Archive of ‘Style’ category

Super Easy Fall Centerpiece

When it comes to decor, I definitely lean more towards the unfussy side of things. Usually, I’m just happy that the table isn’t piled full of tools and mail. But now that we have our beautiful new DIY dining table, and I managed to hang some pictures, I’m trying to make more of an effort to make our home beautiful, everyday. As in, not just when company comes over. Beautiful for us, because we live here.

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Also, I think every blogger in Blogland has been posting about fall decor, so I felt the need to jump on the hay wagon.

These pumpkins and gourds cost me around $6 (from Trader Joe’s and the pumpkin patch), which is cheaper than flowers…and they last longer.

Baby Brownie insists on calling them “apples” no matter how much I tell her they’re “pumpkins”. And they’re not for biting.

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I placed them on an old wooden platter I got at a thrift store some time ago and filled in the extra spaces with citrus leaves I cut from our lime tree. I added the mercury glass votive holders I got last Christmas from West Elm, on top of a linen table runner we got for our wedding (from Crate and Barrel).

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Here’s a little peek into our dining room as it is presently. I hung some family portraits up and the thrift store chairs we recovered are looking great. This room is a fun mix of rustic and modern which is pretty much our aesthetic.

Sharing at CentsationalGirl, SavvySouthernStyle, TheStyleSisters, AStrollThruLife, TheBlissfulBee, TheShabbyCreekCottage!

How to Stretch An Oil Painting

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We’ve got a nice splash of color on one side of the couch with this gorgeous oil painting we brought home from our trip to Hong Kong.

Guess how much we paid for it? I won’t give it away (those vendors need to make a profit) but I will say that it was less than $100. Yes, you have to bargain. But if you’re ever in Hong Kong and stop by Ladies’ Market or the Stanley Market you’ll find hundreds of beautiful oil paintings. Often they are copies done by art students so the skill level will vary, but shop around and you might find something awesome.

We brought it home rolled up in a tube and when I got a quote to have the oil painting professionally stretched and framed, it came to a couple hundred buckeroonies. I wasn’t about to plunk down that much cash when the painting didn’t even cost that much to begin with, so I got good ol’ hubby to help me stretch and wrap it ourselves.

You can buy frames but we decided to make our own out of leftover 1x boards.

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The first step is to measure the dimensions of your painting to determine how big your frame will be. Remember to minus the thickness of the wood on each side to account for the edges of the painting that wrap around the frame. Because our painting is quite large, we added braces to the corners.

Professional frames are beveled in on the inner edge of the frame to prevent the shadow of the frame from showing through the painting. We didn’t worry about this.

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Once your frame is done, you’re ready to start stretching.

Lay your canvas painting-side-down on a piece of cardboard or drop cloth, and lay your frame over it.

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Using a staple gun, put a staple in one long side (making sure the painting is aligned) and stretching the canvas gently, put a staple on the opposing side of the frame. Repeat with short sides.

Remember, the canvas was already stretched once before, so don’t pull too hard! Be gentle.

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While stretching the canvas gently (just like upholstering a headboard), add staples to each side, moving outward toward the corners. It’s important that you move from the center of each side toward the outer corners to smooth out any ripples. Keep rotating sides to make sure the tension is even.

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The corners can be a little tricky. Create a little gusset, just like when you’re wrapping a gift.

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Fold over one side and staple down.

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Then fold the other side down as tight as you can and staple. Do that for all 4 corners.

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Check out that gorgeous edge.

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Voila! You’ve just gallery wrapped your own oil painting!

For now, this baby is sitting on an antique table (story of that later) next to the couch. We’re planning to hang it on the wall above the table with a couple of other pieces of art. When we get around to it. You know how it is =).

Cheap and Stylish Checks

Chris and I have been looking into ordering new checks, something we’ve kept putting off because we just moved and we wanted to get new checks printed with our new address.

Chris, by the way, is the king of deals, and can be found at all hours of the day scouring DealNews for the latest deals.  It amazes me sometimes.  It’s a special talent he has.

Anyway, he found this offer for new customers at ChecksintheMail.com.  It’s just $5 for a box of 125 checks if you use the code BESTOFFER!  Shipped!  The cool thing is, they actually have some cute designs.  Check ’em out. (And I am not being compensated in any way by ChecksintheMail, I just think the checks are cute.)  Click on the check image to go to the site.

Botanical Checks

Sassy Stripes Checks

Island Tropics Checks

Bird Song Checks

Modelli Checks

We went with the Modelli checks because they were a little less girly than the others, and I felt bad making Chris write girly checks.  They’re still stylish though.  For five buckaroonies, it’s a great deal!

Doesn’t it make you feel good to know that even something as mundane as your checks are cute too?

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