were spray painted), DIY art,  these mirrors from Target (I found them for el cheapo at Dirt Cheap because one of the three was missing a piece of mirror), and a couple of little thrifted mirrors.  I’ll be back this week to give you alllll the deets on the DIYed stuff, don’t you worry.

Now, for fun, let’s take a few steps back and to the side and then a little into the past to see how far this little eating spot has come, shall we?

A picture I took on our second visit to see the house before we bought it:Random 480

After we moved in, painted, and hung a real light fixture:
kitchen1 (14)

This morning (Feb 2015):
  IMG_5789[Of course we don’t keep decor on the table…ever.  That was just for the sake of a pretty picture…as was the two high chairs plus the kid seat on the chair.]

I would say we’re done decorating/renovating/tweaking in here but the truth is, we’re not.  We’ve been tossing around the idea of blowing out part of the wall (not visible in the pictures) to the left to open the space up a little more to the living room and I’ve really been wanting to trade in our thrifted dining table and chairs for another (probably thrifted) set.  So, time will tell.

.           .           .

What have you been working on?  Hanging any pictures?  Dabbling in art?  Taxes?…speaking of, I’ve gotta get those done.  I’m always doing them at the last minute.  Well, whatever you’re up to, I hope you’re having a good Monday (or what’s left of it considering it’s probably nearing it’s end for you as it is me).